A long time coming….

The weeks after Christmas were frustrating, busy, and surprising.

Frustrating… because our laptop decided to suddenly stop working and go into hard drive panic mode (that’s what I’m calling it anyhow). All of my Apples to Ziti info, pictures, recipes, etc were saved on that computer so it put me at a stand still. After four trips to the Apple Store, replacing the cord, battery, and (thankfully) backing up the computer successfully… the laptop is now on its way to be picked apart by Apple specialists and, hopefully, fixed within the week. Praise the Lord it is still under warranty so any repairs or replacements will ALL be covered in full! WHEW! In the meantime I was able to move my A to Z stuff to our desktop and move on with the blogging process.

Busy… because my husband was blessed with some wonderful work opportunities outside of his normal work week. His being constantly working means less help with the kids, house, etc. My family comes before the blog so, again, it was put on the back burner. On top of this I took on 20 hours a week of nannying for an infant. The laptop being out of commission made it a little easier to deal with foregoing the blog, as it was out of my hands for the time being anyhow. Any spare time has been spent maintaining sanity in the cleanliness of our home, grabbing a quick conversation or board game time with my hubby, and, first and foremost, spending time reading God’s Word to keep my feet on solid ground–relying on Him alone for the grace, patience, energy, and love I need to get through most any day. Yes, I am positive that putting the blog on the back burner was for the best this past month.

Surprising… because while I usually love to cook and bake and be in the kitchen… I have not been able to tolerate much food (especially its smell) since the second week of the year. The surprise came New Year’s Eve day when we found out that we are expecting Baby #3 in August or September! WOOHOO!!! and… AHHHHH!!!! We are elated!… but VERY surprised, a bit nervous (okay, VERY nervous), and DEFINITELY unprepared for a third child. 🙂 In relation to being a food blogger… I am only 7 weeks along right now and have been super sick. It has been difficult to stomach food let alone spend hours in the kitchen making it.

So now you know where I’ve been. Despite all that is going on I am determined to not only get back to blogging, but I have a new-found focus and excitement for the blog.

Here is what’s new:

1. A new time table: In order to finish through Z before the baby’s arrival in August/September I have decided to move to doing one letter each week. This will mean fewer recipes per letter. It will also allow for a week off or vacation weeks through the summer that I might need for family or pregnancy reasons.

2. A new point of view: BUDGET cooking!! As you might imagine a new baby coming, two little girls growing by the day, and the need for a new car, bunk beds, etc. changes our budget dramatically. This means the goal of this blog will now be to offer you meals that can be made for reasonable prices! While we all might splurge from time to time on meals in or out, most of us have to be careful how much we spend at the grocery store. We can’t just have short ribs, steaks, or elaborate side dishes every night of the week. In fact, I’d venture to say that most of us should be keeping those type of meals to once, maybe twice, a month. This is the new reality for my family. I hope that by picking delicious, budget-friendly recipes/ meals you can feed your family on your budget, too. We’ll call this: Enjoyable Economical Eating 🙂

The official goals of the blog:

1. Feed my family

2. Give you ideas for feeding your family

3. Choose recipes and meal ideas that are budget-friendly for the average family

4. Build a repertoire of recipes/ meals that can be used to put together weekly meal plans in the blog’s future

*A Note: When we make it to Z… The “end” of the blog, I will undoubtedly take some time away from blogging to prepare for and get through those first weeks of a new baby. However, I intend to carry on blogging and budgeting after Baby #3 enters the scene. The blog’s goal will, most likely, turn to providing weekly meal plans and creative ideas for feeding your family on a budget.

What is budget cooking?

I will use prices from my mid-sized suburban/city supermarket. Simply stated, this means no specialty food stores or bulk shopping stores. While I do personally shop in bulk and occasionally go to a specialty market I generally buy our week-to-week groceries from the average-sized supermarkets in the area. Living in Phoenix area Arizona this means Fry’s, Safeway, Bashas and/ or Albertson’s. I tend to buy most items at the most reasonably priced market (Fry’s for me), but when it comes to produce and meat of any kind, I often err towards the slightly more expensive, but better quality, markets. If I shop sales this usually ends up being very comparable to the cheapest priced market. I will aim to give the average price that consumers would pay for items (without taking sale prices into consideration).  You may be able to make the recipes/ meals even cheaper if you do buy in bulk or find a good sale. I hope you can!

For specialty or highly perishable ingredients (such as fresh herbs), I will account for the ENTIRE cost of the ingredient. For pantry/fridge staples and other ingredients, I will include the cost for only the amount used. Salt, Pepper, and Cooking spray will be considered freebies.

A total price for the meal will be given and a price-per-serving. This will help you to fit it into your weekly or monthly food budget (however you operate that).

Where are we starting? 

The last posts I made promised a strange ingredient with many of my own recipes. I made, photographed, and wrote several “D” recipes. They have not been posted as they were stored on our laptop (the story of which you now know) and the craziness that entered my life post-Christmas. So, that is where I will start. I now have the pictures in my possession and will begin posting them this week (our “D” week). When I made these recipes I did not have the budget-recipe focus I do now, so I cannot promise that any of those recipes will prove to be as budget-friendly as I might like. However, looking back I believe they will turn out to be quite reasonable. 

So, all of you DORITOS fans out there (my husband being foremost amongst you), the letter “D” is for you.

Yes, that’s right… “D is for Doritos”! 

Here’s to Economical Eating! Enjoy!

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3 thoughts on “A long time coming….

  1. Super wonderful “Post” ! Thank you, Dear Jenna! And of your “good news” — baby #3 , I don’t think I have to tell you that it is sweet news to me. ! and – – Congratulations! You will be a busy mommy – but OH! the JOY as well. (and don’t worry much about “clean house” – you’ll have plenty of time for that in 20 years – – or 40 – or 60 ) For now — take deep breaths and savor the JOY of “family” ! You are doing a GREAT job Jenna – -David too! )

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