Suburbanmomcooks’s Weblog

September 4, 2008

Demarle

Filed under: Demarle,food,garden,Recipes,Uncategorized — by CarrieK @ 5:01 am
Tags: , ,

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 12, 2008

Fleece on the Beach

Filed under: Demarle,garden,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 6:36 am
Tags: , , , ,

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 5, 2008

The Missing Link

Filed under: Canning and Preserving,Demarle,food,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 4:20 pm
Tags: , , , ,

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
Tags: , , , , ,

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
Tags: , , , , , ,

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
Tags: ,

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
Tags: , , , ,

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 14 I’m not worthy!

Filed under: Demarle,grocery,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 6:16 am
Tags: ,

Ok, it’s Thursday and I am jonesing for a trip to the grocery store. I do have $14 left in my grocery budget for the week and I do need cheese. So, on my way back from a meeting I stopped at the store and ended up getting ricotta cheese for the Broken Lasagna, raw mild cheddar for the burritos and ….a loaf of bread and a package of bagels. And in a weak moment, 2 boxes of crackers for my hungry kids (it was 5:30).

I went over my $100 weekly budget by $13 😦

I fixed Broken Lasagna for dinner tonight. It was yummy with the ricotta cheese. I didn’t have any leftovers for it so I improvised and used canned marinara, fresh chard, no boil noodles, some frozen broccoli and the ricotta cheese I picked up at the grocery store. I cooked it in my Demarle Fluted Square Mold.

I can already tell my grocery list needs revision. We can’t get through the week with one loaf of bread or 1 package of bagels. I am out of butter and only have 3 eggs left. One day left…one day left….one day left…

July 24, 2008

Day 12 Ahhhh….BEEF!

Filed under: Demarle,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 4:44 am
Tags: , ,

I’ve tried to be a vegetarian. Really. My acupuncturist told me not to do it. When I met my husband he was a vegan, (unless you were serving him dessert) but he’s not anymore.

I love beef. Practically raw, nicely warmed up, tender, juicy beef. Hmmmm….

Tonight we had a beautiful grass fed (no grain, not even in the weeks before slaughter) rib eye. I roasted broccoli on my Silpat and made a pot of long grain brown rice. Not a bad dinner. We ate together at the table again. It was a lovely family dinner.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

July 20, 2008

On to Day 9, Accidental Dinner

Filed under: Demarle,grocery,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 4:45 am
Tags: ,

We had a lovely dinner with friends last night; salmon marinated in a ginger sauce, fresh salad, challah, and fish sticks for the kids. They loved the blueberries. It was so good, we had the same thing for dinner tonight!

Just kidding, it was a complete accident.

I rode my bike to the Farmer’s Market today. Very busy, very crowded. I bought 3 lbs of honey for the blueberry jam I’m making tomorrow, a nice rib eye (grass fed only of course) some chicken (breasts only, I’ll roast a whole chicken and make stock next week) and the most beautiful sockeye salmon I’ve seen in a llllloooooonnnnngggg time. I poached it in a little bit of water and sea salt in my Demarle Flower Mold with the Octagonal Silpat on top for a lid. WOW! It was wonderful. I made a cold side dish of leftover long grain brown rice with green onions and Oriental Salad Dressing from Nourishing Traditions. Yum! Instead of a vegetable, I put out a bowl of blackberries with the last bit of creme fraiche. Very colorful meal. The kids ate fish sticks.

I’m soaking whole wheat flour in kefir tonight for pancakes tomorrow….I just remembered I have no eggs! UHG! Well, I was planning on going to yet another Farmer’s Market tomorrow for eggs and veggies. Guess the pancakes will be for brunch. The kids can have the granola bars I made today for breakfast instead. No real plans for dinner tomorrow….probably soup and bread. I’ll need to make the bread in the morning so it has a chance to rise…I’m still getting good at bread making. Gotta find a recipe tonight.

So, I am at the end of the first week (plus 2 days) of my new Menu Plan. So far so good. I did go to the grocery store once for picnic items (paid cash), other than that, I used what we already have. Not sure yet if that is a crutch or not. I’m using up our stores of food…the cupboard is very bare and I can see the back of the fridge. On the bright side, we are eating much healthier, I’m using leftovers more creatively and we are throwing away less. This is one of the pitfalls of suburbia; food is easily accessible. You can run to the store whenever you want. You don’t have to have an extra store of food in the suburbs. It’s not sustainable, it’s not self sufficient. Another goal of mine is to figure in stored food; buying bulk is next on the list. And possibley an extra chest freezer, although it’s expensive to run.

My big challenge for next week is using cash for groceries based on the Menu Plan. I picked up some staples (butter) and meat, and some things that are part of long-term consumption; I spent about $25 on blueberries, $40 on canning supplies and $14 on honey for the jam I’m making tomorrow. Depending on how many jars that makes, I could save us an extra $10 a month on jam. That’s $120 a year! DH wants an accounting of all this, he’s worried I will start buying things outside of the grocery list. Hmph!

The blueberry jam breaks down as follows:

2 packages of Pomona Pectin

5 lbs of blueberries

4 cups of honey

# of lids (?)

# of jars and bands (both are reusable!)

OK, I have some more research to do…I’ll get back to you. It’s late, I’m off to take a lavender bubble bath and read a good book….will it be Erma Bombeck or Clive Cussler tonight?

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.