Posts Tagged ‘Farmer’s Market Coupons’

Black Bean Casserole at the Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 24th, 2011

 

Here is a Black Bean Casserole that's ideal for your Sunday Best!

Beans have been a major topic this week and a recipe came to my attention for black beans I could not wait to share with you Club Members!  Here it is:

2 cups chopped onion

1 minced cloves of garlic

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup prepared red salsa *The Kitchen Police will not arrest you if you choose green salsa.  Use what you like.

1 fresh pepper-choose red or green or yellow

3 cups cooked black beans

3 cups canned whole tomatoes, juice and all

2 cups frozen corn kernels

salt, pepper to taste

2 cups water

*Prepared in a soup pot as as, you will have a delicious soup.  For the casserole, just prepare as follows:

Add 3 cups cooked pasta.  *The cook gets to decide what KIND of pasta: bow ties, elbow macaroni, rotelli would work well.  Place in casserole dish, top with 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese and bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven until it is thoroughly heated.

Besides being easy to prepare and easy on your food budget, this would travel well to a pot luck or to a neighbor who might need a meal because of a hospitalization.  It’s appropriate for Sunday dinner when a van load of your cousins  show up at meal time because it’s the end of the month, too!

This casserole is quite filling but you might want a little something sweet to polish off your meal.  This is a rerun; I made up a bowlful this morning and boy was it yummy:

Chia Pudding

1/2 cup white chia seeds  *Black ones work well, too

1/4 cup honey

1 can coconut milk

dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla *or almond or mint or whatever YOU like

Mix together, cover and store in the fridge.  If you leave it alone, the seeds will float to the top and stay there.  You can stir it periodically to mix the seeds, but who has the time for that?  grin

At serving time you can pair it up with canned or fresh fruit or berries as a topping, or serve it as is.

This recipe doubles or triples beautifully, depending on how many toes sit around your table.  It makes a great snack and I’ve been known to eat it for breakfast, as well.

The mail continues to delight us: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  and we welcome all the new members who have flocked to the Club House lately.  ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?  (yes!)

If you hold an EBT card for WIC or SNAP or if you are using Farmers Market Coupons; if you have goods from a food pantry or food commodities, this blog is devoted to YOU.  We truly hope we are helping you manage your food budgets in this tight economy.  Maybe you are just a frugal shopper/cook; we aim to help YOU as well!

What’s so interesting is that YOU help US more than we ever could help anybody.  Your support, your comments, your emails, your links, your recipes–this is all so wonderful and we deeply appreciate every one of you.

One of the Club Members popped by yesterday and-bless her heart-she promised to get us the recipe for a BEAN CAKE that she says is amazing.  Well, I’m down with THAT.  Better get my baking stuff out…

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


Creamy & Dreamy for Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 13th, 2011

 

Looking yummy…could ANYTHING make this dish more appealing?

It feels soooo good to be back in the Club House with all of you!  Thank you for your patience in the absence of your fearless leader and welcome to all the MANY new Members!

During the break that was mine I had occasion to discover a new product.  Being the daughter of a grocer gives me a healthy curiosity about any new item.  Those of us who stocked shelves greeted new products with delight but shuddered to figure out where anything new would FIT.  We already had more products than shelf space!

SIDEBAR:  Sound familiar?  I know our kitchen cabinets groan sometimes…END SIDEBAR.

The new kid in town is “cooking cream.”  I was suspicious the moment I saw the colorful packaging.  My very first thought was, “And just WHY would I need cooking cream?”

When I did some grocery shopping I looked for the stuff in the dairy case.  Sure enough, EVEN IN OUR TINY TOWN, it sat among the cream cheese and there were 3 flavors.  I looked at the cute package and perused the label.  Yes.  Just as I suspected.  JUNK in that trunk!  Nothing in the ingredient list struck me as necessary to the new “Plate Graph” the USDA just released.

Then I canvassed the pros.  I asked Chef Shawn and Chef Josh what they thought about cooking cream.  I could not hear them laugh via email but their amusement over such an unnecessary product came through loud and clear.  These two are all about good food for little money so they were not shy about saying that we need not use the silly stuff.

So, kids, the bottom line is this:  if you think your dish needs  something creamy, think of sour cream or a home made white sauce, with or without cheese.  Don’t stoop to using non-nutritional, costly packets or cooking cream or anything else commercial.

Our email account has been busy: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com, for which we are grateful.  WE LOVE MAIL.  We do not love spam. :(

Since June is in full swing, our attention is beginning to turn to the offline cooking class!  We eagerly welcome your ideas.  This IS YOUR CLUB, after all!

With warmer weather here to stay we hope you are eating big salads with lots of home grown greens and other veggies from your gardens or Farmers Markets.  Carol has a dynamite suggestion for shopping Farmers Markets…she only shops with ONE vendor.  She and the vendor have a relationship based on loyalty and trust and she gets great value for her food dollars.

Maybe you use food commodities or food from a food pantry…If you are shopping at a Farmer’s Market or using Angel Food from Angel Food Ministries or you are an EBT card carrying user of SNAP or WIC – or if only you love to be frugal and s t r e t c h your food budget dollars as far as possible, we hope this cheery little spot in cyberspace is helpful to you and yours.

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:  In case you missed Mikemax’s comment here it is again!  This is VERY exciting news!

“My friend Mary is visiting. Her husband is president and weekly volunteer at a community food pantry in Oregon. She told me about a cookbook a young girl wrote for her Girl Scout Gold Award (similar to Eagle Scout for BSA). It features low cost recipes using products typically available at food pantries. She tested every single recipe and Mary says they are good! She is going to try to get me a copy and I will share the recipes and any words of wisdom therein.”

YAY, Mikemax!  YAY, Mary!  Good on YOU!

***

 


 

 

Fast Food-Food Stamps Cooking Club Style

May 23rd, 2011

 

Better than resaurant food? YOU CAN BANK ON IT!

Another great gift from Mikemax appeared in our Inbox:

What you do when you don’t have time to cook, or aren’t feeling well, can have a huge impact on your grocery bill. At least 3 of our members TODAY are in exactly that boat.

Mother Connie and Carol M are both recovering from surgery. I have to be gone all day today, come home briefly, and leave again. Reasons like these—not to mention kids’ activities—are a prime reason we often succumb to takeout.

I’m not a fan of takeout. If I’m going to spend for restaurant food, I want to be served and have someone clean up afterward. And it’s expensive. Even a trip through a fast food drive-through will cost more, and take longer, than a steak dinner cooked at home. Which would you rather have?

I’m eating out of the bottom of my freezer this month. That means I’m eating the good stuff and the soup bones…there’s nothing left in between, LOL. Tonight, it’s the good stuff.

This morning I spent 5 minutes prepping a bone-in pork loin roast and figuring out how to set my oven so it will come on at 3:30 p.m. and automatically turn off at 5ish. I scrubbed some potatoes and put them into the oven to bake along with the roast.  I didn’t peel them so they wouldn’t turn black.   At dinnertime, I’ll heat up a canned or frozen veggie-or maybe make a salad, if I’ve got the stuff-and put the bowl of leftover applesauce on the table.

That roast, just under 3 lbs., was $1.98 lb. and cost $5.56. It will produce enough meat for two meals for my family of 3 adults. Dinner tomorrow—an equally busy day–will either be roast pork sandwiches or pork noodles made with Top Ramen, green onions and sliced hard boiled eggs—just like the Chinese restaurants used to make.

When I find a good deal on steak, I buy it and freeze it. Used to be, I could occasionally afford T-bones or rib steak on sale, and I’d keep around a few for nights when I couldn’t, or didn’t want, to cook. Prices have gone so high, I’m now buying boneless top sirloin, when I can find it for $4 lb. or less. With a baked potato and salad it’s cheaper than the dollar menu at the fast food joint. Faster, too…and nobody at my house ever complains about a steak dinner.

Now I’m going to turn this over to YOU. I’m curious what Connie is cooking as she recovers from cataract surgery this week. I already know what Carol fixed last night, because I read her blog, but maybe she will repeat here. She’s down to the use of one hand, and will be for awhile. What do YOU cook when cooking doesn’t seem to be an option? How do you handle nights when you’ve got to take 3 kids to a Little League game and there is no time to eat, let alone cook?

Nights like these can make or break your food budget. Let’s share ideas on how we handle them and help each other stay on track.

PS/You can find directions for the Timed Bake feature on your oven in the instruction book that came with your stove. With mine, I first set the length of time I want to cook, then I set what time I want it to come on, and finally I turn the oven dial to the desired temperature. Also, with a big piece of meat—like the pork roast—you can partially thaw it and let it finish thawing before the oven comes on. I’ve put completely frozen meatloaves in the oven in the morning and let them thaw until late afternoon, when the oven came on.  Much faster and safer, too.

~Mikemax

Good GRIEF, Mikemax!  You’ve got me drooling!  What have I been cooking?  Actually, when you live in a small town and your life has “issues”  food arrives at your doorstep!  *EG: instead of having eye surgery you wind up in an ER, making every effort to avoid having a stroke.  Or, if you have a paper route and your wife is in the hospital you have TEAMS of people delivering those papers.

So cooking has not been much of a priority for the past number of days.  When Mother Connie is back on top of her game, there will be recipes posted from the goodies that have been bestowed upon us!  We are so blessed.

We  also have been blessed recently to have an influx of  new Club Members, as well!  The newbies have found our opt in box in the upper right hand corner of the blog and the website so they have offered up their email addies in order to receive our series of cooking tips.  YAY!  And we have received lovely messages at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  YIPPEE!

If you know of anyone who avails themselves of the EBT card supplied by SNAP or WIC or if you know folks who use Angel Food Ministries foodstuffs or food commodities or have things from a Food Pantry or use Farmers Market Coupons, feel free to share this blog with them.  They may have great ideas none of us has thought of yet and they might share!  Hector Pector!  They might just be like Mikemax and Carol and me-FRUGAL to the core!  They will love what we are doing here.

Let’s all cheer for Mikemax:  All together, now, boys n girls:  HIP HIP HOORAY for MIKEMAX!

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.

 

Spice Advice and Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 9th, 2011

 

Need Spice Advice? We have it here!

Greetings to all you precious Club Members and Guests!  A GINORMOUS magnifying glass has been pressed into service because your humble blogger has been aching to get back into the game.

Because we are gaining new club members in DROVES-thanks to all the new people who have submitted their names and email addies-it felt important to share with you the information we got today from Leanne Ely, The Dinner Diva from Saving Dinner.

As you  know, we are sending out a series of messages about cooking tips, including spices.  Because of that subject matter we want you to have THIS, too:

“The Ultimate Spice Cabinet Clean Out
by Leanne Ely, C.N.C

How many of us have professed to want to eat healthier, lose weight and get organized? It’s almost as if these three things are the ultimate trifecta! Believe it or not, one of the best ways to do all three of these things is to spice up your low calorie fare with herbs and spices.

But before you can organize your spices, you need to do a quick spice check. I’ve got this feeling we’ve got some OLD, ancient spices sitting in those cupboards! Let’s go on an archaeological dig and see what kind of fossils we can unearth. Here’s how you’re going to know you need some new spices–

You may need some new spices if:

*The date stamp on the bottom of the jar was from when you were in high school:

*The company who made the spice in the first place is out of business. Since 1980!

*The can is rusted and the label indistinguishable-you don’t know what’s in there.

*The label is missing so you smell it to identify it and can’t!

*The smell of the spice smells oddly like the garage on a rainy day.

*You mistakenly grab ground ginger for white pepper and it didn’t ruin what you were making because it had no flavor!

According to the website of McCormick Spice, if you still have spices in a tin can, you know the square and rectangular shaped cans with shaker and spoon out tops, they are seriously out of date-with the exception of black pepper-they have not manufactured the cans in over 15 years!!

The shelf life of spices is as follows:

Ground spices: 2 to 3 years

Whole spices: 3 to 4 years

Dried Herbs: 1 to 3 years

Great rule of thumb to figure out what to keep and what to pitch-if your spice is over a year old, it needs to be tossed. To keep your spices fresh and nice, you will want to buy only what you need and mark the bottom of the container with a Sharpie, indicating the date you purchased the spice.

I love buying my spices at the health food store (they are unbelievably fresh and cheap, because you buy what you need) and discount stores like Wal-Mart (2 for $1.00!). You can always have fresh spices when you get them this way.

Are you ready to spice up your life with some FRESH spices? Old Spice is cologne, not what should be hanging out in our spice drawers. Let’s get some fresh ones this week!

Now that you have all fresh and new spices, be sure and pick up a copy of our Ultimate Mix Ebook to create some spice, soup and sauce mixes of your own!

Copyright (C) 2011 www.savingdinner.com Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

This information will be helpful for everyone who has a kitchen.  It will be of particular interest to those who use SNAP or WIC; for those who get food from a food pantry or those who have food commodities.  Many of our Club Members are simply frugal and careful with their food budgets Users of Angel Food Ministries will benefit from this, too!

Your messages continue to delight the heart of your Webmaster…please keep them coming  at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com !

Connie Baum

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

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Let’s Do Lunch!

April 4th, 2011

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Connie Baum

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



Food Stamps Cooking Club: Easter Ideas?

April 1st, 2011

 

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

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

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

“A reader asks:

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

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

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

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

Fillers for Easter Baskets:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Many thanks to Tawra!

Connie Baum

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

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Breakfast and Recipes Galore!

March 31st, 2011

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

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

and

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

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

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

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

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

Connie Baum

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

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Speaking of Breakfast…

March 30th, 2011

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connie Baum

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


Food Stamps Cooking Club: Real People, Real Food?

March 26th, 2011

 

What’s on YOUR grocery list? Real food?

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

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

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

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

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

Not so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connie Baum

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

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Is YOUR Breadbox Full?

March 25th, 2011

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

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

“Got Bread Coming Out Of Your Ears?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Rainy

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

Mother Connie Sez:

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

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

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

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


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

Connie Baum

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