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I Got a Lot Done Today

February 18th, 2017 at 11:29 pm

I did some cooking for the freezer today. I made up a big batch of pork fried rice and one of rabbit fried rice, so I now have 9 bags (7 from today, 2 from last time) of that in the freezer. It would be one more but my husband decided he had to eat some. It used up leftovers nicely.

I also made up some calzones. These are much easier to make than pizza snacks. The calzones are for my son's lunches. It saves me from having to cook something for lunch for him every day and he likes it much better than eating sandwiches. I can vary the filling in these from pepperoni, ham, or sausage or put in onions and peppers. These ones all get tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and a few shakes of Italian seasoning. I also have made some in the past using leftover taco meat, leftover chili, and leftover sloppy hoppies.

Then I made a huge loaf of French bread. Usually I make two loaves with this recipe, but I was tired and so just made it into one big one. It turned out great, just had to bake it for an extra five minutes. I am so happy with this recipe. The bread is nice and soft inside, but a good crunch to the crust. It toasts beautifully for making garlic bread, but untoasted it makes good sandwich bread, albeit not the typical shape.

Then I made a huge batch of pancakes. So I had my hands in carbs for most of the day, it felt like. I barely eat this type of carb myself, but I do have to feed everyone else.

I am back on my diet for 3 days now and have lost 4.6 pounds. This is good because I really needed to get back on that wagon. I've gained back almost all of what I lost in the past year, so ugh. Hopefully I can keep this momentum going. I went off the weight loss drugs as I didn't feel any benefit from them after the first couple of months and I think they were screwing with my sleeping pattern. It's been more normalized since I quit them.

I will be getting my first paycheck from the Google AdSense/Youtube stuff soon. Just waiting to have my checking account verified for direct deposit. It is just for 20 days, but I am pretty happy with it. I can't disclose how much, it's against the terms and conditions. It's not going to be something we can live on, but as a side income, it isn't something to sneeze at, either. Once DH is working again, I could build our savings back up and then after that start on an IRA. It's nice to have the possibility.

Menu Planning Week Six

February 6th, 2017 at 03:53 pm

So I bought some oranges and some cabbage as it is cheaper than lettuce and will last a lot longer and we will be having cole slaw instead of salads when I want those at dinner time. I did get the purple cabbage so it will be pretty as well as have more vitamin content. Everything else is food we have on hand and I am going to try to be keeping to that as closely as possible.

I made Wednesday an easy crockpot day. I will make the Kaiser rolls the day before. They are easy.

Monday:
Beef Stew--All home canned beef potatoes, carrots, and parsnips
Home canned green beans
Home canned pears

Tuesday:
Leftover Casserole--Frozen turkey and stuffing from Christmas, sour cream, cheese, poultry seasoning, cream of chicken soup, tater tots
Frozen Broccoli
Home canned nectarines

Wednesday:
Pulled Pork Sandwiches--Pork roast from our pig share with homemade Garam Masala (nightshade free)
Homemade Kaiser rolls
Canned Pineapple
Cole slaw

Thursday:
Homemade Pizza--frozen ham, frozen sausage, pepperoni, onions, home canned sauce, cheeses
Cole slaw
Oranges

Friday:
Mild Curried Rabbit with homemade curry powder (nightshade free)
Sweet Potatoes
Broccoli
Frozen Plums

Saturday:
Picnic Ham
Sweet Potatoes
Home canned green beans
Home canned pears

Sunday:
Belgian Waffles
Leftover Ham
Oranges
Frozen Broccoli

Meal Planning--Dinners--Week 4

January 23rd, 2017 at 03:08 pm

I am trying for a relatively easy week for meals since I want to do some batch cooking for the freezer. I have two time-consuming but easy recipes and 5 dead easy ones on the agenda for dinners this week. That's definitely how I have to plan for things if I want to do some freezer cooking for lunches and snacks. Organization is key when you are cooking everything from scratch and when you are trying to save money. There's a reason they call it a meal PLAN.

Monday:
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Salad
Oranges

Tuesday:
Homemade Pizza
Salad
Oranges

Wednesday:
Pork Chops
Fried Potatoes
Cole Slaw
Home Canned Applesauce or Home Canned Pears (depending on the person)

Thursday:
Black Pepper Chicken
Rice
Canned Pineapple

Friday:
Tacos
Oranges

Saturday:
Belgian Waffles
Ham
Cucumbers
Oranges

Sunday:
Beef Pot Roast
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans
Any Leftover Canned Fruit or Oranges

Meal Planning--Dinners--Week 3

January 18th, 2017 at 12:36 pm

I forgot to post my meal plan for this week. We ate leftovers for Monday and Tuesday and will be again tonight. I will have to pick up a couple of items this week like milk, green onions, and oranges and I will swing by the reduced meat bin. Sometimes they have organic chicken thighs, legs, or wings marked down really low for quick sale and it's cheaper than regular. I freeze it immediately so it doesn't matter if the use by date is that day or the next day. I am almost out of chicken in the freezer from when we butchered last. Most of what is left is either cut up for stir-fries or backs and necks which are for making soup.

Anyway, here is the plan for the rest of the week.

Wednesday:
Leftover casserole (shredded rabbit meat, sour cream, Pacific condensed cream of chicken soup, Mexi-blend cheese, and tater tots)
Broccoli
Pears (home-canned)

Thursday:
Whole Roasted Garlic Butter Chicken
Fried Potatoes
Coleslaw
Pears (home-canned)

Friday:
Chicken and Mozzarella Ravioli with pesto
Salad
Oranges

Saturday:
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Garlic Bread
Green Beans
Nectarines (home-canned)

Sunday:
Apricot Honey Pork Ribs
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Broccoli
Canned Pineapple

Sub Night if too tired to really cook:
Pancakes and Ham




Leftover Management and Homemade Take-Out

January 12th, 2017 at 11:24 pm

One of the things I've been doing lately is taking any leftover meat and immediately chopping it up into a small dice. It's nice to think that it'll get eaten over the next couple of days, but too many times it doesn't. So I've taken to dicing and then freezing immediately. Or in the case of leftover hamburger patties or lamb patties, crumbling it up. We can't afford food waste and I'm opposed to it even in the best of times. Everything needs to get eaten.

I have had some good pizza toppings this way, with some lovely homemade sausage, picnic ham, taco meat, and lamb de provence. The ham and sausage is also great for putting in an egg scramble or omelette. We have had a few things that I don't really want to put on pizza, though.

The pork ribs with the apricot/honey/soy sauce glaze and the Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey leftovers, to name two. Sometimes leftover rabbit or chicken as well, depending on the seasonings. That meat has been going into making stir-fried rice, which is also helping to use up the over abundance of eggs we've been getting now that the ducks are switching into high gear.

I used the leftover pork with the apricot/honey/soy glaze tonight and it was so good. It was better than Yangtze pork fried rice that you can get in just about any Chinese place out there. I did add some garlic and ginger to the meat as well as to the rice itself. I ended up with 5 quart baggies full for the freezer, enough sides for a family of four for five meals, and then 2 more cups that my son and husband were bargaining over for a late evening snack.

I am really happy with the amount of Chinese/Polynesian dishes I have learned to make. Besides the rice I can make chicken and broccoli, broccoli beef, black pepper chicken, subgum chicken chow mein, beef chow yuk, pineapple chicken, char sui pork, and then just a general stir-fry with whatever I have with Chinese flavors. I have mastered using oyster sauce, fish sauce, and hoison sauce without getting too much of any of them.

It is nice to be able to make our favorite Chinese dishes when we can't afford to get take out. I have learned a couple Korean dishes over the last couple years as well, mandu (pork and cabbage dumplings) and kimbap (rice, seaweed, vegetable, and shrimp roll up thingy cut into circles).

I have been running down recipes for Mexican foods that don't require tomato sauce or peppers. It's not quite authentic, but there are substitutes and I am going to try them so we can get it figured out. There are a few dishes that don't use those things anyway, like quesadillas, which are simple enough, but I want to make tacos, and chili, and enchiladas again.

With Sichuan peppercorns, long grain peppercorns, and grains of paradise and judicious use of some other herbs and spices that aren't nightshades, it is supposedly possible to do all three of those things. I'm just not terribly fond of the texture of the nomato sauce, though, which is the base for two of them. It tastes good enough, though. Maybe I need to puree it more or something.

All I can say is that I am glad I am a good cook to begin with, because it has been a challenge to replace half my spice palette with other things and half my recipes as well. But I am doing it and we are finding some new favorites in the process. I don't think I'll ever get over losing peppers, though. At least peppercorns are not the same botanical species. I'm not sure it would be possible for me to give up black pepper, too. It's underrated, but salt and pepper are the best seasonings there are, really. They enhance everything. It's just the amounts you have to watch.

I am trying to post more frequently than I have been. It's just hard sometimes to figure it out when there is no income coming in. There are no savings updates. There are no payday reports. We still have no debt. So pretty much it comes down to household management, stretching the food budget, and making sure nothing goes to waste. Well, enough rambling. It's getting late and I need to get some sleep.

Meal Planning--Dinners--Week 2

January 8th, 2017 at 11:07 pm

I did fairly well on week one of sticking to the menus I had planned. We did deviate twice. One night because we had a lot of leftovers and tonight because I didn't feel like cooking so DH made soup and sandwiches. I think I have a stomach bug. I am trying to will it away, but it's really not working. Hopefully it will pass quickly.

We did buy a couple of things to fill in the gaps for this coming week, some lettuce and cabbage and some oranges, but mostly meals will be from what we have on hand and repurposing leftovers into new meals.

Here's the plan for this week:

Monday--Meatloaf (didn't get made week one), fried potatoes, pears, salad

Tuesday--Herb Roasted Rabbit, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, oranges

Wednesday--Rabbit stir-fry--broccoli, carrots, onions, cauliflower, celery--Pineapple, Stir-fried Rice

Thursday--Beef stew (didn't get made week one)--carrots, potatoes, parsnips--celery sticks with blue cheese dressing, oranges

Friday--Bacon cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries/fries, cole slaw, pears

Saturday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, cole slaw, oranges

Sunday--Beef pot roast, baked sweet potatoes, broccoli, oranges

Meal Planning--Dinners

January 2nd, 2017 at 05:59 pm

I've gotten out of the habit of meal planning and it is making it very hard to stay organized right now with things, so it has gone back on the agenda as a must do. I am trying to make use of everything I have on hand as much as possible this week. We pulled some meat from the freezer and then I went through all the frozen veg/fruit and the home canned fruit and veg, and then what was in the fridge and made a list. From that list I pulled together my meal plan for the week.

The grocery bill has been getting a bit too high and I need to get it down. While I was down with the severely sprained ankle we were buying more convenience foods and that needs to stop now. It may not be completely healed, but I am cooking even if I have to pull up a chair to do it because it still hurts to stand on it too long. Walking is fine, just more than five minutes of standing without moving makes it ache. So cooking it is.

We have some fresh greens in the low tunnels hoops over the garden, mostly lettuce, spinach, kale, and chard, but a lot of that gets eaten at lunch time. I am trying to cook enough at dinner so that there are leftovers for the next day's lunch for DH and DS. I think I will do up a big breakfast bake casserole to cover a few breakfasts as well, since we have a lot of duck eggs now that the ducks have ramped back up to laying 4 eggs a day.

This is what I've figured out for this week, though I may swap some days around if the whim takes me.

Monday:
Pork chops
Green beans (home canned)
Applesauce (home canned)

Tuesday:
Beef pot roast
Sweet potatoes
Broccoli (frozen)
Oranges

Wednesday:
Pork ribs with a glaze made from apricot jelly (home canned), honey (melting down some that crystalized), garlic, and soy sauce
Ginger rice
Salad--lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, red onion, dressing of choice
Apples

Thursday:
Meatloaf--hamburger, ground rabbit, onions, carrots, cheddar cheese, duck eggs, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, oat meal
Fried potatoes
Pears (home canned)

Friday:
Chicken and Herb Tortellini with homemade pesto
Broccoli
Oranges

Saturday:
Beef stew--beef (home canned), carrots (home canned), potatoes (home canned), parsnips (home canned)
Green beans (home canned)
Oranges

Sunday:
Homemade pizza--ham (frozen, diced, leftovers from the holiday), sausage (homemade), onions, mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses, garlic butter parsley sauce for mine and homemade pizza sauce (canned) for everyone else
Salad--lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, red onions, dressing of choice
Pears (home canned)

Menu Planning for the Week

February 4th, 2016 at 12:10 pm

I meant to get this up yesterday, but didn't. Here is my menu planning for the next week, starting yesterday. I am mostly planning based off of what is in the freezer or on the canning shelves, or in the case of fruit what I already have in the fridge or freezer. This is keeping my grocery budget well under while we are trying to save extra money for the down payment and to pay our medical bills.

Wednesday:
Braided Chili Loaf
Cantaloupe
Coleslaw

Thursday:
Sloppy Hoppies on Leftover Kaiser Rolls
Cantaloupe
Leftover Coleslaw

Friday:
BBQ and Teriyaki Honey Rabbit Wings
Broccoli
Leftover Coleslaw
Fried potatoes

Saturday:
Bacon Wrapped Pekin Duck
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans
Apples

Sunday:
Short ribs
Fried potatoes
Leftover green beans
Oranges

Monday:
Garlic Herbed Shrimp over Chicken Fried Rice
Onions and Bell Peppers
Canned Nectarines

Tuesday:
Beef pot roast
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans
Berries

Sticking to My Goal of Only Using Half the Grocery Budget

January 6th, 2016 at 11:01 am

It was so nice to get back in the pool yesterday after about 8 weeks away due to the cold/sinus infection/general yuck thing I was dealing with last year. The prednisone seems to have seen it most of the way out the door and I have energy to do things again beyond the minimum. I'm off the prednisone now and hoping it doesn't come back, but so far seem to be doing okay.

Anyway, I did a water aerobics class yesterday. It was a full hour and boy do I feel it today, but it felt great, I am happy to be back. I will go again tomorrow.

I have lost 7 pounds so far since the start of the year. I am sure part of that is my commitment to cooking at home right now. About six days a week are from scratch and one day a week is maybe a convenience type thing. Last night was mini chicken tacos from Trader Joe's, so the ingredients at least, are not suspect. More sodium, of course, than I would use, but as long as we keep that kind of meal to a minimum, not so bad.

So far I have spent $35 of the $80.06 I have left of the original $400 I am trying to keep this month's grocery spending to. I need to make the rest of the $55 last until the 22nd and I will have made it through the month on half my grocery budget. Not an easy feat, but it seems to be working okay so far.

I am being diligent with sticking to the meal plan this week. My only alteration was making the mini-tacos instead of actual tacos last night. And sometimes I switch the fruit around as I may not be in the mood for the fruit I planned, but all of the planned fruit still gets eaten in a week.

I have stayed on top of leftover management quite well, too. I haven't had to throw out anything this week, but have made sure it gets eaten for lunches or breakfasts, or rolled into later meals in the week. This makes a huge difference, as well.

I think all of the savings will get eaten up by medical expenses, though. I had hoped to put it in the down payment fund, but at least I shouldn't have to take the money I normally put in the down payment fund each month and use it for the medical expenses, so that is something.

Cutting Grocery Expenses

January 2nd, 2016 at 11:13 pm

I didn't have time to write about this when I started, but 12 days ago I did one big grocery shop with the intention of cutting my grocery spending for the month in half. I gave myself a budget of $400, and spent $319.94. That left me with $80.06 for things like milk, bread (if I don't bake it), lettuce, and fresh fruit.

Yesterday I spent $11.85 on 15 pounds of oranges, and $8.99 on a quart of fresh organic strawberries. So that is $20.84 and it leaves me with $59.22 to get through until the 22nd of January. $60 for 20 more days. I have 2 gallons of milk left so I am fine there, and I still have some greens growing under my little umbrella green houses, so I may not need to buy lettuce at all. I also have a loaf of bread left and plenty of ingredients to make more.

The $400 I am hoping to save (my usual budget is $800 a month) will go into the down payment fund. I have been successful in saving anywhere from around $200 to $250 for the past couple of months, but I really want to try to make this goal.

I do not have to buy any meat at all. The freezer is still packed with chicken, rabbit, beef, pork, and lamb. I have a ton of home canned food still on my canning shelves, and some frozen fruit and veg as well. So this is very doable as long as I don't get lazy. So far I have been sticking pretty well to the meal planning, though I've switched things up a couple times when I wasn't feeling as good. But it was all stuff we had available.

We also have not eaten out in that amount of time and I am hoping to make that go for the entire month long period as well. I am in full on savings mode. The faster I can save, the sooner we can move.

Meal Planning for the Week

December 30th, 2015 at 02:35 pm

Wednesday:
Pork chops
Fried potatoes
Green Beans
Apples/apple sauce

Thursday:
Baked chicken
Baked potatoes
Oranges
Salad

Friday:
Garlic Ginger Rabbit Stir-fry

Saturday:
Homemade pizza
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Crockpot roast beef with carrots, potatoes, and parsnips,
Cole slaw
Oranges

Monday:
Meatball subs
Cole slaw
Apples

Tuesday:
Tacos
Canned nectarines

Meal Planning for the Week

December 16th, 2015 at 03:01 pm

Wednesday:
Pancakes and Ham (leftover picnic ham)
Canned Nectarines

Thursday:
Macaroni Rabbit Bake
Broccoli/Cauliflower
Grapes

Friday:
BBQ Rabbit Wings
Fried Potatoes
Broccoli/Cauliflower
Apples

Saturday:
Homemade Pizza--Italian sausage, pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, ham (leftover picnic ham)
Oranges

Sunday:
Steak
Baked potatoes
Green Beans
Drop biscuits with dandelion jelly

Monday:
Fried Chicken
Baked potatoes
Green Beans
Blueberry Cornbread Muffins

Tuesday:
Spaghetti with homemade sauce
Meatballs (lamb, beef, rabbit, Italian sausage)
Garlic Bread
Salad

Meal Planning for the Week

December 3rd, 2015 at 04:31 pm

I've switched to a Wednesday through Tuesday system, since I go shopping Wednesday mornings, generally. But I forgot to post it yesterday.

Wednesday:
Chicken Fajitas
Fresh pineapple
Pumpkin bread

Thursday:
Club Sandwiches
Salad
Cameo apples

Friday:
Bacon Cheeseburgers
Fries
Fresh Pineapple
Cole slaw
Pumpkin Bread

Saturday:
Teriyaki Beef Flank Steak
Fried Potatoes
Green Beans
Oranges

Sunday:
Slow-cooked turkey necks
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Roasted zucchini and yellow squash
Ambrosia apples

Monday:
Southern Fried Rabbit
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Grapes
Pumpkin bread

Tuesday:
Tropical Rabbit Stir-fry
Canned pineapple

Meal Planning for the Week

November 15th, 2015 at 09:49 pm

Monday:
Baked potato soup
Leftover lamb and beef pot roast
Salad

Tuesday:
Tacos (beef, onions, tomatoes, seasonings)
Apples

Wednesday:
BBQ rabbit "wings"
Fried potatoes
Green beans
Oranges

Thursday:
Rabbit stir-fry with onions, peppers, broccoli, carrots, celery, and snow peas
Pineapple

Friday:
Sloppy Hoppies
Cole slaw
Apples

Saturday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Salad
Grapes

Sunday:
Rabbit stew with potatoes and carrots
Cole slaw
Canned nectarines

Meal Planning for the Week

November 9th, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Monday:
Baked chicken
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Broccoli/cauliflower
Orange/banana/yogurt smoothie

Tuesday:
Chicken Tortellini with homemade ugly sauce
Garlic bread
Salad
Pineapple

Wednesday:
Beef pot roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy (leftovers)
Green Beans
Orange/banana/yogurt smoothie

Thursday:
Sloppy Hoppies on Kaiser rolls
Sweet potato fries
Coleslaw
Grapes

Friday:
Rabbit stew with carrots and potatoes
Fresh baked bread
Coleslaw
Strawberry/banana/yogurt smoothie

Saturday:
Homemade pizza with pepperoni, ham, onions, bell peppers, and fresh basil leaves
Pineapple

Sunday:
BBQ pulled pork on Kaiser rolls
Fried potatoes
Green Beans
Strawberry/banana/yogurt smoothie



Meal Planning for the Week

November 1st, 2015 at 09:43 pm

Monday:
Spaghetti with Homemade Sauce and Meatballs
Salad
Grapes

Tuesday:
Baked chicken
Baked sweet potatoes
Broccoli/cauliflower
Pineapple

Wednesday:
Stir-fried chicken, peppers, and onions
Salad
Apples

Thursday:
Southern Fried Rabbit
Baked potatoes
Broccoli/cauliflower
Oranges

Friday:
Bacon rabbit cheeseburgers
Fried potatoes
Salad
Canned nectarines

Saturday:
Homemade pizza with pepperoni, sausage, peppers, onions, and fresh basil
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Rabbit stew
Green Beans
Pineapple

It's Been a Long Week and Menu Plan

October 25th, 2015 at 02:26 pm

And I am glad that a new week is starting. I had such a bad cold this week. It's my own fault. I accidentally grabbed my son's nasal spray and not mine and 2 days later, BAM, I was in misery. On Wednesday I wasn't sure I was ever going to feel better again, but by Thursday morning my fever had broken. I am still pretty stuffy headed, but am doing so much better.

I didn't exercise at all this week. I will be glad to get into the pool again tomorrow, although I am sure I will be sore afterwards. And I am going to go sit in the sauna afterwards and try to bake the rest of this thing out of me.

I did really well, though, on the food front. No eating out at all, finally, for a whole week. Of course when you are too sick to drive anywhere, that helps with the whole will-power situation. I had been going out at least once per week to get take out. I don't know, but that needs to stop. Twice a month is enough, especially with our savings goals.

Anyway, here is the plan for this week.

Sunday:
Baked chicken
Baked yams
Green beans
Grapes

Monday:
Pork chops
Broccoli/Cauliflower
Fried Potatoes
Grapes

Tuesday:
Southern Fried Rabbit
Baked potatoes
Green beans
Oranges

Wednesday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Garlic bread
Salad
Apples

Thursday:
Baked chicken tortellini
Garlic Bread
Green Beans
Canned nectarines

Friday:
Homemade pizza with pepperoni, salami, sausage, onions, peppers, basil, mozzarella, parmesan, romano, homemade pizza sauce
Salad

Saturday:
Bacon rabbit cheeseburgers
French fries
Cole slaw
Canned pineapple

Sunday:
Rabbit stew
Salad
Applesauce

Menu Planning for the Week

October 5th, 2015 at 02:55 pm

Monday:
Teriyaki Beef short ribs
Acorn squash (from the garden)
Strawberries (from the garden)
Salad (from the garden)

Tuesday:
Garlic Butter Chicken
Baked sweet potatoes
Broccoli and cauliflower
Apple

Wednesday:
Beef Pot roast
Roasted Zucchini and Summer Squash (from the garden)
Baked potatoes (from the garden)
Watermelon (from the garden)

Thursday:
Herb roasted rabbit (home raised)
Fried potatoes (from the garden)
Green beans (from the garden)
Home canned nectarines

Friday:
Sloppy Hoppies (home raised rabbit) on homemade buns
Cole slaw (cabbage from the garden)
Canned pineapple

Saturday:
Spaghetti with home grown and homemade spaghetti sauce and rabbit meatballs
Garlic bread
Oranges

Sunday:
Barbecue Rabbit Wings
Leftover vegetables from the week
Applesauce


Menu Planning and Eating Out

September 26th, 2015 at 03:06 pm

Househopeful reminded me with her post that I haven't been menu planning in a while and it is something I want to get back to. Especially since we are trying so hard not to eat out. This week was a bust, though. DH and I went out to eat on Thursday since it was the 25th Anniversary of our first date. We didn't spend too much there, it was $41 including a good tip. I had a chicken quesadilla and garden salad and he had beef fajitas, rice, and beans. We went at 4:30 so we could still get lunch prices and portions, but still eat close to dinner time.

Then yesterday my fever spiked and I lost all interest in cooking and DH was still jet-lagged, so we got take away from the Polynesian place, which was almost $50. So there can definitely be no more eating out.

I have enough leftovers between the Mexican and Polynesian foods for my dinner tonight. The kids have enough leftovers from last night. I'm not sure what DH has, but he can have some of my rice and build around that. Plus there is some leftover lasagna, too.

So my meal plan will start with tomorrow.

Sunday:
Rabbit Macaroni Casserole (from the freezer)
Salad
Watermelon

Monday:
Barbecue Chicken Wings
Fried Potatoes
Cole slaw
Watermelon

Tuesday:
Sloppy Hoppies
Oranges
Cole slaw

Wednesday:
Korean Short Ribs
Sweet Meat Squash, mashed
Green Beans

Thursday:
Rabbit Stir-fry with peppers, onions, broccoli, carrots, celery, snow peas
Oranges

Friday:
Rabbit Chili
Garlic Bread
Salad

Saturday:
Pork Chops
Applesauce
Cole slaw

Pain Makes it More Difficult to Stick to Home Cooking...But We Are

August 15th, 2015 at 02:47 pm

I am struggling a little bit with wanting to eat out right now. I don't want to do it because it is expensive and I'm trying to save money. I know it is simply a reaction to being in pain. Well, it's more a reaction to having an almost constant headache.

Between the broken nose and the mild concussion, it just almost never goes away except when I am sleeping and that has more to do with the narcotics the doctor gave me knocking me out for the night. Headache pain has always been much harder for me to deal with than any other type of pain because it always makes me feel like I'm not myself.

It is really hard to want to make meals from scratch when you feel sick, but pain is even harder, at least for me. But I don't feel up to driving either. I had to drive Thursday to go to my doctor's appointment and my son's doctor's appointment. I don't want to drive again for a while. It takes too much focus. So that is keeping my spending in check.

Since I am fundamentally against paying extra to have food delivered to my home, and not much delivers here anyway, I am trying to focus on simpler meals, or meals my daughter can make while I am nearby for help or reassurance. I have been teaching her to cook more things this year, but she lacks confidence to do it without a lot of hand holding yet.

The doctor says the break still looks straight, but the swelling isn't fully gone and we can't determine everything until it is. So far it is looking good enough he doesn't think I will need to go to an ENT doctor. Now that there is a lot less swelling I can actually feel the break when I touch the bridge of my nose. There is a little ripple there that was not there before. It's nothing you can see, though. The abrasion has almost completely healed. I really wish I didn't wear glasses right now, though. I know they are adding to some of the discomfort.

More concerning are the concussion symptoms, at least to me. The doctor doesn't seem to be worried, though. I am a little forgetful and find myself searching for words a lot more than usual. And I feel like a space cadet. Just a lot of brain fog. I am not used to having headaches. I haven't had them since I took all of the additives and preservatives and MSG and stuff out of my diet several years ago, except on very rare occasions or with a sinus or kidney infection or lack of sleep or my neck was out of alignment. And those were quickly remedied.

I know I will get better with time, but it is hard to push through right now. I am getting as much rest as I can. That is what the doctor said to do. But I still have animals to take care of and a garden to keep under control. The kids are helping, but I can't just check out like I could if DH was home. He will be home the day after school starts so I won't have to do too much driving in the early a.m. when I am not alert and am very foggy. In fact, if DS rides his bike the first 2 days of school I won't have to drive at all. Hopefully it won't rain.

So far I am managing to stick to my meal plans. I know I haven't been posting them, but I have still been making them. They are generally easier foods, though. No one is up for super complicated.

I do find that I'm not eating much outside of dinner. It's too much work. I'll grab a string cheese so I can take my medicine without it making me queasy, but that's about it. Not very healthy. I ought to make up some hard-boiled eggs so I'd at least have something a little more substantial during the day. I do have my electric egg cooker and it turns off when done, so I don't have to pay attention to it. Maybe I should do that.

Okay, this is getting long and rambling and may or may not make sense. I am not the best judge of that right now. So I'll stop babbling for now.

Eat from the Pantry Challenge Weeks 3 and 4 Complete

June 30th, 2015 at 03:34 pm

I did really well on this. I spent maybe $75 on groceries for the entire month of June. I saved $750 from eating from the pantry, freezer, and garden and not going out to eat at all. I only went into the grocery stores to buy milk and a little bit of vegetables. I stopped by a fruit stand for cherries a couple of times. In season WA state cherries are something I seemingly can't resist.

I did videos of the meals if anyone wants to see them. If you go to the actual entry they are hyperlinked and you can just click through. They don't seem to be hyperlinked otherwise.

Week 3:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5v1V_ExMTk

Week 4:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEkj54qsp2U

And if you are curious to see how I did my meal planning under these circumstances, I did a video on that as well. I really learned a lot about myself and my habits from this challenge. I was also surprised at just how much more variety I had in my meals than usual when I buy groceries more often. I had thought it would go the other way, but it didn't.

Pantry Meal Planning:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LdgFPZ4aQM

Eat from the Pantry Challenge Week 2 Complete

June 16th, 2015 at 03:00 am

This has gone much better than expected. I did give in any buy fresh local WA state cherries and the husband got his jar of bread and butter pickle chips and the yogurt he likes. He doesn't like what is on hand that the kids eat. Otherwise no spending on groceries this week.

I am starting to see space in my freezer again and that is good. I will need that room and any more I can make when we purchase a half a beef later this year and for when we butcher our 30 meat chickens in 10 more weeks. Not to mention the 8 rabbits we are doing this week, though I may debone and can it instead of freezing it. I like having it canned, but I don't like picking out the bones when I open the jar.

Anyway I posted this week's meal plan. I deviated somewhat from my last meal plan, but not from the pantry challenge really, other than to get those cherries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8duz3Dlkoc

Menu Planning for the Week

June 16th, 2015 at 02:50 am

Monday:
BBQ Chicken Legs
Broccoli/cauliflower
Cherries
Home canned corn
Chocolate

Tuesday:
Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches
Chili for boys
Chicken noodle soup for the girls
Strawberries
Kohlrabi

Wednesday:
Brined pork chops
Fried potatoes
Home canned Applesauce
Broccoli/cauliflower

Thursday:
Sloppy Hoppies on homemade buns
Sweet potato fries
Blueberries
Salad

Friday:
Meatloaf
Fried potatoes
Green beans
Snow peas

Saturday:
Homemade pizza with ham, sausage, pepperoni, bell pepper strips, onion strips, basil
Salad

Sunday:
Tacos
Strawberries

Garden and Eat from the Pantry Challenge

June 9th, 2015 at 03:12 pm

I feel like I am starting to settle into a routine now between the garden and the farm chores and making all of my meals from what is available here and not by making a quick run to the store or getting take out. As the garden moves into heavier production more time needs to be spent there.

I have harvested a pound of snow peas from the garden this week, 2 bunches of kale, 1 head of lettuce, 2 bunches of green onions, and 3 kohlrabi. My broccoli is getting close to harvest size, which astounds me. It is all so early, but with this weather, I can't blame it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzII-hvqugA

I am enjoying the cooking this week more than I have in a long while. I don't know if it is just access to super fresh ingredients from the garden or knowing it is all food I grew and/or preserved myself, but it feels different. I haven't felt any resentment over cooking like I sometimes do. I mean I love cooking, but I am often irritated when it all falls on me. This last week I don't seem to care about that. It's like an attitude has shifted. Of course the children are helping far more than they ever have before so maybe that is why?

Some things were quite challenging since the hot water tank that feeds the main kitchen went out and had to be replaced. We couldn't use the dishwasher and every pot and pan that we cooked in had to be hauled down to the half-kitchen that had hot water. That went on for 5 days, but we got a new tank put in and had hot water again last night.

As promised here is the video of my meals for the first week of the challenge:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEWnzVbQ7UA

I am looking forward to the rest of this challenge. It is good to be feeling so positive about it.

Pantry Challenge/Meal Planning for the Week

June 7th, 2015 at 06:55 pm

So far the Eat from the Pantry/Freezer/Garden Challenge is going very well here. The garden is really getting going so I am very happy with it. Tomorrow will be my seventh day on it, so after dinner I will post a video with all 7 meals so you can see what I've been doing if you want.

I had to shift some things based on what I had already and the kids wanting pizza, but for the most part I stuck to last week's meal plan. This week's will be:

Monday:
Southern Fried Rabbit (this got shifted)
Fried potatoes
Cole slaw
Grapes

Tuesday:
Lamb chops (for me and the kids)
Pulled pork (for DH)
Broccoli
Canned pineapple

Wednesday:
Rabbit enchiladas
Mexican rice
Salad
Canned nectarines

Thursday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Garlic bread
Snow peas

Friday:
Brined pork chops
Fried potatoes
Green beans
Applesauce

Saturday:
Homemade pizza (pepperoni, ham, bell peppers and onions)
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Rabbit bacon cheeseburgers
French fries
Salad
Strawberries (frozen if not enough are ripe yet)

Meal Planning for the Week--Pantry/Freezer Challenge

June 1st, 2015 at 09:49 pm

I have decided to take Mrs. Frugalista up on the eating only from the Pantry challenge. My only exception will be to buy milk and also strawberries for making jam, because it is jam making time and my own strawberries will not be enough for that. I will start tomorrow. Today I had to go and buy flour and sugar because I was low on the former and out of the latter, and I can't make jam without sugar.

The garden is doing well enough that we will have lettuce, kale, chard, snow peas, and kohlrabi from it this week. And the broccoli is starting to head up so we should have some later this month. We have canned nectarines and applesauce and pineapple for when we run out of fresh fruit. And our own strawberries are just starting to turn color.

I am hoping to make it the whole month.

Tuesday:
Picnic Ham
Baked potatoes
Green beans
Fruit salad

Wednesday:
Chicken and Vegetable Stir-fry
Fruit Salad

Thursday:
Baked turkey thighs
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Salad

Friday:
Duck in rabbit broth in the crockpot
Baked potato soup
Kohlrabi

Saturday:
Southern Fried Rabbit
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Brined pork chops
Fried potatoes
Applesauce
Cole slaw

Meal Planning for the Week

May 25th, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Monday:
Chicken Enchiladas
Cole slaw
Cantaloupe

Tuesday:
Chicken Stew
Green Beans
Pineapple

Wednesday:
Meatloaf
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Blueberries
Salad

Thursday:
Black Pepper Chicken (has veggies)
Canned nectarines

Friday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Cole slaw

Saturday:
Homemade Pizza
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Meatball Sandwiches
Salad
Oranges

Menu Planning for the Week

May 18th, 2015 at 04:39 pm

I am trying to use up some stuff in the freezer and keep things easy for myself this week. I don't know if I am starting a cold or if my allergies are just trying to overwhelm me. Cottonwood seeds are blowing about like snow right now, so I suspect it is the latter, but a scratchy throat and runny/stuffy back and forth nose still feels like a cold even if it is allergies. So all that to say you'll see much simpler meals this week from me.

Monday:
Fish Sticks and Mini-Tacos from TJ's (cleaning out the freezer)
Sweet potato fries
Salad from the garden

Tuesday:
Toasted ham and cheese sandwiches
French fries
Salad from the garden

Wednesday:
Spaghetti and Ground Meat (no fancy meatballs)
Garlic bread
Salad from the garden

Thursday:
Barbecue chicken legs
Baked potatoes
Green beans

Friday:
Baked potato soup
Chicken Enchiladas
Cole slaw

Saturday:
Pizza with homemade rabbit sausage, prosciutto, peppers, and onions
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Southern Fried Rabbit
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Roasted zucchini and yellow summer squash

I took all the cut up chicken breasts from our meat chickens last year out of the freezer to thaw and I am going to can it once it is and use it for making enchiladas. Canning makes it super tender and provides much ease of use.

Menu Planning

April 30th, 2015 at 08:11 am

I have been forgetting to post my meal plans each week for about 3 weeks now. Mostly because I've just been throwing things together by the seat of my pants. Which is okay, but not very organized and I like to be organized. So I am at least going to post my meals for the rest of the week.

Thursday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Cole slaw
Strawberries and Blueberries

Friday:
Meatloaf (half ground rabbit, half ground beef, made with duck eggs)
Baked potatoes
Green beans

Saturday:
Homemade pizza with rabbit sausage, pepperoni, ham, green, red, and yellow bell pepper strips, and onions
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Beef pot roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Broccoli

Menu Planning for the Week

April 6th, 2015 at 10:31 am

Monday:
Barbecue Chicken Wings
Baked Potatoes
Roasted Zucchini
Cornbread Blueberry Muffins

Tuesday:
Duck and Bacon Cheeseburgers
Fried Potatoes
Green Beans
Strawberries

Wednesday:
Rabbit Stir-fry with carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, and bean sprouts
Pineapple

Thursday:
Barbecue Pork Short ribs
Baked potatoes
Cole slaw
Strawberries

Friday:
Southern Fried Rabbit
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Roasted Zucchini
Canned Nectarines

Saturday:
Homemade Pizza with onions, bell peppers, rabbit sausage, and pepperoni
Cole slaw
Garlic Bread

Sunday:
Sloppy Hoppies
Tater Tots
Cole slaw
Strawberries


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