Wednesday, June 17, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 6/17

Don Juan, the climbing rose, was getting all leggy and blooms were hanging every which way because he had ran out of trellis, so I decided to neaten him up.  In the process I ended up with a lovely smelly bouquet and Don looks a lot better.  He really responds to being chopped down in February.

As you can tell I don't water the grass which makes it kind of hard to drive the croquet hoops into the ground but here is my garden so far.  I had four crops of radishes and several heads of lettuce before it got too hot.  I've heavily seeded the wheel barrow and the chair pot with nasturtium seeds with some sweet peas thrown in for good measure this year instead of food plants.

The deck with the strawberry tower and raspberries in the background.

I started my begonias from little Costco bulbs but they have been having a hard time keeping up with the lobelia on steroids.  I planted four bulbs in this pot and the hanging pot but everyday I have to go out and move the lobelia out of the way.  I've NEVER had this problem with lobelia.

This is a miniature rose that Miss Pamela gave me a few years ago at our annual ladies' birthday party.  I love this rose!! but this year it has been attacked by spit bugs which are really called spittle bugs if we are being polite.  I'm organic so I don't use any type of poison except Sluggo which is not supposed to hurt pets, bees, or birds so I gave it a good hard spray of water and practically blew the poor thing out of its pot.  It has recovered and is now starting to bloom and I haven't seen any spit bugs since.  Knock on wood.

This year I bought an extra large potato bag from instead of planting them in my limited garden space.  Here they are.  There ended up being about 100 pounds of Short's Magic Soil by the time I filled it up.  They are blooming now so when they start to yellow I'll dig around in there and see what I get.

My deck plants don't seem very imaginative this year but I was on a budget.  As it turns out that is a good thing because Poppy, the Boston Terror, flies off the deck in a mad rage to go fence fight the neighbors pit bull and shockingly knocks my pots off the deck - usually upside down.  The dog only weighs 15 pounds!!

The bird bath has been very popular with the birds this year - more than normal.  Maybe it is because the lemon balm is growing around it making it more private.  I've yet to see any frogs in there but they are all over the place this year...little green guys with big croaks.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  On Monday I bought a piece of Copper River Sockeye and it was delicious but, anyway, I was talking to the fish lady and she said it was going to be on the ad again this week.  She was worried because the fish guys only gave her 50 pounds and said that there may not be any for this week, so check your fish counter before you put it on your menu.

Also - for families with teenage cereal eaters (and I know from experience that they can eat a box at a sitting) you can buy four General Mills cereals for $8 and get a free gallon of QFC milk.  And QFC is still running their Buy 5/Save $5 promo so check that out, too.

Here are my suggestions for "real food" this week:

QFC Butter - $2.49/lb
Alaska Sockeye Salmon Fillets - $7.97/lb
Fresh Pacific Cod Fillets - $7.99/lb
Draper Valley Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - BOGO
Lean Ground Beef - $5.99/lb
Ribeye Steaks - $7.88/lb
Asparagus - $2.49/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries - $2/lb
Greens - $1.50/bunch
Oregon Blueberries - $3.50/18oz
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.49/lb
Romaine, Butter, Red, or Green Leaf Lettuce - $1.50/ea
Washington Large Red Cherries - $2.99/lb
Yellow Peaches or Nectarines - $1.99/lb

A couple of weeks ago I took advantage of the sale on Roma tomatoes for $ .99 a pound.  Well, I bought more than I could eat so five of them were getting a little long in the tooth.  I cut them in half and put them on a pan with a rack cut side up.  I seasoned them liberally with salt and pepper and a drop of olive oil and roasted them for a couple of hours at 325.  They came out all flattened and yummy.  My idea was to use them on my salads but I added a couple to my sandwich and it took it to a higher level of yumminess.

Now you know that Miss MoneyPenny has been single for 20 years and I think I know what part of the problem is:

This is a shot of nighttime in the MoneyPenny bedroom.  On the left is Suzy, in the middle is Pici, and then the cat.  I don't know why they insist on sleeping crosswise on the bed but I've gotten real good at sleeping on my little sliver of bed.  And, of course, the Boston Terror is wrapped up way down deep in her king sized blanket to the left of Suzy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 6/10

I mentioned last time that Miss Jeannie has been in of all places, Turkey.  The guy on the news the other night said that after the recent elections that Turkey is a dangerous place, so I hope they have moved on to London by now.  I love this picture especially since I just noticed that the big humpy guy is still tied up.

My garden is finally in!!  I still have at least two pots to fill with flowers and I need to get my basil going in the green house.

Now the watering begins.  I water my front and side flower beds once a week for one hour so that means five moves of the sprinkler and then I attach to the flat granny hose sprinkler that I have laid out in my new bed.  Really it is just a border between me and the wild and crazy guy next door who has wild and crazy parties and they all park on my yard.  Anyway it consists of three barberries and two red twigged maples which need a lot of watering the first couple of years to get them established.

I have to confess that I fell asleep in my chair after lunch yesterday and one of the beds got watered for two hours.  Ka ching!!  Bring on the water bill!!

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  Yahootie!!  Fresh Copper River Sockeye Salmon fillets are on sale for $9.99 a pound.  Weather permitting, of course.  My favorite way to cook salmon is to roast it at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until just barely done.  I put little blobs of butter all over it and give it a good covering of lemon pepper and it is to die for.  And cold leftover salmon is delish in a green salad with a lemony dressing.

Also QFC is running their Buy 5/Save $5 promo and there are some good deals to be had.  Remember you don't have to buy five items of the same thing.  You can mix and match to your little heart's content.

Here are my suggestions:

Nancy's Yogurt - $2.50/qt
Draper Valley Whole Chickens - $1.29/lb
Fresh Copper River Sockeye Salmon fillets - $9.99/lb
Fresh NW Cooked Shrimp Meat - $5.99/lb
Fresh Dover Sole Fillets - $6.99/lb
Nathan's Beef Franks - $2.99/14oz
Driscoll's Strawberries - $2/lb
Medium Hass Avocados - $ .99/ea\
Red or Green Seedless Grapes - $1.68/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea
English Cucumber - $1.25/ea
Whole Pineapple - $3/ea
Yellow Peaches or Nectarines - $1.99/lb
Zucchini or Yellow Squash - $1.29/lb

You can tell it is summer when Poppy, the Boston Terror, is out sunning herself in her very own deck chair.  And it is her very own chair.  This crappy chair is around 30 years old and not safe for any human butt but she is light enough that she doesn't fall through.  I keep intending to get rid of it but, yet, here it is again this summer - complete with her very own cushion.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 6/3

Now you know that Miss MoneyPenny is not a world traveller.  I'm a real homebody except for a few forays down to Oregon or fun day trips.  I also love to go RVing and used to go all the time with my favorite ex husband but none of the current men in my life have an RV.  But my dear friend Miss Jeannie loves to get on airplanes and go all over the world.

At lunch one day, she announced that she and her cute husband, Dan, were headed to Turkey to visit his daughter who is in the Air Force.  OMG!!  I asked her if she couldn't go someplace a little further away from all that violence over Paris or Venice.  But she is a dare devil and went anyway.  The above picture was taken from her hotel in Ankara, which is the capital of Turkey, and the place looks just beautiful.  She says the only scary thing there is that pedestrians do not have the right of way and you have to be a fast runner, which she is.  I will be glad to see her safely back home.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  Copper River salmon is at QFC (weather permitting) and it is going for $8.99 a pound.  Sounds wonderful, doesn't it??  The only drawback, and for me it is a biggie, the damned fish is whole which means that somebody has to cut it up.  I'm terrible at this because my favorite ex husband always did this and he did it with an electric knife with absolutely no waste.  He was a master at this and could even fillet fish after a half rack of beer with no problem.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Tully's Coffee - $5.99/12oz
Best Foods Mayonnaise - $3.49/30oz
McCormick Grill Mates Seasoning - $1.50/ea
Fage Greek Yogurt - $3/17.6oz
Kroger Sour Cream - $1/16oz
Draper Valley Chicken Breasts - BOGO
Laura's Lean Ground Beef - $5.99/lb
Whole Fresh Wild Copper River Salmon - $8.99/lb
Asparagus - $1.99/lb
Mangoes - $1/ea
Red or Green Seedless Grapes - $1.99/lb
Washington Red Cherries - $2.99/lb

This picture is a big pot of dwarfish sweet peas.  I saw these in Territorial Seed's spring catalog and just had to try them.  My plan is that they will be a big pot of lovely smelling wonderfulness on my deck.  I was a little worried because they took forever to sprout but here they are...finally!!

This is what the pack looks like and supposedly they are for pots and don't need a trellis.  I'll keep you posted on this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 5/27

Now readers of Miss MoneyPenny know that her partner in crime for the last 30 years is Miss MaggieMae.  Usually after we finish up with the craziness that is Costco we head on down the road to Starbucks.  While we were there last Saturday we viewed Miss MaggieMae's granddaughter Miss  Sage's first art show.  Miss Sage is nine years old and she is a smart cookie.  She talked the manager of Starbucks into letting her hang her art with half the proceeds going to charity.  See what I mean??

I apologize for the quality of these photos but I took them with my phone while my butt was in the middle of a table of six very nice people.  When I explained what I was up to they got up and looked at Miss Sage's art.  They were very gracious.  The lady in the photo says her daughter goes to school with Miss Sage so she didn't mind being in the picture.

Half of the pictures had already sold.  It made me kind of misty when I read the cards next to the pictures with the title and each one of them said "by Sage".  This was my favorite but it had already sold or it would be hanging on my wall.  It is called Seattle:

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  The front page said that Copper River salmon is here but no price.  Hmm.  I think that we will be paying a premium for fresh fish from now on due to all the stuff the we hear about on the news.  Over fishing, global warming, El Nino, on and on.  At QFC the price of fresh halibut never went below $19.99 a pound.  Us fish lovers need to rethink our protein budget.

Here are my suggestions for the week and don't forget the digital coupons on the QFC site:

Seattle's Best Coffee - $4.99/12 oz
La Victoria Salsa - $2.50/16oz
Kroger Sour Cream - $1/16oz
QFC Milk - $ .99/1/2gal
Boneless Pork Top Loin Chops - BOGO
Ribeye Steak - $7.88/lb
Kroger Smoke Sausage - $2.50/14oz (great on BBQ)
QFC Large Eggs - $1.50/doz
Blueberries - $3.99/18oz
Asparagus - $2.49/lb
Avocados - $ .99/ea
Red or Green Seedless Grapes - $1.88/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea
Sweet Vidalia Onions - $ .99/lb
Roma Tomatoes - $ .99/lb
Yellow or Zucchini Squash - $1.29/lb

This is my garden so far.  I was gonna cut back this year.  Famous last words.  I'm trying out a couple of things this year.  I'm growing my spuds in a big potato bag instead of the garden because they were taking over the place.  I decided to grow my summer squashes and cucumbers in the garden instead of the wheel barrow.  And I installed trellises in the hopes that I could get them to grow up instead of all over the yard, which they will probable do anyway.

So far I've been eating a lot of lettuce and radishes.  I also made a batch of rhubarb sauce and I'm starting to get a few ripe strawberries.  It will be a while for the blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries but they are all covered in berries.  Eating from the MoneyPenny plantation is truly the best way to eat organic food, get good exercise, and stretch that buck.  The strange flip flop tan is optional.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 5/20

A couple of weeks ago I drove down to Seaside, Oregon and met up with my sister, Miss SmartyPants.  We had glorious weather for the four days that we were there as you can tell from this photo of the sunset from our balcony.  Actually, the first day it was 81 degrees!!  The only problem was a huge die-off of jellyfish so it was pretty miserable getting down to the water.  In fact, I think that I still have jellyfish gick on the bottoms of my flip flops.

One of our days we drove to McMinnville to see our very favorite Aunt Barbara.  She is the last of our older relatives but she is gonna be around for a long time.  She has always treated us like we were her kids even though she has four of her own.  When my mom had a long stay in the hospital she cared for my sister.  She took this on while in the middle of having a new baby and her own little toddler.  I can't imagine three kids in diapers.  Here she is (in yellow) with her best friend Bonnie:

I wanted to show you how gorgeous my dogwood is this year.  It would have been a better shot from the other way but I didn't think that you needed to see the neighbor's garbage pile.

Here is a closeup of the petals:

This beautiful old fashioned iris came from Miss Judith and it is everything that an iris should be.  One time I cut a bouquet of irises and put in a few stems of Don Juan the rose.  It was so over the top fragrant that I couldn't have it in the house with me.

This is my first batch of French Breakfast radishes.  I planted all my cool weather crops early this year and didn't get burned by cold weather.  I've also been eating lettuce and I made rhubarb/strawberry sauce from the Skidder rhubarb.  I used half the sugar and it was still plenty sweet.

I want to tell you about my new cool tool.  This thing is put out by Fiskar and they call it a planting tool.  The gals up at Hadlock Building Supply Garden Center assured me that it was the best thing since pizza for weeding.  So I put it up on the counter with my other stuff and went home to use it.  They were totally right!!  Best weeder ever!! but the second time I used it I broke it.  I knew it had a lifetime guarantee so I dug out my receipt and went back up to get another one.

Come to find out it wasn't listed on the receipt.  Everybody was embarrassed, including me.  I said well it looks like I stole this thing, then I broke it, and now I want another one but I will pay for one of them.  They gave me a new one that I have worked the devil out of and it is just fine.  They found that there was rust in the welding join, so it must have been a lemon.

Anyway - buy one of these.  It is under ten bucks and you can also use it for a weapon:

Did you have a good Mother's Day??  My son, the plumber, went out fishing and Miss PeggyRae and I went down to the Valley Tavern and had beer and hot dogs to rev ourselves up for some serious nursery hopping.  My Mother's Day card had a fifty in it which I promptly spent at the first nursery.  My receipt came to $48.79 which is cutting it pretty close.  Now that was a great Mother's Day!!

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  Will wonders never cease??  The ad is for one week only this time and they are heavy on Memorial Day weekend cookout stuff.  I was expecting to see wild fresh salmon this week but if they have it it didn't make the ad.

Here are my suggestions:

Peet's Coffee - $6.99/12oz
Hebrew National Beef Franks - $3.50/pack
Kroger Sour Cream - $1.25/16oz
Draper Valley Boneless Skinless Breasts - BOGO
Boneless Pork Top Loin Chops - $3.99/lb
Fresh Wild Halibut Fillets - $19.99/lb
Lean Ground Beef - $5.99/lb
Ribeye Steak - $7.88/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries - $3.99/2lb
Asparagus - $1.99/lb
Medium Hass Avocados - $ .99/ea
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.49/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea
Fresh Cut Tulips - $10/3 five stem bunches (15)

Every morning after all the critters have been watered, fed, and medicated I grab my coffee and sit in my chair and watch Charlie Rose on CBS.  All the animals join me except the Boston Terror.  She heads back to bed and doesn't get up until I make the bed or the UPS truck drives by - whichever comes first.  I don't know if she loves the driver or hates him but she barks her head off at him and his truck.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 4/15

Have you paid your taxes yet??  I just wrote out the check and put it in the mail.  Now that I'm retired I take care of my own taxes instead of having my employer do it and I hate it!!  I know that it is apples and oranges but I didn't feel it so bad when it was done for me.  How juvenile is that??  Anyway, I have a spot in my monthly budget for taxes or else I would have to use savings and I really don't like to touch my savings.  Something else to think about when you are planning your retirement.

I know you hear this from me every year about this time but try to hold off buying those oh so tender plants that are showing up at the market.  Like you, I'm raring to plant my pots on the deck but with nighttime temps at freezing or below, they would quickly be wiped out.  The best I could hope for would be that they would sulk and never really reach their full potential.  And that would be a big waste of time and money.

If you have to have a pot right now, and I do, try a big blast of purple pansies.  They don't mind a little cold.  In fact they don't even care if it snows on them.  I've actually seen this.  But - as far as petunias and geraniums are concerned, unless you are really sheltered, wait until May when night temps are well above freezing.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  First QFC is running their Buy 4/Save $4 promo so if there are any packaged items that you need be sure and check it out.  Also fillet of sole is on sale so think about cooking Miss Jeannie's recipe from last week.  You can't go wrong with any of her recipes and that is from my experience.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Franz Organic Bread - $2.99/loaf
Simple Truth Organic Beans - $1/can
Kroger Cottage Cheese - $2.50/24oz
QFC Milk - $1.25/1/2gal
Boneless Chuck Roast - $3.99/lb
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast - BOGO
Fresh NW Cooked Shrimp Meat - $5.99/lb
Fresh Wild Dover Fillet of Sole - $6.99/lb
Hormel Marinated Pork Tenderloins - BOGO
Laura's Lean Ground Beef - $5.99/lb
Anjou or Red Pears - $ .99/lb
Asparagus - $2.49/lb
Broccoli Crowns or Cauliflower - $ .99/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries - $2/lb
Eggplant - $1.50/ea
Organic Bunch Beets or Carrots - $2/bunch
Roma Tomatoes - $ .99/lb

If you have started up the grilling season at your house give the marinated pork tenderloins a try.  They also make good kabobs with peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks.  If I could eat shellfish I would be making myself a giant salad with that fresh shrimp meat.  I remember the days when I made Shrimp Louies complete with the dressing and hard cooked eggs.  To round out the meal I would cut French bread in half and slather with butter and Parmesan cheese and put it under the broiler.  Beat that for a tasty meal at a good price.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 4/8

How was your Easter??  Wasn't it a gorgeous day??  Rarely do we get to hunt our Easter eggs in such nice weather.  This is Miss AslynGrace and she is taking pretend pictures with her pink camera.  I have a feeling that she is gonna be a good little photographer by the time she gets a real one.

You may wonder why we are all sitting out in the parking lot.  My son, the plumber, and his Uncle Jeff, pictured below, were putting together Miss AslynGrace's new playhouse and it was good entertainment.  This is going to be quite the house when they finally finish it.  It has the cutest kitchen and Aslyn was in there doing her cooking while they were working and cussing.  Now these are two talented guys, so it was funny listening to them get beat up by a play house.

If you had ham for Easter and you have any left, now is the time to do something with the leftovers or get them in the freezer.  We had barbecue because we are not fans of ham but I do miss that old ham bone because it makes a pot of navy beans taste yummy.  Talk about stretching a can't do better than a big pot of tasty beans and if you add a pan of cornbread, we are talking heaven here.

And speaking of heaven - Miss Jeannie rose to the challenge and sent her recipe for fillet of sole.  She says that it is an old Julia Child recipe and is very easy and delicious.  I'm gonna try it the next time fillet of sole comes on sale which is quite often.  Here it is:

I tried to make it bigger but the next step up was so big that it didn't fit on the page.  Basically what you do is salt and flour your sole and saute it in butter.  Keep it warm in the oven and melt more butter in the pan.  Add capers, parsley and lemon juice.  Serve over the sole with lemon slices and lots of pepper.  This has to be good.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  In my opinion this is a crappy ad.  I call them as I see them.  Luckily my pantry and fridge are well stocked so we won't starve at the MoneyPenny house but this is definitely a good week for that pot of beans or split pea soup.

Here are the highlights:

Draper Valley Whole Chicken - $ .99/lb
Flank Steak - $6.99/lb
Anjou or Red Pears - $ .99/lb
English Cucumbers - $1.25/ea
Minneola Tangelos - $ .99/lb
Organic Kale - $1.50/bunch
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea
Zucchini or Yellow Squash - $1.29/lb

When I got home Sunday evening after the festivities I discovered that the Easter Bunny had left me a basket on the front porch.  My good buddy, Mr Daniel, has parents that grow a huge organic garden up Port Angeles way and they are good enough to share some of their seed potatoes with me.  Good timing because I just received my new giant potato grow bag.  On Monday I went over to Chimacum Corner Farmstand and bought a big bag of Short's Miracle Dirt.  Let the planting begin.

A week ago I cleaned out the strawberry bed and gave it a good jolt of new compost.  Yesterday I noticed that the plants are covered in white flowers and you know what that means!!  Yep - lots of strawberries gonna be happening.  I can't wait!!