Monday, January 30, 2023

Going, Going___ Nowhere Near Gone

This has been my baking week. I was directly exposed to covid and kept away from everyone for most of the week. I did have one meeting I had to go to, but we maintained distance and I had no symptoms of covid. Other than that, all my errands were either at a drive through or the pick up option at a couple of stores. 
When I am upset or bored I bake, and I was plenty bored this past week. Throw in the fact that I had about 3 cups of sourdough discard and it meant I really had to do some serious baking to use it.  

Monday Meals
Breakfast: sourdough toast, coffee
Lunch: leftover chicken and stuffing, leftover tossed salad
Dinner: vesuvian* over sourdough bread, tossed salad, brownie a la mode, wine

Tuesday Meals
Breakfast: morning glory muffin, coffee
Lunch: leftover tossed salad, ranch dressing
Dinner: coq au vin, orzo pasta, chop salad, tea, brownie

Wednesday Meals
Breakfast: coffee
Lunch: cobb salad (Met TheHub for lunch before a meeting. We sat about 15 feet away from anyone else)
Dinner: corn on the cob 
Snack morning glory muffin

Thursday Meals
Breakfast: morning glory muffin, coffee
Lunch: vegetable soup
Dinner: tamale pie, green beans, coleslaw, tea
Snack; brownie

Friday Meals
Breakfast: coffee
Lunch: leftover coq au vin
Dinner: white chicken chili, cheese toast, pickled okra
Snack: pineapple upside down cake

Saturday Meals
Breakfast: coffee
Lunch: leftover tamale pie
Dinner: tuna steaks, coleslaw, biscuits
Snack: chocolate chip cookies

Sunday Meals:
Lunch:canned mushroom soup, oyster crackers
Dinner:leftover spaghetti meat sauce over angel hair pasta, tossed salad
Snack: Sourdough toast with mayhaw jelly

Auxiliary Preps (because I have a ton of starter discard from feeding the starter)
Brownies. . . good but a little too chocolaty
Morning glory muffins. . . good
Biscuits. . . they were just biscuits
Pineapple upside down cake (very small cake, truly good)
Discard chocolate chip cookies. . . cake textured and not terribly sweet but good enough.
1 loaf sourdough bread . . . just a nice tangy bread

Bought this week
Small vanilla Ice cream (Brownies__duh)
1 lemon
6 cartons mushrooms (on sale, stock up for dehydrating)
1 bag coleslaw 
2 bottles chili sauce (Aldi seasonal product so I bought 2 while they were still available)
1 dozen eggs
3 boxes protein bars*** (TheHub takes these to work. He bought them)
bananas** *(theHub's recreational shopping purchase)
small container cut watermelon ***(ditto)

Used this week 
From the freezer
Small pack cooked ground beef with onions
1 chicken breast
1 ear of corn
small pack (1 serving size) vegetable soup
small pack ground chuck
small pack green beans
2 servings white chicken chili
1 cup dehydrated pineapple slices**
2 tuna steaks
small pack shredded Monterey Jack cheese
leftover spaghetti meat sauce
1/2 bag corn niblets

From the refrigerator
6 eggs
sourdough discard
leftover chicken and stuffing
leftover tossed salad
greek dressing (gone now)
ranch dressing (still about 1/2 bottle left)
french dressing (still a little left)
sour cream 
leftover tossed salad
John's slaw dressing
hot sauce
leftover coq au vin
angel hair pasta
parmesan cheese
cheddar cheese
monterey jack cheese

2 1/2 bell pepper
8 cherry tomatoes
6 radishes
1 cucumber
8 carrots
1 apple
1 orange
3 onions
1/4 cauliflower
1 bunch scallions
bananas (I have no idea how many. I hate bananas and don't keep count of TheHub's total)
remaining cabbage
partial bag coleslaw mix
remaining cherry tomatoes
watermelon (1 small container)

From the pantry
5 Earl Gray tea bags
3 lemon ginger tea bags
1 zevia Ginger Root Beer
2 cans La Croix 
1 diet Dr Pepper
chocolate chips (almost 1 bag)
envelope of brown gravy mix
olive oil
shredded coconut
balsamic vinegar
baking powder
baking soda
dehydrated mushrooms
3/4 container chicken broth
quart tea bags
brown sugar
herbs and spices
mushroom sage olive oil
corn meal
1/4 huge jar sun dried tomatoes in olive oil ( I had no idea I had this. Using it as often as possible)
1/3 jar pickled okra (another pantry find I did not remember having)
1/2 cake mix
vegetable oil
brown sugar
red wine vinegar
1 can green chilis

Weekly Wrap Up
By Tuesday I was out of regular coffee. I had several partial containers filled with flavored coffees, but I don't like them for my morning coffee. I also had a lot of decaf, which is pointless in the morning even though it tastes pretty much like regular coffee. Since I use a Keurig with refillable k cups for my morning coffee(s) the solution was to fill each cup partially with decaf and add ground espresso to it. Not perfect but it worked for taste and a caffeine kick.
Even though I do not need to go to the store I want to. No idea why, I just want to because I am bored looking at the same things. There is some weird dichotomy going on though, because the more restless I get using what we have on hand, the better tasting our meals have been. I guess I am trying a little harder to cook something different, or maybe the meals have been made with intent instead of just throwing something on the table.  I am not sure, but I know I am over any "thrill" I had initially by using some of our food inventory. I have 3 more days to complete this challenge. I know I will do it, because I have a stubborn streak in me that is about a mile long, but it does not mean I will quit griping about it.

Put in the freezer this week (bummer)
Morning glory muffins

* Delicious ground chuck, veggie, and brown gravy concoction served over garlic bread, My Beloved Sister's creation. She is not a great cook and certainly not kitchen creative so I have to give her props when it is due. It really is good.

** Whenever Aldi has pineapple on sale I buy a couple of them. We eat part of one as fresh pineapple then I dehydrate the rest of it. I do keep it in a bag in the freezer. Most of the time I just grab a slice out of the bag and eat it as it. The result of dehydrating is is a chewy, intensely pineapple flavored treat, but this week I rehydrated it to use in pineapple upside cake. It worked perfectly. I can always tell if a treat is a success by whether or not if TheHub goes back for seconds. The cake was very successful!

***I am not counting TheHub's random purchases as me going off my challenge. He is an adult, has his own money, and can buy whatever he wants for himself. I am not about to tell him what he can or cannot do with it as long as it is not part of our daily meals. If he wants to have watermelon or protein bars for a snack, that is strictly his business. 
I do know he will be happy that I did this challenge before Super Bowl Week, so he can have all the junk associated with football watching.

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Week 4 is Done

 The first month of 2023 did not slow down anymore than all of 2022 did. Time is winging past me, and now it is Sunday again to post the last week's joys. I was exposed directly to covid so I had a week staying fairly isolated. This week I hope is a little more productive.

Sunday: We went to church, then picked up our lunch from a drive through and brought it home. The day was seriously dreary and  much colder than we thought it would be. We  did not want to go anywhere. Instead we both read, watched a little football then watched 1883.

Monday: A guy rang the doorbell early Monday morning with a pine straw rolls filling his truck. After a little negotiating I hired him to put it across the front of the house all the way to the side of the street (I live on a corner lot) Almost 10 rolls later and a bit out of my wallet, the job was done and it looks great.
 I tried a new to me chocolate brownie recipe using the sourdough discard. And yes it was delicious.
While I was out running to the bank I saw daffodils blooming in one of my neighbors yards.
But the biggest joy was talking and laughing with Sluggy.

Tuesday: Made morning glory muffins with sourdough discard. Extreme joy that my microwave has a convection bake function. My oven crapped out and I do not have to be in such a hurry to have it repaired.

Wednesday: I ran out for a bit on Wednesday, met TheHub for lunch then had a meeting concerning our finances (I maintained a lot of distance) On the way  home I saw a tulip tree in almost full bloom.

Thursday: The day was really dreary and I was glad I did not have to go anywhere. Instead I had a nice day reading. TheHub gave me a shawl for Christmas and I am not normally a shawl gal, but it is seriously warm when the house is cold. It keeps me comfortable without turning on the heat. 

Friday: I spent the day looking for an accordion folder that I remember putting someplace "safe" and had no earthly idea where "safe" was. The upside is that a lot of places got a thorough cleaning as I emptied cabinets and drawers looking for it.
My Beloved Sister came by mid chaos and we sat and laughed at some of the things I had pulled out of particular places. Anyone else have about 15 composition books with stuff written in maybe 5 pages of each one? 
We read some stories I had written and forgotten about. Some caused so much laughter I almost wet my pants, but the last one left us both in tears.  Maybe one day I will share some here.
I also did a little more baking using more of the sourdough discard. I am trying not to waste anything but I can't continue baking like this, because I am more than a little tempted to eat it.

Saturday: After running our usual Saturday morning errands, we came home to have a leftover lunch, then watch Bama basketball. Well, one of us watched the game while the other one of us baked.  After the game was over and the bread was rising, the biscuits were baked and the cookies were baking, we watched a couple of episodes of The Offer. It is a very enjoyable show to watch, especially since both of us are huge fans of The Godfather.

Anyway the week is done and it was a relatively decent week for one where I was keeping mostly to myself. There are small joys even on the more isolated weeks if you just look for them.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Fed___Like it or Not

The honeymoon with this "use it up" challenge is definitely over. I have no idea what I want to cook for dinner, but I want to be able to go to the grocery store and decide on the spot. I still have 9 more days before I will allow myself to shop willy nilly. (Unless I decide to continue the challenge or a modified version of it a little bit longer. The jury is still out on that idea.)
Meanwhile I continue to feed us.

Monday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: I/4 pizza slice*
Dinner Chili, oyster crackers (slightly stale but doable) coleslaw
Snack: Not 1, not 2 but 3 half moon cookies**

Tuesday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Last bit of vegetable soup, bell pepper slices
Dinner: Chicken over stuffing*** with turkey gravy, asparagus
Snack: 1 individual serving bag of Doritos, mandarin

Wednesday Meals
breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Leftover bbq chicken, leftover cooked cabbage
Dinner: Ham, butter peas, collards, coleslaw
Snack: 3 caramels My beloved sister gave TheHub for Christmas

Thursday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Baked ziti
Dinner: Out to eat El Paso salad (me) Flatbread (TheHub)
Snack: Peanut butter bar

Friday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Leftover pork chop, bell pepper strips
Dinner: Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad

Saturday Meals
Breakfast: Grits, tea (TheHub) coffee (me)
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches, pickles, chips
Dinner: PBJ (TheHub) Diet Coke, Hot chocolate, toast (me)

Sunday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Captain D's takeout
Dinner: Chicken fried rice (Lame attempt at celebration for the Lunar New Year)
Snack: Sourdough toast and jelly

Bought This Week
5 bananas (TheHub's recreational shopping trip)
2 small containers cantaloupe  (same recreational trip)
1 small yogurt (ditto)
oyster crackers (ditto again, even though I told him we had some, plus another unopened 
loaf of bread
2 fruit pies (trying to do something nice for TheHub)
1 Peanut butter bar (oops, was next to the cash register at the day old bread store)
3 cookies from Full Moon BBQ 
1 head of lettuce
Nutter butters (TheHub's purchase)
6 pk diet Canada Dry (ditto)

Used This Week
From the freezer
2 small packs chili
2 pack cooked chicken
2 small packs asparagus (Gross! The remaining packs will become cream of asparagus soup )
1 pack butter peas
small pack frozen baked ziti
pack ground chuck
1/2 pack collards
1 very small pack of meat sauce for spaghetti (less than one serving)
small pack leftover ham
Trader Joe's fried rice

From the refrigerator
leftover veggie soup
leftover bbq chicken
leftover sausage flavored cabbage (from the sausage and cabbage dinner earlier.) 
parmesan cheese
thousand island dressing (TheHub finished it)
French dressing (My least favorite but it was loitering and needed to be use)
grape jelly
soy sauce
cheddar cheese

Produce used:
1 bell pepper
5 carrots
5 scallions
1/3 humongous cabbage
1 onion
1 clove garlic
cherry tomatoes
1/2 cucumber

From the pantry
1 box stuffing mix
oyster crackers
1 pack turkey gravy mix
4 quart size tea bags
olive oil
1/3 jar Rao's marinara
various herbs
peanut butter
vegetable oil
sliced bread for sandwiches
4 earl gray tea bags

Weekly Wrap Up
I like seeing a few small spaces appear in the freezer.
This is a good way to rotate some of the foods that desperately need to be rotated.  
I also like not spending money for many groceries this month.

Going Forward
The freezer is still quite full, as is the pantry. The produce is dwindling and I will need to buy some more this week. With the bread purchase and the 2 loaves of sourdough bread I made this week, we have plenty, plus I still have 15 pounds of unopened flour, so I can always make more bread.
I have tons of sourdough discard from feeding the starter and should be able to bake some treats using it. I have bags of chocolate and butterscotch bits along with recipes for discard chocolate chip and discard oatmeal cookies. This could be a possibility.

* I was painting masks for  Independence Place's upcoming play and forgot to take my lunch. Son2 offered me a slice of his pizza but I only took 1/4 of it.
** On the way home from IP I was still hungry. My car turned by itself into Full Moon BBQ and there was nothing I could do but order cookies. They only sell them in packs of 3 or 6, so I had no choice but to eat all 3.
*** I will probably lose my southern card for having the box of stuffing mix in the pantry.
**** I am not the only one who buys excessively!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Week 3 Is In The Books

The third full week of 2023 has passed and the fourth week has begun. As I look at the week and see the promise of a new beginning, for some of my fellow bloggers the week is filled with dread and uncertainty. I know there is not one of us with any guarantees, but as I write this my life is still status quo. I do intend to be more present in the lives of the people I love most, either in person or via whatever device connects us most easily.
And I will continue to look for and celebrate the joys, large and small, I find along the way each and every day.

Sunday: After church TheHub and I went shopping for him. He needed a few new dress shirts. (Does this sound like someone who is thinking about retirement any time soon?) After shop[ing we drove to Son2's house and picked up Son2, DIL2 and TGS. We rode  to their potential new house (pending inspections) and got to go through it. It is a quirky, but adorable home and if they get it, will be a fabulous place for them.

Monday: I was able to go to Independence Place and spent the day painting masks and watching their play rehearsal. It is my most favorite happy place.

Tuesday: I did a lot of laundry which is not joyous until it is all done, folded and put away

Wednesday: Felt kind of icky all day, but not bad enough that I could not spend the day reading!

Thursday: I spent the entire day at Independence Place, AKA my happy place. My Beloved Sister came out there to help with the mask painting. We are now finished with everything except the rhino's body and the giraffe's neck. 
TheHub and I got home close to the same time and when he suggested we go out to eat, I did not object.

Friday: I decided it was time for me to put on my big girl pants and do something with the sourdough starter I had been feeding all week. I went a little renegade and measured using U.S. measures rather than a digital scale and grams. I started thinking sourdough was around way before there were standard measures much less digital scales. I found a couple for recipes online for something that would not be qualified as artisanal, and by combining the two wound up with two really nice loaves. 
TheHub and I decided to stay at home Friday night. He had a hectic week at work and we only had 5 more episodes of 1883, so we ate dinner then watched 2 of them. It was a perfect Friday night.

Saturday: The day was gorgeous when we woke, so after a cup of coffee and bowl of grits for TheHub we got ready to do a little running around . 
Since I got the car back from the repair ship it has felt a little "wobbly" when I drove it, plus the oil change indicator was blinking as well as the low battery warning.  I was so outdone with the length of time the dealerships body shop  held my car captive took to repair the minuscule damage to the rear fender, that I was not about to take it back to them for service.
Instead we ran by Express Oil while we were out. They checked everything, changed the oil, then noticed a couple of the lug nuts were missing from the tire next to the damaged fender. I guess it would have been asking too much for the body shop to actually put the tire back on correctly once they did the body repair. My huge joy was that the young man helping us found it before I was driving down the interstate and lost a tire. (We did head back to the Honda dealership and had them put them back on immediately. They were truly sorry it happened?!?)
We got back home before the rains started and settled in for an episode of 1883 before watching Bama basketball followed by the Eagles/Giants football game.

So that ends the joys I had this past week. They were small but I do not live a large and terribly exciting life.
Look for your joys that are always around.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Monday, January 16, 2023

Food Boringest Food

Trust me when I say that no one is going to be singing accolades about the meals we are eating right now. Though I have a ton of food, when I don't look at the food ads and plan meals around what is on sale for the week, I have a tendency to just kind of wing it. I will snag something out of the freezer or pantry with no thought put into what it will become as a meal. It is definitely not what I should be doing. As you can see we are not going hungry at all, just eating kind of boring meals.
 The only upside is that I am pretty much staying out of the stores. I did buy 3 things I had given myself permission to buy, and it does make it easy to shop when the only aisles you walk down are produce and dairy.

Monday Meals
Breakfast: Toast with country gravy
Lunch: Huge green salad
Dinner: Sloppy Joe's on leftover white bread, broccoli, mandarin
Snack: Sugar free hot chocolate (no marshmallows this time)

Tuesday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Last bit of meatball stew, crackers, mandarin
Dinner: Trader Joe's soup noodles, leftover broccoli, mandarin, lemon ginger tea (2 cups)
               (TheHub had a dinner meeting and I was not cooking just for me)
Snack: Graham crackers

Wednesday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Fast food hamburger (was staying with my cousin at her rehab facility) diet Dr. Pepper
Dinner: Pork patties with leftover country gravy, green beans, potato pancakes
Snack: Mini twix, mandarin

Thursday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee, sausage links
Lunch: Not hungry, tea, mandarin
Dinner: Bbq chicken, collards, corn on the cob
Snack: crackers and cheese

Friday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: 1/2 leftover pork patty, leftover collards. crackers, mandarin, tea
Dinner: Vegetable soup, cheese toast, mandarin
Snack: Crackers and cheese

Saturday Meals
Breakfast: Dutch baby pancake with blueberries
Lunch: Out to eat, pork chops, slaw (me) Chicken and dumplings, mac and cheese (The Hub)
we both had stewed okra and tomatoes.
Dinner: Almost French onion soup

Sunday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee, TheHub had tea and a banana
Lunch: Leftover chicken pot pie
Dinner: Conecuh sausage, cooked cabbage
Snack: Graham cracker with peanut butter

Bought this week
5 bananas (TheHub's recreational shopping purchase)
bag of mandarins* ( ditto)
bag of broccoli and cauliflower (ditto)
2 bell peppers
1 carton cherry tomatoes
1 dozen eggs

Used this week
From The Freezer
1 pack browned ground chuck
1/2 bag frozen broccoli
1 box Trader Joe's soup noodles
1 pack ground pork
1 pack green beans
1 box sausage links
1 cooked chicken breast
1 pack cooked chicken
2 ears of corn
Quart bag of vegetable soup
1/4 bag frozen blueberries
small pack of conecuh sausage

From the Fridge
salad dressing
7 eggs
bbq sauce
cheddar slices
heavy cream
sourdough discard (product discarded after feeding the sourdough starter)
pepper sauce
Swiss cheese slices

From the Pantry
remaining white bread  
whole wheat bread 2 slices
1 pack country gravy mix
1 can Manwich (how the heck did that ever get into my pantry)
graham crackers
5 quart size tea bags 
7 earl gray tea bags
2 lemon ginger tea bags
2 chai tea bags
1/2 box potato pancake mix
1 bag Cape Cod bbq chips (hub's snack over several nights)
flour (to feed sourdough starter)
1 can seasoned collard greens
1 pack hot chocolate mix
2 packs Knorr onion soup mix
maple syrup
hot sauce
olive oil 

Produce used (on hand)
5 mandarins
4 onions
1/2 humongous cabbage

Weekly wrap up:
I find that even though I am using food storage, I don't like feeling bound to it. I think it is all about discovering things l am missing, like fresh ginger. I know I could go and buy it, but unless there is a true need for something I am not going to get it and  ginger is a want not a need.
I would like to bake cookies but I am saving my eggs. I did break down and buy more. I was about to run out anyway when a neighbor asked if she could borrow some, so I sent the ones I had to her. 
Lucky me, I found a box of graham crackers in the back of the pantry. It is not exactly what I wanted, but it is almost a substitute for a cookie.
Anyway, our meals have lacked a certain luster, but we are still eating and the meals are fine.
BTW when you see just one vegetable listed, it means we ate about 3 serving size portions. I learned long ago we do better eating a lot of one vegetable rather than regular portion sizes of three veggies. 

*I knew TheHub was going to stop at Publix for bananas but the mandarins and the broccoli and cauliflower were a surprise. I will use the broccoli and cauliflower, and have really enjoyed the mandarins (even though I did not request them)

Sunday, January 15, 2023


 The second week of January is over, and even though it was not a terribly exciting week filled with fun and hijinks, there were still some joyous moments. 

 It was a bleak rainy day. The hub did not feel well so we stayed home only venturing outside to do a few tasks. We ate a steaming hot chicken pot pie, put on some movies and had a really nice at home day.

Monday: One of my best friend's mother died and we went to a celebration of her life. Since it was held near Independence Place, I went there and did some beginning mask making for the play. It truly is my happy place.

Tuesday: I had a day at home to catch up on the laundry. A much needed catch up day. There is a certain joy in being able to do all of it from home. It has been many, many years since I had to use a laundromat, but I remember having to haul it all in order to have clean clothes. A working washer and dryer is a luxury I do not take for granted.

Wednesday: I was able to go to the rehab facility and stay with my cousin. My joy was seeing how much better she looked than she did the last time I saw her.
When I returned home my lovely neighbor D. brought me some sourdough starter. I will have to see how I do with it. I have never been much of a bread baker. 

Thursday: I was supposed to go to Independence Place, was dressed and walking out the door when the phone rang. They asked me not to come in case the weather was a bad as predicted, because they would close early. I was bummed out I was not going to be able to go, but ultimately thrilled that the predicted bad weather did not impact us, though it did some major damage including deaths in Central Alabama.
DIL 2 works in home health care and was a few streets over from my house. She had rescheduled her visits for later in the afternoon to avoid the expected storms. I was so happy she came here to visit and kill her gap of time with me.

Friday: The day started out very pretty and just a bit chilly, then got colder and colder.  After getting all the plants inside __again, I did some badly needed housework. Normally TheHub and I go out to eat on Fridays, but we decided we did not want to get out in the cold just to eat when I had  a lot of food here. Instead we ate then sat by the fire watching Kaleidoscope.

Saturday: The day was chilly but gorgeous. I did manage to use some of the sourdough discard in one of the few breakfasts I make for TheHub each year. I like trying new things and it was surprisingly good. After eating we got dressed for the day and headed out to run some errands and take care of a little business. The day was so pretty, we decided we would extend our outing by going out for lunch. Good food and good company! After eating we came home to watch the Alabama LSU basketball game. Alabama's team is playing with really good team chemistry this year.
We ended the evening wrapped in blankets watching the last two episodes of Kaleidoscope. 

I hope you are able to find joy every day, no matter how small the joy is.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Monday, January 9, 2023

My No Plan Results

This is the first week of my unplanned meal plan, using what I have here at the house. My first step was to start by seeing exactly what I have on hand. This meant cleaning out everywhere I keep foods stored, which is a lot of different places. 
I have a standard side by side refrigerator/freezer, a double free standing bar type cabinet that contains all of my baking supplies, a lazy Susan in a corner cabinet filled with spices and seasonings, plus a small closet pantry in the kitchen. 
The laundry rooms holds a smaller refrigerator/freezer, plus an upright freezer. Additionally I have 2 deep shelves of dry goods and staples, plus 3 boxes filled with canned fruits, veggies, and a few cans of meats.
 Then comes the butler's pantry. Since my butler is named Anne I figure she can use it any way she wants to use it. Along with cabinets of dishes and glasses, it also holds all of our adult beverages and snack type foods (chips, crackers, pretzels,  etc) 
I have not made it to sorting the freezer yet, but I have been through everything else and am amazed  (horrified) at what we have accumulated. Though some is by design, a lot of it is my  shopping  habits, forgetting what I have in stock and buying it again (and again sometimes). Nothing I can do now but take inventory and move on.

Because I am doing a use it up challenge I am listing each meal instead of my normal dinner only list. This is mainly for me, so I can keep up with what I am truly using.
Unless it is the weekend the breakfast and lunch meals will only be mine. TheHub goes out to eat every workday at lunch, most days for a working lunch, thus I am not including his meals (unless he brings home a doggie bag that becomes a meal or partial meal for us).

Monday Meals  
Breakfast: Cheese toast, coffee or hot tea               
Lunch: Out to eat, Brunswick stew, coleslaw (me) Pork bbq sandwich, baked beans (TheHub) 
Dinner: TheHub: Leftover taco soup, bread slathered with butter
              Me: Open face turkey on sourdough with turkey gravy over it, coleslaw
**Our neighbor texted me to see if I would like fresh out of the oven sourdough bread. 
Yes please! We had planned on having turkey sandwiches but did not want to ruin really good bread with a traditional sandwich.**
Snacks: Remnants of Christmas past (cookies)

Tuesday Meals
Breakfast: Sausage casserole, coffee
Lunch: Wasn't hungry, diet Dr.Pepper, handful of pecans
Dinner: Meatball beef stew, fennel/apple salad, sourdough bread
Snacks: Mandarin and some cherries

Wednesday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Taco soup, less than stellar English muffin
TheHub called to say he would not be home for dinner. No point in cooking just for me.
Dinner: 2 or 3 bites of assorted leftovers (not satisfying but it cleaned out some containers)
Snack: Persimmon muffin (failed baking experiment. Ate one before tossing the rest)

Thursday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Picked up a fast food meal on the way to volunteer at IP
Dinner: Kraut and wieners, niblet corn (got home late and needed a quick meal)
Snack: Spicy pistachios (found when cleaning out the baking center cabinet)

Friday Meals
Breakfast: Coffee
Lunch: Out to eat with Son2, TGS, and My Beloved Sister
Dinner: TheHub did not feel great, so we just had a baked potato
Snack: Biscotti and coffee

Saturday Meals
Breakfast: Grits and tea or toast and coffee
Lunch: Leftover stew, leftover 1/2 club sandwich (from TheHub's lunch Friday)
Dinner: Taco salad
Snack: Chips and some chocolate

Sunday Meals
Breakfast: Granola (remnants of a recreational shopper purchase) coffee or tea
Lunch: Soup (TheHub still is not feeling great) or leftover kraut and wieners
Dinner: Chicken pot pie, brussels sprouts
Snacks: 1/2 apple (split it with TheHub) 2 graham crackers, envelope of hot chocolate mix

Bought this week
Nothing, zero, zip, nada

Used this week
From the freezer 
Sausage casserole* 
1 pack ground chuck
1/2 pack meatballs
1 pint chocolate ice cream (TheHub)
1 cooked chicken breast
1 ready made pie crust
chicken broth

From the fridge (on hand) 
leftover taco soup ( totally gone now)
sliced turkey
butter for bread and cooking
leftover green bean casserole (went into the beef stew)
English muffin (somewhat stale but toasted it was ok)
1 pack Hebrew National hot dogs
1 jar sauerkraut (for some strange reason we had opened it but never used it)
leftover apple fennel slaw
leftover beef stew (about 2 bites)
leftover green beans (about 2 bites)
macadamia nut milk (end of the carton)
almond milk (about a cup)
cheddar cheese 4 oz.

Produce used (on hand)
tail end of the coleslaw
fennel bulb and stalks
2 apples
2 potatoes
2 carrots
4 stalks less than stellar celery
1 onion
cherry tomatoes
1 persimmon 

From the pantry
 partial jar turkey gravy (bought for Thanksgiving but never used)
1 envelope beef stew seasonings
1 can stems and pieces mushrooms
coffee, duh!
1 can niblet corn
flax meal
brown sugar
granulated sugar
baking powder
4 individual snack bags of chips (counting TheHubs 3 bags in this total)
shelled peanuts (TheHub)
leftover tortilla chips
pack of taco seasoning
tail end of a bag of granola
spiced pistachio nuts
quart size tea bags
individual tea bags
1 can veg-all
graham crackers
pouch of hot chocolate mix
4 dehydrated** mini marshmallows

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all!

Going into this week I know we will be watching the NCAA National Championship football game, so there will be some type of football watching meal. No clue yet what that might be but whatever it turns out to be will most likely be something from the freezer. In fact we should have a week of things mainly from the freezer since the only leftovers this week are small amounts which will become lunches for me. 
I will be volunteering at Independence Place a couple of times this week, and plan to go sit with my cousin another day.  I see crock pot meals happening. Whatever they might be still remains to be seen.  
I still have many salad fixings, some fruit, carrots, onions, 2 potatoes, a gigantic head of cabbage and a whole cauliflower in the crisper, plus several bags of frozen veggies. Other than bananas for TheHub, I should be ok without buying additional produce this week. But the jury is still out. I have not seen this weeks ads, and the possibility of stock up prices for proteins is still out there.

*The sausage casserole is not a casserole in the traditional sense. It is breakfast sausage, brown rice, herbs, celery, onions, peppers and tomatoes sautéed in butter then mixed together. It has no binders or sauces other than the juice from the vegetables. Still it is pretty dang tasty and is honestly better for breakfast than it was for dinner when we originally had it. I am just glad I opted to freeze those leftovers  in smaller packs (about 3 breakfast servings each).

**I found that we never used an entire bag of mini marshmallows before they became dried out and stale. I started dehydrating them and storing them in a jar with a tight lid. When we have hot chocolate (the only time we ever use them) I put a few on top of the hot drink and stir. In about  minute they have rehydrated and start to melt like fresh marshmallows. 

Sunday, January 8, 2023

And So It Begins__Again

Now we end the first full week of 2023, and, as usual I am listing my daily joys. Some are small, some seem small to others but they are huge joys to me, and others thrill me from the inside out.

Sunday: New Year's Day started with a bang. The day was drop dead gorgeous with really warm (overly warm) temperatures. Quite a change from the frigid week before. 
We woke and had breakfast together, which is unusual for us because I do not like to eat in the mornings. Sometimes I am a good sport and will cook for him then sit with TheHub and savor my coffee while he eats, but this time I actually put real food in my mouth. 
Now don't start thinking I 'm one of those who has a hot breakfast sitting on the table for him every morning. If I had 40 fingers I could count on them how many times a year I make his breakfast in a year. And that is most likely a generous estimate.
After we ate we read a little then dressed to return something I bought for him for Christmas that was the wrong size. Who knew Duluth Trading would be open on NYD? Oh yeah, TheHub did because he had phoned them NYE day to see if they would be opened then.
Publix near there was also opened, and we went in to see if they had any of the seasonal orange, cranberry, pecan bar cakes left. We would have bought them all, brought them home and frozen them. They were that delicious. Obviously others thought they were too, because we could find none. 
After that we came home, piddled around the house and had our traditional NYD meal. For the first time in years it was just the two of us, and I honestly don't think we had ever eaten it at our kitchen table before. Next year we need to move back to the dining room even if it is just us.
I have always heard the old wives tale that whatever you do on NYD will set the tone for the year. Please tell me this is not true. I cannot bear a year filled with shopping!

Monday: TheHub's office took Monday as their official New Years holiday, so he was off for the entire day. It was unusual for him because most of the time he would run in for a couple of hours in the early morning, just to get ahead of the next day's chaos. Maybe he is practicing for a potential retirement. I forgot to write Monday's joys as they happened and honestly forgot where we went, but after doing whatever it was, we wound up at a bbq joint for lunch.
I have noticed a pattern though. TheHub has this "need" to get in the car and go somewhere, anywhere actually, and is very discontent to just do things around the house. Once he decides when he will retire, I am going to start planning day trips for us to satisfy his need to be out and about. Plus I see a lot of golf in his future. Lots and lots of golf!

Tuesday: My big and gigantic joy was hearing that My Beloved Cousin S, actually stood up. She has been in the hospital for over 40 days and has not been out of the bed for 37 days. She has been taking one step forward and two steps backward until Tuesday and forward progress seemed to have actually begun.

Wednesday: S not only got out of her bed, but she managed to do it unassisted. I am beyond thankful  and overjoyed for that!

Thursday: I was thrilled to be back volunteering at Independence Place. It is my happy place. 

Friday: We had some banking business to take care of, including adding Son2 to the deposit box. My Beloved Sister and I keep all of Mom's good jewelry there along with several other important papers we need occasionally. We had talked about adding Son2 just in case we ever need to access it and neither of us can get to it. After we finished there we decided to go eat at TGS's new favorite restaurant, rated his favorite because they have delicious fries. Standards!
My cousin, S walked 3 different times Friday afternoon!!!

Saturday: TheHub and I had a lazy day at home. I read, and he messed with several devices, before we decided to binge the last part of Jack Ryan. 
A second and major joy was hearing that My Beloved Cousin S finally was moved to a rehab facility. I am over the moon happy for her progress.

I hope you all find your joys everyday. They are always there if you just look for them.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Monday, January 2, 2023

Planned Non-Plan

I am doing something different this month. My plan is to do the bare minimum grocery shopping, and use what I have in the freezer and pantry. I will buy produce and dairy as needed, and possibly bread, though we eat very little sliced bread. However, and this is a big however, if the stores have stock up prices on proteins I will buy and freeze them, but they will not be used as part of my month's meals. Sorry but I am not willing to miss a really good potential bargain. 
So I am not going to plan the meals in advance. Instead I will decide daily what we are having based on what I remember to thaw and what produce is lingering in the refrigerator. My meal posts for the month will be what we ate, and where the food preps were (freezer, pantry, etc.)
Going into this month I have a full freezer, a well stocked pantry, and some fresh veggies and fruits (but not a lot). There are a couple of items I think will run out before the month is over, but I am not going to buy them unless it is absolutely necessary. 
Eggs are a concern, but I will use flax "eggs" for baking and save the real ones for other uses. I think I have about 15 eggs right now.
About the only other thing I am really worried about running out of is coffee. I might have to reduce my morning 3 cups of coffee to just 2 to make the coffee I have on hand last till the end of the month. That is going to be hard for me!

This was planned for the past week:
1. Brunch leftovers
2. Soup and salad
3. Chili, coleslaw, cornbread
4. Taco soup, salad
5. Out to eat
6, Out to eat
7. Traditional New Year’s Day meal (Ham, black eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread) 

This happened:
Monday: Taco soup, crackers and cheese, cookies and candies leftover from Christmas
Tuesday: Out to eat at Seasons 52. TheHub had grilled redfish and broccolini, I had mushroom bisque and a salad.
Wednesday: Chili, coleslaw, cornbread
Thursday: Out to eat. TheHub and I both had the southwestern salads (yum)
Friday: Leftover breakfast casserole, green beans
Saturday: Football watching meal, frozen pizza (Not really good but also not bad)
Sunday: Traditional New Year's Day meal. Black eyed peas, collards, mac and cheese, ham

Going forward I have enough taco soup for 2 or 3 lunches, chili (enough for dinner one night) that was frozen, and black eyed peas and collards that were frozen for a future soup.

And now I am on day one of this food challenge and have no clue what we will be having. I guess I need to grab something from the freezer so it will thaw in time for dinner.

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan or having no plan at all.