Eat Well, Spend Less: Homemade Substitutes for Grocery Staples

Has anyone else noticed the rapidly rising price of food lately? That the usual grocery run is costing more and more? I have, and I’ve been comparing receipts with several other food bloggers. The results of our research has prompted us to bring you a series to help you spend less while continuing to eat well.

Spearheaded by Jessica of Life as MOM, our series Eat Well, Spend Less will touch on topics such as buying (and storing) food in bulk, frugal meals, menu planning, and much, much more. Besides Jessica and myself, on board and digging deep to help you eat better on a budget are also Shaina, Mandi, Katie G, Alyssa, Carrie, Katie K , and Tammy.

The series will run on Mondays or Tuesdays for the next 3 weeks, depending on the blog.  Simplebites will contribute on Mondays and we’ll link up everyone’s posts for the week on Tuesday. Get ready to learn a lot and be equipped for the rising costs of everyday food.

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Weekend Links

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a special new series: Eat Well, Spend Less.

Entertaining on Easter: Simple Hosting Tips and Three Sample Menus

Easter is upon us in three weeks, and it is a time when many of us open our homes to friends and family. I adore entertaining on this long weekend in April because it usually brings the first really warm weather and promises of spring.

Last year I had Danny scrub down the picnic table while I squeezed fresh orange juice and made a batch of doughnuts with Noah. We served brunch on the back patio in the morning sunshine – our first al fresco meal of the season. I hope to do the same this year, although there is still -literally- two feet of snow out there, frozen solid. Cross your fingers for me.

If you’re welcoming guests on Easter weekend – or any day, for that matter – then these instant entertaining tips are for you. I’m a big believer in details, and know that even small gestures can make a big difference when receiving guests.

Following the tips, I’m sharing three menu suggestions for Easter. Whether you are planning a brunch, casual lunch or sit down dinner, you’ll find inspiration from some of my favorite dishes for entertaining.

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Healthy Fats Make Healthy Children

Written by Shannon of Nourishing Days.

Becoming a mother may just be the most intense and terrifying thing that I have ever done. There was that whole giving birth thing, which was supposed to be the hard part, right? But then you enter the world of breastfeeding, books, ideologies, and the tornado of information that comes from parenting “experts” of all sorts.

In the midst of it all is this incredibly personal thing called feeding our children. When all you have heard for 30 years is “Fat is bad!” you tend to want to feed your children according to that philosophy.

But that doesn’t make any sense. Breast milk, the perfect food for baby, is at least half fat, much of which is saturated fat and even (gasp) cholesterol. I don’t believe that a child’s need for saturated fat and cholesterol ends when weaned.

And I am not alone…

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Four Variations on Maple Vinaigrette and A Sugaring Off Vlog

Late March means one thing in Québec: sugaring off season. The chilly nights and warm afternoons cause sap to surge up from the roots of the maple trees and race to fill the branches with life. All across the province, the healthy trees are tapped and a portion of the sap is extracted as it makes its journey upward.

You won’t find me pining for summer’s sandy beaches or pool parties during these early spring months; I relish sugaring off season, as you can probably tell. Due to the enthusiastic response to my recent post, A Sugaring Off Story, I decided to bring my Flip along on another recent outing to the family sugar bush and give you one more glimpse of Eastern Canada’s ‘fifth season’.

The short video follows our family’s most enthusiastic little worker, five-year-old Noah, on his third annual visit to the sugar bush. I couldn’t be happier that he is learning the process of gathering a beloved natural resource; truly this is food culture in the making.

For context and more description of how the process takes place, please read  A Sugaring Off Story. Now hit the jump for the vlog and a handful of salad dressing recipes featuring maple syrup.

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