"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, September 10, 2018

A Mug Adventure

A Mug Adventure

I was searching for various recipes and came across Jack Monroe's Mug of Mac-n-Cheese (https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2015/03/02/marmite-mac-n-cheese-in-a-mug-36p-microwave/)

A mug of mac and cheese, why didn't I think of that!

Sadly, I found Jack's recipe too difficult for me.
After a search for other Mug Mac and Cheese recipes, none were any easier.
So, I got an idea. Make a batch of pasta. Store it in the frig and use as needed.

The following are some mug recipes devised using precooked pasta. Note, in the future, I will probably revise these recipes over and over again depending on what I have on hand.

Mug O'Mac&Cheese

2/3 mug-full of cooked pasta
Chunk of Mozzarella cheese or other cheeses, diced or about 3-4 TBspns
A dollop of milk
s/p to taste

Add ingredients to mug.
Stir ingredients.
Microwave 30 to 60 seconds on high to warm up the pasta and melt the cheese.

Mug O'Pasta, and leftover Chicken and Pesto

2/3 mug-full of cooked pasta
LO pesto mixture*, about 1 TBspn
LO shredded chicken, about 1-2 TBspns
A bit of olive oil
s/p to taste

Add ingredients to mug.
Stir the ingredients together.
Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds
When ready, stir again before eating.

*See Pesto Mixture recipe on blog.

Mug O'Pasta and Basil

2/3 mug-full of cooked pasta.
A little olive oil.
A palmfull of Basil, crushed
s/p to taste

Add ingredients to mug.
Stir ingredients together.
Heat in Microwave for about 30 seconds.
Stir again and eat.

Mug O'Pasta, Salsa and Parmesan Cheese

2/3 mug-full of cooked pasta
1-2 TBspns salsa, canned
A dab of olive oil
s/p to taste
Garnish: Parmesan Cheese

Add ingredients to mug, except Parmesan Cheese.
Stir ingredients together.
Heat in Microwave for about 30 seconds.
Stir again.

Garnish with a few sprinkles of Parmesan Cheese.

 Mug O'Pasta and Quasi-Cream Cheese Sauce

Another experiment and what a delight. I made a quick quasi cream sauce.

2/3 mug of cooked pasta
3 TBspns Cream cheese
1 dollop of milk
s/p to taste
Garnish: Parmesan Cheese

Add pasta to mug.
Add cream cheese, milk, and s/p.
Microwave on high for 30 seconds.
Remove and stir contents thoroughly.
If mixture is too dry, add a bit more milk and stir, again.
Return mug to microwave, heat for another 45 seconds on high.

When complete, garnish with Parmesan Cheese.

Note: See Blog for other Mug Recipes:

Zucchini Mug Cake,
Mug of Scrambled Eggs with Corn and a Salsa Topping Recipe,
Mug of Canned Spinach Soup-Egg Quesadilla, and
Mug O'Bread Pudding Recipe

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ria's DIY Muesli

Below is a recipe for Homemade Granola from The Tightwad Gazette. While I did not make the granola, it gave me the idea to make a DIY Muesli. That is one of the things I like about the Tightwad Gazette, one idea can stimulate other frugal ideas.

The Tightwad Gazette p27
Homemade Granola


3/4 C brown sugar
1/3 C vegetable oil
1/3 honey
5 C oatmeal
1/2 C raisins*
1/2 C dry milk
3/4 Tspn cinnamon
a pinch of salt


Mix sugar, oil and honey in a pot.
Heat until sugar dissolved.
Combine dry ingredients in a separate cake pan.
Pour sugar mixture over dry mixture. Mix well.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Let cool in pan.
Store in an airtight container.

Optional: add nuts, wheat germ, coconut, dates, etc.

*Add raisins after cooking.

Ria's DIY Muesli

I had some leftover bran cereal and decided to make a Muesli.

While the definition of Muesli is a breakfast cereal of Swiss origin consisting of rolled oats, nuts, and fruit (Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/muesli), I decided to Use What I have on hand to make a breakfast cereal mix similar to Muesli.


Leftover bran cereal
Nuts, crushed
Dry blueberries
Almond slivers


Using a jar, I filled it with the leftover bran cereal, then added 1 to 2 TBspns of the remaining ingredients, raisins, dried blueberries, nuts, and almond slivers.

Then I shook the jar to mix the contents.

After pouring a serving of the cereal mix into a bowl, I topped it with 1/2 TBspn of Chia seeds and some banana slices. I am not sure if I want to add the Chia seeds to the jar of cereal mix.

Options: top with fresh fruit like sliced banana, apple or other fruits.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Quasi-DIY Lipstick

Quasi-DIY Lipstick

Over the years, many of my various lipsticks had been used down to the nub.

So, following a Tightwad Gazette tip, I scooped out the remains of about five used tubes into a small glass jar. Then, I microwaved the contents for about 1 minute on high to melt the contents.

After the jar cooled, I used a cosmetic lip brush to spread the mixture as lipstick.

The used lipsticks were of a variety of colors and brands, from light cream to deep mauve, including lip glosses and lip balm. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the color and texture of the mixture.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Toast Topping - Poached Egg with Matcha

An article in Taste featured the food trend of using Matcha, a green tea powder, as a seasoning. The article raved about a poached egg on buttered toast seasoned with rock salt and Matcha. I was less impressed.

Poached Egg with Rock Salt & Matcha
(Adpated from: https://www.tastecooking.com/subtle-revolution-matcha-poached-eggs/)

1 slice bread of your choice
1 egg
Olive oil
salt and Matcha mixture

I made a poached egg (http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-perfectly-poach-an-egg-in-the-microwave-2016-6)) and toasted a slice of wheat bread in a skillet with olive oil. After topping the toast with the poached egg, I seasoned the egg with a mixture of rock salt and Matcha.

I normally do not use salt. Everything tastes better with salt, so I was not impressed by this recipe. Maybe the Matcha added some flavor but it was not easily detectable to me, but I am not going to give up trying to learn to use Matcha in various recipes, new or standard.

Toast Topping - Hummus

Hummus Mixture
(Adapted from: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/14830/hummus-iii/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringId=1281&referringContentType=recipe%20hub and https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/hummus/)


1 Can Garbanzo beans, drained
1/8 C Lime juice concentrate
1/2 Tspn garlic powder
1 TB Olive oil
2 Dashes paprika
1/2 Tspn parsley, dry, crushed

S/P to taste 


In a bowl, add garbanzo beans and mash them until you can not discern a partial bean.
Add other ingredients, stir and mix well.

Spread 1-2 TB on toast.

Note: Most Hummus recipes are used as dips and the paprika and parsley are garnishes. This recipe is to make a toast topping spread, so I mixed in the paprika and parsley.

Toast Topping - Pseudo Pesto Mixture

This is my first pesto something, was not sure what to expect.

I do not know what I made. It tastes good but is more of a spread than a sauce.

I was overwhelmed by the volume of spices the recipe called for. I did not realize I did not have enough of any of them, so I tried to downsize the recipe.

Also, is it really a Toast Topping?

Pseudo Pesto Mixture
(Adapted from: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Pesto)


1/3 C Basil, dry, crushed
1 C Olive Oil
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
3 level Tspns garlic powder
1/3 C parsley, dry, crushed

1 level Tspn rock salt and Matcha mix (Matcha, optional)
1/4 C Peanuts or almonds, crushed (Optional)

Basically, mix ingredients together thoroughly. Store in refrigerator.

Toast Topping - Avocado Mixture

Avocado Mixture


1 Avocado
1- 2 TB olive oil
1 TB Parsley, dry, crushed
1 Capful Lime Juice concentrate



After cutting avocado in half and removing the large seed, scoop out the avocado flesh and place in a small bowl or storage container.

Add olive oil. 
Mash and stir the avocado flesh and oil until smooth.
Add parsley and lime juice.
Stir well.

Spread 1-2 TB on toast.

Updated 8/12/18.