Archive for the ‘Economical’ Tag
I am so embarrassed at how long it has been since I’ve posted on kristacooks I have shamefully been eating Lean Cuisines and convenience foods. This semester has been a black pit of misery so far! But it is SPRING BREAK (even though it is 40 degrees outside). So I am perusing my “Recipes to try” bookmark folder! So expect some new stuff this week!
Now on to the money saver!
Have you heard of Angel Food Ministries?
This is a GREAT program, especially now that everyone is aching in the financial department these days!
My mom orders these kits once a month to help with my teenage brother’s eating habits (not to mention the other boys that practically live there).
The boxes are an assortment of various dietary needs,they include: Meat, vegetables, eggs, milk, even desserts!
There are so many different options!!!!
Right now they have:
Senior’s/On-The-Go menu full of prepared meals for 28 bucks!
Regular box to feed a family of four for a WEEK for only 30 bucks!! (Nerd and I could live off this for 3 weeks)!
They also have other specials each month, this month they are offering a Mom’s Easter Sunday Box!!
I would definitely recommend looking into this!! Even if you ordered one box a month for $30.00 you could lower your grocery bill immensely by supplementing the contents of the box with a bit of necessities a week!
Let me know how it works out for you!!
p.s. They also accept EBT food stamps (as do most Farmer’s Markets these days)!!
Sorry for my absence; iphoto was being awfully rude and not allowing me to upload any pictures!
Back to why you are here :
How long has it been since you had homemade popcorn?! I mean really? I was a child because I’m pretty sure in the 80′s it was super cool to have an air popper because it was what we did at sleep overs! Or was it a 70′s thing the folks got for wedding presents?!
There are three reasons why I love this recipe:
1. Economical: I laugh in the face of the Recession while eating my $0.15 snack!
2. Ingredients: Popcorn, Oil, Sugar; have you checked out the ingredients in your 100 calorie snack packs?
3. Burnt Kernel Free! (Well the first time I was nervous about them being all popped, but really no reason to worry, Popcorn isn’t available rare)!
For 6 cups popped pop corn:
1/3 cup kernels
2 tsp oil (Alton Brown claims peanut oil is best, but I’m all for Olive Oil. You tell me) .
2 tsp* granulated sugar (optional, without is Naked Corn).
Items needed: Wok and spatter gaurd
- This amount of sugar results in a subtle sweetness, not the intense sweetness your used to at fairs; increase sugar if want more sweet.
Pour oil and sugar into wok, stir to incorporate and add kernels, stir once again to coat.
Place spatter guard over kernels and shake vigorously close to fire for ~10 seconds and resting for ~10 seconds, repeat until kernels start popping (~2 minutes).
Now you need to shake to keep the popcorn on top and the heavier kernels at the bottom near the heat (This is where the convenience of the rounded wok comes in). Continue until it seems as if all kernels have popped. Don’t overcook (see comment number 3 above).
It really is simple, you can’t walk away from the microwave. But I am serious when I tell you that this popcorn taste much better than bagged popcorn! But of course you’ve been doing your memory exercises and taking your Ginkgo Biloba and remember the taste from your youth.
I have also seen popcorn made with:
I’ve been known to be a follower, a copy-cat, a _____. But when there something this delicious, yes I am a follower. However!! I did tweak the recipe a bit, well found a new one. Just because I’m not a huge fan of maple.
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl mix oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in the vanilla.
Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon; finish mixing by hand. Spread granola in a 15×10 inch baking pan I actually had to spread in 2 different pans.
Bake 20 minutes, check (some granola makers advise flipping sections over like cookies, but I didn’t. Cook 20 more minutes.
Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely. Then sprinkle cranberries, raisins, or anything else that tickles your taste buds over the top. Break your granola into pieces and you’re done! Yum!
Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bag. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months. (I doubt mine will last this long)!
Overall, I was really surprised at how incredibly easy this was; I’ve been putting it off for so long. Addendum to New Years Resolutions: Never buy granola again!
My BFF Saucymama gave me the best Kristamas present ever! Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. I keep sitting down to read a recipe and realize I’ve been sitting idle for an hour! So great!
When an awkward cold front blew in the other night, I decided to whip up a quickish batch of chili. Emphasis on quickish, because when I think of chili, I envision a slow cooked masterpiece, and this still took about 2 hours?! So I dove into my first recipe from HTCE; Mark’s idea of chili was a bit different from mine, so I had a few additions. It was still pretty yummy! Maybe could use a bit more work, I, of course was the only one that thought that, but it did it’s job by warming us up!!
1 pound dried red beans, (you don’t have to soak them if you didn’t think ahead, just means a longer cooking time)
water or broth to boil beans in (I did half and half)
1 pound of beef, turkey, chicken, etc
1 whole onion, unpeeled (I chopped of the top and bottom)
1 small onion, minced
salt and pepper
1 cup of the bean-cooking liquid (leftover)
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 fresh/dried hot chile. (I ended up using 2 small thai chiles) *note to self, do not bite the chile to see how hot it actually is….
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp marjoram
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp herbs de provence
cayenne pepper to taste (be careful! You already may already have 2 chiles)
Put the beans in a large pot of water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat, add the whole onion. Adjust the heat, so the beans are at a steady boil rather than a rolling boil and cover loosely.
While beans are cooking, brown your meat. Before draining the meat, add salt and pepper, and the 2 tsp of chili powder.
When beans begin to soften (start checking at 30 minutes, cooking time depends on whether you soaked or not) season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, and adding water if necessary. Cook until beans are very tender but still intact.
Drain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid. Take out the whole onion, eat it layer by layer (or whatever). Add the rest of the ingredients, including the leftover cooking liquid, and bring to a boil, then cover and turn down to low.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender and all the flavors have mellowed. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, and serve!
I like mine best with shredded cheese and avocado!
Nerd loves sandwiches; however, when he spends 12 hours a day in the engineering lab, he more often than not orders in:/
Needless to say, I end up with a lot of stale bread.
On one hand… It is such a joy to hand stale, not quite moldy bread to the kids I babysit and watch them feed the ducks at Zilker Park. It’s also fun to be chased up the banks when you are out of bread. It happened. But not to me. I saw it. Beware!!
On the other hand… I LOVE bread crumbs! No one, not one single individual has ever told me that making bread crumbs was so easy. Maybe I should’ve asked…
I called up the mother and finally asked… Easy Sccchhhmeeeasy she says:
First, I go into “stress-relief” mode by tearing up the bread into small pieces. (“stress-relief” mode may also refer to blender use, mashing potatoes, and sometimes chopping vegetables, but be careful with the latter).
Mine were still not stale enough so I spread them out on a cookie sheet and baked them for around 5 minutes.
Place bread remnants in a food processor (mine is a wee little thing, so it took several batches) process ‘em until they reach your desired crumminess! After they are there, add a bit of melted butter (I added about 1/2 tsp for each small batch) so that they don’t burn in the oven.
Mother says these should keep for quite a while in the freezer, but mine were gone within two days!