Sunday, March 28, 2010

To My Kentucky Wildcats....

To My Kentucky Wildcats,

The Big Blue Nation is a little blue this morning. A loss is never easy to take, and a season ending loss is that much harder. But please don’t think that because you lost we are disappointed in you. Are we disappointed that we didn’t win a national title? Sure. We really do want to win one every single year. But, while the loss stings, I’ve seen enough to know that given some time things will gain some perspective. In some ways they already have.

Last night was hard, but one game does not define a season. What you gave to us was so much greater than one win or loss. Greater even, than a National Title. What you gave us was a season that we will remember for a long time. What you gave us was a season filled with hope, expectations, and pride. And I have never been more proud of a team than I am of this one.

When I think about where this team--this program really--was at this time last year and where we ended up this year, I can’t help but be amazed. If you had told me back in March of last year that this team would have finished the year with only 3 losses, SEC regular season and tournament titles, and a trip to the Elite Eight, I would have told you that you were crazy. But you did all that. And more.

So, just let me say this one thing to you all. To Wall, Cousins, Patterson, Bledsoe, Orton, Liggins, Harris, Miller, Dodson, Stevenson, Harrelson, Hood, and Krebs:

What you did as a team for this state means more than any trophy ever could. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but one day you will understand. We all cheered with you, and we all hurt with you, because, in case you hadn’t figured it out by now, when you put on that Kentucky uniform and take the court you aren’t just playing for yourself, your team, or your coach. You are playing for all of us. The fans all around this state that have grown up with this team. The hundreds of kids that spend hours shooting baskets in their driveways and back yards on courts made of asphalt, concrete, and dirt with baskets nailed to light poles, garages, and the side of barns. You are playing for all of us who dreamed of taking the floor at Rupp with guys whose names now hang in the rafters there. We didn’t make it. But you did, and so every time you take the court, we are there with you. And what you did this year for us is something we will always remember. You brought back the swagger. You brought back the fun. And most of all you brought back the pride.

So, while it hurts right now, know that, in the great tradition of Kentucky Basketball History, this team will always hold a special place as the team that restored our program to its rightful place. We didn’t win it all this year, but the ship has been righted and we all know that one soon we will cut down the nets. Some of you may be there too. If you are, know that you have the entire Big Blue Nation with you. As we are now. As we always will be.

Thank you for a wonderful season.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What in the World Happened?'s been awhile. I went to Dad's and ate well. And then I came home and had left overs for a couple of days. And then I took off on a spur of the moment trip to New Orleans (which if you know me at all, you know that's nothing like me). The trip was a blast--exactly what I needed after a stressful couple of months at work. And I got to eat some really good food. But then it was back to the real world.

We got back Sunday night. I broke down and went out to eat (at Qdoba) that night since being in the car for 11 hours kind of makes you not want to cook. Breakfasts this week have been mostly cereal. And Monday & Tuesday I had to buy lunch at work since I didn't have time in the morning to fix anything. Dinners were just leftovers that were already in the fridge.

Today was the first day that I actually cooked again. Dinner consisted of pork chops from the freezer marinated in Tequila Lime 30 min Marinade and cooked under the broiler. I also mades some green beans (home grown and canned last summer) and some frozen peas. It was nice to have some real food again.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the money situation got resolved (some what anyway) which is why I was able to afford the trip to New Orleans (which we did very cheaply). But I still like the idea of eating out of the pantry, especially since we are so close to the end of the month already. And I never realized how much food I have on hand! It's amazing what gets shuffled to the back of the pantry/freezer/fridge. I'm kind of liking the fact that I'm making more room in my kitchen for food and I hope that once I get things kind of cleared out, I can do better about not buying too much food. And, while having a nice, neat pantry is a good goal, having a nice low grocery bill will be great too.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday's Menu--Day 6

This will be last post for the week, mostly because I'm headed to my Dad's house and won't have to worry about food or cooking--only eating. But I did have to come up with my first two meals today.

Breakfast--Pancakes (Hungry Jack Mix + Milk + Eggs + Oil +Vanilla)
I like to add vanilla to my pancakes. I think it gives them just a little more flavor. I also always add egg, even when the mix doesn't call for it because I think it gives you fluffier pancakes. And , I have to confess, that I didn't go to work today, so I got up late and ate even later, so really, this was kind of a brunch.

Lunch--Animal Crackers, Gummy Bears
Not the most nutritious lunch, I know, but I really wasn't hungry and just needed to put a little something in my stomach. I'm sure dinner tonight will make up for it.

That's it for the first week of eating out of the pantry. See you on Sunday night, and LET GO BIG BLUE!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday & Thursday's Menus (Days 4 & 5)

Wednesday was an interesting day. I thought lunch was taken care of (due to a luncheon at work) but it turns out the luncheon was on Thursday. That threw a wrench into things, since I didn't take anything with me to work. So.....I ended up coming home for lunch and fixing something, which then meant that I wasn't as hungry as I normally would have been for dinner. Anyway, here is what the menu looked like:

Breakfast--Cheerios w/Milk

Lunch--Grilled Cheese Sandwich, French Fries, Dill Pickle (very very yummy)

Dinner--Microwave Popcorn (maybe not so nutritious, but I wasn't too hungry so it worked out)

And then, for today, there was very little cooking. In fact, a large portion of the food I ate was free. We had a seminar this morning at work which meant free bagels, donuts, and coffee. And then there was the previously mentioned luncheon which had some wonderful food. I did cook dinner, however, even if it was just macaroni and cheese (the good homemade kind, not the out-of-the-box kind).

Breakfast--Yogurt (at home) and Donuts and Coffee (at work)

Lunch--Chicken, Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad, Chess Cake (work luncheon)

Dinner--Macaroni & Cheese (recipe follows)
  • 1 small box cooked elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 small block of sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Mix the noodles, cheese, and margarine in a greased casserole dish.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, salt, & pepper.
  3. Pour the milk & egg mixture into the casserole dish with the noodles/cheese/margarine.
  4. Bake at 350 for 40-50 min. Let sit for about 10min before serving.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday Menu--Day 3

So today's menu was as follows:

Breakfast--Cheerios and Milk

Lunch--Leftover Meatless Taco Salad from Monday night

Dinner--Frozen Chicken Enchiladas (made previously and frozen)
Mexican Rice (Lipton's Rice Sides)

Back before Christmas, I boiled a couple of chicken breasts, and then shredded the meat. I mixed the shredded meat with a can of enchilada sauce and some shredded cheese and rolled it up in four tortillas. Each tortilla was then wrapped in saran wrap and placed in a freezer bag and frozen. Last night I simply pulled the bag out of the freezer, removed 2 of the enchiladas, put them in a greased casserole dish, poured another can of enchilada sauce on top of them, and then sprinkled the whole thing with more cheese. The dish went into a 375 degree oven for 20 min, and was ready to eat.

All in all, it was a yummy meal, with plenty of leftovers again for a lunch this week. The rice was good, if just a bit bland, but the enchiladas might have been better frozen than they were fresh. If nothing else they were a good, quick meal. I still have 2 more in the freezer, so expect to see them on the menu again this month at some point.

Tomorrow's dinner: Chicken Nuggets and French fries.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday's Menu....Day 2

Today's Menu

Breakfast--3 Chocolate Chip Muffins leftover from yesterday, Green Tea

Lunch-- Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich, Chips (all from pantry)

Dinner-- No Meat Taco Salad
2 cups White Minute Rice
1 can Kroger Black Beans
2 Taco Salad Shells leftover from last week
Salsa, Sour Cream, Mexican Cheese

I was pleased by how well the taco salad turned out. I didn't have any meat, but the beans were protein and the salsa gave it some flavor. Not too bad. I had enough for leftovers for lunch tomorrow as well. So far, the total grocery bill is still at $39.66.

On tap for tomorrow: Chicken Enchiladas from the freezer with some Enchilada sauce from the pantry (I've apparently been stock piling the stuff).

Turning Lemons into Lemonaid

So, due to some unforeseen tax circumstances, my monthly budget is gone just 7 days in to the month. This means no more spending--or at least a s little spending as possible.

Now, this presents me with a dilemma. How do you eat without spending money?

At first, this seemed like a tall order. Then, I decided that this would be an opportunity to see what I could make from the food currently in my pantry, freezer, and fridge. So, we are going to see how little I can spend on groceries this month.

To be fair, I'd already bought a little food before this crisis set in, although not much. Some chicken nuggets, fries, and ketchup. A veggie tray, pop, chips and dip for a party. And milk and bread. So far, my grocery bill for March comes to $39.66.

Now, yesterday here is what I ate:

3 Chocolate Chip muffins made from a muffin mix an 1/2 cup milk
Leftover Tortilla Chips and Queso from the party Saturday
Dinner at my Sister's House
A piece of Blackberry Cobbler that I baked last week

So, from now on, I'm going to try and keep up with what I cook and eat and where it comes from. I'll also track my grocery spending through the month and list what I buy. It should be an interesting experiment. I want to see if I can keep my grocery bill below $75.00. We'll see.