This is where I review things like beer and freeze dried soup…

I swear to all things food related I did not eat them together nor was I hung over.

Mr. Wonderful had been wanting to try Ranger India Pale Ale (from the New Belgium Brewing Company). So we did some research and found out it has a very strong hops flavor… which would make it an ale for me not him.

So we bought a case.

The during flavor is wonderful if you are into hops… which I am… and it has a nice texture while you drink; HOWEVER, unless you keep drinking (as in rarely set it down) you are going to get this wonderfully horrid aftertaste of staleness in your mouth and it will be with you for quite some time. I was very disappointed; although, I would be willing to try other beers from New Belgium Brewing Company… maybe a porter or lager if I come across any. You have one more chance… NBBC… or two chances depending on the circumstances.

The soup: Dr. McDougall’s Pad Thai Noodle

I wake up at 04:30… yeah… in the morning. It gives me a great start to my day, time to relax and get things done. I usually find that after a normal breakfast of a fruit smoothie (homemade), OJ, bagel, etc… I am STARVING in a few hours. The thought was to give myself something savory instead of sweet and see if that made it easier. It’s almost noon and I am doing pretty good.

How was the soup? A little salty, but very filling. I wanted a little something crunchy on top or to mix in… maybe if they had another packet stuck in there of something crunchy to put on top after cooking, but it was still very good on its own. It was a bit on the pricier side for me… about $2.50 at Food Lion… for something that is 1 serving. I would buy it if I had a good coupon or if it was on sale. The quality and flavor is there. Good job!

~Emme

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Frazzled

And that is what best describes me… for right now…

So this weekend I attempted to make a yummy chicken dish out of every tasty ingredient I could find in the freezer…. well Emme tried…

What went into the pot:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Box of Chardonnay (was not in the freezer)
  • Half a stick of butter
  • Carrots
  • Cherry tomatoes (were in the freezer)
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Diakon Radishes (they are way too bitter fresh, but decent steamed)
  • Garlic (from the fridge)
  • Herbs de Provance (from the spice rack)

After cooking on High until chicken hit 175 degrees and remained that way for a bit (I don’t like raw chicken and my crock pot came with a probe), I declared it done. The vegetables had completely absorbed the lovely bitter off flavor of the raw diakon radishes, though the diakons themselves tasted a bit like squash. The broth and chicken were fine over plain rice so that’s how we ate it. Mr. Wonderful and I saved the chicken and pitched the veggies.

What to do with the broth? Beans…

Into the pot went 4 cups of mixed beans, 6 cups of water, a bay-leaf and a packet of sazon seasoning. It cooks on low overnight and you end up with slightly mushier beans than I usually end up with when cooked with just H2O… oh well they still taste good over rice.

What to do with the chicken? Use up some more leftovers…

I cooked up some dried pasta and put some Vodka sauce on half of the chicken for Mr. Wonderful and some Alfredo Sauce and Feta Cheese on my half. Was not too bad.

 

Moral of the story… we probably won’t be buying diakons any time soon.

Amanda

Let us just pretend everything is normal…

Hello again world,

I’ve spent the last few months trying to focus on figuring out who I am… as most of you know. It is said to be a hard process after losing a close family member. As some of you know I have lost 3 very close and special people in two months. Taking care of others and devoting my time to helping my family has always been a big part of what defines me… being the most dependable, dropping everything, working hard, etc. Having this new world view should give me time to focus inwardly… on the things I had never had a chance to take the time on. Still, I do not feel like I am there yet. I have not even returned to my usual self, my sewing machine or unpacking the rest of this seasons clothes…

It is said that this period of shock should end soon… as if at any time I could wake up from this foggy mess that has been muddled in my brain for the last few months; however, I think it is more than just a “healing” process. How do I define my priorities now?

1) Family first… albeit it is just Mr. Wonderful and I right now, I am learning to say “no” when before I would have said “yes” to random side projects that would eat up our small amount of time together. Why yes, I do love spending time with Mr. Wonderful even when we are doing nothing. This also means I have to take time to be with me and do the little crafty things that make me happy.

2) Extended family… his parents, my parents, siblings, the cousins and friends so close they are family. They are important as well. I try my darnedest to do something every now and then for everyone… a bit overwhelming at times, but we do love them all and they are worth it.

3) Work… sometimes this ties in with #1… we both have to work to keep the bills paid and to save towards the future.

Can I really only categorize priorities into three groups? I’m going to right now. Of course there are subgroups and intermixing between some of the categories. Though, Mr. Wonderful comes first… always… even when he does not like my cooking.

In the end, I am still the same clumsy “secret” agent I’ve always been, just with a little bit heavier of a heart than I am used to carrying around.

~Emme