Monday, February 22, 2021

Pantry Challenge Success/Keto Fail

As you know I attempt to make a meal plan weekly and follow it sometimes and sometimes just give it the old heave ho and move on to something in an entirely different direction. 
Though this is still my weekly meal plan blog, I thought it might be a decent time for a little explanation of why/how I format my blog posts, before getting into the actual meal plan part of it.

Sometimes I feel very sorry for those of you who read my blog. I love music and listen to it every single day. Then I decided to start incorporating it into my blog posts. Unfortunately for y'all, you get a sneak peek into how my noggin works, because I search for the first song that pops into my head when I am editing my posts. Obviously when the first item on my planned menu was Hungarian beef and potato soup, the only song that jumped into the active part of my brain was Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody. Conversely when I posted about cookies you were "treated" to Cookie Monster's C is for Cookies. All I can do is apologize to you for subjecting you to this, but even though my thought processes amuse/confound me,  I will probably continue.

And now on to the actual menu recap and plan for the week.
This is what was planned:
1. Hungarian Beef and potato soup Happier than a Pig in Mud
2. Leftover ziti and Chicken parm (Sunday lunch), tossed salad 
3. Chili, coleslaw, cornbread
4. Taco salad
5. Pulled pork sandwiches, caulitato salad, pickles
6. Take out
7. Orange glazed chicken, rice or caulirice, broccoli

Then this happened:
Monday: It was a cold, rainy day and I had to make a run to the lake to pack up a few more boxes before the movers would be there. By the time I left it was getting late and I wanted a quick meal that I could make in one pot and we could eat in one bowl. 
Hungarian Beef and potato soup

Tuesday: I woke to snow, oh crap, and I had movers coming to the lake. Laugh if you will, but we do not drive in snow here. There is no snow removal equipment, no salt, no anything to make snow driving safe. I had to be at the lake and when I called Kevin, my favorite mover, he volunteered to have his dad, who was a long distance truck driver to pick me up and take me to the lake to get the house opened so they could begin the moving process. We slid a bit until we got on the interstate and then the roads were fine. Luckily the lake place is just far enough south that the back roads there had no problems.  I was so glad because the driveway there would have been treacherous if it were iced over. After moving all day, and unloading an entire house of furniture into the basement of my current home I was tired. 
TheHub was not able to help with the move so he nuked leftovers for dinner. It was not a great dinner but all I really wanted was to eat, take a shower and go to sleep.
Leftover ziti and leftover chicken parm

Wednesday: After driving back to the lake place to clean it, then stating to tackle the odds and ends in boxes that were/are still all over the house, I forgot to take anything out of the freezer for dinner. While digging around for something to cook I found a package I had bought before Thanksgiving that kept getting pushed back farther in the freezer. Trader Joe's to the dinner rescue!  They come in a pack of two which I placed in small spring form pans and baked in the air fryer.
Odd isn't it, that even though I had to rely on a frozen entree cooked in the air fryer for dinner I still found time to make a pan of brownies in the real oven. What can I say except __ afterthought  and priorities!
Beef and Stout Pie, broccoli, brownies

Thursday: We closed on the lake place, turned the keys and codes over to the new owners. We were the last appointment at the attorney's office and had planned on picking up a celebration dinner, since one of us (me) will still not go into a restaurant. Even though I have been fortunate enough to have been through both phases of the vaccination, we still had three friends die in one week from Covid, and I take the disease seriously. Until there is more data on the effectiveness of the meds, I will not "feel free to move around the country". So our big celebratory dinner was standard take out fare.
Fish dinner from Jack's (local hamburger joint)
Friday: I was tired and still moving stuff, incorporating some into our house and getting donation boxes packed. I had already decided we would either have canned soup or go pick something up. TheHub did not want soup so we drove nearby to a BBQ joint.
Full Moon BBQ Stuffed baked potato or smoked wings and coleslaw

Saturday: TheHub worked all day, so I occupied most of the day unloading boxes and containers from the lake. One day I will be finished__maybe! At least I did remember to take something out of the freezer to make for dinner. In the process of unloading lake stuff I found a jar of sauce I had bought for the lake food stash. It was an easy addition to turn something plain into something tasty. Though it was slightly past its expiration date, I decided to live on the edge and use it anyway. I would like to report that we are both alive and suffered no ill effects from consuming out of date sauce.
Chicken with jalfrezi sauce over brown rice, broccoli, cookies

Sunday: This was supposed to be the day of rest and, by golly, I rested. I sat on the couch in the den and binged Call My Agent. Normally I binge listen instead of watching by running the sound through the Dot so I can hear it throughout the main floor of the house. Unfortunately the show is a French production with subtitles, my French is extremely limited virtually nil, and the only way I can keep up with the dialogue is to sit and actively watch/read. So I did. When I was through binging for the day I remembered I still needed to cook dinner. This was when having a pack of frozen ground chuck with taco spices already in the browned meat comes in so handy.
Taco Salad

Plans for this week:
1. Spaghetti sauce over pasta or noodles, tossed salad
2. Italian sausage with peppers, onions and tomatoes,  green beans
3. Lamb chops, tossed salad, mashed potatoes or caulimash
4. coq au vin, rice or caulirice, brussels sprouts
5. Cottage pie, coleslaw
6. Steak, tossed salad, broccoli 
7. Takeout

Additionally to the menu I need to make some sort of keto dessert and more keto dinner rolls.

Used for the week:
From the freezer: 
1 pack ground chuck
1 quart beef broth
Trader Joe's beef and stout pies (BTW I will buy more, they were really good)
1 pack boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pack browned taco beef

From the fridge:
2 bell peppers
broccoli (I had a gigantic head of broccoli)
almond milk
sharp cheddar
sour cream
heavy cream

From the pantry:
herbs and spices
avocado oil
olive oil
brownie mix
brown rice
brown sugar
baking powder
baking soda
1/2 bag chocolate chips
jarred jalfrezi sauce
leftover Tostito's 
sunflower seed

As I said before, I am not counting take out meals, nor the 3 bucks I spent on cookies and coffee for my sister and me, as part of the food budget. We have a separate T and E  fund that includes dining out. Pre-Covid we ate out every Friday night, and once a month we ate at a really nice restaurant. Since we have also done no travel, our T and E budget is still untouched except for our takeout meals, most of which are very inexpensive.

Food budget going into the week: 30.95

Oreos  3.28 (Moving day necessity)
bananas 2.73

Remaining in the 60 dollar monthly budget 24.94

Needed to buy for the coming week
bell peppers
coleslaw mix
spaghetti noodles


  1. That was such a busy week I am impressed that you got anything cooked. Very impressed. And equally glad that you survived the out of date sauce.

    1. I guess I do not mind living dangerously, especially after researching how long food will last beyond the expiration dates. Several years in most cases, with the exception of acidic foods and they only last about a year and a half beyond the dates. I think the food industry is definitely guilty of planned obsolesce.

  2. I enjoy the musical interludes on your blog. I probably only click on 10% of them but they often make me think of a similar tune or artist and I go look up a different song. You often post songs I haven't thought of in ages and some I've never heard of, so for me, personally, your music is a great addition to your blog and I hope you'll continue.

    1. I am pretty sure I will continue with the music. I am one of those people who always have a song either playing in real life or playing in my head.

  3. Sesame Street brings back fond memories for me and I always enjoy a glimpse of them. The Happier Than A Pig in Mud blog has a lot of recipes on it, thank you for sharing it. Your menu sounds delicious. I'm going t have to copy several of your meal ideas.

    1. Copy away. I love Happier than a pig in mud. I have so many of her recipes and ideas bookmarked.

  4. I enjoy listening to your music selections. I went around humming "C is for Cookie" all day, yesterday! :D

  5. I enjoy hearing other's musical selections. Sometimes I find a new style of music or musician or song that tickles my fancy. :)

    1. I like to hear different (to me) music also because there is always something new to hear.

  6. I like the music too and I am so impressed with how you've done on your meals and the challenge with as busy as you have been. I've been busting my butt with deep cleaning and decluttering this month, but you have me beat big time. Cheers to you! *Insert clapping and glasses clinking*

    1. I am tired of moving things and finding new places to store things that we brought here to stay!

  7. No laughing form me on you not wanting to drive in the snow. too much sadness this past week when unseasonable weather hits our nations friends. You are doing so good with your pantry challenge. I am going with tuna sandwiches and frozen soup. I thought it was a bigger container of soup than it is-enough for us each to have a good sized mug, but definitely need a sandwich to go with it.

    1. I have barely made a dent in the freezer, but I am trying! I have so much in storage the I could probably go for about 3 months without going to the grocery store if I really had to.

  8. Brownies are always a priority. Now you have me thinking about making peanut butter cookies and adding chocolate chips. No need to apologize for including music. I enjoy it, and if I didn't, then I wouldn't click on it.


    1. I think there is always a reason to have brownies too. Though the peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies sound pretty good too.

  9. I enjoy the music, and sometimes find new to me groups and songs/pieces. I read and comment on blogs on my cell phone, and for some reason your music postings don't show in my mobile version. So I always switch over to web version, don't want to miss the music! Your move exhausted me! I hope you rest well tonight. Celie

    1. I do love music. Unless I have a screaming headache I need something to listen to, and even with a headache I have been known to have Alexa play thunderstorms or surf sounds.

  10. I love your music choices and am always happy when I can catch the theme. We also listen to music everyday. My husband and I will take turns choosing on Alexa and we sometimes play it as categories; song titles that are women's names or titles that reference a vehicle or titles with at least one word in Spanish. At any rate, this time the length of the clip was the time it took me to read, so I felt inspired to comment and thank you!

    1. Thank you for commenting Lonibelle. At night we listen to music while we eat. I generally let TheHub choose what to listen to, and when he has no particular person he wants to hear we go to his fall back artist__Thelonious Monk

  11. Funny...I used to love music. I still remember how my ears felt when I discovered my firs Beatles album. I have family members and dear friends who are professional musicians. As a dance teacher, obviously I needed to be able to feel a piece of music. For the past few years, however, I honestly cannot bear music, even music I once used to love. I can't even stand to have the radio on while I am in the car. If I do, whatever is playing will be in my head all night long, and I detest that. Background music irritates me, even if it is music I like. I also cannot bear to hear the t.v. on in the background. I enjoy silence these days more than I have ever enjoyed any music. That said, I find it easy to scroll past your selections, and read your posts in blessed silence.

    1. The best thing about a YouTube link is that you actively have to click on it rather than it just start playing. To me sometimes silence is deafening.

  12. You must be so tired. I would eat and entire package of oreos all by myself. Hubs has spent a lot of time playing show tunes on the piano. I know he misses performing. He has not been in a pit for over a year.

    1. I love showtunes and have been having a Brigadoon session today!

  13. While there's often a song going on in my head, my brain needs silence often. Music playing all of the time is too much stimulation. So listening to music is purposeful for me, but something I enjoy occasionally.

    1. I get the differences in stimulation. I use music to keep me going. Blank space drains me.

  14. With the "no travel" business of last year I'm amazed at how much I have saved too, so I guess you spending a few $$$ here and there on take out can be easily justified. Plus you've been working so hard you deserve it. And thanks for mentioning "Call My Agent". I'd never heard of it and I'm trying to watch more French TV lately just to keep up with the colloquialisms. Talking to my son just cut do it!

    1. I finished the series last night and had a dream in French. I have no idea what anyone in my dream was saying though. Maybe if I keep finding French shows with subtitles I will learn a little by immersion.

  15. I listen to music while working on any project. There is no cooking for me. It's too much trouble for one person. I order Schwan's meals deliverd and order pick up groceries. Lately I have only been able to fix microwave meals because my oven uses too much propane and this weather has kept it very low while I await a fill up.

    1. Oh I hope you get your fill up very soon! I would be doing exactly what you are doing if I had to make a tank last.

  16. I love reading your posts...even if I dont always comment...and please dont sharing your music.. It introduces me to a wider scope...even if I occasionally am not too keen on the choice (thats my problem..not
    I love your meal choices... and they give me so many ideas..tho I have to juggle the ingredients to fit in with my low cal eating.
    Have a great week x

    1. Sometimes I am not keen on the choice, but it pops into my head and won't leave until I use it.

  17. You've had an incredibly busy week, again! I probably wouldn't have cooked all week if I had that much on my plate.
    Take care, stay well!

    1. I am still in the sorting process and just when I get one box emptied and either re-homed or put in a donation box, I find another that need attention.

  18. I had to laugh at your remark about snow removal, that's the way it was growing up in Louisville. But here, just Northwest of Chicago, we have 2 feet of snow on the ground now but the snow plows do a great job!!!
    I get you with the music! Music and food are my two fave things, it would be a sad world without music, any kind for me except hip-hop, unfortunately I like to crank the volume way up too.
    And I always watch your music videos, you have awesome selections! You're a busy lady and now I have to check out Call My Agent! Take care

    1. I really did enjoy Call My Agent, but it is not a syrupy sweet show.

  19. Brownies are always a priority. :-) You had a busy week! And I'm always interested in your music choices -- so many different styles!

    1. There are very few music genres I don't like but jazz is always my go to sound.

  20. sounds like a busy week anne. snow?! i dream of it. we are still in the thick of a hot and humid summer here; can't wait till autumn! Hubby and i used to travel a fair bit but since covid... funnily enough we seem to be saving a lot of money!!


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