Thursday, January 24, 2013

Recent Doings

Three days in a row at home.

Oh, it's a beautiful thing!

After two and a half months of working extra days every week, we made a trip to Illinois to visit parents.  The next week was Christmas shopping, Christmas decorating, and napping to ward off the impending illness.  The next week was Christmas and all the fun of visitors and extra Services.  The next week was the exhaustion of defeating the ice dams.  The next week I expected to be driving to Illinois again and arranged all plans around that.  But the trip was delayed by a day, so Gary traveled by himself.

While there, his mom passed away.  He was blessed to have had the opportunity to talk to her, reminding her of her baptism and the forgiveness that Jesus bestows on her, and to thank her for all she did for him, especially bringing him to the Lord.  He helped his dad with arrangements for a couple of days, came home for two days, and then we all turned around and traveled back for the funeral.  I was very thankful that my brother drove over with my mom.  (It gave my mom a chance to meet Mandy.  That girl gets enthusiastic thumbs-up from everybody in the family!  We thinks she's dandy!)

Paul started his new job in MinnesOta.  I haven't heard yet how it's going.  It's nice hours: full-time days, Monday through Friday.

Maggie and I have cleaned nearly the whole house this week.  It's about time, given the neglect it's endured.  We also finished (!) the laundry.  Well, "finished" for a couple of hours.

I cooked a Real Meal four nights in a row.  I was beginning to suspect I was no longer capable of real cooking.  But oh, the deliciousness was delicious.  Mmmm hhhmmmm.

I made two batches of soap this week.  Of course, with curing time they won't be ready for use until end of summer.  But hey, I've been putting off this task for over a year, so I'm pleased that I finally have some bars sitting and drying.

We still haven't succumbed to the germies floating about the city and the family.  Between sick tummies and terrible colds, it's nasty out there.  We're not exactly well, but we're still functioning.  It probably helped that I slept in several days this week, skipping chapel.

Maggie has exercised every day for the last week.  This is fantastic!

Andrew started his new semester this week.  He's half-time at school and working as many hours as he can get.

It's amazing how little effort, time, and money it took to fix the shower-head that was spritzing water all over the bathroom walls and ceiling.  Really?  Why did it take me so long to make a repair that was so simple?

Next up: more proofreading for CCA, shampooing carpets, a visit to the Social Security office for Maggie, and seeing if the "Christmas cards" can make it in time to be valentines.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fish Recipes

Thawed tilapia.  What to do with it for dinner?  Yowza -- I hit the jackpot with an online recipe.  I used 2# of fish and cooked it in two 10" skillets.  It's quick, easy, healthy, and so delicious that I'm wishing I could make it again tomorrow!

To start, grab a pint of canned tomatoes and drain the juice off for some other use; or chop a few tomatoes.  Chop a couple of onions too.  Then sprinkle a spice mix on both sides of the fillets.  (I used Emeril's Essence.  Next time I'll reserve Maggie's fillets to be seasoned with salt and pepper only.)  Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in each skillet.  Cook fillets in the hot oil for about 45-60 seconds per side. Gently lift fillets and toss the onions and tomatoes underneath.  Lower heat to low-medium, cover skillets, and cook for about 3 minutes.  Pour in enough coconut milk to make a nice sauce (about 1 cup per skillet), heat through until fish flakes and sauce is somewhat thickened and, well, saucy.  Serve over a small amount of rice.

Our other fave fish recipe is for salmon.  Meghan turned us onto this.  For each 4-oz salmon fillet, you'll combine about 1/2 Tbsp each of butter and mustard with 1 tsp of honey.  In another bowl you'll combine 1.5 Tbsp each of bread crumbs and finely chopped pecans with 1/2 tsp chopped fresh parsley.  Salt & pepper the fillet; brush with honey-mustard; sprinkle with bread crumbs & pecans.  Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes or until fish tests done by flaking it with a fork. 

I also want to try another of Meghan's recipes.  My only problem with this one is thinking ahead far enough to do the marinating.