Frugal Recipes Happenings: Winter 2018-2019

This winter hasn’t seemed as bad as last winter. Not so far anyway. Last year, the first couple of months were too cold – colder than normal. While we’ve had some of those days this year, there haven’t been as many. It seems like it rains after most snow days, making for very wet weather. I still see patches of lawn, though.

Not that I’m complaining. I’ll take this over two months of freezing cold temperatures. How about you?

I’ve been enjoying having Zowie and Devan in the area, and spending time with my precious grandchildren. Little Man is 3 1/2 and Little Miss is already 6 months old, and they are my hearts joy.

 

Yule (the first day of winter) was a busy, busy day. The bestest picked me up, and we went to my parents home for the family Christmas party. It was a lot of fun. We all exchanged our gifts, and enjoyed some great food. I love my stepfathers homemade baked beans, and he always buys Governor’s rolls to go with them. Yum! When it was time for us to leave, mom packed me 3 meals worth of beans and rolls, as well as treats. She does this for me every year, so I can have the food for my upcoming shifts at The Inn.

Then the bestest and I went to her house for our baking day. We made so many things! I made peanut butter and chocolate no-bakes, and three flavors of popcorn. She made breads and chocolate dipped pretzel logs. I’m sure there was more. We packaged all of the goodies, and handed them out to loved ones as part of their holiday gifts.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright December 22, 2018.

Christmas Eve was spent at my aunts for another Christmas party, and then some of us met up at my daughter’s on Christmas. After everyone left, I stayed behind for further bonding with the grandchildren.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright December 24, 2018.

I took a vacation from The Inn after the holidays, and spent some time Zowie’s family again, as well as with my daughter Skye and her boyfriend. Play dates with the kiddos are always fun. I babysat one night, so their parents could go on a date, and then bought us all food from Angelo’s another night. Expensive, but well worth it for the family time and a treat.

So how was your holiday? Did you set any resolutions for the new year? I set some goals. Wanna learn about them? Read these posts here on the blog to find out what I’m concentrating on this year:

New Year Goal: A New “Kitchen”

New Year Goal: Be Healthy

New Year Goal: Try New Recipes (Mostly Paleo)

You may also enjoy reading about one of the ways I am building memories with my grandson.  ❤

Winters are long. If you’re looking for a project to keep you busy, I suggest reading Joni Meyer’s book Extreme Couponing, and setting up your own coupon system.

You might also enjoy checking out my new site, Fabulous Frugal Life. In particular, you might enjoy reading my post on how you can save on groceries. There are many articles already posted to the site, and I’ll be adding more throughout the winter months. Let me know what you think of the new site.

Have you read my fiction blog yet? It’s another great way to pass the winter, telling you all about my writing life and sharing about the short stories I have published. Head on over today to check it out!

Warmest Wishes

~ Shannon

Frugal Recipes Happenings ~ Autumn 2018

Happy Autumn! It is my favorite time of year. Last night, Zowie and Devan brought my grandchildren for a Halloween visit. Little Man was a witch, and Little Miss a pumpkin. I made up treat bags for Little Man and his parents, and gave Little Miss (almost four months old!) a little stuffed witch. Before they got there, I watched old episodes of The Adam’s Family. Then, while they were there I played Double, Double, Toil and Trouble – the girls and I used to watch that when they were young. When they left, I watched Stephen King’s Sometimes They Come Back, and ate peanut butter cups. And I went to bed early. Not the grandest of Halloweens, but I was exhausted. How was your Halloween?

I’m so over horror movies for the year, probably since I’ve been watching them since the first of September, haha. I am still enjoying Riverdale, though, and started watching the new Charmed, and Legacies. During October I also enjoyed watching The Chilling Adventures of SabrinaCastle Rock, and The Haunting of Hill House.

I love the chilliness in the air, watching the leaves change, the smell of the changing season, and I love to do more cooking this time of year: Pineapple  -keilbasa soup, harvest salad, chili, and more. And I drink more chai tea. Yum!

I’m very excited about Thanksgiving. Well, our early Thanksgiving celebration that Zowie is putting on for the family. We are using the community building where she lives, and my sister and I have both offered to go early and start the meal while Zowie works. Sheila has some foods she’ll be making, and I’m in charge of making cheesecakes. My daughter Skye, and her boyfriend Ryan, will be supplying some alcohol for the get-together, but no one will be drinking much.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Since I live alone, I no longer make an entire meal on the big day. Also, I’m usually working. But I do like to cook something to celebrate. I wanted to share a few recipes with you:

If I were going to make an entire Thanksgiving meal on my own, and if I had a real freezer and not just a dorm size fridge in the room I rent, I would plan for leftovers to have over the next couple of months. These recipes utilize Thanksgiving leftovers:

Enjoy the rest of autumn, time with family, and the delicious tastes of autumn.

Love and Light,

Shannon

Frugal Recipes Happenings ~ Summer 2018

Happy Summer! The nicer days make me so happy 🙂 How about you? Skye and her boyfriend and I have been taking advantage of restaurants where we can sit outside and eat. It’s been a real culinary adventure.

I’ve tried a few new places since Skye moved back home last fall, starting with the our lunch at Paddy Murphy’s. I enjoyed a wonderful plate of ravioli with a delicious butternut squash sauce and topped with grilled shrimp; a recipe I would love to replicate. This came with toast. We also visit Bagel Central and 98 Wake and Shake whenever we are downtown. And we’ve been to Nicky’s Diner with mom. They have amazing prices. You get a lot of food for what you pay.

Skye’s boyfriend took us out for lunch a couple of times as well. We sat outside at both. At the Seadog Brewing Co. we got to sit near the river. I had pasta in a garlic butter sauce, topped with shrimp, scallops, and muscles. When we visited Timber Kitchen & Bar, I enjoyed haddock and spiced fries, as well as a Honey Badger Mojito. Yum!

My grandson is turning three, and I visited with him and parents recently. We took him to his first theater movie. Smitty’s is unusual in that the theater houses tables and chairs, and they serve your meal while you are watching the movie. They make a good chicken quesadilla. Were hopeful Zowie and Devan will be able to move closer to home with him and his sister in August. Then I will have a little cooking buddy!

I intend to further enjoy new restaurants and different foods throughout the summer.

As for food at home, I’ve been eating lighter fare. Quick, easy to make meals. I’m hoping to shed some of these extra pounds, but I also just don’t like to eat heavier foods as much as I do in the winter. My grocery shopping trip for the coming week netted burger patties and lots of fruits and veggies. Other than cheese for the burgers and some almond/cashew milk, that’s all I bought. Not even buns for the burgers. I thought, instead, I’d have the patties over greens and top them with pickles. I had shrimp last week, and scallops the week before, both with lots of vegetables.

I’m going to have picnics in the park, down by the river, this year. Next week I’m planning to get a sandwich and drink from Harvest Moon Deli and sit down there to relax and enjoy being outdoors. I have a coupon for a free sandwich that I will utilize.

Have you seen these blog posts?

Smoothies are great for summer. I’m planning to have a few this week. They are a good way to extra nutrients into your system.

I hope you enjoy your summer! I’d love to hear about recipes you enjoy at this time of year, and the food celebrations you will be hosting and/or attending.

Shannon

shannonlbuck@gmail.com

 

Frugal Recipes Happenings ~ Spring 2018

Yesterday was the first day of spring, but you wouldn’t know it with all the snow and cold. I took out the trash this morning and there was no hint of spring in the air or on the ground. Brrrr.

But I know it will be here soon enough. The warmer days. The buds on the trees. The tulips starting to pop up from the ground. Soon.

With the onset of spring, I always start bringing back lighter food choices. I don’t want the heartier meals of fall and as winter much. I’d rather eat more salads and drink more healthy smoothies. All of this, of course, packs one heck of a nutritional punch each day. Are you noticing you are having different cravings? Are smoothies even affordable? If you make them yourself they are far more affordable that buying one when out and about. Be prepared: Bring one with you.

I’ve been reworking some of the older posts that used to populate this blog, making them healthier – testing them out – and I’ve started to put some of them back. I’ve also posted a couple of new ones. And I’m planning to experiment with a few new recipes. If they turn out well, I’ll be sharing them here on the blog.

I don’t have a lot planned for spring. Once the weather turns nice, I’ll be out and about more: Walking, taking pictures. I may picnic in the park once or twice this season. Maybe ask a few people to join me one time, and use the other to work on writing related things.

It’s also almost time to switch to iced mint tea when writing at Aroma Joe’s. I love my tea iced. I’m working on a new story series while there, about stalkers. I’ve published a few other stories this winter. If you care to check them out, I’m sharing them below.

Something my daughter did for her husband, both Harry Potter fans, was to create for him a Harry Potter themed birthday party. It took her days to prepare for it. She invited a couple of his friends. He and Little Man enjoyed it, as did his friends. My daughter, being pregnant with her second child, tired herself right out with it all, but she said it was worth it. She’d spent three days cooking for it, as well as working at her job.

If you haven’t seen these yet, this is what I’ve put on the blog recently:

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017.Fruity Cocoa Goodness (Smoothie)

Quick Tip: Using Leftovers to Make Smoothies

I Bought Me Presents!

Quick Tip: Keep a Few Homemade Single Serve Meals on Hand

Invest n Containers for Meal Prep

Quick Tip: Plan Meals AFTER You Shop

I also wrote a short piece on the USDA Thrifty Food Plan for January 2018. Want to know how your family stacks up? Find out what you have to spend to be considered a thrifty shopper.

I know that sometimes, even though we want to eat healthy, we simply do not have the money to do so. I try to keep the recipes here on the blog affordable & healthy, but at times we need recipes for the ingredients and foods we can afford on an even tighter budget. I’ve got your back! These frugal recipe cookbooks are on sale at this time.

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Fabulously Frugal Fruits: Recipes and Uses ($1.99)

Very Frugal Vegetables: Recipes and Uses ($1.99)

Beverages on a Budget ($1.99)

Main Meal Magic ($1.99)

As Always, Frugal Ways to Save Money in the Kitchen + Frugal Recipes for the Health Conscious costs nothing. Enjoy! And Check out Keeping the Single Mom Home: The Kitchen for $1.99.

Enjoy the recipes, books, and articles in this newsletter. Again, I’m so happy to be writing Frugal Recipes Happenings back here on the site.

Here are the fiction books I indicated I’d share. If you like reading fiction, but don’t have a lot of time on your hands like so many these days, these are short stories that can be read quickly.

The Old Shack in the Woods ($1.99)

My Mother ($1.99)

Find out about my other books + over on the fiction blog!

Enjoy spring!

Shannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frugal Recipes Happenings, Winter 2018

Some of you will remember when I used to publish this newsletter right here on the blog. It was a long time ago. I’ve tried two other platforms for publishing since then, but neither was the same as posting straight to this blog. So I am posting here again. It feels more comfortable. The way it should be.

I will be combining all the old newsletter issues and other items into an ebook to offer free to anyone who wants it, like I did with Frugal Ways to Save Money in the Kitchen + Frugal Recipes for the Health Conscious. (Grab your free copy if you haven’t already!) I’m not sure when the new eBook will be ready, but I’ll announce it here on Frugal Recipes when it is.

Photograph copyright January 2018 by Shannon L. Buck. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckThe temperatures here in Maine have been atrocious, making walking outside impossible. We’re finally getting a break from the extreme cold, though, so I have had a couple of opportunities to do some walking. Thank goodness! Walking always helps me to clear my head, and it helps to get the creative juices flowing. It refreshes the soul.

Some of the ideas that came to me during the first walk after that cold snap had to do with cooking and other kitchen related things. I have new recipes I want to experiment with, some crafty things I would like to do, and some nutritional things I want to learn more about. That’s also when I decided to move the newsletter back here, and create a freebie for you all out of the old issues.

All this means some exciting things for the Frugal Recipes blog, for you, and even for me! Visit often to see what I will be sharing, and let me know what you think of the things here on the blog – either by commenting on individual posts, or by emailing me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you. 🙂

And please remember, I’m always here to offer up advice when funds are low and you’re not sure what to do.I love hearing from you.

The holidays were a stressful but fun time. I had to work, but I also found some time to spend with my family. Skye had moved back home in October, and Zowie and Devan brought Little Man for a couple of nights just before Christmas. Unfortunately, with my work schedule, I was not able to keep Little Man over night during their stay – which is something I always try to do.

Photograph copyright January 2018 by Zowie Arnold. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckWhile I missed having our little slumber party, I still got to spend plenty of time with him. And before he left on Christmas Eve morning, he told me he loved me and wanted to stay with me forever. Awww ❤ My heart just melted.

We all went to my parents place on the 23rd, to celebrate with other family members, and then we moved our little party to my bosses office at work for my evening shift. The inn is not busy this time of year, so we were able to open our gifts to each other without too many distractions.

Zowie made everyone homemade marshmallows and homemade hot cocoa mix. Both were wonderfully delicious! I take full credit for her cooking and baking abilities.

My stepfather made his baked beans (my favorite!), and wieners (haha), and he and mom made fudge and snickerdoodles, for everyone to have have at their house. They even bought Governor’s rolls. Yum! I brought a vegetable tray, purchased at Walmart. Unfortunately, I had to work so much at the holidays that I did not get to enjoy the baking and cooking. But I sure did have enough leftovers of beans, rolls, and vegetables to last a few shifts at work.

However, the bestest and I did have our baking day earlier in the month. This was our third year.

Photograph copyright December 16, 2017 by Shannon L. Buck. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckWe bake for whoever we will be seeing during the few day period after the baking date. For me, this was my coworkers, my sister, and everyone at Katie’s house. Together Missy and I put together baskets of goodies for a couple of long-time friends. One went to my friend Bob, who has been a friend to my family maybe longer than I have been alive. The other was for Dwight, best guy friend of the bestest’s since she was little. We spoiled them.

I also dropped a tin of goodies of to my friend Jesse at work on our way to back Orono. She had worked for me that night so I could have the entire day for baking, and I wanted to show her my appreciation. I knew lemon treats were her favorite, and that she loved no-bakes, so I made homemade lemon pound cake for the first time, and no-bakes – along with homemade gingerbread, and cookie bars.

The bestest made banana bread, Chinese noodles, and Christmas candies, and I helped her drizzle chocolate over pretzels. Our people were well taken care of. ❤

Have you noticed that the holidays are very food-centered? Even our work party centers around the food. This year, our boss took us to Governor’s, where they serve home-cooked style meals. The food was so good.

And my friend Jesse dropped me off a bag of treats and a scarf at work, which made my day. (And I just love when people help me to expand my fancy scarf collection!)

The previous year there were just so many bad-for-you foods, that even my mom commented that it was too much. So many of us didn’t feel good after a month of eating those foods, that I made the decision to not eat as much of the junk stuff this year as I used to. I’m happy to report that I came out of the holidays season feeling much better this year. While I didn’t give up the treats entirely, I did consume much less than in previous years.

Have you changed the way you’ve been eating at the holidays? I’m always trying to eat healthier. I love how I feel when I’m eating good-for-you foods rather than junk and overly processed foods. How about you?

With winter in full swing, I wanted to share some recipes with you. This tasty beef soup recipe will get you started. And why not enjoy some hot mulled cider or festive hot cocoa after spending a day shoveling. It’s definitely the time of year for soups and casseroles, and a good time to experiment with your own versions of both. I’d love to hear the results!

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright March 11. 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckHeartier breakfasts are also welcome this time of year. Try pancakes with apple-maple syrup, an apple and sausage or banana and sausage oatmeal bowl, a corned beef and potatoes one pan meal, or a turkey and sausage one.

Egg scrambles are delicious as well. Try a turkey and squash or a turkey and tomato one. I also have a couple of omelet recipes you’ll like: Zucchini and carrot, and a spinach option.

I recently added a couple of recipes that will go nicely with many desserts. They use coconut cream as a base, and you add flavoring. I’m still experimenting with this one, and I figure you might want to do the same. Try the vanilla coconut cream and the peppermint coconut cream, and then try other flavoring options. Let me know how it goes!

 

A few of the things I’m using regularly in an effort to eat in a healthier way.

  • organic coconut oil
  • organic, raw honey
  • Vermont and Maine maple syrups
  • organic almond flour
  • organic almond butter
  • organic coconut flour
  • organic, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • baker’s cocoa made with 100% cacao

Healthy eating is different for each person. My way may not be right for you. It’s great if you have a doctor and nutritionist to work with. I can’t afford that, so I’m trying to figure it out on my own. I know that when I am eating about 80% Paleo or Whole30, I am losing weight and feeling great. That is what I’m striving for. I won’t lie though, it’s not always easy on my budget.

What food adventures will you take this winter? Let us know.

Shannon

shannonlbuck@gmail.com

eCover by Shannon L. Buck via Canva. Copyright December 2017. https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Go-Into-Woods-Alone-ebook/dp/B078H6T3FJ/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8P. S. I have a few things going on this year. First of all, I’d like anyone interested in creating the life of their dreams to check out my site at shannonlbuck.com. The site is called Create Your Success and while it could mean career-wise, it actually deals with all aspects of life.

Second, I have been writing fiction for some time now and I sell short stories on Amazon. If you’re a reader, I’d sure appreciate it if you would have a look and see if there is anything you are interested in. I’d also appreciate reviews!

And third, I also have a fiction blog you will enjoy, and would love it if you would sign up for my fiction mailing list to be one of the first to know about new releases, as well as letters about my fiction writing. Thank you so much!