Free Stuff! Your Favorite!
Hey, you guys! I know that you’re starting to wonder if I’m just a funny smell in the basement, but I swear I’m alive and kicking. Well, alive at least. Maybe not ‘kicking’ so much as half-heartedly flexing a foot and whinging about wrinkles and sleep deprivation. That said, I set my heart on writing something for you today and I was flipping through pictures trying to decide between vegan stuffed eggplants and an Asian noodle bowl with steamed halibut, when I realized that I just didn’t have it in me. Sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, and other times the spirit and the flesh just eye each other warily and then both slump down on the carpet and start to snore. That would be me right now.
I don’t want to leave you hanging though, so I thought that if I was unwilling to offer up some food for thought the least that I could do is bring you someone who can. Meet Erin Chase, author of “The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook”.
When we were first contacted and asked if we wanted a copy of this book for a giveaway, I shrugged and said “Sure!” After all, I like free stuff. You like free stuff. This could totally work for all of us. But then I remembered the Minute Rice Fiasco and I still feel rather awful for disappointing that utterly charming PR lady with such a weak-sauce review. When this book arrived in the mail I gritted my teeth, gulped down my vodka, and steeled myself to look inside….and was pleasantly surprised.
This book actually delivers. I started flipping through, possibly pausing to do a quiz (and found out that despite my best intentions I’m still an indiscriminate shopper) and was delighted to see time and money saving tips that made sense, meal plans that were healthy and laden with fiber and vegetables, and time saving tips for Moms on the run. The recipes are easy to follow, use common ingredients that are easily found in your local grocery store, and look incredibly family friendly. For example, we have these recipes:
- Chili Cornbread Cups
- Meat and Potato Lasagna
- Taco Macaroni and Cheese
- Shepherd’s Pie
But we also have:
- Kusherie (Egyptian lentils)
- Beef Curry with Raisins
- Thai Garlic Pork Chops
- Baked Lime Tilapia
This is 304 pages of soft cover family friendly food at it’s best. It almost makes me wish that I had kids of my own to experiment on. Almost, but not quite. I’m terrified that if I ever start to spawn I’ll end up with little kiddie dictators (“I ONLY EAT THINGS THAT ARE PURPLE!!!”) just to spite me, or out of some sort of karmic intervention for Tina During Adolescence.
But now then, back to the book:
We have tips and tricks for everything from grocery shopping to meal planning, and they’re the kind of straightforward and honest advice that you can actually use. The recipes are diverse, varied, and I there’s something in there to serve every taste….even for the little people that only eat purple.
The only egregious gripe that I had with this book was the food costing on each recipe. Look, I understand that I over spend on groceries even though I truck my way through discount grocery stores and hunt down dented cans in the clearance section. However, in my world, the thought of buying 3 chicken breasts for $2.42 is almost comical. Just this week I spent $7.64 buying two plump boneless skinless poultry mams, and…those weren’t free range birds, if you know what I mean. That’s just what they cost. If I was a smarter shopper or privy to some serious rebates, I can possibly see how one could buy groceries for this price, but in the mean time I’m still the $15 Dinner Non-Mom.
Alright, so I’ll stop whining about the price of milk and get back to all that’s good in this world. Namely, free stuff and cookbooks.
We all have some version of an inner cheapskate, or secretly harbor fond memories of that time in University where we were so broke that ketchup soup and stale saltines tasted like manna from the gods. But now that we’re older and our tastes have matured we have paying jobs, we sometimes lose track of those gloriously frugal dinners we used to feast on and adore. All that we’re asking you to do is:
Leave us a comment detailing YOUR favorite $5 dinner before February 1, 2010.
Yup. Seriously, that’s it. You could own a $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook just in time for Family Day! The winner will be selected based purely on favoritism and appetite. Comment away!