Jessica's Jottings:

On faith, food, family and frugality

Menu Plan: 10/28 – 11/3

So…I, ahem, overspent my food budget a little bit over the weekend due to a birthday party. /blush

Ergo…we are eating entirely out of the freezer and deep freezer this week.

Personally, I’m needing to tighten my eating back up a little bit as I’m having some ongoing stomach issues and I’m very itchy again. Boo. I’m really feeling like I need to pull stevia out of my diet for a trial run of at least a week to see if that helps clear up the itchiness. I’m really hoping it’s not the cause, but I need to check it out.

I’m also going to try to start doing better again about incorporating protein in at every meal. I’ve gotten lax in this area, too.

Monday, October 28

Breakfast: Pumpkin Pie Casserole for hubby and kids, sauteed shredded zucchini and yellow squash with a turkey burger for mom, blackberry smoothie
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Roasted chicken, roasted beets, steamed broccoli

Today’s To Do: Bake bread. Process all of the peppers in the fridge, chopping some and slicing others. Take care of milk kefir grains. Bake two chickens. Pull all remaining meat off of bones after dinner, packing it up for the freezer. Start stock.

Tuesday, October 29 – Jess guitar lesson

Breakfast: Blackberries and Cream French Toast and bacon for hubby and kids, coriander kale with chicken for mom
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:  Cuban beans and rice

Today’s To Do: Take care of milk kefir grains. Thaw out cuban beans. Cook rice.

Wednesday, October 30

Breakfast: Maple cinnamon blender pancakes, turkey burger and veggies for mom
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken soup without the barley

Today’s To Do: Take care of milk kefir grains.

Thursday, October 31

Breakfast: Bacon egg and cheese biscuits, leftover soup for mom
Lunch: Leftovers and baked acorn squash
Dinner:  Leftovers

Today’s To Do: Take care of milk kefir grains. Make a big batch of baking powder. Make a quadruple-sized batch of biscuits, so we have extra for the freezer.

Friday, November 1

Breakfast: Tropical Baked oatmeal, chicken soup for mom
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Salmon patties and steamed broccoli/cauliflower

Today’s To Do: Take care of milk kefir grains.

Saturday, November 2 – Violin lesson, mid-afternoon

Breakfast: Pancakes or Waffles, Chef’s Choice, Leftover salmon for mom
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:  Taco salads

Today’s To Do: Take care of milk kefir grains. Thaw out some pintos and ground beef in the a.m.

Sunday, November 3 – Serving at the 6 p.m. service

Breakfast: Leftovers (and/or freezer waffles/biscuits)
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Leftovers

Today’s To Do: Make next week’s meal plan. Take care of milk kefir grains.

Leave a comment »

Meal Planning, 10/21 – 10/27

Monday, October 21

Breakfast: Oatmeal for hubby and kids, 2 eggs for mom
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Catfish nuggets with grain-free breading, steamed broccoli

Today’s To Do: Make a double batch of bread. Check on tartar sauce and make some, if needed.

Tuesday, October 22

Breakfast: Peaches and Cream French Toast for hubby and kids, eggs and kefir smoothie for mom
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:  Eggroll in a Bowl

Today’s To Do: Thaw out eggroll wrappers and ground beef. Boil eggs.

Wednesday, October 23 – Birthday!!! Birthday girl is picking out the meals, y’all. 😀 (And…Daddy’s working from home today. Yeah!)

Breakfast: Maple cinnamon blender pancakes
Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Dinner: Cheese, onion, and salami pizza (We use the uncured salami for pepperoni at our house…it works for us. 😉 )

Today’s To Do: Hunt out some real food carrot cake recipes for yonder birthday girl.

Thursday, October 24 – Life Skills in the a.m., Fight Night! in the p.m.

Breakfast: Cherry and blueberry (same recipe as cherry, but using blueberries) and lemon poppyseed muffins – MUST add enough lemon juice or they taste icky. :/
Lunch: Sandwiches or eating out
Dinner:  Taco salads for kids, Nathan and I will be eating out.

Today’s To Do: Thaw out pinto beans. Pack up some muffins for both of us during the lectures. (They’re providing snacks, but it’s unlikely we’ll be able to eat them.)

Friday, October 25

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, sausage, toast
Lunch: Tuna salad sandwiches
Dinner: Quiche with Butternut Squash Crust, hashbrowns

Today’s To Do:

Saturday, October 26– Violin lesson, mid-afternoon, birthday party afterwards

Breakfast: Pancakes or Waffles, Chef’s Choice
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Birthday party stuff – Cassie wants a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Today’s To Do: Make all of the stuff for the birthday party. If it’s not at the park, make sure the house is clean.

Sunday, October 27 – Serving at the 6 p.m. service

Breakfast: Leftover breakfast items
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Leftovers

Today’s To Do: Make next week’s meal plan.

Leave a comment »

Fruit and Root Chicken Soup

As you will see (should you click through), the following creation is very roughly based off of this.  I wanted to do something a little different for dinner tonight, so, after a quick fridge perusal,  I googled “Fruit and Root Soup”. The recipe linked earlier is what came back and caught my eye. I took it and tweaked it…a lot. We didn’t have parsnips or rutabaga and I knew I wanted to add chicken and use up chicken broth, so there was no way it was going to be vegan.

While it was simmering, I whipped up a double batch of biscuits. Well…I attempted to “whip up” some biscuits. Then, I popped the lid off of the baking powder container to find that it was empty. /sigh

Thankfully, I remembered reading that you could mix up your own baking powder. To my surprise, we actually had some Cream of Tartar, so it was just a matter of measuring it and the baking soda out into the old baking powder container. The biscuits even seemed to rise a little more than usual. Works for me!

FrFruit and Root Chicken Soup

This was amazing with some quick homemade biscuits!










Fruit and Root Chicken Soup

Expeller-pressed coconut oil
1 small onion, slivered
3 carrots, cut into rounds
1 potato, roughly chopped
1 med. sweet potato, roughly chopped
3/4 – 1 c. frozen cherries
3/4 – 1 c. frozen peach slices
1 1/2 c. cooked chicken pieces
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. cumin (we were almost out and I just dumped the rest of the jar into the pot)
garam masala, to taste ( I started with 1/2 tsp., but added more)
hot madras curry, to taste
ground allspice, to taste (I probably used about a tsp to 1 1/4 tsp after I added too much chicken broth and it diluted the flavor down more than I wanted.)
Redmond Salt, to taste
chicken broth


Heat some oil in your stockpot. Add all of the veggies. Cover pot and let the steam cook them, stirring occasionally until they’re soft. Add the fruit and chicken. Cover again, stirring occasionally until everything is heated through. Add the garlic and spices and stir to distribute them evenly. Add enough broth to get it to your preferred soup thickness. Cover again until thoroughly heated. Taste. Adjust spices as needed*. Insert immersion blender and puree to a mostly smooth texture. Serve and enjoy.  This is REALLY, REALLY good served over the homemade biscuit recipe I linked above. (And you can always sub expeller-pressed coconut oil for the lard, should you not have any pastured lard available.)

*Because I use homemade chicken stock, I always need to add more salt than a recipe calls for. For this, however, I was trying to use up a lot of broth and I ended up needing to add a lot more of the spices to regain the flavor I so adored. It worked out, though, and my husband said that it tasted like it would come from an Indian restaurant. Woot! 😀

Leave a comment »

Dragon Scale Soup

Aye, lads and lassies! I did it! I found a fresh harvest of dragon scales at our local grocery store.

Well…maybe they weren’t real dragon scales. Maybe…they were heads of savoy cabbage that had been marked down for quick sale. Maybe I just needed a quick dinner and after I made it, I took one look and said to myself, “My kids are NOT going to eat this, unless I come up with a fun spin on it.”


Because…well, that’s exactly how this recipe came about. Yesterday, was a full day and involved a LOT of out of the house time. And…because I’ve started meal plans for the last two weeks, but haven’t finished either of them, I did not have a plan for dinner last night. Cue the “EEK! Oh, Google, what can you do with these two fresh ingredients that I have in my fridge and involving the chicken broth that’s been simmering in the crockpot for, ahem, a week?”

This is what Google spat back at me. However, we didn’t have several of those ingredients (i.e. the V8, French Onion Soup, or the spinach), so I got to improv, while still basing it loosely on the Zucchini-Cabbage Soup.

Dragon scale Soup

Expeller-pressed coconut oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 large zucchini, chopped however you want to chop them (we’re pureeing this bad boy at the end of the process, so it doesn’t really matter so long as they’re able to be cooked all the way through)
2 small heads of savoy cabbage, roughly chopped3 large cloves of garlic, minced (yeah, the original only called for one. I REALLY like garlic though, so…yeah. *You* don’t have to use that much. But, with cold and flu season coming on…why not?)
1/2 of a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce (It’s what was left after yesterday night’s pizza. /shrug)
4-6 c. of chicken stock (depending on how thick you like your soups)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Dried basil, start with 1 1/2 tsp. and add more to taste
Coconut aminos, to taste

Directions: Heat about 2-4 T. of coconut oil in a 4 – 6 Qt. stock pot. Add onion, zucchini, and cabbage and cover, stirring occasionally until they cooked through. Add the rest of the ingredients* and bring to a simmer, tasting** and adjusting occasionally. After you’ve reached the flavor composition that suits you, break out your handy dandy immersion blender and puree away. The savoy cabbage will not puree terribly well, but that’s where your “dragon scales” come from. After pureeing, dish up and enjoy! And, if your little ones are fans of Andrew Peterson‘s Wingfeather Saga***, hasten to assure them that these dragon scales did not come from sea dragons.

*Please note that you will need *more* salt if the stock is homemade – it doesn’t have those lovely additives that the manufacturers put in it, but it does have the nutrients that they remove. That counts as a win in my book. 🙂

**For Hygiene’s Sake, Batman! Use a clean spoon every time you taste.

***WHAT???? You’ve never heard of the Wingfeather Saga? Change that. Immediately.  Go here where you can support the artist directly *and* get it cheaper than from amazon, buy the bundle, and help the kickstarter. These are AMAZING books that your kids will grab hold of and love as their own. Book four will be out in the spring and…we CAN’T wait!!!

Leave a comment »