Saturday, June 29, 2013


I am thinking of starting a blog challenge but I have not found my topic yet. I am struggling to find something creative that will occupy some of my time and not break the bank. I would love to cook my way through a cookbook, but I fear that a) that would not be creative because it would have been a copy cat of Julie&Julia, even though I would have picked a different book, and b) I may run out of money which is the main reason that I turned that challenge down. I was thinking about crafts but have not yet found a book that encompasses all of the crafts out there in one book. So I'm working on it. I would love to hear feedback from any of you readers out there, I'm sure you are full of ideas. For now, I am going to write an A-Z blog addressing people, places, or things with each letter of the alphabet. Here we go:

A- Awesome: Today Chris and I visited the bookstore and I found this cool book called The Book of Awesome. I flipped through it and it seemed pretty cool. Unfortunately I was not going to give up 25 bucks for a random book of awesome thins. But on the back of the book it told me that I could go to the website and I'm happy because it's like the book only free!

B-Banana Bread: Just a couple of days ago, I was inspired to make banana bread because the bananas that we bought at the market (8 bananas for 1 dollar) needed to be used. While Chris was at work, I discovered a recipe for banana bread and made two recipes, one with chocolate chunks and one without. The house smelled lovely, and it was nice to hear from my main man, that I should bake more often. The recipe was out of the Taste of Home cookbook, and called for sour cream, which I think helped to keep it moist. To slow a banana from ripening you can keep it in the refrigerator, and to hasten the ripening process you should store bananas in a brown paper bag.

C- Crocheting: After a lot of thought I thought I would teach myself how to crochet. I bought myself a
training manual and two spools of multicolored yarn and I eagerly went to work. The cool thing about crocheting is that you can practice and practice and then pull all of your work out. This is good for beginners like me as well, because if you mess up, like I did so many times you can pull the yarn out and start all over again. I have somewhat figured it out, except for the circle crocheting because the yarn will not stay flat, instead it curls up like a tiny baby hat instead of the hot pad that I am trying to make.

D- Duck: Chris bought us a duck! No not a pet duck- but a duck to eat. He did the math and it was cost effective to buy a whole duck instead of just duck breasts. He broke it down the other day and made a duck stock. Tomorrow, Chris plans to make a nice dinner featuring the duck breasts. Did you know that duck is a good source of iron?

E-Edible: I am still working on my article for Edible Fingerlakes. It's difficult to write and edit etc when it's not just a free write like here. I am upset if I mess up here, but I have a feeling that someone will forgive me. For the magazine, it's a lot of pressure.

F- Friends: No I am not referring to the fact that I have no friends here in Rochester, although that is pretty much true. I am referring to the fact that I now have DVR and can record episodes of friends so that I do not have to stay up late falling asleep to my favorite episodes. The one thing I do find peculiar is that they skip episodes. They play episode 22, 24, 25, 26 but what ever happened to episode 23? It is rare that I find an episode that I have not viewed, but what if there are episodes out there that I missed!? Ah, I never get tired of Friends, no matter how many times I have seen the episodes.

G-Google: The last movie that Christopher and I saw in theaters was the Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. They are two really funny actors and I think they played a great role in this movie based on the Google headquarters. Google is number one for happiest employees and Wegman's is close behind. Go Chris! I'm proud of you :)

H-Honey: I think I may have mentioned that Christopher collects honey. He has about eight or nine honeys that are all delicious. There is one honey which I only tasted once in the store, but he has not opened it yet. I wonder when he will open it. Maybe on a special day. Honey does not go bad, although it will crystalize. This particular honey that he has not opened will never crystallize. I am a  fan of honey just because he is my honey, but mainly I just like it in my tea, or drizzled over my cheerios. :)

I- I <3 NY: This is the most recent cookbook that Chris purchased to showcase on our bookshelf. It is a wonderful book filled with ingredients from New York and farms in the area that grow those ingredients. I really enjoy the way the book is organized. It is based on ingredient and then has a page about the local farm providing each ingredient, then a few recipes that highlight that product. I approve.

J- Job: Many of you may be wondering about my job situation. I did start with a catering company, but it was not what I expected. The company used a lot of frozen food, and I did not feel like I was being challenged, or used to my full potential. My parents encouraged me to follow my heart and not settle for a job that wasn't right. As I may have mentioned in a prior blog post, I am looking to find the right job, or career, not just a job. So I am currently searching for a job while working for another catering company part time and working here and there for my mom.

K- Klondike Bars: My weakness I swear. I know it's not rocket science, but honestly who ever came up with the klondike bar is wonderful. Chris and I normally cut them in half and then see who can eat their half without it melting first.

L- Laundry: I am so glad that we have our own washer and dryer. It is so much better than school, but really, I do laundry every day. My mom used to do it. The shirt I wore to school would be washed and dried by the following morning, but I just thought she was crazy. There is so much laundry. Not only do I have to wash Chris's uniform daily but the folding and then separating and cramming into over stuffed drawers. It's my fate, laundry, every day.

M- Molasses Cookies: Another weakness. An unfortunate story. When I left Roaring Gap last year, and Christopher had to finish up his externship, he baked me molasses cookies and sent them from North Carolina with love. I hid them from my family and gorged on them a couple at a time. The secret was kept from my family members but only for a few hours. I was sitting on the couch when I heard a ruckus coming from my room. I hesitated wondering what it was and then leapt towards my door. My beloved dog Phoebe found the cookies and ate every last one. I was very mad at her for a couple of days. I think directly after the incident I called Christopher in tears and left a long voice mail which he later informed me he could not understand one word of.

N-Novel: I have twenty pages left in Cleaving by Julie Powell. I enjoyed the book mainly because it was about butchering. But the last hundred pages have been difficult to get through. I think I lost interest when she stopped working at the butcher shop. She is now traveling around the world, learning about meat in different cultures. I am sure that these pages are easy for another to get through because it was probably more difficult for them to get through the pages about breaking down the meat. But it is due back to the library by July first, so my time is running short.

O-Oreo commercial: I am pretty obsessed with the cutest Oreo commercial ever. There aren't really words to explain, just watch and enjoy :)

P-Pull Through: This is my favorite parking lot game that I play with myself. Doesn't it just make your day better when you pull into a spot at the grocery store and discover that it's a pull through spot? Lucky you. Or maybe you scout out these spots. But we all know it's wonderful! It makes you feel good when you get the spot, and then when you return to the car and you have forgotten about the perfect pull through spot, you again smile to yourself.

Q- Quinoa: I am very fond of Quinoa. Especially in a cold salad. But the best quinoa I ever had was at the Roundhouse at Beacon Falls. I do not recall the exact dish, but I remember popping the quinoa onto my tongue and the texture was a surprise. Chris explained that they had deep fried the quinoa which is why it was hard on the outside and puffy on the inside. It was wonderful, one day I hope to recreate that quinoa on a dish in our restaurant.

R-Rollerblades: As you all know, we are quite the roller couple. Our most recent adventure was nearby on a trail which went over the water. It was really neat to have water on both sides and enjoy the wildlife. We saw lots of birds and even a tiny island full of turtles. The only problem we had was that to get down to the water we had to travel down a super steep hill, and that tiny break on the back of your right blade is not quite helpful when it comes to high gradients. We scaled down the "mountain" sideways as if we were on skis, and then had the energy to slowly charge our way up the hill on our wheels. We neglected to remember that it was 90 degrees out, but hey we got our exercise for the day.

S-Sheep: One day, when I have a house and grass to mow, leaves to rake, and a family to raise. I really would like to have a sheep. I know it seems pretty random. But have you seen a lamb? They. Are. So. Cute. And recently I have been noticing the sheep in the countryside, and they must shave them at the end of springtime so that they do not over heat in the summer. I wonder if the sheep farmers keep the wool and spin it themselves or sell it. Anyway, I have been asking Chris for a sheep for the past couple of weeks. New obsession I guess.

T-Tuna: I think I figured out that Tuna is my favorite type of fish, and its future is not looking good. I love tuna fish sandwiches, but also just seared tuna is my favorite fish.  Tuna Markets.

U-Up: Can we take a few minutes to appreciate the love story of Up? I borrowed the movie from the library and Chris and I watched it the other night. This scene makes me cry every time. I think they did a wonderful job capturing a love story without words. I think Up also must have received some sort of award for the music, because it really is very memorable.

V-Vacuum: I know I have mentioned this before, but that was prior to the day that I arrived home to my brand new vacuum surprise bought for me by my very own roommate. It turned out to be the Electrolux Ergorapido and I am very happy with it. I would recommend it. We have hardwood floors and two area rugs. It does the trick. And it makes me happy every chance I get to vacuum.

W-Weather: What the heck is up with this weather. It rains and it pours. And then the rain goes away and it's super muggy and just icky. The rain is depressing, not that sweet smelling rain, but the long dribbling rain. Yuck. I wish the sun would wash the rain away.

X- Xerox: Did you know that Rochester is where the Xerox head-quarters used to be? It's interesting to figure out the history of the city I now live in. Kodak is here as well, a lot of ink based companies. All of the companies are in the same area of the city, and whenever Chris and I drive past, we refer to it as the 'valley of ashes' like from The Great Gatsby.  It's grand.

Y-Yawn: Christopher likes to count my yawns at night. He gives me about six and then sends me to put on my pajamas and crawl into bed. He always teases me saying that after exactly seven yawns I am out like a light.

Z-Zoo:  I have been wanting to go to the zoo, mainly because I have never lived somewhere that had it's own zoo. Everytime we plan to go to the zoo it rains, or it is too hot and we foresee that we will get sticky and cranky. Hopefully tomorrow's weather will cooperate and we will be able to visit the lions, the tigers, and the bears! Oh My!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Let's break down a chicken!

This is my first ever video blog. It's pretty self explanatory, excuse my sunburned nose. Enjoy, and comment! Thanks everyone :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

seven current obsessions

#7: Edible Magazine.
 I am a strong supporter of local> Local farms, local stores, local artists, and local writers. Christopher bought me Edible Finger lakes magazine a few months back at the grocery store to hold my attention for a while. I was very intrigued, with every page turn is a endorsement for a "ma and pop" type tavern, a farmer's market secret along the lake, or an unknown winery just ten miles from you. Right before we left school, we picked up a free copy of Edible Hudson Valley, and proceeded to buy the Edible book about all of the places the magazine covers. The most recent copy of Edible Finger Lakes, has inspired me to write an article and send it in to the magazine in hopes that they enjoy my writing. 

#6: Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Apples
This is my favorite snack to date. At one time it was pita chips and humus, another tortilla chips and salsa, sometimes it's Cheez-its, but right now my favorite thing to munch on is a nice slice of extra sharp cheddar with a matching bite of apple. Chris and I have searched high and low for the best sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese but the results have been inconclusive. It seems that each cheese we try is better than the next, and leaves the prior cheese in the dust. The best apple that we have found to go with the cheese is honeycrisp. The sweetness of this fruit contrasts the keen punch of this curd. We bought a seven year cheddar from The Little Bleu Cheese Shop which is a marketplace that sells cheese that is made in the Finger lakes. It was wonderful cheese, but a little too sharp for my tastes. They also had a two year cheddar which I will be sure to go back and try. I have found that the grocery store Cabot sharp cheddar, or HeluvaGood cheddar is perfectly wonderful aside those apples. Next on my list to try is Cabot Reserve Extra Sharp. 

#5: My new bathtub
One of the worst parts about school was the lack of bathtub. One of the main characteristics I was looking for when we were apartment hunting was a bathtub. I am so happy that we have a wonderful tub that I am able to soak in after my muscles are sore. 

#4: The Library
I just finished a book I have been working on for a while by Ruth Reichl: Garlic and Saphires. It was wonderful. Luckily I am now a member of the Monroe County Library! Chris and I visited two of the five libraries in our county and I piled up book after book until Chris pulled me to the checkout. We checked out a few movies and the books I collected were all either by Ruth Reichl or on butchering or writing. I have three weeks until I have to return everything, but there is always the chance to renew them. But for now, let's see how much reading I can do within the next three weeks.  The best part about the library is, it's free!

#3 Chris' mixed Drinks
One of the advantages of not drinking soda has been the challenge we have had to face to replace it. Recently we have been buying ingredients to make our own spritzers which really has been my favorite. I do not even crave soda anymore. And the weight we are dropping is a noticeable benefit. Each time Chris creates a spritzer it is different, but our key ingredients include: orange juice, cranberry juice, lemonade, limeade, club soda, and seltzer water. No alcohol, just fun, tasty beverages. 

#2 Weddings
This past weekend I worked a catering job for a wedding over in the Sonnenberg Gardens.  The mansion on the estate was built in 1887 and the gardens are a piece of particular beauty. It rained on Saturday which was a shame, but still a spectacular view. Before I started working with the food, I ran to the bathroom and ran into the bride in my whites. She was overwhelmed with a multitude of thoughts running through her head and didn't notice me. Before I left, I told her that she looked absolutely beautiful. She stopped for a second, looked at me and thanked me very sincerely. The hors d'oeuvres were so cute and the entree was served family style. I liked the idea, it made it rustic, but the presentation wasn't my style. After the entree was served, we wrapped up, because of course there was a wedding cake. I think for my wedding we will ditch the cake. Maybe a small cake to cut, with cute figurines on the top, to feed each other, and save some for our first year anniversairy. But the cake will not be for the guests. We will have other treats for dessert. After Chris gifted me The Knot for Christmas, I have bought two other editions since. I keep wondering when he will give me the okay to start the blue binder of ideas. I know, I know I'm getting ahead of myself here. 

#1 a Vacuum cleaner
After tracking down a cute butter dish, collecting a paper towel holder, picking up our shower curtain, and seeking out those perfect coasters, I have decided it's finally time to buy the vacuum. While we were in the Bocuse restaurant, I had the chance to use the vacuum that they had for the dining room floor. I fell in love with the way it turned and sucked in even the toughest corners. That vacuum was called the Hoover Presto. We did a little research and looked at the pros and cons of the Presto, and found a similar vacuum- the Electrolux Ergorapido. They are about the same product at similar prices, it is just a matter of taste. We have not been out to buy the vacuum yet, because I think we are putting it off until we are just forced to spend the money. But I need a vacuum! And hopefully I will have one by the end of the week. 

Dear Diary

May 23rd, 2013
Dear Diary,
I graduated from the best culinary school in the country! It was pretty exciting and a whirlwind all at the same time. I left some really good friends behind but many I will see again soon. It's funny to think that some of those people I met in Culinary school will be on the news here and there. I wonder who will be the runner up on Chopped in a couple of years, bragging about how great they were in culinary school. It was nice that my family visited me for graduation. My siblings had never visited the campus and I think they really enjoyed it. I got to speak with one of my favorite teachers- Chef Clark. He was my fish fabrication instructor and gave me some words of wisdom before graduation. We marched in with our toques standing high and smiles plastered on our faces, all a little nervous I think. We watched as the Pastry students from our class were recognized. One of my best friends Corey (who I went on externship with) was our class speaker and shared an insider look on some of the struggles we face every day in Culinary school. Alex Lee was our guest speaker. He is what they call a chef's chef. He had been around the world and was the opening chef of restaurant Daniel in the heart of NYC in 1992. Then came the awards. No one was aware of the recipients of the awards until the names were called. Christopher received the management award, which recognized him for working for the highest grade in the management classes that we took while at the CIA. I was very proud of him. As our names were called we walked across the stage and removed our toques to shake hands with the president and bow our heads so our alumni medal could be hung around our necks. It was a superb ceremony but the reception that followed left a lot to be desired. We packed the remaining luggage left in our rooms and I headed home.
Chef Clarks' wise words

Christopher and I 

Corey, Chris, and I

Casey, Brenton, and I (the three of us have been cooking
together since day one in skills)

My first friend Valerie :)

May 30th, 2013
Dearest Diary,
Today Chris and I made a trip up to Rochester to sign the lease on our apartment. We drove through the up and coming neighborhood of Park Avenue. The streets were walled with numerous bistros and cafes. It seemed to be a part of town that we would venture to often. We sat at the big oak table and gave away our signatures in exchange for one key. A key to the next chapter. Excitement swept over us. We then made our north to a doctor's office so that Chris could take his drug test for Wegman's. As you can imagine he had to wait forever to see a doctor. I hate waiting. He came out of the room with three chunks of hair out of his head. Neither of us were aware that was a form of drug test- at Roaring Gap we just had to put a cotton swab in our mouth for a couple of minutes. As soon as he was dismissed from the office, we shot over to Next Door Bar and Grill for lunch in hopes we would reach the front door before it closed. We made it with four minutes to spare. After sushi and a bowl of homemade pasta, I was stuffed. Chris had shared the sushi with me and was now gorging on a unique style bahn mi sandwich. I wasn't even thinking of dessert when the Chef came out to our table and welcomed Chris to their team. He ordered us dessert and we stuffed ourselves to the gullets. It was satisfying. Then we headed over to our new home to drop off a car load of bins. This was the second time ever we had been in the apartment, and we loved it just as much and more. I found closets I had not seen the first time and it brought thrill into my eyes. As we took the road home, we noted that this was our new trip from our home to my family's home.
Nutella Creme Brulee

The kitchen view from the dining room
The richest chocolate cake ever

June 1st, 2013
Dear Diary,
I am exhausted.

June 3rd 2013
Dear Diary,
Today is my twenty first birthday. Wow, I'm getting old. I woke up to a sweet aroma wafting through the air. Chris had crept around to make me a wonderful birthday breakfast. I felt like a princess with the spread that he laid out on the table. After sharing a delicious perfectly presented breakfast, I dressed for the day and we rode off to the DMV. It was time to make Chris an official New York resident. After signing a few papers, and handing some money over to the state, Chris walked away with a temporary license and two license plates for his car. That was a check off of our list. Now we only needed to get his car inspected. Did you know that only 18/50 states require a annual vehicle inspection- Michigan is not one of them. Since we were downtown we scooted over to Dinosaur BBQ, a infamous place known for, well their BBQ. Chris encouraged me to celebrate and so I ordered my first cocktail. It was nothing to write home about but it was the fact that I handed over my ID and that I was officially legal. The food was filling and we both went home in a food coma. I took a short nap n the couch only to wake up to Christopher with flowers in his hands. What a sweetheart. We journeyed to my parents house for a family gathering my father put together. It was very warming to be home after only two days and to be enveloped by family that loved and wanted to celebrate me. We mingled, ate steak and hamburgers (there were hot dogs, but if there is one thing I hate it's hotdogs), blew out candles, and I opened presents- all gifts that would fit nicely in our new home. After the fun was over and the last guest shuffled down the driveway, I sat with my parents and we talked a little about my new home. I failed to mention earlier that when I arrived and checked out my old room, my sister had already put a lot of effort into moving all of her belongings into it. My mom packed me a cooler with some champagne and food that we could freeze and we were on our way. When we arrived home we were beat and ready to recharge.
My Cousin Sarah helping me blow out the candles

My family on my birthday


June 5th, 2013
Dear Diary,
So today we decided to get to know the area a little bit better. We visited the information center and came away with a whole bag of assorted maps, flyers, and coupons. We drove around a bit in order to familiarize ourselves with the area. I picked it up rather quickly, Chris on the other hand, did not. He exasperated a couple of sighs and defended himself with the fact that his head is too full of other directional information. Yada-yada, is what I have to say to that. We then stopped at the VOA (equivalent of the salvation army) just to look around. To our delight we were able to cross one piece off of our list; we found a great desk. We took a look at the oak woodwork and the insides of the drawers. Christopher pointed out that it was from the Bassett furniture company, which was quite ironic because the Bassett's were among the members whom we served last summer while at Roaring Gap Country club- it's a small world.  After discussing a couple of reasons we absolutely needed a desk, just to confirm our purchase, the sales manager came up to us and offered a discount. We were sold. We took it home and were proud to make space in our sun room turned study. Everything is starting to fall right into place.
Delightful Discount Desk

June 7th, 2013
Dear Diary,
Last night we got two parking tickets. Just as we thought we were beginning to adjust to everything, it slipped our minds to move from one side of the street to the other. Now I can make excuses all day, but we were in the middle of dinner and our landlord was doing construction on our bathroom and we just lost track of time. Chris was in the middle of saying, "Isn't it wonderful that this is our life.." When we heard a beep outside and I suddenly sat up plank straight. "WE DIDN"T MOVE THE CARS" Now it had been raining all day, and I peeked through the blinds and spotted something waving from the windshield. Chris said "Stop playing around Tricia, we didn't get a ticket." Well sure enough we did, and not five minutes before. The anger set in on Chris first, which is unusual, and I reasoned with him that we wouldn't make that mistake again and we would figure something out. We emptied the piggy bank, counting each penny, and came up about twenty dollars short. Feeling a tad discouraged, we trekked down to the parking violation center and took a number. We would wait for about an hour to discuss our situation with the judge. There were many people there with every story in the book as to how they would dispute their parking ticket. It was interesting to see all of the different residents of the city, sitting and speaking about their work. One citizen entered the department warning people of the time left on their parking meters, and another offered some change from the vending machine to fill the meter.  At one point Chris had to run out to the car and move it so that we would not be charged with another ticket. We went in to the hearing room together, as we had the exact same explanation, and we explained to the judge that we were new to the area. He gave us a warning and reduced each ticket from forty five dollars down to fifteen. We were very grateful. Because we had saved money, we figured it would be alright to continue collecting household needs on our list. We went in search of a butter dish and coasters. You wouldn't think that such things would be difficult to find, but to us they had to be perfect. Long into our search we found some wonderful stone coasters, and the cutest butter dish I have ever seen. That's all for now, until our next adventure.
Change Count

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Thrifty Table

So budgetting is a huge part of my life now. I am a thrifty girl to start with but when you combine the fact that I am a food lover and the fact that I need to save money, things become quite a challenge.

The first night that Chris and I ran some errands, we found ourselves at a Walmart, where we collected a number of food like items. First mistake. It was our first night, and we had nothing at all in our cabinets or refrigerator, and we were hungry. I have heard before that you should never go shopping while you are hungry, but it did not occur to me after we ate, that we should have left the shopping for the following day. At Walmart we bought juice, and cereal, and some snacks, but we did not plan any meals.

Sunday, after church and after we put more more effort into mise en placing our apartment, we sat down to make a schedule. I figured that it would make good sense to plan out the meals for the week so that we would know what we could make out of what we had. The only problem was, we didn't have much. Chris mentioned that we needed some base ingredients in order to make meals that would keep us from the grocery store for at least a week. So we found a Price Right, which I had never been to before although I would liken it to an Aldi's. We brought a calculator and aisle by aisle we bought the ingredients that would stock our kitchen- those which would be around for a while; oil, flour, sugar, condiments, etc.
$15 = 10.5# of Spare Ribs = 7 meals for 2 people

After spending just over fifty dollars we found ourselves satisfied with our countless items that would start us off. I guess getting the base food was probably the hardest part. The other hard thing for me is that I like a variety of food, so although it would probably be cheapest to buy all ground beef and potatoes I don't think that would make me very happy, or healthy otherwise. But we are buying in bulk. We bought five pounds of ground beef and had tacos one night and a couple of days later Christopher made a fabulous chili. So there is some variety. But I insist on staying healthy and having balanced meals.
$9 = 3 growing herbs = countless seasoned meals

The next big adventure that we took on was the Rochester Public Market. In the past year neither of us have been to a farmers market and really the only exposure that I have had to a farmers market was Pike's Place Market in Seattle, which makes it pretty hard to compare other markets too. But this market was wonderful. We bought two baskets of green beans for one dollar, a bag of vine ripened tomatoes for two dollars, fresh escarole and lettuce- one dollar for the two. We bought plants of thyme, rosemary, and mint, three loaves of rye bread a dollar a piece, and more. All together we bundled our fresh produce from the farmers market at fifteen dollars. I couldn't believe it. I kept wondering how the people could have been ripping us off, but really what you saw was what you got. Now in our freezer we have: two loaves of bread, two pounds of ground beef, fifteen pounds of pork ribs, four pounds of green beans, pirogies, and some frozen assorted vegetables. The market will be some place we will do our best to get to every week in order to grab fresh eggs and vegetables for a good price. I am all for supporting local and buying from those farmers who are providing for our area.
1$ = 4# self cleaned green beans

I have come up with a few tips that might help you stay in budget as I am attempting to do. It's pretty tough not to splurge on those Klondike bars, believe me I know. And now that I am of legal drinking age, I have to take in consideration the special drinks that I may buy to accompany dinner or the bottle of sparkling Rose Regale (my favorite wine) that is in our fridge now. Anyway here are some of the things I have learned in the past week, some of them may have not crossed your mind.

  • Make good use of your bread ends two ways- A) If you are completely against eating them, stick them in the zip lock bag with the cookies your mother sent you and in a matter of time your rock cookies will become soft. B) If you are skeptical about the bread ends but are willing to eat them (which you should be because the crust includes most of the nutrients) Make your sandwich with the crust side in. You (or your child) will never know that it's the end!
  • Do not store bananas near your apples or vice versa. Each of these fruits contain gaseous hormones that rots the other. So while a fruit bowl was a genius concept, I suggest keeping your fruits apart. 
  • Similar to the above: potatoes and onions should be stored away from each other. This is because when these underground growing vegetables are combined they create one gas that destroys the both of them.
  • You should not over stuff your refrigerator because this decreases airflow which will spoil your foods at a faster rate. In Europe, because of limited space and the abundance of fresh markets, they usually visit the markets once a day. 
  • Many people keep produce that keeps better at room temperature in the refrigerator. Onions, tomatoes, and squash are items that are more likely to last longer on your counter top. 
  • If you have a garden, you can keep the rodents away by planting garlic or onions mixed in with your flowers. 
  • Use the butter wrapper to grease your pans. 
  • Take a butchery course! Although I am pretty biased because I have already been taught to cut up meat, learning to fabricate a chicken is not only easy but very useful. From a whole chicken you get two breasts, two thighs and drumsticks, two wings, and you can use the bones for a savory stock. Just think if you buy a whole case how much money you could save and how many meals you could make!
I hope some of these tips were helpful. Check out The Frugal Foodie Cookbook by Lara Starr and Lynette Shirk for similar hints. I have included a day by day picture meal plan for this week. Things are rolling let's hope we are as successful with our food-filled budget plan next week.
Day1 =$17 dollar pizza&free aqua panna=leftovers
(a splurge for night one) 
Day 2=$9 dollar tacos for 2&orange/cranberry juice
Day 3= Free Birthday Dinner @ my parents
Day 4=$11 perogies&kielbasa &
Mike's hard courtesy of my mom

Day 5="one of the few items we had in the pantry": penne pasta
with Classico tomato&basil sauce spiced up Chris' way with spinach
& two glasses of a $14 bottle of Little James' Basket Press voignier wine (not my favorite)
Day 6= pre bought tomato soup, grilled cheese
 (rye, muenster,&horseradish mustard)
and a side of $.25 worth of escarole
Day 7= Chris' homemade chili &baked potato
($17 all together) with mojitos = leftovers (turns out it cost more than we expected)
Day 8=$12 for 20 wings, $.50 for two ears of corn,
 and $.50  worth of cottage cheese and $3 for assorted beverages
Day 9= Chris' Stir Fried Rice Noodles ($5 for two people)
Gotta go, I'm hungry and it looks delicious!



So June first has come and gone, and I know that a bunch of people were disappointed that I did not have a post right away, or even just a few days later. Apparently when you move into an apartment, you do not have internet. Insane really, but our internet is not going to be installed until Monday. It has been a struggle, but Chris and I have been managing with my smart phone, although I’m not quite sure how. Yesterday, it was on overload and just froze because of the number of places we have needed directions to etcetera. But back to the beginning. 

We woke up Saturday morning roaring to go. Both Chris’ new to him blue neon and my red volvo were packed to the brim and so we only had to pack the furniture into the back of my mom’s horse trailer. After loading the beds, dressers, chairs, and chests into the trailer, my mom got on her way to meet us later on at the restaurant to continue loading the treasures that we found there. I showered and reached for the last of my belongings, looking out at an empty room. Chris said something and I jumped, the room echoed with his words. I addressed my dog Pheobe; she is the third family dog that was deemed mine. As she handed me her paw to shake hands, a trick I taught her, I started to tear up. We traveled into King Ferry to have our last fish fry. My dad made us the fish sandwiches, and I looked to Chris and said “Now, I do not know when or what we will be eating next, so enjoy this.” And we did, it was the best fish sandwich I have had. I’m not saying that my parents restaurant makes the best fried fish in the world, but I will admit that I enjoy it best. Any other restaurant I have been to has undergone the trend of beer battering and they neglect how wonderful homemade breaded fish fry really is. Back to business, I hugged my father goodbye, and he mentioned an upcoming event he was pulling together for my birthday. My mom, who would be following shortly behind us, looked us in the eyes and asked, “Are you two ready for this?” We smiled in unison. I think Chris and I have both been eager for the move, I mean it’s the next step in our relationship, it’s the next chapter of our life- of course we were ready!
We caravanned out of farm country and into the suburbs. As we pulled to the side of the road, approaching our new home, the butterflies started! We unpacked the numerous bins from our trunks and my mother pulled down the side street with the trailer. We made pretty good time. With three people, two of which were strong enough to lift heavy (the majority) of the items (I was not one of those two people), we pretty much unloaded all of the heavy duty furniture in good time. Then my mom helped us put a few things together and she was off. She did not want to stick around because she knew she would get caught in the middle of something we needed to do on our own- arrange our new home. 

And we dug right in. I took over the kitchen because I felt like while the kitchen is crucial it would also be easy- so win, win. Chris took on the living room and book case- which was generously donated by my older half-sister Melissa. (Thank goodness, because we have way too many books to not have a book case.)  We set a deadline at 7:30 for ourselves, but 7:30 came and went, 8:45 came around, and I forced myself to stop the progress. I knew that if we didn’t stop now, we could continue working until it was all done, and I was getting hungry. We put in the address of the closest Walmart and we were on our way. Well turns out we went the wrong way. Stopping at a

Family Dollar, at nine o clock at night, on the wrong side of town was probably our first mistake. But as we left, bags in hand, Chris turned over his shoulder and mumbled, “Ok first thing on the list- find a new dollar store.” We continued on to Walmart, which we did not realize was closer to the center of the city, and got out in the pouring rain. As we surveyed each aisle, we looked for the best deals and noted what we would immediately need in the apartment. The clientele of the Walmart was not at their prime, and we glanced at each other realizing we might want to go another direction tomorrow. Chris also explained to me that at ten o clock at night, Walmart is not the prime spot to be.
We traveled to the other side of town where a late night pizzeria’s open sign tempted us in. We ordered a pie with hot peppers and mushrooms. At home we enjoyed our dinner at our new dining room table. It was good to be home.