In My Home This Week

In the Blue House this week I...

Have been wishing the weather was more seasonable...  Temperatures have been closer to the 80's than the 50's you'd expect this time of year and the grass is green as summer grass very nearly.  I can plainly see buds on several trees.  I find all this very worrying, as the last time we had out of season buds on a tree in the yard we had a hard cold spell and the tree died.  I'm not keen to lose these big shade giving trees at all.  Still...what can I do?  The weather is very much out of my control!
I confess I was much amused by my Florida family's response to the weather.  Seems compared to their daily temperatures it was cold!  Well all righty then!  At least one set of us was happy with the weather and their much amused dad and I kept quiet and let them enjoy the cooler weather they'd so looked forward to finding, even if we felt it worthwhile to turn on AC in the mid-afternoon hours.

Happily this week it returns to the normal temperatures for this time of year.  I suspect the propane company will be more than relieved.  Usually they've been by to touch up our tank at least once at this time.  I'm sure they need the business...and we can't forget my number one concern for cold days and nights: PEACHES!

Plan meals...

And hopefully I'll have better success with plans this week.  The only two things that actually happened last week: I used roast beef leftovers in a Shepherd's Pie and we ate out...three times! Now one of those meals out was a sandwich supper and the other was a treat from our son and daughter in law. We had Vietnamese, a cuisine that I am not altogether familiar with, but I enjoyed it and so did John. Everything else we ate/made was flying by seat of pants.   I'm happy to report that the meals I made at home were made with what I had on hand.  No running into town to buy anything especially for a meal and no speciality ingredients aside from the requested ones prior to grocery shopping.  Pantry and freezer stood me in good stead all week long, right down to the needed extra gallon of milk.

We went into the grocery today to pick up prescriptions, sales items (beef sausage and sweet pickle relish), bread, milk, cheese.  I was happy I had all but the $10 of the needed grocery money in cash.  After a half week of company at the house, I think to need just $10 extra is pretty good management.  I'll do my best to stick hard to what we have on and this week and purchase no more.

Deli Roast Chicken, Potato Salad, Broccoli with Cheese,  Coconut Pie
Bess made her famous Coconut pies for us.  I put one in the freezer and cut the last piece into smaller pieces, a larger section for John and a very slim section for me.   I hate to admit it but after a week of catch as can meals and things prepared on the run, the very best part of the meal today was the freshly steamed broccoli!

Beef Stew, Pineapple Salad, Corn Muffins
John bought lovely fresh pineapple for me Sunday at the grocery and yes, he paid for it himself.  He's very adamant that when he chooses a treat for me it comes from his pocket and not the grocery fund.

Spaghetti Diable, Green Salad, Garlic Bread
I've the whole breast half of the chicken left and it's enough for two meals I think.  This recipe calls uses mushrooms (plenty of those in the fridge) to extend the meat. There are plenty of vegetables in this dish (tomatoes, onions, mushrooms).

On my own

Chicken And Dumplings, Fruit Salad
This will use up the rest of the chicken and a nice bit of the broth I have in the freezer, too. I always add vegetables to my chicken and dumplings so it's really like a stew and the dumplings are those big fluffy biscuit like ones that John enjoys.  I'll use half whole wheat flour in the dough.

Creole Red Beans and Brown Rice,  Coleslaw,  Corn Bread, Baked Apples
Not quite a meatless meal here either but the sausage used is more for seasoning than it is for meatiness.

Chicken Roasted with Apples, Butternut Squash and Onions, Green Beans, Wedge Salad
  I confess I was disappointed in the whole chicken from the deli.  I am spoiled eating good homemade foods and that chicken was moist but just didn't stack up next to a nice crisp skinned home made roast chicken. I'll roast breasts from the freezer

Continue with the Freezer Challenge...

I sought meal inspiration in old posts, going back a few years.  I just had a blank mind about meal plans again this week but I do know what I have on hand in the freezer, which I am still slowly working my way through.  My plans this week are to use beef cubes, chicken broth and chicken breasts from the freezer, as well as some mixed vegetables and some cooked brown rice.

I made a little more room giving Samuel two pans of homemade stuffing and the spaghetti pie I made last weekend.  More space is more room for the next good sale on turkeys.

Turkeys are not currently on sale in my area, but I'm keeping my eye on sales sheets so I don't miss them.  I've had to bypass the last three sales on whole chickens at the grocery one town over and they are on sale this week.  I'd like to purchase several but will use my allowance, since the grocery money is gone.   I'll get at least four and likely will cut up three and keep one whole.  I figure this should be around $10.  I've plenty of freezer room just now.

Plan my work and errands for the week...

I hope to get the two chest freezers defrosted.  Not such a bad job really, just a matter of getting it done.

I have an appointment for an eye exam.  I hope to combine it with a trip to get lab work done.

I need to call my primary care doctor and check on test results, discuss being dropped by pulmonologist.

Get my Christmas decorating post up on the blog...and therefore finish up the Christmas decorating!

Would love to get the floors mopped.

Sit down this week and start to plan my shopping for the coming year based on projects I hope to tackle and needs/gaps in household and wardrobe so I can watch for good sales on items and look at alternatives for those things I can't quite afford.

Have a little bit of fun...

It's been a busy week behind me, lovely as it was.  I mean to work hard this week now that I'm feeling well and ready to tackle things, but a bit of fun mixed in can do no harm.  I've a little sewing project in mind, reading from my chosen Christmas books, a stack of December issue magazines to look through.  Nothing pricey nor strenuous, but just nice quiet fun.


Lana said...

The weather is quite odd here in the Upstate of SC, too. Saturday it was 74 and I felt too warm outside. We were able to get to a few outside chores though that needed warm temps to complete. I am nervous about the trees, too. A huge oak over our driveway is dropping small twigs and I am afraid that means it is dying. The last tree we had to take down of that size cost us $2500! But, my camellias are blooming like crazy and right on time.

Our menus are dictated by our freezer defrosting on Saturday. I brought a package of pork chops, a bag of chicken wings and a large beef roast inside to the fridge to thaw. We must eat those things up this week. I was surprised by a turkey breast that I had no idea was in the freezer. I will plan to use that later on. We also have some ice cream that will be milk shakes this week. I am starting to stock up on microwaveable meals as I see great prices with a coupon match up. We will be doing a big renovation project on our kitchen in January and February and having those will help cut down on meals out. Our stove will even be out of commission for a bit so I need to have a plan. I have $90 left in grocery money for the month and I am striving to come in on budget even though we will have a good bit of company next week. I mostly just need perishable foods for those days.

I did a major stock up on TP at only $2.58 a 12 dbl roll pack with sale and coupons. We always have a large supply on hand but a few weeks ago I dreamed that we ran out! Hubby found that amusing since we always have such a large stock in the garage.

One blessing this month is a very low utility bill since the electric co-op retired some capital credits and we got a huge credit on our bill. The extra will go into the budget for re-doing our kitchen. Another huge blessing was meeting a couple who have been visiting our church and feeling like old friends after taking them out to lunch last Sunday. It is so unusual to meet someone like that and especially a couple that we both hit it off with. We are SO blessed!

We plan to go out and look at Christmas lights one night this week along with hot chocolate. We must make time to enjoy the season before it is over. I have about a dozen presents left to wrap and my cookie and candy making to do but I feel like we are doing pretty well on the prep here.

Lana said...

Forgot to say-I make my menus on a wall calendar. Meals that do not get made get circled and moved down the list. This allows me to look back and check what I have not made for awhile. I will keep this year's calendar to refer to as next year starts. This really helps me in planning! I als check my Pinterest boards for ideas for new recipes and try to make something new two times a month.

Anonymous said...

Menu planning NEEDS to come back into my life! I have been doing fine really but a menu does help me remember to use what is in the pantry.

I keep a list of main dishes, sides and desserts on a printed sheet of paper behind the wall calendar I use to write meal ideas on. I have them hanging on a Command hook inside a cupboard door.

I did some Christmas stocking while at my daughter's this past weekend. Bigger stores and some very nice sales. Some of it will be put in jars and I'll use the FoodSaver to seal them. They will keep for several years. I bought 6 half-gallon jars and filled 3 with my favorite coffee and then sealed them. I'd like to fill the other 3 and seal them. A nice way to stock up on my favorite flavored coffee.

It's been a busy December. I'm ready to be home and stay home. Pam

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