At work, I'm a team lead, so I have to write two management updates every single week. Some of the other team leads at the company write their updates in the same exact format every week. I've tried to do that in the past, but I find that I just get bored or things change and the format makes no sense anymore. Some weeks I use paragraphs, others I use bullet points. Sometimes I have headers, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I write project updates, and other times I focus on people. It's just...whatever feels the best each week. And I feel the same way about these blog posts.
So, no whiteboard picture this week. Maybe no whiteboard pictures for a while. I'm still feeling the grocery store pics though.
Recognize that "Good and Gather" brand? That's Target. That's right, I did my grocery shopping at Target because I needed to buy some non-food items and in these COVID times I figured I should limit my shopping trips.
Grocery shopping at Target is terrible. I don't know why anyone would willingly do their grocery shopping here. Also, note to self, never buy ground meat from a tube again.
You might be wondering why I bought a 5 lb bag of potatoes. Well, I wanted to make some beef stew (post to come later!), and yeah, I could have just bought two individual potatoes, but then I thought of other potato possibilities and the lower price per pound and the fact that I bought a single lemon three grocery trips in a row. So here I am now with way too many potatoes.
Even though I said I would limit my shopping trips this week, it just happened to snow way more than I expected it to on Tuesday, and for that reason I decided it was the perfect time to walk a mile to Trader Joe's to buy ice cream.
And I was right! There was no line when I got there. That's practically unheard of during these COVID times.
I'm of the opinion that Trader Joe's isn't a real grocery store (they didn't even have veggie oil!) but their ice cream is 👌 and for that reason I'm forever a
sucker loyal customer. And those mini cones are so good! They're like tiny little drumsticks, but even better!
As far as what I ate this week, I'm also going to ditch the table of my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and just mention some highlights.
It was Chinese New Year and I missed being around family. I didn't even plan to make any Chinese food! But I figured I could eat something Asian and cook some more 腊肉 (lat bhat).
Hey, I really am getting better at this deep frying thing! I didn't overcook the meat this time!
I also had some leftover Dim Sum from last week, and I made some cucumber salad to go along with it. Normally I don't take pictures of food that I didn't make, but the salad looked so sad by itself.
I gotta get back to making more Asian food next week!
I'm getting bored with calling these posts "Meal Plan". It's really a weekly review, but I didn't want to call it that either. At one point I thought of making the tag line of this blog "thoughts on food", so I'm trying something like that. I was also going to append to that to give it a ridiculously long title, but I guess that's what subheaders are for.
So to start off, my whiteboard pic is back, and completely unedited!
Hummus had already been on my to-make list for a while, but when I thought about the tomatoes that I didn't have a use for, I figured I could turn my hummus snack idea into a meal and make Mediterranean Hummus Bowls. That also used up onions.
Like I said earlier, I made Beef and Pineapple Enchiladas so I could use up some corn tortillas, scallions, and the rest of my pineapple chunks. Plus that worked really well with the hummus bowls since I could use half the ground beef for each dish.
See that extra can in the back that's covered? Those are more chickpeas. You can never be too well-stocked on chickpeas. (Especially because I needed both of those cans this week) But you know what Aldi was missing? Tomato paste! I've never seen tomato paste run out at Aldi!
So I was just going to cut my losses and deal with having less tomato paste than my enchiladas called for (which honestly, would have been fine) but as I saw it snowing on Sunday I thought "This is perfect grocery shopping weather!" (because it's way less crowded.)
And you know what's even more perfect? Buying ice cream when it's snowing. Because I can walk at whatever pace I want and know it won't melt. (Also because it's always a good time to buy ice cream.)
So I'm standing in the gigantic ice cream aisle and I come to the same conclusion that I do every time I go to Giant Eagle: Giant Eagle has the WORST ice cream selection. It makes me angry. Every. Single. Time.
WHY are there SO many varieties of vanilla ice cream?! Turkey Hill has "Original Vanilla", "French Vanilla", "Vanilla Bean", and even "Homemade Vanilla"! (not pictured because there's not enough space in the picture to even capture the insanity) Turkey Hill, I know that you did not make that vanilla ice cream in a home. Don't give me that false advertising.
If one of my close friends read this, he would say "Meyling, you're just mad they don't have coffee ice cream." And he would be right. I am mad at Giant Eagle's lack of coffee ice cream. Coffee is a staple. You can't tell me you need four varieties of vanilla, but you don't need coffee.
You're probably wondering, did you even buy any ice cream? Well, I sorta did.
Breyer's was on sale so I settled for their "Frozen Dairy Dessert" that we all know is not real ice cream. I also tried a so-ridiculously-expensive-that-I-don't-want-to-say-how-much-it-was Leona's ice cream sandwich that was labeled "Chai Tea/Coffee". I still don't know if it was the ice cream that was supposedly coffee-flavored or the cookie.
Okay. Ice cream rant over. Here's what I ate this past week.
|Saturday||Bagel||Shrimp Scampi Florentine||Hummus Bowl|
|Sunday||Bagel||Enchiladas||Rice w/ 腊肉 & Kimchi|
|Monday||Ramen Eggs||Rice w/ 腊肉 & Kimchi||Hummus Bowl|
|Tuesday||Fried Eggs w/ Rice||Enchiladas||Mac n Cheese|
|Wednesday||Fried Eggs w/ Rice||Hummus Bowl||Rice w/ Beef Jerky & Kimchi|
|Thursday||Mac n Cheese||Enchiladas||Hummus Bowl|
|Friday||Hummus w/ Carrots||Rice w/ Beef Jerky & Kimchi||Takeout: Dim Sum|
I don't think I'll ever order from that dim sum place again. I miss real dim sum. When we get back to a normal, COVID-19-free world, that's the first thing I'm eating.
Normally I would start with a picture of my whiteboard, but there's a ridiculous amount of
photoshopping MS Paint-ing involved to get the image to look the way I want. So, I actually went and re-organized the whiteboard to make it a little easier on me. But you'll have to wait for next week's meal plan post to see it.
I will show you my groceries, though! This week I made shrimp scampi florentine and BBQ chicken pizza, which you already know. I bought ingredients for those meals, and I also bought a few extra things for snacks, like getting chickpeas to make hummus. I spent a little over $30 on groceries.
Well, I impulse bought tilapia. (Frequent readers of this blog should not be surprised.) It was on sale for $6! It's normally $12 for the 2 lb bag! And that was from Giant Eagle, not Aldi. I know, it's always $6 at Aldi. But maybe this brand is better.
Also, Aldi was out of chickpeas! I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Aldi runs out of chickpeas a lot. I really didn't want to make another grocery store trip, so hummus will have to wait until next week. I really should just keep a constant supply of chickpeas like I do with eggs.
If you're wondering why I bought kimchi, it's so I could eat it with some meat that my grandparents prepared while I was visiting them.
My grandpa has the best recipe for both beef jerky and 腊肉. Deep frying things kind of scares me (but not as much as dough does) and I think I overcooked the 腊肉 a little, but it still tasted great.
I also asked several members of my family what 腊肉 (lat bhat) actually translates to. I know 肉 (bhat) means meat but what is 腊 (lat)?! No one was able to tell me! As I was looking things up in a Teochew app, I realized that 腊 is the same 腊 as in 腊肠 (lat chiang) Chinese Sausage. And then I looked this up in the Wiktionary and I learned 腊 basically means dry or dried meat. Now I know.
Okay, Chinese lesson aside, I only cooked two meals this week because I was still going through the leftovers in my freezer. It was my full intention to actually keep track of what I ate this week, but I realized I haven't written down anything since Monday. It was just bagels every morning, while rotating between the scampi, pizza, and leftovers during lunch and dinner.
And I did add pineapples on my leftover slices of pizza. I love leftover pizza. It's the best leftover.
It's my first week back in my apartment since before the holidays, and any time I come back from a long vacation my plan is to always make something simple. My go-to simple meal is always Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta because it's vegetarian, and I know I can make it in less than 30 minutes. The only downside is that I have to buy cream cheese, but whatever, I'll get bagels for next week.
I also decided to make noodle soup because it had been on my to-make list for a while. Since I had shoved a bunch of leftovers in the freezer before going to see my family, I figured I could eat those too. So, two dishes is plenty.
Pretty sure I spent less than $10 on all of this. I just got what I needed for the two dishes plus some fruit and yogurt for snacks. I'm really trying to make sure I have healthy snacks.
Also, it's a shortened week since I got back on Monday.
|Tuesday||Egg rolls||Noodle soup|
|Wednesday||Pasta||Sticky rice||Noodle soup|
|Thursday||Sesame Ball||Pasta||Noodle soup|
|Friday||Pasta||Pad kra pao||Noodle soup|
Yeah, the week started out kind of rough and I don't think I was eating enough, but I got back on track towards the end. And I'm gonna show you another portion of my noodle soup to show you that I also made ramen eggs!
I tried a different method of soft boiling the eggs, and it worked out really well. The recipe says to boil water, then add the egg, but I find that one of my eggs always cracks when I do this, so I just put the egg in the cold water and let it come to a boil, then turn the heat off, cover it, and let it sit for about 4 minutes. I was worried I might overcook it, but it came out perfectly.
Next week, I'll get back to my usual consulting of my whiteboard.
It's almost the end of 2020! And I'm going to be visiting family soon, so this week's meal planning was a little different. I had originally intended on making noodle soup, but when I looked at my whiteboard, I realized there were some foods that I really needed to use up before my vacation started.
Look! I finally threw out my half and half! I was about to pour some more in my coffee and I smelled it, and I decided that it was time to get rid of it. Since I did that, I smelled my milk as well, and while it wasn't quite bad yet, I could tell it would get there soon, so I marked that as something that I needed to use up. I also had a random assortment of vegetables that I didn't quite use up in the previous week's dishes. I checked Budget Bytes for recipes that use milk, and I saw Broccoli Cheddar Soup. I had pretty much everything it needed (broccoli, carrots, and onion) except cheddar.
I also had some Thai basil that was starting to look a little sad, and as you know, I made Pad kra pao with it. I went with that dish since I had ground pork in the freezer already. And I figured this was a good place to throw my last bell pepper.
Oh! And the cabbage! The cabbage that seems impossible for me to use up. I didn't have quite enough to make it the star of another dish, so where did my mind go? TACOS. I checked Pinch of Yum for some taco recipes and I saw a recipe for some Spicy Shrimp Tacos. Perfect. I actually have cooked shrimp in the freezer, which isn't really ideal, but I'm gonna use what I have. It'll also let me make use of the cilantro, scallions, limes, and even the peach yogurt since this calls for yogurt or sour cream. If I go and buy a new container of sour cream or plan greek yogurt, it'll be way too large of a container. The snack size is actually perfect.
And that's everything that I marked, and then some. I'll have to hold off on the noodle soup til next year. Everything I need for that is frozen or dried so it works out.
Really quick grocery trip this time. I had to restock on salt of course. Apparently I also had to restock on flour. Somehow I have spelt flour, whole wheat flour, self rising flour, but no all purpose. I don't want to waste this extra flour, but I have no idea how to use it, and I wish my sister were here to be able to do something fun with it.
Also I bought an avocado because they were on sale. Plus I used it in my tacos.
|Saturday||Sticky Rice||Broccoli Cheddar Soup||Singapore Noodles|
|Sunday||Chicken Curry||Pad Kra Pao||Gumbo @ my friend's|
|Monday||Singapore Noodles||Sticky Rice||Broccoli Cheddar Soup|
|Tuesday||Singapore Noodles||Pad Kra Pao||Shrimp Tacos|
|Wednesday||Sticky Rice||Broccoli Cheddar Soup||Shrimp Tacos|
|Thursday||Sticky Rice||Pad Kra Pao||Shrimp Tacos|
|Friday||Broccoli Cheddar Soup||Sticky Rice|
Wow, I just realized I didn't eat breakfast today. That means I was stressed out. But I have a lot of food left over still. I went and threw my curry in the freezer. I might throw all my other leftovers in the freezer as well.
I'll talk a little about the broccoli cheddar soup I made. It was actually pretty good, and it tasted just like mac n cheese, except instead of mac, it's vegetables. It actually reminded me of Nacho Cheese Easy Mac which was amazing, but is unfortunately discontinued. Maybe I can recreate it now.