Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and me that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.


I've heard good things about this one. Although it sounds kind of brutal.

Another one I've heard good things about.

I've always wanted to read this series. 

What did you get this week? Claire's got the linky.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Random Thoughts

-I'd been wanting to stop using plastic straws. A friend gave me a metal straw. I liked it but after a while it made my drinks taste funny. I bought silicon straws. I love these. They are tall enough for all our cups and bottles.

-I recently started playing Dungeons and Dragons. I really enjoy it and gets us out of the house. For the locals, we play at Wizard's Keep, a new game store in the area.

-I'm back doing the low carb thing but I miss chips. Especially bbq chips. They are my downfall.

-I bought a new pair of hiking socks. I love them. They fit perfectly and they were inexpensive. I bought these at Target. I also bought a pair of knee high ones. It's getting chilly here and I think they'll be perfect under my boots.

-I think that hiking might not happen again until next year. Just too damn busy. Thinking of getting a treadmill so I can keep walking.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Favorite Weeknight Instant Pot Meals

I love my instant pot. I use it 2-4 times a week. Here are my favorite weeknight meals. These are meals that are ready in less than an hour. All links go directly to the recipe.

Pork Chops in Mushroom Gravy
This one has me and Dad written all over it. Juicy pork chops in a mushroom gravy. Over mashed potatoes, noodles, or cauli-rice. Delicious and easy.

Hamburger Stroganoff 
We love stroganoff but I rather have it with ground beef than stew meat. You do have to cook the noodles separately but it's still a pretty quick meal.

Carne Guisada
Such a great twist on taco night. This is more like a Mexican beef gravy. I serve in a bowl with tortilla chips. You could also use it on nachos.

Chicken and Dumplings
This is my go to chicken and dumpling recipe but be warned it uses canned soups. So yummy and filling.

Pulled Pork
A staple in my house. But I really don't follow this recipe. I only included the recipe for the timing. First, I rub a bbq seasoning all over the pork, then I add 1 can of beer (usually something light such as PBR or Sapporo) but you could use stock, apple juice, or water. I also don't cut up the pork. I just add a couple of minutes to the time if it's a huge piece (more than 4 lbs).

Pork ribs
Another family favorite. I use store bought bbq seasoning and store bought bbq sauce. But again the recipe is good for timing. One thing I love about the instant pot is that you can cook straight from the freezer foods. But I would hesitate with ribs. Frozen they are too hard to wrangle standing in the pot and seasoning doesn't stick. I only use thawed ones.

Mac And Cheese
This is my go to recipe. I go a little heavier on the hot sauce (Frank's always). And another confession, I use Velveeta. But it come out so creamy. Tai used to love the boxed stuff but now I only make this one.

Spaghetti 
Another family favorite. I don't use meatballs. I brown ground beef using the saute function. Add a jar of spaghetti sauce, a jar of water, and noodles (any kind is fine. Just don't use angel hair). Confession: I hate tomato based foods. Can't stand chili and I wasn't a fan of spaghetti until I tried this one. I love it. I don't know if cause the noodles cook in the sauce or what but it's so much more tasty to me.

Lazy Lasagna
This is a pot in pot recipe. Take an oven safe dish like this one. I add pepperoni in each layer. So easy. I always have the ingredients on hand.

Veggie and Meatball soup
I use Weight Watcher zero point soup as a starter, then throw in some frozen meatballs (I use the Italian ones from Trader Joe's but the ones from Costco would also work). Cook on manual for 2 minutes. Makes tons.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and me that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I stumbled on this one while looking for another book. I love reading about food.

I've never read about milk. I'm looking forward to this one.

Another one that sounded interesting. 

What did you get this week? Share below!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

A friend loaned Horrorstor to me. I'm glad he did. I love dark humor and Horrorstor is full of it. If you are looking for something spooky and funny, pick up Horrorstor.

The story follows 5 Orsk workers. Orsk is an Ikea knockoff. If you've ever been to an Ikea or worked in retail, you'll relate to a lot of the story. For Amy, Orsk is a job. She puts in her time and collects her pay check. Basil, her supervisor, lives and breathes Orsk. He wants Amy to treat this like more than a job. He doesn't feel like she's living to potential and wants to help her get there. But there are some odd things going on at Orsk. Furniture is stained (more than usual), weird smells everywhere, and strange graffiti in the bathrooms. Tiffany and Mike think it's ghosts and want to try to get photographic proof of them. Ruth Anne just want to make everyone happy and get through the day.

I've never worked retail but I recognized myself and my coworkers in these characters. Hendrix makes the story hilarious as well as creepy. The horror starts out mild but works it's way up to grotesque. If you are squeamish, this one might be too much for you.

Orsk sets up their stores to disorient customers.  Just like a casino, if you can't find your way out, you spend more money.  I think it will be a while before I can go to Ikea without thinking of this story. As a bonus, there are fantastic descriptions of the items Orsk sells. Horrorstor reminded me of Christopher Moore's Dirty Jobs. Others who shared their thoughts about Horrorstor: Ginger Nuts of Horror, That's Normal, and The Blogger's Bookshop.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

September Book Update

Aquaman: The Trench vol 1 by Geoff Johns
Bliss by Lynsay Sands
Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

Probably my worse month yet. I've been in a reading mood but not enough hours in the day. Hoping to get more reading in this month.


Book Stats:
Foodies Read: 1 (Cork Dork) YTD: 5
What's In A Name: 0 (None This Month) YTD: 1
Read Harder: 0 (None This month) YTD: 5
Total: 66

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and me that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I've heard good things about this one. 

One of those books that a lot of people have raved about.

I picked this one up because it looked good.

What did you get this week? Claire's got the linky this week. 



Monday, October 2, 2017

September Goal Update

Prepare to do something physically challenging in 2018. I went on one of my planned hikes in September. I have one planned for October. But October is so busy so I'm not sure if I'll do more. 

Be able to park my car in the garage by December 31, 2017. I got a lot of stuff out this month. All that's left is the camping gear, the bikes, and tools. I'm going to work on bringing the camping gear in the house and work on putting the tools in the cabinet. 

Add yoga back into my life at least once a week. I did some poses. My legs and upper back are wrecked every day. I need more yoga. 

One hour a day without technology (no phone, no computer, no tv). Still doing good on this one. 

Add more art into my life. Nothing here this month. There have been some great exhibits but no time to see them. 

Get back to meal planning. I'm less meal planning and just using what we have on hand. It works out most days.

September Goal: Stick to my budget. Eh, sort of. Lots of expenses. I'll keep working on it. 

October Goal: Eat at home 25 days out of the month.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Weekend Cooking: Cork Dork by Bianca Boker

I grabbed Cork Dork off the library shelf because I love learning more about wine (and food and other beverages too). I also love food related memoirs. So Cork Dork really hit out of the park for me. I loved Bosker's writing style and enjoyed reading about her adventure.

Bosker is a wine civilian. She enjoys a glass with dinner, buys wines that liked, and tries new wines sometimes with friends. But she can't really describe the flavors of wine or describe the wine beyond it's wine. But she meets a man who is studying for a sommelier competition which causes her to search exactly what sommeliers do, how they are trained, and how the compete and win these competitions. Bosker challenges herself to go from wine novice to master sommelier in a year. Cork Dork follows her journey.

I enjoy a glass of wine occasionally. I tend to like reds but I've had a few whites surprise me. Basically, Bosker learns smelling more and learning to identify more smells will help her taste wine better. So I took her advice. I walk around smelling more. It sounds crazy but it's amazing how much you miss. I work in a very urban environment. Some smells aren't things I want to smell like garbage and stinky people. But I made note of everything I smelled and tried to describe it. I noticed that I could taste food better. I haven't been able to have any wine lately, too busy. Bosker really encourages folks to try more wines. Don't drink the same thing all the time. Ask for recommendations. Try something new.

Definitely a good read. Give as a gift with a bottle of wine. Others who shared their thoughts about Cork Dork: Decanter, Wine on VI, and Terroirist.
This is my fifth read for the Foodies Read Challenge.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth  Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and me that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

It's getting cooler here in the Pacific Northwest and I'm stocking up on sweaters and books. 
I've heard good things about this one. Looking forward to it.

I spotted this one a list of books written by POC. I liked the title.

What did you get this week? Share your loot below.