Sunday, January 22, 2012

And we're in business!

Tasty Treasures has their first official customer!  Steve's employee Zach asked Steve "If I pay your wife 10 bucks, will she make that cranberry apple thing?"  He's referring to my Cranberry-Apple Chutney that I made for them at Thanksgiving and yes, if he pays me $10, I will make it for him.  I bought the ingredients on my way home from work Friday evening.  I bought enough to make a double batch since I only got a small taste the first time I made it.  Even buying double the ingredients was well under $10.  Steve took Zach's portion to work on Saturday and returned with my money.  I am very excited for this.  I've been wanting to get a side job to supplement my full-time job for awhile.  (Not that we need the money, I just want to have a little extra.)  And this is perfect.  It's something that I love to do and doesn't require a lot of work.   I told Steve that I could probably do a lot of business around Christmas-time making cookie/goody trays for people.  He agreed.  A lot of people where Steve work don't cook or bake.  They think I'm some goddess because I can.  I find it a little funny.  Cooking and baking have always been a big part of my life (thanks Mom!) and it seems odd that someone wouldn't know how.  But back to my business, I did make a tentative price sheet:

Chutney: $10
1 Dozen Cookies: $10
1 Dozen Cupcakes: $10

I know it's not very imaginative to price everything at $10 but it's a start.  I also felt asking more than $10 for a dozen cupcakes or a dozen cookies was a little pricey.  I checked a local bakery's website and priced myself a little below them.  I haven't added cakes or goody trays on there yet.  I'll price those when the time comes.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Food for Thought

    Today Steve and I thought about and talked about food a lot.  We talked about the location of my pantry and chest freezer in the basement.  There's an extra set of shelves that currently don't have a purpose that would make a perfect pantry.  However, the shelves are further into the basement than I prefer.  The shelves are pretty far away from the stairs and I don't want to have to walk all the way across my basement just to get a can of peaches, applesauce or whatever I may need at the time.  Steve said he could move them closer to the base of the stairs for me.  (He actually suggested the shelves as a pantry to start with.)  I also started cleaning my chest freezer.  The chest freezer was my grandpa's and my dad gave it to me.  It had been sitting in Dad's machine shed for awhile so it's pretty dirty.  A little cleaner and some rags, ok a lot of cleaner, and we'll be good to go.  I am excited to have an actual pantry with a freezer.  I can finally shop Fareway meat department's sales and stock up and my mom can give me some chickens from her next round and I'll actually have space.  And I can finally can my own fruit and vegetables!

This leads to the next item that Steve and I talked about today: gardening.  Our backyard already has a garden plot so the hard work is done for us.  I'm excited to have something to do outside.  After living in an apartment, I really do miss being outside.  I'm also excited that this is something Steve and I can learn together.  Hopefully it will go well.  My thumb isn't very green when it comes to house plants.

The garden also leads to another fun food thing: canning!  My mom and grandma have been canning applesauce, tomatoes, jams and pie apples for a long time.  I do have a base knowledge of canning but am excited to try it on my own.  Mom has some duplicates of the necessary canning supplies that I can borrow until I'm set up with my own system.  I told Steve we could work out a trade with Grandma and Mom for our canned goods.  I would like to can salsa, veggies and fruit.  We went shopping today and stopped by Barnes and Noble.  I picked up 2 books about canning: The Fresh Girl's Guide to Easy Canning and Preserving and Canning & Preserving All You Need to Know to Make Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Chutneys & More.  I am excited to read both of these books.  The first book does have a section on growing a canning garden which I think will be helpful.  Both gardening and canning are new to us so we're trying to research before jumping in.

In all, I hope the pantry, the freezer, the garden and canning help with our food budget.  It's not that we have a difficult budget, I'm always trying to save money while feeding us good, healthy food.  I also hope that some of our canned goods will make nice Christmas gifts.

And in more food related news, Bobby Dean has his own cooking show: Not My Mama's Meals.  In this show, he takes some of his mom's recipes and gives them a healthy make-over.  I was excited to watch this show because while I love Paula Dean, her recipes are pretty hefty.  Today he made a healthy version of her Krispy Kreme bread pudding and called it Bobby's Lighter Fresh Fruit Bread Pudding.  The recipe seems pretty straight-forward.  However I'm not sure where we could buy plain whole wheat donuts in Sioux City.  We do have a few bakeries in town and Bobby did say you could substitute bran muffins.  But I think I can make whole wheat donuts.  We have whole wheat flour, a bread machine and a fryer so it shouldn't be too difficult.  I did a quick search for whole wheat donuts  on and didn't find any.  I did however find a donut recipe that was compared to Krispy Kreme donuts.  I think I can convert it to whole wheat and some of the comments said a bread machine could be used.  Yay!  I also found a whole wheat donut recipe on  That recipe looks pretty good too.  While we were out shopping today, we stopped by the kitchen store and bought a donut cutter.  (I also picked up a purple scraper with measuring conversions because I couldn't resist.  But that's neither here nor there for this blog post.)  I am excited to try this recipe next weekend.  And for those of you who looked at the recipe and thought "But Theresa, you don't like bananas.  Why are you excited to make a recipe with bananas?"  I'm swapping the bananas for some other fruit to be determined next weekend.  Bobby did say you could do that.