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