Archive for the 'cooking and food' Category


Free Quiznos Sub?

Has anyone else tried to redeem the coupons from Quiznos Million Subs Giveaway?

There seems to be a lot of hubbub over this one, which The Consumerist has covered pretty well. Since since issues with redeeming the coupons seem to be ironing out, I thought it would be safe to try to redeem the coupons both me and the boyfriend received. We got a reminder email from Quiznos last night to print the coupons. We did, and decided to find a location to visit today.

We found a location, although the nearest was 15 miles away. But it was a sort of lame adventure.. what else would we do on a random Saturday? We piled in the car and drove to it. Once inside though, it was a small nightmare. We were told our coupons were no good, they wouldn’t accept them, but then when I tried to find a corporate phone number to find they decided to “try to run the numbers through.” We stood there for a good half an hour while multiple employees told us different things and took info off of our IDs. In the end, though, the coupons were denied and we were told they were fake and no good. Surprising since we had printed the coupons directly from the Quiznos email the night before.

In the end all was not lost – we were so hungry by that point that we went to the Mexican place next door and had the best lobster chimichangas possible. Still, we were bummed, considering we thought we would try something new. And standing in that store for a half an hour smelling the food and then being denied was a whole ball of fun, lemme tell you.

I’m not totally ripping Qiznos a new one yet. I know that there has been a lot of miscommunication on this one between the store locations and corporate. I have emailed with the complaint. I’ll let you know how this turns out.

And as an update to this post concerning my trouble with enrolling in free prescription programs – the issue has seemed to resolve itself. One day GlaxoSmithKline just started randomly sending me bottles of my medication – granted, it’s what the prescription was for, so I won’t complain. AstraZeneca was actually a pretty good sport – after the 3rd phone call where they had “not received anything from my doctor” when I know the doctor faxed something in, in exasperation I said “What ARE you guys? Is this really a prescription program? Or an illegal drug front? What are you guys selling?!”

I really wouldn’t recommend that technique for someone trying to enroll, but the guy on the other end of the line was a great sport, laughed, and gave me his personal fax number. A week later I had the meds. So good for both of the companies.

There are some great blog posts coming up – one in which I ponder the price of $20 chicken breasts and decide to debone a whole chicken (it’s just chilling in the freezer now and I am scared shitless) and review awesome and inexpensive makeup. Good stuff!


Angel Food Ministries

So, to put it bluntly, the price of food sucks. Even though the price of gas has gone down dramatically, the price of food is nicely staying perched atop the height it hit in 2008. I know at the beginning of 2008 I was a horrible cook – epically horrible. The cost of processed foods kept rising though, and I saw our grocery bill keep rising, and I knew I had to do something. One thing that I have been meaning to do, though, is join Angel Food Ministries.

Angel Food Ministries is a program where you place an order for a box of food at the beginning of the month, and the cost of a box is $30. It can feed a family of four for about a week, and the average retail price is around $60.

This isn’t a charity, though. The success of Angel Food Ministries depends on people buying boxes of food – the more money they have the more money they are able to buy more food at a cheaper price. There are no applications, requirements, income restrictions, or minimum limit. It’s the good quality stuff, too.. it’s not second hand food. Food stamps are accepted, though.

This month’s menu, for example:

1.5 lb. Sirloin Strip Steaks
2 lb. Tray Pack Chicken Breasts
1 lb. Boneless Pork Chops
2 lb. Breaded Chicken Nuggets
28 oz. Salisbury Steak Entrée
12 oz. Sliced Bacon
1 lb. All-Meat Hot Dog
1 lb. Stir Fry (Broccoli, Red Peppers & Onions)
1 lb. Carrots
8 oz. Breakfast Cereal
32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk
35 oz. Crinkle-Cut Fries
7.25 oz. Mac ‘n Cheese
1 lb. Rice
1 lb. Bean Soup Mix
Dozen Eggs

Plus, you can get add-on boxes, like a Assorted Meat Box, Fajita Kit, etc.

You can find your local host site here (they are located in local churches), and then you can contact your host site to order that month’s box. There are many sites located in Cincinnati, making it easy to find a host site.

It’s definitely worth trying, and you can save money in the process!

(And to avoid the inevitable – this story about Angel Food Ministries came out on the same exact day I started writing this blog post. I wasn’t sure how to handle this, but I decided to keep blogging about it because people can get good food at a great price. I hope that the investigation turns up nothing, but if it does I’m glad that the FBI is investigating. Reminds me of the Locks of Love controversy, no?)


Benihana’s Onion Soup Recipe – crock pot style

We’ve been to Benihana a few times this year, and each time we eat there I can’t get enough of the onion soup that is served as an appetizer. The soup is very brothy but holds a lot of flavor. I was dead set on trying to replicate it at home. I think I hit the flavor dead on – but I definitely don’t claim that it is a low-sodium recipe!

Since the soup is pretty flavorful, I thought the crock pot might be the best way to replicate it, since it would allow the flavors to mingle and develop. This recipe was made in a 5qt CrockPot.

Benihana CrockPot Japanese Onion Soup

5 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes (I used 4 low-sodium and 2 regular, because that’s what I had. Adjust salt as needed.)
1 tsp salt
1 white onion
1/2 carrot
1/2 celery stalk
1 cup veggie oil
AP flour
thinly sliced mushrooms
sliced green onions

Combine the water, bouillon cubes and salt in crock pot and turn on high. Cut the white onion in half and coarsely chop the half onion, half carrot, and half celery stalk. Add to the crock pot. Put the lid on and let it cook for 4-5 hours. I did two hours on high and two hours on low. After two hours on high the flavors seemed to be coming together, and the two more hours let everything mingle. Just taste as you go along to judge.

When the broth is done, set the crock pot to “warm”. Add the oil to a small skillet or sauce pan and very thinly slice the other half of the white onion, separating the pieces. Dip in the milk and then toss in the flour until coated. Fry a handful at a time in the oil till golden brown, then drain on a paper towel.

Strain the veggies out of the broth. Put around 1 cup of soup into a bowl, and add sliced mushrooms and green onions, and toss in a few fried onions. I add a bit more than they would add at the restaurant, because of an appetizer I make the soup a meal! 🙂

And serve!


Polar Opposites of Food

From the opposite ends of the food spectrum…

The Consumerist has posted that Haagen-Daz is cutting their 16 fl. oz. cartons to 14 fl. oz., and the 32 fl. oz. cartons will be 28 fl. oz.

Shrinking food sizes in this economy has been no surprise, but I was pleasantly shocked to hear their honest and admirable reason:

To offset increasing costs, we did not consider reducing the quality of our ingredients or the care we take in making your ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. We opted instead to slightly reduce some of our carton sizes.

On the other side of things, Slashfood lead me to this great YouTube channel called DepressionCooking. Featuring Clara (a 93 year old great grandmother) who cooks simple yet filling dishes that were made back in the Great Depression v.1.0 and talks about her experiences. My grandfather would be 93 if he was still alive (but he passed at 89, so I don’t feel that he was shorted), so hearing her talk about her experiences are really neat!


Squash soup, shoes, and a new blog to read

I’ve been quite the cook! With it being cold, hearty food just sounds like a good idea.

Talking about cheap, I made Butternut Squash Soup. I had bought a butternut squash back in October, and somehow it made it’s way over to the boyfriends “side” of the produce bin, and was covered by a sack of apples. I thought it was long gone, but I found it and cut it open. It probably wasn’t at it’s height of flavor, but it was two degrees out and there was no way in hell I was going to leave the apartment.

It was made in the Crock Pot, took little effort, and smelled so fucking good! It’s a very rich and hearty soup.

After I ate too much soup I decided to top it off with too many cookies.

I used Mrs. Sigg’s Snickerdoodles recipe and they turned out perfect. I am not a *huge* snickerdoodles fan, but in order to save money and try to use up ingredients here I found a recipe that would work with what I had on hand.

I also made meringues:

I wanted something light and sweet, and these fit the bill. I didn’t have peppermints or chocolate chips in stock, so I just threw a spoonful of cocoa powder and took some shredded coconut and put it in the coffee grinder to refine it a bit. They meringues ended up tasting really good. They were a bit undone in the center, so I might up the temp by a few.

With absolutely no segue, we were at Target tonight and they had an awesome clearance going on. I got 2 pairs of pumps that I almost bought when they were full price! Instead, they were $5.94. And I used a $3 coupon that they sent me because of a customer service/food issue, and both were under $10 together! Hell, at that rate they are practically handing me cash!

..ok, maybe not. But without further delay:

So cute!

Also, my friend Mariah has a new blog, called Mariah Cooks. It’s pretty new, but it already looks awesome – recipes, restaurant reviews, and other fun food stuff!


Telephone Books and Chicken Tacos

Just a couple of random things before I head to bed.

The Consumerist has posted that Cincinnati Bell is no longer going to deliver the White Pages. I have mixed feelings on this one, but one feeling is definitely relief of not having to face a big pile of phone books on the apartment porch that is ignored by un-interested tenants.

Also, I used my crock pot today! I got one from my parents for Christmas. It’s a 5 qt, which seems a bit big for just two, but I’m sure I can adjust accordingly. I just made tacos tonight to “get the feel” of how it cooks, and it was so easy! The chicken was so juicy that when I cut it to see if it was done, it burst. I just put in 2 chicken breasts, and filled the crock pot up with water till they were covered, added a packet of taco seasoning and stirred. 3-4 hours later I was done, and I set it out with the regular taco fixin’s. A good first round!

About Me

An always interesting but sometimes random blog of a 20-something just trying to save money in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am also a wanna-be foodie on a budget.

Likes: cats, pink alcoholic drinks, my KitchenAid mixer, knitting.
Dislikes: Our health care system, celery.

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About Me

An always interesting but sometimes foul-mouthed blog of a 20-something just trying to save money in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Likes: cats, pink alcoholic drinks, my KitchenAid mixer, knitting.
Dislikes: Our health care system, celery.

Social Networking Thingies