Hello dear friends! Hope you had a lovely weekend! The last few days have been beautiful and it looks like today is going to be another perfect spring day. I'm overjoyed because it means that we can take down the plant light system and reclaim our dining room. Which means, today I will be cleaning and rearranging. But before I start on that, I'd like to take you on a small tour of our urban homestead, or farmette, as I like to call it, so many people have asked about it in the past.
A Nice Spring Meal
Strawberries have been inexpensive and plentiful this spring, so we had one of our favorite springtime meals. Balsamic Strawberry pizza. I know it sounds strange, but it is really good! (And it uses up some of that jam that you preserved, too!)
1/2 C. strawberry jam
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 prepared pizza dough
a few rashers of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 med. red onion (or any sweet onion)
1 C. cooked chicken breast (diced)
1 C. strawberries, sliced
1 -1 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese
Spread your dough out onto a pizza pan.
Combine the jam, vinegar, and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook until thickened. Spread on the dough.
Top with half of the cheese, then the bacon, chicken, and onions. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with the strawberries. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the bottom of the pizza crust starts to brown.
Makes a wonderful meal if you serve it with a nice spinach salad or go totally springtime and forage some dandelions and make a salad from them.
We always keep some fried crumbled bacon and prepared chicken breast in the freezer. It's a quick and easy way to prepare a meal when you are in a hurry. Just take out and heat in the microwave or toaster oven (we don't own a microwave), add it to a salad to make it a main dish salad, or use them in casseroles or to top a potato.
Don't Buy It, Make It
1 C. semolina flour
2 C. flour
1 pkt. dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 C. olive oil
3/4 C. warm water (approximately)
Proof the yeast with 1/4 warm water and the sugar.
In a large bowl combine the semolina flour, 1/4 C. water, 1/4 C. olive oil and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and 1 C. flour. Stir. Add the remaining flour and add enough water to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until it starts to fight back (anyone who has made bread knows what I'm talking about). Cover and let rise until dough is doubled in size. Punch down and spread dough into pizza pan. (makes 2 pizzas) Semolina is the secret to a good crust.
Besides gardening, we painted our garden chairs with a mixture of paints that we had in the basement.
I realized that we are almost half way through the year (can you believe it?), and I haven't finished any of my Christmas knitting projects yet this year! So I locked myself in my room and didn't come out until I finished this sweater:
I know, I know, you are getting tired of my rhubarb recipes, but we eat what is in the garden here, so that is what I have. So here is one last and my favorite recipe for rhubarb. You can use other fruits, if you wish and I think peaches would be wonderful.
5 C. diced rhubarb
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
5 tbsp. water
2-4 drops red food coloring (optional)
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 C. coconut
1/2 C. nuts, chopped
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, melted
Place rhubarb in a greased 13X 9" pan.
In a small saucepan combine the cornstarch, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir until thickened. Stir in food coloring. Pour over rhubarb.
Sprinkle cake mix over the rhubarb. Top with the coconut and nuts. Drizzle the melted butter over top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Also eating lots of this:
.We received our electricity bill and it was $20 less (usually $60) since
we began turning off all the cable boxes, computers, dvd players, etc.
at night. So we will definitely continue to do that! Just plug them
into a surge protector with a on/off switch, then you only need to flip
one switch to cut the electricity for all. We've noticed how little we
use the TV, because some days we forget to turn it back on.
Thrifty Things We Did This Week
Attended an estate sale and bought 3 dozen canning jars for $4.
Cut Jamie's hair.
Painted the lawn chairs with a mixture of paint we had on hand.
Finished knitting a sweater for a Christmas present.
Harvested and ate rhubarb and asparagus
Transplanted herbs from the garden.
Started some free Chinese cabbage seeds.
Hung the laundry outside.
Started cross stitching a baby gift from materials I had on hand.
My husband got his cholesterol checked for free at a medical fair.
Sent away for the parts to repair our car's gas latch.
Since the weather has been nice, we've used a lot more leg power and a lot less gas.
By the way, I got the idea to list my thrifty things list from Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker . She has a beautiful and inspiring blog. If you haven't already, you should check it out.