Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Easy Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake

1/2 C. margarine ($.15)
2 C. all-purpose flour ($.20)
1 C. white sugar ($.20)
1/2 C. dark brown sugar ($.15)
2 eggs ($.20)
1 tsp. baking powder ($.05)
1 tsp. baking soda ($.05)
1 C. light sour cream ($.20)
2 T. coffee creamer (free after coupon)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract ($.10)

Streusel Mixture:
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon ($.15)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg ($.05)
1/2 C. brown sugar ($.15)
1/4 C. walnuts, chopped ($.35)

1. In a large bowl, blend together margarine, white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, sour cream, eggs, coffee creamer, and vanilla. Add to these ingredients the combined flour, baking powder, and soda. Blend until smooth.

2. To Make Filling: Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, chopped walnuts, and 1/2 cup brown sugar.

3. Grease and flour a large Bundt pan. Pour 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture on top of the batter in the pan, and cover with the remaining batter.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool. Remove from pan.

Yields: 14 servings
Cost: $2.00
Cost per serving: $.15

Monday, May 30, 2011

Chicken, Chive, and Cheese Wraps

1 1/2 C. cooked chicken, lightly shredded ($.75)
1 bunch green onions, sliced ($.25)
3/4 C. Italian cheese blend ($.35)
1/2 C. Ranch or Caesar dressing ($.15)
1/2 C. light sour cream ($.15)
1 1/2 C. shredded cabbage blend ($.40)
1 C. salsa or pico de gallo ($.35)
8-10 flour tortillas ($.80)

Combine salad dressing and sour cream until well blended. Heat chicken through and warm tortillas on an ungreased griddle pan until flexible.

Fill each tortilla with 2-3 T. chicken, 1 T. cheese, 1/8 C. cabbage, and top with green onions, dressing blend, and salsa.

Yields = 8-10 wraps
Cost: $3.20
Cost per wrap: $.32-$.40 each

Rosemary Garlic Roasted Chicken Thighs

An easy 5 ingredient recipe that takes only 5 minutes of prep before going into the oven. A perfect go-to weeknight recipe when you are short on prep time and need to get things done. I love setting this up and getting it in the oven and I'm free to do some things around the house, or get a few more meals set up for the rest of the week while this is roasting. Always make a little extra, this is phenomenally versatile for leftover makeovers!

6-8 chicken thighs, excess fat removed (skin on) ($1.75)
1/8 C. olive oil ($.35)
1 tsp. rosemary ($.05)
4 cloves garlic, minced (1 clove per 2 thighs) ($.10)
2-3 T. lemon juice ($.05)
salt and pepper, to taste ($.05)

Heat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9" baking dish.

Brush chicken with olive oil and coat evenly with garlic and rosemary. Sprinkle with lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes. Chicken is done when internal temperature reaches 165 and the skin should be golden brown.

Yields: 4 servings
Cost: $2.35
Cost per serving: $.59

Serves well with roasted potatoes and green salad or with seasoned brown rice and spinach salad with a raspberry vinagrette.

Leftover Makeover Ideas:

1. Chicken Stuffed Mushrooms
2. Chicken Croquettes
3. BBQ Chicken Pizza
4. Chicken, Chive, and Cheese Wraps
5. Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Italian-Style Chicken Stuffed Mushrooms

The night we were making tapas at home, since I had all the ingredients out, I tossed together a quick batch of stuffed mushrooms, using many of the same flavors that are featured in the croquettes.
Stuffed mushrooms are any easy, versatile appetizer - taking on the flavors of the spices and filling and offering limitless variations for anyone to truly make their own.

2 T. olive oil ($.10)
15 small white button mushrooms, cleaned and de-stemmed ($.50)
4-5 T. cream cheese, light ($.20)
2 T. sour cream, light ($.05)
1/4 C. bread crumbs ($.10)
1/4 medium ancient pepper, minced ($.05)
1 clove garlic, minced ($.05)
1 tsp. basil ($.05)
1/2 tsp. oregano ($.05)
1/8 C. finely chopped cooked chicken ($.15)
3 T. parmesan cheese ($.10)
1/8 C. Italian blend shredded cheese ($.10)

Brush mushrooms with olive oil. Combine all remaining ingredients except parsley and mix well to combine. Stuff mushrooms with mixture, top with parsley.

Bake at 400 for 20-23 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and filling is lightly golden on top.

Yields = 15 stuffed mushrooms
Cost: $1.50
Cost per mushroom: $.10

Entertaining Tip: The filling can be made ahead of time. Simply omit the cour cream and combine all remaining ingredients. Seal tight in a freezer bag and freeze for future use. Just thaw in the fridge before using. Add sour cream to thawed mixture and stuff the mushrooms.
This works well if you're making things ahead of time for a party.

Garlic Chicken and Mushroom Croquettes

I got this idea from the menu of a tapas restaurant - a few menus actually. All the tapas places seem to offer some type of croquettes (or croquettas, as my hubby likes to call them) and after reading through a few recipes online, I modified this one to fit the ingredients I had on hand. Very versatile - I know I'll be putting this recipe to good use in the future.

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped ($.05)
2 T. butter ($.05)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced ($.10)
1/4 tsp. rosemary ($.05)
1/8 tsp. oregano ($.05)
stems from 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped fine ($.15)
1 1/2 C. cooked chicken, finely chopped ($.35)
1/4 C. milk ($.15)
3-4 T. flour ($.05)
1 egg ($.10)
3/4 C. breadcrumbs ($.15)
1/8 C. parmesan ($.25)
1 T. parsley ($.05)
1 tsp. basil ($.05)
1 tsp. garlic powder ($.05)
2 C. vegetable oil ($.75)

In a medium skillet, add butter and melt over a low heat. Add onion, mushrooms, rosemary, and oregano, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook until tender (6-8 minutes). Add garlic and chicken, cooking until heated through. Add in milk, cook 3-4 minutes, stirring in flour by T. until mixture has thickened. Remove mixture from pan and cool completely. (If you are in a hurry, place mxiture in bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.)

Whisk one egg in a separate bowl.

Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, and remaining spices in a dry, shallow bowl.

Heat oil in a small fry pan to 350F.

Form chicken mixture into 1-2 T. sized nuggets - shaped into small cylinders, dip in egg wash, then roll in breadcrumbs to coat well.

Add chicken croquettes to oil and cook until golden brown on each side (about 3 minutes per side). Drain and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Yield = 16-18 (approximately 4 servings)
Cost: $2.40
Cost per serving: $.60