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Monday, March 31, 2014

Non Velveeta Nachos

At work we got into a conversation about what Velveeta Cheese was. My response is, why is it sitting on a shelf and not in the refrigerator if its cheese.
My recipe is about the same as others with the exception of how I make the cheese. Its simple...yep back to the basic white sauce and add grated cheese. Pretty easy.
So no real recipe for this other than I used baked tortilla chips from Trade Joe's. Seems this place is our new grocery store. My next blog will explain our goals.
Stack tortilla chips in layers of cheese and ground beef add:
Guacamole (smashed avocados, squeeze of lime juice, salt/pepper.
Home made salsa (chopped tomatos, jalapeno, onions, cumin seeds, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper.
Sour cream
Jalapenos if you like.

Sloppy but real good.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


This is a great salad for those of us who take our lunches to work. Very easy also.
I use this same recipe eliminating the pasta and add grilled turkey or chicken.

2 C cooked penna pasta and chill or cool off under water (or any pasta you might have)

Combine in large air tight bowl:
Sliced celery hearts with leaves
15 ounce an of Pinto beans rinsed
15 ounce can of Garbanzo beans rinsed
1/2 C of Edamame bean thawed and rinsed (these I find frozen)
  hubby doesn't like to many
Chopped red onion (amount depends on you. I use 1/4 C)
1/2 can of small black olives
1/4 C fresh parmesan cheese (plz don't use that powdered stuff in a box)
1/2 tablespoon dried basil or 8-9 chopped fresh basil
3/4 C Italian dressing (I use Newman's)
1 teaspoon cane sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (optional, I like the extea zing)
P in air type bowl and shake to combine

This needs to sit for a few hours....if you can keep folks out of it.
My lunch portion.

After I took my portion



I have to admit I stole this from our fav restaurant, Black Walnut. Very simple.

Put lettuce on plate (I use Romaine)
Top with the following:
Crisp bacon cut up (not bacon bits)
Avocado slices
Tomato quarters
Hard boiled egg cut in half
Chunks of your favorite cheese
Chunks of good Blue Cheese (I love this stuff)
Your favorite meat (I used smoked BBQ'D turkey breasts cut up)
Grilled corn (you can get it frozen just thaw before or if you are real talented grill your corn on the cobb)

I make my Blue Cheese dressing:
Blue Cheese, mayo, salt/pepper, squeeze of lemon juice, and enough milk to thin out.
Add more Blue Cheese for stronger flavor.
Add crouton if you want.
Notice my fine dining plate, yep we eat on paper plates and use real metal silverware.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Day

We stayed up late last night until our eyelids told us we were WAY over our bedtime. During the week we go to bed at 9pm because we get up at 5:30 to go to work. So we got up late this morning cuz we are DVR'ing the parade. Besides the parrot must have been sleeping screeching from him, that's a blessing.

Today I started the baking/cooking needed for the week. Since it isn't real warm baking is instant heat in this TinCan. I made a quiche for hubby in the morning adding sauteed mushrooms and red onions. I scrambled 4 eggs added cheddar cheese and milk then salt and pepper. Then I added my mushrooms and onions along with cut up uncured pepper bacon from Whole Foods. With breakfast we had our Honduras's coffee, from whole beans, we brought back from our Cruise.

Later I made an apple pie. I peeled and cut up 2 granny smith apples and sliced them thin. In a large bowl I added the apples, brown sugar, some flour for thickening, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I mixed this up and put it in a store bought pie crust. Yea yea store bought. I just don't have room to make a crust. I made a crumble crust on top. You can find a recipe for this in any cook book. I cut the topping recipe in half. I couldn't see using a WHOLE stick of butter. I also wanted to protect the crust from getting to brown so I put the whole pie in foil. I tried to put foil around just the crust and failed. This seemed a better option.

Since we will be watching the parade without any commercials I made spinach dip. Ranch Dressing powder mix, 16 oz sour cream and thawed frozen spinach. I squeezed the liquid out of the spinach and chopped it up. I bought grape tomatoes, mushrooms, celery, baby carrots and chips for dipping. ummmm good day.

As we speak I am cooking my husbands favorite meal. I leaned this recipe from my mother years ago. It's real easy and tastes so so good.

Green Chili TortillasSmall flour tortillasJack cheese (or any spicy cheese you might like)Whole sweet chili's in the can. I use one chili per flour tortilla.Evaporated milk

You can make any amount you want, that's the secret to this recipe.

Just put shredded cheese in the flour tortilla layer a chili on top and roll it up and put seam side in glass casserole dish sprayed with vegetable oil.  Add canned milk until it is 3/4 full in dish. Add more cheese on top. Top with foil. I spray the inside of my foil so the cheese won't stick to it.

Cook at 375* until it bubbles and when you stick it with your fork it is tender. Take the foil off and put your oven on broil or just turn the heat up and brown the top. Let it cool or you will burn your mouth big time.

Eat with my black beans

Combine in a sauce pan: slightly drained black beans, a couple thick slices of onion, 2 TB brown sugar. If you have good red wine you can add that. Cook until most of the liquid is gone. Serve with a dolllop of sour cream.

Meantime hubby is bbq'ing the meat I marinated (Tubbs BBQ liquid mix with no high fructose corn syrup) all night and on the side organic turkey tenders. (I put turkey tenders in a bag and added a pack of onion soup mix and chicken stock seasoning)

I am set for the week now. One night the turkey will be on top of caesar salad, with home made caesar salad dressing. I use lots of garlic in my caesar salad dressing and all the anchovies in the can.  I make the crutons from left over sourdough bread. The beef will be for fajitas and tacos. Since we had left over heat on the grill I added three thick slices of red onion with the skin on to keep it from falling apart. I will add those, when they cool, to my cold turkey pasta salad for lunches.
Part of my frugal cooking is bbq'ing all the meat you need at one time for the weekly meals. See my blog about Frugal Grocery Shopping

Thursday, December 26, 2013

As Close To Organic Food As I Can Get

My son sent me an email about various produce that are slammed with pesticides and some that are not as badly slammed. I keep this list in my purse when I go to the grocery store. I mostly have it memorized. Below is the list.

If you are lucky enough to have a store called Trader Joe's you can get organic at a lower price than some larger chains. I buy my peppers, potatoes, cucumbers, and some meats at Whole Foods because the chain I go to doesn't have these in small quanities. I can buy my fruit, most of the time, at the chain I go to. Also frozen organic is good. I add them to muffins or cereal. 

Living in a TinCan you are limited. I don't buy processed foods so both my small frigs are full of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and things I make for lunches.(tuna salad, three bean salad, chicken pasta, and other things). I try to make these on the weekend so all I have to do is just put them in seperate containers for our lunches.

I do cheat sometimes and buy meat/dairy on sale at my chain. Yea, the cattle probably lived and were fed in a feed lot. I buy my tuna in bulk from Costco. If you want some processed stuff you can get it in great quanities at Costco. They have quite a selection of organic. I just dont have the room.

Of course, the ultimate would be having your own cattle or barter for a neighbors grass raised cattle. Also your own chickens and other critters along with a full garden and green house. That is on the back burner for us now. I buy my food weekly with a strict budget and pre planned menu. This menu includes treats, breakfast meals, and lunch meals. We probably spend $100-$120 a week for two.

Check out my post about how to pre-plan your week the weekend before. If I had a freezer I could make large amounts of ....say...skettie and freeze a few batches.

Eat OrganicOkay Non Organic
Imported NectrinesSweet Potato
PeppersSweet Peas
LettuceDomestic Cantaloupe





Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Famous Green Jello

2 C boiling water
1 small  package yellow jello
1 small package green jello
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 C cottage cheese
1/2 C mayonaise
3/4 can evaporated milk
1/2 C walnuts chopped medium fine

Boil 2 Cups water, add both packages of jello, mix until combined.
Add, pineapple, cottage cheese, mayonaise, canned milk, and nuts.
Stir to make it smooth taking the lumps out.

Put in frig until set.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner

Since we are still in our Tin Can cooking a turkey is out of the question.
Turkey breast (cooked in our on-the-counter oven)
Steamed fresh green beans
Dressing in a glass bowl (cooked in our not-so-great propane oven...finished in our fancy oven )
My Famous Green Jello Salad
Rolls ( I forgot to take the oven dial off of broil when I cooked the rolls so they are a bit dark)

Turkey, Green Beans, Dressing, Rolls, Famous Green Jello (green jello recipe in next blog).