How many of you have read the Confessions of a Shopaholic book series? Total brain candy, but laugh out loud hilarious. Do you know the part in the 1st book where she wants to save money, and part of that plan is to stop eating out so often? Since Curry is one of her favorite foods, she makes the decision to start making her own Curry at home? Well, to make her own Curry, she had to go to the perfect store, find all of the right ingredients and of course you can’t make Curry with the right pans, the right utensils and the right clothes to wear when you are making it. In the end, her effort to save money by eating at home instead of going out to a restaurant resulted in her spending hundreds of dollars in “necessities”.
I can totally relate to that part of the book. Not that I’m a shopaholic (ok…I confess…I may have a tiny little problem there) but we have officially started a budget at our house. Just hearing the word “budget” makes me want to cringe. When I brought it up to my husband that I think we should really start managing our money better, he about fainted. Being the financially savvy guy that he is, he has been nagging me for years about this. I have always resisted having the actual conversation surrounding budgeting, until now.
I recently came across a really cool envelope budgeting system online called Mvelopes. The system is just like the paper envelope money management system that so many people use, but with Mvelopes everything is done electronically. I decided that this was just the tool (because, you know… every non-shopaholic needs to find the perfect tool) I was looking for as I love the envelope system, but didn’t like the idea of actually having the cash around the house. Mvelopes had a free 14 day trial, which I signed up for. Would you like to know what I spent the first 14 days of my Mvelopes membership doing? Shopping! Yes… I decided that before I actually started tracking our spending and became accountable to my husband for all the pennies that came out of my envelopes, I had better buy everything that wasn’t necessary beforehand. Every little thing that was a want versus a need was purchased. I got some new salon shampoo and conditioner, a pedicure, some camera accessories, some new clothes, etc. I hooked myself up completely and then got my envelopes on Mvelopes all set up! (It really is a great system now that I’ve gotten serious about it…you should check it out!)
The cheesy beer bread was part of my “getting serious” about budgeting time. I spent all last week making meals only out of what I had in my pantry, fridge and freezer. One night I made a delicious pasta dish and decided that I needed some homemade bread with it, but had only an hour until dinnertime. I opened up my fridge, noticed a can of beer and some cheddar cheese and decided to make cheesy beer bread. Whatever your reason for eating at home (and if it is not because you are pinching pennies, I am totally jealous), complete your meal with this inexpensive and delicious recipe for Cheesy Beer Bread. No fancy plates, clothes, utensils necessary.
I got this recipe off of Cate over at Sweetnicks blog who got it from Susan at Farmgirl Fare. I didn’t use the dill…would have meant a trip to the store which would have resulted in me buying more than just dill, I’m sure! I also did not do the optional glaze.
Farmgirl Susan’s Beyond Easy Dill &Cheddar Beer Bread Recipe
Makes One Loaf
Basic Beer Bread Mix:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder (make sure it’s fresh!)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried) –
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 ounces beer
Optional glaze: 1 egg & 2 teaspoons water, beaten
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, dill, and cheddar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir in beer and mix just until combined. Batter will be thick. Spread in a greased 8-inch loaf pan , brush with egg glaze if desired, and bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I’m heading to the BlogHer conference in Chicago this week, so Dine & Dish might be a little quiet while I am gone. Don’t worry… I’ll share all the scoop once I return. If you are heading to BlogHer too, let me know!