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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday's dinner

So, I know I said macaroni & cheese with smoked sausage. And yeah, we are having mac & cheese with sausage, however, I got home a little later than usual, could NOT find my recipe for mac & cheese so ended up pulling out one of them frozen trays of mac & cheese (not stouffers, GFS brand, cost dh $5.99 on sale) and the polish kielbasi since I couldn't find the smoked sausage this morning to defrost ... bummer. And then, because I'm not a huge fan of smoked sausage (or polish kielbasi) I decided to cook up a few chicken tenderloins for me. You know what, it's 7:20 AND I still have not eaten. The freaking mac & cheese is taking forever!

Boca Lake or Lake Boca

This is where we generally end up every other Saturday when we go boating. It's about an hours drive or so by boat (mostly in the intracoastal and then 15 minutes in the ocean). Neat place to go, lots of hard going partying too on some of the other boats. Actually saw some beer bongs going on which I haven't seen since 82' So, if you happen to click on it during a Saturday - look for us ... "All Jacked Up" :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Menu Plan 7-28 to 8/1

I am actually leaving Sunday open because we have friends back in town & well, I know that we will get together with them at least once this week ... may even have a little dinner party at the house one night so I left room to move a meal around ... Monday - meatless chili & cheese quesidillas Tuesday - smoked sausage & mac & cheese Wednesday - tacos (taco salad for me) Thursday - chicken Ceasar salad or just grilled chicken & pasta for others Friday - country style pork ribs (saw a pbs cooking show with some master bbq dude, want to try) Saturday - salisbury steaks & mashed taters. Sunday -

Pantry food - chili

Chili (meatless) 1 tsp oil 1/2 red pepper diced 1/2 green pepper diced 1 medium onion diced 1 clove garlic minced jalepeno peppers diced (I used small can, 1/2 of it) 1 tbs cumin 2 tbs chili powder 1 tsp black pepper 1/2 tsp brown sugar 1 can diced tomatoes 1 can black beans 1 can red beans 2 cups veggie broth 2 cups beef broth Optional: shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro & tortilla chips for toppings Saute onions, peppers, garlic in oil. Once softenend, dump remaing ingredients in, stir well. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover & let simmer 45 minutes or so. This does not make a big batch so if you are looking to have some leftover to freeze, double or triple recipe.

Frugal happenings

I made my menu plan on Sunday morning for the week. Really, should have made it for the next 2 1/2 weeks since we are leaving in 9 days to be gone for 7 ...
I had some celery & carrots that were not being used up fast enough. So I thought, heck, lets make some veggie broth since dd loves the stuff (sodium laden crap in the can!)
Got the big pot (not the biggest, but a big one regardless) and added some water, onions, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots & celery. I wish now I had added some pepper & such, but oh well. Let that come to a boil & then just let it simmer for a few hours. Cool and strain.
With that, I'm making a small pot of chili. How small of a pot? Pretty darn small. Took 1 can of red beans, 1 can of black beans, 2 cups veggie broth, 1 can beef broth, 1 can diced tomatoes, some diced jalepenos, onions, red & green peppers (from freezer) and seasonings and it's simmering away on the stove for dinner tonight (along with cheese quesidillas).
I'll post the recipe for chili shortly. It's one that I came across and thought it looked frugal and well, needed something different that wasn't an all day recipe :)

Who Bread review

It turned out pretty tasty, actually. A little sweet, so dh said, BUT I think next time I'll cut the cinammon in 1/2. Stayed good for a few days (only 1 slice, the end, was left). Was pretty tasty toasted & spread with peanut butter. Would I make it again. Yes. It's one of the very few recipes I've found that I like in the breadmaker :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday night

Ds was at band practice. Dd & g/f were going to concert (Head PE??) at the Culture Room. Friends of ours had asked if we wanted to go to Hardrock and then to comedian show afterwards. DH didn't feel that great earlier in day so we passed. Besides, we would have spent way too much money in the casino before the show started. Of course, we could have just watched all the Blackjack dealers & players and not played but I would have HAD to play the slots. :) I admit it, I love slots!! When dh got home, asked him what he wanted do. Said he didn't know. I wanted to go to Costco to pick up a few things (yes, I had a running list of things to buy from there). Finally talked him into going. We went. Spent $192.00 Not even that much stuff. But the TP was $17. The papertowel was $14. Green tea, $11, water $5, chicken tenders (meant to grab 1 tender & 1 breast) $15 x 2 (crap), chicken apple sausage, $14, parmesean cheese, $15, cheesy crackers (dh impulse buy) $6, grey poupon, $6, croutons $5 and so on. Geesh. Oh, pork chops, $17, eggs $4, but they didn't have any pork tenderloins. That was the first thing on my list!! I wonder what's up with that. And the bread selection was very thin, think it was because late (8ish) and Friday ... alot of people probably shop Friday BUT I know come Saturday they are restocked. Hmmm. And not that many people. So maybe, just maybe, I can convince dh to start doing a every 4th Friday Costco night. Doubt it, but worth a shot :) Sooo...for $192, I got some basic stuff that I always hate to buy at regular store (paper stuff, especially...wish I could say we aa house without paper needs, but that's not true, try as I might!)
It's Saturday, gorgeous out, although hot & humid and we are not on the boat. That's ok. I think DH is fighting something but does not want to admit it. Just not manly man at all to be sick!! Anyways, got the bread machine out & decided to try this recipe (again, need to track down where I got it from ... a blog, but I can't remember who!!!!). Started at 10 so it's still got about and hour and half to go yet (3 hours & 40 minutes or so I think total time?) Smells good, rising well, doesn't look wet (or dry) ... I'm hoping I finally found a recipe I like for the bread machine :) WHO Bread (if this is YOUR recipe, please let me know!!) 1 1/4 cup water 2 tbs honey 1 cup whole wheat flour 2 cups regular flour 1/2 cup oatmeal (I use old fashioned) 1 tbs brown sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp salt 2 1/4 tsp yeast 2 tbs butter. Ok, load it up in your bread machine as instructed by manufacturer (for me its water, flour, salt, make well for yeast, add pat of butter to each corner) Set for 1 1/2 lb loaf on basic & medium crust. I'll post a review (rant or rave) as soon as I try it...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Menu plan 7/14 to 7/20

Since I'm back on full time at work again, had to rework it. Not to mention, the last week I fell way off the plan, and honestly, just used an eraser and redid the days :) How easy is that!!? Monday - Shrimp Scampi (cheesecake factory recipe posted) Tuesday - Tacos - this was interesting. Used 2 lbs of ground chicken I got for $1 a lb (perdue) recently. Actually, I'd prefer it over turkey in the future and would do it again IF I could find it that cheap :) Wednesday - soup and sandwiches. In otherwords, my lazy night :) Most likely grilled ham & cheese with tomatoe soup. Thursday - leftovers ... my 2nd lazy night in a row!! Friday - Pizza. Hopefully. From scratch? From Costco? From Times Square? From freezer? Who knows, just what I hope to have. Haven't had pizza in a few weeks (me, not the rest of the household) and I'm actually looking forward to it! Saturday - I wrote chicken. Most likley will need to be chicken marsala as I have 2 1/2 lbs of fresh shrooms that I need to cook up by then ... but I don't have the marsala, and that stuff can be expensive. Will have to look in to it. Sunday - Steaks and taters. May be brats & taters. Or hot dogs and taters ... or .... pasta, lasagna. Lets just say the menu says steaks :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The weekend in review

As I haven't posted a whole lot in the last week or so, thought I would bring those of you who care up to date . Friday was to be my day off. Good as I had my SIL and her B/f coming in for weekend. Wanted to clean the house, go shopping, get some food prepped, get the boat stuff ready, you know, a lot of crap to do. Then my 2 big boys (bosses) tell me Thursday night that they need me to come in the last 1/2 of day. They are letting my co-worker go. :( Bummer. That means I'm back to full time hours. Does that mean I'm back to full time pay too? Most likely! YAHOO! That "may" mean I can bring back in Maria, my cleaning gal that I soooo love & miss. Although, it's not very frugal, it is in my mind. It leaves me time to do the things I love to do ... spend time with the family, cook, bake, garden, etc. instead of spending 4 to 5 hours a week cleaning up after everyone. Ok, it's not quite that bad (cleaning up after everyone) but it is a huge house that gets the day to day dirt mixed in. Yes, I do clean daily, but it's not enough. Sorry. Will think about this more & post a later post. So I go in to work on Friday, around noonish. Bummer. Get home a little after 5. Everyone is already here. Already having cocktails. Crumb. Everyone stays up late (2ish) on Friday, except me. I say goodnight at 11pm. Not really in the mood to drink & get loud and such :) Plus, we are going boating! Get up at 6:30 Saturday. Hmmm. Everyone is out codl still. Get my stuff together for boat. Pick up (boy, drunk people sure are messy). Mumble about cleaning & drinking, etc. SIL & b/f get up, they are running out to get water shoes. Good idea. Off they go. Tell dh to get up & get ready. He decides that we MUST grind the meat for his tripleprime burgers he wants to make. I grumble. Whatever. He grinds, I clean. Of course. We go boating. Jack & Chivas Regal and wine & miller lite & heinken lite go along for a ride too. Oh, so does ds. Surprise! We have a 'good' time at Boca Lake. Meet up with my b/f and her b/f & girls. Fun. Find starfish. That's always cool. Get stung by some funky looking millipede thingy that just wont' stay away from us. Finally catch him in net, put in cup & put on boat til we are ready to leave & then release him. Weather is cloudy but nice. Pull up anchor around 4ish. Haul ass in the ocean & see a stranded diver waving. Make a U turn & board him. His boat is literally 1 mile away, that's how bad he got caught in current. His wife is on another boat that pulls up to us. We all head back to his boat. He jumps in & swims to boat. We meet them back at Haulover inlet so he can get his gear off our boat. Duh. This is like the 3rd of 4th diver we've rescued. His and her's first time out. Oh boy. Get caught in major rain & lightning storm. Freezing. Bone cold. Get home. Unload stuff, quickly (everyone has way too much to drink in my opinion). Change into dry clothes. Sit down with dd & ds and watch tv for a bit, play with cat. SIL falls asleep. DH & other are in pool. They convince dd & ds to drive them to grocery store & liquor store. Oh great. Thank god dd has license BUT she has only driven the tahoe 2 times. Oh boy. I decide at that point to just go lay down in bed (8pm anyways) and go to sleep. Slept right through it all. I know it sounds like a horrible hostess, but you know, I'm still mad about everyone getting trashed & then trashing the house. I've made it quite clear that I AM NOT cleaning up the stuff spilled all over the place nor am I cleaning up after a bunch of drunks. Here it is, Monday night, they left yesterday mid morning & I'm still pissed. I guess I just don't see the humor or anything in getting totally sloppy drunk anymore? Oh well. Not to mention, I'm pms'ing. Oh well. So there you have it. I'm sunburned as heck on my back. Today was an ok day at work but cancelling access to accounts & stuff & redoing passwords is exhausting. Everytime I turn around, theres another password that must be changed. Not that I think she would do anything, BUT its' better to be safe than sorry. Will post my menu plan later....

Recipe - Cheesecake factory shrimp scampi

I really need to keep better notes as to where I get some of my recipes! This is 'ok'. Not that great. Can't compare to the real deal cuz I've never ever eaten at the Factory :) Even though I pass by one every day of the week! 2 tbs butter 1 tbs olive oil 1 lb shrimp, shelled & devined seasoning salt & pepper 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced 3/4 cup white wine 1 1/4 cup whipping cream 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley (used dry) 1 to 1 1/2 tbs Wondra (or I suppose you could use flour) 1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomotoes (squeezed of most liquid before chopping) 1/3 cup finely chopped basil 1 pkg (said 9 oz??) angel hair pasta or other thin pasta, cooked & tossed with butter (sorry, no butter on my pasta!) In large skillet, melt butter & oil. Add shrimp & salt & pepper, and 1/2 of garlic. Saute, stirring often, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan to bowl. Leave liquid in pan. Add wine with remaining garlic. Cook, over high heat, stir occasionally til cooked down a bit. Add cream & parsley, continue cooking, stir occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Quickly whisk in Wondra (or flour) and whisk til smooth, keep whisking til bubbly and thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes & basil. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp, season with salt & pepper if needed. Serve over hot pasta with parmesean cheese.