CHEAP EATS OF THE WEEK
Kidney Bean Joes
1 (1lb.) can kidney beans, undrained
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 C. catsup
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
Brown the onions in a small amount of oil. Add the catsup, vinegar, brown sugar and chili powder. Stir in the undrained beans. Add 1/4 C. water if you don't have enough "juice" from the beans. Simmer until hot and sauce is thickened. Season to taste.
You may have to adjust the vinegar to your taste. Some catsups are very vinegary. And of course there's always the matter of personal preferences. When I make this my son always says it needs more brown sugar and my husband always says it needs more vinegar! You can also add chopped peppers and/or celery if you like. I just didn't have any handy when I made mine.
BTW, have you looked at the labels on kidney beans? It's really hard to find any that do not contain corn syrup. That's why I went back to canning my own. Plus it's a lot thriftier. You might want to read a post I wrote about beans here.
Bob-bob- bobbling along! This weekend I knitted a cover for our hot water bottle, heavy with knitted bobbles.
Thrifty hint: Hot water bottles are a wonderful old-fashioned way to keep warm. And thrift and low-tech too! We fill ours before bedtime and slip it between the sheets. When we climb in the bed is nice and toasty. We find that if you can keep your feet and hands warm, you can sleep in quite cold rooms. Our winters can be brutal here, this month we have hardly had any days in double digits and many days where the mercury has dipped below zero, so we have quite a arsenal of ways to keep warm. Here's a post I wrote about ideas for staying warm and cozy.
DON'T BUY, IT MAKE IT
We love the flatbread sandwiches at Subway, but at $7 a sandwich , it's a bit rich for a thrifty ways. Especially since we get the veggie ones and they have about a quarters amount of ingredients in them. For seven dollars we can make eight of our own. And the bread is so much better than any we can buy in the store.
Soft and Fluffy Chewy Flatbread
Mix 1/2 C. yogurt with 2/3 C. hot water to make a warm mixture. (The reason you use hot water is because the yogurt is cold). Stir in 2 tsp. yeast and 1 tsp. honey. Set aside to proof (yeast mixture is bubbly).
Once yeast is proofed add:
2 tbsp. oil (we use olive oil)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. rosemary (optional)
2 crushed cloves garlic (optional)
1/4 C. wheat gluten (make the bread soft)
1 C. spelt (or whole or plain flour)
Mix well. Then add:
approximately 2 3/4 C. flour to make a soft dough.
knead 5 minutes.
Then punch down and divide into 8 pieces.
Rest dough 15 minutes.
Preheat a griddle to medium heat and light oil. Roll out your dough one at a time to an 8 inch circle.
There you have it! Perfect flat bread. Delicious warm off the griddle. If you save them for later it is best to rewarm them .
CHEAP BEAUTY TRICK
We've been making our own facial moisturizer and it's really pretty terrific. We use aloe. Every house should have an aloe plant ; they are so handy for burns, bug bites, itches, rashes, etc. (although it's not the most lovely of house plants).
1/3 C. Aloe Vera gel (the stuff you squeeze out of the leaves
1 tsp. vitamin E oil
2 tsp. jojoba oil
1/8 tsp. citric acid
a drop of your favorite essential oils for scent (we used lemon)
Put in a food processor and whip it up. We keep a small jar next to the sink and apply it after washing our faces. The rest we keep in the fridge. Lasts a couple of weeks. I've found this to be gentler than the much more expensive moisturizers I had been using and it really does make your skin soft and smooth. Seems to minimize the pores also. As a matter of fact, I like my skin so much now, that I've given up using foundation that I used to use to cover up redness.
Have you heard about Issuu.com? It's a site where you can view magazines for free. And there's lots of wonderful ones on there, such as British Period Homes, Mollie Makes, etc. , including many foreign magazines I've never seen before. Aren't magazines expensive now days? I used to have quite a magazine addiction during the heyday of country magazines, but now with the advent of Pintrest, why would I buy a decorating magazine when I view thousands of images for free. Why would I buy a cookbook or magazine when you can Google any recipe? That's money I'll just keep in my pocketbook!
So that's this weeks edition of Sweet Briar Cottage Journal. Hope you enjoy!