Suburbanmomcooks’s Weblog

September 4, 2008

Demarle

Filed under: Demarle,food,garden,Recipes,Uncategorized — by CarrieK @ 5:01 am
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The kids are starting school and I’ve been re-organizing my house (really, I’m just making a bigger mess) and I’ve fallen behind on my blogging. I’m going to focus on my Demarle pages so my wonderful customers have access to more product information and recipes.

Go directly to my Demarle page…

Coming soon:

Updated Garden Page (the trees are down and the cement is up!)

Updated Canning and Preserving Page (apples! pears!)

August 24, 2008

It’s about time

Filed under: Demarle,food,Uncategorized — by CarrieK @ 4:30 am
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Go directly to my Demarle page…

It’s about time I blogged again…life tends to get in the way of a perfectly nice blog. I’ve redone some of my links….Demarle and recipes but I’m still working on the others. Big learning curve…

Took an amazing dairy class with Monique Dupre of sustainablebudget.com. Learned how to make yogurt, butter, kefir, cream cheese. Now I need to work on a consistent source of raw milk. I think the trick is going to be putting together a time line. Here’s are some options:

Option A:

Buy raw milk!

Skim cream off the top of 1/2 gallon of raw milk.

Make butter with that cream.

Let the leftover “skim” milk sit on the counter overnight to culture into buttermilk.

Refrigerate the buttermilk to use for pancakes, biscuits and ….to drink? I’ll have to try it to see if I’ll like it.

Option B:

Buy raw milk!

Skim the cream off the top of a 1/2 gallon of raw milk.

Make butter with the cream.

Make yogurt with the leftover “skim” milk

From that yogurt, make cream cheese; I will store the leftover whey in the fridge or give it to my friend A for the “ladies” (aka, the chickens)

I also want to make cream cheese from whole raw milk. And I need to get a hold of some kefir grains. One thing at a time though, gotta get my source of raw milk set.

Another addition to my to-do list: start a list of favorite blogs. Here are 3 I visit regularly:

lunchinabox.net

thepioneerwoman.com

simplemom.net

Visit simplemom.net soon, she has a great giveawy going on. Besides that, it’s a really pretty blog; not too fussy, with lots of great posts about organization, budgeting, kids….all the stuff I’m in knee-deep every day. It’s a joy to read.

August 12, 2008

Fleece on the Beach

Filed under: Demarle,garden,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 6:36 am
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We’re just back from a wonderful camping trip on the coast of Oregon. Two things one needs for a happy trip to the beach in Oregon, fleece and a kite. Thankfully we had both!

I have a HUGE to-do list:

Re-do all my links (finished with recipes, onto to my Demarle pages next…)

Work on my Cost page

Take “before” pictures of my yard for the Garden page…the tree guy will be here next week!

Start a Camping page to organize my outdoor kitchen and all our camping gear

I’ll be back tomorrow night!

August 7, 2008

Budget Interuppted

Filed under: Uncategorized — by CarrieK @ 4:27 am

*Site construction note: I haven’t yet mastered the art of links, so mostly my links won’t take you anywhere -yet. Be patient and check back, Thanks!*

So, we are going camping tomorrow and I was planning the meals with 2 other Moms who just backed out of the trip! Alrighty then….now I get to do it all myself, and quickly.

How easy old, bad habits return. In my rush, I blew over $100 at Fred Meyer and then another $80 at Trader Joes. It’s all food and stuff we need, I just didn’t really, plan for it, very well….hm.

As penance, I am making myself go over the receipts and categorize each item so I know how much I spent on food. But not tonight, remember, numbers make my head hurt. And it’s late. And I’m tired. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

I was actually doing really well on our weekly budget. Last night we ate at a friend’s house and tonight I made a Broken Lasagna out of leftovers (mushrooms, spaghetti sauce, marinara, cheese, no boil noodles). We are rolling in vegetables and I have a freezer full of fish. The only thing we really ran out of was butter. I did a lot of baking.

Hopefully tomorrow night will find us at the beach! I’m still working on the menu; but I have flour soaking for pancake mix, I made a batch of mini blueberry muffins and I’m dehydrating blueberries and blackberries for trail mix. I still need to make bread for Friday night, and most probably freeze the spinach, juice the limes and cook up the green beans – otherwise I’m coming home to spoiled food. I can’t stand spoiled or wasted food, especially since I started The Budget. I have hot dogs, a couple of steaks and fish for dinners. Lunches will be blueberries, cheese, PBand J, crackers and any leftover dinner.

I should go to bed, I’m too tired to do anymore tonight. I need to get up and get going in the morning. LOTS of packing to do!

August 5, 2008

The Missing Link

Filed under: Canning and Preserving,Demarle,food,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 4:20 pm
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We had beef patties for dinner tonight. I used some leftover mashed potatoes and smashed beans with cheese plus I roasted some broccoli with leeks. I LOVE roasted broccoli! We picked blueberries today, so obviously we had some at dinner too. Yum.

Splurged a bit by taking the kids to Burgerville for lunch. Feels like it’s OK because I’m just not spending the money the way I used to. The missing link: actually keeping track of my expenses!!!

I made blueberry jam with my neighbor yesterday. She estimated that it cost just over a dollar per half pint. Not bad. BUT I STILL NEED TO TRACK THE ACTUAL EXPENSE!

Numbers hurt my head…

Meanwhile, check out the new pictures I downloaded on my Canning and Preserving page and Demarle page….soon to come….frozen foods on Demarle bakeware and before and after pictures of my newly organized pantry.

August 3, 2008

Week 3 Starts…

Filed under: grocery,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 5:23 pm
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I’m off to the grocery store on my bike today. The hardest part about getting there is getting past all the garage sales!

I’m past the worry of last week and feeling good about our grocery budget. I found amazing fish at Costco; bought 5 meals worth of salmon (wild caught only!) and halibut (wild caught only!) for about $26. Pretty cool. We are camping at the end of the week, so I have to get really creative with The Menu and The List. I will probably go over budget a bit, but I figure that’s OK….we are camping with 2 other families and we are all bringing extra food.

Last night we had leftovers; salmon with green beans and rice, I had mashed potatoes with chicken, the kids had…..bagels of course. L had some smashed beans with cheese too. Tonight I’ll roast some broccoli to add to our Annie’s Soup. I will save some for the Broken Lasagna on Tuesday night.

Using the cash envelope for grocery money is working well. My goals for Week 3 include:

*tracking exact expenses; how much each item cost

*post my weekly menu

*start tracking bulk food and non-food costs; homemade jam, fish, peanut butter, cleaning supplies etc.

*post more pictures!

I think it will be a few months before I have a better idea of bulk food costs. Gotta start somewhere. I have to say though, I don’t feel like we are doing without or eating boring food. I am getting creative with storage and leftovers, we are eating well, and I’m still blogging!

Day 21

Filed under: Demarle,grocery,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 4:54 am
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Lovely dinner tonight. Poached chicken in the Flower Mold with the Octagonal Silpat, sauteed green beans, and a pot of organic long grain brown rice. Lots of leftovers. Very economical.

We are doing great this week grocery-wise. I am up $15 because my DH bought the wrong bread and wrong beans at Trader Joes. He also missed a couple of items that I clearly don’t miss! Well, that’s not true. I was missing my sourdough bread yesterday.

Been working on The Menu and The List for next week. I am riding my bike to the grocery store on Sunday. I’m holding on to my excess grocery money for our camping trip next weekend. Hmmm, beer? S’mores? Maybe both!

Planning on blueberry picking Monday and “jamming” that afternoon. I picked up more of that amazing raw honey from the Farmer’s Market today. Man that stuff is gooooood! My goal is to pick about 7 pounds of blueberries and can about 9-10 half pints of jam.

Since I reorganized my pantry, it’s looking even more bare. Oddly, I’m not as panicky about it this week. I’m holding off until my Meal Planning and Grains class with Monique from Sustainable Budget on the 13th. I am hoping to get some info on bulk food that night. I really want my Menu Plan to include healthy food, easy food, real food. I am curious about grinding my own grain for making my own bread.

August 1, 2008

Night out with the Girls

Filed under: Demarle,garden,organization,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 5:33 pm
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The kids are in bed, I finished my dinner and I indulged in a decadent piece of 73% dark chocolate with a nice glass of Merlot. Not a bad finish to the day. Time to blog…

Last night I went out with the Girls. I caught up with some “old” girls and met some new ones. What a lovely night! We ate (sushi, wonderful sushi), we drank (mojitos, margueritas, ahhhh margueritas!) and we talked. And talked. I could’ve talked all night. And still cried out for more….We talked about husbands, raw milk and yogurt, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, food allergies, husbands, medically altered women, foreign countries, kids…like I said, we had drinks.

The occasion (and it takes a big one to drag me away from dinner and bedtime with my monkeys) was that 2 of my friends are leaving. One to the UAE, and one to South Dakota and the world beyond. You will be missed dear friends. *sigh* I will live vicariously through you. Have lots of fun, have lots of adventures. Be safe.

Because I was trying to get out of the house in something nicer than jeans and a baseball cap and I needed to find a shirt without sticky fingerprints or food stains on it, I did a switcheroo on The Menu and made quesadillas and burritos for dinner. Quick, easy, nutritious.

Tonight I stayed home and made a WONDERFUL dinner. Pot of long grain brown rice, steamed green beans and a beautiful piece of salmon. Yum! I poached the salmon in my Flower Mold with the Octagonal Silpat on top. Lots of leftovers to keep us in food for a day or two.

Today I reorganized my pantry, a cupboard and my big shelf unit in the garage. I moved all my storage containers (bags, thermoses, jars) to the garage. I moved all the food into the house. I created one whole cupboard for my homemade jams and jellies. It is satisfying to reorganize. I had been procrastinating for weeks. I finally got some inspiration from Lunchinabox.net and Theperfectpantry.com. I’ll post some before and after shots of my pantry soon. It looks a little bare. I’m not panicky like last week, but I do need to address the whole “have food on hand for an emergency” thing. It’s Thursday, we have plenty of food in the house to get us through the week AND I have about $15 left in our weekly budget. Not bad huh? I was thinking today I should save it for our camping trip. I would like to indulge in s’mores and beer. Sounds like a camping trip to me!

Tonight I will be updating the Canning and Preserving Page and the Garden Page. Busy, Busy, Busy!

July 30, 2008

Catch Up (with Hot Dogs)

Filed under: budget,garden,grocery,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 5:06 am
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I’ve got some catching up to do. Here’s days 16-19.

I’ve been obsessing over the grocery list. With only one day to go until my next shopping trip, last Saturday I revised The Menu and triple checked The List.

I rode my bike to the grocery store Sunday morning. I stopped at the bookstore to pick up a gardening book, then headed over to not shop ’til I drop. I did my bit of shopping, (found some fabulous salmon on sale for just under $8 a pound! Bought some for next week too…) then sat down to have some lunch and look over my new gardening book. I rode home with great satisfaction that I had spent only half our weekly budget ($50.01 to be exact!) and I got it all home on my bike.

We’ve gotten to a slow start on our garden. We started taking down some trees and we are discussing how to get the cement up. I’ve designed our garden in the potager style; a kitchen garden that is an extension of your home. I am having a grand ‘ole time working on the design. I’ve been reading about heirloom vegetables, how to incorporate beneficial flowers and herbs, and how to grow espaliered fruit trees.

Let’s not forget, I’m not living on acres in a rural area, or in the city where I can grow stuff on my balcony or roof, I live in a very typical, average suburban neighborhood on a small lot. It’s an older neighborhood with lots of grown trees and too much shade. The soil here is mostly impacted clay. The only plants that survive here are rhododendrons, azealas, pines, doug firs, hostas and ferns. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Creative work, the best kind.

So, back to the task at hand…I’m supposed to be keeping track of how my menu is going. Saturday night we had broken lasagna in the Fluted Square Mold for dinner. Sunday night we had friends over so I splurged a bit (but didn’t count it towards my weekly budget)…we BBQed burgers and hot dogs. I served fresh picked raspberries, homemade guacamole with tortilla chips, beer and a rolled up angel food cake with raspberry syrup and whipped cream made on the Flexipat (so easy!!). It was delicious. I admit though, in my attempts to be frugal, I did not serve enough food. *how embarrassing!* Next time I will serve some potato salad or bean salad or salad…something!

Last night we had quesadillas with beans on the side. I mixed together a can of black beans, a can of refried beans (yes, organic) and some grated cheese (raw, organic jack) and served it on the side. Quick and easy and nutritional. The kids even ate it.

Tonight we had Breakfast for Dinner. Yum! A real favorite with my kids. L and C helped me make the biscuits on the Roul’pat, then we baked them on the Silpat, I made scrambled eggs and sausages too. Served it all up with homemade raspberry jam and fresh raspberries.

I seem to be doing fine with the Menu Plan. It’s somewhat flexible, allows me some creativity and keeps our grocery budget under control. So far, so good. A nice side effect of all this, we hardly have any garbage! For the second week in a row, I’ve put out a half empty garbage can. We recycle like crazy and I put all kitchen scraps in the compost pile. And still our garbage out put is shrinking like crazy. Yay!

July 26, 2008

Day 15 One more day…!

Filed under: Demarle,grocery — by CarrieK @ 6:16 am
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Tonight I poached 2 chicken breast in my Demarle Fluted Square Mold. I sauteed some beautiful green beans with chopped sweet onions and garlic. Yum! I made a loaf of challah on my Silpat too. I didn’t give it enough time to rise so it wasn’t as fluffy as I like it to be. I divided the batch of dough into 2 parts. I made “challahettes” with the second part of dough, they are sitting in my Demarle Muffin Tray in the freezer right now. When I am ready to cook them, I’ll let them defrost/rise for a couple of hours and then bake them right in the muffin tray in a preheated oven.

I’m working on my grocery list for next week. I’m going to ride my bike the Farmer’s Market tomorrow (a day early, but the market only comes once a week!) I am working on a way to track bulk/staple items v.s. weekly eating items. Since I am baking more items (muffins, biscuits, cookies) I am going thru butter like crazy. I am also getting really low on raw milk, and since I spent over $60 on it just 2 weeks ago, I’m wondering how to justify buying more so soon. I did make 2 batches of cream cheese with it; I still have a lot of it left. But I really want to make my own yogurt. And kefir. And possibley butter. Time to start working My Costs page.

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