Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cheap and Easy Bread

I love fresh-baked bread and will be putting some of my recipes on the blog over time, but the easiest, fastest, cheapest, most impressive bread to make when you feel like making something but don't want to tear up the kitchen is beer bread. I was introduced to beer bread at a home sales party. It was $8.00 for a bag to which you add a beer. The ingredients of that secret and elusive mix turned out to be flour and sugar. That is it. To make beer bread take 3 cups of self-rising flour, 1/3 cup sugar and mix. Add one 12 ounce beer, pour into a greased loaf pan, and pour two tablespoons melted butter over the top. Bake one hour at 375. It is foolproof, tasty, and really inexpensive when using Miller High Life, the house beer of choice at our house. For company, I will splurge and use a Bourbon Barrel Stout from Bluegrass Brewing Co. which makes it dark and earthy. There is no end to the permutations of rosemary, garlic, gruyere, jalapeno, etc. that can be added to make it interesting. Recently I served it along with a White Bean Chili and a pecan pie for dinner with friends and it was a huge hit. The whole dinner cost about $15 for 6 of us and everyone enjoyed themselves as if I had served a rack of lamb.

Hello! After lurking through countless frugal living blogs I have decided to join in and make my voice heard. I am a great admirer of the numerous mommy blogs out there for their dedication to living within their means and managing a household creatively with minimal funds. The only problem is that I am not a mommy, not a suburban housewife, not a homeschooler, and am in recovery from being a Baptist most of my life. I am married, living in the inner-city in a renovated church, with two dogs, two cats, a wonderful husband, a 50/hour per week job, a real estate business that is on the skids, and a new Zoloft prescription which will hopefully help me keep it all together. I am dedicated to squeezing every nickel I can while keeping my business afloat and making it to work on time. Sadly, I love good food, decent wine, travel, cable, the Sunday New York Times, going out with friends, shoes and really nice purses which makes the frugality tough. I am blessed with a good marriage, decent health, wonderful friends and family, and a chunk of extra weight so that I'll be the last to starve when the bad times really kick in. Enjoy and please join in as I go on this blog journey.