Archive for the ‘Cooking’ category

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Member’s Cooking Lesson

January 17th, 2014
Mother Connie has a hodge podge of cookbooks and recipes; some of her food notions live in her head...

Mother Connie has a hodge podge of cookbooks and recipes; some of her food notions live in her head…

You all know by now that the mail you send makes Mother Connie’s heart go pitty-pat!  Today  a message from a Club Member came in that really piqued my curiosity!  Here is what Delaine wanted to share with all of us:

“With food-stamp allotments being so small, and being cut all the time, I know fully how every calorie counts and how to count every calorie.  For me, I am in a very uncomfortable situation that most people do not understand, and that is for some of us, hanging onto every pound we have is as difficult or more difficult than losing weight.  Please do not envy us.  It sounds wonderful, but it is more painful to try to gain weight than lose it, as I have done both.  I was obese until I got sick, and now I am on the other side of the scale of having to try to hang onto every pound, so trust me when I tell you I understand the dilemma.
In the meantime, getting as much nutrition from every food stamp penny is my goal, and even when I am off the social network, as I apparently will be over the next few months, I will still only have the same amount of money for food as I currently have in food allotments.  I have many helps and hints both for stretching food stamp money and using ‘food for cleaning.’ “
Delaine goes on to share how she ACCIDENTALLY learned to make syrup on the cheap:  ” It’s just like the pancake syrup that is 1 cup brown sugar to 6 oz of Dr. Pepper, and boiled down to syrup consistency.  Cheap and accidental, because I was not intending to make pancake syrup when I discovered that!”
SIDEBAR:  Mother Connie is no fan of soda pop but a cook’s gotta do what a cook’s gotta do!  Go with what you have on hand!   END SIDEBAR
Delaine goes on to share her preference for comfort food that won’t break the bank:
“1/2 package elbow macaroni

1  can black beans
1  can corn
2  small cans tomato sauce
Taco season mix – equal parts chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and sugar.
2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
The trick to this recipe is to brown the macaroni thoroughly.  It should look like “whole wheat” macaroni.  Drain and rinse the beans and corn and add to the macaroni along with 2 cans of tomato sauce and the spices.  Add 2 tomato cans of water, reduce to a simmer and wait for all the water to be absorbed.  You may need to add water if the macaroni is too stiff.
This goes well with a pan of corn bread.”
SIDEBAR:  Mother Connie strongly suggests you add a green salad or plate of raw veggies OR fruit  to this menu, if that’s  available.  END SIDEBAR
We greatly appreciate Delaine’s contribution to our Cooking Class! 
Those who are living on a dime, people who use public assistance for their food budgets and anyone who holds an EBT card for SNAP or WIC needs all the help they can garner.  If you use a food pantry, food commodities or any other form of public assistance you know that it’s a tough row to hoe.  We hope to help in that regard.
If you have not signed up for our little series of tips, we invite you to do so.  And keep those emails coming!  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com
We remind you, also, that you are dearly loved.
The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Clug: Egg Substitutes *Guest Post

January 16th, 2014

Oboy, kids!  We have a treat today! Lili, of Creative Savv, has agreed to share her ideas with us and her ideas are  always fantastic!  For those of you who are interested to learn how to cook and the joy of cooking/baking, she offers some really helpful tips.  Bless her, she has agreed to share the post she published on Wednesday.  After you read what she so graciously shared here, I hope you’ll find time to cruise over to her blog and give her a little love…,I’m sure she would appreciate the thought!


“Egg substitutes (and how do you know which ones will work in your recipe?)

Posted: 15 Jan 2014 04:11 AM PST

Last month, I was down to my very last 2 eggs. This makes cooking and baking from scratch difficult, but not impossible. I did a lot of research into different egg substitutes, and this is what I discovered.

There are several options to use for egg substitutes. Knowing which one to use is a matter of understanding the different functions that eggs fulfill in recipes, and what each substitute is capable of doing.

Basically, eggs have 3 functions, to add moisture, add leavening, and act as binding ingredients. In most recipes, eggs will fill a couple of these functions. For example, in cookie dough, eggs both bind the dough together, and they add leavening. In cakes and muffins, eggs add leavening and moisture. In meatballs, eggs serve as binding agents, but also can add moisture.

To give you an idea of why having just one all-purpose, egg substitute won’t give you the best results every time, here are examples of different substitutes and how they can and can’t work.

Some people use applesauce for an egg substitute. Applesauce will add moisture to muffins and quick breads, but it has no leavening power of it’s own. Some people use flax seed meal or soy flour, plus water. Both are great binding ingredients, but neither can leaven. Baking powder can leaven, but has no ability to add moisture, in fact it can dry out some baking.

After much confusion on the subject, I decided that I needed some basic guidelines.

So, here’s my list — the general functions of eggs and which substitutes work best.

In most recipes, the best results will come from doubling up on your substitutes (two substitutes from different categories, such as — add a moisture sub and a leavening sub for muffins, or, add a binding sub and a moisture sub for meatballs).

Adding moisture

To add moisture to a recipe, for each egg, you can substitute 

  • pureed fruit/veg like applesauce, pumpkin or banana (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup for each egg), or
  • yogurt (1/4 cup) or
  • silken tofu (1/4 cup) or
  • 1/4 cup of mayo

Examples of foods which rely on eggs for moisture include: meatballs, muffins, pancakes and cakes.

Adding leavening

To add leavening to a recipe, for each egg, add

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking powder (for cookies, 1/2 teaspoon is generally sufficient — but see the cookie recommendation below*, for muffins and quick breads 1 teaspoon worked better for me), or the equivalent substitute of baking soda and vinegar

Examples of foods which rely on eggs for leavening include: muffins, breads, pancakes, cakes, cookies

(In a 1-egg muffin recipe, you might substitute 1/4 cup of applesauce plus 1 teaspoon of baking powder. This would satisfy both the leavening power and moisture addition that eggs give to muffin batter.)

For cakes, you’ll have the best results if you use a 2-egg, or more, cake recipe, and only substitute baking powder for 1 of the eggs.

Adding a binder

To add a binding agent to recipes which normally call for eggs, for each egg, add

  • 1 heaping tablespoon soy flour, plus 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of flax meal, plus 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu

Examples of foods needing a binder include: meat loaves and cookies.

Formula for egg substitute to use when making cookies
*I found with baking cookies, the following formula worked very well:
for each egg, whisk together:

  • 2 tablespoons flour,
  • 2 tablespoons water,
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil and
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • In addition, for cookies that we like slightly moist, like chocolate chip cookies, I substituted 1 tablespoon of applesauce for 1 tablespoon of the butter called for in the recipe.

For quiches, baked custards, or fritattas, you can substitute pureed fruit, veggies or tofu for up to half of the eggs called for in the recipe.

Meringues and other recipes calling for whipped egg whites generally can not use an egg substitute.

So, what did I bake without eggs last month? I made some very successful pancakes, waffles, cookies, and muffins. I had my husband very surprised that I could make waffles without any eggs at all. I made bean burgers that normally call for eggs as binders, but with a flax meal binder, instead. And I baked a batch of cupcakes, a recipe that normally calls for 2 eggs, I made with 1 egg plus a substitute for the second egg.

These substitutions came in very handy for me. I imagine it could be helpful for others as well, such as the mom who is home with a sick child, but wanting to do some baking, meanwhile discovers she is out of eggs,  or,  in bad weather, not wanting to chance bad roads just to go out for eggs,  or,  for the person who lives in a rural area, and doesn’t want to drive into town for such a small purchase, or,  in my case, with a small grocery budget and not wanting to feel “robbed” by paying twice what I normally pay for eggs when on sale.

Lili Mounce”

Lili, you have saved the day at Food Stamps Cooking Club!  Thank you for all your good help!  I plan to print this out and hang it inside the cupboard door for future reference!

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Egg Yolk Video Tutorial

January 13th, 2014

People who are learning to cook will discover that sometimes eggs need to have the yolks separated from the whites.  Here is an entertaining way to accomplish that:

Are YOU learning to cook?  Are you receiving public assistance for your food budget?  Do you find yourself living on a dime?  Do you have an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Do you visit a food pantry or receive food commodities?  If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ then you have found a place to belong.  This corner of the internet is dedicated to YOU.  There is nothing to buy and no obligation…how refreshing is THAT?

This video is part of the series we are calling our Cooking Class.  We believe that if you know how to cook you can save all kinds of money.  We know this from our own life experience.

We just love hearing from you…either on the comment panel below this post or by email:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

Please  bear in mind that you are dearly loved.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club is Making GRAVY!

January 10th, 2014

If you were blessed with a food bundle at holiday time, you may have found a packet of gravy mix in your bag of goods.  I’m happy for you if you did, but I’d be more thrilled if you learned how EASY it is to prepare gravy.  AND HOW CHEAP IT IS!

A packet of gravy mix runs around $1.29.  For only a few cents you can have gravy in jig time.  You can make as much or as little as you need.  You can use broth, milk or water to make it.  Milk makes good gravy to go over biscuits; it goes well with fried chicken, too!  If you use broth or water with your meat drippings you’ll have a fine, dark gravy that goes well over mashed potatoes,  with roast beef or pork.  Either type of gravy makes a great addition to soups with leftover goodies from meals that were not completely devoured at first blush!

Thickener for gravy can be flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot.  USE WHAT YOU HAVE ON HAND.  When gravy is made with flour, leftover gravy can be reheated without being lumpy if you warm it slowly.  If it’s made with cornstarch it will be  thicker but will still reheat nicely if the temp is kept lower.  It will require your attention to keep it from getting too hot too fast…

 

Some time ago Mother Connie made this little video.  I hope you find it helpful:

 

You could be one who just loves to be frugal.  You and yours might be living on a dime.  It’s possible you are an EBT cardholder for WIC or SNAP.  Maybe you have things from a food pantry.  You might be consuming  food commodities.  Without a doubt, you probably watch your food budget like a hawk.  Those who are on public assistance for their food dollars know that learning to cook will save them lots of money over the long haul.  We dearly hope to help you in that regard.

Our number of Members is climbing!  We have YOU to thank for that!  We love the things you put on our comment panel and we adore your email messages at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com   Thank you SO MUCH.

Please remember that you are dearly loved and cherished.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club and Veggie Prep

January 9th, 2014

According to the Food and Drug Administration each of us needs from FIVE to NINE servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  Five is the minimum; nine is the ideal number.

The issue sometimes can be that the cook often hears “I don’t LIKE that” and it can be not only frustrating for the cook but a deterrent to good health.

So let’s talk about carrots.  They may not be a kid’s most cherished favorite but I have an idea to share-one I pinched from a FABULOUS cook in a nearby town.

First, I would caution you about baby carrots.  You know-those  little perfectly shaped cuties, packaged in handy/dandy plastic sacks.  No tips or tails to trim...these are made from carrots that are not “pretty” enough to appeal to the public.  So they are dunked in a toxic bath and trimmed to look good enough to SELL.  They are not health enhancing.  In my view, they are just like toxic bullets.  If you get a package of them and they hang around long enough, you will learn that they do not spoil.  That’s your clue that baby carrots are not good to eat.

That said, let me tell you about regular carrots and how to make them irresistible:

Trim and scrub 2 carrots for every person you’ll feed.

Slice them the way you like to see them.  It’s easy to cut them to look like coins; it’s equally easy to grate them.  The smaller the cut, the quicker they will cook.

Add some water, sprinkle some salt over the potful and allow them to cook til tender.

While they cook, very finely chop 2 ribs of celery and 1/2 of a small onion.  You may saute these in a bit of oil to enhance the flavor or you can add them as is to the cooking carrots.  The choice is yours.

When they are cooked, drain the water and add a spoonful of MAYO and a chunk of CREAM CHEESE.  Stir these into the hot veggies.  You may want to taste; they might need salt and pepper.

I first ate this dish at a pot luck meal.   I went from table to table to discover who had brought those carrots because I HAD to learn how to make them.  I asked for the recipe and the cook giggled and told me there was no recipe.  Then she described what I shared with you.  I have always loved carrots, cooked or raw, so I actually get hungry for this!

Here’s hoping this carrot dish delights YOU the way YOU delight Mother Connie.  The mail just makes tears in my eyes sometimes.  Here is our email address:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com   You are also welcome to put a message on our comment panel below this post.

Are you living on a dime ?  Do you depend on an EBT card for SNAP or WIC?  Are you a regular at the food pantry or food bank?  Do you get food commodities?  Maybe you just love being frugal.  In any case, this blog is devoted to helping you with your food budget.  No judgements, nothing to buy.  Just some help.  Maybe you could think of this corner of the internet as your cyber next door neighbor or long distance auntie!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: French Toast!

January 8th, 2014

WordPress will not load the gorgeous image of the finished product!

If you plan ahead, you can delight the people who put their toes under your table with a “fancy schmancy” meal, even if you are just learning to cook!

French Toast is fun, filling and fabulous.  It is easy to make, pretty to serve, and it is satisfying in the way of comfort food..

Mother Connie put several slices of bread into a 8 X 8″ casserole dish and covered the bread with a mixture of 2 beaten eggs and some milk–enough to cover the bread.  It went into the fridge to hang out til morning.

*There is a great image of these slices, soaking.  Alas, it won’t load!  argh

You can use a lightly greased skillet or a griddle, depending on what you own and how many mouths you’ll be feeding.  We use a griddle, with the temp set at 350*- but when I turn on the griddle I also set the oven to 2oo*.

The bread soaks up the milk and egg mixture.  I place each slice on the very lightly greased griddle and let it brown nicely before I turn it.  When each slice is browned on both sides and removed from the griddle, it goes onto an oven safe platter or casserole dish.  These freshly done slices get to lounge in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.  This allows a nice crust to form and make them crisp.  **This is how it’s done in high end eateries!

When it comes out of the oven, you can dress it up with a very light sprinkle of powdered sugar.  I use my flour sifter.

We like to top our French Toast with honey or home made syrup.  Sometimes we put a few berries on the top or maybe a slice or two of peaches.  Our favorite bread to use is Lithuanian Sourdough Rye because it is a heavy bread but any bread will do.

Here’s how to make the syrup.  Once you make this you will never buy commercial syrup again.

The image of the syrup in the cutest pitcher ever will NOT load!  *argh!

Home Made Syrup

Into a heavy saucepan put

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

dash salt

Bring this to a rolling boil and make sure all the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and add 2 – 3 teaspoons maple flavoring.  Pour the syrup into a pitcher or bowl with a serving spoon.  Pour any leftover syrup into a jar.  I store syrup in the kitchen cabinet.

Those of you who have been Members here for awhile know full well that this corner of cyberspace is devoted to users of public assistance for their food budgets.  If you are a holder of an EBT card for SNAP or WIC, we hope you are getting helpful information here.  Maybe you are living on a dime or you just make a game out of being frugal.  You might frequent your food pantry or you might be using food commodities.  Whatever your situation, and especially if you are just learning to cook, we are so proud to have you in the House!

When we read the emails that pour in; when we read the love you leave on the comment panel, it’s patently obvious there is a need for the service we hope to provide.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

PS/Do take a moment, when you can, to cruise over to Creative Savv and CT On a Budget.  They have such great info for saving $$$.  And their images DO load…sigh..

 

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club’s Class Is All Souped UP!

January 7th, 2014

Cooking Class Home Imp Kay 038Soup’s ON!

It seems as if most of the United States is in the deep freeze!  What could be more warming than a bowl of hot soup on a frigid day?  We have a wonderful soup to share with you.  There is a wee bit of a story to go with it:

When I was a little girl my mother used to make what she called “Our Favorite Vegetable Soup” and I loved it so. I think of it as a comfort food. She made it quite often and as I grew up and took up in my own kitchen, I made it as often as she did.  It really WAS our favorite soup!

Mom came to live with us as her health began to fail and one day I came home from work to discover that she had “commandeered” our kitchen to delight us with steaming bowls of this luscious comfort food!  It was the very last meal she ever prepared.

It might become YOUR favorite soup, too.  It’s super easy and quick to make and you can vary it to suit YOUR fancy.

Our Favorite Vegetable Soup

To begin:

1 small onion, chopped

2 or 3 ribs of celery, chopped

3 or 4 carrots, chopped

Saute in a bit of vegetable oil.  Salt and pepper.  Cook until tender but firm.

Cooking Class Home Imp Kay 008Veggies saute very quickly over medium high heat.

Continue by putting into a soup pot: 1/2 package of macaroni *I prefer gluten free but YOU use what YOU like.

Cooking Class Home Imp Kay 013This is how Mother Connie stores her pasta; here it has been freshly removed from the freezer!

Put the sauteed veg into the soup pot with the macaroni and  4   cups of chicken broth, if you have it.  *Use water if you don’t have broth.

Cook this combo on medium heat until the macaroni is tender,stirring occasionally.

When the macaroni is cooked BUT NOT MUSHY, add 3 – 4 cups of milk and heat thoroughly.

If you like a thin soup, this is IT.  If you like a thick soup, sprinkle some instant mashed potatoes (or leftover mashed spuds) into the pot until it is the consistency you and your family like best.

Taste test to see if you need more seasonings.  This can take a good bit of salt, especially if you add potatoes.  This soup is lovely when served  with a dark bread or green salad-or both.

This will make 6 – 8 servings.  I always hope to have leftover soup so I can freeze it for an easy meal another time.

Those of you who have been Members for awhile know that we cater to users of WIC or SNAP and are EBT  card holders.  We also hope to help users of food pantries, food commodities; anyone who uses public assistance for their food budgets.  A good number of you are living on a dime.  Many people have not learned to cook.  We hope this little Offline Cooking Class will help those who are interested to know how to prepare simple meals on a tight budget and still maintain nourishing foods will get the help needed to really make their way around the kitchen.

You have no doubt noticed there is no loud voice, begging you to BUY stuff.  *Are you relieved?

You are welcome to share our information on Facebook or with those who sit in your circle.  Lots of people need help these days; together we could make a real difference in the world!

Please remember you are dearly loved.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club Is Egging You On!

January 6th, 2014

deviled eggs for class 006A platter with Deviled Eggs will appeal to guests and the little gems will disappear quickly!

There are many ways to prepare Deviled Eggs.  Mother Connie uses no recipe for this; it’s a matter of adding ingredients and tasting.  Here is how we got from well cooked eggs to this group of pretties:

deviled eggs for class 002

1.  Slice each egg lengthwise and gently remove the yolks from the whites.  Place the yolks into a shallow bowl and set the whites aside on a plate.

2.  Mash the yolks with a fork.  Add some prepared mustard. ***Dry mustard powder can be used, if you have that; most households have the prepared type.  Using your fork, combine the mustard with the yolks.

3.  Drizzle a little vinegar-any type will do-and continue to combine the ingredients, using the fork.  You could even use sweet pickle JUICE if you have that on your shelf.

4.  *IF you have pickle relish, add some until you like the look and consistency of the mixture.  If you do not have pickle relish, no worries.

5.  Using a clean spoon, do a “Q.A.” (quality assurance) test.  Does it need more mustard?  Is it sweet enough?  Do you need to add a pinch of salt to make it taste the way you want?

6.  Sprinkle a TAD of sugar over the mixture and incorporate all the ingredients.  When you are satisfied that it has just the right amount of pizzazz, you are ready to stuff the whites, using the tip of a spoon. *I’ve heard some say they use a melon baller…sounds like a good idea to me!

7.  When you arrange these little delights over a bed of lettuce they will be irresistible to your  guests; if you take them to a covered dish meal, they will be the stars of the show!

**Variations:  You might prefer to use mayo in place of mustard for a milder flavor.  You might like to add celery seeds to your mixture.  Some people use very finely chopped onion and/or celery.  This is all well and good; but Mother Connie is all about saving TIME.  It is common to dress up the finished eggs by sprinkling paprika over them.  That is IF you have paprika on your spice shelf…

Deviled eggs make a great project for experimentation and kids love to help to make them.  By playing with the flavors you will create your own signature combination!    YOU might become known for YOUR signature dish!

This little corner of cyberspace is dedicated to those who use public assistance for their food budgets.  Do you have an EBT for WIC or SNAP?  Are you dependent on food commodities or food pantries or the food bank?  Maybe you just enjoy being frugal.  It could be that you are living on a dime… Maybe you love to cook; perhaps you hate to cook.  In any case, we hope to help you navigate your way around the kitchen.  We have learned more from YOU MEMBERS than you could guess, so we hope you will leave some of your wisdom and love on the comment panel and in our Inbox at   foodstampscookingclub!gmail.com

Connie Baum 

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: EGGS!

January 3rd, 2014

Holiday 13 and beyond fscc 020Perfectly cooked eggs are easy-peasy!

Allow me to begin with a disclaimer, of sorts.  The food safety police will hunt me down for major punishment if they read this, because I’m going to advocate that you do something they would never approve!

To hard cook eggs to perfection, it is critical to the process to leave the eggs on the kitchen table, in their carton, overnight.  Mother Connie realizes this is counter intuitive but if you want pretty eggs that look as good as the one on the gingham plate, this is Step One.  **My own mother did this and no one made finer hard cooked eggs than she!

The next step is to put all your eggs in one basket…NO! WAIT!  That should read “saucepan” not basket!  grin/giggle    Ideally, the eggs should cover the bottom of the pan but they should not be crowded.  When Mother Connie filled her 2 quart saucepan,  9 medium sized eggs did not quite cover the bottom but it worked out well.

Holiday 13 and beyond fscc 010From carton to saucepan…

You can see that Mother has salt, vinegar and soda ready to use.  Cover the eggs with water…then liberally salt the raw eggs ensuring that IF one happens to crack, it will not leak out as much egg white as it would without the salt.  Next, sprinkle a 1/2 teaspoon or so of baking soda over the eggs.  This enhances what the salt does.  Finally, drizzle enough vinegar (it doesn’t matter what kind of vinegar you use) to make a foam.  Set the covered pan on the burner, set to MEDIUM heat.  When the water begins to boil, turn the heat to LOW and set your timer for TEN MINUTES.  When ten minutes has passed, take the pan off the heat and put the cooked eggs under tepid running water.

The little gems should peel easily and be smooth on the outside edges.  The yolks should be bright yellow.  If there is a greenish ring around the outside of the yolk, that is indicative  of too much heat or too long cooking time.

Now that you have hard cooked eggs, you can create any number of delicious, nutritious dishes for those you love.  On MONDAY, Mother Connie will show you how to make deviled eggs.  When you learn how to make these, you will know just what to take to your next pot luck dinner!

The response to yesterday’s post was really overwhelming and we thank you who joined the chorus!  As you know, this little corner of the internet is meant to help everyone, but especially those users of  SNAP or WIC or food commodities or goods from a Food Pantry.  There is nothing to buy but we do hope you cruise over to the fellow bloggers we mention from time to time and garner all the goodness they are offering.

We always welcome new Members with open arms and we appreciate hearing from all of you on the comment panel or by email:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  Please remember that each of you is  dearly, dearly loved and appreciated!

Connie Baum

To Can or Not to Can…at Food Stamps Cooking Club

September 10th, 2013
To soak or not to soak?  This age old question has been debated before.  Here we'll take another look to see what we ought to put into that bowl!

To soak or not to soak? This age old question has been debated before. Here we’ll take another look to see what we ought to put into that bowl!

It may not be soup weather as you read this.  IT IS 94* here today!  But soup weather will soon be upon us.  If you have beans on your shelf, you are going to be in the soup…but in a GOOD way!  Enjoy this one, kids!

Those of you who have food commodities sometimes get cans of beans…those of you who think of canned beans as ‘convenience foods’ watch for sales like hawks hunt for  prey!  Those of you who have practiced frugality like an art form may prefer canned beans but they may also like the challenge of soaking dry beans.

To be honest, soaking beans CAN be challenging.  Sure, all you do is throw them into a pot and let them sit and soak.  BUT you also have a house to keep, a job to be on time for-if you are fortunate to HAVE a job, maybe two!-and then there is the small matter of keeping your gang fed on whatever schedule everyone in the house has going! And we have not even mentioned getting everyone to school/work/wherever OR the laundry… It’s enough to drive a person out of their ever lovin’ mind!  I’m sure you can relate.

So I found a soup recipe that calls for 8 cans of beans.  There was a huge debate in Mother Connie’s head about whether to mention it, since the price of canned beans is obscene.  I’m quite sure you could make this with only one type of bean to make it easy on the bean soakers of the world; if you have the where-with-all to get 8 cans, that’s good.  If not, you might make only half a recipe IF that will feed your gang.  Use your own good judgement.  I offer it here for your perusal:

Eight Can Soup with a South of the Border Flair

I do not recall the source…emails abound in the Club House…

1 (15 oz.) can each: drained and rinsed, black beans, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, sweet corn. *Personally, Mother Connie would not RINSE corn…

1  15.25 oz can chicken, drained *The Kitchen Police will not write you up if you use leftover cooked chicken…

1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup

1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce

1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth  *Nobody will die if you use home made broth or even water with a bouillon cube or two.  We are all about saving $$ in the Club

1 packet taco seasoning 

**Mother Connie is DEATH on seasoning packets!  They are full to the top with rubbish the human body does not need to maintain good health!  Surely you have chili powder on hand!  You are most likely to have cumin.  You’ll save a bundle by NOT using packets and your budget with thank you for keeping a few spices on your shelf.  Seriously, kids.  You CAN be healthy on a tight budget.

Toss everything into your favorite soup pot.  Heat through gently but thoroughly, stirring every so once in awhile.

This soup is hearty, tasty, and would pair up quite well with a green salad and corn or tortilla chips.  Mother Connie does not normally recommend chips but there are times when chips are just the thing.  *I already ranted and raved about the seasoning packets; I’ll let up now.  ;)

If you are holding an EBT card from SNAP or WIC, if you are using food commodities or things from a food pantry, food bank, food drop, or any other form of public assistance, we are delighted to be of service to you.  Most everybody finds themselves living on a dime at times… We dearly hope our ideas and recipes help to keep your food costs at bay.  We hold no judgement and we are not about selling you stuff.  We are tickled pink whenever we see new names on our roster (which has been every day, thanks to all our Members’ spreading the good word!) and we love hearing from each of you.

It may not be soup weather as you read this.  *IT IS 94* here today!  But soup weather will soon be upon us.  If you have beans on your shelf, you are going to be in the soup…but in a GOOD way!  Enjoy this, kids!

Connie Baum

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