Saturday, September 19, 2009

Come take a look!


I have not done a good job maintaining two blogs. Keeping up with one is plenty!

If you are a follower or subscriber here, consider switching to my main blog, so you won't miss anything!

Here is a post I just put up about a bunch of totally free groceries - check it out! To view the rest of my blog, click on the header (up top where it says 'Ten Things Farm' and you'll get the entire blog.

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When you Love them, Tell Them!

If you read this and it sounds mighty familiar, then you are probably a dear soul from Prairie Homemaker. I posted this there a few days ago, and thought I'd use it here as well. Busy day, what can I say? :)

About a month ago when I was in Walmart I thought that it'd be a good idea to grab a can of my favorite Campbell's soup - Bean with Bacon in the family size can. I love that stuff, and I always have. It's the perfect combination of beans, tanginess, smokiness, MSG and who-knows-what-else-ness.... When we get below 8 cans (the family size cans!) in our pantry, I get nervous.

They didn't have any.

Neither did King Sooper the next time I was there, and neither did Albertsons, and neither did Walmart the next couple times I checked.

I got worried that maybe they'd quit making 'my' soup in that size, so I called the 800 number on a can I had at home, and talked to a nice lady named Barbara.

She reassured me that they still make it, and said that Super Target has it, and that Walmart isn't on their search system, so they might still have it too.

Meanwhile, while she was looking all this up for my genuinely concerned self, I was telling her how it was my MOST favorite Campbell's soup since I was old enough for solid foods - like, 1967.

I told her how when I was three, they took out my tonsils, and they told me I could have all the ice cream I wanted after surgery, but when I woke up from the operation I insisted that the only thing I would eat in the whole world was Bean With Bacon. The hospital didn't have any (egads!), so my parents went to a store and got some for me, heated it and brought it in a thermos.


I even confessed that I've tried, and failed, several times, to make a copycat of the soup, but none of them are even close.

Yes, I'm that goofy. I really love me some Bean n Bacon!

Moral of the story? If you love a product, tell the company. If you have a story, share it, and there's a pretty good chance they will give you some.

Post Script: Last week I received three fantastic coupons from the Campbell's Soup Family of Companies. After coupons, I was able to get three cans of my beloved Bean With Bacon - Family Size - for four cents apiece. They are lovingly nestled in my pantry, next to the others.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chicken Lunch: Barbecue Chicken Pizza

This is the fourth meal from that same chicken, and we still have a good amount of chicken broth left. That broth and this chicken have been in the freezer to prevent spoilage, just FYI.

Let's make a simple, yummy main course for lunch.

This is the easiest pizza you can make, I think, without ordering from somewhere. You start with tortillas and a thin cookie sheet. I have thicker pans that look nice, but the crust doesn't get crispy on them, so welcome to the ugliest baking sheet at Ten Things Farm.

My mom says that barbecue chicken pizza is NOT pizza. That might be true, but if I call it barbecue sauce and chicken on a tortilla with cheese and stuff, it takes too long. I don't want to start anything (Mom), so cut me some slack, K? Anyway, spread some barbecue sauce on the tortillas. Then top them with cheese.

Don't get too crazy with the cheese either. If you put a ton, it'll just ooze off the edges and stick to the pan. With such a thin crust, a little goes a long way.

Top with the chicken.

Right there, you're good to go, but before you put that in the oven, check the fridge for other toppings. We found black olives, red onions (garden), crumbled bacon (free with coupons last week at Safeway - woot!)and mushrooms for me! So we topped each chicken pizza to individual preferences.

Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes if you like crispy crust. Check after 10 minutes though - I live at high altitude and things take longer to cook. Toss a salad, pour some tea, and enjoy!

Did you notice there's already one missing in the last photo? Hee hee. I made five of these today - two for each adult, one for the kidlet, and I still have some chicken left. Yay!

(Psst - if you ever need snacks for Game Day, make a honkin' pile of these and call them barbecue nachos!)

I bet you can think of a hundred other chicken stretcher meals - these were just a few to encourage us all to be creative and have fun while we save money. I hope you liked them!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chicken Dinner #3 - Chicken Long Rice

Long Rice is a Hawaii thing, but I would imagine it has roots in China, possibly Japan. It's easy to make, and really tasty. "Long Rice" is cellophane noodle. It's not made of rice, and it's not exactly a noodle either, in the sense that it's not starchy. It's also called 'bean thread', and I'd guess it's somehow made from soybeans.

This recipe is easy, even though the pictures will make it look like there are a lot of steps. Also, it's nice for summer, because you don't cook it a long time. Once you get all the ingredients together, you turn off the pan and it finishes on its own. Lots of recipes in Hawaii are like this, probably because it's hot and humid, and no one wants the stove on if it's not necessary. :)

Here are most of the ingredients (I forgot to set out the ginger and the garlic):

These are cellophane noodles, or 'long rice'. When they are totally dry, like in the first photo, you cannot cut them - not even with scissors. To soften them and speed their cooking, put them in a bowl of hot tap water for about 30 minutes. Just start them soaking first thing, and they'll be softened by the time you need them.

We're using the skinned legs, thighs and wings (also some of the chicken broth) for this meal. Put a small amount of oil (about 1 T.) in the pan, heat it up and add the chicken. If you're cooking in stainless like I am here, the chicken will immediately stick. Don't worry, once it's cooked some, it comes loose again. I don't quite understand it, but that's what stainless 'does'.

Turn the chicken occasionally to cook it on all sides. Meanwhile, prep your vegetables. I'm using carrots (three of them), a medium onion, a couple of mushrooms (those are only for me, my family doesn't care for them) and some green onion tops - probably about 1/3 cup.

Once the chicken is lightly browned on all sides, add some grated fresh ginger. See this ginger? It's frozen solid. Little tip I learned - when you bring home fresh ginger, put it in the freezer in a baggie. When you need some, grate it off, then put it back in the freezer. It tastes the same as fresh, and doesn't dry out and get old in your crisper drawer. It's not necessary to peel ginger either - you can if you really want to, but no need. Anyway, grate some off into the pan with the chicken. I probably used almost a tablespoon.

Add a nice spoonful of minced garlic too.

Next, add about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, 2T. soy sauce and 1/3 c. brown sugar. Drizzle in a little dark sesame oil if you have it. You may need more chicken broth later, but this will be a good start. By the way, the recipe calls for twice as much soy sauce, but start with 2T. and you may find that it's enough.

Take those cellophane noodles out of the hot (now warm) water and put them in the pan.

Add the carrots,

Then the onions,

Then give it all a little stir. Taste the broth. If it seems a too strong, add a little more chicken broth.

Bring back to a simmer, then pull out all the chicken pieces onto a cutting board. Allow them to cool slightly - until you are able to separate the meat from the bone.

Give the meat a quick rough chop, discard the bones. They have done their job, giving flavor to the dish.

Return the meat to the saucepan. Put the lid on the pan, turn off the heat and let everything just sit a while. The flavors will marry, the long rice will soften, and it will all be just lovely.

To serve, put some brown rice in your bowl.

If you're me, put your thin-sliced mushrooms on top of the rice, then spoon the hot chicken long rice over the top. The hot broth cooks the mushrooms just enough. Garnish with green onions and serve.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chicken Dinner #2

Tonight we used the remaining breast meat and some of the chicken broth. There were close to 8 ounces of trimmings from the breasts we used last night for the Buffalo Chicken sandwiches.

Tonight we had salads and Chicken Enchilada Soup, a family favorite.

(If you've ever eaten the chicken enchilada soup at Chili's restaurant, this is a copycat recipe.)

Chicken Enchilada Soup

1/2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 c. diced onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 c. enchilada sauce
1/2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. ground cumin (though we like it with a little more)
1/2 c. masa harina (corn tortilla mix)
3 1/2 c. chicken broth, divided
1/2 lb. cubed processed cheese (we're talking Velveeta type cheese (store brand is fine) here)

1. Heat oil in a medium size pot. Add onions, garlic and chicken. Cook until just beginning to brown.

2. Add the enchilada sauce, chili powder and cumin to the chicken mixture.

3. Measure masa harina into a medium size bowl. Add about half the chicken broth and whisk to combine. Pour the masa harina/broth mixture into the chicken mixture, stir to combine. Add the rest of the broth and bring to a low simmer.



4. Cube the cheese to help it melt more quickly. Sprinkle into the soup, heat on low, stirring while cheese melts and blends into the soup.

5. Garnish with tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream, onions, cilantro, taco sauce, fresh tomatoes - really, whatever you like best!

P.S. We also have enough soup left for hubby to take this to work one day for his lunch.

It's not groceries, but it's a great deal!

Hey, Y'all!

I was in Walgreens today and they had Gillette Fusion (Phenom) razors on clearance for $2.29. I was able to use a $2 off coupon for the razor (from a recent red plum insert - sorry I don't have the date for it) and ALSO use a coupon from the P&G insert that let me get a free Gillette Body Wash when I purchased the razor.

29 cents (plus tax) for a razor and a 12 oz. body wash. Best, I had two sets of the coupons!

Back later with tonight's chicken meal! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Three People. One Chicken. Four Different Meals

Last week, whole chickens were on sale in my town for 57 cents a pound. That's a really great price - at least here - so we stocked up, to the tune of 20 chickens. I don't want my family getting bored with chicken, so I'm challenging myself to mix it up with different flavors so that we really enjoy all this chicken.

The first thing I did was cut up the chicken. I didn't take how-to photos for a few reasons.

One - even though I've done it a million times, I'm not the world's best cutter-upper of chicken.

Two - I didn't want chicken goo on my camera.

Three - please see number two.

Anyway, here is the chicken - cut up. The bowl in the back on the left is everything you don't really want to mess with - back, breastbone, wing tips, skin, neck. That's the start of some broth I'll use later in the week. I *did* take a picture of all that stuff in the pot, in water, but honestly, it looked pretty grody, so let's just skip that pic, shall we?

The bowl on the right is skinned legs, thighs and wing segments.

On the left (on the cutting board) are the two breasts and the tenderloins. You'll notice that I cut the 'pointy part' of each boneless skinless breast off. I also shaved about a half inch of thickness off the thickest part of each breast to make the meat a more even thickness.

On the plate the front is extra breast meat. It's not a normal 'part' of chicken, but it's a good amount of meat, and we'll be using it for a really yummy something very soon.

Tonight we're using those breast pieces and tenderloins, front left, to make Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches. These are really easy - tasty too! Let's get started!

Heat the oven. Mine is on 400 because I'm roasting a pan of potatoes to go with these sandwiches. Put some breadcrumbs on a plate and coat each piece of chicken evenly. Our breadcrumbs are homemade from leftover bread ends, so basically free. I've tried different 'dips' like milk, egg, etc., but just pressing the chicken into the crumbs works fine, saves a step, and gets us that much closer to supper.


Spray a little nonstick spray in a heavy pan. If you use nonstick spray, you will need very little oil for the saute'. I don't know why it works that way, but it does, so that's how we do it. Cook the chicken on medium heat until the breadcrumbs are a medium brown, then turn to cook the other side.


While the chicken is cooking, make celery sticks and put some Red Hot Sauce on a plate. (Put any celery leaves/tops into that chicken broth that's simmering on the stove, too!)

Lay the chicken in the hot sauce, turning to coat. If you have little kids, use barbecue sauce for theirs, or leave them plain. Little Bit wanted the tenderloins tonight, and she had them with barbecue. Put all the coated chicken on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven. This will ensure that it's cooked all the way through without burning any breadcrumb. It also mellows the Red Hot Sauce some, and allows the flavors to blend.

While the chicken is in the oven with the potatoes, mix some ranch dressing mix with some sour cream. Make enough to put some on the buns and have some for the celery. Thin it with a bit of water if needed - sometimes it's really thick.

Warm the buns, slice them open if they're homemade, and put some of the ranch dip. Then put the chicken and some lettuce (I don't have any lettuce in the house, and it's already dark out, so I'm not going to the garden to get some - I'll plan better next time!).

Taadaa! Supper is ready! Not a great photo, but it's late, we're hungry, and I'm not making my sweet family wait while I figure out the lighting, hee hee.

So - there's one meal - Buffalo (or Barbecue) Chicken Sandwiches on homemade wheat buns, celery and ranch dip, roasted potatoes and onions from our garden. It was delicious! It would have been great with some cole slaw, but I ran errands, hung out two loads of laundry and mowed most of the yard today. Maybe next time.

( for the roasted potatoes is here.)

Meanwhile, that bowl of chicken bones/skin/stuff was simmering on the stove with some water and celery tops. I got about 8 cups of broth and 3/4 cup of small chicken pieces. I have plans for both of them. Big plans. Yummy plans. Easy plans. For now, the broth is chilling, and I'll remove the fat tomorrow.


Stay tuned for our next chicken meal - coming soon!