This is something I came across recently while investigating what is going on in the USA with food prices. I like ‘stocking-up” and having plenty on hand for people to eat at our house. Since I have kids in the Lynchburg, Virginia area, I checked on the availability of Zaycon Foods in this area. Raleigh NC, Ramona CA, and just about anywhere can have this opportunity. If Zaycon Foods hasn’t had a sale where you live, you can log on and if enough people are interested they will come.
This is definitely something I would/will be interested in if I live or plan to live in the USA again.
$1.79 per lb.
They hold these national Chicken Breast Events only twice a year, so be sure to stock up. The total for this box of 40 lbs would be: $71.60
See when they will be bringing meat, fish or poultry to a selling location in your town.
You actually order on-line and then pick it up at the location near you.
Sounds like a really good deal to me. Buy the box of fresh meat, & take it home to freeze in quantities for your needs.
||Extreme Couponing: How to Be a Savvy Shopper and Save Money…One Coupon At a TimeBy Joni Meyer-Crothers with Beth Adelman / NAL
In today’s economy, being money savvy is a necessity. For most American households cutting back on the things they love has become harder and harder to bear. But there are ways to get what you want at a fraction of the cost-if not free. In Extreme Couponing, couponing expert Joni Meyer-Crothers will teach you the basics of couponing, how to maximize your savings, and how to think outside the box when it comes to shopping. With Extreme Couponing, there’s no reason to pay full price for the things you need in life.
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Today January 19th is National Popcorn Day! Fun eh? On average, every American consumes 52 quarts of popcorn per year. It seems as though we always have a bowl of this treat on the counter and we even like it a day old. John just pops a bowl in the microwave.
Perhaps some clarification is needed here… We don’t eat microwaved popcorn. Sure, we’ll eat it if that’s what we have been given, but we prefer the freshly popped corn that I make on top of the stop. The flavor is so much better. It”s also a lot cheaper…that’s always a plus for us.
Here are some must haves for us:
- heat the pan with corn or sunflower oil, then add the popcorn
- when done, use real butter, not margarine
- use butter & salt or any other spice… like red pepper flakes (a favorite), curry, garam masala, etc. I often add the red pepper flakes to the hot oil, add the popcorn right away, give it a shake every few minutes.
It’s cheaper than just about any other snack food and full of fiber.
Today I made this healthy snack again. It’s one of our favorite snacks and you can use any spices you like. I like to use olive oil instead of the spray.
While the oven is on, I like to throw in some potatoes to bake for meals during the week to save on energy. When I’m done using the oven, I leave the oven door open to heat the kitchen in the winter. One other thing, this recipe is off the web but I find that after rinsing the beans I toss everything in a large ziplock bag and then spread it out on a baking pan and toss the greasy bag in the trash.
2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning, heaping
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
cayenne, to taste
Drain garbanzo’s in a strainer and rinse well with cool water. Shake to help remove water. Let sit to drain while proceeding.
Cover a rimmed cookie sheet or shallow casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour garbanzos on the foil and spread them into a single layer. Take a few sheets of paper towel and gently press over the top of the beans just to remove any extra liquid- speeds cooking time too.
Spray top of beans with cooking spray and sprinkle seasonings over the beans. Shake pan to help distribute the seasoning and make sure the beans are all in a single layer.
Place pan in an oven and set to 350 F- no need to preheat. Use lowest rack on oven and return every 15-20 minutes or so to shake the pan so nothing burns. Be gentle or they may spill over the sides. Cook until beans are browned and crispy. About 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and pour into a plastic bowl with tight fitting lid to cool. Careful they are HOT to the touch!
Snack away! Keep these stored in the bowl for best freshness or in a ziploc bag.
“I would rather have my people laugh at my economics than weep for my extravagance.” ~ King Oscar of Sweden (1829-1907)
I like that quote. I’ve found that when I challenge myself to make do with what I already have on hand, we can usually eat pretty well and we can save a lot of money in the process! I’m attempting to avoid grocery shopping as much as possible and sharing my results on my blog. Now, let me say that I am not going to completely avoid buying groceries each month. I always need that odd ingredient or soap & toilet paper. I don’t need to buy a lot of vegetables because I’m growing all our own lettuce & mesclun, arugula, radishes, etc and we do get 3 eggs a day from the hens. So, salad is on the menu each day. We also eat John’s home-cured olives each day on our salads. I seasoned each jar with different flavors like cumin, garlic, red pepper to just name a few.
In this recipe which I will make today, I’ll use all I have in the pantry. See my comments next to each ingredient below.
Asian-Style Fried Rice and Beans
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced, or one 8 ounce can pineapple slices-I had some canned pineapple in the freezer
1tablespoon vegetable oil-I used oilve oil
2 medium carrots, thinly biased-sliced-John sliced this for me… last 2 I have
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger*-I’m using ground
2 cups cooked brown rice**-I made extra so I can make a rice crust for a quiche later this week.
1-15 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained-I had cooked & canned these last year.
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup snipped fresh cilantro-I planted a whole row in my garden and we are enjoying it almost daily in our salads too.
1 lime, halved- I’m using lemons from our lemon tree
Fresh cilantro leaves
1. Quarter pineapple slices. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Add pineapple; cook about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet; set aside.
2. Pour the remaining 1 teaspoon oil into the hot skillet. Add carrots; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until just tender. Add garlic and ginger; cook for 30 seconds.
3. Stir in brown rice, garbanzo beans, and peas. Add soy sauce. Cook and stir about 4 minutes or until heated through. Stir in the 1/3 cup cilantro. Return pineapple to skillet; heat through.
4. To serve, squeeze lime over pineapple mixture. If desired, top with additional cilantro leaves.
This could be a main dish with a salad but I’m serving it with fish and using yet another pantry item that I need to ‘move’. This time it’s a seasoning packet for fish that I think will be really good with the Asian Rice dish. Here is the packet of the seasoning I will be using:
- Fresh ginger is a freezer gem. Place unpeeled ginger in a freezer bag. When a recipe calls for fresh ginger, peel and grate in its frozen state, no thawing required.
- Leftover or quick-cooking microwaveable rice also works great.
Last year I asked John to buy me a yogurt maker for Christmas and it has been used faithfully ever since. It’s not only really yummy yogurt, it’s cheap to make. I buy greek yogurt in individual container sizes (full fat) and add it to 1 liter of skim milk and I get 7 jars of yogurt.
Here is the price breakdown (at the current exchange rate of 1.25):
1 individual greek yogurt- 0,25€ cents (31¢ -USD)
1 liter of skim milk- 0,74€ cents (92¢ -USD)
Total for 7 jars-0,99€ cents ($1.23 USD)
Price per jar-0,14€ cents ( 17½¢ USD)
I use this plain yogurt for quiche, soups, sauces, & I eat 1 jar + oat bran every morning for breakfast. I like to make a sauce using 1 plain yogurt with fresh garlic and dill for fish. It’s also great used to top baked potatoes.
Homemade yogurt can also be made with fruit, or added flavors. I’ve made it using a touch of orange extract as well.
No doubt about it, the Tortilla Espanola or Spanish Omelet is the most commonly served dish in Spain. It is also called Tortilla de Patata or Potato Omelet. Bars and cafés serve it as a tapa or appetizer, but it is often served as a light dinner in Spanish homes. Because it is easy to transport, the Spanish make bocadillos or sandwiches by placing a piece between two pieces of a baguette.
6-7 medium potatoes, peeled
1 whole yellow onion
5-6 large eggs- best if they are from your own sweet red hen
2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying
Salt to taste
This tortilla espanola or tortilla de patata makes 8-10 servings as an appetizer, or 6 servings as a main course.
Cut the peeled potatoes in half lengthwise. Then, with the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potato in pieces approximately 1/8″ thick. If you slice them a bit thick, don’t worry – it will simply take a bit longer for them to cook.
Peel and chop the onion into 1/4″ pieces. Put potatoes and onions into a bowl and mix them together. Salt the mixture.
In a large, heavy, non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Carefully place the potato and onion mixture into the frying pan, spreading them evenly over the surface. The oil should almost cover the potatoes (that means LOTS). You may need to turn down the heat slightly, so the potatoes do not burn. It’s like boiling potatoes but using all good quality olive oil instead. You do ot want your potatoes to have color, just cooked.
Leave in pan until the potatoes are cooked. If you can poke a piece of potato with a spatula and it easily breaks in two, your potatoes are done. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and allow oil to drain.
Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat by hand with a whisk or fork. Pour in the potato onion mixture. Mix together with a large spoon.
Pour 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil into a small, non-stick frying pan (aprox. 9-10”) and heat on medium heat. Be careful not to get the pan too hot because the oil will burn – or the tortilla will! When hot, stir the potato onion mixture once more and “pour” into the pan and spread out evenly. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. Then you can carefully lift up one side of the omelet to check if the egg has slightly “browned.” The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.
When the mixture has browned on the bottom, you are ready to turn it over to cook the other side. Take the frying pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12”) upside down over the frying pan. With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet will “fall” onto the plate. Place the frying pan back on the range and put just enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so. Now slide the omelet into the frying pan. Use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let the omelet cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes.
Slide the omelet onto a plate to serve. If eating as a main course, cut the omelet into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve sliced French bread on the side.
If you are serving as an appetizer, slice a baguette into pieces about 1/2 inch think. Cut the tortilla into 1.5” squares and place a piece on top of each slice of bread.
It is simply delicious served with sofrito, fried tomato sauce that is made all over Spain. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers and olive oil sautéed in a frying pan.
It is not necessary to slice the potatoes paper thin, and it is best not to use a food processor because most will slice the potatoes too thin, and they stick together.
How do you know when oil is hot enough to fry the potatoes and onions? Drop a single piece of potato or a bit of bread into the oil. It should sizzle.
Remember to watch the heat while frying. If the oil is too hot, the potatoes will brown rapidly on the outside, but will be raw on the inside.
After frying potatoes, place the potato and onion mixture in a colander for a few minutes to allow more oil to drain. If you do this, place a plate underneath to catch the olive oil and you can use it again.
The following are a few of the most popular variations to the classic Tortilla Espanola.
Green Pepper – Add 1 green or red bell pepper (chopped) to the potatoes and onions and fry.
Chorizo – Slice a Spanish chorizo sausage and add to the potato and onion mixture after frying. Or, simply slice Spanish chorizo and combine with beaten eggs in the frying pan.
Ham – Using a couple thick slices (1/4″) ham, finely chop them. Then add the pieces to the potato and onion mixture after frying. Canadian bacon or smoked ham that you buy in a deli work well for this variation. Be careful to adjust the salt accordingly, since ham may be salty!
That would be salad dressing. They are so easy to whip with items you already have in the pantry. Think of the cash you can save by making your own, not to mention all those bottles that clog up the fridge. I put everything in a jar and just shake it up. When I don’t want to make one, I use the Spanish default: generous olive oil, vinegar and salt. I also make the salad and dress it before serving. Any of these on greens are fab or try it with potato salad or macaroni salad. One of our daughters uses Ranch dressing in her yummy potato salad.
If you are missing a spice… just leave it out. They can be very forgiving.
Bleu Cheese Dressing
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons onions, finely minced
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, minced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallots
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Creamy Buttermilk Dressing
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup soybean oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Curry Yogurt Dressing
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 whole allspice berry
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
I found this interesting and potentially helpful site on the internet. It ‘s an on-line planner & organizer for planning meals for groups. It could be super helpful if you are in charge of organizing meals for someone.
This could include:
family get-togethers & holidays
meals to organize for new mom’s
meals to take to the sick
organizing church potlucks
small group dinners
I can see that this could be helpful in our family when everyone gets together and can ‘sign-up’ to bring a dish. It could prevent duplicates.
Click around this sight and see if it might work for you.
We’ve had our 1st garden salad from the greens I planted. This salad includes: 1 radish (super cute) the radish greens, mesclun, red lettuce, bok choy, arugula & turnip greens. I added 1 fresh hard-boiled egg from our hens, cooked salmon and topped it off with sunflower seeds. I made a vinaigrette with olive oil.
We look forward to many more fresh salads this winter and the saving from buying lettuce in the market will be significant. In fact the amount of arugula (that wonderful peppery green) we have picked so far has saved us about $2 in what we would have spent at the market. By the way, arugula is very easy to grow and can be grown in a container without any trouble at all.
Idea: put all your savings in a jar for a special occasion or purchase.
I’ve needed to use some canned garbanzo beans that I had in the pantry, and happened to have lemons from the tree. I also bought a lot of garlic on sale at the local food warehouse, so this was perfect for a light supper with some homemade pita. John helped with the pita bread because of my broken finger. We still have some corn dogs that I made last week so that will be added to our supper.
- 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
- 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.
Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.
Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).
Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, or cover and refrigerate.
After 5 long months without our 3 red hens, they are now back home. In late May when we left for our 2 months to California, we drove from Madrid to San Martin de Trevejo to have our hens visit their distant relatives.
Now John has set up the pen; new & improved and they are just as happy as can be!
When John picked them up from our nieghbors house, he gave us 7 eggs, then one of our hens layed one… so, 8 eggs in one day. I was down to my last 3 eggs so this was a welcome gift. It’s a good thing because on our menu for supper tonight, we will have:
Breakast burritos, potatoes & salad.