Sunday, November 4, 2012

Food Samples - Always a Good Thing!

As I have explained in a couple of recent posts, I am now working at Campbell Soup placing orders for sales samples of the many different products Campbell's offers. Everyone has samples sitting on their desks except me, so I was looking forward to the day when I would finally have my own samples.

That day arrived on Friday when I was taken to World Headquarters to finally get my security badge key card so I can let myself into the office instead of hoping someone would hear me knock. Suzanne, who drove me down, had to pick up some samples bags that were given out at a meeting our team didn't get to attend. She made sure I got one, too.

Inside the bag were several products I hadn't seen before, except for the Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies. There was a bag of Pepperidge Farm Simply Potatoes Baked Cracker Chips, a box of Sweet Potato and Tomatillo Bisque, a pouch of Marsala Skillet Sauce, and a Microwavable Jammin' Jerk Chicken with Rice & Beans soup. When I got home, we immediately opened the cookies and the Cracker Chips. 

I have to admit I'm not a fan of the Milano cookies. There's nothing wrong with them, but the dark chocolate and chopped almonds were not my favorite combination. My daughter, however, loved them and took them to work with her to snack on while she valeted cars. 

The Cracker Chips, however, gained a fan. I really liked them! They are super crispy without being too hard. They also have potatoes as an ingredient without actually tasting like potato chips. I was impressed at how flavorful they were without being fried. I've tried baked potato chips, but the flavor just isn't there. These, however, changed my perspective on the quality of baked snacks.

I also got to check out the company store (open only to employees) and found our favorite condensed soups for only $.49/can. I bought four cans of chicken noodle for my daughter and a HUGE black soup mug for my friend for Christmas. He never likes anything I get him, but I do think he'll like this. In fact, I need to go back to get one for me, I think. I was hoping they'd have travel mugs, but all they had was Goldfish cracker logo mugs and I knew he wouldn't like that. I do have to go back sometime, though, in order to do some more shopping. Most definitely!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

REVIEW: Glade Expressions Fragrance Mist and Oil Diffuser

I want to tell you about a product I recently tried. They were provided to me, as a BzzAgent, in exchange for checking them out and sharing the information with others as well as sharing discount coupons for the products.

The fragrance I chose was Pineapple Mangosteen because I tend to have sensitivity to other so-called "natural" fragrances or flowery scents. I like the fruited scents because they are more pleasant and less troublesome to my sinuses and eyes.

I love the Fragrance Mist - it is really unique in that you just squeeze it. It has no trigger or button to push. And, it is refillable. You just remove the insert and replace it with the fragrance of your choice. Best of all, the mist is super fine and expands to fill a large area very quickly. We've used it both downstairs where the cats' box is and upstairs in our bathroom. 

I also love the fragrance. It is PERFECT. Light, fruity, very realistic rather than chemical smelling. It isn't overpowering, yet it quickly fills the area with fragrance. I can't imagine going back to the other canned sprays I used previously. They do have nice fragrances, but it takes more of them to cover the same area and you can feel them in your lungs when you inhale too much of them.

As for the Oil Diffuser - I didn't know quite what to expect. I have used very pricey diffusers in the past, but the fragrances were hardly noticeable. But, I took this one to my new job and have it in my cubicle. Someone walking past said, "Do I smell piƱa coladas?" It's such a wonderful smell, although a tad heady in such a closed-in area. I have noticed some eye discomfort if I have it too close to where I'm sitting, so I keep it behind me as you step inside my cubicle. It's so nice to have a grand smelling environment to work in.

I especially like how the oil base is replaceable and the holder is so decorative. It can fit in any decor, but I especially like the artistic design. So much more affordable than those you buy through that home candle party program and much more efficient!

As for the coupons, I gave some to my landlady who just LOVES to have fragrances in her kitchen and the rest I shared with people at work. I am very happy with both items and plan to replace the ones I have when they are empty. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Too Little Too Long Without a Post

For my first two weeks of my new job, I had no computer, no phone and virtually no work. Then, I got a computer and all of a day in training (if you can call it that since the person training me was packing to leave the job for good) and all last week I struggled to understand what the heck I was doing even as I was being trained for even more things to do. I was so deep to the bone tired at the end of each day, I didn't care whether or not I got online. I didn't post on Facebook and I barely answered email. I was just beat!!

Apparently, I'm adapting because this week, so far, I've been able to come home and NOT immediately fall into a deep sleep. Yesterday, I stopped at the neighborhood grocer and got bread, rolls and lunch meat for work. I got home in time to smell the roast beef I'd had in the crock pot all day and enjoyed the most wonderful hot roast beef sandwich for supper!

Tonight, I stopped at the bank, came home and watched television, ate my leftover Chinese food lunch, and have been playing online for just over an hour. And, I'm about to go downstairs to get my clothes from the dryer. Maybe this stuff doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment, but if you had been able to know how I felt last week compared to how I feel this week, you'd know that these things really ARE accomplishments! My back has ached all day, but even that's nothing compared to how bad my entire body felt last week. 

But, back to that crock pot beef.....I got myself a crock pot one day last week. I had seen one on Freecycle and when I responded, the person ahead of me had changed their mind, so the pot was mine if I wanted it. I wanted it. It's a Hamilton Beach 6 Qt Crock Watcher with AutoShift and a removable crock. 

The first thing I did was buy a couple of bottom round roasts that were on sale at ShopRite and put one in the freezer Sunday night while looking forward to Monday morning when I would put the other one in the crock. Although I was thinking at the time that we'd do mashed potatoes and gravy, Deb was too tired from working 15 1/2 hours the day before and only getting about 5 hours sleep before going to work again, so I just opted to slice the meat and make a hot roast beef sandwich with one of the Kaiser rolls I'd bought on the way home. 

I so enjoyed that sandwich!! I had added a packet of onion soup mix to the meat and a couple cups of water, so there was a nice broth to have with the meat. The sandwich was sloppy and flavorful and it was wonderful! When Deb came downstairs, she also had one. There are two rolls left and half the meat and broth. I shredded what was left of the meat.

I think I'll make a turkey ham and cheese sandwich for work tomorrow. I bought yogurt that was on sale, too, so I can take yogurt to have with it. I just love La Yogurt - so smooth and fruity. They were on sale for 10 for $3.30. I'm going to get some more this week when I get paid again before the sale is over. That's a good price and they're really good.

Anyway, I've said this before, but I really do mean it - I'm going to try to post more often because I do like having this blog and I do like talking about food (even more than I like eating it, believe it or not!) But, right now I need to get to bed. Way early day tomorrow because we're taking my daughter's car to the shop for a new front axle. Fun times.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Belated update, but I GOT A JOB!!!!!

It's true! I finally got a job!! And, it's as though providence has shined upon us - you see, my daughter ALSO got a job two weeks before I did! AND, here's the weird thing - BOTH jobs are in the food industry!!! And, we're both doing the same kind of work for two entirely different employers. It's pretty amazing to me how this all came to be. 

First, my daughter got tired of sending out resumes without getting even one response, so she posted her resume on Craigslist. She got one call, interviewed, was hired (without being given a start date) and then called again by the same person and asked to come in for an interview because he hadn't hired anyone yet. o_O?? She knew then she was done with that one. But, she had also scheduled an interview with a fresh produce distributor who had contacted her in the meantime about a part-time job that she thought would be good because she'd learn some new skills that would make her even more marketable in the future. 

She got along really well with the woman and felt really comfortable with her, even though she was told that the job would be pretty much minimum wage. She felt the benefits (full paid!) made it all worth it. So, she did the interview and got along fantastically with everyone she met. She was told that they had one more interview a week later, so she would be called after that if they wanted her. They called her before that interview was out the door! Her coworker said that the woman, her new boss, was so impressed by her that she wanted to hire her on the spot, but couldn't because she'd already scheduled the final interview. 

She's doing accounts receivable, credit approvals and adjustments, logistics (scheduling deliveries and pickups) and a variety of other jobs. She was recently told that they planned to open some more locations across the country and she may be flown to those locations to assist in setting them up. She said to me, "Mom, I actually have a 'big girl' job! I'm being treated like an adult and I love it!"

She also learned that her hourly wage went from minimum wage to $11/hr when she got her first pay check. Not bad getting a raise before you get your first pay!!

Although I joined her in posting my resume on Craigslist, all I got out of it was scams. Meanwhile, I continued to send out my resume anywhere I could whose job description fit what I knew. One of them described the job being a data entry clerk in the next town over. The pay was acceptable and I had all the skills (although I am not quite an "expert" in Excel, I did take a course earlier in the year, so I'm better than I used to be), so I submitted my resume. I was surprised to get a call asking me to call back for a phone interview from a company I'd never heard of. They are an agency, like a temp firm, and they had a contract position nearby who needed someone who could start as soon as possible. I affirmed that I could if they chose me and they then set up my phone interview with the client - a well-known producer of canned soups and other foods under a variety of names!!!

The following week, I received the call from the client and was interviewed by two women who more explained the job to me than asked questions; but, as they described it to me, I was able to relate the duties to jobs I had done previously, which they seemed to like. When the interview was done, I just waited to see what would happen. Within two hours, I was called by the agency and told I had the job!!! I loved it!! I didn't have to do a face to face interview, I didn't have to worry about whether or not my looks or weight would turn them off, I was hired solely on the skills I had and how I had handled the interview. Fantastic!!

So, I  now have a week and a half under my belt and I love the office and the people. I wish I could say I love the job, but I really haven't been able to do it yet. You see, their IT department hasn't furnished my desk with a computer or a phone. Actually, two computers. One SAP and one laptop, both operated by the same mouse and keyboard. Very NCIS!! Can't wait until I actually can be trained on the system and begin to do what I've been hired to do. I'll be working with samples (receiving and placing orders for samples of new products for customers, sales people and trade shows) as well as working with deductions (something I haven't been shown yet, but I suspect it's related to when the customer short pays their invoice and the adjustments have to be approved and entered in the accounting). 

Everyone in the office has sample products sitting on their desks and I've heard people talking about trying this or that product, so I'm thinking we get to add our two cents to the product line. But, I don't know for sure, so there's just that much more to learn about. My contract is initially for a year, but could go longer or could become permanent depending on the needs of the client. AND, it offers medical, dental, sick and vacation. WOW!!!

In the meantime, my daughter gets to bring fresh produce home for us to use and, if I get to try out samples, that will help our grocery budget tremendously. How much better can it be for a family of foodies???

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A New Day

The title of today's post has multiple implications. It could refer to the literal fact that today is a new day, different from yesterday. It could also refer to the concept of today being a new opportunity or even the beginning of a new era following major change. I'm thinking of it as a blend of all three of those ideas.

It is Sunday and that makes it another day on the calendar, new to you, new to me. But, it is also the beginning of a new era since my daughter started her new job this past week. She is learning new things that she's excited to learn that will benefit her in any future jobs she might hold. In addition to accounts payable and receivable she's also being trained in shipping logistics. She works for a fresh fruits and vegetables distributor and really likes the people and the job, even though for now, it's part-time.

She's supposed to go full-time in three months at which time she'll be eligible for full-paid medical and dental benefits. Since we've both been without any medical for years, she's looking forward to that. She's also going to see if I can be on her insurance since I have been her dependent these past couple of years. I don't believe that can happen, but who knows.

The peppers Deb brought home.
Anyway, another benefit of her job is that any excess or undistributed produce is shared with their employees. The other day she came home with a bag full of bell peppers. She gets to bring home fresh produce when they have excess or need to make room for new shipments. I'm looking forward to eggplant (aubergines) and tomatoes at some point.

She's learning accounts payable and receivable as well as logistics. They told her she'd go full-time in three months and then her full-paid benefits would begin.

Meanwhile, I have a phone interview tomorrow morning with Campbell's soup. If they like me, I may be working within a week. It's a contract position that's supposed to last a year. 

It's interesting that both my daughter's job and this potential job for me are food related. Can't be any more perfect for a life-long foodie like me!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hamburger Helper Cheesy Enchilada

I was supposed to go out to dinner the other night, but the person who was going to take me, after making a big production of where we were going to go, suddenly decided we were going to go somewhere else. Because he's done this numerous times in the past to the point of extreme annoyance, I decided not to go out at all and make something at home. I'm glad I did.

From Google images - this is how I ate mine!
I went to our trusty pantry and pulled out the box of Hamburger Helper Cheesy Enchilada. I didn't really look at it, other than the name and that it would be Mexican inspired. I assumed it would be pasta as all of them usually are. (Obviously, I failed to look closely at even the photo on the front of the box - and, yes - I am the kind of person who tries to assemble things without reading the instructions.) 

I had already decided that I would incorporate some vegetables because we had a half can of corn my daughter had opened and left in the fridge plus two small portions of limas and green beans in the freezer. That way we have more of a one pot meal than anything. When I realized this particular HH was a rice dish, I wasn't sure the veggies would work out well. I did it anyway.

The instructions said to put the rice in with the hot water and milk, so that's also when I added the three small portions of vegetables. I lowered the flame and put the lid on and let it simmer the 20 minutes required. 

Of course, being the lazy butt that I tend to be, I didn't stir during that time, so I had quite a mess on the stove and counter from the hot liquid escaping past the lid. But, the end result was wonderful!!! 

The flavoring was mild and only hinted at being Mexican-esque. The vegetables incorporated themselves quite well without altering the overall flavor. Even my daughter ate it and she's not a fan of either lima beans or rice. 

I have one more box of this flavor in the pantry. I will not hesitate to make it when I'm craving a rice dish.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Keeping Current - or at least trying to

I thought I'd take advantage of things and try to stay a bit more current with my blog. I still haven't done any real cooking other than throwing some hot dogs in with some Bush's Baked Beans and heating them up. Yet, I did enjoy them. I happen to like beans with wieners quite a bit. I'll even put the beans in the roll with the dog instead of mustard. So, that's one foodie item I can post about. That was yesterday's lunch.

Later in the day, Tom and I went to Starbucks for some coffee (hot for him, iced for me) and then to the store so he could get cat food and orange juice. Then we went to a local thrift store because they were having an end-of-summer 50% off sale I wanted to check out. I was able to get three new tops for myself plus a couple shot glasses to send to my son who collects them.

Buffet Interior - food tables
Then, last night, my friend Tom and I went to the largest Chinese buffet in the area up in Cinnaminson. It's called Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet. They're reasonably priced and have more food than any place I've ever been. And, if someone in your family hates Chinese food but everyone else wants to go, they'll be OK because there is an entire section of "American" food like mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted sirloin, roasted prime rib, baked ham, green beans, corn, pizza, rolls, and other tasty items. They also have the largest fresh fruit table I've seen with HUGE strawberries! I don't even like strawberries and I was impressed.

After eating, we drove to Bottom Dollar Foods where I picked up some hamburger for just over $1/lb. It's 73% lean, but heck - for that price, I'll pour off the grease! It's a great deal! I also picked up some cereal, milk, dry cat food and cat litter, both of which I needed badly. We humans can find alternative sources of necessities, but house-bound cats can't.

Today's breakfast was a couple more hot dogs and beans and a small cup of chili my daughter made at a friend's last night. She does make some mighty good chili - I was disappointed that there wasn't more. But, tonight we had Chinese takeout. Both of us had sweet and sour chicken with fried rice. She doesn't use the sauce and I do. Sometimes, having something that's breaded and fried just satisfies a craving like nothing else can.

And, just now, I was able to acquire a handmade box to keep the litter box in that helps keep litter from getting all over the floor and being in view of anyone walking nearby. I have to go pick it up tomorrow. It's on the big side, but we have three cats, so anything that can help control things works for me - plus, it should cut down on some of the dust they scatter as well as the gravel.

Now, off to watch my Storage Wars marathon. I do like that show, even though I'll never be someone who can afford to buy a storage locker. It gives me some ideas on smaller items that might turn a buck down the road.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Foodie Update

Wow - it's been a month since I was last here. Lots of things happening, some good, some not quite so good, but we still plug along.

I haven't done a lot of cooking at home for a while, so I haven't really had anything to post about foods from my kitchen. But, I have been treated to dinner a few times and I've enjoyed it.

Tom made me dinner twice this week. Both times he made meatloaf. I really enjoyed the first one. The second one not quite as much, but that's because he put way too much mustard into the meat mixture and I'm just not a mustard fan - especially Dijon! Yet, he used 90% lean beef and the loaf was so tender because he made sure there were good fats added to the meat (he used cream when he moistened the bread). There were onions as well as eggs and Worcestershire sauce. Other than the mustard, which only added a touch of flavor the first time, both meatloaves were excellent in construction and texture.

The first dinner also had broccoli and egg noodles. I made a sauce from the meatloaf drippings for the noodles. It was all really good. The second dinner had frozen string beans and couscous. I'm NOT a fan of frozen vegetables. I know they're good for you, but I just don't like their flavor or texture. I ate about half of them just because I know they were good for me. But, I couldn't make myself finish them. The couscous were kind of bland and dry, so I ate them mixed with the meatloaf.

Tom's brother made dinner on Sunday. It was actually pretty darned good, too. He made Shepherd's Pie. If you want to be precise, it would be Cottage Pie, because it was made with ground beef, not lamb. He gave me way too much, but it was good. His only problem was that he didn't add ANY salt to the dish, so we had to add it on our dishes because it was very bland.

In all three cases, I was able to bring a plate to my daughter, so she got to have a home made dinner, too. Well, the one time she actually came to Tom's house to eat. The other two times, I brought it to her.

I have to say I like being spoiled, having someone else do the cooking. I'm not going to complain, even if Tom's brother isn't my favorite person.

A CoverGirl&Olay Review

Now, I want to tell you all that I have become a BzzAgent. I receive products for free in exchange for a review of those products. The first products I received were CoverGirl +Olay 2in1 Foundation and Pressed Powder. Now, I've never been one to wear a lot of makeup. I've never liked having anything make me look "fake". I had my makeup done professionally one time and when I saw myself in the mirror, I went in and washed my face. I didn't look like myself at all! But, when I tried this foundation, I have to say that I felt that it did a wonderful job! It went on smoothly and didn't at all appear to be caked on like some foundations can look. I looked in the mirror and it was still ME! I could tell that my coloring was more even, but it didn't look like I had makeup on. The only thing I added was some blush on my cheeks. I don't wear eye makeup, but did like that my skin tone was even and smooth-looking without looking artificial. The anti-aging formula in this foundation and pressed powder are perfect for our not-so-young skin. This isn't my daughter's makeup.

I have oily skin and I didn't feel "greasy". I liked that about it and would recommend it to others for that reason.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I admit it - I don't keep promises well!!

At least, not promises I make to myself about my blogs. 

I seems I haven't posted anything on either one since May. I need to slap myself!

I can't talk much about cooking because I haven't done much in the past few months. However, I will tell you that I finally made the No Boil Baked Ziti recipe I have posted from last year just a couple days ago. And, this time, I actually used ziti instead of rotini. It turned out wonderfully! I also used cottage cheese instead of ricotta - other than having curds instead of a smoother consistency, there was no difference!

Last night, I went to eat at the local diner and enjoyed some Flounder Francaise. If you haven't tried this, you ought to. It's really quite good. The flounder is covered in an egg batter and fried and set on a bed of cooked rice. It is all then covered with a creamy lemon sauce (not super lemony, which I like). I had two huge pieces of flounder and so much rice! The only thing I didn't like was the pimentos they added. I also had cream of broccoli soup, which was pretty good. 

If you're not much of a fish eater, try the Chicken Francaise instead. The chicken breast is flattened before being battered, so the piece of chicken looks huge when it arrives. It's also much more tender since it was flattened.

I had wanted to get breakfast for dinner, but they don't have grits after 3pm and I didn't want home fries. I just don't digest potatoes as well as I used to, so when I can substitute something, I do. Grits remind me of cream of wheat and I eat them the same way.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Zucchini and Eggplant

Zucchini, Wikimedia Commons
I may have written about zucchini before, but considering how abundantly it grows, it is probably a topic that can be revisited more than once. I'm including eggplant because I've found that what you can do with one you can usually do with the other.

Fried Eggplant, courtesy Wikimedia Commons
I grew up eating fried zucchini slices and fried eggplant spears. I love both of them. I wouldn't eat either one of them stewed, but I ate them hungrily when Mom made them. I still love both of them fried. Mom would dip them in an egg wash and then into seasoned bread crumbs before pan frying them and draining them on paper towels. Salted with a side of ketchup and we were set to go. I honestly can't remember what else we had because my focus was on those veggies. 

Eggplant being sweated, Wikimedia Commons

Eggplant tends to be more bitter than zucchini which might be a turnoff for some, but I think if you buy them young (or use white eggplant) or be sure to sweat them prior to breading them (salting them to leach the excess liquid), a good portion of that bitterness is eliminated.

Homestyle Eggplant Parm
Mom also made eggplant Parmesan, which isn't exactly Parmesan since it has no Parmesan cheese, but what she made differs significantly from what is served in most restaurants. Hers was mostly like eggplant lasagna, but using fried slices of eggplant instead of lasagna noodles. What restaurants serve is individually fried slices topped with cheese and sauce with a side of pasta. I love both. But, if you have an abundance of zucchini, you can do the same thing - just slice it thicker than you normally do and layer it accordingly (or serve ala restaurant). They're both just so delicious!!

I have since discovered that I love grilled zucchini that is seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil before being grilled. Oh my gosh - I never thought I could enjoy it like that, but it seems that your tastes do change as you mature. Or maybe it's the tastes that mature because I can be pretty childish at times. 

I also like zucchini sauteed in marinara sauce. I still don't like it steamed, but in the marinara I can enjoy it. And, not too long ago, I tried Baba Ghanoush, which is a Middle Eastern appetizer dip that is made from roasted eggplant and garlic. Now, I had my doubts because I do NOT like garlic, but I was pleasantly surprised. I did add salt to mine, and it was served cold, but I did like it and would order it again. I'm wondering how it would taste if served warm because I think I'd like it that way even more.

So, that's the end of my April A-Z Challenge posts. I wish I could post as often without a challenge, but I'm still glad it was there. Maybe I'll do some Googling to see if there are other blog challenges out there. It keeps me motivated. I hope you've enjoyed reading my posts, though. I've enjoyed writing them.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Chick-Fil-A!

Well, actually it's for YUM. I just wanted to get your attention. 

We stopped at Chick-Fil-A today after running other errands and got something to eat since neither of us had eaten yet. I discovered that they have a spicy chicken sandwich. I'll eat their chicken, but because it is sweeter than most fast food chicken I can buy, it's not generally my favorite. However, I do love the spicy chicken sandwiches sold at Wendy's and Checker's, so I decided to get this one, too. I got the plain jane version without pickles and added my own ketchup and mayonnaise, but I was really quite pleased with what I got. Maybe next time I'll get the one with lettuce and tomato, but I wanted to test drive it first.

I loved the crunch factor which remained even though I didn't start eating it until we got home. The bun had steamed itself inside the wrapper, but there was still crunch to the coating on the chicken. I also like their chicken salad sandwich, but I have to add salt and pepper because whatever it is they do to make their chicken sweet comes through really strong in the salad.

I'm not a fan of their waffle fries, but I didn't feel like swapping them out today. I also ordered their Chicken Tortilla Soup. It wasn't bad, but it was thicker than any tortilla soup I've ever had before. The spice was actually just right. You knew it was there, but it didn't overwhelm the flavor of the food. I'd just rather that particular soup was more brothy than stew-like. 

Do you like Chick-Fil-A? Why or why not?

X is eXtremely Hard to Write About

Other than Xanthan gum, there is no food that I'm aware of that starts with an X. I mean, I could write about that, but I wrote about that during last year's A-Z Challenge. 

I could write about Xylophones or Xrays, too, but really, do you want to know any of that? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Nothing X-rated is appropriate for my blog (nor would I be comfortable if it were), so there goes another X topic down the drain. It's time for a bit of creativity, I guess.

I'm sure there are eXcellent topics out there that fit this letter of the alphabet, but eXactly what they are is a mystery to me. I don't eXcel in knowing words that begin with X. I'm sure I could eXamine a dictionary to gain some knowledge of other X words, but it's not likely I'll ever really use the vast majority of the ones that eXist.

Therefore, I will stand on my creativity and eXit with my head held high and my blog challenge remaining without blemish. I hope your eXperience here has been satisfactory and that my eXplanation is to your liking.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Working on Keeping Up

Well, hello. As you can see, I'm almost late with this post. Today is "W", right? Considering I thought it was Friday this morning when it's actually Thursday, I could be totally wrong (another W word).

I fell behind while I was beginning the healing process of the abscessed tooth that sent me to the ER in severe pain. Now I'm catching up. So, please bear with me while I stumble forward seemingly aimlessly.

My daughter and I just got home from going out to eat. I was supposed to go out to eat with Tom's brother, but when he learned I was bringing my daughter, he left us and went home. *sigh* He is such a puss. (I'm being kind.) So, we went took ourselves out to eat.

We first went to La Esperanza Mexican restaurant in Gibbsboro, but they had already closed, so we headed north to Mount Laurel to go to On The Border, a chain restaurant owned by the same people who own Macaroni Grill. 

On The Border Grill & Cantina in Novi, Michigan
Deb hadn't been there before and it had been several years since I was there, but I do like them. She got a beef chimichanga with beans and rice and I got a combo meal with a chile relleno and a carnitas (pulled pork) enchilada, also with beans and rice. She barely ate half of her chimichanga and I only ate the enchilada. We brought the rest home. But, neither of us could eat the salsa they served with the chips. OMG, it was so hot that our tongues were on fire!!! The kind of hot that hits long before any flavor does. Not pleasant. So, I guess I won't be enjoying their salsa in the future unless they have a milder version one can request. Even with sour cream added, that salsa was powerful enough to strip paint off your bureau!! Since I wanted the chance to enjoy my food, I stopped trying to eat it and finished off an entire glass of iced tea in order to get my tongue back to normal. 

Anyway, we both enjoyed our meals and plan to enjoy our leftovers tomorrow. Both meals were under $10, so it's not bad when you have enough food to get two meals.

That's about it for today. I'll try to post tomorrow's "X" earlier than I did this. I also owe several reads of others' posts. I'll get there, I promise.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Vegetables in Hamburger Helper

We like Hamburger Helper in our house. We REALLY like it. My daughter LOVES it. She's made it twice just this week. But, we also add vegetables to it. It's not just meat, sauce and noodles for us. 

First Deb made Beef Noodle Helper to which she added French-style green beans. It was delicious. Today she made Philly Cheesesteak Helper and added whole kernel corn and peas. I might have liked it better without the peas, but it's still good. It's not that I don't like peas, but they added a "sweet" to it that I'd have rather not had in something called Philly Cheesesteak.

Adding vegetables allows Hamburger Helper to be a one pan meal instead of having to dirty another pan to cook a vegetable separately.

Do you make Hamburger Helper (or something similar)? When you do, do you change it up in any way?

U is for Unexpected Health Issues

People who don't think toothaches are a health issue haven't read much about them. I was one of them. I had no idea that a toothache could lead to abscess which could lead to an infection entering the brain and causing multiple problems up to and including death. Quite the wake-up call, I have to say.

My tooth began aching Friday night (on the weekend, of course). By Sunday, it was showing no signs of diminishing and I felt like the right side of my face was swollen. When I looked in the mirror, I could see it, but when I put my hands on my face, I could feel it. And, it was so tender to the touch. Any movement of my mouth and tongue practically made the top of my head explode. No pain I've experienced before matched this. 

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore, so after making my promised appearance at my friend's Tupperware party, I drove myself to the ER where I was examined by one of the ER physicians who diagnosed an abscess. When he told me to open my mouth so he could examine my tooth, I almost cried. I literally had to pull my chin down to make my mouth open wider for him to examine me. Holy cow, I was in pain.

While I was there, they gave me a shot for pain and a double dose of antibiotics to kick start healing. I also left with two prescriptions for the same. I only filled the antibiotic because I have no insurance and couldn't afford to pay full price for two prescriptions. But, the nurse had advised that I could get an OTC pain reliever and take the prescription dose of that as needed and that's what I did. I feel much better now.

My jaw still hurts and I still have limited movement (even eating a banana was hard to do!), but can finally chew things without wishing someone would punch my jaw and knock me (and my tooth) out. It was a seriously painful thing that I never EVER want to experience again.

So, I'd like to say to all, please don't ignore your teeth! They don't just make it easier to swallow and digest foods, but they also can transmit infection directly to your brain if they are not treated properly. I'm still enjoying the headache that this brought with it, but it's not as bad as it was the first couple of days. I don't wish this on anyone!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tupperware - A Place For Food

Well, it's Monday and loads of things took place yesterday while you were gone. The biggest thing was that I ended up going to the ER because of my toothache. I just couldn't take the pain anymore. Turns out I have an abscess on my back molar, so they gave me a very painful shot of pain reliever and a double dose of antibiotic with two prescriptions for the same plus a list of places I can go.

But, the second thing I did yesterday, actually the first thing on the timeline, was attend a Tupperware Open House at my friend's house. She and her daughter have begun selling Tupperware and I haven't seen her in a long time. My daughter wanted to go, too, so we both headed on down.

Boy, have things changed with Tupperware!! So many pretty colors, so much versatility, and the new items they have! Some aren't even Tupperware-ish. Like the ice cream scoop, the knives and the can opener. They reminded me of the ones Pampered Chef sells. Still, it makes sense, since they're food related, to offer them with food containment items. 

Smooth Chopper
Personally, I fell in love with their new Smooth Chopper. Personally, I don't think it's worth the full price they're charging. But, my friend advised that it would be going on sale for $20 less in a week, so I ordered it. The selling point for me, besides helping her out in this business venture, was Tupperware's lifetime guarantee. It's like having a mini-food processor, but without electricity. I doubt it will chop up meats, which I like about a processor, but it sure did a number on the baby carrots she used to show me! And, it has paddles for whipping and blending. 

Crystalwave Soup Mugs
I also ordered a pair of CrystalWave soup mugs for my daughter's up-coming birthday. She just loves them. She uses the one we have all the time. I was able to split the order, paying half now and having the other half pay in two weeks. I normally wouldn't spend much on Tupperware, but it helps a friend and I actually had some available funds that I don't normally have. 

Twistable Peeler
They even still have the hour-glass shaped salt and pepper shakers that I grew up with. I plan on getting those, too, at some point. My daughter fell for their Twistable Peeler. I prefer the old style, but she likes the new kind that you can use lengthwise.

Anyway, other than the pain my tooth was causing me, I was glad to see my friend and to see all the new and colorful items Tupperware is selling these days.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Shopping and Sonic

I just got home from taking my daughter to work, her first day scheduled in weeks. Her car's in the shop (at last) and I still have my friend's car to use. I noticed as we took the turn to the reception center where she valets that a new Bottom Dollar grocery store had opened across the street. I needed to do some shopping anyway, so I went there after letting her off.

I don't know if they're a nationwide chain, but they are growing fast in our area. The prices are fantastic. Three-lb chubs of ground beef were $.99/lb with a limit of two chubs per customer. Yes, it's only 73% lean, but for $.99, I can drain the fat. I NEVER see ground beef that cheap anymore.

Hot dog and hamburger buns were $.99 each. Campbell's canned condensed soups were $.48 each. Their brand of crispy raisin bran was $1.79 as was their version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Brand name cereals were $2.50. Large eggs - $.99. I've had the raisin bran before and it is as good as Kellogg's.

You bag your own groceries there, either buying your own bags, bringing your own bags or using the empty product boxes they provide. I brought home three boxes full of groceries, a large bag of cat litter and two 2-liter bottles of soda that were $.59 each. I spent less than $60.00.

From the grocery store, I stopped at the new Sonic down the road because I hadn't eaten yet and was hungry. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish my sandwich because I have a raging toothache. Just the movement of my mouth and tongue make it hurt so bad, so I'll have to save the sandwich to eat later, cut up into little pieces, I guess. I did eat the tater tots and got a 44 oz. ice tea. The Sonic near us went out of business a few months ago and the one I stopped at today just opened. Not sure why ours closed, but I do like them. I wish this new one well. It's on a very heavily traveled highway.

So, I'd better put the food away - everything that needs to stay cold before it isn't cold any more. I had to sit down after carrying it all in because my back was aching. Of course, the cats are super curious and cat-scanning each and every thing they can touch their noses to. I bought food for them, too. Gotta keep the furry kids happy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Roast Beef

I wish I could say I'm having this very thing tonight, but I'm not. We do love our roast beef. The last one we had was a few weeks ago and was the first time I'd ever cooked a chuck roast. I've always cooked bottom round roasts like my  mother used to do. They don't fall apart as readily as the chuck roast does, but can be cooked until they do if you like them that way. 

Roast Beef with parsnips, carrots, onions & rutabega
Mom used to cook them on top of the stove (I don't remember any roast ever going in the oven) and they were so flavorful and tender. On occasion, she'd cook them until they fell apart and then add barbecue sauce to them for BBQ beef sandwiches. I've cooked them until they fell apart and had hot roast beef sandwiches with the shredded meat. This last time, though, we ate the beef and broth over mashed potatoes and it was wonderful!

Although I don't have any roast in the freezer (except for a small portion of that chuck), I was thinking of putting several steaks in the crockpot and cooking them like I would a roast until they are fork tender. Since we like it shredded anyway, the end result should be the same, don't you think?

I usually add onion soup mix and a bit of water to the pot for flavor and moisture. The last roast I made I used beef broth instead of water. I don't always have any on hand. If I use a full-sized crock, I'll also add carrots and potatoes. I love how the flavors blend in the broth for the gravy.

I've even made German Beef Rouladen which is not unlike bracciole in appearance, but the flavor is tart because of the beef rolls being stuffed with pickles. The gravy you get on this dish is wonderful!

What seasoning do you like to use for your roasts? Do you brown them first? Do you cook them in a crock, on the stove or in the oven? Do you do anything unique to yours that's worth sharing?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quiche - I love Quiche!

I've already described how much I enjoy scrambled eggs. As far as I'm concerned, quiche falls into that category since it is a custardized scrambled egg meal. It is so delicious, I think I could eat it every day - yet, I haven't had any in so long. Supposedly, it's fairly easy to make, yet I've never tried making it. What the heck is wrong with me??

It's funny because I've been mulling the letter "Q" over off and on all day trying to decide what the topic should be. While going through my recipe subscription emails, I came upon this one and was checking it out, still not realizing I was looking at the perfect topic. It didn't hit me until I posted it to my Pinterest board of recipes I want to make that the answer was just about to knock me off my chair. How could I look at something for so long without taking note of that "Q" staring me straight in the eye?

Anyway, the recipe I was checking out is a Ham and Gruyere Quiche. I know the traditional quiches are made with Swiss, but really, eggs and cheese - how many different varieties there could be!! I will post an image of that particular quiche here and it will link to the blog where the recipe is in case it appeals to you as much as it appealed to me. 

I think it's long past time for me to make one, though. Maybe while I'm out picking up my prescriptions I'll also pick up some pie crust, cheese, milk and more eggs. It just sounds too easy and too delicious to wait any longer to make one. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Peas and Personal-sized Mac-n-Cheese

Peas - those little green balls of goodness that kids (and some dogs) avoid eating all too often. I've always eaten peas. It was one of those vegetables I was willing to eat as a child. I loved them nestled in my mashed potatoes - I'd make a small nest in which to place them and then cover it all with gravy. I also liked the peas and carrots that came in frozen TV dinners.

I still eat them with mashed potatoes and gravy and still enjoy the peas found in frozen dinners, but I also now enjoy fresh peas on salad. Although I tend to drown them with salad dressing, I enjoy biting into their little burst of sweetness as I'm eating my salad.

My mother would grind them with leftover roast beef and gravy into a meat mixture that she'd use as the base for Shepherd's Pie. The leftover mashed potatoes would go on top. You could never see what vegetables were in there and their taste didn't stand out, but their goodness permeated the entire dish.

Do you like peas? How do you enjoy them most?

Personal-sized macaroni and cheese came out a few years back. Just add water and cook the pasta in the microwave and add the powdered cheese and in less than five minutes you have a single-serve of cheesy macaroni. I'd never tried them before, but I did recently buy a four-pack of a generic brand to have for work. Now, I love mac-n-cheese, so I thought this would be perfect. And, it was - in a way. It was easy to make and had pretty good flavor (if you're a Kraft blue box fan, that is), but it wasn't very substantial. I just had another one and added a bit of shredded cheese at the same time as the powdered cheese and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm about to make another one. Considering it's 3PM and that's the only thing I've eaten today, I think one more isn't going to hurt.

Are you a Kraft Mac-n-Cheese fan? Even if you prefer homemade, do you ever enjoy that Blue Box treat?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Ordering KFC

Yeah, it's a stretch, I know. But, my thinker wasn't willing to think beyond the immediate and at the moment I'm waiting for my daughter to get back with some tasty KFC. I don't know why, but I've really been enjoying either KFC or Popeye's lately. Then there was that Spicy Chicken at Wendy's the other day and I'm just really craving chicken. 

The other thing I was in the mood for was their biscuit. The all time best biscuit I've had at a chicken place is the ones I've gotten from Popeye's. They aren't very big, but I love their taste! KFC's aren't bad, either, so I'm looking forward to getting it. 

I'm also getting two sides - mashed potatoes and green beans. My stomach is growling and I think I'm going to enjoy every bite. My daughter used to get the mashed potato bowls, but now she's into the Double Down (the two chicken filets with bacon and cheese in between). I'm sure it's pretty tasty, and I know it smells wonderful, but it just hasn't appealed to me enough to try it. She also loves their potato wedges. I have to admit they are good, but I'd rather have the mashed.

Anyway, she's here and I'm hungry, so it's off to din-din land!

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Nonsense and Nothing Much to Say

Well, it was the only "N" word I could think of at the moment. And, I do often talk about nonsensical topics, so I figured I'd work with it for today's A to Z Challenge letter.

First of all - HURRAH!!! We have Internet again!!! We finally got someone to pick up the line at Comcast and they helped get us going again here at home. First the Internet came back on and then they had to do a bit more to get the phone working again. We still don't know what happened, but I am so happy that I can have my Internet again!! Yay!!

Was able to get a double payment from the trust so that I could help Deb get her car fixed. We went out and transferred the money into her account so she can pay for the repairs. It's hard to find a job in an area where public transportation isn't overly convenient if you don't have a car. So, we're hoping that it won't be super expensive and that there will be enough money left to put some on the rent as well.

I got a Spicy Chicken sandwich from Wendy's today. Haven't had one of them in at least a year. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if I wasn't as thrilled with the fries. It was tender and moist with loads of flavor. McDonald's still has the best fries of the drive-thru places. Burger King has the best tasting burgers. Popeye's has tasty chicken and shrimp (as well as alligator bites once a year) and KFC also "do(es) chicken right", but they've lost some of the flavor they used to have. I don't believe their gravy is nearly as flavorful as it used to be unless I'm losing my sense of taste. I hope not. But, I do like their green beans - they're spicy hot, but I have no idea with what. Yet, they're really good. I'd have never considered spicing up green beans. Guess I'm just going to have to go ala carte one of these days in the Blackwood area and stop at all of them to create my own platter!! Oh, and then either a gallon of ice tea from Popeye's or a large iced tea from Dunkin. Perfect!! LOL

Sunday, April 15, 2012

M is for Must Find a Job

Well, Sunday was my last day of work for this tax season. Even though there are two more days left for filers, I wasn't scheduled for either one. I now have to get started finding work to continue on through the year. I have an appointment scheduled with a temp agency tomorrow, but I'm going to have to change it because I was unable to get the testing done with our internet being down.

Money is another M word that is important here - the reason for the need to find a job. With two of us out of work and already being behind on rent, it is an absolute necessity to find a paying job so we don't lose our home. 

Monday, the next M word, is when I'll be going to get the money I offered to share with my daughter so she can get her engine fixed in her car. It's all I have, but we need a vehicle desperately. With hers having blown a rod when she was only one payment away from paying it off and only a couple of weeks after she lost her job, it has made for a very frustrating and depressing time for her. She's always been someone for whom things work out. Although I know they will work out eventually, she's not used to not having something come through right away for her. She's never been on unemployment before, so it's an entirely new scene for her.

Anyway, this is another foodless post as I play A to Z Challenge catch up by using my friend's computer. We're hoping for some kind of normalcy to return to our lives this next week. Otherwise, it might just get pretty hairy in the near future. 

L is for Longing for Internet Access

I am addicted to the Internet. Right  now, I don't have any. I hate it!!! Even though our bill is paid, Comcast has shut off our phone and Internet while still allowing us to view television. We've called, but sitting on the phone for over an hour and a half without anyone ever picking up is almost not worth the effort - besides draining the cell phone battery.

Another L would be how much I LOVE the access to information the Internet gives. I can find answers to virtually any question at any time as long as I can get online. Yeah, I have a "smart phone", but there are things for which it is barely usable, such as this blog. I cannot play Facebook games on my cell phone because my "device isn't compatible" - despite the fact that it is supposed to be. 

L is also for the Limited satisfaction I do get from my cell phone because I can check email and post statuses on Facebook, check Twitter if I'm of a mind to or take photos and upload them to Facebook to show off whatever it is I want to share.

But, right now, LONGING is the strongest L I'm facing. I'm at a friend's house at the moment and stealing just a bit of time to post this entry. Earlier, I posted my K from work. That was something I could only do once.

How important is the Internet to you? Is it just for games and such, or do you also love all the other benefits such as shopping, blogging, making travel plans and the myriad of other services available?

K is for Killing Time at Work

Well, here I am sitting at my desk waiting for the tax procrastinators to show up for us to do their taxes. My coworker actually gave me this idea because I was bemoaning that I can't get online at home and finish this challenge. She said, then do it here!! WOW! I actually never considered it - I was showing her my blogs because she didn't know what a blog was (she's 30 - who'd have guessed??) when the subject came up. Thought I'd give it a try because I wasn't considering it before.

Hopefully, I won't get into trouble because I'm not trying to make money using my employer's assets and I'm not taking anything out of the office that doesn't belong to me. I'm not doing anything to knowingly to hurt the business in any way, although there are differences of opinion about the mere use of the Internet while at work. For the most part, though, I'm aware of which sites are safe and which aren't and I don't plan to expose this or any other computer to a malware site.

Anyway, I do have my K-Day post written. I might try doing L in a little while. As far as food is concerned, though, it doesn't look like this one will have much food topic in it. Other than I might go to the pizza place and grab something to eat. ;-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Just Desserts

I don't come from a dessert eating family - at least, not in the sense that we had dessert after every supper. But, my mother loved to bake and both parents loved ice cream (Dad always had Hershey's syrup on hand for that and for chocolate milk), so some sort of dessert-like sweet treat was usually available. Not to mention all the treats Mom would bring home from the bakery when she was there until closing.

Even when I go out, having something sweet at the end of the meal isn't the norm. Personally, I love finishing off with a dinner roll as much as others like something sweet. But, that doesn't mean there aren't sweet treats I don't like or wouldn't want to try. I'm just not the baker my mother was, so it's unlikely I'll be making them.

To that end, I have a Pinterest pin board dedicated to "Desserts to Drool Over". I have several subscriptions to recipe blogs, so I receive recipes or meal ideas every single day. When I find one I particularly like the looks of, whether it is dinner or dessert, I'll pin it on one of my several food boards. (My main board is "Main Courses That Make You Go mmmmmmm".)

Feel free to check it out and go to any of the recipes the images are linked to if you are interested in making any of them. Mainly, I just look at them and savor the image.  

Are you a dessert lover or just a dessert collector like me?

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Income Taxes - Not Always Appetizing

It's that time of year here in the US. The deadline for filing and paying income taxes is a week from today. Did you know that we are considered the only country that has voluntary income tax? I didn't, either. But, that's what we were told during training when I started working for the IRS in 1983.

Since I don't really know how taxation works in other countries, I can only assume that they mean that they leave the ultimate declaration of income received to us, the taxpayers. Yet, if we don't make that declaration, two years down the road they will run reports showing who received income compared to who reported income. At that point, it will no longer be voluntary. So, even though I enjoyed my years with that organization, I'm still at a loss how mandatory taxation is voluntary.

But, I'm actually working with a tax preparation company this year. I'm enjoying it, although some aspects of the more complicated returns can be extremely confusing. It's a challenge. The simple returns are fun to do because they're quick, but those long form returns - wow! There's so many twists and turns that are just so easy to miss. I can definitely understand the appeal of a flat tax.

So, this post is a food-free post, I'm afraid. Besides, isn't the mere idea of doing your taxes enough to lose your appetite??

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Holiday Meals

Yesterday was Easter for many of us. Passover began Friday evening through this coming Saturday for others. In the midst of all this are the celebratory (or memorial) meals that have become traditions throughout the world.

Although the Spring holidays don't have the same food impact as the Fall and Winter holidays do, food still plays a prominent role. Whether it is Easter ham, Seder brisket, Holy Thursday pancakes or fish on Fridays during Lent, food is center stage during these holidays. 

I had the opportunity to enjoy a ham dinner yesterday. I love ham, but my daughter doesn't, so I don't get to eat it much at home. I did bring her a platter, but it was filled with everything but ham. I can understand why some people don't eat ham (or pork), but I can't imagine how someone doesn't like ham after they've had the chance to try it. Unfortunately, I have no leftovers to munch on, so I'll be making myself a hamburger once I post this. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Greasy Food

You know, there once was a time when I simply loved greasy food. And, once in a while, I still do. But, I have found that as I get older, I don't enjoy these things like I used to. That's not a bad thing, mind you. But, I didn't stop eating it because it was bad - just because I stopped finding pleasure in it.

Fried Seafood Platter
I don't eat some fried foods like I used to. I do still like my seafood fried, but I don't eat fried chicken like I used to. And, if it's particularly greasy, I am prone to avoid it. I think it's a combination of the flavor too much grease imparts and the fact that the grease gets everywhere! 

I grew up where Wise potato chips began as a regional chip and my favorites were the ones that stayed in the fat longer than the rest. You know which ones - they were glossy and still looked wet. I felt the same way about fries - extra greasy, please, with lots of crunch. While I no longer care much for greasy chips, I do still pick out the greasiest fries to eat first. However, I can't eat many because I just don't digest potatoes as well as I used to.

Pizza still in the pan of grease
I used to love Pizza Hut pizza. I couldn't figure out what it was about it that I liked so much. Then, I didn't have it for several years and went back once looking forward to enjoying it again. I was actually grossed out by how greasy it was - I realized that they basically deep-fry their pizza by putting the dough in a deep dish full of oil and then baking it. The last time I had some, it seemed less greasy, so maybe they've cut back on that. But, I was surprised that I no longer liked it like I used to. My tastes had changed.

Bacon in a buffet pan
Bacon is greasy, but I love it - but don't give me bacon that has been sitting in its own grease, please. Yes, I love bacon, but when the fat melts and then you place the cooked slice on a paper towel to absorb the excess, it's not really so bad. However, in a buffet setting, they make mass quantities of bacon and pile them in the pan awaiting customers. They're really great when you get the top pieces, but as you get closer to the bottom, all the grease that has dripped off the upper layers now coats the bacon on the bottom. Thanks, but I'll avoid that.

This isn't really all that informative, but I know most will understand what I'm talking about. We do need fat in our diets because fat soluble vitamins require it. But, I do think that our bodies sometimes tell us what's good and what isn't, so if we're listening, we might just learn what to cut back on without actually eliminating it. Yet, despite all this, a hamburger just isn't worth eating if it's not at least a little greasy. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Food is my Friend

Yes, food is my friend. Obviously, that is a requirement for any foodie, but I'm talking more about food being used to "cure what ails ya". Where comfort food becomes more of a security blanket than sustenance.

Crazy cat lady
For years, I suffered from clinical depression. I was a nervous Nelly, scared of my own shadow, insecure, afraid to speak in public, feeling responsible for every mistake that I ever made and was slowly becoming the neighborhood crazy cat lady. Besides my cats, I relied on food to calm my nerves, to keep me company, to give myself praise when no one else would.

Cinnamon buns
I was raised by carb-happy parents. It wasn't unusual to find from four to five different kinds of bread in use at the same time, not to mention the goodies brought home from the bakery when Mom got done work or the cakes Mom would bake because she enjoyed making them. Mom loved spaghetti and mac-n-cheese, but Dad had a serious dislike for pasta, so we'd pretty much have those when he was working shift work. Cinnamon buns (aka sticky buns) were a favorite breakfast. When they began to get stale, Mom would slice them in half, butter and pan fry them to renew their freshness and get an entirely new taste sensation.

Chicken potpie was also a very popular meal, particularly in winter. Now, this isn't something that has a crust. This is strips of dough cooked in boiling chicken stock. To give you an idea how much got made each time, Mom used 9 cups of flour to make the dough for just the three of us! She'd make an entire canning pot full of potpie (something similar in the South is called dumplin's) that we would enjoy for days. Pure carbs served with cranberry sauce and chicken on the side (that didn't always get eaten because it was the dough we were after). A dish born out of necessity when times were hard became the ultimate comfort food. I still love it!

At any rate, although I'm no longer clinically depressed, it does still make the occasional visit as does anxiety, so I will find myself falling back on those old days of self-medication through food. I have to be careful since I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a few years back, but I do allow myself those days since they are fewer and farther between than they ever used to be.

It's interesting that the foods I turned to most frequently when upset or sad also tended to be high in carbs. Potpie, mac-n-cheese, pizza, cheesecake, pretzels, potato chips (don't eat these much any more) are all on the list. I find these days that tortilla chips and salsa are almost as satisfying as the more carb-laden foods but without the same negative ramifications.