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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Budget Time!

I've been having a rough time with the budget lately ... meaning that it needs to keep being tweaked.

Partly because I'm taking responsibility for my dad (which um, apparently, I'm not quite as responsible as I thought ... completely blew off the May payment on his Social Security payback stuff) ... and partly because I am just so VERY out of sync with my normal, day to day life.

So the other day, at the OFFICE, no less, I tweaked my budget.

And according to that spreadsheet, I should STILL have some money leftover at the end of the month.

Really? Really. And it's not all that tight, trust me.

Just a side note: I've been reading (slowly) through Dave Ramsey's Money Makeover book on the Kindle ... I am maybe only 40% through it ... but it's all common sense for the time being. I was really thrilled that I possibly have HALF of the emergency savings plan up, but then I read that all creditors should be current. I am usually current and up to date. Somehow, a few things got slid back and I am piecing together whats current and whats not. Seriously, the water bill? Current. The cable? LATE. The cell phones and regular phones? Current. And so on.

Back to the book: not so sure WHAT I make of it just yet. As I said, common sense, and I suppose, if you are totally out and out down, this MAY be the book to pick you up and give that boost to do something drastic about your financial situation to improve it.

So here you go, opening up my spreadsheet to YOU ...

Income for the month (this includes all checks coming to me for the end of May since I roll that over to the new month):

$250, $143x5, $1500, $1081, $400 and my dad's contribution of $1100 towards his monthly rent.

Expenses for the month (I break mine down by what week it needs to be paid in and then break down the income by what week it arrives. This gives me a better idea of where I'm at each month).


Week 1 Income: $3493.68 (this includes my dads $1100 towards his rent)

Water $130
Sprinkler $50
Cap1 CC $85
Macy AE $50
Macy $25
Bestbuy $50
AE $680
dad rent $2000
dad va $100
boy signing $99

Total out $3269

Week 2 Income $543.68

Electric $300
Cable $125
Cell $200
AZ cc $85
Boy Misc $100

Total out $810

Week 3 to end of month income $1512.04

Bugman $25
Home phone $30
Amazoncc $50
Flood Ins $580

Total Out $685.

Not to mention weekly food $50, gas $30 and dinner/lunch out $10 for a total of $90 each week. That's a LOT of money in each week and just like that it's out ... so not right but it is what it is. Will need to be calling and following up on the VA assistance status ... once they kick in we will have lots of breathing room again (and be able to move that emergency savings account off the books again).

Those figures say I should have $425 left over at the end of the month. Is that possible? It should be, don't you think? I didn't consider that I need to be buying misc. items for my dad, but really, should NOT be a big deal ... his food bill should not be as much as my budget is every week, even though, when I take him, it is! I suppose because he gets all excited and "oh, I like those" ... worse than shopping with a little kid, I tell you.

So, how do you set up your budget? And do you adjust it as needed or beat yourself up when you go over? :D. Inquiring minds want to know!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Soups On!

I know...it's summertime! Trust me, I'm well aware of it ... but I'm still wanting soup here and there.


I got home from work on Monday and it was a little after 6pm. I skipped the gym, but Hubby had went ... so I had time to myself ... original plan was to make Cobb Salad ... but I saw this when I opened up the fridge:


Not sure what happened, but basically, I had a slight hissy fit. Yeah. It was the foil pan with the tin foil collapsed because SOMEONE tossed stuff on top of it. Ummm...don't ask what was in the pan, you will find out tomorrow ;)

So ... while I tackled this "small" project, I decided to toss the stuff together to simmer while working. (NOTE: anything that holds massive amounts of food should never be considered a small project).

This recipe comes from an Everyday Food issue ... Martha Stewart ... and it's pretty tasty ...



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 the chicken I made in crockpot, shredded)
1 pkg ramen noodles (discard or save the season packet for something else)
2 smallish peppers (I didn't use the minis this time)
handful of snowpeas, trimmed and broke in half
1 lime, juiced
chopped scallion 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 scallion and cilantro if desired.  Enjoy.

Linking up with the following GREAT hops: Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday
Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You Got, Made By You Monday, Muffin Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Made From Scratch, Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Recipe Swap, Sugar and Spice, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Show Your Stuff, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Food on Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Showcase Your Talent, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, Weekend Wander, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Dishing It Up, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop

Menu Plan Monday - Week 21

Heh....did you all notice that I totally blew off Menu Planning last week? Week 20 of 52 no less? Good grief.

It wasn't "so" very bad ... but yeah, there were times I was wondering what I was going to have.

Thankfully Hubby came to the rescue a few times during the week, making a chicken and egg noodle dish for next door and pulling a little aside for us, slapping a few burgers together and grilling them, whipping up some leftovers ... he really is a good guy, I suppose ;)

So this week, what with the holiday, funeral and just over all festivities, I'm late getting it posted but here it is:

Sunday - Dad was over for the day so Hubby made him BBQ Chicken (on the charcoal grill), corn on the cob and baked beans

Monday - pool day for me and girlfriend and leftovers all day long. We also experimented with these pina coladas in a bag finally ... yummm, but headache-y

Tuesday - Cobb Salad

Wednesday - balance of leftovers

Thursday - Taco Salad (I will need to get buttermilk plain yogurt though)

Friday - Baja Chicken Wraps

Saturday - Hoping to be making some steaks as I still have them in the freezer! I'm just gonna have to shove Hubby aside and make these MYSELF :)

As it's finally the end of May ... my grocery challenge wasn't so very bad ... but I do feel a need to get to Costco but then again, I shouldn't ... we still have so much stuff in the freezers ... I need to get a new inventory started (no, I do not check off when we use something) and rearrange ... maybe that can be the Sunday project this week?

Linking up with Menu Plan Monday

Saturday, May 26, 2012

3 Day Weekend and a Little News

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Not a whole lot of anything special planned ... I will bring my dad over on Sunday so he can watch the Indy 500 in comfort ... Hubby wants to make him some real bbq chicken and corn on the cob to enjoy too .

But first, Saturday afternoon, we have to go to a funeral.

My neighbor Joan passed away on Wednesday.

She survived throat cancer all those years ago.

Then  recovered very nicely from the removal of her kidney.

Then went through 3 months of chemo and radiation for 5 days a week, 3 months straight for lung cancer.

Got a break from all that stuff.

Was told after 3 months that it had spread. To her bones. They wouldn't (couldn't?) do anything until she gained a little weight.

We did a few things here and there. But I've been 'busy' dealing with my dad and the usual LIFE things so not as much as I should have.

Had no idea it was as bad as it was as she didn't tell me, or anyone.

But 2 days after I spoke to her, I saw her husband outside, he told me Hospice was in and that she had become bedridden the day before. Totally unable to get up and move. :-(

She waited for me to come and talk to her after work on Wednesday. And passed away several hours later.

I've asked her to say hello to my mother, wave to my mother in law, and to play a hand of poker with my grandmother. She's the last of my mother figures to go. And I'm feeling slightly lost.

I know she's in a better place. No pain and certainly NO RAIN like we've had for the past 3 weeks. She's got plenty of good friends and family to visit now. And someday, hopefully not too soon, I will see her again.

Rest in peace Joan ... may you continue to bring us joy and laughter in all the memories.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Hour Friday - Martinique

Hubby was in New York last week and got to stay at the Martinique on Broadway ... lucky guy ... he really enjoys that trip every year when he makes it for this annual meeting.


Anyways, he was sitting at the bar in the hotel with a few other guys, and somehow, he got the recipe and texted it to me. Nothing like texting your wife a drink recipe from 5 states away, huh? That's love....

It should be noted that I am NOT a rum drinker ... the only reason I have rum in the house is from my girlfriend, Chatty. She dropped some off for the air & sea show weekend to make Pina drinks (which we didn't because it rained the day we planned and the whole week was a washout) ... and then there is the Siesta Key stuff in the freezer that she dropped off a few months back

 

So, I'm not sure just what JAMAICAN rum is, or what the difference is ... but I can certainly recommend the Siesta Key stuff ...

And YES, I did use the text and made the drink ... first with plain ole rum, and then I added the Siesta Key ... definitely recommend a spice or dark rum, otherwise, too OJ'y for me ... here's how I made it in the end (tweaked, trust me!)

2 parts rum
1 splash grenadine
3 parts oj
squeeze of lemon wedge


  
That bottle of Grenadine has lasted a long time!

  

Mix all in shaker with ice, shake it up and strain into martini glass (which I HATE because I will spill it every time I walk with the glass ... uggg), garnish with an orange slice.

Yum Yum ...

First started off with 1 1/2 parts rum and 4 parts OJ. Ummm...nope. Too syrupy. Then 2 parts rum, 4 parts OJ. Nope, still too acidic. Batch NUMBER THREE was 2 parts rum and 3 parts OJ. By then it really should NOT have mattered, but it did. Lip smackin tasty stuff.


 
That rum has been kept in the freezer and I kept forgetting to put it back ... see how frosty it was?

I ended up carrying all the ingredients to the main kitchen where Hubby was cooking to make since I kept spilling the drink while walking down the hall from the bar ...

Enjoy. And as always, I do NOT endorse that you drink and drive. If you drink these away from home, take a cab, or get a ride from someone who does not drink (once the kids were old enough and got their licenses, this was PERFECT for them!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Baking Soda to the Rescue

Ready for a pretty nifty, frugal tip this fine Saturday? Well then, read on!

I've been tossing pots and pans as I go along since nothing irritates me more than a rocking pot or a skillet that sticks like crazy. Not to mention, I am officially TEFLON FREE in the house, at long last.

Which of course, does cause 'some' issues ... pans that get pretty gunked up during the cooking process.  And you know, I'm the one that does kitchen sink duty, every morning, and every night. 

 
 
A light scrubby with a sponge didn't show much improvement on this pan one night, so I dug out my favorite standby ...



Baking soda.

Yes, it cleans. It cleans REAL GOOD.

Get the pan wet and drain excess water out. Sprinkle a little baking soda in the pan. You don't have to load it up, I used a very minimal amount.



Let it sit, oh 30 seconds. I am not known for my patience when doing dishes.

Take a scrubby pad, or in my case, a sponge with the one abrasive side and gently clean in circular motion.





That pan cleaned right up with very little effort.  I've also used this on my baking trays, crockpot, etc. and have had great success with all.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Simple Shrimp Dish

I have no other name for it, sorry!

As you know, I'm on a small Grocery Challenge this month, and well, all things considering, I think I'm doing ok so far ... but of course, Hubby has been out of town the past two weeks so we shall see how it changes when he gets back ...

In the meantime, I'm also TRYING to get these freezers cleared out ... I just don't understand it! No, no, I'm not 'complaining' but yes, I suppose maybe I am!



So when I came across this recipe, I immediately fell in love with the picture ... and then the SUPER SIMPLE list of ingredients. Awww, yeah, we can do this.  And heck, I have a few bags of shrimp in the freezers so ... I'm in!

But of course, I had to stop at the store to get me a chili ... which brings me to the next point:

Are all chilis created equal? No, they aren't. But heck if I know the difference from one to another...I need to go google a guide and see what's what ...

So here you have it, without further ado ... and I must say, it's pretty damn good!

a generous handful of shrimp, peeled and devined (luckily, I was on top of my game this morning and took out a handful from the freezer)
olive oil
1 to 2 garlic cloves, thickly sliced OR just use the stuff you have minced already
1 chili, seeds removed and sliced
sliced up sweet peppers
pinch of paprika
dash salt
chopped parsley to garnish
sliced green onions for garnish
Crusty bread for sopping up the juicy stuff :-) ... found a half loaf of cubano bread in freezer ... may have to grill it up.

I had EVERYTHING except that big green chili on the left there




 

Stray loaf of Cuban Bread from freezer  and all the ingredients chopped and ready to go!

 
Heat oil over medium low heat and add garlic and peppers. Let cook for about 2 minutes and then add the shrimp and paprika. Cook til shrimp is pink and done, add salt.




Dish up in a large, flat dish, sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread. Yummm.... this is a definite keeper!

I opted to toast the bread in the same skillet after I was done cooking ... it worked out pretty well ...




The bread actually had a slight kick to it from the oil that was still in the pan


Add in a Sea Dog Wild Blueberry beer while cooking, chat with a girlfriend and pretend you have a party going on (umm, after I was done cooking, me and my girlfriend went to Gulfstream).


Ok....so as much as I loved the dish (and the concept, so quick and easy!) ... I went a little heavy on veggies and not heavy enough on the shrimp. Also, I think next time, I will do oil AND butter ... I think I used too much oil, and the heat needs to be more towards the medium range, I think. Also, the chili definitely gave it a KICK. Ummm, not a problem, except I was HOT from cooking, eating, drinking and rushing to get ready to go out with my girlfriend ... then I had a slight case of burpees the rest of the evening!  Yes, I WILL make it again but more shrimp, less veggies, add butter AND definitely cook up the bread in skillet!

Linking up with the following great hostesses! parties: Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You GotMade By You Monday, Muffin Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Meatless Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Menu Planning, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Made From Scratch, Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Made Famous By, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe SwapSugar and Spice, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Homemade By You, Lil Luna Link Party, Ultimate Recipe Swap, What's Cooking Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Taste This Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Freezer Tip - Pasta!

You all gotta know that I am just dyin to get a freezer cooking session under my belt, but short of losing the power for a week where everything MUST be used or tossed, I just don't see that happening in my near future.

Trust me, I am NOT complaining about the amount of food in the freezers, just the lack of space which is inhibiting me from giving this freezer cooking a try.

So I have to make do.

And I've discovered the art of freezing cooked pasta.

Yes, indeed.

What a HUGE time saver this is for me! See, for whatever reason, it takes a good 20 minutes to get my water to a boil (at least!) and then the 10 minutes or so of cooking. JUST FOR THE PASTA. Plus it makes the kitchen pretty dang hot and steamy, and in case you've forgotten, I live in PARADISE, where it's hot and steamy already.

Heh. I've got to tell you, this is Brilliant. With a capital B! Huge thank you to Jackie for sharing this tip over and over on her site!!

Cook up your pasta. Ahhh, what the heck, cook up a double or triple batch if you'd like!



Drain in a strainer and run a little bit of olive oil over the top. Now, don't be like Hubby and drown the stuff, you just want a LIGHT coating to keep it from sticking too badly.


Once it's cooled, place in large ziploc bags and lay flat (hey, don't stuff it in there, try to do meal portions, ok??) in the freezer to freeze.

**Close your eyes and visualize a ziptop ziploc bag full of pasta, will ya? I seem to have misplaced the picture!**


When ready to use, just take the bag out in the morning, toss in your box to thaw in the fridge and heat up in a bit of hot water OR just toss in the microwave with a little water in the bowl (do not heat in plastic bag, that's just WRONG!) ...

I think this is one of those things that needs to be kept in the freezer for a QUICK fix!

Looking to link up with these great blog parties: Made Famous By, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, What's New Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Homemade By You, Lil Luna Link Party, Ultimate Recipe Swap, What's Cooking Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Taste This Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop, Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You Got, Menu Plan & Blog Hop, Made By You Monday, Muffin Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Meatless Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Menu Planning, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Made From Scratch, Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, 2 Maids a Baking, Tuesday Kitchen Tips, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Menu Plan - Week 20

I really need to check the calendar and make sure it really is week 20 I suppose?

I've been sick, and it's not from these, just a general cold that's settled in my throat, lovely, don't you think? And I hate that it seems I just can't shake these things anymore. I've had the sinus issue since mid February ... and probably should have went to the doctor about that, but eh, I hate going to the doctors, plus the last time they gave me antibiotics, I about died (forgot I was allergic as it's been so many years since I've had amoxacillian).

I'm also still trying to keep it Frugal and do the Grocery Challenge ... it's not been so very bad since Hubby has been traveling ... I should be able to stay out of the store this week after my quick stop at Aldis on Monday night.

Anyways ... we must still menu plan ... even though:

Hubby is traveling Tuesday through Friday

Princess is out of town for another 10 days

Sonny Boy is back up in Orlando ...

Which means, it's just ME and Kitty Kitty. Yahoo. 

Sunday - Mother's Day ... me & Hubby, he took me to Baskin Robbins for dinner (yes seriously!) as I felt like crap .... nothing like a brownie sundae to make a mom feel better

Monday - leftover Ranchy Chicken and veggies ...

Tuesday - chicken Cesar pasta salad for me, cat food for Kitty Kitty

Wednesday - I'd like to do the Bangin Shrimp IF I'm feeling better

Thursday - omelet ... I deserve an easy night and heck, it's better than Nachos

Friday - Hubby back (thankfully!) ... depending on weather, probably just make a stir fry

Saturday - I would love to make some delicious, juicy burgers on the grill

What are YOU cooking up this week? Go check out these parties that I'm linking up with! Menu Plan Monday, Menu Planning

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Hour Friday - Orange Dreamsicles

Ohh...I loved them things when I was a kid ... we would wait for the ice cream truck EVERY STINKIN SATURDAY and beg my parents for the quarter ... Pushups and Orange Dreamsicles were my favs ...

And even as an adult, if I'm given a choice, yes, I will have the pushup please :-) ... and LOOK, now I found an adult beverage that taste a LOT like a dreamsickle.

And look, it uses the WHIPPED vodka (thankfully as I do not want to drink it straight!) .... so grab that blue bottle of yumminess and get crackin!

2 oz whipped vodka (Pinnacle is what I have but I thought I saw another brand putting it out now)
2 oz orange juice (um, personally, I HATE pulp and would strongly discourage it in a cocktail)
2 oz lemon lime soda (I used sierra mist as that's what I had on hand)
splash of grenadine

  

  



Umm....easy. Add ice to a large shaker or glass. Pour in the ingredients. Stir or shake (I personally am a shaker so I shake)

Strain into tall glass with ice. Garnish with slice of orange and cherry (all I had were mini oranges).




I also poured mine into a large mouth wine glass as it's easier for me to hold (the tall glass got a little frosty and about slipped out of my hand!!)




Sip, say yummm and give a toast!

Remember, I encourage you to always drink responsibly and PLEASE do not drink and drive!

Looking to link up with these great blog parties: Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You Got, Menu Plan & Blog Hop, Made By You Monday, Muffin Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Meatless Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Menu Planning, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Made From Scratch, Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, 2 Maids a Baking, Tuesday Kitchen Tips, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Made Famous By, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, What's New Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Homemade By You, Lil Luna Link Party, Ultimate Recipe Swap, What's Cooking Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Taste This Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Steak Salad aka Asian Beef Salad aka Evil Jungle

I call it a Steak Salad because, well, because it has STEAK in it.



Others call it an Asian Beef Salad because it has soy sauce and sesame oil in the dressing, making it an Asian type dish.

Then the Evil Jungle? Well, that's from Houston's which is WHERE I got the idea for this lovely, all time, must have lunch/dinner and hey, even breakfast once. (Evil Jungle is very very spicy with a Thai undertone to it and mangos and avocado slices to offset the spiciness. I've never been able to replicate 100%)

My steak comes from Costco, and it's in a bag, already cooked, ready to serve. Um, yeah, I know. But it was $12.99 for 2 lbs COOKED and caught me at a weak moment, ok? I had so many visions of what to do with it, and I still may try the others ...



It says NO MSG. That's a good thing, right? Don't see any corn syrup there either. And the list of ingredients starts with BEEF (thankfully!) and ends with dehydrated garlic with 11 ingredients in between, for 13 total. The package also has a "Earth Friendly" statement for the bag itself. Not quite sure what that means, except that they purchase the power in partnership with the Green Power Partnership ... which sort of sounds like a cult =D  ... I've since divied it up into 3 smaller packages and used the new toy in the household to suck the air out of the bags and seal them, tossed in freezer for future goodness.



Ok, on to the process/recipe/instructions ... now that I made you think ...

Assemble your salad:



Lettuce of choice, cut or torn into bite size pieces (I personally cut, I know, it can bruise but I keep it in the Jar) (NOTE: I just bought a little bit of loose leaf stuff ... total cost? $1.25 for those 2 bags)
Baby spinach leaves
shredded cabbage (or just grab a bag of coleslaw and use some of that ... didn't have)
Fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, basil, cilantro, mint, your choice
chopped cucumbers (if seeded, run spoon through seeds to remove extra moisture and seeds ... completely forgot to add the cukes this time!)
sliced sweet peppers



  



Adding mint and cilantro to the greens is a nice surprise


If you have on hand, add some diced mango and/or avocado ... I normally don't have both but so glad I stopped and picked them up ... makes a HUGE difference in flavors ...



 Add the following in jar with tight fitting lid:

juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
1/2 cup soy sauce (I use a thick style JCS Reggae Country Style Thick Soya Sauce)
3 tbs sesame oil
1/3 cup brown sugar (this time I'm trying the Coconut Sugar I have 5 bags of)
1/2 tbs ground ginger (used the cool stuff from the tube)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, pressed, whatever (I use the stuff I do in the food processor)
dash of red pepper flakes to your taste (or, if you have the rooster stuff, a tsp (more or less) of Sriracha chili sauce is better) (I used the cool chili pepper in a tube)
cilantro, chopped, to taste, optional


 


 


  




Shake the heck out of all those ingredients.


Now top the salad with steak already cooked and cut into smaller than normal bite size (that's my way of being frugal, not slices, small pieces).



Adding cooked pasta will make this a little more filling and perhaps more "guy friendly" Just mix it in with the salad greens before topping with steak and dressing.

Pour the dressing over the top, stand back, admire and dig in ... enjoy!

Planning on linking up with some of these great parties ... go check them out! Made Famous By, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, What's New Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Wednesday Whatsits,  Ultimate Recipe Swap, What's Cooking Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Taste This Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You Got, Menu Plan & Blog Hop, Made By You Monday, Muffin Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Meatless Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Menu Planning, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Made From Scratch, Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, 2 Maids a Baking, Tuesday Kitchen Tips, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show