Frugal Living, Recipes

Sourdough Waffles

I had some leftover sourdough starter and being a person who hates to waste food, I decided to make some waffles for this rainy Sunday morning.  They aren’t pretty, but they sure were delicious.

Sourdough Waffles

1 cup of sourdough starter

3/4 cup warm water

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

1tsp baking soda

cooking spray

Whisk together starter, water and flour.  Add whisked eggs and stir.  Add salt, sugar and baking soda and stir together.  Cover and let stand for about 20-30 minutes.  Heat up waffle iron and grease it.  Pour a ladle full on your iron and cook until golden brown.  Made 4 waffles for us and they were delicious!




Bread Machine Sandwich Bread

I finally did it!  I perfected my bread machine recipe.  It took so much trial and error.  Loaves of bread were turned into french toast, bread crumbs and barely tolerated as I tried to figure why I could not get it rise perfectly.  Eric, our family bread maker, tried to give my advice, which I refused.  I wanted to do it on my own.  Last night, I pulled out of the bread machine a beautiful and tasty loaf of bread.  With the help of  many websites, I have my recipe.

Bread Machine Sandwich Bread

1 1/2 cup whey (I used the whey from our homemade yogurt)

3 tbsp honey

3 tbsp butter

3 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp yeast

Warm the whey, honey and butter to 110 degrees, make sure the butter is melted.  I used the microwave, but the stovetop would work to.  I used our candy thermometer to closely monitor that temperature.  Put the liquid in your bread machine.  Add the flour, salt and yeast.  Use the whole wheat setting on the bread machine.  This is a longer cycle, but it worked best for me.

I use a bread machine because I am not one of those people who find kneading bread soothing.  Honestly, I am just not that patient.  I wish I were.  The bread machine gives me the best of both worlds.  Homemade bread without the elbow grease.



Oatmeal And Toffee Cookies

I baked cookies today!  I am not a great baker, so I tend to avoid it.  But, I seem to have a lot of extra time on my hands these days.  So, I decided to bake some cookies.  They actually turned out really good.

Oatmeal and Toffee Cookies

3/4 cup softened butter

1/2 cup brown sugar (I used light)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1.5 cups quick oats

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 package heath toffee bits

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Oil cookie sheet.

In bowl cream together the softened butter and brown sugar.  Once mixed, add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Add flour, baking soda and salt, stir until mixed.  Add the oatmeal.  Add heath bar pieces.

Drop tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet, flatten and bake 15 minutes.




Chicken Enchiladas


Tonight was chicken enchiladas.  The original plan was bean burritos, on Tuesday.  But, things change and so do cravings.  Burritos did not happen on Tuesday, I went to the store today and bought a chicken that I boiled and it gave me enough meat for three meals.  Also, that awesome pot holder was given to me by my daughter for Christmas.

Chicken Enchiladas

2 cups of cooked chicken

1 cup sour cream

1 can green chilies

6 whole wheat tortillas


1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup salsa

1/4 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix chicken, sour cream and chilies in a bowl.  Fill 6 tortillas and bake for 20 minutes. Mix sour cream and salsa.  Top the enchiladas with topping and cheese, bake additional 5 minutes.    I served this with a southwestern salad.




Mushroom Barley Risotto


I made a really good risotto tonight and used barley instead of arborio rice.

Mushroom Barley Risotto

1.5 cups uncooked barley

3 cups water

1 tbsp butter

1 chopped onion

1 cup water

1 tbsp chicken stock base (I use Penzey’s)

2 tsp majoram

1 pound button mushrooms

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp dried parsley

parmesan cheese (I like a lot of parm)

salt and pepper to taste

Boil water and cook barley.  Saute onion in butter for 5 minutes, add mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes.  Add cooked barley, add water and chicken broth, garlic powder and herbs.  Cook until water evaporates.  Add parmesan to taste and serve.  Delicious!

Family Life, Frugal Living, Recipes

Cherry Crisp

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On Sunday night I used the last of our Door County cherries to make a cherry crisp.  The rest of the world may not know this, but Door County Wisconsin produces that best cherries around.  I look forward to them every year.  Honestly, nothing tastes better than  warmed Door County cherries over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I am very lucky that my family lives very close to Door County and that a trip up there every summer is not an obstacle.  In fact, my dad spent his summers picking those cherries, as that side of my family has very strong roots in that area of the state.  Here is my recipe for cherry crisp.


Cherry Crisp


4 cups of pitted cherries

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup corn starch


1-1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons butter, melted

For filling, combine cherries, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Pour in an 8 x 8 baking pan. Combine all topping ingredients; sprinkle over filling.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly around edges.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!


Frugal Living, Recipes

Mushroom Stroganoff

Last night I made my favorite comfort food, mushroom stroganoff.  We eat very little beef, so I need to adapt my recipes that call for beef and make them vegetarian. My stroganoff is very simple to make. During the winter months, the dish is a regular in our meal rotation.


Mushroom Stroganoff

12 oz pasta or egg noodles

1 tbsp butter

2 8oz containers mushrooms (I use button mushrooms)

1 chopped onion

1 tsp garlic powder

2 cups vegetable stock

3/4 cup sour cream

3 tbsp flour

1 1/2 tsp dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Make pasta according to direction. While pasta is cooking, melt butter and saute onions for 3-4 minutes.  Add mushrooms and saute until soft.  Add garlic powder, cook for additional minute.  Add vegetable stock and flour and whisk until the stock is thick.  Add sour cream and parsley.  Simmer for 5-7 minutes.  Add salt and pepper, serve over pasta.





Family Life, Frugal Living, Recipes

Saturday Thoughts


My girls

We got a lot of snow last night.  Last week’s snowstorm hit us this weekend instead.  We were planning on driving about an hour away to see my daughter’s show choir competition.  The weather continues to be the deciding factor in whether or not we go.  I hate driving in winter weather almost more than anything.  While it seems like it is clearing up now, blowing snow and ice remain in the afternoon forecast.  Thankfully, 3 more competitions are on the calendar and I have committed to meeting family at 2 of the 3.  We may decide to err on the side of caution today and stay home.

Last night’s snowstorm was kind of nice.  It forced us to stay in and properly unwind from the work week.  I had put some lentil soup in the crockpot before leaving for work yesterday, making dinner prep and clean up very easy last night.  We watched Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (which I liked, my husband hated), snuggled with the dogs and popped a big batch of popcorn.  It was nice to turn in early last night with a good book.  I was sound asleep by 10:45.


Given the likelihood that we will be staying home today, I plan to make some brownies, a loaf of bread, get a good walk in and finish a book.  We have dinner plans for tonight, that is why I am going make some delicious brownies for dessert to serve with ice cream, here is the recipe.


1/2 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Grease  an 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder.  Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.


What are your plans for this snowy Saturday?

Frugal Living, Recipes

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Last Saturday we were supposed to have dinner with friends.  That did not happen because the weathermen lied and claimed that the worst blizzard ever was on its way.  The city shut down, people cancelled plans and we got a dusting of snow.  With our change in dinner plans, I had to come up with something for dinner.  I had all the ingredients for broccoli cheddar soup.  Add a loaf of sourdough bread, and dinner is served.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

4 tbsp melted butter

1/2 medium onion, diced finely

1/4 cup flour

2 cups half-and-half cream

2 cups vegetable stock

3 cups broccoli chopped 

1 cup carrots, sliced

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp dried mustard

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

salt and pepper

Melt the  butter and saute the onions until soft. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the half & half and vegetable stock. Add paprika and mustard. Add the broccoli and carrots. Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the broccoli and carrots are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return to low heat and add the cheese.  Serve with additional cheese and bread.  Serves 4

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Frugal Living, Recipes

Cream of Tomato Soup

Tonight I cleared out more of our overflowing pantry and made cream of tomato soup.  I served it with grilled cheese sandwiches because tomato soup does require grilled cheese in order to achieve that perfect comfort food balance.  We received a cheese box (we are from Wisconsin) for Christmas, so our cheese options are plentiful.  My recipe is really easy and frugal . I would guess that the grand total for this recipe is $3.00.  It also feels perfect for this evening, as it is 12 degrees tonight and soup really does warm the soul.

I feel obligated to mention that the fires in Australia are a catastrophe that the rest of the world needs to pay attention to.  An entire continent is on fire, species of animals will be wiped out.  The devastation cannot adequately be conveyed to those of us not there.  My thoughts are with those who are living with this as their reality right now.  The world is watching and I hope paying enough attention to make meaningful change.

Now, on to soup.


Cream of Tomato Soup

2 tbsp olive oil

2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes

1 cup vegetable broth

12 oz can evaporated milk

1 onion finely chopped

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp basil

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in pot, add onion and saute until translucent.  Add tomatoes with juice, garlic powder, basil and vegetable broth.  Boil 10 to 15 minutes.  Turn of stove, add milk and with immersion blender blend to desired consistency.  Serve with grilled cheese for the ultimate comfort food.