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Posts Tagged ‘free’

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Just a few of my favorite things went into these cookies. I just dug around in the freezer and cupboards and whipped these up last Thursday night. They started out as cookies, but I really feel like they came out more like scones – delicious either way. I have to admit I’ve been eating them for an afternoon snack, breakfast, and dessert. What a useful treat to have around the house, right? Haha.

Wonder Blend Scookies

Ingredients:
1 banana
1 stick softened butter (8 T)
2 t vanilla extract

1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup white all purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnut
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mash up bananas and blend with softened butter – add sugar and mix together.

Add remaining ingredients except for walnuts and chocolate chips. Once thoroughly mixed, stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Place drops of batter onto cookie sheets – about 1 1/2 – 2 T per drop.

Bake at 375 for 12 – 15 minutes.

Makes: 18 – 24

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And then there was one. I actually had to make sure we didn’t eat the last one so I could take a picture of it. I chomped through this last one while I was finishing up this post 🙂 Delicious!

See you soon!
Kristin

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Today I’ve been looking around for ways to save money on groceries and house hold things and I found this great website called “Hey, It’s Free!” in an article on the MSN Smart Spending Blog (both now in my rss feed).

In the author’s own words:

“Hey there, I’m Goob and this is Hey, It’s Free, otherwise known as HIF. I spend my days looking for 100% legit, non-spammy freebies. Have a look around and pretty soon you’ll realize we’re the #1 site for free stuff!”

And today he posted about a free tea sample from Mighty Leaf! I love tea so this is great. You don’t even have to sign up for their mailing list or anything. (and I haven’t even received a “thanks for getting a sample” email yet).

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I LOVE popcorn. I have since I was a kid. It was always a special treat when we made it on the stove with lots of melted butter and salt and YUM! And it was always accompanied by a movie and paper cones made from construction paper and lots of friends (each kiddo was given their own cone of pop corn to eat out of while watching the movie). I think our parents would all rotate who had all the kids for a movie night so it was good for them and for us. So all growing up we had it, and then even when I was a teenager – with the microwave and microwave popcorn becoming popular – it was always a tasty treat. When I moved away to collage I didn’t have a microwave, just a toaster oven. I went back to making popcorn on the stove and I loved it all the more! Being in the middle of the corn belt there are a lot of local farms that sell pop corn and believe it or not, they all taste different and have different textures!

I was shocked when I learned a lot of my friends and classmates didn’t know how to make popcorn on the stove! Travesty!

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So here is how you make popcorn for 1 to 2 people.

Popcorn :: The Yummiest!

Ingredients
1/4 cup pop corn kernels
1 T. oil (olive oil or canola works well)

NOTE: Popcorn kernels can be purchased by the bag at any grocery store, but in bulk is pretty cheap at the natural food store. And like with beans there is more of a turn around there, so you will know they are fresh.

Directions
Place kernels and oil in a small sauce pan.
Swirl around so all the kernels are coated with the oil.

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Cover with a tightly fitted lid and turn on the burner to medium high heat.

Let it sit until you hear sizzling or the first kernel pop. From then on give the pan a good horizontal shake
every few seconds (especially when the popping really gets going).

Once the popping slows down (or there is more than 20 seconds between pops) place popcorn into a bowl and place pan lid on the top – to keep a late popper from exploding out of the bowl and taking a dozen pieces of popcorn with it). And when pouring it into the bowl, keep the lid semi over the pan. The reason you remove the popcorn right away is that the bottom kernels will actually burn… and burnt popcorn stinks like no other!

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Right after I took this picture one kernel actually popped – trust me, if that lid wasn’t on there it would be a mess, haha.

Now, for toppings. A big part of how healthy (or unhealthy) popcorn is, is determined by what you put on it. Using a light oil to pop it in and eating a small portion helps.

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Use sea salt instead of table salt for some good sodium.

Add some kick by tossing in some cracked pepper.

If you like cheesy popcorn a good alternative is using nutritional yeast (like a 1/2 T. is good). Use the flaked instead of the powdered (which I tend to literally inhale and then I cough like mad for 5 minutes).

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Nutritional Yeast is pretty great stuff. It has 8g of protein per 2T, is low in sodium, and has lots of other random nutrients that vegans and vegetarians need but may not get otherwise. It makes a great crust on baked tofu too. I’ve heard people like it on toast and other things like that. So far, a topping for popcorn is my favorite use for it.

Any kind of herb is yummy on there – particularly thyme in my case – but everyone is different.

What do you like to put on your popcorn?

Until next time, have a happy thrift kitchen!
Kristin

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whitebread08 I remember getting fresh baked bread from the bakery with my mom as a special treat. She loved it and would savor every nibble. I also remember one Christmas my mom baking what seemed like 2 dozen loaves of knotted bread for presents. Homemade bread has always been a special treat. But why should it be? Is it just the time? Well, it takes an evening but there is only about 30 minutes where you are actually prepping it. So say on laundry day or when you know you will be home for the evening you; you should really give it a try.
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 omelette 1.1 When I was a kid I watched the Frugal Gourmet all the time and the only thing I really remember from it was his show on making omelettes. Which is great because I love them, but a little funny because it’s the only thing I remember. Anyway, I’m digressing.

So the Frugal Gourmet had a great point about omelettes – use water instead of milk. He said that the milk actually causes you to have watery eggs – the dairy content of the milk cooks with the egg and then the water separates out after the fact. And interestingly enough, if you use water instead of milk and wisk it together, no water separates out.

And the neat thing is, this technique makes a tastier omelette and it’s less expensive than using milk in your omelette.
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canana mini pies I have a great little treat for you. Cranana Mini Pies can be eating for breakfast, as a snack, or dessert. And best of all, it uses up those last few over ripe bananas that I forgot I had bought. Not enough for a full out loaf of banana bread, but more than enough to make a great batch of banana filled mini pies! Okay, the name might be a little lame, but I thought “Cranberry Almond Banana Mini Pies” was a little long and, well, I like the name Cranana.

This recipe actually has hardly any sugar in it (just a dusting of confectioner’s sugar after baking) and are still pretty sweet because of the overripe bananas in the filling – which tend to get sweeter as they ripen up. (more…)

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