Friday, October 23, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Me and my Bar Mitzvah boychick.

All of us.
My beautiful girls.

Have a great Shabbos.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

How'd I Do?

Not too bad, thank you for asking.

Didn't quite cut my food budget in half, but was within $20 of the mark.

I only filled three of those reusable bags that Giant and Safeway sell. That's a first. I own seven and almost always fill all of them.

Final grocery list looked like this:

Chicken bones
Chuck roast, small
String cheese
Pizza cheese
Sliced cheese
Gallon milk
Pizza sauce

Things I bought that were not on the list:

Eggs-we can never run out...
Panko-fancy breadcrumbs for the eggplant, impulse purchase, I know
Avacado-was on sale and vegetables are never a bad thing, I just have to remember to use them
Organic sliced cheese-I'll save my organic kosher rant for another time
Leben-not yogurt, slightly more expensive, yum
Crazins-when my kids ask for healthy snacks I can't say no

All in all I only went down two aisles, the canned goods aisle and the baking aisle. The rest of my shopping was along the perimeter of the store. Half an hour, in and out, ahhhh bliss. Leaves more time for knitting, right?

This week's recipe:

Chickpea, rice and spinach casserole

1C raw chickpeas/2C cooked chickpeas
1C raw brown rice/2C cooked brown rice
1 large onion, diced
2tsp oil
1/2 lb chopped spinach

I use my pressure cooker to make the rice and chickpeas. (Actually I use two pressure cookers, I own three. I'm already planning a 'I love my pressure cooker' blog post.) A 19 oz can of chickpeas is fine, rinse well. In large pot, or pressure cooker, saute onion in oil, add salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Add rice and 3 1/2 C water, cover and bring to pressure. Cook for 15 minutes. If not using pressure cooker, follow package directions for cooking rice. Stir in chickpeas and spinach. Serve hot. This is not only vegan but macrobiotic too. All the flavor is in the seasoning. Tons of onions and garlic are awesome. I've also added cumin for a Moroccan flavor.

I am going to rant now. Just a warning.

Before Yom Tov I bought a box of instant oatmeal. It was Quaker Maple and Brown Sugar, yum, right? Usually I use regular flavored oatmeal and we just add our own flavors, I find the packaged stuff way too sweet. So why did I buy this? Because it said 'Half the Sugar.' Let's try it, I thought. Might not be too bad. Happily I read the box before I opened it. I was suspicious, how did they get it to half the sugar and still meet most American's need for super, sickeningly sweet crap?


I am just beside myself. How is this any better? When I brought the box back to the store I took a closer look at other products in that aisle. Every product listed as 'healthier' in some way, had an artificial sweetner. I cannot express how completely full of rage, irritated, and upset I am and still keep this blog PG.

I am of the opinion that artificial sweetners are the leading cause of most health problems in America, including obesity and diabetes and depression. Pretty broad statement, I know, but it's how I feel. And I beleive in 50 years when science and the people who have been consuming this garbage, finally catches up with the FDA, on this I will be proven right. They've already proven that Nutrasweet, when consumed in quantity by pregnant women, can attach itself to the spinal cord of the fetus and cause permanent damage. What do I mean by quantity? One 2 liter bottle a day of diet soda. (While most folks don't drink that much soda they do drink coffee and tea to which they add their sweetner.)

And now that they're putting artificial sweetners in everyday food without telling you with HUGE LETTERS, who knows how much we'll be consuming. NOWHERE on that oatmeal box did it say ARTIFICIAL SWEETNER, nowhere. How did I find it? The ingredient list had sucralose listed right after caramel color.

Who is the FDA serving?

One teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories. I put three in my coffee. I drink two cups of coffee a day. That's 96 calories a day. I'll live.

I'm done ranting. Today.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Here's What I've Got So Far

(Edited for format)

Thursday dinner: Chickpea, rice and spinach casserole, don't have to buy a thing.

Friday/Shabbos dinner: Challah, Matzah ball soup, Chicken, broccoli, potato kugel, carrot kugel, chocolate chip cookies, apple cake. I need flour, chicken bones and a chicken.

Shabbos lunch: Challah, cholent, salad, kugels, cookies & cake. I need cholent meat and salad veggies.

Melave Malka: Pizza and board games with the kids. I need pizza sauce and pizza cheese

Sunday brunch: French toast from leftover challah. Don't have to buy a thing.

Sunday dinner: We will probably be at Renn Faire so I will pack tuna and PB&J sandwiches
I need potato chips, bread, and a few snack treats to nosh on during the day. We will buy drinks there.

Monday dinner: Eggplant parmesean, salad. I will set aside a bit of cheese from the pizza, otherwise don't have to buy a thing.

Tuesday dinner: Cheesy polenta, fried onions, eggs over easy or scrambled. Don't have to buy a thing.

Wednesday dinner: Leftover night and sometimes pasta, depends on what's got to be eaten

Shopping list:

lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, mushrooms, dill, baby carrots, celery

chicken bones, chicken, chuck roast

pizza cheese, parmesean cheese, milk, string cheese, yogurts, sliced cheese

Non perishables:
potato chips, bread, maybe another snack or two that transports easily

That's what I've got. How about you?

Now for the fun stuff. I've got one mitt mostly done. I have to knit on the flip top. These will go with the Snapdragon Tam.

Now I have to actually get something done today.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Challenge

Yom Tov is over even though the Sukkah is still standing. We didn't get it down before the rain hit us. Yesterday was the first full day without rain, today it is supposed to be sunny and in the 70's. Tomorrow is supposed to be the same. Everything should be dry by then, so tomorrow we raize the Sukkah. Raize, reminds me of Clinton and his whole 'it takes a village to raise a child.' I used to say, "It takes my children to raize a village." I crack myself up.

So here's the challenge, it's called 'Pantry Shopping.' For the next two weeks I am challenging myself to live from my pantry, freezer and fridge. My goal is to cut my grocery budget in half by planning meals from what I already have. Can she do it? 'Yes she can!' Wednesday is my day to make my meal plans and shopping list. I also usually rummage around in the fridge and get rid of Shabbos leftovers and the like. So, tomorrow I will give you all my menu for the week and my proposed shopping list. As always ideas are welcome and everyone is invited to join the fun. Leave me a comment and let me know how you're doing.

Okay, business done, now for the fun. You have to see this. I made it Sunday.

It's for Rachel for Channukah. If I have time I'm going to fill it with crocheted sweets like ice cream cones, cookies and donuts. If I don't have time I'm going to the dollar store for pony tail holders, barretts and the like.

I'm off to do some laundry and of course more knitting.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicago Again

My four older children will be with their father this year for Thanksgiving. For a while it looked like it was just going to be Rachel, Larry and I at mom's for turkey. Until Larry's brother called. He's got the whole week off and invited us to come to Chicago. So after much discussion, about five minutes, and much angst, more than five minutes, for my mother who won't have her kids or grandkids this year we decided to go to Chicago and gift my mother with Rachel for the week.

Clever solution no? I love my mom.

While the prospect of November in Chicago does not really appeal to me, I am excited to go and see the Windy City again and visit my brother. Larry's family is very nice and his brother is pretty cool. We should have a grand time. We're going for 8 days, not the 4 we had last time. Plenty of time to visit family, friends and yarn shops. Plus I've got a little over a month to plan as opposed to two weeks like last spring.

What am I knitting you ask? Tons of stuff. I'm on a Ysolda Teague kick right now spurred on by one of the ladies I talk with in a Ravelry group I belong to. Last week I knitted up her Snapdragon Tam in a yarn I dyed myself.

I love the way the cables wander over the hat and the flames just shoot out of the junction of crossing cables. It is a very well written and designed pattern.

I started on the flip top mitts that go with the tam this week. These will be a Channuka gift for someone who likes orange. I also started another pattern of hers, Ishbel. It's a lovely little shawl that I'm knitting with the yarn leftover from my 'Those Purple Socks.'

It's a quick knit, or would be if I hadn't made a counting mistake causing much cursing and frogging. I had to rip back to where the lace begins. It's irritating because the lace is an easy pattern and it's organic, it grows in an obvious way from each row. I wouldn't have made the mistake if I'd been paying attention to the previous row.

I'm almost done with my Monkey Socks. Just the foot and toe of the second sock to go. These will also be a Channuka gift.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Up and Down

It's been an up and down last two weeks. Had a lot of fun. Had a lot of stress. Shepped a lot of nachas.Weird face on the Bar Mitzvah boy. I'll put up a better picture when I get them.Me, three of my children and a friend and her baby. That's baby Eden of the Eden's Bonnet fame. I can't stop knitting for her. I made her a sweater using the 5 Hour Baby Sweater pattern. Took me a little over 6 hours so it's about a close to instant gratification as you get.
I've got a head cold. I'll write more later.