Friday, April 30, 2010

Starting tomatoes

Nothing like a little green in your house when everything outside still has a touch of brown. It seems like I started our tomatoes only yesterday, and the little darlings have got real leaves on them now. My husband searched high and low (at our local Fleet Farm) for heat mats so that they would get a good start. He ended up splurging on large pots filled with organic compost from our neighborhood ginseng farm so that I would not have to transplant the little guys before they were to go outside. All told, we spent less on heat mats than if we had ordered them from a catalogue, didn't pay shipping, and got trays with 70 expandable pots in them, included. I ordered tomato seeds from Territorial again, and all 30 of them germinated. This gives me the 16 or so I need and plenty to bless my friends with. I plan to reuse the pots and trays again next year, needing only to get dirt to fill them. This way I don't add to the landfill or recycle pile, shop local, and save myself more money next year. My tomatoes are not as big as last year at this time, but these are shorter day ones, so no fear. Next time I will show you my other green beauties...Come to think of it, I may be able to part with a couple more, say, if you were related to me and felt like making a trip up here in a couple weeks to get them... (hint hint)
What about you? Are you itching to be outside? Have you started anything growing in your window?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Menu Monday April 25th- May 1st

While the hubby's away, the diet will pay....
Every year my amazing husband goes down to Grant county, WI, and helps his friend plant 1000 trees on his land. Ya, I said it and you read it, 1000 trees. I keep asking how this is possible, but I guess between the deer, the weather and some flooding, not to mention that there is a lot of land, it is an annual event he really looks forward to. He loves being outdoors, the weather is not too hot at this point, and his friend generously invites him to hunt there through several seasons during the year. Not to mention that it is quality guy time... I spent the weekend baking for his trip and ended up with pumpkin bread, cinnamon swirl bread, whole wheat bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies and biscuits for both of us. I will miss him terribly over this week, but it is fun spending time with the kids being the priority for a change. Besides, he will drive out to the edge of the property to find a signal so that he can call us every night. In the meantime, the kids got to plan the menu for the week, so that accounts for some of the unusual combinations of things. What can I say, I miss spaghetti....

Sausage biscuit sandwiches
Crock pot oatmeal with brown sugar
Smoothies and cinnamon swirl toast
Eggs and toast
Cold cereal
Waffles with peach syrup
Short order cook Saturday, kids choice

Egg Head sandwiches, veggies
School lunch
Pb and J sandwiches, bananas
Turkey and swiss sandwiches, kiwi
School lunch
Chicken noodle, bread and butter, frozen peaches
Grilled cheese, tomato soup

Souper soup, french bread
Spaghetti and salad
Pancakes, bacon, yogurt
Baked chicken, rice, beets
Maid-Rites, oven fries, salad
Chicken pot pie, beet pickles
Homemade pizza, fruit cups

Groceries purchased: buns, pb x 2, ketchup, tomato soup x 2, dinner rolls, 3 lbs ground beef, bananas, 5 gallons milk $40.58

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chicken mushroom panini bento

This bento was made from leftover panini we had the night before. I made focaccia and then filled it with balsamic chicken with mushrooms, basil, green onions and tomatoes. The photo does this beautiful sandwich no justice whatsoever.

Friday, April 16, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Ok, I know I have never had a Friday Funny post before, and that I am supposed to be focusing on the frugal part of my life, but come on.... this is just funny!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Missing Mr. Olsen

It's Gratituesday, and today I am grateful for the time I had getting to know our neighbor Larry. We were in Florida on vacation over St.Patrick's Day when we got a call that our friends had some bad news to share with us. That morning, Larry had passed away very unexpectedly. We had only known him for four and a half years but it seemed as though he had been in our lives forever. Larry was known as the "Godfather" of the neighborhood, walking it every day to check up on lots with houses and ones he was still farming. He was the man that bought a tiller for his tractor because some of us had large gardens. He planted huge sweetcorn plots so that we could have as much as we wanted and helped us pick it so that it would be fresh. Then he would shuck six or seven dozen so that his wife could help me freeze enough for our family. He was the man who stepped in as a grandfather, when the kids missed theirs because they are so far away. He helped reinforce the value of hard work to our neighborhood children (and a few moms and dads) when they helped him pick rock in the wheat fields. He always smiled and you could never mistake who it was when you watched those long strides taking him back to the house at 5:00 sharp for supper. His strawberries and apples were shared freely as was his sage wisdom. While he is missed, we are ever grateful for the time we had with him. I hope God enjoys the help with any farming issues in Heaven, and I can't help but think he is behind the beautiful April we are having.
Head on over to Laura's at Heavenly Homemakers for Gratituesday and see what everyone else is thankful for.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Menu Monday April 11-17

We got some lovely Nebraska steak from my hubby's parents for a Christmas gift this year. What could be better than that? So we are taking advantage of that to enjoy the beautiful weather that we are having, and grilling our hearts out. Man do I love Spring! I am also trying to continue being extra frugal as I have a Country Life order this week, so I will post what I bought for the week with the menu. Fortunately I have 2 gallons of milk still from last week, so that helps. This will give you just a glimpse into my crazy need to stockpile food...who in the world needs three freezers?

Egg and sausage breakfast burritos
Shrimp wraps
Nebraska steak, roasted root veggies (parsnips from garden) salad and homemade strawberry ice cream (berries from Mr. Olsen's garden)

Eggs and toast
Apples, cheese, whole wheat bread with butter
Leftover buffet with the addition of grilled mushrooms

Whole wheat pancakes with applesauce (Mr. Olsen's apples)
PB and J lunch boxes for school
Roasted chicken salad on sourdough buns, parsnip and leek soup and salad

Blueberry muffin cake
Chicken soup with noodles
Some sort of Chinese dish with egg rolls (not this one)

Steel cut oatmeal in the crock pot
School hot lunch
Combo burritos and salad

French toast with peach syrup
Tuna salad on sourdough rolls, apples
Frozen pizza

Bacon, Egg and cheese biscuit cups
Kids choice
Supper with my sister and her family, something from the bottom
of the freezer perhaps...? Sorry Abbie!

Groceries bought for the week:
Mushrooms, onions, loaf of texas toast, one pound hamburger, two dozen eggs, 6 plums, block of cheddar, can of tomatoes, dish soap, broccoli, cilantro
Total: $40.00