Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Addiction, Counseling, Family, Recipe

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. Screech! It’s past the middle of September! How did we get here?? We’re finishing up the third week of cyber school and I’m STILL trying to get some semblance of routine with driving, home facilitating with school and housework. Oh, and laundry. I’ve had to re-wash laundry 4 times this week because I kept forgetting about it. And I can’t even blame it on the washer–it’s on the same floor I’m on practically all day (not in the basement, where I forgot about it all the time).

2. On a more serious note, I had an intake evaluation for counseling this week. Deep breath. Boy, was I nervous! I have done counseling off and on for more than 20 years for all sorts of things: family relationships, addiction, marriage, etc. However, it’s been awhile since I’ve done it. Talking about any of my issues, especially addiction, is difficult. But I had reached the point where, honestly, what I’m doing is just not working anymore. So I think a professional’s opinion and input would be rather helpful at getting me past where I’m stuck. (which I will cover in a future post, I promise!)

3. This was a banner week in my extended family. My parents celebrated their SIXTIETH wedding anniversary. SIX ZERO, people! That’s amazing! According to Google, without which I would be completely lost, it’s their Diamond anniversary. Way to Go Mom and Dad!

Also in my extended family, my sister and brother in law celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. On the same day. I remember being so happy for my sister at her wedding. We adored (and continue to adore!) the man she chose to spend the rest of her life with. May they one day celebrate their 60th too!

4. I had a neighbor over for coffee this morning. While that doesn’t sound like much, we’ve been in the same neighborhood for 6 years or so, have children the same age and are even both believers. And this is the first time we sat down to chat. Ever. So yeah, I’m looking forward to more coffee talks with her. Women friends ROCK.

5. I made these Fish Tacos this week. YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM!! One of the best things I’ve had in a long time. I love when what I make at home is restaurant-good! Mine weren’t QUITE this picturesque, but they were delicious!

6. The girls and I watched the 2nd half of Singin’ in the Rain this week. a) they both loved it b) they want to watch the rest of it c) I wonder if I can translate that to seeing OTHER wonderful musicals? Because there are so many out there!

7. My mother in law contacted me for the person I used for Connor’s gravestone 13 years ago (for her mother’s marker). I knew exactly where the information was (notebook from that time period) and she was still in business. My MIL remembered that we said how wonderful she was and wanted to use her as well. I think that people who work in the “death industry” (for lack of a better phrase!) tend to be extra-nice. I’m sure there are jerks. And maybe the people we worked with were jerks to others–maybe they were extra nice because it was the death of a baby. I don’t know. But everyone was SO kind to us and I’m glad that at least one of them is getting more business because of that.

For those of you who follow my posts, I just wanted to give you a quick shout out. It kind of freaks me out that people do that. So Hello! Thank you! I appreciate you! Feel free to comment! 🙂

Posted in Recipe

Steak Fajitas

Did you ever cook something at home, look at each other and say “this is better than at a restaurant!” ? That was us this weekend.

Steak Fajitas


Onion, sliced

Green pepper, sliced

Whole wheat tortillas

Shredded cheese (Monteray Jack), salsa, sour cream to taste

We used a grill pan on the grill for the onions and green peppers so as not to have them fall in between the grates, then put on the steak til medium rare. We sliced thinly across the grain. Heat up the tortillas in the microwave, put on some shredded cheese, plop on everything else and voila! It was DELICIOUS. And because I use the whole wheat tortillas with only 4 net carbs, as well as low fat cheese and sour cream, this was a VERY good-for-you meal. Jim, Bennett and I loved it.  The girls had other stuff–which meant MORE FOR US!

The grilling makes this, so if you try it on the stovetop or broiler you probably won’t get the same restaurant-quality that we did. Happy Grilling everyone!

Posted in Me, Recipe

Important Announcement

I don’t bake.

At all.

No lovely Christmas cookies. No rich and yummy pies. No moist and delicious breads. It just isn’t my gifted area.


I make fudge.

Lots and lots of fudge. It’s my annual present to teachers, aids, bus drivers, mailmen, therapists, family etc. This year I’ve bought enough supplies to make 12 lbs. Yes. 12 POUNDS of FUDGE.

My fudge ROCKS. The only thing I change in the recipe is NO NUTS (Eww. Nuts do not belong in fudge!) and the one bag of milk chocolate chips I change to semisweet. Darker, richer, Mmmmm!

Posted in Recipe

Diabetic Friendly Pumpkin Mousse

I’m not sure where I got this. I THINK I saw a similar recipe for a pumpkin pie–most likely Kraft Food and Family Magazine. But instead of putting it into a pie shell, I made it a mousse, and used all low-fat or fat free or sugar free ingredients. Voila! A diabetic alternative to pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Or just when the urge to eat pumpkin-y stuff hits!

Pumpkin Mousse

1 pkg vanilla instant fat free/sugar free pudding and pie mix (4 serving size)
3/4 cup cold 1% or fat free milk (I use 1%)
1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups Cool Whip Lite or Free thawed (I use Lite)

Prepare pie filling as directed on package with 3/4 cup milk. Blend in pumpkin, spice and Cool Whip. Chill at least 4 hours. If you can wait that long. Because I can’t and eat it right away.


(this is a repeat from Oct 2008–I thought it was good enough to post again! We just had it tonight and YUM)

Posted in Recipe

Dilled Shrimp with Angel Hair

This was YUMMY! Both Jim and I really enjoyed it (Bennett was willing to try a shrimp but was not enthused!). This was from the Kraft Food and Family (I think that’s the name) magazine that used to be free and now costs money so I don’t get it.

Dilled Shrimp with Angel Hair

6 oz uncooked angel hair pasta

6 green onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp butter (I used olive oil)

1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used precooked)

3 Tbls lemon juice

4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed

1/2 cup fat free half and half (I used 1% milk)

2 Tbls snipped fresh dill (I used dry and eyeballed it)

1/2 tsp salt

Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray (I used a regular pan with olive oil and it worked fine), saute onions and garlic in butter for 1 minute. Stir in shrimp and lemon juice; cook 4-5 minutes longer or until shrimp turn pink. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, cook and stir cream cheese and half-and-half until blended (I needed to use a whisk). Stir in dill and salt. Return shrimp mixture to the pan; heat through. Drain pasta, toss with shrimp mixture.

369 calories, 9 fat (6 saturated), 40 carbs, 2 fiber.

This tasted very creamy and very fattening, for all that it isn’t. Both Jim and I loved it.

Posted in Recipe

Homemade Vanilla Chai Mix

This comes to you direct from The Motherload, a useful and practical site with great recipes and ideas and freebies. I want to give credit where credit is due–this is in no way my recipe other than I used it and loved it and wanted to pass it onto you. The only thing I changed was the title because Chai Tea Mix is redundant. Chai MEANS tea in India. So this is Vanilla Chai Mix. Here’s what she has to say:

“My favorite warm drink is chai tea. The drink mixes are expensive, but mixing up a batch of this yourself can help to keep your pockets nice and warm with a little extra money. Most of the spices, dry creamer, and dry milk are already stocked in my pantry. The only additions I usually have to run out and get is the instant tea and powdered vanilla creamer.

To make the batch more smooth, instead of gritty, I process everything through my blender. I first mix all of the white ingredients in my blender (milk, sugar, creamer, vanilla creamer). I dump those in a plastic container and then I mix up all the brown ingredients (tea and spices). I pour this on top in the plastic container, seal the lid and give it a good shaking to incorporate or mix it up with a spoon. If you have a large food processor, you may be able to process it all together, but if you have a blender it is best to do this in divided batches.

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
2 ½ cups white sugar
1 ½ cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
¼ tsp white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it is a fine powder. Add two-three tablespoons of mix to 8 ounces of hot water or milk.

Tina’s notes: I skipped the pepper. I blended as she said to, but would do it longer next time–ended up with some grit at the bottom. I used three Tbsp of the mix in my cup. I borrowed cardamom from a friend, but if she didn’t have it I would have just omitted it. I had to buy the vanilla creamer and instant tea (just like her!), but had everything else, so my financial outlay was about $5 for 7 CUPS OF THE MIX instead of $3.48 for 8 packets of Oregon Chai mix. It was EXCELLENT. Catie wasn’t sure if she liked it, but Bennett wanted more. I’m also willing to bet you could sub Splenda for the sugar if you happen to have it (I didn’t). This was an excellent boy-this-day-is-freezing drink.

Posted in Recipe

Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake

My birthday cake was pumpkin spice. Very easy and very yummy.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

1 box spice cake mix
1 small can pumpkin
2 eggs

Mix together. Bake about 30 minutes at 350. Frost with either frosting or Cool Whip.