Encounters During My Daily Walks! #2

A beautiful day! Indeed. Sir Thomas and I were on our familiar path, enjoying the nice cold and sunny weather.  At a distance Sir Thomas smelled a friend. We sped up our stride and Miller was waiting. Tails were wagging right and left.  Happy to meet, undoubtedly!

Us moms, Miller’s and I, were equally happy to see each other. The good weather had made many come out for a stroll. We caught up a bit. Laughed a lot. And, said our byes.

Forty minutes into the walk, I saw dark clouds quickly moving in.  A few at first. Then the sun was covered.  The breeze felt colder now.  Time to get home, I thought.

Dark clouds suddenly covered up the sunny day...
Dark clouds suddenly covered up the sunny day…

As I was making my way into the last stretch of our walk,  I saw a woman with a little puppy…waiting for our approach.  I felt like not stopping, but Sir Thomas had to say hello to his kind.  The woman did not say hello, but started with,  “Do you live around here?” Before I could answer, she threw another question at me, “Do you work?”  Again, before I could answer, she asked, “When did you move here?”  I managed to say 11-years ago.   She then expressed that she moved here two years ago, and paid a lot for her home, but I must not have paid much for my property back then.  She added how much she dislikes living in this part of the town.  I started to not like this talk at all; this was in no way a two-way conversation.  And this stranger was certainly very strange!

She was not done with me.  But I was!  I was ready to flee.  Sir Thomas was done with the hello part and was now busy sniffing.  I pulled the leash, his paws tightly fixed to the ground.  This gave the lady a chance to throw another question, “Do you have kids?”  Pissed off, I said, “No.”  Pulled on Sir Thomas again, his paws came lose and I quickly said good-bye and moved in the other direction from her.  This interrogation was OVER!

As I made my way home, I kept thinking why did I have this encounter.  Why did I allow this encounter?  Why did I even answer to her idiotic questions?  Why? Why?  Right in the beginning, I should have said, “None of your business, lady,” and moved on.  This lady was very nosy right from the get go.

I wanted a positive out of this encounter.  I knew I could do it, too.  I thought, “I am an UNSTOPPABLE OPTIMIST!”  “I’m going to find the good in this encounter.”  The good I found was that – If I meet this stranger again, I’ll control the encounter – I will not stop for the talk!  (Rain started to come down.  Thankfully, we got home right then.)

My first encounter was a heartwarming encounter.  Second was strange!  Weird!  An encounter, nonetheless.   Sir Thomas seemed happy and satisfied after his walk.  I felt tired.  That second encounter drained me.  But, guess who went to sleep after our walk? 🙂

Sweet dreams dear Sir Thomas... (Snugged in our love seat)
Sweet dreams dear Sir Thomas… (snuggled in our love seat)

 

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

Freeze Now, Use Later – Don’t Waste the Tomato Paste!

There are times I only need a little bit of tomato paste in my cooking.  So, what do I do with the rest?  I freeze the rest!  Why waste…freeze and use later 🙂

Here’s how:  I use ice tray (any ice tray would do).  This is a silicon one.  I scoop the tomato paste out of the can into the ice tray compartments,
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then I flatten the tomato paste with a spoon. image

I know it kinda looks messy, but that’s okay, it freezes beautifully 🙂image

Next, I wrap the ice tray with plastic wrap.image

I lay the tray flat inside the freezer.  I leave it overnight.image

All frozen! 🙂image

Next day, I take the tray out and unwrap it.  I place a cutting board on the counter and then twist the tray over it.  And, down falls out the frozen tomato paste!image

Looking good!image

I place them in a freezer bag.  I seal and label the bag, then I put it back in the freezer until I’m ready to use them.  I take out one or two or however many I need, and save the rest for later. image

When I cook meat or veggies, I throw a couple into the pan!  I love the taste it gives to my food.  Plus,  I love to not waste.  I feel good about it.  Freezing is a good thing! 🙂

Enjoy.

 

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time 🙂

 

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds – My Easy Recipes!

I really enjoyed making these.  They are fun to make and delicious to eat.
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I roasted almonds in the oven (I used my little toaster oven).  The aroma of roasting almonds is quite good:).  That also meant it was ready to be taken out of the oven.  So that’s what I did.  And, I set them aside to cool.

 Time to melt chocolate:

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Endangered Species Chocolate is what I used (the brown wrap one).  My daughter is an animal lover.  Her diet includes no animal products or by-products.  She is passionate about them and is determined to be their voice.   (I am making this for her.)

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Next step:  I started my double-boiler.  I heated enough water in the pot so that it wouldn’t touch the base of the second pot with chocolate pieces to be melted.

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I kept the heat on low because the chocolate melts fairly quickly.

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All melted! Looked rich & creamy!  I turned the heat off.

Next, I added almonds into the melted chocolate and stirred the chocolate to coat the almonds.

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Roasted almond & melted chocolate…irresistible!  I wanted to try one so badly.

I placed wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Then, I scooped out almonds from the pot and spread them in a single layer on the wax paper.  I got a spoon to start separating these guys.  After that, I placed these almonds in the fridge so that the chocolate around these almonds will solidify.

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They stayed in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

It was time to coat them with cocoa powder.  You don’t have to do this part, but the cocoa powder adds to the flavor.

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I mixed in a bit of raw cane sugar in the cocoa.

Then, I got the chocolate covered almonds from the fridge and dropped them in the cocoa powder mix;  I used a spoon to gently fold the cocoa powder over the chocolate covered almonds.

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Last thing I did was to place the almonds from the bowl into a colander.  I shook the colander to get excess cocoa off the almonds.  And, then I stored them in a plastic container.  All done!

My daughter will love this.  She will be coming home soon from the animal shelter…I’ll surprise her!  This is one of her favorites!  I’m glad I made these for her.  I feel good!

 

Serving size of almonds from http://www.livestrong.com:

The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory says that 1 oz. of whole, shelled almond kernels contain 163 calories and about 14 g of fat.  They’re also a nutritious source of protein and fiber, with 6 g of protein and 3.5 g of fiber.

1 oz. is standard serving of almonds.  That’s equal to one handful or about 23 whole, shelled nuts.

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bar serving size:

!/2 a bar, calories: 250; total fat: 18 g; cholesterol: 0 mg; carb: 20 g; Fiber: 5 g; Protein: 4 g

My recipe:

1 – Endangered Species dark chocolate bar (use any brand you like)

1 – Cup Almond

2 – Tablespoon Nestle Toll House Cocoa Powder (use any brand you like)

1 – Tablespoon raw cane sugar (option: use white granulated sugar or powdered sugar)

  1.  Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Place almonds in a baking pan and bake for 10 – 12 minutes.  Take out of the oven, and let them cool.
  2. Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and set aside.  In a small bowl add cocoa powder and sugar and set aside.  Have a colander handy.  Have a storage container set aside also.
  3. Break chocolate bar into pieces, and melt in a double boiler.  (Please refer to pictures above).
  4. Add almonds and stir to coat.
  5. Scoop them out on the wax paper and gently spread them in a single layer.
  6. With a spoon separate the almonds from each other.
  7. Place the almonds in the fridge for the chocolate to solidify.
  8. Break the chocolate almond pieces…thin chocolate layer breaks apart quickly.
  9. Put all of the chocolate covered almonds into the cocoa powder sugar bowl.  With a spoon fold the cocoa powder mix to coat the chocolate covered almonds.
  10. Place all the cocoa powder coated chocolate covered almonds in the colander, and gently shake to get excess cocoa mix off them.
  11. Place these coated chocolate covered almonds in a storage container.

Enjoy!!

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

Doggy Photo Shoot Day #10

Your ears!  I love them Sir Thomas.  They are so very soft!
Your ears! I love them Sir Thomas. They are so very soft!
If Thomas was a human, he would definitely be an Englishman.  He is deeply reserved:)  And, boy is he cute!  I look for opportunities to give him a big squishy, cuddly bear, all American hug!  And, every opportunity fails to materialize:(  He wiggles out of the hug, shakes himself and quickly sits upright far away from me.  But, then I start to rub his belly,  and he is a goner:)

 

 

Doggy Photo Shoot Day #5

 

I look big but I am a little kid
Say hello to Dixie!  This is my second one!  She is big like she says, and she will sit on your lap thinking she’s a chihuahua😄.   Only thing is that I cannot fit her in my purse and take her to the stores.

…hope you enjoyed.

…until next time…hugs!