Monday, November 17, 2008

Save Money, Make Food... FROM SCRATCH

we're strapped for cash. what's new, right? i mean, i'm not the only person out here totally strapped, so i'm not fretting too deeply. i mean, i have an ex-husband who's lost another job and may be at the end of his rope, so i don't look at my situation as horrific. it's par for the financial course and we adjust to accommodate it, right? i have skills in the home that can work to our benefit and one of those is that i can cook just about anything. really. and so i have.

yesterday, i made two loaves of bread, two pints of fresh berry jam and an interesting lunch the boys devoured (nicholas took to lunch at school the other day). like the black beans, i made something from basic ingredients we keep around the house. i made something with corn tortillas, ground beef, leftover rice, spices, salsa, and cheese. it was YUM TUM... oops, wait, let's show you what we did and you'll see how it works:


1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound ground beef
2 cups leftover rice
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 cup mixed cheese, grated (i used some yummy chevre and organic cheddar)
salt and pepper to taste
4 corn tortillas
1 jar chunky salsa (if you can get fresh salsa or make it yourself, great)
1 tbs. olive oil

what to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350º and spray vegetable oil in a deep casserole with a lid.
1. heat the olive oil in a 12" pan. add the garlic clove and stir until it's fragrant -- about 2 minutes.
2. add the ground beef and saute until brown. add the rice and brown through.
3. add the seasonings -- oregano, coriander, cardamom, cumin, and cayenne (that's a lot of "c's"), stir until cooked through, about 2 - 3 minutes, hten set aside.
4. it's time to layer. spray the bottom of a casserole with vegetable spray and layer a spread of salsa (can be store bought, but the best and chunkiest you can get, the better) the put down one corn tortilla, lay some salsa on top, add some beef mixture then sprinkle with a little cheese, layer three more times then end with the salsa and some cheese on top. this is basically like a lasagna. Bake in a 350ºF oven for about 10-15 minutes.
5. when you take it out, the cheese should be bubbly and melted. cut as with lasagna and serve with a fresh salad with a light dressing.

what did we think: as i said, nicholas took this to school for lunch and brandon had two servings. i tasted it and it was yum. i know times are hard for everyone and i'm sorry, truly. we're in the middle of it, too. and whatever i can pass along that might help, food wise, i'll do.

cuz that's what friends are for.
thanks, Dionne, Stevie, Gladys, and Elton


Mberenis said...

Great blog! Did you hear the good news? 0bama is going to give bailout to american's and visa holding immigrants that are poverty and middle class.

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plumnbagel said...

Your entry reminded me of the comment Jamie Oliver made recently about "a new kind of poverty" because people our generation hasn't had knowledge about cooking handed down to us (actually, he said women didn't have the knowledge, but I am willing to bet he wasn't trying to be sexist and meant all of us).