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#361 of 384 Old 11-02-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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Many of you probably already know about this blog, but I was excited to see she's posting new entries again, so thought I'd pass it along. Don't forget to check out the archives!!!

http://veganlunchbox.blogspot.com/

* Holly * rural Seattle suburban SAHM to Elizabeth 11 * Cole 9 * Annie 5 * Blaise 3 * and Urban 2 mos *
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#362 of 384 Old 11-07-2008, 02:26 PM
 
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wanted to make sure htis thread did not get lost. I just love it.

nurse, mama, doula-in-training to J-14, J-13, S-7, S-4, and P-2(born at home)
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#363 of 384 Old 11-07-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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Mmmm.

I made imitation Popeyes Chicken Tenders last night. I was feeling lazy, and the organic chicken tenders were on sale, so I bought a couple packages, made the coating, and deep fried them. Made ccreamy coleslaw with the cabbage and carrots from our CSA, and an apple crisp using the apples from the CSA. We did use store-bought ranch, but, it was a looooong day.

Not the healthiest meal ever, but TASTY.

I'm either doing a bbq chicken pizza tonight or scraping together a "bits and pieces" buffet....I'm not sure I have enough leftovers to do that, so I may round it out with sandwiches.

Cream cheese is on sale this week, and i have coupons, so, I'm def. picking some of that up and making some bagels this weekend. :
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#364 of 384 Old 11-07-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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I cooked up a batch of oven-roasted tomato sauce last weekend (from tomatoes I'd stuck in the freezer). Made a huge batch of chili, ate some, froze the rest. I'm taking over a couple dishes of it to help my sister stock her freezer --she's due with twins any moment now.

She has requested that I make some Broccoli Chicken Divan next, a comfort food from our childhood. The version that we ate was made with canned cream of chicken soup, something I don't cook with anymore. I'm thinking of making the white sauce substitute for canned soup from earlier in this thread, but am not sure if it would freeze as well?

ETA Katheek77, Your dinner sounds very yummy. My kids only dream that they are getting something so tasty for dinner tonight! I have never made my own coleslaw. We OD'd on those storebought bags of coleslaw a couple years back. I should try serving homemade to get back into it.

I also have some roasted pumpkin from a freebie I got after Halloween that I need to puree and freeze in muffin batch sized portions.
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#365 of 384 Old 11-07-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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I also have some roasted pumpkin from a freebie I got after Halloween that I need to puree and freeze in muffin batch sized portions.
What a great idea!

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#366 of 384 Old 11-08-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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Saying hi with a bump!

Ystdy I had a banner afternoon in the kitchen -- homey white bread (that's the name of the recipe, giggle), vegan vanilla cookies, cocoa banana muffins, and yummy lentil soup. I love leftovers!

* Holly * rural Seattle suburban SAHM to Elizabeth 11 * Cole 9 * Annie 5 * Blaise 3 * and Urban 2 mos *
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#367 of 384 Old 11-08-2008, 09:55 PM
 
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Oooh. Cocoa Banana muffins...Can I have the recipe?

I have to brag:

Cream cheese is on sale here, and I have coupons, so, I bought a ton of cream cheese. That spurred DH to ask if I'd make a cheesecake, and requested "Can you do an orange one"

Huh. Well, I don't have any orange cheese cake recipes, but I found a recipe in one of my cooking magazine for Layered Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake. I transformed it.

It only used 1/2 C of Raspberry puree, in the bottom layer, so, I figured I could leave that out. I kept the bottom layer the same, minus the raspberry, so it's basically a vanilla layer.

In the crust, I subbed orange peel for lemon peel.

For the top layer, where lemon peel was called for, I used orange peel. Where lemon juice was indicated, fresh squeezed OJ. I also added 1/4 t orange extract because it didn't smell *quite* orange-y enough to me.

It's GOOOD if I do say so myself. And I now have a new recipe: Creamsicle Cheesecake (DH very happily exclaimed, "It tastes just like a creamsicle!", hence the name.
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#368 of 384 Old 11-09-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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I need to reread this thread and get more involved. My cooking has been almost non-existant lately.

Any good tips for keeping with it? I get so overwhelmed with everything else, that I let cooking slide and it is one thing I really enjoy. It just takes time and I don't have a lot of that.
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#369 of 384 Old 11-09-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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Keep it simple. Invest in a crockpot. Learn some really easy standby recipes (ie...pasta with butter, garlic, some cheese, and veggies) and sides. Learn some recipes that you can set up ahead of time, and then pop in the oven/stove/crock (like, a lasagna, or a pot roast or something that you can make up the night before when you have time/help available and put in the fridge overnight). Cook meals that do double duty (ie...a roast chicken becomes chicken soup or chicken salad the next night, pork roast can be heated with bbq sauce and made into pork sandwiches), or in double batches or two similar foods (if you've committed to a lasagna, it doesn't take much more time to also stir up a baked ziti to pop in the freezer).
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#370 of 384 Old 11-10-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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This is a great thread! I hope it stays alive. I'd love to join!

I'm a semi-scratch cooker/baker. I don't buy any convenience foods like frozen meatballs, canned soups or cream-of soups, baking mixes, jams, instant potatoes or the like, etc. I do buy all our bread as well as mac and cheese, spaghetti sauce, canned tomatoes, crackers, salad dressing, pasta, ice cream, pie crusts (pie crusts strictly out of fear LOL!) and pickles. So basically I cook & bake just enough to set me apart from my friends and relatives but not enough to actually claim that I cook from scratch.

I have a couple roadblocks that keep me from cooking 100% from scratch and the first is cost. Although most of the time it's cheaper not to use convenience foods, there are those times like spaghetti sauce where I can either buy a can of Hunt's No Sugar Added for $1.00 or I can buy a couple pounds of tomatoes and herbs for a lot more $$. Same with mac and cheese--a box at Trader Joes is $0.99 but the pasta, cheese, milk, etc., that goes along with making it from scratch would drive it up considerably.

My second roadblock is my garden. It's been a failure 3 years in a row now. Enough said as it's a sensitive topic for me

So my biggest question is how everyone handles grocery shopping. Do you make a menu plan and a list, or just wing it and stock up with ingredients? I used to plan meals two weeks at a time and make an extensive list sorted by department, but lately I've been just winging it and simply loading my cart up with bags of produce, cuts of meat, rice and pasta, cheeses and flours. I find that I spend less money when I DON'T make a meal plan but it's also a lot harder to make lunch and dinner and things tend to be pretty boring. Do most of you use recipes? I'm terrible at it, I admit that I make almost everything up as I go!

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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#371 of 384 Old 11-11-2008, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by StrawberryFields View Post
I have a couple roadblocks that keep me from cooking 100% from scratch and the first is cost. Although most of the time it's cheaper not to use convenience foods, there are those times like spaghetti sauce where I can either buy a can of Hunt's No Sugar Added for $1.00 or I can buy a couple pounds of tomatoes and herbs for a lot more $$. Same with mac and cheese--a box at Trader Joes is $0.99 but the pasta, cheese, milk, etc., that goes along with making it from scratch would drive it up considerably.


So my biggest question is how everyone handles grocery shopping. Do you make a menu plan and a list, or just wing it and stock up with ingredients? I used to plan meals two weeks at a time and make an extensive list sorted by department, but lately I've been just winging it and simply loading my cart up with bags of produce, cuts of meat, rice and pasta, cheeses and flours. I find that I spend less money when I DON'T make a meal plan but it's also a lot harder to make lunch and dinner and things tend to be pretty boring. Do most of you use recipes? I'm terrible at it, I admit that I make almost everything up as I go!
Well if you really plan, this all should not be an issue. Buy canned tomato on sale. I stock up esp if really on sale. Unless its harvest, tomatoes will be $$$$$. I usually get the tomato from the garden but that only goes so long. But, canned tomato, onion, garlic, olive oil and a bit of tomato paste can make a sauce go a long while. Freeze into portions your family would like or can it.
Mac n Cheese. A larger box of elbow macs can be bought on sale. Make a white sauce and add your favorite cheeses in small cubes and melt. Add boiled mac to it. Yummmm. I can make a huge vat of mac n cheese homemade for about $1.50 w my on hand ingredients. And it takes the exact same time and is much yummier. Adults and kiddies alike love it.
Or just make what you need and its a fraction of the cost and much better for you and better tasting.
We have about 2 dozen or so meals I make all the time. About a dozen more I can make as well that are made occasionally or by request.

I keep a large selection of staples on hand or raw ingredients and base ingredients. I also shop the sales for stocking up on things that can keep in the pantry we know we will use. To give you an idea I have:

25 lbs of choco chips in the pantry
40 lbs of flour
15 lbs of various nuts and dried fruits
4 canned tomato
2 pastes
4 different canned asian veggies
about 5 different pastas
4 different rices
popping corn
5 gallons of veggie oil
5 gallons of olive oil
several different vinagars
wine
juices
6 pack of smaller tomato juice bought on sale for various recipes
15 lbs of sugar (3 different types)
condensed milk
organic canned pumpkin from Trader Joes


As far as making up as you go- if it works, great! So many things were invented either by mistake or need. I have made many new recipes by just needing a weird ingredient or substituting and changing a dish for the better or all together different. I usually just follow a recipe to the exact once and then I change it, tweak it to fix it to my or my family's taste.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#372 of 384 Old 11-11-2008, 12:49 PM
 
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one thing that makes it easier for me to cook a complete meal is to cook either 2 cups rice, or a pot of potatoes or cook beans first. (i also try to do this type of stuff on sunday so i will have the base of a dinner already done.

I do this before i even know what i'm going to make....after the rice is made i use it with the beans (or canned if your in a hurry) or if i started soup i can add the rice to the soup or keep the rice until the next day because day old rice is better for stir fry.

basically by the time i know what i want to make i will use either the rice, beans or potatoes in the dish and they will be done so the cooking time for the dish is alot shorter. does that make sense?

i also soak beans then freeze them. before i cook dinner i take out the frozen soaked beans and cook them first because they always take an hour. i freeze at least two cups because i'll use them in a recipe then have the cooked beans for something else like a soup or buritto for dd lunch.

even if i don't end up using any of it, i'll have cooked rice, beans or potatoes for anything i need.

i always have a soup on the back burner so any of those can go in....i can also scoop out enough potatoes to make dd mashed potatoes and not have to commit to making a hugh pile.

we are also veggies so most of our meals consist of various ways or making beans and rice.

every time i use my crock pot even on low my beans get cooked to mush....i have not figured out how to not do this yet so my crock pot it put up for now...

sometimes i cook rice in the oven so it's not taking up any space on the stove top

http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure....ustrateds.html

i would like to buy a rice cooker but can't find one that's not aluminum and totally expensive so if anyone knows a brand let me know.

i've also been using the no knead recipe for bread and it's the best bread with the least amount of hands on time.

HTH, it definitely helps to hear everyones short cuts for cooking from scratch. really it is just a little more of your thought process to know what you need to do.....

macy
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#373 of 384 Old 11-11-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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Bread questions for you ladies.

Ive been baking all of our own bread for about 6 months now. Its starting to wear on me My ILs always get me some type of household gift for Christmas and this year I think im going to tell them to get me a bread machine. Which one should I suggest? I need one with the most hands off time.

Im also needing a good sandwich bread recipe. Still haven't found a keeper.

And last question, how do you all store your bread? I usually just wrap it in a towel and set it in a basket. If we don't eat it all in 2 days, it goes stale. We usually do eat it in 2 days. but Ive noticed that by the second day, its a tad hard & dry and not great for sandwiches.
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#374 of 384 Old 11-12-2008, 08:39 AM
 
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beansricerevolt,

do you have a food processor? i have a Cuisinart and i use the sandwich bread recipe in the book that came with it....it's all white but i've used some WW in it too.

http://www.cuisinart.com/recipes/rec...?recipe_id=337

you knead the dough in the processor and it take ALOT less time. with a good knife you can get great slices.....just thought i'd put that out there...

i have no bread machine, between doing bread this way and the no-knead i can keep up with what we need, but i do buy bread (and that is SO painfull) if we have been out of town for the weekend.

here is the no knead link in case you want to see it...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html

i'll start the dough before i go to bed at ~10 then when i get home at 3, turn it out and let it rest for 2 hours you can have bread at 6 for dinner...i cook this one in my cast iron dutch oven so it comes out like a crusty boule...

HTH

macy
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#375 of 384 Old 11-12-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beansricerevolt View Post
Bread questions for you ladies.

Ive been baking all of our own bread for about 6 months now. Its starting to wear on me My ILs always get me some type of household gift for Christmas and this year I think im going to tell them to get me a bread machine. Which one should I suggest? I need one with the most hands off time.

Im also needing a good sandwich bread recipe. Still haven't found a keeper.

And last question, how do you all store your bread? I usually just wrap it in a towel and set it in a basket. If we don't eat it all in 2 days, it goes stale. We usually do eat it in 2 days. but Ive noticed that by the second day, its a tad hard & dry and not great for sandwiches.
For Bread Machines I have a Breadman that makes true horizontal loaves. I actually got mine when Amazon had it at its "Deal of the Day" sort of thing and I had a Gift Certificate but my MIL has seen them at the thrift store. My mom came to spend a week with us and ended up buying one when she went home. I keep my bread in the fridge in a breadbag. For me it seems to last longer (not that it does anyway if it is cooking when DH is home, he'll eat whole loaves at a time.)

HTH.
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#376 of 384 Old 12-27-2008, 09:56 PM
 
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Found a GREAT homemade hamburger bun recipe for the breadmaker.

1 1/4 cups milk, slightly warmed
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

Directions
1Place all ingredients in pan of bread machine according to manufacturer's directions.
2Select dough setting.
3When cycle is complete, turn out onto floured surface.
4Cut dough in half and roll each half out to a 1" thick circle.
5Cut each half into six 3 1/2" rounds with inverted glass as a cutter.
6Place on greased baking sheet far apart and brush with melted butter.
7Cover and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
8Bake at 350° for 9 minutes.
9Note: Oven temperatures vary so check after 9 minutes to see if done. Some reviewers baked these anywhere from 12 to 30 minutes
.

I increased the yeast to 2 t, and subbed in 1 C whole wheat flour for a cup of the white (I plan to see how much I can increase the WW by 1/4 each time). I will also start decreasing the sugar (they were really sweet - good, but sweet). I let mine bake for about 15-16 minutes. They were REALLY good.
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#377 of 384 Old 12-28-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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Kathee -- ages ago, in Nov, you asked for the cocoa banana muffin recipe? I'll PM you! Sorry it's taken me so long!

I'm so pleased this thread popped up again.

* Holly * rural Seattle suburban SAHM to Elizabeth 11 * Cole 9 * Annie 5 * Blaise 3 * and Urban 2 mos *
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#378 of 384 Old 12-29-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beansricerevolt View Post
Bread questions for you ladies.

Ive been baking all of our own bread for about 6 months now. Its starting to wear on me My ILs always get me some type of household gift for Christmas and this year I think im going to tell them to get me a bread machine. Which one should I suggest? I need one with the most hands off time.

Im also needing a good sandwich bread recipe. Still haven't found a keeper.

And last question, how do you all store your bread? I usually just wrap it in a towel and set it in a basket. If we don't eat it all in 2 days, it goes stale. We usually do eat it in 2 days. but Ive noticed that by the second day, its a tad hard & dry and not great for sandwiches.
i have the Panasonic Bread Bakery. I love it, but I never ever use it. (thank goodness it was a thrift store find). I thought I would, but now that I have bread baking down I just find it easier and more relaxing to make it by hand.


Today I am working on a lot of things from scratch. I need to make a batch of spaghetti sauce, bagles for breakfast tomorrow, and some kind of dessert for the week. I'm thinking chocolate chip brownies!

Trying to balance a preschooler and peace....
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#379 of 384 Old 12-29-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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just a quick note, I'm subbing and I'm wondering how do you store your home made bread? I usually make one loaf per day and we eat it, so storage isn't a problem, but I'd like to make a lot and store it....?

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#380 of 384 Old 12-29-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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carmel23 -- I have been grudgingly using plastic zip top bags sometimes, or if it's a partial loaf, one of my little biscuit tins. I am planning to check out this cash & carry grocery store that also stocks some commercial grade kitchen stuff -- I'm thinking a bakery display case might be overkill, but perhaps I can find some larger containers, preferably not plastic.

* Holly * rural Seattle suburban SAHM to Elizabeth 11 * Cole 9 * Annie 5 * Blaise 3 * and Urban 2 mos *
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#381 of 384 Old 12-29-2008, 05:46 PM
 
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On the topic of bread storage, has anyone tried a bread box? My gran and aunt used to swear by their bread boxes for keeping their bread fresh- refused to refrigerate their bread and never put them in plastic. If it's made properly, it should keep the bread "fresh" (good enough for sandwiches) for a good 3 or 4 days, from what I recall. You'd need a good quality bread box though, I think.
They used to wrap their bread in a dish towel then gently wrap it in wax paper (and reused the wax paper for the next loaf and the next, until it wore out) if they were someplace without a bread box and the bread was good for 2 or 3 days like that.

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#382 of 384 Old 12-30-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
On the topic of bread storage, has anyone tried a bread box? My gran and aunt used to swear by their bread boxes for keeping their bread fresh- refused to refrigerate their bread and never put them in plastic. If it's made properly, it should keep the bread "fresh" (good enough for sandwiches) for a good 3 or 4 days, from what I recall. You'd need a good quality bread box though, I think.
They used to wrap their bread in a dish towel then gently wrap it in wax paper (and reused the wax paper for the next loaf and the next, until it wore out) if they were someplace without a bread box and the bread was good for 2 or 3 days like that.
and hmkrueger
Yeah I think this would be ideal, I am hesitant to use plastic bags... but foil doesn't see that great, either. It is pretty humid in our kitchen... I think that a bread box would be the answer but I don't want to buy a spaceholder one and not a functional one, yk?
refridgerating actially makes it go stale faster... and freezing see to be overkill, but might work...

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#383 of 384 Old 12-30-2008, 01:55 AM
 
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refridgerating actially makes it go stale faster
can you explain this? we keep our bread in the fridge.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#384 of 384 Old 01-04-2009, 01:22 AM
 
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I store mine in ziplock bag.
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