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Saturday, August 27, 2016

How To Rock Serving ... Tofu!

Hello Lovlies! I hope all is going well wherever you are.

I am so blessed to have kids that love such a variety of food. Of course this is how I raised them. They had to at least try something before they could turn their noses up at it.

Tofu is one of those things. And this recipe is asked pretty often.Tofu Steak

T’s Tofu Steaks

1 package firm tofu, frozen, then thawed
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds

Drain and rinse the tofu.
Place paper towels or paper coffee filters in a colander.
Place another paper towel or coffee filter on top and then a plate that will fit inside the colander.
Put something heavy on top and press remaining liquid out of the tofu. You may have to replace the paper towels or coffee filters after a bit.
Allow the tofu to press for a few hours.
Mix all the marinade ingredients.
Once pressed, slice the tofu in half to get two equal slices about 1/2 an inch thick and then cut again.
Coat each piece in marinade and place into an airtight container to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat up a grill, spry with a bit of cooking spray or a grill pan using a bit of canola or coconut oil if using grill pan.
Place each marinade-soaked piece on grill and grill for about 3 minutes per side.

Thai Tofu, fried tofu are also frequently requested.
We really enjoy it served with a baked sweet potato and veggie.

Have you had Tofu?
Do you like it?

Until next time...
Trish

Friday, August 12, 2016

Practical Summer

Good morning friends!

The past couple days her in northern New England have been on the warm side.

BUT you will not hear me complaining. I LOVE it!!

Bring on the heat, it will only help me appreciate it more, or at all, when the weather turns and it is much much cooler.

With the warm temps and no central AC though there is no way I am using mu oven.

Good thing I planned cooking chicken in the crockpot at the beginning of the week.


T’s Chicken Salad

2 c. shredded or diced cooked chicken
1/3 C. Plain Greek yogurt
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. Chopped Pecans
1/2 C. Grapes, quartered
Salt & Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in bowl.
Mix, that’s it.
Makes 2 servings

We eat just as is with a side or throw on a wrap with veggies and my son will put it on a bulkie or ciabatta roll.

Summer simplicity!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Colorful Comfort

There are days when  all food just does not appeal to me.

Then there are days when EVERYTHING looks good.

However with having had weight loss surgery not everything will agree with me.

Even  being 3 years out things can and do change daily.

One day things are good the next I cannot tolerate a particular food.

One thing that has been pretty constant that I have been able to tolerate and that is cheese.

Good thing I like, no LOVE cheese!

I can and do sometimes do eat it…

Every.Single. Day!

Here is one of my kids favorite things that includes cheese.

Creole seasoning…

Creole Seasoning

And BACON!!!

Crispy Creole P

T’s Crispy Creole Potatoes

  • 5 slices bacon
  • 3 large potatoes, cleaned and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Creole seasoning
  • 2 c fave shredded cheese
  1. Place bacon on a baling sheet with a good lip, so bacon grease stays on sheet while cooking.
  2. Turn oven to 400 and cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on the crispiness of the bacon you prefer.
  3. Put bacon on paper lined plate, save the bacon grease in the pan.
  4. Pour the potatoes and onions on the pan and mix with the bacon grease. Coat them well.
  5. Sprinkle with seasoning and mix again. Make sure the potatoes and onions are spread out in single layer.
  6. Place in oven and cook 15 minutes.
  7. Remove and mix, you do not want them to stick to the pan.
  8. Place back in oven and cook another 15 minutes.
  9. Chop bacon while potatoes are cooking.
  10. Remove from oven, mix again, unsticking any potatoes or onions that are sticking.
  11. Return to oven for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove  from oven and add bacon, combine well.
  13. Sprinkle cheese over the top.
  14. Return to oven for about 5 minutes, watch the cheese does not burn.

Crispy Creole Potatoes

Enjoy!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Casserole Comfort

Sometimes you just need comfort food.  We all have bad or stressful days. I had one today and this type of food was in order.

Not only was it comfort food it was quick and easy and I did not heat my house to make it.

T’S SAUSAGE AND HASH BROWN CASSEROLE20160804_162056

Yield: 6 servings

  • 2 can Condensed cream of chicken (make your own with this recipe)
  • 20-oz. bag of hash browns, defrosted
  • 10 oz. smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2c cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 12 oz frozen corn
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Put hash browns, sausage, onion, corn and cheese together in a lightly greased crockpot.
  2. Pour soup over the and mix.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or until potatoes are soft and sausages are hot. Serve. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Unexpected

Back in 2011 when I began to explore the possibility of weigh loss surgery I remember one of the things that came up in discussion during the initial 4 hour seminar was the extremely high statistic of divorce after weight loss surgery.

What?!

Seriously??

Yes!

I also remember thinking that is not going to be us. After all my weight was the reason for all our problems, right? Well if you were to ask my ex that is what he said. My weight made him unhappy. Nope I was not thin when he asked me to marry him. Apparently he thought the weight would magically melt away after he became  my husband.

So guess what? My weight was NOT the reason for our problems. Nope I had been right, I told him it was not my weight. Proof there was when in late March of 2014 my he decided he was leaving. Pretty much out of the blue. At the time I was living my worst nightmare. My life was a roller coaster on the road to hell.

Almost 2 1/2 years later I am still healing, I have had a few setbacks with my road to a healthier weight but over all I am such a happier person now. I am at peace. I have regained the confidence I had when I was younger and add that to my age where I am to the point if you don't like what you see hit the door because I just aint got time for that!

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I know what I want and  will never settle again for anything less...I do not have to. I am
worth the work and I have so much to offer to the right man.

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Now just for us to meet, because I know he is out there somewhere looking for me...all of me.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Just Desserts

I absolutely love life.

I just cannot convey how much I am loving trying new things and meeting new people.

Life truly had been so routine and boring.

Always doing only what my ex liked and wanted to do. Not anymore. Now I do things I love...things I forgot I loved! My children are experiencing so much more now too and exploring things they love. Together to see things new through their eyes too is just amazing. Despite the change that happened in our lives we are thriving!

I also enjoy cookies, but my body does not enjoy them so much.

Solution?

I am not a protein bar fan, but enter these awesome little gems:

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Not really a recipe but a solution.

Just heat the oven to 350. Cut a protein bar into 8ths, I used Quest and the Atkins lift, both worked great.

Bake for about 5 minutes.

Take out of oven and press with back of spoon and flip.

Bake about 5 minutes more.

Remove from oven and eat warm or allow to cool and get crispy.

My great solution for something crispy and sweet.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Cheezy

Each day things get better.

Not to say there are not ups and downs but for the most part each day I get stronger and love the woman I am!

I mourn less the loss of ideal of the marriage I had.

I look forward to my adventures ahead.

The world is truly open to me.

I can go anywhere with my kids that we decide to go.

A move...one away may be exactly the change I need and I am exploring options and places.

You never know just where we might go. =)

Just like cheese...

You just never know what you might create with cheese.

I love cheese. I could literally be happy with that as my only protein source though I know that may not be the healthiest thing for em to do which is why I swap things up now and again.

My eating has slid back to some old bad habits, like snacking on crackers and chips.

I like crunch. I am not sorry about that, but I do need to find a better option than what I have been eating.

Enter...

Cheese Crisps

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  • Thin sliced cheese
  • Parchment paper
  • cookie sheet

I use the Sergeanto thin slices but any will work.

  1. Preheat oven to 250.
  2. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Divide each slice into 4.
  4. Place on parchment paper.
  5. Cook for 30 minutes
  6. Peel carefully off parchment and place on paper towels to soak up some of the oil.

Crunch away!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tags

Sometimes you need to change up things to make them work or to enjoy them.

I never did like shopping for clothes in the past, even when it was not for me. Well that is not entirely true. There had been a time a long time ago I did enjoy shopping for my ex and my kids when they were really young. I like nice things and there is nothing wrong with that. Somewhere along the years I actually lost that desire and love too.

That is until about a year ago.

First when you lose over 150 pounds clothes shopping for yourself, at least I have found for me, can be a lot of fun.

Then I have made getting a great deal a game.

I try to get the most for the least.

This week I succeeded in that fr sure!!

Sunday I scored some great deals at my local GW Boutique!

Then I visited my fave consignment shop I have found to date.

Madlyn's New & Used Clothing Like their Facebook page too here.

I have been shopping here for over a year and I almost always find fantastic deals.

This week was, well I will let you see:

For my son I was able to get a leather jacket, a suit jacket and a nice pair of dress type shorts for a whopping $3! All name brand.

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Just the Leather jacket alone would be more than $80 new on clearance. And have you checked the price on suit jackets? When I got into a bind and had to buy one new for my son I paid $30 at Burlington!! CRAZY!

But that was not all I found, no then I found some great things for me:PhotoGrid_1470080554498

Again all name brand as you can see.

Total of $10.50 spent.

Actually it was $7.72 out of my pocket because the other part of shopping here is I also consign my clothes and jewelry I make. I had a small credit on account form the past week. I cannot tell you though how many times I have actually walked out with my purchases and money on top. Yes gotta love it when you are essentially paid to shop.

I truly love this store, an no this is not a sponsored post, I just love how Melissa runs her business. She knows what she is doing and did I mention my daughter just started to work there as well? Yep a little over a month, her first job and she absolutely loves it!

Oh and if you do not live in the area follow them on FB anyway because if you see something you like contact them and you can have it shipped to you! They post daily new items that have come in.

So if you happen to be in the Waterville Maine area be sure to put Madlyn's in your GPS and give them a visit. It is in beautiful Historic Downtown  Waterville along with some of our other fave places like The local Farmers Market, Loyal Biscuit Co., Selah Tea, Jorgensens Cafe and Holy Cannoli.

C Is For Chicken

I eat a lot of chicken.

I like it.

With now being a working Mom and trying to be sure I make healthy meals for my kids and it requires me to plan and have easy weeknight meals ready to go.

Foil packets are one thing that fits that description.I make them the night before, or morning of, place on a cookie sheet or in 13x9 baking dish in the fridge, then I am ready to go and to put them in the oven or on the grill as soon as I come home.

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T’s Chicken Quick Night Foil Dinner Packet

Makes 1 serving

  • 12 x 12 sheet of heavy aluminum foil
  • 1 chicken Breast
  • onion slices
  • mushroom sliced
  • summer squash
  • Cajun seasoning
  1. Heat oven to 400 or if using grill to medium high heat.
  2. Layer veggies on the foil.
  3. Add chicken.
  4. Sprinkle with seasoning
  5. Bring up 2 sides of foil over chicken and vegetables so edges meet.
  6. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion.
  7. Fold other sides to seal.
  8. Place packet on grill over medium heat. If using oven, place in oven on cookie sheet or glass baking dish and cook 30 to 40 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.
  9. Cover grill; cook 20 to 25 minutes, rotating packets 1/2 turn after 10 minutes, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).
  10. Place packet on a plate.
  11. Cut large X across top of each packet; carefully folding back foil.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Fall...My Fave Time of Year

I LOVE fall.

Everything about it.

The change in colors on the trees.

The change in the air....nice and crisp.

The smells.

The food!

Speaking of food...

T's Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Protein Bars

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Makes 16 Servings

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3c. Old fashioned Oats, Dry
  • 1.5 t. Baking Powder
  • 1t. Sea Salt
  • 2T Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 3 Scoops Unflavored Protein Powder
  • 1/2 c Sweetener of choice
  • 1/2c Unpacked Raisins

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2c Greek Plain Yogurt
  • 3 Eggs, Beaten
  • 2t. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cans Pumpkin Puree

Directions:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Combine all wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients together, just until mixed, be careful to not over mix.
  4. Allow mixture to sit for a minimum of 1 hour to overnight.
  5. Heat oven to 350.
  6. Spray 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool, then cut into 16 equal pieces.

Tastes great hot or cold.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Thrifting

When you get thrown into a situation where you have been a stay at home Mom for more than 20 years to all of a sudden needing to care for your children financially as well you have 2 choices....

Sink

or

SWIM

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I decided I needed to SWIM!!

One way I make my money last is by finding avenues to SAVE money.

Thrifting is my favorite tool I use.

I shop local consignment Dollar Days as well as our local Goodwill now does Dollar Days as well, so those actually cost me only $0.90 because I did invest $10 in a discount card that gives me a 10% discount on my daily purchases. This has been such a great investment for me!

My kids know I have a rule...

Unless it is an urgent need it has to be the Dollar Day color.

Then depending how truly urgent the next rule is the 1/2 off color.

I rarely have to pay full thrift retail price.

Her is my latest haul...

For me:

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For my son:

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I typically only purchase name brands because then...

When we are done I bring them to a consignment shop to resell. They only accept name brands so that is what I try to keep to. Not only that it is a confidence builder for me knowing my kids are wearing higher end clothes without me dropping $40 or more on one piece of clothing.

The above haul would easily of cost me over $100 and yet I spent under $5!!

That to me is a great success in making my money work for me!!

I am thriving despite my change.

Do you thrift? What are some things you have found?

What Defines Me

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This quote was my background for the first year after my husband ex-husband left me after 20+ years of marriage.

Why?

Well I crazily wanted him to come back. I wanted to not be a part of a failed marriage... a broken family...a single mom.

Now that the dust has settled so to speak and I am healing I know I wanted him back not because he treated me so well and showered me with love and affection, because he did not...not at all. Far from it in fact.

I was not his wife, I was the woman who lived in his house, cared for the children I gave birth to that he helped create, I was the cook, the chauffeur, the maid, the accountant and the person that was always there to pick him up when depression hit. I did not get help, affection or love from him.

I wanted him back for our kids.

I wanted him back because I was initially afraid of being alone.

I wanted him back because I did not want to a statistic.

I wanted him back because I  could not accept failure.

I really needed my head examined to want to return to that.

I may be single now, but I have found peace and happiness.

More happiness than I ever thought I would be able to find.

I know I deserve to have a man in my life that will treat me with love, respect and dignity and I have the confidence now behind me to tell them to hit the door if they do not bring that to the table. But I also know I am a whole person without a man in my life.

I have found my way back to the person I was before I was married and ever so slowly lost who I was, my identity.

And you know what?

I LOVE me!!