Saturday, November 7, 2009

Meal Plan: November 9-13

Hi Friends,

I don't know if we have mentioned this, but both Sarah (Frugal Table) and Alisha (Out of the Box) have had their babies. Now, they both have three darlings each. For a little while it will be just me posting but they will be back soon. Yea!
I am nine months along and still waddling around the kitchen just fine, so for now I will keep posting.

Here is the meal plan for our house this week.

Monday: Chicken Shepard Pie
Grocery List~ Chicken breast
Peas, Carrots, Corn, Onion
Pie Crust

Tuesday: Fancy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Grocery List~ Whole Wheat Bread
Lunch Meat
Spread of choice
Veggies/Fruit of choice: tomato, avocado, onion, apples,etc
For example: if we use ham then we use apple butter, if we use turkey then we use raspberry jam. This takes a basic grilled sandwich and pumps it up!

Wednesday: Orange Soy Pork Chops, Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans, and Apple Sauce

Grocery List~ Pork Chops
Orange Juice or Fresh Orange
Soy Sauce
Green Beans (fresh is best!)

Thursday: Meatball Sandwiches and Salad

Grocery List~ French bread
Marinara Sauce
Meatballs (I am using leftover meatballs from a previous posted dish)
Mozzarella cheese

Friday: Out to Eat, the weekend is here!!!

Extra: Rethinking Deserts

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas!)

Now that you have baked, skinned,and pureed your pumpkin AND it is tucked away in your freezer for awaiting to be made into something delicious what can you do with those leftover seeds and goop?

Well, take the goop and gross out your kids for a moment. :)
Then, compost it so that it can help make rich soil for your garden.

Here is a simple treat you can make with the seeds: Pepitas!

Step One: Rinse the seeds and get as much goop off of them as you can. I use a strainer, my fingers and some water. It is pretty easy to do.

Step Two: Lay the seeds out on a baking sheet and let them dry OVERNIGHT. They need to be dried out.

Step Three: Sprinkle them with olive oil and some seasoning. I use a bit of salt and pepper, but people use all sorts of things. I have a friend that makes them spicy with cayanne pepper.

Step Four: Bake the seasoned seeds at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, or until crispy and beautifully tanned.

If you don't want to make pepitas you can always plant your pumpkin. Last year my mother planted her pumpkin and it began to grow as it should come spring time. My sister (a full grown adult!) came running into the house announcing that she had just picked a watermelon from the garden. She was proud, ecstatic, eager to dig into her freshly harvested watermelon. Yea~ it was the pumpkin. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Making Pumpkin Puree

Here in our community there is a shortage of canned pumpkin. I think that this may be the case in a lot of places as I have seen articles on the subject recently. I don't know if anyone is actually in a panic and raising havoc on local grocery stores, but I find the whole idea of a canned pumpkin crisis a little funny. Mostly, because it is incredibly easy to make your own and frankly it tastes way better than canned.

Here is what you need:

PUMPKINS (smaller ones tend to be less watery, although you can use larger ones too).
Ziploc bags

Here is what to do:

1. Cut your pumpkin in half.
2. Scoop the goop out of both halves. (Save the seeds for pepitas!)
3. Using your knife cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces. It matters not how small or what shape. My pieces usually look a bit like big pie slices.
4. Place them onto a baking pan and plop them skin side down into the oven at 375 for about 45 minutes.
5. Let them cool.
6. Peel the skin right off with your fingers or use a spoon to scoop out the tender cooked pumpkin.
7. Place into a food processor and turn on. When the pumpkin is puree a few seconds later it is finished. It if is really dry you may want to add just a hint of water.
If it is really watery you may want to drain some out.
8. Place into ziplocks bags and store in your freezer for when you need pumpkin.
9. Now, pat yourself on the back because those signs announcing a pumpkin puree shortage will mean nothing to you for you are self-sufficient!!

And, you ask....What can you do with pumpkin puree?

Oh my word~

There is pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin butter, a whole world of orange deliciousness awaits.