Tag Archives: thrifty recipes

Lesson 1366 – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Barbecued Ribs

Okay another pressure cooker recipe. This time my husband, Marc and son, Griffin decided to make ribs in the cooker. They made this decision in part based on this pressure cooker ribs video. Combine that video with the fact ribs were on sale at our local grocery store, and by watching me they knew that no one was going to die using the pressure cooker anytime soon and it was a done deal.

The recipe calls for you to braise the ribs in apple cider and vinegar for 32 minutes at high pressure in the cooker. Then you take them out of the pressure cooker, put them on a baking sheet, cover them with barbecue sauce and bake for 15 minutes. Continue reading



Filed under Recipes, Tiny house cooking

Lesson 1361 – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Baked Ziti experience

We’ve been continuing to use our pressure cooker (my kids think of it as our evil experiment every time they hear the escaping steam whistle.) This time we made Baked Ziti Florentine.

In a nutshell, I sauteed the onions in the pot (this seems to be a common first step in a lot of the recipes, but that’s okay, pretty much everything is better with onions in it.) I added red sauce and chicken broth (which will create the steam later on) and when it came to a boil, I added spinach and basil and waited until they wilted. Then I added the pasta.

And here’s where I made a mistake. Because we had 8 people for dinner that night, I doubled the recipe. (I always alter recipes when I cook, a little more of this, a little less of that.) That meant I used 2 pounds of ricotta cheese mixed with egg and Parmesan cheese. The directions said to layer it on top of the mixture. Let’s just say that 2 pounds was too much. Apparently I created such a seal on the top of the food with the cheese mixture that I never got the pot to high pressure. We kept waiting and waiting and waiting but we never saw steam come out. Continue reading

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Lesson 1356 – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Pot Roast experience

It all started off with a simple question on my Facebook page – if you had a tiny kitchen (I had my “someday” tiny house in mind) what are the things that you would absolutely have in it?

People talked about coffee machines, stoves, fridges, and crock pots. Several people mentioned pressure cookers. This came as a bit of a surprise to me because I had always equated pressure cookers with grandmothers and personal injury. But so many people mentioned a pressure cooker that I decided to look into it. (Never met a challenge I didn’t like.)

Apparently I need to get out more, it seems that pressure cookers are the new black in the kitchen. But today’s pressure cookers are not your grandma’s cookers. Now they are electric and programmable.

And people RAVE about them. Continue reading


Filed under Recipes, Tiny house cooking

Lesson 1352 – A love poem to black truffles

I messed up. Yesterday’s post was supposed to be today’s post. I was supposed to cover recipes on Thursdays. Oh well, I’ll just put this week’s recipe post here.

This is a black truffle.


This is how much they cost (and yes you read that right.)


This is the tool you need to buy if you want to eat truffles. I didn’t bring my reading glasses to the store with me and what I thought was $19.99 turned out to be $39.99 when I got home. The art of eating truffles is very expensive.


This is about $8 worth of truffle.


I scrambled eggs and added just a little bit of shredded Swiss cheese and then topped it all with the truffle slices.

This is heaven.



Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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Filed under Recipes, Tiny house cooking

Lesson 1140 – Keto diet and backyard chickens

It turns out that a Keto diet is a *very* good diet to be on if you have chickens (and want to make a thrifty dish or two. This one crustless quiche recipe uses 12 eggs (although to be fair it makes 12 servings so that’s really only one egg per serving.) Once made, I froze the leftovers and in the mornings I take one serving out, sprinkle more cheese on it and then heat it in the microwave.I think this is a terrific breakfast recipe for anyone, especially older kids who sometimes are so rushed they forget to eat something for breakfast.Here is the original recipe from I breathe I’m hungry.

It’s a low carb and gluten free breakfast casserole recipe that is hearty and easy to make!

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Filed under Challenges, Food Savings, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Personal, Recipes, Simple Thrift Tips, The Family

Lesson 1131 – Real Soup in a Cup – A thrifty and healthy lunch

Several people pointed me to this news story that has made the rounds recently. Basically, it’s the lament (whining) of a 350 lb. woman on benefits (she lives in the U.K.) She currently receives about $32,000 year (includes public housing) and claims that she remains fat because the government is not giving her enough money to buy healthy food or to join a gym. If she only had more money, she claims, she would be able to lose weight.I’m not even sure where to start with this one.

First, if you look at her cupboard, you’ll soon realize that the woman wouldn’t know healthy food it came up and bit her on her substantial bum. Second, last time I looked, walking was free.

As a mother of 6, I have spent years figuring out how to feed my kids a healthy diet without breaking the bank. I’m all about saving money and I’ve written about it in newspaper and magazine columns and articles. I’ve even taken the SNAP challenge and did quite well on less than $35/week (and I also showed how I could *save* money while on SNAP.

My kids, deprived beings that they are, very rarely get grocery store cookies, cereals, or soda. They just don’t because none of us need that garbage. The other night we had a cake for a birthday celebration. We all enjoyed it because it was special. Cake is celebration food – it’s not something that should be eaten every day.

Some of my readers have asked me to write again about how I plan our weekly menu and then how I shop for it. (I routinely spend about $160 – $180/week to feed our family of 7 adults – that comes to about $26/week. And trust me, when money was *really* tight, I’ve fed everyone for less.)

I have a few other projects to finish up, but in the next few weeks, I will do just that. I’ll share our weekly menu (something I do every Sunday morning) and my shopping list. I’ll make the meals for the week and will show you exactly what we eat.

If one spends $180/week on food that comes to $9360 per year. That’s a far cry less than $32,000 (and remember, I’m feeding 7 adults (our youngest is 15) – the woman in the news article is feeding herself and two children.) With the money I could save on her benefits, I could probably afford to buy a second-hand bike which could provide even more exercise.

Until I do my menu sharing, to start things off, I’ll give you a quick money saving healthy recipe which I plan on using for the entire winter.

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Filed under Challenges, Food Savings, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Personal, Recipes, Simple Thrift Tips, The Family