Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot will have a little different look for awhile. When I'm back up and running again, I'll return to the previous format.

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Good Afternoon! My WSS is up later then typical. I woke up this morning and the first thing on my mind, other then a cup of hot coffee :) was my to do list. The sun is shining and I'm feeling motivated. I had a long list that I started yesterday and did not get finished. So I started working on that. Then got a phone call from my daughter in California and we chatted over and hour, which was wonderful. I love catching up with her busy life when she has a moment to chat.

My week has been going very well. I am up and out the door as often as the weather cooperates for my walks and getting other household chores taken care of. I've been in a cleaning and purging mode lately. I went through a tote of clothes and started pulling out summer clothes and putting the winter sweaters away. I also came across items that are worn out, don't fit or items I no longer want. Those that were still in good shape were taken to Good Will.

I had a nice visit also from my youngest son. He stopped by and we caught up on all that has been going on for him at work and in life. It was also my chance to feed him, LOL :) . Since moving away he's lost weight as he works to figure out cooking for himself.



Goals
Yesterday my goal was to give the bathroom a good cleaning. I even scrubbed down the tile in the shower. The thing about my surgery in January was that it totally wiped out my upper body strength. And boy, my muscles were feeling all that tile scrubbing last night. It's all a good thing as I continue to work myself back to health.

Today I've already cleaned up the kitchen, started laundry, picked up my room and made the bed, and had a 20 minute walk.

My goals for the rest of the day are to vacuum and mop the floors, clean up a couple clutter piles, finish the laundry and do a little work outside.

Dinner preps are simple. We're grilling some salmon and having salad and french bread with this. So I don't have much to do for our meal. Hubby always is in charge of the BBQ.


Steps, Steps, Steps
I was so excited and wanted to share. On Sunday I did a 2 mile walk with Leslie Sansone's DVDs then had a busy morning. The sun was out for the first time in a long time and I wanted to be out soaking up that beautiful sunshine. In the afternoon I got out and took another walk that was probably 1 ½ miles or so. By the end of the day I was beat, my muscles were talking to me :) but I had a little over 11,000 steps! First time all year that I was able to get to my 10,000 step goal (and beyond!).

I took a few pics of the beautiful scenery in my “neighborhood” while I was walking.


 

 





Since Sunday my steps have been around 8000 to 9000 a day. My day is still young so  when I finish up my house work I'm thinking I'll  head out for another walk on this beautiful day.


Frugality
This is a little of a follow up on a grocery haul post I made a couple weeks ago. I had purchased my favorite brand of coffee pods for my Keurig from Costco. I buy this brand because not only is it really good coffee but it is the best price per cup (pod) I have been able to find. The cost is .30 cents each. 

 


Undeniably these are not the most frugal way to make a cup of coffee. I guess they are my little extravagance or guilty pleasure for the sake of simplicity. The other way I will make a cup of coffee with my Keurig is to use my own coffee grounds. I purchased the little insert that comes with a reusable filter for use in the Keurig....




You put your own grounds in the little basket and put it in the insert...










Put the lid on it and put it in the Keurig and brew your coffee..


 I was curious what this cost me. So I measured out the coffee grounds, weighed it and found the price per pound I was paying for coffee beans (I buy Kirkland brand beans from Costco). The cost for this is .11 cents. That is a .20 cent savings.

I still like the convenience of the pods, but came to a semi frugal compromise. I use the pods for my first cup of coffee in the morning. Some days that is the only cup I have but occasionally I'll have a 2nd cup. On the days I have a second cup I'll use my own beans.



View from my Deck
Gorgeous and sunny! Spring is finally here..



And literally over night my apple tree blossomed.. 

 


High for today, 83 Low, 56


That is all for this week! Hope you are having a fantastic week!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Menu Monday!




Good Morning! I spent a little time over the weekend getting my menu lined up. I have my grocery list in hand and today is grocery shopping day.

This evening's dinner is pretty simple, leftovers. I made the pork roast and mac & cheese that was on last weeks menu, yesterday. I still have enough left for our dinner tonight. Plus I was able to get some put in the freezer for future dinners for hubby to take to work.

The rest of the weeks is looking like this:

Chicken Sandwiches & Tomato Soup
I'm going to use boneless, skinless chicken for the sandwiches. I'll flatten them to make them thin, season them and quickly fry them. I'll serve them in english muffins. I could use hamburger buns but I bought a large pack of english muffins last week from Costco and figured this would be a good way to use them. I'll serve tomato soup and a salad on the side.


Pizza Beans
Years ago I use to make pinto beans and season them with Italian seasonings. I would add pepperoni and cooked sausage to the beans as well as onions and peppers and some diced tomatoes. When I serve them I top them with mozzarella cheese. My family always loved this meal and it's a nice change up from chili. I'll serve french bread and salad with this meal.


Grilled Salmon
I have some wild caught Alaskan salmon in my freezer to use. This week is promising some beautiful warm days and I figured it was time to light the BBQ and grill up the salmon. I'll serve rice pilaf and a veggie of some sort (I'll see what's on sale today).



That should do it for this week!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Grocery Haul for Two and Beef Gyros





This week we shopped at both Winco and Costco. The Costco haul was pretty small and we even debated if she should go. However we were there for gas and decided to go anyway.

The Winco haul was a bit bigger then typical. I had a hard time getting it all in one picture so I took 2 pics.. 

 

We picked up the typical milk and half n half. I also was almost out of sugar and that should last us for a while. I don't do a lot of baking any more and typically only use it to make my hubby's lemonade.

The potato rounds are Winco's version of tater tots, only much less expensive.

I have vowed not to peruse the meat until I use up more of what I have stored in the freezer. But... my hubby apparently has his own thoughts.. ha, ha.. he spotted hamburger on sale and picked up about 8#'s (I show at the bottom of this post what I did with it).

I got another box of almond/coconut milk, a small container of coleslaw from the deli and we picked up some chips and dip. 

We were planning on going to see my in laws the next day and wanted to take the chips and dip up with us..




The rest of the Winco haul was the regular weekly supply of our fruits and veggies: 




Our total for our Winco trip was: $68


Our small haul from Costco:



Napkins: I like to have them on hand but if you've followed my blog for a while now you know that I make my own cloth napkins for our daily use. The last time I bought a jumbo pack of napkins from Costco was over 3 years ago. So I know this package of 1040 napkins will last us!

The rest was bread products: english muffins, tortillas and pita bread.

I also purchased my contact lens supplies and some eye drops. I don't count these items in my food budget. Our FSA from hubby's work reimburses for the cost of things like this. 

 


The total for Costco (minus the contact lens supplies) was: $21

Grand total for this week: $89


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Instant Pot Beef Gyros Sandwiches

Oh my gosh these were amazing! And if you wonder why you did not see this on my weekly menu it's because I made a last minute change after I had published the menu.. and after I had been on Pinterest! Ha, ha!!

I was going to make beef & broccoli as I posted but then found an easy looking recipe for these Gyros. The recipe even includes a super simple Tzatziki sauce to make with it. I picked up the needed items for this recipe when I did my shopping (such as the pita bread)



Don't they look yummy? :) They were delicious and super easy to make.

You can find the recipe I used HERE.


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Hamburger Haul

In reality 8 pounds of hamburger is not that much. I've dealt with MANY more pounds at one time than that.. but.. we're no longer an extra large family :) .. so 8lbs is something to deal with. I don't want to just freeze it in the 4lb packages it came in, so here is what I did with it..

I started by weighing out 3lbs and making meatloaves with it, and putting them in the freezer. I love having them ready to go for a quick nights meal. It does take about an hour or a little more to cook them from frozen..




The rest of the hamburger I weighed out in 1lb amounts and wrapped them up in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer.




That's all for this week's Friday in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot will have a little different look for awhile. When I'm back up and running again, I'll return to the previous format. 

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Good Morning! How is your week going? I'm kind of slow going this morning, still enjoying my first cup of coffee. 

Yesterday was a very long day. Hubby and I headed north to go and visit his mom and her husband. It was the first road trip I've taken since my surgery. It was a very nice trip. We got home late and I was exhausted, but it was worth the trip for the visit. It's about a 4 ½ hour drive each way to see them.

They are doing great on their little homestead. They still have their goats (that she milks daily) and chickens and my mother in law is busy getting her garden underway and planting her seed starts. I got an updated picture of them...




My weekend was also busy. My daughter Sierra and her fiance, Rex, came to visit over the weekend. It was very nice to see them and she and I have all kinds of wedding ideas floating across our minds. It's nice to have plenty of time to think and prepare.



Goals
Today I have several goals I want to accomplish. I have meal preps to do for our dinner and some leftovers that I want to get packed up and in the freezer for hubby's future work day meals.

My bird feeder is a mess right now. The seeds got wet and then started to sprout and I've not had time and energy to get it cleaned out. Plus I want to move the feeder. It's too close to the house and my kitchen window. Every time I walk by the window it scares them away.  And my cats sit on my back porch near the feeder and are a little too interested in the birds! :) It's not like I'm trying to bring the birds in for their hunting fun. So I'm going to move it to the front yard and away from people and cats. I also need to make a new batch of hummingbird food and clean their feeder. The birds should be happy once again by the end of the day.


Steps, Steps, Steps
With so much rain (way above the normal for us) it's made it hard to get out and walk. Today is actually supposed to be dry and who knows, maybe even sunny out.. that would be a nice change. If it stays dry I plan to get out and walk. I've done my Leslie Sansone walks and that is great but there is nothing like getting out and enjoying the outdoors to get my steps in.


Frugality
Over the weekend I had some leftovers to work through. I had a small amount of black beans, rice and hamburger from a previous meal. Not enough to serve again and I had company here so I needed more then normal anyway. I put the beans and rice in a saucepan and added a little water then added some extra canned beans and spices and a can of chili and had a brand new meal.. a nice hot pot of chili for everyone. I served it with tortilla chips and a salad. I made mine into a taco salad..




It all gotten eaten up and my leftovers were put to good use.



View from my Deck
It's still quite overcast but I have hope it will burn off today and the sun will shine. It's been a while since we've seen the sun around here. 

 


Today's High: 59 Low: 39

Where oh where is spring? I know as I see news articles and comments made by friends that I'm not the only one who is having a hard time finding spring. 

What about you? Is it looking like spring yet in your area?


That is all for this week! Hope you are having a fantastic week!

 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Menu Monday!




Good Morning! Time for another week of menus.

Today is grocery shopping day and I plan to serve meatloaf. I have one left in the freezer all ready to pop in the oven. I'll have tater tots and green beans to go with this.

The rest of the week is looking like this:

Chili Dogs
I'm going to use the hot dogs and the buns that I have in my freezer along with a can of chili in my pantry. I'll serve chips and coleslaw on the side. 
 

Beef Broccoli Ramen
THIS RECIPE sounded easy and good. I have everything I need in freezer and pantry to put this together. It's basically a mean in itself but I'll add a salad on the side.


Pork Roast, Mac & Cheese
I have the pork roast in the freezer and will make a batch of mac &cheese in my Instant Pot. I plan on having roasted brussel sprouts on the side.


That should do it for this week!


Friday, April 13, 2018

Grocery Haul for Two and Hamburger Patties w/Onion Mushroom Gravy





This week it was time to head back to Costco as well as our usual Winco for our groceries. It had been 3 weeks since we'd been there.

Our first stop was Winco and this is what we got...




Our regular supply of fruits and veggies, a half gallon of milk and half-n-half for our coffee and yogurt. The Jimmy Dean sausage was on sale and I picked up one for the freezer. I also got 3 cans of spaghetti sauce for the pantry and a bag of bbq chips and hot dog buns. I have hot dogs in the freezer and no buns. So now both are in there waiting until we have a craving for some hot dogs! :)

The total for Winco this week was $32


Next stop was Costco...




I was out of cheese completely so I picked up 5#'s of grated cheddar and a pack of cheese slices. I've never tried this brand before as I'm typically a Tillamook cheese person but we decided to give it a try... 

 


Despite my plan to not buy any meat products until I thin out my freezer I had a real desire for some Aidells chicken sausages. I love these sausages and they come in some amazing varieties. This one is one I haven't tried yet but the combo caught my eye.. bacon, mushroom & swiss cheese.. what's not to love about that! Ha, ha..




After taking my Costco picture and starting to put things away I realized I'd forgot to include my coffee. These are the coffee pods I buy for my Keurig. I'm picky when it comes to how much I'm willing to spend on them. I've seen the K-cups for as much as $1 each and of course lower prices. Rarely do I see them under .40 cents each. But this brand, San Francisco Bay, is by far the best deal around. They sell a box of 100 pods for $29.99. Making the cost of each about .30 cents. And the best part is this coffee tastes so good! 

 


I also grind my own beans for use in my Keurig as well and will be doing a cost breakdown in a future post.


The total for the Costco trip was: $126

Grand Total for this week was: $158



I went through the grocery haul posts since I started in the middle of March to add up what our weekly average is coming to. 

Our average over the last 6 weeks has been $58 per week. 

One thing to remember is that I have not been buying a lot of meat because I have so much in my freezer and am trying to get that used up a bit before hunting down more deals. 

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Now onto this weeks recipe... 


Hamburger Patties w/Mushroom & Onion Gravy

I wanted to share this recipe because it really was tasty. Both of us enjoyed it a lot. I had 6 hamburger patties in my freezer that I had preformed from some hamburger I purchased last year that was on sale. I had 6 – 4oz patties. This was perfect. It gave us 2 meals each. I served it with rice and a salad. The gravy would also be delicious on baked or mashed potatoes. 

 


1 ½ lbs hamburger
1 small to medium onion, sliced
4 medium size mushrooms, sliced
3T flour
1 ½ cups broth (your choice, chicken or beef) or water
1t garlic, either fresh and minced or powder or granulated
1t season salt
2t Worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper to your own taste


Form hamburger into 6 (4oz, approx) patties. Heat a large frying to medium high heat and cook the burgers. Sprinkle salt and pepper on them to taste. When patties have finished cooking remove them to a platter and cover to keep warm.

If you have a lot of excess fat from your hamburger, drain, but leave a small amount in the frying pan (a tablespoon or two). Add the sliced onions and mushrooms and cook until they are soft.

When the veggies are soft sprinkle with flour and stir to coat the veggies. Stir this around for a few seconds to cook the flour a little. Add the broth (or water) and whisk to combine. Add seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the gravy thickens up. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Place the burgers back into the gravy to stay warm and serve with potatoes or rice and veggies.



That's all for this week's Friday in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot will have a little different look for awhile. When I'm back up and running again, I'll return to the previous format.

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Good Morning! I'm running late this morning. Yesterday was a long day and we didn't get home until late so this morning was a sleep in day.

We have some power lines that run through our property. The power company was here last week to let us know they were making some changes and rerouting a few lines. They also need to move the power pole that feeds our house. There was a tree in the way of their plans and they were going to trim the tree but my hubby asked if they could cut it down instead. It was a tree that we were planning to have cut down anyway but had not done it yet. They said yes they would and we were thrilled. It costs about $600 to have our tree guy cut down a tree so we were able to save that expense and it worked much better for the power company, a win-win deal. 

 

Since they've been here my hubby got the mess all cleaned up and now has to deal with the trunk of the tree. It's a great head start to next winters firewood!

My exciting news for this week is that my youngest daughter Sierra and her boyfriend Rex have officially announced their engagement! We are so happy about this. Rex is an amazing young man and we are blessed and thankful to make him part of our family. The wedding date is set for next year to give us time to plan.





Yesterday one of the things I had to do was go to an eye appointment. This is to deal with my vision issues. It's been a long time in coming. The doctor I saw was a specialist at the University hospital in the city. It took 3 months to get an appointment and unfortunately the original appointment was set for the end of January. Due to my surgery and medical complications following that the appointment had to be canceled and rescheduled. It was almost another 3 months before I could see him.

I have spent more then a year now dealing with double vision. It's been a long journey to figure out what was causing it. I've had countless blood tests to rule out many things such as thyroid, diabetes, auto immune issues and so forth. I had an MRI done last year to rule out tumors, I've been to a neurologist to rule out nerve issues. Finally in October of last year I saw the first specialist and was told it was a muscle issue called, “falling eye syndrome”. The muscles in my eyes are not working together and have caused my eyes to go out of alignment. Yesterday was the appointment with the specialist who has recommended surgery.

As to be expected I have a lot of anxiety about this due to my last surgery. I'm praying for the best direction. I'm going to move forward with planning the surgery for sometime this summer (depending on how full the doctors schedule is) to give me time to fully recover. If for some reason I don't feel a peace about this when the time comes I can cancel.



Goals
Today I have a couple loads of laundry to do and swish through the bathroom.

I also want to get upstairs and make the beds in two of guest rooms so they are ready for the next guests.

Dinner will be hamburger patties w/onion gravy and rice. So that should be a quick and simple dinner to put together.

If the rain stays away I'll get out and take a walk.



Steps, Steps, Steps
I walked the farthest yet this week (post surgery). On Monday I was able to walk about 2 miles which included a big hill (going down was easy, coming back up that hill was the challenge). It was also a busy day for me and I ended up about 200 steps shy of 9000 steps! :) I can tell it won't be long before I have my first 10,000 step day.


View from my Deck
We had a lovely day on Monday. It was around the mid 60's and the sun came out and there was no rain that day. So far the month of April has been very wet. As I listen to the weather reports and look at the forecasts it seems there will be rain every day for as far out as can be predicted. I just hope this followed by some nice dry May days.. only time will tell. 

This mornings view from my deck.... 

 

Today's High: 54  Low: 40  Cloudy with rain in the forecast

My duck enjoying the warm day on Monday. My hubby also was able to get out and do some mowing. 

 


Well that is all for this week's Wednesday Snap Shot! I hope you all are having a great week.