Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mother's Day Brunch: Munster & Smoked Sausage Frittata

Looking for a new family favorite that won't keep you in the kitchen for more than 5-10 minutes of prep time? Try a frittata. Easy, classic, perfect to tailor to your families tastebuds, this go-to is a big time saver and it doesn't imvolve too much prep time or fancy ingredients. My rule of thumb for a frittata: 1 cheese, 1 meat/veggie, 1 topping. If you can't think of a great topping, just add a little grated cheese on top - that makes anything look fancy!

1 T. canola oil ($.05)
6 whole eggs ($.38)
4 egg whites ($.38)
1/4 C. sour cream ($.10)
1/4 C. shredded Munster cheese ($.20)
1 link of smoked sausage, chopped small ($.15)
salt and pepper ($.05)

Heat oven to 350. Coat a pie plate with oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, sour cream, and salt and pepper. Add smoked sausage to bottom of pie plate, pour egg mixture over the top, and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until center is just set and edges are lightly golden brown. Loosen from sides of pan, cut into wedges and serve. Serve with toast, fresh fruit, and juice.

Yields = 8 wedges
Cost: $1.31 or $.16 per wedge

Optional: Top with caramelized onions or a sprinkling of parsley.

Tip: You can even set this up ahead of time and just pop it in the oven!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ginger Fried Rice

This is a great way to use leftover steamed rice, but if you don't have that one hand, I've included a yummy variations on classic white rice, sure to add so extra punch to your palette. The addition of ginger really makes all the difference in the world!

If you have leftover rice, please skip the 3 ingredients.

1 C. rice ($.15)
2 C. water (free)
3 chicken bouillion cubes ($.15)
2 small onions, sliced paper thin ($.16)
3 T. oil, divided ($.10)
1/4 Ancient red bell pepper (the long, skinny ones) ($.13)
1/4 orange bell pepper ($.11)
4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced thin ($.49)
1 carrot, peeled and grated ($.10)
1 clove garlic, minced ($.05)
2 T. minced gingerroot ($.10)
3 eggs, well scrambled ($.24)
salt and pepper ($.05)
3 T. soy sauce ($.10)
2-3 T. teriyaki marinade (free after coupons)

In a large skillet, add oil to pan over a medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add in 1/2 the sliced onion and the rice. Toast until rice is no longer translucent (3-4 minutes). Add in water and bouillion. Simmer, covered, for 12-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and rice is tender. Uncover and cool.

Once cooled, remove rice from pan, add 1 T. oil and peppers, mushroom, remaining onion, garlic, ginger, and carrot. Sautee for 5-8 minutes, or until the veggies are fork tender. Remove veggies with a slotted spoon and add this to the rice and combine well. In that same pan, add scrambled eggs, over a medium-high heat, cooking quickly. When eggs are 3/4 through cooking, combine in the rice and veggie mixture and combine well. Add in soy and teriyaki and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, heating everything through and combining all the flavors well.

Yields = 3-4 servings
Cost: $1.93
Cost per serving: $.48 - $.64 per serving

This was such a hit for DH & I, next time we'll make a double batch - reheats great for lunch the next day! This is so flavorful and filling, you easily double (or triple) the veggie amounts and serve as a main course.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mother's Day Brunch: White Chocolate Raspberry Scones

1 1/2 C. flour, all purpose ($.15)
1 1/3 C. oats ($.10)
1/3 C. brown sugar ($.10)
1/3 C. granulated sugar ($.10))
1 T. baking powder ($.05)
1/3 C. margarine ($.25)
1 tsp. vanilla extract ($.15)
1/2 tsp. almond extract ($.10)
1/2 C. milk ($.10)
1 egg ($.07)
1/2 C. white chocolate chips ($.30)
1 C. raspberries (frozen works best)($.65)

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, and baking powder. Cut in margarine til mixture resembles fine crumbs. Beat egg into milk and extract. Stir milk mixture into the crumbly flour mixture. Fold in raisins. Place dough on a flour surface and knead 6 times.

On a greased baking sheet, form dough into an 8" circle, score the dough into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Dust with cinnamon sugar, if desired.

Bake at 375 for 20-23 minutes.

While dough is still warm, break into wedges.

Yields = 8 scones
Cost: $2.12 or $.26 per scone

Thai Mandarin Ginger Stirfry

3 T. gingerroot, peeled and minced ($.35)
2 large yellow onions, sliced very thin ($.45)
2 T. canola oil ($.15)
8 oz. fresh white button mushrooms, sliced ($.99)
1 T. minced garlic ($.20)
2 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces ($1.39)
1 C. Sesame Ginger Marinade (free after coupons)
2 large red bell peppers, chopped ($.79)
2 15 oz. cans Mandarin oranges (free after coupons)

Marinate chicken in Sesame Ginger marinade for 4-12 hours. Discard marinade before cooking.

In a large skillet, add oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot, stir in onions and minced ginger. Cook over medium-low to sweat the onions. When onions are translucent, add in garlic, mushrooms, and chicken, add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook over medium heat until mushrooms are tender is chicken is no longer pink (about 8-11 minutes).

Stir in drained Dole Mandarin oranges and red bell and heat through. Serve over steamed or fried rice.

Yields = 4-5 servings
Cost: $4.32
Cost per serving = $.87-$1.08

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mother's Day Special: Tea Sandwiches

I'm planning to host a Mother's Day Brunch this year (unless schedules cannot agree, which often is the case) and I'm posting my recipes for a simple and affordable brunch. My goal is to offer some "fancy" (or fancy sounding) breakfast items and some lighter, high-tea favorites. First up, tea sandwiches. The best part? These are 5 ingredients and fabulous!

16 slices honey wheat bread, crust removed ($.75)
3 T. mayo or Miracle Whip ($.05 - grabbed (4) 32 oz. jars for $.50 ea. last weekend!)
1 C. chicken breast, cooked and chopped fine ($.75)
1 tsp. salt ($.02)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, onion) ($.10)

Mix chicken with seasonings and fold in mayo - using just enough to bind all ingredients together. Spread 2 T. of mixture on 8 slices of bread, spreading evenly. Top with remaining 8 slices of bread and cut on the diagonal.

To Garnish (optional):
Lightly butter edges of sandwiches and dip in crushed pecans, fresh, chopped flatleaf parsley, or smoked paprika.

Yields = 16 tea sandwiches
Cost: $1.67

For variations, replace chicken with an equal amount of:

Chopped cucumber
Finely chopped pineapple
Sundried tomatoes and 1 T. bacon
Chopped bell pepper and minced red onion

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ultimate BBQ Rub

A fitting end for the UBP is the Ultimate BBQ Rub! Finally we're entering into the BBQ seasoning, and while a good marinade is a must, sometimes you want a delicious, smoky rub to work into a juicy side of beef, rack of ribs, plump, tendet chicken breast, etc., etc., etc. This affordable make-ahead rub is a go-to and is sure to save $$ over the store bought blends.

A few of the great blogs that I've been inspired by:

Angie's Healthy Living
All Round An Italian Table
Bean Street Market

1/8 C. brown sugar ($.05)
2 tsp. hickory smoked salt ($.15)
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper ($.10)
1 tsp. paprika ($.05)
3 tsp. cumin ($.10)
1 T. onion powder ($.15)
2 1/2 tsp. garlic ($.10)
pinch of oregano ($.05)

Mix to combine well. Store in a sealed, air tight container.
Cost: $.75
Yields = 3-4 batches

Taco Seasoning Blend

While I love the convenience of taco seasoning, the in-store prices are rather high for my taste and since I haven't gotten really good coupons to buy this lately, I've looked at a few recipes to make my own. All the spices I use are readily available at most supermarkets. I've added cornstarch to act as a thickener to make the meat bind together well. Use this in gorund beef, gorund turkey, or chicken to make awesome tacos!

3 T. chili powder ($.15)
2 T. paprika ($.15)
2 T. onion powder ($.10)
1 T. plus 1 tsp. cumin ($.10)
1 T. plus 1 tsp. garlic powder ($.10)
1 tsp. Mexican oregano (or regular ground oregano) ($.05)
1/8 tsp. cayenne (more if you prefer more heat) ($.05)
1/4 C. cornstarch ($.12)
pinch of salt
*1 tsp. sugar* optional ($.03)

Place in an airtight container and shake to combine well. Store sealed in a cool, dry place. This will keep up to 6 months.

Use 2-3 T. per pound of meat.
This yields = 8-10 servings
Cost: $.85
Cost per serving: $.08 - $.10

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sweet & Mesquite Spice Blend

2 T. brown sugar ($.10)
1 tsp. paprika ($.05)
1 tsp. hickory smoke salt ($.10)
1 tsp. black pepper ($.05)
3/4 tsp. cumin ($.10)
1 tsp. garlic powder (toasted, if available) ($.10)
1 T. dry minced onion ($.10)
1/8 tsp. cayenne ($.05)
1/4 tsp. Mexican oregano ($.05)

Place in an airtight bag, shake to combine well. Rub onto meat, poultry, root veggies and roast or grill. For a smokier flavor, add more cumin to taste.

Yields = 1 batch (enough for 3-4 lbs. meat)
Cost: $.70

**Hint** If you like the flavor, make a larger batch and place in a sealed jar or an airtight bag. The will keep for up to 6 months.

Deli Meat at Home

Have you gotten a good look at what decent deli meat goes for these days? I don't mind paying for food with flavor, but I wouldn't spend as much on anything per pound as deli meat is prices at. Even chocolate is cheaper!

So, my choices are pretty simple:
1. I can suck it up and pay that much or
2. I can figure out a way to make my own.

Naturally, I like option #2 better. And yes, I do have a meat slicer. The best gift I was ever given! And completely worth the $40 that was spent on it. I'll save more than that with 3-4 batches of meat sliced, since anything comparable per pound cost more than $6.99. I still think the deli prices are highway robbery. But, I do enjoy their free samples... I like to call it delicious inspiration.

Here's what I'm thinking:

1. Roasted Garlic Peppercorn Pork Loin, thin sliced (combine 3 T. crushed black peppercorns with 3 envelopes of Savory Garlic & Herb Lipton Seasoning blend)

2. Roasted Onion Beef Sirloin, thin sliced (I'll use 3-4 envelopes of Lipton Onion Soup Mix for my flavorings)

3. Sweet & Mesquite Chicken Breast

For less than $2 a pound, I was able to grab a few pounds of each of those meats to start with. This weekend, since I've kept Saturday afternoon clear and it's supposed to be on the cooler side, I'll start by giving #2 and #3 a try. DaMama's planning to make #1, so we'll have quite a few variations covered.

DaMama also has a vacuum sealer, so once the meat has cooled (typically overnight), I'll bring to her place to seal and divide up. I'm sure she can use some deli meat. After all, a girl cannot live on free bologna alone....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pieces Cookies

1/2 C. brown sugar ($.20)
1/2 C. granulated sugar ($.10)
1 stick butter or margarine ($.16)
1 egg ($.07)
1 tsp. vanilla extract ($.10)
1/2 tsp baking powder dissolved in 1 T. hot water ($.05)
2 C. flour ($.10)
3/4 C. Reese's Pieces ($.75)

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix well sugars and margarine. Stir in egg and extract, mix well. Stir in dissolved baking soda, stir in flour 1 cup at a time, mixing until well blended. Stir in pieces. Drop by rounded spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes - longer for a crunchy cookie.

Yields = 2-3 dozen cookies
Cost: $1.53

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Peppery Roasted Pork with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce

3.5 to 4 lb. boneless pork tenderloin ($5.20)
3 T. peppercorns ($.20)
1 T. salt ($.10)
1 tsp. garlic salt ($.10)
1 T. olive oil ($.15)
8 oz. mushrooms ($.99)
1/2 C. sour cream, light ($.20)
1 C. milk, fat free or 1% ($.15)
3 T. corn starch ($.10)
2 T. margarine ($.20)

Place peppercorn in a ziplock bag and lightly crush them (enough so it's still chunky). Add is salt and garlic salt. Shake together to combine, rub into the meat. Drizzle top of roast with olive oil.

Bake on a lightly greased or aluminum foil lined pan at 325 for 2 1/2 hours, meat is fully cooked when internal temperature reaches .

Slice mushrooms very thin, season with salt and pepper. Sauteed with 1 T. margarine or butter until tender (7-8 minutes on medium-high heat).
Remove mushrooms from pan with slotted spoon and add corn starch to make a roux. Whisk in milk and bring to a light simmer, stirring constantly to thicken. Whisk in sour cream once sauce has thickened. Stir in mushrooms.

Pour sauce over roast before serving.

Yields = 8 to 10 servings
Cost: $7.39
Cost per serving: $.74 to $.93 per serving

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chicken Club Sammies

With lots of grilled chicken leftover - I'm doing a leftover makeover! With bread, cheese, and some bacon - it's gonna be a feast! In 15 minutes or less, hopefully less. Since provolone was on sale, I'll sub that in for the swiss that's usually called for in this classic sammie.

6 slices bacon, cooked until just crispy ($.40)
1 C. chicken chunks (we'll use dark meat, since that's what's on hand, but either would work) ($.25)
4 slices provolone (or Swiss) ($.30)
4 T. honey mustard or mayo (reduced fat) (Free after coupons)
1 tsp. cooking oil ($.10)
4 slices of bread ($.13)

Brush the bread with oil on one side, place oil side down on a grill or griddle pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Brush face-up side of bread with 1 T. honey mustard (more or less - to taste). Top with one slice of cheese, chicken, 3 slices of bacon, one slice of cheese, another slice of bread (honey mustard side down and oil side up). Repeat with remaining ingredients. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side over medium high heat(or until bread is golden and cheese is melted).

Yields = 2 sammies
Cost: $1.18 or $.59 per sammie

Serve with side salad and fruit

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tortas Cubana

I've been watching too much Rick Bayless again. Last weekend, I watched him do something amazing - like always....but this one I might be able to replicate without spending days traveling to Mexico City (which I would love to do, but my budget certainly doesn't approve right now) and countless hours in kitchen prep (which sounds a hint on the tedious side, okay, more than a hint).

he was making tortas, a sandwich made on bolio bread (similar to half a loaf of crusty, French bread), that has been hollowed out for the filling of the sandwich. While he showed several variations on the filling, the Torta Cubana spoke to my soul. Filled with carnitas (hey, I can make that!), topped with ham (just bought some the day before), and Oaxacan cheese (I'll substitute Quesadilla cheese - hey, sometimes you have to work with what you've got), and topped with slices of avocado and mayo (got tons of that in the pantry) - it looks like an absolute dream.

Here's my take on Rick Bayless' Torta Cubana:

1/2 lb. carnitas ($.50)
2 small limes ($.15)
salt ($.05)
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil, divided ($.05)
6 slices deli ham ($.30)
4 slices quesadilla cheese (or your favorite mild white cheese) ($.20)
2 bolio rolls (they're $.25 each)
4 T. mayo (free after coupons)
1/2 avocado, sliced thin ($.50)

In a small, nonstick pan, add 1/2 tsp. oil, carnitas, a pinch of salt and the juice of 2 limes. Cook over medium high til meat is lightly crisped at the edges. Using a wooden spoon or utensil, lightly chop meat to bite sized chunks.

Cut bolio's in half length-wise. Hollow out the center of the top half of the bolio, brush crusty outside with oil, spread mayo in the hollowed out top, and to the bottom add carnitas, ham, top with cheese and grill for 3-5 minutes on medium high heat, until cheese is melted. Top with avocado, then add top half to the bottom half. Serve with chips and salsa/guacamole.

Yields = 2 sammies
Cost: $2.25 or $1.13 per sammie

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gingered Pear Slices with Walnuts

Looking for an easy, family friendly side dish to jazz up your dinner? I've got a spin-off of my friend, Amiyrah's Cinnamon Apples - which are heaven in a dish. Those apples are so good it's like eating dessert for dinner. Here's a twist for all you pear lovers out there - I'm sure I'm not the only one that loves the sweet flavor of lush, ripe pears when they're in season (or on sale)!

4 large pears (your favorite variety - I like Bosc) ($1.29)
3 T. margarine ($.15)
3 T. brown sugar ($.20)
2 tsp. ground ginger or 1 T. minced gingerroot (I like to use gingerroot, but ground will work fine) ($.20)
1/3 C. chopped walnuts, optional ($.67)

Peel and slice pears. Melt margarine in a 4 quart pot and add all remaining ingredients and cook over medium low for 12-18 minutes, or until pears are fork tender, stirring occasionally.

Top with chopped walnuts, if desired.

Yields = 5 servings
Cost: $2.51 or $.50 per serving

For a twist, serve this as a dessert, topped with some good French vanilla ice cream.

Graduation Party - at $1.50 per person

I'm super excited for my hubby finishing up his schooling this May, he's completing the paralegal program at a nearby community college and he's made the Dean's List! I couldn't be happier or prouder of him - and since he didn't want the graudation, I am planning a graduation party. Just inviting a few friends and his family - I'm anticipating a crowd of 20-30 people. Yep, he has a big family...and I'm just inviting the local ones.

My first step: Secure the location - we live in a 2 bedroom townhouse, so not a lot of room to throw the party. I've spoke to my mother-in-law and she's willign to help me co-host this backyard BBQ at her place, which (by city standards) has a nice sized yard. She's even offered to cover the soda and water - which is a huge relief to me. For me, that tends to be the most expensive part of entertaining!

Second step: Plan the menu - know what you have on hand to work with and look for deals on everything else you need.

Chicken and hotdogs/sausage on the grill ($8 - that's all I'll spend out of pocket on meat - I think I can manage that and I've got tons of free marinades to use)
Baked Pasta (1 large pan or 2 smaller pans - got everything, so FREE)
Garden salad ($3 - I'll grab whatever is on sale the week of)
Beans & Rice ($2-$3 I've got everything to make the rice, so I just need a large bag of pinto beans)
Baked Bean Casserole (got everything so FREE)
Tortillas & Buns ($5 - 6-8 dozen tortillas and 3-5 pkgs. buns) To get them this cheap, I'll hit the bread thrift shop down the street and the Mexican markets that sell tortillas for $.25 per dozen.
Condiments (got 'em - I've got loads of stuff for this! FREE)
Chips, dip, crackers ($5 - good tortilla chips, dip, guacamole)
Cake (DaMama has offered to bake 2 cakes - yippee)
Cookies & bars (got all the ingredients for them, so FREE)

Third step: Invitations. We'll go semi-modern on this one and do it word-of-mouth, text message, email, and phone calls. His family operates primarily on word-of-mouth anyway, and when there is free food involved, it's sure to gather a crowd. The only difficult part of this is it's hard to gauge how many are going to come - so I'll be planning for 30+ to show up. It's better to have too much food than not enough. Besides, if there are abundant leftovers, we can divide them amongst the different families attending and everybody's happy!

Fourth and final step: Decorating and gifting. I'm skating out of this one, since hubby isn't huge on fanfare, the writing on the cake and a couple of mylar balloons from the dollar store as a centerpiece and we're all set. I'll start scouring Kohl's for deals on dress shirts as a gift - hubby loves to dress nice, so a new shirt would be a perfect, non-fussy gift that he would actually use.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lunch Party for 10 for under $10

A week from Monday, I'm hosting a small lunch in the office, for my boss birthday. We are a small office, only 5 of us, coupled with our office neighbors and a stray board member, volunteer or two - I'm planning lunch for 10. In an office with only a toaster and a microwave. I do love a challenge.

I'll bring in my crockpot and make my specialty dish - three-cheese marinara with portabella mushrooms and roasted garlic. Easy, versatile, meatless and super-super affordable. I'll boil the noodles at home and toss with warm running water and strain before serving.

The sauce takes 4-5 hours to simmer - perfect for a late lunch. I'll make a salad - see my favorite Italian salad, perfect for entertaining and cheapt to toss together.

Her favorite cake is one I made last year for another office birthday, my Orange Coconut Cream Cake. Easy, and I have nearly all the ingredients on hand - I just need the whipped topping. Which is on sale for $.88 a container. At that price, I should probably grab a few extra and toss them in the freezer - perfect to make another variation on this recipe during the summer. After all, what is a party without a great dessert?

Party Menu:

Loaf of sliced Italian bread (bread thrift store $.75)
Salad ($1.87)
Salad Dressing - (FREE after coupons!)
Pasta - 2 lbs. ($.50 after coupons)
Three Cheese Sweet Pepper Marinara ($4.99)
Orange Coconut Cream Cake ($1.75 - recipe yields 2 cakes - one for the office, one for me!)

Total Cost: $9.86 for a full lunch feast for 10 people.

Easy Italian Salad

Red and green leaf lettuce (on sale for $.69/lb. $.94)
Shredded carrot (1 lb. carrots for $.50 - only need 1/3 C. so $.08)
Croutons (I'll make my own - so FREE)
Dried cranberries (1/4 C. $.25)
2 T. basil (dried or fresh $.10)
Crumbled mozzarella (3/4 C. $.50)

Toss together all ingredients. Serve with your favorite dressing(s). I recommend Italian, Creamy Italian, or even Raspberry Vinagrette.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Hi there, I'm Annie and welcome to Chicago's Cookbook. It'll be great to see who stops by from the UBP! I absolutely love to cook, bake, bargain shop, coupon, and explore my city. This blog is dedicated to my culinary journeys and forays from my kitchen to yours. I have a smattering of everything from meatless and lowfat, to entertaining and kid-friendly fare, ethnic cuisine to fun twists on American classics - I started this blog to capture all my favorite eats and share them with family, friends, and anyone who happens to be hungry.

When I plan any party, I come here first - to get my menu together. I've got lots of budget friendly ideas to keep you entertaining year-round. From lunch for 8 to a BBq for 25, there is so much to savor, so much flavor to bring to each and every occasion!

For prizes - the grand prize (laptop), or #'s(on the US Continental List): 32, 36, 37, 49, 52, 55, 73, 74, or 100 all sound good to me.

Some of my favorite recipes:

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ginger Stirfry


Rum Walnut Sugar Cookies

Chicken Sausage Alfredo over Fettucini

Coconut Strawberry Bars

Gingered Pear Slices with Walnuts

Yummy Onion Roasted Potatoes

This recipe is super easy, affordable, and great to put out for any kind of gathering - from a backyard BBQ to a brunch side dish to an elegant pork tenderloin accompaniment - this is my new, go-to recipe for potatoes!

1 envelope Lipton Onion Mushroom soup mix (yes, the mushroom adds a little something extra - just brightens up the whole dish) ($.05 after coupon)
1/4 C. imported parmesan cheese ($.26) (for me it's cheaper to buy the good, imported stuff than the domestic - and it has a sharper flavor, which I love)
1/4 C. canola oil ($.10)
5 medium potatoes, peel on, cut into bite sized cubes ($.15)

In a large, resealable bag, toss together all ingredients.

Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and roast in the oven to 45 minutes, turning over once and toss on more parmesan - if desired.

Yields = 6 servings
Cost: $.56 or $.09 per serving

For variations, toss potatoes with your favorite seasoning blend. I like to use whatever was cheap/free after coupons, but you can certainly make your own blend.

Brunch on a Budget

I would love to host a brunch, but for a while I was intimidated by the fancy breakfast fare that was served there - but not anymore! I've highlighted some of my favorite, go-to breakfast items, when served with some artisan bread, juice (in a glass pitcher, of course), and some seasonal, fresh fruit make brunch an easy, amazing way to entertain!

Swiss & Mushroom Frittata

Fancy French Toast

Orange Rum Cranberry Scones

Sweet Cinnamon Almond Muffins

Homemade Breakfast Sausage Patties

With a side of bacon or ham (especially with all that leftover Easter ham!) and some bagels/artisan bread/English muffins, and some juice and coffee - you're all set for a great brunch without breaking the bank. Remember, good food is always within your reach!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fancy French Toast

3 eggs ($.25)
1 egg white ($.08)
1 tsp. cinnamon ($.10)
1 T. sugar ($.05)
1/4 C. coffee creamer - any flavor (free after coupons)
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract (or any flavor to compliment the coffee creamer) ($.05)
12-16 slices of bread ($.25)
2 tsp. margarine or oil ($.10)

In a large, shallow bow, combine eggs, egg whites, cinnamon, sugar, creamer, and extract. Whisk thoroughly.

Add 1 tsp. of oil to a hot skillet, dip bread quickly into egg mixture (on each side) and fry over a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown on each side. Repeat until all the bread has been dipped and fried.

Serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar, butter, sausage or bacon (or even ham), and side of fresh fruit.

For a fruity twist, top these with canned peaches or thin sliced apples or fresh berries.

Yields = 4-5 servings (3 slices of bread each)
Cost $.88 or $.18 to $.22 per person