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!

Observations from the Library and other stuff…

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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

 

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

 

Love, Soccer and Catfish…Just Go With It!

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Well it’s Friday again Y’all. And storms are just stacking up like planes on a tarmac to take a swipe at our loved ones and homes. So let me say I am holding you all in my heart and feel free to share your anxiety with me!

I am lucky to be surrounded by people who know exactly how nutso I am and remind me everyday that my only saving grace is that I am cute and keep  a clean house. Seriously though I know I’m not nutso. I just live with anxiety. And hurricanes are the first trigger of mine. Is it a realistic anxiety? Yes, because I’ve lived through many of them and been displaced by a few. Is there anything I can do to stop the event? No. I’m not Mother Nature ( I know this is a shock to my  children). So how can I manage my anxiety? I spend time with people who make me laugh so hard I can’t breathe. I drink lots of calming herbal tea. I read books with intricate plots that keep me focused. And if I need to I’ll pop a Xanax.

Plus it helps to share with all of you! Last night was the 7 year olds soccer practice. Now these kids have a flow going. No one was watching ants or triggering the littlest boy over his relationship with his shin guards. They did what they were supposed to do.

But little bit, who thinks I live to make his life easier, was there too. He still hates soccer he says. But he loves kicking the ball. We’ve decided he just doesn’t like to play with others. He’s a solitary sportsman. Like a Tiger Woods, only with morals. I’m the one who brings chairs, blankets, snacks, drinks and a loaded personal DVD player for the 4-year-old. And he expects it. So last night we stopped off and grabbed Po Boys for dinner to bring to the field.  I left mine in the truck. For over an hour. I will never get that smell out of my hair and I’ll probably never eat catfish again.

The funniest portion of the evening was towards the end of practice when I’m standing right on the sideline cheering my little ginger on and the 4-year-old starts yelling,” We’re missing Big Brother and its double eviction night!” Now there is no way I would let this boy watch that show so I turned around to see his Papa laughing hysterically. Nice one.

Be safe today and please let us know you are safe if you are in the path of these storms. We kind of care about y’all now!

xx Patricia

Be Useful. Be Honorable. Be Compassionate. And Have Some Tea!

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Today is going to be one of those many pots of tea days! I am intentionally not turning on the television or I’ll be a puddle of anxiety on the floor. Hurricanes are my  trigger. The biggest one. Too many  horrible things have happened during hurricanes and now it looks like they are lining up one after the other to pound us.

I’m tired of hearing people tell the good  folks of Florida to just leave. If only it was that simple. It’s gridlock down there right now and gas is in short supply. So let’s do what we can to help out. There is always something you can do. Always!

Today is Thursday which means the 7-year-old starts soccer practice tonight. This should be much better than the 4-year-old. These kids are playing for points and wins. And Lord help  us  all  as she is her father’s daughter and will call you out on any rule infringement you make. They are both “actually” people. As in, “Actually, Ms. Keating, you can’t tell a student they can’t go  to the bathroom, according to Section 5C of the handbook.” Yep, my kid was nicknamed the high school lawyer. Adored by students, tolerated by teachers and a huge source of entertainment for the principal. Mr. Denly found it difficult to punish the boy when he couldn’t stop laughing. I was never so happy when he graduated to high school and got the heck out of the  school I was teaching in.

It’s back to work  today but tonight is Networking After Dark and it’s Scotch and Cigar Tasting night! As for our weather, it’s much like my baseball team, just shut up and don’t say anything about them. We’re just holding our collective breath over here hoping Mother Nature will think we have already been slammed enough  and the Cubbies go back to the World Series.

Be Nice today. A lot of people are anxious right now, be kind to them. Offer them a cup of tea and some love. WE really are all in this together. So let’s act like it.

xx Patricia

Lust, Lamps, Soccer and Irma

Image result for bronze buffet lamps  Yes, that is a lamp. I have been lusting after this lamp since I saw it on Pinterest. I needed wanted 2 of this tall buffet style lamp and I did not want to pay $200 for the joy of owning it. So yesterday I went in search of said lamp at a better price.

OU Boy had the entire day off and we had nothing earth shattering to do until the 4 year olds soccer practice at 6 p.m. We slurped down our tea and hit the road. For all of 5 minutes. Now that I can see things I couldn’t for a year, I’m always excited to point them all out to the driver and it apparently drives them nuts. As I said we were 5 minutes down the road and he turned to me and said,” Did you take your meds?” Well, no, I don’t take meds in the morning, just at bedtime. “Then I need to stop by the house and take some meds myself” was his reply!

So with everyone medicated we struck out to all the places you would generally find lamps and nothing under the $200 mark,  so I decided we would go to every thrift store in the area. And Lord Have Mercy at the final one there sat my lamps. Two of them! No shades but the exact lamps. I paid a grand total of $8 for both of them. It was really easy to find the shades, and now I have two lovely buffet lamps for under $20 each! Seriously one of these suckers was $209! The cheap skate in me was in Nirvana!

As I said it was the 4 year olds first soccer practice, which is basically 10 other 4 year olds carrying their balls around and tossing  them in the net, losing their shin guards every 5 minutes, looking at the clouds or in the case of ours, laid out on the blanket saying he just couldn’t go on with this. When Papa in all his wisdom tried to reason with him comparing soccer to golf, things got heated. ” But I love golf. And I hate soccer!” Do that in a whiney voice, okay? After bribing him with snacks, and telling him how hurt his Coach/Dad would be if his little boy wouldn’t play soccer,then it was my turn. ” Get your ass out there on that field right now or when you get home your Daddy is going to tear that ass up!” Boom! Done!

All in all by the end of practice, the kids were at least talking to each other and were keeping their balls on the ground. One little boy thought he was trying out for the NFL obviously. Everytime he kicked his ball in the net he did a very well thought out end zone dance. Go Lamont! There are girls on the team too. So we’ll see how this plays out on Thursday.

While we joke and are living our lives as normal ( okay that may have been a stretch to say normal) we are still keeping our prayer chains going for not only Texas, but all the people about to be smacked by Irma. Which includes my family. I was told by a Red Cross lady that they have so many supplies, but they need cash and people. These folks can’t just go back home. They need money for hotels, apartments, medications and transportation.

Also the fires in the western states are destroying lives and property. I’m just going to sit right here in the middle of Oklahoma and hope we don’t get some crazy tornado outbreak!

Be safe. Love each other. Do what you can.