Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WIP Wednesday (sort of) for March 2

So here we are in March! I'm always eager to be rid of February, knowing that March will bring warming temperatures and flowers and blooming trees and spring, my very favorite season. The bare branches and gray color of winter seems so drab to me, so come on spring!

This WIP Wednesday will be more of a report on my "Goals in Progress" from February. Long term, I have continued listening to the Daily Audio Bible podcasts every day and it works so well to listen on my drive in to work. The distractions of the day have not kicked in yet, and I can usually keep focused on the readings and not drift away too much. I did not exersize as much this month, but I pledge to get outside more now that the weather will be improving--another benefit of spring being on the way!

For February, you may recall that my resolutions involved reinvigorating my boring dinner menus and sorting out my disaster of a spice cupboard. I am pleased to report that I did indeed cook three new meals during the month! They all involved chicken, but hey it's a start right? For meal #1 I tried roasting a whole chicken in the crockpot. It definitely was easy to do but I found the chicken came out kind of dry. Edible, but not ideal. I don't know if I should have basted or what? Any helpful hints? Meal #2 used leftovers from the crockpot chicken, cooked up in a casserole with rice, cheese and broccoli. My brood is not a big fan of casserole type stuff, but this turned out to be the best of the three "experiment" meals, receiving nods of approval from the test subjects. For #3 I went to the crockpot again to make Crockpot Chicken with Cornbread Stuffing, which sounded delicious but didn't quite live up to its promise. The "stuffing" came out as rather a mushy lump--it tasted ok but the presentation left ALOT to be desired. And too much taste of overcooked broccoli.

I also expanded my dinner repertoire by going to Let's Dish--have you tried it? It's not exactly cheap but it is SO nice to go and make meals there and then just take them out of the freezer to make dinner. You choose which meals you want to make from their monthly menu, and they have everything prepared that you need to put the meals together. You stick it in the freezer, and follow the instructions to cook each meal when you are ready to serve it. It is SO convenient, I wish I could afford to do it more often.

Now on to the spice cabinet! Man of the House told me he approved whole-heartedly of this goal when he read my blog post, he too was tired of things raining down on him every time he opened the cupboard. Here's the "before" shot:


I couldn't turn the spice turntable on the lower right because there were too many other things blocking it. In fact the whole lower shelf was pretty much a disaster. And I had to move at least five things anytime I needed to get flour or sugar down. I also discovered that I had multiples of the following items:

Dill--2 bottles
Cayenne pepper--3 bottles
Curry--2 bottles (I don't even LIKE curry!)
Caraway seed--2 bottles
Thyme--2 bottles
Cumin--2 bottles
Lemon pepper--2 bottles
Yeast--4 expired packets

And the prize for the oldest thing in the cupboard? A package of slivered almonds with a "Sell by" date of 11-06-2007. That's less than 4 years expired right? Certainly not the oldest thing I've ever found in my kitchen lol. I have to give credit to Man of the House for helping me get this done, as he cleaned out the pantry last week, which freed up space for me to get the less-used stuff out of the cupboard and into the pantry, and I now I can actually find stuff in here. Doesn't it look spiffy?


I can find everything and spin the turntable and not risk a concussion!

So I need a couple of goals for March. I'm going to inflict make three more new meals for the family, and I'm going to have everyone spend ten minutes each evening straightening up some part of the communal living space. We get kind of lax about regularly scheduled chores around here, so I'm setting a goal for everybody--am I a great mom or what?!


Mindy said...

Wow! Fantastic job!

Shanti said...

Love your new cupboard!
Do you like pork chops? I make every once in a while Monastery Pork, an ukranian recipe that we love, super simple.
In a casserole dish:
layer of boneless pork chops at the bottom, then layer of thin sliced onion (cover all the pork), then layer of shreded cheese (colby jack & mozzarela covering all the onions), on top of everything layer of mayonaisse (spoon it and then spread it on top of the cheese until it covers all)... into the oven at 400F (180°C)for an hour or so, until the top layer looks golden brown and kinda crispy.

Shanti said...

Another quick dish...
Tilapia filets in a caserole dish...
in a bowl mix mayonaise, lemon juice and parmesan cheese...
Top the fish with the mayo mix...
in the oven at 250-300F for around 15 min!

by Teresa said...

Julie, you are an inspiration! I'm impressed!


CozySpirit said...

Would you like to have my top secret chicken enchilada casserole recipe? It's a great save when you have roast chicken fail.

Anonymous said...

Great job on the spice cabinet, I really need to do something with mine also. All the food sounds yummy!

Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you are having a nice Sunday :o)

Clara said...

You got it done...great job and you'll smile every time you open that cupboard.