dried orange peel

Orange peel- the next time you are eating oranges, use a fancy citrus zester or a plain, garden variety vegetable peeler and peel the orange part of the peel away from the white rind. Dry these in your oven, air dry them, or do as we once did- spread them out over your oil heater in your house during the winter. When they are brittle, they are done. These are very tasty additions to many recipes, and can also be used to flavor your drinking water. They keep a very, very long time.

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skillet granola

Skillet Granola- this recipe is quicker to make than most granola recipes (you can mix it up, cook it and eat it in less than half an hour), but it doesn’t store for as long because it’s moister than the oven dried granola. This does not matter to us because we eat it before it could possibly have time to mold.

1/3 cup each oil and a sweetener (honey, sucanat, molasses, etc) You can use stevia for the sweetener, but I do not know how much you would use.

4 cups oats

1 cup dried fruit (raisins, diced apricots, etc)

Seasoning of choice (cinnamon, vanilla, orange extract, nutmeg, cloves, etc) One of our favorites is cinnamon and orange extract with a little bit of orange peel.* Yummmy!

Stir oil and sweetener together in a large skillet. Heat until warm, Add herbs and seasonings now and stir in well. Add oats, mix until well coated. Heat over low to medium heat, stirring until lightly brown.

Remove from heat.

Add optional ingredients: coconut, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, etc.

You can store this in a sealed container for at least two weeks. We usually make a huge batch in a roasting pan and that’s how long it lasts us. It might last longer, but we always eat it sooner than that. We like it with milk or yogurt.

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You can eat granola in your hand dry, or in a bowl with with milk, yogurt, or water.
Making it is very easy, much cheaper than buying it, and it’s quite a forgiving recipe. You can have endless variety.

Mix these in a Bowl of Enormous Proportions:

Rolled oats- 16 cups
Shredded coconut- 1 & 1/2 cups (or wheat germ, or diced dried fruit)
Almonds, 1 & 1/2 cups (or other nuts)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees

Combine these in a saucepan:

Oil, 1 cup (nut butters also work)
Honey, 1 & 1/2 cups (or 3/4 cup of brown sugar)
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Vanilla, 1 teaspoon (or some other flavored extract. We like orange extract)

Put the pan over low heat and stir just until runny- not simmering.

Pour warmed mixture into the bowl of oats, and stir it until the oats are coated evenly. It should be damp, but not wet.

Spread the granola in a large, flat jelly roll pan. Or spread it in the bottom of your broiler pan. Or use two or three 9X13 pans.

Put the granola in the oven and let it brown. We stir it about every 20 minutes, and it might take up to two hours to cook. It can burn very quickly, so don’t forget about it.

Let the granola cool, then mix in:

about four cups of dried fruit, banana chips, even chocolate candy if you like.

Put it in away an airtight container
Adapted from recipes on this website.

Works as a disaster food if you freeze it or rotate it regularly.

Posted in breakfast, grains | 1 Response

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

Crockpot Mac’n cheese

Grease inside of crock pot.
4 cups of milk
2 eggs

Stir in:
1/2 pound pasta (macaroni, shells, spirals)
4 cups cheese of your choice, grated
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. dry mustard

Mix well. Pour into crockpot and cook on low for 5 hours.

Variation- sprinkled with red pepper.  Use swiss cheese or a combination of gruyere and jarslburg.  Have with olives in it (green, stuffed with garlic)

Snip green onions into it.

Linked at Dining with Debbie’s Crockpot Wednesday
Linked at Foody Fridays hosted by Designs by Gollum

Posted in crockpot, lunch, pasta, vegetarian | 5 Responses

Zucchini Quiche

If you grate and freeze bags of zucchini in the summer when you just cannot look at one more piece of zucchini bread, then you will be ready for this in the winter.

1 unbaked 9″ pie crust
1 1/2 cups gratted sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups sliced or grated zucchini, stir-fried briefly in butter or other fat along with a couple pinches of rosemary.

Cover the crust with the zucchini, sprinkle with cheese.

Mix this:
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 T. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. dry mustard
pinch of rosemary

Pour over zucchini cheese mixture in pan.
Sprinkle with dash of paprika if desired, or red peppers.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes at 350

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1 1/4 Lbs Green Cabbage, chopped

2 Cups Water

1 Tbsp Oil

1 1/4 Lbs cooked Potatoes, scrubbed & Quartered

1 Cup Chopped onions (Leeks i fyou have them)

1 Cup Milk

1 Pinch Ground Mace

Salt And Pepper To Taste

1/2 Cup Melted Butter

In a large pot simmer the cabbage covered in 2 cups of water and the oil for 10 minutes, or until soft. Drain, set aside and keep warm. Fry the onion until it begins to be shiny, then add the cooked potatoes and the milk and simmer until onions are cooked and warm.

Puree the mixture and add the cooked cabbage. Beat until well mixed. Season with mace, salt and pepper. Top with melted butter and serve

Note: You could use leftover mashed potatoes for this and just add milk, cooked onions, cooked cabbage and seasonings.

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Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancakes, or Latkes

Oil for frying

4 cups grated potatoes (I never peel them. I scrub them clean using a plastic kitchen scrubber I keep just for this purpose. Steel pads with no soap added also work well)

1 onion, diced small

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons flour

2 eggs

pepper to taste

Scrub and grate the potatoes, put them in a sieve and press down, squeezing out the liquid (do this for better hash browns, too).

Combine in a medium bowl with onion, salt, flour, and pepper. Lightly beat the eggs, and stir them into the mix.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Quickly drop in a spoonful of the potato mixture and flatten it with the back of the spoon, making a pancake patty. Brown on one side, flip with pancake turner and brown lightly on the other.

This makes about two dozen. SErve with applesauce, pork, sour cream, or ketchup. Or eat them plain.

Posted in frugal, lunch, main dish, vegetarian | 1 Response

Brownie Mix

This recipe comes from Custom Cooking I, by Mary Carney, a self-published Once a Month cooking cookbook, mustard yellow with a black comb-binding that’s breaking and the pages are tearing out. You can tell we like this recipe very much because these pages are covered in chocolate stains.
We’ve had this since shortly after it was published in 1993, and I’ve found it a practical, basic bulk cooking resource. Most of the rest of the recipes are journeyman food- workaday, nothing spectacular or exotic, but a very useful cookbook for beginning bulk cookers. If you have cooked for the freezer a few times, you probably won’t find much you need in this book.

The Brownie Recipe is also pretty basic, but you can’t really go wrong with chocolate and this makes whipping up a batch of brownies on a whim easy and it’s much more frugal than buying boxed mixes. We do use whole wheat flour mainly because that’s almost all we ever have.

Combine in a VERY large container (some people might use a bucket- we have friends who mix large batches of food in a clean ice chest):

8 cups of flour
8 teaspoons of baking powder
4 teaspoons salt
16 cups of sugar
5 cups of cocoa powder

Cut in 4 cups of solid shortening (lard, butter, margarine, coconut oil…) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Cover this and keep it in a cool, dark place. Coconut oil and lard will keep better than butter or margarine. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

To make an 8X8 pan of brownies, grease your pan and mix 2 cups of the mix, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. The secret to rich, moist, brownies is not to over mix, so just combine this until the eggs are blended. Pour mix into pan and bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Chili Cheese Bake

Adapted from the cookbook Custom Cooking by Mary Carney

For 8 servings:
4 cups cooked rice
1 t. garlic powder
1 four ounce can green chilies
2 t chili powder
1 t. salt
2 cups cooked kidney beans (or other beans- pinto, anasazi, black turtle…)
1 cup diced, cooked onion
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. oregano
2 cups tomato puree
Optional: cooked, leftover meat, 2 cups

Either freeze now, or mix with four cups of shredded cheese, pour into greased 9X13 pan, bake at 325 for 25 minutes, or until heated through. Top with another 1/2 cup cheese, bake until melted.

Posted in legumes, main dish, meat, OAMC, vegetarian | Leave a comment

Chile Relleno Casserole

Chile Relleno Quiche

serves 8

10 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pound cottage cheese
2 4 ounce cans green chiles — diced. We like mild.
black pepper to taste
1 pound grated mozzarella or other cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Whip the eggs until fluffy
3. Whisk in melted butter, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in
cottage cheese and chiles (other ingredients may be substituted for
chiles)- it’s very flexible- we used 24 ounces of cottage cheese and that worked, too.

4. Pour into a greased 13 by 9 inch pan. Top with grated cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400.
5. Reduce temperature and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes longer or until the eggs are set and the top is lightly browned. Cool and cut into squares.

Our friend David Blackstone says he makes this sort of thing in his rice cooker.

Our 14 year old served this for dinner tonight (November 16th) and it was amazingly delicious.

We also had it for dinner February 11th:

Linked at Whole Foods for the Holidays Progressive Dinner

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