Happy Healthy Blogger Thursday!

This week I get to introduce you to one of my best friends and a great, thrifty blogger: April from Thirty and Thrifty.

April and I met during freshman orientation for UW-Madison. Back then, email was a big deal (and yes, I feel really old admitting that), so we thought we were so cool to exchange email addresses and we spent the rest of the summer emailing back and forth. I still remember the anticipation of waiting for my parents’ dial up internet to connect to see if I had gotten an email from that girl in Greendale. (So if the comment about email being cool didn’t date me, I am pretty sure that did).

April has always been ahead of me in technology. She made me sign up for Facebook before anyone else was there, and I think before that, she made me sign up for MySpace. Now, she is managing social media accounts for her local church and helping them build a new website.

In addition to her technological prowess, she is an amazing cook and knows how to make her pennies last. She has great tips for saving money and making the most out of any situation. She recently moved to New Mexico with her daughter, Autumn, and her husband, Justin. Most people would be scared moving to a new town, but April immediately set up roots and I am pretty sure that she already has way more friends in New Mexico after 6 months than I do in Madison after 3 years.

Check out her great recipe below and head on over to her blog afterwards.

Without further adieu,

heeeeerrrrreeee’s April!


Hi there, I’m April and I blog at Thirty and Thrifty. At the moment I’m on a bit of a blog sabbatical, as we moved cross-country at the beginning of the year and I’m expecting our second child in a couple months.  My husband and I really try to live thriftily while still enjoying ourselves. Much like Kimberly and Manatee, we believe that we have choices in life. While they focus on choices around exercise/eating, we focus on how we spend our money. We prefer to spend on those things we really value rather than fritter our money away on things we don’t.
Cooking is one example of how we live out our thrifty values. Sure, it would be easier and faster to eat at a restaurant or pick up a ready-made meal most evenings, but we would be sacrificing not only money but our family’s health.  I plan our meals for the week and then grocery shop at multiple stores and with coupons to get the best prices. (but no, I’m not a crazy coupon lady!) Of course, there are times that we have a meal out or grab a frozen pizza, but that’s not the norm.
Here is a Portobello mushroom recipe that’s a favorite in our family- even with our toddler. It can be made in the slow cooker or on the grill, depending on your preference. I have known Kimberly for over 14 years, and she knows that I’m a dairy girl (and still loves me). Dairy products are an important part of our family’s diet, and yes, cheese is an integral part of this recipe. I sometimes add some extra mozzarella on top as well. Serve with pearl couscous or rice.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms- Slow Clooker or Grilled

Adapted from Make it Fast, Cook it Slow

4 large portobello mushrooms (or two per adult, one per kid)
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped (Roma would be more thrifty, but cherry tomatoes are very crisp and tasty)
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I use packaged breadcrumbs but you could make your own)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I buy a chunk of cheese and grate it myself)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

With a knife, cut the stems off of the mushrooms, chop, and put in bowl. Scrape the gills out of the mushroom caps and add to bowl. Add tomatoes, bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined.  Divide filling between the mushroom caps, spooning it in and packing it down slightly.

Slow Cooker- Coat the bottom of the slow cooker with the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Lay mushrooms in the slow cooker, it’s OK if they overlap. Cover and cook on low 2-4 hours. Mine were done after 2 hours, be sure to check on them. Don’t be alarmed when the mushrooms shrink down in size as they cook.

Grill- Brush the bottoms of the mushrooms with olive oil. Place on grill over direct medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes.


Yum! I just may have to try those…without the cheese, of course. 😉

What are some ways that you save money when it comes to food?

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