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Archive for October, 2006

Haha. One more time... my pumpkin soup recipe...

October 31st, 2006 at 06:59 pm

I recieved a request for one more post. This time for my pumpkin soup recipe.

To tell you all the truth, I have no idea how much of anything really I put in, but I'll try my best to remember...

Ingredients:
Celery
Sweet onion
butter or margarine
2 13oz cans of pumpkin puree
2 jars sweet potato baby food
1 jar carrot baby food
1 can chicken broth
2 cups applesauce
Spices: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon
Half and half

Well, first I cut celery and sweet onion into very tiny pieces. I'm not sure how necessary these two ingredients are, but they seemed logical in a soup, so I stuck em in there Smile At any rate, I sauteed them in butter until cooked, but still a bit crunchy (well, the celery is still crunchy anyway).

I poured about a fourth a can of chicken broth in and let them simmer a bit more, then added one 13oz can of pure pumpkin puree. I mixed everything until it was well mixed.

Now, I got 3 jars of babyfood at the dollar store for a dollar total- 2 jars of sweet potatoes and one of carrots mushy babyfood style. I have no kids, I just figured it would be a lot cheaper to add these instead of fresh. hehe. And it has the same consistency of the soup, so why not?? I'm sure there are many ways of going about this, it's just what I found cheapest. At any rate, I added these next.

After everything was mixed and smooth again, I added my second can of pumpkin. I then added about 2 cups of applesauce... the recipes I found online mostly had apples in the mix, and once again, applesauce is kind of the same consistency and we happen to have a lot of it.

At some point, I added the rest of that can of chicken broth.

The only other things I added to the soup were spices and half and half to make it a bit creamy. The spices I added to taste, but included: nutmeg, a bit of cinnamon, a bit of ginger, and a few packets of equal to sweeten it up. That was it, really. The soup ended up being a bit thicker than originally planned, but when I got home from work, I mixed a little milk into it to liquify it a bit and it tasted just as yummy!

As you can see, this was a trial and error type of thing, and I cannot say it's perfect, but it's totally easy and does the trick. Not to mention, it makes a bunch! I filled 2 medium sized tupperware containers and freezed them after the 2 meals I made of the first bowl. Great comfort food! ( I can vouch for that one...) Yay for pumpkin!

Soup makes everything better, I think...

October 31st, 2006 at 12:49 pm

I've already posted today, but I felt it was necessary to post, because I did in fact run to the grocery store (silly me) to get the ingredients needed to make soup. I originally wanted to make butternut squash soup, but because my grocery store is stupid and has crap for selection, it ended up being pumpkin soup- only because I could find it canned. But in the end, it's very yummy. I browsed for a long time online trying to find a recipe I liked, but I ended up "winging it," as I like to call it. I'm like a mad scientist when I do this. Maniacal laughter and the addition of every random ingredient I can find in my kitchen. It turned out really good, and it was super easy. I could probably add a little more liquid to it, it's pretty thick, but other than that, it's all good! Not to mention, it made so much that I put 2 tupperware containers of it in the freezer for later. BF doesn't eat soup, so it's all mine...

At any rate, I feel a lot better than I did earlier. Probably because I was craving a gourd-like veggie, and because I got to cook (that always puts me in a good mood. hehe) I think it just proves that soup makes things much better, for the most part. ha.

Talk to y'all later! I promise I wont post again today Wink

Tired Day

October 31st, 2006 at 10:23 am

I'm not quite sure why, but I'm so tired today! Grr... I've been a bit worn for the past few days, perhaps my health is failing me? I hope not. I think I've just been rather homesick and making myself unhappy. No good. At any rate...

I bought my bus pass today, so that was $54. I also managed to spend $3 on campus, despite bringing my snack to school. I was really hungry for some reason... I didn't even really enjoy what I bought either, so I see it as a waste. I managed to keep myself from stopping at the grocery store, though I really wanted to. Not sure what exactly I wanted to get, but for some reason I'm craving pumpkin and butternut squash anything. But instead I trekked home and looked at recipes for something I may want to make. Everything is so involved when it comes to this soup! grr. I ended up popping in one of my "budget gourmet" dinners in the microwave... I might make that bean soup for dinner. I haven't decided yet. No pumpkin or squash, but I just went grocery shopping and I'm really trying to use the food that I already bought... jeez.

I guess I'm just looking for comfort food. It's really frustrating that I've been so lethargic. I usually get some small case of unhappiness when it starts getting cold outside. Looks like it's coming early this year. poo.

No-Spend Day

October 30th, 2006 at 09:32 am

So I was determined to make today a no-spend day. And i believe I have succeeded. And then some! I went to psych class this morning, then hit the library. I had to read an article on reserve there and post on a discussion board. I was going to photocopy it, but instead I decided to just read it there and post. I'm sure my prof wants us to have a copy of it for class on thursday, but I didn't have the spare change and honestly, that article isn't worth 10 cents to me Smile more for my challenge money...

Speaking of change, I also stopped by the bank (after returning that very much overdue movie at the library... no good), and made both a deposit into the checking and savings accounts. I managed to accumulate $20.51 in my coin jar for October, and it went into savings as planned. Yay!

Talked to mom for a while on the phone. I miss her. I miss everyone back home, but I miss my mom a lot. She's having a rough time and that's no good. I'm really looking forward to going home for Thanksgiving. At any rate, we discussed money for a while. haha. I think it may finally be getting through to her that I'm a responsible adult! (which is a relief. I've been trying to convince her for a long while now)

As for the rest of the day, I started the laundry (finally), loaded the dishwasher, and set out chicken to thaw for dinner. I'm feeling like a regular Martha Stuart right now... BF will be so happy when he gets home! Maybe I'll even put my laundry away... he would be floored. That's my one big flaw. I HATE putting laundry away. He gets on my case all the time, and it drives me crazy. I've never been able to just be my messy self. boo. Ah well. I could be nice just this once... hehe. Well, to homework now...

French Boo.

October 29th, 2006 at 02:31 pm

So it's only the first day of the month (according to my budget calendar) and I've already started spending money on food... erg.

My name is Tara Dawn, and I have a problem...

Heh. No kidding. It's sunday, which means me and 2 members of my french class get together to study. We meet at a coffee shop and do french...things. At any rate, my one friend was hungover, the other sick, and I am unfortunately suffering from a long night. Needless to say, we didn't get too much homework done. Erg. On top of it, the coffee shop had this delicious butternut squash soup that I couldn't resist! A bit over priced, but I'd say that the $5 I spent on that big bowl of soup with it's accompanying big chunk of delicious bread was well worth it. Of course, I bought a drink and a little cake thingy beforehand, so it ended up adding to about $9. Grr.

Ordinarily I would put this down as a school expense (it IS for school, afterall, haha), but given that we didn't do any real studying, it's going out of the eating out fund...

On the flip side, I ate half the jambalaya I made last night for dinner today for lunch, BF finished it off for dinner, and I used the remaining pancake batter from yesterday's breakfast for dinner. Yum! I guess you could call the soup my snack?? I think I eat too much haha. :/ At any rate, we have 0 leftovers now, and a clean plate to start with for the week in food.

I'm determined that tomorrow be a no-spend day. I had one yesterday, which puts me ever so close to my goal. There's nothing pressing I have to buy, though I may have to make a copy at the library. Blast it! Grr... perhaps I can get out of it. We'll see...

November Budget and Goals

October 29th, 2006 at 08:14 am

November Budget and Goals:

Rent, phone, elec, cable: $450
Transportation: $60
Insurance: $26.75
Perscription: $25
Loan interest: $65
Groceries: $80
Food on campus: $40
Salsa Classes: $20
School expenses: $20
Dining Out: $50
Clothes: $75
Entertainment: $20
Xmas gifts: $50
Misc: $20

Total Budgeted: $1001.75

Estimated income (by the 28th):
17 nights @ $60 => $1020
4 lunches @ $10 => 40
2 paychecks @ $30 => 60
Total:$1120

Goals:
1. To be under budget.
2. To be over income.
3. To have 3 no-spend days.
4. To put $250 toward the $20 challenge.
5. To only eat out 4 times this month.
6. To knock 3 people off my xmas list.

Sooooooo. I gave myself a little more slack as far as the budget goes. I realized that it's damn near impossible to only spend $40 in groceries in a month. I spent $100 last month (and me and BF keep our food separate), so I'm shooting to only spend $80 this month. Clothes is up a bit, only because I'll be buying new work shoes here in about a week. And I understand that just because I cut myself a little slack doesn't mean that I can slack off, I'm just expecting myself to be under budget this month.

Hopefully it'll work out. I took inventory in my kitchen again this month, and even wrote out a list of possible dinners I could make posted on the fridge- so when I'm wandering around saying "we dont have any food!" I have a list to look at, and say, "oh wait, yeah we do, I'll make ___." And I cooked twice yesterday, so I give myself credit. ha. Well, I think I'm gonna cut this short here, well, not really short, but ya know... Smile

October Recap...

October 28th, 2006 at 11:11 am

Alright, considering that October is a few days away from ending, I figured I'd jump the gun and add everything up. I need to use the figures to structure November's budget anyhow... so here goes:
Rent: 431.68 = 18.32 under
Groceries: 101.06 = 61.06 over
Transport: 59.06 = 5.06 over
Food on Campus = 43.62 = 21.38 under
Entertainment, misc: 339.68 = 289.68 over
Salsa Classes: 0 = 30 under
School Expenses: 58.45 = 48.45 over
Total: $334.55 over Frown

Estimated Income: 980.00 (by today)
Actual earned: 1110.14
(which means I'm 130.14 over, yay!)

Total added to $20 challenge:
$190, but that doesn't include my change jar... which has over $15 in it.

Total times I ate out this month: 7 (I went out of town though... )

My Progress a la Goals:
1. Come up under budget. NO. Not quite, but my budget really didn't give me ANY slack... I need to revise for next month.
2. Come up over income. YES. I actually got this one. yay!
3. Put at least $364.25 into my savings account. NO. Midway through the month I realized I should be paying off some of my loan, as it has 14% interest... I did manage to get my principle down, though, so I feel I did one better.
4. Have at least 4 no-spend days. NO. I only got one...
5. Knock off 2 people from my xmas list. YES. I did manage to finish buying gifts for both my lil sis and BF's Gram, so that one was done.

Okay, so 2 out of 5... I guess it's better than none?? I'll try harder in November, and not forget as much in the way of my budget... going out of town really takes a chunk out of the dining out and such, so we'll see if my trip back home this month can be any better. I'll be eating turkey at the family's anyhow! Well kids, thanks for helping me along!

Long (fun) day... and free lunch!

October 27th, 2006 at 06:00 pm

So me and BF left the house around 11:30 to go to lunch at our favorite mediterranean restuarant. I ended up running into the wife of the owner of the restaurant I work for. I said hi, she and her two friends ended up sitting at the table next to us. It was nice, and we talked cordially and all that. I was really confused when the server came back with my credit card sans pen, etc. It turns out she snuck from the table to "use the restroom" right after I gave the boy my card and paid for our meal! It was so suprising, and of course I insisted that she shouldn't have done so, but of course I was pretty psyched. So my lunch was free (as was BF's).

We caught the matinee of "The Departed." It was really good, and ended up not costing too much. I did, however, buy some new guitar strings and a capo, since my ex band member walked off with mine. Boo.

Me and BF hit the grocery store on the way home... we DESPARATELY needed food. I just couldn't bear the thought of eating ramen AGAIN. I needed solid food. So I stocked up on frozen veggies, apples, cottage cheese, chili, and a few other random things. When we got home we were so excited to have options! haha. I felt like a kid in a candy store.... pretty sad. ha.

Tomorrow is laundry/homework day, then work. I guess my coworker is dressing up for halloween at work. I may do the same, though I dont have a costume. Ah well. The first year I've ever not dressed up... But I really cant afford the extra expense and it kind of crept up on me. Either way, better get going!

Finally! My day off...

October 27th, 2006 at 07:11 am

Alright. It's been a few days as I have been mondo busy this week. Wednesday about kicked my butt... what with class and working a double. I collapsed when I got home. haha. Made pretty good money that day, though.

French class is proving to be a pain at this point. We have an exam, and my professor is quite a joke. I'm very critical of my professors (as I should be!) and this is an awful case... she has little to no structure during class, expects us to speak french perfectly if it is a concept we have already covered, and furthermore, when we ask her for extra material to practice with (us few in my class have a study group on sundays) she doesn't give us any because she feels we should move on rather than practice the things that we've already covered (my foot!). Needless to say, with this exam coming up, I'm cracking down, along with my classmates. There are only 5 of us in the class... we should be getting a far better education than we are currently recieving. But I'll stop the ranting.

With all this said, I'm going to attempt to work a little less next semester. Perhaps pare it down to 3 nights. My mom thinks I should find a bartending job, which would be great because I'd only really have to work on the weekends and I'd make good money, but then again I wouldn't have weekends to go back home to visit. Erg. That would be great, though, otherwise. I'd study, and perhaps pick up a tutoring job through the university during the week, then work 2 nights on the weekends and be set. I dont go out anyway. haha. We'll see. I could always be a "dancer," haha. I'd only have to work ONE night a week. Smile Just kidding...

This weekend should be both fun and productive. Today, me and BF are going to our favorite restaurant for lunch, then going to see a movie. Neither of us have really gotten out in the last few weeks, and I think we deserve it. After that, my friend may be coming over to study french. I have no idea when we'll be grocery shopping, but it is needed dearly! We really, for all intents and purposes, have NO food in our apartment. We have ramen. That's about it. No milk, no bread, no juice, nothin. So either today or tomorrow we'll be off to the grocery store...

I work tomorrow night, but I'm off again sunday. I've got my study group at the coffee shop, which should be a good time, though stressfull as this exam is going to be. The point is, I CANNOT get anything lower than an A. Ordinarily, B's didn't bother me, but now that I'm planning on applying to med school, every thing counts.

Which reminds me, the club is coming along great. My professor talked to the dept and it seems that everyone is not only good with the idea, but more or less super-excited as well. I know they're trying to establish a grad program for psych in my university, so I'm sure it will attract some more people, or give the dept an edge. At any rate, I'M excited and glad that things are moving so smoothly. There's much more planning to come, but so far so good!

It's been cold. boo. I'm hoping it doesn't rain, though the forecast calls for it. We'll be doing a bit of walking to the movie theatre, and I dont want to be soaked! Ugh. Alrighty, talk to y'all later!

Work so slow... but a very productive day.

October 24th, 2006 at 08:39 pm

... Unfortunately, it was loaded with spending. poo. 8am class, then studying with a friend of mine. Bought food. Then Bio, then met with my psych professor to talk for an hour or two... he's awesome, I must admit. The best professor I've ever had, and the only one I can visit and talk to intelligently for lengthy periods of time! Not to mention, I'm starting the psych/philosophy club at my university, and he offered to be the faculty adviser. Sweet! I wanted to join an extracurricular activity, but there was nothing that interested me. Instead I decided to devise my own student organization! I figured it would look good to be a leader on my med school apps anyway... hehe.

At any rate. Post Bob's office, I bought lunch. Saved half my wrap for later. Hit the library, got 2 more DVD's to rent. Printed out the power point lectures for bio, ran off copies of journal articles. I also had to stop by the mass comm department to make up a quiz I missed last week. After that, I just studied until I went into work... which was SLOW. I made a grand total of $17... not so good. But anyhoo... I've got so much to do! I figured I have about 2 years until I take my MCAT and apply for med schools. I bought a couple books the other day that have been incredibly helpful in informing me of the steps I need to take to prep for the MCAT and applying. Also, I looked through the complete list of American Med Schools, and decided I may just have to return to Ohio. haha. I always thought I hated it, but I miss my family and friends. I'm pretty set on going to Ohio State's med school. I've got family in Colombus. All my friends at OSU will probably have graduated by the time I get there, but it'll still be nice to be close. At any rate, I better get going. I've got class in the morning!

Ah, mondays.

October 23rd, 2006 at 08:03 am

So it's getting to be that time of year... the time when it starts getting so chilly that I refuse to get out of bed in the morning, well, almost. BF paralyzed me, I've decided (you know, when they roll over, and cuddle with you it makes you so comfy!). I couldn't move, I just couldn't get out of bed despite 8am class calling my name. So FINALLY, when he rolled back over (he didn't seem to hear me when I told him in that super groggy voice that I had to go) at 7:40, I jumped out of bed, threw some clothes on and bolted out the door. I got to class at 8:05. This is a miracle. Just to clarify, it usually takes me AT LEAST 35 minutes to get to class from my apartment because I walk. Well, I power walked today. Seriously.

As for spending, I didn't eat breakfast before class, so I grabbed a breakfast sandwich on campus (I'm such a sucker) and some juice. It's the end of the month, and I'm trying my best not to buy any groceries until I give BF the check for the rent. So basically, besides ramen, we have nothing in the apartment to eat. So maybe we have a little more than ramen, but it's slim pickin's. I about jump on anything that isn't in noodle form at this point.

I also stopped by the University Barnes and noble to look at "Point Park Mom" shirts for xmas... my mom mentioned something about not having any novelty items to show off my university a while back... that's that. I've decided to make the purchase next month, along with the work shoes I'm buying from shoesforcrews.com (thanks for the advice, my fellow blogger!) I did, however, purchase a couple books on the MCAT. I feel it's never too early to start studying and looking into med schools. They were rather pricey, however.

I also stopped at the dollar store on my way home to pick up razors... I'm out and in desparate need Smile

As for the rest of the day, homework, crocheting, relaxing, then work. Talk to yall later!