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Monday Musings: 06.02.2014 Edition June 2, 2014

Posted by Toy Lady in Information, meal plan monday, Musings, random stuff.
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Hello and happy June!

This week’s market trip yielded another big batch of fresh asparagus – I always make it a point to get my asparagus from the same guy – it’s fresh, local, and, after all these years, he knows me, so he gives me a break on the price!

Gosh, can you believe it’s June already?  I mean, it seems like just a few weeks ago, we were shoveling snow and . . . oh, wait a minute, I guess it was, wasn’t it?  HA!

I love spring – I love the freshness of the new produce, the greenness of the lawns, being able to leave the windows open all night – and I honestly don’t think I’d appreciate it quite so much without the cold, dark winter first, you know?




And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan. While there’s only a slight chance of rain in the forecast for this week, we still haven’t gotten completely into “summer grilling” mode yet – so we’re going to play it safe.

Monday – Last weekend, Peeps smoked a big old brisket, and, even after several lunches, there’s still a good portion left – so we’ll enjoy that reheated with a little barbecue sauce, some mashed potatoes, and sauteed mustard greens.

Tuesday – The current Cook’s Country magazine has a recipe for Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Fingers that sounds good.  I’m not quite sure what we’ll do with it, though.  Some sort of potatoes, I guess, and a vegetable.  Maybe salad (from my garden!) or broccoli.

Wednesday – With certain factions of the herb garden threatening to take over the world, I think it’s time for the herby-tuna pasta that we love so much.  That’s pure summer food for us!

Thursday – This is it – the end of that brisket!  Again, we look to Cook’s Illustrated – sort of, anyway – for Smokey Kansas City BBQ Beans.  Only instead of finishing the beans on the smoker, we dumped the remainder of the smoked brisket right in them and we’ll finish them in the slow-cooker. It’ll be fantastic!

Friday – Our regular Friday night pizza night brings us a relaxing evening w

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.


I have something of a confession.  Well, not a confession so much as an admission.

See, here’s the thing.  I find that, as the weeks go by, writing this blog is becoming more of a chore than not.  As much as I’ve enjoyed writing over these last few years, I’m finding that I don’t have the time to put the effort into it that I used to.

And let’s be honest, I’m not really writing anything worth reading, am I?

In other words – it’s not you, it’s me.


I don’t want to lose touch with our tens of readers – the people who’ve stuck around, left comments, and, in generally, made me feel like someone out there really is listening.

Since YOU know who you are (in real life, that is), I’m going to have to leave it to you to keep in touch.

If you’re on the Facebook, please do send me a “friend request” – oddly enough, after all the years I’ve avoided it, I find Facebook oddly . . . easy. It’s so simple to share random thoughts or links or pictures – right form my phone if need be!  So do look me up – it’ll be fun!

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Monday Musings: 02.25.2014 Edition February 24, 2014

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Freezer Meals, Home, Information, meal plan monday, Musings, random stuff, Review.
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Boy, there for a minute, we almost started thinking about spring!  The weather this weekend has been, well, the word that comes to mind is temperate.  Not too cold – we actually came close to 50 at one point! – and sunny, to boot!

Although we didn’t need much (which is just as well, since the selection is pretty slim this time of year), it was nice to walk around at the Public Market without freezing for a change!


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Okay, I would like to pause for a moment and congratulate myself.

For the past few years, I’ve been carrying FOUR cell phones on my account – mine and Peeps, sure, but also The Boy‘s and Peeps’s mom’s, as well.

Let me just say – that kind of thing starts to add up!    Even when three of the four of us were just using basic phones – none of that fancy smart-phone stuff.

So now. . . the other two have transferred their phones to their OWN accounts, and Peeps and I?  Well, we closed our account and went with a new(ish), no-contract carrier called Republic Wireless.

Basically, we bought the phones outright ($300 each (ouch) BUT that’s what credit cards are for), and from here on out, our service is $25 a month each, plus tax, for unlimited talk, text, AND data.  No contracts, no extra charges, no nothing.

Plus?  I’ve got the Internet in my pocket, guys!

The service has been great, we love the phones (Motorola’s Moto X), and we’ve both been extremely happy.  And it’s significantly cheaper than the basic cell service with the other company.  Where’s the bad?

If you want to check it out for yourself, click on the Republic logo above –  either for more information or even to sign up yourself.  In addition, just until the end of the month, if you do use the referral link above, Republic is offering a $19 credit on new plans.

*  Unsolicited opinions here.  The only renumeration I may (or may not) receive would be a $19 credit to me, too, if anyone signs up using that link, which they’ve offered to all their customers, so . . .



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.   I’ve got another busy week ahead at work – it’s getting to be that time of the year, I guess!   It’s still a little weird with Peeps frequently getting home later than I do, but, on the bright side, we’re not getting up before 4AM !

Monday – We have some veal shanks in the freezer, which will cook reasonably quickly in the pressure cooker!  Several years ago, I found this recipe for ossobuco bianco, and, although we’ve only made it a few times, we love it.  I may also try risotto in the rice cooker – I think that’ll be a perfect complement.

Tuesday – I’m kind of embarrassed about this, but, ever since the Ukraine thing has been in the news last week, I’ve had Chicken Kiev on my mind.  (I’m pretty sure the Ukrainian rebels would probably be less than impressed that FOOD is what I think of when their government is overthrown, but what can I say?  At least it’s lovely, garlicky-buttery chicken!)  Maybe with some barley and broccoli.

Wednesday –  I kept stumbling across two partial bags of frozen corn in the freezer – it was driving me nuts!  So . . . you know what you do with two partial bags of corn?  You make corn chowder.  I used the last of the chicken from last week’s roast chicken, along with some of last summers corn stock, and BOY is this gonna be good!

Thursday –  My most recent dog food purchase has  reminded me (again!) how important it is to keep the freezer under control – what goes in MUST come out!  As it happens, Peeps opened the freezer door the other day, and a container of pork sugo fell out.  Ha – saute the broccoli rabe we picked up at the market, and we’ve got dinner!

Friday – Friday night is always pizza night for us – the crust sits in the fridge and ferments all week, and we’ve got plenty of homemade sauce, salami, ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, basically whatever we’re in the mood for.  And, of course, Jar’s Kong!

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.



Oh Canada May 13, 2011

Posted by Peeps in Business, Cooking, Food, Information, random stuff, Rochester.
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This is my friend Liz.
She works with me a couple days a week at The Ravioli Shop. She’s way more fun than Boss, and we make a pretty good team.
Liz is a major foodie. We spend a lot of time talking about cooking and techniques. She has several part time jobs in various capacities in the food business. Every so often, I bring her samples of stuff we’ve either just tried, or that we love to make over and over again, and she either really likes our food, or is incredibly polite.
But in addition to her seemingly dozen or so jobs, she recently started her own small business. She bought a food truck and now has a space at the Public Market making poutine.
I had never heard of poutine, and promptly told her so. She explained that it’s a traditional French-Canadian dish, consisting of french fries, fresh cheese curds and gravy.
Now, please remember that I am from New Jersey. French fries with brown gravy are a late night diner staple. Cheese fries are a very close second. And while I will cheerfully eat either of these, the thought of combining them never once crossed my mind. And the sad part is, that I can’t for the life of me think of why.
She does every one fresh to order. She cuts the potatoes in the truck and fries them fresh. The gravy is made every day the Market is open.
The cheese curds and as many ingredients she can manage come from local places.
I showed up for Liz’s grand opening, and had poutine for the first time. It was fabulous. The fries were hot and perfect. The cheese was only just starting to melt, so there was a contrast of textures. The gravy was better than I’ve ever managed to accomplish. She adds a small pinch of fresh thyme on top, which is apparently not traditional. Okay, I’m good. I’d eat this again in a heartbeat.
For now, the menu is very limited. And that’s fine. Doing a couple things really well is better than doing a bunch of things poorly.
After her opening day, I mentioned that both my wife and I thought that a poached egg would go nicely on top of this dish. She replied that she was planning on doing something like that in the future. With, perhaps, sausage gravy instead of her normal gravy. Dude! I am so all over that.
So, if you’re ever in Rochester, please try to make it a point to go see my friend Liz at the Market. If she’s not too busy, mention my name and chat with her. Then enjoy one of the greatest snacks I’ve ever had. I may have to stop making fun of Canada now. Well, I’ll try.

Happy Peeps day! April 22, 2011

Posted by Peeps in Holidays Countdown, Information, random stuff.
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Okay, so a nickname I got years back stuck.  Some online friends were talking about blowing up marshmallow Peeps in the microwave, and I’d never heard of this.  That’s when they decided to start calling me Peeps.

As nicknames go, it’s not so bad.  Particularly since I am far from an awesome typist.  Typing Peeps is really simple, even only using two fingers.

And once again, Easter in almost upon us.  Peeps day.  And apparently, there are several places around our country that people with far too much time on their hands enter contests that require building scenes from movies or the news using Peeps.

I usually get an email or two.  Maybe a phone call.  But I always end up checking out all the entries that people tell me about.  Apparently, the big ones are in Washington and Chicago.

Take a look and let me know which of this years is your favorite.  Happy Easter, folks.

It’s almost time March 11, 2011

Posted by Peeps in Information, random stuff.
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The big Summer movies are due out in a couple months.  It’s always such fun.

I don’t care much about movies that win Oscars.  I’ve only ever seen seven movies that got Best Picture in my life.  But the movies that come out during the Summer aren’t the ones that win awards.

Summer movies are all about making a big splash.  Explosions, fight scenes, hilarity, special effects.  That’s what I’m looking for in a movie.  I want to be entertained.

I have hopes to be able to see a few this summer.  The last Harry Potter movie is something that we probably need to go to, since we’ve seen all the rest of them.

We have three comic book movies coming this year, and while they all will probably be awful, they’re all on my list to go see.  DC comics is giving us Green Lantern while Marvel is coming out with both Thor and Captain America.

But the other day, I happened to run across a trailer for another superhero  movie coming out in a couple weeks that should set the tone for the Summer.

Okay, does this look awful or what?  I can’t wait to go see it.  I’ve already started using his battle cry, which is almost as good as The Tick’s.  And it comes out on April first.  Yet more incentive.

Maybe I’ll let you know how it is.  Or maybe, you should just go find out for yourself.