Monday, January 26, 2009


Once again, I've never been to Russia, but I've wanted to try borscht. My, there sure are a lot of different recipes floating around! I had a hard time limiting myself to one style of soup, so here is my take on borscht.

4 beets, peeled and diced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 head cabbage, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can tomatoes
1 qt beef broth
water (I used 2 tomato cans worth)
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 2-3 hours or until all the vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and puree with a stick blender. If you need to do this in a blender, do so in small batches and very carefully. Return to heat.

To serve, make sure it is piping hot and top with a dollap of sour cream. Serve with a good bread.

This was VERY good, in my opinion. My husband wasn't sure of the beet taste at first, but as long as the soup was hot, it grew on him. It was a very purple-red, smooth vegetable soup. I would have kept the soup with chunks in it except everything was the same color purple and it didn't look appetizing as it was.

I used frozen carrots because that was what I had, and the cabbage was a last minute inclusion as it was looking sad in the bottom of the crisper. I could probably include nearly any root vegetable.

This made, conservatively, 15 cups of soup. We ate, including the kids, plenty. I divided the rest into 2 containers and froze one. This recipe could easily be increased with more vegetables and liquid, but I only have an 8qt pot, so I couldn't do much more unless I used my canner.

I was concerned I didn't have a side salad or vegetable initially, until I thought about what we were eating! Silly mom!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Favorite Kitchen Appliance

I found this entry that I created in September but didn't post. It is still relevant, although my once dependable Braun one day decided it would no longer run water through the grounds. As a matter of fact, it wouldn't heat the burner either. I went nearly 2 weeks without replacing it, although my coffee drinking only decreased slightly. Press pots work rather well even with Folgers (or Maxwell House). The coffee pot was replaced, and all is right (for us) in the world.

I have a number of appliances and kitchen gadgets. I would have to say my favorite appliance though is my coffee pot. It isn't fancy - 10 cup programmable Braun that is probably 8-10 years old, but it is dependable. I've always said that coffee is proof that God loves me. That dark goodness, flavorful, and smooth going down. Something about starting the day with a warm mug of steaming necter of love that makes my day.

And lest you think I joke, I also have a 4-cup programmable coffee pot in my bathroom. Each weekday my DH and I waken to the sound of the coffee's "drip-drip" and that final "hiss" as the pot finishes its morning brew. Ahhhh....I can arise and face whatever the day brings. And sometimes, it is my husband bringing me coffee in bed. Heaven on Earth!

And then the kids barge in.

Ukrainian Black Bread

I have never been to the Ukraine, but I love bread. Based of a recipe here and various others.

1T yeast
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup strong coffee (I used what was left in my cup from this morning.)
1T molasses
1 3/4 cups rye flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
2t salt

Dissolve yeast in water in mixer bowl. Add warm coffee and molasses. Stir and let sit 5-10 minutes.

Add flours and salt and mix on low to combine, then let mixer knead for 10 minutes or until smooth.

Let rise in warm spot in covered bowl for 2 hours. Shape into loaves on sheet pan and allow to rise 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450'. Place bowl of water in oven and bake bread for 20 minutes. Lower to 375', remove bowl, and bake additional 30 minutes or until done.

So, it turned out, well, not as I had expected. The crust was nice and chewy, so I'll have to be sure to use the water trick again. It was much denser than I had expected. I think I'll add either more molasses or a bit of sugar since the whole thing didn't rise much. I'm not sure my water was warm enough, and I didn't think of warm water since it didn't say as much. Which is strange as I am not much of a precise recipe follower. I might also add a bit of gluten. Definately a try again though.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

11/7/08 - What's for dinner?

Yes, I have been feeding my family. Lots of Angel Food items, as usual. As a matter of fact, what I am cooking now is from October and July.

Currently in the crockpot is 4.5 lbs of chicken. I put it in to the 6qt pot fully frozen, added water, and turned it on. Eventually the paper on the bottom of the chicken thawed enough to pull off. I added more water, pepper, salt, and celery that has seen better days. I'll let that cook all day. Tonight I will pull out the chicken and chill the broth.

Tomorrow, I can remove the fat and place in a 1 gallon Ziploc (or 2, we'll see) and freeze for later usage. The chicken I can de-skin (I would have done that sooner if it had been thawed) and debone to freeze in 2-3 cup bags.

For tonight, I had 1 lb dried soup mix bean. I rinsed and quick soaked them on the stove. I drained, added additional water as well as pepper, chopped garlic, celery (that which looked more edible from the above stalk) and bay leaves. I also found a ham bone from the last Honeybaked Ham that was served in this house. I don't know how old it is, but it was in a Food Saver bag and not freezer burned at all.

After the beans have cooked a bit, I'll add chicken boullion, salt, liquid smoke, hot sauce and check for the need for additional seasonings. Eventually I will pull the bone and pick off what ham I can find.

It will be served over brown or white rice (or a mixture, depending on how much I have of either one.

I have leftover apple coleslaw from last night that we can finish off.

Kroger trip

It is currently their $5/10 event. I haven't made my full grocery list as it isn't payday yet, but I decided with enough coupons I could start stocking up on baking goods.
6 cans Carnation Evaporated Milk ($.50/2x3 - free)
2 Betty Crocker cookie mix ($.75x2 - free)
2 Nestle Chocolate Chips ($.75x2 - $1)
1 Betty Crocker cake mix (free)
1 1/2 lbs green grapes (2.05)

OOP - $3.05 (actually, it was a gc)

So, when I took everything out of the bags, it didn't look terribly healthy. But, think of all the money I'll have for real food when the Christmas season starts and I don't have to pay $2 or more a bag for chocolate chips.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Maybe I should get back on this

I started this particular blog with good intentions, then just .......... (falling off the internet)

Then there was a link to it from a coupon update I posted here, and it dawned on me someone might visit. Wouldn't be a bad idea to make a few updates. Plus, I do periodically make a food item someone wants the recipe for, but I never type it in. If my husband wouldn't laugh hysterically at me, I would start taking photos. Maybe I'll figure that in.

I have a few good meals in mind, and really should participate in Monday Meal Planning. Last week I scored some unbelievable deals at Giant Eagle. Over the weekend I did some fabulous shopping at Kroger as well as picked up my Angel Food Order.

Wednesday I roasted a chicken in my crockpot thanks to Stephanie. After we finished the chicken, I threw it back in the crock, added water, and cooked on high for 4 more hours. I chilled the broth and skimmed the fat. I pulled the remaining chicken off the carcass. Sunday it became the base for some udon noodle soup served with dinner.

I'll be back with more meals for this week.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Walgreen's Trip - 9/12/08

I guess feeding my flock and trying to save money can go hand in hand with shopping trips. I have to say I LOVE the Internet. If I hadn't run across Deal Seeking Mom in the newspaper and checked out Tara's site, I would have remained clueless to a number of shopping deals available. With freebies and nearly freebies and register rewards and Easy Saver Rebates and a $10 coupon, I just had to try Walgreen's this week. I'm pretty proud of myself. I didn't buy anything I wouldn't or couldn't use. I did not overstock up on anything. I only get 1 set of coupons in the paper. I'm still really impressed.

I must say creating a spreadsheet ahead of time really helped, although the people behind me in line thought I'd gone a bit overboard and had too much time on my hands. I told one lady the internet helps a lot, so I didn't find all these deals on my own. Any my Walgreen's had all but 1 item I had on my list, so I substituted something else even if I didn't have a coupon.

Buy 4, get $5 back RR
Shout - 2.49 - .75c
Fantastic - 2.49
Windex - 2.49 - .75c
Antibacterial Windex - 2.49 - .75c

Buy 3, get $4 back RR (she rang it up weird so I only got credit for 2 and $2 RR)
Tylenol Cold - 4.99 - 1.50c
Benedryl - 3.99 - 1.00c
Sudafed - 3.99

Buy 3, get $10 RR
Robitussin - 3.99 - 3.00c
Advil - 6.99 - .75c (100 tablets w/bonus 24)
Dimetapp - 3.99 - 2.00c

Visine for contacts - 4.49 - 3.00c (All You), 2.00c (ES)
Tylenol - 3.49 - 1.00c
Speedstick B1G1 3.99 - 1.00c (plus each had a travel sized stick)
Pert Plus - 3.79 - 1.50c - 3.79ES
Chex Mix (2) - .99 - .60c
Crest Pro-Health toothpaste - 3.79 - 3.79ES
Lypsyl Lypmoisturizer - 1.99 - 1.99ES
Revlon Nail Color - 4.79 - 2.00c - 4.79ES

$10 off $40 purchase
Final cost - $36.86
$17.00 Register Rewards
$14.66 Easy Saver

I then purchased -Huggies Pull-Ups - 11.99 - 2.00c
Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash - 4.49 - .75c - 4.50RR
Hershey candy bar - 1.00 (needed 1 item to offset number of coupons)

Rolled $10.00 RR
Final Cost - 5.84
$4.50 Register Rewards

Not too shabby. The cashier (who I was VERY nice too especially since the coupons didn't all want to ring in right) was very impressed, and she said she doesn't impress with coupons easily. Now that I've been through a major purchase like this, I know I could do things differently. I could have pulled the lypmoisturizer from the first purchase and not needed the candy bar, or still bought the bar and used 2 RR. No biggie. I'm also glad I knew ahead of time that the number of coupons can not outnumber items.

I think I'll use my RR on kids' toothpaste and some hair things for my daughter.