Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dinner Disaster II

 So we spent the week at the cabin last week, and did pretty well on groceries. $158 fed  two adults and four teens for the week, not counting extra milk runs, and ice cream from the ice cream shop.  We had baked beans ( a hit), Pizza (frozen), coffee cake for breakfasts, Apple Pie ( a disaster)  pasta w/ meat sauce ( a hit)  Cupcakes ( both a hit and a disaster- the dog ate EIGHT....)  Here is how the week went.

  • Monday Morning:  Coffee Cake, Juice
  • Monday Night: Pot roast (a hit), Ice Cream for desert ($2.69/ 1.75 quart container from Piggly wiggly - a steal!)
  • Tuesday Morning: toast, eggs, Snausages**
  • Tuesday evening Planned Baked beans-  HAD Pasta w/ meat sauce (forgot to soak the beans overnight on Monday)
  • Wed. mornning toast, eggs Snausages
  • Wed Evening: Baked beans w/ cornbread.  Cupcakes in afternoon- lost 1/3 of batch to dog.  Went to see BRAVE $36 on popcorn and other treats.
  • Thursday- Toast for breakfast for those that could wake up enough to eat before heading out the door to paddle a Voyager canoe all morning.
  • Thursday evening- Frozen pizza, chocolate cupcakes- NONE for dogs........
  • Friday morning- eggs toast etc
  • Friday evening- "Poison  Chicken*" and rice ( a disaster), and apple pie.  
  • Sat morning, coffee cake for breakfast.  home for lunch.          
Discovered something about my rice cooker: it's little rice scoop is NOT a full cup of rice.  Need to find its original scoop, or order one from the company.  Rice was NOT fully cooked.  Added more water and thought I had re-started the cycle- Rice cooker did not re start.  Kids ate dinner around 10 pm.  Relented and had apple pie around eight.  Pie was only ok- Bottom crust not done well enough, apples not cooked through- despite 45 minutes in a 375 oven.   Everything else we baked this week came out well.  don't understand the pie....... top crust was lovely, bottom was like paste.  I've never had this happen with a pie in the past.   just weird.   Friday was also a volume disaster(not enough food), but I don't count that as my fault- was feeding three teens who had not been accounted for in the original plan- they were supposed to leave around supper time, but their pick up had car issues.  

Farm fresh eggs do not make good hard boiled eggs, unless they are 2+ weeks old  We lost most of the whites to peeling eggs.   Farm fresh eggs make GREAT breakfasts though!


All in all, despite low water (less than a foot deep at the end of the new 40 foot dock extension) a pontoon that seems to be cursed ( launched and pulled  three times in one week,for three different engine issues)and early morning cranky kids- we had a good time, thanks to the very generous friend who invites us up annually.


*Poison Chicken is a corruption of Hoison Chicken- a misunderstanding when my son was little has led to this family joke.  No teen or adult died in the eating of this meal- there was not even mild gastric distress.

**Another family joke- I did not feed the kids dog treats.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ginger-Cinnamon Pecan Scones for breakfast

yummm!


Ginger-Cinnamon Sugar

2T Cinnamon
3T Ginger
1/4 c sugar

in a jar w/ tight lid, shake to combine.  this is great on toast, too!


Ginger-Cinnamon Pecan Scones
2 1/4 c bisquick mix
2/3 c milk
1/2 c pecan pieces
2T Ginger-Cinnamon Sugar

preheat oven to 450
combine dry ingredients in a bowl, mix well, add milk, mix until a soft dough forms, do not over mix
drop onto a greased sheet pan, bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  serve warm with butter and honey . OR pat into a 6 1/2 " circle on a greased sheet pan, cut into wedges (6,8,or 12) do not separate.  Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes, until light golden brown.

serve with butter and honey or Golden Syrup.

I'm Back!

OK-It's been a crazy couple of months.  Hubby's contract was not renewed, so we need to batten down the hatches and get our food spending under control.

Here's the plan: 

  • Find out what we ACTUALLY spend on food in a month.  My guess is it's gonna be scary.
  • More meals at home- we've gotten lax about this.
  • Bake more- bake our bread, and most sweets at home.
  • Make our own frozen treats.  Involves buying pop molds, but we have an Ice Cream Maker that I have never yet used.
  • Make better use of the Sam's membership-And keep an eye on special at our local market.
  • Use the crock pot and rice cooker more- and find out about using it for more than just rice.
  • Pare down the kitchen.  there is WAY too much in the way of uni-tasking utensils that I never use, and space is at a premium.
  • Spend more time on the house, and spend less time on the computer.  sorry guys- If I am going to make this work,  It involves getting up and moving, not sitting here chatting.
  • ORGANIZE my time better, and get back to my FlyLady routines.  and Try to get the guys on board.
OK- here we go!

  • TODAY- Friday- Bake day, from now on.  Today I want fresh bread for the week, and some sort of cookies. Pasta or Fish for supper.
  • Weekend- extra out of the usual chores, or a trip to the cabin. Finish table cloth!
  • Monday- Clear Counters & sink.  Find homes for stuff.  Crock pot dinner as I teach in the evening.
  • Tuesday one cupboard re-organized cleaned purged. Clear kitchen table.  Dinner at Anime.
  • Wednesday-one cupboard re-organized cleaned purged. mid week bread bake. quick bread. meat meal with leftovers for sandwiches. (roast , ham or Poultry)
  • Thursday- Sewing day- salad, soup and sandwiches or Pizza for supper.
Today's recipe: From Breadworld by Fleischmann's Yeast

I'm making my own variation substituting 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal, 1/2 cup whole wheat, and 1/2 cup each rye and barley flour for half of the white flour.  I also throw in 2 Lg. Eggs  (Room Temp!) when I add the wet ingredients.   I use  RapidRise yeast, and the Rapid rise method.  Start with 1 cup white and all the variety flours, and use white on the board to knead.




Notes:
2.25 tsp =1 envelope of yeast

Master bread dough



Description

This basic recipe can take on a life of its own. Many bread variations are possible from these easy first steps. Directions for using either Active Dry OR RapidRise Yeast are included.
Contributed by
Ingredients
5-1/2 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 envelopes Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast OR Active Dry Yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter OR margarine

Directions


If using RapidRise Yeast:


Combine 2-1/2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt in large mixer bowl. Heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120° to 130°F). Gradually add mixture to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.

With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Cover and let dough rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half.

Roll each half into a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place, side down in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190°F to 200°F in center of bread. If a thermometer is not available, bread is done when well browned and sounds hollow when top of loaf is tapped lightly with finger tip. Remove from pans to cool.

Makes 2 loaves.

If using Active Dry Yeast:


Combine water, milk and butter; heat until warm (100° to 110°F). Place in large mixer bowl. Add sugar and yeast; let stand 5 minutes. Add 2-1/2 cups flour and salt; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.

With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Punch dough down. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half.

Roll each half into a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place, seam side down in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190°F to 200°F in center of bread. If a thermometer is not available, bread is done when well browned and sounds hollow when top of loaf is tapped lightly with finger tip. Remove from pans to cool.

Makes 2 loaves.


VARIATIONS:


WHOLE WHEAT BREAD: Replace 1 to 3 cups all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

SOFT HERB BREADSTICKS (use 1/2 of dough): Divide dough into 12 equal pieces; roll each to 15-inch rope. Twist each rope several times, if desired. Place on 2 greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until risen slightly, about 10 to 20 minutes. Lightly beat 1 egg white; brush over breadsticks. Sprinkle with herbs or herb blends such as oregano, dill weed, Italian herb seasoning, or fines herbs. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until done. Remove from sheets; let cool on wire racks. Makes 1 dozen breadsticks.

FOCACCIA (use 1/2 of dough): Grease 15- x 10-inch pan. Roll dough to rectangle and press evenly into pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until slightly risen, about 20 to 40 minutes. With handle of wooden spoon, make indentations in dough at 1-1/2-inch intervals. Brush dough with 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons SPICE ISLANDS Rosemary and 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until done. Let cool on wire rack. Cut into squares. Makes 1 focaccia.

DINNER ROLLS (use 1/2 of dough): Divide dough into 12 equal pieces; shape dough into smooth balls. Place balls, about 2 inches apart, on large greased baking sheet.
Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush over rolls. If desired, sprinkle with SPICE ISLANDS® Sesame Seed or Poppy Seed. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; let cool on wire rack. Makes 1 dozen rolls.

HEARTH BRAID (use 1/2 of dough): Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece to 16-inch rope. On greased baking sheet, braid 3 ropes together; pinch ends to seal.
Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 90 minutes. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush over braid. Sprinkle with SPICE ISLANDS® Sesame Seed or Poppy Seed. Bake at 400oF for 25 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; let cool on wire rack. Makes 1 braid.

OVAL LOAF (use 1/2 of dough): Form dough into an 8 x 4-inch oval loaf. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. If desired, slash top of bread with sharp knife before baking. Bake at 400oF for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190oF to 200oF in center of bread. If a thermometer is not available, bread is done when well browned and sounds hollow when top of bread is tapped lightly with finger tip. Cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.

FREEZING TIPS:
To Freeze:
After kneading, divide dough in half. Flatten each to a 6-inch disc; wrap airtight in 1-gallon plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to one month.

To Defrost:
Keep dough sealed in plastic bag. Defrost and allow dough to rise slightly before shaping. Defrosting times will vary; use times below as guidelines only.

REFRIGERATOR: 8 to 16 hours or overnight
ROOM TEMPERATURE: 1 to 9 hours
MICROWAVE OVEN: Microwave on LOW (10%) for 10 minutes. Turn over; rotate 1/4 turn. Let rest 10 minutes. Repeat 1 to 2 times or until dough is defrosted.

To Use:
Shape dough; let rise and bake as directed. Rising time may need to be extended.



Nutritional Information:
Per serving for LOAF, using all-purpose flour (1/12 of loaf):
calories 139; total fat 1g; saturated fat 1g;
cholesterol 3mg; sodium 209mg;
total carbohydrate 27g; dietary fiber 1g; protein 4g.

Per serving for LOAF, using 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour (1/12 of loaf):
calories 136; total fat 2g; saturated fat 1g;
cholesterol 3mg; sodium 209mg;
total carbohydrate 26g; dietary fiber 2g; protein 4g.
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Photos to follow!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

today's theme- balls of food

Swedish meatballs and peas.  And continuing my run of mucking up dinner, I dumped the pasta in the sink full of soapy water instead of the colander.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

there is nothing quite as disapointing

as an unripe rock hard avocado

Dinner disaster

'splain to me please... how in the world did I manage to set the oven a whole 100 degrees higher than it  needed to be?  Luckily, I needed to put veg in with the ham for an hour- or the ham would not have been at all salvageable.  as it was, the glaze was burnt black, but the meat was edible.  *sigh* no ham gravy tonight....

planning for next week-

So this week not a lot got made that wasn't a "make ahead" item.  We spent the week trying to knock down the leftovers in the fridge- unfortunately, in this family leftovers happen because a dish isn't popular, so the leftovers aren't either.  There's a chunk of food getting packaged for the freezer today, in the hopes that in a couple of months, I'll want it again. (yeah right).  I'm also going to re-organize the freezer, so that stuff can be found.

This week's menu ( with no leftovers in sight!)
Sunday:ham
Monday : pot roast
Wednesday: curry
Thursday: hamburgers
Friday: lasagna
Saturday: Swedish meatballs