29 May 2013

Road Trip Diet Busters

road trip tunes

Last weekend we packed up the whip {again} and headed off to North Carolina {again} for a long weekend at Topsail Island with my parents and my sister.

We're big on squeezing every last minute of fun out of any trip, even one as short as this one, so we elected to make a stop at Wilber's Barbecue in Goldsboro on the way to the beach.
 One thing you should know about us: we are really into BBQ. And I mean real BBQ. M doesn't really discriminate, but I am strictly a Carolina BBQ girl. I prefer Eastern-style, but I'll settle for Lexington-style or South Carolina if need be.  And Wilbur's is the gold standard for Eastern.

The food was, of course, AMAAAZING, but the real gem was spotting this guy...
In case you can't tell from the blurry picture, his shirt says, "Gas costs so much I can't afford to fart."

We were at the beach for exactly 48 hours, which was enough time to read both of these...
To get my mom hopelessly addicted to Candy Crush...
 To drink plenty of these...
And to enjoy this absolutely beautiful view...
We continued the tour o' delicious with a pilgrimage to Bojangles on the drive home.

Bojangles is strictly a Southern thing.  So Southern, in fact, that it {wisely} does not darken the doorstep of our locale waaaaay up in northern Virginia. So when we see a Bojangles, we pull over.  There were cajun filet sandwiches and seasoned fries had by all.  The only thing preventing Bojangles from achieving fast food nirvana is the fact that they carry Pepsi products. Disgusting. We are Coke people.

Needless to say, we arrived home late Monday night, exhausted and full of sodium,  but happy and relaxed.

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

28 May 2013

Menu Tuesday

Only two new recipes from last week.  Our other dinners were leftover BBQ from my sister's graduation party and cleaning out the fridge/freezer/pantry of leftovers and random ingredients before we left for our long weekend at the beach.  Enjoy!

ZOMGGGGG SO GOOOOOOOD. I didn't change a thing, although it may be worth noting that I used our favorite whole wheat tortillas and it was still AMAZZZZZING. I am a cheese freak and didn't miss the dairy in these at all. Can't wait to make them again!

Mushroom and Maple-Smoked Cheddar Quiche {made up by moi, inspired by Elefantitas Alegres and Jenny Steffens Hobick}
I took Jenny's idea of a mushroom and cheddar quiche and used Kate's formula of a Wholly Wholesome whole wheat pie crust, 3 whole eggs + 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, and cheese measurements. Et voila! I used Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar in the quiche, along with a package of sliced cremini mushrooms and a handful of chopped scallions.  I topped it with some maple-smoked cheddar.  One thing I should have done was sauté the mushrooms first. When they cooked in the oven, they gave off a lot of water and make the crust kind of mushy. Still tasty! 

Bon appétit

24 May 2013

Friday Favorites

I need a new work tote bag in the worst way {damn you, budget} and this one is just so classic and chic and simple.  And surprisingly affordable.  AND 25% between now and Monday. Anyone feeling generous?

Summertime means Campari to me. On our honeymoon, I had a pre-dinner Negroni every night. This herb-infused version looks like it could become a summer staple.

Seriously dying over this perfect, perfect baby girl nursery inspiration board via Snippet & Ink.

Rolling out this Memorial Day classic recipe: Ina Garten's Flag Cake. Festive AND delicious!

 I'm sure most of you have seen this video, but I just had to post it {If you're reading from Google Reader, you'll have to click on the post to see it. Any idea how to fix that?}. Our dogs are our family members and I can't even begin to imagine how this discovery provided a bright spot in an otherwise devastating situation. Get your tissues handy.

Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

22 May 2013

Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be In Carolina...

...with my faaaaaaamily.

Last weekend we packed up the whip and headed south to one of my favorite cities, Asheville, NC, to see my little sister graduate from college!

My sister and I are about as polar opposite in personal style as one can imagine. Whereas I prefer to keep my inner granola-crunchy hippie carefully hidden up my preppy-yuppy sleeve, she has it tatooed for the world to see.


So while she may have started her college career at our mama's uber-preptastic alma mater, University of Richmond, she graduated from a much more her-appropriate school: Warren Wilson College.

Warren Wilson claims to fame: James Franco {although after this fiasco they prefer not to claim him} and Bill Pullman's kids.  True story: Bill {we're on a first name basis} stays at the same B&B as my 'rents when they're all visiting their kids. My dad and Bill talked local history for ages over breakfast one morning, and my dad had absolutely no clue who he was talking to.  I would've wanted to know what it was like to work with Devon Sawa {my ultimate 90's-girl crush}.


We took a little tour of campus and my favorite part was the field where the sheep are. I love sheep. They are a big part of my bucolic dream life. Some day...

I only took two pictures during the weekend {I discovered Candy Crush and spent most of time trying to get the hell out of Lemonade Lake}.  M and I took my sister and her friend {below} to dinner at Curate to celebrate while my parents stayed at the house with the grandparents.

If you're going to be in the Asheville area anytime soon, you MUST make reservations at Curate.  If I had stopped to take pictures of each course, I wouldn't have been able to eat anything. We scarfed down everything the second it landed on the table.  Our favorites:
patatas bravas {basically home fries with a spicy sauce. These were M's favorite.}

the berejenas la taberna {fried eggplant drizzled with honey and rosemary. My favorite.}

chistorra and chips jose's way {chorizo wrapped in potato chips and deep fried}

espuma de chocolate {it tasted like warm brownie batter + hazelnut praline and raspberry sorbet}

We were in Asheville for less than 48 hours but that was long enough for me to drink a 12-pack of my beloved Diet Cheerwine...
one for the drive home!

photo credits: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

20 May 2013

Menu Monday

Only two new recipes this week. We had a repeat on Monday night, leftovers on Thursday, and were traveling for the weekend. One recipe was a dud, one was a definite keeper. Both were budget-friendly.

Simple Portobello Pasta {Budget Bytes}

Meh. Not bad, not great.  Honestly, just not a lot of flavor or texture. We ate all of it between the two of us at dinner and leftovers the next day, but I don't think we'll be having this again.

Ranch Pork Chops with Creamed Spinach and Thyme-Roasted Potatoes {Budget Bytes and Ina Garten}

MAJOR winner here.  I used thin, center cut pork chops and baked them at 425 for 30 minutes. I ran them under the broiler for 2ish minutes on each side. They probably could've baked for only 20 minutes since they were so thin, but they were great anyways! 

The creamed spinach was leftover from Monday night's dinner {a repeat of Budget Bytes' Egg Florentine Quesadillas} and I just used dried thyme in place of rosemary in the roasted potato recipe.  The potatoes cooked in the oven with the chops, so they only took about 45 minutes, instead of the one hour in the recipe.

Bon appétit!

17 May 2013

Friday Favorites

It's been awhile since I've done a Friday Favorites and after all that money talk, I'm ready to indulge in a more frivolous post!

This peplum sheath dress may be my first purchase with my freshly budgeted fun money {and a discount code!}? Perfect for work AND for spring and summer weddings.

Pretty sure I need to order this kit and have this little guy sitting on our bar. 

Mmmmmm.....I love cannoli! Cannoli ice cream? Can't even handle it.

I die. So great for Memorial Day weekend and the 4th of July.

I want to get my hands on Martha's new book . There was a sneak peek in the latest Martha Stewart Living and it looks wonderful, just like everything she does. 

What are you up to this weekend? We're celebrating my little sister's college graduation!

16 May 2013

Summer Slimdown Part III

So we've talked about goals.  We've talked about the plan of attack.  And now we need all the help we can get.  Short of posting our address so that y'all can send all your extra cash our way, here are some things that have been helpful/motivational/educational thus far:

Budget Bytes/meal planning: As you know, I cook most every night and do so from a weekly menu.  I don't need to rehash the details for you {you can find them here}.  Meal planning in and of itself helps save quite a bit of money and it certainly did so for us when I first started on our meal planning journey 2.5 years ago.  But now we need to me more aggressive.  Budget reduction has forced me to do two things: have up to the minute knowledge of what's in our pantry/fridge/freezer and hunt for more inexpensive recipes that are still healthy and fall in line with our food values.

Enter the Budget Bytes website.  You may have noticed that a LOT of my Menu Monday recipes as of late have come from her website. There are so many delicious ideas and they're all realistic and wallet-friendly.  I still use my other usual recipe sources, but I have to analyze them more closely to make sure they fit within our grocery budget.  The good news is that the budget reduction has helped me in my goal to reduce our meat consumption.  Meat ain't cheap!

Any other websites or resources for real food {i.e. no packaged, processed junk} recipes on a budget?

Dave Ramsey's website: While we have no plans to enroll in any FPU classes or purchase any of the materials, there is a wealth of information on Dave Ramsey's website that is available for free.  Information on the cash envelope system, the seven baby steps, home buying, and more is there for the taking.  Honestly, I haven't even scratched the surface with the available information.

Nancy Ray's website: I found Nancy's website through Em for Marvelous and it's been very inspirational.  This post in particular has links to resources they found to be helpful.

Excel: OMG this would NOT be possible without my handy dandy Excel spreadsheet.  I have one document for our budget.  There is a different worksheet for each month.  Each worksheet is broken down into the following categories: Fixed Expenses, Minimum Credit Card Payment, Envelopes, Debt Pay-Off, and Income. Depending on any special circumstances that month, there may also be columns for Gifts {even though the money is coming out of the Gifts envelope, I use these columns to budget exactly how much to spend on each gift} or Travel or, like this month, M's Parking Tickets.  At the bottom of each spreadsheet I have what our total amount of debt is at the beginning of the month. That helps me keep an eye on the big picture.  I get a really sick pleasure out of updating my little Excel workbook. I love it.

One thing that hasn't worked: envelopes. Not to be confused with the Envelope System. Since this is our first month and it seemed a little contradictory to purchase a special wallet for a system that's supposed to help us STOP spending money, I just used plain ole paper envelopes.  FAIL. This worked for M's envelopes {he has one for his gas money, one for his fun money, and he has the one for pet supplies} because he just keeps them locked in his car.  For me, it just meant that I had loose change falling out into the bottom of my purse. Disaster. It caused some serious stress in the check-out line at the grocery store last week.  I'm going to have to get me one of these pretty little things to help with the organization.

So that wraps up our money talk for the week!  I'd love to know what resources have been helpful to those of you workin' your family budgets. I get distracted easily, so I need mucho assistance in staying on task during our journey to being 100% debt-free.  I'll be checking in periodically on our progress, mainly when we've crossed something off the checklist or hit a major milestone.  We're hoping to reduce our total debt by 10% by the end of this year.  Fingers crossed!

15 May 2013

Summer Slimdown Part II

Growing up I was told that it wasn't polite to talk about politics, sex, or money.  We're not talking politics or sex today {you're welcome, Mom}, but we are continuing our chat about money.  I realize there are some of you who find this mind-numbingly boring, but I love, love, LOVE reading about the way other people, especially people my age, manage money. It's the financial equivalent of peeking into someone's medicine cabinet.

It's a little {maybe a lot} scary to be talking about our finances in such detail on here. Money is such a private thing and it's not something I sit around discussing with anyone other than M.  But I'm hoping through sharing our experience and our goals that this will provide some accountability and support.  I'm such a typical fire sign. I'll make a plan and have goals and get all pumped up for them and then a month later I'm totally off the bandwagon.  Maybe the fear of public shaming will help me get back on board when we inevitable fall off.

So.  When we left off yesterday, I was talking about how the hard part of all this is turning all of our exciting goals and dreams into plans and actions.  The first thing I did was pretty basic: add up how much comes in each month and add up how much goes out.  I added up all of the obligatory recurring expenses {rent, utilities, gas, car payments, student loan payments, car insurance, cell phone bill, etc.} and put them into one category.  Minimum monthly credit card payments were added up and put into another category.  Then comes the new part: the envelope system.

I vaguely remember my parents using the envelope system at one point in my childhood and I know I've seen other bloggers {the Duchess of Fork comes to mind} who use it.  But it wasn't until I read Emily's guest post from Nancy that I thought, "Hey, we can do that!".  And do that we did.

We are half way through our first month of the envelope system.  I can already see that I'm going to need to make some adjustments {I under budgeted for a number of items}, but that's OK.  We'll make the necessary changes and try again next month.  Most everything I've read says that it takes a few months to really get the hang of it, so perseverance is the name of the game.  I have to say, it is REALLY strange to be carrying around so much cash and see the resulting teeny tiny balance in our checking account. It's unsettling, especially because I rarely ever carry cash.

Here are the envelopes we have:

Groceries: pretty self-explanatory. Prior to our budget adjustment, we were spending about $400/month on groceries.  I cook pretty much every single night, plus we pack our lunches and eat breakfast at home.  We rarely eat out, not because we don't like it, but because the only restaurant options in our town are Arby's, McDonald's, and Denny's. I'm challenging myself to go down to $300/month.  I'd love to go even lower, but we're taking baby steps.

Pet Supplies: We have two dogs, one of which is on a special diet and medication due to allergies and anxiety. Right now I've got $100/month budgeted, but that may be able to scale down to $80 or $90. We'll see.

Pet Boarding/Vet: Again, pretty self-explanatory. I've got $100/month budgeted for this.  Depending on how much we scale back on our traveling, I may be able to trim this to $70/month, but it adds up quickly.  Two nights in the kennel for our two boys is $84.  This is a rollover envelope, meaning anything that doesn't get spent in a month just stays in the envelope.  The idea being that it builds up a back-up to our emergency savings should anything major happen to one of our boys.

Household: This envelope is for things like toilet paper, dish detergent, hand soap, etc.  This is outside of our grocery budget, which is new for me.  I budgeted $15/month this month, which was not nearly enough, but that was because we ran out of everything at once.  This will be a rollover envelope.

Personal Care: This envelope is for haircuts, highlights, body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, make-up, etc.  Right now I've only got $25/month budgeted. Some months that will be more than enough, but some months it won't even come close.  This one may need to be adjusted, but we'll see. This will definitely be a rollover envelope.

Fun Money: I'm sticking to the diet philosophy that if you deny yourself any and all treats, you're much more likely to crash and burn. I've budgeted a total of $80/month, or $40/each.  This may be a bit too generous, so depending  on what adjustments need to be made to the other envelopes, this may go down to as little as $50/month.

Date Night: Not negotiable. I see our de-debting plan not only as an investment in our financial future, but in our marriage. Money is a top cause of divorce and we want to be mindful of that, but I don't want to neglect taking care of our relationship as a means to an end.  I'm allotting $40/month, so not much more than a pizza night at home and seeing a movie.  But this is an important one that I want to try not to cut back on.

Auto Care: This envelope is outside of the money budgeted for gas for our cars. The idea is for this to build up to pay for routine maintenance like oil changes and inspections, as well as a back-up to our emergency savings should anything more major happen with one of our cars.

Gifts: Pretty self-explanatory.  I've budgeted $40/month.  Some months we'll spend it all {it's already forcing me to be extra creative with our gift-giving occasions this summer!}, some months it will rollover to save up for things like our anniversary and Christmas.

OK, so some people refer to their fun money as blow money. But if I had an envelope for blow, I would assume someone was funding a yet-to-be-discovered cocaine habit.  Maybe for some people it's one and the same?

So I add up the recurring expenses, the minimum credit card payments, and the envelopes and subtract the total from our income.  Everything else goes to paying down debt.

We have a ways to go to really get the hang of this.  I can already tell there are going to be times when it really sucks {i.e. not a lot of built-in $$ for my drive-thru McDonald's Diet Coke habit}, but I can also already tell that it is going to be hugely helpful for us in reaching our goals.

Do any of you use the envelope system or some version of it? As a newbie, I would LOVE any tips/tricks/advice you might have.  And if anyone would like to help prettify our envelope system, you are more than welcome to buy this lovely wallet for me :)

Tomorrow is the last financial post of the week {I promise}. I'll be posting the different resources that have been helpful so far...

14 May 2013

Summer Slimdown Part I

A few weeks ago, I mentioned in a recent post that we were cutting back on both calories and spending in our house. Katie commented that they were doing the same and Mr. Perk was referring to it as the Summer Slimdown. I love giving things a title {makes it feel more official and, dare I say, fun?} so I'm stealing theirs! The cutting back on calories is pretty self-explanatory {not-so-subtle plug to come follow me on My Fitness Pal at username GessHoo07!}, but I thought I would share a little more on our budget reduction.

Debt is something we've really struggled with from early on in our relationship.  M came into our marriage with no car payment and next-to-nothing credit card debt, but a ton of student loans.  I was the opposite; I came in with a car that was half paid for, student loans that were half paid for, and quite a bit of credit card debt.  It's something that's constantly hanging over our heads.

Up until recently, I've kind of kidded ourselves into thinking we were relatively financially sound.  We make more than enough to pay our bills, we have some emergency savings, and we have quite a bit squirreled away in our retirement accounts.  But it always came back to the debt.  Inspired by the Em is for Marvelous posts on money, I sat down and took a brutal look at our finances and came up with a strategy and timeline for paying off our debt.  Paying off all of our credit card debt was one of my 101 in 1,001 goals, but honestly?  Kind of a wimpy goal.  Now the goal is ALL debt. The cars {we ended up buying one for M in October so now it's 2 car payments}, the credit cards, the student loans.  Every last bit GONE by the time I turn 30, or hopefully sooner.

On our timeline, we should have 3 of the 5 credit cards paid off by September and my car paid off by October.  The next hurdle are the remaining 2 credit cards, which carry most of our credit card debt. The plan is to have one paid off by the end of the calendar year and the other one paid off by March 2014.  Then we'll tackle my student loans, M's car, and finally his student loans.  Once all those are paid off, we plan to build up 3 months of equivalent of our salaries in savings and save for a down payment on a house.  Within 5 years, we want to be able to purchase a house on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and have no other debt.

For those of you paying attention, this kind of loosely follows Dave Ramsey's plan.  We're not actually enrolling in any of the classes because A) I feel like I can get enough of the information online to figure out a plan for us and B) I don't need any preaching alongside of our debt diet.

Still with me? I know many people's eyes roll to the back of their heads when anyone starts number crunching, but I absolutely LOVE this stuff. Comes with the territory when both of your parents are accountants.

Talking about our goals is really fun and exciting.  You may daydream of tropical vacations and handbags, but I daydream of being totally debt-free with bank accounts busting at the seams from lots of savings.  {OK, I dream about the handbags and vacations too.}  The hard part is actually changing our spending patterns and habits and putting plan into action.  To be continued tomorrow...

13 May 2013

Menu Monday

Another two-recipe week here.  M was out of town two nights last week, one night we had a repeat {Hawaiian quesadillas}, and one night we had leftovers.  Here are the two new meals I fixed last week:

Slow-cooker Pinto Beans {Tammy's Recipes}

I had a few cavities filled last Monday and knew I needed a dinner that would be easy to gum down. M put these in the slow cooker at 9:30am on high heat and by 5:30pm they were ready to go.  No overnight soaking required.  I mashed mine up and topped with hot sauce and a little shredded cheddar, so it was basically like eating a big bowl of refried beans.  In a good way.  Delicious and filling and comforting.  M made quesadillas with his beans.

As we try to drastically cut down our budget {more on that later this week}, I have a feeling I'll be making these many times. They're so cheap and it makes a ton.  That said, I don't want to get stuck in a bean rut.  Any suggestions on different ways to prepare or serve pinto beans?

Salsa Chicken Casserole {Budget Bytes}
Definitely a new favorite meal around these parts.  This was unbelievably delicious, unbelievably easy, and had very little clean up.  An all-around winner!  A few notes:
*I pretty much exclusively use brown rice, but it requires more liquid and a longer cooking time.  I used 2 cups of chicken stock and gave the rice and salsa mixture 40 minutes in the oven before I added the chicken.  It took another hour after I added the chicken.  
*I used boneless skinless chicken thighs. They're cheaper and taste better. 
*It's tempting to skip the green onions at the end since it seems like a garnish.  Resist the temptation. They are a big part of the tasty factor.  

Bon appétit! 

06 May 2013

Two Recipes and A Horse

Most of last week's meals were either repeats or already posted in last week's Menu Wednesday post, but there were two recipes I wanted to share with you today.  

Pasta with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes {Dinner: A Love Story}
DALS is one of my all-time favorite websites and gives me the warm fuzzies about the day when I will have an expanded family to cook for.  Regardless of our DINK status, I am always finding great meal ideas for just the two of us from Jenny and Andy.  This may be one of my favorites from them.  And it is STUPID easy.  I used farfalle instead of penne {it's what we had in the pantry}, dried thyme instead of fresh, and I added the dollop of ricotta at the end. I only used about half the amount of Parmesan called for.  Definitely a new go-to pasta meal.

Stuffed and Grilled Bananas
We didn't use a recipe for this, but I think there are several floating around the interwebs.  We grilled chicken for dinner Friday night and had way too much charcoal going.  M wanted to make the  best of it and we had two bananas sitting in our fruit basket.  We had some graham crackers, shredded coconut, and a Hershey's bar in the pantry.  I crushed up one sheet of graham crackers and mixed with a handful of shredded coconut.  I slit the bananas down their sides, lined each slit with half of a Hershey's bar, and then stuffed in as much of the cracker/coconut mixture as possible.  Then I wrapped each banana individually in foil and we put them on the grill for 15-ish minutes and dug in with spoons. WOW.  Great way to make use of the grill after dinner.  Would be even better stuffed with Nutella...

On Saturday we attended the Virginia Gold Cup with some friends who were visiting.  This was the spread we came up with for 4 people, plus more food in another cooler in the car.  We barely managed to eat half of it, but you better believe we ate every bit of that fried chicken.
While wondering around Member's Hill, we saw a group of people playing something called Bear Pong.  They invited our guys to play.
Which ended in a picture of what appears to be my husband kicking a small child dressed as a pirate. As one does.
I snapped this pic moments before another jockey was thrown from his horse right in front of us. They had to bring the medics out onto the course and it was awhile before he moved, but he was able to walk into the ambulance himself. So scary!
 We NEVER seem to get any photos of the two of us, so I was thrilled to have one to remember such a wonderful day {and to show our grandkids what a stud their granddad was}!

01 May 2013

Menu Wednesday

I can't imagine these being a bigger hit with us, and really, why wouldn't they be?  Fluffy baked potatoes, shredded beef, our favorite bottled BBQ sauce, and our favorite cheddar on top. And incredibly filling. I could only finish about half of mine.  OK...maybe 3/4.

Taco Pizza {Budget Bytes}
Yet another Budget Bytes home run.  The only thing I would change is my choice of salsa. We pretty much only eat hot salsa because we love spicy food.  But the heat made it hard to taste all the different flavors going on in this pizza.  Next time I would use a medium or mild salsa.  Otherwise I wouldn't change a thing.  It's like Taco Bell, minus the questionable quality.

Avocado Feta Pizza {Christian's Pizza}
I was back in my college town for a conference last week and of course had to eat my favorite pizza EVER. A friend of ours requested I come up with an at-home version of this and I'm not sure why I never thought of that before.  Stay tuned...

Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad {inspired by Duchess of Fork}
Yum.  I kind of made up my own chicken tender recipe.  I used 5 tenders, dipped them in seasoned flour {flour, salt, and pepper}, then an egg beaten with water, then a mixture of Italian breadcrumbs and this Williams-Sonoma Buffalo seasoning that apparently is no longer available.  Sad face.  I baked them at 425 for about 15 minutes, cut into chunks, and then tossed with a bunch of Frank's hot sauce.  Our salad was a mix of spinach, lettuce mix, grape tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, and some cheddar cheese crumbles and tossed with Ranch.  Would be extra tasty with some corn and/or avocado.  

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls {Southern Living 1995 Annual Recipes}
I had a mean craving for cinnamon rolls last week, so I made some from my sourdough starter.  Don't get me wrong; these were incredible.  But sometimes I can't help myself and need to fiddle around with a recipe.  Next time there will be more cinnamon {like twice as much}, I may add the raisins for some texture, and I will use PW's cinnamon roll glaze recipe.  M and his assistant polished these off pretty quickly, but the recipe made two pans, so we've got a stash in the freezer for this weekend.

Spinach Lasagna {Serious Eats}
I'm always  nervous about making lasagna because M's mom's is so good.  She makes a spinach lasagna, so I normally just stick to Ina or PW's meat-based recipes, but we're trying to cut back on our meat consumption {well...I am, so M is by proxy} so I thought I'd give this a go.  I used Rachel's suggestion of sautéed fresh spinach instead of frozen.  I just added it in before the garlic and red peppers.  It was easy to make {mainly just chopping and layering} and a winner! I think I maybe got 2 pieces from the entire pan.  M inhaled the rest.

Not Pictured: Hoisin Beef Tacos with Sweet & Sour Slaw from Budget Bytes.  We were too hungry to bother with taking pictures.  Good, solid dinner, but I'd rather just use the beef to make more stuffed potatoes.