Monday, September 19, 2016

Ikea Groceries

First day of my current pantry challenge! Yay! I will probably spend this first week using most of my $100 on things for the month, with the hope that I won't make multiple trips to stores over the next 4 weeks.

I had a lunch date planned at Ikea with a friend today, so I decided to grab a couple of things in their little market. My pickiest eater LOVES Ikea meatballs, and since we used ours up on a family dinner yesterday, I decided to grab a new bag. I also grabbed some of their frozen cinnamon rolls to have for breakfast once or twice during this challenge. I anticipate running out of milk, so we'll need breakfast options other than cereal sometimes. The little jar of wholegrain mustard wasn't needed, but it was calling my name. Whole grain and deli mustard have become cravings to me ever since I was pregnant with my third little one last year. But for $1.49, I figured it was ok. :)

Also pictured are free food I collected today. An egg from my chicken and some grapes from my grapevine. Yay for my miniscule backyard homestead!

Today's total: $14.67
Budget left: $85.33

My menu plan for the week:
(Healthier items are my meals)

B- Cereal, protein shake
L- Ikea Restaurant with friends
Snack- Fruit snacks, larabar
D- Mac-n-cheese/leftovers/smoothie bowl

B- Cereal, protein shake
L- Leftovers, Israeli chopped salad
Snack- Cheese, grapes, and watermelon
D- Fried breakfast ravioli

B- Oatmeal, protein shake
L- Chicken nuggets, smoothie bowl
Snack- Apple slices and carrot sticks
D- Popcorn shrimp

B- Zucchini muffins
L- Frozen pizza, veggie-topped flatbread
Snack- Popcorn
D- Spaghetti

B- Cereal, protein shake
L- Leftovers
Snack- Fruit leathers, pistachios
D- At a wedding reception

B- Pancakes
L- Grilled cheese sandwiches
Snack- Zucchini muffins
D- Lemon Pesto Chicken

B- Cereal, fruit
L- Nachos, burrito bowl
Snack- Granola bars
D- French toast and bacon

I have a lot of really random things in my freezer right now, so I'm planning on using up quite a bit of it these next few weeks. I also have some freezer meals I've been slowly stashing away over the last two months, so those should come in handy as well. 

Ideally, I will post recipes with the yummy things I'm eating and making. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Spending freeze

I'm not sure how many times I've said "I'm back!" but i'm sure it's too many. So I won't say it this time. I'll just say that I had my 4th baby in June and wow, life has been CRAZY. An amazing kind of crazy, but also exhausting and sometimes overwhelming.
And expensive. Haha! Wow, you forget about diapers. And the cost of eating out and convenience foods because you're too tired to cook.
Well, our budget has taken a serious hit so i'm here starting a spending freeze.
Time for a pantry challenge! Starting tomorrow it's $100 for the next 4 weeks and just trying to make do with what i've got. I'm nervous for sure because our garden has been less than productive this year, but I'm hoping that blogging with keep me accountable.
Wish me luck!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Two Ingredient Sweet and Sticky Sausage

I cook a lot of Kielbasa around here. It's probably one of my top 5 favorite meats. I fondly remember my mom making Jambalaya and only picking out the kielbasa to eat, leaving the rest behind. So good. I also like to try out different ways to prepare it to keep things interesting, and give me an excuse to eat it more often.

This recipe is CRAZY easy, and you can use regular Smoked Sausage instead of Kielbasa if you like. I've done both and they are equally yummy.

Two Ingredient Sweet and Sticky Sausage

1 Package Kielbasa, or Smoked Sausage
1 cup Pure Maple Syrup

(Costco always has one of the best prices for Maple Syrup around!)

Start by cutting up your sausage into 1 inch-ish slices.

Add your sausage to a large skillet on the stove, then pour the maple syrup over the top.

Turn the heat up to high. After the syrup starts  boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. I usually turn each sausage over half-way through.

Remove from pan and serve! So easy, right?! You can also put the ingredients into your slow cooker on low for 2-3 hours. These would be awesome as an appetizer, but I love serving them for dinner the most. Mm-mm!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Meal Plan Apr 17th-23rd

Something important to remember about meal planning is to stay flexible. My plan changes 90% of the time based on last minute meetings, sicknesses, running out of something, McDonald's Monopoly is going on, or i'm just too dang tired to go downstairs and cook something one. more. time. 


Lunch: Snacks
DinnerPregnancy Cravings: Pasta, French Fries with Malt Vinegar, and Carrot Sticks


Lunch: Mac and Cheese, Leftover Pasta
Dinner: Breakfast for Dinner


Lunch: Pizza
Dinner: Maybe going out to eat after my son's very first T-Ball practice!


Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Cheesy Potato Soup with Artisan Bread


Lunch: Out to eat with out-of-town family
DinnerSmoked Sausage with Mashed Potatoes


LunchPB&J's with Apple Slices
Dinner: Lasagna


Lunch: Maybe Del Taco? :D
Dinner: Snacks while prepping for a Group Date Night

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pizza Quesadillas

It's hard to call this a recipe, because it's so basic. Sauce and cheese on a tortilla. We love it around these parts though because we almost always have the ingredients on hand, they are quick, easy, and everyone in the house will eat them. And truthfully, you can add whatever your heart desires to these and customize them for every family member. These are great kid's lunches and quick last minute it's-5:30-and-I-haven't-even-thought-about-dinner-yet meals. You can freeze them in a single layer and heat up quickly in a microwave, toaster oven, regular oven, griddle, or in a skillet on the stove. Your choice.

Also, for such a simple recipe, you're getting very simple cell phone pictures. Haha!

Pizza Quesadillas


Flour tortillas
Pizza/Marinara Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Any toppings you like

Spread a layer of sauce on your tortilla and then top it with cheese. I've added some fresh grated Parmesan and a teensy tiny sprinkling of Italian seasonings to mine.

Top that with another tortilla and throw em (gently transfer them to) a preheated griddle or skillet, medium-high heat. Flip after a minute or so. Just check for some nice golden browning on the bottom.

 Cut up and serve. I love using my pizza cutter for this purpose.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Meal Plan Apr 10th-16th

I thought it might be easiest for me to get back into blogging by starting with my meal plan for the week. That way I will (hopefully) make what is on the meal plan, and share the recipes along the way. Here goes!

Everyone gets to choose whatever they like for breakfast so that meal isn't included. My hubby buys lunch at work or takes leftovers, so lunches listed are for my kids and myself (mostly geared towards my children.)


Lunch: Nachos with Apple Slices
Dinner: Cream Cheese Chicken Pillows with sauteed Asparagus and Green Grapes


Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Greek Yogurt and Strawberries
Dinner: Quesadillas (Flour Tortillas) with Mexican Rice


Lunch: Green//Fruit Smoothies with Crackers and Cheese
Dinner: Spaghetti with Artisan Bread and Bacon Green Beans


Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: "Food Storage" Chicken Casserole with White Rice and Cheesy Toast


Lunch: PB&J's with Apple Slices
Dinner: Hopefully heading out for dinner


Lunch: Chicken Nuggets (for kids) and Lentils with Rice (for me)
Dinner: Waffles with Bacon


Lunch: Frozen Pizza
Dinner: Chili with Cornbread

Hello Again

Well hey! It's been a while hasn't it? So much in my world has changed since October of 2014 when I last shared on this blog. At the time I last posted I had just discovered that I was pregnant with our third child. As my pregnancies are usually pretty difficult, I allowed myself to step away from the blog and just focus on growing my little babe. I also didn't do a lot of cooking for the entire pregnancy, so there's that. I kept telling myself that after my new one was born that I would get back into cooking and blogging and healthy eating and everything that I enjoyed. And then at 9 months pregnant, 40 weeks, my little baby, my son, was stillborn. My world came crashing down and everything was put onto the back burner.

It's been about nine months now since he passed. Life is still so hard most of the time, but i've found myself back in the kitchen more and more frequently lately, despite currently being 29 weeks pregnant with our fourth. I'm beginning to enjoy cooking again, and to enjoy life in general again. I've been blogging a bit on a more personal blog about a bit of my journey through grief and I thought that maybe I might be ready to do some food blogging again. To continue to heal through the kneading of bread dough and crank of the pepper mill. Through sharing more of myself and my world with a larger community of people. To be more real.

So here I am. I want to do this again. It won't be often. I am pregnant again, after all. But it will be sometimes. And perhaps that's all I can manage for now.
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