November 2012

Make Your Own Peanut Butter

by Sally on November 28, 2012

My attempts to make homemade almond butter last year nearly resulted in an electrical fire (read: DIY Almond Butter or How I Almost Made My New Food Processor Explode). But my Cuisinart seems to like peanuts a lot more.

Homemade peanut butter is so easy and so delicious. Do you have peanuts, a food processor, and about three minutes? That’s all you need!

Here’s how to make a batch:

Measure out 2 cups of peanuts.

Place them in the bowl of your food processor, attach the lid, and turn it on.

After about 30 seconds, it will look like this.

Then this.

Then this.

And finally this.

And since you totally deserve it, you can also throw in a (large) handful of chocolate chips if you like.

Heaven.

Enjoy!

{ 25 comments }

Lessons Learned From The Pantry Challenge

by Sally on November 20, 2012

Much to my family’s relief, the Autumn Pantry Challenge is over. Though we struggled through last year’s challenge (I got crabby and actually gained weight), it was a lot easier this time around. I chalk that up to a more realistic weekly budget ($50) and an especially large stockpile of food to start.

I went about $5 over budget this last week. But I also got resourceful. We had leftover homemade hummus but no pita, so I made my own (recipe here):

I also used up a can of black beans for these brownies that everyone loved (recipe here):

I spent about $150 on groceries for the three week challenge–that’s a savings of $200-250 compared to my usual spending.

Top takeaways from the Autumn Pantry Challenge:

  • Keeping an inventory made all the difference. I wrote down everything I had in the freezer and pantry, divided it into categories like “meats” and “grains”, then crossed off items as I used them. When I planned out the next week’s meals, all I had to do was glance at my lists to figure out what I had on hand.
  • Meal planning. Meal planning. Meal planning. Mapping out each entire week in detail–and knowing I had all the ingredients I needed–made life easier and lessened my stress level immensely.
  • Sticking to my grocery list was painful but empowering. I shopped only for basics–that meant milk, veggies, and fruit, plus any additional ingredients I needed for dinners that week. When I spotted a great deal, I couldn’t stock up like I normally would. But spending so much less each week felt terrific.

If you did your own Pantry Challenge this month, how did it go and what did you learn?

{ 2 comments }

Anger Management: Turning a Rant into Action

November 14, 2012

I admit: I occasionally rant. Every once in a while, I like to get right up on a soapbox and have at it (one of my most popular blog posts is Soccer Mom Soapbox, after all). While I prefer to call it “therapeutic” and “consciousness raising”, some people see it as complaining. And every once in […]

Read the full article →

Pantry Challenge: Week #3 Meal Plan & Home Stretch!

November 12, 2012

Should beer and wine count toward the weekly Pantry Challenge grocery budget? Not surprisingly, my husband–who is no fan of the Pantry Challenge–emphatically says no. If he’s right and it doesn’t, I stayed close to my $50 goal last week. I even hosted a neighborhood party–and I tried to use what I had on hand […]

Read the full article →

Pantry Challenge: Week #2 Meal Plan

November 5, 2012

The good news is that I stuck to my meal plan pretty closely last week (read: Pantry Challenge: Week #1 Shopping Trip & Meal Plan). The bad news is that we had two last-minute events that busted my budget. One was an out-of-town trip that involved pizza delivery. Another was hosting a night time Nerf […]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Read the full article →