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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Preparing for the Week and Pasta with Veggies

Everyone has those weeks that are without doubt going to be a challenge.  The problem is quite often when one of those weeks hit, it is just too tempting to pick up fast food or take-out.  Now that we are settled in from the move, I am back into my cooking and preparing ahead routine.  It is being hindered slightly by my goal to paint every room in the house before May along with distractions like various workers coming in and out.  We are having a fair amount of custom woodworking done in the house and we've had the utilities, pest control, maintenance personnel, painting, volunteering and life in general our days have become very busy.  That means I need to do a bit more preparing ahead for the week.

filled vacuum seal canisters
I have a FoodSaver so use my vacuum seal canisters for short term storage.  They are great for any crispy snack like potato chips (back middle).  What they are really nice for is storing washed, ready to use produce like watermelon (back right), lettuce (back left), celery leaves (middle right), cucumber slices, carrots, broccoli pieces (middle left) and grated cheese.  Most of the vacuum sealed foods pictured will be used for snacking throughout the week although some will be used in salads.  The celery leaves will likely be used for soup as will the broccoli while the watermelon will be used for snacking and maybe breakfast smoothies.

My total prep time was 15 minutes on the weekend.  Vacuum sealing will keep the produce fresh, ready to use for over a week but all of this will be used up before the weekend.  If you notice three of the containers have different lids.  That's because the are actually Rival Seal-a-Meal canisters not FoodSaver.  I rigged up an adapter to use both.  I vacuum seal smaller amounts of prepared foods in mason jars as well.  This really is homemade convenience.

pasta with veggies
Canada's Food Guide recommends 4 to 6 servings of fruits and vegetables depending on their age, 7 to 8 servings for teens depending on gender, 7 to 10 servings for those 19 to 50 depending on gender and 7 for those over the age of 51.  The thing is a serving size is not as big as you think.  A serving of fresh vegetables is only 125 ml (½ cup)  so it doesn't take a lot of vegetables to meet which is something to keep in mind from a frugal perspective.

I made a pasta with veggies for dinner.  It was a healthy, meat free entrée that when served with a small garden salad would meet half or a little more of my daily fruits and vegetable requirements for the day.  We are big fruit and vegetable lovers here so fresh vegetables find their way into almost every meal.  Pasta with veggies is just so easy and quick to make.  While the pasta is cooking I warm the roasted tomato sauce and prepare any vegetables needed.  Then I drain the pasta, top with sauce, sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese (protein) and chopped vegetables then add a sprig of basil from my indoor (winter) or outdoor (growing season) garden. 

custom made drink tables
I wanted to share our custom made drink tables for the games room since I mentioned them when talking about Superbowl entertaining.  One of our friends is a very talented woodworker.  He is doing a lot of custom woodworking in the house for us.

We needed something a bit more functional than the standard wood TV trays.  Drinks and snacks can easily get knocked over and more so when you have a crowd of 20 to 3o or more.  Our friend made us these custom made drink tables.  They are on wheels.  Each triangular shape can be used individually or I can put them together in an hexagon or put them in line fashion.  They were expensive at $125 each but they are solid wood and custom made to our specifications.  Since we do a lot of entertaining and I prefer not dealing with cleaning up spills, these tables were a frugal option for us.  They help a lot in me being able to focus on the food coming out from the kitchen without worry about my floors (laminate/ceramic tile) in the games room being damaged, slip and fall accidents from spilled drinks and everyone loves them.  I have to tell you, they are one of the ultimates for entertaining!

4 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

I'm really sorry to see this happening.
Just so you know, I read blogs through the blogger in draft dashboard.
Normally I right click on the title of a post, and tell it to open in a new tab, where I read the post.
However, when I clicked on the title of this post, this is what happened:
It took me to something called Feedproxy, and said the post was unavailable.
I hope this will help you find out who is stealing your content.


P.S. I should mention that while you do not allow right clicking - even though I only do it when you put in links and I don't want to leave the page I'm reading - I should mention that if I click on view original post while commenting, the whole content of your page can be copied.

You might want to switch to a pop-up comment window that won't allow that.

Anji said...

I have done some research and have discovered that Blogspot is doing this. It's so that if you have any content which would be banned in certain countries it will be removed and your blog will still show up in searches. Before, blogs wouldn't show up at all if they had content which was questionable in some countries.

Having said all that I'd like someone to confirm that I have understood what is going on. Notification from Blogger would have been a good idea, don't you think?

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks Linda :), I am still looking into the problem. I'm hoping to get it solved soon.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Anji, I did not know that so will certainly be doing a bit more investigation. I filed a complaint with Blogger but haven't heard back from them. If they are doing this, it would have been nice to be notified! Thanks for the heads up.