Friday, November 27, 2015

December 2015 menus


Unbelievably, December is arriving next week. Modest Christmas preparations are started, at very low cost such as purchasing an artificial tree for less than a real one would cost me. I estimate that I'll get to use it for at least 10 years, if not more. Already owned table linens, decorations (both inside and out) are being reused. Holiday shopping has started, and should soon be completed, again on a tightly controlled budget with monies set aside monthly.

Time to work out my menus, and feeling blessed that the bulk of what will be be served is already on hand. My goal moving into the new year (Jan) is to eat down our stores as we will be seeking more affordable, and smaller accomodations come Summer.

1-lazy golumbki casserole, use fzn beef; green salad
3-quinoa stuffed acorn squash, salad
5-Butternut squash soup
6-CP beef-turkey (both fzn) meatloaf, mashd potatoes, roast Butternut squash
7-ginger glazed, whole filet salmon (fz), br rice, canned gr beans
8-CP fzn meatballs (last of my HM ones)in marinara, spaghetti; fzn broccoli
10-Ck caciatore (fzn ck), *use new sauce, br rice
12-hamburger beef-veg soup
13-CP pork chops (fzn), ,ashed potatoes, canned corn
14-baked (assorted types) fish fillets, br rice, canned beets
15-hamburger macaroni using fzn Ital sausage; gr salad
17-fzn pork-veg pot stickers, stir fry using new sauce, br rice
18-homemade pizza, salad
19-ck-noodle soup
20-CP roast chicken, stove top, mixed canned gr/wax beans
21-ck pot pie (use bought crusts, aseptic box cream sauce), salad
22-turkey (fzn chopped) tacos on flour tortillas, canned refried beans, Mexicorn
24-tourtiere (use fzn grnd pork), salad, shrimp cocktail, pickle/olive tray (include pickled radishes & dilly beans)
25-baked ham with pineapple, scallopped potaotes, fzn peas & f zn creamed onions
26-split pea soup
27-BSCB turned into baked Panko coated ck strips, oven fries, cole slaw, canned corn
28-salmon cakes (use canned pink salmon), canned pork beans, planned over cole slaw
29-pate chinois (use fzn beef-turkey, instant mashed, canned cr corn), green salad
31-tourtiere, salad, shrimp cocktail, pickle/olive tray(include pickled radishes & dilly beans)

So far, besides staples like milk, eggs, cream, I know I will need 3 lbs more of grnd pork, lettuce, 1 bag fzn raw shrimp. I hope for this to be a low grocery expenditure month.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A festive tablescape

A vintage Christmas table cloth over my vintage, formica topped table seems fitting. I don't bother freshly pressing it; although I set placemats over it to protect it from food stains, I knw that I'll be laundering it within a week, no foldlines after that. Thrift shop acquired, green placemats as well as red napkins held together with second hand, white ceramic napkin holders completes the table setting.
Here's another angle, with the sun streaming in the large, dinette window, it was hard to get a great picture.

A cinnamon/nutmeg/holiday spice 3 layered jar candle finishes it off. Perhaps a red/green or christmas candle topper would be more fitting (I used to have a pretty cranberry glass one, assume it broke), I am not willing to buy one. Using what I have, personally, I think it's fine.

It's here!

I previously mentioned that we moved to an artificial tree this year:  It arrived quickly, comes in a nice storage box and was a breeze to assemble, compared to the wooden pole with individual branches that comprised my childhood artificial tree. Perfect height, perhaps not as bushy/wide as I prefer but circumstances will have me moving to smaller housing, so this is appropriate. Only 3 sections that interconnect, comes with a stand and then the branches have multiple parts to fluff out. I paid less than what I would have for a real tree, there will be no mess, no disposal issues. So far, a win-win for me. DD set this up last night as I'd like the kids to decorate the tree while they are home on Friday.

What's been cooking: the post "early Thanksgiving" edition


This past Sunday was to be our early Thanksgiving celebration, I cooked, but only the twins ate as I was ill with the stomach bug going around school. Turkey, however, is the main meat of this week: Monday was shredded turkey tacos on tortillas with chopped tomato, organic baby lettuce, the freebie Cheddar that I shredded, Dollar Tree taco sauce. I had tea and toast.

Tues: penne pasta and jarred sauce, topped with grated Parmesan, if desired. I was able to eat, so I returned to work on Wed, which was only a 1/2 day schedule.

Wed: DD and I turned to the ton of Thanksgiving leftovers on hand, for dinner for 2, so officially our celebration together.

Th: tonight the kids are at Dad's for supper, so it's dinner for one: I'll be eating more leftovers again-one of the perks of Thanksgiving.More of the same for DD and I on Fri, and I plan on making turkey soup this Sat.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and adapt

The boys ae with Dad for Thanksgiving, so I originally planned on an early celebraion for this past Sunday (yesterday). DD was away @ a Friendsgiving, older DS won't come w/ the  GF and wouldn't see if there was a point in his work schedule where he is off but she isn't, so it became Turkey day for the boys and I, with planned overs for the week. DD isn't sure if she'll go to Dad's, if DS w/ the GF goes, DD will not join them. Thursday will be grab a plate day anyway.

So I got cooking:

 I had made my cranberry-orange relish the day before
 I made a cherry pie
 and a Butternut squash pie
 Boiled previousle fzn jumbo shrimp, peeled them and got them chilling as the appetizer
 made my family's sausage stuffing, roasted a huge 59 cents/lb bird
 Simultaneously roasting, then later scooping the flesh out of an organic Butternut squash
 1/2 of a bag of fzn peas was blended w/ a box of pearl onions in cream sauce for creamed peas & onions
 mashed potatoes, making enough for Thurs as well
home made gravy

Everything smelled wonderful, the boys enjoyed it, but sadly, I couldn't partake. Around 2 p.m., my stomach started to turn-yup! I officially have the gastro-intestinal bug going around school. Fever, chills, fatigue, no appetite and other unpleasant symptoms. I was out of work today, still in my nightie @ 2 p.m.! and I've already called out for tomorrow. I hae to be symptom free 24 hours before returning. I just wish which ever student shared this with me, had done the same.

The fridge is full, carcass simmers away in a Crock Pot.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Marathon grocery shopping

I hadn't done a trip like this one in a very long time.

IGA: 2 half gallons egg nog, 5 Pillsbury pie crusts.
Spent $15.98, saved $2/cpns

Aldi: 2 fzn whole Keta salmon, 2 qts organic yogurt, 1 doz organic eggs, 4 lbs butter, 1 roll pork sausage, bananas, 2 pkgs fzn jumbo shrimp, 1 pkg deluxe Amer cheese slices, 2 white bread, 2 lbs carrots, 1 pkg bagels, 1 gallon cider, 1 pkg pork bfst links, gallon baggies, celery, 2 boxes "honey nut cheerios," 1 "raisin bran," 1 almond flake cereal, 4 bottles asst juices, assorted choclates for Xmas stockings, 4 Advent calendars, 2 bags cheese puffs, 2 bags potato chips, 1 Boursin, 1 raisin bread, 2 English muffins, 2 canned spinach, 2 each canned gr and French style  beans, 1 bag fresh cranberries, 3 pkgs sliced cheese, 1 cocktail sauce, fresh mushrooms, 2 jars gerkins, 1 12 grain bread, 1 box fancy crackers, tomatoes, 3 tubs ricotta.
Spent $132.19, saved 80 cents with bottle return

Dollar Tree: 2 pkgs no cook lasagna noodles, 2 Campbell's crock pot/oven sauces, 1 6 ct pkg oat packets, 4 TWO lb bags dried pintos, 1 3 ct pkg med hair claw clips, 2 ketchup, 4 6 ct med eggs, 4 28 oz cans baked beans, 2 cherry pie filling, 1 4 ct large box Progresso panko crumbs, 4 bags nut snack mix, heel gripper (to line inside of right shoe for my new black flats. It some how has a catch and creates a hole in every stocking worn in that shoe)2 350 ct swabs.
Spent $31.51, saved $1 cpn (campbells's sauces)

Stop & Shop:day old Kaiser rolls, Arnold oat bread, 2 Alouette spreads, Trop oj, 1 bag fzn french fries, 2 tubs ice cream, 4 boxes Uncle bens flavored grains mixes, 26 oz jar Nutella, OS cran-tangerine juice, 5 2 liter bottles of soda, 2 huge cans Hanover gr beans, 2 jars ea Bertolli and Ragu spaghetti sauce, Bell's seasoning, 2 bars Toberlone for Xmas, 2 28 oz cans Bush's baked beans, 3 lg cans Dole mandarin segments, 16 cans assorted Del Monte vegetables: potatoes, gr & fr beans, corn/cr corn, spinach; 2 jars sweet mix pickles, 2 lg boxes BC mashed potatoes, 6 boxes Idahoan potato mixes, 2 lg boxes Bell's stuffing, 1 box Ritz crackers, Tetley peach herbal tea, 2 pks peppermint "oreos", 2 28 lb fzn turkeys (one for freezer, one for Thanksgiving), 2 rolls Jimmy Dean sausage, asparagus, 1 bottle Marie's vinaigrette.
Spent $118.56, saved $30.61 in cpns/bottle returns

Natural food store: 1 orangic Navel orange (for my cran-orange relish) 88 cents. S & S is asking $1/non organic.

$283.14, saving $32.41. Phew! no wonder my feet hurt when I got home and put it all away. Realy don't plan on shopping again, besides milk, for a while.

Dish washer on the fritz AGAIN!

 Sitting in the kitchen,  having tea with a friend, the dish washer randomly turned itself on???!! Something weird is going on! so, downstairs I went, switched off the breaker. I emptied the D/W, handwashing what was inside. Grr!
so these are drying over night, and I will put them away come morning. I cleaned the first screen, tried running it, it seemed normal, then switched back to an error code. DD is away until Mon, when I can ask her to reach inside and get the inner filter, cleaning that one. Then we'll see if it's cleared. Sigh. This D/W hs been a real pain.

If it isn't fixed after DD's cleaning, I am alerting the LL that we again have issues.