Category Archives: 2014

Who Said You Can’t Host A Cook-In? Not Me!

By DonR  12-20-2014

 

Peeling apples can be fun when making pies with friends.

Peeling apples can be fun when making pies with friends.

When I ask people if they would like to host a cook-in, I’ve heard “I don’t have the knowledge (substitute skill, experience, ability, time,  expertise,  training).” Actually anyone can host a Cook-In with the understanding that they do not need to lead it. Here are more ideas for hosting one and picking out leaders: Continue reading

Pork Shoulder: Economical, Delicious and Healthy

Gabriel Claycamp itroduced us toIntroduced us to boneless pork shoulder cushions. These 3 1/2 to 5 pound are roasts cost $1.90 per pound at Cash and Carry in Bellingham when purchased in 12 to 15 pound packages.

Gabriel Claycamp introduced us to boneless pork shoulder cushions

Pork shoulder cushions were the centerpiece for December’s Cook-In. Several people commented that they would start using more pork in their meal plan because these boneless roasts cost just $1.90 per pound at Cash & Carry in Bellingham when purchased in bags of four roasts. Pork, the other white meat not only fit their budget, they found it to be versatile and delicious. But in order to be tasty and tender, it needs to be cooked properly. Read more about two simple ways to prepare pork shoulder cushions. Continue reading

One Small Food Bank Chicken=Three Meals

12/11/2014  By donR

Chicken Thighs

Three meals from one chicken is possible when it complements the side dishes. Read more…

The Ferndale Food Bank is slated to receive small whole chickens this month. Most would consider this to be barely enough for one family meal. But, if you follow the FMP core principles, you most likely  have ideas about carving one whole chicken into three chicken-based meals for a family of four. Continue reading

Preparing For A Cook-In: Pork, The Other White Meat

plate with pork roast

Tuesday’s cook-in features roasted pork loin and veggies. Join us and take enough home for several meals. (iclipart photo)

The hardest step in preparing for a cook-in is selecting a menu. If you think about it everyone has different tastes, health considerations, and budget. Therefore when selecting our menus, we ask the participants what they are interested in, then take a middle of the road approach. Here’s how we selected the menu for Tuesdays cook-in. Continue reading

Senior Slow Cook-In; Spicy Sausage Chili

 This veggie and sausage chili was made from ingredients found in my pantry. I'm calling it chili simply because there's lots of chili pepper added to the mixture.

This veggie and sausage chili was made from ingredients found in my pantry. I’m calling it chili simply because there’s lots of chili pepper added to the mixture.

Our third slow cooking class with seniors showcased just how flexible crock-pot meals can be. To assemble affordable meals, families living on a limited budget often use just what’s in their pantry rather than buy special ingredients required by recipes. Continue reading

Hosting Your First Cook-In? : Make Simple Pies

The Pie Cook-In was held before Thanksgiving. More than thirty pies adorned tables that day.

More than twenty pies were made at The Pie Cook-In

A pie-baking cook-in is not a new idea. I remember gathering on the farm, stoking the wood stove and making holiday pastries with my aunties. You too can Invite people to join you for an afternoon of pie or cookie baking. It’s quick, simple and, requires few ingredients. Continue reading

Family Dinner Project: Use what You Got

Stone soup is made by throwing anything in the pot and letting it simmer to bring out spice and herb flavors.

Stone soup is made by throwing anything in the pot and letting it simmer to bring out spice and herb flavors.

When you plan or prepare meals we’ve always suggested that you look in your cupboards and use what you have on hand. It’s not a new idea but an important one if you’re trying to cook on a limited budget. Stone soup is put together by using whatever you have in your pantry. Here is a website which describes several meals you can make with whatever you have including stones. Continue reading

$10 Family Meal Challenge #5: One-Skillet Meals

a whole meal can be made in a skillet.

a whole meal can be made in a skillet.

One skillet meals can be very budget-friendly, especially when planned-overs are used. However, you may find it difficult to find a recipe that fits.  Here are some tips and tricks that may give you skillet meal ideas and avoid a trip to the grocer. Continue reading

$10 Meal Challenge #5: Which is best, slow-cooker, wok, oven, grill or pot?

Yo can use ground sausage or Polish sausage links in this lentil stew.

You can use ground sausage or Polish sausage links in this lentil stew.

Before moving on to other topics this month, I’d like to share some ideas about the best appliance to cook budget-friendly meals. The best answer would be “it depends.” The Asian community would certainly prefer a wok because it is so versatile. Others would choose a frying pan over gas heat or casserole dish in an oven.  My preference would be to use the slow cooker, which is not commonly used in many parts of the world. So why would I want to use it? I like soup and  casseroles and these can be cooked easily in a slow cooker. I can set it and forget it. But there’s more to it than that. Continue reading