It is Thursday already?!

My word times flies by?! Do you feel the same? The other day I did my bulk buys at Sam’s Club. I wanted to write about name brands versus store brands. Are you a stickler for certain name brands only? Or will any brand work? Does it depend on the product? I think we all have favorites in some items. Then in others who cares what brand it is?!I personally like only Tide laundry soap and Scott tissue for t-paper. I prefer Brawny or Scott paper towels. Some reasons are the square feet, are they one ply or two ply? What are you actually paying for on a cheaper brand? One ply and less sq. ft.? Check that out next time you shop for paper towels and t-paper. Something else for you to check into with all your free time (not!). What we spend a month on non-edibles is staggering with a large family! Even one or two people it can add up quickly. Food costs here in Florida have increased 8% no specific reason; it is what it is! Beating the system is both challenging and annoying at the same time! Do not become discouraged just be mindful of what’s happening in your area of the world.

In closing, I wish you Good Health. cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

Last Meal of the Day!

As I mentioned in previous posts the idea is to not skip any meals! The last meal of the day is just as important as breakfast is and lunch (DO NOT SKIP EITHER). In summertime our appetites may not be as hearty as in wintertime. Eating light for many people is key in summertime and the end of a long day at school or at work. Motivating you to not slip off the shoes, plop on the couch with the remote in your hand will be a challenge I know. I would personally take a quick shower, put on comfy clothes and head to the kitchen for supper time preparations. Not many people like eating the same thing over and over again; so keeping a variety of foods in your pantry and refrigerator/all within your budget WILL and CAN be done. Organization is a big factor. With all the things we accomplish in a day; whether at school or work (or perhaps you are already retired?) the final meal prep may be the least desired. You may be mentally whipped, physically exhausted the truth is the lack of motivation!!! Getting into a routine is not always easy as two days are never the same-similar yes but different. I wish you “Good Health”. cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3. See YOU soon friends.

Some ideas for you to consider!

If you are cooking for yourself and one other person I have some ideas that may help you in menu planning and budgeting.

When you shop the next time (this week) remember to purchase flour tortillas; we will be making an incredibly easy and delicious sweet recipe using them. You will need 2 granny smith apples, 1 lemon for zest and juice, cinnamon, butter, sugar, honey. Any size flour tortillas you like (6″-8″ size) is fine in this recipe. I call them Apple Enchiladas!

In a mixing bowl add sliced apples, lemon zest and juice, 3 tablespoons melted sweet cream butter, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon stir well together. In a saucepan add apple mixture and cook 5-6 minutes on medium heat. Coat the interior of 4 flour tortillas with honey, add a nice portion of apple mixture. Roll up fruit filled tortillas and place seam side down in a baking sheet pan or baking dish. Bake in (you can use your toaster oven/and its tray for this recipe) or regular oven. Bake at 350 F for 6-8 minutes. These are so easy and delicious!

*Note: I hope you will treat yourself and enjoy these-you can use any fruit. A few peaches will work well also.

Costs: Flour tortillas (any size) 1.50, 2 apples 1.50, one lemon .75. The honey, cinnamon, sugar, butter you should have in your pantry and refrigerator already. You can easily make 4 apple enchiladas for under $1.00 a piece. Doesn’t that sound great to you? Easy, delicious and economical.

In closing I wish you Good Health. cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

Let’s talk and review Refrigerated/Freezer Items today…

Refrigerated Staples: Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise, Milk, Eggs, Cottage Cheese (if desired), Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, Plain Yogurt, Greek Yogurt, butter. Shredded or whole cheddar cheese, shredded or whole mozzarella cheese, Monterey jack pepper cheese, Swiss cheese, American cheese slices. Luncheon Deli Meats. Lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, onion, potatoes. Applesauce. Any homemade dressings or butters.

FREEZER ITEMS: Meats, poultry, fish, Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream. Ice Cubes. Frozen leftovers. You can freeze Milk if you pour out 1 cup first (place cup covered in refrigerator) to allow for expansion once frozen. You can freeze butter. You can also freeze 1/2 gallon, or quart of Orange Juice but again remove 1/2-1 cup first to allow for expansion once frozen. You can freeze tortillas (flour/corn) in freezer safe zip-lock bags. Frozen vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, Lima beans, Corn, Peas, sugar snap peas. I have even frozen whole carrots to use in pot roasts in the slow cooker/crock pot.

Spices and Can goods: Store in cabinets or a pantry shelf in a dry cool location (not over stove top or vent fan!). Many people forget and store spices over the stove/oven/vent.

Until the next post, if you have any questions just leave a comment! In closing, I wish you “Good Health” cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

What are you hungry for? Not sure…

That is often the biggest question-what am I going to eat? Let’s begin with some ideas for breakfast. The big thing are overnight oats with granola/fruit/yogurt. You prepare it the night before, cover and refrigerate until morning. Does this appeal to you? Are you a pancake person? How about English Muffins? You can purchase a 4-6 pack and have multiple uses. Such as breakfast with peanut butter added to a toasted English muffin, you can add fresh slices of apple (Red delicious or Granny smith are favorites). Do you like crunchy peanut butter or creamy? Are you allergic to nuts, if so this would not apply to you. Are you an egg person in the morning. Scrambled, add egg in a small bowl add one tablespoon of water, beat the egg, add salt and pepper to taste, cover bowl with paper towel and microwave 1 1/2 minutes and voila they’re ready! How about a breakfast burrito homemade in minutes, can be pre-made and frozen? A small glass of juice (4 ounces) do you like Orange juice, apple juice, Tomato juice, V-8 juice, grapefruit juice? Are you a coffee drinker 1 cup or two? Do you prefer a morning smoothie? Do you see how many things for breakfast really are available as your options, for the first meal of the day and a very important one. Are you packing a lunch today for school, work? How about a sandwich wrap using those fresh flour tortillas? Loaded with fresh veggies? A fresh piece of fruit perhaps a banana? Your frozen bottle of water (now partially thawed) to add a flavor packet, lemonade anyone? Your lunch meal can be light as to not weigh you down during the afternoon school classes or work station. You do not want to feel sleepy and sluggish. Then your supper time meal. Are you hungry for a chicken breast baked in the oven? I do very little frying-my oven is really one of my best friends. Are you hungry for fish, breaded Tilapia baked in the oven. Did you prepare something in the slow cooker? Are you hungry for a hamburger homemade or turkey burger? How about honey coated baked chicken wings with carrot sticks and celery with a sour cream dip? Many dishes can be both an appetizer and main dish. Do you like spinach? A fresh spinach salad with a homemade bacon cream dressing? A bowl of meatless chili? Tomato stuffed tuna salad? Do you like meatballs? Or would you rather a mini meatloaf using turkey or ground hamburger meat? Do you see the options? Endless…Until my next post I wish you “Good Health”, cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

What day of the week do you want to shop?

Are you a weekend shopper? Mid-week shopper? In my area Wednesday’s begin the new circulars and sale flyers! I tend to shop mid week every week at the local chain grocery stores. Yes, I use two highly competitive ones (they are directly across the street from one another?!). Whenever I need other staples I utilize Dollar General, Walmart. I use a Seafood Market, Butcher/Meat Market, Fresh Produce Market, Greek Market, Italian Market and even a Latino Market. As I need items for recipes I head over and stock up. Depending on your location you may find it difficult to shop at more than one or two stores. Find the best prices and products that you can for weekly menu planning and budgeting! Last time I mentioned about using a slow cooker and/or crock pot. With a slow cooker the interior pot can be removed for easy storage in the refrigerator versus a crock pot where that is one unit. If using a crock pot you will have to empty cooking contents into airtight containers to store. Have you purchased some containers? Your local Walmart and/or Dollar General have several types to choose from. Make sure you purchase a multi-pack with different sizes! They are not too expensive and worth it when storing food stuff in your refrigerator. I remember my Mother using only Tupperware products!!! I use whatever I can find at a reasonable price. Lunch meats (Pre-packaged) their containers can be used to store, so do not throw them out! From time to time you may on your weekly shopping trip decide to purchase ham, turkey, roast beef in pre-packaged containers they are often on sale. You can make a great sub or hoagie or Hot-open faced sandwich with that product. Sometimes when on sale it is cheaper than using the grocery store Deli per pound weight. You will get into the habit of checking those things as we proceed along this journey together. Have you prepared a list of grocery items yet for your weekly shopping? Get on that! I will close wishing you “Good Health”. cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

How much are you spending in a week on your groceries?

When we think about a budget for groceries one has to stick to a set amount of money each week. What is the amount you allow for groceries? What about eating out especially at lunch time? So many people eat out at lunch time, think about $6-$8 dollars a day for one meal at a fast food joint?! Is that the only option for you; oh my heavens no! A typical work week is 5 days, 8 hours a day. If you spend just $6 X 5 DAYS = $30.00 A WEEK. That is about 1/2 the weekly budget for your grocery order (for one person). Check with your health care provider on diet! The rare times you might treat yourself to eating out is fine; no one wants to see you deprived of an indulgence! On a larger scale looking at the whole picture is what I recommend you consider here. You have to eat daily it is a requirement! Our bodies must have nourishment, exercise, and rest. Eating a well balanced diet will in time become habitual and very easy. Finding new recipes to try is also great fun! If you do not try it how will you know if you like it or not?! Complacency then rules. Open your horizons to different foods you may be surprised at what you will find that you will really enjoy cooking and eating. In closing on the next post we will talk about a weekend menu using the slow cooker! In closing, I wish you “Good Health”. cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.