Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shopping Trip March 30

On budget at the grocery store, but headed out of town this weekend, so will be hard to stay under at a restaurant. I think what is the most frustrating about typing this in is seeing all the things I could have made from scratch but bought to make my life easier so we could be outside. Lame excuse since I just was explaining to my oldest that it really doesn't take that much time to make things from scratch vs a box. This is why I type out my list, really makes me face my excuses in a concrete way.

Downtown Grocery
2 Doz Eggs 9.98
Kefir 5.19
1.75 lbs Carrots 2.65
Garlic .84
Onion 1.56
Cauliflower 5.39
Total 25.61

Quality Foods
Taco shells 2.05
#2 Butter 5.00
Buttermilk 2.28
Cottage Cheese 2.70
2 natural pb 4.58
Refried beans 1.29
Hollandaise sauce 1.39
English Muffins 1.59
Tortillas 2.79
Pie crust 2.75
Broccoli 1.36
Strawberries 2.00
Potato 0.26
Rice cakes 1.87
#3 Ground chuck 5.37
Total 37.29

Total 62.90

Monday, March 29, 2010

Menu Monday March 29-April 4

We had my sister's family staying with us on Sunday and plan to be out of town for the weekend. Hope your Easter is blessed with peace and family.

Lunch-Gumbo and cornbread
Supper-Pork roast on flat bread, coleslaw, cantaloupe and grapes

Breakfast-Caramel rolls
Lunch-Leftovers or pb and j

Breakfast-Pumpkin bread and smoothies
Lunch-Frozen Pizza (#1 in charge of lunch)
Supper-Roasted chicken breast, green beans, wild rice

Breakfast-Eggs and Toast
Lunch-Chicken nuggets, beets and bananas (#1 in charge again)
Supper-Chicken pot pie, cottage cheese

Thursday (Hubby birthday)
Breakfast-Eggs Benedict
Lunch-In town
Supper-Steak, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower

Breakfast-Cinnamon toast, fruit and yogurt parfaits
Lunch-Cheese waffles and tomato soup
Supper-On the road, out of town

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chicken Bone Broth

I love making broth. I love how easy it is, how it smells, how it tastes, and how it is pretty much free. Lately every time I roast a chicken, I have thrown the bones back in the oven while I am cleaning up the kitchen. After they brown, I cool them and throw them in a bag in the freezer. Then, when I have a spare moment ( you know, while I am eating bon-bons and watching mexican novellas...) I make broth. Seriously, this is as easy as it gets folks.
Yesterday I was going to make gumbo and found that I was out, so I thought this would be a perfect Frugal Friday post. Here's what you do, follow closely, it's tricky.

  1. Grab the chicken bones from your freezer, or the pan you just roasted it in and put them in a pot of water.
  2. Add whatever veggies you have in your house. I typically use the tops of my celery, an onion cut in half, 3 smashed garlic, and some carrots. I don't peel anything, skins an all in the pot. Maybe wash them though...
  3. Add 2 bay leaves, a small handful of peppercorns, and some parsley or whatever herb sounds good.
  4. Boil on low for... well, however much time you have. I have done it for 3 hours, and I have done this in the crock pot overnight. When it first gets going, you need to skim off the foam, that stuff is gross.
  5. Strain through a cheesecloth lined colander and refrigerate or freeze for later. I like to freeze mine in pint jars so I have 2 cups at a time. If I know I am making something that requires more, I freeze close to a half gallon. If you are really frugal, you can pick of the meat that is left from the bones at this point. I tend to pick mine over really well before hand, so there is usually not much left to add to the broth.

When this cools down, it will look something like chicken jello, this is normal, it will turn back into liquid when it is reheated so no worries there. We eat a fair amount of chicken, so it seems like I am never at a loss for broth. What is your favorite frugal recipe?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shopping trip for March 23rd

Way under budget so that we can make up for eating out on our return home from vacation.

Kwik Trip
#3 1/2 Bananas 1.41
#2 Onions .75
Total 2.16

Downtown Grocery
2 doz eggs 9.98

Quality Foods
#5 potatoes 1.39
2 cans mushrooms 1.58
Corned Beef 7.39
Cabbage 1.50
Buttermilk 2.28
Yogurt 2.89
#1 Sliced ham 5.24
Smoked turkey sausage 3.00
Lettuce 4.26
Coupon turkey -.55
Coupon ham -.55
Total 28.41

5 Gallons raw milk 20.00

Grand total 60.55

Monday, March 22, 2010

Menu Monday March 21-27

Sunday-On the road from Nebraska
Breakfast- Pancakes and cinnamon rolls
Lunch- Applebee's
Supper- Subway

Breakfast-Cereal and raw milk
Lunch- Grilled cheese and applesauce
Supper- Steak, green beans, corn, ranch potatoes

Breakfast- Eggs and toast, white peaches
Lunch- Chicken soup and ham roll ups
Supper-St. Patty's day late Corned beef, colecannon, cabbage (boiled and fried), scones

Breakfast- Pumpkin muffins, bananas
Lunch- Ham and cheese pockets, applesauce
Supper- Grilled chicken legs and wings, corn, salad

Breakfast-Cereal and cinnamon toast
Lunch- At school
Supper- Gumbo and corn bread

Breakfast-Waffles and peaches with whipped cream
Lunch- Spaghetti
Supper- Cheese and bean enchiladas

Breakfast- Cranberry white chocolate scones
Lunch-Grilled chicken, green beans, coleslaw
Supper- Pizza and a movie

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hamburger Buns

4 1/2 c unbleached flour
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 c powdered milk
3 T sugar
2 t yeast
1 large egg
3 1/2 T butter room temp
1 1/2 c water plus a bit more
1 egg for egg wash

Mix together flour, salt, milk, sugar and yeast. Pour in one egg, butter, 1 1/2 water and mix with a spoon or paddle attachment until water is absorbed into flour and ball forms. Add more water if dough seems stiff, you want it soft and supple.

Sprinkle flour on counter and knead dough, or if you are like me, swap out the paddle attachment for your dough hook and mix 6-8 minutes or until it clears the side of your mixer bowl. You should be able to stretch a small amount of dough into a translucent window, if it breaks, keep kneading.

Ferment in a covered, greased bowl for 1 1/2 -2 hours, and then divide into 2 oz pieces (18) dinner rolls, or 3 oz (12) hamber buns. Shape the pieces into tight rounds by cupping your hand over the ball of dough and rolling it with pressure against the counter and sides of the dough around in circles. You will feel the ball tighten up, that is what you want. Mist balls with oil, cover with plastic and a towl and leave to nap for 20 minutes or so.

Place buns or rolls on parchment lined baking sheets, pressing the dough balls down if you are making buns to flatten them a bit. Mist and cover again for a hour or better nap until they double in size.

Preheat oven 400 degrees, brush rolls or buns with egg wash and top with sesame, poppy or no seeds. Bake for 15 minutes or until just above 180 degrees. Remove them from the pans immediately and cool on wire rack to prevent having soggy buns.
No one likes soggy buns....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pad Thai Pizza

Photo Credit

Tired of the usual pizza? We made a variation on Pad Thai chicken pizza from Clean Cooking last night. Yummy!

1 pre-made pizza shell
1/2 c or more Pad Thai sauce
1 large chicken breast diced
1/2 red pepper chopped
1/2 c onion chopped
3 oz mozzarella shredded
1 c bean sprouts
1/4 c cilantro
1/4 c peanuts chopped (optional)

Spread Pad Thai sauce on pizza shell. Top with chicken, peppers, onion and cheese. Bake according to shell directions. After slicing pizza, top with sprouts, cilantro and peanuts. (Hot chili sauce too, if you are my hubby). This whole works took 15 minutes, and that included the bake time, how easy is that?

Menu Monday March 7-13

This will be a shorter week as we are leaving town again, and that coupled with my itchy desire to clean out my freezers makes for an interesting and cheap menu. Headed back to Nebraska, and the big question is whether to pack food for the trip down, or stop at some dreaded restaurant along the way. If you pack for a trip, what is your favorite food to have in the car?

Brunch- Pigs in a blanket and eggs
Supper- Pad Thai and pepperoni pizzas

Breakfast-Oatmeal and milk
Lunch- PB&J, oranges
Supper- Tuscan Style potato soup, chicken salad pitas

Breakfast- Cranberry and white chocolate scones, keifer
Lunch- Tacos
Supper- Nebraska steak, naan, green beans, corn

Breakfast- French toast and peaches
Lunch- Butter noodles and veggies
Supper- Chicken-a-la-king wraps, apple sauce, cottage cheese

Breakfast-Whatever is left in the freezer
Supper-Whatever is left in the fridge (I love leaving town!)

Breakfast- Cereal
Lunch- Frozen pizza served on paper towels... lol
Supper- TBD

At my in-laws, see you in a week!

Friday, March 5, 2010


When I was little, my dad read me a book called The Bike Lesson by Stan and Jan Berenstein. Each time the dad in the book taught his cub a new lesson he would follow it by saying, "This is what you must never do, now let that be a lesson to you."
Don't leave a pot of beans soaking on your corn stove for two days. When you try to salvage them by washing (and scrubbing) the beans, repeatedly rinsing and adding new water, and then put them on to cook, and they still smell like they have fermented....
Holy cow, who puked!
That was the question I got from my husband when he walked into the kitchen this morning. When I told him what happened, he very nicely suggested I share the beans with the compost pile.
What a thoughtful man.
Actually, I was relieved because there is nothing worse than making a recipe that takes a long time and having it be ruined by one bad ingredient. Besides, my fridge is so overwhelmed with leftovers that we have enough food to feed the neighborhood. To bad it is Friday, the ribs are calling me...
Have you ever had something not quite work out in the kitchen?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010