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

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

White Bean Salad

By keeping cooked beans in the frig, a variety of bean salads can be made for various meals. Most recipe sites advise that cooked beans may last a week in the frig.

To cook a batch of white beans, see Blog post: Hotplate Small White Beans:

White Bean Salad Recipe
(This recipe was inspired by many recipes, see resources below.)

Single Serving


4 Heaping TBspns cooked white beans
6-8 Dashes Onion powder
1 Tspn Lemon juice, concentrate (made from a powdered drink mix)
1 Tspn Olive oil
1 Tspn Vinegar
3 Tspns Celery, diced
2 Heaping Tspns Carrots, diced or shredded
1 Heaping Tspn Black olives, sliced and diced
Sprinkle liberally with Parmesan or Feta cheese
5-8 Grinds of black pepper
S/P to taste


In a medium bowl, add ingredients.
Mix well.

I found the salad had a mild flavor. I liked it but some may want more flavor. To suit your taste, increase or decrease the quantity of ingredients.

See resources below for variations on making a White Bean Salad.


Quick and Easy White Bean Salad

Pasta and Bean Picnic Salad

White bean and Tuna Salad

How to Cook White Beans


Hotplate: Cooking Small White Beans

After many experiments cooking a variety of beans, I can now confidently cook: lentils and small white beans.

Hotplate: Cooking Small White Beans
(Adapted from: https://emmycooks.com/2012/03/22/how-to-cook-white-beans/)

I bypassed many of Emmy's instructions.


1 Cup of small dry white beans


Put beans into pan.
Cover beans with water, with an 1" of water above the beans.
Set hotplate on highest temperature.
Bring beans to a boil.
Cover pan.
Boil beans until the water is reduced to the level of the beans.
Add more water.
Bring beans to a boil again.
Lower temperature to simmer.
Simmer beans an hour or more until tender.
Drain beans and let them cool.
Put beans into a container with a cover.
Put beans in frig for future use.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Getting Back to my Tightwad Roots

Time to get back to my Tightwad Gazette roots.

I have drifted away from making choices to save money.

A core Tightwad Gazette (TWG) method for saving money when shopping for groceries is to buy items for less by choosing substitutes for expensive items, by buying items on sale including buying extras for the pantry, and by being creative. Saving pesos add up.

On a recent trip to a local grocery store, I picked up a few items but I tried to make TWG choices.

Vegetable Oil

I am going to try switching from olive oil to canola oil because olive oil is expensive.

Olive oil, 750ml $115.00
.153 ml

Canola oil, 450ml $15.11
.033 ml

Savings: $0.12ml

Dry milk

Besides having dry milk for back up, I also use it to make liters of milk for everyday use.

1 360g Dry Milk pkg (deslactosado light) sale price $39.86
makes 2880ml, 1 Liter = 1000mL, package makes about 3 liters

1 liter of milk (deslactosado) approx. $18.00

1 liter dry mix = $13.29

Savings: $4.71

Powdered drink mixes

I had been drifting towards drinking fruit juices straight rather than as fruit coolers.

While I think fruit juices are healthier, an occasional powdered beverage is ok for me.

Common powdered drink mix flavors are:

Té Helado, Limón, Manzana, Coco, Mango, Fresa, Durazno, Uva, Arandana, Tamarindo, Piña Colado, Horchata, Jamaica, Naranja, Sandia, Piña, Guayaba, Mandarina, Melón, Guanabana

Unusual flavor: Áloe

My method for using a packet of powdered drink mix is to make a concentrate. Then, I use the concentrate to make a glass at a time.

1 pkg prices range from $3.35 - 4.10, 1 pkg makes 2 Liters liquid

In general, 1 liter of fruit juices range from $10.00 - 20.00

1 liter powdered beverage = $3.72 / 2 = $1.86

1 liter of fruit juice = an average price of $15.00

Savings: $13.14

I also plan to use the concentrates as flavoring in various recipes.


1 pkg of 2 $11.00

I cut the sponges in half = 4 sponges.

Savings: $11.00

While comparing 2 large sponges with 4 small sponges is not an equal comparison, the cut sponges last just as long as the large sponges.

It was the TWG that spurred me to learn how to make meals at home for work lunches and more to save money.

While my original RKFNC cookbook contained several of the recipes I developed trying to follow TWG ideas and advice, I continue to try and expand my recipe repertoire.

Some other methods to save money available to most people:

Buy used clothes, books, kitchen utensils, furniture and more at thrift stores and yard sales.

Most of my clothes and books were purchased from thrift stores but here in MX, I have a harder time finding thrift stores. There are weekly flea markets in various locations and there are used furniture stores.

But, because it has been difficult to find what I need at these venues, like clothes, I priced clothes at various outlets. I found one where almost every item of clothing was under $50 pesos. I got several shirts and pants, and mix and match outfits.

Also, I found the best place to get cancletas (flip flops), at a low price.

But, it is funny, no matter what I purchase an item for, someone always says, “I got one cheaper than that.”

See post: 25 Small Ways to Save Money in Mexico, for more TWG ideas.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Leftovers: Microwave Hot Chicken, Rice and Spinach

This is one of my favorite dishes using leftover chicken.

This makes one serving.

Leftovers: Microwave Hot Chicken, Rice and Spinach


Cooked Rice
Cooked chicken, diced
Frozen Spinach


Take a bowl, add a few tablespoons of cooked rice.
Add a few tablespoons of cooked chicken.
Add a dessert bowel of frozen spinach.
Add 1 tablespoon of Mayo.
Stir ingredients thoroughly.
Place bowl in microwave. Cover.
Microwave on high for two minutes.

Stir prior to serving.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Toaster Oven: Single-Serving Peanut Butter Cookies

Hurray, It’s a Cookie!

This is my first baked cookie in my Toaster Oven.

I am in heaven. I have hard-boiled eggs, Peanut Butter Mousse, Lentils with Garlic and Cookies!

Toaster Oven: Single-Serving Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

(Adapted from: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/07/26/single-serving-peanut-butter-cookies/)

This recipe only make 2 cookies.


Set Toaster Oven on Bake.
Pre-heat Toaster Oven to 350 degrees.
Add a layer of waxed paper to Tin Tray.
Add a dab of olive oil and wipe over waxed paper.


2 Level TBspns flour
1 Level TBspn Sugar
1/16 Tsp Baking Soda
a dash of salt
1 1/2 TBspns of Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 capful of vanilla flavoring or extract
1 Tspn Applesauce


In a small bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix well.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Stir and mix well until mixture is smooth.
With a Tablespoon, divide the mixture into two portions.
Scoop up one portion and drop onto tray.
Drop the second portion onto tray.

Use Tablespoon to reshape, if desired. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.



Hotplate: Lentils with Garlic Powder

In the past, I have struggled to make lentil recipes I liked.

Surprisingly, this simple recipe came out perfect.

Looking at the lentils I bought, I think they are a mix of green, red and yellow lentils.

Hotplate: Lentils with Garlic Powder Recipe


1 Cup dry lentils
Garlic Powder


Add water to a pot.
Add 1 cup of lentils.
Make sure the lentils are covered and there is at least an extra 1” of water covering the lentils.
Add 5-8 dashes of garlic powder.
Bring to a boil.
Lower temperature to medium-high and simmer lentils for 30 minutes or until soft.

Drain the lentils.

I forgot. One cup of lentils makes a lot of cooked lentils.

Now, I had originally planned to dress up the lentils in various ways. But, when Lucy came today, we had a "buffet" that included some of the dishes I had made, including the "plain" lentils.

The combination of foods worked well with the lentils as a side dish.
"Lucy liked all my dishes!"
That is high praise to me because Lucy is a great cook.


Microwave: Peanut Butter Bread Pudding

This blog has grown quite a bit over the years. In the past, I tried cooking several recipes in one day. That worked for awhile.

But, now, I am doing a bit of reorgranization. I am pulling out some of the recipes made on those marathon days and making them individual posts. I am also revising some of the recipes, like making a recipe GERD-friendly and such.

Microwave: Peanut Butter Bread Pudding Recipe 
(Adapted from: my Blueberry Bread Pudding Recipe)

Makes about 6-8 servings


3 eggs
1/2 tbspn sugar
1 cup coconut cream or coconut milk
2 cups milk
2 tspns vanilla flavoring
2/3rds of a 16oz jar of peanut butter
6 slices of bread (multigrain), broken into chunks


Mix eggs, sugar, cream, milk and vanilla.

Stir thoroughly and set aside.
Spread the peanut butter on the bottom of the casserole dish.
Spread bread chunks in a thick layer over the peanut butter.
Pour egg mixture over bread and peanut butter.
Sprinkle cinnamon over the top of the mixture.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 3 hours.
Microwave on high for 15 minutes.
Let casserole rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Caution: pull edge of plastic wrap away from you to avoid steam burns.

Black Bean Salsa

As I post this recipe, I have spent over two weeks researching and trying recipes for the Toaster Oven.

Buying the Toaster Oven threw my entire grocery/preparation/cooking system into chaos and blew a hole in my budget because I had to shop for other ingredients and a few extra cooking vessels, several times.

More chaos occurred when I tried to make bagels, biscuits and a potato croquette recipe where with each one I drown in sticky useless dough that was flung far and wide in my kitchen. I am still finding bits here and there.

I gave up and moved onto other recipes. I will try, again, to bake biscuits, cake and other recipes in the future.

While I was successful making:

DIY Bagel Everything Seasonings Variation
DIY Tartar Sauce
Toaster Oven: Baked Salmon Balls
Toaster Oven: Salmon Muffins
Microwave: Mug O’Oats and Spinach
Toaster Oven: Fruit Tart
Chocolate Frosting
Peanut Butter and Yogurt Mousse

there are plenty of desserts in that group, a few meal dishes, but no vegetable dishes. You can't eat Peanut Butter and Yogurt Mousse all day.

So, after more research, I found I had to fall back on several of my previous recipes in order to have a balanced choice of meals and side dishes.

After making:

Faux Spanish Rice
Carrot, Raisin & Almond Salad
and now Black Bean Salsa

I am getting back on track.

As a single person, it is a struggle to avoid food waste, so I often eat similar meals for days.

So, I hope to use this salsa as a side dish, snack, and quesadilla filling.

While this recipe has a mild flavor, others can beef up the taste by adding additional spices and vegetables.

Black Bean Salsa Recipe

(Adapted from:  USDA Confetti Bean Salsa Recipe)


1 560g (approx 20oz) Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 220g (approx 8oz) Can Kernel Corn, drained and rinsed
3 Tspns of Canned Salsa
1/2 Capful Lime juice concentrate
10 dashes of Onion powder
S/P to taste


In a medium bowl, add black beans and corn, stir well.
Add salsa, lime juice and onion powder, stir well.
Add S/P to taste, stir well.

Chill before serving.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Hotplate: Faux Spanish Rice

Since rice can be the base for many meals. I needed to make a batch of rice.

So, I went back to my old Spanish rice recipe and made some adaptations.

Hotplate: Faux Spanish Rice
(Adapted from: Recipes from the Kitchen of a Frugal Non-Cook)


2 TBspns Olive oil
1 Cup Uncooked white rice
1 Tspn Onion powder

1 Tspn Garlic powder
1 Tspn Oregano
1 Tspn Chili powder (optional)
 2 Cups Water
1 8 oz Can salsa

S/P to taste


Add oil to deep skillet.

Heat to medium.
Add rice. Stir to mix with oil.
Add seasonings. Stir.
Cook until rice is a bit brown. Stir occasionally.
Add water and salsa. Stir to mix well.
Add S/P to taste. Stir well.
Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes or until rice has absorbed the liquid.

FYI: To order a POD of Recipes from the Kitchen of a Frugal Non-Cook, go to:

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Microwave: Mug O'Scrambled Eggs with Corn, and Salsa Topping

Microwave: Mug O'Scrambled Eggs with Corn, and Salsa Topping
(Got the idea from: http://bstrecipes.blogspot.mx/2015/07/squaw-dish-scrambled-eggs-and-corn.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed)


1 roll
a bit of olive oil
1 egg
A dollop of milk
1 tbpsn kernel corn
Ground black pepper to taste
A dash of paprika

Toppings: 1 tbspn canned salsa
1 tbspn imitation bacon bits


Cut roll in half and toast in skillet with a bit of oil.
Set aside.
Break egg into an 8oz coffee mug with a wide brim.
Add the remaining ingredients.
Mix and stir vigorously for at least 30 seconds.
Microwave 1-2 minutes until liquid has cooked off.
Scoop egg out and place on top of one half of toasted roll.
Top with salsa.
Sprinkle bacon bits over egg mixture

Toaster Oven: Baked Salmon Muffins

I will attempt to describe how I made these muffins but during the process, I veered a bit from the ingredients and did not make notes.

Toaster Oven: Baked Salmon Muffins
(Adapted from: https://efnep.ifas.ufl.edu/media/efnepifasufledu/pdfs/recipes/Salmon-patties-English-UF.pdf)


Pre-heat Toaster Oven, set on Bake at 350 degrees.
Using a paper towel or a reusable clean cloth, wipe muffin tin slots with olive oil.


3 -140g (4.94 oz) Cans of salmon, drained
1 TBspn Lime juice
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Celery, diced
1 TBspn Bell pepper, diced
1 TBspn Onion powder+
1 Cup Bread cubes, fresh*
1 TBspns Olive oil
1 TBspns Flour
S/P to taste
Topping: 2 Tspns of canned salsa
Garnish: Lime slices


Add salmon into a large bowl.
Add lime juice. Stir.
Crack eggs into salmon mixture.
Stir well.
Add celery and bell peppers.
Stir well.
Add onion powder. Stir well.
Add bread cubes.
Stir thoroughly. Mix cubes into mixture.
Add Olive oil. Stir well.
Add flour, salt and pepper. Stir well.
Add more bread cubes, if mixture is too moist.
Add water, if mixture is too thick.
Need mixture to be slightly thick and stiff to shape into muffins.

+Note: I added a dab of LO pickled onions from a carryout order.

Using tablespoon, scoop up mixture and fill tin slots with mixture.
Add extra mixture to each until you have an even amount of mixture in each slot.
Press the mixture lightly with the back of spoon to shape mixture evenly in the slot.
Top each slot of mixture with 2 Tspns of salsa.

Bake 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove when done, place muffin tray on cooling rack.

Salmon muffins should be easy to lift out with a spoon onto a plate or into a refrigerator container with a lid.

*Can use commercial bread crumbs, or crushed crackers.

Easy Chocolate Frosting

A tin of cocoa powder has been sitting in my frig for quite awhile. In the past, I was making lots of Microwave Bowl Cakes but none recently.

So, I wondered what can I use the cocoa powder for? Originally, I thought of making a frosting for cookies and I came upon this recipe on BBCFood.com.

Easy Chocolate Frosting
(Adapted from: https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/simple_cocoa_frosting_95104)

This recipe makes a small amount of frosting.


1 heaping TBspn of cocoa powder
 6 heaping TBspns of confectioners sugar
1 TBspn Olive oil
8 TBspns of heavy cream

Add ingredients to a container with a lid.
Stir and mix ingredients thoroughly until it is creamy.
Add lid.
Store in frig for future use.

I am trying to make drop biscuits or cookies and plan to ice them with this frosting.

Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Mousse

Updated 1/9/21
As I peruse the peanut recipes created by George Washington Carver, a noted Botanist, who promoted new agricultural methods and cash crops like the peanut and sweet potato to assist farmers in the South, I found his recipe for Peanut Frappe below which I find similar to my Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Mousse.
How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption, Seventh Edition, January 1940

By GEORGE W. CARVER, M.S. in AGR., Director
"5. Peanut Frappe

Make one pint of good gelatin; set aside to harden.
Stir 1 cup of granulated sugar into one pint of whipped cream;
when the gelatin is just at the point of setting, stir into the whipped cream by beating it with a fork;
add 3/4 cup of peanut meal;
serve in sherbert glasses with fresh or preserved fruit."
Slowly, I am discovering the fun and many uses of yogurt and peanut butter in various recipes.

Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Mousse
(Adapted from: https://eatsmartmovemoreva.org/recipes/yogurt-peanut-butter-dip/)

3 heaping TBspns creamy peanut butter
5 TBspns plain yogurt
1 Capful vanilla flavoring

Garnish: fruit slices or berries
Topping: Cinnamon 
Add peanut butter into a bowl.
Add yogurt and vanilla. 
Mix well until smooth. 
If a thicker mousse is desired, add more peanut butter. 
If a thinner mousse or dip is desired, add more yogurt.

Serve in a small dessert bowl.
Add garnish and cinnamon.
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension
Miami New Times Blogs
Top 5 George Washington Carver Peanut Recipes
(Accessed 2/10/2010)