Back to Canandaigua Lake (Blog Post #14)

After we visited with Molly’s grandpa, we decided to go to Wegman’s so we could get a picnic lunch.  Then we drove back to Canandaigua Lake for our lunch.

It was an absolute beautiful day so the lake was filled with lots of people enjoying the water.

When we finished eating, we walked along the shore line to Scoops for some ice cream.  Even though I have already shared photos of Scoops, I have included the photos I took of Scoops in the video.

It was an exceptionally hot day in Rochester.  I had packed jeans which was a mistake.  The walk along the shore was exhausting because of the heat.  The ice cream was a welcome treat.

The lake had an area where people could swim with a life guard.  There is a photo of the fence in area in the video.  I’m used to swimming pools so swimming in a lake is unusual for me.

Oh, when you see a photo with boats just “parked” in the middle of the lake, there are sand bars.  People dock their boats there and fish, swim, or just hang out there.

Enjoy the video!  (It’s 4 minutes long.)

I’m enjoying making videos from my photos so expect the rest of my travel blogs to have a video rather than just photos.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Mom, What’s For Dinner? – Menu Plan Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I have had my menu planned out for a while.  I just had not made a blog post with the menu for this week.

Sunday (1/14/18) –

Veggie beef soup (freezer)

Monday (1/15/18) –

Chicken Parmesan, Spaghetti or Spaghetti Squash, Green Beans

Tuesday (1/16/18) –

Balsamic Chicken Breast, Potatoes, Peppers, and Onions, and Cucumber Slices

Wednesday (1/17/18)

Peach BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches (freezer), Chips

Thursday (1/18/18)

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls, Rice

Friday (1/19/18)

Italian Sausage and Peppers (freezer) over left over spaghetti

Saturday (1/20/18)

Leftovers

 

Happy eating,
Traci

Sunday Morning – A Visit With My Friend’s Grandpa (Blog Post #13)

Over winter break, I discovered how to make a video with the photos I have taken.  Instead of a collage, I have a YouTube video of the Sunday morning of my trip.

Continue reading “Sunday Morning – A Visit With My Friend’s Grandpa (Blog Post #13)”

Mom, What’s For Dinner? – January 8, 2018 & Pressure Cooker Steel Oats

Last week was crazy.  I only worked twice during the week.  We had below freezing temps.  Extremely below freezing temps.  The wind chill on a couple of the days registered -20 or so below.

Continue reading “Mom, What’s For Dinner? – January 8, 2018 & Pressure Cooker Steel Oats”

Morning Walk on the Beach – Day 6 Part 1

Tuesday was going to be a beach day.  We decided to relax which the boys absolutely loved because at their age being tourists all of the time is lame and boring.

Continue reading “Morning Walk on the Beach – Day 6 Part 1”

Mom, What’s For Dinner? – Week of January 1, 2018

Can you believe it is already 2018?  Neither can I.

For Christmas,  I got myself a meal planner.  As I mentioned in my review of 2017, I am going to begin a weight loss challenge/ fitness challenge at work starting on Friday.  I want to get a jump start on the challenge so I got myself a Skinnytaste Meal Planner.  Actually Mom and the Wee One got it me for Christmas.

It is neat because it has a spot for the meal plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and then an actually tracker of what you have eaten with a spot for calories or Weight Watchers points.  The planner also has a spot for a grocery list.

There is also a spot for an exercise tracker which is great.

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I’m hoping this meal planner will help me with my goals.

Every year, we have sauerkraut and pork for dinner on New Year’s Day  so that is on the menu for Monday.

pork and sauerkraut

If you look at the planner, you can see what I have planned to cook for the week.

A couple of the dinners are from the freezer.  I made freezer kits for my slow cooker a few weeks ago so I’m going to utilize those for a couple times during the week.

Two of the dinners will be made in my instant pot while four of the meals will be made in my slow cooker.  I love using those two appliances to help me make sure dinner is on the table in a reasonable time.

After I planned the meal, I went to the Kroger Clicklist to order my groceries for the week.  With the cold weather we are currently having, it is easier to order the food.  Associates will then bring the food out to your car.  Convenient during these cold winter months.

So without any further ado, here is my menu for the week.

Monday

Pork and sauerkraut, roasted potatoes, honey glazed carrots

Tuesday

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken with black beans and rice

Wednesday

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Thursday

Taco Soup w/ Cornbread

Friday

Mexican Pinto Beans w/ Cornbread

Saturday

Leftovers

Sunday

Garlic Mint Pork – Sides to be determined

 

Breakfasts – Hard boiled eggs, fruit, baked oatmeal, omelet muffins

Lunch – Artichoke and shrimp quinoa bowl, Cobb Salad, Yogurt, Applesauce, Salmon Cakes

Happy eating,
Traci

2017 – The Year of the “Bucket List”

Last January, I decided my 2017 was going to be known by the phrase bucket list.

So was this year the year of the “bucket list?”

In 2017, I had so many different experiences some that could be said were part of my bucket list even though I do not have an official bucket list.

Travels

Zoos and Aquariums – Hubby and my Official Bucket List

Random

  • Got my first tattoo at 41 years old – I did not know a tattoo was on my bucket list.
  • Gluten Free – I have been gluten free for 11 months now!
  • Book Reading – I have read/ listened to 41 books during 2017. I’m almost done with book number 42 so I may have one more done.  Tanya would have been proud of me.

I think I crossed items off of my bucket list.  Memories were made with family and friends.  My 2017 was definitely the year of the “bucket list.”

So what is my word for 2018?  You are going to have to tune in on Thursday to find out.

Have a magical 2018,
Traci

 

Monday Night Sunset – Day 5 Part 7

Today’s the last post about Monday of our trip.  After dinner on that Monday evening, we went back to the same place we saw the sunset on Sunday.

It was another gorgeous sunset.  Afterwards, we headed back down to downtown Folly for some shaved ice.  Yummy!

While we were in downtown Folly, I checked my Facebook.  I found out one of my students from my first few years of teaching was going to be a father.  What a memory from our trip.

Once again, I’m going to share it via a slideshow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Join me next week for the Tuesday of our trip.  It was a beach day for us.  However, I walked down the beach early in the morning, met up with Hubby for an early breakfast date, and visited the Morris Island Lighthouse.  We also went back to see the sunset which was once again gorgeous.  So there will be several blog posts highlighting our beach day.

A Review of 2017 and Goals of 2018

This year I changed the focus of my blog from recipes to more of a diary.

As I looked at my stats from last year, I noticed one thing.  One of the blog posts that got the most hits was a recipe from long ago.  During Thanksgiving and Christmas, I get a lot of hits on this simple recipe – honey glazed carrots in the slow cooker.

Today I am going to share my top blog posts from this year.  These are the ones that got the most hits.  However, I get a lot of likes from the WordPress Reader.  However people do not always actually go to the blog post so it does not register as having visitors which is frustrating.

 

My Recipes that Got the Most Hits

Pressure Cooker Chicken Pot Pie – I posted this recipe about a week before going gluten free.  It’s the blog post from this year that got the most hits.

Forgotten Chicken – This is another recipe that I posted before going gluten free.

Diary Type Blog Posts

Gerry Brooks and Findlay Market – Hubby and I went on a date for his birthday to see one of my favorite Youtube stars and then went to a farmer’s market.

The Night My Life Changed FOREVER – This is a raw blog post about the night my sister died.

2017 Summer Bucket List – I blogged about what I wanted to accomplish during the summer of 2017.

Writer’s Workshop Blog Posts

An Unforgettable Experience – In this blog post, I wrote about the time I had an up close and personal encounter with a flamingo.

So What Did I Do This Week – I wrote a finished to do list of what I accomplished during the week.

Romance, Ghosts, and Mystery – This was a book review about The House on Tradd Street such a good book.  In the book, you’ll meet Melanie who has inherited a house.  This house comes with a mystery and a ghost.

All Because It was Humid – This is a combination writer’s workshop blog post and travel blog post.

Travel Blog Posts

Port Orleans – French Quarter – While we were down in Walt Disney World in 2016, we visited Port Orleans, one of the moderate resorts.  Such a beautiful resorts.

As I said, these are the blog posts with the most hits.  I wish I could have a way to track the posts with the most likes.

Most of my likes this year were from my travel blog posts with lots of photographs.

My favorite blog posts to write this year were my travel blog posts.  I’m known by the family as being a shutterbug.  I love to take photographs especially when I am traveling .

My two recent travel series are the ones from our family’s trip to Folly Beach and my trip to western New York.  I also wrote a series about our trip to Orlando, Florida; Holland, Michigan; and Berea, Kentucky this year.

During 2018, I’m going to complete the Folly Beach and Western New York blog posts.  I need to also write about my trips to Hershey, PA and Pittsburgh, PA.  I may also share photos from our 2016 trip to Niagara Falls.  I have only shared bits and pieces about the trip not the whole trip.

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Seeing Steven Tyler was the highlight of my trip to Niagara Falls.

I am also going to continue to share menu plans because those attracted a lot of attention.  My work is going to have a fitness/ weight loss challenge that runs from January 5 until mid March so I will be sharing my progress with the challenge.  It may be on this blog or on My Food Journey.  If I do it on My Food Journey, I’ll put a link to the blog posts in the sidebar so you can visit the blog posts.

During 2017, I crushed my Goodreads reading challenge.  If you have not heard about the challenge, you basically decide how many books you want to read during the year.  You can edit the amount of books during the year to increase or decrease the amount.  I believe I started with wanting to read 20 books and then edited it to be 35 books.  During 2017, I read/ listened to 41 books which is 117% of my goal.  In 2018, I need to share more of the books I have read or listened to through Hoopla.

Happy New Year,
Traci

 

Playing on the Beach – Day 5 Part 6

After we got back from downtown Charleston, we played on the beach.  The boys were super excited because they had been looking forward to it ALL day long.

Since I only have a few photos, I’m going to do a slideshow for this week’s blog post.

Next week, I’ll sharing Monday’s sunset.  Then the first Saturday of the new year, I’ll finally be on day 6 of the trip.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blossoms

I’ve been sick most of this Christmas season so I have not made ANY Christmas cookies.  Okay, I’ll take it back.  We made peanut butter blossoms and then we ate them.

I decided to update my peanut butter blossom recipes using gluten free flour.

I noticed that the dough does not stand up as well as the gluten dough so you will need to place it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before forming it into balls.

Even with that little inconvenience, the cookies are absolutely delicious.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blossoms

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blossoms

  • Servings: 3 to 4 doz.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 48 Hershey’s Kisses
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar

Directions

  1.  Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.
  3. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.
  4. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well.
  5. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  6. Place the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes
  7. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  8.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges.
  10. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
  11. Cool completely.
  12. Enjoy!

Happy eating,
Traci

Slow Cooker Freezer Kits – An Update

Currently there are 15 freezer slow cooker kits in my freezer. It’s so easy to pull out a kit in the evening and then drop it in the slow cooker in the morning.

About a month ago, I put together 12 freezer slow cooker kits.  Then I shared my slow cooker freezer meal plan.

Having those kits in the freezer has been helpful because I ended up getting sick.  It was easy to put the food in the slow cooker and then set the slow cooker to cook the food.  There was not much thinking about what we were going to eat for dinner.  Believe you me, Hubby is happy to have dinner.

Continue reading “Slow Cooker Freezer Kits – An Update”

Downtown Charleston – Day 5 Part 5

After we were finished with the Aquarium, we decided to visit downtown Charleston.  We found out that in certain areas you can park for free.  Okay, you have only an hour to be parked there.  But not paying anything to park is great.

Continue reading “Downtown Charleston – Day 5 Part 5”