Monday, March 21, 2016

The Bare Essentials Challenge: Weekly Recap

I am a couple of days behind on blogging, so be prepared for a few blog posts today.  Why am I behind?  Kids on Spring Break.  Yup, that pretty much covers it *laugh*.

I spent most of Saturday running around after my son trying to keep him from completely destroying the house (I half succeeded).  Over the weekend we got our first "real" snowfall of this year (we've gotten ice this winter, no doubt about that, but when it comes to snow we didn't get much), which my husband incidentally totally called it on this one as every time people kept telling him we weren't going to have a winter he was like, "Oh, there's still March.  Wait for it."  We got about a foot of snow around here, which happily was enough for us to go play in yesterday morning.  We didn't get a chance to play in it Saturday as we were all still a little too sick for us to go out and play.  Yesterday though was perfect as it was warm and snowy, so we got sledding in and lots of snow play before the snow started to melt in earnest.  The best part was we didn't freeze our tails off after about ten minutes like normally happens in wintertime so the kids were willing to stay outside for quite a while.  It was a lot of fun.

I didn't take too many pictures of what we ate this week as I was still feeling really worn down for the most part, especially around dinner time.  I actually had my husband pick up sandwiches for us one night and just made the kids dinner, which asking him to bring home dinner is rare for me anymore, but it was getting late and I was just wasted after juggling the kids all day.

I'm hoping that now the kids are going back to school today that I'll be able to catch up on rest a little bit and catch up on housework a LOT as while my house isn't walking away on it's own yet, my son was trying REALLY hard to get it to that point.

So, at any rate, the menu plan was kind of hit or miss this last week. 

Pork Slices Night
Last Sunday I cooked a GIGANTIC pork roast in the oven.  I didn't realize exactly how much meat was on it until I started cutting said meat off.

We had leftover pork roast a lot last week as it turned out.  We had the leftover pork slices on Monday and ended up with them for lunch a couple of days in pork sandwiches.  I'll get into a couple of more ways we used up the pork down the post a bit, but yeah...that one 8.00 pork roast worked out to be awesomely cost effective at feeding us for the week!
Baked Chicken Night
We had pork sandwiches for lunch, my husband brought home sandwiches for dinner and I baked my son some French Fries.  It worked, not really how I would have liked it to, but every once in a while you just have to admit you need a break, even for a night.

Steak Night
Well, we did have steak this night.  Instead of potato salad (just wasn't up to it), I made baked potatoes instead and we had kind of wilty lettuce in salad instead of baked beans.

Pork Soup Night
I had ideas of trying an oriental style pork soup for dinner that night, but I just wasn't up to doing too much, so I threw what was left of the pork roast into the crock pot with some chicken bouillon and some herbs and spices and a bunch of veggies and planned on calling it "soup".  But, there was so much meat left on the bone, it turned out, that I was able to just cook it off the bone, slice it up and serve the vegetables alongside with some home made bread.  It worked out great!
I then took the leftover pork from THAT meal and mixed it up with some BBQ sauce for lunch on Saturday for sandwiches.  Like I said, that pork roast did a LOT last week!

Garlic Shrimp Pasta Night
Didn't happen.  Ended up being baked chicken night instead.  I served it with green beans and one of my great "secret weapons" when it comes to breaking up rice monotony around here.

The Prudent Homemaker turned me onto Chicken Tomato Bouillon (sounds weird, but trust me try it!) and I like to mix in about a teaspoon per cup of rice in the rice cooker and just let it cook in the bouillon.  It works awesome and really makes a flavorful rice to mix up your side dishes.  You can find it in the Mexican food section at Carrs and Fred Meyer.

I used the leftover rice last night as a side dish as well.  I served it with some baked fish and some peaches for dinner.  It worked out well and was really yummy!

So, there you are folks.  My culinary adventures for the week.  Did you make anything fun last week or did you just kind of get by (which honestly is what I did).


  1. Bullion is on sale this month, I'll have to try that rice trick. I've seen it, but wasn't sure how to use it!!

    Last week we did a waffle night, spaghetti night, some turkey and gravy with veggies, black bean tortia casserole, grilled cheese and soup, then broke down and did pizza friday while we were digging garden beds! Turned out part our yard is clay with I kid you not, three inches of gravel under the clay. A lot of muddy digging.

    1. The rice in bullion trick is something my dad taught me from a young age as that was his favorite way to cook rice in the rice cooker. Biggest problem back then was my dad always bought bullion cubes and would just throw one in when the rice was cooking, so you'd end up with a bullion salt lick in the middle of the rice, about 1/3 of it would taste flavored and the rest would just taste plain. I love the powder because you can just mix it in with your rice cooking water at the beginning and just let it cook, although I usually have to stir in a few pockets of bullion into the rice at the end, it still comes out tasty. I like the chicken tomato bullion and the chicken flavors the best. For some reason, beef bullion makes really good soup or au jus for french dip sandwiches and things, but when it comes to flavoring rice I find it to be kind of bland. Just a personal opinion, though :).

  2. It sounds like the pork roast turned out to be the perfect thing to make this week. With the kids home, the leftover pork made for some cheap and easy meals!

    We had a "just get by" kind of week this week as well. My daughter was home for March break and I ended up doing something almost every day, including a trip to the zoo, volunteering at 2 different events and a few doctor's appointments (we still aren't sure what is going on with my daughter yet, but we're waiting on test results). Because of this, many of our meals were from the freezer or quick fixes. They included ham and cheese crescent rolls with corn on the cob (frozen from last summer), homemade pizza (dough made in bread maker), homemade turkey pot pies (from the freezer), breaded stuffed chicken breast with mixed veggies, spaghetti with choice of sauce and scrambles eggs with toasted English muffin and home canned pears. So glad my daughter is back to school, but it's another short week, ending with a 4 day weekend for Easter.

    1. Sounds like you had your hands full last week! What is going on with your daughter, if you don't mind me asking? I've been there with my daughter where you are waiting on test results and are just worried sick about them.

    2. She had an "odour" emanating from her that we thought was the result of a bladder infection. When we went to see the Nurse Practitioner, she suggested it could also be something like a yeast infection. First urinalysis came back contaminated, so we had to get a second one. We decided to have a vaginal swab done as well because it did have a yeasty smell to it. They called today to say the vaginal swab came back negative and the urine was again contaminated. In the mean time the smell has disappeared. So we have decided to wait to see if it starts up again, and if so we have an antibiotic script we can fill. Like most kids on the Autism spectrum, she's not so great at wiping or washing herself, so that could also be contributing to an odour. She is at an age where we get kicked out of the room if she's changing, so helping her clean herself is completely out of the question. So there we sit...the joys of having Autistic children!!!

    3. Wish it was just limited to autistic children. My half sister has motor apraxia and cognitive disability due to a head injury when she was young and she had much the same problems. My step mom had to yell at her a lot about her personal hygiene and it took a LONG time for her to start caring much about it. Good luck on figuring that one out and hopefully it's just hormonal and will work itself out.