Monday, September 19, 2011

Kimmie in Real Life! (weeks 14 & 15)

(cute little packages of cookies delivered to family and friends this week)

So, I know that this challenge should have ended 2 weeks ago,
but I still have butter, cheese, flour, sugar and plenty of other staples ingredients left (however, I'm getting really low on raisins, paper towels and laundry soap, but should make it a few more weeks)  
and I also have a large abundance of garden produce... 
SO, I am going to go the rest of the month to see if I can make it 4-5  months instead of 3 months with no major shopping.
I really think I can do it!

This post shows how absolutely CRAZY and non-stop my past 2 weeks have been.  
(I really love that I have been keeping track of what we ate, what I baked, etc... each day. It's a journal for me and I am grateful I have been doing this). 

Here are the food highlights...
 These energy balls are SO yummy 
and full of a good balance of protein/sugar
for all of us, especially for Jade when he runs Cross Country.

Neighbor kids have also enjoyed these when they come to play at our house
and I hear the words.
"Mom, what can we have for a snack" 

I just make them up and keep them in the fridge
so they are nice and firm and then when any of us need an  
energy PICK UP, 
these are perfect to grab and eat.
I send Jade with two of them in a small container in his lunch box
so he can eat them before he runs each day after school.
Artichokes are truly one of our favorite things to enjoy. 
WOW, we had the best sale EVER on them...they were 2 for $1.00 and SO I bought $4.00 worth of them. Enough for two meals worth and we all got our own. 
yummy, Yummy, YUMMY!
I made up 1/2 batch of tortillas
browned some sausage and drained it,
cooked some eggs with onions and bell pepper
topped with cheese and put on some fresh tomatoes, 
filled tortillas and rolled them up,
I took 2 of the burritos and cut them in half and we each enjoyed 1/2 a burrito along with our Artichoke.
I took the other four burritos, wrapped them in Saran Wrap and put them in our lunches the next day.
This dish is always a hit anytime it is made up!
Jade had a Pasta Party for Cross Country and was asked to bring a Pasta Dish. 
I had people asking for the recipe when I came to pick him up and they couldn't believe how good it was.
I'm so glad Tracy found this recipe and made adjustments to it to perfect it with ingredients that we always have on hand, because it is definitely 
one of the biggest hits with the kids!

What a JOY it was to go out to our garden
and turn over leaves and find the surprise of GREEN BEANS! 
Many a people in our neighborhoods have had really bad problems with beans this year and hardly anyone has had any grow successfully.  
I only ever make Shepherd's Pie at Harvest Time because I only like to make it with FRESH garden green beans (not ones from a can) and so we were in heaven with this yummy meal.
I also added in a large zucchini and used RED potatoes and onions from our garden as well.
It is SO satisfying making meals 
with veggies that you grew yourself!

I know in this picture my fridge still looks cluttered,  
but it was a 100% improvement from what it did look like.   
While cleaning out my fridge I came across a package of Smoked Salmon that expires in a month and so I made up a yummy batch of Smoked Salmon and Artichoke Dip for our lunch the next day.
Tracy had splurged and purchased a Rotisserie Chicken on our trip to town and we enjoyed it with some fresh fruit for lunch.
 I took the leftover chicken and carcass, 
boiled it up and made a yummy gravy and we enjoyed  
Hawaiian Haystacks for two different dinners.

Our family LOVES these because everyone gets to top them however they like and they LOVE all of the yummy fresh veggies that you can top them with.

This meal is very economical
and if you are swimming in produce,
it is perfect to have a fun way to use your produce up.
 I had a week of LOTS of baking...
there were only a few of my bread recipes that I didn't bake up this week.
Multi-Grain rolls and Hoagie Buns seem to always be the biggest hit!

Many desserts were made as well this week.
Coconut Cream Pie,
Lemon Meringue Pie
Seven Layer Goodie Bars
Double Chocolate Cookies
 and Fruit & Nut Cookies were what were served at the anniversary party!
I love making sure nothing goes to waste!
SO, I took the leftover rolls from the party and 
cut them into chunks, 
put them on a cookie sheet and 
baked them at 350 degrees until they were lightly browned.

They were the perfect bread crumbs 
for our Zucchini Casserole.
This is such a yummy way to use 
garden zucchini, carrots and onions.
It throws together quickly and reminds me of Thanksgiving 
with it's "stuffing like" texture and taster.
Truly delicious!!
It was a decadent 2 weeks with many
delicious and yummy homemade treats to enjoy!
The only photo of a smoothie I got this week.
WOW, we felt like we had gone to a smoothie shoppe 
and purchased was that good!
I know that this the furthest thing from being frugal, 
but this is only something we purchase once a year.
When I take my kids school shopping each year, I let them pick out a bag of individual chips for the first few months of school lunches.   
After these are gone, we don't purchase anymore until the next years school shopping trip.
(Chips are definitely something that we don't each much of.)
Needless to say, these came in REALLY handy for our two picnics. Everyone that joined us for the picnic could grab their choice of chip to enjoy with their lunch.
With how expensive large bags of chips are right now, this was actually quite economical as well.
SO, speaking from this last weekend's experience, I do have to say that this is a another HELPFUL thing to throw in for a  multi-day family trip or picnicking experience.

Sometimes convenience is more important 
then the cost of something!
Friday and Saturday were two family days with Tracy's family...
Friday we went to Jenny Lake and Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
Saturday we headed to Yellowstone to see the sites.

With getting home close to 11:30 each night I didn't have time to do any bread making and I didn't have any loaves in my freezer to pull out.
However,  I was able to throw together a Potato Salad  
AND two batches of Chocolate Chip Cookies for us to add to our picnic lunches.
YES, I know my challenge is 3 months of No Shopping (only produce and milk), but we had to make an exception to this rule to accommodate our family outing with Tracy's family.
We purchased deli ham and turkey, alfalfa sprouts and French Bread
(I brought a container of sliced tomatoes from our garden, sliced cheese and mayo/mustard all mixed together).
If you need a great way to fix sandwiches on a picnic.
purchase a loaf of French Bread from the bakery department,
slice it into 4 pieces,
slice each piece in half,
top with your sandwich fixins'
and VOILA, perfect, yummy sandwich!!

If you can't have homemade bread, 
this is the next best thing to it!
August 28th to September 3rd
(Tracy and I left early and went and spent 2 hours picking huckleberries before church) 
(kids ate Fruit & Nut Granola cereal that we had in our food storage for breakfast)
Unthawed another loaf of bread and made roast beef sandwiches for lunch that we enjoyed with chips and grapes...we packed these in the cooler and went and spent another 3 hours picking more huckleberries
Came home and put berries on cookie sheets in freezer and made a batch of buttermilk pancakes and added in fresh huckleberries to the batter
(we ended up with 51 cups of berries...just a little over 3 gallons)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy and Ethan) Roast beef sandwiches, grapes, gumdrop bread, (that I had pulled out of freezer), cherry tomatoes from our garden
(Jade) Leftover broccoli salad, peanut butter and honey sandwich, grapes, string cheese 
Made dough for tortillas before I went and picked up Jade from Cross Country...after we got home I rolled them out and cooked them
Dinner we enjoyed Artichokes (they were on sale 2 for $1.00) and we shared breakfast burritos.
We made Apple/Huckleberry Pie and homemade ice cream for dessert
(made a batch of peanut butter energy balls)

Steel Cut Oats
(lunch for all of us) Breakfast burritos, banana, grapes, leftover pie
Shepherd's Pie (made with green beans, zucchini, potatoes and onions from our garden) French Bread
Finished rest of our ice cream, pie and also enjoyed some homemade OREO cookies
(took French Bread and cookies to my neighbor that was celebrating a birthday...also delivered cookies to a lady that I go visiting teaching to)
(made another start of ARTISAN Bread) 

Steel Cut Oats
(lunch for all of us)Shepherd's pie, French bread, apple, homemade OREO cookies
(went and had lunch with Ethan...great time!)
Made Baked Mac and Cheese and Artisan Bread for Jade to take to his Cross Country Pasta Party
Tracy, Ethan and I enjoyed a delicious smoothie for dinner made with the rest of our homemade yogurt, huckleberries, blueberries, grapes, Swiss chard, celery and ice
(made Salmon and Artichoke Dip)
(took Apple Huckleberry Pie to my sweet friend Tauna)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy me and Ethan) Salmon and Artichoke dip, Toasted Artisan Bread, string cheese, cherry tomatoes from our garden, grapes, homemade OREO's
(Jade) had school lunch as it was a cross country meet today and he didn't want to have to drag his lunch box to the meet, however for snacks to give him energy before running he ate peanut butter energy balls, grapes and string cheese)
(crazy night...had a cross country meet up at Green Canyon and then had to race back to be to back to school night and so we grabbed burgers at Burger King at the south Rexburg exit and barely made it to the elementary with 5 minutes to spare for back to school night)

Steel Cut Oats
Salmon and Artichoke Dip, toasted Artisan Bread, string cheese, grapes and peanut butter energy balls
Pulled a jar of Bottled Tomato Soup and served it with fresh corn on the cob and toasted Artisan Bread

Smoothie made with fresh raspberries, peaches, banana, yogurt, grapes and ice
Tracy bought a Rotisserie chicken from town and we enjoyed sandwiches for lunch 

September 4th to 10th
Peaches, Bananas and Zucchini Bread
Had Tracy's brother and sister-in-law over and Tracy had purchased a Rotisserie Chicken the day before and so I pulled off the meat, boiled the carcass for about 45 minutes and took the broth and made Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner
Enjoyed Peanut Butter Energy balls and double chocolate cookies for a treat as well
(my sister-in-law and I enjoyed an afternoon of baking...she baked some lemon cupcakes and Seven Layer Bars and we made a batch of Double Chocolate cookies, ground some whole wheat flour and made a batch of Multi-Grain Rolls as well.

Crazy day getting ready for Tracy's parents 50th anniversary party
each grabbed a banana and Tracy fried us an egg and we had it on a toasted Multi-Grain Roll for breakfast
(spent morning baking French Bread, Multi-Grain Rolls, Lion House Rolls, Coconut and Lemon Meringue Pie, Double Chocolate and Fruit/Nut cookies)  
 5:00...was one FUN night of celebrating with Tracy's parents and family

Steel Cut Oats
(my house was such a wreck from baking for the party and we got back so late, I didn't have time to throw lunches together so my kids ended up eating school lunch and Tracy and I went and had lunch together since we didn't get to connect much this past weekend)  
Leftover Haystacks,

Steel Cut Oats
Multi-Grain Rolls with tuna fish, grapes, apple, string cheese, Seven Layer Bars
Zucchini Casserole (took my leftover rolls from the party, broke them into pieces, toasted them and made casserole from our zucchhini, carrots and onions from our garden)
Went with Tracy's mom, sisters and nieces to ZUMBA!  WOW! what a fun, exciting workout. Had such a great time!

Steel Cut Oats
Zucchini Bread, string cheese, cherry tomatoes, apple
(went with Tracy's family to "Fat Cat's" and enjoyed pizza, bowling and mini-glow in the dark golf)

Smoothie with peaches, pineapple, grapes, banana, yogurt and ice
Lunch...ham/turkey sandwiches with cheese, tomatoes and sprouts, potato salad, grapes, string cheese, homemade chocolate chip cookies, chips 
Ate dinner at Merry Piglets with Tracy's family (beef fajitas with all of the fixin's)

Green Smoothie
Lunch...ham/turkey sandwiches with cheese, tomatoes and sprouts, potato salad, grapes, string cheese, homemade chocolate chip cookies, chips
(bought a loaf of bakery french bread, cut it into 4 pieces and made sandwiches with it)
Enjoyed ice cream at Old Faithful Inn while we waited for Old Faithful to go off

Have a wonderful, enjoyable,
happy and healthy week!


Garden of Egan said...

Wow! You were a baking fool!.
I think you are so amazing.

I bet you were wishing you were a clone.

Ann Marie said...

Your on a 4-5 month trial this year? Sooo cool.. and I know you could do it! :)

My grocery bill is always low in the summer with all of my Garden produce as well.. I think a REAL challenge would be to not go to the store.. and just use what is on hand in the winter. It would be much harder.

I kept waiting and reading for that Mac and cheese recipe.. and was so thrilled to see it at the end of the post. YAY! I am changing my meal plan out this week to try it! Would it be gross without the ham??

You go to SOO much work on your blog sharing your talent of food and homemaking with the world.. and I am always so impressed with all of your links and recipes shared so we can better ourselves!

Love you Kimmie!

C Smith said...

We sure did have fun getting the chance to spend some time with you guys. Sure loved all your yummy baked goods and picnics! Thanks so much for supplying them. I had fun cooking but next time want to do it when there is no stress of a party. I made multigrain rolls this week!

Jandawoman said...

Love your blog! You inspire me with all your cooking and your great recipes!

Kimmie said...

Hi Ann Marie,
I love to be contact with you again! The Mac and Cheese recipe should be fine without ham in it. It originally called for bacon, but most of the time, I have more ham on hand and so that is usually why I use ham. It is a pretty versatile recipe and should work with whatever amounts/kinds of cheese or meat you have on hand to add to it.

Actually, summer time is more challenging for me than winter for no shopping, because I work from 7-12 and then I come home to KIDS that need attention and need fed and there is never really any time for ME. SO it makes me have to "stretch myself" and to really be on top of my game to deal with snacks, meals, etc...without having any FREE time for me to plan it all out. Once kids are in school it is MUCH easier, because I have 2-3 hours of free time each afternoon before kids get home to be able to figure out meals and what we are going to eat and so that is easy peasey.

The biggest thing with the "No shopping" is not about produce...(because I do allot $20.00 for produce weekly and a gallon of milk every other week). The thing about "no shopping" is to show how good you can eat from your food storage supply and how easy it is to make the majority of everything you eat from scratch, from bread, to tortillas, to snacks, soups, main meals to desserts all from basic staples that you have on hand in your house.

However, I think come February I may do another round of this just to compare the difference between summer and winter and to see if there is a noticeable difference at all as far as "difficulty".

Anywho, I hope this finds you having a wonderful day!!