Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Life in late winter, In the Prairie Kitchen and more Frugality

"Life" on the Prairie-Farm

The "girls"

Mama & Baby #292
She really was not happy with me at all.
This was taken from about 100 feet away and she still was glaring at me.

First Baby of 2009
Go ahead and say it, "Awwwwwwwww~~"
Isn't she just the cutest thing?

There is beauty, even in the "dead of winter."

In the Prairie Kitchen:

We're baking again in the Prairie Kitchen. I made a full batch of THIS BREAD on Sunday, 2 loaves. One in the freezer for possible gifting and one almost gone now. (what is it, Tuesday? How can it be almost gone? Oh yeah, I've had about 7 slices. )
Anyway.... I am mixing up The New Bread (No Knead Dutch Oven Bread) this afternoon. The Olive, Rosemary, Parmesan variation has me very intrigued. This bread calls for 12oz of lager. It was a bit embarrassing to remember I had a 6-pack of beer in my cart yesterday when I ran into an old neighbor who has no idea why I'd be buying beer except to drink it. Which I don't. And I didn't even think about it or that I should have explained. oh well.... maybe it added to their dinner conversation.
I thinking the regular version of the bread with Fluffy Orange Butter sounds wonderful.

I have been using the French Vanilla Creamer in my morning oatmeal. I only need a little bit, cut with much more milk, or it's wayyyyyy tooooo sweet for me. The French Onion Dip has been tossed. It just wasn't working it's way into any of our meals.

Farmer-dear has been making his favorite 1000 Island Dressing. We had all the ingredients so, Another savings! I will be digging out my dressing recipes for Dorothy Lynch (it's a Nebraska thing!) and Raspberry Vinegrette. I have some Splenda I need to use up (don't like it as a normal sweetner) and I think it will work in this.

This is tonight's supper:

Carolyn's Bacon Tater Crockpot Breakfast
1 pound pkg. frozen tater tot potatoes
1/2 lb. Canadian bacon
2 onions, chopped
1 and 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk (I used skim... no difference)
2 TBSP flour
salt and pepper to taste.

In crockpot, layer ingredients in order... one third of the tater tots, bacon, onions, and cheeses. Repeat layers two more times, ending with the cheeses.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk and flour until combined... season with salt and pepper if desired. Pour mixture over layers in crockpot. Cover, cook on low for 7 or 8 hours.
Will serve 6 - 8.

I used dried onions as I wasn't in the mood to chop up onions at 8 a.m. And I think using the sandwich sized Canadian Bacon would be better than the pizza size that I used. I'll give you a review later on it.

More Frugality

1. Still trying to be frugal but not doing as well as I'd like. I bought a few inexpensive things for the girlies for Valentine's Day. We went out to eat twice over the weekend. It was breakfast both times so at least that was cheaper than a dinner meal out.

I did take a trip to the grocery store for Olives (Feta-stuffed, Garlic-stuffed and Kalamata, they are my guilty pleasure right now....6 sliced up on my salad / dinner meal.); and a few ingredients for the recipe above. We've been eating just salads for dinner lately. Bagged salad is on sale through Tuesday (99¢!) and I want to get more of those 38¢lb bananas. They were really GREEN yesterday.
We're trying to get our 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies in every day. Farmer-dear takes some kind of fruit in his lunch and I've been putting dried cranberries in my oatmeal, baby carrots with my lunch or for afternoon snack and fruit later too.

2. Remember I told you about Playlist.com for free music. I found another site.
You can put in a name of an artist, song, types of music and it finds songs that meet the criteria. You can approve songs or disapprove. You can add more than one "station." So far I'm liking the variety. I have some pretty obscure intrumental music likes and it's found plenty to play. Seamless playing without having to rebuffer all the time. (one of my biggest pet peeves with iTunes radio) NAYY, just sharing what I've found.

3. I'm drying pineapple again. When fresh pineapple drops below $3 each, we buy 2 or 3 and I dry it in 2-3" slices for Farmer-dear. It's a healthy (and less expensive) treat for him in the evenings. I use the "ugly" bits & pieces in my evening fruit & yogurt dessert.
We'll continue to do this until the price goes back up. Out of the 2 fruit we got on Sunday, I had a large Tupperware mixing bowl full of slices. Easily 4 large cans worth. A can of pineapple here is close to $3 so I'm definitely saving money.

4. I did start my Cash for Christmas savings. I emptied Farmer's change container (except for the quarters that he uses everyday) and my change plus my loose dollar bills into gallon ziplock bags and have it tucked away so I can add to it every week. When the bag of coins gets full, I'll take it in and get bills. Not sure if I'll open a savings account with it or just put it away here. We'll see...

That's the latest news from the Prairie Farm. I'm off to find some lunch (leftover pizza) and then OMG! SEWING!!! After all, dinner is taken care of and doing laundry is sooooo boring.


**"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."
~e.e. cummings~


  1. I just talked to a lady in the grocery store today about just beer in bread. She's baker (with a bakery) and she said to try using root beer too. It's a bit sweeter so you have to adjust the sugar a little. I deleted two! You?

  2. Two also. Keep going! :o)

    I wondered about Smirnoff Ice in it...sweeter too but with an edge?
    Will try the root beer in my next loaf of Cinnamon Raisin. Sweeter is ok in that (and non-alcoholic for the kidlets.)