Posts Tagged ‘cooking tip’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Freezing Zucchini!

July 17th, 2014

The Normanator took command of our trusty  old  Saladmaster machine and after we had peeled a monster zuke, he chopped a batch …

Freezing Zucchini 001

And froze half a dozen bags:

Freezing Zucchini 002

This is not a glamor job nor is it brain surgery but it is wonderful to have this in our freezer!

SIDEBAR:  You don’t need a fancy, high priced machine to chop these babies!  If you have a food processor, that will work.  If you have a box grater, that’s good for this project.  Help your children learn safe methods for peeling the veg, if you feel that’s appropriate, and the older youngsters can CAREFULLY use the box grater with adult supervision.  END SIDEBAR.

Zucchini can be used in so many ways and they all save money!

*Who does not love great ways of  S T R E T C H I N G their food dollars?

We love to add it to stir fry dishes, fresh veggie salads, and for stretching leftover stews or soups.  My favorite use of zucchini, though, is to peel and chop it to cook with potatoes.  When you mash potatoes that have been in the ‘hot tub’ with zucchini, NO ONE will ever know those guys were there!  Add a bit of butter and milk to the mashed beauties and it will look and taste 100% like “smashed” taters!  Another idea:  Add some grated zukes to your spaghetti sauce!

Another great use of zukes is to wash and cut the smaller to medium sized ones in half, LENGTHWISE.  Scoop out the seeds,  leaving a hollow and place them on a greased baking sheet.  You can fill that little opening with pieces  of onion, celery, carrot and drizzle a bit of cooking oil over each little “boat”.  Season them with salt and pepper and garlic, if you have some.  Slide them into a 375* oven until the veg is tender.  When they come out of the oven you can sprinkle a bit of cheese over the tops and let that melt.  That’s really a meal in itself.  Add a few biscuits; serve fruit for dessert and you have a delicious, tummy pleasing menu for those you love best!

For those of you who may be new here, this little corner of the internet is dedicated to those who depend on public assistance for their food dollars.  If you hold an EBT card for SNAP or WIC; if you get goods from a food pantry or use food commodities, we want you to know that we support you in the best way we know how.  We help you cook with the goods you might have on hand.

And to those of you who might be contributors to your local food pantry, might we suggest you pick up a spice or two for your next donation?  You might even consider getting a salt/pepper set to take to your local caring cupboard.  Word is that these items are often overlooked by donors and funds are so tight that there is no room in the food budget for such “luxuries”….it’s something to consider.

Are you living on a dime? If so, you no doubt have picked up a tip or two you might like to share with the other Members.  There is a modest series of cooking tips that you will  receive if you join our numbers.  We think those of you in the trenches might teach Mother Connie a thing or two, along with some of the other Members!  wink/wink  *Don’t be shy; send YOUR tips and tricks to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

So enjoy the bounty of all those zucchinis and do remember you are loved and appreciated.

 

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.

Dill Gravy at Food Stamps Cooking Club

February 1st, 2013

It’s been 7 years since my friend, Mildred, and I made the road trip to visit Mildred’s sister, Alice, who lives in Chicago. The whole experience was memorable for a variety of reasons but Alice’s Dill Gravy, part of her Czech heritage, is one of the most outstanding.

Ever since our return home I have made every effort to recreate that lovely culinary delight. I had little success until yesterday…

We had a roasted turkey roll that I had seasoned with salt, pepper and rosemary. The whole business went into packages for the freezer.

*Think: Cook ONCE; eat TWICE or more!

I put a chunk of that roll into the oven with a pile of onions and broccoli yesterday. Boiled red potatoes were prepared atop the stove. I was determined to make Alice’s Dill Gravy and by jove, I think I GOT it. As a matter of fact, The Normanator even gave an unsolicited thumbs up for that yumminess. Here’s how it happened:

ALICE’S DILL GRAVY

1 pat of butter, melted

2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups + water

1 teaspoon bouillon *Or use chicken broth to replace water AND bouillon

salt and pepper to taste

Dill weed *I used dry but when fresh dill is in season, that’s fabulous

4 tablespoons vinegar *I used white distilled

I melted the butter in my trusty cast iron skillet and slowly added the cornstarch/water/bouillon mixture. As it thickened I needed to add more water to make it the thickness we like for gravy. I added the salt and pepper and tasted it. It tasted like plain ole gravy so I proceeded to sprinkle the dill in until I liked the look of it. I added the vinegar S L O W L Y, tasting before adding more each time. I was surprised it needed that much vinegar but in the end it tasted EXACTLY like Alice’s and I was doing the Happy Dance right here in the Club House!

Dill Gravy is wonderful with turkey or pork. Our turkey was a bit on the dry order, even though I had added moisture as it reheated so drizzling that Dill Gravy over the meat was just lovely.

This adds so much character to a meal and it is CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP to make! It’s so easy even a child could do it!

Cheap and easy are beneficial for those who are living on a dime, those who depend on public assistance for their food and those who use EBT cards from SNAP or WIC. It is great for people who are frugal with their food budgets or use food commodities or food from a food pantry or food bank. Everyone is tired, working-if they have jobs at all-and caring for family members. We understand that life is hard. We hope we help to make it easier.

The new Members continue to delight our hearts by joining! We are so happy to welcome the newbies. We love reading your messages and we enjoy all that you send to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com THANK YOU SO MUCH! We also appreciate your comments below. Thanks so much for coming to the Club House!

~Connie Baum
The FTC wants you to know there are links on this blog. 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: Patty Came to Dinner?

August 21st, 2010

Guess who came to dinner? PATTY!

Mom always maintained that if you did not get to the grocery store you’d just have to make do in order to put a meal on the table.

Chef Shawn Bucher recommends that most meals consist of protein, sides and dessert.  He also puts a high priority on sauces.

Today I satisfied BOTH of those folks’ requirements and felt proud as punch in the process.

Mother Connie is not a fancy-schmancy cook; has no formal training and certainly is no high priced expert when it comes to the culinary world!

I made a meatless ‘meat’ patty!  Here’s how I did it:

MOTHER CONNIE’S PATTY

2 potatoes, scrubbed and quartered.  I had 1 white and 1 red tater.

1 small zucchini, peeled and cut to match the size of the cut potatoes.

I covered the potatoes and the zucchini with water, sprinkled them with salt.  I brought them to a boil and let them simmer til the vegetables were fork tender.

While those cooked, I chopped a small onion and set it aside.

I combined 3 small eggs, 2 slices of bread made into fine crumbs, the chopped onions and 1 teaspoon of curry powder.  I salted and peppered the mix, as well.

When the potatoes and zucchinis were cooked I drained and mashed them, skins and all, and added that combination to the eggs, crumbs, onions and seasonings.

I was eager to see if my combination would be fit to eat, so I took a page from Rachel Ray’s book and made a teeny sample sized patty to fry.  When it had browned on both sides I borrowed a hint from Anne Burrell, who is big on QC  or Quality Control-as in TASTE.

Well, let me tell you:  I thought it was MOREish, which means there may not be enough! grin

While the patties browned in hot olive oil I made a beshemel sauce.  That’s only a fancy word for white sauce.  I used 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, a slurry of 1 teaspoon of corn starch in water and stirred it all together.  Before it thickened I added about a cup or so of milk.  When it came together I salted and peppered it and added about a half a bag of frozen peas.  I flirted with the idea of adding spinach but the peas were more appealing to me.

You can see for yourself that it made for a pretty dish, spread all over a luncheon plate.  I had some beets-they had sat in a rice vinegar brine for most of the afternoon so I sliced them and used them as a garnish.

Next time I make these goodies, I’ll hope to have celery and corn on hand.  Oh, and beans.  Mashed beans could replace the potatoes and help to bind the vegetables together.  Carrots, cabbage-any combo of foods would work well with this method.  And the curry is just ONE of many ways to season things.  That’s where the creative cook can shine.

Fooey!  Even young children or picky husbands who don’t like anything but chicken nuggets will enjoy these yummies!

Oh.  About dessert.  I hate to admit it.  We had green gelatin.  Well, like Mom said, you have to use what you have in the house…I have no idea why we have gelatin in our house because it has no redeeming nutritive value.  It does LOOK cheery, though.

If you are users of Angel Food Ministries, visit a food pantry or use food commodities; if you have an EBT card for SNAP or WIC, we hope “Patty” will be YOUR new best friend forever!  This is also true if you have food from a Farmers Market or you are just thrifty and pinching your pennies to make your food budget last through the month.

Leave your comment on our doorstep or shoot us an email at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  We ADORE hearing from you!

PS/We hope you have scoped out The Dinner Diva’s ideas, too! They are spectacular!

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: Curly Dock is Frugal Food?

April 26th, 2010

This bright delight soaked in the kitchen sink til Mother Connie cut the spines away and cut it into ribbons...

Oh, what fun it is to go to  “market” in your own back yard!

Since we use no pesticides  and we’re sure our neighbors don’t as well, we have the luxury of “shopping” for fresh produce right outside our door!

This bright bounty of tender, sweet and nutrition-packed Curly Dock hung out in our sink, soaking up the pure water and letting the dregs left by lawn mowing fall away.   Each leaf was folded to cut away the tough spine and the rest of the leaves were clipped into ribbons of fresh, green deliciousness.  The spines will be chopped and sauteed for another meal.

The ribbons were divided into salad bowls, sprinkled with a dash of Parmesan cheese and dressed with a bit of mayo, pickle juice and spot of sugar.

The remainder of this green goodness will be sauteed with a bit of onion and combined with a wonderful white sauce.  This will make a “comfort food” side dish for our ground beef patties that will grace our dinner table.

We're excited to finish off this lovely, leafy crop with our dinner!

If you are users of SNAP or WIC; if you are devotees of Angel Food Ministries or Farmers Market Coupons; if you just like to save money-and, have you noticed how close we are to the end of the month?-THIS IS GREAT NEWS FOR YOU!  If you have food commodities or food pantry food in your cupboard and you make the opportunity to dress up your supper table with FRESH goodies from nature’s bounty, you may feel like a lottery winner!

Food is comfort.  Food is life.  Food should be FUN!  And yes, even if the Food Police are standing in your kitchen, you may play with your food!

Please share YOUR food ideas: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com     Thanks, kids!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should those links be clicked and sales result, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Do business only with those you trust implicitly.

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club: What About Dinner?

March 31st, 2010

 

It's that time of year...spring...but you still have to EAT DINNER!

 

Your humble blogger is so easily amused.  Today I stumbled onto a great way to stretch a vegetable in order to save LOADS of money and amp up the nutrition factor!

Here’s the 411:  I had a small package of zucchini that had not been peeled, so the bright green color was very prominent.  That’s hard to disguise in mashed potatoes or sweet tater casserole so I had to come up with another solution for using that zucchini.  Voila!  I was happy to find a package of frozen spinach!  I emptied both containers into my favorite skillet and cranked up the heat.  I added salt and pepper and a touch of chicken broth.  I made a well in the center for the liquid and added a slurry of cornstarch, more broth, and milk.  The proportions were about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of broth, and a cup of milk.  It cooked and bubbled and smelled divine.  When the veggies were cooked I added just a touch of nutmeg to finish the dish.  We pretended it was gravy and poured it over boiled potatoes.  It made great partners for the pork medallions I had seared and braised.  There was still room on our plates for a carrot/pineapple/raisin salad.  Oh, so good…

You are very probably planning a major meal for this coming weekend, or maybe you are planning a dish to take to a major dinner event.  That’s fine, but you still have to eat dinner on Wednesday and Thursday…we hope you find today’s menu idea useful for your own family.

A few days ago we shared a bean dish.  Oh, MY, but that was a tasty treat!  We are also planning to put this on our back burner soon:

THREE BEAN CHILI

3  15 oz cans beans such as red, black, Northern

1  16 oz jar salsa (if you have your own home made, SUPER)

1  28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1  teaspoon ground cumin

1  teaspoon chili powder

In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients plus 2 – 3 cups of water (OR BROTH).  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for  10 – 30 minutes or longer.  Top with shredded cheese.

This is a great idea for those end of the month meals that find you scrounging for meat in a mostly empty freezer compartment.  Also, you could amp up the protein by adding in 1/4 cup or so of brown rice and an extra cup of water.

Here’s hoping you have been able to play in the dirt by getting your garden spot ready or planting a posy in a pot to be set outside.  The weather seems to affect our mood, doesn’t it?

We hope the Food Stamps Cooking Club affects your mood, too!  It is our hope that you are encouraged and inspired by our little messages.

We cater to users of WIC, SNAP, Angel Food Ministries, and people who eat food pantry food and food commodities.  We even call out to those who have Farmers Markets Coupons but we also want to appeal to those who pinch  every penny of the food dollar.  We hope to gain favor with those who love to cook and those who hate to cook. We want your life to be fun and flavorful and filled with joy!

Hearing from you will make our day: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

We also shamelessly beg for your comments on this page!  grin

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.  Always do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Do business only with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Garlic Tips?

February 18th, 2010

If EVERYONE at the table eats garlic, kissing the cook will be a good thing!

I found a little item in a health food brochure that came my way and it got me thinking about garlic. This herb is so much more than a wonderful addition to bread or meat and vegetable offerings.  It truly is a health food.  Plus, it is inexpensive to buy or to grow.  It’s a terrific bargain and it is scrup-deedly-umptious!

There has been a wealth of research done about garlic over many years’ time.  It has been shown to significantly help fight free radicals, it can reduce cholesterol as well as improve heart problems and it helps with blood issues.  Not to mention its antibacterial properties, which help keep our immune systems strong and illness at bay.

Whether you choose to eat it with your foods and/or use it in a supplemental form, garlic will please your palate and keep you feeling fit as a fiddle!

A dear client once told me that her favorite way to use garlic was with roast chicken.  She used 30 buds of garlic in the cavity and around the bird as she slow roasted the chicken!  30 sounds like a lot to me but I tried it and it was delish.

When you roast garlic it gets sweeter, so that garlicky flavor married into the flavor of the poultry and was very, very good.  Of course, salt and pepper went with that.  Simple.  Simple.  Simple.  And not a costly meal at all.  Naturally, you could add any collection of veggies to that and do your entire meal in the oven.

Yum.  Makes me want to check the freezer to see if there is an old dead bird there, or parts of one just to roast with garlic!

Using garlic-infused oils are a nice way to make a garlic bread.  If you don’t have such a thing in your pantry, it’s easy to make.  Just pour some good salad oil-my fave is Olive Oil-into a pitcher, drop in some garlic buds and leave it, covered.  In a day or two, you will have garlic flavored oil that can be brushed onto slices of bread that can then be toasted in the oven.  Oh, how good that would be with a pasta dish!

If you saute` garlic, make sure the heat is moderate because garlic that has been cooked too hot and too quickly tends to burn and that is not the flavor you want to add to your dishes!

Do any of our Club Members grow garlic in their gardens?  We’d love to hear from you.  Just send an email to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

As Club Members, you all have earned gold stars for sharing.  We note that more and more people are coming here and asking for the series of Cooking Tips we send, as well as the occasional email messages.  Our intention is not to bombard you but to help you.

We hope our cooking tips for today have hit your hot button and inspired you to create some great comfort food.  We make every effort to assist those who use Angel Food Ministries, food commodities, food pantry foods, and SNAP or WIC.  We also hope we are catering to those who simply stick to frugality and watch their food budgets closely.

Hearing from our Club Members is such a joy!  Please add your comments to this page, won’t you?  Or shoot us an email at the above address.  Thanks, kids.

If you like what you see here you may also appreciate The Healthy and Wealthy You or Mother Connie Sez. We are always jonesin’ for comments there, too.  See how we are?  grin

For those of you who may be interested in creating some much needed online income from a work at home business, you might be interested to see what’s available here or here.

Connie Baum

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



Food Stamps Cooking: Easy Eats?

January 6th, 2010

 

 

Potatoes: easy on the budget, easy to prepare, and easy on your palate!

Potatoes-easy on the budget. easy to prepare and oh, so yummy!

The mail is always so much fun!  Look at this great tip about potatoes we got from Jessica Mc!  Thank you Jessica, for taking time to share!

“Here’s a tip for baked potatoes.  Restaurants put salt on them for a reason!

We ” x” ours and rub them with oil.  Then roll them in kosher salt.   It makes the skin crisp but the inside stays nice and soft, and gives it a little flavor.”

This will make for great twice baked beauties and those skins will make for great snacking!  I’ve always done the oil thing but never thought to use the salt!  I can’t WAIT to try that, Jessica!

Renita came through with an interesting CHILI RECIPE and I want to share that with you:

“Yesterday I made yum-yums and heated up some pork ‘n beans for dinner.   Last night I pulled it out for supper because I didn’t have time to do anything else and when I put it on the table to prepare to warm everything Jerry was sitting there.  He said, “Couldn’t you put those together for chili soup?”  After a moment I said, “Ya, I guess I could with adding some tomato soup and water.  So I did that and added soe chili spice and put it on the stove.  We had Chili soup!  It was good and easy.”

Wow, Renita!  Yankee ingenuity!  By the way, for those who do not know, Renita is the main character with the not-for-profit organization “That’s It!  I’m Going To Grandma’s!”

Now here is my idea: Bake up some spuds and smother them with chili. You have a couple of new ideas and you can get the kids involved for some good, wholesome food and family fun!

We are always eager to have your ideas and suggestions and tips, people, so send them along to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  and we’ll make sure the other Club members get the information.

Some of you have asked about additional streams of income and for all of you who may be interested, you are invited to visit Rapid Cash Review or The Healthy and Wealthy You to enter your name and email address there.  The latest message to go out from those sites had to do with Video Skinning.

For all of you who use Angel Food Ministries, I would like to remind you that the orders are due by January 11.  If you are using  SNAP or WIC funds, Angel Food Ministries food will absolutely stretch your food dollars and make your food budget look fat!  For those of you who are using food pantries and food commodities, we are eager to hear from you to learn more and better ways of using those products.

The beauty of this site, as I see it, is that we can all share and make it better for everyone else.  Now tell us all, ‘What’s cooking in YOUR kitchen?’

Connie Baum


Leftovers? Cook Once; Eat Twice!

October 5th, 2009

Are you a ginormous fan of leftovers?  Most likely your answer is no, but if you are watching your food budget closely, you have probably learned how to morph things left from one meal into tasty offerings for another!

Your offerings may not look as fresh and dewy as these oranges but I have some ideas that will help you save time and money.  Who would not vote for THAT?

See whether these ideas hit your hot button:

  1. Surely you have a container of cooked noodles in the fridge.  Why not combine them with some green veggies to make a totally new dish?  I’d like to suggest using kale or broccoli or spinach.  Picky eaters will see those noodles and not be put off by the vegetables.
  2. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over those warm, buttery noodles and you have yourself a winner!
  3. Let’s say you have green beans left from another meal but not enough for your whole gang.  How about adding a can of corn to make a succotash?  Fresh or frozen will do, as well.  To really jazz it up, you could add bits of red pepper for color.
  4. One of the ways we use those dibs and dabs at our house is to put some water into a large skillet and use custard cups to hold the bits of food. I cover the skillet with a lid.   Everything heats evenly as the water simmers and there is a choice for the people at the table.  As things warm, I can throw together a salad.  It’s a quick, simple meal that is also cost effective.
  5. Another way to heat those odds and ends is to fill muffin pans and slide them into the oven to heat.  I cover the pan with another baking pan so things do not dry out.  I could use foil but I’m concerned about cost.
  6. Using leftovers with tomato juice, tomato paste, or tomato sauce can create a wonderful new menu item.  Adding cooked rice or pasta will stretch the food-and your food dollars-even farther.  Amp up the flavors with powdered onion, powdered garlic or your family’s favorite spices to reinvent foods.

Maybe you use food commodities or have things from a food pantry.  You might have food from Angel Food Ministries or WIC or SNAP.  Maybe you just like the idea of keeping your food budget under control.  If any of these is your main push, you might like to consider these ideas with regard to shopping:

  • Think ahead.  Money often runs out before the month so if you have things on your shelf that will help ease that situation, you will feel more secure.  Items such as canned evaporated milk and powdered milk can be a real help in this case.
  • Use cooked cereals instead of cold cereal.  The nutrition in cooked cereal far exceeds the nourishment of cold, boxed cereal.  Use apples, raisins, peaches and cinnamon to change the flavor from day to day when serving oatmeal, for example.  When using farina, a dash of nutmeg will make it prettier and tastier.  Besides, farina will make ground meat last much, much longer.
  • Wise shoppers pick up things like poultry seasoning, cumin and other seasonings when they feel flush so they can stretch the food-and the food dollars-when their supply runs low.
  • If you have eggs and milk and some type of cereal; if you have beans of any kind on hand, you can feed your family well.  Keep those in good supply for healthy, cost effective meals.

We love hearing YOUR ideas and YOUR comments.  Please leave your message for us on this very page or send them to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com and we will be delighted!

You have been visiting Food Stamps Cooking Club and The Healthy and Wealthy You and we appreciate that, too!  Our list of names to send occasional messages is growing and we hope we are helpful in that regard.  Thanks so much for referring your family members and associates to those sites.

Our partners have enjoyed your stopping by, as well.

Now “ORANGE” you glad you clicked into this page, too? grin

Connie Baum

Food Stamps Cooking: “Kiss the Cook?”

September 28th, 2009

When I was a little girl my mother used to tell Dad and me when we cleaned our plates that “The cook should get a kiss.”  Being a demonstrative sort, I like that tradition.  Here is something that just may get the cook a kiss if you follow our tradition.  We have the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service to thank for this yummy dish:

POTATO CHEESE BAKE

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

3/4 cups mashed potatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper

1 cup shredded cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mix all ingredients; pour into baking pan
  3. Bake 50 minutes or until knife blade inserted into center comes out clean.
  4. Serve at once.  Yield: 6 servings

This is a great example of the benefits of ‘cooking once and eating twice’ for if you have leftover mashed potatoes you’ll save time and effort when you make this for your family.  OF COURSE, you could mash the taters to make up this recipe but if you use leftovers you’ll save time and forgo waste!

Cooking Tip

Occasionally it’s all right to splurge and pick up a rotisserie chicken at the deli.  But if you do that, be sure to save the carcass to make broth.  Place that carcass, skin and all, into a pot and add water.  You can also jazz it up with some poultry seasoning, a dash of garlic powder and onion.  Allow this to simmer so any meat scraps leave the bones and the broth becomes richer.  Strain it into a bowl so you don’t have to fiddle with the pieces and use that delicious broth in your cooking.  You can save that rich, savory, golden liquid in a covered jar or refrigerator container and use it for soups, gravies, noodle dishes and all manner of great money-saving dishes!

You might be the cook who gets a kiss for all your trouble! grin

Whether you are simply making every effort to shave the cost of your food and pamper your food budget or if you are a user of SNAP, WIC, Angel Food Ministries or Farmers Markets Coupons, we hope these posts, along with our occasional tips and ideas are helpful for those of you who pop in here.  Even those who benefit from food commodities and food pantries should benefit from our ideas; you may even have ideas to share with us.

We LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing from you!  Thanks to all you who have taken the time to leave your comments!  We very deeply appreciate them AND YOU.

We invite you to visit these sites also:

Connie Baum

Are Dandelions Really Daisy Lions?

April 23rd, 2009

One of the sure signs of spring are the little yellow flowers that have popped up wherever there is dirt and grass!  Dandelions abound! 

Kids can have fun with them.  My children used to call them “daisylions” and that name has STUCK.  Even THEIR GRANDCHILDREN refer to dandelions as “daisylions.”  When I was a little girl I cut “daisylions” and pretended to cook them in my playhouse.  I pretended they were delicious and served them to my dolls, who also pretended they were gourmet items.

Thank goodness I grew up, even though I’ll deny that fact.  I learned from my good friend, Kay Young, author of “Wild Seasons” that “daisylions” are indeed delicious and they ARE gourmet items.

In her book, Kay talks about how someone taught her as a small child that she could eat the little yellow flowers and the leaves and she felt grateful and comforted, even as a youngster, that she knew she would always have food to eat.

Here’s a “Cooking Tip” taken from what transpired when I harvested some “daisylions” from our yard:

I was comfortable about bringing the greens and the blossoms into the kitchen because I am certain there have been no sprays used in or near our yard.  I dug some plants out of the earth with a small knife.  It was fun to pluck off the cheery yellow blooms and twist them away from the stems.  The leaves were dark and tender with bits of red color near the root end. 

The crop was brought into the kitchen, rinsed with good water.  I used reverse osmosis water and let the blossoms and leaves rest in the water for about an hour.  When I looked at them again, some debris had fallen to the bottom of the bowl so I emptied the bowl and strained the goods.  I then separated the flowers from the leaves and placed them into covered refrigerator containers to keep them fresh in the fridge.  I let the leaves dry on a paper towel until I put them into a covered container and slid them on the shelf beside the flowers.

I planned to create a gourmet meal last night, but then life happened, as life is wont to do!

Today I put the yellow goodies into scrambled eggs, along with a bit of bacon and some chopped chives we’d gathered from the yard.  Oh, but that was delish!  The yellow of the blooms enhanced the yellow of the fresh eggs and it was a feast of abundance for sure!

As for the leaves, those were added to leftover green veggie salad.  They were very tender and sweet and with a dressing of rice vinegar and a teeny drizzle of bacon drippings we had the perfect lunch.  Dessert?  Applesauce-made from apples we picked from the tree in our yard-with a sprinkle of cinammon and barley powder.

Now, the eggs had been given to us. The lettuce was left over from another meal.  The chives and “daisylions” cost nothing. The apples cost nothing, as well.  The only expense incurred was the cinammon, barley powder, 3 strips of bacon, a drizzle of vinegar and the heat to cook it!  BUT THE BEST THINGS are that everything TASTED DIVINE and FILLED OUR TUMMIES.  We left the lunch table feeling full and well nourished. 

If you participate in the SNAP program-using food stamps, food commodities or food pantries, this menu notion may be of value to you.  If you are a foodie and have not learned how tasty “daisylions” can be this may pique your interest as well.  Everyone likes to save money and most folks like to learn new ways of doing things.

Kay Young has more uses for “daisylions” in her book.  I’ll review some of them for you soon.

Meantime, I hope you are gleaning some good and useful information from our partners.  Their banners and ads adorn this page.  They may not work with “daisylions” but they can help you with your bottom line!

BE SURE TO SEND YOUR IDEAS AND RECIPES TO foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com and feel free to post your comment on this very blog.  All comments must be moderated but that’s no problem.  WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS.  If you have signed up for information from http://www.foodstampscookingclub.com  you should have received a message in your Inbox today.  Here’s hoping you’ll benefit from that!

Connie Baum