Thursday, October 31, 2019

Liquid - October Photo Challenge

Happy Halloween and the last day of October, which means that today's post is my contribution to the photo challenge.
This month PJ gave us the theme of "liquid", now this I feel will be a very loose (pun intended) watery translation. Liquid of course doesn't just mean water and coming up with five photos was harder than I thought it would be. If you are a photographer or blogger who enjoys a good challenge. Go HERE for more information.
On the page PJ also has links for previous challenges if you're interested and a link to the FB group.
#photoblogchal Liquid

I grew up on the water and since moving to Georgia we are no where near the ocean. A few lakes but that is just not the same. My husband and I were off one weekend on an excursion and stopped at a hardware store. It was massive! We love places that are "different" so anyway, we there walking around and they had these wonderful water features for decks, porches and yards. I was just standing there enjoying the sound of the water, getting kinda teary eyed to be honest and he said "I can make one of those". Background music from Tool Time aka Home Improvement began to play in my head. LOL my husband IS a handy man, there are very few things that he doesn't know how to fix, but sometimes the process is questionable. Sorry honey but it's true.
This is my water feature, it gives off a little bubbly sound and for now helps me center myself and calm my anxiety.
When I lived in NC it was easy, I would just stop at the park, boat ramp, downtown area and listen to the waves. Not so easy to do in HOTlanta.
 If you've stopped by before you'll know I'm a huge animal lover. Any animal will do but we have a plethora of wildlife that frequents our yard. I feed them, yes, all of them. The deer, squirrels especially, chipmunks, birds, raccoons and neighborhood kitties.  Having just gone out to place the morning feed I was heading back in and saw this spider web covered in due droplets. I grabbed my camera.
As I mentioned, I grew up on the water. This past week I had the pleasure of visiting friends in Florida. So of course I had to include at least one picture from that trip.
LOL actually two, but one is a craft fail. Still liquid. In a few days there will be a post about the craft fail because it was just so much fun and entirely too funny not to share.

Reflections, liquid, color and interesting perspective of a glass of juice.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Chicken Pasta

Last month my husband was out of town on business several times. When this happens, our son and I eat differently. I will eat salads and sandwiches but it also gives me opportunity to try new dishes. My husband will eat just about anything but he is not a fan of certain things. Like cheese. I know right!?! But our son is a BIG fan of cheese.

Following the WW Freestyle Plan, I have several favorite members that I follow on connect, the WW app much like Facebook but for WW members only and Instagram. There is this one young girl who everyone loves and follows. If she rolled a turd in dirt and said it was zero points, everyone would run out and make it, take pictures, tag her and swear it was the best thing since low carb bread. No joke.

Well, I am not one to follow the crowd. I resist at every turn. Not sure why, my rebellious nature I guess. But if 'everyone' is doing it, I will not. I resist, refuse and down and out will do anything to avoid it. The Premiere protein shakes, the Built Bars, the FeliciaCombo, the list goes on and on. Titanic, which to this day I still have never watched. Don't freak out y'all. I'm just a "march to the beat of my own drum' kinda gal. (WW folks don't go crazy because I mentioned these products.)

Anyway, there are several dishes that a good 99% of the WW population makes and swears is "So freakin' good". There are some I can't eat due to kidney diet restrictions and others I just swear  doesn't look appealing to me at all.

This one dish, is pasta, chicken, spinach and cottage cheese. Everyone vows and declares it is a gift from heaven. Well, I can't have spinach and cottage cheese, eww don't even get me started. However... I saw a commercial for a smooth and creamy cottage cheese. It looked like sour cream or Greek yogurt and comes in a Fat Free version. THAT I might try. Okay, so I did.

Did y'all know that if you cook cottage cheese it melts!?!?! Seriously? I never knew this. I've seen it plopped on a pear half, big wads of it in lasagna and a friend years ago would eat it by the spoonful. Gag!

So I caved. I gave in. I'm ashamed to admit it. BUT I had to alter her recipe due to ingredients I can't have.

Verdict? It was good. Really good but NOT low in points. She used brown rice pasta but I can't and I've seen other types of pasta that are lower in points but again I can't have those. So I made it this one time, enjoyed it and most likely will never make it again. Because I can prepare other dishes for less points. THAT is very important to me.

I used regular penne pasta, chicken tenders, frozen kale (nothing added) be careful with frozen vegetables and especially fruit, not all are created equal as some packaging has added sugar or salt. The fat free cottage cheese and fat free mozzarella. Fresh onion and garlic.

4 Chicken tenders, seasoned with low sodium Grill Master seasoning, grilled
Diced up the chicken
Cook the pasta, 2 cups dry makes 4 servings cooked
In a non stick skillet saute onions and fresh minced garlic
Add frozen/thawed and squeezed kale, about a cup or so
Drain the pasta and return to the pan with the onions and kale
Add 1/3 cup FF cottage cheese
Stir until it begins to melt
Add in the chicken
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
I then mixed in 1/2 cup FF mozzarella cheese and stirred one last time

We enjoyed it and I did NOT tell my son it had cottage cheese because he would not have even tried it. He is a cheese lover but no way would he eat CC. Ever. IF he knew.

When my husband saw the pictures he said, I would have eaten that. I said really, it has two types of cheese, he replied...nevermind. SEE!

Friday, October 25, 2019

SF Apple French Toast to go with PJs and Hangers - FF October 2019

I've been having some dental issues the last two weeks, good land it's been going on for two weeks,
whine whine whine, but honestly, dental pain is some of the worst. Right after kidney stones,
which I had last year this time. I'm beginning to not like October at all.
Just a few days before breaking my tooth I had purchased a big bag of lovely apples. My intention was to snack on them each day for a week. Apples help you eat less, you fill up with natural fiber, it has helped me when I've hit a plateau before. Anyway...
My tooth broke, insert pain emoji!!
I didn't want them to go back so I decided to cook some of them. Then I thought oooh wouldn't they be delicious over French Toast.
Now I did this on Sunday.
Jump to Monday and Karen posted a lovely Apple Pie Breakfast Casserole. Different but similar enough until I was going to move this recipe to next week so it wasn't so close to hers. BUT being the gracious person that she is when I mentioned it she said no go ahead and post it. So here it is.
THANK YOU Karen. She's a doll. You should stop over there, her link is at the bottom, go to Monday's post to see her recipe AND read the newest story we are working on! It's awesome. I say we, but there are a bunch of we's. Our blogging group each takes turns a writing a paragraph or section of a story. No one knows where it is going until they get it for their turn to add to. It's fun, challenging and the stories always turn out really well.
So back to my French Toast...
So I cooked the apples, and placed them over French toast and a drizzle of sugar free syrup. Had to keep it within my points for WW. OMGosh soooo good.
Then I used the rest of the apples to go over some overnight apple cinnamon oats. Oh man! Another winner.
3 good sized apples diced
place into a non stick skillet with cinnamon sprinkled all over
a dab of water
Place a lid on top and allow them to steam/saute
Remove the lid and cook down some.
I did use 2 packages of Monk fruit to add a little sweetness but really didn't 
need it.
The french toast is made from Sara Lee 45 calorie Multigrain bread, dipped in
egg and water, no milk or cream like I would normally do, cutting fat and calories.
Cooked in a non stick pan with just a lite spray of oil, again to keep the fat, calories and points down.
Serve with sugar free syrup

Today’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday
of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the
participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by
that month’s picture.
Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see
what they’ve come up with. Pop a squat, grab a chair and a cuppa. ENJOY!
Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado.
1. Cock a doodle do... yeah I'll leave that one alone. stuff...I'll leave that one too. LOL

2. I have to ask, who hangs their pj bottoms up? Def. not a teenage or
college age boy.

3. "MOM! WHY did you hang up my pj bottoms?!?!"

4. "Oh honey, this way they won't wrinkle and you can see them all since
you have a dozen pair."

5. "they work perfectly fine where they were." "OH you mean on the floor or
crammed in the drawer"

IF I had hung up any of my boys pants, this is the argument we would have had.

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
Karen: Baking In A Tornado    
Michelle: Follow Me Home      

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Cold Brew Macaroon Pie

If you know me then you know several things:
I love owls, coffee, squirrels, kitties, iced coffee, cooking, photography, coffee and oh yes coffee.
I also love trying to find new ways to use my favorite flavors, like coffee.
Recently I purchased some espresso powder, not quite sure what I was going to do with it but I was thinking about trying to create a low calorie tiramisu. Well, my husband got impatient in me opening the powder and started adding it to his morning coffee.
Thinking I better hurry up with some type of dessert before the powder was gone, quickly ditching the tiramisu idea and preparing a no bake freezer pie. Which is a perfect end of the day treat with a hot cup o'joe.
Before it went into the freezer.
The ingredients I used.
Cold Brew Macaroon Pie
1 package Sugar Free vanilla pudding
3/4 cup concentrated cold brew (you could make your own. This is unsweetened)
1/2 cup Reduced fat Hood Milk * you could use Almond milk for less but I can't
8 oz. container light whipped topping
1-2 tsp SF Skinny Syrup - Chocolate Coconut Macaroon (use whatever flavor you like)
1 heaping tsp Espresso Powder
Graham cracker crust

This makes 8 slices for 6 points per slice if you follow the WW Freestyle plan.

In a large bowl whisk the pudding, milk, espresso, syrup and coffee. Allow it to sit a good 3-5 minutes and thicken a bit. Gently fold in the whipped topping and pour into a crust. Spread and pop into the freezer for about 6 hours.
I put mine in for 3 hours, sliced and returned to the freezer. This makes serving easier when time to enjoy it and it cuts easier and thaws a little quicker as well.
Top each slice with a squirt of SF FF whipped topping and a dusting of espresso powder.
Sliced before it was set...we couldn't wait.
Good and set...oh my gosh!! A squirt of Fat Free Sugar Free Whipped topping and a dusting of espresso powder for a little extra kick!! OMGosh y'all seriously you're gonna want this. 
My guys told me this should be in the freezer EVERY day. Oh yeah they loved it.
After the pie was gone...a few days, I decided to reduce the points and make it even more WW friendly. I ditched the crust. Whipping up the filling and placing it into small 1/2 cup serving containers and crushing just 1 square of graham cracker on top. It is great out of the fridge but I do prefer it in the freezer a few hours so it is firmer.
You could vary this with different flavors, which I've already done. I'll share those later. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Things that make you go hmmm...Oct 2019 FOTW

Welcome to the October issue of Fly On The Wall. A post that gives you a peek into my home and life. I am joined by several other bloggers and you'll find their links at the bottom of this post.
Thanks for stopping by! Let me know you were here and now grab a comfy chair, a cup o'joe and make sure you went to the loo first cause we don't need any accidents.
I try my darnedest to use the Wal-Mart grocery app and totally avoid going into the store. I try. So, I'm working on my order and did a search. I was looking at protein powder and there in the list was...a pair of fuzzy lined imitation Crocs?! Say what? So I clicked on it out of curiosity. Yep, 3 oz milk berry vanilla? and 97 cent is a deal. I added it to my cart JUST BECAUSE I want to see what I get! I'll let ya know. LOL AND I took this screen shot so when they give me some crazy substitution or tell me it was the wrong item I can show them this.
Now I do have to say that I have been VERY pleased with the whole process. Because, well I don't have to go in! YAY

 I'm on my way out of the house headed to Aldi. I look over and my neighbor's teenage daughter is just standing there. Poor thing, looking very confused. Try as I might I'm not sure what's wrong. THEN I see it! HOW she did it, I have no idea, they have a very narrow drive and she tried to turn around but got herself stuck on the wall (drivers side) and off the pavement into the ivy on back (passenger side) of the car. As I pulled out she was just standing there.
Should I have offered help? Should I have stayed to see IF she could figure it out?
By the time I returned, the car was gone. So someone resolved the problem.
The red lines show where the drive is.
After dropping Jesse off at work I'm headed back to the interstate and there's a truck beside me hauling a trailer. It's loaded with motorcycles, the one on the end...well it's missing a crucial part. The front tire! obviously it had been in an accident. but it caught me as funny that the others were all in tack but this one. I bet you could get it for a real deal.
Beau fully believes that he is the king and can sit anywhere he wants any time he wants. Here's the proof. Sitting on hubby's have no idea how difficult it is to work with this 17 lb cat nudging his way between you and the keyboard. But I wouldn't change it.
 My newest cup! OMG I love it so much it's ridiculous. You can also read about it on my BOO! BWF post HERE.
 Driving home after dropping our son at work and I see this! A tanker truck full of COFFEE!! YES I am following him to where the heck ever he is driving.
Okay, it is an advertisement, not a tanker of coffee, I know, but a girl can dream can't she?

I was reading on Instagram and one of the WW ladies I follow posted.
 “Loving SF Chinatown”
My first thought was... sugar free?
Oh no wait she’s visiting California. San Francisco Chinatown

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado        
Never Ever Give Up Hope   
Spatulas on Parade           
Sarah Nolan                                   

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

French Onion Grilled Chicken with WW points - Word Count

I've seen several people on connect, my WW app, and on Instagram posting French onion chicken. It looked good but bland. So you know me. I had to try and spice it up, make it my own.  Viola! Mission accomplished. Believe it or not I was able to keep it point friendly as well.
Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: contributing bloggers each picked a number between 12 and 74. The submitted numbers were then assigned to other bloggers challenged with writing at least one piece using that exact number of words.
So I will attempt my number with each paragraph here.
At the end you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what numbers they got and how they used them. Remember each person gets a different number and it is chosen by Karen randomly. Not sure if she rolls a dice or uses a computer program.
Your number is:

Spices for the chicken
Smoked paprika
fresh cracked black pepper
garlic powder
sprinkle of sea salt
Place on the grill while you cook the onions and gravy. It all comes together quickly.
When it was all ready I did use a fat free cheese sprinkled on top, leave that off if you want.
When I received the email from Karen I said to myself, 53??!! 53 is a lot! I can say a lot mind you, I'm chatty when I want to be and can ramble on and on for hours but when it comes to writing these post it seems easier to use fewer words.
Let's see if I can walk you through this recipe in 53 words...

Season and grill the chicken tenders
Dry saute the onions in a non stick pan
Add the dry onion soup mix and water to the onions
Allow to thicken
In a baking dish, place your grilled chicken
pour the onion gravy on top
Sprinkle with cheese
Serve with your preferred side.
Viola Done!
Thank you Rena for the number of 53 which by the way is how old I am. Yikes not sure how that happened. I swear last time I looked I was forty something and then fifty snuck in and it's all been a blur since oh I'm not sure, since forty five maybe.
If you follow the WW Freestyle plan like I do, you'll be pleased to know that this plate is only 5 points. Yes you read that correctly. Five points. Which is a great low point meal for dinner and it gives you that comfort food feeling. Which we all crave. That's a win!

Links to the other Word Counters posts:
Baking In A Tornado             
Spatulas on Parade             HERE
Wandering Web Designer    
Sarah Nolan                   
On the Border               

Friday, October 11, 2019

Chicken Fajita Soup - Random Thoughts -UYW

Some of you know that I'm doing WW Freestyle. That is WW, Wellness Wins formerly Weight Watchers. Anyway, I'm always looking for delicious new dishes that are low in points. A new friend of mine, Rebecca, shared her soup recipe with me. It is delicious.
I just had to share it with you.
This is how I made it...oh and it is only 1 point for a cup of soup!! That meant I could indulge in a few tortilla chips without breaking the bank.
Chicken Fajita Soup
4-5 chicken breast
1 cup salsa
I placed the chicken in the slow cooker and covered with the salsa. Cook on high for 2-3 hours, then I added the remaining ingredients and cooked on high for another 3 hours.
water 2 cups
2 cans Fat Free reduced sodium cream of chicken soup
1 can (drained and rinsed) organic black beans
12 oz bag of frozen corn
1 bag of frozen 3 peppers/onion mix (because the fresh ones at the store looked like poo)
1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin
Stir well and allow to cook on high for a total of 6 hours. remove the chicken and shred. replace it in the pot and cook until you are ready to eat.
You can also add cheese, sour cream, diced avocado when you serve it but I ate mine plain with a few tortilla chips. It was so so good!! Also, I did add fresh cracked pepper to my bowl.
Sometimes it is really easy to work with the challenges and sometimes it's not. Oh wait, if you're new here I'm referring to the UYW "Use Your Words" challenge that I participate in each month.
We, those of us participating, receive 4-6 words or phrases, then we creatively use those words to tell a story, write a poem, tell about a recent event. However we choose. Then on the same day we post. No one knows until we post who received whose words. Our faithful leader Karen handles all the details and beautifully I might add with little to no thanks and the money isn't great either. Zero to be exact. However, each month she does it without a complaint or fuss, working away behind the scenes so that this all works and flows. THANK YOU KAREN!! She is the owner and author of Baking In A Tornado.

This month I'm working with 🠟🠟🠟  At the end of the post you'll find links to all the others.

Your words are:
bark ~ social media ~ inventive ~ solitude ~ candy ~ calico
It was submitted by:      
Thank you Jenniy. As to not offend anyone and get off on a tangent. I am choosing to use these words separately and independent of one another. So here we go...

Bark. They say "his bark is worse than his bite" but how do they know? Has the dog bitten them before? Does he just like to sit and bark? I've also referred to people like this. Some folks are like little dogs, they are so intimidated that all they do is "bark" but if you were to challenge them they would back down and run away. Bark, it's all noise until it isn't.

Social Media...oh dear. Now this can be a soap box issue. As a blogger I love social media until FB or some other entity decides how and who will see my content. If it's mine, shouldn't I be in control of it?
Then there's the cyber bullying that goes on. Folks think that because they are behind a screen they can say anything to anyone they want and no matter how cruel and untrue it may be.
It is a great way to stay connected to friends/family that are near and far. BUT sometimes we see (and can not unsee) things that NO ONE really should see. We learn far more about our friends from social media than we ever will be sitting down face to face.

Inventive. As a food blogger I try to be inventive but it gets hard. Now with my diet restrictions per the doctor and trying to eat/live a healthier lifestyle being inventive has been hindered and so, well, I become even more inventive. Sometimes that is great and other times not so much. 

I am in awe sometimes at the inventive ways that young people are using social media and changing the world around them for the better. Then I am ashamed at how others use it.

Solitude...ah how I love you. Let me count the ways. LOL seriously. A few years ago solitude was almost a form of punishment. Then I learned more about myself, accepted myself and learned to treasure the solitude. Look for it, crave it and definitely enjoy it.

Candy. Happy Halloween is what we will be hearing soon from eager little faces showing up at our doors, seeking candy. Oh man I used to love candy. Craved it every single day and ate it most days. Until I became very sick last year. One of the first things the doctor said was to lay off the sugar, that means candy for me. I didn't eat a lot of sugar, except candy and baked goods. BUT did eat those most days. So...there went the candy. Now I don't crave it any more. There are times I miss it. But when I try to eat it, oh man, it is overpoweringly sweet and makes me feel sick. Thank you Jesus for removing that addiction from my life. Praying that means no diabetes for me in the future. 

Calico. At the end of our street is a yellow house with 5 or 6 outdoor kitties. I love them. I've never petted them but talk to them each time I drive by. They mostly hang out at the end of the drive. I will pass by slowly and speak to them. NO I'm not crazy. I just love kitties. One of them is a calico. I've never been much of a fan, but this one has the sweetest face. My son is a big calico and tortie lover when it comes to cats.

There ya have it. Random thoughts for your amusement. Now be sure to stop by the other post.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
Baking In A Tornado           
Wandering Web Designer    
Spatulas on Parade         HERE
On the Border                    
Follow Me Home                
Part-time Working Hockey Mom 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A Fiery Twist - October poetry

Hey or HAY howdy hey! LOL
Time for our monthly edition of the poetry challenge. This months theme is Corn Mazes and BonFires. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen doesn't it?

At the end of this post you'll find links to the others. Stop by and read their twist on our theme.

A Fiery Twist
corn stalks in rows
cut down it shows
go this way
no that
oh dang and drat
the trail ends
again we begin
winding and twisting
to find a path
that leads us out.

We made it through
the maze was a blast
but oh no
what is that?
A blaze we see
smoke rising
but wait it's laughs
not shrieks
but fun and glee
it's a bonfire we see

whew, that could have been bad
but oh man am I glad

someone hand me a s'more!

Sarah from Writer Sarah Nolan

Diane from On The Border