Tuesday, November 15, 2011

eBook Review/Give-Away and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

eBook Review/Give-Away:

Angie Ballard sent me a copy of her new eBook, Tight Budget, Tiny Kitchen, and No Time: How to Eat Well in Your First Apartment to review. She has also gracefully allotted one copy for me to give away to an EFAW viewer! (Read on for that info - and a recipe or two - after the review.)

This is a great book for anybody, not just those of us with cramped cooking spaces, little cash, and scant "spare" time.  Having lived under these very conditions for the last 16 years or so, I like to think I've got a pretty good handle on how to manage that kind of stuff. That said, it took several years of trial and error to figure things out, particularly in the tiny studio apartment I lived in during grad school. This book would have been a godsend back then!

Angie's book tells you how to make the most of your resources with great advice ranging from shopping lists to storage solutions and tips on what kitchen utensils you REALLY need. Heck, I even learned a few tricks which I have already begun working into my cuisine routine.

The book also includes a whole slew of budget-friendly recipes which look delicious. I haven't had a chance to try any of them yet but their time will come. Some of the recipes do call for things like canned condensed soup or seasoning packets, which are things I avoid if at all possible, but with a little imagination you can work around those ingredients should you so choose. (I'm not being snobbish here. I'm very sensitive to MSG, which is common in such items. I'd rather purchase slightly more expensive foods and skip the migraines.)

I highly recommend you check this one out. It is available from Smashwords for only $4.99(US) but if you have a little patience, you could win one here! Simply leave a comment on this blog post - one entry per person, please. The deadline to enter is 12:00am MST Monday, December 5, 2011. After the deadline has passed all entries will be assigned a number in chronological order, and I will use a random number generator to pick the lucky winner! I'll do my best to announce the winner no later than December 8, 2011.

Angie Ballard lives here: http://www.thejammiegirl.com/
Her eBook is available in just about any format you could want here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/90773

And because it always feels strange to post here without a video, here are a couple of recipes for you!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

Wondering what to do with all those pumpkin seeds left over from making pumpkin soup or carving jack-o-lanterns? Don't throw them away! They make for a tasty - not to mention healthy - snack!


Pumpkin guts & seeds
2 Tbsps olive oil
garlic salt


Preheat oven to 275°.
Separate seeds from the guts. (Keep the seeds, discard the guts.)
Toss seeds with olive oil and garlic salt to taste, and spread on a rimmed baking sheet.
Place seeds in the oven. Check and stir them about every 10 minutes until golden brown. Depending on how many seeds you have, cooking time could be anywhere from about 20 minutes to an hour or more.

Music: Maintaining Radio Silence by The Hybiscus Journals. You can download it here: http://thehybiscusjournals.bandcamp.com/track/maintaining-radio-silence

Bonus recipe!

Hot Buttered Rum Batter

As fall and winter roll in, nothing takes the edge off the chill quite like a steaming mug of hot buttered rum. Of course you don't have to use rum, but it really does make for a great nightcap.

This recipe is my slightly altered version of the one I found here: http://www.floras-hideout.com/drrecipes/recipes.php?page=drrecipes&data=f-j/Hot_Buttered_Rum_Mix. I found the mix didn't quite get smooth enough with just a 1/2 cup of butter. Also, I couldn't help but put my own twist on the spicing.


3 C brown sugar
1 C butter (please do not use margarine)
2 Tbsps honey
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp rum extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (If you only have ground, that's okay. Use the same amount.)
pinch of ground cloves


Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until evenly mixed. If you don't have a food processor, a hand mixer will work. I'm not sure a blender would be terribly successful. The batter will look a bit like peanut butter once you're done (see photo), though if you taste it there will be a slightly grainy consistency. Don't worry about that, it's just undissolved sugar. Place into an air-tight container and keep refrigerated. Once the weather warms up, I stick any remaining batter - if there is any - in the freezer.


Put about a tablespoon of the batter into a mug. Add a shot of rum and top off with hot water. Stir until the lump of batter is dissolved. Enjoy.

Don't like rum? Try it with bourbon or whiskey instead.

Don't drink alcohol? Making this for the kids? Replace the rum and hot water with hot apple cider or tea. I've read suggestions to put it in coffee as well, but I've not tried it.


The Jammie Girl said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! It's going to be twenty degrees here tomorrow, so the hot buttered rum is sounding pretty awesome :)

thorn said...

Thanks, I did! Good stuff. I'm just a little jealous I didn't think of it first.

Yikes! Yes, the hot buttered rum would be a nice addition to your day, I think. :)

Fred said...

Making the soup and seeds for Turkey Day!

thorn said...

Hi Fred,

Thanks for reading and commenting! I hope you enjoy the soup and seeds!

Madelyn said...

Since the 2 you shared were both meat-free, I'm curious if there are many more vegetarian recipes?

The Jammie Girl said...

Madelyn, The ebook does contain several vegetarian recipes, and many of the other recipes can be easily altered to suit a vegetarian lifestyle. Beans are such a tasty, filling source of frugal protein I rely on them heavily in my recipes, and one of my favorite "frugal tips" involves buying dried beans and soaking and cooking them before freezing them for later use to save time AND money :)

thorn said...

Hi Madelyn,

Thanks for stopping by! I should clarify that neither of those recipes are from this book. (I didn't want to just go publishing Angie's content willy-nilly.) I am not a vegetarian so most of my recipes do involve meat in some way, but in many of them the meat can simply be left out and still be tasty.

That said, here are some of my more veg-friendly recipes:

Broccoli & Feta Orzo Salad:

Citrus Honey Stir-Fry Pork - leave out the pork, add other veggies... tofu might even work...:

Saffron Cous Cous Salad - omit the ground beef:

Curry Potatoes - omit the chicken:

Mac & Cheese with Shrimp - omit the shrimp:

Corn Soup:

Hrm... I should probably go through and tag all these entries with main ingredients and whatnot so people can find the kinds of recipes they want more efficiently. Thanks!

Fred said...

Made the seeds last night in the bottom oven while the pumpkin halves for the soup were roasting above. The seeds came out so tasty and appealing, that I had to beat the family members back with a stick so we'd still have some to garnish the soup at dinner!


suzannesaphone said...

It's not my first apartment...but other than that, that book sounds really useful.

thorn said...

Glad to hear it, Fred! Thanks for the feedback!

Indeed, suzannesaphone. There's a lot of great information in there.

thorn said...

I used the random number generator over at http://www.random.org and...

Congratulations to Fred! You're the winner! Shoot me an email at eat-for-a-week@cox.net to let me know what email account I should send your prize info to. Or if you're following me on some other social media outlet, you can DM me there if you prefer. :)