Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • It's finally cooling off a bit and starting to feel like fall. I am ready for it! 
  • Last Saturday we actually ate at a restaurant instead of getting takeout. Of course it was a 4:30 pm dinner, outside. We ate at Park Bruges. I tried the meatballs for the first time and they were delicious. Plus, they came covered in gravy, and with fries on the side, so I made gravy fries - YUM! We shared a yummy grilled peach salad and SP, as usual, had mussels.
  • Monday we got takeout from Aladdin's. I got the Sfiha Platter (pita stuffed with spiced ground beef, tomatoes, pine nuts and a salad) and we shared a Fatayer (spinach & feta stuffed pita). SP had a chicken rolled pita.

What We're Cooking/Eating:

  • Chicken Stroganoff from the most recent issue of Cook's Country
  • Crab Cakes and Baked Tomatoes
  • Dessert: Raspberry Shortbread Bars but with half raspberry and half the homemade peach-bourbon jelly

What We're Watching:

  • Only Murders in the Building (Hulu). Every time the new episode ends I immediately want more!
  • Sex Education Season 3 (Netflix). This show still makes us laugh. I hope there is a season 4 because we enjoy it so much, but I'm not sure how it could keep the core group together after what happened in season 3. 
  • Halloween Baking Championship (Food Network) is back. We both love Halloween so we really enjoy watching this competition to see the Halloween creations. 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine ended and I thought the finale was excellent. What a great show!

What I'm Reading:

I read the last four Lighthouse Mysteries. There's only eight so I guess that means I read #'s 5, 6, 7, and 8: Something Read, Something Dead; Read and Buried; A Death Long Overdue; and  Deadly Ever After. I'm impressed that after only 8 books this cozy mystery has people moving on in life, moving out of the book, moving forward. We're not 28 books in with the characters at the exact same place in life as in the first book.


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • It's the middle of September and it does not yet feel like fall. This makes me sad.
  • In spite of wanting it to be fall, I am annoyed with all things pumpkin spice because the PSL hype starts in mid August, way too early.
  • The MTV VMA Awards Show was last weekend. Every year I feel older and older and more and more out of touch. Who are these people? What the heck are they wearing? What the heck is that music - is that even music? 

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu). This was good but also sad and infuriating. Izzy was such a brat. Mia was awful and a **it stirrer. What she did to the Ryans - ugh!. Bebe was awful, too. She abandoned her baby and the baby got terrible frostbite and the county services couldn't find the baby's mother but she thinks she should get her back just because she happened to luck out and find out who was adopting the child? And then what she did at the end. Awful. Elena's kids? Spoiled, entitled brats without a clue. How did we not see a single Richardson in jail at the end?!
  • Wellington Paranormal (HBOMax). We just got caught up with the most recent 2 episodes and I think there is 1 left. The haunted car one was fun.
  • Only Murders in the Building (Hulu). I hope we find out who killed Tim. Three more episodes. I like that we learned about Tie-Dye Guy this week.
  • Halloween Baking Championship is back! 
  • John Oliver is back!

What I'm Reading:

Magazines. I might be ready for fall but I was still not thrilled that one food magazine that just arrived was all about Thanksgiving. Too soon!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • I forgot about the blog. For 3 weeks. Oops. I've had other things on my mind, other things I've been doing. Plus, we haven't been as interested in trying new dishes for dinner. We've been making the same old summer meals. They're yummy, just not new & exciting. Nothing to blog about.
  • It's been, what, a year and a half of COVID now? Even though we are vaccinated, SP's surgeries & recoveries kept us at home until mid-August. Even then, we've not ventured out much. We have no desire to eat indoors. It's been quite hot this summer, so outdoor dining isn't too appealing. On Saturdays we get take out for dinner and I try to post on Instagram. This past weekend was Cafe io. I still love the Monster Grilled Cheese. 
  • This means I've forgotten how to dress, do make-up, and style my hair. After all the days of sweats and/or pajamas, even jeans feel too restrictive and dressy! 
  • As for my hair. I have been getting it colored and cut every 6-7 weeks, but since we rarely go anywhere, I don't have to do much. I wash it, blast it with the hair dryer, and then hide the flyaways and frizz under a bandanna. Actually having to do my hair is such an ordeal. That's probably why twice in the past month I've grabbed the wrong bottle and hair sprayed my hair as I flat ironed. Ugh. Such a disgusting mistake. My hair felt so gross. I can't believe I was so stupid. I even said to myself, hey, pay attention, don't use the hair spray with the flat iron this time. But no. I looked directly at the bottle and said, oh yes, this is right! And then as I finished the very last bit of flat ironing and reached for the hair spray, only then did I realize I was not using the heat protector stuff. My poor hair.
  • I went to Paige Dairy Mart for the first time in August! I had a Twist Cone. It was a wonderful treat. I haven't had a twist cone in ages. Maybe not since my teenage years.
  • We also got ice cream at Sarris. I hadn't had their ice cream in about 10 years! I got the rainbow sherbet in a waffle cone but plopped in a bowl because it was hot and I figured I wouldn't eat it all. I was right. It was delicious. SP had the same thing but with Peanut Butter Cookie Dough.

What We've Been Eating the Past 3 Weeks:

  • Grilled Chicken Teriyaki with rice & broccoli
  • Smoked Burgers with Burger Sauce, cheese, tomato, letttuce
  • Pasta Salad
  • Tomato Tart with garden salad
  • Lamb Burgers in pita with feta, tzatziki, tomato, lettuce
  • Grilled Apricot-Mustard Chicken with grilled potatoes & grilled green beans

What We've Been Watching:

  • Beckett (movie, Netflix). This was pretty good. Beckett was like the Energizer Bunny and after all the injuries he sustained, well, he should've not been able to move half way through the movie! But he did! He got the bad guys!
  • Agatha Christie's Crooked House (movie, Netflix). I love mysteries. This was good. Glenn Close & Gillian Anderson are wonderful.
  • Spenser Confidential (movie, Netflix). We couldn't decide what to watch and this looked like a good choice for how we felt. A little mindless but not too mindless, action, laughs. Fun. Based on the Robert Parker novels about Spenser & Hawk, which I read up until he passed away.
  • Sweet Girl (movie, Netflix). Jason Momoa running around Pittsburgh kicking ass? Yes, please. Jumping off PNC into the river? Yes, please - though that seems like he would be dead not continuing on his revenge quest. But who cares, it looked cool!
  • Money Heist S5 Part 1 (Netflix). We love this show! We watched these 5 new episodes in 2 days and now we must wait until Dec. 3 for the final 5 episodes. Ahhh! And why did (person) have to die?!
  • Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes (Netflix). This was an SP pick to watch and I was skeptical but it ended up being great except for some gross gore in parts.
  • Only Murders in the Building (Hulu). Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez in a comedy about 3 building tenets who are crime podcast fans trying to investigate/podcast about the murder in their building. We watched the first 3 episodes last night. It's funny and new episodes are released on Tuesdays.
  • Wellington Paranormal (HBOMax). Still funny.
  • The Chair (Netflix). This Sandra Oh show is terrific! We laughed a lot. Her daughter is a hoot, too, though I also wanted to smack the brat at times! I know, no one spanks their kid these days. But good grief she was not well behaved at times.
  • Bobby & Giada in Italy (Food Network). We really enjoyed these 4 hour long episodes that premiered first on Discovery+. They spent a month back in Fall 2019 filming in Rome & Tuscany. So much delicious food like gelato, pizza, pasta, lamb, meats, cheeses. Makes me want to be on a food vacation!
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC). We have always enjoyed this show and will miss it when this 8th and final season wraps up. So far, they've been doing a great job of moving the characters to the ending and bringing back/ending the more prominent recurring characters throughout the past seasons.

What I've Been Reading:

  • Death in Brittany by Jean Luc Bannalec. This is the first in a series I decided to try. Another French detective one, like the Bruno books I read. These ones are good, too. 
  • The First Commandment by Brad Thor. The next in the series and still enjoyable though the more I read, the more I think I've actually read all the Brad Thor books...?!
  • The Coldest Case by Martin Walker A Bruno Mystery. The latest Bruno adventure. It was good, maybe a little formulaic. I hope they don't get too similar.
  • Something Read, Something Dead by Eva Gates. Cozy mystery, still holding my interest.
  • The Chocolate Raccoon Rigmarole by Joanna Carl. I've been reading this cozy mystery series for a while. This is the latest in the series. It was a nice, light, quick read.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

I have lots of greats thoughts when I can't sleep at night or when I'm in the shower but never when I am able to write them down to remember. I never have thoughts when I'm trying to write Thursday Thoughts. 

What We're Eating: 

What We're Watching:

  • Gunpowder Milkshake (movie, Netflix). This was fun! Kind of like John Wick but with women. 
  • The Vault (movie, Netflix). Another fun movie. Like Money Heist, but not 5 seasons of heists, just a 2 hour movie.
  • Wellington Paranormal (HBOMax). It's a New Zealand mockumentary comedy/horror show. We watched season 1 and started season 2. We're caught up since HBO is airing a new episode each Monday. We like it - it's funny. I think it also is airing on CW on Sunday nights?
  • The White Lotus (HBOMax). The final episode aired and now we know who died. I liked this show. It was kind of sad. 
What I'm Reading:

  • Takedown (Brad Thor). I enjoyed it but I'm starting to realize that I've read more of the Thor books than I thought - ? The last quarter of the books I start to remember what comes next. Oh well, it's been such a long time and I don't think I ever read them in order.
  • The Bone Code (Kathy Reichs). I've read all of her Temperance Brennan books and enjoy them. This is another series that has maintained quality over the years.


Thursday, August 12, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • We bought a box of peaches from The Peach Truck this year. 25 pounds of peaches. That came to 60 peaches on the dining room table. We made a pie, dehydrated some, made some Bourbon-Peach Preserves, ate some for breakfast, some for dinner in Peach Caprese Salad. And there are still a lot left! I'm not sure we'll do this again unless we share it with 1-2 other people. It's a lot of peaches!
  • We have lots of cherry tomatoes from the garden.

What We're Eating:

  • Smoked Ribs and Peach Caprese Salad
  • Chicken Agrodolce and Baked Tomatoes
  • Dessert: Peach Pie

What We're Watching:

  • The Suicide Squad (HBOMax). It was a fun movie. Better than the first one. But still a little ridiculous.
  • Animal Kingdom on TNT. In the beginning I was hot/cold about this show but as the show progressed I liked it more and more. I'm enjoying watching the Cody boys in post-Smurf life and am looking forward to Pam becoming the new Smurf (maybe? hopefully? maybe not?).
  • We finished season 5 of The Wire. Season 5 is my least favorite season but I liked the series ending.
  • I can't figure out where The White Lotus is going. There is one episode left. 

What I'm Reading:

  • False Witness by Karin Slaughter. This was really good. I couldn't put it down.
  • Marry Christmas Murder and Veiled in Death by Stephanie Blackmoore. These are the two most recent books in the Wedding Planner Mystery Series. I enjoyed them, especially the characters actually progressing in life and not staying stuck/the same in every book.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

We ate out last Saturday. A big deal for us, because even though we're vaccinated, due to existing health issues, we still fear the virus (being the ones who get it despite being vaccinated). Anyway, we ate outside, went early, etc. This place serves fresh iced tea, yay, but the fresh tea last Saturday was brewed too long or something because it tasted awful. Awful.

Since my tea was so disappointing and we were going to go for a drive after dinner, I asked if we could get a tea or coffee first. So SP went into Target to get me a drink. I asked for an iced coffee. He knows my drinking preferences (peculiarities) and while he did get the correct beverage, he got what looked like a Big Gulp size. Good grief! No way was I going to be able to drink that much! It was almost too large for my tiny hands! Also, even though I said a little sugar, and he told them a little sugar, ohhh boy was that iced coffee sweet. Too sweet. So my second drink also was disappointing.

The iced coffee went into the refrigerator not long after we got home. When I went to have some on Sunday, it was awfully empty and I was confused because I knew I hadn't been able to drink more than 1/4 of it. When I asked him, he looked sheepish and confessed that he knocked it over. So most of the too sweet, Big Gulp sized iced coffee would up on our kitchen floor. Not a good weekend for beverages.

What We're Eating:
What We're Watching:
  • The Wire (HBOMax). We finished season 4. Kind of depressing with the very young kids. We started season 5.
  • The White Lotus (HBOMax). Four episodes down and still no idea who dies at the resort. The characters continue to be unlikeable. 
What I'm Reading:
  • The Cellist from Daniel Silva. I look forward to the latest Gabriel Allon adventure every July and they never disappoint.  
  • State of the Union #3 and Blowback #4  by Brad Thor. Both sucked me in although I found the premise in Blowback a bit hard to accept. 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

I haven't been feeling well this week. I can't pinpoint the main reason. My itchy, swollen eyes are back, so I guess I'll need to see the doctor again. I've been having a lot of headaches. Not super bad, not migraines, just often enough and throbbing enough to be annoying. My stomach has been not good, but I can't figure out what food triggered it or what is really wrong because I don't have any real symptoms like puking or diarrhea or pain. It's just off. The other night, I couldn't eat the freshly cooked shrimp with leftover zoodles because the smell of the shrimp was making me queasy. I ate toast that night.  

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • We finished season 3 of The Wire and started season 4.
  • Some of the Olympics.
  • The White Lotus (HBOMax). Geez those kids are spoiled, snotty brats. 

What I'm Reading:

  • Reading Up a Storm  (#3) and The Spook in the Stacks (#4) from the Lighthouse Library Mystery Series by Eva Gates. So far these seem better than the average cozy mystery.
  • Path of the Assassin (#2) by Brad Thor. I started the Thor books a while ago, then quit, and recently decided to read them all, start to finish, even though it means re-reading some, although having said that I did skip re-reading #1 because I know I've already read it twice. So I've enjoyed the first two. 
  • Gown With the Wind #4  (A Wedding Planner Mystery) by Stephanie Blackmoore. I was entertained but at #4 in the series, I can see some constants that might start to annoy me. 


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

I agreed to two fish dinners this week. For some reason, Sunday afternoon when I saw the cod in the refrigerator I started singing "fish sticks, fish sticks, roly poly fish sticks" and SP corrected me that it wasn't fish sticks, it was fish heads. That lead to us going down a rabbit hole and finding the song/video on YouTube. Eat them up yum!

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • The Wire (HBOMax).We finished season 2 and started season 3. 
  • The White Lotus (HBOMax). Oh my gosh. Shane constantly harping on the Pineapple Suite? Annoying. Who wants a husband like that? Nicole eviscerating Rachel with put-downs while smiling and being pleasant? Brilliant. Rachel trying to not react and stay gracious and polite? Amazing. I would've probably dissolved in tears and fled, knocking into a server and causing a tray to crash to the ground. Armond keeping the teen girls' drug backpack? Loved it. Really didn't want him to since he's kicked his habit, but those girls are terrible people. So snotty.
  • Nomadland (movie). Really good, but also sad. And kind of uplifting.
What I'm Reading:
Nothing. Taking a break. But there are books I requested "in transit" so lots of upcoming reading.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Ice Cream. I suppose it could be good.  
  • I got a new cell phone. My old one was 2 months shy of 4 years old and was losing it's ability to hold a charge. I spent a lot of time setting stuff up and learning how to use the new phone. It took a while to figure out all the "new ways to do things" with all the most recent software & versions of apps, etc. I flipped out on Sunday because I couldn't figure out how to take a photo in Instagram. I flipped out on Friday because I couldn't get the phone to stop making a tick noise every time I tapped it and I just could not find the right setting to make it silent. I'm still having flip out fits today, a week after receiving the phone. I have no patience with this stuff.  

What We're Eating:

  • Chicken Tacos
  • Homemade Ravioli (two kinds, cheese and sausage & cheese) & Salad
  • Dessert: None. I know. Shocking. But I've been so darn full after dinner. 

What We're Watching:

  • In the Heights (movie, Disney+). We watched a couple weeks ago, but I forgot we watched. This was just OK for me. Basically just a love story. I guess I just wasn't in a musical love story kind of mood because reviews for it are pretty positive.
  • The White Lotus (HBOMax). A new show on HBO. Great cast members. Hard to judge from just one episode, but we're intrigued.
  • The Wire (HBOMax). I have watched the first 4 seasons of The Wire and I'm not sure about season 5. SP has only watched season 1, but all our watching was a long, long time ago. So we decided to watch it starting from season 1. We just finished season 1 (me for the third time!) and were reminded of why this is such a great show. We're 2-3 episodes into season 2.
  • Loki finale (Disney+). I was not wowed. Overall, I've not been a fan of Loki. I know it sets things up for the whole Marvel movie/tv universe, but maybe because I'm not a comics nerd I just wasn't into this storyline and show. That makes me wonder if I'm going to enjoy the upcoming movies.

What I'm Reading:

  • Murder Borrowed, Murder Blue (A Wedding Planner Mystery) by Stephanie Blackmoore. This is the 3rd one in this cozy mystery series, so it's not yet annoying me. 
  • Booked for Trouble (A Lighthouse Library Mystery) by Eva Gates. This is the 2nd book in this cozy mystery series. It's OK. I have a hard time with the whole library in a lighthouse premise. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • SP is back at work (from home) after his surgeries and time off. I think it's going OK. I haven't heard any grumbling.
  • The pricey eye stuff seems to have helped. I'll have to see if it stays helped now that I'm done using the cream. I hope it doesn't come back. That was awful.

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • The Tomorrow War (movie, Amazon Prime). There's a lot to mock about this film but it was mindless, battle aliens July 4 fun. Just don't try to understand the time travel/paradox stuff. Or, well, the rest of it. Just enjoy the action.
  • Onward (movie, Disney+). This was fun and made us laugh. 
  • Luca (movie, Disney+). This was cute. This and Onward are animated and we almost always enjoy the animated Disney movies.
  • No Sudden Move (movie, HBOMax). For a heist gone wrong movie, this was slow and understated. But what a cast! Also, lots of double crossing and triple crossing and I had a hard time figuring things out after a while.
  • The Wire (HBOMax). I have already watched The Wire. Except for maybe Season 5? Not sure. But I loved it. SP has never seen it. We started watching it years ago but stopped for some reason and never resumed. So we decided to start from Season 1 Episode 1 and I guess this is what we're watching for the next 4-5 weeks. All 5 seasons. Just as good as I remember. And it's nice to rewatch a show and rediscover what you really enjoyed and discover new things.

What I'm Reading:

  • Dead By Dawn (A Mike Bowditch Novel) by Paul Doiron. This is the 12th Mike Bowditch novel. I couldn't put it down, really enjoyed it, and am so happy that the series is still a quality series with the characters developing and making changes through life. 
  • Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder (#27 Hannah Swensen Mystery Series) by Joanne Fluke. Slightly better than the past 10-15 in the series (less of the stupid cat) but now there's this "good Hannah" vs "bad Hannah" thing going on with her thoughts and I found that a little annoying. And no one is as nice as Norman.  


Thursday, July 1, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • I finally went to the eye doctor about my eyelid problems. Now I have an $83 tube of prescription gunk to smear on my eyelids twice a day. That's $83 for 3.5 g of stuff. Sheesh. I hope this stuff works.
  • The eyelid problem? Since mid-May my eyelids have been super puffy/swollen, presumably from allergies, but then they got itchy, too, which has never before happened. I tried cold compresses and hot compresses. Like a fool, I indulged in scratching/rubbing a few times and caused my eyes to really swell and turn pink and horrid. The swelling has caused deep creases. Then my eyelids got dry, then super dry with actual flakes of dry eyelid flaking onto my lashes. I tried all my Clinique creams (moisture surge, moisturizing gel, all about eyes, smart repair for eyes) as well as Jergens. Nothing helped much and at times my eyelids burned from the cream. So I called the eye doctor. And now this pricey tune of neosporin-like stuff. SP says it makes my eyelids glisten. Yup. That's because it's kind of greasy.
  • We bought a meat slicer. We've talked about it for years since we roast turkey every week for lunch. Except that we didn't roast turkey the past 2 months because of SP's surgeries. We ate Boar's Head turkey, which is not sold at our grocery store so my parents bought it at theirs and brought it over every week. My dad says he is happy to be done with the "turkey trot."
  • The purchased deli turkey was so nice and thin and I was reluctant to switch back. But deli meat isn't super healthy. So we decided to finally buy the meat slicer to see if we could get our roast turkey breast sliced thin. It seems to do a pretty good job. We also used it to slice some cheese.

What We're Eating:

  • Smoked Ribs with grilled potatoes and grilled green beans
  • Fattoush
  • Dessert: Ice cream

What We're Watching:

  • Sex Education (Netflix, 2 seasons). We finished season 1 and season 2 and are looking forward to season 3 in September. We think it's really funny and also sweet. Sometimes it's cringe-worthy, like drunk Otis at his party. Sometimes super sweet like the group of girls in detention and at the bus stop. And sometimes that same group of girls is just awesome like when Ola takes them where Adam took her.
  • This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist (Netflix). It's a 4 episode documentary miniseries about the March 18, 1990 robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Like many documentaries, it seems like some ground is covered multiple times over the episodes, but overall it's quite interesting and always made me change my mind about the robbers' identities. There were 13 works of art stolen, including Rembrandt's only seascape, and the robbery remains unsolved.
  • Bosch Season 7 (Amazon Prime, 8 episodes). Just as good as the other seasons. There is supposed to be a spinoff on IMDV tv? What is that?!!
  • I had to look up geek summaries and explanations of the ending of Loki episode 4. I'm still confused but hopefully it'll become clear in the next 2 episodes. 

What I'm Reading:

Taking a break from books. Making my way through the magazine stack, re-reading the old issues and starting the new issues.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • SP received a get well package of assorted Tea Forte teas. I claimed the Earl Grey ones! I like the pyramid shaped tea bags. 
  • The Tea Forte Earl Grey is tasty. So is the Mighty Leaf Earl Grey. I treated myself to a box. I might not be the one having major surgeries but I am the one worrying and fretting so I deserve treats, too!
  • I used to love the Twinings Earl Grey but lately it has not tasted good. Maybe we just got a bad batch? We also treated ourselves to some Harney & Sons tea, including Earl Grey, but it turns out they use oolong as one of the teas in their Earl Grey and I do not like oolong tea at all. Yuck!

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • The Courier (movie). Good movie.
  • Army of the Dead (movie-Netflix). Better than I expected and scarier/creepier than I expected.
  • Sex Education (Netflix). British comedy. It's hilarious. Sometimes there's a bit that makes us laugh so hard we have to pause it, especially in season 2. Sometimes it's a bit cringe-worthy from the awkwardness and weirdness of the characters.
  • Loki episode 3 was OK. 

What I'm Reading:

#21~#26 in the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series (Banana Cream Pie Murder, Raspberry Danish Murder, Christmas Cake Murder, Chocolate Cream Pie Murder, Coconut Layer Cake Murder, Christmas Cupcake Murder). How did I read 6 books in a week? See last week's comments. I'm not really reading them. I'm scanning them. Skipping the recipes, skipping the repetitive cat crap, skipping the repetitive whodunnit musings, skipping the repetitive explanations of what each person's knock sounds like. I'm done now with the series, unless I choose to read new releases as they happen. I'm not sure if I will. I need a break from this cozy mystery series!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • This week has been one of those so cold in the mornings we want to run the heat (and it would run if we had the thermostat set to heat) and by late afternoon the a/c is running.
  • Due to the chilly mornings, I was looking for a long sleeve t-shirt and emptied out that dresser drawer. I discovered a new t-shirt! I bought it in TX back in Oct. 2019. Here in PA, it was too cold by mid-Oct. for that kind of shirt so it got washed, folded, and tucked away for warmer weather. Since it was a brand new shirt it was tucked away as good to wear out, but don't wear around the house because you'll slop food all over it and ruin it. Warmer weather happened in spring/summer 2020, otherwise known as COVID quarantine time, but since I didn't leave the house, I never went in the "nice shirt" drawer. Then it was too hot, and then it was winter, so it didn't get worn. Until now. I saw it and had no idea what it was. I didn't remember it at all. Until I unfolded it and saw the Fort Worth design. It was such a nice surprise! Like getting a present! I "demoted" it to around the house shirt, put it on, and 2 hours later slopped juicy tomato down the front of my new yellow shirt. Oops.   

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • Promising Young Woman (movie). This was very good, though sad at the end. I didn't know much going in, and that's a good thing. Carey Mulligan is wonderful (as usual).
  • The Righteous Gemstones (HBO). We watched season 1 and enjoyed this much more than we expected. I thought I'd be overly annoyed with the religious aspect but I wasn't. A great cast and funny, definitely looking forward to season 2.
  • Lupin Part II (Netflix). We zipped through these 5 episodes and enjoyed them a lot. 
  • Manifest (NBC). It was a so-so season finale, likely series finale since a few days later NBC announced it was cancelled (maybe a streaming service will pick it up for a season 4). I like the mystery of what happened to the flight, but the character development and dialog were not good.
  • Sex Education (Netflix). We've only watched 1 episode and we laughed a lot. We're going to stick with it and watch both seasons. 
  • Loki (Disney+). No spoilers. But what the heck did the end of the episode mean?!

What I'm Reading:

  • #16 Red Velvet Cupcake Murder
  • #17 Blackberry Pie Murder
  • #18 Double Fudge Brownie Murder
  • #19 Wedding Cake Murder
  • #20 Christmas Caramel Murder 

All by Joanne Fluke. I'm not especially enjoying the Hannah Swensen mystery series anymore. It's like the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series. The same stuff every book. Formulaic. Every cookie is marvelous. The best ever. So much space devoted to writing about the stupid fat cat that jumps into her arms when she opens the door and all the cat's mischief. The same conversations between Hannah & Mike and Hannah & Norman. Descriptions of all the food at multiple dinner parties. Recipes that take up more & more of the pages while the actual book is shorter and shorter. Why do I keep reading? Not sure. I kind of want to see where the characters end up. She married someone other than Mike/Norman but it's a little unbelievable because by my count, her husband was in 1.5 books before they had the wedding. And how they met again in Las Vegas? Um. OK. Sure, that's who Doc would pick for that (I know, makes no sense, but no spoilers).

I'll finish the series anyway. They don't take long to read. Not when you skip the recipes, skip the repetitive cat crap, and skip the repetitive whodunnit musings.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • This past weekend Googer came over and planted some tomatoes and herbs for us. SP cannot do much gardening this year because of his surgeries and post-surgery restrictions. I am looking forward to tomatoes in August and herbs other then the ones in our indoor aerogarden.
  • SP underwent his second major surgery this week. He is home now. He's doing well but is feeling tired and blah again. He has some restrictions for 2 weeks and then returns to the not as restrictive restrictions of the first surgery for another month. In theory, he will then be all better and back to normal. We shall see.

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • Loki (Disney+). The first episode was released yesterday. I liked it, but I also see a risk of me quickly becoming annoyed with the time travel/time fixing/time line stuff. Time travel, etc., always ends up frustrating me.
  • Hacks on HBO. I like it a lot even if I find Ava terribly awkward and idiotic. New episode tonight. We just finished the most recent 2 episodes and I really liked the one at the retreat/spa.
  • Lupin starts tomorrow on Netflix. Excited! 
  • Bosch Season 7, the final season, starts at the end of the month.
  • Manifest season finale tonight. I've been losing interest in the show. They've made the characters too one dimensional and just stupid. Are we really supposed to believe Ben is so smart yet unable to see that his behavior is hurting things? Can he have any dialog other than that the lifeboat is in danger of sinking? Saanvi always has a bitchy expression on her face. Angelina is just nuts. And Cal only ever says that he, Angelina, and Eden are connected. I hope the finale tonight is better than the past 4-5 episodes.

What I'm Reading:

  • Independent Bones, the most recent Sarah Booth Delaney Series book from Carolyn Haines. It was good but too quick of a read for how much I enjoy the series.
  • More in the Hannah Swensen series from Joanne Fluke: Plum Pudding Murder, Apple Turnover,  Murder, Devil's Food Cake Murder, Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (#'s 12-15) plus a short story, Gingerbread Cookie Murder. 


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • We grilled for the first time this past weekend. It was nice to not cook inside.
  • We tried to order take-out from Central Diner on Saturday but when we called, they told us they weren't doing take-out. We were really surprised. They were doing take-out even before the pandemic! So we ended up ordering take-out from Downey's House. Salmon for SP. Chicken Parmesan for me.
  • We made our first batch of potato salad. It's good, but it's missing something and I cannot figure out what.

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • Mare of Easttown (HBO). The final episode aired. It was good. I knew there had to be a twist when it looked like the killer was revealed/arrested in the first 10 minutes.
  • The Kominsky Method Season 3 (Netflix). We enjoyed the first two seasons, so we watched the third & final season of six episodes. It made us laugh and ended nicely.
  • Worst Cooks in America (Food Network). We liked the winner more than the runner up, so we were happy with the results. 
  • Friends Reunion Special (HBOMax). We both enjoyed Friends but weren't huge, huge fans. We figured we'd watch the reunion special anyway. It was an hour and 45 minutes long, yet never seemed to dive too much into anything. A nice, short, nostalgic walk down memory lane.

What I'm Reading:

  • Independent Bones, the latest Sarah Booth Delaney mystery from Carolyn Haines. It was good, quick, but not as fluffy and annoying as some cozy mystery series.
  • Faithless and Beyond Reach (#5 & #6 of the Grant County series) from Karin Slaughter. I enjoyed both of these, especially the final one in the series that, for me, finally explained about Sarah & Jeffrey's past (since I read the Will Trent series first).

 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • I am having trouble remembering what day it is. I forgot it is Thursday. So I almost forgot Thursday Thoughts.
  • Of course since I almost forgot Thursday Thoughts and now I'm trying to write a quick post, I don't seem to have any thoughts worth writing about.
  • It's a 3 day holiday weekend this weekend but I'm barely aware of that since SP is still off work because of surgery. The days blur together,

What We're Eating:

  • Tacos (beef with tomato, cucumber, avocado, cheddar)
  • Salad with shrimp
  • Dessert: Milanos

What We're Watching:

  • Mare of Easttown. So good. The finale is this Sunday. 
  • We've been watching Hacks (HBOMax). Love Jean Smart. A new episode comes out every Thursday. Tonight will be episode #4 (6 episodes total).
  • We quit The Underground Railroad. It was just too slow.
  • We started Shadow & Bone on Netflix. It's pretty good but as always with this kind of show, it took me a while to get into it. So many people and factions to remember. I guess I could read the books.
  • Season 3 of The Kominsky Method comes out tomorrow and in June we have Loki on Disney+ and Lupin on Netflix to watch. Excited about all three of those.
  • SEAL Team. The season finale was pretty good. Sadly, though it has been renewed, it will air on Peacock. So for us, the show ended on a pretty good note.

What I'm Reading:

  • For Batter or Worse (#13 in the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries) by Jenn McKinley. The usual. At least the characters develop and move forward. One couple finally got married, another had their baby.
  • Indelible (Grant County #4) by Karin Slaughter. I like the Will Trent series better, but I'm still enjoying this series and reading about Sara (and Jeffrey) before Will.


Monday, May 24, 2021

Pasta Primavera

Ever since SP's surgery, we've been trying to eat a bit healthier. More veggies. A little fish. And thus far, no red meat (though summer is coming and I love smoked burgers). This is another recipe of pasta for me, veggies for him: Pasta Primavera from Giada's Everyday Italian cookbook. The nice thing about this is that the vegetables are cut about the same size and roasted at the same time in the oven. 
We're still doing curbside pickups from Market District. This past Sunday morning, they didn't have zucchini. We were surprised. A couple months ago we were told they no longer sold pancetta. There have been a few other surprises in the past year. They have left us wondering what is going on because isn't Market District supposed to be Giant Eagle's "answer" to Whole Foods and how the heck can they be out of zucchini or not sell pancetta?

So, no pretty and tasty green zucchini. Just extra yellow squash, which is OK and tastes almost the same. Red & yellow pepper, carrots, onions, roasted in olive oil & Herbes de Provence. SP loved this dish. I did not especially like it. I really missed the zucchini. I'm not a huge fan of peppers and it turned out there was too much pepper for me, or at least with the absence of the zucchini, which would be my favorite of these veggies, there was too much pepper. Substituting more yellow squash for the zucchini made for too much squash.

I'm willing to try it again, but only if there is zucchini! Plus a little more herb flavor. But it was easy and I liked roasting all the veggies together and that there wasn't any cream or butter.

Recipe here: Pasta Primavera

Friday, May 21, 2021

Spaghetti with Spring Vegetables

A few weeks ago, we made a delicious pasta dish from Cook's Country: Spaghetti with Spring Vegetables. I saw it posted in their Instagram feed and it looked good. Pasta (for me) with a lot of veggies (for SP).
Zucchini, asparagus, peas, and cherry tomatoes plus mint, chives, lemon, and cheese. Also garlic & red pepper flakes, which we omitted. You cannot see the zucchini because it's deliberately overcooked to create a sauce with a silky texture that nicely coats the other vegetables.
Easy, pretty quick, delicious. Definitely a Make Again meal. I really like the mint and lemon flavors. And the peas. I don't know why, but I love peas in pasta!

Recipe here: Spaghetti with Spring Vegetables
 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • As usual in May, we are jumping right from running the heat to running the a/c - sometimes in the same day. 
  • Warm weather means we're hanging out in the sunroom more. 
  • Not only can I see everything blooming outside, my eyes can feel it. They're itchy, sore, watery, and swollen. This morning it looked like I had fat folds in my eyelids. I'm trying to not take medicine because it knocks me out but the alternative is to scratch my eyes out.

What We're Eating:

  • Pasta Primavera
  • Honey Sweet Marinated Chicken with rice & steamed broccoli
  • Dessert: cookies from Bethel Bakery, Milano cookies

What We're Watching:

  • We finished The Investigation (HBO). It was an interesting show. Definitely worth watching how the Danish investigators found the evidence to successfully prosecute the man who murdered a Swedish journalist.
  • We started The Underground Railroad (Amazon). Ten hour long episodes for a book I read in probably about 5 hours. It's good but it's so slow moving that we both are ready to give up on it. It's one thing to watch a slow, beautiful movie for 2-3 hours but 10 hours? 
  • We kept wondering when The Unicorn would return, especially because that United States of Al show does not look especially new/fresh/funny. Turns out CBS cancelled it, which makes us sad because we thought it was one of the better sitcoms.
  • SEAL Team. We like the show, even if at times it doesn't seem to make much forward progress. CBS decided to renew it but move it to Paramount+. So if we want to keep watching, we'll have to pay for Paramount+. I guess we'll be done with the show after next week. Sometimes I think the stuff we currently pay for doesn't get watched enough to justify the cost, why add another?

What I'm Reading:

  • Her Dark Lies by JT Ellison. I couldn't put it down. This is the first JT Ellison novel I've read and I think I'll start reading the others.
  • Kisscut, #2 in the Grant County series, by Karin Slaughter. Another good read with another creepy villain(s). 
  • Ocean Prey from John Sandford. I really like the Lucas Davenport series and don't see a drop in the quality like I do with other long running series. I think this is the 31st Lucas Davenport novel. I like that Lucas and the cast of characters has evolved over the years. This one was set in FL. It also pulls in Virgil Flowers and Bob & Rae.
  • Carrot Cake Murder and Cream Puff Murder, #'s 10 & 11 in the Hannah Swensen series from Joanne Fluke. They were the usual.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • This week I agreed to eat fish for dinner. Twice. We bought frozen cod and topped it with a bread crumb-parmesan mixture. It was pretty good as far as fish goes.
  • Last week we lost our yard guy when he dumped us. He said he couldn't hire enough seasonal workers so he had to let customers go. Since we were in the group of customers farthest away, we got dropped. This was hugely problematic since it had been nearly 2 weeks since the last mow and the yard looked like a dandelion forest. Also, because of surgery, SP can't mow right now. Fortunately, we were able to line up a new yard guy in a week. Bonus: the new guy is $5 cheaper per mow than the old guy!
  • Our friend C came over today to plant petunias for us. We always plant petunias - once we found a flower that did well, we decided to stick with it! The last few years we've bought flowers from her grandson who sells them as a fundraiser. This year, SP can't do yard/flower/garden work. So she offered to plant them for us. The outside is looking nicer!
  • Our eldest niece/nephew graduates college this weekend! B studied hydrogeology at Western Carolina. 
  • Another niece/nephew graduates high school this month and in the fall is off to LSU.
  • I feel old.

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • Mare of Easttown (HBO). Three more episodes. Still trying to figure out who the bad guy is. The priest is just too obvious, right? Even if he did dump the bicycle.
  • The Investigation (HBO). A six episode series, in Danish, that is based on the investigation of the death of Kim Wall, a 30-year-old Swedish journalist. It's bleak. And gray. And slow. But good.
  • The usual food shows (Worst Cooks in America, Valerie's Home Cooking, Cook's Country, Milk Street).
  • Samantha Brown's Places to Love.
  • The usual regular TV (SEAL Team, Grey's Anatomy, Station 19, Manifest, This Is Us, The Rookie).

What I'm Reading:

  • We Begin At the End by Chris Whitaker. I really enjoyed this book. Definitely not happy and uplifting, but it ends on a slightly positive note. It made me cry.
  • Dance with Death, the latest Barker & Llewellyn Mystery from Will Thomas. It was good. I had a hard time sticking with it but I think that's because of other things on my mind. I just couldn't focus.
  • Candy Cane Murder, a short story from Joanne Fluke. It was OK.


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • I skipped/forgot Thursday Thoughts last week. I'm very close to quitting this, but something doesn't let me. Not sure what. Things the past 2 months have been stressful & worrisome and last week was especially so. Thus, no post.
  • I've written that SP was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 3 years old. He's lived with it a long time and some of the bad things are starting to happen. Like needing open heart surgery. And carotid surgery. And a few other things. Some things started last fall and by the end of March we'd progressed to major surgery. Last week was the heart surgery. Thankfully, it went well and he was home in 5 days. Five days! He's taking it easy at home and trying to be a good patient but he's so used to helping me that he's not very good at letting me do things for him.
  • There's another surgery in 1-2 months and then getting a few other issues under control with new medications (after many tests in March & April). But hopefully, slowly, surely, he'll get back to normal.
  • We need a lot of help right now. He's not allowed to drive, or lift over 5 lbs, and he doesn't have full range of motion with his arms. He was joking that he has T-Rex arms right now. So it's still stressful, just in a different way. Things are difficult but at least we have our health, or sort of!
  • I haven't been reading the news much. I haven't had much of an attention span for real life. I keep retreating into tv/movies/books. I started to read more news yesterday and what I've been seeing has sent me running back to my safe spaces (tv/movies/books). I refuse to write anything political on this blog but, thoughts. Lots of thoughts, And rage. And rants. So much stupid.

What We've Been Eating:

  • Spaghetti with Spring Vegetables (asparagus, peas, zucchini)
  • Piccolo Forno (pizza and salad with tuna)
  • Millie's Chocolate Stout ice cream and Pistachio ice cream
  • Central Diner take-out
  • Chicken with Shallot-White Wine-Dill-Mustard Sauce with rice & broccoli
  • Salad with Tempura Shrimp from Costco or with plain shrimp
  • Hospital food. The orange jello that was pink looked scrumptious! As did the turkey with gravy - for a bypass patient! Gravy! WTF?!
  • Dessert: Orange Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Pocky, Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.

What We've Been Watching:

  • Unforgotten (Amazon). We finished season 2 & watched season 3. We were ready for season 4, but we cannot find it on any streaming service. That makes us sad because we really enjoyed it.
  • Without Remorse (Amazon, movie). It was fine. Not great, not bad, we both have read the Clancy books and seen the movies. Certainly was nice to watch Michael B. Jordan for 2 hours.
  • We started Mare of Easttown (HBO) with Kate Winslet. It's good. Not super action packed and the circumstances of the characters are a little depressing but slowly all the relationships are coming together as Mare investigates a murder.
  • Last week when SP was in the hospital, I watched for the millionth time (!) the Jason Bourne movies which were airing on AMC. Those are movies I get sucked into every time. I was reading while watching.
  • We got caught up on a lot of the food shows we record from Food Network & PBS.

What I've been Reading:

  • The Last Widow (Will Trent #9) by Karin Slaughter. As usual, very engrossing.
  • Blindsighted (Grant County #1) by Karin Slaughter. These are set before the Will Trent series, or at least before Will meets Sara.
  • Key Lime Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen #9) by Joanne Fluke. The usual, light, fluffy, engrossing enough story.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • Tuesday afternoon we were having a delightful dinner outside on the patio along the river at Hofbrauhaus. Wednesday morning we were huddled under blankets watching snow coat the grass and deck. 
  • SP took vacation several days this week. It is once again "use it or lose it" time. 
  • As I wrote above, Tuesday we went out to dinner at Hofbrauhaus. We chose it because of the outdoor area. 
  • While we were at dinner, the verdict in the Chauvin trial was announced. Nothing about this is happy or good, so I'll just say we were pleased to see law enforcement held accountable.

What We're Eating:

  • Coq au Vin with lots of mushrooms
  • Leftovers

What We're Watching:

  • Unforgotten on Amazon Prime. It's a British crime show. There are 4 seasons of 6 episodes each about the team of detectives that solves cold cases. Season 1 got us hooked and now we're partway through season 2.

What I'm Reading:

  • I finished The Kept Woman. By the time I finished the book, I'd realized that as I'd suspected, I'd read it before. 
  • Fallen (Will Trent #5) by Karin Slaughter. Now I have just 1 more to read in the Will Trent series.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Thursday Thoughts on Friday

 Thoughts:

  • Tomorrow is our anniversary. We had hopes of dining out but it's too cold to eat outside and we're not yet super comfortable dining inside so... no dinner celebration.
  • Last weekend we sat outside at Park Bruges and enjoyed dinner and it was lovely.
  • Speaking of anniversaries, this past Wednesday was the 12th anniversary of this blog. I've been neglecting it. We aren't cooking new-to-us meals. Dining out is nearly non-existent. So there's no new content.

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • The Irregulars on Netflix. This was fun! At first it seemed like a monster a week show, but in the second half of the 8 episodes, it all came together, all the connections were revealed, and we really enjoyed it. It's been renewed for a second season.

What I'm Reading:

  • I finished The Silent Wife and started The Kept Woman, which I think I read before but I'm not yet sure. The book seems very familiar.
  • Sugar Cookie Murder and Peach Cobbler Murder (books 6 & 7) in Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen Mystery series. They were OK. Sometimes it seems like no one bothered proof-reading. Sometimes the transitions between chapters and paragraph/ideas seems abrupt and disjointed. But they keep me amused for a bit. Except for the constant cat crap. I understand that someone might pick up a book in the series without having read any of the other books, but even so, reading about Moishe and his food obsession 4-5 times in every book is super annoying. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • The weather here has been warm, near 80 degrees, which is unusual and also difficult. I start the day in a sweatshirt and end it in a t-shirt and then spend all night flipping sheets and blankets on and off as I cycle through hot-cold phases. It does not make for a good night of sleep. Last night, it was 79 degrees inside, so we ran the a/c for a bit!
  • Warmer weather means bug season. A couple of nights ago, I was about to settle into my comfy recliner when I glanced at the pillow on it and saw a HUGE spider. HUGE. I started making weird squealing noises then managed to start chanting "oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh" and then managed to say "pillow spider." SP was pretty impressed with the spider's size. Then he rescued me by squashing the jerk. Gah! It was right where my head goes!
  • We both are 3-4 weeks past our second vaccination shots and we've ventured out twice. The first time, we had dinner at The Yard in Robinson because we could sit outside (also, we went early). It was going well until they were seating another couple at a table an acceptable distance away form us but the guy requested the table right behind me and they allowed it. Right behind me. Like I was separated by 12 inches from the wife's back. I kept leaning forward and silently chanting "I have the vaccine, I have the vaccine, I'm outdoors, it's OK." Fortunately we were almost done so it was only for 10, maybe 15, minutes. The second time we went out, we ate at Cafe io. We went early and there were only 2 other people dining, so I was OK and didn't have any panic attacks. It's nice to go out on our dinner dates again even if we now go at "early bird" times and I can only eat half my meal. But our "dining out" rules (early time, preferably outdoors but nearly empty inside is OK) are pretty limiting. Also, after seeing the news about PA having  a lot of cases from the British variant and the news that five states (including PA) have accounted for about 43% of new coronavirus cases over the last week, well, we might become hermits again!
  • Today is the home opener for the Pirates. They're 1-6. Off to another great year!

What We're Eating:

  • Leftover Easter food: Grilled lamb, ham, paska, grilled zucchini, steamed broccoli
  • Dessert: cupcakes, chocolate eggs, ice cream

What We're Watching:

  • Manifest is back. I think I liked the first episode. We'll see where it goes.
  • Doom Patrol. We finished Season 1. I am still undecided about it. It has its moments but overall I can't figure it out.

What I'm Reading:

  • Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery #4) by Joanne Fluke. It was fine. The "cozy mysteries" are light, quick reading.
  • I just started The Silent Wife (Will Trent #10) from Karin Slaughter. Yes, I'm reading them out of order. Oh well! I don't have the patience to wait and wait for them to become available and then read them in order.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Thursday Thoughts on Friday

Thoughts:

  • I forgot Thursday Thoughts yesterday. I wonder if that's a sign?
  • Yesterday was April 1 and it snowed. It snowed enough to cover the deck & grass. Yuck. I'm ready to spend some time on the deck but every time we've gone out, it's been a bit too chilly to spend much time there.
  • This weekend is Easter. The Easter bunny brought me some chocolate eggs. He's going to grill lamb for Easter dinner.

What We're Eating:

  1. Chicken Tacos
  2. Shrimp with salad
  3. Dessert: cookies from Bethel Bakery

What We're Watching:

  • Godzilla v Kong (movie, HBOMax). This was so much fun! Sure, it would've been better on a big movie screen but we're not going to a theater any time soon. A bit of plot, a lot of giant monsters beating the crap out of each other and leveling ships, planes, cities.
  • Manifest is back! We haven't watched the first episode of the new season yet but I'm excited to see where it goes this season.
  • Samantha Brown: Places to Love is back, too, on PBS this Saturday.
  • I'm starting to think this is the last season of Grey's Anatomy. The guest actors, Maggie's big step, DeLuca. Or maybe a huge reboot of characters and stories? 

What I'm Reading:

  • The Last Apothecary from Sarah Penner. I really enjoyed the story. Part of it was set in 1791 and the other part in present day. 
  • I've been reading Karin Slaughter's Will Trent series. I skipped Book #5 (I requested it but there's a long wait) and this past week I read 2 novellas (Snatched & Busted) plus Books 4, 6, & 7 (Broken, Criminal,  & Unseen). I'm enjoying the series and learning more about each character as the series progresses.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • We're both vaccinated, 2 weeks past dose #2, but not much is changing in our lives. We both had very sore arms after shot #2 and the day after, I was tired, achy, and had chills. 
  • The weather has been warmer, which is nice. Although tonight and tomorrow morning are supposed to be really, really windy, which doesn't thrill me. 
  • Tomorrow is car inspection day. We rarely drive these days. Maybe we drive 2-3 miles a week?!

What We're Eating:

  • Meatloaf with green beans and biscuits
  • Baked potatoes topped with cheddar, sour cream, salsa, broccoli, mushrooms
  • Dessert: Girl Scout Cookies

What We're Watching:

  • Genius: Aretha on National Geographic. This is season 3 of Genius (S1 was Einstein, S2 was Picasso). We have 2 more episodes to go. It's good, though we both were a bit bored during episode 6.
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier started on Disney+. Episode 1 was very good so I'm looking forward to episode 2 tomorrow (and the rest of S1 as it is released)
  • Last Saturday we watched The Snyder Cut of Justice League (HBOMax). Yes, 4 hours. I thought the original movie was just OK. I never really understood the mother boxes and I thought the end flight scenes were a mess, just a blur of action you couldn't really follow, and I never really understood Steppenwolf's motive. Those 3 things are much better in this new version plus the characters just seem more developed.

What I'm Reading:

  • Haunted Hibiscus by Laura Childs, the new Charleston Tea Shop Mystery. It was OK. The writing seemed a little lazy, like some very cliche phrases and also there were several parts where I felt like grammar and/or story continuity errors were made.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

It has not been a good day. So no thoughts today.

What We're Eating:

  • Crab Cakes with roasted cauliflower
  • Chicken Piccata with lemon pasta & steamed broccoli
  • Dessert: paczki, zeppole, Girl Scout cookies

What We're Watching:

  • Doom Patrol. Still on Season 1. It's OK. It seems to go off in a new direction in each episode.
  • The Trial of the Chicago Seven (film; Netflix). Excellent. Make me think that nothing has changed in 50 years and that's depressing. That judge was unbelievable. 
  • Destroyer (film). Good but kinda slow and sad. Gosh Nicole Kidman's detective was a mess. And I couldn't believe it was even possible to make Kidman look that bad!
What I'm Reading:
  • A Garland of Bones by Carolyn Haines. I'm all caught up in this series and the new one comes out in May. 
  • Blueberry Muffin Murder and Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke (#3 & #5 in the Hannah Swensen series). These were OK. They're entertaining enough that I'll keep reading.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Thursday Thoughts

Thoughts:

  • I was excited about the warm temperatures until my allergies attacked. They are the worst they've ever been. It's awful. I have sneezing attacks (sneezing 5+ times in a row) several times a day followed by blowing my nose into many, many tissues. It's disgusting. I constantly clear my throat. Every afternoon I take a decongestant and nap then every night I take an allergy pill and toss & turn all night. Plus the eye twitches. So annoying.
  • Being old-ish and having many health issues means we qualified to get our coronavirus vaccines. We were lucky enough to get appointments and later today we will be getting shot #2. I'm both excited to be vaccinated and scared of shot #2 reactions. After shot #1 my arm was super sore for 3 days. Hopefully this 2nd one won't be worse but...
  • I guess spring is coming since we spotted the fat groundhog in the yard this morning. Also, this weekend is "change the clocks" weekend.
  • We went out on the deck for a bit during the warm weather. The darn squirrels have become quite bold. I think they buried their nuts in every single herb pot we have on the deck (I think we have 10 of them). Then they dug them up and there are big holes in the dirt in the pots plus smaller, corresponding piles of dirt on the deck. I guess the rest of the dirt fell through to the yard. Maybe it's revenge since we trimmed the walnut trees?

What We're Eating:

  • Salad. All week. Greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, olives, hard boiled eggs, ham, grated cheese, homemade dressing.
  • Dessert: M&M Cookies

What We're Watching:

  • Judas and the Black Messiah (HBOMax). It was very good. It's a "based on a true story" film about the betrayal of Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in late-1960s Chicago, at the hands of William O'Neal, an FBI informant. 
  • We've now watched 5 episodes of Doom Patrol Season 1 (HBOMax). I'm not sure I like it. In episode 4, things veered way off the previous story line into something totally new and now I'm just kind of confused about the whole show.
  • I liked the conclusion to WandaVision (Disney+).
  • I'm losing interest in SEALTeam. It seems like they want to grow the characters, but that means breaking up the team which means there wouldn't be a team, so we get boomerang stories where someone leaves, then decides to return, and repeat. 

What I'm Reading:

  • Magazines.

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).