September 21, 2020

Since you asked: what we eat (links to recipes) , plus what we drink, & watch

I'm so ashamed. Look at this drawer.  It needs attention.  The front corner is my recipe box and all of the recipes I have used in the last year, maybe?

I need a better system.  Admitting it is the first step, right?  For those of you who think I am Ms. Organization, prepare to be shocked.  My recipes are stuffed in a drawer next to a recipe box that used to be orderly.  In order to find what I want to make, I have to shift through the stack of cards and papers.  Sometimes twice.  The horror.  
This is the box and pile of recipes begging for order to be restored.  

It started innocent enough.  Me in a hurry, not putting things back in their little filing system.  Well, hell.  Now it's just anarchy.  

These two recipes Chocolate Quinoa Snack Balls and sea salt dark chocolate energy balls I stumbled upon online two years ago in a desperate attempt to find something tasty, since cookies and sheet cake are no longer my friends.  These are my FAVORITE SNACKS.  

These are some well-loved, and now sticky recipes.

I nibble on the quinoa snack balls with my protein shake after my workout 

(*I keep them in the freezer in those little reusable 1/2 cup Glad lunch containers, I love the crunch, and lawdy rolling them into balls was almost the death of me*

and the other one serves as my dessert after dinner.

(*I cover my energy balls in more chocolate, and I also freeze them*)   

All the stuff for choc energy balls. 
 In these parts
we just call 'em chocolate
 balls because we
 enjoy a good chuckle,
plus taco fixings
on the other side of the island.
  Got it all going on.

Chocolate energy balls in
 my food processor. 
Kinda labor intensive.

I bake a TON, but I don't bother making my baked goods GF.  I don't think it tastes the same, plus I find it highly caloric.  I mean that stuff is highly caloric anyway - who needs to compound it?

This is a vegetable recipe I just discovered and I love it.  Many of you are probably 'real chefs' so you could make this in your sleep.  With Lad eating vegetarian, I made a recipe that I stumbled across on my favorite Chicago morning news show (I think it was called Mediterranean vegetables - not the news show, that's WGN), and we liked it. 

Confession time:  I didn't even really know how to prepare fresh vegetables.  Are you laughing at me?  I don't blame you.  I'm honestly embarrassed at how clueless I was.

I cling to the excuse of growing up in an Irish American household where vegetables came in a can.  Salad was a bit of ice-burg lettuce with a few pieces of tomato, occasionally a hard boiled egg, and a sprinkle of shredded cheese with French dressing.

As I approach my 50th birthday, I suppose I'm too old to keep recycling that tired 'my mom did it this way' excuse, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, the next time I made the vegetables, it wasn't great.  I googled and found the above recipe to replace it.  Delightful.  I made three trays of it and we ate it as a side all week.  That's how I cook:  wear myself out making a pile of food - then heat up as needed.  (insert Tank's eye-roll here.  Spoiled kid hates leftovers)

Hey, at least my kids have eaten fresh vegetables.  I have been rocking peppers, and onions with balsamic chicken over the last year - not even sure how that started, who am I?  I wonder if someone will show up one day and label me as 'no longer Irish' in a shameful, quick ceremony.  

Confession time:  I tried to whip Balsamic chicken up without consulting the recipe a few months ago.  I only used olive oil, skipping the balsamic vinegar completely.  I was like, Hmm, what's missing?  As I was driving home from Irish dancing (where else would I be?), it occurred to me.  I poured some balsamic in, stirred it up over heat, and saved the day.  Curly ate more after dancing and was relieved I hadn't lost my touch.  

How 'bout some meat?
I serve Sloppy Joe's a lot, and I think Beth requested the recipe for that crowd pleaser.  I am including a photo of my recipe card.  Note:  Instead of 3/4 ketchup I do 1/2 ketchup and 1/2 barbecue.  I'm  VERY generous on the chopped pepper and onion.  (my feed the masses version is on the back of my card).

A lot of this and a lot of that.

And vegetables?

I was about to end it here, but I realized I haven't touched on the drink and watching subjects.  I'll be brief:

Drinking:  One question:  


What on earth?  Whose idea was this?  It tastes like water, but gross.  I can't.  Am I alone on this?  I love Mike's Hard Lemonade.  Dark Cherry, or whatever is the red one.  A bottle of Riesling is still my BFF.  I can count on one hand how many drinks I've had over pandemic.  It's a slippery slope.  Life has been challenging (upcoming posts might reveal some of that - still on the fence), and I don't want to start a habit I can't break.   

Watching:  I like my aforementioned WGN morning news.  They're local, and funny.  Since Coach dropped direct TV, I can no longer rewind.  This is one of life's little adjustments which displeases me.  God help the child who speaks too loud and makes me miss a laugh on my morning show since I CANNOT REWIND to see what I have missed.  They've all been warned.  Hey, some people have coffee in the morning, not me.  We had to get an antenna just so I can watch this show.  Coach was all 'ridiculous' and I was like, 'hey I have a few things that I enjoy . . . my inflatable child's pool/raccoon spa and WGN, so back off.'

While in Michigan we watched 'Bird Box.'  People, have you seen this?  It is a reminder to all of us that our pandemic could be worse.  What if we could not go outside without being blindfolded?  It is like the seeing version of 'The Quiet Place.'

So, how do you organize your recipes?  What movie did you watch recently that you liked?  How do you feel about White Claws?


Nicole MacPherson said...

Oooh, those energy balls look amazing, thanks so much for the recipe! I am bookmarking those to make later. Yum. I really liked this post! Recipes are so fun, I like seeing what other people make.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Your recipe filing system? it might be a tad flawed. ;) But, it's basically the same one my Mom used, so there's that. Can we please reprint the tattered, sticky, gooey ones though? Those gave me the hives.

I didn't know (until you) that Irish families ate canned veggies. I suppose I used to serve canned veggies as a young mom, but then again, I don't remember eating a proper meal as a kid; you know, someone cooked and served the dinner at dinner time. So, therefore I didn't have a good example either. But, look at us now!
"I wonder if someone will show up one day and label me as 'no longer Irish' in a shameful, quick ceremony." PLEASE INVITE US ALL!~

I'm gonna try your chocolate quinoa balls. Or was it the energy balls? I just like typing balls.

I've had a white claw or two; not a huge fan. I still like my New Zealand Sauvignon blanc over anything else.

Bird box was so scary to me. But so was the Quiet Place. I've not seen anything great lately when it comes to movies.
Do you guys have Netflix? We started watching Demarcus Family Rules. Mostly because our friend James Otto and his wife are in it; it's a reality show, some of it seems really contrived, but we do laugh and I think it's family friendly.

Anonymous said...

I use a three ring binder with plastic sheets for my recipes as it works for ones I have ripped out of magazines, print out or on cards. Although sometimes I end up with about 10 cards in one of my plastic sheets.

I AM WITH YOU ON WHITE CLAWS and TRULIES. They taste like bad water, great call. I also love Riesling and Mike's but the lime version is my favorite Mike's flavor.

ccr in MA said...

Mmm, that balsamic chicken sounds good! I'll have to try that one.

Suzanne said...

I do NOT understand the appeal of White Claw. YUCK.

Kari said...

White Claws are NASTY. I think because you're Irish and I am a bit Irish (but am married to a full Irish) that we denounce White Claws. Give me real liquor any day.

What kind of chocolate chips do you use? Does it matter? I just wondered because you are gluten-free. I have trouble because of migraines so was hoping maybe there was a good one to try.

I LOVE WGN MORNING NEWS. I am sad though because we got rid of cable last month so we don't see them now. But I bet I could watch online. Just haven't figured that out yet.

JP said...

White claws are not my favorite. They give me really bad heartburn! I prefer paper recipes to a digital ones. I put them in a binder with sheet protectors.

Kara said...

I like to drink, but I don't like White Claw (or hard seltzer of any kind). I drink beer, mostly IPAs, mostly not in excess. I probably shouldn't drink, since alcoholism runs rampant on both sides of the family, but I think I'm ok.

I watch the local Fox affiliate for local news, because they're charming and delightful and not at all like Fox News Network. I only watch for about 15 minutes each morning as I get ready for work.

My Mom cooks all vegetables the same way- cut up and microwave on high until they are completely dead and without any type of texture- and wonders why all of her children hated vegetables. I still hate squash and broccoli because those are the ones that she served us the most. I pan roast most vegetables, because I like a bit of a char and I'm afraid of the grill.

Pat Birnie said...

I agree your recipe system needs a bit of help. I was in the same situation until a few months ago. I had a huge recipe box mostly full of recipes I never use anymore and a file folder filled with a huge messy pile printed sheets or cut out recipes. I also had many duplicates as I could never find the one I wanted so I'd go to my computer & reprint. I cook much differently now than I did when I had 4 hungry kids and activities most nights. Plus my husband & I have gone about 90% vegetarian (flexitarian;). I went through the recipe box and pitched ones I'll never again make. I sorted the huge pile of printed ones by category (ditched the duplicates),made a copy of the clippings on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, 3-hole punched them all and put in a binder with dividers labelled by category. The whole exercise only took a couple of hours (granted I do not have 6 kids interrupting me every two minutes). The small pile of recipe cards are in bundle with the original card-sized dividers held together by a rubber band. It was such a satisfying exercise!

By the way I make roast veggies like that 2-3 times a week. It's a huge favourite -- Just letting you know that you can add almost any vegetable, so get creative. My favourites are mushrooms, carrots, leeks with lots of peppers, onions & a couple chopped garlic cloves. enjoy!

Charlie said...

I have a shelf full of recipe books with post it notes in favourite pages and printed sheets of other recipes stuck in there, but I prefer to find them online and bookmark them on my phone for easy reference. I’ve started to see White Claw over here in the supermarkets, but never felt the urge to pick up a pack. Reading this post and comments is not encouraging me to do so either! I love Prosecco and won’t mention how much I have drunk over the pandemic! Never really heard of Sloppy Joes but definitely going to give that recipe a try - thanks!

Ernie said...

All - I had no idea a post about recipes would draw so many comments. I GUESS I NEED TO INCLUDE RECIPES MORE OFTEN, ALTHOUGH TO BE HONEST I DON'T THINK I CAN KEEP UP WITH THAT KIND OF DEMAND. The management will take it under advisement though.

Programming note: I wrote a response to the first 9 comments, but I forgot that blogger doesn't like me to write too much in this one dialogue box, so it didn't publish. Erased it. Bad timing as I have lots of other things to be frustrated about or worry about today, so my second attempt at commenting will be in individual boxes.

Ernie said...

Nicole- Glad you found a recipe that you want to try here. To be honest I have been eating 2 of the little cups of the quinoa snack and sometimes 2 of the energy balls daily AND sometimes I even have ice cream or a black cow after dinner. Well, I weighed myself yesterday. As much as I workout, I still gained 5 lbs. Back to one snack ball and one energy ball a day. Like my grandpa always said, "It's hell to get old."

Ernie said...

Suz - I want to clarify - I am not sure if all Irish families serve canned veggies, but I know that Irish people are known for boiling their food until there is no taste or texture left, so I lumped in the canned good thing in with that Irish habit. I initially included an explanation of that in my post, but I cut it out when I revised in order to keep it from being book length.

Yes my system is in need of some attention. I am so silly that I was worried I would't be able to go back and find those two recipes online again, but the addresses are right on the printed version. Happy to have found them again and I can reprint them. I cling to those recipes, which has been easy since they are so sticky - they tend to cling back. I think I will attempt a 3 ring binder at some point. In the meantime I get to factor in extra time to make dinner for my scavenger hunt for the recipe I want.

You are all invited if there is ever a ceremony denouncing my Irish-ness, and if I ever remember to write about my recent Irish dancing issues you will be surprised to discover that I have not been ousted from the group yet. ;)

I have begun to refer to the quinoa snack balls as 'my' granola- because to me it has a granola type texture to it, and the energy balls as my chocolate balls. The entire family enjoys it when I tell someone to throw me one of my choc balls from the freezer.

White claw - icky. Bird Box - scary. No Netflix yet, but I think it is in our future. No actual time for TV at the moment anyway, but we do always appreciate family friendly.

I hope raise a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon blanc with you one day. I think I like Sauvignon Blanc, I mean it's no Riesling, but it'll do.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I am always a day late and a dollar short, but I am beginning to see the light and the 3 ring binder seems to make sense. Not that I am sensible or anything.

Here, here, a reader after my own taste buds . . . maybe someday we can share a bottle of Riesling. What is it with those awful overly bubbly seltzer drinks? I guess I should think up something that tastes awful, toss some alcohol in and wait for the money to come rolling in.

Ernie said...

CCR - So glad you found a recipe to try. I do love it. It makes the house smell amazing for a good two days, unless a kid takes off smelly sneakers in the kitchen. Good smell, blown. This is the recipe I made for the families who continued to pay me over the pandemic. One mom was like: Oh I have smelled this at pick up and wondered how good it was.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - I recently tried another White Claw at a family party because I could find no other Mike's. It was pineapple. I figured I just hadn't given it a fair shake the first time around, because EVERYONE drinks these. Nope. Still awful - and I love pineapple but this was an abomination. I took one sip and left it. Better to be sober.

Ernie said...

Kari - I use (and use is putting it mildly, I put in lots of extra. A bite of cherry is fine, but a bite of choc is amazing, so why not increase the chance of amazing-ness?) nestle dark chocolate chips. Not sure those work for you.

Oh my gosh, you have been living without WGN? I didn't know. Time to stage an intervention. You can still get this on your TV. You can buy on Amazon or Best Buy a cheap antennae for like $12-$20. It is flat - like a piece of cardboard. Coach hung ours behind the TV with Scotch tape. I just select TV instead of Roku or DVD player and then I find channel 9. It's that easy. Do yourself a favor!

Ernie said...

JP - So I recognize that this is a small sampling of people, but WHO THE HELL IS DRINKING THESE IF EVERYONE HERE IS LIKE: GROSS? Inquiring minds want to know.

Another vote for the binder, duly noted. Now if I just had a few minutes to organize it. My printer has recently been fixed, so I've got that going for me.

Ernie said...

Kara - 'Mostly not in excess' - made me chuckle. Good to know. All things in moderation. I cannot drink beer anymore because of celiac, but that is fine by me. If it was revered and I could drink beer but not wine I would be a disaster.

Glad you have a local news team you enjoy. I have to put on National news on the weekend, our WGN weekend team is cringe-worthy.

I have always loved good fresh vegetables in restaurants. Not sure why it never occurred to me to try to copy them. I guess we have Lad to thank for the new approach. So yummy!

Ernie said...

Pat - I am glad I am not alone. My mom used to have an enormous cook book that she just shoved other stuff in between the pages. Broken binding, etc. She was the only one who could find anything in there. I do need to carve out some time to get this going. I bet Mini and Curly would get on board and add cute little squiggles to pages, etc. That's totally what I should do: assign it and give points for cuteness.

I admit that I made SO many veggies last week, that they were a little sad by the end of the week. I struggle sometimes to adjust to Ed being away at college and Lad is not eating here often (or sleeping here often, but that's another upsetting store), so that throws my portions off. I am not a fan of mushrooms, but yes - I am totally cool about throwing other stuff in there.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Wow, someone who knows how to bookmark on her phone. Reason #463 why I appear to be more advanced in age than I actually am. 80 here I come! I do not bookmark. I have a million (only slight exaggeration) tabs open on my computer at one time. I will report back on my improved system once implemented.

Is Prosecco a wine? I am the same lady that once asked a bartender at a function, "um, I like that pink wine, what is it called?" I was referring to either chardonnay or white zin. This was said in the presence of other mom friends and they were doubled over laughing at me. Yes, steer clear of the White Claws.

Sloppy Joe's - messy, but tasty if done right. My mom made them from a packet. Note the theme here: fresh is best!

Gigi said...

*Raising hand* my Irish mother made vegetables from a can. I don't think I ever had a fresh vegetable - except maybe corn on the cob - until I got married.

In a nod to my dad's southern roots, she'd throw some canned green beans in a pot, along with some bacon grease, and cook them for about four hours. It was not good.

Never had a White Claw and don't see a need to try it - I've got plenty of chardonnay in the fridge.

Ernie said...

Gigi - I am glad that I am not the only one who ate canned veggies and can possibly point to an Irish parent as part of the reason. Perhaps it had something to do with the 70s and 80s too? My mom was/is incredibly picky. There were so many things I never tried.

You are wise to steer clear from the White Claw. I honest to goodness could embrace a fridge full of chardonnay right now. Or Riesling, but this is the kind of day that leaves me feeling not so fussy.

Anonymous said...

Ernie you are the best! Thank you for the recipes! Can’t wait to make them - especially the energy balls. You are such a nice blogger to post all this!

I love the pic of your recipe drawer. Very Dali if you squint yer eyes. It’s not a recipe drawer, it’s modern art, doll. See? Now you have to leave it as it is because one day it will be worth millions. :-)

Yay for antenna TV & Happy morning shows. You should go 100% retro and *video tape record* your fav morning show on your programmable VCR. You’ll never miss a laugh when it’s recorded!

The antenna brings back memories. TV snow. The TV image suddenly scrolling up and back around. The wonder and awe when that one channel that never ever tunes in (but you check it anyways just because) suddenly, impossibly Tunes In.... so you sit and watch whatever is playing (just because). Good times. Yup.

Good TV? I can’t do scary/horror so I am mostly an 80 yr old TV viewing wise. Call the Midwife (I know it’s saccharine but I like how nice they are to each other), Downtown Abbey (again, I enjoy civility), anything with Monty Don (very polite gardener), Bake Off (the season with Liam rocks), Peaky Blinders (has a wee smidge of violence *she said ironically*), Derry Girls, Stranger Things (my husband watches the scary parts for me lol).


Ernie said...

Maddie - I think the energy balls taste like a chocolate. Delicious. Can't go wrong. You are very generous with my recipe drawer.

I never was great at recording things on a VCR. Remember trying to program things? I would come home and find that the tape had stopped or the time was on am instead of pm. Kids today don't know how good they have it.

When our boys were tiny we were constantly messing with the rabbit ears antennae.

I am not familiar with any of the shows you mention except Downtown - but I still haven't watched it. Maybe some day.

Beth Cotell said...

Thanks for posting the sloppy joe recipe! I dont love hard seltzer but I've been drinking them because they have as much alchohol as a beer and way less calories! And I LOVE reisling!

Ernie said...

Beth - I hope you all enjoy the Sloppy recipe. So not worth it to me to consume alcohol in such a icky way. You raise a good point though, maybe that is the draw. I'd rather pile on the calories, or really - just rather not get tipsy. I'm that boring, it's true.