Tag Archives: Menu Planning

Vegan Brownies

Some friends came over this weekend and made these vegan brownies from literally a can of beans and a brownie mix.

They are so good!

We are not vegan but I don’t really want to make regular brownies again. They are fluffy and cake like. And oh so easy!

How to make them:

1 brownie mix
1 can of black beans

Pour can of black beans (with water in it still) into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add brownie mix to beans, mix. Pour batter into greased 13×9″ pan. Cook according to box instructions.

Yeah, that’s it.

You could make these anywhere you have a way to mash the beans and a heat source. I’m thinking brownies while camping, what do you think?


What’s On The Menu

Here is what’s on our menu for this week:


-Ham sandwiches
-Cheese roll ups
-Tuna sandwiches
-Left overs

-Broccoli Beef and Rice
-Homemade Hawaiian Pizza
-Baked Chicken, Rice and Roasted Veggies
-Potato Leek Soup
-Pulled Pork
-Veggie Curry and Rice
-Veggies and Spiral Noodles

Simplicity One Step At A Time

I hate clutter. Hate hate hate clutter (yup, that’s a lot of hate right there). And we have lots of it. Ugh. But there is hope….

Spring is just around the corner and (according to that plump little rodent Punxsutawney Phil) it will be here before we know it. (He better be right–just saying.) Anyway, Spring cleaning is a great time to do more than just straighten and dust. I am taking this opportunity to simplify. In fact, I am taking it a step further. As part of my Lenten fasting this year, I am going to fast from things. I am going to cleanse my life from the clutter and unnecessary items that our family does not need. The things that hold us back, the things that make us distracted. I hate spending my time cleaning up clutter when I could be spending time with my family having fun. It’s time to change that. And it’s going to be great.

Yesterday I started with the kitchen. It took most of the day but I got rid of everything in our cabinets that we didn’t use. I set everything out on the counter and put the things that I realistically use back in the cabinet. The rest got sent to good will. I did the same thing with the pantry. And the freezer and fridge. It is easier to put things away and see what food I have in the pantry which in turn will make meal planning and grocery shopping easier. There, one portion of the house simplified.

Now here’s the hard part: keeping motivation and being patient. To truly simplify is a lot of work. And it takes time. Loosing motivation is the part I am hoping to avoid. In order to keep it from happening I am setting a time line. So over the next 8-9 weeks before Pascha (Easter), I am going to simplify this house. At least a room a week. So stay tuned. Things are going to change for the better.

You Gotta Eat

Food is the hardest part of budgeting because well, you have to eat! Not much you can cut out of a healthy diet and with the cost of food, not much you can do to get the cost down. But I have been learning little tricks here and there to save some money on the food we eat.

For the past several weeks I have been meal planning for a week at a time–breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then I go to the grocery store and buy only what we need that week. This has been the best way I have found yet to keep the cost down. We are now eating for approximately $10 a day. For a family of four I feel pretty good about that.

Some things I am experimenting with to keep away from cheaper junk foods is instead of starchy cookie type snacks I am buying fruit like apples and grapes–it actually comes out to the same cost and I can feel better about what my toddler is snacking on.

Now my 6 year old is a different story because he only eats white starchy things so a cheap box of crackers made it into the cart. Hard part is that I am a grazer so to not buy an abundance of snack foods is challenging for me. But since I am weaning my daughter and need to start watching weight anyway, I’ll eat some fruit with her and stick to regular meals.

Another thing I am taking into consideration is always buying generic and watching the sales. I wanted to make stuffed shell pasta this week (it was on the menu) but when I went to go buy the large shell noodles, they were $2.79 whereas lasagna was on sale for $1.39. So I changed my plans, we will have rolled stuffed lasagna noodles instead of stuffed shells. I’m realizing even $1 makes a difference in the end.

Now I challenge myself to lower the costs even more in the next few weeks… I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.