Posted on Monday, May 31st, 2010 at 6:45 pm
A few nights ago, I dreamed about my grandmother—the one who used to make me vegetarian dishes at family dinners and send me recipes for egg- and dairy-free desserts before I ever started experimenting with vegan baking. Then while I was looking for a dish to make this week, I found this old bookmark for War Cake. My grandmother clipped this article for me ten years ago, and it was one of the first desserts I ever made by myself.
I still don’t understand how this cake is so successful with only two teaspoons of shortening, but (even though I undercooked it a bit this time) it sure is delicious. Thanks again, Grammy!
It’s cheap, too—less than $4 for 16 squares or 24 little slices. If each slice costs $1 at a store or bake sale, I’ve made a profit of over $20, which means the final total for May is $68.
I’ve already decided to give the money to Vegfam—an organization that helps fund sustainable food projects and provide drinking water as well as emergency relief without harming animals or the environment—mostly because I realized I never sent in my check from my very first blog entry back in October, but also because it’s a worthy organization that depends 100% on donations. Next stop, June!
Posted on Friday, May 28th, 2010 at 3:50 pm
I wanted to make something easy this week, so I remembered this recipe for Pasta with Edamame Pesto. Well, it was not easy, nor was it fast or delicious, but I’m not convinced the recipe was entirely at fault.
As delicious as it looks.
I’m told that mistakes are how you learn—so what did I learn this week? First of all, a blender is not a food processor. That is to say, everything gummed up the blender, and even with my handheld model, the edamame did not blend. Which brings me to the second thing I learned: frozen edamame are not necessarily cooked. Or if they are…they’re still frozen. So the sauce was not saucelike in the least. And I learned one more thing this week: there’s something wrong with my garlic powder. It’s got to be super-concentrated or something, because the pasta left my refrigerator smelling like garlic, and you can imagine how the it tasted.
In conclusion, after the first serving I added a little Classico to the mix, which improved things greatly.
On the bright side (?), this recipe made a giant bowl of food, at least five days worth, and it only cost a little over $5. Following the New York deli pasta convention of about $6 per serving, I saved at least $25 this week. That brings May’s total to $48. So the good news is that I just doubled my money in a week!
Posted on Monday, May 17th, 2010 at 6:44 pm
I found myself with a lot of potatoes this week, so for some reason I thought to make potato salad. This recipe was the first one I found, so I ran with it, despite the fact that I had not quite enough mayonnaise left. So it turned out kind of yellow…maybe I should have used less mustard.
It probably could be less colorful.
Anyway, I’ve been enjoying it, though a better mayonnaise-mustard ratio would improve matters. Then there’s the old “salt and pepper to taste” business again, but it seems like that doesn’t make much of a difference for a salad. The important thing with this recipe is that it makes a whole ton of food, like maybe six good-sized servings.
My best guess is that this amount of potato salad would cost, like, $12 at Whole Foods (I figure this is a fair comparison, since I used organic potatoes), and I spent less than $3 on ingredients, so I’ve saved more than $9 on this side dish. The total for May is now $23! Kind of low, if you ask me.
Posted on Monday, May 10th, 2010 at 11:21 am
I wanted to try something a little different this time, so I found this recipe for Fettuccine with Eggplant and Peppers alla Norma. Some of the ingredients amounts seemed off (for example, I used less pasta than recommended and it still seemed like a lot), and I was perplexed by the instruction to “simmer, partially covered, until the liquid has almost evaporated” because there was no liquid to speak of. But even though something obviously went wrong, it was still a decent meal.
Fancy name, simple meal.
The combination of tomatoes and eggplant and basil, though classic, is not one I’d ever used before, and I’m glad I finally did, because it tastes really good.
There’s a deli near my old office that sells pasta kind of like this, and the price per serving is about $6. This recipe made three servings, and it cost around $4 total. Guess I just saved $14 by making this pasta myself instead of buying it at a deli.
And now it’s time to start wondering where May’s donation will go.