Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Meal Plan 01/23 - 01/28

Dinner: Chicken Tikka with rice and Naan


Dinner: Hummus Pizza

Dinner: Vegetable Fried Rice

Dinner: Ecuadorian Bean Stew


Dinner: Gyros


Dinner: Baked Pasta with Homemade Rolls


Today B realized that our grocery budget was $50 a week. He knew the number, but I guess he just realized that that equaled to $200 a month. He finds that number to be insanely high for two people. I think it's a little on the frugal side. Of course, that is only on grocery items, not including toiletries and other paper goods.

He then thought it was too high because I don't make "tradition foods". Um, what??? I do make a few Indian dishes, but the ingredients are found in the regular grocery store. On the other hand, I don't cook too much meat. The only meat I buy is chicken, ground turkey, and the occasional ground beef.

It's not a big thing, I just found it slightly amusing that B had absolutely no idea how much a month I spent at the grocery store.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I am a number cruncher. I always have a calculator out and am always crunching numbers, whether it be for the weekly grocery budget or how much I will put in my savings for the year. This weekend, my main calculator died out of nowhere. Then I pulled the one from my purse and that was dead too. I have a spare, so I got that out. Yup, a goner.

Although, I had no immediate need for a calculator and definitely can access one off my phone, I felt incomplete. I went out the nearest drugstore and bought three. I feel so much better! I bought a desk calculator and two pocket ones. Even B said I'll be having fun with the larger one. He's right!

Monday, January 16, 2012


I was never used to eating breakfast. Until very recently, the thought of food in the morning made me a little nauseous. I could stomach coffee or a little juice, but that is it. It's all changed now. Out of the blue, I've turned into a breakfast person. I do eat light in the mornings most days, but I do have to have something in my stomach now.

Anyway, the other day I decided I would make granola. I can eat yogurt in the morning and the thought of having granola on it made my mouth water. B liked the idea as well. This weekend, I bought all the ingredients for granola and baked up a batch. It's delicious.

Anyway, the recipe is very easy and you can add whatever nuts and dried fruit you'd like.

4 C of oats
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C almonds -- coarsely chopped
1/2 C pecans -- coarsely chopped
1 1/2 C dried fruit (I used raisins, cherries, blueberries, and cranberries)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all the oats and nuts together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together brown sugar, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Microwave until all the sugar has dissolved. Mix well. Add sugar mixture to bowl of oats and nuts and toss until very well combined.

Pour mixture into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread out in a thin even layer. You may need to use two baking sheets. Bake for 40 minutes. Halfway into baking, take out and stir around so the nuts do not burn.

Once the oats and nuts are golden brown a little crispy, take out of oven and let it cool completely. Once cool, add dried fruit and toss until well combined. Stir in an airtight container or resealable bags.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fresher Cooking

I am going to start entering the bold somewhat new world of trying to make all my food from scratch. I don't use too many processed foods now, but I will try to cut just about everything from breads to cereals. I know, I most likely won't be able to cut out everything, but I'm willing to give it a try.

This is kind of exciting. This will give me a reason to invest in a stand mixer. I've wanted one for years, but totally lack the counter space in my small Los Angeles kitchen.

Menu Plan 01/16 - 01/21

My goal is to try new recipes and try to reignite my love of cooking. I don't hate it now, but I sometimes feel is has become a chore. I think once I start new dishes that will change. This meal plan is, of course, filled with old recipes.

Dinner: Rigatoni with meat sauce


Dinner: Vada Sambar


Dinner: Fried Rice

Dinner: Turkey Sandwiches

Dinner: Roast Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Dinner: Chicken Enchiladas

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Menu Plan 01/09 - 01/14

With the holiday season over, I feel like I can finally get on with my "normal" life. I am a girl who likes a routine and although it may be fun to veer from it, it always feels best when I go back to a somewhat organized lifestyle.


Dinner: Bean and Cheese Burritos

Dinner: Utthapum (savory pancake)


Dinner: Black Beans and Rice

Dinner: Tortilla Soup

Dinner: Parmesan Chicken


Dinner: Spanikopita

Thursday, January 5, 2012

False Alarm

Well, I went home last night ready to buy a new microwave. When I got home, I noticed the clock on the microwave was blinking. Once I set it, the microwave worked again. I guess, you cannot start the microwave without setting the clock first. B felt pretty silly :) In any case, I'm happy that I don't have to dish out $150 for a new microwave this month. I'll just budget it in for February!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Looking at the Positive

Happy New Year!!!

This year I'm going to have a more positive outlook on life. Let me start now: B has a birthday this week, so I already knew I'd be spending money on dinner and a gift. I was ready for that. Today, I was informed my microwave oven of 25 years (yes, 25 years)died. Of course, it lived a very long life and it was time to "retire" it. So, although I'll be shelling out approximately $150 in a month that was already spendy and I'm trying to make up for the ridiculous December month I had, I am grateful I HAVE the money to buy a new microwave. Yes, even if I do have to pay less into savings this month, I still have the dinero to buy an appliance that will heat my spaghetti and meatballs in record time! :)