Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A family doctor WILL save you money....

A friend of mine gave me a call a couple of weeks ago asking for a doctor’s recommendation.  Upon moving here 2 years ago, they had set up a primary care doctor for their son, but neglected to do so for themselves.  She needed to set up an appointment for herself and found that because she had not established herself with a doctor she could NOT make an appointment in any kind of swift manner.  The soonest “new patient” appointment was 3 weeks away.  Her choices were severely limited.  She could go to Urgent care, the Emergency room or WAIT for the next available “new patient appointment”.  This reminded me of a money saving goal I had when we moved here 10 years ago.  

After unpacking, one of the 1st things on my “To Do list” in my *new* hometown was to find a pediatrician AND a Primary care doctor for ourselves.   Sickness is never something that you plan for!!  Being sick is never convenient!  And it usually feels like it needs to be taken care of quickly….  So I highly recommend taking the time to find a doctor for each member of your family BEFORE you’re sick.  You will avoid a lot of frustration, worry AND medical bills.  Anyone who has seen a bill from the Emergency room OR Urgent care knows it is worth the hassle to establish yourself with a doctor when you are healthy and well!

Happy Stretching Pennies…

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

EASY Homemade noodles WITHOUT any special equipment

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and New Year.  

Is anyone feeling more than a little cold right now?  Our temperatures have dropped to single digits almost every day…which more than uncommon for our area.  It seems most evenings; all I want to do is curl up in a thick cozy blanket.  Anything to warm a body is desirable!!

WHO wouldn’t want some homemade chicken noodle soup during this CRAZY cold spell??  It isn’t as hard as it sounds…I have a recipe in my favorite cookbook “Fabulous Freezer Meals” by Jenny Stanger that can be thrown together FAST…and since it is so quick, it can be easy to add some homemade noodles to it too.   Wait?  Homemade noodles?  That sounds complicated and time consuming!!!  Not true.  Homemade noodles sound a lot scarier to make than they actually are.  If you have the ability to make dough…and have a knife OR pizza cutter…you can make noodles fast.  You do NOT need a “noodle maker” device to enjoy them.  

(A special thank you to a friend who pointed out this neat idea over 2 years ago...)
Chicken Noodle Soup 
(recipe from “Fabulous Freezer Meals”- by Jenny Stanger)

4 c. Chicken Stock (or substitute with chicken broth)
6 c. water
2 c. frozen diced vegetables
½ lb. shredded turkey/chicken (for FAST assembly-use canned chicken and 2 forks)
1 ½ tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
2 packages Country Gravy Mix

1.       1. Mix together chicken stock, vegetables, chicken and seasonings.  Bring to a boil for 5-7 minutes.
2.       2. While soup is boiling, make the noodle dough.
3.       3. Add gravy mix and simmer 10 minutes.
4.       4. While soup is simmering, roll out the noodle dough and cut with a knife.
5.       5. Add noodles and boil for 8-10 minutes.

Homemade Noodles

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the egg, milk, and butter. Remove the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook. Add the rest of the ingredients.  Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece out to 1/8 or 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired lengths and shapes. (A pizza cutter works really well to cut them into strips.)
Happy Pinching Pennies!!