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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Recipe Wednesday: SERIOUSLY, THE BEST Chicken Pot Pie!!

I am not playing, this is  
chicken pot pie recipe! 

Mmmm Mmmm GOOD!!
This recipe starts with caramelized onions rendered in butter & bacon drippings....yeah that should be enough said, however what makes this dish even more decadent, is when succulent & savory poultry meet crisp tender veggies in a creamy, bubbly, and rich bath of chicken stock, dry vermouth, and heavy cream all wrapped in a flaky, golden, delicious puff pastry blanket. 

This recipe is HUMUNGOUS! I just have a hard time not doubling my efforts and make extras to freeze when making recipes that are involved and use more than one pan.  

This recipe has many possibilities- It is enough for many combos like: 
  • 3 regular 8" pies, 2 DEEP DISH 9" pies, 6 ramekins {Think mini pies} & one 8" pie, (Some for now& some for freezer stash!!) or you can make one 8"X11" pan, like a sheet pie :-) and one filling you can freeze and use when you feel like.  
If you want to make just one pie half the ingredients up to the pastry/crust and contiue with recipe.

I made this for my dad for his birthday and he was floored,& kept saying, 
"This is pot pie? But this is Pot pie & it's GREAT! I mean this is just pot pie, but it's not "just pot pie"- it tastes really, really fantastic...
What makes this so good?"

Phewww!!!  What a mouthful! Enough with the dialog bring on the recipe:
  • 4-6 C chopped, cooked poultry- turkey/chicken or (*3 whole/6 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade- {or about one box of Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock}
  • 1 C dry vermouth, dry white wine or an additional cup of stock
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2-4 T chicken soup base
  • 8 tablespoons (1 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 T Bacon drippings or 4 T unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 C finely diced celery
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup finely-diced carrots
  • 1/3 C frozen peas, thawed 
  • 1/4 C frozen green beans, thawed
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves or 3 -4 T dried parsley
  • 1/4 C fresh dill or 2 T dried dill
  • 1 (17.3 oz)package puff pastry  {IS what I use!} OR Pie Crust recipe of choice or frozen prepared crust -enough for a double crust 
  • 1 large farm fresh brown egg (Or whatever you have on hand)
* START HERE if you are cooking poultry from scratch:
{Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. for baking chicken}
 Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.}
Start here if you have 4-6 Cups left over chicken/turkey
{Pre heat oven to 375 for pie crust/pastry}
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. 
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and bacon drippings saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. 
  3. Add carrots, celery, & garlic- cook an additional 2-4 minutes  DO NOT LET GARLIC BROWN, WILL BECOME BITTER!
  4. Add the flour to the same lg pot veggies were cooked in and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  5. Combine the hot chicken stock to the sauce. 
  6. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. 
  7. Add 2 teaspoons salt or to taste, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. 
  8. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, green beans, dill, and parsley. Mix well.
  9. Taste sauce and again and adjust seasoning as needed
For Pastry: {I use puff pastry, use what you like best home made pie dough or pre-made}
  1. Roll each pastry sheet into a 12- x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. 
  2. Fit 1 sheet into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate; spoon chicken mixture into pastry. 
  3. Place remaining pastry sheet over filling in opposite direction of bottom sheet; fold edges under, and press with tines of a fork, sealing to bottom crust. 
  4. Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water, and brush over top of pie with egg wash. 
  5. Make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
Bake at 375° on lower oven rack 55 to 60 minutes or until browned. Let stand 15 minutes.

Chicken Pot pie is a freezer favorite in my family! 


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teach Me Tuesdays: DIY NO-POO Method "Shampoo" Recipes

I have been slowly going down the list of chemical free cleansers and household cleaners this year. I have heard of natural shampooing and the reasons for going El'naturel' for a few years, but nothing has been as compelling as the simple paragraph I recently read from MomsAWARE BLOG HEALTH'S JOURNEY:

Picture Credit
"Our hair is made up of fiber, much like wool that comes from sheep or Kashmir goats. With at least 100,000 hair fibers on our head, it makes sense to treat our hair much like we would a cashmere sweater. Most commercial shampoos contain chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, which strip much-needed moisture and amino acids. Why not switch from the "heavy-duty cycle" to "delicate" and try these natural alternatives?"

SO that being said, I have started down the natural "NO-Poo Method" of cleansing my hair on the "Natural Cycle". I have only tried #1 & #5, so far, the rest are some I have found on this site:

  1. Baking Soda-- Dissolve about 1 tablespoon of baking soda in just enough water to make a paste. Apply this to your roots only; work it in and let it sit for a minute. (Having ready made in travels sized containers like pictured above is a great idea) I have used a picnic condiment bottle with a long nozzle to make sure the baking soda stays in the root area.

    (Next STEP IS IMPORTANT! YOU need to do this to lower PH- use only on ends) After you rinse the baking soda out, pour the apple cider vinegar over the ends of your hair, let it sit for a minute and then rinse it out. That’s all there is to it!  Pour about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a cup and add water. (Having ready made in travels sized containers like pictured above is a great idea or in a spray bottle. ) I also use a similar bottle for ACV rinse. This is the easiest and cheapest, I have a delicate scalp so this formula isn't one I use the most, only when I run out of rhassoul clay.
  2. Castile Bar Soap.--Shampoo can be as simple as an all-natural, fragrance-free soap. Either grate the bar and make liquid soap, or moisten it and use the resulting lather to cleanse your hair. A little goes a long way! {Blogger "momsAWARE" offers a chemical-free, all-natural coconut castile bar soap, available at thier Online Store.}
    What seems to be most important is to be sure to use a pH-restoring conditioner such as apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or coffee grounds to bring the hair back to its natural pH level of approximately 5.6.

    Greta Breedlove, author of The Herbal Home Spa, offers these suggestions for shampooing your hair:
    • Wet hair thoroughly and use a small amount of shampoo, a dollop about the size of a quarter.
    • Put the shampoo on your hands. Rub together to form lather before applying to your hair.
    • Use your fingertips, not your fingernails, to massage the shampoo into your scalp.
    • Rinse hair thoroughly, then shampoo again.
    • Rinse again thoroughly, using the coolest water possible for the shiniest hair.
    • Pat hair dry; avoid rubbing.
    • Gently comb hair. (Consider a natural bamboo comb.)
  3. Birch Shampoo.--Adapted from the book Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond. Birch was a major ingredient of nineteenth-century shampoos. Birch contains betulin, which is beneficial for hair loss. (See momsAWARE's article Five Ways to Stimulate Hair Growth for more help on hair loss.) The following recipe uses a birch herbal infusion.     To make an herbal infusion, pour 2 c. boiling water over 2 tbsp. birch bark or birch leaves. (Herb sources include  Mountain Rose Herbs.) Combine ingredients in glass jar. Shake well. This formula can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months. Note: The high salicylic acid content of birch makes it beneficial for dandruff. Add tea tree oil to the above recipe for added benefit.
  4. Egg and Lemon Shampoo.--Adapted from the book Green Beauty Recipes by Julie Gabriel.
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/2 oz. olive oil
    • 1/2 oz. liquid castile soap
    • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    Combine egg yolk with olive oil. Add remaining ingredients and stir slowly. Wet your hair and massage well. Leave on for 30 seconds or more. Rinse with lukewarm water. (REALLY IMPORTANT TO USE COOLER WATER, UNLESS YOU WANT SCRAMBLED EGGS!!)For oily hair, use even less or no oil. Rinsing with straight beer is really nice will give you a bouncy rinse to curls and straight hair.
  5. Rhassoul Clay. {This is my chosen shampoo I LOVE rhassoul clay, the benefits are amazing ck this link for more info as to why I believe so. NOW  after one week, I am not so thrilled w/my hair, after 20 years in the salon industry I am used to my hair feeling differently. I am going to try this, but not sure I can stand the withdrawal...} Rhassoul clay has been used for hundreds of years for skin and hair care. This shampoo method involves some trial and error, but may be worth it for those who desire a thorough cleansing of the scalp and hair.
To create your clay shampoo: 
  • Combine 2 tbsp. rhassoul clay
  • 1/2 c. filtered water.
  •  Allow this to hydrate for several minutes until the mixture reaches a spreadable consistency. 
  • Add more warm water if needed. 
  • This should keep at room temperature for 1-2 weeks, or longer in the refrigerator.
 Directions for shampooing: 
  • Apply liquid paste to hair and scalp.
  • Comb through to distribute clay mixture. 
  • Rinse thoroughly. 
  • Comb through again and rinse one more time. 
I really prefer the Clay over the Baking Soda

For more information, see momsAWARE's helpful article on Rhassoul Clay.

Linked to Homemade Mondays

Monday, November 26, 2012

Menu Mondays November 26- December 2, 2012

I didn't host Thanksgiving this year, so I didn't build my menu around utilizing left overs as I would have, however Monday's Pot Pie one could subsitute turkey for chicken.  

I did base my menu on what was available on *my pantry/freezer inventory sheet, with that list I came up with 3 soups for this week's supper. Funny how the cooler weather brings out the most frugal and flavorful meals...

Baked Hot Oatmeal, Fresh Fruit, Whole Wheat Toast Points, Waffles, Kiefer Smoothies, Cold Cereal, Whole Wheat Bagels w/Cream Cheese & Peanut Butter Whip, English Muffins w/Peanut Butter & Raw Honey

Lunch Choices:              Side Selections:
Hot Dog Butterflies         Applesauce      Veggie Chips
Munchie Plate                 Apple Slices     Cottage Cheese 
PB & J Roll-Ups             String Cheese    Nuts

Toasted Cheese               Creamy Basil Tomato Soup        
Chicken Nuggets            Woven Wheat Crackers- Cheese Slices
Sandwich Kabobs           Fruit Salad Skewers-Carrots & Dippings
Pizza Roll-Ups                Sweet Potato Chips- Grapes    

Supper Offerings:


Chicken Pot Pie {Using veggies, pie crust, and cooked chicken from freezer storage} 
Corn Bread served w/raw white Gold honey and peanut butter whip (marshmallow cream & p.nut butter mix) plus 5 Cup Fruit Salad (1 can peaches, 1 banana sliced, 1 c shredded coconut, 1 c mini marshmallows, 1 C sour cream), & Chopped Veggie Salad

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin, loaded twice baked potatoes, roasted zucchini yellow squash and mushrooms, with greens salad

Sausage Gravy & Biscuits, Hash browns, and fresh Fruit on Skewers

Mexican Meal Kit From Freezer: (Carnita Meat, Salsa Verde, Refried Beans, & Salsa Rice) w/crunchy tacos

Beef & Barley Soup w/ Salad & Homemade Refrigerator Yeasty Dinner Roll

Crab Stuffed Flounder {Using Flouder and crab cakes from freezer storage} w/homemade tartar sauce, & Creamy Broccoli Rice

Hungarian Mushroom Soup, Yeasty Rolls, Salad, &Veggie Chips 

Snack Fancies:
Smoked Almonds, Irish Cheese, Grapes, Woven Wheat Crackers,  Maple Cookies, Yogurt, Dried Strawberries, Raisins, Popcorn, Chocolate Chips, Whole Milk, Cottage Cheese, Whole Wheat Bagels, Laughing Cow Cheese Spread, Peanut Butter Filled Celery Logs w/Raisin Ants, Rice Cakes, Whole Wheat Graham Crackers, Cold Cereal, Apples, Cutie Oranges, Bananas

*To help my family stay on budget and prevent my freezer items from getting freeze burnt I make a spread sheet so I can inventory the contents of both my freezer and non-perishable pantry stables. This simple step also helps simplify meal planning & grocery shopping lists for the week ahead. The KEY is to remember to mark off what has been used and add new items as they are purchased.  

Linked to Menu Mondays,  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

RECIPE WED # 23: Easy FRUGAL Salisbury Steak Patties

I grew up with a working mom who made many delicious dinners from scratch as much as her time budget allowed, however, on rare occasions she  allowed us to pick a "TV Dinner" from the frozen foods aisle. 
We would get the one with brownie and corn!

That would totally make my older sister's and my day~... 
 Our most likely pick? 
The Salisbury Steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and chewy brownie....
 We looked at this as treat!!!
  I know I hear you gagging and retching, hey it was the 70's what can I say??

 If you grew up in the 1970's chances are you had those mystery meat patties floating in that tasteless brown goop....

Notice the gravy, that is the texture I CRAVE!
This is my homage to that childhood memory: the gravy is a thinner brown gravy like a thicker glaze, yet not gloopy  and  far from that flavorless goop loaded with preservatives and by-products!

It is flavorful and frugal yet, it has a familiarity to it- so delicious it is a meal  my family requests on a regular basis and is on my monthly meal rotation!

 It is good enough to serve company yet homey enough to soothe the blues away!!

  • 2 & 1/2  Lbs lean ground beef
  • 3 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, 1/2 grated & 1/2 sliced thin
  • 1 egg, slightly beat
  • 8 oz button mushrooms sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed or grated
  • 1/3-/2 C-bread crumbs
  • 2T Parsley
  • 1t kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2t fresh cracked pepper, or to taste
  • 2 C Beef stock
  • Flour
  • Neutral tasting oil, I mostly use EVOO
  • 3-T Water
  • 3-T Cornstarch or Arrowroot
  1. Mix ground beef, 1 T Worcestershire sauce, grated onion and 1/2 of the garlic, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Shape into 1/4 Lb oval patties and slightly indent the center. Coat slightly in flour and set a side.
  2. Meanwhile heat oil in large frying pan over med-high heat, once the patties are made and lightly dusted/coated in flour sear in hot oil. Looking to sear not cook all the way through!
  3. Once seared and golden brown crust is on both sides, deglaze the pan with beef broth picking up all the brown flavor bits of deliciousness! Add rest of Worcestershire sauce, garlic, sliced onions, mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste
  4. Stack the gr. beef patties in a slow cooker and pour gravy over meat
  5. Set slow cooker on low for 5-7 hours-I have allowed this to go 8 hours with no ill effect on flavor or texture
  6. Mix Cornstarch and water to make a "slurry" with a fork in a small bowl until smooth
  7. Carefully remove lid away from your arm and face and Skim fat with spoon & gently remove the patties. Mix in cornstarch slurry
  8. Place patties back into slow cooker replace lid and set to high for 30 to thicken gravy to thicker consistency.
  9. Place the patties on serving platter, pour gravy over top and sprinkle w/parsley
  10. Serve with homemade mashed potatoes, hot butter corn, and fresh made bread for a feel good stick to your ribs homey & FRUGAL dinner!
Makes 12 good palm size patties, we eat 1/person so this is enough for 3 meals eat one stack of 4 now and freeze the rest according to directions below:
(for manly appetites 2/person).

To make this freezer dinner there are 2 options I use frequently:

     #1: Shape Patties and place on wax paper lined cookie sheets and "flash Freeze uncooked" Once   
     frozen place into freezer storage container of choice. I ALWAYS chose a gallon freezer bag 6 
     patties will fit one, freezing flat is what I am always looking for so save space in my freezer.

    #2: After step #2 above in cooking directions"Searing and crusting", allow patties to cool to room  
    temp and lay on cookie sheet like above and package as described above.
     ~ Pour Broth in pan like in step #3 above in cooking and deglaze pan adding mushrooms, garlic 
     onions, Worcestershire sauce, S & P to taste. Allow to cool to room temp and package in a freezer
     storage bag. Freeze laying flat and once frozen be sure to freeze and label so you know this stock 
     goes w/Salisbury "steak" Patties. This is what I call a "Crock Pot Meal Kit"    

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teach Me Tuesdays: Rhassoul Clay

Rhassoul clay is truly an exquisite Spa quality clay from ancient deposits unearthed from the fertile Atlas mountains in Morocco where it has been used for over 1400 years. History sights this mineral rich, reddish/brown clay was also used in ancient Rome and Egypt by those of nobility.

I absolutely LOVE this clay! It is unparallelled with it's ability to absorb free radicals and toxins in the skin. 
Atlas Road

In clinical tests, Rhassoul has been shown to be effective on improving skin appearance, elasticity and clarity and:
  • unclogging pores, removing dead skin layers, removing surface oil from skin, reduces flakiness and dryness of both the scalp and skin.  

Try using Rhassoul clay For a luxurious and decadent experience in:
  • soap recipes, facial masks, body wraps, clay packs, shampoos, & conditioners 
It won't dry out the skin and leaves it in better condition than when you applied it in one treatment! This clay multiculturally cleanses the hair without stripping- perfect for both Caucasian and ethnic hair. Easy to use Rhassoul is 100% natural and ecological.

*Interesting factoid: Rassola comes from an 
Arabic word meaning "wash"

It is used in a lot of professional skin products it's most impressive properties in skin improvement are its capacity of absorption due to its high level of ion exchange

Basically it contains higher percentages of:
  • silica, magnesium, potassium, calcium and other trace minerals than other clays. 
These minerals make the clay highly detoxifying as they can actually exchange themselves for toxic compounds like metals in the skin. The clay not only works to remove impurities from your skin, it also replaces them with nourishing trace minerals. The clay's high level of ions exchange makes it ideal for toning and enriching the skin.

Layman terms: IT absorbs all the "crudies"& "yuckies" on the surface of the skin causing it to appear older and giving the skin a dull lifeless appearance. And exchange the trace minerals found in the clay for the toxins in skin helping the skin look fresher, tighter and younger.

 As if you need more proof as to why I LOVE this clay,
 please  indulge me while 
I share one more factoid:
What sold me on using was the clinical studies that were conducted by two different research laboratories in the United States to evaluate Rhassoul use for skin conditions. 

The results of this single use Rhassoul study produced these findings….
  • Reduces dryness (79%)
  • Reduces flakiness (41%)
  • Improves skin clarity (68%)
  • Improves skin elasticity / firmness (24%)
  • Improves skin texture (106%)
  • Removes surface oil and oil from inside and around comedons (black heads)
  • Removes dead skin layers, resulting in a general smoothing of the surface skin
  • In addition to the oil removal characteristics

NOW how do I actually use this miracle clay???

I mix the rhassoul clay with *hydrosols, also known as:
  • floral waters, hydroflorates, flower waters or distillates these days
*They are produced from steam-distilling plant materials & hydrosols have similar properties to essential oils but are much less concentrated. Unlike their "essential oil added to water" counterparts, true steam-distilled hydrosols contain all the beneficial components that whole plant materials have to offer.

I typically use these hydrososls as my toner and most times add them to my clay to make a mask:
  • helichyrsum,lavender, & lemon balm 
This time I choose helichrysum bc it's well known for its unparalleled skin toning and healing properties & is excellent as a stand alone skin toner for all skin types, especially mature and/or very dry skin

In the winter I feel so dried up and oily, really unbalanced with my skin, so I am leaning a lot on my helichrysum, sadly MRH (Mountian Rose Herbs) where I typically purchase my clays, EO, hydrosols, are out of stock of the rhassoul clay and aren't even offering the helichrysum hydrosol anymore. So sad bc I use it a lot and has other uses besides facial products herbalists also use it in pain remedy formulas for bruises, sprains and sore muscles and mix with other hydrosols waters or worked into a lotion or healing salve recipe.

My Rhoussoul Mask with customized Oil Serum
  • I used 1T part clay to 2/3-1/2 C helichrysum hydrosol to make a creamy semi-liquid-y Paste
  • I add drops of hydrosol at a time and watch as it absorbs the clay to get the proportions just right. 
  •  I made a  Jojoba(for added toning affects), tamanu, & rosehip seed oil & dropped an essential oil blend with lavender, helichrysum, rose and myrrh powder blend to lay directly onto my skin under the mask so it would ionize into my skin. 
  • Then a layer of the clay mask directly over
  • It gets really tight as is dries, so it really tones and pushes/ionizes the precious oil blend into my skin. 
For the "no poo" Shampoo
Picture credit
  1. Prepare ahead by hydrating your clay. 
  2. Combine 2- T rhassoul clay with 1/2 c. filtered water (distilled water is optimal) in a glass jar. Using a non-metallic utensil (chopsticks work great), stir the mixture. 
  3. Allow to sit to "hydrate the rhassoul clay"
  4. Stir again and add more water, if necessary, until you have a thick liquid paste
TO Use Hydrated Rhassoul Clay:
  • Apply to hair  and scalp (I use a hair color brush) then comb through with a WIDE tooth comb to distribute clay mixture. 
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Comb through again and rinse again. 
It is unlikely that a conditioner is needed, but if desired, consider a natural alternative. 

Here's a couple I used, your hair will feel fuzzy, you need to raise PH, with something acidic:

 1.) Glycerin conditioner:
  • 5 oz. herbal water (infuse nettle or lavender leaves in water) or use 5 oz. distilled water
  • 2 oz. glycerin
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
Combine ingredients in glass jar and shake well. Apply 1/4 - 1/2 c. after shampooing. Rinse with warm water. Stores in refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

2.) Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse.
  • Apply after shampooing, I use a spray bottle to evenly distribute
  • then rinse.

DEEP Conditioner: 
Rhassoul clay can also be used for deep conditioning of the hair. Feel free to adapt the following recipe to suit your unique hair needs. This what I adapted from here to suit my hair needs:
  • 1/2 c. rhassoul clay
  • 1/2 c. warm coconut milk
  • 1/4 c. rose water or herbal water (make your own infusion by pouring 2 c. boiling water over 2 tbsp. herbs or flower petals. Allow to steep for 30 minutes and strain.)
  • 1/4 c. distilled water (double this amount if no herbal or rose water is used)
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil
  • 1T glycerine 
  • 1 "Squirt" of honey 
Mix all ingredients except oil. Once you have a paste {Basically rehydrate the clay}, stir in the oil. You may add a tad of honey at this point for added conditioning treatment. Apply to hair and allow to sit with a warm, moist towel or plastic hair cap for 1 hour. Rinse and style as usual.

I mix up a batch and keep in fridge in a glass jar for about 4 weeks.

In place of Soap:
Hydrated clay as described above can be used as soap. Apply as a thin paste over the skin and rinse. I like to add castor oil for a nice lather experience and added moisturizer plus essential oils of choice, up to 7 drops per ounce. You'll be amazed at how refreshed you'll feel!

My Formula:
2 T Rhassoul Clay
1/2 C distilled water or lavender/rose hydrosol
1-3t of Castor Oil
2- drops Patchouli Essential oil
5 drops  Lavender Essential Oil

Monday, November 19, 2012

Flavorful & Frugal Menu November 19-25, 2012

I found bananas on sale cheap, $0.25/LB cheap!!, so my family is having bananas for breakfast & all is well with the world!! 

Thanksgiving is this week but I am not hosting this year (I am still coping with surgery complications, next year I hope to though!:-), so I will not have left overs to make meals with.  

Thankfully, I still have meals in the freezer so this is still a 
"Pantry Challenge Menu"  
and an extremely frugal one too.

Pic Credit
Breakfast Options:
Homemade "Amazing Fluffy Faux Buttermilk "PancakesCereal Banana Breakfast Kabobs, Cream Cheese & Banana Foster Stuffed French Toast, Scottish Buns,  Banana Bread, Customized Steel Cut Oatmeal Cereal, Fruit, Kiefer, Veggie/Fruit Juices, Smoothies,& Milk

Lunch Choices:                      Side Selections:
Montecrisco Sammies                                     Sweet Potato Chips      Veggie & Dippings
Black Bean & Quinoa Patties                          Fruit Plate                     Vanilla Yogurt  
PB&J Apple Slice Sammies                            Cottage Cheese             Applesauce
Bagel w/Cream cheese and fresh berries         String Cheese                Hummus                      
Munchie Cheese, Veggie, & Cracker Plate      Rice Cake Crisps           Dried Berries                        
Pizza  English Muffins                                     Multi-grain cracker        Sugar Snap Peas
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup                       Veggie Chips                  Italian Herbed Rotini   

Baked Crunchy Seasoned Swai {Super Secret Crunch part is seasoned instant mashed potato flakes!} and cheese tortellini w/brown butter sauce & Roasted Zucchini and spinach salad w/hard boiled Eggs and warm Bacon-Mushroom Dressing

Crock Pot Orange Chicken w/Stir-fried Veggies, Fried Brown Rice and Spinach Salad w/Almonds, Feta Cheese and Balsamic and EVOO Vinaigrette Dressing

Crock Pot Smothered Buttermilk Pork, Homemade Noodles, Old Fashioned Bacon Onion Sauteed Green Beans, Made from Scratch Yeasty Dinner Rolls, &  Cheddar Cheese Cubes, Cucumber  & Tomato Salad w/ Italian Herbed Garlic Vinaigrette 

Thanksgiving at mom's- Making a side dish and dessert (?)

Tuna Noodle Casserole with Broccoli Florettes, w/ Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Chicken Scalapini w/ Caramelized Onion Perogies (Made from left over Thanksgiving mashed potatoes & Perogie Dough I had in freezer), Sour Cream Sauce, & Grilled Asparagus

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken w/Tortillas, Yellow Rice Refried Black Beans, Guacamole, & homemade salsa 

Snack Fancies
Almonds, Hard Boiled Eggs, String Cheese, dried {blue berries, cranberries, strawberries, & raisins}, Rice Cakes, pretzels, carrots, Humus, Cottage Cheese, Keiffer smoothies, fruit, Laughing Cow Cheese Spread, triscuits, hard cheese, Apple Sauce,  Veggie/fruit sauce, yogurt, sweet potato chips, veggie chips,  Fruit Leather, Granola Bar, Protein Bars, Rice Cakes, & Organic Animal Crackers

linked to menu mondays

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Breakfast Banana Kabobs

What do you do when you have a ton of cereal boxes opened 
but not enough 
in one box 
to make a decent bowl for breakfast???

Make Kabobs!!

In our childhood years my sisters and I would take bananas and use it to pick up cereal from our bowls before we added the milk- we thought we were so smart!

When I had kids I showed them our little banana trick & they loved the novelty of it! Then one day in my inbox I noticed that I-Village e-mailed me breakfast ideas and I saw this pic...

Add caption

What an updated idea & the kids loved it even more  when I expanded the idea further by allowing them to prepare these tasty treats with little intervention from me! 

I allow them to:
  • Prepare the Banana- {Peel & place on skewers}
  • Dip bananas in yogurt or*other ingredient to roll bananas in
They feel so proud of themselves and grown up when they make these kabobs, especially when I "let" them make me breakfast, LOL!

I altered the recipe to fit our family, we dip the bananas in:
  • Honey, Vanilla yogurt, Peanut butter that I have slightly warmed in microwave to thin
Then Roll Banana Kabob with whatever we have on hand:
  • Left over cereal, Granola, chocolate chips, almond slivers, Coconut flakes...

Breakfast Banana Kabobs:
  • 4 - Small Bananas
  • Yogurt, Honey,  or Peanut Butter that has been heated up to thin
  • Choice of Cereal-(We use that last cup or so or cereal left in box), *Almond slivers, Chocolate Chips, Cocout Flakes, or Granola...
  • 4 wooden skewers, pointed ends dulled down
  1. Peel bananas and insert wooden skewers in center
  2. Place yogurt, warmed p.nut, butter or honey in deep enough bowl to fit bananas or heat peanut butter to thin enough to brush on bananas
  3. Pour cereal/granola/coconut flakes or other ingredients* on plate
  4. Roll banana kabob in cereal, granola, or coconut flakes 

linked to weeked potluck