Monday, December 27, 2010

Momma's Chicken Pot Pie

My mom's chicken pot pie is SO good!  I still remember the first time I made it for Hubbie.... he wasn't liking the idea of a non-traditional chicken pot pie ( a pot pie without a bottom crust AND a top crust), but I won him over and he always goes back for seconds!  Its so warm and such a yummy comfort food!  It freezes well too!  So, here is the recipe!

Pot Pie:
Chicken (I usually eye ball this part... if I have a couple of chicken breasts I'll boil those and shred them)
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken
1 bag of frozen veggies
Stir all this together and dump into a casserole dish.  Usually a 9x11 is too big.  So something square but pretty deep is good.  I have a round casserole dish that has tall sides and thats what I use for our chicken pot pie.

1 cup of flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. salt
1 cup of milk
1 stick of butter, melted
Mix all this together....might be lumpy, so I use a wisk.... and pour over the pot pie mixture.

Bake 425 for 34-40 mins.  :o)  And enjoy!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hubbie's Chili

When Hubbie and I first got married, all he ever raved about was his family, or maybe its his Dad's?, chili.  He finally had a chance to make it and it was yummy!  Along the years, Hubbie and I have added our own "special" ingredients to make it "Hubbie's chili" and its still quite yummy!  We do cheat and use a little can called "chili magic".  We really wish we could get away from using that jar, but its just too easy to use it with all the spices and seasonings in it!  Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to try to make it from scratch!  So, here it is.... enjoy!

1 can of Chili Magic, traditional
1 lb of browned, ground beef
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of black beans
a few dashes of cayenne pepper
a few dashes of green tabasco

Follow the directions on the back of the chili magic can (which I believe is brown and drain the ground beef, saute the onions and then add the can of tomatoes and chili magic!  Now...start dumping!  I've done this next part in the slow cooker or on the stove... so either works... basically you just want it to cook and simmer.  So, add the rinsed kidney beans and black beans to the pot.  Stir.  And then add the few dashes of cayenne pepper and tabasco.  Stir and let simmer.  :o)  If its too thick, I'll fill up one of the bean cans or Chili Magic can with water and dump it in the pot.  And thats it!  And its tasty!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Sloppy Joes

I wasn't raised on a tomato based sloppy joe, so one day when making a menu I asked Hubbie if he'd like to try something new.  So we searched around online and found this recipe.  They were so yummy!   Hubbie did them for us and he did a great job!

Homemade Sloppy Joes  

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
Small onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt (to me, it DOES NOT need more salt! )  
3/4 tsp. pepper
1 tbspoon of Worcestershire sauce   
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 sm. bell pepper, chopped

Brown ground beef.  Drain.  Add onions, bell pepper and add seasoning.  Add tomato sauce rinsing the can with a small amount of water.  Bring to boil, then cut heat down simmer 30 mins.  Serve on hamburger buns.  

And if you're curious, I grew up with this sloppy joe....

Mom's Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground beef
1 can of french onion soup

Brown ground beef.  Drain.  Add soup can.  Simmer until thick.  Serve on hamburger buns.  


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Buggy's Birthday Cupcakes

A year or two ago my parents bought me the book Hello, Cupcake! since I had taken a cake decorating class and enjoyed it.  The book has a lot of cute decorating ideas and recipes.  A few weeks ago we made the chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing.  They were SO good!  The kind of good that you have to use all the will power you can to not polish off the plate!  Hubbie took the remainder to work so that we wouldn't be tempted!  For Buggy's birthday, we decided to try out the carrot cake with cream cheese icing!  Also delicious!  This cream cheese doesn't have a "after taste or bite" to it.  I think the butter helps mellow it out.  Whatever the reason, this is  definitely a family favorite!

Carrot Cake 

2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg 
2 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of oil
1/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups of grated carrots (about 4) 

1/2 cup of dark raisins
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
3. In another bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs, brown sugar, sugar, oil and milk until light and thick. 
4. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture, beating just until blended.  Stir in vanilla and carrots until well blended (and raisins and walnuts if adding)
5. Bake until golden  and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 mins.  Remove and cool.  

Cream Cheese Icing 

1 package of cream cheese (8 oz), softened
1 stick (8 tblspoons) of unsalted butter, softened
1 box of confectioners sugar 
2-3 tablespoons of milk 
1 teaspoon of vanilla

1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl.  Beat with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 mins.
2. Gradually add the sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk and beat until smooth.  Add vanilla.  And add remaining 1 tablespoon of milk if the mixture is too thick.  

Buggy is what we call our youngest son and I figured bugs made out of candy would be appropriate for his celebration!  Everyone Our oldest sons enjoyed the candy!

The icing and both cake recipes that we've made are SO good!  Once you eat these homemade cakes, you will never be able to go back to a box cake or tub of icing!  I really wish I could "go back" sometimes, because it would make things a lot quicker and easier...... but once you eat one of these YOU DON'T want to go back to any store bought cake!  Delicious!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cheap and Delicious Granola

One day while blog hopping, I came across a blog that offered "e-books" for free.  The books were all about meal planning and special tips to make feeding your family a little easier and lighter on the budget.  I usually pass over these, because most times I don't learn too much new...not to sound like a snob, but unfortunately, you can't get blood from a turnip.  Everything that we can/want to do, we do.  But I did go ahead and sign up for the Minute with Molly Newsletter that promises to give frugal tips, because I wanted the e-book!

The e-book is definitely worth it.  You do have to download it, of course, and print if you want a paper copy, but I have been very impressed with the spreadsheets and recipes.  One of the recipes that I already tried out was the Yummy Homemade Granola on page 32.  Its so delicious!  Not sure of the cost to make a batch.  I made a half of a batch to test it out.  I added raisins and flax seed.  I gotta say, adding flax seed is such a simple way to add a little more fiber in your food.  You can hardly tell its there and when its toasted, as it is in this granola, it adds a great texture!  :o)

Yummy Homemade Granola  

 1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 cups oatmeal (quick oats)

In a large, 4-quart saucepan, melt the margarine or butter and the brown sugar
together. Stir it up and let it simmer for a few minutes (2-3 minutes). Add the salt and
cinnamon, then the oatmeal. Remove pot from heat and stir until all the oatmeal is
coated. Spread the granola onto 2 cookie sheets (with sides) and bake at 375° for 10
minutes, until golden brown. Cool granola completely on pan, then break up into pieces
and transfer to a container. Add raisins or nuts if desired.

For us, since we only made a half batch, we substituted about a 1/2 cup of the oatmeal for the flax seed.  It turned out dry for some reason.  It was still good and tasted like the kind that you buy at the store, just didn't harder as much as the recipe said it would.  Maybe the flax seed changed that.  I'm sure there is something online about adding flax seed and maybe adding more liquid, but again, it worked fine!  The big kids even asked for some of this!!  

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

Check out my main blog today to find a thrifty cookie recipe!  :o)  Go here to check it out!  

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Best Ever!

Sometimes you happen across one of those blogs that you could read forever... well.... Like Merchant Ships is one of those and sadly, some blogs don't last forever!  One of the best things I read during Meredith's regular blogging was her cobbler recipe!  Oh my goodness!  This is scrumptious AND quick AND easy!  I'm sure I've posted this before, because this is the 4th summer I've used her delicious recipe!!!  I decided to share it today since I am making this for our 4th of July dessert!

First, toss the berries or chopped fruit with 1/4 cup sugar (if needed).
Preheat the oven to 350 while the fruit releases its juice.

Next, melt one stick butter or margarine in a casserole dish (8 x 10 or 8 x 8).
Simply double this recipe for use in larger baking dishes.

While the butter melts, combine dry ingredients with milk:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk

Pour batter over the butter. Don't mix!
Spoon fruit over the batter. Don't stir! Bake for 40 minutes at 350.
Serve with ice cream!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Squash Casserole


Tonight we had a delicious meal.  Bubbie pronounced it a "yucky" dinner.  Oh well......  I don't always aim to please, I guess. Tonights dinner was an E-Mealz meal that Hubbie and I really like- meatloaf, green beans, squash casserole and biscuits!  Yummy!  Yummy! But the squash casserole was a new menu item and I think it was a hit!  At least with Hubbie and myself.... the kids?  not so much!  Oh well!  I did convince Bubbie to eat all of his saying that it DID have cheese and Ritz crackers in it!!!  The casserole was really sweet and reminded me of a corn casserole that I've had before.  

Squash Casserole 

1lb of squash, sliced thinly
1/2 cup of diced onion
1 can of cream of mushroom
1/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crumbled up
1 cup of cheddar cheese

Melt butter in large skillet. Add squash & onion. Season w/ salt &
pepper. Cook until squash is tender. Set aside. Mix together eggs &
mushroom soup. Add squash mixture. Stir in ¼ c sugar & crushed
crackers. Pour into greased 2 qt baking dish. Top w/ shredded cheese.
Bake at 350º for 30 minutes, until set.

Lu's Notes: 

I did not use as much onion as they called for.  I thought I had plenty of onion, but realized that all of the onion had gone bad, so I only had a tiny bit leftover.  Also, I didn't realize that the recipe called for cheese, so my block of cheese was in the freezer until about 5 mins before I needed it.  Ooops!  So, I did not use anywhere CLOSE to 1 cup of cheese.  Its just for the topping anyway, so I just did enough to cover the top lightly.... the block was frozen, so I was lucky I got what I did get!  


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sugar Daddy à la Mode

Sugar Daddy à la Mode

I noticed the free and easy dessert recipe a week ago on the E-Mealz website and thought that the recipe looked like something my family would enjoy!  Then, when we were invited to my parents house to celebrate my brother's 25th birthday and Father's Day, I offered to make this!  

The dessert was super easy to make!  We had several things in the list of ingredients already, so it was a very inexpensive dessert for me to make!  The recipe makes a large 9 x 13 dessert and it is SO SO SO rich, you just can't stomach a very large portion!  


To get your free dessert recipe, go to E-Mealz and scroll down to the middle of the page.  On the left hand side you will see a button where you can enter your email address and it will be emailed to you!  Its gooey with lots of caramel and chocolate!!!

Hope you enjoy!

Also, don't forget that until June 30th you can get $2 your subscription to E-Mealz by using the code SHOESTRING.  If you want to know more about E-Mealz, a JoAnna wrote a great blog post about it here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Blueberry Apple Crisp

I have fresh, hand-picked blueberries in my fridge and I couldn't wait to try this recipe here.  Let me tell you- it was DE-LIC-IOUS!  Hubbie even went back for seconds!  He doesn't do THAT often!

I didn't really change the recipe too much.  I didn't use as many apples and they weren't Granny Smith.  Oh and I didn't do nutmeg either...  Not sure why.  Just not a fan!?!  Anyway... here is MY version of this yummy dessert!  And don't forget the ice cream on top!  YUM-O!

3-4 small apples, diced
1 cup of blueberries
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
1/3 cup of butter, softened
3/4 tea of cinnamon

Spray non-stick cooking spray in an 8x8 baking dish.  Diced up apples  and line the bottom of the casserole dish.  Sprinkle washed blueberries on top of the apples.  Mix the remaining ingredients to make the "crisp" topping and sprinkle on top.  Bake 375 until topping is brown and "hardened".

Sunday, June 6, 2010

E-Mealz French Club Sandwiches

This is our version of a menu item from a past E-Mealz meal plan.  Pair these yummy sandwiches with some chips, carrots and dip!  Quite a tasty lunch!


French Club Sandwiches 

Deli ham, sliced 
2 tbspoons of soften cream cheese
1 tbspoons of mayo 
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Potato rolls 

Combine cream cheese and mayo.  Split potato rolls and place opened on a baking sheet.  Spread cream cheese/mayo spread on cut sides of rolls.  Place ham, onion and cheese on top and put into warm oven- long enough for cheese to melt.  And EAT!  

Monday, May 24, 2010

Typical Birthday Cake?

If you know me, you know that the majority of the time I am the over-acheiever and don't enjoy being "like everyone else"....and Hubbie's birthday cake was no exception.

A few weeks ago I began to bug Hubbie about his birthday cake.  I knew he had talked about several, but I didn't know if he had made his final pick.  On his actual birthday (after working 180 hrs over the previous 2 wks) he got home and I actually cornered him and got his pick.  It was decadent.  It was "semi- involved".

We made it to the store that evening and got the ingredients....

These two things are the main ingredients.  Hubbie's favorites!  Yum!

Yes, it tasted as good as it looked!  And just in case you aren't truly appreciating the awesome-ness of this.... 

Here it is again....

And again......

Hubbie's cake was a hit and I was glad Hubbie enjoyed it!  

Go here to see the original cake and to find the recipe.  You will not be disappointed!

Upside Down Pizza


This recipe is an E-Mealz meal and it was delicious!  And so easy!  Of course, I had to tweak it a bit, but Bubbie and Peanut gobbled it up which means it was a winner!  Add a salad to this dish and its a quick night's dinner!

Upside Down Pizza 

1 can of crescent rolls
1 jar/can of pizza sauce (at least 13 oz- I used a 15 oz jar and didn't have too much sauce)
1 cup of sour cream
meat/toppings of your choice
8 oz of mozzarella cheese

Prep your sauce.  I buy a canned pizza sauce at Publix.  Its so good with chopped up pieces of tomato and herbs... something you would find on your pizza at a "real" Italian pizza place and I have no clue what its called, but so much better than using the jar sauces or spaghetti sauce.  Anyway, prep your sauce.  If you want hamburger, cook that and then add your sauce to the skillet.  Use a 9 x 13 pan and pour and spread your sauce into the pan.  Then layer- just like you would a pizza- I did pepperonis but if I had known how good this was going to be, I would have prepped broccoli, olives and some onions.  Man! That would have been tasty!  So, next is a cup of sour cream, spread on top of the "toppings" and sauce.  Then sprinkle 8 oz of mozzarella cheese over the sour cream.  I did not use 8 oz, but I am stingy cheap when it comes to cheese!  I probably used over of the 8 oz block of cheese.  You really can't go wrong with this dinner, so whatever you're feeling- do it!  Then unroll the crescent rolls and place on top.  I went ahead and rolled out the crescent rolls on the counter top, pushed the edges together so that it would be a long pastry topping.  Bake 20-30 mins on 350 degrees!  

I probably did this meal for around $5-$7.00- of course we will eat it for 2 meals... hopefully, unless I think about it for lunch tomorrow!!! 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another Family Favorite

Tonight's dinner was a rip-roaring success and the kids gobbled it up!  All thanks go to Ragu for making providing this recipe just when this tired Momma need it!  

I love this recipe because it has all my "pantry" staples- noodles, meat, cheese and sauce and after a week day like today, I needed something quick, easy and mindless!

Get out one large skillet/pan.  Brown 1lb. ground beef, add 1 jar of spaghetti sauce and 2 cups of water.  Stir and add a box of noodles(I did corkscrew noodles).  Stir occasionally so it won't stick.  Let simmer for 10-15 mins.  Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.  Allow cheese to melt.  And EAT with bread and a salad!!!  (follow the link here to get the FULL recipe!)  

Low down- While devouring my second large plate of pasta(maybe Bubba was right)?!  , I tried to think about how much I spent on this meal.  We ate half of the dish, so we will have leftovers tomorrow night.  I spent a little less than $3 on the 1 lb of meat at Publix.  The box of noodles was 30 cents (sale at Publix with coupon).  The jar of sauce was about a dollar or so (also on sale at Publix- B1G1 free with coupon).... so add the can of crescent rolls and a salad, its probably $8-$10 for two dinners for our family.  Not bad!

A big thanks to Ragu for having all day commercials on Nick@Nite.  :o)

I was not paid or given anything for doing this blog post.... 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Family Favorite

About 9 months ago, Hubbie and I were searching for a bread recipe.  

We enjoyed the flavor of our bread that we were making, but it didn't do so well as sandwich bread.  It did not toast.  The more research we did, the more we learned about the "art of baking bread".  We realized in order to make "true" whole wheat sandwich bread, we would have to purchase certain ingredients that weren't always handy to get to.  

So, the search was on for something that was fabulous, easy, quick, cheap.... ya know?!  All the things that you want in homemade bread!  

Can we say FABULOUS?!  We quickly tried her Grandmother's Bread recipe.  Hands down- it was a WINNER!  The family LOVED it and it quickly became our favorite bread!

This weekend my husband attempted my birthday cake request- Italian Cream Cake.

Oh my!  Be still my heart!  Best birthday cake EVER!  Moist, recipe, cream cheese iciing... 
YUM-O!  Worthy of Paula Dean!  

We have tried several "Chickens in the Road" recipes and every single time- its a winner!  We always seem to check this blog first when searching for a recipe.  

Now, 9 months later, my husband only makes Suzanne McMinn's bread recipe... sometimes twice a week.  We love her bread that much!  

We love Chickens in the Road....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crunchy Chicken Casserole

Last week I offered to bring a girlfriend and her family dinner.  She has an amazing story of God's blessing and provisions.  Her and her husband have 3 children and they are in the process of moving to a beautiful, new house.  I wanted to do something to bless her and her family, because she is always so thoughtful and helps me out with taking Bubbie to school.

When I asked what she wanted, she mentioned that her family loves poppyseed chicken without the poppyseeds.  Her family calls this "Crunchy Chicken".  I had a recipe on my E-Mealz menu from a few weeks ago that I had never made, so I decided to test the recipe out on her family.  That could have been a disaster, huh?!  

Thankfully the recipe turned out really good!  

Crunchy Chicken Casserole

Take 3-4 breasts of cooked and shredded chicken and spread in a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Then combine 8oz of sour cream and 2 cans of cream of chicken.  Let me just stop you here and let you know that this meal has no "redeeming" qualities.  Nothing in it is healthy, low fat or low sodium.  It is absolutely WONDERFUL, but not healthy AT ALL.  Then pour the mixture over the chicken (I actually used a tad bit less than what this made- I just eyeballed it.) Crumble a sleeve of Ritz crackers over the casserole dish.  Pour a stick of butter over the top. Bake on 350 degrees until hot and bubbly.

I split this casserole between her family and mine because I knew they were moving the next day and didn't need any leftovers, so you could easily get two meals out of this dish.

I paired the casserole with some white rice, green beans or broccoli and then a loaf of my husband's homemade bread.

Congrats to my sweet friend on the new home!  
Praying many years of the warmest memories in your new home. 

Monday, March 22, 2010


I have been making a biscuit recipe in an old cook book for a while.  I decided to make these tonight and they were very yummy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Good Staple Meal

I love this meal because its made from our typical cabinet staples and its cheap too!

Sante Fe Wraps

1lb of ground beef
can of diced tomatoes
1 tbspoon of taco seasoning
1 can corn
1 pkg of cream cheese- cut up
6 8 in tortillas

Brown meat.  Drain and add tomatoes and taco seasoning.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  Stir in corn and cheese; stir until cheese melts.  Spoon into tortilla and roll up or fold.  Serve with lettuce, cheese, salsa, guacamole and/or chips!

Found it on the Del Monte website and made into my own!

A Christmas Eve Tradition

I'm not sure when the tradition started, but I am assuming sometime once we moved to Georgia.  After Christmas Eve service, at a different local church each year, we would come home, eat home made pizza and Christmas cookies and watch a Christmas movie.  It is a tradition that I hold close to my heart.  What memories and the fun we had!  It was a very precious family tradition and probably one of the reasons why I try to make our own Christmas Eve's extra special!

Kim asked me for my Mom's pizza recipe, so here it is!  It is very yummy!  A definite winner!  One day when I don't have 3 little boys, I will return to making this recipe.  For now, I'll continue to make this one.

2 tsp. active dry yeast
3.5 cups flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups warm water
1/2  cup whole wheat bread flour
1 tsp salt

Stir the yeast into 1/4 cup of water.  Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile. mix the flours together in a bowl, mixer with bread hook or food processor.

To mix the dough by hand, make a well in the flour.  Stir the yeasty water into the well, then gradually add the remaining water while incorporating the flour.  Add the olive oil and salt.  Stir the dough vigorously to incorporate as much flour as possible, then turn the dough onto a board.  Gather and knead it, adding a little more flour if necessary, for 5 minutes or until it is smooth and lively.

If using the mixer, stir the flour in the mixing bowl.  Turn the mixer to the lowest setting and gradually add the yeasty water.  With the mixer running, add the remaining water, olive oil and salt.  After 2 minutes, the dough will be clinging together in a rough mass.  Stop the mixer and fit it with the dough hook.  Knead the dough at the lowest setting for 5-7 minutes.  All the flour should be incorporated and the dough should be smooth and lively.

At this stage, I always turn the dough out on a floured board and knead it by hand for at least 30 seconds to feel how responsive it is.  The texture, strength and resiliency of your dough affect the time needed for rising, punching down, resting and baking.  If it is sticky, I knead in more flour, a tablespoon at a time.

Cover the dough and let rise until doubled in bulk,, preferably over night in the refrigerator.  In the morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and punch it down.  Return it to the bowl, cover again, and let it stand in a cool place for as little as 3 hours or as long as all day.  About a hour before you are ready to serve the pizza, punch the dough down and divide it into portions and roll out and place on a well oiled pizza pan.  Cover with your favorite toppings and cook for about 20 mins, depending on the thickness of the dough.  One recipe makes 1 large thick crust pizza or 2 medium thin crust pizzas.

Thanks to my Mom for including this in a recipe book my Aunt made me as a wedding gift!  

Friday, February 19, 2010

Warm Chicken Pasta

Today we began a new menu style and method for our family.  Its just a trial.  I will write more about it on Monday when I post my Menu Plan Monday, over at my main blog, Hyperactive Lu.  Our first new meal was this Warm Chicken Pasta.  It was good and filling.  This pasta was very easy to make while the boys ran around the house during the "bewitching hour".  Since Hubbie didn't get home 'til late that night, I was glad that it was so easy!  I hate doing new recipes without anyone helping with the boys.  

 Warm Chicken Pasta over Romaine Lettuce

Purchase 1 box of Kraft pasta salad(1.29), 1 chicken breast(1.00), 1 bag of Romaine lettuce1/2 bag-1.50)and crescent rolls(1.20).  

Make the box of pasta salad according to the package.  Boil chicken breast until done.  Once chicken is done, cube and mix into the pasta salad.  Wash and drain the lettuce and separate onto plates.  Scoop pasta salad over the lettuce.  Serve with apple slices and a crescent roll.    

The downsides to this meal for our family is that we did not have any leftovers and I probably spent around $5.  I can usually make a casserole/pasta dish for our family for less than $5 and feed our family a few times on it, so this is definitely not a "cheap" meal.    

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Crunchy Onion Chicken Tenders

My children attend a Christian preschool/MDO program at a nearby church.  We love the teachers, director and the whole program!  No complaints!  Its a large church and they usually have free magazines in the foyer!  Since the boys started attending the school back in the summer, I've been grabbing the free magazine Parent Life.  I love this magazine!  I read through it pretty quickly!  I think its put together by the people at Life Way Christian BookStores!  I didn't even know they had a magazine.  If and when I can no longer get this magazine for free, I will definitely need to get a magazine subscription for this!

Last week, I was flipping through the latest issue of Parent Life magazine and noticed some recipes that I thought my family would love!  We tried this one tonight!

So yummy- displayed on my beautiful, everyday dishes given to me by my Granny

Crunchy Onion Chicken Tenders
  • 2 cups French's Original Fried Onions
  • 2 tblspoon flour
  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 1 large egg, beaten
Crush fried onions with flour in a plastic bag.  Dig chicken tenders into egg; coat in onion crumbs.  Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  

The recipe was easy, quick and so yummy!  Very little clean up.  I found Tyson chicken tenders on sale about a month ago at Kroger- about 8 or 9 strips for around $2 (during their 69 cent per lb chicken sale).  So, I thought this would be a wonderful time to use those!    Our whole family gobbled the strips up!  This will definitely become a regular item on our menu!  I added steak fries and Hubbie's homemade honey mustard.  

I think I figured I spent around $5-5.50 for our family to eat this meal.  I could have done it cheaper if I had made homemade oven fries, but we were already late getting dinner together that night!  

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Soup and a Great Investment

Hearty Homemade Beef and Vegetable Soup 

1 lb ground beef
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 can kidney beans or pinto beans
2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth - about 4 cups
1 can chopped italian tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 dried italian seasoning

Heat oil in a 4 1/2 quart Dutch oven or soup pot over Medium Heat.  Peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the pot.  Add raw beef and brown.  Drain any fat.  

Add garlic.  Drain beans and add them with the broth, tomatoes (with the juice), tomato paste and 2 cups of water.  Raise the heat to HIGH and stir.  

Add corn, peas and seasoning.  Cover and cook until boiling.  Reduce heat, simmer 5 to7 minutes.  

Serve with warm cornbread or grilled cheese sandwiches!

Lu's take on this soup?  Its yummy!  I got this recipe out of my favorite cook book Cheap.  Fast.  Good!  By Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross..  This has got to be the best cookbook that I have ever seen!  So many good and cheap recipes!  Go here for another recipe from this book!

This soup is good, quick, easy and cheap!  All of my favorite words!  I do not use a garlic clove- just because I didn't have any the days I made this.  I never use a whole onion- I'm THAT cheap-and it was fine.  I also just use a bag of frozen mixed veggies instead of the individual bags of each type of veggie.  I love the fact that this recipe includes kidney beans!  Such a wonderful addition to this soup!  It adds more to the soup than just the typical veggies!  

Enjoy!  And go buy this book!!!!  :)  

Friends, Corn and Black Bean Salsa

The other day, my friend Ashley and I invaded Sharon's house for a photo shoot!  Sharon takes wonderful photos and she asked us to come over so that she could get some shots of our baby's hands and feet.  The morning turned into more of a photo shoot of cute baby bums and cloth diapers, but we had fun!

Sharon is such a wonderful host and had some wonderful assortment of healthy snacks!  I was so impressed!  She had a wonderful salsa out to eat with healthy chips (as she called them).  It looked so yummy!  By the time I went and looked at the snacks, it was close to lunch so I just grabbed a few carrots and a cracker, but I went home and told Hubbie about the salsa and decided to make it soon!

Well, I am such a foodie, I couldn't think of anything else that week, food wise, and had Hubbie get the ingredients for me that very night!  I finally made the salsa yesterday and man! it doesn't disappoint!


  • 1 can white corn (drained)
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro…finely chopped
  • Mix everything together in a bowl and let chill for a couple hours.  This salsa will keep in refrigerator for a few days.
I made cheese quesadillas and served them with sour cream, guacaomole and this salsa.  What yummy and cheap lunch!  

And since Sharon suggested marinating chicken breasts in this, that is exactly what I did for Sunday's lunch.  While I was getting the boy's breakfast, I got out the crockpot, sprayed it with PAM and then put a small amount of the salsa in the bottom of the pot.  Then I placed 4 small chicken breasts on top on the salsa.  I then poured a little bit more on top of the chicken breasts with the remainder of the liquid from the storage container.  I set on HIGH so that it would be ready in 4 hrs.  

Once we got home, I shredded the chicken breasts.  I took tortillas and we made burritos with some of the shredded chicken/salsa mixture, sour cream and cheese.  I wished that I had had some green peppers and onions.  It would have been so yummy in the burritos!  We ate these burritos with the other half of our yummy Wholly Guacamole and the remainder of the corn/black bean salsa!  

Thanks Sharon!