Saturday, January 22, 2011

In the Kitchen

I have been cooking up new recipes left and right lately.

This is a spinach, mushroom and mozzarella Calzone.  The original recipe just called for mozzarella and pepperoni, which I made as well.  It was really good and the whole family enjoyed them.  I frequently use my bread machine to make dough and that was a great time saver here.  The ingredients were simple and inexpensive:

4oz Hormel Turkey Pepperoni - $3
Mozzarella, spaghetti sauce and dough ingredients were already in my pantry.

Today I was inspired to make two dishes for our out-of-town company:

Ricotta Gnocchi - so good!  It was easy (I had never made gnocchi) and delicious.  I used home-canned tomatoes from last summer which I think made the sauce bright and fresh tasting.  Another less than $10 meal; the only specialty items I had to buy were:

15 oz tub of low-fat ricotta cheese $3
Fresh basil $2.49 (which I also used for the recipe below).

Fresh Tomato Shrimp Pasta - another tasty dish but sampling it after the gnocchi made it seem bland in comparison.   This dish had a few specialty ingredients: 

Fresh mozarella on sale at $2.49 for 8 oz
Bag of fresh spinach $2.89
Fresh basil $2.49
Shrimp, which I already had in my freezer.  You could easily switch out the shrimp for chicken to make this a less expensive meal. 

One change I'd make next time is to eliminate the fresh mozzarella and add some fresh grated Parmesean before serving.

Each of these dishes made enough for four servings with leftovers.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Laundry Money

laundry money

January 1 of last year I decided I would save all the money I found while doing laundry.  This is what I ended up with by December 31; it's $7.08. 

Part of this reason I did this was to show Hubby how much money he loses by leaving it in his jeans.  I generally give him the paper money back out of pity.  This year I also returned a flash drive and various pieces of hardware.  I cringe at the havoc a metal screw would wreak on the rest of a batch of laundry; thankfully it did not.

I think the eight years of nagging him may have made an impact because overall this amount is less than past years.  It'll still buy me two tall mochas from Starbucks, so I'm happy.