Category Archives: Cooking

Freezer Challege

The time has come. I need to do a freezer challenge!

I LOVE the freezer. I put everything in there (whether it really deserves to go in there or not!). Freezing things lets me stock up when things are on sale, in season, or I’m just stocking in Detroit. We joined Costco this summer, so my freezer is getting a work out!

In November, I decided that I needed to do a freezer challenge- I needed room for a Christmas turkey and some other things. I also wanted to get my grocery budget back under control. So, for the past 3 months, we’ve been eating from our freezer.

This is what I’ve decided:

Our freezer(s) are like Mary Poppin’s bag:

(photo source: http://www.beat102103.com/beat-breakfast-blog/2012/05/22/movie-gadgets/mary-poppins-bag/)

3 months of eating from our freezer and there’s still food in there! now, granted, I’ve been shopping some and in fact in November and December spent probably more than my grocery budget. But, we’ve been making an effort. In January, I’m over $100 under budget…and we haven’t missed anything! (well, except the cookie dough I usually keep in there…hehe).

The most remarkable thing about this…I don’t feel like I’ve cooked a meal from scratch in months. Which doesn’t seem possible (I really thought the freezer was on the empty side in November…much less December…much less January!) Every day, I go to the freezer, open it up and pull out something at least halfway prepped. The most brilliant meal was last week when I pulled frozen, cooked pasta out, cooked meatballs, and homemade spaghetti sauce to make a pasta dish. Mix it together, pop it in the oven, and call it good.

I just set aside our meals for the week, and I think I have enough meals/components for 2-3 more weeks in there. Let the freezer challenge continue!

Read More

Sale!

Ashley and I ran to the store today and found these on clearance. They expire today so it was under $2 for everything! I’m going to make smoothies to freeze and put the little ones in the freezer too!

Read More

Daunted

Do you ever have something you want to do that makes you feel so overwhelmed you can’t breath and it feels like your chest will collapse?

I do.

I told Mark I would make a treat for his office this week, and in a moment of “raspberry fields,” I thought homemade cinnamon rolls would be fun. How hard could it be? I would make some Artisan bread in 5 minutes then throw them together.

Wrong. Do you know how complicated making dough for cinnamon rolls can be? No? Let me tell you. First, most normal recipes want you to scald milk, use whole milk, use a ton of butter/eggs, etc. Then there’s the frosting. Maple, orange, coffee? What happened to just melted butter!?!

My next thought was, how about using the (sorely neglected) bread machine? Those recipes wants funky ingredients (no I don’t keep powdered milk on hand!)

Now, I’ve wasted 2 hours trying to find a recipe to make these things. And have triggered a panic reaction in my body. all so I can make adequate cinnamon rolls.

ok, final attempt: I’m going to make the artisan bread challah bread and hope for the best (and stop reading 3 page recipes for things like this!!). But first I’m going to try to finish something on my to-do list before the little one wakes up.

Read More

1700

1700. Today I pinned my 1700 pin on Pinterest. Yup, I like pinterest.

In a sheer act of genius (not really), the 1700 pin was one that I actually did! I had to make white rice for our small group tonight and I have pretty much sworn off white rice because it always boils over, makes a mess, etc.

Enter the oven. For about a year, I’ve been baking brown rice and loving in. Thanks to google, today, I realized I could do the same with white rice.

The 1700 pin was even an original.

But more importantly, the rice turned out perfectly. It wasn’t sticky, or crunchy, just fluffy, yummy rice. AND no mess on my stove.

And therefore I’m blogging about it.

Because I spend way to much time on pinterest and not enough time on my blog.

Also, wordpress thinks pinterest is misspelled. And wordpress.. Red lines everywhere.

Really ending this now.

1700. I have a lot to do!

Read More

August Pinterest Challenge- Zuchinni Boats

In a world of way too many choices, here is my first of four pinterest goals for this month:

 Cooking:

I decide to make Zucchinni Boats: I have zucchinni in the fridge, tomatoes in the garden, and quite a bit of mozz cheese. I actually took ideas from several pins to make these: here, here, and here

Here’s how it went:

They were pretty easy to make, and they looked nice, but neither Mark nor I were crazy about how they tasted. They were okay, but not great. He said:” I don’t mind if you make them again, but they’re not my favorite.”

So, we tried. it’s good clarity that this one won’t be a family favorite! (This project also proves that I don’t know how to spell zucchinni/zuchinni/zuchini!)

 

Read More

Things that make me happy

It was definitely one of those days…but it’s gotten better the last few hours. Here are a few things that turned it around:

1) Breakfast for dinner: Blueberry pancakes, bacon (from the butcher, so the good stuff!), eggs, grapefruit, and OJ. I could eat it all over again, it was so good!

2) Grocery story price matches: I’ve been buying groceries like crazy this month and running all over to multiple stores to try to get good deals. Then I realized that one of the grocery stores in town will do a price match of prices from any other store in the area. HELLO. 1 stop grocery shopping and I get the deals from like 5 stores?? Sign me up! I tried it tonight and it was fantastic. Took a little bit of work to make sure the products were the same, but this may be my new lifesaver (the time combing the ads was definitely less time that it would have taken me to go to all 5 stores. )

3) A Husband who cheerfully carries in the groceries AND takes care of them. A huge help when my back is not cooperating!

4) Space heaters: to warm up the house when the furnace doesn’t work!

5) Maggie: just cause she’s cute (although disobedient)

6) Naps: that’s probably pretty self-explanatory

Read More