Thursday, April 28, 2016

Space Saving Cups

I saw this idea awhile back in a Facebook post.  My girls all use just one cup all the time so at the end of the day I only have 4 kid cups in the dishwasher.  The usually all sit on the edge of the dish drainer, but if the drainer tray was getting gunky I hated to put the kids' cups on it.  I also didn't like how often the cups got knocked off the edge of the counter onto the floor.

So I dug out a few magnets that had been languishing in my craft drawers (ALL saved from other things, like magnetized grocery pads) and super-glued them to my kids' cups.  So far it's been working well! 

Love, Katie

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Salad Dressing Marinade

I hate to throw any food away.  And despite our large family I never seem to go through our salad dressing before its "best by" date, especially organic dressing.  One way I use up the dressing is to marinate and/or cook chicken in it. 

I made this last week and tossed most of it on a salad for lunch.
This is also a good way to use up little bits of dressing that linger in their bottles in the fridge.  I add oil or warm water and give the bottles a good shake.  Then I pour out the remainder onto the meat.  Little bits of dressing are great for little bits of meat. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Defrosting the Freezer - Day 9

Finally, after 9 days of defrosting I decided it was time to wrap up the freezer chore.

Most of the ice had melted

The turkey was iced in and moved the entire shelf contents when I tried to get it out.

I moved the paper bag of ground beef to find these 3 jugs, still frozen solid.

Again, when I tried to pull the milk out, it brought the water-filled jugs along, too.

Turkey with huge ice defrosted in the kitchen sink.

Milk jug defrosts, frozen to it's neighbor.

The ice surrounding the milk finally loosened.

Freezer is humming again with some food still inside.  
Next up will be using freezer contents up so I can unplug for a couple months this summer.


Monday, April 25, 2016

GF/DF Menu Plan

Keeping it simple this week since I'm taking the kids to visit an Auntie.

Monday- Fajitas
Tuesday - Chili
Wednesday - Aunt's house
Thursday - Aunt's house
Friday - Potluck at Bible study small group
Saturday - Pork Chops
Sunday - Popcorn & Smoothie

Monday - Grilled Cheese (leftover taco fixings for DD2)
Tuesday - Finger Food lunch
Wednesday - Aunt's house
Thursday - Aunt's house
Friday - Mac'n'Cheese
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - Taco Soup


Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 17 - $59.19

It was a light shopping week - yay!

First stop was Fred Meyer for a gallon of milk on Monday night.  I also bought 1# lunchmeat for $3.69, 2# shredded cheese for $4.99, 3# organic potatoes for $1.99, and clearance bell peppers for a total of $3.00,  I spent $17.91 on groceries.

My sweet friend picked these up for me at her local Grocery Outlet.  They were about $10 (still need to give my friend the cash).

I went to Fred Meyer again on Saturday for more milk. Organic gallon was $4.99 on sale, Coconut Milk half gallons were $2.00 each.  I picked up a loaf of bread for $1.34, organic celery for $1.45, organic baby carrots for $1.50/lb, 3 oranges, organic hummus for $2.99, and 2# shredded cheese again for $4.99.  I spent $25.30.

Finally, I dashed into Albertson's after church today.  We can't have family movie night without butter for the popcorn!  It was a whopping $3.99 and I grabbed tortillas, too, for fajitas.  I need to use up those bell peppers. I spent $5.98 on the two items.

I am so relieved to finally have a small spending week.  The bigger totals have really been making me doubt my grocery shopping prowess!  Lol.

Week 17 Total: $59.19
Year-to-Date 2016: $2,274.76
Weekly Average: $133.81.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Defrosting the Freezer - Day 7

Wow - the freezer STILL has all this ice on it!
Those two middle shelves are still pretty iced over.  I can't tug anything out either.

The inside freezer is seriously jam-packed.  I'll have more room if we eat the ice cream. =) 

Another view of the packed inside freezer.

The good news is I can close the door or the freezer again.  The door seal snugs right up the freezer - yay!  But I still want to find what's stuck back in that freezer so I'll let it keep defrosting.

I pulled this chicken out on Day 7. 

It still has ice all over it and is still really cold, but not frozen.

Ice on the bottom, too.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Stretching Ground Meat - Part 2

I share a couple week ago about how I stretch ground meat using onions & black beans for Mexican spiced meals.

Another of my favorite ways to use just half the amount of ground meat is to cut it with cooked quinoa.  It's filling and full of protein, but it looks funny to my family.  So this method works best for me when I hide it in casseroles.

I start with a pound of beef, an onion, garlic, and a cup of quinoa.

While the quinoa is cooking I brown the beef with onions and crushed garlic.

The quinoa only takes about 15 minutes to cook and has about 2 cups of volume.  I add it to the frying pan.

Then I mix the meat and quinoa.

This gives you 4 cups of meat mixture to work with instead of 2 cups of meat.

When I took these photos I was making a cornbread casserole and because I had so much meat mixture (twice the volume) I just made two of the casseroles up.  I cooked one and froze one for later.

Love, Katie

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thankful Thursday

I'm pretty blessed by a Wonderful Savior.  And it sure helps me to remember when I make a list of things He's given me.

Today I'm thankful for:

  • The Holy Spirit, without whom I wouldn't be able to keep my temper in check
  • A great team of professionals who are helping us navigate challenges with a kiddo
  • A great conversation with a teacher today & a new idea to try - enzymes.
  • The long life of an old, free freezer.  
  • DH's diligence in trying to sell our old car
  • Finally starting a landscaping project that's been stalled for a couple of years.
  • Kids who like healthy food, like asparagus
  • My SIL's willingness to come stay with our kids while DH and I get away
  • Our friends who offered to let us stay at their condo in Hawaii for free!
  • A great mama who knows me and understands me
  • New friendships and encouraging conversation
  • Office Supplies!  
  • Gracious friends
  • My accountability ladies who pray for and love me
  • A happy, healthy son
  • My uncle's excellent care at Johns Hopkins
  • Sunshine!
  • Good, quick chats this week with both of my sisters
Love, Katie