Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This Week's Meal Plan

This week's meal plan as very typical for us. We are having fish one day, meat twice and the balance are vegetarian meals. We usually have a soup once a week and a pasta dish once a week. Thursday need to be super quick as L has swim lessons in the evening. I'm trying to focus on eating a higher proportion of vegetables as well, for instance this particular Borscht recipe is meat free and filled with of a variety of veg.

Sunday: Salmon Loaf with Creamy Dill Sauce and Sauteed Green Beans (Using 1 can of pink salmon in combo with 1 can of wild sockeye salmon--both purchased on sale-- to lower the cost)

Monday: Thai Turkey over Rice (using frozen leftover cooked turkey purchased on sale during the holidays)

Tuesday: Baked Shells with Tomato and Smoked Gouda (using some pasta sauce that I batch cooked last week and froze and using smoked gouda that I got on a killer sale last week) with Green Salad and Homemade French Vinaigrette

Wednesday: White Bean and Sundried Tomato Stew

Thursday: Borscht (cooked in the slow cooker) served with Rye Bread, hard boiled sliced eggs, and pickles.

Friday: Salibury Steak with Potatoes and Roasted Carrots

Saturday: Use it Up Day!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Accomplishments Feb 15 to Feb 21

Made (other than regular meals): a batch of turkey broth (10 cups) using 1/2 turkey frame and a few odd chicken bones and whole bunch of vegetable scraps, cleaning wipes, a big batch of Breakfast Cookies (froze most of them to enjoy over the next couple months), Rice Pudding using up some leftover rice.

I also picked off the bits of meat and a few carrot bits from the broth I made and blended it with a bit of the leftover rice to make 2 meals for our dog. He was, of course, thrilled.

This week we spent a lot of our free time enjoying the outdoors including going tobogganing as a family, and going on a guided nature hike. My husband also took L to our local outdoor skating rink after work one day. Winter doesn't look as though it's planning to leave us anytime soon, so we might as well make the most of it!

I tried a new super frugal meal, a Tomato Curry, but it was a complete fail-- no one liked it one bit. Oh well! I love trying new meals, since you never know which will be a new keeper and I'm especially always looking for new quick and easy vegetarian options to add to our repertoire.

I washed out several plastic storage bags for reuse.

Picked up some new kids books from the library.

My father-in-law and his wife stopped by for a visit and brought L a great hoodie that will fit him next year as well. It's super warm as it's lined in a furry material which will be great if next winter is anything like this one!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Accomplishments Feb 8 to Feb 14

Made (other than our regular meals): 50/50 Bread, Coconut Date Balls, and a big batch of red pasta sauce. I've made several different recipes of red/spagetti sauce but this was my favorite. It comes from the book Not Your Mother's Make Ahead and Freeze Cookbook that I took out the previous week from the library (the author also has two fantastic blogs that I follow through Feedly: Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats). 
We went to see a movie as a family using a leftover child ticket that we were given ages ago and two adult movie passes that my husband received for his birthday last month, so it cost us nothing. We went to see Frozen as L has been begging to go see it. He loved it and the animation was just so gorgeous that I enjoyed it too. We've been playing the soundtrack off of Youtube at home and he's been singing along while practicing writing out all the characters names. In a way it's been good literacy practice!
L has been really interested in the Olympics and we've been letting him watch a little bit each day, a bit of all the different sports. We crafted together a 'gold medal' as you can see in the picture above. We bought the blue ribbon (which came on a big spool that I'll be able to use for lots of other purposes) and used cardboard from a cracker box, a hot glue gun to make the relief, and paint that we had. My husband speaks Russian so he painting on SOCHI 2014 in both English and know to make it authentic :) It has been a prop for lots of dramatic play this week. Above he is practicing his victory pose.
We usually spend Valentine's day in, but this year decided to go out and forget about being frugal for one night -- not only to celebrate Valentine's Day but my husband's big raise (we knew it was coming but it was great that the day finally arrived!) We went to a fantastic and very authentic Japanese restaurant.

I decided to buy L's valentines to give away at school because when I priced out several DIY options they cost about the same and of course that didn't take into account my time. He crafted a special one for his teacher however.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Accomplishments Feb1 to Feb 7

So I completely  missed posting accomplishments for last week! I was unwell and it took me a long time to catch up!

Made (besides meals): Italian Herb Bread, Peanut Butter Granola, personal sized apple crisp in the microwave to use up a blemished apple, stovetop popcorn with homemade cajun seasoning, and a batch of All-Purpose cleaner.

The good news is were well under for our food and household budget for January. The bad news is that we were over for eating out. Waaayyyy over. :(

Picked up a movie for my husband and I, some children's books, and a cookbook from the library. The movie was Brooklyn Castle and we really enjoyed it.

The above picture is of an inexpensive and easy activity that my son loved! We filled two squirt bottles that we already had with water with food coloring and he painted our abundant snow.

It was a bit of a light week for me as far as accomplishments! I'm just satisfied that I was feeling well.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This Week's Meal Plan

Last week we ordered in food one night, because I was feeling terrible and I caved. I felt really guilty afterwards. I like going out to eat and ordering in, but we have a monthly limit and we were already way over. This week I wanted to make a couple freezer meals to have something for those days where nothing goes as planned. I'm hoping to make more in the next few weeks as well to have a stockpile, so that when we do eat out or order in, it's a real decision and I can actually enjoy it.

Sunday: Mother-in-Law's

Monday: Pesto Chicken Penne Casserole (plus made two more as freezer meals)

Tuesday: Miso-Glazed Salmon and Sesame Rice (we didn't have this meal last week because we ordered                    in one night, unfortunately)

Wednesday: Stirfry Vegetables over Rice Noodles with Red Thai Curry Sauce

Thursday: Pesto-Infused White Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Stew with Toasted Homemade Italian Herb

Friday: Pork Chops marinated in Italian Dressing, served with Roasted Lemon Broccoli and Arborio Rice
             with Basil and Mozzerella

Saturday: Cream of Turkey Soup (using leftover frozen turkey) with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with
                 Mozzeralla, Sliced Tomato and Pesto on Homemade Italian Herb Bread

What are your favorite make-ahead meals?
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