Personally, I find a lunch consisting of a warm grilled cheese sandwich and a hot bowl of tomato soup to be one of the all-time great comfort foods that exists. Brings back warm, fuzzy memories of both my mom and my grandma. Continue reading
Category Archives: saving money
Groceries are one of the few flexible items in a family budget, but it can sometimes be challenging to find creative ways to save on regular family food costs. The following are some simple tips for reducing your grocery expenses. If you’re an old pro at frugal living, some of these may be old hat, but I’m amazed at how many people still find these types of tips helpful.
Plan ahead. Whether you’re cooking your meals ahead of time to store in the freezer, or just planning your menu and shopping lists in advance, it helps to know what you’re going to eat, and when. With fewer last minute food-related decisions, this also helps keep your family away from developing a first-name relationship with the pizza delivery guy! (And your own home cooking is probably a lot healthier than the pizza guy’s wares, anyway.) Continue reading
This is one of those recipes my family can never get enough. I remember my youngest daughter when she was about three, holding out her plate with a huge smile and asking in a sweet little voice, “More yummy noodles, Mommy?” Always a pleasure when the kiddos enjoy an easy meal the grown-up folks love, too. Continue reading
In a hurry for breakfast but have a few minutes to scramble an egg? With no more effort, you can make this simple breakfast sandwich (or substitute the English Muffin for a corn tortilla for a gluten-free burrito option).
This recipe is for a single serving, but simply multiply each ingredient by the number of people you’re feeding. It doesn’t take much longer to scramble one egg for yourself or four for the family.
And making a breakfast sandwich at home is so much cheaper than buying one on the way to work at the local drive-thru. Tastes better, too.
Enjoy! 😀 Continue reading
Not sure how long this special deal/sale will last, but I thought I’d let you all know that the original Frozen Assets book is currently discounted by 42% on Amazon! That’s actually more of a discount than what I get when I order these books myself directly from my publisher. Seriously!
So if you’ve been meaning to order your own copy of Frozen Assets, this is definitely the time to do it.
The following recipe is not only easy and delicious, it’s also a simple way to use canned, dried, and other easily stored food items in a delicious homemade soup. Excerpted and adapted with permission from Mix and Match Recipes: Creative Ideas for Busy Kitchens by me, Deborah Taylor-Hough (this title is currently out-of-print).
Mix-and-Match Soup (8 generous servings)
Broth (choose one)
- Tomato: One 12-ounce can of tomato paste plus two 16-ounce cans of tomatoes with juice (chopped) plus water to equal 10 cups total
- Chicken/Turkey: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water
- Beef: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water
Protein (choose one — 1 pound or 2 cups, cooked)
- Ground beef, browned
- Leftover meatballs or meatloaf, chopped
- Cooked chicken or turkey (cut up)
- Ham (cut up)
- Frankfurters, sliced (or any sausage or Kielbasa)
- Pepperoni, sliced
- Beans, cooked or canned (pintos, kidney, Great Northern, etc.)
Grain (choose 1 or 2 for a total of 2 cups)
- Rice, cooked (any variety)
- Barley, cooked
- Pasta, raw
- Dumplings (add near end of cooking time)
Vegetables (raw, cooked or canned, choose 2 or more for a total of 1 to 2 cups)
- Green beans
- Peas or pea pods
- Bell pepper
- Zucchini (add raw)
Seasonings (choose 2 to 4 spices, 1 to 2 teaspoons each)
- Cayenne (dash)
- Onion powder
To Prepare Soup:
Bring the broth to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add all of the ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer one hour.
Slow Cooker Prep:
Pour the boiling stock and other ingredients into a slow cooker and simmer for 8 to 12 hours or overnight on LOW setting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Taylor-Hough is the mother of three grown and nearly grown kids still at home, a full-time college student, a displaced homemaker trying to make ends meet on a limited budget, and the author of several older (but still in print) books including the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series. You can visit Debi online at: http://www.SimpleMom.com
- 1 can (12-ounce) frozen apple juice concentrate
- 1 bag fresh cranberries
Heat apple juice in a medium saucepan until boiling (don’t add water, just use the frozen juice straight from the can). Sort out any bad cranberries, then add the entire bag to the boiling apple juice. Stir. Reduce heat to Medium. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries “pop” and their innards burst out into the juice. Turn off heat. Press any unpopped cranberries against side of saucepan to squeeze out their insides. Stir thoroughly. Place in refrigerator for several hours. The sauce will thicken as it cools. It’s best to make this the day before to make sure it has plenty of time to cool and thicken.
Easy peasy. And so yummy! (And healthy, too!)
- 12 eggs, beaten
- 1 pound bulk sausage, cooked (or crumbled links)
- 1/2 cup chunky salsa (your choice of heat)
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 24 small flour tortillas (you can also use whole wheat)
- 1 green pepper, finely diced
- 6 potatoes, shredded and fried until cooked through (or use hashbrowns)
- Jalapeno slices
- Small can chopped green chiles
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 tomato, peeled and chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced with tops
This recipe makes about 24 breakfast burritos but it will depend on how generous you want to be with each burrito’s filling — I tend to add lots of the “extras” listed at the end of the article so that’s probably how I usually get the full two dozen … so your mileage may vary.
I’ve even taken these frozen burritos with us when we’ve gone camping. I just place the bag of frozen burritos into the ice chest, and by the time we’re ready for breakfast the first morning, the burritos are fully thawed. Then I simply reheat them in a large skillet over the campstove or fire grate.
It’s that time of year when I start thinking about yummy autumn-inspired soups (I’ll be posting a recipe soon!), but this vegetarian chili recipe is a great way to use up the current crop of harvest-time veggies and still have sort of a summertime feel to the meal. Enjoy!
Autumn Veggie Chili
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cans (15 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 tsp chili powder
- 1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes in juice
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1) In large saucepan (5 quart) heat olive oil until hot. Add carrots, parsnips and onion. Cook until veggies are tender and beginning to brown (about 6 to 8 minutes). Stir occassionally.
2) On large plate, mash 1 cup of the drained beans with the back of a fork or a potato masher. The mashed beans help to thicken the sauce so it seems more “meatlike.”
3) Stir chili powder into veggies. Add tomatoes and their juice, all beans (whole and mashed), and 2 cups of water. Heat to boiling, breaking up tomatoes with stirring spoon as its heating. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes, stirring occassionally. Stir in cilantro leaves just before serving.
Makes four servings.
Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for more people or for freezing ahead. Feel free to experiment with other fresh and in-season veggies: Zucchini, green pepper, potatoes, yams. Yum!
A friend of mine shared this recipe for make-ahead apple pie filling that I plan on using when the apples ripen later this year. You might want to keep it in your recipe files until apple season, too!
Make-Ahead Apple Pie Filling
18 cups peeled apple slices
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 cups water
In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; set aside. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, combine sugar, cornstarch. cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add water; bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until the apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes. Ladle into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1-1/2 hours. Seal and freeze; store up to 12 months. Yield: 5 1/2 qts. (enough for about five 9-inch pies).