Monthly Archives: January 2010

Mass Cooking

One thing I love about blogs is all the great ideas and information you can learn from them! Not from mine obviously, but all the cooking, organizing, homemaking-type blogs I read give me more ideas than I know what to do with sometimes.

Working night shifts has made it difficult for John and I to get any sort of routine going because well, we just don’t have a routine! My weekly schedule is always changing and with my sleep schedule being even more hay-wire, you just never know when dinner will be on the table. Thanks to my hungry husband (and very merciful to his sometimes lazy wife!), we just about always have something on the table, and lately it’s been 75% prepared by the hubs. I know, he’s great, isn’t he? :) He’s the king of eggs-in-a-hole (Thanks to Pioneer Woman’s cookbook!) and of gourmet salads (all courtesy of the amazing prices at Costco!).

But really, I do like to cook and want to do that for me and my husband, so the other day I tried out something new. I cooked four of our favorite freezable dinners in one night! Seemed strange to both me and John since I haven’t cooked a meal in probably at least a couple weeks. Although it took me a little longer than I planned (and we did end up going to church on empty stomachs because I also threw in a jog with the dog in the midst of it all, oops!), but I think it’s something I will do again but hopefully not for a couple weeks! (Yes I am the queen of run-on sentences!)

The four meals I cooked:
1. Chili con turkey (a very healthy chili that we’ve enjoyed for a couple years from a diet book of John’s)
2. White mexican hotdish, but it was brown in our case since we used brown rice instead of white (from the lovely and talented Heidi)
3. Fiesta chicken enchiladas (from kraft magazine)
4. Italian hotdish (from one of my women’s church group leaders).

I finally put all my Pyrex baking dishes and Corningware to good use! But I keep forgetting about the super cute new red Fiestaware baking dish I got for my birthday… that’ll be used next time. :)

One of the best parts of this mass cooking idea (actually it was called Once-a-Month cooking, but I haven’t gotten that good at planning quite yet), is that you only have to dirty your kitchen (and I mean really dirty) once every couple weeks or once every month, you only really need to clean a big sink full of dishes every so often, you only use your oven for a couple hours, you don’t get tempted to buy fast food or take out so much because you know that there’s always something already prepared, and of course, dinner is ready in 10 minutes without any prep every night for at least a couple weeks!

Here’s a link to Frugal Mom dot net’s once-a-month cooking information, and even a way to buy her comprehensive guide (something I MIGHT invest in).

And another blog I just found, actually, about this topic which looks to be a good read!

I still have so much to learn, but at least now I’ll have food in my tummy to get me through reading up over the next couple weeks!

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Well hello!

I wonder if I should even try and keep this blog up and running at all! Time sure does fly by. I love to read others blogs and yet absolutely hate to write on my own. There is just so much that I feel I am always learning and trying to squeeze into my days that I never find (or make) the time to reflect on it. Never been much of a writer anyway. I can see how when we have kids how much fun it would be to keep a blog to try and document, if you will, their life through milestones and pictures. And how fun it would be for family to read it regularly. But all I’ve got is me, my husband, our crazy dog, and a house (and two cars)… and nothing terribly exciting going on. We are always growing yet struggling and I find that I have too many other important tasks that I struggle to get to, and this one being just about the last one on my list.

A couple quick updates on life while I’m here…

John is about to start his second full year at Stout after doing AMAZING this past year! I am so proud of him!! :) He also just took the Praxis test yesterday and so far he found out he’s passed two sections already (math being one of them, praise the Lord!!). In a couple days he’ll start off the spring semester where he has to only be at Stout for two days out of the week, rather than three, since he’ll be taking on more online courses instead. He has probably another 3 years to go at Stout, or possibly 2 to 2 1/2 if he keeps working this hard!

I recently visited my best friend Amanda in Alabama whom I hadn’t seen in over 2 years since her wedding! We had such a great weekend together and I wish I could have stayed longer! I got to meet many of her good friends, some more of her family, and see where her family has lived for a long time, places she used to visit back when she lived in MN. I miss her a lot already and will need to start budgeting for another ticket to visit! Now I hope I don’t pick up a cold every time I visit her though, and that it’s actually WARMER down south when I go next time! :)

Speaking of budgeting and the like, another “update” (if that’s what you’d call it even) is that John and I have been trying real hard these past couple weeks and months to get a hold on our finances. I’m sure we’re all always trying to do this, but we’ve been reading books like the Total Money Makeover and setting up a better and (dare I say it?) stricter budget for ourselves. We have goals of getting completely out of debt (including our mortgage, eek!) as soon as possible; like for example, paying off our credit cards by the end of 2011, and then our student loans and car loans by 2013. In order to do this I’ve also taken on a little side business, if that’s even what you’d call it, where I make some commission off of enrolling customers for Melaleuca. I’ve really enjoyed their products and have already made a couple hundred dollars without much work at all. So far so good!

And can I just say how much I hate (and love…) cars?? Moving on…

Otherwise John and I have really been trying to focus on building and sustaining a Christ-reflecting and God-honoring marriage… especially working on becoming more saturated in God’s Word. We have so much to read and to learn, but to always be setting our minds on things that are above, not things that are on earth. One of the reasons we are so focused lately on money is actually so we can free ourselves up to give more. Our poor decisions in the past now are preventing us from experiencing the joy of giving much to others. Of course we will still struggle to say no to things, but we’re working on it and praying for God’s wisdom through it all.

I suppose that’s about it guys… I’m here at work, taking a break from charting, but should get back to it now!