Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's June(!) Garden Update

I totally picked some collards. I am way excited and plan on cleaning them and cooking them for Sunday supper tomorrow. I will be even more excited when my husband sees them done. They were for him and he's been asking after them for weeks now. Oh, shoot, almost since I planted them.

Hopefully there will be another harvest or two - I have no idea how fast they grow but I know we could keep them forever and that would be OK.

Freshly picked.

 And on the table... very impressive for this black thumbed wanna be farmer.

In other garden news, I jerked out the corn. Too many neighbors have it growing and I planted it, the lima beans and the bush beans wrong. I just made a trench and dumped the seeds and didn't thin them right, I suppose. Plus, there was a mystery squash (Mystery solved: zucchini) that was vining over the whole garden and beyond, so I had to make room for the invasive limas and beans.

See the pretty zucchini?

The tomatoes are going nuts, too. See all the pretty green fruit?

And I cannot wait to eat these three bottom bells. They are supposed to be delicious raw or cooked. Yum.

If I keep to a schedule, tomorrow will be meal plan Sunday. Don't hold your breath. I am not the most reliable blogger around.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Garden Update

I am pretty excited that this weekend I have HUGE plans to harvest some collard greens. They are getting nearly a foot long, the outer leaves. I cannot wait!

Here's the whole garden. It's 10'x4' divided into three beds. There are pumpkins vining outside the garden by the house, as well. I Am pretty proud of this as a first attempt!

Herb area, and tomato plants, collards.

Squash, Cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, hybrid tomatoes, bush beans, green peppers, cherry peppers.

Corn, more bush beans, Lima beans, and carrots, as well as the LONE tomato plant that took from seed and I have no clue what breed it is.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Meal Plan for the Week of 05/16

This week I am working in the office, not from home. Managing it all is sure to make me a little more stressed... but heck, if you know me you know stress is my middle name, even when it doesn't have to be.

We'll be dining on leftovers from Saturday and Sunday (delicious chicken enchiladas in my easy enchilada sauce and BBQ chicken, green beans, cornbread and potatoes as cooked by the husband).
Crock pot roast pork
Rice and beans
Yeast Rolls

Sloppy Joes
Scalloped Potatoes
Carrot Sticks

Homemade Pizzas

Chicken & Broccoli casserole

We'll be at a spring somewhere enjoying the day, and we'll eat out as a family.

Fish on the grill. Some variation of fish on the grill. We'll see what looks good at the market and go from there. I am guessing mango, pineapple and other tasty fresh fruits will be involved, possibly some rice. Loving my husbands new love of his grill. He's quite the cook these days.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Meal Plan Tuesday!

Oh, hush. I know it's late!

I'll recap to Sunday. We had BBQ's ribs and sausages and some hot dogs, too. Mac and cheese, baked beans, salad and cornbread. Delicious. The husband really did a great job with the meat. I love his growing confidence.

And so we begin:

Chicken Tenders
Warm Pasta Salad with cherry tomatoes and Parmesan
Carrot sticks

Wednesday ~ The Husband's Birthday
French Fries
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Vanilla Ice Cream

Thursday ~ CINCO DE MAYO!
Homemade tortillas
Chips and queso


Homemade pizzas

Sunday ~ It's mother's day!
Knowing the husband... something grilled :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Meal Plan Saturday

Last week went well. We had one day where we didn't get to cook because of our schedule (Sunday, and we ended up doing sandwiches and fruit), and we swapped days a bit and dropped a pork chop dinner... but that said it was otherwise a good plan for the week. Oh, and Easter was a huge change. See below.

This week, My darling husband said, "Babe, I am going to grill on Easter. Does that work?" Uh, yeah. So he made ribs and sausage, I made beans, pepper potatoes, fresh corn, cornbread and devilled eggs as well as the cake. The breakfast casserole was still a go and was delicious. I will for sure do that little time saver again. We ate leftovers on Monday and on Tuesday we used a gift certificate for a place we have been eyeballing called Giordano's and had a smattering of their dishes and everyone tried everything. It was a very nice meal and a bargain. Triple whammy.

So, for the balance of the week here is our meal plan:

Everything Jambalaya and a few pieces of chicken left out for the kids
white rice

Lasagna Bake
Caesar salad
Mama D's Italian Bread

Friday ~ Dexter's Birthday
Daytime - picnic at the springs - shhhh, it's a surprise.
Dinner - Chuck E Cheese and a "birthday cake shaped like a 6 with green and yellow mini m&m's and candles and chocolate frosting and yellow cake." He has such a firm idea in his mind, I hope I can meet his high standard.

Roast Pork
Black Beans

Cuban Sandwiches
Fruit & Cut Veggies

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Next week brings with it my husband's birthday and Cinco de Mayo, which should be more fun this year since I have two tortilla makers in place. Next up, getting pictures. Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Meal Plan Monday... errrr... Saturday

Here's the weekly pan:

Jamaican Patties - doubled - yielded 10 small patties, the kids easily ate two each.
Rice and pigeon peas
Tossed Salad w/mango vinaigrette

Sunday ~ the husband will be firing up the grill
grilled chicken legs/thighs
hot dogs
baked beans
pepper potatoes
grilled corn
cornbread muffins


Beef Tacos
Chicken or beef enchiladas ~ depending on if there is any leftover chicken
Mexican rice
quips, queso, salsa

Pork chops
Onion strings
Green beans

Chicken noodle soup
carrot sticks & celery

pizza pockets

Spicy chicken tenders

Sunday ~ Easter
Breakfast Casserole, fresh fruit and toast

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

A No Fuss Meal so I spend as much time relaxing as possible. Holidays do not need to equal stress.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Sock-It-To-Me cake

Friday, April 8, 2011

Theory vs. Ability

In theory I should be able to get us totally out of debt by the end of the year, credit card (mine)and student loan included, car and house excluded, but car by the end of 2012. All that and pay for vacations and Christmas in cash of the cold and hard variety.

Plus a nest egg of three month's expenses. That sounds awesome, right? I mean, the little chart on the side of my Microsoft Money program says it's so... so why won't it work?

I know the car repair/kids outgrowing clothes/surprise sickness of it all is always looming in the not so distant future. But still, why can't I seem to hold onto an extra dollar? I save a great deal on my groceries now, and why isn't that making more of a dent? All that's happening is a slower hole digging process than we had before.

It's scaring me.

Then I read something that made total and complete sense: If you don't have a budget in place and a plan for every available dollar you save, anything you save is really pointless.

It's like looking at one of those double rainbows. I felt the heavens open and the sun hit my face. Doh!

So, a mere three hours later I have set up what we actually spend on a sheet of paper. I found an awesome worksheet that helps you see your expenditures and track your actual spending for a month. I was assured you'd be surprised to see what you actually spend vs. what you think you spend.

For instance: I thought I spent about $200 a week on groceries I actually spent about $320. What!?! I was a little shocked. That is considering the eating out (minimal) and the incidentals bought at the grocery store. Once I made that determination, I set about to end the overspending. Now I am closer to $250, but I haven't tracked. Not really closely. That is not helping one little bit.

I feel like I can actually make this happen for us. I would love... LOVE... to totally live off K's salary. That would rock hard. Then we could go all Dave Ramsay and snowball this debt to nothing.

For now... well, baby steps.