Posts Tagged ‘ToothSoap’

Hoping for Spring at Food Stamps Cooking Club

February 19th, 2013

Surely spring is just around the corner!



If the cranes and the geese are any indication, Spring has got to be on the way.  All the talk around town has to do with an expected winter storm but hope in Mother Connie’s heart is that winter will soon come to an end!

In any case, asparagus has popped up in the grocery store and it is such a great veg to build health.  It  makes us think about our Easter menu, which is a ways off now but will be here very quickly!

There is a beautiful way to bring good health and great flavor to your family table and here is the way to get it done:


2   cups frozen corn, cooked and cooled  *Don’t panic.  You are allowed to use canned corn.

2  cups asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces   *Yes, canned  and drained will do but fresh is prettier.  Use what you have and make no apologies. If you prefer to cook the asparagus, that’s acceptable, too, but uncooked will offer crunch…

1  medium red onion, diced

1/4  cup fresh basil  *No one will rat you out to the Kitchen Police if you use  a tablespoon of  dried basil.

2  tablespoons sugar

1/2  cup rice vinegar *No worries; use whatever vinegar living in your pantry

salt and pepper to taste

Combine the corn, asparagus, and onion in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Pour the whisked ingredients over the vegetables and toss gently to coat the veggies. 

This amount will serve 4 and can easily be doubled.  It will travel well to a carry-in meal, too.

Do you find yourself living on a dime?   Do you fund your food budget with public assistance like WIC or SNAP?  Do you visit a food pantry?  Are  you getting food from a food bank?  Do you s t r e t c h your food dollars for the exercise?  Maybe you receive food commodities.  No matter; this little corner of the internet is dedicated to you.  We are happy to help you feed your loved ones well and wisely on a shoestring.

Your ideas and comments mean the world to us.  What ideas do YOU have about asparagus or corn?  Or putting a meal on the table with or without a holiday?  We love to hear your stories.  Our email address is  and WE LOVE MAIL.

~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.

Lili Inspires Post at Food Stamps Cooking Club

November 13th, 2012

Pumpkins! Pumpkins! Pumpkins!
Wherever there are pumpkins, there is a wonderful SOUP!

You may have noted that your “Fearless Leader” has vacated the Club House…Yes, the Cooking Class took all I had.  I guess it must have been the cleaning that led up to the big event!  GRIN  Well, I had blog posts living in my head, but I was so wound up in living my bliss that blogging just did not happen.

It isn’t that I was lying in bed, eating bon bons and reading trashy novels.  No, no.  I have been working on my Spanish, learning how to knit-make that learning how NOT to knit-and I’ve written letters, listened to music and danced like a teen aged kid.  I have been using a mini-trampoline since we gave up the paper route and I have been cooking and doing laundry.  Nothing of note and yet it has all been deeply satisfying.  I feel productive, despite the lack of posting here.

There are a couple of things that brought Mother Connie back TODAY.  First, Lili sent a blog post of her own that made me sit up and notice, so I begged her for permission to share it.  The other thing is that one of my granddaughters posted something on Facebook that had to do with recipients of SNAP or WIC and how they are so harshly judged AND how wrong she thinks that is. 

Judgmental attitudes such as these are the reasons why this blog exists.  So here goes and oh, how I hope this helps you and yours:


LILI’S PUMPKIN SOUP   –   with our sincere gratitude

5 to 6 servings

1  tablespoon any cooking oil

1  large onion, sliced thin, rough chopped

1  clove garlic, minced

Flesh of one roasted 2# sugar pie pumpkin OR 2 cups canned pumpkin puree

6  cups water and/or stock *Chicken stock preferred, but ham stock’s nice and water’s fine.

Dash red pepper flakes

1  large russet potato, peeled & diced into 1/2″ pieces

1  cup shredded cooked chicken breast

1   cup diced ham

pinch nutmeg

salt to taste  *Depends on whether your stock is already salted.

1 shallot, finely minced

Heat a large stockpot of medium. Add oil and onion.  Saute onion til golden, add minced garlic and cook 1 minute

Add pumpkin, 4 cups of stock and/or water and the red pepper flakes.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

After cooking — if your pumpkin is not pureed *I roasted mine in he morning, scraped the flesh from the skin upon cooking the soup* then mash well with a potato masher.

Add diced potato and 2 remaining cups of stock or water.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.   Mash or blend the potatoes into the soup.

Add chicken, ham, nutmeg, and salt to taste.  Heat until the meats are warm.  Stir in minced shallots and serve.

Lilli adds some cooking tips:

I’ve made this with just chicken, just ham, no meat whatsoever and with both meats.  The consensus is that it is best tasting with both meats.  *MOTHER CONNIE HERE:  People who  use SNAP don’t always HAVE meat!   Lili continues:  I prefer using a fresh pumpkin over canned.  Home cooked pumpkin has a prettier color and lighter flavor than canned.  for liquid, I prefer half chicken stock and half water.  This soup is also delicious when made with squash in lieu of the pumpkin.  Butternut squash is my favorite.  One other bonus:  the leftovers freeze very well.  I freeze soup in single size portions, for my weekday lunches.

She continues:

If you like this recipe, my name is Lili and I’ve been happy to provide it for you.  Please leave a comment.  If you did NOT like this recipe, my name is …um, er…BOB.  And I think the comments are malfunctioning today. Yeah.  That’s it.  The comments are not working so don’t bother leaving one if you don’t like it!”


Now you understand, dear Members, why I was moved and motivated to come to the computer and blog once again.  I’ll make every effort to be a better advocate for you from now on!   Thank you so much, Lili!  I hope they leave some love for you and leave “BOB” alone!  grin/giggle

If you Members choose to  leave some love on the comments section here, I will see so Lili gets your message.  Now let’s get some soup going!


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.

PS/The membership is growing!  Each of you is dear to Mother Connie’s heart and it is her sincere hope that this blog, along with our little series of tips is helpful to you and yours!  Thanks to all of you!

News Flash: Mario Batali and Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 6th, 2012

Mario Batali, famous chef, GETS IT about using food stamps!

Mario Batali, chef from the Food Network, has always intrigued me as a foodie.  He seems to be a great guy and today I can prove he has his heart in the right place!

Our Inbox lit up, as did the light bulb in my head, when I found a piece about his experience USING food stamps-or if you prefer, SNAP.  Click here to read what he has to say and what he thinks about his struggle to use them.

It is so comforting to be understood and supported.  Thanks, Chef Batali!

As you are well aware, our mission and passion is all about helping people…those who are living on a dime, those who depend on food pantries or food commodities and those who hold EBT cards from  SNAP or WIC.  And we do not forget about those who are frugal and find many creative ways to s t r e t c h their food dollars.  You have responded to our efforts by joining the Club, receiving a series of cooking tips. 

We are not moving mountains.  We are just here to help and support those of you who are doing everything in your power to keep body and soul together and get your gang fed without overspending.  Which, when you think about it, is quite the trick.  ALL OF YOU WHO STRUGGLE SO ARE TO BE COMMENDED.  STAND TALL; BE PROUD OF YOURSELVES.

Send us some love at  –  it will make our day!

Chef Batali sure made our day!  Thanks again, Chef!  And thanks to HuffPo for carrying the story!

Connie Baum

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

It’s Rhubarb Season at Food Stamps Cooking Club!

April 21st, 2012

Rhubarb and spring bring me memories...

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

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

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


1  1/2  cups brown sugar

1/2  cup butter

1  egg

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

2  cups flour

1  teaspoon baking soda

1  teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1  1/2cups rhubarb, diced


1/2  cup granulated sugar

1  teaspoon cinnamon

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

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

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

Connie Baum

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.


Relish the Radishes at Food Stamps Cooking Club!

April 16th, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 tablespoons or 1/4 stick unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Connie Baum

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

Our Mailbox and Food Stamps Cooking Club

March 26th, 2012
Our readers have sent us some great bean recipes!

Oh, how we love mail!  Several of our faithful Club Members have contributed ideas and recipes and today we share one that will have you making plans to try this dish ASAP!  We owe a debt of gratitude to Carol    who thoughtfully sent her latest find:   (Incidentally, Carol lives in Northeastern USA)

“Campbell’s” style pork beans

1  lb dried pea/navy beans, rinsed, sorted

1  T cooking oil

3  cloves garlic, minced

1  medium onion, chopped fine

8  slices bacon, fried until crisp, drained and cut fine

2  tsp soy sauce (I used reduced sodium version)

1 and 1/2-2 cups water

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup cooking oil

1 and 1/2 tsp salt

3 T sugar

2  T corn starch

1  T cold water


1. Soak beans overnight (or use the quick soak method), drain, rinse. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil

2. Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic in 1 T cooking oil, until onions are translucent, set aside

3. Place beans into a crock pot and cover with 1 1/2-2 cups of the now hot cooking water. Add the soy sauce, onion/garlic mixture, bacon.

4. Cook on high for 2 hours, then set to low and continue cooking until beans are soft

5. Mix ketchup, oil, salt, sugar and add to softened beans in crock pot. Continue cooking on low, to allow flavors to blend.

6. Just before serving, mix a slurry out of the cornstarch and cold water. Carefully fold it into the beans. Let cook a bit more to allow the slurry to thicken the sauce.


I ended up making a double batch, we had some for supper tonight, and I have 2 meals’s worth of “Campbells” beans in the freezer.   ~ Carol

Thank you again, Carol!  We really appreciate your input! 

Another Member, Charlene, has also sent us some great ideas; Mother Connie will save that for another post!

It is heartwarming to know that there are peeps ALL OVER THE GLOBE who are interested to help one another with managing food costs.  The USA is not the only place where folks struggle to feed their family on a shoestring budget.  If you are holding an EBT card for SNAP  or WIC; if you frequent food pantries or use food commodities you know full well what’s going on with food costs.  Our passion is to help people S T R E T C H food dollars and food budgets by offering nutritious, low cost menu ideas.

Oh, and speaking of ideas—I must tell you that it was our great pleasure to host Kay, a lovely woman from England recently.   I was concerned about offering her a breakfast she would truly like to eat.  I needn’t have worried…Kay told me she is accustomed to her “proper English breakfast” of beans on toast!  I was surprised to hear this because it is so simple.  But, just think–it provides complete protein and that is a great start for anyone’s day!  Carol’s bean recipe would fill the bill perfectly  but I am just as fond of refried beans on toast.  When we use The Normanator’s home made bread, that is a VERY satisfying meal, indeed!  And it would be a proper English breakfast, after  all.  grin

We’d love to hear from YOU.  Our address is 

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.

Black Bean Casserole at the Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 24th, 2011


Here is a Black Bean Casserole that's ideal for your Sunday Best!

Beans have been a major topic this week and a recipe came to my attention for black beans I could not wait to share with you Club Members!  Here it is:

2 cups chopped onion

1 minced cloves of garlic

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup prepared red salsa *The Kitchen Police will not arrest you if you choose green salsa.  Use what you like.

1 fresh pepper-choose red or green or yellow

3 cups cooked black beans

3 cups canned whole tomatoes, juice and all

2 cups frozen corn kernels

salt, pepper to taste

2 cups water

*Prepared in a soup pot as as, you will have a delicious soup.  For the casserole, just prepare as follows:

Add 3 cups cooked pasta.  *The cook gets to decide what KIND of pasta: bow ties, elbow macaroni, rotelli would work well.  Place in casserole dish, top with 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese and bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven until it is thoroughly heated.

Besides being easy to prepare and easy on your food budget, this would travel well to a pot luck or to a neighbor who might need a meal because of a hospitalization.  It’s appropriate for Sunday dinner when a van load of your cousins  show up at meal time because it’s the end of the month, too!

This casserole is quite filling but you might want a little something sweet to polish off your meal.  This is a rerun; I made up a bowlful this morning and boy was it yummy:

Chia Pudding

1/2 cup white chia seeds  *Black ones work well, too

1/4 cup honey

1 can coconut milk

dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla *or almond or mint or whatever YOU like

Mix together, cover and store in the fridge.  If you leave it alone, the seeds will float to the top and stay there.  You can stir it periodically to mix the seeds, but who has the time for that?  grin

At serving time you can pair it up with canned or fresh fruit or berries as a topping, or serve it as is.

This recipe doubles or triples beautifully, depending on how many toes sit around your table.  It makes a great snack and I’ve been known to eat it for breakfast, as well.

The mail continues to delight us:  and we welcome all the new members who have flocked to the Club House lately.  ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?  (yes!)

If you hold an EBT card for WIC or SNAP or if you are using Farmers Market Coupons; if you have goods from a food pantry or food commodities, this blog is devoted to YOU.  We truly hope we are helping you manage your food budgets in this tight economy.  Maybe you are just a frugal shopper/cook; we aim to help YOU as well!

What’s so interesting is that YOU help US more than we ever could help anybody.  Your support, your comments, your emails, your links, your recipes–this is all so wonderful and we deeply appreciate every one of you.

One of the Club Members popped by yesterday and-bless her heart-she promised to get us the recipe for a BEAN CAKE that she says is amazing.  Well, I’m down with THAT.  Better get my baking stuff out…

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

Bean Talk at Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 22nd, 2011


If you are talking BEANS, I am hearing BLACK BEANS!

The bean does not exist that Mother Connie does not love.  I recall with fondness the many kettles of White Northern or Navy beans my mother cooked every Monday she washed clothes as she used the old wringer washer!  Bits of bacon or ham went into the bean pot, as did shreds of carrot and pieces of onion.  They soaked on the counter top every Sunday night and when supper time rolled around they were paired up with crusty cornbread!  We could depend on eating beans and cornbread every wash day, which-of course-was traditionally Monday.

SIDEBAR:  Could you live YOUR life, knowing that Monday was always to be laundry day?  END SIDEBAR.

Through the years, Mom often cooked lima beans, even though my dad groaned his displeasure.  She also made baked beans with weiners, back in the bygone days of CHEAP NATURAL CASING HOT DOGS!  And of course, she was big on bean salads of every stripe and color.

Mom talked about a childhood that was-shall we say austere?  She and her sister both remembered being hungry at bedtime on a regular basis.  Wash day was not the only time they saw a plateful of beans!  Grandma did well to have enough dry beans to make meals with, especially because meat-and money and food-was mighty scarce.

Neither Mom nor my aunt were never ill as youngsters, so what little food they did have to eat nourished them well. Mom was 86 when she made her transition…she still had her own teeth!  Maybe mineral-rich beans were all right, after all!

Beans provide color and variety; fiber and texture.  They are a staple all around the world.

My Inbox held a wonderful recipe for chickpeas and grains this morning.  I was thrilled about it until I found out that recipe was not meant for sharing.

SIDEBAR:  HUH?  No sharing recipes?  What’s that about?  And if it is not for sharing, why was it in my Inbox?  NO FAIR! END SIDEBAR.

Let’s just say again that beans and grains make a complete low cost protein and let that stand.  If you and your family favor a certain type of bean and you have a favorite grain, I would strongly encourage you to mix and match and come up with your OWN recipe.

SIDEBAR:  If/When you DO that, feel free to put it into our Inbox for sharing.  The email address will appear below!  END SIDEBAR.

Beans lend themselves to salads, side dishes, entrees and snacks.

Chef Shawn Bucher reminds us that RE-FRIED beans are really “smashed” beans.  I found that comical.  When I read that, my mouth watered and I pined for little tortillas with a dab of re-fried beans, topped with a dollop of sour cream.

Any variety of cooked beans-canned or home cooked-adds interest to stir fry dishes, soups, salads, or even sandwiches.  Have you mashed any beans and used those “smooshed” beauties as a sandwich spread in lieu of mayo or butter?  They can be run through the food processor, along with sandwich meat or eggs and flavored with a dash of vinegar, some pickle relish and a bit of salad dressing, oil, or mayo.  Used this way, they can fill lettuce cups or be a sandwich spread.  This is ideal for lunchboxes!

People who have food commodities are likely to have beans on the shelf in their kitchens.  The same is true for users of a food pantry.  If you have an EBT card for WIC or SNAP; if you have Angel Food Ministries foodstuffs or you are a coupon clipper, you are very likely to have a stash of canned or dry beans around.

On the other hand, if you just like being very careful with your food dollars you are very likely to have a variety of beans to make your home cooked meals interesting and economical.

We are eager to hear from all of you about the way YOU use beans.  Just send your info to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.comWE LOVE MAIL!

We also l0ve having new Club Members!  We have a brand new batch, so treat ’em all with love!  Please make all the new kids feel welcome here.

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

Chef Bucher and Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 31st, 2011


Hours of educational fun came right to my doorstep!


Let me begin by saying that I am NOT selling a darned thing and if you were to order something I’d never see a cent.  Now you know this is NOT a sales pitch!

Some time ago, Chef Shawn Bucher and I had a 140 character conversation on Twitter. One tweet led to another and at one point we had a cheery telephone conversation.  He expressed an interest in the Food Stamps Cooking Club and our offline cooking classes.

I was intrigued by his cookbook, First Timers Cookbook and thought it would be a good resource for our classes.  I ordered it, thinking it would be just another cookbook and since I already know how to cook…silly me.  Did I imagine I could not learn another thing?  Foolish, wasn’t I?

When the book arrived I was elated!  Long time Club Members may recall the post I made about it, showing off the copy Chef had signed in his own hand!

I follow Chef Shawn on Twitter and Face Book and of course I “Like” his Face Book page, First Timers Cookbook.  I have become his #1 Cheerleader.  Or at least one of his more vocal fans.

He surprised and delighted me by sending me a 2 disc DVD of his cooking series. I could hardly wait to watch them! I spent four glorious hours watching him show the fine points of table setting, explain tools of the trade, proper use of knives, and tip after helpful tip for preparing every food you could think of.  Besides that, it was eye candy just to see his professional kitchen, replete with granite and stainless steel.  Chef’s charming personality and keen sense of humor shone through, as well.

If you are struggling to think of a shower gift for a bride-to-be or if you have a teenager who would like to learn about food prep, this is really the ideal present.

When I reviewed First Timers Cookbook for my Book Lovers Club they all thought it would be ideal for their grandchildren.  They were pleased as punch when their order came quickly and was so beautifully and simply illustrated.  A good friend suggested she’d like to have some of those DVDs around for spur-of-the-moment gifts, too!  Great idea and no gas guzzling drive to shop!

Users of Angel Food Ministries would be gleeful to have this set; those who depend on food commodities or food pantries will surely benefit.  Maybe several families could pool their money and share a set?  *Sounds like the basis for a Cooking Club, if you ask me, which of course you did not… Those who have EBT cards for WIC or SNAP will surely enjoy the tips and lessons, as well.  If you are holding Farmers Market Coupons, you will learn much and be entertained as well as enlightened!

OK, kids.  Next time we go back to  hard sell mode. grin

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.






Grocery Shopping the Food Stamps Cooking Club Way

May 30th, 2011


Grocery's gotta be done!

Since Mother Connie has been uh, away from the keyboard-alas-it was a delight to find Leanne Ely’s topic in my Inbox this morning!  Here is what she has to say about the never ending job of grocery shopping:

“Six Sneaky Supermarket Secrets

by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Can I beg and grovel? Just a little? Okay, here goes…please, I beg you, never go grocery shopping without a list and plan for what you’re going to buy. Not only will you spend way more than you budgeted for, you’ll most likely forget something that you’ll need to get dinner (or another meal) done during the week. How frustrating is that!

Keep in mind that supermarkets know how you operate and seek to exploit your vulnerability when you walk in the door!

Here is a list of how to avoid supermarket’s costly seductions:

1. Conquering the Entrance: Whenever you first walk into the store you’re always bombarded with holiday specials, seasonal knickknacks, DVDs, or select sale items. Before diving into that mess of temptation and “deals” – evaluate. Do you need it? Surviving the entrance is just the first step. Think of yourself as Indiana Jones escaping a maze of booby traps.

2. Oh – Sale! BUT WAIT: The sales and specials will go beyond the entrance. They extend throughout the entire store. Especially those that have their own frequent customer cards. If it’s not on the list, always ask yourself the same question: do you need it?

3. The Store’s Personal Brand is Always Cheaper… Or is It?: Not so fast! Examine all your options! And do you have coupons? Brand names have to constantly compete and lower prices to go against the store’s label, and more often than you might realize, brand names can be cheaper than the store! Check the price per ounce and do some comparison shopping. Phew, another close call!

4. Produce Doesn’t Need to be Bought in Bulk: What most shoppers don’t realize, is that produce brings in the highest profit margins for grocery stores. And that’s typically the first department you wander into inducing shoppers to buy more produce than they probably need. It’s good to eat your fruits and veggies, but buy what you need and leave the rest. If it’s cheaper to buy a pre-made bag of potatoes than the bulk potatoes, but you only need 2 taters, in the long run, it’s cheaper to pay for only what you need then to have those potatoes growing eyes in your pantry.

5. Let’s Make a Deal: It’s really easy and so rewarding! First, look for coupons and look out for double, even triple, coupon weeks! You will save an incredible amount and beat the system if you can manage coupons and be aware of sales before walking in. If you can buy an item you always need (say canned tomatoes) with coupons that are doubled or tripled, by all means, stock up! This is where penny pinching is fun.

6. Sale or No Sale: Sometimes a coupon and a store’s promise to double or triple it doesn’t mean you should buy it. Any junk food, even if it is only going to cost pennies on the dollar is not worth it. Don’t get caught up in saving for the sake of saving. The food you buy and bring home will end up in someone’s belly. Ask yourself if the food has quality nutrition before you buy. It’s not worth it otherwise.

Go test the grocery store waters and see how skillfully you can avoid those trap doors when you enter armed with your list!”

~Leanne Ely,  C.N.C.

Saving Dinner

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


It is so great to have these tips, particularly if you are users of the EBT card for SNAP or WIC.  If you are users of Angel Food Ministries, you can avoid some of the pitfalls Leanne mentions.  Users of food commodities and food pantries as well as those who just want to rein in their food budgets can benefit from her list.

Even though the posts have not been so forthcoming you dear people are passing the word because there has been a surge in Club Membership!  YAY!  GOOD ON YOU!  I hope you are enjoying the series of cooking tips we send to our new members…the mail indicates you are quite pleased.

You can stuff our Inbox at  Please do; we love getting mail!

Not only was our Email fun; we had a package in the mail recently we cannot WAIT to tell you about!  Stay tuned!

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.