Monday, August 27, 2012

Prepping for Back to Work/School: Weekends

So I've been back at work for a week now, with the students not showing up until this past Wednesday. It was confusing, exhausting, and WONDERFUL. I missed being a teacher. The only downside is that I don't have the right work shoes because I can't afford them until payday, so my feet are pretty much in revolt and furious with me. I can't say I blame them. Soon, though, my lovelies, soon you will be dressed in the proper accoutrements.

Anyway. So the prepping for back to school helped, and has resulted in a weekend routine (well, all of two Sundays so far, but here's hoping) that is working out fairly well. Basically, I plan my meals on the MOST AWESOME EXCEL TEMPLATE EVER (more on that in a second), I grocery shop Saturday since I'm usually already out anyway, and then Sunday is my "mellow" day, in which I prep what I can in advance food- and lessons-wise at my own leisurely pace. (Lessons first, because it saves my sanity and I just enjoy doing it, oddly enough, haha... if I retire or change careers, it'd probably be into materials development for education, I love finding creative ways to enhance lessons. Anyways, TANGENT.)

So Sunday was about 4 hours of lesson planning (only because I took my time and watched TV while doing so - minus the TV, would have easily been under 2, if that), then I made a tasty but easy dinner while prepping food for the week. Here's how it went, which actually serves nicely as an example:

First, I already had the menu all planned in my Excel template, which I found here for free and it is AWESOME. Seriously, it took about 2 hours to figure out what meals I wanted to pre-load in the meal tabs, but now my menu planning is SO MUCH FASTER IT'S AWESOME. (Instructions in the spreadsheet tell you how to change their food options, in case you are un-excel-errated like I am.) (Get the pun? Huh? HUH? ;D)

(I'm sorry for all the zaniness. I'm loopy from exhaustion.)

Anyway, screen cap of my menu for the week:

If you can click to embiggen, you'll see that daily I plan to have Spinach Smoothies (which are AWESOME, btw) and hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, and half of a baked potato with (canned) beanless chili and cheese for my lunch, along with a small salad.

Dinner was NOT crockpot BBQ chicken; we changed our mind to tomato soup and grilled cheese. So here's the order in which I prepped for my breakfasts and lunches for the week while dinner cooked:
  • Washed and pierced the potatoes, threw them in the oven.
  • Poured the pre-made tomato soup into a pan, added the beans and italian seasoning, and let it start to simmer while I browned the Italian sausage crumbles. 
  • I added the sausage to the soup, let it continue to simmer while I sliced up some bananas for the Spinach Smoothie recipes (which needs frozen banana slices), enough for the work week.
  • As the soup bubbled, I turned it to low and made the grilled cheese sandwiches, and took a dinner break. 
  • After dinner, I showered and threw my hair in a towel to sop up water while I chopped up some romaine to rinse & spin in my salad spinner; then I cut one of the cooled potatoes in half, slathered it in chili, and slapped a lid on it (and also threw together a salad of romaine, spinach, and cucumber with a little plastic thing full of dressing in another tupperware) - and made another one for Tuesday! All I have to add is sliced cucumber to the salad and a baggie of shredded cheese, and my lunch for Tuesday is done as well. 
  • Then I blew my hair dried enough to finish styling in the morning (which only semi-worked - I wanted big loose curls, but I used too much conditioner and my hair got a nice loose wave but not quite what I wanted. Meh, I'll straighten it tomorrow)
Actually, that's another way I'm saving time in the morning (which means more sleep, YAAAAY) - if I dry my hair, I milk the hell out of it. Last week I blew it dry and straight-ironed it Wednesday morning,  re-ironed any bumps Thursday, then used dry shampoo and pulled it back with a headband for Friday. Today was the big waves, tomorrow will be straight, and Wednesday might be another headband day (not sure yet).

Tonight I'm washing out the dishes for my smoothies in the morning, then slicing some cucumber so it's less to do in the morning (more sleep yay!), and maybe my nails, too. Then I'll take a body-only shower, make my coffee and smoothie (which I'll down on the way to work). I've had plenty of time to relax, and my nails are a soothing "chore", so I don't mind it as much. Plus it feels good to make my mornings easier!

I apologize if this comes off as bragging, as that's not my intention - I figure that it's taken me THIS long to figure out how to stuff (and I still eff it up half the time, but lately I've been riding a very slow train of half-successes, which is really good for me!), so I should share what I figure out in case there's anyone else who is not making as graceful a transition to grown-upness like I am. Can't hurt to share info, right?

Here's to a successful week! Now to go do those little chores before I get too tired to bother. ;D

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Recipes I'm loving lately

One thing I love about the internet is that it allows me to find all sorts of new food ideas and recipes. I mean, seriously, I cannot tell you how big my "recipes" computer folder is (FYI: it's 103 MB), which doesn't include the physical binder of magazine tear-outs, and my massive Pinterest boards, broken into "Om Nom Nom Nom" (less healthy recipes) and "HEALTHY Om Nom Nom" (self-explanatory). I'll even take a snapshot with my phone of something that looks good in a magazine in a waiting room. Like I've said, I do honestly love to cook, I'm just usually too lazy. Hahaha.

That said, as a motivator to eat healthier, I've been seeking out and trying new ones, and I've actually found a few that are worth sharing! Unfortunately, I'm not a food blogger, so I rarely (if ever) take pictures of my food - and the few times I do, they're pretty crappy... as evidenced by previous food posts. xD

(None of the pictures are mine, please click the links to go to the recipe!)

Mexican Chicken

We liked this a lot, although I want to find a better enchilada sauce OR maybe try making my own - the sauce I bought had a weird bitterness (but it didn't bug The Hubs). We served this with refried beans and a salad, and I honestly didn't miss tortillas.

Adobo Pork Chops

THIS IS SO GOOD. The key is to let it marinade a LOOOONG time; I made this full recipe, but only cooked half the day of, and froze the other half - the frozen half we had a couple of weeks later was waaaay better. The Hubs figured it was the fact that it marinaded as it defrosted overnight in the fridge - the flavor really penetrated, whereas the first batch was tasty but not as deep (despite a 6-hour marinade).

Slow-Cooker Savory BBQ Chicken

I made this with chicken legs (They were cheaper at the time), and it was tasty. Might try adding a smidge of sweetness with Stevia next time, though, because we like our sauce a little sweeter.

My friend Traci's chili

It's goooood. Not too spicy, a little too tomatoey, but that's a bug that can be worked out.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...