Wednesday, March 23, 2011

what we ate today: Purim!

Breakfast: waffles! Asher requested eggs, which are a no-go for him, so we managed to distract him with really tasty waffles, topped with peanut butter. Yum.
Total: $2.35 (Waffles: $1.85, peanut butter: $.50)
=$.59 per person. Win!

Lunch: Went to the Purim carnival, had a delicious snacky lunch of falafel, olives, 2 varieties of hummus, pickle spears, and lots of french fries. The boys did not eat the falafel, since we couldn't be sure of its GF status. Altogether a very tasty lunch, which Milt rounded out with a pita and some hamantaschen.
Total: $16 out of pocket

Other: Made some morrocan fish patties, sort of a new version of gefilte fish. We'll see how they taste, since all I did was make and bake them for later consumption. I was thoroughly squicked out though; fish mush is thoroughly unappealing. Uh-oh, veganic leanings surfacing! ;)

I don't think my coconut milk yogurt came out, so now I am in the market for a yogurt maker, as I am determined to get this! In the meantime I have a large jar of separated, grainy-looking milky liquid in my fridge. Oh well.
Total: $2.50 loss (coconut; I am not counting the spoonful of yogurt I used as a starter since I already included the cost of the whole container in the snacks eaten on that day.)

Dinner: 'Fried rice'; Milt made some of his white rice, added in frozen peas and corn and some homemade peanut sauce. Tasty, although the rice was too sticky for Milt's taste. We only ate half, so lunch for Monday is all set!
Total $2.10 (rice: $2, peas: $.50, corn: $.50, peanut butter: $1, tamari: $.10, oil: $.10)
=$.53 per person

Snacks: I received a beautiful mishloach manot, so Milt and I each had a chocolate-covered pretzel, 3 chocolates, some blueberry jelly-bellys, and the entire bag of Terra Blue Potato Jalapeno chips, which we finished off with some cream cheese very very late at night. I'm going to say we ate about $.50 worth of cream cheese.

All in all, a very tasty day.

what we ate today: 12 Adar II

Wow I lost a week in there. We got the creeping crud, and meals have been...well, good, I think. I don't really recall. We have been running out of food though, so I know they were somewhat inventive. :) Thanks to our refund and paycheck my regularly scheduled grocery day was extra special.

Breakfast: We just got dressed and went to the store, so there really wasn't breakfast. The boys ate from the time they got home until dinner, so, pretty normal.

Lunch: Boys had a bunch of grapes, 2 bananas, a few nori snacks, 2 apples, most of the yogurt cup, some almonds, and a big bowl of popcorn. This eating was from 10-6.
Total: $10.40. Wow, that is a pricey lunch! At least it's nutritious, yes? I think the grapes and apples pushed it up a bit. (grapes: $3, bananas: $.72, nori: $1.50, apples: $2.74, yogurt: $1.69, almonds: $.50, popcorn: $.25)

1. Started Kombucha! I got 2 different kombucha at the store, started one today and I am going to start the other one in a week, so I have one going each week. So very exciting! I followed Sayward's instructions on her blog Bonzai Aphrodite.
2. Started some coconut milk yogurt! Made my own coconut milk, although I hid it from the boys this time because they drink any that I make. It is amazing stuff, so I don't blame them. Followed (again!) Sayward's instructions, except that I don't have a cooler or a yogurt maker and my crockpot was too little, so I wrapped everything in a towel and I am hoping for the best.
3. Challah! I doubled the batch, subbed in the coconut pulp from the milk making for the millet flour portion, divided the dough in two, mixed in cinnamon and raisins into one batch and made 3 loaves:1 normal one, for dinner tonight, and 2 itty bitty cinnamon-raisin loaves, for breakfast tomorrow and possibly beyond. I think my yeast is starting to go flat (does it go flat? Would that be the correct term?) As it proofed, but not nearly as well or as much as normal. With Pesach coming up I'm not too worried about it, but I am wondering what is up with my yeast. We even had the heater going today, so the house was actually warm! A mystery to be solved.

Dinner: 2 bagels (Milt and myself), GF challah, ½ package of smoked salmon, ½ package of cream cheese, some grape juice, and a green salad made with ½ head of lettuce, a little oil, vinegar and pepper. So delicious!
Total: $9.50 (bagels: $2, salmon: $2.50, cheese: $1.75, juice: $1, salad: $1, challah: $1, guess tax:$.25)

Total for the day: $19.54. Let's just say $20, in case I missed something. So, $5 a person for the day. Not bad.


Grocery Disclosure 1 addendum

Milt bought 21 cans of tuna. That's quite a bit of tuna. We're thinking that by the end of the month he will be done with tuna for a while. :) So I have to add $16.59 to our grocery bill.

Grocery Disclosure 1

Today, oh blessed, blessed day, our Federal tax refund came through. Which was incredible because I went from wondering 'how will I get groceries for the family for $20 and have more veggie variety than potatoes and onions, and oh my gosh can I get any fruit at all? Hmm, I can still safely lose 20 lbs, I just won't eat.' to 'oh my gosh it is time for some bulk cooking and buying up in here you know it!'

We went to New Leaf, lovely, local New Leaf, our Staff of Life replacement up here. So nice. We mostly got staples, but Milt pleaded for some extras, so they are at the end and will comprise the most expensive dinner you will see in these parts, yes indeed. Frankly, we needed the mental boost, to laugh, oh so slightly, into the gaping maw of financial insecurity, and splurging on food is a lot better than some other things we could be splurging on! So yes, party food.

9 Valencia oranges $4.58 = $1.29/lb = $.51each (nice)
20 bananas (3 bunches) $7.04 = .89/lb = $.36 each (yay!)
4.5 lbs. grapes $13.43 = $2.99/lb (splurge)
9 Lady Alice apples $12.25 =$1.37ea (hmmmm)
.8 lb raisins $2.18
.5 lb deglet dates $3.17 (the boys eat these like candy; too sweet for me)

+1 lb.crimini mushrooms $5.14
7 Sweet potatoes $8.34 = $1.79/lb= $1.20 each
3 Romaine hearts $3.99
4 heads lettuce (red+green) $1.99ea
2 bell peppers (yellow+red) $5.59 = $2.80 each (ouch! Glad mine are growing!)
9 Red potatoes $10.27 = $1.14 each (you know, for a potato region, I am feeling these are a little...pricey? Maybe?)

7.4 lb. dried garbanzos! $14.75 (I have been hunting for garbanzos. Score!)
2 lb. bulk quinoa macaroni! $9.73
.72 lb. cane sugar $1.22 (I gave away all our sugar! Oh well. This is for some projects!)
7.7 lb popcorn $11.41 (I promised, and it is a fun snack)
2.7 lb. brown rice flour $6.14
1.5 lb. oat flour $2.85
2.3 lb shredded coconut $11.16 (yay!)
1.8 lb. bulk peanut butter $5.44 (It was pretty cool to watch it get extruded, although our boy asked what we were going to do with the poop. Ahem.)

1 Trout fillet $5.69
1 Cod fillet $7.19
1 Sole fillet $.55

Kelp noodles $3.69
2 pkgs nori $4.29ea =
1.65 lb bulk olive oil $14.83 (I think this was a bit pricey)
organic butter $2.99
1 doz. Eggs $2.19

.01 lb anise seed $.11 (for planting and cooking!)
Bob's Guar Gum $5.99
Bob's Xanthan Gum $12.99 (I was almost out)

So Coconut yogurt $1.69 (I am making my own yogurt!)
2 Kombucha! $2.99ea (I am starting my own scoby project with these; so exciting!
Stash Chai Tea $2.99 (for the kombucha!)

4 Marsee bagels $3.99 = $1 each
1 loaf Marsee sourdough $4.29 = $.26/slice (these are for Milt sandwiches)
Redwood feta $6.60 (such a splurge! But, raw kosher feta! Whoot!)
Meyen Goat Cheddar $8.99 HUGE splurge, but I remembered it from CA; so good.
2 smoked salmon $4.99ea
2 organic cream cheese $6.98 (I did not realise he got 2. iiiiiinteresting.)
5.56 lb. White basmati $11.06 ( Milt does not like our brown rice.booo.)
Yama seaweed strips $2.79 (snack for the boys + anti-radiation)
Deboles spaghetti $3.29 (this is for Purim)
Organic basil pasta sauce $3.69 (you can bet when the tomatoes are in season I will be jarring sauce!)

Total: $297.04. Ouch! However, if we hadn't bought any of our splurge items, it would have been
$235.38. So we splurged over $60! I am going to make these splurge items last as long as possible, and I'll do a price breakdown of what we eat, from here on out. Our pantry was getting really empty, but there are a few things I'll have to guesstimate until I actually have to replace them. This is going to be a good exercise for me, really knowing what things cost.
I know we can eat cheaper, but frankly I am not willing to buy non-organic if there is an organic option, and buying in bulk and cooking our own already saves a lot of money. Out of the prepared foods, I am using the yogurt and kombucha to make my own from now on, so that cost is (hopefully) not to be repeated; the kelp noodles and nori I don't know how to make and are utilised in such a way to make their cost go down.
The cheeses, oh man. Dairy products are always splurges, plus I normally do not have any dairy in the house (lactose intolerance, toxicity concerns, etc). Fish as well; we have fish, if at all, on Shabbat. Again, toxicity issues (and veganic leanings on my part). The pasta sauce I'm not too happy about, but I am going to jar my own this summer so this is hopefully the last jar we will be buying!
As for the bread, I basically need to make more GF bread so Milt doesn't feel so deprived. :) Hopefully this cost will also not be repeated. We actually haven't bought bagels in over 2 years, ever since we stopped buying Noah's Bagels at costco, because we weren't finishing the bag, so that was a definite special occasion (as in, a Oh THANK YOU G-D we can pay our bills and not cry! celebration).

Anyhow, that's that, off I go to do some Projects. Yum.


Monday, March 21, 2011

what we ate today: 15 Adar II

Breakfast: The boys had some banana and apple; I refrained due to dairy effects, instead having water with a splash of apple cider vinegar (it is the only thing making my throat feel better, so I'm getting used to the interesting taste).

Lunch: We three ate the leftovers of the fried rice; yum yum. Milt had two tuna sandwiches, at work. :)
Total: $4.28 (leftovers: $2.10, bread:$1.04, tuna: $.79, mayonnaise: $.25, seasonings: $.10)
=$1.07 per person.

Dinner: Sushi! Turns out we had some white rice leftover from the fried rice, so I added in some rice vinegar and laid it out on some toasted nori. Laid on some sliced carrots, red bell pepper, cream cheese, smoked salmon and rolled it up. I wound up with one extra sheet of nori, so I cut that into strips and we ate it as well, plain. We each had a roll, and the boys split a second, although Adin is more into dinner demolition than consumption, so altogether he maybe ate one roll.
Total: $7.50 (Rice: free!, carrots: $.10, pepper: $.94, cheese: $.50, salmon: $1.67, nori: $4.29)
=$1.88 per person

Saturday, March 12, 2011

what we ate today: 6 Adar II

breakfast: organic Santa Cruz brand applesauce

lunch: Shabbatified potato leek soup. It was good, but Milt says I put too much pepper. :)

dinner: waffles (what can I say; we were feeling too lousy to cook.)

what we ate today: 5 Adar II

breakfast: last of the instant oatmeal. It's been tasty., but we are back to homemade from here on out.

lunch: quinoa pasta with a little salt and pepper. Yum! Then they were still hungry so we ate a can of black beans. Also tasty.

Shabbat prep: Shabbatified potato leek soup. I sliced up the leeks and put them, the frozen corn, oil (corn because we are out of olive), salt, pepper and water in the crock pot. When it is time to serve I'll stir in the potato flakes. I also made challah, this time with the coconut flour rather than the sorghum, but I forgot to add in the melted butter AND I split the dough in half, which was a bad idea. One recipe makes one loaf, end of story. Flavor was good, but the loaves were flat and dense. I won't be doing that again.

dinner: The boys got baked tilapia with leeks and garlic (drizzle with oil, bake at 350F for 10 minutes per inch), steamed broccoli, and raw carrots with peanut dipping sauce. This finished up the carrots, yay! Milt and I had the gefilte loaf he bought a while back, before we realised that it, and every other gefilte loaf on the market, has wheat. Ugh. Anyhow, it was DELICIOUS. We ate it all, with broccoli, so good. The loaf was super easy to bake too; removed the wrapper, placed it in a loaf pan, drizzled with oil (again, corn because we are out of everything else), sprinkled with pepper, a little salt (probably not needed), sliced carrots and sliced leeks. I used the green part of the leek for this, leftover from the soup. Covered, baked at 350F for one hour, then uncovered and baked another hour. The leeks gave this caramelized crust to the bottom of the loaf,wow! I definitely plan on making our own GF loaves for the future, because we are definitely eating this again.

Frozen gefilte loaf
sliced leeks

Thursday, March 10, 2011

what we ate today: 4 Adar II

breakfast: instant oatmeal; once these run out I am going to make up my own oatmeal mix for us, so I can be absolutely sure the oats are GF as well as only putting in what I want to be eating.

lunch: leek, corn and potato chowder. This turned out really well! I sliced up a leek, put it in a pot with evoo to sweat, then added frozen corn, covered in water, and let cook. Added salt, seasonings, some pepper, and about ¾ c. potato flakes. So delicious! Especially with a dash of my hot sauce; perfect for a very blustery, rainy day.

1 medium leek, sliced thin
1.5 c. frozen corn
4 c. water (aprox)
¾ c. instant potato flakes (aprox)
seasoning mix
hot sauce of choice

dinner: we finished off the soup; so tasty! Even Milt liked it. In fact, he really REALLY liked it. Success!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

what we ate today: 3 Adar II

breakfast: experimental smoothie, waffles. Alright, so I tried to use the coconut pulp left from Monday in the smoothie. I would advise against this, as it came out very very gritty. I figured that if I let everything just sit for a while it might get better, so I made us each a waffle. Actually, I threw 3 waffles in the toaster oven and when it dinged we ate them. 2 hours later and the smoothie was still too gritty to drink. I decided to strain it, and that was tasty, but now I had all this fruit pulp left. I spread it in a baking sheet on some parchment paper and it is in the toaster oven, hopefully turning into a passable fruit leather.

2 c. water
2 Tbsp orange juice concentrate (Fred Meyer)
5 baby carrots (organic, costco)
10 blueberries (organic, NS)
coconut pulp (omit, or use soaked shredded coconut) (organic, Staff of Life)(we miss that place)
1 tbsp honey (raw, organic, FM)
(Do you like my ingredients? Yes, I am running low on food stuffs and can't go shopping until next Friday; it's going to get really interesting around here!)

lunch: the leftover squash with baby red potatoes. I quartered the potatoes, threw them in a pot with olive oil, salt, garlic, covered and let cook. Came out tasty, but I burned some of them.

Dinner: Same as lunch, but I did not burn the potatoes, and they are so good! So good. Wow. I love when things just come out amazing. I also made some coconut milk for Adin. Now, I made a batch mid-afternoon without soaking, and thought the lack of flavor was due to lack of soaking. This evening's batch was also bland though, so I think it is the brand, which is a very finely shredded, almost powdered, coconut. I think I'll go back to the shredded bulk stuff and see how that goes.

Other: I used today's coconut pulp to make little puff balls, and they are so good! I am going to make them again tomorrow so I can figure out quantities, but they were awesome!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

what we ate today: 2 Adar II

breakfast: organic bananas. Yum.

lunch: Carrot Gazpacho, again, but we were all having a weird day and the boys managed to knock theirs over and wound up just eating almonds all afternoon instead. Mine was ok; not great, but it may have been the fault of the mood we were in.

other: I made more coconut milk, this time 3 cups, again let it soak for several hours, blended, strained, and added 1tsp honey per cup of milk. If I were using this for cooking I would not add the honey; I just add it for drinking. This time I put the milk in the fridge, which was unwise as the oil made a crust on the top. I stirred it up, and we drank it despite the 'crunchy' oil bits. Still so delicious.
I also took the pulp and tried to dehydrate it into coconut flour. I put it in the oven for a few hours at 170F with the door open; it got dry but not completely, so I do plan to use it to bake within the next couple days, as I don't want to refrigerate it and harden the oil content and I want to avoid rancidity issues. I may set some aside though, to measure how long it takes to become rancid in this form.

Dinner: Spaghetti squash with olive oil, garlic and seasoning salt, garnished with cherry tomatoes. The squash came out bland; I was somewhat disappointed. We have a lot of leftovers, so lunch tomorrow, but still, it should have been better. The boys liked it, although Adin does not like tomatoes. Runs in the family, I guess, so he'll grow to appreciate them, I'm sure.

Monday, March 7, 2011

what we ate today: 1 Adar II

breakfast: gluten-free frozen waffles with organic Maranatha brand peanut butter. Yummy, easy, this is the reason I buy them when on sale.

other: Coconut Milk! I found a recipe online and due to distraction only remembered to put ¾ c. coconut to 1 c. water. Well, it worked! I put them in the vitamix, let the coconut soak for a couple hours, then blended it up. I strained the pulp and put it in a container in the fridge; I'm not sure yet what to do with it. I got 1 cup of milk, added 1 tsp of honey and the boys drank it down immediately and demanded more. I don't think my shredded coconut supply is going to last the week, but this is delicious!

¾ c. shredded dried raw unsweetened unsulfered coconut (long list, yes)
1 c. water
1 tsp. honey (add after straining)

lunch: carrot gazpacho. Just threw everything in the vitamix, blended, and served. So good! Adin ate 2 bowls of it and tried to polish off Asher's (as he was too busy to really eat). I had 2 bowls myself. Bog bowls.

3 c. organic baby carrots (ah, costco. Why no whole carrots? Oh well.)
1 tsp. minced garlic (Gilroy)
handful yellow grape tomatoes (NS)
handful of wilting organic greens (costco)
2 c. water
lots of fresh ground pepper
some evoo (maybe 2 tbsp)

dinner: Brussels sprouts sauteed in evoo, steamed cauliflower with some seasoning salt, carrot spears with a peanut dipping sauce. Adin ate all the cauliflower he could get his hands on, Asher ate maybe half his dinner, and I finished off everyone's brussels sprouts, because they are delicious and I love them.

peanut sauce:
3 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp minced garlic
some soaked quinoa (a no-go sprouting experiment)
splash of rice vinegar
splash of soy sauce
water to thin

an explanation

Why another blog? Because I feel my current blog is somewhat disjointed, and I want to focus on food but also on other things. There is so much to talk about regarding food; eating choices, nutritional theories, food safety, frugality, what we are actually consuming, so I think a little side blog about all these will work out just fine. Enjoy!