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Tuesday Questions

labrolabro Hotlanta member
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Do you meal plan?

What's on your menu this week?

Do you have a favorite make-ahead and/or crock pot meal?

If you meal plan, why? To save money? Eat healthier? Etc.

To build on @audrewuh's question yesterday, what makes you feel like fall? Do you do anything to get yourself in...the mood?

What is your favorite thing about fall? Least favorite?

What's on your agenda today?



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Re: Tuesday Questions

  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
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    @loro929 I think I feel the same way about those dishes! There are so many dishes that I love and I absolutely cannot stomach them in the summer time. I love fall cooking and baking! I already have plans to do some make-ahead bigasyourhead cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving for example.

    @jenna8984 I'm glad you and your H are finding ways to combat the stress daycare is going to put on your income. Hopefully you can pay off the Corolla quickly and have that car payment money back in your account!



    loro929jenna8984
  • @labro when the time comes, pretty please share that cinnamon roll recipe!
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  • @labro amazing! Although, I have to admit the homemade dough scares me  :#
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  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
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    @loro929 OH NO don't be scared!!! I don't do it often, but homemade dough is actually super easy! It's even easier when you have a mixer with a dough hook! The instructions are basic and it's pretty tough to get it wrong. :)



    AlPacinaspeakeasy14
  • Do you meal plan? No, though I'll usually have one or two meals in mind to cook each week. Since I live alone I can make one meal last a few days.

    What's on your menu this week? I made some kickass baked mac-n-cheese last night with roasted garlic parmesan broccoli & cauliflower as a side. I ate all of the veggies but I have enough mac to last me the rest of the week. 

    Do you have a favorite make-ahead and/or crock pot meal? Pulled pork! I think that's the only thing I make in my crock pot other than dips. 

    If you meal plan, why? To save money? Eat healthier? Etc. N/A. 

    What makes you feel like fall? Do you do anything to get yourself in...the mood? Seeing Halloween stuff usually kickstarts it, and then when we start getting cooler evenings. That weather change is what makes it for me! Also noticing the leaves changing color or dropping to the ground... and that sound that the leaves make when they're starting to get crispy and the wind blows. I love fall.  

    What is your favorite thing about fall? Least favorite? Faves: The weather being slightly cooler but not cold, Halloween & fall decorations, the smell in the air.  Least faves: Pumpkin spice food EVERYWHERE. For some reason it makes me feel physically ill. I like the smell but can't handle the taste. I also hate when it goes from nice fall weather to LOL IT IS EFFIN COLD NOW, ENJOY HAVING NUMB DIGITS. 

    What's on your agenda today? A bunch of nothing. My past couple weeks of work have been hell but most the crazy is off my desk (for now), so I'm doing as little as possible today! 
    ******************************************************

    AlPacinabeachyone15speakeasy14
  • AlPacinaAlPacina Portlandia member
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    @loro929 – Ooooo, I want to try your ragu, haha!! I have this super intense gravy/Italian tomato sauce recipe that I’ve only dared to make once since it was an all day deal. I never even thought about freezing some of it! It might actually seem worth it again, instead of only using some and the rest going bad before I can get to it.

    @jenna8984 – I had no idea cauliflower alfredo was even a thing! I’m sorry you’re still not able to eat dairy!

    loro929
  • @labro I don't have a mixer :/ But maybe when it gets chilly outside and I am in the mood for a cozy day at home I will give it a try. I noticed in the recipe they have some tips for those of us who don't have all the appliances.

    @AlPacina You should give it another whirl! Freezing in portioned size tupperware makes all the difference. We usually do 1, 2 and 4, so in case one of us is alone and wants to whip it up we don't have to waste an entire large supper for a smaller portion. If we have people over and plan to use it, we have the 4-portioned to make it go a little quicker. In regards to the effort, I agree, I used to dread ragu day, because it was literally a whole day affair with us taking turns for hours stirring the sauce so it didn't stick to the bottom. We fairly recently discovered that the crockpot makes the same exact ragu minus the hours of labor... and it has changed our lives. All we do is pre-cook the meat, we use ground beef and pork, so we prepare that as usual in a frying pan. Then we add all of the other ingredients, carrots, celery, tomato sauce, wine, laurel, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and cloves to the cooked meat in the crock pot, and let that baby do its job. We will prepare it on a Saturday night for instance, either before going out or going to bed, and leave it on low until lunchtime on Sunday. The last hour before eating we uncover it and crank it up to high to evaporate any extra juice. AMAZING and only takes the 25-30 minutes of prep-work. 
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    labroAlPacinaspeakeasy14
  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
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    @AlPacina UGH that would drive me nuts. H did that a lot too...I wouldn't have enough leftovers for lunch and the whole freaking point of me cooking at home was to save us money for lunch the next day so we weren't eating out all the freaking time. I have finally started to be "that girl" who cooks a massive lunch on Sundays and then I pre-portion it out for the two of us. Then our dinner leftovers get stretched further and all I have to do in the morning for lunch is grab a ready to go Tupperware container. It's not my favorite to have to be this much of a planner...but the amount of money we've been spending on eating out has been ridiculous. I can at least tell myself that I haven't gone completely hardcore yet by doing prepared frozen dinner meals and stuff.



    AlPacinaspeakeasy14minskat30
  • AlPacinaAlPacina Portlandia member
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    @loro929 - You probably just made my life so much better. I'll have to try it in a crock pot! I need to learn to stray from recipes a little easier.

    @labro - I totally see where you're coming from. I feel like part of it is also not really having the containers/fridge part figured out. Like, maybe I'd be more willing to make HUGE amounts of food if I had a designated fridge space and more uniform containers. It sounds so touchy, but it really limits me. How long are you willing to refrigerate meals with meat?

  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
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    @500days Yay for days off! I hope you get to do all the non-work related all about you things! What kind of primary was going on today? Was this a run-off or something?

    @AlPacina Maybe a week and a halfish? I guess it depends on the dish itself and the components. We've definitely had veggie tofu stir fry that hung around for almost 2 weeks one time and it was ok, but stuff normally doesn't last that long in our house either.



    500days
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
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    @alpacina it's really good! Boil cauliflower in beef stock then puree in food processor with some garlic and pepper. It stays really thick and creamy! We used to add heavy cream but now we skip it. 

                                                                     

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    AlPacinalabro
  • Do you meal plan? Not really, the furthest I get is taking something out of the freezer the night before.

    What's on your menu this week? Food.  Tonight is leftovers (there's tilapia, spinach, mashed potatoes, pesto chicken and eggplant).  No idea for the rest of the week. 

    Do you have a favorite make-ahead and/or crock pot meal? Sometimes I'll make baked ziti into little pans and then just heat up when I'm looking for something to eat. 

    If you meal plan, why? To save money? Eat healthier? Etc. N/A

    To build on @audrewuh's question yesterday, what makes you feel like fall?  Do you do anything to get yourself in...the mood? When I no longer can wear my flip flops, and when the leaves start changing.  I love the colors of fall, but honestly I try to stay in summer as long as possible... for instance I'm taking off work tomorrow to have a beach day with my mom, sisters, and niece. 

    What is your favorite thing about fall? Least favorite? The colors, apple cider anything, and my birthday.  Fall means snow is coming, yuck.

    What's on your agenda today? Just got in the office from my big offsite event that I run.  About to do some new employee onboarding.  After work the plan is sleep since I had to be up at 4:30 this morning.  Tomorrow I'm having a girl's day with my family.
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    labroAlPacinabeachyone15
  • Do you meal plan? Kind of... I usually make two large batches of something each week, and then cook chicken breasts and either sweet potatoes or rice to last the week. And then as random cravings hit, I deal with those (last week I really wanted bulgogi and kimchi, so I went to the store specifically for the necessary ingredients). We go to Costco once a month and stock up on meat for the freezer, and I also buy meat to freeze when it's on sale at the grocery store. I usually do one grocery trip on the weekend to get most of what I need, and then I also look at what's in the garden and decide what to make. Like on Friday, I made a huge veggie lasagna with yellow squash, onion, basil, and tomato from the garden, plus eggplant that I bought and ground turkey from the freezer (and a bunch of other stuff). Then last night, I made a pork stew because I knew there was a pork roast in the freezer, and we still have potatoes and onion from this year's garden, plus the tomatoes are still going strong. That should last for a number of days.

    What's on your menu this week? See above - veggie lasagna and pork stew.

    Do you have a favorite make-ahead and/or crock pot meal? Three bean turkey chili. I don't really use a recipe, I just throw things into the pot.

    If you meal plan, why? To save money? Eat healthier? Etc. Both - it cuts down on food waste, since I try to use whatever's on-hand and build a menu around that, plus if I can cut down on the number of times I go to the grocery store, I am less likely to buy other random crap. Plus it saves time. H works graveyard shift right now, so a lot of housework falls on me. I would rather not have to do a lot of stuff after work, besides walking the dog and cleaning the kitchen, which seems to always be messy.

    To build on @audrewuh's question yesterday, what makes you feel like fall? Do you do anything to get yourself in...the mood? As soon as the weather turns, I start to make soup and stuff in the crock pot. THAT makes it feel like fall to me. The smell of smoke when people start using their fireplaces. Being able to wear boots and sweaters.

    What is your favorite thing about fall? Least favorite? Favorite: The crisp air, being able to make soup without the house getting way too hot, football! Least favorite: It starts getting dark super early in the PNW.

    What's on your agenda today? I'm at work, so... Yeah. But tonight? Walking the dog, and watching trashy TV since H is at work.

    @labro I will definitely have to try that Chicken Marrakesh recipe, looks awesome! And cinnamon rolls. I love cinnamon rolls. Oh! And fall makes me want Monkey Bread too, because it's the shit.

    @AlPacina my H usually eats two portions of things too. Which is why I started making, like, 8 portions of everything, so that he can eat two and we will still have leftovers for a couple of days' lunches and maybe dinner. Learned that lesson with meal planning early. H is 6'4" and 240lbs, eats quite a bit.
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    labrospeakeasy14AlPacinabeachyone15
  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
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    @madamerwin Monkey bread IS the shit! We've always called it "breakfast bread" and I think it's somewhat different from your traditional monkey bread, but it's like my all-time favorite special occasion breakfast food!!!

    Do you have a deep freezer? I think H and I really need to invest in one. His parents gave us a deep freezer for our wedding...and it crapped out on us while we were on vacation and we'd only been using it for less than a month. We never replaced it and I really feel like we just need to suck it up and do it. We'd save so much more with  more freezer space and the ability to just pull what we need from there rather than run to the store for everything.

    @speakeasy14 Poor you! Hopefully some extra sleep and the day off help you feel more like yourself again!



  • @labro we do not have a deep freezer, but H has been saying he wants one for years now. We do, however, have a fridge/freezer in the garage, which is what we use to store bulk Costco items, frozen garden veggies, and meat. The fridge is full of drinks (beer and sparkly water mostly), plus long-lasting perishables.

    H's family hunts, and he has gone with them before, but he isn't really a "hunter", per se. He plans to hunt this year for reals though, so I think we will need a deep freezer (assuming he actually shoots anything ).
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  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
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    @madamerwin Yep! Definitely get a freezer...and some masking tape and a black marker so you can clearly mark the date and what everything is. Once that meat is wrapped up it's almost impossible to tell what is anymore! I'm super jealous of your second fridge though...we just have the one in our kitchen and that's it.



  • @labro I'm in the weird stage between exhausted and super energetic.  I have no idea how @swazzle goes to work this early everyday. 
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  • AlPacinaAlPacina Portlandia member
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    @madamerwin - Is it weird that I'm scared if I make more food my BF will just start eating EVEN MORE?!? Haha. I'm so glad I'm not alone in this.

    BTW, your garden sounds amazing! We moved to a new house in Vancouver this year and the bugs ate just about everything, which we weren't used to. New plan for next year. OF COURSE the only things growing are my BF's hops.

    speakeasy14minskat30
  • @labro the second fridge is a godsend. The one in the garage is a piece of crap - it's what used to be in our kitchen. But when we got married last year, MIL, who is an AMAZING baker, made our wedding cake and determined our crappy fridge wasn't big enough to store the cake layers overnight. So, she bought one on Craigslist. Turns out the CL one was way nicer and bigger than our old one (it even has an ice maker!) so we put the old one in the garage and kept the new one in the kitchen. 

    @AlPacina the bugs!! We live in SE Portland and I swear, the I have never seen worse whitefly anywhere. They, along with the aphids, devour our kale if we are not super-vigilant (which we're not). Somehow our squash and pumpkins remained relatively unscathed until the past few weeks, which is fine since they were basically done producing anyway. The beets, peppers, potatoes, onions, and tomatoes always do super well though, and somehow our strawberries weren't attacked by bugs this year either. Oh, and since it's legal, H is growing two cannabis plants, and they are doing VERY well. Probably because he babies the shit out of them. I am pretty sure cannabis and hops are related, so not surprised your BF's hops are doing well. They're hardy plants. 

    And maybe your BF will eat more food if you make more, but there has to be a point where he can't eat any more - once you find that point you'll know how much you have to make to have leftovers :)
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