Friday, 28 February 2014

Cooking From Scratch!

Hey Frugal Followers,

I was very inspired a while ago after watching a video about how you can eat anything you want if you just make it yourself. If you have to cook it from scratch, you'll be less likely to eat as much of it and ergo you'll be healthier for it. I unfortunately know very well the sad fact of baking or cooking all day. When I'm done I just want to get rid of the thing and barely touch it cause I feel so overwhelmed by the effort that went into it.

I've always been in the camp for trying to make things myself from using a bread maker to sewing small gifts for kids. I take a lot of joy making something special for someone but never really thought about seeing my meals that way. Don't get me wrong, I do love to cook when I'm not exhausted from working so much and have a youtube video to follow. But, I'm talking about everyday eating and that includes weekdays! I've been taking smaller steps to cook some of my foods completely from scratch and making them healthier and knowing what exactly is going in them. On the plus side, I get to use better quality ingredients and my taste buds thank me for it.

 My attempt at making a small one person portion of mash potatoes. Holy! One sized potato that is the size of two of my fists can make mash potatoes for 2-3 people! Lesson learned: get smaller potatoes!

We bought some extra lean ground beef and Winton makes the best burgers! He experiments with different recipes and ingredients and got a really good idea to put cinnamon in the burger patty. It is totally delish! This fresh beef burger beats any store bought fresh or frozen burger! The best part is you can make as big a patty or small as you like!

I have tried to make french fries on my own before, but forgot to take a picture. It didn't end up being as crispy as store bought fries nor as tasty. Apparently, it's not as simple as chopping up a potato and throwing it in some grease. I think my problem is that we only cook with EVOO and that probably contributed to the sogginess of my fries. I think next time I'm going to try to bake them instead and maybe using sweet potatoes instead of my favourite russet potato. 

Give cooking from scratch a try! Yes, it'll take more time but think of all the online shopping you won't be able to do and your wallet will thank you. Think of it as a way to spend time with your family that isn't in front of a screen. Have some fun, experiment with ingredients, all the while picking up some new skills in the kitchen!  

Eros and Pookie

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Nutri-Bullet And Shopping Trip Feb 24, 2014!

Hi Again!

So, the Nutri-Bullet diet is going pretty well! Winton's been able to have one or two smoothies a day and I have been having one almost everyday. They are so filling that I can't really have another meal! I would love to take these to work and make a quick snack or have it for breakfast but don't want the risk of waking up Winton. The only time for me to have this is right when I get home from work, so I'll end up have dinner a bit later or right at the end of the day before bed or as midnight snack. The only thing is you gotta have a lot of stuff on hand since you use quite a bit to blend up into a drink!

 One of my smoothies! They aren't as healthy as Winton's but I'm getting there! My smoothies are usually filled with more fruits than veggies and with a touch more juice for flavour and sweetness. I add a finger size celery, a crap load of spinach, small bits of parsley and two fingers worth of carrots. That seems to be what I can tolerate before tasting too much greens. 

No Frills
- 2 X Kraft Dinner $.97 each
- Bananas $.57/lb
- Ritz Crackers pm'd from Food Basics for $1.44
- 2 X Campbell's Broccoli soups for $.98 each
- Tex Mex Shredded Cheese $5.98
- Miracle Whip $2.97
- Halah Chicken Legs $1.67/lb
- Broccoli pm'd from Freshco $.99/lb
- Spinach pm'd from Freshco $.99
- Cucumber $.97
- Asparagus $1.77
- Russet Potatoes $.97/lb
- Coconut Oil $2.49
(I'm on this mission make my own soap, laundry detergent and a bunch of other stuff) 

Eros and Pookie

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Fondue?! Yes, Please!

Hi Gang!

We were first introduced to true Quebec fondue last year on our trip to Mont Tremblant with some good friends. It wasn't your typical fondue set that comes to mind, it consisted of a grill on top and eight individual trays under. The grill was to cook up our meats and the bottom was to melt cheese on top of our meat or veggie of choice. Our same friends decided to get us a little fondue set for Christmas! Man, it was a blessing and a curse all at once! We have been obessessed with having fondue dinners for the last couple of months and chocolate fondue for dessert. It's terribly tasty and amazing and all so fattening at once! I recommend you give it a try and see how good it and easy it is!

They sell this President's Choice fondue kit for about $6 at No Frills. Trust me, it's much cheaper and easier to grab this than going to a cheese store and picking up raclette cheese or something and white wine. The raclette cheese we bought at St. Lawrence Market cost us about $13 for a big block enough for two people and the wine cost us about $8-9 a bottle. If you get more serious with your fondue you can experiment with other cheeses and such, but to start off just grab this PC kit. With the kit, all you do is toss it into a pot and melt it on the stove and transfer to your fondue set... 

Voila! Cheesy goodness! You can basically add anything you want for your fondue dinner. Our staples are whole wheat bread, apples, pears, meatballs, bacon strips, and a variety of veggies. 

They sell Hershey's chocolate fondue kits which we've had before at Loblaws. However, I had so much left over Hershey kisses from Valentine's day that I decided to heat them all up at once for a fondue. I just played by ear and added what I had laying around, which was some milk but it's suggested to use whipping cream. 

I kept adding enough kisses to get the thickness I wanted 

And BAM! Chocolate fondue! Great for kids and the whole family and super easy! Just grab a bunch of fruits, marshmallows, and even some bacon and have at it. 


Eros and Pookie

Friday, 21 February 2014

Eating Healthier, Shopping Trips and More Tax Prep!

Hey Guys,

Most of you who know me in person know I can have pretty bad eating habits. With a hectic work schedule and just pure laziness it can be so hard to cook dinner and not order some take out or grab a slice of pizza for dinner. So, with this year's goal of getting healthier I've been putting in a little effort into my diet and exercise. It's been a bit of a slow start but I think I'm getting there.

First off, I'm starting to walk to work again with the better weather we're having and I signed up for yoga classes in the condo! Which, by the way I absolutely love! It's fun, challenging and it's a small class and since it's in the condo I don't waste time walking through the snow hauling all my stuff to get there. I also try to do yoga at home when I can to build up my stamina for some of the harder poses.

Second, Winton's also got us a Nutri-bullet thing, so we've been making some crazy healthy smoothies with carrots, strawberries, spinach and whatever else we can think of. The best part is most of them taste amazing! He specifically makes Julie approved smoothies with more strawberries so I can't taste too much veggies. I can't bear to do the protein powder. I have to draw the line there as it just makes me want to gag! Bleh!

Here are some of my attempts of having a better breakfast on the weekends. Omelettes! I love them! Drinking juice is just too sweet for me so I usually dilute it like crazy. I use a 20% juice to 80% water ratio. I just need the flavour.

I discovered spinach and I love it! I just love leafy greens! 

Voila! Tasty spinach, cheese and bacon bits omelette! 

Salads! Learning to love them! :( They are pretty good but I gotta be in the mood for them. Which is almost never but Winton seems to eat them more now so I just force myself to eat them with him. This rare time I felt guilty and made a huge one myself and chopping up the leaves instead of getting it out of the pre-made box. I missed judge how much salad you can get from a few leaves of romaine! Besides, if I'm eating that much I can afford to treat myself to a Barq's. 

Here is stuff from my last couple shopping trips!

Shopping Trip 1! 
- Crap forgot how much the cocktail sauce was but it was 20 cents cheaper than normal
- 5 X 2pk of Lysol for $2 each
- Pears at 97 cents/lb
- English muffins at $1
- 2 X Stagg Chili at $2 each (emergency work lunches)

Shopping Trip 2!
- Old El Paso $3 - $2 coupon from
- Egg whites $2.27 - $1 coupon from and $1 rebate from Snapsaves
- Plantain 67 cents/lb
- Hellman's $3
- 2 X Low Sodium Ketchup $3 each
- 6 X Broccoli Soups at 98 cents each
- Strawberry Cream Cheese $3
 - Halal Hot Dogs $1
- Sweet Potato 77 cents/lb
- Chinese Pears 79 cents/lb
- 2 X Blackberries at $1 each

Good news!
I'm over the moon that the condo I live in downtown finally gets the Redplum coupons! Now, if I can get mailed the SmartSource too life would be grand! 

My Tax Prep Progress!

So, I finally sat my butt down and started to crunch the numbers for all my expenses! Reading receipt after receipt is so painfully slow. Thank goodness for my iPad and the Numbers program. I love just typing it in and hitting "sum"! It took me a good part of my day to separate the HST out of my expenses and what I paid over the year. It's definitely a good reflection on the amounts I spend over the year on all that stuff. I'll go over in detail what I do in another blog poset. I'm just glad the tedious part is over with. Now, it's just the waiting game to get all my statements mailed to me and start up a new file in my tax program! Hopefully, I'll have an easy weekend to plug in a few numbers and get started. Being self employed can be hard since they don't teach us any of this in school. Let alone the HST form I'll have to prepare. *Sigh* First world problems!

Eros and Pookie