Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tidbits and Wednesday Weigh-in

Three posts in a row... I'm on a roll! ;)  (If you missed them, I wrote about my Ten Months of Depression, followed by The Pursuit of Happiness--a couple of pretty personal posts that describe the changes in my life since I was diagnosed with bipolar as well as the future of Runs for Cookies.)

I'm just going to mention some random things going on lately--not a ton to write about. 

I forgot to mention on the post about grocery shopping on a budget that we have another challenge to overcome right now... we don't have an oven! About six months ago, we started having issues with our oven temperature. I would preheat the oven, then put the food in, and when the timer went off, the food was barely cooked. So, I'd have to re-bake things several times, and it drove me crazy! I tried fixing the temperature sensor, but that wasn't the problem. 

Then, a couple of months ago, I was preheating the oven while cooking on the stove--and suddenly, the oven made a big BOOM! noise and the pot on the stove literally bounced into the air (a couple of inches), the door to the oven opened, and all the dust bunnies that were collecting underneath the oven flew out. I was kind of stunned. 

I obviously turned off the oven (we have a gas stove), and I haven't messed with it since. It's 14 years old, and we need a new one. But, we are going to hold off as long as we can, because we are determined to make our budget work. Also, it's kind of fun to come up with meals that don't require the oven. The budget itself has made it fun to face little challenges like this that pop up. 

I keep forgetting about not having an oven, though--for my mom's birthday, I planned to make a cake, and then at the last minute, I realized I'd have to make a no-bake dessert instead. I made this peanut butter pie, and it was really good--rich, too, so a very small slice was satisfying.

I mostly miss making casseroles, which are my go-to. I love one-dish meals! Casseroles, skillet meals, anything that uses just one or two pots/bowls. Actually, that's a big money-saving tip--casseroles and skillets that mix all the ingredients together make a very small amount of meat go a long way. (I can buy one chicken breast and stretch it for the whole family--some chicken breasts can be 3/4 of a pound!)

We don't eat the typical main-dish-with-side-dishes kinds of dinners; rather, we eat things like this Ground Turkey and Cabbage with Spicy Peanut Sauce, Spicy Taco Gnocchi, and Pasta e Fagioli (that's what I made tonight, actually). I never use more than one pound of meat when I cook dinner, and we usually get 4-6 servings out of each meal. (Jerry takes leftovers to work). It's convenient to have all of the ingredients from the meal mixed into one dish. 

Pasta e Fagioli for dinner tonight--this is so good!

Anyway, I do miss having an oven, but I also enjoy working around this challenge. We'll see if we can go a few more months! ;)

My Wednesday Weigh-in today:


Ugh. I cannot even describe how bloated I've felt all week. Taking that Bactrim made me SO sick, and I barely ate anything for four days because I was so nauseous. But my weight jumped up to 136 at the peak of being sick, and my belly was really distended. It's slowly going back down now, but I swear that antibiotic messed up my stomach really bad. My belly still bulges out much more than normal, and I feel enormous. I think my weight is up a pound or maybe a pound and a half from last week, but I don't know if any of it is a "real" gain. Next week's weigh in should be more accurate.

We went to the air show on Monday. I wasn't sure if we'd have good weather (it was supposed to thunderstorm) but Jerry was off work and our next door neighbor gave us tickets, so we really wanted to go. I hadn't been there since I was a kid, but I remembered really liking the Blue Angels. When we got there and set up our chairs, I realized I forgot my sunglasses at home.

I was super bummed, because it was hard to look into the sky without glasses, even though it was fairly overcast. There was a booth there selling sunglasses, and I really didn't want to spend money to buy a pair, but I finally just caved and bought their cheapest ones. Did I mention they were also the ugliest? Hahaha! But they worked SO good--they made everything brighter, but without any sort of glare, so it didn't hurt my eyes to look at the sky. 


After trying mine on and realizing how awesome they were, Jerry wanted a pair, too. But he came back with something different...


Goggles! Ski goggles actually used to be trendy for a minute back when we were in high school, hahaha. I think he was wearing a pair on his head the first time I met him! These ones weren't exactly the same sort of goggles, but nevertheless, he got them for old times' sake. And they were 2/$20, so he got another pair for Eli (who also forgot sunglasses). 

The four of us were quite the fashionable sight:




The show was okay... we loved seeing the Blue Angels, but the other parts were few and far between, so there was a lot of waiting. But it was a nice day with the family, so we all had a good time.

The kids started school yesterday! Noah is in 8th grade and Eli is in 6th grade. I can hardly believe it. 


When I started blogging, Noah was in first grade and Eli was in preschool. This was the first post I wrote about them starting back to school (starting 2nd grade and kindergarten). And here is the picture!


I cannot believe how much they've grown and how much time has gone by since I started my blog!


21 comments:

  1. You might think about getting a toaster oven until you replace your real oven. You can find them cheap at thrift store, garage sales, or CL, and they aren't even that much to buy new. You can make all kinds of things in them, including casseroles. I have a 6 slice toaster oven, and I have used that for the past 9 years I have been living without a real stove (no stove, no oven, no real kitchen).

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    1. I actually have a toaster oven, although it's very small--I could fit two slices of bread side-by-side, and there are two racks, so I'm assuming that would be considered a four-slice oven? For just myself, it would be great--but cooking for four people would be harder. We do use it a lot (it's great for my kids to use!). I'm amazed that you've been without a stove/oven for so long--I guess because I grew up with one and have always had one, I just can't imagine living without one. But that's awesome you've found other ways to get by!

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    2. A six slice oven can fit six slices on one rack. It is big enough to make most pizzas you can get in the freezer section.

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  2. If you need another cake before your oven is fixed use a crock pot. It works well!

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    1. I've heard of people doing that, but I've never tried it--it sounds so odd! But maybe I'll give it a go--I can't "knock it 'til I've tried it", so I might as well ;)

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  3. I have a built in wall oven (stovetop is separate) and the replacement cost is about $1500. I have been using a tabletop oven ($100) for many years. I don't bake a lot, but the tabletop version works great for little things like casseroles and cookies.

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    1. I'm assuming that's the same as a toaster oven? I have a small one, and I really love it for making small items! Maybe I should invest in one that's a little bigger--it would be great to use until we replace our stove.

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  4. You should take some probiotics to help get your gut sorted out after the horrible antibiotics. Your good bacteria in there could use some help! :)

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    1. Good idea! I have some that I bought not too long ago, and forgot about them. I am going to take some right now. Hopefully that will help with this awful bloat.

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  5. Do you still use your Instant Pot? I'm still on the fence about getting one. I've been looking up some recipes that look really yummy but I just don't know where I'd store it (it looks really big haha).

    Also, holy cow are your boys grown up!! I've been reading your blog for about 5 years now and remember the pics of them being so little! They're little studs!

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    1. Ohmygosh, I completely forgot about my Instant Pot!! I need to pull that out and use it this week! Yes, I love the Instant Pot, and I have no idea how it escaped my mind. I don't really like food cooked in the crock pot (there are a few recipes I like, but the crock pot isn't my favorite). I like the Instant Pot much better. Thanks for the reminder!

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    2. I bought an IP on Prime day. Have to say I am underwhelmed. It is big, and it takes way longer to use than everyone says. Yes, the actual cook time is pretty quick, but add 15-30 min for it come to pressure, and not so quick anymore!

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    3. Yeah, Susan, I can see that--depending on what you're cooking, sometimes the time it takes to come to pressure makes it not worth it. I found it to work best with recipes that normally take a very long time--like baked potatoes. They take an hour in the oven, but only 20 minutes in the IP. Even with the 10-minute or so time to come to pressure, it still cooks them in half the time. But for recipes that normally only take 20 minutes or so, the IP doesn't save much time.

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    4. Another Susan made that comment about the IP but I wanted to say that I could have written it because I agree with her!

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  6. I'm so sorry about your oven -- but if you're like us, you avoid using it when it's hot out anyway!

    We, too, accepted the "no oven challenge" this summer -- since we run the AC here in NC from pretty much March thru November... it doesn't make sense to use the oven too much. It heats up the house which then causes the AC to kick on and waste energy...

    We do a ton on the grill (even making corn bread using a cast iron skillet) and we have a tiny electric air fryer for making french fries but it is basically a small convection oven so I've also used it to bake meatballs, chicken tenders, etc...

    It's pretty nice!

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    1. We've been using the grill quite a bit lately, too! Noah got a small grill for his birthday from my mom, and he LOVES using it. So, I've been choosing one or two meals a week that he can make on the grill for us. He feels very cool! ;)

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  7. I've been tracking my cycle with an app and discovered that when I ovulate, I am EXTREMELY bloated and gain about 3 pounds at least for 5 days at least. It is awful! Do you know if your bloating coincides with that? The antibiotic issues could be your culprit though.

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    1. That's a good point, but I don't think it does. I don't get this kind of bloating very often. And because it happened right after a few days of antibiotics, I'm thinking it's got to be the Bactrim. I've never had a reaction like that from medication before--it was awful!

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  8. Your boys are so handsome!!!!😊

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    1. Aren't they?! Noah looks so smart in his glasses, and Eli is going to be a little lady killer with that hair ;)

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  9. i'm going to agree with the others about the toaster oven. I have my g'ma's and it is OLD, but still works and was perfect while we were out of an oven (element blew up and started the inside on fire and busted out one of the burners and cracked the top, so we were afraid to try and use other burners) for 8 months until we could afford to buy a new one.

    i also used the grill a lot and found out i could use my cast iron skillet on the grill too. it was fun to see how creative i could get. i really missed baking though.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)

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