Monthly Archives: October 2009

Using coupons

For years I’ve resisted using coupons because I was very skeptical that the time and energy spent would justify the savings.  But last August (fifteen months ago), I finally decided to do some research and try using them for a while in a organized and strategic manner to see how much money I could save.  I heard of people getting significant savings, or even getting things for free, on things that would be helpful for our family.  So I set about learning how to work the system for CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. 

First, I did my online research, reading and figuring out the lingo and system for each store.  Then I asked a relative in the area for the insert of their Sunday papers, and started clipping the coupons in them.  And then I headed to the stores.

The first visits to each store weren’t fun.  It took a long time, I didn’t know where anything was located (I didn’t shop in any of these places before), and it took time to learn how to apply for rebates, what order to present coupons in, etc.  But after the first couple of visits, it got easier, and it got to be more enjoyable.  My kids got to the point that they expected me to walk in from these stores telling them I paid nothing for all my items.  :)

Yes, you can definitely save money by using coupons.  If used well, you can come home paying small amounts for your items or even getting them for free.  I had fun doing this with particularly with shampoos and soaps; since these are things that we always need, it was nice to get them significantly discounted.  I also got some things that were nice gifts for extended family members last Chanuka. 

But after a few months, I felt I had given coupon usage a fair shot and decided not to bother anymore.  Yes, even though I figured out the system and knew how to use them very effectively.  Why?  I felt it was using way too much time for insignificant things.  I really don’t use a lot of consumer items.  I don’t like constantly thinking about buying or sales or having to shop.  I don’t use processed foods.  And alot of the health and beauty aids I don’t want, even if they’re free.  I didn’t see any benefit for us in using coupons for our food bills, because the foods we eat are rarely discounted and I have yet to find anyone with a family our size that spends less than we do by using coupons (or even smaller families spending proportionately less). 

Too many store clerks have no clue how coupons work and it’s a pain to spend an hour having your transaction cancelled, speaking to a manager, having it rung up again, having to explain to those who work there why their store rules allow you to use your coupons to get items for free (it got to the point I’d buy an inexpensive item so they wouldn’t realize that I wasn’t paying anything out of pocket for everything else).  Even when everything goes smoothly, you still need to drive to the stores, stand on line, etc.  My life energy and time is worth much more to me than the piddling amount I saved (piddling referring to the amount saved on things I truly needed, not the amount I supposedly saved by getting things for free that I wouldn’t have otherwise purchased).  

I feel my time is spent much more effectively by stocking up when there are sales, cooking from scratch, and minimizing my use of health and beauty aids.  There’s almost nothing left that we buy in the drugstores.  I mentioned buying a fifty pound sack of baking soda  six months ago, and since then have been meaning to share with you what we do with all of that!  I’ll write a more detailed list sometime, but in short it replaces almost everything I would have bought or got for free with coupons.  And it benefits our health and the environment to boot!

While there may be couponers who spend less than we do on health and beauty aids a year, we don’t spend very much.  I’ve seen what the cost to saving money with coupons was and it wasn’t a true savings for me.  Now I’m back where I love being most, home with my family, focusing on things that I enjoy!

Avivah

Waiting for interest the early years

>>After listening to your lecture, I have some questions, especially about the early years of “schooling.” You seemed pretty “un-schooly” at first, and I’m wondering how this works for Judaism-related things. Like for instance, wearing a kippah, or washing for bread, or wearing tsit-tsit, etc. Did you just wait for interest, or how did it work? <<

Yes, I do take a very relaxed approach in the early years!  But it doesn’t mean that things aren’t taught or done as much as we integrate them into daily living instead of creating artificial lessons.  There’s a general tendency that isn’t positive to push our very young (and even not so young) children into formal learning despite the well known fact that formal learning isn’t generally the most effective method.  Too many parents imitate the weaknesses of daycare/school programs (usually because they don’t have other models of how learning happens), rather than building on the strengths of a warm, family centered setting.  We prefer games, activities, outings, reading books, listening to cassettes, etc, knowing that learning is then fun and natural. 

When it comes to mitzva observance, there’s the passive aspect of being a role model of the habits you want your children to learn. That’s crucial – it would be unreasonable to expect our kids to take mitzvos seriously if we don’t.  But I don’t rely on role modeling alone to teach our children to keep the mitzvos.  It’s like kids don’t learn to clean their rooms by watching you clean (and if this isn’t obvious to you yet, speak to mothers of older children and listen to them bemoan how their kids just watch them work and never help) – they need to actually get hands on practice to internalize whatever they’re seeing.   

The second aspect is actively teaching them the things you want them to know.  I don’t wait for interest, but generally littles want to be like you and do what you do, so the interest is pretty much there without you having to do too much.  A young child will naturally imitate a lot of things – our littles learn very young to answer ‘amen’, sit quietly for kiddush, hold up their hands to a havdala candle, just by watching all of us.  When they start washing for bread, we teach them the bracha (blessing) to say, usually starting at about 18 – 24 months.  The same with other foods – we start with the first three words and last three words of a bracha. The boys get tzitzis and kippas when they are three – this is something they look forward to for months and is a source of a lot of excitement.  With older siblings, this has become even more exciting for the littles – not only are there more people who build up what they have to look forward to, but there are more big people they look up to and want to be like.

I’m not of the mindset that I have to wait for interest or desire by my children.  If they have  an interest or desire to learn about something or explore an issue, I’ll try my best to support them.  I do, however, believe it’s valuable to get your kids on board with the ‘program’, so they they support the direction you’re leading them in.  This is one of my strengths as a parent – my husband once told me I’m a good salesman when it comes to getting my kids to go along with my ideas, and though I never thought of it in those terms, he’s right.  I don’t coerce them or try to convince them that my way is right.  When they are little, there’s not much value in discussion – parents make the mistake of trying to get their little children to give them approval or permission for what they’re doing.  It might sound laughable or extreme but if you think about it, you’ll realize that it’s not uncommon. That’s an unfair burden to place on young shoulders. We’re the ones with life experience and the concurrent wisdom that comes with experience, and it’s our job to shoulder that responsibility.  I make the rules, but I  try to make the rules reasonable and fair – firm guidelines don’t need to be harsh to be effective.  

As they get older, I often share my thoughts and why I want to do whatever it is, or why I believe whatever the issue at hand is.  When they are on the younger side, this is about smaller issues.  As they get older, the issues I discuss with them become more serious and important. I usually ask for their thoughts and opinions, and whether they disagree or agree with me, ask them to explain how they came to the conclusion that they did. This works because I discuss things with them from a position of respect.  I honestly don’t mind if they disagree with me and enjoy hearing their perspectives.

This approach has worked well for me – our kids are generally supportive of what we do and how we do it, and it eliminates many of the tensions that so many parents experience between themselves and their children, which make raising children of all ages much easier and more enjoyable!

Avivah

Decadent Nut Cake (Gluten free)

I experimented with a new idea for a topping for the sweet potato pie on Shabbos, and dd14 followed my instructions and did five times the recipe I gave her.  I was trying for something without any sweetener or flour.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think to tell her not to increase the salt more than double the recipe, so we ended up with a large amount of salty topping.

Since it was not only a large amount but also used expensive ingredients (almost nine cups of almond flour), I didn’t want it to go to waste (an important frugal guideline – don’t waste food!).  I created this new recipe as a way to put the topping to use, and it ended up being a hit.  We served it as a rich and nutty breakfast loaf  but I think you can serve it as a dessert if you add the higher amount of honey.  Because of the cost I’d suggest making it for a dessert; that’s what I’ll do in the future.  I’m giving you the proportions I used, and leaving it for you to size it down to scale. :)

Avivah’s Decadent Nut Cake

  • 2 c. dates
  • 2 1/2 c. water
  • 5  T. coconut oil
  • 8 3/4 c. almond flour
  • 2 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 2 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. ginger
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/3 c. yogurt
  • 1/2 – 1 c. honey
  • 2 t. vanilla

Blend the dates, water, and coconut oil.  Mix the eggs, honey, yogurt, and vanilla and stir into date mixture.  Mix the almond flour together with all the spices, baking powder, and baking soda.  Combine the nut mixture with the date mixture until combined well.  Pour into a greased pan and bake at 350 degrees until done – it will be very moist inside, but a knife inserted in the center should come out clean.  Our large panful took a little over an hour to bake, but a smaller pan will obviously take less time.

I was debating adding in flour, to make it like a nutty muffin loaf, but decided not to. So this is not only filled with healthy ingredients, it’s gluten free, for those wanting to avoid wheat.  To make a non dairy option, use coconut milk in place of the yogurt.

Avivah

Weekly menu plan

Here’s the menu for this week:

Shabbos – challah, chicken, potato knishes, roasted vegetables, sauerkraut, rugelach, power bars; lunch – chicken, cholent, kishke, roasted potatoes, pineapple coleslaw, sweet potato pie with crumb topping, broccoli plum salad, cauliflower salad, oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate-peanut butter squares, almond power bars, plums

Sun- brunch – cottage cheese pancakes, homemade grape jelly; snack – oatmeal cookies and fruit; dinner – broccoli and cheese stuffed potatoes

Mon – b – sunflower seeds,  sliced almonds, raisins with yogurt; l – panini sandwiches; d – lentil pecan burgers, kasha, broccoli salad, orange glazed beets

Tues – b- zucchini muffins; l – quesadillas (with the last of the corn tortillas); d- turkey shwarma, quinoa, salad

Weds – b – stovetop rice pudding; l- leftovers; d – flax rice spirals w/ red beans and sunflower seeds

Thurs – b- buckwheat porridge; d – chicken chimichangas with green tomato salsa

Fri – b – eggs, biscuits, chocolate pudding

As always, breakfasts are supplemented with milk and fruit.  Since I bought two cases (28 pounds each) of plums last week, that will be the dominant fruit (finished the 36 lb of grapes already).   I have a lot of canned fruit as well- cherries, blueberries, peaches, pears, applesauce, and mango – so even though I don’t have any frozen fruit in the house, we still have a nice selection.

My dd14 is planning to go to NY for the weekend for a camp reunion, and it looks like two friends from a different area are going to spend Thursday night and Friday morning here with us, then they’ll all take the bus to Manhattan together.  Dd  asked me if we could have food that would be familiar to her friends, which sparked a conversation among the kids about if it’s more fun to have something new and different at a friend’s house or the same thing they eat at home.  My kids like new things but with the understanding that not everyone does, we decided to stick with the dinner that was already planned and make a standard breakfast.  The dinner may change between now and then- I told dd I’m willing to serve whatever she wants, but she has to decide what it will be if she’d rather have something else.

For the meal prep for this week, I soaked and dried eight cups of sliced almonds and eight cups of walnuts.  We made another gallon batch of yogurt last night, and have a gallon of sauerkraut fermenting right now.  I have 2 lb. of lentils and 2 lb. of red beans soaking.  I didn’t get around to getting the sourdough starter going last week, so maybe this week I will!  I’m thinking that everyone will enjoy fresh rolls this week for lunch, so I’ll make some regular bread dough for that.

Ds10 was in the yard and started to lose his balance when tying his shoes next to the garden bed.  He grabbed what was next to him to keep from falling, and ended up pulling up a huge beet.  I had no idea any of our beets were so big!  I told him to go back out and pick three more, and then I had to make an addition for tonight and tomorrow’s dinners to use these beautiful fresh beets and beet greens!

The fall garden is looking good and I’ll soon be able to supplement our meals with the greens we’re growing. I really should get some more seeds into the ground this week while the weather is mild.  Now that the last tomato plants are ready to be pulled, it makes more room for planting.  I hope that we’ll be able to enjoy fresh home grown lettuce, spinach, and other greens throughout the winter.

Avivah

How to make grape juice

At the end of last week I found a great deal on boxes of wine grapes.  There were two kinds, Concord and a yellow grape that another shopper told me were called Niagara.  I tasted one of the Niagara grapes, and as I did, the memory of being a kid eating grapes in my grandparents’ backyard suddenly flooded over me.  These were the grapes they grew, something that I had entirely forgotten about.  They were so good!

The grapes were super cheap because they were so ripe – the Concord grapes had some clusters that had mold on them and since I wasn’t interested in having to pick through them, I decided to get 2 boxes of Niagaras instead (they looked very ripe but in basically good shape).  The price was $7.50 for two boxes, and each box had about 18 pounds in it, so .21 lb.

They made for great eating and we enjoyed the grapes for our picnic right after our shopping, but we decided to reserve some of them to make some homemade grape juice, something we’ve never tried.  When I got home I learned from reading online that it takes about 20 lb of grapes to make 7 quarts of juice – if I’d had any idea of that when buying the grapes, I would have bought a lot more.  We used about a third of a box, about 6 lb. of grapes, which made enough to fill a 64 oz jar plus a couple of cups more, about ten cups in all.  So my estimate on cost is that it was $1.25 for ten cups; when I get it on sale, I pay $3 for 8 cups.  That means that making my own grape juice cost me less than 1/3 of the price I can get it on sale. 

Here’s how you make grape juice – this is soooo simple!  First you wash the grapes, then blend them slightly in a food processor or blender to break open the skin (yes, this means with the seeds and skins, but make sure all the stems are off, because it will make the juice bitter).  Put all of them in a pot with enough water to cover them, and cover the pot.  Then heat it until boiling.  When it reaches boiling, turn it down to medium low and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes.  Then line a strainer with cheesecloth or muslin, and set it on top of a cleanpot where the juice can drain in. Pour the grape mix through the strainer, and bottle the strained juice.  If you make a large amount, you can can fruit juice by water bathing it.

This didn’t look or taste like the grape juice in the store; it was much better!  It was so amazingly good!  Everyone loved it and we all are sorry we won’t have any more.  When I encountered the sale, I didn’t want to buy lots of grapes (not that 36 lb is a small amount) that needed to be dealt with immediately, since I didn’t know how much time would be involved and was concerned that it would be a big project that would compromise the commitment I’ve made to myself to be ready for Shabbos by Friday afternoon.   (I already had a lot of unpacking for Thursday afternoon to do from my monthly shopping which was putting me on a tight schedule.)  Now that I know what’s involved, I won’t hesitate to buy up a bunch more if an incredible sale comes my way again! 

Avivah

How to make yogurt

Yesterday I made a large batch of yogurt, something I haven’t done in a while. I had forgotten how extremely easy it is to make, and it’s about a third of the price of the least expensive store yogurt!  I made a very large recipe of 1.5 gallons (24 cups), but the recipe below is for a more moderate amount.

Homemade Yogurt

  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 T. yogurt to use as bacterial starter (look for any plain yogurt at the store that says it has bacteria in it – eg. acidophilus- you can get the smallest cup size sold)

I used organic whole milk, but you can use any kind of milk you want.  Put the milk in a pot, and heat it until almost boiling, 180 degrees.  I have a candy thermometer for this, which eliminates the guesswork.  Once it reaches that heat, turn off the heat and let it cool down to between 105 and 110 degrees.

Stir in the yogurt.  Don’t let the temperature go below 105 degrees before you pour into a jar, then cover the jar with a lid.  Now put the jar somewhere warm where it can incubate overnight.  An oven set to 100 degrees is perfect, but you can also put the jar into a picnic cooler.  If you’re using a cooler, line it with a towel, put the jar in, and cover it with a towel.  Some people put a heating pad set on low on top of the towel, or a hot water bottle, to keep the temperature constant, but if you make several jars of yogurt, then the heat from the jars will keep all of them warm without anything extra.  It should be ready within eight to twelve hours.

I did a couple of things that made the process even easier.  First of all, I left the yogurt to incubate in the covered pot I heated it in.  Then I removed the trays from my dehydrator and put the entire pot inside (set at 100 degrees).  And that was all we had to do, except eat large quantities of it for breakfast. :)

You can add flavorings if you like. This morning I had mine with some fruit spread that I canned a while back, and it reminded me of a healthy version of the yogurt cups with fruit at the bottom when mixed together.

Avivah

Paying extra for unnecessary certification

Today I did my big shopping, and even though I didn’t feel like I really needed much, came home with the van stuffed.  I often marvel at all the things I can buy while staying within my budgetary constraints – today I got a good amount of quinoa,  raisins, dates, walnuts, and sliced almonds, along with the usual other items (eg 50 lb onions, 50 lb potatoes, 40 lb yams, 20 lb.cottage cheese). My shopping would seem totally imbalanced to the casual observer, since I buy large amounts of a small number of items each month, but it all balances out when taking into account the current pantry holdings.   

I came upon a super bargain when shopping – I found a dried bean mix for .50 a pound.  Being me, I scooped up all that there were into my shopping cart (all 43 pounds worth :));  bean prices usually average around.99 lb, and since beans stay forever it’s not like they’ll go bad waiting to be used.

When I got home, I mentioned my purchase to my husband, but when he looked at the package, his attention was attracted by something other than the price.  These beans were marketed as a specialty item, called cholent mix.  Most of you know what this is, but it’s basically just a mixture of three different  beans used for a traditional Shabbos/Sabbath lunch dish.  Where I was shopping they were being passed over as unfamiliar.  My husband laughed when he noticed that the packaging displayed no less than three separate kosher certifications.  He works in the field of kosher supervision, and commented on how unnecessary even one of those certifications were – dried beans don’t need any supervision!   

So many times people pay  a higher price because of certifications or assurances of quality.  Sometimes that’s worth it; often it’s not.  Be a conscious shopper.  I see so many items that are very inflated because the marketers have found an effective way to manipulate your emotions or thoughts regarding a product without actually doing anything to increase the value.  

As an side note, a neighbor came by and asked if I had a package of cholent beans she could borrow.  Umm, yes, one package or forty….:)  This was the first time in seventeen years that anyone came to borrow this item from me, and the only time in seventeen years that I had them on hand (you don’t think I’d buy this at the usual inflated price, do you?).  Very timely, wasn’t it?!  

Avivah

Food stamp challenge

Every so often I see various food stamp challenges – the idea is to see if you can eat healthily within the dollar guidelines that the food stamp allotment your family would receive.  Sometimes it’s for a week (which imo is a joke) and sometimes as long as a month.  I have yet to see a challenge like this that is encouraging and helpful (that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, just that I haven’t seen it).  I think the point of a food stamp challenge should be to see how to eat healthily with limited dollars and then show people what you’ve done. 

Instead, the consensus of the 3 or 4 challenges I’ve noticed over the past couple of years has been basically the same: it’s impossible to eat well on such a small amount, food stamp participants are penalized with bad health because they are limited to low quality food, and the government needs to do more to make high quality food available to everyone.  Yada yada yada. 

Well, I don’t agree- at all – and that’s why I’m finally posting on a topic I’ve considered writing about for two years.  I think the US government food stamp amounts tend to be very adequate, even generous, particularly when people know how to budget or shop well.  The problem lies more in the lack of nutritional education and accountability than anything else.  And most people really don’t have much of a clue about how to effectively budget their food dollars well – teaching people how to make their dollars stretch in additional to nutritional education would end the supposed problem.  But that’s as political as I’m going to get about this topic, because this gets overtalked all the time and I think it’s a lot more valuable to focus on how to use food stamp dollars well than why it’s impossible to manage. 

I think that most of those doing these challenges are somewhat guilty of nutritional elitism.  And I think that it’s good that there are those who are looking at the larger political picture and trying to make improvements.  But as wonderful as it would be if  we all had affordable mainstream options for local organic produce, grass fed beef, etc, people aren’t doomed nutritionally if they can’t afford it.  How to manage well within less than the ideal options is something that seems to get glossed over.   Most of us have to face non optimal choices sometimes, and we do the best we can with the resources that we have.  

Over time I’ve shared a number of strategies I’ve used to keep our family well fed on a limited budget ($600 monthly for our family of 11).  Eating healthfully is important to me (we eat according to traditional foods guidelines – aka Weston Price/Nourishing Traditions), and I have the additional challenge of keeping kosher, which limits many of the bargains that a non kosher shopper could take advantage of.  The huge majority of the suggestions I make could be used by food stamp participants as well as everyone else.  So I’ll do a quick overview of some strategies that are applicable –  my apologies for being redundant for those of you who have been reading a while and know all of this already!

First of all is where to shop.  Since the first food stamp challenge I read about a couple of years ago, I’ve made mental notations about which stores I shop at take food stamps.  All the major supermarkets take food stamps, including Trader Joes and Whole Foods.  Hitting the loss leaders and stocking up when things go on sale is the way to go.  An obvious caveat is that like anyone else with a limited monthly food budget, even if something is on sale, a food stamp shopper would have to buy smaller amounts in the first month, gradually building up the amounts they can stock up on as their sale stocked pantry builds. 

I like to buy vegetables at a small ethnic grocery store (they also accept food stamps).  Their prices are better than the big supermarkets, the produce is fresher, and they often have vegetables that are marked down because of blemishes.  I’ve spoken to the manager there and a number of times bought cases of what I’ve wanted at an additional discount.  I rarely go to farmer’s markets, but I’ve heard that some of the larger stands are set up to accept food stamps.  The prices are best if you go at the end, since they often will lower the price so that they don’t have to pack up their veggies and take them home.   When buying any kind of produce, seasonal is usually cheaper than out of season produce.  You can load up on the inexpensive vegetables instead of the high cost ones.

The discount grocery stores and salvage stores I shop at are a mixed bag – the Amish owned stores don’t take food stamps, but the rest I’ve gone to do-  regardless of who owns them, they basically all have the same prices.  These stores are a nice bonus to the budget, but I wouldn’t say someone who doesn’t have access to these is doomed financially (many states don’t have them, including my own) – they allow me to buy some things I would otherwise would avoid for the most part.  Most of what they sell is processed food, which I avoid.

I buy in bulk through regular supermarkets and health food stores – as mentioned, these stores accept FS.   This is how I buy wheat berries and sucanat, for example, since we don’t use white flour or white sugar.  I also get coconut oil in this way.  I don’t recommend shopping at warehouse stores  because I don’t think they’re economical, but it seems that although most of them don’t take food stamps, one or two do.  I couldn’t check this out personally since I don’t shop at these stores. 

Buying directly from the source, as I do for my raw milk and pastured eggs, won’t be an option.  However, there are other options at health food stores that may not be ideal but are still much better than the mainstream – they tend to be pricier than the less healthy option but by shopping frugally it makes room for the items that are more expensive.  I’ve even found organic milk (and even grass fed, though all homogenized) from time to time at the discount stores.  And you know what?  If someone buys regular milk and eggs, then that’s okay, too.  That’s not the main thing destroying the health of this generation. 

Then there are other things that may be cheaper directly from the source but are available in the stores, like the raw cheese I recently discovered.  Someone using food stamps would be better off buying it in the store instead of buying at a cheaper price directly from the source so they don’t have to take money out of their pocket. (By the way, Trader Joes has raw cheese at a great price for non kosher consumers.)   Use these pricey foods as condiments instead of as a main dish, and a little can go a long way. 

Processed foods are always going to be more expensive than buying the ingredients yourself, and  buying the ingredients instead of a more ready to eat version is always going to be where you save the most money.  There are the obvious things like beans and grains which help a food budget go far, and especially when soaked and prepared properly, are very nourishing and good for you.

There are so many more possibilities to mention, but I think I hit the main ones.  So while the food stamp challenges continue, know that eating healthfully is within the reach of the vast majority of us, even when our budgets are very limited!

Avivah

Coconut Honey Pudding

This is a recipe that I’ve used for breakfast but really could be a dessert.  :)

Coconut Honey Pudding

  • 1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 c. boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the coconut, and let it sit for a minute. 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 – 1/4 c. honey (we prefer the smaller amount)
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/3 t. salt
  • cinnamon
  • raisins, nuts, berries – optional

Mix all of the above ingredients together, then mix into the wet coconut.  Stir in nuts and/or berries if you’re using them. Put in a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 min.  This is a small recipe so I increase it by several times.

(I regularly find and make notes of new recipes and ideas/concepts that look appealing.  Unfortunately, I don’t usually make a note to myself where I find it.  I’m mentioning this since I want to be clear that I’m just sharing what I make, not claiming credit for making up the recipes themselves.)

Avivah

Mexican Lasagna, Enchilada Sauce

Mexican Lasagna

  • 2 lb cooked red lentils/or red beans
  • 3 – 10 oz cans of enchilada sauce
  • 24 corn tortillas (I bought a bunch of these for the immediate postpartum period but didn’t really use them, so I have a couple of large packages still in the freezer)
  • 4 c. shredded cheese

Dip the tortillas in sauce, and place on the bottom of a greased pan until covered.  Layer with beans, then cheese, then cheese, then tortillas.  Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle the top with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.

I haven’t yet made this recipe, but I’ve looked up an enchilada sauce recipe (since I don’t tend to buy prepared things like that).  Here’s the recipe I chose:

Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 T. oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 t. minced onion
  • 1/2 t. oregano
  • 2 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. basil
  • 1/8 t. pepper
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cumin
  • 1 t. parsley
  • 1/4 c. salsa (I have some that I canned from my green tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 c. water

Saute the onion and garlic in oil.  Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, bring to a boil.  Reduce to low, and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. 

Avivah