Monthly Archives: June 2013

Snapshot Saturday~June 29

Snapshot Saturday is now hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy.  Please be sure to stop buy and check out all of the snapshots that everyone is sharing today.  Me…I’m standing out in the heat at my Yard Sale.  Wish me Luck!!

My yard is not as “kept” as I’d like it to be.  My house used to be my Grandparents house and one of the things left to me is a statue of St. Anthony that my Grandpop put in years ago.  Interesting story is that when my Grandmother passed away, my Uncle Tony who was also my godfather, wanted the statue.  He had already given a home to a statue of the Blessed Mother that was here.  We were happy to share the statues with him.  He tried to get St. Anthony out of the ground.  He dug and dug, probably about 4 or 5 feet down.  Nothing doing.  St. Anthony is there to stay on a cement stand.  When I sell the house, I then have to figure out how to get St. Anthony out because I want him to go with me.  I think someone is going to have to hack him out of the cement.  It won’t be me.  Anyone good with chopping concrete?  My sister, Ele and I often joked that we should dress up St. Anthony for the holidays…a witch’s hat for Halloween, a Santa hat for Christmas.  We weren’t being sacrilegious.  We just thought of him as part of the family.



St. Anthony…living in the undergrowth.   No hat…

Be sure to stop by at West Metro Mommy to check out everyone who’s participating in today’s Snapshot Saturday.

Happy Saturday!

Strange But Good~June 28

My head is currently swimming around at the thought that I’m having a Yard Sale on Saturday as part of our community wide yard sale.  I want to and I don’t want to.  I’ve always been wishy-washy this way but I think it gets worse as I get older.  I’ve got a lot of things together and ready.

However, I need to get it all out of the basement and to the back yard.  The issue is that with all of the rain we’ve been having you never know what’s going to happen.  It’s all in plastic containers, or will be when I finish working on it today (Thursday)  My thought is to take it all out tomorrow (Friday) and hope that the plastic bins do their thing and hold back any deluge we get.  Then Saturday, I’ll only have to move out the things that can’t be in bins, like my signs and some small pieces of furniture.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  I need to get rid of this stuff!  Recap of the yard sale to follow next week!

On to one of my favorite things…Strange But Good hostessed by Laura at Sprint 2 The Table.  As it seems to many times, this meal also qualifies for my own category, Couldn’t Be Quicker.  What do you think?

Sprint 2 the Table

As is the case a lot lately, I’m working with what I’ve got on hand.  Just a few things can easily turn into dinner.



A can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, a cup of home-made crock pot pinto beans and a half cup of cous cous.  Regarding the cous cous, I’m reminded of something my Grandmother used to say…I’m always a day late and a dollar short.  I had bought this cous cous at Big Lots.  They had a 2 pound box for $2.00 which I thought was a great price.  I had originally bought 4 boxes and am now on the last box.  I was so sad when I went there last week to see that they don’t carry it anymore.  That’s the only problem with shopping there, few things seem to last.  I’ll find it somewhere else, I’m sure.

So, simple as can be.  I heated the tomatoes and beans in a sauce pan with a little extra water to give the cous cous somewhere to cook.  When it was boiling, I turned it off and stirred in  the the cous cous.  In about 5 minutes…



Topped it with some Romano cheese and I was all set.  This was really good, mildly spicy from the green chilies.  If I’d had some sriracha sauce I would have added it to give it a bit more kick.  Very satisfying, very cheap, very Strange but very Good!

Don’t forget to check out the fun going on at Sprint 2 The Table.  Be sure to leave some comments.

Happy Friday!

WIAW~Lift and Shift

Another Wednesday rolls around and of course that brings me as always to What I Ate Wednesday hostessed by the lovely Jenn at Peas & Crayons.  Life is crazy interesting here at the moment, but few things keep me from jumping right into the WIAW pile and sharing food and fun with all of you.  Be sure to check out the other foodies when you’re finished here and leave some comments.

What I Ate Wednesday: Sensible Snacking

Yes, we’re still working on Sensible Snacking and of course, I’m still failing miserably, but Hey…at least I’m showing up!

Last week I raved about doing food photos with my new DSLR which I love.  The only trick is that it eats up a LOT of space on the blog, so until I can figure that out (Kristen…I need another tutorial…) I’ll be using my point and shoot.  We’ll all survive.



I eat these far more frequently than I show them…Taco Bell bean burrito.  They count for 9 Points on Weight Watchers for me, but they are an extremely filling lunch.  It easily holds me until dinner with no trouble.  Besides, who can argue with $1.27 for lunch?!



After our meeting with the lawyer on Thursday, Ele, Little Michael and I headed to Dunkin’ Donuts.  I tried their current special-mint chocolate chip.  It was delicious but as I post this, I realize that I never figured out the Points or added it into my day.  Well, Thursday was the day I was Way off track anyway.  It was So good though!



One of my new favorites…the veggie burger at our favorite diner.  This really is good and filling…two of my favorite things!



A Greek salad at a Different diner.  I thought this was delicious.  I asked for the dressing on the side so that I could control it.  I enjoyed it Very much.  Ralph had a Cobb salad which he enjoyed and even “sort of” liked the avocado in it.  Because we had a gift certificate from Ralph’s birthday for this diner, the whole meal cost us 59 cents!  This is starting to sound like an episode of The Cheap People Go To Lunch!!  😉



No episode of WIAW is complete without a trip to Ice Cream Kids.  This was a combo of black raspberry and peach…SO good.  Reminds me of a combo we used to buy at WaWa when Ralph and I were first dating.  Yum!!



Caught him…with a cone of Moose Tracks bigger than his Head!!

We went out to lunch on Sunday with Ralph’s sister Maddie and her husband George.  We always have the best time with them.  We went to a third diner for this lunch.



I started with a Caesar salad that was delicious!



This was Pasta Arrabiata.  I think that’s the spelling.  I only ate about a third of it.  The salad was much bigger than I’d expected.  I must confess that later that night I ate the rest…well, it was my dinner that time, right?!

Several times in the last week or so, Ralph has decided we’d get lunch at WaWa.  You get to make up your own sandwich here.  This is my new fave…rye bread with pepper cheese melted on it, spinach and tomatoes.



It is Really good and very filling.  I wish I knew where they get their rye bread, it is the best!  I told the man making my sandwich that they should put this on the menu.  He was not amused…

So that wraps up WIAW for me for this week.  All in all, not a bad week, I survived it, which wasn’t a given when the week started!  Be sure to check out the other bloggers posting over at Peas & Crayons and be sure to leave some comments.

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

Week In Review~June 24

It’s Sunday morning again, already.  I’m sitting here drinking my coffee, trying to focus my thoughts and thinking about the roller coaster, emotional week I just survived.  Oh, that sounds so dramatic doesn’t it?  It’s true but it was a good week.  Does anyone out there besides me, remember the show That Was The Week That Was?  I was a mere child when it was on (wink…wink…don’t anyone go looking it up on IMDB.)  I even remember the theme song! Cursed with a brain chock full of useless information.  Regardless of all that, I’m hooking up with Megan from Clean Eats, Fast Feets for the Week In Review.  I’m going to try very hard to convince her to change the name of the link up to “That Was The Week That Was.”  Otherwise I’m just going to nag her and talk about it forever!!   😉


Not a clue what happened…I was gearing up for later in the week.


Ditto.  I will get a handle on this, but this week was really gearing up for loads of things later in the week.


The day we were waiting for.  Ralph’s grandson, Patrick was graduating from high school.  We had been having so much rain over the past few weeks, we were keeping our fingers crossed for decent weather.  We were well rewarded. It was a perfect evening.



The Graduate! He still looks about 12 years old and I remember the day he was born, but please don’t get me started, I’m already blubbering.


Congrats from Grandpop.


With proud Mom and Dad, Heather and Bill.


My favorite photo of the evening. Don’t think I have to explain…


Bill, Patrick, Alex and Heather…WITHOUT sunglasses…quite a feat!


Thursday was the truly crazy emotional day but it all turned out well.  Because my friend Alice was heading to Maine on Saturday, we went to a Weight Watchers class on Thursday morning.  This was important because we were pretty sure she would be reaching her 100 pounds lost and she wanted to do it in a class with our regular leader, Mary Lou.  I could tell she was a little anxious about it, but I was pretty confident that she’d do it.


Waiting for the verdict…I hate this part…


SHE DID IT!!  She lost 4 pounds for a total…so far… of 103 pounds!!  Incredible.  I’m so happy for her.  She’s really going to do it this time!!!


Hugs from Mary Lou…


…and our weigher, Joan.  It was really exciting and I was so glad that I could be with her to celebrate.  What did we do to celebrate?  Lunch at Taco Bell…of course!!

That afternoon, my sister, Ele and I took care of some legal things that will make selling my house a little simpler.  A step in the right direction of getting to New Mexico!  Fingers crossed we can find a buyer now!

Thursday night, Ralph spent the night drawing caricatures at a Project Graduation celebration for the local high school.  Our grandson, Alex went with him and from what I hear they had a great time…not sure I’m hearing all the details, but I don’t need to hear everything!    😉


Spent a good part of the day helping Alice and her sister, Marianna pack her car for her trip up to Maine.  I was glad I was there…these long arms come in handy sometimes. Everything, except the last of the frozen and refrigerated food got packed in.  Good job…glad I don’t have to UN-pack it!


Up really early to help pack the remainder of the stuff in Alice’s van.  Again, the long arms came in handy!  They were on their way!

I headed to Weight Watchers to weigh in for real ( I hadn’t weighed on Thursday)  I gained a half pound, due to some emotional eating that went on Thursday night between the lawyer and Ralph going to the Project Graduation.  It happened and it’s over.  It could have been a lot worse.  I’m still at my original WW goal…and I’m amazed at that!


Now it’s Sunday and I’m looking forward to lunch out today with Ralph’s sister Maddie and her husband George.  We’ve vowed that we’re going to get together on a more regular basis and I’m really looking forward to it.

So, Kids…That Was The Week That Was!  Be sure to stop over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets to catch up on what every one is sharing in their Week In Review.  Be sure to leave some comments!!

Happy Monday!

Snapshot Saturday~June 22

Welcome to Snapshot Saturday hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy.  When you’re finished here, please be sure to check out the other terrific photographers who join in each week.  So many wonderful photos and don’t forget to leave some comments!

There were a lot of things that happened this week, some that came with photos, some that did not.  Wednesday, Ralph and I attended the high school graduation of our grandson, Patrick.  I’m saving the actual graduation pictures for the moment.  After all of the terrible rains that we’ve been having, we were blessed with a beautiful night.

I was able to catch my first sunset with my new camera.



This was a spot on the high school campus with a little pond.  I thought it was beautiful!  I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone.

Be sure to stop by West Metro Mommy to check out all of the other wonderful photos that you’ll find there.

Happy Snapshot Saturday!!

Strange But (Ugly) Good~June 21

I know that Laura at Sprint 2 The Table started Strange But Good because, like me she likes to come up with unique and different food ideas.  In truth for my part, depending on who you talk to…I just eat strange things!  While preparing for this weeks Strange But Good, I had to wonder…how does Laura feel about down right UGLY food??  I suppose I’ll find out soon enough!   😉

Sprint 2 the Table

Those of you who read BCDC regularly or semi-regularly, know that I love to make beans in the crock pot.  I’ll whip up a batch in nothing flat (as long as I remember to soak them!!)  With my current refrigerator issues, I didn’t want to do an entire batch because I wasn’t sure they’d survive until I could finish them.

I experimented and made a smaller batch in my smaller crock pot (yes…I have crock pot Options!) I had bought a 2 pound bag of pinto beans at Aldi for, can you believe it…$1.79!  Amazing.  Pintos aren’t my favorite bean, but I like them well enough and they are as versatile as any bean (and in this case, cheap which is also good.)  I put a cup and a half in to soak the night before, rinsed in the morning, put in the crock pot and cooked on high for 3 hours.  Perfect! It made enough so that I could get several meals without being overwhelming.

Lunchtime came around on Wednesday and I was wondering what I’d have.  I had beans, for sure, also had cottage cheese.  Of course, there always seems to be a package of rice cakes living in one of my cabinets.



I mashed up a half cup of the pintos and mixed them with some Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning.  It’s one of my favorites…very spicy/tangy.  I combined it with a quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese.





Ok…it didn’t get any prettier with the close-up, combined with the fact that there was a huge thunderstorm going on when I was doing this which made the lighting very strange. I tried to pretty it up with some Mrs. Dash on top but that didn’t really help.  So, it’s Ugly but it was good.  The bonus is that I got 22 grams of protein and 30 % of my iron from this.  I recently started trying to be mindful about getting the iron I need and coincidentally (and fortunately) pinto beans are a good source of iron.

Sorry to get all technical on you, but I figured if I threw some positive numbers at you, you wouldn’t notice how UGLY this is!!!   🙂   But seriously, this was good and more importantly, extremely filling.  I will definitely be making this again.  Tastes good and good for me.

That’s Strange But Good for this Friday. Be sure to check out all of the strangeness going on over at Sprint 2 The Table and don’t forget to leave some comments.

Happy Friday!  Go soak some beans…that’s what I’m going to do!!

WIAW~This Is Only A Test

This is only a test.  No, we’re not going to talk about the good old days when we had air raid drills and hid under our desks at school.  That would go too far toward talking about how old I am.  This is What I Ate Wednesday, hostessed by the lovely Jenn at Peas & Crayons and best fun you’ll find for your money out here in Blog Land.

Here is where the test part comes in. In Monday’s post, I revealed that I’m using my new camera.  I love the results I’m starting to have when I take food photos.  Only thing is, I don’t always have it with me and some of my photos are on my point and shoot, some on my DSLR. I don’t quite feel cool enough to drag it out in a restaurant, Yet!  SO  the test part comes in because I’m not sure if I can figure out how to hook up both to download the photos.  They may be a bit orderless because of this.  But, Hey…I’ve done WIAW without any photos at all, so this has to be better…somehow.

Peas and Crayons

Still don’t have much in the way of snacking, but again…hasn’t stopped me before!

I think this may work, If I don’t electrocute myself!



Cottage cheese, ground black pepper and sweet pickle relish combined on top of plain rice cakes.  One of my favorites.  Quick, easy and only 3 Points.



One of my traditionals…mixed cheese salad with balsamic vinegar from the local pizzeria.  So good, which is why I have it so often.



Breakfast out with my friends from Weight Watchers.  Egg white omelette with tomatoes, green peppers, onions and feta cheese. Sliced tomatoes on the side.  So good and a fun visit!



Side salad at lunch…It started out as Ralph’s but he didn’t want it so I took possession!



Veggie cheese steak…I have no words for how good this is!!



You know I couldn’t do a WIAW without some ice cream.  This was the very odd but incredibly delicious combo of black raspberry and key lime pie.  So Good!



Trying to be better about eating a Real breakfast.  This is egg substitute and egg whites combined with chili garlic sauce, cooked in the micro for 3 rounds of 1 minute.  Comes out perfectly.  A Gala apple for some crunch.  Very filling!



A big salad in my Big Purple Bowl makes me so happy.  Consisted of romaine, celery, green and red bell pepper, tomato, crock pot pinto beans, romano cheese and balsamic vinegar.  This was so good.  Should have added an apple, Probably will do that tonight!   😉



Yummy breakfast!  Gala apple with cinnamon, warmed in the micro for 2 minutes.  Topped with fat-free vanilla yogurt and that wonderful granola that I’m still working on!  This was really good and filling!

So as you see, I haven’t done a heck of a lot with snacking and I think it’s for the best.  Staying on track is good and snacking, even good choices sometimes lead me down the wrong path.

That’s What I Ate Wednesday for me.  Please be sure to stop over at Peas & Crayons to check out the other wonderful food that everyone is sharing and be sure to leave some comments!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Our grandson Patrick graduates from high school tonight…Can’t wait!!

Week In Review~June 17

It’s Sunday, the day when I find myself scrambling to write my Week In Review post to link up with Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets and all the other fun people who hang out there every Monday.  My promises to myself to write things down so I wouldn’t forget them, dissolved in mist but, I’m here and I think I have a handle on it. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I remember.  I won’t make any useless promises to write it down this week…maybe if I don’t Promise it, I’ll actually do it.  Here Goes…

Week In Review Button Final


Ralph and I were up and out early on Monday morning because he was scheduled for a stress test.  He does the chemical kind because he won’t walk on the treadmill.  He’s not a fan of exercise which makes me a little crazy, but at least there is an alternative so that he can still get the test. Everything looked good, we just have to wait for the results.


Tuesday was possibly the most fun day of the week.  For months…Ok, since Christmas, I’ve been trying to get together with Kristen for a tutorial on my wonderful new Canon Rebel T3 that Ralph got me for Christmas.  I was, in truth, afraid to touch it.  I didn’t want to break it. Ok, I’m a grown up, I can touch things without breaking them, but you know how it is when you’ve really wanted something.  I’m clumsy and things can go wrong.

So I put her together (my camera) and headed to Dunkin’ Donuts to meet up with Kristen.  Of course, the clumsy person would decide to have the camera tutorial in the place where I could spill brown liquid all over it.  Fortunately, that did not happen.  Kristen is great in oh so many ways, so she even came armed with some instructions and website links to help me.  Her most important piece of advise was, “When in doubt, turn the dial back to Manual.”  I can handle that.  I tried a few things while there.





Kristen looking like a professional.



Kristen looking cute…she’s good at that!  With my other camera, I never would have gotten this…it was too slow.



We figured out how to do black and white…I love it!

Fran at DD with Kristen


This is me with my new beauty, portrait by Kristen.  I love it and it’s better than any self-portrait I could do.  So as you can see, I was pretty happy about the whole camera thing.  I’m going to be using it more and more for my photos.  In fact all of the photos in Friday’s Strange But Good post were with my new camera.  I’m still learning, but that’s a good thing!


I was scheduled to have a dexascan which checks out my bones.  This is an easy test compared with say a mammogram.  Still get a little nervous when I have to do things like that.  Haven’t gotten any results yet, they always take a few days.  I’m still standing so something must be Ok in there!


I had the opportunity to have breakfast with my daughter in law, Heather.  Our chances to get together alone are sort of few and far between.  We met at Denny’s and I was surprised that I could get a breakfast that was only 8 Points.  Thank goodness for the Restaurants & Nutrition app that I have on my phone.  That’s a great one for any of you following the Weight Watchers program.  Very helpful!


Headed to my Weight Watchers meeting as usual on Saturday morning.  I had been feeling a little bit off track all week, but when I went for my test on Wednesday, I had to get on the scale and that made me think I was doing better than I thought.  But I had different clothes on and that can make a difference. Anyway, I got on the scale and I lost half a pound which put me UNDER my Original Weight Watchers goal!!! I was pretty excited.  As I said to Frank, our weigher…amazing what happens when you actually follow the program!!

The real excitement, tinged with just a little disappointment was that my friend Alice had a good loss this week and reached 99.8 pounds lost…just shy of 100.  She was disappointed only because she wanted to reach the 100 in our class here in NJ before she leaves for Maine. But she’ll still be here next week and we’re going to go to another class with our leader Mary Lou so that she’ll at least know the leader and the weigher.  I’m going so that she won’t be along when it happens.  It will be properly documented because I’ll be taking my camera with me.  That way, Gail, who is already in Maine, can share the excitement.


So it’s Sunday and it’s Father’s Day.  Not sure what we’ll be doing today to celebrate.  I’m going to let Ralph decide what he’d like to do.  I’m sure there’ll be food involved and probably a visit to Ice Cream Kids, which will all be documented on Wednesday!

That’s Week In Review for this week. Hope everyone’s Dad had a wonderful Father’s Day!!  Remember to hug your Dad if you can.  You’ll be glad you did!

Happy Monday!

Snapshot Saturday~June 15

While I’m at my Weight Watchers meeting bright and early on this fine Saturday morning (fine, if the rain Ever goes away!) you can all enjoy the weekly fun of Snapshot Saturday, hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy.  This is the place to be to see and be seen if you like taking and sharing your photos.  If you’re inclined, link up…we’d love to see your photos, too!

I have just a few photos left from my day at the local nursery.  I almost forgot about this one because it’s not flowers, but it did catch my eye and the more I look at it the better I like it.



I’m not completely sure if it is the sun or the moon.  I’m a moon fan so I like to think it’s the moon.  It probably is when you look closely and see all of the craters.  I just realized that if you look closely (again), you can see my reflection in the pot on the left.  How funny.  I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at this and I never noticed it.  Does that count as a self-portrait?!  I think it should!

Be sure to check out the other wonderful photos at West Metro Mommy and be sure to leave some comments!

Happy Saturday!!

Strange But Good~June14

What do you do when you have no fresh food in the house, a freezer that is only really good for making REALLY cold water and you’re starving??  Well, you put your thinking cap on, rummage in the pantry cabinet and come up with dinner!  It also sounds like a perfect excuse to hang out at Strange But Good, sponsored by Laura at Sprint 2 The Table!

Sprint 2 the Table

Searching the pantry can be a challenge and I won’t lie, there are some things in there that are a bit “older” than they should be, but are still usable.  I’ve had my share of disasters with things past their prime (expiration date) in previous posts.  Case in point…very old beans and a very old cake mix.  If I could remember where they are on the blog, I’d link to them but I’d rather let you have the fun of searching around to find them yourselves!!   😉

The ingredients…


Sliced stewed tomatoes (expiration said Feb. 2013-that’s only 4 months ago and hey…they’re canned!), chili garlic sauce from the folks that bring you sriracha sauce (spicy!) and black beans.  Also some pasta that if I read the label is probably past it’s date also.  I really didn’t want to look.

I set the pasta to cooking and mixed the tomatoes, beans and spicy sauce together.  I initially thought I might have added too much (two teaspoons) of the chili sauce but in the end it worked well.


I let this cook down so that it wasn’t so juicy and became more sauce-y.  Basically, until the pasta was ready!!  Actually, now that I think about it, this probably qualifies for Couldn’t Be Quicker.


Topped it with some grated romano cheese…well a Lot of cheese.  This is all of the pasta (I actually made Too much…) and part of the bean/tomato mix.  I ate some of it, then added the rest of the mix to my bowl.  Only after did I figure out that the Points were Very high.  Turns out I was only a few Points over for the day and VERY full.  I didn’t want a single thing later in the evening.  Oh, and how did it taste?  Delicious!!  I’d make it again in a minute which is good because I have what I need to make it again right there in my pantry.  The old things are still as old (the beans are new) but I’ll be making it again soon, so I’m not going to worry.

It seems that many times my Strange But True entries come from making do with what I have.  I guess that’s a good thing!

Be sure to stop by at Sprint 2 The Table to check out what the other “strange” people are posting.

Happy Friday!!!