Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Range on a Budget - Weekend Adventures

You know money is tight when you make half dollar pancakes.

OK, that was actually a flipping accident, this morning. The weekend flew by much too quickly. Saturday was chores, a few things to be picked up.  My household likes a good bargain (I am part Scot) and you'd be surprised what you can find if you have a keen eye. A "scratch and dent" sale at a food wholesalers resulted in a lot of new canned goods, marked with a marker on the label with the date to use by, so they can be rotated through regularly, keeping the emergency pantry fresh as well as very stocked.
 For example, this  was only Sixty Nine Cents, found at a discount a while back. 

 Since I'd had a long week, Partner offered to cook dinner last night while I relaxed with some wine from Aldi (don't laugh, they have some decent table wine) with my feet up.  This is what he came up with and it was delicious!  I'm going to check out some of the other Nantucket Off-Shore sugar and salt free rubs, this one was really good! (click on recipe name to open)  Herb-crusted Chicken.

And yes, in honor of the 11th Doctor on this 50th anniversary show night - bow tie pasta.
Sunday late morning  found us sorting through a few other of the bargains.  This fake security camera had a broken part, easily fixed and was $1. 
It has a motion sensor that then flashes a light at you like it's taking your picture. I'm not sure if it will deter anyone but it will be fun to mount up somewhere above the back door.  I wonder if I write "NSA" on it with a Sharpee, anyone will notice.
This Mission table is a current work in progress, found sitting by a trash can on a street, being thrown out.  It had a scuffed particle board top and bottom shelf, but the mission ends were solid oak and in excellent shape but for a few surface scratches.  Quick, stop and load. The top and shelf are an easy replacement with real wood, and with a refinish to hide some minor wear, this will be a nice addition to the Range.

I'm not too proud to grab something someone threw out just as most of my kitchen ware is from thrift shops.  Nothing matches, but each piece is unique and has a story. One I do not know, but can catch a glint of as I wash it and put it away.

I recently got a complete set of very high quality cast iron cookware, including a huge griddle that crash pad neighbors threw out after they apparently ran it through the dishwasher and watched it rust.  A good clean and seasoning and they were perfect. 
There's also a Mission sofa being  repaired and re-stained downstairs.  The "made at home", new black Ultrasuede covered cushions replaced the worn, paisley ones, but considering it was once an $1800 couch and it joined the range for a case of beer, no one is complaining about the work.

But to work, one needs fuel.

Silver Dollar pancakes with Thick Cut Bacon.
Cooking the pancakes on a griddle that still has a bit of Bacon drippings makes for a particularly good little pancake .
Some of the afternoon was games. There was still some cleaning to do, but I can do that tomorrow when Partner is working and I have one more day off.  We will  NOT mention the Mexican train wreck that was my dominoes game but then it was on to cribbage.  The wind chill being down in the single digits today, we were not lured back out of the house to go play with anything 'spody.
I overcame the dominoes disaster by winning more than one hand of cribbage.  After one particularly brutal crib (thanks for the  air of Jacks) . . .
that moved me well into the lead, I managed to fumble the entire deck of cards all over the table

Partner (smiling):  How do you DO that?  You're like the Columbo of Cribbage! 

Barkley went outside once, going to the bottom of the steps and coming right back as if to say "it's too cold!".  He then laid on his bed in the office, sulking because he doesn't know 1000 words like the Border Collie we saw on the news yesterday
If it wasn't for those darn pronouns!

Before you know it, it was time for supper.  I knew what it was going to be.  A Canadian blogger was kind enough to give me the recipe for her Lebanese rice.  She gave me the ingredients and the basic amounts (use as much as you like :-) which let me play with what worked or not for my palate.  There was just one extra secret ingredient (cinnamon) to make it my own, as well as pitas and an addition of a side of yogurt/mint/cumin cucumber sauce that offset the spicy  dish perfectly.

 I present the HOTR version of  Herbed Lebanese Rice.
Thank you Kymber, for the inspiration.  This one is a keeper.  It's easy, it was less tan $1.50 a serving, using spices already on hand, would freeze well (like we'll have leftovers after tomorrow), and made enough for more than one meal. Adding more rice to stretch this would easily to feed a large, hungry family.  Plus, it was VERY tasty. Partner raved about it and asked that I make it again sometime soon.
The evening is ahead, so I will be signing off for now.

Thanks for stopping by.  I needed a couple days to just relax and regroup.  It's easier to write, to plan and to work, when I can do this, and I appreciate those of you who wish to share it when I do.
 - Brigid


  1. Hmmm...that rice recipe sounds like one I'm going to have to try. We have a fair amount of rice around the house, and I'm always on the lookout for something other than soy sauce to freshen it up.

  2. You do realize that many times I live vicariously reading here. At least until I get my own life back again, then I'll still read anyway so I don't forget to try something new. If you miss a day or two, it just means we can go back and read a fav post from here. You deserve time to veg, not that I think you can ever totally veg out, LOL.

    This blog is one of my top 5 "Thankful For"s this year :) Even the reminders that bring tears are blessings. And the smiles are especially appreciated.

  3. Measurements are for the timid.

    I always figure that if you can't recreate a dish I made with just an ingredients list then you aren't a good enough cook to cook it at all, and I especially don't want you to say it was a recipe that I gave you...

  4. greg - I used little added salt, as the Worcestershire has sodium. Your kids might like less spice, this is one of those dishes you can tweak a lot. I'd really recommend though, using the ultra lean meat so you don't drain off a a lot of the flavor with the grease and the Worcestershire does make a nice sauce as the beef cooks down.

    Naturegirl - one of my wishes in life is that sometime before I'm old you and I can sit down over tea and catch up with life. I admire your spirit and am always uplifted by your words.

    B - I've watched you cook for years now. You're better than any well known chef on those TV cooking shows,(and women would probably pay big bucks to watch you cook :-)

    I've recreated a couple of your meals, from what I watched. They weren't exactly the same, but they were excellent, gives me something to aspire to (but my dinosaur pancakes looked like they'd been hit by the giant asteroid).

    I don't measure either, but try and approximate for the readers. I hope it's close.

    I hope you and Midwest Chick like the salt and oil (and chili pourable caramel sauce - bwahahaha)I dropped off (sorry I missed you all, but I was trying to make good time on the drive home).

  5. I appreciate frugal people. Cash-flow is over rated. Pocket-stop is what matters in the end.

    For some reason I found the pictures in this entry particularly enchanting.

    You deserve some time to chill-ax. The time to strap on the armor and sword will come soon enough.

    Please keep writing.


  6. ALDI is Trader Joe's parent company. If you had one of their private label wines, you were probably drinking relabeled "Two Buck Chuck".

  7. Nothing wrong with cast offs, especially when it's EASY to bring them back to life!!!

  8. Brigid - glad to hear that you enjoyed the rice! it is cheap and like you said - you can tweak it with whatever is on hand. your pancakes and bacon always look deelish and the herbed chicken looks awesome too!

    your friend,

  9. Shouldn't that have read, "FLIPPING accident!"
    That's what I say when I've a pancake 'incident'...

    Well, not precisely.


  10. Our pups weren't too happy about going out in the cold, either, but you gotta do what you gotta do. ;)

    The food looks fabulous. I'm hungry. Time to go to the kitchen and find something yummy.

  11. Wondering if my problem is that I would rather be outside than in cooking...

  12. Caution this blog will make you hungry. big grin

  13. Hey, I have a set of cards like those...only more modern.

    Nice snags on the mission furniture too. We had a goal once upon a time, of building mission furniture. But then we had to relocate to TX and that dream got sold off, at least for another 15 years.

  14. Another great recipe! My taste buds thank you, (my waistline... not so much), for all your delectable delights!

  15. Thank you so very much, I would like that too! But- I'd still talk with you if you're old LOL.

    That's now added to my Bucket List. And one more thing for me to look forward to doing someday :)


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