Sunday, March 15, 2015

This Week In My Home: Planning With an 'Up In The Air' Mindset


There are times in our lives where all our days seem the same...and then we suddenly find ourselves with a possibility of a change.  Such a thing has happened in my life.  I may have a temporary change or a permanent one.  Or nothing at all might happen and everything go on as usual.  Things are all up in the air.  And until then I must plan ahead, planning twice really, for the normal usual stuff and for the unexpected 'might be' stuff all at the same time.

To that end I'll be trying to put a few extra easy meals in the freezer for the unexpected while at the same time attempting to begin the long process of going through pantry/freezer to clear out yeast and the cleaning that comes right behind that.  I also need to scrap my plans to finish spring cleaning my bedroom which, like the living room, was so nearly finished when I was sidelined last month.  I'll be switching into the guest room to sort out that room right away preparing for a temporary stay of guests.  And if this becomes a permanent thing,  I'll need to have the shed clear because a massive lot of stuff (two rooms worth) will have to go in there.



And if naught comes of any of it, I'll just pat myself on the back for accomplishing another difficult bit of work before it's too hot to think.

Budget is a matter we must look hard at as well.  It's one thing to feed two and another to feed extras for an unknown amount of time.  I'm going to be dusting off cookbooks and looking for recipes that are both budget and warm weather friendly.

I'm starting with what we have in the fridge with meal plans this week.  And looking at how I can translate more of the same ideas into freezer or crock pot meals (the easiest meals to make when one is beyond busy).

By the way, I stuck to my menu last week about 70% of the week...I did make the chili and tamale pie.  The ground sirloin went into the burgers we had today and the casserole I made for Mama's day here, so I used that ingredient.  My chicken dish first part of the week became a Chicken Parmigiana after John worked three hours overtime Monday morning and I felt that was an easier/lighter dish to make following his very late breakfast...So that's the way last week went.

{P.S. I had to change up this menu after it was written out when we had a leftover for supper Shabat evening and John wanted to add in another item that was leftover as well.  I don't mind.  It's better to use it than to lose it, right?  Now for menu plan B}

out with Mama
Nonetheless I mean to make some headway today with meal prep.  I'd like to mix up a meat loaf or two, or at least the mixture, which works rather nicely in pasties or biscuits.  I hope to also make some freezer biscuits and some pie dough in multiples to put in the freezer.  And if I've the energy I'll mix up a few batches of muffins and a large batch of waffles or pancakes.  If all this 'up in the air' business amounts to nothing I'll have a few quick breakfast items in the freezer, which can only be a help.{p.s. I planned well anyway...just no execution today}

Twice Baked Potatoes, Spring Salad, Plain Muffins, Fresh Pineapple
The potatoes for these can be cooked with others.  I've found these can be made and stuffed and frozen so I'll just put in extra potatoes.  I'm not, despite how I might sound, making just loads and loads of things, but enough to give me a few entrees made up ahead.  Again if all this comes to nothing then I'm ahead of the game.

Black Beans with Yellow Rice, Pico de gallo over Lettuce, Sauteed Bananas
This is always tasty.   I really want to find some red beans, they don't have them at Aldi but I've not shopped elsewhere in weeks now (a good thing!).  Slightly green bananas are best for the sauteed bananas and you can, if you wish, put them over vanilla ice cream which is pretty tasty.

Sausage, Potato and Spinach Soup, Toast, Fruit Salad
This is a Pinterest recipe.  I've plenty of broth yet in the freezer and enough bones to make up several jars more.  I'd like to get to that this week, too (Lawdy, I'll planning heavy this week...At least this only requires me putting bones, bag of onion and celery ends and tops, and a carrot in the pot with some water).

on my own
I'll likely eat leftovers or some single entree from the freezer.  There are a couple of them in there and who knows what I'll find as I'm plundering about?

Fried Chicken, Potato Salad, Green Beans, Biscuits
I'll likely oven fry the chicken and if I've baked enough potatoes (no idea how many I currently have) I'll use some of those to make the potato salad.  We'll be doing grocery shopping this week anyway, so we'll surely have a fresh supply on hand.

Homemade Pizza, Salads
I want to use up some of the yeast I have on hand.  I'll make two loaves of Challah and pizza dough.  That will use up two packages.  Whatever is left of the yeast packets I'll likely donate to Sam's kitchen, as he uses dry yeast packets often enough in his cooking.

Snacks:  Any fresh fruits we can buy this week and a batch of Sweet and Saltines.  That will help use up some of the saltine crackers on hand and is a good inexpensive sweet treat.  I'll also make up some seasoned oyster crackers.  Those are good for snacking, as is popcorn, both using items I have on hand.

Breakfasts:  Pancakes and Turkey Bacon, Sausage Biscuits, Eggs and Toast, Cold Cereal and muffins, Toaster pastries and cheese, Bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter, Smoothies and muffins

 Suppers:  PBJ and chips, Soup and crackers, Mac and Cheese with dip and vegetables, Egg Salad sandwiches, Leftover pizza, Pimento and Cheese sandwiches, PB&J with Bananas

Jobs This Week


I took time last week as I worked to cross out jobs.  You can revisit last week's post here to see how far I managed to go in cleaning.  I'm not ashamed of what I accomplished, though I confess I wanted to get it all done this month.  However, needs demands what I must do.

Get bill box in order and pay bills.
Grocery list and shop.
Clean out guest room for a temporary stay.
Get shed in order so if necessary I can move things out there.  That means shifting things so I can do both long term and short term storage and get to what I need.
Prepare a few entrees ahead.  Meatloaf, perhaps spaghetti sauce, some mini sized burger patties, and a few ready to toss in the crock pot items, like the cranberry chicken recipe.  
Start exploring cookbooks for budget/time friendly recipes.
Put some cookie doughs in the freezer.  

Honestly, I've no idea how much I'll accomplish but I'm going to give it all my best effort.  I went into the guest room last Wednesday when John insisted I have a sick day and shhhh! don't tell, sorted things into what is going to Athens with me at end of month and what is to be donated and what can go to shed immediately.  I'm keeping my booth up and running but it's languishing at present and I don't know that I'll get to it this week but if I find a spare moment I'll try.

What do you have planned for this week?

3 comments:

Karla Neese said...

Wow I'm tired just reading this! :)

I wanted to share a recipe I found online and made this weekend. I doubled the recipe but ended up with a LOT of casserole. I took a 9x13 pan to a family with a new baby, kept a 9x13 for us (which will make 2 complete meals for our family of 4) and an 8x8 pan for another church family who has a challenge right now. It's very healthy, very inexpensive and really tasty. I would imagine it would freeze well too. I added some leftover chopped roast beef that I had after making two previous meals out of the roast. And I only added 1 recipe worth of cheese to the doubled recipe because one family is dairy-free.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/southwest-veggie-and-rice-casserole-51222620

Anonymous said...

The picture at the top cracks me up.
Good luck with your list this week. You are going to be super busy. And, what are sauteed bananas? I'm not a banana person, but I'm wondering if my husband and daughter might like them.
Janell

Anonymous said...

This week I hope to finally plant the berries I bought quite a while back into their permanent bed. With a new place aching these days it is slow going. I work or get tools ready to work for 10 minutes then go and do something else. Little by little things will get done. It is not impossible and for some people it would be...I am truly blessed.
I am amazed. Is your shed a good size? If you can have your own things in and possibly 2 more rooms worth of furniture It must be!! ;) That or you are super organized and good at decluttering! I salute you!!
I am trying out several new recipes and so far I have found some winners. I was almost hoping I would not find so many to try and could throw out more Taste Of Home magazines and such! I still need to find some new sides to liven up my menus.
I also have bulbs I was given to get into the ground. Spring is sure here. We were in the 90s this week and but next will be cooler. I am glad of that!!! :-) Wish I could give some of you in the cold north some of our sunshine. My friend back there said she saw 3 cardinal birds so she feels spring is coming....finally !! I think you are doing great getting at your cleaning jobs. Doesn't it feel great to get so much done. :-))) Sarah