Thursday, July 30, 2009

Extremely Frugal Sweet Sour Slaw

Sweet Sour Slaw
Originally uploaded by Simply Frugal
Cabbage 1 lb
Bacon 2 strips
Vinegar 2 Tbsp
Water 2 Tbsp
Sugar 2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp

Shred cabbage.
Saute bacon slowly, until meat is crisp and fat has rendered out.
Remove bacon and crumble.
Add vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to pan, heat to boiling. Return crumbled bacon.
Pour hot dressing over shredded cabbage and chill until serving time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Simple Plum Cake

Plum Cake
Originally uploaded by Simply Frugal
Plums 2 C
Yeast 1 tsp
Milk 1/2 C
Sugar 1 tsp
Milk 1/4 C
Salt 1/4 tsp
Butter 2 Tbsp
Egg 1
Sugar 1/4 C
Flour 3 C

Wash and half plums. Cut into thin wedges and set aside.
Mix together yeast, milk, sugar, and flour. Let rise about 1 hour, then stir down.
Warm milk with salt and butter until butter melts.
Stir in egg and sugar.
Add yeast mixture to batter.
Stir in flour, sufficient to make a stiff dough.
Pat the dough into a greased 9 x 11 pan, and place fruit on top in a single layer.
Let dough rise again.
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Bake 15 minutes, lower oven temperature to 350° and bake 10 minutes more.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Simple Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs
Originally uploaded by Simply Frugal

Beef, ground 1 lb
Bread crumbs 1 C
Egg 1
Onions 1/4 C
Parsley 3 Tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Paprika 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice 1 Tbsp
Nutmeg 1/4 tsp
Allspice 1/8 tsp
Drippings or butter 2 Tbsp
Broth 2 C
Flour 1/4 C

Shape meat into 1 inch balls. Brown in drippings.
Cover with broth and simmer about 15 minutes.
Remove meatballs.
Stir 2 teaspoons broth into the flour, making a smooth paste. Stir the paste back into the simmering broth, stirring up bits of browned meat from the bottom. Cook for 5 minutes until gravy thickens and flour is cooked.

For a more pronounced flavor, mix 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind into the meatball mixture.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Price is Right

The Price is Right
Originally uploaded by darthdowney
Here's this week's best buys in southeast Michigan. Ingredients in italics are more expensive than the rule of thumb I use for truly frugal cooking, 45¢ per serving.

Cost for a cooked 3 oz serving
35¢ Chicken leg quarters .79 per pound (Meijer)
39¢ Whole chicken, .85 per pound (Meijer)
50¢ Ground chuck 1.99 per pound (Meijer)
51¢ Boneless pork loin 1.69 per pound (Meijer)

Meat Alternatives
Cost for equivalent to 3 oz serving of meat
24¢ Eggs, .98 per dozen (Meijer)
30¢ Milk, 1.59 per gallon (Kroger)

Fruits and Vegetables
Cost for 1/2 cup serving
15¢ Orange juice, .91 per 12 oz can (Meijer)
15¢ Celery .91 per bunch (Meijer)
15¢ Mangoes .50 each (Meijer)
16¢ Green beans, fresh .77 per pound (Meijer)
18¢ Grapes .97 per pound (Meijer)
23¢ Peaches, .88 per pound (Meijer)
23¢ Eggplant, 77 per pound (Meijer)

Stock The Pantry
Walnuts 2.99 per pound (Kroger)

Other good buys
Almonds 2.99 per pound (Kroger)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Extremely Frugal Southern Green Beans

Southern Green Beans
Originally uploaded by Simply Frugal
Green beans, fresh 1 lb
Bacon 2 strips
Onion 1/2 cup

Clean beans and leave whole or cut to preferred size.
Saute bacon until crisp, remove from pan, and crumble.
Chop onion and saute in bacon fat until translucent.
Stir in green beans and stirfry quickly until bright green.
Return bacon to pan, stir to mix in.
Season with a bit of pepper.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Simple Rosemary Chicken Salad

Chicken, raw 1 lb
Onion 1/2C
Celery 1/4 C
Bay leaf 1
Celery 1 C
Onion 1/2 C
Grapes 1 C
Walnuts 1/4 C
Rosemary 1 tsp
Mayonnaise 1/4 C

Put chicken in saucepan and poach with onion, celery and bay leaf. Drain, reserving broth for other uses.
Mince celery and onion. Halve grapes. Chop walnut fine.
Dice chicken and stir in minced vegetables, and walnuts.
Sprinkle with crushed rosemary and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Gently fold in mayonnaise, and chill for 1 hour or until serving time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Fruit Tart

Summer Fruit Tart
Originally uploaded by Simply Frugal
Clear Glaze for Fruit Tart
Gelatin 1 envelope (7 grams)
Cold water 1 C
Sugar 1/2 C
Fruit 1 1/2 C

Soften gelatin in cold water in a small saucepan.
Add sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve gelatin and sugar.
Chill by immersing in an ice water bath until syrupy and slightly thickened.

Wash, dry, and slice fruit. I use strawberries, kiwi fruit, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, apricots and other soft fresh fruit.

Drain fruit for a few minutes on a towel. Dip in glaze and then place on tart.

Recipe for shortbread crust
Recipe for custard filling

This is so easy to make. The only ingredient that isn't on the Simply Frugal shopping list is the gelatin. Otherwise, it only uses stuff that's already in your pantry along with inexpensive seasonal fruits.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Price is Right

The Price is Right
Originally uploaded by darthdowney
Here's this week's best buys in southeast Michigan. Ingredients in italics are more expensive than the rule of thumb I use for truly frugal cooking, 45¢ per serving.

Cost for a cooked 3 oz serving
42¢ Pork shoulder bone in (Western ribs) 1.19 per pound (Meijer)
42¢ Ground beef, 73%, 1.59 per pound (Kroger)
51¢ Chicken breast, boneless skinless 7.99 per 4 pounds (Meijer)
54¢ Round steak, bottom round, 1.99 per pound (Meijer)

Meat Alternatives
Cost for equivalent to 3 oz serving of meat
24¢ Eggs .98 per dozen (Meijer, Kroger)
30¢ Milk, 1.59 per gallon (Kroger)
48¢ Cheese 2.50 per pound (Kroger)

Fruits and Vegetables
Cost for 1/2 cup serving
3¢ Cabbage .33 per pound (Meijer)
8¢ Celery .99 per bunch (Meijer)
12¢ Cucumber 3/1.00 (Meijer)
12¢ Romaine .99 per pound (Meijer)
16¢ Zucchini .99 per pound (Meijer)
17¢ Green beans, .99 per pound (Meijer)
18¢ Grapes, .97 per pound (Kroger)
18¢ Plums, .99 per pound (Meijer)

Stock The Pantry
Pasta .75 per pound (Meijer)
Sugar .40 per pound (Meijer)

Other good buys
Green onions 3/1.00 (Meijer)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sesame Broccoli

Sesame Broccoli
Originally uploaded by Simply Frugal
Broccoli, fresh or frozen 1 pound
Lemon juice 1 tsp
Soy sauce 1 tsp
Roasted sesame oil 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds 1 tsp
Steam broccoli briefly and place in serving bowl.
Mix lemon juice, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Sprinkle over broccoli and then toss.
If you are serving this as a cold summer salad, refrigerate for several hours.
Otherwise serve immediately, sprinkling sesame seeds for garnish.

Note: There are two kinds of sesame oil sold. One, a light golden color, is used as you would use any cooking oil. Dark or roasted sesame oil is a flavoring ingredient that can be purchased in Asian grocery stores and in some supermarkets in the ethnic foods section. Don't try to substitute one for the other. The darker oil has a very powerful flavor.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Simple Potato Salad

Potato Salad
Originally uploaded by Simply Frugal
Potatoes 4 medium
Oil 1 Tbsp
Vinegar 1 Tbsp
Thyme 1/16 tsp
Basil 1/4 tsp
Dry Mustard 1/8 tsp
Marjoram 1/4 tsp
Celery seed 1/4 tsp
Sugar 1/4 tsp
Celery 1/4 C
Onion 1/4 C
Green olives 2 Tbsp
Mayonnaise 1/4 C

Boil whole potatoes until tender.
Mix oil, vinegar, thyme, basil, dry mustard, marjoram, celery seeds, and sugar.
When potatoes are tender, peel if desired, and cut into 1/2 inch dice while still hot.
Pour oil and vinegar mixture over hot potatoes, tossing gently. Let sit for half an hour or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
When cool, mix in chopped celery, minced onions, and chopped green olives.
Stir in mayonnaise until potatoes are lightly coated.
Serve chilled.

Buy 'salad' olives rather than the perfectionist whole stuffed olives.
Go light on the mayonnaise. It doesn't need to be visible to taste like potato salad.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Extremely Frugal Cornbread

Originally uploaded by Simply Frugal
Cornmeal 1 C
Flour 1 C
Baking Powder 4 tsp
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Milk 1 1/2 C
Egg 2
Oil 2 Tbsp
Preheat oven and iron skillet to 425° F, adding a bit of bacon fat or other grease to the pan.
Stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
Stir milk, egg and oil into center of flour mixture, taking care to mix egg well.
Stir to moisten flour, then pour into hot skillet.
Return skillet to oven and bake about 25 minutes.

Yes, that's my grandmother's skillet in the photo.
About Grease. Grease is a fine southern ingredient. It means whatever liquid or solid fat that you've got on hand. Bacon grease is the ultimate grease, but you can use shortening, butter, oil or chicken fat in its place. This recipe uses grease both in the batter and on the pan.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Extremely Frugal Custard Base For Fruit Tart

Milk 3/4 C
Sugar 1/4 C
Flour 2 Tbsp
Egg yolks 2
Vanilla extract 1 Tbsp

Heat milk to scalding. (I find a microwave does this better than the stovetop).
Combine sugar, flour, and egg yolks in the top of a double boiler set over hot water.
Stir with wire whisk until it becomes light. Gradually stir in hot milk until well blended.
Cook, stirring continuously, until mixture is about to boil. It thickens and coats the spoon.
Cook 30-40 minutes, just simmering.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Keep stirring until custard cools.
Chill completely, setting saucepan in ice water. Refrigerate, well covered, until ready to use.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Extremely Frugal Shortbread Tarts

Butter 1/2 C
Powdered sugar 1/4 C
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
Flour 1 C

Soften butter and cream with powdered sugar until well blended.
Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Stir in sifted flour, mixing well. Use hands to work dough thoroughly and form into a ball. Wrap well in plastic and chill 1 hour or more.

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Roll dough out 1/3 inch thick on lightly floured board.
Fit into fluted tart pan, trimming evenly and patching as needed.

To bake unfilled:
Prick several times with a fork both before baking and as soon as the crust comes from the oven.
Bake for 20 to 26 minutes.

To bake filled:
Prick several times with a fork, and bake 15 minutes. Prick again before pouring filling into shell.
Bake as directed.

Frugal Tip:
If you don't usually have powdered sugar on hand, don't go out and buy it for this recipe. Just use your food processor. One cup of granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon of cornstarch will make 1 cup of powdered sugar.