Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thrifty Cooking - Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

Cheap
Fast
Easy
TASTY

If you like the four words above, you'll like crock pot Hawaiian Chicken. This dish used 3 whopping ingredients and I had all of them on hand.

Ingredients:
3 to 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1/2 half bottle BBQ sauce
1 can crushed pineapples (I had fresh so I cut up about 2 cups worth)

Place chicken in bottom of crock pot
Toss BBQ sauce and pineapples over the chicken
Cook for 2 to 3 hours on high or 5 to 6 on low

This can be eaten alone, over rice, in a tortilla, etc. I ate it as a wrap in a tortilla, and ate the leftovers alone.




I hate to disappoint you with the lack of creativity and culinary skills, but that's not what these posts are about. They are about making tasty, home-cooked meals using the items I have in the house and saving pennies. I do have a college fund to start putting money away for after all!

Mama Lo

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 11, 2011

10 years later, I sat in a public place at a sporting event. Like everyone else, I reminisced about that day 10 years ago, when our country realized we do not, in fact, have a magic bubble around us.

We attended the Kansas City Chiefs game against the Buffalo Bills, and while the game was disappointing, the tribute to the victims of 9/11 and the people who have fought and fight to this day to keep us safe, was NOT disappointing in the least.




Thrifty Cooking - Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff

For this week's thrifty cooking recipe, I made Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff. The nice thing about this recipe is it is inexpensive to make, uses common items from the pantry, and it can be lightened up for anyone who doesn't want the full fat version.

Ingredients:
1 can cream of mushroom soup (for lighter version use 98% fat free)
16 oz reduced fat sour cream
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1 lb frozen chicken breasts

Directions:
Place frozen chicken in the bottom of the crockpot
Mix rest of ingredients in bowl
Pour over chicken breast
Cook on low 6 to 8 hours
Shred chicken when you are ready to eat

Serve over cooked egg noodles, rice, or biscuits!! I had some leftover biscuits from the biscuits and gravy we made for the Chiefs game on Sunday, and it was DELICIOUS covered with the Chicken Stroganoff.

Note: My crockpot gets really warm on low, so I would have been okay to serve between 5 and 6 hours. Time may differ.

Source: Google. Honestly, I've seen this recipe from a million places, so the most credit I can really give is google.




Enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thrifty Cooking - Pumpkin Pancakes!!!!!

As promised, I made some Pumpkin Pancakes for dinner this evening and froze what I didn't eat. People, if you like pumpkin even a little bit, you HAVE to make pumpkin pancakes. Why? 1. They are easy. 2. They have some nutritional value to them. 3. They are like a little piece of heaven. 4. You can freeze them. 5. BECAUSE I SAID SO!

Recipe is as follows (from about.com):

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baking mix, such as Bisquick
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Preparation:

  1. Preheat an electric skillet (compare prices) to 375 degrees F, or heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients until well-combined, but do not overmix.
  3. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn griddle down to 350 degrees.
  5. Ladle quarter-cupfuls of the batter onto the griddle. Cook until the edges of the pancakes start to set and bubbles start to form on the surface of the pancakes.
  6. Flip. Cook another 1-3 minutes until pancakes are golden brown on the other side.





For my topping, I made some cinnamon honey butter. I can't really give a recipe for this, because it is just to taste. Mix butter, honey and just a dash of cinnamon until it tastes so good you want to lick it from the bowl. They were AMAZING on top of the pancakes.

And in true Jamie fashion, I did not take a picture of the finished product because I was too busy EATING them. Sorry about that. Pancakes are pancakes. I mean really, what am I going to take a picture of anyway?

I still have half a can of pumpkin left. Whatever shall I do with it??

Thrifty Cooking - The Beginning of My Series

Alright folks, here are some confessions.

I have been LAZY. OH SO LAZY. Especially in the kitchen. Many nights my husband comes home from work and says, "What's for dinner? Do we have anything to eat?" I run through the options in my head: Meats in the freezer, noodles in the cabinet, and all the odds and ends in the pantry.

I then turn to my sweet husband and I tell him a bold faced lie. "Nope, we don't have anything I can make tonight. Where would you like to go dear?" And then we go stuff our faces with fattening, sodium loaded, DELICIOUS food.

I followed weight watchers and other nutritious meal plans long enough before I was pregnant to know that I only *think* these things taste good. I have to sort of train my tastebuds again to appreciate what good food really tastes like. And the best food is made at home.

Now, I had a choice between two homes across the street from each other when we moved. My deciding factor between the two was the kitchen in this home. It's huge. It has an awesome pantry, great storage space and a huge island for my cooking pleasure. And I've hardly used it!



(This picture was from when it was listed for sale.)

So here is the beginning of my cooking series. An introduction if you will.

I am making the commitment to cook at least one crockpot meal or one cook and freeze meal a week. A requirement for my first meals will be *to use ingredients in my home* for my meals! Why do I go to the store when I have produce and/or dairy that will go bad in the near future? I WASTE SO MUCH FOOD PEOPLE!!!!!

In preparation for motherhood, I have to learn how to use what I have. To avoid the store as much as possible. Because lets be real. I'm going to have an infant. In January. In Missouri. I am NOT going to want to load my child up, skate both of us across the icy Missouri parking lots, all to get a few ingredients for dinner. If I don't learn to use what I have, cook in bulk, and feed my family, I'll turn into a pizza ordering, couch riding Ursula. And that very thought is unacceptable.

Last night I made something I haven't had since I was a kid. It was a classic that my mom made on those nights when she had a pound of hamburger and one million and one ways to use it. One of the best was none other than GOULASH! I looked up recipes for Goulash yesterday and realized it comes down to this. You need ground beef (or a substitute such as ground turkey). You need mustard. Ketchup or something tomato based. You need sugar. And you need macaroni noodles. The rest is all a matter of opinion and family tradition.

My fridge and pantry held the following options: 1 Lb Ground Turkey. Ketchup. Mustard. Salt. Pepper. Onion Powder. (No fresh onions to chop and fry with the turkey.) 1/2 box whole wheat macaroni noodles.

I fried muh turkey with some salt, pepper, and onion powder while I boiled my noodles. I drained the turkey grease. Threw it back in the pan, with my drained noodles, squeeze some ketchup and mustard into the mixture, stirred, squeezed a little more ketchup, added some sugar. Stir stir stir. And EAT!

Now Goulash is nothing impressive, but it does prove my point that obviously I've been a big, fat (getting there) liar, and I've had options in my home.

Tonight's cooking will be whole wheat pumpkin pancakes which I will freeze for a quick on-the-go breakfast idea.

Do you have any go-to meals or ideas you would like me to try? Send them my way! This Mama is ready to COOK.