the joys of adulthood

Today was one of those days that made me realize I've truly hit adulthood:
  • totally had the opportunity to sleep in but got up early anyway so that I could review/compare Eric's employee benefits with my own employee benefits to choose which plan I should enroll in
  • major excitement with day's plans of shopping for groceries (bonus: cheaply!) at Aldi's, food prepping, and tidying the house
  • epic anger/frustration over two food items that had gone bad in my fridge, which we all know equals wasted money (bonus adult points here)
On that note, I absolutely hate wasting food.  I honestly wanted to shake my fists at God and ask, "why?!" when I found that the lovely free-range whole chicken I'd given in to purchasing at Whole Foods had spoiled.  So much meat and chicken stock to waste... :(

My pity-party didn't last too long as I wanted to salvage some of the spoiling vegetables in my fridge by making a lovely veggie stock.  I hate buying stock of any variety at the store -- so much easier to make your own.  So, into my soup pot went some celery, onions, carrots, garlic, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaves to 'sweat' for a few minutes on the simmer setting.  After I felt the veggies had enjoyed their sauna, I added in some water, brought it to boil, and then down to simmer for about an hour.  Finished product: several cups of veggie stock for upcoming dinner recipes.  Into the freezer they went in ball jars and ice cube trays!

Next item on the food prep agenda was an on-the-go breakfast option.  I love oatmeal for breakfast -- cheap and nutritious -- but I was getting kind of sick of the warm glop.  To change things up (and to use up the spoiling bananas my husband promised he'd eat), I found a baked banana oatmeal cup recipe on that is easy, pretty healthy, and yummy.  I just put the ingredients in the bowl of my trusty Kitchenaid mixer, spooned the batter into my reusable silicone muffin cups, and popped them in the oven.  I'll admit that I will bake them a little longer next time as mine were just a touch too moist for my liking, but nevertheless yummy:

I'm about to make a second batch since I have *so* many bananas going bad...

I've been a fan of food prep/making food from scratch for a long time now, but I could be much better about  meal planning -- too often I come home tired from work and want to throw in the towel with dinner by ordering from one of the many restaurants down the street (a luxury that living in DC affords us).  I don't have to tell you that money spent on eating out adds up quickly, and I've been convicted lately of spending too much  money on 'convenient' food and not being a better steward of time and money.  That said... today I started a free 30-day trial at Plan to Eat, a menu-planning website that allows you to save recipes from the web by clicking a button on your browser (similar to Pinterest!) and adding them to your "planner."  You can even generate a shopping list based on your recipes, which I like.  I was honestly pretty hesitant as it's a paid service ($40/year), but I figured a free trial couldn't hurt.  We'll see how it works with me attempting to clear out our cabinets before leaving for Indy this Friday... :)


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