Free Food Resources for December 2022(San Diego County)

A new month means a reminder about all of the free food options there is here in San Diego County.

Because of the upcoming holidays, you may notice that some locations will be advertising additional distributions or special Thanksgiving or Winter Holiday meal giveaway events. As information about these events becomes available, I will be sharing them.

Keep in mind there are still supply chain issues, so there may not be a lot of food at some distributions, especially those that serve a large portion of the community.

I recommend showing up a little early with a bottle of water and a book and waiting in line. Time passes quickly in these lines, and it’s a great time to learn from others about community food options. Remember to socially distance and follow local masking regulations.

You can find resources here for Central and East County, and Here for North County.

The Rock Church, which has many locations all over San Diego County has a food and diaper pantry distribution at many of its locations throughout the month. More info can be found here.

Our friends at Faith Chapel are super ahead of the game and sent out information regarding their 2022 food distributions early on in the year.

If you are located outside San Diego County, call 211. If you are not familiar with 211, here is their website and it can point you in the right direction.

San Diego Food Bank Distributions for December 2022 can be found here. Enter your address (or just your zip code) and the map will show you all of the distributions in your area or closest to you. You can filter by the days of the week to find food when you are available. If there is an income requirement/limit to participate, each location/listing will say such. You can learn more here about the Feeding San Diego Together Tour.

Neighbor distributions are intermixed with the San Diego Food Bank Distributions, however, they have no income requirements, and you come as you are. These Distributions are primarily fruits & veg, however, some locations may also distribute canned goods, dairy, and bread.

If you know of other resources, please leave a comment! And feel free to share this post with anyone you may know in need.

11/29/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgOur  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box arrived yesterday and it’s a jumbo this week. I spent a lot of time roasting veggies last night.

We’re having a lot of veggie-based meals this week to make as much of our CSA box as possible.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. The big kid brings his lunch from home every day and the littlest buys her lunch at school about half the time. In California, all public schools provide breakfast and lunch for free.

Dinner: This week is packed as far as appointments, so I’m leaning on stuff that’s easy and tasty. I prepped fruits and veg over the weekend and made up the last Dream Dinner and portioned it into lunch-sized servings.

  • Monday: Chicken Tetrazzini, roasted veggies

  • Tuesday:  Breakfast sandwiches (eggs, cheese, sausage), fried potatoes with onions and peppers, fruit salad

  • Wednesday: Nuggets, fruit, crackers, and cheese (the typical Wednesday night dinner)

  • Thursday:  Baked pasta, salad

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday: Potato Cheese Soup.  Best Salad Ever, garlic bread
  • Sunday:  Leftovers

Give the Gift of the Farm with the Yasukochi Family Farms Black Friday Sale!

On Tuesday I posted about practical gifts for busy families. Little did I know that Yasukochi Family Farms was having a sale this weekend!

This is an amazing sale!

This sale is only good today, FRIDAY, 11/25, and ends on Sunday, 11/27! To learn more or order, check out their website.

One month of CSA Boxes your choice of regular box or Jumbo box. and 1 bottle of olive oil. I love this olive oil, it’s the best I’ve tried.

I get a Regular sized box each week, and it’s good for a family of 4 or smaller. A Jumbo-sized Box is perfect for larger families or for families that are vegetarians or vegans.

 

11/25/2022 Friday Freebies and Deals

I’ve been busy this week with family stuff, the kids being off school, and getting posts up about upcoming deals (and some yummy recipes too).

Don’t forget all of the 2022 Birthday Freebies! Make sure to check this article out and sign up for birthday freebies at least 2-3 weeks before your birthday.

 

Freebies:

Free Rise Brewing Co. Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
Free CHKP Plant-Based Yogurt After Rebate
Free Garnier Whole Blends Products
Free Valvoline Patches, Cards, Stickers & More
Free Tena Sample Kits
Free Red Clay Hot Sauce or Hot Honey After Rebate
Free Bag of Daily Crunch After Rebate
Free Nature Mary’s Bath Teas Sample
25 Free Disney Movie Insiders Points
Free Jazz Bath: The Bath Bomb Sessions CD
Free Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau Fragrance Sample
Free Sample of EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF46
Free SiriusXM Listening Event
Free Macy’s Fragrance Samples
Free Jimmy Choo I Want Choo Forever Fragrance Sample
Free Sadler’s Smokehouse Brisket Burnt Ends or Pulled Chicken
Free ASPCA Pet Safety Magnet & Window Decal
10,000 Free Marvel Insider Points
Free HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Showtime & Epix Channels Preview
Play Star Citizen for Free

Repurposing Leftovers: Turkey Soup!

Leftover Turkey. It’s coming. Here is my favorite way to repurpose leftovers and make a really yummy soup.

The best part is that you can add anything you’ve got left over and it’s yummy.

Turkey Soup

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 cups of turkey stock (I use the recipe here and substitute the turkey for chicken)
  • 4-ish cups of leftover turkey chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2-3 cups of leftover roasted veggies (Or if you don’t have any: 2 carrots, peeled and chopped, 2 ribs celery, chopped, 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1-2 cups turkey gravy (optional, but makes the soup thick and richer)
  • Optional, but yummy: 1 cup uncooked Noodles/pasta. I like Rotini or Elbow Macaroni.

Directions:

  1. In a large stock pot, add stock, meat, and veggies. Simmer on medium until the soup has reached a gentle boil, and if using fresh veggies the veggies are fork tender.
  2. Add in noodles/pasta, and allow to simmer 10-ish minutes, until pasta is cooked.
  3. Now it’s gravy time. Gently pour in the gravy, and bring the soup to a gentle boil, stirring frequently.
  4. Serve soup immediately. It’s really good topped with reheated leftover stuffing/dressing.

This soup reheats well and can be frozen for future meals.

How to Repurpose Thanksgiving Leftovers

Everyone loves leftovers!

At this point, your 2022 Thanksgiving Meal is already cookin’. And if your dinner is anything like ours, there are leftovers. Lots and lots of leftovers. Which, don’t get me wrong is great, but, after a few days, you may get tired of eating leftovers.

Here are a few ways you can repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers and make something tasty (and different).

1- Let’s start with the star of the show- The Bird.  I recommend taking the carcass and a few cups of meat (I use dark meat) and make stock. Here is my basic recipe, substitute the rotisserie chicken in the recipe for your turkey. And the best part is that you can do it in the crockpot overnight! Once you have a rich stock, you can make- SOUP! I’ll have a great Turkey Soup recipe up in a bit.

When packing up leftovers, I cut all of the remaining meat up, so there aren’t HUGE CHUNKS. This makes the meat easy to serve for future meals.

2- Gravy. Don’t ditch the leftover gravy! I add my leftover gravy to my Turkey Soup. Admittedly, I make a lot (8 cups+) of gravy.  Not a thick soup fan?

  • It’s turkey pie time! It’s a take on shepherd’s pie.  Take 1 cup of gravy, 2-3 cups of bite-size pieces of turkey, and 1 cup of frozen carrots and peas (or if you have leftover veggies from dinner). Mix all together, and pour into a greased baking dish. Then, top with 2-3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes. I like to top with 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese about 10 minutes before it’s done, remove the foil, and allow the cheese to melt and get all bubbly.

3-Mashed Potatoes. Don’t ditch the taters, they have lots of life in leftovers! In addition to the turkey pie above, Mashed potato cakes are a good choice, and they are super easy to make!

  • Mashed Potato Cakes start with 2 cups mashed potatoes, 1 egg, 1 cup AP flour, 1/2 c grated or minced onion, salt, and pepper. Mix all of these ingredients together and form into patties. Fry the patties in 1 cup oil (your choice), drain on paper towels prior to serving. If you like cheese, add 1/2 cup cheese of your choice.  These are great for breakfast with eggs.

4- Cranberry Sauce/Jelly. I like topping toasted leftover rolls with it, or putting it on toast. It’s also good on turkey sandwiches. Thirsty Whale has a great cocktail recipe using Cranberry Sauce.

Talk Back: How do you repurpose your holiday leftovers?

 

Two Very Practical Gifts for Busy Families!

I was texting with some relatives yesterday, and they had gone through everyone’s Amazon Wishlists and didn’t like anything on the lists. The wishlist didn’t have anything “Exciting”.

So they asked me what I thought these adults with kids would want for the holidays. First of all, If it’s on someone’s wishlist and it’s not super expensive, just buy it. It doesn’t have to be something exciting. It doesn’t matter if the gift giver likes it or thinks it’s “Exciting”, it’s what the recipient wants.

I’m an adult for Pete’s sake. For me, an exciting gift is a nice new set of sheets for my bed or a box of produce on my doorstep.

If you are looking for a gift that will WOW the adults in your life, here are some suggestions:

Meal Plan/Meal Prep: Seriously. Do you know what’s exciting? Not having the decide what to eat every single day of my life. For those of you who live near Dream Dinners, They have many different gifting options. There are locations all over the US, and many locations will ship if you are too far/busy to visit a location.

Another Meal Prep option is What a Crock. They have locations all across the Mid-Atlantic, and they also ship as well.

What I like about What A Crock is that you choose how many portions of each Entree you want. They also have holiday bundles and even gift cards!

 

If your gift recipients live in San Diego County and meal prep isn’t what you are feeling, produce boxes are it! I love Yasukochi Family Farms CSA boxes. We’ve been getting them for about 2 years, and it’s the perfect gift in my opinion. Locally grown fresh fruits and veggies are delivered to the gift recipient’s door each week. You can contact the farm here and find out more about ordering boxes as gifts!

If you aren’t a San Diego, Ca local and are interested in CSA or farm boxes, my recommendation is that you visit your local farmer’s market and ask some of the farmers if they offer one. I am not a fan of some of the farm boxes that are advertised online, as they are not from local farmers.  As the great-granddaughter of a farmer, I fully support local farms.

 

Talk Back: What’s on your Amazon Wishlist?

11/21/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgOur  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box is arriving today and I am looking forward to making a big batch of soup! The cold dry weather we’ve been having recently has me in the mood for soup!

This week we’re leaning a lot on what we already had on-hand. My grocery trip for this week is bagels, coffee, cheese, and some garlic (I’m all out!!).

The kids and I are off school/work this week, and we plan on using some of our summer reading program museum passes, visiting the zoo, going to the library, and hanging out with family and friends.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. The big kid brings his lunch from home every day and the littlest buys her lunch at school about half the time. In California, all public schools provide breakfast and lunch for free.

Dinner: This week is packed as far as appointments, so I’m leaning on stuff that’s easy and tasty. I prepped fruits and veg over the weekend and made up the last Dream Dinner and portioned it into lunch-sized servings.

  • Monday: Butternut Squash Bisque, rolls, roasted veggies

  • Tuesday: Frozen entrees,  Kale Cranberry Salad

  • Wednesday: Nuggets, fruit, crackers, and cheese (the typical Wednesday night dinner)

  • Thursday:  Thanksgiving dinner with family

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday: Soup (I have several varieties in the freezer, I’ll defrost one in the morning), garlic bread, salad
  • Sunday:  Leftovers

Recipe: Chicken Fajita Stew

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I made soup the other morning. This stew is easy to make. It’s hearty, filling, and is a great way to incorporate veggies into your diet without much fuss.

Oh, and it’s great with crunched-up tortilla chips and cheese on top!

Let’s get into it!

Chicken Fajita Stew

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 cups of chicken stock (I made my own, but you can use canned chicken stock or broth)
  • 1 T. Butter
  • 2 Onions, diced
  • 2 Bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 ribs of Celery, diced
  • The kernels from 2 ears of corn (about 2-ish cups). You can also use frozen or canned (no salt added)
  • 2 Yellow Italian Squash, cut into slices and then quartered
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can of heirloom beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • Roughly 3 cups of chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 1T. each: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder,  oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat and add onions, bell peppers, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently until onions are translucent.
  2. Add in stock and remaining ingredients. Simmer over medium/low heat for 30-45 minutes, or longer if you like.
  3. Serve with quesadillas or top your soup with tortilla chips and shredded/crumbled cheese.

All of the fresh veggies came from our CSA Box! To learn more about our favorite CSA, Yasukochi Family Farms, check out my post here.

This recipe makes 10-12 servings. It freezes well, and yes, like most soups, it’s better the next day.

This recipe is naturally gluten-free.

 

11/18/2022 Friday Freebies and Deals

I’ve been busy this week, and as a result, haven’t had much time to post, but I’ve got all kinds of fun freebies and deals to share.

Don’t forget all of the 2022 Birthday Freebies! Make sure to check this article out and sign up for birthday freebies at least 2-3 weeks before your birthday.

 

Freebies:

Free Giorgio Armani Supreme Reviving Cream
Free Stran Holiday Sample Pack
Free Food & Drinks at Circle K
Free Dude Wipes at Sam’s
Free Velvet Taco Chips & Queso at The Velvet Room
Free Christmas Tree Pinecones at Michaels
Free Self-Tanner
Free TV Stand
Free Swiss Miss Candy Cane at Sam’s
Free Meyenberg Goat Milk Butter
Free Community Coffee Dark & Bold Coffee Pods at Select Stores
Free NeilMed Sinus Rinse or NasaFlo Neti Pot
Free Sample of Zignature Dog Food
Free Sample of DripDrop Hydration Relief Drink Mix
Free 7th Heaven Barbie Pink Chocolate Face Mask
Free Subscription to Bon Appetit
Free NOH Foods of Hawaii Recipe Book
Free Luggage Set
Free TOMY Toys
Free Sample of CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser
Free E.L.F. Makeup Product
Possible Free $4 Digital Gift Card
Free Applegate Product
Free Bower Filming Gadgets
10 Free Disney Movie Insiders Points
Free Violife Vegan Cheese at Walmart
4+ Free Disney Movie Insiders Points

Deals:

St John’s Bay Women’s Sweaters ONLY $9.99 (Reg $30)
Calvin Klein 4-Piece Cologne Gift Set ONLY $25 (Reg $83)
Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet 32GB ONLY $44.99 (Reg $90)
Belk Beauty Women’s Fragrance Sampler Kit ONLY $12.99 (Reg $20)
Free Medium Fries w/ Any $1 Purchase at McDonalds – Every Friday