Being Suzy Homemaker…again

Okay, remember that one time when I said that I cook the same exact things every single day of the week? Well that grew really old, really fast. Sure, it worked for a time. But now, just thinking of tacos and fried rice makes me want to throw up.

In fact, I knew it was time to start cooking again when last night Aaron and I didn’t even have a real dinner. The thought of homemade pizza was so repulsive, we just ate crackers with Nutella and salt and vinegar chips and went to bed. That is not a lie, guys. It really happened.

So, I sat down to make up our meal plan this morning and for once, I am not repeating one single meal. See, when you live on a budget, and you go grocery shopping, it’s like your meals have to correspond, they have to relate, even if they are just distant cousins. If I buy 5 pounds of potatoes, I will not waste a single potato. If I buy tomatoes, we are eating tomatoes, and you had better like it because that is my paycheck and it is not headed to the landfill!

Here is what I am making for the next two weeks:

Oven Fish ‘n’ Chips
Moroccan Stew with rice
Fried egg sandwich (for when Aaron is at drill)
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Grilled Eggplant Parmesan with noodles.  

Aaron is making soup, hobos, and omelets.

As you can see, I went off the deep end, here. This menu couldn’t be further in taste and texture than my go-to meals. I just want to taste again! My normal budget for groceries is $140, so I’m praying that it all works out…I’ll let you know. (I realize that the “hope it all works out” mentality + strict budget are two opposite concepts, so I’ll let you know how that works out, too 😉

Life Dilemmas

Tonight for dinner I was really jazzed (ha) about making homemade tomato soup. (I guess it’s not technically homemade….I basically put a couple cans of whole stewed tomatoes, garlic, onion, and olive oil in a pot, heated it up, chucked it in the blender for a few rounds, and heated it up some more).

Anyways, I was super excited because I was positive that this recipe would turn around Aaron’s opinion of tomato soup. He happens to not like it, which is just crazy to me. So, I make it and serve it and wait for Aaron’s reaction. He still wasn’t a fan… Which led us to talking about why he doesn’t like tomato soup. And here is what he said,

“I just think it tastes so much like spaghetti sauce. I mean, what’s the difference, really?”

And it was like once the thought of me sipping on spaghetti sauce got into my head, I just couldn’t shake it. All I could think of was “I’m eating a soupier version of spaghetti sauce. I could literally make spaghetti, toss it in my soup, and not know the difference.”

And now, I have all sorts of questions running through my mind: Should I have made my tomato soup less tomato-y? Should I have blended it some more and made it more watery?  Does anybody else feel this way? Do you make tomato soup? How do you make it less saucy and more soupy?

Lentil Love: Getting out of debt one bean at a time

Team Blue has recently embarked on a journey to become completely debt free. That’s right. No more debt. Ever. No more school loans, Sallie Mae, and unlike how most of America feels, we are never ever ever getting a credit card.

So, if you have ever read Dave Ramsey, you have probably heard of the term “gazelle intense.” Well, that’s us right now. Rice and beans for us–well, in this case lentils.

Have you ever had lentils? They are jam packed with nutrients and are my current legume of choice these days. I just sprinkle a few with whatever we are eating…lentils and spaghetti, lentils and rice, lentils and baked potatoes, lentils on top of lentils. Lentils. Lentils. Lentils. The life of a gazelle intense couple is not easy, nor very tasty. But whenever I get discouraged, I think about how awesome being debt free will be. One day, I will cook deliciously vibrant and nutritious meals, I will go to Disney World, I will give freely and generously to those who need it, I will live in the freedom that God can do whatever He wants with us because we are no longer in bondage to the lender. One day, I will put lentils behind me and cook them only when I am craving lentils, or need a reminder at how faithful is our Jehovah Jireh.

If you are on this journey too, be encouraged. I hope to share more about our journey in becoming debt free, because I really feel strongly that people need to hear it is possible.

A fall weekend!

Yay for three day weekends! It was so nice to just spend quality time with each other doing all sorts of Team Blue things. We hiked at Indian Caves, carved pumpkins (and ate the seeds!), watched Ace Ventura, and I finally got a chance to break in the ole CrockPot with some hot apple cider! The only thing that could have made this weekend the ideal fall adventure would be if I got to wear a scarf–80 degree weather is just so anti-Autumn.  Here are some pictures of the lovely autumn foliage and our adventures:

Check back later in the week for….

DIY pin cushion
Wedding pictures and details
Refurnishing vintage red desk

The tomato that changed my life.

Lately I have been reading the book A Matter of Taste: The Definitive Seasoning Cookbook by Sylvia Windle Humphrey. I found it at a thrift store on our honeymoon and it has been an amazing investment. It tells about each spice, its origins, recipes, etc. I have learned so much. But the most amazing thing I read in it is that putting honey and fresh ground black pepper on a tomato brings out its flavors more than salt! When I read that, I knew I had to try it. So, just last night I finally had the opportunity after I botched every other attempt at creating dinner.

It.was.so.heavenly. I ate the entire tomato.

And I’m not even a huge fan of raw tomatoes.