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Friday, August 5, 2016

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for early August (with a garden in abundance)


Cod cakes, made with some frozen cod, poached and flaked, then combined with bread crumbs, parsley, Bay seasoning, an egg, lemon juice and salt
Cole slaw with our garden cabbage
Apple slices
Cheddar Bay biscuits (the Red Lobster knock-offs, made with homemade Bay seasoning)


Fire-roasted hot dogs
Home-bake buns
Cole slaw (again with garden cabbage)
Fruit salad of blueberries, blackberries, apples, banana


Rice and black beans
Sauteed kale and mushrooms
Fruit salad of blackberries, apples, banana
Blackberry pie


Kale and shallot frittata
Oven-roasted purple and white potatoes
Apple wedges
Pickled beet salad over fresh lettuce
Blackberry pie


Herb-crusted pork roast, crusted with rosemary, thyme, garlic and lavender buds from the garden, plus cracked black pepper and sea salt
Rosemary, garlic and shallot potatoes (both purple and white potatoes)
Cole slaw with cabbage from the garden and the last of the pickled beets, added
Fruit salad of apples and blackberries in strawberry and blackberry jam dressing
Home-bake French bread and butter
Vanilla cupcakes


Black bean and chicken taco salad with lime-cilantro dressing (lettuce, celery, black beans, chicken, canned corn, cheese, olives, homemade dressing of tomato paste, lime juice, oil, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, garlic, sugar, salt)
Freshly fried tortilla chips
Leftover cupcakes


Chicken, rice, kale and mushroom casserole (with celery, onion powder, garlic and thyme)
Fruit salad (once again blackberries and apples in jam dressing)

So, even I have to admit that some of our meals this week have bordered on gourmet, for our family. I've been playing a little game with myself, in trying to use as many different items from our garden as possible. And, yes, my family is lucky to have me!! ;-)

And then there was Thursday's dinner. One of those slapped together casseroles that made me happy that my kids are past the must-have-everything-separate phase. The inspiration was a combination of cleaning out the fridge, and needing to be simple. It worked.

That's it! Another week of suppers at home.

How were your menus this week? Any thrown together casseroles on your table?

Have a great weekend!


  1. Were the beets from your garden? I like beets but every one else in my family think they taste like dirt. Also, you did a good job of working kale into most meals. You must have a lot producing right now.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      yes, from our garden. They do kind of taste like dirt! lol! Maybe that's why I like them either oven-roasted until caramelized, or pickled -- for the flavor. Kale is a staple vegetable for us. It does so well in our garden, better than just about anything else. My daughters make themselves kale salads, and put kale on egg salad sandwiches.

      Have a great weekend, live and learn!

  2. Your family was definitely treated with gourmet this week!! And doing it on such a small budget. Last night we had our worst meal of the week. Since we are overrun with basil, I suggested we have our bean patty burritos with sauteed basil/tomatoes added...the flavors really clashed with cheddar and our homemade cucumber/watermelon rind "kimchee" relish (usually so addicting in place of traditional salsa). I think our basil plants are too mature and the flavor is now pungent. Is it time to uproot? Basil is so good for our health, and the plant is still very healthy, such a shame.

    We are still eating the last of a Portuguese bean soup, made from the spiral ham last week.

    Have a restful, good weekend!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      oh that sometimes happens to me, too. I think a particular meal/dish will be great, but then it's either too much of one ingredient, or just off. Hard to eat those meals. You could use some of the basil, but in much less quantity in pesto, just use way more of a mild tasting green to keep the basil from overpowering the pesto. Or just pull it up and start over. Do you keep a compost pile/container? When I compost an unwanted veggie, at least I don't feel it has gone to waste.

      Have a great weekend, YHF!

  3. I've never thought of using lavender for cooking! How much do you use and in what else?
    For us this past week I broiled a halibut steak (given to us - fresh caught from Alaska) but it was so much I was also able to make a macaroni salad later in the week and toss the rest of the fish in. We also had black beans, rice and salsa, and last night I baked chicken legs in plum sauce (made last year and frozen) and soy sauce. I also am trying to use up my frozen food so I had 2 1/2 bags of cranberries from last November so I made and canned cranberry juice and sauce. I also tried your method of making a sourdough starter so that is percolating on the cupboard. Also made another batch of crockpot yogurt.

    1. Hi Ruthie,
      I used about 1/2 teaspoon of lavender buds, minced with the other herbs, in a rub. Lavender is traditionally used in Herbes de Provence, as a rub/seasoning for roasted meat, like lamb and poultry. I thought my version was good on the pork.
      I also use lavender buds in baking, like in lemon balm, rose petal and lavender poundcake, or with a little mint in shortbread. I sometimes add it to tea, as well. A little bit of lavender (and vanilla, if I'm in the mood for a creme tea) in black tea tastes a bit like Earl Grey tea.

      Good work on using your frozen cranberries!

  4. I forgot to add that often times we will have Budha bowls. Probably a gourmet term for a simple meal but I cook some type of grain like rice or quinoa and roast whatever veggies I have and put them on the grain, then top with a sauce. I like an oriental type of sauce, but really any would work. Sometimes I make my version of bibambap and put an over easy egg on top with a bit of hot sauce.

    1. Buddha bowls sound like a great, last-minute meal. The egg would make it a complete meal for my husband (I could eat it just the grains and veggies).

      Have a great weekend, Ruthie!

  5. Your family IS lucky to have you, Lili. Your Black bean and chicken taco salad looks so good!! Our menus were simple as usual. We did have chicken pot pie one night which was good. It's been a good week here, I hope it was for you too. :)

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Oh my goodness -- that black bean and chicken salad was good! I just happened to have everything I wanted for the dressing (frozen lime juice from a year ago, and minced cilantro in the freezer). I didn't have a lot of traditional salad ingredients, so used fresh lettuce and celery, then improvised with canned corn, black beans, olives, cheese and the chicken. It really did taste like something you might get at a place like Chipotle's.

      Chicken pot pie is one of my favorites. I'm looking forward to pot pies soon.

      Have a great weekend!

    2. I hope you have a great weekend too, Lili. :)

  6. Everything sounds delicious. I'm trying to remember what we ate so that tells me it was nothing overly exciting. We had beef pot pie (made using leftover beef stew), zucchini and Italian sausage in tomato sauce over pasta, oven fried chicken with turnips, stove top mac and cheese, and burgers with rice one night. We did have a friend give us a large amount of cucumbers so we had fresh cucumbers (sliced and in vinegar) every night as a side. It was kind of a crazy week, where I had four doctors appointments and a final exam in all in all I am just glad we didn't resort to any take out.

    1. Hi Busy Bee,
      It sounds like you've been very busy. I can imagine with classes, and medical appts, like felt very hectic. I didn't realize that your son and his family moved away. I hope you can still get a lot of time visiting them.
      Your fried chicken sounds delicious. I think I saw it on your blog? That would be a big hit in my house!

      Have a great week!


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