Posts Tagged ‘Saving Dinner’

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?


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.

Speaking of Rice at Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 26th, 2012

Here is a fresh take on Beans n  Rice!

The end of any month can be trying, what with the struggle of everyday life compounded by the management of skimpy food supplies.  Especially if you have a food budget that is tapped out!  Today we offer you an idea that may help you minimize the struggle.  By the way, this tastes good during the FIRST of the month, too!  grin

Red Beans and Rice

*Gee, how imaginative is THIS title?  smile

2  tablespoons butter

1  large onion

3   cups hot cooked rice  *Basmati rice, if you have it.  Cooked in broth if it’s available  Not to worry; the Kitchen Police will never know.

1  can kidney beans, drained

1/2  cup sour cream

1/2  cup grated Asiago cheese  *I repeat:  the Kitchen Police will never know if you use another kind…

1/4  teaspoon black pepper


Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion; cook til it browns, about 8 minutes.  Add rice, beans, sour cream, cheese and pepper.  Stir well , blending and melting cheese.  Remove from heat and serve.  Makes 6 servings.

This will be kind to your food budget and might become one of your go-to comfort food recipes.

Are you living on a dime?  Do you use SNAP or WIC  EBT cards?  Do you frequent a food pantry?  Are you eligible for food commodities?  Maybe you are a person who squeezes the grocery nickels until those buffalo bellow…or you might be someone who just likes the challenge of saving food money by s t r e t c h i n g your food budget!  In any case, we sincerely hope this little blog is helpful to you.  Helping others is our passion and we love to cook. 

You are welcome to offer your thoughts and suggestions on our comments page.  WE LIVE FOR COMMENTS, don’t you know!  grin  Thanks for your contributions and opinions.

If you have a mind to do so, you could even cruise by our partners and let them know we are having fun here.  You can reach them through their websites  Living On A Dime and Saving Dinner.  They are all about helping people, too, and they will be delighted to hear from their fan club!

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.

Celebrating Rice at Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 25th, 2012


No matter what rice you have, you can make a meal fit for royalty!

It’s the end of the month.  The cupboard, despite your best efforts has a hollow echo.  The refrigerator looks a little on the empty order, too.   The  need to turn up your creative juices has never been more necessary.  What is a SNAP user to DO?  And if you are using an EBT card from WIC…you might be feeling a wee bit desperate.

Those of us who hang out in the Club House GET that.  That’s why we are here. 

There is always the ‘rice and beans; beans and rice’ meal.  And you no doubt are weary as can be of that routine.  Mother Connie stumbled on an idea that may be helpful to you:

Zucchini Over Rice-With a Kick

2   tablespoons vegetable oil

2  medium onions, peeled and sliced or chopped-your preference

1  medium zucchini, peeled and chopped

1  can canned red or black beans, drained  *If you have cooked beans on hand, use 2 cups

Salt and Pepper to taste

1   1/2  teaspoons curry powder  *None on hand?  Improvise with chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, coriander, ginger, cloves, turmeric or any combination of these.  Taste test your unique combo to make sure it’s something your gang will enjoy.

1  teaspoon cumin


In a heavy skillet , heat the oil gently as you prepare your vegetables.  Saute the onions until they are tender and fragrant.  Add the chopped zucchini.  Then sprinkle the spices over the top and gently stir them to incorporate them into the entire mixture.  Cover them to let the flavors marry and turn the heat to very low. Stir occasionally so they do not stick to the skillet.

If you have cooked rice, you can reheat that in a separate skillet or saucepan.  If you need to cook your rice for this dish, use ONE CUP of rice to TWO CUPS of water or broth.

SIDEBAR:  Mother Connie discovered how delicious it is to mix brown rice with basmati rice-because there was not enough of either, so they were combined.  What a pretty potful that made!  END SIDEBAR

After everything has cooked through, spoon the rice onto the plate, top it off with the vegetables for a beautiful presentation that smells wonderfully aromatic!

VARIATION:  If you have frozen peas on hand, add those just before serving to thaw them to add color and flavor to your dish.  You could also use the combo of frozen peas/corn.  If your family fancies corn, you could use that, as well.  Canned veggies will work but they should be drained first.  Zucchini has a lot of  liquid in it and it could be too soupy if you do not drain the veggies.

VARIATION #2:  Use red peppers for more color.  Green peppers would add color and flavor to the mix, too.

This makes a meal that is loaded with nutrition for VERY little money and has complete protein so it satisfies hunger well.  Anything that’s tasty, filling AND budget minded at the end of the month has got to be a good thing!

I made this for lunch today and there was a small amount left over.  That will become soup as soon as I add broth and vegetable juice to these yummies.  I may even toss in some cooked bow ties from another meal that need to be used.

What low cost meals do YOU make when it looks as if there’ll be more month than money?  Let us know by commenting on this blog.  WE LIVE FOR YOUR COMMENTS.  grin

We hope you have been enjoying the messages of our partners, Living On A Dime and Saving Dinner.  We are so proud to be associated with them.   They offer lots of great ideas and some really good values if you are interested to have their products.  They’ve been around for a long time and they know their stuff!

Our hearts are delighted with all the new members who have signed up recently for our series of cooking tips.  Thank you so much for sharing this site with those in your circle!

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.

Beans, Rice and Food Stamps Cooking Club?

February 10th, 2012

Beans + Rice = Perfect Protein

You’ve heard it a million times:  “If you want to save money on your food bill, make beans and rice.”  And you have done that for a million times…now you are sick of eating this combo.  What’s a cook to DO?

The Normanator and I have been enjoying beans and rice this week with NO COMPLAINTS from either of us!  I’m not much for recipes in our kitchen; my modus operandi is to poke around to see what’s there and start creating.

On Wednesday I began with one cup of  dark kidney beans.  To that I added 3 cups of water and brought it to a full boil.  After it began to boil, I reduced the heat and let it simmer on low for a couple of hours.  While that cooked, I put a cup of rice  into another saucepan with two cups of water, a dash of salt and brought that to a boil.  I used what I had:  some white rice and some brown rice.

SIDEBAR:  It’s called using up what you have  on hand so you can open a fresh package of rice.  END SIDEBAR

I drained the beans, added a few cups of chicken  broth that was waiting in the fridge for this type of moment, and put in about half the rice.  It was beginning to smell divine.  I seasoned it with salt and pepper and when it was good and hot I added a couple of handfuls of chopped spinach for color.  We ate like royalty, oohing and aahing our way through lunch!  For dessert I found some canned pears.

On Thursday we had this soup again but this time we had a big vegetable salad with it.  There wasn’t much left, but I saved it in a refrigerator container for another time.  The rice that did not wind up in the bean pot became rice pudding, replete with cinnamon, sugar and whole milk.  YUM!

Today is Friday.  When it was time to prepare lunch, I pulled out the soup and thought I could add some sauteed onion.  That made the whole house smell delish!  I added those onions, along with frozen corn, more broth and brought it to a boil. We were so pleased with this hearty soup that we did not have salad OR a sammie to go along.  We did have some apricots and that made a great finale to a wonderful meal.

There is just a tad of this left.  It will go into the freezer for a quick meal on a day we are too busy to saute or create.

We all need to have quick meals at our fingertips from time to time.  Leanne Ely from Saving Dinner had a dynamite post on her website today about that very thing.  She has come up with Fast Food Drive Through food YOU MAKE AT HOME FOR PENNIES.  Check it out, won’t you?  I think you will be very pleased at what she has to offer.

If you are a user of food commodities or frequent food pantries, we make every effort to come up with assistance that makes your life better.  If you hold an EBT card for SNAP or WIC we hope we are meeting your needs.  Maybe you are just a frugal shopper and careful cook…we expect that our little corner of the world will enhance your life as well. Maybe you are living on a dime, barely scraping by.  We sincerely hope we are helpful to you.

We are thrilled to our toenails to see that our Club Roster has so many new members!  Thank you so much for coming by.  We encourage you to share YOUR money saving ideas and recipes.  You have a lot to offer those of us who have been here for awhile.

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.

Dill Pickle Soup for Food Stamps Cooking Club?

January 19th, 2012

It sounds odd, but Dill Pickle Soup is really tasty and satisfying!

After parting company with a tooth recently, all my menu called for was soup.  No problem; soup is one of my comfort foods.  When I was offered Dill Pickle Soup I was intrigued.  Now it is my new favorite soup.  Best of all, it’s easy and quick to make and it is really inexpensive.

Here is the list of ingredients and how I tweaked them:


2 tablespoons butter or oil

1/2 cup flour

7 cups chicken broth *Make your own broth to save the big bucks; use bouillon + water if you have no broth

1/2 cup very finely chopped dill pickles  *I used the food processor

2 tablespoons dill pickle juice  *add this as  you process the pickles

2 tablespoons + 1 pinch white sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce  *Remember, the Kitchen Police will not arrest you if you do not have this in your pantry!

2 teaspoons minced garlic  *I used garlic powder and nobody died

4 teaspoons onion powder  *I know; it sounds excessive.  It’s perfect.

1 teaspoon curry powder  *Raise your hand if you ever had curry powder on hand…grin…

1 teaspoon dill weed

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2  cups warm milk

Melt the butter in a large soup kettle over medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook til it becomes pale and light brown.  May take a coupla minutes.  Whisk in chicken broth until thickened and smooth.  Crank the heat to medium high, add dill pickles, juice and all; add sugar, W. sauce, garlic, onion, dill, curry  and pepper.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium LOW and simmer for about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in warm milk.  This will serve 4 people.

***Mother Connie prefers a soup that is a bit thicker than this recipe made.  To accommodate this, I used some of the liquid from the soup pot with a spoonful of cornstarch, stirred it well, and added that back into the soup.  I whisked the whole business until it was the soupy consistency we prefer.  I could also have added leftover mashed potatoes or instant potato flakes.

The fun of cooking is the opportunity to be creative.   And devouring what you create!

I did not calculate the cost of this soup but I know it’s way less costly than most soups.  It will go really well with your favorite sandwich and a piece of fruit.

If you are a user of food stamps from the SNAP program; if you utilize food commodities; if you love dill pickles and enjoy being frugal, this will be ideal for you!  Those of you who depend on food pantries will find this recipe useful as well!

Drop us a line about your experience with this creation:  Thanks!

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

Spice Advice and Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 9th, 2011


Need Spice Advice? We have it here!

Greetings to all you precious Club Members and Guests!  A GINORMOUS magnifying glass has been pressed into service because your humble blogger has been aching to get back into the game.

Because we are gaining new club members in DROVES-thanks to all the new people who have submitted their names and email addies-it felt important to share with you the information we got today from Leanne Ely, The Dinner Diva from Saving Dinner.

As you  know, we are sending out a series of messages about cooking tips, including spices.  Because of that subject matter we want you to have THIS, too:

“The Ultimate Spice Cabinet Clean Out
by Leanne Ely, C.N.C

How many of us have professed to want to eat healthier, lose weight and get organized? It’s almost as if these three things are the ultimate trifecta! Believe it or not, one of the best ways to do all three of these things is to spice up your low calorie fare with herbs and spices.

But before you can organize your spices, you need to do a quick spice check. I’ve got this feeling we’ve got some OLD, ancient spices sitting in those cupboards! Let’s go on an archaeological dig and see what kind of fossils we can unearth. Here’s how you’re going to know you need some new spices–

You may need some new spices if:

*The date stamp on the bottom of the jar was from when you were in high school:

*The company who made the spice in the first place is out of business. Since 1980!

*The can is rusted and the label indistinguishable-you don’t know what’s in there.

*The label is missing so you smell it to identify it and can’t!

*The smell of the spice smells oddly like the garage on a rainy day.

*You mistakenly grab ground ginger for white pepper and it didn’t ruin what you were making because it had no flavor!

According to the website of McCormick Spice, if you still have spices in a tin can, you know the square and rectangular shaped cans with shaker and spoon out tops, they are seriously out of date-with the exception of black pepper-they have not manufactured the cans in over 15 years!!

The shelf life of spices is as follows:

Ground spices: 2 to 3 years

Whole spices: 3 to 4 years

Dried Herbs: 1 to 3 years

Great rule of thumb to figure out what to keep and what to pitch-if your spice is over a year old, it needs to be tossed. To keep your spices fresh and nice, you will want to buy only what you need and mark the bottom of the container with a Sharpie, indicating the date you purchased the spice.

I love buying my spices at the health food store (they are unbelievably fresh and cheap, because you buy what you need) and discount stores like Wal-Mart (2 for $1.00!). You can always have fresh spices when you get them this way.

Are you ready to spice up your life with some FRESH spices? Old Spice is cologne, not what should be hanging out in our spice drawers. Let’s get some fresh ones this week!

Now that you have all fresh and new spices, be sure and pick up a copy of our Ultimate Mix Ebook to create some spice, soup and sauce mixes of your own!

Copyright (C) 2011 Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

This information will be helpful for everyone who has a kitchen.  It will be of particular interest to those who use SNAP or WIC; for those who get food from a food pantry or those who have food commodities.  Many of our Club Members are simply frugal and careful with their food budgets Users of Angel Food Ministries will benefit from this, too!

Your messages continue to delight the heart of your Webmaster…please keep them coming  at !

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.


Food Stamps Cooking Club: Kitchen Oopsie?

March 9th, 2011


Rainy had an 'Oopsie' in her kitchen but came out a real WINNER!

Rainy, faithful Club Member

“Cooking Mistakes in the Kitchen

I know; you read the title of this post and immediately an experience, or two, came into your mind that you’d probably not want anyone to know about, right?  I had a mistake take place in the kitchen yesterday; and still, I am going to spill the beans –  Others just might benefit from my sharing what happened.

It was a milestone birthday for one of my children.  He is no longer a teen.  Kind of a big, special day for him.  So I asked him DAYS ago what kind of a cake he wanted to have.  I always let my kids pick what they want regarding meals & cake on their special day.

Well, he likes what he likes, and he requested what he usually does, which is a chocolate/chocolate cake.  Ahhhh, well, that was great because you see, that happens to be my favorite as well.  I make it from scratch and it happens to be one of my most often requested cakes.  So, I made sure that I had enough flour, sugar, Hershey’s dark cocoa powder, and baking soda, as well as, eggs & shortening.  I often run out of the shortening because in the old days when there was money to spare, I kept an extra can or two in the cupboard.  It isn’t so easy to stay stocked up these days with the economy as it is.  Anyhow, I was prepared.  I bought my favorite frosting (I know I can make it…but, I got it on sale).   I did not stress.  I was prepared; or so I thought.

See in the middle of making my very special cake for my very special son’s birthday… I discovered that one of my children had drained the MILK jug without telling anyone.  Sooo, what to do?  We had already gone to town to take children to school, so another run to town wasn’t the most financially responsible thing to do with gasoline at $3.50 a gallon.  I put on my thinking cap and reasoned…I’ve made muffins by doing this, but how will it taste; I substituted orange juice for the milk.  Now I knew that the moisture level of the cake would be fine…but, I wasn’t so sure how everyone would react to the flavor mixture.

Can I just tell you it was great without sounding like I am tooting my own horn?  Cause it was.  I loved it and more importantly everyone else did too.  Note to self: Orange/dark chocolate cake is just as good as those fancy orange chocolate chocolates that you buy in those premium candy boxes!

It got me to thinking, some of my best dishes have come about because I have substituted ingredients when I didn’t have what a recipe called for.  I tweaked it and made it my own.   The lesson here is…not only to try to keep your pantry stocked with staples by buying them when they are on sale and can be tucked away; but, to also make sure that any ingredients you may need that are perishable, are there in stock in the house.  Another lesson is, don’t freak out.  See what you can substitute in a pinch.

Now, I consider this a successful mistake in my kitchen.  I didn’t double check on the perishable milk supply, but it didn’t derail the cake baking, so all is good.  However, I won’t tell you about the time I forgot that I was boiling eggs and left the house; only to find out that boiling eggs dry on a cooking stove makes a great science project, when said eggs become projectiles that can fly so high that they can actually leave dents in your kitchen ceiling!  Oooops, did I just type that out LOUD? hahaha

What mistakes have YOU made in the kitchen that are memorable?  Care to share?”


Mother Connie here: Thanks so much for letting us in on your “new found” recipe, Rainy.  I do hope our Club Members cruise over to your site and leave you some love…Your orange chocolate combo makes me think of the gift box of candy we received not so long ago.  Those orange chocolate drops were so delicious!  We think of those as “Vitamin C with dark chocolate” so they are naturally HEALTHY!  grin

Rainy makes a great point.  It might be that beginning cooks or users of public assistance such as WIC, SNAP, food commodities or food pantries are reticent to substitute one ingredient for another for fear of making a mistake.  We need not worry and we need not think about the Kitchen Police or the Food Police, either.  Preparing tasty, life giving foods for those we love and making wonderful memories in the process is what it’s all about!

On a completely different note, I wish to BABBLE about the nomination this blog received yesterday.  The outpouring of love by your votes has warmed Mother Connie’s heart.  Thank you so much.  Just being nominated made this blogger feel like a winner!

We hope you will share YOUR kitchen oopsies with us.  Send your stories and post your comments.  Email us at – it’ll make our day!

Your sponsors for the Food Stamps Cooking Club are Saving Dinner and Living on a Dime; Angel Food Ministries and ToothSoap. We are also sponsored by Rapid Cash Marketing. These folks love it when you cruise over and leave THEM some love, 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

Food Stamps Cooking Club: ANOTHER Ole Dead Chicken?

March 3rd, 2011

Leanne Ely, The Dinner Diva, is Saving Dinner AGAIN with 3 great ideas for chicken breast recipes!

My email was great fun just now!  Leanne Ely graciously sent out another set of recipes for ole dead chicken!  Just what we need, just when we need it!  Scope it out:

“3 Recipes with Boneless Chicken Breasts

by Leanne Ely, C.N.C

The great thing about boneless skinless chicken breasts for the cook is they are like a blank canvas–the creativity and ideas to take this poultry to the next level is endless! Chicken takes on the flavors of the spices and ingredients accompanying it, making it amazingly versatile.

Besides being extremely convenient, boneless chicken breasts don’t even need to be thawed before cooking (most of the time anyway) and are great way to get your clean, lean protein.

Bon appetite and enjoy all these great new recipes, all using chicken and a delicious fruit salsa!

Chicken Tacos with Fruit Salsa
Serves 6

The Salsa
1 cup cubed fresh pineapple (or use frozen)

4 nectarines, pitted and chopped (or use frozen peaches)
2 mangos, peeled and chopped (or use frozen)
2 large tomatoes, chopped finely
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 limes, juiced (use only juice)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon  sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cracked black pepper
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped finely

Combine all ingredients in a bowl tossing gently. May store in fridge for up to 24 hours before serving. You may also process, prior to chopping, in a food processor to desired consistency.

The Tacos

4 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup lemonade
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled, smashed
2 green onions, chopped finely, including green part
1 (12 ounce) package corn tortillas
1 container Greek yogurt  *use like sour cream

In a large skillet over medium high, heat oil until hot, then add onion and garlic and cook until onion is clear. Add chicken, cooking until outside of chicken is white and center is almost done. Now add the rest of the ingredients, cover, turn down and simmer until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Wait about 15 more minutes. Remove lid to cook down liquid if necessary.

While cooking the chicken, warm the tortillas in the oven until soft. Once chicken is cooked transfer to serving bowl, place chicken mixture into tortillas, wrap. Add yogurt and Fruit Salsa as desired.

Variations:  Use lettuce greens of your choice, pita halves for the shells. Put all ingredients out and let each person make their own. You can also use great big Romaine lettuce leaves in lieu of the tortillas for a truly low carb meal.

Grilled Chicken with Fruit Salsa
Serves 6

Fruit Salsa(from above)
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper grated
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice

Combine juice, soy sauce, ginger, pepper, and garlic in a plastic bag or bowl with a good seal, place the chicken inside, seal and shake to coat, marinate for at least one hour, but no more than four, turning each 30 minutes or so.

Prepare grill or broiler. If you’re using the broiler, place pan one rung from the top. If you’re using the grill, use a medium direct heat. Remove chicken from bag, and discard the marinade. Grill chicken on s grill rack, or in a broiler pan, lightly oiled with olive oil. Cook 5 minutes on each side or until center of chicken is done. Serve with Fruit Salsa over chicken.

Chicken Taco Salad

1 head lettuce of choice, shredded *not Iceberg; no nutrition
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups tortilla chips, crushed
Grilled Chicken, cut into cubes
Fruit Salsa
Greek yogurt

In a large bowl mix all in ingredients except Greek Yogurt, separate into four to six servings, and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt.


Copyright (C) 2010 Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

What would we do without one another?  Leanne helps us with Saving Dinner; Tawra and Jill help us when we are Living on a Dime and those who cruise by here to leave their mark entertain and enlighten us.

These are important considerations if you are using food from a food pantry or depend on food commodities.  We need encouragement if we have an EBT card for WIC or SNAP, too.  Even users of Angel Food Ministries can use all manner of new ideas, as can those who are just plain frugal and pinch their nickels until the buffalo bellows!

Please feel free to leave your comments here and do make our email fun:  THANK YOU.

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

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Is March Nutrition Month?

March 1st, 2011


March is National Nutrition Month!

March is the time to celebrate NUTRITION!  We have come up with a list of foods you’d be wise to avoid:

Foods to Avoid
No one on the planet should ingest this stuff!

Soda pop


Hydrolized Protein

Trans Fats


Canola oil

Soda Crackers, Snack Crackers


Baby carrots


Corn Sweetener



Hot Dogs

Processed Lunch Meats

Hamburger/ Tuna Helper

Gravy, sauce or other prepared mixes

Boxed Macaroni meals

Seasoning packets

Corn sweeteners

Food that has been nuked/microwaved

This list was prepared, not to spoil all your fun, but to help you be as healthy as humanly possible.  Healthy bodies are not created from the foods listed here.

The argument that ” oh, but these are all I can afford” is false economy.  I know this from personal, painful experience.

“So,” you ask, all befuddled and confused and maybe you feel denied, too…“What SHALL we eat?”

Those of you who avail yourselves of food commodities and goods from a food pantry are scratching your heads.  You who have EBT cards for SNAP or WIC are thinking, “WHOA.  SAY WHAT?”

And I don’t blame you one little bit.

Even you who order Angel Food Ministry’s bundles and make every effort to keep a tight rein on your food budget must be wondering what on earth is left to eat, after studying this list.

Here is how you discover what there is to eat:  Take your family on an outing!  Gather them round and explain to them you will be going on an adventure.  They can explore the grocery store to find REAL FOOD to eat.  Real food doesn’t need labels.  Real food can be found in bins and refrigerated cases.  It does not need to be boxed up, either.

Most times the real food lives at the outer edges of the grocery store: dairy, meat, veggies and  fruits are all real food and would make a great way to celebrate National Nutrition Month!  Beans and grains are also wonderful, real foods that nourish our bodies.

Kids love to be involved…let them participate in choosing real food.  Avoid the chips aisle, the aisles that have soda and candy and desserts in cans and boxes.  Those have been “handled and tampered with”; therefore, those are no longer foods-if, indeed, they ever were!

Real food is simple, nourishing and satisfying.  It’s pretty, it’s interesting and the variety is unlimited.  Every season presents new delights for your palate and as the seasons change, so do the colors of real food!

Make this fun.  Don’t approach real food as a chore or a punishment.  Think of the adventure of climbing that pyramid!

Even if you are living on a dime you can be  a key factor in saving dinner as you celebrate National Nutrition Month!  ENJOY!

Connie Baum

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Food Stamps Cooking Club: Neighbor Helping Neighbor?

February 19th, 2011

Lined up on Mother Connie's kitchen counter are glass jars of dried beans, rice, sugar, mushrooms, noodles...oh, and cookies!

The challenge was put to the Club Members about how we could help one another to get our families fed in times of extreme need…what could we do to assist those who may not fit into the parameters of the SNAP or WIC program?  What about people who cannot, for whatever reason, access a food pantry or qualify for food commodities or do not have Farmers Market Coupons.  Some may have Angel Food bundles; others may be in serious need.

A good friend of the Club, Maxine-not the Maxine who wants us to cook from scratch but the Maxine who roves and keeps in touch by means of a laptop-has sent this suggestion, accompanied by her good thoughts and loving light:

“Connie, your call was wonderful!  I have been thinking of ideas: The idea I come up with is to make individual or small packets of beans, dried fruits and vegetable etc. that people could turn into healthy soup. While people prepare it they also smell the aromas and feel the love that is in it.

Yes, we will be going through different times…we have lived
in times of helping through government help but I often felt how much we were able to do the help vs helping the greed and dependence in us all.

I certainly would encourage gardening and community gardens and the drying of excess fruits and vegetables – soup and other eating.  I like President Obama’s “can do” as an absolute. I’m not meaning to be so hard but I so believe God NEVER gives us more than we can handle.

How we allowed this country to get so out of kilter is a mental thing a huge lack of spirituality.    I’m the first to say it won’t be easy but I know it will be fulfilling in the end.

Wild berries and anything else we find we need to honor and preserve to the best of our abilities.

I think the importance of getting each one of us to know it is up to us – not” them.”   We are all one and the Knowing of that One has within it Abundance for us ALL.

It’s easier SAID than DONE. “

~Maxine H.

OK, Maxine.  You see the jars of goodness lined up on the counter.  I have little bags I could put together some dry ingredients and share with people.  Maybe it could spark a “Soup Event” whereby anyone with a bag of beans and some rice could add their own creativity to it and make sure people who are in need have the fixin’s for at least the ‘soup of human kindness.’

Maybe people have some sprouts seeds to share.  Growing living food in a sunny window is good on so many levels and is a wonderful teaching tool for children.  We could make up little packs of sprouts seeds to accompany the soups!

Keep those ideas flowing, people.  One in 6 children in America is hungry.  How can this Club be of assistance?  How can we share our love and our supplies?

***These people posted comments but their messages are so powerful that I want to place them HERE as well.  The Food Stamps Cooking Club Members are the BEST people in the world!  Thank you, Lorraine and Carol!

I love this philosophy and try to live it myself.  We share excess eggs with people who know who can use them.  We also plant gardens and share.  Here is a way of helping someone long-term.

Why not gift them with vegetable plants so they can grow their own vegetables as well? If they don’t have garden space…pot them up a big salad bowl in a big container.

You could plant a tomato plant in the center, some green onion sets, leaf lettuce all around and maybe a cucumber plant trailing over the side, possibly even some radishes.

Also, when shopping…and the store has those buy one get one free sales?  Why not give the one you got free to someone in need.  This is a good practice to start.  You never know how this might help someone to feed their family.  Those are just a few suggestions!


I love the idea of a “salad bowl” potted garden. Easy on the elderly, infirmed, appartment dwellers, etc.

Connie’s jars remind me of my own, filled with beans, peas, rice, etc.

What about gifting the rest of an opened package of seeds if your crop is now germinating and you won’t be planting again this season? While I try to save seeds for the next year, they don’t always carry over. If sharing my extras would bless someone, why not?

I also repurpose large coffee cans from Aldi’s (remove the outer label), attach a new label, place contents in a ziplock and then store in my new, metal container


JEEPERS…I’m waiting for Paula and Maxine S and Sandra and Working Poor to chime in….guys?   And other Club Members-I suspect YOU have fabulous ideas, too!  Share the wealth, gang!

On a slightly different note, have you been to Carol’s blog to take a look at her cookies?  O MY…you can ALMOST smell them.  Be sure to leave a comment for her when you pop in.  Carol’s blog has great money saving ideas!

Please visit our sponsors, if you have a moment.  Especially if you are Living on a Dime or have a yen for Saving Dinner!  You might like our sister sites, as well:  The Healthy and Wealthy You or SoapyTeeth or Mother Connie Sez. OF COURSE, as you may have imagined, we are always jonesin’ for comments.  You can email us, 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.