Wednesday, February 26, 2014

6 Hidden Grocery Budget Busters

Lately, our totals at the grocery store have been on the high side. Not we won’t be eating for the last week of the month because we’re out of money high, more like hmm these grocery shopping trips seem abnormally high, what gives? higher than usual.

The Polar Vortex, blizzards, and a cabin fever kitchen cleaning binge was all the incentive we needed to poke through the cupboards for dinner ideas and stick to our Eat From the Pantry Challenge (AKA Eat This and Give Me Back Cupboard Space Month.) I learned where the cracks began to form in our grocery budget.




6 Ways I Blew My Grocery Budget

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gourmet Potato Recipe

Every family has their favorite and special recipes. Fancy or comfort food, they never disappoint. They are always celebrated when served.

That's what happens when Husband's family gets together and his grandmother's gourmet potatoes are part of the meal. It was part of the first meal I ate when I met Husband's the extended family for the first time. I wasn't sure what all the fuss was about until I savored my first bite of oozy gooey cheesy comfort food. So good!



Eventually I moved on from girlfriend to wife. Shortly thereafter Mother in Law gave me a wonderful Christmas gift: a recipe box full of the Woods family recipes, including Grandma Woods gourmet potatoes recipe!

Even though I shouldn't eat this anymore because of the lactose in it, I can't resist enjoying at least a little nibble when gourmet potatoes cross my path.

Gourmet Potatoes

Monday, February 10, 2014

How Not to Use a Pressure Cooker

Dried beans are one of our pantry staples. They are a good source of protein (especially when paired with rice,) cheap, and crockpot friendly. I pop them in the slow cooker with a bit of extra water and the rest of the recipe's ingredients - poof! - 8 hours later we have lazy budget (and gasless) dinner.

I keep a couple of cans of backup beans in the pantry, just in case Husband or I are Iron Chefing dinner and didn't think about starting a slow cooker full of beans that morning. This happens quite a bit, especially when you find way too many unopened packages of beans in what you thought was an organized kitchen. Cough.





Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Crockpot Mexican Beef and Beans Recipe

Eat from the Pantry month was a great success! We cleared cabinet space, came up with new recipes, and most importantly, didn't have to drive to the store before, during, or after the January snow storms to buy groceries. Woohoo!

One of my successes from this exercise, is creating this Mexican Beef and Bean recipe for the slow cooker. I had not quite enough leftover roast beef for a full second meal, more dried beans in the kitchen and pantry than I thought I had, and a dehydrated bell pepper from a holiday relish tray. We were in the mood for something a little spicy so I decided it was high time I got these kids together for dinner. I'm glad I did!





When I cook with dried beans and/or dehydrator experiments I usually use an electric slow cooker because it stares at me from the kitchen counter, begging me to put it to work. If that's not your thing, you can also make this recipe in a nonelectric Wonderbag slow cooker (learn about mine here) if you use canned or soaked and softened dried beans.

Mexican Beef and Beans Recipe