Sunday, January 27, 2013

Maid Simple: How Do You Like Them Sad Apples, and Nose-to-Tail Cereal Boxing

I have two crazy-great tips for you this week, that could have come straight out of a budgeter's handbook. First, a delicious use for those disgustingly bruised, wrinkly, sad-looking apples in your crisper bin: Apple Crisp! You don't need the apples to hold their shape and crunch like you do for apple pie. Crisp is a whole different dish. Because you're putting those crispy crumbles on the top, it's okay if the body of the crisp is more like an apple compote, which is why older, soft apples are perfect for this. So next time you forget about that bag of Fujis in the fridge and find that they've deteriorated a little, just bust out the recipe below, and enjoy with some vanilla ice cream.

Now, you've heard of nose-to-tail cooking, right? Where you use every part of the animal? (For the record, I think this is disgusting, but definitely frugal.) Well, you can "nose-to-tail" just about anything if you get creative. Here's a way to get your money's worth out of all that expensive cereal, by using the  crap out of the packaging.

First, eat all that Cap'n Crunch, or Oops All Berries, or whatever's your poison. Then, make sure to snip out the Box Top, if there is one. Then slice up the box any way you like to be used as a drawer organizer.


Don't throw out the waxy bag that the cereal was in! Go ahead and rinse it with hot water and let it air dry. Then fold it up and stash it in the drawer with your tin foil and zip locs. Next time you need to tenderize chicken or steak, wrap it up in the cereal liner first. Then just toss the liner when you're done. Your meat tenderizer won't rip through the liner like it can through waxed paper, and it's free!


Apple Crisp Recipe
from Family Circle

Preheat oven to 375

2 1/2 lbs apples, pared, cored, and sliced (about 8 cups)
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp lemon juice
3/4 c flour
6 tbs butter

Spray 2-qt baking dish with cooking spray. Combine apple slices, 6 tbs sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice in prepared baking dish; stir gently.
Combine flour and remaining 6 tbs sugar in small bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over apples.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until apples are tender and top is browned. Serve warm or cold.

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