What Did We Eat? November 17, 2017

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This was a week where I tried to encourage everyone to eat up things in the fridge so I can have more room for Thanksgiving food.

Patsy is holding an African taco–she put some of Harnet’s special lentils into a taco shell and ate it for dinner 2 nights in a row.  The second night, she put it into a flour tortilla instead:)  Almost  every time I see Harnet, she generously gives me some of these beri-beri flavored lentils.  They are spicy, but with a little different flavor than Mexican seasoning.  Patsy put a little grated cheese on there, and sour cream, and ……she loved it!!

We ate turkey-vegetable soup again this week.  The entire pot was consumed over a few days.  One day I ate it for both breakfast and lunch.  Rob opened a carton of tomato soup as well, and ate that a couple of times.  Lovana made a batch of muffins, which are all gone now.  She also made apple crisp.  Yum!

I thawed meatballs, spaghetti sauce and several other things from the freezers. I cooked a lot of noodles for Rob to eat for dinner and left for work.  When he got home, he didn’t see them, so cooked another huge batch.  We’ve eaten noodles, sauce and meatballs multiple times since then:)  The kids love noodles and eat them with Parmesan cheese.  Green beans were cooked.

One day, we ate cheese and crackers in the car when we were out and about.

Another thing I thawed was ground roast beef.  I mixed it with Miracle Whip and made sandwich spread.  I also ate it plain, with a spoon.  One night, after work, I put pickles and this spread on gf bread, and had it for my supper.

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I followed a recipe from the internet to hard-boil eggs in my Instant Pot.  Easy!  1) Put eggs in a steamer and put in pot.  Put in 1 cup water.  Turn pot on “Manual” and set for 3 minutes.  After it is done, I waited 7 minutes and then released the pressure.  They were done perfectly.  They pointed out that you could be very flexible with when you released the pressure–they sometimes left it for 15 minutes.

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So, the truth is…our meals were pretty repetitive.  Besides these main dishes, we did have odds and ends from the cupboards or fridge, plus scrambled eggs.    When I apologized to Rob for the monotony, he had some good thoughts about it.  His thought is that we are one of the few nations that feel like we need 3 different meals per day, and many, many different ones each week.  He pointed out that when we have visited Mexico, the people we were with mostly ate beans and tortillas every day, with a few differences now and then.  (On this last mission trip, we all paid a fee and the church women cooked food for us with that money, and there was plenty left over for them to have, too.)  When he went to Africa a few years ago, the choice for many was rice.  And they were fortunate to get it more than one time a day in the part of Uganda where he was.  Sometimes there was an egg or other things, but mostly there was rice, if they had any.

On that trip, he was fed well by the people, and his group quickly found out that the food wasn’t just for them…the servers would be eating after them from what was left.  After the first meal, where they weren’t understanding how it worked and ate a lot, they ate sparingly so the cooks/servers could eat.

So, he doesn’t mind the same meal several times in the week.  He feels it is actually more globally realistic, and he doesn’t think it hurts anyone at all.  Good thing:)

I made it up to him on Friday night.  We went out for Mexican food, and did a little Christmas shopping, and got these……..

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Yum!

While we were out and about, I grabbed the 2-4 lb bags of sugar I was allowed for 99c each at Safeway.  They were out of Safeway sugar, so gave me C and H, instead.  I got some lemon-lime soda for Ja’Ana, as she has caught the same crud every family member has been passing around.

At Fred Meyers, we got a few Christmas gifts, which brought me easily up to the $50 required to get a 49c/lb turkey.  I already have one that I will cook…this one will be for later in the year.  I just can’t pass up that price!!!  All that turkey for just under $10!!!

Better yet, I have Michaela’s Christmas gift.  Who knew that they would make a ladies-sized Lion King sleeper with Hakuna Matata on the front, a hood like Simba and even a tail!  That movie is one of her all-time favorites–she can quote long passages of it!  Ja’Ana spotted it the other day, and I was so glad it was still there tonight when we went back.  Maybe the other ladies of Salem are not quite as obsessed with Lion King as Michaela is????

I’m not telling what else I got, and I have lots left to get, but at least we got started.

I’d better end this and go to bed–I’m tired after all the cleaning I did today, but feel very satisfied with what I got done.  I’ll leave you with a cute picture….

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A few of us went and enjoyed her Thanksgiving program at her preschool.  They sang about trees and leaves, and quiet voices and loud voices, and their ABC’s.  They fed us refreshments of apple pastries and M & M’s.  So cute….

 

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What Did We Eat? November 10, 2017

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This week, it was all about potatoes! I decided to use up the purple potatoes we grew in our garden.  I don’t know if they are good “keepers” or not.  I do know the red ones sprout easily.  As of Wednesday, they were all cooked into something.  I also had a few red ones from my sister, and the bottom of a bag of russets from the store that I was targeting. They are now gone, too.   Last Saturday, I got 3-10 pound bags from the store.  They are in the garage, all covered up with a blanket, ready for the next couple of weeks and Thanksgiving dinner.   I made fried potatoes, with a mix of white and purple one morning.  I made cheesy potato soup for lunch one day, and the rest went down the hatch for dinner that night.  I made lots of faintly purple mashed potatoes  from a mix of purple, red and white.  I used around 7 lbs for last Sunday’s Family Sunday Dinner to make mashed potatoes.  I guess the extended family loves potatoes, as there was about 1/2 cup – 1 cup left.  Wow!  Just Wow!  Best 75c I’ve spent in a while:)

The soup theme continued as well, with the cheesy potato soup, and a pot of turkey-rice. I always make enough for more than one meal, when I make soup.  I can’t seem to help myself.  Ja’Ana made cornbread again this week, and my sister made some on Sunday.

On Sunday, along with all those potatoes, I did baked, breaded chicken, which was a hit as well.   I think we were all in the mood for heartier fare–fall is certainly here along with it’s rain, and wind, interspersed with a little sunshine now and then.

One day, I put round steak into the crock pot and made Swiss Steak.  I made some gravy to go with it, and those purple mashed potatoes.  There is still some of that left, so we will probably eat it again tomorrow.

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Jake convinced me to make Rice Krispie treats (from gluten-free Malt-0-Meal Rice Krispies), and he took a big plate full home for his Mama.  He hung with us today, as there was no school. We did a slew of errands–everything from getting medicine, to getting the oil changed in the car.  We slipped in some duck-feeding, and had lots of library books in the car to make it fun.  We got him a Happy Meal–I had a coupon for buy one, get one free, so he and Patsy both had one.  She’s old enough to actually be able to eat more than that, but it satisfied her to get to have it and he was literally starving today–nice!

There were lots of salads this week–for lunches with chicken or for dinner along with the other food, cooked home-canned green beans, home-canned peaches and applesauce, hot dogs, sandwiches, corn chips with salsa, and pork and beans.  Patsy eats cold cereal almost every day, and Rob and I eat eggs almost every day for breakfast.  Lovana gets a crepe or sandwich for free from work on the days she works, and pretty much makes her own food the rest of the time. Sometimes, I eat at my sister’s house in the evening, as I don’t get done until 6,  and everyone at home just makes their own, or eats leftovers.  Sometimes, I go home and make a salad, or warm up leftovers on the days I work.  It has turned out that I only really need to cook 4-5 main recipes a week, and there is enough for the week to just warm up leftovers.

This coming week, it’s going to be all about cleaning out the fridge so we can fit the Thanksgiving food in there the following week.  I’m not sure what I’m making, yet, but I’ll work on some planning tomorrow, and hopefully, I won’t get carried away, as I have an entire day at home….at least that’s what my planner says.  So, if I decided to go somewhere, it will be purely for fun.  Should be a great day, either way.

 

What Did We Eat? November 4, 2017

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This week was a wild and crazy, unusual week.  Between Halloween celebrations, a visit to Harnet, lots of school, exercise classes and more, there wasn’t much time to concentrate on food.  So, frankly, we ate a LOT of soup:)

The week was a blur, but I remember a big pot of turkey-vegetable soup, along with a batch of yellow split pea soup.

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The split pea soup was very simple.  It was yellow split peas (green work, too), onion, potato, a carrot, celery, water and boullion cubes.  I always add a little thyme, salt and pepper to the mix.  After it cooked down, it was smooth with a few chunks.

The turkey vegetable was simple, too.  It was made from frozen chunks of turkey, broth, onion, carrots, celery, green beans, and a pint of crushed tomatoes.  There was water, salt and pepper, of course, and Italian seasoning.  That one turned out great as well.

We ate both of those soups many times for dinner and lunches.  Rob took some in his lunch, along with other items.

On Halloween, my sister made a taco bar, and I made some cookies with the kids.

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There were a couple of times when the Portland Trail Blazers scored over 100 points in a game, and the McDonald’s app offered a Sausage McGriddle for free.  So, we got a couple of those.  I can’t eat them, but others can.

When Rosalie, my sister, Ja’Ana and I took little Danait to McDonald’s to play while her mom studied citizenship with her tutor, we used the buy one, get one free Happy Meal coupon off the app.  Rosalie and I got to enjoy Harnet’s yummy food back at the house, but Ja’Ana and Danait ate the Happy Meals.  Mostly, we were looking for a dry, fun place to let some of the wiggles out after the library storytime we went to, and I think she had fun.  I know we did!  It was really quite comical to see 3 of us chase 1 little dynamo!!

I did make the same marinated chicken I made last week.  It was good, simple, and quick!  And, I had all the ingredients on hand.  It used up the rest of the package of buns I had, and everyone enjoyed chicken sandwiches this week.

I made mini blueberry muffins, and we ate some and took the rest up to add to the lunch at Harnet’s.  We ate them with coffee.  I can’t forget the coffee…..that deserves a sentence of its own:)  I showed her the coffee-making post, and we found a small error in my description, so I will be fixing that soon.  She enjoyed seeing it, and I’m glad.  It’s a big deal to me to post someone else’s story and I wanted to make sure it was correct.

Ja’Ana made another batch of cornbread, and I cubed and toasted about 1/2 of the pan and froze it for Thanksgiving stuffing.

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I want to have as much ready ahead of time for the big day, as I am super busy during the days before the holiday.

Whenever anyone said they were hungry, I just said, “go get some more canned fruit” and I think we all got fed just fine:)

What Did We Eat? Week of October 28, 2017

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There’s just nothing like cheesy scalloped potatoes!  I made these on Monday night after work and thought they would be for Tuesday.  Little did I know that most of the crew had not eaten dinner (or wanted another dinner–who knows?) and ….whoosh….most of them were gone that night!  Monday’s plan was leftovers for dinner.  I can see why they wanted these:)

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On Tuesday, Ja’Ana made cornbread again.  No one can get enough of it lately!!   Lovana made apple crisp, which you can see behind some other stuff. I pulled a small container of very old ham and bean soup from the shop freezer, and we used it up!  Very gratifying, but I wouldn’t say my favorite.  At least it’s gone;)

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I marinated chicken breast, cut thin, in lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, salt, pepper and garlic.  Then, I just fried it up in a pan.  I cooked pink rice and mixed vegetables.  I also offered these chicken filets up in buns for those who wanted them that way–with toppings like lettuce, etc.  Patsy and Rob went for them that way.

On Thursday, everyone got what they wanted for themselves as they left to take Ja’Ana to tap dance class before I got home.  Patsy told me she made an egg salad sandwich from some eggs I boiled and left in there.  I sauted up a few shrimp we had lingering in the freezer and had salad and a baked potato Rob left.  So, I’m guessing he had potatoes?  Or leftovers? Anyway, everyone ate!

On Friday night, Rob and I slipped away for a while.  I ordered a milkshake and nipped some of his fries.  (Awful, I know, but oh, so tasty!)

On Saturday night, I made waffles, eggs and bacon.  I will put up a picture of the waffles soon–they were so cute!  I made them in a Mickey Mouse waffle iron I got at a yard sale last weekend.  Jake was here for dinner, but the girls were not.  They had harvest parties and got their dinner there.  He ate an ear from Mickey, a few eggs, and lots of bacon.  Later in the evening, he ate a bagel, too.  I try to always keep them here for him, as he eats one almost every time.

I made a berry cobbler and a rice salad with the leftover pink rice to take for Family Sunday Dinner tomorrow.

I also ground some turkey I found in the freezer so it will be handy for sandwiches.

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Last weekend, I made this mixture of turkey burger, celery, yellow peppers, kidney beans, chili powder and crushed tomatoes.  I was going to make tamale pie one night by just putting cornbread on top and baking.  Instead, it got used at odd times for baked potatoes, tacos, salad, on a plate….I’m fine with that.  It got used, but for a little bit, and made grabbing something for lunch very easy.  I could have added macaroni, too, for chili mac.  I will probably make another batch of it soon.  IMG_5872

I picked a cabbage today.  It is in great condition.  I plan to use it for coleslaw this next week.

I feel like we ate well last week, and that I have a good handle on the upcoming one.  By the end of tomorrow…I should be in super-great shape as far as the food for the week in concerned.

 

 

What Did We Eat? October 20, 2017

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This week was full of baking.  We tried several new recipes.  The girls made apple galettes on Wednesday.  They each made one.  We found it worked the best to make it in a pie pan, and to roll that gluten-free crust out on a sheet of freezer paper, then turn it upside down into a pie pan before we filled it.

We also baked gluten-free rolls, but I will never be sharing that recipe for what I think were actually hockey pucks, not fresh rolls:)  I’ve had success before, I just have to find that recipe and try again.  I did have success with macaroons dipped in chocolate, and my tried and true recipe for double chocolate loaf cake.

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Last Sunday, for family Sunday dinner, we had taco bar.  We did eat leftovers of the refried beans on tortillas or chips all week.  On Monday, Rob barbequed hamburgers.  We had those again another night.  On Tuesday, I baked potatoes.  Wednesday, at noon, Ja’Ana made coconut shrimp, we had bread sticks, and Alissa made salad.   For dinner, I made tacos again.  We were in a big hurry to get dinner made after a doctor’s appointment and before church.   The girls each made an apple galette.  Thursday, I made myself an omelette after work.  I don’t know what they ate.  Friday, Rob and I went out for dinner.  We left all 3 kids home.  It was a rare treat!  Lots of caramel corn was made for the 4H bake sale.  We sent quite a few batches to the sale, and kept some to eat. Patsy made Muddy Buddies last night.  Yum!  Actually, I’m needing to clear some of these sweets out of here, since we are enjoying the extra treats a little too much:)

Today, at lunch time, my Eritrean (Africa) friend made my sister, Ja’Ana and I a delicious meal of authentic Eritrean food.   It was great, as always.  She made us coffee, and I took lots of pictures for those of you who have been curious about that process.  I’ll post that soon, once I get those pictures loaded. All in all, it’s been a great week of eating.  As I type, I’m still stuffed to the gills!

What Did We Eat? October 13, 2017

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One day, I filled 2 Crock Pots.  The night before, I had soaked a bowl of pinto beans and I divided them between the 2 pots.  In one, I made chili.  Along with the beans,  I used hamburger, celery, peppers from the garden, canned tomatoes, water, onions, 1 pint beef broth, and chili powder, salt and pepper.  In the other pot, I put beans, water, onions, peppers, salt and pepper to make refried beans.  I cooked both pots all day.  In the evening, we ate chili for dinner with cheese and onions on top, along with cornbread.  The beans were pureed and frozen for Family Sunday Dinner. They were a little thin, so I did cook them down some more until they thickened.  I will make more soon, as the kids love them so much.

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I pulled 2 packages of pork chops out of the freezer.  They had been in there for quite a while, and I’m targeting older items.  I made an apple sauce with apples, dried cranberries, green onion and apple juice.  It was a recipe I found in a gluten-free cookbook, and it was marvelous with the pork.  I opened 1 can of corn and 1 can of pickled beets Rob had found for so inexpensively a while back and we had 2 or 3 meals out of that combination.

I made quite a bit of white rice last week, and we have had it several times this week.  Wednesday, Rob made Teriyaki chicken, rice and green salad.  I marinated the chicken in the fridge, the rice was pre-cooked and he just had to cook the chicken, warm the rice, and toss the salad, while I was away at an appointment with one of the children.

I did a large pot of chicken noodle soup today.  I just made it very simply–frozen broth and frozen chicken from a couple of weeks ago, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery, 1 onion, some poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and gluten-free egg noodles.  We had it tonight, and it was great.

Alissa made broccoli soup for Wednesday lunch and used broccoli from the garden.  Those 5 bushes are still sending out some side shoots every few days.  It was very strong when it was so hot, but with all this rain, it’s very mild and tasty again.  Ja’Ana made another batch of cornbread, her second this week. She really likes cornbread, as we all do, because we’ve eaten 2 batches almost all the way up!

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I finally got the lasagna made, and it is almost all gone!  There was extra filling left and I froze it for another day.

There are just a few odds and ends of most leftovers left for tomorrow, and a lot of soup.  I hope to cook a few items tomorrow for next week.

We had oatmeal, eggs, pancakes, cereal and fruit for breakfasts.  We had these meals for dinners and lunches during the week.  We made a lot of caramel corn and ate it for snacks, along with some krispie treats.

I feel really good about the fact that I worked on or used up several partial packages of things that had been on the shelves for quite a while and also pulled several items from the freezers and canning cupboards.  I also finally bought 2 boxes of butter for $3/box (fuss, fuss–above my price point) and the kids promptly made a lot of caramel corn with most of it (yum, yum!–so it was worth it)  So, it’s back to the butter search:)

I did do some grocery shopping at last, and spent about $75.  I got my big box of coffee for $20 for 80 coffee pods.  That makes them 25c each and that is a good price for those.  The rest was for things like the butter, dairy products, a head of lettuce, celery, drinks for Rob’s lunch, odds and ends, etc. I still need to do a small Costco run, and will need milk again soon, even though my sister gave me an extra gallon she had.  You just never know around here.  We can go for an entire week on 1 gallon of milk, then go through 2-3 the next week.

Happy eating at your house!

 

What Did We Eat? October 6, 2017

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Last weekend, I cooked so much food!  I roasted 2 chickens and made broth, which I canned most of.  I also had leftover roast beef and a few other things still in the fridge and was able to pick a few things from the garden.  My main focus this week was to use that up since I had gone to all the work of cooking it.

Monday:  Each person chose leftovers for dinner.  I had roast beef and veggies.

Tuesday:  Chicken-noodle casserole.  I used cooked chicken, carrots, celery, onion, noodles, and a home-made white sauce.  I used rice flour to thicken it, and gluten-free noodles.  I topped it with cheese.  I picked a few peas from the garden.  There weren’t enough to serve as a side dish, but enough to give this casserole some color.

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Wednesday:  We had sandwiches.  I had a package of lunchmeat, and we used that.  I made pesto that day, so for mine, I used a toasted, gluten-free bun spread with pesto, piled with lunchmeat, tomato and topped with cheese and baked in the oven until the cheese melted.

For lunch that day, my mom and aunt come over and Alissa made cheesy-potato soup and Ja’Ana made coconut shrimp with peach-lime dipping sauce.  We have enough frozen shrimp for her to make it one more time and so I froze her coatings.  There was a lot left and as long as no one eats them raw (who would eat bread crumbs or coconut and crumbs anyway around here?), and they are kept frozen, they can be finished up with the rest of the shrimp.  She will just need to crack another egg.  I had purchased this bag of frozen shrimp at Grocery Outlet a while back and it was a really good deal.  ($5/lb) Sadly, when I went back for another bag, they were gone.  I’ll keep looking.  I like to have some around for the holidays or other special occasions, but it doesn’t last long, and I have to get a really good deal to feel like buying it very often.

Thursday:  Orange chicken.  The recipe I found used snow peas, and I’m getting more of those right now from the garden so wanted to use them.  The sauce was basically  cornstarch-thickened orange juice with soy sauce and ginger, and I juiced 2 oranges I got in a reduced bag with 2 grapefruits at Fred Meyers–they needed to be used.  I used other juice to make up the cup I needed, as I don’t have any orange juice on hand right now.  I added some Manderin oranges to it.  I made and ate it at lunch time, left it in the fridge, and then realized that Rob ate potato soup for dinner instead.  Works for me:)

Friday:  Baked potatoes with toppings.  Rob made this.  He had shredded cheese, ham bits, cottage cheese, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper as choices.  I made a lot of white rice in my Instant Pot this morning, so that’s in the fridge for tomorrow, minus the small amount that was eaten for breakfast.

Saturday:  I plan to serve the rest of that orange chicken with the rice.  I also may do tacos for the other meal.  There is still some casserole left and more potato soup.

For breakfasts and lunches we have had refried beans, cheese and chips, rice, cereal and leftovers.  It was an extremely low-budget week, when everything was averaged out, and I have not had to buy a single thing in the month of October yet.  I’m going to check the store flyers on line and see if there’s anything that’s on a great sale that I want, otherwise, I won’t need to go for a few days anyway.

I’m fighting with a cold that we have generously passed around from family member to family member, so haven’t felt like cooking much the past couple of days.  I will figure out a few things to cook tomorrow and Sunday for the week ahead, as I am on the mend. I have frozen spaghetti sauce, STILL, and want to make lasagna, STILL.  Maybe this week:)  I’ve said that for the past several weeks!