Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard on Friday 10/19/12

OK so I am confused.  Guess I didn't know yesterday was Thursday so will post a day late.  Seems it has been a busy week as usual cooking but very few pictures.

 All those little potatoes that seem to come with the big ones when you grow your own what to do with them.  Scrub them up and dehydrate them to be used in homemade hamburger helper.
 About the last of the tomatoes.
Another batch of beets.  Not so pretty this time for some reason.

Thursday night's dinner was liver, onions, bacon and baked potato for 1.  Liver $.73.  1/2 # bacon $.45.  Only 1/3 was used for supper.  The other 2/3 made breakfast 2 mornings for my brother.

Friday night was left over chicken cacciatori the only cost was 5 oz. of noodles.

Saturday night was fish and chips for 5.  There was also carrots, cole slaw and butternut squash.  It seems when I have company I over cook.  There was enough fish and chips left for DB's supper Monday night and enough fish to freeze for one more meal for 2.  Total cost $4.25.  The Monday night was free.

Sunday night we had pork chops, boiled potatoes and gravy,  and cole slaw.  $2.00 and there was enough pork left over to make a TV dinner.

Tuesday night hot dogs, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.  Cost $.60.  Some of  the sauerkraut and mashed potatoes were put in the pork TV dinner.

Wednesday night meat loaf, mashed potatoes and carrots.  Cost $2.75 but watch for that meat loaf to reappear in the coming week.

Groceries were a little steep this week as I did my monthly shopping to restock the pantry.  It seems we were out of a lot of things.  Also ground beef was on sale for $2.49 a pound so can never have too much of that inthe freezer it can be used in so many ways.

Total groceries $54.00

A recipe to share.  This comes from Diabetic Candy, Cookie and Dessert Cookbook

Lo-Cal Chocolate pudding

1/3 c cocoa
1/4 C granulated sugar replacement
2T corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
2 C skim milk
1 egg beaten
1 T margarin
1 tsp vanilla

Combine cocoa, sugar replacement, cornstarch and salt in saucepan:  stir in milk.  Cook and stir over medium heat until think and bubbly.  Reduce heat, cook and stir 4 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir small amount of hot cocoa mixture into beaten egg.  Pour egg mixture into pan.  stir to blend, return to heat and cook 2 minutes.  Add margarin and vanilla.

Makes 4 servings.
1 serving 1 low fat milk exchange
107 calories.

For DB's morning snack I make it into a chocolate pie with 3 squares of graham crackers made into crumbs with 1 T butter.  Add one serving of pudding.  This adds 1 bread and 1 fat exchange.

Cost of the entire batch of pudding $1.12.  Not sure on the pie crust.

I guess better late than never but am sure most have already visited our host, The Gardener of Eden

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday's Harvest 12/15/12

Here we are at another Monday.  It seems that we bypassed frost and went straight to hard freeze Friday night when the temperatures dipped to 23 degrees.  Now the task of cleaning up the gardens starts and the preparation and planning for next spring.

The only thing I harvested this past week was about 2 1/2 pounds of green tomatoes before the freeze that I think will make it to the ripe stage.

Still have brussels sprouts to harvest at the plots in town if it ever quits raining.  Hopefully tomorrow and then I can get the beds their cleaned up and the garlic planted.

It is now time to sit down and analyze what produced well and what needs to be replaced next year.  I hope to be able to give some reports eventually on some of the specific varieties I planted this past spring.

Guess my Monday's Harvest won't be too interesting for a while.

Be sure to stop by our host,Daphne's Dandelions and see what others are harvesting or planning for next year.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard 10/11/12

It has been another busy week in the kitchen and the pantry is getting fed a little more stock for winter.

 8 quarts of tomatoes
8 pints of applesauce and 8 pints of beets.  The beets are part of the 25 pounds I bought.

Also did 10-1/2 pints of beets from the rest of the beets from my garden.

Meals are starting to come together now that I have the monthly menus posted.  Makes life much easier.  Thursday night it was just me and had shrimp scampi.  Cost $2.

Friday night we had baked pork chops with tomato sauce, mashed potatoes and green beans.  Cost for 2 less than $2.  Potatoes and green beans were from the garden.

Saturday night was spaghetti with meatballs, mushrooms and sausage for 4  Cost about $5.50  However the left overs fed 2 on Monday night.

Sunday night was beef stir fry with Angel Hair.  Cost for 2 around $2.50.  Peppers, onion and celery came from the garden.

Tuesday night pizza burgers (sauce from Saturday night is what the burgers were cooked in) mashed potatoes from the garden.  Cost for 2 $1.75.

Wednesday night was Chicken cacciatori with egg noodles.  Cost for 2 $3.75.  However there is enough left for another meal except for the noodles and the chicken broth will be used to make chicken noodle soup for my brother for 2 lunches this weekend absolutely free as there is left over cooked spaghetti from the week in the refrigerator.

Total spent on groceries at the store this week less than $6 and almost $3 of that went to replenish the pantry not for consumption this week.

Be sure to stop by our host,The Gardener of Eden and see what others are preserving and eating this week.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday's Havest 10/8/12

Things are certainly winding down as far as harvesting in my garden.  Still a few things to finish up and things to get started for next year.

These are the results of an experiment that has been going on since February.  I decided to see if I could grow peppers in the house in the aero garden.  I had 2 plants that grew to about 2'.  They both produced blossoms but only one plant set fruit and only these 2 peppers which are only about 2" long.  Conclusion, from now on peppers will be grown in the garden where they belong.
Dug the rest of the potatoes 16 1/4 pounds

This being the biggest one weighed in at 1 pound 1 oz.
The balance of the beets from the community plots.  3 1/2 pounds
Butternut squash only a very few grew to maturity.  The little ones are ripe enough to pick but not store.  The biggest one was 4 1/4 pounds.

I have started planting for next year.  I pulled all of the Egyptian Walking onions that I planted 2 years ago.  They didn't develop as I had hoped.  The top onions I was hoping to use for little pearl onions but they didn't get that big.  The original onions which had multiplied are now drying and will be weighed later.  So far I have planted a 9'x1' row of the little top onions that will be used mainly as scallions in the spring.

I am also trying perennial potato onions this next year which are suppose to be the best keepers.  So far I have planted 1 1/2 pounds of sets which is about 15 sets and have another pound yet to arrive.  I am very anxious to see what they do here.  Even if I only get enough to plant a bigger bed of them next year I will be happy as they are extremely expensive to purchase.

My garlic sets are here and I will be getting a bed prepared for them I hope this week and get them planted since we are only having rain every other day and the highs for the day are about 50 time is of the essence now.

Be sure to check with our host,Daphne's Dandelions and see what others are harvesting and planning for their next garden.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

Even though it is the end of the season for the garden, the pantry seems to be getting a steady flow of new goodies being added to it each week.

Potatoes and sauerkraut
Cannelloni Beans
Tomatoes and Cabbage
One more of my best friends this time of year.  Mr. Squeezo.  An elderly gentleman gave this to my husband and I about 30 years ago as he didn't use it anymore.  I checked the price of them about a year ago and boy am I glad it was a gift.  I use it for making apple sauce and tomato juice.
I love how little waste you get to make this 5 pints of applesauce.
The personal challenge is coming along nicely.  Have the menu for the Month of October and will be reporting more on that in weeks to come.  I need to update my food cost chart.  I pretty much know it in my head but like it on paper.

Also have been spending more time that I really have figuring out carbohydrates and protein in recipes I use all the time.  I need it for portion control for my brother as we go into the winter months and there will be more casseroles etc.  I now have ramekins that hold just one portion so it will be much easier.

We did have a rather expensive dinner this week as we had corn beef for Reubens.  Even though the sauerkraut, bread and dressing were homemade it still cost about $10.  I had purchased the corned beef before I discovered how to make my own so needed to use it up.  It had a lot of waste on it unfortunately.  However we had 2 dinners from it plus my brother had a corned beef sandwich for lunch one day.  So it was still less than $5 per night for dinner.

Our Grocery bill was just barely over $5 even with buying the cheese for the Reubens.

I am working on something new today and will let you know how it turns out tomorrow and if it is a savings on a food that I buy all the time for my brother.

Be sure you stop by our host,The Gardener of Eden and see what others are squirreling away and sharing for good recipes this week.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday's Harvest 10/01/12

As they say all good things must come to an end and it appears that harvesting for the 2012 season has just about ended here on the mountain.  We have had rain since the night of the 25th and there is no end in sight.  The forecast for the next 8 out of 10 days is rain.  I was starting to loose things due to all the wetness so between showers decided it was time to end the gardening season for the year.

Acorn Squash.  9 1/4 pounds.  These are an heirloom bush acorn however, see those 2 golden acorn.  I planted 25 seed and one plant produced those 2 squash.  I had planned on keeping the seed for next year but they are now cross pollinated so will have to order seed again next year.  Not too happy about that.  They are setting in front of the slider hoping some day to see the sun again so they can finish curing.
Cannelloni beans 6 pounds
last to bunches of celery 4 pounds
Picked 4 cabbage but only 2 were worth a photo however did have a total of  7 1/2 pounds including what I was able to save from the 2 bad ones.

Also pulled the last of the beets which are very small and haven't weighed yet.  Got 3 heads of cauliflower that weighed in at a total of one pound.  Fed those to the critters.  There were also a few side shoots of broccoli that weren't weighed in.

The lose on the cabbage and cauliflower were my fault.  Neglect will do it every time.

Still have butternut squash, potatoes, brussels sprouts and basil in the garden.

Be sure to visit our host,Daphne's Dandelions and see what others are harvesting or doing to start their new gardens around the world.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

As the garden continues to put out its last morsels of produce the floor of the kitchen is still cluttered with baskets of produce and jars for canning.  Slowly the pantry is becoming better stocked each day.  Also my challenge of living from the pantry and freezer continues with planning for good meals at a minimum of cost.

The filling of the freezer with meat and the pantry with other staples from the market is almost complete.  I estimate that the cost to replenish everything has cost about $600 so starting this week I will begin to actually see what we spend over the next 6 months on groceries weekly.  It should be interesting as I do not do a budget for such spending.  Just purchase as we need things.  I do have a couple of more items to purchase that is included in the $600 for restocking.

The only thing that has gone into the pantry this week has been from the garden.

 I guess the theme for the next few weeks will be tomatoes as they continue to ripen sitting here in baskets.  Also made more dill pickles as I could never eat fresh all I had picked and they weren't the quality that I like to give away.
I think I have mentioned before I am the primary care giver for my brother who is mentally challenged and now also a type 2 diabetic with a special diet.  During the winter I make a lot of soup for weekend lunches.  Each 12 oz jar contains the correct proportions of carrots, potatoes and celery to make on lunch by adding 1 cup of tomatoes, 2 oz of meat and 1 pint of stock.  The 8 oz. jars are pizza sauce.  I cook my meatballs in a sauce but freeze them separately.  This is sort of a by product of the procedure.  By adding a little tomato paste and a few more herbs it makes a great canned pizza sauce.
I do a lot with left overs in the way of TV dinners for my brother also.  There are some things like a ham that can't be cooked for 2 and not have left overs.  This is scalped potatoes with ham and carrots correctly proportions for a dinner for him.  This picture doesn't show it well but if you use a good quality plastic wrap by placing the dinner in the microwave for about 2 minutes and take it out it will actually shrink wrap the meal giving it a good seal in the freezer.  I just cover it with foil once it is cooled and into the freezer.

I am not sure if I am frugal or cheap but I have come to pinch a penny until is squeals living on a limited fixed income and still eating better than many.

Be sure to visit our host,The Gardener of Eden and see what other have to share in recipes and what they are squirreling away from their garden.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday's Harvest 9/24/12

We are now having temperatures in the 30's at night and highs in the low 60's during the day so the garden is winding down fast.  I caved into the critters this week and picked all of the tomatoes that I thought might have a change to ripen in the house.  There are small ones left so won't pull the plants until frost gets them or the critters finish eating the tomatoes.

 Italian Paste
 Jersey Giants

Total of 32 3/4 pounds.

The last of the carrots 7# 14 oz.
 Some of the potatoes that the vines had died including 2 red volunteers.  The rest are russets.  Many a little smaller than I had hoped Total 15#
 Celery 1 3/4 #
 Another shot showing the size of the ribs

Cannelloni beans for seed 3 3/4 #
The last of the cucumbers. 5 1/4 #

Have now gathered all the seed for next years tomatoes and bell peppers.  Did save seed from the cucumbers but not sure if they got ripe enough.

Don't forget to visit our host,Daphne's Dandelions and see what others are harvesting this week.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard 09/20/12

Not much going into the pantry or freezer from the garden this week but I did my big trip to the city on Friday and have been taking care of things every since.

The tomatoes are still ripening slowly but did manage to get these canned this week.
Left over ham made into Scallop potatoes augratin with ham which will be put into TV dinner trays with a vegetable and froze for my brother for dinners when I am out.  Every meal has to exactly proportioned for him and sometimes I like to have things he doesn't eat.
Taco meat made with my homemade taco mix
Taco sauce.  It makes way more that I can eat so I keep some in the refrigerator and canned some.

Both the taco mix and the taco sauce are cloned recipes.  The Mix is Ole' Elpaso

Taco Seasoning Mix Ole’

3/4 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. each cornstarch, crushed dried red pepper,
dried minced garlic, ground cumin

Combine all ingredients and seal in ziploc or vacuum seal bag (or jar).

To Use: 2 T Mix, 1/2 c. water & 1 lb ground beef, simmer altogether.

And the Taco Sauce to Taco Bell

Taco Bell's Hot taco sauce

1 6-oz can tomato paste
3 cups water
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon minced dried onion
2 tablespoons canned jalapeno slices ("nacho slices")

1. Combine the tomato past with the water in a saucepan over medium
heat. Stir until smooth.

2. Add the cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, cornstarch, vinegar,
and dried onion. Stir.

3. Chop the jalapeno slices very fine. You can use a food processor,
but don't puree. The best kind of jalapeno to use are those bottled
for nachos or pizza. Add them to the mixture.

4. Heat the mixture to boiling. Continue to stir about 3 minutes and
remove from the heat.

5. Let the sauce stand until cool, and then put in a tightly sealed
container and refrigerate. This will last 1 to 2 months. Makes 3-1/2

Both are good and very inexpensive to make.  Most have everything on their pantry self which makes it easy.

Most of this week was spent packaging and freezing meet etc. from my shopping Marathon. However we are now set for winter except for a few things that I will get in the next few weeks.  Then shopping will be only a few perishables like milk etc.

Be sure to visit our host The Gardener of Eden and see what others have been squirreling away this past week.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday's Harvest 09/17/12

First off I must apologize to many who follow and comment on my posts that I just haven't had the time to view your blogs and comment lately.  Due to the threat of our first frost this week I did do some picking down but of course no frost came.

Well this isn't vegetables but might explain why I haven't had much time for blogging.  Since I live in the Wilderness it is a constant battle to keep the woods from totally taking the cleared property back, I need to harvest a lot of underbrush.  This came from the woods directly behind the picture.

Carrots for dinner one night.  2 Pounds
Didn't get weighed
Volunteer tomatoes.

16 quart basket of mostly Jersey Giants that are now oxheart shaped instead of plum but still nice tomatoes.

Italian Paste.  Total tomatoes for the week 25 pounds.

The end of the shelling beans.  Some of these are dried and will be used for seed next year rest will be canned.  1# 12 oz.

Also picked 12 oz. of basil and over 2 pounds total of cucumbers.

Be sure to visit,Daphne's Dandelions and see what others have harvested this past week.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard 09/13/12

This week was fairly good to the pantry and freezer again.  Not big but enough to keep in the kitchen and out of trouble.  In following Robin's lead from last week and Erin's challenge have a few pictures of what my house looks like this time of year.

 Tomatoes, green beans, cannelloni beans and shelling beans

The last of the bell peppers headed for the freezer

A little look at one side of my pantry.  Have been working on getting it organized.

Then comes the mess in the kitchen. or more or less the dining room

And there is the stove most of the time.

Be sure to check out our host,The Gardener of Eden and see what others are squirreling away for winter.