Saturday, February 23, 2019

Living the Pantry Life - This and That

I think the crazy weather of this winter is affecting my ability to concentrate.  Honestly, it seems like my brain is all over the place (which is why I need my planner mentioned before) and I don't have ADD!

We are in the midst of yet another 48 hours in which the temperatures will roller coaster with highs and lows.  I made a quick trip into town this morning before any heavy rain arrived.  I do think these huge swings in temperatures are not good for us... at least after a certain age.

Sigh... which is a long way of explaining why this blog post is 1) late and 2) rambling.  I decided to rest a bit while the breakfast and lunch dishes were soaking, before writing the blog post. I woke up 2 1/2 hours later, groggy and with cold dishwater.  So here I am... later.

This week I have been working on simple meals and recipes, going through those I use the most to choose favorites that are quick and inexpensive.  We are still having homemade chicken soup once a week, this past week made with chicken legs and this week will begin with a whole chicken to roast tomorrow.

Instead of tacos, my husband asked if I would make nachos.  I had purchased a bag of Scoops on sale and that gave him the idea, which sounded good to me, too.  Since ground beef is the only meat I buy organic, it has to stretch and after making taco meat (I season my own without a packet), half of it went into nachos and the other half will either be used for taco salads or put in the freezer right away.

While the chicken bakes on Sunday, I will roast other root vegetables on a half sheet pan while the oven is on at 375.  I have found that they taste just fine even on another day if stored in the refrigerator properly.  I love roasted beets although they are roasted wrapped in aluminum foil to prevent bleeding the color red into everything.

I've also been baking easy treats to have on hand for my husband (and sometimes a small treat for me!).  This week I made a crazy cake (aka: Depression Cake) because it is just the right size for two or three people.  With all the baking I used to do, it was still my son's favorite chocolate cake.  I frost it with a simple homemade chocolate butter cream frosting.

I made two loaves of orange cranberry bread recently, serving one immediately and then pulling the frozen loaf out of the freezer a few days ago.  It used up the very last of the cranberries from the Holiday season before last.  I'm thankful that I had two packages of cranberries in the refrigerator freezer this year since all others were lost in the Deep Freeze Meltdown of 2019.  Sigh...

I have extra frozen blueberries so this week I'm going to make a lemon blueberry quick bread.  This recipe makes just one loaf but I will try it and then if we like it, change the recipe for two loaves next time.  I find I can use less sugar than most quick breads call for from half to three-fourths the amount according to the recipe.

I make homemade granola once a month for my husband's breakfast.  It isn't hard, just a little time consuming.  I have learned to make it on a morning when I have higher energy and I'm doing other things in the kitchen, anyway.  I think it was last summer, when I was out of the raw honey that I usually use, that I substituted maple syrup in place of the honey.  It made a delicious substitute that added variety. 

I'm still thoroughly enjoying the bread machine and made another loaf of bread this week using the dough cycle.  It is like having an electronic servant helping me still bake from scratch in the kitchen!  It takes a few minutes to assemble ingredients, about four minutes to prepare the loaf pan and the finished dough to put in it, and thirty minutes to bake.

I was going to share a few more favorite cookbooks but hopefully I can do that next week.  These are the kind that have either simple recipes I can still make easily and/or those that are fun to read even and inspire me to cook. 

That's all for now...

Image:  Bushel of Apples poster:


Anonymous said...

Yes the weather has been awful this past month. Four-five more weeks until spring maybe.

How do you season your tacos without using packets? Do you have a recipe for the mix?

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Dear Brenda, I hope our weather calms down and you feel better. Still, I think the extra sleep was probably good for you today. I make "refrigerator soup" about once a week, a vegetable soup that uses up the vegetables that need to be used up. Tomorrow I will make cabbage for my son. He loves "dampf kraut" which is simply a whole green cabbage cut up and sauteed with a little onion and butter. We both love all sorts of veggies from the cabbage family and I think they are really good for us. But I confess, I'm a tiny bit bored with what I usually cook. I will think about what I might do differently.

Suzan said...

I understand how the body can overtake our plans.

I am inspired by the mention of lemon and blueberry loaf.

We have had so little rain where I live and fruit and veg have become super expensive. So I am exposing all kinds of options. I think freezer fruit and veg will become staple for a long time to come. iT is strange because the north of my state in Australia has suffered from horrendous floods.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Such kitchen goodness in this post!

I miss making bread. I’m experimenting with sprouted flour because I can eat that! Wanting to try it in banana breads and scones, etc!

Louise said...

Brenda. I have been using this Banana recipe for years, it's so delicious and easy to make and most of the sweetness comes from the ripe bananas..The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar I use less than that and there is no oil in the recipe either. My family loves it.

Anonymous said...

The bad weather saves me money-we have used, used, used things in the pantry and freezer to make due and avoid going out, very little shopping, house is pretty weather tight so with that and a fire we are cozy. I am content to be in organizing,cooking, reading and reflecting. So relaxed after church last night and a light dinner that I was in bed a little after 8 and enjoyed a nice night of sleep. I do not feel the need to be as busy in the winter-no yard and garden to tend, more reasons to be in rather than out :).

Unknown said...

I feel your pain when it comes to weather change. We have alot of that here in deep South Texas. Up and down. Rain and not enough Sunshine as of late. You struggle to keep up your spirts. I listen to stories on You Tube about old Victorian Tines.

Unknown said...

I feel your pain when it comes to weather change. We have alot of that here in deep South Texas. Up and down. Rain and not enough Sunshine as of late. You struggle to keep up your spirts. I listen to stories on You Tube about old Victorian Tines.

Vee said...

Winter weary so many of us are. My day began in a snowglobe and is ending in a fishtank. Good grief! What a mess. If I were feeling better, I might know how to create cozy again. Just now cozy comes from other homes like the chicken noodle soup and the salad my daughter-in-law made for me. So delicious and comforting. We must keep looking up. He is the answer to every need.