Tag Archives: food

Friday:) Friends, Food, and Fun Calligraphy

4 Sep

“ Every girl needs a friend that they can call or text and say, ‘What ya doin’ today, Thelma?” And she replies, ‘I’ll be right over, Louise!’ “

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I probably didn’t fall asleep till 2am this morning, and woke up at 8. Instead of going back to sleep for a couple of hours, I decided I should get my walk in before the morning heat slithered in. I was out the door by 8:30 and managed to get 3 miles in before sweltering.

I walked around 3 loops around the pond, then took a rest under the shady tree, then another two loops, a rest and another few loops. It was a nice morning.

I had planned on taking a nap when I got home, but decided to make a few calls and check Facebook. Well, I noticed that my good friend, Sherri, otherwise known as my Thelma, had just posted something. So, I commented on her post and said, “What ya doin’ today, Thelma.” A few minutes later, the phone rang. I answered, “Hey Sherri!” She replied… “Who?” Oops… I corrected myself and said, “Hey Thelma!”

After a little bantering back and forth of where to go to lunch or what to do, we decided on lunch at PETRA’s for “food.” Sherri remembered that when someone asks if I like Mexican food, I always reply, “I’m Mexican. We just call it food.” Ha.

We had a yummy lunch at Petra’s. Lots of chips and salsa and “food.”

After way too much food and nice conversation, we drove back to my house to play with some art stuff. I wasn’t sure what, but I mentioned if she’d ever dabbled with calligraphy.

Thelma is always up for a challenge. We experimented with brush marker, wide tipped Sharpies, fat flat brushes and round brushes and paint. Miss Sherri is a natural and did pretty darn good for the first time. Lettering is fun and I know she’s going to run with it.

After Thelma went home, I was determined to be a little productive. (Very little) I cleaned a couple of bathrooms, straightened up the kitchen and was going to take a shower when I heard the lawnmower guys in the back yard. They mow three of our houses in a row, and if I’m home, I always make sure to give them something cold to drink or some ice cream sandwiches or both.

The only downside is, I need to estimate how long they will be mowing, then peek out the window when they are almost done so I can get the ice cream sandwiches out of the freezer. It’s so hot out, they’d melt in 5 minutes. the ice cream too.

So, that’s my Friday so far. Now, time to relax. You know what Friday means….

Black Russian Friday. Cheers, my friends!

Wednesday:) Well, What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

4 Jun

We should all be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it – because they do.

Michael Greger


As you probably know by now, I do love to cook and bake, and when I do, I do not understand the concept of moderation or cooking for one. When I finally ventured out to Sprouts the other day, I decided to stock up on some veggies. I’ve been trying to use up food in my fridge, and I was plum out of fresh fruit and veggies. Therefore, I was craving veggies.

I picked up carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, zucchini, and broccoli. I intended on filling up my huge baking pan and baking afore mentioned vegetables in the oven then broiling them a little.

Well, I ended up having to use three large pans, filling them to the brim and taking up my entire oven. I cut up all the veggies, drizzled with some olive oil, salt, pepper and lots of garlic powder, covered with foil, baked for a long time? over and hour at 400, then baked about 15 more uncovered. But, that’s approximate time. I don’t follow recipes or directions. I just check every now and then.

Oh my goodness, the house smelled so good. I filled up my huge Tupperware bowl and have enough to share some with friends and enough to last me all week. I’m not a vegetarian, but I rarely eat meat. I certainly could eat this every day and not get tired of it. SO YUMMY!

One of my friends said, “That sounds so healthy.” Healthy smelthy, it’s just delicious.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? (With Bernard’s Gourmet Salsas)

30 Apr

“When the world gives you lots of leftovers, have a lot of fun making tasty meals.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I love to cook, and when I have leftovers, it’s fun to see what I can create that’s easy and tasty. I had some leftover chicken tenders, and I was able to make three or four different meals with it.

I diced and sautéed the chicken and half an onion. Monday, I made quesadillas with some of the mixture using pepper jack cheese and Bernard’s habanero salsa. Yesterday, I made flour tortilla tostadas with the chicken mixture and black beans, cheese and spinach, more salsa, of course.

Today, I made a couple of corn tostadas with the chicken, black beans, cheese, and spinach. I used those already pre-made shells that are so good and inexpensive. You could feed a family of five with these 27 small shells.

I grabbed a small ziplock of avocado from the freezer earlier, (yes, you can freeze avocado with a little lemon) mushed it up, snipped off a corner, and drizzled on the baby spinach topping the shells. I just happen to love spinach instead of lettuce.

I popped them in the toaster oven a couple of minutes to warm the shell and melt the cheese, then put a couple of teaspoons of Bernard’s Tomato y Red Pepper Salsa, some spinach, and little avocado.

Delicious! The problem is… I still have enough leftover for another meal. 🤦‍♀️

Luckily, you never get tired of tasty tostadas.

My Marvelous Manic Monday

21 Apr

“Just when you think your day is going to be one big boring maleficent mess, your doorbell rings with a surprise.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I was having another lazy morning when I received a text from my neighbor. He asked if I could stop over at his house to take in a package that arrived while he was at work. Wow! A purpose, a goal, an inncentive to get out of my jammies before 5pm. Yay! I walked over and grabbed the package and put it in his house, then continued to walk about two miles. All this before noon! Wow!

When I got home, I sat on the sofa (I think there’s a big dent in my spot) and made some phone calls and checked Facebook, with the rest of the day looming gloomily ahead. Then, the doorbell rang.

By the time I got to the door, a young man was walking away and there was a small shopping bag at the door, and the young man waved and walked to his truck. I looked at the bag wondering what it could be, as I didn’t order anything. OH!!! It said “Bernard’s Gourmet Foods.” It was a beautifully wrapped jar of salsa and a lovely note from Michele and Davis Bernard, saying how much they appreciate my sharing there Facebook posts and videos.

I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t the WORLD’s BEST EVER SALSA, I probably wouldn’t be sharing. It really is wonderful. We have been friends since way back when David and Michele were just making salsa at home for us fortunate friends that used to come for visits and parties. Now, they have their salsas at HEB stores and several other stores and shops. They are famous!

Chef David has been making these wonderful videos on Facebook, sharing some of his wonderful recipes with their salsa with the rest of the world.

So, I decided to make my own video. It was such a coincidence because I was planning on making this yummy grilled sandwich using my salsa mixture tonight for dinner. Coincidence or karma?

My sandwich was fantastic. I was going to make another one to share, but I changed my mind. I’m having another one. 🤦‍♀️

Thank you Michele and David…you ROCK!

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

16 Apr

“Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.” 

~M.F.K. Fisher


If you recall, yesterday, I was cooking up a storm. I made a huge pot of ham/bean/veggie soup, but everyone that I offered soup to in my neighborhood, graciously declined. I probably could eat most of it and freeze some, but I wanted to share. I guess not everyone likes the beans or the tomatoes or the ham or the veggies. That’s ok. I’m not offended.

So today, when some of my friends over at the apartments were doing a progressive potluck, offering curbside for those of us living further away, I offered to drop off a dessert when I picked up the curbside meal. I said I didn’t need any food for me, but I’d pick up Mr. Jerry’s dinner and save him a trip, as he lives closer to my side of town.

I decided the easiest and tastiest dessert to share and dispense would be my favorite peanut butter Snicker no bake mini pies. (Watch video for directions and recipe)

While the desserts were setting up in the fridge, I decided to make some pasta for Mr. Jerry and Mr. Mike. I know they like pasta. So, I made a big pot and divided it up, and put in containers for transport. I didn’t even save any for myself. I still have lots of soup eat. Sometimes I just get on a roll and I have to cook and bake and share. It’s a Toni thing.

I dropped off the pasta and four mini pies for my neighbor, Mr. Mike. Then, I drove over to Helene’s, and she had my curbside pick-up of chicken cacciatore with bread, cobbler, whipped cream, and salad, packed up and ready to go. I drove over to Mr. Jerry’s and dropped the wonderful meals from “the gang,” along with what I made. He was delighted and now has enough food for the rest of the week. He sent us a thank you photo.

Sharing is caring, and I have the sweetest caring friends in the world.

When you can’t hug someone, give them food. Almost just as good.

Tuesday:) Tasty Avocado Tortilla and More

27 Nov

“Delicious food can look good, taste good, and be good for you.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


One of my favorite foods is avocado. So, when they go on sale, I buy a whole bunch. (I bought 9 last week when they were 3 for $1.) When I found out that you can freeze avocado, I was overjoyed. I scoop out the flesh, place in a small ziplock bag and add a little lemon juice, then freeze. I can enjoy this healthy food all year long.

A couple of my favorite ways to enjoy avocados, beside making guacamole.

I warm up a tortilla in a dry pan until it’s toasty and crisp. Then, I spread the avocado, top with baby spinach and sliced tomatoes, then add a few dollops of plain Greek yogurt. Yum!

I also bought some big Asiago cheese bagels that I toasted and added the same ingredients. I can freeze the bagels individually and just grab one out of the freezer along with a little packet of avocado, and voila… an instant delicious meal, any time. The bagel was so big that I sliced it in three pieces before toasting. I put the frozen avocado in a tall glass of cold water to defrost. Ready to spread in a few minutes.

I don’t always eat food that’s good for me, but when it tastes so good, that’s a win-win. (Ignore the pizza and ice cream there in the freezer.)

Happy tasty Tuesday, my friends.

Tuesday:) Toni Takin’ it to the Streets~ Great Food

28 Mar

Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.

~Jonathan Safran Foer


Sunday was a fabulous fun and food day. After a beautiful Palm Sunday Mass at St. Mary of the Angels, my son took me to the Mexican Heritage Museum, (more on that another day) and we walked around the Pilsen area of Chicago. The funny part is, our family lived in that area for many years when I was growing up. But, that was a long time ago. Nothing looked familiar.

After the museum, we walked over to his favorite taco place, El Milagro. He said he often rides his bike or walks over on a nice day. I ordered two chicken tacos. One couldn’t possibly be enough, because I was really hungry. Wrongo. They were huge, so I only managed one with a side order of rice and beans. I’m not usually impressed by “Mexican Food.” I always say, “At home, we just called it food.” But, this was sooooo good. I brought the other one home.

See what I mean? There must have been a pound of stuff on each taco.

Then, we walked next door to the tortilla storefront next door and bought a couple of dozen tortillas. 75cents a dozen! Wow! Still warm.

It was a sunny, fairly warm for Chicago day, so,we walked around the Pilsen neighborhood. Of course, we had to stop at the Mexican bakery down the street. (When in Rome)

They even had vegan pastries and cupcakes for my vegan son. I could never be a vegan. I could give up meat, but NEVER cheese or pizza or real brownies or cream cheese frosting on real cupcakes.

We went back to Matt’s, watched some Final Four games, then he worked on my taxes. My own personal tax and financial advisor. If you’re going to have children, try to raise a financial guy, or a doctor, or a lawyer, or a nurse, or just some wonderful children who are happy to help you out when you’re old and grey. (Well, I’m old, but the grey is on hold) I’ve got a couple of very fine sons. Lucky me.

The evening rolled by, and guess what? It was time for dinner. More food! Matt wanted to take me to his favorite pizza place, Pequod’s. Yep! More food. You can never have too much Chicago pizza. Well, you can. I just did,

I waddled back to the car, more leftovers in hand, and I managed to clump and climb up the three flights of stairs, back up to his apartment. Oh yes, the view. Let’s not forget the view from his rooftop deck.

That was just one day of Toni takin’ it to the streets of Chicago. I didn’t even talk about the museum yet. It was a very full fun foodie day.

Saturday:) St. Patrick’s Day~Some Serious Baking and Eating and a Little Irish Princess

18 Mar

“If you can’t find good food where you live, go home.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


My sisters and I have been baking, organizing, and getting ready for Mom’s special Celebration of Life tomorrow. We took a break between cleaning and shopping to pick up our cousin CC, who just drove in from Missouri. We were going to take her to Beef Villa, then decided last second, NO, Portillo’s would be better. We were right.

A couple more stops at the store to pick up massive quantities of more food and supplies, then back to start the baking frenzy. These little delights will be frosted and decorated with Peep bunnies in the morning. Two pans of brownies and dozens of sandwiches are ready for cutting in the morning.

There’s a lot more to do, but I needed to blog before midnight.

So, here’s my little Irish grand-daughter with her daddy. He was so excited to learn from his Ancestry DNA that he does have some Irish. We had a Murphy somewhere on my mother’s line.

Happy St. Patty’s day.

Theme Song Thursday:) These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

15 Dec

“We don’t need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They’re always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.”

Lloyd Alexander


During the holidays, we are reminded of age old traditions, we think about family and friends, and we reminisce about our favorite things.

These are a few of my favorite things…





There is so much more and so many more family members and friends, but you don’t have time to look at all 6,349 pictures on my iPad. Or do you?

Friday:) Fun Fast Food At Home

18 Nov

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”



The only thing better than good food, is yummy food you can fix really fast. I bought some tostada shells the other day ay Winco. They were so darn cheap, I think 99 cents or even less. I popped a couple in the toaster oven with some shredded jack cheese, until melted, threw a little spinach, then sliced up an avocado, (on sale 69 cents), voila, avocado tostado in five minutes. I also diced up a cucumber and a few tomatoes that I keep in a container with some Italian dressing. I scoop some of that on a bowl of baby spinach for a fast yummy salad. There’s enough for a couple of more days.

With all this extra free time, I have more time to enjoy Black Russian Friday.