Friday, April 17, 2015

Pantry / Freezer / No Spend Challenge Update

I haven't made a 'big' deal about April being a Pantry / Freezer / No Spend Challenge because I figured if I just take it day by day, it will be easier to cope with.  Seriously, it works for me that way! I've shared a few pics on Instagram if you follow me (click over on the little photos on the upper right column) there....

And I've done pretty damn good, if you ask me! Hubby would say not as well as I could have, but then again, he's one of them dudes that "it can always be better" and nothing is ever 100% ... which is part of his charming personality, whom I adore, and totally compliments my attitude of HEY, YOU GAVE IT WHAT YOU THOUGHT WAS YOUR BEST, GOOD FOR YOU! ... They do say opposites attract and I am living proof that its true ;-)

So.

Where do we stand for the month? I haven't tallied up my receipts, and I'm not so sure I'm going to  .... BUT I can tell you that there are definite gaps in the freezers (YEAH!) and the pantry is no longer a death wish to find something ... AND the checkbook was healthy enough to pay the lovely irs what they said we owe'd this year (!!!???) ... AND all the bills are paid for the month and the checking account is fat enough still to move money to the savings account again.

But still. When I walk in to the store, I have "WANTS" and they sometimes outweigh "NEEDS" ... and I do find myself saying "you worked hard this week, you've saved xx amount this week, you are E N T I T L E D ... Oops. Hubby may have a point, yet again, which is just flat out annoying :::swigs from the bottle Yuengling bought on way home from work because I have NO edible beer in the fridge, and well, it was a crappy week at work::: And yes, I am making Tequila Sunrises later this evening (recipe to be shared soon) because I have everything on hand (7 or so bottles of tequila, which is an improvement from 8 that I had previously), and well, that's the whole purpose of a pantry/freezer/no spend challenge.

So.

I still have another 13 days to go before FRIDAY April 30th ... which just happens to fall on a Friday (which, in the real estate law industry, you hate when that happens) ... and I think ... no, actually, I KNOW that I could/should continue in to the month of May on a REDUCED Spending Challenge ... because, heck, I pulled out 2 packages of bacon from the freezer this evening (I've been without the precooked stuff for a week and it's killing me) and I found another 5 packages on that same shelf ... imagine what must be in the other freezers?? Not to mention, there's still a few flank steaks, a pork tenderloin, chicken thighs (I thought I was out), chicken breast (I didn't pick up any last week and don't plan to this week either) and a LOT of ground beef still...oh, and a 5 pack of thick cut pork chops, fish, shrimp, and so on.

And you know what comes after May, right?

HURRICANE SEASON.

And for whatever reason, I'm a little on edge about that this year ... then again, if I went back and looked at previous May postings, I'd probably see that I say the same exact thing each year ... but still, having 3 fully loaded freezers and a portable generator that sucks the gas is not a comforting thing. IF we had a stand alone generator that ran on propane/natural gas, it'd be a different story, but we don't, we have big @ss 17,500 watt thing on wheels to lug around.

So ... if I ignore the fact that Cinco De Mayo (my birthday!!) is coming up (and I just drank the last of the golden margarita stuff), mother's day, memorial day, and oh, well, we might as well toss in MAY DAY for celebrations ... I think I really could pull off another month ... but the kids are NOT going to be happy ...

How about you? Have you ever done a MAY Pantry Challenge? For some reason, I think it's an awkward month ... start of summer, kids getting out of school, birthdays, Cinco De Mayo, Memorial Day and so on ... whew. I have a feeling a better brace myself, regardless of what I decide ;-)


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Oriental Cabbage Salad



Most people like this, even if it's based on cabbage. Just an absolute delicious salad for those summer bbqs!


Bag of coleslaw (or just plain cabbage, shredded, small to medium size head)
8 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup peanuts (or other nuts you like), toasted and cooled
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted and cooled
2 pkgs ramen noodles, crushed
1/2 red pepper, chopped

Dressing:

4 tbs sugar. You can use a sugar substitute of choice if desired
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil (or oil of choice)
2 tsp salt (I've always used less)
6 tbs rice wine vinegar
*or, you can do like I sometimes do and just use the seasoning packet and omit the salt and pepper*

Place all veggies in a large mixing bowl.

Just before serving, mix in the seeds/nuts, crushed noodles and toss gently with the salad dressing. Serve.

*Feel free to not dress the complete salad. Serve up smaller bowl and replenish as needed (only because the leftovers will be soggy but still yummy!)

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Wake Up Wednesday,  Instagram Blog Hop, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Hump Day Happenings, Wednesday Roundup, My Stay At Home Adventures, Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and Spice, Hump Day Happenings, Waste Not Want Not,  Wake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic SuperheroAll Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions, Thrifty Thursday,  Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, What To Do Thursday, No Rules Weekend Bloghop, Foodie Friday, Fabulous FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFreakin Did It Friday, Pure Blog LoveFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradiseWeekend SocialFoodie Friends FridayCelebrate It!,  Weekend RetreatWhat’s Shakin Weekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything Goes,  Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend PotluckTGI Friday Friday with FriendsSimple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend Wander,  Saturday Night Fever, A Bouquet of TalentThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff Saturday,  Super Saturday Show & TellSunday Features,  Potluck PartySunday ShowcaseSnickerdoodle SundaySundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth Monday, Pinch of JoyPin It Party,  Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday,  What’d You Do This Weekend,  Making It CuterTime To Sparkle, Inspire Me MondayMealtime MondayTime To SparkleMakin You Crave MondayClever Chick, Motivational Monday,  Mix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayMonday Funday, Anything Goes Monday, Making Monday, Lou Lou GirlsInspire Me Monday, Marvelous MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie Friends, Retro Repin (Pinterest linkup) Share Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Two Cup Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, The Makers, Wow Me Wednesday, Create and Shareloa

Monday, April 13, 2015

Asian Inspired Chicken Noodle Soup

Asian Style Chicken Noodle Soup

I'm sort of on the fence when it comes to soup ... not that I don't like it, but it's not my all time favorite thing to eat ... unless I'm under the weather with sinus issues ... then I crave it ... other times, though, well, I could take it or leave it.

I do recognize, however, that incorporating a soup for dinner night is a great way to use up leftovers and a makes for a pretty frugal meal ... so I try to do a soup night every couple of weeks ... AND this fits in with my pantry/freezer/no spend challenge!

This particular soup is one that I really like ... it's broth-y and has a little variety of veggies ... and you can take or leave the noodles if you prefer to keep it grain free ... 

The original recipe comes from one of the Everyday Food issues by Martha Stewart ... I used to love that little magazine! I had originally posted this recipe a few years ago and it's been awhile since I've made it, so I'm re-posting in hopes of making it again fairly soon ... and hopefully, I can get some new and improved pictures to share ;-)



You can certainly mix up the veggies if you wanted to use what you have on hand ... I have a small bag of frozen peas in the freezer that I will be using instead of the snap peas ... as always, things are improvised to use what we have on hand :-)

1 carton of chicken broth
4 cups water
2 tbs chicken bouillon
1 tbs grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced 
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
cooked chicken (I used leftover stuff from Saturday nights grill fest) shredded or cut into small pieces
1 pkg ramen noodles (discard or save the season packet for something else)
2 smallish peppers (I used the mini sweet peppers, about 6)
handful of snowpeas, trimmed and broke in half (I used frozen peas)
1 lime, juiced
chopped green onions for garnish
chopped cilantro for garnish
salt as needed

Bring the chicken broth, water, bouillon, ginger, garlic and pepper flakes to a boil. 



Reduce the heat. Break up the noodles and add them along with the chicken to the broth. Let simmer for a bit.




Add the peppers and peas and lime juice. Allow to simmer til veggies are a little soft. Taste, and add salt if needed.



Dish up and top with slicd green onions and cilantro if desired.  Enjoy.

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Wake Up Wednesday,  Instagram Blog Hop, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Hump Day Happenings, Wednesday Roundup, My Stay At Home Adventures, Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and Spice, Hump Day Happenings, Waste Not Want Not,  Wake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic SuperheroAll Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions, Thrifty Thursday,  Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, What To Do Thursday, No Rules Weekend Bloghop, Foodie Friday, Fabulous FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFreakin Did It Friday, Pure Blog LoveFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradiseWeekend SocialFoodie Friends FridayCelebrate It!,  Weekend RetreatWhat’s Shakin Weekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything Goes,  Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend PotluckTGI Friday Friday with FriendsSimple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend Wander,  Saturday Night Fever, A Bouquet of TalentThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff Saturday,  Super Saturday Show & TellSunday Features,  Potluck PartySunday ShowcaseSnickerdoodle SundaySundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth Monday, Pinch of JoyPin It Party,  Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday,  What’d You Do This Weekend,  Making It CuterTime To Sparkle, Inspire Me MondayMealtime MondayTime To SparkleMakin You Crave MondayClever Chick, Motivational Monday,  Mix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayMonday Funday, Anything Goes Monday, Making Monday, Lou Lou GirlsInspire Me Monday, Marvelous MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie Friends, Retro Repin (Pinterest linkup) Share Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Two Cup Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, The Makers, Wow Me Wednesday, Create and Shareloa