May 9, 2010


I didn't realize that my last post was in April. I guess it's been a while!

Some updates for you: my last day at Aldi was just this past Friday. Hell yes....and I also started working this past Monday as a PetNurse (aka vet tech). Since I don't have formal training as a vet tech it is going to be a lot of learning, but at least I have the biology and animal background to help me do it (which is why they hired me). I have all my little flash cards made for all the abbreviations and terms I need to know.

Now to everything else! Lets jump back to the night of April 30th, right after I posted the last blog talking about rib night. Here is rib night:
I used the Sweet Tea Ribs recipe I found in my Food Network magazine from last month. But instead of the lemony potato salad I made my spicy potato fries again:
All together now:
Remember....the black on top is not burned meat, it's cooked tea leaves. What an excellent taste these had. You could really taste the orange as well as the black tea. I have another rack of ribs in the freezer (they were 2 days from their sell-by-dates at Aldi so they were $4 off each! So I bought 2) and I may try a different type of tea next time and see if it changes the taste. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the taste of these, but something new might be exciting. Also, these ribs are really tender but not fall-off-the-bone tender, which both Mike and I like better since it makes them easier to eat and a little less messy.

Now onto May 1st, taco night. I still had some chorizo left in the fridge that needed to be used. Last time we made chorizo tacos they came out spectacular, so why not do it again? Plus this time I had just made fresh guacamole and had some fresh avocado slices. While I was prepping everything Mike got hungry and made himself a turkey-dog:
He had to take pictures of it to put on the blog. I guess he put cheese, salsa, and avocado slices on them and said they were "muy bueno". He also wanted a picture of his master piece taco:
He managed to get it to stand up and stay up for the photo, just a like a good little taco should. Then we ate them all and had no leftovers :)

Skip a few more days and now we are onto May 5th and back to our "always trying to make homemade" food kick. I have not made homemade granola bars since last year! With me no longer working at a food store, I figured it was time to make some. Here they are before the oven:
And after as I begin packageing them:
 I really can't remember where I got this recipe, but I wrote it down in a little notebook so I could use it over and over:
2c       rolled oats
3/4c    brown sugar
1c       whole wheat flour (could use white if you like)
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp baking powder
1tsp    cinnamon
1tsp    salt
1tsp    vanilla extract
1/2c    honey (sometimes I use agave nectar and it turns out just as good)
some water

extras (to be added by the 1/4c to your liking):
dried cranberries
sunflower seeds
slivered almonds
or whatever esle you may like

Pre-heat oven to 325F. Mix all ingredients up to vanilla together. Then add in all extras that you want and mix. Then add vanilla and honey and mix. I usually have to end up adding water a little at a time until all is moistened. It usually ends up being almost 1/2 cup of water, but add it a little at a time since you don't want it runny. Then press mixture into a greased glass baking pan (mine in the picture is a 11x8 but you can use bigger or smaller depending on the thickness you want for your bars). Then bake for 20-23 minutes (more time if thick bars, less time if thinner). Once the bars have cooled for about 10-15 minutes you can cut them into whatever shape you like and package them how ever you like. Just make sure to store them in the fridge. I wrap my in foil and then put them in a plastic container for the fridge.

And finally up to yesterday. Another bargain I got at Aldi was a half pork loin roast for $4 off, so lasts night's dinner was pork roast using part of a recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and a marinade packet (I did not buy this packet, it was given to me... you know if I had the choice I would make my own marinade!). The roast going in:
I decided to keep the fat on and roast it fat side up to try and keep as much of the juiciness in.  While it was roasting, I went out side and look at what I found in Mike's new planters:
Seedlings! Yay! Hopefully sometime soon we will have fresh vegetables and it will help cut back on our grocery bill more! Speaking of grocery bill. I have been spoiled working so many hours and Alid, but I won't be working as many at the vet (which is fine, I will have more time to do what I love to do). I have been paying for most, if not all of the groceries for the past 3 months, but I am going to have to cut back and start budgeting again. Maybe I will finally do that "living on $150 a month for food" thing I kept talking about all those months ago. I digress....back to the pork.

The finished pork:
The left half would be used for dinner and the right half would be cut very thinly for sandwiches for the rest of the week. With some freezer burned green beans (I forgot they were in there!):
You may be asking yourself....what? No gravy or sauce? Trust me, this roast did not need it. It was so juicy and tender that I don't think I could have handled anything else. It made the freezer burned green beans taste that much better!

And something else I can finally share with you since the person I sent this to has gotten it (Happy Birthday!). The purse/tote bag:
With my busy work schedule I had been working on this bag for a few weeks in hopes to get it out in time for a certain someone's birthday (which also happened to fall on Mother's day this year). It was my first time working with pleats. I spent of ton of time making sure my pleats were immaculate and super even. Then when I went to sew the top band onto the bag, all my work went down the tubes. Apparently I basted my pleats too high up and they got all mushed around while I was sewing on the top piece. Well at least I know for next time (as well as maybe adding some inside pockets next time). Here is the inside so you can see the pretty fabric I found for the lining:

And now you are all caught up. I work the next 3 days in a row so do expect anything else till maybe Wednesday or Thursday. Until next time, please enjoy this photo of a New Caledonian Giant Gecko that my research team (back during my masters in Aug 07) was able to work with at a reptile show in Cleveland:

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