• Budget Smart Cook

    Quick and Easy Supper-Mediterranean Cod

    Here’s a quick supper that uses cod (or any similar fish), along with peppers, onions, some herbs and olives for a good for you but budget friendly meal. In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add about two tablespoons of oil and then add one onion, sliced thinly and one green pepper that’s been thinly sliced.   Sprinkle in some salt and pepper and sauté until the onion and pepper is slightly softened.   Add a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes.   Stir in one teaspoon each of dried oregano and basil. Add one pound of cod to the mixture, cover and let simmer for about ten minutes…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    More Gift Ideas and Peanut Butter Cups

      Hope everyone enjoyed Black Friday and Cyber Monday and netted yourself some wonderful bargains. I’m almost done with my holiday shopping so now I can concentrate on making treats and goodies. I’ll be sharing some of the recipes with you. One uses just three ingredients and makes a perfect stocking stuffer too. To kick things off, here’s a recipe I saw online for homemade peanut butter cups. They’re my weakness and I’m ashamed to say a bag of these goodies I bought for holiday snacking has already disappeared- http://www.popsugar.com/food/Homemade-Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Cup-Recipe-6577927 This time of the year there’s so much going on that putting together dinner can be a chore. I know…

  • Meatless Mondays

    It’s Meatless Monday-Rosemary Scented Split Pea Soup (excerpt taken from Adventures in Budget Smart Eating)

      I’ve been putting the final touches to my cookbook (Adventures in Budget Smart Eating) which means tweaking recipes and that’s what I spent most of last week doing. One chapter is devoted just to soups and I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of the book by sharing one with you. Most split pea soups use ham or bacon for flavoring but for this one I relied on herbs and spices. I also used yellow instead of green split peas. Another tweak…the slow cooker was used so you won’t need to babysit this one (split peas tend to continually stick to the bottom of the saucepan as they…

  • Friday Round Up

    Friday Round-Up-Saving at the Store

    Another quick Friday round-up while I take a break from working on the last parts of my cookbook. I decided to add another chapter, this one on tips for saving money at the supermarket. The book finally has a title too…Adventures in Budget Smart Eating. Hopefully, the e-book version will be released before the end of the year and I’ll be giving away some copies for the holidays. Fall Is Here Fall has definitely set in and where I live we had the first frost this morning. While the herbs and vegetables are gradually coming to an end, the stores have great deals on things like apples, beets and squash.…

  • Products and Companies Worth Checking Out

    It’s Meatless Monday-Tofu and Mushroom Stew with Herbed Mashed Potatoes

      About this time of the year I begin craving soups and stews. However, I’ve often found vegetarian stews to be lacking in flavor and substance. My goal for this recipe was to have a thick flavor packed gravy that would cling to a comfort food like mashed potatoes. The key is three ingredients and one cooking technique. Slow cooking of the vegetables and then tomato paste, soy and Worcestershire sauce…and yes there is a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. I used already cubed tofu that you can buy just about anywhere now but regular block tofu works too, just cut it into bite size cubes after it’s been through the usual…

  • Friday Round Up

    Friday Round Up-Two Free Books

    An earlier than normal Friday round-up but I wanted to post this just in case the two free e-books don’t stay free all day, which is often the case, so if you’re interested, grab these while you can- The first focuses on ideas for lunchboxes- http://www.amazon.com/Think-INSIDE-The-Lunchbox-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B00NB6PE0G/ref=zg_bs_digital-text_f_72 This one has some tips for all us coupon clippers out there- http://www.amazon.com/The-Clever-Couponer-Maximize-Shopping-ebook/dp/B00NG6C7SS/ref=zg_bs_digital-text_f_25 Herb Harvesting It’s been a cold few days where I live and prompted me to harvest lots of herbs from my garden and either freeze or dry them. For the annual herbs like rosemary and basil, I’m been bringing the whole plant inside, taking off the leaves and using my dehydrator…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Preserving Food Saves Money and it’s not all about canning

    One thing I love about summer is going to the store and picking up bargains that I can preserve for later use when prices go up (as we all know they will). While I do lots of canning there are other ways I put these items to good use- One way is my drying it and yes, I’ll give a little shameless promotion here. I co-authored a book called The Essential Dehydrator and while some of its focus is on how to dry foods, it contains lots of gourmet recipes using dried foods. Just this week I dried six pounds of onions and the thing I like best is I…

  • Friday Round Up

    Friday Round-Up-A Week of Good Buys

    I didn’t get time to post a round up last Friday because it’s been a hectic two weeks with various projects. However, it’s been a good time for a bargain or two. One of the consignment stores in the neighborhood had a huge sale offering 75% off already marked down merchandise. I couldn’t resist going along to take a look because I was in need of some summer pants and t-shirts. I ended up with buying four pairs of pants and three t-shirts, most of them designer brands, and one pair of pants still had the original label on them. The cashier said okay are you ready for your total…

  • Friday Round Up

    Friday Round-Up-Herbs Galore

    Lots going on in the garden this week. All the vegetable plants are doing well. The onions and shallots are growing faster than anything else. I’ve been enjoying the homegrown strawberries. Right now they’re far and few between but I like the fact that I grew them myself. And one thing I’m pleased about is the asparagus I planted. Some of the ferns have made their first appearance. Other than the old converted fish pond, I don’t have a site devoted to the vegetables and have taken a chance and put a few of them in the flower bed. It might seem strange, it might not work, but I thought…

  • Friday Round Up

    Friday Round Up-CSA Box Number One and A Bumper Crop of Chives

    Last week saw the first of this year’s CSA box. Due to the weather this week’s box of goodies was canceled. I used the lettuce for salads, made the garlic chives into a dressing by following the recipe from the menu planning service we get free with our CSA membership. The salad recipe contained chick peas (this was the vegetarian version versus the one with the smoked trout and lowered the cost), eggs, and roasted asparagus which made a tasty combo with the chive dressing. The cilantro I dried for later use. And speaking of chives, seems my herb garden has a bumper crop of them this year. I’m making…