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thrifty kitchen :: filling the freezer with "convenience foods"


It's a little alarming how much meat is in my life right now - considering I'm on the cusp of a vegan lifestyle for 30 days. Interestingly, my husband is making a bit of noise regarding joining the experience... whoa.  If you know him, you know that's pretty wild. Let's just say the registrations and emails coming through have been powerful, inspirational even! I'll keep you posted on his big decision... 


My daughter on the other hand, is not interested in giving up her favorite Brown Cow yogurt, her grilled chicken dipped in applesauce, or her occasional lunchtime treat of Annie's mac & cheese. That's okay, I've been filling the freezer with some non-vegan favorites so I'll feel somewhat organized going into the month ahead. 

So far - a tray of meatballs (sorry, no recipe but I'll give you an ingredient list at the end), and several seasoned and grilled chicken breast (garlic, sea salt, pepper) to be thawed and sliced into wraps, salads, added to otherwise vegan soups, stir fry, fried rice, etc.

Next up, I'll be making a pot of chicken stew and a few muffin tins of mini-quiche... I think one of you gave me the mini quiche idea in the comments of my last thrifty kitchen post. Thank you!

I used to cook for the freezer all the time, I'm not sure why I've gotten away from it over the past year. What an incredible way to stretch a dollar, and more importantly, to feel very on top of mealtime during busy days and not fall into the trap of pricey, not always wonderful, world of take-out. Yes, that is my favorite part.

There are quite a few resources online to help with freezer recipes and packaging ideas, often they tend to be heavy on meat/dairy. I've also had plenty of success freezing grain/veggie/bean type things too, that I can later pull out and use as quick taco filling or soup starters.

{Okay, in the meatballs... ground bison, eggs, Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, milk, parmesan, garlic, grated onion, oregano, fresh parsley, sea salt and black pepper.}

I'm looking forward to stocking my freezer even more in the week ahead...  do any of you do this already? Maybe you have a favorite recipe to share? Oh, that would be great!

fragrant and delicious




This is the happy state of my kitchen right now. If you do not already have dinner plans, perhaps you'd consider stopping over... I'll set an extra place (or two) at the table.

A Special Guest for Breakfast

Lately, our Civics work has us studying State Legislature. The lesson in our text intended to keep us on the topic for about a week. Well, you know how that goes for homeschoolers... one week quickly turns into more than two as topics and ideas continue to come up, begging for exploration.

Then, the next thing you know, you're seventh grader has invited her state representative over for breakfast and an interview. And she said yes! So you prepare fresh blueberry muffins and orange juice and feel gratitude for homeschooling and the wide open possibility it provides. 

Good morning! xo

just what i needed to hear

A few weeks ago, I had one of those parenting moments that left me feeling less than proud of how I handled a situation. We've all had them. It wasn't momentous by most standards, but afterward, I was left thinking "seriously, who's the child here...?"

And so what did I do? I spouted off an email to my husband at work claiming to be the worst person in the world - a complete idiot who must be responsible for all the world's pain and suffering. Nice, huh? Such drama.

His response to me could have been a standard "Oh honey, I'm sure it wasn't that bad... you're probably over-reacting... it's just a bad day... it'll be okay... this too shall pass... yada yada yada."

But no, there was nothing cliche in his response. I opened up his email, and nestled within a warm, genuine note to me, I read these words...



Knock me over with a feather.

Okay then.

Will do.

Thank you, love.

(Then I grabbed my pens and captured the moment in one of the best ways I know how.)

i toast my honey drizzled grapefruit to you this morning

How's that for a title? Well, it's true. I wish you could all gather around my table this morning for a little citrus and honey. Emily and I are just thrilled with the warm reception we've been met with over at our new shop, thank you! I wanted to pop in here yesterday, but internet has been very spotty the last couple of days. I hope this post actually makes it to publish!

So, a quick hello this morning. How's your weekend looking? We're seeing friends for dinner tonight, there's basketball playing and coaching tomorrow, vintage goodness photography scheduled, and our library book sale all weekend. And snow... of course, there will be more snow. I surrender.

opening today!

This morning Emily and I are excited to share that our (homeschool project) vintage shop is open, and the shelves are beginning to stock up! Icy weather and a clunky internet connection has slowed us down a little on the technical front, but we certainly have no shortage of pretty vintage goods to list. Now if we can just get this latest storm to blow out of here...

To take a look around, please head on over to The Magic Fishbone!

As always, we're happy to answer questions (convo us!), thank you for spending a little of your busy day here.

A Few Notes from my Kitchen

1.When you have Alaskan salmon with roasted asparagus and potatoes for dinner, the leftovers make an amazing lunch the next day - combined with a couple of eggs, a little dill, and a small handful of crumbled feta.

2. Often, if you offer to make a child a cup of herbal tea, they'll decline (how come they never decline hot cocoa?). But if you just go ahead and make a pot, then put it down on the table in front of them with a mug, before you know it they'll be pouring and sipping, happily.

3.Things prepared in the crock-pot just don't seem to take a pretty picture. But lately I've been revisiting the crock-pot recipe post on this blog (read the comments!), and have been reminded that a crock-pot can indeed produce delicious things, pretty or not. This dish I highly recommend. It's the Moroccan Chicken Tangine, left in the comments by Melanie.

I used only 2 lbs. of chicken instead of the 5 lbs.. Also, I removed the skin before putting in the pot. 1/2 hour before serving I took all the chicken out of the pot, put it in a large bowl so it was easy to work with, and removed the bones. Then I put the meat back in the pot to marry a little more with the rest of the dish. Serve over any grain, we used jasmine rice.This could easily be made vegan by using veggie stock, holding the chicken, and adding more chick peas. All of the Indian spices and stewed dried fruit are so warming and tasty.

4. Apples dipped in honey. My family always says yes to this snack. And thankfully, it is made up of two simple things that I always seem to have on hand.

5.Instead of spending $5 on those fancy herbed cheese spreads at the grocery store, just throw a block of cream cheese (in addition, a few tablespoons of butter is nice too) into the mixer with some Italian seasoning, garlic powder (I actually use granulated), black pepper and a pinch of sea salt. If you choose to add the butter, let the mixer go at high speed for a bit, it will whip up nicely.

6. Then you have a simple, ready to go snack waiting in the fridge for the kids to smear on crackers or carrot sticks.

A short list of simple, economical, yummy thoughts from my kitchen to yours.Thrifty kitchen ideas have been on my mind lately... wouldn't a weekly Thrifty Kitchen post be a fun idea? Like, how to stretch a half pound of salmon to feed four adults - I have a great recipe to share for that! Oh, this could be a fun topic, and one that readers might like to link up to, to share notes from their own kitchens. Hmm...

What's the thriftiest, dollar stretching thing you've done in your kitchen lately? Any tips to share?