Saturday, September 25, 2010

Frugal Hacks: When Recipes Fail

Frugal Hacks

Link to Frugal Hacks

Posted: 24 Sep 2010 04:33 AM PDT
Mistakes in the kitchen can be fatal to the family budget, can't they?  Sometimes they really can't be fixed, either- a badly and thoroughly scorched soup may be suitable only for the pig trough, if you have a pig, the garbage disposal otherwise.  But sometimes there are some tricks to salvage some food mishaps.
Burned cookies and toast, you probably know, can be salvaged by taking the edge of a table knife to them and scraping the charred bits off and into the sink or trash can (not if they are burned all the way through).
If you scorch the soup and realize it in time- quickly turn it off and whatever you, don't stir.  Carefully ladle out the top 3/4- slowly, carefully, taste testing along the way to be sure you don't have any scorched flavor in it.  Toss the rest.
If you make yogurt and it fails to 'yogh' you can still use it in bread, biscuits, and coffee cake- wherever sour milk or buttermilk  is called for.
Last week my daughter made the following recipe, and it really didn't turn out as we had hoped.  It was rather gloppy.  The tortillas just dissolved into the mixture so you couldn't tell they were there.  It was a little strong in flavor- saltier than we like.  But we found three delicious ways to 'fix' it.  Here is the recipe, and the fixes follow:
6 cups cooked ground beef-
1 tsp ground cumin
2 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomato
2 can (4 oz) chopped green chilis
2.5  cups cooked pinto beans (or kidney or black, or refried beans)
corn tortillas (8-in)- 5 or 6
cheese, grated combination of cheddar, monterey jack, or colby
Toppings: sour cream and chopped tomato; cilantro, if available
spray pans with foil (for ease of prep I bought disposable pie tins.  You can line your own pie pans with foil, spray the foil, and then freeze the dishes, removing the food and wrapping it better after it's frozen).
Mix the meat with ground cumin, chili powder etc. Stir in salsa, tomato, chiles and beans.
alternate layers of meat and bean mixture with tortillas.  Put in crockpot- really, this should have been an oven recipe, not a crockpot recipe (in fact, here's the version for the oven, and it makes a nice freezer meal, too).  But it was made in the crockpot and we had a lot leftover.  I can't really describe the flavor- it wasn't really bad, it was just overpowering, and the texture was unpleasant as a main dish on the plate.
It made a dandy dip for corn chips, especially with extra salsa mixed in with it
We spooned it into flour tortillas, rolled them, baked it, and then topped with sour cream and salsa, or topped it with a dip made of cream cheese and salsa melted and whisked together.
It would also make a hearty soup if you whisked it into this taco soup.
It would have made a tasty filling for empanadas, too.
What are some of your tricks and tips for recipes that don't turn out quite as planned?

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Posted: 23 Sep 2010 06:11 AM PDT
Listening to the CD while working in the kitchen, my thoughts began to crystallize.  Of course!  This tale of men of honor from the past, who sacrificially gave their lives to allow women and children to be the first to survive, would make an excellent unit study!
Having had the privilege of teaching my children at home for over 20 years, frugal home education has always been an area to encourage my creativity and resourcefulness. Now as I continued to listen to deeds of bravery and courage, I began to plan a unit study.
The topics could be endless as I considered some cataclysmic events such as:
The Titanic
The Birkenhead.
Then there were the men who encouraged manliness:
Teddy Roosevelt
Lord Baden Powell
William Wallace.
My study could also include:
The Study of Shipbuilding
The Spanish America War
The Boy Scouts.
And of course I could include the subjects of :
Language Arts
There were so many ways to approach this idea. I could listen again with pen in hand and pick the topics that could be easily woven into our present areas of study, or Youngest Son and I could listen together and he could choose the topics most interesting to him.
In case you are interested the 2 Cd set I was listening to is The Heroism of the Fathers is the Legacy of the Sons. And yes, I will tell you that I am an affiliate of  Vision Forum (LINK)  Also, if you too enjoy listening to Cds, Check out the Kit and Kaboodle Library sale - 40 Cds for $99.00! That is around $2.50 per Cd!  It sure works for me!
What about you?  Any more frugal tips for home education?

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Normal is Broke

Living With A Chain

How to Get a Job when No One is Hiring

When the jobs are hidden

To get a job, you have to find the openings that no one's advertising, and really impress your potential employer.

By Jia Lynn Yang, writer-reporter

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- David Perry, a longtime headhunter, says you're wasting your time if you're looking for job postings online. And he should know: he's often the guy on the other side helping companies lure new talent. Perry, who's based in Ottawa, says that in the last 22 years he has accomplished 996 searches totaling $172 million in salary. And the bottom line in today's economy, he says, is you have to tap the "hidden job market."

Perry's also the co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters" and he recently spoke with Fortune.

What's the "hidden job market"?

When companies say, 'We have a hiring freeze,' that doesn't mean they're not hiring. It just means they're not adding headcount. Every year there's 20-25% turn over. So in a 1,000-person company, 200 or 250 people are going to turn over, either through attrition, or someone moves. Those companies are still hiring but they don't want to tell you.

So how do you find these jobs?

What you have to do in a recession is map your skills to employers to where you know they have a problem you can solve. My advice to job hunters is pick 10 to 20 companies, no more, and pick companies you're interested in, and that you think you can add value to. That requires researching companies, and so that list may take you two weeks. If you're trying to crack the hidden job market and you know the job position you want reports to vice president, find that vice president on LinkedIn and look at his profile to see who else he's connected to and go ask them, 'What's this guy like to work for?' Do the research before you even pick up the phone.

How can you get someone's attention?

We can go into billboards, sandwiches - that stuff only works once. It's only for one person who figures it out once, once in a city. If you're looking for fun stuff, we have this thing called the coffee cup caper, 30% of the time it will result in an interview. You send an employer a coffee cup with a little $5 swipe card with a little note that says, I'd like to get together and talk with you over coffee. I'll be calling soon. And you send it by U.S. post two day delivery, and that gets registered. So when they've signed for it, you wait about 20 minutes and then you call them. And then you go, Hi, I know you just got my package.' You're proving you're imaginative and creative.

What something people should avoid during a job interview?

This drives me insane: I've seen people mentally deciding in the interview whether they want the job. That's the last place to decide. You go into an interview, and you sell like your life depends on it. You've got to get the job first. I've seen it thousands of times. There's this point in the interview, where people go 'Hmm, do I really want this? You can see their body change. The employer picks it up and it's gone. If the employer is telling you, 'I love you,' and you're not saying 'I love you too,' it's over with.

How about following up afterwards?

If you really like the opportunity, don't go home and write thank you very much. Go back and write a letter that says, upon further reflection of what we were talking about, here's what I bring to the table, here's how I see myself fitting into the organization, including a 30-60-90 day plan.

How can someone attract a recruiter's attention?

You have to go to ZoomInfo and LinkedIn and create a profile. All corporate recruiters and probably 20% of the headhunters in America have ZoomInfo accounts. When we start a search, companies aren't going to advertise. The headhunter goes to ZoomInfo, types in requirements that we need, like skillset, degree, city, functional title, and up will come anywhere from a hundred to several thousand people who fit that criteria. Then we go to LinkedIn and run the same search. If you're in ZoomInfo with a picture, we're going to call you first. Just reverse engineer what recruiters are doing so you get found.

How can you really impress a potential employer?

It hasn't worked in years just to bring in your resume, except only in the most junior positions. I concentrate on directors to CEOs, and the last interview for us regardless is always a Power Point presentation of what you've learned, pain points, and how you intend to fix that. Everyone talks about being a great leader and great communicator, so prove it. Don't go into an interview and treat it like it's just another business meeting. Your career is your biggest asset now - because it's certainly not your house. To top of page


August 2008 Dave Ramsey on Barack Obama

This was aired in August 2008. So was Dave right???