Thursday, April 30, 2020

Florida Opening

First, don’t believe everything you see on the news or read about Florida’s response to Coronavirus.  The residents were not the ones congregating on the beaches during spring break.  We were already sheltering in place, because we were concerned about our neighbors, many who are elderly and at risk.  We patiently waited for the influx of visitors to lessen and have been following the rules since then.  Our governor has taken a one size does not fit all approach and is treating the hot spots and vulnerable populations differently than the areas less affected and continues to give power to local governments.

My county (Sarasota), never a hot spot, has opened our beaches for walking, but kept the parking lots closed for now.  This gives locals the opportunity to get back on our beaches, with proper social distancing.  On Monday, Florida begins “Phase One” where restaurants are opening with capacity limits and those of us who are healthy, are free to go out and about with guidelines on masks, group size and continued social distancing when possible.

The Governor  talked about hope and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel today at his news conference.  And, not giving in to fear.  Going for a walk on the beach today, with very few people around, gave me that sense of the hope he was talking about.  Just a little bit of normalcy, with common sense, was just what I needed and something I hope you all can experience soon too.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Stay at Home Reading List

I realize that for some of us, the strict stay at home orders may be coming to an end, but it still looks like we will be advised to continue social distancing a bit more, at least until the summer months.  I always find myself reaching for something to read, rather than the remote, so here is my Stay at Home/ Pre Summer list of books I want to read in the weeks ahead.

The next book I plan to download will be the latest featuring private detective,  V.I. Warshawski .  It’s one of my favorite series and really never disappoints after all these years (first in series published in 1982).  The rest on the list are a mixture of familiar and new and as always, I hope to discover a book I get caught up in and can’t put down. I have high hopes that American Dirt might be that one.  If you are a reader and book nerd like me, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Happy Reading!

Dead Land by Sara Parentsky  (V.I. Warshawski series)

Camino Winds by John Grisham

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Willa’s Grove by Laura Munson

The King’s Justice by Susan Elia MacNeal  (a Maggie Hope Mystery)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Hello Fresh Review

 Because we are all looking for ways to stay out of the grocery store and also think of something new to cook, I decided to finally give Hello Fresh a try.  For those not familiar, it is a meal delivery service with fresh ingredients needed to prepare a restaurant quality meal at home.  You sign up, pick your meals and they are delivered on dry ice, right to your door.  You can skip a week anytime.

My experience has been a good one, but I learned a few things along the way.  First, the two person meals are not for us.  For this plan, you choose three different meals, which brings too much pressure for me to cook them while everything is still fresh.  Also, I like to have leftovers and depending on the meal you choose, it’s barely enough for two.  For example, two small pork chops doesn’t work for my husband and I.

The second week I switched to the four serving meals and it was much better for us.  Plenty of food and only two meals to choose and cook.  It’s not a budget friendly choice, but still less expensive than going to a restaurant.

The recipe cards are fun to cook with, but I wouldn’t say that this is novice cooking.  You have to understand timing and have some basic cooking skills.  There is usually a lot happening at once and a lot of pots and pans are used.  I think it would be a fun couple activity and an extra pair of hands would be helpful in my experience with this so far.

I have another delivery scheduled for next week and I look forward to working it into my meal plan.  Did I forget the most important part of a cooking review?  Everything has been flavorful and really good quality.  Let me know your experience with Hello Fresh or any other meal delivery.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Let’s Cook Together 3

Easter will feel a little different this year for all of us.  But, even if its just 2 people, there are ways to make it still feel like a holiday.  A special recipe can be the easiest way to create a holiday feeling and this year, breakfast while you watch an online Easter service, might be what memories are made of.

This recipe for  Baked French Toast with Streusel Topping is so easy and delicious you will want to  keep it handy to make again and again.  Aren’t the best recipes the ones that look and taste extraordinary, but are really the most simple to prepare?   (Original publication date April 29, 2013)

I make this sugar free by using Splenda brown sugar.  But, you can use regular as well.  Serve with some fruit on the side and a mimosa in a pretty glass and most important, have a truly blessed Easter morning safe at home.  Let me know if you make this!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Making Me Smile

In the past few weeks since being home 24/7, I have purchased a few things for delivery that have made me smile.  And, I fight for smiles these days.  There is nothing big, that will break the bank, but things that make the day to day a little more pleasant.

Because I spend a good part of my day in my bathing suit and it’s heating up here, I ordered a light, sleeveless coverup to use if I need to go outside in the front, where its a little more public than on my lanai. I have a few others, but they have long sleeves and are not comfortable this time of year.

One of my weaknesses is pretty dishes and these bunny plates from Pottery Barn were on sale and speaking my name.  I have been using them for my morning toast the past week and they definitely make me smile as Easter approaches.  I also will use them for dessert at our Easter dinner for two.

Thinking ahead to the hair situation that all of us are going to be experiencing soon, I ordered a fun headband to give me some help when the highlights start disappearing.  Or, just a change of look, because I am getting a little bored with all the repeat casual clothes every day.

Finally, a couple tropical candles are the perfect stay at home accessory.  Dinner, a cocktail and a
candle burning have become the perfect end to these stay at home days.

Happy Monday and stay home and stay safe.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Let’s Cook Together 2

How is the cooking going?  I have decided that we are at the point where dinner and a cocktail are the highlight of the day, so I might as well keep some variety going.  We are barbecuing a bit, I’m making some tried and true favorites and even tried Hello Fresh for the first time.  I thought it would be a good way to get fresh food in the house, without going to the grocery store.  At some point, I will write a post on my thoughts, but I will say now that I have enjoyed the cooking process and every meal I ordered has been full of flavor.

My recipe choice to share as a cook along is a hearty soup made with ingredients most have in their pantry, fridge and freezer.  Its comfort food that can be made either in the crock pot or on the stove top and the ingredients can be adapted to what you have on hand.

Its hot here in Florida, but for the rest of you dealing with rainy, spring days, this is the perfect simple meal with some bread as an accompaniment.  First published January 15, 2015.

Let’s cook together and then tell me what you think.  Stay safe!

Farmhouse Hamburger Soup

Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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