Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to cook meat to the correct temperature

I often find myself wondering what safe meat temperatures really are. Today I found a useful guide on the food network's website with a chart of recommended meat temperatures. The meat temperature guide lists guidelines for poultry items such as chicken and turkey as well as beef, lamb, steak and pork. To view this handy meat reference list, click here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Free Cereal

I am always looking for ways to save money on products I use every day. One of those products is cereal. I never seem to be able to get moving in the morning without a big bowl of cereal and two cups of coffee. Perhaps you can imagine my excitement when I found that my favorite grocery store which already has amazing deals on cereal had a special promotion going for Kellogg's brand cereals.

As part of the promotion, I could save $3.00 by purchasing three or more boxes of selected Kellogg's brands. Typically, I head straight for the Mini Wheats when they run that type of promotion, but today I decided to give some other cereals a chance as well. I am glad I did.

As I scanned the fronts of the packages to see what would catch my eye I noticed that Kellogg's Corn Flakes has released a new product. This new cereal called Corn Flakes Simply Cinnamon says it is lightly sweetened. I love cinnamon, so I thought it would be worth a try.

Another thing that caught my eye was the phrase "try me FREE after mail-in rebate" at the top of the box. The free after rebate promotion would make my super cereal deal even better. Rebate details are on the side of the specially marked box. The side of my box also contains a free recipe for a very delicious looking cinnamon apple crisp.

Although I did not find this cereal promotion listed on the Kellogg's website, I did find several others on their promotions page which you can find at  The website is also an excellent source for free online printable coupons (

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Finding a local food bank

When times are tough, frequently the first place we look to cut is our food budget. Money spent on groceries can easily add up to $100 to $200 a week or more for the average family. For families attempting to survive by taking lower paying jobs, this amount can be a significant portion of their income.

When personal economic situations become more and more challenging, what is someone to do in order to cut food costs? Well, there is always sale shopping and couponing, but sometimes even these strategies are not enough. That is where food banks come in to play. They are designed to help unemployed and underemployed people survive until they can get back on their feet financially.

The internet can be a very resourceful tool in helping you locate local food banks. The Feeding America website has a food bank locator feature which allows you to search within a state or local zip code to find food banks.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Make Money Cooking.

These days we could all use a little extra income. Below are some ways to turn your love of cooking into some extra cash.

Please note that you should check with your local health department before beginning a food business because you will need a health inspector to check your kitchen. There may also be additional rules and regulations regarding food preparation in your area such as the number of sinks required, etc.

Another word of caution: There are a lot of scams out there. Please be careful when considering any opportunity. If you have friends or family members that you trust to give you their honest and unbiased opinion, it may also be wise to run the idea by them prior to investing any money in a business venture.


Perhaps you want to give some money to a church or other local charitable organization, but it just hasn't been in your budget. Why not volunteer your services to coordinate a bake sale or fund raising dinner. If you don't have the money for supplies, perhaps another volunteer will. Perhaps, however, the other volunteer does not have the cooking skills you do. Work together to make it happen.


Many retailers want candies, fresh baked goods, etc. for their businesses.  You might also find a market for your products online if they are non-perishable.  Consult your local health department for preparation and packaging advice if you plan to ship your products.

Flea Market:

Some flea markets have strict rules on which food items they will and will not allow, but it doesn't hurt to ask.


You can advertise catering services online, in your local newspaper, at local events such as bridal fairs, and through word of mouth.

Home Cooked Meals:

Many people lead busy lives these days. Perhaps you could go to their home or offer prepared meals that they can pick up.


Pampered Chef is a work from home business that allows you to spend time with family and friends as you earn a second income.  Find more information at

Start a blog:

Websites like  allow you to start a blog for free.  You can keep a portion of the revenue generated by advertisements on your blog.  Please note, however, that this is more of a hobby at the beginning.  It takes a very long time for most bloggers to make any income from the blog posts that they write.

More Ideas:

For more ideas about how to work from home, visit

Monday, February 22, 2010

McCormick Product Testing

I recently discovered that McCormick, the company that we all know and love for their excellent spices and seasonings, has a consumer testing panel. Panel members can test products up to four times a year and are even given compensation for their time. Most opportunities are at McCormick's headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland. McCormick does, however, offer occasional online surveys as well.

For more information, visit

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Food Cycling

You can cycle economy sizes of basic ingredients using your imagination and some solid meal planning. Using leftover ingredients for a second meal can save you both time and money with a little creativity.

Here are a few examples....

Let's take two ingredients: A whole chicken and one bunch of celery (the kind with leaves). These two ingredients can be combined with other ingredients to make multiple types of meals. Here are just a few ideas: Cook the whole chicken in a Reynolds oven bag for a delicious baked chicken. Next, wash each stalk of celery then remove the leaves only from the celery (don't throw the leaves away). Cut up the thinner portion of the celery stalk which was attached to the leaves and the larger (white colored) part of the celery stalk at the bottom of each stalk of celery into fine cube-like pieces. Cut up the leftover chicken and mix it with the celery. Add fruits such as leftover grapes and leftover nuts if desired. Mix in some mayonnaise for meal number two with the chicken - chicken salad. Now, take the leftover celery stalks and cut them into smaller pieces about the length of your pinky finger. Add some peanut butter inside for a quick and tasty snack or cut up the celery into very small pieces and use it to stretch the meat in some spaghetti sauce. Now, use those leftover celery leaves, some remaining chicken and a few other ingredients such as leftover spaghetti noodles to make a warm and hearty chicken noodle soup.

I didn't know that was edible!

I grew up in a family were wasted food was frowned upon.  Even today it bothers me to leave food on my plate.  It also frustrates me to throw any food that can be used into a garbage can.  That is why I was thrilled when I came across a short article on Texas A&M's Department of Horticulture website which lists parts of vegetables we normally throw away which are actually edible.  You can read the article here.