Thursday, October 1, 2009

THIS is what's for dinner

THIS is what we had for dinner tonight:
Chicken and Mushroom Risotto w/Garlic Bread

I adapted my recipe from here, but this is what I did:

1 T butter
3 T olive oil
1/4 c red onion, slivered/chopped
2 Portabella mushroom caps, thickly sliced/chopped
1-2 c cooked chicken
1 t dry basil
1 c rice (I used Japanese)
2/3 c white wine (I used some old Riesling)
3 c chicken stock (mine is homemade with lots of Paprika)
chopped cashews
lemon zest
cheese (I used Italian 5 blend)

1. Warm chicken stock
2. Heat butter and oil over medium heat, add onions, cook till soft
3. Add mushrooms and basil, cook till soft
4. Turn heat up a little bit and add rice. Cook and stir for 3 minutes
5. Add chicken, cook and stir for another 2 minutes (or so)
6. Add wine and cook until it is evaporated
7. Add 1/2 c chicken stock. Cook and stir till almost evaporated, about 3 minutes
8. Repeat addition of chicken stock. Stir frequently.
9. Taste test the rice after adding 2 cups of stock to see if its almost done -- only add as much as you need, do not overcook
10. Remove from heat. Stir in cream (maybe 1-2 T), lemon zest and cashews.
11. Salt and pepper to taste

As with all cooking -- use what you have on hand. Would Arborio rice be better for a risotto? Would parmigiano reggiano be a better choice for the cheese? Would dry white wine be better than my riesling? Maybe -- but let me tell you this was amazing. Use what you have, stir this alot, and make sure you have nothing else going on (no TV) while you eat this....feast and enjoy!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Things to Do

I have been wishing and thinking and concocting for a few's been a long time since I've really spent time thinking of how things could be, if things were done differently. I know this sounds ambiguous, so forgive me for being proud of myself for letting go a little bit and wondering about changes that can be made. :) Dave and I have settled into a mode of accepting things as they are (modest finances), and yet, over the past couple of weeks we have been just talking about what we would do if we had a little bit of money to work with. The truth is that we could afford a small amount in the budget to revamp a few things around the house that we would both benefit from. We have a beautiful house, that we are nothing but thrilled about daily, but there are things that we would prefer to be a bit different.

Now, all that to say that God Almighty Himself has very clearly told me to finish the small projects that I've either started or bought supplies to start. So, this is the small list of things that we (really just I) need to do around the house before we can tackle anything else:

  • refinish wooden desk (purchased for $20 in May and still sitting on the back porch)
  • rescreen the side door (this is def a Dave job)
  • paint one of the spare rooms or bathroom (with paint received as payment for restaining a friend's floor)
  • transfer dry goods (rice, pasta, beans) into the 3 dozen mason jars that I got for free off of Freecycle back in April
  • list/sell the random stuff I've been accumulating since we got married, on Craigslist

I do have to admit that I did buy chalkboard vinyl today to make labels for my mason jar goods. Click here for an example. I just thought those labels were way too cute. I may have a large amount of the chalkboard vinyl leftover, so I will probably intend to resell it on Etsy or Ebay. We'll see.

So, over the next month or so, look for pictures and updates with these little projects. I want to finish them to work on the issue of 'doing what I've said I will do' and then free up mental space to move onto other things to turn them into reality rather than just wishing and wondering time away.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Meal Planning Monday (on a Tuesday)

Let me just say that we are no longer participating in the All You Grocery Challenge. I've been pretty bummed about not doing it, but have been learning some timely lessons, which makes it worthwhile. (at least that's where I keep redirecting my attitude)

I am still trying to keep up with my meal planning though, because that is the true key to my food budgets. So, for this week we are eating:

Monday: Grilled Chicken, Homemade Flatbread (with red onions, green olives and aged white Australian cheese), Roasted Red Potatoes, Green Beans, Cucumber/Sour Cream sidedish, and Salad -- I was REALLY in the mood for a summer feast, but went WAY overboard, so we invited friends over :)

Tuesday: Leftovers from my compulsive Monday cooking

Wednesday: Oven-Fried Eggplant & Salad (hopefully Dave will look past the vegetarianism of this meal)

Thursday: Grab-n-Go Food -- Probably a mish mash of leftovers, cereal, and/or wontons -- We are planning to clean the church that day, so we just have to eat something quick and go

Friday: Burgers? Maybe these burgers :)

Saturday: Shepherds Pie

What are you eating?

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm going to die

This morning I woke up and felt like I was going to die. There are days when I am convinced that something has beaten the tar out of me while I slept. (Dave denies it every time I ask him.) As my morning progressed, so did a severe stomach ache. All morning long, I have been moaning (inside my head) about how convinced I am that today will be the day I die. Oh, also, my mother called me and I wimpered on and on about how miserable I feel.

At some point during this afternoon, I recalled how Dave and I decided a few weeks ago to sponsor a Compassion Child. So I went to Compassion's website and started looking at kids from Africa. And then I really felt like I would do you choose which one to sponsor? Which child deserves a chance at something different -- but at the expense of another? The button to 'Select this Child' was haunting me. I was also feeling completely shameful of my whining and bemoaning this morning. I'm such a jerk too often.

So, this is our newest family member: Esther

You can sponsor your own child, from anywhere in the world, for $38/month and provide that child with food, clean water, medical care, educational opportunities, important life skill training, and teachings about Jesus Christ by clicking here to go to

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time Out

I started the Love Dare yesterday. I can say anything I want about my husband on here and he'll never find out. The man calls the internet, 'The Google.' Or, 'the devil.' It depends on the day. Anyway, Monday night, we were praying before bed, and I prayed that God would help me to love better and be slow to anger. So then yesterday, Tuesday, my Love Dare was to not say anything negative to my husband. At first, it was not so bad. I definitely found myself holding my tongue and actually thinking through what I was about to say. (and then I would think to myself, who says stuff like this or why do I think it's okay to say this???)

Then a little situation creeped up. One of those 'old, familiar' situations, where I was [mentally/emotionally] taken right back to those old, familiar feelings of bubbling anger, a tightened chest, and angst. Oh, and rage. This situation was nothing that Dave did, but one of those things that I react to by taking it out on Dave. Very unfair, I realize. As I felt the anger bubbling, I was reminded of my prayer to be slow to anger and quick to love. I was also reminded of one of the verses from my Love Dare: "See that no one repays evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and all people." 1 Thessalonians 5:15

I really want to call TIME OUT to God, throw a temper tantrum, and tell Him to leave me alone. Can't you just imagine the [stupid/waste of time] conversation:
me: God, seriously, LEAVE ME ALONE
God: but you asked me to help you be slow to anger
me: well I didn't mean it this way!
God: too bad

Yeah, that would be a great use of my time and energy. As much as it hurts to grow -- and my chest still does hurt, it's tight and feels funny to is good to know that God cares. God cares enough to throw a stone in my path and see how I responds. It's good to know that He does not waste my time with something different, but uses the same old thing, and takes me right back to the last time we dealt with this. He always picks up where He left off, doesn't He? He doesn't ever forget....because He cares.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I won!!!!!!!

So I started blogging again yesterday, and then I won a contest! That's great confirmation, huh?

You can read about my winning here

Thanks to Jamie -- I love her blog and use her as a scapegoat when it comes to my pantry, because mine is not as full as hers.....yet :)

By the way, dinner last night? Not spinach gnocchi -- we had tuna melts instead. And tonight? Not grilled chicken quesadillas -- we're having spinach gnocchi. But we are planning to have spaghetti tommorrow!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Beginning of Refining

So I'm really going to start blogging more. I am constantly asked about my couponing or budget saving tips, plus I entered the All You Challenge -- read about it here. So, for the next month, I am hoping to blog more about my deals and maybe refine my spending even more. For starters, here is my meal plan for the week:

Monday: Spinach & Bacon Gnocchi - minus the chicken and 1lb of gnocchi
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Quesadillas
Wednesday: Spaghetti (homemade)
Thursday: Wienies Creole -- don't judge me, I have 16 packs of hot dogs to use up!
Friday: Pizza (homemade)
Saturday: leftovers *subject to change
Sunday: leftovers *subject to change

Let me know if you have any tips or good recipes to try while I'm on this grocery challenge!

**Obviously subject to change in case anything happens to come up :)