Tuna Casserole

Roux scares me.

I’ve not had the proverbial testicular fortitude to try to make it until this tuna casserole. I do not claim that it’s anything similar to what someone who makes cajun dishes would make, but it did made a thickened sauce that I needed for the casserole. I’m actually going to be using the same method tonight for dinner to make another type of casserole. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mmmm I want more now that I'm looking at the pictures.

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Honey Wheat Bread

I was going to bake bread in the middle of the day just for pictures, which frankly is downright insane due to the fact that it’s been over 90 every single day (this past Friday my car was reading 104 on the way home). So mid-day bread never happened. So I suppose I will make do with my night time pictures that somewhat annoy me because of poor lighting. The recipe needs to be shared.

For people who own a grain mill and are looking for an awesome bread recipe look no further. My wonderful friend Stephanie who gave me the South West Chicken recipe also gave me the honey wheat bread recipe!

Stephanie.. without you I’d be lost. I’d never have cloth diapered, purchased a grain mill, found Azure Standard, or have a 2 fresh loaves of bread sitting on my stove right now. ๐Ÿ˜€

Mmmm .. delicious.

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Red Wine Pasta Sauce

I don’t claim to be proficient in the kitchen. Since that is the case I have no issues admitting that I use google rather a lot to form general ideas on how to accomplish things. Things like making a pasta sauce that aren’t from a recipe calling for WAY too much oregano. Don’t ask how I know.

Many recipes I saw called for white wine. After some more googling, and consulting with Stacy about red wine versus white wine, I decided to go ahead with red wine as it’s what I had on hand. I’m pretty glad I did too.

Nothing better than sticking your head right over a simmering pot of pasta sauce!

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Upside Down Potato and Onion Tart

Whew! Finally getting around to posting after the network issues and then David deciding to upgrade our computers to OS X Lion. Then there was the adventure to Lake Tahoe with the girls which landed me with what I think qualifies as the worst sunburn of my life. Despite the fact that my laptop causes me severe pain I’m editing photos and posting anyhow! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now for the real reason for this post…

Cheesy potatoes and onion? YES PLEASE! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Herbs and Spices

I love fresh herbs and spices, and really who doesn’t? I’ve been in the process of making something more than once to find that I don’t have what I need. Once I had sage on hand, but not ground. Uhhh … crap. I of course happen to be a gadget freak, and while that causes issues with cabinet space it comes in handy for random instances such as the above mentioned sage issue. How?

A coffee grinder!

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Thrift and SouthWest Chicken

Money is tight. Story of just about anyone’s life right about now, right? We’re a bit deeper into the “tight” than ever before. David makes less money at his new job, and his new job is also about 50 miles away – one way. Despite the fact that he drives the Prius and maintains a 48 MPG average it still takes a chunk out. Insurance for the family is also taking more from his paycheck than before as he works for a small company with only about 60 people on site.

Oh and if all that wasn’t enough David is going to be going back to school in the fall taking a nearly full course load. I have someone lined up if I ever find a job that pays well enough to validate working. Bringing home $400-$500 a month does NOT qualify thus eliminating most of the jobs around here. Bouncing the girls between a baby sitter, school (for the eldest), and whichever parent isn’t working and is at home is not worth $500 to us.

So all this means that being thrifty is a top priority. Of course I also want to maintain healthy eating habits while being able to have meals simple enough to make that I’m not tempted to say “screw it, I’m getting Papa Murphy’s tonight!”. Enter the fabulous crock pot!

My friend Stephanie is a stay at home mom to three kids, and has a husband (who I’ve known since I was 15) in the Coast Guard and gone fairly often. She’s the person who talked me into begging David for a grain mill and got me into cloth diapering. So to say the least she’s pretty good at being thrifty yet still healthy. I pick her brain for ideas with regularity. A few days ago she gave me a super simple crock pot meal idea … SouthWest Chicken.

Crock pot goodness!

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Homemade BBQ Sauce

Awhile back I made pulled pork, sandwich rolls, and BBQ sauce. I posted the recipes for the rolls and BBQ sauce but since I was making some the other day for pork loin roast – which by the way, is WAY better for pulled pork when you loathe fatty meat – and since I have a beautiful new DSLR I thought I should photograph the occasion. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Deliciousness in a bottle.

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Pulled Pork Sandwich

I’ve been slacking.ย  I thought we’d be heading off on a family vacation, but David decided to postpone it to get things like taxes and home repairs done.ย  We’ve cheated a bit, okay more than most I’m sure, but we’re slowly improving.ย  Today I was feeling adventurous and had a pork shoulder that I got on Tuesday at Whole Foods.ย  I found a good base for homemade BBQ sauce and a simple recipe for sandwich rolls.ย  ๐Ÿ˜€

Perfect out the gate, and I even fudged the recipe a bit!

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Egg Salad Sandwich

For lunch today my two year old asked for “pea-ut butter jelly time” (think of the dancing banana here, yes that’s where she got it) I was going to have some too because my homemade strawberry jam is rather fabulous if I do say so myself (and so have a few others, so I know I’m not tooting my own horn here), but then I realized my dietary restrictions today include no seeds.ย  Strawberries have seeds.ย  Blast!ย  So after I got my kids settled I looked into the fridge and remembered that I had wanted an egg salad sandwich at Whole Foods the other day, but they were out.ย  Conveniently enough I had eggs, and my homemade mayo.

Incredible edible egg!

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