Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Since I am able to get raw milk from the dairy, I have plenty of cream to skim and churn into butter. I don't really churn it. My trusty Kitchen Aid mixer with whisk does the work for me. Because I make my own butter, I also have plenty of buttermilk, at times in greater supply than my grocery budget or working brain cells. Between the two forces working against me, I found myself without any Ranch Dressing in the house for Sunday's chef salad lunch. My oldest lives for Ranch dressing so this was a SERIOUS issue.

I found a recipe online at foodnetwork.com. It is simple so can be dressed and seasoned to personal tastes. While the dressing can be served instantly, the flavor improves as it sits. Making the dressing ahead and chilling in the refrigerator might be preferable. For my family I doubled the recipe and had more than enough. Also fat-free or reduced mayonnaise and/or buttermilk can make this a light and healthier dressing.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1 green onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup buttermilk
salt and pepper to taste

Coarsely chop the green onion and place into a food processor with the garlic; pulse until the garlic is minced. Add mayonnaise, buttermilk, and salt and pepper and combine until smooth.

That's it! It is so simple and has good flavor. As I said you can add other seasoning or herbs to suit personal tastes. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekly Menu: September 27 - October 4

Day One - 30 Minute Meal Night
Breakfast: Hot Rice Cereal, Fresh Fruit, Milk
Snacks: Popcorn and Apple Slices
Dinner: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Green Salad, Garlic Bread

Day Two
Breakfast: Pancakes, Sausage, Melon Slices, Orange Juice/Milk
Snack: Baked Pretzels and Cheese Sauce
Dinner: Taco Salad in Shells, Mandarin Oranges

Day Three - Crock-pot Night
Breakfast: Granola, Fresh Fruit, Juice/Milk
Snack: Sugar Cookies and Milk
Dinner: BBQ Pork Sandwiches, French Fries, Coleslaw, Pickles

Day Four
Breakfast: Egg Biscuits with Cheese, Fresh Fruit, Juice/Milk
Snack: Cinnamon Raisin Bread and Hot Chocolate
Dinner: Chicken and Dumplings, Green Salad, Peaches

Day Five
Breakfast: Blueberry Muffins, Juice/Hot Chocolate
Snack: Pumpkin Bars and Milk
Dinner: Peanut Sesame Noodles, Garlic Green Beans, Melon Slices

Day Six
Breakfast: Waffles, Fried Ham, Fresh Fruit, Juice/Milk
Dinner: Salisbury Steaks with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Cucumber Salad

Day Seven
Breakfast: Cold Cereal/Granola, Fresh Fruit, Milk
Dinner: Goulash, Watermelon Wedges, Rolls

I have included breakfast, snack and dinner ideas for a week. For lunches, it is usually leftovers or sandwiches. I didn't use names of the days as everyone's schedule differs. For example, I do my grocery shopping on Wednesday afternoons so my meal plan usually begin with that day as I have a stocked refrigerator and pantry then. I also am currently in school on two days which are my 30 minute and crock-pot days to relieve some stress. It is okay to have day seven on day one and day six on day three, omitting day four because of tastes. This menu is for ideas to help you and feed your creative juices.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September 2010 Distribution Day: SHARE and AngelFood Ministries Food Programs

Today was distribution day for both SHARE Foods and AngelFood Ministries. It is nice when the days coincide. For me the two sites are just a mile or two apart and a whole lot closer than the grocery stores. Today's food cost me $131. For that amount I purchased two deluxe units from SHARE (5 frozen meats, 9 fresh fruits/vegetables per unit) and two Signature units from AngelFood as well as a fruit and veggie box.

When I got home I laid out the food on my table to take pictures (see below). In case the pictures are misleading to the amount of food, the table is eight and a half feet long. I took inventory so I could plan my menus. I had a rough idea as both food programs are online so I can look before ordering day to decide what I want and how much too.

Full Table Shot

Close-Up Shot of Half of the Table
Other Half
The Food List:
2 dozen eggs
2 32-oz shelf stable milk
2 2-lb boxes of spaghetti
2 1-lb bags of white rice
2 1-lb bags of kidney beans
2 5.5-oz packages of pancake mix
2 boxes cornbread stuffing mix
4 bunches green onion
4 6-oz packages radishes
3 heads iceberg lettuce
1 head green cabbage
2 heads of cauliflower
1 pineapple
4 lemons
1 avocado
4 pears
2 1-lb packages of baby carrots
21 plums
1 lb Kiwi
16 Navel oranges
2 dozen apples
1 cantaloupe
1 1-lb carrots
3 lbs yellow onions
3 3-lb bags russet potatoes
1 3-lb bag sweet potatoes
2 1-lb packages frozen corn
2 1-lb packages frozen green beans
2 1-lb. packages frozen peas
2 24-oz packages of French fries
2 8-ct packages of Bean & Cheese Burritos
2 3-lb packages of Splint Chicken Breasts
2 4-ct hamburger patties
2 1-lb packages lean ground beef
2 4-ct packages boneless pork chops
2 1.5-lb packages of popcorn chicken
2 1-lb packages beef sausages
2 1-lb packages meatballs
2 12-oz packages sausage links
2 1-lb packages breaded shrimp
2 1-lb Teriyaki pork tenderloins
2 12-oz packages chicken tenders

When you figure I am feeding 9 people (2 adults, 4 teenager/pre-teen, 3 children), that is a lot of food for little money. I will get 10-14 days of dinners with some food for snacks, breakfast and lunches. $131 is just $14.50 per per person or $1.45 a day figuring 10 days. Even with any extra I might buy to round out the meals, I am feeding my family frugally. Stay tuned for menus!