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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Quick Cooking Tip

(this is so not my kitchen, but a girl can dream can't she?)

  • Did you know that you don't *need* to preheat your oven for most things? Unless you are cooking bread or pastries or souffles you shouldn't need to preheat.
  • Guess what else works? Turning the oven off 10 minutes before the food is done. The residual heat will keep the food cooking. Just don't open the oven to check on the food - use your oven light to look in at the food.
  • When you are cooking something be sure to think of what else can be cooked at the same time because most things can be cooked at slightly different temperatures so you can put more than one dish in the oven at a time.
How do you save money and energy when using your oven?

This post was submitted to Life as Mom's Frugal Friday Mr. Linky. If you have never checked this out please do - lots of great tips.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Meat Meat glorious Meat!

I cannot a couple of weeks we will be getting the front quarter of a cow that is right now roaming around in my friend's backyard! Talk about knowing your source! I purchased a quarter of a cow not too long ago and I am not thrilled with the quality.We will of course eat it all but my friend only butchers every 18months or so (could even be 2 years) and so I don't want to miss out on the good stuff. We will be eating steaks and roasts and hamburgers and meatloaf and stirfry and stew to our omnivour hearts content!! My only problem is my Joe who is allergic to beef. I personally think he is allergic to what they FED the cow that they used to make the serum to test him. That being said, I can't feed it too him on a every other day rotation. He will be getting exciting things like, turkey burgers and shrimp and chicken and tuna. But the rest of us? Beef glorious beef.

I did just make the most delicious roast out of bison meat in my crockpot. I cooked it for 10 hours on low in a broth of red wine and  vegetable broth (because that is what I had).I sprinkled a garlic powder and onion powder along with a steak seasoning all over the meat and let it cook.  Then I removed the meat and put the sauce in a pan on a stovetop where I added a bunch of cut veggies - onions, carrots, celery, and several frozen cubes of spinach, butternut squash and acorn squash plus a little old coffee from the morning and let it cook until the veggies were soft. I removed the veggies, and then made gravy with a little flour. I served it with my Mom's Mashed Potatoes and then put it all together with some salt, pepper and it was so yummy my family devoured it! This is my basic recipe for all roasts/stews. The veggies can vary and I don't always have broth so sometimes I start with water and wine and go from there. It is still yummy.

I linked this to Fight Back Fridays @ Food Renegade.
I am also linking this to Crock Pot Wednesdays @ Dining with Debbie.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hello! How is Your Declutter Challenge going?

Awhile back I posted about a declutter challenge in which you are trying to get rid of 730 things in 365 days. So, how ya doin' with that????

I am moving forward, I'm  at 150 give or take 2 or 3. It really has been fun and freeing. Yet sometimes it has been harder than I thought. It is when my earthy crunchy side starts saying things like "our house is big enough, don't get rid of that perfectly good whatever, we might need one someday". It is at those times that I need to remind myself that keeping a bunch of stuff isn't necessarily crunchy. NOT buying stuff to begin with is. I think it is all in how I rid myself of the clutter that matters.
Am I ridding my house responsibly - goodwill, Church rummage sale, passing on to a new home?

In case you are wondering, I also have been strong against the siren call of Target. I have gone in a couple times and have even put lovely things in my cart, walked around and  then went back and unloaded. I only purchased what I came for, I am so proud of ME!!

This is a picture of some old, plastic and mimatched dishes I have been using for years. I replaced them with lovely dishes from the Goodwill. I needed more, what I had was ugly and just not enough. I was going to keep them just in case, and then I realized that this is what the clutter challenge is about - getting rid of excess things, passing them along so someone else can get some use out of them instead of them getting all dusty and just taking up space at my house.