Yeah...I've spent the last few days pretty much inside, except for a trip to work yesterday, and a brief outing today.
Between Ella being sick and me somehow hurting a muscle in my arm/neck/shoulder (go big or go home, right?) I've been stuck inside and alternately cuddling a bag of frozen vegges and a heat pack.
Uhm, NO. Hermitude is not for me.
Tomorrow, I have to unpack a truck at the food bank and Ella is coming too. And bringing her schoolwork. So, it's back to my insane life...even though I'll probably sleep with a heat pack again tonight.
In other news, I know something ya'll don't know....
Meal Planning Monday didn't happen this week. Why? Because nice weather. I did make all sorts of nice meals this week, I just didn't write about them. whoops! But, ya'll should be happy because I will be posting my GRANDMOTHER'S cabbage roll recipe :)
I also tried something new. My sister told me she had String Bean Chicken from Panda Express...and since I live in the boonies over here, and there's not a Panda Express anywhere near me. I thought, heyyyyy, I can totally try to copycat this myself. I googled the recipe and found this site and tweaked a few things (such as no black bean sauce...because boonies)
Anyway, it turned out pretty awesome :)
So, here's what's happened this week, and what will happen :)
*Potatoes (the recipe called for 8-10 cups of potatoes, I used 2 cans of sliced potatoes...why? because I'm lazy)
*2 cups or so of shredded cheddar
*green onion, as much as you want
*bacon (I used bacon bits...laziness)
*mayo (recipe called for one cup, but I used less. I have a hang-up about mayo. It creeps me out.)
*salt and pepper
Here's what you do
*Open your cans of potatoes and rinse, rinse, rinse. Read about my canned potato phobia here
*Dice your potatoes...I literally diced them in the colander...canned potato phobia, ya'll
*Combine your potatoes, bacon bits (or crisped up bacon, if you're ambitious), cheese, and green onions. This is where I broke two plates. Oh, boy.
*Coat with mayo. If you're a freako like me, have a mini flip-out over the texture.
*Top with even more cheese and bake at 325 for an hour and a half
Enjoy! Despite my food issues, I loved loved loved these potatoes!
I'd kind of been letting my Meal Planning Slide, because my life has been in all kinds of emotional upheaval lately. Bleh.
So, with the exception of yesterday (because I had the mother of all migraines) I made it a point to stick to my Meal Plan this week and found myself much less stressed!
So, in short, this is why I Meal Plan.
1) Less Stress
2) More time to enjoy stuff other than cooking
3) Saves money. I shop the sales and plan accordingly
4) Did I mention less stress?
5) Nobody asks "what's for dinner?" fifty bazillion times
6) I get to use up what's in my cupboards and come up with all sorts of interesting recipes
February was exhausting, and we almost forgot about Girls and Pearls, no lie!
The last day in February, we ran out to get coffee and to drop some dinner off with Gabe. And Ella said, "Mom! We forgot to wear our pearls this month!" So out they came.
I meant to take pictures of us and Gabe, I swear I did. And then Ella and I got caught up in conversation and hot chocolate, and Gabe and I got caught up in conversation. So, yeah. Fail. Or not....but I'll definitely take more pictures this month!
Lordy, this last month has been exhausting in every way, but especially emotionally.
I am ready to start a new week, and start over a little bit, I guess. Everything tends to suffer when you're stuck at home with cabin fever (and over a foot of snow outside, ugh) But...the sun is out today! I took myself out for coffee, at my husband's insistence. I think he knows I will go insane if I don't get out every once in a while.
I also think he knows that Riley's 10th birthday is weighing heavily on my mind, and St. Patrick's Day, in two weeks, marks 2 months exactly from THAT day, which "just happens" to be Ella's birthday too.
Today, I saw the most amazing thing. I opened my door to check the progress of melting snow on my deck (ya'll, I can see my DECK!) and the next thing I knew, a bunch of balloons floated past me. Pink and white. I stared at them, open-mouthed. I wish I had taken a picture. I love balloons. I love watching them float away. Every year, Ella and I release balloons for Riley Grace.
This was taken last year, when Ella turned 8, and Riley turned 9.
God knows what I need. He will carry me through this 10th year, the way He has carried me through the other 9.
That said, I am taking a breather this week and making the best of it, and the ones after. Here's my tentative meal plan.
Monday: Breakfast for dinner Tuesday: Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters, Mashed Potatoes, and Veggies Wednesday: Pizza Mac and Cheese Thursday: Stuffed Pepper Soup Friday: Tacos Saturday: Baked Potato Soup Sunday: Spaghetti