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A no spend day..well, almost

October 1st, 2007 at 04:03 pm

Today was planned to be a no spend day for me. I wasn't going to leave the house and that means I don't spend money. But my mother had a 'quick' errand to run and wanted me to go along so I did. It just so happens that the place she had to go was very, very near the new Kohl's that just opened. Since neither of us had been in a Kohl's, we had to check it out. We found things we both wanted but I'm happy to say I didn't buy anything at Kohl's. Oh happy day!

However, Mom remembered another errand she needed to run and since it was going to take awhile and we were both famished we stopped at a convenience store for a snack. I spent about $3 but that's it.

We ran the other errand and went home and I will not go out again tonight. Period!

So it was almost a no spend day for me, close anyway.

Dinner tonight is Poor Man's Steak, brussels sprouts and a slice of pumpernickel with butter. I decided to try a different recipe than I usually use for Poor Man's Steak. I used this one today but cut all ingredients by half:

1 pound ground beef
1 cup milk
1 cup cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, chopped
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup water or milk

Mix all together, except soup and water/milk and shape into a narrow loaf. (I flattened it on a cookie sheet instead) Let sit in refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Cut loaf into slices and fry in a skillet on both sides until brown. (I skipped the frying) Put slices in baking dish. Mix 1 can mushroom soup with 1 cup of water or milk and pour over each piece. Bake at 325 1 hour.

Supper menus for the next two weeks

September 26th, 2007 at 08:24 pm

I'm stretching what I have to last through this month. Since I have Type 2 Diabetes, I try to keep the carbohydrate intake down and can't fill up on the inexpensive foods like pasta, beans, rice, and potatoes.

I have a 3 and 1/3 lb beef boneless rump roast I bought for $1.99 a lb and it's thawed and ready to go. I find that if I cook the entire roast it doesn't last very long as I'll eat it two or three times a day and snack on it, too.

So rather than cook the entire thing, I'll divide as follows: one third will be thinly sliced and used for pan frying or grilling and will be added to salads and other dishes, one third will be cut into chunks to use for soup, beef "tips", and the remaining third will be cooked as one piece with lots of carrot, potato, and onion. I should get at least 6 meals from that roast but may get 8 or more.

So, here's my basic dinner menu for the next two weeks in no particular order other than tonight's meal. I might change the meals slightly but this is the basic plan and I'll stick to it for the most part.

Wednesday - Thinly sliced boneless rump roast cooked on the George Foreman grill with a little olive oil and generously seasoned with fresh garlic and basil, served with steamed cauliflower.

***Note - I steamed the entire head tonight and thought I'd turned off the burner. I'd actually turned it to high and the pan scorched some but I think the cauliflower is fine. The house sure stinks, though! Have I mentioned how much I detest an electric oven/stove? If not, consider yourself told now. Smile***

Leftover great northern beans and tossed salad.

Tuna salad rolled in leaf lettuce, served with green beans and half a baked sweet potato.

Beef franks with chili, cheese, red bell pepper, and onions.

Sliced turkey ham cooked on the GF grill, scrambled eggs, and pumpernickel bread with butter.

Beef and cheese melt. I just recently had this at a friend's house and it was great! The overall effect is similar to Philly Cheesesteak, one of my favorite things to eat. We made it with beef labeled Carne Picada but I'm going to use thin strips of the boneless rump roast instead since that's what the beef looked and tasted like and that's what I have. Cook the beef with chopped onions and chopped green pepper. Add some garlic and other spices to taste. When the meat and veggies are cooked and tender, throw a handful or so of your choice of shredded cheese on top. Don't stir it - just cover it and let it sit until the cheese is melted. Spoon onto lightly toasted rolls or buns and enjoy! I'm going to add sliced mushrooms and eat it rolled up in a low carb tortilla with a salad on the side. I'll prepare a little extra to use later for beef quesadillas.

Chef salad with a crusty roll.

Oven baked chicken with tossed salad and half a baked sweet potato. I'll bake a whole chicken, de-bone what I don't eat and use it later.

Beef and vegetable soup with a crusty roll.

Beef and chicken quesadillas made with LC tortillas on the GF grill and served with tossed salad.

Poor Man's Steak, brussels sprouts, and pumpernickel bread with butter.

Beef tips and gravy over faux mashed potatoes and served with tossed salad.

Leftover Poor Man's Steak with leftover faux mashed potatoes.

It was supposed to be for supper tonight but..

May 3rd, 2007 at 11:08 am

my other half decided he wanted meat loaf bowls with mashed potatoes and gravy for lunch. So I went into the kitchen and whipped up a pan of 6 meat loaf bowls using the Better Baker Gourmet Bowl Maker from Cook's Choice (www.cookschoice.com). Here's the recipe I used for the meat loaf, which was awesome!

1.5 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
1 package onion soup mix
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Country Bob's sauce

I mixed up the 5 ingredients and pressed some of it into each of the bowls and baked them at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. When they were cooled just a tad, I inverted the pan over a large cookie sheet, tapped it on the bottom several times and voila, meat loaf bowls!

While the meat loaves were baking I made gravy but I cheated and did it the easy way. I used 1 package of brown gravy mix, and 1 cup water, mixed together in a saucepan. Once that was hot and starting to bubble, I added one can of cream of chicken soup. Together, they made an excellent gravy!

Each meat loaf bowl was topped with mashed potatoes and a little gravy. DH ate two of them, DSS ate three and I got one.

Here's what the finished product looked like:

I really can't say enough good things about this bowl maker. Cook's Choice makes some of the best kitchen goodies around, in my opinion, and this addition just thrills me.

If you entertain much, this is a great tool for your kitchen. Even if you don't, it's still great! I've made chocolate peanut butter goodies in it, cornbread and enchilada bowls, turkey sausage and egg bowls, and now the meat loaf.

It's all good!

This week's dinners

April 23rd, 2007 at 11:50 am

I don't normally think ahead about what to serve for breakfast or lunch. DH eats the same basic thing every morning and I rarely eat a thing before 11:30 AM or noon. When I do get hungry I either eat leftovers or whip up something quick for myself.

With those things in mind, here's this weeks night time meals in no particular order unless otherwise noted:

April 23rd - Beef and gravy (left over beef chuck roast cut into small pieces and simmered in mushroom gravy) over wild rice served with Normandy style vegetables and tossed salad that includes beet greens and green onions from the garden

Tuna salad sandwiches with chips and salsa

Egg pie with smoked beef sausage and green onions from the garden served with tossed salad and green beans

Stir fried beef over homemade noodles served with spinach and baked cabbage

You're on your own night where we eat leftovers, cereal, soup, or whatever else we can find

Veggie night where we'll have a huge salad with all kinds of vegetables and cheeses in it

Beans and hot water cornbread

Oh man, now these are wickedly good!

April 22nd, 2007 at 02:29 pm

Isn't it pretty? Tasty too!!!

It doesn't have a name. For now I'm just calling it Denise's Chocolate Delight Thingie. Wink

Gardening & playing with kitchen gadgets - My Sunday plans

April 22nd, 2007 at 09:20 am

The garden is already watered and I'm going to transplant some more iris bulbs today. I have about 50 to go but a few here and a few there will get them all done.

I'm also experimenting with one of my new kitchen toys, the Cook's Choice
Gourmet Bowl Maker found at cookschoice.com. So far I've made breakfast bowls with biscuit dough, eggs, cheese and homemade turkey sausage, enchilada bowls, and some desserts. Everything I've tried has been great but today I'm experimenting with a new dessert recipe I'm creating. Hopefully I'll have it perfected today and if I do, I'll post pictures of it.

I just love this Bowl Maker and really recommend it to anyone who loves to cook, entertains a lot, goes to church dinners, etc. And nope, I don't make a cent if you buy one - I just highly recommend it. Smile

Another no spend day for me and free fajitas!

March 18th, 2007 at 06:08 pm

Today's been another no spend day for me. DH had to do an install and needed something from the hardware store so he's spent something. I don't know how much since he isn't home yet but it shouldn't be more than a few dollars.

We have more greenies peeking out from the soil today than we did yesterday and it's great to see the growth! Especially the tomatoes since gardening is all about the tomatoes for me. We have all varieties up out of the ground now.

My son and his girlfriend went out for Mexican food and brought me back beef fajitas. They were great and they were free! So the leftovers that don't get eaten tonight by DH will be eaten tomorrow for lunch.

I'm going to bed early tonight since tomorrow is going to be a busy day at my mother's house. Relatives from Iowa are coming in so Mom and I have some things to do before they arrive. Smile

This week's dinners

March 17th, 2007 at 11:31 pm

We have a fridge full of leftovers so Sunday night is YOYO night. In the fridge are leftover purple hull peas, hamburger steak, onions and mushrooms in brown gravy and plenty of vegetables. We also have two gallon size zipper bags of cornbread. So, we'll each have whatever appeals to us. Here are the rest of the week's meals in no particular order unless otherwise stated:

Monday night - Chicken and dressing made with whatever cornbread doesn't get eaten tonight and some canned chicken in the cupboard. With it we'll have a light gravy and leftover vegetables.

Spaghetti made with a sauce from one of those huge cans of tomatoes I dealt with recently. We'll have it with green beans, salad and garlic toast.

Soup made with ground beef, any leftover vegetables languishing in the fridge, more of that sauce in the freezer, and seasonings.

What my other half calls "big ass" salads meaning they have just about everything one can think of on them.

Sloppy joes with low carb tortillas, spinach and salad.

Scrambled eggs, turkey ham and toast.

Chicken soup with homemade noodles

March 9th, 2007 at 04:45 pm

Last night's dinner was a chicken seasoned with Cook's Choice
Brisket Rub and roasted with potatoes, carrots, and onions. We also had black eyed peas with smoked turkey leg leftover from lunch. The chicken I roasted served me, DH, my mom and stepfather with plenty left.

So tonight I used some of the leftover chicken, the vegetables, and a little of the juice mixed with some broth and seasonings and made a nice chicken soup. To it I added some homemade noodles and it was great!

Here's a picture of a bowl of the soup:

DH didn't want any but I had a bowl and it was tasty and very filling. I love homemade noodles and they're so easy to make. Here's my recipe:

1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup flour

Mix egg, salt and milk; enough flour to make stiff dough. Roll thin, let stand 20 minutes. Roll up and slice 1/8" thick; spread to dry for about 2 hours. Drop in boiling broth and cook 10 minutes.

I don't worry about the noodles being perfect as long as they're savory. I love these noodles with some fresh basil and ground pepper added to the dough. They're even great with some cheese added to them.

So, if you get bored and want something different to do with your leftover chicken and veggies, try this! You won't be sorry.

My mother's coffee cake

March 8th, 2007 at 08:29 pm

My mother made the best coffee cake when I was a kid. She didn't make it often but when she made it, it was so tasty. I used to love a little piece with a small amount of coffee.

When I went to her house Tuesday to help her clean, I had a little bit of her coffee cake. She hadn't made it in many years and I didn't have the recipe so I hadn't eaten it in many years but it was just as I remembered. The stuff melts in my mouth and while it's sweet, it isn't sickly sweet. It's simply excellent. It's also frugal and easy to make!

She gave me the recipe and here it is, from her old cookbook she got when she and my dad married.


1 beaten egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp melted shortening
1 cup sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Combine egg, sugar, milk and shortening. Add flour sifted with baking powder and salt. Mix well and pour into paper-lined 8x8x2 inch baking pan. (Denise's note-Mom doesn't use the paper but oils and flours the pan well)
Sprinkle with mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 Tbsp flour, 1 Tbsp melted butter, and 1/2 cup broken nuts. Bake in moderate oven (375) 20 to 25 minutes.

The tomatoes..again

March 3rd, 2007 at 05:31 pm

Here's what I did with 1 can of the tomatoes.

I sliced two very large onions and sauted them with garlic in olive oil. Then I put one of the 6 lb 3 oz cans of tomatoes in a stock pot and added the onions and garlic, some oregano, basil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and a little sugar. I let it cook all afternoon, about 6 hours, and oh man, it's good!

After it cooled I dipped it into freezer containers and it's now in the freezer, ready to be used next time I need a good pasta sauce or even sauce for Swiss Steak.

The other can still sits on the counter. Maybe I'll get to that tomorrow.

Ideas needed for using two 6 lb cans whole tomatoes

March 2nd, 2007 at 06:54 pm

I have two 6 lb 3 oz cans of whole tomatoes and I need to do something with them. I'm thinking I might make one can into spaghetti sauce for the freezer. I'm not sure what to do with the other can. I don't have to do anything with it right now, I guess, but I'd like to do something productive that would get it out of the cupboard.

My first attempt at Orange Chicken!

March 1st, 2007 at 03:49 pm

I've been craving Orange Chicken and the best place for it that I know of is about 2 hours away in Dallas. Well, we aren't going there any time soon so I decided to just try to make it. I looked over several recipes and took bits and pieces of them to create my own. I don't measure everything but this is close:

I skinned and de-boned 7 chicken breasts. Using my Better Breader, I lightly breaded the chicken chunks and baked them in the oven at 350 til done. I decided to lightly bread and bake rather than fry for carb and fat reasons. When the chicken was cooked I just put it all into a bowl and set it aside.

Into the wok I put about 1/2 serving spoon of orange marmalade I had lingering in the fridge. It's too bitter to eat on toast and I just don't like it but kept it thinking I might use it in a recipe. To that I added about 2 tsp pure orange extract, 1 tsp of minced garlic and some fresh ginger, minced. I didn't measure the ginger but it was about one thin slice. I heated all that through and mixed it well then added about 8 ounces of water with 2 tsp corn starch mixed in. I added about 1/2 cup soy sauce and stirred the concoction until it heated through and started to thicken. I tasted it, thought it needed something, so I added about 1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce and some crushed red pepper and let it heat again. Once it was thick, I added some Splenda, about 2 tsp or so and stirred some more. It needed more orange flavor so I put in a few more dashes of the extract and stirred it more. Then I dumped the chicken into the wok and mixed it all well until the chicken was well coated in the sauce. This made about 6 good sized servings.

DH thinks it needed more ginger, more orange, and a bit more sweetener but it was soooo close to Orange Chicken we get in Dallas. He suggested a bit of barbecue sauce, even, which would make it a bit sweeter and darker. Next time I'll add a few chopped green onions and a bit of shredded carrot and probably garnish it with those, also.

Anyway, it was excellent and here's a picture of some of it:

The total cost was about $16, which is a lot more than we normally spend on one meal at home! But it comes out to about $2.67 per serving which is less expensive than eating out. Smile

I put the bones with the little pieces of remaining meat on them in the soup pot and am cooking that for stock. I hate to waste!

This morning in east Texas & one of my favorite recipe sites

February 27th, 2007 at 04:27 am

It's 42 degrees this morning with a predicted high of 77. I love this weather! By late this week the overnight temperatures will drop and the daytime highs will be in the 60s with upper 30s this weekend. But Spring is almost here so the beautiful temperatures will be more plentiful.

I was awakened at 4:45 this morning by the phone ringing. It was my 22 year old son. On his way home from work his truck had broken down so DH and I threw on some clothes and drove to get him. Poor kid, he was so distraught about it. He had it in the shop when he got this new job two weeks ago and now it seems to be doing the same thing it was doing then. I know the frustration of vehicle trouble!

When we got home DH made his breakfast and I made coffee and started laundry. As soon as it's light enough outside to find my way to the clothes line, I'll hang up the wash. I've swished and swiped the bathroom and stripped the bed linens to be washed later.

If you like to cook simple but tasty dishes and haven't yet done so, peruse
Nancy's Kitchen.
It's one of my favorite cooking groups and the people are very friendly. From the Daily Newsletter Index link, you can read each day's newsletter and that's where the good stuff is.

Monday morning musings

February 26th, 2007 at 06:06 am

Well, I got up early, made DH's breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, and checked email. DH has a couple of wireless jobs to do today (yaaay, more money!) and I have some things to do around the house.

Laundry is caught up but I'm going to clean the bathroom and the kitchen and work on the front porch a bit.

Dinner tonight will be turkey dressing with gravy, green beans, spinach and salad.

I'm going to cook 5 lbs of chicken today, debone it, and stick it in the fridge for the coming week. We eat a lot of chicken, more than your average bears, I think! We prefer it over most beef and at .49 a lb for whole chickens and .29 a lb for quarters it's hard to beat pennywise.

This week we'll have chicken pot pie, chicken and dumplings and probably some kind of chicken and wild rice casserole. Yummy!

Anyway, that's about it for today...

Free food again! :)

February 25th, 2007 at 09:35 am

DH's aunt and cousin came to visit yesterday and brought us two boxes of food! They must think we don't eat enough, baaahahaha. Actually, they get a lot of poundage and give a good deal of it away and we just happen to be among the recipients.

We got:

6 large cans juice
16 cans of veggies (peas, mixed, carrots, yams)
a large block of Velveeta type cheese
a huge can of cooked and deboned chicken
2 lbs rice
2 lbs instant potatoes
Almost 4 lbs powdered milk
2 lbs macaroni
3 boxes cereal
3 pounds of quick cooking oats
5 cake mixes, including two of those fancy "ultimate dessert" type thingies, which I have never bought or tried before

Most of the stuff is too high in carbs for us to eat often but I do try to use it up. I think some of this last batch is going to the food pantry.

Today for lunch, though, I made homemade macaroni and cheese. DH doesn't eat it and I eat just a bit of it but the 22 year old son loves it so I made enough for him to take to lunch a couple of times over the next week. I think I'll make some goulash for the freezer, too.

Anyway, free food is pretty frugal, eh? Wink

MSG free taco seasoning mix

January 29th, 2007 at 01:15 pm

Here's a great mix I make up. It might be of interest to those of you with MSG issues. I use it for all sorts of things and it's great!

1/2 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup chili powder
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp oregano
2 Tbsp cumin

Combine all ingredients. Run through a blender if you want. Store it in a canning jar or some other air tight container.

Use 2 Tbsp and 1/2 cup water to 1lb browned hamburger. Simmer 10 minutes.
Or use 2 Tbsp of this mix in any other recipe that calls for 1 taco seasoning packet.

Booooring dinner - but cheap!

January 25th, 2007 at 06:50 pm

Well, we ended up having a very boring but very cheap dinner. When we got home from running errands DH had two pieces of bread with two turkey franks and some dill pickle relish. I had the last of the taco soup from last night and it was very good with a few fritos in it.

DH then left to go pick guitar with some people and I've been lying around doing nothing but watching movies and being a bum.

Oh yes, I did record today's spending in my log and updated the January records. Hey, I might be getting the hang of this!

A rather frugal dinner

January 23rd, 2007 at 07:03 pm

I hadn't tried this before but since I'm not feeling too chipper I didn't want to go to a lot of trouble to make dinner. Here's what I ended up making tonight.

I opened the can of beef luncheon loaf (similar to Spam I correctly figured) and chopped the contents into small pieces. I skillet fried the pieces in canola oil spray and boiled some penne. I also set about 2 cups of broccoli in a colander in the sink to thaw and drain. I dumped the drained penne, the meat, and the thawed and drained broccoli in a lightly greased 2 quart casserole.

In a small sauce pan I made a sauce with one cup reconstituted powdered milk, one cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. I stirred that over a medium heat until it was thick then added some grated parmesan cheese, a bit of salt and some freshly ground pepper. When it tasted cheesy enough, I poured it over the contents of the casserole, mixed it, covered it, and put it in the oven at 300. I baked it for about an hour and when I took it out, it smelled very good. Leftover salad, buttered bread, and green beans were eaten with it.

I ate just a bit of it and it was actually quite good! The "boys" finished most of it off and said they wouldn't mind eating it again sometime.

I'll try it another time with different vegetables. I also think it might be very tasty with smoked sausage rather than the spam like beef stuff. Yuck! I don't eat things like that and don't buy them but that can was given to us so I figured I might as well use it somehow. All in all, it was a successful dish!

Quick addition to tonight's dinner - fantastic potato soup!

January 20th, 2007 at 05:40 pm

My son got very cold at work and I was very cold after picking him up so I thought I'd make potato soup. We haven't had that in years and it just sounded so good. So I made it and I have to say this was the best potato soup I've ever had, mine or someone else's. Here's what I did.

I peeled and cut up 4 small to medium potatoes and 1 slice onion and boiled both in water until tender. Then I drained most of the water but left about a cup. I put the pan back on the stove top over a very low flame and added 2 teaspoons of Smart Balance, a few shakes of powdered garlic, about half a teaspoon of powdered chicken bouillon, a shake or two of Tony's, a dash of black pepper, and a couple shakes of crushed red pepper. I gently stirred it a bit and when it was well mixed, I added about 3/4 cup milk. I heated it well, stirring and letting it thicken. Right before I removed it from the heat I added a few shakes of imitation bacon bits. I prefer crisp turkey bacon but we're out of that so I used what I had.

It's great potato soup - spicy and very full of flavor! It's also pretty to look at! I'll make this again. I'm not much of a photographer but maybe the picture is enough to prompt you to try it.

Upcoming week's menus

January 20th, 2007 at 02:27 pm

This week's menu is very frugal!

Tonight is YOYO night. DH is having leftover fried chicken and my son will more than likely have leftover chicken and dumplings or cereal or a sandwich. I'll probably have the Swiss Steak left from last night with some tossed salad.

Sunday we'll have meat loaf, mashed potatoes and spinach. I'm going to make two meat loaves and slice and freeze one.

Monday we'll have what's left of one of the meat loaves for lunch and for supper we'll more than likely have chili with hot water cornbread.

The rest of the week's dinners will be:

Leftover chili (if there is any)

Salad night (we make biiig salads loaded with good stuff)

Chicken and dressing

Chicken casserole made with leftover chicken and dressing

Breakfast - scrambled eggs, homemade turkey sausage, and toast or biscuits

Tuna salad sandwiches or roll ups

Rain and sleet go away, come again..later!

January 17th, 2007 at 02:15 pm

The last few days have been deeply weird in my neck of the woods. The weather has been so cold and the weather geeks have predicted ice and sleet and snow for three days but we got rain and a lot of it. We finally got a tad of sleet this morning but that's it. I'm ready for it to be over so I can hang clothes on the clothes line again and so I don't have to wear longjohns under my clothes and so our internet connection and phone actually work well again. I'm not the snow bunny type, obviously. I'm not a sun worshipper, either. I don't mind cold weather but a few days is good.

The eatin's been cheap around here. We've had leftovers then leftovers turned into something else then those leftovers turned into yet another thing. Tonight it's goulash, though, made with some ground turkey and served with salad, green beans, and garlic toast. Yummy!

The next week's suppers

January 13th, 2007 at 08:24 pm

Here's our menu for the next week. Nothing exciting or even interesting but it's all good, thrifty, filling, and nutritious.

Chicken burritos in low carb wraps with leftover chili either eaten on the side or topping the burrito (chicken is from the 5 lbs of it I cooked), served with tossed salad

Eggs, turkey bacon or turkey sausage, and toast

Chicken salad sandwiches/wraps from lettuce (chicken from the 5 lbs I cooked)

Cowboy stew made with ground turkey and homemade dinner rolls

Swiss steak, salad, green beans, and garlic toast

Jambalaya and salad

Beans cooked with a smoked turkey leg bought on sale and homemade cornbread. I'll make plenty of cornbread with this and will use it a few days later to make cornbread dressing to have with chicken or to stuff a hen or some such thing

January 13 eats

January 13th, 2007 at 12:15 pm

I just made a big wok full of chili. DH and I make different kinds of chili. He isn't wild about mine and I'm not wild about his but we each eat the other's without complaint. The chili was very good since it's so wet and cold out. There's ice predicted for late tomorrow and Monday. Brrr!

I have 5 lbs of cooked chicken to de-bone for the coming week and the leftover chili (if there is any left over) will be used for topping baked potatoes or maybe just mixed into a stew or soup.

I think tonight's supper will be chicken burritos made with low carb tortillas. That should be good in this cold weather and they can be topped with some of the chili, too! Yummm!

January 11 eats

January 11th, 2007 at 06:21 pm

Tonight we had chicken cornbread dressing with sliced carrots and green beans. Of course, with the dressing we had to have gravy! This meal wasn't at all low carb so I only ate a little bit. It was quite good, though.

I have to say my family loves cornbread dressing with chicken in it and it's a great way to use leftover poultry. I used a bit of the leftover Sticky Chicken and whipped up some homemade turkey sausage, browned that, and added it to the whole mess. My man person said the dressing was "excellent". Coming from him that's something!

There's enough left for the man person and I to have it for lunch tomorrow. There's even enough Sticky Chicken to make one more dish.

Wow, I stretched that chicken til it screamed for mercy!

TinaPBeana's spinach & my favorite spinach recipe

January 11th, 2007 at 06:08 pm

I agree with TinaPBeana's opinion of spinach. It really is the almost perfect vegetable. It's high in fiber which makes it an excellent choice for diabetics and anyone else who wants more fiber in their diet. It's versatile too and so much can be done with it!

Here's my favorite way to eat frozen spinach.

Thaw some frozen spinach and squeeze the excess water out. In a skillet, heat a little olive oil, maybe a teaspoon or so. To that add some chopped garlic, a bit of chopped onion, and a handful of sliced mushrooms. When the mushrooms are tender, add the spinach and mix it all well. Let it simmer on low til the spinach is heated through then turn off the flame, add a bit of salt and pepper if you like and add some grated Parmesan or three cheese blend. Put it on your plate and eat!

That's all there is to it. It's very tasty, healthy, and frugal, especially if all the ingredients were purchased on sale.

***And I didn't know we were doing this poetically or I'd have attempted to do so*** Wink

The under-appreciated cabbage

January 11th, 2007 at 05:14 am

Cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables. My other half enjoys it, too, and we eat it often. My 22 year old will only eat it if it's raw or very lightly stir-fried and none of DH's kids like it at all. Regardless, it's a truly under-appreciated vegetable and when bought on sale, a very frugal food choice.

Not only that, cabbage is good for you! This lowly member of the brassica family has been found through research to help prevent cancer of the stomach, breast, and colon. Drinking cabbage juice is a help for peptic ulcers. Years ago I had horrible ulcers and drinking cabbage juice and taking red pepper capsules controlled the pain of them.

Our favorite way to eat it is baked. There are many ways to bake it but here's how we do it:

In a good sized baking pan, heat a tablespoon or so of butter or margarine (we use Smart Balance) and some olive oil (about 1/8 of a cup). Quarter the cabbage and when the pan contents are hot, add the cabbage. Flip it around some so that all sides get well coated. Season as you like, cover, and bake at about 350 until the cabbage is tender. We season with garlic pepper seasoning salt and a bit of basil and chopped garlic and cook it about 30 minutes or so. Sometimes I use the same concept but cook it in a skillet. Either way it's a great way to round out a skimpy meal.

Cabbage is also wonderful as a filler in soups, stews, and other budget dishes. There's a local taco shop that uses shredded cabbage rather than lettuce. The first time I had one of their tacos I wasn't sure I liked it. There was a soft tortilla rather than a hard shell, cabbage rather than lettuce, diced steak rather than ground beef, not a lot of chili type seasoning and a lot of cilantro! The taste grew on me, though, and it's now one of my favorite places for a quick and cheap (3/$1) taco. If you're pretty adventurous in the kitchen try making tacos with shredded cabbage. You might like 'em!

I love cole slaw, too, but rather than the kind with the creamy dressing, I make a dressing with vinegar, olive oil, and spices. I just slice the cabbage very thinly, put it in a large bowl and add some shredded carrot, a little green bell pepper, green onion, and chopped garlic. In a small bowl I mix some olive oil, a little apple cider vinegar, a dash of sweetener and some salt and pepper. I blend that well and pour it over the vegetables. Then I just toss it well, cover and let it sit in the refrigerator awhile. It's tasty, refreshing, and very inexpensive.

If you haven't taken advantage of cabbage, put it to use in your meals. And if you have a garden and haven't grown it, plant a few! They're not hard to grow and they're so tasty!

January 10 eats

January 10th, 2007 at 12:20 pm

DH put gumbo makins in the crock pot this morning. Now, I'm not a fan of file so gumbo isn't something I eat. He and the guys will have that tonight with rice and I'll more than likely have breakfast; scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, and a piece of wheat toast. That works for me, specially on a cold night. Smile

January 9 eats

January 9th, 2007 at 04:36 pm

Tonight's YOYO (You're On Your Own) night. We have leftover sticky chicken, leftover chicken enchilada casserole from last night, and sandwich stuff and everyone can eat what they want. I'll cook again tomorrow night and it will probably be beef tips and rice but I'm not sure yet.

January 8 eats

January 9th, 2007 at 04:34 pm

Last night's dinner was very good. We had crock pot chicken enchilada casserole.

To make it I used 4 tortillas and a mixture of homemade cream of whatever soups, some canned chiles, a can of ranch style beans, chili powder, garlic, and cumin, and leftover sticky chicken. I just alternated tortillas and the soup/chicken mixture in the crock pot, topped it with cheese and let it cook on low for about 5 hours. The horde loved it and there was a little bit left but not much. Next time I'll serve it with tortilla chips and I think that will be great. I think it would be great with chopped green onion on it, too, and maybe dollops of sour cream!

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