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I really, really love vegetables, especially when they are sauteed in an Asian sauce. I typically make stir fried rice, and go very heavy on the vegetables. I wanted to try the vegetables alone though, and with a sauce, serving white rice and chicken on the side. A good stir fry sauce is key, but for the freshest taste possible, I wanted to make one myself. It’s also less expensive.

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My daughter’s friend was over for dinner one night, and I served Mexican food. The little girl ate a spoonful of rice and said, “A couple questions. First, can you give my mom this recipe? Second, can we have this for breakfast tomorrow?” My daughter Katelyn looked at her and said, “I know, right?” Yeah, it’s that good.

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jar dressing

I do not like bottled salad dressings at all. Store-bought dressings often have a fake garlic flavor, and lack a fresh pop. My 6 year-old’s favorite is “black dressing,” which is balsamic. If I don’t have any lemon garlic dressing made, sometimes I’ll just pour olive oil and balsamic vinegar over our salad, and sprinkle with salt. Homemade dressing is so much better than bottled, and obviously more affordable.

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Cranberry Time




Welcome Thanksgiving! It is my favorite holiday, surprise, surprise. I love going by myself to the store and buying food treasures for the holidays. One of the most fun things to buy are bags of cranberries. [continue reading…]


I was looking for a budget-friendly recipe and found one that uses beans – – canned beans. I did the math and realized that if I bought four cans of beans at $1.20 each I could instead have a pound of shrimp on sale. Beans are so good for you and my kids love them, so I decided to beat the system and cook dried beans and divide them for the freezer.

Cooking dried beans is easy, and you can control the sodium and flavorings. Add chipotle, garlic and cumin to some dried black or pinto beans if you want. Cook chickpeas and have them ready for a quick hummus – – in fact I have some in my freezer right now.   You can get dried beans for 99 cents a pound at the dollar store and elsewhere. At some places if you buy two pounds at a time you might even be able to get them for 50 cents a pound. I have before. One pound of dried beans cooked up equals about three cans of beans. One can of beans is 1 1/2 cups, so divide them [continue reading…]