Friday, July 25, 2014
Since moving here (full time) in March, I've been trying to meet some new people, make new friends, not an easy task in mid-life! With no job nor school to "force" friendships, meeting other adults can be challenging. I have quite a few wonderful online friends, but not so many of the face-to-face variety. So, I joined a couple of meetups.
The first one, a Vegetarian/Vegan society, took place this past Sunday at a veg-friendly cafe in a nearby town. I was so excited, really looking forward to connecting with like-minded folks, but it ended up being quite a disappointment. The food was mediocre at best, and while the company might have been fabulous, the atmosphere and seating arrangement did not encourage conversation. Perhaps the group's other events will be better, but since most take place at least an hour from home, I doubt I'll be attending very often.
The next meetup we tried was a dinner/movie night. We met at a local sports bar where Chip and I have dined before so I knew there was something veg-friendly on the menu. Dinner was pleasant and the movie was good, but once again, most of the events are scheduled for a theater 30 minutes away from us. The movie dates take place on a Tuesday night, and we prefer to stay close to home on weeknights.
Last but not least, I joined a "girlfriends over 40" group. It's a very active bunch of women, have lots of different social opportunities, so I think this will be a good fit for me, if not for myself and Chip as a couple. A few days ago the organizer posted a "Weight Loss Buddy Wanted" inquiry and an invite to join Weight Watchers the next day. Well, you all know my history with WW, and I've been halfway following the program on line for a while now. So I thought, why not? Perhaps joining with a buddy will give me the motivation and additional accountability I need to reach my goal. So, Wednesday morning three of us met, had a little chat before & after the meeting and have since been texting and arranging future "healthy" get-togethers. Next Monday we're going on an early morning beach walk, for example. I think this will be a great opportunity to hang out with some nice women while getting fit & trim!
Now, let's talk about last night's dinner. I cooked the Meaty Mushroom Stroganoff, as planned, making just a couple of changes. I used rotini pasta instead of fettuccine, and Gardein "beef" tips because I don't think "Beyond Roast Beef" exists anymore.
The Verdict: The flavor was delicious and the texture of the meat just right, a perfect topping to the noodles. However, the gravy was much too thin, even after adding more cornstarch. Next time I'd cut back on either the almond milk or the vegetable broth. Still, not a total loss! I'll use the leftovers to top mashed potatoes or rice later this week. Unfortunately we ate so late, the kitchen was dark so I wasn't able to take a decent pic, but it wasn't a pretty dish anyway.
Tonight I'd planned on cooking the Vegetable Bean Enchiladas but Chip has a hectic day and I have no idea when he'll be home. I'm going to save that dish for the weekend, instead rely on my Crock-pot and make the Williams Crock Pot Chili. My beans are already in the Instant Pot, will toss everything together shortly.
Have a wonderful day, TGIF!