Archives for April 2011

Meatless Monday: Hard Boiled Eggs Au Gratin

Meatless Monday

This is just a guess, but there may be some of you with a few hard boiled eggs hanging around the house this week? This is a quick and easy way to transform those eggs into a great Meatless Monday meal.

This is a recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, one of my favorite resources. I used individual Au Gratin dishes, but if you don’t have any, just use a 9 x 9 baking pan.

HARD BOILED EGGS AU GRATIN

1 bag frozen organic spinach, cooked according to package directions and drained

2 T butter

2 T flour

1 1/4 C milk

8 hard boiled eggs, halved

grated swiss cheese

1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour.

2. Slowly add milk in small batches, whisking until the mixture gets thick before adding more. Once all the milk is added, cook until the mixture is about as thick as a cream soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Grease pan. Layer spinach in bottom of pan. Top with half the sauce. Layer the egg halves on top. Add the rest of the sauce and top with grated cheese.

4. Broil under low heat for 4 -5 minutes or until cheese is hot.

5. Serve with a great crusty bread!

Hard Boiled Eggs Au Gratin

Enjoy!

Submitted to Tasty Tuesday.

Spring Cleaning: DIY Coffee Filter Shoe Deodorizers

DIY Coffee Filter Shoe Deodorizers to rid your shoes of sweaty feet smell.

DIY Coffee Filter Shoe Deodorizers

Do you have a problem with your Converse, Tom’s or athletic shoes retaining odors? Of course you don’t.

Let’s say you have a friend. And this friend wore a “Mom’s Uniform” about three days a week. And this “Mom’s Uniform” consisted of a hoodie, jeans and her favorite slip-on Converse shoes.

The only problem? This friend’s Converse shoes stink.

Converse Stinky Shoes

This is a bit of an embarrassment for her. She doesn’t think she has sweaty feet. Still, these shoes stink.

Her first attempt to deodorize the shoes involved pouring cornstarch straight into the shoe. This did not work well. In fact, as she walked, clouds of cornstarch came poof-ing out in the most unattractive manner. FAIL.

Then she remembered the baking soda. Don’t we all use baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors?

She knew she didn’t want to pour the baking soda straight into the shoe. So she came up with the coffee filter. Slightly porous. Readily available for little money. Environmentally friendly. All natural baking soda.

All you need for your DIY Coffee Filter Shoe Deodorizers is: coffee filters, baking soda and some sort of bow like raffia.

Shoe Deodorizer Ingredients

DIY Coffee Filter Shoe Deodorizers:

  1. Fill a coffee filter with 1/4 cup baking soda.
  2. Fold each corner in towards the center.
  3. Fold down the top.
  4. Use a hole punch and punch a hole on each side.
  5. Tie with raffia.

Coffee Filter Shoe Deodorizer

To use the shoe deodorizer, simply slide it into the shoe and let it do its work! To keep the shoe deodorizer working well, the baking soda will need to be changed every month.

Wait! What? You think this story is about me? As if! This is hypothetical peeps! (But if we ever meet in real life? Chances are good I’ll be in a hoodie, jeans and my sweet smelling Converse)

The DIY Coffee Filter Shoe Deodorizers are Part 2 of my Spring Cleaning series where I’m tackling those unusual household problems we all have, but seldom see get Spring Cleaned! If you missed it, you may want to find out how to make a DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner.

How I’m Saving Money on Gas

I needed some small fencing for my raised garden beds to keep my out-of-control pooch OUT! I found a good price at the Home Depot on what I wanted.

So I went to King Soopers.

No, I didn’t need milk. I went to buy a gift card to the Home Depot.

Home Depot Gift CardOne of the ways I’m able to pay less at the pump is by taking advantage of the King Sooper’s gas rewards program. King Soopers carries gift cards from retail stores, restaurants, sports and entertainment outlets. Safeway and other grocers offer the same program, so choose a participating grocer closest to you.

To fully take advantage of the rewards program, I’ve started planning my purchases in advance, heading to King Soopers to get gift cards first, then filling up and saving money before I run my errands.

There are some exclusions to this program. It excludes Kroger Family of Stores gift cards (so no saving on the groceries you buy), the “Wishes” line of gift cards, Green Dot prepaid reloadable products, MoneyPaks and 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa Prepaid Debit Card and ReCharge Card™.

But if you want to take the family out to eat, buy a gift card first! Easter basket shopping? Buy a gift card to Target first!

With gas about to hit $4/gallon around the nation, every .10 or .20 or .30 cents off a gallon helps!

Do you take advantage of your grocer’s gas rewards program?

Meatless Monday: Twice Baked Potatoes

Meatless MondayHave you ever heard of the term Flexitarian?

Flexitariannoun – A vegetarian who is flexible enough to occasionally eat meat and fish.

I would consider myself a Flexitarian, only I would change the definition to the following:

Flexitariannoun – A meat and fish eater who is flexible enough to eat vegetarian.

We eat a vegetarian main dish at least once a week. It is easy on the budget and with a recipe like twice baked potatoes, it is easy on my time. Win-win for us!

This recipe is for the basic twice-baked potato that can go right into the freezer. When I find organic potatoes on sale, I buy them and whip up a batch of these. As you pull these out of the freezer to bake for your family, you can fill it as you wish. A few suggestions that my family loves: Broccoli and Cheddar, Vegetarian Chili, Tomatoes and Feta, Black Beans, Salsa and Corn, Mushrooms sauteed in Garlic, Blue Cheese and Chives…you name it, it can top it!

Twice Baked PotatoesReady for the Freezer!

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 Large Russet Potatoes, scrubbed clean with a vegetable brush and eyes cut out

Olive Oil

3/4 Cup Cream

2 Tbsp Butter, melted

Salt to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 425. Rub the potatoes with olive oil, prick a few times with a fork, place directly on center rack of the oven, bake for 1 hour.

2. Allow the potatoes to cool. Slice potatoes in half. Using a spoon, scoop out potato pulp, leaving about 1/2 inch on all sides.

3. To the potato pulp, add the cream, melted butter, and salt to taste.

4. Spoon the potato pulp back into the shells. Place on baking sheet and put in freezer. Allow to freeze about 1 hour. The potatoes should then be frozen enough to put in freezer safe bags.

5. To reheat, simply pull out the number of potatoes you want to cook. Place on baking sheet and bake from frozen at 400 for 45 minutes. Top the potatoes with whatever filling you choose, bake an additional 15 minutes.

Now it’s your turn! Have a Meatless Monday meal? Link it up! All I ask is that you link your post back to here and that you link directly to your post!

Linked to Tasty Tuesday


 

Spring Cleaning: A DIY Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray

This magical DIY Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray will clean up sweaty mats and leave behind a delightful scent.Why do you need a DIY Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray?

Well, do you exercise? My favorite way to get exercise is to grab a friend or two and haul up one of the many trails that are plentiful here in Colorado.

But when the weather is uncooperative, I head to the gym. I might take a pilates class or spin. Either way, at some point I will get on a yoga mat to exercise.

Do you think the gym cleans the mats they provide for you?

The completely-icks-me-out and makes-me-gag -a-bit answer is: not very often. Which creates a truly ugly picture: Sweaty person after sweaty person using a highly absorbent mat. Sorry if I just grossed you out too.

Of course, you can invest in your own mat and bring it. However, chances are you sweat a bit when you exercise. So unless your mat gets clean….well you know!

Don’t worry. I’ve got the perfect solution for keeping your yoga mat clean and smelling great.

It’s time to clean your yoga mat!

This magical DIY Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray will clean up sweaty mats and leave behind a delightful scent.

DIY Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray Recipe:

Mix the above ingredients together. Next, funnel it into a spray bottle, preferably one that is small enough that it can easily tuck into your gym bag.

It is simple and easy to use. Spray on your mat right after your workout and wipe down. Give your mat about 5 minutes to dry before rolling it up. See? Easy, right?

Viola! Stinky, sweaty yoga mats are now clean.

WARNING: Be prepared for everyone in your pilates or yoga class to want to borrow your DIY Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray! It smells that good.

Now that you have some essential oils, why not use them to make All Natural Hand Sanitzer or All Natural Vapor Rub for the kiddos.

This magical DIY Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray will clean up sweaty mats and leave behind a delightful scent.

Meatless Monday: Weeks Worth of Vegetarian Menus!

Meatless Monday

I spent the entire weekend working on the garden, so I am behind, behind, behind. I have a wonderful pasta recipe I really want to share with you, but it never got made. I also made a grocery run to King Soopers without my coupon binder. *the horror!* My binder was in my car that my husband used to run to Denver. I’ll post the results later this week, but I’ll just clue you in, it wasn’t pretty. Somehow with a week of 2 family dinners and a book club, and lots of new recipes I want to try, everything I bought seemed “worth” it.

So in the mess that is currently my life, I was incredibly delighted to find the Tiffany at Eat at Home is hosting Vegetarian Week! In case you don’t know my friend Tiffany, she puts together a menu plan, all the recipes, and a shopping list for you each and every week. How much easier can menu planning get? So if you are looking for some inspiration for your Meatless Monday meal, pop on over and see what yummy goodness she has in store for the week!

Did you have a good weekend? Shopping success? Shopping Fail? Anything wonderful for Meatless Monday planned you’d like to share?

Eat Food In Season: April

asparagus
photo by pamramsey

One of my favorite savings strategies is to buy food that is in season. It not only saves you money, it also tastes better. But you won’t save any money if it spoils before you have a chance to eat it! Properly storing your produce protects your investment. I can’t tell you how many years I put my tomatoes in the crisper and my apples on the counter!

So what’s in season in April?

AsparagusMake sure you look at the tips. Don’t worry about fat or thin stalks. Buy good looking tips. Store in the fridge loosely wrapped in plastic wrap.

Beets – If you can find beets with the greens still on, look for greens with no brown spots. Cut the greens off, but leave an inch. Wrap beets in plastic wrap and store in fridge. They will keep for weeks.

Lettuce – Loose leaf lettuce will not last for long. Wash, dry well, and store in the crisper with a dry paper towel to absorb any moisture.

Mangoes – Mangoes come in all different shades. What is important when selecting a ripe mango is the feel. Soft = ripe. If you can’t find a ripe one, bring it home anyway and leave it out on the counter. They will ripen up. After ripe, keep in the fridge.

Pineapples – To choose a good pineapple, use your nose. They should smell like pineapple. Then see if you can easily pull a leaf out of the middle. If you can, it is ripe. Pineapples don’t last well, so buy close to when you plan to eat it. I can still taste the $1 pineapple we bought for Christmas breakfast. Yum. I’m hoping we see $1 pineapples again soon!

Rhubarb – Find firm, red stalks. Store in the crisper and use quickly.

Spring Peas – Look for peas on the smaller size that look plump. Store in the crisper. You need to use them quickly or they lose some of their sweetness.

Are any of these on your favorites list?