Monday, March 31, 2008

Steak-bit Spaghetti

I am, at the moment, out of ground meat- I need to thaw some meat out and grind some more into burger... I just haven't felt so inspired yet.
So, was getting creative with my large amount of stir-fry cuts.

This was good, and ground meat is not one of my favorites, so I can see myself making this Spaghetti more often.

Steak-bit Spaghetti

1 lb. steak, sliced thin
16 oz pasta, cooked
1 jar chunky spaghetti sauce (2 or 3 c.)
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced

In skillet, cook onions and meat, until browned on all sides, add sauce, vinegar and garlic, cover and let simmer approximately 15 minutes. Toss with pasta and serve.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cabbage, Apple & Raisin Salad

This salad is super easy and it another one of my traditional dishes during Easter and Thanksgiving.

Cabbage, Apple & Raisin Salad

1/2 large head of cabbage, chopped
1 large Red Delicious apple, chopped
1/4 c. raisins (more or less to taste)
1/4 c. mayonnaise (Just enough to moisten the salad)

Mix all together and serve.

I have lost my grocery receipt to give you a cost figure, but I was able to get the cabbage on sale for $.25/lb- so the salad was easily $1-$2.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Eggs

Each year, we die our easter eggs red and only red.
Well, Easter is in fact, Resurrection Day and we need to remember that, for ..."if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins."
1 Corinthians 15:17
The eggs are red to remind us of the blood that Christ shed for us:
"He is despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed."
Isaiah 53:3-5

"There is none righteous, no, not one"
Romans 3:9
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:9 & 10

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
1 Corinthians 15:3 & 4

As we go around the table cracking our eggs, we remember that Christ was buried and the grave was sealed- but it could not hold Him:
"And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it."
Matthew 28:2

He is no longer there: He is risen!

I do not understand why God chose this way to bring us to Himself, but 1 Corinthians 1:25 tells us: "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." and 1 Corinthians 1:27: "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;"

Some say Christ was just a good man, or great teacher- but really, I believe there are only 3 things that Christ could have been:
1. A liar (and an extremely good one!)
2. An insane person (who else would be so bold??)
3. The Christ, the Messiah- just like He says.

I hope that through this blessed holiday you were able to rejoice in knowing Christ and all He has done for us, if not, I pray that you will soon know Him.
If you would like to understand more, get a Bible and read through 1 John, ask God to reveal Himself to you and give you understanding.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
Matthew 7:7 & 8
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:5
Please feel free to ask me any questions, and I will do my best to find an answer.


Greek Easter Bread

Every year, the day before Easter, I stay up late to finish baking this bread. This is an all day bread, it takes about 10 hours from start to finish. This year, I was planning on starting it in the morning, rather than at noon like I normally do... but I ended up with the flu this week and just started feeling somewhat normal about noon on Saturday... so that's when I started making the bread.
This is a huge batch, I tried to 1/2 in once and it didn't come out so well, besides- we give some as gifts for Easter and then eat a ton of it. If you use a kitchenaid, it cannot handle this much dough- a Bosch bread mixer can, I have a k-tec mixer and it barely can handle it, I think it's slightly smaller than a Bosch.

Greek Easter Bread
2 c. milk
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. crushed anise seed*
4 Tb. yeast
1 c. warm water
6 eggs, beaten
16 c. white flour
Egg wash:
1 egg, beaten
2 Tb. milk
-sesame seeds-

In sauce pan, over medium heat, warm milk, then add sugar, butter, salt and anise. Stir and heat until butter is melted.
Mix yeast and warm water in mixer, let sit.
Beat eggs until they are light and fluffy.
Turn mixer on, add 2 cups of flour and then pour in the beaten egg and the milk either slowly, at the same time or alternating. (As long as you allow it to mix while you are pouring and don't dump it in at once.)
Add the rest of the flour 1 cup at a time, then let knead for 5 minutes. Put into greased bowl, flipping so that all sides are coated in grease. Cover with dish towel, set in oven with just the oven light on. Let rise until doubled, approximately 3 hours. (The bowl I use is about 14" wide and 5" deep.)
Punch down dough, put on floured surface and divide into 5 equal sections.
Divide each section into 3 and make "snakes", with your fingers put a little cold water on the tips of the 3 "snakes", squishing them together to seal. Braid and then seal the other end the same way, tucking slightly so the loaf has a nice finish look. Place on baking sheet, cover with dish cloth and place back in oven (with only the oven light on). Let rise approximately 1 1/2 hours. Just before baking: mix egg and milk for egg wash, brush on loaves and then sprinkle on sesame seeds. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes for skinnier loaves (12-14 inches long) or 50-60 minutes for fat loaves (10-12 inches long). This bread rises more when it's baking.
*Anise seed- I but anise seed in the spice section at the grocery store, and crush it with a mortar and pestle. This seems to have the best flavor.
Traditionally, the breads should have red eggs in the braid, it looks beautiful, but the time I did that the loaf was so huge it didn't get done on the inside, so I gave up and just make smaller loaves- which still come out really big.
This year, because I only have the round stones for baking sheets, I had to make my loaves curved, rather than straight and I put some in loaf pans- I cut one braid in half and put each half into a loaf pan.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Corn Bread Flop

I just had to put this on here:

  1.  Because it was funny. 
  2.  Because I'm a visual learner and when someone tells me "it doesn't work" I want to know (or see) why... and this is why. 

I made corn bread muffins the other day- but was completely out of white flour. So I used whole wheat... soft wheat to be exact.
So, as you can see, it sunk down in the middle and then it stuck so horribly bad! I had to use a spoon to scrape it out and then we ate a pile of crumbs. Oh but it was a delicious mistake, they were so sweet and moist. And we ate them all- almost fighting over the last one!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Baked Chicken Curry

This is good, easy and smells wonderful. I stuck it in the oven before taking the boys to piano lessons and the house smelled so good when we came home. I don't have specific measurements for these spices, here is an estimate. This is a little spicy- but you won't notice the spiciness if you don't eat the skin.

Baked Chicken Curry
1 whole chicken, rinsed
5 potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1 T. curry powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Place potatoes in the bottom of an oven safe skillet, set the chicken on top, breast up, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle spices over breast, wings, legs and some inside the chicken.
Place uncovered in 320 degree oven for 3 hours- test with a meat thermometer: it should read 180 degrees in deepest area of meat without touching any bones.

Whole Fryer: $5.05 (largest one they had- need to serve rolls or muffins next time, as it wasn't quite enough for my big eaters)
5 potatoes: $.30
Green Beans: $.45
Meal Total: $5.80
There are some leftover potatoes and the chicken bones, I will make soup from, so technically I am getting 2 meals out of it- and just need to count the cost of a few veggies and pasta or barley for soup.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fried Rice

This is so fast and easy- and you can make most things ahead- like cooking the rice, browning the meat, etc- then heat it together.

I don't have a set recipe- so you'll have to guess a little yourself.

Fried Rice
6 c. cooked rice (2 c. uncooked)
1 lb. ground meat, browned and crumbled
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 c. bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1/4 c. carrots, chopped
3 eggs, scrambled

Mix veggies, meat and eggs and season with:
soy sauce
sesame oil
garlic salt
Mix rice in and heat through.

Ground Meat: $2.
Rice: $.40
Veggies: $.50
Eggs: $.45
Meal total: $3.35
(or with venison: $2.17)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Homemade Pizza

Could there be anything better?? My mouth waters just looking at the picture. MMMM!
And for those of you who think the broccoli would be weird- just try it! One time we invited friends over for dinner and I slipped up and mentioned broccoli and pizza in the same sentence- (I try not to do that), so they were concerned. When they took their first bite the look of surprise could not be hidden-- the lady said: "Wow, this is actually good." Then they admitted that when they heard there was going to be broccoli on the pizza they had plans to go home and eat "real" food. Hence the reason they brought such a large dessert when they came... they thought they would be starving and unable to eat our "healthy" food. Sheesh- some people! :-) LOL- don't worry Teresa- I still love you.

I use my Basic Roll Dough and add about 1 cup whole wheat flour.
Grease 2 large (approximately 15" round) pans, sprinkle with corn meal and roll the dough right onto the pan. I made these rectangle for quite a few years- so don't let that stop you!
Pizza Sauce:
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
mix and spread on rolled out dough.

Put on your favorite toppings- ours are:
Finely chopped broccoli
sliced mushrooms
diced bell pepper
diced onion
(as a warning- shredded carrots add too much juice and the dough doesn't get done)
Top with a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese, grated.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Till cheese is completely melted and both cheese and crust are starting to brown.

Pepperoni: $2.50
Cheese: $4.
Tomato sauce: $.35
Broccoli: $1.
Pepper: $.50
Mushrooms: $.50
Meal Total: $8.85
or $4.42 per large pizza

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Monopoly Game

FYI- thought you would want to know, that Luke did in fact win the Monopoly Game. I unfortunately drew "Street Repairs" after landing on "Community Chest" and so had to fork out too much money and lost my edge. :-) Oh well. He was happy!

Lentil Nachos

The other night we had Lentil Chili for dinner. We had a little bit of leftovers- not quite enough for one serving (at least the amount that we eat), so I made some Nachos with it for lunch while the boys were home on Spring Break.

I laid out some chips, sprinkled on cheese, dolloped on the Lentil Chili and baked it until the cheese melted. Then topped it off with sour cream, salsa, lettuce and tomatoes.

Chili $Free (I already claimed the cost of this on another day, so not going to count it twice- will just consider it "free" food)
Cheese: $.92
Lettuce and Tomatoes: $ Free (leftovers)
Chips: $1.
Meal Total: $1.92

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Grandma's Casserole

This week the boys are on Spring Break. I had this scheduled for dinner earlier, but a friend of our asked if they could bring us dinner (woo hoo!) so I made this for lunch the next day- and yes, it's sitting next to our week-long Monopoly game (in which Luke is winning... must be why he likes to play... hm).
Anyway, this is really tasty.

Grandma's Casserole

1 lb. ground meat
1/4 c onion, chopped
1/4 c. green pepper chopped
6 oz can tomato paste
10 oz can italian tomatoes
15 oz can creamed corn
12 oz. pasta, cooked
1 to 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Brown meat, onion and green pepper in oven proof skillet, over medium heat. Add tomato paste, tomatoes and corn, mix well. Stir in cooked pasta, mix thoroughly. Top w/ cheese and bake at 350 until cheese is melted.

Ground Meat: $1 (ground turkey on sale)
Tomato Paste: $.35
Creamed corn: $.45
Italian tomatoes: $.89
Rotini Pasta: $1.04
Cheese: $.92
Meal total: $4.65

Saturday, March 1, 2008

March Menu

1 Pancakes, eggsLeftoversShepherd's Pie
2 Coffee CakeOut to EatSandwiches
3 PancakesSandwichesGrandma's Casserole
4 ToastMac & CheeseBurritos
5 Baked OatmealGrilled CheeseTuna Bake
6 Banana BreadLeftoversLentil Chili
7 BiscuitsPastaPizza
8 French ToastMac & Cheese w/ hotdogsFried Rice
9 Coffee CakeTacosSandwiches
10 BurritosPorcupine meatballs
11 MuffinsChicken Curry
12 OatmealAl Fredo w/ Polish Sausage
13 Ham & EggsSpaghetti
14 Bread PuddingSandwiches
15 Motel BreakfastApplebeesDrive Through
16 Coffee CakeChili DogsSandwiches
17 PancakesMexican Dish
18 MuffinsVeggie Tacos
19 ToastSkillet Lasagna
20 Baked OatmealPizza Pockets
21 PancakesSpicy PB Noodles
22 Hootenanny PancakesFried RiceMac & Cheese w/ Ham
23 Cold Cereal (Big Breakfast @ Church)Grilled CheeseSkillet Tuna Pasta
24 PancakesSteak & Potatoes
25 ToastBlack bean & Rice Tacos
26 Baked OatmealPB Rice
27 Zucchini BreadPepperoni Bake
28 MuffinsSkillet Chili Pasta
29 French ToastGrilled CheeseStroganoff
30 Coffee CakeItalian Beans & RiceSandwiches
31 PancakesSpaghetti

Plum Tart

I caught an episode of Everyday Baking on PBS and they made this Plum Tart, it looked so delicious, so I made it. :-)
And it was as good as it looked. I will say that for the crust I needed the full 4 Tb. water, plus a little. It was really easy and oh so good!

Plum Tart

Plums: $3.
Butter: $.43
Flour: $.09
Total cost: $3.52


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