Bink & Bottle

Hi fellow foodies!! I know it’s been quite some time since I have dropped a line here on Sweet Potatoes & Oreos. Life has been changing rather fast for me and I was having a hard time keeping up with everything.

I plan on posting here whenever I can in conjunction with  my new blog site Bink & Bottle.

I am now a new mommy and would love to share my journey as a new mother with all of you!

And of course as a foodie that means getting creative with new budget meals!

So don’t forget to check my new blog as well as stay tuned for more foodie posts!!

 

Thanks all!

Have a Happy Thursday ūüôā

 

SNAP Black Bean Taquitos

Its Tuesday.

Day 2, just after lunch.

Haven’t had a chance to calculate the cost of my lunch, however it is the same lunch I had yesterday and will be the same lunch tomorrow.

PB & J, multi-grain tortilla chips, and a chocolate chip chewy bar.

Yum!

Today is long day for me (8am-8:30pm).

So dinner will be the same as lunch…

Dinner last night was quite the adventure.

I am going to be honest. Yesterday was nuts.

I had to wake up early for an appointment and missed my workout. In between classes I was stuck sitting while working on a lab.

We have to do a video analysis of cartwheel performances done by ourselves and our classmates. Normally I am able to navigate through the video program, but yesterday it was trial and error.

I blinked twice and it was 5pm. My to-do list had gotten back logged and dinner wasn’t anywhere near ready.

My anxiety was fizzing to the surface and I was ready to scream.

The problem was that we had put a restriction of kitchen appliance use to make meals.

Last night I was making beans. Dried beans take forever.

I soaked them overnight, but did not have the luxury to use my crock pot the next day to cook them.

I also did not have use of my rice cooker or blender/food processor.

And it was already 5pm…I still had a lot of work to catch up on for school plus try to workout.

Needless to say my patience was running thin and my stomach was growling.

I cut corners with the beans. I boiled them to until felt they were “soft” enough to eat.

My husband jumped into help before I lost it. Thank goodness he did.

Although I was a bit snappy with him, we got it done and finally ate dinner at 7:30.

I was able to sneak in a quick workout before dinner :D.

Black Bean Taquitos

Yields 7-8 taquitos*

Black Beans

  • 1 cup of dried black beans (roughly 2 cups cooked)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp¬† butter/margarine

Rice

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice (about 1 cup cooked)
  • 1 tbsp butter/margarine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 egg

Taquitos 

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp butter/margarine

1. Prior to cooking, pre-soak your beans. You can do that using the quick method or overnight method.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain the beans and placed them back into a pot with enough water to cover the beans. Bring them to a boil and continue to boil them for about 15-20 minutes. Be sure to check on them for tenderness.

3. While the beans are cooking, place your rice, butter, salt and water into a pot and bring it to a boil over med-high heat. Once it begins to boil, turn the heat down to low and cover. Allow it to cook for 12 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Then turn the heat off and let it sit.

4. After you have your rice and beans started, you can make your taquito tortillas. Mix together the flour and salt. Slowly add just enough water for a ball of dough to form. Next divide the ball into 7-8 smaller balls. Roll out each ball until flat adding flour to keep from sticking. Grease/spray a cookie sheet and place the finished tortillas there. Melt the butter and spread it across each tortilla.

5. Once the beans are cooked, drain them and let them cool. Then add salt & pepper to taste as well as butter. Stir it all together. With a spoon, place a line of beans in the middle of the tortillas. Then fold the dough over the beans and roll it tight pinching the sides. Spread some butter over top.

6. Bake for 30 minutes. While the taquitos are cooling throw the rice into a pan. Crack an egg over the rice and mix it through over med heat. Once the egg is mixed in well, put a lid over the rice for 2-3 minutes or until the egg is cooked.

4. Serve the taquitos on top of rice.

This came out very tasty!

If you have any meat, cheese, tomatoes or any other Mexican flare feel free to add it onto this delicious dish!

Total cost of dish: $0.69

Cost per person: $0.34

-Enjoy!

SNAP Challenge Shopping Trip…and fall on face…

Grocery shopping.

It’s been one of my favorite past times since I was¬†a child.

At some point I believe my mom actually let me bring my own shopping cart and make own “list”.

It was quite the adventure.

Reaching the top of the bottom shelf, my eyes would glue themselves to anything chocolate, fruity and/or  colorful.

Mainly I spent most of my “shopping” in the cereal and breakfast aisle.

As my shopping senses developed, I now find myself scrounging for deals.

Still attracted to colorful chocolate products, my taste has expanded however to the delicacies of tea.

Any who, as a couple, my husband and I normally enjoy the quest of pinching pennies and getting the most out our dollar during the weekly shopping trip.

This experience was a little different. There was a bit more tension.

*Sigh*

We had about $6 less then normal and had to basically start from scratch because one of the rules is that we are not allowed to use anything besides what we purchased this week.

Let me just say this, it wasn’t my first argument over whether or not we could purchase yogurt, but because of the added stress of ¬†the”how are going to do this” we had a bit of qualm outside the frozen food section.

After that, we pressed onward.  We hashed it out and were able to start fresh with new perspective.

With $19.60 we purchased:

  • Snyder’s Tortilla chips 0.99
  • Chewy Granola Bars (10 in a box) ¬†0.99
  • Salt & Pepper 0.89
  • Cherrios (2 boxes) 2.00
  • A dozen eggs ¬†1.39
  • 4lbs of flour ¬† ¬† ¬†0.50
  • Hamburger Helper ¬†0.99
  • Quaker Rice Crisps 0.50
  • Popcorn (4 bags) 0.99
  • 2lb rice ¬† ¬† ¬†1.58
  • Yeast ¬†0.50
  • Jelly ¬† 1.68
  • Peanut Butter ¬† 1.98
  • Canned tomatoes 0.72
  • Dried black beans (1lb) 1.72
  • Butter ¬† 0.98
  • Mixed vegetables ¬† ¬† 0.94

Snap challenge

With the week looking like a a lot of PB&Js and dry cereal, this weekend will be our last indulgence until Monday morning.

Look for my first SNAP week challenge post update sometime on Monday (16th) or Tuesday (17th)

Drop a line if you plan on participating in the challenge with me!

Thanks for reading!

-The Foodie

Oh SNAP!

Good afternoon foodies,

Its been too long since I have blown the dust off my page.

Here is a quick update!!

April

I was nominated for the cold water challenge. I decided to pledge to raise $1000 for my local charity. If I did I would take the plunge. And I did (Labor day weekend)!

August

My hubby and I have been very blessed financially. This semester (my 3rd in grad school) I again have received a graduate assistant making it possible for us to pay for this fall semester out of pocket!!

Now back to today’s news. The SNAP Challenge!

Quick background. SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

This program provides funding for low-income families food shopping at about $4.50 per person/day.

The SNAP Challenge is hosted by Feeding America.

The purpose of this challenge is to bring awareness to those in our local community who live in hunger everyday!

This affects both young and old.

According to Feeding America statistics:

-Twelve million children are estimated to be served by Feeding America, over 3.5 million of which are ages 5 and under.

-Nearly 3 million elderly persons are served by Feeding America each year.  18.6 percent of client households have at least one member who is age 65 or over, and 52 percent of these households are food insecure Рan estimated 1.2 million households.

Since November 2013, budget cuts reduced the allotted amount of $4.50/day to $1.40/day.

Therefore, my husband and I will be living off of $1.40 per person per day for 1 week.

(Sept. 16th-22nd)

That means $19.60/wk.

This challenge requires that we do not eat/drink any food/beverages we did not purchase that week. We are also to refrain from receiving free food from others or at work/school.

¬†This means no more using the Keurig at work ūüė¶ .

My husband and I are not strangers to tight budgets.

I will be honest, we already live off of $25/wk including taxable items like sandwich bags, cleaning products, paper products, hygiene products etc.

As mentioned before, we are not allowed to use what we already have. This will be one our biggest challenges because it took us forever to build up the essentials.

I checked to make sure that our local¬†stores accepted SNAP. I felt it wouldn’t be fair to shop where those using SNAP would not be able to shop for their families.

My husband suggested only using essential cooking tools. Like pots and pans.

That means no food processor, blender, crock, pasta maker etc.

This is because not everyone can afford these luxuries and must make do with what they have the old fashion way.

Interestingly enough, my niece and nephew will be joining us for 2 days during our SNAP challenge week. Therefore, for those 2 days we will add  $2.40 X 2 onto our total food budget ($25.60)

Might I mention that these munchkins are picky eaters..

All in all, I will do my best to blog throughout the week of challenge (Sept. 16th-22nd) as well share receipts and recipes along the way!

Please join me in this challenge, and donate that extra money you save during this challenge to  Feeding America!

-Good Luck!

Just a few thoughts…

Alot of thoughts travel in and out of my mind.

Many of them reach a point of no return, either I completely let it  go or allow it to take root.

Some still float….

Until someone is willing to hear them.

Sometimes I get so excited with passion that they abruptly burst from my tongue without any hesitation. 

I do my best to allow word’s inspired by the Lord to pass my lips…at times they come off so crude and ungodly…

I just want to do the right things for God…to help people…

I want people to see His love…no excuses, yet I am already coming up with some…

My husband and I have undertaken this Financial Peace University journey so that we do money and stewardship His way.

Struggles to keep up with the “American Dream” or what I imagined my life would look like externally sometimes creep up inside of me and its hard to trust His plan.¬†

Sometimes I wish we could be like everyone else…or at least a lot of people..living life in the moment at any expense…worrying about it later..

I shrug off the self pity and move on.

God has been so true to His word.

I had worked so hard this past summer to shrink down some of my undergraduate loans only to see it all get setback by my new grad school loan. 

About 3 months ago, I prayed about these loans coming out for graduate school. My husband and I were already on a tight budget to tackle our previous debt, but we weren’t as serious with the new debt lingering at my doorstep with a big suitcase and a few of its friends. Debt was planning on staying for awhile in our lives…

God answered me through prayer that we would not have to take out a loan for this upcoming semester. 

Now of course saving enough funds in 3-4months on an already tight budget seemed impossible…

Just earlier this week, we thought we’d have to take out a small loan, and we were at peace with this.

The other day I received a graduate assistantship that would cover some of the costs, leaving the bill for us much easier to pay…

Therefore we will not be needing a loan!

Thank You Lord. Your word is true and Your love is strong…

 

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight

 

My thoughts?

At this moment, Psalm 47

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

1 Clap your hands, all you nations;
    shout to God with cries of joy.

2 For the Lord Most High is awesome,
    the great King over all the earth.
3 He subdued nations under us,
    peoples under our feet.
4 He chose our inheritance for us,
    the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.[b]

5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
    the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
    sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing to him a psalm of praise.

8 God reigns over the nations;
    God is seated on his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the nations assemble
    as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings[c] of the earth belong to God;
    he is greatly exalted.

Thus far we have been so blessed by both our families and a multitude of friends who have given us so much in ways of love and encouragement . Thank you. Thank You Lord for placing such amazing people in our lives!

God bless,

-The Foodie ‚̧

Christmas Cupboard Brownies

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Happy new year!!

A brand new fresh start…

A whole year of new adventures just aching at our fingertips to pounce!

It also means a ton of leftover Christmas decadence.

Just when you thought you guzzled down the last cookie, you open your fridge only to find 3 more containers of Kris Kringle’s cheer.

I keep promising myself just one more cookie, one more piece of chocolate  and then I will get back to my healthy habits, but the goodies just seem to be never-ending.

How do you end the Christmas indulgence season without spending an afternoon shoveling handfuls of treats into your mouth?

Well I decided to take some of my leftovers and throw them into one delicious hunk of brownies for my brother in law’s sibling game night.

 

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I also didn’t want to use up all of my flour..

So I found Martha Stewart’s Triple-Chocolate Flourless Brownies

I modified this recipe to fit my needs, but feel free to check out the original!

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Christmas Cupboard Brownies

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ¬†salt
  • 1/2 cup ¬†butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups leftover Christmas chocolate candy
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of crushed Christmas cookies (any kind you want!)
  • 1 1/2 cups of pretzel m&ms

*Yields about 16 brownies

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Take the crushed Christmas cookies and place them into a greased/sprayed 8×8 baking dish. ¬†Set aside.

3. Combine cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

4.  Cut up butter into small pieces. Place into a glass or other heat proof bowl. Add sugar and Christmas chocolate candy. I used a big bar of milk chocolate

5. Place glass bowl with ingredients over a pot of simmering water on a stove set on Low-Medium heat. Stir continuously until melted and smooth.

6. Once melted remove glass bowl from heat. Stir in the eggs, egg white, water, and vanilla.

7. After it is well combined add the cocoa powder mixture. Stir until smooth. Then add in the pretzel m&ms.

8. Pour the batter into the 8×8 baking dish. Bake for 40-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 

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These will help clean out your Christmas goodies quickly.

 

1 Peter 4:10

New International Version (NIV)

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

 

 

Enjoy!

-The Foodie

Shopping Success!

$30 in hand……

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3 stores….

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1 week of groceries….

This week $30 bought us

1 pumpkin

1 3lb bag of apples

1 half gallon of Almond Breeze almond milk

1 container of spinach

1 bag of shredded cheese

1 packet of gum

1 box of pumpkin spice of tea

1 avocado

1 paper towel roll

1 2lb bag of black beans

1 2lb bag of garbanzo beans

2 boxes of cereal

1 box of biscotti

1 box of FiberOne bars

1 jar of grape jelly

8 containers of 4oz yogurt

1 dozen eggs

1 bag of baby carrots

1 value size bag of ChexMIx

How is this possible?!?

God is good!

Search for those discount grocery stores and stick to the sales at the farmer’s markets.

Each item that we purchased was either on sale or discounted due to expired sale by dates.

Let me be clear…we are not buying spoiled foods…

The perishables we purchase  vary in expiration, but we bought only those that expire within the week that we know will get eaten by that time period.

Packaged snacks and cereals still taste good even if they’re are posted as expired and okay to eat, but make sure to read your local discount grocery’s policies on expiration dates before making any purchases.

Believe me we still run into a few things that do not hold up past their due date..

Like…peanut butter…

Be dedicated to a set amount at each store.

Be dedicated to what you need, look at what you want after you get the necessities.

Luke 14:28-30

New International Version (NIV)

28¬†‚ÄúSuppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won‚Äôt you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?¬†29¬†For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you,30¬†saying, ‚ÄėThis person began to build and wasn‚Äôt able to finish.‚Äô

Thank you for your time!

God Bless!

Keep an eye out for my crock pot bread recipe and pumpkin goodies!!

-The Foodie

Banana Pancakes…Almost Gluten Free (15 cents a serving)

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Mmmmm nothing like cooking a warm breakfast on a beautiful Sunday morning…

These pancakes are not only cheap, but delicious and healthy!!

Now the reason I say that these pancakes are almost gluten free is because I use non gluten free oats, but you could easily swap them out for gf oats.

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I decided to calculate a rough estimate on about how much each of these pancakes would cost.

Some things I did not include in the final price were spices and sugar just due to the sheer volume and calculation I would have to do.

For 8-11 pancakes it cost me $1.75

That’s right just $0.15 a pancake!!!

Just ask my hubby, he will tell you just how good they are too ūüėČ

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Banana Pancakes

11/4 cup oats

1/2 cup chickpeas (soaked and ground)

1 egg

2 bananas

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp ginger

2 tsp vanilla

*Yields 8-11 pancakes

1. Put oats and ground chickpeas into food processor. Bled until well combined.

(Just buy dried chickpeas, soak 1 cup of beans in water overnight or 6-8hrs, allow to dry and put into food processor–good in fridge for a week)

2. Take all dry ingredients and combine into a large bowl.

3. Blend all the wet ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.

4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.

5. Scoop desired amount of pancake batter into a sprayed pan over low to medium heat.

6. When you see those bubbles popping, flip those puppies over!!

7. Let cool, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy!!

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Psalm 23:1

“The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need” –NLT

-The Foodie

$30 A Week

Hello fellow foodies!!

Its been a bit since I have been able to blog and I feel like a bad friend who forgets to hold the door open for you after I have already walked in. I enjoy it, its not terribly out of my way to do it, but sometimes I just forget about it.

Newly wedded and jumping into grad school has consumed all of my time..I was wondering when I would have the time to blog. Alas my wonderful hubby suggested blogging a bit more practically. 

Before I was waiting for something to come up for me to make a delicious treat.  As much as I love doing that,its been too hectic to just whip up elaborately thought out desserts.

Therefore I decided to tweak this blog a bit. 

My hubby and have gone through  Financial Peace University. (We recommend it to everyone) We decided to make drastic life changes to get out of debt and into a future of financial peace.

One of the drastic budgets cuts we made we food. (My favorite part of the budget)

We are commited to living on $30 a week and that includes groceries and taxables like toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Each week I plan on posting our success and my recipes that I have created within this margin of money.

God is good and has blessed us so much and we want to share with the world just how much he has in our lives already.

Join me in this journey!

Thanks!

-The Foodie

Double Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

         

I have a confession to make…

As much as I love making uber healthy treats…this is not one of them…

Brace yourself for epicness….

I honestly am having a hard time focusing on keeping to the task at hand…

I mean the word snickerdoodle…

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…just makes me giggle inside…

I had random leftover ingredients and needed to bake up something scrumptious for Bible study tonight.

So I figured why not?

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Double Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup crushed vanilla sandwich cookies (10-12 cookies)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 ground up oats
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4- 1 cup of ice cream ( I used leftover pb & cc ice cream)

**Yields 30 bars

1. Preheat oven at 350.

2. Blend all ingredients into a food processor or blender, but preferably a food processor.

3. Spread the mix onto a greased cookie sheet. Be prepared for it to expand.

4. Bake for 25-28 minutes. Bars harden when they cool.

Mmmm my kitchen is just filled with the sugary sweet snickerdoodle aroma…

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Yummmm!!

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Enjoy!

-The Foodie