Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Update on No-Buy

Well, our first two weeks of No-Buy went GREAT! Only $38 for the first two weeks of the month for Groceries (two trips to Fred Meyer for milk, bread, and produce)!

Here are some of my highlights:

*We usually do a guessing game with candy for our Church's annual conference to make sure the kids listen to the speakers. We brainstormed and decided we could use chocolate chips, marshmallows, and fruit snacks, and the kids were perfectly happy!

*I had planned to go to the store and buy some snacks for my students for state standardized testing time (I had a small group of 3). One of them requested peanuts in the shells, and it turns out I had a bag in our pantry!

*We had amazing posole, a Mexican soup with pork and hominy. Who knew we had a can of hominy in our pantry? Who even knew what hominy was? Not me, on either count!

*Way higher consumption of leftovers since we were trying to preserve the food we had on hand.

*My husband said we generated much less trash as well. Not sure where the correlation is here, since we don't use very many packaged foods. So maybe it was just chance, not sure yet.

Overall, a very successful experiment. We're on to two weeks of grocery shopping as normal, then once May 1st rolls around we'll start No-Buy again.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Successful meals for picky eaters

I thought we could brainstorm some dinner ideas that have been successful with picky kids.

I don't mean picky like, "Oh yeah, my kid just won't eat curry OR green beans! It drives my crazy!" I mean picky like, seriously picky. Like, won't eat meat, vegetables, most fruits, and even some carbs. Picky like, they've eaten chicken twice in their life and it was probably an accident.

I've got one of these little picky kiddos, and I have a few dinners that he actually liked. Some of these I was AMAZED and never would have thought he'd eat them.

I'd love to hear from other moms about recipes or ideas that your picky kids have actually eaten. Maybe, just maybe, it'll be a lucky meal for one of us as well!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How-Tuesday: How to Make Your Leftovers into Specialty Pizzas!

My husband and I both hate leftovers, so my husband's solution is to "refashion" them into something else. Our favorite way to do this is with making homemade pizza. This idea started after a week-long vacation, where we scheduled pizza on the last day and made several different pizzas using the leftovers from the rest of the week. You'd be surprised at how many of your leftovers can be made into a delicious pizza! Think outside the box!

Just last week I made Sweet and Spicy Chicken with a side of corn and pinto beans. Later that week we did a pizza crust with enchilada sauce, the chicken, the corn and beans, and some cilantro and cheese on top and it was fabulous! If you've eaten at specialty pizza places, you know that there are lots of amazing sauces you can use for pizza, you don't have to just do tomato! You can even leave off the sauce altogether and just brush with a light oil before topping.

So what types of leftovers can you make into a pizza? Pretty much any type of Mexican food is going to lend itself to a delicious pizza - carne asada, carnitas, even tacos! Also, consider using the jarred pesto they sell at Costco, and topping with leftover grilled chicken and vegetables. After spaghetti and meatballs, you could use the sauce and meatballs for a pizza and top with some extra cheese (I'd leave out the pasta, though). I've never done this, but I bet you could do leftover teriyaki chicken with some pineapple as well. BBQ Chicken, of course, would be easy and amazing. We just had a pizza that was just strips of steak, some feta, and caramelized onions - a great way to use up leftover steak.

Here's the menu of one of my favorite pizza places if you want to browse for some ideas, and of course there's always California Pizza Kitchen. They've got a Chicken Cordon Bleu pizza, a Chicken Parmesan pizza, a Southwestern Taco pizza - my mind is spinning with new ideas!

Hopefully I can talk my husband into typing up his recipe for homemade crust and posting it here for all of us - it's fabulous!

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