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100 Blocks January 9, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.
34 comments

Big-BenA few months back (about 7400 blocks ago), Tim (@ Wait But Why) did an interesting post on time allocation ~ 100 Blocks A Day.

Definitely worth a read if “better time management” is one of your resolutions for 2017.

While I appreciated his approach, two thoughts occurred to me as I considered his analysis:

(1) When deciding whether to cook dinner (3 blocks) or order in (0 blocks), the time used that day doesn’t take into consideration the hours given up to earn the money to buy food vs. paying someone else to do the cooking.

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We save time by hiring others to do stuff we don’t want to do for ourselves . . . but we’ve already spent time to earn the money needed to pay them.

Perhaps we need to factor in those hidden costs in deciding whether to cook or hire someone to cook for us.

(2) We might also want to take into consideration the blocks of time lost down the road by ordering in “junk food” instead of preparing healthy food.

If we get diabetes or heart disease, we may lose years of blocks off our grid.

I think we’ll cook for ourselves tonight!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

It Pays To Be A Restaurant Reviewer! January 4, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Food & Drink, Humor.
36 comments

mr-rossiLast month, we attended an Anniversary Celebration for Tommy Bahamas and received a coupon for $20 off dinner at the restaurant.

Two days before the coupon expired, we stopped for dinner at Tommy Bahamas on our way home from a class at the Apple Store.

BFF ordered Tommy’s World Famous Coconut Shrimp with mango salsa and slaw.  I ordered a Bungalow Salad.

Both arrived in short order with a loaf of fresh from the oven bread.  Which I ate, without worrying about the gluten.

For dessert, BFF ordered a slice of Pina Colada cake . . . and I had a few bites.

Yum!

Woodstock-&-Snoopy2The musician was good and played songs we know and enjoy ~ Buffett, Stray Cats ~ Stray Cats Strut, Chris Isaak ~ Wicked Game, The Doors ~ Light My Fire, Bowie ~ Rebel, Rebel, etc.

Best of all, with the $20 Off coupon, we saved almost 50%!

All in all, an excellent deal . . . but wait, there’s more to this tale.

When we arrived, at 6:45, the maître d’ told us it would be a 45 minute wait.

We decided to eat at the bar.  But after sitting there a few minutes, amid the aroma of stale beer, I decided I’d rather wait for a table.

I went back to the maître d’ to sign up.  He gave me a buzzer, showed me what it would do when our table was ready, and I started to walk back to the bar.

He then said, “Wait!  I’m going to make this happen.  Just go upstairs and tell them to seat you.”

Surprised, I gave him back the buzzer, grabbed BFF, went upstairs and we got a great table for two next to the grand staircase and overlooking the musician.

Perfect!

Mickey-OKBFF wanted to know how I managed it.

I have no idea.

I was carrying my iPad . . . Maybe the maître d’ thought I was a restaurant critic!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Gluten Free Brownies December 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
16 comments

Want a gooey good-for-you brownie . . . without the flour, eggs, etc.?

Try Julie’s recipe for Lentil Brownies.

Aah . . . that’s better!

On Patrol December 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor.
26 comments

The Longboat Key News shares actual police reports in its weekly paper.  One that caught my attention:

October 29

Illegal Donut Dumping

Officer Cooper made contact with the complainant in the 7100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive who stated sometime during the night unknown persons dumped several boxes of donuts in the parking lot.  Nothing further to report.

My guess?

220px--Lena_Horne_conserves_fuel_(gas).-,_ca._1941_-_ca._1945_-_NARA_-_535820Someone’s wife found and trashed Someone’s secret stash of donuts which Someone had vowed to give up in order to comply with his wife’s edict that he:

(1) lose weight;
(2) lower his blood sugar;
(3) lower his cholesterol; or
(4) honor his wheat free resolution.

I also expect that Officer Cooper took the evidence into “custody” for safe-keeping.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Expect Wrinkles! November 29, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Life Balance.
30 comments

While discussing the holidays with a fellow bridge player, she mentioned that she used to spend four hours (4!!!) ironing her tablecloth for Thanksgiving (and other Holiday meals).

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“Yowsa!  What took so long?”

“To keep it off the floor, I had to drape it over the backs of chairs.  As I ironed one section, another section got wrinkled.”

“Gotcha.  I gotta say that I do NOT have that type of attention to detail when setting the stage for the Thanksgiving feast.”

“You don’t?”

“Nope.  I just accept that there will be wrinkles.”

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Notice how smiles around the table make the wrinkles disappear?

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If you come to my house for a holiday meal, expect wrinkles . . . and smiles!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Here Comes The Bride November 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Home & Garden, People.
28 comments

I attended a bridal shower for my niece on Saturday.

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One of the games involved designing wedding gowns for a willing member of each team.

Team A got off to a terrific start using the only material provided . . .

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Rolls of cheap toilet paper . . .

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Racing against the clock, Team B took an entirely different approach to the challenge.

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Team C won the prize for chugging out of the station with the best train and bouquet.

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But the shower wasn’t all fun and games.

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The Bride-To-Be opened her shower gifts . . .

None of which had a thing to do with rain showers, summer showers, April showers, or taking a shower.

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After presents, she said, “Let them eat CAKE!”

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Chocolate cake.

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Accompanied by chocolate covered strawberries.

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And cups of chocolate mousse.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

Valerie Bertinelli’s LOL Martini October 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Vegetarian Recipes.
22 comments

Valerie Bertinelli has a cooking show.

On a recent show, she blanched broccoli florets and matchstick carrots, dropped them into an ice bath to keep the colors vibrant, and tossed the veggies with a quick Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil) and chopped walnuts.

The dish looked awesome!  I must give it a try.

She also made a LOL Martini with limoncello, lemon vodka, orange juice, orange liqueur, and lime juice ~ I would enjoy that too!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Spanish Romesco Dip October 19, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
20 comments

mr-rossiNext time it’s your turn to serve Tapas, here’s a yummy dip from the Catalonia region of Spain.

Spanish Romesco Dip

1/2 cup whole almonds
3 garlic cloves, peeled
8 oz. roasted red bell pepper
1 14-oz. can fire roasted diced tomato (with or without peppers)
1/4 c. chopped onion (optional: sauté first)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

With food processor or Ninja running, drop almonds and garlic cloves into the chute. Process until fine.  Add remaining ingredients and process until almost smooth.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

This dip is delicious with tortilla chips, Fritos, pretzels, pita, crackers, bruschetta, seafood, pasta, etc.  I added some to sauteed zucchini, peppers, and onions with excellent results.

Aah . . . that’s yummy!

Before And After October 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
41 comments

Before I began the wheat-free experiment mid-September, we ate delicious meals of this and that:

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Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce * Steamed Broccoli & Carrots * Black Bean Salsa * Sliced Apple * 1/2 a Bagel

Since going wheat-free, we still eat this and that . . . I just don’t eat that other thing.

Here’s an example of an impromptu mix & match wheat-free lunch thrown together from “fixings” in the fridge and pantry:

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Carrot & Celery Sticks * Pepperocini * Hummus * Fritos * Black Bean Salsa * Broccoli Florets with Italian Vinaigrette

I do a bit more planning for dinners, but not much.  Here’s an example of a fresh from the oven wheat-free dinner:

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Twice Baked Potato * Roasted Asparagus * Roasted Cauliflower * Roasted Carrots * Mashed Sweet Potato * Pushcart Onions  & Peppers

Update: I’m still enjoying numerous benefits from eating wheat-free (better sleep, less neck pain, better digestion, less inflammation, better mood, less mental fog, better energy, less hunger) so I haven’t been tempted to add wheat back into my diet.  Yet.

Aah . . . that’s better!

You Can’t Beat Beets! October 13, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
28 comments

Mr-RossiThe Farmer’s Market started up again on Saturday, October 1st, after a summer hiatus.  The Market, which runs from October to May (instead of May to October), includes artisans, musicians, bakers, butchers, fishmongers, and farmers.

I love seeing how far our veggie dollars go at the Market. Last visit, we spent a grand total of $18 and came home with this:

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kale * cucumbers * iceberg lettuce * broccoli * romaine * green peppers * zucchini * baking potatoes * sweet potatoes * beets * beet greens

What bounty!

Once home, I process the produce so that it’s ready to use at a moment’s notice:

* Wash and spin the lettuce
* Chop and sauté the beet greens and kale
* Steam or blanch the broccoli (or just cut it into florets for roasting)
* Store the potatoes and sweet potatoes in our “root cellar”
* Stash most of the cukes, peppers, and zucchini in the fridge

Last week, before leaving the kitchen, I made a pot of wheat-free Minestrone soup, using millet instead of macaroni.

By the time I finished chopping and dropping, the robust and hearty harvest soup included onions, peppers, zucchini, beets, beet greens, broccoli, carrots, celery, and tomato sauce.

Aah . . . that’s yummy!

Do you frequent Farmer’s Markets in season?