Sunday, January 31, 2016

Baking happened!

I should have gone into work today, but I decided if I had already spent 50+ hours in the office for the week and I hadn't gotten everything could just wait. I did much baking and cooking though. Pizza dough. Pizza sauce. Enchilada sauce. Cilantro lime rice. Alfajores. And all the accompanying things. Let's see, I started with pizza dough, since it takes a while. But then I was hungry and needed lunch. I made egg drop soup and rice, heated up an egg roll from the freezer and added some mandarin orange green tea. I stirred the egg a little too quickly, but it was good anyway. Then I finally tackled something I have wanted to try for a while - I turned sweetened condensed milk into dulce de leche. I've wanted to do this but I didn't want to explode a can of sugary dairy product all over my kitchen. But, I did some reading and decided to try it. I followed the directions, leaving the can on it's side with at least an inch of water over the top. I let it simmer for about 3.5 hours. But, I don't think I had it at a high enough simmer. It was good, but a medium gold color. Not as dark as I wanted for my alfajore cookies, but it worked. That took a long time, so while that cooked, I made cilantro lime rice, enchilada sauce, and pizza sauce. Then I made pizza for dinner. And then I made my cookies (okay, I made the dough before dinner so it could sit in the fridge). This is the recipe I used: They're good. The cookies remind me of the white cookies I make at Christmas and then a super sweet filling. It seems like I did more today, but maybe not. Time to put lunch together and go to bed.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Semi-Productive Day

I woke up feeling more like 75% sick, so there was no going into work today. Of course this means I have to go in tomorrow. But, it seemed like a lot of it was sinus related and after being lazy until about 11, I was feeling much better. Time to make soup! I decided to make it in the crockpot. Most of the recipes I found were for the crockpot and I like cleaning glass better than pans. I made this soup- I didn't make too many changes. I didn't have mushrooms, so I skipped them. I didn't use as much onion. I used frozen roast leftovers instead of stew meat. I also don't like tomatoes (tomato products are fine), so I just added a little bit more water to make up for the undrained tomatoes. It was more tomato-y then I expected. It was good, just heavy tomato taste. Since the recipe made a lot, I added a can of beef broth before I put it in the fridge.

My other kitchen project was making bread. As I mentioned the other day, I miss baking. I used this
recipe - I don't usually change too much in baking recipes, especially bread and especially the first time. I didn't knead it for as long as the recipe said. I do all my kneading with my mixer and most  recipes say to knead for 2 minutes, so 10 minutes seemed like a lot. After about 7 it seemed ready. It was a really easy bread to make. I didn't quite get the rectangle flattened out evenly so one end of the bread was fatter than the other, but it seems to have baked just fine. I think the only change I would make for the next time I make it, and yes I will make it again, is to skip the topping of honey and oats. The honey just gets kind of syrupy on the bottom and the oats got a little over brown (even though I only baked for 40 minutes). The bread is delicious. It really doesn't need that extra honey. I put the series of prep pictures below (you can see the unevenness). Now I'm planning the next kind of bread to make. I think something with sunflower seeds.

This is what the cat in the house was doing all day. That's a heated pad she's sleeping on too. I guess all the light in the house was making it hard for her to sleep though. But, she is getting older - almost 14 - so she can be lazy.

I think I'm going to sort of cheat on my budget tomorrow. I need to go to Aldi to restock on essentials and it will be much easier to go tomorrow after I go into work (since I'm hoping I won't be there all day). It's almost the last day of the month and it won't process on Mint until after Feb 1st so it's all good :) I won't eat any of it until after the 1st!

Friday, January 29, 2016

$1 over budget

There hasn't been any cooking, or much eating, the last few days. I'm definitely fighting some virus. I didn't even bake what I planned last night, so it will go in the over tonight. 

I came home from work early today, and even though my plan had been to not go to the store so I wouldn't go over budget - but they had eggs for .88 a dozen! How could I pass that up (yesterday and today only). While I was there I decided to buy barley (more on that in a bit) for beef barley soup. Then, I couldn't remember if I had any beef broth at home, so I bought a box of that just to be safe since I plan to make it this weekend. I picked up a few other things I didn't need but might want this weekend. If I make tamales, I need margarine. And more cheese. And cheese was on sale too. I'm almost out of flour so if I want to make bread or bake, I needed flour. I also want to try making the Chevy's corn tomalito, and I didn't know if I had a bag of frozen corn (and it was only $1 - that was my budget breaker!). And a house isn't a home without ripening bananas in the fruit bowl to eventually turn into banana bread. I got quite a few groceries for $14 though, so it's not too bad. 

Since there isn't much cooking to tell you about - how about a few things I have noticed that are weird in grocery stores? While I was looking through the ad the other week they had cod loins on sale. Those that don't know me outside of this blog don't know that my degree is in marine science. I took vertebrate zoology from an ichthyologist. I'm pretty sure cod do not have loins. I had to Google this and here's what I found ( 
As cod can be a large fish, the fillet is often too big for a single portion. It is therefore possible to buy the cod loin, which is cut from the middle section or fattest part of the fillet. Succulent loins are short and fat compared to longer cod fillets and they are considered the prime cut.   
There's interesting fact number one. Number two - where do you think barley is located in the grocery store? Grain (rice, quinoa, couscous)? Cereals (oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat)?'s with boullion.  

Hopefully there will be more cooking updates soon...and baking. All this cooking has made it hard to bake but maybe I will make something this weekend.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I'm going to be whiny today...this is your spoiler alert.....

The good...last night I made crockpot oatmeal. It's super easy, super cheap and if you are lazy, like me in the morning, you can throw it in a bowl and have breakfast on the go. My favorite oatmeal bowl is to recreate my favorite oatmeal cookies in a bowl. That means oatmeal, cinnamon, cranberries, nutmeg and cardamom... 

The was another LONG day.... Breakfast was thrown into a bowl to eat at my desk. Lunch was eaten at my desk. Dinner was thrown together with the sole purpose of having dinner tomorrow night. I made pastitsio. And then I had spaghettios for dinner. But, I made some "concoction" of pastitsio for lunch tomorrow. For those that don't mom is the empress...of "concoctions". If you ask my mom for a recipe of something she made when I was growing up, she will give you a recipe that does not at all resemble what you grew up eating...she made her own - much better - changes. 

Despite the "throw this in a bowl to eat at your desk" breakfast, leftover lunch and spaghettio was all pretty tasty. And I have two more bowls of breakfast. One is a facsimile of my favorite oatmeal cranberry cookie recipe, the other is a mish-mash of stuff - coconut, cinnamon, almonds. Looking forward to breakfast tomorrow! And, it's almost the end of the week. 

I have $13 in my grocery budget so I could go buy a whole chicken and some accessories to make this weekend, but I think I will just use up what I have at home and wait until after Feb 1 to go the grocery store. 

Tomorrow I have to fill in for my boss at a meeting in the same building as Ms Attitude's office so I will certainly stop by and say hi to her! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Taco Tuesday!

I needed to eat the coleslaw and pulled pork today, but it's Taco Tuesday. What to do? BBQ tacos! Now, these are not as good as the bbq breakfast tacos at Rudy's, but not bad. I couldn't decided what cheese to use, the sharp cheddar from last night didn't seem like a good choice. I ended up using queso fresco since it would be cheesy but not overly flavored. 

The rest of the pork needs to get frozen in single portion sizes tonight and then I need to get lunch packed, but I'm not feeling very motivated. It was cold and grey, and the second morning in a row I had to run work errands before work. Then I spent hours staring at my monitor bolding and italicizing words so I'm bleary eyed. I think after kitchen things, it will be an early night of Netflix with the kitten. She's a very happy, lovable girl tonight since I gave her a can of her favorite salmon gushy food for dinner. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Finally bought lunch...

Yes, after all that weekend prepping, I bought lunch today. First time all month though so I guess that wasn't too bad. The problem was I hadn't actually packed anything up last night. Then I had to stop and buy something for work on the way in and had a lot of stuff to carry in (new work laptop! so I had both the old and new one home this weekend), and lot of stuff to get done early this morning at work. With all of that, packing lunch just didn't fit in to the plan this morning. But I made the most of it and made sure to buy something I would not make at home - bacon cheeseburger and fries. I probably eat a hamburger once every couple of months, but it seemed like a good choice. And fries are always a good choice!

I did finish Cincinnati chili tonight. There wasn't as much greasy to skim off as I thought there would be. It still made a difference in the finished chili though. And I have a container all ready for tomorrow. No morning laziness will derail my plans tomorrow. I have tons more of the chili to eat and make pastitsio with. And a bunch of pork. There will be some freezer meals taking shape tomorrow night. I posted a picture of the finished, cheese covered chili - and a sad, cheese-less version - in case anyone wants to actually see the chili. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lots of things ready for the week

I finally got the pork roast done. It cooked on low in the crockpot all day yesterday. I didn't take any pictures of it. It's not very photogenic when it comes out of the crockpot all falling apart. I pulled that all apart to use today. I also made egg rolls, but since I forgot to buy wrappers at the store on Friday night, I found a recipe and made them. The dough was easy to make and was easy to work with too. This also used up most of the coleslaw mix and, since it was sitting in the fridge, I chopped up the rest of the veggie mix I used in the lo mein and mixed it with some ginger, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, and a little bit of sesame oil and sautéed until soft. I bake them instead of frying, and just spritz with cooking spray on both sides. Bake 425 for 20 minutes or so, turning once. 

Today, I made cheater carnitas. I put the already cooked pork in a pan with a carnitas sauce and let it cook for a while. I also turned some of the shredded pork into bbq, and made coleslaw with the rest of the mix. And I made Cincinnati chili. I had already browned the ground beef and had it in the freezer so I put the cooked beef in water to boil. I didn't follow one recipe, I took a few, combined them, tasted and added more of what I thought it needed until it tasted right. Even though I started with browned and drained beef, it was still a little greasy. It's sitting in the fridge now to have the fat removed after it's chilled. This is the recipe I started with ( Tomorrow's dinner will be chili and then some of the chili will get turned into pastitsio for later in the week.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Breakfast Treat

As promised yesterday - today's breakfast treat. I have a friend, who one or two mornings a week, needs to be very close to my house at 7:30 in the morning. This means every week or two we use this as an opportunity to get together before work for either coffee or the most delicious of all breakfast foods (even better than egg Mcmuffins) - AM Crunchy Wraps! But, since we both like delicious coffee - which Taco Bell doesn't have anymore since discontinuing Cinnabon Coffee (at least here) - we often face a dilemma. Today, I took steps to remedy that!

Last night I mixed up the creamy jalapeño sauce (which needs a little tweaking). This morning I was able to make two of these in less than 20 minutes, while getting ready for work at the same time. To cut down on time - and dishes - I cooked the tots in a pan on the stove. This actually worked really well and saved time. I didn't put in the oil the package called for - just a spritz of cooking spray. While the first side was browning, I blow dried my hair. Flipped them and let the other side cook while I finished getting ready. After transferring the tots to the tortillas, I let the pan cool a bit, scrambled up the eggs and heated the sauce a little just so it wouldn't be cold. The eggs cooked really fast in the heated pan, then I added the cheese and wrapped as best as I could. Back in the pan (cheese side down first to seal them). Gave them a final flip. They weren't bad. There needs to be some refining in the sauce and I think the hash brown patties, or even tater rounds, would be a better potato layer. But, they were a pretty good substitute to go with good coffee.

Of course, now I'm lazy and don't feel like making dinner, so I have to find something easy to make and then scrounge up lunch for tomorrow, assuming I don't make something that will result in leftovers.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The lingering non-cold

Still dealing with this annoying not really there cold which is really impacting my motivation. Freezer scrounged for lunch again today. Then, while lamenting that I hadn't stopped for grocery store Chinese for dinner (it's on sale!), I realized I had everything I needed for lo mein. Leftover cooked spaghetti, the coleslaw mix that still hasn't been eaten, and a bag of steamer veggies in the freezer (carrots, broccoli, snap peas and water chestnuts). Dinner was done in 10 minutes and I have lunch for tomorrow. There are a few things I would do differently next time, but a pretty good, super quick, cheap, mostly already prepared because of leftovers meal. The veggies weren't really as overcooked as the picture makes them look - they picked up the soy sauce color.

I also made part of a breakfast project for morning...more on that tomorrow!

I decided to wait until Saturday to nake the pork needs to cook 8-10 hours, but says to watch to see if it needs more liquid. I've only made one before and I can't remember if I added more liquid during cooking or not. Since I really don't want to burn it, or my kitchen, probably best to wait until I can supervise it. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A very lazy Monday

Yesterday was a lazy day in the kitchen. I ended up working from home because the cold I've been trying to get was staging another attack...and yet I still don't have a cold. Then a friend came over and we made totchos (nachos with tots as the base) so I didn't need dinner. And I made pizza dough again so I have that in case of an emergency meal this week. Still planning to do the pork sometime this week too! 

It wasn't all bad, I had leftover pizza for breakfast, chicken parm for lunch, then threw a bunch of stuff (artichoke hearts, olives, pepperoni) on top of leftover spaghetti, a few spices, a little artichoke marinade and cheese and had dinner. Still haven't eaten out this month....

It's snowy today, so maybe we'll get a snow day tomorrow (not likely). But, if we do, I can play with my new toy!  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lazier Sunday

Today was a little bit lazier. Breakfast was the last of the egg salad on an english muffin. Then, I decided to tackle the extra bedroom (aka the red room). During the holidays this room accumulated all kinds of junk. Then the light in the closet ceiling burned needed lots of help. And, of course, I had help (please ignore the mess) - apparently my feet needed warming while I changed the bulb in the ceiling fixture. She's so helpful!

Ready for the oven
After getting the red room more or less under control, it was time for lunch. At about 2:00 (I also washed linens!) I finished the last rise of the pizza dough, split it in two, and rolled it out. Since I was lazy, I put it on a foil lined, cooking spray greased pan. I loaded it up with toppings and put it in the oven (475) for 10 minutes. After about 9 minutes it looked like the toppings were getting a little overdone so I pulled it out and let it sit a few minutes. The crust was a little soft under the toppings, but I think this was because I overloaded it with toppings and cooked it on a foil lined sheet. The exposed crust was crispy and delicious (the rest of the crust was pretty good too). It was easily as good as any frozen pizza (crust-wise) that you will buy. And, since I can't buy a pepperoni, artichoke heart, black olive frozen pizza - I will clearly be making this again! I think next time I will double the recipe just to stash away more in the freezer. I have another half for another day, but it would be a great thing to have tucked away to stick it in the fridge for a day or two and then just have a 20 minute rise and 10 minutes to bake on a weekday. And, it's a great way to use up whatever leftovers you have in the fridge. I only ate half because; 1) it was pretty filling; 2) it was a weird time to be eating and I might want more food before the day is over; and 3) I have two more pieces to take to work for lunch tomorrow. Tonight I will get the pork shoulder ready to cook in the crockpot while I'm at work tomorrow.
Ready to eat!
Week One is down! There were some hits and misses but, I didn't buy any pre-made food, I have some things stashed away in the freezer, and I'm still well within my grocery budget for the month. I think it's off to an okay start. Let's see how Week Two goes!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A good day!

It was a productive day in the kitchen. It wasn't the meal I had planned, but I decided the pork shoulder would be a better choice to make the day I have to work this weekend - either tomorrow or Monday. So, I started thinking about other ideas for dinner. I want to make pizza since I have pepperoni and just opened a pack of sliced mozzarella that I'll need to use up too. I have lots of chicken and a container of sauce (which I also need to for the pizza) in the freezer  - chicken parm! Except I didn't have bread I made them! I know, they're easy to make, but I had never done it. I usually have a container in the cabinet, but they had expired so I tossed them a little while ago. I don't suggest making this dinner if you don't have a day that you want to spend, on and off, in the kitchen and you don't want to do a lot of dishes/run the dish washer. I didn't mind doing either.

First, I made the sauce. I buy the regular tomato sauce and then season it myself. Less ingredients than in canned/jarred spaghetti sauce and it can be used in recipe that are not Italian (chili, cheater enchilada sauce, etc). I got that started cooking down. It is thinner than spaghetti sauce, so it's best if you can let it cook a while to thicken it up. I took the chicken out the freezer and went off to do some laundry. A little while later I started the pizza dough. I've never made it before, but my friend always uses the Smitten Kitchen recipe so that's what I made. I also put the bread out to dry some. 

Ready for the oven! 
A bit later I tackled the chicken. A regular chicken breast is giant - way more than one serving. The one I had was easily cut in half and then sliced in half (does that makes sense?). I then pounded it out to make it even little thinner. I don't have a meat tenderize but I discovered an ice cream scoop works really well for this. I sliced it when it was still a little frozen which made it much easier to work with - not nearly as slippery. Then I let it finish thawing. The bread wasn't super dry yet, so I toasted it and then pulverized it in the food processor. Since all the recipes called for Italian bread crumbs I mixed in a little basil, oregano and garlic. Then following most recipes, added some parm, dipped the chicken in egg, then the crumb mix, and then into a frying pan. I don't like frying with oil so I just sprayed the pan well with cooking spray and then spritzed the tops again before flipping them over. This worked well. Then into the over it went for about 25 minutes (350). I started the water for spaghetti and made a salad while it baked. After 25 minutes, I topped it with a little sauce and some sliced mozzarella and put it back in the over for about 10 minutes, until the cheese was melted.

Obviously, one chicken breast made a lot. I put two in the freezer, without pasta, and one in the freezer with some spaghetti and sauce. If I didn't need the sauce for pizza, I would have assembled all three as complete meals and frozen.

The plan for tomorrow is pepperoni, artichoke, and black olive pizza with half the dough. I think I might try some sort of pork on the other half later this week.

Dinner's ready!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Well, it was another not stellar day in meal planning. I did find some sesame chicken in the freezer for lunch and made my super quick, easy and some might think, surprisingly delicious breakfast - egg salad - last night. It was a "I need a quick breakfast" one day many years ago (10+ - eep!) that I stuffed egg salad in a pita for breakfast and it was delicious. It has now morphed into egg salad on a toasted english muffin. It's mostly pre-made, it's portable, it's delicious. For all those skeptical, I will say right now - I do not like mayonnaise on hot subs. It just gets oily and gross. That does not happen with this. I'm sure if you really wanted you could add meat or cheese and make it even more breakfast sandwich like, but I'm happy with it the way it is. Dinner was a sandwich. And since I had a sandwich for dinner, and you saw a picture of one of those last night, I decided to post a picture of the wine I had for dinner too (more on that below). 

Another longish day at work today and none of the stores have anything good on sale this week. Well, no good food buys. Hyvee has my favorite "cheap" wine on sale. It's 8.99 regular price (i.e. the price I don't buy it) but frequently on sale for 4.99 or 5.99.  This week - $3.99! Grocery shopping at Hyvee this week! I like Hyvee. A lot. They have good sales. Their fuel saver program is great. What I don't like is that some of their items are priced so much higher than Walmart or Aldi. This was just a quick shopping trip though - wine, ice cream (on sale and a coupon!), and a few sale and necessity items to pick up. 

What did I buy - two boxes of pasta (.01 fuel saver per box); kidney beans for .68; ice cream; they had the nice brand of deli meat on sale so I got some hard salami and pepperoni; a loaf of Italian bread (I know! I need to make my own); sour cream (another .01 fuel saver); tomato paste even though that's another thing that cost so much more there - but not enough to drive somewhere else; refried beans (.01 fuel saver); a pack of tortillas; waffles (.01 fuel saver) and bananas to put on the waffles (with peanut butter) but will inevitably will sit in my fruit bowl until they are only suitable for banana bread. All of that for 20.74 (not counting wine) and 2.50 of that was the ice cream treat. And .05 fuel saver which will be about .50 - .75 cents off my next fill up depending on how empty I let the car get (I get between 10 and 12 gallons when I fill up). 

The planning so far - I think I'll make the pork shoulder I got last week (.99 a pound) since I have to use or freeze it in the next week. I have a bag of coleslaw mix from a sale last week (.77). I also have some orange juice from a sale last week (.99). So, some kind of pork, probably with potatoes and carrots, for the first night dinner; carnitas (with the sour cream and tortillas); and probably some pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw. I also saw an interesting recipe for pulled pork nachos - they sound quick and easy for a weeknight dinner. I might also make Cincinnati chili (why I bought the spaghetti, since I couldn't remember if I had a box and it was on sale) and then use some of that in place of the meat layer in pastitsio (why I bought the tomato paste). For the weekend I have some egg salad left for either breakfast or lunch; the Italian bread would make delicious french toast; bread, meat and cheese; breakfast burritos, pizza (made at home!).... Lots of options without even diving into the freezer surplus. 

So, week one is down and although it didn't go according to plan, I didn't spend any money eating out so I still accomplished the end goal. And, I still have about $40 to spend for month on groceries and lots of goodies stashed in the freezer. And if the worst happens, I still have my entire "restaurant" budget to spend for the month. 

Let's see how week two goes.... 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sometimes, all the best planning just doesn't work out. A pre-work appointment yesterday morning, two longer than usual days at work, and nomination letter that still needs to written tonight calls for a super quick, easy dinner. 

But, I'm still counting it as a win because I have not yet resorted to eating out (or buying pre-made at the grocery store). I just need to figure out lunch tomorrow and then I have a three day weekend to get ready for next. Well, it may end up being a two weekend if I don't get stuff done tomorrow.

Off to dig through the freezer for lunch for tomorrow before getting back to work....

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Well, there have not been any Egg McMuffin runs so far this week. Meals have gone as planned. Quiche for breakfast yesterday and today. Shepherd's pie last night. It was nice to come home, stick the casserole in the over, and dinner was ready a little while later. And there are plenty of extras for lunch for today. Tonight was a lazy evening. I had one more serving of chili that needed to be eaten or frozen, and since I still have more Shephard's pie left for lunch tomorrow, it worked out well. Tomorrow night will be either beef stroganoff or beef ragu (depending on what I feel like) and the rest of the roast leftovers will go in the freezer. Eventually, I will start posting pictures and recipes but Shepherd's pie really doesn't look very pretty once you get it in a bowl! 

And since it was a lazy night, I spent some time coloring with my new splurge that came today! I also let Juliet watch some TinyKittens

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Welcome to my new adventure! I spend a lot of time online looking at recipes and meal planning and soon realized I couldn't find what I was looking for. There are tons of food blogs and meal planning sites, but nothing for a single person that didn't need a college student's budget, but also didn't want to spend two hours every night cooking. I also wanted to have breakfast and lunch ready to go in the morning. So, I've decided to start blogging my own adventure in money saving, better eating, and better planning for one. Mine is not of necessity, I could afford to eat out all the time if I wanted. But, that's a waste of money...we all know that. I started experimenting with this last year by doing a large cooking on the weekend - usually a large meat item in the crockpot - and then trying to make this carry me through the week. It sort of worked. But it got boring. I'm building on that foundation to expand this. I'm sure there will be hits and misses. Times that I do really well and times I get Egg McMuffins a few times a week...but, I'm here to share all of that with you. Maybe posting will make me more accountable and motivate me. But maybe it will help someone else find what I couldn't!

Summarizing - this blog is not for the crisis budget or the dorm room student. I like to cook when I have time and have a fairly well stocked kitchen (equipment wise) and I LOVE to bake so there will be some baking posts. This is for someone who cooks for one person, has a somewhat demanding job, and wants to be able to spend the weekends cooking and prepping for the week. I like a bargain but have set a fairly liberal monthly grocery budget of $150. But, $150 for 90 meals is not a lot, really.

So, let's dive into weekend #1!

I spent a lot of my grocery budget this week. But, there were good sales! I got about 5.5 lbs of ground beef, a 2.5 lb beef roast and a 4.5 lb pork shoulder. This will build the base for my meals this month. I'm doing this blogging kind of retroactively, so on Friday I cooked up about 2.5lb of the ground beef, used about .5 lb in chili and then froze the additional 2lbs (cooked). Chili for me is super simple - a little ground beef, some kidney beans, a little tomato sauce/paste, spices...that's it.

Saturday, I was making the roast. I had purchased some celery (1.48) and potatoes (5 lbs for $2) and the roast (2.5 lbs for $10). I didn't have my usual onion soup mix so I used some real onions (previously purchased 3# for .69 at Aldi), some carrots (no idea what I paid), and a cup of beef broth (probably $1.50 for the carton). I added a cup of wine ($4.99 a bottle) tossed in the roast and turned on the crockpot. I let this cook on low for about 6 hours and then tossed in some more baby carrots (I don't like overcooked carrots - the initial ones were to flavor the stock) and about 2# of potatoes (yes, I was planning for leftovers!) and I let it cook for about two more hours. Pretty tasty and no artificial anything (did I mention I wanted to cut down on packaged food?).

I should probably mention at this point that I made corn meal mush for breakfast/lunch. It's delicious and I made the leftovers into polenta cakes to go with the chili from Friday and to go with the yet to be made beef ragu. So, at the end of the day Saturday I had a big container of beef, a big container of potatoes and carrots, and good sized container of beef broth. I also had 8 mini loafs of polenta.

Sunday (today) comes along and I decide I'm going to start on my New Year's plan to learn to make biscuits. I love biscuits, especially with apple jelly or apple butter. I found a recipe online that worked really well and made fluffy biscuits (I'll share some other weekend). No lunch was needed. Dinner was ham and swiss quiche. And 7, yes 7!, breakfasts were made. Again, I'll share the recipe later (spoiler alert - check the Fannie Farmer cookbook). Then I turned my roast leftovers into a Shepherd's Pie for tomorrow's dinner...maybe you're starting to get the picture...I now have 7 quiche slices in the fridge/freezer for breakfast. I have a Shepherd's Pie in the fridge ready to bake tomorrow for dinner. I have chili over polenta for lunch tomorrow. This is what this blog is about...pre-cooking, pre-planing. Real food for a real (single) adult!