Brown Bag Challenge Day 7

crumbs

Today was a lazy but successful day. Lazy in that I took Haystacks in as lunch. Literally tortilla chips, beans, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream. The idea being that I’d assemble and eat during lunch. And successful in that I took my lunch in to work. Yay me!!!

Because I was between 2 client sites today, by the time I got to the second client site I didn’t have much of an appetite. So i took a few bites and lost interest. Tomorrow will be interesting since I will be splitting my time again between 2 locations. Hopefully i eat more than a couple of bites and loads of water.

Money saved today $14. Overall banked $70 (including $2 from Friday and  $8 from yesterday). Small small steps.

Brown Bag Challenge Day 5&6 Recap

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3 out of 6 is all I can really say right now. So far I was able to bring my meals 3 out of the 6 days the challenge has run. I realize that when ever I run late, I’m prone to leaving my meals in the fridge and purchasing.

On Friday I was running late and purchased both breakfast and lunch losing about $12 dollars. Today I was running late again but I think it was in direct relation to the Labor Day Barbecue that I hosted. Ironically I had no leftovers so I had to purchase lunch for $8.

Combined loss $20. Overall saved $48.

For this week I going to aim to wake up earlier to allow for more wiggle room for my departure from the house; to reduce the odds of leaving the food behind. I also plan to add some variety to my brown bags to reduce the temptation to purchase, because I noticed that eating the same meal makes me bored.
It’s harder than I thought it’d be!

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Today I epically failed the Brown Bag Challenge. I was running late this morning and missed the ideal window to leave by 5 minutes. While it seems its not that big a deal, those 5 minutes make the difference between beating traffic or sitting in it for 30 minutes.

In the rush I didn’t grab my food. I saved on breakfast because of an early morning meeting where it was offered, but had to buy lunch.

Luckily, it was food truck Thursday. So I went ahead and got Vietnamese Chicken Tacos and called it a day.

Spent $9 today. I’m still banking $5 for the breakfast I didn’t buy. Overall saved  $48.

Brown Bag Challenge Day 4

Bag lunch

Day 3 of the Brown Bag Challenge was much better than Day 2. I had the battery in my car replaced so everything was good on that front. In terms of my meal I had fruit salad for breakfast, and Chili…again. 😦

It still tastes good but I seriously over it at this point. Next week I will definitely try to make more dishes so I have variety in my lunches. But overall today was a success.

$14 banked. $42 saved overall.

Brown Bag Challenge Day 3

Brown Bag Challenge Day 2

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Today started roughly. I packed my lunch bag, fruit and Chili. Gathered my laptop and work bags. Went out to my car. Put everything inside. Then prepared to pull out the drive way. I turned the key to start the engine. Nothing. I tried again. Nothing. The car battery had completely died on me.

I had to jump start my car and move it to a different part of the driveway so it wasn’t blocking the other cars, because I didn’t trust it to not go out once I got to work. I then got a ride to the train station.

At this point I was seriously considering leaving my lunch behind because mass transit commuting with 3 bags isn’t fun. Especially when there’s a 10 minutes walk to the office involved. But I held fast.

By the time I reached the office I was famished. I grabbed my fruit salad and headed into a meeting.

I ate lunch around 12:30pm, and really enjoyed it. I was worried that I wouldn’t like it since this would be the second day eating Chili but it was definitely what I needed.

Day 2. $14 saved! $28 total…this is going pretty well!

If you are interested in the challenge feel free to join and let me know how it’s going in the comments.

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If you are a working person, you definitely understand the challenge packing and bringing lunch to work can present. Sometimes it’s too tiring to make food; the selections are too boring; or the pressure to lunch with coworkers it huge. But I recently reviewed my bank statements and was appalled by how much I was spending on meals. It wasn’t just lunch but breakfast too. (So you can imagine).

To remedy this situation and keep money in my pockets I am challenging myself to bring breakfast and lunch to work for 4 weeks and document it here. If I complete the day successfully I’ll bank the money I would have spent. That’ll be approximately  $14 (keep in mind I work downtown ;)).

To start of I prepped my meals on Sunday, Turkey Chili and fruit salad. This morning I packed my breakfast, fruit salad, and my lunch, chili, with water and left for work. By the time I got in I was starving but the fruit held me for about 3 hours until lunch. Which was delicious. All in all day one was a success!

$14 dollars saved.

Feel free to join if you are interested!

Brown Bag Challenge Day 1

El Golfo

El Golfo is a Mexican Restaurant nestled on the outskirts of Silver Spring offering traditional and vegan fare. The unassuming exterior leads to a pleasant surprise once you enter the restaurant and realize how relaxing and colorful it actually is.

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Once seated a complimentary basket of Tortilla Chips and Salsa is brought to the table while you go through the menu looking at the options.EG3-min

I decided to to start off with Yucca Fries, cassava chips, and a creamy Chipotle dip. The appetizer alone could have made my meal complete but being my fat self, I wanted more.

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I followed with Beef Tamales with a Tomato and Onion Salsa. The tamales were wonderfully flavored. And met my craving, seriously I’ve been looking for a good place for tamales for the longest time! If you have any spots I should check out just put it in the comments. My stomach thanks you in advance.

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To finish it all off I had Tres Leche Cake for dessert. As soon as it hit my tongue it was an out of body experience. I just had to order some for the road.

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So you are ever in the Silver Spring make sure to stop by El Golfo. It will be an experience you wont forget.

Rice Paper

July has been a bittersweet month, especially as friends and family transition to new phases and places in life. Luckily Rice Paper is the type of restaurant that forces time to stop and makes you focus on the meal and those you are sharing it with.

Located in Falls Church, VA, Eden Center. Rice Paper is a Vietnamese restaurant that offers traditional fare. The restaurant layout is beautiful and calming with hanging lanterns above the center and a large bar taking up the back wall.

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The menu offered has an extensive list of selections. With clear delicious descriptions of every item shown. Each item on the menu was large enough to shared and that is definitely what we did.

We ordered  Cơm Bò Lúc Lắc, a Cubed Beef dish sauteed with onions,tomatoes,and oyster sauce served on a bed of greens; Lẩu Đuôi Bò a spicy oxtail soup that came with rice; and Bánh Hỏi Con Điệp & Tôm Nướng, Grilled Scallop & Shrimp served with steamed thin Vermicelli noodles, meant to be wrapped and eaten in rice paper.

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So if you are ever in Falls Church, Va make sure to stop by Eden Center and catch a meal at Rice Paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Icecream

 

I will be the first to admit that I always viewed no churn ice cream recipes with a lot of skepticism, especially when folks touted it as only taking 2 ingredients. Well…I have to eat crow. After making some. I have to say that this will be my go to for the summer. The ice cream is quick and easy to make; light in terms of texture and consistency; and far better tasting than most store brands. I know, I know you think I’m exaggerating. But I challenge you to try the recipe for yourself and see how it goes.

You need:

1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 Pint of Heavy Whipping Cream

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Toppings of your choice (In my case crispy m&ms and twix)

Chilled Bowl

Hand mixer

Freezer safe container

NCI 1

Pour the heavy whipping cream into the bowl.

NCI 2

Take you hand mixer and place on a medium setting and whip.

NCI 3

Initially you will just be looking at a liquid but as a couple minutes go by the cream will start to thicken.

NCI 4

Add vanilla and whip the cream until its mixed well.

NCI 5

Now pour in all the condensed milk.

NCI 6

Whip the cream again to till the consistency is thicker and matches what is seen in the picture.

NCI 7

Now add your toppings. (I attempted to crush the twix in the wrapper…it didn’t work too well -_-‘.)

NCI 8

Whip until the candy is evenly distributed.

NCI 9

Spoon your cream mixture into you freezer safe container and freeze overnight.

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The next day take out your icecream, serve and enjoy!

NCI 10

 

 

 

Hummus in 5

These days I find myself getting home pretty late. And because I don’t feel liking prepping a full meal, I “graze”. Which literally means that I snack on whatever is available in the fridge or pantry. In an effort to stop this habit and have some semblance of a healthy snack, I started making hummus to have something to eat with veggies, crackers, or pretzels with. It’s extremely simple and very quick to make.

You will need:

1 can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

1 jalapeno

1/2 a small yellow onion

1/2 a bell pepper

1 clove of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

First take the your veggies and cut them into pieces that can be processed easily by your food processor.

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Next drain, and rinse your chickpeas and place it in the food processor. Followed by the veggies.

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Add the olive oil and salt to taste. Blend.

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Blend until the hummus has a smooth consistency. Voila! You now have hummus. Enjoy ;).

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