Anxiety, Blogging, Childhood, Favorite Things, Food, Friends, Humor, Life, Nonsense, Pets, Soul Homework, Tater Tots, Writing

Screw It, I’m Eating Tater Tots- Episode 45

If you’re new to my blog, welcome! Here is an explanation of the tater tot post.

Courtesy IMDB


I was telling my oldest daughter about a scary movie I saw as a child where a semi truck chases a man in his automobile across California. My description did not impress her that much.

I mean, it was scary. Really, really scary.

Or maybe just 1970s scary. Up there with hitchhiking and quicksand.

When I looked it up, I discovered that it was Steven Spielberg’s directorial debut, which surprised me for some reason. I had the sense that Steven Spielberg was from my generation, which sounds ridiculous. But, I associate him with ET and The Color Purple.

Anyway, Duel was released the year after I was born, but I remember watching it with my dad over the years. I recommend seeing it if you haven’t already.

It’s really, really scary. I promise.

Upon seeing the trailer, I think I overestimated how scary the movie was. The trailer, on the other hand, is worth watching because of the amount of action packed into it. 
Children in peril! 
Dennis Weaver should’ve been nominated for an Oscar if only for the trailer.

Pan pie

I watched a woman making delicious chicken pot pie in my TikTok feed a few weeks ago and decided to make it myself.

It was an imitation Costco chicken pot pie recipe.

I have a couple of questions: Have you tried the chicken pot pie from Costco? With all of the copycat recipes I found on Google, I assume it must be delicious.

The second question is, why is it called pot pie? Why not pan pie? Every single pot pie I’ve ever baked or eaten has been made in a pan rather than a pot.

We made our recipe a little easier by using rotisserie chicken. But I love that our pot/pan pie didn’t require any canned soup. It was the most delicious chicken pot/pan pie I’d ever had.

Costco Chicken Pot Pie {Copycat} – You’re Gonna Bake It After All

Winter guard

I bought these slippers because they are both cute and cozy. But it wasn’t until I had them on my feet for a few days that I knew why I wanted them so much.

My freshman year, I didn’t march in my high school marching band as a clarinetist because I was so anxious about the week-long away camp. Instead, I served as a band manager with my best friend for the entire marching season. But when winter arrived, I wanted to join my friend in winter guard. She didn’t play an instrument, so joining the marching band through color guard would be her only option. Because I was a joiner, I chose to tag along.

After one practice, I discovered that choreography was really difficult for my brain to learn. Learning dance routines as well as how to twirl a flag was more difficult than it seems. My friend excelled at it, whereas I struggled. Thank goodness I had my clarinet gig to fall back on.

Anyway, the girls in winter guard wore slippers similar to the ones I’m wearing above. When I saw these in the Morton Arboretum’s gift shop, I knew I had to buy them.

Needless to say, I dropped out of winter guard. I eventually overcame my fear of sleepaway camp and marched in our band for three years straight. It turned out that I was rather talented at performing marching maneuvers while also playing a musical instrument. Go figure.

What I’m reading

Your Resonant Self: Guided Meditations and Exercises to Engage Your Brain’s Capacity for Healing by Sarah Peyton

Healing Through Words by Rupi Kaur

Awaken Every Day: 365 Buddhist Reflections to Invite Mindfulness and Joy by Thubten Chodron

Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them by Tina Gilbertson

What I’m watching

Stutz (Netflix) Highly recommend

Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix) I believe Katie mentioned that this was one of her favorite shows to watch during lockdown. I could be mistaken. Then a while back, my parents told us that they had recently watched this enjoyable show and that we would enjoy it as well. It was on my radar, but I think I mixed it up with two other chef shows. I wished I had only seen the trailer. It’s lovely. It’s more than just a man eating food. Much, much more.

One of Us (Netflix)

I Am Vanessa Guillen (Netflix)

Capturing Killer Nurse (Netflix)

The Addams Family and Addams Family Values (Netflix) Can you believe I’ve never seen either of these before?

And this is wonderful:

What I’m listening to

Dreamland by Amos Lee

Under Heaven by Strand of Oaks

Fever Dream by Iron and Wine

Autumn Tree by Milo Greene

Some Humans Aint Human by John Prine

And my favorite Christmas-ish song (I’m not a huge fan of traditional Christmas music):

What I’m clicking on

102 Best Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

Getting Older: 3 of the Things I Love Most About It

Unlikely Simultaneous Historical Events

Home is Where Your Best Friend Is

End Art Shame

Jonah Hill’s Therapist Documentary: The Tools from ‘Stutz’

Melissa & Doug co-founder opens up about her secret struggle

Pantry Cocoa Brownies (Best brownies I’ve ever made)


The Most Popular Holiday Cookies in Every State

50 ways to be ridiculously generous—and feel ridiculously good. I’m not sure whether I’ve already shared this, but it doesn’t matter. I might post once a month.

What I’m quoting

“Generations of well-meaning mothers have learned to ignore their own instincts, deferring to the “experts” as they navigate the emotions that come with motherhood.” – Kelly McDaniel

“It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.” – Mary Oliver

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves.”- Thich Nhat Hanh

(On sharing your suffering or emotions with a close loved one): “The most important thing is that your support is not scared of emotions, and that you have a sense of being deeply understood after you have shared.” – Sarah Peyton from this book

Here’s to December…

58 thoughts on “Screw It, I’m Eating Tater Tots- Episode 45”

  1. We were just talking about Duel this weekend (after seeing Spielberg’s The Fablemans). I remember when Dennis Weaver was in everything. Lot of made for TV movies. And I feel your color guard pain. I was able to learn dance routines as a cheerleader in high school, but I struggle mightily now to learn footwork sequences on skates. Like, I really, REALLY struggle. It’s so humbling. I have class this morning, so I’m gearing up for some struggle in just a few hours.

    So many links here I love, but I especially appreciate the one with the 50 suggestions for being generous. I’m thinking that a great project for January might be to do a different one of those each day of the month. That might be a god way to live through a month that can be challenging.

    Thank you for assembling and sharing all of these great things.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love chicken pot pie, so I will have to try that recipe. I also don’t like canned soup recipes, but are you on Pinterest? They have recipes for making homemade canned soup that’s a dry mix and you just cook on stove top to use in recipes. The main ingredient is dry milk. It works well. I add canned mushrooms for cream of mushroom.

    I’m also not a fan of Christmas music. My fave Xmas CD is one by the Barenaked Ladies which includes some delightful Hanukkah songs.

    Your slipper story was heart warming. My son was the only marching band kid in my house. They didn’t do overnight camp, but leading up to the start of the school year, it was two weeks of all day and evenings ‘camp’ at the high school. My son, who played tennis in the Jr. USTA and was used to all day tennis camps outdoors, claimed that marching band camp was the most physically taxing thing he’d ever done. He played trumpet and I guess the combination of tooting that horn and marching was exhausting. So, I believe you on the difficulty level of winter guard.

    I love the quote about not choosing your feelings. That whole ‘choose happiness’ mantra cannot possibly work for every situation or person. It’s okay to feel sad! I will check out your other links tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen recipes for homemade canned soup substitutes, but I’m a slacker. I need to find an easier recipe because the one I tried a few years ago required a lot of steps.

      I love The Barenaked Ladies! I actually have a playlist of non-annoying Christmas songs, and The Barenaked Ladies are on it!

      Band camp was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life, so he was spot on. Marching band does not receive the recognition it deserves for athleticism.

      It’s perfectly okay to be sad. Especially this time of year. ❤️


  3. OK, as much as I love Fleet Foxes – and I do; I’ve even seen them live – calling “White Winter Hymnal” a Christmas-ish song is a big of a stretch. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be adding it to my Christmas playlist right after I finish leaving this comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found them interesting. I sat with the first quote for a month. I think that many moms (myself included) have ignored their gut instincts and followed the advice of doctors and others, believing that we were doing the right thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been on both sides of that ordeal. Once I refused to fill an Rx for prednisone for my son because I heard about side effects. The Dr. asked me when I brought my still sick son back in where I got my medical degree!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have never heard of that movie! I too have often wondered why chicken pot pie is called pot pie since I almost always make it a 13×9 pan or a deep casserole dish.

    I can not believe you’ve never seen either of the Adam’s Family movies before. It was one of my favorites in like upper middle school maybe.. I remember making my own Morticia Adams costume for Halloween; from a pattern… and fabric. But sadly most people had no idea who I was supposed to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG, I TOTALLY forgot about “Duel” because I saw it waaaaaaaaaay back when it first came out (or a little bit after). Just watching the trailer made me recall just how scary it was. And I’m one of those people who LOVES, LOVES, LOVES scary movies. And I like the ones that are psychological thrillers, where you’re sitting on the edge of your seat in totally fear. LOL!

    And I have to say, even though I’m a vegetarian, that pan pie looks amazing. Maybe I’ll try it, minus the chicken, because everything else I would thoroughly enjoy.

    ” Thank goodness I had my clarinet gig to fall back on.” —– HA! Another thing we have in common. I took clarinet in high school too. Although I didn’t stick to it. I went on to take piano lessons.

    This is my favorite time of the year (Fall/Winter), so I’m bring out all my cozy-wear!

    I just finished watching “From Scratch” and I absolutely loved it. Netflix series. True story. It’s a tear-jerker though. But besides scary movies, I love tear-jerkers.

    Great selection of quotes!

    And that final photograph is so precious!

    Thanks for sharing, Kari! So glad we met!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, to psychological thrillers! This is definitely one of those movies.

      This pot pie would be just as delicious without the chicken. It includes a lot of spices that do not come from the meat.

      Oh my goodness, another clarinetist! I’m excited that we share that in common!

      From Scratch will be added to my list. I, too, love tearjerkers.

      Ron, thank you for reading each week. I’m so glad we met as well. ❤️


  6. The only chicken pot pie recipe I’ve made is one where it’s in a cast iron pan and you roll the dough out over the top and then stick the pan in the oven. I’ll have to check out your recipe!

    Your slippers are cute – they remind me of ballet flats. But my feet would freeze! I am currently wearing socks with fuzzy slippers over them.

    I’m not a fan of traditional Christmas music either. I remember when that Fleet Foxes song first came out; I loved it.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. That movie sounds vaguely familiar. But, I also remember The Birds being a “very scary” movie when I was a kid. So when a local theater was re-showing old movies several years ago, I took my son to see it. It wasn’t scary (by today’s standards) and my son laughed his way through it (at the over-acting).

    My husband is on a Feed Phil marathon right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why I think my daughter mocked me. BUT, when I watched Poltergeist again? It’s still terrifying. Some things remain good.

      I also enjoy Phil because he goes to places I might never go. I feel like I’ve traveled without leaving my living room.


  8. I’ve never heard of Duel. I really want to see the Spielburg movie. It looks great. Duel looks like something from the 70s.

    That is an excellent list of ways to be generous. I think I would enjoy Feed Phil – I’ve seen him interviewed. He’s the guy who created the show Everybody Loves Raymond, so in other words he’s a genuis.

    This is Water – well, that was very interesting and solid.

    We have a fireplace and I so want it to be functional. It probably needs to be cleaned out. All I want for Christmas is an automatic starter so I can flip it on. Our family room is the coldest room in the house because it’s over the crawl space and it sticks out into the cold on two sides. Plus one butts up to the garage.

    Lots of great links here. You’re a great provider of links, lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think your entire family would appreciate that movie. This week, I might have to watch it with mine.

      Phil is such a joyful person, and that’s another show that the whole family would enjoy.

      That author is no longer alive, but I have all of his books on my TBR list and want to read them eventually. It’s funny because the opening chapter of a book I just got from the library yesterday quoted This is Water. It feels very universal. ❤️

      We’re fortunate to have a gas fireplace. I’d never use a wood-burning stove if I had one. That reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder-type stuff.  🤣

      I am happy to offer them! I get a lot of mine from another blog that I enjoy reading. Her blog can be found here:


  9. I’ve never heard of Duel, but it looks terrifying. I mean, they didn’t even have air bags back then!

    I’ve never had Costco Chicken Pot Pie, and now I’m questioning my life for TWO THINGS: Why not? And who the hell started the POT part since it’s in a pan. Thanks, Kari!

    Your slippers are so cute! I love that you tried out for Winter Guard and fell back as a clarinetist; I could do neither!

    Love the fireplace puppies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right??? I think you should watch it.

      If you wind up getting some Costco chicken pot pie, please report back.

      I wish I still had the ability to play the clarinet. Sigh.

      They are always in front of the fireplace when we turn it on. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m going to watch “One of Us.” It looks amazing – thanks for the recommendation.

    I think it’s called pot pie because it’s originally baked in one of those cast iron dutch oven things I keep meaning to buy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Those slippers are cute and I am coveting them.

    Okay, the scariest movies I can remember from the 70s were one about a bear and one about an avalanche. The bear, it was hunting people who lived in a cabin in the woods and it was terrifying. The scene that stands out in my mind is seeing a bear claw coming underneath the door. Years later, I was babysitting, AND THAT MOVIE CAME ON TV. I had almost thought I had imagined it.

    The avalanche one was maybe a rescue operation? But mostly I remember being super scared.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They can be yours for only 14.99. I think mine were even less because of a sale at the gift shop.

      That sounds terrifying! Why did the scariest movies usually come on when we were either alone or babysitting?


  12. I have to confess, I never made chicken pot pie (or any pot pie for that matter). It’s on my list of things to try but it’s just not something I grew up with (same goes for fruit pies, too, but I made an apple pie by now).
    I will suggest that movie to my husband to watch together. He usually falls asleep or complains the whole time – this looks like something we might both enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Since you’re bringing up The Addams Family – I have to recommend Wednesday on Netflix. Violet and I watched it and LOVED it.

    And yes, SFP is so so sweet. I watched the last episode of his most recent season last night and had tears. I just love it and him so much.

    I’m coming back for all your links!!

    And I love a pot pie. I have a recipe from my old Cooking Light subscription that I’ve used forever – I always make it with leftover turkey after Thanksgiving!! Now I want to try Costco (we’re supposed to be getting one near us soon and I’m so excited!)

    Happy December, Kari!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ella loved Wednesday too!! That’s why we watched both movies! Definitely on my list to watch next. 🖤

      We recently watched the episode dedicated to their parents. What a lovely family they have.

      I love that you’re getting a Costco! How exciting!

      Happy December, my friend!


  14. Duel scared me witless, although I acknowledge I’m a total & utter scaredycat! It made me nervous of even the idea of driving in the US, although fortunately I’d forgotten about it by the time I first did.

    What a fantastic selection you’ve provided of reading, listening & links – I’ll be going back & clicking through and may get lost for a while to the world of work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t remember Duel at all. Not even a vague impression. When I was a girl we went through a few years without a TV because the one we had caught on fire and my mother didn’t replace it. Because of that I sometimes have holes in my childhood TV watching memories. I love Somebody Feed Phil. I like the cookie by state link. Peanutbutter is spot on for Ohio.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose that was the best time to not have a television, Ally. 😂

      I liked the cookies organized by state too!  The peanut butter cookies with Hershey Kisses in the middle are my personal favorite. It’s equivalent to a Buckeye in cookie form.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I haven’t had the Costco pot pie and haven’t tried to make it at home, but it sounds like a cozy winter dish – regardless if it’s made in a pot or pan 🙂

    I love the White Winter Hymnal, too. It’s a beautiful song.

    Liked by 1 person

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