Knorr One Skillet Meals -Mediterranean Lemon Chicken w/ Barley – Review.

Knorr came out with something that caught my eye awhile ago. One skillets meals. They intrigued me because A. I’m a lazy ass and one skillet cooking is my jam. B. They use interesting grains like Barley and Quinoa.

My grocery store had them on sale so I picked up two offerings and finally got around to making one!

Behold! Mediterranean Lemon Chicken with Barley

These are meal starters so you’ve got to provide and add your own things. For this one those things are chicken, spinach and carrots.

To start I sliced my carrots- more than the recipe called for because Mmmm, carrots!- and set them aside.

Next I cut up my chicken and browned it in oil. The package tells you to coat your chicken in flour before frying it but I was like “nah” so I skipped this part.

Once my chicken had some colour, I added the carrots and package mix plus the recommended water -2 cups- and I brought the whole thing to a boil. I gave the lot a final stir, covered it up then turned the heat to medium low and let it simmer away for a little over 20 mins.

When the time was up, I chucked in the fresh spinach, covered it back up and took it off the heat. When my greens were wilted to my liking I stirred them in and served the whole thing up, after a quick seasoning of salt and pepper.

HOLY LEMON!

They weren’t kidding about the lemon. That’s pretty much all I could taste. I had to add extra salt just to cut the sourness a bit. It wasn’t horrible by any means but the lemon was very pronounced. It over powered everything.

So if you like lemon, this is a dish for you.

When I had it the next day, the citrus smack upside the head had mellowed and then I was finally able to truly enjoy the dish. I ate it with gusto and it turned out to be pretty tasty on day two.

The ingredients aren’t too bad at all:

and it was simple enough to make. It might be a fun way to introduce a younger person to cooking and if you’re exhausted from work and don’t want to cook much but also don’t want to eat garbage, this would be a decent option too.

I’m looking forward to trying the other one I bought. Look for it here next! Steak & Peppers. Brown Rice and Quinoa.

Happy Eating!

Micro- Dosing With Melatonin- An Update!

Oh my goodness! If you experience S.A.D and you are not using melatonin in your treatment plan, you are really missing out! I’ve been taking a very small dose of melatonin in the late afternoon pretty regularly for two months now to treat my very own seasonal depression and the results have been most pleasing!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

It’s September 27th as I write this, our temperatures have fallen- 0C as I type-, the furnace came on and I am not even mad!

New Lael, who dis?

Old Lael would have been mad – about everything really – and whining and complaining. But this year, I’m kind of…excited about the change. The cold air feels nice against the warm air in the house.

I am unbothered! I find I am unbothered about most things. And I have developed an awareness of the sneaky tricks my brain plays on me. I have a clarity. I question the mean thoughts that pop up and I’m less suseptable to being swept away with them. I’m not feeling that heaviness inside or the really deep blahs that steal away your motivation and joy, as often. And when they do show up, they leave me within days. I’m not experiencing the body aches and joint pain, at all. I have energy!

Photo by Vlad Chețan on Pexels.com

It’s too soon to call the whole thing a success just yet but I am experiencing a marked improvement in the S.A.D symptoms. Woot Woot!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

If you experience S.A.D as the light fades away with the seasons, it’d be worth it to do your own research to determine if it’s right for you! I’m amazed at how this one simple thing – .5 mg in the late afternoon!- can have such a positive effect.

Red Swan Pizza Review

There’s a new pizza place in town and I keep seeing their ads and then I got ahold of their menu and knew I had to give them a try! Red Swan Pizza.

They have such offerings as: Spicy Paneer “Spicy Cottage Cheese, Onion, Green Peppers, Tomato, Jalapeno, Pizza Sauce And Mozzarella Cheese ” and Butter Chicken “Butter Chicken, Onions, Green Peppers, Pizza Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese” and Tandoori Chicken ” Tandoori Chicken, Mushrooms, Red Onions, Green Peppers, Pizza Sauce, Jalapeno & Mozzarella Cheese” amongst just a few!

This time the Hubs and I chose a Hawaiian for him and the Coriander Chili Chicken for me. Mine was described as having fresh green coriander, marinated chicken, onion, green pepper and mozza cheese.

I was super excited to give it a try! (And super hungry too which is why I didn’t take any photos of the whole pie, ha ha ) But when it came … right away I could tell things were off. It just looked like one big red mass on top of one very thin crust.

Ok, fine. Not everything is going to look beautiful. And yes, while the photos on their website and flyer menu are so inviting, we all know the reality can be different, right?

We both dove right in anyway and it took about three bites before I started to get any flavour in mine.

“Meh” was my assessment. There was absolutely nothing special about it. I actually felt ripped off. The chicken tasted off. Not… bad, just off. Like chicken you’d get in a frozen meal. It had that taste and texture. There was absolutely NO fresh coriander anywhere to be seen or taste and while the sauce the chicken was in, was barely warm -in the spicy sense- there was no sign of chili, either. I was SO disappointed! This could have been such a great pie! The idea is a great one ( and I’m going to make my own just so I can experience it how I want it to be) but it was very, very, VERY poorly executed.

The Hub’s Hawaiian pizza was much the same. Underwhelming. The ham was just lardons of fat and the pineapple were dried out shards of no substance. And , in what I think was the worst crime of it all : both pies were really skimpy on the cheese. Not cool man! Especially when we paid 42 dollars for two pies!

One thing I did like: The sesame seeds on the edge of the crust. That was an interesting twist.

All in all, I would not order from them again.

A person would be better off to go to Pizza 73.

Hell, a person would be better of to go to Little Caesar’s and get one of their Hot and Ready Pies.

And that’s all I have to say about that!

Save on Foods- Online Shopping and Home Delivery Service.

A while back, the Hubs had to go out of town for the weekend and I had OV for a sleepover. This meant our usual routine was going to all messed up and getting groceries was going to be a bit of a pain in the arse.

What to do? What to do? I could walk up to the store and just buy what I needed for the weekend. I could do a regular shop and catch a cab home. OR I could use the grocery services our store offers and write about our experience here!

We shop all over the place but decided to use Save On Foods this time because their customer service is second to none.

You can shop right online, from their website- Save-On-Foods– but first you have to make an account for yourself.

This turned into a bit of a thing because I didn’t have the proper number on the back of my Save On More Card. _it’s 25 years old!- Once I got through to someone at Customer Service, it went smoothly enough and soon I was all set up and ready to shop from a store that offers the service, closest to me. (Not all of them do. You might not get your favourite store)

At first I was MOST FRUSTRATED because I was shopping via each section and I just wasn’t finding the things I had on my list. I quickly figured out it was way easier to type in what I wanted directly into the search bar. That sped things up and I eventually found most of what I was looking for.

After I got a few items in my cart, I was prompted to reserve a delivery slot and informed I only had so much time to complete my shopping. I think it was a two hour window. It only took me about an hour and that was only because there was a bit of a learning curve. So I reserved my slot, continued on and was delighted to find I could even shop directly from their online flyer! How cool it that!?

You’re shopping from an actual store, not a warehouse so some things are not always going to be available. For me that was miso and zucchini (but I managed to find a decent zuke in the garden and worked in a field trip to T&T supermarket with OV for miso, so it was all good) You can also state your preference and leave notes for your shopper. I chose to click that substitutions were ok with me, because I thought it’d be fun to see what another person thought was a good substitute. There ended up being no substitutions. I think I’ll keep doing that. The driver told me that’s the best way to do it unless you have food restrictions or allergies. It ensures you get the things you need. (SO long as you’re not a major hard ass about stuff, I guess)

After reviewing my cart, I paid for the groceries via credit card- you can use your visa debit too- and that was that. All I had to do was wait for delivery.

You’re given a window of time and the driver will call you 15 mins before they arrive. If it’s your first time with them, you’ll have to show ID too.

The driver did all that and then carried the bags up to the door to me. ( You can request no bags, which I will do next time) I’m sure if I’d needed help, he would have brought them directly in. I have dogs and people issues so that’s always going to be a “No Thanks” for me. ( At least until not given the choice. ) Save On Foods employees are not allowed to accept tips. Just know that to save yourself some awkwardness. He explained a few things to me and then went on to continue with his day and I spent 10 mins unpacking my groceries, feeling quite pleased with myself and the whole thing.

It felt like Christmas because I’d kinda forgotten what I’d bought so it was a fun exercise to open each bag, ha!

All in all I would do it again. It was pretty much painless and the service was excellent. Would it replace my weekly shopping trip? Not until it had to. I like shopping and I find the act of going up and down the aisle triggers memories in me of things I forget on my list, ha ha. BUT the other side of that is that I didn’t spend a lot of extra money on things I don’t need, things that catch my eye..so there’s that!

Your first delivery is free and then there is a fee, depending on where you are from the store. Mine would have been about $7.00 which is completely reasonable. Don’t tell them, but I would pay a whole lot more than that for the service. 🙂 I highly recommend!

Matzo Ball Soup Mix Review.

You might remember, way back in Lune, that I bought myself some soup as part of my 30 day present extravaganza.

In the past I’ve bought the Matzo Ball mix but never with the soup. I like to make my soup myself. Soup from a mix didn’t seem all that appetizing.

Well, obviously I am dumb Dumb with a capital D because this mix was AMAZING. No. Seriously. Read on.

This is what it looked like:

I got the mix at Save on Foods in their World Foods section. (Don’t we live in the world too? ) Right next to the East Coast stuff ( Aren’t the Maritimes a part of this country?)

You mix up the matzo meal with two eggs, some oil and water according to these directions:

Give it a chill and roll them into balls.

You cook the balls in the soup mix until they puff up like this:

And enjoy!

The whole process couldn’t have been easier. I enjoyed them on a wet and dreary day and they were just the thing. They are economical too. This one package which cost me 6 dollaroonies or so, fed me for 3 meals.

How did they taste? Divine!

That soup mix was SO good. Perfectly seasoned without being salty. So clear and clean tasting with a very nice celery flavour. I didn’t end up using all the soup and I thought nothing of adding the remainder to my precious master stock. The matzo balls were weighty and satisfying without being too dense. They were creamy and flavourful. I do believe, this is my favourite soup of all time. It’s well worth the try.

What’s your favourite soup? Is it from a can or mix, or homemade?

Beyond Meat. First Try.

I was so excited when my local grocery store started selling Beyond Meat burger patties. I’ve been slowly going “off” beef for the last little bit ( find it smells gross when it cooks) but still want to enjoy that meaty and umami taste us meat eaters love.

We paid 6.99 for two patties – on sale- and this is what we got:

They felt pretty fragile but I had no problems getting them into an oiled pan where I was instructed to cook them on each side for 4 mins a side on med-high heat.

Compared to a beef burger patty these gals are higher in calories than a beef patty (which is 204 calories per 100 grams.) These patties are 13 grams heavier, with an extra 66 calories. BUT I was eating them for my own anti yuck factor, not calorie count and it made no difference to me. The Beyond Meat burger also has 5 more grams of protein than an average beef patty but 226 (!!!!) more mg of sodium than a beef patty. So there’s that. It also has 0 grams of cholesterol.

They cooked up nicely even giving off “juice” in the process:

Here is the finished product:

A little dark but nothing major.

How was the taste? Good! ( I did have a photo of the inside of them in a burger bite but I accidently deleted it when I was clearing off photos whilst on a trip. Oooops. Sorry)

The patty had a great mouth feel. A good give in each bite and a soft interior with NO hard crunchy bits. They tasted smoky, like they’d been grilled. They tasted like MEAT, in my opinion. The Hubs said he liked them but wasn’t as enthusiastic as I was. ( Not many people are as enthusiastic as I am )

I’d eat them again. I’d choose them over a beef patty from the gorcery store for sure. But I do have concerns with the sodium levels so …not all the time and when I do the work and find grass fed, humanely raised, not smelly as it cooks, cattle to buy, I’d eat that instead.

I think they still have some work to do but for now, these are a good choice every once in awhile.

Plant Medicine – Using Cannabis Spray.

After using my spray a few more times I now feel confident enough to share my testimony!

I bought this stuff here:

It even comes with an official seal:

It’s a non flavoured spray and there are something like 400 sprays in that wee little bottle.

It’s called Balance because its a balanced mix -or close to it- of CBD( 12.20 mg) and THC (13.20 )

CBD is the stuff the medical community is all excited about. THC is the stuff that makes you feel funny! So you can see, there is very little THC in this stuff!

I was told that with this particular product, my mind would stay clear but my body would become really relaxed. It would be good for the pain in my bicep and later, once that resolved itself, it’d be good for calming my anxiety too. I would be able to use it – after experimenting with the dosage safely first- and be able to go to work! That’s how clear my mind would be.

Good! In the past I’d hated feeling high. I wanted to be melty and gooey but not paranoid and stupid, laughing at any dumb thing or freaking out because “everyone can tell I’m high”.

It was recommended that I start out with a small dose of two or three sprays. The gent at the counter actually suggested ONE, since I hadn’t used it in 35 years so one is what I started myself at.

I was honestly really nervous to try it that first time. I had a problem with the unknown of the whole thing. The gent who helped me in the store told me that while, there was a certain consistency to how a body would react, every body is different and everyone reacts in a different way.

There was only one way to find out how that way would be for me so I took the safety seal off, figured out how to use the locking mechanism and gave myself a spray.

Right in the back of my throat.

Don’t do that!

I felt like I was having an allergic reaction! But I think it was just poor application that made the back of my throat itchy.

Under the tongue or in the lip like a spot of “chew” is a much better idea!

It tasted kind of skunky but tolerable.

Within 15 mins I was feeling the effects. My body remembered it right away-humans have cannabinoid receptors. Did you know that?- and soon I was feeling it most strongly in my body. It was very strange at first, to be so relaxed. I didn’t notice my arm at all. (Which by that time was not hurting as bad as it had been) I checked my eyes in the mirror and they looked normal. I felt mostly normal, still clear headed. I was able to play Mahjong and hold normal conversations. There was still this sort of pull to go “into myself” and be alone with the relaxed feeling but it wasn’t so strong that I wasn’t able to tear myself away. I was still social and coherent.

I went to bed shortly after that and slept for TEN FULL HOURS!

The relaxed feeling lasted for days after too. I wasn’t like a puddle of goo or anything, I was just … chill. Calm. Unbothered.

My second does was after doing… something…I can’t remember what … gardening probably! I took one spray again and went straight to bed. This time my experience was kind of meh.

My mistake was taking it, waiting 5 mins and then brushing my teeth. I felt it less than the time before and it only lasted about an hour and then my mind was back to it’s usual self, chattering away. When I finally did fall asleep though, I slept well.

The third time was a one spray experience too but this time, I gave myself time before bed and while I was happy with the way my body felt, my damn mind would not shut up.

The thing about being super relaxed like that is that any part of you that is a sort of “problem” spot reeeeeally becomes more noticeable because everything else is nice and chill. My jaw for instance. My bruxism is BAD. And of course, my monkey mind! This is a very common occurrence according to my internet research, SO keep this in mind if you intend to try it too.

Now, the last time I tried it, was after a day of naughty gardening again. (Naughty because I’m not supposed to be using my arm! ) This time I used TWO sprays to see if it helped the monkey mind – it did not- and while it was a little more melty making, it wasn’t long lasting and I woke up with arm pain in the night. ( I had really over done it that day) I got up to pee and stretch my arm and then fell promptly back asleep so while I did still feel some pain, being able to fall back asleep was definitely an improvement.

I’ve tried it a few more times and each time was different but positive.

What’s my final verdict?

It’s still evolving, really.

It’s great for sleeping. It’s great for relaxing the body. It seems to have helped me achieve a greater state of mental calm- even with my monkey mind!- in the every day, just from a few uses by sort of calming down my central nervous system. It allows me to be clear headed and function when I use it.

I’m not sure how I feel about going to work while using it though. I think my anxiety is somewhat helpful in keeping me on my toes…but I would be able to if I chose to do so.

I can’t really say what it did for pain because I haven’t used it while in a highly pained state. It did help me relax enough and not think about the discomfort I was feeling though…it wasn’t useless like the Toradol, by any means. And while I did wake up once in the night, in pain, I was able to fall back asleep. That has never happened before…I think in higher doses, the pain relief would be good- higher doses comes with foggy brain though but if I was desperate, I would choose that!

It showed me my trouble spot- monkey mind and jaw clenching- which I appreciated. I’m more conscious of tending to those things now.

It surprised me by showing me something else…I want that floaty brain feeling! I felt like it was missing from the experience. I would LOVE to get my mind to shut up for once!

Whaaaaaat?!

I know right?!

I never, in a million years thought I’d want to feel like that again but I find myself craving it. The body relaxation feels incomplete without it.

It’s highly, highly unlikely I’ll be seeking that feeling out for the same reasons I don’t seek out my beloved Ativan, ha ha, but I wanted to mention it as part of my experience, in the interest of honesty and authenticity. Instead, I’ll mediate “like my hair is on fire” and calm my monkey mind the old fashioned way. It’s nice to know the option’s there … but I’m not sure it’d be wise of me to use it for that.

All in all, I would recommended this product to first time users, for sure. (After you do your own research, of course!) It felt safe and I didn’t have any weird or negative side effects. It’s become a part of my regular routine. I use it any time I feel like I’ve over worked my arm or if I’ve had a “big day” and am too jacked up to sleep. The good side effects are long lasting. I can take two sprays once in a week and I’m still sleeping well and feeling unbothered four whole days later! It’s worth it, just for that!

So there you have it. I hope reading about my experience helps you if you need it. If you have any thoughts or questions, I’m here to help if I can!