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NANHINTER's Photo NANHINTER SparkPoints: (1,874)
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7/30/11 10:22 P

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The piggies DO sound yummy! And, even though my living situation has diminished in size, my desire to have company hasn't, so I can still have a guest or two to help me eat sometimes. That way, when I'm feeling the urge to make a bigger meal, I won't have leftovers to store :-)

There are appliances for every kind of cooking - crock pots, hot pots, electric fry pans, electric grills, toaster ovens... the list goes on. However, I am trying not to purchase too many because a) there's no place to keep them and little counter space to work on,
b) money's tight, and c) I already own some but stored them in my storage locker! (Not really poor planning - just knew I couldn't handle too much clutter) So, I'm mostly making do with the microwave and toaster oven. If I want hard-boiled eggs I take my eggs to a friend's house and boil them there (another excuse to visit!) Farmers markets are handy in summer for buying "just enough" fresh produce. I do have a teenie freezer which can hold 4 single serve bags of brussels sprouts and a 2-pack of steam tilapia (which I can spread over two meals.) So nobody worry - I'm not starving!

I appreciate the input from all of you - many thanks!

Nan

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ADLINS's Photo ADLINS SparkPoints: (58,110)
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7/30/11 7:27 P

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The piggies sound great! Also, we did just get a two burner hot plate for use at my family's farm and it seems quiet nice. I will cook a potato (as in a single one) and put it with a chicken sausage. Does require a freezer. I find canned corn (when fresh is not available) just as good as frozen and not as much left over but I do prefer frozen peas and that would require a freezer.

It's the hip high refrigerator? Is there room for a small freezer? If you do the hot plate, tuna cakes with the small pack make a meal or two depending on how much you eat.

Let us know how it goes.

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SUNSCREENISGOOD's Photo SUNSCREENISGOOD Posts: 355
7/29/11 1:38 P

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Here are a few things I ate when I had limited space, ect. (I had to live in remote locations for work with only a microwave and a refridgerator.)

spagetti squash: Cut it into fourths or in half (depending on size). Put it on a plate. I put just a little bit of olive oil on it. Cook in the microwave for 5 minutes at a time until fork tender. (I've had to cook them for about 15 minutes or so in the past. Microwaves are all different.) Once it is mainly cooked, I'd add spagetti sauce, pesto, or some fresh cherry tomatoes and cook it a bit longer. You can get creative with toppings.

If you have a freezer, I like the gordons fish fillets. (I only like the italian ones.) You can also microwave them too. They are better in a toaster oven. They are only 100 calories per piece of fish. There is a bit of an unhealthy aspect to them. In a rush, they are quick and easy.

I also always got those bags of salad. I'd look for the healthier ones. (The regular caesar salad isn't very healthy.) I've found ones with sugar snaps peas and such in them. I usually only put balsamic vinegar on my salad instead of the dressing.

I thought the best purchase I've ever made was a crock pot. I'm not sure if you ever heard of piggies or cabbage rolls. (They are a polish dish- well, I think so. My polish gramma makes them.) You can soften the cabbage in the microwave. You can get the rice in a microwaveable bag now. You take ground pork (or whatever meat you want) mix it with salt and pepper, tiny cut up onions, and the rice. You fill the cabbage leaves with it and make it into a little roll. Stack them up in a crock pot. Then add cans of diced tomatoes and possibly a can of tomato soup (if you don't care about sodium). A few dashes of paprika on top. Let cook on low all day. It's awesome. If it falls apart, no big deal. I know some people who make "lazy piggies" in a soup form too.








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NANHINTER's Photo NANHINTER SparkPoints: (1,874)
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7/29/11 8:22 A

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Ha ha! Seems a little clarification is needed! I am 59 going on 60 (isn't there a song from "Sound of Music" about that? Hmmmm....) The economic downturn hit me hard and I find myself living in a room above a friend's garage, which is slightly like dorm living, so I thought I'd probe on behalf of all of us in a one-room situation. Hence, my post.

Anyway, I appreciate the comments so far - I had forgotten about hot pots from my own dorm days; and Mike the Hillwizard's old school perspective is pretty refreshing! Keep 'em coming, and many thanks!

Nan

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CHALLENGER15's Photo CHALLENGER15 Posts: 8,825
7/29/11 7:10 A

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Hi, Nan! I have learned a lot from this team and hope that you do as well.


I was trying to remember back to my college days -it's been a while! I enjoyed them so very much and hope that you do, also.

Back in the day, there was an appliance called a hot pot that we used for hot water and to prepare soups. I think maybe some students got creative with a wok.

Even now, with much more space, I have come back to using what I have in the house rather than going to get more. If I cook ground beef, I use it for stuffed peppers one day, tacos the next, etc. Chicken cooked in whatever manner becomes chicken fajitas, etc. That helps my grocery budget go further, and lessens the stress of "What am I going to eat today?" I would have to go back and read, but if you don't have a crock pot, I personally think it is a lifesaver for time, $, and healthiness.


My name is Tammy and I live in SW Missouri.



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7/29/11 4:54 A
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hello Nan & welcome to the team

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HILLWIZARD's Photo HILLWIZARD Posts: 994
7/29/11 12:30 A

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Hi Nan

I'm an older guy, this means I have different experiences then a person who is 19 or 42. I was born in 1948, at that time over half the households did not have a refrigerator, it was still a new thing becoming common in the 50's. during the first half of the century people used expensive ice for cooling or nothing at all, If you get a slab of meat at the store in the morning and leave in in your car or on the counter until dinner time Nothing bad will happen. if after you cook it, you can put half of it in a Ziploc and have it for lunch the next day without refrigerating. if it starts to turn it will small bad - when this happens don't eat it, my dad would just add rep pepper and make chilli but I am not that cheap

or use tinned food, you can get single servings of chicken, turkey, ham, beef, and fish. I use things like canned beans, and canned chili, it comes in a 15 oz can, and I only use half, I give the other half to the trash can as it does not seen to gain weight like I do :)

buy your vegetables in smaller quaintly and let then sit on a shelf


Mike the Hillwizard

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may the splinters never point your way



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NANHINTER's Photo NANHINTER SparkPoints: (1,874)
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7/28/11 11:51 P

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Hi!
As we get closer to the start of a new school year, it occurs to me that those of you heading off to dorms or living in tiny apartments (or a room) might share my challenges, namely:
--teeny tiny fridge
--inadequate room for food storage (either new purchases or leftovers)
--minimal cooking utensils and appliances
--little budget to eat out!
I would be happy to hear how others may have addressed these issues themselves or with their school-aged "Sparkies". I'm new to my situation and am struggling to add variety and freshness. (Although, I am playing around with the concept of "single-serving-cans-as-art" on my few shelves, just to keep from going nuts!) Any ideas?
Thanks!



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