Category Archives: 2013

“Guilt-Free” Cookies…Almost

Bake these glutin-free cookies: soft and selicious.

Bake these gluten-free cookies: soft and delicious.

For people with special dietary needs, several sites offer cookie recipes using mashed bananas, oatmeal and nuts or dark chocolate chips. These cookies are packed with nutrients, gluten-free and non dairy. My grand-daughter tried our first batch of experimental cookies and said, “These cookies are soooooo good!” Need we say more?

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Turkey A La King: A Planned-Over $10 Meal

picture of Turleya la King

Turkey a la King is easy to prepare and use in a thrifty $8.60 meal for 6 people.

Turkey a la King was a family favorite many years ago. Now, after our FMP fundraiser and Thanksgiving, we have lots of pulled turkey and chicken in the freezer. What to do?

  • Thaw a 2 Cup package of turkey in the fridge,
  • make a tasty white sauce,
  • stir in the turkey and a few vegetables,

and now you have a main entrée that can be served over bread, biscuits, potatoes,  rice  or noodles. Read more about including this in a budget-friendly meal. Continue reading

Master Cookie Mix: 3 Flexible Variations

Flour, butter, and  water combine with sugar to make awesome cookies. The Master cookie mix makes it easy!

Flour, butter, and a sweetener combine with add-ons to make awesome cookies. The Master cookie mix makes it easy!

Our mother made cookies using a recipe similar to the  master mix we introduced in our last post. She would make a pouch and fill them with figs, or cut out trees and sprinkle them with small candies. Health-wise, these were not the best choice because she used shortening and lots of sugar.  The first recipe in our last post calls for butter and brown sugar to add flavor but does little to cut cost or calories in a meal plan. If you are like many of us, added calories may not be a big concern.  For others who are trying to limit fats and simple sugars, here are some practical solutions: Continue reading

Which Holiday gift for my Wife: Cast Iron Skillet or Meat Grinder?

Holiday gift for my Wife?  by donR revised December 5 2015

griddleI’ve read many lists about “perfect gifts for the holidays” and nowhere is a meat grinder mentioned. Go figure! Maybe that’s not a safe idea. Would a new vacuum cleaner be better? The real question is “Are kitchen gadgets appropriate gifts for spouses?” This is where you get to show that you really know your spouse.  Would he/she like and use a new kitchen tool? Be sure you are choosing a gift they would appreciate; not just one you wish they wanted and would use.

Thinking back over the years, my folks have given us some holiday kitchen gifts that were real time-savers and well appreciated. So, here are some electric kitchen gift ideas that may help your children when they are out on their own. A gift for your spouse?  You know best.

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Mom Says “Eat Your veggies.” Are they ready yet?

Mom Says, “Eat Your veggies.” Are they ready yet?

pic of cut vegetables

Plan to wash, cut and blanch veggies ahead of time. It saves time and energy when cooking dinner.

Yes, prepping fresh vegetables takes time and energy but The USDA recommends that 1/2 of your plate be filled with them. Some of us take pleasure in working with veggies and others are looking for ways to make it simpler. Usually we wash, cut and cook vegetables while assembling the rest of the meal which can be hectic sometimes. but, if you just prepare them ahead of time or include them in your total meal plan you can simplify cooking for dinner. Here are five ideas for including veggies in your plan. Continue reading

Bargain Foods: Safe To Eat?

Grocery Outlets are locally owned and have strict food safety policies.

Grocery Outlets are locally owned and have strict food safety policies.

Are Bargain Foods Safe To Eat?

Families who are challenged to live on a tight budget often cut corners on their food bill. Discount stores have small food sections and larger markets like Winco and Grocery Outlet offer a  wider selection of discounted food products. The question often asked is “If food costs less, is their product inferior?”

To answer this question, I took a ride around our area to compare how safely grocers and stores handle food. My findings may surprise you! Continue reading

Planned-Over $10 Meal: “Sponges” that are Quick, Easy, Delicious

What if       fill in the blank             ?    We’ve all been there: running late, company shows up unannounced, you open a package and the meat is spoiled, or the  bag of rice is full of bugs. What are you going to do for dinner? Do you have”sponges” in your pantry?

Picture of soup n sandwich.

This quick meal was assembled by using planned-overs.

Well-prepared teachers use “sponges” when there is a disaster in the classroom. These are emergency activities stored in the closet. Likewise, a well-stocked cupboard or freezer will often save your day  during a home emergency. Here are five foods you can have ready so you can assemble a $10 emergency family meal that is quick, easy and delicious. Continue reading

Basic Recipes: Pt.5, Quick ‘N’ Easy Soup

Quick ‘N Easy Soup Mix

picture of quick soups

(L-R) home-made lentil, Progresso, Food Co-op Mix, Bear Creek, Healthy choice.

Including soup in your meal plan is important, but which one is best when feeding 6 people? To answer, think about these four characteristics: price, prep time, taste, and nutrition Continue reading