Posts Tagged ‘SNAP-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’

Food Stamps Cooking: SOUP DAY!

February 4th, 2016
This is perfect for National Soup Day!

This would be great for observing National  Soup Day! Some veg, broth, a bit of meat and it’s done! National Soup Day.

Happy National SOUP DAY!  When The Normanator and I learned that today is a special day, we all but cheered!  We LOVE soup and often joke that we would eat it for breakfast if it were available!

There are jillions of soup recipes.  This post is not about recipes; it is about creating something yummy with whatever you find in your kitchen.  And making a soup supper an experience.

If you aim for convenience (and who does not?) may I suggest that you use cans of veggies?  A can of corn, a can of green beans, a can of tomatoes, and if you are really feeling flush and well supplied, you could throw in some meat. Onions and celery make good additions to soup, too, as does cabbage!  *So do leftover vegetables that may be languishing in your refrigerator.  Cooked rice, barley or any other grain will “beef” up your soup…**Think quinoa, wheat berries, macaroni, lentils or beans.

Sometimes meat is unavailable.  Meat is spendy.  If you have a veggie soup and a cheese sandwich, you are fortunate.  If you are really lucky you might even have the fixings for a salad.  I am thinking Peas and Cheese salad…canned peas, whatever cheese you can grate or chop and some onion or pickle with a dab of mayo will really make your soup meal shine.

Another partner for soup could be a carrot salad and this is a great thing to get kids to eat their vegetables.  Finely grate some carrots, toss in some cranberries or raisins, a dab of mayo and make mounds of salad on shredded cabbage or lettuce leaves, using an ice cream scoop.

When I was a kid my mom would make soup by boiling veggies, draining the water, adding whatever veggies–taters, carrots, onions, celery, for example.  Then she would add milk or broth, depending what she had on hand.  She seasoned the food with salt and pepper and we enjoyed the result of her labor.

When I grew up and found the Food Network I learned that sauteing the onions, carrots, taters or whichever vegetable will be in the soup is a nifty trick for adding flavor.  You can use vegetable oil to keep things moist and then build your soup from there.

SIDEBAR:  The suggestion is made to saute the vegetables. This does not mean that if you do NOT saute them that the Kitchen Police will nab you.  Do what works for YOU in your kitchen!  END SIDEBAR.

Go survey your pantry shelves and your fridge.  Determine what is available.  Do you have foods that are green or yellow or orange or white?  Do you have tomatoes?  How about garlic, if your gang fancies it?  You might have onion powder or cumin or chili powder or some other flavor that could be added.  Taste your concoction, add a pinch of flavor and taste it again. Playing with your food in this way makes for full flavor!

After you have decided what you’ll put into your soup, put some effort into setting an inviting table.  Use mugs for the soup instead of bowls for a change.  If you have place mats, that will make a nice touch.  No mats?  How about paper towels or clean hand towels from your bathroom shelf?  Making a nice table, sharing a meal with your loved ones, engaging in meaningful tabletop conversation can shape your children’s lives in wonderful ways.  Little people love to decorate paper table cloths or paper napkins with crayons and art work…

Many people like crackers in their soup. Some people place a slice of bread in the bottom of their bowl and pour the soup over it. You can also use popped corn to top off any soup.  Kids think this is great fun.

Personally, I love to cook.  Not everybody likes to cook, has the time to cook or the  ingredients on hand to make soup or any other meal.  It’s quite possible you never learned to cook for whatever reasons.  Maybe you need a mentor.  Ask a neighbor or relative or friend to take you under their wing and show you the tips that make their kitchen turn out great food.  People love to help one another. Your local Action Center offers cooking classes, too.  In Southeast Nebraska there is no cost for these lessons.  For those of you who are in the Tecumseh, NE area you can call the office for information about the classes:  402 335 2134 and ask for Terri.

This little corner of the internet aims to help those who depend on Public Assistance for their food dollars and the Club House is always open for people who want to learn to cook.  You are welcome to contact us by emailing foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  Oh, how we love mail!

As you probably know, this blog is dedicated to helping people who use Public Assistance for their food dollars.  You may hold an EBT card for WIC or SNAP…you may be using goods from food commodities or a food pantry.  Maybe you attended a food drop or someone gifted you with some foodstuffs.  In any case, our purpose here is to help you stretch your food budget and let you know that someone cares about your situation, whatever it may be.

Happy National Soup Day, kids!  I hope this post has helped you.  Please consider yourself hugged.

Connie Baum 

PS:  Check out Carol’s blog!  She has a soup recipe you’ll love!  *Her blog is snazzier than this one, too! grin

Food Stamps Cooking: OATmeal!

January 18th, 2016
Humble OATM

Humble OATMEAL.  A hard worker in any kitchen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food Stamps Cooking: Holidays

November 24th, 2015

 

It's a pity you cannot SMELL this luscious soup!

It’s a pity you cannot SMELL this luscious soup!

When our guys come home for any visit they clamor for this soup! It is only cauliflower and onions but they fancy it is a gourmet offering!

It is a thick, flavorful broth that begs for crusty bread or crackers.  We usually have a green salad with it; sometimes it’s a fruit salad.

If cauliflower is not available you can substitute cabbage.  All I do is steam a head of cauliflower…if I were to use cabbage, I’d chop and steam that…and I saute a couple of large onions.  I work in batches to whirl the ingredients  in the food processor.  *You could use a blender, too.  The idea is to make a smooth, creamy soup.  It would be just as tasty if you simply combine the cooked vegetables without blending or processing.  You’ll have a thinner, soupier consistency but the flavor will be the same: GREAT!

To make it creamy I made a gravy (See the video if gravy is a mystery to you.).  I combined everything, added salt and pepper an stirred it.  When I tasted it, I felt that it needed “something” so I put some chicken stock into the mix.  *If you have bullion cubes you can use that with water.  It boosted the flavor and made it a bit thinner.  When I serve this I will sprinkle some parsley over the top of each bowl.  I am blessed to have fresh parsley but I would not hesitate to use dried herbs.

This takes some doing but it is EASY and very economical.  Often you’ll find onions at special prices.  The thing about soup is that when your family gathers for a meal the clean up is minimal.  That leaves more time for card playing, visiting, and looking through photo albums!

If you are a user of WIC or SNAP’s EBT cards you are likely interested to learn how to s t r e t c h those food dollars.  Maybe you have things from a food pantry, food drop or you get food commodities.  In any case, we are dedicated to serving those of you who use Public Assistance for your food dollars.  We only want to help.  We are not selling a thing.  If you want to become a Member you will receive a little series of cooking tips.

When this little  blog was created, Mother Connie was warned that users of Public Assistance would never find it.  Well, I’m here to tell you that users of Public Assistance are always looking for the best ways to help themselves.  I recently had a message from someone who felt she had benefited immensely from the ideas presented here.  This sort of feedback is what keeps Mother Connie searching for ways to keep on keeping on!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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: Stew

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

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

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

It was a simple dish and food budget friendly.

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

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

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

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

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

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

Food Stamps Cooking: MAIL!

November 4th, 2015
Is that money in the pocket of Mother Connie's apron?

Is that money in the pocket of Mother Connie’s apron? No, it must be snail mail…

As you all must know by now, Mother Connie adores mail!  One of our faithful sent a bit of a rant and I wanted to share it with you because Delaine makes some salient points.  She always expresses her ideas directly from her heart.  Her letter is unedited; here’s hoping it trips your trigger and touches you the way it touched me:

“Nov 1

It seems to me that the time between Samhain (aka Halloween) and New Years is shorter every year. Still, the *feast* days in this time are always a source of goodness to us. We celebrate the good things we have and try to share as much as we can.

I recently had the experience of housing a young man who is homeless. It’s a complicated story, and not even a tenth of the success of my *far-to-young-mother” who is doing very well. One of the things that has become ever more, sadly, apparent to me is the observation that I made years ago. In the USA, hunger is not an absence of food, but an absence of knowledge. I just walked around my block here in Sacramento, CA, and found much that was just growing and hanging over the fence lines. Figs, lemons, oranges, crab apples, pomegranates, not to mention the salad growing through the cracks in the sidewalk: arugula, red lettuce, dandelions, wild onions, wild leeks and a plethora of other growing things, not to mention the gleanings from the local farms that are just not economical to harvest mechanically. I am not advocating urban hunter-gathering, but the amazing abundance here is comforting. I guess it’s one of my “grateful for” things.

Nevertheless, one of the points that I make over and again, especially as I teach cooking, is that the very basic skills are just not being taught. I remember (far too long ago) that there was a set of “survival courses” that we had to have 1 elective credit in order to graduate. This was the most practical and useful course in my entire education next to typing. In the curriculum, we learned basic auto maintenance like checking the fluid levels, belt conditions etc, and basic cooking skills (boil, braise, roast, grill, stir fry and bake) and a variety of things that are amazingly useful like how to re-wire a bad light switch. We also learned how to read technical things and interpret what is meant. Oh – for the good old days when we didn’t spend so much money and time teaching tests.

What I am kvetching about is that this young man had food stamps and means to get to food banks, but had no concept with regard to how to cook anything much less over an open fire, an impromptu grill, and forget about making a dirt oven to bake anything. I put a few pounds on him, got him some practical cooking skills, and cured his scurvy. (That’s right – vitamin c deficiency with lemons and oranges hanging over the fence waiting to be picked and either eaten right away or turned into lemonade!)

So anyway, thanks for letting me vent my ire about the failures of our educational system – as only a retired teacher can do – and the fact that hunger is a function of ignorance!”  ~Delaine

Thank you for all you do, Delaine.  And thank you for putting something into our mailbox!

For those of you who may be new here, we want you to know that this corner of the internet is dedicated to users of public assistance for their food dollars.

If your food budget is supported by an EBT card from WIC or SNAP or you are using goods from a food drop, food pantry or have food commodities on your shelves, you are welcome here.  So are those who are frugal by nature!  Everyone is welcome.  We hope to be of help to you whether you are a seasoned cook or just a newbie in the kitchen.  We want you all to be healthy and it’s important to eat well and wisely, most especially if you are on a tight food budget.

We love mail, as you are well aware.  If you send us a message our hearts will go pitter patter:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

If you are in the Tecumseh, NE area, you might be interested to know that there will be a Cooking Class on Friday, November 13 at SENCA.  There is no charge for this class about SALADS but to save your place at the table, please let Terri know by calling 402 335 2134.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

Food Stamps Cooking: BEAN SOUP!

November 2nd, 2015

IMG_20151102_092928373_HDR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please remember that you are loved and appreciated.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

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

Food Stamps Cooking: #HASH!

October 28th, 2015

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Connie Baum

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

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

Food Stamps Cooking: TOMATOES!

October 14th, 2015

 

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The Tomato Fairy has been very kind to us!

The tomato season is winding down…far too fast for this Nebraska girl.  Oh, how we love the plump, juicy beauties during tomato season!  We have been fortunate to be the recipients of  OPG…other people’s gardens.  We made short shrift of every tomato that crossed our threshold!

The lovelies you see here  were prepared very simply.  I washed them, dropped them into a pot of boiling water til the skins popped.  Then I peeled them carefully and quartered them.  The juice just RAN!  After they were snuggled in the bowl I sprinkled some basil over the whole bunch.

SIDEBAR: Dry basil will work just fine if that’s what you have.  I was fortunate to have frozen basil, which is essentially fresh.  Fresh herbs add a brightness that enhances the flavor of the tomatoes.  Whenever you have freshly grown basil, simply put some in each cup of an ice cube tray, add a touch of water to each cup and freeze as if they were simply ice cubes.  When you need a touch of brightness for your spaghetti sauce or other dishes, simply pull out what you need and use as if it were freshly cut!  END SIDEBAR.

These tomatoes were salted a wee bit, peppered liberally, and just a ‘scosh’ of sugar got sprinkled over  the whole works.  ‘Scosh’ is a technical cooking term my dad made up.  It means ‘just a little bit’…grin.  I also dribbled a teeny tiny bit of olive oil over the tomatoes so they’d be more ‘dressed’…can’t serve naked tomatoes, after all.  giggle.

If you have canned whole tomatoes, which can be found in food pantry bundles or food commodities you can season those just as I have described.  Tomatoes is one of those foods that helps keep the food budget intact because tomatoes can be used in a variety of ways.

Do you have an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Do you find yourselves living on a dime?  Are you watching your food dollars like a hawk because you receive public assistance?  Or, maybe you just enjoy the ‘game’ of being frugal.  In any case, this little piece of the internet is dedicated to those of you who may not be gourmet cooks but you are feeding your family on a shoestring budget.  We GET it.  We want to help.

If you have signed up to be a Member of this bunch, we welcome you warmly to the Club House.  If you are receiving the little cooking tips we send along we hope you find them helpful.  We love hearing from our members at 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. 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: $aving $

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connie Baum

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