Thrifty Weekend

Sunday, July 14, 2013
 We did more this weekend than we have in a long time. We're pretty much homebodies and are totally okay with that.

 A friend of mine got a new puppy last week, on Friday she gave me a call and we took her doggies to the dog park downtown. Afterwards we walked them up to Market Square, I've lived in this area for 5 years and this is the first time I've been downtown on a weekend evening. See, I'm definitely a homebody.  I learned a lesson, if you want to attract lots of stares take a beautiful and well behaved Malamute into a public place. He loved the attention and it was adorable. Cost of the trip: Rita's Italian Ice - $5.

 Saturday was a big day. I didn't post it but these came in the mail a few weeks ago:

  It was pretty fun, we scrambled around the week before trying to find things to have appraised. We settled on some of my jewelry pieces from my grandparents and a Stein from the now defunct Falstaff Brewery.
These are La Rel costume jewelry pieces from the 50's that belonged to my grandma Louettie.

This is a resin stein from the brewery where my grandpa Elmer worked.

 So are we going to be millionaires and pay off all of our student loans tomorrow? Not likely! The jewelry appraised for about $50, I took my grandma Kathryn's pearl ring from the '30s and it appraised for a little more. They looked at the stein and were like "umm we don't know what this is, so $20?" The tickets for the even were free and so was the parking. Only thing we spent was our time. 

 We also ran into our only family members who live in the area, they were in line a bit ahead of us. After we had our stuff appraised we all went to McKay to forage through stacks of books. This was my first time there as well. It was overwhelming! We're going on vacation soon and I was looking for some cheap "fluff" books to read. We brought home 10 books and only paid $5.68. Now that is an awesome deal! 

 Saturday evening some friends from church came over to play cards, Phillip lost for the first time ever. He's still grousing over it a little bit. Cost: Free! 

  We had a lot of fun and are totally tuckered out. I'd call that a successful weekend. :)

 What did you do this weekend? What are your favorite "budget friendly" weekend activities?

Adventures in Quinoa

Sunday, July 7, 2013
    If you know me you know that I'm a really picky eater. Last week was my first time trying steak (it didn't taste like anything...what's the fuss y'all?) and ribs. The ribs were actually pretty good.

  On Saturday we said bye to my parents and I sat on the couch and cried for a bit because 500 miles is a lot of miles! Then I finished my pity party and we went out to pick blueberries. We were going to head to Knoxville and get some blackberries too but I talked Phillip into going to Three Rivers Market instead. They have fancy pants healthy food and I was feeling adventurous. They also sell lots of grains and spices in bulk which is great because if you don't like something you're not stuck with 5 lbs of it! We bought some turbinado sugar, tricolored quinoa, and some banana chips.

  Do you know what quinoa looks like? Bird seed. If you say it doesn't your totally fibbing.
bird seed.

 I actually googled it to see if it was the stuff they put in the cheap bird seed, apparently it's not but I think they're wrong.

 I didn't know what to do with this stuff, so I did what everyone looking for recipes does; check out Pinterest. I found this recipe. Mini Quinoa Pizzas, that sounds harmless right? You cook them up like potato cakes, throw on some cheese and sauce and stick them in the oven.

 Did you know you have to rinse this stuff first? I don't own a strainer that small so I had to get a little creative.
That's my snazzy flour sifter.
 This called for 1 cup of quinoa boiled in 2 cups of water until it's absorbed all of the water. I think mine sprouted, is that supposed to happen? It wasn't in the instructions but they definitely had tails when they were finished cooking. 

 After it's finished cooking you put it in the fridge to cool. 

 I decided to use my time wisely.
I've made this recipe for blueberry muffins before and it's pretty wonderful.

 So I mixed up my muffins whilst waiting for the quinoa to cool. When it has cooled you mix it with your spices and eggs, then pan fry it in oil. I used canola but you could use anything. 
See the sprouts? I'm not crazy, I promise!

When they're finished top them it a spoon of tomato sauce and a little cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted.

  So the verdict is that they're not terrible. They tasted a lot like potato cakes, I can handle that. Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe? Care to share?

 Oh and my muffins, they're pretty much awesome. I made a double batch because we're taking them to work tomorrow. I've dubbed it Magical Muffin Monday, because I adore alliterations.