For Parents, Happiness Is A Very High Bar
My Mom is an excellent cook. She is the type of cook that can make anything without looking at a recipe and make it fabulous. Everyone comments on her cooking. She came to the United States from Singapore in the 80’s and met my dad. Her cooking is an amazing fusion of Asian and American. Everything has flavor- blah foods are not her style.
I am not a cook. I tell this to people all the time, but I never take time to explain. My standards for good food are always judged against my Mom’s food. When we go out, its always, “the food is good but…” While, we do have our favorite restaurants and our favorite dishes, are usually quick to judge them. I am a good critic, influenced by years of watching the original “Iron Chef” on food network when I was in elementary school.
I feel like my story is common- everyone has a good cook in their family and some people learned to become good cooks themselves.
“I learned from my Grandma.”
“I learned from my Aunt.”
“I learned from my Dad.”
Well, I didn’t. I simply accepted my Mom’s talents and never took the time to follow, question and learn from her. I am an adequate cook. I know how to chop onions, boil eggs, and follow recipes. In fact, I follow recipes quite well. Recipes are in-tune with my personality- a set of plans that I follow. I am not a rule breaker or culinary trail blazer. I don’t stray from plans or recipes and I don’t add more of this or take away that. This is what makes me, in my mind, an adequate cook. Great cooks are pioneering these recipes and tweaking recipes. I am following them. In the end, the excellent cooks allow us adequate cooks to produce the same delicious meals to serve.
If you are anything like me, you really do not want to read five chapters about inspiration and rules to follow. Who has time for that anyway? So I am going to keep this extremely simple. 6 days of cooking per week. 3 weeks.
I actually do an 8 week rotation to keep things interesting. You can add on to this plan or you can do your own. Either way, this has saved our family money (no more buying excess amounts of things or eating out) and has saved me time (shop once per week and done).
1. American: Grilled salmon I, asparagus, steamed rice
2. Mexican: Chicken Enchilada II, mexican black bean salad
3. Miscellaneous: Brown sugar Meatloaf, au gratin potatoes
4. Casserole or crock pot: Chicken pot pie
5. Italian: Peppered Shrimp alfredo
6. Asian: Asian lettuce wrap
1. American: Buffalo chicken wings, spinach dip, bread
2. Mexican: Marinated flank steak, fajitas, tortilla
3. Miscellaneous: Coconut shrimp, rice, peas
4. Casserole or crock pot: Slow cooker chicken and dumplings
5. Italian: Spaghetti and meatballs
6. Asian: Schezwan shrimp, steamed rice, broccoli
1. American: Garlic Chicken, honey roasted red potatoes, green beans
2. Mexican: Fish tacos
3. Miscellaneous: Artichoke chicken, fettuccine noodles
4. Casserole or crock pot: Corn casserole, boilermaker tailgate chili
5. Italian: broiled tilapia parmesan, rice
6. Asian: Chicken tikka masala, white rice, naan*Coming soon: purchase the 8 week rotation for only $8
I shop at Kroger because I love adding all the items to my online lists on the Kroger app. Each week I load the list to my cart and select grocery pick up. The next day, I drive up and they load all the groceries into my car. I have included 3 weeks of grocery lists here, but I have a 8 week rotation with 8 lists. Once I complete those 8 weeks, I start over.
Grocery List Week 1:
= 49 total items
Grocery List Week 2
= 33 total items
Grocery List Week 3
= 41 total items
It’s 42 feels like 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
The house is cold.
I just wanted ONE WEEK of perfect weather where I wouldn’t need the air conditioner or the heater. However, Dallas has other plans and decided to skip Fall and go right into Winter. Rainy cold days call for the oven to be on with something sweet cooking up.
I made a loaf of Amish White Bread the other day. We loved eating it with meatball sandwiches, and butter with jelly. The last of it was begging to be made into bread pudding.
Big, crusty, loaf of white bread.
With a bread machine, this bread is super simple… just toss the ingredients in and let it do its thing.
If you have left overs, try out this bread pudding:
I love my Le Creuset dutch oven. I melted the butter in the pan, mixed these brownies up in the same pan, and then popped it into the oven. When they were done (25 min) I let the frosting melt on top. They stick on the bottom, but I scraped them up with a spoon and put them in a bowl while piping hot. Welcome to chocolate heaven. Words cannot express the love I have for these brownies.
According to allrecipes.com, 19k people have made these, and 8k people have reviewed these brownies.
19,000 people! That is a ton of perfectly chocolatey, rich brownies.
This is what the brownies look like right out of the oven before and after I put the frosting on- absolutely stunning right!?
We ate these as they came out of the oven. Perfect to welcome the first day of Fall. I used craisins instead of raisins and they were absolutely perfect. Perfect chewy, perfect spice, just perfect.
Check out the recipe at allrecipes.com or:
Recipe By:Beth Sigworth
“With a little experimenting, I came up with these chewy, spicy, oatmeal raisin cookies. They make your kitchen smell wonderful while they are baking. They almost remind me of Christmas because the spices smell so good.”
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, butter flavored shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Make sure you get some, because they don’t last long!
12 Items – less than $100 – one trip to target – 40 combinations
5 school days per week – 4 weeks per month – 20 outfits per month – 2 months of school clothes
$99.45 was my total before tax and delivery (store pick up is free). This does not include any sales… maybe you will get a better deal! Download the printable .pdf below.
Clothes in Capsule Wardrobe:
This wardrobe was done for my son who started preschool, but sizes available for most items on the target.com website were 12M-5T. At the time of creating this capsule (September 2018) all the items can be purchased for $140.45 before tax including shoes! This could be cheaper for you because at the time of calculation, none of the items were on sale.
There is a total of 65 combinations of clothing- with 5 school days per week and roughly 4 weeks in a month, this should provide approximately 3 months of school clothes without repeats of the exact outfit. The days of the week are categorized by the pants. This was really made to speed up mornings and make laundry easier.
I planned it out to chose one outfit for each day of the week by pants… this way each day of the week gets a new pair of pants and laundry can wait until the weekend. The pdf below offers a convenient check box so you can mark off outfits as you go.
Here is the links for the 13 items included in this capsule wardrobe:
Toddler Boy Fall Capsule Wardrobe Combinations
***Download the printable pdf here: Toddler Fall Outfits Download