Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Best Kitchen Tools to Help Lower Your Grocery Budget

I am not a minimalist.

I could never be one of those people that counts how many items they own, and if they reach over a certain amount, gives it away, tosses it, or sells it.

And I live in a super tiny apartment.
That doesn't mean that I don't value the concept of minimalism, and think that the pursuit of material objects are detrimental, both to one's pocket book and to their mental and emotional health.
Its just that I need my things.

Certain things anyhow.
Not because I like having as much junk around as possible, trying to clutter up my limited space.
But because certain things make my life a lot easier.
And certain things that I have end up saving me lots of money, especially when it comes to making things from scratch.

I have so many kitchen gadgets- I have more variety of kitchen gadgets than most people I know. And even though space is minimal in my house, and no matter how much I do declutter, most of my kitchen gadgets are just some things not worth eliminating from my household, because of how they save me money.
To be able to make as many things from scratch as possible, there are quite a few kitchen tools that I believe are imperative to have, and are a worthwhile expense, since they will pay for themselves many times over once you are able to make everything from scratch instead of needing to buy ready made food from the grocery store or restaurant.
That said- there is no reason why you'd need to spend a lot of money on these items. Many, if not all of them, can be purchased second hand, either through listservs or websites like craigslist, or at yard sales or thrift stores, and if you're lucky, you just might be able to get them free, from things like FreeCycle or dumpster diving.

And so, I present to you this list of my money saving kitchen gadgets- how they save me money, how to get them as cheap as possible, and which I think are kitchen gadgets that every money conscious person should have in their house.

Rome With the Kids on a Budget

Having been to Italy only twice in my life- in an airport on my way to and from the US on my last trip, but having read a lot about it, I enjoyed reading how you can tour Rome with a family, on a budget. This was written by Megan Taylor, a writer who loves to experience different cultures and discover new things via traveling on regular basis.

Rome is a big European city that kids of any age will love - and there are plenty of ways to be frugal in this ancient capital. What's more, it's so easy to book a cheap city break for your family online these days! Here are some tips to make your Rome Holidays memorable for your kids and budget friendly for you.

Frugal Places to visit

No family holiday to Rome is complete without a visit to the Colosseum. Don't bother paying the grand entrance fee - instead be amused by the gladiators in costumes outside the Colosseum and ask your kids to imagine themselves as the great warriors. Your kids will be much happier meeting the gladiators of ancient Rome than looking around an exhibit.

Pop to see the Pope. If you’re at the Vatican on Wednesday your kids will have the chance to see him give his weekly audience. A unique and free event.

If the kids start moaning about the heat in the city or that they're bored of ancient Roman ruins, why not take them to the Explora? Explora is a non-profit museum for under 12s. Your kids can touch and explore the interactive exhibitions to learn about weights and measures, attend a food education workshop or put on a real fireman’s helmet, boots and drive a real fire truck.

For older kids and those that love technology, head to TechnoTown. This is a science and technology activity centre for children aged 11 to 17 years. Your kids can explore a variety of interactive activities, including making sound through graphic representation, creating cinematic special effects and taking 3D photographs.

Frugal Places To Eat

Finding food that isn't chips that your kids like while travelling can be tricky.But Italy is a great place to introduce them to new and exciting flavours. The mouth-watering gelato, freshly made trapizzino, the Spinach Manicotti Marinara and classic risotto. At every street corner there are small cafes and stalls selling exceptional Italian food ataffordable prices - depending on your Italian you could even try haggling!

If your kids crave home-made food, and you crave discount prices, eat where the locals eat. The Trattoria Monti (Via San Vito13a) is a neighbourhood trattoria particulalry popular with locals. The Briciole Favole & Co. (Via di Selva Candida 377) is a pizzeria with children’s entertainment. Alfredo e Ada (Via dei Banchi Nouvi 14) is a small, homely restaurant that serves traditional Roman dishes made with fresh ingredients without a menu but many choices for kids.

Rome is the perfect destination for a family vacation. Its history and culture are unforgettable. Although you'll probably find that it's the different flavours of ice cream and pizza toppings your kids will be asking about when you get home. Such is life.

See my disclaimer.

My New Automatic Jord Wood Watch

I have to admit that I'm writing this post with some trepidation, since some people feel that if you're frugal, you can't have nice things- that spending money on luxuries when you're short on cash makes you a hypocrite.
And yet I don't believe so.

I believe that frugality means spending your money wisely, so you not only live within your means, but that you also spend according to your values and what is important to you, so that you aren't throwing away money on things that you don't are about, and then not have the money for things that are important to you. Nay, I think the whole essence of frugality, the whole purpose of saving money is not to be able to add up as much money in the bank as possible- that's miserliness, not frugality- but to be able to free up cash to pay for things that you feel are worth the money.

Thats is why I spent money on my homebirth, and that's why when I was asked to do a review of the Jord Wood Watches, I was ok with that. Because yes, even though their watches start at $139 and go up from there, I feel they are worth the money. And if I hadn't gotten a watch from them free to review, there is a very good chance I would have purchased one for myself.

Why is that?

Well, let me tell you a little background about me and watches.

I have a love hate relationship with watches.

I need a watch. I've had multiple watches throughout the years. And I have really bad luck with watches.

Specifically watch batteries.

Supposedly, watch batteries for simple watches should last for around 4 years.

They don't on me.

I buy a watch with a brand new battery, and within a month or two the battery is dead.

I buy another one, and the same thing happens.

Replacing the battery, the same thing happens.

I really like watches both for their functionality and for their beauty, but for years I gave up on wearing watches, because of my experience with watch batteries.
So my husband had a watch whose battery lasted him for years. I decided to see if maybe it was the type of watch I was getting, or something.
I wore his watch. The next day, literally, it died.

As I said, I have bad luck with watch batteries. It seems that something about me and my body's energy just sucks the life out of batteries.

Apparently it is a pretty well known phenomenon, though the cause of it is a mystery.

For years I didn't have a watch. And it would drive me crazy. Every five seconds asking other people what time it was. By nature I'm not a very "on time" person, and not having a watch only makes that worse for me. I've been suffering without a watch.

So I decided to splurge and buy myself an automatic watch, also known as a self winding watch. I didn't buy a top of the line one, but even a "cheaper" self winding watch was still more expensive than other watches. Because they have no battery, but are automatically wound up via your hand movements, I thought it would be the perfect solution to my watch dilemma.

And it was. For a time.

Until I started getting a bad rash on my wrist from the metal on the watch.

You have no idea how much that bummed me out.

Bad luck with watches- I tell you.

I pretty much gave up on the idea of having a watch- because either it was the battery issue, or the rash issue, or both.

And then I was contacted by Jord, offering for me to review one of their wooden watches, which sounded like it would be the solution to my issue of getting rashes from metal watches. Only there was the battery issue.
Then I saw their Cora series of wooden watches- their self winding watches- and asked if I could review one of those.
Because this seems like the only type of watch that I could wear.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

Man this past week was not easy. To say it was hellishly hot would be an understatement, and as such, my productivity level went way, way, way down. To the extent that I'm surprised that I even have anything to write about this week for my frugal accomplishments- since all I seemed to be doing was vegging out.

But nope- I actually did get some frugal stuff done.

Here's what we did to save money in our household this past week.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Apple, Blue Cheese, and Honey Tart Recipe- Gluten Free, Egg Free, Paleo Friendly

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You know what's funny? In many ways I grew up in a "foodie" home, regularly eating food from various cultures across the globe- kichri and mulligatawny soup, fried rice, mujjadara, and sushi- these were staples in my home- what I consider "normal" is so different from others because of that- I thought I knew so much about different foods.
And yet there are some foods that I never even knew existed, let alone tasted, until I was an adult.
Tarts are one of them.
Ok, I had pies, and I had quiches, but never this open faced tart that I made. I just thought tart was something sour...

But anyhow, back to why I'm even saying this...

I wanted to make a dessert with cheese in it, a cheese cake of sorts. But I have a problem.
I can only eat aged cheeses.
My body can't tolerate regular dairy- not butter, not yogurt, not sour cream, not milk- but aged cheeses it does fine with. I can eat all the cheeses that are approved on the GAPS diet and not have a reaction (being aged makes them more digestible, and therefore don't cause a reaction)- which is awesome for my cheese loving self... but really hard when you want to make a dessert that is with cheese, because finding a gluten free, egg free dessert using aged cheeses that doesn't also require cream cheese or cream... was nearly impossible.

Then I did some googling and saw it suggested to try drizzling honey on aged cheeses, like blue cheese, to make them dessert-like. It sounded weird at first, but I gave it a try- and it was unbelievably amazing! Like cheesecake, almost, but better.

So I decided that my cheese based dessert would be a tart, with apple, blue cheese, and honey.

Lets just say- it was out of this world amazing. Everyone in my family enjoyed it tremendously. And it hit the spot.

I'd like to say that this recipe is Paleo diet legal, but I can't say that with 100% certainty, because the views on aged cheeses in the Paleo circle are mixed- some say yes, some say no. But at the very least- this recipe works for me, and is healthy- so that's all that matters to me in the end of the day.

While I used blue cheese for this recipe, feel free to use whatever sharp cheese appeals to you- whether goat cheese, feta cheese, parmesan, or even cheddar.

P.S. A friend of mine who saw I made this commented "Aren't aged cheese expensive in your part of the world?" So yes- they are. This isn't exactly the most frugal recipe. However, once in a while, I do believe it is ok to treat yourself to something somewhat more expensive. And it wasn't even super expensive- the cheese in this recipe cost less than $3, so really not such a splurge, since even a little bit of these cheeses goes a long way.

P.P.S. If you're dairy free, I'm sure you can make this with a vegan cheese, like almond feta, or Daiya cheddar.

Apple, Blue Cheese, and Honey Tart Recipe- Gluten Free, Egg Free, Paleo Friendly

Friday, May 22, 2015

Homemade Tart Crust Recipe- Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Vegan, and Refined Sugar Free

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I had decided the other day that I wanted to make a tart, and bought all the ingredients to go on the tart.
But do you know how many tart recipes don't even include the recipe for the tart crust- they just say to use puff pastry?
I never use puff pastry. For many reasons. Number one- because I can't eat gluten, and the puff pastry locally is nearly all with gluten. And number two because it is not healthy. Puff pastry locally isn't made with butter or coconut oil- it's made with hydrogenated oils. Which I avoid like the plague, because I figure- if there's one thing that the mainstream medical community and alternative medicine community agree on, it's probably absolute truth- and everyone's in agreement about how bad hydrogenated oils are...

So anyhow, I figured I'll just make my homemade gluten free pie crust to use instead of the puff pastry that was showing up repeatedly in recipes.

And then the time came to make the tart... and I just didn't have the energy to make the pie crust- I didn't feel like grinding the four different flours I use for it, I didn't feel like taking out the food processor necessary for my pie crust, and then cleaning it afterwards, and I didn't feel like dealing with rolling out pie crusts, etc...

I mentioned this on Facebook, that I had no energy to make the tart I had planned to make, and my friend Carly shared her easy gluten free, grain free tart crust recipe with me- one that didn't require me to use 4 different types of flour or a food processor or a rolling pin.
But it had eggs and white sugar in it, both things I try to avoid, so I played around with that base, and came up with this recipe- which is Paleo diet friendly and vegan, and so much healthier than the alternative of puff pastry, and was easy to make to boot.

You can use this as the base for any of your sweet tarts or tartlets.

As for what I did with the tart- that'll have to wait until tomorrow for the recipe.

Homemade Tart Crust Recipe- Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Vegan, and Refined Sugar Free

Gluten Free Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

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I'm having guests again this week (its not something we end up doing so often, but lately I guess we're having guests more than usual) and wanted to do something nice for them. I know that lots of the food that I cook is relatively exotic, and not everyone enjoys exotic foods as much as I do, so I make sure to ask my guests if they'd prefer more exotic or more "normal" foods when they come over.
I know some people have the mindset that if someone comes to someone else's house as a guest, they should just appreciate whatever is given to them, and there is no need to go out of your way as a host to make foods that your guests will like- that people should just eat what is served to them. And while that may be true as part of being a gracious guest, as a hostess, I believe my part is to make my guests as comfortable as possible, and give them the best that I physically/financially/emotionally can afford to do so. (I wrote about it, actually, in my post about Extreme Cheapskates, and specifically how about the person who fed salmon carcasses and salmon heads to the people who he cooked dinner for- and made them feel like puking.)
So anyhow, these guests chose "normal" food, but that doesn't mean I want to make it boring and simple. My challenge was to come up with something nice and impressive and tasty, that still fell under the realm of "normal" and "non exotic". While grocery shopping, I saw these large fresh white button mushrooms, each with a 3-4 inch diameter, and inspiration struck- stuffed mushrooms it would be. And vegan, to keep it cheaper, (Don't worry- I'm serving other dishes as well, this is just one of the things I'm serving...)
They came out great, and I look forward to serving them to my guests.

Gluten Free Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Teaching My Young Children Important Money Lessons

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Photo credit- anankkml;
When I was a teenager, I said that when I had kids, I'd do certain things with my kids and money. When I was first married, I had other ideas about what I'd do to teach my kids about money management. And then when my kids were younger than they are now, I had even different ideas.
I find that my views on raising money smart kids evolves, and things that I said I'd do don't seem to be coming to fruition, and things that I said I'd never do sometimes end up happening... but you know what? I think parenting requires flexibility, and it's a good idea to do what works for you then, even if it isn't what you'd originally had in mind.

And so, I thought I'd talk about what I currently do with my kids to try to teach them important lessons about money in an age appropriate way.

My kids are 7, 5, 3, and 1- so most of these lessons are geared towards my older two- but who knows what the younger two are absorbing via osmosis...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of...
The Price is Right!

Oh wait- wrong show.

But not exactly.

The price was right for all the things mentioned below- because they were either cheap or free!

I had an awesomely frugal week this week; I feel like I'm getting back into the groove!
(And now I sound like a super dorky person living in the wrong decade... Haha.)

Anyhow, here's what we did to save money this past week in our house-
And no, no cloth diapers this week. Well, maybe one or two... I'm again way behind on laundry...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Grain Free Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe- Auto-Immune Paleo Freindly, Allergy Friendly

I am having a guest over who told me that it's been hard for her lately, since she can't really eat out. Reason being that she is on a very strict diet, that there are many things she (hopefully temporarily) can't eat, until she is healed.  This diet essentially is a cross between the auto-immune Paleo diet, no cruciferous diet, GAPS diet, and a few other things thrown in (like no onions or garlic).
I mentioned to some people that I was trying to come up with a menu plan that she could eat, and people wanted to know why I was willing to drive myself crazy coming up with things- "she should bring her own food if there are so many things she can't eat", but honestly- I know what it's like to not be able to eat out easily because of a restricted diet, so I wanted to be able to treat her.
I have to say though that it was a big challenge to me to cook this way, because my usual staples that I rely on for flavor were out (onion, garlic, tomatoes, soy sauce, and cumin) so I had to get very creative and came up with a lot of tasty dishes.

My guest had mentioned to me that she really loves stuffed grape leaves, and she misses them, since they are heavy on the onions and rice. So I thought, as a treat, that I'd figure out a recipe for stuffed grape leaves- that she could eat!
This is what I came up with.
It's not the typical stuffed grape leaf recipe, but it's very yummy. And auto-immune Paleo friendly, so it should be suitable to people on most diets- though not vegans, obviously. I used grated zucchini in it, also to stretch the beef, and to make it less dry, as I find ground beef dishes without grains or potatoes end up being.

I used jarred grape leaves (that I got free), purely out of laziness- since grape leaves are in season now and available for me to forage about a 2 minute walk from my front door... Since the canned leaves are salty, the amount of salt I put in this recipe was perfect as is. If you use fresh grape leaves, I suggest adding a teaspoon of salt to the water before cooking.

If you want a more standard stuffed grape leaf recipe- check out this vegan one.

Grain Free Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe- Auto-Immune Paleo Friendly

Tax Tips for New Parents

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This post was written by Charlotte is a Minneapolis mother of three, DIYer, and self-taught finance expert.

Did you have a baby this past year or are you expecting a baby in 2015? With the 2014 tax year recently completed, it makes sense to take the time now to figure out how you can get an even bigger return on your taxes in 2015. In addition to remembering to avoid common tax mistakes, make sure you also remember to take advantage of these tax breaks for parents to get the most out of your return!

Changes to Your Filing Status

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Got an Ikea Couch!

 photo IMG_0100_zpsnhma7bw0.jpgWhen Mike and I got married, we were on a very tight budget, and since we married young, we weren't coming into our marriage each with homes full of furniture, so we needed to furnish our apartment entirely from scratch. Because of this, we tried to keep things as low cost as possible, getting certain things refurbished, some second hand, a lot free... There was only one piece of furniture we bought new- a set of wooden bookshelves, bought from a really cheap store.
Over the years, some of our furniture got replaced, with either free or second hand furniture, and we ended up building two pieces of furniture ourselves- a loft bed and a shoe box/couch.

The thing is...
Much as I like our shoe box couch, there were some flaws in the design. Namely that it was first built into a shoe box, and only after that turned into a couch, so the dimensions of it are not the most comfortable for me- once the cushioning is on it, it ends up being just a little bit too short for my tall legs- I end up feeling like I am partially falling off when I sit on it... My kids like it, and it really is an awesome shoe box... but in my opinion, it is more shoe box, less couch. And I still needed something else to sit on.

Easy Gluten Free Substitutes

 photo cake_zpsx1dme0vi.jpgThis was written by freelance writer, Catherine.

Many people go on diets – some stick to them, others jump between fad diets and the latest ‘superfood’ to try and get a shortcut to a healthy life. But for other people, diets are enforced due to medical reasons. The moment when your doctor hands in a piece of paper will divide your life into two periods, before and after this. On that paper you’ll find two columns, the first one lists the foods that are prohibited, and the second section contains recommended products. And, unfortunately, the first column will appear to be much longer than the second one. In the case of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, to be healthy you’d have to eliminate doughnuts, pasta, beer, bread, muffins, sauces, pastries, cakes and other tasty foods. Such a woeful perspective can make anybody depressed. From now it seems that your energy should be channeled into searching for substitutes of foods you like the most.

But don’t worry! There are a range of gluten free products available, and even specialist gluten free shops. And with a bit of know-how, you’ll soon discover that there are many natural gluten free foods you can add to your diet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Carob Ginger Cookies Recipe- Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free

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Homemade carob powder, that I used to make this recipe
You know how annoying it is when you have a great recipe that you really wanted to share, but you forgot to take pictures when you made the recipe, and then by the time you get around to actually sharing the recipe, you don't even have the ingredients needed anymore to make them, so its not like you could just whip up a batch, take a pic, and call it a day?
Yea- that.
You see, it's almost summer here.
And that means that it is almost carob season.
But it's not.
And even though I was lucky enough to find a bunch of carob pods on the trees in the middle of the winter here, leftover from the previous summer, the supply was limited, and of the carob powder I made with them there is none left, and I'm loathe to spend money on carob powder when I can get it free in just a few months, just so I have a picture to go with this post.
Oh well.
A picture of my carob powder will just have to suffice.

I based this recipe off fellow forager's idea for carob ginger snaps- only hers were made with white sugar and gluten, and mine are not. I made quite a few other tweaks as well, but Leda Meredith gets the credit for the inspiration of combining the flavors of carob and ginger- it's perfection.

Carob Ginger Cookies Recipe- Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free

Monday, May 11, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

I have to say I'm really proud of myself. I have been so behind on laundry for so long that I've been reluctant to do anything that might increase the amount of laundry in my house. So its been a given that cloth diapering was out of the question- not a single cloth diaper was used in my house in at least 2 or 3 months...
Well, I finally am sort of caught up on laundry. Actually, not really. But I'm not so insanely far behind either that the thought of making additional laundry didn't freak me out.
So that, combined with the fact that I used up one package of disposable diapers, meant that I actually started using cloth diapers again.
This week, I'd say somewhere between 1/3 and half the diapers used in my house were cloth.
So yes, as I said, I'm proud of myself.
Another thing that I'm feeling good about is my getting cheap produce and foraging. The past little while I haven't bothered going to the farmer's market or foraging- I just was buying pretty overpriced produce from the local stores- I tried to get the cheaper stuff there, but didn't exactly go out of my way to try to get cheaper stuff. And therefore I paid way too high prices for produce...
But this week I went to the farmer's market and I foraged greens, so we actually had a large variety of produce that didn't cost a fortune this week. Which means we ate more healthily than we have in the past little bit (because when produce costs so much I don't buy so much, and what I do buy I use sparingly)...

So anyhow, other than what I already mentioned, this is what we did in our house to save money this past week:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Stuffed Dates Recipe- Healthy Mock Candy Bar

 photo IMG_0069_zpsv3llydpi.jpgSo I've been craving junk lately. While I make good food and lots of it, sometimes I just feel like I need something extra, and I start hunting around my house, looking for something to eat. I can't put my finger on what specifically I am looking for; all I know is my mind is telling me "junk".
I tried dark chocolate, which I always keep in the house. Wasn't cutting it for me. Wasn't satisfying my craving.
Tried popcorn. Didn't do the trick either.
I even went and bought potato chips. That sorta did the job, but not even entirely.

So I took to facebook, looking for ideas of things that might satisfy that desire for junk, without actually being real junk.

I got so many great ideas of things to do, but one of them inspired me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cooking with my Kids

Today's supper- planned by the kids,
as well as partially made by them.
If you haven't guessed already, I really love cooking. (Which is probably why my blog, with the official goal of being a money saving blog, is probably more than 1/4 a cooking blog.) My husband, on the other hand... his cooking is mainly limited to cooking eggs and pouring himself a bowl of cereal.
I feel that being able to cook, and being a good cook, is such a benefit and useful skill in life. Not only does it help me be able to serve good food that is healthy and doesn't cost too much to my family, it also is a great and frugal way for me to express my creativity. I consider cooking an art form, and a super useful hobby.
Already when I was little, I used to cook with my mother. I was her official "taste tester", and by the time I was 11 or so, I was the designated soup seasoner- she'd make the basics, but then would leave the seasoning up to me.
I so appreciated being involved in the kitchen prep growing up, and see how it has benefited me so much in life. Therefore, it is something that I do with my kids, already from a young age.

When my kids are very little, and I have energy for cleaning up a little bit of extra mess, when making something "fun" like cake or cookies, I either let them dump the filled measuring cups into the bowls, or even fill them (with my help, if they're extra little), then dump them in, and then mix it and shape it.

But then once they get older, I sometimes let them cook "entirely on their own".
Well, not entirely.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Foraging Lambsquarters or Goosefoot- Edible Wild Plants

It's been really beautiful weather in my area the past little while, which makes me very torn. I want to go out and do fun things with the kids, but then by the time I get home, I don't have much energy left for the things I have to do inside the house, like keep up with the housework and writing. So I have to decide- should I go out with the kids on a trip and have fun for a while, should I stay home and get work done, or should I go out for just a little and be home for just a little.
So then I had an epiphany- do work while I'm outside my house- take the kids to the park and get work done while my kids are playing happily on the swings and slide and monkey bars, so it doesn't have to be one or the other.
So here I am sitting in the park writing (in between getting up to push the swing every few minutes- makes for very slow writing-haha) while my kids are enjoying the beautiful weather. Perfect.

I had fully planned on writing this post about sow thistle, the dandelion cousin that is one of my favorite plants to forage, but then when I was on the way to the park, I passed by a bunch of lambsquarters, yet another one of my favorite plants, and decided to write about that one instead.

I have to say that if there is one thing I am bad at, it is remembering names of things. History was one of the classes I did most terribly at in high school (and ended up hating) because while I remembered the stories and the concepts, for the life of me I couldn't remember which was the 10th Amendment vs the 7th, and what happened to who. These all get into such a jumble in my head.
But when it comes to foraging, names are very important. Especially their Latin/scientific name. Because names of plants can be misleading. You see, often there is one plant, like this one, for example, with multiple “common names”, so for simplicity's sake just calling it by its scientific name leads to greater clarity. And other times there are different plants entirely with the same name, which would lead to confusion, especially when there is one plant that is edible and one that is poisonous, both with the same name (poison sumac vs edible sumac come to mind, as do the various types of pink peppercorns).

So why am I bringing this up now?
Because lamb's quarters is one of those plants with more names than I can even count. Goosefoot, lambsquarters, melde, fat hen, wild spinach, and pigweed are just some of the many names that this plant has. In Latin, it is chenopodium, which literally means foot of the goose (in my local language it is called the foot of the goose as well). This name actually is the reason that this is one scientific name I have an easier time remembering- since the leaves of the plant literally look like the webbed foot of a goose, but more on that later.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

I feel like I'm getting my mojo back. After many weeks that I felt like there wasn't much "to write home about" regarding what I did frugally, finally, finally I have what to share this week.
It was a good week.
We had lots of fun together, and still managed to do quite a few things to save money.

Here's what we did in our home to save money this past week:

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Homemade Horseradish Sauce Recipe- White Khren

I had this massive horseradish root in my fridge for a long time, just sitting there, screaming out at me every time I opened my fridge "Do something with me already!" but I just kept pushing it off, since I wasn't sure what to do with it. I made some into this amazing honey horseradish chicken the other day, but there still was so much left.
I thought at first about making horseradish sauce with beets, but I made that a while ago, last time I bought horseradish, and I still have it- that stuff lasts a long time, so I needed to think of something else.
Then I thought to make plain horseradish sauce, no beets this time, just plain horseradish, to preserve it and make it more usable.

Here is what I came up with. It is great as a condiment, and on meat, chicken, fish, or mixed with other foods to give a little kick. It can also be mixed with mayonnaise to make a creamy horseradish sauce as well.
I put in raw honey and vinegar because vinegar works as a preservative and hopefully the microbes in the raw honey will stop other bacteria and mold from proliferating, extending the shelf life of what I made.

Just a note about this- horseradish is super strong stuff. I made this sauce and the fumes coming off it made me cry, and then left it covered on my counter for about an hour or two, then opened it to smell it, and it was so strong that I very nearly threw up from the gases. Unless you actually enjoy the feeling of throwing up, I suggest that you leave it open on the counter for a few hours before covering it and putting it in the fridge, so that it will disperse of the fumes and not be as painful to breathe in.

Homemade Horseradish Sauce Recipe