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Archive for August, 2012

Dance floor

September 1st, 2012 at 01:55 am

Heard on HGTV's Extreme Homes...to solve the problem on the yacht if you need room to dance you can have the table move up to the storage area in the ceiling...I know that this problem of not having room to dance on my yacht has kept me up nights...how about you?

Menu

August 29th, 2012 at 12:11 am

Saturday the group we toured with this summer to the east coast had a get together to view the movie the leader so graciously put together and then to eat some snacks.

One of the ladies asked me why I stopped putting what I was fixing for supper on Facebook. I told her because I was getting verbally abused for it. She laughed and said she missed it.

I had been kind of kidded about it -- I started it as a joke. A couple of the local restaurants that I "liked" on Facebook were putting their daily specials on their walls, so I said I would join in and put mine on my wall. A couple of folks kind of got grouchy about it. Most either said it sounded good or asked when was meal time.

Well, the gal insisted I start, so I did. It's been interesting to see the comments. This gal said she liked seeing it because it gave her ideas on fixing things.

I guess that is sort of like this site -- we blog and post replies and it makes us think. Maybe we think about menus or finances or just get challenged to think about something either we didn't or hadn't broached before.

So, although we often think of menus as associated with food, I think we can also think of our writings as a menu of thoughts.

One week down...

August 25th, 2012 at 01:54 pm

This week was the first official week for students, although staff started school the Thursday before.

Last weekend I cooked a chicken in the slow cooker and made two casseroles and chicken stew. That took care of three suppers and a few lunches. I also fixed a beef roast one evening -- DH nicely put it in the oven -- and I had sloppy chicks last Sunday so the leftovers were DH's lunch one day. So, with this, I counted I fixed supper 6 out of 7 nights. We met friends last night at a reasonable place and I had salad bar and water so it wasn't super expensive.

I mentioned that I was tired, but kind of pleased that I didn't succumb to eating out and the hubby of the couple looked at DH and said he needed to help out more. I think he was kidding because although DH is a wonderful husband, he simply isn't handy when it comes to cutting, chopping, etc. He can put something in the oven or heat it on the stove or in the microwave.

So then the friend said we needed to eat out more. I guess he just doesn't get it. I cook for two reasons: it is more reasonable and I control what we eat. I know that sounds like I'm an ogre, but at most places, you have no idea what they are putting in their food or on their food. We used to eat at a restaurant that boasted all their pasta was fresh. I guess they thought opening a box was fresh. Not in my book. True fresh pasta is not dried or frozen.

Well, as I'm sitting here, I'm waiting for the pie crust to cool down so I can put the makings of quiche in it for our supper tonight.

Here's the easiest quiche recipe:

1 pie crust (homemade or store bought)
3 eggs
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Optional -- browned meat like sausage or bacon
roasted vegetables
herbs

Often if I have leftover roasted vegetables, I will add them to the quiche. Since I'm starting over for the week, I will just serve it with a green salad. But, you can add whatever you want.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until it is solid.

Take out of oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

Depending on the serving size, you can get 3-6 servings.

So, another day of saving a few coins by not eating out!

School has begun and so has my meal planning

August 19th, 2012 at 05:26 pm

Life suddenly went into overdrive...I started back to school last week. I don't know if it was stress or the fact I no longer controlled my time, but by Friday I was so exhausted I could barely think straight.

Fortunately the weather cooled off a bit and the buildings were decent temperature wise. But, it is supposed to start warming up as the week goes along.

I have 5 meals planned for the week and most of them will give leftovers for lunches. We had meatloaf last night and there is enough for lunch for both of us one day. We are having sloppy chicks (joes made with ground chicken) for supper tonight so that will give leftovers as well. I cooked a whole chicken in the slower cooker Friday night and made three casseroles and a stew for some week day suppers.

I need to start the grocery list for the end of the week Aldi trip. I've already used a few things that I need to replenish.

What's Your MPP?

August 8th, 2012 at 03:32 pm

Mugs.

No, I'm not talking about one's face. I'm talking about those devices we use to hold coffee, tea, milk, water, etc.

Yesterday, we perused a couple of thrift stores. I noticed that at each one there was a shelf set aside just for mugs.

Poor, abandoned, lonely mugs.

I bet at one time they were either given as gifts or bought with joy of using. Now, they are abandoned, left to their own, to sit on a shelf for folks like me to notice.

I decided to do a mug count at our house. I thought while I was cleaning out the cabinet, I'd take a few photos. Bet you can tell which ones my DH uses. I have to admit not all my mugs are in one cabinet. I have 6 on a mug rack, some in a hutch, and another in another cabinet. I didn't take photos of the ones on the top shelf because I didn't want to get a step ladder.
















After all is said...drum roll please...I counted 51 mugs in our house. That averages out to 25.5 mugs per person (MPP) in our home. This doesn't count the coffee and tea cups.

And yes, I succumbed to the call of the lonely mug yesterday and bought this clear one. I thought it needed a new home.

Big Spendy Monday

August 7th, 2012 at 02:52 pm

I am, in effect, a bit ashamed. Yesterday we went shopping at a larger city near us.

I am 51 years old and I did my back to school shopping. We spent a ton! OK, I work in education, so perhaps that is sort of justified.

I can rationalize it to an extent. I have been going to the local stores and thrift shops and have found nothing I liked in my size. I'm overweight and I hate so many of the new patterns that are huge. They are not flattering. And what's with all this sleeveless stuff? Not everyone has the toned arms of Michelle Obama. I wish I did, but as I get older, my upper arms are getting uglier. I don't have huge upper arms, but they still aren't pretty. I have lost enough weight that many of the things I own are very unbecoming -- most are years old because I haven't like many of the things I've seen in clothing the past couple of years.

So, yesterday, I took a plunge and went into a store with more classic looks. My DH is a wonderful clothes shopper, so he's ideal to take along. Bet many of you are jealous already. :-) Anyway, I found quite a few things and his comment was he didn't care how much it cost, I should get them because it is important to look professional. So, after three stores, my purchases included 3 dresses, 3 slacks, 7 blouses and a pair of shoes. Not everything was on sale, but I liked what I bought.

I always get a little upset when I spend this much money. It isn't that it put us into debt -- we have the money. I just don't like spending large sums of money and I hate clothes shopping because I have unfortunately been made ashamed of my body and therefore often think I'm not worth it. DH is wonderful and very encouraging. And as for the money, he doesn't get upset over it.

Hopefully this will help my self image a bit. A friend told me to letter my inner diva out and enjoy it. Her words were, "Let her rip!"

Eating Economically

August 5th, 2012 at 08:17 pm

I know we are indeed blessed DH has put in a small garden. I had the opportunity to make another small batch of tomato sauce yesterday. I will use part of it for tonight's meal of sloppy chicks (sloppy joes made with ground chicken) and then the rest will be used for goulash tomorrow night.

A friend of ours told us his wife went to the farm stand and paid $1 each for homegrown tomatoes. DH has moaned that his regular tomatoes aren't as large as they were last year and we think it is due to the drought, but $1 each? Wow.

We stopped at Aldi's Thursday night for our weekly run. Eggs had gone up 40 cents to $1.69 a dozen. Living in Central Illinois is far more economical than other places, but a 40 cent jump...wow. But, I had heard on the news that with the heat chickens aren't laying as much nor are cows giving as much milk. I noticed that butter had gone up considerably as well.

Lucky Robin has been blogging about her harvest and I bet their family saves a ton of money eating what they have grown and picked and preserved.

I wonder if the economy continues to be grim if more folks will be planting gardens next spring. I tease my husband we need to plow up the front yard and put in a really big garden. I doubt if the city would allow it, but I bet during the depression of the 1930s, folks did whatever they could.

I did something today that I hated to do. I threw away some bananas that were overripe. I normally make banana bread. The thing is, neither of us eat that much banana bread. I'm trying to watch my carbs and dh will eat a piece or two, but otherwise it goes to waste. I normally bake it and give it away. I decided that throwing away the bananas was probably more economical than using the eggs, sugar, and flour to give away the bread. I hope that doesn't sound too cheap. I shouldn't have let the bananas get overripe, but they turned on me before I knew it.

Well, I digress. It would have been interesting to have kept a running tally of how many onions, bell peppers, herbs, and tomatoes we have realized from the garden and how much we spent on the garden itself and how much it would have cost us if we had bought them at the grocery. Maybe I'll think to do this next year and see if we are eating economically.

Reaping what DH sowed...

August 2nd, 2012 at 03:33 pm



DH loves to garden. He has a very small vegetable garden in our front yard due to the fact our back yard is heavily shaded.

With the drought (sorry, I keeping bringing it up)we weren't sure how well his tomatoes were going to do. We are currently under water restrictions so he can only water three days a week and if we don't get any rain in the next week, that will be cut too.

So, on those three days he waters deeply hoping with the 90+ degree days (they are anticipating 100 or more today), the plants will survive.

We didn't think we would have enough tomatoes for me to make sauce this year. In the past, he plants both cherry tomatoes and then regular tomatoes and when both ripen at the same time, I use the cherry tomatoes to make sauce. In the past, I've been able to freeze some of it for the winter, besides using some of it.

Well, this week we had a bonanza of both tomatoes, so I could make a pot of sauce. My recipes changes based on what I have on hand, but I start out with diced onions and bell peppers and saute them. Then add the tomatoes and cook down and added lots of basil and then some garlic. I then pureed the mixture for a smooth consistency.

It made for a thrifty supper...I cooked some pasta and added some of the tomato sauce for our meal that evening. With the heat, we didn't want a whole lot. With bread and butter and some cottage cheese as a side dish, it was filling. It also made our kitchen smell wonderful.

I had some of the pasta and sauce left over so last night I had a piece of chicken left over so I chunked it and browned it, and cut up vegetables that were in the crisper, and made chicken stew. I had broth in the freezer. I simmered all of this and then added the leftover pasta and tomato sauce. That will make a good meal one evening this week.