Mug It! Easy & Delicious Meals For One by Pam McElroy

Mug It!: Easy & Delicious Meals for One

Dinner for one can be a lonely, tasteless prospect. But when dinner (or lunch, breakfast, or a snack, for that matter) is made in a mug, it suddenly becomes a whole lot more fun. From blueberry muffins and quiches to mac ‘n cheese and chocolate peanut butter cake, Mug It contains simple, delicious, recipes for every taste and craving. Easy-to-follow recipes and four-color photographs make Mug It the perfect cookbook for nearly anyone who has a mug, a microwave, and an appetite.

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Now that I have given in to years of begging and purchased a microwave I thought I should learn to make something in it and not just heat up coffee. So when I saw this book I was very excited. Most of my meals are eaten out of a bowl or a mason jar, so why not a mug. Heaven knows I have enough of them. And I am just odd enough to embrace this so I don’t burn up any more pots or pans.

There really is something for everyone in here! From Mason Jar Salads, which are my favorite thing this year to overnight oats, dips, breads and muffins in a mug, eggs in a mug, even meatloaf and mac and cheese! Cookies, cupcakes, yummy desserts and even pickling!

So we tried the cake thing and besides the dip and pickling everything else turned out just great! The one thing I especially like is portion control. I mean, it’s a mug. Normally when you make a cake you are probably going to eat more than you should. Same with other foods, but with this when you get to the bottom of the mug, you are done! No mess to clean up, no leftovers to put in the fridge and pretend you will eat later but never do and the entire thing ends up in the trash bin. At least here it does.

So all in all I’d have to say this book is brilliant! Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go have some Earl Grey Tea and a Quiche in a Mug!

Tea: A Gateway Drug…

It’s Friday! You made it through another week! Raise a cup for that! I have to say this Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea is a real winner for me! The smell alone had me smiling. It will definitely be a Fall/Winter staple at my house!

The other day when I was searching through all the tea sites I found this recipe for using Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea with Fireball for a hot toddy. Heck yeah! That idea is getting  used this football season.

Yesterday to keep my mind occupied I started Fall cleaning. I took the refrigerator apart and cleaned it and labelled all of the bins. Same with the stove only I didn’t label it since we aren’t really that close. Scrubbed every cupboard in the house. Got the slip covers on the sofas, got all clean pillows and bedding, and cleaned all the vents. And you won’t believe this but I already have dinner done for tonight! Yep, I put it in the crock pot last night and this morning Voila! dinner!

Tonight we are going to see the Kingsmen sequel. I loved the first one so much I’ve seen it like 5 times. And I never watch anything more than once. If you have Netflix, you should really watch The Five by Harlan Coben. It was on Sky TV in the UK last year and I think on Canal in France. I watched it more than once. It is just as wonderful as his books. So if you get a chance watch it!

Have a great Friday! Make someone elses day great too. Smile! Be Kind! Do what you can to help just one person today.

xx Patricia  bluebird

 

New Autumn Teas and Some Old Favorites! It’s Fall Y’all!

According to ‘people’ it’s Fall. Or Autumn, whichever you prefer. It’s still hot as hades here and humid too, but we are not going to complain at all when we know our fellow human beings are having a pretty rough time of it this month.

It can be overwhelming. Which is always where tea comes in. A few precious moments to sit and think healing thoughts for our neighbors and our planet. A time out from the constant barrage of bad news. You will drive yourself crazy if you don’t.

My favorites are the Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon and the Tazo Baked Cinnamon Apples. Although I won’t say no to any of them!

For those of you keeping track, I had a stitch taken out of my eye yesterday. Only 13 left to go. Yesterday was one of those at the eye surgeons office for hours days. We marked time by how many HGTV shows came on. And people watched. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I did notice that there are quite a lot of people who wear their pajamas and house slippers in public. I just can’t figure this phenomenon out. Every time I leave the house I hear my Momma’s voice in my head asking if my undergarments match. But these folks aren’t even getting dressed! I’m pretty sure this is where the break down in our society is coming from. People not even caring if they have on clothes, must less making sure they match! I tried to ask one why, but OU Boy was there reminding me to Be Nice. Which is apparently something he believes he has to do to save Oklahoma from me pointing out the obvious

Anyway, the taking out of the stitch makes OU Boy queasy so he leaves the room. To make up for that he took me to the new Super Grocery Store that just popped up across the street from Wal-mart. They had bulk bins for everything! Organic, GF, Dairy Free and it was all so nice and clean! They even had an in-house Sushi Chef and let me tell you, I may not be into the gas station sushi, but this stuff was amazing! I ate two samples and then bought some for dinner. I also bought a few of every root vegetable they had, as it is that season. Then I got to the check out and the lady had to ask me what each and every item was. Seriously? You have never seen a turnip or a parsnip or a beet for craps sake?

It was about that time that OU Boy pointed out we may need to just hush and go on home and take a Xanax. So we did. Then we snuggled up on the sofa and watched television while I moaned and whined about how bad my eye hurt. He was happy to put me to bed. He was gone when I got up and it is his day off, so I’m not sure if he’s just had enough or I forgot he had somewhere to be.

Have a good Wednesday and Be Nice! Be Thankful!

xx Patricia

 

The Magic of Tea

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I don’t know who wrote this lovely poem, but it has proven to be true on more than one occasion.

Today I am at odds. I don’t know why. Maybe because my routine was disrupted for a few days. I don’t know. I am just in a mood. Sometimes that happens when I get so into a story line or a character that it takes me a bit to come out of it.

So for now I’m going to brew a pot and just be.

xx Patricia     Aaaarrrghh!

Shhhhh….the word of the day!

I can’t even tell you how many times I have said that word today. And it’s not even 10 a.m. here. I shouldn’t even be up. This is obscene! Outrageous! Four cups of English Breakfast Tea have been consumed.

OU Boy is fresh off his teams glorious win last night and my team is still off due to Hurricane Irma. He sent me a text and said he found a snake in the pool and I begged him to bring it in the house as I really want a low maintenance pet.

Yesterday was soccer game day and we had errands to run so we were off to the Library to pick up every single Goosebumps pre-loaded little players for later and then as much as I hated it we had to stop by Wal-Mart. We had to go through the entire toy section where children turn into whining, begging heathens. We got out of there with only one Spiderman and one Barbie and left about a quarter of our sanity.

Next up was pizza. Now I knew nothing about Pied Piper Pizza, except it is new in our neighborhood. Once we got inside we found out it was an updated Chuckey Cheese on a Saturday night and there were at least 5 birthday parties going on as well as the gambling in the back where you pay $20 for coins to get tickets to trade for a cheap key chain. At some point I just left and went to the car. Another mother came too as she understood that this was some portal to hell.

So everyone got bathed, brushed and put to bed with their little movies and we took drugs because we don’t have any alcohol. Don’t get all excited. He took his blood pressure meds and I palmed a Xanax without a beverage!

This morning at 5 a.m. the 4-year-old woke us up carrying a bag of donuts. And a Spiderman. He actually wanted to eat. OU Boy took care of that as he was getting up anyway. Then he told them not to wake me up. Then it became a challenge to see who could wake me up the fastest.

Now I feel like a zombie and am planning on bribing them to take a nap or maybe I’ll just take them to Mass. If you don’t hear from me tomorrow….check the mental hospital.

xx Patricia     Have a fun day and Be Kind!

Having a cup of Earl Grey and Talking Respect!

If you don't care for tea you could at least make polite conversation

Although I can’t imagine anyone out there not liking tea, I know there are some that don’t, but we can still make some polite conversation!

I’m trying to remember exactly when  the country went to hell. I’m also trying to remember when parents stopped teaching their children to say ” Yes M’am” and “No, Sir” and saying Please and Thank You and not calling adults by their first names.

In other words, when did we forget about being polite? Being well-mannered? Teaching our children to respect themselves and others? And I know it’s not me, since one of my boys was dating a young teacher who had a child. He called me to ask those same questions. “Mom, she never says please or thank you and is just rude and obnoxious to be around. What do I do?” Well my darling boy there isn’t a thing you can do. It isn’t your child and you just need to get out of there and go find yourself a good Southern girl.

Him:” Like Britney Spears? I think she’s crazy but just enough that I would have a chance with her.”

Me: Yep, you go do that. She may be bat shit crazy, but I bet her children have manners.

Of course in the south these things are just bred into us. To be rude to someone is a horrible offense. But I grew up knowing I respected myself and others. Didn’t mean I had to like them or agree with them. But I respected them as I respect all life.

We need to seriously get down to the job of educating our children about Respect. For themselves and others.

That’s my rant of the day as I am trying to refinish some tables and I have two rowdy children on the way over.

Be nice. Be kind. Be Polite. Be Respectful. Don’t Drink and Drive. And as my Grandpa says, “Don’t bend over in the garden, Ma, you know those ‘taters have eyes!”

xx Patricia

Observations from the Library and other stuff…

tea

What a week this has been so far! I don’t know about the rest of the country, but here the allergies are in full swing. And last night the weatherman said it’s not going to get better until the first good freeze. Dude, this is Oklahoma. I never even once put on a coat last winter. I can’t go on like this. I am having to stay away from any herbal teas except mint. So you know I’m not really happy.

Tuesday was soccer practice for the 4 year olds. They are much better now that they have a “game” under their belts. On the negative side, they know each other now. So there is a lot of goofing off together. Not to mention we practice right next to TAFB so the planes are constantly coming and going and they act like they have never seen an airplane before.  I got in trouble for “coddling” Corbin. But he accidentally broke his dad’s ball pump and he was crying that cry where they are almost hiccuping their words and of course I was going to tell him it’s fine,I have another one. What do you want me to get you lovey?

The just turned 7-year-old was there so we went to the next field over and practiced until the sneezing and nose blowing started. Then she wanted me to help her with her homework. Or that is what I thought until I started helping her. Her words, “No I don’t want to have to figure it out. Just tell me the answer and I’ll write it down”. Another teacher on the sidelines was looking at me side eyed and so obviously I wasn’t going to do that. So she lost interest and we just watched Taylor Swift videos.

Yesterday I had a lot of research I needed to catch up on so since OU Boy was headed out to the country to dig roots or something manly like that, I asked him to drop me off at the library over in MWC. But first I had to stop at Walgreens because their school supplies were being marked down to 90% off and I wasn’t passing that up.

So here I am at the library and I’m sharing a space with a lovely young lady who kindly kept her ear buds in the entire 4 hours. I finished all I could do and just sat back and people watched in the Library. It was a pretty normal day. Except for the man in the orange pajamas who was singing and dancing out loud! Not just in his head like I do. And then another man kept asking the ladies where the videos were. He’d go over there and then you would hear “help…help…help”. Well my space mate looked at me and I looked at her and we decided we weren’t getting involved with either of them.

So I’m skipping my run today to save my nose blowing for tonight’s soccer practice, where I have to be early to stake out the good spot that the flag football folks stole last week.

I hope your week is going well. Share a cuppa and be kind to someone today!

xx Patricia

 

CHICKADEE CHICKADEE BANG BANG:A Bird Lover’s Mystery by J.R.Ripley

Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang (A Bird Lover's Mystery #5)

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

As Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms guides a half-hearted birding group around Ruby Lake, rumors soon start flying about the annual Fall Festival’s classic car and tractor show. Local eccentric Chick Sherman—boasting the hottest ride in town—has ruffled feathers by mysteriously entering the contest, and curious Amy hatches a plan to sneak a glimpse at the phantom automobile before the big event kicks off . . .

But competition turns deadly when Amy finally spots the sleek ’56 El Morocco—and it’s on top of Chick’s very dead body. With her neighbor and business partner framed as the murderer and priceless Audubon prints suddenly missing from Chick’s home, only Amy can identify the telltale markings of a killer before another hapless victim is plucked from the flock . . .

I am seriously considering moving to Ruby Lake! They have more fun events than any small town I have ever lived in!

It’s time for the annual Fall Festival with the Tractor and Car Show being one of the most popular and competitive events.

As our Amy is leading a group of birdwatchers in the park most of the group is looking at a Chickadee in the tree. Karl and Floyd however have spotted something white and teal that definitely is not a bird, but a ’57 Chevy Bel Air going down the street.

Karl and Floyd soon have Amy taking them to find their own oldie but goodie so for once they can be part of the parade of cars. Even Amy’s sweetie and her neighbor Paul have caught the car fever.

When Amy decides to sneak a peek at this mysterious El Morroco that Chick supposedly has the first person she runs into is Chick. Plan fouled. But when she returns to find her cell phone she finds Chick dead under the coveted car.

By now even the police chief is used to Amy snooping around crime scenes, so at least she isn’t being kept out of the loop, but there are always some shady folks hanging around this tiny town and the suspect list even includes some locals. But don’t worry because our girl Amy will peck around like a bird after a worm until she finds the truth!

We are in book 5 in this series now and the characters are developing nicely and I learned about another lovely bird.

Job well done Mr. Ripley!

Netgalley/Kensington/Lyrical Underground    Release Date is September 12, 2017

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THIS PIRATE

Good Monday Morning to you all! Today’s tea is brought to you by Ahmad Tea. Lemon Ginger to be exact because someone and I’m not mentioning names….made brownies at bedtime last night and how could I not eat one! So now I am suffering from Sugar Shock.

Sugar and I hate each other. It does horrible things to my body. I’m pretty sure the brownie making stunt ( which he said was fudge) was in retaliation for my forcing him to eat pasta with sautéed sausage and peppers. Or maybe because I send him pictures of what I’m eating during the day.

This is my day. Yesterday I had caviar and tiny toasts for breakfast because I was reading a Russian book. And because I only had 3 tiny toasts left and it seemed a reasonable breakfast.  At lunch, I roasted brussel sprouts, fresh green beans and celery with a bit of sea salt and herbes de provance.

I also opened the blinds to find a Stormtrooper peeking in my window. I guess if you must have a peeper, a stormtrooper isn’t a bad one to have. Now he is sitting in the tea cupboard after having a bath, since lord only knows where he actually came from.

OU Boy brought home flowers, which to be honest he does pretty much every Sunday. He’s thoughtful like that. Plus he thought we were having Spaghetti. Like “normal” people eat. ( His words).

The gorgeous tiny boxes of macarons were the Sweet Ending to Mollie and Taylors wedding reception. A wedding which was planned for 500. On the day OU played Ohio. Mollie and Taylor are not sports fans. Less than 275 people showed up. Everyone else was in Ohio or screaming Boomer Sooner in the yard.

Welcome to a day in my life.  I know we’ll all be writing about and thinking about 9/11. I’m not going to do that. I will offer a prayer. I will be thankful that my son and daughter came home intact from a war that this day started. I will remember my cousin who didn’t come home intact. And all of the other sons and daughters who lost their lives and continue to lose their lives.

Be Nice. Be Compassionate. Be Grateful.

xx Patricia