Monday, February 9, 2009

Week of February 8, 2009

It's looking like A Crafty Mom's recipes will be taking a new direction over the coming weeks. Gone are the days of trying new things, entertaining for guests, buying top quality and organic grocery items - from now on I will make do with what I have in my kitchen or buy whatever I can on sale or at discounted rates. Yes, the downturning economy has reared its ugly head at our house and my husband was very unexpectedly laid off from his job in software engineering at a small high tech company.

Thus, saving money is the name of the game now and I'm going to do my best to feed us for less.

Monday: Pasta with grape tomatoes and feta
Tuesday: Fajitas
Wednesday: Speedy Lentil and Bean Casserole
Thursday: Leftovers or Freezer Meal
Friday: Penne with Ricotta and Pine Nuts
Saturday: Hungarian Goulash (husband is making this one for Valentine's Day - no recipe yet)

I adapted a recipe I found in my Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine, and made a big batch of pureed vegetable soup. We'll eat this for lunches this week, and I hope to get a chance to make some fresh bread in our breadmaker.

Pureed Broccoli Soup

2 pounds broccoli
1 large baking potato
2 T olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper
chicken broth (14 oz)
1 to 3 t fresh lemon juice

Cut broccoli into florets, and peel and cut stalks into 1/2 inch chunks. Peel and cut potato into 1 in chunks.

In a large dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion. Season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-7 minutes.

Add broccoli, broth and enough water (4-5 cups) to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetable is tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree broth and veggies in a blender until smooth, transferring to a clean pot as you work. Adjust soup's consistency with a little water if necessary. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

After enduring a couple of weeks that tested my ability to remain sane to a degree I had not dealt with before, I am diving into some comfort-food baking to help heal the heart . . . and the tummy.

These look fantastic for a cold winter afternoon with a cup of tea:
Jumbo Coffee-Cake Muffins

I'm going to throw these together on Saturday for our at-home Valentine's Day dinner - I am not always a fan of "light" desserts so we'll see if this passes the Crafty Mom sweet tooth test.
Light Chocolate-Chunk Brownies

On my quest to save money we will be making anything we can at home - cookies included. I'm hoping the kids and husband gobble these chalk full of goodness cookies:
John's Kitchen Sink Cookies


Anonymous said...

I've been through this twice. After 20 years at a very good job, my husband was laid off right before my oldest son was leaving for his dream college. I was devastated! We got through and actually it was a blessing in disguise. (I have three kids too!) I was not working. It happened again 5 years later and I was really upset. However, it all worked out. It looks like it may happen a third time. This time I've prepared.

Buy roasts that are on sale. Use any leftover meat mixed into a pot pie. For beef or pork, use 1 can of cream mushroom soup and 1 can of beef gravy. It works everytime and tastes great and uses leftovers. I get chickens and boil them and use the meat for recipes and use the broth for soup.

You can do this!!!! The key is to make your own foods at home. Convenience foods look cheaper, but are so unhealthy for you!

Tammi said...

Oh Shannon, I'd been wondering why you were quiet as of late. So sorry to hear the bad news. :(

the Preppy Princess said...

Ummm... I just printed out the coffee cake muffins recipe. They look sinfully good.

Yummy for the tummy!