Saturday, April 26, 2008

many thanks to my sous chef

good news: my dear husband is getting many cooking lessons this week! bad news: it's because i'm sick and lazy. i have a allergy/cold one-two punch that's combining to make life fairly unpleasant. sorry there hasn't been much cooking around here lately, but i don't think i've made a meal for a week. wow. i have, however, been medicating my sore throat with lots of ice cream. that's good news.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

trust me on this.

the budget works. okay, the budget has taken a bit of a hit this month, i'll confess. there's a week left in the month, and i've already sent out the "don't use the debit card without prior authorization, pretty please" warning to my dear husband. i'm embarrassed to admit that the grocery budget isn't looking too rosy at this point, either...i took out a larger chunk, thought i would do one big shopping trip to stock up, and ended up getting a cold and blowing money on comfort food instead. my incredibly organized, frugal shopping adventure didn't exactly materialize, but somehow the cash ended up spent. siiiigh. all this is to say: i'm no saint, but at least we've got a plan. meet the budget. this is a fictional version of what we use to keep track of our monies, because it would be really creepy if we told the internets how much we make and spend. all you have to do to make it your own is track what you spend for a month, put it in the spent column, and see how you're doing. spend more than you took in? whoops. just about right? keep tracking. under? geez, you're amazing. i update ours every day or every other day, and it just takes a second. when i want to see if we have money left at the end of the month for another tank of gas, or for a ticket to a fun event, i make changes to the "budgeted" column to "move funds around." no shame in that. the budget is not your boss. YOU'RE the boss here. as long as it stays under what i make, that's fine. we have a unique situation, as well, in that my income is steady, but my better half's is not. we just don't budget for his. we separate it out into three categories, unless another big expense has popped up: savings plan (including paying down debt), travel fund, and drum fund. your priorities might be different. very few of you need to buy new mallets all the time, i'm sure, but you get the idea. if you have more regular income, you can put things like this into the budget. i'm no financial expert, but this works for me. try it, you'll like it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

we (heart) brunch.

sunday morning brunch is the best, isn't it? you can take your time, eat something a little decadent if you like, and no one has to wake up early. that last part is my favorite. heaven knows i'll sleep in whenever given the chance.

baguette french toast with raspberry-mango sauce

i especially love brunch now that i have 4-hour practices to carbo-load for on sundays. if you can't eat much past 1:00 or so, might as well get seconds of french toast or pancakes, right? personally, i'm partial to french toast. it's easy to make with whatever bread is on hand, it's rich, but not TOO rich*, and easy to make variations. baked french toast prepared the night before is one of our favorites. what's your favorite sunday brunch food? *paula deen was making french toast with croissants and heavy cream the other day. that, my friends, is too rich.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

first farmer's market of the season

hoooray! yesterday was the first outdoor market of the season. the winter market definitely has its charms, but the first outdoor market means SPRING! and spring means asparagus! and peas! and all sorts of wonderful fresh, green things we haven't seen all winter. of course, it's early, so there wasn't much produce selection yesterday. almost nothing that one couldn't have gotten at the winter market the week before, though i did see green garlic for the first time. and, like a jerk, i didn't buy any. kicking myself for that now - it smelled wonderful. ah, well...there's always next week. the gorgeous weather (i was warm walking home in a cardigan) meant there was a great turnout. much more so than the clammy weather of one of the early market days last year... ...does this mean i've been blogging here for a year? wow, looking back, i started this blog a year ago tomorrow. i have learned a LOT. i hope someone who's passed this way on their path through the internets has learned something, too.