Monday, January 27, 2014

Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies

My daughter's troop didn't order any of the new gluten free chocolate chip shortbread cookies. As the co-cookie mom of her troop, I made a trade of some caramel delights to secure some if these for friends who requested them.

We had one lonely bag left and because they are chocolate chip, my daughter had to have them. She used her own money to buy them.

They are tasty little things with a good mouth feel and delightful flavor. They really go nicely with a cup of coffee.

Expensive at $5/box but no one ever bought Girl Scout cookies because they were cheap.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

More comfort food

God bless my husband.

We had a snow storm on Tuesday, and after work on Wednesday he drove me to Target for my closing shift and then he got gas in the car and went to Giant.

You see, I had a coupon for free eggs if I spent $5. Since we're still broke and paying off our new tires, he took a credit card and bought $20 worth of groceries. 

Enough to get us through a few more days. And it's beyond cold. So we planned this comfort food meal:

- Home canned local apples
- Wegmans spirals and cheese boxed macaroni and cheese with fresh spinach
- burgers from the freezer (I don't even remember when we bought ground beef) on potato buns from Giant and more fresh spinach (husband's mom got spinach at the warehouse club and shared).

Dinner last night also came from the freezer:
- turkey leftover from Christmas Eve at my mother-in-law's house
- green beans almandine that I had made for Christmas dinner with my mom and step mom 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Spinach and cheese potatoes

My husband has a gift for making baked potatoes. Like these:

He cooked the potatoes in the microwave, made a sauce of extra sharp cheddar and butter, and then added spinach.

I wanted to lick the plate.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday night splurge

Money is still really tight and I have not had money for groceries. Before today I'd spent $4.24 on groceries this month.

Today was payday so while I may be robbing Peter to pay Paul I allocated $15 for an Aldi's trip for junk. Yeah, I said junk. Processed junk with some sort of vegetable matter. 

This is what I bought, total $15.11 cents. And we're not eating it all tonight. 

Tonight's dinner:
Chicken stuffed with broccoli & cheese, jalapeño poppers and mozzarella sticks.

Back to the shopping:
- cheese puffs, 99 cents
- generic cool ranch Doritos, $1.19
- jalapeño poppers (one pack cheddar, one pack cream cheese), $1.99 each
- mozzarella sticks, $1.99 
- frozen chicken stuffed with broccoli and cheese, 3 individual portions, 99 cents each
- organic spinach & feta pizza, $3.99

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lamb Vindaloo

Tonight I made an adaptation of lamb vindaloo with lamb sausage and mounds of vegetables.

I based the recipe off this one from the BBC. After all, if any anglophone knows how to make Indian food, it'd be the colonizing Brits:

I modified it based on what I had in my pantry.

I started with a chunk of mild lamb sausage, and not even a big one. 

For the sauce:
- about 25 ml extra virgin olive oil
- about 35 ml canola oil
- one tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced & chopped
- water, about 75 ml
- one pinch salt
- about 2 teaspoons Indian chili powder
- about 1 teaspoon cumin
- a large pinch cinnamon 
- about 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger 
- about 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- about 1 teaspoon paprika 

I whisked it, chopped the raw sausage in half and left it to marinade all day.

When I got home from work, I cooked the sausage in some oil. I chopped it and added vegetables to the skillet with the meat.

- Lots of peas
- carrots 
- fresh spinach
- leftover potatoes from last night's dinner 

Then I added the marinade and cooked it all together.

I served with rice and plain steamed fresh broccoli (just in case in was too spicy for the wee one). In my opinion, it was just the right spicy. Yummy yum yums.

 The two photos in the skillet were taken by my daughter.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Whipped cream

I bought Market Pantry heavy whipping cream at Target. It expires very soon, and I wanted to try making my own whipped cream. There was a recipe on the box.

Tonight we had $6 left to our name and I noticed we were somehow out of powdered sugar. So, after picking up our new glasses, we stopped at Giant.

The powdered sugar was $1.50. Then I grabbed some Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation (because it was $1.25 for the box). And fearing we didn't have enough milk at home grabbed an aseptic carton of vanilla rice milk. The bill was $4.24.

I had left the mixing bowl and beater of my kitchen aid mixer in the freezer.

We poured in:
- 1 carton (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

And beat on medium-high until peaks formed. Delicious!

And the cocoa? The cheap Swiss Miss, rice milk, vanilla coconut milk AND unsweetened almond milk.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chicken vegetable pot pie

Yes, we're still eating that chicken. I worked again this afternoon so we cheated a bit on this one.

- store bought pie crust
- almond milk
- Campbell's cream of potato soup
- vegetables
- potatoes
- garlic powder 
- curry powder
- paprika 

I took an old butter wrapper and greased a deep dish pie pan. I preheated the oven to 410 degrees.

Next, my husband microwaved some potatoes and I put the bottom pie crust into the pie pan.

We plopped in the soup, then a half can of almond milk. I sprinkled in leftover chicken and frozen vegetables (carrots, spinach, cauliflower, and peas). 

Next I added the spices, a quick sprinkle of the paprika and garlic and probably about a tablespoon of curry powder. We added more chicken.

The potatoes went on top of that and then I topped with the second crust. Into the oven she went, covered with aluminum foil. 30 minutes with foil, then 15 minutes without. I then lowered the heat to 350 and did another 15.

The result was scrumptious but a tad saltier than I'm used to these days.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chicken stock

As directed by several friends, I left my chicken bones and uneaten parts in my crockpot, adding lots of water.

For two days.

I don't have a sieve or cheese cloth so I took my colander, lined it with a thin disg towel and strained it that way.

My yield was 8 cups, which I poured into yogurt containers to freeze.

Chicken leftovers

The chicken I made in the crockpot turned out very yummy, if you like chicken. Personally, chicken on its own doesn't excite me.

Tonight's dinner excited me much more. We took some of the leftover chicken and made fajitas of romaine lettuce, cheese, chicken, black beans, and salsa. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mom's Cream of Wheat

- slightly more than 1/3 cup cream of wheat
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3/4 cup vanilla coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon local raw honey
- about 1 cup strawberries
- about 1 cup homemade applesauce (local apples)

Boil the coconut and almond milk with the honey and strawberries. Add cream of wheat. Continue to boil about two minutes while stirring constantly. (The cream of wheat will stick to the strawberries making a kind of fruit nugget. I like these.)

Let simmer on low while casually stirring until desired consistency. Stir in applesauce before serving.

Real Food's Chicken in the Crock Pot

I'm making a variation of this today:

And hope to attempt my own stock tonight.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lamb sausage skillet

Leftover potatoes from Christmas.
Leftover fresh arugula & spinach.
Sautéed in butter.
Lamb sausage.
Seasoning: raj el hanout & low sodium soy sauce