What I’m Cooking

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Happy St. Patrick’s
Day! Happy birthday to my sister!

I did a bit of panic buying – nothing crazy and I am not hoarding toilet paper. My freezer cannot hold anything else, though. I am trying to stay organized and list what we have and what I can make during these strange times.

I also still plan on having a green dinner tonight. If you have young children I think it may be even more important to make things as fun as possible. I have green food color and will make:

green mashed potatoes

green butter to have on some bread or rolls

broccoli

turkey sausage with onion and green pepper

If I can go out and get skittles and rolos I may add that, too, but I don’t feel that it’s a necessity.

Breakfast Ideas: These are on a list on the memo board and I will cross off as we run out

egg in a hole – super easy and so good. Just cut a hole and put butter in pan and crack an egg inside or do like I do and scramble first in a bowl

bagel with cream cheese

granola bar

French toast

cinnamon toast

avocado toast

Spanish omelette

pancakes

cereal

Lunch options: I have another list on memo board for lunch

mac and cheese

tuna salad

egg salad

quesadilla

grilled cheese

peanut butter and jelly

avocado toast

turkey corn dogs from freezer

ramen

pasta mixes

Dinner options: I need to add to this list which we need to have first so things don’t go bad

Mexican lasagna

quesadillas

nachos

pasta bake

frozen pizza

tuna noodle casserole

chicken and noodles

chili

quiche lorraine

burrito bowls

ham and swiss sandwiches

sides:

broccoli

green beans

waffle fries

steak fries

roasted potatoes

baked potatoes

corn

Maybe you have some of the same items stocked and this will give you some ideas? What ideas do you have for me?

Do you plan to keep buying when you can just in case? I am wondering if I should schedule a Kroger pick up every few days? I also would like to be able to help others in need if I have extras.

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, March 16, 2020

After some thought on how to proceed with blogging during this time, I have decided to keep on writing. I need to connect with you more than ever and I hope that we can be sources of strength for each other. I hope you will continue to come here! I also hope all of my favorite bloggers will continue to post.

If it is available, I will link up with Heather, etc. right here.

So, Friday was our last day of school until at least April 6 – the next two weeks are for stopping the spread of the Coronavirus and then our regularly scheduled spring break. My twin boys are seniors at the school where I teach Spanish, if you are new around here. We are not set up for digital learning; these 9 days are simply like snow days and will have to be made up unless we can figure something out. They have quite a bit of “homework” during this time for their AP classes. The exams run the first two weeks of May unless they are postponed. AP classes are courses with an exam at the end that can award a student college credits depending on how well they do in case you aren’t familiar with them. I also teach AP Spanish and need to stay in contact with my students so they can still be prepared. We are a little bit ahead of the game this year due to no snow days and the fact that I started practicing for the exam a little bit earlier. I am using Google classroom and asked that my AP as well as my other levels check there each day for “suggested activities”. We will have to see how that goes.

I am a pretty social person. I interact with 150 students and several colleagues each day.

Friday night we stayed in because I felt like we were supposed to. After dinner, one son and I sat outside and read on the new deck because it was such a nice night.

Saturday morning I walked and it felt good to be out in the cooler weather before the rain came in. I saw a neighbor who had just come from Kroger and I started getting a bit nervous about having enough food. I had scheduled a Kroger pick up for Sunday evening because that was the earliest time I coudl get; I anticipated them being out of a lot of stock. So, I went to Kroger and there was not a single thing of milk or eggs to be had and many shelves were empty. There was also no ground beef. My husband found milk at a different Kroger and I went to the locally owned market and bought eggs and beef. I think people just don’t know what to do and this is how they react around here to an inch snow prediction, too. I think we have enough to last us two weeks if I get really creative. They have asked people in Kentucky not to do crazy hoarding. I am definitely not doing that. The irony is not lost on me that a goal for 2020 was less food waste; I definitely cannot allow that now.

The other irony not lost on me is how I complain about being more busy than I would like. I’m not the worst offender as I have friends that are soooooo busy (by choice in my opinion). Well, this has sure cleared my calendar.

Saturday I found myself preparing all three meals at home and just lounging around because it rained all day long. I feel like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. We watched some t.v. as a family, I read a bit, my boys played an online game with friends. I did not allow them to do anything social nor did they ask.

Enjoying a coffee on my new deck. I am so thankful that my hub got this to a usable state.

Sunday I drank my coffee and read inside and then hustled to Trader Joe’s at 8 am. TJ’s is usually a calm, zen experience for me around that time. It was borderline frantic. I have never seen so many people there that early and so many shelves with dwindling stock. I decided to let my son go to a friend’s house for a bit in the afternoon and Kroger called to tell me my order was ready early. Now I have no more room for food. I had to make a couple of shelves in the basement storage room for overflow. Where are these people putting all of their food? I walked again and the sun came out thankfully. We watched some t.v. and I read some and my son practiced some music. We decided to support a locally owned Mexican restaurant for dinner. I hope that was an o.k. choice.

So, where do we go from here? I plan to keep a schedule and do some school work and blog work every day. I plan to get dressed. I plan to walk everyday. I plan to get outside everyday. I am going to limit my time on social media because it makes me anxious. I am going to try to actually call (not text) a friend every day. I plan to make a list of areas to clean each day. I also have lots of plans for my boys – we will see how well this goes over: school work, getting outside, applying for community scholarships, applying online for summer jobs, practicing an instrument, talking to a friend, spending time with me!, learning to cook some new things, and I’m sure I will think of more. As of right now, my husband is still planning to go to work.

How are you feeling? What is your game plan? Anything you want me to write about?

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, March 13, 2020

This post almost didn’t happen. Things have been crazy and stressful and uncertain around here. How are you holding up? What is your area doing in regards to safety? I am linking up with Andrea, etc. if there is a link up today right here.

We got word yesterday around dinner time that we would be closed – the largest district in Kentucky- from March 16-April 6. The first 9 school days we were supposed to be in school and the last 5 school days was our regularly scheduled spring break. The kids have been pretty crazy since Monday with the will we/won’t we questions. I couldn’t blame them but I was trying to carry on as normal. I also had my extra class I am teaching after school on Wednesday and my principal observed menot great timing!

I don’t know if this is a favorite, but I did an extra grocery run for some shelf stable things and this was the toilet paper aisle. People were courteous and calm.

In the midst of the stressful, worrisome week I was able to enjoy my new deck and some spring like weather. Here I had a decaf coffee in my favorite mug after school.

Temporary furniture. But, seriously, if you don’t have an anti-gravity lounge chair you must get one.

I placed a Victoria Emerson bracelet order – she is having a major sale and I needed to stress-shop. One thing I ordered is a gift. I have also been stress snacking. I hope to start stress walking with my extra time.

I am taking this seriously. I am a worrywart and a germaphobe by nature. I have been cleaning my classroom extra all week. I pray for all of you and yours and I will miss my students and didn’t want it to come to this. I do think that our leaders have made the best decision at this time.

Stay well and share with me what you and your community are doing.

Amy

Pantone Blue

Thursday, March 12, 2020

I just want to say that I put these fashion posts together over the weekend. I feel kind of weird talking about fashion when there are very serious concerns right now for the health and safety of our country. I pray that we get this virus contained and that you and your loved ones are o.k.

Have you embraced the Pantone color of the year? This classic blue has never been what I considered my color but I have accidentally accrued quite the collection.

My current dip nails are this color, too!

You have not seen this yet – it was an impulse purchase at Target for $15. I love a swing dress and I had thought this color would be a good one. The price was right and I went for it.

For Christmas, hub gave me a stack of four of these bracelets from a local favorite boutique called Revelry. I have worn a combination of these almost every day since. Good job, hub!

This one has shades of blue.

This blouse is from Target but I bought it a couple of years back at my consignment store. I have worn it quite a bit!

This Amazon kimono has been pretty popular – I know Sheaffer of Sheaffer Told Me To has it and it is a best seller on Amazon. I have a plain blue top from Versona that I can wear it with now and then the swing tank dress will work well when it warms up more.

And, my St. Patrick’s Day palazzo pants also have this classic blue!

This blue is the team color of my husband’s college team, too! The University of Kentucky Wildcats are who he cheers for and I end up watching a lot of the games, too, thus the need for this color in my closet. I just am not a big sports enthusiast. I did get a Master’s degree from UK, though. I also got one from the University of Louisville so I can tell my students I root for both schools.

Do you have this color in your closet?

Amy

St. Patrick‚Äôs Day Attire

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


Do you like to dress for St. Patrick’s Day? I bought these palazzo pants back in January and thought they would be great for this purpose. Isn’t that crazy? The little stripe of green is enough and then I can wear them lots of other times, too. I plan to wear a black top with them and maybe try them with a white tee and jean jacket for a bit more casual look. These are from Steinmart and I love my palazzo pants for a comfortable but professional work option. I am linking up with the ladies of The Style Six right here.

Did you read my sneaker trend post? I am going to try these with my new white Madewell sneakers.

I bought this Kate Spade looking necklace at a consignment store years ago with the same thought in mind – to wear it for St. Patrick’s Day! It looks good with black and white tops and I have even worn it with a yellow and white stripe top.

I tried them out for school on Monday and got so many teenager compliments! I do need to have them hem I decided. If you saw my white sneaker post yesterday this was my first time wearing them to school!

I would love a graphic tee to wear but I haven’t found the right one.

I am hoping to go to the parade on Saturday and I might wear the pants and I would love to find a graphic tee that would work with the pants, too!

Will you dress for the day on Tuesday?

Don’t forget my Friday Favorites last week – dye the milk green, serve Lucky Charms and then for dinner green mashed potatoes and butter and all the green food you can get your kids to eat!

Amy

The White Sneaker Trend

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Every March I think I need some sneakers or tennis shoes or something of that nature. Maybe 6 years ago, I bought the Converse shoreline but I didn’t size up .5 and they just weren’t comfortable so I gave them to my niece.

This past Friday I really wanted some to wear to work but I didn’t have any. I know – very sad, right? Saturday morning I still thought they would be the perfect shoe for that day’s activities. So, I hopped online and did some research. I didn’t want to spend too much and I thought that plain white would probably be the best for my age and the way I planned to wear them. I decided that the Madewell pair would be my best bet and added bonus – they offer a 20% off teacher discount. I decided to go to the mall and look for them in person. I quickly made a decision without second guessing myself – that hardly ever happens – and I proceeded to wear them right then and there. I don’t think I have done that since I was a little girl. And, then, I always wanted to wear my new shoes right away!

Here is some inspiration – I could never look this effortlessly chic!

I plan to try them with a longer skirt, a pencil skirt, and palazzo pants.

Do you have white sneakers?

Would you wear them?

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, March 9, 2020

This weekend was pretty chill. We had two beautiful days of sun and warmth after a really cold Friday. How was yours? I am linking up today with Heather, etc. right here. I didn’t take that many pictures this weekend, either, so this will be pretty short and sweet. We are still trucking along here, by the way. We still have three weeks until our Spring Break.

Friday after school I went to a nearby brewery with my work friend to try their apricot beer release. It was really good. Then, I did a Kroger pick up and I should have made plans to do something else because I went home and just vegged out. I made myself a blah dinner. My three boys went to an arcade convention and didn’t get home until about 8. I was so happy to see them – ha! This does not bode well for college, does it?

Saturday morning I was lazy but then finally got out to run some errands and I joined the white sneaker trend. I am working on a post but I decided on Madewell and found them online but then went to the mall and tried them on. Madewell offers a 20% teacher discount, by the way.

I found some sunshine that afternoon and enjoyed finishing up my book and my new favorite cider.

Jack had theatre most of the day but Mason and I spent some time together which included getting dinner from our new Peruvian fast food place. I know that sounds weird but it is a rotisserie chicken place called Carali’s. I did not realize that the sides are Peruvian and they have Peruvian drinks, too! We brought it home because Tom was wiped out from deck work and we loved it. We will definitely get it again soon. Do you have one of these? I am not sure how far reaching the chain is. We have 3 and soon to be 4 of these in Louisville.

Sunday morning I did a very quick coffee shop trip and read a little. Then, I needed a few more things from the grocery.

By noon this is what the sky looked like and I had the sunroof open.

I made these sliders – Hawaiian ham and swiss for Mason to take to his friend’s house for a game day.

I got a much needed pedicure. I chose a grey/purple that wouldn’t look too bad with my blue nails.

I made a pineapple coconut drink and sat on my deck for the first time. Tom finished securing the planks yesterday and had moved on to another part of the project.

I started this – cute so far!

We have decided to look for two chairs and a small table for the deck because it isn’t that big. I would also like an outdoor rug and lots of potted plants. Any suggestions for where to look? I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to have coffee out there in the mornings!

Today will be rough with the time change, the full moon, and the beginning panic of Coronavirus. I pray that the threat lessens and that we don’t have to cancel school or any events here. I feel for school districts that have closed and for events that had to be cancelled. I know the leaders are making the best decisions for their particular area and that is a big responsibility. How is your area handling it? Are you in a panic? My boys were in second grade during the H1N1 virus and I made the rule that school clothes had to be taken off at the door/ I don’t think that is a bad idea to start up again. I am also cleaning my desks in my classroom almost daily. None of this is a bad idea just for colds and flu either.

Thanks for reading!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, March 6, 2020

Happy Friday! That is of course, my first favorite. I am linking up with Andrea, etc. here.

This week gave us a real taste of spring. I opened my sun roof on a couple of the days. I was parked when I took this, just so you know. The blue skies and fluffy clouds made me so happy!

Sunday night I went out to dinner with 3 college friends. I ordered a horrible sangria for $11 that tasted like Welch’s grape juice. That part was not a favorite but catching up with friends was so nice. I don’t usually go out on a Sunday and I will admit that I started getting nervous as the clock headed toward my bedtime!

I love my Trader Joe’s frozen rice and this is really good, too. The box comes with two packets that you microwave. It is a great short cut if you also like quinoa.

It’s time to start thinking about St. Patrick’s Day. I love this day because it’s my sister’s birthday, I am part Irish, and it’s just fun! This is what I usually make for dinner. I love celebrating the little holidays, too, even though I have teens now. They still enjoy my festivities I think. Sausage, onions, pretzel rolls with green butter, green mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, and a little cup of Rolos and Skittles make for an easy weeknight dinner. I have turned the milk green, too! I have also done Lucky Charms and green milk for breakfast.

I know I owe you a renovation update. The truth is that we spent all of January waiting for the inspector and we couldn’t get our permit for the patio until that happened. Finally in February those two pieces came together. My husband has worked the last two weekends and has built this all by himself. I now can use the back door! It’s the little things! The patio is far from done – we need to finish securing the planks, stain the wood, do the railings, and then furnish it but it is definitely a favorite.

If you read my “Getting Ready for Spring” post Wednesday, you saw that I ordered this Knox Rose for Target top. It is better than I thought it would be. The back is a knit material and the front is so cute. I am seriously thinking about getting a second one because sometimes white clothing only lasts one season. Here it is if you are interested.

I ordered on Target.com and then did the in store pick up. They included the yummiest red gummy bears. I wish I could buy these!

So, what were your favorites this week?

What are you up to this weekend?

I am excited about the time change and I really need a pedicure. I know that we will see some cold weather before it’s all said and done but my flip flops are calling to me.

Thanks so much for reading!

Amy

Faux-Tisserie Chicken

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Do you use rotisserie chicken in a lot of recipes like I do? I use it for my Mexican Lasagna, quesadillas, burrito bowls, enchiladas, nachos, and so much more.

Sometimes I do not want to deal with getting the meat off of a store bought rotisserie chicken (and by the way, Costco and Kroger offer it already taken off the bone) and this actually ends up being easier for me. I almost always have chicken in the freezer or the fridge. Right now I have lots of frozen chicken on hand from my stop in to Fresh Market last week on a Tuesday. Every Tuesday they have 2.99/pound chicken and I finally remembered to go there. I feel like their quality is great, too.

Here is what you need:

boneless skinless chicken breast

chicken broth

garlic powder, salt, pepper, or any spices you like, really

Put chicken in a pan or stockpot and either use all chicken broth or half broth/half water like I did. Add in your spices and cook slowly until cooked through. I think if you cook too quickly it can get dry.

Simply shred with two forks after it cools a bit.

Here is what the final product looked like – just like rotisserie chicken but white meat only

Also, I decided to make rice with the leftover liquid. The rice turned out super flavorful. I am trying to waste less food in 2020 so that made me super happy.

This may be the most no-brainer post ever, by the way. You may be thinking – duh! Ha!

Thanks for reading,

Amy

Getting Ready for Spring!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Again this week I will abandon outfit photos for something different! I have not shopped much in 2020 at all but now I am anxious to get a few pieces for spring. I can see all of my spring clothing in my new closet and know where my “closet holes” are. I have also been looking at outfit inspiration on Pinterest.

I stopped in at my consignment shop not thinking much would come of it. I feel that the quality has gone down. I had a specific item I was looking for – a plain black clutch. I have a gold, leopard, among others, but wanted something to go with patterns. I found more of a wristlet for $13 by Steve Madden in perfect condition. I also happened upon shoes that I have considered buying full price – these Earth booties in great condition. Some people might find it unappealing to buy consignment shoes but I don’t have a problem with it if they are in good condition. I will clean them up a bit. They were $20. I have heard that these are the most comfortable booties ever. Amy from MomAdvice blog loves them.

Target Universal Thread does it again here. I will have to wear a cami under but it is so cute for spring. I will have to style it and make sure it will work for me. $24.99

My friend Kellyann wore this dress. I may have to eat my words about Target’s Wild Fable line. This dress is fairly thick material and appears to be well made. Again, I will have to style it and make sure I can pull it off with the shoes I want to wear. I also have white capri leggings but I don’t want to look like a toddler. It is pretty short. It is $24.99. I think this could make a great summer day dress and double as a cover up.

And, this disappointed me. First of all, I think you need to size up one and second of all it is a very, very thin material. I don’t like the print in person as much as I did online. This went back. Lisa from Coast to Coast looked adorable in hers. I saw her in it after I had already ordered. It may work for you, though. It is $19.99.

And, finally I have this on order. It may be too long but we will see. You can find it here. I know this picture isn’t great so you should click. This is the wonderful Knox Rose line and it is a bit pricey for Target at $31.79.

I really do go back and forth on Target clothing. On one hand, I want to get away from fast fashion. On the other hand, the lines Universal Thread, Wild Fable, and Knox Rose speak to me. My Universal Thread things from last summer were my closet workhorses and they will still work this year.

I highly recommend you go to Target.com, shop by brand, and order things for in store pick up or shipped to your house and then return to a store if you have one near. Target prices have gone up but I think the quality has, too.

What are your thoughts on Target clothes for women?

Amy