Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gardens, Fishies and Other Random Thoughts

 Well, my gardens have been planted, now all we have to do is wait...the hardest part for the Monkeys!  I got one of the gardens wrapped with chicken wire, but didn't have enough to go around the other one.  That will be this weekend's project as well as another million things I have to get accomplished.  This morning Big Monkey told me that she wishes there were only Wednesdays and the weekends.  (Apparently the only day she likes to go to school is Wednesday because she has cooking class and gets to go to the gym.)  I couldn't agree with her more!  As a full-time-working mom, it is so hard to get the house cleaned and in order.  I feel guilty after being away from the girls all day and the last thing I want to be doing is cleaning.  I want to make the most of my nights and weekends with them.  Touch-up cleaning gets done here and there, but my house is far from spotless....and that is ok, because my time with them is more valuable.  We are, however, very lucky to both have the summers off; one of the perks of us both being teachers.

In the big garden I planted cucumbers, two different kinds of lettuce, spinach, and zucchini.  In the smaller one I have watermelon, cantaloup and strawberries.  I also planted a blackberry and blueberry bush.  

Last weekend I decided to try to make my own goldfish-type crackers.  In an earlier post I mentioned I had made my own fish cookie cutter using a pop can.  The recipe was very simple to make, but with using high-quality ingredients, it wasn't really cost-effective, but boy were they good!  The original recipe called for four tablespoons of butter, but they were a bit greasy, so I decreased the amount to 3.  

Goldfish Crackers

8 ounce block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (works best if you shred your own)
3 Tbsp. butter cut into cubes
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp. salt (I use sea salt)
2 Tbsp. cold water

Pulse everything except water in a food processor until the mixture resembles course sand.  Pulse in water 1 Tbsp at a time.  Remove dough from the processor, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.  Roll out the dough (about 1/16 of an inch) and cut into shapes.  

Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes in a 350º oven. (May need more time to get them to right crispness.)  Remove from sheet onto a cooking rack and cool completely.  I ended up letting mine sit out most of the day to dry out a bit because they were a bit chewy (but still delicious).

So, I haven't posted about my budget this much...with good reason.  It is long busted.  My garden and other expenses have washed it away, but I can tell you that I haven't spent anything on clothes or other useless items.  At least I'm trying :)

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