Saturday, November 28, 2015

Home From The Hospital

Well the easy part is over with and I came home Friday with a brand new knee and now begins the hard part - rehab.  This process is composed of three parts beginning with being active and walking as much as possible.  The second part is the eleven exercises that are done three times per day and the last part is going to a rehab center three times per week for more intensive therapy.  The first two items were started in the hospital the day after surgery although we only did the exercises once per day.

This is my home set up which contains most of what I need to function.  If you didn't know otherwise you might ask "what knee surgery?"

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Knee Replacement

Hi Faithful Readers - As of Monday morning, I have a brand new right knee and the doctor said everything went very well.  When I came back from recovery, I went very quickly from the bed to a recliner and they actually took me for a short walk mid-afternoon.  After a night of very little sleep (checked my vitals every two hours and my machines kept alarming) I went off to my first therapy about mid morning and I really enjoyed it - NOT.

I now really know how spoiled I am eating Bev's cooking as the meal for lunch today reminded me of high school cafeteria food - all part of their plan to help me lose weight.

I'll keep you posted when something eventful happens and I can do a food post if anyone is really interested in what I'm eating here.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


11/23 & 11/24/15 event date

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Basil Garlic Chicken Breasts With A Tomato Basil Sauce Ala Pam

We had three chicken breast languishing in the fridge waiting for a recipe when Pam over at For The Love Of Cooking posted this one and we knew it was for us.  I followed her recipe with a few changes – used canned tomatoes and all dried basil.  Plus we used an extra breast and still had plenty of sauce.  Please check out Pam's blog for the original recipe and her photos.

Basil Garlic Chicken Breasts With A Tomato Basil Sauce – Slightly adapted from For The Love Of Cooking

1 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Dried basil, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
½ small sweet yellow onion, finely diced
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups fire roasted canned tomatoes (15 oz. can)
3 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and diced
Heaping 1/8 cup of Pepperonata Sauce*
1½ tbsp butter
1 tbsp dried basil
S&P to taste

*Bev bought a jar of this sauce in Florida and we've been adding it to our tomato sauces to kick them up a little.

Pound the chicken pieces until 1/2 inch thick and cut in half if too large.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan. Season both sides of the chicken pieces with dried basil, garlic powder, salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Place into the hot pan, and cook until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue to cook, until the chicken is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Salmon Omelet

I had some salmon left from my baked salmon meal the other day and decided to turn it into an easy breakfast.  I looked at our go-to recipe for salmon cakes and used the basic ingredients from it – the fish was already seasoned.  I sautéed some chopped onion and red sweet pepper with about a tbsp. of rough chopped capers until the veggies were about soft.  I than added some chopped salmon and cooked until it was warmed through.  

In the meantime I had three beaten eggs cooking in a covered 10” skillet until the eggs were about set.  Note the bright yellow color from the farm fresh eggs that we're still getting for $2.50/dz - I almost feel like I'm stealing them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Our Coach And My Knees

Our Coach
I think I now know how this RV thing works.  We go on an extended trip or several short trips and when we arrive home, we do three things.

1.Call Karen to give it a thorough top to bottom cleaning, especially if we’ve been to the dusty West.

2.Call the RV repair guy to come down and deal with the issues that cropped up during the trip(s) (I do very little work on the coach myself).

3.Take it by the auto body place to get an estimate to repair the dings I put on it – this is only the second time for #3 and hopefully the last – both in a fuel station.

Of course I damaged the doors with the most complicated paint scheme.

My Knees
As for my knees, they are the main reason that I do very little on the coach.  If you’ve actually seen me, you know I’m an over-weight, out of shape old guy who barely hobbles around on his bad knees.  They’ve been this way for several years and I’ve been avoiding doing anything about them in hopes of a miracle cure that would prevent replacement – both of my knees are bone-on-bone and nothing seems to help anymore.

I realize I have to do something or resign myself to only enjoying what can be seen from the road on our RV trips – which I did this last time and am no longer willing to accept.  So I made my second visit to the surgeon and after convincing me not to do both of them at the same time, I have scheduled the right knee for Nov. 23 and to say I’m concerned is an understatement.  First reason is that I’m a big baby when it comes to pain and secondly I’ve been through therapy two times (right knee scoped) and it was hard when I was in better shape.

So I have one month to lose some weight and build my knees up as much as possible – fortunately I have stairs and a Bow Flex to help.  If the first knee goes well and I think I can stand the process again, I’ll do the second one and hopefully have this behind me by pretty weather.  I’m sure my blog posts in Nov will include a significant amount of whining.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Baked Salmon and Cauliflower Steaks

I keeping with my bacheloring plan to make dishes that generate leftovers, I cooked a 1¾ lb. wild sockeye salmon filet that we had purchased in Anacortes, WA during our recent western trip.  After reading Angela’s recipe for Cauliflower Parmesan on her Spinach Tiger blog, I decided to give it a try as the side dish.

Since it was cool here and the A/C was off, I decided I wanted to bake the entire meal in the oven – a one pan meal.  I looked on the web and settled on a recipe for baked salmon from Natasha’s Kitchen since I had all of the ingredients on hand.  I used the same ingredients (except my salmon weighed 1¾ #) and I amended the directions slightly.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

French Onion Tater Tot Casserole Ala Steph

Bev, Pat and two of their friends are off to Marco Island, FL for their annual two week trip to the beach and I’m minding the store and looking after the pups.  Starting in 2016, we’re scheduled to go later in the year and I may be willing to go with them, but I still refuse to go during the hot FL October when the cool weather I’ve been awaiting all summer is finally in East Tennessee.

Since I’m cooking for myself, my preference is to make simple dishes that generate plenty of leftovers so I can cook less often and this dish is a good example.  We had made this dish once before and decided it was a little overwhelmed by the French Onion Dip so I modified it this time by adding more potatoes and cheese.  Check out Steph's Plain Chicken blog for the original recipe and her shots.

French Onion Potato Casserole – Adapted from Plain Chicken

1½ (30-32oz) packages frozen tater tots
1 (10 3/4oz) can Cream of Chicken soup
1 (16oz) container French Onion Dip (Kraft)
12 oz shredded cheddar cheese
6 slices pepper jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix soup, dip and cheddar cheese. Then thoroughly mix in potatoes.
3. Pour into prepared pan and top with sliced pepper jack.
4. Bake for about 60 minutes, or until bubbly.