Posted in Recipes, Side Dishes

The Beaked Bean Recipe

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You will never buy canned baked beans again!!!!!

My Husband started making these beans a few years ago and they have become a summertime staple in our house. We have  gotten so many compliments that we now always bring them to picnics and BBQs. But they are also a great warm side dish for the winter months. They are amazing, sweet but not too sweet and packed full of flavor! Try them and you will never want canned beans again.

Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper

1 large vidalia onion

1 fresh jalapeño pepper

1/2 cup white wine

1 tsp. mustard powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup molasses

1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 bay leaf

A tablespoon or two of bacon fat

1 can black beans

1 can red beans

1 can white beans

1/2 cup chicken stock

 

Directions:

Dice peppers and onions. Saute onion and red pepper in bacon fat until translucent but not brown.

Add Jalapeno pepper and saute another 5 minutes.

Add the 1/2 cup wine (you can substitute whiskey if you want)cook down about 3-5 minutes.

Add chicken stock, mustard powder, salt, pepper, molasses, Apple cider vinegar and beans. mix thoroughly and add the bay leaf. Make sure bay leaf is submerged in the liquid. Bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally.

** My Husband would like me to add that to ensure proper flavor , you should have a sip of whatever beverage you are drinking in between each step. For the sake of not being responsible for drunk people in the kitchen I left that step out……..LOL!

You can always add cayenne pepper or chipolte pepper if you like them a little spicy!

These go great as a side dish for

Baby Dragon Tail (Apple and Cranberry Stuffed Pork)

Ground Turkey Salisbury Steak with Bacon Jam Gravy

Ginger Roasted Pork Tenderloin

 

Posted in Recipes

5 Great Depression Era Meals and What They Would Cost You Today

  1. Creamed Chipped Beef over Toast
  2. Spaghetti with Bacon
  3. Creamy Noodles with Ham and Peas
  4. Ham and Navy bean soup
  5. Meat and Potato Pancakes

Creamed Chipped Beef

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2 Tablespoons Butter ($.28)

2 Tablespoons flour ($.06)

1 1/2 cups milk ($.35)

1/2 pound deli roast beef or  Browned ground beef  ($2.75 to $4.00)

4 to 6 slices of toast ($.60 to $.90)

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour all at once to form a roux. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until thickened. Bring to a boil, stir in beef and salt and pepper to taste heat through and serve over toast

Cost per 4 servings $4.04 to $5.59

Spaghetti with Bacon

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1 box of Spaghetti ($.88)

3 slices of Bacon ($1.20)

1 cup Parmesan Cheese ($.80)

3 cloves of garlic minced ($.30)

1 /2 table spoon chopped dried parsley ($.10)

Total cost $3.28

 

 Pasta Casserole with Ham and Peas

 

1 box pasta ($.88)

4 small ham steaks cubed ($2.40)

1 bag frozen peas ($.99)

1/2 cup milk ($.22)

2 tablespoon of butter ($.28)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese ($.40)

Total cost $5.17

 

Ham and Navy Bean Soup

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3 cups dried navy beans ($1.49)

1 can diced tomatoes ($.98)

1 onion chopped ($.20)

1 cup diced ham ($3.49  Buy 1, get 3 free Big Y sale)

2 cups chicken broth ($1.99)

salt and pepper

Total $8.15 (This makes multiple meals worth of soup)

Rinse and sort beans; soak according to package directions.Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Place in a Dutch oven. Add the tomatoes with juice, onion, ham hock, broth, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 1-1/2 hours.Add more water if necessary. Remove ham hock and let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bone; discard bone. Cut meat into bite-size pieces; set aside. (For a thicker soup, cool slightly, then puree beans in a food processor or blender and return to pan.) Return ham to soup and heat through. Garnish with parsley

Meat and Potato Pancakes

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1/2 pound Ground beef ($2.00)

3 large potatoes shredded ($.75)

1 onion chopped ($.20)

1 egg ($.17)

Total cost $3.12

Combine the ingredients. Shape into four patties; press to flatten slightly. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown patties on both sides; drain. Add tomato juice. Simmer, covered, until a thermometer inserted into meat reads 160°, 20-25 minutes.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Ingredient Meals and Sides

We are trying to stick to a budget of $500 or less to feed our family of four.

Feeding a Family of 4 on $500 a Month

I found this great video with some great meals you can make with minimal ingredients. The price per meal will depend on how much you spend on the ingredients. We always shop the sales and then look for recipes we can make with what we have.  Buying in bulk (when meat is on sale) and utilizing our chest freezer makes it easier. We love the buy 1, get 2 meat sales at big y. We also found that Aldi and super Walmart have the best price on vegetables. We bought a 50 In. Bag of white rice , which ends up being less than $.25 per dry cup.

You might also like Pork Stir Fry ($.94 per serving)

Cheap and Easy Sausage and Peppers Grinder ($1.51 per serving)

Two Family Dinners under $6

Posted in Main Dishes, Recipes

Pork Stir Fry ($.94 per serving)

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We are trying to stick to a $500 a month Budget for our family of four. You can read more about our budget plan in my post Feeding a Family of 4 on $500 a Month.

Cheap and Easy Stir Fry Pork

Pork Loin (1 pound) $2.22

2 cup White rice (uncooked measure) ($.50)

1 Bag Frozen Snap Peas ($.99)

1 red Pepper ($.53)

1 /2 onion ($.08)

2  cloves Garlic ($.08)

1 table spoon olive oil ($.10)

1/2 jar Hoi Sauce ($1.15)

 

Total Cost $ 5.64

This made Enough for all four of us for dinner and for 2 servings of leftovers for mike and I for lunch the next day.  Which makes it $.94 per serving.

We bought the Hoison sauce at Super Walmart. But it may be cheaper to make your own if you have the ingredients in your kitchen . There is a really easy recipe Here.

We bought the pork roast on sale for 50% off at Stop and shop for a total of $4.44 for a two pound pack of pork loin. The pack contained two 1 lb. loins. This made each loin only $2.22.

We buy a 50 lb. bag of rice from the Asian market making each cup of uncooked rice only $.25. We store it in a sealed tupperware tub in the basemen pantry and it last forever. If the apocalypse happens we will have enough rice for awhile..lol.

Cut the pork loin into 1 inch slices and marinate in a zip lock bag with about 1/4 the jar of Hoison sauce for at least 4 hours, all day while you go to work , or overnight is great too.

Directions for Making Cheap and Easy Stir Fry Pork

In a large wok. Saute pork slices until cooked all the way through and inside is no longer pink. Remove from wok.

 

 

Add into hot walk, chopped onion (How to Dice An onion,)chopped pepper, and chopped garlic. Saute until onions are translucent. Add in frozen snap peas and the other 1/4 of the Hoison sauce. Heat until frozen vegetables are hot. You can add the pork back into the wok and toss for a few minutes to warm it back up.

Cook rice however you normally cook your rice. We use our pressure cooker because it is quicker. We added a little parsley  to the rice and some seasame seeds just because we had some in our pantry. They make nice garnish for the pictures. But not nessissary for the recipe.

 

Plate and Enjoy!

We stored the leftover servings in a sealed container in the refrigerate and microwaved it the next day  at work for lunch for Mike and myself.

 

You may also like :

Two Family Dinners under $6

Cheap and Easy Sausage and Peppers Grinder ($1.51 per serving)

 

 

 

Posted in Budget Friendly Meals, Cooking Tips, Recipes

Cheap and Easy Sausage and Peppers Grinder ($1.51 per serving)

Cheap easy Sausage and peppers
cheap easy sausage and peppers

We are continuing on our journey (or challenge I guess) to feed our family of four for only $500 per month. You can read more about our budget plan HERE.

Feeding a Family of 4 on $500 a Month

Cheap and Delicious sausage and Pepper Grinders

4 shady Brook turkey spicy Italian sausage (1.84)

2 Bell Peppers ($1.06)

1 yellow onion ($.16)

1 jar tomato sauce ($.88)

4 Hoagie Rolls ($1.32)

1/2 block cheese shredded ($.80)

Total Cost $6.06 for 4 servings or $1.51 per serving.

The Turkey sausages were originally priced at $5.49 per pack of four links. But Big Y had them on sale for buy 1, get 1 free. Making the cost per pack only $2.75 per pack of six links.

The Hoagie Rolls are Big Y brand and again were on sale for buy 1, get 1 free. Original price was $3.99 per pack of 6. The sale brought the price per pack of 6 down to $1.99 and the price per roll to $.33 per roll.

The bell Peppers were at Super walmart for $.53 cents each and the Pasta sauce also at walmart for only $.88 per jar.

The onions we had bought a big bag of at Aldi and the price per onion was calculated out to be $.16 per onion

Now we calculated out these portions based on the assumption that all four members of your household will eat all the ingredients. But being a mother I totally understand that this is not the reality of family dinner. One kid may only eat the sausage and bun without the peppers and onions, one kid may only eat the cheese and bun, one kid might just eat the veggies and then there is that one kid, like mine that will only eat the bun! Ohhhhh! Such is life at the family table. So if that sounds lie your family , the good news is the meal may end up even cheaper. BONUS!!! HA HA!

To make these Cheap and delicious Sausage and pepper Grinders:

Brown Sausages in fry pan or dutch oven until cooked through and brown on the outside.

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Remove sausages from the pan. Slice the peppers and onions into thin strips and cook in the sausage juices until soft. Add in the pasta sauce and stir until heated through. place the rolls on a cookie sheet and fill with 1 sausage link , cover link with the pepper and onion mixture and sprinkle cheese on top.

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Bake at 350 in the oven until cheeses is melted.

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You may also like to check out our other budget recipes:

Two Family Dinners under $6

 

Bonus Meal:

Used the leftover peppers and onions and mixture to make a yummy cheap gourmet breakfast.

Toast ($.15)

Egg ($.10)

Peppers and onions ($.00)

Coffee ($.16)

Total breakfast cost ($.41)

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Posted in Cooking Tips, Recipes

Two Family Dinners under $6

Our family is attempting to keep our grocery budget under $500 a month for a family of four.  You can read more about our plan Here. In order to make this work our daily dinner budget has to be between $6 and $8 most nights. If we can find dishes that are even less on some nights we can then use the saved money to splurge a little on a dinner here and there. So this week I tried to come up with two dishes that were about $5 per meal. We also save money in the budget by having leftovers for lunches. So both of these dinners provided enough for us to have a hearty dinner meal and also left overs for a few of us to have for lunch the next day.

We are super sale shoppers and we buy a lot of our meat when Big Y has their buy 1, get 2 free sales. We have a chest freezer. So we can store the meat for when we need it. We also have chickens, which means we get eggs very cheap. But if you do not have chickens you can buy cheap eggs at walmart or Aldi. You can also stock up when big Y sells them for $.99 a dozen. Crack the eggs into ice cube trays to freeze them.

I hope you like these super cheap dinner ideas. They were easy to make, tasted great and we very budget friendly! Enjoy.

Chicken Club Quiche Bake

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6 eggs  ( $1.00)

1 cup pancake mix  (.40 )

1/2 cup water (free)

1 tomato chopped (.50 cents)

3 strips of bacon chopped (1.20)

1 chicken breast (1.60)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (.40)

1 yellow onion  (.16 cents)

 

1 sweet potato (32 Cents)

2 tablespoons pancake mix (.10)

 

Total Cost  $5.68

This made enough for all of us to have seconds for dinner plus lunch for my husband the next day.

Dice chicken in to small pieces. Cut up the bacon into small pieces and  dice the onion.  Cook the bacon on medium heat in a fry pan until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and add chicken and onion into the bacon grease. stir over medium heat until chicken is cooked through. Drain off excess grease. Scramble 6 eggs and mix with 1 cup pancake mix and water. Pour egg mixture into a 8×8 greases baking pan. Add chicken , tomato , onions and bacon to the pan of egg mixture. Cover with the Parmesan cheese. Cook in a 400 degree oven until egg is cooked through and firm.

While Quiche is cooking, grate the sweet potato and mix with the 1 tablespoon of pancake mix. Using the extra bacon grease in a frying pan. Form the potato mix into 4 small patties and fry until brown on either side. You can put them aside and then heat them on a cookie sheet in the oven for a few minutes before the quiche is done.

Check out How to Dice An onion

Chicken and Zucchini Pasta

1 tomato (.50)

1 zucchini (.33)

1 chicken Breast (1.60)

1/2 block of cheese  (.90)

1 cup Parmesan cheese (.50)

1 box of elbow macaroni (.88 cents)

1/2 container of pasta sauce (.50)

 

Total cost 5.11 cents

 

This made enough for everyone to have two helpings for dinner plus three lunches leftover.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Cut the chicken breast into small cubes and saute in a fry pan with some oil until cooked through. Grate zucchini and dice tomato.

In a 9×13 baking dish, mix pasta, pasta sauce, zucchini, tomato, and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking Tips

All Natural Food Coloring

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I was cleaning up after my daughter’s birthday yesterday and was disgusted at the frosting from the cake. The blue frosting stained the plates, the kids hands, the table cloth. I could only imagine what it was doing to the kids insides.

In our house we don’t eat a lot of sweets or junk food. So I don’t think too much about what I serve at a party. I consider it a special treat. But after seeing what the food coloring had done, I started to wonder if there was a more natural way to decorate the cake.

The fact is, that it has been known for awhile now that artificial coloring in food can be potential toxic and should be avoided. Artificial coloring has been linked to a variety of tumors and also is know to cause hyper activity in children. I can always tell when my son has had a red Popsicle, he ends up with “ants in his pants” and can’t sit still. So between the fact that artificial food coloring cause cancer and are behavior altering, I went looking for a more natural solution.

Here is what I came up with:

  1. Reds or Pinks: To make a natural dye for foods you want to be red or pink you can use beets , raspberries or pomegranates.

Steep the beets in boiling water until the water turn a nice bright shade of red. Then you can strain out the beets and allow the water to cool ,use a dropper to add small amounts of the red water to the frosting to get the desired color.

The raspberries can be put in cheese cloth and squeeze the juice out of them into a bowl. slowly add the juice to the frosting until it gets to the color you want.

2.Orange: To make a natural orange food dye, boil carrots in water until the water turns orange. Strain out the carrots and allow the water to cool. Add small amounts to the frosting to get the desired color.

3.Yellow: Saffron, yellow Beets or Dandelion fluff can all be used to naturally dye foods yellow. You can boil the beets the same as the carrots or red beets. With the saffron and dandelion fluff it can be added directly to the frosting. I highly recommend the dandelion. It has a naturally sweet flavor similar to honey.

4.Green: To make green food dye, spinach is the way to go. Boil the spinach same as the carrots or beets to dye the water.

5. Blue or Purple:  To make various shades of blue or purple you can experiment with straining juice from blue berries and blackberries. Add small amounts of the juices until you get the desired color. Boiling purple cabbage is another way to get a nice natural purple color food dye.

Next year’s birthday cake will not be staining my kids with unhealthy artificial food dyes.