Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 95--Viva Italia

Mon – Grandma Barb's Spaghetti
Tues –  Seafood Salad and Crostini 
Weds – Stromboli
Thurs – Ravioli w/prosciutto
Fri – out of town
Alts – BLTs/grill something
After trying to place a woman's Spanish accent for half the morning at the park, I finally figured it out. She was Italian. I think our encounter this AM inspired some of this week's selections. Off to the store now. Looking forward to the blasting AC. Happy cooking.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dragons in the Garden

I started to cut this black pepper (variation on a green pepper) from our garden when I noticed it had an eye. Look at this thing! But kind of sideways in case it feels threatened and attacks.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mystery String

If you glance toward the ceiling in our kitchen you'll notice a string between the cupboards on one side of the room.

By mid-summer, there is usually a cluster of drying herbs hanging there.

By mid-winter, the dried herbs have long since been crushed into dark tins inside the cupboards, and we're enjoying garden basil and oregano in our pizza sauce.

So if you're ever in our kitchen, look up and see what season it is by what's hanging on the string. Dust means late winter or early spring.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy birthday to Fuzzyback

We decided, because it was approximately the right date, and because we had a happy passel of kids at our house this afternoon, to celebrate our hamster's birthday today. Anticipation for the event (brainchild of a 5-year-old) has been building for weeks. Potential guests. Gifts. Decorations. Mostly in discussion form, but I did let her spend $3 on some "salty savors" for the little beast. And we got a balloon.

There are children in the world that do not have bdays as nice as the hamster's. I am aware of this absurdity.

We had a table full of snacks that appealed to kids and hamsters alike (peas from our garden, pita chips, watermelon, and so on). We made a rhubarb crisp to have something cake-ish but not so decadent.

A good time was had by all.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Week 94—On the fly

Mon – Pulled pork, corn
Tues –  Burgers 
Weds – Chicken stir-fry
Thurs Rigatoni with sausage and peas
Fri Gazpacho, tostadas, Mexican delights
Alts – popcorn?
Went to the store to grab some frozen pizzas tonight and came back with groceries for the week. No time like the present, and my 5-year-old and I were having a really nice time shopping together. Eldest boy sobbing right now (bedtime) so suspect my time here is up. Happy cooking.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dinner plan? Meh.

Not planning meals this week since it's so hot that none of us really seem to be eating much anyway. Doesn't mean exciting things aren't happening on the meal front, however. Highlights thus far this week:

– Having Jimmy John's deliver to my car (complicated tale, but let's just say they provide excellent service)

– Trying out a new local taco shop that offers things like 16 hr brisket and pumpkin seeds in their taco selection. All tacos $2.50. My husband and I tried 5 kinds tonight with a cool beer. Perfect. Rusty Tacos, right next to Trader Joe's for curious local readers.

– Having popcorn for dinner on Sunday. Seems like there was something else too, but all I remember was the popcorn.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bowled Over

Did I already show these? After my littlest babe broke all my mixing bowls (and fortunately not himself) in one fell swoop this winter, we ordered some new bowls online.

I've loved these, even all the ridiculous little sizes they come in. I think I used them all in the first 2 days of ownership, just because of the fun colors and sizes. They made me look for excuses to "need" that tiny little blue bowl or that slightly-larger-but-not-quite-mixing-bowl-category red bowl. The huge one is a pretty putrid shade of green though. 

I like that they are somewhat taller and narrower than my previous very broad, wide set. It makes them easier to handle.

All this is to say I should actually be planning out this week's menu so the bowls have a purpose, other than holding the Cheerios and salad that are currently the only things available.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One reason I should at least consider getting a dog

It's usually pretty apparent if you've swept the floor after dinner in our house or not.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Packing light(er)

We don't ever approach packing light with 3 little kids and all the stuff that goes with that, but there are 2 helpful things that helped us save a little room and be a bit more organized on our last camping trip.

I have my mom to thank for the first tip: Take things out of their original packages. The oatmeal photo shown here illustrates why.

The second tip I learned from a parent of triplets: Pack a complete outfit for each child in a gallon ziplock bag for each day. It was a lot of plastic bags, but they compressed really nicely, helped us be ultra-organized when grabbing clothes in the tent, and are reusable for our next trip.

Anyone else have good space-saving tips for our next camping trip? We're toying with an overnight bike-camping idea. For one night, we might even skip the whole cooking thing. A guaranteed space-saver.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

God Bless America my cooking dreams have come true

Husband found this product on the Sam's Club website. It's food for a year. Sure, it's supposed to be an emergency supply, but I'm thinking what a beautiful thing! Cheap, and little menu planning required. Even comes with a wheat grinder! Customer reviews are, uh, interesting. Makes me want to watch The Road again.

Here's what you get for your $887.00:

Total of 85 #10 (institutional size) cans, which are: 

Grains, Oats & Rice

  • 3 Long Grain White Rice (47 servings per can)

  • 9 Hard White Wheat (54 servings per can)

  • 2 Quick Rolled Oats (25 servings per can)

  • 3 Elbow Macaroni (23 servings per can)


  • 6 Dehydrated Potato Dices (22 servings per can)

  • 3 Freeze Dried Sweet Corn (15 servings per can)

  • 3 Dehydrated Sweet Peas (13 servings per can)

  • 2 Dehydrated Chopped Onions (653 servings per can)

  • 1 Freeze Dried Broccoli Florets & Stems (20 servings per can)

  • 3 Pinto Beans (47 servings per can)

  • 3 Lentils (49 servings per can)

  • 1 Dehydrated Diced Red & Green Bell Peppers (141 servings per can)

  • 1 Dehydrated Cross Cut Celery (42 servings per can)

  • 1 Dehydrated Carrot Dices (27 servings per can)


  • 3 Freeze Dried Apple Dices (11 servings per can)

  • 3 Freeze Dried Whole Strawberries (22 servings per can)

  • 1 Freeze Dried Whole Raspberries (20 servings per can)

  • 3 Honey Coated Banana Slices (21 servings per can)


  • 3 100% Country Fresh Instant Milk (39 servings per can)

  • 3 Chocolate Morning Moo’s® Low Fat Milk Alternative (61 servings per can)

  • 3 Cheese Blend Powder (45 servings per can)


  • 6 Vegetarian Meat Substitute Bacon (flavored) (188 servings per can)

  • 3 Vegetarian Meat Substitute Beef (flavored) (40 servings per can)

  • 3 Vegetarian Meat Substitute Chicken (flavored) (45 servings per can)

  • 3 Vegetarian Meat Substitute Taco (flavored) (33 servings per can)

  • 6 Dried Whole Eggs (56 servings per can)


  • 1 Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix (52 servings per can)

  • 1 Blueberry Muffin Mix (48 servings per can)

  • 2 Buttermilk Pancake Mix (24 servings per can)

    Misc Item

  • Wheat Grinder