Oh Why?

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With my left wrist out of commission I amaze myself with the stupid and sick sudden  need I seem to have to write posts. Yes, the one-handed typist is out of her mind. Must be the heat which is starting to rev up here in So Cal. As you may or may not know, I hate summers here. Lately the days have been very humid, like 50-60% humidity. UGH.

On a totally different subject, I’ll never understand why people continue to use “cream of X” soups when making recipes “from scratch”. Boggles my mind! They go on and on about how they use seasonal ingredients and make meals from scratch for their family’s well-being and blah, blah blah and blah. Excuse me, but how is adding something whose label reads like a who’s who of ingredients that aren’t found in homemade soups meeting these goals?

Hmm…I guess I get grumpy when I’m in pain. Didn’t mean to rant like that. It all started when I saw a pack of “assorted pork chops” for sale while placing my Vons.com order last week. They were listed as “pork loin chops assorted ends value pak” for $2.49/#. So I called and asked what they meant. Turns out, it’s exactly that…a bunch of loin, shoulder, rib, blade chops.

Of course, my new rule for buying food, especially meat, is that I must have a recipe in hand or at the very least, in mind before buying. Keeps me from complete impulse buying. So often, I buy something with a vague memory of making something yummy but don’t think it through any further which means it languishes in the fridge till it turns bad and has to be tossed.

So I went on a little online hunt. Here’s what I found:  Easy Crockpot Pork Chops with Onion Soup Mix. Sounded good except for the onion soup mix. So off to find a recipe for that without the package aka “from scratch” and found this.Onion Soup MixLooked good and had positive reviews but I still wanted to include some cabbage and kraut.

So my little (hah!) search turned into an entire afternoon safari where one thing led to another and I wasn’t even on Pinterest! Crockpot Pork Chops

This continued till I was so overwhelmed by the variety of recipes I found that I gave up. Way too much to think about in this heat! It was 84F in the house. Time to turn on the living room AC. It’s so much more efficient than the cheap-ass landlord’s used piece of junk in the bedroom. That can be on and set at 70F all day, turn it off and five minutes later…walk into a hot room. My electric bill for half of June and July was $96+! Hate to think what August, September and October will be (hottest months of the year).

Anyway, back to pork. Whatever I do to it will have to occur in the slow cooker, since no oven is going on until November rolls around. I must close for now due to my left wrist and hand but I’ll leave you with this Pin. Actually two pins since I’m in a really grumpy mood but hate being totally negative.

German Shprd-my attitude

Me…grumpy

Gardening Sink

Much happier.

 

 

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Changing The Header

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Grey Hs.1BellaKarma copy

Why do I get these urges to change things up when I can least afford to do it? Do such whims ever strike you out of the blue? Currently I’m dealing with newly found and miserably painful Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in my left hand and wrist. So what do I decide to do as a one-handed typist? Of course, write a new post and change the look of my blog. Am I nuts? I guess. : /

I’m starting with the header. Really bored with it, so “now for something completely different” as Monty Python would say. With possibly more to come.

Oops, almost forgot my pin of the day…

Wallpaper Love

Photo Source. Love this wallpaper! Reminds me of Marimekko~1980

Netflops Cont’d…

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Sadly, I noticed that another two movies I could have watched have been removed from Netflix streaming. Must Love Dogs and Cocoon. Again, not the best of the best by any means but still a pleasant re-watch when I wanted to fall into dreamland.

The junk they put in place of all the reasonably decent, watchable movies is just so pathetic and much of it, very, very old. Stuff I wouldn’t have wasted my time on to begin with (and didn’t!). Seems they picked up a lot of other movies… cheap, very cheap movies in their place.

Poor programming, obviously driven by the bottom line and not by their interest in current customers. So I’ll be canceling their service for a while.

Remembered to check out Acorn TV and glad I did. Signed up for their 7 day free trial.

Unlike Hulu, after about two years of absence they’re not stingy with their free trials.  As I said in an earlier post, I haven’t seen Downton Abbey so that alone will take ages to view. They do have a rather limited palette of shows to view, but still, most are very enjoyable and well done.

Found Season 7 of Doc Martin which I haven’t seen yet! Yay. And, did you know they filmed Season 8 which will air this fall? Yay!

Something to look forward to. Lastly, I leave you with:

Scotish Highlnds V M Pinterest

Photo Source. Some depth-of-field.

Ow!

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Yes, I’m in pain. This will be a short post because I seem to have developed some weird malady in my left wrist. Experienced this about a month ago and at first I thought it was because I slept on it oddly or the AC unit was blowing on it in the night. It went away after about 3 days of icing it and taking indocin for the swelling.

So here it is a month later, repeating. Ouch. Again, quite swollen too, so typing is very painful. Thus I’ll just say “hi” and leave you with an image to brighten you day. Enjoy!

Stunning

Photo Source. Stunning.

Netflix

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Or should I say Netflops? As part of my budget, I have allowed myself to have one inexpensive “subscription” a month on the internet. For a long time now it’s been Netflix and I’d been quite happy with it.

Services such as this seem to go in cycles as far as having worthwhile content. I found that with Hulu quite a while ago.

Currently, Netflix has added a bunch of “B” and “C” type movies and removed most “A” quality movies.

It’s funny, but one of the strange things I seem to have inherited from my mother is her ability to watch old movies repeatedly (within reason) and still enjoy them. For example, when I wanted to fall asleep at night (something that’s become rather tough lately) I’d simply re-watch a movie like The Last Samurai or Two Weeks Notice or While You Were Sleeping (these “were” on Netflix).

Yes, repeats all, but decent enough that I was occupied and could drift off to sleep. No new plots to pay attention to, just a reasonable story to take me out of life and into the land of nod. Recently Netflops has added The Bucket List which I enjoyed and had been looking forward to for a year or two. At the same time, the three other movies mentioned above were removed.

Of course they added over 100 other “new” movies and TV shows but mostly junk. An imbalanced mix of Asian productions and US failures. So Netflops, just like Hulu over a year ago has become sort of a big wasteland for me.

Oh, btw, if you try to access Hulu to see what they carry, you can’t, I even called them. You need a subscription! Well, isn’t that the nasty little marketing trap? Thanks Hulu. For. Nothing.

So now I’m looking for a new company. I figure Netflops will (possibly) be better in the fall when regular US network programming also historically gets a bit better. So anyone with recommendations for streaming videos during the summer, your thoughts would be appreciated. Currently, I’ve watched a few episodes (the first four) on PBS of My Mother and Other Strangers. One problem, you can’t get the last two episodes without a subscription. 😦

Another PBS offering I watched over a year ago was The Durrells of Corfu which I really enjoyed. Sadly to rewatch it, I need to subscribe to PBS. Of course that may be an option because I’ve never seen any of Downton Abbey. Yes, I know, how have I lived?

I really like the pace of British dramas vs. the up and down craziness of most US offerings. There’s a certain brooding serenity to them that I find relaxing and isn’t that why we watch TV? To escape the humdrum of our daily lives? Just now, browsing through PBS’ offerings, there could be just be enough to keep me busy and entertained. So it may be PBS for the summer.

Oh, and my apologies for going for so long without a post. Sometimes “stuff” just happens.

Side note: as I sit here typing in the 108F temps of Southern California cruising through my Pinterest boards, I’ve decided to add an image to every post this summer to take my mind off the heat. As I looked through my selections on that notorious time-guzzler, I realized that I rarely re-visit the images which is sad since some of them are quite beautiful. So to brighten all our days and if you’re dying of the heat like me, here’s something to get your mind off it. Enjoy!

Grnhs Heaven

Photo Source. I could live here! How about you?

Holy Cow! actually, I mean BEAR!!!

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Yes, exciting times in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California! First, I was having phone issues with my new “stupid” (as in not a “smart-phone”) phone and was on the phone with ATT. Seems I can’t hear anyone talking unless I put it on speaker. So I tried calling my neighbor across the street since they were home. Didn’t get her, so left a message that I was testing my phone and to ignore the message.

Well, about ten minutes later, I got a call from her and she says to look out my front window. So I say, I’ll open the front door, thinking she’s at it. Instead, she very sternly says “Do NOT open the door.” She repeats, “look out your front window”. So I do and out of the corner of my eye, I spot something moving. Looking down, I exclaim “oh, it’s a dog”  thinking it’s an older rather mangy German Shepherd.

Then notice, no, it’s not a dog but, Holy Shit! it’s a bear!!! And it’s walking out of my back yard!!!

She then repeats “look out your front window at your drive” where I see a police cruiser and police SUV blocking my drive and the street. Cops are gingerly walking around the cars on the street keeping an eye on the bear.

After another ten minutes, a new officer, probably a park ranger by the looks of his uniform, arrives with a major rifle in hand. That was one long and serious looking gun (not sure if it was a gun or tranquilizer type gun). Anyhow, he takes over while the bear meanders through the yards behind me, out to the alley and over one house.

Ten more minutes and everything’s gone and all’s quiet. Wow. What a way to end the week!

Found out later from my neighbor that they had darted it in my back yard. How I didn’t see this is beyond me. Anyways, that was the excitement here.

Just Have to Laugh

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Found a new food blog and it had some good recipes. But I really have to wonder what goes on in some people’s minds. The recipe involves thin, sweet Italian sausages like this:Pork StoreA person commenting on the post, wondered where to get such sausage. The blogger simply replied “You can probably find these sausages in most Italian pork stores.” Funny, I didn’t know there were “Italian Pork Stores” out there! Italian delis, yes, but a store devoted just to Italian pork? News to me.

So, did you ever note something like I did with the above info, only to leave a salient element like the link to the info out? Very annoying. But I will share with you a link to a truly yummy salad that I’m going to “have” to make.

Yes, this is one where I don’t have everything on-hand, so it’ll have to wait till the next grocery trip but I think you’ll agree it’s a keeper for upcoming hot summer days.

 

Boom!

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Well, I had gone to bed for a little nap since I didn’t sleep well the previous night and was just nodding off when there was a huge clap of thunder! I know…thunder…in Southern California! We never get any kind of weather to speak of, much less thunder.

Probably should preface this for you a bit. We did have a lovely rainy, overcast day yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. So when today dawned all sunny and bright, just thought, okay, back to typical So Cal weather. Well, not so much. The day has been filled with a little of everything and now thunder amidst the rolling clouds!

Salmon and Other Sirens of the Deep

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Seems I always have a can or three of my favorite oil-packed tuna in my pantry. Love tuna salad in almost any form as well as most casseroles. Think it’s my Midwestern upbringing. Yes, over thirty years in Southern California and I’m still a Wisconsin girl at heart.

The number of containers of canned tuna grows slightly in numbers every spring (often it’s on sale) but starting a number of years ago, it got some company in the form of canned, red sockeye salmon. Oh and let’s not forget the 6 oz. tin or two of crabmeat and Trader Joe’s smoked trout. Gosh, love that stuff !!!! (No affiliation at all BTW).

So, back to the canned salmon in the pantry. Never had canned salmon in the pantry till, as I said, a few years ago, when I saw it on sale and it jogged a childhood memory. My Mom ALWAYS had it on hand and it often resulted in salmon patties for dinner. OMG…isn’t it bad enough to flat out l.o.v.e. sockeye, but to go as far as canned salmon? Yum. Oh, I mean, yes.

In my search for slow cooker recipes over the last months (no, I’m no longer Catholic but some of its trappings have just hung around…like Lent and fish). Anyhow, I came across a number of recipes (though not slow cooker) that looked interesting enough to bookmark and share.

First, I’d like to point out 2 things about this first recipe. The cost of this particular dip noted by the author at the bottom of the recipe/post is from 2010. Currently I bought an 8 ounce tub of pre-made Philadelphia Cream Cheese Soft Salmon spread on sale for $3.99. Not very “salmon-y” tasting if you ask me, but still, I’ll eat it.

In reviewing the ingredients for the delicious Salmon Spread/Dip, I thought it’d be much more flavorful than the store-bought version. For this, I’d use the 8 ounce blocks that Philly comes in, not 12 ounces and just cut back on the salmon a bit, maybe to 1.5 cups of it. I’m torn on using Liquid Smoke. In the past, I’d read about negative health issues so I googled it. You can look into it further here.

To get the smoked flavor, I might throw in part of a pouch of smoked salmon from the grocery, like this:

Well that pic is certainly large enough…lol…will have to check WordPress for info on altering images. Sorry.

Anyway, I could probably easily eat a bowl of this spread/dip and by the spoonful, it just looks so good! Even thinking about it has me salivating. Lol.

And, yes that would leave nothing else to nibble on and put me way over my daily caloric limit! But, hey, it’s the holidays…I mean, it was “just” Easter wasn’t it?! Don’t judge. At least it’s fish. You can also make a similar dip with Trader Joe’s smoked trout in a tin or their crabmeat.

OMG to both. Seriously, what can be made with cream cheese that isn’t to die for?

I also found several chowders that also looked quite good:  first, is Smoked Salmon Chowder which uses smoked salmon. Now if you think the cash outlay to buy enough canned or fresh salmon might be too much, check this website (quite informative) out for smoking your own salmon and this for canning your own salmon.

Frankly, once I took into account all the equipment and labor involved, the store-bought salmon seemed pretty “cheap”! Yes, I’ve seen those videos where someone puts a DIY foil tray in the oven, grill or even in a fry pan. Trust me, they do not work for smoking a fish like salmon, nowhere near the same.

Another recipe that looked good is this one . But are we ever satisfied with what we have? No. And further “research” yielded this one which looks unbelievably yummy!

Delicious, no?

Well, I’ll end this missive on fish for now, but it will be continued later :). In the meantime, enjoy tinkering in the kitchen!

Oh, and big B-day hello to my childhood friend whom my Dad often called Susie-Q. Happy birthday dear one!