Thursday, August 31, 2017

Day 5: Operation Eat Up: Turkey Dinner

Hey y'all! Tonight we had that turkey I found in the freezer. We even had stuffing to go along with it! I found the butts, or heels or whatever you call those end pieces of bread, in the freezer along with an entire loaf of wheat bread to use! Yay!

Add some mashed taters and some peas and dinner was served!

After dinner was enjoyed, I spent some time removing all the meat from that 14 pound bird. There was still quite a bit! I had enough to plan out at least two more meals.

Not much will go to waste with this bird! I made some bone broth and also had some scraps for the dogs to enjoy in the morning. Now to figure out a way to use up the leftover bones and skin and all will have been used!

What did you have for dinner?

- jess

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Day 3: Operation Eat Up - Sauerkraut and kielbasa

Hey there! Today is day three and I am still just as motivated to use up all the food I have accumulated! I sure hope the momentum continues through September or until the food is about gone!

Today I used up one of the very many containers of fermented sauerkraut I made earlier in the year. I put it in the crockpot with a package of polish kielbasa and voila! Dinner is served!

I could go on and on about the health benefits of fermented foods, particularly sauerkraut, but I will just point you to this blog post. It has gives a great explanation of all the goodness! It even has the recipe...if you want to call it a recipe. It really is just directions. It is also REALLY, SUPER easy!
What did you have for dinner tonight?

On a side note...those 7 half gallons of eggnog? Yeah, they got throw out tonight for garbage pick up tomorrow morning. The man thawed one out, took a drink, and promptly spit it out and said get rid of them. I pick my battles and didn't argue. Total loss - $7.  Lesson learned.

Until next time!!

-- Jess

Monday, August 28, 2017

Day 2: Operation Eat Up - Ballpark Meatloaf!

Day two: Operation Eat Up

Today I decided to use up some pork sausage and ground beef we had in the deep freezer. What better way than to make some meatloaf. I do love me some average ol meatloaf, but this recipe is for the best meatloaf EVER! Try it and let me know what you think!

Once upon a time, the man decided his wife could use a cookbook, or two, or twelve, for Christmas.

True Story. He found a GREAT deal and kept piling them into his cart. Twenty years later, this lone one from the pile survived the purge.
The man? He gets reminded of that Christmas every time I pull this book out. He then apologizes. I just like to give him a hard time about it. I honestly didn't mind...I did think it was strange, but I didn't mind. Its the thought that counts, right?

Anyhoo....I don't use this cookbook often anymore but there is one recipe we absolutely love. The ballpark meatloaf. I have changed it up over the years but the bones of the recipe is still there  So without further ado...

Ballpark Meatloaf (adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Hamburger and Other Ground Meats)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish with juices (I always add a lil more)
1 cup bread crumbs (I use gluten free)
1 egg (if they are smaller, I add in two)
1 small onion chopped (any kind works...I happened to only have red this time around)
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 teaspoons brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In medium-large bowl, mix all ingredients (EXCEPT the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons mustard.
3. Form one large (or two small I do) and place on those pans that have slots for drainage to a pan below (or just use 2 meatloaf pans)
4. Bake until the center is 155-160 degrees (has anyone actually used a thermometer for meatloaf?) Or just eyeball it like me. About 40 minutes, give or take a few.
5. In a small bowl, mix the remaining mustard and the brown sugar. Brush mixture over the top of each loaf and bake until it is glazed...about 5 minutes.
6. Let stand about 5 minutes before slicing.
7. ENJOY!!

Serves 6 people (on average)

This is what you get when you let your man bake it while you are at work. Slightly burned tops. It still filled my belly though! We froze the second loaf for another time.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hello, I'm Jess and I am a food hoarder

Yep, it is true. I see a good deal and if I have the money, I get it. It is OUT OF CONTROL! Earlier today I  spent 45 minutes digging through my deep freezer and realized I have issues. Here is my pantry:

My inside fridge and freezer:

My garage fridge and freezer complete with all the homemade sauerkraut I made!

My deep freezer:

I found 7 half gallons of eggnog from last winter. Really? 7? I knew I had some left, but 7?There is also a turkey in there. Ummm, when did I buy that?!? Did I mention the TWENTY or so bags of frozen veggies I took inventory of as well? [Of note, some were given to me by my daughter before she moved last week to Michigan].

There is really no reason for this except I get out of control. I could go on and on about why I hoard food, but let's not get too serious here. Let's instead make a game plan to get rid of this food and save money shall we?

I had planned to have serve BBQ pork from the pork shoulder that I rediscovered in the deep freezer for dinner today was frozen solid. That sucker has been in the crock pot for 8 hours and still is not done. The man and I had just finished hours and hours of yard work (we "may have  let it grow a bit too long and I also decided to work on the garden beds) and I was in no mood to figure out what else to make so Taco Bell it was. Thankfully there was still money in the Eating Out budget! So tomorrow we will have the BBO pork with collards on the side. The rest of the week's menu goes like this:

Sunday BBQ pork with collards and macaroni salad
Monday: Meatloaf with one bag of whatever veggie we happen to be in the mood for. Maybe some potatoes if the man makes them because I gotta work and rarely get home before 7pm
Tuesday: Sauerkraut and kielbasa
Wednesday: Leftovers from the previous three days
Thursday: Turkey dinner with most of the trimmings!
Friday: Buffalo turkey dip with tortilla chips and another bag of those veggies
Saturday: Burgers and homemade French fries or more leftovers if there are any
Sunday: I think we will do breakfast for dinner. Sausage patties, eggs, waffles

Whew! I now have the beginning of a plan! Check in every now and again to see how I am doing with using up this food! 

:)  Jess

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Just wanna slap yo mama kinda day

Ever have one of those days where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and every little thing and every one irritates you? Yeah, today is one of those days for me. I am working on getting out of this funk because, frankly, I don't even want to be around me!

What irritates you? Today for me it is this messy house in particular. It is also the "not following through-ness" of my ADHD family. I am currently living with a husband and two grown kids who all have ADHD, without the hyperactivity part, and their lack of focus is DRIVING ME BATTY! I just want to scream "TAKE YOUR MEDS" "PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF" "FOCUS PEOPLE!"....because I am irritable and hateful today.

But, alas, I shall not scream those sentences...out loud. Just inside my head, while I turn my head away so these family members, who I love dearly, do not see the daggers being shot at them from my eyeballs.

I shall also sit here, pound on the keyboard (partly because the keys stick), sip on my morning coffee, and figure out the most important items that NEED to get done today so those can be accomplished because I cannot do it all. Once my list is complete, I will go get cleaned up, get dressed, put hair up in a messy bun, roll on some oils and tackle this crappy day.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Goal update - July 2017

2017 is all about REDUCE. That is our word of the year. So far I think we are doing pretty well! Check out the first goal post of 2017 here.

1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!)

-- We are getting there. The lazybug took me over and I actually never started counting what we were getting rid of. I think I can estimate that we "probably" got rid of only about 150 items so far. HOWEVER, I have a load of items, mostly books, to drop off at a local thrift store. PLUS, I 'think' I have convinced the man to start purging some of his items. Woohoo! 

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. 

-- So, the man had a yard sale one day while I was working. He made a whopping $11! So, yeah, it was a waste of time. He as sold items on several BST (Buy, Sell, Trade) and also craigslist. I think we will keep it to those sites.

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage!

-- So, the work is slow but slowly getting there. We have a huge pile of boxes of books to donate and it will empty out maybe 20% of the garage. When the girl returns from her work training, I plan on getting with her to clean out some of her items. Then it is just the man's stuff to purge and organize.

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty.

-- So far, so good! I did not get the spring garden in but the summer one was pretty good for my first time. Plenty of cucumbers, tomatoes, and banana peppers. A decent amount of zucchinis and scalloped squash. The small watermelons are still growing but just about ready. The beans, not a one, but the chickens enjoyed the plants I pulled up. On to the fall garden! I am planning it and should have it in by the end of August!

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.

-- Oh this was accomplished easily! We came and went in July. I came back with a little over $400 of the $1000 I took with me! I even helped out the little sister some so I think I did very well!

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish.

-- By the end of the year? Psh, I paid that off at the end of June! Yay! Goal accomplished!

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again.

-- Well, this may be one I can accomplish by the end of the year! I started in February with My Fitness Pal (SISU4Health is my name if you'd like to be friends!). I also decided to join a local gym to help get into shape. Lastly, I downloaded a type of couch to 5K app and bought some running shoes and hit the pavement...until it got to hot. With all that being mentioned, I lost about 30 lbs from February to middle of May. Not meaning to I took the last few months off. No tracking calories, no exercise. Surprisingly I only gained 5 lbs back. Four of them were gained back while on vacation! I convinced the man to join the gym so we can have gym dates and the plan is to get back at it in August. Here's to losing!

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

-- I have been buying stocking stuffers all year thus far so I know this will be done before December. I have a few ideas to gifts, just gotta write them down and plan. I think we will be on target to meet the goal of $500. 

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

-- I have been tracking totals for over a year now. Some months are better than others. I am still trying though. I am thinking of either doing a post or creating a page for my running totals. 

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make

-- I haven't been working on many crafts this year. Boo!

There you have it! An update on the first part of the year! On to the rest of 2017!