Tag Archives: Cheap Recipes

Cheap Recipe: Cheddar, Sour Cream & Onion Ruffle Meatloaf

18 Oct
(Sigh.) Is there anything better?

Cheap Recipe: Black Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake

5 Jan

For a text-only version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

I made this cheesecake (out of season) for less than five bucks, once and for all confirming my belief that there is a God and that he is good and loves us.

The trick to making a cheap cheesecake (or, in this case, a cheap, gloriously rich, decadent and twirly homage to raspberry cheesecake) lies in the shrewd purchase of certain components. However, I’m happy to tell you that with a few simple tips, a fancy and delicious cheesecake can be made for around five dollars, if you know what to use and where to look. Click on the link directly below for my money-saving suggestions and hints for making homemade cheesecake on the cheaps, or continue reading for the recipe.

[Click here for a few quick notes from Gracie on Saving Money While Making Homemade Cheesecakes]

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Continue reading

Slow-Cooker Recipe: Chicken Stew

30 Nov

Grace’s sister here, checking in with a spur-of-the-moment recipe that turned out better than I expected.

The other day, I had a craving for chicken pot pie — or, more accurately, chicken pot pie filling. I wasn’t particularly interested in the crust. I just wanted the stew inside.

A bag of frozen vegetables and a couple of chicken breasts later, I had something lovely simmering in my Crock-Pot. Continue reading

Cheap Recipe: Easy Homemade Pie Crust

26 Oct

For a text-only version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

Why is pie crust so intimidating to novice cooks? The world may never know...

For years, I was intimidated as all get out at even the mention of the words “pie crust.”

Why? What on earth for? Wasn’t it just a few simple ingredients thrown together at the bottom of a pan?

Technically, yes, but there seems to be a stigma attached to piemaking that has long taunted and tortured beginning pastry chefs and homemakers alike: They just look scary as all hell. Continue reading

Seasonal Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

25 Oct

For a text-only version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

This was so tempting I forgot to take a photo until after I’d already eaten half of my brownie. My bad.

So I casually posted my status on Facebook yesterday as “pumpkin cheesecake brownies in the oven…”, and by bedtime I had a whole list of messages from friends asking for the recipe.

I guess they just really sound like a good idea. Which, incidentally, they are. So, here goes… Continue reading

Inspirations from Australia…and a repaired oven! (Hooray!)

7 Oct

Guess what?? After 2 months with a broken oven, I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaack! We finally got the part and fixed the oven last weekend, though it was just in time for the whole family to come down with a vicious cold/flu/whatever virus. We’re still fighting to gain back our senses of smell and taste, and as soon as we do, I’m back on the cheap-homemade-dinners wagon! I’ve missed it so much!

In the meantime, I’ve sort of enjoyed the freedom of spending less time blogging and more time surfing OTHER foodie blogs, dreaming of the day I’d be able to bake and roast again. In my web “travels,” I landed across this site, which I wanted to let everyone know about because it’s right up the Red Kitchen’s alley. 

Sandra from Australia shows us a thing or two about cooking on the cheaps in the exotic land of backwards-swirling toilets. 🙂

Sandra, an Australian single mother of two teenagers, quit her job with $15 in her purse and no new job lined up. After filing for government assistance, she discovered that after rent and utilities, she only had a bi-weekly budget of $120 left for groceries. So, she launched a new cooking blog rising to this new challenge without resorting to cardboard-box-frozen dinners or low-nutrition meal replacements.

I’ll be back in business REAL soon, and in the meantime, go poke around Sandra’s blog (The $120 Food Challenege) for an across-the-ocean take on budget-friendly meal planning. 🙂


Seasonal Recipe: Canned Strawberry Applesauce

23 Sep

 For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

Another fun project from the “mostly homemade” files…

My goal for this week was to post something fun, easy and seasonal. The result? Canned Strawberry Applesauce!

This is a lovely recipe that results in a sort of cross between applesauce as we know it and mashed, sugared dessert strawberries like you probably ate on pie crust growing up. My dad spreads this on toast, I like it with whipped cream, yet it’s just as comfortable riding side-saddle with dinner, or with cereal and yogurt for breakfast. Continue reading

Easy Recipe: Bistecca Caprese alla Griglia (Grilled Capri Steak)

25 Aug

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

Go ahead. Tell me your mouth isn’t watering. I Double-Dog-Dare you.

So…our oven is broken. (In case you were scratching your head at the sporadic nature of recent posts, now you know.)

Today I called Hubby from work and asked him to defrost some meat and light the grill before I got home with the kids for the evening. As I spent my day thinking about the barbecue, however, I just couldn’t seem to get myself in the mood for a big old charcoal-grilled steak.

One reason was that steaks always make me crave coffee with dinner, and let’s face it — the weather’s not that cool yet. Continue reading

Quickie Low-Carb Recipe: “Porcupine” Chicken Drumsticks

25 Aug

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

This is another quick & yummy weeknight recipe for when you’re low-carbing it and the rest of the family isn’t.

Some of you may recall my “Thyme Out” post a couple of months ago about how tired I was of ten million chicken recipes that all taste like thyme and rosemary.

Today I offer a different flavor-packed, herbed variation on the weeknight chicken dinner theme, this time involving bold cumin seed, a $2 package of drumsticks and less than 5 minutes’ worth of prep time. Pair it with an easy oil & vinegar Caprese salad for a beautifully simple, low-carb dinner that gets you in and out of the kitchen in half an hour. (I did throw some Rice-a-Roni alongside ours to ride shotgun for the carb-addicts in the house.) Continue reading

Low-Carb Recipe: Lime-Chicken Paprikash

6 Jul

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

Lime juice and a splash of Tobasco transform this Hungarian dish into something really special.

Today’s post was a particularly big hit at the dinner table. Hubby’s already asked when we’re having it again, and the 3-year-old cleaned his plate, which never happens unless Grimace and Mayor McCheese are involved.

Traditional Chicken Paprikash is one of the easiest suppers on the planet to make. It’s sort of like a chicken version of Stroganoff, but heavier on the onions and (obviously) paprika.

I decided to up the ante on this low-carb dish by adding a couple of new ingredients (lime juice and Tobasco sauce), and let me just say: Yee. Haw. And of course, it’s still super-easy to make.

Generously coat a large, deep-sided skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over MEDIUM-HIGH burner heat.

Arrange 2 to 2-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about six pieces) in a large bowl. Stab each chicken thigh with a fork in a few places to help it absorb seasoning quickly.

Microwave about 2 tablespoons butter/margarine and pour over chicken. Immediately sprinkle with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon paprika.

(This is where I am supposed to be a snob and say to use only authentic Hungarian paprika, but the truth is that I used plain old fifty-cents-a-bottle paprika from Dollar General and it was quite wonderful.)

Next, squeeze about 2-3 tablespoons lime juice (fresh or bottled, as long as it’s not concentrate) over the chicken and throw on a splash (or four) of your favorite red hot sauce (to taste–I used about 1-1/2 tsp).

Pour a small amount of water (like 1/4 cup or so) over the chicken and swish it all around with that fork you just stabbed the chicken with.

When skillet is hot, transfer the chicken one-piece-at-a-time to the skillet and then pour the marinade over the top.

While the first sides of the chicken brown, slice a large onion into very thin rings. Make lots and lots of skinny little onion rings. After chicken has browned for 4 or 5 minutes, flip pieces and add the onions to the bottom of the pan.

Continue to skillet-fry for several minutes. When onion rings become limp, you can begin piling them on top of the chicken pieces. Flip chicken in skillet as often as necessary until cooked through (15 minutes or so).

When chicken looks done, reduce heat to MEDIUM-LOW and scoop about 1/3 cup sour cream into the sauce. Scrape sauce and sour cream together until you’ve got an even, light-orange-colored gravy.

Remove from heat and serve chicken topped with the onion “strings” and sauce. Sprinkle with chives if you like. I served this to the carb-eaters in the family over veggie-colored fettucini noodles, but it’s just as yummy by itself.