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2017 Pantry Challengers

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This page is for anyone interested to continue the Pantry Challenge Chatter.

PS Here are some fun pictures from Stephanie’s Valentines Party. Isn’t she beautiful?!

Comments

  1. tastycook says:

    Thank you so much for this page Jessica. I’m sure it will be well used again this year – looks like lots of us need to go more than just one month.

    The peer support last year was wonderful and very much appreciated as we we seemed to go from one health problem, my Mum, in the early part of the year to another, my hubby, as the year started to wind down. We have made considerable changes to our eating habits and while our budget has increased, I still want to use the food that is in our freezers and pantry.

    The stuff that was in the pantry that we no longer eat, has been disposed of. We never did eat much processed food but even less now and our plates no longer have as much food on them. Portion control is a big factor for us now along with lots of extra fresh fruits and veggies as we try to maintain a healthier life style. The meat in the freezers will last longer than I had expected so the PC will last longer for us. But, I’m up for it

  2. As I have mentioned before, with just two of us most of the time, I have a long way to go before having lots of white space in the freezer. Today I found some very elderly sausage–I may have to toss it. That feels awful. I got home too late and too tired to deal so we had a portion of leftovers from the frig and a portion from the freezer. I’ll check it out tomorrow.

    • We are just two adults these days too as empty nesters. Takes us a long time to eat down our pantries as I can’t seem to “buy just for two” and it’s been many years with no kids living at home! LOL!

      • I am right there with you, Felicia! Two of us here and I love to grocery shop. Plus, when I take something out of the freezer to make soup or whatever, I have MORE to put back in. We are looking at more white space, basically because our life has been a little crazy lately and there’s been no time for anything.

    • Dumping the elderly stuff into a stew or something that will slow cook in a liquid for a long time often helps revive it enough to be edible. I suppose whether it is worth trying to rescue it depends on just how much of it there is.

  3. Tues. 1/31/17

    B: The usual.

    L: We were actually out of sandwich bread and Son wanted to buy at school today, so he had nachos. Hubs and I were running errands and stopped at In-N-Out. When we got home I got some bread going in the bread machine.

    D: Tuscan Veggie Soup (used up some zucchini from the freezer, and the other ingredients were from the fridge/pantry), garlic bread, salad, pineapple.

    S/D: Popcorn.

    I picked up a gallon of milk this morning and added that to my January total. We’ll have to go to Sam’s tomorrow to pick up a few essentials that we are actually out of. My goal for February is to continue to use up what we have and only replace what we are truly out of so that we again come in under the 2016 monthly average. I doubt the total for Feb. will be as low as the Jan. total, but if it’s lower than usual I’ll be happy.

  4. Hi everyone.
    Yesterday one kiddo had a headache so… hoping not the start of a bug here. So far so good today yet I did keep her home from school as her temp crept up a little last night. No reason to spread to others if she is coming down with something. Last nights chicken lasagna turned into instant pot chicken soup at the request of the aforementioned kiddo.
    Today may be lasagna but who knows. Lol.
    I am making some potato buttermilk bread today as we are down to ends of bread here. I need to make some muffins, scones or some type of pastry for quick snacks and lunches. The cookies I made the other day are gone so I guess that’s a good sign. Lol
    I was going to head to the store today for a quick stock up on avocado, fruit and milk but the weather is here not ideal so I think I am going to hold off until tomorrow or Friday morning. I want to try making a beef roast in the instant pot this weekend, so if anyone has pointers or tips, I’m all ears.

    • tastycook says:

      Hope she’s feeling better today.

    • Heather M says:

      I’ve been hearing so much about the Instant Pot. People seem to really like them! Good luck? I hope the kids don’t all get sick. This time of year it’s so hard to keep them all healthy, not to mention ourselves. Impressed with all your baking. I enjoy it but just don’t bake enough. I should. Glad to see you here, Brooke! 🙂

  5. Thank you so much Jessica for letting us continue the challenge. I love checking in to see what everyone is up to and I find it very inspiring to read what everyone is cooking. Most of all it really keeps me on track. I hope to continue for awhile yet.
    1/31
    B-Bananas and biscuits with either eggs, jelly or meat grits
    L-Leftover brat, cheese potatoes and green beans for hubs, salad and hummus with pita chips for me
    D-jalapeño beef bake (I had to look up recipes to use up jalapeños left from butchering, I left the jalapeño shopping up to my oldest son for our brats and I think he bought double of what we needed, this recipe was a keeper though), salad, apple slices and finished the last of Christmas candy (thank goodness
    S-homemade hot cocoa, made up a container of mix so it’s available for the kiddos

    • Heather M says:

      Oooo what’s in the jalapeno beef bake? Sounds right up our alley!

      • This is the recipe I used: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/beefy-jalapeno-corn-bake But I didn’t use the creamed corn it called for. I used my frozen corn from our garden, I also added some homemade taco seasoning to the ground beef Other than that I pretty well followed the directions. It’s kind of like cheesy corn bread with meat and jalapenos. I was afraid the kids would think it was too spicy but they liked it!

        • Thanks! I have frozen corn also. Do you think I could throw in a can of rotel? It sounds like the tomatoes should blend in OK but since you’ve made it, you’d know better. I thawed a package of beef and haven’t decided what to do with it but did not want any of the usual meals and this sounds great. Especially since my milk is aging so another recipe to use it is welcomed.

          • I think the Rotel would be good. When I reheated leftovers it was a tad on the dry side, so that might alleviate that problem.

    • agreed, that beef bake sounds intriguing. more info, please! (I could google but don’t know if I’d find the same one you liked)

  6. love this, we are continuing the pantry challenge at least through Feb (probably longer). Paid for all the garden seeds with what we didn’t spend on groceries in Jan. We are thinking of using the Feb savings to go towards plants we buy or maybe something else…haven’t decided..might put it in a hat and pull out the “winner” .

    • What a great way to use your pantry challenge savings! My problem is that I don’t “put aside” the grocery money so I don’t actually see or handle the money – I use my debit card for all my grocery purchases. I may begin the “envelope” system wherein I’ll put my $150 in an envelope at the beginning of the month and work from that.

      • I’m doing the envelope, so I can see the cash dwindle….lol. Keeps me in line with the budget.
        Melissa in GA

      • tastycook says:

        Patricia, many years ago, I designated one bank account, just for groceries. Different bank and therefore a different bank card. It may not work for everyone but it works for me. At the beginning of the month, I transfer our allotted grocery money into the account and whatever us left at month end, gets transferred out to a separate savings account. That way, I know how much I’m spending, and if by chance I think I need more ( maybe December for Christmas) I have “spare” grocery money that I can spend without feeling guilty.

        A couple of years before we finally gave up working and retired, hubby set up a spread sheet on my laptop (in our family, it’s me who does the day-to-day banking and bill-paying) so that we could see where we spent money, where we could cut back if we needed to and we still use that spreadsheet. At any time throughout the year I can look and see how any particular category is doing.

        • tastycook, we do the same thing. That way it is so easy to see how much we spend on every thing and see where we need to cut back. It is nice to see throughout the difference each month is and the years. We also include for birthdays and Christmas along with all our bills, groceries, non grocery products, etc. It is good to see how we were able to cut down especially with our grocery bills last year since every thing else went up, especially the utilities and of course went up again this year.

          • I was thinking about tracking on a spreadsheet as well, just talked to hubs about it yesterday. He already tracks pay days and regular expenditures. I want to get into more detail. I will play around with that soon, using a notebook for now.
            Melissa in GA

      • Heather M says:

        I really like hearing how all of you track your spending. We are really bad about that. We know how much we have, we spend, and it all works out. Not very disciplined. But we aren’t free-spending either. Every year I think this will be the year I pay better attention and maybe set a real budget. But then I don’t. We aren’t broke yet, but soon enough we’ll have two kids in college at the same time. It would be nice to be more disciplined by then.

        • Laurie in CA says:

          I set up our budget on a spreadsheet a number of years ago. I make out the next month’s budget a week or two before it begins. It has worked really well for me. My husband is a spendthrift. He’ll say we need to do so and so or get such and such and I ask him which category it is coming from because I would have to juggle other categories to make it happen. It helps control his impulse purchases.

        • Laurie I’ve been using this system for years. It’s the only one I stay with.
          http://thecouponproject.com/downloads/savings-tracker/
          I can set the budget and track coupons discounts and rebates along with the costs

      • My son always used his debit card, has to make a special trip to pull cash. Once I got him to get the cash for a couple months he realized he was overspending and not tracking the difference between non-food. food and the other stuff that he was tossing into the cart. I separate my non-food and food and have the cashier ring up the orders separate. I tell her they are separate before the first order is ran up.

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      Ooh, I like that idea. That’s some good motivation to stay out of the grocery store!

  7. Thank goodness we are continuing on with the PC. For me it won’t be about the money but in using up more on hand food. Therefore I doubt that I will keep a real close tab on spending. I know generally what I spend and that will suffice. I just want to see more white space in the freezer and I have several items left that don’t fit in the pantry. Like what possessed me to buy a gallon of tomato puree. It was for Jessica’s Red Sauce, but if I made it there was not enough freezer space to put it away. Right now that is a goal I have. That gallon has been sitting by the living room bookcase for 6 weeks. It needs to go as soon as I have room for the containers to fit in the freezer. I thought I was close yesterday then today my dad came home with 2 markdown pies he just couldn’t pass up. It is hard to control another’s spending. BTW that now makes 3 pies in the freezer. Along with that I have 1/2 angel food cake and 3 rolls of Christmas cookie dough in the freezer and 3 unopened sacks of cookies in the pantry. My husband and I are trying to eat fresh fruit for desserts but my dad wants other stuff. We can only hope that this will last him and he won’t see a need to purchase more.

    • Laurie in CA says:

      Audrey, having an elderly parent live with you can be challenging at times. My 93 yo mother lived with us for 11 years. I try not to keep sweets around unless it is for a special occasion and it will be eaten right away. One day I needed to put something away for her in her dresser and found a whole drawer full of junk food. It floored me how much junk was in there. She is very overweight which is hard on her joints. I found out my sister was taking her to the dollar store and CVS so she could load up. Oh well, you certainly can’t control another person.

      • I am an elderly parent — and found your comments about the “sweet tooth” hoarding/purchasing so very funny. Today at Walmart I fount that I couldn’t walk past the day-old cart. Finally pulled myself away with only a box of six choc covered donuts for $1.39. I brought them home and put each in a baggie in the freezer. I’ll pull out one when I “need” it to eat with a cup of tea. I don’t need the donuts, I didn’t really want to spend the money on donuts – but in my old, I thought to heck with it – I had to have them – LOL.

        • Laurie in CA says:

          The dr. got on her recently and told her she needed to watch her sweets. She replied it’s all I have left to enjoy. He said ok, lol. The kicker is she has diabetes that she refuses to treat. Oh well, I guess we’re all gonna die of something ?

          • Heather M says:

            And she’s 93, living with untreated diabetes. That’s amazing. I get why she said what she did. 🙂

        • Heather M says:

          Yes but you seem to have the discipline to only eat one at a time– individually packaging them and all. That’s awesome. We all deserve a treat once in a while. 🙂

      • Thanks for your comment! I am not alone at least. I don’t have a problem with his eating only with me needing to store it in my freezer during a PC. LOL! I am trying so hard to find some white space in there. He actually does not ever snack. He does, however, want a very small dessert after lunch and dinner. A small pie will last him 9 servings. He has done that his whole life. He is not over weight so I can’t really complain too much. My husband and I can stand to loose a few pounds and we love snacks but are trying to use fruit when the urge hits. I guess we all have our issues! I am just glad he is with us – pies and all!

  8. Hi everyone…

    Today is the day my senior bus goes to Walmart and Shoprite/Dollar Tree so I had to make my list -which made me look at everything I had in the pantry, freezer and refrigerator – and Golly Gee I have so much left to use up. I will continue the challenge until end of February but up my grocery shopping money a wee bit as things are used up. Normally I spend about $150 for my monthly groceries – January I spent less than $60 and I’m hoping to keep February down to $100. My shopping today was for items I need to make meals with that I know will go with what I have available to me in the freezer. All my meats are frozen.

    B: Tea and cream of wheat with brown sugar.
    L: MacDonalds at Walmart – $10.
    D: Meat sauce over penne w/small salad & fresh Italian Bread w/butter (on sale at Walmart $1).

    I bought 1.5 lbs of ground angus steak for a special of $5.25 at Walmart – will divide it up to make meatloaf and meatballs and 2 hamburgers out of it. I love their meat markdowns but they are now few and far between – seems the firehouse has been going in to buy up all the great steak markdowns early on Wednesday mornings (LOL)…
    Also needed milk, fresh veggies, yogurt flips (I’m addicted to the CoCo Loco flavor), loaf of fresh Italian bread, and Newman’s Spaghetti sauce. I also got a loaf of their 12 grain bread which is less than $2 a loaf – love this type of bread for grilled muenster sandwiches with soup.

  9. Thanks Jessica for providing a place for us to continue our challenge chatter!
    I enjoy reading the comments of others to see what their accomplishments and struggles are. The encouragement and support offered to others is awesome.
    I actually went back and reread my original post about what I wanted to accomplish with this challenge. I wanted an empty freezer! Haha–that didn’t happen, but I was able to use alot of food that was already here. There are plenty of empty spaces in my pantry and my fridge is pretty empty too.
    My goals for the rest of the challenge is to continue to use the meat and veggies in my freezer. I would also like to limit the shopping to things we really need to complete our meals.
    Feb 1
    Breakfast was eggs for my husband and PB toast for me.
    Dinner was leftover white chicken chili or vegetable beef soup and sloppy joes.
    Snacks were apples, oranges, muffins and string cheese.

  10. I too. Will keep up the challenge I need to rotate my stock .it has been piling up .made a good start in Jan I just want to see a bit more space on my shelves and freezers.
    Breakfasts today eggs and toast coffee.
    Lunch pork cutlets roasted cabbage spinach noodles Alfredo
    Dinner leftover pizza and adult bev for me hubby had dental work bought a milk shake after because he didn’t want solid food
    I like some of you love to shop for grocery deals. We have 2 Amish discount grocery store not to far away they have the best prices. It like a treasure hunt because you never know what you will find . Patricia our Walmart has the best meat mark downs but it never last very long so if you see it and need it buy it then or you will miss out . Part of why I need to PC in February to many great deals in December lol .

    • Carlene, my freezer is stocked with great sales from NOV and DEC as well. I should be set for quite some time of not having to buy meat until today when we found chicken thighs for .39/lb. I’ve never seen them that low in my area so I bought almost 15 lbs. On Thurs, I’ll debone the thighs and have boneless thighs for .39/lb!!!! I’m over the top excited!

      • Great find! I love shopping for deals and marked down meat is a personal favorite. I know, it’s a sickness. 🙂
        Melissa in GA

        • I agree !,I have the same sickness but we eat so much better because of it. Deals are what gives us flexibility and I know we would not eat what we eat now, I couldn’t afford to if I had to pay full price. Have a great day all my sister deal finders.

      • That’s an amazing price. I think I’d stock up too. 🙂

      • Heather M says:

        Jealous that you can buy 15lbs at a time of something. We only have the refrigerator/freezer in our kitchen and no room for an additional freezer anywhere. So I have to be picky about what we store. It’s usually jam-packed, too. But we like variety, so 15lbs of one item would just be too much of a space issue. 🙂

      • That’s an incredible deal! Never, ever seen chicken or meat of any kind that low where we are! I would have stocked up just like you did! Don’t blame you one bit!

    • Sickness it is and we all eat well!!

      • Thanks, ladies!

        The deboning went much faster than anticipated this morning as I only had one bone to remove. Seems the thighs came with the back-bone piece already removed! Nice surprise.

        In two hours, and that included clean-up, I cooked a pot of chicken cacciatorie for tonight, 4 pieces of Asian chicken thighs, 7 pieces of apricot honey glazed chicken thighs, deboned 8 thighs for the freezer and have a bag of bones for chicken stock in the freezer now too. All the fat is cooking down in a small crock pot.

        I’m set for dinners for the next few nights…feels good!

        • What a great start to a new month!

          I’ve been hankering after muffins and thought I had a container of them in the freezer but I cannot find it. So this morning I pulled out some raspberries and strawberries from the freezer and an old jar of strawberry jam (it had been ignored on purpose because I over-cooked it a bit and it is quite solid!!) from the pantry. Made 18 Fruit explosion muffins using a mic of regular flour and whole wheat. They are good – a definite winner.

        • Awesome job!
          Now what time did you say dinner is? Heehee!

        • Great Job Felicia!

        • Heather M says:

          Great work, Felicia!

  11. Wednesday –

    Oh sure, on this 1st day of my new month Pantry Challenge, hubby finds an in-store chicken thigh sale for .39/lb!!!!
    I’ve never seen them at such a rock-bottom price in my area!

    Since I know how to debone, I bought 14.78 lbs of chicken thighs for a little under $6.00. The challenge is on tomorrow for deboning, freezing and making stock.

    Breakfast – oatmeal and hot tea

    Lunch – granola bar and yogurt

    Dinner – deconstructed golumpki with cabbage, mac-n-cheese and Boston Brown bread.

  12. Hello Everyone!! So glad for this opportunity to continue – Thanks Jessica for hosting the challenge and providing us all with such a positive and encouraging platform to work together toward a common goal!!

    Wednesday, February 2:

    Breakfast: me, eggs and toast with feta, hot sauce and some bacon. Coffee to drink. Hubs cereal and milk

    Lunch: Me, chicken gnocci soup from the freezer that had been in there for a while and was really not that great. Had it with some toast and some dried apple rings. Hubs had the last chicken noodle soup from the freezer and a ham sandwich.

    Dinner: Beef/Pork Enchiladas with spicy enchilada sauce from the freezer.

  13. Stephanie M. says:

    Wednesday:

    B – Home made egg mc muffin

    L – Half a roast turkey sandwich from the roasted turkey breast I bought at the deli and a yogurt

    D – leftover pasta with marinara from two nights ago

  14. tastycook says:

    Several have said – it’s not about the money but better use of what we have and I have to agree, altho seeing my savings mount up is a nice side benefit.

    Tuesday 31st

    B – fruit and yogurt

    L – beef lentil soup – from the freezer

    S – tuna salad

    Wednesday

    B – fruit and yogurt for hubby, bagel (from the freezer) and cream cheese for me

    L – out all day, so we had fish and chips

    S – got home after suppertime. Fruit and yogurt with granola for hubby, a piece of pie for me.

  15. Wednesday 2/1

    Breakfast – Last of the banana nut muffins

    Lunch -Last of the chicken salad sandwiches & potato salad

    Dinner – Beef enchilada casserole

  16. Tues 1/31
    B – breakfast cookies
    L – chicken tortilla soup
    S – cheese
    D – chicken wings, yellow rice, green peas

    Wed 2/1
    B – I’ve had some sinus issues for a couple of days that was causing a sore throat. I opted to drink some warm salty chicken broth for breakfast to try to help with the inflammation.
    S – bottle of aloe juice, again hoping to help the throat
    L – L/O chicken wings, garlic-stuffed olives (garlic also helps with swelling. I figured I’d had enough, I was willing to try any remedy I’ve ever heard!)
    D – L/O black bean stew, kale salad

    • Terry-almost in Montana says:

      I also had some sinus issues a week ago. Darn that “plague of 2017!” Have you tried a rice pack that you heat in the microwave? After heating, place on your face where the sinus pain is. Not too hot, but just enough to maybe kill a potential virus or bacteria. I did this several times on the day it was bothering me and it really helped.

      • I don’t have a rice pack but I do have a couple of similar things, some filled with herbs and some with deer corn. I usually use them as hand and feet warmers in the winter. It never got cold enough this year to need them. I’ll try using them on my face if I should encounter this issue again. Thanks for the idea. At least what I did Wed helped a ton. My throat was so sore Wed I really could barely talk. I thankfully did not pick up the plague itself, or if I did I got a superbly mild version of it. I felt so much better Thurs, and today the throat issues are completely gone. The congestion isn’t quite eliminated, but nothing like what it was. Happiness!

  17. I also plan to soldier on. Vowed to set my spending for 2017 at 50$ per week including eating out as well as all cleaning and beauty products. Yesterday I went to the store for milk and coffee but also needed dog food 19.99 and chicken grain 8.96. I was tempted to rethink including those things but decided I can’t change the rules a month in…..so there won’t be much more shopping this week.
    Cooked the turkey wings and back in the pressure cooker yesterday. Fished out the bones. Picked off the meat to put aside. The dog got the skin and scraps. This morning I scraped the congealed grease off top of the cooled stock and added it to the chickens feed for today. They also need extra fat in the winter. Hubby is smoking the legs and thighs to use in cooking beans. The bone in breast will be cooked for dinner tonight with stuffing and cranberries. There’s squash to make pies and pie shells in the freezer. Mashed potatoes with turkey gravy. Well have leftovers for days. Aside from needing butter and salt maybe I can stay out of the store and still end up living inside my 50$ budget

    • I love Thanksgiving leftovers!! Now if I only had a turkey. RATS!!!

    • Heather M says:

      If you can keep your spending at $50/wk including cleaning/beauty AND pricy pet food, I’ll be so beyond impressed! But it sounds like this week is already off to a good start despite spending $30 on pets- all that turkey and leftovers for days, plus all the other things you likely have, 🙂

    • Wow, including pet food in that total is definitely ambitious.

  18. Wednesday, February 1st
    B – hubs had 2 fried duck eggs & biscuits, I had cut fruit later
    L – egg & ham salad on toast & 2 cookies, hubs skipped & had an apple later
    D – red beans & rice w/sausage
    S – chips & salsa, peanuts, cheese & olives
    Dessert- small piece of fruit cake (from Christmas) & chocolate
    Today is our anniversary so we are headed to town to shop a little and have dinner. True test of keeping my grocery shopping under control. I made a small list for publix and Kroger. Trying to shop only sale and needed items. We are having a small super bowl gathering – Go Falcons. Hubs is so excited. Trying to fix food that we have on hand or at least most components on hand.
    Melissa in GA

  19. Wed. 2/1/17

    B: The usual.

    L: Packed for the guys (PBJs, pineapple, yogurt w/ compote and granola, string cheese, trail mix, water). I had the last of the veggie soup and toast.

    D: Unstuffed Bell Peppers (We were gifted a slew of bell peppers in December, so I sliced them up an tossed them in the freezer. This was a recipe I found on Budget Bytes to use them up. I also used up the pound of ground beef from the freezer. The recipe called for just half a pound, but my package was a full pound so I just used it up. The guys didn’t complain any. 🙂 ) Salad, pineapple, clementines, water, milk.

    S/D: Popcorn

    We did go to Sam’s and purchased grapes, cereal, carrots, coffee, maple syrup, more milk (including a gallon of whole milk to make yogurt), peanut butter, M&Ms (to make trail mix), and Romaine. These are all things we were out of and use regularly. Total spent: $65.77. Any time we can get out of Sam’s for under $100 we’re doing good. 🙂

    I plan to go to Vons and Albertsons on Friday to pick up a handful of other things we’re out of (like butter). That should do us until mid-month.

  20. Thursday –

    Breakfast – a sweet potato and cup of hot tea. Yes, an odd choice for breakfast. I really wanted an egg over easy on top of it but I also knew I’d be having eggs for lunch and that’d be too many eggs.

    Lunch – yolk-less deviled eggs and hot tea. Essentially a bit of mustard and a bit of relish to go into the egg.

    Dinner – Chicken cacciatorie with fettuccine, garlic bread and salad.

    • It’s so nice to see other people eat odd things for breakfast. It makes me feel more normal. 🙂 I still haven’t reached the ability to eat brussels sprouts for breakfast, though. You still definitely win that one.

      • I’ve always been one to eat lunch or dinner type foods for breakfast. I’ve never liked sweet food for breakfast (pancakes, waffles, french toast, etc) so I either lean toward eggs/bacon/sausage type things, or leftovers/sandwiches/wraps, etc. Breakfast has always been a meal that I struggle to eat, period, so I figure whatever I eat is better than eating nothing!

  21. Yesterday was a good day. We finally finished up a bunch of l/o’s. Even the dog got in on a bit of potatoes and gravy. He also got to try and get off any scraps from the disposable angel food cake pan. It sure keeps him busy for a good while as the crumbs are really stuck to the sides.
    2/1
    B. egg sandwich and apple juice
    L. numerous l/o’s We all ate something different. Roast, potatoes and gravy, & squash for 1, soup for 2, 1/2 sandwich for 1, and angel food cake for 2, and yogurt with granola for 1.
    D. shrimp, squash, and roasted potatoes for all of us
    S. cookies or cantalope

  22. Salmon omelette and apple pie with coffee for hubby apple pie and coffee me
    Goulash using up the oldest bag of pasta yea! Green beans ,salad left, over cake from a week ago glad it’s gone
    Dinner will be queso dip and dippers (chips veggies) sunny here in Michigan but it sure is darn cold.

  23. So far only one kiddo is sick yay! She’s not super sick since she siltill feels well enough to eat normally and argue with her brother. Lol hoping my OCD hand washing and Lysol helps.
    I haven’t been to the store and our fruit and fresh veg are getting low. That’s ok though I’ll use it all up and then go next week.
    2/1 not much interesting. I did bake a lot since I had a sick little one home and I was exhausted from being up all night. What better way to stay awake? I made 4 loaves of egg bread, 2 apricot cream cheese danish braids, and 36 cornmeal rolls. I froze all but 1 danish and 2 loaves of bread. Yesterday we had leftovers all day. Beef stew for 3 and homemade chicken noodle soup for the other 2. Snacks were the last of the sourdough pretzels and tortilla chips.
    Today my daughter (ill one) requested sloppy joes for dinner. So I made a combo of ground beef and turkey sloppy Joe’s in the instant pot. I just make a homemade seasoning that my family likes. I did make freeze buns for the sloppy joes. We had those with sweet potato wedges, roasted cauliflower and sautéed kale. I figured I had better use it since I ever got around to the white chicken lasagna I bought it for. Oh well. There’s always next week.

    • Heather M says:

      OH what awesome baking! That danish braid sounds divine! Another reason I don’t bake frequently- not enough room in the sole freezer we have- attached to the fridge.

  24. Today: cooked a hamburger supper with/ for granddaughter. PC::baked beans, Mac and cheese. Broccoli and salad with fruit.
    Friday will be leftover turkey dinner with potatoes and green beans.

  25. tastycook says:

    Thursday 2nd

    B – fruit and yogurt

    Mid-morning snack freshly made muffin

    L – egg salad sandwich

    S – chicken & leek bake with broccoli, + potato for hubby and rutabaga for me. Tapioca for hubby and yogurt for me.

    I thought I had more muffins in the freezer but could not find them when I searched the other day. How come that’s when I REALLY wanted a muffin!!!

    Anyway, I found a new recipe I wanted to try which used some of the extra fruit from the freezer and some extra jam as well.
    They turned out well. Also supper tonight used leeks from the freezer that really needed to be used, rutabaga, also from the freezer and used up some leftover potatoes. The chicken was also from the freezer so a good day for the PC.

  26. Tasty cook I am glad your new muffin recipe was a success! I seem to make the same kinds over and over.
    Feb 2
    Breakfast was the usual
    Dinner was grilled chicken, rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes and sauteed green beans. It all came out of the freezer
    Snacks were string cheese, pretzels, applesauce and or muffins.

    I looked over the sales for this week and went shopping today! I spent $60. Yikes!! I got a 3 pack of Heinz ketchup (the only kind I will use), 160 slices of American cheese and 4 pounds of butter at Sam’s. At Aldi I got lettuce,carrots, tomatoes, avacados, stir fry veggies, tortillas ,milk and eggs. The stuff from Sam’s and the tortillas and eggs will last for the whole month or longer so I don’t think I did to bad at all!

    • tastycook says:

      I usually make the same few all the time too Pat. So when I couldn’t find what I thought was in the freezer and I had recently come across a new recipe that appealed, I decided that would be the one to make. Used 1/2 ap flour and 1/2 whole wheat too which I liked as I’m trying to make sure that we do eat healthier this year.

  27. Heather M says:

    HI everyone! I will be on here as long as I can last. At least until the new fridge but I hope to stay a lot longer because I need to rotate out lots of “aging” items from the pantry cupboards, so we don’t have to toss anything. It was so painful last week tossing all the food that was long-expired. Such a waste. I need to be here for the discipline. I also like the friendship and support from all of you! First shopping of the month today when I picked up a prescription at Target. They had all the snack food on sale and my guys love their chips/pretzels, etc. I loaded up. even the big box of clif bars my son eats every day were on sale, so I grabbed some. Refried beans on sale-only have 1 can left so bought 5. Bought a jar of mayo (on sale), since i just opened the last one. Also got a few bags of lettuce, a cucumber, and two avocados. Spent $45. Luckily most everything was on sale so I felt good about it. Sadly they didn’t have any good onions or garlic and we are about out of those! Anyhow, two more good Challenge eating days in our house:

    2/1:
    B: son had cereal, turkey sausage, and OJ; hubs had cereal; I had a piece of toast w/cheese
    L: son took a salami/cheese sandwich, clif bar, and pistachios; hubs took leftover chicken-veggie stew and 2 clementines; I had an egg salad sandwich and some chips (bad me!)
    D: the last salmon fillets from the freezer (augh, it’s getting stressful seeing ALL the food disappear and not get replaced), green beans (freezer), and a lemony orzo “risotto” that was a new recipe and was delicious (pantry/fridge)

    2/2:
    B: son had cereal, bacon, and OJ; hubs had cereal; I had an oatmeal packet (found 5 or 6 that have been in the pantry too long, so I need to eat them up- part of my new no-waste pantry policy)
    L: son took a salami/cheese sandwich, clif bar, and pistachios; hubs took the last of the chicken-veggie stew and a banana
    D: made a yummy sesame pork fried rice with the other half of the pork from the slow-cooker on Sunday, and leftover rice from Tuesday, so it came together quickly. Asian chopped side salad (one of the bags I bought today)

    Tomorrow I’m going to look at fridges in person. I’ve already narrowed it down to a few, looking online and talking to the master appliance guy who was here fixing our dryer last week. He told me which brands to look at and which to steer clear of based on current models. Hopefully we’ll make a good choice. FYI- he said the best two options (these are of average brands, not the super pricy, high-end ones) right now are Whirlpool and KitchenAid.

    • I’ve had good luck with Whirlpool. Glad to hear they are still considered good choices.

    • We got a plain Jane 19 cu ft whirlpool and it’s great. We had a side by side GE Profile and the ice maker was a nightmare.
      We opted for standard model, no frills – meaning no ice maker or water dispenser, less to break or leak. Nice and roomy too.

      Melissa in GA

    • I ended up finding (and tossing) a box of beef broth from my pantry that I completely forgot was there. It expired Feb 16, 2016, so I thought that was a little bit too long to try and use up!! I hate throwing food away, but overall for this challenge I didn’t do too badly with finding expired items. I’m going to try and focus more on using produce up that I purchase, as sometimes I end up throwing away things like mushrooms or the last couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes when we buy the larger containers of them. We love them, but I’m just not good at using them up! I’ve got some right now on our counter that are almost at the end of their life. I’m going to try and work them into tomorrow’s spaghetti sauce so that they don’t go to waste!

  28. Laurie in CA says:

    Happy Anniversary Melissa! Wow Felicia, that was an impressive price on those chicken thighs. Good job on getting them all processed! I’ll probably be out of leftovers tomorrow so I’ll have to do some batch cooking on Monday. Saturday I’ll probably do a little baking.

    2/1
    B – walnuts and an apple for me, eggs, sausage and toast for hubs
    L – salad w/ black beans, l/o taco meat and avocado, hubs had a burrito using the last of the taco meat, our 14 yo grandson came home from school and had a big bowl of stew w/crackers
    D – chicken cacciatore in the crockpot over penne pasta, green salad and artisan bread I baked last weekend and froze, for my daughter, grandson and me. I also sent dinner home to my son-in-law. Hubs had l/o stew

    2/2
    B – a hard boiled egg and walnuts
    L – l/o chicken cacciatore for hubs, salad w/ last of the chicken tenders, black beans and avocado for me
    D – l/o stew w/ sourdough bread from the freezer

    • Thanks, Laurie!! I’m fortunate to have a hubby who can eat the same things day after day as long as it is prepared a little differently! We finished the Asian chicken thighs tonight…tomorrow it’s onto the apricot glazed thighs!

  29. February 2

    Breakfast – Coffee and 2 hashbrowns for me, cereal and milk for hubs

    Lunch: Leftover enchiladas from last night for both of us

    Dinner: I was lazy and tired and we went to Red Robin. Burger for hubs, fish and chips for me.

    • We also stopped and bought some Pepsi, because the fizzy drinks must march on in our home!

      I’m hoping to spend less than or equal to the amount we spent in January this month, and continue to empty out my fridge freezer to make space for the food in our chest freezer. I’m still working toward the defrost, but not sure when that will happen!!

      I also have a very large pork picnic roast in my chest freezer that I may thaw and put into the crockpot this weekend. I love having the pre-cooked meat in the freezer to pull out for quick wraps for meals. We’ll see if I get to it!

  30. Thursday 2/2

    Breakfast – Granola bar

    Lunch – Hard salami and swiss sandwiches

    Dinner – Tuna casserole w/peas

  31. Feb 2. Breakfast. Hash browns and eggs with coffee
    Lunch baked turkey breast with stuffing
    Dinner a smoothie using up a ripe banana the last of a jar of peaches and some yogurt.
    Snack. Chocolate cake leftovers.
    Hubby smoked turkey legs and thighs and food savor sealed each piece to freeze for beans.
    Turkey stock and tomato soup got packaged for the freezer. The animals got the congealed fat from the turkey broth mixed with their breakfast.
    Making a grocery list but trying to hold off as long as I can. I might just ask hubba to pick up butter and salt….if he goes for butter and salt that is all he will buy…I would likely brouse for specials….

  32. Danielle L Zecher says:

    We’re definitely planning to continue the PC through February. We didn’t get as much used up as I had hoped to in January, so we’re in for another month. I’m so glad this page is up so we’re not in it alone! 🙂

    I think I will be buying ground beef, though. I don’t think there’s much left in the freezer. It’s so full and disorganized right now, that I’m not sure. Hubby says there’s none, but he doesn’t have the best track record for finding things. It’s his favorite meat, so I don’t think we’ll make it very long without it.

    I still have a lot of canned tomatoes to use up. Harris Teeter put them on an incredible sale in December, and I bought over 50 cans. I’m pretty sure when that was added to my usual stock we had over 60 cans of tomatoes in the house at one point. For two people. I’ve also learned that I have to space the tomato dishes out more than I thought. Heartburn!!!

  33. Thurs 2/2
    B – hot tea with an extra squeeze of honey just to make sure the throat inflammation wasn’t coming back, half bagel
    L – chicken strips, artichoke dip and crackers
    D – basil pesto pasta, he also finished l/o pork chop
    S – slice of cheesecake from freezer

  34. I’m looking for some ideas for using up some wine my MIL gave me. It’s a really odd wine. I tried looking it up online and find that it is a “dessert wine” which makes sense since she likes the sweeter wines. However, this one is really sweet and tastes a lot like honey. It was unopened but I think she’d had it awhile and I don’t know if it is even still “right” or if it somehow went bad. It’s a lot darker than the “white wine” it says on the bottle, but then again it is made from frozen grapes so I have no idea how that might change the color. I’ve tried a couple of times to drink it, even sipping it like a cordial, but I just don’t care for it. I hate to dump it but I do not know what I can do with it. It’s too sweet to use in typical cooking. Any suggestions what to do?

    • Sounds like you received a bottle of ice wine , they are dark and very sweet, I find it best served with a chocolate desert or you could try a spritzer , mix the wine with fizzy water. Maybe a fruit flavored one.

      • Huh. That might work. I guess I can give it a try. It won’t be any worse than this wine is on its own. I’ve had some I did not care for before, but I do not recall any wine ever that I disliked enough I actually considered tossing. I wish I knew if this was what it was supposed to taste like.

  35. My suggestion-dump it. I get cranky when I buy a wine that we really can’t drink and hate to dump it, but sometimes that’s the only solution.
    You could maybe poach some pears or something in it and try that. Maybe with some added brown sugar. Over ice cream? Still.. I’d dump it.
    Good luck! Let us know how you used it!

    • Oh, that’s an idea. Poaching uses wine and sugar so a sweet wine to start with should work. I rarely make that (he doesn’t like fruit so I don’t buy much at a time since I have to eat it all myself) but I like that idea. I’ll be at the store today for a few things anyway, including yogurt, so I’ll make sure to get poach-appropriate fruit. Thanks!

  36. Thurs. 2/2/17

    B: Oatmeal w/ granola and the last of the whipped cream, toast, OJ, coffee.

    L: Packed for son (PBJ, yogurt w/ compote, applesauce, string cheese, trail mix, water). Hubs and I had PBJs, yogurt w/ compote and granola, clementines, carrot sticks.

    D: LO Unstuffed Bell Peppers, salad, clementines, applesauce.

    S/D: Popcorn, trail mix

    It’s a good thing we’re continuing w/ the PC. Hubs had to replace the kitchen faucet. That was NOT in the budget. At least he can do the repairs himself.

  37. I’m behind on posting! Life just goes by too fast!
    2/1
    B-Eggs and toast or granola yogurt parfaits
    L-Leftover brat, cheesy potatoes and apple for hubs, salad and grapefruit for me
    D-I found some old boneless chicken thighs last week when I cleaned the freezer. They were from 2015, but didn’t look bad so I tossed them in the crock pot in the morning with barbecue rub on them and poured some of my homemade rhubarb barbecue sauce and a little Dr. Pepper over them. Let them cook for 6 hours and then shredded them. They made delicious barbecue sandwiches, so glad I didn’t throw them out! Served them with green beans and coleslaw. Made Rice Krispy treats for dessert and used up 3 open packages of marshmallows. How does this happen???
    2/2
    B-Granola parfaits or egg sandwiches
    L-Salad for me, leftover sloppy joe, cheesy potatoes and cole slaw for hubs and grandson
    D-Veggie soup from the freezer and applesauce bread I made in the afternoon. I have a huge surplus of canned homemade applesauce that I need to get creative with. I also added 3 apples that were looking a little sad to the loaves.

  38. Thanks to everyone for the anniversary well wishes! We had a nice trip to Augusta – it’s about an hour from us and basically the largest town. Our dinner at Outback was fantastic. We haven’t eaten there in years but the food was very good, the lobster was a nice size and cooked perfectly. Our server was very nice and brought us a free dessert for our celebration.
    2/2
    B – graham crackers w/PB & strawberries, yogurt for hubs
    L – hubs had the rest of the ham & egg salad on toast and I had some cheese
    D – outback
    S – chips & lemonade
    I shopped at Kroger $38 & Publix $53 – that was more than I had expected but not much off list. Got a rack of ribs at Kroger and a 3+lb ground chuck at Publix along w/TP and PT. have to be careful the rest of the month.
    Also, love all the Falcons well wishes! Hubs is nervous for them, young team and all. I’m hoping they do well!
    Melissa in GA

  39. Friday –

    Breakfast – blueberry pecan oatmeal, hot tea

    Lunch – hard boiled eggs w/o yolk, granola bar

    Snack – two mini banana muffins w/hot tea

    Dinner – Asian chicken thighs, roasted broccoli cuts and brown rice.

  40. Friday 2/3

    Breakfast – Granola bar

    Lunch – Hard salami and swiss sandwiches

    Dinner – Leftover chicken thighs and potato salad

    Snack – Ice cream

  41. Happy Friday everyone!!
    Feb 3
    Breakfast was the usual
    Dinner was leftovers–chicken,potatoes, green beans, white chicken chili and sloppy joes. First come first pick!

  42. Breakfast. Hot cereal.
    Lunch. I had turkey fried rice. Hubby had a fried egg sandwich
    Dinner was mashed potatoes with turkey gravy…tomorrow I will make mashed potato patties for breakfast. Will cook some carrots celery onion and peas and add the turkey gravy to it for turkey cream soup

  43. tastycook says:

    Friday 3rd

    B – fruit, yogurt and a muffin for hubby, yogurt and a muffin for me

    L – cheese sandwich for hubby, Bacon sandwich for me

    S – beef lentil soup from the freezer and buns, also from the freezer – the end of the herb onion buns I made a couple of weeks ago.

    We went to the curling club tonight as has Ben usual for us for a long time on Friday evenings and hubby curled his first game, just 14 weeks after his open heart surgery. He is a very happy, but tired camper tonight.

    • Heather M says:

      Yay that he is feeling good enough to curl now! That’s great! 🙂

    • tastycook, that is wonderful to hear! Would have loved to have seen the smile on both of your faces!

    • Hurray for you both!!

    • Sounds like your husband is recovering well. Yay for good health!

      • tastycook says:

        Thanks guys. You’re so right Roberta, we don’t appreciate our health until we don’t have it.

        He has done remarkably well – plain stubborn I would call it. Seriously, I am thrilled that he has come thru this all so well. Life is getting close to normal but our diets will stay changed forever (I hope). I still really don’t feel we ate badly before but we are really eating a lot more fresh fruit and salads – and a lot less cheese (sob!) If that’s all it takes, it’s a small price to pay.

  44. FRIDAY:

    B: Large 20 oz cup of tea w/2% milk – didn’t really feel like eating so the tea was enough.
    L: was out and refused to treat myself to lunch so I finished my errands and walked home, opened the door with the phone ringing – as I sat there talking to my daughter, a friend’s aide came over to get my phone number as my friend couldn’t find it. Gave her number and finished my call, took off my coat and put away a few groceries (strawberries on sale, store brand hamburg buns, frozen corn on cob on sale, our Village weekly newspaper and bag Cuties clementines on major sale, root beer on major sale – I rarely buy soda but this was an incredible sale).
    D: hamburgs w/mini corn on cob and root beer.

    I really have to begin digging into my freezer – so much left – where did it come from? Why did I buy it?

    Tonight as snack I’m having a yogurt flip.

    My budget for February is low but I spent only $10 today for everything so I have enough for milk, cheese, veggies and fruit for the rest of the month – ONLY 25 more days… LOL Wish you all good luck on this extended challenge. I love hearing your feedback and reading your posts – I’m getting so many ideas.

  45. Heather M says:

    Ordered a fridge today. Love the fridge part (it’s a french door w/bottom drawer freezer), but I’m afraid the freezer is going to store a lot less than current one. And we have nowhere for an additional freezer. I’m going to have to be better about what I buy/keep in the freezer (just when I was excited i’m making all my own beans and freezing them. Guess I’ll have to do smaller batches?). I’m going to have to get creative with storage in it. That is for sure. We aren’t a huge family, but I love to buy larger quantities of proteins, etc, at Costco. I just spent a few hours internet searching organizing bottom freezers. But seeing how they’re all different, ugh. It just seems there’s so much unusable wasted space under the runner and outside the baskets. Maybe I can rig hooks to hang thin things out there. We’ll see. Otherwise, I’m pretty darn excited. And now to eat as much as we can out of it by the time it’s delivered mid-week.

    2/3:
    B: I had an oatmeal packet. I think the guys had nothing (hubs usually finishes son’s cereal every morning and son didn’t have school and slept until 11).
    L: Hubs took leftover sesame pork fried rice and two clementines; son had Wendy’s; I had cheese and crackers and the last bit of potato salad.
    D: made a cheesy beef macaroni bake but with ground turkey instead. And onions, shredded carrot, tomato sauce, herbs, homemade cheese sauce, etc. Yum! Son isn’t a big fan of things like that (he’s too picky still), but ground turkey comes in 1.3lb packages at costco, so I had extra to cook up as taco filling (the bake called for 1lb). So he had tacos w/refried beans, said meat, and cheese.

    • Heather M, So happy that your new fridge is ordered! You may be amazed how much you can “squeeze” in those bottom drawers freezers! I thought the same when we bought ours 2 years ago. Ours has the dividers for all the little things and my hubby is always questioning how I can get more in it when, in his opinion it always full. lol We do have a large deep chest freezer in our garage too but I like to keep every thing we need for at least each weeks meals, along with ice cream and snackies for the grandbabies. So yea, there is still lots left in both freezers so I know I will continue on this PC journey through the year since it is just the 2 of us, we eat lots leftovers, but a lot of what is in the deep freeze is from our garden last year and soups and leftovers that we will be eating up in the next couple months.

    • Heather M. Hurray for the new fridge!! My son and DIL have a freezer drawer and I am amazed at how much she can get in there! It will just take some time to get used to it.

      • tastycook says:

        So pleased that you have found the fridge you want. I don’t need one at the moment but when I do need to get one I am seriously thinking of the freezer on the bottom type so I will be interested to see how you like yours. Many years ago when we renovates our kitchen, I planned for our senior years (This was 2 houses ago) and decided we should get a side by side. I hated that thing so much. The freezer side was so restricting in what would fit. When we sold the house, the buyers wanted the kitchen “as is” and they were welcome to it. So altho I am looking and planning for the next fridge already, I need to do some serious learning about what will work for us.

    • Yay for the new fridge. I looked at all kinds and decided the bottom freezer just wasn’t for me. My son has one I didn’t care for it. Hoping you can get what you need shoe horned in there!
      Melissa in GA

    • Let us know how you like your new fridge. Our fridge is 13 years old (bought when I was pregnant w/ our son). We’ve had some repairs made to it, so I know we’ll need to replace it before too long. I’ve started a “fridge fund”; those things are crazy expensive!

    • Jen in Colorado says:

      Yay for a new fridge! We have the french door style with bottom pull-out freezer, and I really like it. I didn’t actually want that style, but I have grown to love it. 🙂 The freezer seems to hold a lot, especially once I worked out a good organization system for us. Hopefully you will have the same experience.

    • Exciting news on the fridge!! I’ve wondered myself about the drawer freezers, but I’ve had friends that say it’s surprising how much you can fit in there. They have also said that it does take good planning and organizing to get it all in!

  46. Laurie in CA says:

    Tastycook, I’m so glad your hubby can get back to doing what he enjoys. Heather, I have an armoire refrigerator and I love it. You’ll be surprised how much you can hold in it. It just takes a little getting used to. I find it much easier to find things in unlike my side by side or top freezer. We gave our side by side to our son but have the 14 cu foot refer/freezer in the garage so we do have an overflow area.

    Was able to clear out most all of the leftovers from both fridges and have lots of white space. I’ll probably make a trip to Trader Joe’s and Von’s tomorrow for essentials.

    B – Bacon or sausage and eggs, toast
    L – raw carrots and cauliflower and hummus dip, walnuts, hubs had a couple nut packs while golfing
    D – l/o stew for hubs, l/o chicken cacciatore my me and my grandson
    S – guacamole and corn chips

  47. Stephanie M. says:

    Thursday:

    I didn’t post today because hubby was coming home in the evening from a business trip in Texas and I had a lot of running around to do for our Valentine’s dinner party next Saturday.

    Friday:

    B – Hubby had cereal; I skipped breakfast

    L – Grilled cheese sandwiches

    D – Our kitchen was closed tonight; ordered Chinese and enough for tomorrow night too which is good because this weekend, I really need to get ready for our party next Saturday, cleaning, ironing the table cloth, finish food shopping, etc.

    • Stephanie, what is your party table ‘theme’ for this event?

      • Stephanie M. says:

        This is our annual Valentine’s Dinner Party that we’ve been having every year for the last four years. I will be giving more details later in the week and there will be a picture of the table too. I hope everyone likes it. Decorating tables is so much fun for me and each year, I do it different from the last. Paul and I have been busy getting ready for this. Today, he spent all day creating a beautiful slide slow with Peruvian music from his and our daughter’s father/daughter trip to Peru, Machu Picchu in early December. We plan to show it during cocktail hour.

    • Anxiously awaiting all the details ?

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Ok you wonderful ladies. you got me. LOL I was going to wait until end of the week but I’ll write about it tomorrow morning. And I’ll just tell you that there will be a picture of me and my table at the end of the week.

  48. Fri 2/3
    B – L/O black bean stew for me, chicken alfredo from freezer for him
    L – meatballs and spinach dip for me (not served mixed together, blech) and honey chicken wings for him
    D – yellow rice, mixed veggies, pork tenderloin

    Going to have to go to the store tomorrow. I need onions and cilantro, and avocados are on sale. So are some sodas he likes. I stopped drinking sodas about 2 years ago except for an occasional craving (once every couple of months) but he still likes the lemon-lime and rootbeer sodas. He does prefer the name brands over the store brands on those (we’ve done blind tests) but is not picky between the name brands so whichever has the better sale…Pepsi this week is better than Coke last week so glad I waited. I should have gone today, as I’m sure the stores will be a madhouse tomorrow with all the pre-Super Bowl shopping.

    • This is definitely the weekend to get soda – Kroger had both brands on sale here 4/$11 which I thought was really good. I had 2 coupons from My Coke Rewards so I got 2 packs of Vanilla Coke for free. I got a pack of Dr Pepper for my daughter and a “throw back” all sugar Mt Dew for hubs.

      • I have a bunch of Coke rewards numbers I’ve been collecting. I’ve tried numerous times to put codes in to earn rewards but they always end up expiring in between me entering them so now I just have a bunch that I feel is pointless to enter. I’m happy to give them to you, but how can I get them to you without just posting the info on the board? I don’t need to take up that much space on here. 🙂

        • They’re stopping the program next month, you should just go ahead and put them all in and donate them to charity. They said all leftover points would go to charity as they start some new rewards program. All I ever “bought” was the $3 off a 12 pack and around Christmas they offered free 12 packs for only 30 points.
          Thanks for offering them to me, that’s so thoughtful of you.
          Melissa in GA

      • Our stores here in BC seem to be the opposite for soda prices – everything hiked WAY up before the big game!

  49. The Superbowl shoppers were out in force yesterday. I had to smile when I looked at their carts while I was waiting in that long line……chips ,snacks, beer, soda ,ice cream….I could tell they weren’t involved in pantry challenges…at least not that trip. I needed salt and butter and chicken bouillon. Bought those plus a couple of cans of chili that hubba likes for making chili topped baked potatoes. I also bought 50# of Idaho bakers knowing its the time of the year they usually at least double in price here. That gives me about 70# of potatoes. They will keep well in our garage until probably may. And yes we will use them up. Once in awhile we have a few sprouty ones at the end that I plant in the garden. Anyway. That purchase put me at 55.35 for the week. I will rein it in for next weeks shopping.
    So happy that you ladies are continuing on…I’m enjoying the comraderie

  50. we had bagels with peanut butter yesterday for bfast
    Was at Dad’s most of the day and he didn’t feel up to going out (cold here, age at 89 and has slight dementia) so we snacked at Dad’s. Bought dinner at a place that makes real food including their own breads and noodles YUM. Eating out budget will last longer since we didn’t take Dad out. Next time I will take something I can fix for all of us as Dad doesn’t keep much food on hand that will serve more than one.
    Today Hubby had toast and I had fruit . He is eating lunch at our daughter’s as he helps her move. I will eat leftover calzone. DInner will be BLT’s 3 bean salad for hubby and beets for me with cranberry salad jello

    • Cranberry salad jello??? I’m intrigued!!! So that’s probably why I’m seeing so much post-holiday Cranberry Jello on sale! 😉

      • I make one that has raspberry jello, a can of whole cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple, diced apple and nuts. We eat it topped with whipped cream.
        Melissa in GA

      • cranberry jello or raspberry jello or cherry jello (don’t use strawberry the flavors clash LOL) and a can of whole cranberry sauce. Hot water to dissolve jello and then mix the whole cranberry sauce in it and stir then add cold water…I only add about 3/4 cup of cold water. I have used it to layer with whip cream mixed with drained crushed pineapple and some crushed pecans on top.. I;’ve done it with grape jello and blueberry pie filling, Strawberry jello with strawberry pie filling….

        • Danielle L Zecher says:

          Is the texture more like cranberry sauce more like Jello? That sounds really good, but I can’t handle jello.

          • It’s like whole cranberry sauce with a little layer of jello over it… You could let the jello get part way solid and blend it into the cranberry sauce…I let my jello get part way solid and blend it with yogurt or sour cream with fruit added to it, sometimes in a bowl sometimes in a mold and put it on lettuce for a “salad”

  51. Saturday FEB 4

    Meet-up morning with a couple of former co-workers and yacked it up for 4 hours. OMG!!! We probably need to meet more often! LOL!

    Breakfast – butter croissant and decaf coffee

    Lunch – hard boiled egg whites, tomatoes and nacho cheese sauce. Hot tea

    Dinner – Apricot glazed chicken thighs, leftover broccoli and sweet potatoes.

    Hit the jackpot yesterday in mark down/clearance sections. Found 2 pouches of Bush’s Hummus mix for a grand total of 36 cents. Yes, they normally sell for $2.29/ea. Today my black beans are in the pressure cooker and I’ll have some hummus for Super Bowl Sunday.

    I’ll be taking a very long “foot long” sub from the freezer on Sunday and some deli meats, cheese, tomatoes, cucmbers and lettuce for a Super Bowl Sub Sandwich for hubby and myself.

    I found some Super-Pretzel Bites at the Dollar Tree for free since I had a $1 coupon. I’ll serve with honey mustard and nacho cheese sauce which I have in the fridge. DH saw large mushrooms marked down $1.69 for 16 oz container so I said I could stuff them for an appetizer too. Hummus, pretzels, stuffed mushrooms and a sub. We’re good to go once I figue out dessert!

    • Would you mind telling me what store(s) you shop since we are in the same state?
      Melissa in GA

      • Melissa,

        I shopped at these stores this week and usually ALDI as well but there was nothing on sale that I needed this week. [The * are items for the food bank].

        Week FEB 1 – 4
        Dollar Tree
        Superpretzels 9 oz bag
        Total: Free

        Publix
        2 Lysol Power Bleach Cleaner (BOGO)
        Fiber One Blueberry Streusel (Free)
        Fiber One 90 Cal Orange/Cranberry Bars (Free)
        2 Jello Sugar Free Vanilla Instant Pudding*
        1 can Well Yes Minestrone w/Kale soup*
        Cooked Perfect 24 oz bag of turkey meatballs
        Total: $8.33

        Kroger
        Two containers Kroger whipped topping
        Baby Bella mushrooms
        Two cans Progresso cream of tomato soup w/penne
        Two boxes Nature Valley XL Granola Bars
        Box of Kroger Powdered donuts
        Two boxes Aunt Jemima complete pancake mix*
        3 Jars Earth Balance Peanut Butter*
        3 packs of Heritage Farm Chicken Thighs – 14.78 lbs
        Total: $25.69

        Kroger
        2 bananas
        10 pack Crystal Light On-The-Go
        6 pack Crystal Light by the pitcher
        Total: $2.24

        Publix
        2 pouches Bush Hummus Southwest mix
        Total: $0.36

        Kroger
        Kroger Pvt Selection Roasted Turkey Breast deli meat
        16 oz fresh mushrooms
        (3) Crystal Light Peach Ice Tea Mix 6 count
        8 oz Provolone Sargento Sliced Cheese (free)
        8 oz can tomato sauce
        (2) cans Campbell’s Well, Yes! Minestrone w/Kale soup (free)
        Total: $5.94

        Dollar Tree
        Colgate Toothpaste 5 oz tube
        (2) Rolls of Aluminum Foil
        Ziploc storage bags 15 gallon count
        Paper Napkins
        Total: $5.30

        Weekly cost: $47.86

        • Thanks, I was just curious about what stores you have. We have Harvey’s, IGA & Walmart in the nearest town.
          i am assuming your free items are with paper or digital coupons? Kroger has been especially generous with their digital coupons. I have to travel from 45 minutes to an hour to shop with them but I really like their deals, freebies & mark downs.
          Melissa in GA

  52. Fri. 2/3/17

    B: The usual.

    L: Packed for the guys (Typical stuff–PB/AB sands, fruit, yogurt, etc. Packed lunches tend to be the same basic things, with variety coming in the form of different fruits, jams, yogurt toppings. Occasionally the sandwich itself will vary, but not often. PBJs just hold up well in lunch boxes.) I had the last of of Unstuffed Bell Peppers w/ a slice of Swiss cheese melted on top, clementine, and trail mix.

    D: Pumpkin soup from the freezer, 1/2 grilled cheese sandwiches, salad, clementines.

    S/D: Thin Mint cookies, hot cocoa. (Son bought the cookies from a friend and school and shared them with us.)

    I went to Vons this morning and picked up a few things (including 4 lbs. of butter and some things for pizza tonight and nachos tomorrow). Spent a total of $42.55. Albertson’s has BLSL chicken breasts and canned beans on sale, so I may go there as well.

    I need to look through the freezer/pantry and then work on next week’s menu.

    Have a nice weekend, ladies.

  53. Jen in Colorado says:

    I am continuing on loosely, in the way I was before. (Trying to use up things from our big deep freezer in the garage, with the eventual goal of emptying it out and defrosting.)

    I made Jessica’s Slow Cooker French Dip sandwiches a few days ago. http://goodcheapeats.com/2016/12/slow-cooker-french-dip-sandwiches/ They were delicious! Used up a chuck steak from the freezer, and I added some sliced red bell peppers (our Sprouts had them 3/$1 !).

    Things we’ve eaten the last 2 days:
    -cashews and pecans
    -grapes, raspberries, strawberries
    -DS – bacon, last of the vanilla yogurt that he loves
    -French dip sandwiches (DS ate his separate – bowl of beef/veg, and roll on the side)
    -chopped salad (me), raw veggie dippers (DS)
    -last night we ordered Chinese food, and now have leftovers of that for a while
    -misc. odds and ends of snacks – DS

    My mom is coming in town next week, and she will happily help me eat some of the casserole type foods we have in the freezer. (DS isn’t big on casseroles.) So that should help speed up the freezer clear-out project. 🙂

  54. Hey everyone!
    2/3
    B – cut fruit (those oranges really aren’t good but we are pushing thru) strawberries are now gone
    L – I had LO from dinner and hubs had LO red beans & rice
    D – homemade pizza
    S – cookies, pistachios
    Dessert – pie from freezer ( down to 1 left in there from holiday sales)
    Trip to town yielded a quick trip into Harvey’s: $14.65, found a marked down pack of wings (needed those for tomorrow), .48 avocados, tomatoes, grapes, 5\$1 limes and the 8oz wonderful pistachios were bogof ($4.99).
    The pizza was amazing using the homemade pizza sauce.

    Melissa in GA

    • Heather M says:

      .48 avocados??? I was thrilled to see them on sale .99/each at Target. They’re usually at least $2/each, so I like to get them at Costco and play the ripen/refrigerate game to extend their life. Awesome you had such good homemade pizza!

      • They were .99 @ Publix, .78 @ Kroger & .48 @ Harvey’s. I had already gotten 2 from Kroger before checking the Harvey’s ad and the ones at Kroger were tiny. So I picked up 2 more.
        I too have paid $2 each just because we like them so much, just enjoying the low prices. Ya know, I just learned recently about the refrigeration game! Will be doing that too! Lol
        Melissa in GA

    • You got a great deal! They were 0.98 at Walmart and $1/each at both Publix and Costco this week. The ones at Costco were nowhere near ripe and I did not feel like having a bag of 6 to play the “ripen without spoiling” game when I already have frozen guac and just wanted some fresh avocado, so I picked up just a couple when I was at Publix. Costco had the bags on sale for $3.99/6 last Super Bowl so I was hoping for that again but no dice.

  55. 2/3
    Went to town for a hair cut so stopped at Aldi and stocked up on a few things. Mostly veggies, fruit and dairy. Did pick up 2 more cans of black beans, cereal, oatmeal, powdered sugar and apple juice. Total $41.82. Hoping to get through a good week and half on what I bought.
    B-Applesauce bread and grapefruit for most of us, scrambled eggs for hubs with the bread
    L-Hubby and I finished off 4 leftover containers. Woo hoo! Sloppy joe, cheesy potatoes, green beans and cole slaw.
    S-After school snack because we were eating late dinner at our daughter’s house for our grandson’s 1st birthday. Cheese from a gift pack from Christmas and crackers.
    D-Daughter had a great meal for us, but I did bring a big crock pot of mashed potatoes to use up more of ours before they sprout.
    The birthday party was so much fun! Could watch my grandbaby play all day long!! Can’t believe how fast this year went with him!

  56. tastycook says:

    Saturday February 4th

    B – fruit and yogurt

    L – egg salad

    S – l/o chicken and leeks, carrots and peas. Also cooked some Brussels sprouts. Hubby had some tapioca and I had yogurt.

    Hubby made salads for lunch and that finished almost all of our salad fixings. Tonight’s meal finished off most of the fresh veggies so we went grocery shopping thus afternoon.

    We needed grapefruit and yogurts (for breakfast), hubby’s nut jar (his snacks) was almost empty; eggs, milk and veggies and a few other bits and pieces and we had spent about $50. Hubby is paying a lot more attention to grocery shopping than he ever has before – quite a learning experience. He is also very good about saying – such and such needs to be used up, not that he was ever picky about what he ate but I’m pleased to see him take more of an interest in what we eat.

  57. Heather M says:

    Thank you to all you ladies re the new fridge! You are all so wonderful! I will definitely let you know how we like it. Took hubs to see it today and finished paying for it (put in a fully refundable deposit yesterday, in case he didn’t like it or I had buyer’s remorse). We are excited. It arrives Wednesday, so now I’m starting to borrow coolers from neighbors, etc., and planning how to organize it, since it’s so different from our current one. I’m sure, despite the freezer downsize (i measured both inside, and yes, losing space), we will love it. The fridge part is soooo great.

    2/4:

    Brunch (that’s how we roll often on the weekends- 2 real meals and snacks): son had bowl of cheerios, a hard boiled egg, and bacon; hubs ate the leftover piece of salmon and the small amount of leftover couscous w/veggies and pork tenderloin from last Sunday; I had toast w/ PB and honey, a hard boiled egg, and bacon.

    D: Son wasn’t thrilled with the limited protein options we have left (he asked what we were having for dinner and I told him we have one meal’s worth each of shrimp, mahi mahi, ground turkey, and ground beef, and some turkey meatballs… not interested). I realized we still had a bag of Trader Joe’s Kung Pao Chicken (pre made frozen entree) and one serving left of his favorite spinach mozzarella raviolis. So I made the chicken and added green beans from the freezer. Made rice for hubs and I to eat it in the traditional way. Son had the raviolis with pieces of chicken pulled out of the entree, We were all happy.

    Now to use up as much as I can by Wednesday. And we have a Super Bowl party tomorrow, so likely we’ll just eat leftovers and at the party. Thinking of making a greek shrimp and spinach penne and an asian ground turkey/veggie stir-fry monday and tuesday (all veggies/protein in the freezer still). Hopefully I don’t even have to buy OJ until the fridge comes. We’ll see!

  58. Heather–it sounds like you have a definite plan to use up what you have before Wednesday!
    Feb. 4
    Breakfast was the usual for us
    Dinner was steak stir fry with rice. All from the freezer!
    Snacks were applesauce, oranges, string cheese and pretzels

  59. Friday, February 3

    Breakfast: BLT Bagel for me, cereal and milk for hubs

    Lunch: Ham Sandwich for Hubs, I didn’t bring a lunch but got lucky and pitched in for Indian food at work. The girls I work with usually each take turns ordering in lunch on Fridays, so that was a nice treat.

    Dinner: Homemade Pizza, crust, sauce and all! Soooooo tasty!

    I put the giant pork shoulder that I had in the freezer into the crockpot overnight to portion out and stash back into the freezer for future meals. The house smelled AMAZING all night!!

    Saturday, February 4:

    Breakfast: Both of us ate quite late, so it was more like lunch. I did have a cup of coffee and snacked on probably way more of the pulled pork than I needed to while getting it ready to be packaged for the freezer.

    Lunch: Egg, Ham and Cheese Tortillas for Hubs, Pork Caesar wraps for me

    Dinner: Pasta bake with the last bag of spaghetti sauce from the freezer. Looks like I’ll be making some more tomorrow!

    I totally forgot the fact that I was out of medium-sized freezer bags, so I ended up using every single small container I own to pack up the pulled pork! I think this is the only time EVER that I have run out of those freezer bags!! I’m usually really particular about having them in the house because I make a lot of food that is packaged easily in them for the freezer (pulled pork, pre-cooked chicken or ground pork, burger patties, etc) But, this time around I totally forgot! Oh well, cleaned out my “Tupperware” cupboard of the little containers, but now to find the best way to stash them in the freezer! I’ll probably use one of my smaller re-useable bags to keep them all in one place! That’s a great Jessica tip I picked up!!

  60. Saturday 2/4

    Breakfast – Fried eggs & toast

    Lunch – High school ban sub w/lentil, beans & orzo soup

    Dinner – Finished the last of the tuna casserole

    Our oldest daughter stopped in last night and dropped off 4 dozen eggs. She said their chickens are laying more than they can eat (they are a family of 5) so thinking we will be eating a lot of eggs for a while. She usually drops off 2 dozen every week. Thinking we won’t have a problem using them up.

    • Stephanie M. says:

      I bet those very fresh eggs taste delicious!! 🙂

      • They are Stephanie! We had gotten spoiled since they had chickens for years then they decided no more but so glad they changed their minds and got more last summer. Looking like there will be a lot of omelets, frittatas, quiches, dippy, scrambled and deviled eggs in our future.

  61. Stephanie M. says:

    Saturday

    B – Hubby had scrambled eggs, home made turkey sausage, the last of the hash browns from the freezer, and toast; I skipped breakfast

    L – Hubby skipped lunch; I had some of the Chinese leftovers from last night

    D – We finished all of the leftover Chinese food

  62. Aren’t home grown eggs the best? Our hens have taken time off this winter so I have purchased 13 dozen eggs since November. We have 7 hens. Normally I have 2 dozen eggs a week to gift. It hurts to have to buy them. Yesterday I got 2. I was thrilled. When we have lots of fresh eggs to use we don’t have to buy much meat. Yesterday we had eggs and hash browns for breakfast. Hubby loves hash browns so I make sure he gets most of them with two fried eggs. Then I sauteed a chopped apple and scrambled an an egg for me. I’m trying to use up the wilty apples in our veg drawer. For lunch I made Salisbury steaks and leftover mashed potatoes. The leftover sauce went into the freezer over some beef and gravy I made last week. Turkey sandwich for dinner.
    Made pizza dough for today. Bought sauce pepperoni and sausage at the dollar store last week. We will use some sausage with hash browns and eggs for breakfast…the rest will be pizza toppings… Happy Superbowl everyone

    • Terry, they are the best! And they don’t come any fresher! They have 13 hens and a rooster. I don’t know if it’s been the weather that is helping them produce but I’ll take them! Eggs are one of those things that we can find a lot of things to make with them. I made a Baked omelet roll with cheese this morning and we have enough for tomorrow’s breakfast left. Little bit if milk cheese and flour and we basically had a free breakfast and it was quick, easy and delicious!
      Hope yours hens start producing more soon.

  63. I can’t remember when I last posted as the days are running into one another here.
    Friday ALL this pregnant mama wanted was a Sicilian style pizza from a very authentic local place. However, being that we are having a challenge AND (the main reason!) I don’t want my new car smelling like a pizza, I decided to skip it and make dinner. I pulled together a 15 minute chicken fried rice that was So good. All of the oohing and ahhing from my family you would have thought it was gourmet fare. I had made the brown rice in a big batch 2 weeks ago and frozen it. Everything came together quickly. We had it with sliced oranges. There are some leftovers left for lunch today. I’ve got dibs. Lol.
    Saturday we had steel cut oats for breakfast along with peaches and blueberries from the freezer.
    Lunch was Jessica’s amazing quinoa salad. Mmmmm
    Dinner was instant pot zuppa toscana using freezer sausage, male from frozen from my garden and potatoes from my garden. We had toasted multigrain sourdough with that.
    I made 4 dozen muffins yesterday again. Jessica’s mix and match recipe which has never failed me. One batch pumpkin pecan and one batch banana choc chip.
    Today I need to make lunch fare for the kids lunches. I shredded some chicken yesterday and the plan is buffalo chicken calzones. I have the pizza dough rising already so those will be done before mid morning I hope. I slept till 6 this morning and feel like I’m Off my game. Lol
    I will be going to the store today for milk, yogurt, fruit, popsicles, and some veggies. I have one kiddo who isn’t feeling great today. Blah! Don’t tell anyone but the kids are all staying with my husband so I will be grabbing a decaf Starbucks latte and taking my good ole time. Lol

    • You have to grab that “me time” wherever you can! I’m sure the people picking up last minute items for Super Bowl parties will make the grocery store extra crowded so you have plenty of time to stretch it out. 🙂

      • It didn’t work out quite as planned. My husband has the dreaded man cold (LOL) so I took all Of the kids with me to be kind. He had almost 3.5 hours of quiet. Whatever that’s like. Lol.

  64. Sat 2/4
    B – egg & cheese on bagel
    L – snacky lunch
    D – Italian sausages with peppers from freezer, mozzarella cheese balls

    I finally cooked one of the aged bags of dried black beans. They’ve been soaking for 2 days. I separated them out into “can” sized packages for future use. I have plans for some, but some might go into the freezer. We’ll see. I also thawed out some of the chicken wings from the freezer, planning to make wings for the party tomorrow. A couple of pounds of pork went into the crockpot and cooked overnight, then I shredded it, scooped some out, and put in the BBQ sauce. I like it sauced but he prefers it plain, so I rarely get it sauced. This time, he has his plain and everyone else at the party can get it my way.

  65. All the talk about eggs makes me miss having chickens! It won’t be too much longer, March most likely. The coop has to be built first!
    2/4
    B – hubs yogurt & grapes, I ate later, 2 small squares of LO pizza & grapes
    L – snacky lunch: crackers, cheese, sopresseta (apple gate, uncured on mark down at Kroger) & olives
    D – meatloaf, mashed potatoes (last of the potatoes) & green beans
    S – veggie chips, cookies & pistachios
    Dessert – pie
    Did prep work for super bowl – made onion dip, bbq sauce for lil smokies (hubs loves those darn things) and pulled out the ice cream maker. I decided to make ice cream because I have all the ingredients and it’s been a bit warm outside.
    For the gathering tonite I am making honey ginger wings and buffalo wings w/blue cheese dip & celery, bbq lil smokies, onion chive dip (mix purchased at Whole Foods) with Kettle brand chips (on sale at Kroger for $1.88, very good brand), fresh guacamole, salsa and chips. There will be some food coming with guests as well.
    Everyone have fun and GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Melissa in GA

  66. Stephanie M. says:

    Sunday:

    B – pretzel bagels and butter

    L – skipped lunch because we were going to an early family dinner at my mom’s

    D – Family dinner at my mom’s

    I haven’t cooked all weekend. My stove is shaking. Back to business tomorrow.

  67. Mona. I make a lot of egg dishes as well. My elderly mother in law doesn’t like to cook much so I made her a frittata. She can eat it cold or hot. One will last her several days. I put lots of veggies in mine(whatever I have available ). Plus whatever bits of cheese I have so its pretty much all the food groups. It works well for her.
    My pizza turned out great. Was surprised at how tasty the dollar store sauce was. There’s enough left in the jar to make another pizza. I might use it to make mini veggie pizzas with my leftover English muffins

  68. I spent $779 for January- pretty excited about that seeing it includes $259 for 2 birthdays. I broke down to go shopping today… my $1,200/month budget includes all of our household items too and there were some good stock-up prices at Target I had to get, plus special food for our stay-at-home super bowl party so I spent $277, but was stoked because with coupons, cartwheel and target card, I saved $116.

    B- Mix & Match muffins (made them banana this time)
    L- Super bowl food- Pizza, chicken, chips & dip, veggies & dip, cookies (made dough during Jan PC to use up oatmeal)
    D- its only 2 pm here, but seriously we are eating super bowl food for dinner!

    Im made our super bowl food, placed them on our counter and now I get some me time in my home office 🙂 while they watch the game. I made the mix & match muffins with Gluten-free flour but had to add extra milk and more yogurt. The GF flour absorbs so much more liquid. Next time I?ll need to add more bananas too, but it was still yummy with some butter.

  69. Laurie in CA says:

    Saturday is my cheat day. I probably overdid it. Add to that I had a cup of coffee while playing cards with our besties and lo and behold I was awake until 2 in the morning! It made for a grumpy grammy.
    B – I diced up the last slice of cooked bacon and threw into some scrambled eggs, had toast and donut too
    L – went to our favorite Chinese food restaurant
    D – nachos with guacamole
    Snack – l/o birthday ice cream cake that I froze from my granddaughter’s birthday

    Hubs went to the store early today to pick up the makings for chips and dip and a few essentials. Only spent $22
    (he usually gets a little out of control when he goes to the store)
    B – hubs had sausage, eggs and toast, I had two hard boiled eggs and walnuts
    L – our l/o Chinese food
    D – turkey kielbasa with peppers and onions on a roll plus chips and dip

  70. Hope everyone had a blessed Sunday!
    Breakfast was the usual for us. The boys had muffins and fruit
    Dinner was taco salads with beans, eggs, tomatoes and black olives.
    Super bowl snacks were guacamole, salsa and chips, chicken dip and meat and cheese and crackers

  71. Sat eggs bacon toast juice coffee
    Chips dip celery .carrots snack type dinner
    Sunday banana Nutella crepes coffee
    Veggie sticks cheese and cracker assorted leftovers
    Hubby had beer and chips during super bowl
    I had apple pie and coffee.
    Tomarrow I need to meal plan I am tried of leftover ( we were gone to much this week and didn’t get things used up)
    I dislike when that happens.

  72. Sun 2/5
    B – He at a burger from freezer before work, I skipped
    L – I snacked a little, not sure what he did
    D – baked chicken wings, BBQ pulled pork, brownies

    I made a big pot of white chili using up the turkey I had previously defrosted. We had decided it was too dry to just eat and needed to be soaked in something. Neither of us wanted soup, so chili it was. I figured I could take the big crockpot full to the party along with everything else, and then put some of the leftovers in the freezer. Great plan. But then… the party host notified me that her entire family is just too sick to have us over after all. They’d been putting off canceling as they were hoping to feel better but it just did not happen and in fact she had gotten worse and was running 102 fever. Either a bunch of stuff gets somehow shoved back into the freezer, or my productivity this weekend means we’re doing nothing but eating leftovers all week now. Great.

  73. That game… ugh. I kept telling myself not to get too excited, even when the deficit seemed insurmountable, and I’m just completely annoyed how it ended up. Such a huge lead to lose. I’m used to that for college ball but not for pro ball. Again… ugh!

    • Same here, Sandy. A tough loss for those of us in Atlanta, but what a win for the Patriots.

      • So sorry for the loss! We were rooting for you here in PA. They were perfect the first 3 quarters. We were really impressed with them. Maybe Brady will be retiring soon. And Lady Gaga was amazing!

  74. Sunday – FEB 5

    Breakfast – Oatmeal with walnuts and dried blueberries, decaf coffee.

    Lunch – avocado and honey/oat granola bar, decaf coffee

    Dinner – Stuffed mushrooms, roasted turkey breast sub sandwich with provolone cheese and toppings.
    Cream cheese filled crepes with peach topping.

    First half of game was great….amazing comeback for the Patriots. Feeling 🙁 for Falcons, tho.

  75. Breakfast today was homemade French toast from a half loaf of egg bread that was getting stale. We had that with sausage and strawberries, radpberries and whipped cream. The rest of the day was busy but I did get to the store to get some things. My 3 year old woke up at 330 this morning with a fever so I figured instead of dragging the poor kiddo out tomorrow I will leave all of them with my husband and go shopping alone. Which never happens. lol
    It didn’t pan out today since my husband was feeling symptoms of the dreaded man cold. lol I took all of the kids with me and gave my husband some peace and quiet for 3.5 hours. The kids and I went to Trader Joe’s and aldi. We spent $148 and TJ’s and $106 at Aldi. I am at $254 for the month so far. We were out of many staples that needed replaced. Brown rice, fruit, yogurt, cheese, produce, I also let the kids get some lunch snacks and cereal which never happens. Hey it kept them behaved. I am expecting our Costco rebate check soon so I will replenish more staples when that comes.
    Dinner tonight was snacky. I planned Halibut piccata but I was tired and the kids were wanting just snacky dinner. So we had cheese, crackers, buffalo chicken calzones, and mini pepperoni pizza bagels that thankfully used up homemade marinara that I didn’t want to spoil. Tomorrow oldest one will take calzone and cut veggies in his Lunch and the middles will take bagel Pizzas and yogurt. I am not sure what my husband will Feel up to.
    Tomorrow I plan to make some lemon blueberry scones with some dried blueberries languishing in my pantry. Folks I have one and a half Costco sized bags. Any idea what else to do with them?? My husband was on a dried fruit kick last winter but not so much now. I do throw them into granola but a handful at a time isn’t cutting it. I found a recipe online for oatmeal blueberry cookies with dark chocolate and coconut that I might try. Also will be making and freezing cranberry orange scones tomorrow so long as I have heavy cream. How i forgot it today I have no idea.
    I’m done that’s it for me Today!

    • Dried Blueberries: granola, trail mix, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies, a lemon blueberry quick bread sounds like it should be good but haven’t made it myself.
      You could also soak and re-hydrate them. Then you could put them in smoothies, make a puree to mix into lemonade, use them as a topping with yogurt or ice cream, possibly a fruit salsa if your family likes that kind of thing. Someone mentioned poaching fruit recently and I saw suggestions of using dried fruit along with the fresh when I was searching for recipes so perhaps you could use some in that manner as well.

      Oooh, lemon blueberry pound cake just came to mind and sounds really yummy! I have no idea if they would need to be soaked first or not.

  76. Jen in Colorado says:

    2/4:
    B – berries, grapes, bacon (DS), last 1/2 of a French dip sandwich (me)
    L – leftover Chinese food
    D – frozen pizza, grilled cheese, raw veggies
    snacks (DS) – fruit, veg, popcorn, goldfish, ice cream (I think he’s going through a growth spurt!)

    2/5:
    B – strawberries, blackberries, grapes, leftover pizza (DS), I skipped
    L – DS had a donut at church, Chinese leftovers for both of us, pineapple
    D – pupusa from freezer (DS), cajun chicken/veg pasta (me)
    super bowl snacks – raw veggies, pepperoni/cheese/crackers in the shape of a football (DS loves this)

  77. Stephanie M. says:

    Good Monday morning to everyone. Rise and shine, it’s going to be a great day! My kids used to hate it when I woke them up this happy and unleashed all of my happiness and my singing voice on them. Now, ” Poor Paul” who he has been fondly named by many, has to deal with it. 🙂

    I have always had an interest in decorating my home, my living room bay window, and my dining room table (aka) tablescaping. I love to have family and friends over for dinner as often as I can and I do whatever I can to make them feel special including sitting at a table that provides eye candy for everyone sitting at it.

    This year is the fourth year in a row that Paul and I have hosted a Valentine’s dinner party for 8 of our friends. They are the same 4 couples every year so there are 10 of us all having a wonderful evening together. I don’t mind the work involved because it gives me such pleasure when I stand back now and then during the evening and watch everyone enjoying themselves talking, laughing, and drinking wine.

    Every year, I change the decorations and place settings on the table to keep it exciting. Thanks to many trips to Home Goods, Paul has turned a closet in our home into my “dish pantry” where I keep all of the dishes I’ve collected over the years. So whether I am creating a coastal based dinner table or a Christmas or Thanksgiving table or a Valentine’s table, I usually have something I can work with.

    This year I decided to go with a red and black table with a few hints of white. I will be setting it on Friday but here is the way it will look. The tablecloth is bright red. On top of that there are two big square white lace table tops that will be put down diagonally across the table both to soften the red color and to add a feminine touch. On top of that, each place setting has a black rectangular place mat. On top of the place mat is a red charger. On top of the charger is a black and white dinner plate topped by a smaller red salad plate and then a smaller white first course plate. In front of everyone’s place setting is a small glass vase filled with carnations and mini salt and pepper shakers. I tied a tiny white ribbon around the rim of each vase. To the right of everyone’s plate is a crystal water goblet with the stem wrapped in black and red ribbon. (Wine glasses are always set up on the kitchen table along with the coffee service so they can bring their wine glasses to the table later). One the right side of the plates next to the utensils is a white paper doily with a tiny glass dish sitting on top with a couple of pieces of chocolate in it. (Hershey’s kisses for Valentines). On top of the “dish stack” is a black linen napkin and on top of that is a red foam heart with their names written on it. Down the center of the table are three red glass hurricane candle holders sitting on mirrored coasters and little pink, red, and clear “gems” sitting around them. In between there are some smaller red tealight holders. Some very small teddy bears with sweaters saying I love you and hugs will sit around the candle holders.

    The menu will be:

    Cocktail hour: Right out of the oven hot roasted cashews and almonds
    a large cheese and cracker platter with several cheeses and sopressata, salami, and pepperoni
    Roast Beef crostinis which are thin slices of Italian bread sliced on the bias topped with roast
    beef, slices of roasted red pepper and mozzarella cheese baked in the oven till hot and bubbly

    During this time, we will be playing a slide show that Paul put together this weekend showing pictures of his father/daughter trip to Peru to see Machu Picchu early in December. He worked very hard on it adding Peruvian music and captions.

    Dinner: First course will be three large peach bourbon bacon wrapped shrimp
    Second course will be a romaine/spring mix salad with red and yellow bell peppers, cucumbers,
    grape tomatoes, red onions and toasted sliced almonds with a balsamic vinaigrette
    Main Course will be chicken parmesan, mini penne, and garlic bread

    Dessert: Raspberry cream cheese coffee cake and chocolate covered strawberries. I ordered the
    strawberries from Shari’s Berries because I’ve had them before and they are beautiful

    I always give away favors regardless if it’s a dinner party or a bbq. The favors I’m giving away this year are breakfast baskets. White wicker baskets with three different kinds of home made muffins – chocolate chip, blueberry, and surprise (jam filled). Each basket will have two each and they will be put into heart decorated plastic treat bags. Also in the baskets will be two mini bottles of OJ, a bag of home made granola, two Greek yogurts, two clementines, two bars of chocolate, and a small (coaster size) pink scalloped heart shaped trinket dish that says “love” on it.

    So what do you think? Will there be enough food? At the end of the week when the table is set, with the help of Jessica, I will be posting a picture of me and my table so that you can see it for yourselves. I hope you like it. And above all, I hope my description of the evening ahead makes you all feel like you’re there too. I only wish you were. Because I always say, my door is open, the more the merrier.

    Have a great day! 🙂

    • Sounds perfect Stephanie! Looking forward to seeing all the pictures of all your hard work!

    • I LOVE reading about your dinner parties, Stephanie! I remember the descriptions from last year. You are one talented woman. That peach bourbon bacon wrapped shrimp first course-oh my!

      I laughed at your morning message to your family. My husband and I greet each other with “Good Morning, Sunshine!” sometimes not said in the most sunshiny voice. This Christmas I found Good Morning Sunshine diner mugs for our morning coffee/tea.

    • Yum! You have some very blessed friends.

    • This sounds like an amazing party! You are very amibitious!! The shrimp dish sounds amazing!

    • Sounds so festive, and such thought and care put into it for your friends (and for yourself, as it’s clear this is a well-loved and well-honed hobby for you!!) Your friends are very fortunate to have such a wonderful night to attend! The menu sounds delicious, and the favours sound so cute!

    • Sounds delightful, wish I could be there! What love you have for entertaining.
      Melissa in GA

    • That sounds like a lovely time! You have it planned out quite well. My mom does parties like this, too. I wish I knew someone who lived in my area that did it and would invite me. LOL.

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      That sounds perfect. 🙂

    • Heather M says:

      Sounds amazing, Stephanie! You really know how to throw a dinner party! I hope it goes off without a hitch and that you all have a wonderful time! The food sounds perfect!! 🙂

  78. Sunday 2/5

    Breakfast – Baked omelet roll w/cheese

    Lunch – Finished the HS band sub

    Dinner – Pepperoni & mushroom pizza and salad during the game along with some snackies

    Thinking I will be running to the store today to pick up a couple sale items and a few things we need to complete meals for the week.

  79. tastycook says:

    Sounds amazing Stephanie. Hope your fiends appreciate the time and effort you put in to this wonderful feast. Looking forward to seeing pictures.

  80. tastycook says:

    Feb 5th

    B – fruit and yogurt

    L – h/m mushroom soup and a slice f toast. I had mushrooms that need to be used and tried a new-to-me recipe that worked out quite well. Thick with mushrooms, it also need some l/o sour cream.

    S – haddock, baked beans and a few fries – all from the freezer.

    We’re not football fans at all so didn’t watch the game

  81. So besides one post to Sandi, I fell off the pantry challenge band wagon. I am back on but in a different capacity. My daughter had my granddaughter Jan. 22nd. Long story short, my daughter developed a septic hip that required, after several emergency room visits, six nights in the hospital with surgery. Scary stuff, especially with a newborn and toddler, plus a nine year old who was so worried about her mom. She was able to come home last night 🙂 although she has a walker and needs IV antibiotics for a month. I was able to get FMLA from work so starting today I am her caretaker allowing her time to cuddle with her little ones and heal.

    I will be staying at their house, luckily only a half hour commute, during the day. I learned in the hospital how to administer the antibiotics into her IV. Way out of my comfort zone! I am going to use rest of my time reorganizing her kitchen and house so it will be easier for her. She is excited and I am grateful to be able to help her.

    My first goal is to reorganize their pantry and freezer, then get freezer meals ready so it’s easier for her husband. It’ll be like starting pantry challenge all over again.

    We are so happy that the doctors finally found out what was wrong after many tries and that she’s on the mend. She is over the moon to be back home with her family after a long two painful weeks-especially getting back with her newborn daughter. The stress level of the past two weeks has significantly lowered.

    Did I also mention I am now in charge of morning chicken chores?-yes fifty of them.

    • God bless you Karen. Prayers that your daughter recovers quickly.

    • God bless you Karen. Prayers that your daughter recovers quickly.

    • Karen W, Lots of prayers to you and your daughter and family! So glad to hear she is one the mend and I am sure eternally grateful that you are there for her and her family. Keep us posted on her recovery.
      Sounds like you are going to be very busy and having fun feeding and gathering eggs.

    • Stephanie M. says:

      Prayers to all of you as your daughter recovers. She is very lucky to have you to help her. 🙂

    • Glad to hear your daughter is home and that you are able to provide much-needed help to her and her family. Praying for you all!

    • tastycook says:

      Karen, hugs to your daughter, her family and you as she recovers. So sorry she has had to go thru this when all she wanted was to spend time with her newborn. Hope she takes it easy for a while, especially while you can be there for her.

    • Your daughter is lucky that she has you to help! How awful for her though, that isn’t how you want to spend those first few precious weeks. Will be keeping her in my prayers!

    • Karen, as a mom myself whose daug had complications post-partum after her 1st born three years ago, I have much empathy for you. Complication-free deliveries are not a “given” and glad she took action as quickly as she did to get better. Prayers for her, her family and for you as care-giver for strength, energy and to find your comfort zone in the “new skillset” you have acquired.

    • Thank you all for your positive thoughts for my daughter and her recovery. We survived my first day of caregiving. I was a nervous wreck for the IV infusion, however my daughter was a CNA before being a stay at home mom so between the two of us we were able to administer the antibiotics. I know it will get easier with more practice. I also bathed my two week old granddaughter, did laundry, fed the chickens and let them into their pens, played with the two year old, cleaned and picked up toys, changed bedding, and got dinner in the oven before I left. I am tired tonight, but know this is where I am supposed to be right now. I’m a teacher and will miss my students and colleagues for a month, however I am so thankful for FMLA to take care of my daughter and family.
      Friends have been providing meals for their family which has been wonderful.

      • Moms are amazing creatures – we do what we have to do to take care of our babies, in this case you are taking care of your daughter, all her babies and her household. You are a wonderful mom, she is blessed to have you.
        We are all sending prayers, well wishes, good vibes, etc. your way over the next month. With each and every day, she will be making her way towards good health.
        Melissa in GA

    • Wow! Prayers to you and your family.

    • She got a septic hip from childbirth? I’ve never heard of that. I’m sure she is relieved and comforted that her mom is there to help her.

      • Sandi, It was very bizarre. The doctors hadn’t seen anything like it and originally diagnosed it as a torn abductor muscle. Somehow bacteria entered her hip joint area. They removed 60 cc of infected fluid before operating. The doctors think it could be coincidental, but the pain started the day after delivery. She is so happy to be home and out of the hospital. I’ve done two IV infusions, twenty-eight to go. A visiting nurse comes to her home once a week to take blood and she has several follow up doctor’s appointments scheduled. Last baby for her.

    • You’re amazing. How lucky for your daughter that you are close and ready to help. A blessing!

    • Heather M says:

      Wow, that is quite a big thing to have happened, Karen! So glad they figured it out and that your daughter is on the mend. You must be so happy to be able to help her right now. She is lucky to have such a loving, caring aide in you!! Best wishes to her and to all of you!!

  82. Just plugging along here.

    Sat. 2/4/17

    B: The usual (Just cereal for me though. The guys left early for a Scout event and I was on my own.)

    L: The guys ate at the Scout event. I had salad, a hard-boiled egg, PB toast (must have been craving protein), clementine, and hot tea.

    D: Homemade Hawaiian pizza, salad, the rest of the pineapple that wasn’t on the pizza.

    S/D: Trail mix, hot cocoa.

    Sun. 2/5/17

    B: Waffles, scrambled eggs, OJ, coffee.

    L: The guys had PBJs, salad, string cheese, and clementines. I had a salad and a clementine.

    D: Loaded nachos.

    S/D: Thin Mints and homemade oatmeal chocolate chip-cranberry cookies. (We now have entirely too many cookies in the house. :} )

  83. 2/4
    B-Eggs for most of the family, 15 yr. old and I grabbed some applesauce bread and nuts quick before going to get his drivers permit. I knew the line would be long and I wanted to be one of the first.
    When I got home I mixed up oatmeal raisin and malted chocolate chip cookies. We celebrated my Dad’s birthday on Sunday and I wanted to bring him cookies as part as his gift. He loves his sweets and my mom isn’t able to bake much anymore.
    L-Leftover Jalapeno beef bake, salad and warm cookies:)
    D-Leftover barbecue chicken sandwiches, veggie dippers and a bag of chips that my parents sent home with me when I took down their Christmas stuff.
    I made Superbowl snacks and a huge pan of Hearty Baked Rigatoni to bring to the party Sunday after I finished the cookies. It was a busy day in the kitchen!
    2/5
    B-We all had a little applesauce bread and that was it. Wanted to have empty tummy’s to fill at our Italian feast at my parent’s house.
    L-Italian feast with my family for Dad’s 83rd birthday. My dad loves pasta, so we all contributed dishes and it literally was a feast. Lasagna, Chicken Spaghetti, Rigatoni, Ravioli, Italian meatballs, Pizza dip, breadsticks, salad, fruit, Ice cream Angel Food Cake and German Chocolate cake with Coconut Frosting. It was so amazing! I come from a family of 9 siblings, so it’s a huge group when we all are there.
    S-Cheeseball and crackers, meat and cheese tray, stuffed jalapenos, cookies and snack mix during the game. Lots of leftovers because we weren’t very hungry after our huge lunch.

  84. Stephanie M. says:

    Monday

    B – Hubby had cereal; I skipped breakfast

    L – Hubby had a turkey salad sandwich; I had a salami and swiss sandwich

    D – Stuffed cabbage sort of; all of the components of stuffed cabbage but rather than the work of rolling, I make it in layers like a lasagna

  85. Boned out the turkey breast. Used the bone and fat to make broth. Adding onion celery peas and carrots. Used some of the broth to make rice. Bowls of rice covered in soup for lunch. The leftover cooked rice added to the leftover soup for tomorrow. Leftover pizza for dinner

  86. Super Bowl Monday – FEB 6

    Well…it’s been a hard day for fans in Atlanta today. It’s the only topic of conversation.

    Breakfast – hot tea.

    Lunch – met a friend and had lunch out.

    Dinner – BBQ Spaghetti with salad and fixings. [used leftover pulled pork, some spaghetti and shredded cheddar cheese).

  87. I had a productive day in the kitchen. Baked 4 loaves of wheat bread and 4 loaves of white bread and also made a batch of Jessica’s hamburger buns for the first time. They were surprisingly easy. May have to do that more.
    B-scrambled eggs, banana and yogurt for hubs, cheerios and banana for me and kids
    L-leftovers for everyone
    D-grilled homemade pizza burgers (It was in the 50’s here in Ohio, this weather is crazy!), baked beans and salad. The homemade buns were awesome!

  88. Sunday, February 5

    Breakfast: pulled pork wrap, coffee. Hubs slept in quite late so he ended up eating lunch for “breakfast”

    Lunch: chicken nachos

    Dinner: I forgot to thaw any meat, so hubs had leftover pasta bake and I had yet another differently flavoured pulled pork wrap, this time in 2 pitas instead of tortillas.

    Snacks: popcorn, still more of the Christmas chocolate

    I, who truly dislikes baking, made a dozen blueberry muffins and a loaf of banana bread. This was my first weekend “off” in over a month and a half, and thankfully I was given a burst of cooking energy to get things made! I made another batch of pickled eggs, some tuna salad, the baking and the pulled pork over the weekend. Overall a good haul, and only the pork will go back into the freezer as leftovers.

    The snow here has been insane this weekend, for us anyway! My hometown, about an hour away, got over 80 cm of snow!!! Here where we are got over half of that. We opted to stay inside and watch from the windows!

    Monday, February 6

    Snow day here – opted to work from home rather than venture across town and then back again to meetings. They weren’t that important and could easily be rescheduled.

    Breakfast: pulled pork wrap, 2 slices of banana bread, coffee for me. Hubs had egg, ham and cheese tortillas

    Lunch: Both skipped it. He had 2 slices of banana bread and I had 2 muffins later in the day. Both had snacks of olives and pickled eggs.

    Dinner: Marinated chicken, rice and veggies.

    We went to the store in the single, solitary pause in the snow to get some food for the cat (we don’t subject him to the lean ways of the pantry challenge!) We picked up some broccoli and some tortillas (I almost made them myself, but it didn’t happen this weekend and we were all out!) while we were there.

    • Heather M says:

      Good work with the baking!! And the other food prep, but especially the baking since you don’t enjoy it! And wow, all the snow. Here in the DC area it’s been a really warm winter. Tuesday and today (wed.) it hit at least 70F!! My son is sad because they haven’t even had a delay for weather, let alone a snow day, and they usually happen at the slightlest snowfall when below freezing. Not this year yet! 🙂

      • Thanks Heather! It felt good to be so productive. This is the coldest winter we’ve had in years. We’re slowly starting to see school closures, especially now that there’s been over a week of bad weather. Traffic is a nighare and I’ve taken transit pretty much everywhere. It’s thrown off my work schedule a lot though, as my main office is way out in the boonies where the snow conditions are awful and there’s no real transit. So, I’ve been working by remote or from other offices closer to me, but it’s so frustrating to not have my office and all of the stuff I was working on before the snow!

  89. Mon. 2/6/17

    B: The usual w/ blueberries for me.

    L: Packed for the guys (w/ a homemade cookie thrown in for good measure). I had PB toast, string cheese, and a clementine.

    D: Potato-corn chowder (used the last can of corn; still have 3 potatoes), salad, clementines.

    S/D: Cookies

    I also made a loaf of whole wheat & seed bread. (I pretty much used up the last of the whole wheat flour; we do still have bread flour and all-purpose flour.)

    The pantry is really starting to show some empty space, and the fridge looks great. The freezers . . . . well, that’s another story.

  90. Feb 6th
    Breakfast was PB toast for me. Hugs skipped.
    Dinner was leftovers from the weekend. Everyone had something different.
    Snacks were fruit string cheese and muffins

  91. tastycook says:

    Monday 6th

    B – fruit and yogurt for hubby, egg, a few l/o baked beans and some bread and butter for me

    L – fruit for hubby

    S- very early as I was curling. Cabbage rolls, potatoes and green beans

    Hubby had tapioca during the evening, I had cheese and crackers.

  92. Monday 2/6

    Breakfast – Baked omelet rolls w/bacon

    Lunch – Hard salami & swiss sandwiches

    Dinner – Cajun chicken pasta, salad

    Did a grocery run this am since we were running low on a few things. Milk, heavy cream (for the pasta), butter, sour cream, yogurt, bacon, salsa, brown rice, white rice, lunchmeat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, blueberries, bananas, apples & oranges . Total spent $36.11.

  93. Well, all I can say is that my poor hubs (born and raised in the Atlanta suburbs) was so very disappointed over the Falcons losing the Super Bowl. I felt so bad for him. He turned off the TV and put on some music to mellow out. Sad.
    But we had a good time with friends and good food.
    2/5
    B – hubs had yogurt & I had graham crackers w/PB
    L – snacky w/ cheese, crackers & sopresseta
    D – the food I listed the other day plus an artichoke dip
    Desserts – fruit, cookies, ice cream
    I am traveling w/hubs this week because he is in SC, so I get to see some of our kids (my son is at the sc criminal justice academy, so I can’t see him)
    2/6
    B – hubs had a yogurt & a granola bar, I had 2 LO chicken wing pieces
    L – I packed us meatloaf sandwiches, I had some LO celery sticks w/blue cheese dip
    D – out w/my daughter in Charleston
    Dessert – Jenni’s ice cream on king street – oh my word, organic & so good. We shared a bowl of 3 flavors: gooey butter cake, salted PB chocolate and wild berry lavender – Ahhmazing!!
    S – grapes
    All the talk about baking is making me want to bake when I get home! Lol.
    Melissa in GA

  94. Stephanie M. says:

    Thank you everyone for all of the wonderful feedback. I am very busy this week; no time for sitting around; cleaning all day today. I hope you all enjoy the picture that will be sent at the end of the week. 🙂

    • Heather M says:

      I hope you still have my email so you can send me the pic! Good luck with everything these last few days leading up to the party!!

  95. Cleaning out my fridge. Lots of wilty apples in the veg drawer put in the instapot this morning to make two batches off applesauce and 2 quarts of apple juice. Thawed out some sausage and browned enough to make hash browns and eggs for breakfast. Will brown off the rest reserving the meat for pizza. The grease will be used to brown onions for a batch of clam chowder. I have canned clams and evaporated milk to use in it. The potatoes for it are baking in the microwave. I microwave all potatoes instead of peeling them because the chickens can’t have the raw peelings. Rather than putting raw peelings in the compost pile. I cook them and let the chickens compost them for me….I got two huge eggs this morning. Mama is a happy lady

    • Home grown eggs are the best!
      I have started getting 4-5 a day now from my girls and they’re always a welcome surprise. Since we don’t have a light on them, it let’s me know that spring will be here eventually.

  96. Tuesday – 2/7/17

    Breakfast – avocado and a few slices of colby jack cheese

    Lunch – leftover 3″ piece of Super Bowl Sunday Sub with grapes and mandarin oranges.

    Snack – oats and honey granola bar

    Dinner – clean out the refrigerator night! Leftover chicken cacciatorie, brown rice, sweet potatoes, toasted bread, toss salad and sliced peaches.

  97. I just read through the last week’s worth of postings and I am so excited to continue my pantry challenge. I have been keeping up with it but not posting – for the past three days I’ve eaten delicious roast beef with potatoes and carrots – next day really good roast beef with potatoes and beets – today roast beef with potatoes and broccoli… thank goodness the roast beef is all gone now – it wasn’t big to begin with but with only me to eat it – two thick rib eye steaks in silver foil with potatoes and carrots. Now moving on to a couple of the chicken breasts… LOTS still in freezer but slowly plowing through it all.
    Breakfasts every day: Tea with cream of wheat with brown sugar or oatmeal with honey & vanilla bean paste.
    Lunches: Normally don’t feel hungry so will eat a yogurt flip or yogurt whip with large ice water.
    Dinner: Roast beef with potatoes and carrots, beets or broccoli. Three days before that I had chicken fried rice, chicken salad sandwich, egg salad sandwich with tomato soup.
    Snacks: grapes, cantaloupe, naval orange, about a tablespoon of mini-semi-sweet chocolate chips.

    All with large glasses of water with ice cubes.

    Tomorrow I should be getting a canister (1.5 lb) of cappuccino protein power – the good kind – I’ve used it before and make “Starbucks Frappichino” with it – small scoop powder, cup 2% milk and about 5 icecubes all in the blender and whipped into a smoothie… I’ll have it in place of lunch yogurts. Very little carbs, almost no sodium and lots of protein. I had an Amazon gift card from a friend in IL so used it to purchase this.

  98. Monday egg sandwich hubby jucie coffee. Toast scramble egg me
    Chicken stir fry rice and pot stickers
    Snacks for movie night.
    Tuesday cereal juice coffee
    Turkey tenderloin wrapped in bacon squash spinach salad ( all from freezer or fall stock up) except spinach
    Pasta with red sauce ground beef garlic toast trivia night we took. 4 th out of 10 teams not to bad. I still think I am going to have to pantry challenge into March those freezers still are pretty full of lots of good stuff (so blessed) tomorrow I have staff breakfast and will give hubby left over stir fry with noodles for lunch as I never am very hungry after a big breakfast. I think dinner will be some kind of burgers in buns and veggie sticks . Have a great evening everyone.

  99. Tues. 2/7/17

    B: The usual (w/ blueberries for me).

    L: Son had a minimum day at school and Hubs worked from home today, so we were all home for lunch. Yay! We had quesadillas, tortilla chips, homemade guacamole, salsa, sour cream, salad, and clementines. Water to drink.

    D: The rest of the potato-corn chowder, salad, pear and orange slices. Water.

    S/D: Cookies 🙂

    I decided not to go to Albertson’s after all. I was going to get some BLSL chicken breasts and canned beans, but they’re not essential (and it looks like they’re on sale again). Maybe I’ll go next week.

  100. Feb 7
    Breakfast was the usual for us.
    Dinner was roast beef, fried potatoes and corn
    Snacks were chicken dip and meat cheese and crackers or nachos and applesauce

  101. Stephanie M. says:

    Tuesday:

    B – Hubby had cereal; I skipped breakfast

    L – Hubby had leftover stuffed cabbage; I had a salami and swiss sandwich

    D – We got some burgers from a local pub; too busy today to cook

  102. Baked potatoes to make clam chowder. When I got the clams out of the pantry I also came across some cream of shrimp soup and part of a box of dried mashed potatoes. Good thing since one of my cans of clams looked off…I pitched it and used just one baked potato the rest of the clams, the shrimp soup and the mashed potato flakes…then t was too thick. I added more milk and some home made seafood seasoning. It turned out remarkably good, more of a seafood stew. Plenty left for lunches. I made garlic butter on thick slices of homemade bread under the broiler…..a good use up pantry challenge meal. Leftover turkey and rice for dinner and the extra baked potato will be hash browns for breakfast….some of the turkey and rice went over the dogs food since she doesn’t like the new food I bought her…if I doctor it up with human food she will eat it

  103. Tuesday 2/7

    Breakfast – Bacon, egg & cheese muffins

    Lunch – Hotdogs & French fries (grandson’s request)

    Dinner – Roast beef, mushrooms, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans

  104. tastycook says:

    Tuesday 7th

    B – fruit an yogurt for hubby, muffin and OJ for me

    L – pea soup (from the freezer) and toast

    S – chicken stir fry

    Made same 12 grain bread and a couple of loaves of date nut bread. A new recipe for me, using stuff from the pantry that I wanted gone, and it turned out really well. Despite the change in our eating habits the past few months, I really want something sweet after lunch and/or supper so eating homemade is better for me than store-bought. Doesn’t have to be much but there has to be something. I’ve also started baking cookies – hadn’t done that since our close-to-50 year old son left home. Again, way healthier than store-bought.

    • Heather M says:

      Great work, Tastycook! It really is better to make it at home. I certainly don’t bake enough for that to happen in our house- I never bake bread, etc., just sweet things/muffins. Good job!!

  105. Mon 2/6
    B – ?? I don’t recall if we ate anything. We were busy getting my car towed to the mechanic. The engine is revving and surging when I slow down so when I stop at a traffic light, I sound like I’m challenging the car next to me to a drag race! I don’t know what caused it, so I opted to use my AAA to have it towed instead of driving it in since I don’t want to create any extra damage.
    L – turkey chili for me, L/O Italian sausages for him
    D – L/O pulled pork, mixed veggies, garlic mashed potatoes

    Tues 2/7
    B – I had a bagel, he had cereal
    L – he ate at work, I had cheese and crackers and later some mixed nuts
    D – L/O chicken wings, L/O yellow rice, kale salad

    • Heather M says:

      Car trouble– good luck! We had both of our cars at the mechanic in January. Hope they figure it out and that it’s not a crazy fix!!

      • The idle sensor went bad. Replacing it plus cleaning out the fuel system was a lovely $500. Plus the radiator fan was replaced a couple months ago and a bad oil leak was fixed last month, so this has not been a great year. (just looked it up, $1500 in last 6 months including this) I know something is wrong with the A/C (which is actually how the radiator fan issue was found but turned out not to be the entire problem) so I know there’ll be another expense coming soon. I’ve done FL in summer without A/C several times and if it is at all possible, I will never be doing that again. Ugh. Issues of driving a 13-year old car. On the other hand, it’s been a pretty reliable car otherwise and I’m hoping for a few more years out of it. It might just be a really long PC to cover the difference. LOL

  106. I wasn’t going to post since we are on the road but thought I would share our thriftiness.
    B – hotel breakfast yogurt, cut fruit and cereal
    L – we ate at our favorite burger joint in the town we used to live in – I only paid for my burger ($4.40). Hubs got a large drink and fry for us to share on his business expensed lunch.
    D – Double Tree has a concierge lounge for HH members, so we had a snacky dinner of chips & salsa, sandwich pinwheels, fresh fruit, chicken fingers, baked lemon salmon cubes, fresh cheeses and a cucumber tomato salad.
    Dessert – the concierge lounge had pecan pie for hubs and I had more fresh fruit
    S – grapes, chips, peanuts, cookies ( omg double tree cookies are amazing)
    It seems like we grazed all afternoon and into the night! Lol. Hubs worked some and we relaxed. Today will be much busier.
    Melissa in GA…..currently traveling in SC! 🙂

    • You sure are thrifty! Have a wonderful trip!

    • Stephanie M. says:

      Great job saving money on the food. When were in Hawaii last year, it would have cost us an additional $700 for the breakfast package on both islands (Oahu and Maui) so we opted out of that. I can’t imagine spending that much just for some eggs. Forget it. And when we arrived on Maui the second island, we had lunch the first day at one of the hotel grills by the pool. Hubby’s burger, and fries didn’t come with it, they were separate, so all he had was the burger, cost him $17.00 and my small salad cost me $15.00. So we drove our rental car into town like we saw everyone else doing and bought breakfast items, yogurt, fruit, cinnamon rolls and lunch items, premade sandwiches that we ordered at the deli (enough for two days at a time), hard boiled eggs, some deli salads and we ate those things every day on our lanai. When we recently did a road trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina, we stayed at the Omni and there was a small table and chairs and a fridge and microwave in our room so we did the same thing. Since it was a road trip, we brought all of our breakfast and lunch items with us. On both trips, we had nice dinners in restaurants but at least we didn’t pay astronomical amounts for breakfast and lunch. We like doing it this way so much that later this year when we go back to Hawaii, we’re doing it the same way. And by the way, we didn’t spent anywhere near $700.00 for both meals for the whole 12 days we were there. Food is a great way to cut down on the traveling expenses.

      • Totally agree with this strategy. The free breakfasts have gotten better in most mid range hotels as well. We did bring a small soft cooler this time with some of our LO Super Bowl dips, celery, grapes and sandwiches. I only have to bring enough water for the first leg of any trip as HH guests get free water and snacks most of the time. I found food to be expensive in Orlando, I mean Hawaii range for no reason other than they can charge that much.
        Stephanie – you should try Charleston in the off season, right now it is so nice and less crowded. My daughter was in a condo on Mt. Pleasant but just moved to downtown Charleston in an old house (efficiency apartment). She attends law school and can walk or ride her bike to class. She loves it down there.
        Melissa in GA

        • Stephanie M. says:

          Charleston sounds nice too. I’ve seen beautiful pictures of it. It took us 12 hours to get to Hilton Head from New Jersey and other than some stops for a picnic lunch and some rest stops, we went straight through. It was our first time in Hilton Head and my feelings are still mixed about it. I don’t know whether you’ve been there or not but one day we drove around the island and we were quite disappointed at the lack of things to see. We found more gaited communities that we couldn’t get into than anything else. And no color on the island. There are rules about the home and building colors. They have to be either gray, green, beige or brown. And those colors have to go by the color chart that is mandatory or you get fined. If I ever went there again, I would know ahead of time that we would just stay at the hotel and go to the restaurants that we went to off site and that’s it. The Omni was beautiful and the restaurants we went to in the area were also very nice but that’s it. Nothing much going on there. We’ve heard some wonderful things about Charleston though and since we really love going down South, it would probably be the place we would visit next time we go there.

          • I have never been to Hilton Head, it just sounded exactly as you described. There’s so much to see and do in the Charleston area. I am partial to Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms but many people like James & John Island and Folly Beach.

            Melissa in GA

          • I’ve never been to Hilton Head but I’ve always heard it referred to like it was a magical place. Good to know I can skip it.

        • Danielle L Zecher says:

          I totally agree with Charleston in the off season. I love it there! Hubby and I go every year in October. It’s considered the off season, but the weather is perfect for us. Usually warm enough for me to go in the water, and cool enough that hubby doesn’t “melt to the sidewalks” as he puts it.

          We do a VRBO rental on Folly Beach and save a lot of money by cooking at “home”. We rarely get to have breakfast together b/c of work schedules, so making us a nice breakfast is actually a treat on vacation.

          Charleston is perfect because you can stay on one of the surrounding islands for beach access and then drive about 20 minutes into the city for everything that Charleston has to offer.

          • tastycook says:

            We are usually in the Hilton Head area in March to give us a break from winter. Last year, rather than staying on the island, we rented a private bungalow on a golf course (perfect for us) in Bluffton – the town right next to the island of Hilton Head. We enjoyed our stay there very much. The first time we went to HH, we really played tourist and found there was quite a bit to see and do. As for Charleston – just love it. Similar distance to the south is Savannah – another lovely old city to explore.

      • Stephanie, we also bring our food when we go on holiday. We go each year to the same small hotel, which has a fridge and microwave in the room, as well as 2 large bbq’s outside in a picnic area. Huge plus! We bring sandwich anf salad fixings for lunches and burger fixings, chicken, etc, for dinner and usually plan for 2 dinners out. It saves so much money!!

    • I try to do trips like that, too. I love those hotel happy hour meals! Those are even better when you are getting paid per diem whether you use it or not so end up basically getting paid for eating at the hotel. 🙂

  107. Tuesday 2/7
    B-toast, banana and cereal for kids, dippy eggs and toast and banana for us
    L-Finished the leftover bbq chicken on homemade buns, guacamole and chips (made from avacados that weren’t ripe for the super bowl) and baked beans
    D-I smoked sausage and chicken in our electric smoker. I’ve found it easier to put enough meat for several meals in at one time instead of running it on 2 different days. We served it with creamy cheese grits, salad, and green beans. For dessert I made 2 no bake pies. One was limeade and the other a blueberry cream cheese. I have cans of frozen limeade concentrate to use up. We used them at our daughters wedding last spring for drinks and there were 12 left. I’ve been trying to find new things to do with them. 4 more left now:( The blueberry pie used up a can of blueberry pie filling that has been languishing in the pantry. We got it last summer for fruit pies on the campfire and never used it. Lots of pie left, so plenty of leftovers for a couple of days.

    • Was the limeade pie good? That sounds interesting.

      • It actually was pretty good, if you like a little tartness. Here is the recipe I used http://allrecipes.com/recipe/12285/limeade-pie/ I didn’t use frozen whipped topping though, I used real whipped cream and I also made my own crust. I have to stay away from extra preservative foods in our house. I did put mine in the freezer to set up a little better. I think next time I will make a 9×13 pan and use a whole 12 oz. can of the limeade so I get rid of it.

  108. Danielle L Zecher says:

    I had the stomach virus that’s going around over the weekend. I ended up in the emergency room Friday night for IV fluid and meds. So not a lot has happened with the PC over the past several days. Hubby went to the store (I think on Sunday) and stocked up on crackers, Gatorade, popsicles, ramen soup, and yogurt. He also took advantage of the opportunity to buy frozen pizzas (he loves them, I’m not even sold on them being food).

    Yesterday for lunch the only thing that sounded like I could keep it down was fruit and crackers. I bought watermelon and grapes (and bananas for hubby), so we’re all stocked up on fresh fruit for a little while.

    I felt better last night and tried to reorganize the fridge a little bit. There were a few tubs of sour cream that had expired over the weekend, as well as some cream. I had big plans for cooking and baking over the weekend, but that didn’t happen. I made pasta because it actually sounded good last night. Hoping to get back on track this week.

    • Heather M says:

      Ugh sounds so miserable for you! Glad you’re on the mend. Take care of yourself and don’t push too hard too quickly. 🙂

    • Well, that sounds terrible for you. I hope you are feeling better now!

    • Hope you are feeling better, that doesn’t sound like any fun at all. We had the stomach bug go through right after Christmas and it seemed to take a little bit to feel right again. We went through a lot of crackers, cereal and toast because our tummy’s wouldn’t allow much more more a few days.

  109. craving beef….don’t care what kind, hamburger, meatballs, steak , cube steak roasts…a little on the low side with iron, zinc and B 12. Always crave beef when I am.LOL

    Baked a ham, had it one night, ham on the English muffin,egg and cheese for homemade MC muffin the next night and one pot green beans, onion, potatoes and ham last night. Pulled out pork chops for tonight (OH Well we are stocked in pork right now). Making ham broth today to make bean soup this weekend…UNLESS I get Beef…Swedish meatballs,Swiss steak, salisbury steak, round steak, cube steak, steak, roasts, beef beef beef.LOL

  110. Stephanie M. says:

    Hi friends:

    I’m looking for some guidance if any of you can help me. I just got back some blood work for my thyroid. I have been taking a low dose thyroid medicine for two years now and so far I’ve never had to increase the dose. The results show that I still don’t need to have it increased but also showed that my sugar number which is 121 is considered pre diabetic. I don’t know a thing about anything to do with this. It said on the card I received in the mail from my doctor to watch carbs and repeat the test in three months. So what to do? I guess I can stop eating all pasta, bread, ice cream, desserts of any kind, wine, and just about anything else that I like. Pasta is my best friend and I guess I have to divorce it. LOL What do I do? Can anyone offer me some insight about this. I guess I will just be watching all my friends at my party eat while I secretly don’t have a good time. 🙁 I am 56 years old and not a very happy camper right now at all.

    • Stephanie M. says:

      So depressed 🙁

      • Stephanie M. says:

        And on top of all of this, I told my youngest daughter who is 27 and asked her clearly not to tell my husband about this. I wanted to tell him myself and what does she do? I am so disgusted and angry tonight. I feel betrayed and completely untrusting. I told everyone that from this day forward, I will not reveal any further blood test results to anyone until I am ready. My whole family is angry with me because they say this is family and I should talk but this is my business and I think its up to me when I decide who to tell about my medical issues. And now I’m watching my husband eating pizza and I’m going to bed hungry because I don’t know what to eat. What a quackmire.

        • tastycook says:

          Hi Stephanie

          I’m no medical expert but you may find that you don’t need to cut out “all the goodies”, cutting down on them may suffice. A lady I know had the same symptoms, similar age as you.Her doctor advised her to try losing some weight. To me, that means cut down, not cut out.

          I can understand being angry if a family member told your husband before you had a chance. I would take from that – tell no-one until you have spoken with your husband in future.

          Believe me, we’ve had to make major changes in our diet over the last 3 months. If you need to do it, you can. And, I have no doubt that you’ll be able to do what it takes. Hugs coming your way.

          • Stephanie M. says:

            Thank you tastycook. I know I need to lose weight. I have been in menopause for two years and put on some unwanted pounds. It seems no matter what I do I can’t lose them. Maybe if I try a little harder I would lose a few pounds I don’t know. I’m just in so much despair tonight I can’t stop crying. All I can think about is how everyone at my party is going to eat and drink and have a great time and I can’t join them. All I can do is serve and hope no one notices. I’m sorry but I’m in the middle of a little pitty party tonight. Please forgive me.

        • Heather M says:

          Oh Stephanie, I’m so sorry. For all of it. Sorry your daughter didn’t give you the respect to talk to him on your own time, sorry about the blood test results, all of it. I’d be pretty upset, too. Everyone has given such good advice– it may be just cutting to smaller portions of carbs and adding more protein into your diet. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned yet it exercise. Increasing regular exercise can really help with blood sugar levels, too. My mother has type-2, as does my FIL and SIL. They’re all on meds and manage it quite well, so far. But the other thing they all do is eat regularly- no skipping meals. That helps regulate levels, too. I’d love to take this conversation to email and maybe send you some ideas on how to lower carb intake without completely cutting them out and losing your favorite foods! Also, re the dinner party– enjoy those shrimp! and all of it, just keeping the carb portions smaller and protein larger on your plate! You will be able to enjoy! <3

        • So sorry Stephanie! I concur with the other ladies that once you get all the information it won’t be as bad as you think. Just think, at least you caught it early and can change a little to keep it at bay instead of starting to feel really badly and having to do drastic changes. I have a friend who found out 3 years ago she was pre diabetic and she has done really well without making major changes. Her biggest thing is not to skip meals. She always keeps a pack of almonds with her in case meal times are too spread out. She also took some nutrition classes to help her learn how to make changes. As far as your party, I see no reason you can’t enjoy a lot of your dishes with your guests, just watch the amount of carbs from bread and crackers. I’ll be thinking of you and hope things look better today. Also, hope you can work on the family dynamics, I don’t blame you for being upset. That would have hurt me too.

    • Stephanie – you could be pre diabetic for years, meaning you could keep your diet the same and your numbers could stay the same. But, what you really want to do is try to eat better. My dad was able to keep it at bay for many years, into his 70’s before he went on medication. He changed his diet, lost weight and stayed steady for years. He had cheat days here and there but was pretty strict with anything white like rice, potatoes, pasta and sugar.
      You could modify your diet some over the next three months and test again to see how you’re doing. Your doctor will have some advise as well but you should try to avoid drugs as long as you can.
      Just my two cents,
      Melissa in GA

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thank you Melissa; I will do what I can and I appreciate your quick response. I’m just in a pitty party tonight trying to get used to the news I heard just a few hours ago when I opened my mail. Very upset and ready to go to bed now hungry because I don’t know what I can and can’t eat. Oh well.

    • Stephanie, so sorry to hear your news but don’t go hungry that is not a good thing and will not help your cause. Listen to the ladies comments above. My good friend went through that about 4 years ago and followed through as her Dr recommended and has been fine since. She was retested 6 months after the diagnosis and has not had any further issues. It will only be a matter of changing a few things but well worth it for you. Just do not skip meals cause you are only hurting yourself. I’m sure your daughter was very concerned about your health issues and did not mean to hurt you, Some times people think they are helping and don’t realize that it will hurt some one they love. Be brave and like my daughter always says “Suck it up buttercup” Find out what you should and should not be doing and get that smile back on your face. lol

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this, and incredibly sorry that your family isn’t giving you the space and privacy it sounds like you need. Even the people who love us the most don’t always behave the way we’d like during a medical scare. I’m not trying to butt in, but if it seems like it’s going to be a huge issue, you may want to consider some sort of therapist to help you work out appropriate boundaries, etc with your family. I had a big scare a few years ago, and my husband and I really benefited from talking to a therapist at the time.

      My husband’s stepfather, Alan, has diabetes and has done a great job controlling it without giving everything up. His first doctor wasn’t very communicative and didn’t do a great job educating him, so he found a different doctor (an endocronologyst maybe? sorry, medical issues aren’t my forte), and also went to some sort of nutritionist/diabetes educator. My M-I-L went with him for the nutritionist and they both learned a lot. You may want to look into those options. Knowledge is power.

      The big issues for Alan seem to be more vegetables and protein, eating real food, and eating on a regular schedule. We all spent time together at Christmas, and I didn’t really have to change my cooking style that much to meet his needs. Basically, I added in a few more veggies, and made sure to have everything ready at whatever time it was supposed to be. We all spent a few days at my sister’s house and she said the same thing. We were both a little nervous about cooking since he was diagnosed, but we just talked to them ahead of time and found out what he needed instead of panicking. For what it’s worth, he enjoyed all the Christmas treats and goodies, in moderation and had great blood work results after the holidays.

      Don’t let this news ruin your party for you. You put way too much thought and effort into it to let that happen. Maybe you can get an appointment with your doctor soon and actually have a conversation instead of getting a little card. That just seems kind of lousy on your doctor’s part.

    • If you’d waited a couple of weeks without saying anything, I could see your daughter spilling. Telling on the very same day… Sorry, but I agree with you that that was rude. I’m sure she was concerned, but good grief.

      As to the situation itself, I concur with the others that it may not be as drastic as you think. Diabetics can still have some carbs, they just have to be careful about how much. You were listed as pre-diabetic, not full diabetic, so it is mostly a caution to change your diet now before it becomes an issue. You don’t have to cut out everything you love; you figure out what you can do without and then you just have much smaller portions of the things you want. I just went back and read your menu again, and I do not see any reason why you should not still enjoy your party. Skip the breads and the crackers, keep the penne and cake to just a couple of bites, and enjoy the rest of the night.

      I’ll point out you had your blood work done at the beginning of the year – after eating a bunch of Christmas cookies and who knows what all else over the holidays. I know when I get things tested, Jan & Feb always look worse than the entire rest of the year. When I donate blood, I’ve learned to just ignore the cholesterol readings in those two months and look at what the rest of the year says because they are *always* vastly different. That is probably also why your doctor said to retest in a couple of months. It would give your body time to restabilize. It would not hurt to cut back the carbs, especially if you want to lose some weight, but I would not go into full panic mode yet. You may be different, of course, but that is my experience.

      Also, perhaps you should look into the Bitter Melon tea. It’s a fruit that is apparently not super tasty, thus it’s name, but they do make some teas with it that supposedly are not nearly so awful. I have two friends that drink it now and it eliminated the diabetes to the point they’ve been able to come off their medications with their physicians’ blessings. It does not work for everyone but you could look into it. It is available at Asian and Indian groceries but probably online as well. I’m not aware of having any problems myself but am considering trying it out because I know I do not exercise like I should and, hey, I can drink a cup of tea!

    • Stephanie,

      Going thru this in my family right now. I have a family member misdiagnosed type 2 last spring but in fact, is type 1 needing insulin four time/day. Nine months of approaching this disease the wrong way. Talk about angry and bitter?

      My family member is tall, lean, works out at the gym, a very active person yet diabetes does run in my family – but apparently has skipped 3 generations before it reared its ugly head again in the generation after me. Doctors cannot explain why this person is type 1. Doesn’t fit “the profile”.

      Your 121 number is worthy of a repeat in a few months. It’s just a tad over the preferred limits of 90-120. Don’t panic. You can be in a pre-diabetic phase and never flip to diabetes. My family member was in the ER with
      650 last spring. The only reason why my family member didn’t fall into a diabetic coma was youthful age and being physical active.

      First, I’d suggest calling your health ins co. Ask if there is a dietician/nutritionist that can help you tweak your diet. It may be a phone consult, not necessarily even having to go see someone in person. But they may offer coverage for a meeting with a diabetic educator. Some are associated with a diabetic endocrinologist office. Of course, find one in your network.

      From what my family member was told, “complex carbs” are allowable but again, with education you learn how to incorporate them into your daily routine. Oatmeal, quinoa, whole grains. Also veggies like “Cauliflower” rice. Zucchini “noodles”. “Spaghetti” squash.

      Ronzoni “Ancient Grains” pasta 2 oz serving is an amazingly filling pasta. I bought a box on clearance and was so impressed on a filling 2 oz cooked serving that I now buy it whenever I see it on sale.

      As someone who is on a ridiculously restrictive diet, I know it will be a challenge but all is made better by attitude and gratitude!

      I’m cooking new recipes, trying new spices. That is my attitude of positivity.

      I appreciate that I was able to enjoy all those foods that are now on my “taboo” list when I could enjoy them….for decades. That is my gratitude.

      When I think of little children with type 1 diabetes who have a life of insulin-dependency, it places my dietary restrictions into a different perspective. Ditto my family member who at least had a few decades of no dietary restrictions before becoming insulin-dependent. It is a life changer, for sure.

      You are going to have a pity party and a whole range of emotions. I’m witnessing it in my family with my newly diagnosed diabetic. I feel it every time I watch my DH eat things and buy food that I can’t eat. My blood boils.

      You also know from our PC 2016 that we are here to give you all the support you need for the twists and turns your PC may take for the next few months just as Tastycook shared her challenges last year too.

      So…hang tough, girl!!! We’re here (and “hear”) when you need us! HUGS!!!!

      ~ F.

    • Laurie in CA says:

      Stephanie, I’ve been out of the loop this past week with family matters. Sorry to hear about your test results. Did they test your A1c? It gives a broader picture of your blood glucose level over the previous three months. Also, sometimes when we’ve had a particularly carb heavy event or day we’ll experience a sugar spill (it’s happened to me before and I had a glucose tolerance test and was fine). You will probably be able to control your glucose levels with diet and exercise. Hang in there!!!

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Hi Laurie: I don’t know if they tested my A1c. I have to go back in four months for a re test. In the meantime, I am seeing a nutritionist on Thursday. I want to be proactive about this. Until then, I will do what I can to watch what I’m eating. I do tend to over do it with the carbs and sugar so going forward, I will do everything I can to be more cognizant of what I’m eating and cutting down on all the bad and increasing the good. Thanks for your encouragement. 🙂

    • My husband also had a diagnosis of pre-diabetes a couple of years ago. He cut out most desserts but enjoys fruit for dessert (low glycemic when possible like berries), drinks no soft drinks only tea or water, and counts his carbs. Whole wheat or whole grain options are better than white bread or pasta, because the fiber slows the carb release and the blood sugar spike. By changing his diet to eat lower glycemic and whole grains, and count his carbs, he lost over 100 pounds in under 2 years and his A1C is now around 100. We’re on a budget as a one income household, so the main meals I fix for him center on ground beef and pulled pork with veg and fruit, whole grain bread or veggie chips from Aldi, and cheese or cottage cheese.

  111. Wednesday 2/8

    Breakfast – Bacon, egg and cheese muffins

    Lunch – Finished last of the tuna casserole

    Dinner – Spaghetti & meatballs, salad, garlic toast

  112. Stephanie M. says:

    Wednesday:

    B – Hubby had cereal; I had toast

    L – Hubby had a business luncheon; I had salami and swiss sandwich

    D – Hubby had a frozen pizza; I had nothing because now I don’t know what I can or can’t eat.

    • So sorry you received scary, frustrating, upsetting news. I don’t have any experience with diabetes, so I’m no help there. I would, however, ask your doctor if there is any nutritional counseling he/she can provide. Clearly, you have to eat. There may also be resources at your local library and on the web (although I’m not sure how well-vetted some of those resources might be).

      On the bright side, after we changed our eating patterns following my breast cancer diagnosis two and a half years ago, our whole family benefitted. We consider the changes we’ve made (mostly eliminating processed foods due to the soy in them) to be a small price to pay for good health.

      You can do this! 🙂

    • Hi Stephanie. My best recommendation is to get in and see your doctor. Receiving such information by mail is ambiguous and impersonal, and I can completely understand your shock. Getting the correct perspective from your physician will help to take away the uncertainty and worry about what you should or shouldn’t be eating. They will help give you more accurate guidelines and it will allow you to ask the questions that will ease your mind.

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thanks Sarah! I agree that I need help so I made an appointment for next Thursday with a nutritionist. Hopefully she will put me at ease and let me know that I don’t have to live on water and lettuce only for the rest of my life. LOL

  113. Wed. 2/8/17

    B: The usual (w/ blueberries for me).

    L: Packed for the guys (w/ homemade applesauce and a cookie). I had PB toast and a clementine.

    D: Cheesy-Mexi Lentil Macaroni, salad, orange and pear slices.

    S/D: Tortilla chips, cookies.

  114. Stephanie–i agree with tastycook and I would reduce the carb intake not cut it out entirely for right now and I would go ahead and eat at your party that you have been looking forward to.
    I think you are in shock right now and very upset with your daughter and maybe things won’t be quite so bad in the morning.
    I also agree with talking to a nutritionist or your doctor about how much you need to cut the carbs at this time.
    It might not be as bad as you think it is.

  115. It was a very laid back and easy day in my kitchen today
    Breakfast was the usual for us both
    Dinner was an egg skillet meal with the last leftover chicken breast, leftover potatoes and onions from yesterday and pepper jack cheese with toast and oranges

  116. Heather M says:

    Hi All!! Been gone from here since Sunday and just caught up! It’s been a busy few days. I love reading all of your posts! I didn’t reply to everyone, because I would have been here forever, but I wanted to. You are all so wonderful! So, today, THE NEW FRIDGE!!! I’ll get to that after updating the past few days. But, I am very happy!!

    Sunday as predicted, all leftovers and super bowl party food. Except the one surprise- my 15yo son had to make a video for spanish class of him cooking/baking a dish. I filmed it and helped out but he did all the real work and for the first time in his life he baked a cake from scratch (ok, he’s never baked a thing before…so he BAKED!!). It turned out great, and we took it to share at the party but there was so much food, we still got to bring some home, YAY! So proud of him. (we were sad about the game outcome, but the party was super fun)

    Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday son and hubs had the usual breakfasts- cereal, turkey sausage or bacon, OJ for son; cereal for hubs. I had oatmeal packets mon-tues, nothing wednesday (too busy getting ready for fridge delivery)

    M/T/W lunch- son took his usual turkey/cheese sandwich, Clif bar, and pistachios/almonds; hubs took a variety of leftovers to help clean out the fridge and clementines; M I had a gorgeous big salad with tuna, hardboiled egg, olives, chopped veggies, etc, working to clean out fridge; T I had random leftover bits and apple slices; W the entire fridge was in coolers I refused to open until time to put in the fridge so I picked up a sandwich at 7-11 (yes, weird, but they’re not bad and it was fast) and had an apple I’d set aside.

    M Dinner- made the greek shrimp and spinach penne – used up lots from freezer(rest of shrimp – 2 kinds, and rest of spinach) and tomatoes from pantry. topped it with the last of the feta. would have been better with wilted fresh spinach, but it was fine. freezer lesson learned- I really do prefer fresh spinach, even in cooked dishes. One more thing I shouldn’t keep stocked in the freezer.

    T Dinner- total WIN!! tore apart and revamped a recipe i found online and ended up with a ground turkey/veggie (all from freezer) stir fry we ate over rice. i had book club and came home to hubs raving about it, so I promptly wrote down what I did so I can make it again. Basically it was a package of ground turkey cooked with a splash of soy sauce, then set aside and sauteed a little garlic in sesame oil, then added the package of defrosted stir fry veggies, more soy sauce, a tablespoon of oyster sauce, some beef broth mixed w/ cornstarch to thicken, and sriracha to taste. Oh holy yum. So good. I think that’s everything I used (recipe is upstairs).

    W Dinner – Promised son I’d make his favorite hamburger helper since i had a board meeting tonight (i usually make it for him when I have them!). and we had one last pound of ground beef left, i made it while organizing my new fridge!! I picked up some organizer things for it at container store and the fridge is looking awesome inside, too!

    It’s so beautiful! And only lost the fro yo bars/popsicles in the coolers- everything else pretty much stayed frozen and/or cold. They acted as the coolant for the rest of that cooler apparently (I put icepacks in each and distributed the rest of the frozen food between them). The freezer has food in it but only one meal’s worth of Mahi Mahi and turkey meatballs for protein!! Yikes! We did so well cleaning out (left still- those, plus a big bag of mini chicken wontons, a bag each of green beans, peas, and corn-frozen veggies we actually use-, 6 qt size bags of pinto and cannellini beans, some breakfast sausage links, cauliflower “rice” i like to use for me sometimes in place of rice when I’m trying to be good, half a bag of garlic fries, a few italian ices, and a roll of puff pastry dough. That’s it. Weird weird feeling. I’ll be hitting Costco tomorrow or Friday, depending on the weather, and starting the re-stock. I will be spending some, but have to! The Challenge was successful for my freezer! Not completed yet for the pantry though- need to rotate out older things still, so I’ll be at it, modified as it is. I want to keep costs down since we’ve had to spend so much lately on cars and bigger household need. So I need to stay honest and be prudent, so I’ll stick it out here with you wonderful ladies for now!!

    • Great job Heather M! It will be so much fun to put the new goodies in your new fridge!

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      Congratulations on the new fridge! 🙂 You did good to only lose those two things during the transition.

      I’m kind of jealous that you’ve used up all of your tomatoes. I still have way too many cans of tomatoes.

      • Thanks! Also, re the tomatoes- I find i don’t really used canned tomatoes that often. I need to only keep a few in the cupboard for those rare occasions, and these were those rare few I keep. So I’ll buy like 4 cans to have on hand just in case. I even decided against the 8 pack at costco because last time i bought it it took forever to use them up! I often overbuy fresh so when they get a little soft, I’ll use them in a recipe, which is why I think I don’t use the canned version often. Good luck to you using them up!!

    • Good job on working on the food in anticipation of the new fridge.
      Also, I find Asian style is how I like ground turkey the best. There is an Asian meatball recipe on skinny taste that is really good.
      Watching our kids cook (successfully) is always a proud mom moment,
      Melissa in GA

    • Hurray for you! It sounds like you did an awesome job on this challenge and I am happy you are continuing on with us.
      Congratulations on the new fridge as well! Have fun on your stock up trip?

    • The new frig sounds exciting! I’m hoping to get a similar frig when ours dies. I love the idea of the freezer on the bottom. It sounds like you did a great job getting it pared down before the total clean out.

    • Great job getting all that used up as you’d hoped. Happy for you that you only lost the popsicles. I bet you had such fun shopping and just piling all those proteins in your cart. Glad that freezer ended up being enough for you since you were worried about it.

    • Congrats on the new fridge! Sounds awesome.
      Some women like shoes and bags…I like appliances. Lol

  117. tastycook says:

    Congrats on the new fridge Heather. You did a fabulous job on the PC to get down to as little as you did. Now, go and enjoy the re-stocking! Hope you keep popping in, tho.

  118. tastycook says:

    Stephanie, how are you this morning?

    As I said last night, I am no medical expert, but rereading the posts this morning, somebody mentioned eating regularly and from all I have read over the years I think that is important. I do know that skipping meals is not good for you.

    Over the last few weeks hubby has been eating fruit and yogurt for breakfast every morning, instead of either toast and jam or muffins most days. He has dropped somewhere in the region of 15lbs.

    We buy a pile of grapefruit every week (usually pick up a 5lb bag), a fresh pineapple and prepare them when we get home so they are ready in the fridge and no excuses. Invariably add a couple of cans of mandarins as well. I also keep frozen raspberries, strawberries (both from the garden) and local blueberries available in the freezer over the fridge. Add some yogurt and perhaps h/m granola and there is a healthy breakfast with no work.

    You can do this! Whatever it takes, you can do tus and you know you have lots of support.

  119. tastycook says:

    Wednesday 8th

    B – fruit and yogurt

    L – fruit for hubby, I had chicken nuggets while I was out for the day

    S – hubby made great chef’s salads for us that had just about everything in them but the kitchen sink!!

  120. Well, we did a bit of shopping this week. Bought some produce, cheese, milk, eggs, tortillas, pop, turkey bacon and some tortilla chips. Spend nearly $60, which was higher than I wanted, but such is the cost of eating!!

    Tuesday, February 7

    Breakfast! Oatmeal for hubs, breakfast at a conference I attended

    Lunch: sandwiches salad and soup at the conference for me, leftover pasta bake for hubs.

    Dinner: Steak with rice and veggies

    Wednesday, February 8

    Breakfast: pulled pork wrap for me, and a hot chocolate and doughnut later at a meeting. Oatmeal for hubs.

    Lunch: bought a chicken wrap and potato wedges from the Timmies downstairs from my meeting. Hubs had more leftover pasta bake!

    Dinner: ground pork soft tacos.

  121. Good morning ladies! Weird day yesterday as hubby and I both had sleeping problems. I was up half the night. Went back to bed at 5am. Hubbs got up just after. I slept until 6:30. When I got up he went back to bed…bit if the flu bug I think so meals were pretty much eaten alone yesterday. For breakfast I finished up the turkey soup and gave the last to the dog. Made hash browns and eggs for Hubby when he got up. I defrosted smoked salmon but it tasted freezer burned so fed it to some very happy animals. Defrosted smoked turkey leg and some ham to make broth. Saved the meat for sandwich spread. Used the broth with celery onions and garlic to make split pea soup. Hubby doesn’t care for chunks of meat in split pea soup. So now we have two soups in the fridge to choose from. I also used some leftover refried beans and the last two tortillas to make burritos. I thawed out some chili from the freezer. Think I will use it for loaded baked potatoes since we have everything else in the house for them. Hubbs picked up a gallon of milk yesterday so my total for Feb is now 57.10. I have to take Mom to the doc today. Will likely stop for salad makings and fresh fruit.

    • Sounds like you are managing to eat well and stay away from shopping. Great work with the creativity in the kitchen!

  122. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Finally getting back on track!

    Wednesday:

    Breakfast: watermelon and yogurt.

    Lunch: leftover pasta.

    Dinner: tuna salad on crackers, grapes, and watermelon. Also splurged and made a peanut butter and banana milkshake. I don’t like bananas, but feel like I need the potassium, so hiding it in the milkshake was my excuse. 🙂

    Hubby is on nights and was gone before I got home. I think he had a granola bar before he left, and he took leftover pasta for lunch.

    I did go to Aldi for some produce and corn tortillas for tonight’s dinner, but only spent $10.00, and didn’t really add anything to the pantry or freezer. I put the casserole together last night, and baked it this morning while I was getting ready for work. Hubby took care of wrapping it up and putting it away when he got home from work. He has to go in an hour earlier tonight, which means there’s no way I can get dinner ready between the time I get home and the time he leaves, so I just made it early. I’m kind of excited about not having to cook tonight. I’m hoping to get caught up on some of the housework and laundry that got neglected while I was sick.

    • Have you ever tried coconut water? It has something like twice the potassium of a banana. Some people love it, some people hate it. I’m not fond of the stuff, but if I’m feeling dehydrated or low potassium, I just chug it. A PBB milkshake sounds more fun, though!

      • Danielle L Zecher says:

        I haven’t ever tried coconut water, but I think I will now. Thanks for the tip! I just don’t like bananas.

        • Heads up, though, that of the ones I’ve tried, only one tasted anything at all like coconut. I don’t recall which brand it was, though. I can’t really describe what it does taste like, but don’t expect coconut.

          • Danielle L Zecher says:

            Now I”m really intrigued by this stuff. 🙂 We’ll be going out this weekend for dog food, laundry detergent, etc., so I’m planning to get some coconut water to try.

  123. Wed 2/8
    B – I had an avocado, he probably had cereal
    L – L/O Pulled pork, last of yellow rice
    D – L/O Turkey chili – funny how this never sounds exciting but I always enjoy it when I’m eating it
    S/D – ice cream

  124. Wed 2/8
    B-Last of applesauce bread, eggs or cereal
    L-Hubs and I had leftover veggie soup and some of the leftover Super Bowl snacks, kids at school
    D-I made a crock pot of jambalaya late in the morning, using up some veggies that were a little wilty. I added some brown rice and served veggie dippers with it. I love meals like that, no clean up late in the day!
    S-popcorn and 15 yr old finished off the cheeseball from Super bowl.

  125. Wednesday – FEB 8

    Breakfast – cup of tea

    Lunch – avocado, 2 slices deli meat chicken breast, tea biscuits.

    Dinner – leftover pulled pork, mac-n-cheese, Italian green beans,

  126. Stephanie M. says:

    Hi friends, and that’s what you all truly are to me. Honestly, I wish I could reach out and give you all hugs and I also wish I could get them from you too because I really need some today.

    Rather than send responses to everyone separately, I thought it would be easier to send a response like this and hopefully everyone will read it.

    Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart for all of your words. You can’t know how much they all mean to me. It was Pat who said that I’m probably in shock and she is right without a doubt. And it was Felicia who said that I would have a pity party and that’s right too. I have read and re read all of your responses several times and appreciate all of you so much!!

    There is a nutritionist who has an office in the corner of my local grocery store. Hubby had to go to the store today and spoke to someone at the pharmacist who says she is very good and I don’t have to pay for her services. She is paid by Shoprite, the store. I noticed her before in her office and I see people in there with her every time I go to the store, so I will be calling her on Monday.

    My daughter, regardless of how she handled this, did not mean this in a malicious way but last night my knee jerk reaction was to get angry. I’m still a little upset with her but now that the dust has settled, I can see why she did it. She works in the medical industry as a heart sonographer. Last week, her best friend’s mother had a heart attack. This was, of course, upsetting to her since she’s known her for many years. She had some kind of procedure in the hospital and then was released. Two days ago, while sitting at the dinner table with her husband, she told her husband she didn’t feel well and then died right there at the table. She was 60. This was of great upset to my daughter; when she came to the kitchen that morning to leave for work, she was crying and then told me what happened. Tonight, she is going to the wake. When I told her not to say anything, her response was you have to, we are family. Then she asked me if I wanted her to call the nutritionist and make an appointment but she had already gone home for the day. She went out for a while and when she returned, Paul had also just arrived home. She handed me an African violet plant that she just bought for me. I just looked at it and started crying because I guess I was just so in shock over all of this. Paul immediately asked what was wrong and then she told him. And, then she told me that she doesn’t want anything to happen to me the way it happened to her friend’s mother. So while I initially got angry, I know now why she did it.

    Today, Paul worked from home because of the snow storm we were hit with in New Jersey and all around us. I spent the day moping around and feeling sorry for myself. I know that this could be so much worse, I realize that. It’s just that I never saw this coming and now all of a sudden, I have to change the way I eat and do it forever. I guess after time, it will be more of a lifestyle and not as awful as I’m thinking it will be but for someone like me who enjoys eating and cooking and spends a lot of time during the year having people over for dinner and BBQ’s, to have to give up so many of the things I enjoy is a slap in the face. I will see what the nutritionist has to say because like so many of you said, maybe the changes will be subtle and not so earth shattering. But to know me is to know someone who will take this very seriously and even if she says I can have certain things that I think I can’t I probably won’t eat them anyway. At this point, I can’t ever see myself eating a piece of cake again or ice cream or anything like that. Who knows, maybe all of this will help me lose a few pounds and that would be an improvement for me too.

    Honestly, during my wound licking today, I played around with the idea of cancelling this party because right now, I’m just not that in to it. But they are all looking forward to it and I bought everything and was planning on getting everything ready tomorrow. So, I will, reluctantly have it but trust me, I will not be eating many of the things on the menu. No pasta, none of the appetizers, no wine, no cake. I guess just some salad and the chicken. My friends will notice that I’m not drinking wine with them and I’ll have to come up with some shady excuse, ha ha. I don’t feel like talking about it on this evening.

    In the meantime, I will still send a picture of the table and hope you all like it.

    Thank you again for all of your kind words. You’re all wonderful, wonderful friends and I am so grateful for all of you.

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I’m glad you’re still having your party. Maybe it will turn into a nice distraction for you. If people notice you’re not drinking you can always just say you don’t feel like drinking that day, or that you’re getting over something/taking some medication, so can’t. I chose not to drink for a while when I was dealing with a health issue, and it seemed like the getting over something/taking medication excuse worked the best and got the least questions. I learned the hard way if I was too vague everyone thought I was pregnant.

      That’s pretty cool that your grocery store has a nutritionist in the store. Maybe that’s what some of the higher prices are buying. 🙂

    • Ah Stephanie–i am glad that you are still having your party! I’ve read the posts of your past parties and it is something you really enjoy.
      I think moderation is key right now. If it was something super serious that needed drastic immediate attention your doctor’s office would have called you not just sent the results in the mail. Please try to relax and enjoy your friends and the evening itself.
      Maybe limit yourself to one glass of wine, one or two of the appetizers and a small portion of pasta and a sliver of cake. That way you can still enjoy yourself and wait to see what the nutritionist has to say when you see her.
      Your poor daughter and you both. What a hard combination of things to happen at the same time.
      You will all get through this one step at a time!!

    • Stephanie, I’m so glad you are continuing on with your party. I truly believe you would be miserable this weekend not having it. You can use the party as a nice distraction until you see the nutritionist. I totally understand how you feel, because I too love to cook and love to cook for those I love. When that’s your thing, it’s so hard to change. I agree with the others that you should go ahead and enjoy yourself at the party. If it truly was something serious your doctor would have called. Like Pat said, just maybe keep it to a small glass of wine and small portions of the carbs. I will be thinking of you and praying that you have the strength to get through the shock of all of this.

    • Oh gosh, Stephanie, what a crazy week for you and your daughter. So much makes sense. Doesn’t make anything easier, or the emotions everyone’s feeling easier, but things make more sense. 🙁

      So awesome about an in-store nutritionist. Definitely an awesome option for you! And, I’m so glad you have the party to enjoy your friends, etc. You CAN have the shrimp-they’re a perfect appetizer for you. Shrimp is an awesome protein and the bacon is just more protein. A little marinade on it won’t make much of a difference with sugars. Have one of each of the other appetizers and have just a few bites of pasta. Dial it back, but not off, and you’ll really enjoy yourself and your friends! Above all, have fun!! We love you and are so glad for your presence here. <3

  127. Cereal juice coffee hubby I had a minute muffin from a mix and coffee
    Enjoying peanut butter chip cookies make with stuff on hand
    Lunch asparagus ham Mac and cheese ,veggie sticks ,peas (frozen this summer) very good
    Hubby will eat out has a concert tonight( he,s a big percussion fan me not as much) I will make veggie loaded chips and cheese for my self.
    Stephanie don’t be to worried about what to eat. Just concentrate on healthy options less sugar and complex carbs. I have know lots of people in your place and all they had to do was tweek their diet a little. But they still enjoy chocolate ,wine and pasta. I also use the ancient grains pasta and it is very good. you can do this . The best thing you can do for yourself is read about nutrition and natural way to lower blood sugar. Knowledge is power. Keep your chin up.

  128. Stephanie. Here is another voice chiming in….after having lots of knocks in life I have learned that this kind of news is a matter of perception…you can pack for a pity party…..or you can look at it as wow I am lucky….the doctor has handed me the information to give myself a second chance at a long healthy life………if you don’t want to tell your guests….don’t. The choice is yours…..have your party. Enjoy it! You didn’t develop this problem in a few days and you won’t change it in the next week no matter what you do or do not eat. Eat everything you planned for the party…enjoy your guests you’ve already invested yourself in it……..then get busy..do your investigation on exercise and a healthy diet and get on with your life. There are so many people here who care about you….God bless you!

  129. Looking forward to temp in the high 40s low 50sfor the next several days in Nebraska in February!!
    Feb 9
    Breakfast was the same as always
    Dinner was a taco pasta skillet meal with ground turkey, shredded zucchini, homemade tomato sauce from the freezer! My fridge freezer is half empty and mostly has vegetables and breakfast foods in it. I will be pulling a pork roast and a whole chicken from the chest freezer for meals next week.
    Progress is a good thing!

  130. Thurs. 2/9/17

    B: The usual.

    L: Son had his usual packed lunch. Hubs and I had PB/apple butter sandwiches, salad, carrot sticks, applesauce, clementines.

    D: LO lentil mac, salad, cantaloupe.

    S/D: Tortilla chips, trail mix, cookies.

  131. Thursday 2/9

    Breakfast – Salmon & spinach frittata

    Lunch – Leftover pizza

    Dinner – Leftover Cajun chicken pasta, salad

  132. Stephanie M. says:

    Thursday:

    Until I see the nutritionist, I have to just guess at what’s the right thing to eat, so here’s how the day went.

    B- Hubby had cereal; I had oatmeal with blueberries

    L – Hubby skipped lunch; I had a salad with one small slice of cubed roast beef that I made a couple of weeks ago and froze several slices for sandwiches

    D – Hubby had mini meatballs in brown gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans; I had mini meatballs without the gravy, Birdseye winter squash, and green beans.

    I am going by the serving size on the back of the packages (green beans and squash) and also by the serving size of meat from my old weight watchers book to know who much I should be eating

    I’m thinking that the nutritionist will say I need to have a couple of healthy snacks in between meals so today I had a banana between lunch and dinner and a 100 calorie bag of raw almonds after dinner

    Because of the serving size of these meals, after dinner I was a little hungry still but I know from doing weight watchers for so many years, that is only temporary – I will get used to the new portion size

    Now it’s time to get ready for the party – in the afternoon, I cooked the tomato sauce. Tomorrow, I will be very busy all day, setting the table, getting the last minute stuff from the grocery store, baking the cake, etc. The strawberries will be arriving also. Paul will go and buy the wine.

    • Stephanie, have fun today as you prep for tomorrow’s party! Eat, drink and enjoy!

      Portion size is a huge problem in the modern world – bigger is not always better.

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I’m glad you’re back to eating.

      So is the Birdseye winter squash frozen? I didn’t realize you could buy it that way.

      Have fun with all of the party prep. I’m looking forward to the picture.

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Yes the Birdseye winter squash is frozen. It’s got the consistence of mashed potatoes and I really love it.

    • Stephanie–Have a great day prepping for your party. Can’t wait to see the picture of the table! Your description sounded so lovely!
      Everything will turn out OK!

    • You did great on the 10th!! have a blast getting ready for the party, and enjoy every minute of all of it!!

  133. Thursday 9th

    B – fruit and yogurt

    L – bacon sandwich for me and beef sandwich for hubby (bacon and beef both courtesy of the freezer

    S – liver and onions for hubby, chicken park for me, both of us had potatoes and broccoli

  134. Thurs 2/9
    B – I had avocado, he had cereal
    L – I had potstickers, he had chips & salsa (he got up late so wasn’t too hungry after breakfast)
    D – finished the part of turkey chili that didn’t go into the freezer
    S/D – finished the super bowl brownies

  135. Did get my mom to the Dr yesterday and got her errands done. Had a 5$ off coupon at albertsons downloaded but put it on moms grocery order. I bought ice cream and bread for hubby. Only spent 7.40. My other purchases at the thrift store only came to 3.00. So an inexpensive day overall. Saving my money to purchase license tabs due this month on both of our cars. Made rice yesterday for fried rice for lunch. Baked brownies using a mix from the pantry. Chili was used to make burritos. Some leftover soup got eaten…still more left. My hens are now laying 3 eggs a day. Baked potatoes yesterday for hash browns for hubby and took some maple sausage out of the freezer. I will have my apple omelet for breakfast…the apple drawer is almost empty..

  136. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Thursday 2/9:

    Breakfast: Crackers and tea.
    Lunch: Leftover pasta and watermelon.
    Dinner: Black Bean Corn Tortilla Casserole (from the GCE 30 minute cookbook).

    Hubby was on nights, and we passed each other as he was driving out and I was driving in. I think he had a granola bar before he left. I know he took casserole to work.

  137. Hi All!! I just have to say, this is the most wonderful, supportive group of women. The strong showing of support for Stephanie is phenomenal. And your excitement for my unimportant-in-the-scheme-of-life new fridge is so wonderful. Thank you everyone!

    I did go to Costco yesterday and started the protein re-stock. I didn’t invest in any ground anything or shrimp yet because we ate so much of those lately, cleaning out the freezer. I’ll do those next costco run. I did spend about $175 on food, mostly proteins – chicken 2 ways (breaded tenders and SLBL breasts), beef roasts, steak, pork chops, salmon fillets. Grabbed a few other things- a bit of produce, milk, cereal, pistachios. I was pretty pleased, and after packing meal-sized portions for the freezer and saving some fresh for the next few days, There’s still room in the freezer! Happy about that, since I really had no idea! I’m off to Trader Joe’s today for produce and a few other things. It’s going to be so lovely to open the fridge and have lots of fresh produce and awesome proteins to work with! 🙂

    2/10:
    B: son had cereal, bacon, OJ; hubs had cereal; I had an oatmeal packet
    L: son took turkey/cheese sandwich, Clif bar, and pistachios/almonds; I had samples at Costco and apple slices
    D: Pizza for National Pizza Day – picked it up at Costco, and good thing, because by the time I was done organizing the kitchen/freezer, my ankle was hurting and I needed to be off it for a few hours.

    • Your shopping sounds wonderful! Hurray for still having room in the freezer. I know you were really concerned about that! Shiny new appliances are a good thing?
      National pizza day sounds terrific! Just changed my menu to pizza!!!

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      Glad you were able to fit so much into the freezer. 🙂

      How are Costco’s meat prices? The closest one to us is an hour away, so we don’t have a membership. We have Sam’s really close, and have that membership. I buy chicken breast and ground beef there. It’s good, and the prices are great. Most other meats have been more expensive than the grocery store and/or not very good quality. Just wondering whether or not a Costco membership might be worth it.

  138. We are finally back home, it’s been a weird couple of days. My daughter’s BF dumped her and the dog he adopted (I think to try and make her happy, not sure). So, we had to meet her yesterday and take the dog. Her new place would require a $400 non-refundable deposit! She was so upset and sobbing that she didn’t (couldn’t) take Ginny back to the shelter. Fortunately, the dog is super sweet and hubs is a dog person with a soft heart for rescue animals. Ugh! Dealing with all the drama has been exhausting.
    First off let me start by saying to Stephanie – girl, you enjoy that party you worked so hard to put together! Everyone deserves a day to enjoy themselves with food, wine & friends. Even WW advocates it. Can’t wait to see the pic of the beautiful table!

    2/8
    B – at hotel, fruit, toast and a sausage link, hubs had eggs & sausage, juice
    L – hubs had a business lunch and I ate ate at Panera with my younger stepdaughter – had a half green goddess Cobb with
    Chicken (she got a pick2 & our bill was $18.61 w/water, I thought that was a bit expensive)
    D – birthday dinner for older stepdaughter at Rioz, a Brazilian steakhouse. There were 6 of us and it was $304.32 ( yikes!, I know)
    Went to Aldi w/my stepdaughter, spent $7.41 for just a few snack items that we like from there.

    2/9
    B – at hotel, same things we had the day before
    L – McDonald’s since we had the dog in the car – we each had a sandwich $ shared fries & a soda
    D – sautéed pork chops w/a mustard cream sauce over LO mashed potatoes from the freezer
    Dessert – cookies
    S – hubs finished off chips & dip, I had some gummy bears & later, some pistachios

    The new dog seems to be settling in and our older dog is fine with her. Hub’s first errand after agreeing to take the dog was to Petsmart – $150 later, lol, she has food, treats, a retractable leash, toys and a camouflage food bowl! 🙂

    Melissa in GA

    • Stephanie M. says:

      Thank you Melissa. I will sure try.

      We are dog lovers too. We have three; two brothers who are long haired red dachshunds 2 and 4 years old and female black mini pin who is 12 years old. I am so happy you decided to keep her. In just a short time, both of your dogs will bond and love each other. I always like the idea of having multiple dogs because they keep each other company when you’re not home.

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I’m glad you took the dog, and that she’s getting along well with your other dog. We ended up taking my parents’ dog last year (long story), but it has worked out well, since he and our other dog are good buddies.

      If you’ve never shopped them, Chewy.com is a great place for pet food and supplies. They’re so much cheaper than PetSmart, and usually ship faster than Amazon.

    • Sorry to hear, Melissa. Loss of love is hard on guys as well, a lesson I have learned over the years. Breaks a mother’s heart to see them in such heartache. Glad you got to spend some time with her. It does make a difference.

  139. Stephanie M. says:

    Hi friends:

    I just sent the pictures to Jessica so I imagine you will see them soon. The smile on my face goes to all of you and for all of your support and wonderful words. I hope you like the table. I hope I didn’t overrate it. We are pooped but now it is almost 8:30 and we are going to have dinner and then cook the chicken and dress it so that I don’t have to do that tomorrow. I have enough to do tomorrow and everything I can get done today is good. Thank you for all of your support. Paul agrees with all of you and said to me tonight, “what if you didn’t get the blood test back till next week; you would eat all of the food and drink some wine with our friends.” So with all of your suggestions and his, I have decided to go ahead and enjoy myself as if I never got the blood work back and Sunday is a new day. I have an appointment next Thursday morning with the nutritionist and I will will worry about it then. In the meantime, I will eat carefully after tomorrow and hopefully I will be okay after that. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my second daughter and was told at that time I was at risk for developing diabetes later on in life. Well, here it is and I will be very proactive about this but not tomorrow. Tomorrow I will enjoy my friends and the evening that this was meant to be. I love you all. 🙂

    • Excellent! You did so much planning for it, it would have been such a shame for you to have felt deprived and missed out on such a great time. I’m so happy that you have decided to just enjoy yourself.

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thank you so much Sandi. I hope you enjoy the pictures. Thanks for the kind words. I may look happy in the picture but I’m really quite upset. Oh well, such is life.

    • Your husband is a very wise man?. I am so happy that you are going to enjoy your party, the food and your friends!!
      Like someone else said this issue didn’t happen overnight and won’t go away overnight. What you do either way in the next few days will not change anything one way or another.
      Have a great time tomorrow night and enjoy everything!!

    • Stephanie, Enjoy your party as much as I am sure we will enjoy the pictures. I know you are very concerned about this new speed bump but thinking you will still be able to enjoy your party and time with your friends. Thinking a bite of this and a bite of that will be okay considering you are so busy taking care of everyone else you don’t eat much any how. I know that you will do what is best for you and will just need to make some changes but I also know that you are strong enough to adjust and let this become the new you. I think the hardest thing for you will be having to stop skipping meals but like Felicia you will get to the point that you will do what your body is telling you and eating what will keep you healthy. (with probably be a cheat in there every once in a while)
      My youngest daughter had gestational diabetes with all 3 of her babies and they told her the same thing. She is not one to always eat properly so some times I need to remind her that as busy as she is with the babes, work and day to day things she still needs to take care of herself first. (as hard as that is for a mother to do)
      Stay strong and enjoy your party with friends and can’t wait to see the pictures and hear all about every thing.
      Hugs to you Stephanie

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thank you so much Mona. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you. It is now almost 9:30 and Paul and I are working together in the kitchen browning the chicken cutlets. I am cooking 18 of them. There are some very big hungry men that will be around the table. LOL You know me so well; getting into the habit of not skipping meals will be a challenge. Normally on a day like today, I just pick here and there and don’t take the time to sit down and eat breakfast and lunch in anticipation of a big dinner. We just took a break and Paul cooked some eggs and turkey sausage. So we ate that and now we are back on the stove again. He is breading the cutlets and I am frying them. I already have one of the three large cookie sheets on the kitchen table lined with some sauce and the cooked cutlets on top. When it is all done in about an hour or so, then we will put the sauce and cheese on top and then they are ready to go in the oven tonight. Then I will move onto the cheese and cracker platter. I’m telling you all this detail because I want you and everyone to feel like you’re here with us.

        I am hoping Jessica posts the three pictures I sent her last night sometime today. Keep looking. I hope you like them.

        And a hug to you too!!

        • We will all be there with you Stephanie, watching you have a good time with your friends sitting at the table. and can’t wait till tomorrow to hear all about the wonderful time you and your guests had and all about the yummy food.
          A shout out to Paul for keeping you on track and taking care of his precious lady.
          Lots of love and hugs to you and have a wonderful night and we are all hoping to see the pictures of your beautiful table soon.

        • Think you know how much I appreciate you also my special friend.

    • So happy to hear you say that you will enjoy your party!
      I was borderline for gestational diabetes with my daughter as well, I need to lose some more weight, eat better and walk more.
      It’s hell getting older!
      Melissa in GA

  140. Fri 2/10
    B – I had yogurt & granola parfait, he had cereal
    L – I had veggie pizza, he had L/O chicken wings
    D – turns out we both ate lunch late and weren’t that hungry so just snacked on cheese

    A friend let me know about some clearance items at Costco. I’ve been so determined not to buy more protein items as that silly freezer is so full, but organic ground beef on clearance was too good to pass up. 4 lb packages for $6.97? I got two. $1.74/lb is cheaper than regular beef! At least I was able to fit them into the freezer so apparently I have made some progress.

    • Awesome clearance deal!
      I would’ve been all over it!
      Melissa in GA

    • Costco clearance is the best!
      When my freezer is lacking in our homegrown chickens, I look for the organic ones at Costco. I saw some the other day marked down from$2.99/lb to $.49/lb!
      Crazy cheap

  141. Friday – 2/10/17

    Breakfast – two cups of decaf coffee

    Lunch – 6″ homemade roast deli chicken breast sub

    Dinner – American goulash (leftover golumpki with rotini pasta and diced tomatoes with spices)

    Bedtime snack – cheese and wheat thin crackers.

  142. Happy Friday!
    Feb 10
    Breakfast was the usual for us. We are so boring!
    Dinner was pizza in honor of National Pizza Day!!

  143. Fri. 2/10/17

    B: Oatmeal w/ brown sugar, raisins, and whipped cream; OJ; coffee.

    L: Regular packed lunch for son. Hubs and I finished the lentil pasta and added salad, cantaloupe, applesauce, and yogurt.

    D: LO waffles and pancakes from the freezer; scrambled eggs; cantaloupe.

    S/D: Trail mix, cookies.

  144. we finished off the bagels. Finished off the leftovers except the ham broth I need to defat and most likely will can the broth. I found ground BEEF (sorry, I’m still craving beef) and ground pork so I was going to make Swedish meatballs….furnace went out and I spent the day trying to stay WARM. Hubby has Hot spicy chili I had canned for him and I had pepperoni, cream cheese and crackers with V8 Fusion. SO Swedish meatballs today. Furnace fixed and the landlord gets the bill, he even came over after work to help work on it as it’s his brother in law’s company that does the repairs and it was his nephew that was fixing it. His nephew even show us what to do for regular maintenance so that bill is no longer coming in to the landlord or us as he keeps the rent low with us doing the maintenance. BUT tonight we are going to the store …a stick of pepperoni (it comes from Italy and I get a discount if I buy the whole stick and slice it myself) and distilled water for the humidifier. I might get cube steak or more hamburger if it is on sale. But that’s it

  145. Friday 2/10

    Breakfast – Oatmeal with brown sugar

    Lunch – Beef enchilada meat from the freezer w/tostitos

    Dinner – Kielbasa, garlic bread pasta, glazed carrots & applesauce

  146. Thursday, February 9

    Breakfast: pulled pork with eggs on toast and coffee for me. Hubs ate his last leftover pasta bake for late breakfast.

    Lunch: I was baaaaad and stopped at McDonald’s for lunch for me. Hubs had the late lunch. He also had chips and salsa in the afternoon.

    Dinner: was supposed to be fish, but I was super, super tired so I just made grilled cheese with a pickle on the side for us and went to bed early.

    Hubs had a bowl of cereal before bed, as he usually does.

    Friday, February 10

    Breakfast: pulled pork wrap and a cup of coffee for me, Hubs woke up late so I’m not sure what he had. He works from home and so has the luxury of waking when he choses! I also had a frappuccino later in the morning at a meeting for work.

    Lunch: I ate honey mustard chicken, stir-fried veggies and noodles at the mall food court where my meeting was. Hubs had a ham and cheese sandwich.

    Dinner: we had the fish that was supposed to be for Thursday dinner, along with the last Sidekick from the pantry (not very good, wouldn’t buy it again) and some stir-fried veggies.

    • “pulled pork with eggs on toast” sounds intriguing. is that the pork with an egg on top all on toast, or was it eggs and toast with pork on the side? I think I must have nearly a whole pig in my freezers – it seems a never-ending supply of pork products – so I’m always looking for some different way of using it.

      • Hi Sandi!

        This time I fried up the pork so it was a bit crispy and put it on toast with a fried egg on top. I usually top it with either a little bbq sauce, or hot sauce and sprinkle of feta cheese. Sometimes I also just warm up the pork so it’s soft and eat it on the side.

        I’ve also eaten it layered between pancakes with maple syrup (hubby thinks I’m nuts when I do this, but it’s SO GOOD!)

        I usually flavor the pork very neutrally when I cook it so that I can add different flavours as I use it for different meals.

  147. Saturday 2/11

    Breakfast – Salmon and spinach frittata

    Lunch – Hard salami and swiss sandwiches

    Dinner – Italian meatball subs and ranch potato wedges

  148. Feb 11
    Breakfast for hub’s was his eggs. Today was my once a month breakfast with a friend. I had my omlet and fried potatoes.
    Dinner was french toast and sausage patties and applesauce

  149. Breakfast. Hubby had hash browns and fried eggs. I had an apple omelet. Lunch I used leftover ham I ground up to make ham croquettes and a macaroni and cheese casserole with broccoli. Dinner hubby had a grilled cheese sandwich. We both had brownies and ice cream. Fed the leftover seafood chowder to the animals. Put one package of split pea soup in the freezer. There’s a little left in the fridge for a lunch. I took a large package of boneless skinless chicken out of the freezer. I still have a little ground ham left to make either burritos or sandwich filling.

  150. We didn’t leave the house yesterday as we were tired, busy and trying to make a new dog feel comfortable and welcome in her new home. 🙂
    2/10
    B – hubs had the last 2 biscuits from the freezer and I had cut fruit, the last kiwi & a banana and orange I brought home from our trip.
    L – hubs had a meatloaf sandwich ( 1 slice LO from the freezer) & chips. I had cheese nachos with guacamole, hubs ate some too.
    D – homemade pizza – I made the dough & the sauce. Topped w/pepperoni, mushrooms & olives
    Dessert – cookies
    S – Apple wedges

    Today I had to go into town, so hubs stayed home and worked on the crate training a bit. Got a dog bed at WM & managed to not browse the food (win for me)! Stuck to my list at CVS, spent $15 but got $12 ECBs back, beauty items & a sweet treat to secretly put in hubs bag when he travels this week. We are rarely together for Valentines. Last stop at Harvey’s where I got produce, sugar (on sale), tortilla chips, eggs & cheese for $25.58. I wouldn’t have spent as much but they had cheese items reduced – I got 4 small containers of blue & feta for .99, parm & Romano shreds for $1.74 and sargento flavored slices for $1.99. Those items are being discontinued & have far out dates, so I placed them in the coldest part of the fridge for long shelf life.
    2/11
    B – skipped, we woke up late & got busy
    L – LO pizza
    D – invited to a friends for a fish fry
    S – chips & dip
    Dessert – dark chocolate
    Can’t wait to see your pictures Stephanie ! I hope you had a great time!
    Melissa in GA

    • Those are amazing cheese prices! I totally would have stocked up too. Canadian dairy prices are rarely so low, so I always get excited when I see a sale on cheese!

  151. Friday 10th

    B – fruit and yogurt

    L – tomato soup from the freezer, with a cheese sandwich for hubby and a salmon one for me

    S – turkey chowder

    Saturday

    B – fruit and yogurt for hubby, banana for me with a piece of cheese and a muffin from the freezer for me,

    L- fruit and a muffin for hubby, chicken pot pie and salads for me (a catered lunch between our curling games)

    Snack(?) for me after curling key lime pie

    Supper – goulash and baked potato

  152. Hope you all had a great time last night Stephanie.

  153. Used a wilty apple to make muffins for breakfast. Cooking frozen smoked turkey leg and thigh and an onion for broth. Have a quart bag of cooked pinto beans thawing out to add. There is chicken thawing out for dinners this week. There is still leftover ground ham to use with some of those beans to make ham and bean burritos. I’ve been frustrated that no matter how hard I work I don’t see. any progress on my freezers. Decided I would concentrate on using up what is in my refrigerator freezer first. In all fairness things usually fall out of there when I open the door so it is a good way to start. If I can clear that freezer out then I could move multiple things into it to see progress in the big freezer. Yes? I spent less than 10$ on groceries last week. You would think there would be more to show for it

    • Most of my proteins and such tend to be in the garage freezer so that’s the one I usually think of first, but stuff does move in and out of that one whereas the indoor freezer gets little attention. I think maybe I’ll join you on focusing on the little bits and bobs that are stuffing the fridge freezer. It’s fairly useless right now since nothing can go into it and yet it seems I rarely take anything out of that one. The other day I thought about getting out one of the containers of ice cream from the big freezer but then realized there was no room in the inside freezer to put the rest of it and didn’t feel like taking it back outside after serving some so we just skipped it. I know the fridge freezer is pretty small – the fridge itself is pretty small – but good grief. Even when I do inventories, I usually just list what is in the outside big one and not whatever is inside. Yep, the more I type this response, the more I am becoming determined to clear that out first.

      Except, of course, I’ve already planned tomorrow’s meal to be one of the kid’s favorites (it’s just the two of us so he’ll get the special meal for Valentine’s although he doesn’t know it yet) and those ingredients are in the outside freezer. But after that…

    • Terry, I had to start with my fridge freezer when I started this challenge. There was just too much in my deep freeze. I planned meals around what was specifically in my fridge freezer and then started moving over items from the deep freeze as needed.

      I also planned breakfasts and lunches intentionally to use up the bread, as we had several loaves in the freezer that were taking up a lot of room. That helped me make a lot of progress as it helped me have visual white space in my deep freeze as I moved things over, and I really needed that!

  154. Terry, I have had that same issue. So I try to use mostly stuff from the fridge’s freezer unless we really want something that is in the big freezers. That way I do see some progress, especially when I made 3 different soups a couple of weeks ago and froze them in containers to do the 2 of us. We have soup often for lunch and that way I probably see 4 or 5 containers come out each week before I consider what else might come from there. That way I certainly CAN see some progress.

  155. I also have issues with seeing progress in my big freezers.
    The fridge freezer is 2/3s empty and a couple of shelves in the upright are empty but the chest freezer is still pretty full.
    My husband wanted beef roast instead of pork so that’s in the crockpot and the chicken is waiting in the fridge to get cooked tomorrow.
    Looking in the fridge freezer makes me very happy?

  156. Friday cereal toast and juice coffee
    Sausage muffin me
    Lunch salmonpeas chopped salad hubby I had chopped salad
    Dinner l.lo.
    Saturday cornmeal waffles strawberries whip cream eggs
    Dinner with son and gf pasta. Night spaghetti with meat sauce,tortolini with Alfredo sauce green beans garlic bread.
    Sunday mcdonalds for everyone (I had a church meal to cook for) chicken parm. For 100
    Lunch chicken parmesan orzo green beans salad garlic bread cannolis red velvet cake coffee very nice time about 79people stayed. Nap time now dinner won’t be much.

  157. Have a few days to report. Time keeps getting away from me. I thought of you last night Stephanie wondering how the party went. Can’t wait to hear about it. Here’s how the last few days have gone.
    Thurs. The kids stayed home for a snow day. We always have pancakes or waffles on those days, so it was waffles this time. The rest of the day we literally ate leftovers. It was so nice to clear things out. Somehow we have an abundance of leftovers. 2 of my kids aren’t in the house anymore and I still cook like they are!
    Friday, kids and I had leftover waffles and hubs had grits with eggs. We had an eye doctor appointment at 1, so hubs and I ran a few errands and had a lunch date. Had Chinese and it was delicious. Had all the kids home Friday evening after milking for homemade pizza. Made some quick cheerio peanut butter bars for dessert. Love having everyone home around the table, especially love seeing the grandbaby!
    Saturday we finished the waffles and hubs had grits with eggs again. For lunch we had hubby’s grandma’s 90th birthday party. I had to bring a cake, so made a chocolate toffee one and used up a few things that have been in the pantry. None of it came home, so the kids were bummed. We are a huge group when we’re all together. There are 88 great grandbabies now! My husband is the oldest grandchild and I can’t even keep track of the younger cousin’s families anymore. We ate at different times in the evening because of kids activities. Everyone had leftover pizza.

    • Happy valentines day! It’s been a busy one here. Helped hubby all morning. We moved cattle and sold some after milking. (How’s that for romance on valentines day?!?! Such is life on the farm. We do like working together though, so all in all not so bad!) Watched our grandson for awhile at lunch time so oldest daughter could have some blood work done. He’s not been feeling good so we snuggled awhile til mom came back. Then our youngest daughter who hasn’t been feeling well went to doc this afternoon and found out she has a urinary tract infection. Got home late, so we had to eat a late dinner after evening milking.
      ;B-Blueberry donut holes from the Amish store, a treat for everyone on valentine’s day, cereal or yogurt for kids and eggs Benedict for hubs and I using up leftover Hollandaise sauce.
      L-Spinach salad with smoked chicken and lots of veggies for me, cheese grits and smoked brats for hubs and a few potatoes from brunch Sunday.
      D-Fried hand breaded tenderloin sandwiches (another treat, because I don’t make these except on special occasions.) Garden beans from the freezer and veggie dippers. For dessert I made a pan of homemade brownies with raspberry chocolate mini cups in them quick before doc app., made hot fudge sauce while frying tenderloins, made brownie sundaes out of all it with some white chocolate raspberry chip ice cream. Delicious! Everyone agreed it was a great valentine’s treat for mom not having much time. I usually make a decadent dessert for holidays. Oh well, maybe next year!
      Now we’re enjoying some wine and relaxing a little:) Hope everyone had a wonderful valentine’s day!

  158. Muffins still left from breakfast to snack on. The bean soup turned out really good. We both had it for lunch. I packaged 3 containers for the freezer and saved enough for lunch tomorrow. Decided to try to organize the fridge freezer to allow for the soup to go in there. Found some things that had been in there too long so took those out to the chicken coop and filled that space with bean soup. I found some frozen bananas that I will soon be using in smoothies. There’s really not much left in my fridge but condiments and dairy so I guess I really am making a little progress.

    • Sounds like you’re making great progress! Sometimes the organizing is part of the progress! I had to wait for almost 3 weeks before I could organize my deep freeze this Challenge, and it felt so good when I did! Take it as a victory and be proud of yourself!

  159. Sunday 2/12

    Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, oven browned potatoes, bacon and toast

    Lunch – Beef enchilada wraps

    Dinner – Roast beef, potatoes and carrots

  160. its fnally becoming a pantry challenge! we have a couple weeks to go before our trip so we’ll see how far we can go. we spent the weekend out and about, so it was no cooking, leftovers, snacky foods kind of 2 days.

  161. Stephanie M. says:

    Sunday:

    B – We both had oatmeal; hubby had brown sugar and I had blueberries

    L – Hubby had leftover appetizers, crackers, cheese, pepperoni, and a few slices of roast beef crostini; I had a salad

    D – Hubby had leftover chicken parmesan, macaroni, and salad; I had turkey, birdseye winter squash, and salad

  162. Stephanie M. says:

    Hi everyone:

    Well, the party is over. We had a wonderful time and everyone told me that they had an awesome time so I’m happy. We watched the slide show of Paul’s trip to Peru with our daughter in early December during “cocktail hour”. It was during that time that I kept bringing in the appetizers as they were done.

    Then it was on to dinner and we all enjoyed that too. Lots of talking, laughing, some music in the back ground.

    Finally, dessert; I had ordered two dozen chocolate covered strawberries from Shari’s Berries and all but 5 went. So that was good. Also I baked a raspberry cream cheese coffee cake and all but three pieces went so I put those in the freezer.

    It really was a nice evening. But like any of these dinners, as I’m sure you all agree, sometimes the planning can take a couple of months and in the days right before, it’s always busy with cleaning and prep work. We worked all day, Paul and I, in the kitchen on Saturday and in between, he was giving the bathroom a final cleaning and sweeping floors, bathing the dogs, washing their beds and all of these last minute things, and then the evening was over in five hours and it felt like it was at lightening speed.

    As far as me, I drank some wine and ate my dinner. I didn’t have my first appetizer until everyone left while I was putting things away because like Mona said, I was so busy, eating appetizers was just not something I had time to do. So I had two of the crostinis and a few pieces from the cheese and cracker platter. I ate my dinner and did not eat cake or strawberries. But I didn’t really miss those things because it’s very common for me to skip dessert.

    And now it’s time to get down to business. Paul has decided that he really would like to shed a few pounds as well so he will be joining me (mostly) on my pre diabetic lifestyle which for me, started today. But I still have to go to the nutritionist on Thursday and I’m sure she’ll set me straight on what I’m even doing wrong now. For now, until I go, it’s only guess work on my part.

    I had planned on making a macaroni and cheese casserole and had bought everything I needed to make it, so I will be making it and driving it over to my mother’s house; this way, the food doesn’t get wasted. Also, we have some snacks that I will be brining to my daughter for our grandson. The last of the Christmas cookies in the freezer are coming out today and I’m giving them to my mother as well. The hot dogs that I still have left in the freezer will be given to our daughter for our grandson too. So I will be doing a bit of purging of the freezer today and not in the way I would have liked but oh well, that’s the way it goes. I’m just so happy I didn’t do a massive shopping and stuff the entire thing with things I’m no longer going to eat. 🙂

    • Stephanie M. says:

      P.S. I sent Jessica a little note a few minutes ago; it is now 5:00 a.m. on Monday morning; I’ve already been up since 4:30. I just wanted to make sure she received my pictures because I have not heard anything back from her yet. So hopefully, you will see them very soon now.

      • Stephanie, I am so glad every thing went well for your party. There was never any doubt that you would do all you could to take care of your guests and it sounds like every one had a wonderful time. I did check in a couple times yesterday to see if Jessica had posted but thinking she probably has family time on the weekends and sets it up to send the ones she did over the weekend. Looking forward to seeing them and so glad everything worked out so well.

        • Stephanie M. says:

          Thanks Mona. It really was exactly the evening I planned. Yesterday, we already got texts and phone calls from everyone saying how much fun they had so mission accomplished!

          • Glad everything went well on Saturday – had no doubt that it would be anything but a success.

            It’s good that Paul will ‘accompany you on your journey’ to healthier eating. It’s what I’ve done with my hubby and so much easier than 2 separate meals always.

      • Stephanie I am so glad the party was a success and that everyone,including you had a good time!!
        I think there is always a letdown after a successful party cuz you work so hard planning and preparing and then it is over in a flash.

      • Stephanie–Wow! I just saw your pictures from the party at the top of the page and it is all so beautiful!!!
        You could be a professional party planner for other people. It all looks amazing!
        You are beautiful and amazing too!

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I’m so glad you were able to eat and enjoy your party. I can’t wait to see the pictures. 🙂

    • So happy it went well. I was working overtime all weekend so was really busy and did not have time/energy to check in but I thought of your party several times and couldn’t wait to get here today to look it up. Jessica has said it is usually Tuesdays that she catches up with the blog posts/emails so we may not see anything until tomorrow. I’m really glad you were able to enjoy it with your guests.

    • So glad you enjoyed your party Stephanie! It sounds like everyone had a lovely time. It does seem like when you plan a party the prep seems to take forever and it is all over in a flash. All the more reason to enjoy yourself and make memories with the guests. Also, I am so glad that Paul is going on your journey with you to get healthier. Can’t wait to see the pictures!

    • Sounds like a wonderful party! So glad you enjoyed yourself !
      Melissa in GA

    • Glad to hear your party was a success and that your husband is being so supportive.

    • I see the pictures now. Your whole set up is gorgeous! It’s really very lovely. I’m glad you went through with it and enjoyed yourself as well.

  163. didn’t go to the store and get my pepperoni , talked myself out of it for awhile until this morning when I found I was out of eggs….so store is on the list if I get time after my doc appt today.

    Found a lb of ground beef in Newbie(22 cb ft new freezer) where only veggies and fruit as supposed to be. SO I fixed Swedish meatballs since I had lb of ground pork also. Extra meatballs got split up to make other meals. Had mashed potatoes and buttered noodles and corn with the Swedish meatballs. Last night I used part of the meatballs with spaghetti squash and pasta sauce. Tonight will be hash using sausage and the roasted squash I diced up or leftover gravy from the Swedish meatballs with biscuits and eggs…if I go to store today LOL

  164. Sunday 12th

    We had intended going out for breakfast yesterday but the snow had started early mornings we stayed home, deciding to have some of the h/m sausage meat I made last week to have breakfast for dinner.

    B – fruit and yogurt

    L – cream of vegetable soup, made using l/o veg from a veg tray

    S- sausage, eggs and baked beans

  165. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Friday:
    Breakfast: I had to meet someone from the other office, so we chose Starbuck’s. I had a London Fog Latte and a scone. I didn’t really spend anything b/c I still have gift cards left from Christmas. Hubby was coming off nights, so had casserole before he went to bed.
    Lunch: Leftover black bean tortilla casserole.
    Dinner: We went out for a nice steak dinner (well, I had steak. Hubby’s tastes run more to cheese sticks, etc.).

    Saturday:
    Breakfast: We went out to a Mediterranean restaurant. I needed some more spices, so we bought those. We also bought a bag of Egyptian rice, b/c honestly, it just looked too cool not to buy.
    Lunch: We were running errands and decided at the last minute to make some food from the cooking classes we’ve taken at the Mediterranean restaurant, so we just kind of snacked. I had some popcorn and hubby had leftover cheese sticks and popcorn.
    Dinner: Mediterranean stuffed potatoes, tabuli, pita bread, and Mediterranean lentils and vegetable soup. All of it came out perfectly. We had a friend (who has also taken some of the cooking classes) over to dinner, and she agreed that it came out exactly right. We also splurged and bought a vanilla bean cake from Sam’s.

    Sunday:
    Breakfast: Leftover Mediterranean food. I know it sounds weird, but it was seriously good!
    Lunch: More leftover Mediterranean food.
    Dinner: Bacon sandwiches. Hubby had his with eggs and cheese. I had mine with avocado, tomato, and red onion. We needed to use up the eggs and veggies, so it worked well.

    We did buy ground beef at Sam’s. We don’t seem to be able to get out of Sam’s for under $100.00, but that was mostly cleaning supplies, allergy meds, and laundry detergent. The only food was the ground beef, the cake, and bell peppers that were too good of a deal not to buy.
    We also bought some fresh produce at the grocery store (potatoes, tomatoes, parsley, and lemons) for the Mediterranean food, but we did use beans and lentils we already had, so sort of successful for the PC.

    We had gorgeous weather over the weekend; we were able to open the windows Saturday and Sunday, and took the dogs to the park on Sunday. It was nice to eat fresher food while it was so pretty. It dropped over 40 degrees last night, so tonight will likely be some sort of casserole (using things up from the pantry and freezer) and this week will probably be heavy on chili and soup, so we should, hopefully, see some progress in using things up.

    • The cooking classes sound really neat! The food sounds good too! I feel like we have such a boring menu here.

      • Danielle L Zecher says:

        I love the cooking classes. I didn’t know anything about that kind of food until the restaurant opened a few years ago and she started offering classes. I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. I hate change in every other aspect of life, but I get bored (and tend to eat out more) if I don’t change up what we eat for dinner fairly often Fortunately hubby is good with most of my experimenting. 🙂

    • What is a Mediterranean stuffed potato?

      • Danielle L Zecher says:

        It’s a potato with the top cut off, about half of the inside hollowed out, and then stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, onions, and spices, then cooked in tomato sauce. It’s delicious!

        • That sounds great. Do you have a recipe?

          • Danielle L Zecher says:

            Not exactly. The spices are a mixture she blends and sells at the restaurant. I think it would probably work with whatever spices you like that go well with tomatoes, potatoes and garlic,

            You brown a chopped onion in olive oil, then add a pound of ground beef, a handful of fresh parsley, garlic, and spices, and cook until the meat is cooked all the way.

            For the potatoes, you cut the top off, and hollow out about half of the potato, then stuff that with the meat mixture (it does about 10 -12 potatoes, depending on how big they are and how much you hollow out). You then cook the potatoes in a large pot with tomato sauce. I just ran several tomatoes though the blender and added some salt and garlic. Just bring it to a boil, then turn it down to low, cover it, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are done.

        • It was the spices used that I was hoping for. Bummer. However, dinner last night was a meat thing similar to your description and I do have leftovers and had thought about stuffed baked potatoes so now I’m definitely thinking along those lines. Except for the bit about having to go buy some more potatoes first. Hmmm.

          • Danielle L Zecher says:

            I think as long as it’s well seasoned, it should be good. I sprinkled some salt over the potatoes before I stuffed them, b/c I think potatoes are pretty bland.

  166. Saturday, February 11

    Breakfast: pulled pork wraps for me. Egg, ham and cheese tortillas for hubs when he got up.

    Lunch: I was out of town for the day, and had KFC for lunch with my mom. Hubs snacked on chips and salsa. I also had a coffee with a friend.

    Dinner: it was late when I got home so we decided not to have the big dinner I’d planned. Hubs had leftover soft tacos and I had a grilled cheese sandwich, pickle and pickled egg.

    Sunday, February 12

    Breakfast: i had a cup of coffee early, but we both ate later so it was mostly lunch.

    Lunch: Chicken nachos, which used up the last of the taco meat in the freezer. It also used up the last of the salsa, so that will need to be replaced!

    Dinner: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy (gravy from Jessica’s Not Your Mother’s cookbook that I have stashed in my freezer because in my house potatoes without gravy are outlawed!) Broccoli and cauliflower for the veg.

    Snacks were popcorn and still more of the hanging on Christmas chocolate. We’re nearly done! One package of peanut M&M’s left!!

    This past week was horrible for food quality! Every day I had a meeting and at every meeting there was food provided, which was nice but not exactly the healthiest! Hopefully this week we can go back to the norm for us, which is eating home foods for lunches and eating better quality food!

  167. Busy weekend, didn’t have time to post, but we are still plugging away.

    Sat 2/11
    B – yogurt and granola for me, cereal for him – the bag of granola cereal I bought is delicious as either a bowl of cereal or as a parfait with the yogurt, but I’ve been working on it for months and will be happy to see the end of it. I forget when Costco usually gets it but I’m thinking spring time, and it comes as a 2-pack. I pick up one package when it is on sale, and it usually lasts me most of the year. I forgot about it for a while, so this one is lasting even longer than usual. Maybe I’ll skip it this year.
    L – snacky things
    D – finished off the chicken wings

    Sun 2/12
    B – ham and cheese omelet
    L – snacky things
    D – burrito bowls
    S/D – cookies

  168. Happy Monday everyone!
    Feb 12
    Breakfast–Husband had is eggs. I had 6 lemon Girl Scout cookies! They are my favorites
    Dinner was roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy and cooked carrots.
    There is a little bit of white space in the chest freezer??. The chicken and roast beef were on the bottom so when I got them out it was there!!

  169. Monday morning..left early so I could purchase license tabs before it got busy. Stopped at cash and carry thinking I could buy what I needed there and stay out of winco where I don’t seem to have any resistance. Got 50# of flour 2# of butter and 2# of sliced cheese for 17.20. Then to Walmart for lettace tomatoes and celery for 2.50 more. Hopefully I can stay out of the stores the rest of the week. Hubby fixed himself French toast while I was gone. There was a little egg mix left in the bowl so I added two fresh eggs to it steamed some apples and made myself my apple omelet with a little cinnamon. While it cooked I stirred some ground ham into the dogs dish over her dog food ( yes she is spoiled). Then stirred the rest of the ham into some beans I cooked yesterday to make burrito filling. The apple drawer is almost empty. Next I have acorn squash to use from the garage. I have chicken thawing out for dinner. Boneless skinless breasts I might make into cutlets with mashed potatoes and gravy tonight and some left for a stir fry. I was good and passed up whole fryers at 68#. It was hard but I just kept walking as I know I still have 3 in the freezer. Sometimes this willpower is hard!

  170. Actually 50 pounds of flour is my normal purchase. I bake bread every week and rarely buy mixes for anything. We have our own hens so I use fresh eggs and flour to make fresh pasta. If I have extra eggs in the fall I also make dried noodles for sale at a charity tea for Good Shepherd home of the west. A home for retarded children. Normally I make 25 to 30 pounds of dried noodles for that. I also bake bread and goodies to share with my elderly mother and mother in law as well as fresh pasta to share with my children. Normally the gift food baskets that I give will feature breads, noodles jams jelly’s and salsas that I make with our home grown items….so as you can imagine a 50 pound sack can get used up rapidly….

    • I totally get the bulk flour. I buy my baking flour in 25 lb. bags. When you bake all your bread it goes down pretty fast!

      • I’ve seen 25lb bags but did not even know you could get 50lb bags in a regular grocery store. Guess this is my new knowledge for the day!

  171. Well ladies, I feel like I have been a bad girl. I have been shopping a lot lately:( On Friday I picked up the bare necessities when I went to town for an eye appt. and I felt good about that. Only spent $28. Then on Saturday morning I read in our paper that a local grocery store was having a Happy Hour produce sale from 10-4 on Sat. All produce would ring up 50% off during those hours. So, of course I went and stocked up! I spent $44.00 which included a ton of produce and ice cream, that I probably shouldn’t have bought, but was also on a very good sale. Then my daughter asked me to go to the Amish bulk food store that I go to today. She is off work right now and wanted to go. So, long story short, a lot of my white space is filling back up! I always buy a lot of my baking supplies from the store along with honey and maple syrup that I use in granola and bread. I spent $160.00 there. So much for cutting back this month! I’m hoping to only buy the absolute bare necessities the rest of the month. We definitely have a good stock pile for awhile now. I do feel pretty good about the purchases I made because many will last for a long time, but was really enjoying the space on my frig and pantry shelves. Oh well, back to looking like I can feed a village!
    Sunday
    B-Most of us grabbed a banana quick before church, one kid had cereal
    L-Brunch after church. Made eggs Benedict for the first time. Hubby loves them, but I was always intimidated. Turned out great though! Served with fried potatoes with cabbage and strawberries purchased on the sale Saturday.
    D-Leftover pizza and more strawberries. Also enjoyed cupcakes that my sweet daughter-in-law dropped off while we were out milking.

    • Half-price produce would have enticed me into the store as well! Some stuff is just expensive and if it is something that can get frozen if push comes to shove, then yes, let’s shop! You may be stocked up right now, but at least you know you have spent the money wisely.

  172. Danielle. You can find several varieties of apple omelets on all recipes. When my children were small I used to peel and slice apples and fry them in butter adding cinnamon and brown sugar. We would eat this over everything from French toast to ice cream. Later on I would serve it beside scrambled eggs. Over the years I have tried to get away from bread so now when I make the omelet for myself I do it this way. Slice apples and microwave them till somewhat tender. Sometimes I peel them sometimes I don’t. I preheat a nonstick skillet. When the apples are done I drain off any apple juice and whip it with two eggs. Pour that into a nonstick skillet and cook it like a pancake. When it is almost done pour the cooked apples in the center. Dust with cinnamon and fold the omelet over. Normally I don’t add sweetener but occasionally I will use a little brown sugar if I am making this for someone else. Using a nonstick skillet without butter or added sweetener this huge breakfast comes in at around 300 calories and keeps me going for hours. Enjoy!

    • “Apple omelet” sounds okay, but the description actually sounds really yummy. I think I’ll be trying this one soon. I know microwaves vary, but about how long does it take to be appropriately softened?

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      Thanks for the recipe! That sounds good, and I have some apples that need to be used soon. Does any type of apple work?

  173. My microwave is just 1000 watts. In that microwave it takes 5 to 6 minutes

  174. Sat. 2/11/17

    B: The usual.

    L: PB/apple butter sandwiches (we bought two cases of apples in the fall, so we’ve got lots of apple butter and apple sauce), cantaloupe, applesauce, carrot and celery sticks w/ ranch.

    D: Son was at a friend’s house and ate there. Hubs and I took the opportunity to have an impromptu date and went to a local mom and pop Mexican place we like.

    S/D: Trail mix, cookies.

    Sun. 2/12/17

    B: The guys had the usual. I didn’t eat anything so we could get to church on time.

    L: Burgers out.

    D: Hodgepodge (PB/AB sands, PB toast, yogurt w/ cranberry-orange compote, cantaloupe, the last clementine, trail mix).

    S/D: Cookies

    Mon. 2/13/17

    B: The usual.

    L: Hubs ate at work. Son (off from school) and I had PB/AB sands, the last of the cantaloupe, carrot and celery sticks w/ ranch, yogurt w/ compote.

    D: Lentil chili from the freezer, toast, salad, pear and orange slices.

    S/D: Girl Scout cookies.

    Our fresh produce bins are nearly empty, but I feel good that we’ve actually been getting through it.

    Pressing on!

  175. Feb 13
    Breakfast was the usual for us both.
    Dinner was leftover roast beef shredded for BBQ beef sandwiches with french fries and roasted broccoli and cauliflower.
    The roast, broccoli and french fries came out of the freezers

    You guys need to check out Stephanie’s pictures at the top of this page! She is beautiful and her party preparations are totally awesome!!

  176. Monday, February 13

    Family Day here in BC so I had a blessed day off of work! I love me a long weekend!!

    Breakfast: bacon sandwich and some left over mashed potatoes and gravy for me, along with a cup of hot chocolate. Egg, ham and cheese tortillas for hubs.

    Lunch: hubs ate late when he woke up, around 11, so no lunch for him. I had a pulled pork caesar wrap. We walked to the 7-11 for a slurpee in this beautiful, unseasonably warm February day! Hubs had some veggies and dip around 3:45pm for a snack.

    Dinner: Alfredo pasta using the last jar of Alfredo sauce from the pantry, with cubed ham and peas in it. Turned out very tasty!

    Slowly working through the giant cannister of mixed short pasta in our pantry. I’m slowly switching us over to whole wheat pasta, and last year I tossed all of the odds and ends bags of short pasta into one container. There’s some whole wheat in there, but once this container is gone then it’ll be whole wheat all the way. Dinner also used one bag of frozen cubed ham from the freezer, which leaves only 2 left. I was glad to see the last of the jarred Alfredo sauce gone, as we definitely prefer homemade once I started making Jessica’s recipe a few months ago.

    Need to make a store stop tomorrow, as we have run out of salsa and hubby is grumbling! I’ll also need to pick up ketchup, lettuce, margarine and coffee creamer for home and work.

  177. Stephanie, those photos are beautiful! What an amazing table you set for your dear friends. They are lucky to have the blessing of your friendship! You truly have a gift, and the love and care that you put into that dinner really shows how valuable your friends are to you. Thank you so much for sharing your memorable party with us fellow Challengers, and for blessing us all with your happiness, enthusiasm and friendship!

  178. Stephanie M. says:

    Monday:

    B – Hubby had pancakes; I had one poached egg on top of French style green beans with 2 TBS salsa

    L – Hubby had leftover crackers and cheese from the party; I had 3 oz. turkey and salad

    D – We had stir fry with chicken sausage, broccoli, red and green bell peppers, carrots, celery, garlic and scallions over brown rice

    How were those meals of mine for not yet seeing the nutritionist? I am portioning the food and using my old weight watchers scale

    • Stephanie, The pictures are absolutely beautiful as are you! No wonder every one enjoys your get togethers so much. Thank you again for the pictures

    • Your pictures are gorgeous, Stephanie. The table looks wonderful. No who deer friends love to co e for dinner.

      I’m really glad to see that you are taking care of yourself and not skipping meals.

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      Your pictures look great. I love how you set the table. The black and white are just perfect to keep the pinks and reds from being too much. And your gift baskets look awesome.

      Glad you’re eating and taking care of yourself.

    • Great job Stephanie on your meals. You can do this!
      Again your pictures are beautiful!!

    • Love the pictures! Your table looks lovely!! I really like the black to set everything off. I would think your guests feel very special at your house. I also love that I have a face to put with your name. Your meals sound very nutritious to me. Keep it up!

    • Lynn from NC Outer Banks says:

      Stephanie, I’ve been a “lurker” during the challenge but wanted to reply to you. It will be good once you meet with the nutritionist on Thur. so you will have the information you need. We’ll all be thinking of you. Your Weight Watcher info should stand you in good stead. The meals you’ve been eating sound nutritious and good.

      I had to comment on your lovely, lovely table, the lovely YOU and those delicious looking baskets. When I read the description of your table the other day, it encouraged me to “up my game” for dinner with my husband tonight. I did some layering myself and was quite pleased with my table scape, though not as elaborate and festive as yours. Thank you for the inspiration. You obviously have quite a talent and VERY lucky friends!!

      Jessica, thank you for sharing the pictures and for continuing to allow this group to share PC experiences and other thoughts. And by the way, I am finally starting to see some white space in my refrigerator’s freezer and my chest freezer. Like others, it’s just two of us and eating down the stock pile is definitely slow going but I’m finally starting to see some progress. Happy Valentine’s day to all.

  179. Monday 2/13

    Breakfast – Oatmeal

    Lunch – Tomato soup w/crackers

    Dinner – Baked chicken thighs, cabbage & noodles, green beans

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you all

  180. Monday 13th

    B – fruit, yogurt and granola for hubby, granola for me

    L – egg salad for hubby, salmon salad for me

    S – beef and mushroom casserole from the freezer, carrots and roast parsnip.

    I made a big batch of granola for us this w/e using oatmeal that was in the pantry. Also used up some dates and apricots that had been around for a while. The parsnip we had at supper had been in the fridge for a while too!! The salmon I had at lunch was leftover from a couple of days ago so altogether, it was a good day for the PC – lots of empty space in the fridge.

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      How do you cook parsnip? Actually, what do you look for when you buy parsnip? I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one, and I know I’ve never prepared one.

      • Parsnip want to be quite firm when you buy them – they do keep in the fridge for a while tho. Peel them like you would a carrot. If they are big, the centre core can be tough and I cut it out – with small ones you don’t need to do that. Once they are cut in half or quarters lengthways, I roast them like I would potatoes. Personally I put them in a large plastic bag with a tiny bit of oil – whatever you have works – and then unto a dish and then into a fairly hot oven. They cook quicker than potatoes and are slightly sweet. I’ve also boiled them in with potatoes and mashed them together! I’m sure if you Google parsnips, there are lots of ideas out there

  181. Stephanie. You and your table are both gorgeous. You looked so happy I’m so pleased that you went ahead with the dinner. I can see you are making good choices with your meals. Prayers for your continued journey to good health.
    Yesterday hubby fixed himself French toast. I had my apple omelet. Lunch ham and bean burrito with sour cream and salsa.accompanied by a green salad. Dinner was chicken teriyaki stir fry with mandarin oranges. Still have boneless skinless breasts to use. Hubby wants to make some into buffalo nuggets and some will be chicken cutlets. I was thinking of chicken cordon blue but I have neither the swiss cheese or the thinly sliced ham. I might try Monterey jack cheese with a parmesan crust…or not.
    My veggie drawers are nearly empty. I didn’t think I would ever see the bottom of the apple box. Today since there is so much empty space there I plan to pull out the bins to wash them and do a good scrub underneath…I’ll take progress however it comes and that cleaning will make me feel good.

  182. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

    Mon 2/13
    B – apple strudel

    L – chili dog bowls – I had some bean chili but did not think it was enough for the both of us for a meal so I diced up some hot dogs and threw them in as well. There was more chili than dog and there was no bun, so he called them “chili dog bowls” which sounded better at the time than it does when I read it in print.

    D – mushroom and beef something-or-other – I did not have a recipe, I just cooked up some onions, mushrooms, ground beef, and seasonings then threw in some leftover tomato paste and sauce and let it all simmer and bubble for a bit then served over some brown rice. I was planning to do the jalapeno beef bake Sandy shared but found out that it must be a blue moon because this house is almost out of cheese! I have some mozzarella, grated parmesan, and cinnamon cranberry goat cheese but none of those seemed appropriate, and then I have just enough scraps left of assorted cheddars and goudas for the mac and cheese I planned for tomorrow’s dinner. That left none for the beef bake so did a plan B. It was probably for the best anyway as the mushrooms are starting to soften and I needed to use those tomato products since they were opened. It turned out to be an “eh, we ate and aren’t hungry now but it wasn’t worth making again” kind of meal. Ah well. Except we have leftovers.

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      Apple strudel sounds nice! Do you make it homemade? And do you have a recipe?

      I had to laugh at the idea of cinnamon cranberry goat cheese in a jalapeno beef bake. Shortly after my husband and I were married my mom made some kind of cornbread bake, but wasn’t paying attention, and grabbed some kind of apple cinnamon muffin mix instead of a cornbread mix. My dad and I took one bite and didn’t finish, but my husband ate it, and swore it was good. My mom adores him anyway, but I think that really sealed the deal.

      • Sorry, those came from Costco. I split a package with someone who did not want/need all 8 of them but really did want some when they were on sale. Some people love them, I think they are just okay. There is not a whole lot of the apple part, mostly pastry, and I’d like it a whole lot better if they doubled the apple.

        Sounds like your husband is a wise man!

  183. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Monday (2/13/17)

    Breakfast: We both took instant oatmeal to work.
    Lunch: Leftover Mediterranean food. I also took some to work for my boss to try.
    Dinner: A veggie pasta dish that came out really well. I used squash, red onion, some spinach from the freezer (that had been falling out every time we opened the door, so that problem is solved now!), olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, canned tomatoes (still working to put a dent in that supply) corkscrew pasta, and a little cream. It was delicious! Nick opened the door talking about how good it smelled, and said he hoped I wrote down what I did.

    While I had the cutting board out, I chopped all of the veggies for tonight’s chicken noodle soup, so I’d just be able to throw everything in the Crock Pot this morning.

    I also made a batch of strawberry cupcakes (from a mix). I took over half of them to work this morning. A few people from work were dropping some “subtle” hints for Valentine’s Day treats. I had some cute heart muffin liners, so it got some of those used up as well.

    I also made a batch of baked banana chocolate chip oatmeal for Nick for breakfasts for the week, and a batch of blackberry baked oatmeal for breakfasts for the week.

    I did do some grocery shopping yesterday, and spent more than I meant to, but I feel mostly good about what I bought. I spent about $46.00 at Harris Teeter, but that included a Valentine’s Day card, and some Guiness beer for some beef stew I’m planning to make later. They had a really good sale on the 93% lean ground beef, and we eat a lot of ground beef, so I couldn’t walk past that. I also bought coconut water, per Sandi’s suggestion. I got one each of three different brands to see which one I like. They weren’t cold, so I haven’t tried any of them yet.

    I also went to Aldi for some produce and dairy, and spent around $38.00. They had the plain unseasoned pork tenderloins, so I also bought a couple of those. I hadn’t really planned to, but they’re kind of hard to find, and they have the best price by far on them.

    We needed the dairy stuff and produce, so I don’t feel about that, and I don’t feel too bad about the meats, since they were at a good price.

  184. Monday:
    B-kids had cereal and bananas, hubs had meat grits on homemade bread and banana and I had dippy egg with toast and a banana
    L-Leftovers, jambalaya and green beans
    D-Meatloaf, garlic parmesan smashed potatoes and salad
    S-Candy from the Amish store (The peeps would be upset if I didn’t bring home treats from there)

  185. Hey everyone!
    Stephanie! Your pictures are so beautiful ! So glad your party was a great success 🙂
    2/12
    B – cheese grits w/bacon
    L – buffalo chicken dip w/tortilla chips and LO lil smokies from SB Sunday from the freezer
    D – grilled filet and steamed broccoli (and a few asparagus I found in my garden, yeah it’s been warm here!)
    Dessert – brownies
    S – fruit, cookies, chocolate
    2/13
    B – hubs had a toasted English muffin w/butter & jam and we both had cut fruit
    L – I had an Italian chopped salad, hubs is on the road
    D – chicken taco salad
    Dessert – brownie & chocolate covered strawberry (Sherrie’s berries from my Valentine)
    S – popcorn (while I watched the finale of HBOs The Young Pope)
    Went to the Vet yesterday morning as I had found worms in Ginny’s stool on Sunday. Got her dewormer and monthly heart guard while I was there. He said she’s healing well and in good health. She doesn’t like getting in the car but did ok on the ride. She’s a sweetie and all the girls in the vet office loved her. I have been invited to a friends for dinner tonight so her 2nd test in the kennel for a short period. She also has a grooming appointment tomorrow – I will drive w/a friend to a nearby town to shop at Kroger.
    I’m plugging along with the challenge and made the decision to pass on a couple sales this week because I just don’t need to add to the freezer or my waistline. I have put on 8lbs that I need to start working off – no thx to Valentines this week, lol!
    Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
    Melissa in GA

  186. Stephanie M. says:

    Tuesday:

    B – Hubby had cereal and a banana; I had bran cereal with blueberries

    L – Hubby had some more of the crackers and cheese left over from the party; I had 3 oz. roast turkey and a salad

    D – We both had grilled tuna and broccolini but hubby also had some of the leftover brown rice from last night and rather than have that, I had some green beans with it. (I didn’t know if I should have rice even brown rice for two days in a row. So happy I’m going to the nutritionist on Thursday) OR maybe I won’t be happy when I’m done seeing her. LOL

    I’m still hungry!!!!!!! 🙁 LOL

    • Glad to hear you are able to get in to see the nutritionist tomorrow! I saw my family member recently and has gotten good insight on how to eat now that diabetes is a constant with every morsel of food injested. Has to count carbs…60 carbs per meal, insulin 5 minutes prior to eat meal and at bedtime. In time will learn more…. if carbs increase, how to increase/adjust insulin. Found the session very, very informative and helpful! Hope you’ll come away happy!

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Me too, Felicia. I’m doing the best I can considering I’m not sure what I’m doing. I was on weight watchers for years and I still have my food scale so I’ve been weighing my meat portions and putting my veggie and fruit portions into measuring cups. That part is not foreign to me since I did it with weight watchers. I’m just not sure about the carbs. So I’ve been winging it. I haven’t had a piece of bread, crackers, cookies, any sweets at all, wine, nothing. I just have to learn how to count carbs and see what I can eat and when I can eat it. I’m feeling better about all of this but I have to say, I haven’t packed in these many veggies a day in a long time. We eat them everyday with dinner but I’m eating so much of it now. I’m not complaining; I love veggies. I even threw my mints out. I’m hoping when she sees my menu diary that she asked me to keep this week, that I find out I’m on the right path. LOL

        • Stephanie, the table and you are GORGEOUS!!!!! I’m super glad everyone enjoyed themselves after all the love that went into the prep work and the food.

          Keep us posted on your consultation tomorrow. In lieu of pasta, I made spaghetti squash for my family member and it was a big hit. My family member has an appt tomorrow as well. Will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers!

          • Stephanie M. says:

            Thank you so much Pat. We really had a good time. I will let everyone know what happened at the nutritionist as soon as I see her. 🙂

  187. Happy Valentine’s day! Regular breakfast for us. Lunch was special. I made chicken fried chicken cutlets with milk gravy. Had rice and buttered green peas and brownies. Will just snack for dinner. I celebrated with a nice nap this afternoon. There was leftovers that I saved to make fried rice. Everything was from freezer and pantry. Am thawing out a container of frozen beef and glazed onions that will be the base for a soup or stew.

  188. Stephanie M. says:

    Hello everyone and Happy Valentine’s Day!! I hope you’re all doing something nice with your loved ones tonight or over the coming weekend. Whether it’s going out to a nice restaurant or some other date night or cuddling up on the couch, it’s all good. As for Paul and I, we will be celebrating on Saturday night. My plan is a simple surprise for him. Last year, one night, while we were going through the TV channels, we came upon a movie on AMC called “Picnic”. Neither one of us had seen it before but it grabbed our attention. We did not see it from the beginning but we enjoyed it so much that the next day, I ran out and bought it. I wonder if any one of you knows this movie. For anyone that doesn’t it’s about a Labor Day picnic in a town in Kansas and it’s got some really funny scenes in it. The movie is from 1955 and both Paul and I enjoy a nice old movie. All the women come to the picnic in their dresses and it’s a lot of fun. Anyway, I decided that I wanted to surprise Paul with an indoor picnic. In the summertime, Paul and I go on many picnics all over. I grab my basket and he takes his cooler and we find some pretty lake or beautiful area somewhere. We could picnic our way across the whole summer. LOL So, on Saturday night, I’m going to set up my wicker picnic basket on the couch in the den and put my green and white checked picnic table cloth on the coffee table. And to keep everything simple, I’m not going to cook. I’m going to my local grocery store and buying a few pieces of already cooked fried chicken from the cooked foods section and some potato salad from the deli and I will make some baked beans. I will also be picking up some watermelon. Now I realize this is NOT anything I should eat BUT I am being so careful this week of what I’m eating and will follow the nutritionists advice to the best of my ability. I am not making light of this pre diabetic issue. I am taking it very seriously. But I think maybe once in a while, I can have one cheat day. Going forward, I will not be having a cheat day once a week. It will really be once in a while but between our party and this Saturday night just for us came only one week apart, I’m not going to worry about it too much especially since I’m being very cognizant of what I’m eating. That said, while we eat, we will be watching that old movie in our jammies. LOL

    Now it is time for me to thank each and every one of you for the beautiful compliments and wonderful feedback. I am so pleased and happy that you liked my table. Having dinner parties and a once a year big BBQ in the summer is something we really enjoy. It makes me feel so good when I can make my friends, family, and everyone in between happy with a nice evening or a nice day at a BBQ. I am a people pleaser and when I know that anyone who has come to our home and walked out happy, then I am happy too.

    Thank you again for all the wonderful things you said. You have no idea how much that means to me. Love you all!! 🙂

    • Stephanie–your indoor picnic sounds lovely. Cheat days will happen and you shouldn’t feel bad about them, especially now before you talk to the nutritionist. Like someone said before–this health issue is going to take time to get better.
      We will all be here cheering you on!!!

    • Stephanie, sounds like another perfect weekend for you and Paul. Our Valentine Day wasn’t too exciting since I have been battling a sinus infection and made it to the Dr’s yesterday. Hubby was upset with me (I pulled a Stephanie) because I just could not eat any thing yesterday and still feel like the last thing I want is to put any food in my mouth. Did start the pills yesterday so hopefully by later today I’ll feel like at least eating a piece of toast. Okay I’m done whining.
      Can’t wait to hear all about your picnic. So glad you are doing so good with this change. You are very strong and get through any thing that is thrown at you. Some times when these things happen we find out it is better than what we always have done since change just seems so hard as we get “older”. What was that old saying “I am woman hear me roar” You go girl!

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Mona, you are so funny!! You pulled a Stephanie. That’s hysterical! You certainly know me. But I’m happy to say I haven’t skipped one meal since I found out about this. Eating breakfast is a little hard because I can’t eat as soon as I open my eyes. Paul can (with one eye still closed!) LOL So I usually eat around 9:00 but by then I’m already up for over three hours. I get up around 5:30 everyday; I don’t work, I just wake up before Paul leaves.

        Anyway, I’m sorry to hear about your sinus infection. They are the pits. I’ve had them before and they make you feel miserable. But the medication will kick in right away and you’ll feel better very, very soon.

        As for the picnic on Saturday, I’ve thought better of it since I posted last night and rather than get fried chicken and potato salad and make baked beans, I will just ask Paul to grill some chicken and make a red kidney bean salad with it. I’m already at the point now where I would feel guilty if I did it the other way. You are right though, change is always hard but it is what it is and I don’t have a choice. So onwards. Thanks for the cheerleading! I appreciate that! 🙂 Feel better, my friend!!!!

        • Stephanie, probably doesn’t matter what you eat (well I guess it does now) as long as you eat what you are supposed to and are with your sweetie. Enjoy your date night!

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      Your indoor picnic sounds lovely. 🙂 We love old movies too, so I think we’ll look for that one on Prime.

      Nick is working 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. this week, so our Valentine’s Day was pretty low key, though we did treat the dogs to a cupcake last night. I think we’re counting last weekend as our Valentine’s celebration; we went out for a nice dinner Friday night, and then cooked a nice meal together on Saturday. Nick is on call this weekend, and experience has taught me not to even think about planning anything.

      We’ve just never really been huge into Valentine’s Day. I know it sounds a little cheesy, but our dog Emma’s birthday was 2/15, and we always made a big deal of it – doggie cupcakes, treats for the cats, and new toys for Emma and Duke. It always kind of trumped Valentine’s Day for us. She died in April, so this year has been a little hard and weird. My goal for today is not to cry.

      I brought cupcakes to work yesterday, and they were a big success. It was amusing to see the guys in my office walking around with pink cupcakes. 🙂

      • Stephanie M. says:

        It is not “cheesy” at all Danielle. We love our dogs and cat too and spoil them rotten. And when the mood hits me, I bake dog cookies for the dogs. They and our cat also get Christmas and birthday presents. They way I see it, they are someone too. And I’m very understanding how upset your are over the loss of Emma. It is always very hard to lose our pets. They are a huge part of the family that continuously bring us joy and ask for nothing but a warm place to sleep and some affection. Luckily you have another dog and cats to keep you busy and for you to love. If you need to cry, then cry. Tomorrow is another day.

        As for the movie, if you can find it, try to watch it. It is in color. William Holden is in it. It’s a wonderful, quirky, funny movie. And it’s very refreshing to see when there’s so many shows on TV that are all full of crime and violence. You can actually go to the computer and type in “Picnic movie” and it will come up so that you can read a little about it and also there are some trailers to watch.

        It has been my experience that when there’s food around, even pink cupcakes, guys are color blind and eat everything no matter what. LOL

        • Danielle L Zecher says:

          Thank you. I only cried once yesterday, when Facebook showed me pictures of her past birthdays in the “you have memories” thing. We were really busy at work yesterday, so I think that helped too, and you’re definitely right that it helps to have the other pets. 🙂

          The guys in my office are definitely color blind when it comes to treats. I”m the only one who ever brings in anything homemade, so they’re usually pretty excited.

          If Nick doesn’t get called in this weekend, I think I may see if he wants to see if we can find Picnic on Prime.

          • Stephanie M. says:

            Let me know if you watch it and what you think. I just loved the movie from the moment I started watching it but as I said when we started it was already half way through and so I bought a copy. Hopefully Nick will be home and you can watch it together. 🙂 I made a mistake though. I said I saw it on AMC but it was really Turner Classic Network where they have all old movies.

  189. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your day with those you love!
    Breakfast for hub’s was his eggs. I skipped.
    Today is our oldest daughter’s birthday so we had a birthday lunch for her. I have 3 biological children and they all have holiday birthdays. I have a Valentine baby. My son was born on St Nicholas and my second daughter was born on St Patrick’s Day. They were all early.
    Dinner was the crockpot chicken with leftover mashed potatoes and veggies from the past couple of days.
    Dessert was strawberry hello with bananas

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      That’s kind of neat that all of your kids have holiday birthdays. I’m glad you still did something for your daughter’s birthday yesterday. Hubby is a Christmas Eve baby, so I worry about his birthday getting ignored. His mom always did a great job keeping it a separate celebration, and I try to as well. The bakery looks at you like you’re insane when you order a Star Trek themed cake to pick up on Christmas Eve! 🙂

      • Stephanie M. says:

        My birthday is on Christmas Eve too! The problem I always have is that I have Christmas Eve at my house so I’m doing all the cooking, serving, and cleaning up. It’s only recently that it started bothering me. We celebrate all the birthdays with a nice dinner here or we go out. Unfortunately, I don’t get that. On Christmas Eve here, everyone comes in says Happy Birthday and that’s it. The evening moves on. Thankfully, Paul does almost everything himself and always insists that I do nothing but it’s hard for me to sit down and watch him do all the work. This year, he said we’re going to celebrate my birthday on a different day.

        • Danielle L Zecher says:

          Nick and I have been together nine years, and he has had to work more of his birthdays then he has had off in that time. Years ago, he got a two hour lunch break, and we’d have a little party at lunch. Everyone was very aware of his schedule, so always showed up on time. I’d make sure to have everything ready on time, and we’d have a little lunch party. The perk for Nick was that he wasn’t around for the prep or cleanup. 🙂

          Once or twice we’ve done it as a dinner on Christmas Eve. I always make chili (his favorite), usually two different kinds, and I really think most of the people who come have started to associate chili with Nick’s birthday.

          Most of the time, though, I think we’ve just picked the closest weekend that he has off and had his birthday dinner then. For his 30th, we had it at an Italian restaurant, and had it between Christmas and New Year. It was kind of great because the restaurant said they’d already had all of the Christmas parties that were booked, so they let me pick the room, and were incredibly nice and helpful.

          You might like celebrating on a different day.

      • My children are all adults now but when the girls were kids we did birthday dinners on a different day usually. She picked Valentine’s Day for her lunch this year. With my son with the St Nicholas birthday I always waited until after his birthday to decorate for Christmas and did not combine birthday and Christmas presents

  190. Tuesday 2/14

    Breakfast – Hubby had oatmeal

    Lunch – Hubby had last of the Enchilada meat in a wrap

    Dinner – Hubby had Bowtie pasta w/ salmon, pesto & peas

    • Stephanie M. says:

      Hubby had some really delicious meals yesterday. But your meals always look so good. Sometimes, I take my cues from you and cook what you cook because they sound so awesome. But today you need to eat too and I hope that you are feeling well enough to eat something.

      • Stephanie, hoping today is the beginning of getting rid of this sinus infection. It really took me down and hoping today I can be a real girl and eat at least a little bit of real food.

        • Stephanie M. says:

          I hope you can feel good enough to eat something today. Even if you have a few light meals, try to eat.
          Hoping you feel much better by the end of today as the medication kicks in.

          • Yea, I told hubby that I must really not feel well cause the one thing I hardly ever do is skip a meal, even if I have to eat it on the run but this one knocked me down. But will do what I can to eat some thing today so I can start feeling normal. I just have been shocked that I have had no appetite, that doesn’t happen too often. lol

        • Danielle L Zecher says:

          I hope you’re feeling better today.

  191. Tuesday 14th

    My poor hubby was left in his own for Valentine’s day dinner. A while ago I was asked to curl for someone going on vacation for the first 2 Tuesdays in February. No problem, I said. Then last week I cancelled a doctor’s appointment because I didn’t want to drive in freezing rain. The next available time was 4pm yesterday. So far, not the best but OK. Until I got to the doctor’s office yesterday and he was running behind time because he had had an emergency that needed him to be at the local hospital for a chunk of the afternoon. The office had called and left a message, asking me to reschedule – but I wasn’t at home at all in the afternoon to get the message. So by the time I was done there I just had time to grab some fast food and let hubby know I wouldn’t be home until late – at which he promised to have dessert waiting for me when I got home!

    B – fruit yogurt and granola for hubby, yogurt and a muffin for me

    L – tuna and egg salads

    S – liver and minions, potato and peas for hubby, burger for me

    Dessert – apple blossoms and Haagen-Dazs ice cream – what a sweet heart!

  192. Enjoyed my valentines day with my fella. We didn’t do anything special since we agreed when we got married that we didn’t need gifts. I made us a big lunch with pounded chicken breasts that I breaded chicken fry style. I haven’t done that in years since I so rarely fry anything. They looked like such big portions that neither of us was able to finish. Hmmm maybe that is the answer to portion control! Pound it thin and then don’t finish the piece. The dog was loving me with her eyes although she never whines….it still makes me feel guilty. I cut up the rest of my piece and fed it to her. Saved the rest of Hubby’s piece for fried rice. Cooked another danish squash and put it in a small square freezer container. The chickens got the rind. They are laying 3 eggs most days now. I think my winter of buying eggs is over. The snow is mostly melted now. The chickens are free ranging all day. Hopefully I can start cutting down on the chicken scratch. Animal food really takes a bite out of my grocery money. Hubby and I are discussing garden plans. He says he is going to help me this year…yea! The garden is 30 by 120. Besides the fruit trees. Every year I start out well and then later I get hopelessly behind. Last year was especially bad since I had two eye surgeries and wasn’t allowed outside for 6 weeks. This year promises to be a better year! Anyway it feels good to be making plans!

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I love that you shared the chicken with your dog. We let our dogs split a cupcake last night. It took them about 3 seconds to devour, so I’m assuming that means they liked it.

      Your garden sounds impressive. Ours is much smaller than that, and I usually get behind every year.

      • That is a huge garden Terry. We have 2 separate garden areas that are probably about 30 x 30. One of them is mostly fruit which is part of the reason I have so many raspberries in my freezer!!!
        Normally we vacation in March so are unable to seriously look at starting anything like tomatoes and peppers from seed. However, this year we cannot get away because of hubby’s surgery so I think we’ll try seeds again. It’s been a while but am looking forward to it. We are also making fruit and vegetables a much bigger part of our diet so it should be good for the budget too. I love working in the dirt during the good weather.

  193. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Tuesday (2/14/17)

    Breakfast: Banana Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal for Nick, Blackberry Baked Oatmeal for me.

    Lunch: Leftover veggie pasta for both of us.

    Dinner: Chicken and Rice Soup (cooked all day in the Crock Pot, the house smelled amazing when I got home), and cheese and crackers. Strawberry cupcakes for dessert. We also treated the dogs to a cupcake to share since it was a holiday.

    I was so glad to have dinner almost ready when I got home. I had acupuncture after work, and they were running behind, so I got home later than expected. I try to have dinner ready the minute Nick walks in the door when he’s on days, so he can go to bed at a decent time. We’re both happier when he gets enough sleep. It was nice to just put the rice in the microwave while I fed the pets, and be able to eat as soon as Nick came in.

  194. Been away from my ktichen for about a week visiting family for birthdays. Catching up reading all your posts! Sounds like everyone had a lovely V-Day yesterday! Me too!

    Glad Stephanie’s party went well! I can’t see the photos yet but I’ll keep looking.

    I should be back in my own kitchen soon!

  195. Wednesday – 2/15/17

    Breakfast – 2 slices banana bread and hot tea

    Lunch – leftover kielbasa, green peppers and tomatoes

    Snack – Dairy Queen mini ice cream

    Dinner – Barber Seafood Stuffed Chicken breast from the freezer (yay!!!), finished tomatoes, spaghetti with a can of SNOW’s clam sauce.

    Back to eating down the pantry for the next few weeks before our next road trip!

  196. Monday left over chicken Parmesan ,green salad garlic bread cannoli
    Dinner was Arby’s Jr. Roast beef I was still tired from Sunday
    Tuesday happy Valentine’s Day. Enjoyed steak ,asparagus(frozen last May) salad , I sautéed mushroom that were looking a little sad and put them on the steaks and then I sprinkled Gorgonzola cheese on top boy were they good
    Trivia night our team took first yeah! Shared a sandwich at the pub we had a coupon. Was a great Valentine’s Day.
    Today we cleaned up leftover finely everything is used up except for some spaghetti sauce with ground beef.
    still have a lot of good food in the freezers but at least I can see some decrease happening yeah! I am pretty happy with my spending so far hope the second half of the month goes as well.

  197. Finishing up leftovers today. Stirfry is done. Burrito filling is done. The last of the cooked potatoes are used and the last of the chicken breasts are decided between chicken soup and some marinading to make buffalo chicken. Two more small pumpkins have been cooked and scraped into freezer containers. Took chicken stock out of the freezer and carrots celery and onions from the veggie drawer. There is still some rice and peas to split between the chicken soup and a batch of fried rice. There’s a little space now in my fridge freezer and nothing fell out on the floor when I opened the door….progress!

  198. Feb 15
    Breakfast was the usual
    Dinner was homemade mac and cheese with the last package of hot dogs from the freezer. I snuck some grated zucchini in it.

  199. Stephanie M. says:

    Wednesday:

    B – Hubby had cereal; I had oatmeal with blueberries

    L – Hubby had a roast beef sandwich using up some sliced roast beef I had in the freezer; I had the leftover stir fry from the other night

    D – We had grilled pork chops and salad; hubby also had the last of the leftover brown rice

  200. Wednesday – 2/15

    Breakfast – We both had oatmeal

    Lunch – Hubby had a sandwich

    Dinner – Hubby had leftovers

    Evening – I had more oatmeal

    Actually woke up feeling better this morning so hopefully on the road to recovery

  201. Tues 2/14
    B – Donuts! I haven’t bought donuts in ages, probably a couple of years, but yesterday I was passing a local place that makes them from scratch every day and I’ve heard rave reviews so I picked up a couple as a V-day treat. They really were good but I’m not going to make a habit of getting them. I want to lose weight not add to it.
    L – not sure what he did, I ended up just having some tortilla chips
    D – baked ribs, homemade mac & cheese, Caesar salad – this is pretty much his favorite meal, so he was ecstatic, especially since there are leftovers

    Wed 2/15
    B – finished donuts
    L – I had pizza, he had L/O ribs
    D – spicy noodle soup

  202. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Wednesday (2/15/17)

    Breakfast: I had baked blackberry oatmeal and Earl Grey tea. Nick took baked banana chocolate chip oatmeal to work.

    Lunch: We both had leftover chicken and rice soup. I had cheese and crackers with mine (not sure if Nick took any cheese and crackers to work).

    Dinner: Chili with macaroni noodles. Nick was ecstatic when he came home and realized what I was making. It used up a few cans of beans and tomatoes and some homemade pinto beans from the freezer, so that was a plus. I also had some leftover vanilla bean. Nick opted for more chili for his dessert. I really need to make it more often since it makes him so happy.

  203. Wednesday 15th

    B – grapefruit and yogurt for hubby,, yogurt and a muffin for me

    L – tuna and egg salad (again)

    S – friends came to join us. Turkey with all the trimmings, yogurt and bluberries for dessert.

  204. Made chicken soup with the last two chicken breasts, frozen stock and some veggies from the fridge. I’m excited to see some space coming in my fridge freezer. This morning I took a package of pumpkin spice coffee out that I bought discounted after Christmas. Found a recipe online for paleo pumpkin muffins requiring no oil so I made those for breakfast cutting down the sweetener called for and throwing in a hand full of pumpkin chips…..we’ll have fried rice for lunch and likely chicken soup with grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Not much cooking to do today. I will likely microwave a couple more danish squash and process them for the freezer. My chickens are delighted to get the seeds and shells

  205. Breakfast cereal juice and English muffin
    Chicken bacon club sandwich for hubby cake and ice cream I had chicken Caesar salad
    Dinner will be leftover spaghetti sauce and noodles

  206. Sounds like everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day. It was just me and the doggies. All the talk about gardens is making me want fresh veggies. Hubs says we are going to lay out where we want the garden this weekend. I also want to find a nice spot for strawberries. I already have blueberries, fruit trees and muscadine grapes.
    2/14
    B – 2 graham crackers w/PB and a banana
    L – egg salad on a slice of wheat bread and a brownie
    D – Invited to a friend’s for grilled wings, I took homemade blue cheese dip
    Dessert – chocolate covered strawberry
    S – chips and salsa
    2/15
    B – strawberries & blueberries and a KIND bar
    L – out w/ friend while shopping
    D – hubs returned & we were invited to dinner at a friend’s
    Dessert – chocolate covered strawberries
    S – chips
    Found some marked down dark chocolate at WalMart. Kroger was a small trip of $30 for yogurt (hubs was out & 5 were marked down) pepperoni, mozzarella (rain check item), marked down bread, organic apples, organic bananas, eggs (.99), a bag of chips and some freebies:a candy bar, can of soup & 2 Del monte canned veggies.
    My hubs is a yogurt snob, he only likes Oh My Yog! and Noosa…my problem is I can only get OMY at Publix which I only get to about once a month. The Noosa is so expensive, WM carries it but very limited. So Kroger it is and I pray for mark downs, sales and digital coupons! Lol 🙂 The things we do to make our man happy!
    When I was digging around in the freezer last night I realized that I am actually making some head way! Hurray!
    Melissa in GA

    • I bought an Oh My Yog to try it, but that was just before we lost power for 4 days last fall so dairy products that weren’t hard cheeses all got tossed to be safe. I absolutely agree that Noosa is fabulous, though, so next time the other is on sale, I’ll pick it up again to actually try it out. I don’t know what makes Noosa different, but it is delicious. I joke about those Colorado cows eating a different kind of grass. 🙂 I know you are out in nowhere, but I don’t recall if you do Costco/Sam’s. If you do, you can check to see if they carry it. Our Costco had it, discontinued it, but then brought it back. It’s about 30% cheaper than Publix’s non-sale price.

  207. Thursday – 2/16/17

    Breakfast – made a new waffle recipe. Toasted oats waffles. I’ll post it in a separate post. I’ve got to get more oats into my diet and growing tired of eating oatmeal.

    Lunch – I made a batch of Bush’s Easy to Make Hummus and used to as a spread in flour tortillas for soft tacos. They were excellent. I may or may not have eaten three 6″ soft tacos!!!! I used the southwest hummus flavor.

    Dinner – deli sliced roasted turkey breast over mashed potatoes with gravy and butternut squash. I have 1/2 the squash leftover so I may make a butternut squash since I have plenty of chicken stock in the freezer.

    • Thinking those 3 tacos were pretty good Felicia! lol

    • Throw some oats in the food processor and make oat flour. You can use it by itself for some recipes. I usually just mix it into the regular flour (20-25% oats) for most recipes that call for AP flour. It does not have the gluten of standard flour, so sometimes you have to be careful about how much you substitute depending on what you are trying to make.

  208. Toasted Oatmeal Waffles –

    This is the original recipe.

    I significantly reduced the butter, the sugar and used less salt. I made buttermilk (milk + vinegar) and these changes did not compromise or alter the taste or texture of the waffles. I can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow! 🙂

    Toasted Oatmeal Waffles
    ? 6 TBS unsalted butter
    ? 1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
    ? 1 ¾ cup water
    ? 2 TBS brown sugar
    ? 1 cup buttermilk
    ? 1 cup AP flour
    ? 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
    ? ¾ tsp fine sea salt
    ? ¼ tsp cinnamon
    ? ¼ tsp baking soda
    ? 2 large eggs beaten

    Melt 1 TBS butter in large pan over medium heat.
    Add oats, cook and stir frequently until browned.
    Remove pan from heat, carefully add water as it will create steam.
    Return to heat; bring to boil over high heat, then simmer until water is absorbed.
    About 3 minutes.

    Transfer to medium bowl, add remaining butter and brown sugar.
    Stir until fully incorporated.
    Stir in buttermilk and set aside to cool, about 10 min.

    Meanwhile…preheat waffle iron.
    In another bowl, whisk dry ingredients until well combined.

    Whisk egg into oatmeal mixture.
    Pour oatmeal mixture into dry ingredients.
    Fold gently with rubber spatula until batter is evenly moistened.

    Pour ½ cup of batter into heated waffle iron.
    Bake 4 – 5 minutes or until done to your likeness.
    Serve or freeze.

  209. Thursday 2/16

    Breakfast – Hubs had tea and toast

    Lunch – Hubs had sandwich & ramen noodles, I had a few ramen noodles (gosh are they salty)

    Dinner – Bowtie pasta w/pesto, chicken and mushrooms

  210. Wednesday 2/15
    B-cereal and oranges for kids, leftover fried potatoes with 2 eggs scrambled in for hubs, 1 egg on English muffin half for me.
    L-Spinach salad and an apple for me, hubs finished jambalaya, beans and an apple.
    D-Chicken and beef fajitas, homemade refried beans, and all the toppings. Veggie dippers and sundaes for dessert.
    Thursday 2/16
    B-Potatoes and scrambled eggs for hubs, yogurt with granola for me and kids
    L-I made quick egg muffins for me and 15 yr. old, he got his braces off and he ate his on the way to the appt. when I picked him up from school, I treated him to ice cream while we waited for his retainer was being made, hubs had leftovers
    D-We had ham salad and chicken salad sandwiches from the Amish store, I knew I’d be home late and in a hurry before milking, apples and veggie dippers.

  211. Feb 16
    Breakfast was the usual
    Dinner was breakfast burritos with sausage, eggs, cheese, onions, shredded potatoes and shredded zucchini with oranges and apples

  212. Stephanie M. says:

    Thursday:

    B – Hubby had a blueberry muffin from the freezer; I had two scrambled eggs

    L – Hubby had a business luncheon; I had the leftover chicken sausage stir fry from the other night

    D – We had bean soup; hubby also had a dinner rolls; only three of those left and I don’t have to look at them anymore.

  213. Stephanie M. says:

    Good morning everyone:

    Well I went to the nutritionist yesterday morning with my food diary in my hands that she asked me to do. She was very nice and we had a few laughs. I had her laughing over my insatiable need to get this absolutely right. (I’m a worry wart) LOL

    Anyway, I was with her for two hours and she took a look at my diary and said I am on the right path but there are not enough carbs in the food I’ve been eating and I need those. So she tweaked my menu and told me that I need to get 45 gr. of carbs at every meal and some protein and veggies are unlimited. I can have two fruits per day. She told me to not skip meals and that she wants me to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep my sugar level at a good level. She wants me to eat my breakfast within one hour of waking up. OMG!!! That will be tough for me. I can’t eat that soon after waking. I usually wake up at 5:30 and don’t eat till 9:00. But she said, I need to. I got home with all of my paperwork, ate lunch and literally stood at my kitchen table looking at all of this. The confusing thing to me was about snacks. I have to have a carb and a protein and it has to be that way with all of my meals. The carbs spike the sugar too fast but the protein slows it down. But for snacks, I can have 15 – 30 gr. of carbs. So trying to figure out what I should have or not have and trying to add up the numbers had me so flustered I got in my car and drove back to see her again. She was extremely nice and helped me out. She told me I don’t need to come back to see her after this appointment unless I want to. I made an appointment with her in two weeks and told her I would keep another food diary because I want to know if I’m doing this right.

    Well now, my eating is going to be a science experiment from this day forward. I was so focused on this yesterday all day and unable to think about anything else that when I went to cook my bean soup, I only had three cans of beans rather than the four I usually use and I used a big pot to brown the onion and celery with. Then I decided that pot was too big so I poured the onions and celery into a small pot. Then as I was adding things, I realized the pot wasn’t going to be big enough and switched back to the first. Then I forgot to brown garlic along with the onion and celery and the beans were already cooking in the tomato sauce/water so I had to brown that separately and add it to the soup. Then on my way back to see her, I made a right on red and wasn’t supposed to. Thank God there were no police around. I was so lost in the misery I thought I was in because I figured I’ll never learn this. When I told her that I was worried about all of this, she told me to relax and that after a while it will come second nature.

    What a day! Well it’s almost an hour since I’m awake so I guess I have to get ready to eat. Paul is being a good supporter but he won’t even let me talk about it anymore. He wants me to focus on what I need to do and do it and stop worrying so much.

    So there you have it. My visit to the nutritionist.

    Have a great day everyone.

    • Glad to hear you know what you need to do now Stephanie. It will all fall into place and next month you will not think any thing of it. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, thinking that isn’t going to help everyone knows that any changes we make take time to adjust but before too long it will be the new normal for you. Look at all the fun new meals you may invent! Remember one day at a time and all will work out. Stay strong….hugs

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thanks Mona. I really appreciate the pep talk. I’m sure you’re right; after a while, I won’t have to think so hard about everything I’m going to eat. Unfortunately, I have always put a lot of pressure on myself whatever the situation may be. And that’s where Paul comes in – he grounds me and forces me to take life easy rather than stress over everything.

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I’m glad you went, and so glad the nutritionist was nice, and incredibly glad that Paul is being so supportive.

      It does get easier reading labels. I know it’s not quite the same thing, but when I first had to start severely limiting my soy intake it took me forever to read labels and remember which things had it or didn’t have it. Now I pretty much have brands memorized and know what has a lot, a little, or none at all. It helped me a lot to go to the grocery store during a non-busy time (here that was early Sunday morning), so I had time to compare and read labels without feeling like I was in everyone’s way.

      You sound like Nick with the breakfast thing. He wants to wait hours for breakfast, and I want to eat the minute I wake up.

      • Stephanie M. says:

        My husband can eat with one eye still closed. And I always just look at him and wonder how he can do this. But I’m thinking that after a few days, I might get used to this enough where I will wake up hungry. We’ll have to wait and see. Like you, I’m sure after a while, I won’t be so apprehensive about all of this and with repeated experience, I will become much more relaxed about it all.

        • I am with you on this one Stephanie, I don’t feel like eating so early. I would struggle with that big time. But I think once you get into a routine, your body will probably be your guide.
          Melissa in GA

    • I’m glad you got the info you need. I agree with everyone else that it will take a little bit to adjust and then you’ll be just fine and it will become second nature. It is very helpful that you have such a great support system in place. Did the nutritionist say you had to eat the full breakfast so early, or just eat *something* that early? I’ve been forcing myself to try to get up earlier – I’m a night owl by nature – so I’ve been having sort of a snack with a beverage (coffee/tea/milk) when I first get up and then have actual breakfast a little later. Perhaps that would work for you since you are getting your system going but then also eating after a couple of hours like she said. It might be something to ask if you really don’t want to be eating a whole breakfast that early. (I wouldn’t mind eating that early, I just haven’t been able to actually be cooking that early!)

      • Stephanie M. says:

        The nutritionist asked me what time I go to bed and I told her about 9:30. ( I don’t go to sleep; I watch TV in bed but there is no more food for the night). Then she wanted to know what time I get up and I told her about 5:30. She then asked me what time I eat breakfast and I told her around 9:00. And there are many, many times, where my first meal of the day is lunch. I have a tendency to skip breakfast. She put a stop to that. She said after all of the night hours with no food, in order keep sugar steady, I need to eat within an hour of waking up to get everything going again. She said the brain looks for sugar and when it doesn’t get any, it takes it from somewhere else which causes the sugar level to rise. As far as splitting meals in the morning, that would be something I would have to ask her. I’m going back in two weeks and we’ll see how it’s going then. Maybe by then, I might get so used to eating right away, I might actually wake up hungry. But she said along with the carbs I’m having (45 at each meal), I need to have a protein too because carbs cause the sugars to rise rapidly and protein slows it down. So if I were to split it up right now, I’m afraid I might not be doing something right. If I’m still having a hard time eating this much in the morning so early, I’ll ask her when I go back. Thanks so much for the support and the great suggestion. 🙂

    • Hi, Stephanie,

      So your Valentine’s dinner photos (which are lovely, by the way; you have very lucky friends and family) reveal a lady who is creative, who has a keen eye for detail, and who is not afraid to take on a challenge. I think these strengths (along with a supportive husband), will serve you very well as you find creative (dare I say fun?) ways to prepare meals that are both healthy and appealing. You can so do this!

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Oh thanks so much Roberta. I try hard not to be a defeatist and this is just something I have to deal with like anything else. So today is my first day eating like this and so far so good. I’m still here and not unhappy so all is well. It’s just for the time being, I have to put so much thought into everything that goes in my mouth. But this is just something new for me and I’m sure you’re all right in that I will learn and do okay. But the cheerleading is always appreciated. So thanks again. 🙂

    • What a nice service provided by the store and I am glad she was helpful and supportive. She’s right, before long it will become second nature for you. You can google recipes for diabetics and you will have a lot to browse through.
      Hang in there!
      Melissa in GA

    • Stephanie,

      When I first began my low-sodium journey several years ago, I felt overwhelmed. I was reading labels for everything that I wanted to eat, reading cookbooks/online recipes, measuring everything (like creamer for my coffee, salad dsg for my salads, etc) that I planned to eat and even bought a pressure cooker altho I was scared to death of it but needed it to cook my dry beans since canned beans were now off the grocery list. Dietary restrictions are game changers for sure.

      Having the support of your DH is not to be underestimated. My hubby is not supportive. Says it won’t kill me to “have a taste” or a small amount, will bring foods into the house that are my Achiles Heel (cheese or donuts) and I find this very disrespectful. Some days, I just don’t have the will power to resist….then get mad at myself for doing so.

      “Where do you want to go to eat”? It’s not even a question that I can answer. It’s not where but what can I eat? It takes such planning on my part to eat out at a restaurant as I can’t even begin to know how much salt is in the food.

      And I share your inability to eat as soon as I wake up. Even when i was a working mom, I could not eat breakfast before 10:30AM and I’d be up at 6:15AM. I tend to eat when I’m hungry which is really not the best approach to meals.

      The struggle is real. Some days are going to be easier than others. I actually found it easier in the beginning than it is these days, years later of keeping to a low-sodium diet b/c shortly after that came the bleeding ulcers and the dietary restrictions that accompany avoiding that pain.

      One thing that I find helpful is meal planning and having my thoughts on paper and food ready to be eaten so I don’t have to spend alot of time “thinking” about it. I’ll make a dozen hard boiled eggs and eat the whites only for snacks. I keep walnuts and almonds around for snacking.

      Allow yourself time. With time, you will set up a routine. You will know what/how much you can eat. I really do find enjoyment in trying new recipes. In time, I came to realize that it’s required that I put my needs first which was hard being that I tend to put the needs of others before my own. It’s not being selfish, it’s essential.

      Please continue to share your journey during the PC. This group is so encouraging and inspiring on so many levels!!

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thanks for sharing your story with me, Felicia. It helps to know how other people have struggled with changes in diet. I agree with you about meal planning. Now at night, I write down at least what I’m going to have for breakfast so I don’t have to think about it in the morning and decide what dinner will be for the next day and after I’m done with breakfast, I write down what I’m having for the rest of the day. This certainly makes it easier. Right now, my head is always in a whirl wind thinking about all of this. What time is it? What will I eat. I’m not hungry, I don’t want to eat, but I have to. Food now is quickly turning into a chore rather than a pleasure and so is cooking. I have been to the grocery store no less than 6 times in the last two days picking up things I can have for snacks, meals, etc. Yesterday I bought a bag of raw sunflower seeds for use as a protein for a snack to go along with whatever carb I’m having. Right out of the bag, I didn’t like them but I put them on a cookie sheet with nothing on it and roasted them for about 15 minutes. What a difference. I loved them. I also have always done that with raw almonds and cashews and I love those too. I still have some of those nuts left from the party but I also have a container of each of them in the freezer for when I run out. So I’ll figure things out as I go along. I know this is good for me and good for just about anyone else too, whether or not they have pre diabetes, diabetes, or not at all. It’s just hard saying goodbye to things like Chinese, fettucini alfredo, chicken tettrazini (remember that? Ha Ha) and so on. Am I never supposed to enjoy a hot dog at our favorite hot dog place again? No French fries? No mac and cheese? This is what I’m struggling with now. Not even a hot pretzel? Not to mention a million other things that I enjoy. This is what’s got me so upset right now along with trying to get used to eating on a schedule and figuring out what carbs I can eat at each meal and doing the math to make sure I’m getting what I should be. This is work not pleasure. But I will get through it. Thanks so much for your support.

        • Ahhhh…tetrazinni!!!! Have you begun to compile a list of questions for your next visit to the nutritionist? Ask