Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Full Plate Thursday 1-31-13

 Full Plate Thursday Where The Greatest Cooks On The Planet Gather

It's hard to believe that this is the last day of January already. Yesterday was my Great Granddaughter Ella June's first birthday, where does the time go. We are excited about the Big Game Day coming up, like many of you we are attending a Super Bowl Party and we are really looking forward to our team winning, now mind you I haven't picked a team yet, but will sure have one by kick off time.  I sure am glad to see all of you today and can't wait to see what you are bringing to the party today, so lets get to it.

This Is How I Filled My Plate Last Week

Game Day Brunch
Simple Crustless Quiche  at Posed Perfection
Great Grains Barley and Breakfast  at My Sisters Pantry
Mexican Breakfast Braid  at Flavors By Four
Healthy Fruit Smoothie  at Growing in Grace
The Big Game Party
Semi Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas  at Little Kitchen Big Bites
Roasted Garlic and Asiago Cheese Dip  at Mrs Happy Homemaker
Black Bean and Corn Salsa  at A Cozy Place Called Home
Sausage Bites  at The Kitchen is My Playground
Lemonade Brownies  at Little Bit of Everything
Peanut Butter Cake Cheese Ball  at Whats Cooking Love?
Football Nutter Ball Pops  at Spice Gals
Cannoli Tarts  at The Home Hearts
Chess Pie  at Happier Than A Pig In Mud
If You Are Featured Today Please Take The Red Plate Home
 The Code Is On The Side Board

Full Plate Thursday Background Story
When we were young and just starting out in life sometimes we did not have a lot of money. Most of our friends were having to stretch the dollars at the end of the month just like us. My girlfriends and I decided that we would pool our food for some of the evening meals right before payday... the last week of the month. I have some of the fondest memories from those days. We would all bring our food together and we had some great food and great fellowship. We would get the food on the table and everything ready, someone would bless the food and then the hostess would say "come fill your plate".
 Guidelines
When you link to Full Plate Thursday, you are giving me permission to use a photo or link from your Post in a feature post on this blog, on Pinterest, or Face Book
Every Week, I feature many of your recipes on the Next Full Plate Thursday, on What's For Dinner Next Week, and I pin many of your recipes to Pinterest.
Please include a link back to Full Plate Thursday somewhere on your post.
Please visit with all the others, after all that is part of the fellowship that makes it so much fun, in addition to all the good food of course.
Now God Bless You and Your Food and Everyone Fill Your Plate! 

Thank You For Coming Today and Come Back Soon!  
 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Meal Panning Part Three: The Meals

Meal planning can be a real challenge sometimes, especially in a large active family with so many different schedules, health and nutritional needs.

 Keep It Balanced    Keep It Interesting   Keep It Pretty


Our meal plans often reflect our cultural regional and family traditions.  I am a seasonal cook and that comes from our families farm background, in  preparing food  from the garden to table. 
  • I start with an overview of the pantry, refrigerator and freezer, what is available. 
  • I keep a running inventory of my freezer, so that things are not overlooked in the great "freezer cave"  and discovered after freezer burn has set in and the product is lost.  
  • I keep a well stocked pantry, and when I use an item from the pantry it goes on the shopping list so that it is replaced on the next shopping trip. We live in the country so running to the local super market is not always an option.
  • Next consider the seasonal options that may be available in your area, they will be the best buy.
  • When planing the meals always consider if you will have or want to have left overs. When I make casseroles sometimes I will make two and put one in the freezer.  We will take the leftovers from a meal and make up meals and put them in the freezer, then they are ready to go on those busy days or when someone wants a home cooked meal at work the next day.
  • We all have family favorites and plan what your family will eat and I always liked to introduce a new and different meal at least once a week.
  • When my kids (7 of them) were home I planned my menus for one month at a time.  Now that it is just my husband and me with company at least once or twice a week, I plan for one week at a time.
  • I like to begin the plan with the vegetarian, fish, poultry, or meat, add two vegetable sides, a bread and a dessert. 
  • When my menu's are complete, I then pull out all the recipes. From the recipes I check the items that will go on the shopping list and we are ready for the market.  Stick to your list and you will be surprised how much money you will save. 
In planning the meal I like to remember my three K's
Keep It Balanced    Keep It Interesting   Keep It Pretty

If you would like Menu Suggestions please enjoy my Whats For Dinner Next Week (The Menu)
There are 124 Weeks of Menus to browse through for ideas

If You Missed The First Two Parts of Meal Planning You Can Read Them Here

I have really enjoyed sharing these Meal Planning Tips with you and hope it helps you in some way.  I welcome your discussion and comments.  Have fun with your meal plans and let me know What's For Dinner at Your House.  Hope you will come back to see me real soon!
Peace and Joy

Monday, January 28, 2013

Baby Bella Bites

I love the Baby Bella Mushrooms especially for cooking.  When I was at the market the other day they had these beautiful Baby Bella Mushrooms and I stood there looking at them, ( they weren't on my list), and finally decided to get a bag full and develop a recipe that I could serve as an appetizer.  With the upcoming Big Bowl Game, it is a perfect time to present a tasty new recipe to all my friends.

Baby Bella Bites


Baby Bella Bites
Miz Helen's Kitchen
Ingredients For The Mushrooms
8 cups sliced Baby Bella Mushroom
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped medium
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Worcestershire
4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup of the Vinaigrette from the Bread
1/2 cup water 
The Bread
2 French Skinny Loaves
1 12 ounce jar Roasted Red Peppers
Two Cups Mozzarella, shredded
Ingredients For The Vinaigrette
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 6 Dashes Tabasco
Directions
The Vinaigrette for the Bread
In a mixing bowl, mix the Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Oregano, Thyme, Salt, Pepper, Garlic,  and Tabasco
Beat with a whisk until the mixture has thicken 
Set aside 1/2 cup of this mix for the mushrooms
Split the bread down the center and open it without tearing it away from each other, place it on a cookie sheet and brush the Vinaigrette on the Bread using a liberal amount
Bake the bread for 8 minutes at 425 degrees, the bread should not be brown, but just crusted over
Remove the bread from the oven and let cool to room temperature
Wash and dry the Baby Bella Mushroom's.  In a sauce pan, saute the onion in 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
When the onion is clear, add the mushroom's, and the minced garlic saute on low heat
Mix the Worcestershire, Balsamic, 1/2 cup of the Bread Vinaigrette, and 1/2 cup of water in a small bowl
Add the Worcestershire mix to the mushrooms and stir well, cook on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes until mushroom are tender and the liquid has reduced.
Layer The Bread
Begin with a layer of Roasted Red Peppers, then a layer of strained mushrooms, then repeat the Peppers 
Top with the Mozzarella Cheese
Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 5 minutes until Cheese is melting
Remove the bread from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes
Slice in bite size pieces and serve with the sauce from the mushroom mix on the side.
 These little bites are just delicious and we will be having this appetizer over and over.

Cook The Mushroom Mix, This Mix Has A Fabulous Flavor

Generously Spread The Bread With The Vinaigrette

Layer The Roasted Red Pepper and The Mushrooms

Top It With Mozzarella and Melt The Cheese

A Platter Of Baby Bella Bites For You and Your Guest To Enjoy!

I sure am happy that you could stop by today for my little tasting party for the Baby Bella Bites.  Have a great week and hope to see you again really soon!
Peace and Joy

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Whats For Dinner Next Week 1-27-13

I was reading an article about the extreme drought and what it had done to the crops and how we will be seeing the result of that in the spring and summer at the Market place.  I wonder if you have seen a rise in food cost in your area?  Meal Planning Part Two: The Budget will give you some tips on making those dollars count.  I am sure planning my garden very carefully this year to make sure that we have enough produce to preserve to make it through until the next spring.  Come on out to the garden and take a walk with me, I will show you what we have planned and we can go over next weeks Menu.



Sunday
Ranch House Casserole


Mexican Salad
Homemade Tortillas
Southwest Brulee




Monday
Butternut Spaghetti Sauce
on
Pasta

Tossed Green Salad
Garlic Bread
Tiramisu Cupcakes  from Debbie's Sweets

Tuesday
Pan Seared Pork Chops
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
Turnip Casserole


Left Over Cupcakes

Wednesday
Cream of Vegetable Soup
Candied Dijon Bacon Grilled Cheese with Pickled Jalapeno's

Fresh Fruit Compote with Vanilla Sauce

Thursday
Oven Bar B Qued
Meatballs
Sweet Potato Salad


Ranch Beans
Biscuits
Spicy Baked Apples

Friday
Community Fish Fry
It Will Be So Good

Saturday
Full Plate Thursday
Chocolate Crepes with Orange Cream  at Jazzy Gourmet Cooking Studio

It is always so good to see you when you stop by and visit.  I sure hope that you have a fabulous week and come back to see us real soon!
Peace and Joy

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Full Plate Thursday 1-24-13

 Full Plate Thursday Where The Greatest Cooks On The Planet Gather

I sure am excited to see all of  you today, we had so much fun last week and some of the best food. I want to say THANK YOU to all of you who helped celebrate Two Years of Full Plate Thursday, the party was awesome!    We have had unusually warm weather this past weekend and we got to spend time in our garden for awhile. It is always so good to get outdoors and spend some time after the icy cold weather, but the weather man says the ice is coming back, so we have got some Apple Cider, and Hot Chocolate for you today.  I can't wait to see what you have brought today so lets get to the table and get started.
This Is How I Filled My Plate Last Week
Breakfast
Morning Snack
Fruit and Veggie Smoothie  at Healthy Living Awaits
Lunch
Chocolate Crepes with Orange Cream  at Jazzy Gourmet Cooking Studio
Afternoon Snack
Cranberry Kiss Mocktail   at This Southern Mom Cooks
Dinner
Chicken Pot Pie  at Pie On Sunday
New York Style Cheese Cake  at Jenn's Random Scraps

If Your Recipe Is Featured Today Please Take The Red Plate Home
The Code Is On The Side Bar

Full Plate Thursday Background Story
When we were young and just starting out in life sometimes we did not have a lot of money. Most of our friends were having to stretch the dollars at the end of the month just like us. My girlfriends and I decided that we would pool our food for some of the evening meals right before payday... the last week of the month. I have some of the fondest memories from those days. We would all bring our food together and we had some great food and great fellowship. We would get the food on the table and everything ready, someone would bless the food and then the hostess would say "come fill your plate".


I have just a few suggestions before you leave your dish and fill your plate.
Link directly to YOUR RECIPE  and not to your web page.


  • Scroll down to the button that says "click here to enter"
  • You will be asked to give your URL ( which will be your direct link to your post), the name of your recipe, and your email which we will not be able to see.
  • Then you will be asked to select a thumbnail from your post that will be uploaded to your entry.
  • Please include a link back to Full Plate Thursday, somewhere on your post. We will give you a gentle reminder if you forget...
  • Please leave me a comment before you leave the page and let me know that you are here, I want to be a good hostess.
  • Don't forget to visit with all the others, after all that is part of the fellowship that makes it so much fun, in addition to all the good food of course...
  • Grab The Full Plate Button if you like and take it home with you.
  • Now God Bless you and your food and everyone fill your plate!

Thank You So Much For Coming Today and Come Back Soon!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Meal Planning Part Two: The Budget

In Meal Planning Part One: Health and Nutrition we looked at the special health and nutrition needs of our family and friends in making our meal plans.  Today in Part Two we are going to be looking at The Budget.  Maybe you are able to go to the market and spend whatever you want on food, however most of us are not in that position.  Most of us have a limited amount to spend on food every week so we have to make every penny count.  After establishing how much money will be going to food, then I hit the ad's for the local markets to see what will be on sale that week.  Then I hit my coupon keeper to check out what coupons I can use with those items.


When my children were at home I planned my menu a month at a time and did my major marketing once a month.  I was able to buy in bulk and keep a well stocked pantry at all times, which saved money and time.  I always look at how long it takes to drive to the market, fuel to get there and how much time will I be there, I would just rather make that trip once a week or once a month which ever is best for your family, you will be amazed how much money and time you will save.  Even though the children are grown and no longer live here full time, I still keep a well stocked pantry and usually like to go to the market once a week, just to have fun and look at the new products.  In a small village like ours it can even be a social event as we always see friends that we stop and visit with.

I know that some people are really big coupon users, although I use coupons I only apply coupons to what I actually use, because I don't have the space in the cottage to store a general store type pantry. If you are going to buy something just because you have a coupon and then it sets on the shelf until it expires, I don't see the savings in that.

One place that we can really save on the food budget is planning our left overs and making sure that we use all of the food that has been prepared for that day. When we get into the actual planning of the menu we will take a look at leftovers and the different ways we can utilize them in our meal planning.  It is estimated that Americans throw away into the trash over $600.00 in food per person every year, that loss comes from poor planning or no planning at all.  Many American families eat out in fast food or chain restaurant's three to four times a week.  Compared to those families who cook at least six times a week the savings are tremendous to these families.

We have a very large vegetable and herb garden and grow the majority of our produce in the spring and summer months.  We can around 300 to 400 jars of produce and freeze  some of the produce.  We store potatoes and onions in a cold bin in the barn.  We buy our grass fed beef from a local producer and some of our dairy products from a local producer.  We go to the local farmers market to supplement the bulk that we don't have space to produce. People are really surprised when they see what can be produced in flower beds and simple pots on the porch or patio, even the kitchen window can be a great place for herbs.

I sure am glad that you could stop by and have this discussion with us today, I welcome any comments that you might have.  Next time we will be looking at planning the meal, so be sure and come back, hope to see you then.
Peace and Joy



Monday, January 21, 2013

Butternut Spaghetti Sauce

We have several family members and friends that are vegetarian, and when they are going to be here for dinner I like to make something real special for them.  This Butternut Spaghetti Sauce is a recipe that I developed just for them and they all love it. We grow squash, tomatoes and onions in our garden along with many herbs from our Herb Garden, this is truly a Garden to Table dish.  I recently made it for the Youth Group Spaghetti Supper for their Veggie Sauce, there was none left.  I sure hope that you enjoy the sauce.

 Butternut Spaghetti Sauce



Butternut Spaghetti Sauce
Miz Helen's Kitchen
6 cups Butternut Squash, 1 inch cubes, roasted
2 cups Zucchini, large chop
1 cup Onion, large chop
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups  mushrooms, cut in half
4 cups tomatoes, peeled, diced
3 cups tomato sauce
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon anise seed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water
Directions
Cut the Butternut in 1 inch cubes place on a cookie sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the cubes
Roast the Butternut Cubes at 425 degrees for 20 minutes
Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a heavy stew pot and saute the onions and the garlic
Add the Zucchini and mushrooms and stir until the onions are clear
Add the tomatoes 
Add the salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, basil, anise seed and stir well, cook for 2 minutes on medium heat
Add the tomato sauce and the water
Add more water to make a thinner sauce
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer
Cover and Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure the sauce does not stick
Serve over any kind of pasta
Freezes well for 2 months
Print Recipe 

Clean and Cube The Butternut Squash

Roast The Butternut Cubes

Season and Mix

Simmer



Enjoy!

I am so happy that you came by today and could enjoy some of this Butternut Spaghetti Sauce with us.  I have a jar of it for you to take home so don't forget it.  Hope you have a wonderful week and stop by and see us again real soon!
Peace and Joy
Miz Helen
This Post Is Linked To
The Wednesday Fresh Foods Linky 
Real Food Wednesday 
Wonderful Food Wednesday and Comfort Food 
Try A New Recipe Tuesday 
Simple Supper Tuesday 
The Gathering Spot 
Tasty Tuesday 
Temp My Tummy Tuesday 
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 
Totally Tasty Tuesday 
The Bulletin Board 
My Meatless Monday 
Recipe Sharing Monday 
Melt In Your Mouth Monday 
Mom's Test Meal Monday 
Mix It Up Monday 
Busy Monday 
Weekend Potluck 
Gallery of Favorites 
Friday Favorites 
Foodie Friday 
Food Spectacular Friday 
Foodie Friday 
Freedom Friday 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Whats For Dinner Next Week 1-20-13

We actually had snow and sleet here this week and it really felt like winter had arrived.  There is something real cozy about cold weather when you can sit by the fire have a comforting meal and sip hot chocolate.  I have just made a pot of hot chocolate with some milk that my neighbor brought me today from her milk cow, there is nothing like that good fresh milk. Meal Planning is such a bit part of our life, and I wanted to share with you my new post on that subject, Meal Planning Part One: Health and Nutritionjust go to that link to keep up with the series. These are the meals we have planned for Next Week.


Sunday



Green Beans Canned From Last Years Garden


Kale and Grapefruit Salad
Cottage Bread


Monday


Tossed Pasta and Spinich Salad
Left Over
Caramel Apple Nut Bars

Tuesday


Mexican Salad



Wednesday


Corn Bread
Left Over
Key Lime Cake

Thursday
Walnut Apple Warm Goat Cheese Salad   at Couponing & Cooking


Buttery Rosemary Rolls   at Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl

White Chocolate Raspberry Cake  at Picture Perfect Cooking



Friday
Seafood Casserole
Green Tossed Salad
Garlic Bread
Orange Delight

Saturday
Covered Dish Party
I Am Bringing 
Chicken Spaghetti

 I sure am glad that you could stop by and have a cup of fresh hot chocolate with me today. Hope you have a fabulous week and come back to see me real soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Full Plate Thursday 1-17-13


Full Plate Thursday Where The Greatest Cooks On The Planet Gather

The Winner of The $50 Gift Certificate
In
The Two Year Anniversary Give Away
Is

You'all are without a doubt the best followers out in blogger land.  Last weeks celebration was just awesome and thank you so much for stopping by and for all the precious well wishes.  I am so glad you could make it here today, there has been so much sickness and bad weather.  We actually had sleet and snow one day.  We are all here around the fire having some hot Coco so come on in and join us and lets see what you are sharing today, I know it will be fabulous!

This Is How I Filled My Plate Last Week
Breakfast
Blueberry Pecan Breakfast Quinoa at Makin' It Mo' Betta
Morning Snack
Dried Fruit and Cereal Bars   at Pint Sized Baker
Lunch
Taco Less Salad Layered Salad  at Nom Yum and Free
Afternoon Snack
Chicken Bombs Fabulous Football Food at  Happier Than A Pig In Mud
Dinner
Walnut Apple Warm Goat Cheese Salad   at Couponing & Cooking
Buttery Rosemary Rolls   at Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl
White Chocolate Raspberry Cake  at Picture Perfect Cooking

If You Are Featured Today Please Take The Red Plate Home
 The Code Is On The Side Bar

Full Plate Thursday Background Story
When we were young and just starting out in life sometimes we did not have a lot of money. Most of our friends were having to stretch the dollars at the end of the month just like us. My girlfriends and I decided that we would pool our food for some of the evening meals right before payday... the last week of the month. I have some of the fondest memories from those days. We would all bring our food together and we had some great food and great fellowship. We would get the food on the table and everything ready, someone would bless the food and then the hostess would say "come fill your plate". 

I have just a few suggestions before you leave your dish and fill your plate.
Link directly to YOUR RECIPE  and not to your web page.  
Scroll down to the button that says "click here to enter" 
You will be asked to give your URL ( which will be your direct link to your post), the name of your recipe, and your email which we will not be able to see.
  • Then you will be asked to select a thumbnail from your post that will be uploaded to your entry.
  • Please include a link back to Full Plate Thursday, somewhere on your post. We will give you a gentle reminder if you forget...
  • Please leave me a comment before you leave the page and let me know that you are here, I want to be a good hostess.
  • Don't forget to visit with all the others, after all that is part of the fellowship that makes it so much fun, in addition to all the good food of course...
  • Grab The Full Plate Button if you like and take it home with you.
  • Now God Bless you and your food and everyone fill your plate!


  • Thank You So Much For Coming Today and Come Back Soon!

       



Monday, January 14, 2013

Tomato Herb Focaccia

Focaccia is one of my favorite Italian Breads.  The Tomato Herb Focaccia was a winner from the moment it went on the table and it sure didn't last long.  I have served this Focaccia for an appetizer and a lunch with a great salad, it is a very versatile Focaccia, sure hope you enjoy it!

Tomato Herb Focaccia




Tomato Herb Focaccia
Adapted From Taste of Home
Prepared In Miz Helen's Kitchen
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme and rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
pinch of pepper
2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, sugar garlic, dried herbs, pepper and 1 1/2 cups flour.  Beat until smooth.  Sitr in enough of the remaing flour to form a soft, sticky dough.   
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Punch dough down.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Shape into a 13 in. X9-in. rectangle; place on parchment paper covered baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.  Drizzle the remaining oil over the dough; use your fingertips to press dimples into the dough while speading the oil around.  Top with tomatoes and cheese
Bake in preheated oven for 20 -25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack. 

This Dough Smells So Good


Ready For The Oven


Slice and Serve


 Enjoy, It Is Delicious!


I am so happy that you were able to stop by and enjoy some of this great Focaccia with me today. Have a great week and come back to see me real soon!
Peace and Joy














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