Friday, October 8, 2010

Baby Madness

The first trimester of pregnancy does not make me want to think about food.  Or eating.  Or the smell of food.  Not a good time to be writing a blog about meals.

So, to update from my last post . . .

We had guests in town at the beginning of July.  We took our family vacation in the middle of July.  We brought home a fifth child in utero.  Mommy felt sick for a long time.

And now, I'm back!  And ready to think about recipes and food and organizing and all kinds of things.

Today I made a big batch of Pumpkin Dinner Rolls, a crock pot full of northern beans to be used in White Bean Chili, and a chicken tetrazzini for tonight's dinner. 

I did modify the Pumpkin Dinner Rolls slightly because the original recipe called for 1 C. sugar.  Since we don't use any refined sugars, I substituted for 3/4 C. sucanat.  I also used all white whole wheat flour instead of the all purpose in Tammy's recipe.  Tammy has some fantastic recipes, and I am sure you will enjoy reading and trying her recipes as much as I do! 

Ah, it feels good to be back.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Meals for the Week

Here is the meal plan for this week:

Monday (This is a desperate food day.  Need to grocery shop.  Co-op order coming today.  Country Life order coming Tuesday.)
Toast, berries, OJ
Yogurt with nuts and grapes, fresh veggies
Leftover pizza or scrambled eggs, fresh veggies

Oatmeal with flax meal, chopped nuts, blueberries, honey
Pasta salad with tons o' fresh veggies, fruit
Pinto beans, corn bread, salsa, avocados, fruit

Pancakes, maple icing, berries
Smoothies, fresh veggies (no one has much of an appetite after feasting on the a.m. pancakes!)
Sloppy Joes, pumpkin rolls, corn, salad (finally, lettuce from the garden!!)

Yogurt with maple syrup and vanilla, berries, flax meal, ground nuts
Fried Rice, fruit, mudballs
Potato, kale, cheese soup, pumpkin rolls, fruit

Toast, fruit smoothie
Granola Bars, fruit, fresh veggies, cheese
Quesadillas, refried pinto beans, fresh veggies, fruit

Oatmeal with flax meal, chopped nuts, blueberries, honey
Honey Walnut Salmon, red potatoes, salad, fruit
Waffles, eggs, yogurt, berries

Coffee cake, fruit
PB&J, fresh veggies
4th if July BBQ with church fellowship!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting My Chocolate Fix

Thankfully, today's kitchen experiment turned out to be yummy, so here you go!!  These are pretty flexible with the amount and type of sweetener and add-ins you use, so feel free to use what you happen to have on hand.  Or happen to have the most of :).

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

2 c. quick cooking oats
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. sucanat
1/4 c. flax meal
1/4 c. shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1/2 c. melted butter
1/4 c. honey
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3/4 c. chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter your dish.  (I use a glass 7 x 11, but have used a 9 x 13 in the past and it works, you just have to adjust the baking time.)

2.  In a large bowl, stir together the first 7 ingredients (the dry stuff).  Melt the butter.  Add butter, honey and vanilla to dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Add the egg and stir to combine.  Mix in the chocolate chips.  Press mixture evenly into your buttered baking dish.

3.  Bake 15 to 25 minutes (depending on the size pan you are using) or until the edges are golden brown.

4.  Enjoy!!

The Wells Fargo Wagon is a Comin'

In my efforts to make whole foods as affordable as possible for our family, I became a member of a natural foods buying co-op, and I also place dry goods bulk orders with Country Life Natural Foods.  This is new for me.  Planning my need for groceries for the month is taking some getting used to.  Items I thought would last us 2 months were gone in 2 weeks and others I thought would last 3 months are looking more like they may last 3 years.  Live and learn.  And order again.

Both the co-op order and the bulk foods order are due to arrive next week, and in the mean time we are scrounging.  We are running low on every sweetener in the house, making baking quite difficult.  Raisins are at a premium and my kids have asked more than once, "When are the raisins coming again?"

I had planned to bake Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies today.  Nope - not enough sucanat.  So, I thought I would try the Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip muffins.  Hmmm - again, lack of sucanat.  So I settled on reworking our go-to granola bar recipe to concoct a chocolate chip version.  Can you tell mom is in the mood for chocolate?

They are in the oven now, and I will promptly report back with the recipe if it is worth sharing.  Here's hopin'!

(I'm also hopin' there is at least one fan of Music Man out there who now has the aforementioned song playing in her head.  For the rest of the day.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why Cut the Chicken in Half?

My hubby and I went away for 1 night last weekend.  First time in 4 years we spent the night away from home without the kids.  We were whooping it up at the Illinois Christian Home Educators annual convention.  Fantastic. 

However, while we were whooping it up, it happened to be the very same weekend that the "chicken ladies" (there are two) at my farmer's market were going to have chickens for the first time in weeks.  When I went yesterday, chicken lady #1 was completely sold out and won't have any more until mid July.  Chicken lady #2 came through for me.  She still had a few chickens left.  Whole chickens.  But, cut in half.  I'll take 'em!!!  But, what??  Why did they cut them in half?  There must be a reasonable explanation, but I am picturing a chicken processing plant akin to Willy Wonka's office in the original Gene Wilder version. 

I guess I cook it the same way I would if it weren't cut in two.  I'll just look at it with one eyebrow raised the entire time in wonderment.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Early Bird Gets the . . . eggs?

Our farmer's market opens at 8:00am on Saturday and Tuesday.  We are not farm folk.  We are typically not dressed at 8:00am.  But if you want to get the good stuff, you better be there bright and early.  I get that.  My family does not.  So, once again we are eggless, and my big plan to serve scrambled eggs with spinach this evening sort of, well, cracked.  Oh well.  I can always hope to get there bright and early Tuesday morning, right?  A girl can always hope.

I did end up buying a local, grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free chuck roast though.  I am pretty excited and pretty nervous about it.  My plan is to remember to defrost it :), pop it in an oven safe dish of some kind (it's much bigger than I was expecting it to be, so I am not sure what dish), and cook it for about 3 hours at 300 degrees.  I've heard good things. 

And since I spent $20 on it, I'm hoping for good things.  And leftovers.  Like I said, a girl can always hope.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sloppy Joes, Cornbread and Creamed Kale

Delicious.  Healthy.  Frugal.

My hubby has to work tonight, so our bigger meal of the day was lunch.  He was a very happy man.

Sloppy Joes

1lb. ground beef (grass-fed, local)
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 grinds of fresh black pepper

3/4 c. ketchup (you can make your own or use the organic version)
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or you could use fresh garlic and cook with above ingredients)
1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1 t. molasses (or honey)

Cook the meat and veggies together and drain fat.  Mix together sauce ingredients while meat mixture cooks.  When meat is cooked, stir in sauce.  Turn heat to low and simmer until meal time (or at least 30 minutes).

(Inspiration for this recipe found here at Heavenly Homemakers. Fantastic recipes!!)

I served this with our favorite cornbread recipe:

Honey Corn Bread

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. sucanat (or molasses)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. milk or buttermilk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. honey, molasses, or pure maple syrup
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla (more or less to taste)

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In another bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Stir wet ingredients into dry, just until moist.
Pour into buttered 9x9 dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

(Inspiration for this recipe found here.)

California Creamed Kale

2 bunches of kale, leaves removed from stems, chopped and washed
1 c. raw cashews
1 c. milk
1-2 tsp. onion powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

Steam kale until soft (10-20minutes).  While kale steams, place remaining ingredients in a high powered blender (I have a Vitamix.), and blend until smooth.

Combine kale and cashew sauce.  If you have leftover cashew sauce, it is also great on broccoli and spinach as well.

(This recipe can be found in the cookbook Eat for Health.)

Come and join the frugal fun over at the Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet.  Enjoy your day!