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Dinner in a Box: Chef’d Shrimp and Grits with Asparagus

  • Posted on September 24, 2016 at 11:44 am

The second Chef’d dinner we tried was shrimp and grits with asparagus. I didn’t realize that it came with “vegetable base” so I swapped that out for some chicken broth, since it didn’t have an ingredient list on it. This was also pretty good. There were 6 very large shrimp per portion, and more than enough grits for the two of us. They were too cheesy for me, but that’s no surprise. The Husband liked everything well enough, including the pan sauteed asparagus. We’d definitely order this again!


Customer Service- Or Lack Thereof

  • Posted on September 23, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Living up in the mountains, sometimes we don’t have a lot of options for different services, things we took for granted whilst living in NJ. One of the things we had a hard time with was finding a seamstress to handle mostly minor alterations. There just wasn’t really anyone around. FINALLY one opened in town. Unfortunately, I recently had the absolute worst customer service experience and will likely not go back to her. She managed to make me feel like her absolutely least important customer, so if I’m that unimportant to her, I’d rather schlep and find someone who values my business a bit more.

That’s the short version. Long version behind the cut….

Quote of the Day

  • Posted on September 11, 2016 at 12:58 pm

“One World Trade fills the hole in the sky successfully, but it does not, I’m afraid, fill the hole in my heart left by Sept. 11.” – Brian Rose

There are some voids that cannot be filled, some things that can never be rebuilt.

Adventures in Vermont Living….

  • Posted on September 1, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Please note: I’ve previously lived in NY and NJ, in areas with decent to very large Jewish communities in the area. Vermont? Not so much Jewish….

I have both a bat and bar mitzvah to go to in September, so I went to my local Rite Aid pharmacy to pick up the cards while I was out running errands. I look up and down one card aisle- no bar/bat mitzvah cards at all. I go down the second aisle and finally find them. There are TWO bar mitzvah cards, and ONE bat mitzvah card. That’s it. In NJ, I’m sure I would have had more choices. In VT, as the Husband said, I should be grateful that they had even one bat mitzvah card, especially since most non-Jews up here may not have ever been to one!

Also, it’s before Labor Day and the leaves have started to change. Not just one or two, but a lot of the maple trees have started to change. It seems the maples are the early turners.

I’m SO not ready for winter yet!

End of Summer….

  • Posted on August 31, 2016 at 10:59 am

I spent about two and a half hours out in my garden yesterday, weeding the veggie patch so I could get to the corn and feed and water it. I admit, I’ve been a little negligent over the last few weeks, since I’ve been feeling like crud when the weather was suitable to get out there; otherwise it’s just been too darn hot. But yesterday was good weather plus we had people working in and around the house so it was easier on my head to be outside. Somehow in all of this I managed to get sunburned, quite nicely so, but only on the left side and back of my neck and shoulder. Apparently the top I was wearing was too loose, and slid down to expose that part of me, and I forgot that though it was only 70 degrees, the sun was still rather bright. I think I was lulled into a false sense of autumn, since the leaves have already started changing up here. Yes, seriously. I really need another few weeks of summer before I’m ready to take on the rapid descent into the winter snow!

Adventures in VT Living….

  • Posted on August 23, 2016 at 4:33 pm

My car, which has satellite radio, is in the shop today so I have a loaner, which doesn’t have satellite radio. Which is fine, I’m always happy to have a listen to VPR. But what got me today was watching the list of available FM radio stations drop down to one. One. And it wasn’t just for a brief moment- there was a good bit of time where I only had one or two stations available. That’s something you never had while living in NY/NJ!

Pain, pain, go away….

  • Posted on July 29, 2016 at 2:22 pm

No need to come back any other day! Or place. I’m just done with this crap. (Rant continues….)

Next injection, Day 1

  • Posted on July 19, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Health and medical crud to follow, read at your own risk….

Taking the Win

  • Posted on July 17, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Some days I have lofty ambitions (some days getting out of the house is a lofty ambition!). Especially when I have company coming, as we do this weekend. One of our guests is from out of the country, and instead of going out for dinner, chose to have a BBQ/grill here at the house. To go along with that theme, I was going to make ice creams for dessert. I made an (outstanding!) orange cream one, and did not have the spoons to make the white chocolate one I had planned. I did also make candied cherries (pitted by hand since I couldn’t find either of my damn pitters), which did not come out quite as candied as I had thought, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I’ll bake brownies from a box tomorrow and that’s going to have to do. Well with the home made stuff, anyways.

For dinner we’ll have salmon burgers and chicken breasts. I also got some coleslaw, potato salad, Israeli couscous with veggies, wheat-berries with fruits and nuts, and I think there’s one or two more salads, plus I’ll go to the farm stand in the morning and get fresh veggies for salad as well as what should be some beautiful raspberries! And giant marshmallows to roast, should we be so inclined. I meant to get a melon, but didn’t want the fussing. I’ll put together a local cheese plate, I’ve got a big bag of grapes (note to self, throw some in freezer). I have crackers and chips and veggies (maybe make dip?). No one will go hungry.

So I’m going to stop myself with what I’ve got and be good with what I’ve done. The Husband has been cleaning the house for what feels like days (I’ve helped a little where I can) so this is all just going to have to do.


Updated with post event notes: Our guests brought a lovely home made almond cake which had an orange glaze and went great with the orange ice cream, which was declared a resounding hit! There was more than enough food (big surprise there!).

Getting My Groove Back

  • Posted on July 11, 2016 at 4:51 pm

I was going to title this “How Betty Got Her Groove Back” but I haven’t quite got it back yet. I’m working on it. Things have been….rough for pretty much the last year or so, even before I lost my job, but that certainly didn’t help things any. I’m trying hard right now to acknowledge that I haven’t been at my best, and working on doing things to improve my state of being. BUT, I may actually be able to get my Demented Betty groove back, even if it’s just for a little while.

Our neighbors and friends are celebrating the Bat Mitzva of their youngest daughter on the Monday of Labor Day weekend. They are self-catering a dessert reception and have asked me to help them out, with both setting the menu and the actual baking. All the baking has to be done at their house and with their equipment, as it is kosher. I wonder how much work it would be to kasher a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer? So I’ve started to think about different things we can do, keeping in mind that this is to be dairy free and mostly gluten free. I think we’re going to try to go with French macaroons for the centerpiece/main dessert. She’s not really a sweets kind of kid, so it’ll be fun to see what else we settle on. I’ll also have the pleasure of working with her older sister to get this all done, and she is already an amazing baker as a teenager!

We’re having some friends over this weekend and I’ve decided to make some ice cream for us, and candied cherries to go with them. I should probably make some chocolate sauce too and maybe some whipped cream. (Oy. This is where the demented comes from. I get going down that slope, and just keep going…..) Add that to the brownies I’ll make just before they come, and I think I have desserts handled. I’m making a white chocolate ice cream and also an orange creamcicle one. I love being able to keep my ice cream bowl in the freezer! I’ve made the orange one before, and I’m really looking forward to the white chocolate with the cherries. Hopefully the weather will be conducive to grilling, and we’ll get some beef burgers and salmon burgers going. On Thursday and Saturday I’ll go to the farmer’s market and stand and get fixin’s for a farmer’s market salad, with a local maple balsamic dressing. I’ll get some cheese and crackers to nosh on, and I think I’m good to go.

Health and etc wise, things are a mixed bag. I still don’t have a job. I still have issues with my health impacting my day to day life. But I’m trying to manage and do the things I need to, even through the pain.

For the more detailed version….