Ecoli recall for Totino’s & Jeno’s frozen pizzas with pepperoni

Ecoli bacteria keep popping up in our processed foods and processed meat. Like in the latest ecoli recall for the Totino’s & Jeno’s frozen pizzas with pepperoni topping. It’s gross really. It’s just like in the movie Fast Food Nation. See it if you can. It’s sad and kind of gross at times but I would bet money that this is the same thing happening with these processed meat products. It’s not fertilizer this time is it?

We all eat a lot of processed foods now. The companies that manufacture them know we have a million things to do and are huge procrastinators and very lazy Americans. When is the last time you have seen someone make a pizza from scratch? like with flour and tomatoes? Or someone bake a pie from scratch, like with raw fruit? In the 1940’s everyone did that. It was the only option for getting something to eat. Super markets were filled with ingredients. Now they are filled with manufactured and processed foods that have already been cooked for us.

Sometimes we like technology and the progress it brings but we may have pushed too far because it is hurting people and their health now. Since women work outside the home in about 75% of households now no one really can afford to cook anything from scratch. We all watch cooking shows as food porn, not because anyone actually completes those recipes themselves.

It’s sad in a way. We don’t always know what we are getting ourselves into when we accept progress. Now we have to be more careful than ever.

Food Catering for the Holiday Parties

I was at a dinner the other night and was surprised that the people attending were oblivious to the cook’s time and work put in to the dinner and were generally acting very un-enthusiastic about it. And yes, it wasn’t fancy or anything but still, where are their manners? What do they expect? I have no idea but it made me think of what I would do if I ever was in the position to host something and I had to involve food in the event. Two past companies for catering came to mind. I am no cook, not even when my life depends on it, so catering is the most responsible thing to do when food and guests are coming over. One great caterer is LaBelle Catering in LaGrange, IL and another that is good, but not quite as good as LaBelle, is The Perfect Dinner in Oak Park. They both specialize in pre-cooked meals either for a family or catering an event. Labelle has more options, better packaging to retain freshness, better taste with more seasoning and higher prices. The Perfect Dinner has good food, but avoid the chicken and twice baked potatoes because both become really dry when refrigerated there at their store all day. (they cook in the mornings) I have had 3 dinners from there and the salmon and rice was great, the house salad was to die for, and the steak was luscious. It’s just the potatoes and chicken that they don’t season enough or keep any moisture in or liquid. Both places deliver anywhere in the Chicagoland area and with advance notice are great for catering holiday Christmas parties and work related corporate events. The broccoli salad at La Belle with peanuts and rasins is the best salad ever. You have to try that if you call them. Check out both these great food catering businesses this holiday season if you need a caterer.

What to eat? Cheap Food & Eating on a Budget

I was recently looking for budgeting blogs to tune in to and read about how other people save money and I ran across the Trying to Follow blog, (which is a religious based blog, although I am  not religious in any way) which had a post about living on a budget. I give credit to those people who do live on a budget because I have always found it to be difficult. Especially living in Chicagoland and working downtown, the costs of transportation, food and rent are a lot higher than I would like. Anyway, this blog had a budget of $1,000.00 per month for living expenses. That isn’t much. It broke down as:

Rent: $500

Car: $100

Food: $100

Miscelaneous: $100

Entertainment/Fun money: $100

Emergency: $100

I pay more than double in all those categories! This led me on a search for blogs that are about eating cheaply (and healty if possible) and how to cook cheaply at home. And suprisingly while there were a lot of suggestions there were very few sites that had any usable information for me. I only found 3 reasonable recipies on the Cheap Eats blog in 3 years worth of posts. I also got a suggestion of SlashFood which was useless because is a blog mostly about making expensive gourmet cuisine and just had one post abou very vauge ideas about how to maybe save money on food. I am beginning to think that the people who do know how to live affordably aren’t really interested in sharing how they do it. And I guess they don’t have to really. A lot of what is on these 2 food blogs is also really fed by advertisers. About 1/2 of the posts on Cheap Eats were reviews of free food he was given by manufacturers. And the cost per meal for those foods was $5-$7 bucks. That’s not going to get you through the month on $100.00 or less. Ok, so it may not be possible to live on the budget listed above in Chicago, but I still think it is good to look into and find out more about. Since these blogs havan’t really helped, do you have any suggestions on how to cut money from your budget? Cheap recipes? On food or any other area?