Using What You’ve Got

20 Feb

Hey everybody! I stuck to my goal and got up this morning for a run. I didn’t quite make it at 4, but I was on the move by about 4:20. I knew this was the best idea when Pandora decided to blast me with “We Will Rock You” and “Takin’ Care of Business” right off the bat.  Nothing like a few good tunes to get your workout in gear. Now for the topic of today’s post…

Many times, when I get started on one of my many ventures that end up fizzling out, I will look around to find the tools that I need to get the job done.  This always seems to cost money that I would rather not spend (I’ve told you I’m a cheap skate).  The same is true with dieting.  There are all kinds of fancy gadgets, diets, and foods that are supposed to help speed up the process and make the job more efficient.  Sometimes we just need to look around and use what we’ve got on hand.

Yesterday I alluded to a new breakfast food that I had decided to try.  I had seen the recipes all over Pinterest before, but had never put any of them into action.  I found a delicious sounding recipe for Dark Chocolate Overnight Oats.  I always thought overnight oats meant that you cooked it in the crock pot all night.  When I went to the article, I realized this wasn’t the case at all.  Making overnight oats means preparing the oats, liquid, and any other ingredient at night and then covering it and leaving it in the fridge until morning.  You never even cook the oats.  I started to search around for the benefits to eating your oats this way.  There are many including a lot of talk about cooking out nutrients and how soaking your oats breaks down a coating on the outside of them.

This sounded pretty good, but I wasn’t sure I’d be too keen on the idea of basically eating cold oatmeal.  I wanted to try it, but didn’t want to go out and buy some fancy oats that I may end up wanting to toss since I wouldn’t normally have the time to cook them.  I decided to see what ingredients I could pull together from my fridge and cabinets.  I used the following ingredients in my first attempt:


Ignore the huge jar.  This was way too big, but I didn’t feel like going to the attic to grab a smaller one.  The quick oats turned out pretty good, but I think it would be better with another kind of oat because it would still have a little more bite to it.  It wasn’t overly sweet, but that’s alright because I’m trying to eliminate some of the sugar from my diet.  I decided to try it again this morning and add a few more strawberries.  It was even better.  Tomorrow I will be adding some blueberries or bananas I think.  The calorie count on this concoction was very low.  I ate it this morning around 6:15 and didn’t start feeling hungry until around 10:30.  I’d say it had some pretty good staying power.

Speaking of using things you have on hand, I wanted to show you all something that Chris and I work very hard to have on hand.  I didn’t join in on Holly’s link up last week, but here is a perfect chance for me to show you what’s in my fridge freezer and cabinets.

Chris’s parents always had a large garden so naturally he wanted to have a garden once we got older.  Our garden started out fairly small the first year or so, but quickly grew to about 1/2-3/4 of an acre.  This may not be large to you, but it is a lot to keep up with in my eyes.  Since I’m a teacher, it works out perfectly that I can help out in the garden during my time without school.  Chris does most of the real labor, but I do a lot of the canning and blanching so that our veges will last through the year.  I don’t remember exact counts on all of our vegetables, but one that sticks out in my mind is the 607 ears of corn that we harvested last summer.  I spent about 5 hours total cutting the corn off 398 ears of corn for whole kernel and cream style.  We vacuum sealed the rest and froze it for corn on the cob.  Most of the food has been cooked to the point that it’s ready to eat.  All we have to do is thaw it and heat it.  It makes life much easier during the times of the year when the sun is setting so much earlier.  I took a picture of one of the cabinets of jars and one of the freezers filled with quart sized bags of veges.  Remember: this is what’s left from LAST summer’s harvest.  We still have several months to go and we will obviously have plenty to last us.




It’s not easy.  Poor Chris definitely hears me complain a lot, but when it’s all said and done, I’m very happy to have this stockpile during the fall and winter.

How have you used something you have on hand instead of running out to buy something to get the job done?

Thanks for reading,



2 Responses to “Using What You’ve Got”

  1. Lora February 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    way to go on getting up to run!!! awesome job!!

  2. Laura @ Walking in Memphis in High Heels February 20, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Oh my gosh, how nice!! Some of our grandparents have gardens, but nothing quite that big. I love stocking up on the veggies they do have though. = )

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