Thursday, January 31, 2008

Noodle Chili Bake

This is a definate kid pleaser. As an adult, I would say it's "ok", but the kids love it.

Noodle Chili Bake
1 lb. ground meat, browned
15 oz can chili
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
14-1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can corn, drained
12 oz pkg egg noodles, cooked
mix beef, chili 3/4 c cheese, tomatoes, corn and noodles together in lightly greased 9x13 baking pan; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees until heated through about 20 minutes.

Meat: $2
Can of chili: $.92
Cheese: $.92
Tomatoes: $.40
Corn: $.45
Egg noodles: $1.42
Meal total: $6.11
(or with venison: $4.95)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hamburger Roll Ups

My mom used to make these when we were growing up. I have a thing for gravy, if you haven't noticed. :-D

2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. oil
3/4 c. milk

Mix together, roll out on floured surface. Sprinkle browned meat, roll up and cut like cinnamon rolls. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, should be golden brown on tops.

Brown and crumble one 1 lb ground meat
Remove most of the browned meat, use on biscuit dough.
Whisk 3 c. milk and 1 c. flour, add to grease.
Stir with whisk until thickened on a med to med-hi heat.
Salt and pepper to taste

Ground meat: $2
6 c. milk: $1.10
3 c. four: $.27
Meal Total: $3.37
(With venison: $2.22)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cranberry Muffins

Just another variation to my Basic Muffins

Cranberry Muffins
Using my Basic Muffin recipe I doubled the batch and used 3 cups wheat flour and 1 cup white flour. I used just 1/2 of the sugar this time, as I wanted something not too sweet for the kids breakfast and just added about 3/4 c. Craisins and no spices.

I don't have the baking costs figured out yet-- but I would estimate this recipe being around $2 for 24 muffins.

Turkey Soup

I made a nice warm soup again- I think I like barley better than pasta, that is what I did this time.
I used my basic soup recipe, but this time I added some frozen chopped spinach and used Quick Cook Barley instead of pasta.

Turkey soup stock and meat $1.50 (I just use 1/2 of a bag that I froze for a whole meal)
Quick Barley $1.26
1/4 bag of spinach $.30
1/2 bag frozen veggies $.44
Meal Total $3.50

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Skillet Rice

This is a stand by for me-- it's so easy and most of the time I have something I can throw into it.

Skillet Rice
6 c. cooked rice (2 uncooked)
1 lb polish sausage, quartered & diced (or browned ground meat)
1-2 c. chopped veggies (zucchini, carrots, bell pepper, onion, broccoli, etc)

In skillet heat sausage, then add the veggies and rice on top, let cook for about 5 minutes- so they can "steam" a little. "Stir-fry" until the veggies are done to your liking.

Rice $.40
Sausage $1.25 (I buy a 3lb pkg, that has about 16 "dogs" in it and use 4)
Veggies: $1.25 (I used broccoli, 1/4 of a bell pepper and 5 mini carrots, chopped)
Meal Total: $2.90

Friday, January 25, 2008

Taco in a Bowl

I got this recipe from my mom- my little brothers and sisters love it, so she made it for us when we were up there. Much easier than tacos, when you have little one that would require more help. I didn't budget for extra thing in it though-- it would be great with sour cream, avocado and some fresh tomatoes!

Taco in a Bowl
1 lb ground meat, browned
1 large can chopped tomatoes
1 pkg. Taco seasoning
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained (opt)

Mix all together and let simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

1 lb meat $2.
1 can tomatoes $.98
1 pkg Taco seasoning $.50
1 can corn $.45
Kidney beans (didn't use)
1 bag chips $1.
Meal total: $5.38
(w/ venison: $4.22)

Poppy Seed Muffins

I can't remember where I got this recipe, I've had it for such a long time. These come really close to the big muffins you can buy at Costco. MMM!

Poppy Seed Muffins
3 c. white flour
2 1/2 c. sugar
2 TB poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. oil (can sub applesauce)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring

Mix all ingredients, fill greased or lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing.
Makes: 24 muffins

French Bread and Spaghetti

I made French Bread last night-- for the first time. Brian loves French Bread but I've always thought it would take all day to make it, so I've put it off for a long time. But I finally decided to try it last night, and I am so pleased with how it came out- it was delicious!
I used a recipe from French Bread

I only added 5 cups of flour and skipped the first rise, as I normally do. Just because I started it around 4pm and wanted it to be done in time for dinner.
The crust was perfect. It was a little heartier than store-bought, but it was wonderful.

With it we had Spaghetti and Broccoli
Pasta $.34
Hamburger meat $2.
Sauce (Classico Caramelized onion and roasted garlic) $1.
Bread $.50
Broccoli $1.
Meal total: $4.84
(or w/ venison: $3.68)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Being Frugal

Ok, my reason for starting this blog, other than enjoying cooking, eating and taking pictures (what a wonderful combination!)... is to show people how I feed our family for such a small amount, as it is a mystery to some, and they ask. So, I've been trying to figure out how to do this and what I've come up with is to track my expenses and give a dollar amount to each dish. So I hope that helps- though this might take some time, so if you don't see it at the bottom on the recipe post, then I haven't gotten to that recipe yet.

Typically our grocery budget is $300/month.
  • When I started making breakfast from scratch it saved us $80/month- that's what I had been spending on cold cereal and milk!
  • We hunt, (yes, I hunt too!) we get between 5 to 7 deer a year, we butcher them ourselves so it works out to be $.84 per pound for meat. So that does cut my grocery bill down alot through the year.
  • I do buy turkey during the sales around Thanksgiving- so $15/turkey= 5 meals= $3/meal.
  • Watch sales: we go through alot of eggs, so when Albertson's has their 10/$10 sale on eggs I buy about 10 dozen. Or during the summer I can get them at the farmers market for $1/dozen as well. Albertson's also has rice on sale now and then 10/$10- both white and brown- which is great and I will buy about six 2# bags- it works out to $.40/meal.
  • I compare prices and normally buy generic. Most grocery stores have a "price per unit" on their price code sticker- this is so much easier than carrying around a calculator!
  • Menu planning is a must to stay in budget.
  • I make pretty much everything from scratch. It's not much more work and it doesn't take long before you have recipes memorized and you don't have to have the recipe in front of you.
  • I do not buy pre-made or prepackaged things- except for Mac & Cheese and hot dogs, but that's not often, and spaghetti sauce.
  • I grind our own grain- I have no idea how to work this out cost-wise. I buy a 50# bag of each: soft wheat ($14), hard white wheat($14), hard red wheat($14) and rolled oats($30). These last about 6 to 8 months. I grind soft wheat about once every 2 weeks and have it in the freezer for baking quick breads. I bake bread=4 loaves about once a week.
  • I use dry beans instead of buying cans of beans-- so much cheaper! It takes a little more time, but I try to plan it around days I know I will be home most of the time.
  • Snacks are limited. On school days the boys have a snack when they get home from school- on Saturday they have a morning snack as well- but snacks are not normally much, a couple carrots, apples, oranges, muffin, a piece of toast, etc.
  • We don't drink milk or pop and juice, rarely. I don't believe milk is very beneficial- so water it is!
  • When cooking (except gravy) I use powdered milk. I can buy a huge box at the scratch and dent store for $4-- normally $15 at Walmart. So using 2 cups for pancakes in the morning is just pennies.
  • We don't eat out. When I have a higher budget ($350/month) then we can drive-thru on Sundays- but the boys eat so much- they each need 2 burgers and they are still hungry!

I do not have any picky eaters- I am very thankful for a husband who likes pretty much everything. He won't eat mushrooms or sardines (he is totally missing out on this- oh well, more for me!), but I think he likes everything else.
I have never cooked separate meals for anyone and the kids know this, so they eat what is on the table. There are somethings I know they don't care for, so I do offer things on the side- example: Jesse doesn't care for oatmeal, so I will have toast as well; Luke doesn't care for Peanut Butter Rice, so I serve rolls with it. It's not a stress point- I want the family table to be enjoyable. I do think that because of how we do this, they have learned to not be picky and are very good eaters. Too good sometimes, it seems- but I would rather have that!
When we try a new recipe- we all vote on whether to keep it or not. When they don't like something- they are allowed to say "I don't care for this" or "This is not my favorite", so I have a good idea of what people like and try to have a verity.
We eat every meal at the table. This means we all sit down for breakfast and dinner and lunch on the weekends.
That's all I can think of right now. Hope that gives you some idea of how I work things out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Blowing the budget...

I went grocery shopping last night- and I went over budget. *Sigh*.

I can say that there was uncounted for expenses- I had to buy laundry detergent, which I tend to forget to plan for, tea for Brian and Mapleine- so those things add up to $9. and I only went $5.48 over- so all in all, that's not too bad.

So Walmart yesterday: $39.06
Total for the month: $125.48/120.00
WIC total: $69.60

Total grocery bill (including WIC) for the month: $195.08

I will say that when I do these "pantry challenges" I tend to look at it as a game and of course, when I stay in budget I'm the winner! I would like to say that then I go spend the extra $$ on something fun... but for some reason unexpected expenses always come up at that time. I feel like stomping my feet and pouting-- I worked hard to save that money! But at the same time, God is good and it is a blessing that we have extra money when we have extra expenses.

I am planning on doing this again next month, I think I only used about 1/2 of what is stockpiled in my pantry, but I think I will set my budget a bit higher- I would like to eat other veggies, instead of just green beans!

Hot Chocolate Coffee Cake

This was my weekend experiment. I liked it- well, it was a hit with everyone-- but why not, it had chocolate in it! When I make coffee cake, I reduce the sugar- mainly because we are eating it for breakfast and I don't want to start the day with lots of sugar in everyone. If you want a sweeter dessert cake, I would suggest putting another 1/2 cup of sugar in it.

Hot Chocolate Coffee Cake
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs
1 c. milk
3 c. white flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. hot chocolate mix

Mix all together (leaving out the cocoa mix), spread 1/2 of the batter into greased 9x13 inch baking dish, sprinkle on the chocolate powder, dollop the rest of the dough on top, trying to cover most of the chocolate powder. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

Green Chili, Cheese and Rice

This is so delicious! My Mom makes this and it's another one of my favorites. This tastes better, in my opinion, if you use white rice, but I am really trying to get away from anything refined, so I use brown rice.

Green Chili, Cheese and Rice
2 c. uncooked rice, cooked (equals about 6 c.)
2 c. sour cream
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix everything except the shredded cheese, spread into 9" x 13" baking dish, top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Steak in Sour Cream

This is a great way to have venison- the slow cooking helps tenderize it and the sour cream makes a great sauce- different than a stroganoff, though similar.

Steak in Sour Cream
2 c. sour cream

Rice or Pasta

In skillet, brown steak on each side, spoon sour cream on the steak, cover, turn down heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over warm rice or pasta.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Our son Luke loves waffles... I do too-- but I don't make them too often because it takes so much time to make them one at a time. I normally make these with very little wheat flour.

2 c. white flour
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 TB sugar
4 eggs separated
2 1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. oil

Combine everything but egg whites. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy, gently fold into the batter- will be slightly lumpy (this helps the waffles be more fluffy).
Heat waffle iron. With a pastry brush, brush shortening onto hot waffle iron, then pour in batter, close and let bake until done.
This makes enough for our family- so a fairly big batch.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shepherd's Pie

This is comfort food for us. Everyone likes it and it's nice and easy. Yesterday I wasn't feeling well- but this was easy enough to make-- I just pulled some meat from the freezer that I had already browned and mixed up some instant potatoes. I'm really trying to get away from instant/boxed anything, but I had stocked up on potato flakes, so I will use them up.

Shepherd's Pie
1 lb ground meat, browned with garlic salt
1 can whole kernal corn, drained
6 to 8 cups mashed potatoes
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Spread the meat in a 9 x 13 baking dish, sprinkle on the corn, top with mashed potatoes and spread evenly over all. Sprinkle on some shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Quick Enchiladas

This is really tasty, but not very frequent for us as it takes so much meat and I normally don't use that much in one dish- I like to stretch it farther than that. But I used some of our frozen turkey, it worked out well.

Quick Enchiladas
4 c. diced cooked chicken or turkey
2 c. salsa
3/4 c. mayonnaise
16 oz. Shredded Colby/Jack cheese
Corn tortillas

Mix chicken, salsa, mayo and most of the cheese (set aside about 1 cup of cheese).
Layer bottom of 9x13 baking dish with tortillas, breaking some in half if necessary. Spread on a layer of chicken mixture, repeat so that you have 3 layers- top with last cup of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I'm not much of a leftover person. But I make these just to have leftovers!!

2 large cans refried beans (or 1 lb cooked pinto beans, mashed)
1 lb ground meat, browned
1 1/2 pk. taco seasoning
1 c. water

Mix and let simmer for about an hour

Taco Shells
Small corn tortilla shells

Put about an inch of oil in a small frying pan and turn it on medium heat. When oil is hot, put in one tortilla, the oil should bubble around the edges of the tortilla, let it fry until the tortilla domes up, then flip and let it fry on the other side until it domes up as well. Remove and set on plate lined with paper towel. Repeat.
To reheat tortillas:
Set in frying pan and turn on to medium heat, fry on each side until warm and flexible.

Serve with:
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Chopped onions
Sour cream
Green Taco sauce

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake

I had planned to make biscuits for breakfast this morning, and I realized I had some strawberries in the freezer and Strawberry Shortcake actually has less sugar than pancakes with syrup- so why not?!

Strawberry Shortcake
5 c. frozen strawberries
1/4 c. sugar
Put frozen strawberries in pan with lid and heat on medium heat. Mash with a potato masher a few times to break them up. When thawed out, stir in sugar.
Split Drop Biscuits in half, pour some strawberry sauce on, top it with the rest of the biscuit and some more strawberries.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Mmmm, this is so delicious, makes me what to eat some more just looking at the picture!

1 1/2 lb. steak, cut thin
1 teaspoon salt
Olive oil for frying
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon flour
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 c. sour cream
Pepper to taste
16 oz wide egg noodles, cooked

Cut beef into thin slices. Brown meat and onion in olive oil. Mix flour and evaporated milk. Add to meat along with sour cream. Cook and stir until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir into cooked noodles.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spinach Burritos

The house smells wonderful when this is cooking. The spinach is noticeable only by the looks- you can't taste it, so it's a great way to sneak it in.

Spinach Burritos
1 lb. ground meat
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained if necessary
1 c. chunky salsa
3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
Brown and crumble meat in skillet. Add taco seasoning, mix well, add spinach and salsa, heat through. Remove from heat, mix in cheese. To serve spoon beef mix into tortilla with sour cream.

Zucchini Quiche

This was a new recipe and everyone loved it. And there was enough for all of us-- just no leftovers. But then, we don't have many leftovers.

Zucchini Quiche
1/2 med onion chopped
1/4 c oil
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
4 eggs beaten
1 TB parsley, chopped
3 c. zucchini, grated
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Combine first 5 ingredient; mix well. Stir in remained ingredients. Pour into 2 greased 9” pie plates. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden.

I used some frozen zucchini and so it was originally 6 cups, but after it thawed I drained the water (not aggressively) so there was about 3 cups.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Baked Spaghetti

Some people don't like spaghetti-- and I had 3 of them in my house until they grew out of it. It has something to do with the slippery spaghetti noodles, because served any other way, they liked it.

Baked Spaghetti
1 lb ground meat, browned
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. water
16 oz spaghetti pasta, cooked
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cottage cheese
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix the cheeses, eggs and pasta. Spread into 9x13" baking dish, top with browned meat and then spaghetti sauced thinned with water. May top with more cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

People know me for these cookies. ;-) I've been making them for years and they have always been a big hit whenever we take them to a get together.
This time I made them with some peanut butter chips and a handful of M&M's that we had left. Normally I make them with chocolate, but really they are good with any kind of chip you want. This is a big batch, but I freeze what doesn't fit in the cookie jar, so we have them handy.

Rachel's Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 c. white sugar
2 c. shorting
6 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. cream of tartar
7 c. flour
1 pkg. semi sweet chocolate chips

Cream sugar, shorting, eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together and then mix everything thoroughly.
Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
I like mine slightly underdone, so they are a little gooey on the inside, to do so, take them out just before the top browns.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Stew brings me back to childhood. I found out how to make the dumplings that my mom always made and I love them.

6 med potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 lb stew meat
garlic salt
1/2 to 1 c. frozen mixed veggies
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. flour
salt and pepper to taste

Put potatoes in large pot and add enough water to cover potatoes- bring to boil and cook until fork tender.
In skillet fry stew meat with garlic salt until no blood is showing. Add to potatoes. Add veggies and bring back to boil. Mix milk and flour and stir into potato water. Turn down to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4-1/2 c. milk

Mix together- adding enough milk to make a soft dough (similar to muffin batter)
Drop by spoonfuls onto stew. Put lid on and and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

Oatmeal-Cranberry Squares

Since Jesse doesn't like oatmeal, I am always trying to find ways to cook it so that he likes it. So we had these for breakfast. They reminded me of a newton. It didn't make a difference though-- they were "tolerable" and he did eat 2- but apparently it's "still oatmeal" oh well- the rest of us enjoyed them!!
I got this recipe off the Martha Stewart website Here is her recipe, but I did change it a little- so this is my version:

Oatmeal-Cranberry Squares
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
--Mix thoroughly--
2 cups craisins
1/2 c. water

In sauce pan, bring crasins and water to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Put in food processor of blender until it is only slightly chunky.
Spread 1/2 of the oat mixture in greased 9x13 baking dish, spread cranberry mixture on the evenly, then top with the rest of the oatmeal mixture.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Grocery shopping again

Ok, I did the rest of my grocery shopping- so I'll still have to go back probably once a week for milk/eggs/fruit/etc-- but the bulk is done and I'm not planning on going again till late next week.

Walmart today: $56.77
Total: $86.42/$120.00

WIC total: $49.06

Basic Muffins

For breakfast I made apricot muffins-- just the basic recipe and then put one dried apricot into the batter in each muffin cup before baking it. I think this is my favorite. But this recipe is so versatile, you can do anything with it. I try to double the batch in hopes to have extra for freezing for another breakfast-- but everyone eats so much, I think there were 5 muffins left this morning-- and I made 24!!

2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
1 egg
up to 1 1/2 c. additions

Mix thoroughly and pour into greased or papered muffin tins. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 12 muffins


Flour- white, whole wheat, or substitute 1 c. oatmeal, cornmeal, rye, cereal, or cooked oatmeal, rice or cornmeal and decrease liquid to 1/2 c.

Sugar- use between 2 Tb and 1/2 c. sugar, brown sugar, molasses or honey (with the last 2 decrease milk to 3/4 c.)

Baking Powder- if using whole or cooked grains increase to 3 ts. if youing buttermilk or sour milk, decrease to 1 tsp. and add 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Milk-Regular milk, reconstituted milk (powdered milk mixed with water), buttermilk or sour milk, fruit juice

Oil-1/4 oil of any kind or 4 Tb melted butter or margarine. Or use peanut butter or applesauce.

Egg-if out of egg, you can use a spoonful of mayonaise

Additions-Nuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, craisins, coconut, blueberries, chopped apple, shredded zucchini, shredded carot, pumpkin, applesauce, cooked sweet potato, mashed banana, mashed cooked carrots. (when using wet additions decrease the milk a bit- example: grated zucchini is really moist, you could just replace the milk with the zucchini or just keep the milk to 1/2 c.)

Spices-When I put in apple, I also add 1 tsp. cinnamon, you can use whatever you think will compliment your additions- ginger, nutmeg, lemon zest, etc.

"Surprise muffins" fill cups 1/2 full with batter, put in a tsp of jam or jelly and then fill the cups the rest of the way with batter.

Tavern Burgers

This is a new recipe for me-- it was really good, tasted like a drive through burger, which was nice to have a 'junk food' taste without it being so junky. But I have to say these were messier than sloppy joes-- the filling kept falling out! I think next time I will use pita pockets.

Tavern Burgers
Oil for frying
1 lb. ground meat
1 c. chicken broth
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Brown and crumble meat. Add chicken broth, paprika, Worcestershire. sauce, salt and pepper; bring to a oil. Reduce heat to med-low; simmer for 15 min., stirring occasionally. Spread the buns with mustard on top half; set aside. Spoon ground meat mixture evenly among 4 buns, top w/ onion, dill pickle and top half of bun.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Grocery shopping

Just to keep you up to date on the grocery shopping/spending--

I went to a scratch and dent grocery store today, they had some of the things I wanted. I spent $26.65 on groceries. I still have more to do, I will need to make a walmart/costco trip here soon.
And I did go to the bread store for the french toast last weekend: $3.

So- I'm at $29.65/$120.00

WIC total: $30.30

Monday, January 7, 2008


My mom made these while we were growing up- I have always loved them. This dough makes alot, so you can use the leftover dough for cinnamon rolls or dinner rolls for another time.

1 lb. ground meat
1 small cabbage, chopped
1 TB garlic salt

Brown meat, add chopped cabbage and garlic salt. Add a little water so that the cabbage steams a bit.

4 c. warm water
2 TB honey
2 TB. yeast
Mix and let set for 10 min.
Then add:
1 TB salt
5 c. whole wheat flour
5-8 c. white flour

As the mixer is going add the flour one cup at a time until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the mixer. Let it knead (mix) for 10 minutes. Pour some oil on the counter where you plan to shape the dough. Split dough into 2 sections, roll out to 1/4 inch thick, in a square shape. Use a pizza cutter to cut into squares, typically about 3" x 3", spoon some filling onto small squares and pull over a corner, so it takes on the shape of a triangle. Press the dough together with fingers to make a seam around the edges. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. The bottoms should be a golden brown. Butter the tops- eat like a sandwich.

Milk Substitute

One of the easiest ways to save money, if you make alot from scratch is to substitute milk with apple juice, or powdered milk. Since we have WIC, we have an over-abundance of juice. I use it in place of milk, in pancakes, coffee cake, banana bread, zucchini bread, muffins, etc. Basically any quick breads. I haven't tried it in yeast breads yet, but I plan to.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Turkey Soup

This is one of Luke's favorites meals, though everyone enjoys it. What a great way to warm up in the winter!

Turkey Soup
This is different every time I make it, as I tend to use whatever I have on hand; but here is what I did today:
1/2 pot (maybe 6 cups?) soup stock
2 c. Macaroni Pasta
1 can green beans
1 can mixed veggies
Meat from carcass.
1 tsp. Rosa Maria seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring stock to a boil. Add noodles and seasoning, cook until pasta are almost ready, (if necessary, add water to cover pasta noodles) add veggies and meat and cook until pasta is done.

How to make soup stock
Get the meat off the turkey carcass that you are planning to use.
Put the carcass in a large stock pot, add water to cover most of it.
Bring to boil then turn down to a simmer and let simmer for a few hours.
Pour through a strainer into a new container/pot.
Now, some people put this in a cool spot and the fat collects on the top, as it gets cold it becomes thick and white, you can remove that and just use what is left. I just stir it and put it in my ziplock freezer bags while it's still warm.
This should make enough for several gallon bags of stock, which I freeze and pull out later for soup.
When the bones cool, go through them and remove the small pieces of meat that were left on- you can either put it in the stock or freeze it separately to be used later.

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs
1 c. milk
2 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 large apple cut in wedges

Mix all together, pour into greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Push apple wedges into batter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Clam Chowder

This is the reason our son Jesse won't be a vegetarian. One day we were eating and he asked if he could be a vegetarian. They had been studying the food chain at school, and it bothered him that we eat animals. (Meanwhile he's complaining that the "Spring Verity" salad tastes weird and he doesn't want to finish it.) We discussed this some more and then he asked for seconds on the chowder-- because he loves it. Brian said "You know, you wouldn't be able to eat this if you were a vegetarian." You could see it settle in his mind- there was no more "maybe." He would never be a vegetarian! lol

Clam Chowder
1 TB butter
1/4 c. onion, diced
6 med. potatoes, diced
2 6 oz cans minced clams
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of pepper

Melt butter in large pot. Add diced onions and saute. Add water and diced potatoes. (Just enough water to cover potatoes.) Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Mash with a potato masher a few times- you want to leave it a little chunky. Add canned clams (with juice), salt and pepper. Add 1/2 of the can of milk. Mix flour into the rest of the milk, add to soup and stir until thickened.

Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast

This is the first time we tried this- we really liked it. Doesn't taste quite the same as cheesecake, but it's still quite good.

Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 TB powdered sugar
2 TB Raspberry jam (or any other preserves)

2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk

Blend powdered sugar and cream cheese together, then mix in the preserves.
Spread between 2 slices of bread, like you would a sandwich.

Whisk eggs, then whisk in milk.

Dip the sandwiches into the egg mixture and put on hot griddle. (Don't let the bread sit in the egg mixture at all, it will soak up too much.) Cook until brown on each side (approximately 2 minutes per side).
There was egg mixture left over for about 4 pieces of regular bread.
This should make 8 "cheesecake" sandwiches.

I also put Peanut Butter in the middle of some instead of the cream cheese mixture. That seemed to go over better with the kids- who normally smother peanut butter all over their french toast anyway.

Homemade Syrup
2 c. sugar
1 c. water
--boil so sugar dissolves--
Add 1 tsp. (or more) Mapleine
Serve warm.

Mapleine can be found with the flavors near the spices at the grocery store. This is such a cheap way to have syrup and we like it more than the store bought syrups.

Turkey Dinner

I love a good turkey dinner! I don't think I could ever get sick of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. MMM! I got 4 turkeys before Thanksgiving this year when they had a good sale. I skipped all the normal holiday trimmings with this and we just had Turkey, mashed potatoes and green beans.

I got enough extra meat for 3 meals. I put that in ziplock bags and put them in the freezer- I'll use that for casseroles, enchiladas, etc- when I need diced chicken. The carcass I put in my big stock pot to make soup stock.

Turkey Gravy
drippings from turkey (sometimes there is more sometimes less drippings, I use all the drippings)
3 c. milk
1 c. flour
meat from neck
salt and pepper to taste

Put the drippings in a large skillet, heat on med to med high heat. Whisk milk and flour. Add to hot drippings, stir constantly until thick- add salt and pepper to taste. If you cook the neck with the rest of the turkey, it has little pieces of meat on it that I brake off and stir into the gravy.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I got the basic recipe for this from my mom- she has the only meatloaf I like- well, until I made this one! And yes, that is ketchup on my meatloaf- because I love ketchup! (Even if it is unhealthy!)

2 lbs ground meat
1/2 med onion, diced
4 eggs
1 c. rolled oats
1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
3 TB Worcestershire sauce

Mix well- either with heavy duty mixer or your hands.
Press into 9x13 baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for 60 min to 1 1/2 hours

Brian's Muesli

This is Brian's cereal-- he guards it carefully. Stephen would really like to have some-- but it's a rare treat when it's shared.

Brian's Muesli
3 c. rolled oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 c. of any additions you like (I do craisins, sunflower seeds, grape nuts, coconut, walnuts and almond slivers)

In a skillet (I do an electric skillet set to 375 degrees) set at med high. Put the oats in and stir constantly for 10 minutes. Add salt and brown sugar, stir another 10 minutes. The idea is to heat the oats enough that the sugar melts onto them.
Turn off (or take off) heat. Stir in spice. Let cool for 30 minutes. Add all your additions. Cool completely and store in an air tight container.

Polish Primavera

This is a new recipe-- everyone liked it, would go great with a salad and french bread!

Polish Primavera
2 TB butter
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 small onion diced
1 carrot, quartered and diced
1 lb polish sausage, quartered and diced*
16 oz thin spaghetti, cooked
1/4 c. parmesan cheese

Saute butter and veggies, add sausage and heat through. Cook spaghetti till tender, drain and toss with sausage mixture and parmesan cheese. The butter was enough oil so that the noodles didn't stick, but if they are sticking on you, just add some oil.
*I find it cheaper to buy a large package of polish sausage- the kind you buy when you want to eat them like hot dogs. I believe it's about a 3 lb package- so I can get 3 to 4 meals out of it.

"Pantry Challenge"

So- it is the start of the year and my goal is to save as much money this year as possible. I have a stocked pantry/freezer-- so I'm doing a "pantry challenge" this month. I have $120 for groceries: perishables (fruit, veggies, dairy, eggs, etc) and the rest is going to be used from what I have on hand. I also get WIC, so that takes care of most of our milk, etc. I haven't given myself this small of a budget for groceries in a long time. It also has to cover diapers/wipes for Naomi.
I'm excited for the challenge and to see the extra money in the bank at the end of the month.
I have made up my menu (posted on the blog! yea!) and have to stick to it. Because I don't have any really quick meals when I cook from the pantry/freezer- I have to plan ahead and make sure meat is out of the freezer, beans are soaked, etc. I only have enough mac and cheese for 2 last minute meals, so that doesn't leave much wiggle room!!
Anyone care to join me?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

January Menu

Thanks David for giving me the code to put up my menu!!

Peanut Butter Rice

My friend Suzanne got me hooked on this dish and now it's Stephen's favorite too. When the boys have to cook, this is what he wants to make. I take this to potlucks at church, it's always amusing to hear people's reactions. I even get requests for it now.

Peanut Butter Rice
2 cups uncooked rice, cooked (White rice tastes better, though brown rice works well)
1-2 cups diced cooked chicken

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter*
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
garlic powder to taste

Heat sauce and stir over medium high heat, with wire whisk until creamy.

Combine sauce with diced chicken and cooked rice-serve.

*I am ever impressed with Tropical Traditions and the quality of their products. If you order- don't forget to give my referral number: 5691384 and get a FREE book on all the benefits of coconut oil! (Free book given to first time customers only.)


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