Monday, August 31, 2009
This doesn’t sound like it could qualify as a Poor Girl recipe; in fact, I didn’t even think it would make the cut in terms of cost. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to know that not only is this über-affordable, if you have too much in the way of filling, you can actually make two completely different meals (more on that later). Now, my dad wasn’t that good about giving me some rough measurements for this (not that I blame him; we’re the type that just throws food together in random quantities until it tastes good, so strict measuring does not run in my family), but I managed to come up with a good ratio of ingredients so you could all recreate this affordably. I don’t expect anyone to have affordable access to real crabmeat but if you do, use it! It can only make this taste better. Whatever you do, try to resist the temptation to use flour tortillas in this dish. Though I prefer flour to corn, using the wrong tortilla will not only change the dish structurally, but tastewise as well. There is something about the combination of flavors that truly lends itself to using corn tortillas, so if you’re a flour tortilla lover like me, exercise some restraint and you’ll have fabulous results.
Now, I’d mentioned that this becomes really, really cheap if you go the two meal route with this one. This filling not only works in enchilada form but makes an incredible omelette filling, too. All you would need to do is add the filling and some of the sauce into the omelette, finish cooking, and add extra sauce when serving/garnishing. As long as you and your family are not easily bored, it is quite feasible to have the enchiladas for dinner one night and have the omelettes for brunch the next morning. Your sides can vary depending on the meal to keep things interesting, but you really can make two fabulous dishes from just one recipe. The choice is yours! And if you do end up making both recipes sometime, I’d love to hear which one you liked better! I think it’d be interesting to know what everyone preferred (and my dad was curious anyway, haha).
Seafood Enchiladas or Omelettes (serves 4; total cost per serving: $3.25)
8 white corn tortillas
½ lb imitation crab meat
½ lb bay shrimp (also known as shrimp meat, depending on the store)
3/4 c fat free sour cream
1 8 oz. jar salsa verde (green tomatillo sauce)
½ c shredded Monterey jack cheese (optional)
6 scallions, chopped
Small handful of cilantro, chopped
Sliced black olives (optional for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 375 and spray a square baking pan (preferably glass) with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine the sour cream and 1/2 the jar of salsa verde (roughly 4 oz.), and whisk together until completely combined. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the finished sauce in a smaller bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl combine the crab meat and bay shrimp with the remainder of the salsa verde and mix together well.
Take each tortilla and dip it into the large bowl with the sour cream & salsa mixture, making sure both sides are coated evenly but lightly. Fill the tortilla with the crab & shrimp mixture, sprinkle with a bit of cheese, and roll together as tightly as possible without breaking the tortilla (this is a little tricky but it gets easier with practice). Place into the baking dish and repeat until each tortilla has been filled. Drizzle any extra sour cream & salsa mixture on top, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle any extra cheese on top and bake for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
When ready to serve, place 2 enchiladas on a plate, generously drizzle the reserved sour cream & salsa verde mixture, sprinkle with chopped scallions & cilantro and sliced black olives, and enjoy!
Although I truly love eggplant, it’s another one of those items that I just haven’t gotten around to experimenting with in my own kitchen. Since the whole goal for 2009 has been to step outside my cooking comfort zone and work with different ingredients, I figured now was as good a time as any to start playing around with eggplant. For the past few weeks, my favorite farmers market under the freeway on 8th & X Streets has been offering some absolutely perfect looking eggplants, so beautiful that it seemed a shame to drown them in marinara sauce & cheese (even though eggplant parmagiana is a favorite of mine). They’ve also had some gorgeous zucchini and other squash, not to mention all the rest of my favorite vegetables and fruits. Since I still don’t feel like I’ve been getting enough veggies in my diet over the past few weeks, I came home after one of my recent farmers market forays and decided to make something with almost every vegetable I had, without resorting to a soup or stew. I wanted something a bit more substantial, something I could sink my teeth into. A sandwich, perhaps? Of course! I’d turn a big mountain of veggies into a delicious, breadless sandwich.
There was something about the eggplant that was begging to be the “bread” for the giant “sandwich” of vegetables I wanted to create, and with zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, and some crispy red onions, I knew the filling for this would be just perfect. This recipe is very simple to prepare and will allow you to thoroughly enjoy each vegetable’s individual flavor, as there is very minimal seasoning in this dish. A healthy & hearty dish, when served with a chunky tomato & herb sauce on the side, you might actually be able to convince the finicky eaters in your family to try some veggies.
The most important thing to note about this one is that you need a knife & fork for this! Just because it says “sandwich” doesn’t mean you can pick it up with both hands and start chowing down. Well, I suppose you could; just use a LOT of napkins if you do. :)
Grilled Eggplant & Veggie “Sandwiches” (serves 2; total cost per serving: $2.25)
4 1 ½” slices of fresh eggplant
1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into ½” slices
1/4” thick red onion slice, separated into individual rings
10 white mushrooms, sliced
½ t minced garlic
1 T olive oil
Salt & pepper
2 T olive oil, for brushing
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 t dried oregano
1/4 t dried basil
1/4 t dried rosemary
1/4 t ground black pepper
Prepare the chunky tomato sauce by combining the last 6 ingredients in a small saucepan and heating over medium low heat. Allow to simmer slowly for about five minutes, remove from heat, and set aside.
Preheat the grill. While grill is heating, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a separate pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Brown the garlic slightly then add the sliced mushrooms, seasoning lightly with salt & pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
Brush both sides of the eggplant and zucchini slices with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper (if desired). Grill the vegetables for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until tender but still firm.
To assemble your sandwiches, place one grilled eggplant slice on a plate, add zucchini, mushrooms, fresh onions, and a spoonful of chunky tomato sauce, followed by another slice of grilled eggplant. Serve with extra sauce on the side, a fork & knife and plenty of napkins, and enjoy!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
As most of you who have been making risotto for years with no problems know, there was really nothing to be afraid of. About the only tricky part to making this creamy dish is exercising a bit of patience to allow everything to simmer and absorb properly. Other than that this is a piece of cake to make, and once I got over this irrational kitchen fear, I set about making risotto out of everything, not just rice. My current favorite is quinoa risotto, probably due to the distinctly different texture of the quinoa, as opposed to rice or farro. Though using farro also results in a lovely risotto, I really like the combination of flavors and textures that are in this particular dish. The tender asparagus go beautifully with the sweetness of the shrimp and the light sprinkling of parmesan, and the creamy quinoa brings it all together. I used olive oil as opposed to butter to cut back on the bad fat for this dish, though I’m sure it will be delicious if butter is used. This is a wonderful entrée or a hearty side and can definitely be served year round.
A few notes for you: If you don’t have wine around the house, simply substitute an extra 1/2 cup of broth. Speaking of broth, this is even more flavorful if you use fresh shrimp, as you can boil them in the broth before making the risotto. However, if all you have at home are the frozen cooked shrimp do not go out and buy extra! Save your money! This is just as flavorful without using shrimp broth. If you buy your quinoa in bulk the price of this dish goes way down, and if you can’t find any fresh asparagus that are affordable enough, by all means use frozen ones. And now for the recipe.
Creamy Shrimp & Asparagus Quinoa Risotto (serves 6; total cost per serving: $1.35)
1 c uncooked quinoa
5 c chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 c white wine
2 ½ T olive oil (or butter, if you prefer)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
30-35 large frozen cooked shrimp, thawed
6 medium asparagus, cut into 3/4” long pieces
1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 t dried tarragon
1/4 t dried thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
Carefully rinse the quinoa about 3 times to ensure that it is completely clean and drain well. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly until the onion begins to soften.
Increase the heat to about medium high and add the rinsed quinoa. Cook for about 3 minutes then add the wine and simmer until the quinoa absorbs the wine. Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of chicken broth into the quinoa and allow to simmer until it is completely absorbed by the quinoa, stirring frequently. Continue this process, pouring in the broth only 1/2 cup at a time, until the quinoa is creamy and the quinoa germs have burst (you may have extra broth left over; if so, set aside for a different meal), about 20 minutes.
While the last bit of broth is being simmered and absorbed, add the ¼ c of parmesan cheese and continue to stir well. Add the shrimp and asparagus and mix in gently, cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Season with tarragon, thyme, and a couple dashes of salt & pepper. Serve with extra parmesan sprinkle on top of you like, and enjoy!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I've been craving French toast for awhile now, but without eggs it has been impossible to indulge in it. Taking advantage of the first relatively free weekend in a long time, I went to a few different stores last Sunday and took care of the eggless problem. I'm sure the basics of the recipe I've tweaked & improved over the years are similar to many other French toast recipes you may have encountered over the years, though I do like to add a couple things to mine. My finished product always has something sweet on top, but I also like for my actual toast to have a little bit of flavor, so I add vanilla and a bit of cinnamon to mine. Growing up, my mom usually topped my French toast with butter & cinnamon sugar as opposed to maple syrup (SO good!) and I still like serve mine that way these days. However, I wanted to add a little something extra today, and the cinnamon apples & raisins seemed like they’d go perfectly with my already cinnamon-y French toast.
This is one of those rare PGEW moments when I post a recipe that is not somewhat healthy, so indulge in the sinfulness! I did make a slight effort to reduce the sinful factor by using non-fat milk and some egg whites in my egg mixture, but otherwise this is a rather rich breakfast. Howerver, this is a special occasion; it’s not like I eat breakfast like this everyday (in fact, those three pieces in the photo will probably be my breakfast for the rest of the week, they’re so filling!), so a little indulgence is okay every now & then. Just remember this when serving, so that you don’t inadvertently give yourself or your guests a serious blood sugar spike. If you have thick cut bread, by all means use it! I only used what I had available to me this morning, but French toast is always better when the bread is nice & thick. And if you’re a raisin-phobe, feel free to skip them. I just happen to love how raisins, apples, and cinnamon all go together like they’re food soul mates. :) Anyway, I’m forgetting the best part about this! The low low LOW price per serving of about $1.33! Usually one would pay about $8 for a few slices of dried out French toast at your local greasy spoon. This French toast is moist, tasty, and not at all like what you’d find in restaurants, so you can’t beat that when coupled with the price! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Though I would have preferred to serve mine with a candle… oh well, there’s always this evening’s happenings!
My Birthday French Toast – (serves 2; total cost per serving: $1.33)
4 slices thick cut bread
3 large eggs + 1 egg white
2 T nonfat milk
1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 medium apple
1/4 c golden raisins (Thompson seedless are fine if you can’t find the golden ones)
1/3 c sugar
1 heaping T cinnamon
Few drops of lemon juice
2 T butter
Combine the cinnamon & sugar for the cinnamon apples and mix until thoroughly combined. Chop the apple into ½” cubes and place in a bowl along with the raisins and the lemon juice (this protects the apple against discoloration). Add the cinnamon sugar mixture and toss everything together well. Melt the butter in a small pan and add the apple mixture (including all the cinnamon sugar!). Sautee lightly until the apples soften slightly and the raisins begin to plump. The fruit will create its own syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, egg white, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, and whisk together vigorously. Heat a medium skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium high heat. While skillet is heating, dip one slice of bread in the egg mixture, making sure both sides are completely coated and that the bread slightly absorbs the egg. Place the bread in the skillet and heat until the bottom begins to turn a golden brown and the edges begin to dry a bit, about 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of your bread. Flip onto the other side and cook in the same manner for about another couple of minutes. Remove from heat and place on a covered plate and cook the rest of the French toast.
Place a couple slices onto a plate, spoon a generous amount of the apples & raisins along with plenty of fruity syrup, and enjoy!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The ingredient combo is a tad unconventional but very tasty nonetheless. As usual with my work meals, I wanted to make use of leftovers, and the 1/3 bag of frozen diced sweet potatoes was just begging to be used. I’d thrown the black beans in my bag by mistake but realized they might actually go well with the sweet potatoes if I played around with them enough. I felt a sweet & tangy dressing would complement both quite well. Texturally, however, I knew I had to throw in something a little chewy or crispy, lest I end up with a mushy meal. So I played and I played and ended up with the following salad that features black beans, sweet potatoes, green onions, and cranberries, all in a simply sweet rice vinaigrette.
My tastebuds were happy and my office mates commended me for my healthy lunch, as they dug in to their sandwiches or Chinese food. I briefly told them what I do outside of my day job and warned them that random food photography might happen. They all smiled at me like I was a little silly, but I take comfort in the fact that I not only saved money for the rest of the week when it comes to lunch, but I did end up with a couple of new readers, too. :)
Black Bean, Sweet Potato & Cranberry Salad (Makes 3 servings; Total cost per serving: ~ $1.25)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ c diced sweet potatoes (should be about ½” in size)
4 green onions (tops & greens), chopped
¼ c dried cranberries
2 T rice vinegar
Juice of one lemon
1 1/2 T agave nectar (honey will work, too)
¼ t ground black pepper
Dash of salt
Prepare the dressing by combining the rice vinegar, lemon juice, agave nectar, pepper, and salt in a small bowl and whisking together well. In a larger bowl or container, combine the black beans, diced sweet potatoes, green onions, and cranberries and toss together gently. Add the dressing and mix together well. Serve with greens or by itself, add some chopped nuts (if you have ‘em) for extra crunch, and enjoy!
In regards to this recipe, I threw it together over the weekend when I was feeling a bit tired and not all that creative in the kitchen. I figured a quick stir-fry or scramble would be nice to have, but I really, really wanted my little red potatoes and poked around to see what I could add to them. I had a few frozen shrimp that were threatening me with potential freezer burn if I didn’t use them soon (odd, since I usually eat shrimp regularly; I guess I’ve been neglecting them lately) and liked the idea of putting them together with a nice blend of herbs for a hearty little dish. I also wanted to take advantage of my latest Foodbuzz.com Tastemaker Program care package, which included a variety of products from Emeril Lagasse, so I thought this was a good way to start making use of some of his signature Essence.
If you don’t have Emeril’s Essence at home, or if they don’t carry it at your local grocery store, do not fret. Though the ratios may be different, it’s very easy to recreate (and fun to play around with its flavoring while doing so). I used dried herbs as opposed to fresh ones for this dish, not only because of the lack of the fresh kind in my fridge, but because the way this is cooked lends itself more to the versatility of dried herbs. The last thing I have to note is that this is one of those fabulous I Can Be A Side Or An Entrée dishes, so don’t feel bound to having it all by itself for dinner! I paired mine with a nice side salad, but this would make a great side or appetizer for a larger meal. And now for the good stuff. :)
Herbed Shrimp & Red Potatoes (serves 2 as an entrée; total cost per serving: ~$1.95)
3/4 lb (about 12-15, depending on size) baby red-skinned potatoes, quartered
15-20 large cooked shrimp
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 t minced garlic
1/2 T Emeril’s Essence Seasoning
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried rosemary
1/2 t dried dill
2 T plus 1 T olive oil
Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
Rinse and scrub the potatoes well so that there any lingering dirt is removed and cut into quarters (if using larger potatoes, cut into 1” cubes). Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add the Essence and dried herbs and toss together well. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and sautee for about 1 minute, or until it just begins to brown. Add the potatoes and cook for about 3 minutes uncovered, stirring well. Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the last tablespoon of olive oil (if needed; if you like less oil, don’t add as much), the shrimp and the diced red onion, and cook until the onion barely begins to soften and until the shrimp are heated through (if using fresh shrimp, cook until pink and add the onions afterwards).
When ready to serve, garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley, serve with a nice salad, and enjoy!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
It's weird to think that it's already been a whole year since I started Poor Girl Eats Well. Truthfully, I never expected it to get this far; I was just having fun writing about food. Though it's still a relative new kid on this block, PGEW has earned some great successes here & there, even at the tender age of 1. Why am I talking about this like it's a baby? Because it is; it's my baby. I have created something that people really respond to and actually thank me for (which is so cool to me!), and it's so much a part of me that sometimes I wonder why I didn't start sooner!
For those of you who are new to Poor Girl Eats Well, here are some highlights of the site's first year:
~ 8/2008: The launch of the little blog that apparently really, really could!
~ 12/2008: PGEW becomes part of the Foodbuzz.com Featured Publisher community, a groovy little honor, a great way to connect with other amazing foodies out there, and the beginning of some cool exposure.
~ 1/2009: Yours truly writes the simple little iReport that started the CNN.com buzz for PGEW, including some CNN Radio interviews! (Though I never was able to get those sound clips to share with everyone...)
~ 2/2009: Two of PGEW's recipes featured on CNN.com's article, 10 Meals for $10 or Less, and poorgirleatswell.blogspot.com officially becomes PoorGirlEatsWell.com (aww, yeah...)
~ 3/2009: This time your favorite authoress was featured in the 15 Minutes section of the Sacramento News & Review, where I was hailed as the "Rachael Ray of Blogging". Not too shabby.
~ 5/2009: The Sacramento Bee features PGEW in a rather large, 2-page spread in their Food & Wine section. VERY awesome!
~ 6/2009: Despite making a few unofficial restaurant reviews, I was invited to do my very first official review at Hawks Restaurant! (And, might I add, if all restaurants are this good and treat me so well, I could definitely get used to the food critic thing!)
~ 8/2009: The first, officially unofficial PGEW book arrives! And it will be even more thrilling once we all get it in our hot little hands (trust me, I'm dying to see it myself!)
Not a bad ride for the first year! I hope that the next 12 months will bring even bigger and better things, and trust me, I have plans! I've already been approached for some future workshop & speech engagements, a huge honor for me, as it lets me do one of my very favorite things in this world: help others. Sounds hokey, but it's true! I will give more details as the date approaches. Of course, there's also the very biggest plan of all: The official Poor Girl Eats Well book. It's going to be a huge effort, but it will be well worth it. And this one will definitely be available in major bookstores and retail websites, so stay tuned for that.
On a more personal note, today I interviewed for a new job and I actually scored the gig! I'm still making about the same but I actually end up saving money because it's just a few blocks from home. Since I know a lot of you have been following my workplace drama these past few weeks, I thought you might enjoy celebrating this new change with me.
As always, I want to give everyone a giant THANK YOU for your support and word-of-mouth! It's so great to hear stories about people who live on opposite ends of the country tell each other to try this really cool recipe, only to find out they've both been reading PGEW! Small world indeed. Anyway, back to doing what I do best! I have some really fun recipes up my sleeve this month! :)
Saturday, August 8, 2009
It's not that I've been eating poorly lately; I try to make sure I have something good for me at least twice a day. But I could definitely use a pick-me-up, and I thought the remainder of some summer squash, zucchini, and carrots would be a good way to go. I also found a random bag of farro in my cupboard today and figured I could make a nice summer salad out of this little batch of ingredients. A salad is not complete without its proper dressing, of course, and taking some inspiration from one of my favorite food bloggers EVER, Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks.com, I played around with a my own version of a citrus parmesan vinaigrette until I was satisfied with the result.
If you're unable to find farro or spelt berries, or if you have any wheat allergies, by all means feel free to make this with brown rice instead. The cooking time for the grains is roughly the same, so there won't be too much of a difference in prep time. If you have your own garden (or generous friends & neighbors like I have), take advantage of the free and superfresh produce in order to further reduce the cost of this already affordable recipe. Other than that, there's not much to note! This is very easy to make, quite tasty, and a great way to get in some extra veggies that you may be missing.
Summer Veggie & Farro Salad with Citrus Parmesan Dressing (serves 6; total cost per serving: $1.25)
2 c cooked farro or spelt berries
1 large carrot
1 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
1 small red onion
Citrus Parmesan Dressing
2 T olive oil
Juice of 1 small orange
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 t thyme
1/4 t salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Prepare the dressing by combining all ingredients and blending together with a hand blender until smooth. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use for the salad.
Friday, August 7, 2009
All of you cheesecake lovers out there should definitely check out this site because it’s absolutely scrumptious! Lots of great cheesecake classics and alternatives on there, and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
Lastly, thanks to all of you who have already pre-ordered your copies of Poor Girl Eats Well – To Go! I truly appreciate it and hope they get printed properly sooner rather than later so I can send them to you ASAP. Stay tuned for the next recipe! It’s a-comin’, I promise! :)
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I'm very excited to announce that the first PGEW book, Poor Girl Eats Well - To Go, is officially available for pre-orders today! Though I'd hoped to have my copies ready to go today, there were some issues w/the printing & binding, so they won't be available to send out (or even show you, meh) until next Monday. However, I told you this would be ready to order today, and I did not want to leave all of you hanging!
I am rather proud of my first little self-publication. As I mentioned in the last post, it's nothing fancy at all - no glossy pages and swanky hardcovers here (I mean, let's face it: I'm poor and almost unemployed!). But it's still quality, with all the fun writing and great pictures you've come to expect from yours truly. I put a lot of work into this, and even though many of the recipes have already been featured on the site, working on the layout, the cover design, etc., were definite challenges, especially considering I have never done this before. I've learned a lot, though, and now know what to expect when I start work on the "real" Poor Girl Eats Well book, which I hope to have out sometime next year.
All that aside, let me give you some of the details of the book. It features 13 recipes, ten of which you fine folks helped me choose, three of which are brand spankin' new and not on this site at all (though if you like 'em enough, I may just have to post them), as well as three tips - some old, some new - to bring both you, my loyal readers, and some new folks the full PGEW experience. I realized that there are a lot of folks who may not live online like I do, but who could still benefit from some of these affordable meals and little pearls of wisdom that I like to post on my little blog, and even if I have great plans for the big book, I thought this would be a good time to spread the PGEW word to the masses. I've made it on the small side so it's easy to access in the kitchen (laptops and cutting boards just don't mix) and handy enough to take to work, in case you're ever faced with a what-do-I-have-for-lunch-today dilemma, hence the title, PGEW To Go.
Favorites like the Shrimp with Warm Pepper-Pineapple Relish and My Favorite Grilled Steak Sandwiches are included in the recipe section, as well as some other tried & true desserts, salads, sandwiches, and breakfast items. The tips section features the very popular Buy What You Need, But Need What You Buy and Find Your Bare Bones Staples (and of course, the new one that you'll just have to read about in the book!). I tried to find the best of my old & new tips so that everyone can be reminded of some of the philosophies behind eating as well as possible even if one is as broke as can be. New readers of PGEW probably don't delve too deeply into the older postings, so this is my way of bringing those old tips to a fresh audience.
To pre-order, simply click on the Buy Now button at the top left of the page, and you will be taken to a secure Google Checkout page to complete your order. Nervous about doing the online ordering thing? No worries! Send me an email with your shipping information and how many books you would like, I will then send you an email invoice, and you can pay by money order or check. Sacramento locals, you can skip the shipping fees (and meet your favorite local food blogger, lol) and pick up your books if you like.
And remember, at just $10 each (that's less than $1/recipe!), you're not just getting some great ideas and advice, you're also getting the perfect stocking stuffer or white elephant gift for those holiday parties that will creep up on us any second now!
Thanks again for ALL of your positive comments and awesome support. You are the greatest fans out there and though I doubt I would stop this anytime soon, you give me the motivation to keep bringing you delicious, most-of-the-time healthy, and all-of-the-time affordable meal ideas. This is just the beginning for me and my little endeavor as an author, and I couldn't have done it without you! *end sappy moment* ;)