Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pork Chop Success

I had pork chops out for dinner last night but couldn't figure out what I was going to fix. So I just threw them into the crock pot with some chicken broth, onion, garlic and basil. Then I remembered I had instant mashed potatoes so made those with some gravy and corn. Added some fresh bread and it was really yummy.

Bean Flour

I was perusing the Budget 101 website yesterday. They have many recipes on how to make convenience foods from scratch. One I found was for refried beans. It involves grinding your beans into flour and then cooking it like cream of wheat. I have never used bean flour before but I will be now - not only for refried beans but for thickener in white sauces and soups. It can also be used in place of up to 1/4 of your flour in bread. The bean flour combined with the wheat flour makes a complete protein. They suggest using white beans for bread as their flavor is mild.

I was a little concerned when I ground the pinto beans in my grain grinder even though the manual said you could. It sounded pretty bad. So I called the company to make sure that it wouldn't hurt the machine. The man said that it was perfectly okay and that the sound was because beans don't have any moisture or oils like grains do.

My little guy liked the refried beans and I had them for lunch on nachos. So I am happy I don't need to purchase them canned anymore AND I have learned a way to make my white sauce more nutritious.

Here is a website I came across for using bean flour.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fun Weekend

A manicure set for the birthday girl!

A wrist watch for the birthday girl!
(And several other gifts.)

And a pony ride for our 4yo.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Two Weeks Down - 34 to Go

We just completed Week 2 of our new school year. Things are settling into a groove finally. I really dislike the first couple weeks of school until we get into a routine and wrap our heads around everything.

The biggest changes for us this year are:

Old Fashioned Education 8th grade for history and literature. Dd is really enjoying the material though. I even found Beacon Lights of History Volumes 1-14 on Ebay for less than $2.50/volume including shipping. The rest of the books I have found online and printed. It was a very good feeling to get a handle on printing the online books. It makes OFE so much more doable.

She is also doing History Odyssey which is new but easy to implement. (And, yes, she does have A LOT of history this year. But she is okay with it so far.)

Classical Writing Workbook for Older Beginners for dd (8th grade) is taking some study to wrap my head around. I do like their approach with working with the selection, then words, sentences, then paragraphs. They also do a weekly writing project.

They Are Off!

The training wheels are officially off!
And dd4 is riding around like a pro!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

All Dressed Up

Looks good in greens just like his Daddy!

Mystery Flower

Can someone please help me identify what type of flower this is?

I received it as a Mother's Day gift and it has just taken off growing. I'd like to know what kind it is so I can get it again.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Day at the Lake

We spent last Sunday afternoon at the lake. The property belongs to a man from church.

Yummy Meatloaf!!!

I made meatloaf again last night. I keep forgetting how yummy it is and that I should make it every week. I use about 1 pound ground beef and 3/4 pound pork sausage and make one loaf instead of two. I also add garlic. I like to serve it with mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed carrots, and rolls. The leftover meatloaf (if there is any) is excellent for sandwiches.

Double Meat Loaf
Quick Cooking Magazine, January/February 2006

1 egg
1 cup beef broth (or bouillon and water)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon dried minced onion (I use regular onion run through the garlic press)
2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes (I never have used this as I don't have it)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 pounds lean ground meat
1 pound bulk pork sausage

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Crumble beef and sausage over mixture; mix well. Pat into two greased 8-in x 4-in x 2-in loaf pans.

Cover and freeze one meat loaf for up to 3 months. Bake the remaining loaf, uncovered, at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160.

To use frozen meat loaf: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake as directed.
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