Happy Valentines Day!

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This post I was planning on writing for tomorrow. However, I do have to work a double and will not be able to do so. Valentines Day is upon us, so I’d figure I would wish you all a happy one. A day that is filled with chocolate and love. To all the couples, I hope this day is filled with the joyous reminder of being together. To those who are single, Valentines Days is a day to enjoy celebrated with those whom you love around you. I hope you all have a wonderful Valentines Day tomorrow.

Lessons from My First Snow-In

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I live in Connecticut and Old Man Winter came in strong Saturday. He sure came in dropping a whopping eighteen inches of snow on the ground complete with strong winds and road closures. Luckily, I did not lose power during the storm. But, I did find myself limiting plans I had for Saturday, even at home, as I could not go anywhere. But, I did learn a few things.

  1. Get on a shovel schedule. Yes, I live in a condo and have a snow plowing in my lease. However, I also have a deck and front door that I have to clear off if there is more than a foot. So, naturally, I had to get on a schedule to clean off the snow before it got too heavy.
  2. Use cardboard or towels. This is for the floor after shoveling. I called my mom in the midst of the storm and told her that I had tracked in snow from my porch. My mom suggested putting down cardboard in order to avoid having snow being tracked in from my boots. When I went out the second time, I found it worked like a charm.
  3. Limit appliance use. Usually, on Saturday, I do my laundry. However, there was a high risk for a power outage. So, I put off doing my laundry until today, Sunday. Even though, I didn’t want to do so; I definitely didn’t want soaking wet clothes.
  4. Keep the phone charged. I kept my phone charged all the way in case I lost power. As you can probably guess I was expecting to lose power at some point yesterday. Luckily, I didn’t lose it. While I am grateful, I am happy that my phone was fully charged as it is great to use for calls and as a flashlight.

In short, a blizzard came in and left almost two feet of snow on the ground. There was much relaxing in between the shoveling and cooking I did yesterday. While, I did enjoy having a day to myself, I did find it great to just relax in my pajamas for a full day.

Also, thank you to all of those who plowed and are actively plowing and treating the roads to make them safe.

Meal Prep Lessons

Hi all, I do plan on sharing more recipes soon. But, for now I do plan on sharing some lessons I learned from meal prepping.

  1. If you are only have a little bit left, why not use it? This came in useful when I was cooking a stew last week. I only had a little bit left of one ingredients, so I just added it in.
  2. Don’t be afraid to substitute! Like many I have been finding it hard to locate certain items in grocery stores. I have found that going to google and looking up a good substitute has come in useful.
  3. Take advantage of spices for leftovers. A couple of nights ago I had leftover rice from Chinese I had ordered. To spice things up a bit I added in some oregano, red pepper, and onion powder complete with cheese for lunch.
  4. Check your cabinets! This is one lesson that I learned growing up. After reading a recipe look through your cabinets to make sure you have what you need. Then, create a list for when you go to the grocery store and focus on that.
  5. Think outside the box when prepping. For example, the cream of carrot soup I made did not call for celery, potatoes, and onions. I decided to add those in. I had celery that had to be used and thought potatoes and onions would be nice. I found that the soup still came out delicious with. Consider adding to the recipe when you cook.

So, those are tips I have from meal prepping. Enjoy! I hope you are all staying warm this winter.

Almond Milk

In the past two recipes that I shared I mentioned I was using almond milk instead. The first time I had almond milk I was not fond of it. I found almond milk to be a watered down version of regular milk. However, as time went on I found more and more people who were using almond milk as opposed to regular milk. I did some research and decided to share a few facts on almond milk:

  • If you buy unsweetened almond milk, then it is low in sugar. Yes, as you know too much sugar can be bad for you. Almond milk can be a healthy option for not haivn
  • Almond milk is low in calories and carbs. Many of the people whom I know who have switched to almond milk have done so for this reason.
  • It is high in calcium. “Milk builds strong bones” is a phrase that I frequently heard through out my childhood. One of those reasons I was told, and found was true as an adult, is due to calcium. So, here’s to calcium in almond milk.
  • If found that almond milk is easier to cook with. This is a fact that is my own personal one. I don’t know if you know this but, you are not supposed to use milk as a base in a crockpot due to it being dairy. But, almond milk is not dairy and, to me, is a great substitute for cooking with regular milk.

So, here’s to almond milk. Yes, I may have regular milk around at times. But, I found that almond milk is a great alternative to regular milk. Hope you all had a great week.

Staying Warm in the Cold

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Old Man Winter made his mark this week! Snow is on the way and the temperatures are dropping like crazy. Yup, trying to stay warm in this weather on a budget not as much of a challenge as I thought. The main challenge is making sure the thermostat is set correctly; this is something I learned rather quickly shortly after I had moved in. Here are a few things I found that help when keeping warm in the cold:

  1. Have lots of blankets ready. Yes, this does sound obvious, but having as many blankets to stay warm under is a true blessing.
  2. Sleep with warm socks on. I will admit, when I wake up in the morning after doing this I find that my socks are, most of the time, no where to be found. But, after a little bit of searching or spotting them after they fall out of the covers while making the bed, they are easy to find.
  3. Have a space heater handy. A space heater is something that I never thought that I would need. I have found that having one handy at the time the temperature dips lower than usual having one right there is a simple warm fix.

So, these are the ways that I stay warm in these cold conditions. Old Man Winter is here and for the next few months he is not going anywhere. Hope you all stay warm this winter.

Learning to Make Recipes Your Own

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Growing up I loved the American Girl book series. In fact, I had the Molly doll growing up. This lead to a love of history for me. I did have her cook book growing up and today I still have it. However, I did not have the rest of the American Girl cook books growing up. While I did have the regular series books, I did not have the cook books even though I asked. I was told the typical, “When you are grown up you can buy your own”.

Unfortunately, by the time I was “older” the books were out of print. Luckily, thanks to Amazon, I was able to buy the cook books for a really decent price. Well, since moving out I have been learning to meal prep and get into a schedule. There are two soup recipes that I have made from different cook book, Molly and Samantha’s, and I adapted them into my own version.

Before this venture, I would always follow the perfectly. Instead, I found that adding and making changes to recipes is not such a bad thing. You are able to explore in the kitchen and keep food from going bad. I will post more on the recipes that I modified at a later date.

Happy October!

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This post is almost a week late. But, between decorating for Halloween, work, baking, cooking, and watching Halloween movies this post was delayed. October is by far my favorite month of the year. This year it is my first October living alone. I was extremely happy to go out and buy Halloween decorations and pumpkins to put out. Halloween is just around the corner, so I found myself buying the Monster Mash Cereal and Pillsbury cookies that you just pop in the oven. I can’t wait to see what else October has in store. So far October is off to a great start!

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P.S. I have a small deck, but no set yet. Hence the reason for the beach chair.

Hard to Think

20 years ago yesterday on 9/11/2001 America was attacked. I remember where I was when the attacks happened, where I was when I found out, and the shock and terror I felt through out the day. I remember hearing the stories of police officers, firefighters, EMT’s and other first responders whom bravely gave their lives so others could live that day. Those whom gave their lives are never to be forgotten. Everyone whom passed due to a terrorists cowardly act were going about their life as normal not knowing that they would never see their loved ones again. Never celebrate another birthday. Never see their children grow up. Never see enjoy the life they deserved to have. I know it looks strange writing this post the day after the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. However, I found it hard to put into words yesterday as news reports and social media posts brought back the pain and horror. 9/11/2001 is a day that is etched in my memory and I still find it hard to write a remembrance marking the anniversary, even twenty years later.

So Many Changes, So Little Time

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I didn’t intend to take a month long plus break from blogging. Yes, I know that I have slowed down on here. But, right now I am just checking into to give you a little update on my life. About a month ago I got a full time job and a week ago today I moved into a condo I bought. For now I am working two jobs, one full time and one part time, until I am on my feet and have all the kitchen appliances that I need want. That alone has taken up much of my time. I am super excited to say that my life is going in a positive direction with the month of August going by in the blink of an eye.

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Right now, I am trying to get on a schedule so that I pop on here longer. I do have many ideas for 2022. Yes, I know, the new year is far away. However, I am hoping to start fresh with new series and blog posts. As for now, I working on settling down and planning for this blog next year. But for now, I will stop in from time to time with little update posts.