Friday, September 2, 2011

Baking & Saving Money

It's the first year I have had the opportunity to plant a large garden, and I have enjoyed it so much.  It's time-consuming, but very rewarding.  I have the mindset that as a stay-at-home wife & mother, that I need to do whatever I can to help the family economy.  Part of that means gardening & baking from scratch.  Those two things do so much to save money.

Today I made butternut squash pies using pie crust from the freezer recipe I found online, and I also substituted powdered milk for canned evaporated milk.  Those links are below.  I recommend printing them and placing them in a recipe binder.

From Pantry Eats:  "Stocking Up.  Bulk Freezer Pie Crust Recipe". <----click

This is so economical because it costs pennies and you can have several in the freezer for quiche & pies!
The only thing I did differently was that instead of making "bricks", I rolled the pie crust out like I normally would, and then rolled it up like you find it at the grocery store. 

From Hillbilly Housewife:  " Saving Money with Powdered Milk"  <------click

I used powdered milk instead of buying cans of evaporated milk.  Much more economical!   

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Green Enchilada Sauce (from garden peppers)

Enchilada sauce using banana peppers and green onions from the garden.

What you need:
  • 2 or 3 cups (or more) of beef broth (I made mine using roast drippings)
  • about 2 handfuls of sliced & seeded green peppers (I used banana peppers, but you could use any type of  pepper)
  • a handful of diced green onions
  • salt, pepper, onion powder(TBsp), garlic powder(TBsp), & cumin (about a tablespoon) to taste
  • cornstarch

Boil the peppers & green onions in the broth & seasonings until tender.  Remove the peppers and onions with a slotted spoon.   Stir about 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch into 1 cup of cold water until dissolved.  While the broth is boiling, add the cornstarch mixture.  Use a whisk or a fork whisk the cornstarch until you get a nice gravy. 

Use this sauce to top enchiladas.

Click here for a good enchilada recipe.  You can replace the cream of chicken soup in the recipe with this sauce.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole

1 pound of ground beef
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag of frozen tater tots

Brown ground beef and drain.  Mix in can of cream of mushroom soup (can add a little milk to help consistency).  Spread in a casserole dish (9x13).  Sprinkle top of meat mixture with cheese.  Top with frozen tater tots.  Bake according to tater tot directions. 

Some recipes say to bake for 30-45 minutes, but I find that if the meat is already hot when you put it in the oven, the most important thing is getting the tater tots done.  If the tater tots are done and meat mixture is bubbling, then it is perfect.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chicken, Mushroom, and Wild Rice Soup

Chicken, Mushroom, and Wild Rice Soup

Makes: 14 cups

2 (6 oz.) packages of long-grain and wild rice mix

10 cups chicken broth, divided

3 Tbsp. butter

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup half-and-half

2 Tbsp. dry white wine

2 cups cooked shredded chicken breasts

Garnishes: Fresh parsley leaves, freshly cracked pepper

1. Bring rice, 4 cups chicken broth, and 1 seasoning packet from rice mix to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. (reserve remianing seasoning packet for another use)

2. Meanwhile, melt 3 Tbsp. butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and celery and cook, stirring often, 10-12 minutes or until tender.

3. Mlet 1/4 cup butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute, or until thickened and bubbly. Gradually whisk in remaining 6 cups of broth, and cook, stirring often 8-10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Whisk in half-and-half and wine. Stir in mushroom mixture, chicken, and rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes or until throughly heated. (Do not boil) Garnish if desired.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sour Cream Cucumber Salad

1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of sour cream
4 1/2 cups of thinly sliced, peeled cucumbers
3 Tablespoons of onion, grated (I use about a teaspoon of onion powder instead)
2 Tablespoons of white vinegar

Blend together sugar, salt, sour cream, onion, and vinegar in a bowl.  Add cucumbers and mix well.  Cover, and chill at least 2 hours.

Creamy Taco

This is a great company dish (One of Michael's favorites; passed down to me by his mother).
I recommend serving it with a salad or a vegetable tray.

1 pound of ground beef (or a leaner version.  I use venison!)
1 onion, chopped (or diced dry onions or a teaspoon of onion powder)
seasoning - salt, pepper, & chili powder (to taste)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of pet milk (evaporated milk)  Note: I usually just substitute with regular milk, pouring in about 1/2 cup.
1/2 can of green chiles, diced
1 dozen tortillas (torn into pieces)
2 cups of grated cheese

Spray or coat a 9x13 pan with a light coating of oil. 

Brown beef & onion along with seasonings.  Drain well.  Add soups, milk, and green chiles to make a medium thick gravy.  Place layers of tortillas (about 3 layers), meat, onions, & gravy.  Top with cheese.

Bake @ 350 degrees for at least 30 minutes.  Makes 6-8 servings.