Posts Tagged ‘Angel Food Ministries.’

Freezer Meals at Food Stamps Cooking Club

April 11th, 2011

 

Filling your freezer may be easier than you might imagine!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you yearn to turn OFF the TV, turn ON mealtime conversation, in the quest to do your part toward saving dinner?

If you use SNAP or WIC’s EBT cards or food commodities, food pantry food or Angel Food Ministries food, you may find the following information helpful.  Perhaps you are just plain old fashioned frugal; in any case-we hope to offer you ideas you can take to the bank!

Leanne Ely sent out a message earlier today that hit my hot button.  I thought about it as I prepared our noon meal and with her ideas in mind here is what I did:

I sliced a couple of good sized onions and caramelized the thin rings in some oil.  I sprinkled some salt and pepper over them as they cooked.  Then I laid 4 thin slices of beef liver over the soft onions and drizzled chicken broth over the whole works .  I covered the skillet and slid it into the oven, which was set at 300 degrees.  That parked there for about 90 minutes and smelled divine!

While that did its thing I made a white sauce with a chunk of butter, a spoonful of corn starch and a splash of milk, adding water and more milk to get the consistency we like.  When it began to bubble I added a frozen package of spinach I got ON SALE and allowed it to thaw right in the gravy.  I seasoned it well.

As it cooked, I remembered the potatoes I had baked for Sunday dinner.  I chopped two very small potatoes and dropped them into the gravy.

We could never eat that much food at one sitting-even a meal so tasty as that!-so I was delighted to put our leftovers into flat plastic freezer bags.  We now have a very nutritious, really quick, super easy, PAID FOR meal, waiting in the freezer for us to reheat.  Simple?  You bet.

Leanne thinks along the same lines.  Here is what she had to say this morning;

Secrets to Preparing Delicious Freezer Meals

by Leanne Ely, C.N.C

A few years ago (quite a few years ago, actually), a new cooking trend was born – Once A Month Cooking – OAMC for short. The whole idea was to spend a day cooking, freeze what you make, they reheat it as needed; sort of DIY Stouffers concept.

Great idea, soggy delivery. The proponents of this type of cooking said it only took a day to make a month’s worth of meals and you had “great” dinners that you could reheat anytime. The problem was that most of these dinners took on the watery characteristics of reheated casseroles and the flavor of the food was as lukewarm as their presentation. The other issue is time – a whole day for heaven’s sake! Who can literally take a day off from life to do this?

In the early 2000′s, a new version of OAMC was born and the result was dinner assembly franchises popping up like ground hogs in the spring. Everywhere you turned in suburbia you could find several types of these storefronts.

The idea of these places goes like this: come into their store, spend two hours or so assembling 12 to 15 meals from their already chopped veggies and pre-prepared ingredients, so all you have to do is put them together raw, label and freeze for cooking at a later day, thus removing the OAMC twice-baked casserole deal. The problem is it doesn’t come cheap.

So what’s a time stretched harried homemaker to do? Do it yourself, of course! There is a way to do this. Here’s how:

Find meals that can be assembled in their raw state, defrosted successfully, then cooked freshly. A good example of this is meatloaf. All you have to do is make your meatloaf mixture, shape it, then put it in a freezer zipper bag, mark the bag and date it, then on the day you want to use it, defrost it and bake it. You will never know that your meatloaf was previously frozen!

Here is a recipe that we have on our very first Twenty for the Freezer, a downloadable menu with 20 recipes that you assemble all at once, freeze and cook later as needed. When you have a freezer full of meals like this to choose from, you will say good-bye to the drive thru forever!

In a 1 gallon plastic freezer bag, mix and blend well together:

Mega Marvelous Meatloaf
Serves 4

2/3 cup dried stuffing mix
1 egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 1/3 teaspoons garlic powder
2/3 teaspoon thyme
1/3 cup ketchup
2/3 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Seal the bag and blend the mixture together by squeezing and kneading the bag. Unseal the bag, starting at the bottom of the bag, roll the mixture to force out any air then seal the bag again. Insert this bag into a gallon sized plastic freezer bag and place a copy of the recipe into the 2nd bag as well and seal it. Place your label on the bag or write the name and date on the bag and place in the freezer.  ~Leanne Ely, C. N. C”

In the interest of full disclosure, I ordered Leanne’s freezer meals menu.  I am very pleased with it and it is full of wonderful recipes, ideas and tips for not a lot of money.  Leanne and the Food Stamps Cooking Club share the philosophy of helping people eat well with little money.

Oh!  I’d be remiss if I did not mention the CONTEST they are having at Saving Dinner.  It’s all explained on their site in a video starring Leanne herself!  And as you may have suspected, today’s blog post is sponsored by The Dinner Diva herself, Leanne Ely, whose mission in life is Saving Dinner!

We love mail!  Send us your thoughts at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  Thanks, everyone!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  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: OLE`!

April 8th, 2011

 

OLE`! Anita has shared a turkey taco soup recipe! Can you say, “YUMMY”? And “Thank you, Anita”?

Our little town gathers every Thursday through Lent to worship and have lunch.  This week the Methodist ladies served a chicken noodle or chili soup in deep bowls, accompanied by sandwiches that literally melted in our mouths!  Everyone at our table was raving and we agreed that the weather almost demanded soup for lunch!

At our house we eat soup year around and we’ve even had it for breakfast. WE HEART SOUP.  Anita, one of our faithful and contributing Club Members has shared a soup recipe I think could easily become a year around favorite.  It’s delish; it’s cost effective; it’s comfort food at its finest and it is an easy thing to make!  That is a winner, for sure!

Here is Anita’s offering: We present it with our thanks!

Turkey Taco Soup recipe


Things you need to get:

2 lbs ground Turkey
4 cup of chicken broth
1 to 2 can(s) of Rotel : canned tomatoes
1 can of Kidney beans(undrained)
1 can of Pinto beans(undrained)
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of or frozen corn (1 cup)
1/2 cup of diced onion(sauteed with turkey)
Salt
Pepper
Garlic power
a package of Taco Seasoning
Fritos or tortilla chips
Sour cream
Cheese

You would need to brown the turkey with onions…with salt, pepper and garlic pepper. Add chicken broth, beans, corns, Rotel, tomato sauce. Stir and add taco seasoning. Check and taste how much you want it… add a bit more salt and pepper. Let it simmer for a bit before you serve.

When ready, serve with fritos, cheese and sour cream! Voila!

I personally think it tastes better than ground beef and also you don’t taste the grease from beef. We really like it!! Also chicken broth adds a lot of flavor as well. I would rather to use chicken broth over ranch mix. ;)  ~Anita

 

Mother Connie would like to add that the Food Police will not invade your kitchen if you do not use that particular brand of tomatoes. People like Carol and Rainy, for example, will want to use the tomatoes they grew and canned on their own.  And, as you know, turkey and chicken are quite interchangeable.  If you use chicken in a turkey recipe, no one will turn you in to the Kitchen Police, so you are free to use whatever you have on hand.  grin

People who are at the mercy of the food pantry or use food commodities; folks who have EBT cards for WIC or SNAP will love this frugal meal.  Users of Angel Food Ministries can work this into their menus quite easily, too.  And those of us who just like to save the big bucks on our food budgets will appreciate having this soup to serve to those we love any time of year.   Maybe we will even have it for breakfast a time or two!

Today’s post is sponsored by the good folks at ToothSoap.  We hope you can pop in on them and give them the once over.  They are nice people; be sure to let them know that Mother Connie sent you their way.

Thank you to all the folks who have recently joined the Club!  We are having way too much fun sharing low cost ideas for feeding our families health supporting meals with little muss or fuss or cost!  Let us hear from you by sending us a message at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com , won’t you please?

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  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: Let’s Do Lunch!

April 4th, 2011

 

Whether you have your mid day meal at home or at your workplace, it’s important to fuel up for a productive afternoon!

Sometime around the 1980′s LUNCH became a VERB.  Lunch suddenly was something people DID…in 2011, thanks to Club Member Mikemax, it became a NEW PAGE on this blog!  Look for “What’s for Lunch?” at the top of the blog…then tell us about YOUR lunch!  Inquiring minds want to know!

People who depend on food commodities, food pantry food, or EBT cards from WIC or SNAP are always on the hunt for new ideas for lunches that fit their slim budgets.  Those who use Angel Food Ministries bundles are always eager for ideas for those items to s t r e t c h their food budgets, too.  Even people who just want to be frugal, those who are living on a dime, are likely to be open to food ideas that make lunch interesting as well as cost effective and nutritious.

Maybe you tote a lunchbox or perhaps you fill lunch boxes for your children or your other half who works away from home.  You most likely HAVE great lunch ideas.  We hope you are willing to share…hint/hint…

If you are home for lunch you no doubt are clever at morphing leftovers into yummy lunchtime fare.  Won’t you share your expertise with us?  Thanks!

One of Mother Connie’s tried and true lunchtime “tricks” is to gather bits of this and tads of that left from previous meals.  When broth is added, it becomes a brand new soup.  It is virtually unidentifiable as whatever it WAS if some new veggies are introduced to the pot.  If there is any left of THAT, it can be a dinner starter in little soup cups before the main entree makes it to the table.

What do YOU do about lunch?  Let’s DO lunch and tell us all about YOUR menu on the new page!

Oh, and please submit your name and email address in the top right hand corner of this page so you can get our series of cooking tips and infrequent email messages.  We are tickled PINK to have new members!

Send your fan mail to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  grin

Today’s post is sponsored by Living On a Dime. Thanks to them for their support!

 

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  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: Easter Ideas?

April 1st, 2011

 

The Easter Bunny will soon make his appearance...Tawra has some great ideas for getting ready for his arrival!

Tawra Kellam has been kind enough to provide us with a Guest Post today!

Users of SNAP or WIC, take note!  If you have food from Angel Food Ministries or Farmers Market coupons; food commodities or things from a food pantry…even if you just want to stretch every food dollar in your food budget…you can appreciate these clever ideas.  EVEN IF you do not have little people in your home any more, you will enjoy reading what Tawra has sent to us about observing the Easter Holiday:

“A reader asks:

Got any inexpensive ideas for Easter gifts for the kids? Also, do you have any ideas that would focus on the real meaning of Easter and not just bunnies and eggs?

Easter is a great time of the year to celebrate, especially if you have the hope that comes from Jesus Christ and His resurrection. Here are some ideas for Easter gifts. Try some of them and if the creative juices start flowing, make up some of your own!

If you don’t have Easter baskets, you can also use:

  • Plain wicker baskets
  • Baskets spray painted an Easter color
  • A cute straw hat
  • A pail for the sandbox
  • A bowl wrapped in tissue paper
  • Paper sacks that the kids decorate. Cut out pictures from magazines or use stickers. Glue or stick them on and then paint or color around them.
  • Any sort of plastic storage container. These often can be used later for storage.
  • For a “family” Easter basket, set a nice plate on the table with Easter grass and goodies arranged on the plate or platter. This is great when you have older kids.

Fillers for Easter Baskets:

  • Buy candy after Valentine’s Day at half price and keep to fill Easter baskets.
  • Make Easter cookies in the shapes of bunnies, eggs, crosses or any other Easter shape that comes to mind and decorate.
  • Popcorn Balls or Rice Krispie Treats colored in pastel colors.
  • String Froot Loops onto yarn and tie to make a necklace.
  • Don’t fill baskets. Instead put jelly beans and candy in plastic eggs so the kids can fill their own baskets. You can also put nickels, dimes, toy soldiers, bugs, stickers, barrettes or hair ribbons in the eggs. Hide them outside or in the house if you live in a climate where it’s usually cold on Easter.
  • Make coupons for getting out of chores, staying up late one night, having a friend over for a sleep over or a special dinner that they like.
  • Include like new books purchased at garage sales or thrift stores.

 

  • Homemade slime, play dough, sidewalk chalk, bubbles or the ingredients for crystal gardens.
  • Wacky crayons- Crayon pieces melted together in a muffin tin to make a “big” crayon.
  • Flower seeds that the kids can grow
  • Mini-stuffed animals purchased at garage sales or on clearance the year before.
  • Paper dolls or coloring books. There are many available on the Internet that you can print yourself.
  • For teenagers, put these items in baskets: lotions, soaps, suntan lotions, fingernail polish, movie tickets, tickets for getting out of a chore, ticket for $5 worth of car gas, clothes purchased on clearance and of course lots of candy!
  • Leave a trail of jelly beans or candy kisses from their rooms to their Easter baskets.
  • Easter Kisses

Put some Hershey Kisses or chocolate chips in a plastic bag and attach the following poem:

This cute little bunny has hopped all day
Been delivering baskets for the holiday.
His paws are so tired and his little nose itches.
He left you something special-something to fill all your wishes.
These cute little hugs and Easter kisses.

  • Put 1 Pound Jelly Beans into a bag and attach this poem:RED is for the blood He gave.
    GREEN is for the grass He made.
    YELLOW is for the sun so bright.
    ORANGE is for the edge of night.
    BLACK is for the sins we made.
    WHITE is for the grace he gave.
    PURPLE is for His hour of sorrow.
    PINK is for our new tomorrow.
    A bag full of jelly beans colorful and sweet,
    Is a prayer, is a promise, is a special treat.
  • Easter Carrot TreatsBuy disposable plastic decorating bags and fill them with orange jellybeans or cheese balls. Then stick some green Easter grass in the top of the bag (leave some hanging out) and secure the bag with a rubber band and then ribbon so that it resembles a carrot.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt, by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit Living on a Dime!”   ~Tawra Kellam

Many thanks to Tawra!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  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: Breakfast and Recipes Galore!

March 31st, 2011

Dear Visitors:  please be advised that there are new entries for

“What Did YOU Have For Breakfast?” which can be accessed from the title at the  the top of this page-there are a coupla doozees on there!

and

Carol was kind enough to send us her crustless quiche recipe.  Here’s hoping you have the ingredients on hand to make that because it will make you hungry just to read about it!

Carol’s recipe appears on the “Recipe Page” which also can be accessed from the top of this page.
In addition to all those goodies, Tasha Halpert sent a few of her Household Tips along…Check above where it says, “Household Hints” and you will find her great ideas.

We are so happy to be able to provide this service to those who use EBT cards for SNAP or WIC; those who have Angel Food Ministries foodstuff; those who use Farmers Market Coupons or food commodities.  If people have food that came from a food pantry, we are delighted to be of service there, too!

We continue to welcome new Club Members who offer up their name and email address so we can get a series of Cooking Tips to them.  We are just tickled pink to have new faces around the Club House.  We are excited to see what they send along! We have some OUTSTANDING contributors and commenters.  This is just what makes our hearts sing with joy!

Enjoy your time here and hurry back for a real blog post tomorrow…Mother Connie must hurry off to the Lenten Luncheon today!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  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: Speaking of Breakfast…

March 30th, 2011

 

Kids need a good start for the day after a good night's rest. So do adults! Even on a budget, it's quite do-able!

It’s MikeMax’s “fault” that we are discussing breakfast this week.  She got us all thinking about what we can eat for breakfast when we have more month than money.  She even inspired the creation of a new page, as you no doubt have noted.  In case you missed it, we are calling it “What Did YOU Have for Breakfast?”  which is not only clever, but self explanatory.  And Mother Connie is grinning…

The candor there is refreshing and the ideas just make us think of other things we can do to make the first meal of the day interesting, quick and CHEAP.

I read something the other day about breakfast that I’ve been wanting to share and today is the day.

It seems that Americans have broken out of the ‘toast n coffee and hurry out the door’ mold by including different, perhaps healthier choices as day starters.  Oatmeal, it seems is coming into its own again; chocolate is being included more-especially the dark chocolate, thought to be healthier than milk chocolate.

Juice choices are going beyond standard issue OJ to include other bottled juices and even the “designer” juices that are available online.  I dunno about YOU, but we had designer juices every time my mom mixed the last of the grape juice with the last of the apple juice to use up what was in the fridge!  She was also big on adding apple juice to prune juice. Mother Connie is fond of running home canned tomatoes through the food processor and straining that into a pitcher.  The residue that is left in the strainer makes awesome thickener for spaghetti or pizza sauce!

Eggs are expected to make a big comeback on the breakfast scene.  This is good news to your humble blogger, for eggs are a whole food that nourish bodies of all ages and they are easy to digest, in most cases.  Not only that, eggs are generally affordable.  During the Lenten season and through Easter they are likely to be specially priced. While eggs do not keep indefinitely, they do keep quite well and can be used in jillions of ways besides breakfast fare.

People who use WIC or SNAP’s EBT cards or Angel Food Ministries or Farmers Market Coupons can see the wisdom in using eggs for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  People who depend on food commodities or food pantry food lean hard on eggs to make meals stretch and stretch their food budget as far as possible.  If you are just frugal you are wise to use eggs as a wonderful source of protein in lots of different ways.

It is patently obvious that Food Stamps Cooking Club members are clever and creative.  It will be great fun to hear what you have to say about eggs for breakfast!  Send your comments to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  or post them at the bottom of this post, won’t you please?  Thanks oodles.

As we think about breakfast and hot cereal Mother Connie has stern warnings about the use of microwave ovens.  You have to understand that microwave ovens are dangerous, no matter what the manufacturer or the feds tell you.

Making hot cereal in a pot on the stove is a no brainer and takes very little time.  If time in the morning is an issue, think ahead.  Measure the water and salt and cereal before you go to bed and let it all hang out on the stovetop.  As you run the coffee through and pour some juice or cut some fruit the cereal can be bubbling and if you stir it occasionally it will not stick to the bottom of the pot.  Very soon it will be ready and your family will  have a good, hot breakfast.  Change it up by adding raisins or other dried fruits, nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg.  For special mornings, like Mondays, as an example, get the gang going by letting them pour chocolate milk over their cereal. Not that chocolate milk is so wonderful; it’s just a special treat if it only happens on Mondays!

Another note about the nuker:  Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s OK to use for thawing meats or heating water for tea or whatever else.  THEY ARE HAZARDOUS TO HUMAN HEALTH.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  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: Breakfast is Served?

March 29th, 2011

 

Breakfast, with a bit of planning, can be a great day starter, even on a frugal budget!

Food Stamps Cooking Club has a brand new page!  Stop by there and leave YOUR morning menu there for us to see, won’t you, please?

It was Mikemax’s idea to start this  new page. She, like many of us, has come through a long and expensive month.  Having a good breakfast is important and even when you are squeezing your nickels until the buffaloes bellow, you can eat well and wisely.

Users of Angel Food Ministries, those who watch every penny of their food budget to s t r e t c h their food dollars, holders of EBT cards for SNAP or WIC, consumers of food commodities and food pantry food, lovers of comfort food and foodies in general can get good help from the new page.  Everyone will be welcome to GIVE good ideas, as well.  You may leave your comment on the new page, on this post, or you could send an email to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  and make our day!

You have been spreading the word, it seems, about this little blog.  For one thing, we have been nominated for Babble’s Top 100 Food Bloggers for 2011 and currently sit at #41-THANK YOU-and you have sent your pals to submit their names and email addresses in order to receive our series of cooking tips and infrequent email messages.  THANK YOU AGAIN!  And WELCOME to all the new Club Members!  It is great to have you as part of our foodie family!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  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: Real People, Real Food?

March 26th, 2011

 

What’s on YOUR grocery list? Real food?

You may have seen information on the web recently about some marketers who are offering a new product called “Real Guys.  Real Money.”  You may be wondering what on earth that has to do with SNAP or WIC or Angel Food Ministries.  You might question how that relates to food commodities or food pantries.  What could that possibly have to do with YOU saving money on your grocery bill,  assisting you with s t r e t c h i n g your food budget…

I found an ad in our newspaper that just made me want to WEEP.  The ad was full of hype about how all our favorite food combinations are on sale this week end.  They fancy we should stampede through their doors and buy all this JUNK instead of real food.  Real people need real food!

The sad truth of the matter is that people WILL flock to stores everywhere to get what they can afford to buy to fill the tummies of the people they love best.  Here are just a few examples of what I mean:

  1. Young mommies will buy soy formulas for their babies
  2. Tired families will load their shopping carts with chips and crackers.
  3. Working men and women will purchase plastic packages of lunch meats.
  4. People of every size and shape will load up on soda pop.
  5. Shoppers will fill their pantries with canned soups.
  6. Hungry folks will buy peanut butter and cheese “food” that is filled with inedible materials.
  7. People who are determined to cook at home will opt for “helper” products which are loaded with toxicity.
  8. Those who do take time to eat breakfast will choose cold cereals that are devoid of nourishment.
  9. Shopping lists will include non-foods like margarine.

Shoppers will not make these choices because they are bad people.  They make these choices because they have become a habit, or they simply have not learned about the choices that would be better.  They choose the foods in our example because they can afford them.  AFTER ALL, THEY ARE LISTED IN THE SALE BILLS.  They buy these things because they presume that since the items sit on a grocery shelf, they are  automatically edible.

Not so.

Let me say that soy formulas, soy milk, soy products by any name are not good for human consumption because they interfere with hormonal function.

Chips and crackers are not good sources of vitamins or minerals, the fuel that makes the body go, no matter how good their advertising campaigns make them out to be.  Baked not fried?  No matter.  They are packaged, processed.  NO GOOD.

Soda pop and luncheon meats with all their toxic ingredients can ultimately lead to issues with the pancreas, neurological problems and dehydration.  Weight management is nearly impossible if soda pop is ingested.

Canned goods of every description are loaded with MSG or hydrolyzed protein or “emulsifiers” which might very well be powdered U.S. currency! As Jack Paar used to say, “I kid you not.”  Do you want your children eating toxic additives?  I don’t think so.

“Helper” products are a losing proposition.  The junk that is contained in those “cheap” boxes are not good for people.  You can help the flavor of the foods you cook by adding salt and pepper and spices that do not cost a fortune.  Even when helper products are offered at ‘Ten for a Dollar’ you have to know you are buying trouble!

Cold cereals are convenient, to be sure.  But they are processed and so not nutritious.  You can cook up a pot of hot cereal quick as a bunny if only you PLAN AHEAD.  And you will save a king’s ransom!

Are you  using margarine?  It’s plastic.  Cheap peanut butter has lard in it. Your body has no way of digesting margarine and lard clogs up all your plumbing.  Butter is a much better option.  Real peanut butter is far more preferable.  In the long run, these items will be cheaper.

The bottom line is that real people need real food.  Whole food.  Fresh food, if it’s available.  Frozen is acceptable; use canned if you must.

In 1936 our own government declared that the soils used for agriculture was depleted.  How much more depleted must they be by now?  It is really important that we grow as much of our own food as possible and where that is not feasible, we must find real food for our tables.  Even then, supplementation is critically important.

It’s possible your grocery list has now been seriously affected.  I hope you’ll consider these points and adjust your shopping list accordingly, because YOU are an important feature of the Food Stamps Cooking Club.  We want you to be well and happy!

BTW, this post is sponsored by Real Guys Real Money. Maybe you can check them out after you put your groceries away?  Tell them Mother Connie sent you…

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  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 YOUR Breadbox Full?

March 25th, 2011

If your breadbox is full to overflowing, Rainy has some suggestions for you!

One of the best things about this Club are the generous, creative members who pop up with wonderful ideas for food prep!  Rainy has offered bits of wisdom, for which we are grateful:

“Got Bread Coming Out Of Your Ears?

At one time or another, we’ve all had bread piling up on the counter or in the bread box.  “What to do with it?” you may wonder.  Depending on your family composition…whether you have kids in the house, are a single person household…your bread needs may wax and wane day by day.  Still, most households have bread sitting around waiting to be used.

In my house, the heels of bread are rejected…left alone sitting in the bottom of the bread wrapper.  Now at certain times of the year, when it is more common for me to think of making stuffing; I will save them up in freezer bags to save up until I get enough to put together a nice sized dish of stuffing.

Those very same crusts of bread make great croutons for the tops of our salads when they are drizzled with a little bit of olive oil and dusted with some of my favorite spices and seasonings.  I love homemade croutons because I can flavor them the way that I want, without all of those preservatives that purchased croutons have in them.

There have been moments when I confess to having gotten overzealous in purchasing loaves of bread, when they were perhaps on sale, or I over-estimated how much my family would use for lunches and for toast to go along with their quick morning breakfasts.  This seems highly wasteful to have loaves of bread sitting in their wrappers going all stale and risking getting moldy.

Because of this…I have gotten very creative at saving loaves of forgotten bread.  I have to confess, when I first got married my mother in law tried to convince me of the wonders of bread pudding.  Can I just tell you that the way she described it to me turned me off right from the start? She said, “I just take all of the dried up OLD bread and the milk that is starting to turn bad and dump it into the bowl with some cinnamon, sugar and raisins.  It tastes great!”  That might be but, she needed to be a bit more creative in her descriptive skills.  lol

I had never had it.  She made it for me but I still wasn’t impressed.  Over the years I have come to love bread pudding…but I had to experiment with it.  For one thing, I love her dearly…but, her recipe seemed undone to me; it could have cooked a bit longer for my liking.  Another thing, I have discovered that bread pudding can be made with whatever fruits that you love that make your mouth water.   Bread pudding doesn’t HAVE to be made with raisins.  Just this morning I made two batches with varying fruits.  One of the dishes was made with blueberries and apples; the other was made with some left over canned peaches & pears.  Yummy.

Ok, so you may not have whole loaves of bread sitting there staring you in the face.  Maybe you only have a few slices.  Why can’t you just whip up some egg, milk & vanilla or cinnamon and fry up some french toast.  If you have extra…fry it up too and put it into freezer bags for those mornings when you don’t have time to cook.  Just heat it up for a quick breakfast on the run.

Still not feeling the love for that lonely loaf of bread?  How about a cheese strata?  In a large greased cake pan lay down a layer of bread across the width of the pan.  In a separate mixing bowl, whip eggs and milk.  Pour egg mixture over the bread, sprinkle some shredded cheese (either whatever flavor you prefer) and sprinkle some garlic powder, salt, onion powder and some tumeric.  Maybe you like some Italian spices or possibly some parsley…whatever seasonings you love sprinkle them over the egg mixture.  Then, layer another layer of bread over the egg, milk and cheese…pour the leftover egg mixture and pop it into the oven.  Bake until the Stratta is done when a knife is inserted in the bread and comes out clean…and the top of the strata is golden brown.

Always try to find veggies and/or fruits to have as a side dish when you are using bread as a main ingredient for one of your meals.  The bread is great because it can be a wonderful filler for hungry tummies…but, the body needs its fruits and veggies too.

I hope I have given you some useful ideas.  Maybe you have a few ideas of your own to share with the readers…please do.  I love learning new ideas for dishes made with left over bread.  Just because a family is limited on funds, it doesn’t mean that meals have to be stuck in a rut or boring, right?  It is great learning from one another!”

~Rainy

Yes, of course those ideas are GRAND, me love.  Thanks again!  I do hope others will chime in with their great ideas, too.

Mother Connie Sez:

Here’s my two cents’ worth.  I throw the leftovers-although we ‘fight’ over the crusts around here-into the food processor and crumble them til they look the way I want them to look.  They go into a freezer bag and are laid flat.  Whenever I need bread crumbs for a particular dish they are at the ready!

I can remember my mother slicing home made bread and lining it up on cake racks to sit overnight on the counter, draped with a fresh dish towel.  She wanted it to be dried out so she could make French Toast the next morning!  Some chefs advocate letting the bread soak overnight in the refrigerator in an egg/milk mixture.  So go figure!

I have fabulous news to share!  We have received more new club members this month than any month since we “opened for business” and it is thrilling to see the list of names growing!  We are grateful to each one who has come by.  We are excited to get comments and email messages: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  Thanks, boys n girls!

If you hold an EBT card for SNAP or WIC; if you use food commodities or a food pantry; if you utilize Farmers Market Coupons, Angel Food Ministries foods or you simply watch your food budget like a hawk, this site was created for you.  We sincerely hope it is assisting you to S T R E T C H your food dollars!


Today’s post is sponsored by ToothSoap. Please cruise on over to their site and mention Mother Connie, won’t you?  Thanks!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  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: Squash the CleanUp?

March 18th, 2011

Squash as a pasta with no cooking? Sounds like a PLAN!

Do you use an EBT card for WIC?  Do you have foods you bought with SNAP funds?  Do you despise the cleanup aspect of the dinner hour?

How about Angel Food Ministries goods?  Or food from a pantry or food commodities?  Do you have those? Well, there’s still clean up whenever you prepare food…

In cruising around the web Mother Connie discovered a great idea for a no-cooking meal.  This is a great notion for the mom and dad who work all day and come home just too exhausted to cook and clean up the  mess!  The best part for me, though, is that this is an extremely healthy and delicious  meal.

From Living Frugally on LearnVest 3 18 11 by Allison Kade:

Healthy Squash “Pasta”

And Spinach-Parsley Pesto

5 to 6 large zucchinis and yellow squashes
1 ½ oz. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup blanched almonds, chopped (these can be found ready-chopped)
About ½ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
About 4 cups spinach – dried well and chopped
About 1 cup fresh parsley – dried well and chopped

With a vegetable peeler, peel the all of the zucchini and squash into thin strands. This easy step should take about twenty minutes, and you can actually eat the result as is. The zucchini and squash “noodles” have a pleasant, crunchy texture, and are heartier than a simple salad.

Combine cheese, garlic, almonds, and 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a food processor. (If you’re low on time or you don’t want to deal with a food processor, marinara sauce or pre-made pesto works well too.) Pulse briefly, until a paste forms. Add salt and pepper. Pulse a few more times, and then add in the greens. While the processor is on, add the rest of the olive oil. Make sure not to over-process the greens.

Spoon the pesto over the “noodles” and garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Zucchini and yellow squash make great companions!

This will be a wonderful summertime dish, too, because “no oven” preparation will not heat the kitchen.  Squashes are more plentiful and gentle on the food budget in the summertime, as well.  We are grateful to the folks at LearnVest for sharing that great recipe.

We continue to be amazed at the new Club Members joining our ranks; we can’t WAIT to see what they have to offer us in the way of comments!  You are encouraged to comment here or you are welcome to email us here: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

Are you living on a dime?  Do you yearn to add additional income to your household?  If either of these is true for you, it might be wise for you to scope out a couple of our sponsors:  Living On a Dime and Rapid Cash Marketing. We have other sponsors, too.  We hope you pay today’s sponsors a call and let them know Mother Connie pointed you in their direction.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  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