Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Storage

I know that a small amount of accountability to make me get through all my food storage is a good thing. So Sundays are the day where I tell you what I've used up from the food storage.

Also, I want to take this opportunity to let you guys know that if you have specific stuff you want to see me make, post it on the Sunday posts and I'll start doing requests for either Mondays or Tuesdays.

I will not include standard canned goods in my list of "used up," since I have them in normal-person quantities rather than hoarder quantities. I'm also not going to include stuff from the fridge (unless it's staples I'm storing in there), spices, or anything that falls under normal-person quantities of stuff. But everything I consider to be part of my food storage will be listed as it gets used. I will not torment you guys with a list of precisely what is IN the food storage, since I think it's simpler to just put what I used and let you guys work out how much food it really was I was holding onto later. I guess you guys will also find out how much stuff I cook that I don't tell you about, too. And it'll also be pretty easy to tell how long it takes me to eat whatever I've cooked, since the storage using will vary based on that.


So, here's what I used up:

2 ounces jasmine tea
1/2 - 1 ounce roobios (I believe this is all I had, though I'll look once I get through the teas on the top of the fridge which is when I'll restock from the tea bin)
Somen noodles (finally!)
Forbidden rice

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Spending

Like I mentioned yesterday, holidays make life a little easier for me. Most years I go somewhere for Thanksgiving, and this one was no exception. So I didn't have a lot of food shopping to do for the week, since I spent most of it out of town. I'll need a little produce and perhaps a day's worth of meat since I'm back home now, but that's not too bad.

I wanted to mention also that I needed to add one more rule to the ones I posted last week, which is that I can't be buying rice either. I still have a massive amount of white, brown, red, jasmine and medium rices left. And, I wanted to admit I already broke one of my rules by buying a package of spinach noodles. I just couldn't help myself.

So, on to the shopping. Normally I don't count the food that I buy while I'm in transit between one city and another, and I'm not going to count it now but I am going to mention it.

Gas station:

$3.29 for three bags of chips
$1.50 for a Diet Coke

Total: $4.79

Gas station:

$0.99 - Diet Coke
0.99 - Reese's peanut butter pumpkin

Total: $1.98

Likewise, I tend to not count money I spend at restaurants and bars while I'm out of town (because really, what's the point of a vacation if you have to stick to your $20/week budget), but I'm going to mention this too.

Restaurants:

Nomad: $6
Pablitos: $1
Chuy's: $17
Magnolia: $34.90

Total: $58.90

And, on to the real spending that actually counts toward my budget:

Walgreens:

$4.99 - Massive bin of pretzel rods

Total: $4.99

MT Supermarket:

$2.49 - Kombu
$1.58 - Tamarind candy
$0.79 - Can of coconut juice
$4.99 - Sesame oil
$2.39 - Spinach noodles

Total: $12.44 (including 20 cents tax)
Grocery grand total: $17.43

Friday, November 26, 2010

Food Waste Friday

With it being Thanksgiving week, this was a pretty easy week for me. I mean, I was only in town from Friday until Tuesday. I'm still actually not back home, and I won't be until tomorrow. However, I was careful to eat up leftovers and perishables so I wouldn't come home to any waste, except one tiny thing. I just couldn't get that last one down, and it was too old for me to give it to someone else and feel good about it.

So, for this week, I wasted:

One maple bar. I know, I know. Who wastes junk food, right?

How'd you guys do? Were you able to foist off holiday leftovers on others, or did you wind up wasting food?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Spending

And, this is back too. Obviously, it's not summer anymore. And also obviously, I'm not still on the $10/week budget. Also, I get to use the Cave again.

But, now that I'm living on my own and my whole life is different, I wanted to lay out some new rules for my grocery spending. This week I forgot to save any receipts from buying groceries, but I'll be doing that from now on again so y'all can see what kind of stuff I'm up to, in terms of shopping and also in terms of keeping the new budget.

So, the new rules:

1) My new budget is $20/week. I actually believe this is far more money than I need, but I wanted to make sure that if I go on an olive and/or cheese binge, I've got enough wiggle room to compensate for it. Also, I'd like to entertain more. This means, since I only have a two person table, that I'd have only one person over at a time (well, unless people want to eat on the couch and/or floor). But still, I want a little extra food monies for days I want to have someone over (maybe 1-2 times a month is what I'm shooting for right now).

2) No more pasta. Seriously. Due to the limited storage space in my new place, it's time for me to start using up more of what's in the Cave without replenishing it. Once I get down to bare bones (which realistically should take me the duration of my lease), I'll have a better idea of whether I'll be staying in Houston for a little while longer (thereby making me want to start rebuilding food storage) or moving to New York (thereby making me NOT want to move a bunch of food storage across the country). So, since I have a bin full of pasta, pasta is off limits for grocery spending. I have a couple exceptions to this: torellini (since I'm not going to make that myself) and ditalini, which is the only type of pasta I like to make macaroni pasta with. I'm starting my new life with 2 boxes of tortellini and probably 8-10 pounds of ditalini, so I won't be needing to replenish any of that for a while.

Where I see pasta issues coming up is that I have deep associations with specific pastas for specific types of dishes. Maybe everyone does, but I don't know. So for me, the trouble will be when I'm out of long pasta and want puttanesca and I have to force myself to use penne or another shape. And so on.

3) No more beans. This is for the same reason as the pasta. Except that I feel a lot more flexible with beans than I do with pasta, so I don't really have any exceptions here. Possibly chick peas but I'll decide that later, once I get through the four pounds of those I currently possess.

4) Before I go to the grocery store (for anything other than fresh produce), I have to look through the Cave to see if I already have it. If I do, I can't buy it. Period. If I'm out of whatever the item is (after looking through all the bins of food and in the pantry and anywhere else I might have food squirreled away), then I may buy one and only one of the given item.

5) Stop buying tea for anyone other clients. Seriously. No, seriously. And once the Sleepy Time tisane is gone, no more of that either until I get through the pound of chamomile flowers I have. Seriously. I can buy tea again once I have no more than two pounds in the house. Currently I have... well, a lot more than that. I don't really want to talk about it.

And I think those are my only rules right now. Can anyone think of something I forgot to include?

On a completely unrelated note, I had no idea River from Firefly was going to be in Chuck at all. But I am pleased.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Food Waste Friday

It's back! In my effort to post more, I want to bring this back. Right now my cooking has been more related to comfort foods you guys already know about, but next week I'll start trying to do at least one new recipe per week.

Anyway, back to the waste. As you might expect, I've created a lot of trash while I've been moving. But that's got nothing to do with food.

This week, I wasted:

NOTHING!

Let's see how many weeks I can keep this up for!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Avocado Salad

When I was a teenager, my friend T and I used to slice up avocados and tomatoes. We'd put the avocados in a layer on the bottom of the plate, then top with tomatoes, then top with lots of salt and lemon juice. It always felt like a wonderful treat eating that (and drinking all the juices left on the plate).

I'm all moved into my place. A few things are still at P's (mostly athletic gear), which I'll pick up as I can, when I'm visiting Francis. But other than that I'm moved and completely unpacked. I even managed to get all my art hung on the walls. My kitchen, however, is pretty small. It's a big transition going from the large kitchens I've used over the last 15 years to a little bitty kitchen. It's small enough that I'm using the dishwasher to store dishes rather than to wash them. Now, I'm not complaining about the size; it's cozy in there and it seriously limits the amount of kitchen stuff I can buy (i.e., I bought an old Oster blender on eBay and I'm still not sure where it'll fit). But it is a bit of an adjustment.

Here, take a look for yourselves:






Anyway, while I'm learning how to effectively work in a small space, I'm going with simple foods, often uncooked. I bought an avocado, which made me think about all those times T and I had eaten that plate of simple salad. I woke up craving that salad for breakfast. Since, as per usual, I woke up not too long before I needed to dash out the door to get to class, I didn't want to spend a lot of time working on slicing and arranging things nicely. So I just diced it all up, and added some celery for crunch. It was a really refreshing breakfast, which would be more filling if you ate it with some bread (and maybe pickles). Hope you enjoy!

1 avocado, cut into cubes
1 roma tomato, cut into cubes
1/8 cup celery, minced
salt to taste
juice of a lime

Mix together and eat. This is good chilled or room temperature. Serves 1 (maybe 2 people if it's being eaten as a small side).