September 29, 2020

Tuesday 4

Tuesday 4 is in honor and memory of Toni Taddeo. Click HERE to play along with us!


1. How did you meet your husband/wife?

My husband, who I didn't know at the time, moved into the apartment directly above mine. The day he was moving in I happened to be outside when I saw him carrying a big heavy TV up the stairs. Being neighborly I asked if he needed help. He asked me if I would just open his door. Of course I obliged. That was our first official meeting. At the same time I was already thinking he was not bad on the eyes ;)

In the evenings I always sat out on my little patio. I guess he noticed. A few evenings later he started spending evenings out on his little patio above mine. He was a musician. He would sit out there playing his guitar and singing love songs. Maybe a week or so later, after I had been serenaded every evening, he left a little note with a single long stemmed red rose on my patio for me to find when I went out that evening. I had a feeling, but then I knew for sure that his patio appearances and singing love songs weren't a coincidence. A few nights later he appeared downstairs outside my patio, again with a single red rose. We sat out there and talked the night away. The rest is history.  :)

2. How did you know he/she was “the one”?

I have no idea how I knew, but I definitely knew and very early on. I guess he knew too. I've heard this story from his brothers every time we see them to this day. I don't think it had even been a week since we had met. His brothers were visiting and he told them she's the one, I'm going to marry her.

3. How did he propose?

We had only been together for about three months. We were in the car heading somewhere when he looked over at me and said let's get married. I said ok! He said let's go look at rings this weekend, I said ok! We did, and we had our wedding four months later. Crazy!

4. Do you have any favorite stories from your marriage or about your husband/wife?

We purposely planned the wedding for April Fools Day, it just seemed fitting for our crazy selves. It was a small wedding, just close friends and family. Every single person at the wedding thought it was all some kind of an elaborate April Fools Day joke. We spent the entire reception trying to convince everyone that we really, for real, just got married!  

And we lived happily ever after. The End :)

September 27, 2020

Weekly Menu Plan

Since the Miami Dolphins played on Thursday night, and because it's still too hot out to spend the entire afternoon and evening outdoors here in Florida, we have decided to skip our family football gathering again this weekend. This social distancing from my family is driving me crazy! So it looks like it will just me and the hubs again. Of course we will still be doing our gameday goodies, just smaller portions. Let the day of football and food begin!

Sunday - Football Buffet
Ultimate Charcuterie Board
Shrimp Cocktail Bowl
Smoked Gruyere, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry Bites
Easy Watermelon Sorbet

Monday - Football buffet leftovers

Tuesday - Lemon Chicken, asparagus, wild rice

I'm featuring Natasha's Kitchen for the Lemon Chicken recipe and beautiful photo. Click the photo to go directly to the recipe.

WednesdayLemon Chicken Fettuccine with Sun-dried Tomatoes (using Tuesday's leftover chicken)

ThursdayFrench Dip Sandwiches, fries

FridayPortillo's Chopped Salad (add any remaining leftover chicken)

Saturday - Family night! Ordering pizzas, the boys are bringing the brews and daughter is bringing dessert :)

September 24, 2020

Easy Cooking Hacks

I used to do a lot of batch cooking back in the days when I had three children at home, had to work full time, and had to cook for and take care of my parents as well. I would often do a cook and freeze day once a month to have lots of meals set and ready to go all month long.

I thought I'd put this out here because batch cooking is not only great for busy families, but for anyone! Seriously, the fewer you cook for the more variety of meals you can make. Batch cooking can really be great for people who just don't enjoy cooking too. It saves so much time and effort - less shopping, planning, food prep, clean up, and cooking time!

Let's start with slow cookers, I don't have an Instant Pot but I don't see why it couldn't be used in place of the slow cooker, and let's talk beef for today. (I feel a series of posts coming on lol)

Most slow cooker recipes for beef use a cut like chuck roast. My choice is London broil. It might cost a little more per pound but there is almost zero waste on London broil, where chuck roast is usually a ton of fat and gristle that has to be discarded after cooking. I think the London broil comes out cheaper in the end and a lot it's less work when it comes to the shredding too.

I cut a London broil into large cubes, add a cup of beef broth, and season with my go to Montreal Steak seasoning. I don't bother with searing, but you can if you prefer. Cook on low for 8 hours. (If cooking for a family, 2-3 London broils could easily fit in the slow cooker to be cooked at the same time). One makes plenty of meals for us since I'm only cooking for two, and I don't like to leave it sitting around in the freezer for too long.

Photo from Pinterest

Once cooked, shred with two forks, and put back in the slow cooker for about 15 minutes to absorb some of the juices. Next, remove from slow cooker and divide into meal portions depending on how many you are serving for each meal. 

Keep out what you want to use right away and freeze the rest of the portions for some quick and easy meals. Let cool first and then store flat in freezer bags to save freezer space, be sure to label them too.

The first night I usually serve it over egg noodles with a quick steamed green veggie on the side - thicken sauce for gravy (optional) or make French dip sandwiches. Both are basically using it as is. You could use all portions just for these two easy meals or add some extras to make totally different meals.

Here are a few ways I have used the portions from the freezer in the past...

Korean Beef (In place of ground beef for lettuce wraps, over rice or rice noodles)
BBQ beef sandwiches (Just add BBQ sauce and buns)
Beef, egg, and cheese breakfast tacos
Steak and veggie quiche (great way to use up leftover veggies too)
Shredded Beef Tacos (Add a teaspoon of salsa per serving and fry until meat is hot and starts to crisp. Your choice of toppings. I like mine on the authentic side with crumbled Caso Freso, diced onion, jalapeno and cilantro)

All super easy and dinner will be done in a flash!

September 23, 2020

Throwback Thursday

It's time for Throwback Thursday! If you want to play along feel free to use the badge and please link back to Seaside Simplicity to help spread the word. Come join us, the linky will be open until Midnight on Sunday. No rules just fun! 

Something got me thinking about snack and convenience foods when I was a kid recently. I figured I'd look up a few things I remember to see if you remember them too. (Photos from Pinterest)

First up is Charles Chips, we always called them Charlie Chips. Not sure if that was just my family, a neighborhood thing or what. The cool thing about these was that they were delivered to your door by the Charlie Chips guy and they came in a big giant tin. I don't know why that was so cool but it was. If the delivery truck was spotted in the neighborhood all the kids would rush home to wait for their family's delivery. My grocery store doesn't carry them, but I'm pretty sure the brand is still around.

Cracker Jack was the best because it came with a toy inside. Do you remember trying to dig down to the bottom of the box to get the prize before you even started eating them and spilling half the box as a result? Cracker Jack is still around but no more toys. That just kind of ruins the fun.

Does anyone remember these? I loved them! I thought they were so much better than Pop Tarts. I don't know why they ever did away with them. I'd like to say I wish they would make a comeback, but I don't eat that processed stuff anymore. I'm sure they wouldn't be as good as I remember them anyway lol.

Speaking of breakfast foods, remember when we got toys in cereal boxes too? I remember this Fruit Loop box as if I just saw it yesterday - and why is there Pig Latin on the box?! I have no idea what cereal I even liked as a kid. How about you? I think Fruit Loops are still around, but the box sure doesn't look like this one.

I remember this being my favorite to make chocolate milk, or even better was to sneak it by the spoonful when no one was looking. Thinking back I actually may have wanted it more for that than for the chocolate milk! 

Most repulsive pizza ever lol. Do you remember? It had a mix for the crust, tomato paste, powdered parmesan cheese and that was it. I thought it was so nasty, even as a kid. It had to have been really bad!

I bet everyone remembers this one! I even still remember the commercial - Do the moon walk like the astronauts... Remember?! I don't recall even liking it that much but it was too cool to not have it. If the astronauts had it I had to have it too!

And these too! I absolutely loved these but they weren't around for long. Turns out Pillsbury did a little false advertising back in the day, these were never sent to space with the astronauts. They had to change the name to just Food Sticks and I guess they lost their appeal after that.

My mom always let me get this when I had slumber parties. I think this might still be around, not sure but I know it was still around when my kids were young. Of course they had to have it too. Just a big, giant ick! 

I can't wait to hear which of these you remember too!