Kids in the Kitchen: Make a Pumpkin Cookbook

I’ve already posted about having children make apple and zucchini cookbooks. This another great family or homeschool project. You would first need to do some research about the elements you would like  added to the cookbook.

Some suggestions are:

  • table of contents
  • this for that information
  • measurement information
  • information on the different types of pumpkin
  • information on making homemade pumpkin puree, by baking or boiling
  • information on freezing pumpkin, or the finished recipes
  • how to store roasted pumpkin seeds

They might also want to add a photograph of finished recipes, or one of them making each recipe.  A nice two-page spread should include the recipe and picture on one page, and a journaled story about making or eating the dish on the next page.

It would be fun if they made their book in the shape of a pumpkin. My daughters did this, and bound the covers and pages together with yarn. The covers were made of construction paper.

Have them use only your family’s favorite holiday/harvest pumpkin recipes, so they will have to try them all out first. This can be a lot of fun. Make sure they know how to prepare relevant recipes for the freezer.

Here are some pumpkin recipe ideas:

  • bread
  • muffins
  • pumpkin  cake with cream cheese frosting
  • soups, and soups served in hollowed out pumpkins
  • vegetable medley
  • pumpkin bars
  • pie
  • cookies
  • roasted pumpkin seeds
  • pancakes

Let us know what your children include in their cookbooks!

Shannon

Kids in the Kitchen: Make a Zucchini Cookbook

Like the apple cookbook project, this is another great family or homeschool project that will teach children many skills. You would first need to research what elements you want to add to your cookbook.

Some suggestions are:

  • table of contents
  • this for that information
  • measurement information
  • information on zucchini
  • information on freezing zucchini, or the finished recipes
  • how to clean and shred the zucchini

If they grew the zucchini then they can also add gardening information, and summer and autumn harvest information.

They may also want to add a photograph of finished recipes, or of them making each recipe.  A nice two-page spread might showcase the recipe and picture on one page, and a journaled story about making or eating the dish on the next page.

You’ll want to have them use only favorite holiday/harvest zucchini recipes, so have them try them all out first. This can be a lot of fun. You will also want to make sure that they know how to prepare relevant recipes for the freezer.

When my daughters made theirs, they used construction paper and bound everything together with yarn.

Here are some zucchini recipe ideas:

  • bread
  • muffins
  • zucchini mashed potatoes
  • harvest salad
  • zucchini in stir-fry
  • chocolate zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting
  • soups
  • vegetable medley

Let us know what your children include in their cookbooks!

Shannon

Quick Tip: Freezing Zucchini

Buying zucchini when it’s on sale or cheap at farmers’ markets or stands, or growing your own and harvesting them at the end of summer and into autumn, can save a lot of money on your grocery bill. If you stock up when it’s cheap (or free), then you’ll save money throughout the year. This is a frugal way to add to your freezer stock.

This is how I freeze zucchini. I only use it shredded, and in things like breads, muffins and cakes, so I do this quickly and easily.

Rinse the zucchini well and cut off the ends. Do not peal it. Grate the zucchini, then put it into quart size freezer bags/containers in one cup measures. This makes it easier to take out only what I need.

Shannon

Kids in the Kitchen: Make an Apple Cookbook

This is a frugal family or homeschool project that will teach math, reading, life skills, and more.

What is added to each child’s cookbook depends on their age and skills, but this will be a fun project for them to work on as they learn to help with food preparation during the harvest months.

Some examples of book parts include:

  • table of contents
  • this for that information
  • measurement information
  • information on the different types of apples
  • classification of baking apples
  • information on freezing apples, or the finished recipes
  • why you should never eat apple seeds (hint: poison)
  • a page telling about each family member’s favorite type of apple

They add a photograph of finished recipes, or of themselves making each recipe.  A nice two-page spread would showcase the recipe and picture on one page, and a journaled story about making or eating the dish on the next page.

When my daughters made their apple books, they created them in shapes of apples – the pages and the cover, using construction paper and binding them with yarn.

Have them use only the family’s favorite holiday/harvest apple recipes, so they’ll have to try them all out first. This can be a lot of fun. Make sure that you know how to, and they include the directions for, preparing relevant recipes for the freezer.

Here are some apple recipe ideas:

  • bread
  • muffins
  • apple cake with cream cheese frosting
  • apple bars
  • pie
  • cookies
  • crisp
  • applesauce, apple-pear sauce, apple-peach sauce
  • salads
  • pancakes

Let us know what your children decide to put in their apple cookbooks!

Shannon

Frugal Recipes Happenings Summer 2019

I’m sitting at Aroma Joe’s, where I sometimes come to write when the internet is out at home, looking out the window and noticing the leaves have started to change. Fall is right around the corner.

What have I been doing? Enjoying fresh produce, hanging with my mom and sister, visiting farmer market’s. Waiting for autumn!

It’s been a good summer. The weather wasn’t too bad, overall. Though it was a wet season. A wet year, really. My parents garden did okay, but would have done better had the ground been dry enough for them to plant when they were supposed to. I’ve gotten a small number of zucchinis and cucumbers from them. Yum! I’ve also been enjoying the Madness boxes every two weeks from Misfit’s Market. While some of the produce has been consistent, there have also been differences in what I am receiving. And the convenience, wow! I’ve spent significantly less at Wal*Mart.

I’ve been enjoying salads, fruit-based cereals, juices, lemon and lemon-limeades, and more. I’ve also been enjoying other foods while hanging out.

Little MissSpending time with Little Man and Little Miss has been precious. Little Miss started crawling, and is now walking while holding onto things. She chats away like she is part of every conversation, and is so full of smiles and laughs. She turned one in July.

Little Man is getting so tall, and turned four just before his sister turned one. He and I went out looking for Dragons and Fairies and, I’m pleased to say, we came out of the woods with him holding onto his beliefs in them. I am good at what I do.

We had one birthday to celebrate both of their days, and it was so much fun. Little Man’s friends, Little Man, and Little Miss sure do love their fruit! I lost count of how many times they would come back to me asking for more fruit. I’m so happy to see them preferring the healthier foods.

Skye and her friend Phil took me out for a birthday dinner. We went to a new restaurant in Old Town called Outta the Ordinary, which is located in the same spot that Acme Pizza was located years ago when the girls were teenagers. We used to get pizza there sometimes. I got The Mainah! A pizza with lobster, clams, a butter sauce and corn. It cost more than $30! But it was Delicious. And so filling it lasted me three meals.

Zowie made me a dinner for my birthday, and baked a cake. Fajita’s, and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting that I got to share with her and the kids. Devan was working that evening, so I only saw him for a few minutes.

Skye and her boyfriend Ryan took me to Uno’s one evening, where I got a pasta dish with shrimp, and we watched some of a game, and the next day I went with Skye to Bar Harbor. While she worked, I walked around the Loop, taking pictures. I visited a few shops, and I found a juice bar where I enjoyed an very healthy smoothie! I also found an ice cream shop that has soft-serve ice cream made from almond milk. Great for me, with the dairy issues that I have. And it was delicious! Before we left, Ryan took us to The Thirsty Whale, a bar that serves food. Yum! Lobster Bisque is delicious. I also got to go into the very fancy hotel he works as a bartender.

Way fancier than The Inn where I work. We had a barbecue at The Inn the beginning of July. It was great fun.

Skye, my sister Sheila, nephew Isaiah, and I went to the Harry Potter birthday celebration at Diagon Alley Bangor, Maine! It was a great deal of fun, and I tried butter beer, finally. (Bring on the Immodium!)

Missy and I had a girls day! We headed to Western Maine, stopping at a craft show/farmer’s market, taking pictures, enjoying ice cream, and talking about so many things. We also stopped at yard sales. Another Immodium event! There was nothing healthy about this day’s food intake.

Right now, I’m on vacation. Despite the fun I’ve had, I’ve also been stressed and feeling unmotivated. I decided I needed to take some time off and get some perspective. There may be some changes coming up.

How has your summer gone? What new recipes or foods have you tried?

~ Shannon

 

My Third Box from Misfits Market

It’s hard to believe this is my third box. I’ve been enjoying the food from these boxes and plan to keep doing so. Not only are they saving me money, I am trying new foods without breaking my back by carrying it all home.

This is what box three held:

  • 4 plums
  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 onions (split these between my daughters)
  • 2 oranges
  • a bunch of little peppers (split these between my daughters)
  • 2 heads lettuce
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 5 limes
  • 2 celery bunches
  • 2 bunches of kale
  • 2 butternut squash

So, I did some very obvious things with some of this produce. For instance, I:

I’m saving the squash for when I have the other ingredients to make stuffed squash. Mostly what I am buying at the grocery store these days are nut milk and bananas. I buy one package of meat. I find that I am eating far less meat than I used to. And things as they run out, such as eggs, nut flours, and almond butter.

This is a lot of food for one person, but it is only delivered every other week. I’m eating far healthier now that I’m getting in the habit of eating more fresh produce again.

Does anyone else find this happening who have ordered these boxes? What are your weekly or bi-weekly grocery budgets looking like? Also, are you receiving the same produce boxes I am? Let’s compare!

I also have received some zucchini and cucumbers from my parents. And ended up with about a dozen cans of applesauce from a friend that I put away for winter when I might not get many apples. They’ll also make great back ups when funds are low. Oh, and that same friend gave me about the same number of cans of peas.

It makes me happy that I am also able to help my daughters out a little bit. ❤

Note 1: It’s called Misfits Market for a reason. It is a source of “ugly” produce. Let me just say that I don’t care if the produce is perfect. If I can get “ugly” produce at a good price, I am all over that. Produce is produce. It’s all good!

Note 2: Get 25% off your first order, and give me 25% off a future order. It’s a win-win! The links in this article will take you to my page with your discount. (Affiliate) (This is the discount they are giving right now. Misfit’s Market can change the promotion at any time.)

~ Shannon

What’s-on-Hand Salad

Because I’ve been getting the Madness Boxes from Misfits Market every couple of weeks, I’ve come up with a few salad combinations. All I’m doing is using what I have on hand that week for fresh produce. I’m not adding meat, seeds, or nuts, unless I want something with it when I am actually eating.

This type of salad is also good for using up those odd bits of produce leftover from other meals.

Don’t feel like you have to follow this recipe closely. Just use what you have available.

What’s-on-Hand Salad

Ingredients

mixed lettuce

spinach

cucumber

broccoli

  1. Rinse the produce well. Place on a towel and cover with another one. Press gently to dry produce.
  2. Break the lettuce and spinach up using your hands. There’s no kneed to use a knife.
  3. Slice the cucumber into rounds, then cut into halves or quarters.
  4. Chop the broccoli.
  5. Add everything to a bowl.
  6. Enjoy!

I take this a little further by breaking out the reusable containers and filling each of them with enough salad for a meal or a snack. With these in the refrigerator like this, I can just grab a salad when I want one. Easy-peasy!

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with soup on a cool day.
  • Serve with a meal of meat and potatoes.
  • Add some grilled chicken and seeds or nuts and call it dinner!

Tips

  • Use scraps so nothing goes to waste.
  • Use produce from your own garden to save money.

~ Shannon

 

My Second Box from Misfits Market

I’m impressed with all the produce in these Madness boxes from Misfits Market. (The second link here is an affiliate one.) The food is amazing and, while there are a couple of funny looking additions and there were a few bruised fruits, the quality is amazing for the price. That’s why it’s called Misfits Market though. Bruised fruit is easily turned into something else, like applesauce. Funny looking foods taste just as good as perfect foods.

Look at what came in my second box:

  • strawberries
  • 2 bunches kale
  • 6 onions (Gave to my daughters)
  • 4 bell peppers + a bunch of smaller peppers (Gave to my daughters)
  • 12 potatoes
  • 2 squash
  • 2 bunches salad mix
  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 apples
  • 2 bunches broccoli
  • 4 mango (Gave to my daughters)

Despite giving away some of the produce, I have plenty to get me through the next couple of weeks. And I still have spaghetti squash from the last shipment. What I’m making with this shipment, and that spaghetti squash:

Note 1: It’s called Misfits Market for a reason. It is a source of “ugly” produce. Let me just say that I don’t care if the produce is perfect. If I can get “ugly” produce at a good price, I am all over that. Produce is produce. It’s all good!

Note 2: Get 25% off your first order, and give me 25% off a future order. It’s a win-win! The links in this article will take you to my page with your discount. (Affiliate) (This is the discount they are giving right now. Misfit’s Market can change the promotion at any time.)

My daughters, Skye and Zowie, enjoy getting the extra food. They both have a lot on their plates financially, so this allows me to help them out a bit. Little Man just loves snacking on peppers!

~Shannon

Simple Orange Juice

I don’t have a juicer. I want one, but haven’t decided what type would be best. For now, I just use a blender or my little metal hand-held juicers. I don’t drink a lot of juice, at least not yet, preferring to eat the fruit. But, once-in-a-while, I do want juice to go with my breakfast. In particular, orange juice. Although, if I had a juicer I’d have a grand time experimenting with flavor combinations.

That is when I break out the hand-held juicer. The orange metal one.

I love when my Madness Boxes from Misfits Market (Affiliate Link – Get your discount today!) include oranges. I made this juice last weekend, to use up the oranges. It lasted a few breakfasts.

While I used organic fruit for this recipe because it came in one of my boxes, I would not buy organic oranges in the store. They have thick skins, and I prefer to use my money to buy organic produce that are thin-skinned. As I learn more, I may decide organic oranges are the way to go but, for now at least, I am good with this choice.

Simple Orange Juice

Ingredients

oranges

Directions

  1. Squeeze the juice or oranges into a canning jar or other glass bottle with a cover.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until you want to drink it.

Tips

  • Don’t go overboard with orange. I only drink about 1/4 cup in a day, unless I am sick. Then I will do so a few times throughout the day being sure do so with a meal that includes protein.

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Banana-Orange Smoothie

Smoothies are a great breakfast beverage to have alone or with a separate protein source. I’ve been adding pea protein to mine, but sometimes I’ll enjoy them with an egg. I don’t consume the smoothies regularly during the autumn and winter months, but I begin to enjoy them each spring and through the summer.

I may change this habit, drinking them during the colder months more often. They are a great way to extra nutrients into your diet.

I used store-bought bananas as a base, but the rest of the produce was from my Madness Box from Misfits Market (Affiliate Link).

Everything but the bananas were organic. In all honesty, I don’t usually bother with organic bananas because the skin is so thick on the fruit. This may change in the future, as I learn more about things. But, for now. non-organic is the way I am going with store-bought, thick-skinned produce.

Note that I do use a personal blender, not a full-size one. There is a fill line, so I don’t measure things out. I just fill until I hit that line.

Banana-Orange Smoothie

Ingredients

1 small banana, peeled

1 orange, peeled

1 tbsp pea protein powder

1 tsp honey

frozen spinach or kale, a few sprinklings of it chopped

almond milk (can also use soy, rice, cashew, or even dairy milk if your body can handle it)

Directions

  1. Add a little liquid to the blender cup.
  2. Break banana into small chunks and add to the blender cup.
  3. Add orange slices to the cup.
  4. Add pea protein and honey.
  5. Sprinkle frozen kale or spinach bits to the blender cup.
  6. Add milk choice to cup, up to the fill line – or however much you need.
  7. Blend a few seconds, then pulse until smooth.

Tips

  • Serve at lunch with a salad.
  • Serve with a hot breakfast for added nutrients.
  • Drink a smoothie at snack-time for extra nutrients.
  • Make a thicker smoothie by using less liquid. Pour into a bowl, and top with more fruit, nuts, seeds, and coconut.

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