Posts Tagged ‘WIC-Women’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: It’s All Over But the Shouting!

September 20th, 2009

Did you hear us shouting?  And laughing?  And COOKING?

Oh, for those of you who could not join us, we missed you.  Truly we did!

If you have graciously given us your names and email addresses we will be soon sending out some of the highlights of our class, which was held here in the “clubhouse” on Saturday morning.

We shared ideas; there was a surprise or two; the food nourished our bodies and the companionship nurtured our souls!

The table was extended to reach from one end of the dining room all the way to the living room.  We gathered there and “toured’ the kitchen to peruse the layout of the canned goods, the freezer and fridge and all the supplies for cooking and baking.  Nobody said a word about any dust or crumbs or windows that needed to be tended!  grin

Because more of you were NOT here than were, we are seriously considering how to include all of you somehow.  For one thing, we will host a “Cheap Desserts” night and we have had requests to have a class about WATER.  Yes, that’s right.  WATER.  We may be able to utilize video and give ALL of you a peek into the clubhouse and the fun we have here.

As you know, we began this Cooking Club to focus on those who may need help with their food budgets.  We thought of those who use SNAP and WIC and food commodities.  We had in mind those who must shop in food pantries and get things from Angel Food Ministries and the bounty of neighbors’ gardens and the Farmers Markets.  But to be honest, we ALL want and need to save money on our food expenses.  Our food budgets demand that in these troubled economic times.

We want to be INCLUSIVE.  We want everyone who might be interested to take part in the fun and learning and sharing of this journey.  Not to mention the food!

With respect to our class, we certainly offer heartfelt thanks to our supporters:  To The Anonymous Benefactor who graciously and generously funded the food, we are eternally grateful for your kind and thoughtful generosity.  To Jason at the Tecumseh Central Market, we so deeply appreciate all the time and attention you gave us in our preparation and we thank you for the items we had for display and comparison.  We are extremely fortunate to have a clean, cheery place to shop in our little town, and one that offers great selection of food and meats.

We must acknowledge the Tecumseh Chieftain for so faithfully placing our news item where the public could be informed of our event.  Small town newspapers are so important to the life of a community!  The Chieftain went beyond the call and sent a reporter to cover the story.  We were so happy and grateful to have Ann Wickett on board for our excursion!

Mildred Panec is to be commended for driving a long distance to share with us her expertise on food preservation!  Thank you, Mildred.  We are sending 10,000 thank you hugs your way!

The last round of applause goes to our students, who moved heaven and earth to share the morning and lunch hour with us.

If you have not, you are cordially invited to put your name and email into the box at the right upper corner of this page.  You may also enter your information on Food Stamps Cooking Club in order to receive the tips from the class and other infrequent messages we send along from time to time.

For those who may like to see the other pies Mother Connie has her fingers in:  The Healthy and Wealthy You is a blog about health and wealth-isn’t THAT a big surprise?-as is Mother Connie Sez. She writes a blog about business  and internet marketing at Rapid Cash Review.

Your comments are welcomed on each of the blogs, including this one.  THEY ARE VALUED AND APPRECIATED, JUST AS EACH OF YOU IS VALUED AND APPRECIATED.

Connie Baum

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Oh, What to Cook?

September 11th, 2009

Garden Goodness

Garden Goodness

Here’s hoping the bounty of the garden goods is filling your freezer and larder the way ours is.  I almost can’t make ice cubes now that there are so many packets of zucchini and green beans and good things in that freezer compartment!

I am blessed with the “problem” of WHICH to prepare, not WHAT.

When you use SNAP or WIC for your food supply or even if you have your hard earned dollars, food commodities and food pantry items it’s the same story.  We all have to eat and it’s quite the thing to manage the shopping, chopping, prepping, and all the rest of it.  NOT TO MENTION CLEAN UP!   And as if THAT isn’t enough, we have to please the picky eaters in the crowd!

It’s enough to stress a person to the max!

We hope this Club can help alleviate some of that stress.  Here is a thrifty, tasty meal idea that might turn your crank, compliments of the University of Wyoming, Cooperative Extension Service:


2  cups lentils

1  quart water

1  bay leaf

1  pound lean ground beef

1  large onion, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

1   8 oz can tomato sauce

1   teaspoon salt

1   teaspoon vinegar

1/2  teaspoon pepper

1/4  teaspoon basil

1/4  teaspoon dry mustard

METHOD:  In large saucepan, bring lentils and water to boiling with the bay leaf.  Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, saute beef and onion in large skillet, breaking up the meat and cooking thoroughly.  Pour off excess grease.  Drain lentils, reserving liquid.  Add remaining ingredients and 1 cup of the reserved liquid to lentils and meat mixture.  Turn into greased 3 quart casserole.  Bake covered for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  Uncover and bake 10 minutes more.  This will serve 8 people.

Lentils are a marvelous and inexpensive nutritional powerhouse.  They are rich in B vitamins and B vitamins are known to help with stress.

Mother Connie would add to this wonderful casserole this simple variation:  In order to stretch the food and the food dollars it would be very easy to add some grated zucchini to this dish.  It could be added to the ground beef as you brown it.  As you know, zucchini takes on the flavors of its neighbors so it would just mesh with the beef and the tomato sauce and even picky eaters would be none the wiser!

Thank you to all those who have responded regarding the Cooking Class and the email message that was sent out yesterday.  It is your active participation that helps this Club function so well.

Please continue to visit our partners and do leave your comments here for us.  It is so gratifying to know that we are touching your lives and making a difference!

PS/Angel Food Ministries has a deadline for their orders…did you get your paperwork handled?

Connie Baum

Food Stamps Cooking Club: “Ping!”

September 5th, 2009

There are some that just make a foodie’s heart sing and one of them is the “Ping!” you hear when you put up canned goods and the jars seal, letting you know your efforts have been rewarded with success.

We heard that sound today after a few jars of tomatoes from The Normanator’s garden were processed.

It doesn’t matter whether a person uses Farmers Market Coupons, grows food in his own garden or uses SNAP or WIC or food commodities.  It doesn’t even matter if you shop in a food pantry, use Angel Food Ministries or shop in a big box store.  EVERYBODY is concerned about the cost of feeding the family and managing the food budget.

Really, it can be a blessing to be in need.  I don’t mean the desperate need where there is never enough rice or meal to feed the masses.  That’s a tragedy.  Your OWN situation might feel tragic to YOU-you may have lost your job or you may be coming to the end of your unemployment benefits.  You may have used your savings or your house may be in foreclosure.  These are dreadful circumstances and we grieve with you if that’s your situation.

But Americans do have hope.  We know the economy will turn around eventually.  We also understand that we can retool our skills and find employment and make our way at some point.  We are confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In that interim, though, we are blessed if we can take the attitude that we are together with  family.  You may not have the funds for a trip or restaurant food, but you can play cards or board games or make up plays for one another; you can help the children with their homework.  If you involve yourselves along these lines you will hardly  notice there is no cable hookup!  Kids may whine for things they want their parents to BUY but what they really want is their parents’ attention and devotion, along with loving discipline. This gives families a sense of security.

Cooking together as a family is a wonderful way to bond.  Your youngsters will learn about techniques, how to save money by preparing foods at home, and they will learn the fine art of cooperation.

Poverty can teach us a great many lessons, if we will open ourselves to learn.

Since we are in the throes of a holiday weekend and you are likely to be home together because of the high cost of gasoline, among other factors, you might like to prepare something together.  Here is an idea for you:

How about making some special burgers?


1# ground beef, chicken or turkey

1 large egg

1 onion, finely chopped

1 or 2 ribs celery, finely chopped

1 cup grated zucchini-well drained

1/3 cup farina, cream of wheat, cream of rice oat or barley flakes

salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a good sized bowl and mix well.  KIDS LOVE TO GET THEIR HANDS INTO THIS KIND OF MIXTURE.  Form into patties and fry to a nicely browned finish.

If you have buns, they would be good if you pop them into the oaster.  If you have slices of bread to make sandwiches, that will be fine.  Toast them if you like and make open faced sandwiches with slices of onion, slices of tomatoes and lettuce leaves.

The farina, cereal or oat flakes and the zucchini will stretch the meat and make this a very cost effective meal.  If you need more patties than this makes, add a can of beans, drained and mashed to the list of ingredients.

This mixture also makes great tasting meatballs for spaghetti meals and can be made into a meat loaf.  Use different seasonings to change the flavors:  oregano, thyme, or garlic will lend nice variations for pairing with pasta or potatoes and veggies.  You can always make mini meatballs and drop them into soups, too!

Whatever your situation, whatever your menu, let’s hope you are enjoying your family and friends for this Labor Day weekend.

Thanks to all the new Food Stamp Cooking Club Members!  We welcome you with open arms and sincerely hope you find ideas that make your life a little easier.

We are grateful for those of you who have looked over what our partners have to offer.  They, like us, are intent on helping you solve your problems.

Your comments mean a great deal to us.  Please feel free to leave your comment on this page.  We will moderate them as quickly as possible.  Thanks so much for sharing.

Connie Baum

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Cooking Class Schedule?

September 5th, 2009

The time for fun and learning is nearing!

Our Cooking Class is going to take place on September 19 and people are clamoring for information about WHAT’S COOKING?  So I decided to reveal the whole program right here.  Those of you who have enrolled will have a clear picture and will know what to bring; those who have not sent their registration to will get into gear! There are a few-very few-openings.

Here is the straight skinny:


Welcome/Message from our Partners and Housekeeping Details

Introductions: Special Guests

Who’s Here?

Demonstrations Regarding Health

Tour the Pantry and Fridge; Discuss Menus

Chopping and Shopping; “Commercial”

Freezer Meals w/Emphasis on Building Lunch

Beans, Beans, Beans!  Are We Full of  ’em?


Mildred struts her stuff and we take time to share


*Students are invited to bring a favorite knife, a recipe, and tips!

As we have previously announced, the class begins at 10 AM and runs through lunchtime.  We are not going to rush; we want all the students’ questions to be addressed to their satisfaction.

There is no cost to attend the class but we only have enough bowls for 10 students so reservations MUST be made by sending your request to .

Regarding cost for this class, we are pleased to tell you that it is a privilege to Pay It Forward.

This class was originally designed for users of SNAP, food commodities and food pantries.  We have added those who avail themselves of Angel Food Ministries, WIC, and Farmers Markets Coupons as well as people who are interested in eating well for less money, easing the strain on their food budgets.   WE WELCOME EVERYONE.

While you are here, we hope you take a moment to visit our partners and sponsors represented on this page. We also invite you to stop by Food Stamp Cooking Club, if you have not already done so, and become a Club Member so you can receive our seldom-sent messages.

We love mail, so please leave your comment for us.  All comments must be moderated but we make every effort to keep them as current as possible.

We hope you are enjoying your Labor Day Holiday!

Connie Baum