Posted at 6:36 am , on February 19, 2019
Sometimes the simplest meals are the most delicious. It’s all about using fresh ingredients that pair nicely together. Our local Grocery Outlet features a variety of seasonal seafood and I snagged these nice ocean-caught lobster tails to serve with New York strip steaks. I didn’t have time to make homemade gnocchi but a package of good quality butternut squash topped with homemade Alfredo sauce rounded the meal out beautifully. The total cost was about $25, a third of the cost of going out to eat and it impressed the hubby with both taste and presentation.
For the steaks, I let them come to room temperature then brushed with Worcestershire sauce and sprinkled with Montreal seasoning. For medium-rare, they take about 15 minutes on the grill so I start the sauce when they go on, followed by the ravioli’s and then the lobster tails. While the meat rests, I am doing the final tasting and ready to plate within five minutes. The key is to have the ingredients chopped and measured out so it comes together quickly.
Posted at 7:37 pm , on February 12, 2019
It has been brrrrrrr on our little piece of the Alameda Riviera in Northern California this week. We rarely dip below the mid-50s in the winter and we were seeing low-40s … This weather calls for soup! This meatball soup is inexpensive and easy to assemble. Our local Grocery Outlet always has these ingredients in stock with the whole meal costing $12. I simply added sourdough bread and butter on the side and it was a filling meal with leftovers for lunch. And any time I have the opportunity to make a meal in my Nana’s Dutch oven makes me so happy … extra love in every bite.
Variations: I used hot Italian sausage because Hubby and I both like spicy food. You can use the mild if you prefer. This particular brand is seasoned nicely and I didn’t need to add a single spice, other than a parsley garnish. I used chicken broth as it’s what I had on hand. Beef or vegetable broth would be good as well. I had a can of white chili beans that were already seasoned with onion, garlic and jalapeno, which also added to the flavor. You can use unseasoned white or great Northern beans instead and then gauge the seasoning level before adding the spinach.
Posted at 2:50 am , on February 7, 2019
He considered himself immortal. He’d had plenty of broken bones and visits to the emergency room in his 33 years as a stuntman. In each of the three near-death experiences, he was drawn to a light but it always dimmed before he reached it. And then he woke to excruciating pain.
This was different. He found himself weightless. No sound, no sights, just white. Best of all, no pain. An unseen force slowly propelled him forward and after a time he came upon a huge golden gate.
A kind voice whispered in his head, “Enter ye who are pure of heart.”
Posted at 9:00 am , on February 5, 2019
I take great pride in making colorful, nutritious meals but often don’t have time for prep or marinating. Thanks to our local Grocery Outlet I can always find fresh meat ready to pop into the oven. Last week I featured Tyson’s Orange Chicken Strips, this week it’s Urban Turban’s Garlic & Pepper Chicken Thighs.
Usually we prefer to grill our chicken, but it’s been pouring rain the last month so I’m using the oven more for cooking with the bonus of warming the boat. I didn’t get the brown skin I’d like because I didn’t leave the chicken under the broiler long enough, but it was juicy and delish anyway!
Posted at 5:00 pm , on January 29, 2019
Today is my wee Nana’s 100th birthday! Agnes Parker McKittrick Hanna passed peacefully on October 25, 2017, just a few months shy of turning 99. I was so positive that she would live to be 100 that when her health began to take a sharp decline a few weeks before she died, I advocated for any and all medications and therapy to make her well. As her conservator, I had her transferred to a skilled nursing facility with a higher level of care options, stopping just short of life-resuscitation measures according to her wishes.
Truth be told, she didn’t have the best quality of life in her final year: dementia had taken a toll on her mind, she no longer was able to walk or dress herself, she was always tired and longing for her bed, and I had to constantly monitor the care at the assisted living facility.
Posted at 6:00 am , on January 29, 2019
Probably my favorite thing about our local Grocery Outlet is that I can whip together a healthy, flavorful meal without a plan, from staples I bought in my weekly shop. And it’s always tasty! The majority of the time I have recipes in mind for each of my weekday dinners. I do my prep before work so that when I get home I can quickly assemble our meal. I marinate meats, chop veggies and gather together non-perishable ingredients and the pots/pans necessary.
But now and then I’m running late in the morning and find myself without a plan when I get home. Because of the great prices at G.O., I pick up a variety of different non-perishables that I can use as a base with whatever veggies I have on hand. And I generally buy a package of Tyson seasoned boneless, skinless chicken strips that I can use in a quick saute, a pasta dish, wraps or on a salad. Our Grocery Outlet features two or three flavors at any time and all are delish.
Posted at 2:46 am , on January 24, 2019
“Fort Awsome,” the sign read. In all actuality, it wasn’t a “fort” and “awsome” was spelled wrong. Both were mortal sins in her book and she felt no remorse in ripping the shoddily made wooden plaque off the rickety beach shelter, placing it in the garbage bag she carried.
Virginia was a creature of habit. Every Sunday without fail she walked to the local coffee shop near the harbor and read the newspaper over a pot of black tea. Then she walked the two mile stretch of beach, picking up litter and washed-up trash with her gloved hands.
Posted at 8:23 am , on January 23, 2019
I love portobello mushrooms as they have a “meaty” texture and I can sneak in a vegetarian night without hubby complaining. This is a quick and easy meal with lots of options to use whatever fresh veggies are on hand or sale. Our local Grocery Outlet has a wonderful selection of pre-cut bagged, frozen and organic veggies so this is a GO-to meal.
It’s also a fun “make it yourself” dinner for a group. Put out the chopped ingredients in bowls and let each person build their own “pizza.” Use a permanent market to write each name on the outside of the tinfoil before tenting. You can add a grain on the side, but I find that this is plenty for a meal unto itself, especially if there is a dessert to follow. 🙂
Posted at 3:44 am , on January 15, 2019
I love lazy weekend fall mornings when I can whip up something warm and yummy for hubby and I for brunch while watching a football game. I don’t love all the dishes when I want to relax after filling my belly. This strata is made the night before in a large Ziploc bag and then simply placed in a pan and baked; easy and virtually no mess! A side of hashbrowns and fresh fruit rounds out the meal nicely.
Our local Grocery Outlet carries all of the ingredients regularly at about half the cost of other stores. The Lit’l Smokies come in a 28 oz package and can be divided and half frozen for other dishes (they are great in a rustic vegetable soup!). I used about half of the pack for this recipe. Any form of bread works, but I especially love the San Luis Sliced Garlic Sourdough. The garlic is already roasted and the crust has a nice texture. I used half of the loaf for grilled cheese and toast 5 days prior, which allowed the other half to become slightly stale, preferable for the strata.
Posted at 7:59 am , on January 10, 2019
Charlie’s trained eyes peered through the binoculars from his vantage point at the top of the playground castle. He had a full view of the park and the turret shielded him from view of onlookers. He jotted notes in a little pad with a pencil, kept tucked in his suit pocket.
The man had approached the bench from the south, glancing furtively to his left and right several times before catching sight of the pretty young woman and quickening his pace when she looked up from her book with a smile.