On Wednesday I baked a chocolate cake.

The only problem was, I had not used an oven in 8 years. And I kept messing up somehow because I didn’t understand how this particular oven worked.

I’ll have to Google the instructions for it I suppose.

Tuna Casserole:

Then later in the day, I cooked a tuna casserole, a recipe I borrowed from here. It is my favorite tuna casserole recipe.

But I went back to cooking in my tried and true convection/toaster oven, where I am most comfortable cooking food.

The tuna casserole came out delicious.


Yesterday I made a meatloaf recipe I’d been wanting to try. I cooked it in the convection/toaster oven as well. It smelled heavenly. It tasted so good and was so moist.

I borrowed this recipe that I found on Pinterest. She was sure right about that glaze!

I’m so accustomed to cooking in the convection/toaster oven that a regular oven seems a bit foreign to me now.

A favorite painting I own

How I Cook My Favorite Baked Potato:

I can bake a fantastic potato in my convection/toaster oven. You wash the potato and prick it with a fork. (I like to use a steak knife).

Then you place your potato on a paper towel and spray it either with margarine or olive oil.

And then comes the piece de resistance. Sea salt. I sprinkle sea salt all over the potato and then bake it right on the steel rack.

Oh my, you’ve likely never tasted a better-baked potato. It comes out so crisp while the inside is soft and fluffy.

I also baked Brussel sprouts. A girl needs a little green in her meal of course. And I was out of salad.

Frozen Lasagna:

Teri had brought frozen lasagna because she decided she was on a diet.

I take one square out of my freezer at a time and cook it. And I usually have a bowl of salad and garlic breadsticks with it.

I live a simple life. Because I’m a homebody and everything I do tends to revolve around home.

In Lots Of Cooking Going On Here, here is my couch on an angle in my living room

Marcee’s Comment Yesterday:

Kaylene says:

Have you thought about putting a red checked valance on one of those expand rods, in front of your kitchen light? Then if you can find a picture to use heavy-duty command strips to hold it on the mirror. Maybe install a small shelf below the mirror to set a couple of pretties on. Just a thought!! Hope you’re having a great day. It is snowing here in Wisconsin today.

Well Marcee, you just about hit the nail on the head with that idea. That is quite similar to my plans.

Waiting For The Can-Do Man:

I’m waiting on the Can-Do man to come to drill a couple of screws for me and then I will show you what I’m doing to that odd space over the kitchen sink.

I hope he hurries because I can’t wait to get that spot finished and show you! With him, you have to wait in line for others who’ve already booked him.

I Finished The Book I Mentioned Yesterday:

Last night I finished “Where The Forest Meets The Stars” by Glendy Vanderah.

The most remarkable thing about this book is that this is the author’s debut. If this is her first work of fiction, then I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

I love that Glendy Vanderah worked as an endangered bird specialist in Illinois before she became a writer.

The book Where The Forest Meets The Stars

This is such a sweet, “feel good” book. The story will draw you right in.

And probably, like me, you will cry at the end. Not because you’re sad, but because you’re happy for the characters who seemed so real.

It is one of those books that you wish you could wrap around you like a quilt.

Since this book was published in 2019, she probably already has published more books and I will surely check to see!

My Cut Flowers:

In Lots Of Cooking Going On Here, these are the cut flowers I've had over two weeks now

Can you believe these flowers, that I’ve had for over two weeks now, still look like this?

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  1. Yum. Sounds like a lot of tasty dishes. I guess the more you experiment with your oven, the more comfortable you’ll be with it. Looking forward to seeing your kitchen mirror solution!

  2. My goodness I got hungry reading this post, lol! I am planning to have a baked potato tomorrow night and am going to try cooking it your way. So
    glad you are getting settled in and happy and even gladder I found your blog!

  3. Well, look at you, Betty Crocker! I know you’re definitely feeling better mentally and physically when you start cooking up a storm. I haven’t had tuna casserole in many years – not one of mine and my husband’s favorites. But the recipe you posted sounds good. I’d want to add some noodles to it though. The meatloaf glaze is exactly how I make mine except I never thought of putting garlic in it. As for the baked potato, please don’t ever use margarine (or use margarine for anything!). It has trans fats, which is the worst type of fat you could eat. It raises your bad cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease. Please use healthy fats like olive, avocado or coconut oil or pure butter.

    I looked up the author you mentioned. She wrote another book in 2021 and has another one coming out in March.

    I have the same flowers as you right now (alstroemeria), though mine are white. One of my faves from TJ’s since they last such a long time!

  4. All the recipes for the dishes you made sound so good, Brenda. I don’t cook much; it’s never been a main interest for me, but I do like to eat well so simple, easy dishes like you described always appeal to me. And, of course, who doesn’t love leftovers?

    Chomping at the bit to see the makeover of that space over your sink. Boy, you are so lucky to have that Can-Do guy. I sure need one of those around here! So many little repair, up-keep jobs need doing and it’s seems nearly impossible to find a handyman anymore. Then there’s the cost of hiring someone. I’m glad that service is provided to you where you are now.

    Have I told you lately that I love reading your blog and sharing your doings? Well, I do!

  5. I woke up to a lot of snow this morning! It was light and fluffy so I just kicked it from side to side to clear my walkway. Good exercise but need to repeat bc darn plow went by again!
    I love being home but I miss ppl coming over to visit to make a yummy meal and desserts for them.
    Since the pandemic it’s been way to quiet around here! Lol

    1. I’ve always mostly been by myself, by choice. I love to have the daughters and their kids over. And Teri of course has sure been a great help. But I love days of silence. I too like meals with others sometimes. But equally, I love to eat with just myself at the table.

    1. The Can-Do guy just left. That’s another thing finished on my mirror/ugly light kitchen wall. Now I’m just waiting for something to arrive from Amazon (heavy duty adhesive hooks) that I hope will hold what I’m hanging up there.

  6. Look at you posting about food and recipes!!! I can tell you are so happy in your new place, that’s wonderful Brenda! I wish my library had that book but sadly they do not – I will recommend it and maybe they’ll get it in someday. Have a wonderful weekend Brenda!

  7. love the recipe for the meat loaf, I have copied it because I can easily change it to plant based by using tinned beans (which I mash with a fork) and I have plant based liquid ‘egg’ to substitute for a real one.
    The chocolate cake looks very enticing but my husband doesn’t like sweet things so I would have to eat it all myself and that would not do at all!
    Looking forward to see what you do with your mirror.

      1. That is so funny. I laughed. I wonder if your pan was too big. It looks good. Tomorrow I will bake banana nut bread with walnuts.

  8. Thank you for the recipe links! Pinned them both!
    Do you have “cat problems” when you open your tuna cans? I do! They come running at the click of the can opener and DEMAND a taste. I’m forced to share. When the can is something like tomato sauce, I let them smell it so they see it’s not something they like and they’ll leave me alone! I’ve even considered hiding in my car to open a tuna or salmon can. Yeah, it’s that bad here!

    1. Not really. Because I’ve been feeding them tuna lately. They won’t eat anything else. And I know it probably isn’t that great for them. But it is what it is. I got tired of buying all kinds of different expensive canned cat foods that just ended up in the trash because they turned up their nose at it.

      1. Brenda ,,,,,
        Be very, very careful feeding Ivy & Gracie (any) tuna that contains salt. There’s so much sodium in those small cans.
        It’s dangerous for them.
        So, rinse well. If too dry, I put a teaspoon of olive oil in a bowl, then the tuna. Mix it up a bit.
        Works out nicely.

      2. Yikes, Brenda, be careful about feeding your cats human tuna. It doesn’t have the nutrition that cats need and it’s high in sodium and mercury. If they like tuna, try Castor & Pollux brand of wild-caught tuna for your cats.

  9. Been shoveling away snow all morning off and on since 6 a.m. My area got about 6 inches lake effect snow, so it started out light and fluffy before the Sun got warm enough to start melting it and made it heavier. I got a good workout though. I sure wished I had a tuna casserole or meat loaf serving to fuel me back up right now, yum! They sound good.

    1. You’re a hell of a lot stronger than me. It’s all I can do to stand and walk, and thank goodness PT starts again Monday. This boot is killing my hip.

  10. It so nice you have a reliable can do man in the complex. This place sounds better and better every day! I’m going to borrow your way of cooking baked potatoes. They sound delicious and I love a good baked potato. I often wonder if my daughter didn’t live with me if I’d hardly ever leave home. She keeps me pretty active which is great.

    1. I called the elderly neighbor from the other complex a few days ago. I asked her when she’d last been out. She said when I took her for her booster. That was over a month ago.

      1. Oh no, that poor woman. I’m so glad you called her. Will you still see her once in awhile or perhaps take her places sometimes?

  11. About that off-center light: hanging lights can be attached to the electric socket and then the cord loops and the actual fixture is “strung” to hang in a different spot. Might help with your other problem.

  12. You had me at chocolate cake! I love love love chocolate cake, my all time favorite recipe is on the back of the Hershey cocoa cake, it is also my favorite frosting and believe you/me, I have tried many.

    The meatloaf sounds delicious, I always use a glaze. As for the tuna casserole, I am sure it was delicious, I myself do not eat anything that lives in water.

    I cannot wait to see what you do with the mirror! Have a wonderful day Brenda!

    1. I always made that Hershey cake recipe when my girls were growing up. They also got homemade bread. This was a cake mix. I don’t have the energy or freedom of pain to stand up longer than using 3-4 ingredients right now.

  13. You will have to let us know if the author does write more books as you have certainly raved about the story so it’s on my list to see if the library has it.
    Warm feel good books are what I gravitate to in this nasty outside world I want to escape from some days and books allow us that. Plus our safe homes so yes I agree with Darlene , I no longer apologize that I am content being a homebody. Been there, done that, but now it’s more so much more focused on self centered. Your meals sound nice to have leftovers for the next few days and you know you aren’t having to go out to buy something quickly to eat. Good choice.

    1. Well you know what? After I read your comment I went to Amazon and looked. And I’d already read her other book! It’s called “The Moonlight Child.” I think this book was actually better; the one I just read.

  14. Can’t wait to see the end result in solving your mirror dilemma. The ‘can do man’ will be there before you know it. WooHoo!!
    I, too, am a homebody and I used to apologize for it. I don’t anymore and I’m very content with my choices.
    You could your baked potatoes just like I do-fluffy, soft and oh so yummy. LOL
    Enjoy your day.

      1. I used to do the same thing. Since I changed the way I made them all I can think is YUCK to the microwave baked potatoes. LOL

        You’re right such a tragedy!

  15. I mentioned putting a valance on a tension rod over the light the other day. If you put a shelf below you can put the pretty things on it like you had in your other apartment.

    1. I checked out the meatloaf. I have always used a glaze like this except for the mustard. I have also added balsamic vinegar to the glaze mix and it is also very good.

    2. I had not figured out what exactly I was going to do till a couple of days ago. A number of you have mentioned this idea, but I had to come up with the rest of how I was going to handle this problem before I set on one idea. I think this idea is going to work!

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