Faith Family and Feathers

Fun on the farm with faith and family


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What’s for Dinner? Week of August 15th

WOW!  Last week just flew by!  I’ve been working in the garden a lot and also doing a few alterations on dresses for some upcoming weddings.  I just didn’t have any time or creativity left to post last week.  I’ll try to do better by you this week.  Here is this weeks menu.  I’ve mixed in a few family favorites with a few new recipes.  Have a great week!  I’ll try to post some of the successes here once the family has tried them.

Monday – Ground Beef and Cabbage w/new red potatoes (new)

Tuesday – Pepperoni Pizzadillas w/salad (new)

Wednesday – Crab Alfredo w/ Steamed veggies

Thursday – Tropical Turkey & Spinach Salad (new) I’ll most likely make some mac and cheese for the kids just in case.

Friday – Monte Cristo Sandwiches w/coleslaw (new)

Saturday – Grilled BBQ Chicken Legs w/grilled veggies (so simple)

Sunday – Mexi-beef Casserole (freezer recipe)

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WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

I was so glad to have a few weeks off from planning a menu.  Trying to come up with different, fun meals that pleases everyone is a difficult task. This week I pulled out my Rachael Ray cook books and looked through them for some help.  Some of the ingredients from her recipes are quite foreign to this midwestern girl.  I was raised on the basics of meat and potatoes.  For instance, what I’ve been calling a mini loaf of french bread actually has its own name!  It’s called a baguette.  Who knew?  Well, maybe you did, but it was new to me.  Anyway,  here is our menu plan for this week.

Monday – Mac-N-Cheddar with Broccoli (Rachael Ray – 365: No Repeats)

Tuesday – Gina’s Enchiladas

Wednesday – Buttermilk Baked Chicken and Steamed Veggies

Thursday – Sesame Chicken with Fried Rice

Friday – Beef Fajita Burgers (Rachael Ray – 365: No Repeats) and Grilled Veggies

Saturday – Scramablewiches (Rachael Ray – 365: No Repeats) and Anitpasto Toss

Sunday – Homemade pizza and tossed salad.

I’ll post some of the recipes as the week goes on.  If you see a menu item that you want the recipe for leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to post on it.  Have a great week!


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Southwest Skillet

Last week I had on my menu list “Southwest Skillet”.  It was a new recipe from the Taste of Home’s Ground Beef Cookbook that I was trying out on my family.  They really liked it so now I’m here to share the recipe I used.

What you’ll need:

1 lb ground beef

3/4 C chopped onion

1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained  (or use your home canned)

1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with juice. (or use your home canned)

1/2 C uncooked instant rice

1/2 C water

3 TBS chopped green pepper

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp salt

1 C corn chips

3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the ground beef and onion in skillet, drain off grease. Add beans, tomatoes, rice, water, green pepper, and seasonings and mix well.  Bring to a boil.

   Reduce heat and cook covered for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat sprinkle with corn chips and cheese.  Cover and let stand for a few minutes for cheese to melt. Makes 4 servings.


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My Mulberry Jam

We are lucky enough to be able to lease property each summer to keep our lake cabin (trailer) on.  We spend almost every weekend there enjoying the beach, the water and all of our wonderful friends and neighbors there.  In the back yard of the lot which we rent is a huge mulberry tree.  Every other year this tree produces a massive and beautiful crop of mulberries.  Last weekend my daughter and I spent some quality time picking the mulberries and this week we processed them into a very yummy jam. Here is the process we used.   

I find jam turns out best if made in small batches.  So we used 4 cups of berries, 4 ½ cups of sugar and one package of Sure jell. 

Be sure to prep the berries.  Mulberries come of the tree with a little bit of a stem still intact.  We sat down with a scissors and simply trimmed off the little “tails”.  Then put the berries in a heavy bottom sauce pan and mush them up (a hand potato masher works great).  I added ½ cup of sugar to liquefy the berry juice a little.  Once the berries are mashed follow directions on your pectin.  I used Sure jell so I added the pectin to the existing mixture and brought it to a rolling boil then added the other 4 more cups of sugar.

  

Now bring to a rolling boil again and keep boiling for 1 minute.

Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove jars and place on heat resistant serface.

Let them cool and store or better yet enjoy now!


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The Weekly Menu

Well I survived the last weeks busy VBS schedule in fine shape.  I just sat down and planned this next weeks menu.  This should be a fairly normal week for us. I do have alot of canning I want to get started on so most of the meals are fairly simpls. The only activity I’ve got going is a Bible study gathering on Thursday night so that’s night menu is the easiest.  There are a few more new recipes I’m trying along with a few we just haven’t had for a while.

Monday – Southwest Skillet (New)

Tuesday – Biscuits & gravy with corn (New – requested by my 13 yr old son)

Wednesday – Chicken Wraps (using leftover chicken from last week that I froze for later use)

Thursday  – Veg All casserole (an easy one my mom used to make)

Friday – Pizza Pockets and salads

Saturday – Hobo meals (an old favorite from my day camp days)

Sunday – Grilled burgers and hot dogs. (standard summer food!)

I’ll post recipes for some as time goes on.  If there is one you are particularly interested leave me a comment to let me know and I’ll be sure to list it.  Have a great week.


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Canning dried beans – easier than I thought!

I’ve been trying to gradually transfer my pantry to more foods that are preservative free.  One way I’ve discovered I can do that is to buy dried beans and can them myself.  Dried beans are a great way to get your legumes and still save some money, but they are a bit inconvenient because they take so long to process.  By canning them I can shorten the time to prepare meals by having them already canned  in my pantry  I love black beans, chic peas, and pinto beans  and always have them in my pantry.  I also use a lot of navy beans in my calico beans recipe.  So I went to our local supermarket and bought up a bag of each of these beans.  That night I put each bag of beans in its own bowl to soak.

I left them soak for about 12 hours.  This step really is important because the beans take on a lot of water.  The bean on the left is the soaked bean and the bean on the right is the dried bean.

After soaking for at least 12 hours, drain the beans and put them in a large pot (each type of bean in its own pot) and add fresh water.  Heat pot to a boil for about 30 minutes.  Add water as necessary.  Now fill your quart canning jar with beans and the hot water you boiled them in,  Be sure to leave 1″ head space for any expansion, add 1 tsp of canning salt to each quart jar.  Now place the canning lid on top of jar and secure it in place with the ring.  Process in pressure canner at 10 lbs of pressure for 90 minutes.

Not only are they healthier they’re pretty too!

I ended up with 6 pints of pinto beans, 3 pints of navy beans, 3 pints of black beans and 3 1/2 pints of chic peas.

Now that I know how to do this I hope to have some of these beans available in my garden next year.

Have you canned dried beans before? If not give it a try.  It’s way easier than you think.


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Healthy, Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

My family just loves spaghetti and I’ve tried almost every brand of spaghetti sauce on the market.  I wanted to find one that was as healthy and preservative free but any of the healthier version I tried left my family with sour faces.  Until I found this recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce.  They love it!  When my mother was visiting I made it for her and she loved it too!  Now it’s the only spaghetti sauce we use.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.  The recipe below is for a single batch.  I always make at least a double batch (which is what the pictures show) and freeze the extra for a future meal.

Homemade spaghetti sauce

2 TBS olive oil

1 med chopped onion

4 garlic cloves (pressed)

1 can (28 oz) tomato sauce

2 tsp parsley (or 2 TBS chopped fresh parsley)

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 C chopped green pepper (optional)

1/2 C spinach (optional) I like to throw this in because it’s good for them and they never even know it’s in there 🙂

1/2 c chopped fresh mushrooms (or small can)

Heat oil in pan and add onion and garlic to cook.

Add green peppers, mushrooms, and spinach (and anything else you want to sneak into it, my MIL adds carrots to hers)

We usually like a little meat in our spaghetti sauce so while the onions and such are cooking I have another pan on the stove browning the ground beef, pork, or turkey.

Once your vegies are cooked, pour in your tomato sauce.

Now add your parsley, basil and oregano and simmer for at least 30 minutes and serve over your favorite noodles.

Serve over your favorite pasta noodles. In an attempt to make this dish a little more figure friendly I like to use cabbage “noodles” rather than pasta.