Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post Holiday Deals on Protein (And We're Not Talking Turkey!)

While I was out shopping this morning, I decided to stop by our local Smart & Final.  I mean, I was in the neighborhood and I did need some more sugar-free vanilla coffee syrup (not Paleo, I know...but it's a lovely treat in my tea in the morning) in I went.  I grabbed two bottles of syrup and made a side track though the meat section on my way out....and was completely surprised at what I saw.  They had steaks and chicken on 50% clearance!  That meant 49 cent/lb chicken leg quarters and $2.35/lb steaks.  WOOT!  I grabbed a cart and snatched up everything I could find. 

These heavy discounts seem to be common right after a major food-driven holiday.  Everyone is so centered around their turkey- or ham-based holiday meal, no one buys the other proteins.  Instead of letting them hit their expiration date and tossing then, the stores decide to heavily discount them so they can get something for the meat.

Now, before you start with the "Ewwww!  Rotten meat!" - this is not rotten meat, heck, it's not even expired yet.  They usually discount the packages a day or two before the expiration date...and even then, the expiration day has a lot of leeway to it.  I've found that as long as your freeze or use it up within a few days of that date, you're good.

I ended up cracking open the vacuum-sealed packages of steaks and cutting them into meal portions.  I also cooked all four packages of chicken leg quarters (I don't play around with "almost expired chicken"), stripped the meat off (which was later frozen), and then tossed the bones into a pot to brew overnight for chicken bone broth.  I see a LOT of chicken and turkey stew in our near future.

So, I'm extremely jazzed tonight - the freezer is full, the house smells great, AND there's steak in the house!!!  What more could you ask for????  ;-)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Meal

Clockwise, starting at the top:
  • Roasted vegetables (Brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli stems)
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Turkey
  • Fried potatoes
  • Paula Deen's sweet potato souffle (minus the flour and about 1/2 the sugar) because it's not Thanksgiving unless you have some sort of dessert!  ;-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quickie Update

First of all....yes, I am still alive. 

Secondly, 2011 can kiss my ass.

This year has been going downhill ever since I broke my leg in August.  I'm barely keeping my head above water these days.  When I'm not trying to drum up work (which has hit the usual holiday lulls), I am either writing or playing World of Warcraft.  (Hey!  Don't laugh!  Some people drink when they're stressed, some people do drugs....I smash in orc faces.)

Oh, and let's not even mention the car trouble and the "Cold From Hell" that attacked us at the beginning  of November (thanks to my ex-husband who brought it home from work and passed it onto the kids) and is only now leaving our house.  I will say this: my immune system has really improved since I started the Paleo Diet.  I fight off all sorts of junk...but when I finally do catch something, it's NASTY!  The good news is, even though it made one kid throw up for 2 hours one night and the other grumpy for a week straight, this ick didn't turn into bronchitis like it did for my ex.  *crosses fingers and knocks on wood*

So, please don't get worried if you don't see many updates around here in the next month.  I'm just busy treading water, waiting for this sucky year to end.

Before I go, I thought I'd share a little pre-Thanksgiving food porn:

This is the first Thanksgiving since my divorce that I've actually been home.  I've spent the last few Thanksgiving with my family in So Cal....but this January is my mom's big 7-5 birthday bash, which I really want to attend, and since I can only afford one road trip this winter, I decided to stay home for Thanksgiving.

Of course, I always seem to have bad luck with the timing of my turkeys - they never seem to be done in the time I guestimate, so dinner get's delayed and the kids get grumpy and...well, you can see where this is going.  ;-)  Since it's just me, myself, and I cooking dinner this year, I thought I'd make the turkey today so Thanksgiving day could be spend doing other things like smashing in Orc faces playing Hi-Ho Cherry-o with the kids.  ;-)

Oh, and BTW: if you can see fit, please pray for my car.  I have an intermittent "check engine" light that's really starting to stress me out.  One day it's on and the next it's off.  A friend (who also owns a Subaru) says that it's probably an oxygen sensor and not to worry.  HA!  My engine blowing up would be the topper to this year!

And if you know of anyone in the San Fran Bay area with a automotive code reader that would be willing to help out a single Mama who barely has 2 pennies to rub together, please comment below...  ;-)