Archive | Food & Recipes

Last Week’s Receipts

Howdy, y’all! I owe you a post for last week’s receipts. So, let’s keep it short and sweet:

Meadowwood Farms, 12/4/2011
– 1.5 gallons milk (1 gallon for yogurt making), 13.50

Terry’s Berries, 12/06/2011
– 1 dozen farm-fresh eggs, 4.65

Trader Joes, 12/3/2011
– Feta, 5.99
– New Zealand Sharp Cheddar, 4.45
– Kerrygold Irish Butter, 2.79
– Organic butter (for cooking), 4.79 (I’ve been doing lots of baking this month. Christmas spirit inhabits my oven!)
– Golden Round Crackers, 1.99
– Graham Crackers, 2.99
– Pretzel Slims, 2.19 (Crackers are great in Matt’s lunches.)
– McCann’s Irish Oatmeal, 3.29
– Spaghetti Squash, 1.29
– 18 Organic bananas, 5.22 (Yes. We are eating lots of bananas.)
– 2 Lemons, 0.78
– Organic Orange Juice, 4.49
– Cranberry Sauce, 3.49
– Can whipped cream, 2.99 (That’s right. Mmm hmm. Delicious.)
– Bar of Dark Chocolate, 2.29
– Chamomile Tea, 1.99
– Cream of Mushroom Soup, 1.99
– Can of Corn, 0.89
– Block of Cream Cheese, 1.79 (These three ingredients are for a plantation supper casserole. Yum!)
Subtotal : 55.69
TOTAL: $73.84

We went $23.84 over budget.


Lots of baking around these these yummy ginger snaps!

By ekwetzel

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Shopping During Thanksgiving! This week’s receipts

There are so many yummy things to eat and buy at this time of year. The holiday spirit brings out fantastic edible treasures: cranberry sauce, turkey, ham, cookies, chocolates, and once-a-year casseroles. It’s really hard to go to the grocery store and stick to the staples.

For the holidays, we do potluck meals with family in the area. For Thanksgiving this year, we’ll be bringing homemade sweet iced tea and corn bread. This year we’ll spend Thanksgiving at Matt’s aunt’s house; we’re hosting Christmas Eve dinner here; and we’ll visit my brother’s family on Christmas day. So we don’t need to buy every delicious holiday treat under the sun. So, I will exercise self control! (As much as I can!)


Meadowwood Farms, 11/20/11
• 1/2 gallon raw milk, $4.50

Trader Joes, 11/20/11
• 11 organic bananas, 2.69
• Oatmeal (McCann’s Irish), 3.29
• Three Berry Granola, 3.29

Total: $9.27

Costco, 11/20/11
• Dry Cured Bacon, $14.65

TOTAL: $28.42
We have $21.58 left to spend for this week.


We had leftover crock pot stew that lasted for several meals. We’re also been eating some rice & beans and lots of roasted root veggies. Especially potatoes with cheese on top. Apples are a staple snack food. I also baked blueberry muffins and a loaf of bread this week.

I found a shoulder and neck of lamb in the freezer that we bought awhile back from Sea Breeze farm. Tonight I slow cooked the shoulder with lentils. Delicious. I’ll make a soup from the neck & stock from the bones.

Phoebe enjoyed teething on one of the lamb bones.

This week we are also looking forward to some good ole Thanksgiving leftovers!

What have you been eating this week?

By ekwetzel

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Lots of Potatoes & this week’s receipt


Meadowwood Farm. Sunday, 11/13/11

• 1 Gallon Raw Milk, $9 (I made yogurt with half, and the other half is for drinking/baking)

Terry’s Berries. Tuesday, 11/15/11

• 4 Huge apples, 3.63
• Grapefruit, 1.17
• A dozen free range eggs, 4.75 (we need to find cheaper farm-fresh eggs)

Total: $9.55

Trader Joe’s. Tuesday, 11/15/11

• Frozen Peas, organic, 1.99
• Frozen Mango chunks, 2.69 (The frozen foods are for my teething baby)
• Beef chunks, 1.5ish lbs (for stew), 8.75
• Raw milk cheddar, 4.17
• TJ’s brand Ritz crackers, 1.99
• Can of sliced black olives, 1.19
• Vanilla (for baking), 3.99
• 7 Bananas, organic, 2.03
• Lemon, 0.39
• Unsalted Butter, organic (for baking), 4.79

Total: $31.98

Only 53 cents over budget. Not bad. (So far).


It’s potato season for me. I. Love. Potatoes. We’re getting them regularly from the CSA, and we’re mostly getting golden or red ones. I like chopping them up, tossing them with oil and salt and roasting them. Then, for breakfast the next day, I’ll fry up any leftover potatoes in bacon grease. Mmm. I’m not the only one who like the potatoes, either; Phoebe loves them. This morning she had 5 or 6 potato chucks, and probably ate about half of what I gave her. With a fork. I preloaded the fork for her, but still. Cute.

Other than that, we’ve mostly been eating leftovers, beans & rice, and clearing out the last of our whole wheat pasta. For protein, we’re slowly chipping away on the huge summer sausage I bought at Costco a week or two ago. Yum!

What have you been eating?

By elwetzel

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Meal Plan for the Week

Here’s an add-on post to supplement last night’s spending report.

Phoebe likes eating fried potatoes. Yum! (This picture was taken at breakfast this morning.)

When it comes to “meal planning” what I typically do is write a list of potential meals for the week based on what we have in stock, then cross the meals off as the supplies is consumed. This is not a fancy list. It is not elaborate or ordered in any particular fashion. It’s just a post-it note, scribbled and slabbed on my fridge with a brief list, sides not included.

This is what the Post-It reads for this week:

Spaghetti Squash
Mexican Leftovers
Butternut Squash & Rutabaga soup
Leaky Potato Soup
Turkey/Gouda Melts

Spaghetti Squash is easy to make. I’ll bake it in the oven, scoop out the “noodles,” then serve it with marinara sauce and cheese. I may even chop up some summer sausage for the dish.

I roasted the butternut squash last week & never got around to using it. This week I’ll roast some rutabagas, add some milk and spices and purée the mix in the food processor. After warming it over the stove, it’ll be a creamy soup perfect for autumn!

I have to look up my Leaky Potato Soup recipe from last year to remind myself of all the ingredients. The main two are, of course, chopped potatoes & leeks! This is a chunky soup.

I am making a loaf of bread today, and we’ll use that for the Turkey Gouda melts. The sandwiches will most likely be open-faced and eaten alongside the soups.

In addition to the meals, we’ll be eating salads from a cabbage we shredded last week. I don’t like cole slaw, but I do like cabbage, so I created my own cabbage salad, mixing it with a vinaigrette dressing, dried cranberries and slivered raw almonds. Delicious! And very seasonal.

We have a lot of apples, so I’m thinking of making a cobbler. And last night I made delicious no-bake cookies (the oatmeal/chocolate/peanut butter kind). So there are plenty if tasty treats around these parts!

I’m reciting the menu from memory as I nurse baby Phoebe to sleep, so there may be other things on the menu, but I can’t remember them right now. 🙂 What are YOU eating this week?

By ekwetzel

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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This Week’s Receipts, An Update

This is just a quick post to update our total food expenses for the week. We spent $4.50 on Sunday for a half gallon of raw milk. In addition…

Costco, 11/07/2011

Huge bag of Dried Cranberries, 7.49
Big log of Summer Sausage, 7.95 (This is mostly for Matt’s lunches, and I expect it’ll last awhile)
6 non-organic Bananas, 1.39

Subtotal: 16.83

(We also had to renew our Costco membership this month, which is a $50 fee. I don’t really consider that “grocery spending” because we buy many other things at Costco, too, but I thought I’d mention it, anyways.)

Terry’s Berries, 11/08/2011

I picked up our CSA veggies from the farm, which we already paid for. We had quite a haul this week! I took home apples, pears, potatoes, rutabagas, an onion, a leek, fennel and a spaghetti squash. In addition, I bought a few things from the farm store: an avocado, a pomegranate, some mushrooms, and some grapes. I did not get a receipt and I paid cash; the total came to about $9.

Subtotal: 9.00

Trader Joe’s, 11/08/2011

Organic Orange Juice, 4.49
6 Organic Bananas, 1.79
Kerrygold Butter, 2.79
1 Liter Canola Oil, 3.79
Baking Powder, 2.29
Bag of Chocolate Chips, 2.29
Dark Chocolate Bar, 2.29
Ginger Thins (cookies), 3.99
Gouda, 3.82
1000 Day Aged Gouda, 5.79

Subtotal: 33.33

TOTAL: $63.66
Over budget by $13.66.


I am always curious if Costco’s bananas are cheaper than Trader Joe’s, but I’m terrible at keeping track, so I bought them from both places this week. As it turns out, the prices are extremely close: Costco, 1.39; Trader Joe’s, OR 1.79. If I had bought the bananas at Trader Joes and chosen non-organic ones, my total would have come to $1.14.Also: the Trader Joes bananas look better. And I can buy per banana (and choose however many I want) whereas Costco sells them in a bag. In the future, I think I’ll stick to Trader Joes.


These days it’s hard for Matt and I to go out on dates, but what we really enjoy doing is indulging in some fancy cheese and a glass of wine every once in awhile after Phoebe is down for the night. So, while I bought cheap gouda for Matt’s lunches, I splurged on some “date night” fancy gouda, as well. Yum!

I don’t have time to do a “what we’ve been eating” section tonight, but I might write something up later this week.

By ekwetzel

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We’re Baaack! 50 Bucks A Week

I took a break from my 50 Bucks A Week series. I know. I’m sorry. But, it’s a new month & a new week, so here we go!

I made one purchase today: 1/2 gallon raw milk from Meadowwood Farms for $4.50.

Total spent this week: $4.50
Remaining Balance: $45.50


My friend, Corrie, milled a huge amount of flour for us from her bulk wheat berries, and we’ve really enjoyed experimenting with it. I make waffles a lot for breakfast. And I’ve been figuring out how to use the bread maker my friend, Liana, gave us as a housewarming gift a year ago. The waffles, I have perfected them. I can’t say the same about the bread maker yet, tho. Our last loaf was tasty but very floppy & fell apart a lot. So…I’ll keep with it until the bread making is like second nature.

We’ve also been eating roasted potatoes, cream of cauliflower soup and baked eggplant parmesan…staples we’re getting from our CSA that I prep with supplies from the pantry.

We also broke open a pound of homemade Gouda that my friend made for us. It was tasty, but very soft (think mozzarella) so we melted it over chips and ate nachos for dinner one night.

More receipts forthcoming!

By ekwetzel

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie, Made From Scratch

There are two things you must know about me going into this blog post. One: I am a member of my local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and pick up foods from my local farm once a week depending on what is in season and what the farm was able to harvest (I blogged for a year about my CSA here). Two: I hate pumpkin pie. I suppose it would be nicer to say “I don’t really like pumpkin pie,” and that’s what I say when I visit someone who is serving it. But what I really want to say when they offer me one of those big orange slabs is “I’d rather clean your toilet than eat that.”

local organic sweet sugar pumpkin for pie

So, last week when we got a sweet pumpkin in our CSA, I wasn’t terribly thrilled. My husband, however, looooooooves pumpkin pies (as do most normal Americans). So I said to myself, “Self! You’re gonna win ‘Best Wife Of the Year’ award by making your husband a fresh pumpkin pie from scratch that he will end up eating all on his own because you find pumpkin pies revolting. Go you!”

pumpkin pie filling from scratch

The pumpkin looks dark and delicious when mixed with the sugar and spices.

So, I baked the pumpkin, measured it out, realized I had enough for two pies (TWO!!! HELP!!! One yucky pumpkin pie in my house was enough!). I stirred in the spices and sugar for a double recipe, divided it, and stashed half in the freezer for a later date. Then I added the rest of my filling ingredients. Made my crust. Baked the pie. And the house smelled good while the pie cooled for a few hours.

After we watched a little TV, I turned to Matt and gave him the go-ahead for pie cutting. He sliced me a piece to taste, as I warily said, “You’ll eat whatever I don’t finish, right? Which will probably be the entire piece, minus one bite.” He, or course, grinned at the thought of two pieces of pie in one sitting. So we sat. And tasted. And. Oh. My. Goodness. This pie was GOOD! Like REALLY good.

fresh oldfashioned delicious pumpkin pie made from scratch

Here it is. The only pumpkin pie I've ever liked.

I asked Matt how he liked it, and his analysis was spot on. Matt, you see, loves pumpkin pies. Period. That means he loves store-bought pies; he loves pies made with canned pumpkins; and he loves fresh pies made completely from scratch. Matt loves all pumpkin pies, so of course he was going to love this one; however, this pie was completely different, because it tasted like it had a real pumpkin in it. The fresh pumpkin is what made it so distinct and different. This fresh pie was creamy and almost fluffy, as opposed to the dense pumpkin pies that he typically eats. The fluffiness was something I particularly liked, as well. And, I might add, he said it was the best pumpkin pie he’d had in awhile. (^_^ And we all know, of course, that he wasn’t just saying that to make me happy.)

So. Without further adieu. Here is the recipe:

PUMPKIN PUREE (From Rustic Fruit Desserts, by Cory Schreiber & Julie Richardson)

Use a small pie pumpkin, also called a sugar pumpkin. Cut it in half and scoop out the stringy guts and seeds. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Pour 1/4-1/2 cup water into a greased baking pan and lay the pumpkin cut side down in it. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the pumpkin is very soft. Remove from the oven and flip the pumpkin cut side up to rest. Let cool, then scoop the meat into a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Allow to strain overnight at room temperature (this allows the pumpkin meat to lose some of its water content). Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the pumpkin puree will keep for up to 3 days.

PLAIN PASTRY PIE CRUST (Adapted from the 1962 Edition of Better Homes and Gardens)


2 cups sifted white flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup bacon grease
5-7 tablespoons cold water


  • Sift together flour and salt.
  • Divide bacon grease in half. Cut in first half till mixture looks like cornmeal. Then cut in remaining half till like small peas. (Dividing it makes the crust extra tender and flaky).
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the flour-grease mixture. Gently toss with fork; push to one side of bowl.
  • Sprinkle next tablespoon water over dry part; mix lightly; push to moistened part at side. Repeat till all is moistened.
  • Gather up with fingers; form into a ball.
  • On lightly floured surface, flatten ball slightly and roll 1/8 inch thick. If edges split, pinch together. Always roll spoke-fashion, going from center to edge of dough. Use light strokes.
  • To transfer pastry, roll it over rolling pin; unroll pastry over pie plate, fitting loosely onto bottom and sides.
  • Make sure edges are crimped high, the filling is generous.

This recipe will make much more dough than is needed for one pie shell. Once you have your pie shell ready, roll out the rest of the dough and cut it into strips.Place strips on a baking sheet.  Coast with a little butter and a sprinkle of sugar. Bake for a few minutes (until browned) when you put the pie in the oven. These truly make a tasty treat!

OLD-FASHIONED PUMPKIN PIE (From the 1962 Edition of Better Homes and Gardens)


1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 6-ounce can evaporated milk*

*Instead of evaporated milk, I used powdered milk. According to the tips on this website it’s cheaper and just and simple and using canned evaporated milk. For this recipe, I substituted with 1/2 cup powdered milk & 9/16 cup water (or: 1/2 cup water + a half-filled 1/8 cup of water). If you are going to use the powdered milk substitute, be sure to dissolve the powder in the water BEFORE adding it to the rest of the recipe.


  • Set oven to 400 F.
  • Thoroughly combine the pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices.
  • Blend in eggs, milk and evaporated milk. (I whisked the ingredients a bit at this point in order to blend them better.)
  • Pour into unbaked pastry shell.
  • Bake 50 minutes, or until knife inserted halfway between center and outside comes out clean.
  • Cool before eating.

I hope you enjoy! This is, seriously, the best pumpkin pie recipe I’ve ever tasted, and the only pumpkin pie I’ve ever liked!

By ekwetzel

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This Week’s Receipts, An Update

So far, our total expenditures for this week come to $30.59 (details here). We made some extra purchases today that I need to add to our tally, as follows:

Costco, 09/01/2011

  • Organic Raisins, 7.79

Tacoma Farmer’s Market, 09/01/2011

  • String of Chili Peppers, 7 (These are very pretty, plus I’ll use them in chilli recipes.)
  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, 2.5

TOTAL: $9.5


Money Left: $2.12

I hadn’t planned on going to the Tacoma Farmer’s Market, but ended up spending the day with a friend. Typically I buy my produce from the CSA, so it was very pleasant walking around and seeing the produce from all the vendors. There is definitely something much more fun about shopping at an open air market than under the fluorescent lights of a grocery store. Food becomes romantic and imaginative. You get ideas and inspiration for exciting foods you want to try. Hence: the string of chili peppers. Which I will use, but which I purchased primarily because they were gorgeous.

By ekwetzel

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This Week’s Receipt

For those of you who are new, I’m doing a series on my blog: The 50 Buck a Week Challenge. The point is simple, Mr. Wetzel and I are only allowed to spend $50/week on groceries. For those of you who have been following this series, you know we’ve had quite a hard time sticking to this budget. Until last week. Last week we spent  total of $41.83. This is the first time we’ve made budget since the series started. Woo hoo!


Meadowwood Farm, 08/28/2011

  • 1 gallon raw milk, $8

Trader Joes, 08/28/2011

  • 4 Bananas, 0.76 (We did not buy organic bananas this week because the non-organic ones simply looked better)
  • Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese (0.70 lb), 3.49
  • Mozzarella cheese (16 oz log), 5.49
  • Sliced Salami, Columbus brand (8 oz), 3.99
  • Canadian Bacon (6 oz), 2.29
  • White Whole Wheat flour (5 lb), 2.99
  • 1 Lara Bar, 1.29
  • 1 Bar of Dark Chocolate, 2.29

TOTAL: $22.59


Money Left: $19.41


On Saturday, Matt hosted a Bachelor Party BBQ at our house for his best friend (the wedding is next Saturday), and we have some leftovers from that. Matt’ll eat hotdog leftovers in his lunch, along with some Doritos chips. We have salami, cheese and crackers that may end up in several lunches for both of us. Last week, I made yogurt and butter from 1/2 gallon of our raw milk. From the yogurt, I strained it to make whey and sour cream. The whey is good to use in cooking, but I tried my hand at a shake today, made with 1/2 banana, 3 plums, 5 or 6 lettuce leaves and whey. Matt wasn’t fond of it, but I liked it, so I’ll probably drink these as lunches a few times this week.

We have a lot of fruit: my neighbor brought us a huge bowl of blueberries, and we have plums from another neighbor’s tree. In addition, the blackberry bushes in the park near our house are producing a ton. I really want to try my hand at a blackberry pandowdy, and I’m hoping to make blackberry/blueberry/plum jam with a friend, if we can find the time.

Grilled Pizzas on the BBQ

Grilled Pizzas on the BBQ


Tonight we ate grilled chicken salads, with leftover chicken. The chicken has been in the freezer; we bought a value pack from Costco and have been trying to make it stretch. My tentative meal plan for the week goes as follows:

  • MONDAY: Grilled Pizzas
  • TUESDAY: Chicken/Baked Potatoes/Green Beans
  • WEDNESDAY: Chili & Cornbread
  • THURSDAY: Bubble ‘n’ Squeak
  • FRIDAY: Leftovers


We’re giving Canadian Bacon a try this week. Also: we’re eating lots of eggs. And I’ll likely make each of the following once this week: pancakes, biscuits, oatmeal.

By ekwetzel

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How To Make Raw Milk Butter in 4 Easy Steps

It is impossible to buy raw milk butter. If you drink it, you know how hard it can be just to find raw milk. Raw milk butter? Out of the question. Thankfully, butter is extremely easy to make. It takes about 20 minutes. You will need:

  • Raw milk cream, chilled
  • A blender
  • A bowl, preferably with a lip (for easy pouring)
  • A stiff spoon
  • A pitcher of cold water
  • Salt (if desired)
  • Container (for storage)

If you can buy raw milk cream, use that. If you prefer, you can also skim the cream off of your raw milk. It’s easy to do. Just let your raw milk sit in the fridge, undisturbed, for at least 8 hours. The cream will rise to the top. I like to use a 1/4 cup to gentle ladle the cream out of my milk.

skimming the cream raw milkmilk in a blender cream


Make sure your cream is chilled when you start. This will help the butter particles to separate. The cream will first enter a whipped stage, and then little balls of butter will start to form and the buttermilk will separate out. I use a fast blender speed, and this part takes awhile. Maybe 10 minutes. It should look like this once it’s done:

butter and buttermilk raw milk

*If you have been blending for over 20 minutes without results, check to make sure the cream isn’t warm. If it is warm, the cream is still ok. Put the blender pitcher into the fridge and try again once it’s chilled.


I transfer all the blender contents into my bowl, and I try to get as much of the butter off the blender blades as possible. Break up the butter with your spoon to get as much buttermilk out as possible. It’s rich and delicious stuff. From here, I pour the buttermilk into a jar. It’s great to use in cooking. I like making pancakes or biscuits with it.

pouring off the buttermilk butter raw milkbreaking up the butter milk


Your goal is to get all of the leftover milk out of the butter. If you leave milk in the butter, it will spoil. If you wash it properly, the butter will last for weeks and weeks.

Pour chilled water over the butter. Break up the butter and pour the water off. Pour on more water. Press your spoon against the butter to squish out the milk. Pour the milky water off. Repeat. A lot.

I keep my butter in a glass Pyrex dish, so I like to pour the water into there, and then empty it. That way, if butter particles fall in, I can put them back in the bowl. Also, because the bowl is glass, I can easily see how milky the water is, and it’s easy to tell when I’m done.

washing the butter raw mlik


Do you want salted butter? Honey butter? Orange marmalade butter? This is the time to mix it in.

Then put your butter into its container, seal it up, and you’re done!

raw milk butter

Mmm Mmm Good!

By ekwetzel

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