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FoodWasteFriday

More waste this week 😦  Almost a full 500ml tub of Greek yoghurt and remnants of our weekly tub of salad.  Not the worst but its still waste.

How’d you do?

On Friday’s, I share what food items that I have ‘wasted’ by letting spoil during the week from forgetfulness and/or neglect. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl has inspired me to publicly post in hopes of reducing waste. (Food Waste Friday is now being co-hosted every other week with Simply Being Mum – pop on over to take a peek!)

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I made these super easy and simply delicious Cake Mix Cookie Bars for dessert on Valentine’s Day 2014 using and substituting what I had on hand in the pantry. Talk about being frugal 😉 It barely took me 10 minutes from gathering the ingredients to getting them into the oven.

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Ingredients

  • 1 boxed cake mix – I used double chocolate mix
  • 1/2c vegetable oil  – I used canola
  • 1/2c sugar – I used coconut sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1c chocolate chips, M&M’s or other candy toppings – I used a mix of pumpkin spice & coconut M&M’s

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix ingredients together and spread into a 9×13″ pre-greased pan. (note: this will make a stiff dough)
  3. Bake for 25-30 Minutes. (I baked for 20 mins and yielded perfectly soft centred cookie bars)
  4. Cut into bars. (I let cool for 10 mins in pan before flipping onto a cooling rack and allowed to cool another 10 mins before cutting)
  5. Store in an airtight container. Should last a week stored on the counter but I wouldn’t know. Ours were devoured within 3 days and that was torture trying to make them last that long 😀

You can find the original recipe here.

About a year or so ago, I had picked up a couple of bottles of dry shampoo’s to try ‘just in case’ I should ever be caught off guard in a time crunch.   A ponytail can only go so far 😉  During my HBA stockpile use it up/purge challenge (you can read more about it here and here) I stumbled upon the two bottles. (Don’t get me wrong, I *do* wash my hair routinely but it’s nice knowing you have a back up.)

The first I tried was made by Tresseme – I can’t recall which formula it was (apparently they make 3 varieties). It. Was. Horrible. My hair looked like I had dunked it into a bucket of grease and the scent was not pleasing at all.  I tossed it immediately after giving it three good tries. Why on earth would I want to pass on this nastiness? Sorry Tresseme, no bueno.

The second bottle I had tried was made by Suave. This. Is. Freaking. Gold. In. A. Bottle. It worked miracles absorbing whatever grease there was to be absorbed with a light, refreshing scent that was not overpowering.  I had picked this up while in the US (in case you’re trying to look for it here in Canada)

suave dry shampoo sprayTotally would recommend this product!
Are you a fan of dry shampoo’s?  Which brand is your favourite?

Note: I have not received any form of compensation for this post/review. All opinions are my own. Just wanted to share my love for a great product.

FoodWasteFriday

Wah-wah. Found 2 x 1/2 pints of blackberries waving at me from the back of the shelf in the fridge. How they got shoved way back there … well, we already know how things get shoved to the back of my fridge left to die 😉  I’m sad because I LOVE blackberries.  I guess I need to be more diligent with the fridge clean out. Kinda been getting ‘lax with it being pregnant and all.  We’ve been cooking up a storm and eating through all the leftovers but its hard to know what is what when your fridge is full of unlabeled margarine containers. Don’t get me wrong – we do have clear/transparent food storage containers but dad’s preference is using the margarine tubs aka ‘Chinese Tupperware’.  Its to the point where I can’t keep up with the labeling of them 😦 Onwards & upwards I say. Here’s to hoping next week is better!

Edited to add: There has been a long standing margarine tub of sauce floating around our fridge. Usually we eat spaghetti quite often so we often roll the leftover remnants of the sauce into the next batch but for some reason dad decided to boycott it and bounce it off of our weekly rotation.  The sauce has now been sitting there for 3 weeks+. Each time I’ve asked to put it into the freezer, I was met with dad shouting his displeasure. So there it sat. Today – he wanted to know if I thought it should be a spaghetti night and I said “Sure. Its been a while. Kinda miss it.” But then I added a stipulation – ONLY if he made a FRESH batch of sauce and we could toss the old. He agreed and while he was agreeing, I’ll admit it – I was almost done emptying the contents of that old sauce in to the compost bin – so he couldn’t roll it into the new batch of sauce sneakily.  Am I evil for doing that??

How’d you do?

On Friday’s, I share what food items that I have ‘wasted’ by letting spoil during the week from forgetfulness and/or neglect. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl has inspired me to publicly post in hopes of reducing waste. (Food Waste Friday is now being co-hosted every other week with Simply Being Mum – pop on over to take a peek!)

I don’t know if it’s a case of the winter blah’s, me being tired of routine meals (dad’s been stuck in a rut lately and has been cycling through the same 5 meals back to back) or my new ‘nesting’ instinct from being pregnant but I was really craving something different for dinner.  Dad was ecstatic for two reasons. Firstly, it was something “we” don’t eat at home (he always refuses to eat Thai when we’re out though the hubster and I offer to bring it home for him). Secondly, this one simple fact: he didn’t have to cook it nor clean up after it.

This dish was very easy to throw together and cook. I was done in under 30 minutes granted I did use a prepared sauce from a jar (yes, I totally cheated and feel no guilt about it) and prepped both the veggies  and chicken beforehand so when it came time to cook, it literally was a ‘throw it together in one pot and let it do its thing’ type affair. Who doesn’t like easy peasy?

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Saute 1lb thinly sliced chicken for about 5 minutes – does not need to be fully cooked.
(You can use dark or white meat. I used what we had on hand – chicken breasts)

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Start the rice!
(Have I told you how much I love this lil thing?)

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Add the sliced veggies to the pan with the partially cooked chicken, stir well and let partially saute/get soft. At this point, I slapped the lid on and left the two of them to get their freak on for about 5 minutes. Unsupervised of course. 😉

20140212-122718.jpg   20140212-122732.jpg
While waiting, I opened the sauce and took a taste. WOW. Hello concentrated flavours!  At this point, knowing that dad isn’t a fan of strong flavours I immediately decided that I’d need to water down the sauce just a tad for him.  Figured I’d rinse out the jar with a bit of water vs scraping it to death with a spatula trying to get my entire $3 of sauce worth outta it.

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Next, I added the sauce (including the shaken out sauce remainders from the jar) then mixed well.
Let it sit, mingle and get their ‘party on’. Again, without supervision under cover of course.  Probably another 10 minutes.

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Once the rice was done and the curry was ready, I plated it up.
Its totally Ok. You can admit it looks tasty 😉

Dad was served the first plate.  He eagerly snatched up his spoon and dove in.   He took 3 good long bites, carefully trying to taste everything and his only comments were ‘Its good. But no salt?’ Um…the salt I’m pretty sure is in the sauce there dad. I didn’t add any extra, that’s for sure. (We’ve been omitting extra salt in our cooking due to dad having had his TIA. I figured the jar had enough already in it) He then added that he did like it but worried we wouldn’t have liked it due to lack of salt.   He’s cute, no?  BTW in case you were wondering, it was plenty flavourful for both the hubster and I. Even without the extra salt.

Bonus – this was a very frugal meal for 4 generous sized portions cooked at home. The cost of ingredients used to make this was about the cost of 1-2 portions out at a Thai restaurant.

What’s your favourite easy peasy/one pot meal?

The hubster and I aren’t the type that believe in Hallmark holidays (well, putting money into someone else’s pockets for no good reason). Don’t get us wrong but why would we choose to celebrate our love for one another on one specific day, as dictated by someone else?  What about the other 364 days of the year? Since we aren’t celebrating on those days, does that mean we don’t love one another?  Its a bizarre concept to me. Maybe I am (we are) the only odd ball(s) that thinks that way. But at least we’re on the same page about it 🙂  Not trying to belittle this holiday either as it may move mountains for some while others want to bury their heads in the sand or jump off a bridge – its all about marketing IMO.

So to observe this holiday (rather then celebrate) – we do it in our own lil way. (I guess we do that with all the holidays)
I decided to make a nice dinner for us to enjoy. (dad too!)   It’s something I don’t make often so it truly is a treat for us.

Pulled pork. 🙂

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Served up traditional style – on buns (hubby’s fave way to eat it)

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Served on a bed of rice (dad’s fave way to eat this) with garden salad

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Dessert: cake mix cookie bars – HOLY. YUMMERS!
(this was like crack to the hubster and I, we couldn’t stop after eating just one.)

Le moo.

Suffice to say, I showed love to everyone’s stomach this year. Mission accomplished!

How did you celebrate/observe Valentine’s Day?

FoodWasteFriday
Happy Valentine’s Day to those that observe/celebrate – might consider baking up a quick and easy festive treat to surprise the hubster when he returns home from work later tonight. A pink cake or cookies perhaps?


Nothing to report wasted this week either.  Yeehaw!  I did use up the ‘starting to turn’ produce in a curry and everything has worked itself out. There is peace and harmony going on in my fridge 🙂

How’d you do?

On Friday’s, I share what food items that I have ‘wasted’ by letting spoil during the week from forgetfulness and/or neglect. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl has inspired me to publicly post in hopes of reducing waste. (Food Waste Friday is now being co-hosted every other week with Simply Being Mum – pop on over to take a peek!)

Noticing a lil bit more empty shelf space in my HBA stockpile cupboard, I decided to take a look at my list to see how many samples I truly have used up.   You can read more about my personal challenge/goal that I decided upon here.

Trial / Travel Size
Organix Noursing – Coconut Scent (shampoo & conditioner)
Vidal Sassoon – Repair (shampoo & conditioner)
Vidal Sassoon – Moisture (shampoo & conditioner)
Herbal Essences – Hello Hydration (shampoo & conditioner)
Pantene – Moisture Renewal (shampoo & conditioner) – two sets
Tresseme – Moisture Rich (conditioner)
Olay Fresh Effects – Shine Go Away/Shine Minimizing (Face Cleanser)

That’s a total of 14 trial sized items outta my cupboard! Woohoo!!

—————————————————–

Keeping with the theme of using up what I have in stock (har, har) I decided to keep track of my full sized products used up/finished off as well. These could’ve been partially used up products that were placed back into the cupboard (or elsewhere) to be used at a later date or something that didn’t work at the time I decided to use/try them.

Full Size
Nivea – SOS Hand Cream (50ml)
Pantene Pro-V – Fine Hair Volume Conditioner (1L)
Glysomed Hand Cream (50ml)
Bath & Body Works 3-in-1 (Body Wash /  Bubble Bath / Shampoo) (16oz)
Carmex Lip Balm Stick
Body Shop – Satsuma Body Butter (50ml)
Garnier Body – 7 Day Ultra Moisturizing  Lotion W/Mango Oil (400ml)

That’s a total of 7 FULL SIZED items outta here! Yikes!

WHOA!! 21 items OUT! That’s a lot products used up for 6 weeks if you ask me.  (this doesn’t include items I have deemed not worthy of using up and tossed)

I’m so glad to see more and more space in that cupboard while knowing I’m saving money by not going out and buying more. Who doesn’t love saving money and shopping at home? Nothing more frugal then that right?

Now – I need to continue making more room so I can  start to stockpile baby care items next LOL (Sad thing is, I’m half joking and half serious)  Eeesh.

Anyone else doing this lil challenge with me? What have you used up recently?

At dad’s request – we made an effort to gather the entire family for Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner.  Dad’s request was made very last minute despite all his children checking in earlier within the month to see if we were going to gather for the annual tradition.

This year that happened to take place on the eve of Thursday January 30th, 2014.

Below are pics from our feast 🙂

1623622_590569227700368_1087430720_nFish Maw & Seafood Thick Soup

1779345_590569257700365_165776747_nBBQ Combination Platter (with Cold Jellyfish Salad)

1724482_590569214367036_701007771_nFried Pork loin with Chef’s Sauce

1653680_590569111033713_1709149972_nDouble Lobsters With Ginger & Green Onion Sauce

1606876_590569191033705_754757715_nShrimp, Octopus, Candied Walnuts On Broccoli

1798655_590569171033707_733070158_nDried Oysters (reconstituted) With Mushrooms On Bed Of Lettuce

1016241_590569151033709_1174394751_nFried Pickerel In Soya Sauce

1660588_590569131033711_1185997445_nFried Pickerel In Soya Sauce

fried rice
House Fried Rice
(source)

e fu noodles
E-Fu Noodles w/Mushrooms
(source)

Red Bean SoupSweet Red Bean Soup
(source)

8204_590569241033700_1874672076_nDessert
(Almond Cookies & Red Bean Cookies)

Everyone left with full bellies, QT with dad and the rest of the family and leftovers (*lol*) to ring in the new year.

2014 – The Year Of The Horse!
horse(source)

FoodWasteFriday
No waste this week!  I turned all the leftover produce into another crockpot of ‘clean out the fridge vegetable/lentil soup’ 🙂  This might be my new trick seeing that it works so well around here.   Our produce consumption has decreased probably because its winter and well…raw veggies don’t fly off outta the fridge as fast as they do in the hot summers.  I wonder if this decrease has contributed to us all catching colds more often? After all we’re not eating our vitamins like we used to and we’re not ones to take multivitamins/supplements. Hmm….

How’d you do?

On Friday’s, I share what food items that I have ‘wasted’ by letting spoil during the week from forgetfulness and/or neglect. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl has inspired me to publicly post in hopes of reducing waste. (Food Waste Friday is now being co-hosted every other week with Simply Being Mum – pop on over to take a peek!)

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