Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cutting your own meat.

When you are at the warehouse type places, do you ever look at the cut your own meats? I have purchased the whole hams to slice for lunch meat, but never really looked at much else. I guess I really never thought about slicing my own.

On a recent trip to Sams we found pork tenderloin for $1.78 per pound. Of course when you buy at a warehouse style club you have to buy it in a larger chunk than you would maybe at your local grocery store.

I figured at that price I could cut my own boneless pork chops, i mean really what did I have to lose??

After purchasing one pork tenderloin and seeing how easy and how much cheaper it was we went back for more. This time we purchased 2!

Here is my finding on buying in a large chunk and cutting my own.

Out of the 2 tenderloins I cut 64 pork chops, they average around 4.5 ounces each. My total cost on both was $32.68. With that I got 13 meals, total cost per meal for the meat is $2.51, price per ounce is .12¢ and the cost per pork chop figures out .50¢. 

When i looked around at the boneless pork chops they were $4.99 per pound if you had the meat market slice and package them for you. That figures out to .31¢ per ounce or $1.24 per pork chop if they were approx 4 ounces each. I fix 5 pork chops per meal so that would have cost $6.20 per meal for the meat. Total savings per meal is $3.69 with a total 13 meal savings of $47.97!! At that savings I can take the time to slice my own! If you have ever thought about it but wasn't sure if it was worth it or you didn't think you can do it, well now is the time to save and learn!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Food Allergies.

Do you have a food allergy? If you do, do you try to find things that taste or look like that food? Or do you just settle that you are allergic to that food and move on? 

Well I am allergic to tomato. Anything with tomato in it is off limits. The allergy as gotten worse that i cannot even come in contact with a tomato plant. 

For many years I just made do without using any tomato products for my food, but I do cook with it for the family.

I have dry pizza, ranch spaghetti, ranch on french fries, ranch hot dogs, ranch get the picture, ranch replaced my tomato stuff.

While on the Internet I came across a recipe for a tomato less tomato sauce. I thought to myself, how good could this possibly taste. I finally decided that it was time to give that sauce a whirl. 

Here is what you will need.

About 3 tablespoons of ghee, coconut oil, or butter
3 onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
8 smallish garlic cloves
1 large or two small butternut squash
1 medium zucchini, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 cups of beet stock*
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
3 teaspoons of dried oregano
3 teaspoons of dried basil
unrefined salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Using a heavy large knife, slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Place cut side down on a large pan and cook for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, or until soft when pierced with a fork. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Scoop out the soft squash. You should have about 4 cups worth.
2. In a large saucepan, or pot, sauteed the onions and zucchini in the fat over medium high heat until soft. Add the garlic in the last few minutes of cooking time. Add the beet broth, butternut squash puree, and the apple cider vinegar and herbs. Bring to a simmer and simmer for several minutes. Using a blender or a hand blender, puree all of the mixture and then salt to taste.
It’s ready to serve! To thicken sauce, simmer to desired thickness while stirring. To thin, add water or broth.
*To make the beet stock, scrub one red beet well. Thinly slice and put into a small pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Take beet slices out.

I used pickled beet juice and also added some pickled beets to it.

The above picture is of my cooked butternut squash and i have everything else in the pot ready to go.

This picture is in the process of blending it all together.

Here is the finished product!!

Now if someone brought this to me and told me it had no tomato in it and that i should try it. I would spare my life and politely decline. 

After simmering to mingle the flavors, I have to say this tastes alot like a good spaghetti sauce! I see less ranch spaghetti in my future. I may also be able to have a non dry pizza! 

It will take awhile to make this so plan ahead! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring is here! Oh the work that I have ahead of me because spring is here, UGH! My seedlings are waiting impatiently in the green house, I think I picked more ripe strawberries from the plants in the green house than I have gotten from my other plants!

So I knew it was time to start working on my strawberry beds! I know what you are thinking, they weren't that bad where they? Well to prove how much work they needed i documented my transformation of the area!

This is what i started with. We had garden fence around the whole thing, with sides that we could take down to access the plants and to weed. The 2x4 was to put a cover on it to keep birds and squirrels out! The garden wire was to keep the chickens and the dogs out.

After getting it all weeded and leaves cleaned out it looked like this!
This year we decided that we wanted to do something different and really keep critters out so we can actually get some berries.  We decided to try chicken wire hoops! 
I will have a watering system on this just like the rest of my garden. I had a sprinkler system set up on this but it didn't give the coverage that I needed. 

Here it is will all the hoops,mulch and 108 new plants! I sure hope I can get a good crop from them this year!