Lettuce try some new ways to do salad

Radish leaves are edible, so why not try them in a salad?

Radish leaves are edible, so why not try them in a salad? (Photo by Laura Groch)

With California’s winter rains flooding out some lettuce farms, greens are going up in price nationwide. Some reports say that lettuce is going for $3.99 a head.

Well, if you use your head, you can still enjoy salads without going broke. Stores and farmers markets still have plenty of less-expensive green leaves to fill your salad bowls.

Green and red cabbage come to my mind first, especially green. Just slice the leaves into Continue reading


Save your green with easy-to-mix salad dressing

Inexpensive ingredients for a delicious salad dressing are already in your pantry. Photo by Laura Groch

Inexpensive ingredients for a delicious salad dressing are already in your pantry. All you need is a simple recipe like this one. Photo by Laura Groch

If you’ve been checking out my posts, you know I keep returning to certain themes: Thrift in the kitchen. Eating real food. Preparing food yourself so you know what’s in it.

So in this season of salads and cold dishes — and especially for the picnic-happy holiday that is July 4 — I wanted to bring you a recipe that hits all those notes.

It’s a simple recipe for an oil- and vinegar-based salad dressing (not the kind of white Continue reading

New category: Thrifty/Nifty. Save some bucks, have some fun.


An “empty” tube of lipstick has an amazing amount of lipstick still in it — nearly a half-inch of the stuff. Use a brush to get it out and enjoy your favorite shade a little longer. (Actually, a lot longer.)

(c) copyright Laura Groch 2013

Thrifty/Nifty is about hints that save money or are just plain cool. Sometimes even both. ;<)

I’m hoping you’ll find these tips as useful as I do. Though they’re not food-related, they could help keep your wallet well-fed:

— Long-lived lipstick. With tubes costing $10 and up, plus never being able to find the same shade once you finish one up, who wouldn’t want to make lipsticks last longer? If you toss your lipstick when it’s “empty” — which means it’s now level with the edge of the tube — you are basically throwing away half the tube each time. Invest in a small brush, work it over the lipstick and then apply to your lips. You will be shocked by how many applications are left in the tube — there’s almost as much left inside as there is in a full lipstick. YMMV, of course, depending on brand. (Check out the photo for an example.) Using a brush to get the rest of the lipstick out is just plain smart. And you can keep using your favorite shade a lot longer.

— Raccoon eyes. For an inexpensive way to remove the dark smudges left by eyeliner, mascara, etc., under your eyes after washing your face, try a little hair conditioner/creme rinse. I keep one of those hotel-size bottles on the sink and dab a bit under my eyes, then wipe clean gently with a cotton pad or facial tissue. Much, much cheaper than special lotions or creams.

— Cuticle pens on the cheap. They’re lovely and fun, but pricey. You can get the same results for a lot less money with your basic tube of lip balm. Just run the edge of it lightly over your cuticles, then massage the stuff in. Presto! A nice pick-me-up for chapped cuticles for a fraction of the cost.

(c) copyright Laura Groch 2013