So Much For Resolutions!

We are at the time of year where folks work on their New Year's resolutions. For many, their resolution is to lose weight / get in shape. I am not one to make food-related resolutions but a trip to Costco revealed that they are not making it easy for those who have a sweet tooth! I have never seen so many desserts there at once. We got the triple chocolate cream pie to share, the cookies and cream mini cakes for me, the berry and cheese pastries for Kuochun and the cherry and almond Danishes for Mother. We definitely went overboard and I did not realize that cream pies do not freeze well. Everything was very good but the pie was so amazing! I wish Dad was here to try it, French Silk was his favorite and this is way better. I think even I am dessert-ed out though. This is good timing with the walking pad arriving next week.

Speaking of sweet tooths, I had the last of my dental appointments (for now) this past week. My molar at the upper right back had several fissures in it from the metal filling expanding and contracting over the years. The dentist suggested that I replace it with a crown before it broke and caused problems. It was not bothering me in the least but I went ahead with the procedure. They were able to make the crown in less than an hour while I waited. It actually looks better than my natural tooth but several days later I am still experiencing sensitivity to cold. I drink a lot of cold water from a dispenser and by the end of the day, it is taking a toll. I hope I did not make a mistake. I go back at the end of March for a cleaning after only three months. I have been diligent about using the Oral-B toothbrush (it feels like a car wash for your teeth!) and the dental rinse every evening. I just need to take some time to figure out how to use the WaterPik as I have never used one.

Time got away from me this week with my appointment as well as Mother's along with the final round of estate sale packages for 2023 due. I was able to post a clearance sale of Federico rings for at least 50% off original retail prices. Even when Federico gave me a better deal, I still took 50% off his discounted retail price. These rings are big and bold with all natural turquoise. I have not even had time to post them all online but decided to let them go with Tucson rapidly approaching. I did sell two rings - the Kingman turquoise ring at the upper right of the photo above and the triple onyx ring at the center of the photo below. I was hoping to sell more but understand that they are an investment even at 50% off. However, no one ever discounts this jewelry! I am going to try the earrings next Sunday and then decide what to do after we return from Tucson.

With Mother's help, I took a little time to survey our Windy City Jewelry collection, which is the beaded jewelry we made for more than 25 years. We did not have the chance to put any of this jewelry out for the December downsizing sale and will be sure to offer it at the February garage sale. Mother is becoming slightly enthused about making more pieces and she may decide to rework some of her older designs. I ordered a few beading supplies to get her up and running again. All of our kitchen pantry cabinets are loaded with "to-dos" so the winter project will be to at least get one section cleared so we can have space for some actual food!

Mother and I took a run out to the Old Brick House pop-up sale on Friday since we had appointments Thursday. We do not need anything but we enjoy going, the staff is so lovely to us. All of their Christmas items were on sale and I purchased a few things to use as photography props. I am not sure if they will work out and if they do not, I will end up selling them. Two of them are angel's wings which is a popular theme. I also purchased a black metal folding display shelf for only $30. I may just use it at the garage sale and then sell it. We purchased several varieties of jam because Mother loves jam and the flavor combinations sound interesting. We did not purchase the hot pepper jam but one of the ladies working the sale said she actually uses it in her thumbprint cookies which we thought was a unique idea! Even though this week was dessert overload I love their frosted sugar cookies which are creamy but still light. They always have classic with light pink frosting and the special flavor this month was key lime pie.

I probably have mentioned before that I treat my Facebook feed like reading a magazine while I eat meals and I enjoy belonging to some of the local groups. The folks have been very helpful with their recommendations. Someone was looking for Cajun food which is Kuochun's favorite and one recommendation was for the seafood restaurant at Talking Stick Resort which is a casino about 15 minutes away. The restaurant is called Ocean Trail and when I told Kuochun about it, he is extremely interested and cannot wait to go. Their specialty are pan roasts, which is kind of like a seafood stew. There is not a lot for me at a Cajun restaurant but they do have a caesar salad and I can select chicken or shrimp.

In the same posting, a local chef mentioned that she has a booth at the Uptown Farmer's Market in Phoenix and she specializes in southern food. Soul food is right up there with Cajun as Kuochun's favorites besides Chinese. He wanted to go check it out when I mentioned she was cooking up gumbo on Saturday. None of us have been to Uptown yet and it is my favorite farmer's market. I love to go and get a $10 breakfast burrito and choose some goodies. The market is huge - I would say a good 200 vendors. It puts our suburban Chicago-area farmer's markets to shame. So many people bring their dogs and there were dogs from 5 pounds to 200 pounds. There was even a mini Schnauzer with a non-docked tail.

We found the southern food booth but I got big-time sticker shock as everything was $25+ per pound. But Kuochun is willing to pony up for really good food and he selected the gumbo and collard greens. I chose a $9 brisket breakfast burrito and at the last minute we decided to get the pulled pork because Mother and I both like it. Kuochun was disappointed in the gumbo, he said he only got shrimp and rice. I noticed the broth was a grey color when she spooned it into the container which did not look appealing to me. The burrito was pretty good but not warm enough. Mother and I loved the pulled pork!

There was a baker there I had never seen before and she had charming packages of very reasonably priced baked goods. We got Mother a little strawberry rhubarb pie and apricot rollups and I chose peanut butter rice krispy treats with a chocolate layer on top and peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses. Each item was only $5 and the items I tried were delicious! Unfortunately her name was not on the packages but I will definitely seek her out next time.

We did not get there until after 11:00 and so many of the vendors were sold out or nearly sold out. I loved Chubby Cheeks Cookies last time and they are a good deal at 4 huge gourmet cookies for $13. This time they only had cookie butter and chocolate chip salted caramel left so I got two of each.

I did not choose as much as usual at the farmer's market because I now belong to Wildgrain. It is a monthly subscription box with bread, baked goods, fresh pasta and more. What I love about it is the food is delicious, it is made from scratch by artisan bakers, there are no preservatives or bad ingredients and everything is frozen, so nothing ever spoils. I like to have a sandwich for lunch and sometimes I bake a frozen pretzel roll or English muffin in the toaster oven instead of microwaving something that has been in the refrigerator for two weeks. Another delivery is on the way and the mini freezer is filling up so I better get to baking some croissants and apple bites for Kuochun's breakfast.

Next week we have a very full schedule with many appointments for all of us, even the girls. I will do my best to have some jewelry news!