Spending Freeze

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I woke up on January 1st and thought, “I’ve spend a lot of money this month. We have some big expenses and trips planned for 2015. We need a spending freeze.”

So after discussing the subject with George, we decided that for an undetermined amount of time, we’d freeze spending on extraneous expenses and focus on groceries, utilities, and other planned items (like our trip to Madison — I wasn’t about to spending freeze it up on vacation!). That meant, no more eating out twice a week, no more buying nail polish, no more Starbucks, no more last minute trips to the store for hot dogs because I really wanted hot dogs.

“Spending Freeze” began taking on a life of its own. I imagined it as an angry monarch sitting on its throne saying, “No! You may not stop at McDonald’s on your way home to get a sweet tea even though you’re really tired and had a bad day!” We started finding ways to make Spending Freeze happy, like turning our thermostat down a degree or buying chicken breasts in bulk at Costco. We started realizing that we didn’t really need to go out for dinner every weekend, and we’ve become pretty good at making our own recipes to mimic those of the restaurants we’re craving.

One of our most successful ‘going out at home’ recipes has been our Dutch Baby. We got the recipe from here, and they are oh so yummy you gotta try ’em.


Dutch Baby

You’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (we used rice milk, but you can use any kind!)
  • 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • And if you want to eat them the way we do: lemon wedges & powdered sugar

Get started:

  1. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet (we used a Dutch oven without the lid) in an oven and pre-heat to 475ºF.
  2. In medium bowl, beat 2 eggs until they’re lighter in color. Stir in 1/2 cup milk.
  3. While whisking, add 1/2 cup sifted flour, 1 pinch cinnamon, and 1 pinch salt.
  4. Once your oven is preheated, turn it down to 425ºF, take out the cast iron skillet, and melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet (be sure to get the edges too!).
  5. Add your batter to the cast iron skillet and bake for about 12 minutes. Your Dutch Baby should be perfectly puffy and golden brown. It shouldn’t be hard to remove from the cast iron (you put 2 tablespoons of butter in there after all!).
  6. Serve with lemon juice and powdered sugar and die of yumminess.