Posts Tagged ‘foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com’

Food Stamps Cooking: OATmeal!

January 18th, 2016
Humble OATM

Humble OATMEAL.  A hard worker in any kitchen.

As you may have suspected, I have once again been plagued by IT issues.  I also have a very wide lazy streak in me.  But today something happened that got my attention.  Since my IT guru has me back up and running I got an email from a faithful Food Stamps Cooking Club follower. *Did I mention how much we love mail around here?  Ya. I’m sure I did.

Sheila is Queen of her Castle and pointed a grateful me to a cute blog, Pantry Anarchy.  I “liked” her Facebook page and asked if I could pinch her post for you.  She readily agreed so here you go, kids:

Pantry Anarchy is a well written blog about pinching pennies and it is punctuated with social comment and opinions.  *My kind o peeps!  You will appreciate the idea shared about using packets of instant oatmeal in a refreshing (and inexpensive) new way.  It was kind of Sheila to share her wisdom with us.  Let’s all cruise over there and sign up for their email messages.  We can all learn from one another, after all.

As for what is happening in the Club House, we have been eating out of our freezer.  As you know, I am a huge fan of cooking once and eating twice (or more).  The Food Fairy blessed us with FORTY POUNDS of meat so that’s waiting in the freezer for a meal our church will be serving.  Nestled along with that, we have a good number of containers of frozen soup, just waiting to be thawed, heated and enjoyed.  It saves fuel costs by not having to prepare 3 meals every day–not much energy is used when just reheating previously cooked food.

I’ve also taken advantage of oven heat by baking a large number of potatoes at one time; salads are a quick fix, low energy meal that provide oodles of nutrition in one bowl.

It would be interesting to note what YOU are doing to manage your food dollars!  Let us know by shooting an email to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com and we’ll do the Happy Dance!

Let’s hope you are staying warm if you are in a snow band, like we have been.  And remember that you are loved and appreciated!

PS/Remember to leave some love for the Pantry Anarchy when you visit their blog!

Food Stamps Cooking: Stew

November 19th, 2015
Tummy warming veg and meat with a savory gravy is perfect to serve your family AND your guests!

Tummy warming veg and meat with a savory gravy is perfect to serve your family AND your guests!

We had a guest who came for coffee and stayed for lunch!  The photo above shows you what we served her.  It must have been good, because when she was offered seconds, she readily agreed to have more!

It was a simple dish and food budget friendly.

I took cooked beef-you could use ground beef or poultry or even canned meat-and I made gravy.

SIDEBAR:  You can choose to make brown gravy or white (cream) gravy.  I made brown gravy so I used a bit of oil and added some flour and beef broth.  The video for gravy shows how to make cream gravy.  Both are as easy as can be.  END SIDEBAR.

The vegetables I used were onion, carrot and celery.  Classic trinity. You could use that or you could choose whatever you find in your pantry.  You could augment the trinity with your canned choice.   I sauteed the veggies til they were soft and then added them to the beef and gravy.  Before I served this dish I added dried kale bits and parsley for a bit of color and additional nutrition.

Dessert was strawberries, which were a gift from a dear relative we visited over the weekend!  Mmmmm…such great flavor.

It’s so easy to make tasty dishes, even if you are using an EBT card for WIC or SNAP.  If you have food commodities it’s easy to ‘build’ a stew with those supplies.  Choose your foods wisely, using TLC for your food budget.  You really do have a choice and that would be to pay the grocer or the doctor.  I am living proof that good nutrition makes for robust health.

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: 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:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

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: BEAN SOUP!

November 2nd, 2015

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Ham broth and bits of ham from the freezer made for a yummy soup!

The Normanator and I are making every effort to prepare our meals by using food we’ve stashed in the freezer in order to make room for the piggy we’ve ordered from Norm’s cousin.  This piggy has been feasting on vegetables and watermelons and such like all summer; it should provide us with wonderful protein.

We invited a dear friend to join us so I wanted to present LOTS of nutrition for her lunch time pleasure!

To make this soup I placed the chunk of frozen ham broth into a 3 quart saucepan and heated it through thoroughly.  While it was parked on the back burner, the front burner held a skillet filled with onions, carrots, celery happy to be sauteed.  It begged for salt, pepper and a quick shake of onion powder.  By the way, it SMELLED divine.  I opened a can of white beans and placed the whole works, juice and all, into the ham broth.

SIDEBAR:  Canned beans in this house is convenience food.  While it may be ideal to use dry beans that have been soaked, on this occasion I chose to raid the pantry.  Canned beans are often found in bundles of food from food pantries or food drops, so users of SNAP or WIC which are paid for by EBT cards can also catch a break with canned beans.  END SIDEBAR.

The flavors married nicely as the sauteed veg were poured into the “hot tub” of broth with ham bits.  While they mingled I made a dessert that won the hearts of the people at our table.

I was so excited to make this dessert that I forgot to take a picture!  my bad…

Three apples were peeled and placed into a bowl of salted water so the flesh did not turn brown.  One by one, they were cored and sliced and placed into a heavy skillet along with a pat of butter and a splash of coconut oil.  I stirred them often, coating each slice with the oil/butter combo.  When they began to soften I sprinkled everything with cinnamon and a bit of sugar.  *My mom used to use brown sugar.  Either would do nicely.  Before they finished cooking I added a few drops of water and a handful of raisins.

No one spoke during the meal.  All we heard from the three of us were slurps of soup and murmurs of “Mmmm!”

The cost of this soup was nearly nil.  Two carrots, one small onion, 2 ribs of celery and broth with ham bits from the freezer kept the ledger in the black.  The apples were bought in bulk so we think they were about 15 cents apiece.

Now I’m dreaming of pork chops with apple slices…grin/giggle

Our mail was wonderful this morning…one of our precious members is doing a great service in her part of the world and she shared her story.  I will share that message with you SOON.

Are you relieved that we are not hounding you to BUY something? Nothing to buy here…we only share ideas that might help you to s t r e t c h your food dollars.

Please remember that you are loved and appreciated.

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.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Because of scheduling issues, the Cooking Class planned for November 6 in Tecumseh, NE has been set instead for Friday, November 13th.  This class is still offered at no charge but it is important for you to save your place at the table by calling  402 335 2134. Ask for Terri.

Food Stamps Cooking: #HASH!

October 28th, 2015

I’m thinking these ingredients will make a dandy hash for our lunch!

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Whenever possible I like to cook once and eat twice (or more)!  Some time back I browned some ground beef; I labeled and dated it and popped it into the freezer.  Last night I moved it to the fridge to thaw.  I poked around the pantry and found a can of wax beans…thinking of color, I imagined a colorful lunch to delight The Normanator, who is a meat and potatoes kind of guy!

I will combine the famous trilogy: onions/carrots/celery with the beef.  I’ll peel and chop the potatoes. Nothing is easier than a one skillet meal!   A bit of salt and pepper and I’ll have a quick, easy, frugal main course.  The wax beans, heated in a saucepan, will round it out!  YUM.

When you are working *outside the home you arrive at mealtime, tired and hungry.  By combining these simple ingredients you can create a filling and nutritious offering for those you love quick as a wink.  You get bonus points if you can persuade the family to help peel carrots or taters; double bonus points if they will help with the chopping! grin

 

*This is just as true if you are working INSIDE your home, you stay at home mommies n daddies!

 

SIDEBAR: It is enormously helpful if you can spend some time on your day off or in an evening to pre-cut your veggies and keep them covered in water in the fridge.  That will cut down on your prep time when you are ready to cook. END SIDEBAR

If you have EBT cards from SNAP or WIC you are the people to whom we have devoted this corner of the internet.  Do you use  food pantry food?  Are you receiving food commodities or picking up goods from a food drop?  Any of you who depend on public assistance for your food dollars are the ones about whom we are concerned.  We hope to help you eat well and wisely and on a tight budget.

You are welcome to contact us at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  The comment panel on this blog is closed.

Connie Baum

PS/We are excited to announce that there will be a Cooking Class at SENCA in Tecumseh, NE on November 4!  There is no cost but to save your place at the table you need to call 402 335 2134 and let Terri know you are planning to come learn about SALADS!

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: $aving $

September 23rd, 2015
If you barely have 2 pennies to rub together, eating out is not much of an option. That's Mother Connie's 2 cents' worth...

If you barely have 2 pennies to rub together, cooking at home is a fabulous option. That’s    Mother Connie’s 2 cents’ worth…

Since this little portion of the internet is devoted to helping those who use an EBT card for SNAP or WIC it seems prudent to come up with low cost ideas to get everyone fed who comes to your table. *If you have more money than the other richest person in your town this might be of interest, too.

Personally I love to cook.  Not everyone shares my passion so maybe I’ll have a notion or two that might be helpful.  As you know, there is nothing to buy here; just ideas to help s t r e t c h your food dollars.

Today I’m thinking about fall menus.  There is a spaghetti squash on our table, awaiting some TLC.  I have big plans for that one:  I’ll make up some spaghetti sauce and bake the squash.  I’ll scoop out the strings that resemble regular pasta and hope I can find some crusts of bread in the freezer to toast for garlic bread. YUM.  Quick!  Cheap!  Easy!  How can it get any better than that?

BTW, jar sauce works the same way.  Especially if you are not into making sauce and/or you have a jar or can of sauce from the food bank, food pantry or food commodities.

You can dress anything up to please your family’s palettes.  Add some oregano to your canned or jarred sauce.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the whole works, or stir some in to thicken that sauce.  Or forget Parmesan altogether.  It’s your call.  *Do you feel as if you have more control now?  grin

If you are short on pasta and long on Zucchini (It happens often this time of year!) here is a nifty trick:  peel a zucchini squash and then peel off strips of the squash…the strips will resemble pasta.  Continue to “peel” until you have a good sized pile of “pasta”…no need to cook this but you can drop it into a pot of boiling water just to heat it through.  Drain it well and pour the sauce over the veg just as if it were real noodles.  It is a delightful change of pace and if you have someone in your gang who is sensitive to gluten they will be forever grateful you cared to make this dish!

I am very fond of cauliflower.  I plan to tear the head that sits in the crisper into florets.  I’ll scatter them over a baking pan and drizzle the whole business with oil. *I prefer olive or coconut oil but you have your own fave, so feel free to use what you like.

These darlings will go into a very hot oven (400*, depending on the oven and how it heats-or doesn’t) and they will get all tender and sweet and charred.  Roasted vegetables have way more flavor than veggies boiled or steamed or sauteed.  I’ll put a sprinky-dink of salt and pepper over the finished product and it will be fit for royalty!

I do the same thing with broccoli.  Sometimes I roast the pair of veggies together in the same pan.  I have even been known to shake some Parmesan cheese over the whole deal before it makes it to the table. DIVINE, I tell ya!

At the risk of changing the subject too quickly I want to mention the Cooking Class we’ll be having at SENCA in Tecumseh, NE on Friday, September 25.  *SENCA is South East Nebraska Community Action.  It is all about helping people, changing lives.  There is a Cooking Class there four times a year and it will be WAY fun!  Someone will talk about the Weight Watchers program and I get to help with dessert!  *I’ll share that dessert with all of you very soon.  Not everybody will be able to attend the class in person, after all.

If YOU are interested in coming to this class you need to know that there is NO COST for the class but you must save your place at the table by phoning 402 335 2134 and asking for Terri.

The Club is constantly welcoming new ‘members’…we are happy to have all of you here and hope the little series of cooking tips will be helpful to you. We care deeply about people, even more than food!  Grin

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 Club: HELP!

July 25th, 2015

Mother Connie suffers greatly these days from GUILT.  There is so much going on in life and times here that it’s easy to get caught up and squeeze out even the things that are important to consider and share.  Each of YOU is important to me and I have not shown that by failing to post fresh information often enough.  I’m truly sorry.

I found a piece I want to share with anyone who uses Public Assistance.  It is helpful, insightful, and full of tips and ideas for people who hold EBT cards for SNAP or WIC.  I hope you will enjoy and appreciate the content as much as I did.

Please visit this site: http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2013/11/13/how-to-feed-your-family-from-a-food-bank/

It’s not been written this week but it does contain useful information about feeding a family from a food bank.

Look for more regularly posts after August 1, when a huge project  will end and the blog can again be a focus.

By the way, nobody here profits if you click on the link above.  Nothing to buy here.  No fancy apps.  Just a helping hand when it comes to feeding your family as low cost as can be! We love your feedback; use our email: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com . Thank you!

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: These Can’t Be Leftovers!

June 26th, 2015

IMG_20150626_113035736This does not LOOK like a pot of leftovers and it did not taste “left over” either!

Do you remember the spinach dish I prepared yesterday?  It was so delicious!  I dumped the meat we did not eat in with the spinach and put it away in the refrigerator.  It sat there all night, marrying all the flavors and getting even yummier.

For lunch today I sauteed carrots, onions and celery in a bit of coconut oil.  While they cooked I poured in a drizzle of beef broth so that would help finish cooking them.  While all this was warming gently, I heated the pot of creamed spinach and ground beef very slowly.  *I did NOT want it to scorch!

When the veggies were tender I added them to the pot which now became the soup pot!  The fragrance wafted through the house and coaxed The Normanator to the kitchen just to see what was cooking!

Since there were more ingredients today it needed more liquid.  I stirred some corn starch with a little water and poured that into the soup pot.  I added a bit more milk till I liked the consistency and I taste tested for quality assurance.  wink/wink

One more thing went in: about 2 cups of sliced mushrooms!  You can see what a pretty dish this made.  The bright green of the spinach, the sunny-ness of the carrots, and the milky liquid was cheerful and inviting!

We enjoyed soup plates full of this goodness and for dessert we had a small dish of strawberries.  We did not carry on scintillating conversation; we were enjoying our gourmet goodness!

Part of the reason this meal was so satisfying is that fresh ingredients were used.  During the summer months, fresh food is more readily available and here’s hoping you have as much fresh food as you need.  If you have enough to share, that’s even better.

Are you a user of an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Do you get food from a food pantry or a food bank?  Maybe you get food commodities.  It could be that you just enjoy being frugal or just getting by because you are living on a dime.  In any case, this little corner of the internet is meant for users of Public Assistance.  We dearly hope you find the information we offer you to be useful.

We have closed the comment panel but you are welcome to leave a comment for us at this address:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

 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: Cheap ‘n Cheerful

June 25th, 2015
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Cooking in a cheerful environment makes creating cheap meals more enjoyable!

Here’s hoping you have not felt terribly neglected over the past months…we have been  a little busy helping The Normanator recover from open heart surgery and conduct his cardiac rehab program. You can tell that our dining room is a tad disheveled but the kitchen is cheery and I love being there to prepare our meals.

Today I want to share with you how our food pantry was a huge, ginormous help to us.  Occasionally they get truckloads of goodies that must be  used ASAP.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I went there for a meeting and upon my leave, I had bag after bag after bag of fresh ORGANIC spinach and other greens!  I was thrilled  to have this fresh produce but I knew we could not use it all.  I wondered who I could bless…

After most of the spinach had found new homes and delighted their receivers I set about to think of how I could best use the greens before they withered.

Here’s what happened:  I made a white sauce in my 4 quart saucepan, using some coconut oil, flour, milk and just a touch of salt and pepper.  I stirred it till it thickened and then I added all the freshly rinsed and drained spinach.  It completely filled the pot to overflowing.  I gently stirred the mixture as it heated.  The warmer the pot and its contents, the more quickly the greens withered into a bright mass, soaking up the lovely white sauce.

It just so happened that my “cook once/eat twice” adage was working for me…I rummaged in the freezer to find a freezer container that was full and marked “cooked and seasoned ground beef”!  I thawed that in a bit of beef broth til it was heated through thoroughly, stirring occasionally.

Just as I removed the lovely creamed spinach from the heat I sprinkled a little nutmeg over top.  Mmmmm it smelled DIVINE.  It was just as tasty.

I easily made a cheap and  cheerful meal for almost no $.  I am a happy girl!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you use SNAP or WIC goods by  having an EBT card?  Maybe you receive food commodities or get help from a food pantry.  The dish I described above can be made with canned spinach and if you have no beef, chicken, rice or orzo or potatoes could be substituted.  We just wanna help those of you who depend on public assistance for your food dollars.

Our SENCA, South East Community Action, Center will be hosting a cooking class in Tecumseh, Nebraska on July 24.  For more information you can email me: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  There is no charge for the class but you will need to know what to bring.  *It’s gonna be FUN!

Here’s hoping your summer is making your heart sing!  It really feels good to be blogging for you again.

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.

 

Macaroni! Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 28th, 2012

My Food Network Calendar featured this offering and it is DELISH to the MAX!

Everyone has a preferred way of preparing macaroni salad…it’s likely we prepare ours the way our mothers did.  Unless, of course, your mother bought hers at a deli!  grin     When I peeled away the top page of my favorite Christmas present, the Food Network Recipe Calendar, I found this wonderful recipe.  I think it’s one you’ll love!

***Mother Connie will have comments about this recipe below the recipe itself.  Don’t look at the ingredients and give up before you read Mother Connie’s suggestions!

Macaroni Salad with Dill and Ham

1/4  medium  red onion, minced

8  oz elbow macaroni – about 2 cups

2  tablespoons milk

2  tablespoons white wine vinegar

1    tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/3  cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2  cup sour cream

6  oz  cooked ham, cubed in 1/3″ pieces

3/4  cup frozen baby peas, thawed  – about 4 oz

2  ribs celery,  diced –  leaves and all

2  tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1.  To mellow the onion, soak it in cold water while you make the salad

2.  Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat and salt generously.  Add the macaroni and boil, stirring occasionally until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Drain the macaroni in a colander, put in a serving bowl and toss with the milk.  Allow the macaroni to cool slightly while you make the dressing.

3.  Whisk the vinegar, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper, to taste in a large bowl.  Gradually whisk in the olive oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream to make a smooth, slightly thick dressing.  Whisk in the sour cream.

4.   Drain the onions, pat dry, and add to  the macaroni,along with the ham, peas, celery, and dill.  Add the dressing and fold to coat the pasta evenly.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

***Mother Connie’s comments and suggestions:

We are acutely aware that you are using EBT cards for SNAP and WIC.  We understand you have food commodities and you get things from a food pantry.  We KNOW you are living on a dime.  We GET how outrageously  S T R E T C H E D your food budgets and your TIME is.  We fully understand that you may not have ingredients that are listed above.

That’s no reason not to try this easily made and low cost dish.  We just need to help you understand how to substitute.  I think the Food Network nor the Kitchen Police will grab you by the throat just because you did not use Dijon mustard.

You don’t have  RED onion?  Just mince whatever onions you have.  Onion powder would be acceptable, as well.

Mother Connie would be SHOCKED if you have white wine vinegar in your pantry.  Use what you do have and don’t feel guilty about it.

No virgin olive oil?  I hope you do have some vegetable oil on hand and I PRAY it is not canola.  Just my view…

Plain yogurt could stand in for sour cream.  You could even use Ranch dressing. 

Now about those peas…you may have only canned peas.  Just drain and dump.  It’s OK; really it is.

Mother Connie feels the need to address the SIZE of those cubes.  Do NOT obsess about them.  Just cube the ham and move along.  Life is way too short to stress about this kind of detail!  In addition, I would offer that in the absence of ham you could substitute bacon.  As a matter of fact, this could eliminate ham OR bacon.  Of course the title of the recipe would not be accurate!  GRIN/GIGGLE

The chances I’d have FRESH dill  around are slim and none.  I’m thinking that could be true for YOU as well. They have that in little, affordable bottles and you can even get it in bulk in some supermarkets,  which means you can buy a small amount so it fits into your food budget.

Macaroni salad was not sophisticated when I was growing up.  Mom used chopped sweet pickles in hers.  My sister in law added radishes when she made it.  This is not rocket science; it’s about pleasing the palettes of those who put their toes under your picnic table.  Relax!  Make it fun!

You all have put great fun in my life because you are sharing this blog with your friends and the Membership Rolls are swelling!  How much fun IS that, anyway?

WE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR COMMENTS.  Hint/Hint

Here’s a reminder that two of our partners have wonderful promotions and ideas to share with you. You might like to cruise by Living On a Dime and Saving Dinner and give them some love.  They probably live for comments, too!

Connie Baum

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