March/April 2007 Newsletter

It’s that time of year again! Are you stocking up on loss leader corned beef? This is a great time to stock up on corned beef, just like Thanksgiving is a great time to stock up on loss leader turkeys. In addition to corned beef, you’ll find great deals on cabbage, carrots and potatoes, the staple of a traditional boiled dinner.

Remember from a previous newsletter, that you can make stuffed baked potatoes that freeze wonderfully and can provide quick, nutritious and cheap meals!

Every year I host a traditional St. Patrick’s meal. One of the things that everyone expects is my Irish soda bread. This is a wonderful recipe that is tried and true.

Irish Soda Bread

Here is a copycat version of that green Shamrock Shake (you know the one from that fast food place), an annual favorite for some!

You’ll find it very easy to recreate the flavors of this annual St. Patrick’s Day shake using only four ingredients. The two that make this holiday shake unique are the mint extract and green food coloring. Make sure your extract says “mint” and not “peppermint.” And if you don’t want shakes that are green like the real ones, you can certainly leave out the food coloring. Happy St. Patty’s Day, kitchen cloners!

2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 1/4 cups low fat milk
1/4 teaspoon mint extract (not peppermint)
8 drops green food coloring

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Stop blender to stir with a spoon if necessary to help blend ice cream.
2. Pour into two 12-ounce cups and serve each with a straw.
Serves 2.

Looking to have a little fun with the kids for St. Patrick’s day? Take a heart shaped cookie cutter and cut three hearts out of green construction paper and arrange in the shape of a shamrock. Use the same cookie cutter to cut hearts out of pancakes and arrange the pancakes to look like shamrocks as well (if you’re REALLY daring, add a bit of green food coloring to the pancake batter for GREEN pancakes).

How could I forget, it’s the 50th Birthday of The Cat In The Hat! March 2 was his official B’day, but there are month long celebrations! http://www.seussville.com/CITH_50th/

How about a green eggs and ham dinner and The Cat In The Hat read aloud after? Click the link and kids can send the Cat a special Birthday card and in return Random House will donate a book to First Book.

This is also the Lenten season. During this time, the members of some faiths refrain from eating meat on certain days. My guys love cheese pizza on these days. I’ve decided to include a recipe for homemade pizza crust (like the kind you buy pre-baked in the bread aisle that begins with a “B”). This dough makes two crusts that can be pre-baked (you don’t have to prebake this recipe if you don’t want to) The crusts freeze well, which makes it a fast to pull a crust out and throw together homemade pizza versus getting take out or delivery pizza which can be quite costly!

“B” style pizza dough recipe

1 cup of water
3 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS sugar
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning

Place it all into your bread machine in order suggested by your manufacturer. When it’s done, form TWO crusts. Gently oil each crust and sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese. Cover and let rise until about doubled. Bake 5-10 minutes at 450 degree Fahrenheit until just light brown.

One of the most exciting things happening at Frugal-Families is our new blog! You can now learn even more frugal tips and ideas. The blog authors are long-standing members of our community and they’re now sharing some of their tips outside of the forum. Make sure to visit regularly to keep learning more and more ways to save your hard-earned dollars!

Frugal-Families Blog

My boys are getting excited about decorating Easter eggs. Here is the link to the craft page where you can get some ideas on how to decorate your eggs AND how to boil the perfect hard-boiled egg.

Easter Crafts

As always, you’re welcome to a 48 hour guest pass to our forums if you’d ever like one. In addition, if you would like to stop receiving our newsletter, just return this one to me and ask to be removed.

Have a great St. Patrick’s day and Easter celebration.

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