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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Recipe Wednesday! Peachy Keen...TWO ways to SAVE AND SAVOR!

You can make these recipes with fresh peaches or their hairless relatives...nectarines. Both are simple, require few ingredients (so the fruit shines!) and are delicious ways to use your fruit.
RASBERRY PEACH JAM >>>INGREDIENTS: *2-2/3 cups finely chopped peeled peaches *1-1/2 cups crushed fresh or frozen raspberries *3 cups sugar *1-1/2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice >>>DIRECTIONS: In a Dutch oven, combine all ingredients. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is bubbly, about 10 minutes. Bring to a full rolling boil; boil for 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; skim off foam. Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: 5 half-pints. ***************************************
PEACH FROZEN YOGURT >>>INGREDIENTS: *3 cups non-fat, vanilla yogurt *6 ripe peaches, pitted and cup into ½” slices *2 Tbsp honey or sugar >>>DIRECTIONS: Line a colander or a sieve with a cheese cloth or coffee filter. Add the yogurt to the lined sieve/colander. Place the sieve into a bowl and cover it with a plate. Set in the refrigerator for several hours. You can let it sit overnight, but it's not necessary, 3-4 hours is plenty. Place the peaches into a blender or food processor and puree. Add the strained yogurt to the peach puree and blend until well incorporated. Add honey and mix until combined. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours until the mixture is chilled. You may have to break up your mixture if the honey hardens, just use a spoon. Pour the peach yogurt mixture into the ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. You can put a kitchen towel over the ice cream maker to help keep the cold in. Remove from the bowl of your ice cream maker, and place into an air tight container, put into the freezer for a few hours until it becomes more firm. Serve and enjoy! ******************************************** “One does a whole painting for one peach and people think just the opposite -- that particular peach is but a detail.” ~Pablo Picasso

Friday, September 21, 2012

Farmgirl Friday! SIMPLE SIDES of CABBAGE...

THESE tangy seasonal sides are perfect alongside a beef or pork roast, use leftovers on sandwiches the next day!
LIME COLESLAW (SUPER on tacos!) >>>INGREDIENTS: *1 small head cabbage *4 scallions *1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, torn *1/2 cup sour cream *1/2 cup mayonnaise *1 1/2 tablespoons sugar *2 limes *Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper >>>DIRECTIONS: Shave the cabbage with a sharp knife or mandoline so you have thin ribbons. Cut the scallions long and on the bias so you have pieces similar in shape to the cabbage. Toss the cabbage, scallions and cilantro in a large salad bowl. Make the dressing by combining the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and the zest of the limes in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
SWEET + SOUR SAUTEED CABBAGE >>>INGREDIENTS: *2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil *1 small onion, sliced *1/2 red or green cabbage, shredded *1/3 cup white or apple cider vinegar *2 rounded tablespoons sugar *1 teaspoon mustard seed *Salt and pepper >>>DIRECTIONS: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion and saute 2 minutes. Add cabbage and turn in pan, sauteing it until it wilts, 5 minutes. Add vinegar to the pan and coat the cabbage in it. Sprinkle sugar over the cabbage and turn again. Season with mustard seed, salt and pepper and reduce heat a bit. Let cabbage continue to cook 10 minutes or until ready to serve, stirring occasionally. ******************************************* "Lime juice makes things taste fresher. I use it for drinks, salsas, relishes, soups, and sauces. You want some give to your limes - firmness means the inside is dry - and they'll stay softer longer if you don't refrigerate them." ~Bobby Flay

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

FRUGAL (Grocery) Shopping - For FIVE!

You could say that I have a LOT of mouths to FEED...besides the hubby + kids, I have 2 dogs, assorted cats, pigs, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese...etc. A local farmer grinds our organic feed for us, so that, with pasture, takes care of the animals + birds, except for the cats + dogs. We buy them a BIG 36 lb. (used to be 40 lbs, gotta love those cutbacks!) bag of cat food twice a month, for $20 from Tractor Supply. We also buy GALVANIZED "garbage" cans at T.S. to store the pet food, bulk flour, and bulk sugar. Cat food for the DOGS, you say? YES!!! It has more protein, and they eat less, which saves me $$$. We also save them the gizzards, hearts, etc. from the chickens when we get them butchered, and I cook up a big pot with rice, and portion it out for them.
SO what about my humans? Here, in order, is where I shop on the CHEAP:
>>>1. local BULK FOOD store <<< Ours is Mennonite-run, and has great prices on large purchases. Here, I buy: *5 lb. bags of cheese, for around $10 - $12 *25 lb. bags of flour (and sugar, if around $.50/lb - otherwise, I buy it at WALMART, in 10 lb. bags, for around $.50/lb.) *SPICES, for canning + cooking, in small and large deli containers *CEREAL, in bulk *CANNING LIDS, for "putting by" our garden's bounty *bulk YEAST, for around $3
>>>2. local PRODUCE STAND <<< The more quantity you buy, the cheaper the price per piece. Find the cheapest, best quality stand in your area, and score: *BUSHELS of APPLES + TOMATOES, BAGS of POTATOES *PECKS of PEPPERS, PEACHES, and CUCUMBERS *PINTS of BERRIES, GRAPES and GARLIC *INDIVIDUAL PUMPKINS, CABBAGES and SQUASH
>>>3. DOLLAR TREE <<< If you shop here, you'll find super buys for $1 like these: *tortillas *tortilla chips (serve with homemade salsa or picante sauce) *lunch box drinks (save + reuse the lidded bottles!) *3 lb. bags of rice *2 lb. bags of pasta *bagged dry beans *salad dressings *olives + pickles *soaps, cleaners, household items *and more!!!
>>>4. ALDI's, SAVE-A-LOT, discount grocery store <<< The best place for low-priced DAIRY, BREADS, and CANNED GOODS. TIP: Shop the PERIMETER of the store for the best deals. Also, look for their little CLEARANCE signs + bins, and save even MORE! My stock-ups here are: *DAIRY: MILK, BUTTER, SOUR CREAM, COTTAGE CHEESE, TUB YOGURT, HOT DOGS *CANNED GOODS: TOMATOES, BEANS, TUNA, CORN, MIXED VEGGIES, RAVIOLI *BREADS: If I'm not baking it, I buy it here, or on BAKERY clearance racks (Walmart, Big Grocery stores) - ENGLISH MUFFINS, WHITE + WHEAT BREAD
>>>5. DOLLAR AISLES at BIG Grocery Chains (TOPS, JUBILEE, etc.) <<< LOTS of stuff here, like: *MICROWAVE POPCORN *SPICES + FLAVORINGS *CLEANERS *SALAD DRESSINGS *PAPER PLATES + CUPS (for parties) *SAUCE MIXES ****************************************************************************************************************************************** So that's it! I try to shop only TWICE a MONTH, the LESS I shop, the LESS I SPEND! We raise our own MEAT: beef, pork, turkey, chicken + eggs. I've been able to spend UNDER $200 in a month! ****************************************************************************************************************************************** >>> MORE THINGS WE DO TO SAVE CASH: (and who doesn't like SAVING CASH?) <<< ***BAKE!!! Save tons by baking at home, make quick things like: MUFFINS, COOKIES, CUPCAKES, QUICK BREADS, PIES, CAKES, CRISPS - and take them along for lunches + snacking! ***CAN!!! GROW your own produce, or buy it in QUANTITY, and can it for later! ***FREEZE!!! Buy MEAT from a local farmer, and freeze FRUITS, VEGGIES + HERBS! ***RE-PURPOSE!!! We shop at garage sales, resale shops, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and church THRIFT stores, save the MALL and RETAIL stores for LAST! Ebay, Craigslist, and Freecycle are great sources for CHEAP and FREE! ***BOOKS!!! Learn to DIY, there's a BOOK or YOUTUBE video on How-to-do MOST ANYTHING! Save yourself a FORTUNE! ***HOMESCHOOL!!! No more fundraisers, expensive kids' clothes, or adds-up-fast lunches - and there are TONS of free classes/groups/sports/events available in your community! Check out "yahoo groups" for ones to join, and your local college bulletin boards. Buy textbooks at thrift stores, ebay, abebooks + amazon. Take classes too, and learn alongside your kids!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

COZY Potato Corn Chowder...MMMMMMM

This makes a nice hefty kettle of soul-warming soup. With just a few easy pantry ingredients, you can put a pot on now! It's great with fresh bread or croutons on top, too. POTATO CORN CHOWDER
>>>INGREDIENTS: *2 tablespoons oil *1 cup chopped celery *1 cup chopped onion *2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth *3 cups peeled and cubed potatoes *2 (15 ounce) cans cream of corn *2 cups milk *1/2 cup flour *salt + pepper, dash of cayenne pepper *1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or 8 oz. of slices >>>DIRECTIONS: *Cook celery + onion in oil for 5 minutes. *Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. *Add potatoes, cook over low heat for 20 minutes. *Whisk the flour, milk, salt, pepper + cayenne together, and stir into the simmering soup. Add in the creamed corn. Add in the cheese, stirring until it melts. Serve hot in bowls with crackers. I like to sprinkle some shredded cheese on top to serve. You can also add a dash of Tabasco if you like it spicier!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Recipe Wednesday! BETTER with FROSTING! Pumpkin Bread + Spiced Applesauce Muffins...

TWO uber-yummy, quintessentially FALL treats! And the piece de resistance? TOP them BOTH off with MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING! We need calories in the FALL - LOL - I even have PROOF: "Hibernating animals (those that sleep during the winter) tend to store fat before they hibernate. One of the ways they accomplish this is via an increase in the activity of enzymes (such as lipoprotein lipase, known also as LPL) that promote the storage of fat. More interesting still, LPL levels in humans also rise and fall in tandem with the seasons." (ARTICLE LINK: ) SO EAT UP my fellow hibernating humans!
********************************************************************************************************************************************* PUMPKIN BREAD >>>INGREDIENTS: *3 cups all-purpose flour *2 cups white sugar *2 teaspoons baking soda *2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice *1 teaspoon salt *1/2 teaspoon baking powder *2 cups pumpkin puree *2/3 cup vegetable oil *3 eggs, beaten >>>DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, pie spice, salt and baking powder. Add pumpkin, oil and eggs; mix well. Pour into loaf pans and bake for 1 hour or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans. ****************************************************************************************************************************************
SPICED APPLESAUCE MUFFINS >>>INGREDIENTS: *1 cup butter, softened *2 cups sugar *2 eggs *1 teaspoon vanilla extract *2 cups applesauce *4 cups all-purpose flour *1 teaspoon baking soda *1 teaspoon ground cinnamon *1 teaspoon ground allspice *1/4 teaspoon ground cloves *1 cup chopped walnuts, optional *Cinnamon-sugar, optional >>>DIRECTIONS: In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in applesauce. Combine the flour, baking soda and spices; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in nuts. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar if desired, or frost! Yield: about 2 dozen. ****************************************************************************************************************************************** MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING >>>INGREDIENTS: *11 ounces cream cheese, softened *2/3 cup butter, softened *4 cups confectioners' sugar *1/4 cup maple syrup >>>DIRECTIONS: Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl until well combined; add 4 cups of confectioner's sugar and maple syrup and beat until smooth. Store in refrigerator until needed. ****************************************************************************************************************************************** "I drink maple syrup. Then I'm hyper so I just run around like crazy and work it all off." ~Rachel McAdams