Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Weekend Homemaker

I spent a good part of last weekend cooking. I had already spent most of my May food budget by that point and needed to do some serious planning and preparation in order to make my groceries stretch. After picking up a few items for weekend meals at the farmer's market and neighbourhood grocery, I got to work shopping in my own pantry/freezer and prepping the 12 days of meals needed to get me to my next payday (on June 3).


Yogurt with Strawberry Jam (4 meals)
Homemade Hazelnut and Cranberry Granola, topped with coconut milk (4 meals)
Yogurt with Granola and Honey (4 meals)


Balcony Salad with Roasted Yams and home-made dressing (2 meals)
Tuna Sandwiches (2 meals)


Eggs, Balcony Salad and Toast (bread still to be baked) (2 meals)
Crepes with Strawberry Jam and Yogurt (2 meals)
Chicken and Veggie Casserole (using all of my frozen veggies and the leftover chicken from my last roast) (8 meals)


Carrot sticks
Dates and raw cashews
Kashi granola bars
Frozen grapes
Banana Coconut Muffins

I did purchase a few bits and pieces over the course of the week, but overall I am feeling rather impressed with myself (hehe). It's amazing what a little time, some scrimping and a few frozen leftovers can provide! For under $50, I prepared at least 30 meals and have the makings of about 10 more.

Monday, May 23, 2011

From Market to Table

A long weekend . . . . ahhhhh . . .

Sleeping in, walks along the ocean, travel book reading and lots of cooking. Perfect.

(Except for the part where my Moka Pot died. That was sad.)

I started off my weekend with a trip to the farmer's market. The weather was a bit dreary, but it held off long enough for me to get this week's necessities.

Eggs, Mixed Greens, Sourdough bread, Baby Monkey Bread and a Pain au Chocolat.

The Monkey Bread was sooooooo good. I may be buying 37 next week.

After the farmer's market, I stopped at my new favourite spot, the Fairfield Market for a few other necessities: my favourite yogurt, a yam, a tomato, onions, asparagus, sunflower sprouts and bacon. Since I started eating meat again about 5 months ago, I have been pretty careful about how much meat I eat. I allow myself one chicken per month, bacon once per month and "red" meat once per month. I am not trying to be restrictive, but I do want to be mindful about my meat consumption. In any case, I don't always take the red meat option, but I never forgo the bacon!

The bacon, tomato, sourdough bread, eggs and some local brie were cooked up into delicious lunches on Saturday and Sunday.


For dinners, I roasted the asparagus and yam until crispy and tossed with the greens, cucumber, sunflower sprouts, goat cheese and some homemade croutons.

I am so glad to be back in salad season!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Block of the Month

I missed my April "Mine, Yours and Ours" quilting class because I was sick (very, very, sick). But, I did pop in to pick up the pattern for the April block, The Centennial Star. I am sure that I missed out on a few pointers and tips, but fortunately for me, The Centennial Star was much easier to make than the previous two blocks. Phew!

My block:

My donation block:

I fussy cut the centre square of this block, but didn't take into account that it would be on an angle. Whoops! Good thing is is a donation block.

I really like the Centennial Star pattern. It looks more like a flower than a star to me and I think that a bunch of them in monochromatic tones (i.e. a pink star, a green star) would look great in a baby quilt or a lap quilt. That might just be my next project!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Container Garden

I've tried container gardening a few times, but have never had much success due to poor sun exposure. It my current place, I have western exposure and a partially shaded balcony which, while not ideal, is an improvement. In fact, I had such great success with lettuce and spinach in the fall and have decided to expand my mini garden for 2011. If things go well, I will add a bit more each year.

My garden so far:

Pots of spinach, lettuce, strawberries, mint and rosemary.

The large "bin of dirt" behind the lettuce is planted with two types of carrots and the bag on the shelf is a homemade "greenhouse" containing basil.

I am going to plant more strawberries and basil as well as some cucumbers and tomatoes.

In addition to fruits and veggies, I've also planted flowers. For some reason, I am into red and white this year.

I love double begonias. They do so well with minimal sun.

My mom used to plant geraniums when I was young. One per pot. I never cared for their gangly sparseness, but have grown to love them when packed together in little groups. And in boxes rather than pots.

Even my little Ollie-cat, who was terrified of the balcony one year ago, loves container gardening. Birds to watch, leaves to chase and new hide outs to explore, what could be better?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

From Market to Table

My favourite farmer's market has been back up and running for the past month, but only with a few booths. Today was the first full market of the year.


Fresh local veggies! Cheese! Pottery! Mini donuts!

I have now put my organic food box delivery on hold until the fall and am thrilled to resume my weekly market visits.

I couldn't buy much this week. I had been counting down the days to local honey and spent $15 of my weekly $20 market allotment on 1 kilo of honey made by bees right in my neighbourhood. Yum!

My only other purchase was a pain au chocolat, baked this morning by one of my very favourite local bakers. He does not have a bakery and I feel as if I stalk him and his bread all over town. Totally worth it.

I'm so glad the market is back!