广东快乐十分手机版-注册送金

Showing posts with label kitchen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitchen. Show all posts

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Don't throw away your MONEY!

Don't throw away stale cookies, donuts, cake I mean MONEY! Throwing away dried out baked goods is the same thing as throwing away your money. If you paid to buy those baked goods or paid to buy the ingredients to make those baked goods then you should eat every last bite. Even throwing away just one cookie is wasting 4% of your money (that you spent on those cookies)!

Let's put that into perspective...pretend you make $50,000 a year and you throw away that last cookie (4%) in every area of your life. It may seem like nothing but with that mentality in one year you would have throw away $2,000! Now that will make you think twice next time you decide to just throw away something that you paid good money for!

So what do you do with stale baked goods?...re-moisten them by placing a piece of bread with the stale baked goods in an air tight container. Wait a couple of hours and you will have a soft cookie again! And if you don't think you will eat all 24 cookies (which never happens for me unless I make a double or triple batch) put the extras in the freezer for later. Or make extra on purpose and plan to freeze some. I usually have extra muffins, loaves of bread, banana bread, cookies, and other goodies stocked up in my freezer. You can also re purpose a lot of those goods into crusts and crumbles to be used in new recipes (think Chopped Leftover Edition)!



Once you are done using the slice of bread, which has now become stale, make sure not to waste it! You can use it as panko, bread crumbs, or bake into croutons.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Saving Money on Ground Beef - Taco Meat Recipe






Meat is often the most expensive part of any meal, especially if you try to buy high quality organic grass fed ground beef like us. Even after shopping around we still pay $4.99/lb at Costco, but we looking into buying part of a cow from a local farmer (post to come!).  An easy way we have found to save money on meat is simply to use less with each meal. Meals with meat as an ingredient such as chicken noodle soup, lasagna, or enchiladas use a lot less meat than a meat centered dish such as steak, pork chops, or marinated chicken. You can easily decreased your grocery bill by replacing one meat-centered meal a week with a vegetable or bean-centered dish.

Another method to reduce your meat budget is to stretch your meat! Not with artificial fillers like many fast food restaurants, but instead with wholesome legumes such as lentils. The easiest example of this is with taco meat. After cooking our ground beef we add cooked lentils and then season them both with taco seasoning. Most people can hardly tell the difference which we observed when we cook tacos for a group of young adults at a weekend retreat. Cooking for 40 people on a small non-profit budget teaches you to be frugal!



The ratio of meat to lentils is up to you and can easily be adjusted. For those that are not used to lentils we recommend starting with 75% meat to 25% lentils and transitioning to 50/50 (we go even further and usually use 75% lentils to only 25% meat). With anything, change can be hard so gradually transitioning to more lentils is usually better. When you first start eating more beans and lentils you may notice increased flatulence (farting! lol). The good news is that your body adjusts within two weeks. So that old saying schoolyard saying - Beans, beans...



.. is only half true! Even if you only cut your meat from 100% to 75% your price will be greatly reduced.



For those that need proof: Let’s figure a family of 4 (two adults and two children) are going to be eating tacos for dinner. To be generous we will estimate that each person will eat 1/2lb of taco meat.
4 people X ½ lb =2 lbs
2lb meat x $5/lb= $10 meat


If you replace 50% of the meat with lentils which usually cost less than $2 for a 1lb bag (5 cups cooked) you can cut your cost by $4.20.
50% meat= 2 cups (1lb)
50% lentils= 2 cups cooked lentils


with lentils being $2 for 1lb bag or 5 cups cooked
$2/5 cups= $0.40/cup


Total total of “taco meat” (50% meat 50% lentils)= $5.80
Total Savings using 50/50 “taco meat”= $4.20
(Of course bigger families would save even more!)


Still not convinced? Let’s pretend you make our “taco meat” once a month you would save $50.40/year. That is not including using lentils in enchiladas, burritos, spaghetti sauce, meatballs, sloppy Joe's, Shepard's pie, etc.


  1. Rinse lentils in a strainer
  2. Cover with water in a saucepan or pot (use the same one you plan to cook them in to save dishes)
  3. Soak overnight on the counter
  4. Drain and cover with water again
  5. Bring to a rapid boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20- 30 minutes or until soft. Drain any remaining water.
No time to soak or forgot to plan ahead: Follow the same directions but increase cook time to 30-45 minutes.


How to Cook Lentils (Dry and NOT Soaked)
  1. Rinse lentils in a strainer
  2. Cover with water in a saucepan or pot
  3. Bring to a rapid boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until soft. Drain any remaining water.


Time Saving Tips (Time is Money!)
When cooking lentils you can cooked the whole bag and freeze in two cup portions for using later. Two cups of frozen lentils quickly thaw when placed in the pan with cooked ground beef. Make sure you have enough seasoning (link) for both the lentils and beef after they are mix together. If it becomes too dry add some water you saved after draining cooked lentils.


Save even more money by making your own taco seasoning. I make a triple batch of the spicy version and save it in an airtight container. Here is the recipe for homemade taco seasoning(link):




Taco Seasoning


2 TBSP chili powder (spicy version: 2 1/2 TBSP)
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper or cayenne (spicy version: ½ tsp cayenne)


Directions: Mix together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. If you want a spicy version add more of the chili powder and cayenne pepper. Those that do not like spicy feel free to reduce chili powder and cayenne or completely leave out.  To make a smoky version add smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika.

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FFF

Make Your Own Taco Seasoning



Taco Seasoning

2 TBSP chili powder (spicy version: 2 1/2 TBSP)
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper or cayenne (spicy version: ½ tsp cayenne)

Directions: Mix together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. If you want a spicy version add more of the chili powder and cayenne pepper. Those that do not like spicy feel free to reduce chili powder and cayenne or completely leave out.  To make a smoky version add smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika.

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed the blog please subscribe by entering your email into the email update box on the right column.

FFF

How to Cook Dry Lentils


How to Cook Lentils (Soaked) - Recommended for better nutrients and digestion
  1. Rinse lentils in a strainer
  2. Cover with water in a saucepan or pot (use the same one you plan to cook them in to save dishes)
  3. Soak overnight on the counter
  4. Drain and cover with water again
  5. Bring to a rapid boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20- 30 minutes or until soft. Drain any remaining water.
No time to soak or forgot to plan ahead: Follow the same directions but increase cook time to 30-45 minutes.

How to Cook Lentils (Dry and NOT Soaked)
  1. Rinse lentils in a strainer
  2. Cover with water in a saucepan or pot
  3. Bring to a rapid boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until soft. Drain any remaining water.



Time Saving Tips (Time is Money!)
When cooking lentils you can cooked the whole bag and freeze in two cup portions for using later. Two cups of frozen lentils quickly thaw when placed in the pan with cooked ground beef. Make sure you have enough seasoning (link) for both the lentils and beef after they are mix together. If it becomes too dry add some water you saved after draining cooked lentils.


Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed the blog please subscribe by entering your email into the email update box on the right column.


FFF

Monday, January 26, 2015

Quick Tip - Energy Saving Oven Tricks

Quick tip for today!

It is pretty cold here in Michigan during the winter and we like to save as much money as we can on heating the house.

One tip is to leave the oven door open (or cracked open) when you are finished cooking. Let that heat that has already been made escape into your home and your furnace won't have to work quite as hard.

There would be the same amount of radiant heat as if the door was shut. However, you would not notice a difference as it would escape slowly over time and you would lose some heat to the wall that is behind the stove that could escape elsewhere. It gives you a higher until rate of radiance over time when open.

My brother-in law Joe also suggests shutting the oven off early in the Summer and letting the food cook so you get the most out of the heat output. Great idea!

Actual savings? I don't know. But it has to help!



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FFF

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Save Money by Using an Egg Substitute...Flax Meal

This post is somewhat inspired by this morning's breakfast, oatmeal raisin pancakes.

As a family we try to limit our consumption of animal products. This is not only for health reasons, but it is also a money saver. We do eat eggs from time to time but when we do we usually spend a little more for higher quality organic eggs from Costco for about $0.28 an egg. Most people pay closer to $2.00 a dozen or $0.166 an egg.



You can easily get that price per "egg" down to $0.036 (between 3 and 4 cents) per egg by using a simple and effective flax meal substitute. I came to that price per egg by taking the price of a regular bag of organic flax meal and dividing by the number of servings. I guess you could round up to 4 cents to account for the price of the water you will use, but it wouldn't even equal that four thousandths of a dollar.



Anyway, here's how you do it for one egg!

In a small bowl mix a tablespoon of flax meal with three tablespoons of warm water.
Let it sit for about 3 minutes.

Stick a fork in it because it's done! (don't actually stick a fork in it).

It will look like this.



We use this as a substitute in all kinds of recipes that include baking, cooking etc.

We have also used a hybrid for some things that need that super strong binding ability of eggs in which we will use one flax meal substitute egg and an actual egg. However, we find that this quick trick works really well for daily uses and it saves us money while givings us a wider range on nutrients.

The health benefits of flax meal are wonderful as it is very high in fiber and in essential fatty acids.

Here is a great blog with much more information about flax in general by Kitchen Stewardship: http://goo.gl/GKukmR

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed the blog please subscribe by entering your email into the email update box on the right column.

FFF

广东快乐十分手机版