This is week three (I think) of my new foray into menu planning and by extension, reducing our grocery bill. So far, so good I'd say. The menu this week has been:
Wednesday: borscht (finally got around to making that one and it was oh, so good)
Thursday: sushi (a special meal for our 10th wedding anniversary tomorrow)
Friday: chicken drumsticks, roasted beets and potatoes, something green
Saturday: zucchini, tomato and fontina pizza
Sunday: still undecided - something from the freezer or cupboard
Today I also whipped up a broccoli soup for lunch for my sick Emily. It is one of my favourite wintertime soups because it tastes like broccoli with cheese sauce but in soup form. Although there are more steps to make it than I like in a soup, it's worth it once in a while:
Broccoli and Cheese Chowder
1 bunch broccoli
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 large carrots, grated
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Cut broccoli tops into very small florets. Peel remaining thick stems; cut into chunks. In large pan, melt butter. Stir in onion, celery and garlic; cook until soft. Sprinkle with flour; stir until absorbed. Slid pan off heat. Add stock a little at a time to avoid lumps, stirring after each addition until smooth.
Return pan to heat. Add broccoli stems, thyme and bay leaf; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, for 15 min or til veggies are tender. Remove bay leaf and puree in blender. Return to saucepan.
Heat soup until hot; stir in grated carrots. Reduce heat to simmer, covered, for 10 min. Stir in florets; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in milk, salt and pepper. Heat until hot. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Ladle into heated soup bowls; garnish with generous sprinkle of Cheddar.
I have a photo but not a very good one. It really won't do much for you. Just try the soup. If you like broccoli, you'll like this.
On to the bullets:
- On Sunday we spent the day visiting John's mum in St. Catharines. It was lots of fun. We went to the Port Dalhousie Carousel. I enjoyed it even more than the kids I think. We also stopped in my hometown of Fonthill to buy apples at Galagher's. Glad to see the place is as great as ever.
- Hope had her first swimming lesson on Tuesday afternoon. It was her first time in the pool without me. She LOVED it. In fact, all caps doesn't really convey the enthusiasm she had for going in by herself.
- Emily would have had two new activities this week also if not for her nasty cough. I had to keep her home from her first night of Sparks last night (the prequel to Brownies) and from her first swimming lesson today. I wanted to make sure she would be fit to go to school tomorrow. It's picture day tomorrow and we all know that we don't want her to miss the chance to pose for the camera. It's one of the highlights of my year... what will happen in front of the lens? No one knows but I can't wait to see!
- I have so many projects on the go around here and none are complete. It seems I start to make some headway and then life pops up, the kids want to play, dinner has to be made and nothing ever gets finished. We've been here for 3 months and still only one curtain is sewn for the main floor room. Also, I have photos to post of our house so you can all see what it's like... still on the camera! Also, plants sitting in the garden waiting to be put in the ground... also, a tire swing to be hung up... also, peach jam to be made, tomato sauce, red pepper jelly... all still yet to be canned.... also, Halloween costumes to be sewn.... also so many blog posts to write... I've only written one "Life in Waterloo" post yet I have at least two written in my head but not down on screen yet. How can I train my body not to need sleep?