Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Oops, there it went

Menu Plan Monday came and went, see my penance recipe for Sticky Chicken at the end of this post.

My reason was this: I got a heads up from I-don't-remember-where that Food Lion had whole chickens on sale for 49 cents/pound. Wow! I hadn't seen that price in a while, so it was worth the trip three miles away for the deal. This was Monday morning, early, when I was the only person awake in my house. That way, I didn't detract from our regular schedule. I entered Food Lion with the intent of purchasing 10-15 chickens. However, when I got back to the meat department I quickly realized that I had stumbled on a jackpot of reduced meat. Now, if you remember the Food Lion meat scandal of the early 90's, you're probably thinking "ew, gross", but I think after that, Food Lion probably became one of the safest places to buy meat because of the scrutiny they received. Anyway, I got so many good bargains to last a while. The reductions were just taken (the date said 4/28, which was yesterday). I got several 5 pound Boston Butt roasts for 87 cents a pound. I got beef ribs, which my family adores. We normally wouldn't eat beef ribs because of the price. I also got a few Chuck Roasts, which can be slow cooked in a way that they are tender and juicy. I will be going back to Food Lion again on another Monday for more meat deals.

Sunday - leftover spaghetti dinner
Monday - Southern Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches in the slow cooker, cucumber salad, pasta salad, Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Tuesday - Lentils and Vegetable Soup, leftover pulled pork sandwiches, Green Leaf Salad
Wednesday - Sticky Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Steamed Vegetables, Butter Flake rolls
Thursday - Day Old Bread Casserole (using leftover chicken), rolls, peas
Friday - Pizza night
Saturday night - out of town company = out to eat!


and, now, from the family archives:


Sticky Chicken

Serves: 4

This chicken is an absolute family favorite. My family would eat this once per week, but I wait until I get a really, really good deal on whole chickens to keep it special by not serving it so often. Cooked, these resemble those tiny Tyson Rotisserie Chicken, or the expensive rotisserie chickens at the certain Market store. The skin is crisp, the inside is so moist! For my family I make two, so we have a little leftover.

2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon white peppers
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 whole chicken
1 cup chopped onions

Combine all spices (first 8 ingredients) in small bowl.

Rinse chicken, inside & out. Drain well.

Rub spice mixture over skin and the inside of the chicken. Place in a resealable bag, seal and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to roast, stuff cavity with onions. Place chicken breast-side-up in roasting pan.

Roast, uncovered, at 250°F (that's not a typo...it's really 250°F). Baste occasionally with pan juices or until pan juices start to caramelize on bottom of pan and chicken is golden brown, about 5 hours.

Anything over 225°F is safe as long as the chicken reaches an internel temperature of at least 180 F, which this does, and more for about 5 hours.

OR

Following regular chicken roasting instructions as follows: Pour melted butter over chickens. Place on roasting rack in shallow dish. Roast at 475 degrees for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees. Roast an additional 30-45 minutes, or until internal temperature is 180 F.




Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Menu Planning Software from DVO Enterprises.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Cod Liver Oil

Can't be that bad if it lowered my husband's blood pressure from 210/110 into the normal range. Of course, I think a good dose of fervent prayer helped also!

There has been some discussion on www.moneysavingmom.com about vitamins: to take or not to take, and which one? There are so many to choose from. A lot of them are just junk, loaded with fillers and minerals in a form that your body really can't use optimally. I've never tried the Supermom brand, but they look like a decent supplement. I'm all for green foods like spirulina, alfalfa, algae and sea weeds...just be careful that you do not have allergies to the ingredients before loading up on vitamins. For years I took Nature's Way Alive without Iron, and felt wonderful. I recently stopped because I felt it necessary to start a regimen of Cod Liver Oil and Glucosamine/Chondtroitin/MSM to manage my autoimmune arthritis. Together, it would have been a near toxic dose of vitamin A. After 6 weeks on this regimen, I feel much improved. My knees don't grind, my shoulder has a normal range of motion, and my thumbs never get locked up any more. I cannot praise those little cod enough, they have made a vast difference in the health of my family! I have had to switch to a more palatable capsule, but my husband will finish off my bottle of lemon-lime liquid oil.

You might want to consider cod liver oil, too, if you are seeking a remedy or management for any of the following: high triglycerides, migraines, depression, secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease or stones, and also for inflammatory conditions such as asthma, gingivitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. To read about the merits of cod liver oil, click here.

For more information from a favorite source regarding health-related issues, click here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Going Mediterranean

We all have those friends in our lives. You know the ones who inspire us with their motivation or talents? Today I was reminded by the thoughts of one such friend...I need to eat right. Learning about nutrition is something that I enjoy doing. I don't always hop on the latest trend, but I do know a good diet when I see one. On the menu this week: we are going Mediterranean. Our top foods, according to the Mediterranean Book (as well as other successful campaigns like the South Beach Diet) should be:

  1. TOMATOES – cooked, they are rich in the antioxidant lycopene
  2. OLIVE OIL
  3. RED GRAPES
  4. NUTS - full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  5. WHOLE GRAINS (fiber!)
  6. FISH (or fish oils, as my case may be. I cannot find a decent, mild fish in this area!)
  7. BERRIES (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, any berries!)
  8. GARLIC
  9. SPINACH (we like this raw, but we'll eat it steamed also)
  10. ORANGES (rich in folic acid, and vitamin C) this week, we'll be doing lots of lemons!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

When life gives you lemons...

there's so much more to do with them than make lemonade! I talked to my sister yesterday. She'll be 46 in a few days, and is starting a regimen of nutritional counseling with her chiropractor. What advice did her chiropractic physician give to her? Eat lemons! Why? Lemons are one of God's most beneficial creations. I know that lemon juice is an excellent stain remover and air freshener. Cosmetic reasons aside, take a look at the health benefits:

Lemon juice is one of the best detoxifying agents/cleansing agents ever known to man. The vitamin C in lemons is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants are necessary to rid the body of damage caused by free radicals.

Lemon juice can resolve nausea, as well as cure heartburn when mixed with hot water.

Lemon scent is a good "pick-me-upper".


For more on the benefits of lemons, click here.

Tonight, while shopping for a new set of salt and pepper shakers in Bed, Bath & Beyond, I came across this nifty gadget. Had to have it (extremely rare impulse buy), and I'm happy I did! The price on the gadget was $9.99, but it rung up as $19.99. They ALL said $9.99, which was a misprice, so the store gave it to me for that price. Then, I pulled out my nifty 20% off any item coupon, for a final price of $7.99! That may seem like a splurge, but we go through so many lemons during the summer, it really was a bargain! This will be a real time saver! Why didn't I know about this before? Culinary life begins at 41, I guess!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Squeeze

I've added a new poll, just for curiosity's sake. I suppose I want to feel that I'm not the only one who is feeling the squeeze of the worsening economy. I thank God that I was led to thoroughly examine and adjust the grocery budget 6 months ago, and feel better prepared to deal with an economic crisis. Still, I have felt the impact. We are fairly healthy eaters and the cost to supply the family with fresh produce and good meat and dairy simply does not come at a discount. I make nearly everything from scratch because it is better for us, and the cost savings are usually huge. However, the cost of basic ingredients is climbing. For instance, did you notice that there were no egg sales this Easter? Usually eggs are deeply discounted at this time of year. I've seen them in recent years as low as 79 cents/dozen. This year? $1.89! I buy our milk at the corner store where it's $3.89/gallon for 2% and $3.39/gallon for skim. I have been buying a gallon of each and mixing them (unknown to my picky husband). Until very recently, I was buying organic or raw milk, but can no longer afford it. We could never drink powdered milk, though I do use it for baking. I don't think the cost savings is enough to justify the taste. I occasionally buy soy milk for 50 cents/half gallon at Publix with stacked coupons. I use it for baking also, or for smoothies as a treat.

Another cost saving measure that we may have to take will be utilizing one meatless dinner recipe per week during produce season. Main dish salads are pretty popular in my house, and we already do lots of those for lunch.

It would seem strange to our generation to have to so drastically reduce our food budget. What would you do if the cost of milk rose to $7/gallon, a loaf of bread to $4? The days of government imposed rationing are in our very recent history. My mother remembers government imposed rations. She was born in 1943. My father-in-law was born on October 22, 1929, exactly one week before the stock market crash of 1929, which furthered the damage inflicted by The Great Depression. He remembers the latter part of decade long scarcity, and has spent the last 70 years preparing for another collapse.

I am not an alarmist, but I do feel the squeeze. I thank God for His provision, but I also feel that stewardship is my responsibility. I am so thankful for a group of Godly women who have been my mentors throughout this learning season.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Priorities

One of the biggest challenges to being a mom is scheduling and managing our lives. In life class yesterday, the pastor's wife read an excerpt from Ed Young's Outrageous, Contagious Joy.

Here are our three priorities: (1) relationships (2) worship (3) work . My project for the week is to write down everything that I have to do in the course of the week and to analyze if I am living according to these priorities. I can tell you, I don't think that I am...and I want to! How about you?

Take some time to prayerfully consider your schedules. What works, what doesn't? Why? Are you joyful?

Perpetually striving to be the Proverbs 31 woman...that's me!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

There is an alternative to bleach

Chlorine bleach is a hazardous material. Sure, it's an excellent cleaning medium, but do you really, really want the toxic exposure when there are alternatives?

I found this at Publix this weekend: Chlorine-free bleach. Active ingredient? Hydrogen peroxide, citric acid and water, which breaks down into harmless oxygen and water. Does it work? Yes.

I paid $1.50 for mine, works great on stains!

Try it!

Product review: glass cleaner

A friend recently sent me an e-mail of suggested uses for 3% hydrogen peroxide. Determined not to just jump on the bandwagon (as I had done with vinegar for a while) until I used my year's supply of FREE Windex collected during my initial spurt of couponing, I set the e-mail aside for a later time. When I finally read the e-mail thoroughly, I decided to try the hydrogen peroxide on my bathroom mirrors. WOW! Where has this knowledge been all of my life?! It is amazingly streak-free and certainly economical. I like it better than commercially prepared glass cleaner, and as a bonus, it is FUME-FREE!

I was never too impressed with vinegar as a glass cleaner, but I like the idea of natural.

Try it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Did you know this about corn?

With all the great deals on corn, here's a clever way to cook it! Please try to buy local produce...it's better for you, better for the farmer!

You can pull back the husk (but not remove it!), remove the silk, place the husk back around the ear of corn, microwave for 2 1/2 minutes for one ear, 5 minutes for two ears, 7 1/2 minutes for three ears, etc.

Or, if you do not own a microwave or have reservations about microwaving your food, you can cook it in the crockpot:

Remove husk and silk from the ears of corn, place in your crockpot, cover with warm water, and cook on high for 2 hours.


Did I mention how much I love my crockpot?