Food for Friday! 1/14 – 1/27

So once again I got out of the habit of making a grocery list/menu every 2 weeks.  For the past couple months I’ve been scrambling the morning I head to the store to find/print my coupons and put the finishing touches on an only partially functional menu.  I’m going to try to get back on task and start doing a better job of menu planning and house keeping.  Now I just have to keep myself following my menu and each week will go by smoother without me standing in the kitchen trying to decide what I can make with the frozen lump of meat I forgot to thaw…

In the housekeeping department I’m planning to keep up on my kitchen a bit better and put the laundry away rather than let it sit, often times already folded, in the laundry baskets for days.  I’ve already started making the beds each day and trying to get most of my daily chores like laundry done in the morning so I can have more time to knit and spin later.

Here’s the menu for the next couple weeks.  Trying out some new recipes as well as some new family favorites.  I’m also trying to use the meat that I’ve got stored in the freezer rather than buying a ton more.  My grocery list this time around is filled with lots of necessities that I don’t normally buy on a regular basis (things that usually last for a bit like salt, peanut butter, honey and maple syrup…I’m trying to keep the bill down under $250.

MondayCheesy Chicken and Rice Skillet
Tuesday – Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Wednesday – Homemade Pepperoni Pizza
Thursday – Pork tenderloin
Friday –  Tacos
Saturday –  Steak-ums
Sunday – Leftovers/fend for yourself

Monday – Homemade Chicken Parmesan served over angel hair pasta.
Tuesday – Spaghetti and homemade sauce
Wednesday –  Cajun Pot Roast
Thursday – London Broil
Friday –  Bacon and Eggs
Saturday – Roast pork chops with cheddar and bacon grits (Paula Deen)
Sunday – leftovers/fend for yourself

2012 Ups and Downs

2012 is over and done.  It wasn’t a bad year.  Lots of good things happened with the bad and I’m thankful for all of it.

Probably the biggest thing that happened was figuring out my soy allergy/sensitivity.  Call it what you will, but I’ve been doing fantastically since cutting out every last little bit of the nasty substance.  Only once in a blue moon (I’m talking really only once every 2-3 months) will I have an episode and only after eating things that I know I shouldn’t eat!   I’m really glad that Darling Hubby was able to figure it out and that it wasn’t milk.  Despite the friendships I lost during the whole brouhaha, I feel I’m better for having the whole thing happen.  I’m feeling better overall.  I don’t wake up feeling like crap every morning and don’t go to sleep in pain every night.  And, it was all because I simply changed my diet.  Who’d have thunk it?

Another good thing that happened was that I learned how to knit socks.  I’ve made 14 pairs of socks since the start of March.  They are all pretty simple socks, but I love them simple. I’m not a real fancy lace and pattern girl.  I even challenged myself to do some unusually constructed socks like the carousel socks and the sideways socks.  Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the Owlie socks my friend Barbara and I started as a knit along.  I just had a bunch of other projects come up that took precedence.   I wear a knitted pair of socks practically every day and most members of my family have received a pair of socks at some point.  The only one who hasn’t is Fidget…

Another good (and bad) thing was that I opened my own shop on Etsy.  It’s been open since April and I’ve only had one online sale and that was a custom order for a friend…but, the recipient of that custom order Cthulhu hat is delighted with it, so that’s what really matters.  I will admit that most of my sales have been off etsy to friends or at the craft fair I did in September with some of the girls from the library knitting group.  I made 3 blankets for a friend from back home for her to give for Christmas gifts.  I also made another blanket for someone at the knitting group at the public library after she fell in love with one of the 3 that I made.  I haven’t had much time to do my own knitting lately because I’ve been doing projects for the shop.  I’m still excited to have the shop open…I’m just a little disappointed that it hasn’t done as well as I’d hoped.

Another good thing is that I went to Rhinebeck for the first time for the Sheep and Wool Festival.  It’s where I got bitten by the spinning bug.  I came home with a drop spindle and taught myself to spin yarn on it.  Of course I couldn’t just stop with that.  I’ve fallen in love with wheel spinning.  I’ve been getting better by leaps and bounds and just learned how to Navajo ply and I might even list this most recent yarn in my etsy shop (if I can talk myself out of keeping it!)  I’m hoping to save up enough money to buy my own wheel at some point.  I’ve tried a Kromski Sonota and an Ashford Kiwi and so far I really like the Kiwi, despite the nasty creak that it has in one of the treadles.  But, I’ve heard that Ashfords have a tendency to creak…lol

The bad was, thankfully, few and far between.  Things didn’t really start to get bad until November, which seems to be a pretty crappy month for many people.  Darling Hubby was off for the week of Thanksgiving and we woke up that Monday to a very cold house.  Despite the fact that the furnace was running all the radiators were stone cold.  Turns out the circulator pump blew and a day of waiting for the technician to come to fix it and $700 later we had a warm house.  Thankfully we have the wood fireplace for back-up warmth…then, Darling Hubby had to have his car inspected and that needed $400 worth of work…so in 2 days we’d spent over $1100…and we hadn’t even started to buy Christmas presents.

Probably the worst and absolute last thing that happened in 2012 was that on New Years Eve around 9:30 pm, our little dog Spiral passed away peacefully in her box.  It’s something that we’ve been expecting could happen at any time due to her age and health, but it was pretty sudden how it happened.  Literally it was she was alive one minute and gone the next.

We came home early from a New Years party, Darling Hubby walked the dogs and I started ushering the kids upstairs.  I filled the dogs water bowl (both dogs were happy and dancing around) and headed upstairs to do the bedtime routine while Darling Hubby went out to plow out the bottom of the driveway, thanks to not 1, but 2 plows coming through right after we got home.  Anyway, Fidget left his new Buzz Lightyear downstairs and wanted to sleep with it, so I went down to get it.  I noticed Spiral was laying with her nose down in the blanket and not on her paws like normal and I got no response when I called her name.  I’d seriously only been upstairs 10 minutes.

It came as a complete shock to both me and Darling Hubby as to how sudden it was, but like I said it was expected.  We’d had her for over 9 years and she was estimated to be around 2 when we adopted her.  She had bad teeth and a severe heart murmur that had progressed into congestive heart failure where she was constantly coughing, but she was still active, ate well and seemed happy.  I’m thankful that she seemed to go peacefully and that she’s in a better place and has hopefully been reunited with her best friend, Grace, who passed away nearly 2 years ago.

So, the bulk of 2012 was good (oh, and I should add that we didn’t die in the apocalypse that didn’t happen!)  I can only hope that 2013 is even better!

Food for Friday! 5/7 – 5/20

Coupons and sales aren’t great again this week…Might have be decent if I remembered to print out the Price Chopper triple coupons before I deleted the email…

Monday – Rotisserie chicken with couscous and corn on the cob
Tuesday – Pancakes or waffles with fresh whipped cream and strawberries
Wednesday – Chicken Quesedillas
Thursday -Steak with sweet potato fries and veggies
Friday –  Tacos
Saturday – Crescent Chicken – still haven’t gotten to make this yet
Sunday – Happy Mother’s Day!  Chicken cordon bleu, rice and veggies

Monday – Cheesy Shepherds pie (modified from this recipe)
Tuesday – Spaghetti and homemade sauce
Wednesday –  Homemade pizza
Thursday – Game Night –  Mini meatloaves, mashed potatoes and veggies
Friday – pork chops, rice or couscous and veggies
Saturday – Fish, picked up fresh
Sunday – Sausages and fries

WIP Wednesday – Hexes, Socks & Lima Beans

I’ve been busy with crafting over the last couple weeks.  I’ve been plugging away at the twin size Spring Flowers hexagon blanket.  I realized that my original calculation were slightly off.  The blanket is now the proper width (12 rows), but I’m going to need many more hexes than I figured to bring it to the proper length.  I’m currently at 130 hexes completed and crocheted together.  I figure that I need a total of 205 hexes to bring it to bedspread length.  I finished 15 hexes in the past couple days and have completed through the 2nd round on 10 more.  I haven’t been given a deadline to finish by, but I’m hoping to get it done before the end of the month.  I’ve only been working on it for 2 months now, which isn’t too bad considering the size of the project.

Here is an updated picture of it.  I’ve also been granted permission from the pattern creator to make blankets and sell them in my Etsy shop.  So, a big shout out and thank you to Jessie from Jessie at Home for creating a beautiful pattern!

Spring Flowers Hexagon Blanket

Since I finished 3 bibs for Sarandipity Handmade and I like to have a little traveling project with me, especially when I am sitting down at the school waiting for Bug to be released, (those bibs were great for that) I started on another pair of socks for myself for Mother’s Day.  I’m following the same vanilla pattern that I used for the other 2 pairs I made, but I’m doing my heel and toe a bit differently, following a pattern in a book I borrowed from the library.

And, I’ve realized that my diet is still a work in progress, too.  I’ve been doing so well, nearly another month soy free without an issue until Monday night when I ate lima beans with dinner.  According to some research  lima beans (as well as other legumes) can trigger the same effect if you have an issue with soy.  So, until then I’m avoiding lima beans.  I’m thankful I don’t have issue with green beans, kidney beans or peas, cause we eat those all the time.

I’ve got so many ideas floating around in my head, but I’m hoping to finish one of the 2 projects I’ve got going before starting more…though I’m sure I’ll probably pick up another small project before all is said and done…that’s just how I am!  lol

Food for Friday! 4/23 – 5/6

Coupons and sales this week kinda suck, so I’m sure I’m going to spend a zillion dollars this time.  At least I have most of the meats for meals on hand in the freezer.  I’ll just have to hope for good sales so I can stock back up at some point.

MondayMonty Cristo Sandwiches
Tuesday – Baked Ziti
Wednesday – Homemade pepperoni pizza
ThursdayCrescent Chicken – still haven’t gotten to make this yet.
Friday –  Steak with sweet potato fries and veggies
Saturday – Spaghetti with homemade sauce
Sunday
– Pork Chops

Monday – Rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies
Tuesday -Chili
Wednesday – Pancakes and sausages
Thursday – Game Night – Chicken Curry with broccoli and rice
Friday – Turkey Burgers
Saturday – Fish, picked up fresh
Sunday – Italian Sausages

Early Edition! Food for Friday! 3/26 – 4/8

I got a super early start on my grocery list/menu this week.  Mostly because I listened to the Coupon Lady on WGNA this morning on my way home from dropping Bug off at school.  I’m still looking for the .75 cents off any gallon of milk coupon she mentioned, though.  She pointed out that Price Chopper is now accepting competitors coupons (like from Target and Walmart) and I went on a search to find coupons for items that I could use this week.  I’m not sure if Price Chopper will allow one competitor’s store coupon and a manufacture’s coupon like they do with their own store coupons, but I’m trying to find out.  According to the Coupon Lady, they do accept both, but the policy written on their website indicated they do not.  I’ll update when I find out.  Update: They do not accept both.  😦  I was really hoping they did cause I’ve got some Target coupons and manufactures coupons for things I’d like to use together!  I’m really trying to stay well under budget this week.  I think so far I’ve got about $20 in coupons and e-coupons, plus whatever advantage savings I get from sale items.

I’m still continuing to make dinners without soy, which, I’m sure I’ve said before, makes my grocery bill higher.  It’s been nearly 2 months that I’ve been off soy and I haven’t had even the slightest twinge of my usual stomach pain and I’ve even found that I wake up in the morning without that queasy feeling I so often had.  There are still the occasional things that I’ll make for the boys or for Darling Hubby that contain soy, but I just avoid them.  I mostly do this since we still have the things in the pantry or the freezer and I want to use them up.

I’m trying some new recipes this time.  A few weeks ago, I made the Skinny Chicken Parm and it was delish!  Definitely a keeper recipe!  The Italian Chicken Bake, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired in my book.  It took longer than necessary to cook and just wasn’t what I was expecting…well, they can’t all be keepers.

This time around I’m trying (and modifying) a Cheesy Pot Pie recipe to be soy free and making it into a shepherd’s pie.  I’m going to make the Velveeta filling with the ground beef and instead of using the canned crescent rolls, I’m going to use mashed potatoes instead.

I’m also trying out a Pinterest recipe called Crescent Chicken which is chunks of chicken and cheese rolled up in a crescent roll.  I’m going to make my own crescent rolls (hopefully I’ll have the recipe down as I’m making several dozen to bring to Easter Dinner this weekend so I know I’ll be able to eat one thing at the family gathering.  lol) and I’ve found an organic cream of chicken soup that is soy free.  And, speaking of making my own bread, I’ve still got to make the homemade hamburger buns.  Fingers crossed they come out well!

Monday – Rotisserie Chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies
Tuesday – Chicken Ceasar Wraps
Wednesday – Spaghetti with homemade sauce
Thursday – Homemade hamburgers with homemade buns, tater tots (for the boys) and sweet potato fries for me and Darling Hubby.
Friday –  Crescent Roll Chicken (made with homemade crescent rolls)
Saturday – Homemade pancakes
Sunday
– Steak and potatoes

Monday – Ham, mashed potatoes and veggies
Tuesday – Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie (modified from Cheesy Pot Pie)
Wednesday – Homemade macaroni and cheese with ham
Thursday – Game Night – Bacon and eggs
Friday – Chicken Curry, rice and veggie
Saturday – Fresh Fish (I’ll pick up some fresh when I go shopping this day)
Sunday – Cheeseburger Roll-up

Food for Friday! 3/26 – 4/8

Welcome to the late Saturday edition of Food for Friday.  lol  Trying to come up with a grocery list was kinda tough this week since there was really nothing that we buy on sale.  I hate when that happens…cause I usually end up spending a lot more than normal.  I ended up spending almost $270 when my budget is between $200 and $250.  Before coupons and sale discounts I was up over $300!  Course I did end up buying things that we normally don’t like $33 in flea drops for the dogs and cat, $18 for a huge container of olive oil and $16 for a big container of real maple syrup.

It’s even tougher now that I’m still avoiding soy…I have to make changes to recipes or buy more expensive items.  I’m making due, though.  I’ve been soy free and low fat for over a month now and I haven’t had any stomach pain, which is nice.  I have been branching out and trying a few things with soy lecithin in it and so far that hasn’t bothered me.  I’m convinced it’s an oil thing as some people can handle lecithin and not the oil.  Either way, I’m feeling a lot healthier now that I’m eating more homemade things without preservatives and giving up the junk food.

Monday – Homemade pancakes with fresh strawberries
Tuesday – Cheeseburger Roll-up
Wednesday – Chili
Thursday – Chicken Curry (either mango or korma – depends on my mood) with broccoli and basimati rice
Friday –  Spaghetti with fresh homemade sauce
Saturday – Sausages
Sunday
– Leftovers/FFY

Monday – Rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies
Tuesday – Homemade pepperoni pizza
Wednesday – Chicken and dumplings
Thursday – Game Night – Steak and potatoes
Friday – Tacos with homemade taco seasoning
Saturday – Easter dinner with my parents
Sunday – Easter dinner with Darling Hubby’s family