Simple Sunday

Perfect fall weather. The mornings are cool and days get warm. We still haven’t had any outdoor fires in the fire pit because of fire danger. We need some rain to do that.

Not now:(

Our walks are stress free since we’re the only ones there that early. The stars have been spectacular. Venus is very bright and Mars is quite red. We we’re leaving at 6 and the first person showed up so hopefully we can maintain this schedule. Frankly, it’s worth it to be out the door just a little earlier. As I said to B this morning, we can do it now but who knows the future. A year from now? or when I start Velcade? I may not be up to it so we might as well do this while we can.

This week is the Living room zone if you follow Flylady. I did ours including window washing. I need to do the outside windows this coming week. I try and do them each quarter. I use the outside bottle of windex that attaches to a hose. It works quite well.

Today is a mellow day without too much on the docket. I’m planning on soup for dinner with salad. Yesterday I prepped 15 baked potatoes( Costco, big bag) for double stuffed potatoes. That’s 30 halves. But when you pile it on you do get less. So I ended up with 20 halves. I left 4 out and froze the rest. The potatoes were really nice so if you’re in Costco, that’s a good buy. I guessing that’s because the harvest is happening in Idaho. Plus the value is incredible. 15 lbs of bakers for $5.69. I think down at the Holiday they are .99 a pound right now. Also, double stuffed potatoes freeze beautifully.

This coming week has some appts. I have a dental cleaning and we are tentatively going to Ikea to get 2 chairs for the sunporch. We’ll see. It depends how the week shapes up and my mood. The pantry from Ikea is still unavailable so that won’t be happening. But Ikea is fun and affordable.

Blue Skies

It feels like a miracle that the sky is blue. We even ate dinner out on the patio. A miracle!!!

I do hope that’s the last of the smoky skies and that the tired overworked firefighters get a break.

We both got our flu shots and both had headaches for most of the day. But it only lasted 1 day so not too bad. B also had his IGIV on Tuesday and I dropped him off and my daughter went 4 hours later to pick him up. After I dropped him off I went to Winco and spent $130. Not really prepper stuff, just food to use and eat now. Bread, cheese, canned chilis, Amys enchiladas,spinach, tofu, tea, and 3 different kinds of trail mix to snack on. There was other stuff but I can’t remember.

This morning I’m making a zucchini bread from one of the last zucchini from the garden. Most things are done although I have maybe one more big batch of tomatoes to cook and then put thru the food mill. If you ever have an abundance of tomatoes and want to can or freeze a food mill is the way to go. I think I bought mine years ago at Crate and Barrel maybe for $50. But it removes the skins and most seeds.

Yesterday I made applesauce from apples from our one tree. They are a Golden delicious. Again I cut and quartered and cored, then just cooked down. Then I put thru the food mill. I ended up with 5 pints and tomorrow I will do the next box. The apples aren’t as big as we’ve had in the past and I think one trick is to remove some apples when they are small so that the tree can put more energy into the remaining. I don’t know if this is true but seems logical.

Tonight is pizza night but no one feels like a pizza so we are maybe going to do sandwiches. This week I did make a few newish recipes. One was from Tassajara cooking,it was mushroom stroganoff. I had a lot of mushrooms to use up. It’s a good recipe. Then I made a chili relleno casserole that used eggs. It too was quite good. Right now we are getting an abundance of eggs from the girls so that recipe used 8 eggs. They are on the small side. Also, I’m experimenting with freezing the beaten eggs. I guess this is a real thing so I’ve done a few baggies and will defrost one this weekend and see how it goes. You basically do a light whip of the eggs. You don’t want a lot of air. Then you do add a pinch of salt. I’m quite curious if this will work for scrambled eggs.

The pine floor has been a complete PITA. Honestly, I told Barclay, I don’t remember it being a problem last time at all. This time, he’s had to redo 4 boards, then plane them down and now sanding. If I knew it was going to do this I would have just done a laminate in a pine pattern. Oh well, he’s almost ready to do the Varathane on top so that’s that.

Well, that’s all the news.

Oh wait, I just got the Woodward book from Amazon, so excited to read that today.

Frugal Friday

With the abundance of cherry tomatoes and Roma tomatoes, I’ve been making lots of salsa.

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First, I followed the Ball recipe for salsa to the letter and even with the added safety of a 1/8 of citric acid which is done to keep the acid ratio correct.  I ended up with 4 pints of beautiful looking salsa for wintery days when you want to think back to these beautiful summer days. KIDDING……right now it’s supposed to be 102 today and 105 tomorrow.  Yes, summery but not my idea of fun.

Then I made freezer salsa which is super easy since there is no canning. Just up in the food processor and whip up. Put in jars with enough headspace and freeze. And, oh my, it was delicious.  I even made one scrambled egg just so I could pour about 1/2 cup of the salsa on it. It was more like salsa with an egg.  Yummy…

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Today is normally pizza night but with this heat, it ain’t happening. Even if we ordered it’s still too hot for pizza. So I’m making a nice spinach soup that we can have either chilled or slightly warm. My favorite recipe is from the catering mystery series that starts with ” Dying for Chocolate”. It’s a great series with the main character as the caterer who also happens to solve murders. So her recipe for Goldielockes Gourmet Spinach soup is delicious. She doesn’t use a stick blender to mix but I do since I prefer it as smooth soup.  Then if I’m really motivated, I might make a few grilled cheese bites to go with it.

So, the prepper barn pantry was getting pretty warm with this heatwave. So we went to Home Depot and bought the cheapest cooler we could for the window. It is keeping it marginally cool but we also have a swamp cooler out there but the switch was not working and the part needed to be ordered. So it arrived this morning and now it is fixed ( thanks to the handyman husband).!!!! So the barn temperature is at 72 which is really good.  So I’m pretty happy about that. Since we don’t have a garage that could be a designated pantry and kept cool, this is the best I can do.

On the frugal side, all the bills for the month are done except the water bill which comes in on the 20th. I have auto-pay for that so it comes out of our checking.

My LLS check arrived for my Medicare amount and prescription Part D amount. Always very grateful to the LLS and its donors that provide these grants to many people all of who have some type of blood cancer.

Well, off to clean up the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

Simple Sunday

Well, back to my regular programming here:)

Wow, our weather changed on a dime yesterday and now it is breezy and cool and just lovely. The high is supposed to be 82 degrees so really nice.

It was a busy sort of week with the dentist and oncology doctor but it all went well. My crown copay turned out less than I thought at $550. So that was good. The crown seems pretty sensitive to hot/cold so not sure if that will pass or ?

We ordered pizza out and that was pricey. I’ll go back to making my own pizzas next week. It was very hot Friday so it was convenient but too expensive just for pizza. ( well in my estimation)

Yesterday, I made zucchini lasagnas. I plan on cooking them tonight as it will be cooler and I can use the oven.  We’re just getting lots of zucchini from the garden, so I thought I’d try it. Then I had a lot of sauce leftover so  I made a regular noodle lasagna and then I ran out of lasagna noodles so I just threw some flat noodles in a pan topped with sauce and cheese and called it good.  Those I put in the freezer.

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The FlyLady zone this week is the Living room and then on July 1st, the entryway.

I’m debating going down to the big stores this week to shop. But, I think I might try and wait a week and just get milk and cream and a few things down at our Holiday Market. I have plenty of stuff to use from the pantry. There are a few more prepper pantry things I’d like to stock up on but there’s no hurry at this point. I usually like to wait till we need coffee or TP to go to Costco so that’s still a few weeks out at this point.

I found a really great cooking blog called Just one Cookbook,

She is Japanese and her recipes are pretty good. I’ve made the yakisoba twice already.  Her YouTube is good also. I’m kinda on another Japanese kick right now. I’ve ordered a vintage Tenugui to use as a window covering. And also from eBay, a furoshiki to use as a window covering too. I’ve been looking at some Japanese fabric to make some pillows but haven’t found what I want yet.

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This is the west side of our house and it gets very sunny in that window. You can see the window cooler which is a lifesaver in our bedroom. It is removed in the fall.

 

Simple Sunday

It is a beautiful fall day.

We had a lovely walk in the park this morning and it was quite empty except for our geese friends. The Canada geese babies have all grown up and have flown away. Once in a while, we see them circle around the pond. There are other lakes around here and I imagine they hang out there too.

I made another pie in a tin dish and froze it on the recommendation of blogger Hilary.  I just took it out of the oven and it smells and looks amazing so I will try and do at least a couple of pies this way for fall.

I went to Target and got another case of pint jars for the applesauce which I will start tomorrow.  I figure I can get most of the one box of apples done. The second box is staring at me already but will have to wait.

We leave for Tahoe on Friday and will be gone a week. It’s a different time to be up there but certainly, most crowds are gone. Evenings will be chilly but we can sit by the fire or inside the tent trailer. Usually, we play scrabble or I read. We are taking the kayaks so we will go out at least 2 times to make it worth bringing them.  We might drive down to Sand Harbor( quite a ways back on the lake) and go out from there. Sand Harbor State Beach is where many of the famous shots/pictures of Tahoe are with the big boulders and beautiful blue water.

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I’m planning a few Lodge meals and other than that just simple foods. Plus the grocery store is like half a  mile away.

Since the tent trailer does not have a shower we’ll go to the gym up there, work out and then shower. My main criteria for a new trailer is a shower/toilet.

I made organic long grain rice for dinner and we’re having burritos with rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, lettuce.

 

Five on Friday on Saturday!

The day sorta got away from me yesterday. IMG_1471.jpg

I made 5 small jars of salsa and 2 bigger ones. These were all our own tomatoes so that was a big plus.

I doubt we’ll get enough tomatoes for all the sauce I need for winter but I will get some. Based on last years supply I probably need about 18 freezer bags of sauce. I may try and can some but freezing is easier.

Then I decided to make up the sourdough leaven for a Tartine bread. I have the one loaf rising in the bread basket form and I’ll cook that in an hour or so.

My oncology appointment went well. I told him about the stress fracture and he did say ‘repetitive’ movement. So maybe it was just walking every day. Who knows?  My foot is still bothering off and on. Kinda weird. He suggested a DEXA scan so I will do that sometime this fall.  I did have one around 14 years ago that was normal. That was about a year before I was diagnosed with myeloma.

Then we headed to Costco and spent a small fortune. B bought a small or I guess it’s called ‘dorm ‘ refrigerator to replace the tiny funky one he had. It was a good deal at $130. Now we could get milk and OJ at Costco as there would room to keep them out in the barn.

Today, I’m making 2 zucchini loaves of bread from a Smitten Kitchen recipe. She said to use 2 loaf pans but it looked like it wasn’t very full but we’ll see how they turn out.  I plan on freezing one sliced so we can pull out a slice when we want one in the fall-winter. If the recipe is a good one, I’ll make a few more, maybe to give as gifts.

Tonight I think I’m going to make burgers/veggie burgers for dinner.

It’s very very hazy here from the Carr fire. Hopefully, it’ll clear out and the fire will get put out.

 

 

Five on Friday

Well, we were successful in our date to Antique Trove and found 2  boxes/crates.

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The top one is cute as it is my daughters birthday( May 29) and B’s birth year 1950!! Plus on the other side, it says occupied Japan.

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This was my plan for that one and the other is in the front room.

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I haven’t finished putting some cookbooks in. I’ll probably put ones I don’t use a lot but still want to keep like a first edition ‘The Art of French Cooking’ my son found at Goodwill for me.

I am over the moon as I think crates/boxes are so versatile and can hold things if necessary.

Then we had a meh sorta lunch at the deli My sandwich was kinda tasteless. Not sure what it needed but I was glad I only had half.

Thirdly, I made double stuffed potatoes for the freezer. I bought the 15lb bag at Costco for $5.99 ( that is a great deal). So I baked ten but of course, you fill them higher than the plain potato, so I ended up with 10 halves to freeze. The rest of the empty halves went to the chickens.  I plan on doing the rest tomorrow as it is one freezer meal we all enjoy and so easy to reheat.

Fourth, I went to the gym for a quick workout.

Fifth,  nothing really, but it’s been a fun week with B off. Next week he’s in a meeting all week so it’ll just be me and my daughter who doesn’t work the first part of the week. My son is at school all day so I don’t usually see him except on the security camera.

It’s wasn’t a frugal week at all. Today was car registration for the Santa Fe and we had to buy tires as well. So pretty expensive. I’m not planning on any grocery stuff ’till May first except cat food when necessary. Ollie is not doing well but is still eating so we just give him food whenever he’s hungry.

 

 

 

Lots of cooking going on!

Crazy day cooking.

First I made the rice, cheese, nut loaf in mini pans for Thanksgiving and put them in the freezer.

Then I made meatballs to freeze or I’ll use tomorrow night for Sunday Supper.  Then I made a fresh batch of coconut, pecan, maple granola. Yummy!

Then I made some chocolate chip cookies and they were yummy.

Now, after collapsing for a while, I’m making spinach soup for dinner with cheese ravioli. The soup part I will use the immersion blender and blend with some cream then add the ravioli.

All worth it! Cooking for my family brings me joy!!image4.jpg

Vegetarian nut,cheese loaf from Tassajara Recipes!

 

 

Tartine Bread

I’m back in the swing of things with bread making. So, the last loaf of a sourdough but it wasn’t the dough that rests and goes thru the full autolyse and bulk fermentation.  I decided to get out my Tartine Bread book which by the way reads like a chemistry class. It is quite challenging to read and follow, but I persevered thru and made the loaves.  It’s anywhere from a 2-day process to 5 days depending on if you already have a starter.  It is an amazing bread and well worth the effort.

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It tasted terrific. The recipe makes 2 loaves so I waited to bake the 2nd one today and then my oven wasn’t cooperating.  This has been going on for a while where it won’t calibrate the temperature.  It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does it’s frustrating. So I turned the oven on and off for 3 hours and then finally it was coming up to speed. For the Tartine bread, it needs to be at 500 degrees for 30 minutes with the Le Cruset in the oven.  Finally got it to work and the second loaf is done. Now I’m in the process of baking 12 huge potatoes for double stuffed potatoes that I’ll freeze.  When you’re cooking that many potatoes it takes twice as long.

 

So I guess we’re going to go buy an oven this weekend. Not frugal, but I cook so much it’s hard to be without a reliable oven.  This one was a lovely GE profile that ( if I remember was @ 1200).  I found a nice Whirlpool one on sale at Lowes for 650.  It’s normally 1000 so a good deal. As long as it’s self-cleaning and has sealed burners, I’m good.

I’m  really trying to keep things as frugal as possible so, we’ll see.

 

 

the week ahead….and pantries,and stuff!

Today is Flylady’s home blessing day. So I’ve done the mirrors, I still need to vacuum and the laundry is going. Bathroom zone is done. I’m going to wash some sunroom windows later.

another huge success on the No Knead bread. I started it at 3:30 pm yesterday and then when I got back from walking, started the oven and put the dough in my new banneton (bread proofer thing).  It came out so nice . My advice with bread making is don’t give up. I’ve been making bread over 40 years. Yes, back when Laurel’s Kitchen was the rage.  I made some pretty heavy brick like whole wheat loaves. But even now after not making bread a few months during summers peak, I had to re-engage so to speak. This is my 5 th loaf in almost that many days or maybe it’s the 6 th.  Anyway, it takes time to get the feel of it all again. I haven’t tried the sourdough again, but I will soon. Of course, I will make some bread in a loaf pan soon too, but right now I’m having fun with the Le Creuset method. By the way, I love Le Creuset. My dutch oven I use is over 30 years old so if you’re going to make this bread, invest in a Le Creuset. I would love a new one in white, but it is pricey.img_0178

IMG_0179.jpgToday, I need to go buy some coffee to make it to my Costco trip. Costco’s Starbuck’s is on coupon and a great deal, but I need some for tomorrow.  Also, I need some lettuce for a salad to go with the lasagna tonight.

I’ve been off Velcade and dex now almost 3 months( September 25) and it’s really great. It’s also weird to feel kinda normal. To not worry so much about how I’m going to feel day to day and the Dex ups and downs.  It is a real gift to have this time off.  My next labs are the beginning of October… hope it’s good.  Plus, he didn’t see any need to do Zometa so I got out of that one too. the time will come , I’m sure when I’ll be back in treatment but for now it is a gift. It is very easy to take one’s health for granted until it’s not there and then you realize how precious it is.

Dinner is lasagna, salad and maybe a few slices of the bread( unless I keep eating it) ha ha…

I went thru the freezer and threw out some stuff from 2013. then I decided to organize meals all week from what is in there. I don’t have a big stockpile and want to keep it that way, but some stuff needs to be used.  Unless the apocalypse is coming I think I can get to the grocery store for whatever. I do like some things in reserve, like butter, some bagels, tomato sauce, but a lot of things just pile up in there. the pantry is the same. I do keep some reserve, but overall I like the European idea of shopping for what you need on a regular basis.  I do like cans of tomatoes, olives, some organic beans, but mostly I think its nice to keep it small.  of course, my pantry is limited so I’m not sure if I had a whole room devoted to it, what I would do.  But I do know, you shouldn’t have a stuffed pantry out of fear that everything is going to collapse at any moment. A reasonable supply if there was an emergency.  Storing food for a year, like some religious groups suggest, seems extreme.

But each to his own.