Sunday, November 24, 2013

Back to Basics--Food Costs

So, I decided to take a gander at the USDA's website concerning monthly food costs.  For our household, their "thrifty" plan would have me spending $839.80 a month on food.  Let me tell you that I don't spend that a month even when I don't follow a budget!

I need to get my monthly spending back down to $350.00 a month because I want to use the $50.00 for prepping supplies.  Since we are beginning December soon, I decided this is a good time to get myself back into the groove.  December usually has some good sales on basics, so I hope to use that to get a jump start on my pantry principle way of shopping.  I have also been fortunate that DH has gotten several deer already this season with the potential to get many more.  I already have at least 40 lbs* of ground venison in the freezer, along with a few roasts, so that will help with meat costs each month.

I need to dig out my old posts about price books and other ways to cut food costs and refresh my memories.  It also helps that it is the winter season and stews and soups are more cost saving meals.

*I am sure it is more than that, but do not feel like going to check right now.  I do plan to get a good inventory of the freezer soon so that I know what I have on hand so I can decide how much to spend if I find a really GOOD deal at the store.

Isn't she precious????

I am not posting any names, but please welcome my newest grandbaby!

9 lbs, 6 oz. 21 inches long

Monday, November 18, 2013

French Onion Soup--Slowcooker

French Onion Soup Crock Pot Recipe

The Ingredients.

--2 cans of beef broth
--3 T butter
--2 yellow onions
--1/2 T granulated sugar
--1/4 cup cooking sherry (or dry white wine would probably work)
--1/2 t kosher salt (you might need more if your butter isn't salted)
--slices of brown rice bread (or french bread)
--gruyere cheese (swiss could work too)

The Directions.

--heat your crockpot to high and plop your butter in to start melting
--slice the yellow onions into rings
--break up the onion slices with your fingers, and rub them around in the melted butter
--add the beef broth, sugar, salt, and sherry
--cook on high for 6-8 hours or low for 10-12. It takes a while for the onions to get translucent and pliable

before serving:

--preheat oven to the broiling option
--toast 4 slices of the bread that you are going to use. That Trader Joe's brown rice bread needed to be toasted twice in my toaster to get to the desired crunchiness.
--cut gruyere cheese into slices
--put the cheese onto the toasted bread, and carefully float the bread and cheese on the top of the soup
--remove stoneware from crockpot and place the UNCOVERED stoneware into the oven
--broil for a minute or two--the cheese should be all melty and turn a golden color

ladle into 4 bowls.

From the blog A year of slow cooking.

The above is how it is written on the blog.

This is what I do:

I add ALOT more onions.  I also brown at least half of them before putting them in the slow cooker, since I like the flavor it adds.  

I also use a nice sherry or Port for the cooking sherry.  

I use a mixture of provolone and mozzarella for my cheese.