To measure the goodness of life

To measure the goodness of life by its delights and pleasures and safety is to apply a false standard. The abundant life does not consist of a glut of luxury. It does not make itself content with commercially produced pleasure, the nightclub idea of what is a good time, mistaking it for joy and happiness. On the contrary, obedience to law, respect for others, mastery of self, joy in service--these constitute the abundant life.
Thomas S. Monson, "In Quest of the Abundant Life", Ensign, Mar. 1988, 2

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Meal Planning For Two...

Newly weds. Empty-nesters. Roomates. First time Momma's with hard (late) working husbands.
What to do when 5:00 jumps up...
Yes, I've been there too: chiseling a 10lb frozen chicken breast brick, trying to portion out packs of steak, or just making too much soup because you can't divide 4 full cans or anything into a 2 portion meal. And your dinner companion starts complaining that your good 'ol stand-ins are the only three options you make.
Don't give up! There are ways around such dilemmas my friend. Dinner can be enjoyable once again!

Tip no.1: Know your butcher. He'll save your day months in advance. You see, for FREE your local butcher can individually pre-package bacon, steaks (beef or fish), chicken, sausage, lunch meat, and hamburger for a dainty meal size- even from store pre-packaged meats.
EXAMPLE: So, I go to buy roast when it is on sale, I chat with my friendly butcher (Smith's off 8th and Main in Logan) and ask him to trim it and grind it for 80% lean. He's happy to help! And will even package it in 1/2 lb portions, freezer wrapped, labeled and dated. This is much cheaper on two fold: 1) on sale roast is much better than regular priced hamburger (tastes better and is fresher too) and 2) I don't throw out good meat due to too many leftovers or freezer burn.
This is wonderful for freezer space, on the spur BLTs, and completely removes the hassle of freezer wrapping everything myself.
p.s. he'll even trim your fatty roast and remove the bone, and re-weigh it and mark it for less money. yes! he does!

Tip. No.2: plan a meat to last 3 meals. The first meal the meat is the main course (served whole or a hearty serving), the second meal it is sliced, the third it is ground/minced/chopped. Example: Roast beef with mashed potatoes and greens, Hearty stew, (drain) English Pasties. -or- Orange Chicken with Almond, Stir Fry with green beans and carrots, Garden wraps with Chicken. (you get the idea? ) This dramatically decreases your leftovers, salvages any budget, and eliminate the hassle of daily meal planning: choose two meats and your week is done.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Low Carb Salad

1 head of lettuce, roughly chopped
3 fried bacon strips, chopped (5 Tb. of bacon bits)
1 cucumber, sliced
1/2 c. salted sunflower seeds (shelled)
Toss together!

Add you favorite vinagret (or ranch to keep it low carb). Surprisingly cheap and delicious!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Deals through the 13th

Meat Sale
99 cent/lb all chicken (whole, thighs, breasts)
$2.99/lb boneless beef rump or sirloin tip
$2.99-$3.99/lb. Deli sliced ham and turkey (go to Deli for fresh sliced, 1/2 the price of pre-packed name-brands, fresher too)
10 for $10 anthenos hummus, pepsi or 7up 2 liters,
2 for $4 neslte toll house chocolate morsels 10-12 oz bags
Droger flour, $1.79 5 lb

A Fresh Marketplace
$2.79/lb cross rib pot roasts
$1.59/lb sirloin chops
$1.49/lb split chicken breats
Paper COUPON 15 for $10 vitamin water, powerade, fuze
2 for $5 Guittard baking chocolate chips
99 cent candycanes

$1.99 lb lean ground chuck
$1.49/lb chicken breasts
2 for $3 clover clbu potato chips
79 cents Langer's apple cider (10 oz., $1.79 for 24 oz)
78 cent langer's frozen juice
79 cent mini and large marshmellow
79 cent WF white or wheat bread loaves
89 cent pineapple, canned (LOWER than case lot prices)
5 for $5 hunts marinara, WF gummies, WF stuffing, chef boyardee, roarita, kool-aid bursts, WF skillet meals, and picsweet frozen vegi (same at Lee's)
89 cent 3-pack dry active yeast
$1.99 Hershey's and Heath baking chocolate chips (! lowest)

Lee's (see previous listing)
lowest price for overall produce, esp. citrus

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Deals through Dec. 10th

Wintertime! Food in season: citrus, butter, cheese, meats, bread, and whole nuts.
For dates on seasonal items on sale on the calendar year, check out the 3 Month buying guide on the lower right hand corner. (Wait to buy hot cocoa when it's 50 cent a box, and not $1).
Great buys going on right now:
39 cent/lb navel oranges in bags (you select)
34 cent/lb navel oranges in boxes
99 cent/lb tangerines
33 cent/lb grapefruit
50 cent each avacado
50 cent each green pepper
39 cent/lb russet potato
99 cent/lb Roma tomatoes
10 for $10 WF sour cream, fruit snacks, pineapple (canned), WF pasta, jumbo refridgerated biscuits, stuffing mix, mini marshmellows, pasta skillet meal mixes, marshmellow cream, picsweet frozen vegetables, Hunt's marinara sauce (canned), Chef Boyardee pastas, Act II microwavable popcorn, Tropicana frozen orange juice concentrate
93 cents Langer's Frozen Juice Concentrate
59 cent WF diced tomatoes
$1.99 WF 32 oz corn syrup
BOGO FREE colgate toothpaste with store coupon
Milk: $1.79 gal.
Large eggs: $1.39

Macy's (through Tuesday the 6th)
99 cent/lb apples
49 cent/lb bananas
79 cent DaVinci pasta
69 cent WF pasta mixes (sides)
99 cent Holiday wrapping paper

89 cent/lb Broc. and Cauli
44 cent. yellow onion
10 for $10 Barilla pasta (whole wheat pastas, too), snackpack pudding cups 4pck, Kroger canned fruit, Twix, Snickers (same deal at A Fresh Marketplace too)
3 for $5 5lb flour
$1.89/4lb sugar
2 for $3 Langer's Apple Juice, 1/2 gal
99 cent Kroger Cream Cheese and Neufantzel Cheese
Eggs, large: 4 for $5 ($1.25)

A Fresh Marketplace
10lb for $10 apples and pears
4 for $5 powdered and brown sugar (case lot price)
10 for $10 mix and match deals (see Smith's)

Lower's Outlet, 700 South 200 West
Richmond, Utah 84333 (on the highway, on the eastern side, the outlet is the new red cabin addition to the huge Lower's Food factory). Monday-Friday, 10am to 6pm.
Lower's Outlet in Richmond is a great place to buy meats. They are a meat supplier for resturants and Deli's, meaning the have a wide selection of meals ready to go (just heat): pot roast, roast beef in a'ju sauce, pulled pork, and a great selection of pulled chicken (taco, lime, bbq, wood smoked) and deli meats that you can through into sandwiches, tacos, crepes, paninis all 1/2- to 1/4 the cost of grocery store prices. (20lb. chicken for $12, $2/lb pastrami that is usually $8/lb, etc.). Buy in bulk, bag meal sizes for your family, and freeze up to 12 months. Save hundreds of dollars a year!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Marshmellow Cream

Also Known As Mountain Peak Frosting and Royal Mountain Frosting,
This is cheap, easy, and impressive to most (who don't know the secret).

4 Egg whites
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 Tbl. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

1. In a small saucepan, dissolve and boil the water and sugar until you reach firm ball (abt. 250 F or until a sample of the syrup creates a firm ball in cold water).

2. While the syrup boils, whip the egg whites in a large bowl (I love Kitchen Aid Mixers with a whisk attachment, but you can do this with an electric beater as well) to a stiff peak.

3. On a high speed, whisk the syrup into the egg whites by pouring a thin stream into the bowl as you whisk. The heat will cook the eggs, and the high speed will ensure even cooking (no egg or candy clumps) and a glossy finish.

And walah! Marshmellow cream you can frost with or make fudge with or top pies with. Enjoy!

p.s. Some recipes add in 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar, or elaborate on the simply syrup to be 3/4 c. carol syrup (corn syrup) with 1/3c. water and 2/3 c sugar.

Butternut Squash

This gorgeous gourd is cheap, huge, and plentiful throughout the next two months.
This nutty flavor pairs well with apples, carrots, potatoes, and anything you'd put pumpkin in. To start out the (return of) fall, here's two recipes (variations) I made up this weekend.
We went to market yesterday and picked up a gourd for $1.75. We cut away the hard skin, quartered it, tossed it in olive oil, and roasted it at 350F for 1 hr (until fork tender). It warmed up our home and filled it with this cozy, nutty aroma. So worth it.

Saturday Dinner: Savory Butternut-Apple Bisque
A bisque is a hot, creamy soup that was blended.

1 Tb. butter
1 small onion
3 chopped carrots

Heat til dissolved (just before boiling):
2 cup. water
2 Tb. bouillon, chicken or vegi
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. sage, dried and powdered
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Place root vegetables and broth into blender and puree with:
8 oz butternut squash, roasted and chopped ( abt. 1/2 gourd, chunks the size of two closed fists or 1 -1 1/2 lbs)
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1 tsp. salt and black pepper

Serve hot with optional garnish or sides: sour cream, creme leche, chives, apples, wheat crackers and mozzarella (or any mild cheese), peas, butternut crostinis.
Store covered in fridge for 4 days.

Ginger Butternut-Chocolate Chip Muffins
(the lighter cousin to pumpkin-chocolate chip)
Mix thoroughly:
2 eggs
8 oz (1 lb) roasted butternut squash
1 1/2 cup white gran. sugar
2 Tb. vanilla
1 1/4 cup. canola oil ( or you can do half oil and half plain yogurt)
1 Tbl. ginger powder
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
Sift together and add gradually to sugar/butternut mix:
4 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder.
Whip till fluffy.
Fold in
4 oz (1 1/2 cup or half a bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pour into GREASED muffin tins, 3/4 full each cup. Bake until brown tips (abt. 8-12 min.) at 350F. Cool in pan. Enjoy!
*these are deliciously moist and will stay uncovered a few days on the counter top.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Plum Torte

Plums are in season! One the easiest (and cheapest) desserts to make is a plum torte. I baked this one this morning from the New York Times by Marian Burros. The caption read:

Because of reader demand, this recipe was published in one form or another in The New York Times almost every year between 1983 and 1995, when the then editor of the food section told me to tell my readers it was the last year it would be published, and if they lost it, it was too bad. She suggested they cut it out, laminate it, and put it on the refrigerator door.

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Plum Torte Cake!
This is one of my favorite fall favorites. If you don't have a spring form pan, oil and coat with sugar and cinnamon a loaf pan for plum torte cake. ohhh.