Monday, July 26, 2010

Menu Monday

I’m pretty sure I’m going into this week with no idea what to have for dinner. I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants and my poor grocery budget is suffering for it despite the little bit I’m getting from the garden right now.

This has been a very weird and hectic past week despite my best efforts of maintaining control and routine. I will definitely have to scrounge as I won’t be letting myself go to the grocery store till the weekend. So based on what I can think of that is lurking around my fridge and pantry, my menu will probably look something like this:

Turkey Meatloaf, brown rice and green bean casserole

Chicken noodles soup

Turkey Bacon, eggs and toast

Grilled burgers with coleslaw

Fried cabbage, Perogies and brats (for him)

Okay, okay, so my menu really isn’t that bad. I suppose its lucky that I have quite a bit lurking around huh? I’ll throw in some fried okra somewhere and maybe even some squash fritters or zucchini bread.

I also need to make a peach and blueberry pie but I don’t have any flour or a store bought crust so that may be a problem.

I have an entire bushel of peaches to deal with and 3 pints of blueberries. I’m going to freeze at least 2. I still haven’t canned beets or made pickles. They are claiming we will have a few evenings of rain this week. I’m hoping I will get something done finally.

I did get the corn taken care of and I have a lovely bucket full of butternut squash and winter squash (which keeps for quite sometime so I don’t have to hurry on that.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Menu Monday

This week, I’m making more of an effort to jump back on my healthy eating/dieting bandwagon. I finally picked up the exercising and but let the foods slide so that didn’t do me much good! This week I’m determined to do both! So here is to a healthy menu! (mostly)

Grilled Chicken and Steak Skewers (zucchini, small potatoes and pearl onions)

Baked Turkey Breast with Green bean casserole

Spinach lasagna (with WHEAT noodles)

Creamed Corn over biscuits with a slice of tomato with Broccoli Slaw salad


Garden Update:
Field Peas and Pumpkins are coming in. New batch of green beans are running. Baby eggplants are everywhere. My new squash and zucchini plants are blooming. I have small okra everywhere. Cucumbers are still coming in abundance. I got my first beautiful yellow tomato out of the little garden! I’m so excited. The heirlooms are blooming.

The big garden? Yea, lets just forget that little adventure. We have to pull all the fence posts and strings up and its getting completely mowed down. It was a huge disaster, disappointment and waste of time and money. It gets too much sun and with our heat wave this year and our schedules we could not keep it watered and lost many of our plants to heat blistering, dryness and being choked out by the crazy morning glory vines and crab grass that runs rampant out there. It’s mostly good ole Carolina Red clay so with the heat it just becomes like a solid brick. That field is not good for a garden and will be returning to a horse pasture. In fact, late this fall, we are most likely going to be bringing in two of my parents horses to spend a few months with us so they can eat out the underbrush that has grown up in the pasture and give my parents a chance to reseed their pasture. I’m actually REALLY excited by this. I’m not keen on Sonny coming to stay because he has a cribbing problem and will chew my beautiful barn up and Harley, well Harley has a personal space issue and an attitude problem but I love him anyway. He has so much personality and is always a joy to watch his antics. (My sister and I actually bought him as a birthday gift for my dad 8-9 years ago) I just can not wait to see horses in my yard again that it does not even bother me that I’m going to have to repair and put back up a lot of my fencing I just took down!

This week I will be canning beets (yep, I got stuck doing that again!), green beans and possibly pickles. This coming weekend I am actually hoping to get to the farmer’s market for some fruit so I can make some jams and jellies as well as pickle some peaches!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

One of my Dad's neighbors has HUGE blueberry bushes the size of houses with the most amazing blueberries. She doesn't charge to pick them and people who know her drive from states away to come pick her berries. My father brought me a gallon of blueberries this past weekend. I was in heaven.

Since it was a co-workers birthday yesterday, I decided to try out a new recipe that has been formatting itself in my head for awhile. A cross between my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins and the Blueberry Muffins I love so much.

I think they need a little tweaking to notch that flavor up a level but they are yummy just the same!

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly coat a 12-cup standard muffin tin with oil and set aside. Mix 8 ounces (one block) cream cheese, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
Splash of vanilla
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 3/4 to the top.

Place two teaspoonfuls of cream cheese filling in the center of each cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

I use a cookie scoop to fill muffin cups. So I used two scoops of blueberry batter and one scoop of cream cheese mixture.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday? AGAIN? Really?

This week is going to be a really crazy week at the Gourmet House. I have classes over the next two nights at the church and a ton of canning to do! I picked enough beans to over fill a banker box plus that many carrots, two gallons of tomatoes and a gallon of cucumbers! Plus my dad brought me at least a gallon if not more of blueberries and my neighbor brought me figs! So I have preserves to make and freezing to do!

I have definitely got my work cut out for me. In addition, I need to tie up my heirloom tomatoes and Roma’s (the late crop) and string my field pea poles plus weed. Given the craziness of the week, it looks like the cooking will suffer.

Tentative Menu:
Rotisserie chicken and salad (from the Grocery Deli!)

Spaghetti

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins (for breakfasts)

Grit casserole

Squash fritters

Zuchini Bread (to have on hand for quests this weekend)

Lots of Sandwiches!

Canning:
Carrots
Greenbeans
Tomatoes
Fig Preserves

Freezing:
Blueberries

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July Menu Monday

I spent all weekend practically in my garden. Pumpkins and field peas are planted. More marigolds and petunias are planted. Black plastic is down in spots I'm reserving for august plantings. Tomatoes are tied up and picked. I got 2 gallons of small yellow tomatoes that I'm going to use for salads and can for sauce. Parts of the large garden have been mowed down. There are still a few rows that I've got to mow down but the lawnmower died and has to be repaired. We lost some plants in the recent heat wave but we are back to irrigating so hopefully we will get produce again soon. We are getting cucumbers and tomatoes currently and are new crop of beans are starting to run. I have not cooked much lately though I have a few recipes to throw up here when I get a few minutes including my chocolate chip zucchini bread. SO YUM! This week:

Blueberry Muffins
Blackberry dumplings

Biscuits, egg, bacon and tomato

Chicken and spinach alfredo

Garden Pizza

Chicken Tender Salad with Honey mustard

Turkey melts

Our July 4th holiday was very quiet this year. We grilled with another couple and went to a movie. On the fourth we actually worked in the garden, took a quick dip in the pool, rented movies and spent a quiet evening at home with banana splits. I'm a very social person so it was a bit odd to me but we have had so much to do and had issues with the pool that it was really nice to just relax after accomplishing so much this weekend which included (taking down part of our pasture fence, staking tomatoes, planting garden, putting down plastic, weeding, getting the pool clear AGAIN and dealing with a pump/leak issue, mowing down part of the big garden to better manage weed issues, cleaning the house.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th.