Monday, October 21, 2013

Peanut butter, honey and cashew

Today I made a rather funky sandwich that I anticipate will taste great with th Pacific Foods soup (carrot cashew ginger bisque) that I'm making for lunch.

I started out with graham crackers as the bread and smeared them with peanut butter. I topped the peanut butter with ground roasted, unsalted cashews and drizzled with local raw honey before putting a graham cracker lid on.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Make your own French bread pizza

We're having make your own French bread pizza and kale chips. I needed to use up some of a roaster chicken I made on Sunday. 

The variations came with the sauce:
- Dad had Wegmans chunky pizza sauce
- I had Archer Farms Buffalo sauce
- child had peach-mango salsa

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Apple Butter 2013

I slept until 9 this morning, but that didn't stop me from having apple butter assembled in the crock pot by 10.

The family starting peeling and chopping and we had the crock pot full of apple chunks.

My daughter scooped about a tablespoon of local raw honey into the pot with some cinnamon and ground cloves. I poured in some lemon juice. We set it on high, put the lid on, and stirred it every hour.

At 1 p.m. we had applesauce and I scooped it out to have with lunch.

The whole house smells like apples and the flavor was delightful but a tad tart. We used Jonagolds from a local farm.

By 4 p.m., the applesauce had turned a lovely caramel color and I removed the crockpot lid so more liquid can evaporate. As soon as the liquid boils off, I can process in a hot water bath.

After about seven hours, the last hour with the lid off, I loaded the dishwasher with my Ball jars and got the hot water bath ready.

It's been about eight hours now and the dishwasher is approaching the rinse cycle and the apple butter looks like this:

My daughter is getting so adept at filling jars, I couldn't keep up! She also ate the last jar-- you know the one that wasn't quite full enough to process?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tilapia and ginger carrots

I know I haven't blogged much but money has been tight-- leading to much pasta and ground beef-- and work has picked up and my hours have increased AND my grandmother-in-law has finally passed away after a long battle with cancer. She died at age 94, with my mother-in-law as her primary caregiver after taking to her bed in mid-July.

So as a family, we are relieved that her suffering has ended. 

Today, my daughter and I participated in the Color Run-Lehigh Valley and somehow I got finagled into letting the child have a friend spend the night.

The friend is a super great kid who always minds her manners and brings something to contribute toward her meals. Her mom is a single parent with two kids and I know that her work schedule and budget concerns mean that our friend doesn't get many real home-cooked family meals.

So, I deposited my last few dollars into the bank to have the funds to take the girls to Target on a grocery run. I asked friend if there was anything she liked that she didn't get often at home and she asked for seafood.

I bought Simply Balanced tilapia filets and fresh carrots. Friend brought Country Time lemonade-iced tea mix, which normally I would veto but I know it's her attempt to contribute.

The menu--
Tilapia in the cast iron skillet in lemon butter sauce with fresh parsley, with sides of ginger carrots and rice 

How do I prepare ginger carrots?

For one pound carrots: 
-  1 tablespoon melted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon parsley

The girls loved their dinner and I'm realizing it was a very inexpensive meal. 

- Simply balanced Tilapia 5-6 count (we had 7!!!) on sale for $7.50 plus $2 off coupon so even before my employee discount and my RedCard discount it was less than $1 per serving
- butter. I bought a pound at Target for $2.47 but I only used one stick
- lemon juice. I had a bottle but even if I had to buy a lemon it would have added less than a quarter to each person assuming I paid $1 for the lemon. 
- parsley. In the garden.
- carrots, $1.49 for the pound before discounts 
- ginger. Had a bottle that I got at Aldi really cheap but let's say for argument's sake it was $4 and added $1 per person
- steamed rice. No seasoning since the fish had juice. Rice is cheap. But again, for the sake of argument, let's say $2 per bag. 50 cents per person.

So per person the cost is $1 (fish) + 60 cents (butter) + 25 cents (lemon) + 40 cents (carrots) + $1 (ginger and parsley) + 50 cents (rice)= less than $4 per person and a damn fine meal!!! And that's BEFORE discounts and coupons! It's closer to $3 per person when you consider that!

And before you argue that my portions are small, I fed 4 people equal plates like the one in the photo THREE times. Because they are small girls and
I encourage them to start small and have more rather than waste.