Fruit filled shortcake

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Strawberries aren’t the only fruit that tastes good with shortcake!

What you’ll need:

2 c biscuit mix
1/3 c quick cooking oats
3 Tbl brown sugar
½ c milk
3 Tbl butter, melted
2 pears, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 c cranberries (frozen is fine)
½ c orange juice
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 can apricot pie filling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix first 5 ingredients until a soft dough forms. Drop dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet into six ‘piles’. Sprinkle with additional brown sugar & oats if desired. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown. In a heavy saucepan, heat remaining ingredients except pie filling until the fruit mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 3 - 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until the cranberries pop. Stir in pie filling. Split warm shortcakes and fill and top with fruit mixture. Top with whipped topping if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Cost:
biscuit mix - $3.00
oatmeal - $1.59
pears- $2.18/lb
frozen cranberries- $2.49
orange juice - $2.99/gallon
pie filling - $1.99
Total - $7.97

Bring on the fudge topping

I’ve said it before, food that’s made at home just tastes better than restaurant or store bought in my opinion. This is an excellent fudge sauce that can be used to top anything you like chocolate on.

What you’ll need:

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 bag (2 c) semisweet chocolate chips
½ c sugar
1 Tbl butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a heavy saucepan, heat milk, chips and sugar to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla until sauce is smooth and creamy. Cool about 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. It can be kept refrigerated up to 4 weeks in an airtight container. Makes about 3 cups.

Cost:
evaporated milk - $1.50
chocolate chips - $2.50
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
butter - $1.75/pound
vanilla - $2.25
Total - $4.60

Crantinis

I got this recipe out of a Betty Crocker cookbook and tried it a couple years ago. It is so sweet and delicious!


What you’ll need:

1 c cranberry juice cocktail
½ c vodka
¼ c orange juice
1 tsp lime juice
Cranberries and lime slices, if desired

Fill a container you can cover and shake ½ full of ice. Add all ingredients except cranberries and lime slices. Shake well. Pour into glasses, straining the ice. Garnish with cranberries and lime slices if desired. Makes 4 drinks.

Cost:
mixed juice drink - $2.50/bottle
vodka - $2.50/small bottle
orange juice - $2.99/gallon
limes - $1.99/4
Total - $4.99/$1.25 per drink

Stuffed tomatoes

What you’ll need:

8 medium tomatoes
2 Tbl olive oil
1 c pepper jack cheese, shredded
2 c shrimp, peeled and chopped
½ c cilantro, chopped
1 tsp seafood seasoning

Cut top ¼ off tomatoes and scoop out the pulp. Brush the outside of each tomato with olive oil. Set aside. Mix together tomato pulp, cheese, shrimp, cilantro and seasoning and toss to coat. Stuff each tomato with ¼ cup of mixture and set on a rack coated with non stick cooking spray. Bake @ 375 degrees for about 5 - 8 minutes or until shrimp is cooked and cheese melts. These are also very good cooked on the barbeque pit. Makes 8 servings.

Cost:
tomato - $1.00
shredded cheese - mixed Mexican blend - $1.69
1/2 lb 30/40 shrimp - $2.50
Total - $12.19

New year’s day black eyed peas

Traditionally eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring you good luck. My friend gave me this recipe a couple years ago and I was amazed by the delicious taste!

What you’ll need:

1 lb dry black eyed peas
2 c cooked ham, chopped
2 onions, diced
1 can whole tomatoes
1 pinch garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Put peas in a large pot. Add enough water to fill the pot ¾ of the way full. Stir in ham, onions and seasonings. Put can of tomatoes in a blender or food processor and blend until the tomatoes are liquefied. Stir tomatoes into pot of peas. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 ½ - 3 hours or until peas are tender.

Cost:
black eyed peas - $0.89/bag
cooked ham - $2.12/lb
onion - $1.12
canned whole tomatoes - $1.19
Total - $4.20

Homemade salsa & chips

Monday, December 29, 2008

Everything tastes better to me if it’s homemade.

What you’ll need:

For chips:

1 pkg corn tortillas
Oil to fry in
Table salt to taste

For salsa:

2 cans diced tomatoes, drained well
½ c onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
¼ c cilantro, chopped
1 Tbl lime juice
½ tsp coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped finely

Instructions:

For chips:

Stack the tortillas and using a sharp knife, cut into quarters. Heat the oil in a flat skillet until hot. Place tortilla wedges in the oil about 4 at a time. Do not overcrowd. Cook for about a minute on one side, then using tongs, turn over and cook about a minute on the other side or until crisp. Drain on paper lined towels. Salt while hot, if desired.

For salsa:

Mix all ingredients together, stirring well. Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes about 2 ½ cups of salsa.

Cost:
tortillas - $1.18
diced tomatoes - $0.89
onion - $1.12
cloves - $1.12
limes - $1.99/4
jalapeno - $1.08
Total - $6.78

Cranberry orange slushies

A refreshing drink. It takes a little time to freeze but it’s so good!

What you’ll need:

1 (12 oz) can frozen orange juice, thawed
1 (12 oz) can frozen cranberry juice, thawed
2 c brandy
1 (32 oz) bottle cranberry juice cocktail
1 (2 liter) bottle lemon-lime soda

Mix all ingredients except soda. Cover and freeze at least 8 hours or until it’s slushy. Fill each glass halfway with the frozen mixture. Fill the rest of the way up with soda and stir slightly to mix. Makes about 20 (1 cup) drinks.

How to…

Easily make slush freezes…

This drink freezes the fastest in 1 pint containers. If you prefer to freeze it in one large container, it will take 1 - 2 days to freeze until slushy.

Make cranberry ice cubes…

For a special touch, add cranberry ice cubes to each drink. Using a clean ice tray, place a couple cranberries in each compartment. Fill with equal amounts of cranberry juice and water and freeze until solid.

Cost:
frozen orange juice - $1.19
frozen cranberry juice - $1.49
brandy - $8.00
mixed juice drink - $2.50/bottle
soda - $0.99
Total - $14.17

Cute kid mix

All you have to do is mix this together and you have a kid’s favorite snack just like that!

What you’ll need:

1 c animal crackers
1 c teddy bear shaped chocolate or honey graham crackers
1 c mini pretzel twists
1 c yogurt covered raisins
1 c candy coated chocolates (M&M’s)
1 box ice cream cones, optional

Mix all ingredients except ice cream cones together. You can serve in the ice cream cones for a cute touch at a party. Store in an airtight container for up to a month. Makes 10 servings.

Cost:
animal crackers - $1.09
graham crackers - $1.09
pretzels - $1.09
raisins - $1.12/box
candy coated chocolates - $1.50
ice cream cones - $1.89
Total - $7.66

Best baked mac & cheese

Cheesy and creamy. They’ll beg you to make it again!

What you’ll need:

1 egg
½ c mild cheddar cheese, shredded
½ c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ c Velveeta, cut into very small cubes (less than ¼ inch)
½ c heavy whipping cream
½ tsp season salt
1 Tbl flour
1 Tbl butter, melted
16 oz elbow macaroni noodles

Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine egg, cheddar cheeses and whipping cream. Stir to combine. Add season salt and mix well. Stir in flour and butter. Fold in pasta. Pour into a buttered casserole dish and top with Velveeta, spreading it evenly across the top of casserole. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
Velveeta - $3.59
whipping cream - $1.49
elbow macaroni - $1.75
Total - $6.43

My favorite breakfast sandwich

I could eat any version of this sandwich that you want to make but this is my favorite recipe.

What you’ll need:

2 eggs
1 Tbl milk
2 - 4 slices deli ham
2 slices Swiss cheese
2 slices American cheese
2 slices sourdough bread
Butter

Butter one side of each piece of bread and place butter side down in a skillet over medium heat. Cook about 1 minute or until bread is lightly browned and crisp to the touch. Place bread on a plate. Put 2 slices Swiss cheese on one slice of bread and 2 slices American cheese on the other covering all the bread. In the same skillet, lay ham flat and brown on each side, about 30 seconds. Place on top of cheese on one side of bread. Beat eggs and milk together and scramble in a small amount of butter until done. Place eggs on top of ham. Close and enjoy! This is also good on hamburger buns.

Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
cooked ham - $2.12/lb
sliced cheese - $3.12
sourdough bread - $2.50/bag
Total - $2.28

Root beer cake

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A different kind of cake that your kids will love.

What you’ll need:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (12 oz) can + 3 Tbl root beer soda
¼ c oil
3 large eggs
½ c powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. Combine cake mix, can of root beer, oil and eggs in a medium bowl. Mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35 - 40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cook cake for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Remove for pan and poke holes about every 2 inches around the top of the cake. In a small bowl, combine 3 Tbl root beer and powdered sugar and whisk to combine. Pour glaze over top of cake.

Cost:
boxed cake mix - $1.29
soda - $0.99
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
powdered sugar - $1.69
Total - $2.56

Chile lime sauce

This is great as a marinade or to add flavor to already cooked foods. Surprisingly it’s excellent poured over corn on the cob!


What you’ll need:

¼ c olive oil
2 Tbl chili powder
1 c cilantro
4 garlic cloves
Juice of 3 limes

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and chop/blend just until it’s ‘chunky’. Heat in microwave about 1 minute to use as a sauce. Refrigerate any leftovers in a sealed container and discard after 2 days.

Cost:
limes - $1.99/4
seasonings - $0.75
Total - $2.25

Penne supreme

Delicious and simple, simple, simple.

What you’ll need:

3 Tbl olive oil, separated
1 container cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (16 oz) can peas
8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1/3 c parmesan cheese
1 pkg penne noodles
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a skillet, heat 1 ½ Tbl olive oil over medium heat. Add tomato halves and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add garlic, peas and ½ c water. Cook until most of the water has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the remaining 1 ½ Tbl oil and the cheese to the pea mixture. Add pea mixture to noodles, salt and pepper to taste and toss to mix. Makes 8 servings.

Cost:
cherry tomatoes - $2.25
cloves - $1.12
peas - $1.09
bacon - $2.29/ 1 pound package
parmesan cheese - $1.99
penne noodles - $1.89
Total - $6.78

Super easy cheeseburger soup

Just as the name says, super easy cheeseburger soup!

What you’ll need:

1 lb ground beef
2 cans cheese soup
1 (16 oz) jar of salsa
1 c chicken broth

Brown and drain ground beef. In a 2 quart pot, mix soup, cooked ground beef, salsa and broth. Bring to a simmer. Cook about 15 minutes or until it’s heated through. Makes 6 servings.

Cost:
ground beef - $2.00/lb
cream of cheddar cheese soup - $1.09
salsa - $1.59
bouillon cubes - $1.89/jar of 20
Total - $5.87

Cappuccino nog


What you’ll need:

6 eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
5 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 c hot espresso coffee
1 c coffee liqueur or brandy
2 c heavy whipping cream
2 Tbl brown sugar
Ground cinnamon

Stir together eggs, sugar and salt in heavy Dutch oven. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over low heat 15 - 20 minutes, stirring constantly, just until mixture coats a metal spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together coffee and liqueur or brandy. Gradually stir coffee mixture into egg mixture. Keep warm. Beat whipping cream and brown sugar in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Gently fold 2 c of the whipped cream into egg mixture. Pour into mugs. Top with dollops of remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve immediately. Makes 16 cups.

Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
milk - $3.99/gallon
vanilla - $2.25
coffee - $1.29/small
brandy - $8.00
whipping cream - $1.49
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
Total - $8.25/$0.52 per drink

Super easy pecan pie

Saturday, December 27, 2008

This is the easiest pecan pie recipe I know.

What you’ll need:

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c corn syrup (it can be light or dark)
2 Tbl butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ c pecan halves
1 (9 inch) pie shell, unbaked

Mix together eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla until well blended. Fold in pecans. Pour into pie shell. Bake @ 350 degrees for 50 - 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Top with whipped topping if desired.

Variation: Chocolate pecan pie: Melt 4 ounces (½ cup) semi-sweet chocolate (chips or bar) with the butter and follow the remaining instructions.

Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
corn syrup - $1.29
butter - $1.75/pound
vanilla - $2.25
pecans - $3.00
pie shell - $2.00
chocolate chips - $2.50
Total - $5.78 plain/$6.53 chocolate

Old fashioned lemonade

This classic taste takes me back to summer days as a child.


What you’ll need:

6 lemons
1 c sugar
6 c cold water


Cut lemons in half and juice, retaining 1 c fresh lemon juice. Combine juice, sugar and water in a gallon pitcher and stir until sugar is dissolved. Serve over ice. Makes 1 gallon.

How to...

Easily get juice from lemons...

Firmly roll the lemons between your hand and the counter top. The more pressure you put when rolling, the easier the juice is removed.

Cost:
lemons - $1.99/4
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
Total - $3.18

Baked rice pilaf

What you’ll need:

½ c butter
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 c mushrooms, sliced
½ c bell pepper, finely chopped
1 c uncooked regular long grain rice
1 dash thyme
2 c chicken or beef broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, cook the onion, pepper and mushroom in ¼ c butter. Set aside. In the same skillet, heat remaining butter and rice slightly. Add broth and heat through. Stir in vegetable mixture. Pour into a casserole dish and bake 40 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Feeds 6.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
onion - $1.12
mushrooms - $3.00
bell pepper - $0.90
rice - $2.12
bouillon cubes - $1.89/jar of 20
Total - $5.79

Traditional sweet and sour sauce

Great with tempura fried meats and seafood. Also very good with meatballs and sausage balls.

What you’ll need:

¾ c sugar
½ c vinegar
2/3 c water
¼ c soy sauce
1 Tbl ketchup
2 Tbl cornstarch

Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Continue to cook and stir until mixture has thickened, usually 1 - 2 minutes. Makes 2 cups of sauce.

Cost:
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
vinegar - $1.19
soy sauce $1.89
ketchup - $1.89/big bottle
cornstarch - $1.29
Total - $1.06

Tempura

This is an excellent recipe to use on all kinds of fried foods. It can be used on strips of meat, shrimp, fish and sliced vegetables.

What you’ll need:

¼ c flour
1/3 c ice water
¼ c cornstarch
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
1 tsp shortening
½ tsp baking powder

Mix together all ingredients until well combined. Dip individual pieces of desired food into mixture, coating well. Carefully place a few pieces at a time into hot oil. Fry until golden brown, usually about 1 ½ minutes. Use a slotted metal spoon to removed product from hot oil. Drain on paper towel lined plate.

Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
cornstarch - $1.29
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
baking powder - $2.38
Total - $0.86 + meats, seafood or vegetables

Cranberry gelatin dessert

Friday, December 26, 2008

A pretty gelatin dessert filled with lots of good stuff.

What you’ll need:

1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 can pitted dark sweet cherries, drained
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
1 pkg cherry gelatin
2 c boiling water
1 c chopped pecans

In a medium saucepan over low heat melt the cranberry sauce. Cut the cherries into pieces and add them to the melted sauce. Stir in the pineapple and it’s juice. Remove mixture from heat. In a medium bowl, pour boiling water over gelatin. Stir until all gelatin is dissolved. Add the gelatin mixture to the cranberry mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the nuts. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan and chill until set, usually about an hour. Makes 12 servings.

Cost:
cranberry sauce - $1.19
cherries - $1.12
crushed pineapple - $1.09
gelatin - $0.99
pecans - $3.00
Total - $7.39

Pasta salad

I love pasta salad. I could eat it as the main course.

What you’ll need:

1 (8oz) pkg seashell pasta
½ c finely chopped cauliflower
½ c finely chopped broccoli
½ c diced red bell pepper
1 c cottage cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Boil pasta in salted water for 8 - 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked to desired tenderness. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Combine cooled pasta with remaining ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Feeds 4.

Cost:
seashell pasta - $1.89
cauliflower - $2.25
broccoli - $1.89
bell pepper - $0.90
cottage cheese - $2.12
Total - $8.68

Homemade tartar sauce

So much better than store bought.

What you’ll need:

¼ c mayonnaise
1 ½ tsp minced parsley
1 ½ tsp dill pickle relish, drained
1 tsp chopped pimento stuffed olives
¾ tsp dried minced onion

Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill until cold before serving. Makes 2 servings.

Cost:
mayonnaise - $2.50
relish - $1.99
olives - $2.25
Total - $0.67

Beer battered fish or shrimp

Crunchy and delicious.


What you’ll need:

Oil for frying
1 lb fish fillet or 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 - 4 Tbl biscuit mix
1 c biscuit mix
½ c beer
1 egg
½ tsp salt

Pour oil 1 ½ inches deep in a heavy saucepan or deep fryer. Heat. Lightly coat fish with the 3 - 4 Tbl biscuit mix. In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients until smooth. If batter is too thick, stir in additional beer, 1 Tbl at a time, until desired consistency. Dip fish or shrimp into batter, letting excess drip into bowl. Fry fish about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel lined plate. Serve hot with tartar sauce if desired.

Cost:
fish fillets - $2.75
biscuit mix - $3.00
beer - $1.00
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
Total - $4.09

Coral coolers

What you’ll need:

4 ½ c unsweetened pineapple juice
2 cans grapefruit soda, chilled
½ maraschino cherry juice
8 maraschino cherries
Pineapple slices, if desired

Mix juices and soda; pour into ice filled glasses. Garnish with a cherry and a pineapple slice if desired.
Makes 8 drinks.

Cost:
pineapple juice - $2.50
soda - $0.99
cherries - $1.12
Total - $4.11/$0.51 per drink

Sweet and sour marinade

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Adds a sweet yet tangy flavor to meats or seafood.

What you’ll need:

½ c barbecue sauce
¼ c lemon juice
¼ c pineapple preserves
4 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp ground ginger

In a small saucepan, combine ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Use as a marinade for shrimp, pork, beef or chicken or for basting while baking or barbecuing. Discard any remaining marinade.

Cost:
barbeque sauce - $1.50/bottle
lemons - $1.99/4
jam/jelly - $1.49/jar
soy sauce $1.89
Total - $2.87

Rancher’s egg bake

This egg bake takes a while to cook but the spicy taste is worth the wait.











What you’ll need:

1 2/3 c biscuit mix
1 Tbl taco seasoning
1/3 c milk
8 eggs, slightly beaten
3 c milk
½ c chopped, roasted red bell peppers
1 can chopped green chilies, drained
1 c shredded Mexican blend cheese

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Generously grease bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass baking dish. In a small bowl, mix biscuit mix, taco seasoning and 1/3 c milk until soft dough forms. Pat dough in bottom of baking dish. Bake 8 minutes. Turn off oven and allow crust to cool 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, 3 c milk, peppers and chilies with a wire whisk until blended. Pour over cooled crust. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 40 - 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with sour cream, quartered cherry tomatoes and avocado slices. As an added touch, sprinkle a small amount of taco seasoning over the sour cream. Makes 8 servings.

Cost:
biscuit mix - $3.00
taco seasoning - $0.50
milk - $3.99/gallon
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
bell pepper - $0.90
chilies - $1.19/can
shredded cheese - mixed Mexican blend - $1.69
sour cream - $0.99
Total - $7.80

Easy three bean salad

A nice picnic or potluck dinner cold dish.

What you’ll need:

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can green beans, drained and rinsed
4 green onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced

For dressing:

½ c apple cider vinegar
¼ c vegetable oil
1 Tbl honey
½ tsp ground dry mustard
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Whisk together dressing ingredients until well combined. In a separate bowl, gently combine salad ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently to coat. cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Gently toss before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Cost:
beans - $0.89/can
green beans - $1.09
onion - $1.12
celery - $0.99
vinegar - $1.19
honey - $1.12
mustard - $0.79
Total - $6.28

Creamy eggnog

A delicious twist on an old favorite.

What you’ll need:

For custard:

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 c sugar
Dash salt
2 ½ c milk
1 tsp vanilla

For eggnog:

1 c whipping cream
2 Tbl powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
½ c light rum
1 or 2 drops yellow food coloring, if desired
Ground nutmeg

In a 2 quart heavy saucepan, stir eggs, sugar and salt until well mixed. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat 10 - 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture just coats a metal spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Place saucepan in cold water until custard is cool. If custard curdles, beat vigorously with a hand beater until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 24 hours. Just before serving, in chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and ½ tsp vanilla with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Gently stir 1 c of the whipped cream, the rum and the food coloring into the custard. Pour custard mixture into a small punch bowl. Drop remaining whipped cream in mounds onto custard mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in refrigerator up to 2 days. Makes 10 servings.

Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
milk - $3.99/gallon
vanilla - $2.25
whipping cream - $1.49
rum - $2.50/small bottle
Total - $6.21

Adorable snowman cake



What you’ll need:

1 box cake mix (any flavor) and ingredients needed to prepare cake
1 container white frosting
1 c shredded coconut
1 large black gumdrop
1 large green gumdrop
3 pieces red shoestring licorice
4 individual semisweet chocolate chips
2 chocolate wafer cookies
Large tray or foil covered cardboard

Bake cake according to package directions, using one 8 inch round pan and one 9 inch round pan. Cool. Remove from pans and place on tray with the larger cake on the bottom and the smaller cake above it to make a snowman shape (see picture). Frost. Sprinkle coconut on cake and gently press down so it sticks. Carefully cut the black gumdrop in half lengthwise. Use one half as nose. Slice the remaining half in half and use as eyebrows. Cut the green gumdrop in half lengthwise and use as eyes. Use licorice for mouth and muffler and chocolate chips for buttons. Place cookie on each side of head for earmuffs and a piece of licorice across top of head as the headband part of the earmuffs.

Cost:
boxed cake mix - $1.29
frosting - $1.29
shredded coconut - $2.25/bag
decorations - $2.00
Total - $5.08

Sweet and sour mustard

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Great as a dip and on sandwiches. Gives a normal turkey sandwich zip!

What you’ll need:

1 c brown sugar
1 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c ground mustard
2 Tbl water
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and whisk together. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cover and refrigerate. Makes about 1 ½ cups of sauce.

Cost:
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
vinegar - $1.19
mustard - $0.79
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
Total - $1.27/cup

Classic Italian subs

One of my all time favorite hot sandwiches!

What you’ll need:

Deli sliced ham
Sliced pepperoni
Sliced salami
Sliced mozzarella cheese
Sliced banana pepper rings
Shredded lettuce
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced onions, ringed
Raspberry vinaigrette (with the salad dressings)
¼ c mayonnaise
¼ tsp garlic powder
Ciabatta rolls

For each sub:

Preheat broiler to 475 degrees. Slice Ciabatta roll in half lengthwise and place cut side up on a cookie sheet under the broiler for about 3 minutes or until top is lightly browned and crispy to the touch. Remove from oven but leave bottom slice of roll on pan. Working from the bottom up, layer 4 slices of ham, 6 pepperoni slices, 6 salami slices and about 8 banana pepper rings on top of roll. Return to oven and broil about 3 more minutes or until meat starts to crisp and curl up and peppers shrink slightly. Remove from oven and add about 3 slices of cheese. Broil an additional 1 minute or until cheese is melted. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and garlic powder. On the top half of the roll, spread garlic mayonnaise. Working up, place 3 onion rings, 3 tomatoes slices and about ½ ounce (a good sized pinch) of shredded lettuce. Pour about a tablespoon of vinaigrette evenly across top of lettuce. Put the two halves together. Cut in half and serve with chips.

Cost:
deli and produce items - about $1.50 per sub
banana peppers - $0.89/each
raspberry vinaigrette - $1.89
mayonnaise - $2.50
Ciabatta rolls - $2.50/bag
Total - $3.07 per sub

Broccoli salad

This is an excellent cold salad with a nutty flavor.

What you’ll need:

2 heads broccoli or about 3 c broccoli florets
1 red onion
½ pound bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
¾ c raisins
¾ c sliced almonds
½ c sunflower seeds
1 c mayonnaise
½ c sugar
2 Tbl white wine vinegar

Chop broccoli and onion up finely and put in a large bowl. Add bacon, raisins, nuts and sunflower seeds and stir well. In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Pour over broccoli mixture and mix until coated. Let chill about 1 hour. Stir before serving. Makes 9 servings.

Cost:
broccoli - $1.89
onion - $1.12
bacon - $2.29/ 1 pound package
raisins - $1.12/box
almonds- $2.00
sunflower seeds - $1.00/bag
mayonnaise - $2.50
vinegar - $1.19
Total - $7.64

Candy cane cake



A beautiful cake.

What you’ll need:

1 box white cake mix and ingredients needed to prepare it
½ tsp red food coloring
½ tsp peppermint extract
1 c powdered sugar
1 Tbl milk or water
½ tsp vanilla
Crushed peppermint candies, if desired

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease and flour a fluted tube cake (bundt) pan. Mix cake batter according to package directions. Pour about 2 cups batter into pan. Pour about ¾ c batter into a small bowl. Mix in food coloring and peppermint extract and carefully pour pink batter over white batter in pan. Carefully pour remaining white batter over the top of that. Bake as directed on box or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour. In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time until smooth and spreadable. Spread over top of cake. Immediately sprinkle crushed candy over the icing.

Cost:
boxed cake mix - $1.29
ingredients to make cake - $1.50
mint extract - $3.12
powdered sugar - $1.69
vanilla - $2.25
peppermint candies - $2.00/big bag
Total - $3.68

Noel spritzer

Just mix and pour.

What you’ll need:

2 c chilled dry white wine, nonalcoholic wine or apple juice
1 c chilled cranberry-apple drink
1 c chilled sparkling water
Apple slices and fresh mint for garnish, if desired

Mix wine, juice and water. Serve over ice. Garnish with apple slices and mint. Makes 6 drinks.

Cost:
wine - $3.50/bottle
mixed juice drink - $2.50/bottle
sparkling water - $2.00
Total - $4.00/$0.67 per drink

Hash brown casserole

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An easy side dish for those sleepy Saturday mornings.

What you’ll need:

1 bag shredded hash browns
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together hash browns, soup and ½ the bag of cheese. Pour into a casserole dish sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese. Bake @ 375 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes or until potatoes are browned.

Cost:
frozen shredded hash browns - $2.29
cream of chicken soup - $0.69
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
Total - $5.17

Submitted by Angela Laney

Baked western omelet

This is good topped with salsa and sour cream.


What you’ll need:

4 large eggs
¼ c water
4 oz cooked ham, sliced into thin strips
1 c sliced mushrooms
½ c chopped tomato
½ c chopped scallions
¼ c chopped bell pepper
1/8 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 10 inch glass pie pan with non stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and water with a wire whisk until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients and pour into prepared pan, making sure to scrap the sides down. Bake 20 - 30 minutes or until eggs are set and slightly puffed and browned. Serves 4.


Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
cooked ham - $2.12/lb
mushrooms - $3.00
tomato - $1.00
scallions - $2.50
bell pepper - $0.90
Total - $8.28

Decadent strawberry daiquiris

What you’ll need:

½ oz strawberry schnapps
1 oz light rum
1 oz lime juice
1 tsp powdered sugar
1 - 2 large strawberries
Ice

Remove vegetation from strawberries, wash and cut into quarters. Put strawberries and alcohols, lime and sugar into a blender and blend in short bursts 3 or 4 times. Add ice almost to the top of the blender and blend on high until all ingredients are combined. For a creamier daiquiri, add 2 scoops of strawberry or vanilla ice cream before the addition of the ice. Garnish as desired. Makes about 5 drinks.

Cost:
Alcohol - $4.00
limes - $1.99/4
powdered sugar - $1.69
strawberries - $3.50
vanilla ice cream - $1.99
Total - $8.46

Chicken broccoli and rice casserole

What you’ll need:

4 chicken breasts
1 (16 oz) pkg chopped broccoli
1 ½ c rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ block Velveeta cheese
½ c mayonnaise
1 bag shredded mild cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper and seasoning to taste

Boil the chicken until it’s tender, remove from water and chop into chunks. Cook rice according to package directions. Cook broccoli until tender, drain. In a large bowl, melt Velveeta in microwave. Use a small amount of milk to thin the cheese and keep it from burning. Add cream of mushroom soup, rice, broccoli, mayonnaise and seasonings to cheese and mix well. Fold in chicken. Spray a casserole dish with non stick cooking spray. Pour chicken mixture into pan. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Cost:
chicken breast - $5.00/4 pack
frozen broccoli - $1.89
rice - $2.12
cream of mushroom soup - $0.89
Velveeta - $3.59
mayonnaise - $2.50
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
Total - $12.53

Submitted by Angela Laney

Mini mushroom & sausage quiches

A whole lot of taste in a mini. It’s your choice of what type of meat to use. I like pork.

What you’ll need:

1 (8oz) roll of desired variety of breakfast sausage, crumbled
1 tsp olive oil
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
¼ c scallions
¼ c shredded Swiss cheese
1 tsp pepper
5 eggs
3 egg whites
1 c milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a muffin tin generously with non stick cooking spray. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook sausage until it’s golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Add oil to the pan. Stir in mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden 5 - 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the bowl of sausage. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir scallions, cheese and pepper into the sausage mixture. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Put a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each cup. Bake about 25 minutes or until the tops are just beginning to brown. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Let cool. Makes 12 mini quiches.

How to...

Easily remove quiches from pan...

Place a flat pan on top of the pan of quiches and quickly flip over to remove the quiches from the pan.

Cost:
pork sausage - $1.89
mushrooms - $3.00
scallions - $2.50
Swiss cheese - $4.50/block
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
milk - $3.99/gallon
Total - $9.54

Creamy peas and pearl onions

Monday, December 22, 2008

I remember this at plenty of family dinners. This is a quick and easy version of the old classic.

What you’ll need:

½ c ranch dressing
2 Tbl mayonnaise
1 pkg frozen peas & pearl onion mix, thawed
1 can French fried onions

Combine ranch and mayonnaise. Stir in vegetables and toss to coat. Pour into a 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle French fried onions over top. Bake uncovered @ 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cost:
ranch dressing - $1.89
mayonnaise - $2.50
frozen mixed peas & onions - $2.12
French fried onions - $1.59
Total - $4.14

Garlic mashed potatoes

If you’ve ever eaten at a certain restaurant then you’ve had this dish. It truly tastes like that restaurants potatoes!

What you’ll need:

3 lbs unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
½ lb butter, at room temperature
3 oz grated Romano cheese
2 Tbl + 2 ¾ tsp chopped garlic
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp dried oregano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 45 minutes. Drain. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well with a potato masher or an electric mixer.

Cost:
potatoes - $2.00/5 lb bag
butter - $1.75/pound
Romano cheese - $3.00
seasonings - $1.50
Total - $4.17

Beef lo mein

Very easy and completely quiets my Chinese food cravings.

What you’ll need:

¾ lb boneless beef steak
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp dry sherry
1 tsp cornstarch
2 pkg chicken flavored ramen noodles
4 c boiling water
3 c broccoli flowerets
1 ½ Tbl peanut oil for frying
3 Tbl oyster sauce
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water

Slice beef into thin slices about 2 inch long. Place in a blow and stir in soy sauce, sherry and dry cornstarch. Break ramen noodle blocks into 6 pieces each. Place in a separate bowl, sprinkle with included seasoning packets and cover with boiling water. Stir and let soak. Steam broccoli either in the microwave about two minutes or in a steamer until it’s barely tender. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet. Add beef mixture and stir fry until it’s no longer pink. Stir in broccoli. Pour 2/3 c of broth from the soaking noodles into a measuring cup. Add the oyster sauce to the measuring cup and stir to mix. Drain the noodles and discard the remaining broth. Add the broth/oyster mixture to the skillet with the meat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until thickened. Add the noodles and stir and cook until evenly coated and heated through. Serves 4.

Cost:
sirloin steak - $3.50
soy sauce $1.89
sherry - $2.00
ramen noodles - $0.29
frozen broccoli - $1.89
oyster sauce - $2.29
Total - $6.57

Ginger plum pork chops

15 minutes and a great taste!

What you’ll need:

1 tsp vegetable oil
4 boneless pork chops
1 (8 oz) jar plum preserves
2 tsp ground ginger
3 Tbl apple cider vinegar

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Brown the pork chops on one side then turn over and brown the other side, about 5 minutes on each side. Mix together the preserves, ginger and vinegar and add to skillet. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serves 4.

Cost:
pork chops - $3.50
jam/jelly - $1.49/jar
vinegar - $1.19
Total - $5.19

Easy King Cake


King Cake is a traditional cake that is baked every year for Mardi Gras.

What you’ll need:

1 Tbl lemon peel, grated
1 ½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 gumdrop
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 ½ c powdered sugar
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 Tbl water
3 Tbl sugar, divided
Red, blue, yellow and green food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix up the cake batter according to package directions. Stir in the lemon peel, nutmeg and gumdrop. Bake according to cake package directions. Cool completely. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and water until it forms a creamy glaze. Spread the glaze over the top of the cooled cake. Put each tablespoon of sugar into individual zip close baggies. Add 1 drop of red and 1 drop of blue to one bag to make purple sugar. Add 2 drops of yellow to another bag of sugar. Add 2 drops of green to another bag. Mix all well in the individual bags. Sprinkle over the top of the glaze to decorate as desired. Makes about 12 slices.

How to...

Add items to your King Cake...

You can add different items to your King Cake to make it more traditional (beans, peas, coins). If you are using any non-edible items press them into the cake after baking but before cooling and decorating.

Cost:
lemons - $1.99/4
boxed cake mix - $1.29
powdered sugar - $1.69
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
Total - $1.75

Iced cappuccino

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This is a super simple recipe that tastes like a gourmet drink.

What you’ll need:

¼ c hot water
2 Tbl instant coffee
2 c milk
½ c instant dry milk (optional)
½ tsp vanilla
4 ice cubes
¼ c + ½ tsp brown sugar
1 oz semi-sweet chocolate, grated

Combine hot water and coffee in a blender. Blend until coffee is dissolved. Add milk, dry milk, vanilla, ¼ c brown sugar and ice cubes and blend until completely combined and frothy. Pour into serving cups. Mix together grated chocolate and ¼ tsp brown sugar. Sprinkle on top of each drink. Makes 4 cups.

Cost:
instant coffee - $1.29/small jar
milk - $3.99/gallon
dry powdered milk - $1.99
vanilla - $2.25
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
chocolate - $2.50
Total - $2.87/$0.72 per cup

Black bean and corn wonton bowls


A pretty and tasty appetizer.








What you’ll need:

1 pkg wonton wraps
2/3 c salsa
¼ c cilantro
½ tsp ground cumin
½ chili powder
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ sour cream
Cilantro springs (if desired)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Gently fit 1 wonton skin into each slot of a muffin pan, pressing against bottom and sides. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Mix remaining ingredients except sour cream and cilantro sprigs. Just before serving, spoon bean mixture into wonton cups. Top each with ½ tsp sour cream. Garnish with cilantro sprigs if desired. Makes about 36 cups.

Cost:
wonton wraps - $3.00
salsa - $1.59
whole kernel corn - $0.40
beans - $0.89/can
sour cream - $0.99
Total - $6.87

Butterscotch nut fudge

What you’ll need:

1 ¾ c sugar
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow crème
¾ c evaporated milk
¼ c butter
1 ¾ c butterscotch chips
1 c chopped salted mixed nuts
1 tsp vanilla

Line 8 inch pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Combine sugar, marshmallow crème, evaporated milk and butter in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually add butterscotch chips, stirring until chips are melted. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into pan. Cool. Refrigerate 2 - 3 hours. Remove from pan and place on cutting board. Peel off foil. Cut into squares. Store in a covered container in refrigerator. Makes about 5 dozen pieces or about 2 ¼ pounds.

Note: For best results do NOT double this recipe.

Cost:
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
marshmallow crème - $1.89
evaporated milk - $1.50
butter - $1.75/pound
chips - $2.50
mixed nuts - $3.50
vanilla - $2.25
Total - $8.48

Razz-ma-tazz bars

What you’ll need:

½ c butter
2 c white chocolate chips, divided
2 eggs
½ c sugar
1 c flour
½ tsp salt
½ almond extract
½ c seedless raspberry jam
¼ c toasted sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and sugar a 9 inch square pan. Melt butter in microwave on high for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of chips. Do not stir. Let stand. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar and beat until light lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Stir in chip/butter mixture. Add flour, salt and almond extract and mix on low speed until combined. Spread 2/3 of the batter into the pan. Bake for 15 - 17 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Remove from oven. Heat jam in microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir. Spread jam over warm crust. Mix other cup of chips with the remaining batter. Drop spoonfuls of batter over the jam. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until edges are browned. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Makes 16 bars.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
chocolate chips - $2.50
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
almond extract - $3.12
jam/jelly - $1.49/jar
almonds- $2.00
Total - $6.80

Chocolate mint dessert

What you’ll need:

1 c flour
1 c sugar
½ c butter, softened
4 eggs
1 ½ c chocolate syrup
Mint cream center
Chocolate glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs and syrup in a large bowl, beat until smooth. Pour batter into pan. Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely in pan. Spread mint cream center on cake. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour. Pour chocolate glaze over chilled dessert. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 additional hour before serving. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. Makes about 12 servings.

Mint cream center

What you’ll need:

2 c powdered sugar
½ c butter, softened
2 Tbl green crème de menthe OR ¾ tsp mint extract + 1 Tbl water + 3 drops green food coloring

Beat all ingredients until smooth.

Chocolate glaze

What you’ll need:

6 Tbl butter
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt butter in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir in chips and heat until melted. Remove from heat; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.

Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
butter - $1.75/pound
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
chocolate syrup - $2.50
powdered sugar - $1.69
mint extract - $3.12
chocolate chips - $2.50
Total - $7.63

Mimosas

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This is a champagne cooler that brings a touch of elegance to any special meal.







What you’ll need:

1/3 c sugar
2 2/3 c orange juice, chilled
2 bottles champagne or 2 bottles white grape juice, chilled
8 orange slices

Place sugar and orange juice in a blender and blend about 15 seconds or until foamy. Pour into fluted glasses, filling about 1/3 of the way full. Fill the glasses the rest of the way up with champagne or grape juice. Garnish with an orange slice. Makes 8 drinks.

Cost:
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
orange juice - $2.99/gallon
champagne - $4.00
oranges - $2.25/bag
Total - $6.42/$0.80 per drink

Quiche Lorraine

This is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

What you’ll need:

1 frozen pie shell of 1 pkg canned pie dough
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1 c shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 c onion, finely chopped
4 large eggs
2 c whipping cream
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Bake pie shell according to package directions just until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onions evenly across the bottom of the pie shell. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add the whipping cream and seasonings to the eggs and stir to combine. Pour into pie shell on top of other ingredients. Bake @ 325 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Feeds 6.

Cost:
pie shell - $2.00
bacon - $2.29/ 1 pound package
Swiss cheese - $4.50/block
onion - $1.12
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
whipping cream - $1.49
Total - $6.60

Japanese shrimp & noodles


Bet you never thought to use ramen noodles in your main course! This is an easy and very tasty recipe!

What you’ll need:

1 package ramen noodles
1 Tbl oil
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbl ginger
1 ½ c baby carrots, cut lengthwise in half
1 c green beans, cut in half
1 ¾ c chicken broth
2 Tbl soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp cornstarch

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain. Heat oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Rotate skillet to coat the entire bottom. Add shrimp, garlic and ginger and cook about 3 minutes, stirring often, until shrimp are pink. Remove from skillet. Put carrots, green beans, 1 c of the broth, soy sauce and sugar in the skillet. Heat to boiling. Cover and cook over medium heat 4 - 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add shrimp back to pan and stir in lemon juice. Mix cornstarch and remaining broth until smooth. Stir into shrimp mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minutes. Serve over noodles. Serves 4.

Cost:
ramen noodles - $0.29
1/2 lb 30/40 shrimp - $2.50
carrots - $0.89
green beans - $1.09
bouillon cubes - $1.89/jar of 20
soy sauce $1.89
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
lemons - $1.99/4
Total - $7.75

Mediterranean chicken with vegetables

Easy and delicious.

What you’ll need:

For chicken:

1 c bran cereal, crushed
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ c milk

For vegetables:

4 Tbl olive oil
1 medium zucchini, slice
1 red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch strips
½ red onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 Tbl water
4 tsp lime juice

Season washed chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Put the milk in a shallow dish or pan and the cereal in another shallow dish or pan. Dip the chicken into the milk and then coat with the cereal. Heat 2 Tbl oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken in the oil for 15 minutes, turning once, or until the juice runs clear when it’s cut at it’s thickest point. Remove chicken from skillet and place on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. In the same skillet, heat remaining 2 Tbl oil over medium heat. Cook vegetables and garlic in oil 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 3 Tbl water and lime juice and let cook an additional 1 minute. Serves 4.

Cost:
breakfast cereal - $2.50/box
chicken breast - $5.00/4 pack
milk - $3.99/gallon
zucchini - $1.10/lb
bell pepper - $0.90
onion - $1.12
limes - $1.99/4
Total - $8.95

Marinated beef tips over noodles

What you’ll need:

Marinade sauce:

1 c Worcestershire sauce
½ c zesty Italian salad dressing
½ tsp garlic powder
2 c water
1 tsp rosemary
½ tsp thyme

And

1 London broil or large sirloin steak
Flour
Cayenne pepper
Cajun seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, minced
1 bell pepper, minced
Egg noodles or rice

Slice steak into thin strips and place in a pan covered in marinade. Let marinade for 4 - 6 hours in the refrigerator. Remove meat from marinade. Do not discard the marinade. Roll the meat in flour seasoned with cayenne pepper and cajun seasoning to taste. In a skillet sauté garlic, onion and bell pepper in 1 tsp of butter or oil. Add meat and a little of the marinade to the pan and cook until meat is done. Remove the meat mixture from the pan, leaving the juice in the pan. Add a small amount of flour or cornstarch to the juice in the pan and whisk it until blended. Add the remaining marinade and stir until it begins thickening, adding water if necessary. Add the meat mixture back into the pan. Stir over medium heat until the gravy has thickened. Serve over cooked egg noodles or rice.

Cost:
marinade - $1.50
sirloin steak - $3.50
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
onion - $1.12
bell pepper - $0.90
egg noodles - $1.89
Total - $9.12


Submitted by Les Proctor

Sausage-cheese balls

Friday, December 19, 2008


Great for parties!

What you’ll need:

3 c biscuit mix
1 lb pork sausage
4 c (16 oz) shredder cheddar cheese
½ c grated parmesan cheese
½ c milk
½ tsp dried rosemary leaves, crushed
½ tsp parsley flakes
Barbecue sauce, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease pan. Mix together all ingredients except the barbecue sauce. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place in pan. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until brown and cooked through. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm with barbecue sauce for dipping. Makes about 100 cheese balls.

Cost:
biscuit mix - $3.00
pork sausage - $1.89
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
parmesan cheese - $1.99
milk - $3.99/gallon
Total - $7.39

No crust coconut pie

What you’ll need:

4 eggs, beaten
1 ¾ c sugar
2 c milk
6 Tbl butter, melted
1 Tbl vanilla
2 c shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until it’s well blended. Grease 2 (9 inch) pie plates. Divide the coconut mixture evenly between the two pans and bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until it’s golden brown.

Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
milk - $3.99/gallon
butter - $1.75/pound
vanilla - $2.25
shredded coconut - $2.25/bag
Total - $3.75

Sweet onion pinwheels

What you’ll need:

½ c sweet onions, chopped
¼ c shredded Italian cheese blend
2 Tbl cream cheese, softened
1 Tbl mayonnaise
1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
2 tsp chives

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with non stick cooking spray. Mix onion, cheeses and mayonnaise together until well blended and soft. Unroll dough but don’t separate the rolls. Firmly press the rolls together to make it like one big rectangle. Spread cheese mixture evenly over dough. Starting with a short side, roll up the rectangle and pinch edges to seal. Cut roll into 16 (¾ inch wide) slices. Place cut side down on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with chives. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately removes from cookie sheet. Let cool 3 minutes. Serve warm.

Cost:
onion - $1.12
shredded cheese - mixed Italian blend - $2.08
cream cheese - $2.06
mayonnaise - $2.50
canned crescent rolls - $1.69
Total - $3.61

Coconut macaroons






I made these today as part of a Christmas cookie box that I’m sending to family. They turned out so good!


What you’ll need:

2 egg whites
1 dash of salt
¼ tsp vanilla
2/3 c sugar
1 ½ c shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat egg whites, salt and vanilla until soft peaks form.










Gradually add sugar, beating until it’s very stiff and glossy.










Fold in the coconut.









Drop by rounded teaspoon about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.








Bake for about 20 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Makes about 24 cookies.










Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
vanilla - $2.25
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
shredded coconut - $2.25/bag
Total - $1.62

Pear crisp

What you’ll need:

4 -5 ripe pears
2 Tbl lemon juice
¾ c dried cherries, blueberries or raisins
6 Tbl butter, softened
2/3 c flour
2/3 c oats
2/3 c brown sugar
½ c chopped pecans or walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
Vanilla ice cream or whipped topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve and core the pears. Slice into ½ inch slices. Toss with lemon juice. Combine pears and dried fruit in a 13 x 9 inch pan. Mix butter and flour with a fork until it’s crumbly. Mix in oats, brown sugar, nuts and spices. Sprinkle evenly over fruit and press down lightly. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until pears are tender (check with the tip of a knife or a fork). Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping. Makes 6 - 8 servings.

Cost:
pears- $2.18/lb
lemons - $1.99/4
raisins - $1.12/box
butter - $1.75/pound
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
oatmeal - $1.59
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
pecans - $3.00
cinnamon - $1.85
whipped topping - $0.99
Total - $9.00

Stuffed chicken breasts

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What you’ll need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbl butter
1 small onion, chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried sage
1 c chicken broth
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 pkg dried cornbread crumbs (like StoveTop)
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ c water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash chicken and butterfly it (cut a slice across the middle of the chicken not slicing all the way through so that it looks like a book that is laying open). Set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until tender about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and sage and let cook 1 more minute. Pour in the chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Gently stir in the cornbread crumbs. Spoon stuffing into the opening you cut into your chicken breasts and arrange them in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish. Spoon any leftover stuffing into the pan around the chicken. Stir together the can of cream of chicken soup and ½ c water. Pour over the top of the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the chicken is browned. Serves 4.

Cost:
chicken breast - $5.00/4 pack
butter - $1.75/pound
onion - $1.12
bell pepper - $0.90
bouillon cubes - $1.89/jar of 20
dry cornbread crumbs - $0.99
cream of chicken soup - $0.69
Total - $8.97

Zucchini bread

My grandmother always made this and it’s the only way I’ll eat zucchini!

What you’ll need:

3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1 c oil
2 ¼ c sugar
3 tsp vanilla
2 c grated zucchini
1 c chopped walnuts

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside. Cream eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar. Gradually blend the two mixtures together, beating well. Stir in the zucchini and nuts and pour into pans. Bake for 40 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 2 loaves.


Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
baking soda - $2.28/box
baking powder - $2.38
cinnamon - $1.85
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
vanilla - $2.25
zucchini - $1.10/lb
walnuts - $2.00
Total - $6.82

Cheesy tuna casserole

My sister and I were talking about casseroles the other day. I love them. You just throw them together, put them in the oven and then dinner is ready!

What you’ll need:

1 pkg egg noodles
2 Tbl vegetable oil
¼ c chopped onion
¼ c chopped green bell pepper
¼ c chopped red bell pepper
1 can cream of cheddar cheese soup
1 can tuna, drained
¼ c milk
¼ tsp salt
Pepper to taste
¼ c Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain. Sauté onion and peppers in oil until tender. Mix the soup, tuna, milk and salt and pepper into the vegetables and cook a few minutes over medium low heat. Mix the noodles into that. Pour the combined mixture into a casserole pan. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until it’s golden brown. Feeds 6.

Cost:
egg noodles - $1.89
onion - $1.12
bell pepper - $0.90
cream of cheddar cheese soup - $1.09
tuna - $0.89
milk - $3.99/gallon
bread crumbs - $1.12
Total - $8.30

Easy crepes

You can fill these with fruit, whipped topping, cream cheese or anything you like. They are really good.


What you’ll need:

1 c flour
2 eggs
½ c milk
½ c water
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbl butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and eggs. gradually add in milk and water. Stir well. Add the salt and the butter and beat until smooth. Heat oil on a griddle or in a skillet over medium heat. Pour batter onto griddle using about ¼ c for each crepe. Tilt the pan in a circular motion to even it out. Cook the crepe 2 minutes or until the bottom side is light brown. Turn and cook the other side. Serve hot. Makes about 8 crepes.

Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
milk - $3.99/gallon
butter - $1.75/pound

Total - $1.09

Spicy apple topping

This is great over ice cream, pancakes, French toast or to fill crepes!

What you’ll need:

3 Tbl butter
4 apples, sliced and peeled
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of ginger
Dash of coriander
1-3 c sugar

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add apples, lemon juice, lemon zest and spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and cook until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly before serving.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
apples - $2.25/bag
lemons - $1.99/4
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
Total - $1.30

Funnel cakes

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Now I have a taste for fair food and I’m going to have to make me a funnel cake! Delicious!

What you’ll need:

3 eggs
2 c milk
¼ c sugar
3 2/3 c flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Mix salt, baking powder and half the flour. Set aside. In another bowl cream eggs, sugar and milk. Combine the two mixtures, beating until smooth. Add more flour until it’s the right consistency to run through a funnel. Heat oil in an 8 inch skillet. Put your finger over the bottom opening of the funnel and fill it with batter. Hold the funnel close to the surface of the oil and release the batter while making a circular motion. Fry until golden brown on one side. Using tongs carefully turn the cake over. Fry the second side 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or top with fruit as desired. Makes about 12 funnel cakes.

Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
milk - $3.99/gallon
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
baking powder - $2.38
Total - $1.85

Fair day kettle corn

I love kettle corn and any chance that I get to have it fresh it’s even better! This recipe tastes like authentic kettle corn that I’ve gotten at fairs.

What you’ll need:

¼ c oil
¼ c sugar
½ c unpopped popcorn kernels

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and the popcorn. Cover and shake the pot constantly to keep the sugar from burning. Once the popping has slowed to once every 2 - 3 seconds, remove from heat but continue to shake until the popping has stopped. Pour into a large bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to break up large clumps.

Cost:
popcorn - $1.00
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
Total - $0.34

Banana crumb muffins

The topping on these muffins is so delicious!

What you’ll need:

1 ½ c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
¾ c sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/3 c butter, melted

Topping:

1/3 c brown sugar
2 Tbl flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin pans or use liners. Mix together 1 ½ c flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Mix together the banana mixture and the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon into muffin cups. In another bowl, mix together topping ingredients until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle over top of muffins. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Makes about 10 muffins.

Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
baking soda - $2.28/box
baking powder - $2.38
bananas - $2.15
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
butter - $1.75/pound
cinnamon - $1.85
Total - $4.00

Waldorf salad

My grandma used to make this for church socials. It’s so easy.

What you’ll need:

1 large red apple, chopped
½ c seedless red grapes, halved
½ c whipped topping
¼ c raisins
¼ c mayonnaise
3 Tbl chopped walnuts

Mix everything together and refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Cost:
apples - $2.25/bag
grapes - $1.99/bunch
whipped topping - $0.99
raisins - $1.12/box
mayonnaise - $2.50
walnuts - $2.00
Total - $2.36

Poppy seed baked chicken

Another great casserole.

What you’ll need:

2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces
1 (8 oz) sour cream
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 c butter, melted
72 (2 sleeves) Townhouse crackers, crushed
2 Tbl poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix chicken, sour cream and soup together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl mix butter, crackers and poppy seeds. Put ½ the crumb mixture in bottom of 8 x 8 pan. Top with chicken mixture. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Cover and bake 1 hour. Serves 4.

Cost:
chicken breast - $5.00/4 pack
sour cream - $0.99
cream of mushroom soup - $0.89
butter - $1.75/pound
crackers - $1.59
poppy seeds - $1.69
Total - $7.15

Simple shepherds pie

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Somebody asked for a shepherd pie recipe the other day so I thought I’d post mine. It’s pretty simple and very filling.

What you’ll need:

1 lb ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can mixed vegetables
4 c mashed potatoes, prepared
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbl garlic salt

Brown ground beef, drain and return to pan. Add onion and cook until it’s transparent. Add soup, veggies and garlic and mix well. Pour into a casserole dish. Spread mashed potatoes on top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Feeds 6.

Tip: You can use any mashed potatoes you’d like with this recipe. Instant, leftover or fresh. It’s up to you. It doesn’t change the taste. I have discovered that it takes more ‘real’ mashed potatoes to cover the top. I’m not sure why but I thought I’d mention it.

Cost:
ground beef - $2.00/lb
cream of mushroom soup - $0.89
mixed vegetables, canned - $1.09
potatoes - $2.00/5 lb bag
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
onion - $1.12
Total - $6.60

Easy frosted brownies


So easy!

What you’ll need:

½ c butter
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
6 Tbl cocoa
½ c flour

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer. Blend in cocoa and flour. Add eggs and mix well. Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool. Frost brownies. Makes about 20 squares.

Easy chocolate frosting

What you’ll need:

½ c butter
½ c sugar
1 Tbl cocoa

Mix together well. Refrigerate any unused frosting.

Variations: Add ½ c nuts. Top with warmed caramel ice cream topping.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
vanilla - $2.25
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
cocoa - $1.69
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
Total - $3.15

Fruit cobbler

This is so easy it practically makes itself!

What you’ll need:

½ c sugar
½ c brown sugar
¾ c biscuit mix
½ c milk
Desired pie filling
¼ c margarine, melted

Put margarine in a casserole. On top of that put the sugar, then brown sugar, then biscuit mix and then milk. Do not stir it up. Pour pie filling on top of that. Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes. That’s it! You won’t believe how good it is I promise! Top with whipped topping if desired.

Cost:
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
biscuit mix - $3.00
milk - $3.99/gallon
pie filling - $1.99
butter - $1.75/pound
Total - $3.94

Chicken pot pie

Makes me think of home.

What you’ll need:

1 (8 oz) bag frozen peas & carrots (the diced mixed bag)
1 ½ c diced chicken
1 jar prepared chicken gravy
½ c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c biscuit mix
¼ c milk
2 eggs
Seasoning to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Combine frozen veggies, chicken and gravy in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often. In a bowl combine the cheese, biscuit mix, milk, eggs and seasoning. Mix well. Pour the chicken mixture into a casserole dish and top with the biscuit mixture. Bake for about 35 minutes until crust is brown and the filling is bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Cost:
frozen mixed peas & carrots - $2.12
canned chicken chunks - $2.50
gravy - $1.49/jar
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
biscuit mix - $3.00
milk - $3.99/gallon
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
Total - $8.19

Popcorn balls

These taste great and are a lot of fun to make with your kids!

What you’ll need:

¼ c oil
½ c popcorn kernels
½ c dark corn syrup
½ c sugar
½ tsp salt

Heat oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add popcorn kernels. Cover but leave a gap where air can escape. Shake frequently until popping stops. Mix together corn syrup, sugar and salt. Add to pan of popcorn stirring constantly over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and popcorn is coated. Remove from heat. Using buttered hands form into balls and let cool. Makes about 12 popcorn balls.

Cost:
popcorn - $1.00
corn syrup - $1.29
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
Total - $0.99

Hot toddy’s

Monday, December 15, 2008

I’m sure the people my age remember grandma making you a hot toddy when you were sick but they are very good drinks even when you’re perfectly well! This makes a big batch so I thought I would include it with my other holiday party recipes. As with all my drinks you can leave the alcohol out for the kids and non drinkers and it won't affect the taste too badly or try my Hot apple cider.

What you’ll need:

8 c apple cider
2 whole lemons, wedged
1 c brandy
3 Tbl honey
3 cinnamon sticks
3 cloves

Mix everything together in a big pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let sit one minute. Serve with additional lemon wedges in each cup. Makes about 10 cups.

Cost:
apple cider - $2.85
lemons - $1.99/4
brandy - $8.00
honey - $1.12
cinnamon sticks - $1.85
cloves - $1.12
Total - $16.93/$1.69 per cup

Cornish game hens

I love food that looks as good as it tastes and this is definitely one of those recipes. It’s perfect for company too.


What you’ll need:


4 Cornish game hens, washed
3 carrots
2 onions
1 stalk of celery
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 orange
Desired seasonings


Chop the carrots, onions and peppers into large chunks and place in the bottom of a roasting pan. Slice up the celery and add it to the pan. Place each bird side by side on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with desired seasoning. I just use a season salt/brown sugar rub (equal parts of salt and sugar). Cut the orange into wedges and place one wedge into each hen. Place in a 450 degree oven and cook for 45 minutes. The hens will be nice and crispy! Remove from pan and serve. This is great with cornbread dressing or cornbread salad. Serves 4.


Cost:
Cornish game hens - $2.50/lb
carrots - $0.89
onion - $1.12
celery - $0.99
bell pepper - $0.90
oranges - $2.25/bag
Total - $14.10

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