Tis the season for figgy pudding

With Halloween over we are officially in “Holiday Season” – time to indulge in food, drink, and good cheer … in small doses.   We had guests for the last two weeks which gave us a reality check that we really do need to be careful with how much food we intake.  While all meals were not horribly unhealthy, we just ate a lot of it; we also went through a few more six-packs if you know what I mean.   Restaurants were frequented as well, usually we have 1 date night per week but we went out maybe 2 times each week.  Even though we went on living our daily lives as normal it was hard to not have fun with our friends who just moved here. Yes we have 4 years to enjoy their company but we’ve really missed them the last year, it was good to catch up and hang out like old times.  Those old times are haunting us now, lol!

Josh’s sugar levels were all over the place, some reached 200.  He hasn’t seen those numbers since first diagnosed; he typically sits in the low to mid-100’s.  So even though I kept saying “we’ve been eating bad” – I got the cold shoulder.  I meant ‘bad’ with the concern of his sugar levels, not necessarily greasy or fast food ‘bad’.  This was a good lesson because it’s the first time we’ve had guests at our house [since the diabetes diagnoses] and it really showed us that with the holiday season fast approaching, we do indeed need to be more aware of what we eat while entertaining.   My family will be here for Christmas so you better believe I will be hounding Josh about what he eats; I’ll also do a better job of making just enough food so no one will be tempted with 2 or 3 servings!

On to the goodies we indulged in … man they were delicious.  I don’t regret the flavors of any meal but I sure do regret the amount I ate!

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Who doesn’t love a pretzel bun? It’s pretty much a trend right now and I completely understand why.  A giant soft pretzel that you can put your choice of protein (cheddar sausages for us) on. Hello! You can’t resist. Top that with American cheese, sauerkraut, and ketchup/German mustard, sign me up! We probably could have swapped out the tots & onion rings for a salad … but we didn’t. Talk about carb overload.  Now that we know where to buy these buns, I’m sure they’ll meet our dinner table in the future but making sure Josh doesn’t eat FIVE of them. Yepp.  *This recipe was a revamp courtesy of Chelsea – I’ll def. make it again; a great party/finger food sammie!  Originally planned were hot dogs/whole wheat buns, sweet p tots, and salad. As I started looking in my freezer I decided to clear it out and bake whatever we had.  Hence the salad getting cut, ha.
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Next on the line up: shrimp scampi pizza, 2 crusts: white & wheat. Another meal that doesn’t seem ‘bad’ but with all the butter for the sauce: fat turns into bad sugars.  How can one turn away butter though. I mean, it’s butter. It’s golden brick stature attracts people from afar. Of course you look at Paula Deen and what’s the first thing she cut from most of her recipes when diagnosed with diabetes – BUTTER! The sauce was amazing though, it had so much garlic I actually scared away one vampire that came to trick or treat 😉  No really, you could smell the garlic from our garage door before even entering the house. I loved it.  I’ll need to figure out a way to lighten up Chelsea’s recipe because we need that pizza in our lives.

Speaking of trick or treat … I have never seen so many parents driving along while their kids walked from house to house. Again, San Antonio is the most obese city in AMERICA for a reason. Get out and walk!!!!!

 

This was my Sunday activity:
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HOMEMADE PIEROGIES.  100% homemade in every definition possible.
I personally mashed the potatoes, diced the red onion and mushrooms, hand mixed the dough (Josh had to jump in and finish that), hand rolled the dough, hand cut the pierogi circles, and stuffed almost 3 dozen pierogies.  Josh boiled & pan fried them, kept them warm in a crock pot.  Was the 3 hours worth it to create these little boogers? YEPP!  Yes you read that correct – 3 hours.  I had packed my mixer and I don’t own a pasta thingy. Hey if you want something bad enough you gotta do what you gotta do!  So do you need a $300 Kitchenaid? Nope.  The mixer I have would have worked fine (old school Cuisinart that belonged to my mother); I could have used a hand cranked pasta thingy though, rolling took forever to get it thin enough and the consistency just wasn’t there [from pierogi to pierogi].

After all of that work I asked Josh how come bakers weren’t thin considering the amount of elbow grease goes in to baking … his response: because they eat everything they make. LOL 😉

 

 

 

 

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do not pick up a bottle by the cap

How many times has your mother told you this little tid bit of knowledge … gah, well, I forgot and wound up with olive oil on me, the counter top, two cabinets, the floor, inside a grocery bag, and then almost in Ella’s belly (such a good helper, wanting to clean up after me … we got her away from it in time, don’t worry).

And that was only Wednesday afternoon … I still had to get through the rest of the day! So much for being excited that it was ….

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I’m clearly behind on blogging so today’s will be longer but hopefully sticking to a paragraph for each day, Monday-Thursday.

Monday:

Originally scheduled were leftovers but Chelsea offered to cook up her family’s recipe of sausage and peppers … wowzers, definitely a keeper. The pictures say it all … think of it as a picture book 🙂 We all loved those as kids, no words! Easiest read over.
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Tuesday:

Tilapia burgers (store bought – FRESH seafood counter), veggie medley (red & green peppers, red onion, zucchini, and yellow squash + herb/garlic marinade), and whatever fries were in the freezer: waffle & sweet potato.

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Veggies were done in the AM so the marinade would really set and coat the veggies.  We needed a “sauce” for the burgers, Chelsea & I combined forces and came up with: sour cream as the base, garlic, green onions, and lime juice.  SO DELISH.  See, 2 blondes are better than 1 … wait, what?! 😉

Wednesday:

Slow cooker BBQ pork sliders – I used the same recipe as before but turned them into sliders – super easy creations. Broccoli bites for a side and you’re set! I added a TON of cheese this time to the bites and they were 100% better.

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Thursday:

I should just stop cooking after Chelsea made dinner last night … double wowzers, she hit this one out of the park!  I even busted out my Thanksgiving serving tray for this meal.  Presentation is key!

Sword fish steaks with a tomato/caper/fennel/onion/garlic “sauce” + grilled asparagus (I heated up some leftover orzo/broccoli since I do not share the same passion for asparagus as the others do).

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Boys were busy doing their thing, the steaks were cooked to perfection and we popped the asparagus in a foil pouch (a la camping style cooking) on the top rack.

Obviously this is not an everyday meal, we have Chelsea & Cory staying with us this week before they move into their downtown loft. I’m not going to complain if another person offers to cook, a night off is always welcomed. Or in this case, two nights off!

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So if you ever wondered what a fridge would look like with food for an entire week, to feed 4 adults, here it is.  Plus that darn Chillow, I hate that thing. Mostly I hate how small our fridge is.

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It’s funny because I lived with 4 people before and our fridge was never this full … that was also in college where most of our meals consisted of fast food and beer. Oh what a diet!  Boy how the times have changed.

There’s corn in the sausage?

We didn’t even get to sit down for our entire dinner. Welcome to my Tuesday. While we don’t have children, our dogs take up any/all of our ‘should be’ quiet time.

Leading up to dinner was fine, found a small box on the front porch from my aunt … she sent a kitchen timer.  Proof that someone reads my blog, lol.  Then I got an email inquiring about my insanely awesome music skills to possibly teach at a school, the principle found my lesson ad on Craigslist.  It is a little known fact that I was hired for my first “big kid” job after posting a private lesson ad on Craigslist.  Good things can come from that site so maybe this is a sign!

Dinner cooked perfectly, since Josh was supposed to work until 7 I planned on those “ready to cook” sausages, leftover zucchini, and mashed p’s that I was too lazy to make last night.  Oh, so he got done at 6 … I cooked dinner ASAP because we were starving.

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Since instant mashed p’s are a bit dull I always add my own ingredients.  Tonight’s plan was chives and sour cream however when I took the cup of chives out of my fridge, surprise surprise … the water was half frozen. Stupid fridge that freezes! UGH! This is the second time my chives were frozen and they didn’t grow much since the last time, I’m pretty sure they were dead.  Ok, backup plan … keep the sour cream but add TONS of cheese. We love cheese; it’s the one thing Josh can eat as much as he wants of.

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As I get the sausages and veggies in the broiler I receive a text message from my Little, coincidentally asking about the broiler because she remembered it’s my best friend. I love it, a second reader, lol! It is a fickle feature on the oven, while I love broilers you must watch the food you put in there. It can burn in the matter of 30 seconds.  Speaking of which, as I was typing a second text I smelled smoke.  Seriously? I was telling my Little to watch her food closely then I forget about mine? It was ok though, the sausages were starting to pop but they weren’t burnt.

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I cook all meats on a cookie cooling rack now. I don’t have to worry about flipping the meat and it cooks evenly on both sides. Just be sure to spray the cooling rack to prevent sticking (hence PAM in a previous photo).

As I closed the oven door Geno shoved his face in and I don’t think I’ve ever screamed so loud before. Fortunately that scared him and he ran away.

Now here’s what happened DURING dinner. We sit down, I forgot a fork for Josh. He gets up for one then decides to feed the dogs.  Now we’re yelling at them to “get back” because Geno is confused that he’s allowed to eat but can’t come 1 foot closer into the dining room while we’re eating. Ella and McLane sleep while we eat and once we’re done, they go for it. However if we call Geno so he can eat, then the other two dummies think they can come in the dining room.  It’s a vicious circle of defeat.  Half way through dinner Geno gets sick, I’ll spare you the details. We lose our appetite.  We use the babiest of baby voices so none of them hide; we wanted to get all the dogs outside.  They hide if they’re in trouble, they know … except poor Geno wasn’t in trouble, we think he could have used some Tums or something (or maybe it was a delay of scaring the sh*t out of him from previously mentioned face/oven incident). After cleaning everything up we sit back down to dinner, food was cold but it still tasted fine.  This is when Josh asks “hey is there corn in this sausage?” He’s on his third sausage and just now realized it was stuffed with green chiles, black beans, red peppers, and corn.  I told you he doesn’t taste his food.

Clean up from dinner, make sure the dogs are still doing ok then Josh gets a text from work “hey, want to help pick up a new group?” He looked at me like he was begging to open one gift early on Christmas Eve.  Off he went, should be home by 9pm.  I’ve seen him for a total of 2 hours today.  I mean, if I said “no” that would be totally defeating the purpose of why we moved out here … this is his new career.  Secretly I wish I they’d have an ‘honorary TI for the day’ program. I’d love to just be a fly on the wall while those kids get a dose of reality, right Danielle?

*picking up a new group is when TI’s let new trainees know how boot camp works… and who’s in charge. Yes sir!