Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. May your pants be stretchy, your wine glass full and your family be well behaved. I’m helping my dad cook this year while my mom chases the tiny humans. I feel like we both scored a win with this deal. No knitting content today as I’m off to start peeling potatoes and mixing up stuffing ingredients.
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com
I’ll see you guys on the flip side tomorrow….probably with actual knitting content. I have some really cool stuff started!!
My neighbor has a pear tree that was LOADED this year. I managed to be the recipient of two grocery sacks of pears this fall. I managed to get the bulk of them ripe at the same time and decided to make pear jelly.
The hubby did his best to keep the tiny humans away from the boiling hot liquids. I managed to get all the pear juice I needed and then sieved the pulp into pear-sauce for the kids.
In the end I got six pints of jelly. It is a very loose set though. I can tip my jars and see the contents move around and I see some juice on top. I need to consult my grandmother, the expert jelly maker, to see if this is a problem or not. I’m pretty sure you can attempt to re-set jelly but I’ll need to use the inter-webs.
But for now I’m feeling proud of this amber colored goodness!
No finished object this Friday. Just a mom battling a cold and trying to feed her family. I’m over germs and I’m ready for spring air and open windows. Today is brought to you by Hamburger helper and knitting while I “cook”. After a full day at work, blowing my nose 1,100 times this was the best I could muster. And Jellybean declared it “THE BEST DINNER EVER” because it takes like macaroni and cheese.
P.S. This is my mini solutions scarf. I’ll try to do a better blog post next week if I can manage. I’m on the fifth color and you guys really need to see this. It’s amazeballs!!
I’m on a kick of cleaning and using things from my pantry. I have a squirrel like habit to stash food items so that I have a stocked pantry and then constantly buy new items weekly at the store so I “don’t run out”. This kinda means I have a few boxes and cans that languish. Well that is silly! I did some scrounging for dinner the other night and managed to pull a spaghetti dinner out of my pantry without needing groceries.
While I was in there I found a box of hot roll mix. It was on the cusp of expiring and that just can’t happen. So I made a batch of non-uniform but still tasty cinnamon rolls. I got two thumbs up from everyone in the house. But between spaghetti and garlic toast for dinner and cinnamon rolls for dessert….Holy Carbohydrates Batman! I’m gonna need to walk this one off!!
P.S. Cream cheese icing was added after this photo. But they were devoured so quickly that I wasn’t able to snap a new photo!
I had some rare toddler free time thanks to the miracle that is a friends sleepover. I decided to put my butt in gear! I harvested fresh basil from the garden and made some yummy pesto! I froze this batch into little discs to pull out this winter.
And I picked five lbs of apples for making jelly. I was a little disappointed that after cooking I only got four cups of juice when the jelly recipe called for seven. Jam and jelly require precise measuring so I had to fudge a little and used some of apple sauce pulp mixed with some purified water to get to seven cups of liquid. The jelly is very cloudy as a result and set very very firm. I’m definitely going to taste this before sharing with anyone…
I had been cleaning out the freezer and found four gallon sized bags of last years tomatoes. I decided to cook them down into sauce. I managed to get eight whole pints!
The house was very warm all day and I ended up running the dishwasher three times but it was very nice to stock my pantry and feel like I accomplished something off my list!
For my birthday last year my parents gifted me an Instant Pot because my beloved crock pot had just gone to the big kitchen in the sky. I’ve been making basic things in it since and getting to know the quirks of my machine. Now I’m ready to step my cooking game….
Wish me luck!
In preparing for the impending huge step in our lives by buying a house, we decided some life insurance might be necessary. We are young and it’s really rather affordable right now. So off we went! There was a small matter of routine physicals….
Holy moley, were the holidays hard on our waistlines. Both of us are overweight and the hubs has high cholesterol. I knew that both of our wardrobes had been getting tight but sheesh! So we’ve decided to do something about it.
1) The hubs has started a fish oil regimen and increased his fiber intake per doctors orders
2) I’m increasing my cardio workouts and dragging the husband with me
3) Dinner time is now a no starch zone. We try to fix lean protein, steamed or raw veggies, and a high fiber fruit.
4) Cut our soda/sugar intake by half
5) Cut out alcohol consumption unless attending social events
6) Packing sack lunches before we go to bed instead of when we are bleary eyed first thing in the am.
7) Having bottled water on hand and Brita pitcher always full. We need all the hydration we can get!
We suck at dieting. We like carbs. We like sweets. We don’t need to crash diet. We need to learn to live better! I’m hoping by still getting our whole grains and bread/rice during breakfast and lunch that we won’t feel deprived! And if we have a soda or donut here and there….it’s not going to kill us. We simply makes choices and find a balance.
Disclaimer: I’m by no means an expert on health or fitness! This is just what we are going to try make work for us. Common sense and moderation…
Baby steps and positive choices! Here goes nothing!
This time of year I am left craving fresh food. Especially with all the winter and snow we have received the last two weeks. The vegetables and most fruits in the grocery store are sad looking. I’m tiring of soup and rice and canned goods. So to break my funk I’m kicking up my canned goods with anything fresh I can lay my hands on!
For lunch I pulled out some Campbell’s soup from my pantry:
Chicken Quinoa with Poblano Peppers!
I found a nice ripe avocado tucked away in my fridge so I diced it and threw into my soup:
The rich creaminess of the avocado really offset the heat of the poblano. The freshness also hit the right spot for my craving. I paired the soup with crisp sweet apple to give my meal something “crunchy”.
This meal was very very filling. It was spicy, warm, creamy, crunchy, and everything I was looking for. I got fruit, veggies, healthy grains, and healthy fats. And by rough estimates, around 500 to 550 calories. A little more than I like to eat at lunch, but trying to move around outside in almost two feet of snow should burn some calories!
The hubs and I have been on the road A LOT lately. This had led to eating a lot of junk and a poorly stocked kitchen at home. This week I have been absolutely craving vegetables and good home cooked food. But alas, when opening my pantry I didn’t have a lot to work with. I did manage to find:
– tenderized beef minute steak (frozen)
– cream of mushroom soup
– brown gravy mix
– half a bag of long grain white rice
– some beef stock
– frozen bag of green beans
And dinner was born! I mixed two cans of the cream of mushroom soup with the gravy mix powder and a little fresh ground black pepper and salt. I pulled out my thawed steaks and pounded them out extra thin and laid them in a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. I poured the soup combo over the meat and slid into a 350 degree oven to bake.
I put the rice in my steamer and used the stock instead of water to infuse flavor. Kinda came out looking like brown rice!?
The meat was done in about the same time as the rice (not sure exactly how long, sorry!) I served the meat and sauce over the rice and added steamed green beans for a complete dinner. All in all this cook/prep time took less than 40 minutes!
It was hearty and satisfying and according to my rough calculations, under 400 calories for the whole meal! I even got a thumbs up from my hubby! Not mention I made dinner without going to the store or drive through lane! The dogs were disappointed I didn’t spill…and they keep really good watch!
Between my full time job and the husband working full time AND going back to school, we aren’t home much at night. But our waistlines shouldn’t suffer. So I have a plan!
Cook ahead Sundays! I spend a few hours in the kitchen on Sunday and fill the fridge for the week. This week we have Baked Beef N Macaroni and Spicy Salsa Chicken.
First the beef! I browned 2 lbs of lean ground beef with one large white onion. Drained and put in large bowl. Cook 1/2 of large box of macaroni noodles to al dente and drain. Add to beef. I then mixed in an extra large container of spaghetti sauce and 1 cup mozzerella. Stir to combine and pour into 9×13 pan. I then topped with 2 more cups of shredded mozzerella. Threw in the oven at 350 to bake for 15 minutes (or until cheese is baked and the whole thing bubbles)!
Now the Spicy Salsa Chicken! I steamed 1 1/2 cups white rice with 3 cups water. After the rice was done and tender I transferred to a large mixing bowl. I added one can of green beans, one can of sliced carrots, large can of chicken breast pieces, and finally 2-3 cups of homemade salsa. Stir to combine and pour into 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted)!
This way we have home cooked meals to pack into our lunches AND ready to heat meals when we finally get home. Nice big pans of yumminess that keep us out of the drive thru lanes. Our favorite this week was definitely the salsa chicken! (I mixed in a little sliced fresh avocado to mine and it was to die for!)
It’s takes some time and I dirty a lot of dishes, but it’s totally worth it. Here’s hoping to win the battle of the bulge!