Posts Tagged ‘Food Bank’

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

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.

Sprouting Seeds at Food Stamps Cooking Club

March 1st, 2013
Sprouting seeds is pretty close to making an indoor garden!

Sprouting seeds is an easy way of making an indoor garden!

Have you always thought that real, organic, greens were beyond your reach because of weather or geography or lack of funds?  Maybe not…

When a close friend was diagnosed with a very serious illness she began to sprout her own little crops of seeds in sunny windows.  All she had was a clear glass jar with a cheesecloth “lid” secured with a canning ring She had jars on window sills all over the South side of her house with seeds at various stages of growth.  She ate those sprouts, along with other raw, organic foods and soon enjoyed vibrant good health once again.  It was a powerful lesson for me in how to be well.

It was a revelation to me that real food was so nutrient dense that it takes less volume of food to satisfy our hunger.  At that time, I was content to fill up on cookies and cakes, not veggies and fruits.  Oh, the lessons that have come Mother Connie’s way.  In those days, we were living on a dime and we fell into the trap of believing that cheaper was better.  We found out, thankfully before our health failed, that real food fills up tummies and satisfies appetites better than “fluff food” or “fake food.” 

A trip to the health food store made it possible to procure a package of tiny seeds that would transform quickly and easily by sitting in sunny windows.  I don’t recall how much that first package cost but I can tell you with certainty that it cost much less than a trip to the doctor.  Our children delighted in watching the seeds become salads and garnishes and snacks and each had his own jar to manage.

There is much ado these days about organic gardening and certified organic…the genetically modified “food” is readily available and dangerous as arsenic BUT IT IS CHEAP, so it is pushed to the consumer as “OKAY for human consumption.”  By growing your OWN food in the comfort of your own home you KNOW it’s safe to eat.

Tending sprouts is super simple.  Keep them moist, rinse them two or three times a day; shake of excess moisture and keep them in the sunshine until they get to be the size you like to eat.  Don’t crowd too many seeds into a jar or they might tend to grow mold.  If you like, you can even spread seeds out over a damp cloth or damp paper towel. 

One of my dear friends told me yesterday that her “sleeping porch” which is lined with expansive windows on the South side of their house is filled with baby plants.  She is already harvesting lettuce from the little pots she has there.  This is an excellent way to grow food, and if you have windows with Southern exposure you could really have some family fun with an indoor gardening project.

There is something magical and therapeutic about growing food.  And it is oh, so healthy.

Users of public assistance hold a special place in Mother Connie’s heart.  Here’s hoping that if you are living on a dime or using food from a food pantry or food bank or if you have food commodities these offerings are helpful to you.  You are welcome to contact Mother Connie with an email to 

~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.

It’s ALL about the $ at Food Stamps Cooking Club

February 28th, 2013

It’s all about the $$$$ when it comes to feeding those you love.

You saw the video the other day about eating what $4.00 a day will buy.  No doubt you have opinions about what was purchased.  Responding to the film, some of our faithful Members chimed in, offering the practices they employ in their own budget/menu planning/food prep for the faces around their tables.  If you have not seen these messages, they appear in the Comment panel below previous posts.

Tomorrow the people in our government could lower our resources even more with the infamous ‘sequester’.  If you have a $100.00 for food, the sequester may set you back a couple of dollars or say, half a gallon of milk.   It really IS all about the money!

There is no reason for you who use public assistance or face lower incomes to go into fear over this.  There is, however, good reason to figure out how to feed the people you love by s t r e t c h i n g whatever resources you happen to have.  

You, like the Members who commented, need a PLAN.

Plan what your family will need and study the circulars and prices so you can spend your resources accordingly.  This will be a glorious opportunity for you to experience new choices and experiment with new ways of food prep.

Some users of SNAP or WIC or food pantry foods do not cook.  Maybe their caretakers worked or worked more than one job and did not have the time to teach them.  Perhaps they don’t LIKE to cook.  No matter, by preparing foods at home, great amounts of money can be saved.  Another benefit of cooking at home is the chance to bond with your family members.  Most cooks remember hanging out with Mama or Grandfather or Auntie or SOMEONE who gave them good experiences over food prep–snitching tastes, chopping vegetables, peeling fruit for pies…this gave them the desire to cook as adults.  And let’s face it.  It is the responsible thing to do.

Don’t fall for the idea that cheap food is OK to eat.  Ramen noodles do not support health; they only temporarily satisfy your hunger pangs.  Boxes with “food” are hideous imposters, only pretending to be edible.  Fruits and vegetables may SEEM to be more costly but by eating real food-raw or cooked-your body will be well fueled and sickness won’t visit you so much. Learning to create meals with grains you may not have used in the past can be such fun.  Using veggies you have previously avoided might be more interesting than you imagined.  And please, do avoid those sugary treats.  They won’t even taste good to you once you learn to love other, more nutritious foods.  Sugar can rot your teeth and weaken your bones faster than you know.  Who needs dental bills on top of high food costs?

We really encourage you to cook.  If this is a problem for you, please let us know how we can help in this regard.  If you can read, you can cook.  Surely you have a relative, neighbor or friend who could help you learn to shop and cook.  Absent that, there are cookbooks everywhere, video tutorials online and Mother Connie is available to consult with you.  Just drop her an email at  and let’s see what we can make happen.  There is no charge for this, of course.

If you are living on a dime and hope you don’t have to manage on only a nickel; if you are concerned about how to feed your loved ones in the upcoming weeks, we do hope we can be of service to you.  The fact that you continue to send your sphere of influence to sign up for the Food Stamps Cooking Club and our little series of cooking tips tells us we are having a positive effect.  THANK YOU.

~Connie Baum. 


Super Soup at Food Stamps Cooking Club

February 26th, 2013

Freshly made, highly nutritious, this makes up great soup in a flash!

From humble vegetables, a great soup can come with no stress or heavy lifting!

Most cooks favor dishes and  meals that take little time because cooking is just one more thing busy people have to do.  Well, today we offer you a simple meal that will satisfy your time AND your nutritional requirements.


1  head fresh broccoli or 4 cups of frozen chopped broccoli  *If you use fresh, cut the head into pieces, wash and chop into smaller pieces.

1/2  onion, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Sour cream *optional

Cover the broccoli with  a cup of water and bring to a boil.  As soon as the water boils, lower the heat, add the onion and seasonings and cook til tender.  Watch the water lever; you do not want the pot to boil dry.

When the broccoli is tender, put the undrained vegetables and the liquid into the food processor.  *No processor?  No worries; just work in batches and use a blender.  No blender either?  Not to fuss; just mash the veg with a potato masher.

The finished product should be bright green, lump-free and smooth, like velvet.  This will be a very thick soup.  When it goes into the bowls, a dollop of sour cream will top it off nicely.

By using cauliflower in place of broccoli, you can make a thick white soup.  A very interesting, highly nutritious soup could come from using BOTH broccoli and cauliflower.

If you insist that soup should be thinner, feel free to add chicken broth to make the consistency you prefer

This method of making soup really appealed to me because my own mother leaned on canned soups as I was growing up.  That was, no doubt, because my dad either worked in the grocery biz or owned a grocery store and that was the quickest and easiest way for her to put a meal on the table.  I wonder if she would have prepared this…I fancy she would because it is so easy, so simple and takes almost no time.

While my own potful of soup simmered I put together a salad of lettuce, celery, onion, peas and carrot pieces.  I dressed it with a dab of mayo/sugar/milk to make a thin dressing.

We were pretty sure we were eating like royalty.  But the best part is that we were way too full to look for after dinner snacks!

These soup ideas might work well for YOU if you find yourself living on a dime, procuring goods from a food pantry or food bank.  If you use food commodities we hope this gives you some ideas for your dietary needs.  Maybe you are thrifty by nature and enjoy managing your food budget or you have an EBT card from SNAP or WIC. 

Thank you so much for passing the word about the Food Stamps Cooking Club.  We are welcoming new Members every day and this is important to us.  You are welcome to communicate with us by sending your emails to  We read every message with delight.

~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.

Going Nutty at Food Stamps Cooking Club

February 22nd, 2013

Pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts…we are nutty for nuts in the Club House!

Did you know that you could pack a major nutritional punch just by adding a few nuts to the dishes you serve your loved ones?

It took Mother Connie a long time to learn this simple, low cost tidbit.  Nuts are not cheap to purchase but you don’t need lots of nuts to get lots of nutrition.  For example, a couple of walnuts, minced finely, and scattered into a salad will add texture, flavor and scads of nutrients.  Nuts are rich with protein and fiber and good oil.  Pecans, almonds, peanuts…various varieties liven up any food!

Another thing to consider is toasting nuts before using them.  This was a foreign concept to me, indicative of how we learn how to prepare food the way our mothers mother never toasted anything but bread!

Here’s how easy it is to toast a small batch-say, the amount you’d use for a potful of oatmeal or a batch of muffins: 

Place shelled nuts into a small, dry frypan over medium heat.  Use whole pieces and chop the nuts after toasting. Shake the pan gently to keep the nuts moving.  If they stay put they could scorch.  When you begin to smell the fragrant, nutty aroma, they are toasted.  Allow them to cool by removing the pan from the burner, pour the nuts onto your cutting board and chop them to the size that suits you.  

These pieces will add glorious richness to cereals, salads, soups, stews, muffins.  And they will jazz up any vegetable side dish.  Is there anything nicer than green beans with toasted almonds?  I think not!

If you are using public assistance for your food source or if you have food commodities, food from a food bank or food pantry we welcome you to our little corner of the web.  We are on a mission to help people learn how to eat well and wisely, even though they hold an EBT card for SNAP or WIC.  Some of  our members are living on a dime or are just thrifty by nature.  Some people grew up  without knowing how to cook or shop and we want to hold your hand and help you learn. We hope we can lure you away from junk food and demonstrate better choices.

Your emails and comments cheer our hearts tremendously.  You are welcome to contact us at, where EVERY message is read.  We make every effort to answer each one, as well.

~Connie Baum

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