Posts Tagged ‘Food Bank’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Freezing Zucchini!

July 17th, 2014

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

Freezing Zucchini 001

And froze half a dozen bags:

Freezing Zucchini 002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Connie Baum

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

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Let’s Make Vegetable Broth!

June 13th, 2014
Mother Connie will show you step-by-step how this jar of broth came into being!  *Pity you cannot smell this because the aroma might make your mouth water!

Mother Connie will show you step-by-step how this jar of broth came into being! *What a pity you cannot smell this because the aroma might make your mouth water!

Making broth can save you a TON of money!  I paid $1.29 for a good sized stalk of celery.  I’ll show you exactly how I turned the waste from that stalk into a delicious ingredient for soups, stews, gravies or sauces.

As soon as I bring the groceries home, I run a sink full of cold water and let the vegetables hang out in it to clean them and rinse away any residue of sand or soil that may be clinging to each one.  Since I wanted to make veg broth (and save a ton of $) I placed the whole stalk of celery in the sink thus:

Making veg broth 002

After it had soaked awhile and was clean, I pulled it out, shook the excess moisture off and patted it dry with a kitchen towel.  I then placed it onto my cutting board and chopped off part of the end and some of the tops:

Making veg broth 004

As you Members know, Mother Connie is a big fan of cooking once and eating twice.  While I was making the broth I was also making a meal, for which I needed to use both celery AND carrots.  I scrubbed them within an inch of their pretty orange lives and trimmed the tops and bottoms, which were added to the celery pot.  *Celery and carrots need not be the only guests at the party…you could add onion pieces, chunks of taters, cut off ends of asparagus, pieces of any root vegetable, whatever vegetable strikes your taste buds’ fancy!

Making veg broth 006

Making veg broth 008

There was enough water to cover the celery and carrots and the whole works got a dose of salt and pepper.  It even got a dash of garlic, just for fun.  I set the burner low enough that there was a nice simmer going.  Little bubbles; no hard boil.

SIDEBAR:  If you don’t have extra salt or pepper or you don’t care  for garlic you need not fret.  You can always add the seasonings your gang likes best when you prepare the recipe you’ll use for your brothEND SIDEBAR

Making veg broth 010

After the veg cooked and the broth was full of its flavor  (I was very busy; it stayed on the stove for about  4 hours.)   I strained the whole business into a large bowl.  *I did this in the sink, just in case I spilled or slopped!  *As it happened, I cooked some potatoes so I added the potato water into the mix.  This means LOTS of richness for whatever gets to hang out with the broth as I am cooking in the days to come!

SIDEBAR:  Once upon a time, Mother Connie strained the goodies into the sink WITHOUT THE BOWL.  Maybe you heard the wailing and the gnashing of teeth at the time?  So I am advising you to get that bowl out of the cupboard before you pull the same stunt I did.  O my.  END SIDEBAR

Making veg broth 012

The final product yielded nearly 2 quarts of good, nutritious  broth.  I will use it for soup, most likely, for braising meat and gravy.  Then it will be time to buy more celery and begin again.

Do you use goods from a food drop?  Are you living on a dime?  Do you have things in your pantry from a food bank or food pantry?  Do you use food commodities?  Might you have an EBT card from WIC or SNAP?  Maybe you are just someone who squeezes a nickel until the buffalo bellows and you want to save money on your food budget.  In any case, we are here to support you.  There is nothing to buy, there are no judgements and we hope you have some fun as you hang out here in the Club House!

If this is your first visit, I’m excited to tell you that you can sign up for a little series of cooking tips, just for becoming a Member.  No dues, no meetings, just serious help for those who need to cook frugally!

We hope you will leave us some love on the comment panel.  You are also welcome to send us a message  at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  **We LOVE mail!  And boy howdy, do we ever love 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.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Delaine’s Food Bank Chili

June 9th, 2014
With very few ingredients you can make a tasty, low cost meal!

With very few ingredients you can make a tasty, low cost meal! *Mother Connie is out of tomato products at the moment…

Mother Connie flumps through life, wondering at times if THIS is the path to be taken.  This morning’s mail brought tears to her eyes with a recipe and message from one of our dear Members, Delaine.  She is following HER passion, too.  Delaine took the time to share this pragmatic recipe and dear comments with us:

Food Bank Chili

1-2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg of taco seasoning
1 can of tomatoes or tomato paste
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan.  Add the taco seasoning and heat though.  Upgrade to luxury status by adding browned ground meat, or use the canned surplus beef from the pantry, but brown it and use some onions if you have them.
SIDEBAR: Delaine and I have discussed the procurement of spices.  If you have access to food stores selling spices in bulk, you can purchase as little or as much as possible.  That may help some.  END SIDEBAR.
Delaine is a busy girl.  She is teaching people in need to cook nutritious foods.  Here is her comment regarding that effort:
“Easy enough for even the non-cooks to do, and delicious enough to encourage appetite.  It’s awful, but too often, I see folks dependent upon the food banks literally starving because of food boredom.  I encourage them to use their bread supplies as dippers for this, as it makes the bread more interesting.  Getting fresh fruits and vegetables to the food pantry dependent is also a severe challenge.

I was reading your information about how difficult it is for many people to cook and eat.  Much arises from the culture of poverty and homelessness, and much of it is spot on as you said: that learning to cook is fundamentally a family value.  I have taught people who have literally done nothing but microwave prepared packaged semi-food to prepare from fundamental ingredients, and the overwhelming response is ‘I never knew anything this good could be this easy!’ “
She goes on to say this:  ” I depend on your site and others for the work I do in the community.  Tragic also, are those who do not understand the fundamentals of nutrition or who do not know the basic foods: protein, carbohydrates, fats and minerals.  So thanks for your good work, Connie.  You benefit many homeless, and desperate people in Sacramento, CA. “
There you have it, people.  The whole point of having this blog is to help those who depend on public assistance for their food source.  It is not helpful to scold or shame or ignore or complicate the lives of those who have needs: how wonderful that Delaine has dedicated her life to offering others real education, assistance and care!
If you are a user of EBT  cards for SNAP or WIC; if you are living on a dime; if you love being frugal; if you get goods from a food bank, food pantry or generous gardener, we have a passion for helping you.  We trust you will benefit from the little series of cooking tips you will receive by becoming a Member and we look forward to your comments on the comment panel below this post and at our email addy:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

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: Keep Calm and Scramble Eggs!

June 2nd, 2014

 

Eggs make a simple, low cost, tummy filling meal in minutes.  And talk about EASY-DO!

Eggs make a simple, low cost, tummy filling meal in minutes. And talk about EASY-DO!

As you all know this little corner of the internet is dedicated to users of public assistance for their food dollars.  That would include holders of EBT cards for SNAP and WIC as well as those who  visit food pantries, food banks, food drops, and food commodities.

It was my privilege to attend a large conference recently where I met people who work in food pantries.  The concern seems to be  “WHY do users of public assistance not know how to shop wisely and prepare healthy foods at home?”

This is not neuroscience, my friends. MANY of us are living on  a dime…  Here’s the deal:  People who need help with their food dollars are those who grew up poor or became needy from medical circumstances or had bad luck or made choices that put them into financial straits.  Most likely as they were growing up, their caretakers were working two jobs each to keep body and soul together and there was no time or opportunity for the next generation to learn how to shop or cook.  It may have been “catch as catch can” when it came to the business of mealtime.  Maybe they live in places where good food supplies are uncertain and sometimes unavailable.

Enter Mother Connie!  My passion is for people who want to learn to work with the resources they have in order to S T R E T C H those food dollars to get the help they need AND for those same people to feel appreciated and respected and loved as people.  There will be no scolding, no shaming, no judgement in this little part of the world. We just wanna HELP.

Today I want to share with you how EASY it is to scramble the humble egg.  Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein and can star in any menu-breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

Begin by GENTLY heating a coupla pats o butter or a bit of veggie oil..

Begin by GENTLY heating a coupla pats o butter or a bit of veggie oil..

While your butter or oil warm, choose two eggs for each diner and one for the skillet.  *ALMOST the same as the rule for potatoes:  “one for each face around the table and one for the pot.”   Here are the eggs we fixed for today’s lunch:

Scrambled Eggs 2014 002

Mom always taught me to break each egg into a small bowl before I added it into a batch so a bad egg would not ruin the whole works.  You can see that the small bowl was eliminated here and the reason is that these eggs are farm fresh and we have NEVER found a bad egg in the many eggs we get from this resource!  This big bowl is what they were mixed in before the skillet was warm and ready to receive the goodies!

I used a whisk to mix the eggs gently but thoroughly.

SIDEBAR:  Our kitchen is NOT tricked  out with granite counters, double dishwashers, warming ovens, and islands with cook tops.  I’m guessing neither is YOURS.  So if you have no whisk, keep calm and grab a fork.  *However, I would not recommend a plastic fork grin/giggle.  END SIDEBAR

The next step requires a bit of patience because the cook – or the cook’s assistant – would be wise to keep those eggs moving so they don’t cook in a bunch.  You want scrambled eggs to be smooth and almost creamy.  Just stir them with your whisk or fork until they don’t look shiny any more.  At the beginning you can season them with plain ole salt and pepper:

Scrambled Eggs 2014 007

If you want to add texture to scrambled eggs, a nice addition *if you have the time* is to finely chop some onion and celery and/or peppers into the mix.  Just drop the chopped goods into the eggs as you start the cooking process and they will provide nutrition and crunch.

Ketchup is a good condiment if you don’t prefer plain eggs; salsa is a popular one, as well.  Use whatever you have on hand and enjoy every bite.  If you have some bread for toasting, that is a good partner for eggs.  You might like to have canned peaches for dessert if it’s lunch or dinner. And if you are making eggs for breakfast, applesauce makes a great breakfast starter.

Here’s hoping this helps you immensely.  We also hope you have the time and inclination to add your comment on the comment panel below this post.

Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by and you need to know how TICKLED we are to see all the new members who have hopped on board,  despite the issues we’ve had of late!  Please know you are ALL loved and appreciated.

Connie Baum

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

 PS/You can contact us at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com , too!

Hearty Breakfast at Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 30th, 2013
A hearty and heart healthy breakfast is just the thing for everyone in your family as school gets into high gear and summer's heat becomes fall's chill...

A hearty and heart healthy breakfast is just the thing for everyone in your family as school gets into high gear and summer’s heat becomes fall’s chill…

We expect temps today in the high 90s.  The Normanator and I plan to stay close to the A/C and suggest you do the same, drinking plenty of water.  Make sure everyone you love is safe and well hydrated.  The holiday weekend that lays before us will probably include outdoor fun so do take good care!

The heat that plagues us now will soon be the chill we complain about.  Having a good start to busy, chilly days is imperative!  The Imperfect Homemaker offered a nifty recipe some time back; I am sharing it with you now because it is inexpensive, easily and quickly made and it tastes DIVINE.

Maple Pecan Granola

From Kelly at The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking

“I love the ease of granola for breakfast. I love the crunchy sweetness. I love that everybody in the family eats it happily without complaining. I love that my older children can serve themselves while I nurse the baby and sip my coffee.

And I love that this recipe is so simple that I can make it from memory in my groggy pre-caffienated state.

This recipe makes enough for our whole family to eat it for breakfast twice if served with yogurt, fresh fruit, and a tiny bit of self restraint!

 In a mixing bowl, combine:

  • 3 cups of old fashioned or “large flake” rolled oats
  • 2 cups of chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (super-duper good for you and available at health food stores and well stocked grocery stores or online 
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

In a small pot combine:

  • In a small pot, combine:
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • a splash of vanilla extract

Heat until the coconut oil has melted.

Pour wet ingredients over the dry, and stir.

Spread granola out on two parchment lined cookie sheets and bake in a 300 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until fragrant and slightly golden brown.

The trick to perfectly cooked granola is to remove it from the oven just before you are convinced it is done, because it will continue to cook a little even after you’ve removed it from the oven.

Cool completely before moving to a tightly sealed glass jar. 

Serve sprinkled on yogurt, alone as a yummy crunchy snack, or in a bowl with milk.”

As you can see in the photo above, Mother Connie is out of pecans, so I will be using walnuts.  Let’s hope the Kitchen Patrol is on another detail while this project is underway.  Also, we are temporarily out of the large flake oatmeal, which we much prefer, so the quick stuff will have to do for now.

If you have never used Chia seeds, you are in for a treat!  They come in black or white.  We prefer the white, as we understand they pack a bigger punch.  Because we are raisin fans, we will use those also.

Thanks to Kelly for her recipe and a peek into her busy family life!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you enjoy the challenge of wrestling with the food budget,  S  T  R  E  T  C  H  I  N  G   every food dollar?  Maybe you are a holder of an EBT card for WIC or SNAP…you might be receiving food from a food drop, food bank, food pantry or food commodities.  Knowing how to cook, understanding what value is in various food items and knowing that you are supported NOT JUDGED is vital to feeding your loved ones well and wisely.

We are just thrilled to see the new faces in the Club House.  This is so gratifying to Mother Connie and the Food Stamps Cooking Club.  We are all in this together, kids, and we are here to help one another.

Above all,  remember that you are loved and appreciated!

Connie Baum

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

 

 

 

Cucumbers and Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 28th, 2013
Cucumbers can shine in a hot weather salad...or NOT!

Cucumbers can shine in a hot weather salad…or NOT!

One of our kids calls these “coonkumbers”…it’s shorthand to refer to them as “cukes”.  The Normanator doesn’t care what you call them; he doesn’t like them.

Yesterday was a rare event in the life of your humble blogger.  We treated ourselves to a double date with former neighbors, which involved a restaurant meal and a baseball game.  It was so great not to have to think about shopping, chopping and presenting a meal.  Better yet-I was not on the clean up committee!

I ordered a chicken fried steak, smothered in creamy white gravy, which was completely tender.  I cut it with my fork, savoring each bite.  I also ordered turnip greens which were drizzled with a lovely vinegar.  Freshly sauteed green beans appeared on the plate, as well.  My third choice was a delicious sounding salad that promised to cool and refresh:  cucumbers with tomatoes and onion.

The salad was a train wreck!  Thumbs down all the way!  I suppose I was expecting the kind of cuke/tomato/onion yumminess that my dear mother always made.  She peeled the cucumbers, chopped the tomatoes and cukes in to bite sized pieces and the onions were minced so as to be the background.  She would save a few rings of onion for garnish.  Then she bathed it all in a solution of vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.  It was always delectable.

What our waitress delivered to the table were HUNKS of cucumber, whole tomatoes that were so pathetic they had NO juice and were wrinkly and unappealing.  The onions?  Oh, my, they were hunks of onion, too!  CHUNKS, none of it was even chopped!  It looked icky and tasted blah.

Complaining about food ordered in a restaurant is not my cup of tea but when asked directly how everything was, I suggested that they rethink their salad or remove it from the menu.  I suspect they might take my idea under advisement, because even the manager got involved in salad conversation…

Here’s how cucumber salad should be prepared, in Mother Connie’s humble opinion:

Summery Cucumber Side Salad

1 medium cucumber, washed, peeled and diced into bite sized pieces

2 medium tomatoes, washed, peeled, chopped

1 small onion, peeled and diced

Place vegetables in a small bowl.  Add a liberal amount of salt and let stand for 15 minutes or so, until there is juice in the bottom of the bowl.

Pour off the juice and salt.  Add enough vinegar and cold water to cover the goods.  Add  a generous amount of salt, pepper and sugar to the mix and allow it to stand in the fridge so it has time to chill and the flavors can marry.  Taste test the solution as you go.

Using rice vinegar or wine vinegar-if you have it-changes  the taste of the brine and promises to delight the palate!  This is refreshing on a hot end-of-summer day and will keep well in the fridge, so you could double or triple the recipe and save yourself some prep time!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you hold an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Maybe you just like the challenge of squeezing the food dollars and seeing how frugal you can be!  Are you getting goods from a food pantry, food drop or food commodities?  Maybe you have visited a food bank…in any case, if you use any form of public assistance we are devoted to helping you  S T R E T C H  those food dollars.  We sincerely hope we bring value to you and your loved ones.  We bring no judgement and we are not out to sell you anything.  We have a little series of cooking tips to share if you join the Club and we always hope for your comments and emails to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

Plans are in the works for an offline cooking class…stay tuned!  And do remember you are loved and appreciated!

Connie Baum

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

 

 

County Fair Week and Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 12th, 2013

It’s Fair Week in Johnson County, Nebraska!

Plans for our Johnson County Fair have been in the works since the midway closed in 2012!  Our little Maple Grove church family is responsible for the Food Stand and with regard to that, the Food Stamps Cooking Club club house will once again serve as “Pie Central.”

The members of Maple Grove are superb pie bakers.  Every pie will be brought to our door each day-fresh from the ovens of talented bakers-and The Normanator and I will cut them, place each slice into its own container, place labels on each little box to identify the flavor and pop them into flats for transport to the Fair Stand.  They will be collected and placed in the refrigerators on site.  Last year we tallied 800 pieces of home made pie were served up to hungry fair goers.  If the weather is good, we could match or surpass that number this year!  All the profits go to help support our community.

These kinds of events have the potential to strain a family’s food budget.  With careful planning and scrutiny, however, even those who  depend on public assistance can enjoy such treats as a Black Cow-root beer and chocolate ice cream-juicy burgers or sloppy nachos.  It takes discipline and wise planning to make it happen.  People who are accustomed to living on a dime are really good at this!  YOU know who you are!

We salute and support people who fund their food budgets with the help of food pantries, food drops, food commodities.  We applaud you who manage on goods from generous gardeners, CSA supplies, farmers markets as well as WIC and SNAP.  We greatly admire those of you who are thrifty and clever at making  foodstuffs   s t r e t c h   as far as possible for your loved ones.

Here’s hoping you will understand that Mother Connie will be busy baking pies, cutting pies, chopping onions and all that goes with working with our church family this week, leaving no room for blogging.  :(  As the week unfolds, I’ll be on the hunt for ideas and suggestions and recipes to help you navigate your way through feeding your loved ones on a tight budget.

We would love to see you at the Johnson County Fair!  We’d love to hear about YOUR county fair experiences, too!  Just leave us some love in the comment panel.

We’ll reconnect next week!  Please remember, too, that you are loved and appreciated!

PS/The good folks over at Living On a Dime have a sale going on, just in case you are interested and have room in your budget…tell them Mother Connie sent you, please?

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 Bounty: Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 6th, 2013
Summer Bounty in the Club House!

Summer Bounty in the Club House!

We really have an embarrassment of riches, as you can see by the display on the kitchen table!  There is a gigantic zucchini, which will be ground and morphed into delicious desserts and main dishes after a stint in the freezer; the sweet potato will grace our dinner table tonight and those peaches will make decadent, juicy, fresh desserts for The Normanator and me.

Most of these items were gifts from generous gardeners!  We hope to be able to  s t r e t c h our food dollars to the inth degree with wise use of each food.

One of the joys of summer foods is consideration of the health benefits.  I found an interesting list to share:

1.  Sweet Potatoes.  These have lots of color, which indicates uber nutritive value.  Making “fries” or slices coated with cinnamon is a nice way for youngsters to learn to like veggies.  Pop them into the oven to roast and the flesh of the potatoes become sweeter.  Even children can help with this process and learn the fine art of feeding themselves!

2. Greek Yogurt.  This is such a great breakfast food!   A tablespoon or two of this and a few chunks of fresh-or canned-fruit makes a quick start for the day with little fuss and lots of food value.

3.  Watermelon.  LOADED with minerals, this is a fun summer food.  How many of us took chunks of melon to the yard, burying our faces in the pink flesh of the fruit and spitting seeds on the lawn?  Oh, making memories around food is sooooo important in making for happy childhoods!

4.  Leafy greens.  These are wonderful!  Kale, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, Swiss chard are so versatile and so good for a body.  Last night Mother Connie threw spinach, mushrooms, basil, lemon juice and oil into the food processor to make a pesto to cover pasta.  The freshness and intensity of the flavors were enhanced by the lemon-I added salt at the table-and it was a deeply satisfying meal.  It is critical for good digestion that we include leafy greens in our diets.  It’s easier to do in the summertime!

5.  Broccoli.  This cruciferous vegetable helps to prevent infection of all sorts because of its high content of vitamins, minerals and folic acid.  It makes a good snack if it’s raw; if it’s steamed and flavored with red pepper flakes or dash of lemon or sprinkle of nutmeg, it is a glorious summer side dish.  It works well in vegetable salads, too, which are most refreshing on summer days.

Are you living on a  dime?  Do you depend on public assistance for your food dollars?  Maybe you hold an EBT card for SNAP or WIC.  Maybe you just love to be thrifty.  If you have food from food commodities, a food pantry or food bank, you might like to know that this corner of the internet is exclusively for YOU.  We understand how hard it is to keep body and soul together and we aim to help.

We are gleeful at the list of new Club Members!  We welcome you with open arms and can’t wait to get your input on our comment panel!

Please remember that you are loved and appreciated.

Connie Baum

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

Bean Soakers, Arise & Join Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 5th, 2013
When the type of bean to prepare has been chosen and the ingredients to gather in the bean pot are on hand, shall we SOAK the beans or NOT SOAK the beans?  That seems to be the question.

When the type of bean to prepare has been chosen and the ingredients to gather in the bean pot are on hand, shall we SOAK the beans or NOT SOAK the beans? That seems to be the question.

Our weekend was enhanced because of a wonderful gathering with friends at their cabin.  It was a simple, relaxed affair  where every guest brought carry in dishes and their sense of humor!

We sat around the fire pit, toasting marshmallows and talking when the subject of beans came up…

SIDEBAR:  Think of it Mother Connie being present and the topic of food coming up.  Unimaginable, eh?  END SIDEBAR.

Some of these folks are bean soakers; others consider soaking beans unnecessary.  The idea even came up that we should form an organization and call ourselves “The Bean Soakers”…there were ideas about club meetings and parade floats and all manner of silliness all centered around whether to soak or not to soak beans before cooking.  Purchasing canned beans was also a hot topic!

Truly, by that time of the evening ,with darkness coming over us, we were ALL full of beans!

But it got Mother Connie thinking about the people who depend on public assistance for their food dollars.  How is the single mother – or single dad, for that matter – going to know how to cook beans or anything at all UNLESS and UNTIL they KNOW HOW?

I dunno how it is in your world but I’m keenly aware of families who work 2 or 3 poorly paying jobs, juggle family and work and sleep and have few cooking skills because THEIR parents did the same routine…who had time to teach/learn cooking?  Then again, you have the people who are living on a dime whose relatives taught them to cook but they were not particularly interested at the time and now they are struggling to make ends meet.

We are told to bloom where you are planted, so Mother Connie has committed herself to offering a Cooking Class.  The date has not been chosen YET but we do promise it will be something with video so everyone in the Club can access the information.

It won’t be slick and high end.  We’ll do it in the Club House and we will stick to basics.

This will not be a gimmick to get you to do something; this will be information you can use or lose, depending on what you need to make your life better.  We feel called to do this for you out of our concern for your financial and physical health.

Do you squeeze a nickel til the buffalo bellows?  Are you holding an EBT card for SNAP or WIC?  Do you love to cook?  Do you hate to cook?  No matter if you get your food from a food pantry, food bank, use food commodities or what-we are here to support you.  Our mail has indicated of late that you are finding this little corner of the internet helpful and that keeps us getting up each day and delivering what we hope is a valuable service to you all.

Please remember you are loved and appreciated!  And if you wouldn’t mind, we would love to know if YOU are a bean soaker!

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.

First Fast Food and Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 30th, 2013

Fruits and veggies were the original fast food!

Even though it’s summer, or maybe especially because it is summer, people want fast food and they want it NOW.  Some folks skip breakfast because they are rushed to get to work; everyone can be on varying sleeping schedules because of vacation times — you all know  the drill.  That’s when convenient finger-food is really important.

When it’s time for lunch everyone wants something fast so they can go play.  Dinner time comes and people arrive at the table at varying times or, worse, sit in front of a screen as they eat.

Fresh fruits and veggies make for great meal plans, whether it’s a meal or a snack.

Let’s use yesterday’s lunch in the Club House for example:

We expected a lunch guest who is very diet conscious.  She has recently shed some weight and is eager to maintain her new norm.  To honor this, I prepared a HUGE salad at very low cost.  It had Romaine lettuce, onion, celery, mushrooms, red pepper, cauliflower and frozen peas.  It had a home made honey/mustard dressing so it was the perfect companion to the main dish.  Oh.  I used a bit of leftover ground beef to top off the salad.  It had already been seasoned so it only needed to be heated and that took almost no time to manage.

Our guest favored us with a bowl of fresh fruit, which served as a luscious ‘as-is’ dessert.  No topping; no dressing; just naked chunks of peach, apple, and strawberries.  Nothing spendy, really.

SIDEBAR:  We were surprised and delighted to add 2 more plates to the lunch table when some friends happened by as we came to the table.  Just as in the story of the loaves and the fishes there was plenty of food and we even had enough food left over for another meal!  END SIDEBAR

We were loaded with adequate protein and fiber – solid nutrition with minerals and vitamins and flavor, so we were not searching for snacks between lunch and dinner.

With food costs soaring it’s important to get enough nutrition in the foods we eat so as to keep the costs as low as possible.

It’s hard to juggle work/play/food prep/food costs with family and friends in every 24 hour span of time.  We GET that.  That’s why we exist.  It is our intention to be of service each day in our own little way.  You need to feel that someone cares and that you matter, BECAUSE YOU DO MATTER and of course, we care of we would not address the issue every week day.

If you or someone you know is using public assistance, living on a dime or has an EBT  card for SNAP or WIC you may want to share this information with them.  Users of food pantries, food commodities, food banks, food drops or those who are thrifty by nature might like to become Members here at Food Stamps Cooking Club.  We appreciate passing the word and we do offer a little series of cooking tips.  Plans are in the works for a Cooking Class, which we hope can happen in the fall.

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.