Friday, May 1, 2009

NPR Challenge: How Low Can you Go?

NPR's All Things Considered has been running a challenge for professional chefs and home amateurs alike: How Low Can you Go - Feed a group of four for less than $10.
I've heard several of the on-air features listening to the NPR Food Podcast.

So far, they have interviewed and featured recipes from 4 chefs:
Gina and Pat Neely do Mac & Cheese for $9.
Navy Chef Michael Edwards makes a skate dinner.
Chef Ming Tsai prepares Chicken and Corn-Fried Rice.
and (my favorite of the 4) Spanish Chef Jose Andres makes a Chickpea and spinach dish.

The links above take you to a transcript of each interview with the chef as well as the recipe and comments from listeners. The pages also have a link to listen to the story - I have to recommend that you give them a listen, especially the Jose Andreas segment.

AND you too can join the challenge! If you have a great recipe for a meal that can feed 4 people for $10 or less, submit it to All Things Considered here. Let us know if you have enter the challenge and we'll feature your recipe here on Recession This!
Bonus: at the $10 challenge page you can see all of the recipes submitted by listeners in the comments.

Good luck and happy recession cooking!
Image from NPR's How Low Can You Go challenge page

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, ReGoogle

Finding yourself with random stuff lying around your house taking up space that you don't want to send to the landfill, but can't sell or foist upon Goodwill? Google a way to repurpose it!

For example, I have a bunch of old mouse pads (culled from the day job) that I could not think of a new use for. A quick Google (actually, I used Goodsearch and gave to my favorite charity without spending my own money [See this previous RT! post]) and I found these myriad ideas:
  • Bases for houseplants, etc. to protect your furniture [from Craftster]
  • Pads for table & chair legs [from Reader's Digest]
  • PDA sleeve and insoles [from eHow]
For general inspiration, you can also do a flickr search or Goodsearch image search of "repurpose" and see what others have come up with. Some folks, like Scavengerjo, even make art of things that have no other life left.

Also check out Brooklyn-based RePlayGround for tips and for kits to help make new things out of old trash.

What do you have sitting around your house that could find new life as something useful?
[Ode to the Modern Housewife by Scavengerjo]

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

You Know Why? Chicken Thigh!

Chicken thighs are cheap and delicious. And, thanks to Real Simple, you can eat them in this cheap and delicious recipe. What makes this recipe great, aside from the heavy cream, is the number or ingredients you probably have on hand. I always seem to have frozen peas and white wine around, for example, so there wasn't much left to buy at the store. And, since the ingredients aren't fancy you can go to a regular ol' grocery store and buy 'em for less. Bust out the slow cooker that's gathering dust in your cabinet and get to cooking!


1 1/2 pounds baby new potatoes (about 16)
8 small skinless chicken thighs
3 leeks (whites and light green parts) cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt (I use regular old Morton's)
1 10 ounce package of frozen peas
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon

Place potatoes on the bottom of a 4 - 6 quart slow cooker. Add chicken, leeks, wine, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Cook, covered, until chicken and potatoes are tender, on high for 3 to 4 hours, on low for 6 to 7 hours.

Transfer the chicken and all but 4 of the potatoes to plates. Using a fork, smash the remaining potatoes into the cooking liquid to thicken.

Add the peas and cream and cook just until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon over the chicken and sprinkle with the tarragon.

Feeds 4.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Recession Fitness!

You no longer have an excuse to sleep in on Tuesdays. Starting May 5th certified personal trainer Abby Sweitzer is offering running classes for FREE. Don't have an expensive gym membership? Don't need one! This one hour a week work out is enough to motivate you to create your own training program and it won't cost you a dime -- o.k., you might have to buy some decent running shoes. Aside from that, just throw on an old t-shirt and shorts and get ready to run!