Seasonal Foods

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September web links

These are the web links that I promised at the end of my article on "How to Educate Yourself on the Cheap" I hope you will find them useful!  :)

http://www.wikiversity.org/
this site has some courses available, and the courses themselves are created by people who wish to contribute. There are ten languages to choose from.They are not entire programs for all for the departments, and there is no accreditation for completion of a course/courses. This is also considered a “collaborative learning” site, where anyone can edit information, or add information that is not there. It comprises educational material from a pre-school level, all the way up to “tertiary” level (basically beyond high school).

http://www.mymcat.com/wiki/Main_Page
This site is specifically designed to help people prepare for the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT for short. These tests are required in both Canada and the USA for entrance to a medical program in a college or university.



http://www.gcflearnfree.org/
Goodwill Community Foundation Intl.
This site allows you to learn about computers, such as how to use the internet, computer basics, along with how to use various media programs for documents and graphs. There is a reading section that focuses on teaching adults how to read, or improve one’s reading. A section on math basics up to fractions. A career section that helps with career planning, job searches, resume writing, interview skills, job success and how to manage money. A “Most Popular” section that teaches you how to use the most popular things of interest to learn. These vary from everyday life, to business software, to social media such as Skype, facebook and the like. They also have mobile apps that allow you to learn how to use Word 2010, excel 2010, powerpoint 2010, as well as a vocabulary videos app. All useful in everyday life, but nothing that will give you credits to allow you to say that you know more than the basics.

http://www.free-ed.net/free-ed/
This site has a variety of courses and study programs. The enrollment is free, not textbooks to buy, you can start learning right away. However, you do not get certification, nor do you get credits for completing your course(s). They do not even hand out grades, although you can take tests to help you “assess your progress and depth of understanding”. Also, any of the laws or rules governing medicine that you learn on here may only be true for the USA, or maybe even just one state within the USA.



http://freeonlineeducation.com/education.shtml#college
This site basically collects web pages on education, but most of them are not free.



http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/
“Exploring the universe of knowledge”
This is similar to wikipedia, it gives the definition of the word/phrase selected, along with basic information pertaining to the word/phrase.



http://free.ed.gov/index.cfm
Gives teaching and learning resources from American Federal Agencies. Not all of the information will parallel history wise with our Canadian curriculum.


http://www.uopeople.org/groups/tuition-free-education
It talks about being a “Tuition-Free Online University”, but when I looked at admissions, there was a “onetime Application Processing Fee of $10-$50 based on the applicant’s place of residence and the University Grant provided”. Upon further looking, there is also an “Exam Processing Fee”. “The processing fee will range from $10 to $100 per exam based on the student’s place of residence.”.
There are also requirements in order to get in, such as being 18 years or older, have high school transcripts, and must be proficient in English, as all courses and materials are in English.
“At present, University of the People is not an accredited institution. The University is in the process of preparing the necessary materials to apply for accreditation from an agency recognized by the U. S. Department of Education. At this time no assurances can be given as to when, or if, accreditation might be granted.”
N
OTICE CONCERNING THE TRANSFERABILITY OF CREDITS AND CREDENTIALS EARNED AT OUR INSTITUTION
The transferability of credits you earn at University of the People is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the degree you earn in either the Computer Science or Business Administration program is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits or degree that you earn at this institution are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your course work at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending University of the People to determine if your credits or degree will transfer.”

PROGRAMS
Currently, University of the People offers the following four undergraduate degrees: Associate (A.S.-B.A.) and Bachelor (B.S.-B.A.) degrees in Business Administration and Associate (A.S.-C.S.) and Bachelor (B.S.-C.S.) degrees in Computer Science.






http://www.freebyte.com/education/#freecourses
this site has links leading to other education sites, some free, and some not-so-free.


http://www.docnmail.com/
“Free & Affordable Distance Education” - the title says it all! It has links leading to mostly low cost courses.


http://www.ocwconsortium.org/
Open Courseware Consortium
has some major universities using it, and you can view the courses for free, however, these are not courses that give you credits, and are highly specialised.


http://www.ocwfinder.org/
allows you to find courses that use the Open Courseware program.




http://oli.web.cmu.edu/openlearning/
There are open and free courses available through this site in a variety of subjects. They state “No instructors, no credits, no charge”, so if you want credits, you have to pay for them.



http://oyc.yale.edu/
These are Open Yale courses, which are free. There are no credits available for these lectures though, unless you apply and get accepted to yale and pay to take the course.


http://www.free-ebooks.net/?category=Educational
You can get books for free from this site, both educational and not-so-educational, but there is a limit to how many per month. If you view the books online, it’s free all the time, to download PDF’s, documents, or Apple Apps, you can only get 5 per month. If you want unlimited amount of downloading it costs $14.95 OR MORE per month to do so.



http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
MIT Open Courseware. Free lecture notes, exams and videos from MIT. No registration required, but also no credits given.



http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/
This school in the UK has 600 free courses to choose from. There are also entire programs available for credits, but those you have to pay for. It is also free to register, and will keep track of your progress in your courses.


http://ocw.tufts.edu/
Has free courses that covers Dentistry, medicine, vetrenary, arts & sciences. No registration, but they will “not grant credit, degrees, or certificates” for doing these courses.



http://www.kutztownsbdc.org/course_listing.asp
Has a selection of courses, in both english and spanish, focused for the entrepreneur, small business owner, or start-up business. Membership is free.



http://ocw.usq.edu.au/
A few courses available from Australia.


http://ocw.uci.edu/
A large variety of courses available. No credits for doing them.



http://www.khanacademy.org/
HUGE selection of courses that only cover math, science and economics.


http://ocw.usu.edu/courselist/
A selection of varying subjects.


http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/
Once you download iTunes, and open it up, you can get into “iTunes U”. You go into the iTunes store, and along the top there is a tab on a black band that is called “iTunes U”. Hit that, and you can find a HUGE selection of courses. Some are free, and some are not, but it will tell you if they cost money when you want to download. It has videos, mp3s, and some books. Just dig around and you’ll probably find what you want to learn about. No credits available for any of these.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pantry and fridge staples

all-purpose flour
whole wheat flour
cornmeal
granulated sugar
powdered sugar
brown sugar
cornstarch
baking powder
baking soda
yeast
shortening
chocolate chips
cocoa
raisins
basil
bay leaves
cayenne pepper
chili powder
marjoram
dried mustard
oregano
paprika
red peppers
rosemary
sage
salt (regular & sea salt)
Tabasco or hot sauce
tarragon
thyme
cinnamon (ground & whole sticks)
cloves (ground & whole)
ground allspice
ground ginger
ground nutmeg
white rice
brown rice
spaghetti noodles
egg noodles
lasagna noodles (I prefer fast cooking)
macaroni noodles
powdered milk
powdered buttermilk
sweetened condensed milk
coffee
tea
canned tomatoes(diced)
canned tomato paste
canned tomatoe sauce
canned tomato soup
canned mushroom soup
canned fruit
canned veggies
canned mushroom pieces
canned kidney beans
canned brown beans
canned tune
canned chicken
Salsa
pickles
peanut butter
molasses
mustard
soy sauce
worcestershire sauce
mayonnaise
pancake syrup
canola oil
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
plain vinegar
apple cider vinegar
honey
horseradish
ketchup
lemon juice
lime juice
vanilla extract
pesto
garlic cloves or dices garlic in oil
garlic bulbs
onions
potatoes
carrots
margarine
butter
eggs
parmesan cheese
cheddar cheese
mozzarella cheese
sour cream

Thursday, June 30, 2011

End of the school year!

I have to say, having kids means that at the end of the school year is super busy! Especially when one of your children is finishing elementary school, and taking the leap in the fall to high school! Not to mention...well I will mention it...My eldest son's Birthday falls at this time as well. He definately has big ideas, and that requires going all over town to get things that he needs. I'm not complaining, it's fun to see how he makes decisions about spending his own money, and sometimes I guide him. He wanted to buy a ton of drinks for the party, which I couldn't talk him out of, and I figured worse case scenareo was that he'd have gatorade for a while this summer. He also had his party at his Granparent's house, so he didn't want them having to pay for all the drinks.

So we have been quite busy, as I am sure everyone has been. Summer is a wonderful time of year, the sun, the greenery, the liesure. I guess you can tell that summer is my favorite time of year, but I know that there's alot of work to be done. I have a garden plot at a nice gentleman's house. I was allotted it around the 16th, and I had to work the ground a bit, because the hard rains had compressed the dirt. My youngest and I weeded the plot first, then put peatmoss on top, then we dug in and flipped as much of the dirt as we could. The goal was to get as much of the peat moss underground as possible, and mix it up a little with the ground dirt. I'm hoping tht by this weekend I will have my garden planted. I know, it should be done already, but as I said, my family obligations are important to me. These are the choices that everyone makes. In making this decision, I know that my garden may not make it to it's full potential before the frost, but I am going to try anyways. I have only put in $16 into my garden, with the peat moss, and about three hours labour. Once it gets going, I hope to be as frugal as possible, and hopefully reap some tasty rewards at the end of the summer!  :)

I know that you are hoping that I'd be posting what we've been eating lately, but with the rush of goings on, and my son's Birthday party, we haven't been cooking much. I will leave you with a wonderful website that will give you a TON of frugal recipes for you to check out and try! Don't let the name fool you, it's fine frugal dining!  http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/

Hope you all enjoy the site, and hope to post again soon!  :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This past week

For this past week I have been a bit busy, and not really in a cooking mood. That's also not to mention that alot of the meat I have in my home right now was given to us. Some of these meats are from them having their animals butchered, and made up by those butchers.

Take last night for dinner, we had hot sausage with some curly fries for dinner. The sausage came wrapped in brown butcher's paper, and naray a price in sight, so I can not even begin to guess how much it might truely have cost.

The night before, we beens and weinies, which is super easy to calculate!

2 cans beans $1.00/can, makes them $2.00
1 can of pinapple, juice drained $1.29
6 wieners (we use chicken wieners, because they are cheaper) $1.98/package, so $0.99
Making the grand total of that meal $4.28

Another night this past week I made homemade pizza, with meat that I had seen reduced and placed promptly into my freezer for a night like this! Making your own crust only costs about a dollar to make, but for some, that's more than they can do. My solution is that a dollar store in town carries pizza crust and the pizza sauce for $2.00 each. I will include my pizza recipe after this...no worries!   ;)
Price breakdown:
1 Pizza crust, $1 for homemade (makes two), $2.00/each for prebought $4
1 can pizza sauce $0.99 (only if you made your own crust)
1 package of peperoni sausage $2.99
1/2 package of ham end pieces $3.24/package $1.62
500g cheese $4.99

Homemade Pizza Sauce
1 can tomaote paste $0.50
1tbsp oregano $0.09 (for
1 tsp garlic, basil $0.06, $0.07 respectivly
up to 3 tbsp water, depending on how thick you like your pizza sauce.  Free from the tap.

So here are the price totals:
With dollar store crust: $14.59
With homemade crust and boght sauce: $11.59
The pice completely homemade: $11.32

I know that the sauce doesn't make that much of a difference in this instance, but if I had waited to stock up on my tomatoe paste when it was on sale 3/$1...that could have meant a savings of $0.17 more cents. The biggest problem is the price of meat and cheese, getting these on sale is the best way to save more money. My family is big on cheese, so I am constantly buying cheese when it's onsale, and freezing it until we need it. If I can finde pregrated cheese on sale...I buy it HAPPILY, just because I usually hurt myself on the grater. Apparently people want you to work so hard that there is blood sweat and tears, but when it come to there food...not so much, go figure!  ;)

I will be posting the recipe for the homemade pizza dough later today, so have fun until then!  :)

You can use any bread dough recipie to make pizza dough, but alot of people prefer the recipes that are specifically for pizza, and I have to say that it does turn out tastier. The recipe that I am giving you is to make ALOT of pizza crusts. I know...who wants to make 20 pizza crusts at once? Well...I do...you can freeze it as soon as you have it rolled or "Toss" it to the pizza size (I am not that adventurous), or you can bake the crust for a few minutes and then freeze (this ensures that it won't do any rising after it thaws). I prefer to freeze after I get them in their shape, or else to freeze them after they are "dressed" with toppings. When I make this amount, however, I tend to go for just freezing the crust, because it makes it easier. I also have a bunch of aluminum round pie pans for just this purpose. You're asking yourself, why aluminum pie pans, I'll tell you why. My family like to have "create your own pizza night", which means individual sized pizzas. The pie pan bottoms are the right size, I can get them fairly cheeply, I can rewash them, and they take up less space than regular pie pans. I can also freeze them in stacks like that, and once frozen, I can remove them easily from the pans, and place them into freezer bags in stacks of four.

I usually go with the toppings that our family likes, and I only get enough for the one meal, but if you want to follow this recipe to a "T", you can always freeze them for later!  :)

Anyways...at long last...here is the recipe I use from "Growlie's For Groups Online Cook Book", who is a fellow British Columbian... http://lotsofinfo.tripod.com/index.html

Pizza Crust

100 servings

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp Active dry yeast*
2 qt + 1/2 cup Water, warm ( 110 F)
6 1/4 qt All purpose or bread flour
2/3 cup Vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup + 2 tsp Sugar
1 cup Cornmeal


Place flour in large mixer bowl. Make well in the center.
Pour in dissolved yeast, oil, salt and sugar. Gradually work into the
flour using dough hook on low speed. Knead for 15 minutes at medium speed.
Divide and shape dough into 5 balls, 2 lb 4 oz each. Let rest for 20 minutes.
Lightly oil 5 sheet pans ( 18 ''x 26''x1''). Sprinkle each pan with 1 oz ( 3 Tbsp) cornmeal.
Place 1 dough ball in center of each pan. Flatten dough by rolling or spreading
dough 1/8 '' thick to rim of pans. Keep edges thicker than center.
For topping, baking and portioning directions, see Pizza With Cheese Topping Recipe.
Dissolve dry yeast in warm water. Let stand for 4- 5 minutes.
For best results, have all ingredients and utensils at room temperature.

Plain Cheese Pizza


1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Flaked basil
2 tsp Black pepper
1/2 No. 10 can Tomato paste
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Flaked oregano
5 sheet pans Pizza dough in pans
1qt + 1 1/4 cups Fresh onions, chopped
3 1/2 qt Water
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Flaked marjoram
1 Tbsp Flaked thyme
3 + 1/4 gal Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp Garlic powder


Combine onions, garlic powder, pepper, tomato paste, water, and seasonings.
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle 12 oz ( 3 cups) shredded cheese evenly over each pizza crust.
Spread 1 qt tomato mixture over cheese in each pan. Sprinkle 1 lb 12 oz ( 1 3/4 qt )
shredded cheese evenly over tomato mixture in each pan.
Bake until crust is lightly browned: Conventional oven: 475 F for 15 -18 minutes, Convection oven: 450 F for 15 minutes.
Cut each pan 4x5 ( 20 pieces per pan).

Add more toppings if desired
http://www.angelfire.com/bc/incredible/xH1pizzacrust.html 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

slackin' again

I know, you are all eagerly awaiting my next food post, but I have definately hit a snag with it. I am not always the one buying the food, sometimes we are given it. With our finances not as pretty as they once were, my Mother and Father-In-Law have been picking up meat for us from Costcos when they go to Kamloops to visit family. It is in Zipper seal bags, and I have no idea how much they cost, as I do not grocery shop very often.

I shall endevor to find out the approximate pricing for you, and write it up in another post. For now, I shall leave you with a few frugal family dinners we have made recently!  :)
Sweet Thai Chili Chiken Thighs

9 pieces of chicken thighs
1 Jar Sweet Thai chili sauce (I bought it at a dollar store for $1)
2 cups rice
1 trunk broccoli, chopped to tiny bits
mushroom soup

To start with, you place the chicken in the fridge with the marinade sauce on it (I use an old tupperware* container that I got from the Salvation Army* that is meant for marinading in, but any wide container will do). Start cooking the rice with the broccoli bits, and mushroom soup, cutting the water for the usual rice directions by about 1/2 cup. Shake the marinading chicken, to ensure that all of the chicken comes into contact with the sauce. Bake chicken on a baking pan at 350 for about a half hour, turning midway through.

Once chicken is done, the rice mixture should be ready, so serve away!  :)


Sausages for Dinner?

I am a believer that anything is possible, including using breakfast sausage for the meat portion of our dinner.

12 breakfast sausages
6 medium potatoes
1/4 milk
1/4 cup butter/margarine
1-2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups frozen veggies
1/3 cup barbeque sauce

Get out a baking pan, place the sausages onto the pan without them touching one another. Use a fork, and puncture a few holes on all sides of the sausage (this is to help the grease to escape), place in an 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Cut up potatoes, and put into a pot, fill pot with water and let boil until potatoes can easily be punctured by a lightly pressed fork. Heat up Frozen vegetables. After the 20 minutes are up, turn sausages over, and smother them with barbeque sause. Bake for five more minutes, flip again, and smother in barbeque sauce. Shut oven off and let sit until the potatoes are ready. Once potatoes are ready, drain water, and start mashing (if you don't like peels in your mashed potatoes, you may remove the skins). Add the milk and margarine/butter, and mash until they are of a creamy consistancy. Serve when meal all the meal is finished cooking, and enjoy!  :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

About the pricing

I know, you probably think I've gone nuts, or off the deep end about my guestimating the costs for my dinner. I have to tell you, the amount of math I've done just to tell you how much I paid for a teaspoon of garlic powder...you'd be shocked! I actually had to find a website that could give me changes of measurement from teaspoons to grams, just so that I could find out how many grams of garlic powder goes into a half teaspoon, then figure out how much I paid per gram in the container I got. That would be how I got to the amount listed, instead of the previous posts where I just told you what I paid for the bottle.
Believe me, the amount of work and effort to get to the process was long a tedious, but I felt that if I was giving you how much it costs per meal, I had better go off of the assumption that everyone has basic staples. I also have to assume that you paid as much as I did for that specific item.
So with that said, I hope you like the new way of me calculating the costs, and hope it is helpful!  :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Monday night's dinner

I got my son to make dinner last night, because I still wasn't feeling that well. I got him to make Sloppy Joes' from scratch! He followed the recipe to a "T", too bad I never wrote in there the one change I ahd made, but anywho...
This recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks "Not Just Beans" by Tawra Jean Kellam, which has been reprinted as "Dining On A Dime Cookbook", and is available online at http://www.livingonadime.com/store/ (and no, I don't make money from advertising, but it's a great cookbook, and is not available for some reason in any local library)

Sloppy Joes

1lb ground beef  $3
1 medium onion, chopped, or 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.50 for an onion/$0.03 for the powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder $0.03
5 Tbsp. ketchup $0.04
2 tsp. brown sugar $0.04
1/8 tsp lemon juice $0.01
1 TBSP. Worcesershire sauce  $0.14
1/2 tsp. salt $0.01
6 hamburger buns $0.50

All prices are approximate, and the grand total is $4.27!
Now, this is the original recipe, but I make personall preferance changes to the recipe when I make it. I usually use a can of tomato paste instead of the ketchup, and add more lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce to make up the moisture difference. I also usually use 1.5lb of ground beef for the recipe instead of the 1lb, because that's the amount that I usually put into a freezer bag when I freeze my ground beef (odd I know, but my family are big meat eaters!).
Anyways, here's the instructions: Brown ground beef and onion until tender. Drain fat. Add other ingredients and heat thoroughly. Serve on hamburger buns. Serves 6.

Tonight it was a fend for yourself night, so leftovers, or whatever they could make (like grilled cheese sandwiches), since I hadn't planned anything and didn't feel like cooking (besides...there's plenty for them to choose from!).

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday night

Well, tonight was a bit of a home made dinner...at least half.

2 packages of tortellini (Oliviari, which I got marked down at $1.99 per package) $3.98
1-650g package of homemade spaghetti sauce (I cool my spaghetti sauce down then freeze it in washed out yogurt or cottage cheese containers) not fully sure of price, but approx $5.00

This is usually how I make my spaghetti sauce, but not always...lol...sometimes one must make due with what they have, even tomatoe soup!  ;)
6lb beef $13.00
2 large containers of Prego*pasta sauce $12.00
A couple of tablespoons of each to taste: garlic powder, oregano, basil, onion powder $1.00
2 medium cans tomato sauce $3.00
2 cans tomato paste $1.00
Costs about $30.00 to make this batch of sauce! I am approximating cost, as I have not made a batch in about two months, and have not purchased the ingredients to make it lately either, so I might be off on the big batch by maybe $2.00, which means that I might be wrong on the singles by maybe $0.40.

Simmer for at least an hour for the flavour to merry. Makes 6-650g plastic containers worth for freezing, which works for my family of four with occasionally leftovers(depending on my kids' growth spurts). I either take the sauce out the night before the meal to thaw in the fridge, or I take it out of the freezer and use a bit of hot water to get it out of the container and into a sauce pan.

I know, I'm slackin'!

I have the flu, so food is the last thing on my mind. Saturday hubby made 8 hamburger paaites, and thawed out more hamburger buns...his idea of a complete dinner, at least he's doing more about it than me!  ;)

Saturday was a vegeterian lasaugna that I had purchase for emergencies for me! My family is way more into meat than I am, so I tend to get something like that, and once I cook the whole thing, I cut it up and freeze the extra peices in single portions. Alas, as I said before, I have the flu, so my "save me from the meat!" meal became a family meal. My eldest stayed at a friend's house for the night, so the there were just three of us to feed. MY youngest and hubby said it was alright...for vegetarian...  *rolls eyes* ...I guess I'm making a snails pace progress at getting them to eat less meat....but I doubt it..lol!

Well, back to the food and cost of the food.
Friday night:

1 dozen hamburger buns (whole wheat) $0.99 (got them onslae and froze until needed)
8 burger patties (these were from M&M meats, and it was 16 in the box for $9.99) $4.99
8 cheese slices (from a package of 48 thin slices for $6.99 equalling $0.15/slice) $1.20
So the grand total of our dinner in was $7.18 approximately, and not including taxes

Saturday night:

1 Vegetarian Lasaugna (bought at Walmart, not even on sale, was $12.00, cut into 4 pieces, $4.00 per person) $12.00
So the grand total was $12.00 plua taxes.
Yes, it was an expensive meal, but most prepackaged meals cost more than making them yourselves. With me not being well, dinner has to be easy, and it was a choice between this, or plain Kraft Dinner*...and I ate, so I was happy with the choice!  ;)

Due to my be tarty on some posts, I'm going to give you all another of my favorite recipes!

Vaughn Nuggets
By Deb Vaughn

Why go to the Arches when you can make your own??? This kid-tested and approved recipe is adapted from one that appeared in Better Homes and Gardens several years ago.

1 lb chicken -- deboned and skinned
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper
1 egg beaten OR 1/4 cup egg substitute
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup bread crumbs

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the pieces in 1 inch pieces OR pound flat and cut with cookie cutters into fun shapes. Combine the flour, parsley, seasonings thoroughly and put in a small plastic bag.

Add chicken pieces, a few at a time to flour mixture. Close bag and shake pieces to coat them.

Combine milk and egg in a small bowl. Put bread crumbs in another bowl. Dip the flour coated pieces, 1/4 at a time, in the egg/milk mixture and then roll them in the crumbs.

Place coated chicken pieces in a single layer on a large ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes until pieces are no longer pink and the juice runs clear.

VARIATIONS: add cayenne pepper, oregano, curry or chinese 5 spice to the flour mixture instead of tarragon and sage. These are really tasty and make a crowd-pleasing appetizer.

FREEZE: on clean baking sheet. Remove to a freezer bag.

SERVING: Remove what is needed and nuke for 30 seconds or bake at 400 for 5 minutes. SERVES: 8 (more if served as an appetizer)
I had to search for where I had originally gotten this from, it is a OAMC recipe (Once A Month Cooking), from http://mysite.verizon.net/vaughnharsh/OAMC/OAMC.shtml . I used to do this kind of cooking alot, but found it to bee too much work, so now I just make a recipe frome them, or double something I know can be frozen and double it. I put the remainder of the meal into the freezer for another night. Alot of people do something similar to that, but don't think about it, like making a big batch of spaghetti sauce, and freeze the rest in meal amounts in the freezer.

Hope you enjoyed this "tasty tidbit" of a recipe!   ;)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday night

Sadly, I did not make dinner tonight, ok...not so sadly for me!  ;)
It is my youngest sons' Birthday today, so we went to Boston Pizza , to which my Mom and Dad-in-law were so kind to pay for! My son had a wonderful evening, and got to enjoy being sang to by the staff (how sweet is that?) when they brought the cake out.
Sorry that it isn't a dinner breakdown or anything, but I will share my FAVORITE recipe!

Easy Chocolate Fudge

I got this from the Eagle Brand* website years ago, and everyone loves it (I usually break down bits of candy cane at Christmas, or Smarties*, instead of nuts (in case someone's allergic to them).

3 cups chocolate chips
1 can Eagle Brand* sweetened condensed milk
dash salt
1/2-1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla extract.

In a sauce pan, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and salt on low heat. Once it is malted and thoroughly mixed, remove from heat, stir in nuts and vanilla. Spread evenly in an eight or nine inch square baking pan that is lined with wax paper. Chill two hours, or until firm. Turn fudge over onto a cutting board, peel off waxed paper, and cut into squares. Store in refridgerator covered.

This stuff is so deliciously rich and chocolatey that I, a confirmed chocoholic, can only have a small amount at a time! Not to mention, that for fudge, this recipe is easy, and a batch can be made for under ten dollars! Hope this will tide you over until tomorrow!  ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday night dinner

Well, tonight we had shakie bakie chicken thighs, with potatoes and a fruit smoothie. I know, not your normal dinner, and not always cheap, but enjoyable!  ;)

So the break down is this:
10 chicken thighs (bought a family pack that I divided into three bags of ten on sale and froze for about $15.00) approximately $5.00
6 red potatoes approximately $0.99
Frozen fruit (I buy BIG bags of mixed berries onsale for $16.99) about 2 cups worth approx. $4.00
Vanilla ice cream (bought a 4L container onsale for $3.99) about 3 cups approx. $0.60
orange juice (buy in frozen concentrate for $1.25, makes about 8 cups) about 1 cup approx $0.16
Milk (I buy the 4L jugs for $4.50) about 2 cups approx $0.60
The grand total for the meal is $11.35!

I know, not the healthiest beverage in the world, and I probably should have made another vegetable to go with the meal, but honestly, I didn't feel like it for once. I also didn't make the drink, my eldset son did it for us! I figure that technically we had all four food groups, but I do admit that the sugar and fat content were REALLY high because of the drink. I also have to say that it was WELL worth it!  ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Night dinner

Well...I didn't make anything from scratch today, as I wound up with a really hectic day, so we wound up with hamburgers, with cheese slices. This is the breakdown:
1 dozen hamburger buns (whole wheat) $0.99 (got them onslae and froze until needed)
8 burger patties (these were from M&M meats, and it was 16 in the box for $9.99) $4.99
8 cheese slices (from a package of 48 thin slices for $6.99 equalling $0.15/slice) $1.20
So the grand total of our dinner in was $7.18 approximately, and not including taxes.

Just think, there were 5 leftover buns from dinner, and tomorrow I makin' bacon (back bacon onsale in reduced meats section for $1.99, which I naturally froze until needed), and we'll be making bacon and eggers at home for breakfast in the morning! Fairly cheap, and healthy breakfast! Not to mention that if you cook the bacon ahead of time, it's super fast in the microwave(just remember to break the yolk, or it explodes into bits), just 60 on a 1200w microwave on high(for the egg). Don't forget to toast and butter the bun! MMMM, tasty!  :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday night dinner

Well...I went all out tonight, let me tell you...
I got my eldest son to make some mac'n'cheese, then I added the leftover chicken from last night and a can of peas, phew! It was hard, but I manages..lol!  ;)
The price breakdown:
two boxes of Kraft Dinner*  $2.00 (Walmart had them for $1.oo each)
one leftover chicken leg  FREE (it was counted in last nights meal)
one can of peas $0.88 (got it on sale!)
So that makes the grand total of tonights dinner at...wait for it  *Drum Roll*
$2.88! For the four of us, although, quite honestly, I didn't eat much, as I wasn't hungry. Next time I might add another box of KD* because the boys' really like it, it wasn't a big deal, as they got to have leftover B-Day cake (which is why I been slacking on posting meals, one night my in-laws bought pizza, another night we got take-out...using a coupon for the chicken dinner at A&W).

Any-who...that was dinner tonight! Tomorrow I might get a little fancier and actually make something from scratch! I guess you'll have to "toon in tomorrow for another episode of 'What's For Dinner TONIGHT?'!"  ;)

Din Din

For tonights dinner we had chicken legs, with boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli. My youngest made the chicken, no idea all the spices he used, but garlic and oregano were definately two of them! My eldest son made the rest.
Price break down:
5 Chicken legs $6.63
6 red potatoes $0.99 (approx)
1 trunk of broccoli $0.75 (approx)
so the approximate total for the dinner was $8.37 for the four of us, and one leg left over to make sandwiches for lunch tomorrow!  :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Biking time is here again! :)

I know, it's hard to believe it, but biking time is here again! Just in time, what with the high prices in gas, and I hear they're just going to continue to rise over the summer! I think what excites me most is the bike I had to store almost three years ago is with me again! She may be old, she may be rusty, but she is TOTALY me! I have to take her to a bike shop to get her back to ship shape order, since she's a three wheel bike (yes...and adult trike, and I'm cool enough to own her!). Normally I take care of her by greasing the chain, checking the tires, tightening/loosening the brakes, but her shifting gears are unusual (hence the trip to some bike doctors). Apparently she got a little rusty while she was away too (I'm so sorry baby! ~yes...I talk about my bike like some guys talk about their cars...I never said I was normal!). So my goal is to get her into pedalling condition, then I'll work on getting the rust out of her fenders, making the fenders into a nice chrome look again if I can. After that, I'm hoping to get the rust off her body and paint her to look like new again.
What can I say, I like going down to the grocery store on my back, and being able to bring the groceries home in the basket. You'd be surprised how much I can get in that one basket!
But seriously, if you have a bike, and are blanching at the gas prices as I am, get out a big SRTONG packsack, bike on down, and pick those groceries up! If you're not keen on carrying all your groceries on your back, and can't really afford a bike trailer, check out http://www.instructables.com/pages/search/search.jsp?cx=partner-pub-1783560022203827%3Anpr2q7v5m6t&cof=FORID%3A11&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=bike+trailer , they might have one that you can make for almost nothing but hard work!  :)
Happy biking all!  :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dinner from a dollar store...

Well...tonight we ate, and everone enjoyed it! A simple recipe that anyone can do...it's SO easy! I feed a family of four, and we all have adult appetite.

3 Packages of a noodle side dish (we had the Alfredo)
2 cans of cooked chicken
1 stump of broccoli

Simply follow the directions of the side dish recipe, but also add the broccoli and chicken (I included the water from the chicken can). So our dinner tonight came to a GRAND total of $6 plus tax. I know that broccoli isn't sold at the dollar store, but I did pay a dollar for it. I also include the "trunk" of the broccoli, I like them and why waste?

Tomorrow I won't be making dinner, as I am going to a spaghetti and ribs dinner/fundraiser for my youngest son's end-of-the-year school trip (when I heard it was ribs...I said "I'm SOOO there!").
But I think I will make an attempt at posting my recipes from our dinners, and trying to cut them down to cost. Naturally they won't all be as inexpensive as this one, but I'll put them on anyways...after all, if you can't spend money on what you'd love to eat occassionally, then what's the point in living?  :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Who says chivalry is dead?!

I went to Quesnel, to drop off The Stew Magazine at it's pick-up spots, only to lock my keys in the car! I was mortified! I was far from home, hubby wouldn't even get home from work for several hours (let alone the time to get my spare key to me), and I definately didn't have $50 to get a professional to open it for me. I was up a creek without a paddle, until two wonderful gentlemen came to my rescue!


They tried to open it with what was on hand, but in the end, one went all the way home to get a wire coat hanger! After the hanger arrived, they were able to wrangle my keys from off the seat, and out through the slightly open window!


If you two gents are reading, you guys were my heroes for the day, and thank you so VERY much again! :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

May's Web Links

There are many sites that you will find online on how to set up a filing system, here are a few to get you started:

http://www.pilestofiles.com/organizing-paper-files.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_2078916_organize-paper-files.html

http://www.the-organizing-boutique.com/organizing-paper-files.html

http://www.smead.com/hot-topics/organizing-paper-files-1000.asp

http://ezinearticles.com/?Organizing-Paper-Files-With-PEACE&id=1114566

http://www.housecleaningcentral.com/en/cleaning-tips/organizing/organizing-paper-files.html

http://organizing.tips.net/T007716_Organizing_Paper_Files.html

http://www.easyhomeorganizing.com/organizing_paper_files.htm

http://www.styleathome.com/organizing/organizing-ideas/organizing-101-organizing-paperwork/a/1160

http://www.bellaonline.com/subjects/7115.asp

http://www.unclutter-organize-transform.com/organizing-paper-files.html

http://www.home-organizing-ideas.com/organize-file-cabinet.html



I have to say though, that my favourite would be from the T.V. show "Til Dept Do Us Part". You can even watch episodes of it online at www.slice.ca. I know it doesn't focus on how to get your files in order, but there is a link, http://www.slice.ca/Advice/SliceBlog/BlogPost.aspx?sectionid=42&postid=28244, and it does tell you how to get your filing in order. The thing I like most about the show, is that it helps you to understand that you need to have your files organized, in order to keep you budget in line. If your files are a mess, then how can you make sure that you have your bills paid, let alone making sure that you are getting ahead. That is what I want for my readers, for them to be able to get ahead, and be financially secure for the future. So with that said, I hope you enjoyed my article with The Stew, and that you find out more on how to wrangle your finances, I know I am! :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Different Cat Tree Pics! :)

Here are a few cat trees that I have seen on the web. Sadly I do not recall WHERE on the web I saw them (so if any of these pics are yours, please tell me, and I naturally will give you the credit that is due to you!).






I thought this one was a great space saving idea, and cute to boot!  :)




This last one is considered to be the LARGEST Cat tree in the world, and ia at the Angels for Animals in Canfield, Ohio, U.S.A. They are like the SPCA, also is a not-for-profit animal adoption center, and I added this one because it it HUGE and simply amazing!

I also have made my own cat tree using recycled materials, you can read about it here: http://fine-frugality.blogspot.ca/2012/03/diy-tuesdaya-little-late.html , along with pictures and such for extended understanding here:  http://fine-frugality.blogspot.ca/2011/03/april-article-picture-additions.html hope you all enjoy!  :)