Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The "Stuff" of Dressing

Also? Gordon Ramsay TOTALLY validated my approach to cooking a turkey on FOX-NY News tonight, which is to cook it in pieces, rest the meat before carving, and do the carving "backstage" and serve with sauce made from deglazing the roasting pan. We're going to be eating elsewhere, and the turkey is already cooked, but I have a lovely breast/rib turkey roast thawing that I'm going to roast here this weekend.

Anyway, here's the components of the dressing we made this year. Finished product won't be baked until tomorrow. If it's a hit, I'll dig up a link to the recipe. Click the picture for more.

The "stuff" of Dressing

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Planning My Onslaught On The Grocery Store

What, you're not? Listen, you need to. Tomorrow is THE day. Even if you're not a coupon-clipper (and just don't tell me, if you're not, because it would cause me to weep), the grocery sales right now, they are fierce, and include probably the widest variety and largest number of items than at any other time of the year. And the beauty part is that much of what you can get on sale now can be stored for some time, and used later. The rest of my life may be in a shambles (yes, STILL), but this? This, I can do. Here are some things you can be on the lookout for good deals on between now and Thanksgiving--I have coupons for all of them, but even if you don't (*sob*), they're still on store sale most places:

*Frozen or fresh turkeys and chickens. Who says you can only cook a turkey at Thanksgiving? If you follow Barbara Kafka's roasting directions, you can do a big bird in two hours. Now is also a great time to buy roasting/baking hens, and turkey breast roasts (those are fantastic--they're still on the bone, with skin, but it's just the breast and rib meat). Buy them fresh and freeze them, or buy them frozen. Or, heck, buy them fresh, take them home, roast 'em, and debone and freeze all that great cooked meat, then boil up the bones for a rich stock, and freeze it, too!
*Fruit. Fresh, frozen, and canned. Some fruit freezes, some doesn't, but lots of flash-frozen fruit is on sale right now because people use it in pies and chutneys/sauces. Stock up. You'll wish you had some cranberries in late February, and think, "Why didn't I listen to Belinda?"
*Nuts. No, I'm not calling you names. Nuts of all kinds are on sale right now, both pre-packaged, and in bulk in the produce section. And they're normally pretty expensive, so why not get them now, even if you don't need them? They freeze VERY well--in fact, I store nuts in the freezer as a matter of course, to keep the oils in them fresh.
*Dairy products. Milk and cheese freeze, people.
*Canned broth and cream soups. These are on SERIOUS markdown right now, and armed with my coupons, if I don't bring home a sackful for free, I'll be disappointed. Like canned tomatoes, you just can't have too much canned broth or "cream of" soups, especially now that cream soups are available in low-fat, low-sodium varieties.
*Baking supplies. ALL baking supplies. Think big, here. I'm not talking about just flour and sugar, but spices, vegetable oil, pie filling (canned fruit), frozen pie crusts, chocolate, condensed milk, EVERYTHING. The whole aisle is on sale NOW. If you have room, store flour in an airtight container in your freezer.
*Bread. Again, bread freezes well.
*Root/bulb vegetables, i.e. sweet potatoes, white potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, etc. Store these just right, and you can keep quite a few on hand.
*Dried grains/legumes, i.e. all kind of rice, dehydrated potato flakes, beans, barley, lentils.
*Cereals, especially the ones used for snacks like Chex Mix and Rice-Krispie Treats.
*Snacks. Not that YOU will eat them, but you know, your guests might be wanting to graze on dips and chips and crackers and cheese-balls and stuff.
*Sodas. But don't drink sodas. They're bad. Evil. I don't even know why I said sodas. Forget I did that.
*Dish detergent and cleaning supplies. Because, you know, people (ahem--SOME people) will be doing a lot of house-cleaning in preparation for houseguests.
*Kitchen supplies, i.e. paper towels, garbage bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper, wax paper, etc.
*Toilet paper. Really.
*And in what I consider a stroke of marketing genius, ANTACIDS. Pepcid, TUMS, Pepto-Bismol, Mylanta, everything. See also: Immodium.

So yeah, hit the store for whatever's on your Thanksgiving list, but for stuff that keeps a while, freezes, or can be stored indefinitely, STOCK UP, Baby!

I'll report back with what I hope will be my tale of cutting a wide swath through the stores, leaving checkout clerks exhausted and store managers weeping. I also have some recipes I need to post that are based on using leftovers from roasted chicken or turkey.

Meanwhile, my home? A wreck. Thank you.

By the way, do we need to have The Coupon Talk? You should really only be paying for about half of your groceries, if that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Uuuugh, slogging through quicksand.

I can do it.

Daylight savings time is really kicking my butt. There's a marked difference in the way I feel, because it gets dark earlier.

Sometimes I feel like I can't get out of my chair. As if I'm stuck there like a magnet.

But I can. I can get up.

I can get up, take my meds, get ready, get on the treadmill, drink water, eat healthy, use my lightbox, power off the computer.

I can do the extra school stuff-- practicing times tables, and reading, and such, even though they're not homework, I can go above and beyond the call of duty.

I already do all the homework stuff, coordinate schedules for 3 kids, make lunches, do laundry, dishes, cleaning, groceries, meals, kiss boo-boos, counsel problems.

I can do more. I can do the things I need to to make my life run smoothly and improve the quality of life for my family.

I know I can, I just have to put my mind to it. I have to make it essential, rather than elective.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Oy vey.

Oh my gosh ya'll. I suck. I have not walked, sat in front of my lightbox, taken my meds or any of the other stuff I'm supposed to do to make myself healthy wealthy and wise. I can really tell, it's taking a toll on me, and does that motivate me to action? Nooooooo. A ginormous part of the problem is the guilt. See, it's not just that doing all those things just seems overwhelming, it's that it seems to me that they SHOULDN'T seem so overwhelming, they're what normal people do every stinkin' day, why am I so precious and delicate I can't manage to accomplish them?! It's the shame over not being able to change that gets me more than not changing itself. Does that make sense?

I need to find a way to change without examining my life and feeling like a total failure, because that's what paralizes me. Of course, because who has the energy or motivation to change when they feel like scum?

Anyway, Monday I'm going to give it another whirl. I keep telling myself, just like people who smaoke, sometimes you have to practice quitting before you get it right.