Monday, April 12, 2021

Menu plan for the week of April 12

 Hi friends.  I think I might write an actual blog post tomorrow.  Wouldn't that be exciting?  Hasn't happened for a while.  In the meantime, you'll have to be content with this.

Here's what's on the menu this week.


Supper:


Other:

Monday, April 5, 2021

Menu plan for the week of April 5

 Hi friends.  Here's what's on the menu this week:

Supper:
  • Fend for yourself
  • Nachos
  • Spaghetti
  • Hot beef sandwiches
  • Hot dogs or brats, buns, raw veggies, chips, jello
  • Grilled pork chops, grilled veggie, garlic toast
  • Takeout pizza & breadsticks, funfetti cake, ice cream

Monday, March 29, 2021

Menu plan for the week of March 29

So.  

It's another Monday.  

How are you feeling about today?  I mean, I guess I'm ok* with it.  Monday used to be my favorite day of the week, back when my people went to school and work on Mondays and I gave myself permission to stay home.  It isn't my favorite anymore.  

I don't think I actually have a favorite anymore.  I feel like it's sad to not have a favorite day of the week.  But maybe I'm wrong.  What do you think?  Is it sad to not have a favorite day of the week?

Welp.  Regardless of the day of the week, there will be food.  Here's this week's plan.

Supper:

Other:
  • Sugar cookies
  • Creamy vanilla frosting
  • Bagels?  Honestly, this is on the list, not because I actually think I'll make them this week, but because I've been wanting to make them, and I felt like I needed another item on the "Other" list.  I guess it could happen.  I wish my bread machine would hold more dough, because if I'm going to take the time to heat up a vat of sugar water in which to boil bagels, it sure would be nice to be able to do more than one batch of eight.  Hmmm.

* I mean, it's Monday regardless of how I feel about it, so why bother feeling less than ok?

Monday, March 22, 2021

Menu plan for the week of March 22

 Well, two of you who read the last menu plan post told me you'd like me to continue, so that's what I'll do, for now.  But I've given myself permission to not feel guilty when I post sporadically.

I told my Instagram friends, but not you all, that I've obtained a permanently-on-loan immersion blender.  Maybe 6 times a year I will make something that would be a lot easier to make if I had an immersion blender, and being an entrenched underbuyer, instead of buying an immersion blender, I wondered if the cost of an immersion blender (not so much the monetary cost, but the cost of storage space, maintenance, and brain space) was worth the ease of six recipes a year.

I've used my permanently-on-loan immersion blender twice so far, and yeah, it was easier, but I'm not convinced that it was easier enough to justify the space it's taking up in my house and my brain.  This week, I'm making mayonnaise, and I'm hopeful.  The reason I stopped making mayo was because it was so messy to make in a regular blender.  I would end up with a hand full of mayo (from where I was covering most of the hole in the top of the blender), and a bunch of wasted mayo on the sides of the blender.  Also, sometimes mayo splattered in my eyes.

I'll let you know how it goes.  

I will also tell you what we're planning to eat this week.  Right now.

Supper:

Other:

Monday, March 8, 2021

Menu plan for the week of March 8

 Hi friends.  Can you do me a favor?  If you care about these menu plans and would like me to continue to post them, could you please leave a comment, contact me through the contact form, or if you subscribe by email, reply to the email?  Thank you.

* * * * *

Do y'all remember the urban myth about the $250 cookie recipe?  There are many variations, but I first heard it from my grandma in probably the mid to late '80s (that's nineteen80s for you youngin's out there).  Her story was that someone, a friend of a friend (it's always a friend of a friend) loved Mrs. Fields cookies, so they called the company and asked for the recipe.  Mrs. Fields said, sure, we'll give you the recipe.  That'll be two fifty.  Thinking that meant $2.50, the friend of a friend gave payment details (mid to late eighties, so not sure what kind of payment details?  Were credit cards in wide enough use at that point?) and got the recipe.  To the friend of a friend's horror, the charge turned out the be $250, and as "revenge," the friend of a friend decided to share the recipe far and wide for free.

At the time, I thought it was true.  I didn't have much experience with scams or urban legends and didn't know to be skeptical.  But then I started hearing the same story with different companies and different dollar amounts (I feel like I even heard $250,000 once), and realized the story was just that--a story.  That's ok, though, because those cookies are so very delicious.

This week, I'll be making $125 cookies, which is, of course, half of the $250 recipe.  I'll also be making other things, including:

Supper:

Other:

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Do you floss? My 21 day streak.

 Hello, my friends.  Do you floss regularly?  I mean floss your teeth, not floss the "dance."  Through years of observation, I have come to the conclusion that most people don't.  I've lived with a lot of people, first in a residence hall for four years, and then at a summer camp where I was on staff.  I have seen hundreds of women going through their hygiene routines, and I have never seen another person floss their teeth (aside from various family members, some regularly, and others sporadically).  

And then there was that one time at MOPS.  We were playing some kind of game--I'm a little foggy on the rules, but it was something like one person stands in the middle of a circle of people sitting in chairs, and the person in the middle says something that's true about themselves, and then everyone who is sitting in the circle about whom that thing is also true has to stand up and quickly find another seat, leaving one person still standing in the middle of the circle.  It's kind of like musical chairs, but not really.

The woman who was in the middle said, "I floss my teeth twice a day."  And no one moved.  We just kind of stared at her like she was some mythical creature.  And to be honest, to women who have children that have not yet started school, someone who takes the time to floss daily, not once, but twice, does seem like kind of a unicorn.  I mean, some of us could barely shower, and even teeth-brushing sometimes went by the wayside.  She stood there, incredulous, exclaiming, "nobody?!"

I asked the Google, and she told me that only about 32% of adults in the US over the age of 30 floss their teeth daily (she sited a source, but I have since lost it).  Even that seems high to me.  I characterize my own flossing as regular, but I don't floss every day.  It definitely goes in spurts, but I estimate that, on average, I floss 4 to 5 times per week.  Knowing the fallibility of the human brain, I'm probably estimating high, but the point is, I should be flossing every day.  I would like to keep my teeth for as long as possible, thankyouverymuch.  Although, the very best food in the world (ice cream) does not require teeth, so, I guess I'd survive.

One of my issues with being able to floss daily is that I think I need to do it at night, so my teeth are nice and clean overnight.  Often, by the time I'm getting ready for bed, I'm tired enough that flossing, even though it only takes a minute or so, seems like too much work.  So I skip it.  Now, I've given myself permission to floss earlier in the day.  

As you may remember, one of my goals in 2021 is to complete streaks of 20 and 21 days.  Right now I'm smack dab in the middle of my 21 day streak, flossing my teeth daily.  According to conventional wisdom, it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so I'm hoping flossing will stick.  

How about you?  Do you floss regularly?  Daily?

Monday, February 15, 2021

Menu plan for the week of February 15

 If you live in the US, it's probably cold where you are.  I say this with some confidence, since much of the US is experiencing temperatures that are much below average right now.  I also say this knowing that cold is relative.  I feel like -20°F is cold.  I feel like three or four days of negative high temperatures is cold.  

I also feel like January is supposed to be colder than February, but I'm probably not right about that.  Temperatures are supposed to warm up through the week, and next week looks like perfect tree tapping weather.

Isn't that crazy?  Today, we're at around -25°F for a low, and in a week or so, we'll be seeing temps close to 40°F.  We'll be walking around in shorts.  Talk about temperature whip-lash.  Actually, no, don't talk about temperature whip-lash.  I'm good.

Here's what's on the menu this week:

Supper:

Other:

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Chicken update

Welp.  I guess it's (way past) time for another chicken update. 

We lost our sweet chick, Guacamole, in October.  You may remember that Guacamole was our Americana pullet from the spring hatch, who developed a crossbeak.  Guacamole was sweet and she was a happy chicken.  I was determined to take care of her and give Guac a good life for as long as I could.  I knew that her health was fragile, so I tried to hold her in my heart loosely.  She spent her last moments soaking up the sun.  I did my best for Guacamole, but it turned out my best wasn't enough for her.

Charlotte--the new generation of lap chickens

We currently have 7 chickens, Toasty Crunch, Rocky, Esther, Koko, Indigo, Charlotte, and Buttercup.  They're doing well, for the most part.  Indigo is moving slowly these days, and I had to put a lower roost in the hen house for her because she can't fly up the two feet to the regular roost anymore.  

I also have a shoulder chicken.  They're all the rage these days.
Buttercup

In September, our California White, Charlotte, laid her first egg, and shortly after, all of the older chickens stopped laying due to molt, and continued to not lay because of shorter days.  So we've spent several months getting about 5 eggs a week, which is better than nothing, but is way fewer than our family eats in a week.  In just the past week, Toasty Crunch and Koko started laying again, so things are looking up in the egg department.  We're still waiting for Buttercup's first egg.

Three days worth of eggs from last week

At some point during the past several months, Koko managed to land herself at the top of the pecking order.  Not sure how that happened, but there she is.

Koko, Toasty Crunch, and Rocky
I haven't taken a whole lot of pictures of the chickens in the past few months, so you'll have to be satisfied with some no-snow pics.

Esther

Indigo

I bribed the girls to come out of the coop with soldier fly larva. 
Rocky, Koko, and Buttercup.
Charlotte, fulfilling her lap chicken duties, as usual.

So that's it for now, I guess.








Tuesday, February 9, 2021

21 for 2021 January update

 You guys.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I don't want to do those things.  Not all of them, anyway.  Why, oh why, did I not follow the 2020 goal model?  Why didn't I brainstorm a list of possible goals, and decide which ones I wanted to accomplish as I progressed through the year?

Note to self: do that next year.

So,  here's what's happened so far (the numbers in parenthesis are the goal number from the list at the end of the post).

  • (1) I set up a spreadsheet to keep track of my mystery shopping assignments.  I even figured out how to sum cells in a column if a check box is clicked in another column.  This spreadsheet will make it so much easier to keep track of assignments and payments.
  • (4) I've begun decluttering Pinterest.  As of this writing, I'm down to under 1200 pins and 41 boards.  This job will be significantly easier because Pinterest added the capability to add sections to boards not too long ago.
  • (6) In the first 21 days of 2021, I unsubscribed from 30 email lists before I stopped counting.  I get significantly fewer emails these days.  I also unsubscribed from a couple of text messages from businesses.
  • (7) I've improved my scores on all JD 2019 extreme versions to superstar or better.  All but two are megastar scores.  I haven't danced JD 2020 for a while, so I'm not sure where I stand there, but I'm pretty sure I have at least 3 to go there.
  • (8) I've completed three new (to me) hikes.  It was actually four, but I decided these hikes need to be over 1 mile in length to count.
  • (11) I walked 11.87 miles in January.  In order to complete 202.1 miles in 2021, I need to walk a little under 17 miles a month.  I'm not too worried, though, because I'll be walking more in the spring and fall than in the winter.
  • (18) I have attempted to donate blood two times so far this year.  The first was canceled because there was a problem with the bloodmobile.  The second was successful.
  • (19) I have volunteered not-at-home six times so far this year.  All of these sessions involved food.  Huh.
So that's two fully completed goals, and several in progress.  Not too bad, eh?

In February, I plan to continue to work on the year-long goals, as well as the electronic goals (2, 4, 5, and 7).  I'm also hoping to start my first streak (9).


Here's a list of the goals:
  1. Set up a spreadsheet to keep track of mystery shopping assignments, payment, and reimbursement.  There's one particular mystery shopping company that I really need to keep a close eye on payments for, and the system I've used in the past--hatch marks on an envelope--revealed itself to be insufficient last year, so I really need a new system. 
  2. Set up an electronic list of future projects--these can include Cricut projects, building projects, or really any ideas for future projects that I may want to accomplish at some point in the future, but that have no urgency or due date.  I do have a running list in my to-do notebook, but an electronic list would be easier to organize, which would make it easier to keep track of what's on the list.
  3. Complete 10 of the projects from my electronic project list (it's acceptable to add something to the list just to cross it off).
  4. Declutter and reorganize Pinterest boards.  At the beginning of the year, I had over 1600 pins in 90 boards.  It's too much.  I'm hoping to get down to 21 reorganized boards.  Twenty-one, because it's 2021, not because I've done careful consideration and planning and decided that 21 is the number of boards I need.  
  5. Declutter electronic mystery shopping receipts, photos, and screen shots.  Again.  
  6. Unsubscribe from 21 email lists in the first 21 days of 2021
  7. Improve my scores on all 2019 and 2020 Just Dance Extreme versions to Superstar or better.  I've been working on 2019, and I've only got one more to go.  I'm not sure where I stand on 2020.
  8. Complete 12 new (to me) hikes.  Stretch goal: 21 new to me hikes
  9. Complete streaks of 20 and 21 days.  The 20 day streak will lend itself nicely to a Monday through Friday goal, and the 21 day streak will work for a 7 day a week goal.
  10. Send birthday cards to 12 people I don't usually send birthday cards to.
  11. Walk at least 202.1 miles (hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and running count.  As if I'm going to run any miles.  Ha).
  12. Plant a pine cone.
  13. Go to at least one in-person flower show at the conservatory.  Stretch goal: go to all of the shows either in person or virtually.
  14. Obtain a non-plastic countertop (which I will keep under the sink, because I hate countertop clutter) compost bin.  My current kitchen compost is in a repurposed plastic container, and it stinks.  The plastic picks up odors from the compost, and will not release them.  That's why I need something not-plastic.
  15. Make marshmallows from scratch.
  16. Make a list of 21 go-to meals that (mostly) everyone in my family likes.
  17. Oil wooden spoons, bowls, and cutting board regularly.  Not sure what "regularly" means.  Once a month?  Each quarter?  Once a year?  It's too nonspecific to be an actual goal, but it's my goal, so deal with it.
  18. Attempt to donate blood 6 times.  I'm saying attempt because I have a history of being rejected, and I want to make sure all of my goals are actually achievable.  If I successfully donate 6 times this year I'll earn my gallon pin, which should actually be a 2 gallon pin, but I took a long enough break in between that they stopped keeping track of my past donations.
  19. Volunteer not-at-home at least 12 times this year (I was going to say once a month, but since volunteering is a little more difficult for me in the summer, and I've already volunteered more than once this year, I went with 12 times).
  20. Grow paperwhites.  These are the little white flowers that are available around Christmas time when the amaryllis bulbs are in stores.
  21. Create a new goal.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Menu plan for the week of February 8

 Did y'all watch the Superbowl yesterday?  What a game, eh?

Actually, I don't know what kind of game it was, since I'm writing this before the game.  But I don't have any witty repartee to bestow upon you today, so let's talk sports.  And weather.  It's darn cold out there.  Supposed to be around -8°F when this publishes.

OK.  Was that enough?  Let's get to the food.  

Supper:

Thursday, February 4, 2021

20+ for 2020 wrap-up

The other day, I published my 21 for 2021 list and promised an update/wrap up of my 2020 goals.  Here it is.

This 2020 goal wrap-up post is a little overdue, and slightly out of order.  Because I actually finished 20 goals by June last year, I sorta forgot about wrapping up the year.  Well, and then there was December.  And December is hard.

But there were a few more goals that I accomplished from my big ol' long list of potential goals in 2020, so I wanted to tell you about them.

  • Light an outdoor tree.

I bought the lights in early 2020 when they were on clearance, and I put them in the tree in October or November, as high as I could reach, perched precariously on a ladder.  I had scratches on my arms and twigs in my hair, but it was so worth it.  The lights will be staying in the tree, either forever or until they don't work anymore, and the tree will be lit at night until we have to move the extension cord for mowing purposes.  Whenever I catch a glimpse of the lit tree through our front window, my heart leaps to see those little lights shining in the darkness.  I am so pleased.


I canned the apple pie filling in quarts and pints because it seemed like one quart was too little and two quarts was too much, for one pie.  I made enough for five full sized pies, and used the extra pint to make these two mini pies.  Someday, I hope to can cherry pie filling.  You know, for a little variety.

  • Grow and can pickles
The pickles are on the right.

Accomplishing this goal was a bit of a surprise, since I didn't plant any pickling cucumbers.  What I did plant was zucchini, and the nature of zucchini is to overrun its masters in August.  I ended up canning 3 jars of zucchini pineapple, 2 jars of sweet zucchini relish, and 2 jars of zucchini dill pickles to use up that overabundance of zucchini.  We haven't tried the pickles yet, but the pineapple worked beautifully in a recipe, and I'm told the sweet relish is delicious.


You are right, friends.  I am counting this goal twice, sorta.  This was the last of the 20 goals that I told you about in June.  At the time, I had finished the shelf, but it was not yet installed, because we were waiting for the bathroom to be painted.  Now, the shelf has been installed, and I love the way it looks and functions.  Now I just need to figure out what is worthy of going on the shelf.  Let me know if you have any suggestions--maybe a fun saying to put on a sign.

So that's it.  I'm impressed with myself.  

Stay tuned, because the next post in this series will be the January update for 2021.  Yeah.  I know.  It's February.  Grace, friends.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

21 for 2021

 Today I am doing something that has been on my to-do list every day so far this year, and even a few days last year, too.  I am writing (and publishing, because that's how I keep track) my 21 for 2021 list.  I'm not even sure it'll be 21 items, but I'll do my best.

It's taken me this long, well, I'm not exactly sure why?  Commitment issues?  Inertia?  Perfectionism?  Depression?  Pandemic exhaustion?  All of the above?

Anyway, if you've been around for a while, you've probably seen at least one of my goal posts (ha!  Goal posts.  Perhaps I should say one of my posts about goals).  Many years ago I gave up on new year's resolutions and started making goals.  And then three years ago, I took Gretchen Rubin's advice, and numbered my goals according to the year I was in: 18 goals in 2018, 19 in 2019, and so on.  I really enjoy this method of goal formation.  It's a little whimsical, and it's fun to be part of a group of people that I don't even know, each pursuing their individual goals.

So I'm going to type out some goals I'd like to accomplish this year, and hopefully there will be 21 of them by the time I'm done.  Wish me luck!

  1. Set up a spreadsheet to keep track of mystery shopping assignments, payment, and reimbursement.  There's one particular mystery shopping company that I really need to keep a close eye on payments for, and the system I've used in the past--hatch marks on an envelope--revealed itself to be insufficient last year, so I really need a new system. 
  2. Set up an electronic list of future projects--these can include Cricut projects, building projects, or really any ideas for future projects that I may want to accomplish at some point in the future, but that have no urgency or due date.  I do have a running list in my to-do notebook, but an electronic list would be easier to organize, which would make it easier to keep track of what's on the list.
  3. Complete 10 of the projects from my electronic project list (it's acceptable to add something to the list just to cross it off).
  4. Declutter and reorganize Pinterest boards.  At the beginning of the year, I had over 1600 pins in 90 boards.  It's too much.  I'm hoping to get down to 21 reorganized boards.  Twenty-one, because it's 2021, not because I've done careful consideration and planning and decided that 21 is the number of boards I need.  
  5. Declutter electronic mystery shopping receipts, photos, and screen shots.  Again.  
  6. Unsubscribe from 21 email lists in the first 21 days of 2021
  7. Improve my scores on all 2019 and 2020 Just Dance Extreme versions to Superstar or better.  I've been working on 2019, and I've only got one more to go.  I'm not sure where I stand on 2020.
  8. Complete 12 new (to me) hikes.  Stretch goal: 21 new to me hikes
  9. Complete streaks of 20 and 21 days.  The 20 day streak will lend itself nicely to a Monday through Friday goal, and the 21 day streak will work for a 7 day a week goal.
  10. Send birthday cards to 12 people I don't usually send birthday cards to.
  11. Walk at least 202.1 miles (hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and running count.  As if I'm going to run any miles.  Ha).
  12. Plant a pine cone.
  13. Go to at least one in-person flower show at the conservatory.  Stretch goal: go to all of the shows either in person or virtually.
  14. Obtain a non-plastic countertop (which I will keep under the sink, because I hate countertop clutter) compost bin.  My current kitchen compost is in a repurposed plastic container, and it stinks.  The plastic picks up odors from the compost, and will not release them.  That's why I need something not-plastic.
  15. Make marshmallows from scratch.
  16. Make a list of 21 go-to meals that (mostly) everyone in my family likes.
  17. Oil wooden spoons, bowls, and cutting board regularly.  Not sure what "regularly" means.  Once a month?  Each quarter?  Once a year?  It's too nonspecific to be an actual goal, but it's my goal, so deal with it.
  18. Attempt to donate blood 6 times.  I'm saying attempt because I have a history of being rejected, and I want to make sure all of my goals are actually achievable.  If I successfully donate 6 times this year I'll earn my gallon pin, which should actually be a 2 gallon pin, but I took a long enough break in between that they stopped keeping track of my past donations.
  19. Volunteer not-at-home at least 12 times this year (I was going to say once a month, but since volunteering is a little more difficult for me in the summer, and I've already volunteered more than once this year, I went with 12 times).
  20. Grow paperwhites.  These are the little white flowers that are available around Christmas time when the amaryllis bulbs are in stores.
  21. Create a new goal.
Hey, look at that, friends.  I did it.  I listed 21 goals to accomplish in 2021  :)

Stay tuned, because next I'll update you on the 2020 goals I accomplished after I finished the first 20.  Does that seem a little out of order to you?  It's fine.  Don't worry about it.

Have you set any goals for this year?  Let me know in the comments!

Monday, February 1, 2021

Menu plan for the week of February 1

I bought a mini waffle maker.  I bought it, partly because I'm a sucker for anything mini and cute, and partly because I wanted to bulk cook waffles to freeze for future consumption.  I've tried, a couple of times, to make and freeze waffles for my people to eat in the future, but they never really liked to eat them.  I thought it was kind of weird that they wouldn't eat the frozen waffles.  They love waffles.  And they eat Eggos, which are frozen waffles.  They love Eggos.  What's the difference?

I suspected that the shape was the difference.  My regular waffle maker makes round waffles that are about 8 inches in diameter, and scored into four wedges.  Wedges don't sit in a toaster neatly.  Eggos are round.  Circles sit in a toaster symmetrically.  I know.  Why would that make a difference?  Yeah.  I don't know.  But tell that to my kiddos.

So I took the risk, and I bought the mini waffle maker.  And it worked--the people liked, and ate, the frozen waffles.  Now, about once a week, I make a batch of waffles in the mini waffle maker, flash freeze, and the people eat them throughout the week.  It's cheaper than Eggos, the people like them, and my waffles have fewer ingredients than Eggos.  Win-win-win.

I also make other foods for the people to eat, and mostly they do.  Here's what's on the menu this week:

Supper:
  • Chicken enchilada soup, tortilla chips
  • Tacos
  • Spaghetti, oven roasted green beans, garlic toast
  • Fend for yourself
  • Pizza
  • Hot dogs or brats, buns, chips, carrots
  • Baked bone-in chicken breast, mixed veggies, oven roasted potatoes

Other:


Monday, January 25, 2021

Menu plan for the week of January 25

 Hi friends.

Let's just ignore the fact that I've only published one post in the past (almost) three months and pick up where we left off, shall we?  M'kay?

For as long as I can remember, I have written my grocery list in the order in which I will encounter the items in the store.  I don't know if this habit is something I picked up from my mom, or if I came upon it in some other way, but I do feel like it saves some time while I'm shopping.  

Generally, putting a list in store order means produce first, followed by dry goods and bread, then meat, dairy, frozen.  At my regular grocery store, though, which is Aldi, it's dry goods, dairy, more dry goods, even more dry goods, produce, meat, bread, frozen, and yet more dry goods.  

The problem is, I will occasionally go to an Aldi that is not my regular Aldi.  And even though it's the same brand, it will be laid out differently.  It throws me off, and I miss things.  Tomorrow will be one of those days, when I'll be going to not-my-regular store.  Wish me luck!

Regardless of the store layout, the people around here still want to eat, like, every day, and so here's what I plan to feed them.

Supper:

Other:
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