Easy Sunday

My shift was cancelled again today, so I had another day off. After a morning spent organizing my finances in Starbucks, I decided to spend a day with my mom and stepdad, Gary. We went out for brunch, took some turkeys down to the food bank at the church and had an adventure to Mt. Baldy. (Did I mention I LOVE it up there?!?)

We hiked the Ice House Canyon trail, which was beautiful on this overcast day. It was so fresh and crisp after yesterday’s rains, yet no snow…(yet!)

IMG_20121118_151654IMG_20121118_151713IMG_20121118_151903

IMG_20121118_152105IMG_20121118_152057IMG_20121118_151926IMG_20121118_152257IMG_20121118_152448Roger and his sticks!IMG_20121118_152505IMG_20121118_152334IMG_20121118_153357IMG_20121118_152637 There was a lot of beautiful foliage this time of year, as well as a lot of fallen logs, brush, which made it all the more beautiful.

IMG_20121118_152418IMG_20121118_152543IMG_20121118_153705IMG_20121118_152821IMG_20121118_153641IMG_20121118_153856IMG_20121118_153916

There was also a really neat abandoned house from the turn of the century (we guessed?) I am obsessed with urban decay, so I had to snap a few pictures!

IMG_20121118_155053IMG_20121118_154728d2

These are some of the better pictures, because my mom’s phone takes better pictures than mine. (Camera envy!) She looks so pretty sitting in the foliage with Roger!

d4d7(and silly pictures of me in the abandoned house/outhouse/laundry-room etc.)

Dinner

So I’ve been making a challenge for dinner for myself. Since we’ve been on a bit of a tight budget, I thought I would contribute by making a challenge to make healthy dinners for 2 under $5. The cost does not have to include things I already have (which is very little, because we don’t have much storage space) but since I’ve been making multiple trips to the grocery store each week anyway, I figure I’d try to work with what’s on sale.

Tonight, I did my version of Eggplant Parmesan

IMG_20121118_213800

IMG_20121118_210739

What I had on hand: Semolina spaghetti (50 cents), the cheese, the egg and parmesan cheese.

What I used:

2 diced tomatoes

1 eggplant (sliced into 1/4” slices)

3 slices of provolone-mozzerella

1 egg

1 bunch of semolina spaghetti

1 jar of Provincial pasta sauce (or puttanesca will do)

1 cup of bread crumbs

3-4 tbsp of olive oil

Boil the water, add spaghetti and boil for 9 minutes (or according to package instructions), drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet, and dip the eggplant slices in the egg and then into the bread crumbs, lightly fry on each side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

Heat pasta sauce on medium-low in a saucepan and add diced tomatoes, for about 2-4 minutes or until bubbly.

Place slices of cheese on the pieces of cooked eggplant and broil until tops of cheese are browned and bubbly.

Serve pasta topped with sauce and eggplant, and done!

*Note: This is my first time ever writing a recipe, ever!  My cooking times might not be absolutely precise (so be nice!).

So that was my challenge for today, after picking up the 98 cent produce packs, I think I did pretty good staying under $5 for a dinner. I might do some more challenges like this and post them and see how that turns out. (Not sure I’m crazy about the whole idea of writing recipes, but I like to cook, so we’ll see!)

I’m taking a more frugal approach to life as of late. I’m reading a lot of books about simplifying and downsizing life, and it’s really taking me out of the rush of consumerism. I’ve had some really bad spending problems in the past, and while “shopping therapy” gave me a bit of a high, I almost immediately feel guilty for spending on material objects. I’ll post more about that tomorrow, because it’s getting pretty late and I have class in the morning!

Goodnight everyone! Enjoy the post! “:D

-Hojo

While You Were Away…

While I’m on the frantic mission to get my blog all caught up, I decided to create a post of “While You Were Away”, because I did take pictures during my hiatus, I just didn’t post them. So here we go!

Hiking

I stopped by on the way home from school last week and made an impromptu hiking trip on Mt. Baldy. (I love that I can do that!) I took some silly pictures, did some meditation, and came home refreshed and invigorated. It was wonderful!

IMG_20121105_140343IMG_20121105_140547

IMG_20121105_142806IMG_20121105_142759IMG_20121105_140417

Star Wars

Kurt and I started playing this Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures board game. I have to admit, it’s pretty fun! I’m always the Dark Side! Mwahahahaha!

photo: Amazon

IMG_20121104_222344IMG_20121104_222429

IMG_20121104_222441
(okay forgive the instagram-esque pictures, I really really need a new camera *tears*)

Food:

I went a lot of places and created a lot of things. Here’s proof. (Haha!)

IMG_20121105_154739IMG_20121108_104710
Veggie burgers! My new fav!                        …and coffee 😉

IMG_20121105_212202IMG_20121115_083035
This is a noodle bowl I made topped with fried egg. Wonderful! (…and more coffee!)

IMG_20121114_121202
Shrimp Salad Sandwich and Broccoli cheese soup from Panera.

Okay, I had a lot of Starbucks this week because, well, I can’t resist the silly red cups. ❤

IMG_20121108_103339Although someone else had a different idea…

Also, I found a reason to stop complaining about the hot weather.

IMG_20121115_062058

There we go!

That’s basically my catch-up for the past couple weeks. I’m going to be picking my gym routine back up this week or next, because I did need rest this week.

See you all tomorrow!

-Hojo

P.S. Welcome to my new domain! I’m ecstatic!!! http://www.gallonofcoffee.com