Archive for September, 2009


Caesar Salad

One of my favorite simple dinners is a nice big meaty Chicken Caesar Salad with lots of fresh grated parmesan. It’s easy to throw together and if you let people assemble their own, you can present it pretty nicely on the table. Add a loaf of tasty bread and you’re set!
caesar salad



We’re officially moved up to Spokane now and today is Andrew’s first day in school up here. I made the mistake earlier today of saying that today was his first day of school in 4 1/2 years, but then I remembered that 5 weeks ago he was in Seattle doing school. How could I forget that he was in Seattle? Probably the same way I could neglect to post anything here or on our family blog for the past month or so – we’ve been so busy! We moved 2 weeks ago and have been busy getting settled in and figuring out all the local places to go. B has been busy getting herself potty trained too, which has been fantastic. She’s late in getting it done, but it’s gone very quickly and very well and we’re pretty sure that the diapers can all be boxed up and put away for when Eva needs them now. Busy but exciting times in the Becker house!

Figuring out where to shop has been fun. There are many more shopping opportunities up here which calls for – and allows for – better management of our resources (especially when those resources are loaned to us by the government in the form of student loans…). I borrowed my mom’s copies of the Tightwad Gazette (books 1, 2, and 3) for some super money saving tips. One of Amy’s biggest tips for saving money on your groceries is to keep a price book that records the prices for all your staples at the different stores so that you can know when you’re getting a great deal. It’s especially useful when you go places like Costco and are wondering if that 10 lb bag of chocolate chips is a good deal or not.

But keeping a hand written price book organized can be a chore, and it’s just one extra thing to tote around. Andrew had to buy an iPod touch for school, so I got to thinking that there must be an application out there somewhere for the iPod that would work as a price book. After a few minutes of searching I found PriceBook, which is exactly what the name suggests. You put in the food item, the price, the quantity (lbs, oz, pints, each, etc), the store you found it at, and whether it was on sale or not. Then this handy dandy little app keeps track of what’s the best deal and where it is (and it turns out that the big bag of chocolate chips at Costco is cheaper than the bulk chocolate chips at WinCo, not to mention that they don’t turn the glaze on my chocolate pecan torte all grainy like the WinCo ones do). So if you love the thrill of hunting for the best deals around and happen to have an iPod or iPhone, I highly recommend spending the $1.99 on this schnazzy app. I’m betting it will pay for itself in your first shopping trip (probably even in the first 5 minutes!).


Back to School

In prelude to Autumn I give you my favorite seasonal  smells:

  • Fresh Bread: best if honey has been drizzled on top after 2nd rising and before baking.
  • Burning Wood: accompanied by a warm glow.
  • Chicken Soup: simmering on the stove in an excessive amount of thyme.
  • Rotting Leaves:  an scent best enjoyed outdoors.
  • Cloves: in cider, candles, chili & tobacco.