This Week in Food and My Menu Plan November 17, 2014

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Happy Monday! It's time to talk about food. What we ate last week and what we'll eat this week. And all the other stuff inbetween.

More Apples

Last week I was blessed to find 2 more bushels of apples! If you actually want to know how many apples are in a bushel it's about 48 pounds or 128 medium apples. That's a lot!

We actually had just finished with the last box which we canned, and shared, and juiced and I did have a moment when I stood over these apples thinking, “no way”. But God knows how much my family loves apples. And I mean that literally so who was I to reject a blessing He was so obviously setting in my path?

My mother came over and sort of gave me that extra push to let me know I could do this. I could deal with possibly 300 apples. I could do it!

So for $3 a bushel box they were mine. Eeep!

In these last two boxes the labels were on the apples so I knew that they were Fuji, Ambrosia, and Aurora. I love these varieties and usually Aurora's are $1.99 a pound. After letting my sister have her pick to eat fresh I cut and froze the rest.

Since I used up all my bigger jars with the previous box of apples and I knew I was not going to spend the day canning more apples I scoured the web to find other ways to preserve apples.

With great relief I found you could freeze raw apples. Both peeled and unpeeled. I opted for peeled. I also found that there are three different solutions you can use to keep them from browning.

I froze my apples in gallon bags and ended up with 6 gallons from one box (after giving away a few and saving some for fresh eating). For 2 gallons of the apples I used the ascorbic solution and with the other 4 gallons I used a salt solution. I admit to checking on my apples once a day because I wasn't sure it could be so easy. So far so good though.

Slow Cooker News

Last week I also dusted off our Slow Cooker for it's unaugural use in our new home.

Last week I switched to the eMeals Slow Cooker Menu. I love eMeals but I don't know that the Slow Cooker Menu is for me.

To let you know I don't usually use all the recipes from a menu plan in that same week. I usually take one or two to try that week and table the rest for later on.

The eMeals Slow Cooker menu seems a little more processed that we eat but that's the beauty of eMeals, something for most everyone and you don't have to stick with a meal plan that is not working for you. So I will probably switch up again.

Vitamix Sale

Vitamix

In more food news Vitamix is on sale today at Zulily. The price can't be beat. These are refurbished models. If you like to make your own nut flours, super smooth smoothies, and quick soups the Vitamix is a dream to have in the kitchen.

You're probably wondering why I'm touting the Vitamix if I don't have one. I want one very badly and fully intend to get one. I know first hand how good they are as my grandmother had one for years and my aunt has one that she lets me use.

These are pricey machines but worth if if you do a lot of from scratch cooking. We actually almost purchased one last year but opted to upgrade our juicer first.

We pay cash for everything so the money has to be there and earmarked for an item before we buy it. So far we have not had $500 earmarked for a Vitamix but we may have $270. I'm not sure. Have to discuss funds with hubby as this is a family purchase so I'll get back to you.  Sale ends in 2 days.

This week's menu and last week's Freezer Meals:

Another thing I did last week was to cook up all our ground meat into two separate batches using the tips I found on this great post over at The Ktchn.

I chopped onions, carrots, and peppers (they've been on sale) and sauteed them in my pan. Then I added about 3 pounds of a mix of ground beef and ground turkey. For the first batch I added Italian spices and garlic. When it was done I poured in a big bowl to cool and then repeated the process in the same pan but this time I added chili powder and cumin.

When I was done I didn't make 46 meals but more like 12 from about 6 pounds of food. It was ingenious and we used two of the packs last week for our Friday make your own Mexican dish meal and for spaghetti on Saturday. I'll be doing this again for sure.

Here's my menu template for this week…

Monday: Leftover lamb with sweet potato puree

Tuesday: Fish (maybe salmon maybe rockfish)

Wednesday: Surprise Me

Thursday: Barley Soup (still unsure of the protein)

Friday: Mexican (make your own version with the fillings, wrappings, and condiments)

 

What’s on your menu?

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