Happy November & December! <3

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to check in with everyone, to see how you are doing and to let you know that I am taking a couple of months off from blogging and many of my other writing activities.

In November, I’ll be publishing my last fiction story of the year. I’ll also spend the next couple of months finishing up things from the 2018 to-do lists (a lot is behind-the-scenes blog stuff that I’ve been putting off), and spending time with family and friends. I may even be able to attend the Christmas Eve party my family throws, as I seem to have that night off from The Inn (so rare!).

And I’ll be planning. New material for the coming year! New goals and things to try. Fresh recipes and maybe some tricks to help you in the kitchen. I might even provide some downloadables for you.

I want each of you to enjoy the holiday season, and I’ll be back next year! And spend some time relaxing and taking care of you.

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Yule! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Warmest Wishes & Brightest Blessings,

Shannon

Vegetable-Banana Smoothie

Another leftovers type of smoothie for you to try. A lot of times I just use whatever I have on hand. Add more milk if it isn’t smooth enough. Smoothie recipes pack quite the nutritional punch at snack time, or with your breakfast.

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (may need more)

1 egg

small handful of greens – kale, chard, or spinach

a few pieces of broccoli

10 baby carrots

3 chunks watermelon

1 small banana

  • Place everything into a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Add a little more almond milk if needed.
  • Blend again.
  • Pour into a tall glass.
  • Add a straw.
  • Enjoy!

Tips

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with homemade Paleo granola cereal at breakfast.

Happy Days!

Shannon

 

Tropical Vanilla Smoothie

I love throwing whatever I have into the blender to see what happens. This is one of the food combinations I came up for a recent smoothie. Smoothie recipes are especially tasty, and certainly more healthy, when using organic foods. Feel free to use bits of leftover fruits and vegetables in this smoothie, as I have done with the kiwi.

Ingredients

1/2 to 1 cup of coconut water

1 egg

small handful of a spinach or lettuce

1 small banana

3/4 of a peeled kiwi

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Place all but the coconut water into a blender.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of coconut water.
  3. Blend until smooth, adding more coconut water if desired.
  4. Pour into tall glasses.
  5. Add a straw.
  6. Enjoy!

Tips

  • Try adding a few slices of cucumber.
  • Look for produce in-season to save money.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a breakfast of Paleo pancakes and sausage.

Happy Days!

Shannon

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fruity Cocoa Goodness (Smoothie)

Once in a while I have a chocolate craving. I find smoothies are a great way to take care of this. Making them thick and adding ice is also a nice treat. Doing so almost makes a smoothie seem like a milkshake.

I use organic ingredients when I can. They really do have superior flavor.

Ingredients

1/2 to 3/4 cup of coconut water

ice

1 small handful of spinach or Romaine lettuce

1 egg

1 small banana

6 medium size strawberries

3/4 of a kiwi

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of raw honey

  1. Put some ice into the blender along with everything except the coconut water.
  2. Blend until combined, adding a little coconut water at a time until the smoothie is the consistency you want.
  3. Pour into glasses, add a straw, and enjoy!

Tips:

  • Try using different lettuces and berries.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

 

USDA Thrifty Food Plan, January 2018

Not everyone has a large budget for food. Even those of us needing to eat healthy have to keep costs down. Doing so is not always easy.

A few years back I came across the USDA Thrifty Food Plan, and wanted to share it with you. There are weeks when I’m lucky if I have $10.00 to spend on food. Those weeks find me depleting my pantry stocks. Then there are weeks when I can spend $40.00 plus and extra $10.00 or $20.00 to replenish the pantry somewhat. These are my lucky weeks.

More often than not, I spend around $35.00.

This is what the USDA says the food plan costs were for January 2018 for 1 female my age:

Weekly                                                                Monthly

$38.00           Thrifty Plan                                 $164.70

$48.10            Low-Cost Plan                            $208.50

$59.10            Moderate-Cost Plan                  $256.00

$75.70            Liberal Plan                                 $328.00

I dream of having enough money for the liberal plan every week/month, lol. I am definitely closer to the Thrifty Plan. You can see where your family would be here. (It goes by age.) Where are you?

I try to get a fruit for each day, plus plenty of vegetables and enough protein for each day, with my money. Some weeks are easier than others to pull this off. Generally, I get the most affordable meats and produce I can find. Unfortunately, I’m not always able to get organic foods, but I think I’m doing good when I come out of the store with no (or close to no) processed foods. It varies from week-to-week what I can pull off for meals.

Shannon