Thursday, April 10, 2008

Baked Ziti- $2.75 Serves 4

Tonight is Pasta Night at the DuBois house. Instead of spaghetti, I thought I would make something a little different... Baked Ziti.

OK, well, really it is Baked Rigatoni. I made a double batch, and froze half in a ziploc freezer bag for later.

Here's what to do...
1 pound "Ziti" Cooked about 3 mins, until just tender-1.08
1 teaspoon rosemary-we omit this... it's too stick-like for me
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning-.01
1/2 cup Sour cream-.30
1/2 cup cottage cheese, I use small curd (I don't use lowfat here, I don't care for the taste)-.50
3 cups marinara sauce-1.49
1/2 pound ground beef-.61
1 cup onion-.15
4 tea minced garlic ( 2 cloves)-.08
4 slices provolone cheese-.78
1 cup mozzarella-.50

combine pasta, seasonings, sour cream, cottage cheese, and marinara.
brown beef, onion, and garlic.

in a dish, put 1/2 of the pasta mix, then 1/2 of the beef mix.
top with 2 slices of provolone, and 1/2 cup mozzarella

Bake covered at 350 for 45 min. Uncover and bake 10 min more.

Take the other half of the beef mix and pasta mix and put it in a Ziploc freezer bag.

Put the rest of the cheese in a ziploc sandwich bag. Put cheese bag inside larger freezer bag...and freeze for later!

Add some bread and a salad and...Voila!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Denny's Dinner at home- $4.94

So, last week I begged my husband to let us go out for dinner. He grudgingly agreed. After we got our bill, I immediately felt guilty. I knew that I could have easily made the same dinner at home for significantly less.

So, I started my next quest. I went out and bought the best ingredients. I started at my 2 favorite store in the world...Costco. I bought ground sirloin burger 1/3 lb patties ($13.99 for 18), a 12 pack of gourmet hamburger buns ($2.39), and a bag of cremini mushrooms at Trader Joe's ($2.19)

Ok, so I have the essentials, now lets build a burger. First, I saute the mushrooms in a little garlic and oil.

Next, cook the burger on the grill.

I add the cheese ( Denny's uses swiss, but I have Monterey Jack, so that will have to do.)

I also bought store bought seasoned french fries. Albertson's were on sale for $2.00. I used half of the bag.

Top it off with a root beer, which I got on sale with the cheese, and our meal is complete.

TOTAL COST: $4.94 for both of us.

(even if you add the 2.00 in propane to grill the burger, this sure beats the $17.93 I paid, WITH A BOGO COUPON, at Denny's)

We ate this right up, so no pic. But I do plan on making this again soon, so I will post one then.

Just a Note: I am a big advocate of adding oats to ground beef to stretch it...DON"T DO IT HERE! I tried it and the burger totally fell apart. It was not pretty!

Chicken Picatta w/ Lemon Pasta- $4.33

A recent comment has sparked my newest Shoestring Recipe..

lilaclady said...

Hi! What are your recipes for the meal that your sister can't eat tomatoes? My son can't eat tomatoes or anything with red dyes & we try to stay away from any dyes , but red the worst reaction. Thanks!

Chicken Picatta

2 chicken breast-1.16
1 cup flour-.08
4 Tbsp veg oil-.10 cents
1 shallot minced-.09 cents
1 garlic clove minced-.02 cents
1 cup chicken broth-.02 ( I used a boullion cube)
1/2 large lemon cut into half moons-.89 cents
1/4 cup lemon juice (from above)
2 tbsp capers-.05
3 tbsp butter chilled (divide into 3) -.23 cents
1 tablespoons dried parsley- .03
(or 2 tbsp fresh)

Note: I could have easily cut corners by getting the lemons for less at Trader Joe's, and the butter at CVS with ECB's, but I was in a hurry... "Haste makes waste"

heat oven to 200 degrees

Pound chicken, season with salt & pepper, dredge in flour.

at med - high heat oil, cook chicken until light brown...about 3 minutes.
transfer to a plate and keep warm in oven.

over med heat Add shallot & garlic to oil, cook until softened
stir in broth and lemon slices.
reduce until slightly syrupy. About 8 min.

Stir in lemon juice, capers, and accumulated chicken juice. Reduce to low, and add butter 1 at a time.

Off the heat add in parsley. Season to taste.

Lemon Pasta-(this freezes great!)

6 oz cooked linguine-.34
1/4 cup fresh parsley- .06
2 1/2 tea minced garlic-.10
2 tea lemon zest- from above ends
1 1/2 tea marjoram-..05
1 tea salt
1/2 tea pepper
2/3 cup white wine - .50 ( you can use chicken broth here if you prefer)
1/2 chicken broth .01 (again, bouillon powder)
1/4 cup olive oil- .60
2 tbsp lemon juice - ( I didn't use fresh here, just the stuff in the back of the fridge)

( this could have been cut by using broth instead of white wine)

Combine in a large bowl.

If you are freezing some, now is the time to put it into a ziploc freezer bag. Add a little cooked chicken or shrimp for a complete meal!

Cook for a few minutes in a skillet on med high heat.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Crockpot lifesaver: Chicken Cacciatore

(Ok Ok, not my picture...but it looks pretty close!)

I LOVE THIS DISH!!!. And the best part is that you can prep it ahead, and freeze it.

Here is the original recipe. It is more than enough for our family of 3 so I split it in 2, and freeze the 2nd in a freezer bag.

6 chicken quarters 3.90
2 med onions, sliced 2.00
2 garlic cloves, minced
15 oz diced tomato .50
8 oz tomato sauce .82
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 t. oregano
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. celery seed
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup white wine
1-2 Tbsp. capers (optional)

Throw it all in, set for 6-8 on low or 2 1/2-4 on high. voila!

Serve with rice ( which also freezes really well. I make a big batch in the rice cooker, and divide into quart size bags. To reheat, place in a colander, in the sink, and pour boiled water through it.)

I priced this at a little over 7.22. Since our family splits this, it is 3.61 per dinner. Also, these prices are on the regular everyday price. Just about all of the ingredients can be bought as a loss leader. Stock up, and you could get this down significantly!