Time to Make the Donuts

I can’t open anything these days..the packaging makes me freakin’ crazy(ier)!!!  Sunday mornings I usually make a batch of muffins.  I believe in the power of dietary fiber – these Cereal Muffins are loaded! You soak  a cup of cereal in buttermilk for 15 minutes or so then add the rest of the players.  Uncle Sam has 10g of fiber! I always have Saco Buttermilk Blend in the fridge as I don’t use buttermilk enough to buy a container of it.

 I add dried fruit – Aldi has great choices and prices – I always stock cranberries, apricots, dates, figs & currants.  Aldi  nuts as well – walnuts, almonds, peanuts or pecans.  I made another batch of snack mix too – more fiber yipee!  All of this required the opening of various cereal bags, foil lid liners, blister packs and the like.   My cucumber was shrink-wrapped and further struggles ensued while trying to open my bag of chopped nuts as zip lock bags now have double zippers!  Think I mentioned doing fish in the clay baker tonite – I know each fillet will be encased in its own personal vacuum-packed pouch.  I’ll soldier on with the help of my box cutter, ice pick or circular saw.

I love my clay bakers –  my Mother introduced me to one decades ago while we were visiting her and my step-father in Myrtle Beach; she had bought one at Waccamaw Pottery, which I recently read is supposed to undergo a revival.  Mom had prepared a simple medley of layered vegetables and potatoes seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper and butter and baked at 425° for half an hour.   The pot lids are soaked in water for 15 minutes prior to cooking, which keeps food from drying out.  High heat enhances the flavors and nutrients are preserved.   This model, also called a Romertopf Clay Baker, can be found at Williams-Sonoma.  Here’s the Sunday dinner lineup – served with a brown rice pilaf and Aldi’s  tangy and not-too-sloppy coleslaw.

Clay Pot Fish

Cucumber Onion Salad

Back to where I started….

Snack Mix

7 Grain Cereal Muffins

A recipe for oven-baked donuts using baking mix – I prefer Trader Joe’s or Hodgson Mill Insta-Bake.

Chocolate Oven Doughnut

Mother’s Day Eve

I picked up a nice looking large outdoor plant pot at Aldi (one of their usual ‘seasonal’ items) – anodized bronze with a fleur-de-lis pattern.  I think they’re fiberglass or resin – durable and lightweight but depending on what I’m putting in them I sometimes add something for ballast, broken bricks, rocks etc.  since they can easily tip over in a good wind.  Also, no sense wasting all that soil if I’m just planting a cluster of herbs.  I had an empty plastic orange juice bottle in the recycling bin…filled it with water, added a few drops of bleach to retard mold and voila, perfect fit.  This container will hold thyme and sage – I’m trying to start the sage from cuttings from last year’s plant that got extremely leggy over the winter and bolted after the first warm days of spring.  Wal Mart had great looking herbs for $2 – picked up basil, thyme, cilantro (thought it was regular parsley, will give it to daughter as I have the cilantro-tastes-like-soap gene and although I can’t taste much of anything, cilantro still tastes like crap to me) oregano and dill, which is in the ground behind the peonies and against the fence, as it gets very funky-tall.  The basil is in a good-sized pot as I plant seeds next to the plant every few weeks as it’s quick to bolt as well.  I still have frozen basil and frozen pesto from last year that I need to use.  Maybe I’ll add some tortellini and pesto to the Mother’s Day menu.

It’s good to go back and read what one’s written before one publishes; spell-check and grammar check is great but there needs to be a WTF-check; I left the o off of pesto in the last paragraph.

This has been a difficult work-week and we’ve been dealing with a lot of hail damage details.

Having said that, I’m lucky to have a job and a house and cars and insurance!

I went on my quarterly field trip to Meijer’s to stock up on the pizza crusts mentioned in a previous post, refried black beans with jalapenos, vegetarian baked beans, Alfresco products (nitrate free yummy sausages), ground lamb and a hundred extra bucks worth of other stuff.  I bought a double-walled cup for my afternoon iced coffee.  I saw the most beautiful picture of a glass of coffee on What Katie Ate whatkatieate.blogspot.com – stunning photography on that blog.  I decided I needed something a little more attractive than the plastic cups I usually drink from.  Ha.  The new cup is plastic. But attractive.  I returned to find the boy-o cooking up his weekend breakfast mash.  That is such a good thing.

We whiled away a couple of hours talking..so nice for me.  I put dinner in the crocker..which reminds me, I’m doing the Fight for Air walk June 9, Arnold C gave me a fantastic donation!!!

Saturday’s I like to have something chugging away in the crockpot filling the house with good smells and leaving me time for other endeavors; summer brings fresh things that entail a lot of prep and dealing with the grill and Mr. Man.  I often think I’d like an electric Foreman Grill.  I think I’ll pick one up at Kroger next week wonder if the senior discount will apply.

I’ve been trying to do most of the grocery shopping on the way home from work – dependent on whether or not I get a walk in during the workday lunchtime.  I think what this really means is that I am grocery shopping every day of the week.  The theory is I’ll have it all done before the weekend but if the bulk of it’s done during the week, this leaves time for more frivolous grocery shopping but at a less frenetic pace.  Or whatever psychological term you want to call what I do.

Tonite’s offering is Tarragon Chicken with Leeks and Peas in the crockpot…such a sweet recipe.  I love adding my frozen whipping cream cubes at the end.

Barb’s Chicken with Tarragon Slow Cooker

Back in the day we all had free-standing freezers; I’m lucky enough to have an immense French-door fridge/freezer combo that we were able to retrofit into our eensy-beensy galley kitchen.  In addition, we have a fridge in the basement that stores beer, all of my flours, back-stock misc. crap and more frozen stuff.  I still shop daily. I wonder what the net cost is of a loaf of reduced day-old bread that’s been languishing in the freezer for 3 months?

Martha, is it a good thing to have 3 frozen hambones?  I’m not a ham fan but the gents sure love it’s salty nitrate-infused goodness.  OK I lie – I love me some pea soup and the ham/pineapple pizza’s good for using up the leftovers.  Also good to add to the Sunday breakfast omelet for the menfolk.

I still haven’t posted last week’s rant…I’ll tidy it up and get it out tomorrow as I need to move forward with this issue.  I thought there was forward movement to reduce the amount of packaging but it only seems to have gotten worse.

Sooo…sliced & blanched 2# of Vidalia onions for tomorrow’s casserole, scrubbed the spuds, prepped the flat-iron steak rub, wondered which beet recipe I’d like to use (if I do the orange salad I’ll need more arugula but at least I have the orange!), wrapped up a couple of goodies for the other Moms in our lives and threw down a couple of brewskies.  See you tomorrow.