Friday, February 26, 2016

The Frugal Kitchen: Beans and Greens

Beans and greens usually refers to white or pinto beans cooked with leafy greens such a collards.  I like to substitute green beans for the collards when fresh collard greens aren't available.

This is a simple dish that is made easier by using canned or frozen beans and greens.  If you are using dried beans soak them in water overnight and be sure to cook them for around seven hours.  I suggest using a slow cooker if you are not going to be home to keep an eye on the pot.


2 cans beans (I used navy and kidney beans)
1 can green beans or a package of frozen greens
1 piece of smoked hog jowl or ham hock
1/2 tsp. of thyme
water or leftover stock
salt to taste
pepper to taste

To a heavy pot add beans after draining them, add drained green beans, smoked meat, and thyme.  Mix well and make sure the meat is tucked down into the beans.  Add liquid to just cover the beans.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for several hours.  A half hour before serving taste the broth for salt (I didn't need to add any), and add pepper to taste.  Shred the meat and discard the bones.

Never add salt to a pot of beans until they are completely cooked and soft.  Salt will prevent the beans from absorbing liquid and you don't want to serve tough, hard beans.

Serve the beans over biscuits, cornbread (my favorite) or rice.

This is a simple, inexpensive and balanced meal.  Enjoy!

God bless,

Monday, February 22, 2016

Radius Toothbrush

My daughter is very good about brushing her teeth, but I had noticed that she was sometimes missing the gum area of her teeth.  So I went hunting for a very soft bristled toothbrush with a head large enough to always stimulate the gums.

On the advice of a Youtube friend I discovered the Radius toothbrush.  I ordered the regular size for me to try and the childs size for my daughter.

After using this brush our teeth feel like they do after a cleaning at the dentist office.  It gently stimulates the gums and my daughter no longer has any inflammation of her gums.

If you have a small mouth order the childs size.

The frugal side of these brushes is that they are made to last for 9 months without being replaced.  If you feel that the brush needs sanitizing I would soak it in a peroxide and water bath.

I ordered mine from Vitacost, but they are also available through Amazon (link below).

God bless,

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Good Reads: Marked Masters

Marked Masters (Bodies of Art, #2)Marked Masters by Ritter Ames
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marked Masters is the second book in the Bodies of Art mystery series. It is a very well written and professionally edited full length novel.

Laurel and Jack have stumbled on to something extremely unusual; a forger is copying the work of other forgers. Plus Laurel is slowly uncovering some baffling information about her long dead mother. Jack is secretive, as he always is, and Laurel is finding it hard to trust him.

I am having such fun reading this series. The author is a polished writer and her style is intelligent. These books are fast paced and filled with intrigue on top of intrigue.

Marked Masters ends with a HFN and I look forward to reading more books in this series.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Good Reads: Counterfeit Conspiricies

Counterfeit Conspiracies (Bodies of Art, #1)Counterfeit Conspiracies by Ritter Ames
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Counterfeit Conspiricies is the first book in the Bodies of Art mystery/suspense series. It is a very well written and professionally edited full length novel.

The heroine works for a nonprofit foundation liberating (stealing) art works from thieves and unscrupulous collectors, then returning them to their rightful owners. She suddenly finds herself in a caper alongside a mystery man that seems to have a similar skill set and the ability to waylay her at the most inconvenient times.

This is a rollicking start to a fascinating and fun series. The plot is fast paced and the characters well developed and complex. Counterfeit Conspiricies was a hard book to put down.

I highly recommend this novel which ends with a HFN.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.