Posts Tagged ‘cooking with rice’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: EOM

July 30th, 2015

Jeepers Creepers!  It is the End of the Month and the WIC or SNAP funds are  pretty much toast.  The family has to eat…what’s a family to DO?

Making the food budget and the month come out even can be tricky, as you surely have experienced.  I have a couple of ideas that may help you get everybody nourished and not have to go to bed hungry.

There was a time when eggs were a bargain.  Today that is no longer true.  You already know that beans and rice are good values but I’m guessing you’ve had your fill of those.

What about lentils?  Have you tried those?  They cook in about 20 minutes, come in a variety of colors, provide great fiber and protein and they are cheap as anything.

If you have some onion or carrot to jazz lentils up a bit to add color and nutrition, that is a plus.  Just throw some rinsed lentils of whatever color you have into a saucepan, cover them with water, put the lid on the pan and bring them to a boil. When they have reached the boiling point, reduce the heat and let them simmer til they are tender.  I like to saute any veggies I add but you don’t need to do that if you are in a rush.

If you are fortunate to have prunes, raisins, canned fruit of any kind, that makes a nutritious dessert and your tummy will thank you.

Another inexpensive go-to is rice and spinach–or any greens you may have access to…turnip greens, kale, chard or cabbage–even beet tops.  Cook the rice, add the chopped greens at the last moment to let them wither.  Season them with salt, pepper and any other seasonings your gang likes.  If you have the luxury of bread, you might like to toast it to offer some crunch to the menu.

If you have other EOM meals that you are famous for, let us know by sending an email to .  WE LOVE MAIL.

We love YOU, too.  People who depend on public assistance for their food dollars are not exactly livin’ the dream.  We understand and just want to help a little.

You who have shared this site with others by joining and spreading the word are really doing your part to help others.  We offer a little  series of cooking tips we hope will give you some concrete help.  It would be more fun if we could hang out in your kitchen or go grocery shopping with you … this seems to be the next best thing.

Summer is quickly drawing to a close and we’ll be talking about cooler weather ideas soon.  Be well, people, and know that you are loved.

Connie Baum

PS/Please visit the website for SENCA if you are a resident of South East Nebraska.  You may find resources there that will be helpful to you and yours. For instance, they are hosting a FREE cooking class tomorrow in Tecumseh, NE.  Their motto is “Helping People; Changing Lives”…it is worth a peek! 

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: Roast Chicken

October 1st, 2014
This is such an easy, low cost dish.  It's tasty enough for guests and EZ on the budget AND the cook!

This is such an easy, low cost dish. It’s tasty enough for guests; tender on the budget AND the cook!  This set of hind quarters is ready to be  dunked in a marvelous marinade and popped into a cozy oven!


Roast chicken is so easy and so elegant.  It is such an easy fix, too.  I found a recipe in the food section of our Lincoln Journal Star that struck my fancy; when I served it to The Normanator he approved.  That spurred me to share it.  Besides, Carol, from CTonabudget  said she could not wait to have it.  She and I have been aghast at meat prices so the idea of a new recipe for roast chicken hit our hot buttons!

When I found the recipe I knew I was going to be away from home for a day so I put it all together and kept it, covered, in the fridge.  There was ample time for the flavors to marry.  I won’t torment you with the details of how delicious this was…I will give you the particulars and you can see for yourselves how yummy it can be!

Mother Connie’s Version of Lemony Roast Chicken

1/2  cup olive oil *I did use olive oil but any vegetable oil will be fine

1/2  cup fresh rosemary leaves *No fresh leaves here; poultry seasoning was what I had

1/4  cup fresh squeezed lemon juice *Bottled lemon juice was all I could find in our pantry

10 cloves thinly sliced garlic  *Garlic powder had to do

SIDEBAR:  Did I mention we live in a small town and our shopping choices are limited? The moral of this story is to use what you have and make do.  The flavor of this dish will still make you a star in your own home!  END SIDEBAR.

Salt and pepper to taste

3  1/2# chicken, 8 or 9 pieces…  *I had hind quarters and that was PERFECT.

In a large bowl, combine oil, rosemary, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Choose a baking dish that will accommodate your chicken pieces in a single layer.  Brush about 1/4 of the mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.  Arrange the chicken meaty side up over the marinade and cover the meat with the remaining marinade.   Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 12 hours.

When you are ready to cook your chicken, preheat the oven to 475*.  Remove the plastic, turn the pieces over and spoon any excess marinade over each piece.  Roast for 15 minutes.

Remove the whole business from the oven and turn each piece so it is meaty side up.  Return to the oven and roast for an additional 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and nicely browned.

This would be delicious served with rice or potatoes and a big green salad!  Any leftover pieces are just yummy when served cold, too!

This will serve 4 people.

Are you living on a dime?  Do you have an EBT card for SNAP or WIC? Maybe you have goods from a food pantry or you get food commodities.  Maybe you are spending the last of your Farmers Market coupons.  In any case, this little corner of the internet is dedicated to helping you manage your food dollars.  When you become a Member you will receive a little series of Cooking Tips and we hope you will communicate with us, either on the comment panel here or by email:    There is nothing to buy, no stress or apps or fancy stuff.  Just heartfelt help with your food costs.

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.

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!


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.

Dill, Cleaning Tips and Food Stamps Cooking Club

September 14th, 2012

DILL!  Makes us think of pickles, potato salad and…

You have been well aware that the faithful Club Members have terrific ideas and have generously shared them.  Well, the mail was especially fun this morning because I heard from a Member from Canada!  She and I seem  to have a kindred spirit, as do many of the people who take the time to share their lives, and she reminded me how good dill is with carrots!  Here is part of her dear message:

“One thing I really love to use dill for is my carrots.  especially new carrots, cook until just done, then I add butter and a good sprinkle of dill.  When we have company they always rave about my carrots and that is all I do if I am getting “fancy”.  ”   ~Pat

Boy.  I wish I had thought of that!  grin  We appreciate you for sharing, Pat!

Mother Connie really cannot think of dill without remembering the blog post  featuring Dill Pickle Soup!  It’s time to prepare a pot of that again!  Maybe one day soon I’ll bake a loaf of dill bread. . . wouldn’t that make wonderful croutons?

Pat also had another dilly of an idea:  “Turmeric is another of my favorites.  Especially with rice!

Because rice can be ‘blah’ turmeric would certainly give it a kick.  That makes me think of my pal, Velda.  One of her go-to quick meals when she is too tired to cook is to cook rice, add a can of spinach, juice and all and heat it all together.  If she thinks it needs a finishing touch, she sprinkles cheese over it.  Now, I’m thinking a pinch or two of turmeric would give that dish a whole new character!

Recently a visitor to the Club House kitchen spied the spice rack, which had recently been moved next to the stove.  She was curious about the little bottles and how the contents got used.   Really, spices are a reasonably inexpensive way to add punch to your cooking.  We get into routines, we humans, and when we use spices to flavor our food it helps to break the monotony. She assured me she would “steal” all my best spice ideas and try them out in her kitchen!

There is always cleaning to be done…

Changing the subject, as I am wont to to, I want to share the cleaning tips sent in by April.  Bless her heart, she must keep quite the tidy house and busy kitchen.  Still, she makes the time to share with the Club:

“April’s All Purpose Spray:
In a spray bottle, combine equal parts water and vinegar.  Shake and use.  DO NOT USE ON MARBLE.  You can add essential oils, if you want.

To help clean drains pour baking soda down the drain, then pour a little vinegar down the drain.

For cleaning toilets just pour straight vinegar into the bowl, let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub and flush.  **Mother Connie here:  I had a good friend who used a paper cup to dip all the water out of the bowl and THEN used vinegar + soda to scrub.  She cleaned for a living, so I think she must have earned her $!

To make a a soft scrub, mix baking soda and water. It is non abrasive and good to use for sinks and tubs.”

*Thank you, April!

One more cleaning tip for you comes from a good friend who also cleans for a living.  Her home made window cleaner is the BOMB and I have used it for years.  When she gave me the formula I was astonished at how simple it is:

“In a large spray bottle use a pint of  alcohol *NOT the drinking kind!

Fill the bottle with water *Filtered water is best, if you have it

Add 1 TABLESPOON  Prell shampoo

Mix the ingredients by shaking the bottle gently and spray on glass.  Use coffee filters to polish the surface.

*When washing the INSIDE of windows, wipe them from side to side; on the OUTSIDE,wipe them from top to bottom.  By doing so, you can easily see any missed spots. “

Dawn, thank you so much!

Cleaning must be done in our homes regardless of how tired we are, whether we like to clean or not.  The SNAP or WIC funds help feed our loved ones but they do not wash the dishes or clean the sink!  If you use food commodities or items from a food bank or food pantry, you still have to sweep floors and make beds!  Those of you who are frugal or living on a dime, know all too well that those chores pile up as they wait–we hope these ideas will lighten your load.

Again, we thank the Members who contributed their ideas to this post.  We really could not keep house without you people!!!

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.

PS/Did you fill out the questionnaire for the Public Insight Network yet?  They will be so pleased to hear from you.  Remember that there is nothing to buy.  Click here:  Public Insight Network.

PS#2:  These cleaning supplies will be pressed into full service to properly prepare the Club House for the Cooking Class in October!  WOOOO HOOOO!

Rice Pudding at Food Stamps Cooking Club!

June 30th, 2012

Old fashioned rice pudding makes a cool summertime breakfast, tasty hot weather dessert and is easy and inexpensive to prepare.  Not only that, your gang is going to get their appetites taken care of with no complaints!


Do you have fond memories of things your family ate on a regular basis?  When you eat ice cream, for example, are you transported back to your 5th birthday?  If you smell freshly baked bread, do you think of your grandmother or a favorite neighbor who turned out delicious products that tantalized your taste buds?

Rice pudding does that for me.  Mom’s recipe; my favorite childhood story book; cooking with my own children…memories of all these things create comfort in my life.  No doubt your family had traditions that trigger a trip down memory lane for you.

It’s all Carol’s fault.  grin  She mentioned it and that took me on a search to find out how people make rice pudding these days.  There are a zillion variations.  I’m staying true to my mother’s way of doing it.  I only wish Carol and I were close enough geographically to trade dishes to taste test one anothers’ creations!  One thing my research showed me is that OLDER recipes yield smaller servings.  It makes sense to me, given the obesity problem we have in the good old USA to offer the older version…You will see that Mom’s recipe was not up to 2012 portions!  Another bonus is that in this oppressive heat, there’s no need to crank up the oven!

This is offered as a dessert but it makes a wonderful summertime breakfast!  I know this from personal experience.

Rice Pudding, Harriet’s Way

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/3  cup sugar

Dash salt

1/2  cup cold milk

1  1/2  cups milk,  scalded

1  teaspoon vanilla

1  cup cooked brown rice  *By now you know that the Kitchen Police won’t cuff you for using white rice.


Mix cornstarch, sugar, and salt.  Combine with cold milk.  Gradually add hot milk.  Cook in double boiler, stirring til thick; cover; coke 15 to 20minutes.  Add vanilla.  Gently fold in the rice til well mixed.  Add a few plumped raisins  *if your family will tolerate them.  Spoon into custard cups, sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over the top and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Yield:  6 servings   This recipe may be doubled very easily.

SIDEBAR:  If you do not have a double boiler, don’t panic.  Just use a skillet.  Put some water into it and put your saucepan inside the skillet.  If you are rushed for time, just pour the whole business into a bowl and sprinkle the spices over the top of that.  Let your family spoon out their own servings. Regarding plumped raisins, just put some boiling water over raisins in a dish and allow them to sit until they cool.  Drain the liquid and add to the pudding.   END SIDEBAR

This should be a slam dunk for those of you who are at the end of the month and at the end of your provisions, as well.  If you hold an EBT card from WIC or SNAP this should help you to  hold your food budget at bay.  Maybe you are living on a dime or are frequenting your local food pantry.  It could be that you use food commodities.  You might just be at your wits’ end, making every effort to feed your family within your means and make something they will enjoy for dessert.  In any case, we hope we are helpful to you.

We want to give a shout out to all those who have got our heart going pitty-pat by joining the Club, receiving a series of messages about cooking.  We also hope those messages have value for you.

Oh, did we mention how much we love COMMENTS?

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.

Speaking of Rice at Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 26th, 2012

Here is a fresh take on Beans n  Rice!

The end of any month can be trying, what with the struggle of everyday life compounded by the management of skimpy food supplies.  Especially if you have a food budget that is tapped out!  Today we offer you an idea that may help you minimize the struggle.  By the way, this tastes good during the FIRST of the month, too!  grin

Red Beans and Rice

*Gee, how imaginative is THIS title?  smile

2  tablespoons butter

1  large onion

3   cups hot cooked rice  *Basmati rice, if you have it.  Cooked in broth if it’s available  Not to worry; the Kitchen Police will never know.

1  can kidney beans, drained

1/2  cup sour cream

1/2  cup grated Asiago cheese  *I repeat:  the Kitchen Police will never know if you use another kind…

1/4  teaspoon black pepper


Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion; cook til it browns, about 8 minutes.  Add rice, beans, sour cream, cheese and pepper.  Stir well , blending and melting cheese.  Remove from heat and serve.  Makes 6 servings.

This will be kind to your food budget and might become one of your go-to comfort food recipes.

Are you living on a dime?  Do you use SNAP or WIC  EBT cards?  Do you frequent a food pantry?  Are you eligible for food commodities?  Maybe you are a person who squeezes the grocery nickels until those buffalo bellow…or you might be someone who just likes the challenge of saving food money by s t r e t c h i n g your food budget!  In any case, we sincerely hope this little blog is helpful to you.  Helping others is our passion and we love to cook. 

You are welcome to offer your thoughts and suggestions on our comments page.  WE LIVE FOR COMMENTS, don’t you know!  grin  Thanks for your contributions and opinions.

If you have a mind to do so, you could even cruise by our partners and let them know we are having fun here.  You can reach them through their websites  Living On A Dime and Saving Dinner.  They are all about helping people, too, and they will be delighted to hear from their fan club!

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.

Celebrating Rice at Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 25th, 2012


No matter what rice you have, you can make a meal fit for royalty!

It’s the end of the month.  The cupboard, despite your best efforts has a hollow echo.  The refrigerator looks a little on the empty order, too.   The  need to turn up your creative juices has never been more necessary.  What is a SNAP user to DO?  And if you are using an EBT card from WIC…you might be feeling a wee bit desperate.

Those of us who hang out in the Club House GET that.  That’s why we are here. 

There is always the ‘rice and beans; beans and rice’ meal.  And you no doubt are weary as can be of that routine.  Mother Connie stumbled on an idea that may be helpful to you:

Zucchini Over Rice-With a Kick

2   tablespoons vegetable oil

2  medium onions, peeled and sliced or chopped-your preference

1  medium zucchini, peeled and chopped

1  can canned red or black beans, drained  *If you have cooked beans on hand, use 2 cups

Salt and Pepper to taste

1   1/2  teaspoons curry powder  *None on hand?  Improvise with chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, coriander, ginger, cloves, turmeric or any combination of these.  Taste test your unique combo to make sure it’s something your gang will enjoy.

1  teaspoon cumin


In a heavy skillet , heat the oil gently as you prepare your vegetables.  Saute the onions until they are tender and fragrant.  Add the chopped zucchini.  Then sprinkle the spices over the top and gently stir them to incorporate them into the entire mixture.  Cover them to let the flavors marry and turn the heat to very low. Stir occasionally so they do not stick to the skillet.

If you have cooked rice, you can reheat that in a separate skillet or saucepan.  If you need to cook your rice for this dish, use ONE CUP of rice to TWO CUPS of water or broth.

SIDEBAR:  Mother Connie discovered how delicious it is to mix brown rice with basmati rice-because there was not enough of either, so they were combined.  What a pretty potful that made!  END SIDEBAR

After everything has cooked through, spoon the rice onto the plate, top it off with the vegetables for a beautiful presentation that smells wonderfully aromatic!

VARIATION:  If you have frozen peas on hand, add those just before serving to thaw them to add color and flavor to your dish.  You could also use the combo of frozen peas/corn.  If your family fancies corn, you could use that, as well.  Canned veggies will work but they should be drained first.  Zucchini has a lot of  liquid in it and it could be too soupy if you do not drain the veggies.

VARIATION #2:  Use red peppers for more color.  Green peppers would add color and flavor to the mix, too.

This makes a meal that is loaded with nutrition for VERY little money and has complete protein so it satisfies hunger well.  Anything that’s tasty, filling AND budget minded at the end of the month has got to be a good thing!

I made this for lunch today and there was a small amount left over.  That will become soup as soon as I add broth and vegetable juice to these yummies.  I may even toss in some cooked bow ties from another meal that need to be used.

What low cost meals do YOU make when it looks as if there’ll be more month than money?  Let us know by commenting on this blog.  WE LIVE FOR YOUR COMMENTS.  grin

We hope you have been enjoying the messages of our partners, Living On A Dime and Saving Dinner.  We are so proud to be associated with them.   They offer lots of great ideas and some really good values if you are interested to have their products.  They’ve been around for a long time and they know their stuff!

Our hearts are delighted with all the new members who have signed up recently for our series of cooking tips.  Thank you so much for sharing this site with those in your circle!

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.

Taco Salad at the Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 5th, 2012

TACO SALAD!Dinner is served!

Happily, Tex-Mex has swept this country!  Study most any menu in the USA and you’ll find offerings from South of the Border in a wide variety.  The choices are endless, tasty, and varied.

One favorite in the Club House is Taco Salad.  Ours is likely to be very different from the one you make at your house because everyone’s flavor buds are unique!

The salad we have here is a QUICK FIX.  It is highly nutritious, has lots of flavor, and seems to be a crowd pleaser.  Here is what we served to a special house guest last evening.  We had eaten a heavy lunch and the weather dictated something light and fresh would delight our palettes, so this is what graced our dinner table.


1  pound ground beef

1  onion, chopped

Season to your taste:  cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper

3  ribs celery, chopped

1   can, drained and rinsed or 2 cups cooked red kidney beans 

*The Kitchen Police will not arrest you if you use pinto beans, black beans or some other family favorite…

2   medium tomatoes, chopped

1  can corn, drained

1  cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

*Nobody will tattle to the Kitchen Police if you use cheddar, American, or whatever else you like or have on hand

1/2  head lettuce, shredded

Package of corn chips

Your favorite dressing


Brown the ground beef and add the spices and a bit of the chopped onion in a heavy skillet.  While the meat is cooking, chop the celery and tomatoes and layer them, along with the beans and corn in a large bowl. 

*If  it needs to look pretty you can use a clear glass bowl; if you are like Mother Connie, you will pile it into your most favorite bowl! 

When the salad comes to the table you can crush some corn chips in the bottom of a soup plate or dinner plate and pile the salad over the top.  Use your favorite dressing-we prefer a combo of French and Mayo.  Some like to use “Ranch” dressing, or some other combination.

*If you are “flush” enough to have black olives, those are a nice addition. 

If you do not have ground beef, just use cooked rice, combining rice and beans in the skillet and adding the spices.  I have made this meatless salad in this very way and people raved about how well cooked the MEAT was!

Most folks love salsa so you can add that if you like or you can make a dressing of salsa and mayo…are you drooling yet?  grin

There is a lot of info – or is it MISinfo or DISinfo?- about the SNAP program and the EBT cards.  There is the threat of making it less available.  NOT TO WORRY because it is the mission of the Food Stamps Cooking Club to ease your burden when it comes to feeding your family on a restricted budget.  Even if you use food commodities or food pantry food or you just want to manage your food budget in better ways, we want to help you in concrete ways.

We love your messages and thank you for them.  We also love that you are sharing what we have here with your friendsIt’s always fun to find out what YOU are creating in YOUR kitchens…sharing those ideas is great fun and most helpful!

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.



Lotsa Food; Little Cost: Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 20th, 2011


Beans are inexpensive and nutritious!! These are red beans, as any fool can plainly see!



Rice is plentiful, nourishing, and probably sitting on your shelf!

EQUALS: A complete protein!


Ah, but you knew THAT, didn’t you?  And no doubt you are acutely aware that beans and rice are considerably less costly than beef these days!

The problem gets to be that the “end times” – of the month , that is – get to be tricky when it comes to making interesting, low cost meals.  It’s too hot to cook.  It’s too hot to eat but three squares are required every day. Those meals are necessary no matter how tired you are, or how hot is is, or how skimpy your food budget might be!

If you are using public assistance for your food budget you know all too well what the message is.  And you are sick to death of beans and rice, rice and beans.

How about if we re-frame the way we look at rice and beans?  What if we “built” a cool summer salad from rice you cooked and stored in the fridge?

SIDEBAR:  You KNOW how Mother Connie loves to cook once and eat twice..or more!  END SIDEBAR.

You really don’t need a recipe.  You could add some chopped vegetables to your rice: celery, onion, cucumber, peppers, carrots, radishes, zucchini, whatever you like-or whatever the kids will eat LOL.  Then dump in a can of drained beans you picked up for a song with a coupon or what they had at the food pantry.  You might dress the whole thing up with your own “signature” dressing.  Make up something like vegetable oil, salt and pepper and lemon juice; jazz it up with some dried herbs from your pantry.  Perhaps basil, oregano, cumin.  The choice is yours!

Rice is often included in the bundles available from Angel Food Ministries but rice is not the only grain you could use for this.  Bulgar wheat would work.  So would my personal favorite, quinoa.  You don’t need to limit your bean choices, either.  And they don’t have to be canned.  Dried beans, like grains, can be cooked and used as needed by storing them in the fridge.

SIDEBAR:  If you cook dry beans, soak them but do not salt them before you cook them.  If you do, they will cook up hard as stones,  END SIDEBAR.

You can stretch a summer salad like this by adding chopped lettuce to the salad before serving it.  Cutting the lettuce just prior to serving is wise, as shredded lettuce has a tendency to turn brown on the edges.

A simple and inexpensive home made pudding would top off this easy-do summer meal.  Or, fresh fruit would be nice if you are lucky enough to have some!

Next time we can talk about creative ways to add beans to your summer menu!

How do YOU manage combining beans and grains?  We LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear from you at  and we thank you ALL for your participation!

There are new faces around the Club House and boy are we glad!  It’s great to have a place to hang out with people who understand where we are coming from.  Those who use food pantries, food commodities, EBT cards from SNAP or WIC-those who are suffering in this terrible economy need to know there is loving support for them.  No judgments.  No sales pitches.  Just an understanding and listening ear and some free advice about keeping food costs at bay.  Not all of us are users of public assistance…some of us just pinch every nickel until the buffalo bellows! grin  And we do love people!

Connie Baum

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


Food Stamps Cooking Club: Is It HOT Enough For Ya?

July 19th, 2010


This girl is so happy because she helped her mother clean out the refrigerator and discovered there was a box of popsicles in the freezer compartment!


If you took the opportunity to opt in to the Food Stamps Cooking Club’s series of tips, you know about the “ritual” of clearing out the fridge on Wednesdays.  It’s become routine here that the big ole box gets emptied, wiped down-scrubbed thoroughly on some Wednesdays-and tidied.  That way no food will be wasted because it got shoved to the back of the unit and became a science project.

Last Wednesday was no exception.  The fridge was all sparkly and even had a fresh box of baking soda, ostensibly to soak up unpleasant odors.  The only problem was that there WAS an unwanted, unidentified aroma that was not a good thing.

When Renita and I were on the phone I happened to open the door and I complained loudly and bitterly into Renita’s ear.  She had the solution:  “Try folding some newspapers into fours and slip those onto the shelves.”

Now, why hadn’t I thought of that? It worked like a charm right away, I might add. Thanks, Renita.

This story is true and it is meant to reinforce to you how much all of us Club We members need one another.  Some of us are users of SNAP.  Others who come by here depend on WIC or Angel Food Ministries.  Some folks depend on food pantries, food commodities, even Farmers Markets.  We all crave comfort food and most everybody aims to be good stewards and shop wisely and frugally.  These are the reasons why this blog exists and since we are all in this together, we had just as well pitch in and SHARE ideas.  I know you all are filled with creative solutions to all sorts of household and kitchen dilemmas.

Please, won’t you leave YOUR comments, hints and tips here?  You are also welcome to send your ideas to  Oh, how we love mail!  Almost as much as we love your comments!  Thanks, people!

I bumbled onto a yummy salad combo I wanted to share with you:


1   can kidney beans, drained or 2  cups home cooked kidney beans

4  medium eggs, hard cooked; peeled and diced

1   small onion, peeled and diced

1  rib of celery, diced

1  cup of cooked rice-any type you like best

1/4  cup pickle relish

2  tablespoons prepared mustard

vinegar-enough to moisten *My fave is Rice Vinegar but use whatever you have on your shelf.

mayo or salad dressing-enough to moisten

salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a good sized bowl and mix gently.  Serve over a bed of greens.

This salad reads like a potato salad but has personality and packs a protein wallop.  The beans and the rice give a complete protein.  AND IT IS ECONOMICAL, quick to fix and delish!

Experiment with the seasonings, if you feel adventurous.  Your bunch may appreciate a sprinkle of turmeric or a dash of ginger for a touch of heat.  If you want to add a little more color you could use some red pepper bits or pimiento. This is a good dish for kids to get involved in creating.

You would be well advised to keep a container of cooked rice and/or cooked beans in your refrigerator for adding them to stir fry meals, casseroles, or for use as side dishes for any menu.  These items are wonderful meal stretchers and work as a team to provide complete protein at very low cost.

Here’s hoping you are enjoying your summer with your family and that we’ll hear from you soon!

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.