Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Thirty Minutes to Mealtime a great old cookbook

I recently bought a few bags full of old cookbooks from our local college library book sale.  I adore older cookbooks and the wonderful old recipes that take me back to my childhood.  While 30 minute meals may not be totally from my childhood, they are great recipes of old standby recipes as well as time savers for our modern lifestyles.  The book is called: 30 Minutes to Mealtime, copyright 1994, by Kraft Foods, INC.  This is one we recently ate and the entire family loved it.  I will post, with pictures, the recipes we try and let you know how delicious they are.  I hope you enjoy them.

Mapley Mustard Chicken

1/4 cup of maple syrup {Log Cabin is a good one}
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Mix:  syrup, mustard and lemon juice is a small bowl

Heat: oil in a large skillet on medium high heat.  Add chicken; brown on both sides.  Pour syrup mixture over chicken.  Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Serve:  chicken mixture over hot cooked noodles or rice, if desired.

This recipe is wonderful with a fresh tossed salad.  It's so easy it can be prepared when you get home from work in no time flat.  It's also pretty enough for a dinner party.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Monday, January 6, 2014

So she thinks this is love

Growing old scares her, she's over forty now, so she decides to date men far too young for her.  She dates guys who are the same age as her daughter, she thinks this will make her feel more attractive, more desirable, keep her younger, if only in her head.  She fails to admit to herself that she is, in fact, scared of getting older.  Realizing she now has two daughters who could very well make her a grandmother, she grimaces at the thought of that prospect.

Sandy, on the heels of a divorce, needs a reason to be happy.  She dates guys younger because she wants to capture that effervescence she once felt as a younger woman.  She works out, she gets her nails done, dyes her hair, all to look younger and more attractive to younger men.  She even dresses like women do in their twenties, not realizing skimpy clothes makes her look older, cheap.  Her entire life, her happiness has been tied up in her looks, she hasn't taken time to work on a personality because she has always bought into society's idea of beauty, namely youth.

The 21 year old guy does not work out.  He doesn't do just what she wants him to do, he doesn't react just as she wants him to react to her.  She pulls some stunts to create drama because she is starved for affection.  Her entire youth was squandered, like so many other women's, on a marriage that made her feel unloved.  Spent on raising children, who, now mostly grown, do not need her as much as they did when they were younger, so she seeks solace in relationships that have meaning only to her.  Younger men, especially those who have never been married before, never had children, just don't play those dramatic head games.  The very young guy throws up his hands, sends her a text saying he just doesn't need the bull shit anymore.

The next one is in his 30's, still too young, still never been married, no children of his own, too critical because all she has known was a husband for too long who was critical, so, like many women in her present situation, she gravitates toward the familiar.  Not understanding that men her own age, or older, those who have sewn their wild oats, maybe even been married before, maybe divorced for some time, more settled and reliable, look for women who are beautiful inside.  She does not realize they are more suited to helping her find real love, no drama and no games.  Reliable and steady, the strong but quiet love, seems boring to her.

She hates the idea of dating guys who are older, in their fifties or beyond, because to her, this is admitting she too is growing older.  But they would be better choices, better than trying to recapture her high school years, for those years are gone.  She cannot stop mourning her lost youth. Older men date younger women for the same reasons, to appear to be desirable, even though they are older.  But people their own age are more stable, more established in this game we call life.  Much more willing to be less critical and allow them to be themselves, not some image they have in their heads. Sad they haven't learned it's fine to be alone, for a while anyway, alone to get to know themselves much better, know who they are and what they want in life.  


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What's not to like about retirement?

I was just contemplating today about retirement.  What do I like about it?  Retirement how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

A) I can work at my own pace, I write now and I write and write.  I love it.  Nothing about my writing is 'time sensitive' so no real deadlines, no boss chomping at the bit for paperwork for the state and federal government.  Yeah!

B) I can pee whenever I want to.  Now this may not sound like such a big deal for some, but when you've got clients in your office and you have to pee oh so badly, believe me, it is a big deal.

C)  I can sleep in the morning as long as I please.  Need I say more?  Seriously, this needs no explanation.

D) I can get up at three in the morning, write when it's quiet and go back to bed and sleep in.  See above.

E) I can get a haircut and shop whenever I feel like it.  Really, I never knew that Mondays in the grocery store could be so quiet, unlike weekends when it's packed and people pushing and shoving.  OK  I apologized for pushing and shoving.   Now, Mondays, I don't have to.

F) I can visit the parks and lakes near me whenever I want.  Beats the hell out of a bitchy boss and a slacker assistant any day.

G) I can text and talk on the phone whenever and as long as I like.  This one needs little explanation either.

When some people say they miss working, well try gardening, painting furniture, writing, reading or sewing or something as a hobby you've never had time to do before.  Try it, you'll like it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

If it isn't fashion, the blog's not 'in'

This is the Real world

I write on our book blog often, but this is my personal blog site where I write about real life and personal things.  I know the 'fashion' blogs are all the rage right now, but fashion is just smoke and mirrors.  I cringe at when I was a teen and had to have the most fashionable designs, or as close to them as I could afford.

As I grew older, this thing we hate set in, it is called reality.  I've been wondering why we hate it or more to the point, why we tend to fear reality so much.  Many people turn to distractions to pretend reality doesn't exist, yet, no matter the distractions, when we return from them, reality never goes away.

Some people turn to addictions, not just substance abuse addictions always either.  Gaming and technology in general can be a powerful addiction for too many.  Technology is a good tool, if used right.  But technology is responsible for marriage and relationship destruction, for loss of jobs, for loss of money and even for loss of one's home because too much money was spent on buying 'things' from web sites.  All addictions, all needing to be dealt with.

Distractions, like buying expensive fashion items. We seem to think 'things' will make us happy, fulfill us when relationships turn bad, when we feel lost and need a 'thing' fix.  But that's just what is is, a buying spree fix, only good until the next 'high' is needed. Technology, can destroy lives as much as drugs and/or alcohol can.

Can we tell this to kids, young adults or older adults and they get it?  Probably not, unfortunately.

I have watched America's Next Top Model and while amusing, it is also sad.  This show gets entirely too much media attention.  They have one 'media' guy on there, whom I cannot stand because I highly doubt This guy knows what anyone needs to wear or buy.  Just a spokesman, like a carnival barker for 'buy me, buy me, buy me' nothing more than a selling tool.  Then they invited a popular blogger to visit, a guy who has no sense of anything that looks good, but because he is brash on his blog site and rude to people about what they choose to wear, he is 'popular' Lord help us! Like Joan Rivers and her fashion police act, which, folks is just that, an act.  I watched Joan as a kid, she is older than dirt and so many face lifts, her face looks like stone.

Well this ends this chat session and I doubt anyone particularly cares because my site has no boobs, bare asses or high fashion to it.  More's the pity. 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Boys and playing with dolls

I remember an 'incident' with my now ex-husband, when my oldest son was playing 'tea party' with his sister and feeding her dolls with a bottle.  The (stupid man ex) barged in and had a fit, trying to tell me that 'boys need trucks and GI Joes' (which BTW looked like dolls to me) because boys need to grow up to be men.  Gawd........Not like my ex I hope, no one likes those men.

Another 'incident' involved playing with and baking in, an Easy Bake Oven.  Again, geesh, boys aren't supposed to use those.  Well they can use them, the same as an adult male who is not threatened by 'women's chores, can use a real oven.  Try it guys!  The stove has no built in gizmo, like a James Bond movie, where if the man touches the stove, he is zapped, and electrocuted.  No, seriously, he's not.  Dishwater is not kryptonite to a man's species either.

Where's the little boy in this picture?

As a child I loved climbing trees, I rode a boy's blue bike (the only one my parents could find at a household auction) I played in the dirt for hours with trucks.  I had toy cap guns, I played cowboys and rode a wooden, stick horse with a black cloth head and a yellow mane.  I didn't grow up to be a serial killer, an axe- murderer, bank robber nor hate peace.  In fact, I am and have always been a peace loving person.

Doesn't this picture look all too familiar?

If boys can't play tea party, cook in Easy Bake Ovens or feed dolls with a bottle, how in hell are they supposed to grow up to be decent men, dads or partners in any relationships or have respect for all of humanity?  

A few years ago, a dish washing detergent ran commercials showing a man doing dishes and men in America threw a hissy fit.  I guess the 'dish washing elf' does a single man's dishes?  Where in hell is that elf when I need it?  Another ad, ran by a car company, showed women on a balcony watching a guy getting out of a sports car.  The conversation was: "Nice car, I wonder what he's compensating for?"  Sexist?  Yes, but why it is acceptable to run sexist ads when women are the brunt of the joke?  Men don't get pissed then.

I sincerely hope parents are much more enlightened.  But then, I look at violent video games and wonder. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Divorce diaries

Should have been what many of us women did first, before marriage.

When a woman lives in a small town, with no women's shelters, she is basically on her own.  She has to stay with friends, hope Social Services puts you and your kids in a motel or sleep in her car, if she can even afford a car.  I know, first hand.  I went to Social Services once, the first time I had tried to leave, and this is what one of those workers said to me: "I'm so booked up right now.  Can't you just make up?  For a while?"  Now it's a statistical fact most abused women leave 5 times before staying away, or for good.  Can't imagine why in small towns.  I know those workers hope we all leave their jurisdiction, to save them paperwork.  One woman I met, later on, while working in a city that did have a shelter, fled with her small dog, to be told: "I'm sorry but we cannot let you have your dog."  Bull shit!  There is a loving connection with a pet, what in hell is wrong with agencies anyway?

Getting services is frustrating.

A woman has to go for services if she has no job at the time.  The abuser usually makes sure she has no decent job because he calls where she works, or she is emotionally distraught as to what is going at home, no social support, and isolated that she ends up losing her job. 

My two kids and I stayed with a friend for a while, but her husband was so abusive, that was a trauma by itself.  We stayed there because even though I found a nice apartment, Social Services refused to pay for it because the landlord didn't require a security deposit.  No safe haven because of some effed up rules.  

Then we found a HUD apartment and we had absolutely no furniture because we fled with the clothes on our backs.  But we were happier than in a household full of turmoil.  Social Services offered no help with furniture nor tells you they have a fund for any.

I know many people view women who go for services as lazy, incompetent, shiftless, bad mothers and so on so forth.  Not so.  If you have school aged kids, well you also have to 'look for a job' because Welfare to Work is supposed to help you be self-sufficient. But how is that?  You usually have to get a low paying job, crappy hours, no support especially after a while, for child care, no car and Still have to get food stamps and Medicare because the crappy job pays nothing, so you cannot afford rent and utilities and food.  You know what small towns offer for jobs?  Mostly the "Would you like fries with that?"  Kind of employment.

Over the edge yet?

The times I had called the police when the abuser was acting up, went like this:  once the cop sided with the ex saying: "I understand, my ex wife is a bitch too."  The abuser is not the bitch?  Then another cop tried to talk me out of having him arrested.  Explaining to me the abuser was just distraught and upset.  

Yes, he usually was distraught and upset over nothing.  What's new?  I am a firm believer that a Case Manager should go on Every domestic call simply for the woman to have someone to talk to, and to have moral support.

Like I always say: "Stop domestic violence" is nothing more than the slogan and the cause of the week once a year.

What have YOU done to help an abused woman get someplace safe?  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Foodie break, meatloaf Wellington

Back to the very old cookbook I found, it resembles my Mom's book I grew up with.  

I love meatloaf, and I know in this modern era, we are not supposed to love red meat.  I confess, I do, and many times I use ground turkey, at least for 50% of it, but then, once in a while I just like the total red meat thing (sorry vegans and vegetarians everywhere), but I grew up in a household where my Dad loved meat for meals.

This recipe for Meatloaf Wellington is delicious and we loved it.  Easy to prepare and very elegant looking for a company dinner, or just a Sunday dinner.  You can impress in-laws with your cooking skills because it looks beautiful on the table.  The recipes from this book don't take a long time to prepare, so they are ideal for working people who want something on the table in no time, especially after a day of work.  

Meatloaf Wellington:

1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom or golden mushroom soup

2 pounds of ground beef, or 1 pound beef and 1 pound ground turkey

1/2 cup of fine dry bread crumbs

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/3 cup of water

1 teaspoon salt (if desired)

1 package of refrigerated crescent rolls

Mix thoroughly 1/2 cup of soup, beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg and and salt.  Shape firmly into loaf (8 by 4  inches); place in shallow baking pan.  Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees F.  Spoon off fat.  Separate one package of refrigerated crescent rolls; place crosswise over top and down sides of meatloaf, overlapping slightly.  Bake 15 minutes more.  

Great with a tossed salad, green beans or mashed potatoes.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. 

Bon Appetite!