Monday, August 21, 2017

What's Cooking?

Lots of yumminess, that's what. This last week, we've tried a couple of new-to-us recipes that we LOVED. Perhaps if I keep eating like this and keep my hands out of the M&Ms bag or stop buying M&Ms, I can loose some weight.

A little update on Mother: she's stronger every day and last week the PT was blown away at how much stronger Mother is. She is a firm believer in PT so she pushes herself but not too much. Everyone still believes Mother will regain her independence sooner than later. No thanks to the very bad hospital whose staff nearly did her in. Had they not doubled a medicine they should NEVER have doubled, none of this would have happened. Yes, I'm sure. Even I knew they shouldn't have done it and if I, who has no medical background whatsoever knows it, those who do have medical backgrounds certainly should have. Rant over. On to the food!

Cauliflower Fritters. Yum. Mee. So good and so easy.

I pretty much stuck to the recipe I found HERE but I did sub in a couple of things. Here's my version:

Cauliflower Fritters

What you need:

1 head cauliflower
I cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
egg whites to equal 2 large eggs
I cup panko bread crumbs
Nature's Seasons
Avocado oil (I'm sure you could use the oil of your choice here)

What to do:

I placed the whole head of cauliflower into a big pot and steamed it until tender and then put it in the food processor. Mine did not get to that rice texture because I steamed it too long. No worries, the fritters turned out fine. If you want the rice texture, don't steam it so long. Ha! Combine the remaining ingredients, except the oil, and form mixture into patties. Cook in avocado oil until golden brown on both sides. Serve.

YIKES! No picture but Y'all know what fritters look like. Cauliflower ones are just a little bit lighter.

The baked fritters turned out so much better! 

As always, I saved out enough of the fritter mixture to make more but I tried baking them instead of browning in a pan. I'm pretty sure we can save some calories and make it a bit healthier that way.

The result:

Baking is the way to go, Y'all! The cauliflower fritters turned out so much better cooked in the oven and this is based on looks and taste! Maybe I'm just not a fryer but we all liked them better baked.

Here they are:

So much better baked!

It's been decades since I've had salmon patties!

Salmon Patties. Wow! I haven't even thought about salmon patties since my childhood when my grandmother made them. This recipe looked so good, I had to give it a try. Mother and I had a conversation about them because I couldn't figure out how to serve them. Grandmother always ALWAYS served her salmon patties with grits and scrambled eggs and after thinking about it for a while, neither of us could figure out what to do. I ended up serving them with sweet potato fries and some green beans since it was Friday and that's what I had. Ha!

Salmon Patties

What you need:

  • 1 lb fresh salmon fillet
  • Avocado oiil
  • Nature's Seasons
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Enough egg whites to equal 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Unsalted butter

What to do:

Bake the salmon fillet in the oven until flaky, this only takes 10 minutes or so. Flake the baked salmon and set aside. Heat up the avocado oil in a pan and saute the red pepper and onion until onion is golden, remove from heat. Mix salmon, sauteed pepper and onion, bread crumbs, egg whites, mayo, and Worcestershire sauce in a mixing bowl. Form mixture into patties. I made small-ish ones, about 2-3 inches in diameter. I used the same pan I used to saute the onion and pepper and added about a tablespoon of unsalted butter. Once pan is hot and butter melted, add the patties and cook about 3-4 minutes/side, until they are a nice golden brown on each side. 

Guess who didn't remember to take a picture until after we started eating? Yep, me. Again.

Again, I saved out a nice amount of the mixture and tried baking them in the oven. 

The result

Again, SO MUCH BETTER in appearance and taste!

A little cooking spray and even less avocado oil did the trick.

When baking both cauliflower fritters and salmon patties, I merely sprayed the pan with some cooking spray and baked everything in a 350-degree oven for about 50 minutes. I did flip them after the first 25-30 minutes. I did sprinkle a minute amount of avocado oil on the tops of the fritters and the patties. And I mean my-noot. I put a bit in my hand and drizzled. Avocado oil has a nice flavor and is good for those on diabetic and heart smart plans. 

Oh and, the second time around, I served fresh green beans but no fries since we had the patties and the fritters, together.

Salmon patties on the left, cauliflower fritters on the right. 

Smoothies have been on the menu for our afternoon pick-me-up since Mother arrived. Mostly, I use fruit and almond milk or spring water. Sometimes I might add a little dab of honey (raw, organic) or some vanilla yogurt- always organic from grass-fed cows. Other times I will add some fresh spinach to the mix. It really depends on our mood that day. 

Preparing and freezing the fruit is the way to go!

I like to buy the fruit and prepare it, then place it into freezer bags for the week. All I have to do is bring out a bag of frozen fruit and add whatever we want for that day's smoothie. Plus, there's no need to add ice because the fruit is frozen. It makes a super yummy, refreshing smoothie. 

This one had strawberries, pineapple, and clementines with vanilla yogurt and a little spring water. 

Sorry about that red striped straw. I have a box of 500 straws and, weirdly enough, I like to give people their favorite color straw in their smoothie or else I will match the straw color to the smoothie color. I know, I said weirdly. Anyway, the straws have been MIA for over a month now so, this is what you get. 

That's where we are, Y'all. Things are going well and the food has been fun and delicious! 

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles
and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓


Friday, August 18, 2017

The Ostrich Lady

I am one of those people who cannot seem to merely watch the news or read about current events without feeling as though I have absorbed the negativity that permeates nearly every aspect of our daily happenings. This is not a good thing because I spend my days anxious and nervous and have even been reduced to tears. It's gotten to be way too much. When all of your senses are super sensitive and on high alert every second of every day, you have to stick your head in the sand for a minute to clear your mind and recharge.

My favorite person in the world sent me this text Saturday morning: 

...take your time, sip slowly, DO NOT TURN ON THE NEWS, it will be okay...

I didn't follow the advice until yesterday morning. It was incredibly liberating. I took my time, I sipped slowly and I did not turn on the news. I went through the entire day without the news. I felt like a new woman. I was more energetic, I smiled all day, I was calm and positive. Good grief was I happy???? 

When I perused Facebook and Instagram I realized I needed to stop following a few groups that post about current events and politics. So, I did. Same thing in my inbox so I unsubscribed from the news sites and anything political. More boulders off my shoulders. Y'all, I even stopped following (without unfriending) people on Facebook who post their reactions to recent events or politics in a negative, arrogant, ranting sort of way.   

If I could simply watch the news and 'read-all-about-it' followed by nothing more than intellectual discussions and courteous sharing of opinions that would be fine. But I do not. No one here is interested in different opinions and I tend to ingest the news. I feel it through every single fiber of my body as it runs through wreaking havoc. It's not so much the reporting of the news (I can tell the difference between where the facts stop and sensationalism begins because I'm not stupid) but the video coverage where you see and hear people spewing verbal garbage that gets to me. (The very same thing happens when I come into contact with other people- I absorb their negativity or if I'm lucky enough to be around a positive person, their positivity. I know, it's a blessing and a curse.)

I have a hard time understanding how people in positions of authority in the year 2017 can act this way. It's embarrassing. It's juvenile. It's disgusting. It's sickening. And I'm tired of it. So, I'm taking a break. Just call me ostrich lady for the time being. I need to regroup. 

I spent my day with these two who my youngest daughter jokingly call 'the same person' because Tucker and Baby M do so many things together including searching for squirrels while standing on the toddler bed to look out the window.

If I'm going to be the right kind of influence on this little girl, I have to regroup. I want her to know how to fight social injustice and bigoted, racist, misogynistic, narcissistic leadership in such a way as to be heard not simply be part of the chaotic crowd. To use her compassion for social justice to effectively invoke change. To work within the system to fight for the changes so desperately needed. To spread love and kindness in the midst of hatred and ignorance. To encourage cooperation and communication. To learn to accept responsibility for one's actions and not to pass the buck or point the finger. To not get caught up in the heat of the moment but to get in there and be ready to fight for good for the long haul. To fight fair. To fight honestly. To fight without hatred and violence. Because it's going to be a fight. 

For now, my focus is on the good things in life- grandchildren and my sweet pup, my friends here and there, near and far, and my family. I'll get back in there. But I'm definitely taking a time out. I have to regroup.

Do you ever have to regroup? What do you find works best?

Oh, and we're STILL awaiting the arrival of Baby R. I'll keep Y'all posted!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dogs Days and the Hodgepodge

Welcome Home, Joyce! I know it wasn't easy to head back but I'm glad you had a wonderful visit and safe travels! Here in the low-country of the Palmetto state, we're still awaiting the arrival of our baby boy. Any, Day. Now. Meanwhile, let's enjoy the Hodgepodge, friends!

From this Side of the Pond

1. Do your actions match your words? Most of the time, they do. Elaborate. Most of the time I do what I say is mirrored by the things I do because I am who I am. There are other times when this does not hold true. Like when I am obligated to do something so I do it but not with a cheerful heart just out of obligation or because I think it's the 'right' thing to do. Then it's me talking one thing but doing another. No, I don't like it. 

2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has its day, can't teach an old dog new doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life? Sick as a dog applies to Baby M right now as she has come down with her first daycare illness which means she's spending more time at my house which means a mixed blessing because while I love our time together I hate she's sick. Dog tired could easily apply to me because keeping up with a sick one-year-old is not the easiest thing in the world to do. I spent the last two days holding her during her naps so she could breathe easier and then trying to console her when being sick made her grumpy which was 3/4's of our day both days. But that's ok. She's sick and the queen so...  😀

3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? I tend to avoid books and movies about dogs because, let's face it, these media usually take an entire box of tissue to read/watch. However, Baby M and I are loving, DOGGONE DOGS right now. What makes it a favorite? It's an adorable book with a flow and rhyming that makes it fun to read. Also, the author was clever in her writing and the illustrations are bright and funny. Then there's the fact that Baby M loves dogs so much that 'dog' was her first spoken word. 

4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do? I'm not sure there's anything I need to develop the confidence to do. Mostly I need to have the time and money to do a few things. 

5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke. Ok, but I only know a dirty joke: A white horse fell into a mud puddle. Ha! How about this one: There's something about subtraction that just doesn't add up. LOL I feel good from my head tomatoes. Haha! 

Yes, it's the puns that keep me laughing. I have a friend and a son-in-law who are quite good at these and they keep me rolling all the time. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. I think we all need to share lists of our favorite children's books. I have a list of my old favorites but I also love seeing lists from the young moms today. There are so many great books out there for little ones and I know some of us wouldn't mind growing our grandchildren's' libraries.  Is anyone interested in doing this? Or am I just way more of a book nerd than I care to admit? Ha!

Also, here's my sick girl:

Look at that little face. She spent most of the last two days on my lap. Poor baby.

Usually, snoring gets on my last nerve. But when you're one and sick, it doesn't bother me except I don't like she's sick. Even though it's because she's sick, it's still the cutest snoring I've ever heard. She is feeling better today, Ya'll!


Today is Baby R's official due date. If he's late, my daughter is going to explode. Just sayin'.  

Have a wonderful rest of the week, Y'all!

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles
and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓


Monday, August 14, 2017

Another Recipe Post

Mother is still here with us but her doctors are very pleased with her progress. They are now saying as soon as the physical therapist gives us the OK, Mother can return to her house which motivates her even more because her independence is something of which Mother is quite proud.

I'm still coming up with recipes to try and working out some ideas for easy access snacks to keep in the fridge that fit into Mother's nutrition plan. I am finding that she prefers old standbys (modified, of course) more than anything but she has enjoyed a few of the new-to-us dishes.

Breakfast usually consists of whole wheat toast, Cream of Wheat, egg whites scrambled or as an omelet, and some fruit of avocado.

Yes, she eats small portions but that's ok. I bring her snacks in between meals. Most often, she wants the egg whites and toast OR Cream of Wheat and toast but putting it all together like the picture is too much.

Mother and Baby M both LOVE breakfast no matter what I prepare. Baby M is especially fond of my cheese eggs but they both think sweet potato toast with peanut butter and bananas for breakfast or snack is the greatest thing ever. It works better when I cut the sweet potato into little circles because they're easier to just pick up and pop into your mouth.

I tried a skillet lasagna recipe found HERE and made my own heart smart/diabetic friendly version. It was delicious but then, anytime I make zucchini lasagna it's delicious because- cheese.

I love how the top was a little bit crunchy with all that cheese! Oh. My. Goodness.

I am not a fan of ricotta cheese so I subbed in cottage cheese. I used egg whites instead of the egg, and avocado oil instead of olive oil. The avocado oil is something I'm trying out for the first time and we really like it. I find I do not have to use very much of it and the flavor is nice. I also chose a pasta sauce with only 3 grams of sugar. I was just not in the mood to make my own.

The recipe is not that much different from any other zucchini recipe I've used. It's not even that much different from my usual one. Except I do add a little splash of sherry to mine which tops just about anything off nicely.

BTW, we're are STILL awaiting the arrival of Baby R so if you picked a date earlier than today, you're in the boat with us and missed the mark. Anyone want a new guess? I know what he's going to do, he's going to wait until we exhale and relax a minute and then surprise us. Which means he's coming into the right family. Haha!

Have a delightful Monday, Y'all!

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles
and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓


Friday, August 11, 2017

This is Gonna Be FUN!

I've started a new tradition in the family and Y'all have been elected to help us out. I don't want to vote because I know who did what so, Y'all will vote on these whenever they pop up. What are they?

Ok, every time I get just the right picture of one of the grandloves (we're still waiting on the arrival of Baby R), the rest of the fam has to meme the shot. Once they do, I'll put them up on the blog and Y'all vote for the best one.

What does the winner get? Why to win, of course! And lord it over the rest of them until someone else wins. Becuase that's what families do. Well, that's what this one does. Muahahahaha!

The family member with the most votes at Christmas gets a Christmas surprise! WooHoo!

Here's the first meme contest (we're short this time so a few people are already going to be behind.

Meme It, Part 1:





You can probably tell the ones who are concerned with having to change a poopy diaper. Good grief. 

Anyway, there they are. Next time, everyone should weigh in. Especially when they decide they could have done better than these because-- competition. 

Just tell us in the comment section who wins the first Make Your Own Meme Contest at Empty Nest. Thanks for your help!

Have a great weekend, Y'all!

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles
and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓


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