Beka To Basics

Real Food Cooking

Archive for the category “Frugal”

Using Other People’s Recipes

We all do it.  You can’t be amazing and original every night of the week.  😉

Recently, I’ve been trying a bunch of new recipes by other people.  The first one was French Onion Soup.  For some reason, when I was shopping, I had sherry stuck in my head for this soup, instead of the vermouth that it calls for.  So, I came home with sherry.  I also used three types of onions.  If I had to do it over, and I will, I would leave out the sweet onions and try it with vermouth.  It was really sweet.  Really good, but a bit too sweet for me.  It was awesome with baguette and gruyere melted on top though.

I used to try all new recipes exactly as written and then adjust it the next time I made it.  What I found out was that I didn’t actually re-make anything if I didn’t like it the first time.  So, I try to make changes the first time if I think it will suit my tastes better.

Like these Teriyaki Meatballs by Budget Bytes.  Don’t get me wrong, these look amazing as written, I just didn’t have green onions.  So, I shredded some red onion instead.  It was awesome and I think I’ll keep it.  The Teriyaki Sauce recipe is an awesome recipe to have.  I don’t think I will ever buy it again, this was so easy!

I also found this Healthy Living EBook Collection, many of which I’ve been thinking about buying anyways.  Now, I got a great deal!  I expect all the recipes in these books will be keeping my busy for a while.  That and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

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Carnita Soup

I’m not even sure Carnita is a word. I know Carnitas is, but Carnita?  If it’s not, I guess we can just call it Sopa de Carnitas? Maybe?

You’re going to like this one, its so easy. And perfect for a cold day. Like today.

This one seriously takes so little work and is ready when you get home because its made in… you guessed it, the slow cooker. 🙂 Have I mentioned how much I love my slow cooker?

Carnita Soup

  • 2 or 3 lb Pork Loin
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 pepper (red, yellow, green, it doesn’t matter)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • 3 or so cups of black beans
  • stock or water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning

Chop up the pepper, onion and garlic.  Put everything in the slow cooker and add enough liquid to cover it and cook it on low for about 8 hours.  The pork will shred when its cooked through and ready to eat.

Stretching Food and my Three Year Blanket

So, I found this sage pork sausage that I love.  The problem?  It’s expensive.  The other problem?  It’s so delicious.

Hmmm, how to solve the problems?

Like my tennis coach used to say, “Let’s stretch it out.” (I knew his advice would come in handy at some point in my life)

With 1 lb of sage pork sausage, I made 10 meals.  Squash and Pork Hash and Sage Pork Soup

Hash

I cooked the pork in my stock pot, removed it, added chopped squash, zucchini, onions, green peppers, garlic and tomatoes and sauteed them all.  I added about half of the pork back in and had dinner for two for two nights, plus lunch for one more.

After I stowed the leftover Hash in it’s refrigerator container, I added some olive oil to my pot, sauteed more onions and garlic.  Then I added stock, potatoes and green beans and simmered until they were all done.  I added the other half of the pork in and called it a night.  Five meals from the soup, plus five from the hash all from 1 lb of meat isn’t too shabby. 🙂

While we’re talking about stretching things out, I’ll admit why I’ve been slacking a little bit on my cooking.  I started crocheting myself a blanket.  Well, I started it three years ago and have been lugging the pieces and unfinished portion around with me.  I fondly call it my Three Year Blanket.  It was time to finish it.  I had stretched its creation as FAR as is would go.  No more stretching on that one!

The Three Year Blanket

Normally, it doesn’t take me three years to finish one.  Normally, there is a goal, like someone’s birthday, a baby being born (I know, same thing), or Christmas.  When I have a reason to finish, I do, but when it’s just for me, well… You know, it turns into a three year project.

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