Sunday, July 21, 2013

Balancing Act

Whoo!  I'm coming down from a string of long working days--wrapping up with a fourteen-hour day on Thursday.  I'm only now starting to feel like a person today after that.  So now that I'm well rested and have a day off, of course I decided to make an epic shopping/couponing run!  Five stores, three-and-a-half-hours, and a whole car load of good deals.

After the shopping trip, it was a bit late in the afternoon (or is 5:00 considered "prevening"?) so I decided we would have a "convenience dinner" with one of the products I got a good deal on:  I prepared a Velveeta Cheesy Skillets meal (Beef Stroganoff), which I served us half of and put the other half in the freezer, and then I made a side dish out of canned asparagus spears and my Cheaty Cheese Sauce that I just invented tonight:

Jessie's Cheaty Cheese Sauce
Cheez Whiz (around 1 tbsp per person)
Heavy whipping cream

  1. In a small bowl, warm Cheez Whiz in microwave. (Try not to boil it over like I did.) 
  2. Add heavy cream in small amounts, stirring after each addition, until the sauce is the desired consistency. 
  3. Use microwave to warm sauce back up if necessary. 

I know it really wasn't gourmet fare or anything, but my sweetie and I agreed it was really good.  I think this type of "semi-homemade" meal might help me find my new balance between having a job and still enjoying the kitchen; it's the type of thing I could put together even on a work night (assuming I actually got home at a usual hour), and I think it's better and more fulfilling than just bringing home take-out--not to mention significantly less expensive.  As a side bonus, these convenience-food items seem to be the kind of thing you're most likely to find a juicy coupon stack on, which means that shopping for them can be rather fun too.

So, while it still doesn't feel quite the same as a meal where I prep all the produce and ingredients "from scratch", I think it's going to be a good compromise for a lot of occasions--something easy enough to do after a day of work, but where I can still feel like I have a hand in the preparation and a chance to work some of my magic on it, even if it is just a little bit.

Sometimes a little bit of magic can go a long way, right?

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