Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

We are still enjoying the farmer's market here in upstate New York. Actually it goes all year and this past Saturday we were there early. Cannot say bright because it was before sunrise. It was an in and out sort of visit to get what we needed and a couple of the seasonal deals. 

Here is the counter full of goodies. I got a pie pumpkin, half a peck of apples, 6 large peppers, 6 cucumbers, broccoli, parsley, celery and pears. All of this goodness cost $14 and for the two of us it will last or be made into meals for the next couple of weeks. That in the back is my daughter's new Nutribullet and we are incorporating more vegetable smoothies into our days too.

My granddaughter messaged me this week and asked if I eat cauliflower. The answer of course was yes. She replied and said she was getting me some because her work place was throwing it away. What a shame that they are doing this. I wish we would do what France has done and make it illegal to throw food away, but who am I to judge. I was excited to receive these three heads from her, but traded with her and brought her five ready to heat and eat meals, pumpkin and banana bread, along with a few other goodies. She is a college student who lives on her own and I try to do for her too. I can't always, but it was a good trade.

One head of cauliflower, along with some broccoli, chopped chicken from a roaster I got for less than $5, a 99 cent package of cream cheese and some herbs, spices, and a bit of milk made these two casseroles. 

The next head of cauliflower made these Buffalo florets. They are just yummy and better for us than the chicken wings and the price was almost nothing. A little butter, hot sauce, and a bit of spice then toss the cauliflower in, make sure they are covered well and bake for twenty minutes. I will use them for a side and toss some on my salads this week or just snack on them.

The third and last head of cauliflower was used to make these cauliflower crust cheese breadsticks. I had never tried this before, but what a way to use the cauliflower. We cut it into bread sticks and ate a few that way, while we were waiting for them to cool. It ended up being our dinner. I have added the links to the recipes and found that I could adjust them for what's in my pantry without doing extreme changes to them. I've given away half of what I made to keep others going with meals. Sharing the bounty in the form of good meals feels right. 

This is a carrot, apple and ginger smoothie I made for myself. It was quite good. We need to change some of the ways we've been eating and take better care of ourselves and others.

The reward for trying to eat better was this Jello no bake pumpkin cheese cake. I made these as cup cakes to keep from eating too much. I added the Reeses peanut butter cups and topped it with whipped cream. It's hard to give up the good things and it was discounted at the store. I got the kit for $1.29 and it made 12. Okay, so we will keep working on cutting out the desserts but it is autumn and pumpkin is in. That's what's been going on at the townhouse. Thank you for stopping by and have a great week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

I've had a couple of days this past week that I was feeling a bit under the weather, literally. With the change to cooler temperatures we've had to turn on the heat, and the dust from the furnace has made my sinuses react. This along with the rain and damp that have made my body ache more than ever has been a challenge. 

Our dear friends Karen and Richard let me grow tomatoes and squash in their back yard. It's been a great learning experience and we know that we can do it and we know more about how to do it. 

These butternut squash are what I harvested last week that I grew in buckets from seeds that I had saved. They are small and have bumps and bruises, but the larger one will become a stuffed squash dinner for us and the others will become a serving of smashed squash, a loaf of butternut squash bread, or chips. I haven't decided yet and for now I'm still working on the vegetables I got at the farmer's market the weekend before last. I am also going to look into purchasing heirloom seeds for the future.

With the change in temperatures comes a change in menu. This is a large pot of cabbage soup. It was so good and most of all economical. I have been cooking the full pot because it freezes well and I can put it up to share.

Another large pot of stick to the ribs meals was this Pasta E Fagioli. This also freezes well and the only change I would make to this recipe would be to boil my carrots a bit first. The time the recipe said to cook them was not long enough and I thought they would cook more as the tomatoes did, but they still had crunch to them. There is plenty to share here too. These meals were all on my new menu plan and I am on week ten. The menu for week ten is blank and I am trying to constantly try new recipes and vegetables. In ten weeks we've had only two meals twice and that was baked chicken leg quarters and pork stir fry. Not bad when you think about how many meals we eat in ten weeks. Leftovers for lunches have helped saved the budget too. That's what I've been doing for the change of season. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and have a great week. If it's cold where you are I hope you are staying warm. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Thrift finds

It was just a random stop on our way to treat ourselves to ice cream. Well deserved for all the hard work we have been putting in. It was also an excuse to use a coupon I received for a buy one get one free offer. While the weather was still pleasant and we didn't need to bundle up we just went.

We were not really looking, but here are a few items. Books, always looking for books and here are three more to check out. The one titled Green Winter by Elise Maclay is a collection of one page shorts about aging. I'm getting a chuckle with some and thinking with others. There is a finance book and another herb book. There was a box of blue Christmas ornaments, a vintage Hallmark holly print metal tray, a package of Ball red checkered lids and rims and best of all a Pyrex bowl. Now this bowl looks like a plain white opal bowl, but it isn't. It was however a vintage white bowl with a gold rim. You can just barely see the gold rim because it is so worn off. It is a 404 that was well loved, but in excellent condition and my daughter is just happy to have another large bowl for her collection.

Other odds and ends we picked up were a vintage Pyrex 1.5 quart lemonade bottle, a bag of Halloween gift bags, a new unopened black ink stamp, the can is a raised floral print and large enough to put a plant in or use for some kind of craft project. Last of all we found the two pilgrim figurines. Now usually we don't even look at these things, but if you notice these figurines are blond and the boy pilgrim is wearing a white hat. They were just odd and different so my daughter got them for our simple holiday. They are not vintage or collectible just one of those things she put in the cart. That's what a random trip for ice cream found us. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Life seems to keep everyone very busy lately. My daughters and I have realized that we are living just to work in order to stay financially okay. Not prospering but making it and we are all learning to work together to help each other. We are seeing the positives of working together. It's also been a time for learning. Some days I don't seem to get enough information to answer all the questions I have. The Internet is wonderful, but I am getting back to books, but also being selective. My younger daughter and I went to a library book sale last weekend. We do this quite often. I found one book for a fill a bag sale so she added it to her bag. Here it is. A book of herbs that was printed by a company selling merchandise, but very informative.

Printed in black and white, but loaded with uses, definitions, descriptions, crafts, medicinal uses, and so much information that it's a great addition to our growing library. 

This is a jar of my home made chicken soup. All of my efforts to not waste food and put shelf ready meals in the pantry has paid off. This week I took this quart size jar from the shelf, cooked it up with noodles and there you have it...dinner. My meal plan is paying off also and the budget it staying on track. 

I was gifted a bag of kiwi fruit this week. I ate what I could, but needed to do something different with the remaining fruit, so I made these small loafs of kiwi bread. As you can see I had a slice right away. It freezes well and I'm happy to say that another gift did not go to waste.

My youngest daughter, my granddaughter and I went to the farmer's market Saturday. It was a beautiful day and I got lots of great fruits and vegetables to cook with. That is a five pound bag of carrots in the back and I got it for $2. The head of broccoli is huge. It measured 10 inches in diameter and was $1. Peppers of all kinds were 3 for $1, eggplants were 2 for $1, melons were 3 for $5 so we all got one and shared the price. I got all that ginger for $2, sweet potatoes for $2, yellow squash and parsnips at great prices too. The most expensive were the apples, but they are in season so I would imagine they will be a bit high for a while. I got five apples for $3, but budget wise that was still okay. I have plenty to work with for the next couple of weeks if not longer and that makes me feel good.

Sunday morning was a great start to putting some of that produce to work for breakfast. We had home made pancakes and baked stuffed apples. I stuffed it with a breakfast sausage stuffing, put a bit of maple syrup on top, and a small pad of butter and 30 minutes later we were enjoying a very filling meal. That's some of what happened here at the townhouse this week. We may not have a farm, or big garden, but we are making use of what is around and supporting local farmers while eating better and living better. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Thrift finds

It was a three day weekend for me this past weekend. My eldest daughter was traveling and it gave me the opportunity to spend time relaxing, working, and sharing time with my younger daughter, her significant other, and granddaughter. We went to a couple of yard sales and thrift stores and here's some of what I found.

At one thrift store I found some low priced small canning jars and two more small Pyrex custard cups. I like to use these while I'm baking or making cheese to measure out my ingredients ahead of time. The barrel shaped bottle is a liquor bottle that holds Lithuanian Suktinis brand Mead. It was found at a yard sale and the family was Lithuanian.

At the same yard sale I got this bundle of embroidered folk art linens and I am so excited because they are coming clean and I can probably up cycle some of the pieces. The work and detail in them is far beyond anything I have ever seen and I got this bundle for $3. Real deal and my daughter got a similar size bundle for the same price. 

They had many boxes of linens to rifle through, but I only chose this new in package 100% combed cotton vintage twin sheet. I hadn't seen this print before. 

We stopped to look around a thrift store that we had known about, but had never checked out because like us they go to sales, buy low and sell higher. Most items were priced well and I found myself hunting their junk isle. I found the two Bakelite utensils and the candy thermometer in a basket of stuff and I paid $1 for all three items. I'm hoping the thermometer works, but for the price I'm not worried. That's all of the thrifting we did. We ventured downtown to enjoy some fall activities the city was sponsoring, do some picture taking, enjoy the beautiful weather and stop for a pumpkin flavored beer before doing the grocery shopping and heading home. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful week.