Monday, January 17, 2022

Menu plan for the week of January 17

 Know what I find satisfying*?  Scraping ice or packed snow off the driveway when it comes off in big chunks or sheets.  Know what I find less-than-satisfying?  When the packed snow or ice does not scrape off the driveway in big chunks or sheets.

I know there's a lesson in there somewhere.

But while we're waiting for that lesson to present itself, I'll tell you what's on our menu this week.

  • FFS/Restaurant take-out mystery shop (if you sign up, tell 'em I sent you--I think I might get a referral bonus)
  • Tacos
  • FFS
  • Leftover pork fried rice (I'm not a big fan of pork chops, so we always seem to end up with about 3/4 of a chop leftover, which I froze the last two times--finally took the time to find a recipe to use them up.  Bonus--we also have some leftover rice and leftover veggies that will work well for this dish), steamed broccoli (Hubby got a new seasoning blend in his Christmas stocking and it makes steamed broccoli taste over the top amazing)
  • Pizza, salad
  • Hot dogs or brats, buns, raw veggies, chips
  • Grilled chicken, salad, a vegetable of some sort


* This is just one of the many things I find satisfying.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Menu plan for the week of January 10

 I got a new kitchen appliance, and I've been making a dessert in the new appliance fairly often.  The actual name of the dessert is "Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie," but we call it "Death Cookie."  See, the first time I made "Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie," the top was way too brown for my liking.  So the next time, I reduced the baking time, thinking that would make the top not as brown.

I was right: the cookie top was not as brown, but the cookie was also not fully baked in the center.  Hence the name "Death Cookie." Because everyone knows eating raw eggs can kill you.  And I know that it's actually eating raw flour that can kill you.  Oh, and sugar.  Sugar can kill you, but that one's much slower than the raw eggs or raw flour.

I keep making the Death Cookie, hoping to find the perfect balance between the brownness of the top and the doneness of the cookie, but it just keeps trying to kill us by not being done in the middle.  

I'm not entirely sure how concerned I should be that my people are willing to put their lives on the line again and again to help me find that perfect balance.

Anyway, the latest Death Cookie, baked yesterday, was not cooked through, so I'm sure I'll be making another this week.  And I'll be making other things, too.  But not very many, because, yeah.  The fend for yourself game is strong with us.  Here's what's on the menu this week:



Monday, January 3, 2022

Menu plan for the week of January 3

 Hi friends.

For those of you who were worried about me kind of hating working my puzzle, I'm pleased to inform you that I have moved on to the obsessed-with-working-the-puzzle stage, so we're all good.  Pretty soon I'll get to the no-way-are-there-enough-pieces-to-finish-this-puzzle and/or the there-are-way-too-many-pieces-to- fit-them-all-in-this-puzzle stage.  Whew!  That's a relief.  I don't recall ever going through an I-hate-this stage with any previous puzzles, so it's good to know it was temporary and my fantasy self can go on believing that she enjoys working puzzles.

I'm wondering, though, if next years' Christmas break puzzle ought to have fewer pieces.  Fantasy self says no. 

Here's how it was looking Sunday afternoon:

Something I also kind of hate* is meal planning.  Today, I'm sharing this week's plan.  Don't get used to it, though, because there are still an awful lot of fend for yourselves coming up, and publishing a plan that is half fend for yourself is hardly helpful.

Here's what's on the menu this week:
  • Maybe banana bread?  Made in my new kitchen appliance?
  • Cookies?  Ugh.  But they're so much work.  And I usually don't eat them.  So why?

* hate, but will never stop doing because I don't know how people can not.  I mean, what do you do at the grocery store if you don't know what you'll be eating that week?  Pick up random items that look good?  And then what do you do when it's 5 p.m. and people start asking what's for dinner?

Sunday, January 2, 2022

21 for 2021 goal wrap-up, part 3

 As promised, I'm back today with part 3 of my 2021 goal wrap-up.  

Here we go.  The format will be original goal, followed by my commentary and whether or not, and how, the goal was accomplished and/or what I thought and/or think about it.

  • Make marshmallows from scratch.
I didn't!  I think this is the one I'm the most disappointed about.  The problem with making marshmallows is, it needs to be not humid, but my family doesn't really consume marshmallows when it's not humid.  Because when it's not humid, it's winter.  So I thought about making marshmallows lots of times, but I wanted to give myself the best chance of success (by not making them when it was humid), and I also wanted to give myself the best chance of people actually eating them (by making them when it was bonfire season and when we had guests to help eat them).  Someday, I will make marshmallows.
  • Make a list of 21 go-to meals that (mostly) everyone in my family likes.
I started.  I think I stalled out at around 15.  Which is not nothing.  But is also not 21.
  • 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.
Well, I oiled them.  More than once.  So, yes?  I accomplished this one?  The spoons need to be oiled again.  Please pause.

OK.  I'm back.
  • 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.
I attempted.  I succeeded 2 1/2 times.  I want to save lives, put a I kinda hate rejection.  And I definitely hate the blood drive workers not letting me leave because I fainted/feel faint, when all I need to do to not feel faint anymore is to  (I eventually snuck out the back door while no one was looking).
  • 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).
Yeah.  I stopped keeping track, but I'm pretty sure I made it, volunteering for food prep, food packing, food distribution, and food ordering for a food bank.  Yeah.  I'm a little food-obsessed, even in my volunteering.  Oh, and ornament making, but we're not going to talk about that one.  We're just going to pretend it never happened.  And yes, I totally skipped out on most of the clean-up, because I had already been there 1.5 hours longer than I committed to.
  • Grow paperwhites.  These are the little white flowers that are available around Christmas time when the amaryllis bulbs are in stores.
Yup, I did it.  And I learned something.  Paperwhites smell like stale pee.  They're kind of gross.  So while I was thinking that I would save the bulbs and attempt to force them next year, I am not.
  • Create a new goal.
Should I?  Should I create a new goal?  The way I'm feeling about goals right now?  No.  No, I should not.

And that's a wrap.

How about you?  Did you accomplish your 2021 goals?  Do you have any goals for 2022?  Let me know!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

21 for 2021 goal wrap-up, part 2

Hey.  Happy 2022!  Let's be great this year.

As promised, I'm back today with part 2 of my 2021 goal wrap-up.  

So here we go.  The format will be original goal, followed by my commentary and whether or not, and how, the goal was accomplished and/or what I thought and/or think about it.

  • Complete 12 new (to me) hikes.  Stretch goal: 21 new to me hikes
I'm not sure how many new (to me) hikes I completed.  It was more than 4 and less than 12.  When I set this goal, I was counting on my middle and youngest kiddos hiking with me on Wednesdays when their school let out 3 hours early every week.  And they did.  But then it got super cold (by super cold, I generally mean high temperatures below 0°F), and I didn't have the heart to force them to hike with me when we had cold temps and even colder wind chills.  And then it got warmer, but MC started an after school job, and Bubby started up football training on Wednesdays.  I know, excuses.  I definitely could have accomplished this goal even with those circumstances.  But I didn't.
  • 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.
I flossed my teeth every day for 21 days.  I did not accomplish the 20 day streak--I would have if I'd treated it the same way as the 21 day streak, rather than weekdays for 4 weeks.  Oh well.
  • Send birthday cards to 12 people I don't usually send birthday cards to.
Nope.  Sorry, people I don't usually send birthday cards to.
  • Walk at least 202.1 miles (hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and running count.  As if I'm going to run any miles.  Ha).
Yup, I did that.  I think I passed the mark in July.  I mean, I probably passed the mark way before then, but that was when I passed the mark with walks recorded in my activity app.
  • Plant a pine cone.
Nope.  But I did, from time to time, look for likely pine-cone-planting candidates as I walked from the house to the chicken coop and back.
  • 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.
Nope.  I made an attempt to get our Christmas visitors to go with me, thus accomplishing this goal, but it didn't happen.
  • 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.
I wanted something pretty specific, and I haven't been able to find what I wanted for a price I was willing to pay.  I wanted it to be ceramic or stoneware, with a carrying handle, a seal around the lid, a capacity of at least 3 quarts, and a price tag under $30.  I also wanted it to look pretty.  Or at least not garish.  No dice.  I did, however, find something that met all but one of the criteria, and I ordered it yesterday.  It was totally not a last ditch effort to accomplish at least one more 2021 goal.

All right.  We're almost done with these goal wrap-up posts.  Back tomorrow with the final installment.
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