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Monday, March 09, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Second Week of Lent

We have learned, over the years, to trust in God's provision. Just in the last few weeks we have seen how God blesses us even in little things. I love good coffee, a fellow who has a business on the airport roasts coffee as a hobby and gave about five pounds of it to Rich. It is very nice coffee. We use lots of onions, and didn't grow enough over the summer to last us the year, but we were able to pick up a 50 pound bag for $4.98. Just yesterday, we were picking up a few things at our local grocer's and I was able to get a little over 10 pounds of nice apples for around $0.19 I just did the math, it was more like $0.15 a pound. God is good, even in the small things.

I will get my list up of pantry and freezer items that I am using this week, but for now here is the menu. We are still on a Lenten diet, and trying to cultivate our spirits. Our children like to tell everyone they meet what they have given up for Lent as soon as possible, because they are so proud. We are not sure this is exactly the right spirit to cultivate. It is good to see them trying to live as the Church lives, however, and we encourage them to do so in their little ways.

So, this tells you how tired I am. I forgot to mention that the first family birthday of the year has arrived. Amira's fifth birthday is tomorrow! We are not having her birthday party then, we will wait until Sunday, but she will get something special that is certainly not Lenten at the restaurant. We don't completely leave off the fast on their birthdays, but with two birthdays in Lent, we still want them to have a treat. Elijah at least has a chance that his birthday can fall outside of Lent or the Triduum, though one year it was Good Friday, and it is a major feast of the church year, the Annunciation, so we pretty much break the fast on that day (with the exception of the Triduum) anyway, but Amira's birthday always falls in Lent. The latest day of Ash Wednesday possible for a given year is her birthday. I'll have more about our feasting and fasting in another post, but I didn't want to let this pass by without mentioning our little girl celebrating another year.
If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can.
What is on your menu this week?

Here are my Fridge and Pantry Clean Out lists. Again, these are only for dinners and will not include anything bought specifically for the meals or within the last week.

Smoked Pork Chops
Bay Scallops
Sliced Peppers
Roasted Corn
Chicken Broth
Eggplant Slices
Zucchini Slices

Poppy Seeds
Sour Cream

All Dried Herbs
All Spices
All Dried Beans
Egg Noodles
Worcestershire Sauce
Hot Sauce
Olive Oil
Red Wine

Fresh Basil from a Pot (we planted what we bought a couple weeks ago)
Fresh Rosemary from the Herb Garden
Fresh Thyme from the Herb Garden
Fresh Mint from the Herb Garden

We are very glad to be eating a hot creamy meal for dinner tonight, which only required my buying the cream cheese, some crackers and salad greens (which we get each week, except in the late spring and through the summer when we can get them from the garden). Other than that, for these meals, we bought a little bacon and celery. Not too bad. My goal is not to shop at Fred Meyer this week, since next week is double points, and anything on my list this week can wait until then (thank goodness for diaper sales when I've picked up extras).

I have a request. Does anyone know if there is a boxed saltine cracker that is made without soy products, high fructose corn syrup and possibly organic (though that is secondary to the first two)? I have a recipe to make them, but if I can find them ready made, for not too much money, I'd like to try that first. Thank you!

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I would love your recipe for Poppy sead chicken. When I was doing inventory on my cabinets this weekend I discovered poppy seeds and need some ideas. Thanks.
This looks like a great menu plan! Way to utilize what you have on hand!!

Thanks, Ranee! I look forward to meeting you at the conference!
Hi Tanya (it was nice meeting you the other day!),

I will get the recipe up soon, but basically, I use about three or so cups of cooked chicken, mix softened cream cheese with a thickened, seasoned chicken broth sauce that I add cream or half and half to (whatever I have in the fridge, really, you could use milk, too) along with about two cups of sour cream and pour it all over the chicken in a baking dish. Bake uncovered until it's all bubbly, then cover with a mixture of crushed crackers or bread crumbs, poppy seeds and butter and bake until it is slightly brown and crunchy. Serve with pasta or rice and at least a salad, if not a cooked vegetable as well.
Thanks. And I told you before that you make me want to be a better mom/homemaker..well today I am making a delicious slowcooker chili and you motivated me to make the cheesy pan biscuits to serve with it. My kids will be so surprised when they get home from school today. Thanks again.
I haven't purchase the Annie Homegrown Saltines, but I have purchased her other crackers when they are on sale. This is what in the Saltine Crackers...
I think you just ruined my delusions of grandeur. I LOVE saltines, I have my mom send them from the States on occassion. I have never checked the ingredients as they are bland, don't taste sugary and are the best thing for nausea. I can't believe all the ingredients you listed are in there. Next you will be telling me that Santa Clause doesn't exist! OK we don't celebrate the holiday but still..... :)
Thaks for an eye opening blog! :)
Thank you for the recommendation Rebecca. So far, I haven't been able to find it at any local place. I will keep digging, because if I can buy it instead of making them, I think that would make my life easier. If they are too expensive, though, or if I have to pay shipping, I might as well make them. Rich really loves saltines and we get them so rarely.

Oh, Alina! We don't even do Santa at our house - and we do celebrate here. Our children are busy trying to figure out the whole leprechaun thing since St. Patrick's part in Ireland was to help oust paganism. Oh, well, they set a trap for the leprechaun anyway. They wanted to extort wishes.
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