Monday, October 17, 2016

How to Make Dehydrator Tomato Powder

This is what happens when your in laws invite you over and ask you if you want some tomatoes from their garden.


I think Mom and Dad were secretly shoving produce in our pockets when we weren’t looking

I’m truly grateful Mom and Dad shared their bountiful garden harvest with us. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, a big chunk of the tomatoes were so ripe they couldn’t wait for me to buy more canning supplies in the next day or so, oh no.

Both Husband and I knew we would be haunted by our ancestors if we let even a fraction of this generous gift spoil before I could preserve it for later.

Fortunately, my dehydrator stepped up and made sun dried tomatoes out of the tomatoes in the most dire need of attention. (read how to make sun dried tomatoes  on Lazy Budget Chef here.)

Unfortunately I don’t have storage space for so many jars of dehydrated and canned tomatoes. So I decided to make dried tomato powder instead!

How to Make Tomato Powder the Easy Way!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Spicy Harry Potter Inspired Pumpkin Juice Recipe

One of my favorite daydreams as a kid was to have the ability to jump into my favorite books to interact with the characters and explore their world. And that’s exactly what happened when Husband and I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of both Universal Studios Florida parks!

JK Rowling approved every. single. thing. in Hogsmede and Diagon Alley all the way down to the food. Universal set up a test kitchen in England so JK Rowling could select what she imagined when she created pumpkin juice and all of the other fantastic wizard food and drinks that appear in the series.

 If you have food allergies read my Lazy Budget Chef post How to Vacation at Universal Studios Orlando with Food Allergies before you go!

Unfortunately the way I envisioned the taste of pumpkin juice does not match J.K. Rowling’s vision of pumpkin juice.The official Harry Potter version of pumpkin juice is a sweet apricot juice based drink.

It is too sweet for my taste. Not to mention, I expected pumpkin juice to have more pumpkin spice in it than what I drank at The Wizarding Worlds. I expected something like a spicy fall apple cider but with the mild taste of pumpkin instead of apples.

So I decided to make a less sweet and more spicy pumpkin juice recipe myself!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

26 Weird Ways to Save Money

I grew up hearing the saying, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” (although technically it does because we make paper out of trees.) But that saying didn’t really hit home until I was on my own at 18 and putting myself through school. Stuff costs money!

I won’t claim I created a perfect frugal budget back then or that I have all of the budgeting answers now. However many of my frugal hacks started as a necessity so I could splurge on frivolous things like food and rent.

 Pin this list of money saving ideas for later!

Even though I don’t have to follow such a strict money saving plan today, most of these frugal habits and tips are in my Swiss Army Knife of Frugal Hacks so I can make a truly frivolous splurge like travel and eat all the things!

26 Frugal Hacks and Tips


1. Date it to find out how long the package lasts. This is super duper anal tentative but it works to keep me from automatically buying staples every time I see them on sale.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to Dehydrate Spiraled Summer Squash Pasta Noodles

My in laws gifted me with several summer squashes from their gigantic and prolific vegetable garden.  I’m the only human in the house who likes summer squash and quickly found that there is only so much I can eat day after day without getting sick and tired of eating homegrown summer squash.

Which I suspect is why my in laws gave them to me in the first place.

I need to figure out how to preserve the summer squash for later this year when it is out of season. I don’t have the space to freeze it and can’t can it. That leaves my  favorite lazy way to save summer vegetables – dehydrate it!

And since I jumped on the spiralzied vegetable pasta bandwagon like everyone else, I’m going to make dehydrated summer squash zoodles to use in place of whole wheat pasta when the mood strikes.

Pin this tutorial for later!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How to Freeze Tomatoes

I got a phone call from my mother in law asking me if I need any tomatoes or garden vegetables because they grew too many. I chuckled and said, "you say that every year!"

I swear all my in laws need to do is squint their eyes in the direction of their garden, and their plants burst forth with more tomatoes than the vines can hold.

Although they tell me actually watering plants helps them to grow too. Who knew?

Pin this tutorial for later!

Mother in Law has canned just about every variation of tomato recipe there is and in mega large quantities, dropped off bags of  homegrown tomatoes to friends and pantries, and practically snuck a bunch in my pockets when we met at a restaurant to celebrate a family birthday and two anniversaries last Sunday.

Friday, August 26, 2016

How Do Food Allergy Families Afford the Skyrocketing Price of EpiPens?

Unless you've been living under a rock, even if you do not have any serious allergic reactions that require an emergency one dollar dose of epinephrine to keep you from drying, you know Mylan the company that makes Epi Pen has raised its price by 400%. According to a price comparative search of Epi Pens using GoodRX, the cheapest you can fill an EpiPen prescription in Columbus, Ohio is $616 after using a GoodRx coupon. No GoodRx coupon? Plan to pay $738.

Since everyone is required to have health insurance what's the big deal? you say?

The big deal is a lot of health insurance companies are prepared to cover the skyrocketing cost, especially if a family can only afford a plan that has high out of pocket deductibles, which means allergy patients are forced to pay up to $600 for one prescription.

How do food allergy families afford the high cost of EpiPen
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What you also may not know is that you have to carry two EpiPens with you at all times in case the first one doesn't work. Rarely does an allergy patient only has two EpiPens in case of emergency.   Typically you carry two on your person, two at home, and two elsewhere such as at work or school. EpiPens expire after one year. So you have to cough up at least $600 - $1,800+ per year in hopes you never have to use the medication.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Best Homemade Ranch Salad Dressing Mix Recipe in the World!

There is nothing better than eating a fresh, crisp salad on a summer’s day when it is too hot to cook.

Do you know also tastes great on that fantastic salad?

Salad dressing!

And do you know what is one of the most difficult things to buy if you have a dairy or milk food allergy?

Salad dressing!

Sad, but true. Most prepared salad dressing and salad dressing mixes contain milk solids to make them thick, especially my favorite, ranch dressing – unless you make it yourself!

Pin this recipe for later!

My ranch salad dressing mix recipe is the quickest, easiest, and over all best ranch salad dressing recipe on planet Earth because you can customize the recipe just the way you like it.