Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Designer Vintage Shop

Ever noticed how stressed you can be without realizing it?  The Frugal Hostess just finally listed ten items on eBay, after intending to do it for months and months.  What a relief!  Here's a link, and you can expect to see much more designer vintage listed if she ever recovers from doing it all day today.


Go shopping.  It's cheap.  Or, at least, cheaper than retail.




Bookmark and Share

Friday, January 29, 2010

100



Wolves are capable of covering 100 miles in a single day.

On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year.

100 is the sum of the first nine prime numbers.

And this, Gentle Readers, is the 100th post on The Frugal Hostess.

100 hugs and 100 kisses to all 100, OK all four, of you!  Thanks for coming.

Photo by Smabs Sputzer
You can join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.



Bookmark and Share

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three Rules of Dinner for One




Rule #1:  Do not eat a frozen meal.  Even if you and your wife normally crack open a Lean Cuisine every night, don't you do it when you're dining solo.  There's just something too sad and pitiful and mothball-smelling about that.

Make Leftover Hash or Soup instead.  Inspired by Tartelette's Roasted Vegetable Soup, The Frugal Hostess recently whipped up two - Butternut Squash & Carrot, and Potato & Onion (pictured).  It couldn't be easier.

Ingredients
Vegetables you have in your house
Salt, pepper, and olive oil
Stock, milk, or cream (optional)

Directions
1.  Skin, peel, chop, and otherwise disembowel your veggies of choice.
2.  Toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil in a roasting or jelly roll pan.
3.  Roast at 375 for an hour or so.  Check on them; FruHo doesn't really remember how long.
4.  Let them cool off, and then puree with an immersion blender.  You could use a food processor or regular blender, but it's much more messy.  TFH bought her immersion blender at a thrift store for $4.67 or something, so they aren't unobtainable.
5.  If you like more soupy soup, add one of those liquid ingredients.  If, like TFH, you want adult baby food, use just a little or none.

Rule #2:  If you have to eat alone, don't be all droopy and mournful.  Make your dinner (or lunch, or dunch) even more exciting than it would be if your usual dining partner were there.  Use your wedding crystal, or your kitschy plastic-ware, or whatevs.  FruHo eats on a tray and uses garnishes, something usually reserved for dinner parties.

Rule #3: Have a treat.  Whether that is dessert, or wine, or a grass-fed New York strip steak, you deserve to have something special when you're not used to eating by yourself.  Bonus points if you revel in something your typical company absolutely despises.

The Frugal Hostess is not eating alone tonight.  But she still gets lonely. Please comment.



Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wanna See Something Funny?

Here's how much money this blog has made from AdSense (those advertisements down below and over to the left) in six months.


Hahaha.  Thanks for nothing, AdSense.  And by AdSense, TFH means you.  Just kidding!

The Frugal Hostess wishes someone would pay her to write this blog.  How about you do it?


Bookmark and Share

FruHubs Food: Irish Lamb Stew

The Frugal Hostess has really been falling down on the job lately, man.  All of the old standbys have been ignored, the faithful, go-to columns disregarded.  That ends today.  It's time for another installment of:



Have you ever noticed that FruHubs food tends to be brown?  Well, today is no different.  It is freaking cold in The Frugal Homestead today, and TFH has been whining about it and trying to put her cold hands in warm places like FruHubs' pockets all day.  He finally had enough and decided to bring it.  That's right.  He's bringing the stew.


Now, please note, FruHo is not a huge fan of stews as a family.  They tend to be gross and mushy and filled with yuck.  Just to ratchet the sacrilege up a few more notches, she also hates pot roast.  And cooked carrots (with some exceptions) and cinnamon.  And, she's never seen "The Princess Bride."  (Although, she's had that movie quoted to her enough times that she could probably recite the dialogue from start to finish.  Which is neither here nor there, except insofar as it underscores the number of traditionally beloved things that TFH does not relish.)

So, you may be wondering why The Frugal Hostess is so excited about her FruHubs' stew.  Here's why: It rules.  It's delicious.  It takes your breath away.  TFH has no idea how he is able to take things that, in lesser hands, are extra repugnant, and turn them into delicious magic, but that's exactly what he does.  And so can you.



Ingredients
1.5lb of lamb stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion [Seriously, what happens to all the large and small onions?  Recipes only ever ask for medium.  Does anyone even know what another size looks like?]
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 bay leaf [Another silly ingredient.  Make two batches of something - one with and one without a bay leaf - and see what happens.  Nothing, that's what.]
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of beef stock
1 can of Guinness
4 carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
4 white potatoes (about 1lb)
Salt, pepper, Worchestire, and Tabasco to taste


Directions

1.  Brown lamb in a Dutch over over medium-high heat.
2.  Add sliced onion and brown with meat (that has been salt-and-peppered) for two minutes.
3.  Add minced garlic and brown for a minute.
4.  Add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir until liquid is absorbed and lamb is coated.  Everything will be super hot.
5.  Pour in beef stock and deglaze the yummy brown stuff sticking to the bottom.
6.  Put in spices and seasonings.
7.  Pour in can of Guinness, bring to a boil, stir once, then reduce heat to simmer.
8.  Simmer for 1-2 hours or until lamb is tender.
9.  Add carrots and potatoes to pot; let simmer for 30 more minutes or until fork tender. [This is the trick, dudes.  This is what takes stew from disgusting elementary school slop to glorious deliciosity.]
10.  Eat, lick bowl, and then eat more.

The Frugal Hostess is seriously SO.  FREAKING.  COLD. Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.



Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mardi Gras Party Invitation

Who are these lovely ladies?



Yes, you.  Who are you?




Calm down.  Keep your shirt on.




Uh, on, not off.

More Mardi Gras party goodness coming soon!  Until then, yes, this is a flasher-turned-invitation.  What of it?

The Frugal Hostess has been cutting paper for hours. Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.



Bookmark and Share

Monday, January 25, 2010

And the Award Goes to....

OK, folks, it's the moment you've all been waiting for.  The winner of The Frugal Hostess's first-ever giveaway is.....


What, is that too small for you?

Try this one.


The winner is lucky number 12, Karen!  FruHo is delighted; she's known Karen just about all her life!  Congratulations!  Just send your info to frugalhostess at gmail dot com, and the prize will be on its way.


That was so exciting!  TFH had never done a giveaway before, and it was thrilling.  As a matter of fact, it was so fun that FruHo thinks she'll do it again very soon.  Like, Friday.  What do you think? 


Bookmark and Share

Thursday, January 21, 2010

TFH's First Giveaway: Gorgeous White Vase

FruHo is planning a  party.  Well, duh, she's always planning a party - metaphorically, at least - but she's actually actively planning one large open house and one small and hopefully elegant dinner.  The large open house will be like many of the past events you've read about here: heavy hors d' oeuvres and buffet supper with cocktails and foolishness.  More to come on that one next week.

But the dinner....well, that will be something else entirely.

You see, the dinner is being held to celebrate.....  Um.  How to explain.  The Frugal Hostess is holding a dinner party in honor of.... Well, in honor of some new tableware that she acquired from The Frugal Mother.  TFH will sort out the guest list and other nonsense later, but right now she's completely focused on eight crystal compotes and a set of pot de creme pots.



As the guests of honor, the compotes and pots will, of course, need to stand apart from everyone, er, everything else.  Not that they need much help.  They're stunningly beautiful.  The compotes are slightly smaller than a DVD in diameter, each perched on a crystal stem.  They are the perfect vessel for a decadently overflowing shrimp cocktail.  And the pot de creme pots are white porcelain with gold edges and rims, and tiny gold bean-shaped handles on the lids.  They will be filled with pot de creme de chocolate.  Or Jello Instant Chocolate Pudding.  One or the other.




With such knockouts on the table, the centerpiece will have to strike the precarious balance between being attractive and distracting.  The centerpiece will have to be, if you will, the bridesmaid to the compote/pot de creme bride.  After spending hours surfing websites doing important research on this topic, The Frugal Hostess found these Dansk vases on a website that sells bar stools, of all things. 

What do you think?  FruHo's got her eye on that big one in the middle, and it's 30% cheaper at that bar stools site than the department stores she looked at.



In fact, The Frugal Hostess likes it so much that she's giving one away!  To enter, leave an idea for what should go in either the compotes or the pot de creme pots in the comments, and a winner will be chosen at random Sunday at 6PM EST.

UPDATE: The contest is closed.  Congratulations to the winner, Karen!



The Frugal Hostess just posted her first giveaway - how exciting! Are you going to comment, or what?



Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Let's Pretend It's New Year's Day

Well, here it is - January 21, and The Frugal Hostess has done none of the things she had planned for you.  There's a good reason, of course; The Frugal Daddy has spent most of the month in the hospital, and FruHubs has been working out of town for most of the month, and, you know, most of the month has swept by like so much dust in the wind.  The good news is that FruDad is much better.  To celebrate, let's pretend it's New Year's Day again.

Come on over, and we'll eat some lucky food to guarantee a prosperous year. 


How about some greens?  These are the flipping best greens you could ever eat.



No greens?  Well, what about Hoppin' Johns?  Hoppin' who?  TFH knows what you're saying; she never heard of that either.



Alright then, have some of this.  This is the best macaroni and cheese you could ever eat.  Even though the shells are the wrong size.  And not macaroni at all.



And, the piece de resistance, a deep-fried ham.  Yes, you heard correctly.  Deep fried.  What? 

Thank you for celebrating New Year's Day at The Frugal Homestead, and thanks for your prayers for FruDad.  The Frugal Hound will show you out.




The Frugal Hostess is gearing up for a new year!  What's that you say?  The year is 21 days old?  You've got to be kidding.  Well, come on over to Facebook and Twitter anyway.



Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pssst.....

Pssst.  The Frugal Hostess is taking a little hiatus while her father recovers from some pretty heavy health stuff.  In the meantime, here are some suggestions for how to cope.

1.  Check out this amazing website, The Tortoise and The Hare, for some truly beautiful DIY projects.  Go ahaed; we'll wait here.
2.  Stay warm and save money by turning the heat down two degrees and wrapping up in a blanket.
3.  Leave your suggestions, questions, ideas, and thoughts for what you'd like to see here this year in the comments.  FruHo would really appreciate it!



Bookmark and Share