Thursday, March 4, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • Right now I'd like to be in my comfy recliner, under the blanket, with a cup of coffee. Instead, after I finish this, I have to do my exercises. 
  • Last night as we watched the 11 pm news, we wondered why we bother because every night there are the same stories. They cannot possibly still be news. People want/don't want the schools/restaurants/theaters, etc. open. People can't get appointments for the vaccine and it's so unfair. Sometimes there's crying. Sometimes shouting. Everyone thinks they are being wronged, that they are right. How can we open schools without vaccinating teachers? Why should teachers jump the line over old people and the sick? There are no good answers. I'm tired of the bickering & fighting & everything being Democrat vs Republican. Can't anyone ever see another's point of view anymore? Everyone is sick of the virus and things being closed/half open. No one is more important than anyone else. If you can't say anything nice, say something neutral. If you can't even do neutral, well, just shut up. 
  • Yesterday it felt like spring was on the way and in spite of some recent crappy news, things seemed hopeful and happy. Today is cold, gray, and I swear I saw a snow flake drifting around.  

What we're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • We haven't watched any more of Weeds.
  • We started Doom Patrol, just 1 episode. It's OK.
  • We watched The Dig (Netflix, movie), which we both enjoyed. 
  • Tomorrow is the WandaVision finale. I'm excited! Last week was another really good episode.
  • I like SEALTeam but gosh I'm tired of the whole Jason leaves the team then rejoins the team stories. 

What I'm Reading:

  • Catching up on magazines.
  • The Devil's Bones by Carolyn Haines, #21 in the Sarah Booth Delaney series. One more until I'm caught up. Two more of you count the new one coming out in a couple months.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese

My all time favorite macaroni & cheese recipe is the one from Cover & Bake. It has 16 oz shredded colby cheese and 8 oz shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese. It also takes a bit of time to make so last weekend we decided to try this Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese in The Side Dish Bible.
Elbow macaroni + milk + American cheese & cheddar cheese flavored with a bit of Dijon & cayenne. The macaroni cooks in the water & milk until soft.
Stir in the other ingredients. Top with panko-parmesan mixture.
The Cover & Bake recipe is still my favorite, but this one is darn tasty, too. We ate it with breaded chicken tenders and steamed broccoli. I love breaded chicken with macaroni and cheese. I like that this recipe took only about 20 minutes and used only 1 pot, not a pot for sauce plus a pot to cook pasta plus colander to drain the pasta plus baking dish. Cheesy and creamy and a bit of crunch from the panko. 

Recipe: Simple Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese
 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • It's nice to have so much sunshine the past couple of days. It melts the snow and warms the house. 
  • Unfortunately, it also means my allergies are flaring up. Ugh. I'm a stuffy, snotty, snorty mess.

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • We finished The Kominsky Method (Netflix). We enjoyed it. It's funny and we like that the episodes are about half an hour. It wasn't a huge commitment to watch 2 seasons.
  • Worst Cooks in America. I can't decide which worst cook I want to win.
  • WandaVision (Disney+). Oh my gosh last week's episode was so good. 
  • This Is Us still gets me teary. 
  • We couldn't figure out what to start watching next last night, so we started Weeds (Netflix). We only watched the first 2 (or maybe 3?) episodes, and we like it, but I don't know if we'll stick with 8 seasons even if each episode is only half an hour.
What I'm Reading:
  • Undone, the 3rd Will Trent book. What a creepy villain! Not that anyone deserves what he did, but his victims weren't very nice, either. Not many likable characters in this one!
  • The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, the same author who wrote The Devil and the Dark Water which I read back in December. I liked The Devil & the Dark Water so I decided to try The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It was really good even though at times I didn't fully understand/follow the plot. From Good Reads: 
"Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense."

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Orange Chocolate Custard Pie

We are slowly working our way through The Perfect Pie. We'll never try all the pies, just the ones that catch our eye. Like this Orange Chocolate Custard Pie that caught my eye and made me think of the days when I'd devour a bag of Orange Chocolate Milano Cookies.
There are several steps to making this pie. The first is the crust. SP carefully crimped the crust and added pie weights and yet it still sank in a couple places. Oh well. That's how you know it's homemade, right?!
Next is to cook the orange custard. Once it's made, you divide it in half and flavor one half with melted bittersweet chocolate. The chocolate layer is the bottom layer of the pie.
The orange custard goes on top the chocolate. We stopped here because it's just the two of us and it would take us a week to eat the pie. The official recipe calls for the pie to be topped with an Orange Whipped Cream and then dusted with chocolate shavings. The orange whipped cream wouldn't keep for more than a day, so we skipped it.
This pie is delicious. If we made it for guests, we'd include the orange whipped cream, but I didn't feel like it was missing. Lots of chocolate and orange flavor. It's a rich chocolate layer, but not overly sweet. So creamy. The orange layer is like a creamsicle. So good. We will definitely make this again.

Recipe: Orange Chocolate Custard Pie



 

Monday, February 22, 2021

White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Sauce

As usual, except for dessert, we did nothing special for Valentine's Day. This White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Sauce was in Cook's Country Feb~Mar 2021. It looked so pretty I decided we had to try it. SP agreed because it was a dessert with fruit, his favorite kind.
It wasn't too hard to make. We divided our mousse into 4 champagne coupe glasses, just like in the magazine, and let them chill. I liked, but didn't love, the mousse. It made me thirsty! Also, it seemed more like pudding than mousse, so that was disappointing. But the white chocolate with raspberry is an excellent combination (just like with these White Chocolate Raspberry Bars).

I like the flavor combination a lot, so I might try this again. I'm not sure what I'd do different to make it more mousse-like and less thirst inducing. It was much better the second day, so maybe we just need to give it 24+ hours in the refrigerator. It looks really pretty and it's always fun to eat dessert from a coupe glass!










 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • I'm grateful we are not in Texas right now. SIL and her family are doing OK (they're outside Dallas). At least they're from the NE so they know how to cope with cold weather and snow/ice. They won't end up with burst frozen pipes because they know it's a risk and how to prevent it. 
  • It's pretty darn cold here, too, and snowy. SP just got the walkway and driveway chiseled free from a layer of ice and now everything is again covered in snow with more snow to come. How many weeks until spring?! 
  • One of our nephews went to his state wrestling championships and finished fifth in the state as a sophomore so we're proud of him. Another nephew has been accepted to 5 or 6 colleges and received a scholarship to one of them so we're proud of him. Lots of nephew bragging!

What We're Eating:

  • Breaded Chicken Tenders with macaroni and cheese and steamed broccoli
  • Prosciutto~Mushroom~Pea Risotto
  • Dessert: White Chocolate Mousse with raspberry topping; Orange Chocolate Custard Pie

What We're Watching:

  • We started WandaVision on Disney+. I'm enjoying it much more than I expected. We've watched the first 6 episodes. The final three will be released over the next 3 weeks, one each week.
  • We also started The Kominsky Method (Netflix) and have watched half the first season. It's funny so it's nice to be laughing since the last few shows were more serious.
  • Our current weekly (sort of, the pandemic seems to be messing with continuous new episodes) shows: The Rookie, Worst Cooks in America, SEALTeam, Young Sheldon, The Unicorn.
  • We also caught up on all the accumulated episodes of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country on PBS.

What I'm Reading:

  • Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke, the second in the Hannah Swensen series. They're OK books, quick reads.
  • I started Undone from Karin Slaughter, the third in the Will Trent series. I'm not very far into it but it seems like it's going to be creepy and disgusting (the villain).

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • Ugh the stupid groundhog said 6 more weeks of winter and he seems to be right since there's been a lot of snow this week and it's really cold. Or maybe it's my house. Every year the house seems colder. I suppose it could be that we're turning into the kind of old people who are always cold, spend winter in FL, and wear a winter coat, gloves, and a scarf when it's 60 degrees? Except we will never be snowbirds in FL and we don't really wear all that in 60 degrees (well, maybe a scarf for me if there's a bit of a breeze). We almost always have a blanket covering us whether we're on the couch or in the office. Bring on spring please.
  • Today is a very exciting day for us. We hope. But I can't say why just yet. Sorry to be vague.
  • Also vague: sometimes being an adult is so hard with all the decisions and responsibilities and worries.
  • This weekend is Valentine's Day. Who cares? Not us. We'll be cleaning the house and trying to stay warm. We have no special dinner plans, not even special take out, and will be following our usual no cards/no gifts policy.
  • The amaryllis blooms are gone. Now I guess we just wait a year for more?

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • C.B. Strike (HBOMax). We watched all 4 seasons and enjoyed them. It's a British crime drama base on the Cormoran Strike novels. There are 4 seasons, each season based on a book, but for some reason in HBOMax the first 3 seasons (The Cuckoo's Calling, The Silkworm, Career of Evil) are listed as Season 1 with 7 episodes and Season 4 (Lethal White) is Season 2 with 4 episodes. I hope they make a season 5 for the 5th book. I've enjoyed all the books and we both thought the show was quite good.
  • Watching the C.B. Strike show took up most of our tv time this past week. We watched our usual other shows that are actually airing new episodes (The Unicorn, SNL, Home Again with the Fords). 
  • We're also slowly catching up on Cook's Country episodes on PBS.

What I'm Reading:

  • A Gift of Bones and Game of Bones (#19 & #20) in the Sarah Booth Delaney series from Carolyn Haines. I'm on the library's waiting list for #21.