Apparently, I’m a grandmother from the Depression era because two of my chief joys in life are saving money and not letting anything go to waste. Seriously, I could spend hours in most thrift stores, and I’m a sucker for a sale.
In fact, my older sister was trying to describe our family to her 5th grade health class, and she told them how my face lights up when I see a “free stuff” sign in someone’s alley…and one her students, from this school in a rich Chicago suburb, raised her hand and said…”So, you’re sister’s kind of earthy?”
I guess when you make your own chicken broth, the description earthy applies.
I can handle that.
For this Frugal Friday, I’m offering some cheap, last-minute Easter recipes. They’re last minute in the sense that, well, it’s already Good Friday, as well as in the sense that the recipes are pretty easy and don’t take too many ingredients — perfect for a last-minute situation.
#1. Bunny Butt Pancakes from Girl Versus Dough I love these; I mean, have you seen anything cuter? If you live anywhere near where berries are in season, please make these for me…only, don’t use Bisquick. Make a basic pancake recipe like this one instead – cheap, easy, adorable.
First of all, let’s just get this out of the way: “A brisket, a brasket, what a lovely basket.”
This has been looping in my head for the last five days. You know you wanted to say it too.
Moving on. We participated in our first ever Seder meal this past weekend, and I was put in charge of the meat. I spent a few brief hours considering roasting lamb until I remembered that large pieces of meat still often intimidate me and that I’d be cooking for other people (some of whom I didn’t know) and that the meat had to be warmed and done and sliced at a very specific time in the evening. Lamb was out.
Easter weekend is just around the corner, and I love Easter, I really do, for reasons both religious and culinary. But here’s my problem with Easter in Minnesota: it’s March, people, March. And we are weeks, if not months, away from asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, and all of their springtime friends.
Yet, every grocery store ad around has these late-spring favorites featured on their front page, life-sized containers of blueberries in print, “On Sale! Buy One, Get One Free!”
And this is confusing. Because we want berries to be in season; we want them to grace our Easter tables in all their springtime glory…but all of those !buy one, get one! Minnesota grocery-store offers taste a lot like Mexico and southern California.
So I present to you…three berryless Easter desserts…because really, it’s still more winter than spring.
I know what you’re thinking. Liz, this is a seasonal blog, and, giiiiiirl, Girl Scout Cookie Season is over.
And you’re exactly right…though could you blame me for having a bit of seasonal confusion when today, the first day of spring, “feels like 5 degrees” according to weather.com? Ahem.
But back to the cookies. Girl Scout Cookie Season is over, and in fact, we’re eleven months out from endless boxes of Samoas, Thin Mints, and Tagalongs….eleven months. So what’s a girl to do when it’s, let’s say…May, and she needs a Samoa?
The other night, when I made these potatoes, Eric was still out of town. And I thought…to myself…there’s no one else here but Owen, Liz. You legitimately could eat potatoes and only potatoes for dinner.
But then I thought better of myself and knew if I did that, I would be lying in bed later, feeling like a bloated potato, only I would have nobody to complain to.So, I did the only sensible thing and decided to whip up some quick chicken gyros while the potatoes were roasting.
It’s that time of year when even the potatoes – those withered yet resilient members of the winter vegetable community – look up sadly at me as though begging, just this once, to be nestled on the plate next to something green…anything green.
It’s your lucky day. With St. Patrick’s Day next week, thought I’d share some Irish-ey foods with you for this week’s Frugal Tuesday…not all of them are your typical Patty’s day fare, but I offer you some unique takes on some Ireland-born goodness.
#1. Oat Soda Bread from 101 Cookbooks Soda bread is a quick bread that originated in Ireland, which includes buttermilk and baking soda as the leavening agent. This version is a fun take with oats and sesame seeds!
So, this blog is about eating seasonally. And technically, it is the season for all things citrus. But I always have a dilemma about sharing citrussy recipes on Carpe Season…because even though lemons, limes, and oranges are in season right now, they still have to be shipped thousands of miles to get to snow-covered Minnesota: a step in the food chain I’m not thrilled about. Yet, I still eat about eight Cuties a day this time of year. So even though I may not be quite as locally minded as some, let’s celebrate the season with a few frugal recipes that rely on the season’s oranges.
The sun feels warm again. It’s a subtle development, but a significant one. One day you step outside, and instead of immediately feeling your nostrils freeze, you actually feel the sun again.
And it’s in that moment that spring once again becomes a reality worth considering. For months, you completely shut out any thoughts of thaw…because when you do allow yourself the briefest moment of springtime desire, January looks down its cold, long nose at you and laughs as you slip on the ice…again. Continue reading →
Let’s get this out there: I LOVE popcorn. Love it. A big bag of kernels costs next to nothing; it’s amazing with salt, and even better with some melted butter, and there are tons of variations from sweet to savory. Store bought snacks (I’m looking at you, Cool Ranch Doritos) can cost upwards of $4.00 for one bag, which lasts someone like me about two days (because I am a closet Doritos addict). So, here are a few popcorn recipes that make a great snack for less!
I’ve always been talkative. I spoke my first word – hot - at ten months old and never really stopped talking after that point. In fact, I talked so much…to myself, anyone who would listen, my stuffed animals, the walls…that one time when I was about seven, my own mom paid me $1 to be quiet for an hour so she could get some work done. This is a true story.
(This Frugal Tuesday post is brought to you on Wednesday because our internet connection gave up working for Lent, and I was working with dial-up-era speeds yesterday. We’re changing Internet providers today, but I managed to sneak this onto the world wide web when our connection wasn’t looking).
Bread: yeast + flour+ a few other things. Really simple, so why is it $3 per loaf at my grocery store right now? Out of control. Last year, when I got really into making this bread, I nerded out and did a cost breakdown to figure out if making bread was any cheaper than buying it. Turns out, with that recipe, I could make a loaf for just under $2…which has forever ruined me for buying bread that’s any more expensive than that. Today’s Frugal Tuesday post is all about making more bread at home…for less.
1. Foolproof (Vegan) Focaccia from Crepes of Wrath
A great little bread recipe from a blog I happily follow. I find myself laughing out loud at least once a post, and this girl makes some mean recipes. Like this bread. Every single ingredient is already in my pantry. Doesn’t get more frugal than that.
We spent a large chunk of our Saturday sending our breakable goods on a little hiatus to our basement and covering outlets all over our house. In the past month, Owen has learned to pull himself to standing, and doing so is absolutely his favorite pastime. He’s even started to traverse along our furniture with some hesitant steps, and once in a while stands without holding onto anything…usually by accident. He’s taken a few rough tumbles, but is mostly enamored with his new-found skills. Here’s a little peek at eight-and-a-half months Owen: mobile, agile, and infantile.
In early elementary school, I of course, did my fair share of giving Lisa Frank valentines to my classmates, as it was required that all students received valentine so no one would feel left out.
Did my young heart still skip a beat when I got a certain Spiderman valentine from a certain boy with JTT hair in my class? Yes. Did I get sick to my stomach eating grape-flavored Nerds that night? Also yes.