Showing posts from August, 2014

My Frugal Week: August 23 -30

Had to change to this photo of dish towels blowing in the breeze.  It's been breezy here and clothes dry in under 2 hours on the line!  We frugal folks call it the solar dryer...

Saturday:  Our dinner was pretty much prepped for the day, so little work required from me.  I sliced potatoes, covered in water and put in the fridge yesterday.  I should have drained and refilled the pot with lukewarm to take less time to heat up, but I didn't think about the savings that would have made.  I will next time.

I kept coming across a recipe in my vintage magazines that I had made a few times quite a few years ago, Fancy Pants Burgers.  I made that for dinner today. I made the patties up yesterday. I thawed a pound of ground beef and made four thin patties. I didn't need quite all of the pound, so I browned the rest in the skillet I meant to cook the burgers in.  I mixed that meat with some taco meat that I had in the freezer.  I'll use that later to make burritos or soup or some…

Afternoon Refresher: Winding Down

Come in, come in!  There's Banana Poundcake today to go with our tea...I don't mind telling you that this may well be the last of the Afternoon Refreshers.  We'll be reverting back to the Coffee Chats with September.  I found this lovely image in one of the August vintage magazines.  I thought it was unique with that little shell and sea horse plate and the glass embellished with what looks like a silver rope.  Too cute, isn't it?

I've been wanting to have another chat for the past few days but have stayed quite busy in the kitchen.  Of all the places in the household that can generate savings, I think the kitchen is the most time consuming of all. Mind you it's paid off this go round.  I spent a lot of money on groceries this month, but both freezers are full, the pantry is almost back to burgeoning.  In fact, this next week when we shop for groceries, it's my plan to stock up on flour and sugar, buy bread, dairy and produce and exit the store!  I'm …

Meal and Job Plans for August 24 - 30

This is it...the last week of August?  Gosh but this month went even faster than all the months before it I think!  And another season is ending as well.  My goodness!  I think we should put the brakes on this year, don't you?
Don't you just love the new post topper?  I think it was a Magic Chef Oven advertisement from the 1950s.  I think that weather vane with the utensils hanging from it is too nice!  I'd take that in a heartbeat for my own wall decor.

Shabat Thoughts: Addicted

I know all about addiction and how it affects a home.  I grew up in a household where addictive personalities reigned.   As an adult I found myself caught in a repeat pattern.  I have fought addiction three different times.  No, four.  That's why I'm writing this post now.

First let me share with you what addiction is: a behavior that controls YOU.  You can't stop drinking, eating, using drugs, seeking out porn sites, indulging in sexual misconduct, shopping, stealing, gossiping, complaining. Obsessive Compulsive disorders are generally addictive behavior as well.  So you see addiction may be physical or it might be mental/emotional/spiritual.  Yes spiritual.  When you deal with any issue that breaks a commandment or affects your walk as a Christian, it is also a spiritual battle as much as it is a mental one.

My Frugal Week/Living Well August 16 - 22

Saturday:  Kept breakfast simple: bagels and cream cheese.  I knew we'd be eating a big Shabat meal later and figured we'd go light for at least one meal.

I had no idea what to make as a second side dish today.  Bess suggested Mac and Cheese.  I don't have any of the boxed mac and cheese on hand but I'm pretty sure my homemade didn't cost any more than on sale boxed mac n' cheese does.  I made cheese sauce and had enough for a second pan of Macaroni to put in the freezer.  I made the cheese sauce  from scratch in the same amount of time it took to cook the pasta.

My entire dinner ended baking in the oven at the same time.  I'm always pleased when I get to spend time with guests and not tending to something on the stove.

Glad I filled the cookie jar.  My son snacks and he enjoyed the oatmeal cookies.

Afternoon Refresher: Summer, Shopping and Surprise Thunderstorms

Gracious goodness!  It's been a while, hasn't it?  I didn't mean to let time slide past.  Truthfully I've been ready to have you over for tea for quite some time now, but somehow, I could never get my time to meet my desire.  And yet, I promise you that precious little shows around here for all the time I've spent!  Come in, come in.  Or better yet, let's stay on the porch.  Iced tea coming right up.

It's just possible these afternoon refreshers are going to turn into coffee chats shortly.  You may laugh but I've been warning you all that we'd have an early autumn.  On our way to Athens area we saw many trees that were just beginning to get tinges of color.  Last week I discovered blooming golden rod and mallow flowers.   The Sweet Gum tree in the front yard is laden with gold stars amongst the green leaves.  Yesterday the water from the faucet ran so cold that I didn't need ice in my glass to have a cool drink.  Katie contacted me and shared h…

Weekly Meal and Jobs(?) Plan

Oh dear at the computer woes!  Our internet has the habit of dying briefly if thunder rumbles then returning in a few minutes.  It makes getting off the computer in a real storm no hardship at all!  Well you could hardly call it a rumble yesterday but out the internet went, the wind blew over whatever weather it might have been rather quickly and yet the internet never returned.  John called this morning and got then to come out and check the lines.  Ours were just fine.  Turns out the trouble was up the road at the actual box or whatever it's called.  I can't for the life of me remember what the young man called it but it's a common enough word.  Anyway, we were without internet until mid-morning and by then I was busy as could be with a variety of things in the house.  I thought I'd settle in to computer time after I was done, but John called to say his meeting was over and he was on his way home and would I please be ready to leave when he got here?  So I ran to wa…

My Frugal Week, Living Well

Saturday:  I made dinner from leftovers.  I had roast beef sliced in gravy and served that with mashed potatoes and a big salad.  There's still enough roast left for another meal for one.

We traveled to see our daughter wed.  I took along a thermal glass of iced water and extra water.

Though my clothes for the wedding were new they were not purchased just for the wedding.  I wanted to purchase new costume jewelry to go with, but in the end, I decided to use what I had.

Gave myself a manicure here at home.

Though initially my husband meant to take an alternate route  home, he decided to just follow the same route we'd taken earlier in the day.  It was a time saver and a savings of gasoline as well.

August Recipe Challenge: Crock pot Cranberry Chicken

I've had this recipe in my recipe files, pinned to Pinterest, etc.  For years.  Seriously years.  As I was going through my Pinterest file the other day I decided it was now or never time.  I have Cranberry sauce about to expire (though I expect, as acidic as it is, it will be good for a while yet) on my pantry shelf.  I had a bottle of Catalina type dressing in the fridge.  I had chicken.  I'd just purchased onion soup mix.  It was a "Go" on all points.

I admit I was slack this morning. I waited until 9:30 to start this dish.  My chicken breasts were frozen solid.  I forgot the cranberry sauce about to expire in the pantry and hunted all through the fridge for cranberry sauce I thought I had leftover.  In the end, I grabbed a container of homemade cranberry relish from the freezer to use and I'll explain why.  I wanted to make just enough for two.

Weekly Menu and Job Plan: August 10 - 16

John and I had a lovely time Saturday evening at Katie's wedding.  It was very simple, very understated, very sweet and tastefully done.  It felt just the way she wanted it to be: a small intimate group of family and friends without a lot of fussiness or expense.  Katie's gowns were purchased years ago when she dreamed of her wedding day.  They were beautiful still.  She had the long one for the service and then changed into a shorter dress for mingling and meal after.  There's a photo she wanted most especially with Matt's parents and us that is so sweet it made me cry when I saw it the first time.   I can wish all those things we always wish: that I weighed less or had adjusted my clothing better etc, but you know that moment was sweet and it was captured beautifully.  I promise I'll share a bit more as the week goes on.  I'm still playing catch-up this week!

My Frugal Week: August 2 - 8

Saturday:  We ate leftovers today for our dinner. All I needed do was make a green salad.

John and I decided to look at our options with our cell phone bill.  We cut it by $8 a month.

Washed a full load of clothes.

Washed a full load of dishes.

Sunday:  John worked.  I made him breakfast and packed his lunch.

I had the last banana muffin for my breakfast with a smear of cream cheese.

Kept electric usage low.  I didn't run lights nor have the tv on until mid evening.

Questions and Answers and Comments, Oh My! July In Review

Another month gone by!  Can you believe it?  Nor can I.  But there's glory in this month.  For one it's full of summer goodness with fruits and vegetables galore.  And it's just a short time now until Autumn.  I do love the progression of seasons.  Already the goldenrod is standing up tall and the ragweed has started to bloom (Achoo!).

First the July Q&A post netted a few comments.  Sarah, I do so understand feeling lonely in a church.  I can excuse it away in the vast church we're attending at present.  When there are 1000 or more people in a Sunday service, you hardly expect to be noticed at all.  The last synagogue we attended was friendly and nice, but there was never an intimacy there. I've about made up my mind I really should go out and visit some church or another or several here and there on these Sundays when John is working.

August Challenge: Recipe #1 Buttered Peaches with Ravioli

For August, I've challenged myself to try some of those recipes I've pulled or pinned.  This one, from Better Homes and Gardens Magazines was pulled just this summer.  I had the majority of the needed ingredients on hand and what I didn't I felt I had reasonable substitutes for.

Menu and Weekly Job Plans: August 4-9

Now doesn't that look like a perfect summer day?  I do love a good picnic, but I've no idea when we'll get to have another.  I must wait for a bit until things settle down around us.  In the meantime, we'll maybe get a meal on the patio or back porch if the pleasant weather holds.

John's already mentioned a favorite meal he'd like to have, I tried a new recipe today while I was on my own and that just leaves me a few more to plan.

Buttered Peaches and Ravioli, Green Salad, Crusty Bread
Yep, that's a brand new recipe.  I'll share that one here shortly along with my review of it.

Tuna Pasta Salad, Saltines,  Peach Dumpling
A cool and easy meal, full of good vegetables and refreshing.  I find a warm dessert is always nice following a cold meal.

My Frugal Week/Living Well

Saturday:  We were each on our own for breakfast this morning, but there was plenty to choose from.  I indulged in bakery croissants.  I put some of them in the freezer for future treats.

I made a favorite salad for lunch today using leftover cooked chicken and cheese ravioli.  This recipe has handled substitutions well.  I've yet to make the recipe exactly as written.  It calls for tortellini but I had ravioli on hand.  I'd just used the last of the green onions so used a chopped Vidalia onion.  I didn't have Parmesan cheese but plenty of Asiago.  The only substitution I won't make?  Subbing for the fresh lemon juice.  I believe that one ingredient is absolutely key to the flavor of this dish.

I had a bit of food waste today: 2 slices of coconut cream pie.  I should have covered it and didn't.  Shame on me.

Set aside a freshly washed plastic container we'd bought bulk cashews in.  I'll use to store the whole wheat flour I just bought.

Sunday:  John worked t…