Easy Italian Relish

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3988085396_dfe7b18279_zsource: Jessica and Lon Binder

This easy-to-make topping is great on cheese sandwiches, salami sandwiches and hoagies.

Ingredients

1/4 cup red onions, diced

1/4 cup tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup olives, pitted and diced

1/4 cup pickle, diced

1-2 tbsp of mashed capers, optional

Italian Dressing, to taste

Directions

Combine all ingredients and serve as a relish. Does not need to be chilled. Can be refrigerated for several days.

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Cheap, Easy, And Healthy Roasted Carrots

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Roasted Carrotssource: htomren

I’ve started making this recipe for my son when he was told by the nutritionist to eat more vegetables. It’s fast, nutritious, and cheap.

Ingredients

4 carrots

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel carrots and cut into 1/4 inch diagonal slices or cut into matchsticks.

Place carrots into bag along with salt and seasonings. Shake well.

Place on ungreased aluminum foil sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Check to make sure carrots are completely soft.  Bake longer if needed.

Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Note: Pepper helps to make the carrots tasty, so add extra if needed.

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Old-Fashioned Bread Omelet

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Old-Fashioned Bread Omeletsource: beautifulcataya

As part of my ongoing commitment to cook at least three recipes from each of my cookbooks, I just tried out my first recipe from the More With Less Cookbook, by Doris Janzen Longacre.

I first read about this cookbook in The Complete Tightwad Gazette, my bible for frugal living. Amy Dacyczyn touted the More  With  Less Cookbook as a guilt-free splurge. And, oh boy, is she right!

Doris Janzen Longacre is a Mennonite, and the More With Less Cookbook, was commissioned by the Central Committee to help “Christians respond in a caring-sharing way in a world with limited food resources”.  As a result, every recipe in the book is either meat-free or utilizes only small amounts of animal protein.

The first recipe I tried is called Old-Fashioned Bread Omelet. I stayed close to the original ingredients for this dish, only exchanging the tablespoon of margarine for a 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and adding a little pepper. However, I did change the cooking instructions, since they call for a oven-safe pan, which I don’t own.

Ingredients

1 cup bread cubes

1/2 cup milk

4 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup grated cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch of pepper

1/2 teaspoon oil

Directions

Combine the bread cubes with the milk, and allow to soak for five minutes. Add the eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper to the bread/milk mixture. Stir well. Spread the 1/2 teaspoon oil onto a high quality non-stick pan (if your pan isn’t non-stick you will need more oil) and turn flame to medium. Pour 1/6 of the mixture onto the hot oil, and cook till the underside is medium brown. Flip, using a spatula, and allow the omelet to continue cooking for another minute. Remove from pan immediately.

The result?

Both my son and I believe this recipe can use a little “something” to give it more flavor. My son suggested cinnamon, but I think I will go in the direction of salsa. Since the flavor is so low key,  and these omelets are rather sturdy (like pancakes),  they would probably work well as small wraps if they aren’t overstuffed. I will definitely make the Old-Fashioned Bread Omelets again, but probably as a side dish or in place of a tortilla, instead of  the main dish.

Get your own copy of  More-With-Less Cookbook (World Community Cookbook) at Amazon.

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Short-Cut Potato Soup

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Short-Cut Potato Soup

source: smiteme

Make this soup to your own taste…. a little extra cheese, a little less milk, however you like it!

Ingredients

10 cups of water

vegetarian chicken bouillon, enough for 10 cups of liquid

2-3 large potatoes, diced into small pieces

2/3 cup frozen baby carrots

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1 cup milk

1 cup shredded cheese

salt, to taste

sour cream, optional

Directions

Combine water, chicken bouillon, potatoes, carrots,  and onions in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer till all vegetables are very tender. Do not cover.

Add milk and cheese and stir well. Add salt if needed.

Serve in large bowls with an optional dollop of sour cream in each.

Makes 8-10 servings.

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Crustless Broccoli & Cauliflower Quiche

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Crustless Broccoli & Cauliflower Quiche

I needed to make an easy, dinner pie last week, so I decidedly to make a crustless quiche. This quiche took about five minutes to throw together and turned out really good.

Ingredients

1 cup frozen broccoli

1 cup frozen cauliflower

1 cup cottage cheese

3 eggs

1 cup shredded cheese

1 tsp. salt

2 small pinches pepper

1 tsp. oil

Directions

Microwave the frozen broccoli and cauliflower in a large bowl, on high, for three minutes. Add all ingredients but oil and stir to combine. Oil a baking pan and pour in the contents of the bowl.

Bake uncovered in a 375 oven till lightly browned on top.  Because of the cottage cheese, the pie will still be slightly watery when it’s ready.

Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 2 dinner size portions.

source: I Believe I Can Fry

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Vegan Mashed Potatoes

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Vegan Mashed Potatoessource: ImipolexG

I tried this recipe out last week, when I needed a dairy-free recipe for mashed potatoes. Vegan Mashed Potatoes, from the How To Cook Everything Cookbook, were surprisingly good when first prepared, and not bad when heated up the next day. Best of all, this is a potato dish that is super healthy!

Mark Bittman suggests cooking the potatoes in water and adding cooking water, broth, dairy-free milk, wine or beer to give the dish some moisture.  He also advises replacing the 4 tablespoons of butter with extra virgin olive oil.

I made my recipe a little different. First, I cooked the potatoes in chicken broth instead of water, poured some off, and added enough back in to make the potatoes creamy. Second, while I did use some olive oil, I added very little; just about a tablespoon for six servings. Finally, I mashed my potatoes with a fork instead of searching for a ricer.

Here is my take on Mark Bittman’s Vegan Mashed Potatoes.

Ingredients

2 pounds thin skinned potatoes

chicken bouillon powder

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt, to taste

Directions

Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add enough chicken bouillon powder to make a medium strength broth.

Wash the potatoes well but do not peel. Cut the potatoes into equal size pieces and add to the chicken broth. Check the potatoes every 5 minutes to insure they do not overcook. Overcooked potatoes sometimes become gluey. As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain the chicken broth off into a medium size pan.

Mash the drained potatoes and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Since we are on diets, I used the smaller amount.

Gradually add back enough of the broth to make the mashed potatoes creamy.

Add salt to taste.

Variation: Slowly fry a small, sliced onion till light brown. Add to the mashed potatoes.

Get your own copy of  How To Cook Everything Vegetarian at Amazon.

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20 Ways To Make Crafts Pay

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20 Ways To Make Crafts Pay

source: epSos. de

With today’s problematic economy, folks everywhere are searching for alternative ways to bring in extra income.  For crafters, our hobby provides an obvious source of extra cash. Four popular income producers are teaching, selling our products, writing and providing services.

Teaching

1. Local community centers and youth groups frequently have teaching jobs available. My aunt taught sewing at our local JCC for many years. The pay wasn’t great, but she was able to do a job she loved.

2. Give weekly craft classes for adults out of your home. I sometimes go to a Tuesday morning craft class in my neighborhood. We each bring our own project and the teacher walks around giving advice and ideas as we need them.

3.  Several times a year, a neighbor of mine gives jewelry classes out of her home.  The classes are aimed at pre-teens and usually last for six weekly sessions.

4. When I first got my new sewing machine, I decided to take a series of sewing classes, given by another neighbor of mine. We each worked on our own pattern and the teacher helped us through each step of the process.

Selling Our Products

5. Try selling your product on Etsy. Thousands of people have had great success using Etsy as their primary sales venue.

6. Ebay also offers sales opportunities. However, because of the cut-throat competition, look carefully before investing too much time and money.

7. About 10 years ago, I sold handmade hats out of my basement. I advertised to a very specific group of individuals and I usually made about $400 – $600.00 a month profit, working part-time. I did this for four years.

8. Three or four times a year, I sold my hats at local fairs…Hanukkah fairs, local chamber of commerce fairs, etc. These were a great success.

9. Craft fairs are an obvious outlet for craft products. However, as these can be very expensive to enter, do some research before jumping in.

10. I once sold some handmade greeting cards, on consignment,  in a museum gift shop. For me, the sales were extremely slow. But who knows? You might have better success.

11. My handmade greeting cards also made the rounds of stores in the hands of a sales rep.  Again, the cards didn’t sell, but another product might have.

Writing

12. Consider starting your own craft blog.  I’ll never get rich from Craft Stew, but it does bring in a nice, consistent, monthly income from advertising.

13. Not computer savvy enough to start your own blog? Suite 101 and About.com always need writers.  Problogger also advertises blogging jobs.

14. If you think you can come up with enough material, writing a book may be another way to go. Sterling and Krause are two of the major craft book publishers.

15. I always see tutorials for sale on Etsy. They cover subjects like jewelry making, knitting, crocheting, sewing tote bags and lots more. As a matter of fact, I’m planning on purchasing a tutorial on macrame jewelry making.

16. Magazines frequently pay quite well for craft articles. Many of the larger publications have staff members write the articles, but small specialty publications, use primarily freelancers. Check out Writer’s Digest for appropriate magazine markets.

Providing Services

17. I have a friend who made  a decent income crocheting replacement hair into high quality wigs that were starting to bald.  She went on to travel all over the world giving classes on the process.

18.  My old next door neighbors used to make baked goods for special occasions and events. They rented commercial equipment and worked out of the house.

19. My great aunt did mending from her home. Some of my earliest and most comforting childhood memories are coming into the house each day after school and seeing ladies being pinned in the living room.

20. A friend of my husband used to do bookbinding during college to earn extra money. His work was not the fine sort, that museums and collectors require. Instead, it was the strong and efficient kind of binding that students need for their books.

These 20 craft business ideas are just a sample of the hundreds of categories of businesses that crafters participate in.  I picked these 20, not because they are the easiest to duplicate, but because they are the ones I have personal experience with.  I hope, after reading this list, that you’re inspired to at least consider, starting a craft business of your own.

Note : This article was originally posted in four parts, but for the convenience of our readers, we are reposting it as one longer article.

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