I have a few go-to teas that I drink regularly or carry with me to conferences, vacations, and other times tea is needed, and honestly when isnt’t it?
They do change over time, so lately my go-to teas are Twinings English Breakfast Tea and Prince of Wales tea, and PG Tips, all with milk and just a little bit of sugar.
Today was a little different, though. I had an appointment at the mechanic’s. Instead of bringing my own tea, I knew that they’d have tea available, and I was very excited by my choice:
At home we don’t have a Keurig, so when I’m here I need to re-learn how to make the tea, but it’s not that difficult.
I’m enjoyng my second cup.
I really enjoyed my monthly series of Inspire and Friday Food that appeared all through 2020, and I’m planning on continuing it into this year. Inspire will return next week as this week was too full of news to focus on it, although I did find some things in the past week to be inspired about.
This was a layered breakfast casserole I had at Cracker Barrel. The restaurant is back to a limited menu due to the uptick of covid cases but this is seriously easy to make at home, either from scratch or with a few boxed ingredients.
When I first saw it, I thought it was a too small portion, but its looks are deceiving – it was hot, filling, and the tastes were perfectly balanced.
It is simple, easy, and delicious and while I haven’t tried this at home myself, I have no doubt that I could put it together in short order.
The layers from bottom to top are:
- Hashbrown Casserole base
- Melted Colby cheese
- Scrambled eggs
- Diced tomatoes
- Crispy fried onions
- Buttermilk biscuit with butter and/or jam on the side
The breakfast of champions. Enjoy it and the beginning of this new year that I’m going to choose to look on with potential and optimism despite recent setbacks.
Getting groceries. Took a detour in produce.
Peaches have never tasted so good!
The kind you can smell before you pick it up, with just enough give in the skin to know it’s that perfectly ripe and juicy.
They were so good and I was so excited about the Georgia Senate seats I ate two.
I have no regrets.
I think some may have regrets:
And just a quick reminder as we celebrate democracy:
It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to create in the kitchen, but having quarantine foisting Thanksgiving on us let me make the entire Thanksgiving dinner which I hadn’t done in years. Although to be fair, I do a similar meal for Easter, Rosh Hashanah, and Christmas.
This year we did a few things differently. For several years my sweet potato pie became sweet potato casserole, so I went back to the pie version, and it was really good and brought me back in time. We ate it both as a side dish and a dessert (on different nights).
Another dish I made was a new take on my mother’s candied carrots.
Here are the basics, but use your imagination.
- Wash the leeks thoroughly. They are like children in that they have dirt in all the spaces.
- Melt a stick of butter in a pan. Add the leeks in and saute them for a little bit.
- Pour in a bag of frozen baby carrots (or cut your own carrots into baby carrot size).
- Once the carrots are defrosted, add some fresh ground pepper, and then add about 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1-2 cups of orange juice (the amount depends on the size of the pan.
- Let it come to a boil, then lower to simmer, letting it simmer for about ten to twenty minutes. It can really stay on the low heat until the rest of dinner is ready.
- Serve it with a slotted spoon so the plate doesn’t get too soupy.
The second dish I made just last week. We had cooked chicken tenders in the fridge and because my son cooked them, there was no spice whatsoever on the tenders.
I cut them each into threes or fours and threw them in a wok on medium, adding about half a small jar of Korean BBQ sauce.
I trimmed the ends off of fresh green beans and broke them in half, and added them to the wok, mixing the chicken and the beans until they were hot and incorporated with the sauce.
This was also a way to heat the cold chicken without the microwave. I spooned them over jasmine rice (although any type of rice that you like is the perfect rice).
One thing I noticed in looking back, I didn’t cook either dish with oil. Oil has its place in the kitchen especially in sauteeing, but I just used the juice for the first one and the Korean sauce for the second.
As the year comes to a close, start the new year with experimenting with your food. In January, I’ll have some basics to share with you – resources that everyone can use and adapt to their own style and family.
7. Find something you can use to give someone a gift.
Refer to the original post for the list.
1. Find something that makes you happy.
As with most of these lists, answers will vary depending on the time of year, my mood, and whatever else is going on in my life, so YMMV on these.
With Nanowrimo, spending some time at my local Starbucks makes me happy. It’s right in town, so I’m nearby if my family needs me to return home for any reason since we have only one car.
So what is that something that makes me happy?
I’m sure it’s expected that November’s Friday Food would be related to Thanksgiving. It’s related not to the day of Thanksgiving, but the feelings of giving thanks themselves.
After four years of tension, stress, and for many PTSD, we have elected Joe Biden the 46th President of the United States. His Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris is the first woman, first Black woman, first Indian-American woman to hold that office.
They were put over the top by the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and while this post is specifically about Philly, I would be remiss in not mentioning the role Black Women played in Joe Biden’s victory. We owe them a great debt of gratitutde.
In honor of Philadelphia’s role in pushing Biden and Harris over the 270 Electoral votes needed to win, my family went to a local place for cheesesteaks.
No better way to celebrate until Inauguration Day!
In celebration of the return of Supernatural’s final season, we had Dean’s favorites for dinner last Thursday. We picked up an apple pie (Dean’s favorite next to cherry), whipped cream, and burgers at our local Red Robin. We’re still deciding on the final episode’s feast.
In the photo: Red Robin sign, Fries, Diet Coke, Bacon Cheeseburger, Apple pie, Supernatural pins, apple pie and whipped cream, SpnFamILY t-shirt (with flannel, of course!)
Our anniversary was the last week in August, and we chose to go to the Italian restaurant chain Carrabba’s. It tasted as delicious as it looked!