I’ve been following 5$ dinners for a while now.

At long last, I’ve decided to try one of their cosco menu plans. Having just gone to Cosco and bought an inordinate amount of food, step one is to compare the shopping lists.

The first thing I noticed was the amounts. Since the menu is written using pounds and ounces, and I buy in grams and kilograms, I probably should have paid a lot more attention to the conversions. The prices were different, and even thought I might have found it cheaper elsewhere, I bought what I could at Cosco.

I made a few substitutions based on our tastes (1/2 the tuna, twice the chicken, no rolls, and older cheddar) and of course bought extra (* = not bought at Cosco).

1 8 pack of 16 oz cans diced tomatoes $7.79
1 6 pack of 30 oz chicken stock $10.79
1 6 pack of 6 oz light tuna in water $8.59
1 9 pack of 1 pound mixed whole wheat pasta $6.99
1 large pineapple $2.99
2 6 mixed peppers $13.98
2 1 pound bags of gold potatoes $5.00
1 5 pound bag of organic baby carrots $6.99
2 1 pound blocks of cheddar cheese $11.76 *
1 5 pound bag Vidallia onions $5.59
1 2.5 pound bag of organic frozen corn $3.97 *
1 2.5 pound bag organic frozen green beans $2.49 *
2 18 count eggs $3.69
1 20 oz container sour cream $2.77 *
1 5-count Chicken and Turkey Sausages $13.99
1 4.62089 lbs ground beef $14.02
1 3.791951 lbs package boneless, skinless chicken breast $24.19
15 9 grain tortillas $3.99
3 sandwich loaves $7.98
1 4.3849944 lbs package boneless, skinless chicken thighs $23.25 *
1 2 liters 1% milk $3.97 *
1 2 count real lemon juice (2 l) $3.89 *
1 box of 12 mini-cups rice puddings $5.89 *
1 24 ¼ lb hamburgers (preformed) $17.99 *
2 bags 598g popcorn chips $9.98 *
1 box 36 granola bars $11.79 *
1 bag 1kg cabbage sesame salad $5.99 *
1 250g cottage cheese $1.15 *
1 150g package frozen ready risotto $2.00 *
1 roast chicken $7.77 *

The plan for this week is a bit … overwhelming, with lots of cooking starting tomorrow. The menu should do me 3-4 weeks. I’ll have to buy a bit of fresh vegetables each week, but that’s par for me. I decided to try 1/2 tuna, 1/2 chicken – and rather than go with tinned, I went with chicken thighs instead.

Cross your fingers for me.

The madness starts tomorrow.


Inspired by this.

  • Food and water. OK – really bars with pb and/or chocolate, of if that’s not possible pb and apples, and tea (hot or cold).
  • Shelter. A sweater and a towel. The sweater for when it gets too cold, the towel for when it gets too hot. Eww. No. When I go into the bathroom and wash my face – I prefer the feel of a towel over paper. Bonus: wrap your near-frozen water bottle in the towel. Keeps the bottle’s sweat from damaging things in your bag and provides you with a cool (as in cold) towel as needed.
  • Empty bag. At least one for swag & purchases.
  • Wallet. With actual cash along side all the magical cards (with very limited magical abilities) that let me buy things I want so I can fill the empty bag (not really a goal, but some years it seems like one).
  • Medicines. The typical kinds that I need to keep relatively sane and mostly healthy. I’d rather add my camera to this list than medicines, but if I had to choose – most people would insist on the meds.

I want to be eloquent.
To use words that not just inspire, but confound, confuse, and cause you to question.
To speak with such conviction that you nod in agreement, before you realize what you are doing.
But stop.
And then question both your action and the thoughts that followed it.

I want to be elegant.
To dress in styles not-quite in fashion, but recognizable from there.
To be polite without obsequiousness.
To be welcoming without fawning.
To be welcomed without faking.

I want to be graceful.
Nary a stumble, mis-step, mis-word or mis-deed done in place of what should be.
To float, rather than walk.
To dance, instead of run.
To know what to do and how to do it in every situation that presents itself.

I want to create art in everything I do.
To lay a table of food before you so good it makes you weep to see it destroyed, and laugh as you taste it.
To draw what I see and through it show you a point of view you’ve never understood before.
To write with such clarity that there is no misunderstandings between me and my critics.

I do not want to be judged.
But we are all judges and so we are all judged.
When you see me, you recognize me.
But remember that you do not know me.
And I.
I will try to remember that I do not know you either.

When life gives you a fridge full of leftovers (and a long-distance call) — make an egg casserole.

Dig into the leftovers to come up with  cheese (shredded), vegetables you can roast (tomatoes, asparagus  green onions), fry (mushrooms, more onions, kale), and something green (spinach, cabbage, …). Inform your caller about your day.

Roast what you have to (dice the tomatoes to help them dry out, and trim off the ends of the asperagus & green onions before) and give it time to cool before you give it a rough chop. This also lets you do things like make dinner or tell your caller about your week (depending on what you’re roasting. I enjoy Ambitious Kitchen’s recipe for Sesame Garlic Roasted Asperagus; but I often add more vegetables to roast the same way).

Fry what you need to (mushrooms should be dry with a touch of color, onions should be translucent – or your could go for caramelized — depends on how good the conversation is), and slice the green medium-fine. If you have any meat in the leftovers, fry it up again-drain it well and dice it fine. Bacon’s always good, but so too is chicken or leftover beef ribs, tofu – whatever. Listen to how their week went while they giggle at only seeing you from the backside as you dig into that crisper to find the meat.

Crack  eggs into a bowl. Add an equal amount of egg whites, and about half that amount of milk (or soy). When well mixed, add some thyme, nutmeg, and dry mustard. (Feel free to show your caller the mess you’re making, expect hunger). Season liberally with black pepper. Mix again then add the diced vegetables and a small handful of shredded cheese. If it’s too dry, add more eggs and egg whites. If it’s too wet, add more vegetables, meat or cheese. Ask your caller’s opinion; admit to yourself you’re showing off, but laugh at it with the caller when they call you on it.

Butter a baking dish (do it the old fashioned way with a piece of paper towel and actual butter – you’ll thank me later when it comes time to cleaning), then pour in your mess. Sprinkle with more grated cheese. Bake it for 30-50 minutes at 400 F. If, when you pierce the top, liquid bubbles up – it’s not done. Cook it some more. Finish up your call and wish them well.

When it’s done cooking, let it cool and slice it. Store it portioned for upcoming breakfasts, brunches, or whenever time gets away from you. Post the recipe and promise pictures.

Leftover egg casserole

Inspired by the Kitchn’s ham and cheese egg casserole.

  • 10 spears of asparagus, trimmed & roasted
  • 4 green onions, trimmed & roasted
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • sessame oil, drizzle
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced & roasted
  • 6 button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced and fried
  • 1/2 cup leftover meat, diced and fried
  • 2 cups spinach, sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup milk (or milk substitute)
  • 1/2 cup cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1/4 tsp each: nutmeg, thyme, and dry mustard
  • black pepper, freshly ground to taste


  1. Trim the asparagus and green onions and dice the cherry tomatoes On a parchment-paper covered flat pan add the asparagus  green onions and cherry tomatoes. Mix in minced garlic and drizzle liberally with sesame oil. Roast at 350 for about 15 minutes.
  2. Take out the pan and allow to cool.
  3. Find meat. De-fat if necessary, dice, and fry it up again to gain a bit of a crust.
  4. Set the meat aside and remove all but a tiny trace of the oil. Add the sliced mushrooms to the oil and fry until they are dry and have a touch of color on both sides.
  5. Slice the spinach. Dice the asparagus and green onions.
  6. In a bowl mix the eggs, egg whites, milk, spices, vegetables, meat and half the cheese.
  7. Butter a baking dish, and add the mix. Top with the remaining half of the cheese.
  8. Bake at 400 F for 50 minutes.
  • Republican senator: “video games is a bigger problem than guns, because video games affect people” What? I’m sorry. I can’t have read that right. … no wait, I did. Still don’t understand. I’m not a US citizen but the second part of the quote  (“But the First Amendment limits what we can do about video games and the Second Amendment to the Constitution limits what we can do about guns.”) to me champions the better aspects of the US constitution. Since The First Amendment addresses the rights of freedom of religionfreedom of speechfreedom of the pressfreedom of assembly, and freedom of petition; I’m going to assume he meant the freedom of speech part. Video games aren’t quite a religion, aren’t considered part of the press, are the opposite (typically) of assembly and … petition-oriented just doesn’t fit.  The second amendment (right to keep and bear arms against the government) is the only amendment to state a purpose.  (Originating Article  is from Boing Boing by Rob Beschizza). BTW – US Constitution and their Bill of Rights  is fascinating stuff.
  • I fully admit Consumerist is an odd place to find the perfect Christmas present for … a friend, but this watch just might be the gift I need to give. It’s also a great example of how the powers of Reddit can be used for good (instead of you know, everyday evil). Great advice from  “Here’s a pro-tip, guys: If a project has a bunch of what look like stock photos from an online catalog, drag one into Google Image Search and see what pops up.”
  • Tales from the Con  from Evil Inc. by Guigar has some bad news about Emerald city comic-con. Seems their site’s been not just hacked, but wiped! Conventions rely heavily on pre-registrations; so they’re desperate to let the interested know that  you can still buy tickets here.
    The Emerald City Comicon site is down, but you can get updates at their Facebook page.
    Media interested in badges/celebrity interviews at Emerald City Comicon write Joe Parrington directly at joep(@ symbol) emeraldcitycomicon.com
  • Shame and guilt. I am, by my nature, very much against public shaming because I feel embarrassed whenever I see it (regardless whoever it is given too). Tobacco use has developed a new level of public shaming through law and society’s changes; should there be a similar movement against obesity? If so, you would be shaming me–and I’d probably become a recluse rather than deal with my problems. I have only anecdotal evidence for my opinions on this matter (namely me)–and I am getting help; but if I don’t like it and it’s never motivated me towards a positive outcome, I cannot condone its use.  That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist though. This is a topic for further exploration and discussion.

Another day, another list of oddities, irregularities and banalities I found interesting on the intertubes.

  • Turn any browser window into a text editor. I didn’t know you could do this. Naturally, I use web versions of WordPress and Evernote for such, but in a pinch this would be really handy. Is it ironic that I want to save this to Evernote?
    data:text/html, <html contenteditable>
  • Five security holes almost everyone is vulnerable to. I tend to follow the advice from such articles; and at least check my network settings against their recommendations. I also keep track of what I changed for about 2-6 months (again, put it in Evernote and tag it appropriately); so when I have to undo something (because something that use to work has now stopped) — I have the steps I need. Of course Slashdot has the scarier article. And so does Ars Techica.
  • New recipe added to Evernote: 3 layer hummus. Looks yummy.
  • Wow! Where I work. Want to see the workplaces of (some of) the Influencers in Linkedin? This is an interesting grouping of links – worth following to see the details and how they differ one from another.
  • More info about the flood in Montreal this week. The Montreal Gazette offers a nice (tiny) graphic showing more info about the water filtration system for downtown Montreal.

This is a repertoire of the interesting, the odd, and the things I want to remember. I promise neither order nor logic herein. Consider yourself warned.

  • I’d love to have the habit of a recipe journal like Orland Gough. I am always mesmerized by personal comments and stories around food. Orland Gough’s column on Toast shows a quirky sense of humour that I can admire while being amused. Having been shown the column, it is now part of my google reader news feed.
  • An email this morning reminded me that EN World has a kickstarter program. While I don’t frequent the site as much as I once did (not being interested in D&D since 3.5), I do still frequent the site and keep intending to buy a membership to show my support. Their products are good and often crafted with the GM stuck in a rut in mind. I must remember to fund the project, not just for the bennies, but because it’s a good sight and it deserves my support. Admittedly, I’m a bit torn as I really like Obsidian Portal; and have a few campaigns hosted there.  Their functionality is replicated by EN World.
  • It seems the flood is over. (Updated:2nd leak) I first saw pictures and video on facebook about this last night after coming home from the gym. Many were  criticizing the idea of trying to fix a water pipe in the depths of winter. Those people failed to realize the city only performs these tasks only when they must. While accidents happen, I am looking forward to hearing about the investigation which should follow this mistake.
  • Creamy Indian-spiced vegan sweet potato soup. Looks tasty. Added it to my recipe list. Since I already have the ingredients, this would be a good experiment (even if I do have to eat it for breakfast and lunch rather than dinner due to its starch content).
  • Pan-Roasted Halibut with Caper vinaigrette. Another interesting recipe with a simple vinaigrette. I like pan-roasting fish, especially when I can get a good sear on it.
  • Following the advice on this SE Talk thread, I googled “Chineses Steamed Fish” recipes; and I found one on Steamy Kitchen. It’s more of a guide than a specific recipe, but it seems easy enough. Guess I should finally get a bamboo steamer.
  • While I am usually all for increases in Canadian employment and sourcing, this Scientific American editorial  sums up my opinions on the Tar Sands quite susinctly.
  • This title caught my eye: One key to curing cancer: Interior decorating? I’ll definitely be reading that later.
  • I want to create a home journal. You know, someday. Soon.
  • Here’s another reason to support EN World. A post today (DND3E New Campaing -Help) pointed to this thread, which is, essentially – how to write your own campaign.

Food blogs and exercise trackers;  two things that help me lose weight. Also, two things I truly hate updating.

It had been my intention to post that information here (I’ve tried this before) rather than at the numerous other sites that lets me just pump in the numbers. I can  (typically) remember what I ate yesterday and maybe the day before; but never more than three days back in any level of detail. The same goes for the gym & health symptoms. Tracking anything over a period of months requires detailed notes. and reviewing the information from a hand-held book is painful (at best).

Gory details after the cut.

Read the rest of this entry »

Come home late from chores & such, combine the tailings of the dark meat of a roast chicken, home-canned tomatoes, salsa, taco mix, and grated cheese. Layer the bottom with more tomatoes and a bit of salsa. Line corn tortillas with a bit of sour cream, then fill with the mix, nestling them in the pan. Cover with a bit more of the same. Bake until hot and serve with rice cooked in chicken broth and mixed with steamed corn.

Serve it, take one bite and realize that it tastes more like vinegar than anything else. Toss it and wonder where you went wrong. Fix a plate of sliced chicken, some rice and corn, and top it all with some leftover gravy.

Sometimes, leftovers really are the only option.

After watching this videoI went looking for console emulators. While I still have my (borrowed) Sega Genesis and old Colico vision; I rarely plug them in any more. I still love the games, but am often too lazy to try and get them to work with my TV.
Cabling & lighting video for the cabinet: Suggest using plastic grommets over the holes to run the wiring on the back. Definitely need a Belkin surge protector (special for wall worts that get extra warm).
Cabinet part 3 (video-swithcing portion)Atlona video switchers. Don’t think they can be shipped to Canada. Sigh.
How to play old school console games on your computerThe article describes how to find and run an emulator, then seek out and load a ROM (a game). While not for everyone, this might be the perfect game solution for a laggy laptop with limited ram and graphics. Besides, how else are you going to replay the games that you could never beat as a kid. Golden axe here I come!  Oooh. They have Gauntlet too. CoolRom is mentioned in the article above and it is indeed a great index of available ROMs.