Monday, September 30, 2013

Goals Check-in: September

Here's my end-of-the-month wrap-up regarding my 2013 goals:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Adjusting Meal Plans for Reality

I'll be the first to admit that things do not always go as planned. (Despite my love of planning!) This past week I kept track of what we actually ate and compared it to the meal plan I'd put together in advance. The large strokes are the same, but the details vary quite a bit. Apparently I can't predict the future! However, very little went to waste, and we ate at every meal even though it wasn't exactly what the menu said.

So if sudden schedule changes are afoot, not to worry! It comes right in the end.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Food This Week 12

The grocery budget is spent (and I went a little over, too, with some bulk purchases that will last a while). And we have no room in the freezer for the mountain of chicken drumsticks I saw on sale, either... but I still wish I could stock up. I want to try this sticky chicken recipe. Or maybe this one. Ah, well -- the sale cycle will come around again. My wife's out of town this weekend, and I'm singing at the wedding of friends and then hitting the Big Book Sale, so it will be a few days of eating up odds and ends and single servings.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Today is Monday

And it is a MONDAY, if you know what I mean.

This song has been stuck in my head all day. (Wednesday: sooooouuuup!)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Read Aloud Roundup: September 2013

Yesterday was the first Read Aloud session of the school year! The books we used for the K-5 classrooms and the discussion questions are included below. You can click on the links for summaries, reviews, and more.

The feedback I received from the reader volunteers was positive overall; we have a few new faces as well as some that have been with the program for more than a decade. We also had a couple of unexpected absences, so my wife stepped in to cover the 5th grade session. She said they had a good conversation about beauty norms and judging a person by more than appearances.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Food This Week 11

I've been experimenting with our new (to us) FoodSaver! Although the machine is loud, it does what it's supposed to. It took a while to get vacuum sealer bags delivered (I had a bad experience with the first supplier and had to dispute the transaction in PayPal before placing an order with, but so far things seem to be doing all right. I packaged leftover hot dogs (from the beach bonfire that was cancelled by a Spare the Air day) into pairs for easy defrosting, and hope that the small stacks of tortillas will work the same way. I did have a slight... incident... when it was very late and my brain glitched: I sealed up freshly-baked unfrosted cupcakes without freezing them solid first. Oops. They're kind of... squashed now. Very squashed. But good for emergencies!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Food This Week 10

The freezer is just about as full as it can be. I FIIIIIINALLY was able to get a specific brand of fish sticks I've been craving for a couple of months -- and at a very good price (BOGO plus manufacturer's coupon). I managed to squeeze in 4 Cornish game hens, which were BOGO twinpacks, but had to pass up the BOGO chuck roasts. I moved the Pedialyte pops (still there, although my epic sickness was a couple years ago now) into one of the refrigerator drawers, since they're sealed and won't go bad when liquid. Instead, I've been making ice pops (they're a fun way to use up our stash of herbal tea) in a small mold, but I have to remember to return the little plastic sticks to the sink afterward. The cats like to play with them. The plan, following our decision to move at the end of the year, is to keep stocking the freezer and pantry until November, when we'll begin to eat it all up instead of shopping. Groceries will be light this week, though.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Food This Week 9

When a particular ingredient -- especially a main protein -- is in great supply, it can seem like every meal is made with it. Thankfully, my household is fine eating the same things several days in a row. And it's pretty simple to vary the style of dish on the menu to keep from being bored. A couple weeks ago, we had a lot of beef on hand. Next week it's chicken dishes, because my wife found a BOGO sale on chicken breast and put a bunch into the freezer. (We had a few seasoned packets in there already, and want to use those first.) I could get creative and make chicken soup and chicken curry and chicken salad and chicken sandwiches and fried chicken and poached chicken and... yeah, I don't have that much kitchen creativity right now. So I'm keeping it simple (and sticking with whole chicken breasts). I'll make my standby casserole, for sure, but I also want to try a few new preparations and see how they turn out.

CC by romana klee (Flickr)
(Not the chicken now in my freezer.)