Tag Archives: Simple Ingredients

Cheap Recipe: Cheddar, Sour Cream & Onion Ruffle Meatloaf

18 Oct
(Sigh.) Is there anything better?

Low-Carb Recipe: Slow-Cooker Olive Turkey

13 Jan

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

Plain turkey drumsticks get a saucy makeover in this easy dish.

Note: I see James Ramsden also has a poultry-and-olive combo on his own blog this week, albeit Morrocan-style in his case. I guess great minds think alike!

Turkey drumsticks are a great sale find at our local grocery store, and I love thinking up new ways to present them. I also love using my Crock Pot as much as possible when I’m restricting carbs. It keeps meal preparation fun and gives me something to look forward to all day, instead of staring at yet another bunless hamburger when I get home. 🙂

The combination of dark meat and slow-cooking keeps this version moist and tender, and the Mexican ingredients are a perfect match for stronger-flavored game poultry. Continue reading

Winter Recipe: Spinach Tortellini Soup

12 Jan

To view text-only version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

These greens will warm the "snowy day blues" right out of you.

Nothing’s better than coming in out of the snow to a piping hot bowl of soup, but what happens when you don’t have hours to let the kettle simmer before dinner?

This soup recipe can be thrown together and cooked in under thirty minutes, and it’s got all the hearty flavor of something that’s been bubbling for hours.

If you can’t find frozen or refrigerated cheese tortellini at your local discount grocery store, you can substitute using either cheese ravioli, or just regular boxed pasta noodles + a little bit of grated parmesan cheese in the soup.

Start by melting a tablespoon of butter/margarine in a deep pot over MEDIUM burner heat. Once melted, throw in about a cup of diced onions. (I keep these in the freezer so I don’t have to mess with chopping them every night.) Continue reading

Vegetarian Recipe: Linguine Pesto

11 Jan

Like dining out, only cheaper. And faster.

Grace’s hippie sister, reporting in from Oklahoma with a knockoff of a recipe from her favorite upscale Italian restaurant.

I knew I’d spent way too much time hanging out with Italians when I caught myself adding red wine and olive oil to a batch of Hamburger Helper.

Grace and I grew up surrounded by Italians: Alegnanis, Berras, Calcaterras, Camaratos, Cerniglias, Colombos, Dell’Eras, DeTomasis, Ferraris, Garavalias, Garegnanis, Garnatis, Gualdonis, Marlows, Pisonis, Quaglias, Ranchinos, Sollamis, Spezias, Trapanis, Venegonis … you get the idea.

Somehow, I managed to land in Tulsa — where the Mexican and Lebanese influences tend to dominate the culinary landscape — but while you can take the girl out of Herrin, apparently you can’t take Herrin out of the girl: A cursory glance at the cabinets on a recent Friday afternoon revealed that while I was out of milk, bread, and most other staples, I had plenty of garlic, two kinds of olive oil, and at least seven different types of pasta on hand.

I heard the basil plant on my windowsill calling my name, so I pinched off some leaves and broke out the food processor. It was pesto time. Continue reading

Easy Recipe: French Onion Soup in Bread Bowls

10 Jan

Soup in a bread bowl is a simple but elegant way to warm up on a cold evening.

Gracie’s hippie sister here, using a cold day as an excuse to make one of the warmest of winter dishes.

When I lived in the St. Louis area, my office was just a few blocks from a St. Louis Bread Company restaurant. One of my favorite lunchtime treats was to go to the Bread Company (known outside the St. Louis area as Panera) and have some of their famous onion soup in a bread bowl.

The Panera/SLBC version involved an oversized sourdough roll with a cylinder cut out of the middle to hold the soup.

It was nice, but I think my simple homemade version — which is a lot faster to make than sourdough — is even better, and it really isn’t difficult to make at all. Continue reading

Simple Recipe: Quick & Easy Salmon Teriyaki

1 Dec

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

This is a great recipe for when the pantry and crisper drawers are looking low. It’s also a dead ringer for the Carribean salmon platter from Red Lobster. You can keep frozen salmon (or other fish) at the ready for these kind of evenings because fish filets really don’t take very long to thaw even when you haven’t planned ahead.

Plus, it just tastes delicious. It kills me that I sometimes will spend an hour or more in the kitchen whipping up something my family eats without comment, when this little baby is ready in under 30 minutes, requires few ingredients and always draws compliments. That’s life, I suppose. 🙂 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