Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Menu Plan Monday #95 - Using What We Have

I'll be honest, even though we ate all 3 meals from home for 7 days last week, I didn't follow the plan. There were some nights where I just had a cup of yogurt, a handful of chips and guacamole, etc. BUT at least we stayed away from eating out ;-)

This week, I really really need to get focused and get to the gym at least TWICE (Monday and Tuesday) minimum! I'm paying big bucks for that special training classes and not using them ... time to step up and just do it!

I've got a few things going on at work, but nothing that should lead to too much stress so the gym thing should be just fine. NOW I just need to prep a little in advance for dinner ... hence, the Sunday afternoon batch cooking and a crock pot meal or two! Some of the batch cooking stuff will be salad prep (romaine lettuce) along with pre-cutting the veggies.  I will cook chicken Sunday night when we are grilling already. I will also do some eggs in the rice cooker and maybe, make a batch of rice too. Plan on making a batch of honey mustard dressing too. NOT a single one of these things happened as life interrupted (my dad, again).

I had stayed out of the store for 11 days ... and then made up for it with 2 stops at Publix and 2 stops at Whole Foods ... I stayed away from Costco, thankfully, even though it was on my list of places to get to soon ...

Here's what we are planning for the week:

Sunday - Burgers and Brats ... both from the freezer. I had picked up buns at Publix the other day.  I've got fries in the freezer if anyone wants some of those too ... lettuce, tomato and onions are available too. NOPE ... Dad issues ... kids ordered pizza, I had a slice when I got home late. There were 5 people eating at the time.

Monday - gym night ... YES, I really did it!  Cobb salad for Hubby and I made myself some deli roll ups ... have lunch meat in fridge, will use eggs from Sunday's batch cooking. Salad dressing was made on Sunday too. I added a half avocado to my roll ups ... it was pretty tasty! Feeding 4 ... the other 2 ate leftover pizza





Tuesday - Taco Tuesday night again. I did 2 pounds of beef last week and that gave us quite a bit throughout the week to make salads for lunch and such.  Beef from freezer, shells in pantry, fixings are in fridge. Need to stop and get more lettuce ... might make a batch of salsa in the Vitamix. Did NOT make my black bean soup last week, might do that this week! All ingredients are in the pantry to make same. Feeding 4



Wednesday - Fingers crossed that I can make it to the gym again ... Cashew Chicken with veggies and rice. Thighs from freezer, balance of ingredients in pantry, veggies from freezer and rice from pantry. Not sure if I want to make this a crock pot meal or not, to be honest. New recipe ... hopefully it's better than my last new crock pot recipe ;-( Feeding 6 ...

Thursday - GYM NIGHT! I need to cook up the bratwurst and think I will try them in the crock pot (whoa, 2 crock pot meals in a row!!) Honestly, I might make these Wednesday and eat them Thursday ... will post recipe if it works out well in the crock pot. Feeding 6 ... may have to add in some dogs on the grill or something?

Friday - Hubby's choice ... feeding 6 to 8

Saturday - Hubby's choice ... feeding 6 to 8

I have so many things I want to try and make, new recipes, things that we haven't made in a while but time just isn't on my side lately, so it seems? Anyone else have that issue?? It's really bringing me down!

*As to my dad, he apparently had a pretty bad coughing spell while waiting for dinner, to the point where he passed out. They rushed him to the ER and shot him up with steroids and such thinking it was pulmonary issues, but that's not what it is/was. I spoke to some of other more alert residents and they all said it was not the same situation that he's been having. I'm thinking (honestly) that he choked on his own spit and just panicked? I don't know and he can't tell me and the ER doesn't really show anything conclusive.  Just not the kind of stuff I need to deal with on a Sunday night ...

Looking forward to linking up with Menu Plan Monday! Go check it out!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Frugal Activities #34

Hubby's back home which means, it was sort of a frugal week ..

I'm doing a different set up this week on the post as I'm a little short on time!

We sold the living room furniture and the dude will come pick it up on Sunday ... $400 which isn't so very bad in the end. I had offered to have the Boy deliver it for "free" (I was going to pay him $50 to do so) but found out Friday that the dude and a friend would pick it up ... even better in the end!

Been a real quiet week, busy at work for both Hubby and I ... shopped at Whole Foods twice and Publix twice. Spent about $280 between the 4 stops. More than made up for skipping the stores last week ;-(

We are heading out on the boat today and will have a good time, I know. I'm always crabby when we first head out (before we leave the house) because I have SO much to do that I hate giving up my 8 hours for a boat ride ... but within 15 minutes of being on the water, all that anger, frustration, whatever it is (sense of responsibilities??!) just fades away ... uh huh. It is really good for me to do it ... of course, come Saturday night/Sunday morning, everything is STILL there waiting to be dealt with ;-) but that's ok! I had bought 3 lbs of good lunch meat for this purpose but Hubby NOW wants to cook on the grill while out ... so I grabbed a few chicken sausages from the freezer and a package of buns (freezer) to take along. Will also take some frozen grapes, apple treats and a small bag of chips. Using What We Have ...

Will empty out the 2 ice makers for the cooler on the boat. This will annoy Hubby but I get even more annoyed that we spend MONEY on ice when we have 2 ice makers (one is a commercial grade so it makes lots of ice) ... they should replenish throughout the day, I'd think!

I need to fund my cash envelopes for the balance of the month, including entertainment. Halloween is on a Friday this year and well, I LOVE Halloween! We used to do the Shooter's Halloween party but I think this year Paul & Young Ron have relocated to Bokampers (still within walking distance) ... and that's where we will be. I need to fund $200 for the next 2 weeks of groceries and $100 for dining out and $100 for entertainment/bar hopping. Those last 2 categories will be saved for Halloween night.

At Whole Foods, I had picked up 12 cups of Stonyfield Greek yogurt as they were on sale for $1 each ... I asked the cashier at check out if they were eligible for the case discount (10%) ... she said yes, so that knocked each one down to 90 cents each. Not a HUGE difference, but 10 cents is 10 cents at the end of the day!  I need to remember this in the future. One of the girls that lives down the street (a familiar face dog walker) is a manager at that store and I need to remember to pick her brain next time I'm getting my dog fix with her baby ;-)

Put $50 worth of gas in the Hemi ... gave me almost a full tank (and I was low with the dinging sound and flashing light on the dashboard). Glad to see the gas prices are falling, just wish the premium grade would fall faster!

Ate every meal from home, all 7 breakfast, lunches AND dinners this past week. Believe me, Thursday I was begging Hubby to take me out ... good for him for being too tired and not wanting to go. We ate the leftover taco meat that night as I just had no motivation to cook.

I need to get back on the advance food prep on Sunday. It really helps A LOT for dinners during the week.

Got the American Express bill. See the $99 gym charge for the additional training I am NOT using. The guilt factor hit me hard. Add to that the visual I still have of me in the dressing room a few weeks ago and I really need to get my butt in gear and just do the classes. Granted, the one really really hurt me but that's my own fault for saying I can do it! Yup, you sure can, but not quite at that intensity, not just yet!

Ok, gotta run ... need to load up the cooler and get my bikini on ... chubby old lady or not, I still sport one, like it or not!

Looking forward to sharing over at Money Propeller and The Prudent Homemaker! Go check them both out!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pumpkin Pancakes - Grain Free

*It's October and time for the annual pilgrimage of pumpkin recipes ... so here's a re-post of one from last year!

I can't believe it's FALL ... I mean seriously, where has the YEAR gone already?

I have a confession ... I'm not a big pumpkin lover ... sure, I'll eat them yummy pumpkin bars with the creamy cheese frosting slathered all over the top ... but other than that, no thank you, very much.

Until I made this recipe last September when Hubby was traveling ... and I had made it a few times since then ... but it's been a little while now ... so in honor of FALL arriving, I am re posting the recipe and making this as part of the Sunday morning breakfast for Sonny Boy before he heads back home ...

The original recipe is from the Practical Paleo cookbook.


I've been picking up the pumpkin at ALDIS because it's 99 cents a can and it's all pumpkin ...



Oh ... I just remembered, it's time for Pumpkin head beer (and the newest one we tried, UFO Pumpkin Beer) ... and really, I know it's not "pumpkin" so to speak, but still...it gets my FALL vote!

Ok, so here's how I did it ... you want the real recipe? You will have to buy the book ... this is real close though!

3 eggs, lightly whisked, I used 3 because mine are extra large Costco size eggs :)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs maple syrup
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch of ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbs melted butter

Ready?

Whisk eggs so they are broken down and add in pumpkin, vanilla and syrup. Whisk til mixed well and add in dry ingredients along with melted butter, whisk til all incorporated



Grease a skillet and heat over medium heat. Scoop mix out using 1/4 cup measure and allow to cook til a few bubbles appear on surface, flip and continue cooking til done, just like regular pancakes.

Serve with a dab of butter and some sliced bananas on the side. Or just overwhelm the plate with bananas :)



This was good. Hubby most likely will think it's too egg-ish but I like it. I think Sonny Boy will like too since he's gotten into the more healthier eating too (requested I get more coconut oil and almond butter for him)

My first time making these, I had a few issues ... started out with the teflon griddle and a little butter ...




I switched out to my super cool non stick pan with LOTS of butter for round 2 which is how I got 4 PERFECT cakes ...



Do you like FALL and are you even ready for the switch from Summer to Fall? How about pumpkin? Yea or Nay?

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradise, Weekend Social, Foodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopCelebrate It!,  Friday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend WondersWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchI Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday Showcase Sundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth MondayPin It Party Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday What’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayLou Lou GirlsInspire Me MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination TuesdaysKitchen Tip Tuesdays 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

An Apple Treat

The kids are back in school, it's fall time AND Honey Crisp Apples are making their annual appearance ... yahoo!!

This is a GREAT snack to offer up to the kids, family, friends, even strangers!  I have not been able to eat an apple any other way since trying this the first time and I make this at least 4 times each month ...

Having a brunch (or in my house, just a bunch of people leftover from the previous night)? Serve up some apples!

Need a healthy snack? Serve up some apples!

Seriously. These are so yummy ... all the "kids" (who are in their early 20's) and adults (my friends, 40s/50s) love these things!

So here you go, a repost of the original post from a while ago ... go ahead, give it a try!


I had this pinned for a little while and kept thinking, I need to give this a try ... I mean, heck, it's super easy and sounds GOOD, so what took me so long?


Them apples are called Pink Lady ... 

The thought of cutting up the apples into these thin slices.

Yes.

I have one of them apple corer/slicer thingys ... AT WORK. See, when I turned my boss on to Honey Crisps (it was the LEAST I could do for him) I sort of donated my apple slicer/corer thingy to the office ...

So finally, I stopped at got me another one the other day. $9.99. Forgot my stupid Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon ... but I also found out I can take the receipt back with the coupon and they will give me 20% back ... excellent!



A few days later, I was still looking at the apples I had picked up earlier in the week and said, I need to just make this... and, um, YES, you should too! It's good ... and well, heck, loaded with vitamin C and all natural ingredients ... SCORE!!




All you need is TWO apple (or ONE would do if you wanted, but really, you will WISH you had two!), ONE medium size lemon (I had Costco sized, so I used half) and ONE orange (I had a smallish orange).

Slice the apple as thin as you can. Place apple in a sealable bowl. TIP: Use glass if possible, makes them so much colder.




Juice lemon and orange into small bowl or measuring cup and then pour directly over the apple slices. I've got one of these gadgets that works great on lemons and limes, and even smaller oranges.



Pretty nifty ... do yourself a favor and buy the metal one, skip the cheaper plastic one ...

cool gadget, make sure you put cut side down in the bowl part. Hubby still forgets!


juiced and ready

a few lemon seeds caught!



Toss the container in the fridge for an hour or so (you can go longer, I did)

Eat. Enjoy. BE PREPARED TO SHARE if someone takes a slice to taste ... ahem, that would be the boss :-)



Seriously, this is really really, REALLY good ... even my finicky receptionist who will eat nothing but her own home prepared food tried these and said "wow" ... I made this 4 days in a row last week to take to work and now I'm thinking these may be making an appearance at some poolside parties this summer!

Yes, the lemon and orange juice keep the apples from turning brown ... beautiful! 

Enjoy!!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday ObsessionsFrugal Food ThursdayShowcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradise, Weekend Social, Foodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopCelebrate It!,  Friday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend WondersWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchI Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday Showcase Sundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth MondayPin It Party Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday What’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayLou Lou GirlsInspire Me MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination TuesdaysKitchen Tip Tuesdays