Posts Tagged ‘oven’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Kay Speaks!

October 7th, 2014
These darling little boys are our great grandsons.  Their mommy captured the moment they were about to display brotherly love with a smooch!

These darling little boys are 2 of our great grandsons. Their mommy captured the moment they were about to display brotherly love with a smooch!

Whenever the mail has comments from our Members my heart does the happy dance!  I could have hugged Kay the Gardener when she sent this message.  She gave me cart blanch to with it whatever worked so here, with our deep gratitude, is Kay’s offering:

SIDEBAR:  Kay’s ideas are fabulous.  Even so, they won’t all work for all our Members.  Please choose what works for you and leave whatever does not resonateEND SIDEBAR.

Budgeting & Cooking Tips for Food Stamp Users

Here is my situation.  I live in Portland, Oregon.  I am a single senior citizen; I’m in fairly good health.  I’m an excellent, creative cook with access to a stove/oven, microwave, refrigerator with small freezer on top.  On the shed off the deck I have access to a full sized upright freezer.

I was raised by parents who went through the 1930s Depression as adults. I grew up learning to shop at the Naval commissary/exchange every 2 weeks. We had a full freezer, thanks to our plum, peach, cherry & lemon trees.  We had gardening space in the back yard in the Bay Area. I learned to make jams, jellies & canned fruit as teenager, but don’t do that myself now…

In addition to local grocery stores and an Asian market, I use Community Food Basket pantry box once a month (fee –$15/year).

I like to plan menus.  I plan to have half a dozen basic breakfast variations; lunches are leftovers from dinner, or sandwiches, soups, & desserts. Dinners are typically casseroles, stews, chili, or a la carte items, with salads & fruits as complements.

Cookies, cakes & other sugary desserts are snacks or special occasions.

Being an introvert, I usually share guest meals with only a couple of friends & the next door neighbors (reciprocal potlucks or dinner plates), about 2-3x/month.

I also make a potluck veggie dish to share at monthly club meetings, where I’m willing to eat almost anything except the sauerkraut dishes (Yuk!)

SIDEBAR:  Mother Connie here:  Hey, we all have our faves and dislikes.  You are allowed, Kay!  END SIDEBAR.

Basic Pantry Goods

Starches/Pastas – small elbow macaroni, spaghetti & flat egg noodles, Mee-fun & transparent noodles & other pasta shapes (rotini, butterfly, etc) when on special at Winco from bulk section or Asian stores.

Other grains & Seeds – dry converted rice, with barley, couscous, orzo, spelt, millet, oatmeal, cornmeal, cream of wheat, cream of rice, 5-7-10 grain breakfast hot cereal, depending on availability, sesame seeds & sunflower kernels & frozen quinoa, for variety in grains.

Legumes – Dried – Red Kidney, white navy, pinto, garbanzo, small limas, black beans, lentils, yellow & green split peas.

Canned Vegetables – kidney, pinto, black, garbanzo, lima, green beans, creamed & kernel corn, pickled sliced beets, button mushroom pieces, with black & green olives & sweet gherkin pickles & canned pimientos for garnish.

Canned Fruits – Canned in own juice or low sugar packed peaches, pears, plums, apricots, mixed fruit cocktail, pineapple chunks, & maraschino cherries.

Canned Soups – Low salt versions of tomato, chicken noodle & clam chowder soups for quick lunches, with cream of mushroom & cheese soups for sauces. Have chicken, beef & onion in bulk bouillon powders to make quick soup stocks. 

Other Canned items – Sardines in water pack, tuna fish in water pack, Vienna sausages, canned salmon, canned crab/ shrimp for sandwich alternatives. Instant breakfast mix.

Dried Fruits – again from bulk bins – Black raisins for regular use, golden ones for special holiday baking, dried apricots, apple slices, prunes, peaches, banana chips, blueberries, cran-raisins. They make good snacks for munching in small quantities.

Frozen Vegetables – Plain style baby green peas, corn, cut green beans, sliced carrot “coins”. I use frozen veggies as standbys & mix my own combinations without sauces, instead of buying fancy “California mix”.

Also I keep on hand frozen 100% orange juice, both calcium enriched & “with pulp” styles.

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables – Basics – Apples, oranges, grapefruits, bananas

Basics – Regular — Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Cabbage, Romaine lettuce

Seasonal – other seasonal fruits & veggies for variety, bought when plentiful, about 7-12 at any given time during the month. I use seasonal produce calendars from the Washington/Oregon Extension departments, available from library lobbies, senior centers, etc. for hints. These fresh veggies might be used 2-3 times each during the week, first plain, then in different combos.

Dairy/Eggs – I use dried non-fat milk, from the large (20 qt) size, made up in quart containers or on the run. Buy monthly – 12 – 24 string cheese packs, brick of medium cheddar (2 -2.5 lbs), 12 or 18 eggs, depending upon carryover stock.

Special purchases –pint of cottage cheese (2%), 1/2 pint non-fat plain yogurt ( = substitute sour cream), bulk Parmesan for garnish when needed, mozzarella or Colby / jack bricks for variety every few months.

I save plastic/ glass jars & margarine & bulk potato salad containers to store these items in, with the contents labeled on the sides & tops.

Meats – In rotation, to keep as basics on hand, I would buy a 3-5 lb log of ground beef, then cut & wrap into 1 lb packs for the freezer. I also buy the 10 lb frozen chicken forequarter packs, slightly defrost & rinse, clean & repack 2 legs/ package & pop them into the freezer quickly. I buy a couple of frozen 1 lb imitation crab packs & keep a couple of 1 lb packs of turkey/poultry franks in the freezer for quickie meals.

I also have in the freezer during the year, bought on special –

Beef –liver, kidneys & tongue, beef round – cut as a roast or thick cut steak, cross-cut beef shanks, 7 bone thick cut pot roast to cut into pot roast & stew meat chunks. (Rib-eye or T-bone steaks are reserved for when people take me out for special occasions).

Pork – small turkey ham, thick cut ham slice, thick cut pork chops, boneless pork loin chunks, pork shoulder steaks, mild pork sausage for meatloaves, & Oktoberfest style sausages in the fall.

Lamb – ground lamb, & lamb shanks, a full bone-in leg of lamb in Spring.

Poultry – a couple of whole fryers when on sale for summer BBQ, a large (15-20 lb) frozen turkey bought in the pre-Thanksgiving sales (eg, 49 cents/lb with $50 of other groceries – I buy my Nov staples around the 18th, instead of on the 10th of that month).

Fish – 2 lb packs of frozen basa (swai) fillets, a spring/summer run salmon fillet, which I cut into 1” thick steaks myself, & other fish pieces if on special sale. Most of my fish comes from the Asian stores, because the turnover is quicker there.

For all these frozen packages, I keep a running list of the contents, weight, date in & date out, posted to an inner cupboard in my kitchen, to help rotate the items.”

 

Kay has shared so much information that some of it will have to go into another post!  Such extravagant generosity!  Thank you, Kay!

 

So that is our tease, kids!  Stay tuned for the remainder of ideas from Kay the Gardener!

**Note from Mother Connie:  There are font gremlins somewhere in WordPress!  Sorry it looks so goofy!  Such is the life of a blogger!  grin/giggle

Connie Baum

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

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Freezing Zucchini!

July 17th, 2014

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

Freezing Zucchini 001

And froze half a dozen bags:

Freezing Zucchini 002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Connie Baum

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

Food Stamps Cooking Club: French Toast!

January 8th, 2014

WordPress will not load the gorgeous image of the finished product!

If you plan ahead, you can delight the people who put their toes under your table with a “fancy schmancy” meal, even if you are just learning to cook!

French Toast is fun, filling and fabulous.  It is easy to make, pretty to serve, and it is satisfying in the way of comfort food..

Mother Connie put several slices of bread into a 8 X 8″ casserole dish and covered the bread with a mixture of 2 beaten eggs and some milk–enough to cover the bread.  It went into the fridge to hang out til morning.

*There is a great image of these slices, soaking.  Alas, it won’t load!  argh

You can use a lightly greased skillet or a griddle, depending on what you own and how many mouths you’ll be feeding.  We use a griddle, with the temp set at 350*- but when I turn on the griddle I also set the oven to 2oo*.

The bread soaks up the milk and egg mixture.  I place each slice on the very lightly greased griddle and let it brown nicely before I turn it.  When each slice is browned on both sides and removed from the griddle, it goes onto an oven safe platter or casserole dish.  These freshly done slices get to lounge in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.  This allows a nice crust to form and make them crisp.  **This is how it’s done in high end eateries!

When it comes out of the oven, you can dress it up with a very light sprinkle of powdered sugar.  I use my flour sifter.

We like to top our French Toast with honey or home made syrup.  Sometimes we put a few berries on the top or maybe a slice or two of peaches.  Our favorite bread to use is Lithuanian Sourdough Rye because it is a heavy bread but any bread will do.

Here’s how to make the syrup.  Once you make this you will never buy commercial syrup again.

The image of the syrup in the cutest pitcher ever will NOT load!  *argh!

Home Made Syrup

Into a heavy saucepan put

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

dash salt

Bring this to a rolling boil and make sure all the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and add 2 – 3 teaspoons maple flavoring.  Pour the syrup into a pitcher or bowl with a serving spoon.  Pour any leftover syrup into a jar.  I store syrup in the kitchen cabinet.

Those of you who have been Members here for awhile know full well that this corner of cyberspace is devoted to users of public assistance for their food budgets.  If you are a holder of an EBT card for SNAP or WIC, we hope you are getting helpful information here.  Maybe you are living on a dime or you just make a game out of being frugal.  You might frequent your food pantry or you might be using food commodities.  Whatever your situation, and especially if you are just learning to cook, we are so proud to have you in the House!

When we read the emails that pour in; when we read the love you leave on the comment panel, it’s patently obvious there is a need for the service we hope to provide.

Connie Baum

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

PS/Do take a moment, when you can, to cruise over to Creative Savv and CT On a Budget.  They have such great info for saving $$$.  And their images DO load…sigh..

 

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club Unveils Offline Cooking Class!

January 2nd, 2014

Oatmeal 002

This is the very first day of our Food Stamps Cooking Club Offline Cooking Class!

 

There are a great many supporters to thank – Lorraine Wellman, Renita Farrall, Velda Koehler, who have been exuberant cheerleaders of this blog; Lili and Carol, my fellow bloggers who never cease to inspire me with their own menus, tips n tricks, comments and general encouragement; the good folks at Living On a Dime, who feel like family to me and Leanne Ely, who got me hooked many years ago with her Garlic Lime Chicken and her quest: Saving Dinner.

The idea with this class is to teach anybody how to prepare simple, low cost foods. There is nothing fancy or complicated about these recipes and tutorials. Best of all, we aren’t making any effort to sell you stuff! We want everyone to be healthy and to do that at the lowest possible cost.

Here is our very first offering:

Overnight Oatmeal

1 cup oats *Mother Connie prefers whole oat groats but use whatever you have

1 cup raisins* optional but this adds nutrition…just sayin’

handful of finely chopped nuts *walnuts, pecans, peanuts–whatever Santa left you

3 cups water or water and milk

dash of salt

Put everything into a covered saucepan or casserole dish and slide it into the oven after supper.  Set the temp for 200* and let the oven do the work for you.

In the morning you will be delighted NOT to have to make breakfast.  Simply take off the lid, stir a bit and dish it up!

*This would work well with a slow cooker too, but Mother Connie has not made it that way..yet.  grin/giggle

We like ours served with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg, along with a spoonful of either brown or granulated sugar.

No oven?  A toaster oven will do just fine.  Please, please do not use a microwave oven because they emit dangerous Electro Magnetic Frequencies and rob your food of its nutritive value.

We sincerely hope this will contribute to your life in a positive way!  You are dearly loved!

Connie Baum

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

 

 

Processing Tomatoes at Food Stamps Cooking Club

September 9th, 2013
These beauties awaited us when we returned from breakfast one recent summer morning.  The Tomato Fairy had landed right on our picnic table!

These beauties awaited us when we returned from breakfast one recent summer morning. The Tomato Fairy had landed right on our picnic table!

When you are given such a wonderful gift, there’s nothing to do but shift into high gear!  We did that!  We turned these flats full of yummy goodness into these delights:

We got 8 quarts from these; we already had 6; over the weekend we canned 8 more quarts.  The Normanator and I make quite the duo!

We got 8 quarts from these; we already had 6; over the weekend we canned 8 more quarts. The Normanator and Mother Connie make quite the working duo!

Canning tomatoes is not particularly hard work.  It’s sorta messy but that’s what soap and water is for.  We just grabbed cleaning rags and scouring powder and the stove looked good as ever when we finished!

We cut out the stem portion and made a slice in the bottom of each tomato.  They were dipped into boiling water until the skin split.  As they were held under cold water that skin peeled off easily!  The skinned tomatoes went into a large heavy kettle to simmer until there was foam at the top.  That was skimmed off and discarded.  We used a potato masher to crush every tomato.  We were using juicy tomatoes and Romas, which are more firm and not as juicy, so we crushed the whole lot of them.

There was a system that worked well for us:  While we worked to cut and skin these babies, the oven was working full time.  We had a jelly roll pan with water, each pan holding 6 jars filled with an inch or so of water.  These, along with the canning lids, hung out in the oven as we worked.

When it came time to fill the jars, The Normanator skillfully put dipper after dipper into the each jar.  As soon as it was full, I was in charge of adding the salt, topping it off with the lid and securing the ring.  Each jar took its place on a towel on the kitchen table as we listened for the “CLICK!” of the lid, making the sound that it had sealed.

There was only one jar that did not seal.  It was morphed into a lovely spaghetti sauce when I poured it into a heavy skillet, added lots of oregano, basil, pepper, and a “blub” of red wine.

SIDEBAR:  No vino?  You can use 1/2 cup of any ole vinegar + 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Taste test as you go.  *The sugar diminishes the too-tomatoey  flavor of the sauce.  **That’s the purpose of the wine.  END SIDEBAR

Our benefactor told us they have put up over 100 quarts of tomatoes and salsa for the winter!  We are going to have some major good eats at our house this winter, thanks to the Tomato Fairy!  I have a feeling there will be a chili feed or two on the social calendar!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you LOVE to cook?  Do you HATE to cook?  Are you holding an EBT card from SNAP or WIC?  Maybe you have goods from food commodities, a food bank or food drop.  It could be that you just groove on the challenge of stretching your food budgets until you hear George Washington creak…If you are using any form of public assistance, we hope to be of service to you.  You seem to be passing the word, because the membership has SOARED lately.  Maybe that little list of cooking tips is helpful for you.

You most likely have ideas that will help others.  We would love to hear whatever you have to say.  Our most popular  place for ideas is  either on the comment panel or you could send an email to us at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

Above all, please remember that YOU do matter and we love you with no reservation or judgement.  We only want to help.

Connie Baum

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

Summer’s End Quiche at Food Stamps Cooking Club

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

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

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

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

Quiche!

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

Broccoli Quiche

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

3/4  cup zucchini, peeled and thinly sliced

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

Boil 2 cups Broccoli for ten minutes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Break 6 eggs.

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

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

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

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

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

It may need 5 more minutes or so.

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

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

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

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

Connie Baum

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

Spinach – Tater Cups at Food Stamps Cooking Club

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

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

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

Spinach Potato Nest Bites

From Kitchen Daily and May I Have That Recipe

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

 

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

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

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

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

The plans for the offline Cooking Class are in the works.  After consulting with some of our Members, it became apparent that we need to stick to basics.  Please stay tuned…and do remember you are loved and appreciated!

Connie Baum

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

 

 

 

Zucchini Pie at the Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 20th, 2013
Here are the fixin's for Zucchini Pie...which very much resembles a pizza!

Here are the fixin’s for Zucchini Pie…which very much resembles a pizza!

The Johnson County Fair and PIE CENTRAL have gone into the history books and although we are dealing with “Fair Lag” just like Jet Lag we have survived quite well.  Now that there is no more Fair Food to tempt us we are getting back to wise and healthy choices!

Somebody mentioned Zucchini Pie and I remembered how yummy I thought this was, so I put one together.  I was so excited that I forgot to snap a photo of the finished product and it was half eaten by the time I thought of it!  But I do have some pictures of the process…

For this pie I cheated and used a commercial pizza roll but you could even use your standard biscuit recipe, all rolled out into one sheet.

ZUCCHINI PIE

1  onion, chopped

2  cups zucchini, peeled and chopped

1  cup mushrooms *This is optional but since this is a meatless creation I felt we needed the protein.

2  carrots, peeled, chopped  *Also optional.  They provide color.

1  can tomatoes, juice and all

Basil to taste

Oregano to taste

Salt and Pepper

Unbaked pizza crust

Yellow mustard-to be spread on the pizza crust before the vegetables are spread over the dough.

2  large eggs, slightly beaten

Shredded cheese of your choice, about 1 1/2 cups

Using a food processor speeds up the chopping…when all the veg has been chopped, saute them in a drizzle of vegetable oil til tender. Season them well with the salt and pepper and the spices. When it is nearly soft, add chopped fresh garlic and let it cook briefly.

SIDEBAR:  If garlic cooks too long or at too high a temp, it gets bitter but if you gently cook it for a short time it gets sweeter.  END SIDEBAR.

While the veggies are cooking, unroll the dough onto a well greased cookie sheet and pinch the edges so there is a “curb” and the vegetables won’t run over onto the cookie sheet.  Spread a very thin coat of yellow mustard over the dough, then spoon the mixture onto the dough evenly.

Beat  the eggs in a bowl and add the cheese to them. Combine gently but thoroughly.   Pour this mixture over all the vegetables onto the dough.  Slide this into a 325* oven for about 13-15 minutes, until the crust is brown and the eggs are set.

First, a coating of yellow mustard will go over the dough and this mixture will be spooned over that.  It smelled sooo good...

First, a coating of yellow mustard will go over the dough and this mixture will be spooned over that. It smelled sooo good…

*You may have wondered about the red pepper shown in the first photo…Mother Connie opted not to use that; the carrots provided the desired color!

This is a most filling dish and if you have any left over it freezes well.

It’s a recipe you can easily adapt to your family’s preferences.  There is no reason why you could not use ground beef or leftover ham bits or even sausage to this.  You can be as creative as you like with no interference from the Kitchen Police!

Using public assistance for your food budget is no picnic.  We GET that.  If you use and EBT card for SNAP or WIC you know precisely what I’m talking about here.  Furthermore, if you are living on a dime, facing the challenges posed by your food budget, you understand completely.  This little corner of the internet is devoted to users of food banks, food drops, food commodities, food pantries and those who are on the receiving end of generous gardeners!  We do hope it is helpful to you because we care deeply about your plight.

Mother Connie is off to see the wizard for the rest of the week.  She will be learning a new body process that promises to raise awareness. It is called BARS – we dunno WHY – and is taught by facilitators for Access Consciousness.   The former body worker in Mother Connie just cannot bid the body-working part of her life goodbye; it’s important to give value to the world and this will be one more way to do that.  Food is an important component to a healthy body; coaxing peoples’ bodies to relinquish pain, paradigms and programs is a most satisfying way to spend our days! It fuels our passion for people!

As ever, we are begging for your comments on our comment panel.  We so appreciate your involvement with us.  Please remember you are dearly loved!

Connie Baum

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

 

 

 

 

Summer Bounty: Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 6th, 2013
Summer Bounty in the Club House!

Summer Bounty in the Club House!

We really have an embarrassment of riches, as you can see by the display on the kitchen table!  There is a gigantic zucchini, which will be ground and morphed into delicious desserts and main dishes after a stint in the freezer; the sweet potato will grace our dinner table tonight and those peaches will make decadent, juicy, fresh desserts for The Normanator and me.

Most of these items were gifts from generous gardeners!  We hope to be able to  s t r e t c h our food dollars to the inth degree with wise use of each food.

One of the joys of summer foods is consideration of the health benefits.  I found an interesting list to share:

1.  Sweet Potatoes.  These have lots of color, which indicates uber nutritive value.  Making “fries” or slices coated with cinnamon is a nice way for youngsters to learn to like veggies.  Pop them into the oven to roast and the flesh of the potatoes become sweeter.  Even children can help with this process and learn the fine art of feeding themselves!

2. Greek Yogurt.  This is such a great breakfast food!   A tablespoon or two of this and a few chunks of fresh-or canned-fruit makes a quick start for the day with little fuss and lots of food value.

3.  Watermelon.  LOADED with minerals, this is a fun summer food.  How many of us took chunks of melon to the yard, burying our faces in the pink flesh of the fruit and spitting seeds on the lawn?  Oh, making memories around food is sooooo important in making for happy childhoods!

4.  Leafy greens.  These are wonderful!  Kale, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, Swiss chard are so versatile and so good for a body.  Last night Mother Connie threw spinach, mushrooms, basil, lemon juice and oil into the food processor to make a pesto to cover pasta.  The freshness and intensity of the flavors were enhanced by the lemon-I added salt at the table-and it was a deeply satisfying meal.  It is critical for good digestion that we include leafy greens in our diets.  It’s easier to do in the summertime!

5.  Broccoli.  This cruciferous vegetable helps to prevent infection of all sorts because of its high content of vitamins, minerals and folic acid.  It makes a good snack if it’s raw; if it’s steamed and flavored with red pepper flakes or dash of lemon or sprinkle of nutmeg, it is a glorious summer side dish.  It works well in vegetable salads, too, which are most refreshing on summer days.

Are you living on a  dime?  Do you depend on public assistance for your food dollars?  Maybe you hold an EBT card for SNAP or WIC.  Maybe you just love to be thrifty.  If you have food from food commodities, a food pantry or food bank, you might like to know that this corner of the internet is exclusively for YOU.  We understand how hard it is to keep body and soul together and we aim to help.

We are gleeful at the list of new Club Members!  We welcome you with open arms and can’t wait to get your input on our comment panel!

Please remember that you are loved and appreciated.

Connie Baum

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

Lock Your Car at Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 22nd, 2013

These little darlings are all dolled up! Who knew zukes could be so pretty?

“It is the season when even in this small village we learn to lock our vehicles when parking them on main street for even a few minutes for fear of returning to find the front seat piled high with orphan zucchinis.”  ~Roger Welsch

Yes, Roger.  It’s true.  This time of year you can smell lots of loaves of zucchini bread and kitchens everywhere have cooks wondering what new thing to do with those jolly green giants!

Mother Connie found Roger’s quote on Facebook.  If you are there, too, you may have seen High Protein Foods’ post about the above  pictured goodies, starring zucchini!  Here’s how it’s done:

Zucchini Tots

Ingredients:

1 cup zucchini, grated
1 large egg
1/4 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup reduced sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
salt & pepper to taste
cooking spray

Cooking Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray mini muffin tin with cooking spray.

Grate zucchini into a clean dish towel. Wring all of the excess water out of the zucchini. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Fill each muffin section to the top, pushing down on the filling with your spoon so it’s nice and compacted so they don’t fall apart when you take them out of the tin.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until the tops are golden.

Use a plastic knife or rubber spatula around the edges of each tot to remove them from the muffin tin. Enjoy!

The Normanator and I could never eat so many of these delights in the first sitting, so I would pop them into freezer containers and keep them in the freezer for a quick meal later!  We really appreciate the good folks at High Protein Foods for making this recipe public!

We also appreciate all the good folks who have joined us here in the Club!  It is a joy to have new faces and more people commenting AND NEW EMAIL MESSAGES!  Since we are into FUN it’s really great to have everybody here!  WELCOME!

If you use SNAP or WIC to fund your food budget; if you find yourself living on a dime; if you are frugal by nature or you have benefited from a food pantry or food commodities, this is YOUR little corner of the ‘net!  We GET how hard it is to keep everyone’s tummies full on a strict food budget and we are here to help.

*If you are within driving distance of Tecumseh, Nebraska you might like to know that Mother Connie will be talking about knife skills at the next Cooking Class.  Stay tuned for more details as plans are nailed down!

Connie Baum

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