Tuesday, September 04, 2012

labor day weekend wrap-up

A bunch of grilling and veggie-based cooking went on around the house this weekend.  Here's an overview of things that we used:

Saturday, September 1:
-tomatoes & peppers & zucchini from the garden
-eggplant from the garden

Sunday, September 2:
-Key West sauce over chicken and yellow crookneck squash & eggplant from the garden (I used up one bottle of the stuff...then realized I had two.  Boo.)
-WATERMELON!!! from the garden

Monday, September 3:
-green pepper & tomato from the garden
-apple butter at dinnertime

It was slightly disappointing as I had intended to use up 4 sauce mixes (Key West, Bearnaise, peppercorn & fajita) and I only used half-of-one.  There's always tomorrow...or today!  I'm thinking grilled peppercorn steak tonight!

Friday, August 31, 2012

check - next?

It's August 31, and I have indeed used up those 12 items I sought out to get rid of.  I had to use a couple of short-cuts, but I decided it's okay, especially because I also used up at least 5 additional items this month.

First shortcut was to give away a bunch of black tea.  The second was to split up the salad dressing issue into a couple parts.  I used up 2 of three bottles of salad dressing; I decided to make the third one be a separate item altogether.  Seems fair to me.  ...Guess I could have done that with the 10 different varieties of black tea, huh?

Moving in to September, here's what the Random Number Generator threw at me for the remaining items I have in my stash:

1.  Bearnaise sauce mix
2.  Key West sauce
3.  melting chocolate
4.  popcorn kernels
5.  peppercorn steak marinade
6.  sweet buttermilk cream
7.  Kool-Aid mix (about 8 packets)
8.  mung beans
9.  flax seeds
10.  fajita seasoning
11.  pancake syrup
12.  apple butter

Numbers 1, 2, 5 and 10 will work well with some meat/poultry and the grill, and fortunately it's Labor Day weekend - how appropriate!  I'm thinking I'll make a large batch of popcorn and drizzle it with melted chocolate for a party we're hosting next Friday; I have also heard of making flavored sweet popcorn with Kool-Aid, so I may try that, too.  The rest of the Kool-Aid may contribute to ice pops and homemade Gatorade, which will be nice for after my 11 and 12-mile Saturday runs coming up this month.  Only issue with the popcorn is that the DH doesn't like the smell of it.  Maybe I'll make the popcorn and then steak to appease him and get rid of the popcorn smell!

The biggest challenge I forsee is using up all of the sweet buttermilk cream.  Yes, it's easily used in baking as a stand-in for buttermilk or yogurt...no, I don't bake enough to use the amount that I have of it in a month.  Perhaps some baking + freezing?  Like...pancake-syrup-sweetened muffins and apple-butter-infused muffins.  Those will be awesome for pulling out of the freezer & warming up to have with a cup of tea as fall sets in!!  And yes, there will probably be some tea going on here in some form...although it's not on the list for this month, probably next month green tea, herbal tea, and Teeccino will all appear, not to mention mulling spices.

Mung beans I'd like to use at least partly to make a breakfast porridge that I've heard is popular in Malaysia.  I've only ever used mung beans as sprouts (which is why I have these...they were bought for sprouting); that will be a good use for them, but exploring other ways to use them will be good, too.  I never really thought about the fact that they, like lentils, don't require soaking before they can be cooked up.  Hooray!  Maybe my new favorite bean/legume!!

One last note:  as a "reward" for using up my goal items, I gave myself a prize.  This was suggested by some friends when I told them what I was up to.  The squirrels have been raiding/destroying our birdfeeders, so I got a squirrel-proof feeder from RollerFeeder.  DH put it up the other day after it arrived, but no birds have come yet (haven't seen any squirrels attempt to tackle it yet, either).  Maybe now that I've met my quota they'll come...?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

things used...

Well, here's the update on the Forever Foods that have been used up.  One goal food!

-brown lentils (goal)
-frozen french fries
-peach jam

Friday, August 10, 2012

update

Haven't been updating lately -- I have had some issues with Blogger on my tablet at home.  Hm.

The past couple day's here is what I've been up to with the food:

Monday, August 6

-used up an OLD spice packet to make a nice stir-fry +2 (#1, #3)
-chopped up some tomatoes from the garden and combined with basil & walnut oil for a fresh salad! +2 (#4, #3)

Tuesday, August 7

I was proud of dinner tonight:  combined the remaining Country Gravy (which I'd mixed up on Sunday) with some other ingredients to make a creamy soup.  The points didn't come from the soup but from using up the rice blend that I served on the side +1 (#1)

Wednesday, August 8

Breakfast included blackberries from the yard +1 (#4)
Lunch was eaten out
Dinner was a repeat of Tuesday

and that brings me to Thursday, August 9

Breakfast:
-blackberries +1 (#4)
-yogurt smoothie
-granola
-kale +1 (#4)
-banana

Lunch:
-leftover soup
-carrots
-celery +1 (#1)
-yellow squash +1 (#4)

Snack:
-Larabar
-apricots
-carrots

Dinner:
-out to Otto's with friends!  YUM!!!

Evening snack:
-strawberry gelatin that I made the other day + ice cream

Points earned:  10
Goal-foods used:  3
Goal-foods finished:  1

August running total points:  27.5

friday fun with tea

With at least 6 varieties of black tea to use up this month, I did some investigating of creative ways to use tea.  I found recipes for baked goods, glazes, grain dishes, the base of smoothies.  Good, simple ideas!  I can hardly believe people haven't been telling me about these and other ways to use tea in cooking as a way to amp the antioxidants in foods!  Or...maybe it doesn't work like that?  But it seems like it ought to.

Running a little behind on my updates...!

I tried out one of these ideas for breakfast last week, and sipped tea throughout the day...

Friday, August 3

Breakfast:
-Chai Tea Oatmeal inspired by this recipe
*oatmeal
*spices
*black tea (loose Darjeeling) +1 (#3)
-half-and-half
-plum
-almonds
(I also drank some extra tea)

Snack:
-Larabar
-apple

Lunch:
-leftover soup +0.5 (#1)
-green pepper +1 (#4)
-green/yellow/purple beans
-pretzels

Dinner:
-lentil-stuffed peppers
*green peppers +1 (#4)
*lentil+quinoa mix leftovers.  Technically uses brown lentils, one of my Goal Foods for the month.  Gimme +0.5 (#3)
-roasted potatoes with onion soup mix +1 (#3)
-zucchini/tomato/cucumber salad with walnut oil +1 (#3)

Evening snack:
-yogurt smoothie

Points August 3: 6
Goal-foods used:  3
Goal-foods finished:  0

August running total points:  17.5

Friday, August 03, 2012

august 2

Thursday, August 2

Pre-run Energy:
-2 dates

Breakfast:
-Chewy muffin
-peanut butter
-kale +1 (#4)
-banana
-a bit of pie

Lunch:
-scallop squash with carrot-tops +2 (#4)
-pasta with sauce +0.5 (#1)

Snacks:
-apple
-black tea (Orange Spice) +1 (#3)

Dinner:
-leftover soup
-pretzels

Evening snack:
-pie +1 (#1)
-ice cream
-yogurt smoothie

Points August 2:  5.5
Goal-foods used:  1
Goal-foods finished:  0

August running total points:  11.5


Thursday, August 02, 2012

the start of beating-tea

August 1, and I've made some headway on both the salad dressing and the black tea.  Maybe more-so the dressing than the tea...

Wednesday, August 1

Breakfast:
-black tea (loose Darjeeling) +1 (#3)
-oatmeal
-currants +1 (#1)
-some pie pieces crumbled on top
-I may have eaten something else, but I can't remember

Lunch:
-Larabar
-blackberries +1 (#4)
-carrots
-pasta with tomato sauce
 
Snack:
-cafe au lait
-peanuts
-apple

Dinner:
-hamburger on bun
-tomato (it was soooooo good!  An oxheart-type heirloom that I forget the name of)
-pickles
-Swiss cheese +1 (#1)
-eggplant +1 (#4)
-zucchini
-French dressing +1 (#3) *I also used up this bottle of dressing...there are 2 others, though
-watermelon from the CSA that wasn't so sweet - boo hoo

Evening snack:
-yogurt smoothie (I'm participating in a research study where I eat this every day)
-ice cream (technically I ate the last of what was in the container, but...I know there will be more very soon)
-digestive biscuit

Points August 1:  6
Goal-foods used:  2
Goal-foods finished: 1 container of 1 goal-food (about...1/3 total)

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

the challenge for august

Taking my husband's pseudo-advice to set a goal for the number of ForeverFood items to clear out of my house, I am setting forth to get rid of at least 12 items during the month of August.  In July I finished off 9, so I'll see if I can't make a dent in that many plus 3 more.

To make it that much more interesting, I'm going to have those 12 goal-foods selected for me by the famous Random Number Generator.  Currently I have 53 items in my spreadsheet, and the first 12 that RNG selects are:

9.  weird chocolate bar
12.  strawberry jello
19.  brown lentils
48.  country gravy
4.  blueberry-lime jam
50.  black tea
39.  salad dressing
35.  walnut oil
45.  apple cider mix
24.  Karo syrup
23.  shortening
36.  Dijon mustard

Well, I can tell you right now that I'd better start drinking a LOT of black tea, finishing off veggies with a splash of walnut oil, seasoning everything with mustard, and devising some creative uses for salad dressing if I'm going to meet this challenge!  Hmmmmm....!

(I do, however, have a couple easy ones in there, too.  Like...there's only about 1/2 a packet of jello!)