I never know what will inspire me next, will it be a person, place or thing? Who knows what goes on in my head? I certainly don't seem to have a handle on my brain after all these years together. Lately, I have been inspired to save, save, save after I realized that our grocery and my take-out lunch habit has become an albatross and not conducive to saving. The hardest part about saving is coming up nearly even in what you are bringing in versus what goes out. I wasn't convinced really that cooking more at home would be less than buying a sandwich (you know the whole time is money adage), but I am open to new things and decided to give it a go.
I started last weekend with making this potato and leek soup, so incredibly easy that I wish I made it sooner, who knew that I could make soup? I sure as heck didn't. Per Krista's suggestion I picked up an immersion blender which was fairly inexpensive ($30) and it has become life changing, I want to go around blending everything (and I pretty much have) just wait until I show you a new way to make scrambled eggs--life changing. Janice of Paper Valise left this comment which I didn't see until AFTER I got the blender , she is right and I think it's great advice (trust me I now have first hand experience):
"The immersion blender can be tricky without a bit of practice--sort of like using a chain saw to cut a piece of cake. Just go slow!"
I made some homemade granola bars thinking they would be great for grab and go breakfast's. I made these once prior and didn't have parchment paper, they were impossible to get out of the pan without a mallet and hammer but were still quite delicious. This time around I burnt the first batch (you see what I mean about bombing? Don't give up!). The second batch I was a little skittish with and undercooked which means they were more granola than bar, oh well, it was still edible. I found the recipe a little on the sweet side and am working on the tweak, once I have that down, I will be sure to share the glory.
Last and certainly not least I made bread. Yes, bread! Beautiful artisan bread, hand formed, crusty bread. This prompted the Fancy to ask, excitedly "What else are you going to make?" I was VERY worried about the outcome of the bread and sliced into it with much trepidation. The Fancy took the first bite and made some moaning guttural sounds akin to cave talk which I took to mean that the bread wasn't horrible. "I love bread," he shouted with an impolite mouthful. "Is it okay?", I asked. "It's INCREDIBLE," he chewed. I am now feeling quite smug. I.made.bread. I am sure this feeling of making bread is almost on par with making a human, almost. I am going to play around with this recipe a little more and see how it keeps, etc. and will be happy to share my secrets when I am done. BTW, the bread averages out to about .73 per loaf (give or take a few cents, I am certainly no mathematician) so I am saving, saving, saving (and designer shoes shall be mine, along with a miniature animal farm of course)...