Sugar, sans Sugar

My morning was a juxtaposition of sugar.

First I made cupcakes and frosting to bring to work for my co-workers birthday.

Then I focused on making a Whole30 compliant cranberry sauce.  It ended up quite thick, very tart and tangy.  I sweetened it with dates and then a little pineapple.  I cooked some onion, celery, dates, ginger, manderine oranges, cranberries and then I tossed in a little pineapple to add another dimension.  I was expecting to put Chinese five spice in but was completely out (how does that happen???)  so I put in all the warming spices I could find, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ground ginger.

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Food Prep Monday

The first thing I did this morning was grill some salmon that needed to be cooked today.  It made a lovely breakfast and leftovers.

After an hour at the gym and heading to sprouts for a few things, mostly cranberries and dates to create a new recipe tomorrow I headed home and dis some food prep for the week.

I fried some chicken wings in the air fryer, because they are awesome in there AND I don’t have to monitor or even check it.  Just take them out when they are done and put them away.

I also grilled the rest of the asparagus because like the salmon it too needed to be finished up.  I made some saffron rice for Lori and packaged that up.  Roasted some baby potatoes for the week.  Grilled a spaghetti squash and then mixed that with some puttanesca sauce.

Maybe having so much prepped at the beginning of the week will help me stay on course this week.  I wish I could just blame the off eating on the “holidays” but lets be honest that hasn’t even started yet.

More likely its just been stress, too much to do in too few hours, off schedule and that cycle that poor choices creates in the brain to keep you making them.

Tomorrow morning I’m making cupcakes…..insert mad laughter here….  Its true though.  They are for work and I also have some green beans I need to cook and maybe a turkey meatloaf or something since I will be in the kitchen for the cupcakes.

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Brownie Fail

This week there has only been one workout that I have fit in, well one and a half.

My friend is coming to town for the weekend, she is actually getting to our place this evening while we are both at work.  So the week was spent getting ready for company and getting my list all “done” before the weekend.  The weekend usually holds a lot of my chores like laundry and changing bedding.  Friday’s are my usual stop at the dry cleaner to pick up last week’s items and drop off this weeks.  But who wants to do that stuff when company is in town.

I got all of those items checked off by the time I left for work today.  Including picking up some favorites from the Thai restaurant to be at the house tonight.  I also made some of the keto brownies I first made this Summer.  Luckily I was busy doing laundry and cleaning the bathroom and changing the humming bird feeders before heading to the store.

I was able to cut out the brownies and tasted a corner and I had forgotten the sweetener.  They were so gross.  I mean they are flourless and sugar free so they are not normal brownies anyway, but so so gross.  I tossed them in the garbage and when I was at the store and picking up the Thai I also picked up some more baking chocolate to try again.

I didn’t taste these but I do hope they are better then the first batch.  The photo is the brownies in the garbage and the second batch packaged up for company.

Three day weekend ahead, chores done, friend in town and lots of things planned.

 

One of those days…

or one of THOSE days.

I set my alarm for early.  I needed to be up and bake cupcakes before it got to hot.

I make cupcakes for every co-workers birthday and so this bake was planned.  But then the company I work for decided that every office needed to have a potluck for team building.  You know spend your own time and money and energy when directed to build comrade in the office.  This meant some of us had to be to work an hour early to to this. (I think most in our office were just a bit put off because we already do a potluck at Christmas time, one our own, and are not “told” to do it.)

I made double batch of cupcakes and had the oven turned off by 8:30 a.m.  The day was stacked after that.  I made us breakfast, cleaned up from the bake and breakfast. Made frosting, boxed and frosted the cupcakes. Cleaned up from that.  Made chicken for Lori in the afternoon (who is sick and probably not eating it).  Made myself a salad for dinner.  Also put together a lunch as I knew nothing at the “potluck” I would want to eat.  I went out to get us tea and found my car was broken into.* Got ready for work and left to get to the office an hour early.  Transporting frosted cupcakes in 100 degree weather was challenging but it all worked out well.

I ate my lunch (leftover gazpacho) while everyone had sandwiches,  cupcakes and an ice cream sundae bar in our “you will have a potluck and (I don’t know) like each other” and then started my shift.  Our northern office covered during the event and we will cover for them next week in their forced social event.

*So the car, good news is no broken window, no damage at all.  I went out and found the drivers door not quite closed.  My heart jumped and I looked in to see the glove box open as was the center console.  Since I keep very little if anything in my car there wasn’t much to go through.  The gloves and few maps were in the seat, nothing else removed from the glove box.  The center console had the tray in the seat and the Excedrin bottle in the seat but nothing missing.  The only thing missing was a very expensive pair of Maui Jim sunglasses that I didn’t actually buy, they were a gift from Vicki as she got them as swag from work.  But still a bummer as they were fantastic glasses and retail at about $300 bucks.  (I would never actually spend that on sunglasses.)  As I type this I wonder if they took my phone charger and I didn’t notice.  But luckily its an extra one if they did that and I rarely every use it.

I had gotten home at 12:00 a.m. from work and usually I take my briefcase out of the back and hit the button to close it.  I then hit the lock/alarm button about the time I get to the door and it has finished closing.  I am assuming based on no damage that I left it unlocked and someone was just walking by checking door handles.  Good thing that everything I keep in the car would fit in a sandwich bag.

Oh well, this day is over.  Tomorrow is a rare middle of the week day off to go to a show.  More on that after the fact.

 

 

Change, Change, Cancel, Change

and lots of cooking

We had plans on Saturday to go out to the girls house for a visit and the “auntie-do-list” of things like fixing a leaky drain and moving some items and doors around.

Well we changed that to next weekend because a co-worker of Lori’s and his wife were coming over.  I was going to cook everyone lunch and he and Lori were going to discuss the garden and some changes.

Friday I made a lovely gazpacho for the next day as the first course and the second change of the weekend came.  Their dog may have injured her back so co-workers wife would not be coming as she was going to stay with the dog. Guess I didn’t need to make as much salmon as I had purchased.

Saturday morning after I finished with breakfast I prepped the salmon and carrots for later and made a watermelon, lime and mint salad.  As I put it in the fridge Lori got a call and the dog needed emergency surgery and neither would be coming.

Sadly it was 11am and to late to go out to the girls but an empty calendar and a fridge full of food.

Lori has a horrid cold so her having a down day wasn’t a bad thing.  We left a voicemail for Kathi to see if she was available for dinner.  Lori and I ate the soup and watermelon salad for lunch and I trimmed a tree in the back yard and did things like laundry.

In the evening just as I put the carrots on the grill to cook we heard back from Kathi and she came over and we had dinner and someone to help us eat the food I made.  Salmon and carrots on the grill, nearly everything cooked on the grill this week because its too hot to put on the oven.

We sat outside and played with the three kittens that will be going to the shelter at some point this week.

I made the other half of the salmon on Sunday and more salad.  Left overs galore but at least they are yummy and all Whole30 compliant.

 

Keto Brownies

I make cupcakes for each of my co-workers birthdays.  Well there are two birthdays between this weekend and next Wednesday.  So today instead of making my friend “C” cupcakes I made her Keto Brownies because she has been on Keto for several months now.

This recipe I got off the internet so I have no claims to it and in fact give credit to Elana Amsterdam. 

So zero flour and zero sugar!  Nice and moist.  I think I will mix walnuts mixed in prior to baking next time.

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She was thrilled!

chores and baseball

That is the basic weekend recap, chores on Saturday and then a baseball game on Sunday.  You can stop here if the rest of the play by play bores you.

Doesn’t quite explain why its been a week since I’ve even thought of blogging.  Just so you know, and not that you care.  I generally blog on my 30 min dinner break at work.  However last week I worked alone as my co-worker was out so the dinner break never happened, hence neither did the blog as I did not make time for it anywhere else in the weeks schedule.

We had a lot going on at home.  The three little kittens are in our yard all of the time now.  Sleeping under the jade plant during the heat of the day and even mewing at the door in the morning for food.  I’ve picked up all of them, trying to get them used to people. I rubbed them down with a little peppermint last week to help with their fleas.  I did treat our actual indoor cat and split the other dose in the package between the kittens mom and the other female in the yard.  It seems to have helped.  The only two not dosed are the males.  The “uncle” if you will and the big male who has now been here for well over a year and still I haven’t gotten near enough to even touch him.  He is a little more scarce now that the kittens are here.  We are going to find out from our neighbors son what the intention is and then we will find them homes if need be.  They are eight weeks old and we seriously have enough stray cats in our yard.

But playing with the kittens and being alone at work didn’t take up the whole week. I also got a bug in my ear to re-organize my kitchen.  Shopping for baskets to store our pantry items in and effectively hiding them so there isn’t so much visually going on.  I looked at the container store, target and then one morning we went to world market and I found some baskets that are working.  I wasn’t sure at first and they still have the tags on them.  But a week in I think they are working nicely.

There was also a day of shopping for a new washer and dryer.  The unit we had was an industrial unit.  It had been given to us from a friend who was clearing out stuff at work.  We used it for seven years and it was used when we got it.  Well last week when the load finished it was full of a powdery, gritty substance.  Now we have super mineral water and thought it could have been a big deposit in the washer or pipe that broke up.  But it was a lot.  We ran the washer again and there was more, but also a burning smell.

So although it was not in our current budget, washer and dryer shopping we went.  Consumer report book in hand along with measurements we bought a new set.  We couldn’t just buy a washer because they were one unit and if something happened we would be replacing them both again.  I did have to remove a utility sink however and re-pipe a drain for the new washer.

I chose Saturday for delivery and an a.m. time because, well for many reasons, one being get it over with and two it is hot in the afternoon and no one wants to be out in the garage then.  Well the window was 7-12 and on Friday they called and confirmed 7-9.

We were up at 6:00 to clear out a path and remove the sink.  At 6:40 they called to say they would be there within 30 minutes.  They actually pulled up at 7:00 exactly and were gone by 7:40.  They moved the old unit to the street for us and while we spent the rest of the morning organizing our garage and taking a very large load to the thrift store a neighbor who repairs appliances stopped and asked about it and ended up hauling it off.  He had a hand truck and lift gate with him and we didn’t even have to help.

The garage looked great when we finished.  We end up doing this about once a year as it becomes disorganized overtime.  It serves as a laundry room, an extension to the kitchen for storage, the back up library and Lori’s drafting table is in there.  When your in a small house you need to make due!

Sunday included a baseball game with my sister, brother, Lori and I.  It was an Angels and Mariners game.  My sister had received the tickets and this had been on the calendar for a few months.  Plenty of time to get t-shirts and hats and show up at the Angels stadium fully representing the Seattle Mariners.  Well except Lori, The Angels are her team so I made sure to get her a t-shirt to represent.  Her team won!  We had great seats on the 3rd base line and luckily for us, they were in the shade.

The rest of my Sunday was making dinner and food prep for the week.  The week is going just as fast.  Monday before work I went grocery shopping and we picked up a shelf to go above the dryer since we now have room.  Today was spent doing a little weeding until it got to dang hot, vacuuming the house and washing my car.