Tuesday, March 23, 2021

What's for Dinner: This Week's Menu

I have to say, so far this week has been a lot of work.  Things just seem to keep piling up work-wise, so it has been running from one thing to another it seems this week.  Thank goodness the menu plan was actually THERE for me this week and I've been able to roll with things and still manage to keep putting food on the table so we didn't need to eat out.

I started the menu plan this week on Saturday, which honestly I might keep doing in the future.  With my husband's schedule being days now, he has weekends off, so I end up having to do more elaborate meals for breakfast (normally I have toast) on those days as my husband likes to have a full breakfast.  So, let's get to this week's menu plan.


        Breakfast:  Eggs, bacon, toast, honey dew melon chunks 

        Lunch:  Hot dogs

        Dinner:  Cheeseburgers, melon (leftovers from breakfast)


        Breakfast:  Sausage crumbles;  yogurt parfaits with plain yogurt, honey (from food storage), granola (from food storage), and strawberries (combination of a few fresh strawberries that were on sale with a personalized price I had this week and some frozen ones that I macerated in sugar that we had left over); toast

        Lunch:  Leftovers

        Dinner:  Creamy Potato and Ham Hock Slow Cooker Soup:  (ham hocks were part of our pork pack and I was trying to find something different than just flavoring beans with them.  Good soup!). 

Monday:  Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls:  Originally I was going to make cabbage rolls, but was so busy yesterday I just didn't have time, so I used this recipe instead.  I used 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb of ground pork, though.  Turned out pretty good and I I served it over rice :).

Tuesday:  Leftover night (pull leftover curry from freezer and defrost for another option as well)

Wednesday:  Corned beef  (I pray that the recipe I used turned out okay), cabbage and potatoes with sourdough bread on the side.

Thursday:  Ham with beer glaze (I'm adapting an old Polish recipe my grandma would make for her Polish husband from time to time.  She used ham hocks, but I'm going to go with ham as I have a ton of it that came with our pork pack :).

Friday:  Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks

Desserts:  Strawberry shortcake or angel food cake (leftovers), fruit (I went a bit nuts with the fruit this week as the sun has been out and my body is CRAVING Spring like mad, so yeah...we're eating fresh fruit this week *laugh*.

And there you go folks.  Some of the things we are eating this week.  How about you?  Eating anything good?

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Frugal Friday (Times, whatever): Money Saving Weekly Recap


First, sorry to worry everyone.  I finally checked my e-mail and found a bunch of concerned e-mails asking if I was still alive as it has been so long since I blogged.  Instead of answering each one individually, I just thought I'd do a post and explain where I've been the last month.  So, let's break it down by the numbers.

The first one after Armina to get sick was my husband.  He ended up with bronchitis and on rounds of steroids and antibiotics to kill any secondary infection.  Then Alvah went down and was really sick to his stomach for a few days with a low grade fever and then just feeling out of it for about a week.  Right when Alvah started feeling better, despite me sterilizing everything constantly,  I caught it.  Man, I was down for a good two weeks.  I ran a low grade fever for a few days (least once I figured out that I was running one as I'd been feeling off for a couple of days beforehand) and then after that I just plain didn't feel good.  The fatigue was the worst part.  There were days where I was barely able to stand up without getting severely weak and shaky.  Bright side we stayed away from people during that entire mess as we just kept getting quarantined by doctors.  We just got off of quarantine early last week.  I was absolutely thrilled when I woke up one day and felt human again.  Since then, despite the lectures from my husband about not overdoing it, I've been at a dead run trying to get things done around the house as with me down for that long...well the house wasn't in good shape, we'll just say that and the "to do" list was in critical stages.  

Then there was my tooth.  I ended up with a tooth that started to break around a big filling I have (I have a ton of big fillings that I've had forever, so not particularly surprising, really), so I went from no pain to really nasty pain in the span of two seconds.  I got an emergency appointment with the dentist and I am now the proud owner of a temporary cap while I wait for the permanent one to come in.  Thank goodness we were off of quarantine when it happened and I went in right away as it was pretty badly cracked and I could have been looking at a root canal if I'd let it go and the crack got worse.  So, that was a relief (quite literally...it's nice not to be in severe tooth pain).

The linoleum in my kitchen decided it was done with this life and started to bubble up.  I didn't realize how badly it was coming up one day and managed to catch my foot on the edge of a seam that was up too far.  Tore up the floor pretty bad and barely managed to avoid taking a severe header into the counter.  We aren't ready to redo the kitchen yet (obviously), so we ended up going and getting a locking together anti-fatigue mat and putting that down over the torn up floor.  Other than the fact that it shows dirt like nobody's business, it does help me when I have a bunch of work to do in the kitchen to stop my feet from killing me, so that's something and it definitely stops me from tripping over the bad floor, so I'm happy with it.

The tax return and stimulus check money that the government paid out came in.  We used the majority of both to pay off some bills (goodbye credit cards!) and get some much needed car maintenance done, but we did take enough out to buy a beef pack from our butcher and filled our small block freezer with a half of a cow pack again this year.  It worked so well last year that we decided it was a good way to give us some variety of meat in our diets this coming year.  Between the pork in the downstairs freezer and the beef in the upstairs freezer, I'm feeling good about the meat we have in the house and the knowledge that no matter what happens this year when it comes to our state, we will have good in the house.  I am obsessively checking the freezers every day, though, so rest assured to those who would recommend that I am DEFINITELY doing that.

I also went and purchased a CSA box for this summer again.  For about 200.00 for 10 weeks worth of farm fresh vegetables, I really felt like it was worth it.  The shortages have been so persistent at the store that getting the CSA actually became more important to me than I thought it would after last summer.  I am hoping the garden does well this year as well so that I'll have more to put up this year, but we shall see.  At least this way we'll get some fresh vegetables to eat this summer and put some vegetables up for next winter as well (right now we are actually getting down to just broccoli in the freezer, which makes me feel good that we are using everything we put in the freezer last summer).  We also went to Three Bears a few days ago (our local chain store that is like a Costco or a Sam's Club up here) and got some bulk things to hopefully last us a while, like a 50 lb bag of bread flour, a bulk bag of sugar and a bulk bag of rice.  I do bake a lot, so we'll see if a 50 lb bag lasts us a year like it used to, especially since I'm going to start grinding wheat to help boost up the nutritional value of the bread we eat and things.  

Anyway, after all was said and done we did have enough left over to put a little bit into savings, which was good as we didn't have any savings left after a bunch of expenses popped up.  Right now our plan, since no matter if we had put all of the money we had gotten toward the home equity loan would have paid it off, is to take the money we will save from not paying on the credit cards every month and putting that into the home equity loan payment.  We'll see how it goes, but I'm hoping I can get that paid off as variable interest rate anything right now scares me with how things are going.

Right, so let's get to a few more things that happened around here.

1.  When I saw the sale price on corned beef...it wasn't much of a sale.  I decided to take the brisket we had gotten with our beef pack this year, cut it up, made up some brine and it is currently curing in the fridge for a while to make home made corned beef.  We actually had all of the materials at home, although I had to use Morton's Quick Cure versus pink curing salt, so that took a bit of homework to do.  I then used a trick I found online and added the juice from a can of beets to the cure so we'll get that nice pink color to the corned beef when it is done :).

2.  While corned beef wasn't on sale cheap, cabbage certainly was.  We have been using a lot more sauerkraut around here as time goes on (I bought a German cookbook and found that it is a really versatile foodstuff :), so I decided I needed to put up more this year, so I asked my husband to get some cabbage the first day of the sale.  Unfortunately, we weren't quick enough as the green cabbage was already sold out, so my husband asked if the cashier if they would sub the red cabbage instead.  They said yes, so I ended up with red sauerkraut put up to ferment this week.  Sure does make a pretty sauerkraut.  This will ferment in the pantry for a few months, then I'll add a bunch of water before I can it, so we are going to have quite a bit of it when all is said and done.  And one major job for the year will be done.

3.  We spent Spring Break pretty much snowed in.  March in Alaska is like this.  If you don't get snow the rest of the winter, a lot of times we'll just get buried come March.  I still need to dig out my deck so I can dump my garbage and things again.

4.  Despite the cold and snowy weather, the light continues to gain quickly here, so of course my first inclination is that we must get started on Spring cleaning and summer projects.  Unfortunately, with everyone being sick for so long, I've been having to do it while we are in a race to get school work caught up.  Somehow I managed to get work samples for the kids into our contact teacher, despite still having not a whole lot of energy, and I had a phone conference with said contact teacher so we could start to figure out pre-high school stuff for the daughter and get a plan hammered out.  I can't believe she's going to be in high school next year.  Times flies so fast when you are a parent.

5.  I pushed myself hard yesterday and got some much needed baking done.  I even pulled some strawberries out of the freezer, macerated them in some sugar and made strawberry shortcake with angel food cake (using up the egg whites I had in the freezer from doing the eggnog at Christmas :).  Angel food cake is one of my husband's favorite desserts, so he was thrilled.

6.  We took a bunch of stuff to the recycling center over the weekend, which definitely needed to happen and I was so happy to get it out of my house.  

I'm actually getting really tired sitting here typing (I still tire easily, believe it or not, and the son hasn't slept much the last couple of days), so I'm going to finish up here.  I am feeling better, though, so hopefully I can get back to regular blogging here soon.

How are you all doing?  Up to anything?