Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Free Crochet Tutorial Video ~ Awesome!

I just found this video this morning. I LOVE it and thought I'd share. If you click on the 'Related' button at the top Right side of the the video box it will open to a scroll panel to a list of other teaching videos. This is a 'pee your pants' kind of exciting find here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

50 Beans/Lentil And Rice Recipes With Links

Natural On A Budget: 50 Beans/Lentil And Rice Recipes With Links

After buying a lot of bulk beans and rice last week I decided I needed to look for some inventive ways to use them so we do not get bored with just beans and rice. I have obviously not had a chance to try all of these, but I have made a few. All of which were quite good.

I tried to look for recipes that did not include meat to make these more frugal, but there may be some that do have it in the ingredient list. Of course you can always adapt the recipe to your taste and budget.

I also tried to find recipes that did not require strange or expensive ingredients, but were still varied and interesting, including two desserts. (Check out the recipe for chocolate hummus at the bottom.)

Italian and Mediterranean

Pasta e Fagioli
Italian Black Beans and Rice
Hummus and Veggie With Pita

Curried Lentils and Rice
Chola (Channa Masala)
Butter Chickpea Curry
Lentil Curry Dip
Lentil Curry Snack

3 Bean Chili
Taco Salad
Rice and Bean Burritos
Taco Soup
Taco Pizza
Mexican Lasagna
Spanish Rice With Bean Dip
Bean Quesadillas
Layered Bean Enchilada Casserole
7 Layer Tortilla Pie
Pintos With Mexican Spices and V8
Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

Red Beans and Rice
Soups and Salads
Chickpea Soup
Chickpea Pasta
Lentil Soup
Split Pea Soup
Black Bean Soup
Tuscan White Bean Soup
Lentil Curry Soup
Moros y Christianos
Chickpea Salad
Pasta Bean and Veggie Salad

Indian (American)
Indian Fry Bread (Tacos)

Chinese Fried Rice

Caribbean Rice and Beans

Lentil and Rice Casserole (Easy, cheap, and YUMMY!)
Lentil Soup With Mashed Potatoes (Think shepherd's pie)
Black Beans and Rice Burgers
Bean Chili Over Baked Potatoes (Just like it says. Leftovers over baked potato)
Caramelized Onions and Beans
Lentils In Butter With Veggies and Cornbread
Sauteed Crispy Chickpeas
Savory Lentils and Rice
Chickpeas With Sweet Potato ans Summer Veggies
3 Bean Casserole
Black Bean Tortilla Bake
Chocolate Hummus

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Ah, The AARP, my Nemesis.   Five years ago  they broke my heart and ruined my 50th birthday.  I'm still holding a grudge, I wear it every day around my neck like a  string of old pearls.    It all started one rainy  November morning in 2005.  Carrying with me my cup of coffee (with extra cream) I went to the mail box and there it sat,  a hostile,  menacing looking letter sized envelope addressed to ME.  I opened it  and there it was, mocking me, taunting me about the Big 5 and 0.  Inside that horrid little envelope was........ an application to join the AARP!.....Damn You AARP, damn you to hell !!!

But they do have a great website with lots of nifty-thrifty hints:

"Bon appe-cheap" Cider Baked Beans

I don't know if it's because I am poor or because I am 'older' or because I'm  both old and poor and you can even toss in a little bit 'gimpy' but I  digress..... Anyways;  like simple meals and because I'm a vegetarian  and I've had  Lapband Surgery I need to put a little thought into my  meals to be sure to be getting  50-60 grams of protein in my diet.  Well this just sound delicious -and- I just so happen to have a crock-pot,  ~BUT~ before I get the the recipe, let me leave you with this amusing little 'ditty'

Cider Baked Beans

from The Frugal Life News by Donna Watkins

Recipe by: Judith Finlayson | from 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes
Yield: Serves 8


2 cups (500 ml) assorted dried beans
2 onions, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10ml) chili powder
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1 tsp (5 ml) cracked black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick piece, about 2 inches (5 cm)
1 cup (250 ml) apple cider or juice
1 cup (250 ml) water
½ cup (125 ml) maple syrup
2 tbsp (25 ml) cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbsp (25 mL) cold water


1. Soak beans according to either method in Basic Beans. Drain and rinse and set aside.

2. In slow cooker stoneware, combine beans, onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, garlic, chili powder, salt, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, apple cider, water and maple syrup. Cover and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours or on High for 5 to 6 hours, until beans are tender.

3. In a bowl, combine dissolved cornstarch with 2 tbsp (25 mL) hot cooking liquid from beans and stir until smooth. Gradually add up to ¼ cup (50 mL) hot bean liquid, stirring until mixture is smooth. Return mixture to stoneware and stir well until sauce thickens.

the recipe at

Homemade Natural Cough Syurp

I just found this recipe and it sounded good however because I don't have a cough and this recipe is newly discovered I can not comment on it's effectiveness. I decided to post it because we are approaching the cold & flu season and when one is living on an itty-bitty, teeny-tiny, micro budget buying store bought cough syrup hurts.  The link below will lead you to the original website:

Choosing Voluntary Simplicity

This recipe comes from a  book titled:  Herbally Yours by Penny C. Royal.


1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and store in the refrigerator. The book says to take one teaspoon of the syrup at intervals as needed. (We have always adjusted the dosage according to the age of the person and the severity of the cough. And of course, because of the sharpness of the vinegar, ground ginger, and cayenne pepper, and because there is honey involved, this would not be a cough syrup for very young children.)

testimony from Voluntary Simplicity:I like that this cough syrup contains only “food” ingredients, but the best thing about it is that it WORKS.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How To Make a Rain Barrel

I know it's late in the season to install a Rain barrel but I thought I would just to give you a money saving tip for spring & summer in 2011. I will post this again in early spring when we are all dreaming about getting started with our veggie gardens and want to save on our water bills.