March 23rd – “A newly restricted budget may have you thinking differently [about how you cook].”

Last weekend, I went to see my tarot reader. She gave me a short look ahead at my next three months:

April – Focus on personal finances

May – Focus on taking care of myself because I’ll feel worn out and tired

June – Focus on completing the special project I’m working on

April is coming up fast, so I need to be conscious about my finances now. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have no budget. That doesn’t mean that I’m rich, have unlimited funds, or irresponsible about money. No, I just don’t spend a lot and don’t care to buy crap I don’t really want or need. With so much “good” advertising around now, it can be so hard to make that distinction! My birth chart even confirmed this and said that I’m responsible with money and good at saving. That doesn’t mean that there’s no room for improvement.

I have a friend who eats very healthy and modified her diet recently to be a little healthier. She feels better than ever! My financial challenge is just like that. I have healthy spending habits, but could do a little more to make it better.

My biggest expenses are rent, commuting, car payments, and food. I don’t want to work more, so the only way to increase my income is to cut my expenses. I can’t do much about the first three things, so I’ll work on my grocery budget.

I don’t go out to eat often and LOVE cooking. If I could, I would make everything from scratch. Yes, I totally want to churn my own butter! I’ll try cheesemaking first. If it weren’t so expensive, I would have already done it. It’s very satisfying to eat something that I’ve made. These experiments don’t always turn out well, but I still like trying. Remember, you haven’t failed yet until you stop trying!

For the upcoming month, I’ll stop purchasing any new spices, grains, or special ingredients. There are plenty of all of these things fully stocked in my pantry. In grains alone I have 8 varieties (quinoa, barley, brown rice, black rice, basmati rice, sushi rice, wheat berries, rye berries) and have even more pasta,  beans, and flour. I don’t need to add anything else to it. I bet I could survive on the dry goods I have stored in my house for months!

My horoscope also wisely advises me to, “Be shrewd with the cheese and don’t go crazy with the unsalted butter. The last thing you want to be stingy with, however, is fruit.” Oh, how I love cheese and butter! But I love fruit more!

I’m ready for you, April!

February 20th – “Spoil yourself: it’s all about being totally selfish and gluttonous today.”

 

The only diet I believe is in cooking my own meals. As long as I’m actively involved in the process, I don’t eat mindlessly. Many people believe that they don’t have time to cook and I think it’s just a myth. Maybe I’m not picky eater because most of my meals take 15 minutes or less to prepare. It takes me much longer to drive/walk to a restaurant, order, and wait for my food to arrive.

Tonight’s dinner only took 30 minutes to make and I didn’t have to go out into the rain. That’s a win-win for me!

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Arugula Salad

A bunch of arugula

Some shredded carrots, radish, and beets

A few slices of avocado

Fresh squeezed lemon juice

 

Directions: throw everything together

 

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Rack of Lamb

Salt and pepper to taste (for searing)

Some olive oil for the pan

Some mustard

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon oregano

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

½ teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Heat olive oil on pan and sear lamb on both sides (about 2 minutes per side).
  3. Take off pan and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Then slather on some mustard on both sides.
  4. Combine olive oil, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper in bowl. Then slather the mixture on both sides of the lamb.
  5. Cover bones with foil.
  6. By this time the oven should be done preheating. Place the lamb into oven in middle rack and cook for about 15 – 17 minutes. While the lamb is cooking, I use this time to cook any other sides I want.
  7. Take lamb out of oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

 

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