Five Finds

Five Finds

When I feel stressed (like most days now) I distract myself in any way that I can. There are days I just have to find activities to take my mind off of it all. Maybe some of these comforts/distractions/activities will interest you. I’d love to hear how you are coping with 2020.

YouTube workout videos. The last place I want to be during this pandemic is the gym so I have been walking regularly. A few weeks ago our temperatures soared into the 90s so I looked for an indoor option. I already enjoyed Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube, so I turned to YouTube to see what I could find. Jenny McClendon offers Fit over Fifty and beginner classes that provide a workout very conducive to the home space. The same can be said for Team Body Project. Team Body Project shows variations during the workout so that no matter your fitness level you can follow along. Both programs have classes that fit your schedule so there’s really no excuse not to exercise often. Trust me, I am no fitness enthusiast but I want to be able to have a full life into old age. That’s really my goal.

Knit Pants. Even though you are working out, you still need some comfy yoga pants to lounge around in. I want pants I can wear on errands as well and look presentable. Remember Land’s End? I highly recommend their active yoga pant. They are good quality, wash well, and are not expensive. I just wish they had more colors.

Chicken Noodle Soup. This is something you can throw together using pantry staples and leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken. I like this recipe which I adapt to what I have on hand. Sauteeing the onions and celery (carrots too) in oil or butter adds so much taste. No chicken broth? Use water and a bullion cube or two.

The Gardener. This documentary will have you wanting to go visit not only this beautiful garden but any garden. There is something so soul restoring about the natural beauty of the world. Sink into this one. I can watch it again and again.

Jamie Oliver’s Ultimate Veg cookbook. There are many reasons to cut back on your meat intake and this cookbook makes it easy. The recipes are mostly simple and really delicious and satisfying. I’m working my way through it . The Summer Tagliatelle, is absolutely one of my favorites.

Let me know in the comments what is getting you through these crazy times.

A Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole

I know I have mentioned here that I am always looking for breakfast dishes that can be made in advance.  When I have houseguests, it always seems as if the morning slips by while we are talking and drinking coffee and I haven’t taken the time to feed anyone, because I’m having so much fun.  Also, truth be known, I’m not one to wake up all bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  So, having a casserole and some muffins all ready to go is the best option for me.  My guests get fed and I can still visit with them and not miss any conversation.

Last week some friends were in town and I had an opportunity to try this casserole.  It’s a grits and smoked sausage recipe and I knew I would substitute cooked pork breakfast sausage for the smoked sausage.  I used a 16 oz. roll of pork breakfast sausage which I cooked and crumbled before adding in place of the smoked sausage.  It makes a large casserole, fills a 13×9 pan, easily feeding 8 to 10 people.  My guests loved it.  My husband loved the leftovers.  And, it can stay in the refrigerator up to 4 days before you cook it.  It hits all my must-haves.

Smoky Sausage-and-Grits Casserole

Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

I also made Classic Bran Muffins, which can be made ahead and frozen.  Add peach slices and some juice and your guests will think they are at a fancy B&B.  Ha!

I also plan to take this casserole to the beach when we go on our family vacation in a few weeks.

What’s your plan for breakfast when you have guests?  Please share in the comments!

Easy and Delicious Valentine’s Day dinner for Two

I have always liked to do a little something for Valentine’s Day.  When our children were home it was fun to mark the day with a special dessert and some small gifts.

Nowadays I am happy to have Valentine’s Day come along at just the right time to break up the winter dreariness and give us a reason to celebrate those we love; maybe we will even drink a little champagne.

And  I still like to have a special meal for Mr. DB and me. Some years Valentine’s Day is  in the middle of the week so we have to be practical. And we are trying to be healthy eaters so there’s that.  But with this menu you won’t feel as if you are sacrificing at all.

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