A big jar of homemade yogurt is something I always like to keep on-hand in the fridge. It not only makes great snacks and breakfast smoothies, but is versatile for lots of other cooking and baking purposes, too. It can be used to make baked goods a little lighter, and also as a lower-fat substitute for mayo and sour cream in certain recipes. (Let’s not forget, too, that yogurt can be chock-full of those healthy bacteria known as probiotics.)
October 19, 2016
September 20, 2016
|”If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”|
– Thorin Oakenshield, The Hobbit
Beer bread is seriously delicious and so easy to make. It has a crispy, buttery crust with a soft, tender inside, and it takes only 5 minutes or less to prepare the batter. And while the recipe calls for only a few, simple ingredients, you can easily dress it up - I often add some grated sharp cheddar to the batter, or some dehydrated onions, dill or caraway seeds. If you use a small Dutch oven or a cast iron bread pan to bake this bread, all the better for getting a really crispy crust (although any bread pan will work just fine). My family’s favorite way to enjoy beer bread is served with a big pat of butter, alongside a hearty stew or chili.
September 12, 2016
I’m very big on any kind of soup, stew or chili, especially in the fall. Nothing says home and hearth to me more than a big, steamy pot of goodness. Rich broth and slow-cooked vegetables are comfort in a bowl, and perfect to warm you right up on a cool autumn day.
September 1, 2016
April 10, 2016
I just love beans, I really do. They are a good source of plant-based protein, with the added bonuses of being tasty and economical. While I always keep beans on hand in my pantry in both canned and dried versions, my favorite approach to cooking with beans is to cook dried beans in big batches, then store them in smaller, convenient portions in my freezer. I find this to be a cheap and easy way to have quick access to beans for use in soups, stews, chili, side dishes, salads, and for stretching out the ground meat in recipes.
February 22, 2016
I find that ground beef recipes are always real time-savers in the kitchen, and frequently turn to them when I need to get something on the table fast. And while ground beef isn't super-cheap the way it has been in days gone by (and this is probably a good thing), when you make it casserole-style, or serve it with a pile of rice and vegetables, it can still be a frugal meal. Ground beef recipes tend to be flexible, too, so if beef isn't your thing, or you don't have any on-hand, you can always substitute another ground meat, like turkey or lamb. You can often even make a decent vegetarian meal from a ground beef recipe by substituting cooked lentils, or other meat substitute.
February 5, 2016
Tomato paste is an essential part of my pantry storage. It gives great, concentrated tomato flavor to so many recipes, but only takes up only a little bit of space on the shelf. The down side of tomato paste, of course, is the waste. It’s only very rarely that I will use an entire six-ounce can of tomato paste in one recipe (mainly spaghetti sauce and big pots of chili).