Friday, October 20, 2017

Simple shopping lists; Easy menus and no more shopping after the 15th (by me)

uy it.How do you do your shopping lists? I've found it's easiest by store. 
Sometimes I use my iphone under notes. Other times, I'm old school, like below. 
If I leave it behind on the fridge, I call my teenager or husband and have them send me
a photo of it attached to a text message. Boom, done. Not bad for someone in their 50s, right?

I put together my menus in a more simple way now too. I just do a list of all the main dishes my kids want to cook for the month. Then I put the date next to it when it's done. I make sure I have the ingredients for those meals by the 15th. 

This month, I told the family that I am not going to the grocery store again (after the 15th). I also said I have a $20 emergency fund for anything we need. But one of them has to go buy it. Guess what? It's the 20th and we're down to 1 gallon of milk. Yes - we drink about 2 gallons in 3 days around here. It'll be interesting to see if someone steps up and goes to get milk before Saturday at midnight.

Spring Cleaning tips

Quick and easy - I gotta try these. It seems like I finally get around to my Spring cleaning in October.
Oh well,....

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

Fish Tacos with great sauce

I'm the first to admit, I have only had one fish taco in my life. So, I don't really know what I'm doing. But I like the way these turned out.
Here goes...

I made the sauce a few days ago. The fish steaks were thawed. And the homemade refried beans I made awhile ago and were also thawed; ready to go. The rice was leftover from another meal and the cilantro was already chopped. The cheese was also shredded and ready. All of this prep made the meal a breeze.

See below for the original recipe:

I used 3 tilapia steaks and cut the pieces so that they were half as tall; into about the size of a thumb (hopefully that's not gory). I like the fact that there's no heavy breading
I just used the marinade and cooked the fish as instructed. I didn't do the slaw.

Placing the warmed up refried beans and rice on the table with all of the cold sides, everyone made their own taco - on flour tortillas.

It was marvelous!

The fish taco sauce was really good - nothing was too spicy.
Full disclosure: I did not use capers. I know, the post says that this is the best part of the sauce, but I just didn't want the extra expense.
See below for that recipe:

Monday, August 28, 2017

Garden #2

My garden this year was hideous. I mean, like really the worst one I've had in over ten years. Not only was I gone for most of the critical planting and harvesting weeks of the spring and summer, but it was really, really, really hot! Thankfully my teenager planted peas early and they were amazing. Unfortunately the last 1/3rd were wasted because we were gone when they should've been harvested.

I bought some cantaloupe, investing in plants which were already started and planted them with a lot of hope. They're doing well so far.

Then, on Saturday, I planted again. I'm hoping that the lettuce, spinach and radishes make it. I also planted zucchini. The four 2016 seeds would've probably not been good next summer, so, why not?

Wish me luck!

27 September update:  Cantaloupe looks good! radishes and lettuce still going. Not sure the zucchini will ever make it.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Apple Pie and Steel Cut Oatmeal Dessert (Crockpot)

27 September Update: I've made this three times now -usually doubling the batch because it's so good. It even freezes well! Love it.

I was looking for a dessert recipe that would use the crock pot, coconut oil and oatmeal and this popped up. I'm super excited that it uses Steel Cut Oats.

I made some variations - as I almost always do. I used 2 tsp of coconut oil and freshly grated nutmeg.

Substitutions - I warmed 2 cups of water in the microwave for 1 min and added 1 cup of dehydrated apples. This I let sit for 20 min (or til the apples are soft).

Meanwhile, I put 1 cup whole milk in the crockpot with the other ingredients. Cooked all of this on high for two hours; adding the apples once they were soft. We'll see how it does, considering you typically don't add real dairy until the last 30 min or so with a normal recipe.

See original recipe below and at  

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats*
  • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 medium apples, chopped
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 T maple syrup (feel free to sub honey for vegans) - note: I don't like my oats super sweet so feel free to add more for added sweetness
  • splash of lemon juice
  1. Add all ingredients to your slow cooker. Stir.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.**
  3. Give it a good stir.
  4. Top with your favourite toppings. I like peanut butter and crunchy apples.
  5. Store leftovers in fridge for up to 1 week. To reheat add a splash of almond milk and heat up in microwave.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

snacks for after school; crunchy mixes
I'll try some of these combos as soon as I go shopping next week.

Here's the very simple one I did today with a few variations...

My family recipe is called "Nuts & Bolts:"

Preheat oven to 200F-350F (100C-175C, off the top of my head)

2 cups each of the following:    USED: 3 c Toasted Wheat, 1 c Shredded Wheat
Rice Chex, Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, Plain Cheerios. (In the past I've included shredded wheat*, the little ones, as well as crispix, which is wheat+corn chex, fused into a hexagonal hybrid). Generic cereals are just fine for this application.

2 cups of pretzel sticks, broken in half or thirds. (Roughly-- the goal is to get something that won't jab you in the cheek by surprise because it's too long). I measure first, then break the pretzels.  USED: 1/2 c broken pretzels

1 can of Planter's Mixed nuts with Peanuts (or without, and then add a handful of peanuts)

1 cup or more of Sesame Sticks (originally these came in a can of Planter's snack mix, which was basically Mixed Nuts + sesame sticks...but they're my favorite part).

USED abt 1/2 of the liquid mix below - 3/4 c. butter, garlic powder, smoked paprika
Melt (microwave) a stick of butter (half a cup or about 100-115g) to liquid. Mix with a teaspoon (I heap this one) of garlic powder (don't use garlic salt-- I'm not making that mistake again) and a teaspoon of paprika (sweet is how mom made it, but I prefer smoked), and a pinch or more of cayenne, or else some hot sauce of your choice: I've used Cholula, Tapatio, Tabasco, as well as chipotle powder. Hot stuff is optional. Other stuff that would work here: a few shots of worchestershire (umami!), roasted garlic, finely chopped raw garlic, fresh ground (fine-to-medium) black pepper, but you can add that later to taste.

Mix everything so the butter mixture coats everything (stir while pouring to keep the spices suspended); I usually do this in gallon ziplock bags, whereas mom had the patience to gently stir and turn in her baking (casserole) dish. Either way, combine and get it into a casserole dish. You can do this part in batches, keeping in mind it multiplies your time. 

*If you use shredded wheat, keep it out until the butter's on everything else, then add. The fact is that you're pouring a slightly sludgy butter mixture over a pile of solids, and it starts out unevenly distributed, and shredded wheat soaks up more than its fair share at this stage.

Mom always did this at about 200F for 25-30 minutes, but I prefer closer to 300-350 for half the time. Stir/turn as possible halfway through. If doing this in batches, have a strategy to remove the first batch from your casserole (to a foil-lined sheet-pan, e.g.) to free up the dish for the next batch. Baking it is not a science, but you want to warm the butter until it's mostly absorbed, and then toast everything, basically. 

Let cool before eating-- the oilier nuts hang on to heat for a little while, so let a brazil nut be your thermomet

Find all your Frugal Friends info right here now!