Wednesday, February 9, 2011

getting myself un-dis-organized

so, over the last few months, like, since i started working in november, i've gotten a little disorganized.

ok, a lot disorganized.

well! that all stops today.

i'm working on a filing system for bills. a binder with two sections:

  1. paid
  2. awaiting $$
because i can't pay a bill if i don't have money... see how that works?

the other thing i'm working on is re-instating the weekly menu. and when i plan the menu, i don't just plan suppers. nope. i plan everything we eat for the week.
  • breakfast
  • lunch (including school lunches)
  • snack
  • supper
this way, if i need to make, say, muffins for breakfast or bread for sandwiches, i know ahead of time and i can make it the night before.

the other thing this allows is for budgeting and variety in our meals. i always find that spend at least half again as much on groceries when i don't plan the menu, and we end up eating the same things over and over. which isn't always a bad thing, since i am a pretty good cook, but i am capable of making a lot of different things, and most of those... never get made. :( so this way, i can make more of the foods we enjoy for a lot less money. 

and let's not forget the calendar!!

for christmas i got the Cake Wrecks calendar (SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!), and it's got plenty of room for writing down, well, everything!!!!
  • my work schedule
  • school project due dates
  • library book return dates
  • appointments
  • pay day
  • bills due
  • play dates
you get the idea, i'm sure. basically, if we're doing it, or we should be doing it, it goes on the calendar.

i may also include specific tasks to be done around the house. things like, "wash bedding and towels" or "baking day" or "organize so-and-so's bedroom."

and yes, i'm going to have a baking/cooking day. i figure, if i do it on saturdays, then we'll have good snacks for the week and the kidley-winks can help me! muffins for breakfasts, cookies or granola bars for snacks, and any suppers i can make ahead of time for thursdays or other busy days.

anyway, that's the plan for now. the way i see it, if i work on one disorganized part of my life at a time, i should be completely organized by the time i'm 80 or so. that's my goal, at least. {wink}

Saturday, February 5, 2011

i'm making up another soup "recipe" :)

last night for supper, we had perogies with bacon. i would have fried up some onions, too, but i thought i was all out. {tears}

i only used about 2/3 of the package of bacon last night. the rest i threw into the freezer, to be used later for some as-yet-unspecified culinary concoction.

well, gentle readers, that "unspecified culinary concoction" is now specified.


it's cold, it's snowy, it's a day at home. and i wanted to cook. but i find that i run out of ideas for supper by late afternoon, and i end up staring into the fridge, freezer, pantry, and contemplating take-out. (last night i dreamed little caesar's closed and we were unable to get cheap pizza!! the horror...) so i have decided to go back to weekly menu planning and slow cooking ( slowly? blerg!). so this afternoon, when i started working on lunch...

i came up with supper.

i ran over to the freezer and pulled out the leftover bacon from last night. after a little cheer, i tossed it into the pan with... you guessed it... bacon fat!!! what was food like before some genius mind realized that bacon fat is amazing?!?!? couldn't have been very good, i don't think. but that's just me. and i love bacon. a lot. it's just so... so... bacony... {drools all over keyboard}

{puts out drool-induced electrical fire on keyboard}

and... we're back.

where were we? ah, yes. bacon.

so, i began frying up the remaining bacon, which i had actually cut into smaller pieces last night. so that's going on the stove, and i decided to go potato hunting in my kitchen. and in the process, i found...


again, i heart onions. they just fill a dish with flavour, and yet they're so simple and easy and versatile and yum-tastic.

especially when they're fried in bacon fat. {wink}

i was going to use them for a soup creation, but as i was looking at the bacon and onions there in the pan, i started thinking... stew? pasta? a different soup?

in the end, i went with my original idea. and here's what i threw together:

Mexican Lentil and Bacon Soup

so, like i said, i used 1/3 lb of bacon, cut into smaller pieces, and fried in bacon fat with 1 diced onion. while cooking, i added a little bit of mexican flavour. el yum!

i poured the bacon and onion into the slow cooker, being (somewhat) careful to not dump in copious amounts of liquid beauty fat. i then added some diced tomatoes, and mixed it all together.

pour in some lentils. the amount? um... i don't know... a cup... ish??? till it looked right. let's go with that.

mix it all together.

at this point, i threw in some mexican seasoning and a touch of cumin.

throw in some frozen spinach, and some chicken broth, and a little bit of water, and...


i'll post later with the results... but it smells pretty good already!

UPDATE #1: i just sampled the broth. if it tastes this good when it's done cooking, i would take a bullet for this soup. it's just. that. good. will update with final results later. :)

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