Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is it a disaster if it ends up tasting good?

One of the food blogs I frequent Restricted Gourmet posted a Super Simple Hummus recipe recently and I HAD to try it immediately. My bridal shower was a few weeks ago and one of my gifts (Thank You Grandma!) was a food processor. Hummus was high on my list of things to try, so when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give it a whirl.

My first mistake (and the messiest) was completely forgetting that a food processor has a hole in it, so without thinking I dumped the can of garbanzo beans and liquid right over the top and then all of a sudden had a FLOOD of liquid on my counter, down my cabinets and onto the floor. I quickly dumped the food processor contents in a bowl and spent the next 15 minutes scrubbing my kitchen.

Finally I am ready to start again. I add the rest of the ingredients, turn the food processor on and let it do its thing. It whips up into a lovely consistency and I'm feeling really good. I give it a taste and it's just....not. good.

Annnd then the realization comes that I forgot the garlic in the microwave!

I add that in (more than she originally called for, we LOVE garlic in this house) and give it another run.

Annnd then realize that I had taken out the blades and nothing is happening. Find the blades, give it one last whip and another taste and FINALLY success. We have hummus! And it is SO GOOD.

I think next time I would cut back a smidge on the cumin and maybe substitute a hint of red pepper flakes instead. I have this problem when I make chili too, so maybe it's just that I'm not a huge fan of cumin. All in all though this recipe is a definitely keeper and will absolutely be in our regular rotation.

*Plus when I added it up, I can't believe how much cheaper this is than buying store-bought hummus! I used a coupon and got my garbanzo beans for $0.75 so I made a batch of this for under $1.00. The one I buy from the store doesn't make as much and it costs upwards of $3!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tax Stupidity

Names changed to protect the...uh uninformed.

Party A: "How come on our tax receipt spreadsheet you input all these receipts as such low amounts? $0.07, $0.10, $1.23.....?"
Party B: "Well you said that's for write-offs right? I put the amount of tax listed on the receipt"
Party A: " don't just write off the TAX, you write off the entire receipt"
Party B: ....blink..blink "Oh."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Bachelor Party

NJfinace's bachelor party is this weekend. Now I could go the mushy route and say things like "It's our first weekend apart since living together" and "I hope he (or rather his FRIENDS) stay in line" but honestly, the #1 thing on my mind (after his safety of course) is:

OMG I can eat Pesto and Thai food and bathe in PEANUT BUTTER!!

NJfinace has a nut allergy so aside from a jar of my beloved  honey peanut butter I keep safely tucked away, our house is a nut free zone.  This weekend though, even the squirrels are going to be jealous.  While NJfiance is partying it up with the boys, I'm going to be in the kitchen making my FAVORITE cashew chicken,  a batch of peanut butter and jelly muffins and a vat of pesto. 

And then scrubbing the kitchen to remove all trace evidence and likely hitting the gym to work it all off.  

My first free weekend in a year and I'm going to spend it cooking and cleaning. Boy do I know how to party.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

REAL Couponing

I definitely don't consider myself an extreme couponer by any means, but I do use coupons and love a good bargain. I'm fairly new to couponing but I have starting making a noticeable difference in our monthly grocery/drugstore budget. I thought I'd share a recent trip I made to CVS and the savings I was able to get by combining coupons and sales.

Here are the goods I bought:

1 Pantene shampoo
1 Pantene conditioner
2 Nivea for Men face scrubs
1 Nivea for Men body wash
1 bottle of contact solution
2 bottles of Dawn dish soap
1 bottle of One a Day Vitamins

Total spent: $23.62
total saved: $28.52

a 55% savings!!

I got most of my coupons from last Sunday's paper and combined it with a $5 off any CVS purchase coupon that I found on the Deal Seeking Mom website.

I can't believe all the years I used to throw out the coupon inserts from my paper without even glancing at them!

Anyone else out there a "REAL" couponer?

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Called To Do not To Done

A blog I read recently had a post on trying to "Do It All" and the feeling of failure that accompanies it. Does anyone really ever "do it all" 100% of the time? I don't think my To Do list has ever been empty. For me, I strive to have a semi-consistent "base" of things accomplished and anything above that is a combination of luck, having a helpful fiance that requires very little sleep and using the occasional caffeine overdose to the fullest.

My base is: having a meal plan for the week (along with the groceries (with coupons!) to accompany it), doing at least enough laundry so that everyone has clean undies and having the house be mostly in order (though to varying degrees). The kitchen table and counter get a daily scrub, but the rest of the house gets a good scrub when I have time. I would like to add workouts to my base and I'm working toward incorporating that in.

As long as I feel like I have a handle on my base, I'm pretty good about not beating myself up about it. In the interest of full disclosure though, if I burn a meal or ruin dinner, I've been known to have a disproportionate reaction....something inside me takes it personally if I feel like "I didn't provide".

Do I envy those who have enough time/energy/will to have a larger base than I do? Absolutely! Do I endlessly compare myself to them and tie that to my self worth. No way.

I for one like an incomplete To Do list. It means I know tomorrow will come.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ginger's Visit

Ginger is my family's puppy (yes she's 13 years old, but she will always be my puppy!). Recently my parents came to visit from Arizona and they brought Ginger! They left early this morning to go home and I'm sad I don't have a puppy around to beg for treats, drool on my leg when I'm eating dinner and harass me for a walk at 4:30am.

Here is my favorite pic from her visit. Ginger supervising NJfiance while he grills: