My New Kitchen Tool

I finally bought it! I have been debating this kitchen tool for over a year now and finally pulled the trigger. It’s nothing fancy, nothing new to the market, and not a fad like the Instapot craze…..it’s a simple toaster oven.

I know, I know, they have been around forever. My husband actually grew up having one in his childhood home his entire life. Although, I did not and never found the need to have one since I always found myself cooking for a family. However, now I will admit….I love it!!! Since becoming empty nesters and often times finding my husband gone for work and only myself to cook for, this is so much faster, easier, and cooler in the summer months.

So far I have made a small casserole for myself and the daycare children for lunchtime.

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I have also made fish,

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chicken and cheese tortilla melts,

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stuffed zucchini boats, IMG_1449

along with sweet potato fries, nachos, black bean burgers, and pizza melts.

I love that it takes minutes to preheat, minutes to cook, and does not heat up my entire kitchen to prepare one/two serving dishes.

Little by little I am learning how to revamp my/our life to be a family of one or two and occasionally three when our son stops back in to eat at home. I am loving trying new veggie packed recipes that I could never get away with in the past. And believe it or not, being empty nesters is working out pretty well for us all. I am happy, dad is happy and spends more quality time with our son than before, and our son seems pretty happy himself being on his own. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all my 9×13 casserole dishes since I don’t see a lot of usage for them anymore.

So tell me all you other empty nest parents out there…..what was the biggest change when your kids moved out on their own? Was it cooking, cleaning, living a childless lifestyle, reconnecting with your spouse, etc?

 

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Our First Dinner At Our Sons New Place….A Dream Come True For This Mom!

Alright, I have something amazing to tell you all. Maybe this won’t seem amazing to many of you but to this mom it was SIMPLY AMAZING!

This past weekend we were invited over to our sons new place for our first dinner that he prepared, served, and cleaned up. Yes, dad helped since it was both of them that caught the evenings feast but I did nothing what so ever to lend a hand. IMG_1376

At one point I entered the kitchen to wash my hands and was told to get out of his kitchen! With pleasure my dear son.

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A few weeks ago they went fishing together and caught quite the bounty of fish.

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And this was the night we ate there catch and let me tell you…. it was delicious. Almond battered fish and homemade tartar sauce with fresh broccoli salad was on the menu.

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My boys did a great job…it was fabulous. And watching them work together in the kitchen, of all places, was quite the pleasure to be completely honest. IMG_1379

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This mom makes 95% of everything we eat so having them serve me was a dream come true. I can’t tell you how proud it makes me to see him become the adult he has become. I know its only been about two months since he has moved out but from what I can see so far, he is going to do just fine.

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling Almost Back To Normal

This week has been good. We are finally feeling almost back to normal. By this I mean, meals were shared together, exercise routine is back to an actual routine, and peaceful sleep was had all week long.

Let’s start with exercise shall we. Typically, I workout in the early morning hours at our local gym….by early I mean 5:00a.m.. With summer here my job gets much more physical when we can finally get outside and enjoy the outdoors instead of everything indoors like during the winter months. So during the summer I concentrate on making it to the gym twice a week in the early morning, I then bike on my stationary bike the other two mornings, and one day I take off for rest….not from work just from exercise. And then my husband and I have begun walking area trails for about 3 miles after dinner. Add this with many additional steps put on during the day while playing outside chasing daycare kids around and by 8p.m. I am typically falling asleep on the couch.

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As for meals, I finally feel like we are eating regular and not grabbing and going to the next thing on the agenda. If you have been a long time follower you will know that grabbing and going is not easy with my husbands artificial sweetener allergy so this has been a real struggle to keep juggling. Although, I am happy to report we are back to eating regular meals and enjoying the time to sit, eat, and chat about our day. One the menu this week was a new lentil ham soup and BBQ chicken quesadillas. Both turned out fabulous!

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That will be it for today. We actually have plans on the calendar for the weekend…..finally!!!!! Now I am just praying for no rain and sunshine so I don’t freeze since we will be enjoying some water play. It is summer after all, so that means it’s time to enjoy all the rivers and streams Wisconsin has to offer.

 

Two New Recipes….Only One Keeper

Lets see, this week started out rough….it’s hard when something so bad actually is really a good thing in the long run. I know, vague…. but that’s where I am right now in my life. Anyhow, back to the week….it all sort of balanced out this week. Some bad, some good, and there you have it, a perfect balance of life in general.

On the menu this week were two new recipes. One a complete flop and one a keeper for sure. Here is peek at our meals for the week.

Saturday: BBQ chicken pizza

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Sunday: chicken pad thai (new recipe)

***This recipe was not a keeper for us. It was easy and fast but was lacking in flavor. We found ourselves doctoring it up with hot sauce,hoisin sauce, and soy sauce just to add some flavor. IMG_0491

Monday: slow cooker garlic chicken with green beans, carrots, and potatoes (new recipe)

***This one is a new favorite of the entire family. So tasty, and super easy. IMG_0492

Tuesday: leek, bacon and mushroom saute with eggs and biscuits (recipe here) IMG_0026

Wednesday: turkey sloppy joes, roasted potatoes, and green beans

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Thursday: grilled cheese and tomato soup

Friday: out

That’s it for today. Let me know if you see something you want the recipe for…I will be glad to share it.