the advantages of having your plans go to hell, and other things I’m learning in my 40s

Yes, I ate that with a spoon. No, it is not mayo.

Since I turned 40 I have realized just how odd I am sometimes, and how much I really kind of love that. For example, I saw two things on the interwebs yesterday that prompted the photo above. One was a recipe for making cheesecake parfait things that were healthy and the other was this –

And so, being the dumbass that I am, I thought to myself “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”

What I did was mix a small box of sugar free cheesecake flavor pudding with 2C of non-fat plain yogurt. That’s it. I mixed it in a box and then divided it evenly in four little glass bowls.

Follow me for more recipes y’all.

Seriously, after the adventure in dog bathing yesterday afternoon I needed to unwind a little, and what better way to do that than experimenting with food. I ended up putting in 30 minutes on the treadmill, which was amazing for the stress, and then making myself a rather healthy dinner that was super easy. I have to say, I LOVE me some butternut squash noodles. I warmed up a package of those and some naked nugget things (not what they’re actually called but definitely what they look like! here’s a Target link if you’re interested) and called it good. It was good, honestly.

Some days it feels very much hit and miss as to whether I’ll eat too much, or enough, or get enough activity and water, and will I lose or will I gain, but it’s starting to feel natural to live like this and this morning I lost again so now I’m down 18lbs. That makes me feel good.

One of my very dear friends reminded me of something super important. Once I hit the magic 10% body weight gone number I’ll need to reach out to my doctors that prescribe my medication. That much difference in mass can totally throw off the med needs.

Dog Blossom went to the groomers today for a previously scheduled visit. As you can see, Garth did not give a single fuck that she was gone.

Last night’s dinner has now become tonight’s dinner and I’m eagerly anticipating it. I’m trying my hand at home made minestrone without a recipe. It’s soup. I have eaten this soup before. Seriously, how hard can it be?

So far it’s got some veggie broth, tomato juice, two cans of diced Italian style tomatoes (not drained), a can of cannelloni beans, frozen peas, baby carrots, celery, onion, salt, pepper, and Turkish oregano. Lancelot has requested that I add some orzo pasta to it later and I’m planning to toss in some fresh spinach. But honestly, it’s soup, as long as it doesn’t taste like diesel fuel it should be fine.

channeling my frustrations by becoming a domestic goddess

I don’t know about any of the rest of you but sometimes when I get good and pissed off I need to do something that’s kind of destructive but in reality is very productive. And, sick and this is, I often find that to be cleaning. Or making a plan for something. Or purging things from the house that we don’t need. You get the gist.

So last night after my work holiday Zoom party cocktail wore off I got to work. I had told Lancelot earlier in the week that I want the grocery run this morning to be the last we make until after the first of the year. (might have to go for milk but that’s a really quick trip)

With the upcoming holiday turning stores into battlefields in a normal year, and the rising positivity rates with Rona, and the fact that this is December in the Midwest so we could have major snow any fucking day now, I just want to have a well stocked arsenal of snacks and booze pantry and freezer.

As such I’ve been working on a rather massive undertaking to see what we have on hand already, what recipes I have most of the stuff for, and what other bits do I need to complete those. Lists are how I function.

I now have a list of THIRTY meals, just dinners, and I’ve split them into things I can make during the week and a few that would have to be done when L is home to eat at the same time with me. My grocery list (which is organized by what stuff is geographically close to what other stuff so hopefully I don’t fucking forget anything this time!) is kind of massive but a lot of it is either canned goods or things that start as frozen or things that will go in the freezer until I need them.

I’m not planning to do a ton of prep ahead of time but I know if I have my plan and I have all of the necessary components on hand I’m much more likely to actually make dinner.

I don’t know about y’all, but when I get to feeling down one of the very first self-care type things that goes out my window is cooking for myself. And I know that’s not healthy, so here I am trying to solve that problem. I feel good about this.

Not that I’m going to assume anyone is really all that interested, but in case you find yourself needing some kitchen inspiration, here’s my list.

  • CP tortellini w/ Alfredo
  • CP penne w/ Italian sausage and marinara
  • roasted veggies and sausage
  • goulash
  • CP roast w/ potatoes and carrots
  • spaghetti w/ meat sauce
  • CP chicken enchilada casserole
  • chicken noodle bake
  • CP pork tenderloin w/ pineapple
  • CP sweet and sour chicken
  • rice casserole
  • spam fried rice
  • veg fried rice
  • CP chicken curry
  • CP shrimp curry
  • CP pork chops w/ apples and kraut
  • cheddar sausages w/ mac and cheese
  • meatball soup
  • barley and beef soup
  • quick skillet lasagna
  • cranberry chipotle pork ribs
  • italian pork w/ sweet potatoes
  • beef stroganoff
  • spanish rice
  • gyros
  • tempura shrimp w/ rice pilaf
  • chicken legs in the air fryer w/ veggies
  • nachos
  • chicken sandwiches w/ chips
  • burgers w/ tater tots

CP is my abbreviation for crock pot, just FYI. Some of these I have actual recipes for and some of them are things I’ve been making for so long I just do it. I will happily share my chicken curry recipe with you. The original recipe came with my pressure cooker thing but then I modified the hell out of it.

Chicken Curry

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
  • Small onion, diced
  • Assorted veggies – we commonly use diced bell pepper, sliced zucchini, frozen green beans, and baby carrots – whatever suits your mood

Toss all of that in a slow cooker.

The sauce is:

  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs dried basil
  • ¾ tsp grated ginger (I often use the fresh stuff in a tube, either works)
  • 1 ½ Tbs curry powder (Penzeys makes the most amazing curry powder ever)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

I let all of that simmer at low until the chicken is cooked through, usually a good 6 hours. Serve with rice and naan.

Trust the little chubby chik to know some good food.

Proof that it is not all doom and gloom right now. And yes, there are cats on my t-shirt. That is my Meowy Christmas shirt. My sweater has sparkly snowflakes. My leggings are red with white snowflakes. And that is a big ass flower on my head. And that was all yesterday for the party. ❤

so there I was, damn certain I’d come up with a witty and brilliant idea for a blog title and it was all just gone…

Am I the only one that happens to? I would swear that sometime earlier this morning I’d come up with something absolutely wonderful to call this post, and now I’ve got a fist full of nada. Well shit.

I have been making some progress with the holiday knitting. The first gift is essentially finished and I’ve started on the second one. All of the necessary yarn is wound. I may, or may not, need to find one pattern yet. But I feel good about how that’s been going, in spite of the help I’ve been getting.

His favorite thing is to “make biscuits” on my leg. Painful at the best of times, annoying AF when I’m trying to knit.

But things in general are good at Casa del Crazypants. We’ve made our plans for Thanksgiving, such as they are, and we’ve started talking about what we want to do for Christmas together. Part of what makes every holiday a little trickier is that Lancelot doesn’t get any extra time off. Christmas and New Year’s are a little better this year since they fall during his normal weekend, but Thanksgiving doesn’t. So I’ll cook on either Friday or Saturday, not sure which yet, and one of our friends is going to join us. He’s every bit as careful about plague protocols as we are.

In other exciting news, I thought I would share my Eggnog Chai Coffee concoction with y’all.

So you start with the cold coffee. I brew a 12 cup pot with 3/4C regular coffee (Folgers right now I think) and add 1tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2tsp ground cardamon, 1/4tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/8tsp ground ginger. All of that goes into the basket together and I brew it like normal. I dump that pot into the clear pitcher you see in the back and add 1/2C Splenda, then pop it in the fridge. That lasts about a week.

In a large insulated cup (that one is 32oz) I put ice, about half way, and then add coffee to cover the ice. Next is the eggnog, a nice glug of it (so precise) and then I top it all off with milk. That’s it. It’s nothing too complicated, it’s not at all expensive, and I think it tastes fabulous. When eggnog isn’t in season (why is it ever not???) I just replace that part with half and half.

I do stop at the coffee shop sometimes but their drinks are smaller and they’re expensive. Plus, there’s usually a line. Making coffee in my own kitchen doesn’t require pants, and I enjoy that.