Thanksgiving menu

I thought I wanted to do something wildly different for Thanksgiving but our little tradition won out. We don’t have any family to speak of really. My sister and her family are in Connecticut and although my brother lives locally he always goes to his buddy’s house for Thanksgiving.

Over the years I’ve tried to create our own traditions with my small family.  Originally, when it was just B and me and we were both vegetarians, I’d do a lasagna or something like that. Later, and a number of years later when my daughter came along and then 9 years later my son, we started with the more ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving of a turkey, a vegetarian main dish and then all the sides.  We’d use the silver and nice dishes( i’ve always loved dish sets as I’ve written about.  So in spite of wanting to do something ‘wild’ and ‘crazy’, it’s traditional that has won out. Plus, really, I like to do it and for me it’s fun.

So this year, I’m not doing a whole turkey

  • but a bone- in turkey breast,
  • nut and cheese loaf,
  • stuffing,
  • homemade cranberry sauce,
  • mashed potatoes,
  • green bean casserole,
  • gravy( a vegetarian gravy as no one likes turkey gravy)
  • rolls.
  • I will make a homemade pumpkin pie.

I’ll probably cook some stuff Wednesday and then the rest Thursday. I’m going to do a dry brine on the turkey.  I think. We usually eat our dinner around 2 pm. So it’s kinda late lunch early dinner.


Tonight, I’m going to roast some new potatoes and grill some tofu and use some of the frozen corn from this summer.

I finished the bedroom zone except maybe a little more in the closet/pantry.

I decluttered some baskets(8) from the bathroom as I did a mini makeover with new white ones(4). I think it looks better and brighter.




Lots of cooking going on!

Crazy day cooking.

First I made the rice, cheese, nut loaf in mini pans for Thanksgiving and put them in the freezer.

Then I made meatballs to freeze or I’ll use tomorrow night for Sunday Supper.  Then I made a fresh batch of coconut, pecan, maple granola. Yummy!

Then I made some chocolate chip cookies and they were yummy.

Now, after collapsing for a while, I’m making spinach soup for dinner with cheese ravioli. The soup part I will use the immersion blender and blend with some cream then add the ravioli.

All worth it! Cooking for my family brings me joy!!image4.jpg

Vegetarian nut,cheese loaf from Tassajara Recipes!



Beyond a capsule wardrobe

I like the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I like it is minimalistic. It probably works great for working people and anyone wanting to start on reducing their clothes.

But for myself, I lean toward and practice a ‘uniform’ or very basic wardrobe. or my new term is elemental or basic wardrobe. I don’t own any dresses. Wait, I have one black dress that is a J Jill traveling material, I  bought on eBay when we were going to Florida last year and needed a dress for an evening event. Actually, once there, I realized I didn’t need it at all, but since it doesn’t take up any room in my closet, I ‘ve kept it.

So I have this one sleeveless dress,( kinda a longish straight design). Then what I wear daily is either dark jeans, black Ponte( a stretch material) pants,  a medium colored pair of jeans, black T-shirts, white t-shirt, denim button-down shirts (3) all Old Navy. I have 3 light zippered sweatshirts in black, grey, dark purple. One white button down shirt also Old Navy.  I need some black sweaters but haven’t purchased any yet.

Remember, I live in a moderate climate so I only have one North face polar fleece. No rain coat or winter coat. I have a pair of Birkenstocks, a pair of Naots, an old pair of Keens I haven’t worn in a while, and my North Face hiking shoes that I wear daily for my walk and to go to the gym. They are almost 2 years old so that’s on my list to buy. Also, a pair of Dansko’s I wear occasionally.

I have 3 black shirts I wear as overshirts.

So that’s it besides my gym clothes. I don’t change my colors seasonally but in the summer generally cut my oldest jeans and wear as shorts, plus I have a pair of white capris.

Typically, I’ll wear jeans, black shirt and then an overshirt.


  • 1 pair of black pants
  • 4 pairs of jeans,( 3 dark and 1 medium)
  • 3 black T-shirts
  • 1 white T-shirt  ( Everlane, which now is my favorite new T shirt)
  • 3 light weight sweat shirts
  • 1 North Face jacket
  • 2 black and white striped shirts
  • 1pair of navy blue dressy pants ( haven’t worn in a while so I’ll need to see if I need these).
  • 2 navy blue T-shirts from Target
  • 1 black velvet top I wear at Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • 2 navy Old Navy shirts that I use when I’m painting etc.
  • Plus my gym wear, 4 pairs of pants/capris depending on the season.

I’m trying to add some grey T shirts and navy blue from Everlane when I can afford it next.

That’s it so, try a new approach to your clothes. Figure out what colors you like and try and keep it to just 3 -4 main colors. I don’t really use accent colors but a lot of people do in a ‘uniform’ type wardrobe.

So is this boring? Not for me, i love the simplicity of knowing what I’m wearing and it keeps me from being distracted or indecisive about what to wear.

Everyone’s life journey is different so depending if you’re a young parent, professional, etc, that will help you decide what you need in your ‘uniform ‘ basic wardrobe to be.

I’m going to call this elemental clothes.






Wednesday Stuff

The Tahoe post was meant for yesterday, so I thought I’d add a brief wrap up of today’s things.

It’s raining and is supposed to rain all day and tomorrow. We walked with umbrellas but the flashlight was giving out its last rays of light so we cut the walk short.

I have a dental appt for my Invisalign and a cleaning.  Oh, joy! (kidding)

I’m off to the gym first before my appt and then come home and relax. After getting home yesterday, I saw a few areas that could be rearranged so I may play around with that. It depends on who’s hanging around the house and (ahem) in the way!

Dinner is mushroom stroganoff and a kale/mixed green salad.

I’m planning our Thanksgiving menu and it’s fairly simple.

Here’s another Tahoe picture. This is coming around past Sand Harbor.




Getting back on track

Just going away for 2 days puts a spin on things that need to be done daily.

We came home and I put the things from the overnight away, planned some bean tacos for dinner and tidied a few things that needed to be done. Mostly this amounts to just putting things away that have been left out. Since my daughter was home alone, it can add up… chickens, getting the wood, dog care, cat care.   All by one person, so it’s a lot.

But since our house is tiny, it doesn’t take long to put those misplaced things back. A few towels to the laundry, a few pieces of  junk,mail in the garbage, etc.

We had a great time in South Lake Tahoe and it snowed over the peaks last night so it was beautiful.


Here’s a picture of Emerald Bay.


That’s the only island in Tahoe and has the remains of the stone tea house that was built as part of Vikingsholm.  If you’re ever there be sure to hike down to see the house. It is truly a marvel especially since it was built when roads were still dirt through the mountains.

Todd Borg, a local author, who writes murder mysteries all taking place in Tahoe just released his new book, Tahoe Payback.  It starts out with murder on tea island.  Great book and he really writes about the amazingness of Lake Tahoe. Plus, he mentions places to visit and real places to actually dine. Lots of fun.


My world on Friday

Well, I got up at 5am. Actually, I think it was 4:53

Emptied the dishwasher, clean the few stray dishes and had coffee.

I went out to walk at 5:25 am.

I came back, got the pizza dough going for Friday night pizza.  Then from the comment yesterday, I got out the oxo and put it in my Le Creuset and simmered and scrubbed and voila, it worked pretty darn good. Thank you for that tip. It’s not back to white, but looking at the other one, I don’t think it was white white, more of a tannish white. But not sure. Anyway, it looks lots better.

Last night I ended up making scrambled tofu with celery, carrots, onions, pumpkin seeds and, a sprinkling of cheese.

I swished and swiped the bathroom, my daughter vacuumed and I tidied the kitchen. So far 2 small loads of laundry done.

I went to the gym and it was crazy busy so I didn’t do a whole lot. All the machines were constantly being used. Too many people for this introvert.

It’s a cloudy day and it may rain. I’m going to go read.

Update on YNAB. So far I’m liking it. One difference from last time I used it is I’m not linking my bank accounts because the total would get all messed up and I spent more time reconciling accounts than not. Last time since the accounts were linked, I’d put in the amount and then Ynab put it in from the linked account and it was not working for me. I like to put it in manually. So for instance, I spent $ 37 at Safeway Wednesday, but I put in $40 for groceries. Since I am always doing bank updates in by bullet planner, I know where our account is daily. So that makes it easier for me to keep things straight. I like the categories for annual bills and that will prove useful once we have money in those accounts. So far my assessment is that I will pay for the subscription when the 30 days is over.


Pizza is just cheese and ? tonight. I’m thinking for winter to switch up Friday night pizza to Italian Friday. That way we can do some other things on Friday night. Or any ideas?? What do you do for a weekly theme? It does really help me stay on track with meal planning ( unless I’m too lazy).


A Good Doctor visit

Today was my regular oncology appointment in Sacramento. I drove down in B’s Santa Fe since it was supposed to rain and I didn’t want to risk the ‘ole pink van’. But I think she would have made it just fine. But still, it’s nice to drive a newer car!

All is good in Myelomaville. He doesn’t seem too concerned about the small increase. Still Normal and for now that’s all I can really focus on.  But I did ask for another blood test in December and then not see him again till January. Unless something unusual occurs this will work and then I can obsess about it or not.  (I’ll try not too even if there is another increase).

Right now it’s pouring out so at least I didn’t have to drive in that.

Dinner is a big question mark?????? It’s usually crockpot Thursday but I forgot to put anything in this morning so now I’m stuck with what’s for dinner. The most likely scenario is pasta with butter sauce.  Maybe grilled cheese??? I guess I’ll figure it out in 3 hours time.

Yesterday, I made a lovely cauliflower cheese soup, maybe that used all my creativity for the week.

IMG_1042 (1)


That’s the cauliflower cheese soup in my almost 30-year-old Le Creuset dutch oven.  If you’re going to buy a dutch oven go for the best you can afford or save up until you can afford a Le Creuset.  The inside is browned from making the bread and I’ve tried cleaning with Barkeepers but it just doesn’t budge. Any ideas?


This is my other Le Creuset which is also 30 years old and is still clean in the inside as I’ve only used this one for things like the above which is chicken and sweet potatoes a few onions and mushrooms.

I LOVE Le Creuset!!

Is the world or people getting crazier?

After this last church massacre, it’s hard to find the words to express the craziness and horribleness of such a crime. What would motivate someone to do this heinous act on children and adults in a church?  It seems the world is spinning out of control..

One thing I feel for certain is there is no need for semi-automatic guns. When the 2nd amendment was written, HELLO???, they had pistols and muskets. The right to bear arms is relative and needs to be addressed in context to the world we live in. Somehow people and the NRA don’t see this as relevant.  Automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons are for one purpose, to kill as many people as possible. Useful in combat undoubtedly, but for the average person, I don’t think so.

Somehow the hate seems to be growing and that’s a scary thing.


Rainy Saturday

It’s raining in Northern California and snowing over the summit in Tahoe. It’s a nice change. We certainly need it after the destructive fires in the Napa/Santa Rosa area.

We certainly need it after the destructive fires in the Napa/Santa Rosa area.

I’m reading a good book today “The child Finder”. Very intriguing and I finished it in about 3 hours.

I’m making a lovely minestrone in the crock pot for dinner and we’ll have left over pizza on the side.

My new oven is like magic and seems to be cooking everything better. Last nights pizza came out remarkable.


Cheese and pepperoni pizza with basil.