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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Chicken cordon bleu casserole



4 Boneless chicken breasts-$2.50
1 whole onion diced-.20 cents
1 TBS butter or margarine- .20 cents
1 TBS oil-.10 cents
1 1/2 cups cubed ham-$3.00
2 cups favorite shredded cheese-$3.00
1 can cream of chicken soup with herbs-.98 cents
3/4 soup can of milk- .75 cents
2 TBS dijon mustard-.05 cents
1 box stuffing mix-.98 cents
2 TBS butter-.40
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Boil 4 chicken breasts until cooked through and dice into bite sized chunks.
Heat 1 TBS butter and 1 TBS oil in a fry pan, saute onion, cook till soft and translucent.  Add ham, cook for about 5 minutes with onion until ham takes on a little color. Add to chicken in a casserole pan.  Mix in cheese. Heat soup, milk and dijon mustard in same sauce pan until mixed and hot. Pour over onion, ham, chicken/cheese mixture.  Stir to combine.  Make stuffing as directed on box.  Top casserole with stuffing.  Dot with butter.  Bake at 350 F. For 20 min or if you prepare the day before and refrigerate  then cook for 40 minutes.
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Total $12.16 ,  10 servings-$1.22 a serving

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ramen stir fry






Easy dinner!

4 strips of cooked bacon crumbled-$2
3 thick slices of ham diced-$1.50
1/2 bag frozen peas and carrot-.50 cents
1 TBS oil- .10 cents
1 TBS butter-.20 cents
1/2 bag  of your favorite frozen stir fry vegetables-.75 cents
4 packages of ramen broken, discard seasoning packets-.88 cents
3 TBS teriyaki sauce-.30 cents
2 TBS soy sauce-.20 cents
water
can of pineapple chunks drained-$1.25
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$7.68 total,
6 servings- $1.28 a serving

Stir fry ham and vegetables in the heated oil and butter.  When ham is taking on color add the ramen.  Cover without about 2 cups of water. Heat till boiling, keep stirring mixture until noodles are cooked through and vegetables are tender.  Add extra  water as needed.  You want to keep stirring and cooking till most of the water is gone except for 2 to 3 Tablespoons.  Add teriyaki sauce and soy sauce, stir mixture till everything is coated in sauce.  Add pineapple, heating till pineapple is hot. Add crumbled bacon.


It was quick and yummy.  I didn't get a picture.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Goulash...another desperation dinner

We had a crazy Saturday and didn't make it to the grocery store like we planned.  So I am pantry cooking tonight.  I looked over the ingredients  I had available and thought I would attempt a goulash of sorts.  My mom who never liked to cook would attempt this when I was a kid. She would cook hamburger, throw in macaroni, a can of tomato soup and some canned corn.  No seasonings.... I hated it!

So I am going to give it a go and see if I can change my attitude about goulash.

1 pound ground turkey   $3.28
8 Oz macaroni.  .33 cents
season salt.........03 cents
black pepper.....03 cents
paprika........04 cents
1 can Manwhich .89 cents
1 can green beans drained...45 cents
3 or 4 sprinkles of that powdered parmesan..05 cents

Brown ground turkey in a scant amount of oil, season meat with all the seasonings. Cook till brown, remove from pan.  Add macaroni to hot pan and cover with water.  Cook on medium high, but don't walk away.  You may need to add a 1/2 cup of water or 2 if it cooks off too quickly.  Cooking pasta this way leaves a slight sauce on the pasta that helps it stick to whatever sauce you pour over it.  You have to keep stirring so it doesn't stick. After about 10 minutes lower the heat and cook it a minute or two longer stirring constantly till most of the liquid is gone.  Add your cooked meat, manwhich, 1/2 can water and green beans.  Cook till thick and everything is hot.  Taste for seasonings.  Add more as needed.  Sprinkle on parmesan and serve with buttered bread or toast.
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Total   $5.10- served 6,   .85 cents a serving


Friday, June 12, 2015

Pizza pasta hawaiian style




My husband  and daughter love ham and pineapple pizza.  I am really tired of pizza at the moment, but had some of the fixings in freezer and pantry but had no time to make the crust today.  I had seen a blog post about hawaiian  style lasagna  and thought that sounded  interesting  so, I am making my own version.


1 TBS oil- .03 cents
1 pound cubed ham-$2.99
1 can pineapple chunks w/juice-.99 cents
1/2 box of lasagna noodles  broken into pieces-.75 cents
1 jar pizza sauce- $1.25
4 cups shredded  cheese-$4.00
8 strip precooked bacon, crumbled-$2.00
Parmesan cheese to taste-.25 cents
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Total $ 12.26, total servings (12) $1.02 a serving

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Heat oil in pan, but wipe out excess with paper towel before it's  too hot.  Add ham and pineapple to pan, cook stirring frequently  till pineapple juice is almost gone.  Add broken pasta, just barely  cover with water, bring to a boil and then lower heat to a medium boil.  Stir frequently. Cook for about 10 to 12 minutes.  Most of the water should be gone and you will have a slight pasta sauce left.  This is when you have to watch it closely so nothing burns.  Add the pizza sauce to pasta-ham-pineapple  mixture. Stir till everything is coated in sauce.  Spray a  casserole dish or baking pan with baking spray.  Put 1/2 of pasta in dish.  Cover with 2 cups of cheese.  Sprinkle 1/2 of bacon on top.  Spoon rest of mixture on top, cheese, bacon and parmesan.  Bake in 400 F oven for 20 minutes.


This was yummy!  I can't wait to enjoy the leftovers!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cheesy chicken quesadilla casserole

           




Cheesy chicken quesadilla  casserole came about as a desperation dinner.  It's time to go grocery shopping but we have stuff the next 3 nights, so it's use up stuff from the pantry, fridge and freezer.
it was pretty good considering!

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 box 4 cheese rice a Roni
3 TBS  butter or margarine
1/2 envelope taco seasoning, use more if you have it and like it spicier.
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2can water, 1/2 can milk
3 TBS  cream cheese
8 flour tortillas
5 to 6 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
Black pepper
Heat oven to 375 F
In large deep frying pan place chicken breasts.  (Mine were frozen)
Just add enough butter to almost cover chicken.  Bring to boil.  Cook till cooked through, adding water as needed.  Remove chicken, add butter to pan, melt on medium heat.  Shred chicken, add back to pan.  Add rice.  Brown rice and chicken till lightly brown. Add water called for on box, with about a 1/2 cup extra.  Cover and cook on low 20 minutes.  Meanwhile in small saucepan heat, soup, water and milk.  When blended well add 1/2 of the packet of taco seasoning to soup mixture.  Add cream cheese and heat on low till well blended.
when chicken/rice mixture is cooked through, add the rest of the taco seasoning and 2 to 3 TBS of water, and the cheese mix from box.  Stir till blended well.
Spray a 9x13  Pyrex or cake pan with baking spray.  Add a ladle of soup mixture to bottom of pan.  Cut tortillas in 1/2.  Place 2 to 3 tortillas on top of soup mixture.  Like you would place lasagna noodles, laying them to cover bottom of pan.  Add a little more soup on top of that, then 1/3 of chicken and rice evenly over tortillas, layer of shredded cheese.  Repeat with tortillas, soup, chicken/rice, cheese.  Repeat and end with tortllas, soup and cheese. Sprinkle black pepper on top.  Bake 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes. Serve in squares.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Stretching meals even more!!




Since I posted last there have been some additions to our family.  I wish I could say it was another child or two, but instead its two adults.  My mom and step dad moved in with us on March 2nd.  They are looking for a place to rent and trying to save some money in the meantime.  Although they are giving us some money every week for food and utilities, I am trying to stretch our meals to feed 4 adults and a growing toddler, with the occasional meal for my 3 year old nephew who I tend.  We have my nephew for some additional hours this week as his mommy is working overtime.  Tonight I intended to make pizza.  I have 3 mini pizza shells, 1/2 a jar of pizza sauce, pepperoni, canadian bacon, some pineapple and about 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese.  I also have some parmesan.

So the trick tonight is to feed 4 adults and 2 toddlers.  My plan is to make 3 pizza's, a box of noodle-roni parmesan pasta and a green tossed salad with olives, croutons and olive garden dressing.  We have icecream bars in the freezer as well for dessert.
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3 mini pizza shells- $3.00
1/2 jar of pizza sauce- .50
1/2 pkg- pepperoni-$ 1.50
1/2 pkg canadian bacon- $1.50
1 1/2 cups shredded  cheese- 2.50
parmesan- .50
parmesan pasta- .1.76
butter- .25
3/4 cup milk- .35
bag of lettuce- $1.50
1/2 can olives- .50
1/2 bag croutons= .75
Olive garden dressing- 3.00
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Total $17.61 divided by 6 servings-$2.93 a person
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not the best priced meal, but still $3.00 per person isn't too bad
last night I fed 2 adults, a preteen and two toddlers chocolate chip pancakes.  The entire meal cost $3.00. for all of us.  With some pancakes left for breakfast today.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Comfort food when you don't feel well!! Teriyaki Chicken noodle bowls



Toddler Serving

Mommy Serving, Daddy's working late!!



Teriyaki Chicken noodle bowls

I haven't been getting much sleep lately and as a result I have a cold.  Sore throat and a cold sore.  Also I ate some fruit that I occasionally have a allergic reaction to and now I have little canker sores in my mouth.  So eating?? Not fun!!
But I have a 19 month old toddler to feed and she doesn't get that mommy is tired and doesn't feel like cooking, and because we are watching our finances, ordering out is well.... OUT!!   So I am making up a recipe tonight.   I often make up recipes, its how I cook!!

2 chicken breasts- $1.66
enough water to cover chicken breasts in pan
1 onion diced.13 cents
2 carrots diced. .10 cents
2 TBS butter-.50 cents
1/2 TBS oil- .25 cents
Dash of soy sauce- .05 cents
Dash of Worcestershire sauce.05 cents
1 bag of frozen stir fry vegetables- (broccoli, red bell peppers, onions and mushrooms).99 cents
1/2 cup water
2 pkg of Knorr Asian  sides Teriyaki noodles (Lo mein noodles in a sweet teriyaki sauce) $1.76
3 cups water
2 TBS butter-.50 cents
and a dash of Agave-.50 cents

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Put your frozen or fresh chicken breasts in sauce pan or deep fry pan.  Cover with water, and add dash of Soy sauce and Dash of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and cook till done.  10 to 15 minutes.  Meanwhile saute onions and carrots in melted butter in another frying pan.  After about 5 to 8 minutes, add 1/2 cup of water and cover.  Steam carrots and onions for about 5 to 8 minutes.  Add frozen veg.  Cover again, adding more water if needed.  ( I just used a ladle or two of the water I was boiling chicken in.) Remove chicken from sauce pan and dice into cubes or strips.  Put on top of veggie mixture in frying pan and cover.  In saucepan you cooked the chicken in, remove any excess water and cook noodles as directed except a dash of agave.

Mix it all together and serve in bowls.
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Total cost $6.49, servings- (6) so $1.08 a person


Monday, January 12, 2015

Chicken and vegetable gravy over biscuits



Ingredients:
3 chicken boneless breasts- $2.50
1 onion diced-.13 cents
3 stalks of celery diced-.15 cents
3 TBS butter- $1.00
1 bag of California blend vegetables-.99 cents
1/4 cup frozen corn- .25 cents
1 can of cream chicken soup-.88 cents
3/4 of the soup can of milk.75 cents
Poultry seasoning to taste.. 1 to 2 tsp.- .25 cents
Salt and pepper to taste- .20 cents
1 can of refrigerator biscuits-.65 cents
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serves 3 adults and 1 hungry toddler- $1.93 each serving
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In large saucepan, boil chicken breasts and California Blend vegetables in water for about 10 to 15 minutes. In another frying pan saute onion and celery in melted butter till tender. Dice your chicken and drain vegetables.  Add to frying pan along with soup, milk and seasoning.  Add corn and heat on medium/low till warmed through.  Bake biscuits according to directions.  Split biscuits and serve chicken mixture over biscuits.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ways to stretch meat

I don't claim to be a expert on this subject, I just know what works for me!  I often buy ground turkey instead of hamburger unless its on sale.   If I am making a casserole or one pot meal like spaghetti, I try to use 1 pound versus 2 pounds of meat.  Tonight for instance I am making "Grandpa's Spanish rice" and I browned hamburger with some onion, and grated carrot.  I added a can of corn that was drained as well, because canned corn tastes better if you let it caramelize a bit with the other vegetables and meat.  I also stretch my Rice mixes, by adding a handful of broken spaghetti noodles.  My goal is to make dinner for my family and have enough leftover for a couple of lunches.  My hubby is not big on leftovers.

I also add beef broth to ground turkey sometimes to make it taste beefier.   If I am using chicken breasts, I try to serve 1/2 a breast to each adult with enough sides to fill in the cracks.  If you use meat sparingly, for texture and flavor you can use less.  I know other people add beans to their meals, but I have a hard time digesting beans.  I occasionally add a can of chili to taco meat, or to my Spanish rice.   I have used potatoes that were cubed and fried in taco's with meat.

So these are some of my tips or tricks:
Meat as an ingredient, not the main feature. Instead of serving a chicken breast with veggies and rice, why not make fried rice, stir fry or a curry? I generally use 2-3 chicken breasts in these dishes, we get plenty of meat but use half of what we would if the chicken was the main feature.  Another bonus is that you can make fried rice and stir fry in one pot, bonus!!
 Buy cheap cuts and use them wisely. Stir fry and fried rice are excellent ways to use cheap cuts of beef, but so is stew and curry. I love cutting cheap cuts of skirt or flank steak against the grain, brown them in oil and spices, and serve them in a tortilla with onions and peppers.                                                                 
Use meat in casseroles. You can use more vegetables, pasta or rice and only half the meat.

Substitute other meats. Sometimes ground turkey is cheaper, I can still find it frozen for $1/lb. No, it doesn’t taste quite the same but generally we find it an acceptable alternative. If you don’t like the taste you can try using ½ lb beef and ½ lb turkey, or ground chicken or pork.  You can add chicken or beef broth or stock for added flavor, and don't be afraid to use other spices!

Leftover meat?  What can you do with it?
Leftover roast beef or steak can become a“planned over” beef quesadillas

Convert the flavors of roasted beef to Asian beef stir-fry flavored with 
fresh ginger, julienne bell
peppers, scallions with orange zest and segments
.
Transform leftover cooked roast beef into creamy beef stroganoff with 
mushrooms and served over egg noodles.
Utilize leftover hamburgers by crumbling the cooked patties 
into spaghetti and lasagna sauces.
Disguise Sunday’s leftover roast beef in colorful fajitas for a quick 
evening supper. Sprinkle fajita seasonings on sliced onions and
 peppers. Saute the vegetables until tender, then add thinly sliced 
cooked roast beef to the vegetables and heat until warm.

Prepare Asian lettuce wraps with leftover cooked 
pork loin or roast.
Offer enchiladas with second-night cooked pork mixed
 with salsa, cilantro and Jack cheese.
Transform leftover pork chops into a quick entree of 
pork fried rice with the addition of cooked rice,
ginger, scallions, vegetables and eggs.
Invent a new version of the grilled Monte Cristo sandwich 
by tucking thin slices of cooked pork
with Swiss cheese between bread slices.
Enhance a package or homemade potato soup with 
the addition of cooked pork cubes.