Monday, December 7, 2009

MORE Budget-Stretching, Money-Saving Recipes (Keeping Last Week's Promise)

Last Friday I got diverted from blogging to dealing with some kitchen-issues that just wouldn't go away on their own. Cupboards and drawers needed vacuuming and wiping out and they all needed new shelf-paper. And my cupboards and drawers needed some streamlining (see "The Holiday-Ready Kitchen") as well. So I went through each one looking for things I no longer needed, liked, used, wanted, or had room for. I was also looking for things that needed upgrading. 

I ended up tossing my rusty bread pans, my rusty round cake pans, my rusty cheese grater, a few ratty-tatty pot holders, a 3rd set of steak knives, a DULL chopping knife, a broken meat thermometer, a questionable candy thermometer, a badly chipped wooden spatula, two duplicate metal mixing get the idea. In the afternoon I went to the kitchen store and purchased some stainless steel Cuisinart bread pans (I was told they are the best of the best), a stainless steel box grater, and a chopping thing-a-ma-jig (plastic ring that houses chopping blades with a hand plunger). It was so fun to bring nice new things home and have clean, organized spaces to put it in--there's NOTHING quite as cathartic and cleansing  to the soul as getting rid of stuff you don't like, use, need, want, or have room for! If you are interested in streamlining your kitchen, take a look at my book, It's Here...Somewhere, or leave your questions and comments here--I always answer every one!

OK, now that my kitchen is in order, I can concentrate on keeping last week's promise: posting the rest of the budget-stretching, $-saving recipes (found in an ancient SOUTHERN LIVING Magazine). All recipes are designed to serve four. (There are six of them, so this post is going to be long. I promise more concise posts the rest of the week.) As usual, I am hoping you'll share--do YOU have budget-stretching and $-saving meal ideas? We're all in this together remember. Until next time then, here's to getting more for our grocery dollar and making family dinner hour possible!

Lemon-Apple Coleslaw
1 small cabbage, shredded (8 C)
2 apples, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1/3 C mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp minced onion
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (I used bottled and it was fine)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine cabbage, apples, and carrots in large bowl. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 6 ingredients; toss with cabbage mixture. Cover and chill 1 hr.

Lemon-Garlic Roast Chicken With Sauteed Green Beans
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used the dried and it was fine)
2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 garlic cloves, pressed (anyone out there know of a really good garlic press?)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (4-lb) whole chicken
1 (16-oz) pkg frozen whole green beans

Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together first 7 ingredients. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers and gently pushing between skin and meat. (Don't completely detach skin.) Rub half of butter mixture evenly under skin.

Tie ends of legs together with string; tuck wing tips under. Spread remaining half of butter mixture over chicken. Place chicken, breast side up, on a lightly greased rack in a lightly greased shallow roasting pan. Bake for 30 min.

Reduce heat to 350 and bake another 45 min. or until meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 180 degrees. Cover loosely with foil to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Remove chicken to a serving platter, reserving drippings in pan. Cover chicken with foil, and let stand 10 min. before slicing.

Bring pan juices to a boil in large skillet; add green beans, and cook 5-7 min. or to desired degree of tenderness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cornmeal Pudding
1 tube (20 oz) frozen cream-style corn, thawed
2 large eggs
1/3 C cornmeal mix (I think means the cornbread mix, such as Krusteaz)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together corn, eggs, cornmeal mix, seasoned salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Bake for 45 min. or until golden brown and set. This is yummy!

Pasta Pancakes and Gravy
2 (3 oz) pkgs. chicken ramen noodle soup mix
1/4 C olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 small onion, diced
1/2 C chopped fresh parsley (we all know fresh is best, but dried works too)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove, pressed (PLEASE: can anyone recommend a good garlic press?)

Cook soup according to pkg. directions; drain noodles, set aside, reserving broth. Whisk together 2 Tbsp oil and flour in saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring constantly, 1 min. Add reserved broth, and cook, stirring constantly, 2-3 min. or until thickened. Set gravy aside and keep warm.

Stir together cooked noodles, eggs, and next 4 ingredients. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon noodle mixture by 1/2 cupfuls into hot skillet, and cook, in batches, 1-2 min. each side or until golden brown, adding remaining 1 Tbsp oil as needed. Serve with warm gravy. Tasty and fun!

Fresh Spinach-and-Apple Salad With Cinnamon Vinaigrette
2 med. apples, thinly sliced
6 C torn fresh spinach (I buy the organic--it's been washed at least 3 times)
1/4 C honey
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/8 tsp salt

Combine apples and spinach in serving bowl. Whisk together honey and next 6 ingredients until well blended. Pour mixture over salad, tossing gently. Serve immediately.

Cheddar Cheese Grits (don't let the name fool you...)
2 C milk
2 C water
1 C uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 1/2 C shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (I only had med. and this still tasted great)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground red pepper

Bring milk and water to boil in 3-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits and seasoned salt. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 min. or until thickened. Add shredded cheese, Worcestershire sauce and ground red pepper, whisking until cheese melts. Unusual dish--a nice change from spuds or rice.


  1. Wow a jackpot of fabulous new recipes! Just in time for all our holiday gatherings! Thank you


  2. Thanks so much for reading and supporting this effort! Let me know if you try any of these recipes and what you think.