Strawberry Saver

I love strawberries and loved reading a tip about how to keep them from going bad so quickly—separating them from one another. That’s easier said than done in a full fridge. But, I came up with the perfect solution: egg cartons! Each berry has its own little compartment so they stay fresh much longer! Rosemary

 

 

 

Cheaper Veggie Noodles

I love using spiralized vegetables in place of noodles in recipes. Usually, I buy the frozen zucchini noodles (sometimes called “zoodles”), but recently my store stopped selling them! Determined to find a way to continue using veggies as noodles, I scoured the Internet. To my surprise, I discovered I didn’t need to go out and buy a fancy tool- I had the right tool in the back of my kitchen cabinet.

I pulled out my mandoline slicer and discovered it has different blades to make slices, matchsticks, and even julienne. Fresh squash is about 66 cents per pound; spiralized squash was costing me $5 for 12 oz. and I had to buy at least 2 packages to feed my husband and me. Saving that money is worth it to me, even if it means taking some extra time to do it myself.

 

 

Make Your Own Coffee Mix

I was a tea drinker, not a coffee drinker…until my husband pointed out that when he ordered coffee on our date nights, he got free refills for as long as he wanted them.  I got one refill of water for my used tea bag.  He taught me to drink coffee by giving me flavored instant coffee. But that became an expensive habit, until I started making my own mix.

Flavored Coffee Mix

1-1/2 c sugar

1/2 c powdered sugar

1-1/4 c instant coffee

1/4  tsp salt

1-1/3 c powdered milk

1 c nondairy creamer

For cinnamon-flavored coffee, add 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon to mix.

Stir ingredients together, mixing well.  Reduce to a powder in a food processor.

Place 2-3 tablespoons mix in mug.  Add 6-8 oz. boiling water.  Stir well.  Enjoy!

Squash Scooper

An ice cream scoop is an easy way to remove cooked squash from the skin of butternut, acorn, hubbard, kabocha, buttercup, pumpkin etc.

An Easy Way to Squeeze Out Liquid

If a recipe calls for cooked shredded zucchini, yellow squash or frozen spinach with the water squeezed out, you no longer need to waste paper towels, kitchen towels or cheesecloth which makes a mess. Use a potato ricer instead. Put the cooked squash or thawed spinach in the potato ricer, clamp down the top and squeeze.  This works best in small batches. With one or two squeezes it’s dry and ready for your recipe.

Lend an Ear

Take advantage of that great sale on corn! Freeze it, husks and all, in a cotton pillowcase. (It doesn’t have to be 100% cotton) The cotton fabric will insulate the corn and keep it from spoiling. Put the corn in the pillowcase and fold the top edge over to enclose the ears. It will stay fresh and delicious for months. This is so much easier than blanching, plunging in ice water and then freezing.

You can prepare it in several ways:

-Microwave with the husks on for 5 minutes. Make sure you cool it for a few minutes before you take the husks off because it will be very hot

-Take the husks off and boil in a large pot for 15 minutes or so.

-You can also grill the corn, in the husks or not.

What a joy it will be to savor summer corn this winter.

 

Popcorn Palooza

You can swap out expensive and unhealthy microwave popcorn by making your own version very easily. All you have to do is add a quarter cup of kernels (no oil required) to a brown paper bag and fold the top over. Pop for two minutes or use your microwave’s preset popcorn button. You’ll have a delicious and healthy snack in no time.

 

Bone Up on Butchering

I like skinless, boneless chicken thighs, which are much more expensive than thighs with the skin and bone. I learned how to debone the thighs many years ago from a women’s magazine.

Today, it is much easier to learn from YouTube videos (here is a great one), and it is quick work. Your only investment is a boning knife. I got mine free at an estate sale. Many knife sets come with a boning knife.

A close up of a knife

I wait until the bone-in thighs are on sale for 69-cents a pound, saving at least $1.30 a pound.  I wrap each thigh in a piece of waxed cereal box liner, and put them all in a ziplock bag.

Those bones don’t go to waste.  I put them in separate bag to use later for soup.

Some people use the skins for their pets or to render fat.

I also use the boning knife to separate chicken quarters into the drumstick and thigh.