Posts Tagged ‘cooking class’

Food Stamps Cooking: SOUP DAY!

February 4th, 2016
This is perfect for National Soup Day!

This would be great for observing National  Soup Day! Some veg, broth, a bit of meat and it’s done! National Soup Day.

Happy National SOUP DAY!  When The Normanator and I learned that today is a special day, we all but cheered!  We LOVE soup and often joke that we would eat it for breakfast if it were available!

There are jillions of soup recipes.  This post is not about recipes; it is about creating something yummy with whatever you find in your kitchen.  And making a soup supper an experience.

If you aim for convenience (and who does not?) may I suggest that you use cans of veggies?  A can of corn, a can of green beans, a can of tomatoes, and if you are really feeling flush and well supplied, you could throw in some meat. Onions and celery make good additions to soup, too, as does cabbage!  *So do leftover vegetables that may be languishing in your refrigerator.  Cooked rice, barley or any other grain will “beef” up your soup…**Think quinoa, wheat berries, macaroni, lentils or beans.

Sometimes meat is unavailable.  Meat is spendy.  If you have a veggie soup and a cheese sandwich, you are fortunate.  If you are really lucky you might even have the fixings for a salad.  I am thinking Peas and Cheese salad…canned peas, whatever cheese you can grate or chop and some onion or pickle with a dab of mayo will really make your soup meal shine.

Another partner for soup could be a carrot salad and this is a great thing to get kids to eat their vegetables.  Finely grate some carrots, toss in some cranberries or raisins, a dab of mayo and make mounds of salad on shredded cabbage or lettuce leaves, using an ice cream scoop.

When I was a kid my mom would make soup by boiling veggies, draining the water, adding whatever veggies–taters, carrots, onions, celery, for example.  Then she would add milk or broth, depending what she had on hand.  She seasoned the food with salt and pepper and we enjoyed the result of her labor.

When I grew up and found the Food Network I learned that sauteing the onions, carrots, taters or whichever vegetable will be in the soup is a nifty trick for adding flavor.  You can use vegetable oil to keep things moist and then build your soup from there.

SIDEBAR:  The suggestion is made to saute the vegetables. This does not mean that if you do NOT saute them that the Kitchen Police will nab you.  Do what works for YOU in your kitchen!  END SIDEBAR.

Go survey your pantry shelves and your fridge.  Determine what is available.  Do you have foods that are green or yellow or orange or white?  Do you have tomatoes?  How about garlic, if your gang fancies it?  You might have onion powder or cumin or chili powder or some other flavor that could be added.  Taste your concoction, add a pinch of flavor and taste it again. Playing with your food in this way makes for full flavor!

After you have decided what you’ll put into your soup, put some effort into setting an inviting table.  Use mugs for the soup instead of bowls for a change.  If you have place mats, that will make a nice touch.  No mats?  How about paper towels or clean hand towels from your bathroom shelf?  Making a nice table, sharing a meal with your loved ones, engaging in meaningful tabletop conversation can shape your children’s lives in wonderful ways.  Little people love to decorate paper table cloths or paper napkins with crayons and art work…

Many people like crackers in their soup. Some people place a slice of bread in the bottom of their bowl and pour the soup over it. You can also use popped corn to top off any soup.  Kids think this is great fun.

Personally, I love to cook.  Not everybody likes to cook, has the time to cook or the  ingredients on hand to make soup or any other meal.  It’s quite possible you never learned to cook for whatever reasons.  Maybe you need a mentor.  Ask a neighbor or relative or friend to take you under their wing and show you the tips that make their kitchen turn out great food.  People love to help one another. Your local Action Center offers cooking classes, too.  In Southeast Nebraska there is no cost for these lessons.  For those of you who are in the Tecumseh, NE area you can call the office for information about the classes:  402 335 2134 and ask for Terri.

This little corner of the internet aims to help those who depend on Public Assistance for their food dollars and the Club House is always open for people who want to learn to cook.  You are welcome to contact us by emailing foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  Oh, how we love mail!

As you probably know, this blog is dedicated to helping people who use Public Assistance for their food dollars.  You may hold an EBT card for WIC or SNAP…you may be using goods from food commodities or a food pantry.  Maybe you attended a food drop or someone gifted you with some foodstuffs.  In any case, our purpose here is to help you stretch your food budget and let you know that someone cares about your situation, whatever it may be.

Happy National Soup Day, kids!  I hope this post has helped you.  Please consider yourself hugged.

Connie Baum 

PS:  Check out Carol’s blog!  She has a soup recipe you’ll love!  *Her blog is snazzier than this one, too! grin

Food Stamps Cooking: MAIL!

November 4th, 2015
Is that money in the pocket of Mother Connie's apron?

Is that money in the pocket of Mother Connie’s apron? No, it must be snail mail…

As you all must know by now, Mother Connie adores mail!  One of our faithful sent a bit of a rant and I wanted to share it with you because Delaine makes some salient points.  She always expresses her ideas directly from her heart.  Her letter is unedited; here’s hoping it trips your trigger and touches you the way it touched me:

“Nov 1

It seems to me that the time between Samhain (aka Halloween) and New Years is shorter every year. Still, the *feast* days in this time are always a source of goodness to us. We celebrate the good things we have and try to share as much as we can.

I recently had the experience of housing a young man who is homeless. It’s a complicated story, and not even a tenth of the success of my *far-to-young-mother” who is doing very well. One of the things that has become ever more, sadly, apparent to me is the observation that I made years ago. In the USA, hunger is not an absence of food, but an absence of knowledge. I just walked around my block here in Sacramento, CA, and found much that was just growing and hanging over the fence lines. Figs, lemons, oranges, crab apples, pomegranates, not to mention the salad growing through the cracks in the sidewalk: arugula, red lettuce, dandelions, wild onions, wild leeks and a plethora of other growing things, not to mention the gleanings from the local farms that are just not economical to harvest mechanically. I am not advocating urban hunter-gathering, but the amazing abundance here is comforting. I guess it’s one of my “grateful for” things.

Nevertheless, one of the points that I make over and again, especially as I teach cooking, is that the very basic skills are just not being taught. I remember (far too long ago) that there was a set of “survival courses” that we had to have 1 elective credit in order to graduate. This was the most practical and useful course in my entire education next to typing. In the curriculum, we learned basic auto maintenance like checking the fluid levels, belt conditions etc, and basic cooking skills (boil, braise, roast, grill, stir fry and bake) and a variety of things that are amazingly useful like how to re-wire a bad light switch. We also learned how to read technical things and interpret what is meant. Oh – for the good old days when we didn’t spend so much money and time teaching tests.

What I am kvetching about is that this young man had food stamps and means to get to food banks, but had no concept with regard to how to cook anything much less over an open fire, an impromptu grill, and forget about making a dirt oven to bake anything. I put a few pounds on him, got him some practical cooking skills, and cured his scurvy. (That’s right – vitamin c deficiency with lemons and oranges hanging over the fence waiting to be picked and either eaten right away or turned into lemonade!)

So anyway, thanks for letting me vent my ire about the failures of our educational system – as only a retired teacher can do – and the fact that hunger is a function of ignorance!”  ~Delaine

Thank you for all you do, Delaine.  And thank you for putting something into our mailbox!

For those of you who may be new here, we want you to know that this corner of the internet is dedicated to users of public assistance for their food dollars.

If your food budget is supported by an EBT card from WIC or SNAP or you are using goods from a food drop, food pantry or have food commodities on your shelves, you are welcome here.  So are those who are frugal by nature!  Everyone is welcome.  We hope to be of help to you whether you are a seasoned cook or just a newbie in the kitchen.  We want you all to be healthy and it’s important to eat well and wisely, most especially if you are on a tight food budget.

We love mail, as you are well aware.  If you send us a message our hearts will go pitter patter:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

If you are in the Tecumseh, NE area, you might be interested to know that there will be a Cooking Class on Friday, November 13 at SENCA.  There is no charge for this class about SALADS but to save your place at the table, please let Terri know by calling 402 335 2134.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be 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. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

Food Stamps Cooking: BEAN SOUP!

November 2nd, 2015

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Ham broth and bits of ham from the freezer made for a yummy soup!

The Normanator and I are making every effort to prepare our meals by using food we’ve stashed in the freezer in order to make room for the piggy we’ve ordered from Norm’s cousin.  This piggy has been feasting on vegetables and watermelons and such like all summer; it should provide us with wonderful protein.

We invited a dear friend to join us so I wanted to present LOTS of nutrition for her lunch time pleasure!

To make this soup I placed the chunk of frozen ham broth into a 3 quart saucepan and heated it through thoroughly.  While it was parked on the back burner, the front burner held a skillet filled with onions, carrots, celery happy to be sauteed.  It begged for salt, pepper and a quick shake of onion powder.  By the way, it SMELLED divine.  I opened a can of white beans and placed the whole works, juice and all, into the ham broth.

SIDEBAR:  Canned beans in this house is convenience food.  While it may be ideal to use dry beans that have been soaked, on this occasion I chose to raid the pantry.  Canned beans are often found in bundles of food from food pantries or food drops, so users of SNAP or WIC which are paid for by EBT cards can also catch a break with canned beans.  END SIDEBAR.

The flavors married nicely as the sauteed veg were poured into the “hot tub” of broth with ham bits.  While they mingled I made a dessert that won the hearts of the people at our table.

I was so excited to make this dessert that I forgot to take a picture!  my bad…

Three apples were peeled and placed into a bowl of salted water so the flesh did not turn brown.  One by one, they were cored and sliced and placed into a heavy skillet along with a pat of butter and a splash of coconut oil.  I stirred them often, coating each slice with the oil/butter combo.  When they began to soften I sprinkled everything with cinnamon and a bit of sugar.  *My mom used to use brown sugar.  Either would do nicely.  Before they finished cooking I added a few drops of water and a handful of raisins.

No one spoke during the meal.  All we heard from the three of us were slurps of soup and murmurs of “Mmmm!”

The cost of this soup was nearly nil.  Two carrots, one small onion, 2 ribs of celery and broth with ham bits from the freezer kept the ledger in the black.  The apples were bought in bulk so we think they were about 15 cents apiece.

Now I’m dreaming of pork chops with apple slices…grin/giggle

Our mail was wonderful this morning…one of our precious members is doing a great service in her part of the world and she shared her story.  I will share that message with you SOON.

Are you relieved that we are not hounding you to BUY something? Nothing to buy here…we only share ideas that might help you to s t r e t c h your food dollars.

Please remember that you are loved and appreciated.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be 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. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Because of scheduling issues, the Cooking Class planned for November 6 in Tecumseh, NE has been set instead for Friday, November 13th.  This class is still offered at no charge but it is important for you to save your place at the table by calling  402 335 2134. Ask for Terri.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: $aving $

September 23rd, 2015
If you barely have 2 pennies to rub together, eating out is not much of an option. That's Mother Connie's 2 cents' worth...

If you barely have 2 pennies to rub together, cooking at home is a fabulous option. That’s    Mother Connie’s 2 cents’ worth…

Since this little portion of the internet is devoted to helping those who use an EBT card for SNAP or WIC it seems prudent to come up with low cost ideas to get everyone fed who comes to your table. *If you have more money than the other richest person in your town this might be of interest, too.

Personally I love to cook.  Not everyone shares my passion so maybe I’ll have a notion or two that might be helpful.  As you know, there is nothing to buy here; just ideas to help s t r e t c h your food dollars.

Today I’m thinking about fall menus.  There is a spaghetti squash on our table, awaiting some TLC.  I have big plans for that one:  I’ll make up some spaghetti sauce and bake the squash.  I’ll scoop out the strings that resemble regular pasta and hope I can find some crusts of bread in the freezer to toast for garlic bread. YUM.  Quick!  Cheap!  Easy!  How can it get any better than that?

BTW, jar sauce works the same way.  Especially if you are not into making sauce and/or you have a jar or can of sauce from the food bank, food pantry or food commodities.

You can dress anything up to please your family’s palettes.  Add some oregano to your canned or jarred sauce.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the whole works, or stir some in to thicken that sauce.  Or forget Parmesan altogether.  It’s your call.  *Do you feel as if you have more control now?  grin

If you are short on pasta and long on Zucchini (It happens often this time of year!) here is a nifty trick:  peel a zucchini squash and then peel off strips of the squash…the strips will resemble pasta.  Continue to “peel” until you have a good sized pile of “pasta”…no need to cook this but you can drop it into a pot of boiling water just to heat it through.  Drain it well and pour the sauce over the veg just as if it were real noodles.  It is a delightful change of pace and if you have someone in your gang who is sensitive to gluten they will be forever grateful you cared to make this dish!

I am very fond of cauliflower.  I plan to tear the head that sits in the crisper into florets.  I’ll scatter them over a baking pan and drizzle the whole business with oil. *I prefer olive or coconut oil but you have your own fave, so feel free to use what you like.

These darlings will go into a very hot oven (400*, depending on the oven and how it heats-or doesn’t) and they will get all tender and sweet and charred.  Roasted vegetables have way more flavor than veggies boiled or steamed or sauteed.  I’ll put a sprinky-dink of salt and pepper over the finished product and it will be fit for royalty!

I do the same thing with broccoli.  Sometimes I roast the pair of veggies together in the same pan.  I have even been known to shake some Parmesan cheese over the whole deal before it makes it to the table. DIVINE, I tell ya!

At the risk of changing the subject too quickly I want to mention the Cooking Class we’ll be having at SENCA in Tecumseh, NE on Friday, September 25.  *SENCA is South East Nebraska Community Action.  It is all about helping people, changing lives.  There is a Cooking Class there four times a year and it will be WAY fun!  Someone will talk about the Weight Watchers program and I get to help with dessert!  *I’ll share that dessert with all of you very soon.  Not everybody will be able to attend the class in person, after all.

If YOU are interested in coming to this class you need to know that there is NO COST for the class but you must save your place at the table by phoning 402 335 2134 and asking for Terri.

The Club is constantly welcoming new ‘members’…we are happy to have all of you here and hope the little series of cooking tips will be helpful to you. We care deeply about people, even more than food!  Grin

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be 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. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

 

 

 

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club: DIY

September 7th, 2015
Stirred custard with plums

This dish of goodness began with a DIY mix I made for very little $ and a few ingredients in my very own kitchenIC!

Our South East Nebraska Community Action Center offers Cooking Classes every so once in awhile…At the most recent class we made frozen meals.  We brought the meat and were given all the other ingredients to make the recipes and pop them into our own freezers.  IT WAS FABULOUS.

I want to share one of the recipes with all of you Members!  It is a simple concoction that can be used for casseroles, gravy, stews, whatever your imagination can conjure!  Here you go:

HOME MADE DRY GRAVY MIX

2 cups dry milk powder

3/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 chicken bouillon

2 Tablespoons minced onion flakes

1 teaspoon thyme leaves  (I used powdered thyme cuz that’s what was on my shelf!)

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

METHOD:

Combine and mix well.  Store dry up to 6 months.  Use 1/3 cup dry mix with 1  1/4 cups water.  Needs 2 or 3 minutes to cook.

*I tossed this into the crock pot with pork chops and it made a lovely gravy.  I cooked potatoes and dumped them into the ‘hot tub’…it smelled divine and it tasted really, really good!  With a crisp cucumber salad and a dish of fruit we ate like royalty and were well nourished!

If you are a user of SNAP or WIC; if you have an EBT card for either program, you might need a bit of help to make those food dollars stretch.  Maybe you have availed yourself of a food pantry or got in on a food drop…any way to make the food dollars go farther is a good thing.  Here at the Food Stamps Cooking Club our mission is to help you eat well for less money.  We are not selling anything; we don’t nag you about anything.  We do have a little series of cooking tips; it’s not fancy and there are no apps.  Just some ideas now and again for those who use public assistance for their food dollars.  Cuz we love people!

If you need to comment or have a question you are welcome to send a message to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be 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. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Cheap ‘n Cheerful

June 25th, 2015
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Cooking in a cheerful environment makes creating cheap meals more enjoyable!

Here’s hoping you have not felt terribly neglected over the past months…we have been  a little busy helping The Normanator recover from open heart surgery and conduct his cardiac rehab program. You can tell that our dining room is a tad disheveled but the kitchen is cheery and I love being there to prepare our meals.

Today I want to share with you how our food pantry was a huge, ginormous help to us.  Occasionally they get truckloads of goodies that must be  used ASAP.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I went there for a meeting and upon my leave, I had bag after bag after bag of fresh ORGANIC spinach and other greens!  I was thrilled  to have this fresh produce but I knew we could not use it all.  I wondered who I could bless…

After most of the spinach had found new homes and delighted their receivers I set about to think of how I could best use the greens before they withered.

Here’s what happened:  I made a white sauce in my 4 quart saucepan, using some coconut oil, flour, milk and just a touch of salt and pepper.  I stirred it till it thickened and then I added all the freshly rinsed and drained spinach.  It completely filled the pot to overflowing.  I gently stirred the mixture as it heated.  The warmer the pot and its contents, the more quickly the greens withered into a bright mass, soaking up the lovely white sauce.

It just so happened that my “cook once/eat twice” adage was working for me…I rummaged in the freezer to find a freezer container that was full and marked “cooked and seasoned ground beef”!  I thawed that in a bit of beef broth til it was heated through thoroughly, stirring occasionally.

Just as I removed the lovely creamed spinach from the heat I sprinkled a little nutmeg over top.  Mmmmm it smelled DIVINE.  It was just as tasty.

I easily made a cheap and  cheerful meal for almost no $.  I am a happy girl!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you use SNAP or WIC goods by  having an EBT card?  Maybe you receive food commodities or get help from a food pantry.  The dish I described above can be made with canned spinach and if you have no beef, chicken, rice or orzo or potatoes could be substituted.  We just wanna help those of you who depend on public assistance for your food dollars.

Our SENCA, South East Community Action, Center will be hosting a cooking class in Tecumseh, Nebraska on July 24.  For more information you can email me: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  There is no charge for the class but you will need to know what to bring.  *It’s gonna be FUN!

Here’s hoping your summer is making your heart sing!  It really feels good to be blogging for you again.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be 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: Lunch is Ready!

April 20th, 2015

The weather in our part of the world invites this cook to make soup for lunch!  *The weather most any day does this; we are soup LOVERS.

We are also frugal.  Lunch ‘out’ is way spendy, unless lunch ‘out’ means we are eating on the deck…and today it’s way too windy for THAT !  grin

A good friend will be here to share our lunch. I’m going to make a low cost soup so good she will beg for seconds.

Here’s what I’ll do:

Saute` 1/2 an onion in a bit of oil *I prefer coconut; you use what YOU like best.

I’ll add a couple of carrots, scrubbed and sliced and toss  in a 2 or 3 ribs of chopped celery.  I’ll cook this over a medium heat til they are tender and fragrant.  Just for fun I’ll season the mixture with salt, pepper and a touch of garlic powder.

I’ll set that skillet aside and put 1 cup of rinsed lentils into a saucepan.  I’ll cover those with 2+ cups of broth and bring those to a boil.  As soon as they have come to a boil I will add the veggies I sauteed earlier.  The whole soup will be finished in about 20 minutes!

SIDEBAR: If you do not have broth, or don’t care to use it don’t fret.  Broth only makes the soup richer.  Nobody will croak if you use water.  But you might like to season the water with rosemary or sage or garlic.  Make it taste  the way YOU like it to taste!  Golly, you can season BROTH that way, too! Also, if you have a bigger family you’ll want to use more lentils and more cooking liquid.  END SIDEBAR.

Lentils are a complete protein so there is no reason to add rice or barley or any other grain. But this meal will be more complete if it is accompanied by a veggie salad.

I browsed through the fridge and came up with mushrooms, Romaine lettuce, red onion, celery, cherry tomatoes, red, green, and yellow peppers.  Methinks this collection of goodness will make a bright, crisp companion for the Lentil Soup.

The Normanator likes crackers in his soup.  I think I’ll change things up a bit and pop some corn to use as “croutons”…it’s good fiber, no gluten and makes the house smell yummy.

Lunch is ready.  Won’t you join us?  (I WISH.)

This soup is so easy that children could help.

If you have an EBT card for SNAP or WIC we hope this blog is helpful for you.  If you use food commodities or food from a food drop or food pantry we want to help you s t r e t c h your food budget!

We welcome your comments and we are thrilled to have new members!  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com will get us your comments!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be 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/Next month SENCA will host a cooking class dealing with seasonings.  We would LOVE to have your ideas about how YOU use spices and herbs…you have our address…just sayin’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Beef ‘n Barley Soup

March 5th, 2015

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What could be more satisfying on a brisk March day than a serving of

Beef and Barley soup?

One cup of barley went into a cold skillet as this soup was “born”…I toasted it gently over a medium-low heat, stirring to make sure it did not brown too quickly.  This process took about 5 minutes and the elegant aroma of toasting barley made for time well spent!

Next came a box of chicken broth.

SIDEBAR:  Beef broth would have been preferable but you know that we use what we have because the Kitchen Kops do not CARE!  END SIDEBAR.

There was a container of beef I had browned for another meal in the freezer.  It was a perfect item to use for this soup!  The block of beef, still frozen, went into the broth, as did the toasted barley.

While the heat thawed the meat and warmed the broth I chopped up an onion and 3 or 4 ribs of celery, using a rough chop.  Those went into a bit of oil in my trusty cast iron skillet for a quick saute`…at this point the kitchen began to smell divine.

As lunchtime neared and the stirring and aroma were making the household eager for the meal to be served, I decided to add a bit of color.  *The color was completely optional.  If you do not have ‘gravy booster’ liquid in your pantry, do not worry your head about it.

Two small spoonfuls of the liquid made for a beefy looking broth.  Then I made an executive decision:  the broth was too thin.  With a bit of cold water and about 3 teaspoons of corn starch mixed together, I added the thickener to the soup and the new consistency pleased me no end!

I let it simmer on a very low heat while I put a meat patty into a hot skillet.  I love the sizzle that happens when cold beef hits a hot surface!

SIDEBAR: The meat in the patty was left from the day I made stuffed red peppers.  As I mentioned in a recent Cooking Class, a meat loaf mixture can be made and used for not only meat loaf, but for meat balls, meat patties and stuffed peppers.  Saves time, gives the cook options and tastes divine!  END SIDEBAR.

When the meat was sufficiently browned on one side, I flipped it to cook the other side.  While it took care of business on its own, I spread mayo on brown bread and added some crisp lettuce leaves to make sandwiches as companions to the soup.

A Quality Assurance taste test reminded me that thyme would add a bit of zip so I sprinkled ever so little into the soup and gave it one last stir.

As you can see by the photo above, the soup looked quite good enough to eat!  Sorry; I forgot to photograph the sandwiches, which were wondermous, btw.  Our house guest did not know they were sammies; she called them by their English name:  “butties”.  She pronounces that “buh ti’  as with a short ‘i’.  We giggled our way through lunch, as you might imagine.

If you have barley in your pantry, you could make it into a hearty soup all on its own, without meat.  I thin you will find it to be filling, nutritious and inexpensive.  Paired with sandwiches or salad or fruit you have a simple meal that is easy to prepare, quick to fix, and very budget friendly.

We would be remiss if we did not welcome the New Members to the Club!  It is so gratifying to know that this little corner of the web is able to touch peoples’ lives in ways they find meaningful and helpful.  Thank you so much for putting your toes under our table in a virtual manner!

If you are a user of an EBT card from SNAP or WIC, if you receive food commodities or have things from a food pantry, we have dedicated our work to YOU.  Maybe you just like to nurse your nickels for sport…perhaps you are not using public assistance but are simply skint and are on the lookout for ways to be frugal in the kitchen.  We hope we are meeting and exceeding your expectations.

We love mail-hint/hint-you are welcome to send mail to: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

To all our members, we remind you that you are dearly loved and cared about.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be 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: Garlic Lovers’ Dream

March 2nd, 2015

2015-01-08 1st Phone 001Midnight Pasta is the easiest, tastiest pasta dish you’ll ever make!

Is pasta one of YOUR comfort foods, too?

I’ve always fancied spaghetti, macaroni and any other pasta product ever invented.  Recently I’ve turned to the gluten free varieties and I do believe G-Free is my favorite now.  It never gets mushy as it cooks!  I bring well salted water to a boil, add the pasta, lowering the heat a bit.

SIDEBAR:My favorites are spaghetti or linguine but any pasta will do. END SIDEBAR.

I put a wooden spoon across the cooking pot instead of replacing the lid and let it simmer until the pasta is cooked–20 minutes.

For Midnight Pasta I do as I’ve described and while it bubbles I take a whole head of garlic (If you have a larger crowd around your dinner table, you’d want to add more garlic accordingly).  I peel it and put it into a skillet with a bit of olive or coconut oil.  You’ll need to put it on a low heat and stir it occasionally.  As the garlic cooks and sweetens it softens.  When every bud has become soft, add a ladle or two of the pasta liquid and stir thoroughly.

JUST before you are ready to marry the garlic with the pasta, add 1 to 2 cups of Parmesan cheese to the garlic.  *You may need to ladle more of the liquid from the pasta to melt the cheese.

Drain the pasta, dump the cooked product into a good sized bowl with the garlic mixture and toss it to thoroughly coat the goods.  By this time, the aroma of the garlic has your taste buds crying, “HURRY!  GET THIS TO THE TABLE!  WE ARE HUNGRY!”  grin

A crisp green salad and maybe a slice or two of garlic bread per diner makes a complete feast with lots and lots of flavor for very little money !

As you know, this little corner of the internet is devoted to users of Public Assistance for their food dollars.  We hope we are helping those who have EBT cards from SNAP and WIC  and those who get goods from Food Pantries, Food Commodities and generous gardeners or neighbors who wish to be helpful.  We are not fancy/schmancy; there are no apps and  certainly there is nothing to buy. We mean to HELP your budget, not desecrate it!

**Just because we have ads doesn’t mean you are obligated to spend money!

Because of computer issues we have been conspicuously absent.  While being offline we have found some ideas we cannot wait to share with you!  We’ll want to tell you about the Cooking Class, too!  It was such fun and it’s a pity you could not ALL attend!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be 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: Using Our Imagination…

February 4th, 2015

Mother Connie has been plagued with technological issues.  Hence, no photos…(SAD FACE)  But at least everyone at our house is warm and well! (HAPPY FACE)

Plan A was to post pictures of the luscious food that was photographed specifically for the blog.  HOWEVER, Plan B had to be executed because those perfectly gorgeous photos canNOT be accessed. (SAD, TEARY FACE)

SIDEBAR: In my next life I’ll be an IT whiz.  END SIDEBAR

During these cold weather months we have concentrated on oven meals, one pot dishes and hearty soups.  *They all made lovely portraits which I suppose we’ll never lay our eyes on.  They all tasted  wonderful and the left overs were morphed into different and tasty offerings.  That is part of the joy of cooking at home.  Not only do you save money and know precisely how the food is prepared, you get to revel in re-imagined leftovers!

The Normanator begs for chili soup oftener than I care to ‘build’ it. Yesterday, on a shopping trip, we found a package of reasonably priced ground chuck so I snatched it up.  For dinner I browned and seasoned the meat with salt, pepper, a rather stingy amount of chili powder and I added onions.  This made for great filling for tacos.  YUM  We  oohed and aahed between taco bites at dinner!

This morning, as snow fell and obscured our view of the street, I used the meat left from tacos to make a chili soup.  I added chili flakes, fresh green pepper, and home canned tomatoes.  As I looked for beans I was stunned to discover I only had garbanzo beans!  Not suitable, imho, for chili soup!  I spied the jar of lentils.  I pulled out of the freezer a bag of barley and tossed a handful into a skillet to toast and I put the toasted barley and some lentils into the soup mix.  I added some onions.  I spooned in a scant teaspoon of sugar to diminish the tomato’s sting.  It began to bubble and smell like chili.  I tasted it and swooned.  I can hardly wait for lunch time!

No doubt many of you have made similar substitutions.  That’s what you do when you have what you have.  Especially if your pockets are empty and/or it you are in the midst of a blizzard!

Those of you who depend on public assistance for your food dollars know precisely what I mean here.  If you use WIC or SNAP or food commodities or get your eats from a food pantry you have no doubt made plenty of substitutes.  You are to be applauded for your creativity.

After being offline for what feels like forever it was a joy to see that we have so many NEW Members to this club!  Thank you all for joining and we welcome the newcomers with open arms. We hope you’ll have good, solid help from this little part of the internet.  You are welcome to contribute, too.  Send any messages to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  WE LOVE MAIL because we love our Members!

There will be a Cooking Class at SENCA in Tecumseh, Nebraska on February 24, 2015.  There is no cost for the class but we need to know how many will be able to attend.  Please call 402 335 2134 to reserve your spot.  The class will focus on One Pot Meals and we will be talking about seasonings.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be 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.