Well, Today I have been cooking like crazy! I tried to make meatloaf for supper last night. I had everything mixed, and went to pull the 2 pounds of ground chuck from the fridge, only to open and discover that it was BROWN and smelled horrible. I was so upset, because I had just bought it at the locker on Tuesday, and it was only Friday.... so it should NOT have been bad. both kids were screaming in my ears and Ardyn was BEGGING me to rock her. So I just stopped where I was and called Evan, told him the situation, and sat in the rocking chair with both kids until they were calm and relaxed. When Evan got home I was rocking them on the porch, singing silly songs to them, and he went in and checked the meat and declared it definitely bad, and threw it out. We don't have a clue what happened, as I spent about $70 that day at the locker, on meat for the next week or two, and froze what we didn't need immediately, and everything else that was fresh seemed to be okay... strange.
So we had lunchmeat sandwiches instead.
So today I had Evan go to the locker and get me some fresh hamburger, so that we could have meatloaf for supper. This morning we all slept in till 10:30 again. That was nice because I was up until about 2am sewing these new board shorties for Marek, with a guitar applique. Evan was impressed, and I said "see, there's even a little pickgaurd!" Marek is wearing them today, and they are super cute. Again, he's too hot to handle, and is shirtless to be comfortable. I can't believe how much he can sweat when he's just sitting there!
I started in making food right off the bat this morning. On Thursday night, Ardyn helped me clean vegetables and so I had lots of things prepped for recipes I needed to get done.
She helped me make some AWESOME side salads to start out supper Thursday night...
Also on Thursday I re-evaluated and restocked/updated our family First-Aid kit that I keep in the van. Target had a special where you bought three First Aid items in their display and got this first aid bag for free, so I bought some gauze in larger sizes and some tape, and some Diego band-aids for Ardyn. Now that she's so much more mobile, I found lots more things that could come in handy in our first aid kit, like our all-natural homeopathic sting stop, and tweezers, and telfa pads, neosporin, benadryl cream, etc. I also added a pair of rubber gloves in case the person who was hurt was not in our immediate family, and plan on getting a few more pair to stash in there just in case.
I folded kid laundry and washed diapers
So this morning I started by making Sweet Broccoli Salad and 7-layer salad (which here is 6 layer salad because I despise celery.) Then I made Ardyn's lunch, and then Rachel Ray's Tuna Pasta Salad, which is "yum-o"
Then I browned the ground beef that I will be using to make bacon cheeseburger pizza tomorrow night, and meat lovers pizza with no cheese for Ardyn. I bought pizza crusts that have no milk, and got a two pack of regular sized, and a two pack of personal sized crusts. I will use one of each (personal sized for Ardyn with no cheese) and the other two I can freeze for a future occasion. I always say I am going to make my own pizza dough from scratch, and I think that's in the near future if things continue to go well.
Evan cut up 2lbs of Flat Sirloin for me, and I browned them with some beef broth and froze them so use in some Transylvanian Ghoulash (Rachel Ray) and an Asian Stir Fry recipe later in the week. After all that, the kids were heading down for naps, so I made our meatloaf for supper tonight and then Marek and I sat outside and watched while Evan added some new rocks to the ffreshly filled pond. Something about sitting in a lawn chair makes Marek absolutely SURE that he must have breastmilk. NOW. So I nursed him. And then we came inside and he fell asleep in his swing and I put the meatloaf in the oven. Evan and I wanted to run to town for a bit tonight, sans kids, but are having the customary hard time finding anyone who wants to watch the kids, even for two hours. It's incredibly frustrating, but it's a fact of life. It's the sad part of having grandparents that aren't so old they can barely walk.... they are just too busy.
I am really happy that I have suddenly started cooking again. I was tired (we ALL were) of eating out, or eating crap. But seriously, being a Pampered Chef consultant for those three years REALLY burned me out on cooking. I can't believe that, but it was really hard on me. It seems unrealistic that it would take four years to recouperate, but with having two kids and getting married and having the house gutted and remodeled, it just seems like there has been plenty going on. It is REALLY expensive to buy so much groceries, but at the same time, it's really expensive to eat out all the time. I think you just don't realize the cost because it isn't hitting you in one lump sum. Plus we have more people to feed now, and are more conscious about fresh ingredients and vegetables, and then we have Ardyn's dairy allergy and the whole "expensive Rice Milk" situation to deal with.
I planned meals for two weeks and got groceries, and I think that between getting the usual toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.... it was about $250, and then on top of that add $70 of meat, and another $50 at Target for snacks, because they have the best healthy snacks that have no dairy.... I love the Archer Farm Fruit Strips, and dried fruit mixes for Ardyn and I to snack on, and they also sell the larger pouches of Barnum and Bailey Animal Crackers (the only brand without milk) and I end up grabbing things like Snapple Fruit Tea and Nice soft Fruit Snacks that Ardyn can actually chew without choking on. The snacks will last more than 2 weeks, probably a month or more, easily.... but you figure about $300 every two weeks for groceries.... It CAN be done cheaper than that, and once I get the hang of things and get a better stock built up of the essentials and certain ingredients, I think it will be less expensive. I did lots of recipes as supper meals, and then scheduled the leftovers as lunch for Ardyn and I later. I am hoping to get some more veggies next time, and do some steaming and pureeing like I did when I made all of Ardyn's baby food.... because I want to do some of the Sneaky chef recipes, and I might as well get the hang of it because in just 4 SHORT months, I will be making baby food for Marek too!
He's already two months old and time is FLYING by. I can't believe it! Look how much he loves to SMILE and laugh right now. Well, a silent or gurgled laugh.
I wish the picture wasn't off centered, but he doesn't want to laugh at the camera, he wants to laugh at Mommy! So I am trying to take the picture without looking through the viewfinder.... so that I can be making him smile and he can see my face! Challenges!
Well, that's all for now, I need to go make salads and check the meatloaf! Have a great weekend!