Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Home Chef (A Review)

A retail store gave me the opportunity to try Home Chef at a significant discount. I had to say yes!

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, it arrived a day late, but thankfully it was well packed and still cold upon receipt.

Everything comes in these zipper bags.

Whoops! The crushed red pepper was already open and spilled everywhere.
No big deal, really. I informed them but I didn't want compensation.

Here's the haul! I only paid $4.80 for all of this. I would have been crazy to pass it up.

This is a nice-sized potato.

Look at all of this prosciutto! Do you have any idea how much this costs at the grocery store? A lot!

The steaks are vacuum-sealed.

Naaaaaaaaaaaan! Imagine I yelled that like Captain Kirk yelled at Khan, and it'll be funnier.

Ooooooh, I love binders. That's a weird fact, but it's true.


The two-sided recipe cards are great. They show you how to do this step-by-step.

Now let's get to it! Here's my perfect potato.

Good 'ol port mushrooms rarely let me down.
These will make a nice sauce. I can't wait!

Yeeeesssss. I made Steak Marsala with Parmesan Potato Mash!
Disclaimer: I accidentally overcooked the steak. My fault. Everything else was downright luxurious.

Pizza day! Believe it or not, I've never had arugula or prosciutto before!

To be honest, my hopes were not high about fig preserves. Not only was I pleasantly surprised, I wanted more!

Toasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan raise the roof. Have you seen the price of pine nuts? They're outrageous.
I am really happy I took advantage of this special offer.

The arugula was still good a couple of days after receiving the box.
It has a unique flavor: a little bit minty and a little bit peppery.

Please enjoy this terrible photo of fig and prosciutto pizza on a fancypants paper plate. Ha!
In all seriousness, I loved this more than I was expecting to. It was delightful!

Here's a short vlog I made to show you how this works!

- Home Chef has no idea I'm writing this review. I'll give them the URL after I publish. :)
- I received an offer to try Home Chef at a huge discount. Since I am only one person, I chose the smallest shipment of four servings and I paid $4.80.
- My affiliate link will give you a total of $30 off regardless of which membership option you choose.
- I receive no compensation for this review other than credit if someone signs up.
- I am not a salesperson. If you're not interested, feel free to move along. I'll never spam you.

If you would like to try Home Chef, you can get $30 off of your 1st order with my reference.
Just go here!

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ramen Bowl



- 1 box beef broth
- 1/2 "spicy beef" ramen flavor packet (it is now MSG free, according to the package, so I used it)
- Sprinkle of dried ginger
- Sliced carrot (canned carrots work well in this, and it cooks much faster)
- Sliced yellow onion
- Sliced green onion (whites in the soup, greens as garnish)
- Sugar snap peas
- 1 chopped mushroom (I only had one left in my fridge, feel free to add more)
- 4 oz sirloin steak, sliced very thin
- 4 oz smoked pulled pork (no sauce)

Bring to a rolling boil for several minutes until onions are tender. Put ramen in the bottom of the bowl and ladle boiling soup on top. Walk away (it's too hot to eat anyway) while the ramen softens. It should be perfectly al dente in 5 to 7 minutes. Top with green onion and more pulled pork.

Don't spill it on the stove like I did, ha.

Optional additions at the table, by the drop: soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili oil, sriracha
(I added none of these this time).

If you don't want to use the ramen flavor packet, you can simply add a pinch of red pepper and some salt to the broth. You can also use the entire packet instead of half, if you wish.

This is a great way to use leftover meat and veggies. It was my best ramen bowl yet.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Let's Help Florida and the Virgin Islands

Irma is gone, but there is much to be done. While some areas were lucky, others were definitely not. There is plenty of wind and water damage. Many people lost homes, businesses, and vehicles, and sadly I've learned that there have been some lives lost as well.

Here are some places who could greatly use donations:

SOS Children's Village received damage, affecting 70 children in foster care. Their site is here.

St. John Rescue covers the island of St. John and surrounding areas. You can donate directly on their site or their GoFundMe page

Operation BBQ Relief is serving meals. See their efforts here.

Next Level Church in Ft. Myers is accepting donations for community relief efforts.

I don't support the Red Cross for personal reasons. Do what you like.

Thanks for thinking about those affected by natural disasters. It looks like we have another one, Maria, headed this way. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Good riddance, Irma

It is an absolutely beautiful day in the Bayou, and I know everyone here is sighing with relief that we dodged another huge frickin' bullet this hurricane season. I hope all of my friends in Florida are good. If you're not, please make it known. I really do want to know if you're not OK. My area is gathering supplies to take down there. You know where to find me on the interwebs.

I'm so sorry for the Caribbean islands who are affected, some of which are U.S. land and citizens...something people tend to forget at times. I wish everyone, no matter your affiliation of course, the swiftest possible recovery, and I wish I were capable of doing more to help.

Hugs to all.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hurricane Irma

Photos: NOAA

Now monitoring this insane beast.
It is currently 185 Atlantic record.
A Category 5 hurricane is maximum catastrophe.
It's creating havoc in the Caribbean at the moment, but my beloved Florida is next.
After that, who knows.
The size of this storm almost guarantees that I'll get a few of the feeder bands.
It could also turn at the 11th hour and hit me directly, but that isn't expected.
Again, that's probably not going to happen, so I'm trying not to worry.
I am making all of the preparations to the apartment that I can, though.
It's better to be overprepared than underprepared.
Management told us to make a plan of escape.
I'm working on it, but my concern is for the Caribbean and Florida most of all.
I have many friends there, and they are in my thoughts.
I'll give an update later this week.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Such a silly overused pun, but I couldn't resist.

12 inch donation, a new record! :)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In The Red (Because Harvey Is Still Here)

Credit: NOAA

Here's Harvey, just hanging out, being a jerk.

Folks who aren't experienced with tropical storms or severe weather in general (btw where on Earth do you live? and may I come live with you?) can learn a great deal from the various radars NOAA Hurricane Center presents. This one, for example, shows that the eye of the storm is on the Texas/Louisiana line, still bringing (moderate, according to the color coordination) rainfall and wind. Then on the right, 400 miles away, is also Harvey...the dreaded East side of the storm, that historically (in tropical cyclones) tends to bring a lot of havoc in the form of torrential flash flooding, sometimes lightning and hail, and a high risk of tornadoes. Red means severe, if that wasn't obvious. The media usually focuses on the largest city affected by storms, in this case Houston, and understandably they need the attention, but know that there's a lot happening in a lot of different areas when a cyclone occurs. Some towns who are in catastrophe are often ignored, which is sad.

I'm perfectly fine. The feeder bands were pretty rough overnight, but I have no water in my apartment. I'm immensely grateful for that. Other places around here aren't so lucky. My area has had a lot of damaging flash floods this year already, and the last thing we need is a hurricane, so believe me when I say all of us here in the Alabama swamp feel very fortunate that we're not five feet under water. Community centers and churches are collecting items to take to Texas. We've been down this terrible road before, and our empathy is sincere.

I send all of my love (and everything in my pantry) to those affected.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Harvey Update

I'm sure I don't have to tell you how bad things are on the Texas coast right now. They've received a record-breaking 51 inches of rain in some places. Towns are engulfed, and people have died.

I remember the horror well. Twelve years ago today, I was facing this nightmare myself in Hurricane Katrina. The trauma and destruction are etched in my mind forever. I'm getting some of Harvey's feeder bands, and flooding is a concern living on a bayou, but so far so good. I'm fine.

Texas is not fine, and they need our help.

Relief efforts have begun even as Harvey isn't over and rescues are still occurring. I'll post a few links here, and add as I feel the need.

Google is matching donations.

A great organization called Operation BBQ Relief has deployed to the area. I've followed them for years and they serve hundreds of thousands of meals.

The Salvation Army

You can have dog and cat food shipped to Houston SPCA at this address:

Houston SPCA
900 Portway Drive
Houston, TX 77024

Hill's Science Diet is preferred. They also have an Amazon Wish List for other supplies.

I'm not going to share images here. They're all over the internet if you really want to see the catastrophe. The effects of this storm will be ongoing for years to come. When everything has gone "back to normal" everywhere else, the Gulf Coast will still be devastated, still be recovering, and still be in need. For those who lost everything, the nightmare is just beginning. Remember them. Help if and when you can. I know it will be appreciated.

Thanks for caring.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hurricane Harvey

(Credit: NOAA)

This monster, needless to say, is on everyone's mind here on the Gulf Coast.
It's a Category 4 now, and the consequences of such a storm are catastrophic.
I am so sorry for Texas, who will receive the worst. I have dear friends in its path.
Louisiana is also going to suffer, and I am concerned for my family there.
Mississippi and Alabama will get plenty of rain from feeder bands, possibly flooding.
There is a state of emergency, and I hope and pray everyone is prepared and safe.
I'm in a major flood zone on a bayou, but I'm pretty confident I'll be fine.
It's everyone to the west that I'm worried about. Keep the Coast in your thoughts.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Health Assessment 8/24/17

I took a digital health assessment today, and almost burst into tears over the results. In my defense, it doesn't take much right now as I just said goodbye to one of my dearest friends. I miss her, and loss has a way of reminding us of our own fragile mortality, doesn't it?

Today is the first time I've documented my BMI in an unacceptable range, and I am currently at my highest weight. It says I am about 9 years older than I am, but it doesn't know how poor my health is so I imagine I'm physically quite a bit older.

Certain types of Muscular Dystrophy can cause significant weight gain (whereas other types result in being underweight), and the high protein/fat diet I'm on because of MD is not helpful in this regard. At any rate, something must change. I'm headed down a road that will destroy me if I don't turn around. I have to find a happy medium, or at least a medium, even if it's not the "happiest" one. Here's the plan so far:

  • I put a battery back into my bathroom scale so I can use it again.
  • I'll buy a food scale when I get paid so I can monitor portions.
  • I will reassess my grocery list and menu asap.
  • I've installed multiple apps to help me keep track of my numbers.
  • I need to continue to look for distractions so I'm not cooking or eating out of boredom.
  • I absolutely must get over my desire to try to cook everything and feed others (Let me love you! Eat this feast I have prepared! Literally me. I have to stop even though it pains me to do so.)
  • Somehow, some way, by magic and determination, I really gotta give up caffeine.
  • To be honest, I should go paleo, but I am currently kicking and screaming every step of the way.
  • My body falls apart into HKPP mode every time I attempt to exercise. Even PT is a problem. This has always been the case, even in young adulthood. There is no solution for it, and I have no choice but to acknowledge that fact.

Life is sad and frustrating lately, but I know I can't let myself be consumed and I strive to "pull myself together", as I often put it, and carry on. It's hard, but I'm trying. Always.

I'll share a new assessment at the end of the year to see if things have changed.