Saturday, February 27, 2010

Domestic Diva

Somebody told me this week, butting in to a conversation I was having describing the frugal changes I have made in the last year and a half, how very domestic I was. I perceived the word "domestic" to have been said with a slightly contemptuous tone, as if it were a bad thing that I liked to find creative (and frugal) ways to keep my home and family. I brightly replied, "Thank you!" to the interjected, back handed compliment and continued on with my day. This is my standard response to such silliness. I get the same contempt sometimes when I use coupons or ask for my .41 back when I am overcharged at the store. I know that people accept the fact that we all are feeling the pinch of the economy, so why then, the underlying animosity when I actively take action to save my hard earned money? I don't consider myself a miser. In fact, many tightwads would scoff at my extravagance. I still like brand name food, for example. I just use coupons to offset a bit of the extra cost. I give as freely as I take from Free cycle. I feel good about the changes I have made and for the most part so do my friends and coworkers. They make the same income I do. They ought to understand, right? You would think, at any rate. Sadly, this is not always the case. I don't try to educate people. I hate it when people tell me what to do, so I try not to do it myself. If someone is interested, I will share all I have learned, though. If you see me out shopping, you can rest assured I will have my list, pencil, calculator and five year old, and I will be probably be too deep in thought to say hi. After all, if I am not paying attention, I will lose money, or a deal. I'm not stingy, nor rude. I am a Frugalista, Reccesionista, A Resourceful Lady! Whatever you wanna call me, just don't call me late for supper.
Who is making that again? Oh right...that would be me, The Domestic Diva.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

This morning I made Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal for breakfast and I have to say that this recipe is going into the breakfast rotation at my house. It is delicious! You can even eat it cold as well for a scrumptious snack, as a square. The flavour is like a cookie or bar, but it's breakfast! We ate it warm from the oven with a little milk on top. So, so good, I just had to rave about it. Especially when this guy tells me how much he likes it! I am going to add crunchy peanut butter next time, maybe Adam's. Fabulous.
Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
Mix all ingredients together and stir well. Spread in a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. If you like it a little crunchy on top cook for a few minutes longer. Serve with warm milk poured over top. Enjoy!
Happy Birthday Mom! Glad you like your birthday song.
Thanks Fellow Freecycler, for picking up on time and calling ahead to make sure you got your goods!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Zuchinni Sticks ala my BFF

My BFF Friday emailed me recently and unbeknown to me, had been reading and enjoying my blog posts! We have been friends for over a decade now and were roommates while we both went to school in Vancouver, B.C. She is still there, enduring the Olympics, while I write and work here in the Okanagan, B.C. Our life paths have diverged since then, but thankfully our friendship remains strong. We were always a bit like two sides of a coin since the fateful day she called me, responding to my hastily written ad for a roommate posted on the college bulletin board. At that time I was a chain smoking carnivore and she was a free spirited vegan neo-hippie. Now I am an ex-smoker, carnivore and married mother and she is a career minded vegetarian woman living and thriving in the city with her wonderful partner. Her fugality is nothing to sneeze at either! They are both the dearest friends we have and stood with us at our wedding two years ago. See? Here she is cheering us on as we make out.

We all try to get together as often as we can, heck I have known her longer than my husband and she is just as important to me as he is!

As a staunch and disciplined vegetarian, Friday is very creative in the kitchen. This girl can do wonders with any kind of soy product, TVP, legume or vegetable you could ever think of. I can remember some of my most cherished memories of living with her were in the kitchen. We love(d) to cook together. I even went veggie while I lived with her, though, alas, it didn't stick for me. I do understand the benefits and moral aspect to a vegetarian diet, thanks in large part to her gentle education. I have not ruled out returning to it one day.
I could write a novel on our friendship, but if this is as close as I can get to cooking with my BFF again, then, so be it. Here is her awesome recipe, made with love.

Ingredients -1 tbsp. olive oil -1/4 c. fine bread crumbs -1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese -1/2 tsp. rosemary -3 dashes of cayenne -1/2 tsp. dill -1/2 tsp. garlic powder -1/2 tsp. salt -1/2 tsp. pepper -1 lg. egg -3 small zucchini (or equivalent). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread oil on a cookie sheet, coating lightly on entire surface. On a dinner plate or pie dish, mix bread crumbs, Parmesan, and spices. In a medium dish, beat an egg. Cut ends off of zucchini and slice into spears. Dip the spears into the egg then coat in the bread crumb mixture on each side. Place the spears on the cookie sheet and bake. I flipped them after about 5 mins. for all three sides to get golden. Tzatziki made a great dip.

Oh, man, who needs a fancy restaurant with the $12.95 price to go with it? This looks amazing and simple. Can't wait to do this Fri! Love ya!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday. Nothing.

That's right I am doin' nuthin'. I'm drinking a coffee and reading blogs and generally having some ME time. Normally I wouldn't post about Nothing, but Seinfeld had a great sitcom about it and it lasted eight seasons so I figure my readers can handle one post on the subject. My family is on a spontaneous vacation. They managed to get a free ride to see my aunts and uncles in Edmonton and I admired their resourceful frugality so much, I helped them pack so I could stay behind for a weekend of serious Nothing. I am doing it right now. See? Nothing. No cooking. No cleaning. No baking. No sewing. Nope. Nothing. I figure other people are doing lots of Somethings and they can carry the load for one measly Saturday. Look here, Disney, (that's her name, isn't that something?) made a bath pouf from an old towel. I love that idea...but I can't do it today, because I am busy doing Nothing. If you really want to read about someone doing Something go here to Kitambaa. I just found out about this lady from a coworker who knows her. She is teaching women to sew and make quilts and textiles so that they can earn money for themselves in Africa. To me, that is the most admirable Something I have heard all day.
Well, that's all the Nothing I have for now. Tune in next time, when maybe I will have Something to blog about.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A day in the life

This has to be my favourite way to mess up my kitchen. With flour sprinkled from here to there and everywhere, I threw my big ball of dough into a clean bowl and ran off to pick up my son and run some errands. I was the lucky recipient of a Freecycle lead on a restaurant which was giving away all of old their tables and chairs. My husband kindly helped me load four sturdy restaurant chairs into the van and then we picked up ingredients for that night's dinner. When I got home, the ball had taken on a life of its' own. It was gigantic! My new yeast must have been working overtime while I was gone. My son couldn't wait to get his hands into it, so I quickly helped him scrub up and divided that monster into four. We stretched and pulled and pulled and stretched and pounded and sang songs in what we thought was Italian. It probably was not Italian, but we thought it was. We fashioned three pizzas and a loaf. I wasn't sure how my pizza would turn out using this particular recipe, because I have a recipe specifically for pizza dough that I usually use, but I decided to just go for it. The pizza was enormous, more like a deep dish Chicago style. Not that I have ever been to Chicago. The boys liked it, but eating two pieces each was more than enough for us, so I had quite a bit left after dinner. I put a whole pizza in the freezer and we had leftovers for lunch the next day. My loaf turned out amazing as well. See? That there is the beauty shot. I played around a bit with my cuisine settings on my camera to try to convey just how gorgeous my bread is. OK, I am boasting just a smidgen, but it's one of those sense of accomplishment things. To make bread from a few very simple ingredients and a little patience has to be my most preferred frugal endeavour.
What is yours?

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Free Sample! Go here for a free sample of Kashi cereal. Once, I got a great coupon for a free box (!) of their granola bars and they were yummy! I love food samples, thought I would share. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February Frugality

We are trying to follow our menu plan and budget more closely again after falling off the wagon at Christmas. This Christmas wasn't too bad because we did not use credit and stayed home which made things a lot more budget friendly. Still, money is money. I also scoured the fliers for loss leaders and those were, for the most part our gifts and groceries. For instance, I finally got a filing cabinet for our "office" (read: closet) which was on clearance during the holidays. I had been wanting one for a while and, while not the most exciting gift ever, now that it is tax time and all my receipts are in one place, I am one darn happy camper. My son was happy with the bike we got on clearance as well! Santa is a good shopper.

I think the best deal I had today was $1.50 off coupon on a 4 litre of milk which made it $3.00. Not too shabby. Especially since we went a little awry on the grocery budget and I had to scrounge change to take advantage of the deal. Oh well, live and learn, I say.

I used my HM croutons on my HM soup today and we had it with HM hummus and an .89 loaf of french bread bought with aforementioned scrounged change. It was a fabulous lunch and I was heartily complimented on what was basically a kitchen sink type of meal. I figure if it gets us through until payday, and tastes pretty darn good, we are doing alright. Now then. Off to invent supper out of the pantry.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Menu plan and coupon deals

Recent Coupon Deals

Cascade Action pacs
Shoppers Drug Mart
2.99 = 1.50 ea.

Crest toothpaste
1.00 -.50 C =. 50 ea

Secret Flawless Deoderant
1.66 -B2G$2off= .66 ea.

Bush's Baked Beans
Buy Low Foods
.98 - 1.00 C = +.02 ea

Menu Plan

Monday: Meatloaf, potatoes, salad
Tuesday: Tacos, Salad
Wednesday: Mac and Cheese
Thursday: Sausages, rice, peas
Friday: Quiche, veggies
Saturday: Soup and Sandwiches
Sunday: Pork, potatoes, Gravy