Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No menu for this week - life intervenes

I haven't planned a menu for this week and don't intend to. Two hours after I posted the last entry and got to bed my phone rang. It was my sister telling me my stepfather's heart had stopped and he was moved to cardiac ICU.  He's still there but hopefully will be moved to a regular room today or tomorrow. I'm trying to keep my sanity and work and help my mother and I don't have time for menu planning right now. The reality is I probably need it more now than ever but I just don't have it in me to sit down and plan meals.

I have part of an uncooked roast in the fridge and will put that in marinade before I go to work in awhile and then cook it when I get in tonight. I'll have that tonight with roasted brussels sprouts and probably take whatever is left to Mom's house in the morning. My sisters are there and it will feed us for a meal or two, at least. Other than that, food isn't even on my mind.

Hopefully things will be calmer in a few days and I can give a little more thought to healthy eating. For now, just eating is a chore.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I think I hate October

I've decided that I really dislike this month. It's been crappy. Between things at work and family issues, I'm ready for November to get here. I'm tired of the heat and while I don't like cold winters I'm ready for the cool of Autumn.

On the second of this month, my stepfather fell while riding his dirt bike and got scraped up pretty good. Not a major thing, really, but he ended up with Staph infection and then developed pneumonia. I'm sure he'll be okay but it's becoming more and more obvious to me and my sisters that he and Mom are almost, if not already, at the point where they just can't take care of one another without substantial help. And we aren't sure what kind of help they need or we can provide.

It's frustrating, stressful, sad, and depressing. They love one another but his dementia is taking its toll on them both. And her health seems to be deteriorating in ways, too. I saw this coming a couple of years ago but thought I had more time and I'm not ready for this.

Maybe I need to curl up on the couch with a blanket and pillow, watch "The Notebook" again, and have a good cry. Or maybe, since it's 1:35 in the morning, I just need to take my exhausted self to bed and start all over tomorrow. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

But when I wake up it will still be October.

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 17th - 23rd Menu

Thanks to those of you who emailed me to make sure I was following last week's menu. I did really well with it until I got started feeling sick on Friday and from then it was downhill! It was nice to hear from y'all though.

I'm still sick with strep throat, bronchitis, and a sinus infection so I haven't eaten much the last three days. I'm improving and assuming that trend continues I plan to have a pretty good food week. If it doesn't continue, I'll just roll all or most of this menu over to next week.

Right now the refrigerator has leftover sticky chicken that needs to be eaten so a couple of dinners will use that. I also have some leftover vegetable soup that I'll probably eat for lunch at work one day.

Tonight I'll have a fajita using a homemade egg wrap rather than a tortilla but will have all the trimmings with it - bell pepper, onion, guacamole and homemade pico de gallo.

The rest of the week I'll have, in no particular order:

Homemade chunky chicken vegetable soup with a flax muffin

Stir fried steak and vegetables with a little wild rice

Breakfast meatballs with scrambled eggs and spinach

Vodka sauce chicken & vegetables with a salad

Leftover night when I finish off whatever's haunting the refrigerator.

If you like to plan your menu or if you want to plan but aren't sure where to start, come on over to Menu Plan Monday and see what Laura and the others have cooking. There are some great recipes to be found there and the folks are happy to answer menu planning questions.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms Redux

Since I haven't been feeling well the last couple of days (strep, bronchitis and a sinus infection) I haven't eaten much. Ice cream sounds good but not much else and since I don't have ice cream and everything I've tried to eat makes my throat hurt even more I just haven't eaten much.

This evening, though, I started craving mushrooms. Stuffed mushrooms in particular. So I dragged myself into the kitchen and made a batch. Fortunately, they only take a few minutes to make so I managed to get a batch of five made and I even managed to eat all five of them. Wonder of wonders!

Of course, they're so nice to look at and so tasty to eat but I was surprised that eating them didn't hurt my throat. Not much, anyway. Drinking water makes it feel like lava is sliding down it so go figure.

Anyway, here's a picture of the mushrooms I just made a bit ago.

Aren't they scrumptious looking?

I used the same recipe I always use but instead of turkey bacon I browned two tiny beef sausages, cut into very small pieces and I used red onion instead of green.

So yeah, next time you feel like the fires of hell have taken up residence in your throat, try this.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What to do when the meat you prepared isn't as good as you hoped...or Beefy Cheesy Spinach Soup

I bought some tenderized skirt steak yesterday and broiled it thinking it would be really tasty with a salad. I wasn't impressed with the meat at all though, Apparently I don't like skirt steak when it's been tenderized but I couldn't handle the thought of throwing it out so I morphed it and some leftovers from the fridge into this lovely soup...

It actually turned out beautifully, tasting a lot like spinach cheese dip, and I'll make it again the next time I have the same leftovers.

Those leftovers, by the way, were skillet cooked spinach, a hand full of green beans, some queso, and some broth. I added green onions, a little half and half and some crema mexicana, some snipped fresh cilantro and voila, a delicious soup perfect for a cool night.

As a bonus there are leftovers to eat before I head to work this evening!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A question for those who buy for one or two adults, only

I didn't get to the grocery store until today. Now, that doesn't mean I've been eating horrible food all week. I haven't. A friend treated me to lunch one day (Tex Mex) but I controlled myself, difficult as it was. It does mean that I've eaten breakfast a lot this week and I finally got tired of it and went grocery shopping today.

I went to two groceries, Albertson's and Brookshire's, a local chain that is higher than a cat's back. I go to the latter store strictly for sale items and even that's rare.

Since I moved into this place three months ago I've done little shopping..you know, run to the store and get a few things then go again a few days later. It's taken me this long to get my basics so today I did 'big shopping', which probably is nothing compared to those of you who have large families (at one
time I shopped and cooked for a large family so I know how that goes) but was pretty big for me.

At Albertson's I spent $126.52 and got:

Green tea, diet pepsi, chicken and beef broth, Rotel tomaotes, vegetable stock, some spices, a whole chicken, two beef roasts, mucho breakfast meat, eggs, a lot of half and half, cottage and sharp cheddar cheeses, a lot of frozen vegetables (10/$10), two packages of John Soule's cooked fajita beef (not cheap but still cheaper than eating out after a long shift at work), fixins to make pico de gallo which I eat at least once a day, two jars of Claussen kosher dills, a couple of limes, mushrooms, and raw peanuts. I did remember to take my canvas bags with me and got a $.50 bag discount. Wooot! ;)

I spent $23.96 at Brookshire's and got seven packages of raw skirt steak and three avocados (10/$10) and one gala apple, my treat for this week.

So I spent almost $151.00 today on food for one person. That's the most I've spent grocery shopping in these three months but taking into account that I eat low carb most of the time, making cheaper things like rice, beans, and pasta not part of my regular diet, it wasn't too bad. Honestly, I live on meat, vegetables, and eggs. The food I got will last at least a month with the addition of a couple of runs for eggs and fresh produce.

Even though I think I did fairly well I feel like I spent too much. Damn those grocery prices! ;)

If you're in a household of one or two adults, how much do you generally spend for a month's worth of groceries? Really, I'd like to know.

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 10th - 16th Menu

I'm back to planning my meals at least a week at a time, but haven't been posting the menus here. And of course, not keeping to the plan for the most part! I'm not sure just why but putting a weekly menu up here for the whole world (potentially, anyway) to see keeps me on the straight and narrow. I thought I'd be fine not planning meals but what happened is I ate a lot of turkey bacon and egg suppers and too many take away meals from Long John Silver. The former isn't good for variety and the latter isn't good for my blood sugar. And though I tried to incorporate some variety into my diet, that isn't easy with turkey bacon and eggs and grease soaked frish (fried fish) so readily available. So, I'm asking y'all to please hold me accountable. How? Well, if you read this entry, please come back in a day or two and ask if I've actually prepared/eaten the stuff listed here or if I've been a slug and eaten breakfast food or junk food. I won't lie about it and if I don't eat what I have listed here, or a fairly healthy alternative, please berate and belittle me. Or something similar.

So, this week's menu contains the wonderful Caramelized Onions. I have a craving for those so when I'm off tomorrow those will be going in the slow cooker, simmering at a leisurely pace, smelling the kitchen up so wonderfully! I don't know if I can find Vidalias right now but other onions will work if I can't. If you like cooked onions and haven't tried that recipe yet, I highly recommend it to you.

Now, on to this week's menu!

Tonight I'll have leftover Swiss Steak. I made it on Friday and need to finish it off so I'll have that with a bit of wild rice and a small salad.

The rest of the week I'll have:

Mimi's Sticky Chicken with faux mashed potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts

Ribeye steak with caramelized onions, a very small baked red potato, and a bit of sour cream and butter 

Chicken Fajita bundle (meaning I omit the tortilla and just pile the ingredients on a plate and eat with a fork), made with leftover sticky chicken, caramelized onions, plenty of shredded sharp cheddar and pepper jack, and homemade pico de gallo.

Fire Roasted Tomato Chicken soup, my own creation that rocks the socks, folks! When I make that, I'll share the recipe in a separate entry. It's loosely based on my Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with a few changes and with cooler evenings upon us, it will be a welcome dish one night this week.

And last but not least, Saturday night I'll have whatever's languishing in the fridge and needs to be eaten. I really detest throwing food out so I try to eat up those leftovers, whatever they are, on Saturdays. It's a good plan and works well most of the time.

So that's it for this week. Hopefully I'll stick to my plan, folks. If I don't, call me on it. Please!

To find out what others are having this week join us over at Laura's Menu Plan Monday. There seem to be some seriously good cooks into menu planning and I get wonderful ideas reading their menus.