Frugal Friday

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Frugal Friday: 5 Cooking Tips and Recipes to Save You Time and Money.

In this week’s edition of Frugal Friday, I am going to give you some tips for saving money on spices and also share a couple of recipes that use spices in ways that are less expensive than you might think. This is actually one of my favorite topics to blog about because it is something everyone can do without spending a lot of money. I am always looking for ways to save money on produce and spices are no exception!

The benefits of cooking with fresh spices are numerous. Cooks have been using natural herbs, roots and other plant products to flavor their food since the beginning of time. These seasonings provide a unique flavor that cannot be duplicated by artificial ingredients. Your food will taste fresher, more flavorful and simply better when you use these natural seasonings instead of the store bought salt, pepper, garlic powder or onion powder.

Here are five of my favorite frugal tips and recipes from around the web:

1. Use a muffin tin to cook eggs in the oven. Cooking breakfast for two people can take forever, especially if you’re scrambling eggs. In this post I share how to quickly cook several eggs at once using a muffin tin.

2. Make your own “Cream of Anything Soup” with leftover veggies and broth. This is a great way to stretch your food budget and get creative in the kitchen!

3. Chop and freeze fresh herbs to use all year long. I grow parsley, cilantro, basil, and mint in pots on my patio so I have their fresh flavor all summer long. But by the time fall rolls around I’m out of room for more plants out there, which means no more herbs to use in recipes all winter long! So I chop up the extras and throw them into freezer bags to use throughout the year.

3. Make homemade salad dressing in just minutes! The recipe calls for only four ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper). And it’s super easy to tweak based on your preferences (you can add whatever you want to it). Serve it over a mixed greens salad or toss with pasta or qu

How to make curry pastes and other mixes in bulk**

Posted by: spicenutmeg on February 26, 2010 5:01 AM

I’m always on the lookout for frugal recipes. For easy meat and vegetable curries, I make up a big batch of curry paste. So far, I have four different kinds of curry paste; a chicken and coconut paste, a shrimp paste, a veggie paste and a beef paste. The first time I made each kind, I followed a recipe in my book or online. After that, I just played with the spices until I got what I like. You could use any kind of food processor or blender to make your own curry paste.

The key is to use whole spices rather than powdered ones. Whole spices are much cheaper than ground ones and they have more flavor. If you have whole spices on hand (they can be kept for a long time), you can use them to make your own spice mixes at home.

The most common ingredients in my curries are green chilies, lemon grass, lemongrass, garlic, ginger and cilantro (coriander leaves). There’s also salt and oil in each mix because those don’t require blending. Just put everything except the oil

Spices are a great way to add flavor to a dish without adding too much fat. They can also help add a lot of flavor with little or no calories. This can make spices an important part of a weight loss diet. All these tips and recipes are simple ways you can save money in the kitchen.

You can purchase spices at your local grocery store, but try shopping online for bulk spices! You will be able to save a lot of money by buying in bulk and the quality is just the same. Many retailers offer free shipping when your order reaches a certain amount. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new types of spices. Depending on the type of food you are cooking, you may discover that you love the taste of cumin or coriander! To get more recipes like these, please visit my blog!

If you love to cook, then your refrigerator and pantry are probably stocked with spices. If you’re like me, you have quite a few that you’ve never used, or haven’t used in a long time. With the holidays quickly approaching and the need to find something for those unexpected house guests, I thought it might be a good idea to do a little cleaning out of the spice cabinet.

I took mine down and gave it a quick inventory. I had a lot of spices that I didn’t know what they were or how to use them. I decided to go on-line and find out more about these spices that were collecting dust in my cupboard. Here are five tips I found:

1.) Invest in a good pepper grinder. It’s not as simple as purchasing any old grinder at the store. You want one that is made of high quality stainless steel, has ceramic grinding pieces, and is easy to refill when necessary. Grinding your own pepper will make all the difference in taste and appearance when serving your dish. And you won’t have nearly as much waste by using whole peppercorns instead of pre-ground black pepper from the jar. Keep your pepper grinder next to your stove so it’s always ready for use!

If you have a spice rack with lots of spices in it, you may want to try these tips to use all the spices before they go bad.

Spice Rack Organization:

1) Label your jars and keep them organized. This will help you know what spices are available and how much is left in that jar. Store the jars on a shelf in a cabinet or pantry. Label the front of the jar with a marker or label maker.

2) Don’t store spices next to onions or potatoes because they will absorb each other’s flavor.

3) Use clear containers for spices so you can see exactly what you have. Also, it makes it easier to find them when you need them if you can see what they are right away.

4) Store whole spices longer than ground spices because whole spices retain their flavor better than ground spices.

5) Buy bulk quantities of herbs or grow your own herbs and freeze them and then use them throughout the year

1.  Vanilla beans (pure vanilla extract is also very good).

Vanilla beans are one of the most expensive spices, but they’re well worth it. You can make your own extract and use it to flavor cakes, cookies, and various other desserts. You can also just dip the still-sealed bean in warm milk and drink it. It’s delicious.

2.  Cinnamon sticks.

Cinnamon sticks are another luxury item, but they’re great for flavoring coffee and hot chocolate as well as baked goods such as apple cider muffins , cinnamon rolls , and bread . If you buy cinnamon in a jar, you’ll have to throw away what you don’t use within a few months because the flavor will fade; sticks will keep for a year or more. Whole cinnamon sticks aren’t just more flavorful than ground cinnamon; they’re also less likely to end up on your kitchen counter, where they’ll be less likely to attract ants .

3.  Fresh ginger (dried ginger is also fine).

Fresh ginger is good for flavoring stir-fry dishes, Indian curries , and other savory foods, and it’s easy to grow at home . If you buy ginger in the supermarket, look for pieces with the most skin;

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