Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Frugal Monday Menu on a Wednesday | Lentil Salad

Sorry, I didn't get to post this on Monday, but I do want to share my lentil salad. It's cheap to make and yummy to eat.

I read recently where more people are turning to bean recipes for their low cost, but high protein value. It makes sense. Meat costs are skyrocketing and will probably keep going up, up, up. And then, of course, there the issue of too many hormones and if that's actually "beef" in the package.

Lentils are one of my favorite go-to beans. Unlike most legumes, it's cooks up fast, usually in about 20 to 25-minutes with a pre-soak. They also have a great meaty flavor (love that lentil soup). One of my favorite ways to use them is in a salad, either as a side dish or with the addition of a little cheese to create a main dish.

To start, measure out about a cup to a cup and a half a beans.

I spread them out on a baking pan first and then sort them them, picking out anything that looks bad. I then rinse them and add them to a pot with enough water to cover them by an inch or so.

Boil the lentils for about 20 to 25-minutes or until soft (but no mushy soft, you want a little bite). Also, don't add salt to the water. That toughens the beans. When they're done, rinse in cold water.

Add the lentils to a bowl and then add a variety of diced vegetable you like, such as cucumbers, onion, peppers, tomatoes, parsley or cilantro, olives (black or green).

Make a vinaigrette-style of dressing. I like to use a bit of Penseys' Greek Dressing mix to olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice (we like ours zingy so it's heavy on the vinegar and lemon).

Mix it up well and add a little cheese if you like. I like a salty, dry cheese like French Feta or Mexican Cotija. Serve it on a bed of lettuce and enjoy.

As for cost, I figure I spent about $5 to $6 on this. The lentils and veggies are pretty cheap, but the cheese -- what you buy and how much you use -- will be the difference in price. I usually use about 1/4 lb to 1/3 pound of cheese. Oh, and this actually makes a lot, so Hubby and I ate this for dinner and still had leftovers for a lunches for a couple of days. 

Do you have some favorite lentil recipes to share? I'd love to hear about them.

Till next time!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Where Have All the Spoons Gone?

You know that black hole where socks disappear? I think there's a black hole for spoons, too!

I started with 48 teaspoons 10 years ago (two 60-piece sets). This is what I have left! I still have plenty of knives, forks and tablespoons!

Where did they go? Well, no one is talking.

The cost of replacing them with the same pattern (now discontinued by Oneida) is over $2.50 each. Ouch and ain't gonna happen!

Fortunately I have a set of my MIL's silver for the holidays, so it's everyday flatware that's the problem.

I have a solution, however!

Vintage spoons!

I picked up 12 from a antique mall I like. I love the old mixed matched look and the fact that they were only 50 cents to a dollar each.

No two are the same, but they have a similar feel. I think they're from the 40s and 50s. I like them so much, I think I'm going back for more. And maybe forks... knives and tablespoons.

Uh oh, I fee a new collection coming on.

I hope there are no black holes in your spoon drawers.

Till later,


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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Morning Pictures | Coming to Life

It feels like Spring is here and things are beginning to come back to life.

Poppies are... well, popping up.

The roses are starting to show their leaves again.

Peach trees are blooming.

Even one of apple trees is showing blossoms.

It's feeling so Spring-like that Hubby is working on the drip systems.

Life is good. Even Maggie Mae says so.

Hope life is blooming in your neck of the woods.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hopping Into Spring

I haven't done much holiday decorating lately (not even this past Christmas), but I thought I change my ways... at least a little.

Of course, it probably has more to do with finding this cute little pate at the thrift store yesterday. Isn't he he cute. I just loved him the moment I saw him. And he was less than a buck (which I say that about the waaaay too expensive Jelly Bellies).

I found just the place for him, too, on a side table in the living room with a few fresh picked flowers.

What's everyone else doing for their Easter decorations? Stop in and share.

Till later,


Linking to these parties today:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Snow Day - Take 3

Wow! It snowed again last night. That's the third time this winter, which is unusual for us.

I know a lot of folks around these blogs are "pining" for Spring (sorry!). But not me... yet!

Maybe it's a residual of those 150 mile round-trip days going to my last gig. I'm probably more tired than I realized. 

No, for now, I'm happy to be hunkered down in the kitchen, next to the wood stove, writing on my laptop. 

Spring will be here, soon enough. Even this snow is staying. 

Hope everyone is have a good day... and staying warm if you need to.

Till later...


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

3 Strategies for Staying On Track

Now that I'm working from home again, I have to admit... I don't always feel like working. It's too easy to get caught up on a 101 things or spend all afternoon on Pinterest. But between my previous life as a freelance writer and a whole lot of things I took part in during my corporate days (project management, six sigma and such), I've come away with a few strategies to keep me usually... mostly on track.

1.  Write it Down -- But not all if it mind you. If I added everything I should do, my list would be overwelming, so I make a list with the BIG points. And I make it a viewable list. This small whiteboard does the trick.

I also break my day's schedule down my WORK (things that make me money) and NON-WORK (still work, but of the housework variety).

2.  Stay Focused -- That's hard to do sometimes, but I've found using a timer is a big help and breaking my time down into manageable chucks even better.  Some days that might only be for 20 minutes at a time. But those 20 minutes while my timer is ticking away, I'm focused.

The timer also works when I get too focused (or should I say fixated). For me, that's research. I can spend way too much time. Or it works when I want to limit my playing time (like Pinterest).

What works best for me, it's about an 80/20 split. That's is 80% of my time doing what needs to be done and 20% and no work with a little fun stuff thrown in.

3.  Understand a Crash Can Happen -- I just don't beat myself up. Instead, I get to my feet, dust myself off and go at it again. 

After all Coco Channel once said: "Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable."

 Hmm, I wonder if she ever fell on her head!? 

Have a good evening, everyone!

Till later...



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tray Day

I love trays! They're great for corralling stuff. Any kind of stuff.

Like the small ceramic tray that holds the salt, pepper and spice shakers on my kitchen counter.

Or the apple tray on my microwave that holds this and that (and usually doesn't look this neat).

Then's theres the fancy silver tray that holds candles (and badly needs polishing, BTW). 

My favorite tray, however, is the one my friend made for me. Yup, she designed and made this for me because she know how much I love trays. But it's in need of a refresh today. After all, Valentine's day is way passed.

And the other reason I love this tray so much... because I can change the look to match the holiday, season or just my mood. The bottom flips open to change out the background. Today, I feel like an orange background, but I'm deciding between an orange and white polka dot foreground or maybe a retro style green leaf pattern. 


Retro leaves it is! And back to work for this little tray that corrals a few things on the coffee station.

 Linking today to...

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday afternoon. 

Till later...