daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 140: Shrimp & German Potato Salad

For lunch I had some frozen breaded shrimp. I spent most of the morning talking to my mom and sort of ran out of time to think of anything.

For dinner I made these German sausages I got from Aldi, marinated some beets and made the other kind of German potato salad, the kind with apple. It was surprisingly tasty!

Next week Aldi has dog supplies on sale so I think I will do our grocery shopping then. It would only be three weeks but we are a little low on some items (carrots!) and we need a new container for dog food. Our freezer is still very full and I’m a little hesitant to use too much in it because I think things will get worse in the fall so it will be nice to get some fresh food.

I’ve really been stretching out the meat and other ingredients the last couple weeks so I actually ended up freezing more from the shop on June 17th than I expected. Aldi ads come out on Wednesday so that is my preferred shopping day and the following Wednesday is our eye appointment so I can’t shop then (dilated eyes) and the week after that is my birthday and Matt’s off the whole week so I don’t want to shop then either. My guess is I will either do a online order to fill in or we will go to a specialty store at some point around then.

Non-food related activities:

We’ve been talking about getting a second dog after Pippi suddenly died. I saw one that looks nice at a rescue and put in an application. Fingers crossed! It’s a bit of a drive but we’d only have to do it once.

I really spent most of the day talking to my mom about her medical care and books.

I listened to more You’re Wrong About. I can’t wait for Candace Opper’s memoir to come out. I find her fascinating. I had read an essay of hers about her fixation on a classmates suicide so I was excited to see she was the guest on the Kurt Cobain episode.

Trying to knock out at least one more book before the end of July!

We watched Popeye on Netflix DVD. What a weird movie. Oooooh. Ooooooh.

daily recap · planning · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 124: Mi Goreng w/Chicken and Squash & Shrimp and Wax Beans in Black Bean Sauce

For lunch I sautéd some golden rod squash and leftover chicken and tossed it with packets of mi goreng.

For dinner I made shrimp and wax beans in black bean sauce. It turned out a little salty so I’ll use less soy sauce next time but the black bean flavor was good.

We had some Rice Krispies treats for dessert.

I made egg salad to have for tomorrow’s lunch after I get back from the grocery store. I haven’t made it since the winter and it finished off the last of a dozen eggs but I’m assuming I’ll be able to pick some up tomorrow. We have some watercress to add to it too!

I rearranged the refrigerator to make room for groceries tomorrow. I can’t believe it’s been a whole month! I’m getting better about using up any leftovers before shopping for optimum free space. Now all we have in there is some prepped beets, cottage cheese, butter, cheddar and dozens of condiments and pickles.

Tomorrow I am going to start some chili before I leave so I won’t have to do any cooking for the rest of the day! Grocery shopping is exhausting and I have made so much food and done so much work over the last couple of days. I’m exhausted.

Tomorrow is also one of those days when it seems like everything we’ve ordered over the last few weeks is arriving at once. Long delayed Costco orders, prescriptions, contact lens supplies, new masks etc

Non-food related activities:

I am giving up on Faded Out. I can’t take it anymore. I also deleted Sticky Beak, the follow up.

I listened to an episode of You’re Wrong About which I like but so far I already knew a lot about the topics they talk about. It’s entertaining but nothing new. I think I have similar interests to the woman host.

I wrote a ton of reviews for Netgalley.

Worked on C&L a lot.

We watched another episode of Babylon Berlin and Father Brown (quite a combo!).

daily recap · planning · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 123: Chicken, Mac and Cheese & Fish Sticks

I made our “big meal” at lunch again. I defrosted four thighs over the weekend to help with my goal of rotating food in and out of our freezer. I made what we call Grandpop fried chicken which is pan-fried chicken made like this but with a tiny bit of granulated bouillon sprinkled into the flour. My grandpop made it that way all the time and it’s so good! I tossed the leftover green beans with the leftover marinated julienned carrot and cucumber from making gimbap and added a dressing for the vegetable. I made mac and cheese with the rest of the shredded cheddar, leftover ricotta and the cooked plain pasta we had from Friday. We are out of milk but the ricotta melted well and helped coat the noodles. Lots of repurposing leftovers today!

I made Rice Krispies treats after lunch.

For our evening meal we finished off the fish sticks (highly recommend the Aldi wild caught fish sticks) with homemade tartar sauce and I had some chips and salsa and Matt had some peaches and yogurt. We already had such a filling meal in the afternoon we didn’t need much but I wanted to finish those fish sticks and get them out of the freezer.

After dinner we prepped the wax beans and the beets we had from last week’s produce box so they will be easier to use in other meals later in the week. This way they are ready for any use.

I placed an Amazon pantry order for Wednesday. There are a few items we just haven’t been able to find in person since February that they had in stock. Matt wants to take this week off of grocery shopping (I’m going Wednesday) since he did the vet visit and grocery shopped at the Italian grocery last week but we have a few things we need and Aldi doesn’t sell.

Non-food related activities:

We started season 3 of Babylon Berlin on Netflix (only one episode, I can’t wait to see what happens next!) and watched a little more Father Brown on Britbox.

I caught up on Gee, Thanks Just Bought It. Caroline is so enthusiastic about everything. It’s interesting to see a slow pivot to more sustainable shopping.

I did a lot of work on Coconut & Lime today.

I started an ARC of the new Caroline Leavitt book. I’ve been reading her books since college so I was excited to get a copy of this!

I thought a lot about how grateful I am no longer teaching and don’t have children during all this.

I organized our enclosed porch. We have very little storage space in the house. The porch isn’t insulated but it doesn’t get below freezing or as hot as the outdoors does. We use it for our recycling bins and cases of soda normally but we have a cart in there I’m now using to store some nonperishables like pasta, instant noodles, extra soy sauce, the case of sleepy time tea we ordered etc. It looks so much better now! In the colder weather I left root vegetables out there but it too hot for that now.

We have been storing yeast and cheese in the tiny mini fridge on the porch but today I noticed it was a little warm inside. I’m going to have to keep an eye on it. I don’t know if it can’t keep up with the heat (I adjusted the temperature down) or if it was left slightly open after Matt made the pizza dough or what. It isn’t essential but it is nice to have! The couple pounds of yeast and shredded cheese take up a lot of space in our regular fridge which is pretty small.

daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 115: Tuna Melts & Cornish Game Hens

For lunch Matt made us tuna melts (on rye swirl) to use up the tiny bit of tuna salad we had left.

For dinner Matt made Cornish Game Hens (that I had frozen a couple months ago) with za’atar, and couscous with kale and chickpeas. Everything was fine but it oddly came out bland despite being well-seasoned. We have a good amount of the couscous left so I have to think of a way to jazz it up.

It’s been almost three weeks since our last grocery shop(s) and I’m trying to make it to next week to help rotate some stuff we already have in the freezer out to make room for new food.

Non-food activities:

More Dark and Babysitters Club on Netflix. It has been so hot and humid. I really want to play cards outside again! It’s just so gross out. Matt’s working so much that it’s hard to get the energy to do a lot in the evenings after dinner.

Matt’s tai chi classes have been doing virtual lessons and recording them but now they are moving to in person and we are not really comfortable about that. I guess the exercise bike might get some more use!

daily recap · planning · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 110: Jjajangmyeon

For lunch I made some frozen shrimp for me and finished the potato salad from Saturday. Matt had some rice and half of the leftover meatballs/zucchini from yesterday since he still didn’t feel great.

I had put up some beef country style ribs I marinated last night in the slow cooker. Matt didn’t feel up to much so he had a tiny bit, eggs and rice and I sautéd up some spinach from today’s produce delivery and served it on some instant jjajangmyeon. The ribs were quite tasty! I had never bought or tried them before but Aldi had them when I went (almost 2 weeks ago) and I’ve been making an effort to try different meat offerings there since I never know what is going to be in stock. The store has always been well stocked but it has varied a bit—one week they only had dark meat chicken, the next white etc.

We have a few packs of tofu from H Mart I need to figure out what to do with too. I should have put their expiration dates on my list with the meat.

Tomorrow will be July already. It’s hard to think we have basically been home 24/7 since min-March. No end in sight as cases have really surged. Maryland seems to be holding pretty steady though.

I did place a Costco order for some basic supplies like dish soap, sponges, laundry detergent and honey (Matt goes through a truly massive amount of honey in his tea, I think it must be more honey than tea) that we aren’t desperate for but will need. They were all items that had been out of stock a for many weeks I thought it better to get them now then when things might shut down again or get worse.

Non-Food related activities:

We watched Ganja and Hess (a classic) on Prime. I always wonder what happens to these extras in movies like this. Like the children in the church choir. They must be over 50 now. I wonder what they remember, being so young during the filming.

Started an ARC of Sally Hepworth’s new book.

daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 105(!): Sesame Noodles & Popcorn

I felt peppy at lunch so I made some sesame noodles with the kohlrabi. Matt had grabbed some soba by mistake at H Mart last week so it was nice to use some of it up! I had a huge amount of kohlrabi so I went ahead and cooked it all up so I have some ready to do something else with. I don’t know if the greens would have last much longer in the fridge but cooked, they should be fine.

For dinner we had the leftover eggplant pasta and some popcorn with Trader Joe’s “everything but the elote” seasoning.

I harvested 3 raspberries today! The beach plums look really good too. Last year we had a great yield and the fruit was really big (some years they’ve been blueberry sized and they have giant pits) but last June was when my mom was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer and she was in the hospital/rehab a long time. I was too fried to even bother picking them. Somehow she is still with us (went for a routine MRI yesterday) and seems pretty stable so things are more normal on that front at least. So fingers crossed I’ll feel up to picking plums and making something with them this year? It’s not like we have much else to do.

I still haven’t made that lemonade!! Maybe tomorrow??

Non-food related activities:

Matt zoomed with his parents for their anniversary. The cookies and treats I had delivered arrived safely! I found a local to them place that was a bakery that also sold breakfast and lunch and had regular delivery drivers vs a bakery that packed things up to ship. I thought it would be fresher and cheaper that way!

I’m trying to read an easier book after that mess of a book I read yesterday. I’m doing the summer reading program at the library again so I’m trying to read at a good pace. I have like 6 kindle books checked out so the pressure is on.

I listened to more of Faded Out. It’s pretty good but I feel like they sort of bury the lede a bit. We heard a lot from random people like their landlord at the time before learning that the dad had a record and apparently was a child molester.

We watched a little more of Black Spot on Netflix. Matt’s still on call and was up for hours at like 2 am today so we are all a little tired, especially him, of course!

daily recap · planning · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 99: Jajangmyeon & Chicken Tenders

For lunch I made some packets of jajangmyeon Matt bought at H-Mart. They didn’t have the fresh noodles so he got this instead of us making our own from scratch. It was pretty good! We had one pork chop left from the 3 we had for dinner last night (I saved it without the sauce) so I diced that up and tossed it in.

I prepped mustard greens to pickle tomorrow and left them to dry on the enclosed porch.

For dinner I made chicken tenders. I missed the really fluffy battered kind we get at one restaurant so I tried to make a lemon pepper version. It turned out great! The physical piece of chicken seemed to greatly expand when it was frying (??) because the final pieces were huge despite the chicken tenderloin (when raw) being rather narrow and only about the length of my hand when I took them out of the package. I don’t really understand what happened but I don’t normally fry large pieces of chicken breast or boneless meat too often. We also tried Aldi brand tots (not bad, maybe needed an extra minute in the oven) and a bagged salad. Since I’m making so much food so often I really need to have some meals with only one labor intensive part to it. Since the chicken was freakishly big once cooked, we have some leftover.

Hogan has opened the state (and our mayor, the city) to basically 50% capacity everywhere despite he sharing that he personally, with his health issues, doesn’t feel comfortable dining in at a restaurant. Of course he thinks it’s fine if you have those same conditions and work there! People really can’t think past their own selves. Like how Trump hate germs and illness and no one is allowed near him with a cough but it’s all fine if we get a virus and die.

Non-food related activities:

We watched Greta on DVD (Netflix) which seemed like two movies stitched together. I wonder if there was some drama during production?

Matt worked lateish and got a call during dinner so we didn’t do much.

I finished a book and started the new Vera Kelly book.

daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 96: BLTs

I realized we still had some lettuce from last week’s produce delivery so I made BLTs for lunch. That finished up our bacon, lettuce and the last of the bread.

For dinner we had hot dogs. Matt justified it by saying we’ve had bacon-wrapped hot dogs so we can have one day with bacon and hot dogs in the same day. We were really just at the end of food in the fridge. I served it with kale mashed potatoes.

Non-food related thoughts and activities:

I set up a pick up time to get some library books tomorrow then I will go to Aldi for another big shop. How has it been 3 weeks already? I think we’d be fine for a bit more thanks to all we have in the freezer but I keep thinking things will get worse and I might really want those things in the freezer.

I don’t think I’m going to keep requesting physical books, the two that are in are ones I requested back in January. I have a bag of returns. I think I might have some books from other counties requested but that system is shut down so I can’t check and they aren’t sending them out. My local branch isn’t doing book pick up (it has extremely limited parking) so I have to go to a different branch at my appointed time, call them and they bring a bag out to me.

It just seems like a hassle. I prefer books on my kindle anyway; it was mostly older or more obscure books I was getting physical copies for and I can do without for a while. I can always change my mind of something I really want is only available as a physical book.

We finished season 2 of Hidden on Acorn.

I think the host of the Your Own Backyard podcast isn’t very bright. He keeps pushing things (like the found shoe) as related to the case even when it doesn’t seem like the same shoe Kristen Smart was wearing and it could easily have been beat up looking because it was ran over on nearby freeway not because it had been in the woods for years.

daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 77: Seafood Orzo & Deviled Ham

For lunch today I went from having no idea what we were having to making this seafood orzo dish in like 10 minutes. I had read how frozen mixed seafood is super gross but it really turned out great! If you click on the recipe link, I talk about what went into making it; it’s very pandemic-friendly!

For dinner I made a version of these deviled ham toasties but I heated some oil/butter in a pan and placed slices of take and bake Italian bread leftover from lunch on it and topped it with the deviled ham and cheddar for sort of a open-faced grilled cheese/toast type thing. It was really good! I might have liked it even more than I did with English muffins.

After dinner (it’s baking right now, actually) I made a small cake for Matt’s birthday tomorrow so I won’t have to wait for it to cool to frost it tomorrow. We’ve planned a lot of food and cooking tomorrow so this will be one less thing to worry about. I made this cake but used all regular sugar instead of brown because I’m going to ice it and brown sugar gives it a stickier top.

Non-food related activities:

I worked on Coconut & Lime a lot.

I listened to more of In the Dark about the coronavirus.

We watched more of season 3 of The Good Fight so Matt can catch up and we cancel the service. I watched the season 4 finale in the morning. I heard Cush Jumbo might be living the show. I can see it but I’ll miss her! I’m sure there were supposed to be more episodes than seven so I wonder how they will deal with it.

daily recap · planning · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 75: Put an Egg On It & Muffins (again)

For lunch I heated up some leftover chicken and wild rice pilaf, tossed in some feta and topped it with a fried egg.

After lunch I made more muffins for Matt’s breakfasts (carrot-walnut-ginger-yogurt) using up the last of the yogurt and some sad looking carrots. I also made chicken salad with the last of the feta, arugula from our produce delivery today, red onion and lemon pepper for tomorrow’s post-grocery store lunch.

Matt made fish stick sandwiches (to finish up the fish sticks and the last of the bread) and red mustard greens, Vidalia onions and potatoes from our produce delivery for dinner.

Our fridge is so empty! The emptiest its been in many, many months. We have a lot of shredded cheddar and butter I haven’t opened and we have some greens from today’s produce delivery but we are really low on pretty much everything else.

We are thinking about getting steamed crabs or raw meat from Fogo de Chão to grill for Matt’s birthday this weekend. Possibly both if it’s good weather! I’ll make the side dishes though.

Non-food related activities:

We finished A Discovery of Witches and I watched Liar on Sundance Now while we still have it.