"when you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

In the past few months, I’ve noticed our food expenses gradually growing and growing, until last month, it finally hit me. we spend a disgusting amount of money on groceries and dining out. a disgusting amount. now that I’m back to normal after my surgery, I have a newfound focus and drive to get our spending habits under control. one thing I have done in the past with great success is meal planning. it’s a habit that, when I stick to it, saves us countless last-minute trips to the grocery store and significantly cuts back on dining out.
 So yesterday, armed with a big mug of coffee, a pantry inventory, and a stack of cookbooks, I planned out our meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for the next two weeks. I am hoping to cut our current food expenses in half. let’s see how I do!

I like to use a menu planner (such as this free printable from organizedhome.com).
 Here’s my plan for this week:
B - French toast, sausage links
L - Minestrone soup
D - Baked chicken, sautéed zucchini
Misc - zucchini bread
B - zucchini bread, yogurt w/ jam
L - minestrone soup, hummus sandwiches
D - leftover chicken and veggies
B - leftover French toast, banana
L - minestrone soup, chicken wraps
D - lasagna, salad
Wednesday: (girls’ night at our place)
B - cereal, milk, banana
L - leftover lasagna, veggie sticks
D - frozen pizza for Ryan / appetizers potluck for me (I’m making spinach dip and apple cake)
B - oatmeal, applesauce
L - leftover lasagna, veggie sticks
D - turkey burgers, oven fries, pickles, carrot and celery sticks in ranch
B - cereal or oatmeal w/ banana
L - leftover lasagna for me, sandwich, carrots, and chips for Ryan
D - homemade pizza, salad
Brunch - salsa eggs
D - chicken and rice casserole, garlicky-lemon green beans


return to humanity

today i finally feel like i am starting to return to the land of the living. i had my wisdom teeth out on friday, and have been curled up on the couch slurping lukewarm soup and gumming through bowl after bowl of cottage cheese. i haven't wanted to knit, read, cook, or bake a thing. finally, today, i felt ready to return to the kitchen. as soon as i got home from work i tied on my apron and made my 'famous' meatloaf and zucchini fritters. (yes, the same fritters i blogged about here). hey, they were reasonably soft and i could eat them without much difficulty. it felt great to eat a real meal after four days of nothing but mush.

i felt so great, in fact, that i decided to whip up one of the recipes i've been wanting to test for weeks now.

these are some of my all-time favorite ingredients. can anyone guess what i'm making? i'll post the recipe tomorrow if it turns out ok :)


sunday, lovely sunday

i love sundays. sunday is our "don't leave the house" day. we sleep in, snuggle with amos, brew a huge pot of coffee, and have breakfast when we should be having lunch. this morning's plate was absolutely delicious:  milky coffee, an over easy egg, honey wheat toast with my homemade blueberry maple pecan conserve, and zucchini fritters.

i could start every morning this way.