Just call me Martha Stewart

Well, it has been awhile since my last post. The days following the last were some of the hardest ever, and I just want to thank everyone for the kind words, thoughts, and prayers we felt during that time. Blogging wasn’t a priority there for awhile. We are getting better and staying busy. Made it through Father’s Day. I spent the day shooting skeet with my husbands family, using the 12 gauge Dad left to me. It was pretty special.

Dad is still being remembered. His Italian “family” (for those of you who don’t know, dad spent a month in Italy a few years ago studying and went back for a friend’s wedding. Italy was one of his Favorite places in the world and he had many friends there) held a memorial for him last weekend. They planted an olive tree in his memory in the last place they saw him, where they were married. It was very sweet. I borrowed some pictures from the Facebook page they made for the event.

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The group that loved him..

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It was very special. I wish I could have gone!!

However, things are as exciting as ever in Dundee, which brings me to the title of this particular post! The last few weekends of me being home alone, in the midst of the neighbors daughter going off to college, the husband farming, and no major events occurring, gave me a chance to exercise my “wife” skills.  Several garden harvests, trips to the grocery, and HOURS of cooking later, my deep freezer is well stocked with a variety of goodness and dinner will be a SNAP to fix any night for weeks! I am very proud of myself! I wish I had a picture to share with you, because it is a thing of beauty, and one I take great pride in. I will re-evaluate, of course, after we have some of the dishes. I always worry about how things will turn out after they have been frozen. However some of the recipes I tried say they freeze well so we will see! This is what all i did!

1) Took a whole huge pork loin (That was on sale for like 1/2 what it normally cost) and cut it in half. Half went perfectly into a Tupperware with enough room to cover with my husband’s D-lish homemade marinade. So as it thaws, it will start to marinate and be ready when we are ready to cook. He is going to smoke it for me like he did the last one he cooked for mom. It was FAN-tastic. (He is a grill master extraordinaire!)

2) Took the other half of the pork loin and cut it into four THICK chops. froze two in each bag, one in marinade for delicious grilling in a flash, the others i left plain for stuffing with deliciousness.

3) Took squash from the garden and made and froze a batch of squash soup. (It’s delicious!)

4) Using fresh basil from my garden, made and froze a batch of tomato-basil soup. I froze this in quart bags, in case we didn’t want a whole gallon at once for the two of us. The squash I froze all together. We can share!

5) I poached a whole chicken and several pieces to make a chicken and rice casserole and a chicken noodle casserole. I also took a package of chicken legs and made an Asian sweet and savory marinade and froze them. They will be great for the grill or oven.  I also saved all the broth from poaching the chickens and froze it in four cup increments to use. A buck saver! Plus homemade is always better, right?!

Ground beef was on sale too. I got a HUGE almost five pound package. I also had frozen Garrett-grown tomatoes left from last summer that needed using so I got busy and made…

6) Cincinnati chili, to eat plain or over pasta like they do in, (you guessed it), Cincinnati!

7) Homemade spaghetti. Which someone remind me that i was out of tomato paste so I should probably add some when I re-heat that to thicken a bit! Tasted good though.

8) Mexican rice casserole. This made so much I split it into two dishes, froze one, and refrigerated one. We ate it Monday night. I loved it. Matthew only sort of liked it. (Don’t tell him he has to eat it at least once more! 😉

and 9) Ground beef stuffed crescent rolls. Cream cheese, green chilies, ground beef and spices wrapped up in delicious crescent rolls?! You had me at cream cheese!

10) But this is the all time best idea ever. Though it is not my own. I borrowed it from Julie, at: http://leelou-blogs.com/about We will see if that link works! Want to give credit where it’s due! This is really the best idea ever. Who doesn’t LOVE homemade pizza? So much better than out of a box, and better for you than delivery. But it is so messy and time-consuming. making the crust, waiting on it to rise, preparing the toppings, fixing to everyone’s specifications, CLEANING UP.. too much trouble for the weeknights, right? WRONG. Not if you have them pre-made and frozen. Oh yeah. I made my own crusts. It rose beautifully by the way. First success I have had with yeast! Go me! Made one a chicken Alfredo pizza and one a sausage pizza. I used the leftover sausage to make a pan of chicken and ricotta lasagna roll-ups. Not a thing goes to waste! We already tested out the chicken Alredo pizza. Delicious! We WILL be making more!

I also threw a pesto marinade in a pound of shrimp for an easy dish one night. Matthew and I at separate times caught sales and brought home hot dogs, smoked sausages, and boudin for meals, snacks, or appetizers. I let butter sit on the counter and soften, and took more herbs from my garden, and local honey from Mrs. Jan, and made garlic-chive butter, oil and herb butter, and honey butter. Roasted a whole chicken for dinner one night with that Herb butter. Mmm-mmm. The only things I have left I want to do is make some blueberry muffins because I don’t want the blueberries I bought to ruin, and I am going to experiment with a squash bread. I also found a recipe for a blackberry basil jam that I want to try. Other than that, this little farmer’s wife is gonna be taking in easy around the kitchen for awhile!

Or maybe not. My brother came to visit. He told me I needed to clean my house. Hurry back bro! 😉

Sorry for such a long post. Don’t worry I’ll never know if you don’t read it! haha!

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3 Responses to Just call me Martha Stewart

  1. Michelle Brower says:

    You have gotten to be such a good little wife! I’m proud of my girl! Be sweet and keep on trying new things! You will never get bored that way! Love you Erica!

  2. Kay Wages says:

    Boy have you ever inspired your “old cousin”, lol! That all sounds so good and different. We are in a rut around here with the cooking. Where are you getting all these good recipes? I would love to have the squash soup, Cincinatti chili, ground beef stuffed cresent rolls and chicken alfredo pizza. Jerry loves chili over pasta.

  3. Max Rapert says:

    LOL – Kudos for Erica! Cook it woman!

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