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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sweet and savory chicken and teriyaki rice with vegetables

3 boneless chicken breasts- $2.50
1 pkg Good season's Italian dressing seasoning- $1.25
1 TBS dry onion- .05 cents
1/2 Cup dark brown sugar- .35 cents
Total-$4.15-  per serving-$1.03- (serves 4)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a casserole or Pyrex dish with foil.  Spray with baking spray.  Cut Chicken breasts into strips.  Mix brown sugar, Italian seasonings and onion in a bowl, blend well with a fork.  Dip Chicken strips in sugar/seasoning mix. Rolling around until covered on all sides.  Place in Pyrex.  Pat tops of chicken with any remaining topping.  Bake 25 to 35 minutes.  You can place it under broiler for 5 minutes at the end, turning till sauce is sticky on all sides.
My chicken was slightly frozen so it took about 10 to 15 minutes longer to cook.

~Teriyaki rice with vegetables!

1 box Teriyaki chicken rice a roni= .98 cents
1/2 onion diced-.07 cents
2 TBS butter or margarine- .80 cents
1 cup frozen vegetables- (mixed corn, carrots, green beans, and peas)- .35 cents
1/2 can diced  pineapple- .50 cents
2 1/3 cups of water plus two tablespoons for vegetables- free for me
2 to 3 splashes of Soy Sauce- .05 cents
Total-$2.75  per serving (4 servings)  .69 cents

Cook onion in butter till it becomes fragrant, add vegetables and pineapple, stirring frequently but let it slightly caramelize.  Add rice a roni mixture, brown as directed.  Add water and soy.  Cook as directed.
Total for whole dinner- $.6.65   - per person- $1.66

Red Velvet Cheesecake dip

I wouldn't say that this was the most cost effective recipe I have made this season but I will say its yummy!!
I found the original recipe on
but I made a few additions.  I was able to divide each batch into 2 (2 cup) portions as gifts.  I am just giving vanilla wafers and pretzel sticks in baggies to go with it.  I figure people have a lot of sweets coming in, but I am taking a full serving to Christmas Eve dinner.  Shh. Don't tell my in laws.

8 oz cream cheese, at room temp- .98
1/2 cup of butter, at room temp-.87
2 TBS brown sugar.10 cents
1/2 cup powdered sugar.25 cents
1 TBS baking cocoa..25 cents
splash of milk .05 cents
1 1/2 cups of Red velvet cake mix( about 1/2 a box)- $2.00
1 tsp vanilla- .05 cents
1 cup Chocolate chips- 1.50

Vanilla Wafers- $1.00 (1/2 a box)
Pretzel sticks- $2.00
Apples- $1.00

Mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy,  Add brown sugar.  Mix till blended.  Add powdered sugar and cocoa.  Blend well, scraping sides of bowl.  Add cake mix and vanilla.  Use a splash of milk if it gets really thick.  You want it spreadable or dippable.  Fold in Chocolate chips.  Chill.

Serve with Vanilla Wafers, Graham Crackers, Pretzels and Apple's cut into wedges or sticks.  Its a appetizer or Dessert, so servings are hard to determine.  I would say 6 to 8 adults?
Total $9.80  per serving-1.23 a person, if you serve 8, it makes about 4 cups.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Enchilada Casserole

My husband is not really fond of Mexican food.  He likes Nachos and Soft taco's on occasion.  But as much as I LOVE Mexican we don't eat it very often.  Today I had a craving for Mexican food.  As long as its not too spicy and has plenty of cheese my sweet man will eat it.
I make a Enchilada casserole that is easy, and fairly inexpensive.  It makes about 6 to 8 servings depending on how hungry you are.

4 soft taco's- (Cut into quarters).44 cents
1 pound ground beef or turkey- 3.28
1 can Mild red enchilada sauce-1.50
2 Tbs dry chopped onion.-05 cents
1 cup water- free for me
2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese-3.25
1 can of olives chopped- .98 cents
(optional if needed)1 TBS corn starch and 2 TBS cold water- .05 cents
total 9.55  6 servings- 1.59 a serving

Heat oven to 375 F.  Spray a 8x8 casserole with cooking spray. Brown hamburger on stove.  Add 1 cup water and the dry onion. Cook until most of the water is gone and onions are reconstituted.  Add Enchilada sauce, reserving about 3 TBS of sauce.  My sauce seemed a little thin to me, so I tightened it up with a slurry of cornstarch and water. 
Add 3 TBS of reserved Enchilada sauce to bottom of casserole.  Lay 4 to 5 pieces of tortilla on sauce, kind of filling in gaps like a puzzle.  Top with 1/3 of the meat and sauce mixture.  Top with 1/3 cheese and 1/3 of the olives.  Repeat, ending with cheese and olives.   Bake for 25 minutes.  Let set for 10 minutes on top of stove to set up.
Serving with a jello parfait with pineapple and whipped cream, about 1.00 per person.  and canned corn with butter .24 cents a serving
total for whole meal- 13.27 with leftovers- about 2.83 per person.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Slow Cooker ham & Scalloped potatoes& Green beans and dessert!!

I love Pinterest!!  I am always looking up new recipes.  I recently found a pin about "best Ham ever" so last night when I found Ham's on sale at Winco, I thought sure I will try it.   This is the pin I found it on.
and the link:
So Mine was a 12 pound ham, and I have a 6 quart Crock pot.  So I 
cut the ham into thirds.  1 third went into the crock.  1 third I cubed for corn and potato/ham chowder and froze, and the last third I sliced into ham steaks and froze for those nights we want breakfast for dinner.  I don't think we will eat the whole third tonight, so I will slice leftovers and make Ham and pineapple sandwiches.  Also from Pinterest.

So it produced a lot of liquid.  So I just transferred most of the liquid to a saucepan on the stove and I am cooking it down, so its more a glaze.

We LOVE  Idahoan Steakhouse Scalloped potatoes, and I got them at Winco for $1.25 a box.  I know that home made is best, but I tend a 2 1/2 year old, 5 days a week, and my 18 month old 24/7 .  I have a home to keep up, and I am in charge of the children in our congregation.  In the LDS faith I am the Primary President.  So I am pretty busy!!  Plus making home made scalloped potatoes for two adults and a toddler seems like a waste of time!!  
So we are having glazed ham with pineapple and scalloped potatoes and baby  "M"s  favorite Green beans.

Chocolate peanut butter cookies for dessert!

7 pound ham- ( mine was closer to 4 pounds)-----------------------------4.25
2 cups pineapple juice (Me- 1 1/2 cups of pineapple plus the pineapple)- .98 cents
1 cup brown sugar( I just smeared brown sugar all over my ham, I didn't measure) .25 cents
1/2 cup maple syrup( about 1/3 cup for me)- .25 cents

                                                                           Total- 5.73 for the whole thing- 
I am guessing 8 servings---------------------------------.71 cents a serving.
1. Unwrap ham and place in the Crock-Pot
2. Rub ham with brown sugar on all sides.
3. Pour pineapple juice and maple syrup over the ham
4. Cover and cook for 4-5 hours on low.
5. Remove liquid to saucepan and cook down till a thicker syrup.  Pour over sliced ham in slow cooker.

Steak house potatoes-  made as instructed on box --$1.25
1/2 cup milk  -----------.50 cents
2 TBS butter------------.30 cents
water--------------------Free for me
                                                             total $2.05 for whole box
                                      In our house- 6 servings- .34 cents a serving
Green beans and butter .  58 cents canned green beans
                              1 TBS Butter- .15 cents
Total- .73 cents- in our house 3 servings- baby "M" LOVES green beans!!! .24 cents per serving
Chocolate peanut butter cookies
1 cup Peanut butter- 1.50
1 cup sugar- .35 cents
1 egg-.10 cents
2 TBS Hershey's cocoa- .20 cents
2 TBS brown sugar- .10 cents
splash of vanilla- .05 cents

Combine all ingredients.  Chill for at least a hour- bake at 350 F for about 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven.  Let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes to set.
$2.30 for 24 cookies- .09 cents a cookie
Baby "M" will eat 1, Hubby and I will eat 2 each so 8 servings.
Total for dinner per person- 1.74 a person!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014


My Dad's Fried Rice recipe

I  have been doing a lot of Family History research in my "Me" time in the last few weeks.  I found a line on my Fathers side that I have been struggling with for years!!  Last night I printed out some names to get ready for the Temple.  It got me thinking a lot about my dad.  When I was a little girl he served in Thailand during the Vietnam war.  He brought home a beautiful carved jewelery box for my mom and a mini one for me.  He also brought me a cat bank carved out of a coconut.  I still have both of them.
He also brought home his own version of a Thai Fried rice that he made a lot for our family.   I have heard that most Thai food is spicy and this probably should be, but he wasn't into spicy, and Berrett and I aren't either, so I make it with more savory flavors.  I made it for dinner today.

1 LB  of beef stew, or cubed pork or cubed boneless chicken ( I used beef)- $3.50
1 packet of your favorite "Grill mates" Marinade (I used  Garlic, Herb and wine)-.65 cents
Ingredients called for in marinade-.50 cents
2 TBS soy sauce-.10 cents
1/2 onion diced.- 07 cents
1 bell pepper diced-.89 cents
1 to 2 TBS diced and crushed garlic-.30 cents

Mix up your marinade, adding the soy sauce and the onions, peppers and garlic.  Cover and refrigerate for at least a hour, no longer then 4 hours.

1 1/2 cups of rice-.50 cents
about a 1/2 cup of spaghetti broken into small pieces.25 cents
1 TBS oil-.25 cents
1 TBS butter.30 cents
3 1/2 cups of hot water-free
2 to 3 chicken bouillon cubes..09 cents

Heat oil and butter in large dutch oven or heavy saucepan.  Add rice and noodles, browning lightly.  When rice is golden, add hot water, and bouillon.  Bring to boil, cover and simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes till cooked through.

Meat and marinade
1/2 TBS oil or more as needed-.11 cents
1 can of mushrooms drained well-.45 cents
3 to 5 eggs beaten-.75 cents
sliced cucumbers-1.00

In large Fry pan or Wok, heat oil.  Pan should be hot!! Add meat, marinade and all!! Keep stir frying until meat and vegetables are cooked through.  Add mushrooms, stir until mushrooms are heated through.  If you use fresh mushrooms, its about a cup and cook with the meat from the beginning.  Add meat to cooked rice mixture draining off excess grease.   Leaving about a TBS of oil in pan, scramble eggs on low heat.  Add to rice. Serve each plate with sliced cucumbers over top of mixture.
You could serve with a hot sauce of your choice.
 total-  9.71
about .97 cents a serving

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Grandpa Carr's spanish rice dinner

When I was 2 to 3 years old and my daddy was away serving in the military, my mom and I stayed with my grandparents.  My Grandpa used to make this meal and my mom said it was my favorite.  I remember through the years eating it at grandpa's.  When I make it now, I remember my sweet, sweet grandpa!

1 box of spanish rice mix- (such as rice a roni) I use a store brand- .77 cents
1 pound ground turkey or hamburger=$3.28
1 can corn- drained- .58 cents
1 small can tomato sauce-.33 cents
1/2 onion diced-.07 cents
2 TBS butter-..80 cents
                                                                   Total- $5.83= servings(6) per serving-.97 cents

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter.  Add onion and cook till softened.  Brown meat,  Add corn and let it roast a bit in the butter.  It adds a depth of flavor to canned corn.  Add rice mixture, and whatever amount of water it call for.  Add a can of tomato sauce plus 1 can of extra water.  Cook as directed by box instructions.  We have eaten it alone or with cheese quesadilla's

Monday, December 1, 2014

My recent shopping trip...

I wanted to share how much we spend on average for food from Winco.  I am in no way endorsing Winco,  I just know that for our needs the prices are great!  Anything highlighted was on sale or on special.  Also their Bulk section is amazing!!!!!! You can get spices for a great price in their bulk section.  Check out what I spent on Ginger.  The container was .78 cents, and the 8 oz of spice-.84 cents.

Tater tots- $1.34 a bag
Bag of shredded cheese- 8 cup pkg- $8.66
Frozen peas- .77 cents
Cream of chicken soup- .72 cents
Pancake mix- just add water-$1.62
Tomato sauce- .33 cents
Manwich sauce- .98 cents
Chicken bouillon- $1.32
Pancake syrup-$1.88
Green beans- .58 cents
Canned evaporated milk- .78 cents
Vanilla wafers- $1.52
Butter crackers-$1.60
8 oz jar of Dry ginger-$1.62
Canned corn- .58 cents
spaghetti sauce-$2.83
Refrigerator cinnamon rolls- $1.78
Envelope spaghetti spice mix- .45 Cents
Envelope taco spice mix- .45 cents
1 gallon milk- $2.47
Ground Turkey- 1 pound- $3.28
Count Chocula cereal- $1,48
18 eggs- $2.92
canned pineapple-.98 cents
bag of fresh carrots- .78 cents
Large ham steak- (enough for 2 people)-$3.10
1 pound dried pineapple- $1.81
5 pound bag of Fuji apples=$3.98
5 pound bag of onions-$1.98
5 pound bag of potatoes-$1.28

Crock Pot Teriyaki chicken bowls

 Made this for dinner last night.  Turned out pretty good.
3 to 4 LBS of boneless Skinless Chicken breast's or thighs-$3.50
3/4 cup brown sugar-----------------------------------------------.60 cents
3/4 cup soy sauce---------------------------------------------------.25 cents
6 TBS apple cider vinegar-----------------------------------------.25 cents
3/4 tsp ground ginger-----------------------------------------------.05 cents
1 TBS diced garlic--------------------------------------------------.10 cents
1/4 tsp black pepper--------------------------------------------------.05 cents
1 can pineapple chunks and juice------------------------------------.98 cents
4 1/2 to 6 1/2 teaspoons corn starch---------------------------------.20 cents
equal amounts of cold water to cornstarch
Spaghetti or angel hair pasta-------------------------------------------.50 cents
                                                                                    Total- $6.48
                                                   Servings- 8-   .81 cents a serving

Spray he inside of your crock pot with cooking spray.  Slice chicken into strips. ( I used chicken breasts, but they got dry.  Next time I will use thighs)
Add chicken to crock pot.  In another bowl mix brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and pepper.  Pour over chicken.  Add pineapple and juice.  Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken and pineapple from cooker, keep covered with foil to keep warm.   Cook pasta, reserving about a 1/2 cup of cooking water after draining pasta. Add cooking liquid to a saucepan, skimming off any fat. Add 1/2 cup of pasta water. (The Starch in the water helps it cling to pasta)  Bring to a boil.  Mix corn starch and water, whisk into cooking liquid.  Stir until thickened. ( I started with smallest amount of cornstarch, but ended up mixing 2 more tsp to get it to thicken)  Toss pasta and sauce.