Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday Megalinks

Being Frugal: Edible Landscaping for Beginners
Imagine being able to eat the plants surrounding your home without being rushed to the hospital with some horrible, mistletoe-induced malaise. Here, Lynnae shows you how.

Casual Kitchen: How to Make the Best Cornbread, Ever
Cheap? Hell yes. Healthy? Um … kind of? But to quote Chris Rock, “ain’t nothing wrong with cornbread.”

Casual Kitchen: Why Spices Are a Complete Rip-Off and What You Can Do About It: The Spice Series Part 1
Dan raises the red flag on McCormick’s & Co.: “High spice prices have almost nothing to do with supply and demand. Instead, high spice prices come from an almost total lack of competition in your grocery store.” Sing it, man.

Chow: Unforbidden Fruit
Writer Helena Echlin devised a brilliant fruit bartering plan: she made her neighbor a tray of lemon squares (hopefully Barefoot Contessa’s) in exchange for a bushel of his lemons. Note to my fellow Brooklynites: this could also well with the drug dealers next door.

Consumerist/New York Times: Supermarkets Begin to Shrink
Well, this is interesting. The U.K.’s Tesco has been so successful, quite a few American grocery chains are thinking of adopting their marketing model: “smaller store sizes that emphasize things like cafes, prepared meals, and produce.” But … but … what will I do without 48 brands of beans?

Culinate: The Organic Top 20
Wonderful list with beautiful accompanying pictures and great blurbs on the 20 foods it pays to buy organic. Also included: the ten you shouldn’t bother with. (“Bugs don’t like asparagus, so farmers hardly ever use pesticides on the crop.”)

Epi-Log: Eating Your Veggies
It’s become standard practice to hide vegetables in kids’ food, but what about their giant, older counterparts (a.k.a. “adults”)? Only 12% of Britons get their allotted dose of produce per day. So, how do you trick yourself into eating more veggies?

Festival of Frugality #143: Living Almost Large
It’s a celebrity theme this week, with nice entries from My Daily Dollars (To Buy in Bulk: Long Term Meal Planning) and Frugal Fu (Stop Food Waste to Save Money). I especially liked Frugal Fu’s idea to let your child help pack his lunch.

Get Rich Slowly: Frugality in Practice – Home Canning
Holy moly, that’s a lot of jars. JD’s wife Kris has been working overtime to preserve their summer harvest, and it’s paid off in spades. I can never, ever let The Boyfriend see this post, because he will die of envy.

Get Rich Slowly: Fighting Food Budget Killers
Cheese: it’s the downfall of many a dieter and saver, both. But you know what? If you’re going to splurge on a food, let it be one you love. It beats the crap out of depravation.

The Kitchn: When Do You Use Low Fat Substitutes?
Since the Kitchn tends to attract folks who’re hardcore about their cooking, the comment thread makes for a super-interesting read. Lots of folks don’t use substitutions, period, and someone named ilovebutter throws out a lot of good arguments as to why.

Lifehacker: Make Sure the CSA Doesn’t Confiscate Your Snacks
Lifehacker’s actually writing about an older Kitchn post here (featured on CHG a few months ago), but their additional 138 comments are more than enough to suggest a second look.

Mom Advice: 35 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Budget
Most people just make lists. Amy makes lists with links! Excellent.

Money Saving Mom: Quick and Easy “Survival Menu” #1
Currently in her first trimester with baby #3, Crystal’s been riding the rollercoaster to Nauseatown. Here, she details her plan to sustain herself and her family without losing her lunch.

My Open Wallet: Taking a Deep Breath
Though it’s not about food per se, this is a phenomenal series of posts, and shouldn’t be missed by anyone with aging parents. Essentially, Madame X’s dad has fallen ill, and it’s fallen to her and her sister to get his affairs in order. An absolute must-read.

New York Times: For Better, for Worse, for Richer, for Pasta
Sweet piece on Italian cooking maven Marcella Hazan (she of the Roast Lemon Chicken), describing her upcoming bio as well as her 53-year marriage to husband/translator Victor.

New York Times: The Key to Wedded Bliss? Money Matters
Get Rich Slowly had a great analysis of this piece yesterday, which lists seven rules every married couple should follow to maintain a financially solvent home. Rule #2, “Run a Home Like a Business,” can’t be overstated.

Serious Eats: Who Should Pay at a Birthday Dinner
Tonya was invited to a birthday party for a friend at a restaurant. Tonya ordered soup and tea. Tonya was forced to chip in $500 for the bill anyway. Tonya almost cried. (I would, too). Tonya now wonders … should she have done something different?

Slashfood: The Strange Rise of Tofu Noodles
The recent rise of Hungry Girl recipes have caused a run on Shiratiki, vacu-packed tofu noodles that clock in at 40 calories a bag. I’ve never tried ‘em, but hear varying reports. Readers, what say you?

Slashfood: Thinking Can Make You Hungrier
Woo hoo! Now I know why I put on 10 pounds just looking at a cheeseburger! I THINK too much. It’s hard being intellectually, uh … y’know … good.

Smart Money: 6 Ways to Save on Beer, Wine and Liquor
Market-based alcohol-buying tips not seen elsewhere. (Thanks to Consumerist for the link.)

Time Magazine: Meat – Making Global Warming Worse
This breakdown of cattle’s effects on the environment goes so much further than their farts. Read and learn.

Wise Bread: 8 Meatless Dishes for Meat-n-Taters Lovers
If you’re in the market for something hearty, but can’t quite splurge on a thick hunk of beef, Lindsey Knerl’s octet of rich dishes should please your palate. And seriously, who can argue with grilled cheese and tomato soup? Not I, said the rabbit.

Wise Bread: Frugalize Any Recipe
Writer Philip Brewer breaks it down into three easy steps: take the recipe apart, use what’s on sale, and use less of an expensive main dish. Easy peasy.

(Photos courtesy of Snewpy.com, Flickr member Mestes76, and House Foods.)

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Jaime said...

I've cooked with shirataki noodles, but stopped because I was basically paying $2 for a bag of air.

They taste fine. I like their texture better in Asian inspired dishes, like teriyaki stir-fry. They add volume, but I don't know if they made me any fuller. I'd rather add extra veggies than these, and I can't imagine their texture working well for Italian pasta.

Daniel Koontz said...

I thank you for the link Kris! Really looking forward to hearing your readers' thoughts on the spice industry.

Casual Kitchen

Grey said...

Thank you for the mention!

Heather said...

Solution to spice problem: I buy all my spices at asian/halal stores. They come in larger quantities for cheaper prices. Awesome!

Lisa said...

I love the picture of spices on the refrigerator! Any idea about where I can get those containers, now that you provided information on how to fill them without breaking the bank? :)

Lake said...

Whoa, my same question was asked back in September by Lisa, with no answer... maybe my seconding of the issue will result in some response?

I too think the picture of the spices on the fridge is awesome! More info on that is warranted, I think. :)

Kris said...

Hey Lisa and Lake - I'm so sorry for not answering this sooner. Kamenstein looks like the brand name. They go for about $1.99 each on Pfaltzgraff's website, but you might be able to pick them up on Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist for less.