Although we had a somewhat stressful week, I continued to use things from the pantry, freezers and canning cupboard to continue my project of clearing out some of the items that need using. I also received an Azure Standard order and did a small Costco run. Even with those purchases, there are starting to be small spaces showing up on the shelves and in the freezers. That is good, because I need to do some cooking ahead and want some freezer space to put it in.
As people know that have been reading the blog for some time, I cook every Tuesday for the Young Adult Group from our church. Usually, this entails 5 servings of gluten-free, dairy-free food. Lately, though, I’ve been asked to just bring dessert for the entire group, including some for the allergy-friendly eaters. Last week, I made 2 tarts. I used cream cheese for the crust and for the layer of yummy goodness under the fruit. I purchased 10 before Christmas for 99c/each, and have slowly been working my way through them. They don’t expire until March. In those tarts, I also used some kiwis. My sister grows them, and gave us 2 big boxes in the fall. They have been slowly ripening on the porch and now a whole bunch are ripe. We cannot use them all, so I took a bunch of them down to the church and they were used for the after school program we run down there.
I took some gluten-free, dairy-free cupcakes I had made previously and frozen, and baked a box of brownies that were also gf and df. There are around 25 people, typically, but it can be up to 30 or even 40, so lots of dessert is always welcome. We did get some leftover tart back, and it was delicious.
Today, I just finished a huge batch of peanut butter cookies. They are gf and df. I was hoping this recipe would come out good that way, as peanut butter has a lot of fat so less other fat was needed. I used an alternate butter I had purchased B1, get 1 free a while back, but it is more expensive than butter and I don’t enjoy the taste as well. It worked in these, though. They taste great. I used peanut butter purchased long ago for $1. When we had our youngest daughter living here, she ate a tremendous amount of peanut butter because she really loves it. I guess the rest of us aren’t so fond of it because I found jars and jars out in the pantry, left over from she lived here. I used more than a jar in these peanut-butter, chocolate chip cookies. Trader Joe’s has gf/df chocolate chips, I recently found out, and they are much less expensive than other alternate kinds and taste great.
The group will also be munching on lemon (lime) bars and a few Krispie treats. I used up some lime juice I had frozen a while back and used a lemon bar recipe with gf flour in it instead of all-purpose.
I had quite a few meals to make for people, as well as the cooking for the family. As I often do, I made some soup. I’ve actually made, eaten and shared chicken-rice and vegetable-beef recently. I was able to pull lots of frozen things like onions, broth, and chicken to use. I was able to open jars of broth, use beef that was canned last summer but didn’t seal so was frozen,
The first kind of muffin I made was applesauce, using canned applesauce. That is another item that I have too much of, as the daughter who loves it is off doing her own thing. Even when she visited for a couple of weeks over the holidays, she didn’t make a dent in the applesauce supply! The second kind was lemon-poppyseed. I had one lonely carton of lemon yogurt that had been hanging around the fridge for ages, so it got targeted. Boy were those good. Makes me with there was another carton in there:). I do have some applesauce ones frozen for later, but the lemon ones….all gone!
My aunt gave me some thyme she couldn’t finish up, along with a couple other things. I put the thyme in a 250 degree oven for a little while and it dried quickly. I was almost out of thyme, except for a small amount I dried from the garden last summer, so I was happy to add it to my stash.
A chicken noodle casserole was made, using canned chicken from the pantry and peas frozen from our garden. I made about 1/4 of it with no peas for those who don’t like them or cannot have them. One person I shared with cannot have peas.
Enchilada casserole was also made. I used frozen(by me previously) whole-grain rice, a can of corn I had won at the grocery store in the past and never used because we preserve our own, home-canned enchilada sauce, canned beans, beef previously canned and frozen when the seal didn’t seal, corn tortillas I received for free when we volunteered at the food pantry (volunteers can have bread products when they help out), and cheese I had.
When we went to see my mom, she had this gorgeous amaryllis lily that is blooming. It was cheerful and encouraging in a pretty busy, stressful week. We’ve had 2 deaths in the extended family, one funeral so far, a family member who slipped and fell in the aftermath of the ice storm and is hurt pretty badly, a friend who’s wife has received a hard diagnosis, a couple of other hard things I won’t name, and many people who need a little extra care…all added to our normal busy, crazy life. Through it all, I can say, with assurance, that God has been with us every step of the way. On Sunday, one of my favorite hymns was sung at church. It’s an old one, and we rarely sing those, but this Sunday, we did. It was as if God knew I needed to hear it and I can truly say, it IS well with my soul. Because it is. Because of Him.