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Weekly Menu for 11-24-2014

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“Put yis on me mom.”

And holiday gatherings begin! I’ll be baking pies this week.

I’m hoping to get another wheel of cheese made this week. We are hosting a large shindig at the end of December and with any luck, I can serve homemade cheese!

I still have the sourdough baby but have some questions. It doesn’t seem to be as sour as I’m reading about and wondering if I can liven this one up or try starting my own. It works (as in, the bread tastes fine and it rises) but it doesn’t taste all that sour. Suggestions from you pros?

Monday: Chicken Gravy over Waffles, Simple Green Salad

Tuesday: Pork and Sauer Kraut, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Wednesday: Rohrer Dinner (3 pies and Cranberry Relish)

Thursday: My mom’s family gathering (2 pies and Stuffing Balls)

Friday: Venison Roast, Homemade Noodles, Broccoli

Saturday: Honey Baked Chicken with Baked Brown Rice, Green Beans

Sunday: Chili Pie, Broccoli

Desserts: besides pies, maybe Blueberry Squares and definitely Pumpkin Roll for Brad’s birthday

Odds and Ends: Cheddar Cheese, Bread

Rice and Beans

Perhaps I should begin a series called How to Solve the Boring Lunch: Simple, Fast Fixes for the Noon Meal.

Along with Sautéed Curried Anything, I often make rice and beans for a quick lunch.

As long as there are some toppings, the kids devour this. I love it plain but sour cream and cheese make it even better.

The cayenne I’ve been using lately is just dried cayenne peppers that I ground up. The stuff is HOT. Use whatever form of heat you like…cayenne pepper, hot sauce, etc.

I have cilantro that volunteered in the garden. It’s slowly freezing out but I pick the wilted leaves and eat them anyway.

This dish can be made in about 10 minutes, including prep. Easy, peasy.

Measurements are approximate. I never measure this sort of thing!

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Rice and Beans

Olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup prepared salsa
2 cups leftover rice
1 cup cooked dry beans
1/4 t cumin
Sprinkle of red cayenne pepper flakes
Sour cream
Grated cheese
Cilantro

Sauté the peppers and onions lightly in the oil. Add the salsa, rice, beans, cumin, and red pepper. Heat through. Garnish with sour cream, cheese, and cilantro.

Serves: 3?

Weekly Menu for 11-17-2014

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There is cottage cheese in the fridge that needs used. Nothing else much that has to be eaten quickly so I’ll use the pantry and freezer to fill in.

Monday: Venison Rice Pizza, Green Beans

Tuesday: Paprika Chicken with Saffron Dumplings, Carrot Sticks

Wednesday: Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork with Sugar Peas, Rice

Thursday: Pizza with sourdough crust, Broccoli

Friday: Chicken Croquettes, Homemade Noodles, Green Beans, Cooked Red Beets

Saturday: Macaroni and Cheese with Stewed Tomatoes, Cooked Sugar Peas

Sunday: Baked Potatoes with Chili and Cheese, Green Beans

Desserts: Blueberry Buckle

Odds and Ends: More cheese (probably farmhouse cheddar), sourdough bread, yogurt, regular bread

To Solve the Boring Lunch

When there aren’t any leftovers, or not enough to go around, and sandwich fixings are at a minimum, sauté all of the things in the fridge, add curry, and call it lunch.

This kids despise when I do this. I happen to love it. I’ve never asked Brad to eat this as he is not a curry fan. Perhaps if I used a different seasoning he would partake. I like curry (tho not a ton at once) so I use lunch as my chance to try to get the children on board. It hasn’t worked yet.

Other veg I like to use (in season or from freezer) include zucchini, peppers, corn, leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, etc. Really, it’s a clean-out-the-fridge sort of dish. My favorite.

I also do this without the meat if we happen to have another protein source on hand to go with it.

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Curried Lunch
(This particular mixture in parenthesis)

Meat (ground venison)
Fat (olive oil)
Vegetables, thinly sliced or chopped (onion, carrot, cabbage)
Seasonings (salt, pepper, curry powder)

Heat fat in skillet. Brown meat and then add the veggies. Sauté until just tender. Sprinkle with seasonings and serve hot.

Sourdough Crackers

If you keep a sourdough starter on hand for no other reason than to make these, I won’t blame you. They are easy. And they taste like cheese even tho there is no cheese in them!

I know I should probably post about how to handle a starter and such before I dive into recipes but really, Home Joys has most of the tips I’d give you anyway so head over there if you want to dive in! I’ll gladly share starter with anyone local.

Back to crackers, I’ve made these 4 times in the last two weeks. Easy and nutritious snack for kiddos!

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Sourdough Crackers
Adapted from Home Joy’s recipe

1 cup sourdough starter
3 1/2 T softened butter
1/2 t salt
About 1 cup whole wheat bread flour

Mix everything together, using only as much flour as needed to make a soft dough. It will depend on how wet your starter is.

Cover bowl and let dough rise a few hours or until it looks a bit puffy. Divide in half and place each one on a greased cookie sheet. No need for parchment paper here. Roll the dough out directly on the sheets until it’s a scant 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle with desired seasonings. I usually do garlic powder. Lightly roll the seasonings into the top of the crackers.

Cut the crackers with a pizza cutter to desired size. No need to separate them. Just slide both pans into a preheated 350 oven and set the timer for 12 minutes. At that point, take off any crackers that may already be done (golden brown and no longer soft). Put remaining crackers back into oven and every few minutes take off more finished ones. This process usually takes me about 25 minutes until they are all baked. It depends on your oven and also how thick each cracker is.

Store cooled crackers in an airtight jar or container. The longest I’ve had them around was 4 days and they were just as delicious then as freshly baked. I’m are they would keep at least a week, longer if frozen.

Yield: about 6 cups of 1-inch crackers

Weekly Menu for 11-10-2014

IMG_3503We’ll be eating lots o’ venison now! This makes me happy. We are about out of beef.

Monday: Venison Heart, Roasted White and Sweet Potatoes, Coleslaw

Tuesday: Chicken Casserole with Bread Cubes, Broccoli, Applesauce

Wednesday: Venison Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Carrots, Green Beans

Thursday: Venison and Veggie Soup, Sour Dough Bread

Friday: Baked Beans, Baked Corn, Broccoli

Saturday: a birthday party

Sunday: Pork Shepherd’s Pie, Green Beans

Desserts: I am so not into dessert lately. Which is odd considering I’m craving Skittles and Swedish Fish.

Odds and Ends: Bread, Cheese, Waffles

Waldorf Salad

Does anyone know why this is called waldorf salad?

SONY DSCPersonally, I can eat piles of this stuff. The chewy raisins play quite well next to the crunchy celery and apples. And the dressing? So simple.

SONY DSCWaldorf Salad

My mom’s recipe

5 apples, cored and diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 cup raisins

1 T fruit juice, optional (I usually use what’s in the fridge…pear or peach)

Mayonnaise

Mix everything together with enough mayo to coat but not be gloppy. Chill an hour or so for best flavor, though it’s still delicious immediately.

Serves: 10-12

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