Tuesday 31 January 2012

A Day Away With My Birthday Guy !

Today was my husband, Rob's Birthday !  The aka "Crabby Cabbie:" awoke this morning, coming out to the kitchen, as I was washing up some dishes, to "scare" the heck out of me by coming up behind me and singing "Happy Birthday" to himself !  Had I suspected he was awake and up I would have maybe had the chance to sing "Happy Birthday" to him myself.  LOL.

"Today we drove through Wiarton ..... "

".... away from North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard, as we headed up Wiarton's South hill."

Rob and I just returned back home about 1/2 hour ago.  We had a fantastic day away together, with Rob having, what I think was, a "wonderful" Birthday.

However I am a little bit on the weary side at the moment, and it is going to take me a little bit of time to cover our "day away", so I have decided to blog all about it tomorrow at some point.  

It has been a couple of very busy days with lots of things for me to still get "caught up" with.  *Sigh*  I think I will require 48 hours in my 24 hour day tomorrow to accomplish all that has been going on in my head that I think needs accomplished.  I had best be slowing down that thought process in order for me to get some sleep tonight so I will have the energy in order to complete all  some of these things.

With the thought process hopefully tucked away til morning, I am off for now looking forward to a restful night ahead of me, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Monday 30 January 2012

Fork Tender, Mouth Watering, Oh So Good !!!

This morning was pretty unproductive around here once the "pack" and I arose from our slumber and finished our usual morning routines.  It was the Quarterly and Year End for the "Crabby Cabbie", and the Bookkeeper was arriving at 9:30 am..

Good thing Rob got up not too long after us, as there was a schedule Hydro shut-off from 9:00-12:00, I had forgotten about, so we managed to have the kettle boiled and one coffee each into us before it went out and I remembered.  All was not lost, as Rob got the woodstove fired up "full heat", where he boiled a pot of water on there for one more coffee each !

In the meantime, I had everything organized, prepared and all set out for the Bookkeeper's arrival (or so I had thought I had).

Arrive she did, with it not being long for us to get settled in and down to the order of business at hand.  First off the dang calculator we had was sticking and would not work right.  The other one we had, I had just thrown into the garbage Saturday as it had stopped working.  Off Rob went downtown to purchase another one.

He wasn't too long in going and coming back, bringing along with him two different calculators.  Good plan to have his back covered, just incase the purchase of only one didn't work our right, with him having to make another trip downtown to buy yet another.  Nice that guy of mine has his "smart" hat on somedays !

There were a couple things I didn't have just right the past three months on the books, however nothing taking to much to put "right" again.  The bookkeeper said, "no worries", that eventually it will all come together for me the more I do them.  Huh, really?  I most certainly hope it does eventually, lol !  or maybe not ?

It was all said and done within an hour, which I thought pretty dang good.  The bookkeeper left; Rob and I took a trip downtown to our bank and paid the Taxman his HST.  Now everything is ready for when we get the appointment from the Account to do the Business/Personal Income Taxes.  I can "chew" my fingernails off when it gets closer to that time I suppose, why bother with worrying myself  over it now ... lol.

Rob and I never got back home from downtown until after the lunch hour.  We had ourselves a Banana Muffin and a coffee each for our lunch.  Rob's day off, so we are having our main meal at the Supper hour today, which brings me to the point that it will be leftovers today, as we had lots leftover from our "Fork Tender, Mouth Watering, Oh So Good" supper we had last night.

It all began when I had been surfing through the Pinterest Boards last week, coming across this recipe for Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin.  I then posted the recipe to Cindy's Recipe Exchange on Facebook.  My girlfriend, Vicki, who loves pork tenderloin, as does her husband, Doug, eyed the recipe pretty much right away and tried it out last Friday.  Well she most certainly "raved" about how good it was, and it being one of their favorites as the marinade was to "die" for.

Since I had a package of two pork tenderloin still in our freezer to be used up, I took them out Saturday to thaw.  Once thawed, into the prepared marinade they went to sit overnight in the fridge.

"The tenderloins pretty marinaded for at least a good 17 hours."

"Then it was time to sear them in Olive Oil for approximately 4 minutes or so before they went into the oven for another 20 minutes."

"Um um, my mouth was watering when Rob was slicing them after they had been cooked and sat 10 minutes to rest for all the juices to re-circulate."

"Baby Carrots, our own garden potatoes and Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin all ready to be consumed by ME !"

This recipe will be DEFINITELY going into my most favorite recipes, this is for certain !

Vicki had even told me she had used the marinade on the ribs they had on Saturday, with them turning out to be equally as amazing.  Has to be in the marinade !  Just incase someone else would like to try this recipe, here it is:

Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Recipe Courtesy of Kitchen Confidante

4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oi
2 pork tenderloins (about 1¼ pounds each)
2 tablespoons canola oil (if preparing in oven)

Stir together garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Rub the paste all over pork. If you like or have the time, marinate overnight. If not, no worries, it will still be great!

Grill preparation:

Sear the tenderloins on all sides, then grill for about 20-30 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Try to let it rest before slicing.

Oven preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat canola oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add pork, and brown all over, about 4 minutes.

Transfer pan to oven. Roast pork, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, and try to let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.

A truly favorable "Fork Tender, Fork Tender, Oh So Good Meal" !

Recipes?  This brings me to Cindy's Recipe Exchange on Facebook.  It is so exciting over there.  At least 20 new people have joined in the past week or so.  Members from all over the World !

Lots of great tried, tested and true recipes to be found on the exchange .... way too many for me to ever be able to get around to trying out all at once, as it will take me some time to get around to trying them all !

Oh, I have also noticed the past while some new people have joined up to Follow Me on my blog.  I am honoured and flattered.  I truly appreciate the interest others have taken in me.

I find it so interesting to learn and interact, on a personal level, with different people, from all over, of what is happening in their little corner of the World, whether it be reading someone else's blog, through a social network such as Facebook or Google, and/or by email.  Hopefully others are finding out and enjoying something about my little corner of the World, through my life and opinions I share.

Great thanks to all the family, friends and acquaintances who share their World with me and support my "blogging".

I am now going to finish up here, then head off to my Kitchen to oversee how the veggies are coming along for our supper of leftover Pork Tenderloin, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Sunday 29 January 2012

A Little "Missy" Was In A Spot Of Trouble & Then Some

"This was Yesterday afternoon.  The winds gained momentum later in the evening with the roads icing up.  Rob said the roads were not too pleasant to travel in most areas.  I know around 8 pm there was two plows going by our house 10 minutes within each other.  It was pretty blustery."

They have been calling for more of the same today with accumulations of 15 cm and a Snow Squall Warning still in effect for our area, as well as surrounding areas, with it coming off Lake Huron.  We have no need to leave our house tonight, so Rob, myself and the "pack" will remain "snug as bugs" inside.

A new day dawned after I had actually enjoyed a not too bad fitful sleep until the "Crabby Cabbie" arrived safely home in the wee hours of the morn.  I didn't really get back into that fitful sleep afterwards, finally arising just before 7 pm. carrying on with my and the "pack's" usual morning routine.

What was I going to do with my Sunday?  Rob had asked if I would make him some Banana Muffins, so I had it in my mind to do this as I had taken some bananas from the freezer the night before to thaw.  

I did talk to my son, Paul, on the phone this morning for a bit.  Afterwards him and Holly did a little texting back and forth with me.  Holly informed me she was going to be going to a fund raiser this afternoon by doing a  Zumba demonstration to raise money for a cause.  Paul had texted me she was doing Zumba on their Wii System at that moment, and Aiden was going to be after her.

Unbeknownst to either Holly or Aiden, Paul took some photos and emailed me so I could see what these two were up to so early in the morning in front of their Wii System with the Zumba program happening.

"Here we go with my early morning Zumba dancers having fun and burning those calories away staying fit.  Zumba has been quite the "rave" for the past while, I have yet to personally check it out myself, by these photos of Holly & Aiden is sure looks to be lots of fun."

"Isn't technology great that Paul was able to email me these pictures, "just like that", without anyone else knowing?  LOL."

Not familiar with Zumba?  The "beat" is very catchy and lots of fun, so check out how it all came to be by going into this web link:  http://www.zumbawithhope.com/History_of_Zumba.html

While I had been outside earlier with Lexus, some little girl who has a habit of looking out the window at us  had a bit of an incident, while I had been out there.

"Quite the mess to be cleaned up when I found the upset.  Thank goodness I hadn't watered the plants recently or it could have been a little bit on the messier side of things."

"A little Miss Someone did not want to own up to the fact that she had caused this mishap."

"Finally I got somewhat of a confession out of her."

"With a "lick & a promise" of a "I will really try not to do it again" look."

"We got it all back set up the way it had been once the broom and vacuum had done their job first."

I had the kitchen all tidied up and ready to get down to making the Banana Muffins when I realized I had used up all the sour cream I had the other day on the Layered Enchilada Bake I had make.  My Crabby Cabbie had just gotten up from his "decrabby" himself sleep, so he suggested we head on down to the store to pick some up.

We returned back home and I finally got down to getting the muffins made.

"The butter and sugar has been creamed together, the eggs added and just waiting for the sour cream to be added, along with the Vanilla."

"Wet and dry mixtures all ready to go, just waiting for the Bananas to be peeled and mashed."

"I bought this ladle, along with one smaller size, at the Dollar Store.  It is the perfect size to scoop muffin mix in to the muffin liners."

"Eighteen Banana muffins going into the oven for 20 minutes or so.  My oven is not right on so they did take 30 minutes to bake."

"Before I knew it the time was up and "Viola" Banana Muffins were sitting on my Counter Top cooling."

Rob and I really enjoyed a couple of Banana Muffins for our lunch.  Yummy !  Rob actually thought they were "Out of this World".  The recipe was submitted by my friend, Reenie, to Cindy's Recipe Exchange the other day, wherein she also had posted photos of the ones she had bake.  They looked so "amazing" I just had to try them myself, as Rob had just requested Banana Muffins the other day.  Here is the recipe:

Recipe Submitted by Exchange Member ~ Reenie Gurr

Banana Muffins...so moist.... Everyone loves these and they freeze beautifully.

1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. bkg soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 "ripe" banana's mashed (4 if there small)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in bananas. Put into sprayed muffin tins (pam) and bake in 350 degree oven approximately 20 minutes...makes 18 muffins.

Sprinkle tops with brown sugar before placing into oven (optional)

NOTE:  The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup of sugar.  1 to 3/4 cup is sufficient.  Reenie uses 1 cup.  I used 3/4 cup which seemed just perfect for us.

After all the muffin making was over and cleaned up, I got to go downtown for a walk with my friend, Sharon.

"We happened by this "metal" flower beside a house.  I absolutely love this type of metal garden art."

This was pretty much my day all in a "nutshell".  Oops I almost forgot about the other little mess I had around and about the house from a certain little Missy, after the other upset I might add ....

"I think there is one more toy with "stuffing" and a "squeaky" left in it after this one had been de-stuffed.  LOL."

I am trying a Pork Tenderloin recipe out for tonight's supper.  It is in the oven now as I sit here typing away, almost going to be done I believe.  I will do a "post" on how this new to me recipe went tomorrow.  My girlfriend, Vicki, tried it already on Friday, and her and her husband, Doug, absolutely loved it.

I am off to do what I do best, or try to do as best as I can, there goes the Oven timer, as I head back out into my Kitchen, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Saturday 28 January 2012

House Bound Does Not Make For A Very Exciting Day !

Mercedes and I arose this morning, I would say about 7ish or so.  We had been already awake when my "Crabby Cabbie" had landed in around 3:30 am., then went back catnapping until it was time to get our "butts" up and out of bed to get on with the day.

We did our morning routine with Mercedes going out, then Lexus going out, then Bandit going out into the snow covered cold of the morning first thing.  Time for coffee is usually the very next thing on the morning agenda before anything else happens, or else !!!

We were all trying to be our usual quiet selves in order not to interrupt the "Crabby Cabbie's" beautifying sleep, if that is what we want to call it .... LOL, or my more favorite term of "uncrabby" himself sleep.  I can't run the vacuum cleaner or do much clanging or banging around, so it does limit a person to what they can do until the other person rises, at around the noon hour or so I might add.

I am really just being my usual self by poking fun, as I remember the three years I put in of working nights, and there were some days I didn't get very much sleep at all at times.  Now I think about it, I really don't think too much has really changed for me from those times?

I puttered a bit, did some updating and additions to Cindy's Recipe Exchange on Facebook, , tidied up the kitchen, made a couple of phone calls, and then ..... did the dreaded Book Work that needed done from December, as I had been too sick up until now to even think about it, or maybe not wanting to think about it.

The Tax Man does call and we must "jump" ....

"Ahh, the dreaded tools of the trade, along with the "big black Column Book" can be rather frightening at times, but I got 'r done !"

Rob did arise from the depths of our bedroom around the noon hour, whereas I got right down to getting the bed made, having a shower, getting our Dinner of leftovers heated up and cleared up, the dishes washed up and folded the load of dark clothes which were still on the clothes horse in front of the woodstove and put away.  Then I sat and had myself a coffee with Rob before he had to put on his "Crabby Cabbie" hat and go out the door for the remainder of the day.

The weather has been quite nasty here most of the day with the snow coming down steady and the winds just now picking up here going on to the 5 o'clock hour as I glance outside the patio doors.  There have been a few times where I haven't been able to see our bush line which is only two fields back from the house.

"I am of the opinion we might yet get some nasty weather before Winter is all done and over with."

The Weather Network has a Snow Squall Alert out for Bruce Peninsula ~ Tobermory ~ Sauble Beach, as well as the Saugeen Shores area, Southampton and Port Elgin, where Rob works out of.


Snow squalls are now developing in the Grey - Bruce region. The squalls are expected to continue to affect portion of the region through Sunday. Total snowfall accumulations of 30 cm can be expected locally.

Tis' the Season, and considering the wicked Winter we had last year, we have been getting off pretty easy this year I would say !

This month of January I had participated in a No/Low Spend Challenge put on by Carla over at her My 1/2 Dozen Daily blog.  Since Rob has been working away at his own business the past five months now, it is very difficult to work out a weekly budget with an erratic income, so it has become more a less a "tracking where our money is being spent" exercise for me.  

Carla has begun another such Challenge for the month of February, adding a Decluttering Challenge as well.  I signed up to participate in both.  Should there be anyone else up for the challenge(s), you may also do so by going to her No Spend/Decluttering Challenger 2012 and signing up.

I am curious to compare how well we do on the spending in February in comparison to our January spending.  I know there are different things going on or whatnot, but I do find it interesting to "track" expenditures as it can be a real eye opener at times, showing where you can maybe make some adjustments in your spending habits, etc...

Now the decluttering challenge, that is going to be "fun".  I hope my energy fully regains itself in order for me to participate the way I would like to.  I am not going to be at 100% full speed, but I am pretty "pumped" up  over the challenge and looking forward to making some headway in this area in the next month.  

It will be fun doing the before and after photos, although I am sure there are some areas I won't want to do the "before" photos .... *blush* .  LOL !  Are closets NOT a real Blessing at times, or closed doors for that matter?  I know there have been times I have had to pick up the "chunks" with unexpected or short notice company coming and closet and doors have been a real life saver in my eyes !

Saturday nights I look forward to watching the Kraft's What's Cooking show on City TV, hoping the recipes they demonstrate will appeal to me, as most times they do.

I am really starting to think I am addicted to recipes !  For years there are times I would spend an afternoon poring over a recipe book, page by page, like some would a novel ... LOL .  I LOVE IT !!!  I will own it as my addiction if that is my worse one.

Wow, where has the last hour gone to, as it is almost six o'clock already.  I think I will call it a "wrap" by hitting "publish" and heading out to my kitchen to make myself a hot cup of Java, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Friday 27 January 2012

Two Doctors All In A Day's Exam !

What a day it was today !  Until a hour ago, which would make it 5:00 p.m., and since 8:30 am this morning, I have only been home barely 1 1/2 hours all day between running to one Doctor, then out of Bruce County into Grey County, to see another one.

At 8:30 am I headed up North of the Checkerboard to see Dr. Loney, my personal Doctor, for my weekly shot in the arm for allergies, and to also give some blood from out of my arm.

Once I got into see Dr. Loney, he prepared my arm, with him next proceeding to "stick" me with a needle to extract blood from my right arm.  I am one of the worse candidates in the World to extract blood from, as my veins never, never want to cooperate, much to the dismay of the blood extractor, but even more to my dreaded discomfort of the whole procedure.

Time was running thin, so the good Doctor had to make due with a very poor harvest of blood that he had in the vial.  I had my allergy shot in the arm, and we said our goodbyes with promises we would try in the "other" arm next week to gain a better harvest.

*Sigh*, it is absolutely awful.  There appears to be lots of blood there in my veins, but once the needle goes in, I am sure the vein jumps as fast as it can out of the way, not allowing anything foreign to it to gain entry.  Hopefully next week my other arm is more successful then this morning was, and the discomfort of it all avoided as quickly as possible.

We didn't arrive back home until 11:00 am.  Our Dinner was made easy, as I had leftover Spaghetti and Rob had Enchiladas.  We barely got that over with, the "pack" all taken care of, and a phone call answered, before it was time to head out for Owen Sound to my follow-up appointment with the Specialist, Dr. Newton, to see if the pneumonia in my right lung had cleared up.

Once again we left the house, but this time it was shortly after the noon hour, as my appointment was scheduled for 1:00 pm.

"Oh yes, and I had almost forgot that Winter had once again returned this morning to Bruce County, as one can tell by all the snow in and around our property."

"It didn't seem too long after we left Bruce County, and had entered Grey County that we were driving up to the Grey-Bruce Hospital in Owen Sound.  Maybe a 35-40 minute drive from our home."

Rob dropped me off at the front entrance where I headed into Patient Registration, signed into Ambulatory Care, then headed down to X-ray to have my chest "filmed" again.  This will be the third time this month I have had my chest X-rayed for goodness sake.  X-ray was very quick, as I was in and out of there "lickety split".

Back to Ambulatory Care I went where I was showed into a little cubicle to await Dr Newton.  The wait actually wasn't too terribly long at all by the time Dr. Newton was in to see me.  He then listened to my chest, determining, "yes, it was still not sounding too clear", before he went off to take a look at the X-rays.

Back into the room he came with the results.  No, the pneumonia had not cleared and is still evidenced on my right lung.  Dr. Newton took me out to show me the X-ray.  Wowers, I seen the very first X-ray I had done a couple of weeks ago and my whole lung was almost completely covered with a grey mass.  No wonder I had been so SICK !!!  The X-ray that was taken today was covering half my lung in grey mass, so it has been  clearing since I had taken the medication prescribed by Dr. Newton two weeks prior to today.

Dr. Newton said Pneumonia can be slow to clear itself and can take a bit of time.

No more medications, with another followup with an X-ray and to see him again in a months time.  In the meantime, if I feel I am backsliding whatsoever, I am to give his office a call at anytime.  I loved Dr. Newton's bedside manners, as I had said before he is straight up front, leaving no grey areas, as I am sure the pneumonia has taken care of those .... LOL.

I was really a little relieved to know I hadn't lost my mind, since I have still been having a heaviness in my chest, a bit of discomfort and difficulty breathing still when I exert myself.  Now I know why, as the culprit is still present in my lung !

Before we headed home, we stopped over to Walmart as they had the Source Yogurt on sale for $3.97 for a pkg. of eight.  This is a great deal as usually at our local Foodland store it is priced at least $8.00 for the same package.  I eat yogurt every day, so we picked up six packages at that great price.

"Once we were heading out of Owen Sound, I couldn't believe it when we came across a truck ahead of us pulling his camper trailer.  I sure hope this guy was pulling it somewhere South, as I am pretty sure we are still going to get a "blast" of Winter yet.  But then again, maybe they are into Winter camping?"

We finally made it back home just before 3:00 pm..  I headed in to make Rob a lunch for work, while he brought in the items we had bought, before he put on his "Crabby Cabbie

With Rob gone, I did up the sink full of dishes before I headed downtown to meet up with my friend, Sharon, to go for our daily walk.  I am sure glad I put on my lined splash pants, as it had gotten very damp outside, feeling like it almost could go right through the bones .... brr .

Before I forget, today is National Chocolate Cake Day !!!  Who does NOT like Chocolate Cake?  I LOVE Chocolate Cake.  In celebration of this said day, I would like to share a Chocolate Cake Recipe that I came across and have yet to try myself.  Here it is:

Moist Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water, or simply 1 cup boiling water)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch baking pans and set aside. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract; beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in hot coffee. Pour batter evenly between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

I can not wait to try it out.  Trust me I will share how good it is once I have a chance to try it !

Here is is going on to the 7:00 pm hour, no wonder I am starting to feel a little bit on the weary side.  Even though I haven't done anything other then wash a sink full of dishes, I feel like I have being going like the "Energizer Bunny" all day long.  *Sigh* time to put my feet up and take it easy the rest of the evening.

Take it easy the rest of the evening is exactly what I think I will do right now, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Thursday 26 January 2012

Turn The Heat On & Bring On A Little Mexican Food, Will Ya?

I thought I would sit myself down while everyone is quiet at the moment, and not needing my attention.  The "Crabby Cabbie" has left for what he does best, and our "pack" are not in need of anything for the time being.

My Thursday mornings are not usually too productive as it is the morning I go to the VON SMART exercise program in Wiarton for 9:30 a.m.  By the time I get up, take Missy Mercedes out, have myself a coffee, take Bandit and Lexus out each separately for their own runs, get myself ready to go, take Mercedes out for one more "lick and a promise" before I head out, there isn't too much time for anything else.

I am pleased to report this week I was able to participate fully in the SMART program.  I felt a little more fatigued then usual, but I really think having been out walking with my friend, Sharon, the past while had helped me regain some of my strength, in turn making it easier for me participate today.

The only problem I had was after we were finished the one hour program, I started getting such a pressure headache instantly, that I knew could very well turn into a migraine.  The past few years my Doctor has given ordered me prescriptions which I was to take as soon as I felt a migraine coming on.  Well with my neck pain, it was impossible to determine if it was just that, neck pain, or the beginning of a migraine until it was right there crippling me.  Those medications didn't really help me whatsoever, so I was relieved when this past Fall he tried me on a prescription they used to use in days gone by, which consists of Butalbital, ASA & Caffeine.

Once I made it back home the first thing I did was take one pill, not two, and within a half hour any signs of a migraine that had been there, were gone completely !!!  Yeah!!! something that finally works for me and works well !!!  There is "light" at the end of the pain tunnel some days, I just knew there was ..... LOL.

Feeling better once the medications had kicked in, I got right down to making Rob and I our Dinner, which I am pleased to say was NOT Chicken.

Today I made, one of what has become one of Rob's now favorite dishes, Layered Enchilada Bake, a Kraft Recipe I found last year when leafing through some of my old "What's Cooking Magazines".

"I know when were were out shopping one time or another, I had come across this White Corn & Black Beans Mild Salsa that I had picked up in mind for this recipe, thinking it might be nice change rather then just using regular Salsa, as the recipe calls for.  I am sure the recipe must have been reasonable at the time as well, as I had bought two jars at the time."

"Once the ground beef and onions were cooked, I added a can of Black Beans, 2 tbsp. Chili Powder, 1/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Salad dressing and the Salsa until heated through."

"It was then time to have everything out and ready to assemble, so I started with layering the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with three tortillas."

"I continued layering starting with the meat mixture, sour cream and then the Kraft Tex Mex cheese.  The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of Sour cream, but between the two layers I used up the cup that I had, then continued with the cheese layer."

"After baking for 1/2 hour, the cover was removed and it was put back into the oven to continue baking for another 10 minutes until the cheese had melted."

"My kitchen was a "mess", so while the Layered Enchilada was baking, I thought I had better get something done with it.  The "Before" ..... "

" ... and the "After".  Once I got at it, it certainly did not take me long at all.   I always feel so much better when most of the "mess" is cleaned up before I sit down to enjoy a meal, whenever possible.  I hate leaving a "mess", I like trying to clean it up as I go along, and if I didn't, surely I would run out of room !"

"Then came the best part after it had sat for 5 minutes and was ready to be eaten .... and boy, oh boy, was it ever good."

Thinking you might want to add a little Mexican flavor to your home, then this is a very easy and good recipe to be trying out.  Here it is:

Layered Enchilada Bake

8 servings, 1/8 recipe (349 g) each

what you need

1 lb. (450 g) lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chunky salsa
1 can (19 fl oz/540 mL) black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
2 Tbsp. chili powder
6 large flour tortillas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup Kraft Tex Mex Shredded Cheese

make it

HEAT oven to 400ºF.
BROWN meat with onions in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Stir in next 4 ingredients.
PLACE 3 tortillas in single layer on bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish. Cover with layers of half each of the meat mixture, sour cream and cheese. Repeat layers; cover.
BAKE 40 min. or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted, uncovering after 30 min. Let stand 5 min.

kraft kitchens tips

Make Ahead
Freeze unbaked casserole up to 3 months. When ready to serve, bake, covered, in 400ºF oven 1 hour 15 min. to 1 hour 20 min. or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted, uncovering after 1 hour. (No need to thaw first.) Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve. Or, to shorten the baking time, thaw casserole in refrigerator overnight before baking as directed, decreasing the baking time to 45 min. Frozen casserole can be removed from baking dish, then wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and foil before returning to the freezer. When ready to serve, remove foil and plastic wrap and return to baking dish. Cover with foil and bake as directed.
Healthy Living
Save 50 calories and 7g of total fat, including 3g of saturated fat, per serving by preparing with extra-lean ground beef, Kraft Calorie-Wise Zesty Italian Dressing, whole wheat tortillas, fat-free sour cream and shredded Cracker BarrelOld Cheddar Cheese Light - Made with 2% Milk.
Family Fun
Set out bowls of chopped lettuce, tomatoes and avocados so everyone can help themselves to their favourite toppings.

Should you be leery on buying a bag of the Tex Mex Cheese, not to worry as it does freeze well.  Proportions for the recipe could be frozen until ready to be used and taken out the day before, as I had done.

Another Easy, Peasy as one - two - three recipe, that is now a favorite of both Rob and myself.  And just think, Rob didn't have to eat Chicken once again !!!  Imagine that???  LOL

Oh, and P.S., the Enchilada Bake had no real "heat" to it, as I had bought the "mild" salsa, which we found to be absolutely perfect for the two of us.

Now that I have been able to finish my "blog" for the day, I am thinking there is still lots of time to go meet up with my friend, Sharon, and take in a walk yet before the day is over and I settle in for the evening.

Then tomorrow brings a run to Doctor day, with going for my weekly appointment, plus blood work, up in Lion's Head, as well as a scheduled follow-up appointment with the Specialist in Owen Sound to ensure the pneumonia has taken permanent leave of my right lung.

More adventures to look forward to once again, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Shall I Be In Cahoots or In Cognito?

Oh my goodness, which way do I have the woodstove going, on or off?  One minute it is mild and too warm to have it fired up, the very next minute, or so it seems, it is freezing and we need it fired up full force.  I can't keep up with this roller coaster weather we have been having the past couple of weeks !

I shall not be complaining though, as it has been such a much nicer Winter then last year's Winter, beginning in November and not ending until at least April!  I really don't think we had a Spring either last year, did we Ontario?

Unfortunately today certainly didn't seem like too much of a productive day here at my house, but once we left the house it seemed to end up being unexpectedly on the costly side.

Rob thinks he might have our 2001 Chevrolet Malibu sold, so this morning he had to take it over to the mechanics to drop it off to have a Safety performed on it.  We have kept the mechanics up on the car pretty well in tip top shape, so we are hoping there will be not much to nothing needed on it to have it safetied.  We will know in a couple of days from now.  If it is not sold to this particular person, we will go ahead and advertise it on Kijiji for sale.

After the car had been dropped off, we headed over to the Service Canada office in Wiarton, as I had received the renewal for my OHIP card and needed to get this taken care of.  We were just finishing up with the paperwork on the OHIP, when the lady mentioned that my Driver's License should be due at the same time.  I had forgotten all about receiving the renewal for my Driver's License when I had been sick, so we then did the paperwork to get that taken care of as well.  The only other thing I had forgotten about was that it was $75.00 to renew my license.  Another unexpected cost I most certainly hadn't remembered about.

Oh man, there are some days when I don't think I will ever financially get ahead in this lifetime.  It just seems like you get one thing taken care of, take two steps forward, and something else crops up and you feel like you are taking ten more steps, but this time going backwards !!!  I really should not get too discouraged since I have to realize I am not alone when it comes to feeling like this, as it is happening to many other people out there then just me.  But dang it all, some days it just feels like it is only happening to me !!!  LOL

Maybe I should find somebody to be in CAHOOTS with and get myself out of the rut I sometimes feel we are in?  shall I?  or better yet, maybe go in Cognito ....

I have been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots.   Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there.  
I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work. 

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, 
and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore. 

I have also been in Doubt.  
That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often. 

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.. 

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.. 

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense!  
It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get! 

I may have been in Continent, and I don't remember what country I was in.. It's an age thing.

Today is one of the many National Mental Health Days throughout the year.

You can do your bit by remembering to send an e-mail to at least one unstable person. My job is done!

Life is too short for negative drama & petty things
. So laugh insanely,
love truly and forgive quickly
! From one unstable person to another....

I hope everyone is happy in your head - we're all doing pretty good in mine!

LOL ~ Rob's Cousin, Joyce, emailed me this the other day.  Sometimes we get emails at "just" the right time to put things into perspective for us when they are not seeming too right at the moment.

I would like to also thank everybody for doing so well in my head as well !  LOL

My dear Rob did NOT get chicken today for his Dinner, as I served him Spaghetti and Caesar Salad.

I also made a Black Bean & Feta Salad today as well.  Yummy, I had some for my supper, and I do so like it very much.  Should anyone else be interested in the recipe for such, it can be found at the web link as follows:


"Shh, don't tell anybody, but Rob does help me from time to time in the kitchen and with a few other things around the house.  We will keep this a "Secret" though, now won't we?  LOL."

".... and this one, UGH, a lot of help she is.  Usually she is lazing around like so, leaving her toys scattered throughout the house, demanding food, water, in or out !  I don't know why they are called  "man's best friend", as she most certainly leads the life of Riley around here most days !  I think I will come back in another life as a dog with owners like Rob and I.  LOL."

Once my "Crabby Cabbie" had left for what he does best, Mercedes and I headed downtown to meet up with our friend Sharon, to go for a walk.  We had a fairly good walk today, although I hadn't timed us, we had left the house here about 3:00 pm, went for a walk, I stopped for bread on the way home, and we didn't arrive back home until 5:00 pm or so, and most of that time was spent walking.  I would think it was a very good walk today.

I think I can almost call it a day here.  The remainder of the evening will be spent perusing recipes, or I am hoping American Idol is on at 8:00 pm, as I do love watching it from Season to Season. I am going  to head towards a bit of relaxation now, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard"
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