Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Planting a garden

Spring has sprung and it's time to plant your garden. Even if you don't have a lot of land for a big garden you can plant in pots on your patio, or small areas of the yard. Just make sure you have enough sun light and plenty of water drainage.
I have planted 16 hills of potato's, 11 broccoli plants, 9 brussel sprout plants, two rows of radishes, 1 row of white onions, 1 row of red onions, 9 turnip plants, and one red cabbage plant. I have pots on the porch with lettuce in them also. Some of these plants are new to growing for me, but I thought it would be fun to try them out. I always plant potato's. Rule of thumb is you should plant them on St. Patrick's Day ( that is in Virginia). All of these plants I have planted are cold weather plants, they like the cold weather and do well.
When the dogwood trees bloom is the time to plant your summer plants. Like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, green beans, etc. Make sure there is no threat of frost in your area.
Gardening is a lot of fun for me. I love to taste the fresh vegetables from my garden all year long. Hopefully this will be a good year for gardening and I can "preserve" a lot of food for the winter.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Today was my first real freezer cooking day. I experimented some a few weeks ago, but only made a couple of things. My sister came over today to cook with me. She has four children, her and her husband. For me it's just my daughter and I. Needless to say she took most of the food home with her. We had a lot of fun and help from her two year old and four year old. We made all of this is 5 hours.
Here is a list of things we made:

Lasagna (4 meals )
Stuffed Shells ( 4 meals )
Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
Cheerio energy bars
Breakfast burritos (3 meals )
Beef and bean burritos ( 3 meals )
Whole Wheat Waffles ( 4 meals )
Homemade Turkey Sausage ( 2 meals )
Meatballs ( 2 meals )
Home made wheat tortillas ( used for burritos)

Not bad for beginners. My sister is not big on home cooking, she would eat out every meal if she could afford to. Me on the other hand, I LOVE cooking. I also like to have control of what I'm eating. We'll see how long this food last us and how well it helps out our families. Maybe we can make this a monthly tradition.
I would like to have made more "meals" but ran out of ideas, my family and my sisters, would eat. Do you have any great freezer meals recipes? I would love to try some new ones.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Childhood obesity is an epidemic in our country. We need to feed our kids healthier school lunches. Congress is getting ready to update the Child Nutrition Act. Please help us and send a letter to your legislators telling them we want better food in our schools. Slow Food USA has launched Time For Lunch campaign. Let's all rally behind them and help our kids live longer, healthier lives.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Time to plant your garden!!

March is planting time for potatoes, broccoli, radishes, onions, and lettuce. Today I will be getting out the tiller and working in my garden. I hope to expand it this year. We cut down some trees beside the garden and waiting for tree guy to come and get rid of the stumps. Stay tuned for pictures of my days work. Hopefully I can get my daughter out there helping me. Pray for me on that one :)

Time to plant your garden

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The end results of Freezer Cooking

That was pretty painless. It only took me 2 1/2 hours from start to finish to make the breakfast burritos and the brown bag burritos and whole wheat tortillas.

Whole Wheat Tortillas:
2 Tbsp. melted butter
4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Pour both ingredients into a liquid measuring cup, and then fill it to the 1 1/2 cup mark using tap water.
Measure 4 cups whole wheat flour into a large mixing bowl.
Pour liquid into the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon, then use your hands to work the liquid all the way through the flour.
Cover the bowl with a damp towel and then cover that with a dry towel. Let it sit out on your counter overnight or for at least 10 hrs, but no longer than 24.
The next day, work 1 tsp. salt into the dough, kneading on a lightly floured surface.
Form into a ball, then cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for about 1/2 an hour.
Using a serrated knife, cut the dough in half and half again and half again until you get about 24 equal portions. Roll the dough into little balls.
Roll the dough out as thin as you can. These are kinda small- about 6" round. If you want bigger tortillas, make larger balls of dough.
Cook in skillet for 30 seconds on one side. Transfer to plate to cool.
I make the bigger ones for my burritos, makes approx. 12-12" tortillas.
I really wish I knew what blog I found this recipe from. It is a great one. Thank you mystery tortilla maker.

I used Heavenly Homemakers recipe for the turkey sausage. This is the best sausage I have ever had. Follow her recipe for the breakfast burritos here. I can't wait to go to the store and get some more turkey to make this sausage. Yum!

For the Brown bag burritos, I changed the recipe up a little, because I was missing some of the ingredients. Here is my version.

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 package enchilada sauce mix
2 cans black beans
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
1 cup water
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
Brown beef and onion, drain. Return beef and onion to skillet and add black beans, water, garlic powder, salt and oregano. Cover and simmer 15-20 mins. Add cheese at the last 5 mins. Spoon 3/4 cup beef mixture on tortilla. Wrap it up with foil. Freeze or eat. Enjoy!!

I really like both of these recipes. I will be making them alot around here now. Hopefully my daughter will like them also.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Make your own starter pots

March is here and so is the time for starting your seeds indoors. I usually buy those starter pots that you transfer straight to the ground, but they can get expensive.
If you are like me and have alot of newspaper lying around, turn them into starter pots. You can transfer them straight to the ground. Most of the ink that the paper uses are made of soy so it won't hurt your plants.

Take one side of your newspaper and cut it in half. Wrap the newspaper around a can (chicken noodle soup works great) There will be approx. 1 1/2 inches hanging over the bottom. Fold that in four times and push the can down the mash it together. Pull out your can and voila, you have a starter pot. I would put these in a plastic tray filled with dirt your favorite seeds.

My seed list: Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Squash and Peppers
What will you plant?

Freezer Cooking

This will be my first attempt of freezer cooking. I am not going to do a months worth of meals, only a few meals, to start. It is only my daughter and I so we don't need alot of food, but some how I usually spend $200 a month in groceries.($400 worth of groceries, I usually save 50% or more). Alot of the great deals get donated to the food bank or my sisters family of six.

To start I will be making Homemade Turkey Sausage which I'll turn into Homemade Breakfast Burritos.

Then I'll make Brown Bag Burritos, which I make my own whole wheat burritos. I can't remember what blog I found this recipe from but it is delicious. (will post recipe tomorrow along with pic)

Stay tuned tomorrow for some great pictures and the end results.