Lazy Budget Chef: January 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How to Bake a King Cake – an Allergy Free Breadmaker Recipe!

One of the small regrets I had during a trip to New Orleans to eat! all! the! things! was not being able to sample King Cake. King Cakes are a lovely buttery coffee cake type cake with even more butter and cream in the filling, and decorated with icing or sugar (or both) in Mardi Gras colors: purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold/yellow representing power.

New Orleans style King Cake with a secret - it's dairy free!

King Cakes are typically enjoyed during the Mardi Gras or Carnival season starting  January 6th (Twelfth Night) to Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) and ending on Ash Wednesday. Each King Cake comes with a surprise inside. Somewhere inside the cake is a small plastic baby figure (or the more traditional dried bean or pecan) and if you are lucky enough to find the baby, according New Orleans tradition, you have to bring the next King Cake or host the next Mardi Gras party.

King Cake Bread Machine Dough Recipe

Friday, January 22, 2016

How to Prepare for a Winter Snowstorm

I’ve spent most of my life living in almost all of the corners of Ohio which means I’ve experienced more than my fair share of blizzards, snow storms, and blackouts.

Fun fact: The first Christmas we spent in our new Condo, a freak ice storm knocked out our power for almost a week. Good times!

After that experience and especially after our multiday summer blackout Husband and I figured we should probably keep a few things on hand and ideas in mind in case we have a weather emergency in the future.

Now, I don’t want to insult anyone reading this post but Husband and I are not Doomsday Preppers. We’re not into learning how to wrestle a bear or hoarding our collective weight in beef jerky when we see a snowflake outside of the windows.

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We’re interested in what to do if the electricity or heat goes out during a snowstorm. How to stay warm and what items we should have on hand to make waiting out the storm more comfortable when everyone else is experiencing Winter Weather Amnesia like this funny tweet:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

42 Ways to Get Free Stuff (without Stealing)

I like getting a free pen or tote bag at the state fair just as much as the next person.  I appreciate free hotel toiletries so I don't have to deal with them on airplanes. I am pretty darn lucky we have local events with sponsors that offer us little advertising trinkets we find useful and allow us to learn about new products or businesses. As long it is something you can use and you only take your fair share, I don't think it stealing or being dishonest

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What I do have a problem with is someone who tells you to save money by taking more than your fair share, ripping other people off, or outright stealing something like enough ketchup packets from a fast food place to refill your empty household ketchup bottle. Seriously?

After reading another article about getting stuff for free that is borderline illegal and made me greatly annoyed, I put together my own list of how to get stuff for free that won't get you arrested and let you sleep with a clear conscious at night.

42 Hacks to Get Things for Free!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Warm Milk and Honey Recipe – Milk Allergy Friendly!

On snowy Saturday afternoons, I used to go to a cozy little coffeehouse and curl up with a cup of Hum and a good book. The coffeehouse is long gone but my favorite steamed milk and honey recipe lives on courtesy of my kitchen.

The coffeehouse named the recipe Hum after the sound steaming milk makes using an espresso machine steamer. I never could get the hang of using the steamer on my espresso machine so I took the easy (and lazy) way out by heating the milk in a pot on the stove or in a mug in the microwave and frothing it afterwards.

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The original recipe calls for cow’s milk. Fortunately, it also works with your favorite non dairy milk so allergy sufferers do not have to mess out on this sweet drink that warms you from nose to toes on a chilly day.

Steamed Milk Hum Recipe 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Get Organized! DIY Wine Cork Hooks

pantryhookbefore At first glance, my tiny pantry looks organized. I'm surprised at how much more space I have in the pantry after decanting my kitchen staples into glass jar! It looks pretty too.

What you don't know is that my kitchen jar project is really an ant proofing project that turned into a surprise free organization project. I'll give you the details on Lazy Budget Chef in a later post.

I found a crazy amount of Husband's pancake mixes hidden behind the aprons I had hanging off a coat hook attached to a pantry shelf. It is a result of our Out of Sight Out of Mind Disease because organizing the aprons that way blocks our view of what is stored on the pantry shelves below.

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Time to get those aprons hanging on the wall and blocking the view to our food! I made strong and durable pantry apron hooks from  wine corks, wall anchors, and scrap wood. Scoot on over to DIY blog Condo Blues and read this post:

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Project Me: Keep a Memory and Hygge Jar

I’ve been toying with the idea of keeping a New Year’s memory jar. Unfortunately, I never seem to get it together or think about it until after January 1st. I get hung up on THE RULES saying you have to start it on New Year’s Day.

Funny thing, is that starting a wish and happiness jar on January first isn’t some hard and fast rule. It is something that somehow got stuck in my fevered brain. Pretty silly, huh?

Long story short, it is after New Year’s Day and I started a memory jar. I will fill it with slips of paper reminding me of achievements, fun times, and hygge moments both big and small.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Our Favorite Lazy Budget Chef Recipes

It is a brand spanking new year and time to make a New Year’s Resolution if you haven’t already.
Why not make a New Year’s resolution to try cooking new recipes and eating new things? What a fun resolution you are bound to keep!

To get you started, I have a roundup of our favorite 2015 Lazy Budget recipe posts for a Happy Food Year!

Shrimp Sauté with Leeks and Barley Risotto