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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Another week's menu

I wont post the pictures of the fruit and vegetables I wash every week. Most of them are the same. Seems I have finally gotten pretty tired of just apples and carrots for my mid day break at work. I now am hooked on "Laughing Cow" cheese. I dip celery stick in this cheese. Fortunately it is only 1 Weight Watcher point.
I do still need to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables/fruit a day.  As you age interior organs just don't work like they did when you were young. Over time eating processed foods, dyes, pesticides can put a strain on your whole system.
Yes, I do preach to some of my fellow employees, but it is important to keep yourself healthy because older age is JUST AROUND THE CORNER.

We bought two prepared meals this week as I am trying to catch up on some of the projects I have been working on. These prepared foods are from Trader Joe's and I can either make or buy any of the ingredients. That's the key.

Here is my weekly menu:

Saturday we had leftovers from dinner out Friday night. We went to the Western Steakhouse in Rosenberg. As soon as we got our meal we put half of it in a to-go container. If you wait until you are half way done you WILL pick on it. So half of the baked potato and meat was eaten Saturday night.

Tonight is Beef Stroganoff with egg noodles. We bought some sweet corn so that will be our veggie. I will have an apple for desert. Of course a glass of wine and small square of dark chocolate is a must.


Heat large frying pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil

Add 1/4 C chopped onions cook for 4 minutes then 1 medium minced garlic

Add sliced, against the grain, beef strips. The amount depends on how much meat you like. Brown the beef. Add 1-1/2 C water or beef broth and cook for 30 minutes until beef is tender. 

(On the side mix 1/4 C cold water with 1 1/ tablespoons either flour or cornstarch. Mix until the lumps are gone)

While the beef is cooking boil your favorite noodle. I use egg noodles.
Add 2 tablespoons ketchup and as many sliced mushrooms you like.
Cook for 5 minutes then add the water/cornstarch mix.
Turn off the heat and add 1 C sour cream.

Pour over egg noodles. 
Serve with cottage cheese and a salad

Sunday, April 12, 2015

This weeks menu and recipes

Another time saving day. I am getting ready for a drizzly week.

As usual I wash all my produce. I added organic celery this week. I bought laughing cow cheese and will use celery for the dipper.

The easiest way to get a bang out of stew meat is cut it up yourself. Thank you son for the best knives in the world. I felt like I was cutting butter instead of meat.
We also added Trader Joe's salad for our Saturday lunch.

Cut meat in small cubes and put in frig.

Cutco knives are amazing
Now for the weekly recipes:  I have made chicken/pasta/bean salad before and also tuna. Here are the picks and recipes.

1. The bowl is for Chicken/pasta/bean salad. So far I cut up celery, black olives and added drained rinsed pinto beans.
2. The oblong container is for tuna salad sand. Celery again and cubed Trader Joe's sweet pickles (no dyes in these pickles. They use turmeric).
3. The orange bowl is for hubby's antipasti salad. Olives so far.

1. I added chicken cubes. 2. Add two drained cans of albacore tuna. 3. Add cut up uncured salami, cubes of your favorite cheese, and pepperchinis.

1. Add pasta and shaved raw cheddar cheese (you can use Parmesan), 1/2 C Newman's Italian salad dressing (high fructose free dressing), salt and pepper to the chicken/pasta/bean dish.
3. Also added 2 Tablespoon Newman's Italian dressing.

1. The salad is finished. 2. Added 2 hard boiled eggs and mayo then mixed. 3. Added 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano.
Add salt and pepper to taste over all dishes.
I scoop tuna salad with crackers or celery sticks for lunch.

I am ready for the week.
Next I will brown the burger for my Favorite Taco Salad. Later brown the beef cubes for my crock pot beef stew, later this week, adding cut up spuds, onions, carrots, and beef broth.
Tip: add spuds, carrots, and onions with browned meat and store in ziplock bag. The night before I put crock pot on the counter with the spices I will add and the carton of beef broth. Easy Peazy. Set on low and off to work.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Dinner in our TinCan

Living in Texas makes it hard to find leg of lamb. Its cattle cattle cattle here. I did fine a lamb steak at HEB. I marinated it and grilled it along with partial cooked red potatoes/onions/mushrooms, steamed asparagus, deviled eggs, and homemade fruit salad.

Marinaded Lamb 2 servings

Combine: 1/3 C olive oil, minced clove of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and mint, 1/2 juiced lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.
Put this in a zip lock bag and add the lamb steak. Put in frig all day. Approximately 5 hours.

I cooked our lamb steak on our inside grill.

I love this grill. I have a flat side too for pancakes. I no longer fry taco shells I use this.
Fruit Salad  4 servings

Early in the day I cut up one peeled apple, one grapefruit WITH JUICE, 1 can of rinsed mandarin oranges.
The grapefruit juice is a substitute for lemon juice keeping the apple from turning color.

Grilled Red Potatoes 2 servings

Cook or microwave two red potatoes. Cut in pieces and add: onion chunks, and mushroom halved.
Add 3  tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon mint and oregano, salt and pepper.
Grill on a grill until done.

Marinated Lamb and potato mixture
Steamed asparagus
Fruit salad, asparagus, grilled lamb and potatoes, deviled eggs, and wine

Saturday's Dinner..more to come

I have decided to change my cooking day to Saturday. Now laundry, groceries, and cooking are on Saturday. I want Sunday to be the "DAY OF REST". Only reading and enjoying the country air out here.

Here is the produce I washed Saturday:

Apples, grapefruit, lemons, avocado, two bags of carrots, tomato, potatoes, asparagus, cucumber, and garlic.
In the background you will see corn tortillas, 3 pack of romaine lettuce, and a large loaf of sourdough bread from Trader Joe's.

Saturday's dinner was Tamale Pie. My Nana used to make this with leftover turkey from our Thanksgiving dinner. She never wrote the recipe down, but I watched her make this many times.

Tamale Pie

Combine: 1/2 C flour, 1/2 C cornmeal, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well.
Add: 1/2 C milk, 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon minced serrano pepper, and 1/2 C any shredded cheese. Set aside.

Saute 1/2 C chopped onions, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1-14 ounce can of diced tomatoes (I added leftover tomatoes I had for salads and cooked this mixture a bit longer), 1 C frozen kernel corn. Cook for 15 minutes. Add leftover cooked turkey chunks and 1/2 can olives cut in half. Add two spoonfuls of cornmeal mixture. Cook 5 minutes.

Spray 8x8 pan with olive oil spray add meat mixture. Top with cornmeal mixture. Cover with foil.

Cook at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes until mixture bubbles and topping is done.

Take foil off and add 1/2 C shredded cheese and cook until melted.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Another Time Saving Day

I keep trying to do a better job preparing for our busy week. I try different ideas and try to change what I make.
In this small TinCan and lack of real refrigerator space it is difficult. Sometimes I need to make other dishes during the week when there is more frig space.

Here is my weekend cooking spree.

First we wash the veggies.

I read an article that talked about how to make beans easier to digest and not leave us with so much gas.
They said to soak the beans overnight, rinse rinse rinse, bring beans to a boil and let stand for two hours and rinse rinse rinse. I then cooked these beans with brown sugar and onions and adding water. I cooked them until they were soft.
Hopefully this will correct the problem. We love beans and don't want to take any synthetic over the counter pill to correct this. 

Here is what I made so far this weekend.
Instead of buying chips I bake mine. First I spray each side with olive oil and bake them on my George Foreman Grill.
I store these in my kitchen. If you put them in the frig they will lose the crispness. Besides they go so fast when we have Costco Salsa in the frig.

I made a shiraka/olive oil sauce in a bowl with these chicken legs, mixed, and baked.
On the right are cabbage rolls. The filling has ground beef, brown rice, shiraka, cumin seed, salt, pepper, a bit of sugar, and half a bottle of Trader Joe's marinara sauce. I made 15 rolls. Each dish is topped with the balance of marinara sauce with a bit of sugar. Bake and serve.

 Remember to keep a sink bowl of soapy water to wash your dishes as you cook. This eliminates the mound of dishes after you prepare many dishes.

My last dish was a no brainier. Blueberry-Pistachio muffins. They make great snacks at work. Yes, there are only 11 left. Hubby got to the muffins before I put them up.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weekly Shopping Regimen

As I have posted before, I have a regimen I follow on grocery shopping day.
  1. Make my Menu on Friday along with what I need to buy at the store for those menus. I include food we need for breakfast, lunches, and snacks.
  2. I go to 2-3 stores when shopping. My main store is Trader Joe's, then the local store here called HEB, and sometimes Costco and the Dollar General.
  3. At home I wash all the produce and wipe off other containers.

Yes, I even wash the carrots and their bag. I then put the carrots back in the bags. We use 1/2 apple and two carrots each day in our lunches.

Sunday I bake and make meals needed for the week lunch and dinners that take a long time.
This week we will be eating corn beef and cabbage.
  • I first boiled a few eggs for our tuna salad
  • I put a pot of boiling filtered water on and put the whole cabbage in the water for a couple of minutes. This releases the large leaves for one of my weekly meals, cabbage rolls. The remainder of the cabbage is put back in the frig after it cools off.
  • Recently I found a few packets of gelatin and decided to make REAL jello with apple cranberry juice and sliced apples. Recipe below.
  • We are having a Cobb Salad tonight with grilled shrimp. I will grill the whole bag and use the second part for my stir fry dinner on Monday.

  • Next I need to make chicken pasta salad: shell pasta, chicken, chopped celery, can of your favorite beans rinsed, green onions (optional), any other veggies you like, shredded Parmesan Cheese, and Italian Dressing. I also add more seasonings like oregano or basil.
  • We plan on using turkey bones for our soup/sand night. I will bake the turkey in the oven and when it cools take the meat off for sandwiches.
  • For snack I will make some zucchinis muffins. Remember after you shred the zucchinis you need to squeeze the water out before adding to muffin mixture. Put them in a wash cloth and wring them out.
Well that's my Sunday cooking. Since we commute to work together PLANNING is everything. We are up at 5am and get home at 6pm. Not a lot of time to cook a fancy dinner. My meals are easy and sometimes cooked in advance or a crock pot. Yep, the corn beef, carrots, spuds go in the crock pot and we add the cabbage later. Ummmm I just love this meal.

Jello Recipe 8 srvs

Choose a REAL juice you like. Fruit juice cocktail is NOT ALL JUICE.
2 tablespoons honey or sugar (apple juice is not real sweet so I added cane sugar)
Bring 3 cups juice and sweetener to a boil, turn off heat
Mix together 1 cup juice and 2 packages gelatin. Add to heated mixture
Put in glass bowel
Cool for 3 hours.
You can add fruit, other than pineapple, halfway through the cooling period.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


When I talk to my friends about how I plan my grocery shopping or what I do to prepare for my week of 8-5 employment most of them just say I DON'T HAVE TIME. But you really do if you are a good time manager. 

I learned a long time ago from my Nana how to plan for the week. She was a stay-at-home Mom of 4 children. Back when there were no luxuries in the house. She did have a mixer, but it was a hand held mixer.
She didn't do all her chores in one day or a weekend. She spread the duties out in seven days.
  • Baking and laundry was a daily chore.
  • One day she ironed, one day she would scrub the bathrooms.
  • She had no carpet so she swept and used the dust mop under beds. (less allergies) 
  • Papa was the gardener. Nana picked what she needed for each days meals and canned or froze the rest.
Okay so it was a busy life even for a stay-at-home Mom. If you think you have no time in your already busy life you might want to get a spiral notebook and write down how you spend your time daily. I can GUARANTEE you spend to much time on the computer or apps on your phone, window shopping at the mall, going out to eat, or long conversations on your phone. Wait we can't forget the taped TV programs you just can't live without.

Of course, there are only two of us in our Tin Can. Now that hubby works four 10 hour shifts the time is tighter as we commute.We are up at 5am and home at 6pm. Preparation is the key.

My life:
  • I plan the EASY part of my menu for our work week. I might buy one or two prepared Trader Joe's meal, make two meals in the crock pot, and one soup and sandwich during the week. Week ends are based on the weather. Good weather means BBQ and on bad weather days we use our Walmart Grill inside.
  • Remember try to plan menu. I make my menu on my Friday break, because we shop on Saturday.
  • When we get home Saturday I wash off ALL my produce, even produce with skin.
  • I try to do my laundry on Friday, saving the rest of the week for other duties. (Hubby cleans our tin can at the same time)
  • Sunday's I bake or cook for the week. Only taking 2 hours.Example: Bake muffins, make salads for lunches.
  •   I even brown the roast the night before if I am making a roast in the crock pot, sealing the juices. I also chop up the veggies and put them in a bag. Put the spices and extra stuff on the counter, for a quick get-a-way.
  • I also make hubby's favorite lunch the night before. Yep, antipasti. I use uncured salami, pepperchinis, dried tomatoes, chunks of cheese, olives and low-fat Newman's Salad Dressing.

    I try to make it simple and fast during the week since I only have three hours after work before I go to bed.
    During the week I have very little time to use the computer. I cook dinner, do dishes (no dishwasher), shower, and try to read a bit before bed. Even after all this I seem to make all of our meals from scratch, even pancakes.

    Time savers: make a double batch of waffle mix, cook them all, and freeze some for busy mornings. OMG our mornings are real busy. Breakfast, making lunches, and getting ready for work. All done in 45 minutes. Soooo I better be organized.

    It is possible to be organized. It does take time to get it down. Our weekends you will find us sipping a glass of wine on our deck listening to the birds and watching the cattle.
    Life is simple when well planned.