Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

For all those who celebrate ... have a wonderful (and of course) frugal holiday!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sewing projects

Been on a sewing kick here at the Casa de Chaos ...

My late DM was an avid quilter and sewer, and left me with enough stuff to stock a store ... even after I sold and donated quite a bit after her passing.

One of the things she left was 30   17-inch, pieced  squares in the log cabin pattern.  I don't think she was intending them for a quilt ... I think they were going to be throw pillows (she made quite a few of those as gifts).

But I need a new throw for the recliner to protect it from Big Boy.  These squares will match my decor, and it's high time they came out of storage.

So, I'm sewing squares.  I do have to cut a few solid-color ones to have enough for both sides.

I'm not sure what to do next.  I don't want to make a full-blown quilt ... meaning I don't want to do a lot of  finishing quilting.  I have two possibilities:
 1) Just sew the 2 sides together like a duvet cover. 
 2) I admit this is wacky, but I was thinking of sewing a square of batting to each group of 4 squares, but leaving the seam allowance open. Then I would just sew the groups of 4 squares together as usual. I still would probably have to tack the front of the throw to the batting somehow.

       Would either of these work?  Or is there another option?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Now, wait a minute.

  I was excited to see that one of the supermarkets here was offering a free can of soup if I downloaded a digital coupon to my loyalty card.  Since I was going to pick up some sale items there, I decided to go for it.

    The coupon stated it was for one free can, up to $1.50.  When I got to the soup aisle, I found the brand ... only it is $2.99 a can.

     I can be math-challenged, but $1.50 off $2.99 doesn't equal free.  (And it seemed like a rather small can for the price)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What I ate

Last week's menu:

Sunday: Happy St. Pat's Day! Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.
Monday: Out to eat.
Tuesday: Planned-over corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.
Wednesday: Chili.
Thursday: MuShu beef (another use for that 2nd head of cabbage.)
Friday: Cabbage soup (using homemade veggie broth) served with leftover biscuits.
Saturday: Baked tilapia, served with leftover potatoes from the corned-beef dinner (with a bit more cabbage added).
Last week's desserts:  Blackberries with angel-food cake (from the markdown bin), or a bit of dark chocolate.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Citrus vinegar: first report

In case you're wondering, this is what grapefruit peels marinated in vinegar look like after two weeks.

(BTW: To me, it still smells vinegary, though the jar itself had a definite grapefruit fragrance, LOL.)

I decanted most of this into my regular spray bottle; took the remainder into the bathroom and tackled the shower, using the solution and a scrubbie.

It seemed to do a pretty good job, though I may want to go over  the shower  again.

I'll report again as I use it for regular cleaning...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What I ate

   Here at the Casa de Chaos, we aren't much on formal weekly meal plans.  It's more like, "Well, we'll take out some chicken and some pork, and maybe some fish, and go from there."

   So instead of a plan, I've decided to post last week's dinners ... with an eye to showing how we use various foods.  So, here goes:

Sunday: Baked Tilapia, stuffing (from a box) and salad.
Monday: ate out.
Tuesday: Pulled pork, corn and baked potatoes.
Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs (turkey meatballs made ahead and frozen). Served with salad.
Thursday: Broiled pork loin chops (with chili-lime marinade), with the last of the stuffing and corn.
Friday: Lentil soup (made ahead earlier in the week, in part to warm up the house).
Saturday: Fish tacos (designed to help use the tortillas I bought on markdown). Served with potato salad.

Last week's desserts: Fresh strawberries with either yogurt or whipped topping; whole-wheat chocolate cake  

 (and most leftovers get packaged up for work lunches...)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Maybe it's just me ...

.... but I've noticed something kind of odd at the supermarket produce section lately.   The scales seem to be missing.

   I hit a couple of stores while doing my "big shop" this week.   Usually, both of them had a scale or two hanging above the produce cases, or at least in easy reach.   

 No more.   In one, the scale was on the far side of the department.  In the other, a single scale was on a table, tucked behind the potatoes.

Perhaps people were weighing their children on the scales and breaking them? Or the little darlings were hanging from them?

Or do the stores fear that folks will see just how much those half-dozen tomatoes or whatever will cost, and won't buy them?

'Tis a mystery.  And an annoying one at that ...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Oops ...

When I dug up my garlic last fall, I put the bulbs up to dry the requisite two weeks. 

Used most of them, but er, forgot a couple.

I came across them today ... and the darn things have sprouted.

So, they'll go into a pot, and I see if I can coax some more bulbs out of them.

Considering they came from a sprouted bulb I got from the supermarket, it should be interesting to see what comes up this time around.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Time to spring forward

It's time to lose an hour's sleep again ...  Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. today, so remember to set your clocks up an hour. 
And if you live in Arizona, never mind ;)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Getting mileage out of that grapefruit

    Finally finished up the last of the fresh grapefruit I bought a couple of weeks ago.
    Never had much use for grapefruit peels, until now.  My friend Z over at Stretcher shared that she'd found a recipe for citrus vinegar (for cleaning purposes -- I have no idea if it's edible).

   The recipe is easy, put the peel in a jar of white vinegar and marinate for two weeks.  So I have a jar of "marinating" vinegar under my kitchen sink.  It's supposed to be really good for getting off soap scum. 

(Oh, and the mesh bag will make a good scrubby .. or maybe a protective cover for plants this spring.)

   And in the "use it up category,"  the chocolate angel food cake we got from the supermarket was tasty, but it kind of stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan.  No problem ... just scraped it out.  Ice cream with chocolate crumbles, anyone?

Monday, March 4, 2013

February freebies

Just a bit ...

1 5lb bag grapefruit (FAC)
1 20 oz Coke
1 Canada Dry ginger ale

Friday, March 1, 2013

Selling 'expired' food

        Came across this item the other day:
BOSTON (AP) — The former president of the Trader Joe’s grocery chain has an idea for the massive quantities of food that America’s supermarkets throw out every day because it is near, at or past its sell-by date 
Doug Rauch says he can take that still-edible food and turn it in to a healthy, palatable and affordable meal to sell to Boston’s low-income families.
Rauch is negotiating to open a 10,000-square-foot store in Boston’s Dorchester section for his Urban Food Initiative, an idea that emerged from his research into hunger while studying as a fellow at Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.

 But I'm not sure there's any difference between what Mr. Rauch is proposing and your basic salvage store.  On the other hand, most of the salvage stores I've been to have been in smaller towns or more rural areas.  Perhaps it would be a good thing to bring the concept to larger urban areas.

 Then again, he plans to open other outlets across the U.S. if this one is a success. So maybe we'll be seeing a salvage store chain one of these days.
Here's the link:

And for a few other thoughts: