So, the Holidays are fast approaching which means business gets very very busy.  We've ramped up production , trying to keep up with the shows, market, orders and requests.  It's a great ending to an amazing year.

On another business note, the end of the year means sitting back and reflecting.  We will be looking at shows we want to do/don't want to do, markets we'd like to add or drop, and the product line itself.  Many people give ideas or suggestions throughout the year of items they would like to see us make and carry.  I truly do appreciate the fact that so many are asking little 'ol us to make products because they know and trust our business.  That being said, there is just no possible way for us to do it all.  I'm hoping any of you reading this who have been so kind and generous to share your thoughts understand if you don't see your suggested items make it into the line-up.

new sign for the kitchen

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge + Weekly Meal Plan - Week of November 14, 2016

So I decided to try 3 new recipes this week.  I usually only try to fit in 1 or 2, but I felt pretty confident and decided to go with 3.  The Orecchiette recipe, Creamed Spinach recipe and Cheesy Farro with Roasted Cauliflower recipe are the newbies and are from Rachel Ray.  I must tell you that I love Ina Garten's creamed spinach recipe, so I'm interested to see about this one.

I pulled the last of the carrots from the garden this week.  I'll let the rest come back in the Spring so we'll be able to enjoy them early in the season.  We did some more bartering for burger and pork roast this week so they are not in the final total below.  More stocking up in the freezer....

The pot roast on Saturday will be made in the electric skillet.  This is something my mom has always done and results in the most melt-in-your-mouth tasty pot roast ever.  Ever!  It requires some attention (turning and adding broth every 1/2 hour or so), but it is well worth it.

Weekly Meal Plan

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

J is not a fan of Brussels sprouts.  How can this be, you ask?  I ask myself that question each and every time I'm enjoying a roasted or pan-fried brussel sprout. Or two.  Or ten.

Enter heavy cream......cream makes everything better, doesn't it?  Well, in this case it makes them pretty darn tasty.

His very favorite way of having this recipe is to boil them until they are soft {about 12 minutes} and then they turn out super creamy when baked in the cream.

He now requests them weekly.

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge + Weekly Meal Plan - Week of November 7, 2016

Well, I had anticipated getting this post up at the start of the week, not the end of the week, but that didn't happen.  This week was a heavy travel week for me at work so I was away from home Monday thru Wednesday, therefore, the menu doesn't have a lot on it.  In the past, I've tried to prep things for J to eat for dinners that I'm away but this time there was simply no time.  Instead I left him with a stack of to-go menus from local restaurants.  He managed.  I was able to get soup made for lunches and that was about the extent of the Sunday prep.......

Weekly Meal Plan

Pumpkin Spice & White Chocolate Granola Bars

So yesterday I post about carbs and sugar and today I post this.  An amazingly good snack!

This is loosely based on my Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe.  This recipe, however, includes pumpkin puree, bumping the pumpkin deliciousness up a notch.  It also includes white chocolate chips, giving it a little more of a dessert feel.  You can certainly swap any of the dry items for other items {i.e. if you don't want white chocolate chips, substitute with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, etc.} and the oil with any liquid oil as well as the sugars with equal amounts dry and liquid sugars.


Well, it's been quite a crazy couple of weeks.  We've both been sick.  First J, then me, so it feels like it's lasted FOREVER.  Both of us are finally starting to feel better (albeit not sounding better) so things are looking up!

A few weeks ago I kept seeing information about Whole30.  Have you read about this or followed it?  It's similar to Paleo eating, but the idea is to change your diet for 30 days to try and identify which types of food might be reacting poorly in your body.  It excludes the most common food violators (most of them things you LOVE).  You then reintroduce them slowly to find out which foods you may want to consider excluding from your diet going forward.  It's not a new idea, I realize, but I feel like I kept seeing it everywhere I turned which made me ponder whether or not I needed to consider

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge + Weekly Meal Plan - Week of October 31, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Granola
Happy Halloween!

So, we are almost out of our back stock chicken.   Do you feel the same heart palpitations when you read that sentence as I do when I wrote it?  You know how I LOVE being all stocked up on grocery items so it's likely no surprise to you that it bums me right out.  When I say "almost" I don't mean we'll run out this week.  We probably have a couple of months left, but still, it's the chicken we raised and now we'll have to buy chicken at some point until we can raise more in the Spring. 


On a brighter note, one of the benefits {??} of J working from home is he listens to shows while he works.  You all know how obsessed he is of Ina Garten's recipes......well, she was on the Today show last week and apparently made a delicious-looking Filet Mignon recipe with a mustard sauce.  J practically drooled while he told me all about it.  So guess what made it's way to the menu plan this week?  Yup - I have a few Filet Mignon in the freezer so he will get his dream dinner.
Here's what else is on the menu this week!

Weekly Meal Plan:

Beef Taco Quesadillas

These are the perfect way to use leftover taco meat, or, the perfect substitute for a taco because, get this.....the filling STAYS in the tortilla!  You can add peppers, onions, tomatoes, or just choose meat - whatever you like in your taco is what you should prepare for your taco quesadilla.  As long as it includes cheese because that's what holds it all together.  And how could you not want cheese????

Make a double batch if you would like to have leftovers to heat up for lunch.  They can be heated in the microwave, under the broiler or in a non-stick pan.

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge + Weekly Meal Plan - Week of October 24, 2016

Cinnamon Swirl bread is one of my FAVORITE breads ever.  It's not too difficult to make, makes 3 loaves (or 2 plus a tray of cinnamon rolls......which is my personal choice of using the dough), and is amazing toasted on a cold fall morning.

Some of our veggies are still coming from the garden.  Potatoes, carrots and kale continue to make themselves available.  Have I mentioned how much I love growing a garden???  Because most of this weeks meals come from the freezer, garden and pantry, I used some of this week's budget to stock up on a few things that I like to have on hand in case I need to create a different meal one night.

The last meal plan and this week's are a bit late.  It's been a sick household the last 2 weeks with me still suffering the remnants of a sinus infection.  Here's to hoping we can put this behind us.  Soon!

Weekly Meal Plan

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge + Weekly Meal Plan - Week of October 17, 2016

We are finally back to getting a plethora of eggs.  Although the older chickens are starting their molt, the newest chickens are laying strong and we're now regularly getting handfuls of eggs.  So now they will go on the menu more.  Hooray!

I adore Miso soup and for whatever reason have completely forgotten about it.  Until this week.  I make up the veggie broth and veggies on Sunday.  Each morning that I'm bringing it to work I heat up enough to fill my thermos, then bring a Tablespoon of miso with me in a separate container (because you don't want to boil miso).  I stir that in before I eat it and it's perfect!  J is not a fan and will choose to stick with Chicken Noodle soup for the full week.  His loss.  :)

Weekly Meal Plan


Another beautiful fall weekend in upstate New York.  Saturday we drove North to Burlington, Vermont.  The trees were amazing.  We weren't going to a craft fair or farmer's market for the first time in awhile.  Instead, we were going on a dinner cruise with my work.  It was a lovely evening but a long drive {2 hours and 45 minutes each way}.  We had a chance to walk around Burlington, which was nice, before heading out on the water.  Between the fall colors and the holiday weekend, it was a very crowded town.