Friday, February 18, 2011

Menu Planning

Yesterday, I was asked by a friend to post some recipes and menu plans. Now, understand this. I am a pretty busy mom and some days, I just don't stick to the plan. Some weeks, I don't even make the plan. But I do realize that I am a lot happier in the kitchen when I make one. Occasionally, my lack of planning results in some pretty creative meals, but more often than not, if I don't plan, then we wind up eating the same thing over and over. Boring....

I usually make a list for two weeks and shop based on what I need.

Here is an example of this week's menu:

Monday- Steaks, Asparagus, and Mashed Potatoes (because it was Valentines Day)
Tuesday-Spinach and Feta Pasta
Thursday-Potato Soup
Saturday-Tuna Cassarole
Sunday- Dinner at Church

It doesn't always go to plan. And I don't feel bad about switching around meals, because hey, life happens and some nights you need Thai food instead of potato soup.

I am an opportunisic person and like to use up stuff I have on hand before I restock. is a great site for that. I love putting in two or three ingredients and seeing what recipes they suggest. Then I add them to my favorite recipes and use them to build a plan for the future.

Here are some goodies with the caveat that I tweak as I feel that I need to or what I have available.

The rest of them are in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (excellent by the way if you are in the market for a cookbook...I've been cooking out of this one for 15 years) and a little cookbook that my mom introduced me to and I bought a new copy when I moved out called "365 Ways to Prepare Hamburger" circa 1965 (okay, not a new copy, but new to me...its no longer published).


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends out there! I hope it is a wonderful day for you all. Whether you have the love of your life or the love of a four legged, finned, or feathered creature!

Bloom watch has started at Jessamine Gardens. I pulled the frost cloth off of all the porch plants and was delighted to see yellow buds on the Carolina Jessamine, which is the namesake of the gardens and this blog. I'll post pics of the first bloom as soon as it happens! I cannot wait for the lovely smell on my porch!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Slow Going, But Getting There

I knew that the home buying process was going to be fraught with perils, but I didn't imagine THESE kinds of perils.

On Feb 2nd, my offer on a cute little house in Rosharon was accepted. Like any good new homebuyer, my feet got frozen. Several dozen phone calls and a trip to the house to measure things later, I was feeling much better. I set up all the inspectors that I would need to come to the house. Water well, septic, home, and termite inspectors were set up and ready to go. Then....a pipe burst on the well because of a freeze. Eh, no biggie. I rescheduled the home inspector and told the seller that I had water well guys coming to inspect on Monday and since I picked their name off a list, that they would be impartial and could do the repair.

Fast forward to Monday, in the process of inspecting the well, the water well guys discovered that the pump wasn't working correctly. So they called the seller and he authorized repair. They pulled a water sample to check for e.coli and giardia and finished the job. Then the termite guy came to check the house.

In the process of checking the house for termites, they discovered a previously unknown water leak (ummm, 'cause the well wasn't working right, maybe?!) and called the seller to let him know. A plumber was scheduled to repair the pipe and the home and septic inspectors rescheduled. Thankfully, I was granted an extension to get all of my inspections done, since its not my fault that I can't get all of them done in time with the busted pipe.

Fast forward to today. The plumber is scheduled for tomorrow. The septic and home inspection guys are coming out on Tuesday. Now here's the good news....

The water well lab results came in today. I was worried about these the most. They are clear (and I breathed a sigh of relief) and so things can move forward. The termite inspection also came back all clear.

Two more hurdles and I'm done.

Its worth it, right?