Home > Archive: April, 2012

Archive for April, 2012

My phone isn't "smart"

April 28th, 2012 at 10:48 am

Most of my friends have phones that do about everything. Until about 3 months ago, my phone was pretty ratty looking and I had to charge it about every night. It wasn't because it was one of those phones with everything, the phone was just about done for. I looked into battery replacement and concluded it was cheaper to get a new phone.

Have you been phone shopping lately? All the different things and how disappointed the sales person was when I said my cell was for making and receiving phone calls. Period. Tried to sell me a memory card for photos and this and that. I need this for a data plan. He wasn't a happy camper when I said I don't need a fancy plan...I don't text, don't send photos, and didn't plan on accessing the 'net.

Many of my friends were shocked. No texting? Really?

I explained that our phone plan is bare bones and I wasn't going to get a more expensive plan to text. DH wouldn't text nor would my brother so I cannot see the extra expense. Apparently my friends think I am nothing short of weird.

Being pragmatic, I can't see spending more for something that I am not interested in using. It's just one more expense and I would prefer to not spend money that way.

So, no smart phone for me...guess my phone is kind of dumb and I use it as a phone...make and receive calls...kind of unheard of, isn't it?

Garage sales were ghastly!

April 28th, 2012 at 02:59 am

OK, maybe ghastly is a bit strong. But, they were sad.

Each spring our subdivision does sales on a Friday and Saturday in April. DH got up early, showered, and hit them early with a list of things we were looking for as well as a list of things a friend was looking for.

He came home empty handed. He said the pickin's were slim.

I wonder if the economy is showing it's hoary head.

I suggested this to DH -- perhaps folks don't have the money to buy new stuff, so they aren't letting go of anything we are interested in, just trying to sell those things that aren't necessary.

I know the local thrift shops are booming around here. I certainly hope things start looking up for the families in my community as well as the rest of the country. Not because I feel the desire for better garage sales, but it's difficult for so many families to keep their heads above water.

Only two of us brought our lunch

April 25th, 2012 at 12:00 am

We had training today for Common Core reading. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is national standards for reading that most of the U.S. has adopted. Teachers normally do not get more than 30 minutes for lunch, so on training days, we often are allowed an hour.

I packed my lunch this morning -- a few leftovers and some fruit. My partner did the same. We were the only two left in the room as the mass exodus left to go purchase lunch.

I looked around when they came back. Many have complained how their money just doesn't go as far as it did or they have huge expenses...yet they thought nothing of going out for lunch.

When they came this morning, many brought their breakfast they had picked up or soda or coffee purchased. My old checkered Thermos almost seems out of place. One person was telling me what a deal it was for the soda they bought this morning on the way as I drank my home brewed coffee and then my Thermos of water after lunch.

It's a treat to go out -- I realize that, but tomorrow when we return, I bet many will treat themselves again to a hurried lunch and a thinner pocketbook.

Flat bread savings

April 23rd, 2012 at 11:17 pm

I hit the library again and saw a cookbook with cooking with olive oil. It is a type of flatbread and I think one could serve it in place of cornbread. Other than the carbs, it appears to be pretty healthy:

Oatmeal honey bread

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup honey

1 cup milk

1 egg

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Coat a 9 inch round or square baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. In a separate bowl add the wet and whick. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir just until moistened.

Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Can be served warm or cooled entirely.

We will be eating it with a few meals this week...fairly economical as far as bread goes too.

When is enough enough?

April 17th, 2012 at 11:56 pm

There was a letter in an advice column this week where the writer said they had invited neighbors over for dinner multiple times, but it was never reciprocated, although these same people invite others over. The writer asked when was it OK to stop or something to that effect and how to maintain the friendship.

Good question. We have a couple we have had over multiple times. She is a self professed "great cook" -- her words, not mine, and she has invited other folks over to their home for meals and then tells us about it. She goes into detail about all the things she did to make their meal enjoyable and how pleased their guests were.

When we have invited them over, the dinner conversation usually consists of the "great cook" telling me how she makes the same dish or similar dish and implying how much better it is.

I am thinking she is just plain rude. I'm not claiming to be a gourmet by any means, but unless something can cause an allergic reaction, I would think one would hold one's tongue. Guess I have been wrong about this all these years.

So, when does one decide to stop inviting someone over?

HGTV Green House and recycling

April 15th, 2012 at 09:55 pm

Friday night we watched the program on the new HGVT Green House. We enjoy seeing the new products out there and how people are trying to help the planet.

I had to chuckle when they kept acting so very self-righteous about reusing furniture and materials and shopping and flea markets and antique shops. They acted almost like it was their very own original idea!

Most folks who have to watch their pennies and even those who don't, but want to, reuse and repurpose things. When I look at my kitchen, so much of the stuff in it was bought used. Or, I inherited it from my grandmother.

We often go to antique shops. I not only like the idea of saving a little money, but the idea of buying something that was probably made in America so many years ago. I'm a little tired of all the cheaply made stuff from overseas.

It was just interesting how the commentators were singing the praises of repurposing things and how glorious it was like it was their very original idea. I think most of us reuse and repurpose if at all possible.

There's a little email making the rounds about an older lady going to the store and the cashier says something about your generation not understanding about going green because she hadn't brought her own bags. It was then pointed out how people used to buy soda in glass bottles and return them to be reused. I was thinking about all the canning that used to go on and people used and reused those canning jars for years!

I know HGTV has to sensationalize to keep the viewer interested, but some of us have been "green" in a lot of areas far longer than the network has been around.

I need to go and heat up the sloppy joes in my second hand pot and serve on my second hand plates. Just thought I'd give a few of my thoughts when it came to being green.

Ham again...

April 13th, 2012 at 12:37 am

We had ham for supper. We originally had ham for Easter dinner. Then again for supper Sunday night. I had some for lunch on Monday as well as ham and eggs Monday. We ate it again tonight. Hubby had some for lunch too this week. I think we got our money's worth out of that $15 ham. Three meals Sunday noon; three meals Sunday supper. (We had a guest Sunday and then sent her home with some for her supper.) Supper Monday, lunch Monday, DH's lunch Tuesday, and then tonight...let's see 12 individual servings on one ham! I can honestly say I was glad to see the end of it for now, but I feel like we did pretty well...and it was economical.

"I really came for the cornbread..."

April 9th, 2012 at 12:14 am

Today is Easter and around my home, my hubby really likes a traditional Easter dinner at noon...ham, scalloped potatoes, cornbread, green beans, and deviled eggs. Anyway, that's what he considers traditional.

Each year for each holiday we extend an invitation to a former neighbor or ours. Sometimes she accepts. This Easter, she accepted. In addition to the above, I also fixed honey glazed carrots, peas, and a white cake with white icing since that is her favorite cake and her birthday was Thursday.

The table is set, the food is out, and I suggest I dip up the potatoes since I just got the pan out of the oven and didn't want anyone to burn themselves. She laughed and said that was OK and then said, "I really came for the cornbread." We laughed and then she was afraid she hurt my feelings. I told her no, it was taken as a compliment and she could have as much as she wanted.

The cornbread is baked in a skillet and it is Paula Deen's corny cornbread recipe, except I use less sour cream and more creamed corn. Why? Because her recipe calls for one of those expensive little cans of corn and I buy the corn on sale so I use what is on hand.

We had a nice dinner and we sent some leftovers, including cornbread home with her for her supper.

As a cook, having someone compliment on something is never taken as an insult.

What is a traditional Easter dinner for you?

Soup's On!

April 6th, 2012 at 02:02 pm

Our weather has been weird! Living in the Midwest we didn't really have much of a winter...unseasonably warm! Then, the past few weeks it has been in the 70s and 80s and flowers are popping out, trees are blooming, grass is growing...DH has mowed twice already!

Normally one doesn't think about a hearty soup in this kind of weather, but fortunately DH likes soup year round. I had a meeting after school last night and wanted to get something fixed that we could have ready when I got home. I tried this new soup recipe and hubby took one bite and informed me it was a keeper!

Hearty Tomato Pasta Soup

1 lb bulk Italian sausage
6 cups beef broth
1 can stewed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
2 cups sliced zucchini
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped in small pieces
3/4 cup of pasta of your choice

I browned the sausage with the chopped onion. I sauted the vegetables in extra virgin olive oil. I then added the sausage to the vegetables then everything else and let it simmer for about an hour and a half. I added the pasta the last half hour and it cooked. It was whole wheat pasta so I figured I could add it that early. I think you could wait and add the other pasta later. I refrigerated it over night and heated it up when we got home. With crackers it was a very, very heart meal!

By fixing it ahead, it meant we weren't tempted to go out and there is enough left over for lunch!

Tried another bread recipe!

April 1st, 2012 at 07:09 pm

A couple of weeks ago when I was on spring break, I checked a out bunch of cookbooks and cooking magazines.

So, each evening as we watched T.V., I would peruse these periodicals and tomes. I found some interesting recipes. The following is for a bread that isn't really sweet, but still kind of yummy.

Savory Sweet Potato Bread

1 1/2 cups uncooked shredded sweet potato (about 1/2 potato)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sesame seed

Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking loaf pan. Mix all ingredients but sesame seed. Put in loaf pan and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

10 servings and 31 g of carbs per serving

I made a loaf last week after attending a meeting that kind of upset me. There is something about baking something and having it come out that gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

The first time I made it, the batter seemed dry and I added and egg and that seemed to take care of it. I think although the eggs were supposed to be large, they must have been on the small side.

Anyway, it's kind of nice recipe and I feel that it sort of is healthy with the sweet potato and the whole grain flour. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!