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MadCast: RedJustice

I know no one uses the blogs anymore, but I really just want to talk about food. It wasn't quite right for the MadCast Cookbook thread, and making a whole new thread about me seemed sort of redundant... SO BLOGS IT IS!

I have a few kitchen goals:

1. Reduce the grocery budget.

2. Build a solid collection of recipes we like.

3. Find ways to do more prep/cooking ahead of time (because more gaming after work).

April Goals Status:

1. Grocery spending down 40% from March.

2. A handful of awesome recipes.

3. Pancakes (I shall elaborate further).

Anyway, referencing goal #3, I have been trying to figure out how to do more prep work on the weekends, etc. I find I get home from work around 5:30, crash for a little while to try to get some introverted re-charge time (not been very successful with that since Prince moved in LOL), and then make dinner. Dinner can be elaborate and always seems to eat into a significant chunk of time that I used to spend gaming back when I made pasta every night. Still, meal planning and freezer cooking and that shit is a bit overwhelming to start from cold turkey, so I decided to go with breakfast first!

I am not a morning person, so I usually just wake up, stumble to the coffee machine, throw on some clothes, and then head out to catch the bus. I know I need to eat breakfast, but we already go through 2-3 gallons of milk a week without cereal, and it's just too much hassle to make eggs or bagels or w/e.

Two weeks ago I made pancakes for a Saturday lunch, and decided to cook up 2 huge batches of them on a whim for freezing. I separated them all out in little sandwich baggies, 3 per serving, and stacked them up in the freezer door. Prince has now had pancakes for breakfast pretty much every day, and is quite happy about it (I do not like syrup, and so refuse to eat pancakes and waffles and french toast mostly). This made me look into other frozen breakfast options though, so I have a May Breakfast plan, which I proudly present to you!

May Pre-made Pancakes:

4.5 cups flour

3.5 TBS baking powder

1 TBS salt

3 TBS sugar

2 TBS vanilla

3.75 cups milk

3 eggs

1 stick butter (melted)

Be warned this needs a super extra large bowl.

Mix all ingredients up together (first dry, then wet), and use a quarter cup scoop to measure out the pancakes. As they come off the griddle, lay them out flat on a cookie sheet (they can be very close together). When the cookie sheet is full, place the sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours. This ensures the pancakes freeze flat, and makes them a lot more easy to store! I find that it is easier if you let the pancakes sit on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes after you pull them out of the freezer so they don't stick to the pan. Baggy them up based on the amount you will need to pull for a full serving (maybe you want to feed a family, but I just need breakfast for 1), press out as much air as possible, and stack them up in your freezer for later. It takes about 90 seconds to reheat in the microwave!

You will have a lot more pancakes than one sheet, so set aside the rest on some plates or pans, and freeze them on the cookie sheet(s) in batches.

May Pre-made Omelets:

24 eggs

1 large onion, chopped

1 TBS crushed garlic

1 cup bell peppers, chopped

1 cup spinach, chopped

1 LB meat of your choice (sausage, crumbled bacon, ground beef, shredded chicken, etc)

Shredded cheese of your choice in the amount your heart desires

Saute up the bell peppers, spinach, onion, and garlic with the spices of your choice. If you want to substitute other veggies in, or use more in place of meat, go for it. Cook the meat separately, and drain excess grease. Add meat to cooked veggies and mix well. Whisk up all the eggs in a large bowl and add salt/pepper.

Portion meat/veggie mixture evenly into muffin tins (you probably want to use liners, but you don't have to). Depending on size of muffin tin, this recipe could make 24 small omelets or 12 larger ones. Add cheese generously over the top. Portion eggs in on top, and use a spoon to give each muffin a stir so all ingredients are equally distributed. Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes. Let cool, and then transfer into freezer bags for storage. After frozen the bags can be stacked on top of each other.

May Pre-made Muffins:

Make the muffins your heart desires (I am still deciding, but I know I'm making Banana Bread muffins) and freeze. Ta-fuckin-da.

My banana bread recipe:

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

.25 tsp salt

1 stick of butter

.75 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

4 large bananas (or 5 small)

Mix butter, brown sugar, eggs, and bananas till well blended. Stir in dry ingredients. Do not beat it senseless by over mixing. Bake at 350F (about 20 minutes in the muffin tins, or about 1 hour in a bread pan).

Grocery List which I pretty much already have:

  • 1 bag of flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Gallon of milk
  • 1 package of butter
  • Bananas
  • 3 cartons of eggs
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • 1 LB meat
  • Cheese

So basically I am looking at about $10 in groceries to buy. I may make strawberry or blueberry muffins but I have those too, so I'm set! I plan on getting all this cooking done by May 3rd and will post some nice pictures of that.

MadCast: RedJustice

The start to my Thursday was unfortunate, to say the least. Having stayed up until 5:00 AM (because stupid), I got up at 6:00 AM and went to catch the bus so I could get to work early. For some reason SEPTA adjusted the bus route for the day but did not post any signs. I stood outside for 30 minutes before I finally caught a bus, and arrived to the office too late to do anything except set my things down and run to meet contractors coming in with a shipment of furtniture. I spent the day labeling furniture for different destinations and handing out submasters and frieght elevator keys. Meanwhile, TeamSpeak was clearing out of everyone but the Australians and I was unable to snag a cup of coffee. Rough start.

Due to the contractors taking longer than anticipated, I missed two trains to the airport and had to grab a taxi an hour before my plane departure so I could get there in time. When I got there my plane was boarding, and I was soon seated-- only to find out that my plane had engine troubles and could not fly. Disgruntled passengers filed back out and across the terminal to another gate, where we were told a different plane would arrive to take us to our destination. Here we waited for about 30 minutes before being told to go back to our old plane because they were going to attempt to fix the engine (this is not an encouraging thing to hear about the plane you will entrusting your life with shortly). After a little while longer they let us back on the plane; suffice to say, the engine held up, but I couldn't tell you anything about the flight because I was asleep before we even taxied onto the runway and I did not wake up until Indianapolis.

Sleiphner was waiting in the Indianapolis airport for me, so we could grab a cab over to the hotel. He also had coffee. This may or may not have been a mistake, depending on who you talk to. I was quite pleased and very hyper.

On the way to the hotel, I called Stank Cobra and AndromedaCat and we all decided we were very hungry and needed to eat dinner. At this point it was around 9 PM. The original plan was to meet at the Ramada (where myself, Sleiphner, and most of the people who had not arrived yet were staying) and eat at the Damon's that was attached. Unfortunately Damon's closes at 10 PM on Thursday nights, and Stank Cobra and AndromedaCat arrived about 15 minutes too late. After a quick discussion, we all agreed upon the Denny's located a mile down the road and set out in AndromedaCat's car.

At Denny's, AndromedaCat and I decided to split a cheeseburger and Reese's Peanutbutter Cup Pancakes (I am allergic to peanuts but DON'T CARE IT WAS DELICIOUS). Our waitress's name was Pooh, and StankCobra and Sleiphner found every opportunity to use it, giggling like 5 year olds. We had a fun time talking, and by the time we were finished with our food it was almost midnight and we decided to order coffee; Yordlebob and Maday were almost there and we wanted to stay up and hang out with them. Poor AndromedaCat had the misfortune to spill her entire cup of coffee on the second sip.

After some sexy times in the Ladies Room-- AndromedaCat confirmed that I got her naked faster than anyone ever has-- we packed up the car and went back to the hotel to wait for Yordlebob and Maday to arrive. However, they were taking forever and I had promised to paint Andromeda's nails, so we soon loaded up the car again to go to CVS. Just as we pulled out of the parking lot, a car with pulled into the lot. Sleiphner had put both names on the room though, so we continued on to CVS to buy our nail polish.

When we returned, Maday was sprawled out in the back corner chair, silently surveying the room, and Yordlebob was standing around waiting for us. Yordlebob confirmed that there was no music during the car ride (though thankfully they stopped for dinner with Munsa, or else the unending silence might have broken him). AndromedaCat and I spent about half of our time locked in restroom whispering about things and painting nails. During this time I believe the men talked about bacon and cheese, but I can't confirm. Meanwhile, Maday continued to silently watch from his chair.

Around 2 AM we began piling onto the bed (this room had one king sized bed), realizing that it could actually hold quite a lot of bodies. Maday did not want to leave his chair, so we spent a solid 30 minutes heckling and badgering him into joining us. Once he did, he was unceremoniously assalted from behind by Stank Cobra and received several unwanted kisses. Tongue almost happened but AndromedaCat did not want to follow that up, so Stank Cobra focused his efforts further... south.

Eventually Maday was too hot and bothered uncomfortable to continue, so he went and got his airmattress and started getting ready for bed. Stank Cobra and AndromedaCat left for their hotel, and we promised to meet up for shenanigans in the morning.

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