Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pumpkin, Barley, and Sage Soup

What a lovely soup for a snowy day.  This flavourful soup comes together quickly and is perfect for a weeknight meal.  The spicey andouille sausage gives it some kick, but if you prefer a milder taste, sweet italian sausage could be used.  I replaced the water and bouillion cubes with homemade chicken broth.

Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, October 2010
 8 oz. cooked andouille or smoked sausage links, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh sage
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup quick-cooking barley (I used pearl barley)
1 tsp. instant chicken bouillon granules (I used homemade chicken broth)
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
In 4-quart pot or Dutch oven cook sausage, onion and sage in hot oil over medium heat 3 minutes, stirring often. Add barley, 4 cups water (or chicken broth), and bouillon granules. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in pumpkin, maple syrup, and vinegar; heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Happily submitted to Tastey Tuesdays now over at 33 Shades of Green, you'll be so inspired by this lovely blog! 

Printable Recipe


~Look at the gorgeous kitchen~

from the book "The Book of Knowledge, The Children's Encyclopedia"
1954, The Grolier Society

I found this 21 book set in our community recycle bin!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Turkey-Thyme Meatloaf Patties with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These turkey patties are stuffed wtih fresh herbs, served with nutritious mashed potatoes and topped with a spicey gravey with citrus.  My family loved this dinner.  I'm going to make a bunch of these and freeze them for future meals.  This is sure to become a staple meal at our house!

from Rachael Ray Magazine

Mashed Potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and thickly sliced
1 to 1-1/4 cups chicken broth (try homemade)

Turkey-Thyme Meatloaf Patties
1-1/4 pounds ground turkey
2/3 cup breadcrumbs (a couple of generous handfuls)
2 scallions, white and green parts only, finely chopped (I used green onions)
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful) (I used regular parsley)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 large egg
1 teaspoon whole milk or half-and-half
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

2 tablespoons butter
1 small red onion or 1 large shallot, chopped
Juice of 1 orange plus 2 teaspoons grated peel
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce

In a deep pot, add the sweet potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.

While the potatoes are working, in a bowl, season the turkey with salt and pepper. Add the breadcrumbs, scallions, parsley and thyme. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk; mix into the turkey mixture. Shape the meat into 4 oval patties about 1 inch thick. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until browned, about 15 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the orange peel and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour on the red onion and cook for 1 minute, then whisk in 3/4 cup chicken broth and the orange juice; cook until thickened, 30 seconds. Whisk in 2 tablespoons brown sugar, the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Mash the potatoes with 1 to 1 1/4 cups chicken broth. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar; season with salt and pepper. Serve with the turkey patties and the gravy on top.

Printable Recipe
Happily Submitted to Prairie Story's Recipe Swap Thursday and Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life As Mom.

  from "Fact and Story Readers, Book One"
by Henry Suzzallo
illustrated by Ruth M. Hallock and Others
1930, American Book Company

I purchased this from a thrift shop for $2.00.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Menu Plan - January 2011

Whew!  Are the holidays over yet?  Is it me, or did Christmas come way too fast this year?  I only got half of my Christmas cards out and felt disorganized most of the holiday season.  I did have some success as almost everyone on my to-bake-for-list received homemade Cinnamon Buns though. 

We also ate very well during the holidays.  I was able to whip up healthful meals at a moment's notice as I'm becoming a skilled cook and tend to have a well stocked pantry.  I guess all this practice cooking-from-scratch for the last 2 years is starting to pay off :)

One of my goals for the New Year is to become better organinzed. To start, I spent Sunday planning our meals for the month of January.  Although it took me most of the day, it was worth every minute. 
I began by selecting all the recipes I needed for the month and put them together in one folder.  I even scanned and printed those cookbook recipes I was using so I'd have them ready in the same folder.

When I purchased our groceries for the month, it only took 45 minutes to shop and totalled only $177.00.  Not bad at all!

Below is our January Meal Plan.  I couldn't find any meal plan templates that I liked online, so I created my own in Microsoft Word.  I didn't include many breakfast options as we tend to eat oatmeal in the mornings or plain yogurt with homemade granola.  For lunch, we eat leftovers or sandwhiches.

Slow Cooker Meals
Spicy Vegetable Chili
Vegetable Pork Soup
Sweet & Sour Chicken Wings

Freezer Meals
Lasagna (back of the box recipe)
Tarragon Chicken
Savoury Chicken Pot Pies with Cream Cheese Pastry Dough
Pumpkin Waffles
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Whole Wheat Individual Pizza Dough

Curried Sweet Potatoe Soup
Pumpkin Barley & Sage Soup
Split Pea Soup with Barley

Cashew Chicken Stir Fry

Lemon-Dill Tuna Salad

Pistachio Crusted Pork Chops

Turkey-Thyme Meatloaf Patties

Shrimp Curry

Side Dishes
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Steel-Cut Oats “Polenta”

Anytime Oatmeal Cookies
Fresh Apple Cake
Buttermilk Pudding
Banana Blueberry Muffins

Happily submitted to:
Menu Plan Monday over at the OrgJunkie
Works for Me Wednesday over at We are THAT Family
The Pantry Challenge over at Life As Mom


from "The Golden Book of Little Verses"
by Miriam Clark Potter
Pictures by Mary Blair
1953, Golden Press Inc.

This was my husband's book when he was a boy.
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