November is going to be crazy. Not only prepping for the holidays, which is something I love to do, but also work. So much work. On Saturday afternoon I started thinking about how much busier it could get depending on a few other moving pieces. When I get really busy, I also get lazy. When I'm busy I feel like I need all of my extra energy to just survive, so a lot of things get put on the back burner, including meals and cleaning.
So first, I got up early on Sunday and spent about an hour planning my month in meals. Nothing exact, but I did try to think ahead for the month and took into consideration what I already had, which actually wasn't much. Then I made a list and went to the store.
I deviated very little from the list. Some of the deviations were forced, because they either didn't have what I needed or didn't have the quantity I needed and some of the deviations had to do with sales, because I enjoy buying things on sale.
Then I came home and marathon cooked.
I made a lot, but I made quite a few recipes from my new found favorite Laura In The Kitchen. I plan on talking more about her later, but..
I love her, I love her, I love her! One of the things I love about her is that it is kind of like cooking with my mom. My mom loves to cook and gives me recipes all the time, but I know my mom and I know that to her a recipe is more of a guideline (except in baking). The older I've gotten and the more I've cooked and gotten familiar with cooking in general, the more I've used my mom's recipes as guidelines, the way she does. I love Laura in the Kitchen because she cooks like my mom. If you watch several of her videos, and yea, I've watched pretty much all of them, then you'll notice she says over and over again "use whatever you have on hand" or "you can substitute this" or "I'm doing it this way today because this is what I have, but usually I do it this way" and I love that. She makes sure you know in every recipe that it's customizable to YOU.
She also has a Vlog channel and I've watched that channel a lot too, because my favorite thing is to see how she makes her own recipes in every day life. She will say things like "well I had this leftover from Monday, so I decided to use it to make ****, even though I'd usually use ****". I love watching the Food Network and stuff, but I've always wondered how often any of them use their own recipes in real life. With Laura, you can see her cooking her own things and you can see what she eats almost every day and how she prepares things. She's also a big supporter of cooking things ahead of time and freezing them.
Which brings me to yesterday. I made her chicken enchiladas with shredded chicken I had leftover from last week. I made two 9x13 pans and put them both in the freezer.
I made my grandma's meat sauce, which honestly, started as my grandma's recipe, but I've changed so many things and written so many notes all over the paper, that I can hardly call it her recipe now, but whatever. I love it and it makes a ton. I froze 4 quart sized bags of that.
I made Laura's basic marinara recipe. I will also be freezing this is some quart sized bags, but right now it's in a big thing in the fridge, because I'm actually going to be doubling it tonight and I'm just going to mix it all together. Don't try to understand my thought process.
I made my grandma's vegetable soup, which I plan on freezing some of too, BUT I screwed up because I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and I over-salted it. So now it's so salty that it is inedible. Right now it's just in my fridge, because my aunt thinks she has some ideas to fix it. I'm hoping I don't have to throw the whole thing out, so we'll see. I might be remaking this sometime this week. Thank heavens it is so cheap!
I browned up 2 lbs of ground chuck with onions that I separated into bags and froze. I needed 1 lb of ground chuck for my grandma's meat sauce, but all they had left of the good kind were the 3 lb packages, so this was one of those deviations. BUT, I'm sure this month I'll find a use for them.
I also made Laura's granola muffins, mostly because I've really been wanting to try them, but also because if they were easy I was going to make them a regular thing. They are not only easy, but they're freaking delicious. Like amazingly delicious! Look at the pic, I took it after I already ate one. They're so good. I didn't use her homemade granola though, I went to a local bakery (scholar's inn bakehouse for you locals) and got their granola. It's the best.
As for the sauces, I made those because they're delicious, but also pasta and salads are like the quickest meals I can think of to make when I'm busy. Also, the marinara sauce is so versatile! I've already got a few things in mind for that.
In between cooking, because a lot of things had to simmer for several hours, I was cleaning. I got most of my cleaning done, but didn't get any laundry done. I don't have a washer and dryer, so I usually take my laundry to my parents' house, but I couldn't do that yesterday because I couldn't leave with things simmering on my stove. SO, I need to figure out a time to get my laundry taken care of, because it'd built up a little.
This ended up being long.
I guess this is what happens with you don't blog as much as you used to
You word vomit all over the place.
See you tomorrow, folks!