Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Once-A-Month Cooking: Round #3

For this round we had gotten a little bored eating the same recipes that I did for rounds 1 and 2, so I opted to try a few new recipes from my book and ventured to the other meal plans to experiment. I even got A.R. to agree to try a fish dish with shrimp in it (he isn't a huge fish fan). I also wanted to try to make the recipes a little bit healthier, so any recipe that called for ground beef I mixed in half ground beef and half ground turkey. I've tried about half of the meals so far that have half ground beef, half ground turkey and they taste just as delicious.

For this round I cooked a total of 21 recipes and did most of them on my day off during the week (Wednesday) and split the rest up on a Tuesday evening with a nursing break in the middle to put M down for the night. It wasn't too bad or nearly as exhausting as doing it when I was 9 months pregnant, but I still think cooking all the recipes in one day would be a bit much for me. I did the shopping on a Sunday afternoon at just my local grocery store when it would be less crowded. I think I have the grocery list making and shopping down to science as I do the list based on where the items are located in the store together. It cuts the shopping time in half.

These are the recipes I made during Round #3 (feel free to comment if you'd like any of them emailed to you):
Beef Recipes-
Green Chili Enchiladas (a favorite from round #1)
Baked Beans & Hamburger
Rosie's Meatloaf (love this meatloaf recipe even with ground turkey)
Marinated Flank Steak
Beef Goulash
Playoff Burgers
Farmer's Casserole
Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf
Ravioli Soup

Chicken Recipes-
Herbed Chicken
Chicken Packets (Yummy, great for kids, can be served hot or cold, also good for lunches)
Chicken Tetrazzini (a favorite from the 1st round)
Lemon Chicken
Chicken & Rice Pilaf (another favorite from the 1st round- it is a little salty)
Cranberry Chicken
Karen's BBQ Chicken
Chicken Cacciatore

Pork Recipes-
Stuffed Pork Chops (one of our favorites!)
Caraway Pot Roast (Delicious and easy to do in the crock pot)
Slow-Cooker Fall Pork Roast

Fish Recipe-
Fiesta Shrimp (I was not a fan of this recipe, but it was ok)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Worst Blogger Ever

How has it been a full month since I posted a blog post?! I promise to try and be a better blogger moving forward...I may even try to do the 30 Day Blog Diary starting on Friday (Oct. 1st!). Why have I been on a hiatus? Most of it was because I was studying to take the first exam as part of earning my ARe (said: "A", "R", "E") designation for work. It is called an Associate in Reinsurance and is basically a designation that means I get to put the letters behind my name at work and it'll look good on my resume if I remain in the insurance industry. My boss wanted me to go for the designation back in 2008, but I was still in grad school and didn't have the time. Now that I'm done with school, I told her I would pursue it.

I was so nervous to take the first exam as it's been over a year since I did any studying (can you believe it's been that long since I finished grad school?!) and the exam was given at one of those Prometric Testing centers. I have to say that the testing center ended up being more intimidating than the exam itself. I had to empty my pockets in front of the testing staff on my way in and out of the testing room, turn my cell phone off in front of them, keep my purse in a locker, and keep my ID on my desk at all times. I had two hours to take the exam and I used every second of them. Some of the questions had tricky wording, but miraculously I passed! I got my "Pass" grade immediately and then found out a score range two days later via my email from the AICPCU.

I was so relieved I passed that I had to contain myself in the quiet testing room. I did fist bump a teeny bit and got the biggest smile on my face as I left with my scrap paper and wood pencils Prometric provided. I'm sure the security cameras in the testing room got a kick out of that.

Now, I have to pass 3 more exams at the testing center, an ethics course, and take a course that involves reading articles and case studies and responding to questions on-line through the AICPCU website to finish. I hope to take another exam before the end of the year when the next testing window (there are 4 test windows a year that run for 2 months a piece- the next one starts Oct. 15th and ends Dec. 15th) opens up and hopefully take the remaining three parts throughout next year. I definitely want to be done before we decide to expand our family and try for a sibling for M.