Saturday, September 5, 2009

Weekly menu

This week I'm trying out a few money-savers but not necessarily time-savers. I'm going to see how hard it is to make rice that isn't minute rice, and baked beans that aren't from a can. Beans and rice in a bag are really cheap, so if we can substitute some of the canned stuff with the bagged stuff, that should save some moola. I'll let you know how it goes.


Ham and cheesy potatoes
Fried rice

Monday (Labor Day)
Scrambled eggs
Ham sandwiches, chips
Grilled steaks, potatoes, corn on the cob

Blueberry muffins
Beef stroganoff

Grilled cheese with ham

Cheesy quesadillas
Baked corndogs

Breakfast burritos
Out (I'm required; it's a work lunch!)
Hamburgers and fries

PBJ toast

Friday, September 4, 2009

No fork allowed

Ah, my secret tool, the trick to get kids to eat anything you want...make it crazy. For us, "crazy" can be as easy as no forks allowed. They get a kick out of it when I tell them, "whatever you do, do NOT use a fork. NO, NO FORKS! You MUST eat with your hands! You MUST, I say!"

Our No-Fork-Fridays usually consist of cherry tomatoes, cut up broccoli and cauliflower, sliced apples or peaches, grapes, crackers, cubed cheese, homemade fries and oven-baked chicken nuggets. I put it all on fancy serving trays in the middle of the table and let the kids make their own plates, with the requirement that they take at least one of each item. Then add salad dressing, ketchup, and barbecue sauce for dipping.

The other part of this secret: I like it as much as they do!

Beef Stew

I feel like a slacker, or out of the loop, either one. This week was the first time I made beef stew that wasn't in a crockpot...and it was delicious! Give it a try; it's perfect for a cool fall day. I think mine was even better because I used our home-raised beef, our homegrown potatoes, carrots, and onions, and Jay's mom's homemade ketchup.

1-2 tablespoon oil
1 pound beef stew meat, chopped (or get a cheap cut of beef and cut into pieces)
3/4 cup flour
salt, pepper to taste
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
2 beef bouillon cubes
5 medium potatoes, diced
3 carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon A1 sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup water

Heat the oil in a large pot. Meanwhile, mix flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Roll the beef in the flour mixture. Add the onions, garlic, and beef to the pot and cook until the beef is just browned, stirring often. Add the water, bouillon cubes, A1 sauce, and ketchup. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then reduce heat to simmer.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Add the potatoes and carrots. Simmer for another 30 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Increase heat to boiling. Mix 2 tablespoons flour in cold water. Stir flour mixture into the boiling stew, and boil for 2 minutes.

Serve and enjoy. (Makes FABULOUS leftovers!)