Tuesday, March 19, 2013

day 135 (and menu monday)

We're supposed to be into our new house by April 15.  I'm probably the only one that finds it funny.  Despite not being a tax accountant, there is just something about Tax Day no matter what type of accounting you do.

Anyway, it hit me this weekend that it's only four weeks away.  In some ways, I'm like "Four weeks?  Still?".  And in other ways, I'm all "Holy moly.  Four weeks?!  There is still so much to do... and pack."

We've been living as minimally as possible these past six months, so I'm hesitant to pack up too much right away.  As I was pondering what I could start putting into boxes, I realized there was an easy and obvious start.  The freezer and pantry.  Why even pack them?  Let's eat the food up!  Besides being less to move, it should save us some cash, which will be especially nice with the double bills we've been paying lately (rent and construction loan, double electric bills, double water bills, storage unit, PO box, etc.).

I spent about an hour this weekend taking an inventory of our cupboards and freezer.  And then I made my weekly meal plan based upon what we had on hand.  We're still going to need to buy fresh fruits and veggies, milk, eggs, yogurt, bread, etc, but I'm hoping all of the meat and most of the non-perishables will come from our existing stash for the next few weeks.

Besides the items above, we also have the staples -- oils, spices, flour, sugars, condiments, etc.  And our freezer was actually stocked with quite a bit more meat than I realized.  I love good surprises like that!

After careful review, I came up with the following plan for this week:

Sunday: Chicken Parmesan
Monday: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia (based upon Broiled Tilapia Parmesan - but modified to use panko, bread crumbs, cayenne pepper and Old Bay seasoning), Yellow Rice, Mixed Veggies
Tuesday: Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Best Pancakes Ever
Wednesday: Chicken Strips (based upon Simple Southern-Style "Unfried" Chicken), homemade Mac 'n Cheese
Thursday: Pork Chops, Veggies, Rice
Friday: Frozen Pizza
Saturday: Crockpot Italian Chicken (chicken breasts, Italian dressing packet, water - on low for 6 hours - served with mozzarella cheese on a toasted bun)

We had to pick up a few things, but the majority of the ingredients came from the pantry/fridge/freezer.  One week down...three more to go!  I have a few more ideas for the coming weeks, but I'd love any input on some of your favorite recipes that use the ingredients above.  Possibilities include: Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, chiles), Granny's Swiss Steak (cubed steak, onion soup mix, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, egg noodles), Chili (chili diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes, ground beef, tomato sauce), Baked Mostaccioli (pasta, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese), Spinach Stuffed Shells (jumbo shells, creamed spinach, mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce) and The Best Pork Chop You Will Ever Taste (Ranch dressing, breadcrumbs, Italian dressing packet, parmesan cheese, pork chops).  Now - it's your turn.  Do share!

In house related news, our trim was painted last week at some point - maybe Thursday or Friday (day 130 or 131).  The most exciting part was that the carpenters were out on Saturday to install our master bathroom vanity.  Of course, it didn't go off without a hitch.

I've been in love with this vanity that I found on Houzz since the day I first spied it.

It's beautiful, right?  Our cabinet supplier was able to design something very similar, but once the assembly started, we realized it was going to be about 15 inches too small.  We had used our builder's cabinet plans as a starting point when we met with the cabinet supplier we ended up using.  It turns out, the plans were based upon an older floor plan, when the vanity was on a different wall.  And, while Hubby and I double checked all of the kitchen measurements, we never checked the master bath.  Aye.

After a bit of a panic, I finally agreed with the idea of inserting another 15" cabinet in between the center two banks of drawers.

We debated between adding another 3-drawer bank, installing a pull out trash can behind a large door or just doing open shelving.  My cousin did a rough Photoshop mark-up of the 3-drawer option and the open shelves option and we ultimately decided on the open shelves.  The cabinet order was placed yesterday and we'll hopefully be able to wrap this up once and for all next week.  Well, after I finally decide on hardware.  Any suggestions?

Additionally, after a panicked call to our granite supplier on Saturday, we were grateful to learn that our granite slab is 116" -- which leaves enough room to accommodate the new 110" vanity.  Thank goodness!

The carpenter was also able to work on installing the wainscoting around the tub, as well as the crown moulding on the kitchen cabinets.  The small details make such a difference!

[wainscoting tub surround]
[Merillat Tolani - Maple Chiffon cabinets with added crown moulding]
[Kashmir White granite - in the daylight!]
[Merillat Tolani - Maple Chiffon cabinets with added crown moulding]
[drop zone - Merillat Tolani in Maple Sable]
We should receive our new wall oven cabinet this Thursday and I'm hoping the new fireplace mantle is slated to be delivered this week as well.  Did I mention the current one is much too small?

Each day that goes by, I think I get a little more anxious.  But we're in the home stretch.  And I'm so grateful.


  1. I LOVE the vanity!

    Pantry inventory is something i should definitely do! If we ever build, I really want a walk in pantry! I just can't see what we have :(

    1. Thank you! I'm so exited to see it completely done - with the new middle cabinet and granite and hardware and pretty mirrors... makes me daydream!

      And, yes, I'm loving the pantry inventory! I've tried it in the past and not done a good job of keeping up with it. I think it's different this time because it's become somewhat of a fun challenge to get rid of things. :)

  2. Wow I LOVE your kitchen granite! It really makes your wall color and cabinets pop. Such a perfect combination!

    BTW, great idea on having thing food inventory sheets. I definitely need those for nights when I work late and have to throw dinner together quickly. "Hmmm ... what do I have in the house?" Know what I mean?