f - toasty

NYT: Efficiency in the Kitchen to Reduce Food Waste

Thought this recent article in the New York Times would be relevant to our interests.

Starve a Landfill
Efficiency in the Kitchen to Reduce Food Waste

SEATTLE — The nation’s first citywide composting program based largely on shame began here in January.

City sanitation workers who find garbage cans filled with aging lettuce, leftover pizza or even the box it came in are slapping on bright red tags to inform the offending household (and, presumably, the whole neighborhood) that the city’s new composting law has been violated.

San Francisco may have been the first city to make its citizens compost food, but Seattle is the first to punish people with a fine if they don’t. In a country that loses about 31 percent of its food to waste, policies like Seattle’s are driven by environmental, social and economic pressure.

But mandated composting reflects a deeper shift in the mood of the nation’s cooks, one in which wasting food is unfashionable. Running an efficient kitchen — where bruised fruit is blended into smoothies, carrot tops are pulsed into pesto, and a juicy pork shoulder can move seamlessly from Sunday supper to Monday’s carnitas to a rich pot of broth for the freezer — is becoming as satisfying as the food itself.
  • heldc

Minor Mentalhealth care in GA?

A friend has an elementary school age kid in Georgia, near Atlanta. Said kid is seeing a counselor. However, the program that has been paying for the kid to see the counselor expires soon. Do you know of any programs my friend could apply to for assistance paying for the counselor visits? They were turned down by PeachCare.
Living on Minimum Wage

Looking for Adobe advice

One way I've saved money in the past is by buying older (unused) versions of Adobe programs on ebay instead of buying the latest version.  I'm planning to buy a new computer sometime this year which means upgrading to Windows 7.

Does anyone know the oldest version of Photoshop, Illustrator, and/or InDesign that will play nicely with Windows 7? 

And yes, I need to get full versions and stick with Adobe.

Finding a buyer.

Don't worry, I'm not trying to sell anything to anyone here, in this community. So, this is not a sales post. I just have some sales-oriented questions, because I'm trying to find a buyer for some common--and, some not-so-common--musical instruments. (I'm trying to help my Mom by creating a food stockpile. My mom buys all of the regular, month-to-month staples. I'm trying to create a back-up food supply for both of us, in case something were happen, E.G., losing some of our income, or something similar.)

Well, that's another story entirely. To my questions:

I'm trying to find buyers for some of my musical instruments, to help both of us. I already sold one of them to a local music store. But, I need to find someone who is interested in the others. The store I took it to didn't really have a market for them, although he offered $35.00 for everything. I would like to find someone who is interested in playing them, preferably, because I would like to see them go to a good "home", so to speak. I know that this sounds strange, because I could've just accepted the thirty-five dollars, but I really would like to see an avid musician, or, someplace that knows what my uncommon instruments are, take them. 

Craigslist isn't an option, because my mom is wary of having anyone come to our house. We've been planning to have a garage sale, but my mom is wary of this too. eBay has too many fees, in my opinion. 

So, does anyone know of anything I can do?

Thanks everyone! 

  • skbw

Tuna revolution

Hello, everyone--

It's only every once in a while that I find or conceive of a truly good budget recipe. It's very disheartening to see "economical" recipes with ingredients (say, meat) that already cost good money or are just variations on rice and beans. But just yesterday such a recipe occurred to me.

My tuna (or salmon) repertoire is pretty varied. I am no huge fan of tuna salad (my mother is, which may have something to do with it ;-), but I do like it with red bell pepper (oddly, sometimes cheaper than green) and onions or black olives, or stuffed in a bell pepper, tomato, or celery.

The tuna and black olive concept (with canned olives on sale, of course) also makes a good tuna casserole or tossed with pasta.

Tuna croquettes are good with breadcrumbs, bread, stale chips, cornflakes, matzo meal, or whatever other rapidly molding complex carbohydrate you may have around. They are also fantastic with finely chopped potato peels, and no, you can't tell they're peels. If you haven't had croquettes since cafeteria days, try them again. If you drain them on newspaper and switch the newspaper out a lot, they certainly aren't any worse for you than hamburger, and probably better, in fact, being very low in saturated fat.

If you have no time to assemble and/or inclination to fry the croquettes, make baked croquettes or a loaf. Croquettes are good with dill sauce, tartar sauce, hot sauce, or (no joke) tomato sauce (the tomato sauce in particular makes a whole different meal).

For a change from a tuna melt, or if you have eggs but no cheese, put an egg over easy or even a poached egg on top.

For extra punch, mix a can of tuna with a can of sardines or kippered snacks. (Parents, don't let anyone see this going on. ;-)

But sometimes you are just sick of all the above variations. "No more," you cry. "I don't care that I got it for 67 cents a can." Enter the Tuna Turnover. Do NOT let the biscuit dough concept freak you out. It is not a dough/crust that requires rolling out. It takes absolutely no more energy than tuna salad or a tuna melt. I would absolutely, no question, serve it to company and will do so as soon as I get my house clean.

Tuna Turnover

1 can tuna, drained but not dry
Add-ins of choice (e.g., onions, or for this application only, frozen peas or canned cream soup)
Grated cheese (optional)
Bit of butter or margarine (if tuna is packed in water)

Biscuit dough (essentially the Hillbilly Housewife's recipe)

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Salt to taste
1/8 cup oil
1/3 cup milk (regular, instant, evaporated, or soy all work, or for this, even water)

1. Get a cookie sheet or foil ready for the oven or toaster oven. Grease very lightly.

2. Mix up the dough, adding only enough milk or water to make a dough. Don't knead--it'll be tough.

3. Put the dough onto the foil or pan. Pat it into a circle the size of a dinner plate. Roll it out if you must, but it's not necessary. Spread a little bit of butter or margarine on the dough if you're not using rich fillings.

4. Put the tuna and extras in a strip down the middle of the circle. Fold the dough over and seal. Don't let the tuna be too dry. The biscuit dough can take a little moisture, unlike a pie crust.

5. Bake at 400 degrees in a regular oven or toaster oven. Done when golden brown. Serves 2 with something else to eat or 1 (heartily) by itself. Also good at room temperature. Would be good with a gravy or (gasp) cheese sauce.

Goes very well with soup or:

Corn Salad From the Freezer & Pantry

Canned whole tomatoes
Frozen corn (like the tomatoes, it tastes better on special)
Other vegetables as available (onions, garlic, bell pepper, green onions, grated carrots)
Salt & pepper

Drain the tomatoes very well. Save the juice and any soggy, unappealing tomato parts for another time. Cut them carefully into small, cute chunks so that it is less obvious they're canned. Once chopped, take out any (or even most) excess pulp to use elsewhere. Mix with the corn and other ingredients. (This will also fly with a lettuce salad, believe it or not.) Delicious! A good canned tomato is certainly more tasty than the average winter grocery store tomato.

Bon appétit and happy New Year!

soul eater ♪ dominant G

(no subject)

I need to pick up a laptop next week, likely from Best Buy. This is to replace my failing laptop Dell. I've had Dells the last three years and none of them have lasted past a year. I'm not buying another Dell laptop under any circumstances. But the problem is, now I don't know what to buy.

I'm willing to go from good specs to moderate specs for this, as my school is buying me a Powerbook in February. What I care about right now is hardware quality, and that it stays around or under $800. This is being bought for me, so I'd rather not push the price to all get-out. I need a laptop that will be rugged enough to survive high-travel and high-impact but have a decent size monitor and a standard keyboard (not one of those tiny keys or anti-crumb keys or other special features). I have fibromyalgia, as well as other neuropathic disorders, and they demand both of these. It also needs to not weigh like a brick.

I am not buying a netbook and I haven't bought outside of Dell in a long time, so I post here. Does anyone have any advice, ideas or experience on this? :/

Thank you so much!
Living on Minimum Wage

Challenge Results Compared

Some of you may remember that I did a short series of challenges Penny-a-Day, Dime-a-Day, and Dollar-a-Day.  The challenge was how would you get the most out of $3.65, $36.50, and $365.00 after saving them over the course of one year.  One of the things I was interested to see was how people thought about money would change as the amount changed.  Here's a chart that kinda sums up the results: 


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 Edit: LJ keeps eating chunks of this post...third times the charm maybe...

This is not the most scientific chart.  Some people gave multiple answers, and I don't know if everyone would agree with how I counted...but I think you can still see some trends    What I found most interesting was the lack of entreprenuer ideas at the $365 level.  While the only true business idea (buying candy to resell for a profit), was at the $3.56 level. There were some creative ideas for generating more than you would otherwise expect for the amount from Penny and Dime challenges.  At the $365 level, answers seem more conservative, savings and debt repayment.  We also seemed to be more generous at smaller amounts.

I'm not saying that's good or bad, just interesting.

Creed Thoughts

A couple questions

1. How much spending money do you give youself per week or month? A percentage of your income? A set dollar amount? None?

2. According to almost all financial advice, saving for retirement should be a priority in your 20's. The advice says start as early as you can and save, save, save. I am starting to wonder HOW this is possible with student loan debt, a potential wedding, down payment for a mortgage, and day-to-do living expenses in a time period of life when most people are making low(er) salaries straight out of college.

Yes, there is compound interest to consider, but what about practicality? Wouldn't it make more sense to get rid of any debt, buy a house, and then from age 30 on, put as much money as you can in savings? Especially when your income might be a little bit higher and there is breathing room?