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    Cranberry-Orange Trifle

    I’m not sure if I’m the only person who still eats cranberry sauce with their Christmas meal but year after year I was left with lots of it. I refused to stop making it because for me it wouldn’t be a holiday meal without it. My dilemma was what to do with all the leftover sauce. One idea was to pair it with cheese for a sandwich which is pretty good but last year I came up with this dessert recipe. Best thing is people who won’t touch cranberry sauce like this one…or maybe they don’t recognize it in its new form. I paired the sauce with canned mandarin oranges that…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Roasted Carrot Soup with Cumin and Garlic Crostini

    My upcoming cookbook contains a recipe for carrot soup. However, after reading the article about foods you can eat when you’re broke (and seeing that item on the list), it inspired me to create another one. This time I slow roasted the carrots in the oven and instead of adding croutons made crostini to serve as hearty garnish. For the Soup 4 large carrots, washed, peeled and cut into one inch pieces ½ onion, peeled and diced into one inch pieces ½ teaspoon coriander ½ teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon dried thyme Salt and pepper 4 tablespoons oil 3 cups vegetable stock 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk For the Crostini 8…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Butterbean Hummus

    I love hummus and it’s often a lunchtime staple for me. The store brands can be pricey so I switched to making my own. However, tahini one of its main ingredients is close to $8 a jar so to the kitchen I headed to work on a recipe where I could substitute a cheaper item. I first tried the following recipe with the chickpeas as per the usual recipe, but it turned out too dry. I switched to black beans and didn’t have much success, but finally stumbled upon a pantry staple favorite of mine, butterbeans. They’re creamy enough to add just the right consistency I was looking for. The…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Powerhouse Vegetable Soup

    We all know that eating dark green veggies is good for you and they’re often the best deal at the produce department. However, some people just don’t like them so I came up with the following soup recipe that I think can double as a Meatless Monday lunch, or even supper if you pair it with a sandwich. I call it powerhouse because of one of its main stars is two cups of green vegetables. Choose whatever one you want, but my favorite is kale. The other key ingredient is the tomato paste. It gives it a rich flavor that seems to pair perfectly with the vegetables and makes for…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Nacho Cheese Veggie Slices

    If you’re short on time, here’s something I came up with using just four main ingredients. Puff pastry…purchased while it was on sale during the holidays. Nacho cheese soup, purchased on sale. A bag of mixed vegetables, also purchased on sale. Last ingredient, shredded cheese. Put them together, combine it with a salad and dessert and I think you have the perfect Meatless Monday meal (with even enough leftover mixture for a side dish the next day). 1 slice of puff pastry (The boxes usually have two so you can freeze the other one) 1 10 ounce can of Nacho cheese soup-divided 1 16 ounce bag of mixed vegetables (…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Herbed Mushroom and Smoked Cheese Bread Pudding

    I hate wasting food but sometimes we all make mistakes. Case in point, an artisan loaf of bread I bought for $1.75. When I got home and took it out of the wrapper, it looked like a block of cement. Not wanting to risk broken teeth or a lost filling, I thought the only thing to do was toss it. Conscience about throwing away good food got the better of me so it sat on the countertop waiting for a better solution. Bread pudding seemed to be the answer. Not a sweet one but a savory one, and being short on time, the slow cooker was another easy solution. So…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-‘Steak’ and Onion Tacos with Coriander and Lime Sour Cream

    One important thing I’ve learned from using vegetables as the star of a meal is they need lots of slow cooking to enhance their flavor. And while I’ll tell you this dish is quick to put together, if you’re willing to spend an extra ten or fifteen minutes cooking the onions and mushrooms, the payoff is a tasty treat. Once again Portobello mushrooms take the place of steak in these tacos, slow cooked until they’re golden. The topping is sour cream with coriander and lime which I think adds a touch of sharpness to the sweet taste of the caramelized onions, and a little coolness to calm the heat of…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Roasted Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

    One of my favorite comfort foods is Shepherd’s pie. Sometimes I make it with tofu but the other day I thought about trying a roasted veggie version. Best thing about this is it’s the ideal way to use up leftover vegetables and other items that might be sitting in the fridge and pantry. You don’t have to roast the vegetables for this but I think it makes the flavor more intense and worth it. 3 carrots, peeled and chopped About one cup of chopped celery 2 medium sized onions, chopped 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced. I used baby bellas because they were on sale Place the vegetables in a roasting…

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    Eggs, a wise choice for the Budget Smart Cook

    I don’t have to look at the calendar to know it’s almost Easter. The supermarkets are full of eggs and not just the chocolate kind. Eggs are a bargain any time of the year but as we head into Easter Sunday, they’re one of the best deals out there. Here’s why eggs are always on my list of pantry staples- Nutrition Powerhouses When it comes to perfect nutrition eggs have just about everything. Protein, B vitamins, especially B12 and B2, vitamins A and D, iron, choline and phosphorus, And yes, they’re even low in calories too. But wait a minute, aren’t they bad for me? Not so long ago eggs……

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    The Blog- Free Jeans and Dinner for a Dollar

    I realized last week that I’ve been spending most of my time wearing jeans around the house and when I run errands. Realizing that, I knew I had to buy another pair. The price of most jeans won’t break the budget, but I still like to find a bargain. I was sitting working at the computer and happened to glance at my organizer and saw I still had a Kohl’s $10 gift card I hadn’t used. I also remembered that the week before Kohl’s had sent a $10 off card through the mail. Now I’m thinking could I buy myself a new pair of jeans for $20? Yes, I did.…

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