Posts Tagged 'recession'

25 Money-Saving Tips for Frugal Cooking and Shopping (Best of 2009)

i LOOOVED this blog post from thekitchn.com!  i am always finding ways to pinch pennies and frugal my cooking.  with this economy, recession proofing your kitchen and habits is the only way to survive.  check this out:

thekitchn.com’s Money-Saving tips:

Frugality has been on everyone’s minds these days, and cooking at home is one of the best ways to save money and nourish yourself and your home at the same time. From good yet inexpensive cuts of meat to good ideas for using up the last bits of your ingredients, here’s a look back at some of our discussions and tips on saving money in the kitchen.

Advertisements

Unemployment and Burritos

Well this (pardon my French) shit storm of economy finally caught up with me in the form of being laid off last week. At first I could really see the silver lining to the whole situation because I loved my job and Im one of those weirdos that actually enjoys working. But as the days have gone on Ive started to be okay with this whole unemployment thing. Ok of course Id prefer to be gainfully employed, but my former company gave me a nice severance which allows me the time to take a look at my career and take my time finding new employment. Its also giving me some time to get back to doing some things that I love and havent had much time for lately…like exercise, photography and of course, cooking.

Right after I got laid off I saw an interesting article on Divine Caroline called Can Unemployment Be the Healthiest Time of Your Life? all about another professional woman who was laid off and found time to cook and enjoy life more. Now I do cook almost every day, unless my boyfriend and I are going out, I make dinner every night. Breakfast and lunch, however, were always grabbed on the go or at the office. But now Im realizing “hey theres two more meals I can make in a day!”

So here I am embarking on a journey of unemployment..of course this wont last forever…as much as I enjoy having some free time financial woes will begin to bear down. But for now Im going to take my former boss’ advice and take a few weeks of personal vacation. I really want to use this time to explore new money saving ideas around the house that I can continue to use when I find a new job. Thankfully my fellow domestic geek Katie is a pro at maximizing home cooked meals so I got a good guide to go off of. In fact, yesterday I used one of her ideas to make a tasty money saving breakfast/snack!

A few days before my boyfriend and I had some friends over to our house and we had some salsa and bean dip. The bean dip was made simply by mashing some chili beans (not canned premade chili, but spiced chili beans) with some garlic, dried onion and cumin. So I decided instead of tossing out the leftovers, I would make mini breakfast burritos!

Mini Breakfast Burritos
Ingredients
Bean dip or black beans or re-fried beans
8 eggs
1 red or yellow pepper
1/2 yellow onion
salsa
soy milk or regular milk
corn tortillas
cheese

Crack 4 eggs open on a bowl and add 4 egg whites to the mixture and beat with a fork. Add a splash of either soy milk or regular milk, dont add too much though, you dont want the eggs to become runny. Add a bit of salt and pepper and set aside. Preheat a skillet or cast iron pan and add a bit of oil and add the egg mixture. Dice the onions and pepper and add them to the eggs and slowly cook the whole mixture so as not to burn the eggs. Once the eggs are nice and fluffy remove from heat and set them aside.

Next take the corn tortillas and lightly wet them and throw them on an oiled skillet for a few seconds to soften them up. This is a little trick my boyfriend’s mother taught me for making nice soft corn tortillas that are easy to fold. Dont cook them too long or they will get crispy!

To assemble the burritos take a spoonful of the bean dip or whatever canned bean you have on hand (pinto or black, make sure to drain them!) and spread it in a line on the tortilla. Add a spoonful of eggs, salsa and a bit of whatever leftover cheese you have available. Now these tortillas are small so you wont be able to roll them like normal burritos but rater like a taquito. It might take a try to two to figure out the ratio of the ingredients…you dont want too much or you wont be able to roll the burritos.

After you roll each burrito wrap it in plastic wrap and throw it in the freezer. Now you should have a nice little fleet of breakfast burritos ready for a quick breakfast or snack! Just pop them in the microwave for about a minute and a half and youre good to go!

<3 seanalyn

leftover bagel ideas

i love these ideas from thekitchn.com!!!  you can also freeze bagels so they do not go bad and pull them out to defrost when you are craving one!

1. Make Sandwiches – Because leftover bagels are a little too chewy for our taste, we pack the bagels and the sandwich fixings separately in our lunch. At work, we toast the bagels before assembling them into warm, crunchy sandwich.

2. Make Bagel Pizzas – A favorite from when we were kids, and still a great quick weeknight meal! We smear the bagel with a little tomato sauce, a sprinkling of cheese, and whatever pizza toppings we’re in the mood for, and then we bake them under the broiler or in a toaster oven until the cheese is bubbly.

3. In Salad – Leftover bagels may be too stale to eat on their own, but we’ve found that we really like them torn up into big, soft croutons in our salad. They soak up a bit of the dressing, and add some substance to the salad. Sometimes we toast the bagel first for a little crunch.

4. In Frittata – Like leftover pasta, we’ll throw cubes of bagel into a dinner frittata. Think of this as a quick, extra-eggy bread pudding!

5. In Bread Pudding – And while we’re at it, why not make savory bread pudding?! We don’t usually have enough bagels left for a full-sized pudding, but we can make smaller ones in individual ramekins. Just fill a ramekin with bagel chunks, cheese, and veggies, then pour a mixture of egg and milk over the top. Let it sit for a little while and then bake at 350°.

<3 kt

leftover cooked rice ideas

yo, we are in a recession!  using EVERYTHING and wasting nothing is key to survival.  i had a fiesta bbq and made way too much rice.  now i need ideas of what to do with it.  searching the internet, i found some unique recipes:

  • workitmom.com is a working moms’ blog and they always have fantastic ideas:

1.) Fried rice. Scramble an egg, add diced whatever leftover meat you have (smoked ham and roasted chicken are always winners, though I’ve even used up leftover Chinese food with awesome results), diced carrots and celery, diced onion, and any leftover cooked vegetables from the fridge. Mix together soy sauce, a little honey, and rice wine vinager; pour it over, toss to coat, and serve it up.

2.) Quiche with a rice crust. Combine rice, an ounce or two of grated cheese (something hard, like cheddar or swiss), and an egg; press into a pie plate and bake until set. Then pour in the quiche filling and bake some more.

3.) Thicken a soup or stew. Seriously, just add it to prepared broth by the handful. If you add too much, call it porridge. No? Fine… make some chicken soup and add just enough so that you can call it chicken soup with rice (singing the song is optional).

4.) Rice pudding. This recipe from Slashfood.com is easy and delicious. If you serve it for breakfast, your kids will think they’re getting away with something.

5.) Jambalaya. Think fried rice with a Cajun twist. Pick a recipe here, or make up one of your own: Start with a diced sweet onion sauteed in olive oil. Add crumbled hot sausage and cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Add some tiny shrimp (thaw ‘em first) and chopped bell peppers, toss in the leftover rice, and douse with a tomato-based sauce. Authentic? Nah. Tasty, quick, and economical? Yes, indeed.

  1. Garlic Rice – This is a simple Philippine fried recipe that calls for adding pantry staples plus some ground pork, but after reading comments made on the recipe from users, the pork can be omitted and vegetables such as mushrooms and green peppers can be added.
  2. Calas – A sweet rice fritter made with leftover rice, flour, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Like the garlic rice above, this too can be made with things you most likely already have in your pantry.
  3. Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice – If you’re looking to use up your leftover rice and the baskets full of tomatoes you’re bringing in from your garden, here’s a  Giada De Laurentiis that will help you. I’ve never made a recipe from Giada that I didn’t like.
  4. Anything Rice – This recipe takes your leftover rice, some eggs, onions, green peppers, and anything else you have leftover in your frig and creates a meal out of it.
  5. Rockin’ Rice Pudding – Tyler Florence’s recipe for rice pudding using three cups of cooked rice. Hmmm. I have three cups leftover from last night. Guess what I’ll be making tonight!
  6. One other tip – Cooked white rice can be frozen after it’s cooled, so if you can’t use it right away, put it in an airtight container and freeze it.

let me know if you have any suggestions too!

<3 kt

Dumbrella booth at Comic Con inspires me

the Dumbrella booth at Comic Con had a clever sign made out of cardboard!

a cheap and green way to utilize regular household items for decorating purposes.  i am totally using this idea at my next party! :)

<3 kt

homemade parmesan croutons

i have a leftover day old baguette that i do not want to go to waste.  in these times, and with economy, streatching food and money is on everyones’ minds. i thought i would share my homemade parmesan crouton recipe!  you can use any type of bread (hot dog or hamberger buns, sandwich bread, english muffins, bagels, etc).

photo

directions

preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  take your day old bread and slice it into small pieces.  take a baking pan and sprinkle with olive oil.  add bread slices, then sprinkle with more olive oil.  next top with spices (i used garlic powder, paprika, and dried basil) and fresh parmesan .  bake for 8-10 minutes.

throw on top of a salad or some soup and enjoy!

<3 kt

4th of July BBQ leftover ideas

everyone is going to BBQ this weekend for the fourth of July.  however, what in the world are you going to do with all of those leftovers???  i’ve searched high and low for some budget friendly ideas!!!  check them out:

1.  leftover hot dog & hamburger buns

i love chopping buns into little cubes, dousing them with olive oil, a little minced garlic, fresh grated Parmesan, and a dash of red pepper flakes.  after preheating the oven to 400, i throw them on a cookie sheet and bake them for 10 minutes.  presto!  homemade croutons!!!

2.  leftover sausages, hot dogs, and brauts

slice these up and toss in an omelet, spaghetti, on a pizza, or in a burrito.  or slice and freeze them for a quick meal down the road!

3.  leftover corn on the cob

you can always toss them back on the grill to reheat them.  you can use the kernels in some homemade salsa.  i love cutting the kernels off of the cob and adding them to a pasta salad!  here’s my favorite whole foods recipe:

Corn & Roasted Tomato Salad

Ingredients

4 ears corn, shucked, kernels removed
6 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chopped spinach
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 pound dried penne or fusilli pasta
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a medium skillet, dry-roast corn over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Place in a large mixing bowl with tomatoes, garlic, spinach and blue cheese. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain thoroughly. Add hot pasta to bowl with corn mixture. Stir to wilt spinach and blend ingredients. Drizzle with lemon juice and oil. Toss with walnuts, season with salt and pepper and serve.

feel free to send me your ideas for BBQ leftovers too!  hope you had a great 4th!

<3 kt


Follow Domestic Geeks on Twitter!

Past Domestic Geekery