Wednesday, May 30, 2012


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.

Meatless Monday
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!


Corey said...

I really need to try that laundry detergent. I haven't been able to find washing soda. I think I'm going to have to brave the 'hood' and go to the walmarts.
I don't use my dishwasher anymore!
Like the menu plan. My week usually ends up something like that too. Although every now and then I have throw in "real meat" as the man says and make a steak or something.
I'm going to try those cookies!!
Smoothies: I've been adding greek yogurt to ours. No one even knows it's there but it's fat free and full of protein. And YES renew the Costco membership cuz in winter when fruit is scarce, you'll want it! :D
Definitely need to try granola bars too. Although I really do not like coconut. :-/ Could I just add more chocolate?!
My go-to is homemade pizza. I'll have to write up a post about it. :)

jessica said...

could you put the dish soap in ice cube trays? Maybe we're the only ones who still have ice cube trays... :). but could be a dollar well spent. Although I would consider chiseling to be exercise.

Melissa said...

As far as the fruit goes...since it's in season NOW, buy it, cut it up and FREEZE it. I do it all the time with berries and bananas specifically for smoothies.