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Showing posts from July, 2010

Summer Plan Update

This was an interesting week for me. I went to a birthday dinner, and got an $11 entree (and water). I figured this was going to put me way over budget, giving me grocery money of $8.88 for the next week (from the 12 cents of last week plus the dollar over the $10). But as an awesome matter of circumstance, I didn't actually pay for my meal. It was kind of neat eating out at a restaurant. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed doing stuff like that. One negative byproduct of doing a highly restrictive food budget is that unless you exempt eating out (which I don't), it's very isolating. Most of the time when my friends want to go out for dinner or do something that ultimately winds up resulting in eating out (such as going to the movies; because really, who goes to the movie and doesn't get popcorn?) I can't go. Well, I could, but then I couldn't buy food that week. It's a downside that anyone on a restrictive food budget is aware of, and I'm not convinced

Food Waste Friday

This week, I wasted: Nothing!

BPT Sandwich

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You have no idea what that is, do you? Don't feel bad. I didn't either, until I made it up. It's a bacon, pita and tuna sandwich. If you think bacon with tuna salad is weird, you are not alone. Everyone seems to think it's weird until they eat it. But really, they're perfect together. Anyway, I have all this "new" pita, so I didn't see the point in taking normal bread out of the freezer when I could just make a tasty wrap instead. So that's what I did. Hope you enjoy! 1 pita 1 line of mustard (or I guess mayo if you're into that sort of thing) 3/4 cup tuna salad 1-3 slices of bacon (your call; I went with 1 slice this time, but sometimes I like as many as 3 slices of bacon per sammie) handful banana peppers (optional) cheese (optional) Lay out the pita. Put the tuna salad along the middle. Top with the line of mustard, then add the bacon and banana peppers. Roll up, like a wrap or like a burrito. Eat. Serves 1.

Tuna and White Bean Salad

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As I'd mentioned Saturday, I still had some beans left to eat, and that I intended to put them together with the tuna salad I wanted to make (the same salad, by the way, that caused me to go over budget). So, here we are. Makin' tuna salad. I did this one a little differently than I normally would, because I didn't want to lose the specialness of the beans in there. If that makes sense. I don't really know how better to express my thoughts on the whole, beans and tuna combination. Mostly, I excluded the majority of the spices I normally put into tuna salad, and swapped them out for the beloved za'atar blend. It perfectly accented the flavours in the salad. And, for those of you who don't think mayonnaise is disgusting and should only be used as a binder, feel free to increase the amount in there. Hope you enjoy! 2 cans tuna (I use water packed), drained 1 cup cooked white beans 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced 1 stalk celery, finely diced 1 pickle, finely d

Pão de Queijo

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Okay, okay. I made the cheese breads. As promised. Here is the link to the recipe I used, but I will, of course, repost it here, as per usual (with my changes in italics, also as per usual). These things are just awesome. They chewy and happy and nutty and cheesy and just.. well, they just make me smile. Once they're baked, that is. Not while I'm making the dough. It's actually kind of difficult to stir the dough together, and I think the first time I made them I nearly had a bubble-over in the saucepan. Anyway, you need to make these. They don't require any particularly hard-to-find ingredients, and it's totally acceptable to use the cheap, green can cheese. I've done it with high quality cheese and with cheap and it doesn't make a bit of difference. Hope you enjoy! "1 cup each: water, milk (I used almond milk this time) 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon salt 1 package (450 grams) tapioca starch (Goya makes this and it's sold in the ethnic a

White Bean Pizza

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Oh, the last of the white beans. How did I want to use them? I had a lot of ideas, but I'd already made pizza crust which meant for two days I would be eating pizza. As you might guess, I am not complaining about this fact. I would've used canellini beans, but they're in the Cave so technically I don't own them right now. Instead, I used the last of the navy/great-notherns/what-ever-they-actually-are. Now I have to decide if I am going to buy more white beans, or forgo this in favour of the beans I already have in the kitchen. I've got appaloosa, Anasazi, lima, black, pinto, adzuki, pinto and cagamananto. Possibly some other kinds, but these are the ones I'm aware of having. So I probably shouldn't buy more white beans. But I still might. Anyway, I digress. I used the same pizza dough recipe that's on the fridge - the one I normally tell you to use. But since P is gone, I swapped a third of the flour for whole wheat flour (see? I'm trying to use so

Summer Plan Update

This week was pretty good for me, in terms of using things up. I used up the blueberries (as you saw), and so my frozen fruit supply is dwindling. That's good; it means I'm making lots of progress there. I've still got the cranberries, the mango (which I just thawed, either to eat by itself or for mango muffins for my study group this afternoon), the mixed fruit bag, bananas and lemon rinds. I feel pretty comfortable with the way this has gone. However, it turned out I have quite a lot of canned fruit (I had completely forgotten how delicious canned pineapple is, by the way). Which I'm fine with, since I probably will not buy tons of fresh fruit as a result. Totally different animals, but that's okay. I put some fruit in the freezer, in the form of the grapefruit curd and blueberries. There's so much of it that there's no way I'll eat it all before it goes bad. So I portioned it out and froze the portions, leaving enough in the fridge for me to munch on

Food Waste Friday

This week, I wasted: NOTHING!

Grapefruit and Blueberry Bowls

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You guys wondered what was going to happen with that grapefruit curd, didn't you? I fretted for a while over what to do with it, but happily, curd lasts ages in the fridge so you have time to think about it. Initially, I was going to make little mini tarts with it. But the texture was off a little and I thought it'd be rude to serve those to people. Bringing oddly textured curd to class isn't going to be helping my grade any, I'm quite sure. ;) At the end of the day, I decided to pretend it was yogurt. It doesn't have the same texture as yogurt, so that's not why. But what it does have, is breakfast appeal. I figured I could load myself up on curd in the morning before class, and then I might not be sleepy (thank you, sugar high) by the time class was over. Which means I'd get my studying done a lot sooner in the day than I previously had been. As I mentioned before, I thawed out all those yummy blueberries. Since they're in season, you should use fres

Hot Dog Pizza

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You can use proper sausage for this, and it might be better than what I made. I just didn't want to thaw my sausage and be left with no sausage for the rest of my summer budget stuff. Plus, the hot dogs were already thawed and I had one left. Woo! Anyway, most of the time I make pizzas that are a little more traditionally American in their style: sauce, extra cheese, etc. This is kind of a weird thing, but I was trying to stretch out the one remaining hot dog in the house. I thought about all the things I love about hot dogs: mustard, kraut, banana peppers, onions! Then I decided to put them all on a pizza because I knew it'd feed me for two meals (not to mention using some of the dough I'd made). It was either going to be really amazing, or really disgusting. It turned out far better than I thought it would. And it's super cheap to make. I really enjoyed how some of the mustard baked into the crust while other parts of the mustard stayed really soft. The dog drooled al

Pickled Foods and Feta Relish

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I think I might have mentioned before that I have a lot of pickled foods in the house. I remembered that one of the things I have is a large jar of lupini beans. I love these things, but if you buy them in a jar, make sure you rinse them (or they taste a little funny). The bulk aisle prepared lupini always taste fine without rinsing them though. They always come with little membrane skins, so you'll want to take those off so you don't have to pull the skins out of your mouth as you're eating. Eventually you'll get a rhythm down and you'll stop seeing beans go flying all over the kitchen. Anyway, I wanted to mix some of these things up and put some cheese on them, for a "one stop shopping" kind of way to eat my pickles. Not only is this easy, but it also works really well on a hot summer day. It can be eaten as a salad, or works well to top other items with, when eaten as a relish. I ate it by itself, on top of hot dogs, and even as an accompaniment to the

Three Sisters Stuff Shells

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As you all knew, I have a bunch of pumpkin in the freezer from last winter. I think in the future I might cut the pumpkin into cubes and store it that way, so it's a little more versatile than mashed pumpkin (which of course I could later mash if so inclined). I think I wind up hanging onto mash a lot longer than I would cubes because I really only use it for dog treats, muffins and shells/ravioli. I'm still working through that massive bag of corn, but I bought some ricotta as well (mainly because I knew I have a lot of pumpkin), so it seemed like maybe a little corn might be nice for texture. Which of course led me to beans, so I could have a 3 sisters shell. Since there was some cream cheese I knew was going to get wasted (since I haven't been buying or making bagels), I thought I'd toss that in too. Worked really well. You could make this into a full box of shells batch if you don't stuff them as much as I do. And, of course, I got to use up another bottle of pa

Chicago

I promised to tell you guys about what I ate in Chicago, but then I got caught up with homework and I totally forgot. So now I'll do so, though probably with less detail than if I'd done it immediately. I will, however, make sure to give you links to all the restaurants we ate at, where available. When I first got there, my flight had been delayed several (yes, several) hours, so we went and dropped off my things then went to have Thai food at Star of Siam . The Mee Krob was amazing, the sauce being lighter than normal. I also had the #16, which was delicious and had just the right amount of spice. P had the #32, I believe, and it was also quite delicious, though it needed a touch more spice. Later, we swung by iCream and got custom-made ice creams. P had the green-tea and pear, with blackberries and blueberries in it, and I had the mango sorbet with blackberries and gummy bears. Their set-up is pretty neat, because you basically decide what you want, then using liquid nitro

Summer Plan Update

I wound up with 9, count 'em, 9 Extra Care dollars this week. Which, naturally, I did not use to buy real food. Instead, I spent them ALL on junk food. Hopefully that'll last me a while. Because really, it's a lot. New rule: Even when I have lots of CVS monies, I am only allowed to buy one junk food item per week. Period. My junk food addiction is getting out of hand, and I might actually be eating more junk than real food, so limiting it is the newest change to my rules. There wasn't anything I could think of off the top of my head that I needed to buy, so I decided to replace some things I was out of or running low on, this week. Naturally, I forgot I needed onions, so that's on my list for next week. Even though I had 40 cents to spare, you just never know with onions so I put it off. I found a couple shallots in the pantry, and I also have dried onions (not to mention some frozen whole onions) so I figured those could make up for the missing fresh ones. I'

Food Waste Friday

I was poking about in my cheese drawer in the fridge, and I noticed something not good. As a result, this week I wasted: 1 small piece of cheese 1 serving of salad, which appears to have gone bad way before it was supposed to

Grapefruit Curd

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I managed to keep some grapefruits alive and well since... well, since they were in season. I accepted it was time to enjoy them, but I didn't want to just sit down and eat them. I wanted to make something more fun and delicious out of them, and it seemed to me that making a curd was the way to go with it. Plus, I could use that curd with those frozen blueberries and make some nice tarts out of them. That seemed really exciting to me! The upside of making curds is that when you have a lot of citrus, you can just make that and you can have some for now and save some for later. Which is what I did. It cans easily and isn't a lot of work to make, either. Hope you enjoy! 16 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice 2-3 tablespoons finely grated zest 2 cups sugar 8 eggs 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 16 tablespoons (1 cup) butter, cut into 1 tablespoon bits Whisk all but butter into a saucepan. Begin to heat over medium low heat and add all the butter. Whisking periodically, cook

Sausage and Lima Beans

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I found some lima beans in the pantry, which was a pleasant surprise. After cooking them, I figured I could eat them happily with the second half of the sausage link I had thawed out. It turned out that while I'd forgotten to buy onions, I did still have a couple shallots so I used one of those. If you have onion you can use that instead. Like always, this should be treated flexibly to accommodate what's in your house. Hope you enjoy! 1/2 cup each: sliced celery (with leaves), carrot, shallot salt and pepper to taste 1 tablespoon rosemary infused olive oil (or regular olive oil) 1/2 pounds sausage of your choice, sliced 1/2 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon each: garlic, pickle brine 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (or a cup of BBQ sauce, which I would've used if I'd remembered I had it) salt and pepper to taste 1 teaspoon each: marjoram, aleppo pepper (substitution: cayenne, though use less) 1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) lima beans 2 small mild flavoured pickles, chopped (

Almond and Date Brown Rice Pudding

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I had some brown rice left over from the chorizo meal, and while I was tempted to eat it with piles of salsa mixed in, I was even more interested in eating that salsa with the tortilla chips in the pantry. So uh... yeah. I couldn't really think about what I wanted to do with the brown rice otherwise, since I didn't want to fry it up into rice balls (uses too much oil, and that stuff is expensive!) and I didn't want to use it for a fried rice or stir fry since I'm mostly limited on veggies right now (okay, that's only partly true, but it's true enough since I have some other things I'd like to see happen with those veggies). Which left me kind of confounded. Of course, I could just chow it down with the lemon like I like to do, but then once again I'd have nothing to tell you. And I've already had nothing to tell you, in terms of recipes, for a while because I forgot I was only one person when I made that ginormous casserole (which, by the way, you *w

Summer Plan Update

As I mentioned in previous posts this week, I wound up with a whole lot of extra food I didn't expect to happen. I feel really badly that my friend was ill and as such, didn't eat. I prefer it when people who're in my house (staying or just visiting for a bit) get to eat well, and of the types of foods they prefer. That didn't happen this time, and as a result I feel like I inadvertently cheated on my budget plan. It obviously wasn't intentional (although believe me I am not sad about having chips and crackers!), but I feel like I need to do something to compensate for it. So what I ended up deciding was to eliminate my access to the pantry overflow room (which I will now start calling the Aladdin's Cave, since I like that term so much more than overflow room). The way all my food storage is structured is that in the kitchen I have 2 large shelves that comprise my pantry. One shelf pretty much contains all that I might need for baking, home canned canned food

Food Waste Friday

This week, I wasted: 1 cup of orange juice that didn't get used up while I was out of town And that's it!

Tomato and Artichoke Bake

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Well, it seems like since I have so much tomato sauce, I should try to put at least some of it to use. Which might come in handy for people who buy pasta sauce and want something different to do with it. Additionally, by doing it this way, I have a convenient way to use up some of the other things that've been hanging out in the fridge and freezer. I'm doing really well with this freezer business. Also, this worked out pretty well for me to be able to test out that new casserole dish from cookware.com . I have to say, they're pretty good at what they do. The day after my order was placed, it was shipped. Although the shipping email said it could take a couple weeks to get here, the dish was here before I got back from Chicago. Which means the maximum amount of time it could've taken to arrive is six days. Not bad at all! The company also makes sure to send you not only shipping information, but order verification. Some companies do one but not the other, and that anno

Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo

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I had a great time in Chicago. I didn't take a single picture the whole time I was there, but I remember everything I ate, and I'll tell you all about it in a future post. Future meaning if I ever finish these 57 analysis problems before they're due. The downside of my trip, other than the fact that it simply wasn't long enough, was that I had to be up at 3:30 in the morning to make my flight. Which got me out of the airport and in my car about an hour before my class started. Without any real amount of sleep. :( The upside of my trip is that I ate an amazing amount of awesome food, and it was really good to see P. I'm pretty tired after so much excitement though, so I decided to make something really, really easy for dinner (after all, I didn't want to blow my whole food budget on a cooking-avoidance meal). It turned out that my friend didn't... well, eat, while she was here. Not even the pie I made for her. I must say, I was quite surprised. I knew she sta

Summer Plan Update

Well, I'm actually in Chicago now. But I still wanted to let you know how things were going. I used up all the pita. Can you imagine? Despite the billion loaves that kept cropping up all over the freezer, I still managed to get through them all. Too bad so sad. I might need to get some more. There is some bread in there, though, so I probably won't get more pita until that's gone too (which means I'll likely be switching to odd grilled cheese type things instead of pita roll-ups). Originally I hadn't intended to spend any money this week on groceries, since I really didn't need anything. My intention was to load up on junk food OR to treat myself to an inexpensive meal out. But instead, I realised that I have an entire $10 that I could use to buy things that aren't in my budget during normal weeks (because they take up the entire $10). So that's what I did. Instead of getting junk food. I didn't buy myself a single bag of chips all week. It was har

Food Waste Friday

Well, I was surprised to have waste this week. My waste was caused by me having hidden a couple things for later. I think I hid them quite some time ago, but as my fridge becomes emptier and emptier of lots of excess, these things resurfaced. This week I lost: 3 slices quick bread 1 small coconut yogurt

Guest Spending

Well, it seemed to me that cooking toward the end of the time I'd be here wouldn't be very sound. Mainly because it meant I'd be saddling the friend who's caring for my house and "kids" with some leftovers she may or may not want. Didn't seem fair. So instead, I cooked enough food on Monday to last a couple days and decided to rely on pita roll-ups for the remainder of my dietary needs. And so, that brings me to the purpose of this post. Since I obviously wasn't cooking anything, I really wasn't spending any money, either. Or was I? Well, as it turns out, I was. I was spending money stocking up on things for my friend! She didn't really want much; just some Dr. Pepper and pasta sauce. I felt like maybe that wasn't enough, so I got some other things too. A lot of other things. I also made sure that I got enough for more than just her, since she mentioned she might have her brother come over to play rough with Francis. Playing rough is hard