Posts Tagged ‘foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com’

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
IMG_20150521_195317004

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.


Eating Healthy Because of Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 21st, 2012

Main stream media headline reads: "Healthy Eating Can Cost Less..."

QUICK!  Get a red pen and write this date on your calendar so you will remember that you found this out TODAY!

Oh.  Wait…this is not news; at least it’s not news to those of us who hang out in the Club House!  We’ve known all along that eating well and wisely is the preferred path to follow.

There was a rather lengthy item in our Sunday paper about how the Ag Department has concluded that junk food is more costly, despite common perceptions.  It seems that this Omniscient Department discovered that eating fruits and vegetables costs less than foods with high sugar, salt and fat content.

Excuse me, but isn’t that what we maintain here at the Food Stamps Cooking Club?  I’m thinkin’ so…

SIDEBAR:  Roll your eyes here.  END SIDEBAR.

Those of us who are in the know understand that eating processed foods contribute to ill health.  Our eyes are wide open about the problem of tooth decay when sweets are ingested.  We GET it that cheezy doodle type snacks just make kids thirsty for soda and do NOT nourish their growing bodies.  People who insist on eating cake because they like it or MUST have their fix of ice cream will, over time, develop serious illnesses, not the least of which could be heart disease, diabetes, digestive disorders and bone and joint discomfort.    “Mama’s Burger Helper” box mixes and foods with hydrogenated oil may look like a bargain buy in the grocery flier but that savings ultimately shows up in medical bills.  We are keenly aware that ‘chickie strips’ make for high cholesterol and the additives can create real nightmares.  And we have not even broached the subject of pink slime…We also know that organic is best for us if we can afford it.

Today a radio personality interviewed someone who had this same idea.  The gentleman being interviewed was explaining how it would be cost effective and helpful for users of EBT cards from SNAP and WIC.  The radio guy asked him in a number of varying ways how that would be possible because “EVERYBODY KNOWS” that users of SNAP or WIC have no internet access. 

SIDEBAR:  Roll your eyes here.  END SIDEBAR.

Mother Connie ran into the same opposition when this blog went public. She played deaf, giggled and planned for the next cooking class.  Truly, it has been a non-issue.

As I understand it, there is a plan for a new program calling for these users to order food delivered fresh that is paid for with an EBT card.  This would solve the problem where there are so-called “food deserts” in urban areas or even in rural areas where transportation is a big hurdle to jump, especially for elderly folks or those who have need for day care.  The idea was set forth that even working people could jump online, order groceries, pay for them with their EBT card and those foodstuffs would be delivered.

It was not clear how this would impact those who frequent food pantries, those who depend on food commodities, or those who simply find themselves living on a dime.  Mother Connie’s theory is that if something is good for ONE, it should be good for ALL.  

It remains to be seen how this will play out. We already know that school lunches are going to be more nutritious and less junky.  How can it get any better than this?  What ARE the possibilities?

We LOVE your mail and your comments.  You are an amazing community, people.  Consider yourselves hugged!

Now let’s move into our kitchens and create something healthy and beautiful to eat!

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.

WAIT!  There is MORE!  Bless her heart, Carol has sent a comment.  I wanted to be sure you all saw her great message; it has real value so I am posting it as a P.S. here:

“Connie,
This belief that healthy eating has to cost more has to be debunked! One of the ramifications of Home ec classes being cancelled years ago is that we now have generations of families who do not know how to cook for themselves, who rely solely on processed foods and whose bank accounts suffer in the end.

I laud programs such as WIC, which specify which items are paid for thru the WIC vouchers. Some states require attendance at healthy cooking classes for EBT (aka food stamps) recipients. It’s about education!

You can buy frozen/dairy case, premade pancakes, a mix, or make them from scratch, using whole grains if desired. While personally I do prefer real maple syrup, I make my own maple flavored pancake syrup from water, sugar and Mapeline. No HFCS, no chemicals.

A small fryer, roasted with seasonal veggies makes for dinner # 1. Boil that carcass and make a soup out of it dinner # 2. For dinner # 3: Save the scraps of meat for croquettes, tacos (stretch with beans)made with lettuce/tomato etc, chicken salad, chicken stir fry, chicken noodle casserole, chicken divan-made for pennies compared to Stouffers frozen dinners not to mention take out!
Circumstances require that I run a very frugal kitchen. Supper tonight was crockpot boneless pork chops, originally cut off of a whole pork loin that I paid $1.99/lb for. Center cut chops run $3.89/LB and up. Certainly, $2 is much preferred! I used a marked down onion, a can of healthy request cr celery soup I wanted to use up, some instant milk, some spices to mix up a “gravy.” Sides were stove top dressing (a rare treat here, I only paid $1 for a 2 pouch box so 50 cents) and I served my last bag of haricots verts thru Angel food. A 99 cent jar of apple sauce on the side of the pork. Delicious.

Tomorrow’s supper is partially prepped ahead as I will get home later-a salmon loaf -Aldi’s wild caught AK salmon, egg. lemon juice, spices, instant milk, home made bread crumbs from bread heels we don’t like in sandwiches- awaits my return tomorrow, to pop into the oven. Side of brown rice, steamed fzn peas (53 cents after sale + cpn) and carrots (Aldi’s fresh).A tossed salad will most likely also be served. A simple, healthful meal. Bfst choices tomorrow are homemade chocolate zucchini bread or home made pumpkin-choc chip muffins. Both contain garden or CSA organic produce!,  There will be yogurt, OJ, coffee/tea. Lunch for kids will be Deli ends roast chicken breast on marked down WW rolls, sale priced romaine lettuce, marked down tomatoes, Aldi’s sliced Cheddar cheese, mustard and mayo bought on sale plus cpns or Aldi’s brand. Homemade baked good, home brewed no sugar iced tea, apple or fresh pineapple spears (that was another marked down!). DH and I each have leftover pork, green beans. I have l/o dressing, he has l/o brown rice because I prep lunch containers after supper. DH and I will probably both have pineapple spears as well. Yes,it can be done! : )

Thank you so much for taking the time to share with the other members; this gives everyone the courage to keep on keepin’ on, Carol, knowing that you do this on a regular basis.  Thank you again and again for your contribution.  We all learn from your wisdom and experience! 

Shopping For Sale Items: Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 18th, 2012

 

SAVE BIG MONEY BY WATCHING FOR SALE ITEMS!

We can ALWAYS count on the Club Members to come up with great solutions to the problem we all face:  Taming the family budget!  Whether we are shopping for food or household items, timing is everything.  MikeMax, bless her heart has come through for us with this message:  THANK YOU, MIKEMAX!

From the desk of MikeMax:

“For those of you who budget from month to month and usually run out of money by the time you run out of month: Try to hang onto a little extra ca$h this month. There will be really good sales over Memorial Day, which is the 28th this year.  You might save big on groceries and on lawn and garden items. Memorial Day is a good time to stock up on condiments, canned beans, etc., for the summer. You may also find “grilling” meats on sale, since Memorial Day is the first big weekend of the summer.

Ace Hardware-and likely Home Depot and Lowe’s-will have great prices on garden tools, fertilizer and such like. No, I don’t have any inside info–they just always do! Some of the best deals at Ace will likely include a rebate. They process their rebates very quickly, but you will still need to be a few dollars ahead to take advantage of them. Watch the newspaper for flyers the week before the holiday weekend.”

Great ideas with foresight, MikeMax.  Those young ‘uns who are just starting to keep house will surely find it helpful and those of us whose households are firmly established can always use reminders!

Now, if I may change the subject abruptly:

Several posts ago Mother Connie posted the recipe for Celery Salad.  It featured celery and onion and was a BIG hit in the Club House!  WEll, here is a bit of a PS:  We did not eat the last bit in the first sitting so FROZEN PEAS were added to what was left for the next go round.  O MY, talk about DELISH.  This salad would be a perfect take-along for a summer picnic, especially if you omitted the mayo and used only the dressing.  I’m thinking Memorial Day…

Each time the mail comes in, it is heartening to see how you are sharing this blog with others.  This must mean that we are accomplishing our goal of helping people who must cook frugally!  This whole project was designed for those who use WIC or SNAP’s EBT cards; we cater to people who depend on food pantries and/or  food commodities  as well as those who are living on a dime, just love to squeeze those nickels til the buffalo bellows or are just cheap by nature!  For those of you who have joined our bunch, we hope you like our series of cooking tips.

It seems as if everyone who is lucky enough to have work these day  probably has TWO jobs.  People are tired, stressed, and hungry at the end of a day.  We cannot plug in your crock pot or turn on your oven for you but we hope we make your life a wee bit easier by providing recipes and ideas that give your families good, sound nutrition for very little money.

The school years are grinding to a halt around here.  Let’s hope every family has a safe, happy summer, full of tremendous good memories and great, affordable meals!

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.

 

Roasted Garbanzo Beans and the Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 16th, 2012

Roasty, toasy flavor with oodles of protein and crunch! Mmm...

When I opened the food section of the Lincoln Journal Star today I was thrilled to see something different and  wonderful that I could share with the  Club Members!

We at the Food Stamps Cooking Club are all about helping you S T R E T C H your food dollars.  It does not matter whether you are simply a frugal shopper or you lean hard on that EBT  card from SNAP or WIC.  Whether you get food from a food pantry or accept food commodities; it makes no difference–we all  have to eat and it’s tough stuff,  this living on a dime!  It’s important to pack  as much nutrition into every meal as possible and it helps to be creative and clever at getting everyone at the table a meal they would actually enjoy!

One of my most favorite food editors is Lynne Ireland.  Today she wrote about roasting chickpeas.  I must have been living under a bushel for my whole life, because it had never occurred to me that chickpeas/garbanzos could be roasted. 

SIDEBAR:  Roll your eyes HERE.  END SIDEBAR.

That phase of Mother Connie’s life is history.  Just scope out this EZ do idea:

Roasted Chickpeas

*This appeared in May 16, 2012 Lincoln Journal Star and is taken from WeightWatchers.com

Olive oil cooking spray

2  cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4  teaspoon garlic powder

1/8  teaspoon red pepper flakes

OR

Any seasoning, such as chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, seasoning blend,  cumin, lemon pepper, Cajun spice mix or Tabasco sauce to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees – or 425 for more crunch in less time.  Lightly coat rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Spread chickpeas on baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic powder and red pepper; toss to coat. 

Roast on bottom rack of oven, shaking pan about every 15 minutes until browned and slightly crunchy, about 45 to 50 minutes.  25 to 30 minutes at higher temperature. 

The chickpeas still will be soft at lower temperature, more crispy if cooked at higher heat. 

Cook until desired texture is reached,  cool before serving. 

*Yields about 4   1/2 cup servings, equal to 3 Points Plus value for Weight Watchers.

Food Editor Lynne Ireland suggests using these as an alternative to cocktail nuts,  croutons for a salad or as a healthy snack when others might choose to open a bag of chips.  Mother Connie can imagine using them as topping for pasta, too.

There is plenty of room for variety with this because you can pick and choose the flavorings to suit your current fancy!  How can it get any better than this?   grin

Your comments on this blog mean the world to Mother Connie and judging by the mail we get, you are appreciative of them, too.  So click on the comments and let us know what you are doing with garbanzo beans or whatever else is making your kitchen smell like home and makes your heart sing!  Thanks, guys.  Please know that you are loved.

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.

Celery Salad at the Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 11th, 2012

Celery is fresh, crisp, and is easily made into wonderful dishes your family will love!

We humans tend to get into ruts, particularly when it comes to the things we choose to eat.  Mom is likely to be working full time, managing a household with or without a partner.  Mom  is dog tired;the kids need to have clean clothes and help with their homework…you know the pitfalls of life all too well!

It’s perfectly natural to fall into a routine and then we tend to eat the same menu with little variety week after week–keeping in mind what folks are willing to eat and of course if what we prepare is AFFORDABLE. 

Those who use SNAP’s EBT card-or WIC’s-know how it is to juggle the grocery money. So do those who use food pantry food or food commodities.  And sometimes the variety-or lack thereof-gets tiresome and boring.  I’m sure many of our Club Members are living on a dime; others are just careful with their food budgets.

The larder at the Club House was getting pretty bare.  A mandatory road trip coming soon called for Culinary Creativity.  The result was this salad recipe.  The Normanator LOVED it; even invited me to make it again soon!  Now THAT is a rave review!

MOTHER CONNIE’S CELERY SALAD

4  ribs of celery, chopped

1/2  an onion, chopped  *I used a red onion and the color was glorious; ANY onion will do

2  tablespoons mayo

Bottled dressing…We love French but Catalina or Russian would be fine…use just enough to moisten the veggies.

I like to mix the dressing in the bottom of a bowl and pour the chopped veggies into it to mix well.

There you have it.  Stupid simple, tasty, and oh, so CHEAP n easy!  If you wanted to stretch it, you could add some cooked macaroni or noodles; you could also shred some lettuce and sprinkle that into the mix. 

Warm weather invites salad meals.  I think YOU, dear Club Members, could create even better salads than Mother Connie.  Let us hear YOUR ideas.  Send them to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

Thanks to all the new members.  We are so happy you chose to join the fun!

And to all the mothers, we salute each and every one of you and bid you a fabulous Mothers Day!

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.

Taco Salad at the Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 5th, 2012

TACO SALAD!Dinner is served!

Happily, Tex-Mex has swept this country!  Study most any menu in the USA and you’ll find offerings from South of the Border in a wide variety.  The choices are endless, tasty, and varied.

One favorite in the Club House is Taco Salad.  Ours is likely to be very different from the one you make at your house because everyone’s flavor buds are unique!

The salad we have here is a QUICK FIX.  It is highly nutritious, has lots of flavor, and seems to be a crowd pleaser.  Here is what we served to a special house guest last evening.  We had eaten a heavy lunch and the weather dictated something light and fresh would delight our palettes, so this is what graced our dinner table.

MOTHER CONNIE’S LAYERED TACO SALAD

1  pound ground beef

1  onion, chopped

Season to your taste:  cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper

3  ribs celery, chopped

1   can, drained and rinsed or 2 cups cooked red kidney beans 

*The Kitchen Police will not arrest you if you use pinto beans, black beans or some other family favorite…

2   medium tomatoes, chopped

1  can corn, drained

1  cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

*Nobody will tattle to the Kitchen Police if you use cheddar, American, or whatever else you like or have on hand

1/2  head lettuce, shredded

Package of corn chips

Your favorite dressing

Method:

Brown the ground beef and add the spices and a bit of the chopped onion in a heavy skillet.  While the meat is cooking, chop the celery and tomatoes and layer them, along with the beans and corn in a large bowl. 

*If  it needs to look pretty you can use a clear glass bowl; if you are like Mother Connie, you will pile it into your most favorite bowl! 

When the salad comes to the table you can crush some corn chips in the bottom of a soup plate or dinner plate and pile the salad over the top.  Use your favorite dressing-we prefer a combo of French and Mayo.  Some like to use “Ranch” dressing, or some other combination.

*If you are “flush” enough to have black olives, those are a nice addition. 

If you do not have ground beef, just use cooked rice, combining rice and beans in the skillet and adding the spices.  I have made this meatless salad in this very way and people raved about how well cooked the MEAT was!

Most folks love salsa so you can add that if you like or you can make a dressing of salsa and mayo…are you drooling yet?  grin

There is a lot of info – or is it MISinfo or DISinfo?- about the SNAP program and the EBT cards.  There is the threat of making it less available.  NOT TO WORRY because it is the mission of the Food Stamps Cooking Club to ease your burden when it comes to feeding your family on a restricted budget.  Even if you use food commodities or food pantry food or you just want to manage your food budget in better ways, we want to help you in concrete ways.

We love your messages and thank you for them.  We also love that you are sharing what we have here with your friendsIt’s always fun to find out what YOU are creating in YOUR kitchens…sharing those ideas is great fun and most helpful!

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.

 

 


It’s Rhubarb Season at Food Stamps Cooking Club!

April 21st, 2012

Rhubarb and spring bring me memories...

For years during rhubarb season, my friend LeOta made and shared delicious rhubarb goodies.  LeOta is gone now, but the great memories of her kitchen prowess, all the laughs and coffee we shared, along with recipes make me miss her a lot.  This week her widower generously favored  us with a huge bunch of the red beauties.

The Normanator got busy right away, making HIS famous rhubarb cake.  This is the same recipe that appears in the family cookbook:  The Leuenberger Cookbook.  YUM.

Here is the magic formula. Be sure to have plenty of whipped cream or  whipped topping on hand just to glamorize it even more!

ANDREW BAUM’S RHUBARB CAKE

1  1/2  cups brown sugar

1/2  cup butter

1  egg

1  cup  buttermilk  *Kitchen Police would gladly allow the use of sour milk, too

2  cups flour

1  teaspoon baking soda

1  teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1  1/2cups rhubarb, diced

TOPPING: 

1/2  cup granulated sugar

1  teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in order well.  Pour into 9  x  12″ pan.  Sprinkle topping evenly over the batter.  Bake at 350* for 50 minutes.  When cool, cut into serving sized pieces and top with dollops of whipped topping.

*The news on the front page of our newspaper was troubling this morning.  The SNAP program, as we know it,is in danger, as it is attached to the Farm Bill. This legislation may affect your EBT card and WIC… Please pay attention, let your lawmakers know how you feel about this.  I’m just sayin’

Thank you so much to all the newly enrolled Members of the Food Stamps Cooking Club!  We love having you here in the Club House with us!  And we love love love getting your mail!

Connie Baum

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Relish the Radishes at Food Stamps Cooking Club!

April 16th, 2012

Our Garden Guy had radishes for sale in early April! And they are beauts!

We drove into our Garden Guy’s place to deliver his paper…that’s when we saw his sign: ” PRODUCE FOR SALE.”

Early April and he already has produce?  WOW.  Impressive.  Later that morning I called him to see if the TOMATOES were ready;  the humor was not lost on him.  We visited him to see what he had and there he was, planting seeds in his expansive garden.  He looked up, grinned when he saw us hanging over the fence, watching him work.  He came up to meet us and that’s when I noticed he was BAREFOOT.  Now THAT is a man who loves the earth! He is a proficient and dedicated gardener!

He had a 5 gallon bucket full of large, sweet, bright red beauties.  I bought 3 bunches of the organic wonders.  We came home directly and I cleaned them all, sampling the crunchy sweet treats as I went.  We devoured one bunch by dipping them in sea salt and enjoying them immensely.

Here’s what happened to the rest of that batch:

Glazed Radishes  This recipe is from the Food Network calendar I got at Christmas!

2 medium bunches radishes, stems trimmed to 1/2 inch from radish top.

2 tablespoons or 1/4 stick unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

*As I trimmed the radishes, I dropped them into a bowl of cold water

1.  Put the radishes, butter, 1  1/4 teaspoons salt, and pepper in a large skillet.  Add enough water to come about halfway up the side of the radishes.   Cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the skillet and lay it over the veg.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the radishes are tender, about 15 minutes.

2.  Remove the paper and boil the liquid over high heat until the liquid lightly glazes the radishes…about 5 minutes more.

***Mother Connie wants to discuss Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, along with parchment paper:   I think the Kitchen Police will not enforce their “law” if you use sea salt or whatever else you are blessed to have for seasoning.  And pepper is pepper, right?  It would be difficult for me to believe that food stamps users have parchment  paper in their kitchens.  I’d be glad if they had enough real food to feed their families so I think you could use a circle of foil.  The idea is to let the water bubble and the steam can escape.  SO DO NOT STRESS ABOUT THE DETAILS, just get some good, tasty nutrition into the people you love best!

Club Member Carol sent a wonderful message to me that I want to share, as well:

“Connie,

Here’s a cake that I made for the first time yesterday:

http://ctonabudget.blogspot.com/2012/04/banana-pecan-sheet-cake-recipe.html

While it does call for some pricier ingredients (buttermilk, pecan) see how I substituted to make this work for me, based on what was on hand. The pecans would normally be a luxury, to be sure, I am blessed with annual gifts of shelled pecans from my SC relative. : ) Walnuts can be used or just skip the nuts all together. This is a nice, moist cake but I frosted it with a cream cheese frosting as I had some Neufchatel that needed to be used up. Coconut, another extravagance, was actually part of an Angel Food Ministries delivery from last year that had been lurking in a Mason jar in the fridge (I was usually ordering 3 of their expanded monthly boxes and 2 produce boxes -don’t’ recall which “box'” the coconut came in) One can easily forget about the coconut as well. This was a use it up cake, as noted above, I had ingredients that needed to be used. Very adaptable recipe, I felt that your readers could use it! 

~Carol”

Users of EBT cards for SNAP and WIC will benefit from the ideas set forth here.  So will people who get things from community gardens, food pantries, food banks or food commodities.  We know you are pleased with what we offer you, for our Membership is growing by leaps and bounds.  Life is burdensome enough…by helping one another it will lighten everyone’s load!

Mother Connie appreciates every single one of you.  Keep those emails coming!  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  is the place to send your messages.  EVERY MESSAGE IS READ; yes, even that crummy, detestable spam!

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.