Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday freebie: RX

Today's freebie: my next refill for my $$$$ PSA RX. Costing over $3000, I didn't pay a penny as I am in the golden position of having met both my first initial $2500 OOP deductible before insurance kicked in and I moved to a 70-30 deductible system, with me obliged to pay 30%. Factor in drug copay assistance to the tune of $9000 from Jan-March, I have approx $500 total OOP for medical costs outside of premiums for 2018. Awesome!

Note the decent sized zipper baggie it comes in, naturally, I reuse this in my kitchen.

My make do and mend this week

I've had this tea pot for years and noted that one of the bamboo rings that holds one side of the bamboo handle is breaking.
A bread tie to the rescue!

Getting ready for Spring/Summer

Although the weather is far from cooperating this year, I am getting things ready for impending warmer weather.

All of my HVAC maintenance appointments have been scheduled.

The deck was swept the picnic table, chairs and umbrella brought back out, brushed off. The grill cleaned and inspected. DS#1's birthday celebration is this Sunday, and he has asked for steaks on the grill. Stop & Shop had NY strips on sale @ $5.99/lb so that is what we're having.

 I got recommendations for where to buy a flat of pansies, discovering a new and very nice, family run nursery. I compared prices with a very close to my home Agway, who is asking $6 more.
 Some pansies went into my front planter box, but many went into 2 flower pots on the front steps. I have a few more, which I need to pot up for the back deck. I'm more than a bit miffed to find that the deer had a snack last night, eating off all of the pansy flowers and pulling some of the plants up out of the pots. Grrr.

Free to me as in come and dig it, they are yours, daffodils have been popping up. I also transplanted from someone else, freebie irises, and await seeing if they took or not. My beds and planter will be getting new, dark mulch in about a week. This weather has already set my landscaper back by a few weeks. When DS #1 is here on Sun, he will help me out front, by cutting back the dead stuff on existing plants. I also have some potting soil to top up the front planter box.

With monies for gardening scarce again this year, I am looking for freebies to flesh out my front planting bed and told the kids that they can buy me plants (I'll make a list) for Mother's day.

Eating down the freezers, pantry

Every few days, if not daily, I go through the fridge, check what's on hand, what needs to be used up, perhaps frozen if there is no immediate plan for using up something. I replenish from the pantry shelves and freezer as needed. 

 I had anticipated a Zaycon order in mid May, which is now rescheduled for June. The fridge freezer contains a drawer as well as a deep, divided bin. The shelf hold the ice maker, fzn fruits, vegetables for the most part. The bins below it are where I store quick to prepare items such as veggie burgers, meatballs, hotdogs/brats, ravioli, small tubs of leftovers like mashed potatoes, rice. The left side is where I tend to keep planned over meats for quick access and as a reminder to use up soon. Currently, I have cooked shrimp, sliced ham, diced ham cubes, cooked corned beef, cooked pot roast, cooked eye of the round. I hope to have used up all of the items on the left by the end of May.
 A culling through the other day, unearthed a pkg of about 3/4 pound of ground pork, leftover from Christmas/New Year meat pie making. I grabbed a jar of Penzey's breakfast sausage seasoning
 and blended it into the defrosted pork, letting the spices blend into the meat overnight. Come the next morning, I prepared 6 pork patties for breakfast this week, served alongside planned over blueberry-buckwheat pancakes, served with maple syrup.

I'm also scoping out ingredients that need to be used up now, such as cocoa (soon won't be cocoa weather) and in the bowl, some pumpkin puree pulled from the freezer and now defrosting.

My ongoing grocery list included 3 more large stuffing peppers (for May's menus). I came across this package of 4,

the red one actually has a bad spot on the middle side of it,

so after trimming that off, it will be sliced and frozen for cooking.

The 3 orange peppers will be prepared into pepper cups, then frozen for a May dinner plan.

The tops will be sliced and frozen as well, separately, along with the aforementioned red pepper strips.

A nice frozen asset: a gallon sized baggie of multi colored, pepper strips, all made from reduced price peppers. Peppers are on sale this week @ $1 each. The 4 I bought yesterday were under $2-see label above, clicking on photo to enlarge.

What's been cooking?

 DS #1 and his GF joined us for supper on Wed, as they were coming over to help me get things set up on the deck (picnic set, check out grill). I made a sausage and beef bolognese over medium shells for most of us, the GF had plain sauce on hers (she's a picky eater). A large tossed salad with choice of dressing rounded out supper.

The GF brought over a dozen home made cup cakes. (she never shows up empty handed, and seems to like to bake) : )
 I made some zuke noodles with my spiralizer. The shops get $5.99/12 oz pkg. My spiralizer was bought with Xmas gift monies so zero OOP, but was just under $20. Use it 4 times and I break even over buying the spiralized veggies at the stores. This is a great alternative to GF pasta for DD. I used some vegetable oil, no salt garlic and herb seasoning to saute the zuke noodles.
Last night was beef-black bean-kidney bean chilli using 2 pints of my home canned organic tomatoes. DD can't eat this, so had some Perdue GF chicken tenders.

Tonight is leftover, YOYO night. Need to clean out the fridge, avoid food waste.

May 2018 menus


1-Senate bean soup
2-Farfalle with home made marina, green beans, salad
3-(new) chicken (fzn BSCB) curry over rice, salad
4-home made Panko crusted, baked chicken tenders(fzn meat); ,mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, coleslaw
6-pork chop (fzn) bake, apple sauce, brussels sprouts
7-creamed tuna over rice, peas
8-cinnamon spiced sweet potato soup
9-turkey tettrazini (use fzn planned over meat), salad, beets
10-lazy golumbki casserole, salad
11-home made pizza
14-shrimp (use fzn)  scampi (use Knorr kit), salad, chard
15-(new) lentil soup
16-(new) turkey gratin casserole (use fzn planned over meat), beets
17-beef (use fzn)-black bean tacos, corn
18-lemon chicken (use fzn BSCB and  Knorr kit), sauteed cabbage with stewed tomatoes, salad
20-ham (use fzn chopped)-Swiss (fzn shredded) quiche, carrots, salad
21-hoome made Salmon cakes, Parmesan noodle mix, fzn mixed veg
22-lentil sloppy joes, cole slaw
23-hamburger and macaroni (use fzn Italian sausage), salad
24-hot dog (use fzn) casserole, green and wax beans, cole slaw
25-fzn breaded fish fillets, rice, peas and carrots, sunshine slaw
27-28 Memorial Day weekend TBD (weather based) marinated (fzn) London broil
29-stuffed peppers (use fzn pepper cups, fzn beef), salad, corn
30-bucattini with sausage spaghetti sauce, fzn broccoli, salad
31-planned overs: London broil fajitas, corn

As ever, the bulk of my ingredients are culled from what is already on hand before going into May. Effort continues to eat down pantry and freezer ingredients, especially with impending Zaycon deliveries to start now in June (May's order just got pushed yesterday), along with the need to curb expenditures due to unexpected tax obligation and home repairs.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Moving the menus around

due to monsoon like rains that hit CT yesterday, causing even more flooding down basement. Sigh.
Monday, I made a smaller pot of turkey anci di pepe soup. One last portion became DD's lunch today at work. I  checked the cellar before I went to bed, just a bit of ponding near one drain.

A very different story come 5 a.m. today . .

Double the amount of water means that 1/2 of the basement is covered in 1-2 inches of rain water coming up from floor drains. I am not alone.  Called insurance, they're on it. The remediation company will call me again tomorrow morning with the hope that it's starting to receed.

So, not able to access some ingredients I needed for tonight, I prepared a Sheppard's pie this morning.

Grabbed some ground beef and mixed veg from the garage freezer

 made some mashed potatoes
 sprinkled Paprika to give it some color when baked off
 Covered and stored in the garage fridge until later

Baked off
Made 4 servings, we each had one and the kids split the remaining portion. No leftovers, it was good.