Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Spending first: $53.19 leaving me $46.81 for next week
chicken ranch wraps (frozen from Schwan's)
natural almonds - 3 cans
Mrs. Dash - 2
candy bars - 6
chex mix - 2
cereal - 2
toaster strudel - 2
pizza and salad
pork tenderloin, au gratin potatoes, okra
spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread
chicken ranch wraps and French fries
hamburgers and chips
tuna pasta salad
breakfast for supper - sausage, grits, eggs, toast
steak, potatoes, squash/peas
Monday, June 27, 2011
I was a bit nervous about my first challenge and was relieved that it was something with which I was familiar. I have made Baklava before with store bought phyllo. Prior to this challenge I never even considered making my own phyllo.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Mix with paddle attachment. Combine water, oil, and vinegar in a small bowl. Add water mixture with mixer on low speed until you get a soft dough. If it appears dry add a little more water. Change to dough hook and let knead for 10 minutes. Remove dough from mixture and knead two more minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and cover with oil. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest two hours.
Rolling out the dough was an adventure. I used a large dowel rod. After watching a video of how to do it properly, I got a bit better. My technique still leaves much to be desired. I managed to get it close to thin enough. I chose to make it in a round pan.
My one complaint about Baklava is that it is super sweet. I know that is basically the definition of Baklava. Still I wanted to try a less sweet creation. I melted Nutella and drizzled over the layers of phyllo. Then I topped it with chopped pecans (already on hand). I only buttered every other layer of phyllo to make it flakier. Here is the pre-baked Baklava.
Finally a slice of the finished product. I am happy to say I finished the challenge. I will probably not make phyllo dough on a regular basis. It is nice to know I could if I had to do so. I will definitely make Baklava again but will stick to the store bought phyllo.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Anyway..... I remembered bookmarking a recipe for Strawberry Daiquiri Popsicles at Simply Scratch. I did cheat and use homegrown strawberries that I had frozen. I also used bottled lime juice as I had no fresh limes in the refrigerator. I finally had a chance to eat one this week. They were delicious. I could have used a tad less lime juice, but I will definitely be making these again.
I recently discovered Simply Scratch and love that the recipes use whole foods. I am really trying to get away from using too much processed food in my cooking. The popsicles were a nice healthy treat made for pennies.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
The two chicks on the left are ours. (The other two belong to my parents.) Our two are white cochins which were hatched by Daphne. She turned out to be not such a good mother and we took the chicks from her shortly after they were born. These are in their ugly phase.
The eight chicks in this picture were hatched by our Mille Fleur hen, Hannah. She was a fantastic mother. We left them with her (in a pen separate from the other chickens) for three weeks. They were not happy to be taken from her but are doing great.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
JJ hiding under a chair. He is a bit of a stalker although he only stalks the other cats.
I got several surprise zinnias after tossing out a packet of old seeds. This one was especially pretty.
This is a candy cane zinnia. They are not doing quite as well this year due to the extremely dry condition.
I honestly have no idea exactly what type of flower this is. I do know that it tolerates heat and drought very well which makes it a favorite of mine.
This is one of the sunflowers I planted in the garden. The idea was to use them to attract bees and increase pollination of the vegetables. My husband decided we needed something other than plain sunflowers.
Monday, June 13, 2011
I have yet to get a pineapple sprouting off one of my plants but hopefully will soon. They are a nice addition to the deck as they are. With this very dry weather they are the few plants I have that are still pretty and green.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Here is what is guarding the nest and therefore the blackberry bushes.
Let me just say this mama bird could win a starring role in Hitchcock's movie. I cannot convince her that my interest is in the berries and not her babies. She swoops down at me squawking all the time. I picture all of her bird friends joining in the attack. That casts me as Tippi Hedren's character Melanie Daniels. My only rescuer was a dog who quickly tired of my cries for help and left me fend for myself. In the end I walked away with only mental scars and a gallon of berries