Posted in Musing & Stories

Oven Roasted Acorn Squash and Variations

Grandma Auburn's Kitchen
If squash is difficult to cut raw; Roast it whole.

PICTURE AND RECIPE: {from my TinyTrailer Kitchen 10/18 jsm}

Whole or Halves- Roasted Acorn Squash

1. Preheat oven to 425-450 degrees F. 

2a. Wash Squash. Cut off stem end.  Cut in half from point to stem (lengthwise)  and gut seeds  – Place on a cookie sheet. The bowls facing up; lightly score the inside with a knife.  then add…

Step 3. Into each half  ** 1 to 2 Tablespoons of almond milk or apple juice.  [water with raisins], **1 tsp. butter, **1/2 tsp. of cinnamon **1/8 tsp. vanilla.  **Optional additions: brown sugar, syrup, pecans or dates . See step 4 to ROAST…

OR  Step 2b.  {Roast Whole} – NO CUT METHOD- Poke 12-15 holes all over the squash-it’s OK if some water seeps out.  See Step 4 to roast.  THEN; Let cool somewhat before cutting and discarding (or roasting) the seeds. FINALLY-> scoop the warm squash into a bowl and mash. See Steps 3 & 5 to incorporate the milk and mix-ins}

Step 4. ROAST at 425-450 F [you know your oven. Mine runs a little hot]: for HALVES place on baking sheet on middle rack in oven for  35 to 45 mins .  –>Whole: -50 minutes to ONE HOUR {Maybe 65 minutes}; depending on the size of squash.  TEST FOR DONE: Skin will wrinkle slightly at the edges, Slide a spoon next to the skin or poke through with a knife in a few spots. Should pierce easily. Orange insides turn a shade darker.

It’s scoopable- like mashed potatoes.

Step 5. SERVE:  in the skin as is – or scooped into bowls and add fruit and yogurt for breakfast.  FOR KIDS: Try acorn squash mashed with banana and honey on toast.

More recipes or tips being added under these tags:  Quick RecipesFrugal/SavingFood Budget – Household Tips – Thanks for stopping by! – Grandma Auburn, workin’ & whiskin’ in the kitchen 😉

Posted in Musing & Stories

Thrifty People, The Holiday Edition

This is just one of the recipes in my upcoming cookbook.
Cheesy! With a ‘kinda’ homemade crust. I experimented with sliced zucchini to make red & green Christmas colors.

Before the winter bills and holiday gatherings start sucking the life out of your wallet, here are 10 tips to plan ahead and save time and headaches in the months ahead… oh, and money for groceries! – part 1

  1. Start an ongoing holiday gift list NOW. Find out who’s selling what- near you.  Try OfferUp or LetGO apps (enter your location, etc.) Find A “Buy, Sell, Trade” Facebook group for your county. Look for items around your house to sell or donate.
  2.  Set a (bi)weekly spending limit and/or sales goal. {Recent scores: 2 non-stick muffin tins, and a Weeble Farm set from the 70’s was a road-side pick-up!}
  3. WATCH & WAIT- for gently used households goods at the local thrift stores.  They may have 1/2 Off Day, discounts in certain departments, or give an extra $5 during your birthday month. Spruce up the holiday table: Glass bakeware, gold-rimmed serving trays. and vintage stemware 😉
  4. One or more of these: search coupon codes or sale flyers. Use a grocery store app.  Compare prices to distance traveled and time spent.  {The goals include: Fewer stores, less trips. Less food waste. Less money spent on take-out. Save money while buying a ‘stash‘ of extra ingredients on sale}
  5. Start a ‘Master’ grocery list NOW for ingredients you use regularly (and holidays) that can be stored for 3-10 months in the pantry or freezer. THIS is the list to work from when comparing flyers, or coupons. It will help with meal ideas, too.
  6. Start small, just a few extra dollars or items. {These are examples of some staples to keep… based on sales (or Aldi and similar stores) in your area! – Week 1. buy an extra pack of chicken quarters. In 2 weeks, pick up a 2nd box of baking mix and crackers plus a few bags of frozen veggies. Week 3. Extra flat of canned goods: chicken & mushroom soups, a variety of beans, fruits, etc. Week 4 Dairy, eggs and bread.}
  7. Create more meals at home. Tomato pie (pictured above). Chicken and dumplings, beef stew. Baked cabbage or breakfast for dinner.  It’s your kitchen. Shoot for having something assembled and in the oven in 20 minutes.
  8. More meal-time oven baking... this winter it will help heat your house at the same time.
  9. Rearrange cupboards. The things you use most should be near and accessible. Purge cookware, plates, pans, etc. with scratches or chips. Countertop appliances and specialty gadgets need sorting. Leave an open shelf or pantry space to store the extra ‘stash’ food accumulated in #4.
  10. Repair or replace outdated, inefficient appliances. Some power companies will pay YOU, AND haul it away. [ours said $50 for an old fridge]

Plan and practice in a few areas. It doesn’t take long to find a kitchen rhythm that works for you.  —Grandma Auburn-–  Part 2 (re: appliances) Is Here: Winter Home maintenance tips;  add ‘life’ to your purchases  

Posted in Musing & Stories

Pouch Potatoes on the Grill – Outdoor Recipe

Outdoor charcoal grill or campfire: pre-fire instructions same as “Corn on the Grill: Here.

***Prep Time: 20 min  ***Cook Time 30-40 min (flip after 15-20 min)

4-5 medium russet potatoes, skin on – washed. Free of eyes.

1/2- 1 medium onion slivered.

1-2 cloves or tsp of garlic.

2 ice cubes or 2-3 Tbls water (or broth)

2 sheets of aluminum foil – roughly 3 ft long – On 1 long side and both short sides Make 3-4 inch wide folds over. Next fold and crease both corners – TADA! Here’s you POUCH! {or use dutch oven type cookware)

3 Tbls. Butter – Salt, pepper – Spices and optional MEAT (pre-cooked) preferred: Italian sausage or chicken, bite sized- BONUS TIP: Veggie pouch: these works great too: Zucchini, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Baby Carrots 1/2 cut – 3 Tbls Veggie Broth can replace the water/ice cubes  above.

***CUT, toss, sprinkle all ingredients – and remember to add: the butter PLUS broth or ice cubes

Fold and seal the pouch tightly!  Place on grate or near hot coals for 15-20 mins (When you here sizzling wait 5 min, then turn over gently using mits  for another 20 minutes. {{Feeding more than 6 people? Make a 2nd pouch. Gigantic pouches take forever to cook and tend to split at the seams}}

Thanks for Stopped by today! Be Safe and Happy this Independence Day! And from one scarred redhead to the rest of the world – Remember the sunblock ;-D – Grandma Auburn  – Please like and follow for more recipes and musings or find Kids’ summer tee shirts here. 

Posted in Musing & Stories

Grilling Corn in the Husk – Outdoor Recipe

corn on the grill

Charcoal Grill or Campfire Wood Method – Pre-fired. Optional: Soak and add hickory/mesquite chips

**Soak time: 1 hour **Prep time: 20 min **Cook time: 40 min approx

6 -Ears corn on the cob – in the husk {*quickfire, no husk method at the bottom}

1 hour – Soak whole ears in a bucket or sink of water

6 sheets – heavy duty tin foil

1 tsp. – butter or margarine per ear – plus: salt, pepper or your favorite spices

*After an hour of soaking, peel (shuck) down just one SIDE of the corn husks -> *but don’t tear it all the way off – {Remove and discard all the corn silk from around the top of the corn.} Re-cover the corn with the husks after smearing on the butter and spices.

*Wrap each ear separately in tin foil.

Place on grill grate or directly on/near hot coals/embers.  1/4 turn after roughly 10 mins depending on your heat source. after fully rotating 30-40 mins. Foil will turn dark brown/black from the embers in places, that’s OK.   Ears are hot all the way thru, steamed with butter and spices and has absorbed some smoky-ness, too. BONUS TIP – Cook these FIRST -then leave ears in their wraps while you grill the meat and veggies, Corn will remain quite hot for about 45 minutes.

*quickfire, no husk method– to grill corn on the cob bare -without aluminum foil.  {remove all husks, silk} Smear butter and spices on corn on the cob. Grill on grate at least 4-5 inches above flames. 1/4 turn every 4-5 minutes. Reapply butter, oil or BBQ sauce to your liking.  20 minutes and a few grill marks later, plate and serve!

Thanks for stopping by today, Friends and Confidantes! No matter where you are right now; I wish YOU  Safety and Independence  –  Grandma Auburn –  Visit The Emporium for everyday gifts and apparel.  Such as: “Rescue Mom of Cats”

Posted in Musing & Stories

Pantry Staples Everyone Needs

  • It’s lengthy, but mostly bullet points!  (Availability, Price, and Size may vary by location and taste preferences!)
  • Fake taters ie Instant Spuds
  • Crackers (Saltines, Club, etc)
  • Cereal – Cold and Hot
  • Noodles & Rice (All Varieties)
  • Pouches of rice and pasta side dishes, too.
  • Cans Green Beans (Kidney, Lima, Chick Peas, Butter, String, Black, refried etc){Protein!} Also- Dry Beans
  • Cans (yellow) Squash {Yes!}
  • Mushrooms, Okra
  • Cans Leafy Greens (Kale, Collard, Spinach)
  • Black Olives (Jars: Green, Stuffed etc)
  • Pumpkin!  Tomatoes (sauce, paste etc)
  • Peas, Corn, Carrots and any Soups
  • Fruit {in juice, not syrup} (pick family favorites)
  • cans, bouillon, or boxed: Broth- (homemade or low sodium and veggie)
  • Cans MEAT: (or pouches: Tuna, Pork, Roast Beef, Ham, Chicken, Oysters etc.)
  • [salt content warning!- drain & rinse when possible}
  • GLASS JARS & bottles
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Gravy (Sausage, Turkey, Beef)
  • Sauces (Alfredo, Garlic, BBQ, Cream or marinades)
  • Homemade Canned Jars (salsa, pickles)
  • Flour (all purpose, self rising, cricket, etc)
  • Sugar (White, Brown, Raw) Baking Soda & Powder
  • Shortening, oils, Cornmeal
  • Other sweeteners: Honey, Applesauce, Bananas)
  • Salt pepper, soy, Worcestershire, Mrs. No-Salt Blends, Seafood seasoning,
  • Vinegar, croutons, breadcrumbs, Italian spice blends, Vanilla, taco spices
  • Nutmeg, Cinnamon, onion & garlic powder, celery salt.
  • Nuts & Seeds, Peanut Butter, Powdered milk & Non-dairy creamers
  • REAL Butter [1 wk depend on temps}
  • Raisins/dried fruit, Maple Syrup, Coffee, Tea, Juices
  • assorted Condiments, lemons
  • FRUIT & VEGGIE BIN (Or bowl on the table)
  • **Farmers Market Alert-no refrigeration required for some produce-
  • IF they weren’t previously refrigerated-
  • Potatoes (All Varieties)
  • Onions, Garlic, Carrots
  • Cabbage, Cucumbers (bruise easily), Celery
  • Squash (Summer & Winter, Acorn, Zucchini)
  • Avocados (fickle)
  • Broccoli, Cauliflower
  • Apples, Pears, Citrus Fruit
  • Berries (Also fickle), Bananas
  • Melons, Kiwi
  • BREADS- (various shelf lives)
  • Tortillas, flat breads
  • Breakfast Breads
  • Grain Breads
  • Biscuits, Buns & Dinner Rolls
  • All Purpose Baking Mix- for “homemade-ish”  (pizza crust) and/or Pancake mix

Cheeses & dairy are omitted. Please read labels for salt & nutrition. Remember to seal, cover & refrigerate; or bag and freeze opened, unused products.

There are endless quick, budget friendly -menus here. No particular diet.   Basics – A wide range of Family meals: filling, and varied– Less eating out!! I’ll be adding many of my own quick recipes soon; building on these pantry staples.

Thanks for stopping by, Friends and Confidantes! Have a particular pantry favorite you’d like to see added? Please comment!  Needs gifts for loved ones? Visit Grandma Auburn’s Emporium