Posts Tagged ‘Living On a Dime’

Food Stamps Cooking in the Clubhouse

October 23rd, 2015

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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:

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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…

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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!

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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 foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

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: DESSERT!

September 26th, 2015

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Who doesn’t love dessert?

The Cooking Class at SENCA in Tecumseh, NE featured desserts that contribute to good health and in the interest of Quality Assurance, we HAD to do our fair share of taste testing.  *I know.  You must feel terribly sorry for us.  grin

Kathy made a Weight Watchers delight.  She used frozen fruit she had thawed and drained (ANY fruit would do).  She sprinkled a packet of gelatin (ANY flavor would do) and stirred in a few spoonfuls of low fat cottage cheese.  (ANY cottage cheese would do.)  She stirred it all together and added a few spoonfuls of whipped topping.  It got all fluffy and pretty and we spooned some out to taste.  Mmmmm!  Winner!  Winner!  DESSERT FOR DINNER!

Terri pleased our palettes with an apple pie.  This one had a twist; there was a mixture of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and oatmeal flakes where most diners would expect crust!  It was still warm from the oven when it arrived to our table.  There was swooning and ooohing and aaahing all around as we marveled at how satisfying her dessert was!

Mother Connie’s contribution was a simple collection of berries…I used fresh raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. (Any combination would do!)  I had cut them and sprinkled a dab of sugar over them and let them hang out in the fridge to get all juicy and delish.  While they chilled, I warmed some honey very gently on the stove and to that I added some sticks of cinnamon and a few shakes of ground cinnamon.  Pouring warm honey over cold berries is a good duet for your taste buds!

There was a good bit of discussion about people making low cost, high nutrition meals and desserts.  Everyone shared helpful ideas about shopping tips, family favorites and ways of re-imagining the recipes that were shared.

The next cooking class will be held prior to Turkey Day and since everyone is interested in saving time AND money, we’ll be making freezer meals once again.

Are you a user of SNAP or WIC funds with an EBT card?  Do you get food commodities?  Have you visited a food pantry or food bank?  Maybe you are just frugal by nature.  Perhaps you love to cook; you may even hate to cook.  In any case, this little piece of the internet is devoted to helping those of you who use public assistance for your food dollars.  We are here for you, supporting  you and caring about you.

We are tickled pink and blue and doing the Happy Dance because of all the new Members who have signed up for our little series of cooking tips.  You are welcome to share you ideas with us by sending an email to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  *We are just like little kids when we get MAIL!

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: 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.

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Curry?

April 27th, 2015

The Normanator and I grew up eating liver and loving it. ONE guy at church brings it once a month; he obviously loves it, too.  But hardly anyone likes it, really.

Before you turn away in disgust, just see how we prepare it at our house:

It is rinsed and we make sure the membrane is cut away from the meat.  That membrane is what makes the meat tough…ugh!  As soon as it is rinsed, each piece is laid out on a clean dishtowel.  *You could use paper toweling, if you have it, but that uses up lots of trees.  Just sayin’…

After it has been patted dry, each slice is dunked into an egg mixture…just eggs, beaten slightly.

Next it is drawn through seasoned flour and the flour is seasoned liberally with salt, pepper and curry powder.  Any excess is gently shaken away.

These pieces are set aside on a platter while 2 or 3 onions are peeled and sliced.  Those go into  a bit of oil in a cold oven-worthy skillet or baking pan.  The meat is layered over the onions, a cover is set and the whole thing goes into a COLD oven.  The oven is set at *350 for about 45 minutes to an hour.  That’s when it’s safe to peek into the oven to check the doneness of the meat with a fork.  If the meat is tender and nicely browned and the onions are clear, with juice in the bottom of the pan, your food is ready to serve. If you want the meat to cook longer, just leave it in the oven til it looks the way you like it.

We like to serve this with spinach.  Sometimes I cream it.  If I do this, mashed potatoes are added to the menu, so the creamed veg tops the potatoes like gravy.  Other times we season the spinach with salt and pepper and a few drops of rice vinegar. *Any vinegar will do.  Spinach is beyond delicious when a pinch of nutmeg is added just before it’s served.  Nutmeg can be added to the creamed version; but adding vinegar to that is inadvisable.

This blog is dedicated to users of Public Assistance for their food dollars.  Food budgets that are strengthened by EBT cards and WIC need all the help available.  So do those budgets dependent on food commodities or food drops or food pantries.  We hope our target audience finds help from our offerings.

There is a place in the upper right hand corner for people who might like to get a series of cooking tips.  Just click the button and you are instantly a Member of the Food Stamps Cooking Club!  We cherish each member and value your thoughts and opinions.  If you have ideas to share you are welcome to send us a messsage:

foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

There is nothing to buy; no fancy apps.  Just common sense ideas for frugal food prep!  With a bit of humor, served on the side.

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: Merry Christmas!

December 22nd, 2014
Because there was no room at the inn...

Because there was no room at the inn…

As you are no doubt aware the holidays are in full swing and there is a frantic push to make ready for Christmas.  When you depend on SNAP or WIC or food commodities you tend to be  in survival mode.  It’s almost painful to think of helping others because you may be fretting about your OWN situation.

A wonderful message about this very issue awaited me in my Inbox this morning.  I just HAD to share it with you:
“Today was the first day in forever that I felt well enough to go to the  Farmer’s Market with my family, especially since I am till weak and fragile. Who would I run into than the little “all too young mother” that I have written you about. She’s passed her GED and is working “almost full time” for a national retailer. But OHHHH the PAIN when she hugged me! My family knows how sore I am, but how can I complain? Please do not praise me, but it seems that this is what happens to me.

Anyway, she told me that there was a homeless family in the park across the street and even the street-folk were shunning them. I was weak and so frail; still I followed her across the street only to discover that this was the indeed rare homeless family who is homeless due to economic circumstances that do not include the plethora of “choice” based homelessness. He had a skill, was trying to find work, and they had lost their home etc. In other words, this is the basic middle class family who does not know how to be poor. The community was shunning them because they had become infested with head and body lice, and the only treatment that they knew would cost them hundreds of dollars that they did not have.

I had my son-in-law drive me over to the dollar store where I got 4 bottles of shampoo, 2 pounds of table salt and a bottle of laundry detergent. The total was under $6.00. I asked “all too young mother” to go to the farmer’s market and gather all the food that had fallen off the tables and was under the trucks and otherwise set to be disposed. Anything that could be eaten, and even ask some farmers for the food they might be throwing away.

That gave her a mission that did not include hugging me. I taught the parents that by mixing half salt and shampoo that it would kill the lice. They had to put it on their hair undiluted, and body then wait 30-45 minutes until rinsing it off. They took advantage of the free access to the American river to rinse off, but I told them that they had to do this every day for the next 6 days because it did not kill eggs. What courage! The American River is icy right now! I gave them the comb I had in my bag. But the littlest was sick, and once we got her mother and her lice free, I put mom on the light rail wearing some of my daughter-in-law’s clothes which were going to be on their way to resale stores, but she was clean and lice controlled, and on her way to the emergency room with the littlest.

I taught dad to boil all of the clothes and bedding in his 22 qt pot for not less than 5 minutes, and then take the whole thing to the laundry that was 2 blocks away. I bought a can of insecticide to treat the car and the tent. Then he and the older child washed all the laundry with the soap and dried it with the quarters I gave them.

I do not know how things turned out for this family because I was too sick and weak to follow through. I gave them the list of community resources that I always have with me and I hope that they follow up with employment and resources. my “all too young mother” came back with a bunch of vegetables and fruit for the family.

I think that the moral of this story is that it is a skill to survive being poor. Knowing how to treat lice and make a meal from the veggies that the farmer’s market would otherwise throw away is another skill. Sure, I spent $10.00 or so of my own money, but hopefully this family will survive.

I came home and went to sleep for a while. Anyway, I do not want you to praise me for this, but maybe you can use the lice killing salt and shampoo in your mission as well. I hope you have a happy holiday season.  Take care.

Love,

Delaine”

If someone who is in abject agony can help a homeless family, it makes me wonder what I might be able to do for any of my fellow human beings.

*We are THRILLED to welcome new Members into our Club House!  We welcome your comments and messages at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  .  We read every single one and appreciate each of you so much!

Merry Christmas!

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: Roast Chicken

October 1st, 2014
This is such an easy, low cost dish.  It's tasty enough for guests and EZ on the budget AND the cook!

This is such an easy, low cost dish. It’s tasty enough for guests; tender on the budget AND the cook!  This set of hind quarters is ready to be  dunked in a marvelous marinade and popped into a cozy oven!

 

Roast chicken is so easy and so elegant.  It is such an easy fix, too.  I found a recipe in the food section of our Lincoln Journal Star that struck my fancy; when I served it to The Normanator he approved.  That spurred me to share it.  Besides, Carol, from CTonabudget  said she could not wait to have it.  She and I have been aghast at meat prices so the idea of a new recipe for roast chicken hit our hot buttons!

When I found the recipe I knew I was going to be away from home for a day so I put it all together and kept it, covered, in the fridge.  There was ample time for the flavors to marry.  I won’t torment you with the details of how delicious this was…I will give you the particulars and you can see for yourselves how yummy it can be!

Mother Connie’s Version of Lemony Roast Chicken

1/2  cup olive oil *I did use olive oil but any vegetable oil will be fine

1/2  cup fresh rosemary leaves *No fresh leaves here; poultry seasoning was what I had

1/4  cup fresh squeezed lemon juice *Bottled lemon juice was all I could find in our pantry

10 cloves thinly sliced garlic  *Garlic powder had to do

SIDEBAR:  Did I mention we live in a small town and our shopping choices are limited? The moral of this story is to use what you have and make do.  The flavor of this dish will still make you a star in your own home!  END SIDEBAR.

Salt and pepper to taste

3  1/2# chicken, 8 or 9 pieces…  *I had hind quarters and that was PERFECT.

In a large bowl, combine oil, rosemary, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Choose a baking dish that will accommodate your chicken pieces in a single layer.  Brush about 1/4 of the mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.  Arrange the chicken meaty side up over the marinade and cover the meat with the remaining marinade.   Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 12 hours.

When you are ready to cook your chicken, preheat the oven to 475*.  Remove the plastic, turn the pieces over and spoon any excess marinade over each piece.  Roast for 15 minutes.

Remove the whole business from the oven and turn each piece so it is meaty side up.  Return to the oven and roast for an additional 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and nicely browned.

This would be delicious served with rice or potatoes and a big green salad!  Any leftover pieces are just yummy when served cold, too!

This will serve 4 people.

Are you living on a dime?  Do you have an EBT card for SNAP or WIC? Maybe you have goods from a food pantry or you get food commodities.  Maybe you are spending the last of your Farmers Market coupons.  In any case, this little corner of the internet is dedicated to helping you manage your food dollars.  When you become a Member you will receive a little series of Cooking Tips and we hope you will communicate with us, either on the comment panel here or by email: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com    There is nothing to buy, no stress or apps or fancy stuff.  Just heartfelt help with your food costs.

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: Wednesday is Fridge Day

September 26th, 2014
This fridge is nearly empty; we did not want to return from a trip to "science experiments"

This fridge is nearly empty; we did not want to return from a trip to “science experiments”

Refrigerator 004        Even the crisper drawers were free                             from”yuck”!

 

 

 

 Nobody has ever accused me of being obsessive or compulsive-especially about cleaning-but I have found over the years that LOTS of $$$$$ can be saved simply by making sure all the food we buy gets eaten, not wasted.

 We took a few days to get away from our normal routine and visit a friend in Colorado.  Before we left town, I made sure there would be no “science experiments” awaiting our return and that no food would go to waste.  The photos above  show just how empty our cold storage was!

  If you have been a Club Member for any time at all, you know how important it is at our house to “cook once and eat twice”  (or more).  If the second go-round won’t be eaten by the next day, that portion goes into the freezer for a quick meal on another busy day.

  It has become my custom to designate Wednesday as “clean out the fridge” day…before any week end shopping trip I make sure nothing gets overlooked on the shelves or drawers of our refrigerator. I still hear my mother’s voice in my head,  “Waste not; want not!”  That  is my motivation for making way for fresh goods.

SIDEBAR:  Wednesday isn’t good for you?  Choose any day you like.  It’s YOUR kitchen, after all!  The Kitchen Police will never know and Mother Connie will never tell.   END SIDEBAR.

 First, I survey the containers.

SIDEBAR:  It is really important to mark each container with the contents and date.  If not, you forget what’s what and can’t even recognize what’s there for the reheating!  I keep a  marker in the drawer with the plastic bags so I can quickly and easily jot down what’s going into the fridge or freezer, complete with the date.    END SIDEBAR

 I take everything out of the refrigerator, one shelf at a time, and wipe down each shelf and the walls with a disinfecting wipe OR rag that has been treated with dish detergent and bleach solution.

  As the containers are replaced, I give them a quick  swipe, too.

  The shelves in the door get the same treatment.

  This whole process takes about 15 minutes.

  When everything is back in place, I wipe down the top and outside of the fridge to make it sparkle as much as the ancient beast can!  *Our refrigerator was purchased shortly before home refrigeration was invented.  Shh-hh…the poor thing has to go awhile longer; We don’t wanna jinx it!

  I offer these photos and tips in order to help you manage your food dollars.  Take what you like and leave what you don’t.  YOU probably have better ideas that you find more workable for YOU…and we’d love to know what that might be!  Just send your good ideas to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  WE LOVE MAIL.

  Are you living on a dime?  Do you use an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Maybe you have food commodities or you benefit from a food pantry and would appreciate knowing how to s t r e t c h your grocery money.  If any of these applies to you, we are happy to be of service!  We have this little corner of the internet just for you and those like you.  We offer a little series of tips when you become a Member.  There is nothing to buy and we won’t hound you about apps or offers or whatnot.  We  only strive to be a help for those who struggle to make ends meet.

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: Emails and Phone Calls!

July 30th, 2014

July 2014 017This is the Food Stamps Cooking Club Calling Card!

Do you ever feel crunched for time?  You humble blogger certainly does!  Between spine issues, upcoming events, day-to-day housekeeping and life in general, time slips away very quickly, it seems.  Of course, considering how many, many years I’ve been 33 that MIGHT have something to do with it.  I’m told that Seniors do slow down.  *I hope it’s just a rumor.

Every one of our posts has our email address.  I’d love to share with you the incoming email that hit my hot button this morning!  What a lovely way to greet the day:

“Hi!

I have had some thoughts about hunger (you don’t say?) and several things stand out in my mind.  In the USA today, people are going hungry and not from a lack of food.  Goddess!!!  You should see what we have to toss because there was no one to eat it!  Hunger is a lack of knowledge.  If I have heard, “Wow!  I never knew…” once, I have heard it a thousand times!  I do not know how many times I have said the following things are not only lacking in nutrition, they are downright BAD for you:
Anything that has O’s in it – cheetos, fritos, doritos and the like
Anything that says “helper” on it.  There’ s no helper – there’s hinder-er.  You’d be better off just eating a can of tuna and some whole grain bread for pennies compared to the cost of the “helper”
Anything with microwave instructions.
Anything that has 2 wrappers i.e. box and tray
Anything that fizzes and that includes beer!
Then I start the education process, but even knowledge is not enough.  There is the absolute part called motivation.  Sure, there are nights that I don’t want to cook – lots of them.  But a cold salad and some whole grain bread and cheese is a meal in seconds.  One of my all time favorites is to spread goat cheese on a baguette slice and top with a thin slice of apple.  For those who don’t like goat cheese, use cream cheese.
So many people that I work with who have been among the classes for a while are actually showing a surplus of food stamp money at the end of the month because I have taught them that the bulk aisle is their friend.  We stay away from the center of the store for the most part because the loss leaders, produce, meat and poultry, bulk section, dairy and bakery are on the perimeter of the store.  They are learning to network together, and last month, we actually made stone soup for the last Thursday in June.
 I closed that lesson with the Stone Soup fable…
Love,
Delaine”
Delaine makes some salient points  and we thank  her with a grateful heart.  It would be fun to know what YOUR thoughts are…
There was an interesting phone conversation in the Club House this week,  as well. Someone called about the domain name for this corner of the internet.  During the course of the conversation I explained that this exists for the purpose of helping people who use public assistance for their food dollars.  The caller was AMAZED and really interested to know more about it.  Come to find out, this caller became the newest Member of the Food Stamps Cooking Club!  *Fist Bump!
The National Geographic magazine sent me on a RANT earlier.  I’ll be venting about THAT soon.  Meantime, I’ll have some tests done for which I cannot study and I’m told I’ll be out of commission for some time.  Stay tuned,  kids, people need help.  If those of us who have banded together to support those people, WHO WILL?
One more point:  A hands-on cooking class will be scheduled soon for Johnson County, NE!
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: Freezing Zucchini!

July 17th, 2014

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

Freezing Zucchini 001

And froze half a dozen bags:

Freezing Zucchini 002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Connie Baum

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