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Five Things Friday – 10.31.14 holy moly, it's the end of October!

5thingsbannerWelcome to my first 5 things FRIDAY post.  This is one of several places to find out what’s going on in the kitchen and the garden, and where I have been or will soon be going. I will be posting in this category frequently, but not necessarily every Friday.

Happy Halloween! Here are five things that rocked my week:


#1 – Earlier today, I discovered the perfect Halloween Costume for lazy foodie folks like me.

CIY Ina Garten Halloween Costume

Source: http://foodnfemininity.blogspot.com/2010/10/diy-food-tv-halloween-costumes-ina.html


Yep, I’m channeling Ina on Halloween!



#2 – Extra Virgin: Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen, by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazer, is one of several terrific Italian cookbooks I ordered from Amazon.com when I got home from Italy last week. I’m looking forward to cooking my way through the book with my friends in the “Cooking Through Extra Virgin: Recipes & Love from our Tuscan Kitchen” Facebook group.



#3 – These whole grain, gluten-free biscuits, which I baked on Monday … delicious! I’m still working on the recipe, and should have it ready to share soon.


#4 – Ripe tomatoes picked this morning in our Bakersfield garden. After the long lull in tomato production during the burn-your-butt months of August and September, we once again have tomatoes on the plants that survived the summer, as well as the “second season” transplants I planted in August.  Warm weather and the California drought may mean fresh tomatoes on our Thanksgiving table.


#5 – Lodge 7.5 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven — Isn’t she gorgeous? She arrived this afternoon, and I can’t wait to use her! I got a great deal from Target, saving more than $28 off Amazaon’s price. Here’s how:

I had already determined that Target had the best price for the red Lodge 7.5 quart dutch oven ($72.99 versus Amazon Prime’s price of $90.85 – both included free shipping). I belong to the shopping rebate site eBates.com, so I clicked through the Target link on eBates, to earn a 2.5% rebate on my Target purchase. Then I googled “target coupon” and found a $10-off-on-purchases-over-$50 coupon on retailmenot.com, a free non-membership coupon site. The coupon reduced my purchase price to $62.99, and I got an additional discount of $3.15 (5%) by paying with my Target Red Card (a debit card linked to my bank account).

Total discount on Target website: $13.15 (17% of original total), final price was $64.33. And I’ll still receive the 2.5% ($1.61) eBates rebate, making my actual price $62.72, which is $28.13 less than Amazon’s price.

Lesson: Join eBates.com and get rebates on almost all of your online purchases … and always search for coupons, whether shopping online or in person at your favorite stores.

Have a great weekend!





FTC Required Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • sheila November 1, 2014, 6:22 pm

    Love your chef outfit! Very creative. And have to say you are looking good on your Gluten free diet!

    • Victoria November 6, 2014, 7:16 pm

      Thanks, Sheila! How is retirement treating you so far?

  • Cindy November 2, 2014, 8:28 am

    I love my dutch oven. It’s just an old black cast iron 8 quart I found at an estate sale – but as soon as I had it home and cleaned up it became one of my favorite cooking pots. I’ve used her on the stove, in the oven and over a campfire.
    Happy cooking with your new dutch oven, please share recipes you find using her!

    • Victoria November 6, 2014, 8:11 pm

      Cindy, I remember you asking me about dutch ovens for an open fire a year or two ago … glad to know you finally found one you love! I have 4 enameled ones … the new 7.5 qt red, a 6 qt red, and 6 qt blue (that’s starting to look really really loved), and a 5 or 6 quart oval one I found at IKEA in Portland earlier this year (and it turned out to be too small to comfortably roast a chicken).

      I use at least one of mine almost every day. Here’s some of what I’ve cooked in a dutch oven in the past week:

      * gluten free bread
      * homemade chicken stock
      * gluten free dumplings (still in the experimental stage)
      * pumpkin risotto
      * pasta
      * pinto beans with ham & herbs
      * brown rice with millet
      * beef stew (braised in wine and herbs … yummy!)
      * Bolognese sauce (used half for pasta sauce, then doctored up the rest with cinnamon and nutmeg, and used it for Moussaka last night)
      * polenta — made a double batch with homemade chicken stock, then used half for a first course/side dish (3″x3″ squares, baked to crisp up a bit, then topped with sauteed mushrooms), and the other half as a side dish to the roast chicken.

      Yes, I’ve been cooking a lot lately … inspired by a cooking week in Italy last month, along with the arrival of cooler weather!

      What do you like to cook in your’s?

      Hello to Dani!

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