I LOVE any type of organization because it helps so much. I have had a weekly meal planner on the refrigerator so that I can plan meals and list missing ingredients I need to buy for the meals. I also have a list of food in the freezer so I can plan meals.
Now that my children are older, we take turns making meals so that the responsibility doesn’t all fall on me (disabled mom). My family marks the meal planner with their name, what they plan to make, and what ingredients they may need to make it. Everyone has different cooking abilities so the meals vary greatly, and that’s fine.
What this does for me is not only self care and organizational but financial. It helps us not buy duplicate items, therefore saving money. If we do not have money to buy groceries, we can look at the the contents of the refrigerator and freezer and figure out what ingredients we have to make meals.
When my family writes what they believe we need to buy, it’s like opening negotiations. I can search for the items they say they need or even suggest substitutions.
On my Patreon account, I have included a picture our weekly meal calendar as well as how I make it reusable. This post will be for my patrons only. My lowest tier is $3; please consider becoming a patron.
I wanted to clean out the closet where we keep our trashcan because it gets cluttered and dirty. I’ve shared my some natural cleaning recipes that I use previously but I thought I’d share what I did today.
It’s important to note that all of our floors are tile because they can come completely clean; with my allergies, that’s extremely important. However, I wouldn’t necessarily say tile and grout are easy to clean. Some people think cleaning tile is difficult and requires a lot of scrubbing. That’s not the case.
After I cleaned out all of the crud my family had been throwing on the floor in the closet, I mixed my go-to cleaner. I sprayed white vinegar all over the tile and grout on the floor then I sprinkled baking soda onto the grout lines. On a high-energy day, I’d use a retired toothbrush to gently rub the mixture into the grout but today I couldn’t do it. I let that sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. I wiped the mixture up with a warm rag and the closet floor was cleaned and deodorized.
Since I was in the mood to clean, I grabbed my metal trivets (for my pots) and the metal basket I use to drain greasy foods and I found a couple containers large enough to submerse the greasy parts. I filled then about three-fourths with water then I added about a half cup of white vinegar and a fourth cup of baking soda. I let that sit for about thirty minutes to an hour. The grease was visibly loosened and I used a nonabrasive scrubbing pad to remove the grease.
I’m not going to say it didn’t take energy because everything does, but it was easy and I didn’t have a chemical reaction so it was a win.
I make this broccoli and rice recipe once every couple weeks or so; it’s one of my favorites. It’s super easy and tastes awesome! I have always cooked it in the oven but yesterday; I decided to make it last minute so I did it on the stovetop. This, like most of my recipes, this can be frozen and reheated.
Each Friday or Saturday we make pizza. We have made pizzas many different ways with many different ingredients, steps and procedures. I'm going to give you some suggestions for quick, easy, inexpensive pizza that are a great alternative to frozen pizzas. It takes me about 30 minutes or less start to finish.
First, we need to chat about crust choices. I have made my own dough in the past but I just don't have the energy anymore. Here is a quick and easy pizza dough recipe if you feel like tackling it. In the past, we have also bought pre-made pizza crusts. These are usually in the same aisle as spaghetti sauce. We discovered pre-made pizza dough about two years ago and we love it! They are a few dollars cheaper than the pizza crusts and not too much more expensive than getting the ingredients to make our own and the convenience is worth the difference. We find the best price at that huge discount store slash grocery store super center that most people consider the devil; it's only $1 there. We also find them at the local grocery chain but they are a little over $3 there. In both places, the dough is in the deli section. I don't have to rank these as to how much energy they require, I'm sure you've done that already.
The ingredients will vary based on which dough/ crust choice you make and what toppings you want on your pizza so I'll explain what we do. My kids are all old enough now to prepare their own pizzas so I make my own as well; sometimes my husband does it for me. My pizza:
• ½ pre-made dough (I like thin crust. Use a full dough for thick)
• pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce* (Italians don't judge me; look away)
• cheese (I use mozzarella and Italian)
• olive oil
• Italian seasoning
* you likely have spaghetti sauce already and will use it for other dishes. This is just easier than dedicated pizza sauce and it tastes fine. I'd stick with traditional flavored/style sauce.
Preheat your oven to 425 or so. I gather all of my ingredients before beginning because my hands get very messy. I take a ramekin and I mix 2 parts butter to on part olive oil and melt it in the microwave. Then I add Italian seasoning and garlic to the mixture and set it aside. I put about a half cup of flour on a clean counter and spread it around bigger than my pizza will be. Then I rub the flour all over the front and back of my hands and between my fingers then pile the remaining flour out of my way. I take half of the dough from the package and begin to flatten it out with my fingers, adding flour as needed. I shape the dough as desired. (generally make a rectangular thin crust, my daughter usually makes a perfect circle with edges like at a pizza parlor, my husband and sons aren't pretty but are utilitarian.) when my pizza is almost the size I want it, I grab my baking sheet and smear my butter/ olive oil mixture on the pan so the crust doesn't stick then put the crust on the pan. Then I smear the butter/ olive oil mixture over the top of the crust; this adds flavor and makes it easier to finish spreading. I continue to spread my crust out on the baking sheet; it's much easier to spread with the oil on top and bottom. Then I wash my icky hands. I place the crust in the oven until it is very lightly browned. I do this because I want the crust cooked and it may not cook as quickly as the cheese will melt. After removing it from the oven, I add sauce and desired ingredients and put the pizza back into the oven until the cheese is melted. I don't over brown my cheese because this makes enough for two meals. I cut the pizza in half, eat half and let the other half cool. I place the remaining pizza into a bag, label it and put it into the refrigerator. When I reheat the pizza in the oven, my cheese won't burn because I didn't overcook it the first time.
I have some essentials that I must have on hand at all times so that I can prepare meals ahead of time. I have previously made a video about this but here are some of my essentials. This is a living list...
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