Saturday, October 08, 2011

Weeding:  I realized I talked about my plant swap many times before it happened.  And the day of.  But I have not yet posted about how the plant swap went.  And I know you are simply dying to know, so...

When I started planning it, the dog days of August were blazing upon us, so I was planning iced tea, lemon bars, fresh chips and salsa...summery fare, to be served on the deck surrounded by flowers.  The day of the swap turned out to be very autumnal and it was sprinkling on and off all day, so what I ended up with was hot cider and fresh from the oven apple crisp.  Served in the living room.  Where we can see the flowers if we stand up and look out the window.  That was okay though.  I like apple crisp a whole lot.

When I picked the date, I had 7, possibly 8 people coming.  Nice enough size for a swap and good balance of people with diverse selection of plants and people without plants.  Due to scheduling conflicts and last minute things, I had 4 people.  Two of whom had no plants and were there for the garden tours and camaraderie.

It worked out well, though.  I got rid of, errrr, generously gave away several plants that needed to be divided and/or thinned.  My friends got new plants to add to their collections or to start new gardens with.  I got to share my late season garden and discuss my future garden plans with friends who also like plants.  And I got some apple crisp. 

It was a lovely swap.  And we didn't even get rained on.

Reading: I am on page 126 of 644 in the Tattooed Girl book.  It reads pretty quickly but I am not wrapped up in it.  I just bought it Tuesday night.  Half of the pages I have read so far were accomplished with a night of insomnia.  If I just have another week of no sleep, I should be done by Friday when we meet.

For the Sunday night bookclub, our final selection for the year of classics is Treasure Island.  I am cool with pirates and a good adventure story.  I haven't started it yet but I have all the way until November 6th to read it.  Piece of cake, right?  First I need to get the Dragon Girl done, though.

Eating: When last I posted, the roast was coming out of the oven.  It was super tasty.  While we were eating it, we realized that when we did menu planning for the week (yes, we plan menus for a week at a time), that we had forgotten to add our favorite use of leftover pot roast.  So a little erasing and switching around on the whiteboard and, suddenly, Tuesday was Beef Pot Pie night.  Yahoo!  Here's how I make pot pie.

Beef Pot Pie (adapted from Betty Crocker - now more Weight Watchers Points friendly (old points program))
2-2 1/2 C. cut up cooked beef
about 2 C veggies (the recipe says 10oz frozen peas and carrots rinsed and drained - we use 2/3 C frozen corn along with some of the leftover potatoes, carrots, onion, etc. from the roast)
1/4 C. butter or margerine (you know which I would use...)
1/4 C. flour
pepper to taste (salt too, if needed, but with the broth/bouillion and the meat already salted when cooking, you don't really need it)
1 3/4 C beef broth (I use Orrington Farms Beef soup base - 2 tsp in 1 3/4 C hot water)
1/2 C skim milk (okay so it doesn't have to be skim, that is just what I used to get the points value down)
1 9" pie crust (make your own if you like.  I use frozen. The original recipe called for both a top and bottom crust but it really didn't add much in my mind, besides extra points/calories/carbs so I took it out)

In a 9x9x2 pan (or similar size round pan - I use Pampered Chef stoneware, naturally), spread the beef and veggies.
In a 2 quart saucepan, melt butter/margerine over medium until melted.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly.  Stir in beef broth and milk.  Heat until boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Pour over the beef and veggies.
Top the beef/veggies/sauce with the pie crust (it is okay if it doesn't reach the edge or cover everything).  Bake at 425 for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
6 servings, about 6 points each (per my calculations, and using the OLD system. It was about 9 per serving before)

You can use the same recipe for chicken pot pie (the original recipe was for chicken).  Just use chicken and chicken broth instead.  And whatever veggies you like - fresh cooked, frozen, leftover.

When I first made this recipe, I loved the sauce so much that I made it quite a bit.  I mixed it with chicken and some veggies and used it on top of biscuits, or noodles.  It is very tasty and easy.

Okay, now I need to get back to the Dragon Tattoo Girl. 
Oh, and if you missed my last post (because I am a dork and had hit "save draft" instead of "publish" last week), you can always go back and read it.  In fact you can read any of the old posts.  I was recently reading some of my posts from 2003.  I had forgotten about some of those events like the Life and Times of Mrs. Quackers. 

Until we eat again,

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