Sunday, August 21, 2016

Olive Cheese Ball, Cheap Recipes

This cheese ball is a big hit with minimal time invested to make it.  If the items are bough on sale it's can be considered a cheap recipe.   Because the olives are the major taste, a cheaper cream cheese can be used without deterring from the finished product. This recipe makes two.

16 ounces cream cheese
1 can black olives, chopped into small pieces
1 jar green olives, chopped into small pieces
garlic powder to taste
hot sauce to taste

Mix all ingredients together.  Form into a ball and wrap in cellophane.  Refrigerate until used.  Serve with crackers and fruit on the side.

In The Kitchen With Angie (And Other Things)

I broke a rule and went out on Saturday.  The farm market was smaller than I remember it being last year.  Let me qualify that statement.  We have two locations.  One is close to my house and the other location is between my house and my daughter's house.  Because I was going to my daughter's home, I stopped at the location that was between our homes.

I did find a farmer who was smart enough to offer bruised tomatoes at 4/ 1.00.  I scooped up four big ones to make a couple of sandwiches and use the rest for home made pasta sauce.  Those four tomatoes will provide two sandwiches and at least two pasta dishes.  I guess the cost for each would be .25 cents.  Not bad and makes me happy to use what others would think to be inferior foods.  The perfect tomatoes were selling for 1.00 each.

Also into my bag went five peaches that were priced at 3.00.  Sixty cents a peach is OK.  They were local (state) peaches so I scooped them up.

From the farm market I went to pick up my daughter for a trek to Wal Mart where she had to pick up glasses for her sons.  I returned two items and picked up a box of 12 individual packs of cookies for 4.00.  Each pack was .30 so it was a good deal as far as cookies I didn't need.  The original thought was to have them on hand for the grandchildren, but they may not last that long.

After dropping my daughter and her sons off I headed home.  Noticing the Intercostal Waterways bridge was up I detoured to the Dollar Tree instead of waiting in traffic while the boats passed through.  I was looking for one more white container for the pantry and was surprised to see only one white one on the shelves.  Snatched up and placed in the cart, I went on my way.  I also picked up two other items - a spool of plaid ribbon to make a bow and sour patch kids for the grandchildren.

Heading home took a few minutes with a total of 11.00 spent.  The items I returned totaled close to 28.00.

The rest of the afternoon was spent eating a tomato sandwich, removing two of the cucumber plants from the garden, watching BBC documentaries and a quick nap.  The evening ended with a daily call from a friend with lots of laughter and a good night call from my daughter.

Remember the flour I canned?  I wanted to test it out in a recipe so I made ginger cookies with it.  The cookies came out delicious, but I will not can flour again.  It became lumpy and difficult to break up.  I'll use what I have so it won't waste, but not repeat the process. I did have fun experimenting though.

Another experiment was making up a small batch of pancake batter that didn't need anything added but water to make the pancakes.  I did add mild and eggs for a good protein source   This experiment was successful.

I did make one other trip to the book store on Thursday.  My daughter and I bought our date books and we each found a cookbook that interested us.  The rest of Thursday was spent with S and her family as I stayed over night with her pup as my sleeping buddy.

How was your week spent?  Did you enjoy at least one thing this week?  Let us know in the comment section.

Stay safe.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Food. Glorious Food

I planned to go to the farm market this morning, but I can't seem to muster up the enthusiasm to go out into the 107 degree heat index weather.  The humidity is great for my plants, but not humans.

I was in a store with my daughter S two days ago and felt ill.  The store had air conditioning, but I feel they were trying to save money because it was pretty warm in there.  I thought I ate something that didn't agree with me at the time.  After I was in the air conditioned vehicle I began to feel good again.  Since then I have only gone out briefly in the evenings to water the plants and briefly in the early morning to pick anything that needed to be harvested.

The cucumber plants love the heat.  I have quite a few to process that have been picked the last two days. 

I guess I have a project to finish this weekend.

Since it's so hot meals have been light.  Oatmeal with raisins and milk for breakfast or a bowl of cheerios with bananas and milk.  Lunches and dinners are mostly made up of veggies and fruit with peanut butter toast for protein.  Lots of water to stay hydrated and staying in the cool house will hopefully keep me healthy.

A while back I got 15 pounds of free flour.  The bags first went into the freezer then into the refrigerator to be stored until they were used.  I haven't been baking because it's summer and I am not in the mood.  So.... I canned the flour in the oven!  Fifteen pounds of flour fit into 4 two quart jars along with 2 one quart jars.  Since it was a new found skill I had lots of fun doing it.  One minor detail.  The jars were suppose to be in the oven on low heat for 2 hours, but a nap happened and they were in there 3 hours.  This weekend I plan to open one of the smaller jars to use in a ginger cookie recipe to check out if I can still use the flour.

The resulting mess when I tamped down a full jar.

The jars were hot so I used cloth
between the cool counter and glass
jar to prevent any cracking of
the glass.

In the oven at 215 F.

The finished product.  I learned this is
a lost art that our ancestors used to preserve
foods.  Only to be used on dry goods.

Stay safe!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Chicken Stock, Cheap Recipes

Chicken stock is the easiest food to make.  You buy bone in chicken -on sale.  You cook chicken.  You save the bones, either in the freezer or refrigerator, depending on when you plan to make the stock.

Grab a pan or the crock pot, place the bones and cover them with water.  Cook on low heat for an hour or two.  That's it.  Mine simmered for two hours and I watched that the water didn't evaporate.  The trick is low heat.

I strained the broth from the bones by using a sieve with cheese cloth.  I have done it a number of times without the cheese cloth and it works fine.  Place the bowl of broth in the refrigerator to get cold.  By doing this the fat rises to the top and solidifies.  Using a spoon scrape the fat off and discard.

You may find lots of small pieces of chicken fell off the bones.  This can be used in a soup or stew.

With one whole chicken three to four meals can be had.  Roasted in the oven or crock pot, sandwiches, broth for mushroom soup, (or soup of choice), and chicken soup.

The broth is virtually free.  I might add it's also nutritional.  Hands on time is about seven minutes in total.

This batch gelled a bit which is a
very good thing.  Sometimes it
comes out like a thin fluid, others
it gels.  I'm not sure why the
difference, though.

The uses for the broth can be endless when imagination is used.  I use it to cook the rice a roonie mix, mushroom soup, and as a base for a roast in the crock pot.  I'd be interested in hearing what my readers could add to this small list.  I'm always up to learning new things.

Stay safe.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

This Must be the Quickest Craft Ever, Mrs. Erica

I was watching yoo toob videos this morning and clicked on to what has become one of my favorite channels - Mrs. Erica You Tube.  I've traded in Nikki's channel for Mrs. Erica.  The former channel is not only getting commercialized, the style used is becoming rather sterile.  But, Mrs. Erica's style and the style I'm most comfortable with are very close.  There's nothing like a bit of wood to offer the feeling of warmth to a home.

I'm attaching Mrs. Erica's video posted this morning so you can see the simple project she did that even I can accomplish with minimal know how.  I had the items needed at home and went directly to the office to do the project.  Retrieving the items, cleaning up, and doing the project took 10 minutes.

All I did was attach a black ribbon
on each end of the tray.

I checked using the tray for a cheese
snack.  I love it!

The vlogger used a round tray embellished with black and white ribbon that she took to work to display snacks for a meeting.  Mine will be used in the guest room for snacks as I am getting guests at the end of the month.

I encourage you to check out Mrs. Erica's video if you are interested in making simple craft items, see her activities, meet her family, and check out the grocery hauls. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Last Week's Accomplishments

Last week and this week were filled with activity.  I went to a social gathering and had three appointments.  While at a party my son in law asked me if I got some sun.  I certainly didn't mean to get some sun, but just being in the car and yard has tanned me.  It only takes 10 minutes for me to tan and it goes darker from there.

I seldom take pictures of myself, but I wanted
to try a 'selfie'.  I may have done it
wrong!!!!!  I let my hair go
natural grey.  I think I like it.

Accomplishments have been varied this past couple of weeks.  Since we've had torrential rains for three days, the garden has watered itself.  The rains in combination to the heat have produced enough cucumbers to make three more jars of pickles with enough in the refrigerator to make two more jars.  Today I have three jars to put in the fridge making the total to date seven jars.

I did take time out to watch a few yoo toob videos.  My favorite was called 'The Super Rich and Us'.  It explained  what happened from 2008 to the present to change the economic environment.  It seems those who had cash funds could afford to buy up companies and such therefore becoming very wealthy.  I guess this practice brings a new meaning to the term 'saving for a rainy day'!

I also watched a video about food in Italy.  I got so hungry watching it, I stopped the video and went to make some fresh pasta.  Paired with salt and pepper and cheese, I had a good meal with fresh tomatoes from the farmer's market.

The pasta dough went from this...

to this....

to this....

to yummy!

I spent time upstairs dusting and cleaning the bathroom.  Then I de-cluttered the office space putting aside papers that need to be shredded and filing others.  Some small items that no longer worked were thrown in the trash and the small craft stash was re located to a bigger covered bin that I found in a guest room.  The junk drawer was also de-cluttered and cleaned out.  How does such a small space get so filled with stuff I don't need or want?  I also cleaned out the cleaning supply caddy and organized it.  I have multiples of the wet and dry floor cloths that were purchased at the dollar store during spring.  They add two more cloths to the wet cloth package for their spring season 'sale'.

The cleaning caddy before...

and after

It's time to check out my gift closet and get a handle on Christmas gifts.  So I organized the gift closet and took some notes.  My son in law has been asking for socks since I met him as a Christmas gift.  I finally found a good sale on socks and picked him up a pack of ten.

I went to Wal Mart  because I needed a new phone and a fire box for important papers.  While there I also got a large hook to hang a new clock I bought a couple of weeks ago on sale for 60% off.  I though I bought it for the dining area, but I found a different place I like better for it.  It's a big one.  As a matter of fact, it's huge.

I have never had a clock in my home before.
I just use the one on the stove.  But,
this one I would consider is big
enough to make up for all the previous
years without one.

The car was vacuumed and the inside cleaned after our trip to New York.  I also paid a couple bills and balanced the checkbook.  The bedroom and laundry  room were dusted as well as the doors in the house and the floors in the bathrooms and laundry room were washed. 

I'm sad to say Willie had to go back to his shelter.  He was too strong for me and nearly toppled me on my face when he was excited to go outside.  He also liked freedom and accidently got out of the house and took off.  I couldn't go after him, but he did come back 'home'.  On the ride back to the shelter he cuddled into my chest, but when he got there he was excited to be back.  I think the shelter was home to him because he had been there so long.  He did return clean and fed.  I know they fed him, but he needed a bath and brushing very badly.  He got both in the few days he was with me.

What have you been up to?  I'd be happy to hear about your accomplishments.

Stay safe.