Tag Archives: cooking

What Did We Eat–February 1, 2018

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Patsy and I chose 2 recipes for her to make.  She has been wanting to cook more.  When she was younger, we would have weekly “cooking lessons.”  So, we’ve decided to start up a more organized system so she can get in more time cooking.  She wants to do the 4-H fair this year, so needs to work on her skills.  The first recipe was applesauce muffins, with a cinnamon-sugar topping.  They were delicious.  To me, they tasted like donuts!  Yum:). We are going to try them again with a different gluten-free biscuit mix.  The one we had was pretty strong, because of the kinds of flour in it, and the muffins were quite dense.  I want to try a lighter one.  Sometimes, when you convert recipes, you have to experiment a bit. They weren’t bad, though. They quickly vanished.

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The second recipe was chicken fingers.  It was coated with buttermilk and egg, then fried in oil.  Boy was it good.  We won’t be making this one very often, though, as we don’t care to eat much fried food, and it was quite expensive after we used gluten-free bread crumbs as part of the coating, and it used a lot of oil.  The taste….yum, yum, yum!

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We continued eating fruits and vegetables that I bought last weekend.  We’ve had a house full of sick ones, and they are recovering nicely now, but I loaded up on citrus and other fruits and veggies for them, and for the rest of us so we would stay well.  We also ate home-canned and frozen items, as well.  I made smoothies from peaches–I used both frozen, and the juice from a jar of canned peaches.  Some of the apples look a little wrinkled.  I think I will make something from them this weekend!  We are having a smaller family Sunday dinner this week, at our house, and I want to serve snacky Super Bowl-type foods.  Maybe some apple bar cookies…mini muffins….not sure yet.

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I’m still working on the 10 pound bag of carrots I got from Costco a while back.  This week, I made orange-glazed carrots.  Part of my shopping last week for the sickies was orange juice, so I just used some of that in the pan when I cooked them.  I basically stir-fried them and they were still pretty crunchy when we ate them.   They were good.

My niece, Alissa, made another big pot of cheesy potato soup.  It’s her favorite soup of all time, and she makes it often.  We still have a bunch in the fridge.  I had made a large pot of simple chicken-rice last weekend, and it was finished up early in the week.

I had fried up a bunch of taco meat last weekend before we realized that none of our company was coming.  So, people have been sprinkling that on taco salads, or making soft-shelled tacos, or nachos, or whatever they wanted all week long, since we had large quantities of all the ingredients on hand.

How did your meals turn out this week?

 

 

What Did We Eat–Winter Garden Goodies! January 20, 2018.

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This week, after looking around outside in the covered porch, I found a few items lurking around out there.  I also took a walk out into the muddy, muddy garden and found a few things.  I decided to use those up instead of buying more.  Novel thought:). LOL!

I baked a butternut squash we grew.  It had a few bad spots, but I cut them off, cubed it, and roasted it with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I used home-canned pickles.  I cooked burger from last year’s cow (there’s a bit left, still.)

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We ate up the rest of the chicken I baked earlier in the week.  Rob made some pizza using some pre-baked bread crusts he found at Grocery Outlet for around $1 for 2 a while back.  He used toppings we had on hand.  I baked one of the gluten-free Costco pizzas I buy frozen.  I added toppings to the cheese they come with.  We cruised along on that for a few days as we made lots.  (Thank goodness I didn’t eat an entire pizza in one day!)

Last weekend, I went out and got a few things, mostly produce.  One thing I bought was a 15 pound bag of potatoes for $2.50.  So, we baked up a bunch of those. We’ve had those a couple of times this week.

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Out in the garden, I found a nice cabbage, some kale and a bunch of boc choi.  The boc choi was a surprise, as it was hiding behind some other things and I didn’t see it until I got out there!  I finished up a head of cabbage I had previously picked, and was delighted to see that this one was in excellent condition.  On the covered porch, I found a small handful of potatoes, a couple of small squash and a few onions.  I should tidy the porch more often:).

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That cabbage grew a lot since this picture was taken at the end of last summer!

I also cleaned out the small freezer above the fridge because I had the things all slide out and land on my feet one too many times.  I found a couple of mystery baggies of various meats and some other items.

So, I made a soup from pork(?), the potatoes, an onion, a bunch of cabbage, carrots, frozen beans, and some tomatoes.  I also dumped in some pinto beans that were also lurking in that freezer.

I cut up a bunch of cabbage and put it in a Ziplock in the fridge for coleslaw over the next couple of days.

I made smoothies from fruit I froze last summer.

Rob BBQ-D some steak from our new beef we recently received to see how it was.  It was amazing!  We had baked potatoes and canned green beans with it.

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I also used up every avocado I had, which Rob got at Grocery Outlet for a very low price last week.  I made guacamole.  We had enough for 2 days of that, too.

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The peaches and applesauce have really come in handy this week, since Lovana had 2 wisdom teeth taken out on Monday.  She had a really hard time with one of them.  So, she’s been eating lots and lots of ice cream, peaches, applesauce and mashed potatoes.  When I took her back to the dentist on Thursday, I got her a milkshake at Burgerville.  She is finally feeling quite a bit better today, and went to work for the first time since last weekend.  Good thing.  The ice cream is about gone:).  The triple chocolate, the chocolate chip mint, and the vanilla.  Trust me, she had a lot of willing helpers to eat ice cream.  So, you could say ice cream was one of our food groups this week.

I decided to skip my usual weekend shopping this week.  Instead, I want to use what’s in the fridge, home-canned and frozen items, cabbage, boc choi, kale and pantry items.  If it’s going to fall out of the freezer onto my feet, that’s it.  It’s going on the plate!  Later in the week, if I need milk or something, I’ll worry about it then.  I’m right on track for a moderate-spend month, and I’ll just leave this week’s money in it’s envelope in case I run out of things later this week.

 

What Did We Eat? November 17, 2017

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This was a week where I tried to encourage everyone to eat up things in the fridge so I can have more room for Thanksgiving food.

Patsy is holding an African taco–she put some of Harnet’s special lentils into a taco shell and ate it for dinner 2 nights in a row.  The second night, she put it into a flour tortilla instead:)  Almost  every time I see Harnet, she generously gives me some of these beri-beri flavored lentils.  They are spicy, but with a little different flavor than Mexican seasoning.  Patsy put a little grated cheese on there, and sour cream, and ……she loved it!!

We ate turkey-vegetable soup again this week.  The entire pot was consumed over a few days.  One day I ate it for both breakfast and lunch.  Rob opened a carton of tomato soup as well, and ate that a couple of times.  Lovana made a batch of muffins, which are all gone now.  She also made apple crisp.  Yum!

I thawed meatballs, spaghetti sauce and several other things from the freezers. I cooked a lot of noodles for Rob to eat for dinner and left for work.  When he got home, he didn’t see them, so cooked another huge batch.  We’ve eaten noodles, sauce and meatballs multiple times since then:)  The kids love noodles and eat them with Parmesan cheese.  Green beans were cooked.

One day, we ate cheese and crackers in the car when we were out and about.

Another thing I thawed was ground roast beef.  I mixed it with Miracle Whip and made sandwich spread.  I also ate it plain, with a spoon.  One night, after work, I put pickles and this spread on gf bread, and had it for my supper.

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I followed a recipe from the internet to hard-boil eggs in my Instant Pot.  Easy!  1) Put eggs in a steamer and put in pot.  Put in 1 cup water.  Turn pot on “Manual” and set for 3 minutes.  After it is done, I waited 7 minutes and then released the pressure.  They were done perfectly.  They pointed out that you could be very flexible with when you released the pressure–they sometimes left it for 15 minutes.

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So, the truth is…our meals were pretty repetitive.  Besides these main dishes, we did have odds and ends from the cupboards or fridge, plus scrambled eggs.    When I apologized to Rob for the monotony, he had some good thoughts about it.  His thought is that we are one of the few nations that feel like we need 3 different meals per day, and many, many different ones each week.  He pointed out that when we have visited Mexico, the people we were with mostly ate beans and tortillas every day, with a few differences now and then.  (On this last mission trip, we all paid a fee and the church women cooked food for us with that money, and there was plenty left over for them to have, too.)  When he went to Africa a few years ago, the choice for many was rice.  And they were fortunate to get it more than one time a day in the part of Uganda where he was.  Sometimes there was an egg or other things, but mostly there was rice, if they had any.

On that trip, he was fed well by the people, and his group quickly found out that the food wasn’t just for them…the servers would be eating after them from what was left.  After the first meal, where they weren’t understanding how it worked and ate a lot, they ate sparingly so the cooks/servers could eat.

So, he doesn’t mind the same meal several times in the week.  He feels it is actually more globally realistic, and he doesn’t think it hurts anyone at all.  Good thing:)

I made it up to him on Friday night.  We went out for Mexican food, and did a little Christmas shopping, and got these……..

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Yum!

While we were out and about, I grabbed the 2-4 lb bags of sugar I was allowed for 99c each at Safeway.  They were out of Safeway sugar, so gave me C and H, instead.  I got some lemon-lime soda for Ja’Ana, as she has caught the same crud every family member has been passing around.

At Fred Meyers, we got a few Christmas gifts, which brought me easily up to the $50 required to get a 49c/lb turkey.  I already have one that I will cook…this one will be for later in the year.  I just can’t pass up that price!!!  All that turkey for just under $10!!!

Better yet, I have Michaela’s Christmas gift.  Who knew that they would make a ladies-sized Lion King sleeper with Hakuna Matata on the front, a hood like Simba and even a tail!  That movie is one of her all-time favorites–she can quote long passages of it!  Ja’Ana spotted it the other day, and I was so glad it was still there tonight when we went back.  Maybe the other ladies of Salem are not quite as obsessed with Lion King as Michaela is????

I’m not telling what else I got, and I have lots left to get, but at least we got started.

I’d better end this and go to bed–I’m tired after all the cleaning I did today, but feel very satisfied with what I got done.  I’ll leave you with a cute picture….

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A few of us went and enjoyed her Thanksgiving program at her preschool.  They sang about trees and leaves, and quiet voices and loud voices, and their ABC’s.  They fed us refreshments of apple pastries and M & M’s.  So cute….

 

What Did We Eat? November 10, 2017

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This week, it was all about potatoes! I decided to use up the purple potatoes we grew in our garden.  I don’t know if they are good “keepers” or not.  I do know the red ones sprout easily.  As of Wednesday, they were all cooked into something.  I also had a few red ones from my sister, and the bottom of a bag of russets from the store that I was targeting. They are now gone, too.   Last Saturday, I got 3-10 pound bags from the store.  They are in the garage, all covered up with a blanket, ready for the next couple of weeks and Thanksgiving dinner.   I made fried potatoes, with a mix of white and purple one morning.  I made cheesy potato soup for lunch one day, and the rest went down the hatch for dinner that night.  I made lots of faintly purple mashed potatoes  from a mix of purple, red and white.  I used around 7 lbs for last Sunday’s Family Sunday Dinner to make mashed potatoes.  I guess the extended family loves potatoes, as there was about 1/2 cup – 1 cup left.  Wow!  Just Wow!  Best 75c I’ve spent in a while:)

The soup theme continued as well, with the cheesy potato soup, and a pot of turkey-rice. I always make enough for more than one meal, when I make soup.  I can’t seem to help myself.  Ja’Ana made cornbread again this week, and my sister made some on Sunday.

On Sunday, along with all those potatoes, I did baked, breaded chicken, which was a hit as well.   I think we were all in the mood for heartier fare–fall is certainly here along with it’s rain, and wind, interspersed with a little sunshine now and then.

One day, I put round steak into the crock pot and made Swiss Steak.  I made some gravy to go with it, and those purple mashed potatoes.  There is still some of that left, so we will probably eat it again tomorrow.

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Jake convinced me to make Rice Krispie treats (from gluten-free Malt-0-Meal Rice Krispies), and he took a big plate full home for his Mama.  He hung with us today, as there was no school. We did a slew of errands–everything from getting medicine, to getting the oil changed in the car.  We slipped in some duck-feeding, and had lots of library books in the car to make it fun.  We got him a Happy Meal–I had a coupon for buy one, get one free, so he and Patsy both had one.  She’s old enough to actually be able to eat more than that, but it satisfied her to get to have it and he was literally starving today–nice!

There were lots of salads this week–for lunches with chicken or for dinner along with the other food, cooked home-canned green beans, home-canned peaches and applesauce, hot dogs, sandwiches, corn chips with salsa, and pork and beans.  Patsy eats cold cereal almost every day, and Rob and I eat eggs almost every day for breakfast.  Lovana gets a crepe or sandwich for free from work on the days she works, and pretty much makes her own food the rest of the time. Sometimes, I eat at my sister’s house in the evening, as I don’t get done until 6,  and everyone at home just makes their own, or eats leftovers.  Sometimes, I go home and make a salad, or warm up leftovers on the days I work.  It has turned out that I only really need to cook 4-5 main recipes a week, and there is enough for the week to just warm up leftovers.

This coming week, it’s going to be all about cleaning out the fridge so we can fit the Thanksgiving food in there the following week.  I’m not sure what I’m making, yet, but I’ll work on some planning tomorrow, and hopefully, I won’t get carried away, as I have an entire day at home….at least that’s what my planner says.  So, if I decided to go somewhere, it will be purely for fun.  Should be a great day, either way.

 

What Did We Eat? November 4, 2017

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This week was a wild and crazy, unusual week.  Between Halloween celebrations, a visit to Harnet, lots of school, exercise classes and more, there wasn’t much time to concentrate on food.  So, frankly, we ate a LOT of soup:)

The week was a blur, but I remember a big pot of turkey-vegetable soup, along with a batch of yellow split pea soup.

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The split pea soup was very simple.  It was yellow split peas (green work, too), onion, potato, a carrot, celery, water and boullion cubes.  I always add a little thyme, salt and pepper to the mix.  After it cooked down, it was smooth with a few chunks.

The turkey vegetable was simple, too.  It was made from frozen chunks of turkey, broth, onion, carrots, celery, green beans, and a pint of crushed tomatoes.  There was water, salt and pepper, of course, and Italian seasoning.  That one turned out great as well.

We ate both of those soups many times for dinner and lunches.  Rob took some in his lunch, along with other items.

On Halloween, my sister made a taco bar, and I made some cookies with the kids.

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There were a couple of times when the Portland Trail Blazers scored over 100 points in a game, and the McDonald’s app offered a Sausage McGriddle for free.  So, we got a couple of those.  I can’t eat them, but others can.

When Rosalie, my sister, Ja’Ana and I took little Danait to McDonald’s to play while her mom studied citizenship with her tutor, we used the buy one, get one free Happy Meal coupon off the app.  Rosalie and I got to enjoy Harnet’s yummy food back at the house, but Ja’Ana and Danait ate the Happy Meals.  Mostly, we were looking for a dry, fun place to let some of the wiggles out after the library storytime we went to, and I think she had fun.  I know we did!  It was really quite comical to see 3 of us chase 1 little dynamo!!

I did make the same marinated chicken I made last week.  It was good, simple, and quick!  And, I had all the ingredients on hand.  It used up the rest of the package of buns I had, and everyone enjoyed chicken sandwiches this week.

I made mini blueberry muffins, and we ate some and took the rest up to add to the lunch at Harnet’s.  We ate them with coffee.  I can’t forget the coffee…..that deserves a sentence of its own:)  I showed her the coffee-making post, and we found a small error in my description, so I will be fixing that soon.  She enjoyed seeing it, and I’m glad.  It’s a big deal to me to post someone else’s story and I wanted to make sure it was correct.

Ja’Ana made another batch of cornbread, and I cubed and toasted about 1/2 of the pan and froze it for Thanksgiving stuffing.

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I want to have as much ready ahead of time for the big day, as I am super busy during the days before the holiday.

Whenever anyone said they were hungry, I just said, “go get some more canned fruit” and I think we all got fed just fine:)

What Did We Eat? Week of October 28, 2017

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There’s just nothing like cheesy scalloped potatoes!  I made these on Monday night after work and thought they would be for Tuesday.  Little did I know that most of the crew had not eaten dinner (or wanted another dinner–who knows?) and ….whoosh….most of them were gone that night!  Monday’s plan was leftovers for dinner.  I can see why they wanted these:)

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On Tuesday, Ja’Ana made cornbread again.  No one can get enough of it lately!!   Lovana made apple crisp, which you can see behind some other stuff. I pulled a small container of very old ham and bean soup from the shop freezer, and we used it up!  Very gratifying, but I wouldn’t say my favorite.  At least it’s gone;)

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I marinated chicken breast, cut thin, in lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, salt, pepper and garlic.  Then, I just fried it up in a pan.  I cooked pink rice and mixed vegetables.  I also offered these chicken filets up in buns for those who wanted them that way–with toppings like lettuce, etc.  Patsy and Rob went for them that way.

On Thursday, everyone got what they wanted for themselves as they left to take Ja’Ana to tap dance class before I got home.  Patsy told me she made an egg salad sandwich from some eggs I boiled and left in there.  I sauted up a few shrimp we had lingering in the freezer and had salad and a baked potato Rob left.  So, I’m guessing he had potatoes?  Or leftovers? Anyway, everyone ate!

On Friday night, Rob and I slipped away for a while.  I ordered a milkshake and nipped some of his fries.  (Awful, I know, but oh, so tasty!)

On Saturday night, I made waffles, eggs and bacon.  I will put up a picture of the waffles soon–they were so cute!  I made them in a Mickey Mouse waffle iron I got at a yard sale last weekend.  Jake was here for dinner, but the girls were not.  They had harvest parties and got their dinner there.  He ate an ear from Mickey, a few eggs, and lots of bacon.  Later in the evening, he ate a bagel, too.  I try to always keep them here for him, as he eats one almost every time.

I made a berry cobbler and a rice salad with the leftover pink rice to take for Family Sunday Dinner tomorrow.

I also ground some turkey I found in the freezer so it will be handy for sandwiches.

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Last weekend, I made this mixture of turkey burger, celery, yellow peppers, kidney beans, chili powder and crushed tomatoes.  I was going to make tamale pie one night by just putting cornbread on top and baking.  Instead, it got used at odd times for baked potatoes, tacos, salad, on a plate….I’m fine with that.  It got used, but for a little bit, and made grabbing something for lunch very easy.  I could have added macaroni, too, for chili mac.  I will probably make another batch of it soon.  IMG_5872

I picked a cabbage today.  It is in great condition.  I plan to use it for coleslaw this next week.

I feel like we ate well last week, and that I have a good handle on the upcoming one.  By the end of tomorrow…I should be in super-great shape as far as the food for the week in concerned.

 

 

Menu Plan–Week of Sept. 24, 2017

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I have been wanting to make a menu plan for a few weeks, but haven’t had time.  I’ve been too busy gathering, canning, and preserving for winter.  I will assure you, we have been eating never-the-less!  Now, it’s time to plan meals that use my preserved food.  I am not one to can/freeze food and then want to hoard it.  I figure I’ve gone to all that work, now I want to use it up!

I usually plan one meal for each evening, and plan the leftovers for lunches and perhaps one night later in the week.  This week, I’m trying something a little different.

When I plan menus, it saves me time, money and stress.  Since I get home at 6:30, 3 nights a week, the rest of the family gets hungry before I get there most of the time.  Last week, I made chicken breast, drumsticks and turkey meatloaf on the weekend, and put them in the fridge.  Then, it was easy for Rob to grab what he wanted, make a couple of side dishes, and serve dinner.  The girls clean up the dishes, since it’s their chore, and they save me a plate.  Except for the night they didn’t, but that’s another story:)

I asked him how it worked, and he said it helped him a lot.  When he gets home from his job, he is tired, but has been trying to do at least 1 extra job around the house or shop each evening.  I’m all for that!! So, if dinner is cooked or in the Crock pot, it makes that do-able for him.  Because I have appointments for the girls both Wednesday afternoon and Friday afternoon, I will make sure the meals are pre-cooked those days, as well, or in the Crock Pot.

Sunday: We had ham and scalloped potatoes for our family Sunday dinner.  My sister hosted this week, and I made a small broccoli salad, marinated cucumber salad, and lettuce salad.  I used garden produce in all 3 salads, with only a few purchased items.  The garden is coming to an end, but there are still items out there, and I want to use them.

Food for Rob to choose from for the next few days and lunches for himself and the girls.  I will also use some for lunches during the week:

I cooked a roast in the crock pot while I was gone today.  He can serve it as meat on a plate, or take it in his lunch, or make a sandwich.

Spaghetti sauce:  I will make this and use it for lasagna one day, and spaghetti another.  I have a quart of tomatoes that did not seal and needs using up.  I also have zucchini from the garden, and I may make part of the noodles in the lasagna out of them.  I usually put a little chard in the sauce, too.

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I am cooking up some taco meat right now.  If people are hungry after evening youth group, they can have tacos, if not, it will be a choice in the fridge.

I want to do a beef stew with carrots, since I have 4 gallon Ziplocks left from what we dug up.  I also have some garden potatoes and onions.

You may notice a lot of beef-based meals.  Let’s just say we had a LOT of chicken last week:)

I want to do either potato soup or clam chowder.

I have a loaf of rosemary potato bread I got from the day-old section when I visited Bob’s Red Mill.  We had some for lunch today, but will add the rest to meals during the week.  The non gluten-free ones in the family love having a treat that has wheat in it occasionally.  Since I don’t even keep a speck of all-purpose flour in the house, I don’t mind buying them things when I can.  I always have whole wheat bread for their sandwiches, but I don’t make it anymore.

I plan to make gluten-free foccocia bread.  I have a recipe that has zucchini and parmesan on top.  It’s good.  I will also make cornbread, as Rob is hungry for that.  If there is time, a batch of muffins would be great for breakfasts.  Of course, I can make any other baked item that comes to mind, if I have time.

In the garden, we still have purple beans, lettuce for salads, cucumbers marinading in the fridge, snow peas and raspberries.  The cherry and pear tomatoes are still producing well, but the larger tomatoes are not very prolific any more.  Still, I may get a few.  The basil and cilantro are great from the last planting I did.  There is chard and kale, and a few zucchini and peppers.  I have 1 head of lettuce from the store to mix with my limited supply of leaf lettuce, and can start buying a few veggies, if needed.  I think there will be plenty for this week in the garden, though.  We should use some of the preserved green beans if we run low on fresh produce.  There are an AWFUL lot of them out there in the shop:)  It’s so fun to look back on our summer’s labor, and just settle down to start eating it up!

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Now, I will get busy cooking.  I will do a couple of things tonight, and likely the rest tomorrow.   I will continue searching this week for a great deal on Rob’s coffee pods, and butter for a price I like:)  Otherwise, I think we are set for a while.

 

 

 

August, 2017, $100 Grocery Challenge, Canning, and Menu Plan

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The last peaches are in the jars, boiling as I write.  I only wanted to can 21 quarts, as I still have some left over from 2 years ago.  With what’s in the canner, I have 35.  That’s what happens when you are picking peaches and there are a lot of nice ones, and you and you sister keep picking……That should be more than enough with what I have left.  We have done 28 quarts and 9 pints of applesauce so far, and I still have another batch of apples to go.  Then, I picked a box of tomatoes from the garden tonight.  So, the canning is not done, but I’m gaining on it.

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The menu plans revolved around the garden produce.  Our garden is pumping out the veggies so quickly that we cannot keep up.  My sister’s garden is, too, and she shared the corn with us.  Rob cooked a turkey on the BBQ at the end of last week.  We had that on Sunday for our family dinner with veggies.  I froze about 7 quarts of broth after I boiled the bones.

We just had sandwiches and leftovers for Sunday night, and there was a peach and ice cream social after church Sunday night, which we enjoyed.

Breakfasts are always eggs, toast, cereal, fruit, etc. in any combination, or we just eat leftovers.

Monday:  We ate leftover turkey and other things for breakfast and lunch, and I went and visited my friend, Harnet, and we ate together up there.  J went with me, and the rest of the family was on their own at home. J was a huge blessing, as she spent a lot of energy keeping Danait occupied while us mamas did errands and talked.

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We drove around, doing various errands, and found the preschool where little Danait starts preschool soon.  She was so happy to see the awesome playground!

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Then, we ate at an Italian restaurant.  We all had fun there.

 

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Tuesday:  Lunch:  I had salad, others had sandwiches or leftovers.  Dinner: I dealt with the rest of the turkey today.  There was quite a bit left, as it was a huge turkey.  I filled several baggies with pieces of turkey, and froze them for quick casseroles, soups and sandwich filling.  I made crock pot turkey taco soup with some of the broth and some turkey pieces.  I also used some cooked, frozen black beans that Rob discovered in the freezer and some home-canned salsa.  The turkey broth has a smoky flavor since Rob did the turkey on the BBQ, and that went well with the southwestern flavor of this soup.  I made gluten-free cornbread to go with it.  There was a lot of soup, so I sent some home with my sister when she picked up Jake, and there is still some left!!

Wednesday:  Lunch:  Leftover soup, turkey sandwiches, and toast/ciabatta bread for Jake.    Dinner:  Hamburgers.  I have some buns that need using in the freezer, lots of tomatoes, etc.  I may make potato salad, if I get time.

Thursday:  Lunch:  Sandwiches and/or leftovers.  Dinner:  We are going to a party for dinner.  I am to take rice and salad.

Friday:  Here’s the best part!   I am getting away for the weekend with Rob for our 35th anniversary. I’m very excited.  Our times away alone have been few and far between, so it’s a big deal for us.  When you have been raising kids for over 33 years, it’s not easy to get away.   The kids are going to stay with their aunt and uncle, and will eat there.  I will grab some food items from here to take, and wing it!  I will certainly take some garden produce.  We can eat out, cook in our room, buy some groceries if needed, etc.  Rob is going to go crabbing, so maybe we will have crab.

$100 challenge update:  As of last week, I had $17 left from the hundred dollars.  We spent $10 this week, so there are $7 dollars left. We bought 1/2 and 1/2, celery and bagels.     I may need to get a few more bagels, since that is Jake’s preferred food, and maybe some 1/2 and 1/2, since that is Rob’s.  Or, I may not use the $7 at all.  Either way, it’s worked out nicely. We’ve been feasting from the jars of fruit that did not seal (we had 2 jars of pears, and 1 of applesauce not seal–not bad), fresh fruit before I can it, applesauce, watermelon, cantaloupe, berries, lettuce, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, snow peas, etc. from the garden.  I was given corn, peaches, and a loaf of bread.  I’ve pulled quite a few items from the freezer, freeing up space for the peaches and berries I’ve put in.  And, turkey.  Did I mention turkey?  🙂  It was a BIG one.

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We have used the excess grocery budget money to buy supplies for canning and freezing over the past 3 weeks, but didn’t need to buy anything else this week.  We have so much food on hand, and I love how much I’ve been able to put away for winter. I declare the August Grocery Challenge a success!

 

 

 

 

 

August, 2017, $100 Grocery Challenge and Menu Plan, Part 2

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The week went very well for us.  Our garden continues to produce far more food than I can feed to the family.  What a blessing!  I froze the extra bits we could not eat, such as 3 small packages of broccoli, 7 pints of beans, a handful of strawberries, a tray of peaches, etc.  So, I had Rob stop by and get milk.  He got 4 gallons for $10, and that should take us through the end of the month, hopefully.  I also had him get coffee pods because this is a good time to stock up on something like that–when we don’t need the money for the basics.  They were $19.  The other items he bought were a 2-lb brick of cheese for $4.99 and a box of plain tea for $2.  Cheese will keep for a long, long time, and that’s an excellent price for Bandon (which is owned by and tastes like Tillamook.)  So, that’s a grand total of $36, leaving us with $17 to use until the end of the month on food for meals.

I’m still on a food preservation whirlwind, and Rob was able to u-pick about $100 lbs of apples for around 50c/lb., and excellent price around here.  He took Jake and they had a good time as long as Jake could dodge the bees.  He hates them.  It all worked out and they came home with 2 huge boxes of apples.  HUGE!  I’m letting them ripen up and will start making applesauce soon.  I got 21 quarts of pears canned today, and have finished with the fruit cocktail as of last night.  I have more pears to do tomorrow, but they are getting much lower in the boxes.  I enjoy canning, so it’s not a burden and I have the day saved for that purpose.  Thank goodness for that 50 pound bag of sugar Rob got last spring.  It’s still holding out!

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The sweet pickles are coming along.  By tomorrow night, they will be ready to can.  Each morning and night, I boil something and pour over the cucumbers.  You are supposed to use tiny, whole cukes, but chunks work fine.

Of course, the eclipse keep us occupied during my canning session today!

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My phone camera did not take a good picture of the eclipse, even with the special glasses held up to the camera lens.  What an amazing sight, I must say!  Our backyard was in the prime viewing area, so we stayed home and did jobs, took a peek, worked on canning some more, took a peek, etc.  It was quite creepy, but amazing, when it became cold and dark during the middle of the morning.  Quite a lot more of the shop organization project got worked on as well, today, as well as some menu planning.  IMG_5457

Here’s what we came up with:

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Monday:  Lunch: Sandwiches and I had salad.  Dinner:  Pizza-Noodle Casserole, green beans and coleslaw.  I also found some cookies in the freezer, which I pulled out and we are eating.

8-12 ounces noodles, boiled according to package directions (mine were rice rotini, but any would work) My box was a 12 oz box, but a small amount had been used previously.

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1-15 oz can tomato sauce or 2-8 oz cans

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pizza toppings:  I used some pepperoni from the depths of the freezer, canned mushrooms and olives, 1/2 of a pepper that was suffering  from sunburn in the garden, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and a couple of diced tomatoes from the garden, which I added after it was cooked.

Pour the cooked and drained noodles into a flat baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray–mine was around 8″ x 11″.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on the noodles and stir to coat them. Pour the tomato sauce on top of the noodle mixture, then sprinkle with the Italian seasoning.  Sprinkle the 1 cup of mozzarella on top.  Then top with pizza toppings of your choice.  Bake at 350 degrees for around 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and it is warm.  It doesn’t take long because the noodles are already warm.  If you put it in the fridge all day, then bake, it will take about 1 hour.

The beans were from the garden and the cabbage was from my sister’s garden.

Tuesday:  Chicken soup.  I never made it last week.  Instead, I made ham and bean soup when the ham bone fell out of the freezer onto my toes one too many times:)  There is also some beef thawed out that Rob can barbecue.  We can eat the soup for lunch and the beef for dinner, or save the beef for sandwiches or salads for the next few days.  I have potatoes, beans, salad, etc. to go with the beef whenever we eat it.

Wednesday:  Picnic lunch.  We plan to go fishing.  I’m not sure about dinner.  We may buy some if it gets too late.

Thursday:  Sloppy Joes.  I have hamburger and buns in the freezer.  1/2 the package will be for Thursday, 1/2 for burgers on Friday.  We can have salad from the garden, beans, tomatoes, cukes, etc. as wanted.

Friday:  Hamburgers with pickles, tomatoes and lettuce from garden.  Maybe French fries.

Saturday:  Leftovers.  If there aren’t enough, I’ll cook something else from the garden or freezer.

Sunday:  Family Sunday Dinner at our house:  We still have several turkeys lurking in our chest freezer.  They’ve been there for a while, so we plan to pull one out and have Rob smoke it on the barbecue.  He will do this on Saturday, and we will serve it Sunday.  We will serve garden veggies with it, according to what is ripe that day.

Last Sunday, we ended up having the bbq that was planned and Rob also grilled some potato chunks with olive oil and spices (like rosemary).  He did them in foil.  They were from the garden and I purposely used up all the smaller ones from what I dug up a couple of days ago.  I made a rice salad with green onions and parsley from the garden, along with celery, dried cranberries and a dressing with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and another thing or two that slip my mind at the moment. It was so good.   I sauted  green beans with garlic and coleslaw from the cabbages my sister gave me.  I made a box of brownies from a mix I had been given from my sister, since she can’t bake this summer due to a remodel, and made lemonade and iced tea.  My aunt brought seltzers to share.

It should be easy to finish out the month on budget,  and I should have enough to get 1/2 and 1/2, and a few other things I think we will run out of.  $17 is really quite a lot since I have so much produce to eat.

 

 

 

 

Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti

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I made a great low-carb recipe the other day for lunch.  It was quick, easy, and tasty!

Here’s what I did:

I took my hand-held, inexpensive, veggie noodle maker and twisted a zucchini through the wider side.  I wanted some “noodles” that were thicker, so they would not mush up on me.

I put a little butter in a frying pan, melted it, then added the “noodles” and sprinkled it liberally with garlic-salt.  The kind I use is a grinder, so I twisted the top several times to get a good amount of garlic and salt on the “noodles.”  Then I cooked the zucchini noodles for about 3 minutes, stirring only when necessary because I didn’t want to break them up.

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In the meanwhile, I took 3 of the meatballs I had made the other day and warmed them in the microwave with a little marinara sauce.

I put the meatballs and sauce on the zucchini noodles, sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese (more than I intended since a lump came rushing out), and enjoyed my lunch very much.