Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Smoked Sausage Cheese Dip

8 oz. smoked sausage - turkey or pork, cut into small 1/4" pieces ($1.00)
1 lb. American cheese, cubed ($1.75)
1 tomato (Roma or plum), chopped fine ($.25)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped fine ($.20)
1/4 small onion, minced, optional ($.10)
2 tsp. cumin ($.10)
1 C. light sour cream ($.25)
1/3 C. chopped cilantro ($.15)
tortilla or corn chips, julienned bell peppers, etc. for dipping ($2.00)

Combine sausage, cheese, tomato, pepper, onion, and cumin in a large saucepan, mix well to combine. Heat over low until melted and hot - stirring occasionally. Add sour cream and half the cilantro, stir well.

Serve hot with chips or room temperature with veggies.

Yields = 14 1/4 C. servings

Leftovers?? Drizzle over ground meat or shredded pork or chicken, serve in a tortilla.

Cost $5.80
Cost per serving: $.41

Friday, February 12, 2010

Double Chocolate Brownies

1 pkg. chocolate cake mix, any but devils food
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
1/4 C. margarine or unsweetened applesauce
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. liquid coffee creamer or milk
2 tsp. vanilla or your favorite extract
1 C. each milk or semisweet chocolate and dark or white chocolate chips - use your favorite combination - minis and chunks work great too
1/4 C. powdered sugar, optional

Mix well all ingredients.

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease a 13x9" baking dish. Spread batter evenly into pan, top with additional chocolate if desired. Bake for 24-27 minutes. Cool and cut.

Dust with powdered sugar, optional

Yields = 24-35 brownies

Want a mocha twist? Substitute cold coffee for milk/coffee creamer!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Spiced Apricot and Raisin Bars

1 pkg. spice cake mix ($.47)
2 eggs ($.20)
1/4 C. unsweetened applesauce ($.10)
1/2 C. brown sugar ($.20)
1/4 C. pumpkin pie spice flavored coffee creamer, liquid ($.05)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg ($.10)
2 tsp. vanilla ($.15)
1/2 bag dried apricots ($.40)
1/4 C. black raisins ($.18)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 13x9" baking dish.

Chop apricots and raisins.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, mix well.

Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 24-26 minutes.

Cool and cut

Yields = 24-36 bars
Total Cost: $1.85
Cost per serving: $.05 - $.08

Coconut Strawberry Bars

1 pkg. coconut cake mix ($.47)
2 eggs ($.15)
1/3 C. brown sugar ($.15)
1/4 C. unsweetened applesauce ($.10)
1/4 C. almond coffee creamer ($.05)
1/4 tsp. coconut extract ($.20)
6-8 strawberries, stems removed, chopped ($.20)
1/4 C. shredded sweetened flaked coconut ($.15)

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease a 13x9" baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except shredded coconut, mix until well combined. Spread evenly into prepared pan, top with coconut shreds.

Bake for 24-27 minutes, cool and cut.

Yields 24-35 bars
Total Cost: $1.47
Cost per servings: $.04-$.06

Monday, February 1, 2010

5 Quick Make-Ahead Ideas for the Big Game

With SuperBowl weekend right around the corner, I'm looking for tons of flavor on a budget and need stuff I can set-up ahead of time. Here's my list of 5 great Game Day favorites:

1. Can't watch a game without chips and dip! BLT Dip and Cheesy Bean Dip are my favorites for this year. In a hurry - toss together 1 T. each minced onion, beef bouillion, and 1/2 tsp. garlic with 8 oz. sour cream for instant French Onion Dip.

2. Taquitos - love tortillas - and tightly rolled around some yummy filling - sure to be a big hit! it's also a great way to stretch a buck!

3. Cubed cheese and crackers - simple as cubing the cheese and opening a box of crackers - even your hubby or kids could do this one!

4. Sweet and Tangy Meatballs - skip the noodles and turn this entree into an instant appetizer!

5. Asian Style Boneless Chicken Wings - can't have game day without chicken wings - though if you're looking for something different - try this: Buffalo-Style Shrimp.

3 Ways to keep the snacks healthier:

1. Use light sour cream and cream cheese only when making the dips. Honestly, no one will notice the difference.
2. Each veggie based items like salsa, veggie dips, or even put out a tray of baby carrots and celery sticks.
3. Bake isntead of frying: the taquitos are baked instead of fried, and you can do this to the meatballs too. Remember, every little bit helps.

Beverage on a budget:

1. Keep tons of flavored lemonade, Sweet Tea, and 2 L. bottles of soda.
2. BYOB - if someone wants alcohol - let them bring it - you're already making all the snacks!
3. If you're going to buy alcohol, go to your local grocery store, start eyeing the ones with coupons on them. You might even get a free pizza for buying a certain brand of beer. No one can say no to free pizza....can they?

Pork and Ginger Fried Rice

1 T. canola oil ($.10)
6-8 white mushrooms, rough chopped ($.25)
1/2 C. each ham and pork ribs, chopped small ($.20)
2 T. minced ginger ($.15)
2 T. minced garlic ($.15)
1/2 small onion, chopped very fine ($.10)
1 T. parsley ($.10)
1 C. cooked white rice, leftover works best ($.25)
2 eggs ($.20)
1/8 C. soy sauce ($.15)
4 T. teriyaki sauce ($.05)
1/8 tsp. cumin ($.05)
1/2 tsp. black pepper and season salt ($.10)

In a medium skillet, add oil and heat over medium high until hot. Add mushroom, ginger, garlic, and onion - lightly saute for 5-6 minutes, until onion is just translucent and mushrooms are tender. Stir in ham and rib meat, cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until heated through and well combined. Stir in rice and parsley, incorporate well. Push rice mixture to one side of the pan, add one egg, scramble quickly, and when egg is halfway cooked - fold into the rice. Repeat for the second egg. Add all remaining ingredients, cooking 5-8 additional minutes - rice is done when lightly golden and heated through.

Yields = 2 servings
Cost = $1.85 or $.93 per serving