Slicing and Cooking and Freezing — Oh My!

Not gonna lie. I thought I was adjusting super well to Texas, but it just took a little while for the newness to wear off and the loneliness to set in. I guess that comes with moving from a four-person-two-dog household with crazy work schedules to a single bedroom apartment with no roommates.

In all honesty, I think I’m adjusting extremely well to Texas, but maybe not so readily to living alone. The change from CA to TX has been an interesting one, to be sure! I’ve made friends at school, but it’s not the same as the longstanding friendships that I had with people in California. I think that the high value I place on older relationships is the ISFJ in me coming out. That isn’t to say that I don’t value my new relationships! I just miss the old ones very much.

Today, Friday, is my favorite day. I have a morning class, and then I’m free for the rest of the day! I went grocery shopping last night (eek! Bye bye, bank account!) and stocked up on a lot of things I needed. I also found a pretty good deal on ground beef, so I grabbed that. I spent this evening scrambling most of it with diced onions and seasoning (Italian seasoning, chili powder, and garlic powder), which gave me about 8 Cups of scrambled beef to use in casseroles and other dinners, and I also had enough to make mini meatloafs (one of my favorite comfort foods!) so I did that. I used this recipe as a base for the meatloaf, but to be honest, I didn’t want to put milk in my meatloaf and my mother never made meatloaf with cheese as far as I can remember. Isn’t it funny how we do things the way mom did them?

Mini Meatloaves (original recipe from allrecipes.com,link above)

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats 4 slices of whole wheat bread, slightly dry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground beef [I fudged this. I think I used about 1.5#]
  • I added 1/3 of a flat yellow onion to help bulk it up
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • I also added in about 2T white vinegar to the sauce. I would have preferred a different vinegar, but what you have is what you have.

What my grocery trips have been teaching me is that no matter how frugal I try to be, food is expensive. So, I’ve become a HUGE fan of the Ziplock Vacuum Seal baggies. It’s really fun to suck the air out, but I’ve been happy with how well they’ve performed. As much as I wish I could, I can’t get through a box of berries or a bag of grapes before they go bad, so I’ve taken to freezing food to keep it longer. While I was at the store, I found avocados, mango, and strawberries, so I’ve put those to “faux-flash freeze” in the freezer, and then I’ve put them in my vacuum bags to preserve them for the morning (it’s coming! I hope..) where I’ll made a fruit smoothie for breakfast. I’ve got mashed bananas in the freezer, too, but in regular baggies because I use them pretty frequently.

I tried this recipe last night for banana bread. It uses whole wheat, honey, and applesauce, no butter, no refined sugar, no white flour. I made it for someone else, but I did eat an end slice when I was slicing it to make sure it was cooked through (and I was being nice. No one likes getting a banana bread loaf unsliced when they don’t have access to knives!!), and I thought it was really different. I’m not used to cooking with honey as a sweetener, but it was good. The bread was denser than “normal” banana bread, but still had a nice, full flavor. We’ll see what Dr. R says about it. 🙂

I had the delightful pleasure of having tea and baking cookies with the wife of the man who leads the college group at the church I’m now attending. Our personalities are very similar, and it was such a great comfort to spend time away from my apartment and campus and do something like that. We talked for a long time about different things, most of them pretty light, and when the little one woke up from her nap we had fun with playdough. While she was still waking up, I got to snuggle her for a few minutes. It felt so nice to have a toddler in my arms. I’m not looking for my MRS degree, but I do look forward to having kids of my own someday. I want to be a mother.

Phew. It’s been a long day. Time to go eat some meatloaf. 🙂

I am settling in. Slowly but surely.  And I’m very happy. 🙂

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