Monday, September 20, 2010


This weekend was packed and so much fun. Matt and I went with a group of my friends Saturday to the Michigan Ren Faire. I have gone every year for probably close to 7 years or so. I absolutely love everything about it. I enjoy getting dressed up in garb to attend. I enjoy getting to walk around and having men be gallant gentleman. I mean seriously, what woman would not practically swoon when a man takes her hand, kisses it and says "Good morrow my lady." It is just too much fun. Granted the food is mediocre and everything is priced high but it is the experience of going and watching jousting and sword fights that makes it so worth it. I spent the day enjoying mead and friendship - a most excellent way to spend a day. I jokingly claimed it was Kristine's practice bachelorette party. We also picked up some wonderfully smelling cinnamon and chocolate incense. I bought Matt a wonderful hat for his garb and he in return bought a flower wreath for my hair.

My friends Kristine and Ryan were handfasted on Sunday and we were blessed to be able to attend and spend another day with friends and lots of great food. This was my first handfasting to witness so it was even more special. They did a potluck style meal and it was delicious as always. They were celebrating the harvest as well so the theme was fall/harvest type foods. They served a pork roast that was falling apart tender. Kristine asked me to bring pumpkin bread so that was my contribution along with homemade cinnamon butter and a bottle of vanilla and cinnamon mead. There was a sweet potato casserole, baked squash, cabbage rolls, and cabbage soup just to name a few other dishes and a delicious cake with chocolate mousse filling in it - yummo.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Yesterday once again I started feeling feverish and achey about midafternoon. I had planned to do a large meal with the pork roast but just was not feeling up to a heavy meal or one with that much preparation - zero prep sounded really good. Some of the headachey feeling I was having was probably due to caffine withdrawal so I decided to go to Kroger's and grab some of my caffine of choice, Code Red Mountain Dew.

While there I realized that Kroger's had California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza on sale for $4.99 so I grabbed a bbq chicken one for Matt and I and a pepperoni one for the son and a container of Kroger's buffalo wings on special for $7.99 along with some Code Red Mountain Dew on sale for 88c. When I checked out I got a coupon with a free Redbox code on it to sweeten the deal. Pizza and a movie sounded like a good way to curl up on the couch and rest. After I got home my son texted me that he was at his girlfriend's house and wouldn't be home for supper so that pizza got put into the freezer. Otherwise, the night was pretty much as relaxing as I had hoped it would be.

I rented Prince of Persia, which I must say was an excellent movie, and worked on the baby blanket that I still haven't gotten done. For those who haven't tried Redbox yet or have never heard of it, it is a great budget friendly way to rent movies without the high costs. Cost is $1 per day for rental. The best way to find a Redbox is to go to their website and search for one in your area. The Kroger's I go to by work has one that I use frequently but there are ones closer to my home. The great thing is you can rent at one location but return it to another location so it is super convenient. Kroger coupon machines frequently give coupons with free rental codes or you can sign up on their website and occasionally get codes. Free rentals are always extremely friendly to the budget.

Breakfast: Jimmy Dean light breakfast muffin sandwich
Lunch: leftover shepherd's pie, pudding cup
Supper: California Pizza Kitchen BBQ chicken pizza, hot wings


Here are my menus for this week. Matt and I worked out the menu on Sunday. This week I'm marking which meals that Matt prepared and I've marked modifications to the menu that have already occurred based on what we were hungry for that particular day.

1. Porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (this has been on the menu but not prepared for several weeks now -hopefully I'll get it made sometime this week)

2. Texas chili, cornbread (Matt Sunday)

3. pork roast with gravy, potatoes, carrots

4. hamburgers, salad (salad was changed to copycat Chili's Texas fries) (Matt Monday)

5. hot ham and cheese sandwiches, scalloped potatoes

6. shepherd's pie (not originally on menu) (Tuesday)

7. pizza, hot wings, and movie night (Wednesday)

Lunches so far this week:

Monday: chili, pudding cup
Tuesday: Thai
Wednesday: shepherd's pie, pudding cup

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Shepherd's pie is one of those recipes that everybody has one and every recipe is different. In the past it was a great way to use up leftover meat, veggies, gravy and mashed potatoes. This is also one of those dishes you can improvise and use what you have on hand.

This is my recipe:

1 lb. hamburger
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
packet of brown gravy mix
can of cream of mushroom soup
jar of au jus gravy
bag of mixed veggies
1 c. or so of frozen corn
can of creamed corn
mashed potatoes (I start cooking these when I start frying the hamburger or you can use 1 box (both envelopes) of instant

* Fry hamburger with onion and garlic until done. Add gravy packet, cream of mushroom soup, and jar of au jus gravy and stir together. Season with salt, pepper, and seasoning salt as desired. Put mixture into bottom of 9 x 13 pan (or use 2 smaller pans)

*Pour bag of mixed veggies and corn over top of meat mixture.

*Pour can of creamed corn over veggies.

*Spread mashed potatoes over top of everything.

*Bake at 350' for 45 minutes or until center is hot and bubbly


Matt did most of the cooking for the past several days, so last night was definitely my night to cook. Of course, by mid afternoon yesterday I was getting the flushed, fever-ish, headachey feeling and was most definitely not feeling up to cooking. Thankfully by the time I got home I was feeling better and accomplished a tasty meal for us. Supper last night consisted of shepherd's pie, Hawaiian sweet rolls, and a peach cobbler for dessert. Since there was just the two of us last night, I actually made two shepherd pies and put one in the freezer for a future meal. It was so nice to be able to make one of my fall/winter favorites without heating the house up. I love fall and it has been my favorite season for as long as I can remember. I love the cooler days, the cooler nights, wearing sweaters, snuggling, apple cider, cider mill visits, pumpkins - the whole thing. I got my first gallon of cider this week from the store and have enjoyed savoring it, both hot and cold. I enjoy adding cinnamon syrup or caramel syrup to hot cider for a special treat.

Breakfast: I was bad and nibbled on some party mix
Lunch: Hot and Sour soup and orange chicken (Thai restaurant)
Supper: Shepherds pie, rolls, and peach cobbler with a drizzle of cream

Chores: Dusted living room and swept living room and hallway