Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Meal Planning

For a few months, Nathan and I had slipped into a very bad habit of eating out or buying food at the grocery store piecemeal for different meals we wanted to have.  This was expensive and of course, not good for us.  I decided to put a stop to it and began making menus and then creating shopping lists from the menus and using that when I bought food, adhering to the lists as strictly as possible.  Then we had meals for two weeks, or if something unforeseen came up and we ended up eating elsehwere, longer than two weeks.  Plus the left overs provided good options for lunches and dinners after the two weeks.  Flipping through cookbooks to find different foods also helped expand what we eat on a normal basis.

The system worked fairly well the first run through.  I only bought about two things that weren't on the list and we stuck to the planned meals mostly.  The second run through has been less successful.  First, I completely forgot to buy food for one meal, then we went through a week in which Nathan was sick, then I was sick, and no one wants to eat a full dinner when they are sick, no matter how great it is.  Then my sister got married last Saturday and we were eating out Friday and Saturday nights, of course.

I'm hoping to be back on track with it this week.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Me and the Meatloaf

When I was a child we ate meatloaf a total of 1 (one) time.  My mother made it one night and the only person who even remotely liked it, was Elizabeth.  Mom was never one of those mothers who made whatever she wanted and then forced everyone else to eat it.  So, by popluar concensus, the meatloaf never made a repeat appearance on the family dinner table.

And since then, I've only had it one time.  About a year and a half ago I was visiting my very good friend Bonnie and she prepared meatloaf for lunch.  I have to say, I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Much more than I remembered liking it as a child.

These days I'm trying to plan meals for us, cook different things and take shopping lists when I go buy groceries.  I got adventurous when I was planning our last week and set one night aside for meatloaf.  When the night arrived, I pulled out my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook flipped open to the meatloaf recipe and set to work.

It wasn't as bad as I was fearing, but then it wasn't nearly as good as Bonnie's.  I blame the brown sugar in the sauce.  I have a very strong feeling about the flavors of sauces.  If it is supposed to go on a meat, it should be salty, not sweet.  Sweet is reserved for deserts and drinks only.

Does anyone have a meatloaf recipe they would be willing to share that maybe has a sauce that is sans brown sugar?

Also, meatloaf proved much better as leftovers.

Monday, December 6, 2010

St. Nicholas Day

For as long as I can remember, my family has celebrated St. Nicholas Day.  For everyone who doesn't understand, let me give you a brief summary.  St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, is the patron saint of children and his feast day is December 6.  So on the night of December 5, St. Nicholas visits the homes of those who believe in him and leaves small presents in stockings, usually with a little candy, too.  What child doesn't love candy?  I think this is mostly a German Catholic tradition.

I knew when I was little that when I got married and established my own family that this was something I wanted to carry on.  So, these days, Nathan and I have our own St. Nicholas celebrations.  This year, the Bishop brought Nathan a cable to connect my computer to the TV so that we can watch Netflix on the TV screen.  He brought me a space heater.  :)