Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hot Sauce/Hot Rice/Spanish Rice

Walk into any Barberton Chicken restaurant and you'll see Hot Sauce on the menu. Its not traditional hot sauce as in a condiment. Its a side dish that goes great with fried foods or Mexican dishes. Many of you will recognize it as Spanish Rice or Hot Rice.

We can our salsa just for this dish. It is very simple and is wonderful served with fried chicken or fish!

Hot Sauce
1 Pint Salsa
2 Cups prepared rice (we use Minute Rice)

Combine salsa and rice in a 1 qt. sauce pan. Heat through.

Simple yet delicious. This is also a great way to use leftover rice. Simply mix in the desired amount of salsa and you've got a great snack. I enjoy it cold with tortilla chips as well! YUM!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Scalding Tomatoes

My salsa recipe calls for peeled tomatoes. To peel a tomato easily, you can scald them. It's a very easy process.

Fill a pot one-half to two-thirds full of water; bring to a rolling boil. Wash tomatoes and score an "x" in the bottom of each with a paring knife. Drop scored tomatoes into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove tomatoes and place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. The skins will slide off easily!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


This is the salsa we can every year. You could certainly make it and eat it fresh, though. One recipe would make a nice, big bowl for a party or cookout.

5 Lbs. (or 9Cups) Roma tomatoes, peeled and cubed

2 Cups Chopped Medium Hot Yellow Peppers

3 Cups Chopped Onion

3.5 tsp. Salt

1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

In large pot, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until salsa is at desired thickness (you may add tomato paste if needed). Place jar lids in hot water, fill hot jars with salsa to within 1/2 inch of rim. Wipe rim of jar with damp cloth, place lid on top and screw on the metal band. Tighten fingertip tight and place filled, lidded jars in boiling water bath (make sure water covers top of jars). Process for 15 minutes; remove to counter top to cool making sure jars are touching each other. Lids will 'pop' when they are sealed. Store cooled jars of salsa in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.
~ If desired, you can thicken with a small amount of cornstarch dissolved in water.
~We added 1 minced cayenne pepper per recipe this year to give it a little more heat. YUMMY!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Due to rising gas/fuel prices, lack of decent raises (remember in the 50's when the annual average income was commensurate with the cost of living?) automation, outsourcing and company cut-backs, Americans are having to tighten their belts. Just about the only bill you have any control over is your grocery bill.

Some of the most common ways to save money on your grocery bill are growing your own food to preserve, using coupons or rebates and eating out less. Sometimes, however, those are not enough to loosen the squeeze. Below are some sites that, even if you aren't feeling the pinch, you might want to check out for some new ideas. If your budget doesn't fall into the tight category, take the money you'll save and apply it towards a savings account, Christmas shopping, a trip or special treat for someone you love or for yourself. is a great site that includes many recipes, back to school ideas, printable coupons and articles. It's a great resource you'll want to bookmark!

Hillbilly Housewife has a ton of recipes for convenience foods such as biscuit mix and granola bars.

Better Budgeting has a frugal recipe list you won't want to miss!

One of my very favorites is The Aldi Queen, Amy. She has a wide variety of recipes for tight budgets and lots of advice to help you along the way.

Do you have a favorite budgeting tip or website?

Friday, August 3, 2007

My Favorite Breakfast Sandwich

I love to start the day with an egg. It gives me that protein to keep going through lunch time.

I 'invented' this sandwich after seeing a similar one made in a movie. It has become my favorite breakfast!

2 Slices of Bread, toasted

Non-stick Cooking Spray

1 Egg

Salt & Pepper

2 Slices Deli Ham

1 Slice American Cheese

1-2 Slices Tomato

Heat a small skillet or omelet pan over medium heat. Place both slices of ham in the pan to warm them. Remove ham and place on one of the slices of toast. Spray the pan lightly with cooking spray and fry the egg (I like mine 'dippy' AKA sunny-side up); salt and pepper to taste. Remove the egg from the pan and place on top of the ham slices; top with American cheese, tomato and the other slice of toast. Enjoy!


~Substitute a sausage patty for the ham.

~Add lettuce if desired.

Cucumber Side Salad

This is my Hubby's favorite way to eat cucumbers:

Cucumber Side Salad
1 Large Cucumber
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Peel cucumber and slice into thin rounds. Layer in a bowl and salt & pepper each layer lightly. Let sit while you prepare your meal. Just before serving, add as much vinegar as you like (Hubby likes the vinegar to almost cover the cucumbers) maybe 2 to 3 Tablespoons.

That's it! A very simple and very healthy side salad!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Need a Fitness Pal?

Trying to eat healthier? Trying to lose weight or cut calories out of your daily intake?

Whether you are on a diet or not, sometimes you need an idea of how many calories a particular food has or how many calories you burned doing a particular activity. You may just want to lose a few pounds and need some support from someone going through the same thing.

No matter the reason, you will want to check out the FREE calorie counter at Membership is 100% free and there are so many features that can be used alone or in combination with any type of diet.

Let's say that you've started walking every day. Login to MyFitnessPal, click on the exercise tab and enter walking and the minutes and you'll get an instant reading of calories burned.

Maybe you want to cut a few calories out of your daily intake. MyFitnessPal has a food database that will tell you how many calories a particular food has as well as give you nutritional information just like you'd read on a package label. You can create a daily journal of foods you eat and see where your calories are coming from making it easier to see where to cut calories out of your daily intake.

There are many more features like the food and exercise diaries to keep track of long-term goals and the forums where you can chat with other members. Don't forget to sign up for their email newsletter as well.

MyFitnessPal is a 100% free site that will surely be a benefit to anyone interested in overall health.