Semi-Quarantined Life (Week 59)

I am getting more and more comfortable with going back into the world. We are still wearing masks regardless of the new CDC recommendations. I think I mentioned that I might stay in one for a while. But I am relaxing about it a bit. I’ll go outside in areas I’m unlikely to run into people in close proximity. And I am no longer planning grocery trips around “least likely to be busy” times for the most part. My husband is much more relaxed. He terrifies me at how relaxed he is sometimes. He’s been on the EL, which might send me running to my therapist. But being able to just run to our local grocery and pick up that one ingredient is an amazingly freeing change.

Thursday (5/13) – We went out to Rockwell’s. The hubby was still jealous I had been back there and he hadn’t yet, and I totally didn’t feel like cooking. We got a great patio table that was pretty distanced from anyone else. And our server was great. I decided to try the burrito which my daughter’s have been ordering for years. I got mine with their steak taco meat and it was amazing!

Friday (5/14) – I forgot to edit my Imperfect order, so I randomly had an acorn squash. So on a trip to the grocery, I picked up a second because I was considering roasting them in halves for a dinner entre. However, I found a nice recipe for parmesan crusted roasted acorn squash, so I tried it instead. I served it with roasted broccoli. I have to say that I really enjoyed the contrast of the savory herbs and parmesan and the sweet squash.

Saturday (5/15) – I announced to my husband early in the morning that we were going to buy a smoker. After using my dad’s, I had fallen for the Pitboss vertical smoker, and then while I couldn’t sleep late Friday, I found it on sale at Menard’s. So we had breakfast, and off we went. I had intended to get one just like Dad’s, but then the store had the gas version on sale. Also, access to electricity for my building was complicated, and this solved that issue. Yes, electric would be more environmentally friendly, but I went with gas. My husband then spent the morning assembling it. For dinner, I made homemade black bean burgers on homemade buns and served with steamed cauliflower and French fries. I also made some low-sugar cinnamon rolls using the leftover dough from making the buns. The kid and I also made my Morning Glory Muffins.

Sunday (5/16) – My husband, builder of my smoker, requested a quiche for brunch. So, I made a ham, broccoli and gouda quiche. We fed the kid one of the morning glory muffins, as they are her preferred breakfast anytime there are in the house. I then marched off to the nearest gas station to get propane. It turned out they didn’t have any, and I had to march back home and ask the husband to drive to one further away and pick it up. I really needed it because I promised my upstairs neighbor, who cares for my cats when I am out town, some smoked chicken. I smoked a mix of legs and thighs using a rub of garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, and onion powder. I served it with a wild rice pilaf and butter lettuce salad. I got rave reviews. I even took some chicken down to my other neighbor, who had been smelling that smoker all day.

Monday (5/17) – Happy birthday to my momma! I did join them at the restaurant via facebook video for a bit. We had taquitos ourselves.

Tuesday (5/18) – Taco Tuesday! Yep, that is still going on. We may eventually get bored with it, but for now, we are loving it. I made a baked stacked taco thing. I don’t really have a name for it. My husband wanted to call it a baked taco lasagna, but that feels insulting to a few cultures. It was layers of corn tortillas, black beans, soyrizo, and cheese. It was delicious, and the kiddo discovered that she loves soyrizo. We’ve decided that, yes, she just loves spicy. She’s coming around to the idea too, though she reminds us “not too spicy.” I don’t like heat just for heat’s sake either, so we’ll probably be fine.

Wednesday (5/19) – I made stuffed shells in the instant pot. I totally forgot to put spinach in the filling this time, so I just sautéed green beans on the side for the veggie. They were good, but I prefer them with the spinach.

Another week and we’re still managing that work/life balance thing. I worry that it will slip away fast for my husband. I’m hoping it doesn’t totally go away as he returns to the office. I hope not, as it would make me sad.

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