Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mega Cooking

Hey all! Happy 2 year blog-o-versery!

I started this blog 2 years ago to document my free time in the strange between finishing university and work place of my life. I have since 1. found a job and 2. don't really have that much free time any more!

As I mentioned a billion times, Mike and I tutor every. single. night. So that means from Monday-Thursday we have no free evenings. I still love tutoring and it helps with some extra spending money, but this means we need to be prepared to take on the week on Sunday.

Over the holidays I was pinteresting a lot. Like every day countless hours a lot. But in doing this I did manage to find something that actually looked like it could help the Monday-Friday no time thing.

I pinned this link to Loving My Nest for Freezer Crock Pot Meals. What I liked about these meals is that they were full of veggies and weren't all chilli. After looking over the grocery lists and the recipes (which Jessica from the blog has all ready to go), I decided to take the plunge. I did one of each recipe on her list (except for the spaghetti sauce) and added the Goulash Recipe from Mama and Baby Love.

Now what hurts my soul a little is that Jessica from "Loving my Nest" was able to double or triple most of her recipes and only spend 150 for all her food. She found chicken breasts for 1.69/lb. That just doesn't happen here. I made 12 meals (all of which will have double leftovers), so food for 6 weeks, and it worked out to be around 250 bucks (I also did normal groceries for lunches, and a costco run, so my bill was a lot higher!) But still that works out to be just over 30 dollars a week for supper for two people. Not too bad! So money wise it isn't a huge saver, but time wise it should be very helpful.

All the food (except for the meat)
When I arrived home from shopping Mike and I quickly organized what was for the MEGA Cooking, and what was for normal groceries. Next we started washing and chopping all the vegetables. I following the instructions at Loving my nest, and figured out per ingredient what needed to be chopped/diced/sliced etc. I then would tell mike chop 9 carrots, dice 5 etc. We also figured out what an "average" serving of each vegetable one carrot = 1 cup, which made it easier to put together the recipes.

Once we had all the vegetables chopped the kitchen/table wasn't looking too bad. It took us about 1.5 hours to chop all the veggies. I figured that was the hardest part...I was wrong.
Labelling the bags

Next came assembling the bags. I labelled all the bags with the title, the date, and the instructions (ex add chicken stock). Then I started with the bean soup (no meat) while Mike cut up all the chicken breasts. As we went through each recipe things got a little complicated. For instance I had only bought full tomatoes, not "tomatoes with chillis" or diced tomatoes. So when they showed up Mike had to dice the canned tomatoes, and add some jarred jalapeƱos. Also I made the taco spice from scratch, the enchilada sauce from scratch.

Meanwhile, we also had a chicken cooking all afternoon to get the shredded meat for the tortilla soup, so we had to deal with that, and we had to cook the sausages for the sausage and bean recipe. ALSO...we went to a potluck last night and had to pull something together for that.

At one point, the kitchen/table was a disaster. I think doing this kind of meal prep would be much better suited for a normal sized kitchen not a condo kitchen.

Sorry for the blurry Pic..This was the state of my mind haha

But in the end after a few hours of meal assembling, the bowls of veggies were disappearing, the bags were going into the freezer, and the ingredients were getting put away. The clean up at the end only really took maybe 45 minutes (a few dishes to wash today, but nothing too scary!).

6/12 done!
And typically I spend at least 3 hours every Sunday in the kitchen preparing the weeks food so instead of spending say 18 hours over the next 6 weeks, I only spent about 5. And now our groceries each week should be fairly simple. I have yet to try any of the recipes, but one is going into the slow cooker tomorrow, and hopefully it tastes good!!

Anyone else do MEGA Cooking?? Anyone else like living off their slow cooker in the winter?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year everyone!!!
First off, belated Merry Christmas! I spent the holiday in Bathurst with my family. (Mike was in Halifax, Moseby was in Toronto).  Christmas was great, and nice and relaxing! 

I rang in the new year in Halifax at the free Concert and Firework show with Mike and my parents! It was a blast! Mike and I ended up at our friend's house afterwards for a few drinks to celebrate 2012.
There is something about New Years Eve that I love. I love Auld Lang Syne, I love the noise makers, I love fireworks! And I get to spend it with Mike!

And then there is the new year resolutions...lets recap to 2012. In January 2012 I was bright eyed and bushy tailed, without overtime at work and many hours of tutoring forecasted, and big plans to meet these goals. Since my life (and Mike's) kind of got taken over with extra work some of these goals were not met. But I am ok with most of them:

GOALS 2012!

Blog Goals:
-          Blog 5 times a week
Obviously didn't happen..sorry folks, tutoring was more profitable than blogging. I like the pace that I am blogging at, whenever I feel like it! I don't feel guilty about missing a week, or jumping back in later. I will keep blogging, and perhaps have more focus..we will see!
-          Take more pictures for blog
I tried! Having a smartphone and a nice camera helped. I would like to use photoshop and get into editing photos and learn more about my camera. This may be a project for the summer this year. 
-          Complete a craft/DIY project twice a month
Bahaha this totally didn't happen. I bought stuff to do a project, and pinned a lot of things on pinterest, but this was a the bottom of my to-do list. Maybe a summer thing???

Food/Fitness Goals:
-          January Diet
-          Lose 15 pounds by May 1st-          Go to the gym 5 times a week
In general I did well with my gym/diet until March/April. I did ok in September, and not too bad in November.  I didn't do that well with going to the gym in the past couple of months, and want to improve. 
ME goals:
-          Actually have a bedtime routine (aka don’t read pinterest while lying in bed then fall asleep)
Umm...kind of forgot I made this goal. 
-          Keep my “clean” clothes off the floor in my room
I did slightly better maybe. I just asked Mike his opinion and he said "I can't remember if you improved"...probably not a good sign. 
-          Remember Birthdays
I still was mailing cards at the last minute and doing last minute gift shopping. Didn't do well with this one!
-          Stay on Budget
Did ok with this one because of tutoring. I still spent too much money on restaurants, but overall not to bad. 

So for this year:

GOALS 2013!

1. Get my E-life organized (photos/files etc.) Mike and I have been having computer/hard drive issues and this needs to happen so I don't lose everything!
2. Get my finances organized..actually go to a bank and talk to someone so I am getting the best account/TFSA etc. Actually be a grown up.
3. Go to the Gym and stay focused on the diet. Run a 10 km in the fall. Do the Mud Run in 50 mins.
4. Pick up my clothes off the floor/be more organized
5. Have more free time on the weekend!!!

What are your New Years Goals??  Can eating more cheese be a goal for me??