• Budget Smart Cook

    The Three Stages of Homemade Yogurt

      I’ve always been a fan of yogurt and not only eat it as a breakfast treat and dessert, but use it in things like breads and muffins. Good news is it’s easy to make. I have a Salton yogurt maker but I have heard that lots of people use a thermos with great results. Whatever your method here’s my basic recipe and tips I’ve found that increase the likelihood of a successful batch- 4 cups milk…I’ve tried it with all types, skim, 1% but have had the best results with whole milk ¼ cup dry milk powder ½ cup plain yogurt…once again the best type is made from whole milk…

  • Meatless Mondays

    It’s Meatless Monday-Roasted Root Vegetable and Lentil Salad

     Salads don’t always have to be about lettuce and this one combines slow roasted root vegetables and lentils. I admit I’m a fan of any type of lentil and use them in just about any type of recipe. One thing I hate doing is cooking them. I grew tired of babysitting them while they simmered on the stove and then have them stick to the bottom of the pan and turn into lentil mash. One day I thought why not try cooking them in the oven like I do when I make rice. The amount for this recipe is actually more than you need but they freeze well, and yes,…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Worn Just Once…yes, really

    I know most of us don’t think spring is on its way because it’s so cold, but the calendar says it is and that means budget smart girls everywhere are planning weddings. For anyone who’s ever been a bride or a parent of a bride to be, the cost of some items might make you say, that’s how much? Before you know the budget’s gone by the wayside and things are spiraling out of control. So with that in mind I checked out some sites that I hope will help you find some bargains. And if you’ve already been the bride and want to make some money selling your gown…

  • Meatless Mondays

    It’s Meatless Monday-The Tater Tot Casserole Goes Veggie

    One thing I love to do is take a meat centric recipe and convert it to a vegetarian one. Remember the classic tater tot casserole, ground meat topped with everyone’s favorite spud? This is really easy to put together and I used Yves Veggie Cuisine, veggie grounds. This product has quickly become one of my favorite imitation ground beef products. A little goes a long way, it’s reasonably priced, and it doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor that’s impossible to mask in recipes. Ingredients 1 12 ounce package of Yves Veggie Ground About half a 16 ounce package of tater tots ½ cup sliced mushrooms ½ cup frozen green beans 2…

  • Friday Round Up

    Friday Round Up-Bargain Priced Kitchen Items

      A quick Friday round up of things I found on the Web this week- Tips on equipping your kitchen with bargain priced items- https://www.yahoo.com/food/how-to-navigate-the-best-cooking-store-youve-110573054394.html   Anyone else love the idea of breakfast waiting for you? http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/how-to-make-overnight-oats   I love these homemade baking mixes…great to have on hand- http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-baking-mixes-that-save-money-and-time   I dry tomatoes in my dehydrator but do occasionally buy this brand and here’s a link to a coupon. Try using them in a grilled cheese sandwich- Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes http://www.mooneyfarms.com/health/coupon/   Happy Valentine’s Day to all.  

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Getting Ready to Garden

    Winter can be a frustrating time for us avid gardeners. This year I’m determined not to let cold weather (and fingers crossed, another late spring), hinder my attempts to get a vegetable garden planted. Many years ago I was freelancing for a local magazine and got assigned the topic of what gardeners can do while they can’t get outside. My editor arranged for me to meet with the head designer at a very upscale gardening store. I went in there thinking I’d come out with lots of tips I could pass along to readers when in fact I came away with just one. Pick up some gardening books and use…

  • Meatless Mondays

    It’s Meatless Monday-Chunky Vegetable and Black Bean Chili

        When the weather turns extra cold there’s nothing better than a bowl of something hot and spicy. Chili always seems to fit the bill this time of year. In my latest venture into the world of the vegetarian variety, I kept the vegetables in large pieces, added some mushrooms for more depth of flavor. Final taste boost was a can of black beans. When you top it with sour cream, cheese, chopped avocado, salsa, and then pair it with brown rice, it’s a quick and easy Meatless Monday supper. Ingredients 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 onion, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces 3 carrots…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Five Must Have Ingredients (that save time and money)

    All weeks seem busy but last week for some reason was hectic. Although I love to be in the kitchen, some days even I hate the thought of going in there to cook dinner. I’m gradually coming up with some shortcuts. I wasn’t thinking about saving money as I put them into practice but now I realize some can shave off a few pennies here and there- Flavored Mashed Potatoes When I make bangers and mash (that’s sausages and mashed potatoes in non Brit speak), I always like to serve caramelized onions on top of the potatoes. However, last week, the thought of peeling, slicing and then cooking onions had little…

  • Uncategorized

    February Savings

        It’s a short month but Georgine says lots of items are on sale- February means the Super Bowl, Ground Hog Day, Fat Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, Chinese New Year, and winter! All great reasons to have sales. The best deals will be on appliances, fragrances, winter apparel, especially at Target and Bloomingdale’s, and cars; sales start during President’s Day weekend so get in on the discounts, rebates, and low financing offers. TVs and Electronics Look for electronics like large screen TVs, especially last year’s models. Flowers If flowers and chocolates are a must, shop early or late, NOT on the 13th or 14th when some stores may…

  • Meatless Mondays

    It’s Meatless Monday-Summer Inspired Tofu ‘Steak’ with Pasta

        About this time of the year I begin craving something that reminds me of summer. I thought about a salad but then came up with these tofu ‘steaks’ that are topped with a combination of ingredients that makes you think warm summer day. I used the topping for a sauce for the pasta so the flavor carried throughout the whole recipe. Something that I think is essential for vegetarian cooking. I used thin spaghetti but any pasta would work. As an added bonus use the topping for a sandwich filling on toasted bread. Ingredients 1 14 ounce package extra firm tofu Salt, pepper, garlic powder Oil 8 ounces…