Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A mish mash

A mish mash of topics today...

First, in garden news. We are about to get some cold (for us) temperatures. We expect to be below freezing for 6-10 hours tonight, which is pretty unusual around here. We have 125 strawberry plants in the ground that are doing extremely well and we decided that even though they'd probably make it through a few hours of freeze, we'd rather play it safe, so they just got a nice thick blanket of leaves. Hopefully they'll all pull through just fine and even if they give us a modest amount of berries this summer, we'll be looking at a 30-60 pound harvest.

In frugal meal planning: we had spaghetti for dinner tonight. I cooked a pound of pasta, opened a can of sauce (yes, the cheap stuff...it actually does really well in taste tests. Not necessarily first, but close enough once you factor in cost), threw in some meatballs (made in bulk and stored in the freezer), and put some bread sticks in the oven (also made in bulk and frozen). Something like $3 worth of ingredients. The leftover spaghetti will be bagged up and thrown in the fridge. Tomorrow for lunch, the girls and I will be eating spaghetti tossed with melted cheese. Tomorrow for dinner, the leftover pasta sauce will be used to make homemade pizza. The moral of the story: plan for your leftovers. If you don't like eating leftovers (and I don't), plan out a way to turn the food into a suitably different meal for the next day. Whenever you throw food away, do a quick calculation in your head and imagine that food is cash that you're just pitching in the trash. If you find you're consistently tossing old food, start cooking or buying less. For instance, don't trash bananas and apples, turn them into bread; and buy less next time.

Yummy recipe of the day:
Hot chocolate
Mix: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa and 1/2 cup water. Stir over medium heat until sugar and cocoa dissolved. Add two cans evaporated milk and 1 cup water. Continue heating until it's to the temperature you want.

This recipe makes enough for 3 big cups. A scaled down 1 cup version is 2 tbsp sugar, cocoa and water mixed with 3/4 cup evaporated milk and 1/4 cup water. This is a super rich, creamy hot cocoa. Regular milk will work (4 cups of milk at the end, no water), but evaporated milk is really what gives it its creaminess.


Rachel said...

Thanks for the cocoa recipe. I have a few cans of evap. milk that I got for free (buy something I was going to buy, get a can free), and I didn't have a current use for them.

One Acre Homestead said...

We had a whole chicken for supper last night and chicken quesedillas (with the leftover chicken) tonight. It was a good way to use up the little bit of chicken we had left. I'm going to try your cocoa...it sounds really good!

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