January 29th: Discover a New App

For Christmas I got an Instant Pot! I have used it multiple times since then on Crock Pot settings but have yet to dive into the depths of the Pressure Cooking.

So I found a new app today with Instant Pot recipes. Hopefully it can inspire me make some food!

If you too are looking for recipes or tips and tricks, when you go to the App Store there is a TON of options for apps. I downloaded most of the free ones and went through them until I found one I liked the most. Which happened to be-

January 9th: Start a Recipe Box

Anyone that personally knows me, knows that throughout covid I have been cooking and baking like a crazy person. Over the holidays when business was slow at the bar I even made a little business out of it, cooking cakes, cookies and pies for people. I even have one regular customer now who orders casserole dinners from me once a week. I take pride that I actually feed this person meals on a regular basis.

With all of that said, I have been making new dishes and baked goods on a regular basis. I often have to search my phone over and over again foe recipes. I have some regulars at the bar, who very sweetly bought me a recipe box with cards to keep track of everything.

So now, I need to fill it with all the recipes I have been accumulating so I don’t have to search for them online every time. I am very excited about this. Let me know if anyone out there has recipes to share!

January 5th: Make French Toast

I will leave this one behind as something I get when I go out to brunch. It wasn’t horrible but I have definitely had better.

I got a simple recipe online: Add a Pinch – Perfect French Toast.

The recipe was easy and delicious but the cooking time was what I had a problem with. It said to cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. I did that and the toast had a nice golden/brown color, but the inside was mushy.

Maybe I will try again another day but for now, I’ll continue letting brunch professionals make me French toast (which, I cannot even remember the last time I actually ate French toast and I really don’t have it often, but it is a splurge kind of thing so when I have it I want it to be spectacular…)

January 14th: Try a Traditional Bahn Mi Sandwich

I returned to what might be my new favorite spot today, Vinh Xuong Bakery. I might slightly be in love with Vietnamese coffee. Which is crazy because I have never really been a coffee drinker.

Today in addition to the coffee I tried a Bahn Mi Sandwich. There were lots of choices, as you can see on this menu board:

I did not expect that. I thought it was one specific type. But I decided to go with the combination, which seemed like the most traditional one. And man, I was not disappointed.

This thing was huge! They offered chili oil and jalapeños with it, which, of course I took.

And the iced coffee went really well with it. Not disappointed at all!

This year is really shaping up. I’m loving the new adventures, new foods and attempts to venture out from my norm. Hope I can keep it up.

January 8th: Bake Homemade Bread

Anyone that knows me personally knows I have been on a major baking kick.

I got a BEAUTIFUL Kitchenaid Standing Mixer on Black Friday this year and have been obsessed with baking. For Christmas I made over 10 dozen cookies, a cheesecake and doggie treats for all my doggie parent friends.

Today I made some bread. I did not make it from scratch but got a premix for pumpkin bread. I decided to batch it as muffins instead of bread so it is more easily shareable with friends.

So I’m headed out to work for the day. Ate some pumpkin bread for breakfast to check off my breakfast for the day, walked Bella (who is getting even better at sitting) and even took some time to clean up the yard a bit this morning which will soon be a big task on my list to check off.

This year is moving quickly, just trying to keep up with something everyday!

January 6th: Eat Breakfast Every Morning for a Week

I know it is something most people do on a regular basis but being a bartender often tends to lead to late nights and late mornings.

The new pup in the house is changing up the daily routine. I am waking up earlier so we can go on walks. I thought this was a perfect time to check this one off the list and hopefully start a new trend to last the year.

I made an egg sandwich this morning.

Fast and delicious. I probably need to go out and buy some other breakfast foods though.

I think, however, this will lead to more afternoon naps. But I’m ok with that because Bella is ready for naps too.

Best of luck to all of you out there still working on resolutions.

January 3rd: Shop at Trader Joe’s

It is hard to believe that I never shopped here considering I lived in NYC for 5 years and it is ALL THE RAGE there. For some reason I always thought it was expensive… it is not!

I got essential: bread, milk, cheese, eggs, etc. But also got some microwaveable meals that look delicious! I spent at least half of what I would normally spend.

This item off the list might just change my year; the way way I spend money, the way I shop and the way I cook/bake.

January 4th: Treat Yourself to Lunch

I started this journey two years ago on January 1st of 2017. The December coming up to that new year I compiled a list of 365 things that I had either never done, goals I wanted to accomplish or resolutions I wanted to set for the year. In that first year I accomplished just over 200 of them. It was hard some days… other days it was super easy.

Coming up onto 2018 I realized I was never going to cross them all off. So I added new ones and in some cases repeated ones that I wanted to make sure to repeat. 2018 was hectic. After crossing off “Buy a House” in 2017, 2018 became a lot about renovating and costly expenses, particularly mortgage costs. Through the year I only crossed off 60 things.

Now that 2019 is here I am restarting the list and hoping to spend the year concentrating on positive reinforcement things and goals. Continuing DIY projects for my house, garden and property will be a major part but I will also concentrate improving myself through month long resolutions, like purging one item a day for a month that I started on the first. But I also want to make sure to think about things I can do for myself that positively reinforce life. I do not want everyday to be about what I can do to improve or “fix” myself. I think it is also important at to do things that make me feel good or give me a sense of positivity.

So, really, that long wonder blog for the day just boils down to my thing for today- “Treat Yourself to Lunch”. I went out this afternoon and had a nice lunch at Buchi Cuban Cafe. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive- but a nice change up from either not even eating lunch or something thrown together at home. I went and had a delicious lunch by myself. I just set out from my house with no known destination and as I drive by Buchi’s (which I had been to before) I remember how much I enjoyed the establishment. It is owned by a Floridian and kind of reminds me home.

Nice how such a simple thing for the day gave me a positive feeling and put me in a good mood about having to go to work tonight.

February 19th: Make Dinner at Home Every Night for a Week

This month I have really started to get into some more of the weekly/monthly tasks. Currently, I am working on spending only cash and not eating any pizza. Both are going well so far.

So today I am throwing in another one, and this one should help coincide with the other two. I plan to make dinner at home every night this week. Sometimes dinner will be from scratch but other times just making something at home, rather than eating out or eating from work (usually mostly pizza) will be beneficial.

My hardest nights will be the weekend because I work late but I just need to make sure I plan and make sure if I have to be at work at dinner time, I make dinner at home and bring it in for myself at work.

Tonight I just made some Mac & Cheese and chicken. Easy enough. Hoping to keep going all week!

What are you doing today? This week? This month?

January 16th: Have Dinner with a Group of Friends

I wish I could say this was a great experience. It definitely started out as a fun night. And was not even the thing I planned on marking off my list today but a group of friends I used to work with got together for dinner tonight. Only I got sick… I do not know if it is the flu or what but not enjoyable and I probably was not the best company. It was good to see the friends though. Might have to do this one again when I feel better!

January 8th: Make a Shopping List and ONLY Buy What is on It

This may not sound difficult to most people. Or maybe it sounds really hard. But making a plan and sticking to it can sometimes be had. I can attest to that with the failure of my 365 Things List in 2017. But let’s not talk about that right now, since today is day EIGHT and I am attempting to keep going strong!

So today, I researched some recipes I like, wrote down all the ingredients, thought about some other snacks I enjoy or typically eat, and made a grocery list! Then off to the store I went and wouldn’t you know… I just got what was on the list. Of course, I came across stuff every so often and thought, “well, I would like to have that”. But I stayed the course and made myself just get what was on the list.

Often with these tasks, I research the benefits and there are usually long lists or lengthy articles, like this one from the HuffPost: Grocery List, Supermarket discussing all aspects of the act. Pinterest even has a whole section of “Supermarket Lists” that you can download. So there are plenty of resources to help you long the way. All I have to say about this simple task is:

The benefits of making a grocery list and sticking to it:

  1. Saves you time.

  2. Saves you money.

  3. Keeps you on track for dietary goals.

It is that simple. And simple it was. What an easy, but beneficial thing to do!

P.S. I found the featured image on Google and that was by far my favorite… all the essentials, FRUIT-BREAD-MILK-WINE-SUGAR-BUTTER!