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Preview: Recipes of a Cheapskate

Recipes of a Cheapskate

Welcome to my ultimate cookbook!

Updated: 2018-03-06T00:23:24.150-07:00


Creamy Ricotta Pasta


Look!  I'm getting back into the groove of posting on the blog.  New Year's Resolutions people.  I'm doing what I can. :)Often times, I need a quick dish.  Something that I can whip up fast so we can eat and get the kids to bed.  This dish fit that parameter quite nicely! The longest part was cooking the chicken.  One of the things I liked most about this dish, is the fresh tomatoes and spinach.  Those, to me, are what makes this dish a perfect summer dish.  That, and not having the oven turned out.  Cherry tomatoes are also a BIG hit in our house.  Well, with my husband at least.  The little ones don't really care for ANY sort of vegetable.  But if I have cherry tomatoes in the house, I need to hide them before they get eaten.  So what about you?  Do you have certain foods you need to hide when you buy them so they don't disappear right away? CREAMY RICOTTA PASTAPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comIngredients1 chicken breast, seasoned, cooked, and chopped1/2 lb pasta1/2 of a 15oz carton ricotta cheese1 clove garlic, minced 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters2 cups spinach leaves1/4 cup parmesan cheesesalt and pepper to tasteapprox 1/4-1/2 cup pasta water (save when draining the pasta)DirectionsBring a pot of water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook until done.  Before straining the pasta, reserve 1/4-1/2 of the pasta water.  While the pasta is cooking, mix together the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper.  When the pasta is finished, add the pasta water to the cheese mixture and stir to thin it out and make more of a sauce texture.  Add the pasta, chicken, tomatoes, spinach, and cheese sauce together and serve immediately while it's still warm. [...]

Crockpot Tortellini Soup


*Tap, tap* Hello?  Is anyone still out there?I've been gone for months.  I'm sorry, dear reader.  It wasn't my intention.  Let me explain myself.  You see, almost exactly a year ago this week, I found out some fantastic news.  Baby #3 was on it's way to our family!  If you remember, baby #2 had given us quite a few scares, and spent a long time in the hospital, and then home with medical equipment.  I was, of course, quite nervous.  But things progressed smoothly, until the time for the standard ultrasound came.  We were given the dreaded news that our sweet baby was not compatible with life, due to the absence of kidney's, often referred to as Potter's Syndrome, or bilateral renal agenesis. Needless to say, we were devastated that our baby's life would be cut so short.At at that point, I took my hiatus from this blog. I felt I needed to focus on other things for a while. Our son was born in the middle of July, 10 weeks early.  He lived for a precious 35 minutes.  Since then, I've been thinking about getting back to this blog, but then we put our house up for sale, and I was packing up my kitchen.  We then moved--twice.  Into a apartment for a short time, and then into our new house.  I'm still unpacking my kitchen.  I've also been toying around with starting a new blog, starting fresh!  And I am!  It's just going to be a sister blog for now, posting the same things as this blog (and reposting some of my older recipes that are already live on this blog), while I still figure out where I want to take my blogging life. You can see it at: So here we are! Back into the recipes!I'll admit, I'm not much of a crockpot user.  I have a few recipes that I tend to use it for, but for the most part, I'm never pleased with how crockpot recipes turn out.  So when I see recipes for it, I usually don't try them.I'm glad I took the time to try this recipe.  I totally altered it though, to fit into a smaller crockpot (3 quart I believe), and be better suited for our small family.  The best way I found to make this recipe, is to layer all the ingredients. I did 1/2 the tortellini's, spinach, tomatoes, cream cheese, and sausage.  Repeat.Word to the wise--the sausage gives it a lot of flavor.  I've tried to both ways, with and without, and the version WITH it was much better!Layering means you don't have to stir things up too much.  Tortellini's are a fairly fragile pasta, and you don't want to mess with them too much, so they don't break apart.I just stir it gently before serving, to make sure things are melding nicely. And to, of course, try a bite or two!Top with some parmesan cheese and you're ready to enjoy! CROCKPOT TORTELLINI SOUPPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.com1 package frozen cheese tortellini's1 8oz package cream cheese, chunked up1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)2 cans broth (I used vegetable)1/2 small bag fresh spinach1/2 lb ground sausage, cooked and crumbledParmesan cheese for toppingIn a small crock pot, layer tortellini's, spinach, 1/2 a can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 the spinach, 1/2 the cream cheese, and 1/2 the sausage.  Repeat layers.  Pour the broth over everything.  Cover and cook on low for about 3 hours.  Check it at 2.5 hours, as the tortellini's cook quick, and you don't want them to turn to mush! Serve warm with parmesan cheese. [...]



Lest you think this blog has been abandoned, I assure that it has not.  Due to some personal circumstances in my life right now, I'm taking some personal time.

But never fear!!  I WILL be back within the next few months, with many great recipes to share.  Thanks for reading and following Recipes of A Cheapskate!

PS- I do post what I'm eating fairly often on my Facebook Page--click the link over there {{on the right side}} to 'like' it!

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Strawberry Spinach Salad


 Spring is here!  I think.  It's hard to tell around here, because we'll get a week of beautiful weather, and then snow.  Mother Nature is a tease.  But I know, even if Spring isn't quite here yet, it's right around the corner, it's trying to push through the cold weather!

And so I start looking at the fresh food at the grocery store closer, because it's starting to become more affordable as it comes in season!  That's my favorite.  I hate buying out of season produce, because I hate spending an arm and a leg on my food!

This spinach salad is fresh and affordable, when you get the strawberries on sale especially!

When I made this salad, I used a large bag of spinach, the largest my store carried, and there was plenty for the 12 of us eating dinner.

Posted at:
Slightly adapted from: Radiant Health Inner Wealth


  • 1 bag/bunch spinach leaves (whatever size your grocer carries)
  • approx 1lb fresh strawberries, trimmed and sliced
  • sliced almonds, toasted (the toasted is optional, mine were not)


  • 2 Tbsp EACH: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sugar
  • 1 Tbsp EACH: sesame seeds, soy sauce, orange juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/8 tsp paprika

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.  Layer the salad in a large bowl: spinach, strawberries, and then a sprinkle of almonds.  Continue until the bowl is full.  You can either add the dressing to the salad before serving, or let others serve themselves.  I prefer to let others serve themselves.  Give the dressing a good shake before serving.



Turkey Cuban Sandwich


Sometimes you just need a large sandwich, am I right? Or am I the only one that feels that way?  Sometimes I just want juicy pickles, layers of meat and cheese, and a good blob of mustard and mayo.  Other times I want it piled high with veggies--cukes, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, sprouts...mmmm....

This sandwich is of the former variety.  And to give it a bit of a Thanksgiving feel, it has turkey and a cranberry relish on it.  Superb!  Add it to your Thanksgiving leftover menu and you won't go wrong.

Posted at:
Minorly altered from: Closet Cooking

  • 1 roll/bun, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2-3 Tbsp cranberry relish (if using a sauce, use less)
  • 2-4 slices turkey
  • 2-4 slices swiss cheese
  • 2-4 slices ham
  • 2-4 slices dill pickle

Use enough turkey, cheese, ham, and pickles to cover the sandwich length. Assemble the sandwich and enjoy!  Original recipe called for brushing the outside with some oil and grilling for a few minutes on each side, if you'd like to try that.

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Panko Crusted Salmon


A 2-month break...apparently life got a little crazy around here.  It's  true story, but I won't go into too many details.  Suffice to say, baby #3 is joining our little family and cooking, blogging about food, and in some cases eating it, were the LAST thing I wanted to think about. But I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.  Be patient with me as I'll be hit and miss.  This is a fun hobby for me, and often times other things come first!This salmon recipe is a hit for me.  I eat it a few times a month.  It's quick to put together, and I've got the recipe pared down for 1 salmon filet.  I'm the only fish eater in my house, so it's on those nights that it's just me and kids.  They can have their scrambled eggs, or frozen waffles, and I'll cook up this salmon for me.  Win-win, right? Besides being quick to put together, the crunchy panko with the tangy mustard is really a perfect fit for salmon.  My recipe calls for the Lemon-Pepper Panko, but regular panko would work just fine.  Add extra seasonings to give it lots of flavor though!AND I love the ease of using my cast iron skillet.  Seriously folks, if you don't have at least ONE, go get one!  I pan cook the salmon first and then throw the whole pan into the oven to finish cooking!  It's extra nice for my clean up as well. Let me talk you through the process of this recipe, ok?  Since I'm using measurements like "dash", and "sprinkle".  I take my filet, skin-side down, and run a line of dijon mustard down the center of it.  Then spread it around with a spoon, covering every bit! This is what the panko will stick to.  I mix together the panko, salt and pepper, and some parmesan cheese with a little bit of olive oil.  That mixture get pressed onto the filet and the filet then gets cooked on the stove AND in the oven.  Now that you've got the concept, you can adjust to make multiple filets, yes? :)PANKO CRUSTED SALMONPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comAdapted from: Annie's EatsRecipe is for 1 standard salmon filet2 Tbsp Lemon-Pepper Pankodash of salt and pepperSprinkle of parmesan cheeseolive oildijon mustard (regular works just fine too, I promise)1 salmon filetPreheat your oven to 425degs.  Using a cast iron pan, or another oven safe pan, heat up a small amount of oil over medium-high heat on the stove.  Prepare the salmon by running a line of dijon mustard down the middle of it and spread it all around the top of the salmon.  Mix together panko, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and a small bit of oil.  Press that mixture thickly onto the salmon. By now your oil in hot and ready for the salmon.  Gently place the salmon skin side down and sear it for just a few minutes.  This really helps the skin come off easily when you eat it.  Then put the whole pan into the oven for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet, until the panko is nice and browned.  Let it sit for a few minutes before serving. [...]

Pesto Turkey Sandwiches


Wow, sorry for the blogging hiatus!  It was unintended, but I had lots of fun spending time with family and friends lately!

I love pesto so so much.  I throw it in dishes all the time, and I love spreading it on sandwiches.  This turkey sandwich is different from other turkey sandwiches in that the turkey is cubed instead of sliced sandwich meat.  Which makes leftovers super tasty (seriously, I used mine on pizza last night!).  This sandwich recipe is also easily adapted to a make a wrap instead of a sandwich.

The ease in which this came together was also fantastic.  While this could be an everyday meal, it works great if you have leftover turkey after a big meal.  A unique turkey sandwich for post-Thanksgiving eating!  

  • 2 cups diced turkey
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • hard rolls
  • spinach
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced mozzarella (the fresher, the better)

In a bowl combine the turkey, pesto, yogurt (or sour cream), salt and pepper.  Mix until combined.  Spread the mixture on top of sliced rolls and heat up to melt the cheese (microwave or broil in the oven).  Top with tomatoes and spinach.  

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Bruschetta Pasta


Remember a few weeks ago how I made that amazing bruschetta chicken?  Well, I went and turned that awesome tomato mixture into a pasta 'sauce'.  

I feel like I shouldn't call it a sauce though, because really, it's not.  It's a bunch of chopped up tomatoes mixed with seasonings.  So not very saucy.  But i serve it over pasta, therefore in my book, it's a sauce.  But remember, I'm an amateur home cook.  

The tomato mixture transferred over beautifully though, and the taste was fantastic.  Just like it was with the chicken.  And it becomes a quick weeknight meal!  If you look at costs too, a few tomatoes, pasta, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and seasonings, it's a very affordable dish.  Probably no more than a few dollars for the entire dish.  Especially since many of those things should be staples in your house (if you're like me, and freak out when you run out of minced garlic...).


  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil 
  • 1-2 Tbsp minced garlic (more or less depending on the taste)
  • a few pinches of salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 servings of spaghetti noodles
  • Shredded parmesan cheese for topping

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.  Mix together the tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.  When the pasta is done cooking, mix together with the tomatoes and top with the parmesan cheese for serving.  

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Chocolate Pomegranate Cookies


My blogging time seems to have disappeared lately!  I'm making food, and taking pictures, and trying new things but it seems like every time I sit down I'm attacked by these little kidlets of mine.  And by the time they're in bed I'm thinking of just eating cookies, instead of blogging about them.  Anyway, these cookies were fantastic!  Most of the arils (the little juicy red seeds in the pomegranates) stay together and so you get bites of chocolate and bits of pomegranate.  I love it!  The cookies unfortunately didn't stay together for me very long.  They were rather crumbly, but that didn't stop me from dumping them in a bowl and eating them with a spoon.  I'm totally ok with that.  And would STILL make them again.And again. . .CHOCOLATE POMEGRANATE COOKIESPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comOriginally from: Dana Made It1/2 cup (1 stick) butter–don’t use margarine1/2 cup vegetable shortening–you can substitute more butter 3/4 cups white sugar3/4 cups brown sugar2 eggs1 tsp vanilla2 cups flour3/4 cup cocoa powder1 tsp baking boda3/4 tsp salt2 to 2 1/2 cups choc chips–approx 1 bag of chips1 cup pomegranate arils (those red seeds)Cream together the butter, shortening, 2 sugars, vanilla, and eggs. Beat the mixture on medium-high for a full 3 minutes–it will change into a very creamy mixture. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine it with the butter mixture and mix till everything is incorporated.  Add the pomegranate arils and chocolate chips. Mix briefly to incorporate everything. A few seeds may burst while mixing but that’s fine. Scoop the dough into small balls (I used a tablespoon) on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 12 minutes[...]

Balsamic Bruschetta Chicken


Meals that are quick, and seem fancy are awesome, right?  Sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) I can't spend huge amount of time preparing dinner for my family.  It's just not feasible.  And I don't like cleaning the dishes up either.

This dish was quick, besides letting the chicken marinade during the day.  And even that?  Not a huge process!  Plus the flavor was fantastic.  I kept eating the tomatoes while the chicken was cooking.  While i altered this recipe from the original to pan cooking, you could easily throw the chicken on the grill.  

I also am still lucky to have fresh tomatoes from my garden in the fridge.  The taste of fresh tomatoes from a garden cannot compare to the ones you buy in the store.  The flavors are completely different--in a good way!  Love my fresh home-grown tomatoes.

Posted at:
Adapted from: Picky Palate

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied completely into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • approx 4 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil 
  • 1-2 Tbsp minced garlic (more or less depending on the taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Combine the 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and let marinate for a few hours.  When the chicken is marinated, pan-grill in a small amount of oil until the chicken is done.  Place the chicken in a serving dish and top with the mozzarella cheese.  While the chicken is cooking, combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, dash of salt and pepper, and the tablespoon of vinegar.  When the chicken is all cooked, and topped with the cheese, place in the oven and broil it for just a few minutes until the cheese is melted.  Top the chicken with the tomato mixture and serve.


Pumpkin Streusel Pudding Cookies


Well, Halloween is over with, and we are well on our way to Thanksgiving.  Which I LOVE.  Dearly.  A holiday devoted around a huge feast with lots of leftovers??  Ok, so that's not the real point of Thanksgiving, don't worry, I'm not teaching my children that. But I do appreciate the time I'm able to sit around a table with those that I love and indulge.  

Last fall I purchased this box of pumpkin-spice jello mix.  And never got around to using it.  You see, I'm not quite a pumpkin person.  I don't mind it, but I don't go out of my way to eat it.  Even when it's the pumpkin season.  

But when I saw this recipe on Pinterest (thank you all you who pin my stuff!) I realized I finally had an excuse to use that box of pudding!  And to top them with a streusel??  Genius.

Posted at:
Originally from: Chef In Training

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 small box pumpkin spice instant pudding mix (dry, do not prepare)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups flour


  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350degs. Prepare your streusel topping by mixing together the sugars, flour, cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter until small crumbs form.  Prepare the cookies by creaming butter, and sugars together in a large bowl.  Add the dry pudding mix and beat until well combined.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour and baking soda until well combined.  Roll the dough into 1" balls and place on a baking sheet.  Gently press some streusal topping into the tops of the cookies.  This will flatten them a little bit, and that's ok.  Bake for about 10 minutes.



Chunky Cinnamon Baked French Toast


I'm totally not a soggy bread person.  Stuffing?  Bread pudding?  Not for me.  So I was rather skeptical about a baked french toast recipe.  But I wanted something special for breakfast.  I gave it a try.  And guess what?  It was gobbled up.  Even by me!

This recipe is from a local bakery, and so it calls for a loaf of their cinnamon bread (Chunky Cinnamon Bread to be precise).  Here's a picture of the bread, from their website, so you can get an idea of how amazing it is.  

Yeah, I know.  However, if you can't get your hands on this bread, go ahead and use some other sort of cinnamon bread.  You can usually buy a cinnamon swirl type of bread at your local grocery store.  If you can get a hold of something similar from a bakery in your area, do it.  It'll work out better. 

This recipe would be perfect for a holiday--like Christmas!

Originally from: Kneaders Bakery
  • 1 loaf Kneaders Chunky Cinnamon Bread (or 1 loaf regular cinnamon swirl bread)
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp butter
Generously butter a 9x13 baking pan.  If you have a deeper than normal pan, use that, although a regular dish will work, it will just be very full. Slice the cinnamon bread into 8 slices. It's easy to slice in half, then those pieces in half, and then in half again.  This ensures your bread slices are fairly even.  They should be thick.  Place the bread into the pan, cram as much in there as you can.  Mix together the eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Pour over the bread, covering all pieces.  Cut the butter into pieces and place around the top.  Cover with something and put it in the fridge for at LEAST an hour, or overnight.  Bake at 350degs for 45-50 minutes.  

Banana Monkey Bread Muffins


Do you ever make something and think, "oh man, if this tastes even half as good as it smells/looks, then it's going to be amazing."Or end up smacking (multiple) hands trying to keep them away so you can completely finish taking said item out of the pan?This was one of those things.  They smelled fantastic cooking, and looked beautiful as I was taking them out of the pan.  I happened to be at my parents house visiting, and my dad couldn't keep his hands off of them.  Some of the muffins fell apart as they came out of the pan, and he was snatching those pieces up as quick as he could.  And yelping out, "Oh! Hot! Hot!"I did warn him to be fair, but he retorted that this was how monkey bread is to be eaten--right away, so it's nice and hot.  And I think I agree with him!The flavor of banana bread mixed with cinnamon and sugar is so tasty, I couldn't believe it.  These were all eaten before I got seconds!  Next time I'm making a double batch, that's for sure.BANANA MONKEY BREAD MUFFINS Posted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comAdapted from: buddingbaketress.blogspot.comMuffins2 3/4 cups flour2 tsp baking powder1 tsp salt1/2 tsp baking soda1/3 cup chilled butter1/2 cup milk2-3 bananas, mashedFor Rolling1/2 cup butter, melted1 cup granulated sugar1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamonGlaze1 cup powdered sugar2 tablespoons milk1/2 teaspoon vanilla extractPreheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.  In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Cut in the chilled butter using a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the mashed bananas and milk and stir together with a fork just until the dough comes together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times, until everything is incorporated, adding a little bit of flour if the dough is still really sticky. It will be a little sticky, and that's ok. Roll dough into teaspoon-size balls.  In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a separate small bowl, melt the 1/2 cup of butter. Roll dough balls in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon-sugar. Place 4-6 dough balls in each muffin cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until done-test with a toothpick. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for a few minutes. Gently remove muffins from pan by running a knife around the edges and allow to cool slightly before glazing. Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Drizzle over muffins using a fork. [...]

Honey Spiced Peaches


I canned peaches a few weeks ago.  BARELY caught the end of the season.  For some reason, I thought it was going on for a while longer.  I was wrong.  I bought 2 of the last 5 boxes at the local orchard.  None of the random fruit stands around some local cities had them (I went to probably 5).  But I am sure glad I was able to get some.  Peach cobbler is a regular treat around our house.  About every other Sunday I throw this dish into the oven after dinner and then burn my tongue when it comes out.  I just get too excited about eating it!  This recipe for Honey Spices Peaches is going to make my peach cobbler amazing.  I just know it!Warning to those who are new to canning: Make sure you have an appropriate canning guide (from your local extension office, or a book like Ball's Blue Book OR their website has lots of good info) and the right equipment.  If any of your jars don't seal or don't look right--aka, 1 of these jars is not like the others, do not store them.  Place them in your fridge and use them quickly.  Please use caution and the smarts you have to prevent food-borne illnesses in your family.  HONEY SPICED PEACHESPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comAdapted very slightly from: and Ball's Blue Book of Preserving(recipe below is for 12 half-pint jars)12-15 average peaches, if peaches lean to the small side use at least 15, if towards the large side, 12 should be enough1 cup brown sugar4 cups water2 cups honey6 cinnamon sticks, halves into 12 pieceswhole clovesallspicePrepare your jars by washing everything.  I just run them all through the dishwasher together.  Into each jar place 1/2 of a cinnamon stick, a sprinkle of allspice, and 1-2 cloves (depending on how strong you want the flavor). We are dry packing these peaches, similar to canning regular peaches or pears.  Prepare the peaches by boiling them for a few minutes to loosen the skin.  Remove from the boiling water and place into cold water.  Slice the pieces in half and remove the skin and pit.  Chop into pieces. Place the chopped peaches into the jars full of spices.  I found 1 chopped peach fit into 1 jar fairly well.  Leave 1/2inch headspace.  Once all the jars are filled prepare your hot syrup by boiling together the sugar, water, and honey.  Pour the hot syrup into the jars leaving that 1/2inch head space! Wipe the jars down, especially around the top, then attach the lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.  (adjust time according to your altitude: 10001-3000: +5minutes, 3001-6000: +10 minutes, 6001-8000: +15 minutes, 8001-10,000: +20minutes).WARNING: Lower the jars into hot water slowly and carefully to avoid breaking the jars. [...]

Creamy No-Boil Mac and Cheese


I could really live in a world full of comfort food.  Creamy soups, warm homemade bread, gooey pasta dishes. . .Mmmmmm. . . .Fall came a bit unexpectedly here this week.  I was enjoying a nice weekend, full of good weather and then BAM!  High of 44degs expected tomorrow??  And the wind has been blowing, I thought I was going to be lifted up like Dorthy in the Wizard Of Oz and flown away somewhere else.  At the very least, the contents of my neighbors yard was going to end up in my yard, along with branches from their tree.  On another note, sometimes my fridge has unexplained cartons of cottage cheese.  I don't really use cottage cheese.  In a pinch I use it in place of ricotta, but I usually have ricotta on hand.  So then I try to find ways to use up said cottage cheese, that's different than using it as a sub for ricotta.  This recipe just called my name. The ease of it, the gooeyness.  You can't beat throwing everything into a pan and letting it do it's thing.  Yup. Right up my alley.  CREAMY NO BOIL MAC AND CHEESEPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comAdapted From: Plain Chicken1 cup cottage cheese2 cups milk1/2 tsp powdered mustard (1 tsp if using regular)pinch of cayenne pepper1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp ground pepper1 pound grated cheddar cheese1/2 lb pasta noodles, uncooked (I like penne or rigatoni, but elbow works great)Preheat oven to 375degs.  In a food processor or blender, blend all but cheddar cheese and pasta.  Combine the mixture with the UNCOOKED pasta noodles, and all but about 1/2-1 cup shredded cheese.  Spoon the mixture into a greased 9inch square pan.  Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes.  Uncover the pan, stir it all gently, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake uncovered for another 30 minutes, until browned.  Let cool for a little bit, and then serve.  [...]

Cinnamon Bun Pancakes


Let me remind you that I am not a morning person.  Or a breakfast person.  Unless the food happens to occur for dinner.  Or I've been up for 2+ hours.  So when I made these pancakes, they were for dinner.  Not that the kids care either way.  They love their frozen waffles and cold cereal in the morning anyway.  And they LOVE pancakes for dinner!I was actually surprised at how easy these were to make.  Once I got the hang of how hard to squeeze the bottle with the cinnamon/sugar/butter mixture to make the swirls.  We had our fair amount of not so pretty swirls going on.  However that does NOT affect the taste of the pancake.  If anything, it improves it because it's extra sugary goodness!So serve 'em up!  If you're already making pancakes just make the cinnamon sugar mixture and you're good to go.  I served with just regular old syrup, because feeding my children the overload of a frosting-type syrup right before bedtime?  yeah, I need that like a need a hole in my head. . .CINNAMON BUN PANCAKESPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comOriginally from: Recipe GirlCinnamon Swirl Mixture1/2 stick butter, melted1/3 cup packed brown sugar1 Tbsp cinnamonPancake Mixture1 cup flour2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp salt1 cup milk1 egg1 Tbsp oilPrepare the cinnamon swirl mixture, by mixing all the ingredients together in either a zip-top plastic bag, or a squeeze bottle with a little top.  Prepare the pancakes by mixing together the dry ingredients and the whisking the wet ingredients.  A few lumps are ok.  Scoop approximately 1/4 cup per pancake, and snipping off the edge of the baggie (mush the mix together, or shake the bottle first) carefully squeeze to make a swirl.  Don't get too close to the edge, or the cinnamon mixture kind of oozes off.  Cook pancakes like normal, adding the cinnamon swirl mixture to each scoop of batter.  Serve warm.  [...]

Avocado Pasta


Have you missed me?  I've been gone on vacation, and then blogger has been giving me fits this week, not letting up upload pictures.  We got it squared away though.  For now. . .

This was a recipe I could get behind.  I love eating avocados, but shockingly, no one else in my house will touch them.  I can't even get the hubby to cut an avocado up for me.  It's like the devil's food or something.

But I love them.  Love them, love them, love them.

And with this recipe, I was totally that mom who sneaks food into meals.

I'm ok with that.  You see, we're trying to wean Baby M (who isn't really a baby any more. . .he's 2 and 1/2!) off his feeding tube.  However, with that comes picky-child syndrome.  To be fair, the kid HAS gone through more than his fair amount of stuff in his short life.  We just want to make sure he gets the calories he needs along with healthy stuff.  I'll be taking advantage of my Blend-tec and adding lots of veggies to everything!

This is one of those perfect dishes!  The sauce is made from blended up avocado, a smidgen of oil and lemon juice, and garlic.  That's it!  It creams up perfectly, and gives you the healthy fats from avocados, instead of the fat from using something like cream.

Topped with a little bit of bacon and Parmesan cheese and it's very tasty!

Note: This recipe serves about 2-3 people.  Adjust accordingly.

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Adapted from: Oh She Glows

  • 1 medium to large avocado
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1/2-1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • approx 6 ounces of pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon for topping (optional)

Cook your pasta according to your package directions.  While it's cooking, make the sauce by placing the avocado, lemon juice, garlic, and oil into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  When pasta is done cooking, strain and add the avocado sauce.  Stir well to combine everything and serve with parmesan cheese and bacon.


GIVEAWAY--$25 Kroger Giftcard


Time for the Crazy Cooks Challenge!  This month the theme is Apple Pie.  Seeing how I already have a Sour Cream Apple Pie, and a Apple Pie topping recipe on here, I thought I'd take it a different direction.  I also didn't want to make a pie crust.  I kinda sorta stink at that.  So I found this wonderful recipe for Apple Pie Cupcakes!!  And it was awesome.  Completely gobbled up.  And completely messy. But wonderful.APPLE PIE CUPCAKESPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comAdapted from: Alpine BerryFor The Cupcakes2 1/4 cups all purpose flour2 1/4 tsp baking powder1 tsp ground cinnamon1/4 tsp salt9 ounces (2 sticks plus 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened at room temp1 1/2 cups granulated sugar4 eggs1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract1/2 tsp lemon zest1 cup (8oz) milkApple Topping3 tbsp unsalted butter1/3 cup granulated sugar3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced/dicedTo cook the applesPlace butter and sugar in a large fry pan over low-medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add apple slices and cook for 8-10 minutes or until apples are lightly caramelized. Remove apples from pan and let cool completely.To make the cupcakesPreheat oven to 325F. Line 24 muffin wells with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside dry ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides if the bowl occasionally. Beat in the vanilla and grated zest. On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until flour is barely incorporated. Add the milk and mix until just smooth.  Divide the batter among lined muffin wells, filling each well about 2/3 full. Top with the apples. Bake at 325F until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool cupcakes on cooling racks. DISCLOSURE: The gift card, information, and additional sample have been provided by Kroger and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.[...]

Shredded Beef Nachos


Here's another recipe using the roast I posted on last week.  I've been sharing these recipes with you all, because we're a small family.  We can't just eat a whole roast in 1 sitting (or even in 1 week!) and I find it really helpful to have multiple recipes using the meat so it doesn't go to waste.  Or stuck in the freezer to be forgotten. . . .

We started out with French Dip Sandwiches, the first day we made the roast, then Tacos, and now Nachos.  And if you're like us, and STILL had meat leftover after those meals, here's a few more options: follow the recipe for tacos, but instead make them into enchiladas.  Add cheese and the meat mixed with salsa to a tortilla, roll them up, place in the pan and cover with more cheese and enchilada sauce.  OR add that mixture to a tortilla, roll up burrito style (tucking the ends of the tortilla in) and fry to make Chimis.  

Or just keep eating these nachos, because they're super yummy! These would also be the perfect addition to your football weekend. 


Arrange your chips on a plate, or on a baking sheet (depending on how much you're making).  Sprinkle with some cheese, arrange the meat around, sprinkle with more cheese (particularly over the meat) and place in the oven.  Broil until the cheese is melted.  WATCH IT!!  The broiler will likely burn your nachos if you walk away.  It only takes a few minutes to make.  Top the nachos with sour cream, guacamole, and tomatoes (or salsa).  



Shredded Beef Tacos


I told you I had more recipes for you using the roast!  Unless you're one of those people/families who ate the roast all in one sitting.  In that case, you're gonna have to go make another roast to be able to make these tacos.  Sorry.  That's just how it goes.

These tacos take me back to high school, when my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I would leave school and go to his house for lunch.  We made these tacos a few time, and they were super tasty.  There's something about freshly fried tortillas.  However, feel free to use whatever kind of hard shell you want.  Fry it yourself, or buy it from the store.  Whatever works for you!

Just remember to load up on the sour cream and cheese.  Mmmmmmm. . . .amount are approximate, so you can make as much or as little as you need.   

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  • Left over shredded roast (approx 1/4-1/3 cup meat per taco)
  • salsa
  • shredded cheese
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomatoes
  • sour cream
  • 1 taco shell per person

Prepare the meat by mixing it with salsa, until it's wet, but not dripping.  More salsa as needed for flavor or to help get the meat wet.  You can just heat it up in the microwave, or the stove top.  If you use the stove top, you might need to add more salsa after it's warmed.  Prepare your taco as desired.  I like to put everything on 1 side of the shell, spread the sour cream on the other side, and eat it like that.  I hate getting bites with just lettuce, or just meat.  This way insures I get it all!

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French Dip Sandwiches


There's something comforting about dipping a sandwich in something.  I don't know what it is.  Bread into clam chowder, grilled cheese into tomato soup, or this french dip sandwich.  It's just yummy!  And that's saying something from me, considering I hate soggy bread.  I don't eat bread pudding, or quiche with bread in it.  Soggy bread just is NOT ok in my book.  But yet, you will catch me dipping bread into soups all the time.  I don't know why.  One of the things I love most about this recipe is what I can do with the leftovers (watch for them later this week).  There are so many options available! And that's perfect for busy lives.  Make the roast one day, and eat it throughout the week in different forms. Plus?  Crockpot baby.  Need I say more?  Throw it in and come back to shred it later that day.  Quick and simple. French Dip SandwichesPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comAdapted from: Our Best Bites(1) 3lb roast (give or take a few ounces)salt and pepper2 pkgs mushroom and onion soup mix3 cups water mixed with 3 beef bouillon cubes1 cup water 6-8 large rollsprovolone cheeseThere are 2 methods to preparing the roast.  I tend to go the lazy route of seasoning with salt and pepper then just plopping it in the crockpot.  The other method is to sear it on all sides to help keep the juices in, and THEN plop it in the crockpot.  You can choose.  Pour the beef broth, water, and soup mix into the crockpot and add the roast.  Or do it the other way around.  Just get everything in the crockpot.  Cook it on high for 4-5 hours then low for 3-4.  Or on low for 8-10 hours.  When the roast is done (it will shred easily.  If it doesn't shred easy, cook it longer) pull it out and shred it up.  Place some on a roll, top with cheese, and broil it until the roll is browned and the cheese is melted.  Watch it!  Things get burned quick with the broiler.  Ladle some of the juice into small bowls for dipping and enjoy![...]

Stuffed Zucchini


I have been so inconsistent in my blogging lately, and I apologize to you, my readers.  All three of you. ;)  Regardless of my blogging attendance, which has been poor, I hope you'll give this recipe a try.  Fall is ALMOST here.  The mornings are cool, I've started putting a jacket on when I wake up!  I don't turn my little window a/c on until the afternoon, so I've felt brave enough to start using my oven a bit more.  If you happen to have any small zucchini left in your garden, these recipe is perfect for it! It's creamy, with fresh flavors from the garden.  I ate the whole zucchini myself.  Well, not in one sitting, but still.  It was good. I loved the combo of the flavors.  STUFFED ZUCCHINIPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comAdapted from: Kayotic Kitchen(serves 2)1 medium zucchini1 Tbsp sour cream1 small to medium tomato (a roma works because since they're not so juicy)1/2 cup shredded cheese2 slices cooked, and crumbled baconsalt and pepperPreheat your oven to 400degs.  Cut the zucchini in half, length-wise, creating boats.  Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the inside.  Leave enough attached to the skin--about 1/2-1/4" all around.  This gives you that perfect boat shape.  Save the innards and chop them up into small bits.  Chop up your tomato too.  Combine the zucchini flesh, tomato, sour cream, most of the cheese (save some for topping), and bacon in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the boats in a greased baking dish, and fill 'em up with the filling.  Go ahead and mound it up.  As they cook, they'll be ok.  Or they'll leak out everywhere.  You just never know.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake for about 20 minutes, and then turn the broiler on for just a minute to brown the top.  Make sure you watch it![...]

Chocolate Chip Banana Zucchini Bread


Do you have zucchini coming out your ears?  My zucchini plants failed three times before I gave up trying to grow them, however I have some very generous neighbors who keep gifting me with giant zucchini.  So even without my own garden zucchini, I have plenty.  I love making zucchini bread, and banana bread, so I was very excited to find this recipe that incorporated both those elements.  And it used up some of that zucchini! :)Keep posted, I've got quite a few more zucchini recipes coming your way this week!CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA ZUCCHINI BREADPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comAdapted from: Shoots and Roots3 very ripe bananas1 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded/grated3/4 cup sugar1 egg2 cups flour1 tsp baking powder1 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt2 tsp cinnamon2 Tbsp melted butter1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but very tasty)Preheat your oven to 350degs.  In a bowl, mash the bananas, then mix in the zucchini, sugar, and egg.  Mix well, and then add your dry ingredients: Flour, baking powder, baking soda, slat, and cinnamon.  Gradually mix until well combined.  Stir in the melted butter and chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased bread pan.  Bake for approx. 1 hour, or until done.  Check with a toothpick in the center--if it comes out fairly clean, it's done.  If it's doughy, not done.  Give it 5-10 minutes more and then check again. [...]

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes


Breakfast really is one of those meals that I could go without.  Wouldn't even phase me.  I usually have to wait 2-3 hours after waking up before I even feel ready to eat breakfast.  So that's not to say I don't like breakfast foods, because I love them.  I just can't eat them in the morning.  Not my thing.  The pancakes were quite filling, and I loved the lemon and blueberry flavor.  Because I had cake flour on hand, I made them like the recipe called, but needed a fair amount of extra to make them the proper consistency.  Next time I make them I'll try them with regular flour and let you know how they turn out!LEMON BLUEBERRY PANCAKESPosted at: http://recipesofacheapskate.blogspot.comOriginally From: The Pioneer Woman (adapted slightly)1 1/2 cups cake flour+approx 1/2 cup extra to add as needed1/4 tsp salt1 (heaping) Tbsp baking powder3 Tbsp sugar1 1/2 cups milk1 lemon, zested and juiced1 large egg1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract2 Tbsp melted butter1 heaping cup of blueberries (I used a full package (6oz I believe) from the store)Mix together the 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.  In another bowl, combine the milk, lemon juice and zest.  Allow to sit for about 5 minutes.  Add the egg, extract, and melted butter.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.  If the mixture is too thin, start add some of the extra flour.  If too thick, add extra milk.  Gently stir in the blueberries.  Check the thickness of the batter again, and add flour or milk as needed.  You want it slightly pourable, not soup-like.  Melt some butter in a skillet on medium heat.  Add batter in 1/4 cup increments to make pancakes.  When 1 side is browned, flip and cook on the other side.  Continue until batter is all gone, occasionally melting more butter in the pan as needed. [...]