12 ways to save money on groceries

12 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Regular visitors to Patty Cake’s Pantry will know that I recently completed my $25 per week grocery budget experiment.   I was inspired to try this by a blog post written by Amanda from The Fundamental Home.  Since I live in Southern California, I wondered if it would be possible to replicate her success.  As usual, I convinced my friend, Angie, from Kitchen Southern Hospitality to join me on this challenge.   We both struggled, at times, with adhering to our strict budget, and we both had to think about what we really needed to purchase in order to be able to […]

Can I feed my family of 5 for $25 a week?

$25 Menu Plan–Week 4 in review–The cost of not having a plan…

This week’s review is about the cost of not having a good plan. You will recall that during my third week of this challenge, I went to the store without a plan.  I purchased what was on sale, and what seemed like a good idea, but I didn’t have a plan for how I would be using those items.  Because I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t know how much I would need for the week.  Because I hadn’t planned my menu for the week, I didn’t complete any weekend prep work.    Added to this, my work schedule has been […]

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches can be made on the heels of bread. No one will notice.

A Well Heeled Grilled Cheese

I don’t know what you do with the heels of your loaves of bread, but I’m hoping that your response is not that you throw them out.  Little kids, and adults, often turn up their noses when offered a sandwich made on the heels from the loaf of bread, but I have a solution.    Everyone loves grilled cheese sandwiches, and it’s possible to use the heels from a loaf of bread to make a grilled cheese sandwich , or a tuna or patty melt, on the heels of a loaf of bread and serve it to a family member without […]

Which is the better value--canned or frozen?

Canned or Frozen, Which is the Best Value?

It’s a conversation that I have often with my friends and co-workers.  Everyone has very strong opinions about whether or not one should eat canned foods.  I have friends who only eat fresh foods.  I have friends who eat mostly canned food.  I know people who are somewhere in the middle. 

Rice O'Brien ready to serve

Rice O’ Brien

This is a recipe that I got from the most wonderful neighbor.  It’s something she serves regularly for her Sunday Dinners after church.  Friends and family request it, but I had never heard of Rice O’Brien  Apparently, I don’t travel in the same circles that she does.  When I asked about the recipe,  she explained how it was made, and that it can be made from freshly cooked or leftover white rice.  I often have leftover white rice, so I made a note of the recipe.  This recipe can also be made with cooked brown rice. I previously posted a […]

beans on toast

Beans and Toast

When I was a child, my parents didn’t have a lot of money.  In spite of that, I rarely felt that we had to do without.  There was always food on the table, and my mom was a very good cook. This recipe had originally been planned as part of my 30 days of beans series, but I discovered that pies could be made from beans, so I abandoned beans on toast in favor of another pie recipe.  Still, as I was making myself a breakfast of beans on toast, I thought that I should share this simple recipe with […]

egg salad finger sandwiches

Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches

I previously posted about my father’s egg salad sandwich, and egg salad is an excellent filling for finger sandwiches.  Finger sandwiches are a great thing to serve at a Mother’s Day tea.  I really think that a tea party is the perfect Mother’s Day lunch.  You don’t even need to serve tea.  You can have juice, cocoa, or lemonade.  Finger sandwiches and sweets are more than adequate.  This egg salad is one of my favorite versions.  It came about one day when I was making lunch and was decided to make things a little fancier by adding chopped celery leaves, […]

Trying a sample of Navy Bean Soup

Navy Bean Soup

In a previous post, I discussed the benefits of eating nutrient rich beans.   Continuing with that theme, I am adding a recipe here for navy bean soup.  This recipe is actually a variation of a vegan navy bean recipe that I made often while in college.  The ingredients are simple and easy to find.  The soup is very healthy, and everything included is very inexpensive, too.  One of the best things about this soup is that it freezes well, so it’s easy to make a large batch and freeze it in meal size portions. Begin with about 2 cups of […]

ice tray to make cubes

How to Make Ice

I fully expect to receive some negative comments after posting this, but let me explain myself. I was visiting and elderly lady recently, and she wasn’t feeling well. Wanting to make her feel better, I asked if there was anything I could get for her. She said that she would love to have some ice, but they didn’t have any. I was certain that her illness had caused some confusion, so I walked into the other room and asked her adult grand daughter who shared the apartment if they had any ice. Her negative response was so definitive that I […]

My Father’s Egg Salad Sandwich

My father didn’t cook very often.  The kitchen was my mother’s domain.   There were a few things that I remember him making.  He often baked bread and made cinnamon rolls in his retirement.   He made large batches of some really good hot dog chili that he would freeze in recycled margarine containers.  He made something that he called Garbage Soup which never turned out the same way twice.   Of course, he could make breakfast which would include bacon or sausage with eggs, or gravy on toast.  I just didn’t really see him in the kitchen very often. […]