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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Menu Plan: July 31 - August 6

My birthday week was wonderful! Our night out at Havana Nights was so much fun. If I can get pictures, I'll post them for you.

I'm running late on posting the weekly recipes because of how busy our weekend was with our friends visiting and our date night. I will try to get that posted tomorrow.

This week, we get to try out almost all of the rest of the foods that were restricted for the boys. It's still looking like a deficiency rather than an allergy, but we have to test out the rest of the food.

We also have a busy schedule this coming weekend, but this time it is for a sadder reason. A friend of ours died and we are going to the funeral. Please pray for the repose of her soul and for the comfort of her husband who is now a widower. They had no children.What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

Bought:
Tomatoes
Avocados
Cheddar
Cilantro



From the Garden:
Apricots
Garlic
Scallions
Chives
Dill
Thyme
Parsley
Garlic Scapes
Various Greens

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Plan: July 24 - July 30

This is a whole birthday week for me. We went on a picnic to the park on my actual birthday. However, it got to 97, so the children spent most of the time on the blanket under the trees with us instead of playing. Since the children couldn't eat the cake, I didn't make cake this year. We had blueberry shakes made with vanilla ice cream and yogurt and a dish of ice cream on the side. My birthday week began with the return of dairy. Hallelujah! We've never been so excited to have yogurt and cheese and ice cream before. So far, I see no bad responses to it, but we'll see what today brings.

There is a Havana Nights/Cubano cocktail, dinner and dance that Rich is taking me to for my birthday later this week. We haven't gone dancing in a while, so there will be some dance practice at our house in the evenings.

This week will see the return of dairy, strawberries, citrus and gluten. Some of these will be eaten at lunch time, so the menus may not reflect as much of them as you'd think. I'm still praying that this is simply a deficiency in B-12 and DHA. In other news, we have harvested about a third of our garlic. We're so thrilled!What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

Bought:
Blueberries
Peaches
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Cabbage
Parsley
Cilantro


From the Garden:
Garlic
Scallions
Chives
Dill
Thyme
Parsley
Garlic Scapes
Various Greens

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekly Recipes: July 23

Spicy Turkey with Rice

I made this with a small, whole turkey that I cut up, but if you halved the ingredients you could easily make it with a cut up whole chicken. I used my biggest Le Creuset pot with a lid and used only the pot, a knife and a wooden spoon to make the whole meal.

20 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
9 - 10 pounds turkey pieces, bone in and skin on
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
2 pounds bell peppers, sliced (a mix of colors is nice - this is about 6)
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper)
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
16 ounces tomato sauce
32 ounces canned diced tomatoes with their juices
2 quarts of turkey stock (or chicken)
8 cups uncooked rice
3 cups Spanish olives, sliced
1/4 cup capers

In your largest pot with a lid, combine the garlic, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the salt, oregano and black pepper. Add the turkey pieces and stir to combine well. Cover and let marinate while you prep the vegetables.

Remove the meat and most of the marinade to the lid of the pot. In the pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers and red pepper flakes and cook until vegetables are softened.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the turkey pieces in one layer. Brown slightly, turning once. Add the cilantro and stir to combine and release its fragrance. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and turkey stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.

Stir in the rice, olives and capers. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. If the rice looks dry, add water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the rice is tender and the turkey is cooked through.

Serve from the pot, or transfer to a platter. You may wish to sprinkle with some more chopped cilantro.


The pan before I added the sausage


Italian Sausage and Potato Bake

This tastes really good, is very easy and quick to make and is very inexpensive. The whole meal, with a simple salad or fruit and crusty bread, costs us about $1.20 a serving. When Rich found that out, he wanted me to make it for every dinner. We've made this with real Italian sausage and good chicken sausage. We've used hot or sweet. They all taste delicious. It is best with the bread to sop up the juices.

6 sweet peppers (about 2 pounds), seeded and sliced, a mix of colors is prettiest
3 large onions, sliced
3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite sized pieces
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 pounds Italian sausage links

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In your largest baking pan, combine the peppers, onions, potatoes, garlic, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.

Using kitchen shears, cut the sausage links into quarters and arrange them on top of the vegetables. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir the sausages so the other sides brown as well and bake another 5 minutes.

Serve with bread, salad and/or fruit.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Menu Plan: July 17 - July 23

So, we got through our first week of the elimination diet. Although our breakfasts were a little repetitive, I found them less of a challenge than lunch turned out to be. So, if you have any ideas for lunches that don't include dairy, gluten, wheat, soy, citrus, pineapple, strawberries, bananas, almonds or chocolate, I am all ears!

Since I was trying to mix things up a little with the starches I served, I had sweet potatoes several times. We discovered that Jerome loves them even more than we expected. He was even asking other family members if he could eat the skins off of theirs, when they had eaten the insides out. So, we'll definitely be eating more of those. In the garden, we've harvested the absolute last of the garden peas. One variety we will never grow again: Champion of England. There must not have been many other competitors when they named that variety. They turn to starch almost instantly, there are many small pods and misshapen ones. However, we did not want to waste them, so we treated them as starches and roasted them with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. They were crunchy and delicious. Next year, though, we are planting about six times the peas of the variety we liked (Green Arrow) to eat and blanch and freeze for the winter.

Our Saturday night was rather busy, so the turkey dinner was moved to tonight. We grilled lamb chops rubbed with salt, pepper, garlic and oregano (delicious), served with roasted peas done as I described above and baked sweet potatoes. I used coconut flour in the salmon croquettes last week, which was really tasty, I may do that in the future, even if we get gluten/wheat back.What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

Bought:
Peppers
Sweet Potatoes

From the Garden:
Scallions
Chives
Dill
Thyme
Parsley
Garlic Scapes
Various Greens

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dear Book Publishers,

I know that computers have spell check now. I even understand that times are tight, financially. However, spell check does not catch missing words or the wrong word. Or words that are misspelled, but are still words in their own right. Please hire copy editors again. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ranee @ Arabian Knits

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Monday, July 11, 2011

More from the Randomizer Files

Yasmina has taken offense to our use of the word baby. I'll call Rich baby, or call her my baby girl and she will say: He's not a baby! or I'm not a baby!

Elijah is reading more and more on his own. I knew he would have the most trouble and we've been working so hard on his reading skills. His interest in ancient Egypt is paying off, though, because he is motivated to read the books we have on that subject. He read the words burial chamber, antechamber and treasury, all on his own.

Jerome is still one of our funniest children. He has terrible skin problems like his brothers, and we've been sending him out in the sun without his shirt to help it. He jumps up and announces "I don't have a shirt on!" and holds up his arms like a muscle man.

I heard this exchange this weekend:

Jerome: I'm going out to play Tarzan again because he only wears a diaper.

Rich: That's called a loin cloth, son.

Jerome: Oh.

Alexander and Dominic have turned stakes and milk carton handles into practice foils for their fencing class. I'll have to get a picture of them and post it. They did a pretty good job, I think.

Mariam is this close to taking her first steps. She stands on her own and she can cruise around the furniture. She also thinks all birds are owls. She looks out the windw to see the turkeys and "Whooos" at them.

Amira is our little lady, ballerina. However, she also can do a very good impersonation of a zombie. That is the new picture on Rich's phone. With a warning about zombies ahead.

Yasmina spent most of the time we were at the strawberry patch telling me about the flaws of the strawberries she picked. I finally realized it was because she was looking for reasons not to put them in the box and eat them instead.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Menu Plan: July 10 - July 16

All of our children seem to have inherited my dry skin. Some of you may know that two of our boys have eczema. Our doctor has put them on a two week elimination diet that we are then going to challenge in the two weeks after to determine if there is a food allergy behind it. Since I didn't want to serve food they couldn't eat, nor did I really want to cook six meals a day, we are all going on an elimination diet. We are excluding dairy, wheat, gluten, citrus, strawberries, pineapple, bananas, chocolate and soy. Most of these are unlikely culprits, because of how rarely we eat them, but we're doing the whole routine anyway. It is a challenge to me. If you have any ideas or recipes, please post them in the comments. I am especially trying to find breakfast meals that don't involve dairy or gluten/wheat.What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

Bought:
Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes
Celery
Carrots

From the Garden:
Snap Peas
Snow Peas
English Peas
Scallions
Chives
Dill
Thyme
Parsley
Garlic Scapes
Various Greens
Turnips

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Menu Plan: July 3 - July 9

We're on our last week of school before taking a break for summer. We were able to go pick strawberries last week and brought home 24 pounds of strawberries for $24! We're jamming here. I'm also planning some of my famous blackberry lime jam this week. Yasmina's birthday is this week, and she wants to have cupcakes with strawberry frosting for her birthday, so we are going back to the farm to get more.What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

Bought:
Strawberries
Blueberries

From the Garden:
Snap Peas
Snow Peas
English Peas
Scallions
Chives
Dill
Thyme
Parsley
Garlic Scapes
Various Greens

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