Saturday, January 14, 2012

Valentine Heart Crochet Dishcloth

In need of a quick project, I decided to do a dishcloth. Seeing that Valentine's day is one month away and my decorations are limited for this holiday, I went in search of a heart pattern. I came across this pattern from I was able to finish this in about 2 1/2 hours, and that was with my son running around. For the white trim I did a sc stitch instead of the picot that was called for in the pattern. I needed to use up a little bit of my stash, and that is all I had enough for. I definitely will make a few more of these and use the picot stitch once I get to the store to get some more white cotton yarn.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How to Cut Back Without Sacrificing Nutrition By Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Dear Friends,
According to the USDA, the average American family of four is spending $80 a month more on groceries than they did a mere 3 years ago. For a lot of families, the upturn in grocery spending does not reflect an upturn on family income. Clearly something has got to give!
We’ve all noticed how much food has gone up–I can’t think of one thing that hasn’t. And while I cannot control food prices, I can control my own budget and as it becomes necessary, cut back to keep my food expenses in line. Here are 10 ways to cut back without sacrificing nutrition:
1) Eat vegetarian one night a week (rice and beans is a favorite with my kids).
2) Eat breakfast for dinner one night a week (pancakes and eggs are way cheap). Light candles and serve juice in wine glasses for fun.
3) Eat greens and beans one night a week (I use frozen collards, turnip greens etc. on sale to keep the cost down). Give your big guys Tabasco sauce to bump it up!
4) Eat homemade soup one night a week (try the one below!).
5) Cook with your crockpot one night a week (utilizing inexpensive cuts of meat and poultry).
6) Only buy meat and produce on sale and/or marked down.
7) Eat from your freezer one night a week (you’d be surprised at how many meals are in there just waiting to be thrown together!).
8) Buy dried beans and make your own instead of buying canned (instructions on how to cook them are right on the bag).
9) Make your own chicken broth from your leftover roast chicken (throw the carcass, an onion, carrots and celery into a pot, cover with water, simmer for an hour or so).
10) Pack PB & J’s, some carrot sticks and waters for dinner the night you’re all running all over the place (nixing the drive thru). No one will die from not having a “proper meal”.
This is all easy stuff and doesn’t require a lot of thought. Eating vegetarian for example, could be combined with eating greens and beans for dinner or eating soup, or breakfast for dinner. The point is the thought process of cutting back, making do and using up what you have. You can live on less than you think, that includes food.
Try some of these suggestions. Go shopping in your freezer and fridge before you even begin to plan your menu this week. Likewise, check out that pantry for anything that might turn into dinner this week.
Keeping clutter at bay requires cutting back on unnecessary purchases. This includes food!
Leanne Ely is a New York Times best-selling author and the author of the According to Woman’s Day Magazine, she is the expert on family cooking. Her media experience includes multi-city book tours, satellite media tours, QVC several times as well as guesting on several national television shows, including HGTV’s Simple Solutions, ABC Family’s Living the Life, Ivanhoe’s Smart Woman, Small Talk for Parents and Talk of the Town. She has guest chef-ed on the cooking show, Carolina Cooks and has taught cooking classes all over the country for Bloomingdale’s.