Saturday, January 16, 2010

Step by Step

I've been thinking a lot lately about processed foods and budgeting. I am the first to admit that I get caught up in the day to day crazy routine of being a full time working mom and resort to the quick fix dinner, the quick fix lunch, and breakfast in the car. As I was grabbing lunch the other day (Wendy's chili, by absolute weakness!), I started to think about how far I've strayed from basic whole foods and our dinner table.

I'm already pretty basic. I've been making my own "mixes" for things now for quite a few years. I think my homemade "rice a roni" tastes pretty darn good, and I can't even remember the last time I bought a packet of taco seasoning mix, but I am guilty of buying more than my fair share of Hamburger Helper!

So I am doing some kitchen science in the next few weeks to see if I can add a few more cards in my hand and cut a few more dollars out of the grocery budget.

Last night I made homemade noodles and I think they turned out pretty good! We have a pasta machine thingie, and it's pretty complicated! I ended up just using a cutting board and a pizza cutter and that was much easier and certainly got the job done! Now that I did a batch and tested it, I feel more comfortable making it for a family meal.

Tonight I tried "baking" bread in my crockpot and it didn't turn out quite as well as I wish it would have. Truth be told, I used some yeast we've had stashed in the back of our freezer for probably 2 years, so it was not a good way to start the experiment. Yeast is pretty inexpensive when you buy it in bulk at Sam's Club, so it's on my shopping list for Monday and I'll give it another try. We got through a LOT of bread and I used to be able to get it for about 50cents/loaf at the bread outlet, but they are right around $1/loaf now and I see it as something I can do at home and save some money on.


Moderate Means said...

I make slow cooker bread, too. Kids like it but the potato bread in the bread machine is their favorite. I had better luck when I put a loaf pan inside the slow cooker ;)

I'm working on making my own mixes, too. I don't have a recipe for a Rice-A-Roni - I hope you share yours!


JennyWLS said...

I will post it for sure! It's so easy and flexible that you can almost always make it a little different to fit your meal.

Penniless Parenting said...

In what way did your crock pot bread not turn out so great? Mine came out great, just was crispy on the bottom (i know what to do about that now).
I wrote my post about how i made crock pot bread here-

JennyWLS said...

Even after I used new yeast and new flour, we found that the bread was just too dense for our liking. I ended up finding another bread recipe that does use the oven, but makes a very tasty and fast loaf of bread. I've made 4 or 5 loaves of it and the family has voted that the recipe is a keeper.