Autumn is the time of year I start to cook and bake more. Makes life feel more homey 🙂 And I love the way it makes my place smell. This was the time, when my daughters were young, that we would stock up on foods so we could make what we wanted on a whim. I started having them cook with me from a young age.
Just this week Zowie, now 22, mentioned she was shopping to begin stocking her pantry. And Skye, 24, and I are planning to bake together when I visit her in a couple of weeks up north. Preparing delicious meals brings back warm family memories.
I messaged both of my daughters last night to find out what recipes from childhood were their favorites. My plan is to scrap a cookbook with our favorites. So far, I know my mac and cheese recipe will be in the book, as well as the chunky applesauce, mashed potatoes, and shepherds pie. There will be plenty more recipes going into that book! Something to work on during the winter months.
Today went like this:
I love slow cooker meals. Renting a room, I don’t have an oven for roasting big meals. Just a little toaster oven. Two slow cookers aid me in making a couple of meals on autumn and winter cooking days.
Pork and vegetables went into the first crock. This is an easy recipe. I didn’t bother to cut the meat, because the meal cooks long enough so the meat falls apart easily. This made 5 meals, with the carrots coming from my parents garden.
The next crock contained beef I found on sale for $4.87, a savings of $1.88. It was steak and not a roast, but the result was delicious. This also made 5 meals. Both the squash and carrots were free, from my parents garden. Cook this the same as the pork and vegetables above.
1 pound beef
5 or 6 small carrots
leftover sweet potato from the crock pot pork meal (bout 6 bite size pieces)
cover with water, or vegetable/beef stock
I decided to make cupcakes for my coworkers. They were such a big hit. The chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe I used came from my mom. It makes 18 cupcakes. I had leftover ingredients from the last time I baked, so I only needed to buy mayonnaise for this dessert. I used the cheapest brand and the smallest size I could find. Thankfully Jose, the head maintenance man at work, agreed to take the leftover mayo off my hands.
Because I am a messy cook, the cooking spoon and measuring cup (for scooping batter) go on a napkin. Believe me, it is better this way.
I have a 6-cup muffin tin that thankfully fits in my toaster oven, and I only needed to use the oven three times. Not bad.
While things were cooking and baking, I took inventory of what I had on hand to round out these 10 meal. There was plenty of celery and pickled beets.
And a few lovely apples leftover from last weekends visit to the orchard. Liberty and Macintosh. Yum. These were free.
I checked the first tin of cupcakes by sticking a toothpick into them. If the pick comes out clean, they are done. I bought these at Wal-Mart, a three pack. Each box is a different color. Nifty.
They were done. I allowed them to cool a bit before removing the cupcakes, then filled refilled.
The peanut butter frosting recipe is so easy to make. You can’t go wrong with it. Simply mix a container of white frosting with peanut butter to taste. I used a little extra peanut butter this time and it was a hit. Everyone loves this frosting. Because I don’t really eat peanut butter, Jose agreed to take what was leftover off my hands.
I saved out two cupcakes for a coworker with diabetes. She doesn’t eat frosting. And the maintenance guys both got two because they give me rides home from work a couple of times a week. I kept two cupcakes for myself, and shared the rest at work. I have to admit, my mommas recipe is the best!
Once the beef meal was portioned out, and one of the pork meals, I still had this much of the pork recipe but no more containers. I’ll need to invest in more containers. What’s left is enough for four more meals.
And this is what six meals looks like. I only need five for work, the other half will make great at-home dinners that I can just warm up. Three apples and a jar of pickled beets really did round out the meals. And so did the celery packs. There were 6 packs. One was leftover from last week. They come in a 5-pack, and cost $1.15.
Have a great day!