We had snow on the ground for 8 entire days — all of last week and spilling into this week. Which means it was what is considered “very cold” here in these parts of TN (and honestly, 2 degrees is super cold… though I know some places have been seeing temperatures of something like negative 37, so 2 degrees sounds balmy!!).
When there is snow and ice and cold, everything shuts down here because we don’t have the equipment to clear off all the ice and snow. So, our kids were off school all last week! We stayed home and did lots of cozy things like baking and reading and watching movies/shows (Jesse and I finished watching the most recent season of The Amazing Race! Have you seen it! We really enjoyed it and were rooting for all three finalist pairs!).
My First Attempts at Sourdough Bread
One of the things I was most excited about was actually making sourdough bread and it TURNING OUT! I have been so scared off by sourdough bread for years. It felt so time intensive and scientific and I just was sure I would fail at it miserably.
But I found this account called Acts of Sourdough in December and I watched her step-by-step videos (I’m very much a visual learner!) and I was like, “I really think I can do this!”
So I ordered the starter from her and followed the directions. And, get this, my starter started bubbling and then it doubled in size and then it tripled in size! I was so excited that it was actually working and it wasn’t at all as hard as I’d envisioned!
I had set the goal to learn how to make sourdough bread as a yearly goal since I figured it would take me lots of tries to get a good loaf of bread. To my shock, my very first loaf turned out quite beautifully and tasted delicious!
I’ve since made three more loaves and each has gotten progressively better! I honestly cannot believe this! In fact, I’m feeling so encouraged by this whole experience that I ordered a Kombucha Kit and a Water Kefir kit and am determined to learn how to make those next.
People on instagram are joking that this is my Ma Ingalls year. I’m not really sure what to call it, but we’ll just say that I’m loving it and may even start sharing some sourdough recipes here because it’s so inexpensive (just flour, water, and salt!) and SO, SO easy!! Plus, the bread is just amazing!
I made Sourdough Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins with some of the sourdough discard — and I had been outside a lot that morning, so I was still wearing my coat and hat while I was still thawing out! 🙂
If you’re new here, I don’t do a rigid meal plan most weeks; I usually just make sure we have enough on hand for 8-10 different dinners and then I plan that day what we’re having based upon the time I have and what sounds good.
I know that this system doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s worked pretty well for this season. I also make sure to have back-up emergency dinner options in the freezer (chicken nuggets/strips + frozen pizza) so that if I just don’t feel like cooking at all or run out of time, we still have options that are much less expensive than takeout.
If you are the type who needs a structured meal plan and you feel stuck in a rut, check out my 10 Weeks of Money-Saving Menus for some of our very favorite inexpensive and easy recipes — all done for you, complete with grocery lists! (And you can also download my FREE 60 Meals to Make Instead of Getting Takeout list for some great last-minute dinner ideas.)
What We Ate This Past Week
Monday: Sourdough Pancakes + Mac & Cheese
Tuesday (the kids were gone at friends’ houses): Jesse went out to drop the kids off and ran by the store and picked up a Rotisserie Chicken + Caprese for us to have for dinner.
Wednesday: Leftover Chicken and Twice-Baked Potatoes
Thursday: Sausage and Potatoes and Banana muffins
Friday: Chicken Barley Soup, Sourdough bread, and apple slices
Saturday: Fend For Yourself
What I Bought at the Grocery Store
Because of the snow, I wasn’t able to do my usual grocery pick-up order (they were under-staffed and you had to wait at least 4 days to do a pick up order), so I ended up trying grocery delivery. I paid about $20 extra to have someone shop and deliver groceries (that was for the fee + tip), which honestly wasn’t too bad. I was also very impressed that they didn’t mess anything up on my order and I got everything I ordered!
I stocked up on cereal, shampoo, and sausage and was excited about the deal on strawberries ($1.99 with the digital coupon — though they didn’t look that great!).
My total — including tax, fees, and the tip for delivery — was $154.84
I also got this hot deal off of Amazon! They were on a 50% off deal last week — making all these around $9 shipped!