Posts Tagged ‘food budgets’

Food Stamps Cooking: MAIL!

November 4th, 2015
Is that money in the pocket of Mother Connie's apron?

Is that money in the pocket of Mother Connie’s apron? No, it must be snail mail…

As you all must know by now, Mother Connie adores mail!  One of our faithful sent a bit of a rant and I wanted to share it with you because Delaine makes some salient points.  She always expresses her ideas directly from her heart.  Her letter is unedited; here’s hoping it trips your trigger and touches you the way it touched me:

“Nov 1

It seems to me that the time between Samhain (aka Halloween) and New Years is shorter every year. Still, the *feast* days in this time are always a source of goodness to us. We celebrate the good things we have and try to share as much as we can.

I recently had the experience of housing a young man who is homeless. It’s a complicated story, and not even a tenth of the success of my *far-to-young-mother” who is doing very well. One of the things that has become ever more, sadly, apparent to me is the observation that I made years ago. In the USA, hunger is not an absence of food, but an absence of knowledge. I just walked around my block here in Sacramento, CA, and found much that was just growing and hanging over the fence lines. Figs, lemons, oranges, crab apples, pomegranates, not to mention the salad growing through the cracks in the sidewalk: arugula, red lettuce, dandelions, wild onions, wild leeks and a plethora of other growing things, not to mention the gleanings from the local farms that are just not economical to harvest mechanically. I am not advocating urban hunter-gathering, but the amazing abundance here is comforting. I guess it’s one of my “grateful for” things.

Nevertheless, one of the points that I make over and again, especially as I teach cooking, is that the very basic skills are just not being taught. I remember (far too long ago) that there was a set of “survival courses” that we had to have 1 elective credit in order to graduate. This was the most practical and useful course in my entire education next to typing. In the curriculum, we learned basic auto maintenance like checking the fluid levels, belt conditions etc, and basic cooking skills (boil, braise, roast, grill, stir fry and bake) and a variety of things that are amazingly useful like how to re-wire a bad light switch. We also learned how to read technical things and interpret what is meant. Oh – for the good old days when we didn’t spend so much money and time teaching tests.

What I am kvetching about is that this young man had food stamps and means to get to food banks, but had no concept with regard to how to cook anything much less over an open fire, an impromptu grill, and forget about making a dirt oven to bake anything. I put a few pounds on him, got him some practical cooking skills, and cured his scurvy. (That’s right – vitamin c deficiency with lemons and oranges hanging over the fence waiting to be picked and either eaten right away or turned into lemonade!)

So anyway, thanks for letting me vent my ire about the failures of our educational system – as only a retired teacher can do – and the fact that hunger is a function of ignorance!”  ~Delaine

Thank you for all you do, Delaine.  And thank you for putting something into our mailbox!

For those of you who may be new here, we want you to know that this corner of the internet is dedicated to users of public assistance for their food dollars.

If your food budget is supported by an EBT card from WIC or SNAP or you are using goods from a food drop, food pantry or have food commodities on your shelves, you are welcome here.  So are those who are frugal by nature!  Everyone is welcome.  We hope to be of help to you whether you are a seasoned cook or just a newbie in the kitchen.  We want you all to be healthy and it’s important to eat well and wisely, most especially if you are on a tight food budget.

We love mail, as you are well aware.  If you send us a message our hearts will go pitter patter:

If you are in the Tecumseh, NE area, you might be interested to know that there will be a Cooking Class on Friday, November 13 at SENCA.  There is no charge for this class about SALADS but to save your place at the table, please let Terri know by calling 402 335 2134.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

Food Stamps Cooking in the Clubhouse

October 23rd, 2015


This is Nikki, a young mother who came to the Clubhouse to cook!  She copied Mother Connie’s favorite spaghetti sauce recipe so she can use some of the tomatoes she canned from her garden!

It was thrilling to have Nikki ask to come and cook with Mother Connie!  She had some end of the garden goodies; I had some pantry items.  We decided to make soup, talk about cooking and food and hang out together!  Her husband brought their children when it was time to eat and another family of four joined us for the party!

Before Nikki arrived I assembled a few items to incorporate into our soup:


Not sure what Nikki would bring, I thought we could begin with the famous onion/carrot/celery threesome and these items.

I drizzled a bit of oil into a large pot and added the goodies to soften them and add savor to the soup…


As these veggies sauteed I added a bit of salt and pepper.  When Nikki arrived, we added her eggplant, potatoes, more carrots, and some canned tomatoes.  We also used a spoonful or so of tomato paste and just a touch of sugar (to cut the tomato a tad).   We had LOTS of broth and we added a bit of water, and  some precooked quinoa.  There was frozen corn and frozen peas to add for flavor, nutrition and color. Nikki had dehydrated some kale so those flakes were sprinkled in to add color, flavor and nourishment.  Vegetable broth was added to give dimension to the flavor profile and add volume.  We talked about how we could have used cabbage or noodles or other vegetable combinations. We added some basil to the soup just before it was served. YUM YUM YUM

Since Nikki and her family are vegetarian we talked about all the ways there are to get complete protein.  She is well aware of how important optimum nutrition is and we swapped ideas about what to cook and how to make various dishes or adapt them.

We also made a ginormous salad (which of course we forgot to photograph!).  We began by shredding dark greens.  We added tender, sweet butter lettuce pieces we tore. Then we layered kidney beans, cranberries, quinoa, almond slivers, Napa cabbage, broccoli and tossed everything together.  Shame on Mother Connie for not capturing the beauty of the greens on camera!

We laid everything out on the table and served the food buffet style from the stove.  One of our little guests, Ava, who is 10, brought a loaf of soda bread to share THAT SHE HAD BAKED ALL BY HERSELF!  It was tasty and crusty and made a fine partner for the loaf of sourdough bread that Nikki brought to share!



I think the littlest guests had fun:

IMG_20151021_185628550Jack, Eli, Ava and Lucy had the kitchen to themselves!

The afternoon and evening was more of a party than a cooking class!  It made my heart go pitter-patter.  I was as happy as a pig in mud! 

If you have garden goodies left you are no doubt fixing stir fry dishes, soups and canning or freezing things as you have the time. Maybe you use  food from a food pantry or you have food commodities.  If you have an EBT card from SNAP or WIC it’s likely you have created home made soups and such like.  Maybe you have played with the seasonings to suit your family’s fancy.  In any case this little corner of the internet is devoted to those of you who struggle mightily with  your food budget.  We hope to help you stretch the food dollars and eat as well and wisely as you possibly can.  If you have joined our ranks and are receiving the little series of cooking tips we offer, we dearly hope you find them helpful.

Our comment panel is closed but you are always invited to send your thoughts to

Connie Baum

PS/ SENCA will be offering another cooking class in Tecumseh, Nebraska in November; details will be forthcoming.  There will be no cost but interested people can reserve a spot at the table by calling 402 335 2134.  Ask for Terri.

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Garlic Lovers’ Dream

March 2nd, 2015

2015-01-08 1st Phone 001Midnight Pasta is the easiest, tastiest pasta dish you’ll ever make!

Is pasta one of YOUR comfort foods, too?

I’ve always fancied spaghetti, macaroni and any other pasta product ever invented.  Recently I’ve turned to the gluten free varieties and I do believe G-Free is my favorite now.  It never gets mushy as it cooks!  I bring well salted water to a boil, add the pasta, lowering the heat a bit.

SIDEBAR:My favorites are spaghetti or linguine but any pasta will do. END SIDEBAR.

I put a wooden spoon across the cooking pot instead of replacing the lid and let it simmer until the pasta is cooked–20 minutes.

For Midnight Pasta I do as I’ve described and while it bubbles I take a whole head of garlic (If you have a larger crowd around your dinner table, you’d want to add more garlic accordingly).  I peel it and put it into a skillet with a bit of olive or coconut oil.  You’ll need to put it on a low heat and stir it occasionally.  As the garlic cooks and sweetens it softens.  When every bud has become soft, add a ladle or two of the pasta liquid and stir thoroughly.

JUST before you are ready to marry the garlic with the pasta, add 1 to 2 cups of Parmesan cheese to the garlic.  *You may need to ladle more of the liquid from the pasta to melt the cheese.

Drain the pasta, dump the cooked product into a good sized bowl with the garlic mixture and toss it to thoroughly coat the goods.  By this time, the aroma of the garlic has your taste buds crying, “HURRY!  GET THIS TO THE TABLE!  WE ARE HUNGRY!”  grin

A crisp green salad and maybe a slice or two of garlic bread per diner makes a complete feast with lots and lots of flavor for very little money !

As you know, this little corner of the internet is devoted to users of Public Assistance for their food dollars.  We hope we are helping those who have EBT cards from SNAP and WIC  and those who get goods from Food Pantries, Food Commodities and generous gardeners or neighbors who wish to be helpful.  We are not fancy/schmancy; there are no apps and  certainly there is nothing to buy. We mean to HELP your budget, not desecrate it!

**Just because we have ads doesn’t mean you are obligated to spend money!

Because of computer issues we have been conspicuously absent.  While being offline we have found some ideas we cannot wait to share with you!  We’ll want to tell you about the Cooking Class, too!  It was such fun and it’s a pity you could not ALL attend!

Connie Baum

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

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

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’s Class Is All Souped UP!

January 7th, 2014

Cooking Class Home Imp Kay 038Soup’s ON!

It seems as if most of the United States is in the deep freeze!  What could be more warming than a bowl of hot soup on a frigid day?  We have a wonderful soup to share with you.  There is a wee bit of a story to go with it:

When I was a little girl my mother used to make what she called “Our Favorite Vegetable Soup” and I loved it so. I think of it as a comfort food. She made it quite often and as I grew up and took up in my own kitchen, I made it as often as she did.  It really WAS our favorite soup!

Mom came to live with us as her health began to fail and one day I came home from work to discover that she had “commandeered” our kitchen to delight us with steaming bowls of this luscious comfort food!  It was the very last meal she ever prepared.

It might become YOUR favorite soup, too.  It’s super easy and quick to make and you can vary it to suit YOUR fancy.

Our Favorite Vegetable Soup

To begin:

1 small onion, chopped

2 or 3 ribs of celery, chopped

3 or 4 carrots, chopped

Saute in a bit of vegetable oil.  Salt and pepper.  Cook until tender but firm.

Cooking Class Home Imp Kay 008Veggies saute very quickly over medium high heat.

Continue by putting into a soup pot: 1/2 package of macaroni *I prefer gluten free but YOU use what YOU like.

Cooking Class Home Imp Kay 013This is how Mother Connie stores her pasta; here it has been freshly removed from the freezer!

Put the sauteed veg into the soup pot with the macaroni and  4   cups of chicken broth, if you have it.  *Use water if you don’t have broth.

Cook this combo on medium heat until the macaroni is tender,stirring occasionally.

When the macaroni is cooked BUT NOT MUSHY, add 3 – 4 cups of milk and heat thoroughly.

If you like a thin soup, this is IT.  If you like a thick soup, sprinkle some instant mashed potatoes (or leftover mashed spuds) into the pot until it is the consistency you and your family like best.

Taste test to see if you need more seasonings.  This can take a good bit of salt, especially if you add potatoes.  This soup is lovely when served  with a dark bread or green salad-or both.

This will make 6 – 8 servings.  I always hope to have leftover soup so I can freeze it for an easy meal another time.

Those of you who have been Members for awhile know that we cater to users of WIC or SNAP and are EBT  card holders.  We also hope to help users of food pantries, food commodities; anyone who uses public assistance for their food budgets.  A good number of you are living on a dime.  Many people have not learned to cook.  We hope this little Offline Cooking Class will help those who are interested to know how to prepare simple meals on a tight budget and still maintain nourishing foods will get the help needed to really make their way around the kitchen.

You have no doubt noticed there is no loud voice, begging you to BUY stuff.  *Are you relieved?

You are welcome to share our information on Facebook or with those who sit in your circle.  Lots of people need help these days; together we could make a real difference in the world!

Please remember you are dearly loved.

Connie Baum

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

Food Stamps Cooking Club Is Egging You On!

January 6th, 2014

deviled eggs for class 006A platter with Deviled Eggs will appeal to guests and the little gems will disappear quickly!

There are many ways to prepare Deviled Eggs.  Mother Connie uses no recipe for this; it’s a matter of adding ingredients and tasting.  Here is how we got from well cooked eggs to this group of pretties:

deviled eggs for class 002

1.  Slice each egg lengthwise and gently remove the yolks from the whites.  Place the yolks into a shallow bowl and set the whites aside on a plate.

2.  Mash the yolks with a fork.  Add some prepared mustard. ***Dry mustard powder can be used, if you have that; most households have the prepared type.  Using your fork, combine the mustard with the yolks.

3.  Drizzle a little vinegar-any type will do-and continue to combine the ingredients, using the fork.  You could even use sweet pickle JUICE if you have that on your shelf.

4.  *IF you have pickle relish, add some until you like the look and consistency of the mixture.  If you do not have pickle relish, no worries.

5.  Using a clean spoon, do a “Q.A.” (quality assurance) test.  Does it need more mustard?  Is it sweet enough?  Do you need to add a pinch of salt to make it taste the way you want?

6.  Sprinkle a TAD of sugar over the mixture and incorporate all the ingredients.  When you are satisfied that it has just the right amount of pizzazz, you are ready to stuff the whites, using the tip of a spoon. *I’ve heard some say they use a melon baller…sounds like a good idea to me!

7.  When you arrange these little delights over a bed of lettuce they will be irresistible to your  guests; if you take them to a covered dish meal, they will be the stars of the show!

**Variations:  You might prefer to use mayo in place of mustard for a milder flavor.  You might like to add celery seeds to your mixture.  Some people use very finely chopped onion and/or celery.  This is all well and good; but Mother Connie is all about saving TIME.  It is common to dress up the finished eggs by sprinkling paprika over them.  That is IF you have paprika on your spice shelf…

Deviled eggs make a great project for experimentation and kids love to help to make them.  By playing with the flavors you will create your own signature combination!    YOU might become known for YOUR signature dish!

This little corner of cyberspace is dedicated to those who use public assistance for their food budgets.  Do you have an EBT for WIC or SNAP?  Are you dependent on food commodities or food pantries or the food bank?  Maybe you just enjoy being frugal.  It could be that you are living on a dime… Maybe you love to cook; perhaps you hate to cook.  In any case, we hope to help you navigate your way around the kitchen.  We have learned more from YOU MEMBERS than you could guess, so we hope you will leave some of your wisdom and love on the comment panel and in our Inbox at   foodstampscookingclub!

Connie Baum 

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

Summer’s End Quiche at Food Stamps Cooking Club

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

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

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

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


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

Broccoli Quiche

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

3/4  cup zucchini, peeled and thinly sliced

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

Boil 2 cups Broccoli for ten minutes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Break 6 eggs.

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

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

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

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

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

It may need 5 more minutes or so.

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

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

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

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

Connie Baum

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

39 Tips from Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 27th, 2013


Mother Connie found something that might be of interest and helpful to those of you who are struggling to manage your food budgets with help from public assistance.

If any of these ideas hits your hot button, you can thank Facebook and the people who posted this list.  It came from Carrie’s Healthy Friends, a group on Facebook!

Here is her list:

“Most people are watching their dollars and working off a budget to make ends meet. Many are also now looking for natural alternatives to live a more wholesome and chemical free life. Following are a few ways in which you can have both of the above. These uses are becoming more prevalent and are easy to do it yourself. So, here are great easy uses for common household items to make your life more chemical free and your wallet a little fatter.

1) Toothpaste: Buff a CD/DVD
Apply toothpaste to a cotton ball and wipe the disc. Wash with water afterwards and you’ve got a brand new disc!

2) Cornstarch: Untangle Knots
Sprinkling cornstarch into tough knots, such as shoe laces helps loosen them.

3) Walnut: Buff Dings out of Wood Furniture
Get rid of unsightly scratches and dings on wood furniture by rubbing a walnut on the areas. The blemishes will vanish quickly and your furniture and pocket book will be saved.

4) Club Soda: Make Your Breads Fluffier
When baking, where recipes call for water, add club soda instead to make pancakes, waffles and any other breads fluffier.

5) Salt: Keep Windows Frost Free
Pour a cup of salt into a liter of water. Sponge the liquid onto the inside of window to prevent frost from forming during the winter months.

6) Rubbing Alcohol: Remove Permanent Marker
Dab the surface that has the permanent marker on it with a cloth or cotton ball covered in rubbing alcohol to make it disappear quickly.

7) Chap stick: Stops Bleeding When Nicked Shaving
Cut yourself shaving? Just swipe some chap stick over the cut to stop that constant bleeding. No more tissue squares!
Apple Juice: Removes Dandruff
Don’t ask how it works, but it does! Instead of buying a special shampoo, just wash your hair in apple juice to rid your scalp of pesky dandruff.

9) Aspirin: Get Rid of Armpit Stains on T-Shirts
Grind up an aspirin tablet or two, then make a paste out of it using water, lemon or vinegar. Spread the paste on the stained area and let sit for an hour before washing.

10) Olive Oil: Make Pets’ Coat Shinier
Add a bit of olive oil to your pet’s food to give them a healthier, shinier coat of fur.

11) Newspapers: Clean Windows and Mirrors
Instead of using a spray and a streaky cloth, use only newspaper to clean off your mirrors and windows for a streak-free finish.

12) Baking Soda: Remove Bugs from Windshield
Mix baking soda with warm water to make a paste. Spread the paste over your windshield for fifteen minutes. Then wipe or spray off with a hose.

13) Bleach: Extend Life of Flowers in Vase
Add a few drops of bleach to vase water to prevent the build-up of the slime caused by bacteria. It works just like chlorine in a swimming pool.

14) Kitchen Dish Soap: Flea-Killing Dog Shampoo
Kitchen dish soap (not dish detergent) can double as dog shampoo for its flea killing abilities.

15) Coke: Remove Blood Stains from Clothing
Soak the stain in coke until the stain is dissolved, then wash the clothing as usual. Wash before the coke dries, though.

16) Honey: Remove Blemish Overnight
Have a blemish you need to get rid of by tomorrow? Put a dab of honey on the blemish and cover it up (it’s best to use a Band-Aid) and the honey’s natural antibacterial properties will clean out the bacteria by the morning.

17) Wax Paper: Clean Can Opener Gears
Run a few small strips of wax paper through the can opener to clean out of the bits and pieces that have built up in the gears throughout the year. The wax will also rub off on the gears to protect for future use as well.

18) WD-40: Remove Crayons from Walls
Use the lubricant and a cloth to remove stubborn crayon marks from the walls just by spraying the wall and wiping with a cloth.

19) Chalk: Keep Ants and Slugs Out of the House
Ants and Slugs Won’t Touch Chalk. So, simply draw a line in front of your doorway where you are having problems with these pesky critters and they won’t cross it, meaning they won’t be able to get into your house.

20) Vinegar: Kills Weeds and Helps Flowers Grow
Vinegar is a magic wonder when it comes to gardening. It not only kills weeds but they help flowers grow as well. Douse vinegar all around your garden to prevent weeds from popping up and to help your flowers to grow healthy and strong.

21) Mayonnaise: Remove Bumper Sticker
Spread mayonnaise on the bumper sticker and let sit for at least thirty minutes. Then, rub the sticker off with a towel, leaving a clean bumper!

22) Tin Foil Ball: Replace Dryer Sheets Permanently
Instead of using a dryer sheet ball up one or a few sheets of tin foil and toss it in the dryer. It removes the static electricity from your clothes and one can last up to a year.

23) Banana Peel: Polish Leather Shoes
Use the inside of a banana peel to give shoes a professional and natural shine that will last for quite some time.

24) Mouthwash: Cure Athlete’s Foot
Pour mouthwash on cotton balls and then swab your feet. The alcohol will disinfect the bacteria completely if you continue this for a week or so.

25) Baking Soda: Clean BBQ Grill
Mix a cup of baking soda with half a cup water to make a paste. Dip your brush into the paste and scrub the grill. The caked on pieces and black residue will come off much quicker and using baking soda is much safer and cheaper than using cleaning chemicals.

26) Coffee Grounds: Fertilizer
Coffee is full of nutrients and vitamins that are very beneficial to soil. That’s why some people include it in compost piles. If you want to get the most out of your coffee, pour the grounds on areas where you want more grass or flowers.

27) Olive Oil: Shaving Cream
The smoothness of the oil can replace the need for shaving cream, and it also provides great moisture.

28) Dryer Sheets: Gets Rid of Static Electricity
Use dryer sheets to remove static electricity from things such as clothing, TV screens or your own hair. Tame fly away strands by running a dryer sheet over them.

29) Freezer: Freeze Candles to Make Them Last Longer
Put candles in the freezer for at least 2 hours before using. Once you burn them, the wax will melt at a much slower pace, making them last much longer!

30) Two glasses of water: Cure Headache
Water is the cure to most common headaches. To make the headache go away quickly, drink two cups of water very quickly.

31) Lemons: Deodorize Garbage Disposal
Toss whole slices of lemon into the garbage disposal then run it. The acidity of the lemon will rid your sink of all odors and leave a fresh scent that usually lasts for a few months.

32) Alka Seltzer: Remove Burnt-On Grease and Food Stains
When letting your pots and pans soak, throw in one or two Alka Seltzer tablets and the caked on residue from cooking will come off easily when you scrub/wash.

33) Apple Cider Vinegar: Relieve Diarrhea
Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into eight ounces of water to soothe your stomach. The taste may not be the greatest, but the antibacterial properties of the vinegar will end the unpleasantness of the bowel problems.

34) Toothpaste: Remove Scratches from Glass
Apply toothpaste to scratch, then rub with a cloth until the scratch is gone. Make sure the glass is clean beforehand.

35) Cheerios: Relieve Pain from Poison Ivy, Chickenpox and Sunburns
Pound one to four cups of Cheerios into a powder and add to your bath to soothe your skin while you soak. You may not feel relief while in the tub, but you will soon after.

36) Buttons: Sort Earrings
Organize your earrings and prevent them from becoming entangled by using spare buttons as holders for each pair.

37) Corn Oil: Prevent Hairballs for Pets
Add a few drops of corn oil to your pets’ food to prevent hairballs from forming. The thick oil helps the fur pass through the animal’s system much quicker and easily.

38) Whipped Cream: Remove Gum from Hair
There are many remedies for removing gum from hair, but this is a lesser known one. Give it a try rather than peanut butter the next time you’re in need.

39) Coke: Remove Oil Stains from the Driveway
Oil stains are very difficult to remove pavement, but one method guaranteed to work is Coke. The highly acidic drink will eat away at the oil until clean.

40) Brown Sugar: Facial Scrub
A scrub is good to do about once a month to remove dead skin and bacteria built up in pores and remove excess oil from the skin. Brown sugar does just as well as expensive products and will definitely result in a clearer and smoother complexion.

41) Dryer Sheet: Lint Brush
You already know that dryer sheets remove lint in the dryer. Well, it can do the same thing out of the dryer, too. When you’re in a fix, use a dryer sheet. It works just as well as a lint brush, and if you like the scent, it’s an added bonus.

42) Newspaper: Deodorize food containers and Food Drawers in the Refrigerator
For that stinky Tupperware or smelly refrigerator drawer that is too much to deal with, toss in a sheet of newspaper overnight before you deal with it. The paper will absorb the smell greatly reducing it or eliminating it completely.

43) Olive Oil: Unstick a Zipper
The oil will help the zipper slide more easily, fixing the problem!

44) Salt: Cool Something Quickly
You know that feeling when you’re having a BBQ and someone asks for a drink and you realize that no one has put them in the cooler? There’s nothing worse than a warm drink on a hot day. Chill a drink quickly, by adding salt and water to your ice. The drinks will be cold in a matter of minutes; saving your party and making you look smart all at once.

45) Scotch Tape: Prevent Wall from Chipping When Nailing
The wall can leave unsightly chips when hammering in a nail. Prevent this by simply placing a piece of scotch tape over the area you’re going to nail. The wall will be held tighter, preventing chips from occurring.

46) Alka Seltzer: Soothe Insect Bites
Dissolve two tablets into a glass of water. Then use a cloth or cotton ball to apply it to the affected area. The red will go down and most importantly, the itchiness will vanish usually in fifteen minutes.

47) Lemon: Whitens Whites
Add about half a cup of lemon juice to your load of whites to makes them extra white. You can use lemon juice with bleach or detergent, so don’t worry about mixing chemicals with the acidic lemon.

48) Banana Peel: Whiten Teeth
This may sound a little odd, but rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth twice a day for two weeks and you will receive the same effect from a teeth-whitening kit. Plus, you’ll save yourself money and the hassle of using chemicals.

49) Hair Dryer: Free Photos Stuck on Pages
If you have a photo stuck on a page that you can’t get free, try using a blow dryer on the back of the page. It will loosen the photo from the page and the adhesive holding it there.

50) Banana Peel: Heal Most Skin Problems
Bananas are the magical fruit, because they heal many common problems on the skin. By rubbing the peel on your skin, you can heal bruises and cuts and eliminate rashes, itching and warts. Basically if you have a common skin problem, it can be cured by this fruit.

I hope you can put some or all of these to good use to save money and make your home a safer environment. There are tons more DIY uses for common household items like these. make sure to share the info with your friends!”

Thanks, Carrie! 

We hope you know how much we appreciate all the new Members who have come here for help…and we do hope we are helpful to you in your situation.  We also remind you all 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.

Spinach – Tater Cups at Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 26th, 2013
Not only are these cute and easy to make, they are quickly created AND they are CHEAP!

Not only are these cute and easy to make, they are quickly created AND they are CHEAP!  Besides that, they are so delicious and nutritious!

Mother Connie is a fan of “Kitchen Daily“- partly because they offer quotes that make me smile.  They also have tremendously tasty recipes and I want to share one of those with you.  It seems that Kitchen Daily got this recipe from “May I Have That Recipe”…there is so much information on the web it is mind boggling!

Spinach Potato Nest Bites

From Kitchen Daily and May I Have That Recipe

4 large Yukon Gold potatoes **Guess what?  You are allowed to use whatever potatoes live in your kitchen!
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 ½ tsp garlic powder
2 ½ tsp onion powder
4 tsp vegetable oil
cooking spray **No spray?  No worries; just use veg oil in each cup
4 cup frozen spinach thawed (4 cups frozen yields 2 cups cooked)
SIDEBAR:  Frozen spinach is my ultimate convenience food!  If you only have canned spinach, though, GO FOR IT.  If you have fresh, use that and rejoice!  END SIDEBAR.
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven at 400F
  2. Grate the potatoes, add ½ tsp of salt, mix well and let them sit in a colander with a bowl under it for 20 minutes.
  3. In a large skillet, saute spinach in olive oil. Season with 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder and ½ tsp salt. Cook until most of the water had evaporated, 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Squeeze as much water out of the grated potatoes as you can. Season with ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp pepper. Add 4 tsp vegetable oil and mix well.
  5. Generously spray a 12 muffin tin pan with cooking spray.
  6. Arrange grated potatoes into each muffin cup, pressing against the bottom and up the sides.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until they start to brown slightly . Remove from the oven and set aside.
  8. In a medium size bowl, beat eggs, add a pinch of salt and spinach and mix until well combined.
  9. Evenly spoon spinach in each potato nest.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes or until egg is cooked.
  11. Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly.
  12. Carefully unmold each potato nest using a butter knife around the edges of the nest.
  13. Makes 12 potato nests

This will be a satisfying side dish; it’s filling and nutritious.  These go together very quickly and little people will LOVE helping!

Food Stamps Cooking Club is dedicated to assisting and supporting people who use public assistance for their food budgets.  There is no judgement or criticism here.  We only want to be of service and offer value to  our Members.  If you join our ranks, you will receive a little series of cooking tips and our undying devotion!

Do you find yourself living on a dime?  Are you linked up to other users of SNAP or WIC or people who have EBT cards for one or the other or both programs?  Maybe you just like the challenge of making your food dollars  s t r e t c h   as far as possible.  Do you receive help from a food bank, food pantry, food commodities or food drop?  YOU are the folks we hope to target.  There is nothing to buy, there is no heavy lifting.  We do hope you’ll leave some love on the comment panel, though.  No pressure there…

The plans for the offline Cooking Class are in the works.  After consulting with some of our Members, it became apparent that we need to stick to basics.  Please 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.




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

July 31st, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Green Beans*Red Rice*Almond Salad

May be served warm or chilled

1  cup cooked rice

1  1/4  cups water

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

3  tablespoons vegetable oil

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connie Baum

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