Friday, February 14, 2014

I got a little blue box for Valentine's Day




I seldom talk about the gifts hubby gives me, except in a joking manner.  Today I’m going to take exception, because back in 2007 I blogged about my worst Valentine’s Day gift ever, a red exercise suit, and I want you all to know that he is finally, after all these years, totally forgiven.

Back in 2007 I said it wasn’t “exactly romantic” but this year was.  We had such a nice day, a quick breakfast out, shopping a bit, even going for a walk around the neighborhood before the snow moved in.  And when he gave me “The Little Blue Box”  the one that makes every girl’s heart go pitter-patter, I was so touched.

And what’s in the box?  Well, we’ve been married for 43 years this summer, so the man knows me really well.  He gave me a gift card  to Tiffany’s so I can pick out what I want.  We’re heading to Nashville in a few weeks to visit the kids, guess you all know what store I’ll be hitting up.

Thanks hubby for the nice surprise and for making my Valentine’s Day so special.  XXo ~ me

Happy Valentines Day

Free vintage kids valentines cards two fried eggs in pan

Wishing you Hershey kisses and bouquets of spring tulips on this snowy Valentine’s Day in Heavensville….

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Saying goodbye to processed food...



Something is happening at our house that is life changing.  Hubby, not me, who had already decided several months ago that this was a game changer, but LC, has decided that he wants to continue eating low carb, to the point that he no longer wants our pantry filled with food we no longer eat.  We took everything white and processed out of the pantry, and we’re getting rid of it.

We’re saying goodbye to his favorite Kraft Mac’ and Cheese, pastas, prepackackaged mixes, it’s all going.  He’s not even tempted by this food, which is really shocking.

This is totally lifechanging at our age, to not eat the way we have our entire lives.  But I’m discovering a new way to cook, really good recipes, they’re not the same as we’re used to, some are not as good, but some, actually are better.

LC feels good, his weight is lower than it’s been in years, we don’t have to worry about the possibility of diabetes, his doctor approves, and he’s totally onboard with this, not temporarily, but long term.  And yours truly, it’s so easy for me to eat this way, I did miss beans, but now that  I’ve discovered black soybeans, and have that 25 lb. sack in my garage, I’m able to substitute them for my favorite pinto and limas. I no longer have heartburn, I have more energy, I don’t struggle to zip my pants, my muffin top is deflating, it’s such a good thing.

We do have a few meals a month with carbs, for me it’s usually pizza, for him, pasta, chinese or his favorite Deerhead breaded tenderloin, and then we go right back to it.  It’s harder when we visit the kids, but we indulge a bit and then come home and immediately start eating low carb again.

So this is what we’re up to this pretty, but cold winter day.  Purging our pantry of the bad, stocking it with the good, lots of nuts, coconut oil, items like wheat protein isolate, resistant wheat starch, xanthan gum, carbolose flour, and psyllium husk powder, strange  things I had never heard of before, but are actually pretty darn good.

It will be a year in May for me eating this way,  July for him, I’ll update you on my anniversary as to how it’s going and what’s in our pantry.  


And what’s on the menu tonight?  George Stella’s Marinara and Mozzarella Meatloaf, garlic and thyme sautéed zoodles (yellow squash cut into spaghetti strips), green salad with that great Western dressing I made yesterday and strawberries with low carb ice cream for dessert.  Not bad, huh…  Nope, not bad at all...

~ Bon Appetit Low Carb Style ~ Jan

Marinara + Mozzarella Meatloaf
Recipe courtesy George Stella

Prep Time 15 min/ Cook Time 75 min/ Serves 8

Shopping List
2 pounds lean ground beef
11⁄2 cups marinara sauce, no sugar added
1⁄4 cup diced red onion
3 large eggs
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1⁄2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
3⁄4 cup mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and ready a nonstick 9x5 loaf pan for baking. (Or spray a regular loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.)

2. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, 1 cup of the marinara sauce, diced red onion, eggs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. (This is easiest done with your hands.)

3. Evenly fill loaf pan with the meatloaf mixture, patting with your hands to form an even top. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

4. Remove loaf from oven; drain any excess fat or liquid, and then top with the remaining 1⁄2 cup of marinara sauce, and all of the mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees. Drain fat from pan once more and let rest 10 minutes before cutting into 8 equal slices.

George’s Tips | When buying marinara sauce, it is very important to read the labels! Look for the sauce that is the lowest in sugar. While tomatoes contain some natural sugars, check the ingredients list for any sugar or corn syrup that may have been added. With so many jars to choose from, there’s no need to buy the one with added corn syrup! 

Variation | If you do not have a loaf pan, simply form a rounded loaf by hand in a large baking dish. Also, you can make an Italian Vegetable Stuffed Meatloaf by adding 1⁄4 cup of diced roasted red peppers and 1⁄2 cup of diced fresh zucchini.

calories:425| fat: 28g |protein: 29g |fiber: 1g |net carbs: 6.5g

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Things that go bump in the night...


A couple of weeks ago we were sound asleep, it was 2am and all of a sudden hubby lets out this bloodcurdling scream, a horrific  guttural sound I had never heard him utter before.  He jumps out of bed and throws something, I bolt upright in a panic, Maggie is barking her little Yorkie head off, and I’m trying to clear my head enough to find out what’s going on.

He turns on the light, and he had thrown a fern across the room.  Our cleaning lady had been there that morning, apparently dusted the shelf above the bed and the fern had been teetering precariously on the edge, and the fan from the furnace was just enough to give it flight, right on the top of LC’s face when he was soundly sleeping.  It’s a wonder the man didn’t have a heart attack!

The fern is just thrown back upon the shelf, I think poor hubby wants nothing to do with it, and I haven’t suggested he tuck it behind the clock, poor man, I was so unnerved, I can’t imagine having something scratchy fall on your face in the middle of the night.  He must have thought he had a squirrel or worse attacking him.  I know it scared the beejus out of me when I heard him yelling.

Oh, we really need to do something about that shelf, take it down, put something else in it’s place.  He has glued Liquid Nail to the brackets on the wall, because I worry about the whole thing tumbling down on us, so it’s a major redo when we take it down, but we really need to figure something else out..  We’re just too old for all this excitement in bed!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rest in Peace, Shirley Temple



She was just the most amazing little girl.  So many good memories from a gentler time...


Sunday, February 9, 2014





I’m so bored I’ve spent a good part of the day organizing music in iTunes.  Not a bad thing actually, because I really do have some great elevator music.  :O)  Well I do!  And now it’s all together, ready to play on my mini player.

If you are a fan of gentle, soothing, lyrical tunes, there is nobody better than Dean Evenson.  I have several of his albums, but my favorite is Back to the Garden.




I bought it years ago at a little tourist shop when we were traveling.  I love little out of the way places, they always seem to have great cd’s that aren’t mainstream.

 You can get Back to the Garden from Amazon here, and listen to samples.  

I just found several of his recordings online from my local library, that’s even better than Amazon.  They’re free!  Guess where I’m going next week?


Try it, it’s a good thing.  ~ Jan

Kathie Lee and more, Podcasts for a Sunday afternoon...



If you’re looking for something to do on this dreary Sunday in February, some of these podcasts might appeal to you.  Oh c’mon, quit rolling your eyes and just check out the link.  Kathie Lee interviewed Dolly, how much better can it get than that!  And Tim Conway, and a blast from the past, Debbie Boone.

You know you’re bored, it’s just audio people, you can listen and go about whatever you’re doing.  Who would give up a chance for a Dolly interview, her voice is enough to give any of us the giggles.

Here’s the link, go for it!


And while you’re at it, probably my most favorite podcasts of all are the Splendid Table ones.  I love to have them in my iPod, great for when you’re out walking, right, like we can walk in the ice today.  But anyhoo, lots and lots of goodies to choose from.

Check them out here!

I used to be a big fan of Podcasts, and they kind of fell by the wayside, so I’m reviving them.  Yep, that’s what I’m doing today, exciting isn’t it...

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