Thursday, March 21, 2019

Some Things We Are Just Not Meant to do Together!

Butch and I have been having a lot of fun with our B & B days. Lately, we haven't done anything unusual. Sometimes, those days just include running errands. But one thing we NEVER do together is grocery shop. And we shouldn't. What were we thinking?

I'm pretty sure the last time we went to the grocery store together was at least 5 years ago. Considering I thought our dishwasher was about 7 years old and it turned out to be 15 years old, that means that it has probably been more like 13 years since we grocery shopped together. (This estimate is based on the math!)

A while back---like years, I recall posting about our "little tiff" in the pickle aisle. I couldn't find it, but you might recall, I wanted to get the petite kosher dills and Butch wanted to get the regular ones because they were cheaper. I said, "I like the tiny ones better." He said, "You could just eat one big one rather than 4 baby ones."  It went back and forth and I finally said, "Come on Butch, I think we can afford the petite baby dills."

Well, that was the last time we shopped together---until---Monday!

We were out running errands together. I needed a few things for a new recipe--sharing that at the end of this post. The recipe is called Spicy Siracha Chicken Ramen Noodles. Now let me preface this by saying that I have bought Siracha sauce two other times in our life and gave it away. I only have one recipe that calls for it and I've only made that recipe twice (Sandy's Bang Bang Shrimp). It's a big bottle and we just don't use it that much---like maybe once every two years.

Anyway, they only sell one size bottle. It was $3.39. (Now right about here, I'm going to depart from how I usually do our conversations just to prove to you that I do actually know how you are supposed to write conversations properly).

Butch said, "That's ridiculous! We'll end up just throwing it away. Let's just borrow some from Stephanie and Nicky."

I said, "No, we're not going to drive all the way over there for that."

He said, "Then let's just leave it out."

I said, "We can't---Siracha is in the name!"

I proceeded to put the bottle in the cart. We moved on to the chicken. I needed a pound and had planned to get two boneless breasts. Then, instead I decided to pick up the frozen tenderloins.

He said, "Well great! I had a digital coupon for that! I didn't download it because you said you were getting the breasts."

I conceded and said, "Okay, let me get the breasts."

Now we're on to checking out. I picked up a couple bags of Easter candy since Evie and Josie are going to be here. I always like to have little treats for kids. Everyone knows that candy is expensive. What I got was actually on sale---2 bags for $7.00. Butch wasn't thrilled.

He said, "There can't be 50 pieces in the two bags!" He's probably right---no argument from me!

After that I said, "You know, we just can't grocery shop together." He agreed.

On the way home, I suggested that we stop at Trader Joe's since I've never been there. He said, "No! We've already spent enough on groceries!"

I said, "Yeah, you're right---$80.00!"

When it was time to cook supper, Butch was helping me (I love that he does that now). I said, "You'll be happy to know that the Siracha Sauce can last in the refrigerator for two years!"

He said, "Okay, good. We can throw it away then!"

Like I said, we are just not meant to grocery shop together! I guess I shouldn't complain about this one little thing. He does most of the grocery shopping anyway.That's another thing I actually love that about him. I hate grocery shopping. I have no illusions as to why he's so willing to do it. He says I'm an impulse shopper. He's right. I freely admit it. But I have doing much better since I've gotten my multiples problem under control.

Stephanie and Nicky came over for dinner on Tuesday night. We put steaks on the grill. I made an innocent little comment about how I was surprised that there wasn't any steak sauce in the refrigerator.

Butch said, "Just pull out one of the 4 bottles you have in the pantry!"

Guilty! But in all fairness to me, Connie gave me a bottle or two.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Now for the recipe. Butch thought it was just okay and said he'd be fine if I never made it again. On the other hand, I sort of loved it! I say that because it was so darn hot (damn that Siracha sauce!), that I couldn't really enjoy it. I'd like to try it again.

Spicy Siracha Chicken Ramen Noodles
1 lb. raw chicken, cut in to bite size pieces
1 T. oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2-3 T. Siracha (I used 1.5T and that was way too much--especially when you consider there is only 1/2 cup of liquid---next time, I'm going to cut it back to a half tablespoon--you can always add more).
2 pkgs. ramen noodles (any flavor)
1/3 cup cocktail peanuts (I'm increasing this to 1/2 cup---I felt like there needed to be more).
green onions, sliced (I'm going to skip this garnish step---it didn't really matter).

Cook the noodles as directed---discarding the seasoning packets. Drain and set aside. Heat oil and add chicken until lightly browned and cooked. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in noodles. Garnish with onions.

If you make it, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

What I Buy Wednesday

Not much this week. Oh wait---yeah, a new dishwasher! I'll have to post photos once it's installed on Friday.

I did purchase these:
Darn cute from Michaels. 40% off---makes them 15 bucks! A little surprise for a little somebody starting their big girl life!

I did pick up a few other things for when Janet and the girls arrive later today. More on that later.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tuesday Thoughts About...

...the Cricut. I'm pissed! I don't say that lightly. I am so fed up with this company. I will NEVER buy another one of their products. I rarely use foul language and pretty much never on my blog, but cover your ears, it's coming (I'd say cover your eyes, but then you wouldn't see it coming!).

I mentioned that I think my "old, very original "baby" Cricut" is toast. I thought everything connected to that power strip had been zapped by lightening. I thought those power strips were serge protectors, that's why I'm not 100% sure that's the problem. As it turns out, everything else plugged in is fine--my sewing machine and 3 lamps. Anyway, it really doesn't matter. The power strip is definitely bad. Still, the Cricut is dead.

Awhile back, I received an email offer from Cricut that they were offering a discount on a new machine because they were no longer going to support the older ones. That made me mad because I felt like they were trying to force me to buy another one. I didn't. 

Then recently, there was a really good sale offer on the latest model. I decided to check it out, so I sent a question to Cricut. Frankly it was so long ago that I forgot about it. My question was:

"ALL of my Cricut cartridges---100+---are linked to my Gypsy. Will that work with this new machine?"

Now a little side note about the Gypsy. When Cricut came out with this, I fell in love with it. By linking your cartridges, that meant they were ALL on this nifty little electronic device. You no longer had to figure out which cartridge you wanted to use and switch them in and out. Plus, it had a search feature that was the best thing about it. If you wanted to cut a camera or a sun, it would search all of your cartridges and show you all the cameras and types of suns available. Invaluable. I really don't want to use the Circuit without it. I could never go back to using the cartridges.

 I got this response today. (After reading, skip to the bottom).
Kuldip Dhamala (Cricut Member Care) 
Mar 13, 4:11 AM MDT 
Hi there,

Greetings from Cricut Member Care team & thank you for contacting us, I am sorry for the inconvenience & the delay in response. The Gypsy with not link to our new software, I would request you to let me know the below information to help you further.

* Email address associated with your Cricut account.
* Front and back photos of all cartridges by placing them together. Two photos are enough. While taking the photos, please write down the ticket #1530194 in a piece of paper. Ticket # should be visible in the photo.
* List of cartridges in a Notepad or Excel spreadsheet.
* Please forward the cartridge(s) purchase receipt(s) if you have any.
* Gypsy serial number:
* Email address you have used to register the Gypsy earlier.

Thank you so much for your continued patience and apologies for the inconvenience this may have caused. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions

Regards,
Kuldip
OMF***NGosh!
You have got to be kidding me!! There are so many things wrong with the email---beginning with proper English! Then, on to the tasks described. Do you know how long it would take to photograph the front and back of all those cartridges---over 100? Plus write some number for each, note the 16 digit serial number of EACH and then actually make a list of the cartridges! NO F****N' WAY!! Besides, I have ALREADY DONE THIS! I'm one of those obsessed, organized people who painstakingly went online after EACH cartridge purchase and registered them in my account with all that information. What happened to it? Have they lost it? ALL of it should already be in their computer system.

I am so mad that I can't see straight. I sent the following response:

"OMGosh! You have got to be kidding me! This is way too much and a ridiculous amount of work.You should already have this information in my account---which I set up at your request when I purchased the cartridges. This is just another way to force me to RE-BUY all of these cartridges! I will never purchase another Cricut product. This is no way to treat your original Cricut customers—who paid in full and purchased in advance with a leap of faith and then waited months to get the machine. I have over 100 cartridges—all linked to my Gypsy. It’s all totally useless now. Unbelievable. I’m sure I’m not the only customer you will lose."

I didn't expect to hear anything from them. I cannot express how disappointed I am. Then I got this:

Hi there,

Thank you for your email, I can understand how feels, however, to make sure we are adding the benefits to the right account the team would need a little information from you so that it becomes easier to add the entitlements you always had.

I'll put this ticket on HOLD & you can reply to this email with the details at your convenience.

Regards, 
Kuldip


OMGosh! I can't even....again with the improper English. Adding benefits---entitlements---I PAID a lot of money for these cartridges!! A little information---that's downright laughable! There will never be a convenient time!

Like I said, NEVER AGAIN with this company!

All of this will be gone:


The basket on the top shelf,cartridges to the right, the two boxes on the shelf below and the suitcase to the left are all full of cartridges.
An inside look at one of the boxes.
This is the Gypsy---just a little handheld, electronic device that has ALL of my cartridges loaded on to it.

It's all worthless! Actually, I can keep my Gyspy and use it when I'm with Janet since she has a Cricut too. Yeah, like twice a year. But, I am not happy!

Wait, there is still hope. I have a couple friends who own Cricuts, but no longer scrapbook. Maybe they would want to sell me theirs---cheap. I don't want to pay much, but I do have a lot invested in all this crap. Yes, how I feel now---it's crap! 

And those are my thoughts today!


























Monday, March 18, 2019

Monday Mystery

Okay, it's all in the news about the college app scandal. I really don't get it. Even if you cheat to get your kid in, they do have to perform to stay, don't they? Seems like they would be found out soon enough with that spot opening up again. I remember a guidance counselor telling me that you can get in the school of your choice the SECOND year---as those that didn't make it are out, while you've had the opportunity to do great hour first year somewhere else. Sounds good.

But then, it hit me. This has been going on for probably a very long time. In fact, I think my own parents could have been guilty of this.

After taking the entrance test to get in to our local Catholic high school---Rosary---no one was more surprised than me to be placed on the prestigious, "A" track. Really, me? Very mysterious! I got good grades---mostly "A's" but I was no genius. And you know my math skills. Nothing stellar.

Even my parents seemed surprised, so I guess they didn't have anything to do with it after all. Besides, with 7 kids, they were too busy worrying about how to get everyone new school shoes to round out our shoe wardrobe of exactly three pairs---play shoes which doubled as your athletic shoes for whatever sport you played, church shoes and school shoes. There just was nothing extra for bribes! Thank goodness.

Whew! Scandal avoided!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith!

I'm talking about food y'all! I consider myself a pretty adventuresome eater. But I have to admit, many times the conglomeration of ingredients can be off-putting. Most new restaurants these days are farm-to-table--meaning whatever is available. When I'm reading the ingredients to a dish, maybe the first three things are recognizable and then it goes on to gibberish from there--or at least things I've never heard of. Personally, I'm a pretty basic cook.

Well, after Mass last night, we went to Richland for dinner. After their latest remodel, they have a whole new menu. The food is always reliably good there, so I wasn't worried. Plus, you can always order the old stand-bys even if they are not on the menu. But last night, I decided to take a leap of faith.
We love the new dining room---nice placemats, napkins in rings and little terrariums on each table. The whole room was very pretty!

We started dinner with this new feta and olive spread. We did have that a few weeks ago and really liked it. It comes with the most delicious, soft, warm pita bread I've ever had. Usually pita bread can be sort of touch and dry---not this.  It was delicious.

Usually, when I order an appetizer, then I know I'm going to just get a salad---and they had about 5 new ones! They all sounded so good. I decided I would just start with the first one on the list. I'll get to the Brussel sprouts salad, or beet, or cauliflower salads another time.

Last night I chose the mandarin, fennel, celery salad. I read the description. It also had quinoa, toasted almonds and miso dressing. I love mandarin oranges. I didn't know what fennel was. I'm not really crazy about celery except with dip or in a Bloody Mary which I don't eat anyway. I don't really know what quinoa is other than it's some sort of ultra popular grain. I love almonds in salads. I had no  idea what miso dressing was. Soooo, I did what I usually do---I took a leap of faith.
Oh My Gosh y'all! It was fabulous!! Now the mandarins were not what I expected but rather a fresh clementine. I still don't know what fennel is, but I really liked it. It sort of tasted like celery. Yes, there was plenty of that as you can see, but it added the right amount of crunch. The almonds and quinoa were nice and toasty. I have no idea what is in the miso dressing, but that too was good. And best of all? It was already tossed!! I prefer my salads that way. Usually when you get a salad, the dressing is dribbled on the top and you have to try to mix it without slopping it all over yourself and the table. Kind of hard.

Anyway, the salad was great. I'll be getting it again. But I told Butch, I have to go down the line and try all of the salads first. In order. I'm nothing if not methodical!

After dinner, I asked if they had any cookies in the kitchen. I never did that before. They did. They sent us home with 4 mint chocolate chip cookies. Richland has the best cookies. They always have cookies on the buffets, but those are only on certain days of the week. Cookies are not on the menu. Like their famous banana pudding, I guess it's something they have all the time.
Then, when we got home, it dawned on me---these cookies are ready for the St. Patrick's Day buffet today! We had already eaten one by the time I took this picture.

Oh, and did I mention the iced tea? They have the best! I always get a cup to go.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

This Past Week

I started off he week with a bridge lesson here. Connie and I have been taking lessons for a couple months now. We've been meeting here on Mondays with another couple---whenever we can all work it in. 

We met Mindy at The Pub for dinner to discuss the itinerary for our upcoming trip to London in June. They are going for the Red Sox game. We're tagging along. We sort of invited ourselves, so we plan to give them plenty of space!!
Mindy surprised us with a king cake from this famous bakery in NOLA. We cut it in to 4 pieces and gave some to Stephanie, Morgan and our Cajun friends, the Broussards. We didn't have the baby, so one of them got it. I hope they really do have good luck this year!

Tuesday was our annual meeting at St. Cecilia to pass out rosary bracelets from the Holy Land to the graduating seniors. This is through an organization we belong to: The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. The rosaries are made in Bethlehem of olive wood and blessed by the bishop. 

From there, we went to Morgan's new apartment in Germantown. Butch hung some hooks, then we went across the street to the Farmer's Market to buy plants to put in the macrame hangers. 
We went to Richland for their Mardi Gras party.
All of the food was fabulous---everything Cajun you could possibly want on Fat Tuesday including fresh oysters (Nicky loves them) and oysters Rockefeller (we all love them). The dessert table included the king cake, bananas Foster---a NOLA original and the most amazing praline cookies. I LOVE cookies---especially Richlands. I smuggled two of them home.
Of course they also had the traditional beignets. I'm not a fan, so was able to pass. I don't like funnel cakes either---just fried dough. We're going to NOLA in a few weeks with our friends. I'm excited because I can honestly say, New Orleans is my favorite city in the world for the food!! Cafe du Monde is on the itinerary. I'm thinking I'll pass on that. Even if I don't want to have beignets, you CANNOT go there without coming away covered in powdered sugar!

Oh my gosh! I just realized this whole part about the king cake and Mardi Gras party happened last week. My weeks run together and the memory isn't all that great! To prove that, when I talked to the guy from A1 Appliance about getting a new dishwasher, I asked him to quote me the Kitchenaid because that's what we had. He said, "mmm, no. According to our records, you have a Maytag." I said, "no, it's a Kitchenaid. Wait, let me look. Yeah, you're right---it's a Maytag!" Sheesh! And it didn't even bother me to look like an idiot!

Wednesday, the four bridge lesson takers got together to play for a couple hours. I've been preaching that you can't really learn bridge unless you play frequently. We're trying, but everybody is so busy. Luckily for me, I still have my regular Thursday game---although my bridge partner there is getting older and crabbier each week!
The weather is so gorgeous now. We had our first happy hour of 2019 on the front porch even though it wasn't Friday. Wednesday, Friday, what does it matter when you are retired?

On Friday, I went to Michaels to pick up an Easter craft for my houseguests next week. I met Connie for a pedicure. We've somehow have gotten off our monthly schedule. We lunched at one of our favorite "hole in the wall" Mexican places.

I spent the afternoon napping, reading my book club book. I know it's very highly rated, but I am not enjoying Becoming Mrs. Lewis. It's pretty boring to me, but I'm only about half way. Maybe it gets better. At any rate, it's based on a true story, so we'll see. At least I won't feel like it was a complete waste of time.

Which reminds me. If you are a Jeffrey Archer fan (I am---been reading him since the 1980's---Kane and Abel and The Clifton Chronicles (7 in the series) are some of my favorite books. However, DO NOT bother with Heads You Win. I have never been so disappointed in an ending. Total waste of time. I should have paid attention to when this book was released. Anything by top authors that come out right before Christmas are usually not their best. They are meeting deadlines to cash in on the Christmas trade.

Played bridge---came in dead last---on Thursday. Stopped and bought the new dishwasher. I wanted another Maytag, but they didn't have it in stock and it was going to be a month. No way! I got a Whirlpool---yes---that's it. It will be installed on Friday. Still a week. I'll live.
Our regular Friday night happy hour with my new favorite drink: an extra dirty martini. #icanonlyhaveone! I'm not sure if I really like it or I like the idea of it---like it somehow makes me a more sophisticated drinker. It definitely tasted better when I was introduced to it by my baby sister on our cruise!
Butch copied me. He made them, so I guess it's easy to make two at a time. He tried to convince me that he used to drink martinis---even siting an occasion---"don't you remember, Bruce and I used to order them before our poker dinners," I don't. The glasses we are using we actually bought when we were on our Alaska cruise. It's hard to tell, but they have a cool "ball" on the bottom---each a different color.
More evidence of spring. The trees are in bloom everywhere. Every year, I'm always so surprised because it seems like it should still be winter. Winter goes by really fast here. It seems like it starts in January and is only two months long.

We have nothing going on over the weekend. We'll just go to Mass today so tomorrow we can do more nothing.

How was your week?