banana-walnut muffins for breakfast this week
making chicken stock in the crock-pot

taking food photos

oven-baked blueberry pancakes

Jack and Oliver playing in the bedroom



Lizzie runs everywhere so fast she slips on the ice

One word describes the weekend.  Wet.  Although it was beautiful on Saturday, it rained on Friday and Saturday night into today.  The melting of snow is giving us lakes and ponds throughout our property that shouldn't normally exist.  The good news is that eventually the snow will be melted and we'll be able to see the ground and garden again.  Can't wait!!

I've been itching to make time to stamp out some jewelry so I'm determined to find time this coming week to do just that.  I'm wanting to make a couple of cuff bracelets.  I'll share pic's if I get that accomplished.

I finished up our taxes on Friday.  Always slightly depressing.  It just amazes me how much money goes to taxes.  We've also been re-working our budget, making sure our number one priority is paying off the mortgage.  Early.

And then there's Jack.  We recently moved Jack's stool which used to be in front of the dining room window facing the backyard.  It's a good bird watching spot.  It's now, temporarily, in front of one of the front doors {we have 2}.  The door has a window facing the front of the house.  No big surprise, this really threw Jack for a loop.  How in the world was he to see out that window????  The other window was right in front of him as he sat on his stool.  No work required.  This window,however, he actually has to stand up to see out of.  For about a week he would start to stand up on his back feet then chicken out and sit down.  This went on and on and on.  I have no idea why he didn't think he could stand up.  Finally, I stood him up and showed him that he really could do this.  Now, every morning that's the first thing he does.  Well, after tripping me down the stairs.  Isn't he something?

The dogs are thrilled with the higher temp's and the Coop Girls join in with the happiness.  The downfall is the mud, which none of them like, but it's part of Spring coming.  The Coop Girls continue watching for the garden to emerge from the snow.  They love helping me get it ready for Spring planting.

I've been working on our food budget which goes up a bit for winter since we don't have the bounty of garden produce.  We have run out of frozen beans, peas and squash from last year's garden and are almost out of corn and tomatoes.  I have been averaging around $100.00 per week for groceries {includes paper products, baggies, etc.} but have recently gotten it down to between 50 and 60 dollars per week which gives me a good $30.00 or more each week extra to spend on bulk sale products to add back to the pantry and/or freezer.  The biggest help has been shopping at Aldi.  If you have one in your area and haven't yet used it, I'm telling you, it's worth the trip. 

We've used our previous pantry/freezer stash because the budget had been tight, so it's time to build it back up.  I can't say enough good things about shopping for your pantry rather than for your meals - it's a huge money-saver and you've got the extra stock in case of emergency.

On the dinner menu this week:  Tacos, Grilled Ham Steak with Scalloped Potatoes, Chicken Parm, Salisbury Steak, One-Pot Chicken, Rice and Broccoli skillet, Grilled BBQ Pork Chops {with our favorite Strawberry BBQ Sauce} and Pierogies, and Crab Cakes.  I made Banana-Walnut muffins for breakfast with bananas that were starting to ripen and a Red Velvet Cake for dessert which should last the entire week.

What's cookin' in your house this week?

Hoping you're having a wonderful weekend!!


Natalie said...

Hi Staci! It raining and muddy here too, but its kind of warm and the best part.. no snow. Your blueberry pancakes looks so good. The expression on Oliver's face is precious. Have a great week!

"Alone again.... naturally!" said...

Well I made bread for a Saturday luncheon with my niece that I don't get to see too often. It was a french loaf that I made partially whole grain and it turned out pretty well. Made toasted garlic bread out of that,along with a shrimp and avocado salad, it was a pretty nummy lunch!

born imaginative. said...

I used to do that too...save money on budget to buy bulk. You always have something up your sleeve.

daisy g said...

That Jack is too much! ;0)

Just think about how all that snow melting will add moisture to the garden area. At least it's melting!

You amaze me with your food shopping. I'm spending almost twice that, but I really don't know how to do any better.

Your menu for the week sounds scrumptious! Jay is a lucky man to be eating so well!