Skip to comments.Weekly Cooking Thread. April 23, 2011(Happy Easter)
Posted on 04/23/2011 7:13:03 AM PDT by libertarian27
Welcome to the 20th installment of the FR Weekly Cooking (Recipes) Thread.
Looking for something new to make or made something new that came out great? Please share a 'tried-and-true' recipe or two - or all of them:)! for fellow FReepers to add to their 'go-to' recipe stack of Family favorites?
Here's the place to share and explore your next favorite recipe.
That sounds like my wife’s chicken salad. Just change the green olives to black olives, and definately use the dill and celery seed. It is very good.
This was a low buck meal that cost less than the cost of a ham dinner, and utilized what we had on hand in the house, made a new dish (yours) Angel Eggs 6 boiled eggs 4 strips bacon, fried till crunchy 1 C. shedded monterrey Jack cheese 1/3 C. mayo 3 green onions, thinly sliced 1 T. diced jalepeno No exact measures, adjust to taste Boil eggs, peel, slice longways. Crunch bacon into bits. Mix all ingrediants together, adjust consistancy with more or less mayo, season to taste with season mix, or celery seed, pepper, or whatever. Stuff egg whites with mixture and chill. Enjoy.
Sorry, didn’t format. It pays to preview.
6 boiled eggs
4 strips bacon, fried till crunchy
1 C. shedded monterrey Jack cheese
1/3 C. mayo
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T. diced jalepeno
No exact measures, adjust to taste
Boil eggs, peel, slice longways, reserve yolks. Crunch bacon into bits. Mix all ingrediants together, adjust consistancy with more or less mayo, season to taste with season mix, or celery seed, pepper, or whatever. Stuff egg whites with mixture and chill. Enjoy.
Glad you enjoyed the Cauliflower Gratin. It sounds like you had a very nice dinner (I know I love steak any day of the week, but these days the closest my family gets to it is a London broil!) I copied down your angel eggs to try as we love anything with bacon!
We had a fairly traditional but simple Easter dinner last night. Ham, Au Gratin Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole (my kids have to have this for every holiday), dinner rolls, and our home made Easter Bunny Cake!
The total price tag for our dinner was $16.99, since I buy almost all our groceries on sale or with coupons. There was more than enough food for my entire family of five. We have enough leftover sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole and cake for another meal and enough ham for at least two meals and perhaps three.
The best part for me was that while I cooked the ham, and did the frosting of the cake, my oldest daughter told me that I needed a break from the cooking and she cooked all the side dishes and decorated the bunny cake. She did an excellent job too, so she made me very proud of her!
That sounds very good too! Green olives are a favorite of mine. I copied down your recipe and will try it next time.
We are eating on it again tonight by just adding 1 baked potato that we will share by splitting it into halves, replacing the eggs and celery sticks that were polished off.
Your dinner had my favorite items, ham, au gratin Potaoes, sweet potato casserole, and greenbean casserole. These are my favorite holiday dishes.
We had lots of leftovers too, since I always make twice as much for holiday dinners, as often we get extra guests that get invited at the last minute. We had more than enough for a leftover night this evening for our dinner, so we actually got two dinners for that $16.99 too.
I froze the ham bone and drippings to use to make a big pot of beans another day, and there is at least about 4 cups worth of ham that I can chop up and throw into zip lock freezer bags to use for casserole style dishes down the road as well.
We considered buying a ham, but the price was just too high, and we had some things on hand that we could make. All that we purchased especially for the meal was the cauliflower and the swiss. We did pretty good eating for less all weekend. Sat was my wife’s birthday, one of those big ones that mark a new decade, so a very special meal was in order on Sat. too. We had been holding a sizable gift card for a while and we used it for the B-day meal. Like yourself, we have limited funds availble due to being a single paycheck household and ongoing medical expenses.
When you mentioned AuGratin Potatoes, I thought of a potato dish that I haven’t made recently, but we really like.
Cheesy Potatoes and Ham
5 or 6 med potatoes
1 lrg. Onion
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2cups diced ham bits
Enough flour or cornstarch to thicken if needed
Dice and precook potatoes to about ½ done or a little more. Sauté onions till slightly clear. Mix cheese soup and milk, heating on stove top and add cornstarch if necessary to thicken some. Add pepper to taste. Place potatoes, onions, ham, and 1/3 shredded cheese. Pour cheesy sauce over potatoes and onions and ham in casserole dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese, and bake at 350 deg. till bubbly.
Stores in my area had shank portion hams on sale (first one only) for 99 cents per pound the week of Easter, so that was our Easter ham. The total cost of the ham was $10.24 and we have already gotten two family meals out of it and several ham sandwiches.
There is enough ham left for at least two more family dinners so that brings the cost of the meat for my entire family down to less than $2.56 per meal or just a hair over .50 per person.
As a bonus we have had ham for sandwiches and I have the bone and drippings I can use to make a big pot of beans that will probably be enough for 2-3 more meals as a side dish.
By catching the ham on sale at a very good price, and stretching it out to at least 4 family dinners, plus sandwiches and a large pot of beans, I felt the overall cost for the ham was a reasonable and justifiable expense.
I have been trying to keep the average total cost of our family dinners around $5 per dinner or $1 per person which is no easy feat, but I am right on target to finish out the month at just under that average, even with the cost of the ham. We are eating pretty well every night even with the low cost of each meal.
I have several casserole style dishes I use for the leftover ham. One is almost identical to yours except that I make my own cheese sauce instead of using the canned soup and I cover it with foil and bake it for about an hour so I don’t have to precook the potatoes. I remove the foil for about the last 10 - 15 minutes of the cooking time so it gets browned on top.
I also use the Breakfast Casserole I posted on an earlier thread, and I sometimes make a macaroni & cheese with ham casserole. Another thing I like to do with leftover ham is to stir fry leftover spaghetti in a combination of oil and butter with the ham and whatever veggie I have on hand, and then top it off with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
If I only wanted to do one, how long would it need to bake? The time would need to be adjusted since the other two pies aren’t in there.
I have tried several recipes that made their own cheese sauce from scratch, but this one reaaly came out very cheesy. It was the first time we used condensed cheese soup and we have since found other uses for it. The soup is very cheesy and when you add extra cheddar to it you can get a really intense cheese flavor very easy.
My neighbor just brought us some fresh green beans, yellow squash, new potatos, and green onions from his garden. Can you guess what we will have tonight?
You do not need to adjust the time or temperature.
My guess is that you will have lots of wonderful veggies tonight for your dinner!
Thank you for the compliment. I am really trying to have well balanced home cooked meals for my family every night at rock bottom prices. I do use a few short cut products here and there, but I strive to keep them at a minimum. Even though I could cook just as cheaply from scratch every night, it doesn’t mean that I always do cook from scratch.
I had to laugh when you mentioned ramen noodles because I do have an Asian style noodle soup I have made twice in the last 8 months for the family that utilized cheap ramen noodles. I doctored the ramen noodles by throwing in some additional spices and some of my leftover stir fry. I served it with fried shrimp one night and steamed and sauteed pork filled won tons the other time. Both times we had people who were sick in the family and soup just sounded good to all of us, and we had already had home made chicken soup earlier in the week both times.
I also keep a supply of boxed macaroni & cheese in the house as well, since my husband and children love it. It is simple enough for them to fix themselves to make for lunch or a snack every now and then. Once in a while they ask me to cook it as a side dish for our dinner because one or more of them has been craving it, but I haven’t done that at all in the last 8 months, since I have really started to make big cuts in our monthly grocery budget.
I usually make macaroni and cheese from scratch since it is cheaper and I think it tastes better. We have been having home made macaroni and cheese in some form or another about once a month or so. I frequently throw kilebasa in with it and make it into a one pot meal for the family and serve it with a nice salad.
I am going to do something similar for our dinner tonight, but I am going to use a box pasta. My husband and the rest of the family like the Pasta Roni Shells and White Cheddar, so when they are on sale I pick them up. Tonight I am going to cook up several boxes of that with some of the leftover ham thrown in it and serve that with a nice green salad with mandarin orange segments and a raspberry vinaigrette for our dinner. Even I need a break every now and then from cooking everything from scratch.
The entire dinner will have only cost me $3.57, since I got the pasta, the salad greens, the mandarin oranges, and the vinaigrette all on sale. I could actually make this from scratch at about the same cost just by using dry pasta shells, making my own cheese sauce, and my own vinaigrette for the salad, but sometimes it is nice to throw something together quickly using the package stuff, so I have more time to help with homework or to get other things done around the house.
The biggest savings I have made in our grocery budget has been by using up everything I buy in its entirety before it spoils. That includes any leftovers and fresh fruits and vegetables I buy. Leftover veggies get thrown into a zip lock freezer bag and I save them for when I make soups and stews. Leftover pasta becomes another main dish or side dish or someone’s lunch (usually mine). Everything gets used up or frozen, so I rarely have to throw out anything because it spoiled.
I always save the carcasses and bones from any meat we eat to use for stock. I just throw them in a zip lock bag in my freezer, and then when I have time I pull them out & boil them down for stock and make a soup or stew out of it. Most of the time there is enough meat on the bones that I don’t have to add any additional meat for the soup or stew.
I usually make a huge pot that can be used for 2 or three meals and freeze the leftovers into containers that are perfect for my family’s size. Then if I don’t feel like cooking, I can just thaw it out and warm it up for our dinner. Soup or stew with some kind of bread and some fruit makes a nice hearty comfort meal.
I have made it sort of a game I play with myself to see how well I can utilize everything before it spoils, since I have a tendency to over buy fresh fruits and veggies. Most veggies, however, can be blanched and frozen if it doesn’t look like they will get eaten in time, and fruits can be utilized in lots of ways.
Citrus fruits I zest and then use the zest in my cooking, while the remainder I juice for us to either drink or I freeze it in ice cube trays and then transfer the cubes to a zip lock, so I always have it to use for cooking. Almost everything else can either be thrown into something I am cooking, frozen, or if all else fails I can make it into a crisp or cobbler.
The second biggest cost saving measure has been that I buy all meat on sale at $2.00 per pound or less and I use coupons whenever I can. I recently learned about stacking coupons which I had never done before. Now I have started to stack coupons wherever it is possible. I didn’t know this was possible before, but when I checked after reading about it, I found out that all the grocery stores in my area allow this. I try to buy as many things as I can each week by using one store coupon, one manufacturer’s coupon, and doubling the manufacturer’s coupon. The stores in my area also allow you to stack buy one get one free coupons, so with two coupons I can get two free items.
Now that I know how to do this I should be able to reduce my grocery budget even more than the 57% reduction I have already made over the last 8 months. Any money I can save on groceries can be used for other purposes.
If I can do this with a little planning and just a little bit of time each week, then anyone can do it. In fact I am actually spending less time now on shopping and meal preparation than I did before I started making cuts in the grocery budget, and we have reduced our use of take out to once in over 4 months from about once a week previously.
Yes, we had fresh veggies last night. Green beans with baby new potatoes, onions, and ham pieces. Also had three grain pilaf again, with chicken.
Thank you again for your kind words. I do the best I can for my family just like any other mother or wife would do, each of us in our own way.
Tonight we’re going to have another one of my cheap family dinners. Home made Beef Stroganoff over egg noodles, green beans sauteed with a little onion and bacon, and canned pear halves. The cost is again well under $5 since I used leftover beef roast and sauteed mushrooms from other meals to make the stroganoff.
Recipe Recap of this week’s Thread:
Appetizer* 15 Mama hen w/ baby chicks
Appetizer* 56 Baked Crab Dip
Appetizer* 56 Feta Olive Dip
Appetizer* 78 Artichoke Dip
Appetizer* 84 Angel Eggs
Bread* 14 Zucchini Bread
Bread* 10 Hot Cross Buns
Dessert* 16 White Carob or White Chocolate Easter Treats
Dessert* 19 Homemade Almond Joys
Dessert* 22 Easter Bunny Cake
Dessert* 25 Birds Nests
Dessert* 38 Zucchini Apple Crisp
Dessert* 64 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pie
Dessert* 69 Chocolate Pudding
Ingredient* 40 Ham Glaze (various)
Meal* 13 Easter Eggs In A Basket
Meal* 17 Rosemary and Garlic Leg of Lamb
Meal* 20 Awesome Chicken Strips
Meal* 21 Carolines Macaroni & Cheese
Meal* 33 Chicken Salad
Meal* 52 Cook’s Country Ham Salad
Meal* 79 Chicken Salad
Meal* 80 Chicken, Black Bean, and Corn Tacos
Meal* 90 Cheesy Potatoes and Ham
Side* 23 Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
Side* 58 Summer fruit salad
Side* 72 No Yolk Deviled Eggs
(please don’t add any new recipes on this thread - they will not be categorized)
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