some go-to recipes I use a lot...
laundry detergent: 2 bars of Dr. Bronners lavender soap(any bar soap will do), grated + 2 cups of Borax + 2 cups washing soda. I store it on my shelf above the washer, drop in 2 tablespoons per load. SO SIMPLE, SO CHEAP!!
dishwasher detergent: 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups borax, 1 cup lemishine(per this blog). This recipe aggravates me as the soap solidifies. I have to chisel 2 TBSP per dishwasher load, but to me, it's worth it. Again, it's SO CHEAP.
In an attempt to curb the insane amounts of money we're spending on food here, I sketched out a meal plan. Being the dork that I am, here's what I came up with.
Tater Tuesday/Pizza-Tuesday night is BOGO at our favorite local pizza joint, but...the owner hugs me. Obviously, we've been eating there too much. Twice a month out, twice a month in.
Whole Grain Wednesday-A pasta dish of any kind.
Tilapia Thursday-or any kind of fish. Tilapia tends to be cheap and easy to fit into a recipe.
Fiesta Friday-Mexican food of any kind.
Soup & Salad Saturday
Simple Sunday-a free for all
We'll see how it works. We had pasta tonight and it was marvelous, if I do say so myself. It was Sean's first 14 hour day, so he missed dinner. He did compliment the chef even after his was all dried out and reheated. :)
cookies: a yummy recipe for when you're low on butter. I don't do raisins. I do chocolate chips. The only thing I don't like about this recipe is that I always forget to double it. As is, it only makes 2 dozen. 24 cookies doesn't go a long way with three (dishonest, disobedient, little hog) boys (that care nothing about the sweet tooth of the woman that birthed them) who can reach the counter themselves.
noodley goodness: it's all about the parmesan. Sean bought the good stuff a few weeks ago. Those big, expensive wedges of cheese that most sensible shoppers avoid. I resented him as I shaved off a layer of skin while grating the cheese. "Why couldn't you have just bought the already shredded parmesan?!"-I grumbled. The man's flawed purchase has revolutionized my alfredo sauce. Revolutionized, I say. That little wedge goes a long, long way. I've made at least four meals involving white sauce with one triangle of cheese. Ok, enough of that. Tonight, it was spiral noodles+white sauce(hvy whipping cream, parm, LOTS of fresh garlic, black pepper)+shittake mushrooms+more parmesan on top. Baked for 20 minutes at 350. Next time, I'll throw some roasted red peppers on top. A loaf of homemade bread, followed by the cookies above and three little boys went to bed with a belly full of carbs. Hoping they'll sleep in later than 6:30 as they didn't this morning.
smoothies: I don't have any clever concoctions at this point. Nothing beyond what everybody already knows. I throw in a bag of frozen fruit(that junk is expensive! MUST renew Costco membership), a handful of something green(usually spinach. Tried dandelion greens and they're just too bitter no matter how ya mask it), a carrot.
hummus: My favorite Vitamix recipe at this point. A bag of frozen chickpeas, garlic, cumin, sesame seeds, cup of water. We thought we'd killed the beast. Turns out, cans of chickpeas and bags of chickpeas are a tad different when it comes to liquid content. Water was a must in this recipe! Other than thinking we'd broken our blender, this was suprisingly easy to make. And, again, SO CHEAP. I've been paying upwards of $5 for hummus and we eat at least 2 containers a week. That adds up. To make an entire peanut butter jar(2.5 times the normal size container) worth of hummus, I spent $2.39.
granola bars: Something like this recipe. I don't use a recipe anymore though, so they are always a little different. I've never used wheat germ. I always use peanut butter. I always use either chocolate chips or butter chips. I always put BIG coconut flakes in mine. If you are still buying anti-freeze laden and preservative-d coconut, you don't know what you're missing. Walnuts, almonds or cashews are a must. I make these at least twice a week. Oats are inexpensive and keep bellies full.
I don't love to cook. I don't mind it if I have the right ingredients and a good looking recipe, but it's not a hobby or anything. I do love the end result. I love the satisfaction of knowing I put in the effort to make something healthy, that tastes good. I love seeing the boys try new things and embrace food I never even thought to offer them once upon a time.
If you have any go-to recipes, I'd love to have 'em!