Friday, July 31, 2009
Ingredient ~ Substitute
1 Tbsp snipped fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, basil, etc) ~ 1 tsp same herb, dried, or 1/4 tsp powdered or ground
1 tsp dry mustard ~ 2 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp poultry seasoning ~1/4 tsp thyme + 3/4 tsp sage
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice ~ 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed ~ 1/8-1/4 tsp instant minced garlic, or 1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 medium onion ~ 2 Tbsp instant chopped or minced onion or onion flakes, or 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 medium lemon ~ 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 medium orange ~ 1/4-1/3 cup orange juice (fresh or reconstituted frozen)
white wine ~ equal amount of apple juice or cider, or equal amount chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup chicken broth ~ 1 tsp instant bouillon or bouillon cube + 1 cup hot water
Simply Things Family. Lisa's blog focuses on helps for you and your family. I love her idea on making Back-to-School Binders.
I feel very honored, grateful, and humbled by the blog award. I certainly haven't written any of my posts with the hope & dream of winning a blog award. Far from it. Instead, I write my blog simply because I love sharing with others some of the tips and tricks I've learned over the years that have helped me to balance every little aspect of my life that makes me who I am and who my Heavenly Father wants me to be.
I will pass this my friend Robyn and her blog Robyn Bobbin Bo Bobbin. I've known Robyn and her husband from 'back in the days of college. We recently reconnected on Facebook, where I learned about Robyn's blog. She is a very crafty person, and by crafty I mean creative! Her blog is filled with card-making and stamping ideas, as well as kid-friendly crafts, like making a Harry Potter wand with paper, glue & paint, as well as string art and faux stained glass art.
I'm also passing the award over to Hannah & Abby over at Safely Gathered In. One of my on-going projects is building our long-term food storage. I don't write much about it, but that's mostly my fault because I just never think about it. These ladies help you gather goodies for your 72-hour kits, short-term and long-term storage, and provide recipes, how-to's, and free printables. One of my favorite posts is How To Make a Cardboard Oven. We plan on using this technique on future camping trips.
If you get a chance, please take a look at these two blog sites and give them a "shout out". They've got a lot of great helps for you and your family, and they certainlyhave One Lovely Blog!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Not knowing if it was a poisonous creature or not, I did what any sane gardener would do--I cut off the leaf this little bugger was hanging onto.
Then I took a picture.
After a bit more research, I learned that the white egg things are actually parasitic Braconid Wasp larvae. So long as the tomato worm continues to feed on leaves and tomatoes and such, the wasp larvae will grow in their little cocoon, eventually chewing their way out and flying off into adulthood to find an unsuspecting tomato worm in which to lay eggs for the next generation of wasps. So, in a way, the wasps are actually good because they will consume their host tomato worm, who will not be able to perpetuate the species.
If you find tomato worms on your vegetable plants, there are a few options you can select from to get rid of them. You can do what I do, and simply pluck them off. Toss them far away from your garden into the yard for a bird to find, destroy them with your shoe, or some other similar means. However, tomato worms typically feed at night, so you might find it difficult to find them unless you try doing this in the evening or early morning. And they make for great camouflage, unless covered in the wasp larvae, in which case they are easy to spot.
You can also try to deter the tomato worm by spraying a mixture of liquid ivory soap, water & vegetable oil on your plants, or dust your plants with some red pepper. You will have to reapply these deterrents periodically as rain will wash them off. There's also Bacillus thuringiensis, which can be sprayed on the plants. It will not harm humans, but it will attack the digestive system of some insects.
More info about tomato worms, click here or here. And good luck! I found two more tomato worms this evening after coming home, and I'm sure there will be more when I wake up in the morning. I'll be heading out there with a flashlight when the sun comes up.
Dairy products are very easily substituted if you are missing a partiular dairy ingredient. Now the list below is substituting dairy products with another kind of dairy product. I'm not including dairy-free substitutions in this particular post.
Ingredient ~ Substitute
1 cup whole milk ~ 1/2 cup evaporated milk + 1/2 cup water, or 1 cup nonfat milk or reconstituted nonfat dry milk + 2 tsp butter or oil
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk ~ 1 Tbsp cider vinegar or lemon juice + enough milk to equal 1 cup; let stand 5 minutes
1 cup dairy sour cream ~ 1 cup plain yogurt, or 1 cup evaporated milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar, or 1 cup cottage cheese mixed in a blender with 2 Tbsp milk and 1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup half-and-half ~ 7/8 cup milk + 3 Tbsp margarine or butter, or 1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup plain yogurt ~ 1 cup sour milk, or 1 cup buttermilk
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
German Pork Roast
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp stone-ground mustard (I used dijon mustard)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano (I used 1 Tbsp fresh oregano from my garden)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp rosemarry, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
1 boneless whole pork loin roast, 3-4lbs (my roast was probably 1.5lbs)
4 medium potatoes, peeled & cut into wedges (I used 3 potatoes)
3 medium onions, cut into wedges (I just used one onion)
1 medium yellow tomato, cut into wedges (I used a red roma tomato)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks (not in recipe, but I added them anyways)
In a small bowl, combine the oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard & seasonings. Rub over roast. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes, onions & tomatoes to the pan; bake 40-70 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160 F and vegetables are tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Since my roast and the amount of vegetables was a lot less, I went ahead & added the vegetables to the roasting pan instead of baking the roast first without the veggies. I tried to adjust my cooking time, figuring a smaller roast didn't have to cook as long. But strangely enough, the roast and the veggies simply did not want to cook up. After about 45 minutes, the meat & veggies started looking a little parched. So I added about 1/2 cup water to the roasting pan and covered loosely with a sheet of foil, then put back into the oven. In about 15 minutes or so, everything was completely done and smelled heavenly. After cooling, I sliced the meat up, then put everything into a gallon-size freezer bag and stuck in the freezer. I thawed it in the fridge for about 36 hours and heated it in the microwave.
Let me tell you, this tasted fantastic! All the flavors blended together so well. Nothing was overpowering, even the tomato tasted like it belonged. I would have never thought to add a tomato to a roast on my own, nor would I have ever guessed there was lemon juice and mustard in the rub had I not added them myself. It was a really good meal! I'll definitely add this meal to our list of favorites. Too bad I was the only one who got to try it!
And here it's been sitting ever since. *sigh*
So I promised myself that one of the projects that I would do while hubs was vacationing in Minnesota was put away the Easter decorations.
And if you don't believe me, here's a couple pics of some of the decorations still up on display.
Yes, I am still very, very embarrassed about this. But I got it done! It took me just 30 minutes to take everthing down, wrap up the breakables, put it all in the tote, and back into the attic. Whew!! I couldn't help but think, "why didn't I do this sooner?!!"
To all of you who still have your Christmas tree up, I salute you!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Ingredient ~ Substitute
1 ounce (1 square) unsweetened chocolate ~ 3 Tbsp cocoa powder + 1 Tbsp shortening or margarine
1 ounce (1 square) semisweet chocolate ~ 1 square unsweetened chocolate + 1 Tbsp sugar or 3 Tbsp semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate piece for melting ~ 3 ounces (3 squares) semisweet chocolates
For baking substitutions, click here.
- Lacoste Perfume Sample here
- Sign up here for a free trial bag of ORGANIX Dog or Cat food
- Refer your friends for a sample of Airborne here and receive a sample for yourself as well
- Over here you can get a sample of Grandma El's Diaper Rash Remedy
- Free PureVia Zero Calorie Sweetener Sample and Coupons here
- Visit a museum for free on Sept. 26, 2009. For details, click here.
- Ringling Bros.--click here to get a free circus ticket & personalized certificate for babies under 12 months. Or children over 1 year old, you can get a personalized Ringling Bros. Commemorative Certificate
Monday, July 27, 2009
That has certainly become quite a habit, which you may have noticed in many of the recipes I've posted lately. I've learned that I don't always have to follow the recipe exactly as stated. I've learned that there are substitutions out there! If I don't like something, or I don't have it on hand, I can use something else that I do have, or leave it out altogether. This is a really convenient method for reducing your grocery expenses (i.e. why use fresh ginger when there's a perfectly good version of ground ginger in the pantry?).
Over the next few weeks, I'll post a variety of my favorite substitutions for you, listed by various categories. Please note that sometimes best results are achieved using the ingredients that are called for in the recipe. Your recipe results may vary slightly, but my experience has een that I usually enjoy the altered version as much as if not better than the original recipe.
Without further rambling, here's the first in the series:
Ingredient ~ Substitution
1 tsp baking powder ~ 1/2 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup honey ~ 1 1/4 cups sugar + 1/4 cup water OR 1 cup molasses
1 cup corn syrup ~ 1 cup sugar + 1/4 cup water
1 cup cake flour ~ 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour minus 2 Tbsp
All-purpose flour ~ an equal amount of whole wheat flour can be substituted in some breads, cookies & bars; texture will be coarser
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs ~ 1/4 cp cracker crumbs or 1 slice bread, cubed or 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
1 whole egg ~ for custards and puddings, 2 egg yolks; for cookies & bars, 2 egg yolks + 1 Tbsp water; liquid egg substitutes may sometimes be used
Baked Ham With Marvelous Mango Chutney (my version)
1/3 picnic ham, cut into thick slices
1 fresh mango, peeled and cut into 1-2" chunks
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 small box raisins
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a small baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of baking dish with ham slices. Mix remaining ingredients into a small bowl; pour over ham. Cover baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes or until ham slices are cooked through. If freezing: allow ham and chutney to cool, then place in gallon-size freezer bag, squeeze out air, seal & freeze. Thaw 24 hours in refrigerator. Heat ham in microwave; serve chutney cold (or heat up if you want; I served mine cold).
Since I was using a small amount of ham for this recipe, I cut the chutney ingredients from the original recipe in half (the half portion is posted in the ingredients list up above). I must say that this turned out better than I expected. Now I wasn't too keen on the vinegar and mango, a little too sharp for my taste buds...but the raisins tasted fabulous and my daughter chowed down on those. I'm not a big fan of vinegar, and it just didn't work for me in this recipe. So if I make this again in the future, I think I'll just cut the vinegar amount down to something more like 1 Tbsp.
Marinated Shrimp on the Barbie
1/2 cup soy sauce or teriyaki sauce
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion (I didn't have any on freezer meal day, so I used regular onion)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (you could substitute garlic powder if you don't have any fresh)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or 2 tsp dried cilantro
2 tsp ground ginger
1 pound shelled, devined, uncooked medium shrimp
In a medium bowl, stir together soy sauce or teriyaki, vinegar & honey. Stir in onions, garlic, cilantro & ginger. Add shrimp; stir to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate 30 minutes, stirring once. Or if freezing: Place shrimp mixture into a freezer bag, squeeze out air, seal & freeze. Thaw in refrigerator 24 hours (this will marinate your shrimp). Remove shrimp from marinade; discard marinade. Heat grill. Place shrimp on 4 skewers. Place on gas grill over medium-high heat or on charcoal grill 4-6 inches from medium-high coals. Grill 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning once.
We loved this recipe. Baby Girl ate every bite of her shrimp. Although, next time, I will follow the recipe directions & discard the marinade. It is STRONG! The shrimp and marinade smelled so good. I decided not to put the shrimp on skewers, and instead made a foil bowl and put the shrimp & marinade into that. I put the foil bowl onto the grill. I cringe just thinking about the taste of that marinade. There's a reason why a recipe says "discard marinade"!! I've learned my lesson...I think. Other than that, it was really delicious! The evidence was in my daughter's tummy. :)
Monday--Baked Ham With Marvelous Mango Chutney, Peas
Tuesday--Chicken Stir-Fry, Cantaloupe
Wednesday--German Pork Roast & Root Vegetables (from Taste of Home: April & May 2009)
Friday--German Pork Roast & Root Vegetables
Yes, I will be eating this meal twice this week. With hubs being out of town, and Baby Girl will be spending the night at her G-ma's house 3 nights this week, I figured that I might as well repurpose a meal or two this week.
Saturday--Stir-Fried Shrimp & Pea Pods, Rice
Sunday--Old World Manicotti, Garlic Bread
For hundreds of menu plans, visit OrgJunkie.com!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Slow-Cooked Pork Tacos
1 lb boneless sirloin roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp apricot preserves
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Dash hot pepper sauce
Toppings of your choice (we used a little sour cream)
In a 3-qt slow cooker, combine all ingredients, excluding tortillas & toppings. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until meat is very tender. Shred pork with two forks. If freezing: Place pork mixture into a gallon-size freezer bag and freeze; thaw at least 24 hours in refrigerator; heat in microwave.
The apricot preserves definitely added an interesting twist to the smoking cumin flavor. However, I don't think I'll add apricot anything to this recipe in the future. It just detracted too much from the whole pork taco flavors. Maybe I was just spoiled the first time I made this. Baby girl kept insisting all day long that she was hungry, even after eating breakfast, lunch, and snacks inbetween. Her "tummy was still hungry" as I was preparing super. But she ate only one bite of her taco and told me she didn't like it. Then she insisted that she was full. Then 5 minutes later, as we were on our way out the door to go grocery shopping, she proceeded to tell me that she was hungry.
Friday, July 24, 2009
The recipe for tonight's meal came from the American Heart Association. Been a long time since I last made it, and since I bought chicken strips for a really good deal (about $1.20) at Food Lion, I figured it would be a good meal to make. Click here for the original recipe. My version is below.
Chicken Fingers With Dipping Sauces
1 pound chicken tenders, all visible fat discarded
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried basil, crumbled
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
Crack egg open into a medium-size bowl and whisk slightly. Dip chicken tenders into egg and set aside. Heat 3 Tbsp of oil into a large skillet on medium heat. Mix remaining ingredients into a medium-size bowl. Take chicken out of egg bowl and dip into bread crumbs mixture. Coat real good, then put chicken into skillet with hot oil. Cook chicken about 7 minutes per side or until nice & golden brown and juices run clear.
I know. I was SOOO bad cooking these in oil in a skillet! I've never done that before. Never ever fried chicken. But I was kinda' in a hurry on freezer meal cooking day and oddly enough did not have patience to wait on this to bake. So I thought I'd give it a shot and fry 'em up in the skillet. I didn't use a lot of oil, so they certainly weren't deep-fried. And I made sure to let them sit on some paper towels to get the oil off real good. After cooling off, I placed the chicken fingers in a gallon-size freezer bag, squeezed out the air, sealed the bag up & froze them. Then pulled them out yesterday to thaw in the frig 24 hours. Heated up in the microwave about 30 seconds (didn't heat them all up, just enough for baby girl and I). For the "sauces", I used honey mustard and ketchup. Fancy schmancy stuff, I know! But it worked and we were able to sit down to a hot & delicious homecooked meal in record time!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I added the grill due to this meal being a "grilled" meal. I did not freeze the chicken, since I planned it for this evening's meal, just a few days after the freezer meal cooking day. However, it still worked out because it was cooked in advance and I simply heated it in the microwave. A big time saver. Although, it wouldn't matter tonight because I'm flying solo. Hubs, his dad, and my son are about 40 miles outside of Indianapolis as I write this, on their way to visit family and go fishing in Minnesota. My daughter is spending the night with her grandma. Nice having a quiet evening at home, but I'm sad to be all alone. Thank goodness for the blogging community to keep me company!
I got this recipe from Startsampling. I tried to stay as close as possible to the recipe, but made a modification or two. Here's my version (I made a half batch):
Grilled Citrus Chicken
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp grated orange peel
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
In shallow bowl, mix all ingredients except chicken. Add chicken; turn to coat with marinade. Cover dish and refrigerate, turning chicken occasionally, at least 2 hours. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Remove chicken from marinade; reserve marinade. Place chicken on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 15 to 20 minutes, turning chicken once (so you get real good grill marks on each side). Brush chicken with marinade occasionally, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut.
I have the Old World Manicotti recipe that I got from you a long time ago and we make it often. How do you make it without cheese, though??
I think it's brilliant that you do this. Do you have a big spare freezer that you put all these meals in? How long does it usually take you to do all the cooking, and the cleaning up afterwards?
Simply Things Family said...
That is great! I will have to get organized and try sometime.
Thanks everyone for your questions & comments--keep them coming!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Mixed Vegetables--$0.50 (used half a bag that was bought on sale for $1)
Cantaloupe--$0.25 (bought a super large cantaloupe on sale for $.99; we ate most of it Sunday night and used the rest up tonight)
4 frozen biscuits--These 4 biscuits have been in the freezer so long, I couldn't tell you how much they originally cost me. That's free in my book.
Total cost -- $2.75
For more frugal dinner ideas, visit Erin at $5 Dinners!
- ► 2010 (216)
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