A Bean Counter's Way

UnderTheSea Mermaid Cupcakes Large

Hello World

Hello, world! Every time I speak with my friends we always get on the subject of how expensive it is to feed a family in Southern California. This page is dedicated to combining two of my passions: food and money (actually, 3, because I love my family) and how one doesn’t have to ruin the

Breakfast at the Diner

On a beautiful summer weekend morning, after a busy week, we usually go to breakfast at a local diner. That is, under normal circumstances, when there isn’t a global pandemic. In order to bring a bit of normalcy to our weekly routine, I made what the husbankid loves to order for breakfast. Breakfast chicken fajitas
Misto Quente Grilled Cheese and Panini

Misto Quente, Grilled Cheese, & Panini

They all have a warm place in my…tummy. If you are from the USA, you know what a grilled cheese sandwich is. It’s usually made of two pieces of sliced bread holding a piece of cheese in between. This sandwich is usually grilled on both sides until the cheese is melted into a blob of
Coffee Cake School Style LAUSD

Old Fashioned Coffee Cake – LAUSD 1954

Old Fashioned Coffee Cake – LAUSD 1954   If you went school in the Los Angeles area before the turn of the millennium, you undoubtedly experienced the rich and scrumptious coffee cake served in LAUSD schools.Well, we are all lucky because LAUSD released the coveted recipe to this classic coffee cake and you can make

Tiramisu with Homemade Vanilla Extract

As many of you know, I embarked on the journey of vanilla extract making. The main reason for making my own vanilla was to compensate for the amount of vanilla extract I was using in cocktail making (and some baked goods). As with most things I do in life, I overindulge, and a small amount
Refresh Wilted Lettuce

Refresh Wilted Lettuce

COST SAVINGS TIP for wilted lettuceDo you have ugly and wilted lettuce that has seen better days? As long as they are not brown and molded you can save them.DIRECTIONSIn a large bowl or bucket (food safe ones), fill half way with cold water from kitchen faucet.Cut off about 1 inch of the bottom of
We Love the Skewer

You Say Shish Kebab, I Say Shish Kabob

There’s nothing easier than eating a shish kebab at a barbecue. The self-contained skewer of food with veggies and meat that does not require any cutting or plate holding is simply a dream. But, how often do you make shish kebabs that doesn’t involve many people gathering in your backyard? Well, you should definitely consider
Beef Acebolado Beef and Onions

Beef Acebolado – A quick and simple meal – Here’s how

Beef with Onions, Beef Acebolado are the same things from two different continents. One of my family’s go to dishes is beef (or pork, or chicken) with onions. I never knew that this delicious, simple, and inexpensive dish was enjoyed almost all over the world with some modifications and different spices. What makes this dish
White Rice

Rice, Rice, Baby

Rice is such a simple thing to make, yet so many people have a hard time making fluffy, not mushy, deliciously cooked rice. So today, let’s talk about the simplest rice to make. This is the same rice that can be turned into so many other dishes. It is often said that Asians can measure
Curry Chicken with Rice

Curry Chicken, The Cheat Way!

When curry is mentioned, many people are intimidated because Indian curry encompasses myriad of spices and a delicate balance of sweet, savory, and heat. Actually, lots of heat in many cases. Curry is a complex mixture that has to be mastered. I confess, I do not mix my own curry. I actually choose to use
potatoes and green beans

Green Beans Potato Fusion

I come from a multicultural family with roots in South American, Asia, Europe, and North America. Often times, we mix and combine foods from different cultures. Nowadays, that’s called “fusion”. We just called dinner.By now, two months into the quarantine????, some people might be running out of ideas on what to make for dinner. Here’s
Italian Pasta with Chicken

The Best Way to Make Pasta Caprese

Pasta Caprese for the Yum! Feeding kids and husbankid is almost a full time job during these times. They can never agree on what to eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Some nights I end up cooking three to four different meals in order to appease everyone. However, one meal that makes everyone happy is
Crab Legs

It’s a crabby time!!

This year, crustacean prices have dropped significantly due to the coronavirus shutting down many restaurants worldwide. The good news? It’s CHEAP! A pound of snow crab legs usually runs around $12.99 to $17.99. This year, I found it for just $6.97 per pound in Southern California. While I was purchasing my allowed allotment, many waiting
Corn Salad

Claudia’s Recipe for Corn Salad

Fresh corn, left over corn, or frozen corn. It doesn’t matter, what kind you have, a delicious corn salad awaits. Summertime is upon us. Backyard BBQ’s are a weekly occurrence even when we are physically distancing from friends and family. A nice juicy burger or hot dogs are usually the main dish. The BBQ is
Sour Dough Starter

Sourdough Starter

SOURDOUGH STARTER – Let’s start here. Recently I got on the bandwagon of making breads. Sourdough has never been a favorite bread of mine because the sourness is simply too much for me. Well…when you make your own bread, you can control the sourness of the bread. Who knew?!?! Here’s how to make your sourdough
Tomato Salad

CAPRESE SALAD – The Italian Side of the Family

CAPRESE SALAD – The Italian Side of the Family I love caprese salads during the summer. Especially, if the tomatoes are home grown. The sweetness of the tomatoes with creaminess of the mozzarella cheese is so devine and refreshing. Here’s the recipe: INGREDIENTS 1 lb of tomatoes, cut in chunks or slices 1/2 lb of
Guava Strudel (Pastel de Guayaba)!

Let’s make Guava Strudel (Pastel de Guayaba)!

GUAVA STRUDEL- Made Popular by Cuban bakeries.In the middle of this heatwave, I started craving a guava strudel. So, I crank up the AC apologize to the family for temporarily freezing them, and dreadely turn the oven on. Have you heard of a little pastry called refugiado? It is flaky, crunchy, buttery, and sweet from
Grill it e1632609903675

Restaurant Style Grilled Dinner at Home

Even in the heat, we gotta eat! We all know how to grill. Throw the meat on the BBQ, make sure it is cooked on both sides, put it on the plate, and dig in. What if you want a restaurant style steak? How do you cook it restaurant style at home? Let’s talk about
Sourdough Bread

Let’s make some sourdough bread!

Did you get your sourdough starter going?If you did, let’s make some sourdough bread!!!I understand that there has been a shortage of flour in many areas and most breads required bread flour. I will share 2 recipes for sourdough bread, 1 using bread flour and another using (easier to find) all purpose flour (ap flour). These recipes
Chicken Parm

Chicken Parmesan – The Low Cost Way

In a previous post we made homemade peach syrup. Now we are going to put that peach syrup to use in order to make some tasty drinks for kids and adults!

Waffles for Breakfast

Waffles. That’s what’s for breakfast. I have been learning about sourdough starters and what to do with the discarded sourdough starter. Well, who knew there are a plethora of yummy things that can be made with it. This morning, I had some discarded starters from “Teresa.” Yes, I name my sourdough starters. The mother of
Sliced Pepperoni Pizza

Homemade Pizza for the Win

So we can’t get take out or delivery. What do we do? We make our own pizza.
Brazilian BBQ at Home Using Tri-Tip (Alcatra)

Brazilian BBQ at Home Using Tri-Tip (Alcatra)

So let’s dive into this delicious cut of meat that’s always juicy and scrumptious. Trip-tip roast is extremely easy to make and there are so many ways of seasoning it. It’s Brazilian name is Alcatra and is the second favorite cut for Brazilian BBQ. If you have kids who aren’t crazy about seasonings, a nice
Brazilian Picadinho

Brazilian Picadinho

Tonight’s dinner is Brazilian Picadinho. Picadinho simply means chopped in small pieces. It is delicious to eat over rice or pasta. The dish also freezes well if you make extra and gets better the longer it sits. Here’s my picadinho recipe.
Diced Patato

Butter My Potatoes

Potatoes are a great and versatile. They can be baked, fried, stewed, microwaved, etc and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On top of myriad of ways to cook them, potatoes are cheap and great source of five of the B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin C, etc. My go to potatoes are simple
How to Make Great Brownies

Let’s Make Some Brownies!

Here's something to sweeten up this holiday weekend.
Brownies that will make you go yummmm - without too many dirty dishes.
Canning Peaches

Let’s Make Jam – with Peaches

Summer time brings all the delicious and fresh fruits. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables is not only good for you, but also saves you a lot of money. Unfortunately, the season is short and in a few bites, the summer freshness is gone. To help preserve some summer time yumminess, let’s make jam!
ARROZ e FEIJÃO – Rice and Beans

ARROZ e FEIJÃO – Rice and Beans

Rice and Beans go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly or as Brazilians call it, ARROZ e FEIJÃO. If you travel through Central and South America, there’s a good chance you have eaten rice and beans. In Brazil, the combination of rice and black beans or ARROZ e FEIJÃO is on every place at almost
Bread Bananna

The Super Moist Banana Bread

How often have you had a banana bread that’s tasty, but dry? Well, let’s solve that problem today with this moist banana bread. The hardest part of making this banana bread is waiting for the bananas to ripen enough to turn it into something so scrumptious.
Sprougt shallot backon

Can Brussel Sprouts Taste Good? – Yes Here’s How

The answer depends on how you cook it. Many people do not like the taste of brussel sprouts. The smell of sulfur is sometimes repulsive. The difference between yummy brussel sprouts and yucky brussel sprouts is in the way the cruciferous is cooked. If made correctly, brussel sprouts can be sweet and tasty. Here’s the
Breakfast Sandwich Egg

Egg Bacon Cheese Muffin Breakfast Sandwich

Although it is almost time to make dinner, I am going to post a breakfast recipe that I often eat for dinner. I usually make many of these and freeze whatever I don’t eat for an easy morning when I am running out of time. Egg, Bacon, and Cheese Muffin Breakfast Sandwiches.    
Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

These biscuits get eaten so fast at my house that I didn’t get the chance to take a picture of the finished product before my husband and kids devoured them.
Tacos Durados

Tacos Dourados – The Crunchy Way To Go

Let me start by saying I've made them three times in the previous seven days. The first two times I prepared these tacos, I was too slow to take pictures. I ...
Fried Rice with leftovers

Fried Rice with Leftovers

Here at home, it is either too much rice leftover or not enough rice. So when I have leftover rice I make what's easy and cheap. Fried rice.
Beach Bean

Canning Drunken Peaches with Vanilla

So most people know that "Red Bull gives you wiiiiings" from the commercials. Red Bull is actually just a drink from Brazil that was slightly changed (caffeine added and other things). The main ingredient is GUARANÁ.