Cooking with Misstakenid: Quick Red Beans and Rice

I have been making my quick red beans and rice as a staple over the past couple of weeks so I decided to share with you. First let me say that this can be made with white or brown rice.  Also if you don’t like any of the ingredients you can make it without them, just use your seasoning to make it taste the way you want it to.

What you need(quick recipe):

1 can red beans

Rice or Brown Rice (your choice)

Onions (I use a sweet onion)

Turkey sausage/turkey bacon (can be made without meat or with pork products)

Butter

Salt

Pepper

Cajun Seasoning (I used Mad Chef’s Cajun Nola) ( You can find it here: https://chefgonemad.com/)

Garlic seasoning (Mad Chef’s Smoked Garlic and Herb Seasoning)

Make the rice first. Use one cup of rice to two cups of water bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. (If you want you can use boil in bag rice)

  1. Start with melting butter in a skillet (or you can use olive oil)

  2. Chop the sausage or bacon

  3. Chop the onions

  4. Sautee’ onions in the skillet until tender

  5. Add the sausage or bacon to skillet

  6. Add rice to skillet

  7. Stir to combine ingredients

  8. Next open the can of Red Beans, drain.

  9. Then add the red beans to the skillet.

  10. Season to taste.

Serve and enjoy.

Screenshot_20181028-173523_Instagram

In case you missed it in the post you can find  the seasoning I used at this site:

https://chefgonemad.com/

 

Product/Service Reviews by Misstakenid

I am always recommending products and services to my friends, so why not start an official product review segment to my blog. This way I can share not only with my friends but share with my readers and social media followers as well.

If you would like me to review a product/service with my readers and social media followers please send me an email at misstakenid9@gmail.com.

 

Misstakenid’s Caregiver Tips

I have heard the word “Caregiver” plenty of times and never did I think that the word would apply to me.  I used to think that people became caregivers later in life, however I am fortunate enough to be one at 33. Becoming a caregiver out of the blue at a time when you are not prepared can put you in a tough situation.  However, I figured out a few tips that can help out anyone that is faced with becoming a caregiver for their parent.  These things worked for me because even though My father doesn’t live too far away, he doesn’t live in the same town as me and running up and down the highway can burn you out.  We all know that burn out is real and not something that you want to experience as a caregiver.

Let me give you a little bit of a back story before I go on.   My Dad was the most independent person I knew and for the first time in 2016 we were placed in a situation that caused him to ask me for help. He was going into a major surgery and prior to everything when we were in preparation for surgery he says ” She is the boss”, before I knew it people were giving me all kinds of Power of Attorney forms and he was telling the people at the hospital “She can speak for me and handle my affairs”. After a few surgeries, (which will be discussed in “The VA Chronicles” posts) my independent Father, “The Old Man”(affectionate term for him) became an amputee and was in a wheelchair. I never saw this coming and it hit me pretty hard, but it has given me the opportunity to share some information with you.

Here is my list of caregiver tips (some may have a little extra info and explanation as they relate to me).

  1. Make sure to check your loved ones financial information, check the mail and make sure all bills are paid.  I think this is one of the most important things.  Upon becoming caregiver I found a couple of fraud companies/scammers were taking funds out of The Old Man’s account and he wouldn’t have known if I didn’t check and report them.  Also, if your loved one may be away from home (in a hospital/rest home), speak to the service providers such as cable or satellite to see if you can put the service on hold, so that they aren’t responsible for a bill while they are away.
  2. Make sure that the home is accessible for them for when they return home.  Check everything, if you need to have some work done to make sure that it is accessible do that.  We had to have a ramp put in, furniture moved around, and things such as shower chairs, accessible bars, and other things to help him around the house.
  3. Make sure that your loved one has resources in place so that they can eat everyday.  Food is very important.  Programs like Meals on Wheels can help make sure that your loved one can have at least one nutritious meal and snack daily to help supplement their eating.  I would say check to see if there is a meals on wheels program in your area or one that is similar. If not, get familiar with “meal prepping”.
  4. Arrange for transportation if you can.  I called the county where my Dad lives and found out about their service for people in wheelchairs.  He used to enjoy doing things on his own, so I knew that transportation would assist in getting him around in his town.
  5. Get outside help if you can.  I am an only child and so I know that I don’t have any brothers or sisters to help me, but there are programs and things that you can register for to help you with caring for your loved one. Thankfully, we were able to get an Aide to come in and help him with some things a few times a week.  We were also able to get in home therapy to come a couple of times a week too.
  6. Make Rules for your loved one to follow.This sounds funny I am sure because it’s like switching roles with your loved one, but I had to implement one major rule. My Dad decided that he wanted to go back to living alone, so the only rule that matters is this “HE MUST ANSWER HIS CELL PHONE ” and keep it near him. If I ever get to 4-5 calls back to back, I am going to assume the worst and call the police to come check on you and I am zooming down the highway at whatever speed to get to you.  This rule has helped us out greatly.  It helps him keep some independence.
  7. Make sure Doctor’s and Medical staff know who you are.  Get to know the people who are supposed to provide the care for your loved one.  Know them by name, just in case you ever need the information for something. Also, show up at appointments and show interest in care and treatment plans.  You would be surprised the number of people who don’t have anyone in their corner, you have to be an advocate for your parent too.
  8. Take care of You. Self Care is very important.  Take your vitamins, work out, eat healthy, go to therapy, do whatever you need to do to make you feel good.  When you are the caregiver for someone your health is important because you need to be there to help your loved one.
  9.  You will get frustrated at times.  Frustration is a part of the process. It is ok to be frustrated, just try not to let your loved one see it. You don’t want to ever bring them down if you can help it. If ever anyone came around me with a cold or sickness it would frustrate me to no end, thinking that if I catch a cold, I can’t be around my loved one until I got better.  Another thing that frustrated me was working with putting his wheelchair in my car.  This is something that can frustrate anyone, because my car is fairly small and the wheelchair can’t go into my trunk.  There were times when I wanted to cry, because I just couldn’t get it in the car by myself, but never wanted my Dad to see the tears so I would just take a moment and breathe and usually someone would appear to help me.
  10. Celebrate your victories. As you accomplish little things along the way celebrate them.  Pat yourself on the back, you are doing something that takes a different kind of strength.  It’s ok to celebrate by taking yourself to dinner or something when you accomplish something on your list, because no matter how small it may be, it is something to help out your loved one.

I will admit being a caregiver, especially from a short distance isn’t the easiest of things.  Even with all of the ups and downs I wouldn’t have it any other way.  With my checklist and some positive energy you can do it too.

If you have some tips to share, please do…comments are welcome.

Why I don’t like Mother’s Day: My story

Mother’s Day comes every year, and every year as it get’s closer it fills me with anxiety and sadness. To top it off I get invited to all kinds of things and to spend mother’s day with others. However, no one ever understands why I don’t want to go with them to their Mother’s Day functions.   I am happy for them and they can continue to celebrate, but I know that there are others out there like me that wait for the day to pass. I usually have a drink and toast My Guardian Angel for most of the day. So if you ever wonder what I am doing on Mother’s Day.  I am drinking, whatever my drink of choice is for that year.   (This year it will be pineapple or watermelon margaritas.)

I get alot of “Remember your last Mother’s Day with her” and “Think of the last time you were with your Mom”. (I tend to get upset when I hear these things, but try not to show it)

Here’s my story, about “My last Mother’s day with my Mom” or “The last time I was with My Mommy”.  My mother passed away May 25, 1999.  Some things that you would like to forget can be burned into your memory. Let me share part of this and maybe you will understand.

The day before my last Mother’s Day with my Mother I woke up to My father calling me and saying come to our room.  “Something is wrong with your Mom, so I need you to help me until I can get some more help.” My Mother was laying in bed, eyes open not speaking and not moving. Dad gave me a basin and said wash your Mom up and I am going to get someone to help me get her to the hospital. (He knew that Mom always said if she had to go to the hospital don’t call the ambulance because she didn’t ever want to go in one.  I feel the same way.) So in tears, I got to work and washed my Mom up and put her on something over her gown.  She looked at me as if she wanted to say something but the words were not coming out.  I was wondering if she had a stroke or something.  The guys arrived and helped my Dad carry her to the truck where they rushed to the hospital.  She was admitted and this would be the last day that I saw my Mommy at home.  The day progressed and they admitted my Mom into ICU at hospital.  They said that her blood pressure and blood sugar was too high and that was what caused this and she didn’t have a stroke.

The interesting this was the day before this, I wanted to go and pick up My Mom a Mother’s day card that told her how I felt about her in words and how much I loved her.  This was an extensive card. It talked about how beautiful a Mother’s Love is and how no one could ever replace her. I held the card that night and once they said she was in ICU I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go up that night, but maybe she would be better tomorrow I thought.

So Mother’s day morning I got up bright and early and was waiting to hear my Mother’s voice.  I knew that she was in the hospital so I waited as long as I could to call at a reasonable hour.  I called the hospital operator and asked to be transfered to my Mom’s ICU nurse. The nurse says, ” I know it’s Mother’s Day”, but she isn’t talking. Me: “If I could just read her this card I got her, it would make my day, please”.  The nurse agreed to take the phone to the room and put it up to her ear. I read the card and even though she wasn’t speaking she belted out the words “That’s pretty”, I then told her that I was coming to see her. So later on that day I asked my Dad to take me to see her.  He did.  I was standing there looking at my Mom hooked up to everything and wanting to talk to her.  She saw me come to the room and starting “talking in some foreign gibberish”, and was trying to make me feel better and it wasn’t working because I couldn’t understand a word that she was saying. So I hugged her and told her I loved her and that I would come back another day.

So spare me the “remember your last mother’s day”….It is something that I will never forget.

After that day she started back talking and was back to her regular self but was still in the hospital. She had an operation and remained there for the rest of her life. So for me, Mother’s Day was the beginning of the end. That is why it doesn’t make me feel good.  I know that it has been a while, and even though it gets easier, there are regular days that I celebrate her and Mother’s Day isn’t it.

For all of the one’s that say, “Remember the last time you were with her”, oh yeah I won’t forget that either.

Here is that story for you.  It was Sunday, May 23, 1999.  I went up to the hospital with my Dad to see my Mommy and she was there as her regular self.  Sitting in the hospital bed and she was saying that she wanted to have an operation that I knew that she didn’t want to have my entire life.  She was saying that she wanted to do it for me.  In her words pointing to me, “Because I can’t leave her here by herself”.  I walked out into the hall, and had a moment to think and to pray.  At that point I knew that my Mother was speaking in a different voice than I had ever heard before. The words were coming from her mouth, but saying that she wanted to have an operation just for me, was for me the ultimate display of love over anything else.  This became too heavy for me to deal with, so after this, my Dad took me home. I remember going back to hug my Mommy and that was it.  The last time I saw her alive.

So yeah, I don’t knock anyone that wants to celebrate Mother’s Day, it’s your right to do so.  However, if you are someone that has lost their mother and you don’t feel like celebrating I understand and I will have a toast to you too, when I have my drink.

Maybe, one day a happy image will pop into my head, but until then.  I thank you for the invites, but I enjoy letting my mind take me into whatever space it wants to be in during this time.  I have overcome a lot of pain, but evey year a little weird feeling comes over me, so don’t think that it is because I am being rude or hateful. I just don’t feel like being overly emotional in a public space, I like to control my environments during this time. Enjoy your day though.

That’s all for now.

live without mother

Zucchini Noodles…my new obsession!!

Why didn’t anyone tell me about how delicious zucchini noodles were sooner?

I was taking a class on nutrition provided by my healthcare provider and she recommended that I try zucchini noodles as they would help me increase my vegetable intake easily. So, I was determined to try it out.

Let me confess, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE PASTA. So I was thinking that this would be a hard sell.  I really love spaghetti and meatballs, made with angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti so that I don’t feel so bulky when I eat it.

I was very apprehensive about the idea of trading my beloved pasta, but I figured it can’t hurt and I knew that zucchini noodles have become more and more popular over the past couple of years. My usual self would go out and buy the tools needed to make the noodles and then probably never use them again.  So this time I decided to take the easy way out.

I found out that Harris Teeter had fresh cut zucchini noodles for a couple dollars, so I decided to try  them out.

This was my moment of truth.  I got out the olive oil, some garlic, crushed red peppers, Italian seasoning and a little salt and pepper.  Turned on the stove, put the olive oil in the pan and started my adventure.  I made sure that I seasoned them to my liking.  I sauteed them up in a pan for 5 minutes and they were done, with a light crisp.

Then I took some store bought spicy tomato and basil sauce heated it up in a pan, seasoned it to my liking and dropped in some turkey meatballs.  Tossed the zucchini noodles in the sauce and I had some “spaghetti and meatballs”.

Got a bowl ready, dropped the noodles, sauce and meatballs in topped with a three cheese blend and was ready to try my special veggie spaghetti.  It turns out that it was delicious. I don’t know why I hadn’t tried this sooner, but now I am hooked.

Have you tried zucchini noodles before?  Let me know what you think about them. Leave a comment. Let’s chat. 

 

 

Ruth’s Chris on a Budget

Hello friends,

When you think of Ruth’s Chris Restaurant you probably think that it is expensive and will cost about $100 for your meal.  This can be true if you stick to the regular a la cart menu.  Which is an amazing menu by the way.

Some people think that you need to wait until “restaurant week” comes around to even eat at a restaurant like this.   What if I told you that you can eat at Ruth’s Chris on a regular within a reasonable budget. How would you feel about that?

Let me start off with the idea that I like food and at times don’t really care what it costs, however I have figured out that some restaurants such as Ruth’s Chris offer a “happy hour menu” or a “prix fixe menu” daily, if you didn’t know then I am telling you that you don’t have to spend too much to eat there.

First of all sometimes it is best to check out the bar of the restaurant, sometimes the bar will have a special menu that is not utilized in the rest of the establishment. This is easier for me as I am usually eating solo. So if you have a big group, it is possible to get bar area seating, but just be mindful that there may be a wait, especially during the “happy hour time”.

The average meal on the “happy hour” menu is about $12 and the drinks listed are about $8. So for $20 plus tax and tip you can eat a meal that is a great quality and still filling.

Or you can take a look at the prix fixe menu, which the lowest amount is $39.99, plus tax and tip (not including a drink).  This may seem like too much for some, but think about it this way,  you are getting a salad, main course with side, and dessert. Which I think is a great deal.  There are many options for this menu, salmon and shrimp, stuffed chicken breast, and even a steak.  Keep in mind that this menu may change it’s offerings throughout the year, but the stuffed chicken is pretty much a staple on this menu.  All of those are great options for a meal at this establishment that prides itself in the quality of its food.

Well, I just decided to share a little bit, everyone always thinks people have to spend so much money at Ruth’s Chris and you can if you eat a la cart style, but I am letting you know that you don’t have to.

I would like to add that I frequent The Ruth’s Chris Restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area, and they have amazing service.

Yes, I gave them a mention…you have to acknowledge great service when you get it.  Especially when they don’t know that you are writing a review.

Drop me a comment to let me know if this post was helpful….(images from a couple of my meals are included below)