Showing posts with label Recipes on a Budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes on a Budget. Show all posts

Monday, June 25, 2012

How to Eat an Artichoke


One of my all-time favorite treats. I've tried them baked, stuffed, marinated... you name it. Still, my all time favorite way to eat them is so simple it's almost too easy.

I love steamed artichokes. I could eat them 2-3 times a week, happily.

And... they're good for you! Who'd've thunk? Low calorie, no fat, high in fiber. Win win win!

I've been finding them at Costco for really reasonable prices, four in a bag. Life is good.

So how do you steam an artichoke?
Step one, fill up a pan of water.
Step two, put the steamer pan in the top.
Step three, trim the stems off of the chokes.
Step four, place in steamer pan, cover with lid, and turn over high heat for an hour.
Step five, test one leaf to make sure it's tender enough.
Step six, enjoy.

You don't actually eat the whole leaf; instead, you scrape the "meat" from the leaf with your teeth and then discard what's left.

I love dippers.
My two favorite are melted butter with lemon juice and curried olive oil based mayo.
So easy! So simple.

So good.

Sharing this with the  Hearth & Soul Hop @ Premeditated Leftovers

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Minis

Looking for a great treat for that Halloween party?

I've found the new greatest treat!!!

I have had an amazing sugar pumpkin sitting on my counter until recently... very recently. Isn't it gorgeous?

I've been watching for pumpkin recipes that I want to try and located two... one of which is... you guessed it Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes! The original recipe came from Little Rays of Sunshine, and I thought it sounded simply amazing!

Boy was I right! It made K happy since he has been wanting cheesecake, and it made me happy, because, well, I love anything mini! I think mini things are so cute... and that's why I renamed the recipe from Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups to MINI Pumpkin Cheesecakes!

They're so tasty and they even have a crust! And the only thing I love more than mini things, are all things pumpkin - I even have a pumpkin spice dish soap and counter spray set from Williams Sonoma.

MINI Pumpkin Cheesecakes
modified from Little Rays of Sunshine

2 (two) 8-oz packages of cream cheese (I used fat-free)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used sugar pumpkin, but you can use canned)
24 gingersnap cookies
whipped cream for garnish

 Pre-heat the oven to 375.

Place your foil muffin cups into the muffin tray... aren't these guys I found cute? They're decorative AND foil. I love having the best of both worlds! It's important to use foil on these cups so that they easily pull away from your mini cheesecakes and you get the full-on gorgeous-ness!

Next, pop the gingersnaps in the bottom of the cups... however they fit best. Mine had to go upside down.

Though the original recipe calls for you to cream the first five ingredients, since I use my food processor for almost everything, I just dumped all the ingredients together and processed until smooth. It's always so hard for me to resist eating the batter... even though I know with raw eggs it's not recommended.  And, let me tell you... it's SO good.

Next, drop the batter into the cups until about 2/3 full. I found that using a 1/4 cup measuring cup as a spoon gave me almost exactly the right proportion. Pop these puppies in the oven and bake 10-12 minutes... or until the edges are firm and the center jiggle just a little.

Once cool, remove the foil wrappers and serve. This is what the little guys look like, pre-whipped cream, but what good is pumpkin-flavored anything without whipped cream?


proudly linking to 

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Hummus

There are a few words that spawn thoughts of Birkenstocks, patchoule, and memories of an annual event in my hometown called the Forest Fair. One such word is "hummus." I love hummus.

It wasn't something we ate in my family. Ever. And, I'm pretty sure, though not positive, that my father is mistrustful of it. (Sorry Dad, if I'm wrong!) I know my husband looks at hummus as hippie-food and isn't entirely comfortable turning his back on it... as we all well know, that vegetarian stuff is dangerous. Ha!

I really love hummus. It's such a delicious dipper, a good source of protein, and is delicious plain or with add in flavors.

Given my family history with hummus, I've had to strike out on my own to learn how to make it. Once again, Google is a good friend. The best recipe I've found is actually here on e-how. I use it frequently -- and I haven't played around at all with other recipes, it's just that good.  I have, however, played with all of the different flavors to create different varieties.

Pasilla chile hummus. Chipotle in adobo hummus.

And the latest (and best!), sun-dried tomato and basil hummus.

It's fast, it's easy, and it can be a dip, a sandwich spread and so much more!

Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Hummus
recipe modified from E-How

1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
juice of 1 lemon (3-4 tablespoons)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
4-6 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
6 basil leaves

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you achieve the texture you want.

Place in a serving bowl and enjoy.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lentil Chili (Vegetarian): Recipes on a Budget

I just love lentils! 

I've been craving them for the last week or so. So last week (before the great Facebook fandango), I posted on my wall asking for your favorite recipes. The lovely Rhonda Cunningham-Phillips responded with this fantastic lentil chili.

I planned to make it several times, but finally did it tonight! And wow! What an amazing dish.

As Rhonda says, "This is a great vegetarian chili to prepare than standard chili because lentils cook quickly." 

It's thick and tasty and... the piece de resistance -- vegetarian, yet it keeps the meat eaters happy! Not to mention, it's really fast!

Though we've only made/had once time, this chili is easily a favorite of mine. Quick, delicious and healthy! I'm in love.

Lentil Chili
modified from a recipe by Rhonda Cunningham-Phillips

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 small Jalapeno or cayenne pepper, minced
1 TBSP. olive oil
3 cups brown lentils
6 cups water
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. thyme
3/4 cup tomato paste
1 small can V-8 or tomato juice
2 TBSP. red wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 large Red Bell pepper, chopped (I omitted due to lack of availability)
2 stalks celery, chopped (I doubled due to the lack of bell pepper)
Salt & pepper to taste

You can also add some toppings: grated cheese, green onions, sour cream, cilantro or parsley

Saute' garlic, onion, and hot pepper in oil. Add lentils, water and spices. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes in a covered pot until the lentils are tender. Add tomato paste, juice, vinegar, sugar, red pepper, and celery. Add salt, pepper, and additional water if needed. Simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are tender. Serve with brown rice.


I'm proud to enter this into Miz Helen's Chili Cookoff!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Monday, October 3, 2011

Basil Dijon Egg Salad: Recipes on a Budget

I just love hard boiled eggs! LOVE them.

I'm always looking for great recipes using them. When you dice them up and add a few things, it makes them seem much more substantial.

Have you come across this product? Kraft Sandwich Shop Horseradish-Dijon Mayo. We first found it when we were buying sandwich materials to take picnicking. It's particularly fantastic when you have limited space, and great on sandwiches, as a dipping sauce, etc. It's companion piece -a Chipotle Mayo is great dipper for quesadillas. YUM

Back to my hard boiled eggs. I was looking for some tastyness while making a meal for one (1)... which means you can't add a whole lot of ingredients. This egg salad resulted, mostly because this may is PERFECT for a great egg salad. It resulted in part also because I  have a fabulous basil plant that stares at me all day and begs to be eaten.

It really does "Erin, Erin..." I hear the little voice.
Ok. Maybe not.
But I did need to eat some basil!

Egg salad is a great way to enjoy hard boiled eggs, get a good dose of protein with relatively low fat and low calories. I started making this recipe a lot when I first started using Advocare's products. It's a FANTASTIC recipe... and I hope you enjoy!

Basil Dijon Egg Salad

1 hard boiled egg, diced
1 tbsp Kraft Sandwich Shop Horseradish-Dijon Mayo
4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1/2 stalk celery, diced
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Voila. Lunch!
A great mixture of soft and crunch with some great flavor.

Note: Kraft didn't provide me with any product and this post is in no way sponsored by them. My opinions (and poor photography) are my own.

Hearth & Soul Hop

Friday, September 16, 2011

Grilled Pizza Crust Recipe: Red Star Iron Chef Challenge

BBQ Chicken Pizza
When Ott, A of A Latte with Ott A emailed me last month to invite me to participate in September's Iron Chef Challenge, I was super excited. When I learned that this month's sponsor is Red Star yeast, I was even more excited - this is finally an opportunity for me to make something bread-y... and get over my incompetence fear of baking.

I'm proud to announce to the world that I have successfully conquered pizza dough!

(Does the word "conquering" imply success? In which case I'd have a doubly successful attempt at pizza dough. I'll take what I can get!)
We had been planning to have friends over for Labor Day weekend, so a DIY Grilled Pizza Party sounded as though it would be right up our alley. And it was SOOOOO good.

I'd first read about a DIY Grilled Pizza Party as a fun alternative to a backyard cookout over at Gourmet Meals for Less, from the wonderful Heather, who is now one of the lovely sisters behind At The Picket Fence. And a FANTASTIC party idea it was!

Ultimately though, since we used the grill for these babies, I haven't yet conquered baking... technically. :)

I took the original recipe and ditched it by making three variations on the dough (garlic rosemary, basil, and pizza seasoning).

Best Ever (and Easiest) Pizza Dough (Grilled)
adapted from

1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) active-dry Red Star yeast
1-1/2 cups very warm water (110°F)
18 oz. (4 cups) all-purpose flour; more for dusting
1-1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil  
2 tsp (up to 1 Tbsp) seasoning of your choice (optional)

Mix your yeast and warm water and set aside. Pulse the flour and salt and seasoning in a food processor until mixed well, then slowly add in the water/yeast mixture, followed by the olive oil.

Continue mixing until a big giant ball forms in your food processor. Remove ball and place on lightly floured surface and divide into 6 smaller balls.

Place on cookie sheet or in baking dish and cover, allowing to double in size. 
Isn't this ribbon shaped pan fun?
I made K a yellow ribbon cake last year.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the individual balls into thin disks; these should be ~8-10" in diameter. 

To cook, warm up the grill and set to medium heat. Brush a thin layer of olive oil on one side and set on the grill; thinly coat the second side with olive oil and wait until bubbles form or until a light brown color appears (about 1-2 minutes). Then flip and cook for another 90 seconds or so... until cooked throughout.

Set aside and continue until all pizza dough disks are cooked. (I made 18... six each of the three flavors I mentioned above.) Refrigerate (keeps 3-4 days) or add pizza toppings and cook right away, by putting back on grill until cheese melts or until pizza is heated through.

Suggested toppings to include in your pizza bar:

your favorite pesto or pizza sauce


Canadian bacon
pineapple chunks


shredded chicken
bbq sauce
green onions

Most importantly, be sure to enjoy thoroughly!

And since the inspiration for this party came from Heather, I'm proud to share this also with:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ranch Style Hash -- Recipes on a Budget

After K and I got married, it didn't take long for me to learn that our ideas of what comprised a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal were a ways apart.

We're talking the Grand Canyon of ideological rifts.

I have since learned that Wisconsin cooking is all about meat, cheese, and potatoes. And more meat. And more potatoes.

Before my mid west friends are up in arms, I need to share with you that I know this is not true of all in the mid west. That some of you like a nice big salad full of fresh veggies.

All kidding, and 30 pounds aside. I've learned that meat, cheese, and potatoes are pretty danged good!

I'm sharing with you K's mother's Ranch Style Hash. Though it doesn't have potatoes, it's Wisconsin to the heart!

K even cooked it for us today. I'm such a lucky girl!

Ranch Style Hash
1 lb hamburger, browned and drained
3 1/2 cup tomatoes (or one can diced tomatoes in juice)
1 chopped green pepper
1/2 cup onion
3/4 cup uncooked rice (not minute) -- we used brown so needed to cook this a little longer
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
pinch of garlic

Simmer all ingredients in a large frying pan for 25 minutes, then top with cheese until melted.


Linking this up to:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Foodie Friday @ Designs for Gollum


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