So here I am, thanks Snowball. It's been awhile since I had more to say than, "My thumb is healing" ;) Thanks for all your thoughts and well wishes! Also thanks for your prayers for "D", this young man talks nightly to my daughter on the phone and did prior to his mom's death, so even though we are glad he lives more than an hour drive from us we have felt close to the situation. Reading all my fav food blogs and the great food being prepared while I have been on the "sit and mend" has been ..... actually quite inspiring. I now know at least 200 more dishes that I want to cook soon. April 6th I go back to the doctor for an x-ray and anticipate a mended fracture and a freed thumb. Then I will get the fun job of exercising the stiff digit back into shape. This is also the same day I intend to plant my Yukon Gold potatoes.
GOOD NEWS HERE!
My honey's last day with his current position is today, he has been promoted to a position of more responsibility. Yes, a good thing for us and something that he has been hoping for. My oldest sis always has a nice supply of free hotel stays due her frequent traveler and flier miles, so she booked us a mini getaway to celebrate not only his promotion but the new contract I was offered and signed for next school year (new location with new exciting things to teach and a new FCCLA chapter to start and advise). After a Friday night hot tub time and some eats that I am packing for supper, tomorrow we intend to do a little shopping including stopping at Penzey's to stock up on my favorite spices. I also plan to purchase a few garden seeds (peas, turnips, kale) as well as a few onions sets and plants (broccoli, cauliflower, etc).
Everyone in my family is experiencing new, new, new. We attended a college visitation with my oldest, Matthew, and were very pleased with what we saw. He will continue in a computer science program and will attempt dorm living there next year. For most kids this is a big deal, but Matthew has had many obstacles to overcome to get this far. Although we are not on easy street, this step is a doozy that we all feel can be a successful one. My baby, Melissa, is running the two mile in track, singing and dancing in show choir and is planning to go to a dance this evening. *Sigh* I'm proud of her and all she does, but this growing up stuff makes me emotional!
Now on to eats....
PRESERVING THE HARVEST (tomatoes, part 2)
I did make a batch of spaghetti sauce using tomatoes from my freezer right before I broke my thumb. Here is a picture. I do pressure can it and blogged about doing this in August last year. This time I made enough sauce to can, but then everyone here got in a big tomato sauce eating mood, plus I decided to try Fat Free Vegan's No Cook Noodle Lasagna (pictured below) which used up the last of the pasta sauce I had.
MY SAUCE RECIPE (copied from the August post linked above):
- Inspired by Bryanna Clark Grogan's . . . I used Brian's Wine- Free Mushroom Tomato Sauce on page 44 of the Nonna's Italian Kitchen Cookbook. I did add 1 cup of TVP granules and 2 tsp Bill's Best Beefy flavored bouillon powder to this. I reduced the cooking time since the TVP soaks up some of the extra liquid which does not need to evaporate during the long simmer process... I also only simmered for about 1 1/2 hours since I knew I would pressure can it and it would cook for another 1 1/2 hours there.
My St Patty's Day feast was a couple of days later since we were out of town the 17th, but this was enjoyed just the same. I purchased some fresh spinach leaves that needed to have the last few in the bag used up, yet they were not edible as a salad anymore so I decided that a lime smoothie (link to recipe) on this special day was in order. Here you see my smoothie along with a plate of Bryanna's chik'n cutlets that I made in my crock pot. They were good and easy, I removed them from the crockpot and onto a plate to cool. Well, all but one... with that one I made a breakfast sandwich and ate it immediately with my smoothie.
I have small freezer bags of turnip and kale greens (cooked down, ready to thaw and use) in my freezer. In my attempt to use these up because I will have more around the first of June (weather cooperating) .... which I definitely will NOT want to eat from my freezer when I have fresh garden produce available. I have been thawing the small snack size bags in my frig and then taking out the greens to chop up and add to soups and stir fries. I did freeze a batch of garlic seasoned greens using a recipe from Dreena's book that I will probably thaw, heat in a pan, and eat as a meal side. This picture is a potato stir fry using the greens. Simple, yet flavorful. I think if I make it again I will add cooked white beans. This is served along side a slice of whole grain toast with apple butter.
Last bit of March cooking.....
CABBAGE (of course) ... Although I didn't make the traditional Irish feast like I did last year, I have been chopping a lot of cabbage.
Fairly odd tofu mom posted about her fav THAI SALAD... I made this recipe twice in the last month. It is beautiful and tasty - I love it. The picture is of a dish of it I took for lunch. It is topped with some sesame seed twigs. The recipe is posted on her blog, click the thai salad word to get to it. You can see my mending thumb here also, the poor thing is purple and usually cold, but lately the right color is beginning to come back which is a good sign of circulation and proper healing. The wrap continues down onto my wrist to keep it in the proper place to mend.
I also made a simple salad in which I add fruit to, I never measure, just chop whatever and put my fav basic cole slaw dressing on it.
SWEET/ SOUR MAYO DRESSING
I like this best on broccoli salad, shredded carrot salad, and cole slaw. Just whisk it smooth in the small magic blender cup. Combine:
1/2 C favorite lite mayo
2-3 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp KAL brand stevia extract powder
APPLES (they are an Irish Thing too!):
The bakehouse has an apple tree that bears fruit every second year. Last year was one of them. I made some s/f free (stevia sweetened) apple pie filling. Although I had some grand ideas on what I could do with this, so far I have been enjoying it straight from the jar or warmed and topped with some cold vanilla soy yogurt and granola. Someday I want to make small hand held pies with it. Here's my granola and yogurt topped treat:
Last, but not lease, here's a picture of the cat we are still fostering for the PALS organization. SOPHIE is adoptable. She was the mother of the second batch of kittens we fostered and found homes for around Thanksgiving. She is cuddling up on my rocking chair, such a sweet kitty.
For now I hope everyone is enjoying their spring recess (if you have one) and is staying safe from the tragic path of tornadoes that recently ripped through a section of the Midwest. We have had some absolutely wonderful weather here... today a bit chilly with drizzle (blustery), but early this week we were sitting in the 80's!