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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bought, Used and Made Do Again

In order to use a decent amount of my current food inventory I decided to spend only 100 dollars this month and concentrate of using my freezer and pantry as my primary grocery sources. I need to create space in my freezer for the upcoming produce season, and my pantry items just need to be rotated and used instead of sitting on the shelf and ruining.

Hmmm!  I just did not do as well as I hoped I would this week.  Not only did I spend more at the store than I wanted to, we also did take out twice this week so I did not use as much food inventory as I could have.  Bummer


March 15
bought
The damn Ides got me. I know to beware but did I heed ancient advice? Nope! Instead I went to the grocery store.  Sprouts: Asparagus 2.04, mandarins 1.98, radishes .34, cashews 5.15 (TheHub asked for more since he ate all I had in the pantry) 10.52 total including tax.
Aldi: onions, 1.89,  potatoes 1.59,  eggs.99,  corned beef 7.13, cabbage .69,  lettuce.89, bread 1.35, 6 pack seltzer water 1.59 (I thought I had corned beef in the freezer but I didn't , it was a hunk of ham, and this is why inventorying would have helped greatly) Total 17.74 including tax

used
2 pork sausage patties (freezer)
2 mandarins (fridge, still have 4 more before I open the new ones)
coffee (pantry)
almond milk creamer (bought)
mustard fridge
chicken legs (freezer)
asparagus (bought)
spring greens (bought)
tomatoes (bought)
cukes (fridge)
radishes (bought)
ginger miso dressing (fridge)
butter (fridge)
marzipan cake (leftover)
milk to put kefir grains to rest

eaten
breakfast: coffee
lunch: 2 pork sausage patties, mandarin
snack: handful of cashews
dinner: buffalo style baked chicken drumsticks, asparagus, potaotes, green salad, marzipan cake (TheHub) mandarin (me)

March 16
bought
zero

used
coffee( (pantry)
leftovers, fridge)
1 pack ground beef (freezer)
1 pack squash (freezer)
1/3 bag sweet potato fries (freezer)
1/4 bag green beans (freezer)
1 onion (pantry)
lemonade mix (pantry)
cabbage (fridge)
mayo (fridge)
canned peach (pantry)
green onions (fridge)
jalapeno (freezer)
spices salt and pepper (fridge)
vinegar (pantry)

eaten
breakfast: coffee
lunch: leftover spaghetti squash with leftover meat/veggie sauce
dinner: hamburger patty, squash green bean saute', sweet potato fries, Hotlanta slaw

March 17
bought
zero

used
coffee (pantry)
mandarin (pantry)
corned beef (bought)
cabbage (fridge)
potatoes (bought)
brownie mix (pantry at lake place)
eggs (fridge)
oil (fridge)
ice cream (lake place freezer)
tea (pantry)

eaten
breakfast: coffee
lunch mandarin
dinner corned beef cabbage potatoes (everyone else) brownie a la mode

March 18
bought
Thai take out (In the T&E budget not food budget)

used 
coffee (lake pantry)
eggs (fridge)
grits (lake pantry)
sausage patties (freezer)
cheese (lake fridge)
onion (pantry)
bread (bought)
onion (pantry)
seltzer (bought)
lemonade mix (pantry)

eaten
breakfast: eggs and grits (theHub) homemade sausage patties, coffee
lunch: toasted cheese sandwiches, lemonade, leftover brownies
dinner take out Thai, seltzer

March 19
bought
2 tomatoes1.53
Bojangles chicken meal
(T&E budget)

used
coffee (Pantry)
tea (pantry)
bread (bought)
cheese (fridge)
tomato (bought)
onion (pantry)
graham cracker pie crust (pantry)
peanut butter (pantry)
cool whip (freezer)
cream cheese (fridge)
confectioners sugar (pantry)
vanilla (pantry)

eaten
breakfast: coffee
lunch: take out chicken meal
dinner: toasted cheese sandwiches with tomato and onion, tea, peanut butter pie

March 20
bought
zero

used
coffee (pantry)
salad greens (fridge)
can kidney beans
onion (pantry)
small pack corn (freezer)
can tomatoes (pantry)
can hatch chilies (pantry)
small pack ground chuck (freezer)
tortilla chips (pantry)
cheese (fridge)
seltzer (bought)
spring greens (bought)
milk for kefir (fridge)

eaten
breakfast:coffee
lunch: blt from Sonic (volunteering and not near home) seltzer from home
dinner: Mexicanish stew, green salad, water

March 21
bought
zero
used
chicken breast (fridge)
salad greens (bought)
cucumbers (fridge)
oil (pantry)
balsamic vinegar (pantry)
herbs, salt, pepper (pantry)
leftover corned beef (fridge)
leftover potatoes (fridge)
onion (bought)
leftover cabbage (fridge)
flour (pantry)
sugar (pantry)
egg (fridge)
safflower oil (pantry)
baking soda, salt, extract (pantry)
3 bananas (freezer)
mini chocolate chips (pantry)
tomatoes (bought)
kefir (fridge)
milk for kefir (fridge)
tea (pantry)
eaten
breakfast: leftover chicken breast (and yes I know it sounds horrid, but it was there and  already cooked), coffee
lunch: spring greens salad with cucumber slices, coffee
dinner: corned beef hash, tossed salad, double chocolate cake (TheHub), tea

I spent 29.79 this week including tax. (Tax on food purchases just sucks, especially our 10 percent sales tax!)  I had only 45.97 left in my 100 budget for this month, leaving me with a grand total of 16.18 for the next 9 days.  With tax that only leaves me  right at 14.50 in real food dollars to spend. I may or may not make it, but I am going to seriously try! I have looked over the food ads and am secretly happy that the food sales this week are not great. With the exception of boneless skinless chicken thighs there is nothing I even care about stocking up on, and the chicken thighs will be on sale another week, so it's all good>

Monday, March 20, 2017

Positively Monday

As has become my habit, I am keeping up with positive things that happen each day. I am intentionally keeping the list relatively short, but please don't think these are the only positive things that happen during my days. (though my life is fairly low keyed and mostly ordinary) These are nightly reflections of the things that meant the most to me each day, (And, yes, I am simple and easily amused)
Monday: It was cold so I stayed in most of the day and binged watched Taboo.

Tuesday: Lovely day, I was able to stay home all day and knocked some things off my to do list while listening to St. Paul and the Broken Bones.

Wednesday: Found a book under my bed that I had been looking for. ("Dark Matter"; very interesting read)

Thursday: Took Mom to the Dr.  News was not as good as I hoped but not horrible either, so I am counting is as a positive.

Friday: Started the day with a Mom scare, but she recovered and insisted I go ahead to the lake. After talking it over with My Beloved Sister I did go. Got to see a gorgeous orange sky reflected in the lake at sunset and the ospreys were out and about.

Saturday: Rearranged the downstairs den at the lake place and got the old pump organ in place. (Now it needs a bunch of tlc to make it really work.  Guess I will be learning to repair reeds)

Sunday: TheHub was able to go to church with me again (He went into the office afterward to get his jump start on the week) and Billions! (I am hooked on this show)












Friday, March 17, 2017

Cabbage Was Cheap So I Bought Lots

Right before I started this use em up challenge I had bought a couple of very inexpensive cabbages and stored them in my auxiliary refrigerator. Then the Aldi ad for the week had them for 69 cents each.  Of course I bought one because, well, cheap cabbage! So as of last night I had 3 whole cabbages, with 2 of them needing to be used pretty quickly.  I knew one of them would be cooked and served with corned beef and potatoes tonight, and the one I bought this week will be fine for a while yet.  That left one needing immediate attention and my go to cabbage side dish is always cole slaw, but I wanted a slightly different taste.  Enter the following recipe for a side dish known as Hotlanta Slaw. For anyone who doesn't know, Atlanta is sometimes called Hotlanta, so I am assuming this slaw originated there (perhaps in a BBQ joint?) but I really don't know.  The only thing I am sure of is that Hotlanta slaw is a delicious amped up version of traditional slaw.

8 ish cups grated cabbage (1 medium head)
4 carrots, shredded 
1 sliced peach, drained and chopped (I used canned but fresh are better, just not in season yet)
1 cup chopped pecans (plus a few additional pecans to sprinkle on each serving)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (tops and bottoms)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup vinegar
2 Tbs poppy seeds
1 jalapeno, seeded, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 Tbs cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

In a large non reactive bowl mix the cabbage, carrots, peach, pecans and onions and set aside.  Mix the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl until they are all combined, then pour over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine evenly.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (Overnight is even better) Serve and enjoy!

This is a traditional slaw consistency, but the flavors are a bit more intense and it has a wonderful kick to it.  It is not too hot but has a nice short burst of heat that is calmed by the mayo.  It was a huge hit last night and actually became the focus of the meal.

When I make this I cut the recipe on half, because there are just 2 of us, so we will have slaw for about 3 days in a row.  I am sure I could make a smaller amount, but this just gets better as it sits and we love it so there is no foul having the larger amount made.  And now it is time for breakfast and I am thinking slaw and coffee?

Serve it in small bowls with a smattering of chopped pecans on tops.  Yum!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Buy, Use and Make Do Some More

For the month of March I am systematically trying to use my over abundant pantry and freezer inventory for our meals. I have a budget of 100 dollars for the month, which may or may not work since all of a sudden TheHub wants items that are not part of our standard meals, consequently I do not have them in the pantry. So this begins week 2 of the use it up challenge, where I list what was bought, used and eaten, with the exception of TheHub's breakfasts during the week which are the same daily. (1/2 cup cereal, milk for the cereal and 1 cup of chocolate milk, saving his coffee drinking for the office) He also eats out at lunch every day, mostly having lunch meetings which are picked up by the company.

March 8

purchased
crackers 1.49, bread 1.57, buns .85, lettuce .99, 2 english cucumbers 1.38, milk 2.99, green onions .99, cereal 1.85, chocolate milk 1.59

used
stuffed bell pepper (leftover)
brussels sprouts (leftover)
mandarin (fridge)
1 pack oven roasted turkey (freezer)
1 steamer bag mixed vegetables (freezer)
cornbread (left over)
2 slices bread (bought)
2 eggs (fridge)
1 bag turkey broth (freezer)
crackers (bought)
sf hot chocolate (pantry)

eaten
breakfast: coffee (had a class early so no time to eat)
lunch : 1/2 leftover stuffed bell pepper, brussels sprouts, mandarin
dinner: turkey slices, cornbread dressing, mixed vegetables, water
snack: sf hot chocolate and crackers

March 9
bought
zero

used
bread (bought)
ham (leftover)
crackers (pantry)
mayo (fridge)
mandarin
spatzle (pantry)
porterhouse steak (leftover)
dried mushrooms (pantry)
onion (pantry)
1/2 bag  broccoli (freezer)
herbs, salt and pepper (pantry)
sour cream (fridge)
lettuce (fridge)
1/2 red pepper (fridge)
cukes (fridge)
ginger miso dressing (fridge)
peanut butter (pantry)
fruit spread (pantry)
popcorn (pantry)

eaten
breakfast: coffee pb and fruit spread on toast
lunch: ham sandwich, mandarin
dinner: one pan meal noodles, veggies and steak, and tossed salad
snack: popcorn


March 10
bought
zero

used
bread (bought)
butter (fridge)
coffee (pantry)
fruit spread (pantry)
vegetable soup mix (pantry)
container of odd leftover frozen vegetables (freezer)
1/2 bag pirogis (freezer)
tea (pantry)
sf cocoa (pantry)
popcorn (pantry)

eaten
breakfast: buttered toast with fruit spread, coffee
lunch: none, had to go take care of Mom
dinner: vegetable soup and pirogis, tea
snack: sf cocoa, popcorn

March 11
bought
zero

used
coffee (pantry)
ham (leftover)
bread (bought)
mustard (fridge)
cheese (fridge)
pickles (fridge)
pulled pork (freezer)
partial bag tater tots (freezer)
partial bag sweet potato fries (freezer)
lettuce (bought)
cukes (fridge)
1/2 red pepper (fridge)
salad dressings (fridge)
pickles (fridge)
pickled okra (fridge)
chow chow (fridge)
buns (pantry)
sf lemonade mix (pantry)
bbq sauce (fridge)
flour (pantry)
sugar (pantry)
eggs(fridge)
kefir (fridge)
milk for making kefir (fridge)
2 meyer lemons (fridge)
bp, salt, vanilla, oil (pantry)

eaten
breakfast: coffee
lunch: ham sandwich, mandarin, water, coffee
dinner: bbq sandwiches, tossed salad, pickles, pickled okra, chow chow, sweet potato fries or tater tots, lemonade, lemon cake (TheHub)

March 12

bought
Pringles (gave Mom 2 and kept 1) 1.25
Ok technically I bought a birthday cake, Pringles and Turtles for Mom but that is in a totally different budget so I am not counting it.

used
ham (fridge)
grits (pantry)
bacon (freezer)
2/3 box elbow macaroni (pantry)
butter (fridge)
milk (fridge)
cheese (fridge)
leftover ham (fridge)
broccoli (freezer)
coffee (pantry)
sf coffee creamer(fridge)
sf lemonade mix (pantry)
chocolate bar (pantry)

eaten
breakfast: bacon and grits (TheHub) ham, mandarin (me), coffee
lunch: Birthday meal with Mom (take out and from a totally different budget)
dinner: Mac and cheese with ham, broccoli, tea
snacks: Pringles, dark chocolate bar (Yes, I invoked special Mom's birthday and Sunday lenten fast breaking rules and  had both birthday cake and a chocolate bar)


March 13
bought
zero

used
coffee
lettuce (bought)
red bell pepper (fridge)
cuke (fridge)
leftover ham (fridge)
olive oil (pantry)
vinegar ( pantry)
mayo (fridge)
mandarin (fridge)
spaghetti noodles (pantry)
mini peppers (fridge)
onion (pantry)
garlic (pantry)
carrots (fridge)
dehydrated mushrooms (pantry)
1 pack ground chuck (freezer)
jar marinara sauce (pantry)
1 small pack spaghetti squash (freezer)
parmesan cheese (fridge)
salt, pepper, herbs and spices (pantry)
marzipan cake mix (pantry)
eggs (fridge)
butter (freezer, now moved to fridge)
milk (fridge)
cocoa (pantry)
sugar (pantry)
mandarin


eaten
breakfast: coffee, mandarin
lunch: salad of lettuce, cukes, red pepper and ham. Oil and vinegar dressing
dinner: veggie dense meat sauce with spaghetti, tea, chocolate marzipan cake (TheHub) dookie cookies (TheHub and Son 2) mandarin 


March 14
bought 
almond milk coffee creamer 4.99, spring greens 3.99, chocolate milk 2.99, (Grrrr, if he could have stretched it one more day it would have only cost 1.59) tomatoes 2.00, oatmeal packets (special request not in my wheel house, but I am nice) 3.50, wine vinegar 1.85

used
coffee (pantry)
tea (leftover)
stevia (pantry)
lemonade (leftover)
ham (leftover and finally gone except the bag I froze right as it was sliced after baking)
mandarin (fridge)
pork tenderloin (freezer)
green beans (Mom's house.  She decided she didn't want them)
sweet potatoes (pantry)
mandarins
grapefruit (about to die, so juiced)
milk to make kefir (fridge)

eaten
breakfast: coffee, ham slice, mandarin
lunch: busy and forgot to eat (Daylight Savings Time screws everything up)
dinner:  roasted pork tenderloin, baked sweet potato, green beans, marzipan cake (TheHub) dookie cookies (TheHub)
snack: mandarin, pecan halves

I spent a lot more money this week than I intended to.  The special requests are killing the budget, so who knows where this will wind up. This week I spent 37.70 plus 16.33 from last week for a total of 54.03 leaving me 45.97 to spend for the remainder of the month. May or may not happen.  I guess time will tell.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Lemon Cake

Last week I made TheHub a small lemon loaf cake for three reasons.  He has an almost insatiable sweet tooth and is one of those people who can eat dessert every single day and never gain wait. (Yeah, if I didn't love him I would hate him.) I also had some Meyer lemons and kefir that needed to be used right away. The third reason I made it is although I like lemon cake perfectly fine, I don't love it so I can leave it alone without it screaming at me from the pan.

This is a pretty straight forward cake recipe that I found on the Lifeway website.  I am going ahead and posting this as it was written there because it is exactly how I made it.  I claim no originality but I will mention what I will change next time at the end of the recipe.



1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup kefir (or buttermilk)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 ̊ F. Grease an 8 ½-inch loaf pan with butter or baking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a larger separate bowl, beat together kefir, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.
Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir to combine. Mix in oil until combined.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (You may want to remove from oven after 50 minutes as the cake will continue to cook as it cools.)
While the cake bakes, make the glaze. Combine the lemon and sugar in a small pan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved.
Set aside. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes after you remove it from the oven.
Remove from loaf pan and place on a plate or cutting board. Let the cake cool completely.
Once the cake has cooled, use a toothpick to poke several holes all around the top of the cake.
Brush the lemon-sugar mixture on the warm cake. You don’t have to use all of the mixture.

I literally just copied and pasted the recipe and now I will tell you what I would do differently. ( I know because on the Mom Birthday, Sunday lenten fasting exception I tried a bite so I could accurately tell you what I thought about it. See,  I was only thinking of y'all.  I am nice like that)

The cake had a very nice pound cake consistency, slightly dense and moist, but it was not lemony.  next time I will take out a couple of tablespoons of the kefir and replace it with lemon juice, and use 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla to up the lemon flavor .  And trust me you will want to use all the lemon juice sugar mix.  I always bake a loaf cake in a glass loaf pan and never take it out prior to serving it.  I poked deep holes in the warm cake using my favorite poking device, a single piece of uncooked spaghetti, then spooned the lemony goodness all over the cake top.  Since I made really deep holes the topping went all the way through the cake. It was really tasty and after I had a small bite of it, it started screaming at me from the pan so it had to be sliced, individually wrapped in plastic, placed in a gallon size freezer bag and hidden toward the back of the big freezer just to get it to shut up.

Next time in addition to the lemon extract and juice changes, I will probably flour about 1/2 cup blueberries and fold  them into the batter right before pouring it in the pan, and will up the lemon syrup to 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar.  I will probably pour about half on the cake and save the rest to drizzle on each cake slice as it is served




And as if this isn't enough lemon cakery and you are in the mood to read an interesting, yet odd book try The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.  We read it for book club several years ago and it sparked quite a conversation.

Positively Monday

Every week has some good and bad things that happen. I had gotten to a point where I was carping about every single unpleasant thing in life and ignoring the many good things I was offered. For about a year I had been focusing on what brings me joy but had a gloom and doom relapse.  As a reminder to myself that I am blessed beyond all measure I decided to keep a daily log of the best thing each day.  So the week began__



Monday
I had the pleasure of volunteering at Independence Place of Alabama.  I get a huge amount of joy just being there, but now they are opened on Monday and I got to experience said joy with an entirely new to me group of very special adults.  Who knew making St Patrick's Day photo booth props could create so many laughs (and pictures)!

Tuesday
I had a glorious day at home and went no where. It was bliss!

Wednesday
Managed to get my shopping done (all 10 bucks worth) and also found a few things Mom needed. (On a down note, I did accidentally manage to tee her off.  Fortunately it was short lived)

Thursday
I had another trip back to Independence Place and taught them how to make a no sew bag from old tee shirts.  I had called Son3 and asked if I could have any of his tee shirts that were still in his drawer at the house. (He had tons) After weeding the beer and bar ones out there were only 10, but it was plenty since several of them had trouble tying knots and decided they had rather paint instead.

Friday
Saw my first of the Oscar nominated films for the past Awards show. Yes, I know I am behind the eight ball.  Going to a theater for a movie is just not in my wheelhouse.  Now that many are on DVD I will stand a better chance of seeing them.

Saturday
Decided not to go to the lake place and stayed home. (TheHub had to go to a memorial service for a coworker and it would not be over before 3 plus it was very cool and rainy so why even bother.)
Instead I baked a little.  Now TheHub has something sweet to eat and might be able to stay out of Publix. (or not)

Sunday
Mom's birthday, so we celebrated with a take out lunch at her house. We made sure we got fried shrimp for Mom since it is her favorite guilty pleasure and had a small party of Mom, My Beloved Sister and BIL, Son2, TheHub and me.  Pip sent (Ok it was really Son1 who sent it, but it was from Pip) a Happy Birthday video which thrilled Mom beyond belief.  We gave her crappy presents but she has everything in this world and wanted nothing and Pringles and Turtles might not be too crappy since she loves them. At the end of the meal she hustled us out of the door__we stayed beyond her nap time!






Hope your week is memorable and filled with daily joy!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Ah That Elusive Hour

Have you ever wondered like I have what happens to that hour they rob us of every spring.  If you are like me and not a morning person you are restless and sleepy until the fall when they give me that hour back.  And in my sleep deprived state I often wonder what that hour does.

Does it go hide in some dark recess in the universe, afraid to move lest it lose some precious seconds or does it travel, happily unfettered, hopping from star to star between galaxies until the fall when we summons it back so people like me cab feel rested once again?

Color me pissy until then.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Reformation Movement

Saturday night TheHub and I shared a steak and thought Son2 was going to be here to eat with us, so I thawed 2 steaks, one for TheHub and I to share and one for Son2.  We ate and enjoyed ours, but the son was a no show (fine) and it left us with one thawed steak that could not be refrozen.  I slapped it on the hot grill and cooked it to mid rare then stuck it in a container in the refrigerator.  I honestly thought i would serve it one night as a black and blue salad.  Well that never happened and last night I remembered it was still hanging out in the meat drawer  and had to be eaten. Son3 was going to be joining us for dinner and that complicated it a little because TheHub and I can easily split a steak, but it is a little harder to split one 3 ways.

Punt time! I went through the pantry and the freezer to see what bits I had that needed to be used how
I could possibly stretch a 5 ounce steak into a meal for 3 adults. I found a bag of spatzle, a half bag of frozen broccoli, part of an onion in the fridge, and a lot of dehydrated mushrooms in the pantry. The reformation began.

I cut the steak into very thin strips then sautéed it in a pan with the onions.  When the onions were slightly softened I put everything in the pan into a bowl the added water to the pan I was using to saute' the onions.  I scraped the bottom of the pan with a spatula to get any beef and onion flavoring mixed into the water then added the bag of spatzle. When it had cooked to a semi soft state I added more liquid (including about 1/2 cup of white wine that was left in a bottle)  1/2 cup dried mushrooms, and a half of a bag of frozen broccoli. It ws seasoned lightly with  1 teaspoon thyme, salt, pepper and a tablespoon of parsley.  It cooked until the mushrooms were soft and the spatzle was done. Then I stirred in the meat and onion mix and let it all cook together for about 5 minutes over a low heat.  At the last minute I looked through the refrigerator and found about 2 tablespoons of sour cream so I threw that in the pan, gave it a quick stir and called it good enough.

This was amazingly good.  I am sure it would have been equally good with egg noodles but I didn't have any, and am trying very hard to use up what I have on hand.  The only problem? After the 3 of us ate all we wanted (Son2 even had seconds) there is still a boatload left over, so now it is in a container in the freezer waiting for an
emergency meal when I need something quick.



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bought, Used and Made Do

With my aim in March to use as many foods from my storage as possible, I plan on spending the bare minimum at the store, replenishing only things that run out and I use regularly but can't find a substitute for. Understand in advance that I do still have a rogue element living with me.  TheHub is threat to do recreational shopping on his way home from work. I will try to keep this in check, but it will be an uphill battle. 
I have decided to keep close tabs on everything I use, where it was stored or if it was purchased during the week.  I am breaking it down into days just for my personal usage inventory list.  It works better for me to have it listed than to rely on my mental prowess. ('Cause yeah, that really works well for me!) 

So, the list follows with the designation of where it was stored or if it was bought for the week. When the week is over, anything bought the previous week will be considered food storage as a carry over item. Everything labeled (fridge) has been hanging around at least 1 week (or in the case of carrots and cabbage a bit longer) The same applies to the pantry and freezer storage. 

For the record I am not posting TheHub's breakfast and lunch daily.  He is a creature of habit and every morning (with the exception of weekends) he eats 1/2 cup cereal and a glass of chocolate milk. He saves all his coffee drinking for the office, since he is there most morning before 6:45. He likes the solitude of early mornings to organize before the day's chaos begins.  He eats lunch out everyday and most days it is a working lunch which the company pays for, so I do not count his lunches. 


March 1
purchased
 $7.76 total  (1 gal. milk 2.99, 1/2 gal. chocolate milk 1.59, cukes .99, tomatoes 1.49 + tax, cause Alabama thinks it is fine to tax food.

used
1 can cheese dip (pantry)
leftover soggy tortilla chips (re-crisped in the oven) (pantry)
4 chicken breasts (freezer)
1 cup yogurt (fridge)
green beans (fridge)
spices (pantry)
lemon (fridge)
garlic (pantry)
ginger (fridge)
2 tablespoons tomato paste (pantry)
coffee X 4 cups (refillable K-cups) (pantry)
tea (fridge)
lemonade (pantry)
cucumbers (bought)
1 cup milk for making kefir (bought)
1- 3 piece pack naan (freezer)
hazelnut sf creamer (fridge)

eaten
Breakfast: 4 cups coffee
Lunch: tortilla chips with cheese sauce
Dinner : Indianish chicken, green beans, sliced cucumbers, tea
Late night:coffee with sugar free creamer

March 2
purchased
nothing

used
mandarin (fridge)
coffee (pantry)
coleslaw ( leftover in fridge)
crackers (pantry)
rice (pantry)
1 lb ground sirloin (freezer)
 rice (pantry)
ketchup (fridge)
herbs (pantry)
bell peppers  halves (freezer)
brussels sprouts (fridge)
instant mashed potatoes (pantry)
self rising flour(pantry)
lard ( I bought it to make tortillas a while ago and I am using as much inventory as possible, fridge)
kefir (I make it daily)
milk to make kefir (bought)
1 stick butter (fridge)
flour (pantry)
cocoa (pantry)
sugar (pantry)
2 eggs (fridge)
vanilla (pantry)

eaten
Breakfast: coffee
Lunch: leftover Indianish chicken. mandarin
Snack: crackers
Dinner: stuffed bell peppers, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, biscuits
Snack (TheHub) crustless fudge pie (me) coffee w/ splenda

March 3
purchased 
3.98 (TheHub, better known as the plan saboteur decided he needed 2 bags of chips so he made his recreational Publix stop)

used
cornmeal (pantry)
2 eggs (fridge)
kefir (fridge)
1 cup milk for kefir (fridge)
ham (freezer)
squash (freezer)
3 ounces cheese (fridge)
mayonnaise (fridge)
leftover Chinese (fridge)
leftover biscuits
4 tablespoons butter (fridge)
1/4 cup oil (pantry)
coffee, pantry
tea, fridge
milk to make kefir (bought)

eaten
breakfast: biscuit, coffee
lunch: leftover Chinese, water
snack: mandarin
dinner: baked ham, squash casserole, cornbread

March 4
purchased 
$2  for 2 bottles of water at the Great Chili Cook Off (The water was technically free but they asked for a 1 dollar donation to go back to The Exceptional Foundation)

used
leftover ham (fridge)
3 eggs (fridge)
1 partial bag hash brown potatoes (freezer)
1 porterhouse steak (freezer)
spring greens (fridge)
pickled radishes (fridge)
mini cukes (bought)
tomatoes (bought)
coffee (pantry)
lemonade mix (pantry)
popcorn (pantry)
1 of the bags of chips TheHub bought yesterday (unnecessary purchase, not food storage)
olive oil (pantry)
wine vinegar (pantry)
herbs, salt and pepper (pantry)

consumed
breakfast: ham slices and eggs, coffee (lots, we both drank it this morning)
lunch: chili at the Great Chili Cook Off, water
dinner: porterhouse steak, (we split one) hash browns, garden salad
snack: sf lemonade and air popped popcorn (me) chocolate fudge pie (TheHub)



March 5
purchased
nothing

used
1 bag frozen pork and veggie dumplings(freezer)
ponzu sauce (fridge)
mandarin (fridge)
6 family size tea bags for tea to drink and also  for kombucha (pantry)
sugar for kombucha (pantry)
milk for kefir making
pancake mix (pantry)
blueberries (freezer)
maple syrup (fridge)
blueberry syrup (fridge)
ham slices (leftovers)
coffee
tortilla chips (same stale re-crisped ones)
cheese sauce (leftover)

eaten
breakfast; coffee only (we were in a hurry to get to church
lunch: steamed dumplings, water, mandarin
dinner: blueberry pancakes. ham slices, coffee

March 6
purchased
dinner rolls $2.59

used
ham (leftover)
coffee (pantry)
1 tea bag (pantry)
lemonade mix (pantry)
Stouffer's lasagne (Bought for a family gathering over Christmas that didn't happen) (freezer)
mixed greens (fridge)
tomatoes (new)
cukes (new)
butter (freezer)
olive oil (pantry)
wine vinegar (pantry)
herbs, salt and pepper (pantry)
kefir (fridge)
oyster crackers (pantry)
milk for making kefir

eaten
Breakfast: ham slices, coffee
Lunch: picked up a chicken sandwich (volunteered today, was far from home and hungry)
Dinner: lasagne, tossed salad, dinner rolls
snacks: oyster crackers and kefir (not great but served its purpose)

March 7
purchased
zero

used 
1 serving meatloaf (freezer)
1 serving mashed potatoes (freezer)
mandarin (fridge)
coffee (pantry)
lady peas(freezer)
corn on the cob(freezer)
green tomato slices (freezer)
cornmeal (pantry)
kefir (fridge)
cornbread mix (freezer) (Son1 was doing a gluten free diet, bought this and it was never used)
cabbage (fridge)
mayo (fridge)
onions (pantry)
carrots (fridge)
wine vinegar (pantry)
milk to make kefir (bought)
crackers (pantry)
peanut butter (pantry)
tea (pantry)
butter (fridge)

eaten
breakfast: coffee (lots and lots of coffee, pantry)
brunch: 1 serving meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mandarin, coffee
snack: peanut butter and crackers
dinner: lady peas, corn on the cob, oven "fried" green tomatoes, coleslaw, cornbread, tea

I spent 16.33 (Which should have been 12.35 except TheHub bought those stupid chips that no one here needed!) This week I know I am going to need milk,
lettuce, tomatoes, bread, cucumbers and asparagus plus whatever TheHub buys when he goes rogue!





Monday, March 6, 2017

Positively Monday

These are some of the positives for this week.  It has been a mainly good week with few stresses.
Monday Back home from trip and all laundry was done before I went to bed!
Tuesday Fat Tuesday__Met cousins from San Antonio for lunch and laughs, then had book club at a local restaurant that evening.  Lots of fat in Fat Tuesday here plus the bonus of no cooking! And don't ask if I ate 3 chocolate chip cookies right before midnight.
Wednesday Lent begins with a time for reflection and no sugars
Thursday Got Mom's CAT scan and EEG done in just a couple of hours
Friday Woo hoo, bonus day!  I actually got over 4 hours sleep! (Been burning the candle at both ends this week and it has taken its toll.) At home date night where we caught up on the Showtime series Billions
Saturday Had a wonderful almost free afternoon at The Great Chili Cook Off.  Son2  performed a magic act and they gave him 6 tickets in exchange for his services. The event is a fundraiser for The Exceptional Foundation so all performers volunteer their time and talents. Since Son2 volunteers with special needs adults on an ongoing basis, this was a no brainer for him.  And we got to go and mill about with the thousands of others, sample an overwhelming amount of chili samples while enjoying music and sunshine. In addition,toward the end of the event,
 I was sampling a couple of marinades.  The guy manning the booth asked me which was my favorite and when I told him he handed me a brand new bottle of blue cheese wing sauce.  If you have Moore's Marinades in your area I highly suggest it!
Sunday TheHub did not have to go into the office again this week so he was able to go to church with me. Oh and blueberry pancakes for dinner! Enough said!

Now on to a new week filled with possibilities.  

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Chicken with an Indian Flair

Yesterday I started my pantry challenge, but as usual I had not thought anything through and a short February caught me completely unprepared.  I have no idea what to call this chicken because I really did just look at what I had on hand that could be defrosted quickly for dinner. (since I am a crappy planner and had defrosted nothing) I found 2 packages of 2 small chicken breasts in each pack, tossed the frozen breasts in a pyrex bowl and nuked them on the defrost setting, until they were kinda sorta pliable.   While I was looking to see what else was available in the freezer (without digging too deep) I found a 3 slice package of Naan bread and immediately decided to go Indian_ish!

This is a very bastardized version of a classic Indian roast chicken, because I was not about to run to a speciality store to buy curry leaves or a few other key ingredients that I don't have around the house ever on a regular basis.

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a small bowl mix:
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
juice of a small lemon
zest of same lemon
salt and pepper to taste (I am not crazy about salt so I added none)
1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons tomato paste*

Mix everything together and spread a thin  layer of the goop over the bottom of a 9x9 baking pan (I use pyrex because I am an insane pyrex fan but use whatever works for you)  Arrange the chicken pieces over the layer of sauce and spread the remaining evenly over the chicken.  Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until the chicken is nicely done. (about 35 minutes)  If I had planned better I would have made rice to sit it on, but I didn't so we just had it along with steamed green beans (bought 2 weeks ago and forgotten about.  Thank goodness they were in the crisper so they were still decent bean.s), sliced cucumbers and a piece of Naan.  Holy moly! This stuff was fabulous, and I feel very fortunate that there is a piece left over for lunch either today or Friday.  Try this, it is pretty tasty, very spicy but not hot. (Next time I will sprinkle some crushed red chilis in it to amp up the heat, cause we like hot stuff)



* What to do with the leftover tomato paste?  Open both ends of the tomato paste can and use the bottom lid to push the paste out.  Cut off the needed amount with a knife.  Freeze the leftover in the open ended can (tube). When it is frozen push it through the can in one piece and store in a small freezer bag.  You can just slice off whatever portion you need and keep the rest frozen.  Since I only have 1 can of tomato paste and have 30 days left, I am wasting none of it!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Little March Madness

Now that March is here, I decided it is a great month for a pantry challenge.  I am going to try my best to spend only 100 dollars for food (milk, bread and salad fixings) this month and use my freezer and pantry storage for meals. I know I have a boatload of food here and can certainly use it, but it will take some prep and planning, which is not my strong suit.  And wouldn't you know it, Lent begins today also, so goodbye sweets. Drats! it would be a nice diversion while doing this challenge to at least make homemade cookies, or cakes, or sweet breads, or . . .

To keep me honest I will be posting each week what I have bought and what I cook for meals.  Some will be much better than others so please, no judgement, unless you are laughing at what horrendous combinations I come up with. Please feel free to comment and add suggestions or possibilities that I have not thought of, or just register your horror and sympathize with what I am making TheHub eat.

Fingers crossed that this month will see enough used from the freezer to make April's spring defrosting a little easier.  And so it begins!

p.s.  It is nearly 1 pm and wouldn't you know I forgot to take anything out of the freezer to thaw.  Plan Anne, plan!