Monday, February 25, 2013

Meal Stretcher Monday: Millet

I keep seeing recipes for quinoa. The problem (other than that it took me weeks to pronounce it correctly) is that the only quinoa (KEEN-wa) that I could find around here was $9 for one pound.

Hm... There's this millet stuff right by there that cost $3 for TWO pounds. I wonder what that is.

Turns out (after a little internet research) that millet is actually often used as a substitute for quinoa! Well, what do you know!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Baked Butternut Fries

It's school vacation week, so I've been trying out the new recipes that I am just plain too tired to do during regular weeks.

This week: Baked Butternut Squash Fries

The recipe for this is actually really simple:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stainless Steel Sink Cleaner

Remember yesterday when I cleaned the stove with home made spray cleaner, baking soda, and a washcloth?

Well, it worked so well, that I decided to see how the combination tackled another horrible kitchen mess: the "stainless" steel sink.

Yuck. This happened because I fell behind on dishes and my husband chose not to bail me out like he usually does. Dang.

To the rescue:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Scrubbing the Stove

I have three friends with babies due in the next 4-6 weeks. Know what that means? NESTING!

I remember when I was nesting with each of my cubs. It was awful. I hadn't learned how to make my own cleaning supplies, so I was dealing with harsh cleansers that made me queazy, or made my hands itch and sting, or my eyes and throat burn. Now I'm convinced more than ever that those harsh cleaners are a pointless, toxic waste of money.

I'll prove it. Today, I'm tackling the stove.

(The stove was a mess when I began, but since it is white, the pictures didn't really come out.)

There are a lot of chemical cleaners out there that would do the job and do it well. We used to use Clorox Clean-up, or Formula 409, or any one of a number of things. They run between $3 and $4 per bottle.

I can do better.

I used my home made spray cleaner, a wash cloth, and some baking soda.

I've had a stressful week, so I used the frustration energy to get to every little crack and crevice. I even took the nobs off and attacked the grease built up behind there. Here's how it looked before:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Meal Stretcher Monday - Coffee

I know that I could lower my grocery budget by abandoning coffee. I won't do it. I love coffee. I tried to break up with it a couple of times before, but my resolve never stuck. I'm taking this as a sign that we were meant to be together.

A few tips on doing coffee on the cheap:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lemon Coconut Sugar Scrub

It's almost Valentine's Day, and you know what that means! Hearts and flowers? Candy and gems? Nope. Figuring out a gift for my son's teachers that won't break me.

I know that a gift isn't required, but I wanted to do something for them at Christmas and never managed it. I'm totally going to make that right for Valentine's Day.

But how?

Well, Valentine's Day is getting a reputation for being about indulgence, right? (Otherwise, who would need a ginormo heart-shaped box of chocolates?) Let's capitalize on that.

Recently I walked into one of those expensive beauty stores that I have no business entering. The lovely, slightly scary, over-plucked sales lady offered to let me try a lemon coconut sugar scrub.

I did. It smelled wonderful. It worked like a dream. It was $50 for 4 oz. Bye.

After the sticker shock wore off, I figured that I can do better. I experimented and made a simple, inexpensive scrub that works like a dream, smells wonderful, and costs pennies.