Category Archives: Links

Brunch Casserole

I made a breakfast casserole. By the time I made it? Well, we had it for lunch.

The recipe I used is this one. I made about 1/3rd as much as specified, because there’s only 2 of us. I used regular hashbrowns, because I already had them. My notes, aside from the calculated quantities say:

  • Good, use garlic salt instead of fresh minced.
  • If you’re cutting it down, by weight, it’s 7 sausage links —  try 6 next time.
  • Yellow pepper was okay, red would be better (red is specified).
  • Grease the pan!

I will definitely make this again. If you try it, let me know in the comments below. The one thing I noticed is that it doesn’t particularly stretch the food, 1 egg per person, about 3 sausages per person, etc.

I wonder what I could add that would make it more economical

or pandemic/retirement friendly?

Pandemic/Retirement Corn Casserole

This was started in April, 2020.

I made chili from the freezer the other day: a package of  “stewed” tomatoes, 5  salsa cubes, the end of the cooked ground turkey, and about 1C of left over chili. It was good!

In the process, I also took out of the freezer a package of roasted chilis from last July. They got thawed before I realized I didn’t need or want them for the chili. So, what do I do with them?

My idea was a  chili relleno casserole, using a package of corn bread mix, which I have at the moment.

So, I went looking for a recipe. I found a chili relleno casserole I’d made before,  (#1).  I can’t link to it, sorry, all I wrote down on the written copy I made was “internet” not where it came from! And my usual 5 ingredient corn casserole, this one (#2). While looking for the first recipe, I also found this (#3), new to me which sounded good.

  1. I rejected my original recipe (#1) because of the amount of ingredients.
  2. I used this recipe since it used the least ingredients and I had everything.
  3. I rejected this recipe because of the use of sour cream and heavy cream. Not only do I not have either, but we don’t use them up when I do.

Because the corn casserole recipe (#2) doesn’t normally cook in layers and I had a container of roasted chilis to use, I made the usual batter and put 1/2 in the bottom of the pan, then put a layer of chilis on top, then put the other 1/2 of the batter on that.*

It was good.

And, btw, the original corn casserole recipe (#2 above) is a standard here. It’s yummy!

*If you don’t have a container of frozen chilis, a can of chopped or whole chilis would work. I just made a layer of chilis on 1/2 the corn mix in the pan, then spread the rest of the batter on top evenly so the chilis don’t “show”.

This is good enough that I’ve made it twice now! 5/13

Retirement Planning: Using Expensive Meat

I bought that 3 lb pork loin 4/30.  The meat cost $9.99/lb., $1.99/lb over my preferred price of $8 or less.*

I have a cookbook which talks about dividing a 3 lb pork loin into four meals: chops, chow mein, sweet & sour, and a roast.

I cut it into 5. One smallish piece, 3 thick slabs, and a roast. Then I put the pieces into the freezer.

The cost was why I divided it the way I did. Assuming my idea works as planned? It’s 10 portions, or about $2.79 each. If I’d divided it as in my cookbook, it would have been 8 meals, $3.49 per portion.

Tonight’s dinner will be made with the smaller piece I put aside, in pork soup, using this recipe. I don’t have the specified sausage or 5 spice powder, so I’ll modify it, as usual. I do have regular pork sausage, but I’ll make the soup without it. I used a piece of fat from the pork instead of oil to cook the veggies. I’ll add bell pepper and celery leaves from the fridge, stems from the freezer, and whatever else I think it needs for flavoring.

2 p.m.: The soup is asimmer. I’ll add the minced stems, celery leaves, and apple a few minutes before serving.  (The recipe calls for a sour apple and all I have is a sweet one, it seemed it would be better added near the end.)

The soup was good and we have about 1 portion left over.

5/5: We used it for 3 meals. At lunch, we use custard cups for things like soup. When soup is dinner, we use large bowls!

5/10: One of the thick pieces cut into 2 pork chops. Dinner!

5/12: Decided we’d have the 1 lb piece (the roast) as carnitas. I found a recipe for it, but I’ve never made carnitas before, so we’ll see! I’ll put in a link to the recipe when I use it, this coming Friday, along with any comments. The only comment I have now is that the recipe specifies a 4 lb roast and I don’t have one!

5/15: Made the carnitas. Two portions were dinner. What remained was split between the fridge for meals this weekend and the freezer for future use. The cost per portion has been updated to reflect the 2 meals eaten.

5/16: Two portions of shredded meat on salads with a thick slice of mozzarella and red bell pepper shreds. Just needed salt and pepper. Great! There’s a little of what I put in the fridge left, not enough for a meal. Will probably be used as a garnish or such…

It was used on our dinner, which was salad too, the count was updated to reflect two more servings.

5/20: We had one of the slabs, cut into 2 pork chops for dinner with the HM applesauce.

I made a carrot salad, this one, which I didn’t cook as long as specified, my husband doesn’t like cooked carrots. It was very spring-y looking, as the dill looks like carrot tops. It was okay. I added a little agave syrup (about 1 tsp)  and used less onion to suit our tastes. I’ll make this again, but it isn’t the huge hit the jarred salad has been.

(We ate the last of the 2nd batch of jarred salad for lunch. I’m out of cabbage, so I couldn’t make more — I made the carrot salad instead.)

Total cost $27.92.  Portions eaten 2 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 +3

Cost per portion = $13.96 $9.31 $5.58 $3.99 $3.10 $2.54 $2.14 $1.86 $1.55

*My target price of $8/lb for meat is discussed here. My goal is to have the meat in a meal cost $2 or less per portion. My conclusions about this experiment can be found here.

simon-birt-tSruvNOg1j0-unsplashPhoto by Simon Birt on Unsplash

Links Roundup: Apr – Jun (working)

I will add to this as each month ends. At the beginning of July, when I put in June’s list, I’ll remove the  “(working)” label.



Why All the Links? & a Link — to an Article About Grocery Shopping, Safely

To read this regularly, you’d think I spend much of my time doing internet research, right? Wrong!

The motivation behind the advice links is that I know I should read them all and make informed choices. I should have a routine for dealing with groceries and mail coming in the house. I should be disinfecting every square inch of the house, the cars, the mailbox, etc.

But, like most SHOULDs, only some of it gets done. The piece which does happen usually doesn’t happen immediately.

The links and links lists are my bookmarks. It’s useful for me to have them all in one place. If others find them useful too? All the better!

One thing I learned after decades of dealing with amorphous, traumatic distress? Concrete and practical advice is almost always more helpful than platitudes and motivational speeches. An unempoloyed, depressed person will usually respond more positively to a revision of their resume than an hour’s worth of sympathy, although do give both.

The two most popular posts here are how to cook pink Madagascar rice and how to estimate linear feet of needed book shelving. I don’t think that’s an accident.

The post about cooking pink rice was written because I went looking for exactly that and couldn’t find it. I used a cookbook I own, guessed based on data there and it worked. That’s what’s in the post.

The how to estimate needed book shelving post was part of a series of bookselling “how to” posts I made on the late, lamented site

It helps that I used to write instructions for a living, yes. But that isn’t the only reason that those posts are my most popular. Both are simple, concrete and practical advice.

I found this article about how to shop for your groceries safely. Unfortunately for me, I found it after I got back from this week’s marketing. Next week!  link


Spring Cleaning in a Pandemic, Links List

I went looking for recommendations about cleaning in the time of a pandemic.

Below are links to 10 different websites and a brief discussion of what’s there. The complete article is available by following the link.

  1. List of high-touch areas, including some you may not have thought of: fridge handle, etc.
  2. List of CDC recommended disinfection cleaners and how to use them.
  3. What DIY cleaners can be used.
  4. A discussion about different surfaces.
  5. Links to articles about organizing and disinfecting otherwise.

5 Tips for Spring Cleaning:

  1. Use the extra time.
  2. Make a list and divide it up.
  3. Get rid of the clutter.
  4. DIY some cleaners.
  5. Take before/after pics.

12 tips:

  1. Clean AND disinfect, includes a list of high-touch areas.
  2. Use the right products to disinfect.
  3. Dust throughly.
  4. Vacuum and deep clean carpets.
  5. Clean/organize linens.
  6. Scour tiles.
  7. Wipe down windows.
  8. Organize seasonal items.
  9. Polish brass/stainless.
  10. Clean wood furniture.
  11. Reseal grout/disinfect bathroom.
  12. Don’t try to do all the cleaning at once.

Discussion about deep cleaning. Includes link to CDC’s cleaning recommendations. Also talks about affect of the pandemic on cleaning companies.

What to clean, with what products, in detail, from the US government agency. Includes:

  1. Updated links to EPA-registered disinfectant list
  2. Added guidance for disinfection of electronics
  3. Updated core disinfection/cleaning guidance
  4. Links to: OSHA COVID-19 site, the CDC Homecare Guidance site, and a link for people with pets.

How to clean at home, at work, and what to do when you have to go out. Also links to CDC, US Food & Drug, OSHA, World Health and FDA sites.

Article about what all the extra cleaning means for garbage companies, etc.

  1. Places to clean more often.
  2. High touch areas.
  3. Things you might not have thought to clean.
  4. Where/how to keep items you may be culling.
  5. Discussion of symptoms.

An entertaining article on the current dilemma about housecleaning for professional women and cleaning during the pandemic. Well written.

  1. What to clean, how often.
  2. Deep cleaning list.
  3. Self-quarantine cleaning list.

More Pandemic Food: Jarred Cabbage Salad

I just made what I’ll call a “jarred” salad, as it’s in the fridge in a jar, marinating. I used this recipe, and modified it these ways:

  1. I don’t have cucumbers.
  2. I made approx. 1/2 as much as specified.
  3. I only had red pepper, I used one big FAT one.
  4. I used my HM champagne vinegar with tarragon; it’s my fave flavor combo. When I can find the vinegar cheap I buy as much as I can afford then add fresh tarragon.
  5. I used HM garlic salt, this one, instead of garlic powder and sea salt.
  6. I made up the full recipe of dressing, expecting to have about 1/2 of it left to use as salad dressing this week. All of it’s in the jar! We ate all the salad and I have the expected pint of dressing, remaining.

Why didn’t I just make coleslaw? Because I do not like coleslaw — that’s why! I have no problem with cabbage, but I don’t like coleslaw!

pointing finger




Tonight’s dinner: LO lemon chicken from Weds. with gravy made from the drippings. Cooked a double pot of rice. Had mixed baby green salad with a little of the jarred salad on top. Put some of the dried greens on top of the rice, looked very fawncy!

The LO gravy will be put in the freezer to use as a soup base sometime soon. The bones were added to the current “stock” bin also in the freezer. The LO rice will be used for a tomato-less burrito bowl, as I don’t have any non-red tomatoes. The farm’s greens this week included a small portion of cilantro and I bought limes, so I have everything else. There’s 1 thigh left in the fridge to use and that will go in the burrito bowl. (I split my last bulk pack of chicken thighs up into 1 lb pkgs this week. I must have bought a six lb package because I expected to get the dinner I making (3 thighs) and 4 packages of 3 each. But I ended up with 5 thighs and 4 packages. So we’ve had a lot of chicken this week!