I put it off as long as I could…

I put it off as long as I could…

but today was the day. I absolutely HAD to go to the grocery store. I knew it when I went to bed last night, and it was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning. I thought that was only supposed to happen with things you love, but I guess any strong emotion (hate, loathing, despair) can do it. I know I should stop complaining about how much I hate grocery shopping, especially since it isn’t something I can stop doing, but it seems to help me get through it. I’m hoping that one outcome of this journey I’m on will be a lessening of my hatred for anything grocery related, but until then you’ll just have to bear with me.

So the morning started off tainted, and only got worse from there. I managed to find two packets of oatmeal in my bare cupboards, so the kids did at least get breakfast. Unfortunately, they both decided the floor was hungry and needed half of each of their bowls. And apparently getting mopped can really wear a floor out, so J helped quench its thirst with his entire cup of milk. Yep, we really got off to a roaring start this morning.

While all this floor feeding was going on, I was struggling through my menu and list. I have to admit, it actually wasn’t too bad this time. Since I’ve kind of been slacking the last few weeks, I decided to make this a week full of new recipes. This makes my planning easier, as I just go through Pinterest and pick out things that look good and that I think I can execute. Everything’s a trade off though, because an easier menu planning/list writing week usually means a harder week in the kitchen. I’m sure I’ll have lots to talk about.

Between the cleaning and the list making, I was done before I’d even left for the store, but as I’ve already pointed out, I could avoid this no longer. So I packed up the kids and headed out. I managed to get a good 10 minutes away from my house when it hit me. I had spent over an hour forcing myself to create a list and then promptly left said list at home. At this point I was too pissed off about the whole situation to shop without it, so I turned around and headed back home. There’s nothing like a little anger to really get me motivated, so I snatched up the list and booked it to the store. I shopped with a fury raging inside and finished in record time.

After the day I’ve had, I opted for an easy dinner tonight. I’ve made it one other time, and it is delicious and quick. You just throw chicken, red potatoes, green beans, and butter in a baking dish, sprinkle with italian dressing seasoning packet, and bake. It is so good! This is actually the first recipe I ever made from Pinterest, back before the days of me really cooking. I remember how nervous I was making it then, even though it is ridiculously easy. It’s so easy that I’m almost embarrassed about ever being scared to make it. Almost. Instead, I’m just going to count how easy it was to make this time as progress! I’ve come a long way in just a few short weeks. #winning

P. S. 

It’s really sweet when your 3 year old tries to clean up the mess for you. It’s not so sweet when what she picks up off the dirty clothes hamper to clean with is a white t-shirt. Your favorite white t-shirt. Your only white t-shirt that you’ve been able to keep white. Until now that is.

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Practice does not always make perfect

Practice does not always make perfect

A few days ago I sat down for my second meal planning/grocery list writing session. I thought “this will be easy. I’ve done this before. 30 minutes of focused attention and I’ll be done.” I was wrong. Very, very wrong. For starters finding 30 minutes of focused attention for anything is hard around here, let alone for something like this. You see, I still hate this part of my journey. Even my successes in the kitchen cannot make me a list person or a grocery store person. I’ve just come to accept these two things as fact about myself. They are not changing anytime soon.

So my quick thirty minutes turned into something more like 3 hours, spread over the course of an afternoon. My list was written in fits and bursts. My menu contained days that said simply “fish” and “pasta.” This was a sad, sad attempt at meal planning, and much worse than my first go at it.  Have I already lost all the motivation of 2 weeks ago? I am not able to manage even one month of consistent grocery shopping and cooking? It appears not.

I leave the house a few hours later, loser of a grocery list in hand, and I. AM. DREADING. THIS.  I don’t know what it is, but I just cannot handle grocery shopping. There is nothing that I like about it. Not one single thing. I’m even out at 9:00pm to do this, hoping that a less crowded store will lead to a more enjoyable experience. And it does help a little. While I still don’t enjoy myself, I also don’t have a nervous breakdown in the cereal aisle as I try to follow proper grocery store etiquette in getting around all the other people. You see, I turn into Mario Andretti when I’m shopping, and the other shoppers never seem to understand that we are in a race.

I did manage to get my shopping done though, and I even made it home with the proper ingredients to make a few dinners. First up was chicken enchiladas, which sounds much more complicated than it really is. I am proud to say that I turned them into this chicken-enchilada-casserole-thing, and it was delicious. AND I did all this without a recipe! Granted, it involved a taco spice packet and enchilada sauce from a can, but I still count this a victory. I mean it wasn’t frozen, fast food, or anything resembling the shape of an animal and that adds up to a real food win in my book.

Tomorrow things get a little more complicated with one pot chicken lo mein. I have never in my life attempted to cook anything even remotely close to Asian food, so I’m a little concerned about how this will turn out. Lets just say that I am definitely using a recipe for this one. Wish me luck!

P. S. 

If I can perfect how exactly I made the enchilada-casserole-thing, I will post the recipe on here for you guys to try. It may take a while though, so don’t hold your breath. Or you can probably just go to Pinterest and find one right this second. And it will probably be better than mine anyways. And I will probably Repin it from you so I’ll have something to use next time.