Thursday, January 2, 2014

What we're eating on the Pantry Challenge

Day Twenty-five: January 25
Well, I think we're done.
I had to break down and go shop - a lot - today.  We were out of many items, and since I've been trying to get ds back on top of his game, our comfort food stash has been enormously diminished.  Thus endeth the pantry challenge.

Breakfast: eggs, bacon, homemade hasbrowns
For hubs.  Ds didn't want anything, and I had a piece of toast.

Lunch: Mexican fiesta!
I promised my guys Mexican food for lunch.  I went to the grocery store.  Ds had bowling this morning, and it took longer than anticipated.  All of us were starving!  I made ground beef with homemade taco seasoning, queso (more of the cheese from the fundraiser), and refried beans.  I chopped some lettuce, opened the salsa and sour cream, and called it lunch.  And everyone was very happy.  And full.

Dinner: Chicken with mushroom gravy, whole wheat egg noodles
My hubby is not a fan of chicken.  However, we have plenty in the freezer to eat, and ds & I both prefer chicken (Hubs is a red meat fan).  So I have to be careful about how much I serve chicken or I'll have a husband revolt.  Tonight, I sauteed chicken with mushrooms, and hubs said, "That smells good.  What is it?"  When I told him, he made a request about how he would prefer his chicken....I was glad to accommodate!  We had shredded chicken breasts with gravy served over whole wheat egg noodles and he enjoyed it and everyone had their fill.   Success!

Dessert: Butter pecan frozen yogurt (part of the shopping trip).

Day Twenty-four: January 24
Thank God it's Friday.

Breakfast: eggs & bacon; drive-thru
We were running very late.  Ds was not feeling at the top of his game.  I caved and hit the drive-thru for him - and for me - because I hadn't eaten either.

Lunch: lunchboxes.
Bologna & cheese for hubs; mac'n'cheese for ds; nada for me.

Dinner: Pancakes.
I was out of maple syrup so we used honey.  I added some mini chocolate chips and pecans to ds's pancakes, which he loved.  I topped mine with blueberries.  

Wasn't feeling well after dinner so I went to bed very early.

Day Twenty-three: January 23
Group picture day at school...ranks right up there with Halloween and Valentines Day for kid craziness.  Mentally prepared.

Breakfast: eggs & toast; smoothies; hot chocolate
I made smoothies for Hubs & me, and he also ate eggs & toast.  Ds only wanted hot chocolate.

Lunch:  lunchboxes.
Salami & cheese sandwich & cookies for Hubs; frozen pizza for ds; turkey sandwich on homemade bread for me
Dinner:  Greens in the crockpot; homemade mac'n'cheese w/butternut squash
A very simple dinner tonight.  Hubs had two bowls of collards that have been simmering in the crock with a ham bone.  Ds & I had homemade mac'n'cheese with butternut squash puree mixed in.  It was plenty.  Cookies for dessert.

Not sure what it is about short work weeks, but they always feel long.  Perhaps it is the extreme cold we've had (Friday is supposed to be even colder!).  We're just not used to this in the Sunshine State!
Day Twenty-two: January 22
This morning, ds seemed like he felt worse than ever, so I let him stay home from school with the intent of taking him to the doc when I got home.  To my surprise, he was outside with the dog feeling great!  Sigh.  Glad, but frustrated at the same time. ;)

Breakfast: cheese grits, smoothie, waffle.
I made smoothies for hubs and me, and he also had cheese grits.  Ds woke up feeling awful, but I convinced him to eat something - he opted for a homemade waffle.  That used to be his go-to breakfast, but he changed his mind....thankfully I still had a few frozen in the freezer.

Lunch: lunchboxes.
I had prepped lunch boxes for everyone before I knew ds wasn't going to school.
Hubs: leftover brisket, rice (from last night), bbq sauce
Ds: tomato soup, cheese & crackers, gatorade
Me: bbq chicken sandwich (homemade - using up leftovers)

Dinner: chicken & baked potato; sausage, rice & greens
Ds & I had leftover chicken from last night with a baked potato (I polished off the broccoli - put it on my potato).  Hubs bowled, and had sausage, rice, and greens when he got home.

I also baked a loaf of bread and replenished our cookie stash.

Day Twenty-one: January 21
We seem to take one step forward and two steps back with ds and feeling better.  But he made it through the school day.  In other news, have I mentioned how much I'm loving my new dishwasher???

Breakfast: Eggs, bacon & toast; whole wheat roll; granola
Hubs had his usual eggs & bacon.  Ds woke up not feeling well (after not sleeping well...yeah, I think they're related).  I convinced him to eat something so I could get some meds in him, so he had a whole wheat roll.  I had some granola (minus the milk) when we got to school.  I munched while I worked before students came in.

Lunch:  lunchboxes
Hubs had leftover brisket, the last of the baked beans, and cookies.  Ds had the free chicken noodle soup from Chick-fil-A that we got yesterday.  I had some crackers and bbq chicken.  Not great, but I was so preoccupied with convincing ds that he could make it through the day, that I just threw some stuff in my lunchbox.

Dinner: Parmesan chicken, rice, broccoli
The temp was dropping quickly outside so I was happy to get home and turn on the oven.  I tried a new recipe of Parmesan chicken.  Ds & I really liked it; hubs opted to eat sausage (chicken is not his favorite).  Everyone had rice, and broccoli that I blanched and froze from the garden last spring. Between ds &me, we only ate one chicken breast.  We have one leftover to use.
I had to go to the grocery store after dinner - we needed milk, sugar, and eggs.  I also got some yogurt (I could have lived without it until the end of the month, but it makes my smoothies much better...) and some birch beer for my puny ds.  We needed tea bags too - we were totally out.  And hubs is not going to drink only water.  We've had that conversation.
Day Twenty: January 20
MLK Holiday - no school.  Ds is feeling a little better.

Breakfast: sausage 'skillet', bacon & toast, hot chocolate
I made hubs a big 'skillet' - hashbrowns using the rest of the potato wedges, leftover Italian sausage from last night, diced green peppers (freezer) and onions, topped with a fried egg.  He loved it.  I had a piece of bacon and whole wheat toast, and ds requested hot chocolate.

The guys left to get their teeth cleaned, and I worked on cleaning the house.  Woo hoo.

Lunch: Chick-fil-A.
Ds had an orthodontist appointment at lunchtime (yes, after the dentist), and we were going to use our Calendar freebie - a bowl of soup (which he loves).  Hubs asked me to get him something too, since we were out... so I ended up spending $$$ along with getting the free soup.  We had chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, waffle fries.

I came home and made brownies and cookies; Hubs had eaten the last slice of grapefruit cake.

Dinner:  Smoked brisket, fried okra, leftover baked beans.
Hubs insisted on trying his hand at smoking a brisket today (instead of the turkey, which I had in the freezer).  It turned out okay, but he was disappointed.  I made the last of the fried okra and heated the rest of the baked beans to go with it.  
Instead of being able to stretch the brisket over several meals, it looks like there's enough left for two lunches for Hubs.  That means I'll have to improvise the meals that I had planned turkey.  If there was enough brisket, I was going to sub it, but since there's not, it looks like a complete rearrange!

Day Nineteen: January 19
Ds is puny.  Head hurts, throat is sore, feels generally yucky.  Sigh.
Breakfast: hashbrowns, bacon, eggs & toast; cereal
I made hubs a big breakfast with eggs, bacon, and toast from bread I baked yesterday.  I used potato wedges from last night's dinner for hashbrowns this morning (he loved it).  I had a piece of toast with cheese and bacon, and ds had cereal.
Lunch: leftover pizza, tomato soup
Hubs & I had leftover pizza.  Ds requested soup...I sure hope he starts feeling better.
Dinner: barbeque chicken sandwiches, sausage, and homemade baked beans.
I made from-scratch baked beans!  I usually doctor up baked beans in a can, but we didn't have any.  We did, however, have white beans.  So I cooked them in my pressure cooker, and used this recipe from 100 Days of Real Food.  It was a hit!  We will have leftovers tomorrow.  I also made a homemade barbeque sauce for the chicken.  Ds & I like sweet bbq sauce, while hubs likes it a little tangier.  Since he was having sausage, I made it to our tastes, using this recipe.
Snacks  were grapefruit cake or chocolate chip cookies.  They've eaten all the cookies...I might make brownies tomorrow since we're out of school.

Day Eighteen: January 18
Ds is not feeling well.  This is not welcome news.

Breakfast: cheese grits, smoothie, hot chocolate
It was very cold this morning, so I made a pot of cheese grits, and that turned out to be all that hubs wanted to eat.  I made myself a smoothie.  When ds got up, he was complaining of a very sore throat and asked for hot chocolate, so I made him a mug, and that's all he wanted.
Lunch: Frozen pizza
Ds got hungry and requested half a turkey sandwich, but then we all ate frozen pizza for lunch.  It did the trick.
I was busy baking bread, and the grapefruit cake, and cookies.  Hubs was working outside, so this was an easy way to get everyone fed without having to halt the day.

Dinner: Burgers on the grill, oven fries
Hubs grilled the burgers tonight (that we had planned to eat last night) and they were great.  I made some oven fries to go with.  Choice of chocolate chip cookies or grapefruit cake for dessert.

Day Seventeen:  January 17
Incredibly thankful for Friday.

Breakfast: cheese bread, cereal
Hubs was fasting for a dr. appt so he did not eat until later in the morning.  Ds had cereal and I had a piece of cheese bread.

Lunch: lunchboxes
Hubs did not eat.  I made sandwiches for my lunchbox & for ds.  He also had veggie sticks and chocolate chip cookies.

Dinner: Pasta tossed with sausage, tomatoes & feta
The plan today was for Hubs to grill burgers, because he was going to be home after his appointment.  However, a plumber friend came by to help him install our new dishwasher (yea!!) and he worked outside after that.  He decided he had been in the cold long enough and asked me if we could do burgers tomorrow... how about going out tonight?  I said, "Burgers tomorrow are fine - let me see what I can whip up!" :)  In the fridge, we had some grilled Italian sausage, leftover cheese bread, grape tomatoes that were on their last leg.  I put the bread in the oven to reheat it.  I hunted for some other veg, but all I could find were shredded carrots and I didn't think those would go over very well.  I boiled some farfalle pasta, and sauteed the sausage and tomatoes together, tossed in some feta cheese, and voila!  We had dinner!  It was filling and hot, and everyone liked it, and I used up some things in the fridge.  Yes!

In other news, I plan to make a grapefruit cake this weekend because we have an abundance of fruit from our tree - we had a hard freeze and had to pick the fruit, so now it's gotta be used!!

Day Sixteen:  January 16
Feeling very tired today.

Breakfast: yogurt w/granola; cheese omelet and toast; cereal
I decided to depart from a smoothie and have some yogurt with granola.  So yum!
I made a cheese omelet for hubs along with toast.  Made me smile to hear, "You make a killer omelet."
Ds opted for cereal today (I bought milk last night.)

Lunch: lunchboxes
Hubs - salami & cheese sandwich, cookies, applesauce
Ds - turkey & cheese sandwich on homemade roll, chips, homemade larabar
Me - turkey sandwich on homemade bread

Dinner: Out.
Today was a very trying day at work.  We went out for Mexican.

Day Fifteen:  January 15
Hump Day!

Breakfast: Smoothie, eggs & bacon w/toast, homemade roll.
I tried my smoothie this morning with frozen collard greens.  We have a ton of them in the freezer.  I don't like them cooked (my hubby does!), but I'm out of spinach and thought I'd try them... thinking I could minimize their flavor with all the fruit.  It wasn't bad.  I will play with it some more.
Hubs had his standard breakfast.  I'm out of milk, so ds opted for one of my homemade rolls (they're pretty substantial) and we called it breakfast.

Lunch: Lunchboxes.
Hubs had a salami & cheese sandwich, chips, and peanut butter cookies (given to him by a fellow teacher for helping out on a project); ds & I both had pepperoni pizza (I had a frozen pizza in the fridge and was having a roadblock for lunch, so I decided to cook the pizza and put it in lunch!).

Dinner: Quesadilla, leftover pizza, greens.
I was at work late doing interviews.  Hubs has bowling on Wednesdays, so he took ds home and headed off to bowl.  He requested greens when he finished bowling - a hot bowl will be good after coming in from the cold.  I made ds a chicken quesadilla when I got home, and I had leftover pizza.

Day Fourteen:  January 14

Breakfast: Smoothie, cheese omelet & toast, and protein shake.
I had a smoothie; hubs had an omelet and toast, and ds had a protein shake.  He didn't feel like eating much because his stomach was upset.

Lunch: Lunchboxes.
Sandwich, chips & cookies for hubs; Homemade mac'n'cheese for ds; sandwich for me.

Dinner: Italian sloppy joes
These were a hit!!  I toasted French bread in a skillet, then topped it with spaghetti sauce from the night before.  I planned to melt mozzarella cheese on top, but it disappeared from my fridge (may have gotten eaten while I was out of town last week), so I subbed cheddar.  My guys totally loved it!

I made some chocolate chip cookies for lunches too.

Day Thirteen:  January 13
Back to work!

Breakfast: Smoothie, scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and breakfast sandwich.
I had my morning smoothie (how I missed them when I was out of town!).  Hubs had eggs, bacon, and toast.  Ds had a breakfast sandwich on a homemade roll with bacon and cheese.  And everyone was happy.

Lunch: Lunchboxes all around.
Ds had pepperoni slices, cheese slices, and crackers, with homemade larabars.  
Hubs had a sandwich he bought at Publix (yeah...), chips (from home) and a Swiss Cake Roll (again... yeah...)
I had the last of the layered bean dip with some tortilla chips and was happy, because it's more than I usually get to eat at work! :)

Dinner: Spaghetti, Cheese Bread
It was cold and rainy this evening.  Since we were using up some leftovers yesterday, I moved the scheduled spaghetti to today, and it was perfect after standing on the bus ramp in the rain.  I sauteed some mushrooms that needed to be used, and added them to the sauce (ds picks them out, but hubs & I both love them).  I heated the other half of the Cheese Bread that I froze earlier this month, and it was perfectly delicious (I baked a loaf of Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, sliced it in half like a huge hamburger bun, and made Pioneer Woman's Cheese Bread with it.  Not exactly health food, but it was made with whole wheat flour, so I don't feel *as* bad).  A very satisfying meal after a Monday back in the routine!
I also made more cookies since the guys ate them all.  Maybe our next challenge will be cutting sugar...

Day Twelve:  January 12
Recuperating from my trip.  Whew.

Breakfast:  SMOOTHIES!!!! and cheese grits, and granola
I was so happy to be able to have my morning smoothie.   Raspberries, pineapple, mango, a little ginger, and yogurt for me.  An apple, pineapple, mango, and spinach for hubs.  We are out of spinach, so I'll have to see what I can come up with for greens.  I also had a little bowl of granola, and hubs had cheese grits.  Ds stayed in bed.

Lunch:  The last of the lasagna, tossed salad, french bread.
Finishing up that delicious lasagna, rounding things out with a salad and bread.  I made some cookies for dessert.

Dinner:  A queso fundido and plain cheese queso with chips.
Using the cheese dip left in the fridge, I added some sausage for hubs.  He loves sausage; ds & I, not so much (probably has something to do with the fact that the smell of sausage during my pregnancy made me instantly sick).  We had plain queso with our chips, and I had a little of the bean dip left in there.  Easy and fun.
I made some bread dough, which I shaped into a mini-loaf and rolls, and hubs & ds promptly ate 3 rolls.  I guess they taste okay. :)  It feels so good to be home, and in charge of my own food!!!

Day Eleven:  January 11
I'm HOME!!!!
The music conference has ended, and after bad weather and delayed flights, I made it home to my guys.  This is a happy girl!!!

Breakfast: KIND bar; Cracker Barrel gift card breakfast for the guys
I was not feeling particularly good this morning when I got up.  I needed to eat, but didn't really want to, so I bought a granola bar at the hotel.  Later in the morning, I had a yogurt parfait.  Which was okay.  The guys went to breakfast using a gift card for Cracker Barrel.

Lunch: TGIFriday at the airport; not sure what the guys did.
My awesome Airman picked me up from my hotel, drove me to the airport, and bought me lunch.  I am a lucky mama.

Dinner: Subway; HOMEMADE MAC'N'CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My guys ate sub sandwiches for dinner.  I made mac'n'cheese on my own stove in my own pot at my own house because that's what I WANTED and not merely what was OFFERED.  :)

I'm so glad to be home.  Can you tell?

Day Ten:  January 10
Day four of the conference.

Breakfast:  Awards breakfast; at home for the guys.
I attended an awards breakfast with limited foods that I enjoy - I had fruit and home fries.  The guys ate at home.

Lunch:  Chicken sandwich and chips; lunchboxes for the guys.
I ate a late lunch and was starving.  The guys ate what I prepped for their lunchboxes.

Dinner: Subway; out with Airman Son.
My guys went bowling after school and stopped at Subway to eat.  My fabulous Airman Son lives in the area of my conference, so he came to pick me up and take me out for some REAL FOOD!!!!  It was great to spend time with him AND enjoy some decent food.

I got to the hotel and crashed.  I can't wait to get home.

Day Nine:  January 9
Day three of out of town conference.

Breakfast:  Biscuit at McDonald's for my guys; green apple & granola bar for me.
Hubs had a workshop this morning, so he was in a rush to get everyone where they needed to be.  He drove through McD's to get ds a biscuit.
I was determined to make better food choices/find better options today.  I ate an enormous green apple for breakfast (from a bowl in the hotel lobby the night before), drank a bottle of water from the room, then got a granola bar at the vending machine.  I spent 85 cents and felt much better! 

Lunch: Out for hubs, lunchbox for ds, fajita plate for me.
Determined to find something a little better, I got a fajita plate - steak or chicken, with all the veggies & toppings, with tortillas and rice.  Not bad.  Ds had the lunchbox fixin's I prepped for him, and hubs went out at his workshop.

Dinner:  Out for pizza for the guys; burger for me.
The guys went to a favorite pizza place for dinner, with possibilities of leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow.  I decided I was in the mood for a burger, which I got at the hotel restaurant.  Mistake.  I'm looking forward to a dinner date with my Airman Son who lives in the area tomorrow.  I've had enough meals from the hotel.

Day Eight:  January 8
And day two of out of town conference.

Breakfast: Biscuits, fruit & cheese.
Hubs took me to the airport this morning, and I did not have time to eat at home (medicine constraints).  So I bought a fruit & cheese tray at the airport.  Hubs picked up biscuits for ds and himself on the way home.

Lunch:  Lunchboxes for my guys, chicken quesadilla for me. 
I made lunchboxes for my guys before I left, and have the whole week bagged and in the fridge to make it easy on my hubby.  And to resist the temptation of grabbing lunch somewhere.
After I got settled in my hotel, I checked out the restaurant on site, decided it was too expensive, and walked to the convention center where meetings were to be held.  Then I plugged in my laptop (the hotel charges for internet!!!!!!) and ordered a chicken quesadilla for lunch.  It was enormous and too much for me to eat.  Irritated me that I had to spend money for too much food that I could not save for later.

Dinner: Guys went out for Chinese; I had a chicken caprese sandwich at the hotel.
Tonight was bowling night for my hubby.  He and ds went out for Chinese - which they love, and I do not - before bowling and had a great time.  Bowling was fun for everyone.
After my last meeting was over, I walked back to the hotel.  They had complimentary hot chocolate, cookies, and apples.  I got a cup of hot chocolate and grabbed an apple, and headed to my room.  I called my son who lives in the city of my conference, and scheduled a dinner date (if I have to eat out, at least it can be with someone I love!), and arranged for him to take me to the airport when the conference is over, saving me $$ in taxi fare. Then I went down to the hotel restaurant, and ordered a chicken caprese sandwich with a salad to take back to my room.  Again, too much food.  I much prefer my own kitchen.  :/

I'm going to try very hard to be wiser with my food choices tomorrow and avoid what I don't really need.  Argh!

Day Seven:  January 7.
Students are back at school today; it is the coldest day of the school year, and I am preparing for my trip out of town.

Breakfast: Eggs & hashbrowns, smoothies, french bread.
Hubs had scrambled eggs and hashbrowns with his smoothie; I had a smoothie and a piece of bread.  Ds#3 had hot chocolate, and that's all he wanted, despite my efforts to try to get him to eat something.

I did lots of running around today in preparation for my trip.  Most of it was for my guys...I bought tortilla chips (they ate an entire bag this week) so that they could eat up the leftover bean dip and queso while I was gone.  I also bought more milk (we were out), some tea bags (also out - and made two pitchers of sweet tea for hubs while I'm gone), new sponges, and some dishwashing soap (since our dishwasher is still out of commission).  I also had to go to the pharmacy.

Lunch:  Lunchboxes.
I usually prep lunch boxes the night before - it just makes my life easier.
Hubs got a ham & cheese sandwich on french bread, some chips, and applesauce.  Ds#3 had veggie sticks, homemade larabar, and homemade mac'n'cheese from dinner last night.  He has a thermos that's just the right size for his lunchbox.  He prefers hot foot for lunch so this makes my life much easier.  For me...I treated myself to soup & sandwich from Panera with a coupon.  Perfect for a freezing day.

Dinner:  Breakfast!
We love breakfast for dinner.  And on such a cold day, I thought a pot of cheese grits was in order.  I also made eggs, bacon, and pancakes.  I even made an extra pancake for ds#3 to have for breakfast one day while I'm gone.

I made a batch of cookies for the guys to snack on.  I'm curious to see if there will be any left when I get home.  I left the guys a $25 gift card to Cracker Barrel to use - I'm hoping that they'll use that instead of spending extra $$$!  I also prepped school lunches for Thurs & Fri, put them in labeled plastic bags and left them in the fridge.  I briefed hubby on all these details and he quickly assured me that everything would be fine. :) 
Day Six: January 6 and back to work.
Teachers returned to school today; kids come tomorrow.  On the coldest day of the year so far.  Brrrrrr.

Breakfast: Green smoothie, trail mix, eggs.
Hubs got up early and made himself breakfast, so I'm not exactly sure everything he ate. I know he had eggs because I saw him wash the pan!  I made myself a smoothie, and took some trail mix to school to munch.  Ds was still in bed.

Lunch: Leftovers at home.
Hubs decided to go out.  I had leftover broccoli cheddar quiche.  I made ds a quesadilla with leftover chicken, refried beans, and cheese (and he loved it and told me I was a great mom).

Dinner:  Collards in the crockpot, homemade mac'n'cheese, fried okra, chicken, sausage.
I put collards in the crockpot with the hambone from Christmas, and they cooked all day.  Hubs is the only one who eats them, although I did try them.  They just are not my favorite.  I also made homemade mac'n'cheese with some butternut squash puree from the freezer.  Anything I can do to get a little extra veg into my boy.  And he knows it's there, and likes it anyway!  The fried okra was just a little treat since I'm going to be away from home for several nights this week.  Ds & I had the chicken I planned, and hubby requested some of the sausage he grilled on Saturday.  Everyone was full and happy!

Now I'm off to make school lunches.

Day Five: January 5
A day of rest.

Breakfast: Green smoothies, eggs, bread, milk, homemade larabar.
Hubs & I had our green smoothies, and hubs also had scrambled eggs.  I had a slice of french bread, and ds#3 had a glass of milk and a homemade larabar as we headed out the door to church.

Lunch: Out.
Hubs told me yesterday that he wanted to go out to a specific restaurant after church.  So... we did.  But hubs *did* tell me that he is planning to come home for lunch tomorrow instead of going out.  So that's a decent trade.

Dinner:  Leftover smorgasbord. We ended up eating lasagna.  There are two large pieces left, which hubs & ds will probably eat while I'm out of town this week.

Tomorrow, we head back to work for a teacher work day (no students yet).  Vacation is officially over.

Day Four: January 4

Breakfast:  Out to a local breakfast spot for hubs & me; homemade hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls from the farmer's market for ds#3.
Hubs & I have developed a new habit of going EARLY to breakfast on Saturdays, then going to our local farmer's market.  It's a nice way to reconnect at the end of the week and before a busy Saturday of catching up.  We bought two loaves of french bread for this week and next, along with some fresh cheese, and hubs wanted some cinnamon rolls.

Lunch:  Leftover lasagna.
Yum.  Win.  Delish.

After lunch I bagged and froze 8 pounds of ground sirloin for the month ahead.  And did laundry.  And washed dishes.  The dishwasher is still not working.  We're hoping to get our plumber friend to check it out this week.  I'm almost ready to buy paper plates.

Dinner: Steaks & sausages on the grill, roasted potato wedges, french bread from the market.
Hubs insisted on some steaks when we went to the grocery store earlier this week (whenever he goes grocery shopping with me, I always know I'm going to spend more...), so today was the day to grill them, along with some sausage for the week (which he also insisted on purchasing).  I ate a leftover chicken breast (already cooked in the fridge - leftovers) because I wasn't in the mood for steak.  I made potato wedges in the oven.  No one was really in the mood for a salad because it was so cold all day.  So we just sliced some of that super-fresh french bread to go with, and called it a meal.  Yummy!!

After dinner, I had a friend call me, so we went out for hot chocolate at a local coffee shop to catch up.  Much needed time together.  But the hot chocolate wasn't as good as mine. :)

Day Three: January 3
What a fun day today!

Marine Son recently got married in Hawaii, and today I got to have lunch with my new daughter in love.  It was so much fun, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to build our relationship on a good foundation.

Breakfast:  Green smoothies for the parents.  Hubs also had hard-boiled eggs and pumpkin bread, and I had pumpkin oatmeal.  Ds had cereal (which I do not usually buy, but happen to have a couple of boxes in the pantry right now.)  The oatmeal was an experiment because I made pumpkin bread and had leftover pumpkin, so I decided to use it in some oatmeal.  It was tasty.

After breakfast, I put some chicken in a marinade for dinner - we're having Pioneer Woman's recipe for Pollo Asado, along with refried beans and queso.  I didn't have any limes, so I left them out of the recipe.  In other news, my dishwasher is not working, so I am having to wash all my dishes by hand.  I'm starting to realize just how many items I use in a day.  Washing dishes is not my favorite.  

Lunch: out!
Hubs & ds decided to go bowling, and since I was eating out, they did too!  I went to a 'chick' place to meet DIL and my mom, and the boys went to a fave local spot.  After lunch, we came back to the house and DIL opened a wedding gift from hubby and me.

Dinner:  PW's Pollo Asado, refried beans, and queso with chips.
The queso was a cheese dip that was from the chorus fundraiser (freebie) doctored with Rotel tomatoes and shredded Mexican cheese - I think it was the favorite part of the meal.  There are leftovers, so I'm sure it'll be the snack of choice for the next couple of days.  The chicken ... was okay.  I left out the limes because I didn't have any, and that might have been the difference.  The guys ate it with refried beans and covered in queso, so no one complained.  We had Butter Pecan Frozen Yogurt for dessert (in the freezer before the challenge).

Day Two: January 2.
Today was bean day in our house.

It was cold and rainy and very windy - the perfect day to stay in.  My parents gave me an electric pressure cooker for Christmas, so I decided today was a good opportunity to try it out.  Pressure cookers freak me out, but this one was supposedly fool-proof.  I cooked beans in it for dinner, and they came out great!

Breakfast: Green smoothies for hubs & me; cheese bread for ds#3
Ds is taking advantage of vacation and lolling around in bed.  He actually didn't get up until almost lunchtime (although he had been awake in his bed).

Lunch:  Layered bean dip and tortilla chips.
I made a big pan of this dip for a NYE party, and we ate leftovers for lunch today.  Plenty of protein and some veg from the salsa!

Dinner:  15 bean soup with ham, served over rice
The pressure cooker experiment worked - everyone ate and enjoyed it!  I cooked the beans, then added in spices and ham from Christmas.  It simmered all day.  I made a small pot of rice to go with it, and got approval from my guys.  Yea!

Day One: January 1.
Happy New Year!

Yesterday, I took advantage of some meat sales to (literally) beef up our menu.  Proteins were slim in our freezer.  Hubs went shopping with me... so of course, I spent more.  But we're stocked up for the month.  I also made 3 mini loaves of pumpkin bread, and homemade larabars, which my guys love for snacking.  We are more likely to adhere to our challenge if I can keep them from feeling deprived. :)

Breakfast:  Green smoothies for hubs & me; Larabar for ds#3
This week, hubs & I started having a green smoothie for breakfast.  Along with everyone else, we are trying to be healthier in this new year.  I have a NutriBlast, so it is great for blending everything to a smooth consistency.
Ds had planned to do lots of bowling with buddies today, so he grabbed a Larabar as his dad took him to the bowling alley.

Lunch: Hodge-podge
Bowling turned out to be a little trying... so hubs left to blow off some steam.  Ds & I had semi-homemade queso and chips.  My chorus did a fundraiser this fall that left us with some freebies, and the cheese base was one of them.  I doctored it up a bit and ds declared it delicious.

Dinner: Mom's lasagna, tossed salad, cheese bread.  Apple pie w/homemade whipped cream for dessert.
My mother made us a pan of her amazing lasagna as a Christmas present, and we decided to have it today.  It is really spectacular, and there's plenty leftover for lunches this week (and next!).  Tossed salad got some veggies in the meal, and I baked a loaf of Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, sliced it in half like a huge hamburger bun, and made Pioneer Woman's Cheese Bread with it.  Not exactly health food, but it was made with whole wheat flour, so I don't feel *as* bad. :)  (This is a small win, because hubs LOVES store-bought french bread and I was able to maneuver that with great success.)
Dessert was a fundraiser freebie apple pie that I baked, and topped with fresh whipped cream, which makes everything delicious!

I got a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker for Christmas, so I'm going to try it out tomorrow with some 15 bean soup & ham (from Christmas dinner).  Curious to see how it goes, as pressure cookers freak me out a little!

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