Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Ha! Okay so maybe once a week isn't even practical at this point.


Today was so great. I made "real" hot chocolate and we sat in the living room and read 4 books together today for school. I love it! So do they! The only thing missing was the roaring fire that I dream about. I love fall. Really, I love the beginning of every season.


Busy school days=the life of every mom

The love of real home cooked meals=the wish of most moms

Soup and a crock pot=reality at its finest in the kitchen


It can be done people. With joy even! Have a happy heart this week and try some of these crock pot recipes.


Taco Soup
1 pound ground beef
2 cans Rotel
3 cups cooked beans of your choice, (2 cans) -even better dried beans cooked in vegetable broth
16 oz bag of frozen corn
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
big can of tomato sauce
1 chopped onion
2 cups water
oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, cumin, garlic
Brown beef in skillet w/ onion. Drain fat and add to crock pot. Add all other ingredients (do not drain cans), and stir to mix. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or HIGH 4.


Beef & Vegetable Soup
a few squirts of Bragg's(soy sauce)
2 lbs. frozen mixed vegetables (I save left over veggies and use those)
2 pounds beef roast, cut into pieces or can use left over beef
salt and pepper to taste
1 (12 oz can tomato paste
6 cups water
Pour ingredients into a crock pot and stir well. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Serve w/ cheese toast or grilled cheese sandwiches.


Bean Soup
1 lb bag or 2 cups mixed beans, soaked overnight
7 C water
1-2 lbs ham, cubed
1-2 pressed cloves garlic
salt, celery salt, and pepper to taste
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
Put all ingredients into your crock pot and cook on LOW for 8 hours.



BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Makes 10 servings
3 pounds beef rump roast, trimmed
1 tablespoon Bragg's (soy sauce)
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
15 ounces tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
10 hamburger buns
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Rub flour into roast. Place in bottom of crock pot and add remaining ingredients, (except buns). Cook on low for about 14-16 hours. Serve over buns.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Greetings!

I am back. Well, in a way. Different. I can't possibly post every day. I can however, post once a week. For an extra special treat I might even post twice. How is that?

I really feel inspired today. There is just something special about homemade pizza and ice cream.

My friend Diana one year for my birthday gave me a pizza pan and her recipe for crust. So special and personal. I love gifts like that. Teach me and I will learn. Her recipe uses all white flour but I substitute some whole wheat in there and it just makes it heartier and chewier. Maybe I could get a special guest (Sarah) to post her famous (I hear from her mother) pizza crust recipe soon. I am sure she uses ALL whole wheat!

Crust
Sprinkle 2 pkg yeast into 1/4 c warm water and add a pinch of sugar or a drizzle of honey. Let sit until bubbly about 3-5 minutes. Combine 1 1/4 c flour and 1 tsp salt. Pour in yeast mixture, 1 c warm water and 1/4 c olive oil. Mix and knead until smooth. Let rise until double. Makes 2 pizzas. Bake on bottom shelf at 450 for about 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Boys Pizza
Roast a chicken, cut up in bite size pieces. Fry some bacon. Top a crust with olive oil and 2 garlic cloves. Layer with chicken, bacon and mozzarella. After it cooks drizzle it with ranch dressing. If it were mine I would also add some red onion slices. But it is theirs.

Mine and Tom's
Roast some garden fresh tomatoes in a 325 oven for 1-2 hours until they look delicious to you. The longer the better I say. All you have to do is cut off the top, drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and roast away.
Oh my.
Top the pizza with olive oil and garlic. Spread the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.
oh my.

Okay now this is some rich ice cream. I actually got it from a blog that suggests it for breakfast. I mean all that milk, eggs, honey...good for ya right?!

Ice cream
10 egg yolks- please use only organic farm fresh eggs
6 c raw milk
1 c agave or honey
2 tsp vanilla
Beat with mixer. Pour into freezer ice cream maker. Stir often until done.

Defrost some blueberries add agave nectar and top your ice cream.

Mental note: JOG IN THE MORNING.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On Hold


Well, I did make a trip this past weekend and spring is here??!! Maybe... I must admit it is difficult to post these days. One reason is my computer picks up internet once a day at 4:00 for about an hour. I am serious. Maybe something beyond my control I think. So for a bit this blog is on hold. Do hope this has been a blessing to read and maybe gave you a chuckle every now and again.

Peace out - Angela

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Soy. Do you know what it is?


The debate is there. Is soy good for you or bad? Where did all the confusion come from? I personally think it is NOT good for you unless it is fermented. Here is why I think this way. It is an article I got from mercola.com. I also have uploaded a picture of the fermented miso I use and I can only find it at Whole Foods. I am sure an ethnic store will carry it or maybe even Baum's around here, I have just not looked.
Soy Bad, Soy Good: The Pluses of Fermented Soy

Soy is a hotly debated product among those who promote and sell its nutritional value as well as consumers who eat it. The debate stems largely from the health value of nonfermented soy found in a great many processed foods in relation to those that use the much healthier alternative fermented soy.
Why? Nonfermented soy products contain phytic acid, which contains anti-nutritive properties. Phytic acid binds with certain nutrients, including iron, to inhibit their absorption. This is a direct, physical effect that takes place in the digestive system. Their ability to bind is limited by the milligrams of phytic acid present.
Products using nonfermented soy include:
Fresh green soybeans
Whole dry soybeans
Nuts
Sprouts
Flour
Soy milk
Tofu
What makes unfermented soy particularly unsafe: It's hard to avoid soy in processed foods such as baby formula, meat substitutes, drinks and snacks. One can find it in a great many domestically-produced food products at the grocery store. Additionally, soy is sanctioned by groups like the Soy Protein Council and USDA that cite the presence of isoflavones scientists say reduces one's risk of cancer.
On the other hand, fermented soy stops the effect of phytic acid and increases the availability of isoflavones. The fermentation also creates the probiotics--the "good" bacteria the body is absolutely dependent on, such as lactobacilli--that increase the quantity, availability, digestibility and assimilation of nutrients in the body.
Products using fermented soy include:
Natto
Miso
Tempeh
Soy sauces
Fermented tofu and soymilk
Many studies have shown traditionally fermented soy--which is the form that is very popular in many Asian cultures--aids in preventing and reducing a variety of diseases including certain forms of heart disease and cancers.
Good Foods
One such study of the culturing method involved in the production of the Japanese traditional food miso concluded the culturing process itself led to a lower number and growth rate of cancers. Researchers also found it was not the presence of any specific nutrient that was cultured along with the soyabean paste but the cultured soy medium itself that was responsible for the health benefits associated with eating miso.
Miso, a fermented or probiotic form of soyabean, is particularly rich in the isoflavone aglycones, genistein and daidzein, which are believed to be cancer chemopreventatives.
The health benefits are found to be as good with natto, according to research conducted by a Japanese scientist who found natto had the highest fibrinolytic activity among 200 foods produced worldwide. About 15 years ago, that same scientist discovered an enzyme produced in the fermentation process, nattokinase, a powerful agent contained in the sticky part of natto that dissolves blood clots that lead to heart attacks, strokes and senility.
Natto also contains vitamin K2 and isophrabon, which help to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis and breast cancer and slow down the aging process.
How Do Fermented Foods Work?
Scientists have considered three different theories:
Primary active ingredients in complex fermented soy "foods" act synergistically with secondary compounds
Secondary compounds mitigate the undesirable side effects caused by the predominant active ingredients
Multiple ingredients act through multiple discrete pathways to therapeutically affect the host. That allows lower concentrations of each of the botanicals or soy phytochemicals to be more efficacious when used together than when used individually
Four years ago, the World Health Organization reported the Japanese, who consume large amounts of fermented soy foods like natto and miso along with green tea, ginger and ocean herbs, have the longest lifespan of any people in the world.
Unfortunately, Americans didn't make the top 20 for lengthy lifespans, which has much to do with a Western diet that emphasizes foods that are processed and genetically altered. That could have a domino effect worldwide on the health of other cultures. Experts fear consumers in other cultures may abandon their traditional fermented foods for a more Western diet, losing healthy sources of probiotic whole food nutrition.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/08/04/fermented-soy.aspx

Ziti with Ratatouille cook along



In a skillet brown with some olive oil the onion for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add thick sliced garlic and brown for another 5 minutes. Remove garlic slices. Add eggplant some more olive oil and salt and pepper. Brown another 10 minutes. Remove to bowl.


Add more oil to skillet, cook peppers & zucchini. Brown for 8 minutes. Remove to bowl with other cooked vegetables.
Add tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt & pepper to skillet and gently boil for 10 minutes. Boil in another pot, water for ziti (or rigitoni). Cook pasta and drain.


Add vegetables to tomatoes in skillet and cook a few minutes more.


Add vegetables to bowl of ziti and mix. Top with parmesan cheese. Serve with roasted garlic french bread.

Thursday 4/16

I got this from an old Rachael Ray magazine. It was under the Take 5.

I lb linguine, cooked, drained +
1 onion, sliced (browned with garlic) +
4 cloves garlic, minced (browned with onion) +
1 lb asparagus (cooked in 1/4 c water until tender) +
crushed red pepper

Add all together and toss. Salt & pepper. Done.

Wednesday 4/15

The plan is Greek Salad. I will give you my recipe but...the boys have a 4H music project to do. We have to be there at 4 and won't leave until after 6 so that means we will be to late for church and we will have the boys so no dinner out for us. So what else? Dinner out for all of us. I hope we have some ribbons or accomplishments to celebrate. You do celebrate accomplishments don't you? Okay just checking. I pray the angels are dancing to the music tomorrow night and that God is well pleased.


Greek Salad
Prepare romaine lettuce and put in a bowl. Add everything cut and prepared:
cucumber, sliced
1/2 small red onion, diced
15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
kalamata olives, cut in half
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
red bell pepper, sliced


Vinaigrette:
garlic clove minced
1 shallot minced
1 tsp each dried oregano, thyme and salt
pepper
pinch of sugar
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2/3 c olive oil

Monday & Tuesday

Please forgive me. I do realize today is Tuesday and I forgot to give the recipes for yesterday and now today. Could I appease you with pictures? Yes! Great! Here is the recipe, go and get all the ingredients now! Hurray...

Oh and don't forget the movie!

Ziti with Ratatouille
1/2 c olive oil
1 onion, diced
8 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium eggplant, diced
salt & pepper
1 green pepper, diced
1 pound dried ziti
3 medium zucchini, sliced and cut into 1/4 moon pieces
2 (28oz) cans drained diced tomatoes
fresh parsley and basil
wedge of REAL Parmesan cheese

Go, now....be back or be square. Yes I said it, even if only to myself.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Menu



Normally we have family over for dinner but since we are here with none near we are having dinner at home, just us. I like that. So I don't want to cook a ham or a lamb. So the next best thing, well voiced by my children is...drum roll please... Shepherd's Pie. Yes, really, the kids LOVE this stuff. I gave this recipe before but will bring it up again. And strawberry & spinach salad, doesn't that just speak spring?


Shepherd's Pie
Set a big pot with water to boiling for making mashed potatoes on high when it comes to a boil add diced potatoes to soften.
Brown 2 lbs ground beef with 1 onion diced and sea salt in a skillet.
When done pour into a casserole dish.
In the same skillet add about 1/2 c bragg's or soy sauce, a spoonful of bacon grease or other grease, 1/4 c water, 3 carrots sliced, pkg of mushrooms chopped
Simmer for about 10 minutes with a lid on to keep water from evaporating.
Add about 2 tbsp flour and let this cook stirring it for 1 minute
Add about 1/2 c milk mixed with 1/4 c water to skillet and make a gravy.
If you need more liquid add water a little at a time. We don't want this to soupy though. Now pour this over the meat in the casserole dish. After the potatoes cook, drain and put back in the pot. Add 1/4 c butter some milk, salt and pepper. Beat until semi smooth top your casserole now with the potatoes. Add some paprika and 1/4 c pats of butter to the top and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.


Strawberry Spinach Salad
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion
10 ounces fresh spinach - rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1 quart strawberries - cleaned, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 cups diced rhubarb
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup rolled oats
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, strawberries, and rhubarb. Place the mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, butter, and oats until crumbly. You may want to use a pastry blender for this. Crumble on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and lightly browned.


Have a wonderful Easter. I hope we all come to the real knowledge of what He has done for us because He loves us! I am His and He is mine.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hello & Happy Easter

We are back home but have been busy with getting regular life back in order. If there is such a thing as regular life??? I think anything called spring break is really a curse. It is just to hard to come back from one and get back into school days. I actually do better during the winter. I can get through that. Now spring, that is a different story! So you will notice I changed the dates over to the right at the Menu at a Glance for next week and I will just post here our menu for the next few days.

Friday
Chicken Sausage
Trader Joe's makes these great chicken mango sausages, use those or some other type.
Cook and cube sausage. Toss with cooked linguine or angel hair pasta. Add 6 oz feta cheese, plum tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil and the juice from one lime.


Saturday
Quiche
fruit

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
12 slices bacon
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup minced onion
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups light cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Place bacon in a large skillet, and fry over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, then chop coarsely. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion into pastry shell.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture into pastry shell.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Allow quiche to sit 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Week ending & beginning



These are the painting the kids in my Monday watercolor class did! Aren't they great?


Okay, Okay. So I haven't been all that on target this week. I didn't make it back last night because we took Dalton shopping so he could spend a little of his birthday money. While we were out we ate lunch. When we eat out Tom and I feel so full and to make up for the "bad" parts of eating out, the unhealthy stuff we skip dinner. You know dozens of tortillas I am 100% sure are made of all white flour. Corn chips fried I am sure in soy bean or corn oil. Not to mention the corn in the chips I am sure are not organic. Did you know that if you are going to make some changes in your diet the top 3 things to change are to not eat white flour, use organic corn only, and only organic peanut butter. Then I could go down the list but start there. Anyways dinner last night was cheese and crackers for the boys and Tom and I past. Or fasted if you will. Don't hear to much about fasting these days. I think it needs to be a part of your spiritual life and a part of a healthy life style.


And if not doing a cook along last night was not upsetting enough I am not posting at all next week. We are taking a spring break and going to Michigan. I will give you a preview of the menu I will have for the week we come back though. Just check out the Menu at a Glance section to the right sidebar.


Need dinner plans for tonight? Come to Lake Hills Baptist Church in Schererville. They are having this huge Game Dinner with music! Only $8 per person! Oh yeah, mom stay home and rest, paint, read, watch TV, get your nails done, something because this is for men and boys.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday 3/26

Crab Cakes


Yes really this time. Yes I planned them last week and then again for last night. So here are the ingredients.







Mixing up the patty's.







Fry in canola oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
Steam some carrots and broccoli with butter, salt and lemon pepper.







On the table. Lean and light.










Okay, so if we are being real honest here and I am sure that is what you want. Honesty. It wasn't a favorite. It needed more lump crab meat. The recipe calls for more lump I just tried what I had picked up. So honestly if it had more meat it would be good. But...I probably won't try it even knowing that again.

Come back tomorrow night, for the Lasagna Roll Ups!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday 3/25

So I planned crab cakes. But I have a headache so it will be fried potatoes and eggs. I still feel good about that. And it will be coffee with hubby tonight while the boys are at AWANA. I plan to have a cook along with my new camera every Friday night. Won't that be FUN? Okay remember I am giddy about my new camera. So come back for that. And I might even change what I have planned so I can pick something good and special for the first one.

So on another note. I garden. This past summer we did raised beds. It was okay. I had not planned well enough for the garden to withstand all this wind here in Indiana. So this year we are putting up lattice to help shield it. I am starting tomato and pepper seeds in the house and I need to get out and buy onion sets, they are only here for so long and in early spring. So maybe with coffee in hand we will walk around Alsip's tonight. Which now reminds me we need some grass seed and potting soil...and oh my head aches. But I love the spring. Have fun, try your hand at a container garden if you've never tried gardening.

Celebration


So I may be back tonight, Wednesdays are our busy day. But I wanted to post a picture of my young man. And people I got a new camera! I can now post pictures of the food I cook! Like Pioneer Woman does! You don't know how happy that makes me!!!! I am giddy with happiness. We took Dalton to Oberwise. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's an ice cream shop and the tables are chess boards. We had a great time. He got the banana malt in the cool chilled glass with a cookie straw.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Tuesday 3/24

Dalton is 13 today. An official teenager, and no I don't like that word and try not to even us it. Not because I am afraid though I will talk about that in a moment. I do not agree with the modern culture about the word teenager. I think it is an excuse. The Bible says you are a child and then an adult. You either act like a child or an adult. I will not accept "teenage" behavior because society says it is just a stage, they are trying to find their identity. I understand all that, well the identity part. But that is no excuse for the bad mouths, attitudes, laziness, freedom to do whatever because they have to find out for themselves, rebellion. I want his identity to be WITH his father and I, with his brothers, with his friends that I KNOW, with his youth group, with his church, with his neighborhood friends (under my control). Yes he is 13 but I have high expectations for him. He is serving a High Priest now. He is not just learning to, he is.

I know this has nothing to do with food , though it will, later. As you may know with Chandler's last birthday they choose the meal. But later. I need to get this all out on paper, well...

Afraid. I mentioned that earlier. Dalton went on an overnight youth event to Indy. This was his first trip without us, as a young adult. See doesn't that sound better? Young adult. It even sounds more dignified, like the expectations are already high, respectful. I was worried that the choices I had made to let him go would "cost" to much. What if he got into something there? What if he chose to do something he was not suppose to? Get it? I had low expectations of him before he even went. Or was it really that I had, dare I say it, low expectations of God. Father forgive me. We had studied Psalm 119 in church the previous Sunday and it reminded me of 911. You know Psalm 91:1, if your in danger read that one! His word is so alive and gave me such peace.

91:9-11 If you make the Most High your dwelling- even the LORD who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways
91:14 Because he loves me, says the LORD, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

I love the Lord. Dalton loves the Lord. When Dalton falls, the Lord will rescue him. I don't have to worry or be afraid. I don't even have to wonder will he be alright. God says so.

Done, worry free. Peace. Happiness. Love for me.

Dinner menu
BBQ chicken breast with no bone or skin
green beans
corn
no birthday cake, apple pie

And shh...Tom and I found on our date night Oberweise. They even have chess tables! That is so Dalton, we are taking him there for dessert! Yes, after apple pie.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DALTON. I love who God is making you!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Monday 3/23

I have several vegetables in the freezer so we are having a vegetable and rice dinner.

Brussells Sprouts in butter
Green Beans in Olive Oil and Bragg's Soy Sauce
Brown Rice

Sunday 3/22

A new week. Again. Time is getting away from me. With this weather and the fact that I am looking over the next few months and all we need or should get done with school. My oldest son with be 13 on Tuesday and my head has so many more gray hairs than last year. Time. It makes us wiser but also older. I sat looking at pictures the other night of the boys when they were wee little. I just stare and think oh how I wish I would have kissed them another 20 times. And not that I didn't kiss them but my love has actually grown so much for them and who they are becoming I wish I had more time before the next year comes. Forgetting. It happens all the time. We forget pain, hurts, laughs, vacations, birthdays, even God's love for us. I am amazed how many times we are told to remember in the Bible. How many times we have to remind ourselves of things so simple, so good yet we forget them. Thank God he refreshes our memory in so many ways to so many things. Wishing you all a memory filled week of God's love.


Rotisserie chicken
Roasted potatoes

Friday, March 13, 2009

Saturday 3/21


Crab Cakes
Salad

This recipe is on Food Network. It is from one of those Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episodes. The actual restaurant is in Chicago.




Friday 3/20

Lasagna Roll Ups
Brussell Sprouts

• 8 lasagna noodles
• 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 can (18 oz.) tomato paste
• 1 tsp. oregano leaves, crushed
• ½ tsp. basil leaves, crushed
• 1 ctn. (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
• 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
• 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1 egg
• ½ tsp. salt
Directions
1. Cook noodles according to package direction; drain.
2. Cook sausage, onion and garlic in large skillet until meat is done; drain.
3. Stir in tomato paste, 2 cups water, oregano and basil. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 mintues.
4. Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg and salt.
5. Spread about ½ cup cheese mixture over each noodle; roll up. Place seam side down in 13x9 inch baking dish. Pour sauce over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
6. Cover and bake in preheated 350°F oven, 35 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Prep and Cook Time: 65 min
Servings: 8

Thursday 3/19

Steak Tips in Mushroom Gravy over Noodles
Steamed Broccoli

I have looked and looked for a recipe that doesn't use a package gravy or jar gravy mix. I couldn't find one. So it is really simple. Mushrooms give the best flavor to the gravy and adding soy sauce gives it that meat flavor.

I use stew meat and then cut in up even smaller. Flour the pieces of meat and brown in vegetable oil or bacon grease. Don't forget to salt and pepper the meat. Move to a plate once done. In the same pan on medium heat cook sliced mushrooms, 1/4 c soy sauce and a chopped onion. When done and soft add about 1/2 c flour. Make a roue. Mix half water and half milk and add this to pan making gravy. Add salt and pepper. Mix meat in gravy.

Add over cooked egg noodles.

Wednesday 3/18

Stuffed French Toast

This is been on my mind now for about a month. A friend of mine and I were going to brunch at this cute little place in Lowell. Well they didn't tell us or anyone actually for that matter they left! Just up and left!

So after my friend told me about what they served, stuffed french toast with cream cheese, strawberries, maple syrup, powdered sugar...warm...ooey...gooey...oh my gosh.... we did go to brunch but it WASN'T that!

I found a recipe from a bed and breakfast site that mixes it all and then you bake it in the oven I am going to try it.

Today!!!

http://virtualcities.com/ons/me/z/mez86011.htm

Tuesday 3/17


Happy St Patrick's Day!
We had lunch at our co-op last week. We studied Ireland and had traditional St Patrick's Day food. I am making it today. I LOVE noodles and cabbage and so do the boys. I could eat it once a week as the main dish.
Get a corned beef roast, it usually comes with the seasoning pack and boil it per directions.
Now to the good stuff! Fry a pound of bacon until crisp. In the same pan and with the grease fry up a big head of cabbage. Cut it in strips. Add an onion chopped up and salt & pepper. Let this fry until cabbage is soft and the onions are brown. Add the crumbled up bacon. Boil egg noddles, drain. Add noodles, cabbage and onion mixture and bacon in a bowl and mix.
Oh man, this is so good!

Monday 3/16


Country Fried Chicken Steak with mashed potatoes & gravy.

Remember the Pampered Chef party I had? Well I got one of those cool meat pounder thingies. It is neat really. One side pounds the meat thin and the other side puts those hole patterns in the meat like country fried steaks have. So get yours out and have fun. Okay if you don't have one you can buy cubed steak and if they don't have it in chicken ask them to run it through their tenderizer or just use beef.

Now double coat it in egg wash and seasoned flour. Fry it in bacon grease, well I am. When done add to the same pan with extra grease if needed, 1/2 c flour or enough to make a roue. Brown it good, add salt and pepper. I then make the gravy with half milk half water. Until it is as thick as you like.

Make your mashed potatoes.

Serve it up with gravy smothering it ALL.

Now go and jog 2 miles, it's okay.

Sunday 3/15


It is March, mid March! As I typed in Sunday 3/15 I was shocked. Time is flying around here. It seems like I am looking at a new weekly menu plan every day! The last 2 weeks I really used up some stock I had here. I like having a stocked pantry. I think I spent $40 last week on a few meat items and used what I had on hand. Last nights dinner was noodles mixed with what ever I had~
1/2 a bag of corn
4 carrots
onion
2 lbs ground beef
2 celery stalks
3 fried potatoes
I just throw it all in a bowl and top it with what ever dressing I have made up.

Good.

Church is doing a new members lunch on Sunday so dinner will be light. Baked potatoes with toppings. I know boring.

But...the rest of the week, look out!




Thursday, March 12, 2009

Busy Week and repeats


Good Morning!
I haven't left you. I am here. Busy and repeating last week. BORING... Next week. Now that is a horse of a different color. Come back for ~


Crab Cakes

Stuffed French Toast

Country Fried Steaks

Lasagna

Steak Tips over Noodles

And yes, thanks Tricia, Cabbage and Noodles with Bacon


Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday 3/7

Chili
Remember chili week? Well, go back and check it out.

Not so exciting this week but oh so necessary sometimes.

Friday 3/6

Wild Rice Soup
(this one is in the archives, just search for it)

Thursday 3/5

Spaghetti
Left over Olive Cheese Bread in the freezer

Wednesday 3/4

Cream of wheat with agave nectar, butter and cinnamon
Bacon

Tuesday 3/3

Lemon Greek Soup

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cat-cora/avgolemono-chicken-soup-with-egg-lemon-sauce-recipe/index.html

Monday 3/2

Crockpot beans & rice

Top it with some cheese and sour cream. Make a pan of cornbread.

Sunday 3/1

March. Oh the anticipation. The hope for the garden beds, the yard work, the sitting in the sun reading a book, grilling, jogging...I could go on forever. What is it about spring that gives you a new hope for the remaining year? I am not sure it is one thing, it's the whole thing. Sorta like the picture of the hope and new beginnings we have in Christ. It's the whole thing!

So, I have 3 boys. They are no longer wearing their clothes gently. I mean how can children put holes in the knees of NEW pants during the winter??? Seriously??? I have up until last year been fine in hand me downs. I am down to having a few shirts left over for the next one. So with spring ahead of us the boys will need new clothes, all 3 of them! Which leads me to the menu this week.

Spring cleaning the cabinets. Dalton and I spent an hour yesterday pulling out things in the cabinets. Combining things, seeing what we had, like that 5lb bag of cream of wheat. We then made a menu and I think with all the things I have on hand I will spend about $50 at the grocery store this week. The rest of the $$ is being put in an envelope for clothes.

Rotisserie Chicken (or roasted if you don't have a rotisserie)
Corn

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday 2/28

Pasta Fagioli with Sausage

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sweet or hot bulk Italian sausage, or links, casings discarded
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 to 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs rosemary (or dry eq.)
3 to 4 sprigs thyme (or dry eq.)
Salt and pepper
One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken broth
One 18-ounce can cannellini beans
1 cup ditalini pasta
Grated pecorino-romano or parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for serving
Crusty bread, for mopping
1. In a soup pot, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Crumble in the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the chicken broth, beans and 2 cups water, cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Stir in the ditalini, lower the heat and simmer until al dente. Discard the bay leaf and rosemary and thyme stems.
3. Serve the soup in bowls with a drizzle of EVOO and lots of cheese. Serve with bread for mopping.
http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/30-minute-meals/pasta-e-fagioli-with-sausage/article.html

Friday 2/27

Avocado Citrus Salad

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
4 pink grapefruits, peeled and cut into segments
2 Hass avocados, thinly sliced
1 cup (about 6 ounces) pitted kalamata olives
1. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil into the vinegar, pouring in a thin, steady stream; season with salt and pepper.
2. Place the lettuce in a large bowl or on a platter, add half the dressing and toss to coat. Add the grapefruit, avocado, and olives, drizzle with the remaining dressing and toss gently.

Now I will probably need some protein and after all it is Friday night. So I will bake up some chicken thighs in some balsamic vinegar and add this to dinner. Along with some cupcakes! Remember it's Friday night!

***Cost for this meal
$2.50 2 chicken breasts cut up
$2.00 avocados
$2.49 lettuce
$.86 olives
$2.00 grapefruit
$1.00 dressing
----------------
$10.85= $2.17 per person

Thursday 2/26

Broccoli Salad, Salad

Have you ever had that summer broccoli salad with bacon, raisins and almonds in it? Well it is grand. I like it a lot. So why not make into a whole meal by topping romaine lettuce with it???

Wash & cut small 1 bunch broccoli. In a bowl mix :
1/2 c mayo
2 tsp sugar
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp chopped fine onion
Add broccoli to bowl adding:
1 c raisins
1 c sunflower seeds
1/2 lb crisp bacon crumbled
Mix and top a handful of lettuce with it.

Summer memories in a bowl...

Wednesday 2/25

Oriental Chicken Salad
Cook 2 chicken breasts however you like them. Cut up in bite size pieces. Wash and mix chinese cabbage and romaine lettuce. Add a handful to each plate. Top with chicken, shredded carrots, chopped onion, sliced almonds, sesame seeds.

Dressing
In a jar with a lid mix together~
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp honey, warmed
pinch red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

***Cost for this meal
$2.49 lettuce didn't have cabbage
$1.69 dressing
$2.49 almonds
$2.50 chicken
$.50 carrots
$.47 onion
couldn't find sesame seeds gave up after 5 minutes of searching
-------------
$10.14= $2.03 per person

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tuesday 2/24

BLT Salad

Beef, Leeks and Tomato Salad.
Leeks have a nice crunch and have a very milk onion flavor.


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 small 1- to 1 1/2-inch-thick strip steaks, at room temperature
Salt and pepper
8 slices bacon
4 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
2 beefsteak tomatoes, thickly sliced

1. Broil meat in oven or stir fry, set aside.
2. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels and let cool. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings from the skillet, then add the leeks, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.
3. Crumble the bacon and transfer half to a food processor. Add the Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard, some pepper and a splash of water. With the machine on, pour in the 1/2 cup olive oil in a steady stream.
4. Arrange a bed of the romaine and tomatoes on plates. Slice the steak against the grain and layer over the tomatoes. Scatter the leeks over the steak and pour the bacon dressing on the salad. Top with the remaining crumbled bacon.

Monday 2/23

Taco Salad

Brown up 1lb ground beef. Add 1 onion and some chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper.
Heat up some corn with butter in a saucepan add a can of black beans and heat through.

Salad spin some romaine lettuce. Place a nice handful on a plate. Top with:
spoon of meat
spoon of corn & black beans
chopped avocado
chopped tomato
spoon of salsa
cheddar cheese

*** Cost for 5 people eating this salad
$2.49 lettuce
$2.17 meat
$1.00 frozen corn
$1.88 big can black beans
forgot the tomato & salsa
$1.29 cheese
$1.00 avocado
------------
$9.83 by 5 people= $1.96 per person
Now try and buy that salad at McDonald's for that

Sunday 2/22

Pampered Chef Salad Spinner.

Swimsuit Season.

Yes, those two go together and it just so happens that I just purchased the salad spinner. I am excited to us it. The other thing, we just won't talk about right now.

I planned 5 salads and 2 pasta dishes for this week and in the spirit of what I wanted to accomplish last week I will try to list what I actually spent for the dishes. You may have to check back for the price because I have not been to the store yet but I do have the plan.

Beef & Feta Pasta Bake

1 pound elbow pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk, heated
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1 big can tomato sauce or puree
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour for 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, whisk in the hot milk and cook, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the feta.
3. In a large bowl, combine the tomato sauce and cooked meat, cinnamon, cloves and sugar; stir in half of the pasta. In another large bowl, stir together the feta sauce and the remaining pasta. Transfer the meat-coated pasta to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; top with the feta-coated pasta. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes.

Depending on what fruit I see that looks decent I will slice up some fresh pineapple or some kind of melon.

Our food producers today article

This is not to long and some of it is science jargon. The 3 important things I want to make you aware of and to read more about is this-
1. Monsanto produced Agent Orange.
2. Monsanto produces things like Splenda.
3. They are also the ones behind genetically modified foods.

How can we be so naive to let a chemical company control our food supply?

If it is not a natural sweetener THROW it out!



Can You Really Trust Monsanto? -- How They Corrupted Science
Sir Richard Doll was a world-renowned British cancer specialist who passed away last year. It was Sir Richard who is noted for making the connection between smoking and lung cancer. It turns out that he was being paid for 20 years as a consultant by Monsanto, while not revealing this fact in his ''independent'' reports.
Monsanto was a producer of the horrific Agent Orange, the lethal herbicide and defoliant used by American forces in the Vietnam War for ten years up to 1971. It contained dioxins that have caused great damage to health among the civilians and troops exposed to it.
As a result, lawsuits were filed against producers like Monsanto and Dow Chemical with American veterans winning $180 million in compensation in 1984. Australian, New Zealand and Korean victims also won compensation, though not the Vietnamese.
Studies indicate the increased risks of cancer and genetic defects from exposure to dioxin, but Sir Richard Doll wrote to a Royal Australian commission investigating the Monsanto Agent Orange to say there was no evidence that this was the case. He did not mention that every day he was pocketing $1,500 from Monsanto.
Documents revealed this month also show that Sir Richard Doll was paid $15,000 by the Chemical Manufacturers Association, Dow Chemical, another Agent Orange producer, and the British chemical giant ICI.
For this money, he produced an ''independent'' review that largely dismissed claims that the vinyl chloride used in plastics could be linked to cancers, apart of those of the liver. The World Health Organization challenges that assertion, but it suited his paymasters and they used his report to defend the chemical's safety for a decade.
What we have here is one small glimpse at the corruption and conflicts of interest that consume much of what is bravely called ''science.'' Of course, as in all these professions, even politics, there are some genuine people trying to do what they believe to be right with ethics and honesty. But wherever dollar signs appear ethics have a fight on their hands.
The more ''renowned'' the scientist, the bigger the check -- and the more effective the contribution to misleading public perception.
The idea, most of the time, is not even to ''win'' the argument over the effect of a chemical or GM food or whatever because they know that on facts and common sense the odds are stacked against them. The arguments are also often complex and full of science-speak and neither position is able to land the deciding punch until the effects have become clear in the consequences for public health.
Their primary goal is to throw confusion and conflict into the ''debate,'' to muddy the waters and prevent any clear presentation of the facts. This is done by finding ''scientists'' who are willing to put the argument that suits the corporations and, although it may have no validity, it dilutes the clarity there would otherwise be.
In this way, warnings about the potential dangers of a food additive, sugar substitute and all these other chemical concoctions are ignored for years, even decades, before unmistakable heath effects become obvious. By then, it's too late for those who have suffered or died. The corporations use their on-the-take ''scientists'' to counter the warnings and persuade government agencies that there is no ''proof'' that a substance will be harmful.
In any sane society, a company would have to provide unquestionable proof that the chemical was not harmful before entering public use and this would clip the power of the chemical giants overnight. But it is not just the ''scientists'' who are for sale, so are many within the very government agencies that are supposed to police the corporations.
Monsanto is the producer of the sugar substitute, aspartame, which was manipulated through the Food and Drug Administration ''safety checks'' by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle Pharmaceuticals. He used his connections in the Reagan-Bush administration after 1979 to ensure that aspartame, a brain cell-scrambler, entered public use despite the independent research challenging its safety.
Monsanto is also the corporation behind genetically-modified food and they have been using the same techniques to impose this upon the world. Its propaganda machine counters the evidence about the dangers with a host of handsomely-paid white coats turning simple debate into incomprehensible complexity that the public and politicians cannot understand. They also use the media and their song-sheet singers in government to target those genuine scientists acting in the public interest.
Dr. Arpad Pusztai was considered the world expert on GM foods with more than 270 published studies relating to the subject. He was working at the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, when he was interviewed for a World in Action television documentary on August 10, 1998. What he said was to destroy his career because of the reaction of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, puppets of Monsanto and the biotech industry.
Dr. Pusztai told the program that rats fed on certain GM potatoes had suffered stunted growth, damage to the immune system, and their liver, heart and other organs got smaller. He later said this was also the case with the brain, but he had not mentioned that in the TV interview to avoid being ''alarmist.'' However, he did say this of GM food: "If I had the choice, I would certainly not eat it.''
On the evening the interview was broadcast, Dr. Pusztai was congratulated for his contribution by Professor Philip James, director of the Rowett Institute. The next morning, the institute issued a press release highlighting that a ''range of carefully controlled studies underlie the basis of Dr. Pusztai's concerns.''
Forty eight hours later, he was suspended and ordered to hand over all his data. His research team was disbanded and he was threatened with legal action if he spoke to anyone on the subject. Even his personal assistant was banned from talking to him and he was alerted to an institute press release that his contract was not being renewed. He wife was also sacked.
Dr. Pusztai was to have two heart attacks and his wife was put on permanent medication for high blood pressure. The Rowett Institute lied and lied about the reasons for their disgraceful treatment of Dr. Pusztai, as was later proved.
The truth was that his comments on GM food, coming from such a world-class source, had threatened to blow apart the Monsanto claims about the safety of GM. He had to be destroyed with the usual vindictiveness.
Dr. Pusztai is certain that his demise was caused by Tony Blair. He said that the day after the World in Action program, two phone calls were made by Blair's office to his boss, Philip James, and the next day he was fired. Dr. Pusztai said he was told by a senior manager at Rowett that Blair's intervention was prompted by a phone call from the United States President Bill Clinton.
The story was confirmed by Professor Robert Orskov, one of Britain's top nutrition researchers who worked for Rowett for 33 years. He said he was told that phone calls went from Monsanto to Clinton and then to Blair.
''Clinton rang Blair and Blair rang James,'' he said. ''There is no doubt he was pushed by Blair to do something. It was damaging the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom because it was going to be a huge blow for Monsanto.''
Another eminent researcher, Stanley Ewen, said that he was told the same story by another senior figure at Rowett:
''That conversation is sealed in my mind. My jaw dropped to the floor. I suddenly saw it all -- it was the missing link. Until then, I couldn't understand how on Monday, Arpad had made the most wonderful breakthrough and on Tuesday it was the most dreadful piece of work and rejected out of hand.''
The vicious campaign against Dr. Pusztai was as coordinated as it was callous. Reports attacking him were published by the Illuminati Royal Society -- the scientific establishment exposed in my books -- and by the Science and Technology Select Committee of the House of Commons with its pro-Blair majority.
Cabinet Minister Jack Cunningham, another Blair lap-dog, condemned Dr. Pusztai's ''wholly-misleading results'' and said that all GM food in Britain would be safe to eat.
How could someone like Cunningham know that, compared with the world's leading authority? It has nothing to do with truth or protecting the public. It is about doing the will of the paymasters.
The Bush government and its related agencies have been awash with Monsanto-connected place-people who have been appointed to positions that benefit its operations worldwide. It's real simple. The corporations control the government and the regulatory agencies and thus dictate the policy in line with their agenda.
This is why governments constantly make decisions that favor the corporations whatever the evidence put before them. The evidence doesn't matter because the deal was done from the start and the ''public debate'' was just to kid the people they actually live in an open society.
The system is set up to reward the corrupt and destroy those who are not. This is how the manipulators work to stifle dissent and mislead the public. You want to advance your career? Okay, do what we want and you'll be fine. Speak your mind and we'll finish you.
Look at Professor James, the head of Rowett, who felt the wrath of dictator Blair after Dr. Pusztai's television interview. At the time, he enjoyed good relations with Blair and had been chosen to head the planned Food Standards Agency. But that changed after Dr. Pusztai made his comments. ''You destroyed me,'' James told Pusztai.
What has actually been destroyed by the corporate-political nexus is the integrity of what we call ''science.'' We know that ''scientists'' officially employed by the corporations will say whatever suits their masters, but clearly many ''independent'' scientists are also on the payroll and this is far more significant because ''independent'' research carries far more weight in the public mind.
The exposure of Sir Richard Doll is a warning to everyone who believes in the credibility of ''scientists'' when they make their pronouncements about what is good for us.
Corruption is a state of mind, a fundamental absence of integrity, and this plague is an epidemic throughout the system -- ''science'' included.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2006/12/14/can-you-really-trust-monsanto----how-they-corrupted-science.aspx

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lisa's Weekly Food Bill

***This is exactly what I am looking for! I want to know HOW you manage, what is important to you, what you splurge on. Where you go. What is made homemade. What you avoid.
Thanks sooo much Lisa! Email me your lists and I will post them! Please.



Wow....there is alot to say about this subject. I have been very interested in this myself lately and have been drawn to books on nutrition, saving money on the grocery bill and frugal living. It seems that in the past, I have been somewhat careless and extravagant with the grocery budget. That has lead to the security of an overflowing pantry, but an uneasiness about wasting time, money and food.......you know; cleaning out the pantry and tossing expired packages of food. That is an awful, guilty feeling. When I met my husband over 7 years ago, his frugal habits were in direct contrast with my wasteful habits. I was a single Mom at the time struggling to get by on a paramedic's salary.....in no postion to be so careless but not knowing how to change it. On the run all the time and eating too much junk.
Slowly, my husband's frugality began to work it's way into my lifestyle.............I learned to budget and plan meals.......cook once for two or three meals and freeze for later. What a difference it has made. We were spending over $200.00 a week (yes............a week) and not eating as well as we do now for about $75.00 or less per week. We are trying to
to reduce this further. This is for a family of four and inludes take to work and school meals. About once a week my oldest son who lives on his own eats with us and then we stretch to a family of 5.

We do have a well stocked pantry and that helps....stockpiling sale items helps tremendously...........so here is a basic rundown of what we buy in a week and what we pay.

Milk $1.99 at Aldi (We typically drink fat free.........we converted from 2%...took some time but now it's not even noticable) This Aldi bargain has been going on for a couple of months.

Bread.....between .80 and 1.65 per loaf.....we always buy on sale, we always stockpile and freeze (double wrap in grocery bags) and we only eat whole wheat with at least 2gr of fiber per slice. I have never had a problem with the way the bread thaws in the fridge...it's fluffy and good. I also use the breadmaker once or twice a month. We use a large package of whole wheat tortillas every week and buy at any price.

Meats.....Sales again....ground round $1.99 a lb. We buy in bulk...I cook it all till almost totally brown (perhaps a little pink for later additional cooking) package it flat in freezer bags and save tons of time on bus nights for the last minute dinner rush. I buy 3-4 bags of chicken breasts (frozen) that I cook in the crockpot. I also buy fresh chicken breasts on sale and other sale meats...in bulk...ham, turkey and pork.

Produce......this spring I plan to plant a garden for peppers, tomatoes and also a salsa and herb garden. The rest of the year I again buy on sale in bulk. Walmart has good produce that is really affordable. Sometimes Green Peppers are .50. I buy about 10 or 12 and dice some and slice some and freeze. Same with onions.
I cheat and buy bagged salad for everyday when it is on sale.
I buy fresh fruit on sale and I buy frozen strawberries and peaches in big bags at Aldi for a lot less than the grocery store price. I keep that and yogurt on hand for fruit smoothies.

I buy very little convenience food. No cookies, no pop, no poptarts, no chips (my weakness). If we want cookies, I bake. We do keep a couple of frozen pizzas on hand for my teenage son and his football friends that hang out here and my husband LOVES frozen waffles from Aldi. $!.00 a box.

Peanut Butter....lots of PB whatever name brand is on sale.

Apples.....every day, on sale or not and bananas on sale or not.

We buy tons of canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.....I never use jarred tomato sauce.
I make my own salsa and pico de gallo when fresh tomatoes are on sale.

I make my own fajita and taco seasonings and hot cocoa.

We keep bottled water on hand for guests, we stockpile when Strack offers it 3 cases of 24 for 10 dollars....but we only have it for guests and emergencies. We fill our thermoses with ice and tap water when we leave the house.

Ultra often has great cheese sales and my hubby gets that......so I don't even ask him the price......he's the really frugal guy........we cut that into slices that we can grab and go. On the run, we pack out thermoses or water, cheese and nuts to snack on and we try not to eat out....but we do give in about 2x a month.

I do splurge on the following items without regret and often..... greek yogurt or Dannon All Natural Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt ($2-3.00 for 32 oz.), clementines ($4 to 8.00 for 5 lbs) Ground Flax seed meal (add in smoothies and baking.....so good and good for you) and Bob's Red Mill specialty flours..especially the whole wheat pastry flour which makes the best pancakes. Also, craisins and good raisins we buy at regular price unless we get lucky and find them on sale.
We also buy two to three cannisters of oatmeal at aldi each month for oatmeal cereal and for baking.

Frozen veggies are usually on sale and we keep lots of them on hand. $1.00 or less per bag.

We buy cold cereal only on sale ($2.00 per box) and then I make some yummy cereal blends. No sugary cereals...no Cinnamon Toast Crunch, no Fruit Loops.
We bought 5 bags of fresh cranberries after Christmas and froze them for later use....I use them for homemade cranberries sauce and pancakes, muffins. We buy blueberries in the summer and freeze for the same.

We do have a soup, salad and bread night 2x a month.

We also have a tradition we began last year of a homemade pancake breakfast every weekend...........I try a new scratch recipe every time.......Gingerbread is the favorite so far. This saves us the trips to IHOP and gives us family time guaranteed.........even my soon-to-graduate and always on the go son is there for that. I make a triple batch and freeze them, and make some into PB sandwiches for the hubby to eat for breakfast on the way to work.

We have a family movie night every week on Sun. or Mon....and we eat snacks, salads and popcorn for dinner........it always ends up being enough!


We purchase a good majority of our food from Aldi and Ultra...........but there are foods I never buy from Aldi.......produce, bread and nuts.
Another money saver..............when eggs are on sale...........we buy about 7 dozen and I buy very affordable tortillas and make and freeze breakfast burritos.........easy, good and great for on the run meals.

I am not perfect about sticking to this.....I do my best. I am so much better at planning than I used to be. We throw out very little food. I am please with the changes I have made.......but mostly it is because I have had to get creative, do some research and learn to respect my husband's frugality as wise and wonderful tool.

Lisa W.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekly Food Bill

Did any of you check out Hungry Planet? It is amazing how much people eat in a week and also how little.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5005952
There is a whole book on this and it is so very interesting, check it out at the library.

I try to stay on somewhat of a budget for food and it peeks my interest to know what everyone else, meaning people I know, spends on food.

I try to average about $150 a week on food for 5 people.

What do you spend?

What do you spend it on?

I think I have it open for anyone to leave comments.

Add up what you eat for the week. Everything food related, bought or cooked. Let me know. What do you learn from looking at what you spend? What could you do better?

This is going to be fun but the more people participating the better so tell your friends and families to join in. If for some reason your comment gets to long email me your list of food bought for the week and I will add it to this blog as its own page. That will even be better. Email me a list of what you buy and how much it costs.

Start now today!

Also if you leave a comment that you are interested in doing this I will send out reminders during the week for you.

czepinski@comcast.net

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Raw Milk ~ Real Milk

I put out an email about butter vs. margarine last week. This week it is on raw milk. There is also some info on right fats for our bodies at the web site below.

The source of most commercial milk is the modern Holstein,* bred to produce huge quantities of milk--three times as much as the old-fashioned cow. She needs special feed and antibiotics to keep her well. Her milk contains high levels of growth hormone from her pituitary gland, even when she is spared the indignities of genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone to push her to the udder limits of milk production.
*Please note, there are farmers who produce excellent "Real Milk" using older lines of Holsteins and Holstein crosses. It is the modern commercial Holstein, bred only for quantity, not quality, and pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, that should be avoided. Know your supplier! Ask questions!
Buy only milk from old-fashioned breeds of cows, such as Jerseys, Guernseys, Red Devons, Brown Swiss or older genetic lines of Holsteins, or from goats or sheep.
(Or, depending on what part of the world you live in, from llamas, camels, mares, water buffalo, or reindeer!)

Real feed for cows is green grass in Spring, Summer and Fall; stored dry hay, silage, hay and root vegetables in Winter. It is not soy meal, cottonseed meal or other commercial feeds, nor is it bakery waste, chicken manure or citrus peel cake, laced with pesticides. Vital nutrients like vitamins A and D, and Price's "Activator X" (a fat-soluble catalyst that promotes optimum mineral assimilation, now believed to be vitamin K2) are greatest in milk from cows eating green grass, especially rapidly growing green grass in the spring and fall. Vitamins A and D are greatly diminished, and Activator X disappears, when milk cows are fed commercial feed. Soy meal has the wrong protein profile for the dairy cow, resulting in a short burst of high milk production followed by premature death. Most milk (even most milk labeled "organic") comes from dairy cows that are kept in confinement their entire lives and never see green grass!

Buy only milk products from herds allowed to graze on green pasture.
Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly and many die before maturity. Raw milk sours naturally but pasteurized milk turns putrid; processors must remove slime and pus from pasteurized milk by a process of centrifugal clarification. Inspection of dairy herds for disease is not required for pasteurized milk. Pasteurization was instituted in the 1920s to combat TB, infant diarrhea, undulant fever and other diseases caused by poor animal nutrition and dirty production methods.

But times have changed and modern stainless steel tanks, milking machines, refrigerated trucks and inspection methods make pasteurization absolutely unnecessary for public protection. And pasteurization does not always kill the bacteria for Johne’s disease suspected of causing Crohn's disease in humans with which most confinement cows are infected. Much commercial milk is now ultra-pasteurized to get rid of heat-resistant bacteria and give it a longer shelf life. Ultra-pasteurization is a violent process that takes milk from a chilled temperature to above the boiling point in less than two seconds. Clean raw milk from certified healthy cows is available commercially in several states and may be bought directly from the farm in many more. (Sources are listed on www.realmilk.com.)

Demand access in all states to clean, raw milk. Boycott processed milk!

Homogenization is a process that breaks down butterfat globules so they do not rise to the top. Homogenized milk has been linked to heart disease.

Use only milk with "Cream on the Top."
Average butterfat content from old-fashioned cows at the turn of the century was over 4% (or more than 50% of calories). Today butterfat comprises less than 3% (or less than 35% of calories). Worse, consumers have been duped into believing that low-fat and skim milk products are good for them. Only by marketing low-fat and skim milk as a health food can the modern dairy industry get rid of its excess poor-quality, low-fat milk from modern high-production herds. Butterfat contains vitamins A and D needed for assimilation of calcium and protein in the water fraction of the milk. Without them protein and calcium are more difficult to utilize and possibly toxic. Butterfat is rich in short- and medium chain fatty acids which protect against disease and stimulate the immune system. It contains glyco-spingolipids which prevent intestinal distress and conjugated linoleic acid which has strong anticancer properties.
Buy only full-fat milk products.

Powdered skim milk, a source of dangerous oxidized cholesterol and neurotoxic amino acids, is added to 1% and 2% milk. Low-fat yogurts and sour creams contain mucopolysaccharide slime to give them body. Pale butter from hay-fed cows contains colorings to make it look like vitamin-rich butter from grass-fed cows. Bioengineered enzymes are used in large-scale cheese production. Many mass produced cheeses contain additives and colorings and imitation cheese products contain vegetable oils.
Boycott counterfeits.
Pasteurization laws favor large, industrialized dairy operations and squeeze out small farmers. When farmers have the right to sell unprocessed milk to consumers, they can make a decent living, even with small herds.
A Campaign for Real Milk is a project of The Weston A. Price FoundationPMB 106-380, 4200 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Washington DC 20016Phone: (202) 363-4394 Fax: (202) 363-4396 Web: www.westonaprice.orgGeneral Information/Membership/Brochures:

I also have a supplier for raw milk, ask me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Saturday 2/21

Chicken Turnovers & Rice

These were originally turkey, but chicken was on sale so I am doing boneless, skinless chicken breast.

http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/chicken-turkey-recipes/turkey-turnovers/article.html

****Awesome! This is for sure a special company dinner! Even the boys liked it. I did use a big can of tomatoes so I could use it as a topping for the rice. Awesome.

Friday 2/20

Chocolate Wings, Carrots & Blue Cheese
http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/chicken-turkey-recipes/spicy-chocolate-wings/article.html

Thursday 2/19

Meatloaf & Rice
http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/beef-pork-lamb-recipes/good-for-you-lean-mean-meatloaf/article.html

****Man was this good. I have a standby meatloaf recipe that we all love but I now have two! I did made some changes. This I what I did.
I browned an onion.
Put in a bowl 1 1/2 lb meat.
Add a jar of cut up roasted red peppers.
Add the onions.
Salt & pepper.
1/2 c parmasean cheese.
3/4 c oats.
2 tbsp dry parsley.
2 eggs.
Mix, put in loaf pan cook at 375 for 45, minutes.

Wednesday 2/18

Cabbage & Hay Spaghetti
http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/30-minute-meals/cabbage-and-hay-spaghetti/article.html

Tuesday 2/17

Sausage & Pepper Frittata
http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/beef-pork-lamb-recipes/sausage-and-pepper-frittata/article.html

***I used sweet italian turkey sausage instead of pork. Meijer carries a good selection of fresh turkey products. I am also using cheddar cheese. Only because the cheese was expensive this week because I think we had something with a different cheese every day this week. I am adding some whole wheat toast to help fill 3 boys up.

Monday 2/16

Bean Stew
http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/soup-stew-choup-recipes/white-bean-stew/article.html

****I soaked about 3 cups dry mixed beans overnight. I am cooking them on high in the crockpot until about 1:00 then adding cooked sausage, ground beef and a can of tomato puree instead of making the meat sauce. Along with adding everything else called for.

***We loved this recipe with the changes. We even had it for leftovers the next day at lunch and boys were happy about it!

Sunday 2/15

Well, this is another Rachael Ray week. I hope that doesn't bother you. To make it easier I am going to just post a web link to her site. I do suggest to read over her recipes. Most of the time there are some ways to make it more affordable and less steps in preparation.

Pasta with Winter Greens & Walnuts
http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/pizza-pasta-recipes/pasta-with-winter-greens-and-walnuts/article.html

*****I am going to start adding how the recipe turns out and what changes I made to make it easier after each new recipe.

***For this I used a bag of frozen spinach, so cheap. I also used ricotta, cheaper and used the whole 13 oz box of pasta (which I found at Meijer in whole grain) for our 5. The kids liked it and so did I. Tom, I am not sure about. Very light and spring like.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Butter vs. margarine

Pass The Butter ... please.
This is interesting . . .
Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back. It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavorings. DO YOU KNOW.. the difference between margarine and butter?

Read on to the end...gets very interesting!

Both have the same amount of calories.
Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 gramscompared to 5 grams.
Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.
Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few only because they are added! Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods.
Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years. And now, for Margarine..
Very high in trans fatty acids .
Triple risk of coronary heart disease.
Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)
Increases t he risk of cancers up to five fold..
Lowers quality of breast milk.
Decreases immune response. Decreases insulin response.
And here's the most disturbing fact....

HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!
Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from beingPLASTIC..

This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance). You can try this yourself: Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things: * no flies, not even those pesky frui t flies will go near it (that should tell you something) * it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic.

Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday 2/14

Valentine's Day

Normally Tom makes dinner for me but this year I am making dinner for him. Yes I always cook but please understand. I love to cook. It is like taking away my right arm if I can't cook. I simply can't just sit and watch anyone doing it. I remember one year I put the table in the TV room, put on a heart table cloth, lite candles, made spaghetti and rented Lady & the Tramp. Yes we had the boys and we all loved it. I understand the need to have alone time with your spouse but we know one day that will come. We LOVE doing everything together and don't look at having to do everything with our children like we are missing out. Or like we are being deprived of something. People who know us, know we even like to grocery shop together! I LOVE my family and God. Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Maybe I will get One Night with the King for Tom and I to watch later. My favorite movie!

Peruvian Roast Chicken
Bacon Brussels Sprouts - search my blog for this, I gave it to you already
Sangria - special occasion
Coconut Cake & Ice Cream


Peruvian Roast Chicken
Daisy Martinez
From Every Day with Rachael RayFebruary 2009SERVES 4 Prep Time: 25 min (plus marinating)Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
6 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
One 4-pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry
1. Using the flat side of a chef's knife, smear together the garlic and 2 tablespoons salt on a cutting board to form a paste; transfer to a small bowl. Stir in the oregano, ginger, cumin, 1 teaspoon pepper and the paprika. Stir in the vinegar.
2. Slide your fingers between the chicken skin and breast and loosen the skin from the meat, working your way to the legs. Spread the marinade under and over the skin and inside the cavity. Transfer to a gallon-size resealable plastic bag; refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove the chicken from the bag and place breast side up on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife between the breast and the wing, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.


Sangria
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup frozen peaches, 1 cup frozen cherries and 1/4 cup sugar. Let stand until thawed, about 10 minutes. In a medium pot, bring one 750 ml bottle dry red wine, such as rioja, 2 whole star anise (optional) and the fruit mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup peach schnapps; discard the star anise, if used. Serve warm in mugs.

Toasted Coconut Cake
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/throwdowns-toasted-coconut-cake-with-coconut-filling-and-coconut-buttercream-recipe/index.html

Friday 2/13

Remember we are trying all 3 of Rachel Ray's wings. Last week was the PB&J, and they were good. Tonight is the Italian Wings. I am also making Pioneer Woman's Olive Bread.


Italian Mozzarella Wings
Susan H. Gordon
From Every Day with Rachael RayFebruary 2009MAKES 2 DOZEN Prep Time: 20 min Bake Time: 40 min
12 chicken wings, tips discarded and wings separated at the joint
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 24 cubes
1 large egg
1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt
2 cups tomato puree
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut a slit into the meatiest part of each wing. Stuff each wing with a mozzarella cube and pull the meat and skin back over the cheese.
2. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg; in another shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan and season with salt. Working with 1 wing at a time, coat each with the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture and place on a greased rack set on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 40 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the tomato puree and cayenne over medium heat; season with salt. Serve with the wings.


http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/olive_cheese_br/

You have to go to her page to get the recipe. She does such a fab job!!!!

Thursday 2/12

Pizza Rolls with meat sauce from yesterday and I am doubling this recipe too. I like to double recipes a few times a week because Tom will take some for lunch or the boys will have it the next day for lunch.


Inside-Out Pizza Rolls
From Every Day with Rachael RayFebruary 2009SERVES 4 Prep Time: 40 min (plus rising)Bake Time: 40 min
1 cup lukewarm water
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
Extra-virgin olive oil, for greasing
2 cups Meat Sauce
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. Using a standing mixer fitted with the hook attachment, combine the lukewarm water and yeast; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth and wraps around the hook, about 5 minutes. Grease a large bowl with olive oil, transfer the dough to the bowl and let rise, covered, for 1 1/2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium skillet, cook the meat sauce over medium heat, stirring, until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes; let cool. 3. Punch down the risen dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Scatter the cheese on top, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Spoon the meat sauce over the cheese. Brush the border with some of the beaten egg and roll the dough up loosely, beginning at the short end. Transfer to a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet, brush with more egg and cut 3 vents on top. Bake until golden-brown, about 40 minutes.

Wednesday 2/11

Dinner out every week is getting expensive so we are changing dinner out to once a month and having coffee every time. So dinner is at home, quickly. Wednesday's are our busiest day of the week. We either pick up milk or do a co-op every other week, Dalton has guitar and then the boys have church. Now that Tom doesn't get home until 5:30 we have 30 minutes to eat dinner.

No worries, I am making meat sauce to have with angel hair pasta tonight and will use the left over meat sauce for tomorrows pizza roll. Thanks Rachael Ray!

I am doubling this recipe.

Meat Sauce
Susan H. Gordon
From Every Day with Rachael RayFebruary 2009MAKES 7 CUPS Prep Time: 5 minCook Time: 2 1/2 hr
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped pancetta or bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup dry red wine
One 28-ounce can tomato puree
Salt and pepper
1. In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the beef and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until the liquid is cooked off, about 5 minutes. 2. Stir in the tomato puree and 1 cup water; season with salt and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for the last 30 minutes, until thickened, about 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday 2/10

Today Dalton has a minor surgery done at the orthodontist. When he had his first major surgery for the anerysmal bone cyst in his sinus cavity they nicked a nerve to one of his teeth. It is impacted now. If we don't take care of it now, later when it may erupt it will find room and mess up what we are doing with braces now. So what they do is slit where the tooth is, place an appliance to the exposed tooth and hook it with a chain to the braces. They want to place it where it should be over time. I am praying son! Have courage!

So dinner tonight is Carrot Soup and Ice Cream!


1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
One 1-pound bag baby carrots
One 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 tablespoon honey
Salt
1. Using a food processor, pulse the onion 4 times to chop. Transfer to a medium pot, add the olive oil and ginger and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion is golden, about 3 minutes. Pulse the carrots in the food processor to chop finely. Add to the pot along with the chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the carrots are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Wipe out the food processor.
2. Puree the soup in batches in the food processor and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the honey and season with salt. Serve hot and topped with toasted croutons or at room temperature with chives and whipped cream.

Monday 2/9

Chandler is 9 today!!! And that is the correct date! I was induced 3 weeks early because of pre-eclampsia so the 7th is the day I went in. Everything after that is a blur so most times I always say his birthday is the 7th. Tom has to correct me, now after 9 years the 9th is mostly what I say!

We always let them pick dinner. They prefer to eat at home so they choose the menu for the day. Last year was hilarious! I got on a no pork kick. (still am but we will eat bacon or sausage occasionally, for the health issue) So when it came time for Chandler's birthday last year he picked for his whole day:
sausage and pancakes
hot dogs
pork chops
Maybe his body was telling him it needed some pork???

So this year his dinner menu looks like this:
Rotisserie BBQ chicken
corn
3 layer chocolate cake

Easy enough, thanks kid! Love you son!

Sunday 2/8

Okay, I will let you know a few changes I am making to this one. Just for $$ sakes.
Bacon instead of prosciutto.
Sometimes Meijer has the 3 cheese blend in the speciality case try that one along with the fontina.

I am also serving a plain salad with this.

Leek-and-Gnocchi Bake with Three Cheeses and Crispy Prosciutto
Rachael Ray
From Every Day with Rachael RayFebruary 2009SERVES 6
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
8 thin slices prosciutto, halved crosswise
2 leeks—trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
Salt and pepper
Two 10- to 12-ounce packages fresh potato gnocchi
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Ground nutmeg, to taste
1 cup grated fontina or fontina valle d?aosta cheese (3 generous handfuls)
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Working in batches if necessary, add the prosciutto in a single layer and cook, turning once, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Add the leeks to the skillet and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the gnocchi and cook until the gnocchi float to the surface, about 3 minutes.3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes. Stir in the fontina and asiago until melted.4. Preheat the broiler. Drain the gnocchi and place in a casserole dish. Stir in the leeks and cheese sauce and top with the parmigiano-reggiano. Broil the casserole until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Top with the prosciutto.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Saturday 2/7

Greek Salad
Garlic Cottage Fries

After, ooey, gooey chicken wings, blue cheese dressing and cupcakes I feel we need a salad night. There is a method to my madness here. Forget that I added something called Garlic Cottage Fries! The garlic is good for you!

Greek Salad
Melissa Vaughan
From Every Day with Rachael RayFebruary 2009SERVES 8 Prep Time: 15 min
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts only
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
6 ounces feta cheese, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Add the chickpeas, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, scallions and dill, then toss. Top with the cheese.


Baked Parsley-Garlic Cottage Fries
Melissa Vaughan
From Every Day with Rachael RayFebruary 2009SERVES 4 Prep Time: 15 min Bake Time: 1 hr 5 min
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (¼ cup)
Salt and pepper
4 pounds baking potatoes (about 8), peeled and cut lengthwise into 6 wedges each
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, 1/2 tablespoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the potatoes and toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Pour a little water into each pan and bake for 30 minutes. Toss and bake for 15 minutes more.
2. Lower the heat to 350°. Transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain. Wipe the baking sheets dry, line with parchment paper and return the potatoes to the baking sheets in a single layer. Bake until golden-brown and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss with the parsley.

Have a great weekend!

Friday 2/6

Friday, dad is home and school is quiz and fun day. Yes they can happen on the same day! Actually my kids think quizzes are fun. They have never been taught to dread them and that the quiz somehow analyzes what they do know, just what they don't know. Reverse psychology! Smart eh...

PB & J Wings
Carrot and Blue Cheese dressing
Cupcakes

Doesn't that sound like fun?

Sticky PB&J Wings
Susan H. Gordon
From Every Day with Rachael RayFebruary 2009MAKES 2 DOZEN Prep Time: 10 min (plus marinating)Cook Time: 50 min
One 10-ounce jar grape jelly
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Salt
12 chicken wings, tips discarded and wings separated at the joint
Cilantro, for garnish
1. In a bowl, whisk together the jelly, peanut butter, vinegar, hot sauce and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken wings and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°. Arrange the wings on a greased rack set on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Turn, baste with the pan juices and bake until browned, about 20 minutes more. Serve with cilantro.


Blue Cheese Dressing - mine-
1 block blue cheese crumbled up
8 oz sour cream
1/4 c mayo
Blend well and break up any big chunks of blue cheese with a fork. Add more sour cream if it is to strong. Add salt and pepper.


Lime-Margarita Cupcakes
Courtesy of Crushcakes Cupcakery in Santa Barbara, CA
From Every Day with Rachael RayFebruary 2009MAKES 2 DOZENPrep Time: 55 minCook Time: 25 min
3 sticks (12 ounces) butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature, plus 1 large egg white
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
Grated peel of 4 limes, plus 1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons gold tequila ***
1 drop green food coloring
1/2 cup large multicolored sugar crystals
24 lime wedge candies
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cupcake pans with baking liners. Using an electric mixer, beat 2 sticks butter and the granulated sugar until creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, egg white and oil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. In a large glass measuring cup, stir together the milk, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. On low speed, mix in one-third of the wet mixture, then one-third of the dry mixture. Repeat twice, ending with the dry mixture. Mix in half of the grated lime peel.
3. Fill each baking liner about three-quarters full with batter. Bake until the cupcakes spring back when gently touched, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, using the electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter until creamy. Beat in 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Beat in the tequila, and the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, lime peel, 1 teaspoon salt and the food coloring until smooth and creamy. Beat in the remaining 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar one-third at a time, until just soft enough to spread.
5. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes. Add the sugar crystals to a bowl; lay each frosted cupcake on its side in the bowl and gently rotate to form a rim of sugar. Top each cupcake with a lime wedge candy.

****Okay so I am not going to go out and buy tequilia for cupcakes, just substitute with extra butter or lime juice.