Monday, January 31, 2022

TWTW - the one with the snow

Friday Before work and on work breaks storm prep included cleaning out the leaves, moving a bunch of shit into the outdoor shower, securing porch items upstairs and down, picking up holds at the library, and making cauliflower chowder a la Damn Delicious. We took the dogs down for a good long run since they would not be doing that the next day. Mae nearly walked into the ocean thinking I was in there and MFD had to run and get her. It was a sight to see, I wish I had it on video. Secured some treasures and lolled around at night.
Saturday The snow drifted well up over our apartment door so MFD worked on clearing that right away and the dogs just went in the driveway and came back in. It was still snowing pretty good so after clearing off a path to get into the house upstairs we stayed in. I painted my nails (OPI Ready, Fete, Go, which is beautiful, and Olive & June Besties - I know the world loves Olive & June but I am meh), showered, and started a new book. 

When it let up, we took Billy out for a bit, and I went upstairs to do some dinner prep while MFD watched endless Gold Rush episodes. We took a walk down to the beach when the storm was over over to check out the scenes. 
I wish we waited another hour because it was a banger sunset. There was no way I could get anywhere good to see it as my boots weren't on and I was in the middle of 50 dinner dishes - I made a pretzel crusted chicken in the air fryer, sauteed shaved brussels sprouts, mashed sweet potatoes (not pictured), bratwurst with sauerkraut in the crock, and then raspberry pie filling, a bit of cake mix, some pretzel shortbread, and Jeni's. After cleaning up we went back down to our apartment and I played fetch with both Ben and Billy. Billy plays fetch like a dog.

Sunday was quite lazy and nice. I made sheet pan pancakes (probably will not make again, maybe I would if I liked pancakes more?), then breakfast burritos to freeze. I shoveled for a little over an hour to help free the cars and shovel a path around my neighbor's and MFD was out there for hours digging out and moving snow. I read, hung out with pets, cleaned up a bit, changed sheets, and set up a new habit tracker app because Google sheets is too clunky for me. MFD headed back to Philly with all the pets around 8 and I stayed up late to finish a book.  

First time I've been without any pet at all in a while!  I'm on the move this week a bit myself. 

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, January 30, 2022

4 key features you want in a car for kids

Are you thinking about purchasing a new car? If you have kids, then it does make sense to choose a vehicle with the right features that are going to benefit them and you. Here are some of the options that we do recommend you keep in mind here. 

Pexels Source CCO License


First, you should think about getting a car with a camera. A car camera can be useful for a few reasons. First, it will ensure that drivers around you on the road take more care and attention. But that’s not the only benefit. A car cam will also guarantee that you don’t have to worry about trying to prove who was responsible for an accident. The evidence will be available for everyone to see. 


Next, you should make sure that your car does provide the kids and you with enough space. This is why when you are shopping for a car you should always take the kids with you. That way, you can make sure that they can test out the backseat and guarantee that there is plenty of space available. Cars can be deceptive and even larger vehicles on the outside can be quite cramped on the inside. This depends on how the space the car offers is used. It could have a massive storage space and very little leg room. 

Serenity Settings 

This has a variety of different labels. But in essence serenity settings will mean that the car is separated into two distinct spaces. This means that you can effectively control different aspects of these spaces such as the volume of the music and the heating. Some cars will allow you to listen to music in the front while your kids are sleeping peacefully in the back. That’s perfect for longer journeys. 

Driver Assist 

Finally, you might want to think about choosing a car that does offer the use of driver assist technology. The benefit of driver assist tech is that you will be able to let the car do some of the work for you. This means that the car will correct your driving style if they think that it’s likely to lead to an accident. For instance, a car with driver assist can help guarantee that you stay within the white lines. That’s not the only benefit either. The latest driver assist technology can take action if it thinks that you are going to crash. If you speak to a car accident lawyer, you’ll find that cars with driver assist are far less likely to be involved in a collision out on the road. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the key features that you do want in a car that you’re going to be using with your kids. By taking the right steps here, you can guarantee that your kids are going to be safe while also guaranteeing that they have a wonderful road experience. Remember, it can be worth paying a little extra to guarantee you get the car with the right safety features to provide you with complete peace of mind.

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Understanding the work that goes into an overseas move

white air plane wing

(Image Credit)

The idea of living in another country can be a very nice one. Having the chance to break away from the politics, economy, and social issues found in your old home can sound lovely, while some people will simply want the chance to live somewhere with a different climate. Whether you’re trying to escape your government or are looking for some sunshine, though, you will still have to do loads of work to get yourself moved to another country. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the steps that have to be taken to handle a task like this successfully.

Finding The New Place

Property hunting is quite an easy job under normal circumstances, and you need only look for an estate agent to help you out. When you’re looking for places in different countries, though, you will have to deal with the challenge of finding properties and attending viewings from hundreds of miles away. This will mean that you will have to plan everything as well as you can before you embark on this journey. 

There are a few different places you can look at when you’re trying to find a place to live overseas. International real estate agents can be found in most cities and towns, giving you access to a wealth of resources that can make it easier to handle your hunt. Alongside these services, you can also find loads of websites that are dedicated to helping people to buy properties in different countries.

Buying The New Place

Once you’ve found a property you like, it will be time to start the process of buying it. This can be tricky when you’re trying to buy a place in a different country, as the rules and laws that come with the process are likely to be very different in your new home. You will need to spend some time learning about the process you will have to go through to buy your new home, but you can also get the help of a legal professional to make it a little bit easier.

Alongside struggling to understand the rules that you have to follow, it can also be hard to secure funding when you’re buying a place in a different country. You will need a specialist mortgage for this, and you can use a mortgage calculator to figure out how much this will all cost. You may have to jump through additional hoops when you’re trying to get a mortgage in a different country.

Moving Overseas

Household moving to a new country can be a daunting and often overwhelming process. People don’t realize quite how much work they’re going to have to do before they get started, and this can result in a lot of trouble down the line. It’s always worth making sure that you have considered all of your belongings before you decide to make a move like this, working to ensure that you don’t find yourself unable to get them to your new country.

There are loads of companies out there that can handle overseas moves. It’s always worth going with a company like this rather than trying to handle it all by yourself, saving you from the pain of trying to move large and bulky items across oceans and continents. Extremely large items, like cars and pianos, may have to be sold or given away before you make a move like this, as items like this can cost more to ship than it costs to simply buy a new one.

It can be hard to figure out where you want to live. A lot of people go through this process, only to find that they don’t have the resources to find success when they are trying to improve their life overseas. Of course, though, with the right time and effort, it should be nice and easy to take these steps and embrace your new home.


This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Friday, January 28, 2022

Last Friday in January: things I want to remember about this week

Looks like we made it, people. Happy last Friday in January. A long, cold month for many of us. Things I want to remember about this week:

New couches that were sitting in the upright position since 7:15 am on January 2 are out and they are comfortable and amazing. If you are in the market and want some for consideration, these were ordered in late October I think and due to arrive March 18 and came January 2 so yay but with virtually no notice so you need to be able to pivot. Close up so you can see they are a light green (what they call bayou spray). Not too expensive as far as couches go, same basic style as the couches I had that lasted 10 years. I didn't clean up for the photo, I'm not that kind of person. You can find that elsewhere on the internet. The chair in the corner is being replaced, and I might paint or replace the 10 year old half moon table against the wall, otherwise this room is done for now.
Thanks to MFD and Marcus Aurelius for moving the beloved old couches down to the basement, where they live in a flop house/frat house formation for now. The blue green one will be moved to the basement office eventually as will the shelves. This is basically a holding room for furniture right now.

Since Mark was over he brought us our Christmas lasagna and Jesus it was good. I was extremely pleased to have that and also stopped at Brother's after my hair appointment at Salon Harmony Wednesday. I am firm in my unpopular Neshaminy School District stance that Penndel Pizza is the best pizza, then Trevose Pizza, then Brother's. This is Brother's thicker crust which I love.

Thanks for the streak and your good, kind energy, Jeopardy Amy. We'll miss you on Jeopardy but we'll see you on the gram.

I started using prescription Retin-A and the zits during the first week. The zits. The nearly 45 year old woman zits. My face purges when I try new products. It's lovely. LOVELY.

Stunner winter beach scenes from Monday & Tuesday of this week

This month started with 13 inches of snow followed by 4 more at the shore in the first week and we'll get dumped on again tonight into tomorrow to close out January. Possible 18 inches? I dealt with the first storm on January 3 by myself shoveling for 20482304 hours in the wind with the damn snow drifts. At least MFD is here this time. I'm making a bastardized version of Damn Delicious's cauliflower chowder for sure but will probably mostly eat brownies and dump cake. Why do snowstorms make me feel like I should ride the Sugar Dragon into the depths of hell?

Coffee and wordle to start the day and tea and a book to end it is how I've been rolling this week. I like to wordle when my brain is fresh. 

What do you want to remember from this week?

Sliding into the weekend easily. I hope. Stay safe and warm out there everyone.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

I need to stop waiting for a return to normal

My mood this week is not a standard Thursday Thoughts mood. It's more of a fuck all this shit Thursday Thoughts mood. 

It's not specifically pandemic related…I do pretty much what I want (with care) aside from traveling, and it's not like that was a daily or weekly or even monthly thing for me. I have not been impacted by this pandemic like so many people have. 

I do feel stuck in a loop in some ways and need to either realize how things are are how they are going to be or...I don't know. It's like part of my brain thinks this is still temporary, the working from home, and the fighting over public health and all? And for me, the work from home does not go away. And the fighting over public health and all? That seems to be here to stay too.

This goes beyond the temporary or permanent shifts due to the pandemic.

I have to stop waiting for a return to normal in the sense of what normal used to mean to me and no longer does. 

Let's be real. People have not TEMPORARILY lost their ability to be good humans and care for others in the public health sense or in ways related to equality and equity. I have always been a person who thought people’s minds and hearts were open to change and that people were generally good at the core and they’re not. I think in actuality people have always not been great and I am just white lady disgruntled to know that so well now, what so many marginalized people have known all along. To know clearly that a lot of people cannot be moved even when shown video, empirical, or lived experience evidence of shit has been world view shifting. 

Man, but how I have struggled against that shift. It goes against how I have lived all of my life so far.

I place no value whatsoever on niceness. Kindness, yes. Niceness, no. Kindness is actively supporting societal shifts that are best for the health, wellness, and future of people.  Being a good neighbor and community member. Niceness is smiling silently while doing nothing. Except voting for people who make it their life's work to do the opposite of lifting people up to a place of health and wellness for all citizens.

One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

Systemic racism and misogyny, doubling down on white supremacy, voter suppression, an inhumane and corrupt for profit prison system, hypocrisy and straight fucking lies, the promise of social change after demonstrations in the street against systemic racism not resulting in any goddamn change, the willingness of so many to sacrifice disabled people, false outrage, Fox News, the trump effect, January 6 treason, late stage capitalism, a rise in anti-semitism, no recognition of colonialism, lack of mental health care in availability and affordability and ease, a lack of help for those struggling with substance use in availability and affordability and ease, people still acting like LGBTQ lives are misguided or wrong, Roe about to be cut at the knees despite know it all fools saying that would never happen, the hero hailing then derision for healthcare workers, a complete lack of action on gun violence, the hero hailing then derision for teachers, not enough separation of church snd state, crazy white people trying to keep our racist history out of schools, major visual effects of climate change, people flying bastardized American flags, the fucking absurd wealth gap, the pandemic and all the inequities and vileness it unearthed in us as a people, etc., compressed into a small and painful time period have changed a lot of us. As these things cumulatively should have. What the hell else does anyone need to open their eyes to the fact that there is a better way to operate? 

I know what to do with people who have been radicalized in a way that is oppositional to my way: step away slowly, let them to their ways and me to mine. There's no rule saying we need to be in contact with people we knew at one point in our lives forever, or that the break needs to be a big thing. Social media has us thinking we need to know everyone forever and we simply do not, and aren't meant to - some people are with us for only a season and that's no harm and no foul. But at this point I don't know what to do with the people who seem totally unchanged. Like they've over it, or like they've never seen any inequities or pain in their communities and everything is operating as it always has or even worse that we should immediately return to how everything was even though this is a great opportunity overall to change things for the better for everyone. We're all fucking over it, folks. But the societal unrest caused by the above paragraph is not over. What are we going to do about it in this moment?

On the national stage we worked hard to get a Democrat elected and to win House and Senate majorities and absolutely nothing is being done in a time when we needed big sweeping new deal level change. I am fucking furious at the lot of them. Fuck your centrist policies and niceties while people's lives are on the line. Fuck cockblocking republicans too. Fuck all of them collecting quite a nice salary and benefits and doing literally NOTHING. None of  them are doing jack fucking shit except bantering back and forth. And yes, Breyer is retiring but I'm tired in advance of the shitshow on deck here. I would typically be well amped up over this announcement but I'm not. What validity does a court with Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett on it even have?  

It is heavy and spring 2020 exhausting feeling out there right now. Like trying to walk a normal straight line after existing for two years in a washer stuck on the spin cycle.  As discussed, what the hell is normal? Is this bullshit way of being all the new normal? Do not accept. Everything feels a little pointless even though I know on an intellectual and visceral level that that is not the case.

It would be nice to turn it all off and read and eat and be with people I love and out in nature and live in a society that costs no one anything. We were intensely stupid as a human race to invent the concept of money and create any sort of have and have not scenarios. Intensely stupid. 

I'm fucking fed up. Sick of even thinking about it, so the best way to get over that at least for me is to write it out and let it go. I'm sure you're sick of thinking about shit or reading it too. It feels like a struggle right now even for those of us who are not actually struggling so I know it is a low low for people who are. If you wonder what the fuck I'm talking about because everything is fine and has been fine, probably a good time to unfollow or part ways because you think I sound nuts? LOL. If you resemble any of this post, you are not alone. There's a strange comfort in that, right? Hang in there. Take care of each other. Find joy where you can. Regroup. Dust off. Move forward. Try again tomorrow. That's all we can do.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Cultivating daily happiness

Most people deserve to live a truly happy life that is filled with good times, but most of us will not because society LOL. How does one cultivate daily joy, even on the hard days? That should read Especially on the hard days, am I right? Otherwise what the hell is the point. Cultivating daily happiness can look like:

Stroll HomeGoods
I'm going tonight. It's the only chain store I missed shopping in during the height of the pandemic. HomeGoods happy is a hashtag because it IS REAL.

Take scissors to toxicity
There is simply not a consistently exciting and enjoyable life that is filled with toxic people, places, and things. Sorry to break that to folks who think that coexistence is possible. Letting go of toxicity of all kinds will lead you to a better place to examine and maintain your mental health. It doesn't have to be a big to do to let go of people, places, and things that cause you worry and stress. Just let that shit go quietly. At this point in the world, we all know toxicity is not healthy to have around you.

Use your best things
I don't save my favorite lotions and potions and outfits for special days. Every day has special potential.

Deal with pressing issues
Ignorance is bliss but ignorance doesn't make things go away. Deal with your shit so it's not taking up room that should be used for joy. Go to the doctor, find a therapist, cut the toxic people, talk to someone, quit smoking, check into a rehab center, write your bad things out on paper and set them on fire outside, whatever you need to do to move on for the long haul, do it. 

Help someone else
Huge shifts can take place in your mind and soul when you stop looking inward and do something to help someone else. 

Organize a drawer
Exerting control over small areas can spark joy

Getting off the internet
For real. 

Spending your 40 hours in the right place
We're not all looking to set the world on fire with your job, but no one wants to cry through the day or exist in a toxic environment for 40 hours a week. If where you are isn't working, look somewhere else. 

Rowing boats with the right people
You are required to attend nothing or keep up with anyone. I hope pandemic life gave everyone insight into who belongs in their boat and is worth making time for. 

How are you cultivating daily happiness? 

Monday, January 24, 2022

TWTW - the one with the wedding

Friday It was just me and Mae at the shore, and good thing as she is an in and out bathroom dog and it was frigid Friday. I returned books to the library and hit the beach during lunch to find a sea of dead horseshoe crabs up at the tideline. Insides frozen as you can see. I painted my nails all one color for once - OPI Turn Bright After Sunset - made dinner (salmon, baby potatoes, and brussels), purged and organized my bathroom lotions and potions, and finished a book.

Saturday Up, showered, and masking face and eyes by 9. I was back in Philly by 1 and putting makeup on by 3...I actually had to buy a palette to use since the only thing I have left is mascara and lipstick. I threw everything else out throughout the pandemic. I don't even have an eyeshadow brush left I had to wing it LOL

We picked up Stephen & Aubrey then headed to the Ballroom at Ellis Preserve to celebrate Dana and Alex's wedding. What a lovely place, I had no idea it was even there. There was a gorgeous sunset as we were walking in, and it's always nice to have a banger sunset on your wedding day, right? A good omen for sure. The food was delicious and on the dessert side, lord the funnel cake fries...and I am not even a funnel cake person. Everything was beautiful, especially the bride, and we had a lot of fun with the fam. We got facetime with some people in the fall at the shower, but it was especially nice to see Carol's parents and those we didn't see at the shower because we haven't seen them in a pandemic while. MFD was burning up his dancing shoes at the after party. We got home around 12. 

Sunday I hit Aldi around noon and we had pizza and salad for lunch. After doing some laundry I was back to the shore and arrived in time to meet up with a handyman to get a quote on some  nuisance items I want done hopefully before June. I took all the dogs to the beach after, had Wawa for dinner, and watched The Great British Baking Show at night. I also finished the day reading a different book than the one I started with, which was a do not finish for me. 

Out two weekends in a row in January feels like flying close to the sun.

Have a good week!

Friday, January 21, 2022

3 reasons you're scared of seeing your doctor


Pexels (CC0 License)

When was the last time you saw your doctor? For a lot of you, it was many years ago. Some people haven’t been to the doctor since they were little and their parents forced them. Thankfully, you’ve not had any major health issues during that time. But, what if you had? What if there was something wrong with you and you just ignored it because you were afraid to see a doctor? It could be devastating for your physical and mental wellbeing, which is why you shouldn’t fear doctor’s appointments. 

Below, I’ve listed what I believe are the most common reasons you’re scared of seeing your doctor, along with some points on why you shouldn’t let them stop you.

You’re scared of certain procedures

Are you scared of needles? Maybe you’re scared of the blood pressure machine? Whatever it is, there’s a specific procedure that scares the life out of you and puts you off seeing your doctor. In reality, you may not need to undergo these procedures at all, so it’s rarely worth worrying about. Also, you will need blood tests, injections, and blood pressure readings at some point in your life. They are essential for managing your health and checking for medical problems. They also only last for a minute or so, so is it really worth being scared of them your whole life? What’s scarier, the procedure itself or the possible underlying health condition that goes untreated because you didn’t have the procedure to check for it?

Pexels (CC0 License)

You’re scared of the possible diagnosis

Most people are worried about seeing the doctor because they are scared of being diagnosed with something serious. You’ve got a constant headache, and you’re worried about seeing the doctor because you think they might tell you that you have a brain tumor. You instantly associate your problem with the worst possible outcome, and you’re worried that this can come true. 

In most situations, your problem will never be as serious as you think it might be. But, even if it is, you shouldn’t be scared of hearing it. Surely it is good to hear and confirm that you have a serious health problem than to sit around doing nothing? It will only get worse, so the sooner you hear any bad news, the quicker you can react and treat it. 

You’re scared of being laughed at

Not literally, but you’re worried your doctor might think you’re stupid for coming to them with a particular problem. If your doctor ever does laugh at you or tell you that you’ve wasted their time with your concerns, a medical malpractice attorney might be able to help you, as it can possibly fall under the scope of avoiding a diagnosis and being negligent. Doctors take oaths and aside from that are aware of this duty to take concerns seriously, which is why this shouldn't be a worry. So, if you’re worried that your problem will be shrugged off and laughed at, you should have nothing to worry about. 

Realistically, you have no reason to fear the doctor. They are there to help, and the fear you associate with seeing them will be nowhere near as bad as what happens if you have a medical problem that goes undetected for too long. Don’t be afraid to see your doctor when you have problems, no matter how big or small they may seem. 


This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Why Activity Vacations are a Great Idea

Everyone should go on vacation from time to time; getting away from the usual daily routine, seeing new things, and taking part in new experiences is good for the mind, body, and soul. For some, the idea of a perfect vacation is lying on a beach in the sun. Others want to go to theme parks and rush about. However, it is the activity vacation that most appeals to a wide range of people, and here are some of the reasons why this is the type of vacation you should try next. 


Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

It’s Challenging 

When you book an activity vacation, you are giving yourself and anyone who goes with you a challenge, and that is hugely important. There might not be that much that can challenge you in your job and your home life – your job may be repetitive and dull, for example. An activity vacation can give you the change that you need. 

Being challenged in life is good for you. It stimulates the brain and makes it work harder, and it makes things more exciting and gives you something to look forward to. Whether you book a vacation that involves rock climbing, abseiling, bungee jumping, hiking, or simply exploring new areas in new ways, you will find it a challenge. In conquering that challenge, you will make changes in your life that you could bring back home with you too. 

The Healthy Option 

The key part of an activity vacation is the activity, of course. Any form of activity, especially if it is different from what you usually do, is good for you and your health. It will raise your fitness levels and help to make you healthier. 

Although it’s good to relax with a beach vacation, you won’t come home healthier that way. In fact, lying around doing nothing could cause you to put on weight, and you’ll fall out of your keep fit routine too. So an activity vacation makes sense because it will keep you moving, keep you thinking, and you might even go home healthier than when you arrived. All the good habits that you pick up on your vacation can certainly be useful at home too. 

New Perspectives 

Going on an activity vacation will often mean that you can see the world from a different perspective; you are more than just a tourist or visitor – you are immersing yourself in a different way of doing things and working. 

What’s really remarkable about this kind of vacation is that you are seeing the world from a point of view that not many other people can say they have done, and that’s exciting. It’s especially exciting if you are visiting a part of the world popular with tourists because although you might enjoy the usual sights and sounds, you will also be delving deeper and doing more. 

Create Memories 

Do all the other vacations you have taken meld into one because they were all so similar? It’s a shame when this happens because memories are so crucial to happiness and wellbeing. Yet if we keep doing the same thing time after time, it will happen. 

In order to make special memories that will last a lifetime, you need to do something completely out of the ordinary, and that could be an activity vacation. It’s not every day you scuba dive with Dip ‘N Dive out in the ocean or abseil down a cliff face, and those memories are definitely going to stay with you.
This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - A picture of you, holding a picture of me in the pocket of my blue jeans

1. There have been a few beauts this week that came just when I thought that the winter skies have not been giving the magic.
2. Just yesterday I was also saying shelling has been for shit and I was blessed with a whelk day. I got a big bag full of them at lunch. The first photo is a big ass whelk sitting on seaweed from the night before, which should have told me good things were coming. 
3. Poor Bruce is Fat Guy in a Little Coat. He is huge for a pug - tall and solid - and it's hard to get coats to fit him.

4. Not much doing around here this week. Work, reading, getting outside when weather allows. I need fresh air every day.

5. Republican run states are making changes to voting laws with surgical precision to restrict access to voting - we're not talking about anything new related to changes made due to covid, we're talking about removing access that has been standing for eight years in Montana and just insane shit in Georgia - and it is the responsibility of Congress and the federal government to ensure everyone in the country has voting access. All suppression bills are predicated on lies of election fraud, perpetuated and spread by Fox News et al propaganda machines, fed to people already feeling like the white way is closing. Protecting voting rights is non-partisan. Expanding voting rights is non-partisan. Don't wave your flag as a patriot if you support voter suppression. I know Fox allows you to think those things can coexist but they actually cannot. Zero elected officials in the republican party supporting protecting voting freedoms is a departure from how the entire party has functioned and voted in the past. This is a problem for ALL citizens. Call your Senators today and ask them to support the passage of the John Lewis Freedom to Vote act and suspending the filibuster to make this  happen. 

6. Back to being bored with cooking and food. MFD threw this together this week - shrimp, broccoli, pasta, olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese. What are you eating? 

7. I finished a stellar book and the next one is mediocre at best so I'm experiencing a book hangover. One of Philly's indie bookstores - Joseph Fox Books - is closing after 70 years and I am sad. Please please buy from local independent bookstores, and if you can't get there, please buy from them online or via and choose them as the beneficiary. Amazon does not build community. Local bookstores do. If you used to work in a city and are now WFH, if you can shop and eat in the city centers to support those businesses who rely on office workers to stay open, please do. 
8. My favorite is waking up to a Please Do the Near Impossible in a Short Amount of Time ask via email. Isn't it everyone's? Insert upside down smiley face

9. Reminder via mirrorsreflectyou

10. This made me laugh.

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Jolene by Ray Lamontagne

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Chicken. Eggs. Veggies.

Wednesday! I thought it was Tuesday for much of the morning, so yay? If you are here over the past two years you're basically getting a weekend post, Thursday Thoughts, a list of some sort, or random food talk. Today is random food talk.

I've been thinking about protein and veggies lately and how to get more of both, so this post is a meandering marriage all of those things. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Right, stop and get on with it.

Making good use of eggs
Aside from frying, boiling, poaching, and scrambling eggs, you can make a delicious crustless vegetarian quiche (like this spinach and mushroom one from Budget Bytes) or zucchini pie to get a good dose of protein and veggies in the morning. Both options require almost no preparation (well, aside from the zucchini prep) with most of the time going to the 40-45 minutes that it takes to cook it in the oven.

Adding Veggies
To breakfast, as above. To chili, last weekend. In veggie meat sauce, always. Leaning heavily on salads and roasted veggies with sheet pan dinners and raw veggies as snacks. How are you getting your veggies in?

Roast a whole chicken
I think chicken eaters avoid whole chickens a lot, and I'm not sure why. They are great and a good way to really use everything. I hate food waste in general, and if I'm eating an animal even more so. Don't toss away even a scrap. Roast it whole or carve it up and use all the pieces, anything you don’t have for dinner or prep to be used in the future can be put in the fridge for sandwiches the next day. As for the bones, you can use them to flavor a stew, making sure that you’re really using every single scrap of the bird.

Don't be afraid of thighs
The best chicken to cook with in my opinion is the delicious and flavorful thighs. They are one of the cheapest, too. I actually hate chicken breasts. I eat thighs most often by just making them solo or putting them in dishes as ingredients like in an instant pot kadai chicken, which my friend Kelly has been raving about. This loaded instant pot recipe also uses tomatoes and ginger, so good for you, and makes enough to feed the family for at least two days on it. My goal when making dinner is to always have an easy-reheat meal for lunch or dinner the next day.

Pick it all
Once the “best” cuts of meat are gone, you’re still going to have a lot of meat on that bird. Go over it with a carving knife or your clean hands, slicing and picking away what bits of  meat you can and shred them. This shredded chicken can then be used in foods like filling chicken enchiladas, which can be topped up with other filling ingredients such as spinach and tomatoes. You can also use shredded chicken in salads to get your veggies in and amp up the proteins.

Wing man
Freeze the wings from multiple birds until you have enough to make wings as an app for a Sunday afternoon. I love batch cooking them in the air fryer and then some can be plain, some can be korean BBQ style, some mildly spicy, and some hot buffalo. 

Use it all 
The rest of the meat left on the chicken, the cartilage, soft wobbly bits, and little shreds of dark meat is still worth keeping around. This makes chicken stock or broth with a depth of flavor you absolutely cannot get from a box or can. This can then be used as the base of future soups or to add plenty of that rich chicken flavor to other meals, as well as adding a punch of protein to meals that you might not be having any meat with otherwise.

I'm cooking off old recipes, which you can find here. What's your best use of chicken right now?

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