Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright February 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Issue #20: Spring has Sprung!

I love spring! Even though it does not look like spring right now, we’ve actually had days this past winter where it was just like spring, with hardly any snow. We also had a blizzard a while back, and more recently another storm that left us with the snow we have now rather than the grass and flowers we’re all waiting to see.

I think it was back in February that they were tapping the Maple trees here in Maine, and I’ve heard rumors that we’ve had nice enough days that the fruit trees already tried to do their thing, only to then have to deal with freezing cold temperatures again. Some people have mentioned they’re worried about the apple trees not doing so well this year, among other crops. That will mean less availability and, likely, higher costs for those foods. 😦

I’ve been ready for spring for some time. Because we’re having so many days in the 30’s and 40’s this winter and, yes, even a couple in the 50’s, when it does freeze my body isn’t able to get used to it. I want to hibernate until spring is here for good! Usually, I don;t mind the cold temperatures.

There have been a number of days when I’ve sat over at Aroma Joe’s all afternoon writing a story, sipping mint tea and having a treat. I also love their Chai tea. It is so good!

In keeping with my desire for warmer weather, and my goals to get back to eating healthy this year, I’ve been eating lighter foods. Smoothie bowls and ‘cereals’ are my main breakfast fair, with a couple egg and vegetable meals a week, and I’ve been adding greens to my smoothies when I have one in the morning. I drink so much tea and water, I should be floating away.

I’d like to share some new recipes with you. They’ll help me to be a healthier version of myself. (and you!)

Smoothie bowls are a wonderful way to add a plethora of vitamins to the start of your day. I love this Smoothie Bowl with Strawberries and Almonds, and the Chocolatey Good Smoothie Bowl, but you can make any combination you like.

I started the ‘cereal’ collection by introducing everyone to my most basic ‘cereal’, and moved on from there. My Fruit and Almond ‘Cereal’ is already posted to the site, and I’ve scheduled a couple of others to post to the blog soon.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckThe smoothies wont be posted to the blog until the weather warms, but I’d like to share some tea information with you:

Hot teas are still good for cool spring evenings, and the sun teas will be delicious during the warmness of a late spring day.

I don’t have much for plans this spring that involve food, other than trying some recipes from a cookbook I’m reading. The review will be up on the Frugal Recipes: Spending Less to Eat Healthy blog as soon as I’m done with it.

And the bestest and I are going away for a couple of days the beginning of June. I’m sure we’ll be trying a new restaurant or two, or revisiting an old favorite we haven’t been to in a number of years.

Warmest Wishes!

Shannon

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Issue #19: Winter Happenings

Winter Blues. I’ve been feeling them a lot, as I know many others have. It happens.

So much happens during the winter months, from holidays to winter activities, and even relaxing at home during the coldest of evenings, with a hot cocoa and a book or a good movie.

This winter I’m working on updating the Frugal Recipes: Spending Less to Eat Healthy blog. It’s taking up much of my time right now, but will be worth it in the end. Check it out to see what I have done so far.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckThe holidays were a mix of good and bad for me. Skye and Dominick were here for a visit, as were Zowie, Devan, and Little Man. I had missed them all so much, and they all came for a visit so we could have a celebration at Mom’s. Zowie’s family was not here in time for Yule, but Skye, Dominick, and I went to Katie’s for the feast! So much delicious food, and good company. Skye made fast friends with my great nephew <3, and the girls made us all bracelets.

I had Skye, Dominick, and Zowie’s family over to open gifts, and it was so much fun watching Little Man open his. And later that night, Little Man spent the night with me. Skye came over that evening and he had a grand time coloring and playing with her.

The Christmas party at Mom’s was great as well. I made two cheesecakes.(Yes, I’m aware these are not healthy, but so many people love them!) I invited the bestest, and got to spend time with people I love. Who could ask for anything more?

I cherish these family moments, as they don’t happen often enough with the girls living away.

I worked on Christmas, which I was happy to do since I had Yule off and was able to spend time with family at three events. This does not happen for me every year.

On the flip side, besides all the normal stress, depression, and anxiety I have at the holidays, some mean person decided to compromise my card! Luckily, I had done my gift shopping the day before it happened, but then I was stuck with just the money in my purse and what I got for Christmas money for a one-week period until my new card came in. And then had to wait until the claim went through and my money was put back on my card. It was really great that the mean person paid for three people to have cell phone service over the holidays, because I didn’t have it. (This is sarcasm :-/ )

And I have party neighbors who are loud most of the time, and was not sleeping around that time at all. And I got sick four times. All this from November until mid January, when things finally got back to normal for a bit. It was rough times, for sure.

Now I’m settled in. Working on editing a few manuscripts, trying new recipes, and enjoying old ones I’d like to share with you.

I’ve made both beef stock and vegetable stock, and frozen them to have throughout the remainder of the winter. The vegetable stock is delicious in my homemade chicken soup. This will hopefully help to stop further bouts of illness, or at least lessen them. I also made some honey butter to have on cornbread. I came up with the recipe because the girls and I loved the honey butter at The Chocolate Grille when they were young. And I’ve added some Mix-Ups to the freezer for easy smoothie making when I’m in a hurry.

The blog is sporting some new articles this winter as well, including:

I also tell you on the blog what I do when I’m Too Lazy to Cook My Work Meals. It happens sometimes. (Come on, now. I can’t be the only one!)

My winter is also going to be used to create some new recipes, and to find more affordable ways to buy the food I need. I want to try some new foods. And I need to plan how and when I’ll acquire stockups in case I’m not working as much next winter.

Another good thing that happened this winter was that I got to keep my 40 hours! This has only happened twice since I started working at the front desk of our Inn. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have that eight hours throughout the winter. I think I’ve only come in below 40 hours twice.

Brightest Blessings!

Shannon

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015 http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Issue #18: Autumn Harvest

Happy autumn everyone! This is truly my favorite time of year. The air is crisp, the rain sounds different, and the leaves are vibrant. What is not to love?

Now is the time we start cooking more. I made apple butter the other day, and am planning to make pumpkin butter and pumpkin-apple butter. These will all be delicious warmed and poured over Paleo ice cream, and spread on Paleo biscuits or breads this winter. I can’t wait! I’m freezing a couple of each, and using the rest right off.

I’ll also be making chunky applesauce, apple-pear sauce, and apple-peach sauce. All three are absolutely delicious, and you can use any variety of each fruit desired. My cousin even leaves the peel on the apple when she makes her version. Mix things up a bit and try other types of fruit. Let me know about your experiments.

The feature image for this newsletter shows some of the ingredients for my version of a Harvest Salad, made mostly with fresh produce from my parents garden. It was a tasty salad, and I used some to top nachos for a meal variation.

I’m always thankful for anything my parents give me. Unfortunately, their garden didn’t do as well this year. They were still able to give me a few summer squashes, and a winter one.

I love making stuffed squash, which I learned how to do last winter. While my daughter and grandson were visiting last winter, I made a sausage stuffed squash that was to die for. And then I made chili stuffed squash for my friend Jose, who came over to hang shelves for me. Both were meals were a success, and I intend to experiment more with different fillings this fall and winter. These will be posted on the blog.

Speaking of chili, I use some to top cheese fries, and nachos. Yum!

I’d like to leave you with some recipes to try this fall:

4 Meat Chili with Butternut Squash

Autumn Sausage Slow Cooker Meal

Butternut Squash and Carrot Mash

Lettuce-Wrapped Turkey and Sweet Potato

Easy Autumn Soup

Venison Helper

Venison and Vegetable Soup

I’m hoping my stepfather gets a deer this year, so I can make a couple of these recipes again. Wouldn’t that be a treat! Maybe he’d even give me enough to try a couple new recipes.

Happy Autumn Blessings!

Shannon

P.S. Get my eCookBook Main Meal Magic, on sale right now for $1.99.

 
product_thumbnail-php
Main Meal Magic is one of a series of books featured on the Frugal Recipes blog. It takes recipes from 2007 to 2009 and compiles them into one location for my readers, making it easier for them to find the recipes they are looking for.

 

 

Lemon-Mint Sun Tea Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright June 20, 2016. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Issue #17: Summer Beverages

Little Man had a wonderful first birthday, with lots of good food, swimming, friends, and family. I went for a visit, staying for a few days so I could help out with things. I took him for his first trip to the playground, and we played a lot at their place. It was wonderful getting to spend time with him and his parents. His other grandmother made a shark from watermelon, and his momma made him his own cake from scratch. There was a barbecue, and more treats.

For lunch one day Zowie made shrimp scampi and linguine, and we had leftover salad from the barbecue. It was delicious.

I actually made my first shrimp scampi before visiting, using some shrimp for tacos and the rest as a salad topping. Both dishes were great!

Summer is a lovely time of year. We’re drinking cooler beverages, eating outside more, and enjoying the fine weather.

I make my sun teas, fruit waters, and lemon-limeades this time of year, and would like to share my favorites with you. For teas, I enjoy Lemon Sun Tea, Peppermint Sun Tea, Berry-Orange Iced Tea, and my new favorite: Mint-Lemon Sun Tea. Tea is my favorite fair-weather beverage.

Aroma Joe’s, right up the road from me, has a mint tea that I just love. I’ve had it iced this summer, and it is so refreshing. The second cup is free. I’m a regular there, so all but the new girls know my beverage of choice when I go in. I only switch it up every so often. I do some writing and other related tasks while there, socialize a bit, then head home. It is a nice place to hang out.

Flavored waters are also a favorite of mine. There are so many combinations that will add an extra nutritional kick to your day, including Strawberry-Watermelon Water garnished with a sprig or two of mint, Citrus Water, Orange Water, and Lemon Water. I always take a bottle of one of these waters with me on hikes. They taste far better than the store-bought versions, and can be made in many different flavor combinations.

Lemonades sweetened with honey are another delicious option for a hot summer day. Try these and tell me what you think: Minty Strawberry-Orange Lemonade and a simple Lemonade.

These beverages are good for lazy evenings on the front porch, hikes in the woods, or as offerings to guests at get-togethers, and are so refreshing poured over a glass full of ice. Enjoy them any time, with any meal.

If you want to add another kick to these already wonderful beverages, add one or more types of these ice cubes: Herbed Ice Cubes, Fruity Ice Cubes, and/or Flower Petal Ice Cubes.

Happy Summer Blessings!

Shannon

P.S. Get my eCookBook Fabulously Frugal Fruits: Recipes and And Uses on sale for only $1.99.
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This eCookBook features the fruit recipes and uses that were featured on the Frugal Recipes blog from 2007 to 2009. There are great ideas for using up excess fruit as well.

Photograph taken by Devan Arnold copyright June 2016. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Issue #16: Spring has Sprung

The above photograph is of my grandson. Little Man is almost one! And, as you can see in the photo, he loves blueberries and chocolate. Mind you, this was his first experience with chocolate. I think they are having him try it before he gets his birthday cake. He loves fruits and vegetables, my Little Man, and eats so many healthy foods.

I’ll be visiting them next month to celebrate his birthday. We’ll be having a pool party, complete with barbecue. Can’t wait to see him, his momma and daddy, and his auntie. It’s been a few months since I’ve seen any of them.

Now that spring is here, I’ve not been wanting the heavier foods of winter. Actually, I’ve been quite bored with food as of late, so I’m looking at coming up with some new recipes. Do you ever get bored with making the same set of meals over and over?

Photograph taken by Devan Arnold copyright June 2016. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckSpring
Spring is weird this year. Even when the sun is shining bright, which hasn’t been all that often lately, the wind seems to blow. Usually hard enough to make writing outside on anything other than the laptop near about impossible. I’m loving the walks, the flowers, and the animals and birds, but all winter I wait just to be able to take paper and pen outside to work. I’ve only managed to do this a couple of times so far. Hopefully that breeze lessens soon.

I love that Aroma Joe’s, up the street from me, has amazing tea! And that I can sit outside on days when there is sun and little wind. I’m really hoping for a day this week when I can enjoy being there while getting some work done outside, Mother Nature willing. They also have delicious oatmeal. Though I’m aware that it is not truly healthy. It makes for a nice treat once in a while.

I’ve been walking when the weather is nice, and have managed a couple of picnics in The Gardens, a beautiful area on the UMaine campus near where I live.

Photograph copyright Shannon L. Buck, May 18, 2016. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckThe Gardens have so many wonderful trees and flowers, and even a pond near where I like to sit and work. Nothing beats being able to take your shoes and socks off, enjoy a delicious homemade lunch, and drinking a refreshing water, all while working on a writing project.

If only the weather would cooperate with me enough to allow me to do this type of thing on each of my days off. Sigh.

So, I have some news. I’m working on getting these archived articles moved to another platform, and then might change this newsletter to one that goes out by email. I’ll be sure to let you all know when this happens, so you don’t miss an issue. The blog platform I chose will work better for this type of newsletter, being more visually appealing, and the email platform I’ll use for new issues allows me more freedom creatively. I hope you’ll like them.

I had wondered if I should just delete all the old newsletters, but couldn’t bear to when it came down to it. So many memories shared with you all. I’ll be checking for broken links and whatnot when I move them, but will keep the information intact.

P.S. Get my eCookBook Very Frugal Vegetables: Recipes and Uses on sale for only $1.99.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/shannon-l-buck/very-frugal-vegetables-recipes-and-uses/ebook/product-20749324.html

This eCookBook features the numerous vegetable recipes and uses that were featured on the Frugal Recipes blog from 2007 to 2009. There are great ideas for using up excess vegetables, and for creating your own recipes as well.

Photograph by Zowie Arnold copyright 2015. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Issue #15: Yule & Christmas

We had our Yule/Christmas celebration last weekend. My daughter Skye and her boyfriend Dominick were here for the weekend, as were my daughter Zowie, son-in-law Devan, and grandson Dax. (See adorable picture above!) Dax is getting so big, and is almost 6 months old. After the party Saturday, he spent the night with me. Our first sleepover. It was so much fun! I can’t wait until he is old enough for holiday baking and cookie decorating.

Everyone arrived on Friday, staying at the inn where I work as a front desk agent. Saturday morning the five came to my place and we opened gifts together. Zowie made me needhams, my favorite of all candies. It was a surprise, and she did a wonderful job making them – her first attempt. Skye gave me chocolate. You can’t go wrong with chocolate.

We headed to moms to hang with family, and open a few more gifts. I stopped in at Hannaford to pick up a vegetable platter and a crackers, cheese, and pepperoni. My sister made stuffed celery, using cream cheese and olives, and a plate of peanut butter stuffed celery for me :-). She made us cookies and fudge for gifts. Mom made potato salad, and she and Lloyd made snickerdoodles and fudge. He also made meatballs, wieners, and baked beans. I went home with six meals of baked beans, and a package of Governor’s rolls. Yum. Beans are my favorite things my stepfather makes. It was a nice visit, and I also brought home more fudge and snickerdoodles.

If you are looking for easy last minute gifts, read my article Gifts Made with Love. These gifts are by no means healthy, but they are loved by the children in my family, and even some of the young adults. Other articles from the blog, that you might find helpful, include Food Gifts for Yule and Christmas and Candy-Filled Ornaments or Gift Tags.

Still wondering what you might do for the main meal and holiday leftovers? These posts, also from the blog, will help:

Here in Maine, what snow we’ve gotten hasn’t stayed, making the holidays seem less holidayish. Last year we already had a lot of the white stuff by this time. And, it keeps raining and is cloudy. Not much sun to speak of. It’s also unusually warm for the time of the year. wierd. Makes me wonder what strange weather patterns other areas are noticing.

I have held off on making my traditional winter meals, until it is a bit colder. How about you? Here are some posts and articles that you might find useful this winter: (Examiner.com recently closed it’s site, so this channel no longer exists. I still have rights to all the recipes and articles, and plan to add appropriate ones to the Frugal Recipes blog. With the rest, I’m considering creating eCookBooks. As I finish these projects, I’ll let you know. 10/21/2016)

I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I do. And I hope you all have a wonderful winter. I’m hoping to have Zowie and Baby Dax spend a little time with me next month, then I’ll be writing – a lot. A few book projects are on the horizon.

Happy winter!
Shannon

P.S. Get my eCookBook Beverages on a Budget on sale now for only $1.99!
http://www.lulu.com/shop/shannon-l-buck/beverages-on-a-budget/ebook/product-20816991.html
This eCookBook bundles most of the beverage recipes and posts from the Frugal Recipes blog during the years 2007 to 2009. It has health and other information about different teas, as well as tips for saving money on your families’ beverage needs.
Photograph by Devan Arnold copyright 2015. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Issue #14: Celebrating Autumn Holidays & Sabbats

The feature image for this issue was taken by my son-in-law, Devan, last fall during our trip to the orchard. The picture is of my daughter, Zowie, and myself. None of us knew it yet but, when this photograph was taken, Zowie was pregnant.
I am a Memay!!!! Yay!!!!
Baby Dax is not quite 3 months old, and he is so precious.
❤ ❤ ❤

It’s our plan to visit an orchard again next month, with him. My niece will bring her baby, and possibly my great-niece, and will do a photo session with them. We have invited other friends and family to go along to have their pictures done with Dax as well. And I , of course, with have mine done with my grandson. This is a big event for our little family, as we don’t all always get to see each other.

Before I start the food part of this newsletter, I’d like to share (with permission from his momma) a picture of the little man with all of you. Be sure to read the newsletter below.

This is a picture of Baby Dax with his Daddy. It is one of my favorites so far.

Photograph taken by Zowie Arnold 2014.(Photograph taken by Zowie Arnold 2014.)

While at the orchard I intend to pick up some little pumpkins and a few apples, maybe head on into the store and get canned pickles and jellies for the pantry. Squash is another item I want to look for. I love orchards and the foods you can buy at them.

I haven’t written all the autumn articles and blog posts for the year yet, but I’m going to share what I’ve done. Watch the blogs and channels for more over the next couple of months, you wont be sorry.

Autumn

Autumn truly is my favorite time of the year. The coolness, and crispness, of the air is wonderful. Autumn scents are amazing, and the colors are radiant. It’s a truly incredible time.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed the crispness in the air one morning while on my way to work. Then I noticed the leaves on the ground after a rain. The past few days I’ve had to bring my jacket to work with me, to wear on my early morning walks to the bus stop. I’ve also done my autumn decorating in the room I rent, and started making autumn recipes at home. And I brought out the autumn scented candles to make my room smell simply delicious.

My last day off from the inn, I baked pumpkin muffins and cornbread in my little toaster oven. Since then, I’ve made a significant purchase: A larger toaster oven with two racks. I used it to roast the turkey, and the sweet potato and squash, for the Harvest Salad I made.
In one of the slow cookers I made some apple-pumpkin butter, my first time making this recipe. I left out the pecans, as I’m not a fan, but the end result was delicious! So happy I came across the Civilized Caveman Cooking blog. This butter is so good on the pumpkin muffins, and even on the corn bread. I even made pumpkin chocolate chip pancake batter to have in the fridge, for easy breakfast preparation in the mornings.
Another day I made the turkey and roasted vegetables mentioned above, as well as two slow cookers filled with corned beef (found on sale!) with carrots, squash, sweet potato, and red potatoes. My home smelled wonderful!

Watch for the Harvest Salad recipe coming soon to Frugal Recipes: Spending Less to Eat Healthy. Quite a few of the ingredients I used in this recipe came straight from my parents garden.

A wonderful activity for you and your family and/or friends this fall would be to get together for an autumn picnic. They are so much fun, and the food choices this time of year are amazing. Don’t forget your jackets! It can be chilly this time of year. You can spread old quilts out on the ground, or find a place with picnic tables.
If you have a way to keep foods warm, try an easy autumn soup such as the Autumn Turkey or Sausage. Bring along snacks like and Autumn Popcorn mix or Trail Mix. And add some Chunky Applesauce, stored for serving in small canning jars, and topped with organic cinnamon. Beverages might include Hot Mulled Cider or Hot Cocoa. And a pie or a fruit crisp for dessert would be perfect.
You could also have a barbecue, and don’t forget to go for a walk, play Frisbee, or do another fun activity after you meal.
Mabon
Mabon is the Autumn Equinox, when the harvest starts winding down and pantries are already well-stocked for the coming winter – if we are lucky. We celebrate the changing of seasons, from summer to fall. It is a great time for feasting. Use the food you have harvested as the base of your meal, whatever is in season where you are. (See Thanksgiving below for recipes.)
Back-to-School
School started back up not long ago, so I thought I’d remind you about the food related articles I’ve written on the topic. Here are some Tips for Packing Affordable School Lunches. I hope you find them helpful. Fruit Jars and Vegetable Jars are easy to prepare, and pack a lot of nutrition into any meal. And a Banana Chip Trail Mix will be a nice surprise for your child. Here is an article about choosing a lunch box and accessories.
Halloween
Who doesn’t love Halloween? Or Samhain, as our family calls it. Besides the treats, the kids in awesome costumes, and the scary movies, it signifies the third and last harvest of the year, and the upcoming darkness of winter, among other important things. It is another feast day, and I love feast days.
Halloween can be expensive, but you can cut costs by making treats for the children you know. Try some Crisp Rice Treats, or even some brownies.

Here are simple ideas for a Halloween or Samhain celebration, and some ways to use up all those treats:

Thanksgiving
Another feast day! Yay! In case you can’t tell, I love food. How about you?
Do you plan for leftovers when deciding on your Thanksgiving meal? I have on many occasions. There are so many tasty foods to make after the big day, such as Leftover Thanksgiving Soup, fry pan meals, and casseroles and mini casserole cups. Find out more about how to use Thanksgiving leftovers to make new meals by reading How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers and Planned Thanksgiving Leftover Meals.
Also check out: Thanksgiving Food Crafts.

Phew! That is a lot of Autumn material to keep you busy, not to mention what will be added to the blogs later this season:

I hope you enjoy the reads, and the recipes (let me know how they turn out for you), and that you get to spend time doing enjoyable things with friends and family this fall.

Mabon Blessings!  Happy Halloween!  Samhain Blessings!  Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you Thankful for this year? Share with us in the comments, or email me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com with your blessings, or feel free to share food related information for these occasions below.

Shannon

P.S. Get my eCookBook Main Meal Magic, on sale right now for $1.99.

 
product_thumbnail-php
Main Meal Magic is one of a series of books featured on the Frugal Recipes blog. It takes recipes from 2007 to 2009 and compiles them into one location for my readers, making it easier for them to find the recipes they are looking for.

 

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014. The Gardens, University of Maine, Orono. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Issue #13: Summer Foods & Get-Together’s

Summer is here, and it’s time for family and friends, barbecues, picnics, and beach days. What fun there is to be had!

My family is growing. Soon I’ll have a grandson whom I’ll be able to teach cooking skills to – when he is older, of course! And by soon I mean any day now :-D. What an exciting time. We had a baby shower for my daughter and son-in-law a couple of months back, and really enjoyed our time with friends and family. It was lovely. Mom made her egg salad sandwiches, and my sister made stuffed celery. If I had time between work and the shower, I’d have made things as well.

So the biggest event for my family this summer will be the birth of my first grandchild, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I’m planning a visit with my daughter in August. Feel free to share any freezer meals or homemade baby food recipes you have in the comments, or email me personally at shannonlbuck@livethefreelancelife.com. I would love to get some ideas!

What are your plans for the summer? Babies? Weddings? Reunions? Barbecues? Picnics? Whatever the get-together, what will you be making to celebrate those times? I have some ideas for your consideration. Enjoy.

Patriotic holidays are important, and the Fourth of July is right around the corner. What foods will you be enjoying? Here are some of my favorites:
Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Watermelon Stars
Patriotic Holiday Recipes: A Simple Food Platter Idea
Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Berries and Cream
Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Fruit Salad
Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Red, White, and Blue Parfait

Get-togethers can be so much fun. Everyone can bring a different dish, and you can spend hours chatting with friends and family, playing with the children, and relaxing. What are your stand-by dishes for these times? These would work for any get-together:
Snack Platter for a Crowd #1: Meat and More
Snack Platter for a Crowd #2: Fruits and Veggies
Snack Platter for a Crowd #3: Crackers Plus
Celery Platter for a Crowd
Lemonade
Easy Potluck Ideas

Some other ideas for summer get-togethers include ice cream socials where everyone makes their own sundaes, and yogurt parties, but don’t let your imagination stop there. What other types of get-togethers can you think up? Share with us in the comments, or email me personally at shannonlbuck@gmail.com.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that I have researched a couple of food related things. First, Mother Earth News has a very informative article called How to Find the Best Local Food. It was written by Barbara Pleasant and Tabitha Alterman. Buying locally helps your community, your state. I love Farmer’s Markets, and frequent them this time of year. NOTE: If you happen to use foodstamps/SNAP, check with your local Farmer’s Markets. In some areas, they offer food at a discount.

Second, I decided to do a trial month of FMTV for $1, and it is going to be well worth that dollar. Besides the documentories on eating and being healthy, there are other important videos such as DIVE, about hunger in America and what stores waste. Hunger in America, is another informative documentary. I’m currently watching Establishing a Food Forest, which is something that could help with food availability everywhere. (I’m not an affiliate, and am not being paid – and was not asked – to mention FMTV, the videos, or Mother Earth News.

Have a wonderful summer!
Shannon L. Buck

P.S. Get my eCookBook Beverages on a Budget on sale now for only $1.99!
http://www.lulu.com/shop/shannon-l-buck/beverages-on-a-budget/ebook/product-20816991.html
This eCookBook bundles most of the beverage recipes and posts from the Frugal Recipes blog during the years 2007 to 2009. It has health and other information about different teas, as well as tips for saving money on your families’ beverage needs.
Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2012. Beginning of spring/Bangor, Maine http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Issue #12: Spring’s Begun

The sun is shining today. The snowbanks are shrinking a little each week, and the temperatures are higher than they had been this past winter. And what a winter it was. Blizzards and bad storms. Extremely strong winds. Record low temperatures. Jeez. It was just not a good season for us, here in Maine and elsewhere. It’s exciting to watch the snow melt away, and to be outside walking again. I don’t know about you, but I’m actually happy for mud season!

Announcement: I’m going to be a grandmother! My youngest, 22, will be blessing me with a grandson. Little baby Dax will be gracing us toward the end of June or beginning of July, and we couldn’t be more happy. Just think: A little man to teach to cook. Well, I’ll try to hold off until he can at least walk, lol. Anyway, I could not be more happy for Zowie and Devan. They’ll be amazing parents.

You’d think this would mean another opportunity for cooking, but I have decided to let others prepare the food for this one. There wont be a lot of time for food prep, due to my work schedule. I did, however, look up some awesome baby shower treats I could have made. Maybe another time.

With spring comes a desire to eat less heavy foods, get outside and enjoy life, and add more fitness to our daily routine. Essentially, to shed those winter pounds. I know this is how I’m feeling. After a long winter of roasts and root vegetables, hot cocoa once or twice a week, and chili, I’m ready for some lighter fare.

I’ve been making variations on the Pineapple Kielbasa Soup, and eating plenty of raw vegetables. Lemon-limeade and Lemon Water are my beverages of choice right now, and I’m considering freezing some Fruity Ice Cubes to add to the sun tea I want to make.

I’m also enjoying a smoothie here and there. They can really pack quite the nutritional punch when made properly. You may enjoy these: Sweet Banana-Kiwi Smoothie, Cantaloupe-Chocolate Smoothie, and Chocolate-Orange Smoothie over on the Bangor Easy Meals channel. (Examiner.com recently closed it’s site, so this channel no longer exists. I still have rights to all the recipes and articles, and plan to add appropriate ones to the Frugal Recipes blog. With the rest, I’m considering creating eCookBooks. As I finish these projects, I’ll let you know. 10/21/2016)

Raw vegetables are my main food of choice at this point. I make up a bunch of Veggetable Jars at the beginning of the week, and enjoy them with work lunches and dinners at home. I also make Fruit Jars using either fresh fruit or fruit sauces: Apple-Pear Sauce, Chunky Applesauce, or Apple-Peach Sauce.

The blog and channel are growing rapidly, and I spent time this winter adding new recipes and articles to each. Some of what they now have to offer include:

Bangor Easy Meals (See note above)

  • Easy, Healthier Meal Fixes
  • A Yogurt Bar for Gatherings
  • New Year Goal: Eating More Fruits and Vegetables
  • Winter Meal Ideas: Salads

Frugal Recipes: Spending Less to Eat Healthy

As you can see, I had quite the busy winter sharing information. I hope you enjoy everything.

Have a wonderful spring!
Brightest Blessings
Shannon L. Buck

P.S. Get my eCookBook Main Meal Magic, on sale right now for $1.99.

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Main Meal Magic is one of a series of books featured on the Frugal Recipes blog. It takes recipes from 2007 to 2009 and compiles them into one location for my readers, making it easier for them to find the recipes they are looking for.

 

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright December 2014. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Issue #11: Autumn & Winter Activities

Another winter is upon us, and another year gone by far too quickly. I was able to visit with Skye again in November, and spent time with family at Thanksgiving. Our work Christmas meal took place at Oriental Jade this year, and I worked Christmas so spent some time with my parents before then. My stepfather made homemade baked beans. Yum! It was delicious, and I got to take the leftovers home. After work on Christmas I went to the bestest’s, where we had dinner with her son and parents, and opened gifts.

The most notable food event for the season thus far was a baking day with the bestest! This took place on Yule, at her place. I made chocolate no-bake cookies and chocolate peanut butter bars, and she made banana breads. Then I helped her make chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and chocolate covered pretzels with sprinkles. We baked for 8 hours. With my share of all those yummies, I made the maintenance guys (Jose and Mark) up gift boxes of goodies, which they enjoyed. (I bake for them because they give me rides home from work and will not take gas money.) And I brought some goodies into work for the ladies as well.

On the blog and food channel for Yule and Christmas, I posted a few things for my readers: Candy-Filled Ornaments or Gift Tags, Food Gifts for Yule and Christmas, Festive Hot Cocoa, Easy Ways to Package Food Gifts, and How to Fill Tins for the Holidays, and What to Fill Them With. If you want to start planning for next year, check them out. (I have already begun my plans.) And, the hot cocoa recipe can be enjoyed all winter. (NOTE: Examiner.com recently closed it doors, so this channel is no longer available. I’m looking for ways to re-purpose the articles from there. Maybe putting some on the blog, and creating eCookBooks with anything that does not fit there. If you followed that channel, I’m sorry the content is no longer available. I’ll let you know when and where it is available when I get everything done.)

As for the winter months, I plan to try new recipes. Mainly ones that fit in with the Paleo lifestyle. When I was following that lifestyle, I was losing weight and feeling great. This holiday season I have really messed up with my eating, though I’ve done far better than in previous years. I’m very disappointed in myself. It is time to get back to it, and start feeling better again.

What are you going to be doing this winter? Trying new recipes? Enjoying family favorites? Maybe trying new foods? Or new restaurants? Maybe these Ideas will help.

On the Bangor Easy Meals Channel (See note above)

    • Chili in the Slow Cooker, with Plenty of Leftovers for the Freezer
    • How to Use Leftover Chili
    • Brownie Add-In and Topping Ideas
    • Pineapple-Topped French Bread Slices
    • What to do with Leftover Meatballs
    • Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Tomatoes
    • “Baked” Potato with Beef Gravy
    • Homemade Apple-Peach Sauce

On the Frugal Recipes Blog

Share what you will be doing food-wise this winter.

Warmest Wishes!
Shannon L. Buck

P.S. Get my eCookBook Fabulously Frugal Fruits: Recipes and And Uses on sale for only $1.99.
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This eCookBook features the fruit recipes and uses that were featured on the Frugal Recipes blog from 2007 to 2009. There are great ideas for using up excess fruit as well.