Monday, November 26, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Week of Nov 26, 2007

Both my husband and I feel like we need to detox from all of the Thanksgiving food!! My sister-in-law left us a huge portion of leftover cheesecake... and oh my goodness, I feel so yucky from eating all that cheesecake! I am going to post some pictures soon from our Thanksgiving... I was pretty happy with how everything turned out!

This weeks meals are going to be pretty simple and healthy.

Monday: Turkey Chili w/ Side Salad and Homemade Whole Wheat Rolls
Green Bean Green Curry Stir Fry over Brown Rice
Veggie & Feta Stuffed Calzones made w/ Whole Wheat Crust

Honey Baked Lentils (I add some carrots or sweet potatoes) Whole Wheat Toast & Spinach Citrus Salad
Date night!
Leftovers, Split Pea Soup, Mushroom Quesadillas

Breakfast Bars

Mmmm... now I'm hungry. I'm gonna go grab some lunch. Maybe an almond butter & jelly sandwich.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oh my goodness, I smell like an Indian food restaurant...

Ok, so there has been this issue at our house recently... it smells. Don't get me wrong, I actually love the smell of cumin, curry, and ginger... but not when it starts to permeate my clothes.

Our spice cabinet has been infiltrating our house. As soon as you opened the front door, it smelled like I had just made Jungle curry for an entire army. I love that I can buy my spices in bulk from Whole Foods, but I didn't realize leaving them in the plastic baggies would cause such damage. Basically, the plastic baggies of cumin, curry, and ginger were allowing the smells to escape and permeate every porous surface in our house. I had put bowls of baking soda in the cabinet to hopefully absorb some of the smell, but it really made no difference. Candles and incense weren't making any difference, despite practically smoking out the whole kitchen.

The other day, I couldn't take it anymore. I had my in-laws coming over for Thanksgiving, I could smell the spices on my clothes when I was away from the house, and my husband said, "It smells weird in here". That was it. It was war.

I pulled out everything from the cabinet, sprayed it down with my vinegar/water/eucalyptus oil solution and wiped that sucker clean. It still smelled. Bad. The bottles themselves smelled. So then I wiped down all of the spice bottles. Still smelled.

Finally I put the pungent spices (curry, ginger, cumin, cumin seed) from their baggies into glass jelly jars.

They are upside down because I had read somewhere that putting spices upside down doesn't allow air to get in and therefore not allowing smells to escape (I don't know if it is true, but I was willing to do anything at this point). That seemed to help, but the cabinet has seemed to absorb all of the smells. How do I make a wood cabinet not smell? I know that baking soda is supposed to absorb smells, so I coated the cabinet with baking soda and let it sit.

I then sprayed it with vinegar and let the exploding action do its work. After cleaning up the baking soda and putting everything back into the cabinet... it didn't really smell anymore (well, just a little)! My husband even said when he came home "It smells better in here." YAY!

So, am I the only one who has had this happen? Please tell me no.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Anyone know any environmentally friendly alternatives to Scotchguard?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Week of Nov 18, 2007

This week is Thanksgiving! I am a bit nervous because I am hosting my husbands family at our house! I have never put on a meal quite this big, but I am lucky that my mother-in-law is helping quite a bit. In fact, my mother-in-law offered to make the turkey and gravy!

They don't usually shop organic or think twice about where their food came from, so my husband hinted that if she was going to do the turkey, it needed to be free-range and organic. I was SO very happy he did that! We don't eat much meat around here, but if we do, or if it is in our house, we want it to be properly raised without antibiotics and hormones.
Needless to say, this week is going to be a bit hectic (and expensive at the grocery store!). That is why most of the meals earlier this week are pretty simple.

Monday: Grilled Cheese and Curried Sweet Potato Soup
Tuesday: Chickpea, Spinach, Carrot and Quinoa Mélange
Wednesday: Tomato Pasta
Friday: Date night!
Weekend/Other: Leftovers

So, you are probably wondering what our Thanksgiving menu looks like. All of the recipes I am linking to, I will most likely change up a bit. Here it is:

Thanksgiving 2007


Stuffed Mushrooms
Cream Cheese w/ Chipotle Raspberry Sauce and Whole Wheat Crackers


Beer Infused Turkey - MIL making


Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Apple and Sage Stuffing
- I am going to combine a bunch of recipes
Green Beans w/ Toasted Almonds

West Texas
Creamed Corn
Mixed Green Salad w/ Balsamic Vinaigrette

Roasted Butternut Squash

Orange and Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Spiced Whipped Cream -
I will whip the cream w/ vanilla and cinnamon
Gravy -
MIL making


White Rolls -
MIL making
Whole Wheat Rolls -
Following this recipe w/o cranberries and walnuts


Pumpkin Bread
- I use more wheat flour than white,
double the pumpkin, use real egg, and add some applesauce and nutmeg

Pumpkin Pie
- MIL making
Cheesecake w/ Strawberry Reduction Sauce
- sister-in-law making



Sweet Tea


Whew! I hope it all goes as planned - I will let you all know!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Frugal Fridays: "No paper towels!?"

We don't use paper towels... GASP! I know. My mother-in-law almost choked on her water when she asked where the paper towels were to clean up a mess off the floor in the kitchen and my answer was "We don't use paper towels, we have regular towels in that cabinet".

My husband and I have been using regular towels for instead of paper towels for about a year. Not only is it WAY cheaper, but it is such a waste to use something for 0.3 seconds and then throw it away. I know my parents go through like a roll a day... that is so many trees! Sure you can buy the recycled Seventh Generation stuff, but to me it is so not worth it when you can reuse something over and over.

So, here is our system. We have towels (microfiber towels are great... they are great for dusting and scrubbing) in a basket in a cabinet next to the sink.

Then under the sink, I have a small "laundry" basket, and I just throw them in there when they are dirty. Simple.

I wash the towels every couple of days, or when the basket is full. This has saved us quite a bit of money and quite a few trees!

Visit Biblical Womanhood for more great frugal ideas!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Getting things done

Lately I have been feeling like I am really unproductive and don't use my time wisely. A few weeks ago, I started a weekly cleaning schedule, and it has GREATLY helped me get things done and not feel so overwhelmed. However, I still waste very precious time on not very productive things (*cough* too much time on the internet *cough*). Today, I decided to kick my butt in gear and be thankful for the time I have - that I don't have to work a full time job, and that we don't have kids yet so I can use my time to help others.

So, today I would like to share my list of accomplished things!
  • Made bed
  • Sweeped all hard floors
  • Vacuumed corners and baseboards
  • Deodorized (sprinkled baking soda and let it sit) and vacuumed carpet
  • Mopped all hard floors
  • Soaked shower head in vinegar to remove all the nasty stuff that has been building up
  • Caught up on e-mails/phone calls for work
  • Updated household calendar
  • Picked up clutter in office and bedroom
  • Organized all recipes in recipe binder: put recipes in page protectors
  • Cleaned out and reorganized home management binder
  • Dusted all hard surfaces
  • Wiped down mirrors
  • Wiped bathroom and kitchen counters
  • Made dinner for a good friend of mine that is a new mama: Baked bread, made lentil soup, baked chocolate chip cookies, made label tags and tied them on with ribbon to each item
  • Made dinner for my husband and I: Eggplant Parmesan - served and cleaned up
  • Had to sweep kitchen again
  • Went to Goodwill and purchased: basket to put dinner for new mama in, new cloth napkins for our everyday use (7 new napkins for 2.75!), and 2 new Fall tea towels (.79 cents!)
  • Dropped off food to new mama and held her beautiful new baby boy for a little bit
  • Did dishes
  • 1 load of laundry
  • Looked over our budget with my husband
  • Read a few new blogs and got some cool ideas for all kinds of stuff
  • Looked up Christmas gift ideas
  • And wrote this blog post!
  • And it is still only 8:30pm
Okay, so I am sure there are those of you out there that are thinking that this is nothing, but I feel great about it... so, don't burst my bubble!

Thanks for letting me get that out! Now for some quality time with my dear sweet husband!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Week of Nov 12, 2007

I love menu planning and grocery shopping, so Monday is one of my favorite days. Below is my menu plan for this week:

Monday: Tempeh Sloppy Joe Wraps w/ Baked Fries and coleslaw

Tuesday: Honey Baked Lentils w/ salad and toast

Wednesday: Baked Eggplant Parmesan w/ side spinach salad topped w/ homemade balsamic

Thursday: Sweet Potato Patties w/ curried sour cream, naan (I have some frozen in the freezer that I made a few weeks ago), and wilted garlic spinach

Friday: Date Night!!

Weekend/Other: Leftovers, Quesadillas

Snacks: Banana Bread

My husband LOVES the recipe for Tempeh Sloppy Joe Wraps by Cassie Young. You should check out Cassie's meal plans over at Veggie Meal Plans. This blog was the one that got me started on menu planning over a year ago! She has SO many wonderful recipes and ideas... I tend to use at least one of her ideas a week. Her recipes are usually a simplified conglomerate of other recipes she has tried - and they are amazing. Her blog has greatly helped expand our vegetarian meal options (because it is easy to get in a rut).

From last weeks menu, the Sauteed Rainbow Chard, Apricots, Walnuts, and Garlic over Quinoa (a recipe I made up) was amazing! I wasn't sure about it, but we absolutely loved it! Adding a bit of balsamic vinegar while I sauteed the chard helped counteract some of the bitterness and bring all the flavors together. Also, I added raisins along with the apricots and slightly re-hydrated both in a little hot water before adding them to the mix.

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more meal plans!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I am leaving in a few minutes for a camp out with the youth from church (I help teach their Sunday School). I realized that this is the first time I will be a night away from my husband since we got married!! He is staying home to try to get some work done on our never ending project of redoing the bathroom. (We started the project in MAY and it is still down to the studs with no bathtub or toilet installed... or even a floor for that matter.)

I am not much of a camper, so we will see how this weekend goes. Don't get me wrong, I love the outdoors, but not when it comes to bugs or anything strange actually touching me. They are nice to look at, but once it is in close proximity, I am not a happy camper. (No pun intended!)

Anyways, we will see how this goes...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My blue suede (or leather) shoes...

Today I found some amazingly cute shoes. Now, I am not much of a heel wearer. I usually stick with flats, but these were too cute to pass up and the heel is only about an inch at the most. They will go perfect with a navy blue blouse that I have.

Can you guess how much they were?

Only $5.99!! How, you say? Well, Goodwill is oh so good to me. It is not only good to keep our budget on track, but it is also good for the environment. I feel SO much better knowing that I can get what I need without requiring something new to be made and buying into the pressures of consumerism. These shoes look like someone wore them maybe 2 times and they are made of super soft leather. Can you tell I am just a little bit excited about my frugal find?

Yay for new shoes!

Head over to Biblical Womanhood for more frugal ideas!

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 5, 2007

I have been planning a weekly menu for my husband and I, and have also been reading I'm an Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday for awhile... BUT this is my first time actually posting my menu plan online!

We eat mainly vegetarian around here, and being a dietitian has a huge influence on the "healthy factor" of our foods (that doesn't mean we eat perfect!). I pack my husband's lunch almost everyday, which usually consist of leftovers from the night before with fruit.

So, here it goes... my first online menu plan!

Monday: Broccoli, Mushroom and Brown Basmati Rice Casserole with spinach salad and homemade balsamic vinaigrette

Tuesday: Red Bean Coffee Chili with homemade cornbread

Wednesday: Sauteed Rainbow Chard, Apricots, Walnuts, and Garlic over Quinoa

Thursday: Black Bean Chalupas topped with spinach, sour cream and fire-roasted salsa

Friday: Date Night!! (My FAVORITE night!)

Weekend/Other: Leftovers, Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Snacks: Homemade Banana Bread

Yay! Hopefully I get faster at this posting stuff in the future.