Menu Plan Monday - 12/17

Dec 16, 2012

Perhaps the week before Christmas is not the best time to go gluten-free, but I gotta go with my motivation. My original goal was grain-free, but that seems like Mission Impossible to me right now.

Monday:  A.M. Prep: Make chicken broth
                 Chicken & rice soup
Tuesday:  Dinner at Mom's

Wednesday:  Slow-cooker Italian chicken & veggies
                       Prep: soak pinto beans

Thursday:  Layered taco dip w/ Mexican rice, homemade refried beans

Friday:  Sweet & Spicy Crockpot Chicken w/Basmati rice, steamed broccoli

Saturday:  A.M. Prep: Make mashed potatoes
                   Shepherd's pie, mixed baby greens salad

Sunday: Garlic-lime chicken, Basmati rice, glazed baby carrots (Papa Bear's Favorite :)

Flurry of Friends Pinterest Party

Dec 5, 2012

Teach Them Diligently Convention and Apologia are hosting a week-long Flurries of Friends and Lots of Fun homeschool celebration with Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter parties. A random winner will be chosen on Thursday from the Pinterest board entries.

Grand Prize Package
One year of Apologia Science (winner's choice), 180 Days Around the World, family registration to the spring convention, and a complete set of TTD recordings of their choice!

After reading a post from Amy at Raising Arrows and getting inspired, I had fun putting together this Pinterest board. My theme is Afternoon Tea. Check out what it would be like to come over to my house for a cup of tea and homeschool mom chat. Then, join in the fun! If you create a board, leave a link in my comments, so I can check it out.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

My family was deprived of biscuits for nearly a decade once I stopped buying canned supermarket biscuits. Well, except when we went to Cracker Barrel or my mom's. I tried a couple of whole wheat biscuit recipes, but they were usually dense and a little dry.

That is, until I found a recipe in Joy of Cooking - there's a reason that cookbook has been around for decades. This is my slightly adapted version. The biscuits turn out light and fluffy with the mild tang of buttermilk. Slather on some real butter and a smear of sorghum or jam and you will experience a little bit of Southern heaven.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits
(makes about 20-24)

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat)
1 cup unbleached AP flour
4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, coconut oil, or non-hydrogenated shortening (I use 1/2 butter, 1/2 coconut oil)
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix first six ingredients in bowl or food processor. Cut in butter/coconut oil/shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in buttermilk. If dough is too sticky, add one tablespoon of flour at a time until you are able to handle the dough. Knead it gently on a well-floured surface. Pat the dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with two-inch biscuit cutter or juice glass and place on ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Handling dough scraps gently, you may pat out and cut again. Bake until lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.

Soaked option: Stir flour into buttermilk, cover, and soak for 12-24 hours before making. Then, cut butter into chunks and work into the flour mixture, along with the remaining ingredients. Knead and cut dough as directed above.

Tip: For soft sides and slightly higher rise, place dough rounds touching each other. For lightly crispy sides, space 1 inch apart on sheet.

Linked to Better Mom Monday, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Wonderful Food Wednesday, Welcome Home Wednesday, Natural Living Link-up.

Egg Sauce {Grandma's Recipe}

Dec 3, 2012

When I was little, my grandmother would fix egg sauce over toast for me when I spent the night. I had forgotten all about it until I ran across a recipe for a simple white sauce in Joy of Cooking several years ago. That sparked my memory and, now, my boys also love egg sauce over toast.

The recipe is simple and made from pantry staples. Milk. Butter. Flour. Eggs. Nothing fancy here. It is a just simple white sauce with chopped hard-boiled eggs stirred in. You could use the plain white sauce to cream vegetables too, although I've never tried that.

Egg Sauce

2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs unbleached AP flour
1 cup milk (I use whole, but you can adapt to your preferences)
2-3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled & chopped

Place butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Whisk in flour until smooth; stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and slowly whisk in milk. Return to heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Continue cooking and whisking until sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in chopped eggs.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over toast. (My favorite is sourdough.)

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