March Madness

It’s March madness time in more ways than one. This daylight savings time shift has thrown me for an absolute loop. Thus far, the mornings this week have been sub par 0-10 wouldn’t recommend the experience. I know it’s only an hour, but losing any amount of sleep at this stage in the game is no bueno. It’s also time to complete your March Madness bracket. In fact, I just completed mine and have Purdue winning it all. I’m sure I’ll finish in the bottom five.

I did make it to work on time today, which is good. It will take some time to fully adjust back to the time. I had gone to bed early Saturday not feeling great, but also hoping it would stave off some of that time change ickiness. Spoiler alert, it didn’t work. When I finally managed to climb out of bed Sunday morning it was 9:00 am. I usually wake up between 6:50 and 7:30 like clockwork, but not Sunday morning. Hopefully, by the end of the week, my body will be acclimated to daylight savings time.

My lunch was spent getting our TSA precheck interviews done. Well, it’s not really an interview. They verify your information, take your fingerprints and a photo and that’s about it. Usually, it takes three to five days for the process to be completed. I’m hoping and praying that it’s complete before we head out to the Bahamas Friday morning. Honestly, I’m not concerned about having it for the trip there. I am, however, really hoping we have it for the way back. Last year we spent three hours in security lines at Nassau’s airport. I’m not looking to repeat that nonsense. Otherwise, I’ll be hurling imprecations everywhere.

Today’s accountability tracker:

  • Workout: 45-minute spin class, plus 15-minute cooldown courtesy of Apple Fitness+
  • Book: Book: Marcel Proust’s  Finding Lost Time
  • Blog: done
  • Word of the day: insight. After gaining insight into the long waits at the Nassau airport, I decided to get pre-check.
  • Today’s song is Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars

Palm Tree

So today’s prompt is to describe oneself as a tree, so I chose palm tree. First of all, the palm tree is happiness in a plant. Who can’t be happy while sitting near or beneath a beautiful palm? It usually means you’re somewhere tropical with a beautiful beach nearby. There also incredibly strong and built to survive hurricanes. Their shape is perfect as the wind whips around their trunk, while leaving the tree up right. Sure they’ll lose some fronds, but most palms survive the storm.

Like the palm tree, I’m able to survive’s life’s worst storms. Thankfully, my parents raised me to be confident, strong and full of faith. My life is filled with incredible people that have supported me and my family through thick and thin. I’m forever grateful for the strong support system in my life. These past couple of months they have been absolutely incredible.

Fortunately, this weekend I was able to get out and see some of my non-hockey friends. It’s nearly impossible to do anything social during hockey season, so this weekend was a treat. Yesterday I met my friend Stacy for drinks at Batch. I haven’t seen her since before I got laid off. God, I’ve missed that woman. We had the best time.

Today I made a Swiss cake roll in the morning. While that baked, I took care of the laundry, the dishes and the floors. Afterwards, I headed to Boca to spend the afternoon with my dear friend Terri, who just happens to be Jake’s girlfriend’s mom. I always have a fabulous time with her and today was no exception. We had tried a couple of weekends ago, but Covid and Flu exposure put a damper on those plans. Thankfully, we were able to get together today.

It was quite cold this morning, but we didn’t see any frost. Even if we did, the palm trees would be fine. After all, like me, they’re quite resilient. I was a little worried, however, that the passion fruit tree wouldn’t weather the cold. Fortunately or unfortunately, it still looks quite robust. It had literally taken over the entirety of our back garden. We’ll have to trim it back and train it on a trellis or it will cover everything.

Swiss Cake Roll

I have loved Swiss cake rolls since elementary school, but I never thought of baking my own. After all, Little Debbie did a hell of a job with the tasty treat. And then I saw them bake a Swiss cake roll on the Great British Bakeoff. Consequently, I knew I had to give it a try. Yesterday I baked one for the first time and it was delicious, so I thought I’d share the recipe tonight.

Swiss Cake Roll

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 10-12 minutes
Rest time: 3:5- 4:00 hours
Total Time: 4-4.75 hours

Tools needed:


For the cake:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder plus ¼ cup for rolling
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Line a standard 11”x17” jelly-roll pan (rimmed baking sheet) with parchment paper; spray paper generously with nonstick baking spray. Do not skip the nonstick baking spray. Set pan aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and vanilla together on high speed for 4-5 minutes, or until mixture turns foamy and lemon yellow in color.
  • Add sugar to the bowl in (3) separate ¼-cup additions, mixing for 1 full minute after each addition.
  • Add oil and mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Fold flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan. (Tip: Spread batter evenly to edges using an offset spatula.) Tap pan on counter several times to remove air bubbles.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched in center. While cake is baking, lay a large, thin kitchen cloth on counter. Sprinkle cocoa powder generously on top of cloth.
  • Once baked, immediately flip hot cake out onto the cocoa-dusted cloth. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting with a short end of the cake, roll up cake (and cloth). Let rolled cake cool completely (2 hours) before continuing.

For the filling:

  • Using a medium mixing bowl, add whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer for 3-4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
  • Carefully unroll cake and spread frosting evenly on top of cake. (Tip: Make sure to frost all the way to the edges.) Roll cake back up (this time without the towel). Wrap cake roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the glaze:

  • Remove the plastic wrap from the cake and place on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan.
  • Using a medium microwaveable bowl, add chocolate chips and whipping cream. Microwave in 20 seconds intervals, stirring after each round, until mixture is smooth.
  • Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, or until mixture has thickened slightly but is still pourable.
  • Pour chocolate glaze evenly on top, spreading evenly over entire cake.
  • Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes to allow glaze to set before slicing.


  • If you like mint, you could substitute mint extract for the vanilla extract in the filling
  • You can add sliced strawberries or raspberries on top of the filling for added flavor
  • Cooling time may very based on your climate. The times in this recipe are based on the South Florida climate.


The hubby and I started our day with a trip to the beach to see the sunrise. While the weather didn’t cooperate fully, it was beautiful to watch the sky and water change as the sun came up. We got there just before 6:30 and were taken aback by the number of people already there. Consequently, the surf was unusually high for South Florida, so the surfers were there to take advantage of the nice waves.

It’s always nice to taken in the salty air of the beach. My sinuses always feel better after spending time near the water. Hopefully, next time the weather will cooperate, so we can see the sunrise fully. Nonetheless, it was the perfect way to start our day. Afterwards, we just chilled on the couch with the puppies.

Originally, I had a lunch date with my friend Terri, but had to cancel since Goalielocks had been sick. Fortunately, he does not have Covid. Unfortunately, he does have the flu. Thankfully, we caught it super early and he hasn’t been around the rest of us since Wednesday. Last time he had the flu, we caught it late and had all been exposed. Thank God this time he’s on Tamiflu and is self sufficient. Like last time, he had the flu vaccine, which should lessen the severity of his illness.

This afternoon I channeled my inner baker, thank you Great British Bake-off, and made a Swiss cake roll. It was relatively easy to make, but there are a couple of adjustments I’ll make for the next time. First, the pan has to be 11X17. Secondly, when I roll it with the tea towel, I’ll not wrap it up in the tea towel. This should allow for a tighter wrap.

While I was waiting for the cake roll to cool, I made some pickled vegetables. I’ve developed a taste for pickled vegetables. Naturally, this works well since it’s minimal calories, yet satiating. This time I used cauliflower, orange pepper, carrots, onions, garlic and dill. I made a quick pickle recipe, so I didn’t have to boil the jars or anything. Once I’ve tried them, I’lll share the recipe here (only if it turns out good.)

Prosecco Parfaits

As the name Prosecco parfaits suggest, this truly is the perfect dessert. It’s simple to prepare, but big on elegance and flavor. Truly, you can make it your own by playing around with the wine selection and the accompaniments. For the parfaits I made on Christmas eve, I used Martini & Rossi Asti. I dressed the parfaits with fresh mint and raspberries, which was a great combination. Here’s the recipe:

Prosecco Parfaits
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Inactive: 4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 23 minutes


1 750 ML of Prosecco or other sparkling wine
3/4 cup of granulated sugar (divided 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup of water
2 1/4 oz packets of unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz mascarpone cheese


  1. Combine the wine, 1/2 cup of sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for five minutes to cook some of the alcohol off. You can adjust the simmer time here depending on how strong you want your jello to be. Five minutes, however, produces a well balanced jello shot with plenty of alcohol. Next remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the the gelatin until its completely dissolved. Once the gelatin has been stirred in and dissolved completely, pour it into a 9×11 or 9×13 baking dish and cool to room temperature before placing the jello in the refridgerator to setup for at least four hours.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the cream to medium stiff peaks. This took me about 4 minutes, but can vary based on the equipment used. Medium stiff peaks are just stiff enough to stand up, but the top will curl over (see pic below.). Place the bowl with the whipped cream in the fridge to keep cool. If you live up North, you can skip this step. I live in Florida, so I need to put it in the fridge to keep it from getting too warm. Next, in a separate large bowl, mix the marscapone cheese and remaining sugar (1/4 cup) untli smooth. Fold in 1/3 of the cool whipped to the marscapone cheese mixture. Lastly, once combined add the marscapone cheese mixture to the rest of the whipped cream.
  3. After the jello is set, you can start assembling the parfaits. I used parfait glasses I purchased from Amazon. Cut the jello into 1×1 squares using a cookie or bisquit cutter and place in the bottom of the parfait cups. Next cover the jello squares with 1/2 of the cream mixuture. Repeat with two or three more layers (depending on the width of your parfait cups) leaving enough cream for a dollop on top.


  • For a non-alcoholic version, you can use the sparkiling grape or pear juice found at most grocery store and can skip the five minute simmer.
  • If it’s warm where you’re at, keep the bowl and the beaters in the fridge to keep them cool.
  • If your whipped cream starts to look grainy, you’ve beaten it too long. You can try to fix it by adding a couple more tablespoons and whisking it in by hand. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to start over.

Tools used:

  • 2 3 quart mixing bowls
  • 1 Hand mixer
  • Parfait cups (disposable)
  • 13×9 baking pan
  • Reynolds wrap
  • Large Saucepan
  • Whisk

Day Off

It’s my first day off in over two weeks. I’ve been so busy with work that I gave myself that last two nights off from the blog. Also, I haven’t had much to say. Work is going super well, but it’s all consuming. Fortunately, I’ve taken the lessons learned from last year and implemented them this year. Consequently, I work out before any shift and my production is more than double last year’s.

Nonetheless, it’s a bit isolating. I don’t leave the house ever, even my coffee is delivered. My social life has become my puppies. Obviously, they’re the best sales support staff I’ve ever worked with. Unfortunately, the hockey schedule hasn’t been great this year either. I’m missing a lot more games this year than I did last year.

I enjoyed my day off by finishing Maid on Netflix, cleaning around the house, binged the Great British Bake Off and baking. I started some brioche, which I’ll finish tomorrow after it rises for 24 hours. This evening, I baked some lasagna for dinner. Truly, this lasagna has been my favorite food since I was a little kid. My great grandma, my grandma and my mom all made it. Now, it’s my turn.

Anyway, it’s just after 7:00 pm and I’m ready for bed. Clearly, I’m adjusting well to the end daylights savings time. Or perhaps, it’s just that I’m utterly exhausted emotionally, mentally and physically. Needless to say, I’ll be in bed early again tonight. Hopefully, I’ll adjust to the time change some time soon.

Day Off

Today was my first day off since October 10th. It was definitely needed. I started my day by sleeping in a bit, which felt great. My goal for the day was to get a run in, finish the banenschnitten (Austrian banana dessert,) and work on organizing my kitchen. Fortunately, I got my run in, finished the dessert and made great strides in the kitchen.

I got a new food processor last week since the one we got for our wedding was on its last leg. Despite upgrading to the next model up, the new Cuisinart food processor cost me less than the old one. It also comes with a much better setup. All the accessories including all the very sharp tools are stored thoughtfully in a storage case. I’m excited to use it. Apparently, I’ve been watching the Great British Bake-off too much!

Both boys had games to officiate today, which was nice. They both are very expensive, so I’m excited to have their own spending money. I’m going broke subsidizing their social lives and Chipotle habits. I think the Mayor was just happy to be back on the ice after taking the week off. Fortunately, all of their games this weekend went well. It also gave me some quiet, alone time off at home on my day off. I don’t get much time to myself outside of my workday.

I am excited for the week ahead. Last week was great at work, so I’m excited to carry the momentum forward. Hopefully, the remaining six weeks of AEP are lucrative enough to fund my travel wishes for 2022. Honestly, I cannot wait to get back to Scandinavia and Europe. Obviously, I’ll be making another trip to Utah in the new year, which will be awesome. As for the rest of the night, I’m ready for bed. I don’t know why, but it feels three hours later than it actually is.

Homemade Chicken Broth for Dogs

Homemade Chicken Broth for Dogs is the perfect healthy treat for man’s best friend. I started making this when our dog Maya got ill in June. The hope was that it would help stimulate her appetite and increase her calorie intake.

Homemade Chicken Broth for Dogs
1 chicken carcass and bones (A store-bought rotisserie chicken works really well.)
4-5 carrots
Enough water to cover the chicken and bones

Maya enjoying the homemade chicken broth

1: Add chicken bones and carrots to the pot and cover with water.
2: Bring broth to a boil
3: Simmer on low for at least 1 hour. I prefer to simmer the broth for at least 4-5 hours
4: Allow the broth to cool before preparing to store it. I’ve been storing the broth in a pitcher, so it’s easy to pour into her bowl.

I don’t add onions to the broth as they’re not good for dogs. If I was making it for the family, I’d add both onions and celery to the pot.

On that note, I have to go finish the incomplete batch of broth I started earlier today. Then I’ll pack up the latest batch of fresh chicken broth!

Here are the tools I used to make the broth:

Peachy Keen Peach Crisp

As promised in my Peachy Keen blog, here’s my peach crisp recipe. I didn’t include it in the blog because who likes to scroll through a blog before getting to a recipe: nobody.

Peach Crisp:

3-4 Peaches – cored and sliced into wedges 1/4 inch thick. You can peel them if you like, but I left the skins on mine.
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 Tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/8 Tsp salt

For the Topping:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamon
1/2 cup of butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter a 2 qt baking dish.

Make the peach filling. Note you may need to drain the peaches if they’re super ripe before combining them with the other ingredients. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the filling. Mix well, so that the peaches are evenly coated. Transfer peaches to the prepared baking dish and arrange them in an even layer.

For the topping. Mix together the dry topping ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Next, add the butter (I like to break up the 1/2 cup of butter and add in slices) and use a pastry blender to mix in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.

Finish the dish. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the peaches. Bake the crisp for 38-42 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the peach filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool for twenty minutes before serving.

Notes: There are a lot of ways you can tweak this peach crisp recipe to make it your own. For example, you can give the topping your own spin by changing the spices. You could substitute nutmeg or allspice for the cardamon. Additionally, you could also add pecans to the topping. As for the filling, you could replace half the peaches with blueberries or strawberries.

Serve warm with ice cream of whipped cream. Enjoy!

Tools to use for baking the peach crisp: