Vacation Ends, Grocery Budget Game Begins.

This weekend wrapped up the annual Yockey Florida vacation. In the midst of vacationing,I managed to help move two people and buy a car!!! Whoop whoop! 🙂


No more granny mobile for me. Very exciting!
Before I bought my new to me car, I had lunch at Grass Root Organic Restaurant. We got the pad thai (raw and vegan):

And the ginger chick-un:

Both dishes were incredible. Very flavorful. You don’t need to be vegan or even vegetarian to enjoy the food at Grass Roots Organic Restaurant.

Later Saturday evening I met up with my family at Bahama Breeze. I couldn’t believe how busy it was. We had over an hour wait :(. We found a table outside and enjoyed listening to the steel drum player. They have the best jerk shrimp appetizer:

It comes with warm cuban bread to sop up the yummy sauce with. we also got the tomato flatbread:

For dinner, I got the house salad with tropical vinegriatte and my sister split her salmon with me:

Everything was wonderful.

Sunday evening was my family’s last in Florida. So we headed out to Whisky Joe’s to celebrate. The food was great and the sunset beautiful:

For appetizers we got the calamari:

And honey bbq wings:

For dinner I got the blackened fish tacos:

I only ate one. I ave been eating a lot lately. I’m stuffed. Now dad’s back in Ohio. I”ll miss you dad. I’m already looking forward to next summer:

Now it’s back to Monday. I’m actually not dreading vacation being over and getting settled into my routine. There are a lot of changes coming my way and I have a lot to do to get everything prepared. And with getting a new car as one of these changes, I thought it would be fun for me to do a little grocery budget challenge game. For the month of August, I challenge myself to spend $50 per week at the grocery store. This includes all necessities such as toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste… etc, and cat food and supplies. Here’s what I got today:

-2 bags of butter lettuce
-one bag of spinach
-oatmeal
-coconut water
-milk
-6 cans of kitty food
-kitty treats
-laundry detergent
-rotisserie chicken
-yellow squash
-zucchini
-mushrooms
-3 bananas
-one lemon
-one lime
-cucumber
-one russet potato
-frozen mangoes
-Greek yogurt
-raspberry elegance cake (aka best dessert eva!)

For a grand total of… $50.68. Not bad, not bad!

For dinner, I sliced up that potato and sautéed it with some of the mushrooms in a little olive oil, then added some of the rotisserie chicken, and served it with a side salad of butter lettuce and tomatoes (that I already had on hand):

I just can’t let myself go back to the grocery store this week. That will be the real challenge.

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Holy Vegetabley!

Today I was needing vegetables big time. I did try to squeeze some into my weekend, but for the most part it was eating out, and indulgence.  Here’s a summary of my weekend.  Friday night out to Outback Steakhouse:

A Bloomin Onion and wings (their wings are really good).

After a few wings and a handful of onions,I only had a couple bites of this steak and some fries, and I was uncomfortably full.

Saturday I set up for a wedding and a graduation from electrical school party.  Had a PB&J on the way:

I don’t usually get to see the cake.  I’m gone before the wedding.  But  I came back and stayed for the wedding:

I was able to have a piece too.  But that and the dinner from La Septima escaped my camera.  It was roast pork, black beans and yellow rice and a salad.  Very good.  Cake was white cake with chocolate chips from Alessi’s Bakery in Tampa.

Cross Creek Ranch has 2 event venues.  The Carriage House Stable where the wedding was, and the French Country Inn Bed and Breakfast where the graduation party was.  The venues are far enough apart that they were going on at the same time without a clue to the other:

I didn’t get to try this cute cake.

I got home late and crawled into bed.  I woke up refreshed and ready to enjoy a day off.  It is rare that the man and I both have a weekend day off together.  We made the most of it by starting out with a bike ride around our quaint little Plant City, Florida.  We went to Publix and picked up some kitty food and an apple.  Then stopped at Subway for a very early lunch:

I got a kid’s size turkey sub on wheat.  It’s just enough for me and only $2.49!  After lunch we peddled to CVS to pick up a prescription.  My basket was getting full at that point, so we headed home to unload.  Then back to downtown.  Downtown Plant City is very cute and quaint with antique shops, restaurants like The Whistle Stop Cafe, McCall Park which would be a perfect place for a Saturday Market, (anyone know how I could go about creating this?) and my favorite Corner Store.  Unfortunately, most everything is closed on Sunday’s, so I will definitely do this adventure again on a Saturday.

After our adventure, we came home, showered and headed to Tampa to see the fam.  On the way, I snacked on this:

A honey crisp apple and Justin’s peanut butter.  Hung out at my sister’s for a while then went out to eat at Bahama Breeze.  We all shared some appetizers:

Habanero wings rock!

Giant onion rings.

Firecracker shrimp.

And for my dinner I got a much needed salad:

I also had a little of the man’s chicken dish:

Stuffed to the gills again.

So here it is Monday, and while I enjoyed the weekend’s fare, I do not enjoy how it makes me feel.  Too much fried food!  I started my day off with a small Cliff Bar (I was still not hungry).  Then I went to the gym, bank, grocery store, Halloween store, and came home and got to cookin.

I only want veggies right now, so I got to choppin up a plethora for a hearty veggie chili:

In the saute pan with a little olive oil salt and pepper goes:

-2 carrots diced.

-2 stalks celery diced,

-1 yellow pepper diced

-1 green pepper diced,

-1/2 red onion diced

-1/2 yellow onion diced

-3 cloves chopped garlic

Season it up with 2 T of chili powder, 1 T cumin, a pinch of cayenne, a pinch of red pepper flakes.

In the meantime, boil a box of chicken broth with 2 dried red chilis.  When tender, take it for a spin in the blender.  Add can of green chilis, can of diced tomatoes with juices, can of kidney beans (rinsed), one chili in adobo,1 roasted sweet dumpling squash,  and sautéed veggies.  I also added about a cup of “Harvest Soup” I got from Amish country.  Basically It has red, green, and yellow lentils, and wild rice in it.  I also added about 3 cups of kale.  Add water as needed, I used about 3 cups.  This baby is loaded with nutrients.

Also on the domestic front:  A pan of pumpkin baked oatmeal.  This is probably the best baked thing I’ve ever made.  It tastes like pumpkin pie (not quite as sweet) with a cobbler topping.

It is soooooo good! I can’t wait to eat it for breakfast all week. I used Katie’s recipe as my inspiration but instead of the bananas and apple on the bottom, I used a mock pumpkin pie.  I modified the recipe on the can of Libby’s by only using a third of the sugar, and instead of evaporated milk, I filled the pumpkin can half full of milk and added Greek yogurt.

A great day to start the week!