wayfarer in the kitchen

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

not forgotten...


will update tonight insh'allah

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Recipes - nachos, pumpkin cream cheese muffins and chili relleno casserole

I believe the only recipes that were requested were:

homemade nachos, pumpkin muffins and chili relleno casserole

The chili relleno casserole didn't happen because it's just impossible to find chili relleno's here. I've tried 5 stores. But this is delish. Now i didn't follow this recipe because it just didn't sound right to me at the time. I was going to write up a recipe based on this recipe when i made it again but this is the recipe i based my version off of and it was absolutely delicious. I've been wanting to make it again for so long!

The Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins can be found here. I added some ground ginger. I only did a little bit of cream cheese. I filled the cups 3/4, used only a small dime sized chunk of cream cheese (skipped the freezing part altogether) and skipped the nuts because i thought i had them but realized i didn't. They were delicious just how they were. I am making them again soon for sure. Next week i'm doing a chocolate chip version to see which one is better. For the pumpkin spice mix - i was too lazy to look up the recipe for it so i just added a little pinch of each of (cardamom, ground clove, all spice, ground ginger, cinnamon).

Homemade nachos - this is the first time I've made these. My mom used to make them for me in the summers when i saw her and i was feeling nostalgic. I normally wouldn't eat cheddar out of a can - guess you could use fresh but like i said, i was feeling nostalgic. Anyway...


1 bag dorritos
1 lb ground beef
taco seasoning (either make your own or buy from the store)
1 can cheddar cheese (soup aisle)
1/2 can milk
green onions

Saute onion in a little oil, when soft, add meat. Cook until brown (add in seasonings...cumin, etc or taco seasoning packet). At same time, cook cheddar cheese (but use half the suggested milk). When both are done pile a plate with dorritos, add the meat, then the cheese, then tomatos and green onions. Sour cream if you like too.

and this is why you don't go shopping without a list!

See, whenever i go without a list, i'm forced to go down every aisle and when you go down every aisle you pick up things that sound or look good. I forgot my list but since we were there i had to shop. After all, it's almost the weekend and i'm just doing my week's worth of shopping. Thank God for the freezer because that's what we've been eating. I had to rearrange things and tonight I had a strong craving for butter chicken so goodbye chicken jalfraizi and hello butter chicken.

Anyway, long story short... I spent $89.23. So last week was $47 so the total for 2 weeks now is $136. If I had brought my list it would have been half this. I didn't include the pumpkin i got, the batteries or the fixings for LD's school mac and cheese (i'm making a big batch for the fall festival). I don't know if it'll be less than $200 for the month. We'll see!

Here's what I came home with that wasn't on my list (and i forgot 3 things too):

Large box of organic spring salad mix - i was feeling healthy.

2 bags of spinach - got it because it was 2/1

brussel sprouts - because they sounded good - yeah, i'm twisted like that. :-)

oranges, pomegranate, grapes, avocados, broccoli , kiwi- because LD wanted these things and who can turn down a kid begging for such healthiness - he eats veggies and fruits for lunch - not much of a meat eater

hot chocolate - this really should have been on my list because i've been craving it with the rainy weather

french fries - 2 bags. One of regular crinkle fries and one of sweet potatos. This is why you bring a list and you stick to it! I never buy these. I always make my fries. Argh.

Mocha peppermint creamer - this is okay...i always buy cream in the winter for the special flavors. I'll let this one slide.

Canned fruit - i was going to get it next week but since i was there...

There's some other things but you get the point. Go with a list!

Monday, October 22, 2007

All caught up!

Comments have been responded too. I'll post on Thursday how much i spent and the recipes. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Hope you guys are enjoying these posts. :-)


Here's my list so i can skip this step tomorrow. This is how i write it out for my husband usually too. I sometimes go too. Tomorrow I'm going.

Frozen aisle:

milk for us
milk for ld
yogurt - plain
cheese slices for grilled cheese

Fruit and veggies:

vanilla wafers
nescafe instant coffee
bread (whitish for double ka meeta)
english muffins
Desi store: (i need it next week so i buy it now) - i use the curry leaves for the first few days then immediately put into a glass jar in the freezer. They turn brown but it doesn't matter. It's just moisture that changes them in the freezer. They are still fine to use.
curry leaves
ginger paste
Halal store: (again, for next week)
ground beef
ground chicken


Phew what a day.

Here's the menu plan for this week:


Breakfast: Avocado, egg and english muffin.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup and corn.
Dinner: Tomato ka salan (didn't have it last week, had something from freezer instead) and Begari beghan (eggplant dish)

Breakfast: oatmeal for LD, toast for me
Lunch: busy day...don't know...probably just snacks (fruit, veggie etc)
Dinner: Biryani from the freezer (busy day tomorrow so no time to cook). Love thy freezer.

Breakfast: yogurt pancakes
Lunch: zuchini and tomatos for LD, sandwich for me
Dinner: Israeili Chicken, corn on the cob, garlic and dill potatos

Breakfast: oatmeal and fruit for LD, fruit for me
Lunch: Pasta with hidden veggies
Dinner: Chicken Jalfraizi

Breakfast: french toast
Lunch: english muffin pizza
Dinner: Eggplant Parmesan from the freezer

breakfast: eggs, breakfast burritos or pancakes
lunch: snacks...fruit etc
dinners: leftovers from freezer


Boy, it's been one of those days. I have no clue what's for dinner at it's 4:19. Sigh. Better get to it. I'll respond to comments and get a menu up hopefully tonight.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Nontoxic cleaners

I'll post more each week. Here's some links to get you started...





There's a ton of websites out there, just google natural cleaning recipes, organic cleaning recipes etc. I have some pesticide recipes, air freshener ones, etc. too. Bath products and beauty products are out there too. A non toxic world is a good world. I do use chemicals too but i try to use natural when i can.

I let LD squirt these cleaners and he loves doing it. He'll wash something for a half hour and let me do something i don't want him doing (cleaning toilets for example). I only let him use his "cleaners" when i'm cleaning so he doesn't get bored with it. It's a treat.


No food recipes were requested. right?

Where does the time go?

I haven't lived up to my promise this week...been busy. I had the intention of sending out eid cards and a few presents and haven't done that either (sigh). Okay, let's catch up.

I spent $25 on halal meat and still have some left. We got 2 lbs ground beef, 2 whole boneless chicken breasts, 1 whole chicken cut up and a couple pounds of legs and thighs.

We hardly bought anything fresh this week because i was already stocked up on most things. We did spend $22 at the farm...that included what is apparently a play pumpkin for the little man. He carries it everywhere with him. Don't know if we are going to be able to eat it or not.

So total this week is: $47

I know it's a bit unfair this week but this is what i do.

Okay, some ways to save money. I planned to organize this better but i have limited time so it's just gonna come out like this...

Buy what you use often in bulk when it's on sale. For instance, i know we go through beans, chickpeas, tomatos, frozen veggies like hot potatos so whenever they are on sale, i go crazy. I buy tons of tomatos canned, i buy them crushed, diced, whole, the paste and even sauce and i'll buy a ton at a time because i know i'll use them. I use fresh tomato's too but i like them on hand in the can. Beans i buy in the can for chili or snacks. I buy them dry too because they are much cheaper that way but they are a quick snack for LD in the can. I always always have lentils, beans, and other dried legumes for our meals. They are super cheap and super healthy. Buy the big bag and use often.

When cooking, mix in veggies to meat dishes to maximize meat (expensive and also not exactly good for you eaten in bulk). Add okra, potatos or tomatos to beef or goat to bulk up the meal. Dried legumes are good for this too. Have side dishes that are veggies also. By doing this, you will usually have leftovers (hence a frozen dinner for later) and it's healthier.

Never buy prepared foods. It's 200% inflation.

Make your own baby food (i'm a wealth of knowledge on this subject...ask away).

Don't buy things already sliced up, diced, shredded etc. The shelf life is shorter and it's twice as much. (frozen is different because the shelf life problem isn't there). Chopped veggies are a timesaver and a great snack for kids.

Don't buy things because they are on sale unless they are on your list or something you always use (like tomato's).

Bargains are at the top and bottom of the shelves - they place the higher priced items at eye level. They also put toddler enticing items lower so kids can get at em.

Always eat before grocery shopping. Don't go hungry. If you go hungry you are going to come out with snacks you don't need.

Freeze things about to expire (milk, chicken stock, veggies (chop and put in small containers or bags), fruit (i buy strawberries and blueberries on sale in the summer and chop and freeze myself) - they don't make it to winter like intended but still the dollar stretches a lot further when they are on sale which is the next point.

Eat by the season, that's what is usually on sale and it's what is fresh. Can't lose. Farmers markets are good for this.

And most important, plan your menu, make a list and stick to it. You will probably avoid the cookie, chip, etc aisle which is $$$$. Make your cookies, skip the chips and soda. I do buy juices in the box. It's good for play dates and car drinks and treats. It's also a splurge because they are high but then so is juicy juice and i buy it. I'm still looking for organic juice here.

Often people go to the store hungry and without a list and come out with a ton of snacks but no meals. Plan ahead - it'll save a bundle as well as a lot of patience (if you have a toddler).

Okay, that's enough for now. More next week.

Monday, October 15, 2007

a note about my freezer

I'll post a picture soon too. I don't have a seperate deep freeze. My refridgerator is a typical side by side so bigger than the top freezer but i think you can do the same thing i do but rotate meals more quickly. This is what is typically in my freezer:

A bunch of small portions for the little man. What is in there now for him is kitchery which i add a pureed veggie too when serving, mac and cheese, chili, northern beans, chickpeas will be added this week.

Leftover meals. I cook a decent size batch of food so we'll eat 3/4 of it and i'll freeze the rest. Then one night, usually the weekend, but any day that i don't get to cooking or something comes up or i just don't feel like it, we go to the freezer and take a few leftover meals.

I always have leftover rice and leftover dahl. I have a three portion container that i put these into so we can just pop it out into a bowl and heat.

Whenever i buy veggies, i buy the best bag for the money for things like carrots, celery, and often you have to buy bigger sizes than you need so with these, i use what i need then immediately chop into different sizes (cubes, grated, finely diced) and freeze into small portions for soups, stews, etc. These are always in there.

Chicken stock cubes. You can freeze leftover chicken stock - however you buy it there's always leftovers. You can also make it which i sometimes do. I freeze in an ice cube tray and once frozen i transfer the cubes to a bag. This is also handy if you leave town for an extended time. If you notice your cubes are melted and refrozen you know your electricity went out and the food is probably bad.

I'm sure there's more and i'll post a pic of my freezer soon showing how i organize it all.

Menu for week #1

Now the shopping list is going to be very small for this week because i'm in the habit of planning ahead and tend to buy for two weeks except for milk, eggs, cheese, vegetables and fruit which i usually have my husband pick up once or twice in the week along with any missing ingredients. I don't need much this week so the shopping is very light but this is the way i do things so I'm not going to be spending much. I will add $25 though for ingredients used this week although it won't be accurate. I still think i'll spend less than $200 so I'm not going to worry about it. Okay, here goes...


Breakfast - boiled eggs and pumpkin muffins
Lunch - LD will eat chicken nuggets and veggies. I'll eat his leftovers or chili from the freezer.
Dinner - homemade Nachos - been craving this for weeks now but was waiting for Ramadan to end because it's a little salty.
Snacks - fruit and cheese


Breakfast - yogurt and blueberries (i usually just drink coffee btw or have toast and boiled egg - this week it's muffins)
Lunch - eggplant casserole for LD and stuffed curried eggplant for me
Dinner - biryani and kut tomato (will make biryani, kut tomato is in freezer)
Snacks - goldfish and fruit


Breakfast - breakfast burrito for me, insides of breakfast burrito for LD (from freezer i think...if not i'll make a big batch)
Lunch - mac and cheese (freezer) with turkey lunchmeat or hot dog for him, mac and cheese for me (i add stuff to mine)
Dinner - chili relleno casserole
Snacks - apple slices


Breakfast - cereal
Lunch - pasta for LD (pasta is in freezer and so is sauce), something for me...i tend to eat a very light lunch if any at all...often his leftovers.
Dinner - tomato ka salan (2 days worth - one for the freezer) and dahl (i'll make a good size batch and freeze two or three portions)
Snacks - fruit


Breakfast - oatmeal in the crockpot (apples, cinammon, dates, oatmeal and other whole grains)
Lunch - fish and peas
Dinner - keema (2 days worth, one for freezer too) and squash
Snacks - fruit

Weekend: We eat almost entirely out of the freezer on the weekend and usually skip lunch or grab something out. This week for dinners we'll be eating leftover beef and spinach one day and beetroot curry and dahl the other day. For breakfast we'll eat whatever...cereal, eggs, etc.

Desserts for the week are: leftover Apple Pie from last week, Pumpkin and cream cheese muffins and i'll be making an apple cake midweek.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Okay, here's the plan for the month.

Monday's: Menu for the week and shopping list.

Tuesday's: What I spent and tips for saving money while shopping.

Wednesday's: Crock pot recipe for the week and other tips for speedy cooking.

Thursday's: Other recipes for the week and if i use a new recipe, i'll review them on this day. I'm not going to list every recipe because that's a lot of work especially if the recipe isn't even wanted so here's the way it'll work - if you want a recipe, leave a comment letting me know and i'll post the recipe on Thursday. If i receive a comment past Thursday, I'll put it up the following Thursday.

Friday: Cleaning recipes.

I won't post on Saturday's or Sunday's.

How's that sound? The only thing is I want some input (ie comments). That way I know I'm not doing this for nothing. Cool?

eXTReMe Tracker