Saturday, 19 July 2014

Sometimes Less Is More

I really do love it when just fooling around with very little ingredients creates something delicious.

We're not in the best financial situation right now. It's going to get better soon, I just got a great promotion! (yay!) But for now, money is incredibly tight. Like there's never enough money for all the bills at the end of the pay cycle tight.

So, needless to say, there are times when the fridge is fairly bare.

Last night was one of those times.

I had:

half a tray of ground beef
2 cans of mushroom soup
half a container of sour cream
a bunch of green onions
garlic
egg noodles

That's it.

So, it all went in together. I cooked up the ground beef with some salt and pepper and the green onion, then combined the rest of the ingredients (after cooking the egg noodles of course) and voila! A very delicious, very inexpensive meal that fed my entire family of four, one of them being a 14 year old, terminally hungry boy with leftovers.

All together, the meal was just over $5.00.

I'm so sorry, I don't have a picture to share. It was devoured rather quickly.....

Saturday, 10 May 2014

You Know What They Say About Plans, Right?

Don't you just love the first of the week?

It's like a brand new start every 7 days, don't you think? A whole week filled with possibilities, opportunities, and expectations of great things. Monday comes around and we sit down at our computers and we plan out 7 days of odd jobs, things we've procrastinated on, errands to run and more.

And then life takes a look at that list you so diligently printed out and laughs it's freaking head off.

You've had weeks like that, right? Tell me I'm not alone?

I'll say, the week started out so well. Monday and Tuesday were amazing. I was put together, I was organized and my schedule was working out beautifully!

I should have known it was too good to last.

The good part of it all is that what derailed all my plans is actually a great thing career wise.

In a nutshell, I work from home, training the people you all talk to on the phones when you call into a call centre. So, the person you are speaking to, working out a schedule to have your furnace or water heater repaired, or to change the plan on your cell phone? Well, in the company I'm contracted with, I'm the one who listens to their calls and tells them what they need to do better. That's the short story.

This week, I received a message from my Supervisor asking me to lead a refresher course. That means that I will be teaching, in front of the client, to over 140 agents.

That may not sound like much to you, but I have to tell you, it's huge. Huge.

It's an opportunity that I've been waiting for, for about 2 years now. And it's finally happened.

That does mean that all my very carefully laid out plans have to take a backseat once again. Sigh...

So, good news really. Very good news. Just another wrench in the plans that I need to work around. I guess that's my normal life now. :)

I'm going to be staring to post some frugal but delicious recipes and meal ideas. Soon. I promise.

Tonight we are having Chicken Wraps and Caesar Salad. Easy peasy dinner. It's just breaded, precooked chicken fingers, wraps, ranch dressing, lettuce, cheese and diced tomatoes, served with a Caesar salad. It's inexpensive, healthy and quick and easy. :)

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Getting Back on Track

Well, as you all know by now, I have seriously let life get in the way for me.

This has affected all areas of my life, not just my blogging. Most notably, keeping any kind of schedule.

So, my goal this week, with it being a brand new week is to start working on a schedule that is functionable for my new lifestyle.

I work from home now, and while I love my job (no, seriously, guys, I love my job) working from home has a tendency to seep into all aspects of daily life.  There aren't clear lines between work and home life, and I have allowed that to dictate my entire existence.

I'd like to say that will change, but I'm realistic enough to know that I would just be lying to myself. So, what I need to do is figure out a way to have a happy marriage between the two.

So, I've started by strictly mapping out my work week. As a supervisor within the company I now work for, I am required to have several meetings during the week. Those are very easy to schedule and have been done already. Where I find it difficult is in the scans I need to do. I have a set number that need to be completed in a week and if the system isn't cooperative, then it puts me back. So, I have set aside 3 hours per day to complete this task, 7-10 am.

The rest of my day will be spent in meetings, enhancing my group, meeting with my supervisors, etc.

The big sticking point for me is working out a schedule for the home. In between all of this I need to find time to get this house reorganized and back on track.

This is where I'm looking to all of you. I need someone to help keep me accountable. Is there anyone out there that would be willing to work with me on this? Be accountable with me? It could be fun!

Either way, that is my goal. It's spring, and with spring, there are new beginnings. This is my fresh start. Would you like it to be your fresh start too?

Saturday, 3 May 2014

I Win The Award For The World's Worst Blogger

I'm not so sure that's something I should be bragging about, but it's the truth.

So, what happened, you ask? What could have possibly been so important that I let Chasing Chickens go for so long?

It's simply a matter of allowing life to get in the way again.

So much has happened since the last time I posted. Too much to even try to cover. What I do want to say though, is that I am going to make a concerted effort to post here. I won't say more frequently because, lets face it, I couldn't do any less frequently.

What I will say though, is that I'm not going to abandon you all again.

Thanks so much to those who have stuck around. I'll make it up to you, I promise.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

What Happened To My Cake?

We have had the loveliest fall so far this year. The weather has been warm, the nights cool, the leaves have been stunning. There hasn't been a single thing to complain about after such a long, unbearably hot summer.

A few days ago, though, it started turning cold. I knew it was going to happen, it's the same thing every year, and quite frankly, I've been looking forward to it. I love the colder weather, especially this time of year, when it's cool, but you can still get away with wearing just a sweater and jeans.

One of my favourite things to bake in the cooler weather is Apple Cake. So, one of the first cooler days, I donned my apron, pulled out my recipe and  made a delicious easy Apple Cake. I'll share the recipe with you here.


Apple Cake

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I always leave this out, but it is part of the recipe)
2 cups peeled and diced apples
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour an 8 inch square baking pan. Cream together sugar, margarine and egg in a large bowl. Mix together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Fold in apples and walnuts. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until cooked through. 

Easy, peasy. And when it comes to baking I'm all about the easy!

So, after it was all done, I took it out and placed it on the counter to cool. After about an hour, I decided to go out, take a photo of the finished product to share here with all of you and get myself a  nice fresh piece of freshly baked apple cake. 

This is what I found waiting for me.

 

My children absolutely decimated my cake! I'm so sorry I don't have a decent photo of the finished product to share with you, but at the same time, this does go to prove that the cake is delicious!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

A Frugal Recipe for Today - Asian Beef Noodles

Today I am sharing with you not only one of my family's favourite recipes, but also one of my best kept secrets. I found this recipe in a one dish meal recipe book, and after preparing it for the first time, of course I've modified it for my family. 

It is delicious, and oh so very inexpensive. Lately, we've been having it with rice, rather than with the noodles, which makes it go even further. I'm sorry I don't have a photo to share with you, but I'm hoping to have one the next time I prepare this meal. I hope you enjoy!

Asian Beef Noodles

1 pkg stewing beef *
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion chopped
6 packets Mr. Noodles Beef or Oriental flavour
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp Teriaki sauce

Stir fry beef, ginger and Teriaki sauce until beef is partially cooked. Add carrots and onions and continue cooking unitl veggies are tender.

Cook Mr. Noodles according to directions, except drain the water after cooking. Add noodles to stir fry, sprinkle with seasoning packets. Mix well and serve.

This is a wonderfully quick, very easy and rather delicious meal. Mr. Noodles, regular price are only about .$.33 each. If, however, you watch your flyers, you'll be able to pick up cases on sale, which will lower your costs. For instance, I was recently able to pick up a case on sale, which made each packet only $.22!

Also, if you watch your meat prices, you will be able to buy a full roast, either pork or beef, which you will be able to cut up into stewing size. For instance, I purchased a roast that was in the clearance meats, for only $6.00. I cut that roast into three different pieces, which means that there is only $3.00 worth of meat in one dinner.

If you are able to have a vegetable garden, you can grow and freeze your own veggies, which will mean that you won't have to pay a single cent for that part! If not, you can often purchase carrots on sale. On my last trip, I picked up 1lb of carrots for only $2.00. I will get 9 meals from this, which is a total of $.22 per meal

When I make this meal, my highest cost is:

meat - $3.00
carrots - $.22
onions - free from garden
Mr. Noodles -$1.32
spices - unknown at this time

Total $4.54 to feed my family of 4. That's $1.14 each. :)

Monday, 8 October 2012

A Photo or Two

I'm sure everyone has heard about the launch of the new iPhone. You really couldn't miss it, seeing as it practically dominated the news on September 21.

Well, I have to admit I fell prey to the hype. I didn't purchase an iPhone 5, but I did upgrade to a 4s.

One of my favourite new toys on my new phone is Instagram. With this app anyone can take photos like a pro, just with the built in camera. Of course I've been snapping away and I thought I would share a few with you.




This is my newest baby, Fenton. He was quite seriously the ugliest kitten, but boy did he grow up gorgeous!



My hubby and our dog, Charlie.



This is a kind of cool shot of some fungus growing on our tree.



My daughter and my puppy, Sammy on her 18th birthday.



And finally, a very rare photo of yours truly.

I have a ton more, but for now, I'll end it here. I hope you enjoyed them!