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Showing posts from June, 2010

Day 28: Must. Hold. Out. Well...maybe...

Terrific Tuesday...has not been so terrific. I go back to work Thursday and I'm quite nervous about it. Fortunately, I work somewhere that allows me to show up anytime between 6:00 and 9:00 am. Sweet, right? I normally like to go in early so I can leave work early. If I get in at 7:00 and take a half hour lunch, I can leave at 3:30 and make it home by 4:00. If this is no big deal for you, try leaving work from the beach, hitting the flyover only to discover that doesn't understand the rules about moving your car after it's once again backed up due to Spring Break, a brush fire, or some idiot that has caused yet another wreck on the bridge (or near the bridge) (or somewhere that affects traffic on the bridge) (or somewhere within 20 miles of the bridge). Seriously, when I worked for the engineering company, I was constantly finding myself crying while sitting at a standstill on the flyover. At one point I was knitting a blanket for a friend and everyone thought I was t…

Day 27: Almost A Month?!?!

Yesterday I crossed a line. You know that line that separates the twenty-somethings from the women? Yesterday I totally flew over it. Yesterday I cooked my very first chuck roast. I pulled it out of the freezer Sunday night and let it thaw overnight. Yesterday morning I rinsed it off, put it in my slow cooker (seriously, if you don't have one, you SO need to get one...everybody's doin' it!), put some minced onion and grinder seasonings on it and filled it up with water. I turned it on high and let her go.

For breakfast it was instant oatmeal and milk, lunch was...drum roll please...baked ziti! Let's not talk about snack...(Heath Klondike bar)...and supper was the most succulent roast I think I've ever eaten. I wish I could have taken a picture that could have captured how it tasted. It was that good. And of course, Baby L woke up JUST as we were about to sit down and I had to go feed him so Ryan went ahead and ate. I could hear him saying, "Baby, this…

My Freezer Challenge: Days 25 and 26 (Saturday and Sunday)

Saturday morning I had a baby shower to attend for a sweet, sweet friend. She's due in August (poor girl) to have her second baby. This shower wasn't like any other, though. When I tell you the "theme" you're going to laugh...you're going to laugh because no other shower could possibly have my name written all over it like this one did.

It was.

A.

FOOD SHOWER.

Seriously, no kidding, I'm not lying. The idea was to bring ready-to-freeze or already frozen meals for the family to be able to heat up and eat during the first few days and weeks of bringing the baby home. Awesome idea, right? Let me tell you, I might be throwing some of these for my friends in the future. Our church has a ministry called "Labor of Love" that also provides meals for the first week and I cannot tell you how much of a blessing it was to not have to worry about preparing food. When you're bleary eyed from so sleep, freaking out because you're not sure if you'…

My Freezer Challenge Day 24 (I'll catch up later)

Okay, wow, I'm getting awfully close to the one month mark. Holy cow! I know I've cheated a few times (although it wasn't super bad cheating), but I'm really surprised that I've held on this long. I will admit, the itch to start couponing and stocking up has certainly started back. The Publix list came out this week and I found myself checking it...three times. And then? And then? I checked it over again. Old habits are hard to break.

So...Friday. Friday I finished off the frozen waffles with a glass of milk (By the way, I still have to pre-pour my glass of milk and set it in the refrigerator to make it extra cold. Why? Because that's how my mother did it.) Lunch was a Barber's stuffed chicken breast, squash, and okra. So good. Friday afternoon and evening we had a birthday party for a friend's daughter who was turning three so we ended up eating at their house. Pizza. Yes. Sweet manna from heaven. And cake, too. Mmmm....

My latest "food n…

Wednesday and Thursday: Days 21 & 22

Wednesday was a bit crazy. I knew what I wanted to make for small group: Baked Ziti. I knew that I had almost everything for it. What I didn't know was that it would take three visits to the store to complete my list. Here's the recipe and I'll explain as we go.

Baked Ziti (from my "Church Suppers" cookbook)
Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Foil (I used regular and YES, the cheese totally stuck to it)
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
4 cups (32 oz jar) pasta sauce (I used a a 28 oz can and 1 small tomato sauce can)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, divided
1 package (16 oz) ziti pasta, cooked and drained (I used macaroni elbows. Can you BELIEVE I didn't have any ziti?!?!)
1 package (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (required a trip to Walmart)
1 container (16 oz) ricotta cheese OR cottage cheese (required a trip to Target, only to discover they didn't have it and therefore also required a trip to Publix)
1 egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Preheat ove…

Meant to post this Tuesday...

Terrific Tuesday might be a good description for today...of course, after yesterday it's not saying a whole lot. After a wonderful trip Hobby Lobby (where Baby L made three new girlfriends) we came home to a nice summer rain shower. LOVE those.

Breakfast was supposed to be a bowl of blueberries and yogurt but I was only able to get about half of them down before the L-meister started calling. But...lunch was another story. Bologna sandwich on my sandwich thins (seriously, you gotta try these), the rest of my blueberries and yogurt, some ritz cracker crisps, and peanut butter cookies. This weekend I pulled out a tube of cookie dough from about a month ago. I normally grab it when it's on sale and then I have an easy dessert when needed for church, craft, or small group. Saturday I was having a sugar crave so I grabbed them, let 'em thaw (the crave lasted a while) and baked them up. So. Good.

My in-laws got back into town yesterday and asked us to join them for pizza at Angeli…

Days 16, 17, 18, and 19

Yes, I'm still alive. And yes, I'm still on track. Although we ate out a little this weekend, we did make progress on the freezer and pantry and we did refrain from buying any more food. So...I was a good girl!

Today has been one of those days that kinda makes you understand people that drink. :-) My day consisted of a series of:
Spit up requiring clothing changes for Baby L and myself (one of which included my BRAND NEW shirt that I adore very much).Baby L waking from his nap after five whole minutes.Laundry mishaps due to a baby washcloth getting caught under the agitator and getting grease on numerous pieces of clothing (my mother is currently working on them)...and my favorite skirt coming out of the washer with a mystery blob of discoloration...I'm still mad about this one.Baby L waking from his nap after five whole minutes.A pile of tissues being shredded on the floor...compliments of Sebastian.Buying two new bras from Target with one missing the price tag. When she …

Day 15: BUSTED in the panhandle..err...Sam's

We have some friends in our small group that have had a kind of crummy week. They are both so sweet, they love the Lord so much, and well, are just having a crummy string of days. They've been on my mind and in my prayers a lot lately. I woke up Thursday morning and it popped into my head, "You need to cook and take them supper." I'm not the type that does this a lot. It's not that I don't care, I just...I don't know...I should do it more, but I just never think of it. :-/

Thursday morning I got a list made of what all was needed from the store and went to work. I started with Sam's. We needed milk and since it's the cheapest place in town, that's where I normally buy it. Ryan mentioned the other day that he wanted some chips of some type to take to work for lunches. Might as well get those in Sam's in those cute little bags. I justify purchasing the little bags because, as a friend once told me, "No matter the size of the bag, …

Day 14: Not "Fixed", But I'm Gettin' There

I'm on the downhill swing of my first cold with no meds. Baby L caught a cold last week and not only gave it to his father and grandmother, but also to his favorite person in the whole wide world. Me. (Maybe not his opinion, but until he can speak for himself, I'll call it like I want to.) Since I'm still breastfeeding I haven't taken anything other than a couple Tylenol here and there. So...I haven't felt the greatest the past week...to say the least. By the way? When he's 16 and wants to go to Mardi Gras and I say no, he SO better not give me any crap about it. "Do you know the sacrifices I made for you?!?!?!?!!"

Yesterday I trudged through another day of eating what I already have and blowing my nose in between. Why are you always SO much hungrier when you have a cold? I'm sure there's a scientific reason, but dang...I could eat a horse. Possibly raw.

Frozen waffles for breakfast (found them while searching for some veggies), Ritz crac…

My Freezer Challenge: Days 12 and 13

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Hopefully this post will catch me up on the days of my challenge. Yesterday I was very good...only in the terms of the challenge though. As most of you know, I accomplished diddly squat...unless you count a photo shoot that would make any runway model jealous.

Yesterday's breakfast was a toaster strudel (yes, I know...totally unhealthy, but oh that icing...can't resist), lunch was another stinkin' ham sandwich, and supper was chicken kabobs. I started realizing that part of my challenge was not only using the foods I already have in my "at-home grocery store" but to also try new recipes. So I started digging and found a neat little recipe for chicken kabobs and decided to try that.

Chicken Shish Kabobs
2 pounds skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves (I just used two to eliminate leftovers)
1/2 lemon juice (I didn't have enough so I used white cooking wine...Adria taught me this)
1/3 cooking oil or olive oil
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced (again, I just used ga…

This Is Why I'll be Going Back to Work

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When Ryan and I sit down for supper at night we usually have the boring conversation of, "What did you do today?" My side usually consists of laundry, picking up the house, errands, couponing (although not lately), wiping rear, waiting for the mailman (by the way, I noticed today he has a HUGE scorpion tattoo on his right shin and a lizard one on his left calf...just thought I'd share)...the usual. Today, though, I thought I'd go for something a little different. After preparing our chicken kabobs for marinating (and playing the "let's pretend we're on a cooking show" game with Baby L), I decided we needed to play "photo shoot". Enjoy...I sure did.


And this year we have the new Karate Kid...wearing his mother's maiden name initials!



Mommy, please...turn the light out. I'm tired and want to go to sleep now.



"I know, I know, I look like my father, but I have my mother's eyes."
(Don't worry, these glasses don…

My Freezer Challenge: Day 11

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Okay, another "Sam's" confession. I buy my pancake mix from Sam's. Yes, it's a huge bag, and no, I don't make that many pancakes. I actually got started buying it there by my mom. When I was in school she would get up and make me huge breakfasts each morning. I'm not talking about cereal with cheese toast. Oh no. The only time I got cereal was on the weekends or if I was having it with something else like eggs, bacon, and a grapefruit. Seriously. I'm SO not kidding.My mother is also known for her amazing pancakes. She puts just a tiny bit extra cooking oil in the pan and that makes the edges crispy. And then you drown them in butter and syrup and they just slide right down (with a few cubes of cheese on the side...Ryan thinks this is super weird, but I LOVE it). When I first got married I was actually a little depressed because I wasn't going to get her pancakes all the time anymore. Fortunately, I only live 3.3 miles from her house and I now …

How to Spend $50 on a $2 Pattern

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My cousin gave us her two Britax matching car seats for Baby L (one for mommy's car, one for daddy's truck) a few months ago. Since he's three months old and already a whopping 16 pounds, I figured it might be wise to pull them down from the attic and get them cleaned up. Simplicity has a pattern for making a new cover for car seats like these so I thought I'd make him a cute new cover for his seat. I've been eyeing this pattern for months now. For some reason, it's always sold out when patterns are on sale, and since I refuse to pay full price for a pattern I continue to wait.

This morning I got an email from Joann's about their new sale starting today. Awesome. Simplicity patterns were $1.99 this week only. My plan was to be there when they opened, run in and grab the pattern (and possibly some fabric for the actual cover), and run back home...because, you know, I feel like a train has run over my head and inserted a bunch of snot in doing so.

I finish fe…

My Freezer Challenge: Day 10

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Saturday was a day. Ryan helped a coworker move and was tied up with that pretty much all day. My day consisted of a trip to Kohl's to search for pants that don't require cinching (all you ladies with "the booty" holla!) for when I go back to work. Although I'm close to being at my pre-pregnancy weight, I've still got a ways to go since I was technically dieting when I got pregnant. (although my theory about the newlywed-fat-and-happy-pounds still holds: Nothing is more romantic than Oreos dipped in milk while sitting in your pajamas at 10:30 at night. Nothing. Certainly not the extra 15 pounds you gain while doing so.)

The quest turned out to be successful and so Baby L and I returned home for a day of coughing (him) and blowing of noses (me). Ahhh....the joys of summer colds.

I was able to finish off the English muffins (last one, woot!) for breakfast. When I got home, I had another ham sandwich (I'm eating so many sandwiches that pretty soon my poop wi…

Day 9 and Doin' Fine

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Today consisted of errands and more errands. Donations to the church, pit stop at the bank, fabric for a shower gift from Joann's, and then home. Take a little break, feed Baby L, meds from Publix, a return and other purchases from Wal-Mart, and back home for good. And now? My butt draggeth.

For supper we had turkey tacos. I've never really cooked with ground turkey (even though I have six pounds of it in the freezer) so I was really unsure of it. But...I thought that we'd give it a try and if it wasn't our thing then at least the taco seasoning would mask some of the taste. Cooking it was a little strange as it didn't brown like ground beef. I actually called Ryan on his way home and told him what I was doing and if I should go ahead and add the seasoning...kind of like a "point of no return" moment. He said, "Forward march."

And really, it wasn't that bad. Maybe not as good as ground beef, but it wasn't bad. It was also a lot less fat. S…

Day 8: Going Strong

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Busy day but a good one. I planned out our supper way ahead of time. My niece came over again today for a little while and happened to be here for lunch. I asked her what she wanted for lunch and she asked, "Ummm...do you have a hot dog?"

Do I have a hot dog....?

Honey, it's your lucky day. I've got three packs in the freezer.

I fixed her a hot dog (light, all beef), cut up an apple, and gave her a few chocolate goldfish (although she laughed at them, I did notice she gobbled them up).

For supper I cooked a tortellini dish. It was from a recipe card I grabbed at Publix one day. Although I didn't have all the ingredients, I think it turned out pretty good...and...it was something different.

Florentine Tortellini
1 8oz package cheese filled tortellini2 tbsp olive oil (you can probably get away with 1)
1 9oz package fresh spinach leaves (I didn't have these)
2 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained (I only used 1 can)
1 16oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp dried o…

Day 7: What, what?!?!

Today my niece came over and hung out a little bit while my mom had an appointment. My niece is seven and a ball full of energy. Baby L had a rough night with a cough and the doctor was going to see us in the morning so I told my niece that she'd have to go with us and that I was sorry, but I'd make it up to her. She was up for the challenge. After the doctor we hit Sam's (another story), Publix (for meds), and then came home. Although she's only seven, she was such a huge help to me. She carried my purse, held the door open for me, tried to get me a buggy at Publix (but couldn't because the wheels were up over the curb), soothed Baby L when he got fussy in the back seat, and even kept me in good spirits with the quirky things she said. Seriously, my day would not have gone as smoothly had she not been with me.

Here are just a few of the things she delighted me with:
E: Baby L is getting really big! He's going to be crawling soon and then walking, and then runni…

Day 7: I made it. Almost.

Whew! Today has certainly been a day of progress. Not only was I able to get a lot of tasks completed, but I also managed to clear out some items in the fridge and pantry. Woot! Finished off the last two English muffins (with Ryan's help) as well as leftover Ovaltine. Ran to Sam's today and almost grabbed a hot dog combo while I was there but I was good and refrained. Came home and made a turkey sandwich (last two slices of turkey), looked in the pantry and found a bag of honey mustard pretzels (soooooo good), which were more like crumbs. Honestly, why do we keep those last little bits? You almost have to lick them off the plate because they're so small. So I finished those off, too. Was still suffering from a sugar drop so I reached for the bag of crackers (again, the last little bit left in the bag) and finished off those.

Ryan didn't have band practice and we were planning on cleaning the house as much as possible so I decided on something simple. Went to the freez…

Day 6: Almost A Whole Week

Most Monday nights include me going to a craft group at a friend's house. We each bring a dish, eat, have a quick devotional, and then...craft. We all do different crafts: quilting, crocheting, knitting, beading, scrap booking, you name it. And talk. We ALL do that. And quite well.

Tonight I was signed up to bring a side dish. This morning I went to my freezer and searched for something side dish-y...found some sweet potato patties and thought to myself, "Self, that'll do." I let them thaw, put them in a casserole dish, put a tiny bit of butter on each one and sprinkled some brown sugar on the tops. I wasn't sure if they needed some water on the bottoms or not so I put a little in there anyway. Baked them for 15 minutes at 350 and voila! Side dish ready to go. Not sure how good they were for everyone else, but I enjoyed two of them. I say this because sometimes I like my food bland and sometimes I want lots of flavor...just depends on the food and the mood.

Hey!…

My Freezer Challenge: Day 5

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When we first married I was still learning to cook. I knew how to brown a chicken and boil an egg...I wasn't a complete idiot in the kitchen, but I was still learning the ropes quite a bit. One day I decided that I was going to cook pinto beans and sausage. Together. In the slow cooker. Sigh...I knew to soak my beans (dried) overnight as I'd seen my mother do countless years. I knew they'd take a good long while to cook, too. I bought a bag (one pound), soaked them all night, rinsed them off the next morning, loaded them in the cooker. Took out the sausage, cut it in slices, and added it to the beans. And let it cook. All day. On high. That night we ate in the living room at the coffee table and dined on crunchy pintos with overcooked sausage. It was horrible. I cried and Ryan tried to comfort me by saying, "No really! It's good! See?" Which just made me cry more. I didn't want to admit failure so I continued to cook them.

For three days.

Including nights…

Day 4: A Setback, But I'm Not Giving Up

Tonight we went to Sam's. Although my challenge didn't specifically address eating out, I halfway mentally included it. I was good for breakfast and lunch. Since Ryan's fishing trip got cut really short due to rough seas, we had two turkey sandwiches in the fridge. He ate one and I ate the other. I even finished off the low-fat Ruffles (not many left anyway). For supper, though...I cheated. We were both feeling kinda bored so we went to Sam's and got pizza (needed dog food, too). I did not, however, buy any food (other than a gallon of milk).

Tomorrow WILL be better. I'm already planning the meal and will hopefully have it ready soon after coming home from church. I can do this. I can do this. I. Can. Do. This.

Oh and that bottled coke I wanted for today?

SO. GOOD.

Day 3...a little late

Yesterday was a bit of a setback. But for good reason.

I was great for breakfast and lunch. I had my regular English muffin with butter and Ovaltine (more Olvatine, please!) and for lunch I finished off the leftover mini meatloaves. Snacked on some blueberries and watermelon, toasted Ritz crackers. I was also able to finish off the bag of Reese's Pieces in the freezer (yes, you can freeze candy. I do it all the time.), but that's besides the point.

My mom came over and brought us some Brunswick Stew. So for supper we had that and grilled cheese sandwiches. I discovered that one of the packs of singles was expired (as of November 2009...oops) so that was thrown out. Never fear, I had a brand new pack in the fridge. Sigh....

Ryan was invited to go fishing and needed some things for the trip. We headed to Walmart, but I was ready...kinda. I knew we already had bread, lunch meat, pretzels...things like that. We did have to buy bottled water, Dramamine, bananas, ginger snaps, and a ne…

My Freezer Challenge-Day 2

Today went pretty well as far as meals go. For breakfast I had an English muffin (do you know the Muffin Man?), Ovaltine, and blueberries. Lunch was one of those stuffed chicken breasts by Barber Foods and french fries. But for the big meal, supper was smoked sausage (from Sam's!), whole wheat penne pasta, cucumbers and baby carrots with a little dressing, a fruit salad made of blueberries, watermelon, grapes, and blackberries, and leftover green beans.

I did have to venture out to Target for milk and bread, but that's the only food I bought. It was kinda hard, too. I had some good coupons for a few things, but I reminded myself that I already had a two pound block of cheddar at home that wasn't even opened yet. Soooo...milk and bread and nothing else.

I cleaned out a few things today (stale bread, mushy lettuce) and found some things that I had forgotten I even had. I get tons of samples in the mail (I get so excited when they come in the mail...it's like Christmas) an…

My Freezer Challenge: Day 1

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Today I went to Publix and Sam's. I performed my normal coupon shopping spree and made a quick trip to Sam's for ground beef for tonight's small group main dish. Of course, we were getting low on cheese and they had roast marked down so I had to get those, too. And then I saw ground turkey was also marked down...always wanted to see the difference so why not now? And oh! They've got Mrs. Dash! And sea salt, too! Love cooking with those and with this size I'm getting a deal and won't run out for a while...$80 later...I rushed home, got Baby L situated and began my “Sam's purchase freeze-a-thon”. When I went to put everything in the deep freezer, I noticed something. I have a problem. I have a serious problem. There are only two people living here (I'm not counting the baby since he currently is on a liquid diet) and yet we have a 15 cubic foot deep freezer that is almost full. It's stock full of veggies of all types, meats of all animals and cuts, br…