Monday, January 28, 2019

One Week Leaves, Another Enters

As usual when I have made a meal plan, we/I veered way off course and we wound up having very few of the meals I thought we would have. I guess this is my norm, make a plan then do everything possible to keep from following said plan.

This was what was supposed to happen (in no particular order)

1. (TheHub) meat sauce over spaghetti, me same sauce over spaghetti squash (me), tossed salad
2. Meatloaf, broccoli, mashed potatoes (TheHub) cauliflower mash (me) some green veggie
3.Keto Fried rice, with broccoli and snow peas
4. Taco's black beans, rice (TheHub) no shells and cauli rice (me)
5. Cuban pot roast, tossed salad, green beans
6. Herbed chicken and mushrooms, braised cabbage, cucumber slices in yogurt and dill
7. Grilled tuna steaks, veggie kabobs, tossed salad

Monday: I have no idea what happened since I am writing this on Thursday and Monday is a blurry memory. My sister took Mom's treatment so I did not have to go . Woo hoo thanks to you Beloved Sister. She did call me first thing out of the hatch to remind me she needed to go to the dentist and needed me to take her. Then called me later, after I had dinner cooking in the crock pot because she remembered her appointment was not until Tuesday after 2. After 2 is a rather nebulous time and I thought it might be a good idea to call and confirm the time. Glad I did because it was after 2 but just a tad after. My note to myself is to call and confirm any appointment at any doctor or dentist that does not have me as their contact person and then remember to have Mom sign a release for them to contact me at her next visit.
Cuban pot roast, mashed potatoes (TheHub) cauli mashers (me) broccoli, rolls (TheHub)

Tuesday: Took Mom to the dentist and then back to her house to do her breathing treatment. after doing that and the rest of the chores she needs done or details she needs tending, it was after 5 when I got home. I did not really feel like cooking and had some leftovers that needed to be eaten.
Cowboy stew (used leftover baked beans) and au gratin potatoes (TheHub) Soup using random  leftover veggies and bit of leftover pot roast(me)

Wednesday: This was a miserable day. The rain poured and poured then poured some more. The only real upside was the temps were in the mid 60's. In addition to the rains the winds were blowing and occasionally the rain was falling sideways. ( I am summoning my inner Forest Gump here.)  I started out the day with my Wednesday morning class, then had several errands to run, including stopping at Mom's when the rain was pouring at its worst to check her basement for water. There was none, but she is hell bent on having a water issue, and every time it rains she wants me to come check it. Each time I got out of the car I got partially soaked and had wet socks and shoes from deep running water. By the time I got to her house I had made a series of stops so I was probably less than pleasant when looking for the phantom seeping water. I left her house and came home, changed socks and sweater, threw some chicken in the crockpot then left to run the last 2 errands before stopping at her house to do her breathing treatment. The rain was torrential when I arrived. The walkway from her driveway to her house is maybe 50 yards but by the time I got to her porch I was drenched. (The winds wrecked 2 umbrellas Wednesday!) When I left her house at about 5:30 the rain had stopped, so I was able to run the last errand of the day without dripping all over the store. It was so nice to come home to the smell of cooked chicken, knowing I had minimal prep to finish dinner.
Balsamic Herbed chicken, brown rice, (TheHub) braised cabbage, mini caprese skewers

Thursday: Thursday was a blissful stay at home day and I got a chore done that I had been putting off, but I wanted it completed in January. Now the auxiliary dining chairs have been cleaned and reupholstered. It is so nice to have a check by a project. Early this morning I put all the ingredients for a spaghetti sauce in the crockpot, cooked that sucker for 5 hours, then used an immersion blender to blend everything. I have been buying Rao's spaghetti sauce (works with Keto)  then adding herbs, spices and browned beef but Rao's is crazy expensive. Running the carb count and the cost, I wound up with the equivalent of 3 jars of sauce using about 4 dollars of ingredients. At 6.99 a jar, the savings are terrific.
Spaghetti with meat sauce (TheHub) cauliflower rice with meat sauce (I thought I had a zucchini to make zoodles or a pack of cooked spaghetti squash in the freezer but I didn't. This will not happen again!) garlic bread (TheHub) tossed salad. Grilled keto bread with 1/4 cup blueberries (me)

Friday: We were supposed to go to the lake Friday as soon as TheHub could leave the office. Meanwhile I was going to Mom's to do her breathing treatment, but when I was ready to go she wanted to take a nap. Fine, I just asked her to call me when she woke. Of course she didn't and at 4:30 I finally called her. She had been awake a couple of hours but forgot to call me. Great! TheHub was not able to leave early so I called him and just suggested we wait until Saturday. Then I suggested we go somewhere and get a drink. (Mom used to drive me to chocolate but I can't do that on keto. I can have a martini though, so that night she just drove me to drink.)  Since we were going out to drink anyway we decided to go out to eat too.
Seafood Cobb Salad (me) , gumbo and half my salad (TheHub), martini

Saturday: We woke, did a few chores, packed and headed to the lake. We would have most of the day thereSaturday then drive home Sunday just before dark. We walked into the house and noticed it felt a little cool, like cold. I figured I had just turned the heat down too low when we left the last time we were there, so we bumped the heat up, unloaded everything then waited for the house to warm. It never happened. Evidently there is something wrong with the heater. Called the repairman who naturally was not working on a Saturday. I suppose I will be going to the lake one day this week to meet whomever can work on it. Did not have that in my plans.  The house was too cold, so we did a couple of chores down there, ate lunch, repacked, and came home. I had taken 2 frozen hamburger patties for our dinner and they were nearly thawed when we got home.
Hamburger patty with grilled onions, rice (TheHub) cauli rice (me), green beans, leftover braised cabbage.

Sunday: Our Sunday School class was not meeting today because there was a church wide meeting about what was happening in the church. We opted to skip it and services this week. TheHub mentioned he needed to go to the office for a few hours so we decided instead of having dinner tonight we would just have a huge brunch when he came home.
Southwestern omelet, sausage, bacon, keto blueberry pancakes (me), egg nog pancakes (TheHub) fruit compote (TheHub)

And now that this week is done it is time to think about the coming week. How close will I stick to what is planned? Who knows? Right now they (whoever "they" are) are predicting snow and very cold temps Tuesday and Wednesday. I am pretty sure "they" are wrong. We never get snow when "they" say it is coming. We get snows that surprise "them". I am pretty sure "they" are in collusion with the local grocery store owners. I have been reading my facebook feed posts and am laughing at the panic to get to the store for bread and milk. We don't drink milk and we have a partial loaf of bread. I am relatively sure we can survive a dusting of snow.

In no particular order
1. Chili, cornbread, coleslaw
2. Meatloaf, broccoli, mashed potatoes (TheHub) cauli mashers (me)
3.Tacos with all the fixings, black beans, rice (TheHub) Taco salad (me)
4. Seared scallops, tossed salad, baked potato, rolls (TheHub) grilled keto bread (me)
5. White bbq chicken, green beans, coleslaw, caulitater salad.
6. Chicken noodle soup, cheese toast (TheHub) chicken fake noodle soup, cheesy keto bread (me)
7. Bookclub night. TheHub will fend for himself.

We will see how the week goes I guess. Meanwhile I have spoken with the HVAC guy, arranged Mom's weekly medical appointments, called about a couple of routine business questions (mine and hers), Marie Kondo'd the drawers in my dining room buffet and 1 kitchen cabinet and am heading to the lake for an unplanned Monday adventure right after I have my morning coffee.

I found this online and thought I would share. I have mixed feelings about Marie Kondo. I love some of her ideas but she is like a little tiny demon living inside my head who just will not leave me alone.

"I would totally watch a horror movie starring Marie Kondo where she breaks into a someone's home and forces them to burn all their books and kill the family members that no longer spark joy."

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Ummm, Ummm, Good Chicken

TheHub has an aversion to chicken, which I think it the most versatile protein out there. He always complains that we have chicken nearly every night, which is so untrue. I will admit in our early marriage we ate chicken all the time, because it was all we could afford, and he might have gone through chicken overload at the time. I will also admit I usually served it baked with rice and green beans. (Again it was an affordability issue)  You have to understand though, now he is close to retirement age and our kids are all grown and we are grandparents. I think we can all agree a boatload of time and cooking experience has passed since those truly lean years.

He calls me every day shortly after he eats lunch to find out what his dinner will be. I rarely know because I am not home a lot the time and don't start thinking about how I will prepare dinner until I physically walk into the kitchen. I can only tell him what I took out of the freezer to thaw. Yesterday I told him I had thawed chicken for dinner and you could hear crickets on the phone because he had eaten a Chik Fil A sandwich earlier in the week at lunchtime.  I am pretty sure I made some smart ass comment like "Yeah you will survive 2 chicken meals in the same week.". Or maybe I just said "Oh no!" and scurried like an obedient wife to make something more to his pleasing. You decide!

I can't find the blog where I found this recipe and I am so sorry. I even went back through my computers history. I would like to give you credit for this but there were just too many sites visited to search through. If I find it eventually I will link to it here, because this was in no way, shape, or form my original creation.

Really Delicious Easy Crockpot Chicken

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (divide into 2 1/4 cups)
5 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Put the oil in the bottom of a crockpot then sprinkle the minced garlic on top of it. Slowly add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Turn the crock onto high.
Mix all the seasonings together and pour onto a small plate (Yeah, I used a saucer) Press both sides of  each chicken piece into the seasonings mix, to mostly cover it.  Place the chicken into the crockpot, drizzle the remaining vinegar around it, cover the pot and let it cook for about 3 hours. (I turned  mine to low after than and let it cook another 30 or so minutes )

I served TheHubs over brown rice and spooned some of the juices on the rice. All I can say is he was amazed at how good it tasted, went back for seconds and then had a little bit more. Yeah, he does this every single time I cook chicken because I know it is not his favorite so I always make sure it is flavorful. I don't think he will ever learn to trust me.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Conjuring Havana

Last night was a stay at home cold weather night. Usually we have something like soup or chili, but I really was not in the mood for either. My mouth was craving something with a little heat and intense flavors.

Last week I ran to The Pig to grab a couple of heads of cauliflower while they were on sale, and just perused the butcher shop. They had a big sale on sirloin tip roasts, which I had missed when reading their flyer. I have so much in the freezer that I have not been looking at any chicken or meat sales. I kind of did a double take then one leapt into my cart so I was forced to buy it. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Now I had this beautiful piece of beef in the fridge and visions of deliciousness while I was meal planning for the week. I needed to cook it today and thought I was going to have to take Mom to the dentist (that's what she told me). I knew I could throw everything in the crock pot and it would cook while I was carting Mom around.

I woke and dressed for the day, put the roast in the slow cooker, called Mom to confirm her appointment time and see where else we needed to go today. Oops, she forgot to call and tell me it would be tomorrow. Oh, and the funeral of a friend I was planning on going to? Forget that because her appointment is at the same time. ( I missed another friends funeral a couple of weeks ago because she had an appointment for a hair cut, but if you ask her she will adamantly tell you she does not need help)

The roast was cooking so we were bound to eat it tonight. I guess I need to find something different to throw in the crock pot tomorrow.
This is the roast sitting on cauliflower mashed "potatoes. TheHub had his on real potatoes and it                                                                      looked much better.

Cuban Pot Roast
1 2(ish) pound roast. I used a sirloin tip so it was not a true pot roast, but still worked. It just had to         be carved instead of pulled.
1 jar salsa. I used a hot salsa because we like heat, but you do what works for you.
1 small can  chopped chilis
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground plack pepper
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt to taste (I leave it out and let everyone salt at the table cause I am not a salt fan)

Brown the roast on both sides in a small pan. Remove the browned roast and ut into the slow cooker. Pour the salsa into the pan to deglaze it, then pour straight from the pan into the crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot and cook on low for about 6 hours. At the halfway point, turn the roast over and continue cooking.  When it is done depending of what cut you use, you can either shred it or slice it. If you shred it in the crock pot all the delicious juices will naturally mix with the beef. Just stir it around a bit to mix it all together. If you care it like I did ladle the juices out into a gravy boat and pour it on top of the sliced beef. Either way something good is about to happen in your mouth.

Monday, January 21, 2019

How Do You Make God Laugh

As usual I make a plan then I make God laugh. My plans and what really happens are usually far apart. I guess that means my normal is to make plans and then punt them away. At least it seems that way to me. So this begins another week and another hunt through the freezer to see what I will thaw, change plans,  and then have to cook so I can refreeze it in a reformatted form.

This is what I planned:
1. Ham and cauliflower au gratin, green beans
2. Chili, coleslaw
3. Mexicanish casserole, broccoli. cucumber tomato and onion salad
4. Meat loaf, green beans, cauli mash (me) mashed potatoes (TheHub)
5. Spaghetti with meat sauce, noodles (TheHub) zucchini spirals (me) tossed salad, rolls (TheHub) keto bread (me)
6. Keto fried rice, green beans, marinated radishes
7. Tater tot casserole (TheHub)  random leftovers (me)

This is what really happened: Monday: (see meal 2) For the first time in a while Mom actually had plans with someone other than My Beloved Sister or me. I had until noon before I even had to consider her wants, needs, or demands. Hooray! I managed to stay at home and tackle some decluttering and also got a couple of things cooked for the week. I was even able to start a huge pot of chili early in the day and let it simmer all day long, so when late afternoon came and it was time for me to go to Mom's for her breathing treatment, bill writing, and general daily assistance, our dinner was ready. Win!

Chili, coleslaw, fritos and oyster crackers (TheHub) cheese and sour cream (me)

Tuesday: Mom had plans again today with a friend to go to a seniors event at our church. They have a program and lunch which she actually enjoyed. Afterward she was tired and just wanted to hang out, then was asleep when I was ready to do her treatment.  As a result I got a ton of stuff done in the house, but I am tired of hearing Marie Kondo's little tiny, quiet voice in my head. Dang, that woman is creating a monster in me as I am going through every single thing in my room right now, with plans to Kondofy my whole house this year. Well almost. I am not holding everything I am getting rid of and thanking it for it's service, nor am I touching everything to see if it sparks joy. Some things you just need to have, and some things you just want to have.  'Nuf said.  Her methods, otherwise, are really spot on. I found I have been folding all my clothes the wrong way my entire life and now my drawer space has grown and my things look like 3 B.B.'s inside a garbage can. I have so much space I could go out and buy a lot more!

Ham and potatoes au gratin (TheHub) ham and cauliflower au gratin (me) asparagus, rolls (TheHub)

Wednesday:  (pick a meal, any meal ) Got a call from TheHub at about 2 o'clock saying he had a dinner meeting. I knew it was a possibility so dinner was going to be something lame and easy anyway, but the phone call changed everything.  I looked through the fridge for assorted odds and ends and pieced a meal for one together. I made a broth from 2 porterhouse bones after cutting off about a quarter of a cup of meat. Chopped up some remnants and past their prime veggies. Dinner for one. Except for phone call number 2. TheHub decided to skip the dinner. I had enough soup for one generous serving but not enough for two. He had been wanting to try a new to us restaurant so we decided to go there__until he got home and then he decided he wanted to just stay home.

Leftovers (TheHub)
Fragmented beef vegetable soup for one, with a side of grilled keto "bread" (me)

Thursday: (see meal 3)  The day was wet and cool, and My Beloved Sister took care of Mom's treatment, so I stayed home all day. Still doing the Marie Kondo thing and have yet to finish the bedroom, but I am very close.  I had taken out some chicken thighs and thawed them in the refrigerator a couple of days prior, so I had to cook them and decided the Mexicanish casserole was the most flavorful way I could use them.

Mexicanish casserole, tossed salad, rolls (TheHub) strawberry fluff (me)

Friday: TheHub came home from work and wanted to "do something" which translated into going out to eat to a new to us Mexican place in a neighborhood we would like to move to once Mom no longer lives in her house. (Right now I can be at her front door in 2 1/2 minutes and I feel obligated to remain here to take care of all of her emergencies and non-emergency emergencies).

Something burritoish (TheHub) chicken fajitas (sans tortillas), lime jalapeno coleslaw

Saturday: It was an unseasonably gloomy and seriously rainy day. TheHub worked until about 1, then we went to the lake place to check on it. Before we left for the lake I noticed a couple of cups of egg nog lingering in the fridge and wanted to do something with it.  And on the way home we stopped to get 3 dozen 88 cent eggs from Aldi. It sounded like a breakfast night.

Egg nog pancakes (TheHub), keto egg muffins (both of us) leftover smoked sausage (both) 

Sunday: Went way off course again. We had matinee theater tickets to see Evita . After church we came home and changed clothes than left so we would make it on time, consequently we were really hungry when we got home. Also the NFL playoffs were going on so we wanted something we could eat between the end of game 1 and the beginning of game 2.

Traditional hot dogs, baked beans and chips (TheHub), deconstructed slaw dog (no bun) for me.

What was used? Freezer:
2 packs pre-browned ground chuck
3 small packs ham
1 pack boneless skinless chicken thighs

Pantry and refrigerator:
dehydrated pinto beans
3 cans tomatoes
1 small can chilis
can baked beans
1 can baked beans
assorted herbs and spices
cider vinegar
sugar free strawberry jello
cream cheese
cheddar cheese
sour cream
monterey jack cheese
Velveeta (leftover from New Year's, used in TheHub's au gratin meal)
2 steak bones and tiny bit of leftover steak
egg nog

1/4 head cauliflower
angel hair cabbage shreds
fragments of onion, cauliflower, celery, radish, cherry tomato, and green beans
2bell pepper
1 head romaine lettuce
3 cucumbers
1 onion
assorted fruits eaten by TheHub

Now let's see what plan I can create then totally ignore this week!
1. Spaghetti and meat sauce, garlic bread hot dog buns (TheHub) meat sauce over spaghetti squash  (me), tossed salad
2. Meatloaf, broccoli, mashed potatoes (TheHub) cauliflower mash (me)
3.Keto Fried rice, with broccoli and snow peas
4. Taco's black beans, rice (TheHub) no shells and cauli rice (me)
5. Cuban pot roast, tossed salad, green beans
6. Herbed chicken and mushrooms, braised cabbage, cucumber slices in yogurt and dill
7. Grilled tuna steaks, veggie kabobs, tossed salad

As usual this may or may not happen and does not allow for any sudden and unexpected dining out. We will see how it goes.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Best Laid Plans And All That

This was my almost well thought out plan of what we could eat for the week that would also use some of my food storage, particularly things from the freezer.

1. Stuffed baked potatoes with bbq chicken, cheese, peppers, and onions with a side of coleslaw
2. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli, cucumber tomato salad
3. Pork tenderloin, assorted green salad, rice(TheHub) cauli rice (me) carrots, keto bread or roll
4.  Weiners  kraut, cooked carrots, cornbread, unknown veggie
5. Fettuccine alfredo , noodles (TheHub) zucchini (me), huge tossed salad, rolls or keto bread
6. Mexicanish chicken casserole, coleslaw, tortilla chips (TheHub)
7. Ham and cheese frittata, tossed salad, keto french toast

And this is the story of what really happened

Monday: (see meal #1) I had planned the ball game meal because I bought a 10 pound bag of potatoes at Aldi during the holidays and still had a boat load of them left. I was being a good Girl Scout and planning on zero food waste. I got the cooked chicken out of the freezer Sunday night and stuck it in the meat drawer of the fridge so it would be thawed, and ready for me to sauce and heat right before game time.  Right before TheHub left work he heard his second favorite grocery store was cooking ribs for game day. (In addition to his recreational Publix shopping, he can smell ribs smoking from 50 miles out and WILL follow the scent.) Anyway, he called me from the car to tell me he had bought not one but 2 slabs of ribs. What?  Put on the brakes and change the meal!

BBQ Ribs, baked potatoes (they were already cooking), coleslaw, veggies and dip

Tuesday: (see meal 5)  About a week ago I saw a post on our community FB site. Someone was asking about our local theater's price increases. (They became one of those recliners, table, drink and eat theaters) when someone replied that another theater (still a traditional theater experience) had 5 dollar Tuesdays. Being the tragically unhip couple that we are, neither of us had ever heard of it, but decided Tuesday afternoon we would go catch a cheap flick.  Since I knew TheHub would buy a bucket of popcorn and a gallon cup of diet coke there was no need to make a huge meal. (Plus we only had a 20 minute window to eat before we left for the movie) But I also knew keto me would not eat from the popcorn trough so I needed something. (Turns out we should have waited until after the movie we never saw. We thought we would just breeze in the theater until we got there and saw the line was wrapped around the building, so we just drove on past it and went to Starbucks before going to Publix. I swear, when I look at TheHubs face when he enters that store, I honestly think he hears angels singing. Then he starts greeting the employees by name?!?)  Lesson learned, next Tuesday I am going to purchase the tickets in the morning, because as clueless as we are pretty quick studies.

Spaghetti noodles w/alfredo (TheHub), over spaghetti squash (me) hunk of lettuce

Wednesday:  (No clue what I intended to cook) Every Wednesday morning from fall through the end of spring I have a class I attend. I really do enjoy it, but honestly, I am a very nerdy gal at heart and still like studying. As far as doing things with Mom, we have had an understanding for years to please plan nothing on Wednesday from 9:30 - noon. This morning I was about to walk out the door when the phone rang, and rats__it was Mom. I could have kept walking but that little voice inside wouldn't let me so I answered. She had a non-emergency, emergency so I stopped by to fix the problem, but found her frazzled and very upset. There was nothing to do but stay with her and calm her down. After she showered and dressed we had about 2 hours of difficult conversation, then she remembered she needed eggs, toilet paper, and grapes. (Too bad she could not remember what she needed when I went to the grocery store for her the previous day) I had to run out for a bit anyway so I gathered her needs then went back to her house to help her with a breathing treatment, make sure she was warm and eating, talk to her about some future arrangements (If looks could kill I would not be able to type this right now) and yada, yada, yada. Long story short , it was not a fun day and I got home well after 4, seriously frustrated because my mother has a problem for every solution. I tore into my armoire and began folding clothes the Marie Kondo way then turned around and it was nearly 5 and I had not even begun to think about dinner, so I sat at my computer and watched another episode of Tidying Up instead of cooking. Sounds reasonable, right? 

Take out from our favorite Thai place. Shrimp pad Thai (TheHub) Laap with pork (me)

Thursday: (see meal 4) This was not particularly planned for Thursday. It was on the menu for a night when I needed a meal in a hurry. I easily could have used it for dinner on Wednesday, but I was in a pissy mood and used that as an excuse to do nothing. It worked out well because after a few things I had planned for today plus doing my regular routine with Mom, it was about 5 when I got back to the house. TheHub actually came home relatively early, but I could not get into eating Hebrew Nationals for dinner.  As fortune ( or my over buying tendencies) would have it, I had 6 pounds of Conecuh sausage in the freezer in handy little one pound packages. Great substitute for the wieners!

One pan sausage, cabbage and kraut meal. (Neither good nor bad, but a quick meal so that works)

Friday: (see meal 3)  I did not have to do a ton with Mom on Friday, so she actually did not consume my day. I did take her to get her hair done. (Evidently when one ages the world can go to Hell in a hand basket, but nothing and I mean nothing, can interfere with a hair appointment) Then  it was back to her house for a breathing treatment and bill paying event. My Beloved Sister stopped by and we both managed to leave without wanting to scream. It was a good day.

Pork tenderloin, potato wedges with butter, (TheHub) mashed cauliflower fake potatoes, (me) salad

Saturday: (choose whatever meals are left, didn't happen anyway) We had a slab of ribs remaining from Monday night, and I had pushed them to the limit so they had to be eaten . Son2 and DIL2 were here also so I kind of cobbled a meal together using whatever was on hand.

Leftover ribs, tater tots, and coleslaw (them) Leftover sausage pieces, leftover tossed salad, leftover mashed cauliflower (me)

Sunday: DIL2 had a partial bag of past its prime coleslaw, I had one too and neither of us wanted to toss perfectly decent food out. I had a small bag of cooked chicken (or possibly turkey, not sure) and some pulled pork (meant for the ball game meal) and a slightly wrinkled red pepper so I went totally off the menu plan (imagine that) but it was a great way to gather and use bit and pieces .

Deconstructed egg roll in a bowl. Dinner rolls (Them)

Used from the freezer:
1 pack frozen spaghetti squash
1 pound pack conecuh sausage
1 pork tenderloin
rest of the bag of tater tots (I still think there is another unopened bag hiding in the freezer)
small bag cooked chicken (or turkey
small bag pulled pork
cauliflower rice

Used from the pantry and fridge
jar Alfredo sauce
Spaghetti noodles
jar of bamboo shoots
jar of kraut
butter and heavy cream
assorted spices
olive oil

coleslaw mix
peppers (red and green)

And here is this weeks tentative plan, subject to change as always

1. Ham and cauliflower au gratin, green beans
2. Chili, coleslaw
3. Mexicanish casserole, broccoli. cucumber tomato and onion salad
4. Meat loaf, green beans, cauli mash (me) mashed potatoes (TheHub)
5. Spaghetti, noodles (TheHub) zucchini spirals (me) tossed salad, rolls (TheHub) keto bread (me)
6. Keto fried rice, green beans, marinated radishes
7. Tater tot casserole (TheHub)  random leftovers (me)

I have a good bit of produce going into next week, so I should need very little, though I am going to ThePig for the super sale cauliflower price. I will pick up two heads, maybe a carton of strawberries and I should be good for the week.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

What Did and Did Not Happen

1. Turkey slices (gravy for hub), mashed potatoes (hub) cauliflower mash (me), green beans, coleslaw
2. Grilled steak, hasselback potato (hub) crudité and dip, keto bread (maybe)
3. Keto Philly cheese steak casserole, salad
4. Leftover ham, sweet potato casserole (hub) collards, keto bread
5. Chili, cornbread (hub) coleslaw

Wednesday Turkey slices plain for me and gravy for TheHub, mashed potatoes (him) cauliflower mashers (me) green beans, tossed salad
Thursday  Bolivian Chicken, tossed salad, rice (TheHub), cauliflower rice (me) asparagus, tossed salad
Friday Keto Philly cheesesteak casserole, coleslaw
Saturday Steaks, mashed potatoes (TheHub) cauliflower mash (me), tossed salad
Sunday: Ham, sweet potato casserole, collards, black eyed peas, 

Used: Freezer
Pack turkey slices (Christmas leftovers)
2 porterhouse steaks
1 package cooked chicken thighs
2 small packages browned ground chuck
frozen asparagus
cauliflower rice
partial bag frozen green beans
1 pack ham

3 romaine hearts
4 cucumbers
1 small onion
3 bell peppers
1/2 bag coleslaw mix
hodgepodge of wilted, past their prime veggies (which became veggie broth for later use)

Generic stuff from the fridge
Provolone cheese
cream cheese
sour cream (tad for the mashed potatoes)
heavy cream

Generic pantry stuff
Olive oil (ran out and had to replenish)
brown rice
1 bag pork skins (Crunchy keto snack)

And that brings me to this week. I am sure the vegetables will change since our weekly ads are published on Wednesday, and I have no idea what I will be buying, but I know I will need some things since I am almost out of all produce now. This week I will continue using foods from the freezer and pantry, so most of the meals are based on what I have on hand. As I continue to use things I am replenishing a couple of bargain items. 

I decided I will allow an additional 100 dollars for stock up items. The Pig has ground chuck this week for its bi-annual lowest price. I am freezing it for the future but will put it in a different section of the freezer so I can use the longest frozen stuff first. They also have a great deal on chicken leg quarters. I will get them, cook the chicken, take it off the bone and return the bones to the cooking pot to make a really rich broth. Then the cooked chicken will be frozen in individual meal packs as will the broth.

This weeks possibilities
1. Stuffed baked potatoes with bbq chicken, cheese, peppers, and onions with a side of coleslaw
2. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli, cucumber tomato salad
3. Pork tenderloin, assorted green salad, rice(TheHub) cauli rice (me) carrots, keto bread or roll
4.  Weiners  kraut, cooked carrots, cornbread, unknown veggie
5. Fettuccine alfredo , noodles (TheHub) zucchini (me), huge tossed salad, rolls or keto bread
6. Mexicanish chicken casserole, coleslaw, tortilla chips (TheHub)
7. Ham and cheese frittata, tossed salad, keto french toast

As usual this is completely subject to change, except for the stuffed baked potatoes. Tomorrow night is a big ball game night here so we need easy ball game food and it does not get easier than this, right? I will go ahead and say Roll Tide!  Win, lose or draw we will still be Tide fans.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

It's Still Cold In The Freezer

Today I am back in the freezer, arranging and recording the remaining contents so I can fully plan our meals while relying on food storage as my primary grocery source right now. It has become a game of sorts and I would love to have a food budget of 100 bucks this month. Personally I could do it, but TheHub goes rogue with his Publix recreational shopping habits so it might be more like 200 bucks this month. I looked at all the food ads for this week and the only thing I could see that I might remotely like to have is a cabbage, asparagus and eggs. I have everything else I need for the week on hand already.

This is my tentative menu for the week. It feels weird to be posting this midweek, but it seems like the past couple of weeks has been filled with auxiliary Sundays. And that is the downside of holidays. As a result I am only posting the menus through Sunday and will start a regular menu plan on a real Monday instead of a fake one. Again this menu is tentative because I am always fickle and tend to resist an inflexible plan.

1. Turkey slices (gravy for hub), mashed potatoes (hub) cauliflower mash (me), green beans, coleslaw
2. Grilled steak, hasselback potato (hub) crudité and dip, keto bread (maybe)
3. Keto Philly cheese steak casserole, salad
4. Leftover ham, sweet potato casserole (hub) collards, keto bread
5. Chili, cornbread (hub) coleslaw

This menu should use the following staples, produce and dairy I have on hand.
lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, coleslaw mix, potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, cauliflower, bell peppers, radishes, sour cream, butter, cheese, heavy cream, coconut milk, olive oil, almond flour, coconut flour, sweetener, and spices

From the freezer:
1 pack sliced turkey
2 porterhouse steaks
2 packs pre-browned ground chuck
partial bag green beans
sweet potato puree

From the pantry:
1 jar turkey gravy
cornbread mix
brown sugar
1 large can tomatoes
1 can kidney beans

Additionally I will be making keto bread and at least one keto dessert, probably coconut "pie"
I have all the ingredients on hand so this will all be from the pantry/refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Welcome 2019

I am not looking back and reflecting on my successes or failures for 2018. It is in the past and everything I accomplished or did not accomplish is over and done. The year had some memorable events that I will cherish forever. I have not one, but 2 new DIL's, and I love them both dearly. We had 2 week long visits with Son1 and family, so we had some nice extended Pip time, and of course Facetime now allows us to be a part of her life on a regular basis. Thank you Steve Jobs! Plus life was not unbearable, even though there were some unpleasant moments that were just that__moments.

So today, I am only looking forward and for today I am not looking forward to grandiose plans for the year. I actually spent the morning (OK, early afternoon ) going through the freezer and pantry to see what is there. Can you say tons!  I don't think the 90/52 decluttering challenge is truly about cleaning out the food storage, but I spent much longer than 90 minutes wearing ski gloves and a cap while digging through the freezer. After surveying and rearranging the freezer it looks like we are going to be eating a lot of pork for the next month. Though I have chicken and beef frozen, I have 6 pounds of smoked sausage, 4 pork tenderloins, Italian sausage, Polish sausage, Andouille sausage, 5 packages of bacon, and ham in individual serving packs coming out the wahzoo. (This year was the corporate gift Year of the Pig. TheHub received 2 huge hams plus sausage and cheese assortments. It's kind of funny how the gifts trend from year to year. Last year was the Year of the Cookie and Candy, and the year before was the Year of the Nut and Wine.)

After freezer diving I went on a pantry tour. I have a small pantry just about the width of a small coat closet but just 6 inches deeper than a large cereal box, yet somehow I have managed to fill it to overflowing. I am starting back on keto tomorrow but it looks like TheHub will be enjoying a lot of couscous since I found 4 boxes of it. Note to self: Do Not Buy Anymore Cousous!  And oyster crackers! How does one pantry wind up with 3 boxes of oyster crackers? It is not like we eat chili and soup every meal.

And now begins the prep for our traditional New Year's day meal of ham, black-eyed peas, cornbread and collards. It is supposedly a lucky meal and since I am still above ground, I am going to assume that it works. (Bonus: we really like the way it tastes and I found a Key lime pie in the freezer to put the final touch on the meal. Since we have no traditional dessert I don't feel like I am pushing the bounds of a lucky meal serving it.)

I wish each of you a wonderful, prosperous and                            joy filled New Year !