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Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 40 Menu Plan - Using What We Have

AND ... entering Week 16 of Hubby's unemployment.

Whew.

It's ok. Really. It is. Just NOW a little nervy, that's all ... but it will be just fine.

This past week shopping wasn't so very bad ... my dad was taken to the hospital on Tuesday morning for chest pains and shortness of breath. Umm, dad, you've had that cough, and yes, even the doctor agrees, the pain is most likely from coughing. They kept him and he gets to go home today, almost a whole week later. Want to know why they kept him?? Because he was given breathing treatments to loosen up the phlegm in his THROAT which has steroids, which caused his blood sugar to go sky high.

How HIGH you ask?

One reading was 621. Um. Hello. That's considered quite dangerous. So he got a few of them treatments and then they had to switch him out to something else. I suppose if that's going to happen, probably not a better place to be than in a hospital, right?

Back to the shopping ... Whole Foods on Tuesday for $14.xx, Publix on Friday (boat trip that night planned) $38.xx and THEN Costco on Saturday for $198. I wanted to get more coffee before the coupon expired PLUS we were having friends over for dinner and a few things I needed were best to get from Costco, as opposed to Publix (salad stuff, fresh green beans, etc.) I will put up the breakdown for Costco either this evening or tomorrow morning.

So here's what I'm planning for the week:

Sunday - left over clam chowder and yummy bread (Hubby made this soup Saturday, to DIE FOR) ... recipe coming soon

Monday - Hubby made some mahi mahi in the cast iron skillet with some rice and veggies. Fish was from freezer, as was the rice, you know, them cheater bags that you just nuke for a few minutes? Yes.

Tuesday - I have a hair apt at 7pm. Uggg. Going to suggest Hubby cook a few chicken breast on the grill to eat with the leftover green beans (chicken from freezer, green beans leftover from Saturday)

Wednesday - BLT Inspired Chicken Salad (chicken, bacon in freezer, salad stuff in fridge)



Thursday -  Italian Beef (in crockpot) sliders (beef in freezer, hot peppers in pantry, will use king hawaiian rolls from Costco, cheese in fridge)

Friday - most likely will have company tonight and tomorrow night ... chicken and veggies on the grill (chicken in freezer, veggies in fridge/pantry)


Saturday - Hubby's choice ... going to push for burgers with this new awesome mushroom and blue cheese stuff we came up with, IF the weather is good, if not, will see if he wants to do pretzel chicken (his recipe, and yummy) (chicken in freezer, pretzels in pantry)

*Just a note on the fish ... Costco sells 3 lb bags of mahi mahi for $13.99. They are excellent cut and cleaned and we are on our 4th bag and not once, have we been disappointed. Well worth the money, which, actually, is pretty cheap for a good fish. Heck, I pay more than that for decent ribeyes!

And ... what are YOU cooking this week??

Looking forward to linking up with these great blog hops ... go check them out! Menu Plan Monday, Pinning and Planning, Menu Plan

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Grain Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I mentioned over here that I am not a huge pumpkin fan ... but once in a while I find something that makes me think .... Hmmmmm, not so very bad after all ...

And this is one of those times!



Original recipe comes from Civilized Caveman and of course, I have to do my own things to make it more ME!

Here's how I did it ...

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup apple juice (I used cider, it's what I had)
1/2 frozen banana (I used a whole banana, will do half next time)
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp hemp heart seeds (these are so tasty and loaded with something healthy, I just know it and impart a nutty flavor)
1/2 cup (more or less) ice
small handful of pecans or walnuts, chopped, for garnish if desired.


Guess what you do?



Toss all (except walnuts/pecans) in blender and let it rip til smooth.

Pour in glass and garnish with pecans/walnuts. I didn't have the nuts, so used more hemp seeds and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice ... hit the spot for me!


Enjoy!



Looking forward to linking up with some great blog hops ... make sure you check them out!  In and Out of the Kitchen, Mop It Up Monday, Creative Monday, The Scoop, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Dinner Time Recipes, Show Me What You Got, Made By You Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Sweet Sharing Monday, On The Menu Monday, Meatless Monday, What’d You Do This Weekend, Marvelous Mess, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Time To Sparkle, Mealtime Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Clever Chick, I Gotta Try That Mondays, Creative Corner Blog Hop, Make Your Own Monday, Mix it Up Monday, I Gotta Try That, Tempt My Tummy, Memories, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays At Our Home, How To Tuesday, Handmade Tuesday, Making a Home, Show Me The Goods, Totally Tasty Tuesday, All My Bloggie Friends, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tuesday Talent Show, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Penny Pinching Party, The Gathering Spot, Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Tuesday with a Twist, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Show Me What Ya Got, Show Me What You Got, What We Wore/Read/Made, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Wake Up Wednesday, Wheat Free Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Work It Wednesday, Homemade By You, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, Real Fun, What I Whipped Up, Work It Wednesday, Lovely Ladies, Weekly Creative, Domestic Superhero, All Things Thursday, The Weekly Creative, Tasty Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Crafty Thursday Obsessions, Frugal Food Thursday, Thursdays Treasures, Somewhat Simple, Showcase Your Talent, Simple Lives Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Foodie Friday, Get Real Frugal Friday, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Freakin Did It Friday, The Pin Junkie, Friday Link Party, Freedom Friday, Friday Favorite, Foodie Friday, Weekend Wonders, Weekend Potluck, Get Him Feed Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link Party, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, I Gotta Create, Show and Tell Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Saturday Link & Greet, Saturday Show & Tell, Super Saturday Show & Tell, Say G'day Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 39 Menu Plan - Using What We Have



Entering Week 15 of Hubby's Unemployment Journey ... This week we need to finalize the new insurance with Florida Blue ... I have to take 20 minutes of quiet time (AKA private time) to call them so they can do a phone screen on me. In other words, ask me, how it's possible that a 49 year old woman takes NO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. I'm curious to see if anything comes up on the false reading (IMO) for Lupus or other inflammatory issues, arthritis, etc. Did you know that there is a database of sorts that insurance companies can go review your past history? Does that rub anyone else the wrong way? I mean, seriously? I have issues with that!

Managed to get to the eye doctor last week. He suggested readers at 1.25 ... then asked if I'd ever considered contacts. Really? That's when I realized it was all about money. Good grief.

We also met with our financial girl about doing a monthly draw til Hubby gets a paycheck again. Not a lot, but enough to see us through with the mortgage, Sonny Boy's rent, and a few miscellaneous things. I can pay for all the utilities, insurance, food and gas, but there are a few big things that Hubby has always taken care of ... and plans to continue.  Apparently it's time to start crunching ... Hubby apparently wants to keep this as stress free as possible. That alone was a little stressful, knowing that we are going to tap into some of our investment stuff to move forward.

It's definitely time to redo the budget. I see that now, on this fine Monday morning. Uggg. It has put me in a foul mood as much as I hate to admit it. Must be some PMS stuff going on too ... has to be!

I can't believe it's Fall ... that means the pool time in winding down ... we've been making it a point to go in a few times a week after I get home from work (usually with a few ice cold beers from the freezer) ... I was just saying yesterday that come October 1st, it's going to be a little cool for fun anymore ... that makes me sad.

Sonny Boy was here from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. Which meant I felt the need to do a Costco shop (!) for a few things. Spent $326. Can't give a break down because I washed the receipt in a pair of black corduroy pants. Do you know what that does to the pants? Lots and lots of linty stuff to be picked off. Uggg. But I did take a pic!


That's a lot of food and a crappy picture ... I can't figure out the new Windows 8 to work on pictures. (did I mention that I'm in a foul mood??) There's about 20 lbs of b/s chicken breast there as they had a sale of $4 off any package. I passed it up last time as its $2.99 a pound, not a good deal, but with the $4 off, better, and I had none.

Here's what we are looking forward to having this week:

Sunday - Princess and Boyfriend hosted a Taco night ... they made (I had a salad)



Monday - Chicken Caesar Salad (no pasta)



Tuesday - Soup and salad night ... Hubby has a new clam chowder recipe he wants to try

Wednesday - Chicken Ravioli (right there in the middle of that picture) with olive oil

Thursday - If I can get home early enough, I'd like to make some Tuscan Garlic Chicken as it's been a while and I'm sure my spinach will be taking a stroll south ...



Friday - Chicken and Veggies ...

Saturday - Hubby's choice ... I'm thinking we have some friends coming in town this week so I'm sure we will have guests over ... fun!

Yeah, I know, it looks a little heavy on chicken this week, doesn't it? But that's ok ... I have A LOT now to eat AND the scale has not been to kind lately ;-)

What are you cooking this week??

Looking forward to linking up with these great blog hops ... go check them out! Menu Plan Monday, Pinning and Planning, Menu Plan

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Grain & Dairy Free Pumpkin Pancakes

I can't believe it's FALL ... I mean seriously, where has the YEAR gone already?

I have a confession ... I'm not a big pumpkin lover ... sure, I'll eat them yummy pumpkin bars with the creamy cheese frosting slathered all over the top ... but other than that, no thank you, very much.

Until I made this recipe last September when Hubby was traveling ... and I had made it a few times since then ... but it's been a little while now ... so in honor of FALL arriving, I am re posting the recipe and making this as part of the Sunday morning breakfast for Sonny Boy before he heads back home ...

The original recipe is from the Practical Paleo cookbook.


I've been picking up the pumpkin at ALDIS because it's 99 cents a can and it's all pumpkin ...



Oh ... I just remembered, it's time for Pumpkin head beer (and the newest one we tried, UFO Pumpkin Beer) ... and really, I know it's not "pumpkin" so to speak, but still...it gets my FALL vote!

Ok, so here's how I did it ... you want the real recipe? You will have to buy the book ... this is real close though!

3 eggs, lightly whisked, I used 3 because mine are extra large Costco size eggs :)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs maple syrup
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch of ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbs melted butter

Ready?

Whisk eggs so they are broken down and add in pumpkin, vanilla and syrup. Whisk til mixed well and add in dry ingredients along with melted butter, whisk til all incorporated



Grease a skillet and heat over medium heat. Scoop mix out using 1/4 cup measure and allow to cook til a few bubbles appear on surface, flip and continue cooking til done, just like regular pancakes.

Serve with a dab of butter and some sliced bananas on the side. Or just overwhelm the plate with bananas :)



This was good. Hubby most likely will think it's too egg-ish but I like it. I think Sonny Boy will like too since he's gotten into the more healthier eating too (requested I get more coconut oil and almond butter for him)

My first time making these, I had a few issues ... started out with the teflon griddle and a little butter ...




I switched out to my super cool non stick pan with LOTS of butter for round 2 which is how I got 4 PERFECT cakes ...



Do you like FALL and are you even ready for the switch from Summer to Fall? How about pumpkin? Yea or Nay?

Looking forward to linking up with some great blog hops ... make sure you check them out!  In and Out of the Kitchen, Mop It Up Monday, Creative Monday, The Scoop, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Dinner Time Recipes, Show Me What You Got, Made By You Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Sweet Sharing Monday, On The Menu Monday, Meatless Monday, What’d You Do This Weekend, On The Menu Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Time To Sparkle, Mealtime Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Clever Chick, I Gotta Try That Mondays, Creative Corner Blog Hop, Monday Mania, Make Your Own Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Memories, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, How To Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, Show Me The Goods, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tuesday Talent Show, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Penny Pinching Party, The Gathering Spot, Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Tuesday with a Twist, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Show Me What Ya Got, Show Me What You Got, What We Wore/Read/Made, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Wake Up Wednesday, Wheat Free Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Work It Wednesday, Homemade By You, Lil Luna Link Party, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, Super Link Party, Thrifty Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Crafty Thursday Obsessions, Frugal Food Thursday, Thursdays Treasures, Somewhat Simple, Showcase Your Talent, Simple Lives Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Foodie Friday, Get Real Frugal Friday, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Freakin Did It Friday, Friday Link Party, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, I Gotta Create, Show and Tell Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Saturday Link & Greet, Saturday Show & Tell, Super Saturday Show & Tell, Say G'day Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 38 Menu Plan - Using What We Have

AND ... entering Week 14 of Hubby's unemployment adventures ...

I had skipped a whole week of grocery shopping, which felt pretty good ... but certainly made up for it this past week with a stop at Costco and 4 more stops on Saturday ... but at least there wasn't any junk food brought into the house ...

So, moving forward for the week ... I'm pretty excited in that it should be somewhat quiet at work, meaning I can maybe get home shortly after 5pm every night and COOK! 

Yes, Hubby has been doing a fine job, for the most part, of having dinner prepped and ready ... not necessarily following the plan, but he does pretty good, I'd say. For which, I am most appreciative! BUT I like to cook and try new recipes and you know, I buy things for specific recipes! :-) ... I am thankful that I have a Hubby who LIKES to cook and even more grateful that he KNOWS how to cook! He's pretty darn good, actually!

So ... I tried to work with him for the upcoming week to see what we can make using what we have (pretty darn heavy on produce too!) and here's what we have:

Sunday - Inside Out Burgers ... Princess b/f made these and we loved them ... I'm glad I held out to try them because NOW I have real blue cheese to put inside MINE! As the weather looks iffy most likely will make these indoors in the cast iron skillet (beef in fridge, rest in fridge and pantry ... a few hamburger buns are floating around ... I will skip)

Monday - planning on making an Asian-Inspired meal with Chicken Lettuce Wraps and a new recipe  ... Spring Rolls with Sesame dipping sauce ... make sure you check back for the recipe! Will use chicken thighs (freezer) for the protein and the veggies are in fridge (using the baby romaine lettuce for the wraps this time around)



Tuesday - Bok Choy and Beef in the Crockpot ... new recipe (if good, watch for recipe soon). Beef in freezer, veggies in fridge

Wednesday - Chicken Breast stuffed with spinach and blue cheese (bone in chix breast in freezer, blue cheese & spinach in fridge). This is a Hubby speciality ... I'll see if I can sneak a rough recipe and pics out of him :-)

Thursday - Cobb Salad ... only because a) not a single salad on the menu this week, and b) I have everything (lettuce, lunchmeat, avocado, blue cheese, hard boiled eggs, etc. are all in the fridge). Will make the honey mustard dressing to go along with it.

 

Friday - Hubbys choice ... I am meeting girlfriends tonight at the Wreck Bar for the Mermaid Show (2 birthday girls) and hope to be home by 9pm ... Sonny Boy may be home too so yeah!

Saturday - Again, Hubby's choice ... we made these awesome ribeyes last Saturday using the cast iron skillet with sautéed shrooms and blue cheese that were to die for ... I'm sure I could convince him to do so again since I have 3 or 4 ribeyes left in the freezer!

There you have it ... what's on your menu for the week??

Linking up with Menu Plan Monday, Pinning and Planning, Menu Plan





Weekly Shopping - September 8th to September 15th

I was really hoping to keep the weekly trip to a minimum again ... would be real nice to do TWO WEEKS in a row that way, don't you think?

Nah...not going to happen just yet ...

Hit Costco on Wednesday night after work....got lots of stuff which you can check out over here for $187.90.  You can check out the trip here.

The Saturday rolled around ... had to go see my dad and he needed some stuff too ... so may as well go shop ...

1.  Publix ... really, was just going to get a few things for my dad:

6pk Motts apple juice * $2.99
Tropicana OJ (6 pk) * $4.79
bag of butter popcorn * $2.50
bag of white cheddar popcorn $2.50
Honey wheat bread * $2.85
bag of clementines * $6.99
2 cans cream of chicken soup $1.00 each
4 pkgs of sliced apple with caramel dipping sauce * $1.25 each
2 peter pan peanut butter $3.49 total (b1g1f) originally bought for dad but he still has lots, so in the pantry they went
100% grape cherry juice $3.95
White grape juice free (b1g1f)

Used a $5 off coupon $32.06 total

2.  ALDI

2 Kitchen rug/mats (cushy) $9.99 each
24 water bottles $2.29
bananas $1.14
2 cans crushed tomatoes 99 cents each
jar of maraschino cherries (for them whiskey sours!) $1.49
4 pk of baby lettuce (gourmet stuff) $2.19
3 pkgs of button mushrooms $1.29 each
2 containers of grape tomatoes $1.29 each
2 pkgs of celery 79 cents each
pkg hot dog buns 89 cents
20 count paper bowls $1.49
2 mangoes 45 cents each
bag of yellow onions $1.79
bag of sweet potatoes $1.99
2 4pks of these chocolate shake weight loss things $3.19 each (these are my cheat breakfast drinks when I'm running real late or don't feel like the usual bacon & eggs)
2 heads of cauliflower $1.99 each
watermelon knife $3.99

Grand total $60.04

#3 Publix

8 pk minican diet coke * $3.50

Grand total $3.71

#4 Stiles Farmers Market

"green squash" $2.99 (zucchini)
string beans $1.97 (green beans)
2 ginormous carrots $1.22
bag of radishes $1.25
bok choy $2.16
head of Chinese cabbage $1.62
big bunch of broccoli $2.98
3 red peppers $2.69
1 lonely minneola orange 75 cents (for those whiskey sours!)
1 bunch of green onions 34 cents
3 large tomatoes $3.16
handful of jalapenos 34 cents
handful of brussel sprouts $1.27
4 red pears $2.62
3 Georgia peaches (white) $1.30

Grand total $26.66

I am real heavy on produce right now ... and I've got some great ideas for food this week ... so come back Monday and check out the menu plan!

* these items are for my dad ... I wouldn't normally include his groceries with mine but since I paid for it all this week, I am.

Roughly $310 spent this week ... I had allocated myself $300. Remember, I didn't shop once the previous week so I had 2 weeks worth of $ to spend. I went a little over so I will try to keep it at $120 next week ... I think I can do it, EXCEPT Sonny Boy may be coming in for the weekend which means I have that mommy guilt to load him up with food to take home!

I am trying to stick to a budget of $150 a week on groceries. Yes, I know, rugs and knives do not count as food, however, if it's bought on the same receipt, it's tossed in as part of the grocery outlay.