Thriving in My Thrifty Week-Jan. 29, 2023

Rob had a birthday this week. He wanted to drive down to the beach for the day to celebrate. We did that Friday, as we were working on his actual birthday. It rained a little, and the wind blew, but overall, it was gorgeous for a winter day at the beach.

Neither Papa or Malcolm cared at all if there was a little rain! Rob got Mac this super cute “fireman” rain coat at the Union Gospel Mission store for under $7. It seems like brand-new and kept him dry on this day. We took snacks and drinks, and Rob and Malcolm got chicken from a store and we all got French fries from a restaurant–I had a salad and Lovana had fish tacos. After we had gathered our food items from the various locations, we all had a blast eating our goodies and watching the ocean from a lookout point!

On the actual day of Rob’s birthday, I had some help with the cake. Malcolm and I made and frosted the cake. Jake supervised and consoled us, saying that Malcolm’s extra huge handful of mini chips there on the top looked just like a sideways heart and went with the cake just fine! We were trying to get the mini chips on the sides and the sprinkles on top, but such is life when you are two:). Most of this delicious cake is in the freezer, but we enjoyed it’s richness before I cut it up, layered it between waxed paper and froze the rest.

I experimented some more with my air fryer. I got it last Christmas and haven’t utilized it as much as I wish I had. This was parmesan chicken and was delicious with our home-canned pasta sauce and green beans. I used a fresh mozzarella log we got for 99c during our recent trip to the scratch and dent store, so it was affordable. Rob saw the same logs of cheese for around $7 elsewhere. This one was short dated, but I used it up right away.

I made egg flower soup twice. I slipped in some tofu for added protein. This is a new recipe to me and it was SO good. There was sesame oil, garlic powder, turmeric, seasoning salt and ginger in there, along with pepper. It was slightly thickened with cornstarch.

The first time, I used some chicken broth in a carton I had been given and the second time I used bone broth I boiled from some Costco chicken. I put in less egg the second time. I split the 99c tofu brick I got from the discount store and split one can of diced water chestnuts between the two batches. As I have previously mentioned, I am not a tofu fan, but Rob is. I have to say, I liked it in this soup. (I am not canning this. I just used a jar for storage in the fridge.)

I did can these, though.

We were blessed with more apples again this past week. It seems that no matter how fast we eat, we cannot use up all the good food we have been given this year. My sister had a large crop and generously shared. Rob’s sister works at an apple orchard each fall and gets free apples. Somehow, those apples keep ending up at our house over the past few months. Yum!

I decided to do some applesauce with some since they are still nice. Why wait until they aren’t to face the fact that we can’t eat them all fresh? So, I did 10 pints of applesauce Saturday. I picked out the worst looking ones to use up. It’s going to take off some stress during the canning rush next summer. Win-win! I also made a small batch of chunky applesauce this week we are eating fresh. Lovana made an apple crisp. Such a nice problem to have.

Last, but not least….I have a budding mechanic on my hands. He decided his lawn mower was broken and turned it over and proceeded to “fix” it with his toy hammer. This guy landscapes with his bubble mower, repairs equipment and works for applesauce. Now that’s the kind of help we all need!

8 thoughts on “Thriving in My Thrifty Week-Jan. 29, 2023”

  1. We al need help like Malcolm! We are blessed with neighbor kids that are willing helpers for cash though and that is a huge help!

    We love bacon in our fryer and this is our number one recipe that we make over and over. Turn on an exhaust fan thought before you start the air fryer or the garlic will just about drive you out of the house!

    1. The recipe came from “Lighter Step-by-step Instant Pot Cookbook” by Jeffrey Eisner. It is on page 72-73. HOWEVER, I changed it up quite a bit. Here’s what I did: I cooked it on the stove, not the Instant Pot, for starters, but will use the pot another time, I’m sure.
      6 cups chicken broth
      1 teaspoon sesame oil
      1 teaspoon seasoning salt (I use Lowrie’s)
      1 teaspoon ground ginger
      1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
      1/2 teaspoon pepper
      1/2 can diced water chestnuts
      I put all of the above in a large pot and brought it to a boil, then turned the burner down and simmered for a little while.
      I mixed: 3 Tablespoons cornstarch with 3 Tablespoons cold water, and slowly poured it into the hot broth while stirring the entire time.
      I added: most of 3 chopped green onions (I saved a little bit out for garnish)
      1/2 teaspoon turmeric
      I brought it back to a low boil.
      I beat 2 eggs in a bowl with a fork, then slowly added them, stirring them only slightly to disperse the eggs, but not make the pieces so thin–it’s a matter of taste. Then, I slipped in 1/2 brick of firm tofu that had been dried by pressing with a paper towel and then cubed. I did this at the last minute so the cubes wouldn’t disintegrate or break up and garnished with the remaining onions.

  2. Happy Birthday to Rob! You are really eating well and making the most of all your frugal finds and gifted food. I really need to figure out how to make better use of the air fryer we were gifted.

    1. I checked out a magazine from the library of recipes for the air fryer, then when I tried a few recipes and liked them, was fortunate enough to have Rob find that same magazine at the store, and he grabbed it for me. I struggle with wanting to give up enough counter space for the machine in my tiny kitchen. I’ve been storing it in the garage with my crock pots and Instant Pot. I hope I end up carrying it in as often as I do the Instant Pot!

  3. I got rid of my electric can opener to make room for my air fryer. Counter space is precious. My appliances are in the laundry room and that short walk gets old real quick.

    Reese mailed me an air fryer cookbook and I’m trying to make potato chips. I messed up and used way too many slices. It became a blob of mush. It didn’t look like the picture.

    I save the apple cores and peels when I make applesauce and make apple cider vinegar.

    1. I’ve never made vinegar before:). I’m glad you got a cookbook. I got a couple of Instant Pot ones and a magazine for the air fryer so I can get inspiration. It’s more likely I will use these appliances if I have ideas of what I can make and we like! I’m glad you use you air fryer so much. My sister does, too.I have high hopes for mine.

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