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Special Post: We’re Moving!

22 May

I interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to make an important announcement about your favorite blog:

The Frugal Flambe is moving!

After almost three months of daily recipes, tips/tricks, fun facts about our family, and encouragement for those looking to cook more at home, I officially have purchased the rights to www.thefrugalflambe.com, making it possible for us to leave WordPress and host ourselves.

Why would we want do leave WordPress?

Well, many reasons. Firstoff, let me say that WordPress has been beyond wonderful to us, and it’d actually be easier to stick around because of all their awesome perks and plugins. That being said, though, there are some benefits to hosting ourselves:

  1. We can customize the site. We can change the look, the feel, the groove. All of it. It’s all open to us now.
  2. We can now host advertisers. Does this mean we’re going to be one big commercial? Heavens no. But, now we can help connect you to quality retailers and sites that will do more to help you become the culinary master you’ve always wanted to be.
  3. It’s easier to remember. If you love The Frugal Flambe, then you know our name. And now, you know our website too!

What about my subscription?

RSS subscriptions and email subscriptions should be fine. However, this is new to us, so we might have a few glitches. If you’re having trouble, re-subscribe at the new site and all will be well. If you don’t have trouble, then yay! The stars have aligned!

What’s changing, other than the web address?

The look is new, brighter, and hopefully more fun. But the content is the same- a recipe and a bit of encouragement every day for you and yours. (Just a bit more fashionable.)

When will the switch happen?

We’re hoping we can get all the kinks ironed out in the next day or so. If all goes well, you’ll see our new, prettier face VERY soon.

Do you have other questions? Ask them in the comments- we’re here to help!
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Recipe: Chicken Saltimbocca

3 May

Welcome to your Tuesday, readers, and yet another installment of “Man Food with Mike”. Actually, it’s going to be “Man Food with Shellina”, which isn’t nearly as catchy, but just as informative and thrilling, I assure you. What’s that I hear? “Isn’t Mike supposed to be writing the Man Food posts?” Why yes, yes he is, and you’re perfectly welcome to email him about how disappointed you are in his lack of go-get-em-ness when it comes to getting his posts done on time. What? You don’t have his email address? Well, we’re married, so send the complaints to me and I’ll be sure to read them out loud at the dinner table. He’ll enjoy that, I’m sure.

All sarcasm aside, I am of course excited to do another post- this is my blog after all. But I am especially excited because this post is not just a recipe post, folks. Nay, it is much, much more than that. This is a post welcoming our first sponsor, Sweet Mother Nature. You’ll notice there’s an image in the right hand sidebar of the site that you can click on- but click AFTER you read the rest of this, okay? Anyway, click on that image, and you’ll go straight to the source of healthy, delicious, kid-friendly snacks and yummies that will no doubt win a place in your heart and home for years to come. You might remember that during our first few weeks of The Frugal Flambe, Sweet Mother Nature did an interview and a giveaway with us- so exciting. I’m pretty much beyond stoked to have them on board as a part of our growing crew here.

Speaking of growing- we ARE! We’ve hit 60 days of recipes and posts here at The Frugal Flambe, and just this week we passed 10,000 views. I am so thankful for all of the attention we’ve been getting, and am so thankful for each of you. Whether it’s your first time here, or you’ve been around since our beginning, we love and appreciate you- thanks for stopping by! Please do so again soon. Also, we’re on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and FoodBuzz– so if you just can’t get enough, we’d love to see you there, too!

Now, on to the really juicy part of the post- the recipe! This is one from my mother-in-law, Mary. You might remember me referencing her and her amazing raspberry pie. If you liked that recipe, you’ll LOVE this one. She never lets us down.

Chicken Saltimbocca

Ingredients:

  • 6 thin chicken breasts
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • 6 slices swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp tarragon
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup cooking sherry
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch blended with 1 tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).
  2. With a meat mallet, gently pound out chicken breasts. They don’t have to be thin, but pounding them a bit can make them easier to fold. (we’ll be stuffing them)
  3. Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on each breast.
  4. Fold breast together and skewer with two toothpicks.
  5. Dip chicken rolls inf lour to coat, shake off excess, then dip in eggs.
  6. Drain briefly and roll in mixture of crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and tarragon.
  7. Brown chicken rolls in butter in a large frying pan, turning to brown on all sides.
  8. Transfer to a baking dish and pour in chicken broth and sherry. (At this point, you can stop and refrigerate the chicken to cook later, if desired.)
  9. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes (40 minutes if refrigerated).
  10. Transfer chicken to serving platter.
  11. Drain sauce into a frying pan, bring to boil, and blend in cornstarch mixture. Stir until thickened.
  12. Pour sauce over chicken rolls, serve.

Do you have a fave stuffed chicken recipe? We’d love to hear it- share it in the comments.

Download the .pdf of this recipe: Chicken Saltimbocca

Special Extra Post: BABY!

5 Apr

You guys know, I usually just stick to the food. But there are some occassions that demand an exception, and THIS is one of them!

We got to see our baby yesterday- Abigail Marie is 20 weeks along and looking beautiful! We are so excited- I’ve been feeling her wiggle around for the last three weeks or so, but seeing her was a wonderful reminder of the joy we’re expecting in August!

And speaking of August, I’m currently looking for people who would be willing to guest-blog for me once or twice during a short 3-week “baby hiatus” I’ll be taking when the kiddo is born. Check out the info on what we’re looking for HERE, and let me know if you’re interested.

Have a wonderful day!

Top 10 Food Blogs of the Week

28 Mar

I’ve been connecting with a lot of other bloggers lately- and you know it’s been all about food. I’ve enjoyed their stuff so much, I decided to share my top ten with you (in no particular order)! Imagine Letterman’s band is behind me with the cool “top 10” music- that’ll make this experience really fun. (And, seriously, the blogs are awesome.)

  1. Blackberry Eating in Late September – Apple Cranberry Crumble recipe… I love desserts. 😉
  2. A Muse in my Kitchen – Paninis! Need I say more?
  3. Brie en Croute – a funny and legit approach to making mistakes in the kitchen- and chocolate cake.
  4. Come on Ilene! – Amazing thai tea recipe.
  5. Confessions of a Changed Shawn – Amazing raw popcorn recipe- even if you’re not Vegan, this looks yummy.
  6. Cooking by My Own Rules – Allergy-free brownies- and btw, still looking for that mom/dad who can do a column for us about cooking for kids with allergies/intolerances… *cough*
  7. Crazy Sweet Life – Blackberry Pear Custard Pie… um the title is incredible, and you should see the pictures. AWESOME.
  8. GirlEvolving – She writes about her life, food, and she’s pregnant. (So am I, and our due dates are close. This alone gets her on the list, okay?)
  9. Korena in the Kitchen – Hot cross buns, and we see eye to eye on the yummies.
  10. Life Tastes Like Food – Not only does she write awesome posts about food, but she’s guest blogging here in a couple of weeks! Stay tuned!

So there they are- my fave blog posts from the past week. Check back next Monday for my NEW fave posts of the week. And hey, wanna get on the list? Write a rockin post and send me the link!

Have a great week, guys- see you tomorrow!

Healthy Bites with Holly: Tofu Smoothies and GIVEAWAY WINNER!

25 Mar

Back in January, when I first started with Weight Watchers, I sat through the introductory talk where they tried to explain to me the importance of what they call “power foods.” Power Foods are “high energy density” foods that have high nutrient content and help satisfy your hunger with relatively lower calories compared to how full you feel after you eat them. In this program, power foods are things like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein items. I’ll be honest here and share that I didn’t fully pay attention early on, and had a vague image in my mind of the 1990’s Power Rangers (Go, Go, Power Rangers) and promptly ignored their guidance. Instead, I only focused on staying within my points (I get 40) and kept eating the same kinds of foods that I always ate.

A few weeks later, when my weight loss was less than a half a pound a week for several weigh-ins, I was pretty upset. I was going to the meetings, I was staying within my points, and I was hungry most of the time, which didn’t feel good. But only 0.2 pounds lost? What in the heck was I doing wrong? I had to sort this all out and luckily, after the meeting, the leader was willing to review my food diary for that week. “Hmmm..low cal bread…100 calorie crackers…pasta…white rice…sugar free cookies…” she read out loud as she reviewed my food choices. “You really like those carbs.” I must have had a blank look on my face, so she explained that it was more than just how many points (calories) you eat, that WHAT you eat is just as important. “You need to eat more protein and fiber, and less carbohydrates and fat.” She then patiently reminded me about the power food list and pointed out the low fat protein choices.

Eating more protein has been challenging to me. My natural food choices and likes and dislikes did not include many protein choices. Here are the foods I added easily to my daily diet:

  • Hard boiled Eggs
  • Greek Yogurt (much higher in protein than regular yogurt btw)
  • Low fat cheese (Mozzarella is my personal choice)
  • Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • Tuna

Another good source of low fat protein is Tofu. Yuck! I could never understand how anyone ate tofu. It was like rubber to me. I struggled with the consistency, and the lack of flavor. And I didn’t know what do with it, how to cook with it and so I avoided it. But now that I needed to focus on adding more protein, I decided to give it a try. After a little research, I discovered that there are several types of tofu: Silken, Tub or Brick. Tub tofu comes in different thickness or consistencies and is packed in water. Brick tofu is very very firm and can be sliced, crumbled and can even be grilled. But so far, silken tofu is my favorite. It is soft, and a little “runny”. It looks like very very thick sour cream. It has very little flavor, and when mixed with fruit, it makes an awesome smoothie. And for it’s calorie count, it packs a lot of protein in your diet in a good way.

When first making my new protein smoothies, I made a few mistakes along the way. After seeing once of those blender commercials where they show how the high powered blender can make anything taste good, I decided to blend up the following:

  • Flash frozen, no sugar added cherries
  • 6 ounces of Silken Tofu
  • Splash of Soy Milk
  • Two handfuls of raw spinach leaves (yes– that’s right–raw spinach!

I have no idea what I was thinking. It was green, it was thick and it tasted like cow feed. UGGHH! Do not make that smoothie.

My next attempt was much, much better:

  • 1 cup of flash frozen fruit (your choice) without added sugar
  • 6 ounces Silken Tofu
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/2 water (as needed to help blender chop ice)
  • Three packets of artificial sweetener (I prefer Truvia)

Blend this up and you will not be sorry. I really like this in the evening, after dinner, for my dessert. It fills my tummy, and keeps me away from snacking on other less healthy things. And the fresh fruit flavors cannot be beat.

The best news is that once I finally followed the nutritional advice and upped my protein, I had much better weight loss results at the scale. And I am very rarely feeling those hunger pangs I experienced with my high carbohydrate diet. Give tofu a try and blend yourself thin!

Nutritional Information (with flash frozen no sugar added cherries): Calories: 141 Fat: 6g cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 2mg Total Carb: 21g Dietary Fiber: 2g Protein: 8g

Holly is the mother of three grown daughters, and has recently embarked on her own journey of weight loss and healthy living. Convinced that the key to her success is smart, but manageable, eating choices, she is now a regular columnist for The Frugal Flambe- you can catch her posts every Friday right here! Join her every week as she shares her triumphs and successes, and maybe a couple of stumbles along the way. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be horrible- Holly can do it, and so can you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, I know you’ve all been clinging to the edge of your seats for this one: the Sweet Mother Nature Giveaway Winner!!!

According to the Randomizer, our winner is: Amanda!!!!

Congratulations to you, Amanda, and a special thanks to all who participated.

To the winner: expect an email from thefrugalflambe(at)gmail(dot)com within 24 hours- it’ll include the contact info of Sweet Mother Nature, and you can send your address directly to them to get your FREE bag of dried apples! Yummy!

VLOG: Intro & Choc Chip Cookies

14 Mar

Our first VLOG! That’s right, every Monday you can now join me, Shellina, as I give you updates and share a recipe.

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 12 oz bag chocolate chips

     

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugars.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. Add soda, salt, and vanilla.
  4. Slowly add flour.
  5. Mix in chocolate chips.
  6. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees (F) for approx 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

     

    What did you think of our first VLOG? Let us know in the comments!

     

    Download .pdf format recipe HERE.

 

 

Family Night: Getting the Kiddos Involved in the Kitchen

11 Mar

Cooking with kids can seem intimidating. That’s because it IS. Think about all the dangers: knives, hot things, and the whole “curiosity killed the cat” theory that we never want applied to our little ones.

All of the above is true. But it’s not a deal-breaker. On the contrary, there are many ways to get the kids involved in safe, manageable ways.

  • Provide safe working environment.

Either take the dangerous stuff out of the kitchen (or out of reach), or take the kids out of the kitchen. But that doesn’t mean they still can’t be involved. See next bullet.

  • Choose a meal that doesn’t require active heating/cutting/flames.

Think creatively: what recipes require very little actual cooking til the very last step? One option is “Pigs in a Blanket”, recipe below. Think about it: you cut the hot dogs (can be done with a butter knife), you wrap them in pre-made croissant dough, and put them on the cookie sheet- all at the kitchen table- no actual kitchen time needed. Then, why not start a board game at the table and pop those piggies in the oven for a few short minutes before chowing down? It is family night, after all.

  • Get Dad, the big kids, and maybe even Grandma involved.

The best case scenario for a family night is to have the whole crew together, right? So why not make sure you’ve got one adult (or big kid) for every little one. The more eyes the better. Making macaroni with two toddlers? Put one adult on direction reading and project management with the youngest, and yourself on implementation duty (stirring, pouring, etc) with the big kid. Switch roles every 5 or 10 minutes so both kids get to cook.

  • Keep calm, and carry on.

Okay, so Billy dropped the egg on the floor, and Sarah ate a chunk of unbaked dough. It’s okay. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself that the kiddos aren’t bleeding, that this whole experience is about enjoying each other and having fun, and if the food tastes bad, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are readily available.

Note: If the kids ARE bleeding, skip that last step and high-tail it to the ER.

Pigs in a Blanket

Ingredients:

  • One package of hot dogs
  • 1 tube croissant dough (perhaps Pillsbury)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut each hot dog in half.
  3. Wrap each hot dog half in a single croissant triangle.
  4. Place rolled hot dogs on cookie sheet, equally spaced.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Price Watch:

1 package of hot dogs: approx. $2

1 tubes of croissant dough: approx. $2

1 bag of microwavable steamed veggies (to round it out): approx. $2.50

Total Dinner Price for 4: approx. $6.50


Got more ideas on how to integrate kiddos into the kitchen? Share them in the comments- we’d love to hear it!

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