ConsumerFu.com is a website geared toward helping people save money and time. There are some great tips and tricks for saving money in the kitchen and the garden...and just about every other aspect of life too. They run a series on Recipes for Broke People and featured my little cranberry loaves last week.
This year we stopped buying bread from the store and it has been quite an adventure finding, tweaking and developing recipes.
I have always enjoyed a cup of tea in the afternoon. I usually need a little pick-me-up and coffee - my choice of caffeinated beverages in the morning - just seems too heavy. While I typically choose Earl Grey, this winter my youngest daughter Emily introduced me to Tazo Organic Chai. Wow. I now have a new favorite tea.
I love the flavor and aroma of cloves. Tazo's Chai is spicy, aromatic and very satisfying. Over the holidays we made concentrated cups of Chai and then topped it with steamy, frothy milk from my old Krups espresso maker. I knew that 20 year old machine had been tucked in the cabinets for some reason!
I will be writing more often about tea as I grow herbs and forage the woods for sassafras this summer. I spotted two young plants last year and hope they will grow quickly so I can gather some roots and leaves this year. I made a lovely tea from pineapple sage blossoms last summer, but I need to add black or orange tea leaves. I'm looking forward to my experiments and hope you will offer suggestions from your own personal experience.
Of course, all this talk of tea begs the question...cookies or biscuits?
I don't like to stray too far off topic here, but I do want to pass along a website I stumbled across that is full of money saving tips - many for the kitchen. ConsumerFU has an active forum and some very informative articles.
It is a relatively new site, but I was especially impressed with the article on credit scoring. My first career out of college was with a major bank and working as a lender and branch manager. It's refreshing to see honest advice.
Finally, a use for all that citrus mint I've been growing. This bread smells lovely, looks pretty on the plate and has a wonderful hint of orange. The citrus mint adds a layer of flavor to the bread that keeps it from being too sweet.
It was my abundance of citrus mint and other herbs that helped spark the idea for this blog. I needed more recipes to use the herbs while they were fresh. I know I can't be alone. Most herbs are easy to grow making them accessible even to city dwellers in high rise apartments. If you have a favorite recipe using mint, please feel free to share it below.
The original for this recipe came from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook. I have made a few changes and note them below in my version of the recipe.
Rarely does a recipe deliver results so bad that I throw out the food and vow to never make the recipe again. Southern Living's Tiny Cream Cheese Biscuits is one such recipe. I should have been tipped off by the amount of cream cheese and butter called for, but these biscuits were so greasy, heavy and flavorless I would not recommend the recipe to anyone.
These luscious little loaves can be made with ground beef or ground turkey. The seasoning is perfect for either and the tangy whole cranberry topping adds the perfect touch. This is another recipe from my mother. It was popular with every member of my family. I think we all secretly hoped somebody wouldn't want all of their meatloaf so we could clean their plate for them!
The rice helps bulk up the beef or turkey so the loaves are a tad larger than 1/5 pound of meat might typically make. This recipe calls for chopped onion, but you can also add chopped green and red peppers or any other favorite vegetable to add flavor and color.
Until last year I had always made these with beef and we were pleasantly surprised at how good these are with ground turkey. My youngest daughter doesn't care for cranberries, but she loves this recipe. Maybe the brown sugar does the trick.
Most of us have holiday traditions that involve some type of food and many of us have traditions that go back generations. We don't always know the back story or fully understand the significance, but we carry on. One tradition in my family started when I was a little girl and received my first cookbook on Christmas day - the Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book.
I immediately asked if I could cook something and remember being told I would have to wait. I'm sure I bothered my mother to no end about cooking something from that cookbook. In the end she may have regretted giving it to me, but I still have that cookbook and I open it every year to bake the cookies I baked on that Christmas day.
This cookie is fast, easy, low mess and little hands can help. It is a mother's dream cookie recipe! My mother made Haystacks when I was a little girl. My brothers typically scarfed them down before I had a chance to eat my fair share. Put your tiny violins away. I'm not whining...just my way of saying how popular this cookie is in our family. Both of my daughters love haystacks too. They don't last very long, so its a good thing they are fast and easy to make.
This is a fun recipe if you have small children because they can stir the marshmallows and chow mein noodles for you while the butterscotch morsels melt. I know what you're thinking. it's just two dry ingredients. How much mixing can it take? We understand that, but your little helpers might notice the noodles drop to the bottom of the bowl and only constant mixing will provide the perfect ratio of noodle to marshmallow once the melted butterscotch is added. Trust me, that is exactly what they are thinking!
Finally! After more than 30 years of cooking, party planning, menu creation and recipe development for some of the most important customers around - my family - I've decided to share all the tips, tricks and formulas that have made the past 30 years possible. I've learned a lot the hard way, so there are funny stories to weave in here and there.