WFMW: I need help in the kitchen!

I have a few questions that I really, really hope some of you can help me with!

Kitchen Question Number 1: I would really like to get a toaster oven. I know nothing about toaster ovens, I just know I want one. What should I be looking for? Do you have one that you love?  What is your favorite thing to make in one?

Kitchen Question Number 2: What is the easiest way you’ve found to organize coupons?  I already use the electronic ones, but would like to use the ones I’m clipping from the newspapers too.  I just don’t know what to do with them once I’ve cut them out, other than to put them into useless piles.

Kitchen Question Number 3:  We entertain a lot in the summer.  Usually it’s an impromptu gathering for cocktails on the patio. Cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, and salsa and chips are the usual fare, and they’re getting a little old. Do you have a favorite summer snack you like to serve to guests?

Please share with me what Works For You, and afterwards hop on over to We Are THAT Family to offer your wisdom to dilemmas others are having. Thanks so much for your help!

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6 Comments »

  1. Jelli said

    Try a fresh summertime gazpacho soup. It’s as simple as adding chunks of cucumber, tomato, a bit of onion, a few other veggies and herbs in the blender and puree-ing to your liking. Tastes like summer, takes only seconds to whip up, and is served cold and refreshing. This can stay for a few days in the fridge or you can add the leftovers to your spaghetti sauce. Yummy!

  2. Susan said

    Toaster ovens are wonderful! I’m not totally in love with the one we have right now (we bought it after the one we loved died), so I won’t recommend it, but here are some things to consider:
    How many slices of bread will it REALLY hold (they will say it will 6 slices or whatever, but I’ve found it’s not 6 slices of REAL bread, ahem).
    Make sure it will fit the pans you want to use in it (measure your pans, including any handles and then measure the inside of the store display.
    Read user reviews online.

    I love to bake cornbread in my toaster oven—browns more evenly on top than in the full-size oven. It is also great for having fresh-baked cookies after a meal (you can bake just enough for everyone and leave your cookie dough in the fridge). Excellent for reheating pizza (microwaved pizza is not pleasant at all). And the best part: it takes much less energy to run than a full-size oven and won’t heat your house up in the summer.

    For a coupon organizer, I recommend one I invented and posted about here (chances are you already have everything you need to make it):
    http://homeschoolheartandmind.blogspot.com/2010/02/tuesdays-toolbox_15.html

  3. Michelle said

    Found you on WFMW- On the coupons, I quit clipping a while back. I’ve found it’s easiest to keep them by date in an accordion file for about 10-12 weeks. I use SouthernSavers.com and since she tells you where to get them, I just cut them out when I am going to use them. Like it will say there’s a creamer coupon in the 2/7 RP so I just go to that insert and cut it out.

  4. Larissa said

    1. Love my toaster oven! I actually use it less to cook, but it is much better than the microwave for leftovers. However, I even make grilled cheese sandwiches in the thing (brush bread with butter, flip when brown). It’s quick, food comes out in better shape (crisp, golden, piping hot) and it takes lots less energy than a whole oven. Be sure you get one with two racks or pans and adjustable heat levels. Totally worth it.

    2. No coupons.

    3. There are some good dips besides salsa – black bean/corn recipes (called poor man’s caviar or texas caviar), hot wing dip (cream cheese, hot wing sauce and chicken), guacamole or mexican layered dip. Also, you can mix one block of cream cheese with 7 oz marshmallow creme and a small thing of frozen whipped topping, then serve with a variety of fruits. My favorites are grapes, strawberries and pineapple, but anything goes. Fruit pizza is delicious. Grape salad is good, too, which consists of grapes, cream cheese, brown sugar and nuts. You should be able to find specific recipes for these online and go with what sounds good to you.

  5. mom2fur said

    There are many excellent sites for couponing. I highly recommend Couponmom.com. It is totally free. You can keep your circulars intact (write the date on the front) and use her database to match coupons to sales in your area. When I was using a lot of coupons I kept my circulars in a binder, each circular in a plastic page protector. I also had a zipper pouch (the kind you use for pencils) in the binder, where I kept my scissors. This method worked for me for quite a long time. Google “Coupon Binders” and see what you find.
    Another great idea is to put your coupons in baseball card holders and keep those in a binder. You know, those plastic sleeves that hold maybe twelve baseball cards? Each section would be for one type of coupon.
    Lately, because I’ve built up a stockpile and 2 of my four kids are grown and gone, I do my coupons like this:
    http://sortafrugal.blogspot.com/2010/04/frugal-friday.html

    Good luck and stick with it. And remember this rule: don’t buy it when you need it, buy it when it is at its cheapest price (usually that means combining a sale with a coupon). Building a stockpile is one of the best ways ever to save money.

  6. We like to make tomato chedder cracker sandwiches: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/TomatoCheddarSandwiches.aspx

    Also you could try rosemary olive oil bread:
    http://theprudenthomemaker.com/rosemaryoliveoilbread.aspx with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to dip it in.

    We also like to make caprese salad: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/capresesalad.aspx

    I put my coupons in a little plastic accordian folder with dividers built in. I bought it at Walmart for less than $5. They have them by the notebooks.

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