Sweet and Sour Sauce

Friday, March 28, 2008

I use this whole recipe for sweet and sour meatballs (throw in 3 - 4lbs of frozen meatballs and heat) as we like a little "gravy" with our rice. Also goes well with chicken

makes approx 3qts - 1 gallon

1 can (20oz) pineapple chunks, drained, reserve juice
1 can (46oz) fruit juice (used pear nectar...can use apricot, pineapple, apple, mixed)
1 can (14oz) chicken broth (can use 2cups water instead)
1 1/4c vinegar (used white but cider or rice would work also)
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Set aside pineapple chunks.
In a med size bowl put in cornstarch, ginger and garlic, stir to combine and set aside.
Add everything else into a pot and stir to combine.
Add 1 cup of combined liquid to cornstarch and stir until cornstarch is disolved
Pour cornstarch liquid into pot and stir.
Add in pineapple chunks and any additions
Simmer on med until boiling and thick, stirring often
(may need to simmer for a bit to thoroughly cook addtions).

Additions...can use sauce without these but I like to add...
additional pineapple chunks (reduce fruit juice accordingly)
Green and/or red pepper (used frozen pepper & onion mix and took out almost all of the onion)
chopped carrots
chopped celery

Menu....March 23 - 29

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I wrote up a menu Monday while waiting for Michelle to get out of class. I haven't had time to get it online until today though.

Sunday... Easter dinner at my aunt's house (brought a huge fruit salad)
Monday... Split pea soup, crackers... BBQ cocktail weenies for those that didn't want lots of soup
Tuesday... Originally...Turkey and Gravy with mashed potatoes. Ended up eating at my parents after a dentist appt. Sloppy joes, hot dogs with sauerkraut, salad
Wednesday... Turkey and Gravy with mashed potatoes (in the fridge waiting to be served)
*Thursday... Sweet and Sour meatballs with rice
*Friday.... Fried mozzarella sticks with pasta salad
Saturday... Pizza (unless someone makes something else since it's my birthday)

*Ended up switching Thurs and Fri

Funny/embarrassing story about Sunday involving food. At my aunt's there was tons of food. They'd grilled two turkeys and two spiral sliced hams. Near the end of everyone eating I hear...KIM! Tom's taking home the turkey carcass...guess you have to make soup (Tom likes to make soup so it could be either of us). I played it off like it was no biggie. By the time we walked out the door not only did we end up with a turkey carcass, we also had both ham bones and the odds and ends. Now I'm very thankful for my aunt for providing us with a great meal. She of all my aunts and uncles seems to appreciate my family the most. So I didn't take it as a "pity" thing. The rest of the relatives there though....Oh well, good thing I don't care what they think. Although I probably do more then I care to admit because it felt a bit weird walking out of there with stuff that was destined for the trash can. (Tom stopped my cousin as he was about to dump the turkey carcass and drumsticks) The thing is, I found myself having to restrain myself at times too, like when my sister was throwing away the cheddar cheese slices that were leftover on the cheese tray. I was thinking...hey! That'd make a great cheese sauce for mac and cheese!

As soon as I got home Sun night I put the biggest pieces of ham into the freezer...they'll be used in scalloped potatoes. I threw the turkey carcass into an 8qt pot and the rest of the ham pieces and bones into another 8qt pot, filled each with cold water, brought it up to a boil and then turned it down as low as it could go. I ended up falling asleep and woke up at 5am to the smell of yummy ham cooking. I turned them off and went back to bed for a bit. By 8am I had both pans picked through. A pot of split pea soup simmering and a pot of chicken and gravy doing the same. I'd thrown a huge baggie of turkey and broth into the freezer for turkey noodle soup. And a baggie of ham and broth followed it destined for bean soup. So out of someone's "trash" I ended up with the base for 5 good size meals that will probably provide leftovers or lunches too. Not too shabby. Thanks Aunt A!

How last week played out....

Revisions to the menu continued through the whole week. We ended up not eating ANYTHING that was planned. What we ate looked like this...

Wednesday.... Bologna sandwiches and Chicken nuggets
Thursday....Penne with Vodka Sauce (my mom fed us)
Friday....FFYS (fend for yourself) night....cereal, sandwiches, nuggets, leftovers
Saturday... Venision...backstrap, baby carrots and dip

It helps to have other people feed your family when you're trying to save money. lol Of course not having to do the work wasn't half bad either. We ended up at my parents' after Carrie's TODAY study appt. I HAVE to get my mom's vodka sauce recipe. She says it's easy. At first I didn't think they kids would like it but they all ate it, even the kids who don't normally like sauce on their pasta (preferring butter and parm cheese instead)

Friday I ended up running around as usual and I said I'm not cooking for get whatever you want out of the fridge. There was ONE pkg of chicken nuggets left when dinner was over. (originally were 9 of them) The older kids needed to bring something to eat to church with them on Sat and finished it up. We had chicken nuggets so much this last week that I REFUSED to buy anymore this weekend, even though they were on clearance for $3.99 again (3 - 20oz pks). I did end up buying Seafood Salad that was on clearance 2lb container for $3.99. I can't make it for that price. Everyone LOVES it and the container goes amazingly far.

Tom brought home another doe on Fri night. (he knows someone who hunts on a nuisance permit) He strung it up in the trees and we took care of it Sat morning. His brother was out of town for the weekend so I offered to help Tom do the dirty work. We took off the hide together and then Tom decided he'd go on his dump run before starting the butchering. I told him I'd start while he was gone and I did. By the time he came home I was almost done. I think I did pretty clean and quick work considering I had NO idea what I was doing (had never done or seen it done before). I was worried about getting grossed out and turned off to eating the venison. Instead it helped me accept it more readily. I think I had made it worse in my mind. Eileen said she was glad she came out and watched since it wasn't as bad as she thought it was going to be. We've talked of getting chickens and the main thing holding me back was the processing part of it. After doing the deer I think I can handle chickens just fine. And from there came Sat's dinner. :o) Gotta enjoy the choice cuts at their freshest.