Mini Homestead…In A Trailer Park

Learning to Live for the Future

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Posts Tagged ‘frugal’

The Frugal Food Column

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on January 21, 2011


Vegetable garden

Image by Downing Street via Flickr

If you want to take the time to check out the left sidebar on this blog, you will see a number of categories of articles and whatnot. Notice the category Shannon L. Buck on Experts123. That is me! My very own food column, called Frugal Food. I am very excited over this column, as it is helping me to market the Frugal Recipes blog, which is also mine 🙂

I already have an accumulation of column articles, as well as a question on Experts123.com answered. Feel free to check each of them out. The current column article series is about growing your own food organically and frugally, perfect reads for the homesteader.

I hope that you enjoy the articles.

Shannon

 

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Posted in Food Preservation, Gardening, Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Homemade Food Gifts: The Cooks’ Gift

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 4, 2010


baked cookies

Image by roboppy via Flickr

(This is – I think 🙂 – the last article in the Homemade Food Gifts series being posted by me on the Frugal Recipes blog. I hope that you have all enjoyed the series.)

If you have taken the time to make the homemade vinegars, oils and butters that have been featured here on the Frugal Recipes blog as of late, then you have a great base for a cooks’ holiday gift. If you have made the dried herb gifts, you will be able to add them to this. All of these items, combined with some homemade baked goods, will make a great gift.

Place the a combination of these items in a large gift bag or basket.

You can add to this gift, if you have affordable ways of obtaining certain other items. For instance, why not add some homemade knitted or crocheted dish cloths to the gift. A dollar store will net you wooden cooking spoons and rubber spatulas, or even dish towels. I once found two large metal pots at a yard sale for .50 each. They were old, but looked almost new. A thrift shop may net you a hand grater for a quarter, or a couple of whisks. If you have been lucky enough to find such deals, create gifts with them.

Tips

  • Combine in a container. No need to wrap.
  • If you choose to use a basket, they can be found affordably at thrift shops.
  • I once found four large baskets at a yard sale for $1.00 each.

 

What food gifts do you give at the holidays? Please share with us in the comments below.

Shannon

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Homemade Food Gifts: Homemade Baked Goods

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 3, 2010


Fall Quick Bread

Image by whitneyinchicago via Flickr

(I am almost done posting the Homemade Food Gifts series here and on the Frugal Recipes blog. I hope that you are all enjoying it, and coming up with ideas for your holiday gift giving.)

The most frugal way to make these food items is from scratch. Admittedly, I often use boxed items when I am able to purchase them on sale, with a coupon. They can be pretty affordable just before and during the holidays. The trick to doing this in the most frugal manner possible is by figuring out whether it is cheaper to bake from scratch or a box when all factors are added in, or deducted. :) Be sure to factor in home preserved produce for the food items that have fruit as an ingredient.

Fill baskets with one or more of the following:

  • HM (Homemade) quick breads
  • Quick breads from a box: Lemon poppy seed, apple cinnamon, pumpkin and cinnamon swirl are all tasty options.
  • Brownies
  • HM pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or bars.
  • HM sugar cookies decorated with colored sugars or icings.
  • HM apple or zucchini bars with chocolate chips.
  • HM mints

Tips

  • To save money on electricity, I bake multiple items at once.
  • To save time, I mix up multiple batches at once in large bowls.
  • To save a few more pennies, when mixing up multiple batches I delete and egg or two.
  • To save more money, I use small or medium eggs – or large depending on what is on sale. You can use any size eggs in baking, even if large eggs are specifically called for. 1 small or medium egg = 1 large egg.
  • Use mini loaf pans, if possible.
  • Use mini decorative cake pans for breads, bars and cakes.

What homemade baked goods do you make to give as holiday gifts? Please share with us in the comments below.

Shannon

Posted in Food Gifts, Winter Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Homemade Food Gifts: Herbed Butters

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 2, 2010


Clarified butter at room temperature

Image via Wikipedia

(This was first posted to the Frugal Recipes blog this morning. I am sharing all of the gift making ideas from that blog with all of you. I hope you enjoy the posts.)

Purchase sweet butter in large packages, preferably on sale. Generic and store brand butter is fine. Use a coupon if you have one.

Herbed butters are simple to make, and can be made up to three months before the date they will be given as gifts. Simply freeze them in 1/2 or 1 pint canning jars, or other thick jars that have been saved and cleaned for this purpose. Be sure to sterilize the jars before using them for the butter.

Two days before you wish to give the gifts, take the butters out of the freezer and place them into the refrigerator. The next day, you will want to tie a square or round of fabric over the jars’ lid with raffia or twine. Add a tag or a sticker with the name of each butter and its’ ingredients, as well as a line that reads ‘From the Kitchen of (Your Name).’

RATIO: 1/2 cup butter to 1 Tablespoon of herb or herb combination.

USE: Herbs fresh from the garden. Wash and mince them before use.

Variations:

  • Dill and mint
  • Garlic and marjoram

Experiment with different herbs and combinations of herbs.

NOTE: These jars of butter do not need processing.

What combinations of herbs do you use when making butter? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below.

Shannon

References:

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs (1987, Rodale Press)

Posted in Food Gifts, Recipes, Uncategorized, Winter Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Homemade Food Gifts: Dried Herbs

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 30, 2010


Dill Anethum graveolens

Image via Wikipedia

(Originally posted to the Frugal Recipes blog earlier today. Wanted to share with you as well.)

Throughout the summer and autumn months, you have harvested and dried organic herbs to use in your culinary ventures throughout the winter. As is usually the case, you have far more of these dried herbs than you will be able to use before the next harvest season. Why not share your bounty with family and friends?

Hopefully, throughout the year, you have been cleaning and saving the jars from your food purchases. Perhaps you have purchased canning jars, lids and rings frugally at yard sales and thrift shops. You may also have fabric, twine or raffia from the projects that you have been working on throughout the year. If so, you have the makings for great holiday gifts.

Single Herb Examples

Basil

Bay leaves

Parsley

Rosemary

Sage

 

Herb Mix Examples

Basil, oregano and thyme

Basil, thyme and parsley

Dill, mint and parsley

Lemon balm and mint

Parsley and rosemary

1. Sterilize all of the jars, lids and rings. Dry completely. It is important that no moisture is evident when packing the dried herbs.

2. Fill the jars with single herbs, or herb mixes.

3. Tie squares or rounds of fabric onto the cover of each jar with twine or raffia.

4. Add a tag or sticker to the jar with the name of the herb, and with ‘From (Your Names’) Garden.’

How do you package your dried herbs for gift giving? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Shannon Reference:

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs (1987, Rodale Press)

Posted in Food Gifts, Winter Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Black Bean Soup in the Slowcooker

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on September 14, 2008


This recipe was originally posted on my Frugal Recipes blog. Feel free to visit the blog for more recipes.

Actually, I changed this one slightly from a Sandra Lee Recipe. Her recipe would have made too much for a try it meal. This one will be perfect for my daughter and nephew. I don’t eat onions, though, so I won’t eat it like this.

They loved it.

In a slow cooker, put:

1 can black beans, and liquid

10 oz. chicken broth

10 oz. diced tomatoes, and liquid

1 chopped, fresh tomato

1/3 cup diced onion

1/2 cup carrots, canned, and liquid

1/3 Tbsp. paprika

2/3 tsp. ground cumin

1/3 tsp. garlic powder

1 pinch ground cloves

 

Cook on high for 3-4 hours.

Posted in Recipes | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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