Friday, December 31, 2010

Week of January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! I hope this year is filled with happiness for you and yours. I didn't include New Year's Eve recipes because we are trying to keep the grocery budget low this week.

This week's meals:

Shaun makes chili. We will try to document it because it is DELICIOUS.
Tacos, per J's request

Falafel with homemade pita
Sausage egg bake (crockpot)
Stewed pork and squash (adapted for the crockpot)
Meat and veggie stir fry We made this a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it

Chocolate crinkle cookies

What are you doing for New Year's? We are not sure yet! Either having a kid-free night or a kid-filled night. :)

Slow cooker bean stew

This stew was easy, cheap and very nutritious.

I used homemade vegetable stock. I save vegetable clippings in a plastic freezer bag. When the bag is full, I cook it on low for 10 hours in the crockpot.


To make this soup:

  • Strain the vegetable broth and dispose of the clippings.  
  • Add a handful of beans. I used a handful of blackbeans and a handful of navy beans
  • Add meat. I used a cup of cut leftover ham
  • Add vegetables. I used a cup of chopped carrots, a cup of chopped celery, a cup of chopped parsnip
  • Add salt, pepper and chopped garlic to taste
  • Simmer on low for 8-10 hours

Delicious! Enjoy with homemade croutons.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Homemade pizza: nutritious, easy and cheap!

We made a delicious pizza tonight. I will definitely be making it again. Cheap, nutritious and the girls ate quite a bit of it. It was easy, but it did require me to prepare the pizza dough in advance.
This is the crust I used. I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour. To help the dough rise, I heated up the oven for a few months then turned the heat off. The dough rose in a warm environment. The house is otherwise kept at 65 F.

[Edited to add: I heated the oven for a few MINUTES, not a few months!]

Random toppings. Leftover ham from Christmas, canned pineapple, heated frozen pepper strips, chopped onions and mushrooms (not shown).

S's pizza pre-cheese. Sauce was random spaghetti sauce from the fridge.

Does this look like Kentucky?

 E wanted only pineapple. T and I could not eat the cheese. I don't know if these pictures help sell the pizza. :)

This was a cheap meal. The only purchases for this recipe were the pizza cheese and pineapple slices. Everything else was in the cupboard, leftover from Christmas or purchased for other meals too.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas dinner: make this simple baked ham!

E woke to find mac 'n cheese in her stocking. She was ecstatic. I think she would've preferred to eat this instead of our delicious Christmas meal!

Garlic for the mashed potatoes. Mmmm. I split the potatoes in two batches. One received cream cheese and cow's milk and one received coconut milk. The garlic gave the potatoes so much flavor. Highly recommend the heavy-duty mixer.

Green beans for the casserole. It was OK. I don't think we needed more meat for the meal and S was a little disappointed that there wasn't fried onions on top. I think if I could've used butter and real cream, instead of olive oil and coconut milk it would've been better. Probably not a surprise.

Homemade bread for the stuffing. I used PWs recipe and the bread was amazing! The stuffing was good and easy to make. I think next year I will omit the meat and add more fresh herbs.

Extra bacon for snacking. Yum!

The ham was amazing. I cannot recommend this ham more. Sweet, succulent, moist. It was easy and delicious. I used a roasting bag and a liberal amount of apple juice. I basted every 20 minutes and used a roasting bag.

The dessert was OK. I used unsweetened baking chocolate and lard to keep things dairy/soy free. I wonder if that made a difference. The torte was a little dry. I also only had one 9-inch pan and had to make the cakes in batches. The second batch congealed a little and I had to warm it up to spread in the pan. I think I need to do a little reading on tortes because I think I was missing something.

Please share your torte secrets, if you have any.

Looking forward to the next big holiday meal!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New family favorite: beef bourguignon in the crockpot

I really wish I had time to take a camera class. Trust me; the stew was delicious, even if the picture doesn't capture it.

This recipe is adapted from Julia Child's recipe. I like it because it is a flavorful, hearty stew that cooks all day in the crockpot. The downside of this stew is that it does take about 20-30 minutes to prepare.

1. Fry the bacon. Eat some. Crumple the rest of the bacon and add to the crockpot.

2. Brown the stew meat in the bacon grease. Add to crockpot.

3. Drain most of the bacon grease and saute mushrooms, carrots, celery, leeks, parsnips, potatoes and other stew vegetables in the bacon grease. Add a liberal amount of tomato paste. When tomato paste is nicely malleable, add vegetables to crockpot.

4. Mix in fresh and dried herbs available. I have been using fresh rosemary and parsley, as well as salt and pepper.

5. Pour in red or white cooking wine and stock. I used regular water today and it still tasted delicious.

6. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

7. Eat with fresh bread or rice. Loosen belt.

Week of DECEMBER 25, 2010!

Christmas! S wants me to redo last year's Christmas menu but I never posted it. Now I'm trying to dig deep into my non-existant memory banks. I'm sure about the stuffing recipe ... hopefully I'll find the rest. We talked about that meal for weeks. :)

Christmas morning:

Sausage and egg bake

Christmas meal:

Stuffing made in the crockpot
Garlic mashed potatoes
Green bean casserole
Chocolate torte

Ham pot pie (an original recipe)
Ham, collard greens and egg noodles
Ham bean stew
Ham and pineapple pizza with homemade crust

Friday, December 17, 2010

Week of December 18, 2010

We have leftovers from last week's groceries due to two unexpected evenings out.

Lentil and vegetable soup with dumplings
, adapted for the crockpot
Hot dog and veggie stir fry, made with sausage
Beef bourguignon was GREAT in the crockpot
Carrot soup with orange and ginger, so I can use the immersion blender
BBQ pulled pork (crockpot)

Hillbillywife's menu review

This past week, we had meals from Hillbillyhousewife's emergency menu. I do have to admit that the menu worked! We had a relatively cheap food bill. The food was good. I'll definitely make pinto beans, collard greens, oatmeal pancakes, and black bean soup again. I liked how healthy the recipes were, too. I also made plenty of fresh bread.

The black bean soup was made in the crockpot. I added potatoes, a couple spoonfuls of bacon grease and liberally added salt and pepper. I'll take pictures the next time I make it. Because I will be making it again.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Corn muffin lesson

First lesson of the week:

If you are going to make corn muffins, you probably shouldn't skip the egg. Especially when you purposely went to the store to buy eggs. The muffins taste good but crumble easily.

Let's see what other lessons I learn this week ...

Week of December 12, 2010

The Beef Bourguignon and split pea soup were a hit! I, unfortunately, was very busy last week and couldn't take pictures. I will make those recipes again soon and blog them. Both turned out lovely in the crockpot.

This week we need to shrink our grocery bill. I'm going to give Hillbilly Housewife's $45 emergency recipe a try.

Wish us luck! I'm a little worried about how the recipes will work out on days I'm working.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week of December 5, 2010

It's a short, busy week. We have chili in the fridge.

Next up:

Split pea soup (an original recipe! Stay tuned for details)
Indian beef curry, adapted for crockpot
Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon, adapted for crockpot
Roasted garlic potato soup

Chanukah recipes

Cookies for Christmas
Chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate mint truffles

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mildy chocolatey brownie

E and I made these brownies today.

I did make some modifications today. Of course, I used lard and Enjoy Life chips to make this recipe dairy and soy-free. I also add 1/3 of a cup of water before placing it in the pan because the batter was so sticky. I only needed an 8*8 pan; it's a small recipe.

The brownie was OK. It was moist, the crust brownied nicely and it was pleasant to eat. But, it wasn't overly chocolaty and I like to drown in chocolate when I eat my brownie. I think I would have enjoyed the brownie more had I had coconut ice-cream to place on the brownie.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New family favorites

I made a delicious vegetable stew yesterday. I loved it! Hearty and nutritious. I basically used this recipe. Next time, I will double the dumplings. I did not use any parsley. I used pinto beans because that was what I had in the cabinet. I put the green beans in with everything else. The dumplings were added about halfway through and cooked on low for about 4 hours.

By the time I got to the meal there was only one dumpling left. I paired my bowl with a thick slice of wheat bread.

Tonight, I made the chicken fingers. For the fourth time (a record in this house). Everyone loves them! E wants them on a weekly basis. Highly recommended!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nutritious and delicious meatballs

The girls went gaga over them! Slurped up the spaghetti and sauce. Definitely recommend. E asked for me to make it again!

I based the meatballs on this recipe

It was a nice, easy recipe I can throw together in about 15 minutes, after being out all day. I used Panko breadcrumbs, because all other breadcrumbs seem to have dairy and/or soy. I added two eggs and used 1/2 pound sausage and 1 pound of ground beef (low fat). For flavor I added chili powder, since I could not find garlic powder.

Smush it all together and add to oiled, heated skillet. I used two skillets to keep the meatballs from being smushed together. I ended up using all the sauce in the house: 3/4 can of spaghetti sauce, and two almost-finished cans of pizza sauce. No cheese, of course.

I was surprised at how long it took the meatballs to fully cook. Next time I will simmer in a covered skillet. I paired the dinner with microwaved frozen peas and corn. I think in the future I might blend some vegetables in, if I have the time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Homemade pork wantons are healthy, right?

Today, I made homemade dairy-free, soy-free pork wantons. I do miss the soy sauce though. I think oyster and soy sauce would have really made the wantons pop.

Blend 1/2 broccoli head, one medium onion and 1/2 a cup of mushrooms.

Mix with one package of ground pork. Add molasses and rice wine vinegar. Saute until cooked.

Wrap in wanton dough and fry in canola or peanut oil until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on a towel.

I did not have any soy-free dipping sauce, but would have picked hoisin or sweet-and-sour sauce if I could. I would also like to try this dish with ground chicken. I thought the pork taste was a little strong.

Happy frying!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chickpea salad

An easy, delicious lunch: Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add a canned of drained chickpeas. As the chickpeas heat up, smash them with a fork. Add a handful of diced red onion. Soften the onion in fortified white vinegar. I used garlic and cilantro. When the onion is soft, remove from heat and add a dash of cumin and 1/4 tsp of cilantro. Mix with mayonnaise. Add a dash of lemon juice. Served on crusty white bread with a side of homemade pickles.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Week of September 17

Chicken Biryani (leftover from last week)
Shaun makes chili
Beef/beans for a mama
Split peas soup (crockpot) with homemade croutons
Veggie kabobs with basmati rice
Lasagna soup (crockpot)


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Week of August 13

Food for camping
Grilled ratatouille over angel hair
Cranberry roast (crockpot)
Cucumber soup with bacon wrapped jalapeno thingies
Stuffed peppers (crockpot)
Pad thai

Pico de gallo with homegrown tomatoes and jalapenos

Muffins or cookies for camping

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Week of May 21

Chicken in a squash shell (Sunset p. 362)
Beef chiang mai (p. 640) with Hominy fry delight (p. 687)
Applesauce chicken (crockpot)
Beef vindaloo (crockpot)
Ratatouille (crockpot)

Meals for others:
Beef and barley stew (organic)

Rhubarb crumble

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Week of April 28

Stuffed peppers (crockpot p. 276)
A-1 and dijon steak (crockpot p. 297)
French dip sandwiches (crockpot p. 313)
Lasagna soup with spinach (crockpot)
spiced grilled chicken breasts with corn pepper relish
Beef basil (p. 519)

Nutted squash bread (p. 86)
Nutella chocolate chip cookies

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Week of April 10

Grilling hamburgers and brats
Twice cooked pork (stir-fry, Sunset p. 656)
Fajita chicken skewers (broiled, Sunset p. 370)
Peking pork chops (crockpot)
Spaghetti with crockpot sauce
Risotto with bacon (crockpot p. 102)

Sides: vegetable-nut bread (breads p. 90)

Snacks: Chocolate mint cupcakes
Mango coconut ice cream

Strawberry jam

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Week of Mar 6

Eggplant gnocchi
Spring pea soup
Mongolian beef
Jamaican pumpkin soup
Spaghetti and meatsauce (from a jar :()

Homemade bread: olive loaf
Sugar cookies

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week of February 27

List in progress:

Leftover from last week: Jumbalaya, ribs, hawaiian chicken

Pad Thai
Sweet and sour chicken with mango lettuce wraps
Tamale pie (LLL P. 65)

Chicken stock (it's about time. Will save lots of money)

Braised bok choy

Purim: 1. Noodle kugel
2. Chicken soup from chicken stock
3. Hamentashen

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Week of February 20

It's another big meal list (8 meals, 5 of them need to be crockpot meals and one needs to be super easy). Busy times.

Ribs (crockpot)
Jumbalaya (crockpot)
Salsa chicken and black bean soup (crockpot) with cilantro lime rice
Pho (crockpot)
Danish meatballs (oven)
Hawaiian chicken
Roasted winter root vegetables (crockpot) with garlic bread
Falafel (crockpot)

Shaun lunches:
Sweet pork barbacoa salad

Olive oil cakes with lemon and thyme

Hamentashen (purim)
Brownie bites (dairy free, ECFE)
Human puppy chow

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Week of January 24, 2010

This Meal list needs to last 8 days ...

Pizza with sausage, onions, peppers, garlic, pepperoni with buffalo mozzarella and romano cheese
Cavatappi salad with roast lamb
Broccoli and three cheese soup (crockpot) with homemade croutons
Jambalaya (crockpot)
Picadillo turnovers (Sunset cookbook p. 695)
Sausage etouffee (Sunset cookbook p. 661)
Crab cakes on mixed greens with peanut vinaigrette with Roasted parsnip and red onions
Chicken strips

Shaun lunch: lamb pitas with spicy sesame yogurt sauce
Jaelyn lunch: Caeser salads

Snacks: blueberry muffins
Peach crisp with maple cream sauce