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Day 44: Cooking with ingredients

So, this past Christmas, I was given two cookbooks. The first one I will be trying out is Double Delicious, by Jessica Seinfeld.

Do you know about Jessica Seinfeld and Double Delicious (the sequel to Deceptively Delicious)? Yes, she's Jerry Seinfeld's wife and yes, I doubt she really spends as much time puree-ing as she implies in these books, but the thesis is solid. If people don't like to eat vegetables, they won't. But by using simple replacements, you can sneakily add nutrients and also save money.

I have made one or two recipes from Seinfeld's first cookbook (macaroni and cheese with pureed beans sneaking mixed in), and as part of my new challenge to do meal planning, I have chosen a few recipes to try.

So, tonight I will be attempting to make two recipes from Double Delicious:

Pumpkin ravioli

Banana chocolate tarts

The banana chocolate tarts will be part of my frugal Valentine's Day tomorrow, about which I will tell you more later. But, in order to get the proper ingredients for these two "frugal" recipes, I went to the store and hunted down:

wonton wrappers
pureed pumpkin
garlic powder
sour cream
whole wheat flour
cooking spray
navy beans

So is it frugal to use recipes? Or would it have been cheaper just to buy pre-made pumpkin ravioli (which Superstore sells and which is SO GOOD)? We shall see. Hopefully I will use some of these ingredients towards further frugal bakery.

Wish me luck!


Sarah Klein said...

Good Luck!! It is generally more frugal to cook with recipes than to buy it premade from the store! Of course, you will occasionally buy some more expensive ingredients that you use less often or that might go bad before you remember to use them up. But planning around what you have in your fridge and pantry is key. You will probably not need to buy cornstarch again for like 6 months to a year, and it doesn't go bad. Same for the garlic powder. Once you get into a groove of familiarity with recipes and ingredients, grocery shopping becomes easier and cheaper, since you just get the regular things (cereal, milk, eggs etc) and fill in the gaps for the things you plan to make. I have learned this from my super frugal companion, but we've both gotten a lot better about planning based on what we have over the years (rather than planning only based on what you spontaneously want). is great for when you have ingredients that you don't know what to do with - you can search for recipes that use them, then you don't end up throwing as much away.

Foster said...

Thanks for the tips! I remember Z's impressive culinary frugality. I think meal planning will involve some investment things (i.e. spices, baking things) but hopefully it will snowball into a more frugal grocery experience of maintenance.

Olivia Corey said...

This site is also good for entering in what you have in your pantry and then it pulls up recipes from sites all over the place based on what you have. It's been very helpful.

Annabelle said...

Thanks for the tip, Olivia!

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