Friday, August 5, 2011

All in a Day's Work: The Final Tally

Great success! I got an insane amount of freezer cooking done today and it feels great! Look for these items to pop up in my weekly meal plans over the next couple of months!

Here's what I made:

1 loaf of Whole Wheat Banana Bread - but let's face it, that's not making it into the freezer!

8 cups of pulled chicken - I kept 3 pieces out for Shabbos

4 cups of roasted peppers and onions

10 cups of homemade tomato sauce

15 cups of rice pilaf

I divided all the items into sandwich bags before putting them in the freezer bags. That way, I can just pop out a bag at a time as the recipe calls.

Ok, time to get ready for Shabbos! Shab Shal!

Freezer Day!

It's been a long time since I did some real freezer cooking! Since I'm home today I'm going to get to some freezer cooking. Nothing too structured because as of 7:52 this morning, I have no idea what I'm going to make!

I am going to start this morning with a banana bread recipe since we have 3 ripe bananas ready to go. It's a very simple recipe, found here.

It's just the 3 of us for Shabbos, so I will probably cut the bread in half when it is done to freeze.

Let's see, what else can I make...the Rachael Ray mag had a freezer cooking article that included building blocks for lots of recipes, including roasted veggies, tomato sauce and pulled chicken. I'm thinking I will make this stuff in the afternoon.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy August! Cash Envelope Check-In!

Hi! I hope everyone had a nice and relaxing weekend. We had a great Shabbos with family and friends in honor of DH's birthday and it included total yumminess! I also got all the leftovers stored away in the freezer for this Shabbos, which is great!

Since we are now in the 9 days, this week's menu plan is SUPER simple - pasta, sauce, cheese, pizza. What could be bad? I actually haven't quite decided, but I will probably make some type of spaghetti pie tonight to have for a couple of days and then pizza. So really nothing to post (or brag) about.

I did want to give everyone a follow-up on the cash envelope system I used for purchasing groceries for the month of July. We budgeted $400 for groceries for the month of July. We came in at around $370 for the whole month - so SUCCESS. A lot of this success came from my whole chicken experiments and the general menu planning and keeping to the budget. Overall, I think the cash envelope is a great system.

However, it was sometimes annoying to carry around an envelope with cash and coins and it also got a little confusing to decide when and how to use the envelope. For example, at Target, I buy groceries and home items...I didn't want to do 2 transactions so I would end up paying for everything with cash and then just factoring that in, so that got a little troublesome.

Also, I love my credit card. I know a lot of budget blogs tell you that is the first thing you should get rid of, but thank G-d, we have been able to pay our credit card in full every month, and we receive points to put towards other things. For example, I just got a blender/food processor with credit card points. Since groceries are such a big part of our monthly budget, I really don't want to give up putting them on my credit card.

My mom had a really great idea about using Monopoly money in my cash envelope instead of real money. Basically you pay with your credit card, but then take the fake money out of your envelope. This way you don't have to walk around with tons of cash and you can still use your credit card.

I think for the month of August I'm going to just keep to my credit card and keep an Excel document to keep track of what we are spending. But, if this doesn't work as well, we might just go back to that cash envelope.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Say Mmm

I just found a really cool new website called "Say Mmm". It is a meal planning and grocery list website. I haven't looked into it too much yet, but I love fun websites to help me feel organized. It makes the process so much more fun. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Recipe Share: Salsa Burritos

Here's a recipe I picked up from a fellow KOAB reader. I love how simple it is to make and it really tastes fantastic!

Salsa Burritos
Serves 6

1 bag Morningstar Veggie Meat Crumbles
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (or use a 10 oz bag of washed spinach)
1 1/4 cups chunky salsa (use the heat strength of your choice)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 medium flour tortillas - warmed

In a large skillet, defrost crumbles over medium heat. Season with chili powder, cumin, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir in spinach and salsa; heat through.

Remove from heat; stir in cheese.

To serve, spoon approximately 1/2 cup mixture in center of each tortilla. Fold bottom edge up over filling; fold sides to center, overlapping edges.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekly Menu Plan: July 24, 2011

Here is this week's menu plan. A special shout out to the hubby who turns the big 27 on Wednesday, giving us an excuse to eat out one night this week!

Sunday: Hamburgers, corn, potatoes. I ended up buying 15 lbs of extra lean ground beef yesterday for $3.99/lb. So I turned 3 lbs into hamburgers and froze what we didn't eat for next week.

Monday: Tri-color Rotini with edemmame. Do you like how I just turned pasta and sauce into something really fancy sounding?

Tuesday: Salsa burritos...I will share the recipe later today.

Wednesday: Out for dinner!

Thursday: Taking out the 2nd whole chicken I bought a couple of weeks ago and cooking it up in the slow cooker. We will eat some for dinner and I'll turn the rest into chicken soup for Shabbos.

Friday: In honor of hubby's birthday and my MIL coming for a visit, I will be making a special Shabbat dinner. Chicken soup, Gigi's famous sweet and sour meatballs, butternut squash souffle, broccoli, quinoa, and cranberry peach oatmeal kugel.

Saturday: We are having people over for lunch. I will probably make cholent and leftovers from the night before and some friends are bringing items as well.

It's going to be a good week of eating!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You paid whaaaat????

I am 100% in love with Amazon. There are so many great features that can't be beat! I love their Subscribe and Save feature, as well as Amazon Mom. With these 2 features, you can save 30% on all types of objects! Plus, you never have to pay for shipping and things usually arrive within 2 business days.

So, with my love of Amazon in mind, I'm going to start a new feature on this blog called "You Paid Whaaaat????" The goal of these posts are to show an Amazon deal and compare it to the "real world" deal. I hope you enjoy and I hope you hop on the Amazon band wagon and purchase some of the deals! Please let me know of any deals you find or if there is something you want me to keep an eye out for!

"Real Life" Deal

Target Up & Up Size 4 Diapers Club Box (124 count)

Amazon Deal

Luvs Ultra Leakguards Diapers, Size 4, 204-Count

PLUS save 30% with Amazon Subscribe and Save and Amazon Mom!
Price drops to $26.59

Ok, I know saving $.03 a diaper isn't a huge deal, but if you save $.03/diaper for a whole year it can add up! For 124 of the Luvs diapers verses Target, you are saving $3.72. So, just for simple math, if you use 124 diapers a month, you will save almost $45 for the whole year!

Note: This post contains a link to my affiliate site with Amazon.