Saturday, March 28, 2020

Read, Keep Calm, and Forget the Baked Beans by Connie Vines @connievines_author

This month's blog post, I felt, needed to be timely. . .but I believe we will all get through this--together.


Keep Calm.  Listen to music.  Allow yourself time to relax and read.  I know may of you are home-schooling your children.  Even with the joys of SKYPE, online access to materials, and exercise outings/live-streaming, your day is certainly a hectic one.

Take time to recharge and relax.

The schools are closed, and like most in the education field, we are working via computer from home. I am very fortunate.  I applaud those on the front-line: medical field, grocery store employees, delivery drivers, truck drivers, restaurant workers, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, police, firemen, pet stores/humane societies, banks, manufactures, and everyone whose job is part of an essential business to keep our cities/countries operating. I applaud their dedication, and I pray for them and their families, each and every day.
My Journal

Take care of yourself.

Having a difficult day?  A challenging moment?  I bundle up and go out side for a while, or spend a few minutes writing in my journal.  I talk to the dog, exercise: Chair Yoga (floor Yoga becomes dog Yoga), etc.

Need a few ideas to feed yourself, and your family?

Take stock of your pantry. Grape seed, canola, olive oil, or (here in southern California) avocado oil — in addition to butter or a butter substitute. For more flavor: balsamic vinegar or white wine. Other staples include: eggs, milk or a non-dairy substitute, flour, onions, garlic, and seasoning like chili.
Take inventory of the ingredients. Once you have the basics you should start to make a list of the ingredients in your cupboard. You should be especially on the lookout for proteins like frozen meat (or a plant-based substitute), fish, vegetables like spinach and broccoli that are high in protein, and any kind of nut-like butter.

If you can’t find what you want in a grocery store, try calling local restaurants, and seeing if they have extra ingredients or stock on hand.  Here in the United States we have a delivery service, Instacart (and numerous others), shoppers shop the items and deliver them to a customer’s door-step.  Items/meals are purchased at grocery stores and restaurants.  Often these restaurants have bread, eggs, milk, fresh fruit available when the markets are waiting for the next shipment.

In terms of vegetables, canned tomatoes are a must-have, especially if tomato sauce is out of stock. Carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, and beets all of which can be used to make a rice bowl. I chop fresh bell peppers and onions and freeze them for use in dishes. Aged cheeses hold up well (can be frozen, too), and can be used in a variety of dishes form salads to pasta.

Go-to dishes include: plant-based tacos or meat tacos using corn tortillas, peanut butter protein shakes, egg and spinach sandwiches, curries, and pasta dishes.

Call your neighbors. We all seem to have a fruit tree in our back yards and willing to share.  I have an Avocado tree; 2 neighbors have lemon trees.  So, now we have our vitamin C needs covered.

I cook double what I need and freeze half for a future meal.  Tonight, I prepared North Indian Chicken Curry.  I had to substitute Vanilla Yogurt for Plain Yogurt but no one was the wiser.
North Indian Curry
Yes, I do have dried beans in my pantry.  However, I add the beans to soups, salads, or as New Orleans’ style Red Beans and Rice, or Chili.

How are you making use of the items in your pantry?  I’m utilizing my crock-pot, oven, and stove top.  It’s too cold (for me) to grill outside.

Do you have a go-to-recipe you’d like to share?

A way to cope with stress?
I add shelf liner to my fridge

BWL books on sale at 60% off at Smashwords.  BWL is also offering free reads to give-back-to-our-readers during this time we are to stay safe at home.

I also have many recipes posted on my Pinterest site (visit my website for the link) Connie Vines Website

BWL Site


Stay Safe, Stay Strong!  We will get through this together 💕


  1. While I'm staying in, I have a son who has one of those essential jobs and a granddaughter who shops for me and a few other elderly people. I'm praying for the temp to his seventy so I can go out and sit on my porch swing. Keep writing

  2. Great tips, Connie. Keep writing. :-)

  3. All good advice. My fridge is loaded and so is my pantry so I am right.

  4. Good blog! Good ideas. Community and sharing are so important right now. My husband has become an "Indian chef" so lots of delicious curry here too.


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