Frugal Living, Recipes

Korean Rice Bowl

One of the nice things about working at a library is that I see nearly everything that goes in and out our doors. Yesterday, I came across a vegan cookbook that I decided to give a quick look. The book opened to a recipe for Korean Tempeh Bowls. It looked delicious, but I quickly realized that I did not have all of the ingredients to make it at home. I didn’t let that stop though, I checked out the cookbook and decided to make substitutions. The result was a really good and healthy meal. I used only what I had on hand and kept my January pantry challenge intact. I also found out at work that I am not the only one participating in this challenge. I am not sure if it is COVID, the really cold weather in Wisconsin or the New Year, but the January pantry challenge seems to be a thing!

Korean Tempeh and Rice Bowl

1.5 cups white rice


8 ounces tempeh

1/4 cup soy sauce

4 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

1.5 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp pepper flakes

1 tbsp vegetable oil


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 bag frozen stir fry vegetables

1 bag frozen broccoli


sesame seeds, siracha, pepper flakes, chopped peanuts.


Cook the rice according to instructions. While rice is cooking make the marinade for the tempeh. Cut tempeh into cubes and let marinate for about 15 minutes. Once done marinating, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Remove tempeh, being sure to reserve the marinade. Put tempeh in skillet and cook until all sides are crispy, turning often. This will take about 5 to 6 minutes. Put finished tempeh on a plate. Add a little more oil to skillet and add vegetables. Stir frequently and medium heat. Once vegetable are tender, add marinade and let simmer about 4 minutes.

Serve over rice and add desired toppings.


Vegetarian Lasagna

Last night I made a vegetarian lasagna. I used frozen zucchini from the summer garden, tomato sauce canned over the summer from the garden and herbs from my indoor herb garden. I used cottage cheese, instead of ricotta. I have cottage cheese that I need to use up. I remembered that the lasagna of my childhood had cottage cheese and a google lookup proved that was the standard of the 70’s and 80’s. It turned out really good and my daughter told me she didn’t notice the difference.


  • 2 cups zucchini
  • 10 oz frozen spinach
  • 24 ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups full fat small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the lasagna:

  • 9 no boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 x 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Mine is 8 x 8 because of my use of the countertop oven.

For the sauce and noodles:

  1. Defrost frozen vegetables and dry off excess water with paper towel

For the filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, 2 cups mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

To layer:

  1. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Top with 3 noodles laid lengthwise in the pan. Spread half the cheese on top and the spinach followed by 3 more noodles. Spread half the cheese on top and the zucchini followed by 3 more noodles. Spread the remaining sauce over the noodles. Put foil on pan, bake for 35 minutes. At 35 minutes, add the remaining mozzarella and bake until bubbly.


Valentine’s Day Cookie Recipe

Yesterday I made Valentine’s Day sugar cookies to celebrate the holiday of love, and really cute colors and hearts. They turned out delicious and the perfect treat.

Cookie Recipe

2.5cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla almond milk

flour, for rolling out dough


  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat. wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F or in my case 325 degrees F because I use a countertop oven
  3. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with flour. Remove the wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator and sprinkle rolling pin with flour, and roll out dough. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on baking sheet with parchment, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack.


2 tbsp butter softened

2.5 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp vanilla almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

food coloring or sprinkles

Put all ingredients in a mixer. Add milk until it’s the consistency you want.

Spread on cookies and decorate with sprinkles

Happy Valentines Day

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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Photo by Pixabay on

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.