Posts Tagged ‘Cooking Tips’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Member’s Cooking Lesson

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

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

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

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

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

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Egg Yolk Video Tutorial

January 13th, 2014

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

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

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

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

Please  bear in mind that you are dearly loved.

Connie Baum

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

 

Processing Tomatoes at Food Stamps Cooking Club

September 9th, 2013
These beauties awaited us when we returned from breakfast one recent summer morning.  The Tomato Fairy had landed right on our picnic table!

These beauties awaited us when we returned from breakfast one recent summer morning. The Tomato Fairy had landed right on our picnic table!

When you are given such a wonderful gift, there’s nothing to do but shift into high gear!  We did that!  We turned these flats full of yummy goodness into these delights:

We got 8 quarts from these; we already had 6; over the weekend we canned 8 more quarts.  The Normanator and I make quite the duo!

We got 8 quarts from these; we already had 6; over the weekend we canned 8 more quarts. The Normanator and Mother Connie make quite the working duo!

Canning tomatoes is not particularly hard work.  It’s sorta messy but that’s what soap and water is for.  We just grabbed cleaning rags and scouring powder and the stove looked good as ever when we finished!

We cut out the stem portion and made a slice in the bottom of each tomato.  They were dipped into boiling water until the skin split.  As they were held under cold water that skin peeled off easily!  The skinned tomatoes went into a large heavy kettle to simmer until there was foam at the top.  That was skimmed off and discarded.  We used a potato masher to crush every tomato.  We were using juicy tomatoes and Romas, which are more firm and not as juicy, so we crushed the whole lot of them.

There was a system that worked well for us:  While we worked to cut and skin these babies, the oven was working full time.  We had a jelly roll pan with water, each pan holding 6 jars filled with an inch or so of water.  These, along with the canning lids, hung out in the oven as we worked.

When it came time to fill the jars, The Normanator skillfully put dipper after dipper into the each jar.  As soon as it was full, I was in charge of adding the salt, topping it off with the lid and securing the ring.  Each jar took its place on a towel on the kitchen table as we listened for the “CLICK!” of the lid, making the sound that it had sealed.

There was only one jar that did not seal.  It was morphed into a lovely spaghetti sauce when I poured it into a heavy skillet, added lots of oregano, basil, pepper, and a “blub” of red wine.

SIDEBAR:  No vino?  You can use 1/2 cup of any ole vinegar + 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Taste test as you go.  *The sugar diminishes the too-tomatoey  flavor of the sauce.  **That’s the purpose of the wine.  END SIDEBAR

Our benefactor told us they have put up over 100 quarts of tomatoes and salsa for the winter!  We are going to have some major good eats at our house this winter, thanks to the Tomato Fairy!  I have a feeling there will be a chili feed or two on the social calendar!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you LOVE to cook?  Do you HATE to cook?  Are you holding an EBT card from SNAP or WIC?  Maybe you have goods from food commodities, a food bank or food drop.  It could be that you just groove on the challenge of stretching your food budgets until you hear George Washington creak…If you are using any form of public assistance, we hope to be of service to you.  You seem to be passing the word, because the membership has SOARED lately.  Maybe that little list of cooking tips is helpful for you.

You most likely have ideas that will help others.  We would love to hear whatever you have to say.  Our most popular  place for ideas is  either on the comment panel or you could send an email to us at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

Above all, please remember that YOU do matter and we love you with no reservation or judgement.  We only want to help.

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.

Summer’s End Quiche at Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 29th, 2013
End of Summer goodness can make for an easy, tasty dish on the cheap!

End of Summer goodness can make for an easy, tasty dish on the cheap!

As sweltering summer days come to an end, we seek fresh ways to use garden goods. It has to be something your gang will enjoy…We hope for quick and easy, we yearn for lots of nourishment and it’s GOTTA BE CHEAP!

A precious friend from Mother Connie’s high school days shared a recipe for something yummy that fills the bill:

Quiche!

Mother Connie is not high on “convenience foods” such as boxed cheese side dishes, potato products or gray mixes. But I do lean hard on frozen veggies. IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT. My top 2 faves: Spinach and Broccoli. This recipe features the latter and will melt in your mouth.

Broccoli Quiche

Start with: 2  cups broccoli, chopped.  Boil gently for about 10 minutes

3/4  cup zucchini, peeled and thinly sliced

3/4  cup yellow summer squash, peeled and thinly sliced

Boil 2 cups Broccoli for ten minutes.

While that’s cooking slice 3/4 cup Zucchini and 3/4 cup Yellow Summer Squash thinly. ***You will not lose points if you only use one variety of squash.  Use whatever you have.

Then grease a deep dish pie pan or casserole and layer squash slices on the bottom.

Drain the broccoli thoroughly and add that to the squash slices.

Top these layers with a sprinkle of red onion-about 1/3 cup.

***Or whatever color onion you have.  You may have to resort to onion powder.  It’s all good; the Kitchen Patrol is probably off duty today anyway.

Top the whole works with 2 cups of cheese.  Colby or Jack are preferred; use whatever you have on hand and know the kids will eat.

If you are green chili aficionados and have a 4 oz can, you can drain those and add that to cover the cheese layer.

Break 6 eggs.

In a blender, combine with 2 cups whole milk, salt and pepper to taste and blend well.

***No blender?  No worries.  Just use an egg beater, whisk, food processor.  Don’t worry; it will all be fine and in 100 years from now you will not care that there was no blender in your kitchen.  

When the eggs are fluffy and light, pour them over the veggies and cheese.

If you wanna be fancy/schmancy you can sprinkle paprika over the top.

Bake at 350 for 45 min. Test with toothpick like a custard.  The quiche will be done when the toothpick comes out clean.

It may need 5 more minutes or so.

Thank you, Sheila!  This is a good dish for busy days.  While the quiche does its thing in the oven, you can throw together a fruit salad and it can double as dessert!  Summer squashes provide wonderful, filling nourishment, as do the eggs.  Best of all, it tastes delicious and will not break the bank!

If your eyes have fallen on this page, you probably know that Food Stamps Cooking Club is dedicated to helping people manage their food budgets, particularly if they happen to be living on a dime, using public assistance or benefiting from generous gardeners!  If you receive food from a food pantry, food drop, food bank or have food commodities we are here to help.  Do you hold an EBT card for SNAP or WIC?  We are here to help you the best way we know how.  We will be offering a fall offline cooking class featuring basic cooking skills because it’s important for you to know how to feed your loved ones as economically  as possible.  We truly mean to offer value to all our Members.

If you choose to join our ranks we have a little series of cooking tips for you as a thank you.  We are not selling stuff.  What a concept, huh?

If you really wanna make Mother Connie’s heart go pitty-pat, you could leave your comment in the comment panel.  YOU ARE LOVED AND APPRECIATED.  YOU MATTER TO US.

Connie Baum

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

Food Storage at Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 8th, 2013
Proper food storage can really  s t r e t c h  your food dollars!

Proper food storage can really s t r e t c h your food dollars!

The Normanator helped Mother Connie fix up a little demonstration about food storage.  Pardon the  extra items on the dining room table; we’ve had a busy morning!  I’m sure you have, too.  grin

The Romaine lettuce you see in the above photo is 11 days from purchase!  It;’s hard to believe that lettuce could keep so well for so long.  The bunch was fresh on the day it was purchased.  It was rinsed and drained and then carefully wrapped in paper toweling.  Then the whole business went into the plastic bag you see there on the table.  It was important to squeeze the air out of the bag so the lettuce could stay cool and not turn brown.  I only take out the leaves I’ll be using and the rest is re-wrapped and put back as I’ve described.

You see a roll of aluminum foil in the photo.  If you bring a bunch of celery home, you can cut off  both ends, rinse thoroughly and use those parts to make veggie broth.

SIDEBAR: To do that, you simply put those end pieces into a saucepan, add water, salt, pepper and any onion pieces you have.  Put a medium heat under that and let it simmer until the celery is soft.  Strain that and save in a jar or refrigerator container.  It’s wise to MARK the date and contents because if it gets shoved to the back of the fridge before you use it, you might wind up with cooked garbage and that won’t save you a dimeEND SIDEBAR

To save the fresh celery ribs, simply shake off the excess moisture and wrap carefully in a kitchen towel or paper toweling.  Wrap aluminum foil around the entire thing, sealing it as you go to keep the oxygen from entering the foil package.  Celery stored in this manner will keep a couple of weeks or longer.  It will not get rubbery, either.

If you have some sort of system for using up leftovers, food storage is not a complicated issue.  For instance, when I make a salad, I will often build more salad than we have appetite to eat.  The leftovers then go into a refrigerator storage container such as the one with the yellow lid shown above, lined with paper towel. The salad goes into the container and is topped off with paper towel.  The dry towels soak up any moisture from the veg and they will not turn brown before the next meal, when they can be slicked up as fresh as ever!

If you cook beans or rice or eggs ahead for use in making lightening fast meals, keep those in a designated area in the fridge so you won’t be growing science experiments!  Make sure you rotate things so they don’t get yucky.  It is perfectly acceptable to discard foods that take up room on a shelf but you know perfectly well your gang will not touch them with a 10 foot pole, let alone EAT them!  The Kitchen Kops will never know and Mother Connie will never tell.

Many years ago, Mother Connie discovered FlyLady…this is a woman who struggled with home care and developed a system of managing house and home and figured out ways to get things done without upsetting your entire life.  One of the things she taught me was to “boogie the fridge” on Wednesdays.  Now, Wednesday is NOT the only day this can be done; you must make this idea work for YOU.  So the notion is that on Wednesday, you look over the fridge, toss what is no good and use whatever you have.  You can take this time to wipe up any spills, freshen the crispers, or take a dish cloth to the door but you are only allowed to spend no longer than 15 minutes for the whole project.  If this idea appeals to you, you might like to try it out.  If you are really excited about learning more of her system you can visit her site:  FlyLady.net.  She has a wealth of information there.

We hope WE, too,  have a wealth of information HERE.  We are tickled pink to see all the new Members who have joined this party!  It is so gratifying to think that we might be helping people and encouraging them in their quest to manage their food dollars with funds from public assistance!

Here’s hoping you can feel our love and concern for you from wherever in the world you are!

*Are you living on a dime?  Do you get food from a food pantry, food bank or food commodities?  Are you holding an EBT  card from SNAP or WIC?  Do you just love the challenge of managing your food dollars?  Are you thrifty by nature?  Do you love to cook?  Do you hate to cook?  In any of the above mentioned cases, we are here to help.  There is nothing to buy but we always hope you come by and leave us some love on the comment panel!

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.

 

 

 

MORE Zukes? Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 2nd, 2013

They just keep coming! We heard about a cool, refreshing salad idea that may be perfect for this bounteous crop of zucchini squashes!

Prolific gardeners just keep harvesting the abundant crops of zucchini squashes and this time of year we may have wearied of the breads and stir fry uses of them.  Still, they must be used and Mother Connie is always on the hunt for new ideas for them to take their place at the dinner table!

Zucchinis are such a help to those who use public assistance to fund their food budgets.  If you are a holder of an EBT card for WIC or SNAP or if you get things from a food drop, food pantry, use  food commodities or are simply living on a dime, the chances are good that you have easy access to zucchini at this time of year.

The idea I want to share with you today is best used with small squashes… yellow summer squash or zucchinis will be ideal BUT if all you have are the larger ones it would be good to scoop out the centers and dispose of the seeds.

You may scrub the skin well or peel the little darlings.  The best thing is to USE that skin, for that’s where the enzymes live that help your body to digest and utilize the nutrition it’s getting.  But if the skin is off-putting, just peel away.

Slice the squash VERY VERY THINLY and place into a bowl.  Sprinkle some salt over the veg and then drizzle vegetable oil over it – just enough oil to moisten it nicely.  Let the bowl sit on your kitchen counter for about 20 minutes, giving the salt time to draw out the moisture in the zukes.  You can add pepper, too, just to add a bit of zest.   It’s ready to eat at that point but if you plan to eat it later, it can hang out in your refrigerator.

Now, let’s visit about OIL.  I prefer olive oil for this but you may only have some other type.  Please rest assured that the Kitchen Kops do  not give a hoot about how you choose your oils.  I would caution against the use of corn or canola oil because of genetic modification concerns The GMO foods are extremely unhealthy choices.

SIDEBAR:  You know as well as Mother Connie that when you are making every effort to survive on public assistance, you take what you are offered and you are grateful to have food at all!  We GET that.  END SIDEBAR.

Zuke salad 002

Ta Da! Our salad course for lunch is ready!

Part of the fun of beginning each work day in the Club House is looking to see the new Members who have joined and will get our little series of cooking tips.  We are so happy to have you here; we exist to help you manage your food dollars and we have every intention to be helpful.  That’s only cuz we love you.

If you chose to cruise over to our pals at Living On a Dime, I hope you remembered to leave them some love and mention Mother Connie’s name.  They were excited that we mentioned them in yesterday’s post because they have something special for those who are able to be involved in all the fun they have going on there.

No doubt you have seen the phenomenal and helpful tips from our blogger pal, Carol.  Please be sure to thank her, too, for all her wisdom.  She is a gift to all our Members.

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.

 

Beans n Rice; Rice n Beans: Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 31st, 2013

Beans n rice are standard fare for folks on slim food budgets. Here is an interesting take on beans and rice. It’s a summery version…

People who depend on public assistance for their food dollars are all too familiar with the ‘beans n rice/rice n beans’ menu.  As Congressman DeFazio recently learned -the hard way- beans and rice ARE affordable when all you have is an EBT card for SNAP or WIC or you are living on a dime and the end of the month means you are painfully low on grocery money!

Today we have an idea that freshens that concept.  Even though the end of July is upon us, the possibility exists that you have red beans in the house.

SIDEBAR: *Guess what?  It doesn’t MATTER what color they are!  We used garbanzo beans in our taco salad the other day and nobody died.  END SIDEBAR.

So here’s the thing:  I found a yummy sounding summery salad recipe that looks to me as if it’s a gourmet, high end, chi-chi/poo poo dish.  I studied the list of ingredients and thought how I would fit it into the budget and kitchen of the Club House.  I came up with this and I hope you’ll try it.  My mouth is watering and I just finished a hearty breakfast!

Green Beans*Red Rice*Almond Salad

May be served warm or chilled

1  cup cooked rice

1  1/4  cups water

2 pounds fresh green beans, aka ‘haricot verts’ – washed and trimmed  *OK to use 2 cans if that’s what you have from food commodities; the Kitchen Kops will never know.

3  tablespoons vegetable oil

3  tablespoons lemon juice  *No fresh?  Use bottled.  You have Mother Connie’s blessing.

1  tablespoon cider vinegar  *Or whatever is on your shelf.

1  teaspoon sea salt  *Whatever you use at the stove will be fine.

2/3  cup finely chopped almonds, toasted.  *Walnuts, pecans, peanuts- the Food Police truly won’t mind if you use any of these if you are out of almonds!

METHOD:

Combine the rice and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil,  then lower the heat until the liquid is barely bubbly.  Cover and allow it to cook  on low for 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat to allow the rice to rest for 5 minutes.  *SHEESH!  Even rice needs a nap in the summertime!!  Fluff the rice, using a fork. You can serve this dish warm or cold so if you plan to serve it warm, cover the rice so as to keep in warm while it waits in the wings.  If you plan to have a cold salad you can allow the rice to  cool to room temp and pop it into the refrigerator til serving time.

Steam the beans, covered tightly, over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until tender and bright green – before they overcook and become brown.

Whisk the oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt in a large salad bowl.  Add the cooked beans and carefully stir in the dressing to coat. Taste to see what seasonings need to be adjusted and then add the toasted nuts.

This will feed 6 hungry mouths and make for happy tummies!

***If you have not toasted nuts, this will be a wonderful discovery for you.  Simply use a small, dry skillet.  Put the nuts in over medium-low heat, shaking the skillet to keep the nuts moving.  When they are slightly browned and fragrant you will know they are ready to use.  It’s important to avoid scorching.  Cool the nuts before you put them into your dish.  Toasting the nuts really brings out the flavor and improves the texture of your dish.

You are welcome.  I hope this will find its way to your family’s table.

It occurred to me that this salad would pair well with tuna sandwiches and maybe a piece of fresh summer fruit for dessert.  The peaches are in now and utterly glorious.

We are very excited to welcome new Members to the Food Stamps Cooking Club again today!  It is gratifying to think we may be helping you with the never ending quest for keeping body and soul together, despite the use of public assistance to make it happen!  We truly care about your issues around getting and preparing good nutrition for you and yours.  But that’s only because we love you!

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.

Lettuce Discuss Salad at Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 26th, 2013

Fresh, crisp lettuce is the star of many summery salads that make for low cost, easily assembled meals!

In the heat of the summer, most of us prefer not to heat up the kitchen with meal prep.  That is good news for those of us who are salad lovers; we can eat all the lettuce we can hold and fill our tummies with great nutrition.

There are a number of varieties of lettuce: iceberg, which is a member of the opium family and offers little nutrition; butter, one of the most tender types but is kinda spendy; leaf lettuce, which is shown above and quite versatile; Romaine, which is my personal fave because it holds up well if we don’t use the whole thing at the first cutting.  Romaine keeps well if properly stored in the refrigerator.

On Mother Connie’s most recent trip to the grocery, there was a lovely display of leaf lettuce.  It was dark, crisp and ready to cut into a salad bowl!

The Normanator fancies I am Queen of Salads so here’s what I put together to please his palate:

1/2  red onion, chopped fine

1  ripe tomato, chopped

1/4  red pepper, sliced and chopped

1  small zucchini, peeled and chopped

1  medium cucumber, peeled and sliced

1/2  cup cooked red beans

1/2  cup cooked brown rice

a few crushed walnuts

I layered all these ingredients into a good sized bowl and sprinkled the walnuts over the top.  There was leftover chicken breast in the refrigerator, so those pieces were cut into bite size and scattered over the top.  This creation provided us with oodles of vitamins, minerals, fiber and flavor!   We dressed it with the French dressing recipe which came from our favorite cook at the South East Nebraska Community Action Center, SENCA.  Loretta is a fabulous, thrifty cook!

By keeping cooked rice and cooked beans on hand, time for meal prep is slashed.  Life is too short to spend it slaving over food!

*Lettuce keeps quite well when you shake off any moisture, wrap the lettuce in a heavy towel and seal tightly in a plastic bag.  It’s probably best to TEAR, not cut the leaves of leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, and butter lettuce, so as not to create brown spots.

There is no doubt in my mind that YOU have wonderful, quick, tasty low cost summer meal ideas.  We love it when you share!

We also love welcoming new Members to our midst!  We hope our little series of cooking tips is helpful to you.

For those of you who are living on a dime, using EBT cards for SNAP or WIC; for you who depend on public assistance such as a food pantry or food commodities to fund your food budget and for those of you who love the challenge of managing your food dollars, this blog is dedicated to YOU.  We appreciate your predicament and wish to lighten your burden.  Besides, we love you.

The weekend is nearly here; we hope you get to have some fun with those you love best.

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.

 

 

 

 

Summer Cukes at Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 23rd, 2013

Cucumbers 003

Our lunch is going to be tasty!

*Things always taste better from a polka dot bowl!

Mother Connie was hanging out with friends over coffee the other day and as often happens, the conversation turned to food!  They each had their own take on what makes cucumbers taste best.

Each told their version of cukes ‘n vinegar with or without onion and/or tomatoes; cucumbers in sour cream…some of the ideas were new to Mother Connie and hit her like a brick!

We were privileged to have benefited from the generosity of those who garden and there were a handful of cucumbers waiting patiently for attention in our refrigerator.  This morning they came to rest in the polka dot bowl you see in the photo above.

Here’s how they were prepared:

1 large cucumber was washed, peeled and sliced thinly.

Onion powder  *I was generous; taste as you go…

SIDEBAR: We’re outta onions!  How can you keep house without onions?  You use onion powder.  Note to self:  Put onions and onion powder on the shopping list!  END SIDEBAR

Rice vinegar was dribbled in a few times around the bowl.  *Any vinegar will do.

Salt was sprinkled over the mixture to bring out the moisture.

Spooned a sugar spoon full of sugar over the whole thing.

Three blobs of sour cream was added and stirred in. *Use whatever amount works for you.  I emptied the carton!

Taste testing was DELIGHTFUL.  These bad boys will soak up the flavors all morning before lunch…yummeee!

The best thing about this concoction is that you can add or substitute zucchinis and create the same effect.  TALK ABOUT THRIFTY!

Along with our cucumbers we will enjoy big bowls of red bean soup.  That will be beans, home made broth, and rice.  If we have room for dessert,  fruit will be available.

Do you visit a food pantry to fund your grocery budget?  Are you a holder of an EBT card for SNAP or WIC?  Do you find yourself living on a dime?  Do you use food commodities?  If you fall into any of these categories or you just love squeezing a nickel til the buffalo bellows, this little blog is meant for YOU.  We are not fancy; we do not beg you to buy anything.  We will send you a series of cooking tips if you sign on as a Member.  Hopefully, you will leave some love on the comment panel or send us ideas at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com   In any case, you are dearly loved.

Connie Baum

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

Stack ‘Em Up: Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 19th, 2013

Weekends are the perfect time to stir up a batch of pancakes for those you love best! They smell divine, kids love them, and best of all: it’s a really inexpensive meal!

Pancakes on a lazy weekend morning are wonderful!  You may have used a mix in the past.  There is nothing wrong with mixes except that they often contain ingredients and additives you’d be better off without.  I found a wonderful recipe I wanted to share with you Club Members:

Make-at-home Pancakes

*Makes about 8 servings and can easily be doubled

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder *For even fluffier pancakes, you can add 1 teaspoon of baking soda as well–jus’ sayin’…

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups milk

large egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. In a big bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

SIDEBAR:  Mother Connie uses the 1/4 cup measuring cup from her set of cups to make pancakes.  This assures uniform size and keeps kids from fighting over whose pancake is bigger! END SIDEBAR

If you’ve been using commercial syrup to pour over your pancakes, you need to know how EZ it is to make your own.  Here is how one of our Members does it:

Make-at-home Syrup

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

dash of salt

Bring the water and sugar to a boil and when the sugar is thoroughly dissolved, add a teaspoon of maple flavoring.  Pour this into a pitcher to pour or pour it into a small bowl with a dipper, such as a gravy spoon.

*Maybe you should double THAT batch, too!  It keeps well and you may need more for all the hungry mouths around your table.

You need not limit your toppings to syrup.  There are lots of berries available this time of year, you might like to toss a few chocolate chips across the golden brown of a pancake or you might have jam or jelly to top off a good breakfast or a leisurely Sunday night supper!

Do you know someone who is living on a dime?  Are there people in your sphere of influence who use funds from WIC or SNAP to fund their food budget?  Who do you know who is frugal and thrifty by nature who might benefit from our series of cooking tips or from this blog?  We are so tickled to greet the new Members every day and we sincerely hope this is a contribution to the world.

Enjoy your weekend and remember that you are dearly loved.

Connie Baum

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