Showing posts from 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Brangenberg household. All the gifts have been unwrapped, dad is sleeping on the couch, son is reading his new book and daughter has gone to celebrate with her boyfriend's family. Dinner for us will be this evening so that daughter and her boyfriend can join us.

We actually had a dusting of snow for Christmas morning. Here in middle Tennessee that is unusual. It was nice to see. Here is to hoping that all of you have a blessed day.

Days are just flying now ......

I can't believe it has been so long since I have written here. December is just moving at top speed - Christmas is 9 days away and I still have a lot of sewing to do. David's last day with the students is today. Tomorrow is his last day at Wright Middle. I went with him yesterday and got a good amount of packing done. It has not helped that they had snow days Monday and Tuesday this week. Rachel is with him today to hopefully finish packing up. We are hoping to move everything to Gra-Mar Middle tomorrow. The animals are coming home for at least the break. So tonight we will start playing host to: 2 breaded dragons, 1 trantula, 2 geckos, 1 plated lizard, 1 skink and one other animals that I can't recall right now. The neon blue lobster and the snake both died recently. I need to make spots for them so they aren't in the way and the dog can't get them.

Are you ready for Christmas? I am about half way there. We have bought all we are going to and now it i…

Changes are coming .....

My dear sweet hard working hubby has been offered a job at a different school in the same city. The difference you ask...... it is to teach 5th grade. He had been moved from 5th to 7th this year and I have known that he has not been happy. He really truly loves teaching 5th. So when one of his old principals call asking if you are interested in filling a void she will have starting in Jan 2011 he jumped at it. It sounds like his current principal will allow it. So this winter break will be spent moving his classroom and his classroom animals. It is on the northeast side of Nashville so he will have a longer commute each day and he will not be able to carpool as much as this semester but he will be happy.

On a different note, it looks like ds will have a job sometime this month. Now they are saying another ten days. The price you pay for federal jobs I guess. His car gave me a lot of issues the last two days so I hope we are not looking at a big repair bill down the road. …

Meal Plan Monday

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing sounds good to eat. I am there friends. Meal planning this week has been so hard because nothing sounds good.

However it most to done for planning sake so therefore this is what I am planning on.

Monday - turkey casserole

Tuesday - turkey lo mein

Wednesday - taco soup

Thursday - baked pasta

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - homemade pizza

Meal Plan Monday

ok, with this being a holiday week the menu is simple.

Sunday - fellowship meal for lunch, soup and sandwiches for dinner

Monday - flat iron steak, mashed potatoes and carrots

Tuesday - baked pasta, salad

Wednesday - taco soup

Thursday - Thanksgiving: turkey, stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, broccoli salad, brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce, rolls, pickles, apple cider and pumpkin pie.

Friday - turkey casserole (turkey, green beans, mushrooms mixed with cream of mushroom soup, topped with leftover stuffing)

Saturday - pizza night

The best thing is I have everything already bought. The worst case is I will need milk but that should be it. Love it !!! Hope everyone has a blessed holiday.

Meal Plan Monday

Well the weather is to be fallish the entire week - finally. Here is what is on the menu this week.

Sunday - L. homemade pizza
D. leftovers

Monday - sloppy joes

Tuesday - chicken, mashed potatoes and carrots

Wednesday - baked pasta

Thursday - soft tacos, spanish rice

Friday - chicken, stuffing and broccoli

Saturday - open face reubens

All I need at the store really is milk but I want to get at least one more turkey while they are 59 cents a pound still.

Veteran's Day

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have serve or who are serving to keep America free. Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.

Wordless Wednesday


Meal Plan Mondays

This week is starting off cool and crisp and will end in the mid 70s. I wish the weather will make up its mind. So our menus for the week will be as such:

Monday - taco soup
Tuesday - Chicken, new potatoes and green veggie
Wednesday - Baked pasta (we are having company) and salad
Thursday - Shake and Bake chicken, new potatoes and veggie
Friday - mom and dad eat out, kids on their own
Saturday - homemade pizza
Sunday - sloppy joes

The sloppy joes are not from a can. I make it from scratch. It is so easy.

Sloppy Joes

3/4 lb ground meat
1/2 cup black beans
1 small onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 c ketchup
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c white vinegar
chili powder to taste

I brown the ground meat, add veggies and cook until veggie are crisp. I then add the black beans mashing them as I work them in. I then add the ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar. Once this has heated up I add the chili powder and continue to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Serve on hamburger buns or kaiser rolls…

Fall in Tennessee

this is a picture of our front door. We got the gourds and the larger pumpkins for 50 cents each. The same ones were 5 for a $1. the mums were buy one get one.

Meal Plan Monday

Here is the plan for this week

Monday: B. cereal with skim milk
L. sandwiches, carrot and celery stickls
D. sloppy joes and slaw

Tuesday: B. pancakes with syrup
L. sandwiches, carrot and celery sticks
D. chicken and corn chowder

Wednesday: B. cereal with skim milk, bananas
L. leftover chowder
D. baked pasta

Thursday: B, eggs, turkey bacon and toast
L. leftovers
D. soft tacos and spanish rice

Friday: B, toast with peanut butter, orange juice
L. tuna sandwiches, carrot and celery sticks
D. homemade pizzas

Saturday: B. eggs, turkey bacon and toast
L. grilled cheese and soup
D. baked chicken, stuffing and green veggie

Sunday: B, cereal with skim milk, bananas
L. chicken lo mein
D. hot dog with slaw

Time to start giving thanks .....

Wow it is November already. Has this year been flying by. Are you ready for Thanksgiving yet? I have already celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in October so I have had a rehearsal already. I though I would list some things that I am thankful for.

- I am thankful for my Lord and his saving message
- I am thankful for my dear, sweet, patient husband of 26 years. Here is hoping for more years.
- I am thankful for my children Ian and Rachel. As much as they frustrate me I love them dearly
- I am thankful for my on line friends and my friends irl
- I am thankful for our furry, noisy dog who keeps me on my toes
- I am thankful for my pain, that I deal with daily, for it makes me remember to be thankful for the good days and to slow down more.

I hope this helps you think of what you are thankful for during this month of blessing.

Home from Vacation

Got home about a week ago but I have not been feeling well the entire week. Today it is a headache and belly ache. Hopefully by morning I will feel well enough to go to my swim class.

Meal Plan Monday

This is a short week as dh and I go on vacation Friday night. Ds and dd will be on their own for a week. Hope my kitchen is still in one piece when we get back.

Breakfasts: cold cereal, oatmeal, eggs, english muffins

Lunches: leftovers, tuna sandwiches, ham sandwiches


Monday - Canadian Thanksgiving: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, brussel sprouts with carmalized onions, green beans with mushrooms, rolls, cranberry sauce and pies.

Tuesday - Turkey casserole (use leftover turkey and stuffing with asst veggies)

Wednesday - Baked Pasta with any veggie leftovers tossed in

Thursday - Turkey lo mein

Friday - on the road

Saturday - visiting brother in law and family

Canadian Thanksgiving

Tomorrow we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. After going to four, count them four, grocery stores I finally found a big enough turkey that was not outrageously priced at Aldi's. Thank you Aldi's. Boy did I get some strange looks at Kroger. I know I am a month early for you but I needed to have one to celebrate. So the menu for tomorrow is:

sweet potatoes
green beans
brussel sprouts with caramelized onions yummmm
cranberry sauce
broccoli salad (maybe)

apple pie
pumpkin pie

I wish everyone a day filled with family, friends, love and thanksgiving.

October's Goals

Ahhh, October 1 and finally the weather is starting to feel like fall. I have decided that I need to spend my time more wisely and have a plan of attack. I will try to list my goals and I hope to revisit them from time to time to see how I have done.


-clean blinds and make curtains for laundry room and craft room
-clean hardwood in living room
- clean ceiling fan in living room and craft room
- look into getting new light fixture for kitchen dining area (I think ours has a short)
- go through my clothes and cull out those that don't fit or I don't wear

Feeding The Masses:

-rearrange and manage better my home canned goods
- make and can barbecue sauce
- make and can pinto and black beans
- inventory deep freeze, cull what is freezer burnt
- inventory pantry and rearrange for better usage
- inventory freezer/fridge so all can be used before spoilage
- make a weekly menu and try to stick to it to avoid last minute panic


- work on grocery bags (christmas gifts)
- finish cr…

Fall ..... where are you?

I don't know about you but I am so ready for fall. I am tired of high 80's low 90's weather. It seems the last couple of years summer comes early and stays late.

I look forward to:

leaves turning colors
cool mornings
long sleeves but not quite sweater weather
Canadian Thanksgiving
then .... American Thanksgiving
getting ready for winter
getting ready for Christmas

I honestly get ready for Christmas year round. It just makes it so much easier. I am not as far along with getting ready for winter then I would like to be right now. I need to go to the farmer's market and do some more canning. I want to check out Palmer's Produce also. I want to try to can carrots this year. My dream is to be able to avoid the grocery store during the winter if I can help it. David is really good picking up a little of this or that, so is Ian. I need to make a list of what I still want to do.

Getting Into a Routine

This is my first "at home" day in a long time. So what am I doing? Sleeping in and then computer. What a waste of a good morning most folks would say but for me it is heaven.

Thursday is the one day that Rachel has a ride to and from school. So Thursday shall become my day to stay home and let David have the car. Don't get me wrong, I don't mine running Rachel here and there but it really tires me out and I need a break. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go swimming and by Thursday I am sore so it is good.

Ian has adjusted to his job and it is kinda strange to think of him working in an office setting. They are having a pizza party during lunch and if Ian had had a football shirt he could have worn jeans but alas his first paycheck has not arrived yet so he was unable to buy one last night. Hopefully by next time he will have one. He is hoping that his first check will arrive in the mail today. Once he gets his first full five day check then he can work on a bu…

Ian's first "real" job

My dear son, Ian, started his first job, post graduation yesterday and he is already thinking of continuing the search. I had to laugh. He has never had to travel through a "rush-hour" to work before and I know he is his mother's son, I dislike interstate travel. He was 6 minutes late his first day and on time his second but he is so stressed that he is finding it hard to relax once he is there. I was afraid that this might happen. He has promised to not quit until the next one has been located. Tennessee is one of those states that can fire without giving a reason. I will counsel him to wait until he has decided that it is not a good fit. Two days is not a good indicator of a good fit or not.

Please keep him in your prayers as he adjusts to real life.

How Would It Change?

As both of my children ponder moving out I began to wonder how things would change. How would your life change? The big area I was looking at was my food storage. Right now I am storing for four adults plus guests. Soon it could just be 2 adults plus guests. I would buy slightly different food also. Dh and I are diabetic and I could see slightly changing the way we eat. Our garden would shrink a little bit also and I can see planting more fruit trees instead. Of course, I most likely will keep storing for four adults just in case they come back home or have a rough month with their bills. My dear sweet mother in law helped us through some very tough times. I need to be their for my children also with out being a crutch. They will need to make their own mistakes as we made ours.

Other things that could change would be my utility bills. Both my children shower everyday and sometimes twice a day, plus their laundry, etc. It sure would be quiet around here also. ~smile~

So muc…

Getting Organized

This is definitely one area that I need a lot of work in. My style of filing leaves a lot to be desired. I think I am going to make a goal or two for the next couple of months.

1. Get to the filing cabinet and use it. ~smile~ it is not in the best of spots and I need to figure out where to put it so I can use it more.

2. Reorganize my kitchen. I really want to get this done before Rachel starts school on August 30. She is such a great helper and with her not going away to school this year getting it organized will help us both.

If I can get going on these two others will fall into place. If I can work on these two things on good days then on the bad days I am not fretting about how bad the house looks.

Canning Again .....

It has cooled down enough to can again. I have two quarts of diced tomatoes in the canner right now and then I will have pickled sweet banana pepper rings to can. Not sure how many 1/2 pints I will get. After this I will officially be out of pint and half pint jars. I really need to go through and find the cranberry salsa I made last year. David did not like it so I need to dump and wash the jars.

I also need to make barbecue sauce and cranberry sauce to can. I need to make zucchini bread and cake to use some of the shredded zucchini from last year in the deep freeze.

Next couple of days will be busy busy.

Meal Plan Monday

Okay, I just went through the freezer and my deep freeze and through out 1 1/2 garbage bags of very old or freezer burn items. I also moved all of my protein (except for beans) into the freezer in the kitchen. I don't have as much as I thought. I have:


2 whole chickens (on the small size)
3 meals of chicken

1 pkg turkey bacon
1 roll of ground turkey
1 roll of pork sausage

1 hamburger patty

I thought I had more ground meat. Not good. Payday is not until Friday so here is my meaus:

eggs, toast and bacon
waffles or pancakes

peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
tuna sandwiches

chicken thighs, boiled new potatoes and veggie
salmon, corn and veggie
sloppy joes with a bean stretcher added
whole chicken, peas, carrots and onions
tilapia, peas and carrots

Also on Friday we are going out to eat to celebrate Ian's college graduation. Not sure where yet. I will not need anything from the grocery story. I have the basics: flour, yeast, …

Garden is winding down

It seems early for the garden to be winding down but with the heat we have been having my poor garden could not handle it. We are still getting banana peppers and tomatoes. But the zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers are gone. We have four watermelons that I pray will make it but the cantaloupe is gone to. I will be making pickled banana pepper rings and can more diced tomatoes but not much more with what is left. I hope to get to the farmer's market for peaches and other veggies that we didn't plant.

How are your gardens doing? Our yield is substantially less than last year. We did plant a peach tree and will plant more fruit trees next year. We are talking about planting a fall garden and we are hoping the heat breaks long enough to prep the area for it and get it planted. I think we will try cabbage, peas, broccoli and cauliflower. Hope it works out.

It is getting to be that time again.....

Even though summer is in full swing - can we say way to hot - it is time to start thinking about school. My bff goes back in two weeks, she teaches high school Spanish and my dh goes back in three weeks, he teaches 7th grade science. Our tax free weekend is coming up in August (the first weekend) and so plans are being made. My dd starts college on August 30 and my son graduates on August 20. He will be in the "real" world then.

Are you ready for school to start again? We look at it as the "normal" routine. It is a day to day, same each week day that we enjoy. As much as we enjoy summer we enjoy the routine more. Go figure.

Homemade V-8 juice

Today I made homemade V-8 juice. Last year when I made it dh loved it. This year I added more "greens" to the mix. It is in the canner right now. I love it because it is all veggies - no salt, no sugar, no nothing other than veggies. It is a great way to get hubby to eat his veggies. ~smile~

Also shredded some zucchini. Got 6 cups of shredded and froze two of the bags. Will make bread with the other two cups.

Rosemary and Canning totals

Last night I stayed up late to finish canning. I got 13 pints of dill pickles, 8 pints and 1 half pint of zucchini relish and 3 quart bags of summer squash. Shelves are looking wonderful.

Today, I processed the rosemary that has been hanging in my pantry. I have a 9 x 13 pan over half full. I love the smell of rosemary and my plant survived the winter and is huge now. I may end up giving some away but I know I will have lots for me.

Busy Day and Happy 4th

so far this has been a very busy day in the kitchen and I am not done yet - just taking a break. We have already baked a zucchini spice cake, a double batch of peanut butter cookies and a double batch of chocolate chip cookies. I have two double batches of zucchini relish waiting for me and cucumbers ready to be made into dill pickles. I need to run to the store for white vinegar and dill seeds as I do not have enough dill.

Need to get it done tonight so I can stitch tomorrow without feeling guilty.

Happy 4th everyone.

Yard Sales - Jackpot !!

Today we went yard saling again and I hit the jackpot with snowmen and found 6 quart canning jars. I picked up 7 snowmen items for $6.50 and the canning jars were $2. A little more than I would normally pay but they are clean and no chips.

I couldn't get over how many had way overpriced items. I think folks don't realize that if it is in a yard sale then you really want to get rid of it and you will take bottom dollar for it. Last week we found a set of books that dh wanted to buy for his classroom. When he asked the price one of the women said that she wanted them and they weren't for sale. I found that extremely rude so we left everything that we were going to buy and left. They had the nerve to fuss about us so loud that I heard it. Not cool.

Hopefully when we have our sale this fall I will not act like that.

Canning !!!!!!!!!

Today I did the first canning of the year. I made dill pickles. 10 pints and 1 half pints. This is a new recipe so I hope that we will like them. It calls for dill seed so I went and bought a little tin and it only did nine of the jars so I remembered that our dill from last year came back in and I had just enough fresh dill for the other two jars. I need to find a bigger container of dill seed next time. Pickles wise I am only making dill this year as I still have a lot of bread and butter and relish.

Tomorrow I will turn my attention to the zucchini and yellow squash. I am looking at zucchini relish and use the yellow for part of it. Yesterday I baked a zucchini cake and two loaves of zucchini bread. Yummy. The cake was soooo moist it was amazing. I will make it again.

My Heart Breaks .....

for my son. His fiancee, his high school sweetheart, has broken up with him and would like him to come and get the ring. They had dated four years and been engaged for 18 months of that time. He is beyond sad. He needs our prayers. Thanks.

Encouraging the next generation

I have put a lot of thought into encouraging the next generation of young people to garden, canning and preserve. These are among topics (with needlepoint, tatting and sewing) that if we don't teach these skills they will be lost. Last summer I concentrated on the daughter and she loved it. It made this momma proud. She did entire batches by herself and saved me a lot of time in our very warm kitchen. Yes she was 19 almost 20 but still, she had not shown any desire to learn so when she wanted to learn I struck while the iron was still hot. She has already told me that she wants to help this summer also, I was hoping she would, but that she wants me to teach a friend of hers who is a newlywed. Sure I said and then I seconded guessed myself, can I teach someone who isn't my child? I am disappointed that my future daughter in law is not interested in helping just the eating part. Oh well maybe with time.

First of all, it seems like I am not going to have one student but u…

Still hot and muggy

Well we are still sweating away in Middle Tennessee. The next seven days the "coolest" day will be 93. Not my idea of cool. With the heat index we will be at or above 100 still.

My garden is happy to have the heat, they just want a little bit more rain. We lucked out this morning and we had a good rain that cooled us for about two hours before it got really humid again. We have been picking zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers. We have gotten a few green peppers and banana peppers. Our hot pepper plant is not the kind we thought it was. Oh well. I will be making my first batch of dill pickles this weekend. We finally have enough. I have one large zucchini that I am going to shred to make bread. The rest will be eaten or frozen. We are trying very hard to eat instead of freeze as we have not had a lot of luck remembering the frozen squash.

I am going through my deep freeze as we are looking at buying an upright freezer. I have been fighting it put I am having di…

Heat and Crafting

We are in our third day of heat with a heat index above 100. I can not handle normal summer heat but couple it with high humid and I must stay inside. It looks like the entire week will be the same or very close. I will leave for swim class and grocery shopping but if I can help it that is it.

Staying inside means more time to craft. Yeah !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am working on a Christmas gift and a cute piece for me that I think I am going to stitch again for Christmas. My bff will be here to stitch the entire week so I should get a lot done. I don't think she has plans for us to travel somewhere. We will have to see what the weather is like. ~smile~

Menu Mondays

Menu for June 13 - June 19


boiled eggs and toast
eggs, bacon and toast


left overs
hot dogs and slaw
hamburger helper
burgers and mac salad
tuna sandwiches


chicken lo mein
chicken fajitas
salad with grilled chicken
spaghetti with meatballs
baked chicken thighs, corn, zucchini and summer squash
fish, peas and carrots
barbecue chicken leg quarters, corn and zucchini and summer squash

The garden is giving us: kale, broccoli, zucchini and summer squash. We harvested a huge bunch of rosemary that I am going to dry and store.

Grocery Shopping

Went this afternoon and even though some of this will be eaten before June 1 it is still from my June food budget. I have a little bit more this month for canning and processing supplies. Today I got:

1 bag pretzels
1 box kitchen garbage bags
1 bottle salad dressing
2.28 lbs grapes
2.26 lbs banana
1 pkg provolone cheese
1 triangle parmesan cheese
1 tub sherbet - my Memorial day splurge
1 loaf of bread
3.89 lbs asparagus
1 bottle laundry detergent
1 container raspberries
3 boxes Kroger brand cereal

The asparagus was $1.99 a pound so we will some for dinner and the rest will be frozen for this winter. The cereal was a close out of a family favorite. I wanted more but we only have so much storage room. The raspberries were $2 a container. I spent $43.05 but I saved $13.55 or 25%. Not my best but not bad. I will post my menu Sunday night/Monday morning.

Meal Plan Monday

I am on the ball this week with my meal planning. It has been extremely hot and humid the last couple of days so I am miserable. I have breathing issues in hot weather so I have been trying to stay inside and not heat up the house. I went to the farmer's market last Friday so I am going to incorporate those items into my meals this week. I also picked my first cabbage yesterday. Yeah it is beautiful. Back to my meal plans.


eggs, bacon and toast
boiled eggs




grilled chicken salad with french bread
chicken stir-fry
chicken, new potatoes and carrots
hot dogs and coleslaw
eating out Friday night

I should not need anything for this week grocery wise. I did some shopping over the weekend for cereal, popcorn and milk.

Farmer's Market Fun

Yesterday I went to the farmer's market for the first time this season. I was sooo excited. I took four 20 year olds with me. Why? Well with my daughter, Rachel, I took her boyfriend and their best friends who happen to be married. She had never been to the farmer's market before but wanted to start eating better. So this was a teaching visit also. She actually had more money than me - go figure. I purchased: tomatoes, green and red leaf lettuce, 1 gallon of yummy strawberries, green onions, red potatoes, beets and sugar snap peas. I have broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale in our garden so I didn't have to purchase those. I will be pickling beets and have already had blt's for the first time this season. I spent $24 - more than I wanted too but the strawberries looked to good. They were $12 a gallon. A little pricey for me but they are delicious.

Rachel's friend? she bought: cabbage, strawberries, green lettuce, tomatoes and feta cheese. She pa…

Meal Plan Monday

Here it is:

Sunday, May 16 - B. cereal w/skim milk
L. ate out
D. graduation party

Monday, May 17 - B. cereal w/skim milk
L. sandwiches or leftovers
D. chicken lo mein

Tuesday, May 18 - B. pancakes
L. sandwiches
D. baked pasta

Wednesday, May 19 - B. pancakes
L. leftovers
D. fish, peas and carrots

Thursday, May 20 - B. eggs, bacon and toast
L. sandwiches
D. chicken, corn and broccoli

Friday, May 21 - B. cereal or oatmeal
L. sandwiches
D. hamburgers and broccoli slaw

Saturday, May 22 - B. eggs, bacon and toast
L. hot dogs and macaroni salad, leftover br…

Wrinkled Ladies

Meal Plan Monday

ok IU know that it is Sunday night however, the menu is ready.

I am excited that I don't need to go to the store for anything but milk. Yeah !!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 9 B - cereal with skim milk
L - ate out for Mother's Day
D - spaghetti with salad

To Do: - make muffin mix - thaw sausage - prep carrot and celery sticks

Monday, May 10 B - muffins and fruit
L - sandwiches
D - sausage, corn and veggie

To Do: - take out bacon and chicken thighs - prep carrot and celery (if needed)

Tuesday, May 11 B - eggs, bacon and toast
L - sandwiches and carrot and celery sticks
D - chicken thighs, corn and veggie

To Do - soak pinto beans - thaw meat - make hamburger buns

Wednesday, May 12 B. cereal, skim milk and fruit
L. sandwiches
D. -…

Record Flooding

Yesterday and today we have experienced record rainfall. Nashville, just about 30 mins away, has had the most rain ever. Every one of the rivers that are in Middle TN have reached flood stage and higher. There are no schools tomorrow for most counties in Middle TN. As I type this it is still raining in Murfreesboro. I will update later on.

My Story ...

This past Sunday at church we were encouraged to write down our conversation story and to keep it to four minutes in length (when you share it verbally). Well here is my story....

I was raised by a Catholic step-mother and an athiest father. We (my sister and I) attended whatever church was closest to the house that we could walk too. They wanted us out of the house for a few hours Sunday mornings. This left me confused at all of the different groups that we had worshipped with. During my eighth grade year in school my dad and stepmother decided to send me to a boarding school. Without going to visit any, they decided on Great Lakes Christian College in Beamsville, Ontario. I would be a boarding student and only come home at holidays. God surely played a hand at this decision. GLCC is the only "Church of Christ" backed school in Eastern Canada. It was a same school that most teens in the churches in Ontario attended. We had daily Bible classes that wet my appetite …

Weird Weather

Yesterday we had hail and we have lost some of our tomato plants. We typically don't plant them until May because of this but it had been so nice we did anyway. Today I will check to see how many while I am weeding the garden.

Last night was very cold, but by tomorrow it is to be in the 80's again. Strange very strange.

I love a GREAT deal

This morning I stopped at the grocery store for light bulbs. I knew that this is about the time that the meat is marked down soI decided to check it out. SCORE !!! They had just marked down sl/bl chicken breasts to $1.58 a pound. WooHoo so I got three packs. Wished I had picked up more but I only had so much money. They had also marked down one package of chicken thighs to $2.56 for the pack. I came home and separated the into meal size portions and got 15 meals. I paid $17.05 so that equals $1.14 per meal. This is for approx. 10 pounds of chicken. I was almost out of chicken so this is great.

Just wanted to share.

Wow !!!!!!!!!!!! Wonderful news

For those that read my blog and wrote recently that I went to the doctor on April 1 and he told me once again to lose the weight. So I took it seriously and have been a lot better than before. Well I weighed myself on April 14 again and I had lost 11.6 pounds in two weeks !!!!!!!!!!!!! I could not believe it. I am 272.4 now and if this doesn't motivate me nothing will.

Some recipes to share

Last night we had stir fry which is a wonderful way to use leftovers in. In the past I have slipped in shredded brussel sprouts, shredded zucchini and asparagus bits. Did members of the family have sworn that they would never eat one or more of these foods. ~smile~ I guess what they don't know ..... Last night I used leftover spaghetti noodles. Dh thought it rocked.

Tonight we are having chicken lo mein. I am using the other half of the chicken breast that I used last night. I thought I would post my recipe that amazingly every one in the family loves. I got it out of a magazine from 2000.

Chicken/Pork lo mein

5 cups water
2 pkgs ramen noodles
1/2 pound of pork or chicken cut in thin strips
2 tbsp cornstartch
2 tbsp soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp minced, peeled ginger or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 pkg frozen sugar snap stur-fry vegetables.

In a large suacepan bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat, add ramen noodles without the seasoning packets and bo…

Warm weather is back again.

Tennessee's wild weather is continuing -- 50 to 80 then back down to 57. The running joke is if you don't like the weather just wait and it will change. I love the weather in the high 70's/low 80's. I can be outside without breathing difficulties and I don't need the air on inside.

I have spent the day looking through cookbooks to find healthier recipes. I found a couple that sound good. If they work out I will post them. We are having the last of the hot dogs this evening and tomorrow lunch we are having chicken lo mein. This is a great way of using leftover veggies and stretching one chicken breast to feed four adults.

Got to go start dinner. God bless and I will post the recipe later.

Changes are in the Air

I went to the doctors last week and after fussing at me suggested some changes. Well it was a little stronger than suggested * smile *. I had already started a water aerobics class called "Gentle Joints" a couple of months ago and have been going three times a week. Doctor L suggested that I go five times a week and start walking around the neighborhood. Hopefully I can get either David or Ian to go with me. Snowball will be so happy to be walked consistently. No more snacks also !!!! Sad sad :( No more chocolate, pies, cakes, cheese dip, etc until I can get my weight under control. My A1C has come down but not as much as my dear Dr would like. So I have three more months and then I am adding insulin if it is still high. David and I have decided to start eating more fresh foods and that is why the spring garden is so important. I will be visiting the farmer's market twice a week for things that don't grow well for us. Also no more white stuff (flour, s…

Where is the Year Going?

I can't believe that it is April already. This year is flying by !! A lot has happened recently...

My son and his fiancee have decided to postpone their wedding a year. the stress of school, work and wedding planning was taking a toll on them. My son also has a lot of debt and wants to have time to pay down this debt. This includes student loans, car payment, computer payment and a Kay Jewelers card payment. They had just bought wedding bands so this last bill is a lot larger than normal. she has no debts right now so I think this is really smart on their parts. Her parents are tickled that they have postpone it.

My daughter will be transferring to the university here in town this fall so in a little over one month she is moving back home. I am not sure where we are going to put all the extra things we had purchased for her dorm room but we will work it out. She really missed my home cooking and her boyfriend though I am not sure in what order. *smile*

The garden h…

Menus for the rest of March

Well my honey has asked me to spend as little as I can on groceries for the next month or two. More like two and a half at least. We are needing to pull money to savings to help pay for ds's wedding in December and he is wanting me to empty out the deep freezer so we can get an upright for me. I have been having trouble reaching items in the freezer now and honey is worried. We also need to get some work done around the house before then since there will be a lot of company then.

So in the house meat-wise I have:

meatballs (about half a bad)
chicken breasts
ground turkey
pork tenderloins flavored with herb and garlic.
hot dogs
maybe some whole chickens (don't remember)

My first trip to the grocery store netted the following:

1 box of spaghetti
1 box raisin bran (store brand)
1 box shredded wheat (store brand)
1 bag pistachios
1 box kitchen garbage bags
1 jar mayo
1.53 lbs of bananas
1 12 pk diet coke
1 gallon skim milk

total spent: $21.25

the pistachios and the soda were honey's trea…

Rain and garden

This past week has been my honey's spring break and the garden was our priority. He had already gotten it tilled but we need it to dry a little to plant. After testing the soil we found it had a ph of 8.0 so we then had to research how to fix it before we planted. It needed sulfur to balance out. Finally we got to plant our spring garden. In went red and green cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce. We also have beets, radishes, snow peas and kohlrabi to plant. That will be done this week.

Today we are having rain again. We are to get it tomorrow also. We tore out 2 of 5 bushes up front and ripped out some candy tuffs that had long died. Going to replace some of it with mugo pines. They tend to spread out more than up. I have sunflower seeds and lavender seeds in soil to germinate before planting.

Can't wait to make pickled beets again. We are out and the kids are wanted me to buy some but I won't because I don't like them. In the next month or two we …

Pantry Basics

After reading on $5 Dinners what different readers had as their pantry basics I thought I would list mine.

Pantry :

flour (AP and bread)
sugar (white and brown)
sugar substitute
shelf stable milk
canned tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and Rotel type
canned green chilies
canned black olives
some boxed cereal
boxed chicken broth
asst spices, must have chili powder though
some canned veggies
soy sauce
chili sauce
Worcester sauce
corn starch
canning salt
homecanned fruit
homecanned apple and pear sauce
tea bags
peanut butter
some canned beans
canned mushrooms

I am sure that I am forgetting something but my mind has gone blank. I am sure you get the idea though. I home can all I can and try to buy basic foods. I do have a can or two of cream of whatever soups though I would rather make home made.

Frozen items I try to have are: frozen veggies including stir fry or japanese veggies for the lo mein my family loves. I also have butter, walnut, pec…

Back after a Break

Life got really busy and I had to take a break from blogging. But back I am. Hoping to be able to post more.

Super Bowl Sunday

We were invited to a Super Bowl Party so my menu was moved to tonight. It is a good thing that we ate something before going because besides nacho and cheese everything else was desserts. Not good for this diabetic and her diabetic honey. At least they remembered diet coke this year. Next year I will make sure I bring something that we can eat like a veggie tray at least.

Here is what we ate yesterday:

Breakfast: cereal, banana and skim milk
Lunch: salad with french on the side, grilled chicken and a small side of spaghetti with brown butter and garlic
Dinner: a grilled chicken sandwich and cookies

grocery shopping and feb challenge

Yesterday was a generally lazy day. My ds got us lunch and we ate leftovers for dinner. I went to Kroger after dinner and got:

2 bags of tortilla chips
2 jars of salsa
1 lb of white beans
2 lb of carrots
1 container of cheese dip
a half gallon of milk
2 bags of pistachios nuts

Total spent: $17.90

Yesterday we ate:

Breakfast: cereal, banana and skim milk
Lunch: burgers and fries
Dinner: leftovers

Feb Challenge

Ok today was a rainy day again. I didn't go anywhere until my bff came and got me to go to the cross stitch shop. ~smile~ My favorite shop.

Meals today were:

Breakfast: cereal, banana and skim milk
Lunch: broccoli and cheese soup
Dinner: date night with my honey- Mexican
snacks: chocolate cookies

Feb Chaallenge

Rain, rain. I guess it is better for Tennessee then snow snow. ~smile~ I love snow though. My honey has already used all of his snow days though so I guess we better not have much snow. As for our meals yesterday:

Breakfast: cereal and skim milk, banana
Lunch: leftovers or cereal
Dinner: baked chicken, broccoli with cheese, peas and carrots.
Snack: popcorn

Today is normally my shopping day but I do not have a car. So I will plan menus around what I have and see what I absolutely need. I will pick it up tomorrow or Monday. Sunday I like to try and stay home and relax after worship. Of course, this Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday so I might have to purchase a few things for that.

God Bless

Feb. Pantry Challenge

Yesterday I over did it. I went to my swim class in the morning and then in the afternoon I went mall walking. Today my neck is killing and I can't see the chiropractor till this afternoon. Eating wise was not bad.

Yesterday we ate:

Breakfast: cereal and skim milk
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: baked fish, asparagus (from the freezer), peas and carrots


We are back to "normal". After three snow days and a five day weekend my honey is back to work. We heard on the radio, on the way to his carpool site, that his school district has used all of there snow days for this school year. Yeah. This means if there are anymore they are either go on weekends or tack it on the end of the year.

I need to carry over the eating from the pantry challenge to this month. I didn't realize how much we eat out until last month. So I am hoping to eat from my pantry this month with only buying milk, fresh stuff and non food items unless I find an amazing deal on something we use.

I am going to start today -- better late than never.

Snow !!!!

Yesterday we had a snow day in which we actually got measurable snow. Being from the north I really miss snow but folks here are not sure what to do in it My honey was off and my son only had to go for three hours before they closed. It started about 10:30 and by noon had over 2 inches in the front yard. It changed to sleet last afternoon and into the evening. This morning we had flurries again. My honey and I went for a drive and the main roads are good but the side roads - yuck - that is where it is really dangerous. They are so bad my congregation cancelled worship tomorrow.

I had purchased soda and snacky foods on Thursday in anticipation of my honey being home as he is a teacher. So I did not panic like most people were. They normally forecast snow but we rarely get "snow".

Meals yesterday were:

Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: hot dogs and chips
Dinner: spaghetti and meatballs

Meals today are:

Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: mexican
Dinner: fish, carrots and either corn or …

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 19

Saturday was an errand day for me. Grocery store, pay bills, to Sam's Club and then back to the grocery store. I had been pricing things at Kroger and then hoped that Sam's Club was cheaper but they either were more expensive or didn't even had them so that is why I ended up back at the grocery store.

Yesterday we ate:

Breakfast: pancakes
Lunch: hotdogs or baked potatoes
Dinner: chicken. mixed veggies, coleslaw and mac salad.

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 18

I forgot to post yesterday. Friday was a busy day and it was payday !! Yeah I love payday at least until I start paying bills. ~smile~

Yesterday we ate:

Breakfast: poptarts
Lunch: salad and pasta
Dinner: ate out - Mexican

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 17

Ok yesterday I wasn't feeling wonderful so it wasn't anything fancy for meals.

Breakfast: poptart
Lunch: soup and salad, water
Dinner: pizza (son's night to cook)

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 16

Wednesday was a very rainy day and I had something happen that kept me from the pool. I stepped on a 2 inch piece of wire and it went right through the bottom of my crocks and into my foot. Not a good feeling.

Meals for yesterday:

Breakfast: oatmeal
Lunch: sandwich
Dinner: spaghetti and meat sauce,

Not fancy at all.

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 15

Yesterday we had:

Breakfast: pop tarts
Lunch: Biscuits and diet soda
Dinner: chicken stir fry with noodles

snack: homecanned fruit.

eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 14

Yesterday seemed like Saturday because both my ds and my honey were home instead of at school. I got to go to the cross stitch shop in town and use the gift certificate that my ds and his finance bought me for Christmas.

Meals yesterday were:

Breakfast: cold cereal and milk
Lunch: hot dogs and coleslaw
Dinner: pork chops, corn, snow peas, carrots and green bean mix

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 13

Sunday was a busy day really. We had the youth group last night. So alot of cleaning and cooking. We only had six show up.

Yesterday we ate:

Breakfast: cold cereal and milk
Lunch: shrimp, wild rice and broccoli with salad and water
Dinner: nuggets, french fries and chocolate chip cookies

eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 12

Today was a relaxing day. Dh and I went for a drive to the country and went to a flea market. Ds did not work which is unusual for him.

Today we ate

Breakfast: cold cereal and milk
Lunch: fajitas
Dinner: hamburgers and coleslaw

snack was nuts and chips

Tomorrow night the youth group is suppose to be coming. Still trying to find out how many.

eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 11

Yesterday meals were:

Breakfast: cold cereal and milk
Lunch: soup and sandwich
Dinner: homemade mini pizzas and salad

My honey has been fussing about snack items and lack of sodas so this will be our compromise. He wants me to try to not buy any meat or frozen veggies until I have used everything in the freezer. Everything else I will buy when I (or he) sees a need for it. Not quite what I wanted but it is better than nothing.

eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 10

Yesterday was a very busy day. Definitaly not a stay at home day.

We ate:

Breakfast: cold cereal, milk
Lunch: cheese pizza and diet soda
Dinner: chicken, corn and mixed veggies
snacks: peanut butter cookies and nuts

eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 9

Today was a busy day getting dd off to college spring semester. Her last one away from home. She cried all morning I am sure leaving her boyfriend is part of it.

today we ate:

Breakfast: pancakes
Lunch: sandwich and diet soda
Dinner: taco soup and diet soda.
Snack: peanut butter cookies

the taco soup did not taste right tonight. I didn't do anything different but it lack flavor. Hopefully dh will still want it for lunch tomorrow.

eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 8

Later again,

The story of my life it seems. Too busy getting dd ready to go back to school today. Might see her in March and then home in May.

Day 8

Breakfast: cold cereal, hot tea
Lunch: salad, biscuits and diet soda
Dinner: quesadilla and diet soda.

Not very interesting but this is what we ate. Day 9 will be better.

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 7

Well yesterday was a wild day. Church in the morning -- absolutely amazing !! Lunch with friends and then we finally had Christmas with my best friend and her family. Better late than never.

Menu for the day:

Breakfast: oatmeal and hot tea
Lunch: ribs, coleslaw and new potatoes
Dinner: ham and cheese sub and diet Pepsi

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 6

I am so proud of myself for remembering to post tonight. Ended up going to the grocery store. I got 5 jars of peanut butter (@ $1 each), 2 pks of 6 ramen, paper towels, peanuts and garbage bags. I use the ramen for lo mein which I make to use up bits and pieces. Peanut butter was just to good a deal to past up and dh asked for peanuts. It came to just over $23. Not bad really.

Okay todays menu was:

Breakfast: oatmeal, hot tea and oranges
Lunch: pampered chef party. I had chili and cheesecake yummmm
Dinner: chicken lo mein and diet pepsi

I need to get more organized. Dh goes back to work on Monday and dd leaves to return to college on Tuesday. Things will be "normal" again. Till tomorrow good night.

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 5

Well once again I am the day after recording our menus. Did not have a good night so I am moving slowly today. Yesterday we finally closed on our refinancing and so for lunch we celebrated. We went to Demos, which is a locally owned mom and pop Italian type restaurant. We spent all of $19 and was very full when we left.

so for yesterday:

Breakfast: oatmeal, hot tea and orange juice
Lunch: grilled chicken, broccoli and salad with water
Dinner: chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese (which my dd made)
Snacks: various chips and dips

Groceries: 18 eggs, bananas, one loaf of bread, french onion dip, cheese dip, 2 bags of tortilla chips and 3 cans of Pringles. Dh insisted on the chips and dips. Not what I wanted but for $17 I guess it was ok. Note to self - don't take dh to the grocery store if you want to stay on budget. :)

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 4

Ok I am getting bad at not thinking about posting until the day after. I have got to get better at posting. Well yesterday was interesting as my dh had a snow day (he is a teacher) and was hungry all day. Here is what we ate:

Breakfast - oatmeal, hot tea and oranges
Lunch - hot dogs and leftover slaw
Dinner - spaghetti
Snacks - dd made more cookies.

Boy are we getting spoiled with dd baking. When she goes back to school next week I may have to start baking myself. :)

Today is payday so either today or tomorrow I will be running to the store for fresh and non food items. Everyone keep safe.

Eating Out of the Pantry - Day 3

The family does not seem to mind yet that we are out of some snack foods and I am not running to the store every other night for something. Tonight was our date night so dh and I ate out. We don't go every week but we needed to talk and we are able to stay more focused eating out.

Meals for today:

Breakfast - toast with peanut butter and oranges
Lunch - pancakes and turkey bacon
Dinner - Mexican for dh and I; the kids are at work.
snacks were peanut butter cookies that dd made yesterday

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 2

Sorry I didn't post this last night -- dh was on the computer. Here is how day 2 went.

Breakfast - oatmeal and toast
Lunch - sandwiches and chips for dh and ds
Dinner - turkey burgers and homemade slaw and peanut butter cookies that dd made.

Yesterday was cold but today it is to be colder so I am not sure what to fix ..... Hope everyone has a blessed day.

Eating From the Pantry Challenge -- Day 1

I have decided to follow the Eating from the Pantry Challenge with The Menu Mom. One reason is because dh wants me to empty the deep freezer so he can buy me an upright. The one we have I bought at a yard sale for $35 about 12 years ago and who knows how long they had had it before me. It is the largest size chest freezer I have eve seem. I am having alot of trouble getting food out of it now with my health issues so an upright would work better and I will not have to "search and rescue" food items anymore. the other reason is that we way overspent last month and we are refinancing the house from a 30yr to a 15 yr so the payment will go up.

I will start today. Here is day 1:

Breakfast: cereal, milk and apple or eggs
Lunch: friend took me out and paid for it, leftovers and sandwiches for the rest
Dinner: Chicken, stuffing and mixed veggie all from the freezer.

I will have some food money come Friday and I will need some non-food things and some fresh stuff though I have …