My Followers are the Greatest! I just love them!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easy Rice Pudding

Awhile back I posted a recipe on my other site The Rock Spot for a cooked rice pudding. It was good but I think I like this way better.

All the measurements are guesses as I was using leftover rice. But you want the pudding to be oatmeal consistency. I am eating this now for breakfast.

Easy Rice Pudding

  • 2 cups cooked rice (I used soaked, cooked sweet brown rice)
  • 1.5 cups whole milk - I used half and half because I was out of whole milk
  • Half a small can of real unsweetened coconut milk - this gives it a lovely coconut flavor and some good fat. The coconut flavor is sweet and so no additional sweetener is needed.
  • A good shake of cinnamon (tsp maybe?)
  • Half a cup of berries - I used blueberries but really any fruit will do
  • Nuts - just a little bit for crunch and the healthiness they bring to the dish.

In a small sauce pan add the rice, both milks and stir and cook until smooth and warm, sprinkle with cinnamon. In a bowl put your berries, top with half the recipe stir and then add nuts if you like.

I suggest thawing your berries first - they cooled my pudding down a bit too much but it is still yummy-licious!

This recipe is Gluten Free, and if you used all coconut milk it would be milk free.

I am submitting this to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free's -Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
We Are That Family's - Works for Me Wednesday
Cheeseslave and Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday

Thursday, March 25, 2010

J is for Jars

Jelly Jars, Canning Jars, Spaghetti Jars - besides the obvious - Jelly, Veggies, Fruits and Spaghetti what else do you put in your Jinormous Jumbo collection of glass and plastic Jars?

  • We keep leftovers in them. 
  • Q-tips, 
  • spare change, 
  • dried beans, pasta, rice, oatmeal - anything that needs a tight lid. 
  • spices
  • We use plastic jars from jelly or ketchup as one time use water bottles (my kids always get comments at practice about this). 
  • I use glass Juice Jars that are empty to store my homemade broths in.  
  • Water - I don't have an ice maker so we keep cold water in the fridge in Jars.
  •  Gifts - we make cookies or cakes in a Jar, or Bean Soup (you know where you layer the ingredients)
  • There are so many ways to use them - what do you use empty Jars for?

Jar Jar Binks, meesa loves Jar Jar Binks! (nothing frugal about Jar Jar, meesa just loves Jar Jar)

Cookie Jars - who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Who me? Yes YOU!

Stones, Pebbles or Sand - What do you have in your Jar of Life? - Do you remember this story? The professor fills a big Jar first with big stones, is it full he asks? Yes was the reply. He then pours in pebbles into the Jar asking "is it full now?". "Apparently not". He then dumps a bunch of sand in the Jar which fills it up even more - but is it full yet? What about if you pour water in? Now it is full! The professor then asks "What great lesson can we learn?" And someone answers "no matter how busy we are we can always add more." "No, the lesson is if we don't put the big stones in the Jar first we wont be able to fit them in later!"
What are the big stones in your life? God, family, friends, health, country? Or is it other things - things that can be good but shouldn't be the big stones? Like Facebook or TV or even exercise.

I just discovered Jenny Matlock's Alphebe-Thursdays! I am going to be playing along! So Jump on over and Join in on all the Jolly good fun!

Jenny Matlock

I am also linking this to Life As Mom's Frugal Friday...go check out all the other great frugal posts.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tightening the Belt

So many of us are in need of tightening our belts so to speak. Save some dough. Be thriftier, cut back on spending. At first look it doesn't seem fun, something that we want to do. However, I believe it is all a matter of how you look at it. I have been thinking about this forced frugality that so many of us are under. I was trying to list all the positives here are a few:
  • Learn new skills - how to bake bread, tortillas, sew, garden are a few.
  • Less waste.
  • Actual belt tightening when frugal practice promote weight loss.
  • Practice thinking out of the box - which also help your mental health, better than crossword puzzles.
  • It is oh so earthy crunchy and green. Oh such a lovely color! When you buy less, waste less, cook from scratch, drive less, make your own cleaning products, replace paper towels with rags, use a family cloth, handkerchiefs instead of tissues just to mention a few you are being oh so earthy crunchy and a good steward of God's gifts to us. 
I have found one of the most important ways that I have saved money is to just stay home. Boring I know! But it has been huge on cutting back on impulse spending. If I stay out of the stores I cannot buy. Simple. I also don't need to stop for lunch/dinner or a snack somewhere if I am at home. For years shopping was my hobby. I do have many to buy for with 8 children but I have lots and lots of stuff that I don't need use want  anymore.

I have also noticed that by staying home I have the time to try the many activities that will save me money. I have a little more time to try and make those tortillas from scratch or make homemade cleaners. Gardening is another pastime that is so much healthier for me in numerous ways than my shopping hobby is!

A few more ideas to help you down the frugal crunchy path:
Many of my recipes are ones that I made up to use what leftovers I have it is a good place to get some inspiration of your own. They certainly Work for Me!

So what are you doing to tighten the belt? How are you being both frugal and crunchy?

 Added to 11th Heaven's Homemaker Monday. , Works for Me Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Homemade Tortillas and Taco Seasonings

If you knew me IRL you would know how much I actually hate to go to the store. Grocery shopping is a penance for me. Tonight I had soft tacos on the menu but realized I didn't have any flour tortillas. Sigh. But I happened to be reading "Family Feasts for $75 a Week" by Mary Ostyn and in it was a super dee duper simple recipe for tortillas. I decided to give it a try, the worst that could happen is that I would still need to go to the store.

This recipe is so simple that my almost 5 year old did most of the rolling out of the dough. They were not round but still they were perfectly delicious and filling. I was kinda sad that one filled me up they were so good.

Without further ado here is the recipe, from Mary's book.

Homemade Tortillas
3 cups all purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup for rolling
2 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I used solid coconut oil - worked perfectly)
1 cup warm water

1. combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Work in coconut oil until the mixture is crumbly using your fingertips, a fork, or a pastry cutter. (I used my fingertips) Slowly add warm water to mixture while mixing with a fork. With your hands knead dough vigorously in the bowl until it forms a nice doughball, (about 2 min) Add a little water to collect any loose flour. Cover bowl with a clean dish towel and let stand at least 15 minutes.
2. Divide dough into 12 small balls. Take a dough ball, roll it in flour, then place on a floured surface and roll out very very thin with a rolling pin. Great job for a child, as long as the grownup can stand imperfection.
3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium until hot. Add tortilla and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until it gets brown spots and no longer looks doughy.

Leftover tortilla can be cooled then stored in a plastic bag in the frig or freezer until needed. You can also store leftover dough in the fridge a day or two. Let it sit on the counter for half an hour before rolling out any leftover dough.

In case you are interested I also made my own taco seasoning for my hamburger. Yummy!! I am so glad to never need to purchase premixed taco seasoning with MSG and who knows what else.

Taco Seasoning
1TBS chili powder
1TBS cumin (I love cumin)
2 tsp onion powder
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp paprika
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp gr. oregano

Add 1/4 cup water to cooked meat along with seasonings and let cook about 10 minutes.

If you are wondering how to keep them warm while you make a bunch of tortillas for your brood, check out this post from before!

Submittted to 11th Heaven's Homemaker Monday, Works for Me Wednesday  Real Food Wednesday and Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday. Go check out all the other great links posted at these sites!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tim Tebow

This young man's mother must be very proud! I know this isn't frugal or crunchy but darn, if you're a mother isn't raising young people like this what we are doing it all for?

Dinner Rolls! Super dee dooper easy Dinner Rolls!

I didn't think it was possible for me to actually make a bread type product that was edible but it was!!!!! Seriously folks if I can make it than anyone can. The rolls are a little dense, almost like a biscuit but still a roll.

 Here it is the Super Dee Dooper Easy Dinner Rolls

1 pkg. yeast  (2 1/2 tsp if in bulk)
1 c. lukewarm water
1 egg
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. oil (I melted some coconut oil)
3 c. flour, sifted (I used Bob's Red Mill Unbleached White Flour)
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Add egg, sugar, salt and oil. Add half the flour, and beat until smooth. Add rest of flour and beat again until smooth. With greasy hands, tear off a piece of the dough and roll into a ball.  Fill greased muffin pans half full and let rise until double.You can then  top with some melted butter if you want to make them even more yummy! 
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Because now I will never have to buy store bought dinner rolls again I am linking this to Real Food Wednesday. Go check out all the other great links! I am also linking this to Life as Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap: Whole Grains.And Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade plus Ann Kroeker's Food on Friday.

And for no other reason than this song makes me smile.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pi Beta Phi Cooking Tips Part 1

Did you know Pi Phi's can cook? Well way back in 1992 my local alumni group put together a cookbook we sold as a fund raiser. Inside were some great cooking tips. I thought I would share some with you.
  1. Seeds and nuts, both shelled and unshelled , keep best and longest when stored in the freezer. Nuts in the shell crack more easily when frozen. Nuts and seeds can be used directly from the freezer.
  2. One lemon yields about 1/4 cup juice; one orange yields about 1/3 cup juice. In case you ever wondered.
  3. When serving hors d'oeuvres on a silver tray, you may wish to protect it from acids by covering  it with a layer of leafy green lettuce. (I know I would.)
  4. A little vinegar or lemon juice added to potatoes before draining will make them extra white when mashed.
  5. To dress up buttered cooked veggies, sprinkle them with toasted sesame seeds, toasted chopped nuts, crumbled cooked bacon, or slightly crushed homemade croutons.

Not to worry, I have plenty more where these came from!

For lots of fun and real homemaking help check out 11th Heaven's Homemaker Monday  for lots of great links.
This post also Works for Me! hosted this week at Rocks In My Dryer