Monday, June 5, 2023

This Week on the Dining Table for 2 Weeks

 The "You Know You Are Back From Vacation" Edition

We returned on Monday to home.  Oh what a tale I have to tell but not now.  Jet Lag was bad on both ends of a less than stellar cruise and 1.5 days in London.  But more on that later.
I am still in the land of sleep deprivation and this prettier than me representation of me should have drool hanging out of her mouth. lol

I am sorry if I've already forgotten items consumed or muddled the days as this a 2 week report.  I'll do the end of the cruise food eaten next time if I can get my brain working again and spell better. 8-

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned the first week.......
1. Sunday--Chicken Parm, Yellow Squash
2. Monday--Beef Pie
3. Tuesday--Riced Cauliflower, other Veggies and Beef Stir-fry
4. Wednesday--Trivia night at different place so no clue
5. Thursday--Applebee's Salad(late lunch)
6.  Friday--Tempura Shrimp and Zuke, Spinach Soufflé, maybe Cole Slaw
7. Saturday--Chicken in Peanut Sauce, Noodles and Veggies

And here's what actually happened........

1. Sunday--Chicken Parm, Yellow Squash
2. Monday--Beef Pie
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Tempura Shrimp and Zuke, Spinach Soufflé
6.  Friday--More Leftovers
7. Saturday--In n' Out Burger for lunch, no dinner

Lots didn't happen as I've been having a gastrointestinal issue all week.  Hubs had to fend for himself mostly. He made the Beef Pie and finished it all as a lefttover as I was not up for food running through my intestinal system most of the week. TMI but true.

What got put into the freezer last week....
*   sweet potato I cooked up so I could freeze it.

What got taken out of the freezer and used...
*  1 lb. Ground Beef
*  1 container of Chicken Parm

Last week we spent $0 on grocery shopping
This brings our food/toiletries/paper goods Total to $0 for June.  

There are 16 shopping days left in June.

Here is the second week's "food plan".....
*Sunday to Saturday there was no plan. Duh.

And here's what actually happened........

Sunday--I had a small Caesar Salad for lunch, Hubs had his first ever Poutine in the Montreal airport(*cue the hu hu hu" French attitude)during out 6.50 hour layover(after leaving the hotel before breakfast was to be served).

 Then  a less than stellar Air Canada dinner at about 3 am  and then at 5 am they served a flavorless cup of yogurt(which was suppose to be flavored but danged if I could tell other than sugar what the flavor was suppose to be) and a soggy croissant before kicking us off the airplane at Heathrow airport on Monday morning at 6:30 am.  The cruise line arranged for a man in a van to take us to the hotel in the Kensington section of downtown London(which took ages as it was Monday morning rush hour into London).  Not being able to check-in to said hotel until 3pm we checked our bags with the front desk and skiddadled to Westminster Abbey for the verger tour we had booked there and made it just in the nick of time.
Monday-- We checked in to the hotel at 3pm and had a beer each and I had 2 appetizer plated(roasted mixed veggies plus a plate of olives at the hotel bar then fell into bed for hours(jet lag IS real people!)

Tuesday--Hotel breakfast buffet  with lots of different and strange English and ethnic food(there is a reason people refer to London as "Londonistan" lol)
Then Lunch/Dinner at a the Paul cafe near the Tower of London(I had a  Coronation Chicken" sandwich which was dry as dirt on a small tooth breaking Baguette roll with another Coke Zero.

 There was a half pint of Samuel Smith Extra Stout at a pub in the West End before the show we caught Then cabbing it back to the hotel.

Wednesday-another hotel Breakfast buffet forage 
Where I ate a "real meal" because we'd not eat dinner until late on the ship.  I discovered that I LIKE breakfast beans and Cumberland sausage!
then to the cruise ship and the traditional lunch of carrot cake, water and Guinesss.

Then a late dinner at a Brazilian Steakhouse on the ship.  Best item on that menu was the grilled pineapple they brought to the table on big skewers like the meats to serve you.  I think I ate mainly pineapple there.  So good!
Thursday-- Breakfast was a Coke Zero and oatmeal.
The rest of the week breakfast was a drink(Coke Zero, Hot Tea often with Lemon and Honey or the English way with cream plus a banana in the cabin on 2 of the mornings.
Lunch in Edinburgh was Irn Bru......
And Haggis, Neeps and Tatties in a pepper cream sauce with flavorless bacon on top(which was not eaten).  More on this meal later on another post.
Dinner on the ship was an appetizer of 2 ravioli(with the tomato scraped off)
And a main of Eggplant Parmagiana(and Hugs took the spaghetti)
There may have been more carrot cake and water with lemon in the pub onboard later that evening but no dessert in this main dining room.

Early excursion that day so I ate one of the bananas for breakfast in the room.
It slipped out of the peel in two pieces.  I learned to do that magic trick as a kid but had no needle with me so it was a magical bananas I guess.

After walking around Belfast, we stopped in a coffee shop(I had water and about 1/4 ofra beetroot salad and Hubs had COFFEE. For lunch bad on the ship Hubs has Penne pasta with Arribbiata sauce which was not spicy at all as it should have been.
 I had pork Asian sliders and Coke Zero and some salad green on the plate.
These were very good.

I decided to push my luck at lunch and had a sliver of cheesecake with peanut butter flavor.  The only problem the ONLY PB flavor was that 1/3 of a miniature Reese's cup on top.  Most of what's pictured stayed on that plate.  
Dinner as the Asian restaurant(we ate there two nights).  Same name and menu as the last ship Kim.
This is Hubs with his dessert -Green Tea Ice Cream and Red Bean and Hazelnut filled triangles.
I had 5 spice Ginger Chocolate Cake
We also had LOTS of Calamari appetizers there because Kim was not there.  I hope a photo of it doesn't give you allergies. lol
The first visit I had Char Siu and was was nothing like that same dish on the other boat.  The second visit I had a lemon pepper chicken entreé which was so good.  So this was Friday dinner not the first visit.  I am so confused on what nights we ate where. lol
This was fish and chips in the pub one night.  I found a guy too Kim who kept me lubricated with Coke Zero.
 One morning Dan bought a breakfast coffee before excursion time using the ship credit on my card so they put my name on his cup. lolz
This was taken in Cork at the Frisky Whisky Bar.  We were there for the top tier Guinness(and Beamish) draught stout they serve in Ireland. The second tier Guinness goes out to the rest of Europe and the Shite stuff in cans goes to America.  Now that I've had the best how can I drink Guinness again here over the pond?  My life is ruined!

We ate one lunch in the buffet on the last day of the cruise.  I was in singing prep mode so I ate little of lunch and waited until after the Karaoke Finals that evening to have a late dinner in the smaller of the two main sit-down dining rooms with one of our favorite waiters serving us.  Got tiny grilled scallops without the fennel cream sauce(Hubs also had this appetizer but he said the sauce had no fennel taste so when he was finished I scraped my scallops onto his saucy plate.  For the entreé I had a lackluster steak(overcooked but asked for Rare)with au jus, pomme frites(french fries)and something green I can't recall.

We ended the night later with a Guinnes toast and  Kim and I's carrot cake tradition.

There was also boat load of fish(with a few chips consumed), a good Rueben Sandwich(with the smallest sliver of dill pickle I've ever seen), some Bulgogi with was drier than a dry county in Tennessee and some really good Pecan Chicken that looked dry but had flavor abounding.
Me with the infamous pickle "spear".  You couldn't  harm a sardine with that pickle *said in my best Billy Connelly accent.

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  Not a damned thing as I wasn't home

Last week we spent $0 on grocery shopping
This brings our food/toiletries/paper goods Total to $0 for June 

There are 25 shopping days in June

I've earned $0 on Ibotta in June.
I've earned $0 on Checkout51 in June.
I've earned $0 on Coupons dotcom in June.
I've earned $0 on Shopmium in June.
I've earned $0 on Kroger Cash Back in June.
I've earned 0 points from food shopping on Fetch in June.
I've earned 0 points from food shopping on Shop Kick in June.
I've earned 0 SB from food shopping on Swag Bucks in June.

That is $0 in rebates(not counting the Shop Kick/Swag Bucks/Fetch)on $0 of grocery spending so in reality it's $0 in food spending after the 5 rebate apps I count.

My savings percentage for the last week was 0% and the monthly savings total for June comes in at 0% so far.  0% spent...Hooray, I win!!

Leftovers going into this week...nothing

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--me-Asian Green Beans, Hubs- Burritos
2. Monday--No Clue
3. Tuesday--No Clue
4  Wednesday--No Clue
5. Thursday--No Clue
6.  Friday--No Clue
7. Saturday--No Clue

What do I need to buy to fix everything on this menu?  Beats me.  I am still trying to fight off jet lag from the trip home and have serious brain fog.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any deals on food at your stores this week? 



  1. 50 cents each at WM--Stove Top Stuffing, Heinz large jars of gravy, Libby's Pumpkin for pumpkin pies!

    At The Pig--Large Eggs, I doz. $.88

    I wonder if I would have jet lag since I have an erratic sleep pattern.

    1. Good for you on the deals. I have been MIA totaly since leaving, my cellphone was either a camera or a brick. lol
      Jet lag is real when you go over 6 or so time zones plus 1 flight was a red eye sitting up in economy. The flight back I dozed 3 times(started movies and watched at the most 20 minutes before conking out. We have two family issue going on now since returning to recover and sleeping is hard. You might not notice your jet lag as such but you would have it.

  2. Jet lag on both ends of a less than stellar cruise? Oh wow, do tell. I would be so pissed off if I spent a wad of cash to go on vacation and it was not very good. I like carrot cake, cheesecake, and I like seafood. I only like my steaks rare though and would be pissed if it was over cooked. Do tell when you are awake enough what happened.
    I take it some of the food other than the steak was not exactly great????? Cindy in the South

    1. The flights were horrendous for various reasons, the worst being the complimentary shuttle from the airport back to the hotel at DFW airport never arrived for 2 Hours and we had to take a taxi. Guess who will be disputing part of that hotel stay charge? lol We knew going in NCL had made changes(fired half the housekeeping staff, but the extra money grubbing onboard had risen to a ridiculous level. 3 ports became tendering ports(when we were only told ahead of time about 1 tender-meaning I had to cancel 2 excursions(for ship board credit only, not a refund)so I only experienced to ports of call-Orkney Islands and Wales from the ships bow. Other Corporate policy changes that make the Panama canal debacle on the last ship in December look like nothing bad at all. Oh, the VP of Guest Relations in Miami for the company got sent a snail mail letter before we left for this cruise and will receive a quite lengthy one once I am back up to speed about their changes, lack of communication, etc. We have cruise next credits we need to use up(or will transfer to any of our kids who will use them before they expire but other than that, the Australia cruise of 2024 will be cancelled forth with and I won't ever recommend or sail with NCL again. I will miss the friendly helpful frontline people who work for them but they just don't make up for NCL's misguided policy changes and disregard for the people who spend big bucks to go on vacation. Thanks for asking and again all will be revealed in due time.

    2. Yikes! I would have perished from the stress of all that, for sure! Glad you are home safe. Get some rest!

    3. OMG! That is awful! Cindy in the South

    4. I dont love tenders either .. especially when it’s not warm water, but never had to cancel anything due to them. But it does add some time to plans for the day. Why did they make you cancel? Heather

    5. Sorry to hear the cruise wasn't everything you'd hoped for. Sounds like that company has some serious issues to work out. Hope the jet lag passes soon and that you're feeling better.

    6. I am made of steel internally and we aughed at some of it as we had no other choice. Maybe U shoud start a travel blog to warn peope away from the shit show Norwegian Cruise Lines has turned itself into?

  3. Welcome home! I hope that you will be able to get rested up, and I hope your gastro issues are better. I'm sorry that the cruise wasn't the best, but I hope you had a good time for the most part. Looking forward to your trip review.

  4. Thank you for writing up the adventure. I am saddened that NCL has declined but greatly appreciate knowing that. I am hoping for a cruise next year, so will cross them off the list. I laughed at the pickle spear, and the 1/3 of a peanut butter cup. Sigh. Welcome home, hilogene in Az.

  5. Jet lag is very real! Hope you feel better soon.

  6. complain complain complain LOL

    1. Hey Babe, I don't sugar coat my life like most people on this platform. Nor do I hide my vitriol behind an anonymous comment so go troll someone who cares.

    2. Jre sorry to sound dumb but what is NCL? I’ve been getting a lot of brochures from Norwegian cruises. I’m often quite cheap but I turn 70 this year and I’m running out of time and mobility so willing to fork over more. (I need a new knee) so I’m trying to gauge what I can manage in getting around (no hiking ha!) and have thought about some European river cruises but have also been looking at the Ireland, Scotland, Wales cruises or train trips. I’m a widow so have to pay single rate :( or find roomies. But my friends are married and kids too busy. About 4 years ago my daughter and I did a package from mn to Shannon, rental car, B&B for 7 days (huge breakfast buffets) and departed Dublin for about a 1,200 a piece! Air included with a Groupon deal. Thank g-d my daughter drove but it was amazing and beautiful and freedom of a car and my Garmin worked!!

    3. Not dumb at all. NCL= Norwegian Cruise Lines. The only good thing they have are solo cruiser cabins and a special place onboard for those cruisers to mingle. They don't charge you a supplement for a cabin. If you are going solo for the first time may be to work with a travel agent. They know the ins and outs and if you ask they can alert you to when the cruise line runs specials. It will take time to find the right ship for your needs. If you have mobility issues remember that if you cruise to a port outside the US other countries don't have our ADA standards. Sounds like you had a great deal with that Groupon. 8-)

    4. Thanks, I might still be looking into it. They sure make it look wonderful but sounds like there are some issues.

  7. I concur! We arrived home from two weeks away on Sunday. Bless my great neighbor who sent a text on our way home saying she was making cabbage rolls and did we want some. Yes and they were delicious.

  8. While you were in London did you go to any of the "broadway" type shows? Did you go to Harrods? Did you go to any of the museums? Art galleries? Picadilly Circus? Tower of London? Buckingham Palace? WTF did you do there other than eat? England is suffering from 25% food inflation PLUS London is NOT known for their food. Unless you have their fish & chips (fries), beans on toast, lamb chops etc. Did you read a travel guide before you went? Harrods basement has the finest food in all of Europe. Did you know that about their food court? Also, most retirees know that cruises are horrific now since the pandemic thus they don't go on them. Give the credits to your kids. They can take a cruise to paradise or nowhere and enjoy the ambiance. Signed, Cynthia from New England. I am so sorry you and your husband did not enjoy yourselves. London really is a fun town with lots to do (I personally love shopping along their antiques row). Oh well. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe while in London and had the best American burgers! Plus made a few friends who recommended taking the tour bus around town (on & off) for like just a bus fare (super cheap). We got to see the square where the guillotine was and all those beheadings! Plus we went to the main park and actually fell asleep (jet lag) and were as safe as could be. No one bothered us. Again, I am very sorry your travel adventures didn't please you. There's always a next time. Good luck.

    1. We were only in London from 6:30am Monday the 22nd of May until the morning of
      Wednesday the 24th of May. Much research was done on what was possible to do in basically 48 hours and let me say, there was not alot we could fit in! London was all about seeing graves of ancestors in Westminster and other less fortunate ancestors who met their end at The Tower of London all on my mother side. Hubs wish list was Westminster too. One of my fav things was seeing "Six" in the West End(their equivalent to our Broadway. We had two free hotel breakfasts, a small lunch of apps at the hotel bar after checking in at 3 and jet lag napping til morning #2. We fit in one lackluster lunch by the Tower, a pre-show pub visit and chat with a lovely couple as well as a friendly barkeep at said pub. Then to the theater after walking past and boosting the English economy with trinket purchases to bring home. The city was still a buzz from the recent coronation of cousin Chuck. Still sleep deprived and the only regret was not finding a proper Afternoon tea that wasn't full of tourists like us. There was a small family operation but they didn't take reservations and a cab ride there might have been folly. I've had a proper English tea with Sonya Ann when she was still in Illinois. Nothing London had to offer in that realm could have topped watching Sonya drench the table cloth at that one or doing a Danny Thomas spit take bit and tea spewing from my mouth and both nostrils when we saw the waitress with her tiny little top hat oh so fashionably perched to the side of the part in her hair. I prefer to blend in like a local(if possible)and try new to me foods but there was little opportunity for a sit down meal mostly and that wasn't what I was there to experiencel I am glad you had a jolly good time but everyone has their own priorities and what they want out of a trip. If I weren't so claustrophobic and not a fan of large loud cities.

  9. You and Dan have lost more weight. I think you would have had more fun if I had been there.

    1. Definitely except for the farting ALL NIGHT LONG. There would have been more laughs and more carrot cake consumed late into the evening.

  10. We just finished the beef and noodles so I’ll need to make something new tomorrow. Biscuit dough is already chilling and white bean soup sounds good to me. Dave may disagree but he can keep eating it on top of a baked potato.

    1. Dave should be grateful you are feeding him or STFU! lol

  11. Sounds like your expectations are not matching reality of travel. If you want premium meals book business class. If you don’t want to be stuck in traffic don’t land in rush hour and book your hotel for an extra day so you can check in when you land. Doesn’t seemed you’ve travelled much. As for food. NCL is a great ship. You sound very focused on what wasn’t your ideal.

    Ps - the French insult above … is for the French. Not Canadians who speak French 😉

    1. The cruise line booked our flights so I had no choice on when we arrived in London(which an add-on stay pre-cruise). NCL is notorious for booking the least expensive seats so they see more profits to keep for themselves.
      NCL is not a great ship, it is a Cruise Line with many ships so what are you referring to, which ship? I have been on 3 different ships of theirs and 4 different cruises since Aug. 2021 when the industry reopened. They have made significant changes in corporate policies since Dec. 2022. These policies affect all cruisers on NCL now and to their detriment. They ain't what they used to be.
      Flying Air Canada was not MY idea...the cruise line booked the airline. I was happy to get a meal on the international leg but the timing of said meals? Not so much. Drinks were available on both legs each way for free but no snacks like pretzels or nuts on the domestic legs. I am not on a plane to eat but to fly though the air in a metal tube to my destination.

    2. That’s your first mistake. Don’t books flights via the cruise line. Book what you want separate from them! NCL is awesome. I think those are rumours about “corporate” lol. Did three Caribbean cruise this winter with them. All fabulous!

    3. Oh goody! Another anonymous commenter telling me I am either imagining things or a "Fecking Idjit". Worked with a travel agent on the first cruise which went to Alaska. It was wonderful. Not a bad thing to say about the exxperience. Because of that one I talked my brother and his wife into sailing the Caribbean that Dec. NCL was going overboard to get their customers back on board/ their money when they reopened post pandemic. I book with a loved NCL agent when deals come up which include among other things 2 for the price of 1 flights to the port(and sometimes free hotel the night before if the flight gets in late, also fee transport to the cruise terminal, etc.). The Central American cruise Dec. 2022 saw problems with one excursion we never got the money back and they didn't keep their contractual agreement to PROVIDE that shore excursion. The corporate changes in 2023 are REAL not a myth. I can give you links to articles from people who know as well as press releases from NCL itself on the changes. I suppose my expectations are at the level we experienced on the Alaska trip but since Dec. 2021. I guess you have lower standards or the ships you went to the Caribbean on this past Winter hadn't implemented all the reductions in service and hadn't laid off/failed to renew contracts of workers, etc. yet. Glad for you it was all fabulous time. Good luck on your next NCL cruise!

  12. Sluggy I just read your other comments and wow, I would die. I do not do crowds, absolutely hate flying, and just the cancelled stuff that you paid for with that cruise line sounds awful. I don’t remember what happened on the last cruise y’all took regarding the Panama Canal issue. I read on Girls Love Travel site on Facebook about how lots of folks having trouble with Air Canada this year. I also read on a retirement fb page, cannot remember which one, about that cruise line you used having issues. You need a vacation from your vacation! Maybe you can drive to beach in Destin, Pensacola, or Gulf Shores to recuperate. Virtual hugs. Cindy in the South

    1. The whole reason for the Central American trip was that Panama Canal excursion Don't sure if NCL folks were informed of the explosion on one of the two canals(which made all canal traffic have to use one set of locks but the folks running the excursion in Panama knew before we got loaded onto buses and took an hour long trip through the jungle to get on their passenger boat. 4 hours later, after sitting on that boat, were told nope! and all the buses came back to ride us back through the jungle to the port and quickly onto the cruise ship. Nobody in charge at the excursion desk would come out of the office and face 250 angry, hot customers. I felt sorry for the poor guy they left at the desk to face all of us. A day later we were all offered a 30% discount for an excursion that never happened? Nope, we set our hounds of the group on them and two days later the discount jumped to 70%. Then the cruise was over, get off and bon voyage. I am still fighting with NCL Holdings Ltd. to get that 100% refund.

    2. Wow, that is terrible. Cindy in the South

  13. I've been on 3 cruises on two different cruise lines, and, well, let's just say, after the last one, which was the same cruise line as the first, never again. I find cruise ships very tedious, crowded, and the food, even on the upscale lines I was on, a step above my college's all-you-can-eat buffet. And the Caribbean cruises had kids, Kids, KIDS everywhere. I found myself hiding out in the overpriced bars to get away from them. Now, your stay in London? I'd be all over that. And, YOU DID A VERGER TOUR!!! Can't wait to hear about it. Plus, you saw "Six." My favorite number is Anne of Cleves'. The Tudors are a passion of mine. When it comes to history, my favorite wife is Anne Boleyn, (the Beefeater actually pulled the altar at St. Peter's Ad Vincula to show me her plaque, but then pointed out that her remains were actually closer to the wall), but Catherine Parr is a close second. I'd love to see the original plaque marking her burial place in Sudeley castle. (I'm sure you know about the story of her remains.) I could spend two weeks in London, using it as a home base, and still not see all I wanted to see. As for the food, though, I have said that the English conquered half the world for spices, yet never bothered to learn how to use them.


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