Saturday, November 5, 2011
Here's what I did. I put the whole frozen chicken in a crockpot. The chicken was bigger than the crockpot, so I had to weigh down the lid to make it stay. Thank you, Joy of Cooking.
I put olive oil on top of the chicken as well as some garlic herb seasoning. I put some water in the bottom, turned it on low, and let it cook while we slept. The next day I pulled the cooked chicken off of the bones and used some of it to make a chicken casserole.
Then, I put what was left in a large pot, along with some carrots, onions, garlic and seasoning and simmered it on low heat for a couple of hours. It made a lot of chicken stock. Like 64 ounces.
My daughter drank some of the fresh stock out of a mug and loved it. The weather is getting cooler and it was perfect for a chilly night.
Once that batch was made, I put the chicken and vegetables back in the crockpot to make another batch of chicken stock.
I used that second batch of stock as the base of a soup. I put in some vegetables from my Urban Acres share: red onion, white potatoes, zucchini, carrots, sweet potato and some white beans. It's cooking now and will make for a great dinner. I'll puree it to make it a thicker, heartier soup.
Organic chicken stock can be expensive. I like making my own and having the fresh chicken for other meals.
We may be able to use the chicken in soup, on salads or on its own with vegetables on the side.
A word from my daughter who wants to type (no editing by me):
I like the supe my mom made it was osom
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
*Insert sound of crazy person screaming.*
In denial, I packed their lunches anyway. I prefer to call it unbridled optimism.
Starting from the top left and going clockwise: organic potatoes, pan fried in some olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, ketchup, steak baked in the oven with some bbq rub seasoning on top, homemade cashew nut butter cookies, and fresh organic orange slices.
And, if school doesn't happen, then their lunches are ready for them. Once I break up whatever fight is inevitably going to happen when they get on each others nerves. Again. Just like last week.
Did I mention I hope there isn't another snow day? Why can't we have Mommy Goes to the Spa Day? How about one of those?
Sunday, February 6, 2011
I have a mini-cuisinart, which was perfect for this little spread. I put the following ingredients in the bowl: a can of organic green olives, a couple of tablespoons of the olive juice, the zest and juice of one-half of a lemon, 1 teaspoon of salt (a little much, I'd do 1/2 teaspoon next time), 1 teaspoon of pepper, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
I pulsed it on low until it was the right consistency. There were a couple of whole olives that escaped the blade, but they didn't escape my mouth.
I put some goat cheese and the tapenade on a rye cracker and made a perfect little snack. The tapenade was the perfect blend of salt and tangy, but still very light at the same time.
The tapenade would be delicious on fish or instead of pesto on pasta. Or, just as a dip.
4 snow days in row? I'm done.
My son's is on top: Organic apple slices, a packet of Justin's honey and peanut butter, organic parmesan cheese from Texas Daily Harvest, some mixed nuts, organic apple sauce with cinnamon sprinkled on top, and a couple of mini chocolate peanut butter cups (non-organic, totally disgusting).
My daughter's: roll-ups made with Applegate Farms turkey and mustard on Whole Foods southwest tortillas, organic parmesan cheese, the mini peanut butter cups (she probably won't eat them, honestly), organic apples sauce with cinnamon, organic apple slices, and mixed nuts.
Friday, February 4, 2011
I found out today that the Texas Daily Harvest delivery has been cancelled, so that amount ($41) will go into next week's budget. I'll have to run to the store tomorrow to pick up a few things. No big deal. I'll be way under budget this week. Next week? It's an Urban Acres week, so I'll probably be on the upper end, if not a little over.
Aside from a trip to Colorado in 1995, I haven't seen this much snow since my high school days in Canada. I'm totally over it.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Stephen and I have been taking turns going into our (closed) offices this week. We have to get stuff done. He goes in the morning, I go in the afternoon. I ran by the grocery store tonight on my way back home.
I didn't plan, but had some of my coupons with me. On the fly, I came up with this menu for the upcoming week, which I am sure will be tweaked. Part of it was the special deal Whole Foods was running which I will detail below:
- Beef Chili
- Hamburgers, homemade french fries and sliced fruit
- Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
- Steak, fruit and vegetables
- Tilapia, fruit/salad and vegetables
- Quesadillas and Soup
- Turkey or salami sandwiches on homemade bread, organic potato chips, fruit
- Wrap sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, hummus with carrot and celery sticks, fruit
- Homemade pizza rolls, homemade apple chips
- Spaghetti with butter and parmesan
- Leftovers from dinner
I will be cooking slightly different meals for myself since I'm on Mellman, so I'll be eating more buffalo and fish.
We'll be getting a delivery from Texas Daily Harvest on Saturday. I spent $41.49 on a gallon of milk, 1 pint of cream, 8 oz of Colby, 8 oz of Mozzarella, one pound of pasture fed ground beef and one pound of pasture fed strip steak.
I spent $81.55 at Whole Foods. They were having a special: if you purchased their hamburger patties, you'd get hamburger buns, potato chips and smoked sausage for free. The free items were worth $10.98 and I had $6 in coupons. Here's what I got:
- Sloppy joe mix, $2.79
- 2 small containers of strawberry yogurt, $.79 each
- BBQ sauce, $2.50
- Rye crackers, $2.69
- Organic potato chips, $2.00
- Kashi cheddar crackers, $2.99
- 365 Peanut Butter cereal, $3.49
- 3 boxes of Arrowhead Mills Cereal, $4.39 each
- 2 boxes Kashi Cereal, $3.39 each
- 3 cans of organic beans (kidney, red and navy), $5.00
- Sweet german pork sausage, $5.99
- 365 Goat Cheese, $6.99
- Gourmet beef burgers, $14.14
- Tazo Chai Tea Concentrate, $4.49
- Applegate Farms Genoa Salami, $2.25
- Applegate Farms Oven Roasted Turkey, $4.18
- Hamburger Buns, $2.99
- WF Tortillas, $2.49
- Organic Cameo Apples (2.48 lb), $3.70
- Organic Lemon, $.79
- Clean Eating Magazine, $5.99 (technically not groceries, but included in the total)
We were out of cereal, so I used coupons and stocked up. I still need to get some more Soy milk and, likely, eggs. But I'm well within the budget this week.
I made a lemon cake treat that I'll be posting about later and I'll be whipping up some of my nut butter cookies. It's gonna be a great week.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
This was a super quick dinner. Last night I had cooked the steak, so it just had to be reheated. (I put a ginormous steak in a casserole dish, covered it with some sort of memphis seasonings rub, put the lid on and baked it in a 350 degree oven until it was done.)
Tonight I made a quick salad with our Urban Acres produce and some almond slivers (is that a technical term?) and heated some frozen organic corn from Costco. Add that to the beef and you're done. Eating in about 15 minutes.
First, I made some fillo wrapped chicken nuggets. These are the ones they weren't as crazy about.
Next came the pizza rolls. These they liked.
Finally, something sweet. Little fruit tarts. Inside were apples, blackberries, cinnamon, sugar and then, of course, butter.
These weren't Mellmanized, so I didn't eat them. They were easy to heat up for a fast weeknight dinner, too, although they are definitely much better right out of the oven.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
I'll be headed back to Whole Foods tomorrow to pick up some buffalo, fish and cashews. I've got everything else I need for the week, though.
I've been playing in the kitchen this afternoon and a new post with my creations will follow.
This week we'll be having our standard menu: beef, chicken or fish, our fresh produce and I picked up some gluten free pasta we'll be testing out.
The share this week included apples, oranges and lemons (yay!), onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, lettuce, purple turnips, and lots of greens. Oh, and a butternut and acorn squash. Not sure how I'm going to prepare those and I've never seen a purple turnip before.
I am so glad to be home.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Which means he's da man.
Which translates into: Easy meals and lunches are mandatory.
The kids will eat lunch at school this week. *shudder* I'm throwing Stephen a bone on this one.
Dinners will be a crockpot stew I will make ahead of time, spaghetti with butter and parmesan, and one night will be broiled fish with steamed veggies. I'm sure there will be cereal for dinner one night.
I'm headed to the grocery store for a few staples in the morning, but we have pretty much everything we need. I went over budget last week, but didn't keep track (or blog about it, sorry). I've figured out, though, why I haven't been able to stick to my original budget.
There are two very logical explanations. First, the kids aren't eating lunch at school. I'm packing their lunches. I figure this adds an additional $20 a week to the budget.
Second, I'm back on the Mellman plan. Which means my diet consists of very specific and sometimes expensive items. Like buffalo. And cashews. And goat cheese. I'm going to have to figure out a way to either spend less on these items, or as I add new foods, hope that the ones I add aren't uber expensive.
I'm stumbling along the way regarding the budget, but I'll get there.
It's all a journey, right?
This meal was made by combining organic ground beef from Texas Daily Harvest, a can of organic white beans, organic black beans (I had made them from dried beans and frozen them, so I pulled them from my freezer), bok choy from my Urban Acres share, a carton of 365 organic chicken broth, a can of tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and paprika. Oh, and an onion.
I served it with the homemade cheese bread sticks. I didn't eat any of it, because it's not on my Mellman plan, but Stephen and the kids did. This is definitely an easy, weeknight, make ahead kind of a meal.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Buffalo. It's what's for dinner.
Along with some roasted potatoes and homemade cheddar cheese bread sticks. I used the bread machine and Texas Daily Harvest cheddar.
I have it on good authority (the husband and kids) that the bread sticks were delish. (They aren't on my Mellman plan, so I didn't eat them.) But, the buffalo and potatoes I did eat. And they were good.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I added a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract. Then used a small scoop to line them up on the Silpat (greatest invention known to cookies).
But DON'T GO FAR. Definitely don't get distracted by writing a blog post about the cookies. They burn to a crisp before you can upload a few pictures.
I wonder how they'll taste with that freshly burnt flavor.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
All of the organic produce I used was from an Urban Acres share. I shredded a carrot, diced a red onion and pulled out some shredded cabbage and bok choy.
I cooked the noodles according to the directions on the package which took three minutes in boiling water. I used three bundles:
Stephen liked it. The kids asked for plain noodles. I thought it looked delicious. I was on my Mellman plan, so I didn't eat it. But I really, really wanted to.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I went about the rest of my evening, then the whole family hit the sack. The next morning, I found this in the family room:
To recap, one roll on the kitchen counter, plus one roll on the family room floor, equals two.
On Tuesday, we had homemade ramen noodles (I'll post the pictures of the lo mein I made to go with it later) with organic italian cheese blend, organic cage free hard boiled eggs with a Texas Daily Harvest colby cheese star, organic cheese crackers and organic fruit salad. The tiny container is trail mix with chocolate from the Whole Foods bulk bin.
The next day we had homemade french toast sticks using leftover homemade whole wheat bread, a clementine, organic sweet potatoes, popcorn and half of a Clif Organic Twisted Fruit. In the tiny container is maple syrup from the bulk bin at Whole Foods. Not much protein in this lunch, now that I look at it.
The kids were pretty happen with their lunches this week and not a lot came home uneaten.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
First I boiled some water, then put the tomatoes (I had sliced an X on the bottom of each one) in for about 20 seconds. The skins came off like butt-ah.
Once the tomatoes were de-skinned (is that word?), I put them in a pot with a diced red onion, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, about a cup of olive oil, salt and pepper. I didn't really measure, I just threw it all in.
Then I put it on low and let it go. Soon, it became this:
It smelled fantastic! Once it was good and thick, I took my handy dandy immersion blender and did this:
I made pizza dough with my bread maker (which, incidentally, made enough dough for two pizzas). I put the second ball of pizza dough in a baggie with a little bit of olive oil for later use. I figured it would keep for a few days in the refrigerator. My kids love pizza. This is not a problem. Although, I'm sure I could freeze it, too.
The flour problem wasn't a big issue. The pizza wasn't charred and it was gone in 2.2 seconds.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
1. Tacos using the leftover chicken and rice. I'll serve them with a salad and fresh fruit.
2. Grilled pasture fed new york strip steak, baked sweet potatoes, and another vegetable of some kind.
3. Eggplant parmesan and pasta with a side salad.
4. Baked fish, roasted potatoes and fruit salad.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Here is the picky eater's lunch:
It's a peanut butter and strawberry fruit spread sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread I made using my bread maker. On the side are apple stars with peanut butter in between each one. There's a clementine, fresh blackberries, organic cheddar crackers and some organic vanilla cookies.
And for the girl:
Another wrinkle: I am making the kids' lunches instead of letting them eat hot lunch at school, so my grocery expenses are going up. I'm going to have to make a budget adjustment. I was spending $160 each month on the school lunches, so clearly that's going to have an impact on my weekly budget. I don't expect there to be a corresponding increase in the budget (in other words, $40 a week), but I'm going to watch and see what happens in the coming weeks before I settle on a number. Maybe an extra $20 each week? What do you think?
Okay, on with the show.
First of all, there are a LOT of stores on the list this week and a lot of trips to Whole Foods. This is not normal. I didn't prepare properly for making the kids' lunches or for the fact that I'm back on my Mellman plan.
Whole Foods. This week I made three trips (one mid-week, one Friday night and one Saturday -- don't ask). The first trip totaled $55, the second one $45 and the third $44.
I don't have the receipt for the first Whole Foods trip. Why, you ask? Because it was in my purse. On the floor of the passenger side of my car. And I put my full cup of tea on the dash to open something for my daughter while I was driving.
The cup of tea (with sugar and soy milk in it) slid off the dash, flipped over and landed inside my purse. Totally not kidding. I'm still trying to figure out how to clean the lining of my bag. But that's another issue completely. The receipt was a casualty of my stupidity.
Trip Number 1. I know that $55 included a lot of eggs. I don't remember what else.
Trip Number 2.
- White Cheddar Rice Crackers, $2.50
- Organic Fruit Leather, 2 at $.59 each
- Canned olives, $1.99
- Stonyfield Yogurt, $3.99
- Sea Salt, $6.99
- Goat cheese, $8.00
- Prepared chicken salad, $5.99
- Naan bread, $3.49
- Tortillas, $1.99
- Organic apples, $2.33
- Grapes, $3.19
- Watermelon chunks, $2.55
Trip Number 3.
- Organic Valley Eggs, $2.79
- Cheddar Crackers, $2.50
- Clif's Twisted Fruit, 2 boxes for $7.00
- Organic Yogurt, $3.49
- Hummus, $1.50
- Bulk Chocolate Nut Crunch Trail Mix, $1.76
- Florida Crystals Cane Sugar, $4.99
- Ground buffalo, $10.55
- Organic Valley italian blend cheese, $4.99
- Goat cheese, $5.99
- Corn tortillas, $.99
- Grapes, $3.09
I saved $4.70 using coupons.Amazon.Com, $16. I bought boxed water (like a juice box but with water instead) to put in the kids' school lunches until the Laptop Lunch Boxes (and water bottles) arrived. They've also been drinking them while at home.
Target, $38.83. We use a lot of oatmeal in our house, so I bought some oatmeal coupons on ebay. 20 of them, in fact. (They cost me $7 total.) Target was having a sale on oatmeal. I stocked UP. I also found some Kashi apple bars on clearance (plus, I had a coupon for free produce when I bought Kashi products).
- 9 boxes of Kashi apple bars
- 12 - 18 oz cans of Quaker oats
- 2 boxes of Tazo Chai Latte concentrate
- Corn Meal
- 5 pounds of Cuties (little seedless oranges/tangerines)
- Fresh black berries
Tom Thumb, $27.92. I went to Target to get coffee creamer (on sale) and found some great deals and coupons scattered throughout the store.
- Actual somen noodles (the kind used in ramen, but just the noodles), $2.65
- Organic soy sauce, $3.49
- Rice vinegar, $2.09
- Sparkling water, $4.50
- Dijon mustard, $4.59
- 3 bottles of Coffee Mate creamer, $5.97
- Organic soy milk, $2.49
- Organic bananas, Not sure, I was charged $0 from a coupon
- Almond slivers, $2.50
- 2 bags of sweet butter lettuce, $4.00
- Bag of organic red apples, $3.00
I saved $7.65 using coupons.Dollar General, Less than $2. This was the first time I'd ever been to this store. I couldn't resist free oatmeal. I also got a lamp and paper towels, but those don't count towards my grocery budget.
- 6 bags of oatmeal (5 servings each), $6
- Can of coffee, $1.75
GRAND TOTAL. The total is, give or take some change (I didn't have my calculator), about $213.
I definitely have a lot of lunch items that will last beyond this week and the oatmeal should last for months.
I spent a lot this week, no question. I blew the weekly budget, but I stocked up, which will help lower my future expenditures.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
The picky eater all bundled up:
The little girl was outside longer and was very busy:
I made this cinnamon swirl bread Friday night. Actually, since I failed to read the directions in advance it's not a swirl, rather just cinnamon bread. Details.
The fam loves the way it tastes. I love that it doesn't have any preservatives. I doubt it will make it to the 24 hour mark, but if it does, I'll make some french toast sticks with the leftovers.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
The kids are really excited about these. Making lunch fun will help, particularly with the picky eater, the transition from their eating hot lunch every day to eating healthier food from home.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The salmon was frozen and I put it in a baggie with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and soy sauce. The salmon marinated while it thawed overnight and during the day while we were at work. When I got home (Stephen was at soccer practice with the kids), I put it in a glass dish and baked it at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.
While the fish was cooking, I heated up the sides, sliced the banana and the homemade challah bread. (This was the second loaf I made and I'm telling you, it doesn't last but two seconds in our house!)
My daughter thought the greens were too spicy, but she otherwise cleaned her plate.
The picky eater looked at them on his plate like they were from another planet. I did get him to try the potatoes, though, after I told them they were the same as what french fries are made out of. He tried them, but didn't eat more than the bite. He did, however, eat all of his salmon. I was so proud.