Wednesday, August 20, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 8/20

This is my begonia pot in August.  I think that it is beautiful, especially with the added peachy colored Verbena (I think that is what it is), but not as gorgeous as my usual pots.  I like to buy my bulbs from Costco but I didn't this year because there are like 12 bulbs in the pack and I only need three or four.  I was talking to Miss PeggyRae and we decided that we would buy a pack next year and share them so that we could both get those superior bulbs and colors.  These plants came from Hadlock Building Supply.

Now you know how Miss MoneyPenny is always on some bandwagon or another about things that she thinks are important.  And, as you know if you read this blog, "real food" is a biggie around here.  I love to garden so I grow a veggie patch for myself and to share with friends.  I want to share with you some of the ways I use my produce other than just eating it raw.

On Sunday I pulled some carrots and onions and dug around in my spud stash for these beauties.  I had a couple of meaty chicken thighs so I thought that I would roast them all for Sunday Supper.  It was crazy good and I got two meals out of it, plus extra potatoes.

I also cut a batch of chard to go with all these root veggies:

Chard is really easy to cook and very addicting.  After rinsing the chard I pull the tough stems and stack the whole mess up and run it through crosswise with a knife.  In a large skillet I heat up a pat of butter with equal amounts of olive oil.  In that I throw in a couple of smashed garlic cloves and some red pepper flakes.  I let this simmer until the garlic starts to turn brown and then remove it.  I then douse the whole thing with a couple of good dollops of sherry vinegar and then add the chard, with salt and pepper.  After stirring to get all the leaves flavored I put a lid on it.  It really cooks down fast and is ready in just a few minutes.  At that point I taste and, if needed, add more vinegar and salt and pepper.  Yum!!

You might have seen this on Facebook which is where I got this next recipe.  Basically it is a fresh and chunky tomato sauce with eggs cooked in it.  They call it Eggs in Purgatory which is very strange but I had all the ingredients except the coriander (actually I had it but it was so old it didn't smell or taste, so I threw it out) so I thought I would give it a go.

This is a picture of their eggs:

This is mine with obviously not as fresh eggs:

This was dynamite and so easy to throw together for a meatless meal.  Mine is more golden because I used a lot of Sungold cherry tomatoes.  This is the recipe and everything came from my garden.  If you want to fancy it up you could grate some cheese over it and add a dollop of sour cream.

Eggs in Purgatory
Serves 4


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/2 small fresh hot chile, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 large eggs
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Fresh bread for serving


Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Then stir in the onion, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chile, coriander, and cumin. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, until the tomatoes are tender and falling apart and the sauce is slightly thickened. Make 4 divots in the sauce, and crack an egg into each. Cover the skillet, and reduce the heat to very low. Let the eggs cook, covered, until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the dish with the cilantro and serve with the bread.

If you want to read the whole article you can go here.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  Wait!! there is no add.  QFC decided that last week's ad was so wonderful that they would run it for two weeks and you can look at my suggestions here.  I didn't think it was that great but there you have it.  Maybe next week's ad will be more exciting.

This is my fearless great granddaughter's idea of riding the horsey.  Good thing her mommy and daddy have good health insurance.  She is such a little daredevil that they may need it.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mothers & Daughters

Miss MoneyPenny always wanted a daughter.  In fact for some crazy reason I was just sure my baby was going to be a girl and didn't really have any boy names in mind.  Well - baby turned out to be a boy and let me assure that there is nothing girly about my son, the plumber.

I've been storing pictures of my tribe and I thought that I would share.  The above picture is my sister, Miss SmartyPants, and her daughter, Miss JessieLee.  Yep - she looks like a Redmond and she even sounds like her mom and me.

This is Miss JessieLee with her beautiful daughter, Miss RyaLaine.  I can't believe that she is almost 12.  Where did the time go??

Above is my daughter-in-law, Miss PeggyRae, and her daughter, Miss Haley.  These two are tight and definitely on the same wave length.

This one is Miss Haley and her daughter Miss AslynGrace.  I know my grandson, Eli, is not a daughter but isn't he a handsome devil??

Garden update:

This is the time of year that us gardeners live for.  The garden is going gangbusters and giving up so much beautiful produce.  If you really want to stretch a buck...grow a garden.  During this time I rarely visit the grocery store because I have so much good food at home.  All I need is filler to go with the veggies.

This morning I picked a quart of blueberries and a quart of strawberries for the freezer.  My winter smoothies will remind me of this best time of the year.

Day before yesterday I harvested cherry tomatoes, onions, and garlic and roasted them up in the oven with pepper flakes, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Just before they were done I added some leftover green beans from the garden so they could warm up.  When everything was all roasted I dumped the whole works into a large bowl with a big spoon of my homemade pesto.  Next came the pasta and some Parmesan cheese.  Do I need to tell you how delicious it was??  And the leftovers were even better.

Everything came from the garden except the pasta and Parmesan.  That came from Costco.  And the olive oil.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 8/13

What you are looking at are the Three Sisters.  They are three volcanic peaks in the High Cascades of Oregon and are all over 10,000 feet.  You may wonder what they are doing on Miss MoneyPenny.  This is proof that I was switched at birth and my sister, Miss SmartyPants, is not really my sister.

My sister just spent seven what she calls blissful days on the trail in these mountains with a 40 pound pack on her back.  Crazy.  Backpacking is her passion.  I do not share that passion.  What about snakes??  What about bears??  What about no shower??  Miss MoneyPenny considers the BackYard to be as much wilderness as she can take.

This is my sister on the trail:

Okay.  Switching gears.  Didn't you just love that summer rain that we got last night and this morning??  It was the kind of rain that really wetted things down good.  And I'm happy about that because I've been going bankrupt keeping everything watered and I don't even water my lawn which is hard as pavement and brown..  It will green back up in the fall and be just fine.

Let's talk about the ad for this week and it is weak.  But we gotta eat.  This is the second week that cherries haven't been featured so I'm assuming that they are winding down.  I ate tons of them, so I'm good to go until next year.

Be sure and take advantage of the salmon as that season will be winding down also.  My son has been fishing Mid-Channel and has yet to catch a salmon.  Halibut but you can't keep them.  And the crabbing has also been dismal.

Be sure and go to QFC's home page and load the digital coupons to your card for added savings on the products that you use.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Franz Natural Bread - $2.50/loaf
Fresh NW Cooked Shrimp Meat - $5.99/lb (it only takes a half pound for a big Louie for the family)
Fresh Fraser River Sockeye Fillets - $10.99/lb
Fresh King Salmon - $16.99/lb
Fresh Dover Sole Fillets - $5.99/lb
Flank or Strip Steaks - $6.99/lb
Broccoli or Celery - $ .99/lb
Cucumbers or Green Bell Peppers - $ .79/ea
Driscoll's Strawberries - $2.50/16oz
Hatch Chile Peppers - $1.49/lb
NW Yellow Peaches or Nectarines - $1.49/lb

I have a lot of produce from my garden and one of my favorite ways to eat it is raw or lightly steamed as in the case of green beans.  I'm always looking for something to dip my veggies in and the other day I made an easy peasy blue cheese dressing.  And it was good!!  This is what I did:

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 grated garlic clove
Cracked black pepper

I really was surprised at how tasty it was.  I didn't add salt because the cheese and mayonnaise seemed to add enough.  You could play with the recipe and add red wine vinegar or cream instead of buttermilk or more or less blue cheese.  Make it to your liking.  I did.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Costco Coupons 8/7/14 - 8/31/14

Check out all this garlic.  Steve loves, loves garlic, so he grows a lot of it.  After he harvests it he hangs it from the rafters in his garage.  When he needs some garlic, which is all the time with him, he just goes out to the garage and there it is.

I don't have a garage and the garden shed won't work so I've been looking into braiding my garlic.  I know everybody says it is easy but I can't even braid my own hair, so it might be a challenge.

Okay, let's look at the coupons.  You know, of course, that if you really want to stretch your bucks shop at Costco using the coupons.  I buy almost all non-food items there, including pet food.  I rarely buy the produce because I can't get through it by myself before it goes bad and I hate to throw out food. I always shop with a list because if I don't I can easily blow a couple hundred bucks.  No problem.

I've noticed that some items go on coupon quite regularly, while others just a couple times a year.  Usually you can depend on some kind of laundry detergent having a coupon.  If you use Tide - now is the time to buy, even if you still have some left at home because you will be paying the least for it.  You can't count on it being on coupon when you need it and maybe don't want to try a different detergent.  So think ahead.

Here are the highlights:

Starbucks House Blend K-Cup Portion Packs - $5
Huggies Snug & Dry Plus Diapers - $6
Best Foods Mayonnaise - $2
Tide Liquid - $3.50
Tide Advanced Power Liquid - $4.50
Tide Powder - $6
Bounce Dryer Sheets - $2
Resolve Spray 'n Wash - $2.50
Charmin Bath Tissue - $4.20
Pine Sol - $2.50
Ziploc Freezer Bags - $2.30
Finish Powerball Tabs - BOGO
Dove Beauty Bars - $3.25
Ziploc Space Bags - $5
Brita 10-Cup Monterey Pitcher or Filters - $6

Now we got trouble.  Miss AslynGrace has discovered how to see what is going on out of her reach.  Is she cute?? or what.  And smart.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 8/6

Miss MoneyPenny was never a fan of James Brown because he scared her.  All that sweaty violent man sex but when Miss MaggieMae wanted to see the new docudrama produced by Mick Jagger I was in.  The movie, Get On Up, starring Chadwick Boseman as James Brown turned out to be very entertaining.  It tells the story of his sad upbringing in extreme poverty in South Carolina to his hugely successful music career.  The story jumped around some but I told Miss MaggieMae that it would be too hard to watch if they told his story in a straight line.  Oh, yeah.  The music was fabulous!!

This morning I went out and dug up the spuds.  As you can see some of them are huge!!  It was so fun because it felt like digging for gold in the garden and actually finding it.

Okay, let's look at the ad for this week.  Not very exciting but there are a couple of things to mention.  I didn't put the Olathe corn on the list because I discovered it comes from Colorado which is way too far.  I did put the heirloom tomatoes on because I'm gonna buy a pound's worth to see if they are really worth the price.

Here are my suggestions for real food:

Tully's Coffee - $6.99/12oz
S&W Canned Tomatoes - BOGO/14.5oz
Simple Truth Cage Free Eggs - $2.50/doz
Fresh & Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillets - $10.99/lb
Simple Truth Organic Ground Beef - $6.99/lb
Fresh Draper Valley Whole Chickens - $ .99/lb
Barilla Pasta - $1/ea
Hatch Chile Peppers - $1.49/lb
Heirloom Tomatoes - $2.99/lb
Medium Hass Avocados - $ .99/ea
NW Yellow Peaches or Nectarines - $1.49/lb
Walla Walla Onions - $ .99/lb

I'm going to roast a whole chicken this week.  I always eat the legs and wings and then chop up the rest for the freezer.  I have a lot of beautiful sage in a pot on the deck so I think I will rub the chicken all over and under the skin with butter and then slip a few leaves under there, too.  I haven't decided if I'm going to roast it in the oven or in the crockpot.  Depends on how hot the house is.

I found these beautiful allium type things growing in my garden.  I didn't plant them.  Actually I have a lot of different volunteers in my garden this year.  They had grown about five feet tall and then the wind blew them over.  I pulled them up thinking that there would be a big onion but there was only a small clove of something.  I thought that they were way too pretty to compost.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hot Summer Day & Pesto

Miss MoneyPenny hates to sweat.  It is very unladylike but if you want to get anything done in this kind of heat you have to sweat.  That's all there is to it.  If I get too hot I take a quick stroll through the sprinkler and that works for a while.  It is shocking how fast you dry off.

My greenhouse basil needed a haircut and my in-the-ground basil was too leggy, so I took the shears to them.  By the way, even in this hot summer, the greenhouse basil has far outgrown the dirt ones.

Anyway I filled up my food processor to the top and then packed it in with basil.  Then I grated five cloves of garlic over the top, threw in a handful of almonds and Parmesan cheese, and a good squirt of fresh lemon, and let it rip.  Then I drizzled in some olive oil until it was my idea of pesto consistency.  Easy peasy.

This is what I ended up with - two fabulous half pints of green amazingness.  I'm taking one of them over to Steve's tomorrow.  He said he will have the pasta on the boil by the time I get there and we are going to pig out.  Once you start making your own pesto, you will never go back to store bought.  And this stuff freezes beautifully.

My first picking of green beans.  I also dug up a garlic to see what it was doing.  I've never grown garlic before so did not know what to expect.  I was surprised that the head was bigger than the one from the store.  You might remember that this is from the garlic brought back from Italy by a friend of a friend in my knitting group.

The Boston Terror is hot but she insists on being in her deck chair.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 7/30

Where in the hell did July go??  This is the fastest moving summer ever and it has been so hot!!  I don't have any shade by my house and I have three skylights so my house really heats up.  I do have air conditioning via my heat pump but I prefer fresh air, especially when I sleep, or try to sleep.

But the heat has been good for the tomatoes and basil.  I'm gonna give the basil plants a good trimming and make some pesto.  Yesterday I dug some potatoes and made a big pan of fried spuds.  It was so good.  I have some left so I'm gonna heat them up with a couple of eggs for dinner.

I have so much produce here at MoneyPenny BackYard that I try to eat at least one thing from my yard at every meal I eat at home and sometimes the whole meal is produce.  As I look at the ad this week I notice that the produce sales are not that great, as usual.  This is the time of year, if you don't have a garden, to get out and visit your local produce stand.  You can easily beat the supermarket price and the quality is far superior.

And speaking of the ad, here are my suggestions this week:

Kroger Cottage Cheese - $2.29/24oz
QFC Large Eggs - $1.50/doz
Nature Made Vitamins - BOGO
Draper Valley Split Chicken Breasts - $2.79/lb
Fresh NW Cooked Shrimp Meat - $5.99/lb
Fresh Wild Coho Salmon Fillets - $9.99/lb
Ribeye Steaks - $6.99/lb
Barilla Pasta - $1/ea
Broccoli or Cauliflower - $1.29/lb
NW Yellow Peaches or Nectarines - $1.49/lb
Olathe Sweet Corn - 3 for $1
Red Cherries - $2.99/lb
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.49/lb
Leaf Lettuces - $1.50/head

If you are wondering about the picture at the top - it is my grandson, Eli, outfitted and ready to clean out the garden shed for me.  He has just finished cleaning the gutters and has changed his clothes because of the bee problem in the shed.  He said he could feel them hitting on him but he never got stung because of his getup.  Smart kid.  He came prepared.


The Bradster is always such a good sport and goes to all the movies that I want to see, so I couldn't turn him down when he wanted to see Sex Tape.  He loves Cameron Diaz and was hoping to see her naked.  And she was.  I wasn't expecting much from the movie so I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it so much.  The deal is this married couple wants to jazz up their sex life so they make a sex tape.  Instead of saving it, the husband mistakenly sent it up to the cloud.  And then the craziness begins as they try get it back.  We belly laughed through the whole thing.