Trying to find the time and resources to get back to the basics is never easy in any of our worlds. The average American is busier today than in any other decade. With the challenges the economy has given us in the last six years, many chefs and home cooks alike are going back to hand-made versus prepackaged to save their budgets.
I am no different. I have tried to curb my spending in every way. I have found over time that while convenient, prepackaged goods have more salt, sugar, and preservatives than I’d like to serve unless there is no alternative. While we’re on that subject, I’ll also point out that you’ll generally fork out less cash out of pocket if you’re careful.
Nobody wants to hear that you can save money with coupons. Nobody wants to sit over the Sunday paper and clip coupons versus read the funnies. Okay, I don’t want to. Maybe you do, and I’m happy for you if you have the patience. My biggest savings is from watching the weekly sale papers. Seriously, if there are four grocery stores in town, you’ll get four sale papers every week in the mail. Compare prices.
For example, you have eight guests coming over for a Saturday night. You plan on making Chicken Cordon Bleu( breaded, baked chicken breasts, stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese). Now we all know you’re not going to invite folks over if you can’t afford to, but let’s have a good example of how much money you can save if you watch the sale papers.
Kroger has boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $2.49/lb. Ingles has them for $2.99/lb. Food Depot has them on sale for $1.99/lb. On average, a family pack of these chicken breasts have approximately eight breasts and weigh around four pounds. If you look at the numbers, you’ll save $4.00 right off the ripper, and that’s just the meat. If you watch closely and pay attention, the savings will add up faster than you think.
Enough with the lessons though. Let’s get on to some of the recipes I’ve meant to put on the website but haven’t. So much for good intentions, right?
I’ve realized that many of you aren’t subscribed to The Grip, my local independent paper in my hometown of Griffin, Georgia. The paper has taken up a lot of my free time that I was previously using for writing this blog. So I thought it might be fun to feature some of the recipes I’ve included in The Grip, that you, my loyal readers can apply your savings lessons to. Remember, try to stick to seasonal fruits and vegetables. You’ll not only enjoy better tasting products, but will also save money.
Yield: Approximately 6-8 pints
yield 1 loaf
With my schedule on the road, I’ve had terrible luck trying to order cakes ahead of time. I never know exactly when I’m going to show up. The variable difference can lead to the bakery being closed and showing up empty handed.
So back to the blackboard I went in search of a simple solution to a vexing issue in my world.
My thought was this, create a recipe that was easy to follow, didn’t take a pastry chef to decorate, and didn’t look like the artwork of a small child. I was also making this for someone very special who wanted a traditional Southern favorite; red velvet cake.
The end result moist and tender, was easily frosted, and decorated. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, this cake was as delicious as it was easy.
I hope y’all have enjoyed my recipe re-cap! There will be plenty more recipes to come and lots of new adventures to share in the coming months. I have juggled a few schedules, made a bit of time, and have my inspiration back. Never say die, say damn, as my Grandpa would say. Until next time folks, eat well, laugh often, be free, and be you! ♠
Gypsy Gourmet ♠