crossover episode!

4 01 2011

if you follow me on facebook (plug plug), you would already know that i rang in my new year with a long overdue baking day of doom. 15 hours of doom to be exact (now with more delirium!). i did it a little differently this time, and the whole setup seemed to be more in keeping with my oft neglected diet blog,  being bess marvin. so if you want to find out the secret of what is lurking in the bags and boxes of my perfectly manicured freezer this month (don’t look at that giant bottle of vodka), you’ll have to head on over there to check it out.

worth the trip- get thee to the grocery store!

20 10 2010

i’m still having a hard time getting my shit sorted out well enough to get my worth the trip dispatches out by sunday- which is probably when they would actually be useful. however, i do have high hopes that at some point i’ll finally be able to shift everything back into its proper place. but for now… GET YOUR ASS TO SHAW’S IMMEDIATELY! there isn’t anything worth getting at any other store in town- unless of course  you want a page full of crappy weirdo cold remedies from rite aid, or some marginally discounted pumpkin pop tarts at target (ick).

i’m very serious.

now, take your flier, and flip it over. $10 back (coupon toward a future trip) when you buy $25 worth of jazz on this page. with the vast array of coupons available on, smartsource, &… basically, it’s a page of mostly free food. here’s what i did:

-3 boxes cheerios- @ $2 each w/3 $.55/1 coupons doubled- $2.70

-3 boxes cinnamon toast crunch- @ $2 each w/3 $.55/1 coupons doubled- $2.70

-2 boxes reeses peanut butter puffs (BEST CEREAL EVER)- @ $2 each w/2 $.65/1 coupons doubled- $1.40

-2 boxes scalloped potaoes (gross, i know, but i love their salty dehydrated goodness)- @ $1 each w 1 $.55/2 coupon doubled- $.90

-2 “healthy colors” valley fresh steamers- @ $1.50 each w/2 $.50/1 coupon doubled- $1.00

-2 boxes cascadian farms sweet & salty granola bars- @ $2.50 each w/2 $.75/1 coupons doubled- $2.00

-2 packages pillsbury simply refrigerated cookies- @ $2.50 each w/2 $.55/1 coupons doubled- $2.80

SPENT: $13.50


basically, shaw’s paid me $6.50 to take home 8 boxes of cereal and a bunch of other jazz. i know that save for the veggies and the cheerios, it’s not exactly the parade of health food- BUT next week i have $20 that i can spend on whatever the fuck i want. zebra cakes? crisco? crystal light? i think i may re-attempt the freezer cooking dance come november (need to free up my time for nanowrimo), so maybe i’ll spend my bonus cash on supplies.

in case you wanna see what other magic can be worked with this deal, the coupon goddess is back from greece and officially tearing shit up at her local shaw’s. also, she totally spotted the free crest toothpaste (on sale 10 for $10 with $1/1 from the last P&G brandsaver), which i completely missed.

those sexy pictures i was telling you about.

1 02 2010

ok, it’s only one picture, but still pretty sexy eh? baking day 2.0 was officially called to a close this morning a little after 1 am when i blacked out on the couch for a few minutes while i waited for my pot pies to be frozen enough to stack without destroying their structural integrity.  i don’t know that i’m ever going to be the up at dawn type, cooking all day, checking off everything on my list. i’m definitely more like the sleep until 11, screw around until 6, and then stay up until one type.

i felt like i was a little more ambitious this baking day, but also a little more successful. i only crapped out on one item (sorry chocolate lava cupcakes- sleep was more important this time), and i tried out brand new recipes for just about everything.  enchilada pie looks promising (*UPDATE- IS PROMISING). and the fake chickening of the chicken pot pie also appears to have been successful. not sure about the orange curry chicken, but we’ll work it out.

on a scale of 1 to 10 (one being complete garbage and 10 being kitchen ecstasy), i’d give it a 7. my spicy cheese muffins are a bit too spicy for me. the meatball recipe i used was actually a meatloaf recipe and yielded questionable results (slightly dry, slightly crumbly), and of course there are the missing cupcakes…

still life with wreckage.

1 02 2010

i’m no home maker. not even a little. i do love cooking,  organization, and feeling like i’m no longer living in a college dorm room… but my apartment still gets crazy shitty all the time. i leave wet towels on the floor, crumbs on the counter top, and junk mail littered all over the coffee table (floor next to the coffee table if it’s dinner time).

baking day is absolutely no exception. as evidenced by the photo above, baking day was a giant mess. are there people out there who can make a month’s worth of food and not turn their kitchen into armageddon? tell me your secrets! it would probably help if i started baking day before 6 pm.

anyway… it’s 12:47, my feet feel huge, and i’m going to bed without cleaning it up. right. now.

sexy freezer pictures forthcoming.

the look of moderate success.

31 01 2010

so i stayed up late last night (passed out on the couch and woke up at two with coupons stuck to my face), and planned out a reasonable course of action for today’s baking day 2.0 shopping trip. no inclement weather this time. had sufficient time for both super walmart & shaw’s, and sale-wise the stars were nicely aligned. all said and done, $86 (splitsies with the boyfriend for a personal total of $43) isn’t too bad for a month worth of food. maybe if i was a coupon superstar, it would have been less.  i still haven’t quite figured out exactly how some people can get what they need while still paying pennies… but all in due time.

money saving maine-iac always has the most comprehensive shaw’s deals (plus, i’m too lazy to do them myself), but here were the highlights:

buck-a-bag produce! i got yellow onions, white potatoes, carrots, and celery all for $1 a bag. the onions were a little sorry looking, and the celery was a little wilty… but no one will notice because they’re all getting cooked into other composite foods. and so cheap!

sargento cheese @ $1.99 with a doubled $.75/1 coupon from god knows where, but hey- $.49 cheese!

ronzoni smart taste pasta @ $1 each with a double $.75/1 coupon from the 12/6 smartsource= free with $.50 overage (i got two, but these are the days i wish i was better at hoarding coupon inserts).

i also finally put that $4/$15 wild harvest coupon to work. fuck me for spending $10.58 on 2 packages of fake quorn chicken. vegetarianism is a pricey proposition!

at walmart, i am sad to report that the free ept pregnancy tests that we were all going to hide under our sink are not actually free- at least in the state of maine. they’re $9.54 ($4.54 after coupon), which is still cheap, but i apologize for leading you astray!

i totally cashed in on the cheap cheese though (6 bags to be exact). on sale for $1.88 a bag, i used 3 $1/2 kraft natural cheese coupons from, and loaded my cheese drawer to max capacity (my cheese drawer isn’t actually that big) for a mere $1.38 a bag.

really, there were no shockingly amazing deals, but i had a decent fistful of coupons and everything was reasonably priced (that is except the quorn cutlets, and the gimme lean sausage- bullshit i tell you!). now if only i can carry this moderate success over to the actual cooking portion tomorrow…

baking day of doom- now with less doom!

29 01 2010

well, the month of january has come to a close, as has my first official baking day month. it started out as kind of a clusterfuck, and after the vegan pulled pork disaster and the missing pizza dough, i wan’t entirely convinced that this was a lifestyle that i could happily lead. but once my portions were neatly stacked in the freezer, and i was able to steal back the little portion of my day usually reserved for food preparation, things started to feel a little less hopeless and a little more sexy. not perfect indeed, but i did learn a few very important things:

1. unthawed veggie shepherds pie takes 2 hours @ 450 to cook. if i intend to do this again, i really need to learn to thaw things out overnight, for the sake of both my stomach and my electric bill.

2. if frank’s red hot wing sauce can make my vegan pulled pork (screw you and your crappy recipe vegetarian times!) edible, then it may very well have other essential curative properties. we should look into that.

3. just because a recipe says that it serves 8, doesn’t mean that it actually does (maybe if everyone is served dinner in an egg cup).

4. this is the most delicious thing i’ve had in ages.

5. as it turns out, my faux chicken & biscuits recipe gets really bland in the freezer (who knew!). luckily, copious amounts of shredded parmesean cheese & red chile flakes (combined with my macgyveresqe culinary skills) turned it into my best batch ever.

6. i eat out way too much. just because the meals are pretty much oven ready, doesn’t mean that i won’t still find ways to be lazy about it.

7. i can make a little less. after everything, i still have 1 portion left of lasagna roll-ups, spaghetti sauce, veggie chile, sausage gravy, & mushroom gravy. although it is comforting to know that i have back up food in case of emergency.

8. trying to make my own pizza dough is a terrible idea.

9. a little dessert would have been really nice.

10. i felt extremely guilty about the ziploc & aluminum toss factor that came heavily into play this month (even if it made my freezer look real pretty). it might be nice for me to invest in some freezable (and reusable) glass baking dishes.

so yes, i’m doing it again. sunday is the day (with a hearty & coupon laden grocery shop on saturday). here’s the master plot:

2-3 portions of vegetarian meatballs
2 faux chicken pot pies
2 veggie shepherd’s pies (the biggest hit of the month)
2 double batches cheesey broccoli & potato soup
2 double batches sausage gravy
1 batch spicy green chile corn muffins
2 enchilada pies
3 batches bisquick biscuits
2 portions orange curry faux chicken & rice
1 batch cookie dough in frozen single portions (i’m thinking maybe oatmeal/walnut/chocolate chip)
1 batch chocolate lava cupcakes (if i can just choose the right recipe!)

baking day 1.0 part 2- disaster strikes!

5 01 2010

i suppose that this is just the universe’s way of shaming me for stretching my baking day into 2 days… sunday worked out so well, but last night everything fell apart.


1. my vegan pulled pork is really bland and gross (who would have thought!). thanks for nothing vegetarian times, the seitan would have been more flavorful covered in ketchup. i have attempted to salvage the batch by adding: vegetarian worcestershire, brown sugar, and spicy brown mustard. i also let the portions sit in the fridge overnight to marinate. hoping for the best. will cover in commercial bbq sauce if necessary.

2. my cornbread weighs 300 lbs. once again, screw you allrecipes. i figured that a recipe with 5 stars and 1,392 reviews couldn’t possibly go wrong.  admittedly, i should have suspected a problem when the first step was to melt 2 STICKS OF BUTTER! so dense, so sweet, so greasy. needless to say, the boyfriend loved it, but i’ll definitely be looking for a slightly less decadent recipe for the next trip around the block.

3. my mushroom gravy is too tangy. i think i put in too much cooking sherry and not enough butter.  it’s passable, but not quite right. i reduced the shit out of it and have hope that it will mellow in the freezer. if not, it can mellow in the trash can.

4. my biscuits are flat. i ran out of bisquick, so i only had enough to make one batch. also, my biscuit cutter is slightly too large. i barely got 9 sad flat biscuits out of the deal.

5. my pizza dough doesn’t exist. by around 9 pm- covered in barbecue splatter and desperately needing a cocktail, i decided to give up the ship. fuck the pizza dough! i will make it someday (next month?), but i declare baking day 1.0 officially closed!

actually, the only thing that didn’t go tits up was the spaghetti sauce.

in general, i like to approach new experiences with the “sometimes you have to do it completely wrong first, in order to figure out how to do it right” mentality. i mean, who really gets things perfect right out of the gate? and if there are people who do, those people are assholes and we hate them.

final freezer shot:

baking day 1.0- part 1

4 01 2010

well, my first baking day has officially begun. what’s that about me stretching the definition of the word “day”? well, i ended up having an appointment this morning that went until noon… and then i decided to go and see a movie with friends at 4ish (nine- beautiful, but utter garbage), so i didn’t exactly spend the full day as it was originally planned.

thus, since i make the rules- i’m extending baking day into tomorrow so that i can finish up everything that didn’t make the cut today. truth told, i feel like kind of an asshole about it… but i’ve come so far!

today’s successes:

1. i was able to make the following dishes from my list:
2 servings veggie chili
2 servings chicken stew
19 spinach lasagna rolls
2 shepherd’s pies
2 servings cheesy polenta casserole
2 servings cheesy vegetable soup
2 servings sausage gravy

2. the vegetable soup was something i frankensteined together from a recipe i found in a magazine, my imagination, and what i had in my fridge. it tastes good!

3. the bechamel i made as a base for my sausage gravy was the best i’ve ever made!

4. my freezer looks everything beautiful with everything stacked up so neatly!

5. the semi-picky boyfriend said that he would eat everything! (plus, he’s going to do the dishes)

on the not so great side:

1. i wasn’t able to finish the following dishes:
pulled faux pork
mushroom gravy
spaghetti sauce
corn bread
pizza dough

2. i was one onion and a can of corn short- and somehow that involved a $12 trip to the whole foods. *angry eyebrows*

3. my kitchen looks like fucking armageddon.

still, the thumbs up list outnumbers the thumbs down list. and even if i gave up today, i’d still have a good chunk of stuff to live off of for a while. after a semi-successful day 1a (assuming that the food doesn’t taste like complete shit after it’s been unfrozen), i’m predicting that baking day 2.0 is a distinct possibility.

baking day 1.0 takes shape

29 12 2009

so i’ve been rolling around with the baking day concept, and after much online research about what i can put in my freezer without it turning to complete mush, i have worked out the following plan:

main dishes (2 batches of each):
spinach & ricotta stuffed shells
faux chicken stew
barbeque pulled seitan & green chile polenta
shepherd’s pie

veggie chili
cheesy potato soup

corn bread
buttermilk biscuits
pizza dough

mushroom gravy
faux sausage gravy
spaghetti sauce with veggies & faux meat

i figure this way i can have a few definite meals, then some versatile components- like biscuits with the chicken stew or the sausage gravy. also, it’s nice to have the spaghetti sauce back up plan for when turning on the oven is even slightly too much work.

let me also add a disclaimer here that i am not a crazy organic scratch cooker. my chicken stew will involve a lot of cream of mushroom soup… my spaghetti sauce is newman’s own with extras…  my biscuits will be bisquick! i do love cooking- and i do love high quality food- but i also love the ease (and delicious saltiness) of convenience foods. just for the record, i am in no way a purist about how i cook/what i eat. bring on the velveeta!