So I have had it in my heart to start sharing recipes that would be a blessing to those busy mommas who want to make wholesome “heart” foods without breaking their coin purse to do it.
And what about all those ingredients? You know the odd inclusives that rarely grace the shelves of our pantry. I love spices but find that I have so much yet to learn that I am inadequately prepared to choose wisely as I stand before the ample diversity provided in my local spice aisle.
At any rate, I have always loved the challenge of being creative in my kitchen. There is just something about literally making something out of nothing. Even more so when I am committed to using only what I have and making my storage of food last.
I think about the women of the depression era, my great-grandmother was one of these women. She didn’t waste a thing. … sigh.. I can’t say I have learned that trait, but I am trying. The addage, “Waste not, Want not” , comes to mind whenever I find my guilt button depressed as I empty my refrigerator into my compost bowl.( Note… when I had my chickens I could feed them almost anything and somehow assuaged the guilt-trip of feeling like a wasteful person, and adding to the compost pile brings the thought of creating a great soil for my next year’s seedlings, then feel a ray of hope.)
I remember my mom saying often, she used what she had and they never went without. Even butchering time was well plotted as they used every aspect of the animal in a plethora of ways. Some of them I cringe to think of but what I admire more than anything was the resourcefulness she possessed.
Resourceful….to be counted in the same likeness brings a smile of satisfaction to my face. I am learning, however, to be resourceful. To be a woman who can bless her family by the work of her hands and give glory to God as a consistent and wise woman.
With these recipes I hope to also inspire you to be a virtuous woman, whose worth is far above rubies or pearls. A wise woman who looks well into the ways of her household. A gentle adversary to her husband and a woman who delights in her children. A woman who teaches those who come to her and gives with generous measure, giving glory to God as she shares her gifts.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The definition of a virtue is having the quality of being able to make the right choices and avoiding the wrong wones.
Synonymns of virtuous are: good, moral, ethical, upright, honourable, excellent, pure, worthy, honest, righteous, exemplary, blameless, praiseworthy, uncorruptible, high-principled.
Begin seeing yourself as a woman of virtue, whose value and worth is beyond that of precious gems. See that through His blood, the filling of His Spirit and the gift of His grace we can claim those words and make them our own.
One of my favorite stories in the gospels involves a woman and her desperation yet more importanly her faith in Christ’s power to heal. In Matthew 9:20-22 and Mark 5: 25-34 we read of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ robe. He stopped…. he turned…. he looked for her. He knew she touched him.. He knew her desperation… He knew her need. And He KNEW it was met. Mark tells us virtue had gone out of him at the moment she touched the hem of His garment.
Go to the throne of Grace… receive mercy…. touch the hem of His robe and draw on His virtue. We are a throng of those in need of the drops of heavenly sustance coming from the saturated cloak of the King of Mercy.
You are a virtuous woman. Your worth is far above rubies and pearls. Go be a blessing and pass on that virtue to your family and those who are sent to your mission field.
Frugal Meal Ideas#1.
3-5 lb. Pork Roast
Garlic, Salt, Peppercorns, Italian Seasoning
Cook your Pork Roast in the Crockpot on Low all day. Place it in your slow cooker with 1 cup of water. Season with garlic, salt, peppercorns. Layer with sliced onions.
Options: Add Potatoes and Carrots to the pot and dinner is complete.
Start a loaf of artisan bread (www.artisanbreadinfive.com) when you put the roast in, or begin a loaf of french bread.
If you don’t like the greasy taste of the pork roast with your potatoes. Take some new potatoes, quarter and roast in the oven with onions and olive oil, don’t forget the salt and pepper with garlic.
When supper is over shred the left-over meat. Don’t throw away any left over potatoes.. put them in the fridge for the next meal.
Or…you can put any potatoes and veggies in the freezer to throw in a soup at some point.
Pulled BBQ Pork
You can use your favorite barbeque sauce or one of my favorites is below.
Equal portions of Ketchup and Western Dressing.
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar ( or honey)
dash of worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Mix well. Pour on the meat. Add chopped onions and green peppers. Put in your crockpot on low ( make sure you add a little water to the pot so it doesn’t burn). Or throw in your oven or on the stove.
You can take any left over potatoes, warm them in the oven with a little olive oil or butter. When warm, smash them with a potatoe masher. Add garlic, chives, salt and pepper. Yumm!
Stirfry Pork and Veggies with rice.
Make a good portion of rice and set aside.
Put a little olive oil in a pan. Mix the broccoli slaw and shredded pork ( 1-2 cups) in a pan. Drizzlw with soy sauce. Add 1 tsp. of garlic powder or chop a clove of garlic, and sautee.
Mix together 1 Tbsp. honey, 2 Tbsp water, 1 tsp. ginger, 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp. soy sauce.
Pour over the meat and veggies and sautee till warm.
Serve over rice.
You can also take this mixture and put it in egg roll wrappers. Follow the cooking directions on the back of the egg roll package and enjoy!
You can create a lovely vegetable soup with the left over veggies, rice and meat from your roast.
In a pot add 2 quarts of your favorite broth. Add your veggies and your meat and simmer.
Some of my favorites are tomatoes, cabbage, green beens, onions, and corn. Throw in some pearled barley or rice and you have a hearty and delicious soup. The flavor of the tomatoes and the cabbage is delicious.
For those of you cringing becasue I suggested you “throw it all together”.. here are some measurments.
Hearty Veggie Soup
1-2 qts. of diced tomatoes. ( up to 4 cans)
2 qts. of broth
1 onion diced
2-4 diced carrots
1 c. green beans
1/2 c. corn
1-2 c. shredded cabbage
1/2 c. diced celery
1-2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. basil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme ( or you can get italian seasoning)
1 tbsp. dried parsley, or handful of fresh. ( wait till the end if using fresh)
Bring the broth and tomatoes to a low boil. Cook the root veggies, onions and celery till tender. Add barley or rice and corn and cook till done. You can always add a dash of parmesan cheese or put a wedge of parmesan in the soup for flavor.
Using Buttermilk !
What is a staple in your pantry? Is there something specific that you get every time you make your trip to the store?
I love creating in my kitchen and the convenience of having a well stocked pantry, yet I find some of my very best meals or most creative are the meals I make where I have to be inventive. If I don’t have certain things on hand, it makes it very hard to be able to make a satisfying and appetizing meal for my family.
Items that are usually on hand in my pantry and refrigerator:
What do you keep on hand? Feel free to post a comment and share some of your must haves with me.
Now to my favorite staple of all ~ Buttermilk!… I love it. I love to cook with it. I love the flavor it lends to pancakes and biscuits,not to mention the way it makes cakes and baked goods rise. Have you ever watched the chemical reaction with buttermilk and baking soda? My grandmothers have used it as a marinade/soak for fried chicken.
My maternal grandmother, a precious gift in my life, would always tell me of the time her mom would save the buttermilk as a treat for her when they made the butter. I remember the first time she told me this, as I was making butter. I looked at the leftover milk and realized, this looks nothing like the buttermilk I buy at the store.
In reality, what we buy at the store is a cultured buttermilk, which has a lactic acid or something like a yogurt starter added to either a pasteurized milk or sweet milk. The culture is added to the milk, then left to sit till the milk becomes thick .
The milk my grandmother used to drink was thin and milky white. It was the left over liquid from the solids in the heavy cream. My grandmother drank it right away, but I have read that many like it chilled before consumed.
If you don’t make your own butter or culture , but you are a frugal homemaker, you can make your own buttermilk at home using cultured buttermilk from the store. You can also purchase a starter and make buttermilk with fresh milk if you desire.
Basically, take 1 cup of cultured buttermilk then add 3 cups of milk. Seal, shake well, and let sit on the counter for 24 hours. ( 1 qt. of butter milk to 1 gallon of milk will make 5 qts of fresh buttermilk) The mixture should thicken in that time frame. Put in the refrigerator and use as you normally would.This website has a great tutorial on making buttermilk.
Here are some links with awesome recipes.
Some of my favorites are:
3 eggs, separated
1 2/3 c. buttermilk
1 tsp soda
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. soft butter
1. Whip the egg whites till foamy peaks are formed.
2. Whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk and soda. Add in the flour, baking powder and sugar. Whip the butter into the mixture and then fold in the egg whites. Cook on a hot griddle. Tip I have found helps me to know when to flip. When the top of the pancake looks rubber and bubbles have popped, turn them over for just a bit. The heat of the griddle browns them quickly and they done w/in seconds.
2 1/2 c flour
1/8 c. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 pkg. yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1 stick butter
1 scant c. buttermilk
Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda and baking powder together in large mixing bowl. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Blend butter into flour mixture until the size of small peas. ( note: I put my flower in my kitchen aid and use the whisk attachment to do this! Easy !) Add buttermilk and yeast; mix until well blended. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 min. May be baked immediately or let rise before baking. ( This is a wet batter so I don’t typically roll it out and cut the biscuits. Usually I drop them on the pan and bake like that.)
And this is my signature recipe. I take this to families when I bring food, I make it to take to potlucks or special gatherings and I often make it to take to holiday meals. My son has learned to make these because they are his absolute favorite. He decided the prerequisite for his future wife was to be able to make this brownie recipe. I informed him that “HE” needed to learn how to make this because I would not send him off to a new wife with an expectation to cook like his mom. He could bless them both by knowing how to make the brownies. 🙂
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. coffee or water
3/4 c buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. butter
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 c. buttermilk
3-4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix sugar and flour in mixing bowl and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, shortening,( if I don’t have shortening, I use 2 sticks of butter) coffee ( or water, but the coffee gives an awesome flavor) and cocoa. Stir and heat till boiling. ( tip. I start by melting the shortening and butter first then add the coffee and cocoa, whisking till mixture boils)
Pour boiling mixture over the flour/sugar in the bowl. Add the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla. ( Another tip: I mix the buttermilk and the soda together but do it in a bowl with extra room because it will create a chemical reaction which causes the buttermilk to rise.)
Mix well using a wooden spoon or high speed on mixer.
Pour into a greased or buttered jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400 for 20 min. or until done.
While brownies are baking make the frosting.
I use the same saucepan that I used above. When I dump the boiling liquid into the flour and sugar I then add the next stick of butter to the pan, w/o turning on the heat. The pan is already hot, so it melts while you are mixing the brownies. Then when I get them in the oven, I add the cocoa and buttermilk. Cook till it is heated through and take off heat. You don’t really want this to boil, just till the cocoa is dissolved and changes to a dark brown color.
Rinse out your mixing bowl for the brownies ( I use my kitchen aid for everything but only have one so I have to keep up on keeping the bowl clean to use multiple times. It is so easy to just rinse it out well when first done and then it is ready for the next use) Put the powdered sugar in the bowl. Pour the warm mixture in and mix well. This should be of medium thickness, not too thin and not too thick. Add more powdered sugar if necessary. Then add the vanilla and mix well. By the time you are done, the brownies should be done.
Take the brownies out. Run a knife around the side and pour the frosting on the hot brownies. It will melt and make it like a glaze. It is phenomenal, almost like a fudge.
I found this on allrecipes.com.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 40 Minutes
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (16 ounce) packages shredded
In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sugar, celery seed and black pepper. Fold in the coleslaw mix, and refrigerate until serving. This tastes best if it is refrigerated for a few hours before serving.
Enjoy your experiment with Buttermilk! 🙂
Blessings to you~
Frugal Napkin Tip:
Make your own napkins and save the cost of paper napkins. You can get material pieces from fa fabric stores that are discarding swatches of fabric. Sew a simple hem and you have instant napkins. Or… look at thrift stores for fun fabric swatches and pick them up for just pennies. Your family will feel so special with their new napkins.
Blessings to you!