Rather shop than cook? Me too.

I mean, feeding the family is a Good, right? But shopping resale can sometimes be a Better. Better for your soul, your budget, and of course the planet.

So we’re all about quick meals to serve fast after a nice leisurely browse through your favorite consignment, resale, and thrift shops.

Chinese Sticky Wings


We’ve offered recipes for you:

And here’s a treasure trove of mixes you can pre-make and keep in the pantry. Tip: these make wonderful, personable, and thrifty gifts to neighbors, teachers, and officemates as well. Be sure to find a one-of-a-kind container for same… at, of course, your favorite consignment, resale, or thrift shop.

Quick Yummy Holiday Gift from Your Kitchen

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from HowToConsign.comI used to usually run out of ideas for hostess or neighbor gifts around Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukah and so on. But no longer!

I make and freeze these ready-to-bake Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and as long as they can travel from my freezer to theirs, it’s perfect! Something they need (who doesn’t need chocolate?), that doesn’t need to be displayed or worn, that they can use later after the onslaught of holiday sweets, and that says lovin’ from the oven….

If my giftee is far from my freezer, why I just bake them up!

Classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 3/4 cups oatmeal
2 cups chocolate chips
Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add Baking soda, powder, and salt and mix. Add flour, oatmeal and chocolate chips. Mix until combined. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

And here’s where the holiday magic comes in:
OR Roll into balls on parchment, freeze, directions for baking would then be:

*Keep cookie dough frozen until ready to bake*
Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place frozen cookie dough balls 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown around the edges but not overly browned. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

PS You can jazz up this recipe with things like golden raisins and orange zest, but to my way of thinking, chocolate should stand on its own.

Photo credit: By Paul Martin (originally posted to Flickr as Oatmeal Cookies) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


Favorite Recipe: Burnt Meatloaf

Less time cooking, more time resale shopping!When you don’t know what to make for dinner, when you’re not particularly enamoured of making anything for dinner, this is the recipe you need. (Not to mention, the leftovers will make terrific meatloaf sandwiches for lunch!)

This recipe, from the Ed Debevik chain, is copied from a tattered, torn, and grease-spotted newspaper clipping in my files. I don’t even know why I keep it, because I make it by heart by now. Be sure to read my notes at the end…

Ed Debevik’s Burnt Meatloaf

(Ed calls it that because the tomato paste “icing” gets all black and crunchy. Trust me, you’ll like it!)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1 large, heavy red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 eggs
1/3 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt & pepper to taste
3 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cups fine, dry, seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup tomato paste

In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic and cook, tossing and stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, soy sauce, salt and pepper.

Crumble the beef into another, larger bowl.

Add the egg mixture and partially combine.

Add the onion-bell pepper mixture and bread crumbs and combine lightly but thoroughly.

Pack the meat mixture into a 9-by-5-by-3 inch loaf pan, mounding it slightly; smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Spread the tomato paste in an even layer over the top of the loaf.

Put the pan on a cookie sheet to forestall any dripping onto your nice clean oven. Bake about 2 hours, until the top of the loaf is lightly blackened and an instant-reading thermometer reads 145 degrees F. Let stand on a rack for 10 minutes before slicing.

Kate’s notes:

  • If you, like me, don’t plan far enough ahead in the day to bake it for 2 hours, use two pans. The smaller loaves cook in about an hour, maybe a little longer.
  • I usually do 2/3 ground beef, 1/3 ground pork.
  • And more garlic.
  • Half-and-half works as well as the heavy cream.
  • The mixture should be moist and fluffy, not heavy, before you bake it. Trust me.

Vintage housewife illustration by Karen Arnold.