Prepping for a NEW YEAR

I haven’t stayed up until midnight on New Years Eve in years. Since 2020 has been such a dumpster fire, I have decided to stay up until midnight to make sure that 2020 actually ends. I’m sort of worried that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and see that the date is December 32, 2020. That would be so 2020!

During the month of December I have been working on plans for 2021.

  1. Health – I’ve started what, so far, is a helpful way to lose weight. NOOM. Someone I know lost 100 pounds using this service so I thought I’d try. So far I am down 6 pounds! It is a very different approach towards weight loss. More info to come in the new year as I chronicle my journey. Mike and I are also starting to exercise more and plan to make it a habit in 2021.
  2. Career – Since work has changed so much this year, I have been feeling uninspired and unfulfilled. I have decided to work on taking my passion for crafting to the next level. I’ve been listening to the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast and have really been inspired to find how I can make the world a better place through my passion of crafting. Things currently in the works:
    • Craft videos on YouTube in the hopes of getting a good enough following to monetize my craft videos.
    • Creating a plan to sell my crafts on Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, craft shows, etc. I am making a list of what to make in preparation for upcoming holidays and celebrations.
    • Planning a way to start doing at-home craft parties once we all get Covid-19 under control.
    • Collaborating with two friends on a really cool videography project.
  3. Reading – Increase my reading and book review blog posts by creating a calendar to remind myself to post reviews to my blog twice a month.
  4. Brainstorming on a podcast idea I have.

So, those are my big plans to make 2021 the best year ever.

What are your plans for 2021? Do you plan to stay up until midnight? Do you have a craft you would like me to create a video for? Do you have any book recommendations for me? How about a healthy recipe or an exercise for me to add to our getting healthy plan? Please drop me a note below and I promise to send you a great big thank you!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Overwhelmed with your kindness and excited about the future.

Everyone has been so supportive of my weight loss journey. I’ve received so many tips and messages of encouragement the past few days. I love each and every one of you for joining my cheering squad! It was kind of overwhelming to get all the messages. You all lifted my spirits!

So far, things are going well. We’ve found some great recipes that use more Whole Foods and less processed foods. Our two favorites have been the crunchy chicken and black bean tacos and the glazed pork loin with cucumber radish salad.

Breakfast has always been hard for me because it is my favorite meal. I love everything about a good hearty breakfast. Scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, pastries, and most of all – delicious coffee. I can have eggs on Weight Watchers. They are actually a zero points food. (Please don’t ask me to explain why. I don’t care why, I’m just glad they are). Two slices of bacon cooked crispy are 3 points. Pastries – I have to cut them out all together. They are delicious but they are like Pringles to me – I can’t just eat one. LOL.

Then comes coffee. I like mine light and sweet. That means a lot of cream and a lot of sugar. Yesterday I tried having my coffee with 1% milk and Swerve sweetener. BLECH!!!! Today I am using 1 TBSP of Natural Bliss Salted Caramel creamer. It is n to sugar free. It is 2 points for each tablespoon. I did not add any additional sweetener and it is ok.

I am already feeling improvements in how I feel. I slept really well last night after working hard around the house with food prep and laundry. My mood is better and I feel that I can accomplish this task and reach my goal.

One Hit Wonders

I often take a recipe I find and embellish it with my own touches.  Unfortunately, I tend to forget to write down what I added to the existing recipe.  This ensures that my hubby, Mike, loves it.  Thus it becomes a One Hit Wonder similar to “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred.   The barbecue sauce I made this week has become my latest.  While I try to figure out what exactly I put it that delicious sauce, let’s listen/watch this.

A burger worth writing about

I have never been crazy about hamburgers.  They are ok once in a while but I’ve never been one to crave a burger…until now.

Mike and I were out and about in Sarasota and we decided to try a new place we spotted Burgerfi.  Knowing that we were in a very well to do area and that we have found some amazing restaurants in this area, mostly gourmet (table cloths, cloth napkins, and sommeliers), we had no idea what we would find.  Turns out it is a gourmet burger fast food restaurant.

When we walked in, you go to the counter and place your order and pay.  They give you a pager thing and tell you that when the order is done it will buzz and your food will be at the counter.  Different…

I ordered the CEO burger.

The meat was NOT greasy.  It was delicious.  The candied bacon tomato jam was a sweet and savory treat. The aged swiss cheese was yummy and melty.  The star of the burger was the truffle aioli.  It infused the burger with a rich, earthy umami that makes my mouth water just thinking about it as I write.

Jackie, the woman who took care of us was wonderful.  She made sure that our first visit to Burgerfi was not our last.  She let us taste their special burger sauce that is usually reserved for the burgers but people like to use with their onion rings and fries.  Check out the size of the onion rings.


Just as we were finishing up our meal, Jackie came out with two samples of their shakes, one vanilla and one coffee mocha.  They were both scrumptious.

So, next time you are in Sarasota, FL near the University Town Center Mall, stop in and see Jackie at Burgerfi.  You won’t be sorry!

Happy tasting!

Father’s Day Surprise!! No milk in the house, no problem!

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful Dad’s out there.  I wanted to make my hubby some pancakes for breakfast but, when I started gathering ingredients, there was NO MILK!!!!  Sigh…

What’s a girl to do?  I remembered that I had grabbed a box of Duncan Hines Perfect Size for One Apple Cinnamon Muffins.  What could be better than an apple cinnamon muffin cooked in a mug??  One packet of mix, 3 tablespoons water, stirred, and microwaved in a mug for 1 minutes and 10 seconds – that’s it!  Mike loved it. I loved it!  Winner! Winner! Apple Cinnamon Muffin!!!

Cookbooks that I love

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman was the first cookbook that I received when I got married.  My copy has been through it all.  I even set it down on a burner that was lit and it is now burnt.
 
Another favorite is the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.  I just picked this one up on clearance at the bookstore. 
 
 
 
Table for Two: A cookbook for couples by Chef Warren Caterson is a terrific cookbook and should be given to every newlywed or child going off to college.  Great practical tips and wonderful recipes.  You can also book Chef Warren for cooking demonstrations or to cook for your dinner party.
 
I hope you get a chance to look at these books.  Check your local library or independent bookstore.

Tried something new – Good Table Freezer to Plate by General Mills

The other day I was walking through Publix, hunting Pokemon, when I spotted something new.

Good Table Freezer to Plate by General Mills.  There were four choices:  Lemon Garlic Herb Chicken, Southwest Chicken, Chicken Marsala, and Teriyaki Chicken.  I love Marsala, yet have yet to make it from scratch and have it be really good.  My main problem when I make it is trying to remember what kind of Marsala wine to buy.  Now I don’t have to.

How easy is this meal?  Let me tell you….EASY!!!  Add water and frozen chicken to what is in the box, cover, bake and YUM!

I was pleasantly surprise by the Sodium content. Both my husband and I enjoyed the meal.  I think we will try some of the others in the near future.

Check them out here.

Loving on my cozy mysteries. Follow me on Twitter for a chance to win.

I’m preparing to do a big “I love cozy mysteries” blog and review.  In celebration of finishing Feta Attraction by Susannah Hardy and making the Greek Lemon and Thyme Chicken (see picture of chicken served in a pita below) recipe from the book, I am giving away two copies of this ebook.

Here is the link to the giveaway:  https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/c639133aabb26dd3

Thanks for reading and GOOD LUCK!

P.S.  I have another giveaway for Hera’s Revenge here:  https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0bbf92135f0d0c9e

All things HUMMUS!

I used to think that hummus looked like flavorless baby food.  Whenever it was offered to me, I would turn my nose up at the tan mush.  One day, a coworker brought in homemade hummus with warm pita bread.  That is when my love of hummus began.










2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1 – 15 oz can pumpkin
1 can garbanzo beans
1 garlic clove chopped



Hummus Made Easy. He bought some for me and tonight I tried it.  I have to say that it was very good. I made the Classic flavor with reduced sodium garbanzo beans. It was so good that I’m planning to go out and get a bunch of mix and beans to keep on hand in case of spontaneous party. 

If you think you don’t like hummus, give it another try.  I’m glad I did.