Apples to apples

In honor of my parents’ anniversary, I canned applesauce today.

Actually, those two events are entirely unrelated. They just both happened to be today.

But I did start on the 45+ pounds of apples. Oy. Homemade applesauce is so worth it, but that is one butt-kicking process. Especially with two littles underfoot.

Nonetheless, progress is being made. Fresh out of the canner are three different varieties. Bonus points for the Groves who recognize and know what the pink flavor is (it IS light pink, even though it looks like spaghetti sauce or something reddish).




Prairieland Granola

So TC and I are moving forward with this whole granola thing.  We’re s-l-o-w-l-y getting our ducks in a row to start rolling out the bags to the public.  Within the next few weeks, we hope to have online sales available, and will have it at the farmer’s market (occasionally) and even in the grocery store.  Hopefully.  And we’ll see where it goes from there!

prarieland copy

All I know is, I’m having fun trying recipes and testing flavors.  We have our tried and true favorite, cinnamon roll, and a nice basic granola, a double chocolate granola, and a peanut butter granola.  Last night I tried an Almond Joy granola that was pretty blah when I tasted it, but I had some as cereal this morning and it was pretty darn good.  But I think we’ll be putting that one on the back burner.  I also did a banana bread granola, which I was honestly on the fence about trying…ummm, it has changed my life.  It is SO. STINKING. GOOOOD. Holy heck.  I may juts put business planning aside for a while and make/eat a batch of this every day for the rest of my life.  I’m pretty sure that would be a perfectly enjoyable existence.

Cooking from the Pantry

Do you ever just get sick of spending money? Sometimes I feel like my wallet is a permanent fixture in my hand.  Feeling like that ticks me off.  I don’t like feeling like all I do is kiss money goodbye.

So in an effort to curb the spending for a few days, I put myself on a spending freeze.  NO SPENDING.  There’s something kind of liberating about refusing to spend money.  Take THAT, impulse shopping.

The spending freeze includes groceries, which can in fact be a major drain on my checkbook.  I feel like I’m at the grocery store waaaaaaaaay too often, even though I try to plan meals ahead of time to avoid frequent trips.

So during said freeze, I cook from my pantry.

The other night, I planned to make a pepperoni pasta skillet meal that called for egg noodles, which I was, of course, out of.

I started to panic. The thought of driving to town and going to the store made me m-a-d.  Then I thought, “AHA! I can MAKE egg noodles.”

So I did…egg noodles egg noodles

And they were so good!   I’ve made noodles before, but these were just right.  The right texture, the right taste…so yummy.  The recipe was out of my Better Homes and Gardens three ring binder cookbook. It was (I thought) kind of time intensive; it took me about an hour from start to finish, and I ended up with approx. 5 cups of noodles.

I’m hoping to make a big batch of these again and freeze them.  They would be amazing in beef and noodles…or chicken and noodles…or chicken noodle soup….YUM.


Why You Should Invest in a Spiral Ham

Am I the last person to learn how many meals you can get out of a spiral ham?!

Holy cow. It has changed my life.

I don’t usually spend a lot of money on meat. We have beef in the freezer, and I buy things like chicken, pork chops, and bacon when they’re on sale or marked down.

Spending almost $20 on a ham has always seemed outrageous to me.

But I had a moment of weakness and a hankering for ham last week, so I bought one. I paid $18ish for a 10 pound ham.

Here’s the breakdown of meals for our family of four (kids ages one and two):
– initial meal of cooked ham (1 meal)
– leftovers for lunch next day (1 meal)
– ham bone for ham & bean soup (probably 2 meals)
– three casseroles prepared and pit in the freezer (3 meals)
– six cups of cubed ham, divided into one-cup portions and frozen to use later (probably 3 meals)

So that’s meat for 10 meals for $18!!!!

I think that is fantastic. I’ll totally be buying another ham in the future. Dang.

What I’m Reading This Week

Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor (for my leadership class, and it’s a pretty good read)

The Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola (started this a while ago and just started it again…an education/parenting/homeschool book)

What’s in your library lately?