Spicy corn fritters

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I got this recipe off of the Betty Crocker website. I do a lot of cooking with biscuit mix and it just appealed to me. These fritters are delicious! The cost section that I always add to the bottom of my recipes has been figured with generic products (My apologies to Betty Crocker; I just can’t taste a difference). I’ve posted the recipe as it appeared originally though. Just know that you can use the generic products and get the same great taste.

What you’ll need:

Vegetable oil
4 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup cold water
2 eggs
2 cans (15.25 ounces each) Green Giant® whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans (4.5 ounces each) Old El Paso® chopped green chilies, well drained
Old El Paso® salsa (any variety), if desired

Directions:

1. Heat oil (2 to 3 inches) in deep fryer to 375°F.

2. Stir Bisquick mix, cold water and eggs in large bowl with spoon until smooth. Stir in corn and chilies.

3. Drop batter by small spoonfuls into hot oil. Turn and fry until evenly golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with salsa.

Makes 4 dozen fritters.

Variation: If you’re not up for spicy, check this. Skip the chilies and salsa, and serve the fritters with butter and maple syrup. Yum!

Success: Use a thermometer to make sure the oil temperature is 375ºF. Keep fritters crispy by placing them in an uncovered pan in a 300°F oven.

How to...

Test oil without a thermometer: If no thermometer is available, test the oil using a small cube of bread. As soon as you think the oil is hot enough, drop in the bread cube and count slowly to sixty. If the cube browns by this time, the oil is ready.

Cost:
biscuit mix - $3.00
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
whole kernel corn - $0.40
chilies - $1.19/can
salsa - $1.59
Total - $5.45

Football Fondue

Friday, January 30, 2009


Who doesn’t love chocolate? I know I do!

What you’ll need:

1 c heavy cream
2 c chocolate chips

Bring cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir once and allow to sit for 3 minutes. Whisk together until smooth. Serve with cookies, squares of cake or fruit. Makes about 3 cups of fondue.

Suggestion: For a cute touch, cut chocolate cake into football shapes for dipping.

Cost:
cream - $1.99
chocolate chips - $2.50
Total - $4.49

Spinach cheese balls

These are delicious and a great way to get kids to eat their spinach!

What you’ll need:

2 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 c herb stuffing mix, crushed
1 c parmesan cheese
1 c (1 stick) butter, melted
4 scallions, finely chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Dash of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls. If it sticks to your hands, dampen then with water. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 20 - 30 minutes or until golden. Serves 10 - 12.

Note: You can freeze the balls after they are shaped and use them on a different day. Just be sure that they are covered in some way.

Cost:
frozen spinach - $1.89
stuffing mix - $1.09
parmesan cheese - $1.99
butter - $1.75/pound
scallions - $2.50
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
Total - $5.82

Hot bacon, tomato and cheese dip

Thursday, January 29, 2009

This is a great HOT dip. I mean the temperature; not the spiciness. I think you'll love it!

What you'll need:

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cut into squares
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed tomato soup
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ tsp oregano

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together the soup and squares of cream cheese. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cream cheese has melted. Stir in the bacon and oregano. Serve hot with bread, crackers and/or chips. Makes about 2 cups of dip.

Cost:
cream cheese - $2.06
condensed tomato soup - $0.89
bacon - $2.29/ 1 pound package
Total - $3.44

Kielbasa snackers

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

With the Superbowl right around the corner, I thought for the next few days I’d post some great party recipes. These snackers are DELICIOUS!!

What you’ll need:
1 c sweet and sour sauce or 1 (8-ounce) jar prepared sweet and sour sauce
2 cups ketchup
1 lb bacon
2 c brown sugar, packed
2 (1 lb) pkg kielbasa

Cut sausage into 1 ¼ inch slices. Cut bacon strips in half. Wrap each sausage slice with a strip of bacon and spear closed with a toothpick. Place in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. In a bowl, stir together sweet and sour sauce, ketchup and brown sugar. Pour over the top of the snackers. Bake for an additional hour, uncovered, or until the sauce has caramelized on the meat. Makes about 30 individual snackers.

Cost:
sweet & sour sauce - $1.09
ketchup - $1.89/big bottle
bacon - $2.29/ 1 pound package
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
polska kielbasa - $1.69
Total - $6.30

Just a note from Kathy

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I thought for once I would post an actual post instead of a recipe. I hope you don’t mind. It’s just for today. :-)

I’m really proud of this cookbook. I’d like to take a moment to thank the people that have sent in recipes. I’ve tried them all and enjoyed them thoroughly! Some of the recipes that don’t have a special Submitted by added at the end of them are still readers submissions. They just wished to NOT have their names published with their recipes. So a special thank you to those readers also. You are so appreciated.

By some of the responses I’ve received I am encouraged that more people are cooking at home again. With the state of our economy and the fear of commercially prepared food not being safe, I think cooking at home is the logical solution. Plus I think everyone enjoys the food so much more. I’m sure you’ve heard people say that something was cooked with love. I believe that’s a true statement. When I spend the time and make the effort to have a meal that I created rather than just popping open a box from my freezer and sticking it in the oven, I feel satisfied. Accomplished. Like I really did something good.

I know not everyone loves cooking as much as I do. Some people think of it as a chore. I used to be one of those people. I dreaded dinnertime. The planning, the shopping, the standing over a stove after working all day in of all things a kitchen. It was hard to cook all day and then turn around and cook again. Because of that most of the recipes I have here could be classified as easy. As much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t want to spend the whole day in the kitchen. So easy seems perfect.

I still cooked back then. I just didn’t enjoy it. And we ate out a lot more often than we do now. When times got tough though, my kitchen was what saved us and allowed us to eat when there was very little money. You can save so much money by buying the ingredients versus the actual meal. That still amazes me. I can feed the two of us on $175 a month. That breaks down to $5.83 a day. For two people. And we’re not barely scraping by when it comes to the food we eat. I can make full dinners, breakfast, snacks and desserts. I bake a cake every week (I really do). And Tim says we eat better now than we did when we had money to eat out all the time.

Last night I made lemon garlic fish filets, fried corn and baked macaroni and cheese. It was so good I can barely move this morning lol. I made a change to the fried corn recipe that I have posted here. On a whim I added 2 tablespoons of sugar to the batter. OMG it was good! You should try it some time!

That brings me around to the final thing I’d like to say about cooking at home. Have fun with it! Experiment. Remember when you were a little kid and you got to help bake cookies? Or maybe it was popcorn balls. Whatever that comfort food memory is for you, I’d like you to keep it in your mind when you’re in the kitchen. Anything is possible. Look at Famous Amos, just a man that loved baking his chocolate chip cookies. I know my cookie world will never be the same. Just like my experimenting and adding sugar to my tried and true recipe. You don’t know until you try. Cooking can be fun and not just a chore. To quote one of my favorites Peter Pan: Now, think of the happiest things. It's the same as having wings. (I’m a little bit of a kid stuck in a grown up body. It’s not always bad.) Just have fun in the kitchen!

That pretty much wraps up this rare cookbook nonfood-recipe. I’ll be back tomorrow with another favorite food-recipe to share. Thank you again to everyone, those who visit and those who contribute. Keep up the great work and I’ll be seeing you in the kitchen!

Happy Cooking!

--Kathy

Beignets

Monday, January 26, 2009


Another of my New Orleans favorites!

What you’ll need:

1 cup lukewarm water
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, room temperature & beaten
2 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup evaporated milk
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
Vegetable oil for frying
Powdered sugar for dusting

Using a mixer with a dough hook, place water, sugar, salt, egg, butter, evaporated milk, flour, and yeast in the bowl. Beat until smooth. If using a bread machine, select dough setting and press Start. When dough cycle has finished, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. If mixing by hand, mix ingredients until a dough forms, turn out onto a floured surface and knead around 200 times. Form dough into an oval, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled (3 to 4 hours) or overnight.

To prepare dough, remove from refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured board to ½ inch thickness. Cut into approximately 3-inch squares.

In a deep fryer or large pot, heat just enough vegetable oil to completely cover beignets to 360 degrees. Fry the beignets (2 or 3 at a time) 2 to 3 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown on both sides, turning them in the oil with tongs once or twice to get them evenly brown; beignets will rise to the surface of the oil as soon as they begin to puff. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels, then sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. Serve hot. Makes 18 beignets.

Cost:
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
butter - $1.75/pound
evaporated milk - $1.50
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
yeast - $2.12/jar
powdered sugar - $1.69
Total - $3.25

Tex-Mex Penne

Saturday, January 24, 2009

First, I love penne pasta. It holds flavor better than any other pasta to me. Second, this is a quick and easy dinner to throw together at the last minute. I think you'll love it!

What you’ll need:

½ bag (8 oz) penne pasta, uncooked
1 lb Italian sausage, out of the casing
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cans corn, drained or 2 c frozen corn
1 c salsa
2 cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
¾ tsp oregano
1 ½ c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
½ c fresh cilantro, chopped (optional but it does make a difference in taste to leave it out)

Cook penne according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook sausage, stirring frequently to break up into pieces. Drain and return to pan. Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini, corn, salsa, tomatoes and oregano and stir well. Bring to a boil and then cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in 1 c shredded cheese, pasta and all but 2 Tbl cilantro. Mix well and pour into serving bowl. Top with ½ c cheese and 2 Tbl cilantro. Makes 6 servings.

Cost:
penne noodles - $1.89
Italian sausage - $2.12/lb
onion - $1.12
zucchini - $1.10/lb
bell pepper - $0.90
whole kernel corn - $0.40
salsa - $1.59
diced tomatoes - $0.89
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
Total - $9.97

Sugar coated pecans

Thursday, January 22, 2009

One of my favorites. This is great for a party snack too.

What you’ll need:

1 egg white
1 Tbl water
1 lb pecan halves
1 c sugar
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside. In a large bowl, whip together the egg white and water until it’s frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add pecans to egg white mixture and stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts using a slotted spoon and add them to the sugar mixture bowl. Toss well to coat in sugar. Spread them onto the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
pecans - $3.00
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
cinnamon - $1.85
Total - $3.47

Cajun boiled peanuts

My hubby is a Georgia man. He told me about boiled peanuts. I had no clue they even existed. After eating them….yum is all I have to say! This recipe makes A LOT of peanuts (5 pounds)…just warning you.

What you’ll need:

5 lbs raw peanuts, in shell
¾ c salt
1 ¼ c dill pickle slices, with brine (juice)
5 small jalapenos, sliced
5 Tbl dry crab boil (like Zatarain’s)

Place all ingredients in a large pot. Pour in enough water to cover the peanuts and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until soft (at least 4 hours), adding water as needed. You want to keep the peanuts covered with water. Use a slotted spoon to remove peanuts from pot. Serve hot.

Cost:
peanuts - in shell - $2.29/lb
pickles - $2.12/jar
jalapeno - $1.08
crab boil - $2.18
Total - $14.63/$2.93 per pound

Seven layer taco dip

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another great party recipe. This recipe makes enough to feed about 10.

What you’ll need:

1 pkg taco seasoning
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 (16 oz) container of sour cream
1 (16 oz) jar salsa (any variety you prefer)
1 large tomato, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 (6 oz) can black olives, drained
2 c shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl, mix together the taco seasoning and refried beans until well blended. Spread the mixture into a deep glass bowl (so you can see how pretty the layers are) or onto a large serving platter. In a different bowl (or the same bowl cleaned out), mix together the cream cheese and sour cream. Spread over the bean mixture. Spread the salsa over the top of that, then make a layer of tomato, then bell pepper, then onions, then lettuce, then cheese and last olives. Make sure to spread each layer evenly over the layer before it but not to mix them together. Serve with tortilla chips, Fritos, or crackers.

Cost:
taco seasoning - $0.50
refried beans - $1.08
cream cheese - $2.06
sour cream - $0.99
salsa - $1.59
tomato - $1.00
bell pepper - $0.90
onion - $1.12
lettuce - $0.89/head
olives - $2.25
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
tortilla chips - $1.18
Total - $13.81/ around $1.38 per person

Chocolate surprise truffles

Monday, January 19, 2009

As I've told you before, I get some of my favorite recipes off of the backs of boxes, bags, cans and jars. I first found this recipe on the back of a cocoa container and then I found it again on the Hershey's website. I just love these truffles. They’re rich and delicious and have a surprise center! I think you’ll love them too!

What you’ll need:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
¼ cup whipping cream
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Centers: After-dinner mints, whole candied cherries, whole almonds, pecan or walnut halves
Coating: Powdered sugar, MOUNDS Sweetened Coconut Flakes or chopped nuts

Beat butter in large bowl until creamy. Stir together powdered sugar and cocoa; add to butter mixture alternately with whipping cream and vanilla, blending well. Refrigerate until firm. Shape small amount of mixture around desired center; roll into 1-inch balls. Drop into desired coating, turning until well covered. Refrigerate until firm. Makes about 3 dozen truffles.

Variation: Add ½ teaspoon rum extract, decrease vanilla to 1 teaspoon.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
powdered sugar - $1.69
cocoa - $1.69
whipping cream - $1.49
vanilla - $2.25
cherries - $1.12
Total - $3.89

Homemade peanut butter

Sunday, January 18, 2009


With all the news about peanut butter and salmonella lately, I thought I would post a recipe for homemade peanut butter. Since the salmonella poisoning happened sometime after processing (it occurred at the peanut plant and not in the peanuts themselves) this is a great (and simple) way to have peanut butter and not have the worries. By the way, this recipe can be made with any nut.

What you’ll need:

1 ½ lbs roasted unsalted peanuts in the shell
2 ½ Tbl cooking oil (any variety you prefer. I use vegetable oil) or margarine
Salt to taste

Shell the peanuts. Grind in food processor or blender until almost smooth (you can leave some lumps if you want crunchy peanut butter). Add oil or margarine and mix in “bursts” until it’s smooth. Remove from food processor or blender. Add salt and stir just enough to mix. Makes about 1 pound of peanut butter.

Cost:
peanuts - in shell - $2.29/lb
vegetable oil - $2.89
Total - $3.72

Best banana bread

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What you’ll need:

1 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (3 or 4 medium bananas)
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 (8 ½”) loaf pans or 1 (9”) loaf pan. In a large bowl mix together sugar and butter. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pan(s). Bake for one hour for 8” loaves and about 15 minutes longer for the 9” loaf or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan(s). Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Cost:
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
butter - $1.75/pound
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
bananas - $2.15
buttermilk - $1.99
vanilla - $2.25
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
walnuts - $2.00
Total - $4.46

Baked buffalo wings with bleu cheese dipping sauce

Friday, January 16, 2009

No football party would be complete without buffalo wings!

For wings:

What you’ll need:

2 lb chicken drumettes
2 Tbl honey
2 Tbl ketchup
2 Tbl Tabasco sauce
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
Paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Remove skin from chicken. In a large zipper close baggie mix honey, ketchup, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Add chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate at least 15 minutes but no longer than 24 hours, turning occasionally. Pour chicken coated in marinade onto prepared pan and sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until crisp and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Makes about 24 wings.

For dipping sauce:

What you’ll need:

1/3 c cottage cheese
½ tsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbl milk
1 Tbl crumbled bleu cheese
1/8 tsp white pepper (it can be black but I prefer white for this recipe)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

In a blender or food processor, place cottage cheese, vinegar, milk, half of the blue cheese, the white pepper and garlic. Cover and blend on low speed until smooth and creamy. Spoon into serving dish. Stir in remaining blue cheese. Cover; refrigerate until serving. Makes about ½ cup of dressing.

Cost:
chicken wings - $4.85/bag
honey - $1.12
ketchup - $1.89/big bottle
Worcestershire sauce - $1.79
cottage cheese _$2.12
vinegar - $1.19
milk - $3.99/gallon
bleu cheese - $3.16/pound
garlic cloves - $1.12
Total - $8.98

Cheese Grits Casserole

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I am a southern woman and I love grits! This recipe mixes together one of my favorite foods with one of my favorite ways to cook food: in a casserole! Throw it together, pop it in the oven and forget it for a little while.


What you’ll need:

3 c water
¾ c quick grits
2 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
¾ c evaporated milk
1/3 c butter, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ tsp tobasco sauce
1/8 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, bring water to a boil. Add grits. Cover pan and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in 1 ½ c shredded cheese, evaporated milk and butter. Continue stirring until cheese and butter are melted. Add eggs, tobasco and pepper, stirring well. Pour into prepared pan. Top with remaining ½ c cheese. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until it is golden brown and puffy. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Feeds 6.

Variation: Stir in 2 c diced, cooked ham before the addition of eggs to turn this side dish into a meaty main dish.

Cost:
grits - $1.89
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
evaporated milk - $1.50
butter - $1.75/pound
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
Total - $2.97

Marbled brownies

One of my favorites. I just made them a couple days ago. I only made a half batch of this recipe because there are only two of us eating. It didn’t hurt the taste at all. They were delicious!

What you’ll need:

For base brownies:

1 c. softened butter
1 ½ c sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ c flour
4 - 6 Tbl cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

For marble:

5 Tbl softened butter
1/3 c sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbl flour
¾ tsp vanilla
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

For brownie mixture cream butter with sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Stir until combined. Spread cocoa batter into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Cream together marble ingredients and drop by tablespoonfuls across the top of the cocoa mixture. Using a butter knife, “draw” lines up and down and across the brownies. This makes the marble pattern. Bake @ 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
vanilla - $2.25
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
cocoa - $1.69
baking powder - $2.38
cream cheese - $2.06
Total - $4.16

Bread Pudding

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My mother used to make this for us all the time growing up. I just love bread pudding!

What you’ll need:

2 c milk
¼ c butter
2/3 c sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
3 c bread, torn into small pieces
½ c raisins (optional)

Heat milk over medium heat just until a film forms over the top of it. Remove from heat and stir in butter until it’s completely melted and combined. Let cool. In a large bowl combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 1 minute. Slowly add cooled milk mixture. Put bread in a lightly greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with raisins if you’re using them. Pour the milk/sugar batter over the top of that. Bake @ 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes or until set. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

Cost:
milk - $3.99/gallon
butter - $1.75/pound
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
cinnamon - $1.85
vanilla - $2.25
sandwich bread - $1.09
raisins - $1.12/box
Total - $2.40

Homemade Flour Tortillas

I prefer to make things myself and I think this recipe will convince you to do the same! So much better than store bought. I usually get about 15 tortillas from this recipe but it all depends on what size you make them.

What you’ll need:

2 c flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vegetable oil
¾ c warm water

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl combine the warm water and oil. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour mixture, one tablespoon at a time and mix the dough with a fork until it’s completely combined. Continue this process until all the water/oil mixture has been used. The dough will be sticky. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface probably 15 -20 times. You want to knead the dough for about 5 minutes. If the dough gets too sticky to handle dust with additional flour. Place the kneaded dough back in the bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Pinch the dough off into golf ball size pieces and roll them into balls. Place balls on a flat dish but don’t let them touch each other. Cover with the damp towel and let them rest for another 10 minutes. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. A cast iron skillet works best for these tortillas because they allow the heat to distribute evenly but they can be made in any skillet or on a griddle. On a lightly floured surface, roll each tortilla into about a 6” circle. I usually do this one tortilla at a time. Place in the pan and cook on the first side about 30 seconds. Flip it over and cook an additional 30 seconds. You do NOT need any oil or butter in your pan. Just the tortilla. You’ll notice brown spots when you flip it over. That’s perfect! You can keep the cooked tortillas in a 200 degree oven while you cook the rest if you want to keep them warm.

Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
baking powder - $2.38
vegetable oil - $2.89
Total - $1.01

Italian pie with garlic cheese bread

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This was supper last night and it was delicious! I’m including both recipes together since they taste so good together but the bread is awesome with seafood and other meals as well. The cost listed is for both items though :)

For Italian pie:

What you’ll need:

1 lb ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 ½ c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
½ lb penne noodles
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder

Cook the noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. Brown ground beef, drain and return to pan. Stir in tomato sauce, ½ c of cheddar cheese and seasonings. Cook over medium heat until mixture is heated through. Stir in penne noodles. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake @ 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Feeds 4.

For the garlic cheese bread:

What you’ll need:

2 c biscuit mix
½ c water
1/3 c butter, softened
½ tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
½ c shredded cheddar cheese

Mix the biscuit mix and the water until dough forms adding water 1 tsp at a time if necessary (if it’s too dry to form a dough). Place on a biscuit mix covered surface and knead 5 times. Press onto a cookie sheet evenly. I roll mine out a little first and then press it out to the edges of my pan. Using a fork poke holes all over the top of the dough. In a small bowl mix together butter and seasonings. Spread evenly over the top of the dough. Bake @ 425 degrees about 15 minutes or until dough has risen and is slightly browned. Sprinkle cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the bread and cook for an additional 5 - 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice into squares. Serve warm. Feeds 4.

Cost:
ground beef - $2.00/lb
tomato sauce - $0.33/can
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
penne noodles - $1.89
Italian seasoning - $2.89
biscuit mix - $3.00
butter - $1.75/pound
Total - $6.02

4-H Corn Special

Monday, January 12, 2009

My son participated in 4-H and I think I enjoyed it as much as he did. This is a recipe that has been made at many 4-H dinners.

What you’ll need:

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 ½ c cooked rice
2 c seeded, chopped tomatoes
2 c corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 c crushed saltine crackers
¼ c butter, melted
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown beef and onion; drain and return to pan. Stir in rice, tomatoes, corn, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Mix until well combined. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish. Combine cracker crumbs and butter; sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Cost:
ground beef - $2.00/lb
onion - $1.12
rice - $2.12
tomato - $1.00
whole kernel corn - $0.40
Worcestershire sauce - $1.79
saltine crackers - $1.29
butter - $1.75/pound
Total - $7.98

Cheesy Spoon Bread

This traditional southern side dish tastes great with pork and is good with other meats as well. I just love spoon bread!

What you’ll need:

¾ c dry milk
½ c cornmeal
2 c water
1 ¼ c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
3 eggs, separated (yolks in one bowl, whites in another)
2 Tbl butter
¼ tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 1 ½ quart casserole dish. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, cornmeal and water. Stirring constantly, cook until mixture comes to a boil. Boil, continuing stirring, until mixture thickens, usually about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in ¾ cup cheese, egg yolks, butter and baking powder. Beat egg whites in small bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into corn meal mixture until well combined. Pour into prepared dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until top is golden and filling is set. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

Cost:
dry powdered milk - $1.99
cornmeal - $3.12/5 pound bag
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
butter - $1.75/pound
baking powder - $2.38
Total - $2.67

Corn Dogs

Everything is better made fresh at home. You can make these up and freeze them for a later day, but they’re great cooked immediately.

What you’ll need:

1 c flour
2/3 c cornmeal
2 Tbl sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ c milk
1 egg, beaten
1 pkg hot dogs, patted dry
8 (6”) wooden skewers
Oil to fry in

Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder in medium bowl. Combine milk and egg in small bowl. Add to flour mixture; mix just until blended (batter will be thick). Spread batter into shallow plate or dish. Insert skewers into hot dogs. Dip hot dogs into batter, coating all sides. Add 3 to 4 hot dogs to hot oil, turning after 5 to 10 seconds to set batter. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown; drain. Repeat with remaining hot dogs. Serve with mustard and/or ketchup. Makes 8 corn dogs.

How to...

Freeze homemade corn dogs...

After putting the hot dogs on the stick and dipping in batter, lay on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Freeze until hard, at least 2 hours. Wrap in freezer safe wrap or put in freezer bags. I prefer not to wrap them in foil but you can. Just make sure they are completely frozen before wrapping or the foil will stick to the corn dogs and make it difficult to unwrap.

Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
cornmeal - $3.12/5 pound bag
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
baking powder - $2.38
milk - $3.99/gallon
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
hot dogs - $0.69
Total - $2.11

French Quarter Green Beans

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Another New Orleans favorite.

What you’ll need:

3 ½ cups French style green beans
3 Tbl butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
¼ tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (2 ½ oz) package slivered almonds
Paprika

Cook green beans according to package directions, drain and set aside. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add soup and cream cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until cream cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients except for almonds and paprika. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 1 ¾ qt. casserole. Top with almonds and sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered @ 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Serves 4.

Cost:
green beans - $2.09
butter - $1.75/pound
cream of mushroom soup - $0.89
cream cheese - $2.06
water chestnuts - $2.06
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
almonds- $2.00
Total - $8.74

Fried green tomatoes

What you’ll need:

3 medium, firm green tomatoes
½ cup flour
¼ cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs or cornmeal
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper


Cut unpeeled tomatoes into ½” slices. Sprinkle slices with salt and pepper. Let tomato slices stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place flour, milk, eggs, and bread crumbs in 4 separate shallow dishes. Heat 2 Tbl of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Dip tomato slices in milk, then flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs. Fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 4-6 minutes on each side or until brown. Makes 10 - 15 fried green tomatoes.

Cost:
tomato - $1.00
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
milk - $3.99/gallon
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
dry bread crumbs - $0.99
olive oil - $3.89
Total - $4.65

Monster chocolate brownies

Thick and chocolaty yummy

What you’ll need:

¾ cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan. Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes about 16 brownies.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
vanilla - $2.25
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
cocoa - $1.69
baking powder - $2.38
Total - $2.46

Mocha mint moo-moo’s

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I call these moo-moo’s because of their brown and white color and my love of cows =) Delicious and creamy. I think you’ll love them!

What you’ll need:

1 tsp vanilla
¾ c water
¾ c peppermint mocha flavored liquid creamer
3 oz dark chocolate baking bar
Whipped topping

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in vanilla and cook for one minute. Reduce heat to medium and add creamer and chocolate. Whisk until smooth, slightly thickened and hot. Divide between 4 large or 6 small coffee cups. Top with a dollop of whipped topping.

Cost:
vanilla - $2.25
flavored creamer - $2.99
chocolate baking bar - $2.49
whipped topping - $0.99
Total - $5.02/approximately $0.84 per drink

Easy beef bake

I just love oven bakes. They’re so easy.


What you’ll need:

1 lb ground beef
½ c onion, finely diced
1 can pork & beans
1 can tomato sauce
3 Tbl brown sugar
1 c biscuit mix
2 eggs
¼ c milk
1 Tbl ketchup
½ c shredded cheddar

Brown ground beef and onion. Drain and return to pan. Add beans, tomato sauce and brown sugar and cook over medium heat until heated through. In a large bowl mix together remaining ingredients. Put beef/bean mixture in a casserole dish. Drop biscuit mixture by tablespoonfuls around the top of the beef mixture. It won’t cover the whole top. Bake @ 375 minutes for 20 - 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serves 5.

Cost:
ground beef - $2.00/lb
onion - $1.12
pork & beans - $0.33/can
tomato sauce - $0.33/can
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
biscuit mix - $3.00
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
milk - $3.99/gallon
ketchup - $1.89/big bottle
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
Total - $5.93

Cheese ball

Thursday, January 8, 2009


These are great for parties. Serve with crackers, vegetable pieces or toasted breads.

What you’ll need:

2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 (1oz) pkg dry ranch dressing mix
2 ½ c shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ c pecans, chopped

Mash the cream cheese up in a medium bowl. Stir in the dressing mix and cheddar cheese. Shape the mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in the chopped nuts. Refrigerate covered with saran wrap for several hours before serving.

Cost:
cream cheese - $2.06
ranch dressing (dry mix) - $0.99
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
pecans - $3.00
Total - $7.55

Super simple pimento cheese

Just as the name implies, super simple.

What you’ll need:

2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 c shredded Colby cheese
2 (4oz) jars diced pimento peppers, drained
½ c Miracle Whip
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Add more Miracle Whip if it’s not creamy enough. This recipe makes about 6 cups of pimento cheese. Keep refrigerated.

Cost:
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
shredded cheese - Colby jack - $ 1.65
pimento - $3.00
miracle whip - $2.12
Total - $7.21

Orange pork

The citrus in this recipe is pleasing to the eye and taste buds.

What you’ll need:

1 ½ lbs pork strips
1 tsp oil
½ c orange juice
½ c pineapple juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 ½ tsp dried basil leaves
Pinch of salt & pepper
Rice

Cook the rice according to package directions and set aside if it’s finished before the pork. In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add pork and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until the meat is cooked through. In a large boil combine remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper and rice. Mix well. Pour over the pork and continuing cooking over medium heat, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Salt & pepper the meat and place over top of rice. Pour sauce from pan over the top of that. Garnish with additional orange slices if desired. Makes 5 servings.

Cost:
pork chops/strips - $3.50
orange juice - $2.99/gallon
pineapple juice - $2.50
garlic cloves - $1.12
cornstarch - $1.29
rice - $2.12
Total - $6.78

Crazy cake

I had a chocolate urge about 1:00 am and I made this cake. It’s great for people with dairy allergies (or just people who are out of dairy products) because it doesn’t use any. And don’t worry about the vinegar. I promise you you can not taste it. If you didn’t know it was in there, you wouldn’t know. I made it into cupcakes instead of in the 8 x 8 pan I usually make it in. I just prefer cupcakes lately. It made 11 cupcakes. I didn’t take any pictures because it was 1:00 in the morning and didn’t think about it until I woke up and saw I didn’t dream I baked cupcakes! I did get a picture of the finished project though. Or what’s left of them. Sorry about the fingerprints, they were picked on a lot overnight! =) So delicious!

What you’ll need:

1 ½ c flour
1 c + 2 Tbl sugar
1/3 c + 1 Tbl cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 c cold water
¼ c vegetable oil
1 Tbl vinegar
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients until completely blended together. Stir in remaining ingredients one at a time and stirring well after each addition. Pour into a greased and floured 8 x 8 inch pan or cupcake tins. Bake about 30 minutes for cake, about 22 minutes for cupcakes. Frost as desired.

I made a simple chocolate frosting with ½ c butter, 1 tsp vanilla and about 4 c powdered sugar beat together until creamy. This cake is also very good with just powdered sugar sprinkled on top instead of frosting.

Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
baking soda - $2.28/box
vegetable oil - $2.89
vinegar - $1.19
vanilla - $2.25
powdered sugar - $1.69
Total - $1.89

Parmesan potato patties

Another great way to use leftover mashed potatoes. I’m making them tonight as a matter of fact.

What you’ll need:

About 3 c leftover mashed potatoes
1 egg
1/3 c parmesan cheese
1/3 c dry bread crumbs
Oil to fry in


Pat cold potatoes out on your countertop or cutting board to about ½ inch thickness. Cut six rounds from the potatoes with a 3” biscuit cutter. You may need to gather the potatoes and pat them back out as you work.

Beat the egg in a bowl large enough to place the potato rounds in. Mix the bread crumbs and parmesan in another bowl large enough for the potato rounds to fit in or on a plate.

Dip each round first in egg, then in bread crumbs, pushing the crumbs slightly into the patties.


Put them in the freezer no longer than 10 minutes (you don’t want them to freeze) or in the refrigerator if you’re preparing ahead of time like I am.

Cook the patties in hot oil about 3 minutes on each side (until they are browned). Three cups of potatoes usually makes six patties.

Cost:
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
parmesan cheese - $1.99
dry bread crumbs - $0.99
Total - $0.97

Cheesy chicken & vegetables

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Simple and delicious way to use your leftover chicken.

What you’ll need:

1 c cooked pasta, any variety
3 c mixed vegetables, frozen, canned or leftover
1 can cheese sauce (I use the store brand but this is like Cheese Whiz)
1 c chopped chicken (either use leftover chicken or 1 can chunk chicken cut up)
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together vegetables and cheese sauce. Cook and stir until cheese sauce is smooth and vegetables are tender. Stir in chicken and shredded cheese. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. Fold in pasta and serve. Makes 4 servings.


Cost:

seashell pasta - $1.89
mixed vegetables, canned - $1.09
cheese sauce - $2.49
canned chicken chunks - $2.50
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
Total - $8.52

Chocolate covered cherries

You won’t believe how easy this is and your friends will be so impressed!

What you’ll need:

1 jar maraschino cherries with stems
1 Tbl butter, softened
1 Tbl corn syrup
2/3 c powdered sugar
5 oz chocolate confectioners coating

Drain the cherries and set on paper towels to dry. Reserve the juice if desired for other recipes (like Shirley Temple's). In a medium bowl, combine butter and corn syrup until smooth. Stir in sugar and using your hands, knead to form a ball. If it’s too soft, refrigerate for about 10 minutes to stiffen it. Wrap each cherry in about 1 teaspoon dough and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. When all the cherries are covered in dough, refrigerate until firm, usually about 20 minutes. When the cherries are firm, melt the chocolate according to package directions. Dip each cherry by it’s stem and place back on the cookie sheet. When all the cherries have been dipped, return to refrigerator until completely set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can be kept up to a year (like they'll make it that long!) if refrigerated properly and are actually better after about 2 weeks of sitting. Makes about 20 cherries.

Cost:
cherries - $1.12
butter - $1.75/pound
corn syrup - $1.29
powdered sugar - $1.69
candy coating - $2.69
Total - $4.26

Shirley Temple’s

This is a simple drink that the kids will love. Put them in a fancy glass for a special treat.

What you’ll need:

1 (2 liter) bottle of 7-up
1 jar maraschino cherry juice
Cherries and orange slices for garnish

In a punch bowl, mix together 7-up and cherry juice. Mix to combine. Fill glasses with ice and then drink mix. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice. Makes about 6 drinks.

Cost:
7-Up - $0.99
cherries - $1.12
oranges - $2.25/bag
Total - $2.33

Granola bars

With all the products on the shelves I know most people just buy it and go on but I really like making things myself. I know what’s in them. I know how old they are. It’s just so good.

What you’ll need:

2 ½ c old fashioned oatmeal
1 c shredded coconut
½ c raw sunflower seeds without the shells
¼ c sesame seeds
½ c wheat germ
½ c slivered almonds
4 Tbl butter
¼ c dark brown sugar
½ c honey
1 c raisins
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. On a cookie sheet, mix together the oatmeal, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat germ and almonds and spread out evenly on the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the butter, sugar and honey over low heat, stirring often. Leave to simmer while the oat mixture finishes baking. When the oats are done, remove from oven and mix in the raisins. Do not turn oven off. Remove honey mixture from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture and mix until all the ingredients are coated in the honey mixture. Using buttered hands, press the mixture into a heavily buttered 8 x 8 pan. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Invert the pan to remove the granola. Slice into squares. Makes about 16 bars.

Cost:
oatmeal - $1.59
shredded coconut - $2.25/bag
sunflower seeds - $1.00/bag
wheat germ - $1.99/jar
sesame seeds - $1.29
almonds- $2.00
butter - $1.75/pound
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
honey - $1.12
raisins - $1.12/box
vanilla - $2.25
Total - $7.99/approximately $0.50 per bar

Creamy potato soup

This soup always makes me think of my mom. She loves potato soup!

What you’ll need:

3 c chicken broth
1 can evaporated milk
About 6 large potatoes
1 c onion, chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ c diced ham
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 pint whipping cream
Shredded cheddar cheese & chopped green onion for garnish

Sauté the onions and garlic in about a tablespoon of butter over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Scrape them into a large pot making sure to get all the good stuff off the bottom of the pan. Add chicken broth and milk and cook over medium heat about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients except for garnishes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Mash several of the potatoes against the side of the pot and stir to thicken the soup. The more you mash the thicker it will be. Add salt and pepper to taste and continue simmering over low heat for about 10 minutes or until soup is heated through and at the desired consistency. Sprinkle cheese and chopped green onion on top of individual bowls when serving. Makes about 10 bowls.

Cost:
bouillon cubes - $1.89/jar of 20
evaporated milk - $1.50
potatoes - $2.00/5 lb bag
onion - $1.12
bacon - $2.29/ 1 pound package
cooked ham - $2.12/lb
whipping cream - $1.49
garnish - $1.25
Total - $7.06

Butterscotch pudding

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I just love butterscotch and I love pudding so this is the best of both worlds!

What you’ll need:

4 Tbl butter
1 c dark brown sugar
¾ tsp salt
3 Tbl cornstarch
2 ½ c milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
Whipped topping, optional

Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat. Add the sugar and salt and stir until all the sugar is moistened. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and ¼ c milk. Using a wire whisk, blend until smooth (no lumps of cornstarch). Whisk in the eggs. Gradually mix remaining milk with brown sugar mixture, then whisk in cornstarch mixture. Return the pan to heat (medium high) and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 1 minute or until the pudding thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Pour into serving bowls and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Top with whipped topping if desired. Makes 4 - 6 servings.

Tip: If your pudding curdles after the addition of vanilla simply beat with an electric mixer set to the highest speed until it’s smooth again.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
cornstarch - $1.29
milk - $3.99/gallon
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
vanilla - $2.25
whipped topping - $0.99
Total - $2.58

Gumbo

So good on a cold day. This recipe feeds 10 but it freezes well. It can be kept in the refrigerator up to 4 days and in the freezer up to 6 months.


What you’ll need:

1 lb okra, washed and sliced
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 c celery, chopped
3 Tbl butter
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp garlic salt
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp thyme
1 can corn, with juice
1 can whole tomatoes, with juice
2 c water
1 lb 30/40 shrimp, peeled with tails removed
¼ tsp celery salt (optional)

Sauté onions, peppers and celery in the butter. In a large pot, put sautéed vegetables and remaining ingredients except shrimp (add it about halfway through cooking). Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has reduced and thickened. Serve with crackers.

Cost:
okra - $3.99/lb
bell pepper - $0.90
onion - $1.12
celery - $0.99
butter - $1.75/pound
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
whole kernel corn - $0.40
canned whole tomatoes - $1.19
½ lb 30/40 shrimp - $2.50
Total - $13.86

Fried cheese sticks

These can be frozen overnight if you prefer. Serve with marinara sauce.

What you’ll need:

1 lb mozzarella cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1 c seasoned bread crumbs (you can also use finely crushed plain croutons)
Oil to fry in

Cut cheese into strips that are approximately 2” long and ½” wide. Dip the cheese into eggs, then crumbs, then eggs, then crumbs. Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Freeze for at least 10 minutes. Fry in hot oil 2 - 4 minutes until golden brown. Makes about 15 cheese sticks.

Cost:
mozzarella - $3.49/block
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
dry bread crumbs - $0.99
Total - $4.75

French onion soup

The first time I ever ate this was in New Orleans. If you don’t have ovenproof serving dishes you can broil the cheese on the toast only and then place one slice on top of each bowl of soup.

What you’ll need:

1 Tbl butter
1 large onion, sliced
½ tsp sugar
1 ¼ c beef broth
1 ¼ c water
2 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
4 slices French bread
½ c shredded Swiss cheese
1 Tbl grated parmesan cheese

Arrange bread on a baking sheet and cook in a 300 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes until crisp and dry. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add onion and sugar. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Add broth, water and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer 10 - 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix together cheeses. Spoon soup into 4 oven proof serving dishes. Top each with 1 slice of bread and sprinkle generously with cheese mixture. Place under broiler 2 - 3 minutes to melt cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
onion - $1.12
bouillon cubes - $1.89/jar of 20
Worcestershire sauce - $1.79
French bread - $1.50
Swiss cheese - $4.50/block
parmesan cheese - $1.99
Total - $3.83

Rotel dip

Whether it’s movie night or the Superbowl, no party would be complete without the chips and dip. Serve this dip with tortilla chips.

What you’ll need:

1 lb Velveeta cheese
1 roll maple breakfast sausage (if you can’t find maple breakfast sausage just use regular and add ¼ c maple syrup while cooking it)
2 small or 1 large can Rotel tomatoes, drained OR 2 tomatoes, diced
About ½ c milk

Brown sausage, drain and set aside. Cube the Velveeta. In a large pot over medium heat, melt Velveeta cubes and milk, stirring constantly, until cheese is smooth and there are no lumps. If cheese sticks or is too thick, add more milk a tablespoon at a time. Stir in tomatoes and reduce heat to medium low. Cook and stir until heated through. Serve warm.

Tip: A good way to keep this dip warm and close to the party is to use a crock pot or fondue pot set on low.

Cost:
Velveeta - $3.59
pork sausage - $1.89
Rotel tomatoes - $2.12
milk - $3.99/gallon
Total - $7.99

Submitted by Angela Laney

Irish cup o’ joe

Monday, January 5, 2009

Delicious. This recipe just makes one drink but it’s easy to make several at a time with a fresh pot of coffee.

What you’ll need:

1 shot Bailey’s Irish cream
1 healthy shot of chocolate syrup
Coffee

Put liqueur and syrup in a coffee mug. Fill to the top with hot, fresh coffee. Stir and enjoy!

Cost:
Bailey’s Irish cream - $14.99/750 ml bottle
chocolate syrup - $2.50
pot of coffee - $1.29
Total - $2.14 per drink

Carrot cake

I got this recipe off the back of a cake mix box and decided to try it one day. I was amazed at the taste. You’ll love it!

What you’ll need:

1 pkg spice cake mix and ingredients needed to make it
2 c (about 3 large) shredded carrots
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 c chopped pecans, divided
2 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
2 c powdered sugar
1 tub whipped topping, thawed

Mix cake mix according to package directions. Stir in carrots, pineapple and ¾ c pecans. Pour into two 9” square pans. Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cook in pans for 10 minutes then remove from pans and cool completely. When cakes are cooled, in a large bowl mix together cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Fold in whipped topping. Stack cake layers on a plate, frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Top with remaining nuts. Store refrigerated. Makes 18 servings.

Tip: If you can’t find spice cake mix just use yellow cake mix plus 2 tsp of cinnamon.

Cost:
boxed cake mix - $1.29
carrots - $0.89
crushed pineapple - $1.09
pecans - $3.00
cream cheese - $2.06
powdered sugar - $1.69
whipped topping - $0.99
Total - $9.48

Traditional chef salad

This is one of my favorite salads. It’s very simple but I thought I would write it down for you anyway.

What you’ll need:

Salad greens (whatever kind you like. I prefer good old iceberg)
Green onion, chopped fine
Celery, chopped fine
Bacon bits (fresh or canned. If you use fresh, cool slightly before mixing with salad greens)
Swiss cheese, sliced in julienne strips
Cheddar cheese, sliced in julienne strips
Ham, sliced in julienne strips
Turkey, sliced in julienne strips
Hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half
Cherry tomatoes

Wash and tear lettuce into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, mix together salad greens, onion, celery and bacon. Top with remaining ingredients and whatever dressing you prefer.

Cost:
lettuce - $0.89/head
onion - $1.12
celery - $0.99
bacon - $2.29/ 1 pound package
Swiss cheese - $4.50/block
cheddar cheese - $3.12/block
cooked ham - $2.12/lb
turkey - $2.89/lb
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
cherry tomatoes - $2.25
Total - approximately $3.55 per salad

Easy pizza bake

You can make this with different meats (instead of pepperoni) but make sure they are fully cooked before baking.

What you’ll need:

3 1/3 c biscuit mix
1 c milk
2 c pizza sauce (or tomato paste mixed with Italian seasoning and a small amount of water)
1 (8 oz) pkg pepperoni
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray. This pizza bakes best in a glass pan. In a medium bowl, mix together biscuit mix and milk until a soft dough forms. Drop half the dough by spoonfuls across the bottom of the pan. It won’t completely cover the bottom of the pan, just make sure the piles of dough are even across the bottom of the pan. Pour half the sauce over the piles of dough. Scatter half the pepperoni over the sauce. Top that with half the cheese. Repeat the above pattern with the remaining dough, sauce, pepperoni and cheese. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Feeds 8.

Cost:
biscuit mix - $3.00
milk - $3.99/gallon
pizza sauce - $1.89
pepperoni - $1.69
shredded cheese - mozzarella - $2.85
Total - $9.71

Clam chowder

An easy recipe that only takes about half an hour to cook.

What you’ll need:

4 slices bacon, diced
1 ½ c onion, chopped
1 ½ c water
4 c potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 c half & half cream
3 Tbl butter
2 (10 oz) cans minced clams
1 ½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium high heat cook the bacon until it’s almost crisp. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in water, potatoes and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Pour in half & half and butter. Add the clams using one can drained and the other with the juice. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the chowder is heated through. Do not allow to boil at this point or the cream will curdle. Makes 8 servings.

Cost:
bacon - $2.29/ 1 pound package
onion - $1.12
potatoes - $2.00/5 lb bag
cream - $1.99
canned minced clams - $2.12
Total - $8.57

Guacamole

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cayenne pepper gives this guacamole a little kick.


What you’ll need:

3 ripe avocadoes
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
½ c diced onion
3 Tbl chopped cilantro
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 pinch cayenne pepper


In a medium bowl, mash together the avocado meat, lime juice and salt until desired consistency. Mix in remaining ingredients, stirring well after each addition and adding the cayenne pepper last. Refrigerate to chill for at least one hour before serving. Makes 4 servings.

How to…


Easily get the meat out of an avocado…

Always use ripe avocados! Roll them in between your hand and the counter using firm pressure. Slice long ways around the avocado pushing the knife until it touches the pit all the way around. Twist halves of avocado opposite directions and separate them. Remove the pit. Scoop meat out with a spoon making sure to ‘clean’ the inside of the skins.

Cost:
avocado - $1.99/lb
limes - $1.99/4
onion - $1.12
tomato - $1.00
Total - $4.60

Baked ziti

This recipe uses already prepared spaghetti sauce but you can use your own. Just use 3 cups of your sauce in place of the called for sauce.

What you’ll need:

1 lb ziti pasta, cooked to desired tenderness (remember it will cook more in the oven so don’t overcook it)
1 onion, chopped
6 oz provolone cheese, sliced
1 lb ground beef
1 ½ c sour cream
2 (26 oz) jars spaghetti sauce
6 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbl parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, brown beef and onion over medium heat. Drain and return to pan. Stir in spaghetti sauce and simmer for 15 minutes. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Layer in the following order: ½ the ziti, provolone cheese, sour cream, 1 jar of sauce, other ½ of ziti, mozzarella cheese, other jar of sauce, parmesan sprinkled across top. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheeses are melted. Makes 10 servings.

Cost:
ziti noodles - $1.99
onion - $1.12
provolone cheese - $2.59/lb
ground beef - $2.00/lb
sour cream - $0.99
spaghetti sauce - $2.09/jar
shredded cheese - mozzarella - $2.85
parmesan cheese - $1.99
Total - $12.71

Quick Reuben sandwiches

You can throw this together in a matter of minutes using your microwave.

What you’ll need:

8 slices rye bread, toasted
¾ c thousand island salad dressing
1 (16 oz) can sauerkraut, drained
8 slices Swiss cheese
½ lb corned beef, sliced thin

Spread dressing on each slice of bread and top with a piece of cheese. On a microwave safe plate, make 4 piles of corned beef topped with sauerkraut. Microwave on high 1 minute or until meat is hot. Using a spatula, put one pile of meat/sauerkraut on 4 of the slices of bread. Top each with the remaining slices of bread. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Cost:
rye bread - $2.99/bag
thousand island dressing - $1.89
sauerkraut - $1.89
Swiss cheese - $4.50/block
corned beef - $2.12/lb
Total - $7.36/1.84 per sandwich

Garlic-cheese biscuits

These make me think of a certain seafood restaurant.

What you’ll need:

2 c biscuit mix
2/3 c milk
½ c shredded cheddar cheese
½ tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix all ingredients just until a soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 8 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes 10 biscuits.

Cost:
biscuit mix - $3.00
milk - $3.99/gallon
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
Total - $3.14

Sweet potato pie

Easy and delicious

What you’ll need:

4 oz (½ c) butter, softened
2 cups cooked sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 c sugar
1 (6 oz) can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
2 pie shells, unbaked

Cream together butter, potatoes and sugar with an electric mixer. Blend in milk. Add vanilla, eggs and cinnamon and mix well. Pour into pie shells and bake @ 350 degrees for an hour or until it is set (doesn’t move when you shake it). Top individual slices with whipped topping if desired. Makes 2 pies.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
sweet potatoes - $1.99/lb
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
evaporated milk - $1.50
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
pie shell - $2.00
Total - $6.87

Cinnamon apples

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Serve this dessert hot, topped with whipped cream or ice cream.

What you’ll need:

10 apples, cored, peeled and sliced thin
2 tsp cinnamon
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 dash salt
1 dash nutmeg

Gently mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a casserole dish sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Bake @ 375 degrees, covered, for 45 minutes (or until apples are soft and sauce has thickened) stirring every 15 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Cost:
apples - $2.25/bag
cinnamon - $1.85
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
lemons - $1.99/4
Total - $3.17

The ultimate stuffed burger

What you’ll need:

1 lb ground beef
1/3 c A1 steak sauce
½ onion, finely diced
1 bell pepper, finely diced
1 egg
Hamburger buns & desired toppings

Mix first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions and flatten each to ½ inch thick patties. Fry in pan over medium heat or on grill until meat is cooked through. Serve on buns with desired condiments and vegetables. You can make this recipe into 8 smaller burgers if you’re like me and don’t want to take the chance that the burgers aren’t cooked all the way through.

Cost:
ground beef - $2.00/lb
A-1 - $1.89/small bottle
onion - $1.12
bell pepper - $0.90
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
hamburger buns - $0.79
Total - $5.90

Salisbury steak

One of my favorites.


What you’ll need:

2 lbs ground beef
2 pkg brown gravy mix
2 ½ c hot water
½ c onion, minced
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder

In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, 1 pkg brown gravy mix, ½ c water, onion and seasonings. Shape into 6 - 8 patties and place in pan that is at least one inch deep. Broil until browned, turn over and broil until the other side is browned. Remove from oven. Mix together other package gravy mix with 2 c hot water (instead of 1 c that the pkg calls for). Drain grease from pan of patties and pour gravy mixture over the top of the patties. Bake @ 450 degrees until gravy boils. Cook for another 10 minutes or until the gravy has thickened and the meat is cooked through. Makes 6 - 8 servings.

Cost:
ground beef - $2.00/lb
brown gravy mix - $0.29
onion - $1.12
Total - $5.70

Tuna snacker

This is great by itself or served on crackers as an appetizer.

What you’ll need:

1 (6oz) pkg tuna
1 c red onion, chopped
1 c tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbl chopped cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Refrigerate to chill. Makes about 3 cups.

Cost:
tuna - $0.89
onion - $1.12
tomato - $1.00
jalapeno - $1.08
limes - $1.99/4
Total - $4.58

Dirty rice

This is a traditional Cajun dish.

What you’ll need:

4 slices bacon, diced
¼ lb ground pork
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
¾ tsp cayenne pepper
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp pepper
¾ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp oregano
¾ c long grain rice
1 ½ c chicken broth
6 oz chicken livers, rinsed, patted dry and minced
1 ½ Tbl chives

Over medium heat sauté the bacon until slightly crisp (about 5 minutes). Remove bacon from pan and drain off all but 1 Tbl of the fat. Add the pork to the pan and sauté, breaking it up into small pieces, until it’s cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pork from the pan and add it to the bacon. Add the onion, celery, bell peppers, and garlic to the pan. Sauté over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in seasonings, stirring well, and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 5 minutes. Add the broth and the bacon/pork mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken livers and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with chives. Makes 6 servings.

Cost:
bacon - $2.29/ 1 pound package
ground pork - $2.50
onion - $1.12
celery - $0.99
bell pepper - $0.90
rice - $2.12
bouillon cubes - $1.89/jar of 20
chicken livers - $1.49
Total - $9.37

Fruit pie

Friday, January 2, 2009

I made one of these today. It smells delicious. I can’t wait until dessert time!

What you’ll need:

For pie crust:

2 c flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 c + 2 Tbl shortening or firm butter
4 - 6 Tbl cold water

For filling:

1 - 2 cans pie filling (if you want it really thick use 2), I used peach today
¼ c brown sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


Mix together flour and salt.
Using a pastry blender or pulling 2 table knives through the ingredients in opposite directions, cut in shortening until particles are the size of small peas.




Sprinkle with water, 1 Tbl at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl.


Gather pastry into a ball. Sprinkle with flour if the dough is too sticky.


Divide in half.


Shape into two flattened rounds on a lightly floured surface.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold. This allows the shortening/butter to become firm and gives you a flaky crust.


Roll out to just larger than pie plate.


Fold dough in half, then half again.


Lay on pie plate and unfold.


Gently press into bottom and along sides of pie plate.


Sprinkle brown sugar evenly across bottom of crust.


Add fruit filling and spread out so that the fruit evenly covers the pie.


Roll the top crust out the same way you did the bottom, only this time either cut a design or some slits in the middle of the dough. This allows steam to escape from your pie while it’s cooking.


Fold dough in half, then in half again and lay on top of pie. Unfold. Trim excess around edges (I use chicken shears).


Seal edges by pinching them together. You can pinch and form any design you’d like. I just pinch it between my fingers all the way around the pie.



Lightly brush a little milk over pie and sprinkle with sugar (this is optional it just makes your crust look prettier if you don’t over cook it like I did today). Loosely cover with foil and put it in the oven.

Bake for 40 - 50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is browned.


Ta da!


You can serve this warm with ice cream or allow it to cool and then serve. I prefer to let it cool for several hours before serving as the insides thicken up more in the refrigerator. It’s all a matter of personal taste. I actually fell asleep while baking this today so mine is a little browner than I usually cook it. Oops. But I’m sure it will still be delicious!

Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
butter - $1.75/pound
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
pie filling - $1.99
Total - $2.55

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