Monday, June 30, 2008

New section on Phancy Pages for me.....

Not only do I have my weekly diary, I now have a recipe section. If you get a minute pop by and take a look at those and all the other new things on Phancy Pages.

Menu planning and grocery challenge for June.

Well after last week's success with my menu plan I am doing it again. Eating out of the freezer, fridge and pantry and trying to save a little money.

Here is our menu for the week.

Sunday: Chicken sandwiches and coleslaw, we ate out at lunch time

Monday: Burgers, ceaser salad and bbq potatoes

Tuesday: Chicken wraps & garden salad OR chicken with rice, corn and onions

Wednesday: Homemade macaroni and cheese, and garlic bread

Thursday: Chicken pies, fries and baked beans

Friday: Pizza and garden salad

Saturday: Burgers and garden salad

Its a bit heavy on chicken this week, but on Saturday night I popped a whole chicken in the crockpot with a little water and seasoning and cooked it on low overnight. Its the best way to cook chicken in my mind and is so moist done this way. The chicken will feed us for at least a couple of days, plus some lunches.

I have also closed out the month of June for the grocery challenge. I am pleased to say I am under budget. Which was no doubt helped by the fact that we ate out of the fridge and freezer this last week. For the month of July I have set a budget of $300 for groceries, and hope to have $200 in savings.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Another recipe.........Apple Crisp

I know its not really that time of year for Apple Crisp but I picked up 5 apples and a pear on the reduced produce cart for 59 cents and as I had to put the oven on to cook some chicken, figured I would make an Apple Crisp at the same time.

Ingredients:

5 - 6 apples peeled, cored and sliced. (I added a pear to mine as well)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup marg



Put all ingredients in the bowl other than the apples and mix together until crumbly. I do this by hand.



Peel, slice and core apples.


Put crumble topping on top of the apples.




Bake in a 375 oF oven for 40 - 45 minutes. Serve hot with ice cream, or whipped cream or carnation milk!!!!



I have had this recipe for a number of years. It says on the recipe card its from the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association, so thank you to them for that. When looking for them on the web I saw another recipe for Maple Apple Crisp, now that looks good also.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

FOF for June 28th.....

I popped into A & P this morning for a couple of things, and hoped to find some yogurts.

Here is what I got:



As I only spent just over $11, and the freebies were nearly $9 I didn't get much, but at least I did find my yogurts!!!

Coleslaw and Potato Salad

This is my mother's recipe for coleslaw.

Ingredients:

1/4 cabbage shredded
1 red onion sliced
1 carrot shredded
1 - 2 cups cheese shredded
Mayo or whipped salad dressing
ground black pepper
celery salt



Prepare all the veggies and cheese:



Put into a large bowl, mix with mayo, celery salt and pepper. Cover and place in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. I like to prepare this in the morning for that nights supper. It keeps a couple of days, not for much longer though. Any left by Monday will be thrown out, and I made this bowl on Friday.



Potato Salad:

The only things I always put in a potato salad are:

Potatoes
Hard boiled eggs
Onion or chives
Mayo
Seasoning



I hard boiled a couple of eggs, and chopped them up. I had potatoes in the fridge that I had FOF-ed that were already cooked, and as I had a lot of chives in the garden I used them instead of onions, and snipped them into little pieces.



I then add some mayo, and seasoning, in this case pepper and celery salt. Mix it all together and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill.



Both these salads are super simple to make and are a lot cheaper and tastier than the bought ones!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Turkey Kielbasa Sausage Caserole

I got the original version for this recipe over at Prairie Homemaker from one of the ladies, I just can't remember from whom, and I have lost my printed copy of the recipe, so this may be slightly different from the original.

Ingredients

6 inch piece Kielbasa sausage, skinned and sliced, we like the turkey variety
3 potatoes
1 onion, sliced
1 pepper, chopped
1/4 cabbage, shredded
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper
Any other spice you like



Peel potatoes and cut in half and par-boil them for ten minutes, drain and slice.



You need to use a skillet with a tight fitting lid to make this recipe. To the skillet, add the oil, onion and pepper, and cook on a medium heat until softened, about five minutes.



Add sliced sausage and cook on a medium/high heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally.



Add potatoes and cook for another five minutes, again stirring occasionally. If the sausage and potatoes get a little crispy that is good, to my mind.



Add cabbage, 1/2 cup water and any seasoning you may like. Do not stir.




Place lid on pan, and turn down the heat to medium/low and cook for 15 minutes, you want to simmer the mixture.



When done stir and serve.



Dh had two plates full, I had the one and there is enough left over for me for lunch tomorrow.

To make it stretch add more cabbage and potatoes. Slice the sausage thinner, you could also add other veggies, it is a very versatile recipe. Good way to use up those cabbages and peppers from the garden.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reject tree's and other tales from the garden......

We live in a fairly new subdivision, the house will be 5 years old in the Fall. One thing the developer does is put a tree on your front lawn. Now you don't get a choice here, you get what you are given and be thankful!!! On our little corner we believe, me and my neighbour on either side of me, that we were given the reject trees. All the rest of the trees are growing like crazy and are a nice tree shape, ours, well ours have their own little personalities!!!!

Here is a photo of "A's" tree, by the way they are all Ginkgo's. Now as you can see someone has removed the middle section of their tree??? "A's" mother says it looks like a cross and is protecting the house. Regardless it's the most unusual shaped tree yet?



"R's" Tree. Actually this photo isn't too bad, but it looks as though someone has trimmed all the branches off the back of the tree, so it is flat.



Our tree. Well it looks like a stick with a few green leaves on it. Now I am guessing it is still a bit ticked off at having most of the bark chewed off two winters ago from the voles, but I did give it first aid, by tarring all the wounds. Then I guess it was even less happy this year when we piled all the snow up in it, so most of the trunk was covered up in snow, hey but at least the voles didn't eat it this year!!! At least this year its getting fed with Miracle-Gro, well I am feeding my flowers so I guess the tree is getting fed at the same time.



So there you go the reject trees in our little corner of the crescent.

Now I have to say I am pretty happy though with the little garden under the tree this year. I just threw in some plants and voila, a nice little colour scheme going here.



Here is another photo.



Now as I feel my poor old tree is a bit depressed I figured I'd cheer it up by planting a clematis at the base and get it to grow up the trunk. I actually saw a neighbour do this and thought it was a great idea!!! Though she has a really nice tree, so I know her tree isn't depressed!!



Now I dug a little garden today as I bought a Sambucus the other day on sale. Now don't panic, dh is still alive I didn't bury him there. Also despite the fact I keep saying I am going to wring our neighbours yapping Chihuahua's neck, it's still alive!!! So this isn't a grave of sorts, it just looks like a grave with a bush on top!! It will eventually fill that whole corner of the yard.



Here is a photo of my veggie patch, for some reason all my onions died, otherwise everything is growing nicely.



Here is a photo of my flower garden on the back fence. This is where I get a pail full of thistles every week, aren't I the lucky one!!



Finally, I have a small scented garden by the family room window. The idea was when we open the window and the breeze wafts in we smell the plants. That was the theory behind it all, can't say that happens in reality. We have other smells waft in, but it ain't flowery.....enough said.

In this garden I have bee balm, anise-hyssop, dianthus, sweet william and a hosta.




So there you go, another set of photo's from the garden........what am I going to talk about in the winter?????

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuna Crescent Roll Pies

I made up a recipe today as I had to use up a can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

I used to make a similar pie a while ago, but instead of using cheese pastry I used the crescent rolls instead today.

Ingredients:

1 package Crescent Rolls
1 onion finely chopped
1 can tuna
1/2 cup grated cheese
salt & pepper
lemon juice (optional)


(The onion was still to go into the food processor at that point)

Mix all the ingredients together, other than the crescent rolls. I prepared this in the morning and popped it into the fridge until this evening, it keeps well.



Take your crescent rolls out of the tube and keep two rolls together to make four rectangles. Squish the seams together.



Place some of the filling on top of the dough.



Dampen the edges of the dough with water and place the remainder of the dough on top of the bottom's to make a pie and seal shut. Make some air holes in the top of the dough.



Place in a pre-heated 375 oF oven and bake for approx. 15 to 20 minutes. Just before the end sprinkle some more grated cheese on the top and allow to melt.



Now this made two pies for us with one tube of crescent rolls. However I have plenty of the tuna mixture leftover, which I am going to put on toast for lunches. So if you used another tube of crescent rolls, the mixture would make four pies no bother.

Adapt it though to what your family likes. A word of warning though, make sure you do chop up the onion finely, otherwise it won't be fully cooked.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Welland Canal

Now I have to say I am not a big fan of cruises or ship's, or basically anything to do with boats, but what I am about to talk about fascinated me, and if you are ever in the area, is well worth a visit.

The Welland canal is a link between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The ships are lifted 326 feet by 7 locks within 7 miles. We went to the Lock 3 Observation area and were fortunate enough to witness two ships coming in and out of the lock.

When we got there the ship Irma was already in the lock and was heading for Lake Erie.



Just after we got there Irma started to leave the lock.



Another photo of Irma leaving the lock.



As Irma was leaving the lock we saw another ship heading towards us getting ready to enter the lock, the Quebecois.



Here is a photo of the Quebecois heading into the lock.



In the background you could see the bridge that was a vertical lift bridge right at the top.




Then in the middle.




Then back down again. I pity help anyone having to wait for that bridge to be lowered as it was up for at least half an hour, so you either would have to turn around and go another way or wait until it was lowered.




Now as luck would have it, I got talking to one of the wives of the crew on the Quebecois, who was picking her husband up for the afternoon, they lived close by. The crew were mainly from Newfoundland and were going to Hamilton with a load of iron ore. The ship was based is Wisconsin and generally travelled from there to Hamilton. She was a really nice lady. The crew worked four hours on, and eight off. Looked like a pretty boring job if you ask me, and she agreed!! Anyhow we got fed up of being on the observation tower, as you could only see so much and snuck around the side to get a better view of the lock doors.



Then the lock gates started to open.



Lock gates open.




The Quebecois leaving the lock.



Quebecois out of the lock.



Heading towards Lake Ontario with the QEW bridge in the background.



We spent a good hour there just watching these ships come in and out. I got burnt to a crisp as I wasn't wearing sunscreen and was too engrossed in what was going on. There is so much more to do in the area, including visiting Port Colborne, Welland, Thorold, and St.Catharines.

All are pretty close by to both Niagara Falls and Niagara-On-The-Lake.