Showing posts from November, 2012

Recipe: Breakfast Hash Brown crockpot casserole

Here's another "tweaked from Pinterest" recipe, though I haven't made it yet. I'll be making this on Sunday and will report back (with pictures if I'm not too sleepy to remember!) with results. But the idea is such:

Friday/Early saturday: 
Shred potatoes. Soak in salt water until ready to assemble to reduce browning.
Dice onions, maybe some bell peppers and mushrooms, bacon, whatever looks good.
Brown any meat going in.

Saturday, right before bed (ish):
Drain potatoes. Put in crockpot.
Mix in any veggies and meat.
Layer with a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a cup of milk (maybe I should mix this up?).
Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
Turn on crockpot to low, cook for about 8 hours.

Turn off, wrap in towel and/or put in thermal bag, take to Football Brunch. Serve and enjoy.
I suppose we shall see how it goes, eh? Are you using Pinterest for any good dishes lately?

Recipe: "Peppered Egg Nest"

I love Pinterest. And unlike what seems to be the internet trope, I do actually create a good number of the things I see on there. I've used it as inspiration for at least 15 of menu items in the last three months, if nothing else, and discovered some awesome cleaning tricks along the way. Even some natural home remedies for illness, which I'll be discussing at a later point.

One of the most recent things that I got to use from Pinterest was a low-carb egg-in-a-basket/nest recipe, using a bell pepper ring instead of bread. I showed Mr. Moon, he made it for me for breakfast, and presented me with this:

Saying as he did so, "Believe it or not I am NOT the embodiment of Pinterest, and it's not as pretty as the one you showed me."

Well it was delicious. But I'm going to share a recipe with a few tweaks of my own to make it even better (and prettier!) than Mr. Moon's first attempt, which I must say was VERY well done from just a picture with no directions.


Menu for November 25-December 2; Planning ahead for vacation

In three weeks, I'm headed on vacation for three weeks to see blood- and chosen-family over the holidays. Mr. Moon will at that point be committing to commuting 13 miles each way by bike to work for what will presumably be 3 days a week if the schedule stays roughly the same, and so I'm anticipating he will be low on energy and definitely lower on time than we have right now. So we are spending these next three weeks planning ahead so that the meals while I'm gone are taken care of. Freezer meals that can be re-heated in the crockpot and oven as soups and casseroles, mostly. Things that even on the worst days, anyone can pull out and cook with less effort than picking up take-out. And only a couple that will require prepping sides to go with.

Rather than make it more difficult on ourselves, it means that over the next couple weeks we will also be having some of these items for dinner. But it's a switch in thinking that I'd like to get everyone else used to doing, s…

Sometimes the best progress for which you can hope is simply not moving backward

They say life is all about the little things. The small decisions we make every day that suddenly become a lifestyle. The little looks, kisses, the seemingly meaningless conversations that add up to a relationship. The choices and actions we make every day that define who we are.

But then they say "don't sweat the small stuff." They say that your kids will remember you spending time with them, not how messy the house looked. That your partner remembers the big gestures more than the small ones. That where you live, how you live, what you wear doesn't define who you are.

These theories are not simply incompatible, they're directly contradictory. Sometimes I get stuck thinking I can strike a balance in the middle. That I can somehow maximize the daily small stuff and balance that with the grand life gestures. Then I think I should choose one or the other as a philosophy and stick to it. It's like trying to balance the lessons from the past, hopes for the future…

Menu Plan: Nov 11-18

After a long, busy week leading up to a very important birthday party, we are headed into a much calmer schedule this week. Next week we will be prepping for Thanksgiving, but it looks like Mr. Moon is coming down with a cold so the focus is all on comfort foods and resting for now. Just in time for the 'Rents to go on vacation, so we get some time to ourselves. I'm looking forward to a little break in routine!

Without further ado, the menu plan for the week!

Breakfasts: Smoothies and bagels, maybe some cottage cheese and pineapple.

Lunches: Finishing off the pasta salad from last week and using up the odds and ends of stuff we have around.

Monday: Steak. Of some kind. For date night. I'm thinking fajitas sounds good. [freezer; meat; date night]

Tuesday: Cheddar broccoli soup, bumped from last week. The broccoli has fared well since being prepped for it, and we otherwise have all the ingredients on hand. I suspect Mr. Moon will enjoy a nice comforting soup to ease his chest co…

Recipe: Quiche!

Quiche is a very versatile food. Perfect for small handfuls of leftovers, nicely customizable, and easy. Remove the crust and you have frittata. I've made a couple of them for our Sunday football brunches, and my future brother in law asked for the recipe for the broccoli quiche I made today! It's always a little gratifying when people like my food. 

And in this case a little ironic because despite my best efforts, I just don't like quiche. Or frittatas. Or omelets. Something about mixing overcooked scrambled eggs with other stuff just hits my brain as wrong. I love them next to each other though!

1 average-sized (10 inch?) pie crust 8 eggs 1/2 cup milk or cream seasonings cheese various meats/veggies for stuffing
1.) Pre-heat oven to 350
2.) Chop meats and veggies into smaller-than-bite-sized pieces (small to medium dice). Place loosely into bottom of pie, do not pack tightly. Top with a small amount of shredded or chopped cheese.
3.) In a bowl, whip eggs and milk/cream toge…

De-cluttering: being gentle on myself and others

With Pops' birthday party on Sunday, it got sprung on us last Sunday that we would be having a major event here in... well, now, about two days. I'm struggling with the frustration that with a little more notice, we would have prioritized things like carpet shampooing to be this week instead of the week before Thanksgiving when we will, now ironically, have fewer people here. (Let's just say, clumsy adults + clumsy cat + WHITE carpets + said carpets are past double their life expectancy = Needs regular shampooing.)

We have been here officially for 8 and a half months now, and the garage has not yet been set up into the lounge sanctuary that was intended to be our stress-relief area. Everything Else keeps getting prioritized ahead of the garage, and now it is in a stage that Pops' participation is required to continue at all, which means we are at the whim of his condition. It just so happens that if we can get the current stage of sorting done before Sunday, then some …

Food prep: the logical second step of meal planning

Mr. Moon and I are testing out a new theory, that we can prep foods ahead of time for quicker turn-around on meals. Given how the schedule changes every week, we can't designate a specific day (or two) for it the way we would with a typical 9-5 job or steady set schedule. So it's a floating thing, depending on the schedule.

Since Mr. Moon had the day off, today was that day. Problem was it was such a nice day that it was really important to get as much yard work done as he could. And my knee wasn't cooperating with much, so I was kind of down for the count. I was able to get some laundry washed and dried, though! I went to an appointment while he pruned butterfly bushes and trimmed them down for stakes (totally for vampires, not at all for tying back roses bushes). Once the sun went down, it was time to clean up from that project and get to work on food prep.

Our list for the day:
Chop veggies for soup; zucchini, tomato, onion
Soak beans for soup
Meatballs for soup
Blend pe…

Menu: Nov 4-11; updated white board system again!

After a couple weeks of menu planning but not posting it, I'm back to blogging and excited about the new white board set-up.

The white board has been working great for Mr. Moon and myself, but we were running out of space to get our WHOLE to-do list onto it. The 'Rents still don't really look at it, but having to communicate with other people in the house while they're not there isn't exactly something they've had to do for years. Organizing meal plans and chores, from the look and sounds of it, isn't anything they've ever done. So it's definitely an adjustment for them.

We rotated the board! We had a lot of wasted space in the shopping list section, removed the project list. It's now a piece of paper in a sleeve on the back that we slip out for project planning, but right now the focus is pretty much all yard and garage work anyway. We added a section for things that need to be retrieved from the garage (which was actually ages ago, I just have…

31 days of blogging: Well that was a bust

I made it 14 days which is admittedly the longest I've ever made on these kinds of challenges. I'd love to say there were lame excuses like the ones Nony blogged about all month for why I fell off the face of the planet and didn't post my menu plan or any of my dinners for two to three weeks. Really I was struggling with a major bout of depression, the weather changes plays havoc on my joints, and I had doctor's appointments two to three times a week for the whole month. Whew! For once I'm not beating myself up about having made a goal and failing at it. There were days I COULD have taken a picture of my dinner and posted it, but I decided that I needed to be gentle on myself, give myself some time and space to just be in the moment, to accept the situation. It was oddly clarifying.

Mr. Moon and I took a trip to Seattle for Halloween to see some friends. We'd been squirreling away our date-night money for a few months in anticipation of this trip, and we manage…