Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sunday: Smack yo' Mamma Mac and Cheese

This is seriously the BEST macaroni and cheese recipe in the world! I like mac and cheese as a side dish, but this recipe makes it the main course of the meal. You can make this recipe the night before, stick it in the fridge and cook it the next day. This recipe makes a HUGE batch, good for a large crowd or cut the recipe in half for a family of 6 or less.

You have got to try this!

Here is what you need:

2 cups shredded mild cheddar, 2 cups shredded colby jack blend, 1 cup medium (or sharp) cheddar, 2 cups shredded velveeta or the small box/8 oz of large box, 1 box elbow macaroni (or noodle of choice), 4 eggs, 3 cups whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream (1/2 pint), 1/2 stick of butter, salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, set out and spray w/ non-stick spray a 13x9 inch pan that is at least 3-4 inches deep (or use several smaller round pans to share with others or save for later)

Step 1: Boil noodles as directed on package until just undercooked, quick drain- rinse- shake, set aside for later

Step 2: Mix eggs, milk, cream and salt and pepper, whisk until well blended.

Step 3: In a bowl combine the three types of shredded cheese; 2 cups mild cheddar, 2 cups colby jack and 1 cup medium/sharp cheddar
and mix
Step 4: In a greased 9x13 inch pan (at least 3-4 inches deep) pour 1/2 of milk mixture in bottom of pan.
Step 5: Add a layer of noodles, salt and pepper.

Step 6: Top noodles with cheese and mix cheese up a little w/ noodles

Step 7: Add slices of velveeta over shredded cheese

Step 8: Repeat steps 5-7 (noodles, cheese, cheese- salt and pepper)

Step 9: When both layers are complete, poke holes through the top layer and pour rest of milk mixture over the remaining noodles and cheese.

Step 10: Melt 1/2 stick of butter (or more!) and pour over the top of the dish. Salt and pepper.

Step 11: Cover tightly with foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 5-10 more minutes more or until golden. Let stand for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

This dish is even better the next day!

Meal Serves: 10 (at least)

Cost of Meal: $12.00

Cost per person: $1.20

Tasty Green Meal Plan

I absolutely agree with Sarah, in this holiday season with all the traveling we have had a hard time sticking to a publishable meal plan. When the Christmas season is over I hope to return to a sense of normalcy somewhat around here!

This weeks meal plan is:

Sunday~ Beef Roast in a Crock Pot (YES, the exact thing Sarah did yesterday. We both had the craving for a good old fashioned roast!)

Monday~ Leftover Roast Beef Sandwiches

Tuesday~ Vegetable Cheese Penne Pasta

Wednesday~ Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

Thursday~ Ham and Cheese Omelette's, Cinnamon Rolls

Friday~ Tuna Casserole

Saturday~ Baked Super Delicious Oatmeal (We are having a big breakfast and then eating out for "Linner")

It is not terribly creative this week gals. I am trying to not grocery shop much and really use what is in my pantry. Waste not, want not!

Crock Pot Roast

As crazy as Christmas season is, this week seems to be the craziest as far as sticking to our meal plan! Some times you have to be flexible and just push a meal or two back for the next week. While that may be frustrating (especially when you are trying to post the recipe!), it does give you a night off and you have a meal all ready to go for the next week. That is what happened to my crock pot roast. I Intended on making it Thursday- something came up, so I thought- "oh, no problem- I will just make it on Saturday!" Well... totally forgot we have a staff Christmas dinner tonight. So, I apologize that you will only have the recipe for today. I will get back on next week and post the pictures when I do make it! If you make it between now and then feel free to leave a comment about what you liked/didn't like or would change about it.

Here is what you need: 1 tbsp. oil, 3-31/2 boneless beef pot roast, shoulder roast or pork roast, 4 carrots sliced, 4 medium russet potatoes- cut into 1 inch pieces, onion, 2 envelopes onion soup mix (I am only using 1 envelope, but the recipe calls for 2), 3/4 cup water

Step 1: Brown roast in a large skillet w/ 1 tbsp. oil

Step 2: Put your carrots (sliced), potatoes (diced) and onion (diced) in the bottom of the slow cooker

Step 3: Place the browned meat on top of the vegetables

Step 4: Combine soup mix with 3/4 cup water and add to slow cooker.

Step 5: Cook, covered on LOW 8-10 hours or HIGH 4-6 hours.

Step 6: Remove Roast and vegetables.

Gravy recipe

You need: 2 tbsp. flour, 1/4 cup water and excess liquid from crock pot

Step 1: Thicken the excess liquid in the crock pot by adding 1/4 cup water mixed w/ 2 Tbsp. flour. Cook on high until thickened.

Add some dinner rolls and you have yourself a warm, comfy meal for dinner.


Serves: 8
Cost of Meal: $8
Cost per person: $1

BONUS...Breakfast idea: Chocolate espresso pancakes

Okay, so I just tried this out this morning and it was sooo good so I had to post.
At Target they have Archer Farms nut mix packages in bags, down the aisle with the planters nuts. There are all different kinds of mixes. I found the dark chocolate espresso package and thought it looked like something I would like. This morning I was making pancakes, by my son's request, and I saw the bag on our kitchen counter and thought I would add some of the nut mix to the pancake mix for the last few pancakes, just for myself. IT WAS DELICIOUS!!! Strongly suggest it. Walnut, chocolate, coffee flavor. If you are into those kinds of things you will love this!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday: Out to Eat

Today is your day to find a great deal eating out! It is Friday, so there are lots of great places for your kids to eat for free! Check out this link to find places in your area where your kids can eat for free tonight!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday: Creamy 3 cheese tortellini w/ tomatoes and spinach

This is sooo yummy! I found the original recipe on kraftfoods, but I adapted it a bit using more cheese and less spinach. The original recipe calls for spinach and tomato to go in the dish, but you can adapt it and put in whatever you like for veggies/meats. Broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, chicken, basil, garlic would all be great in place of or as additions to this dish. The basic cream sauce (very similar to alfredo) is also just a great recipe to use in any pasta dish!

Here is what you need to serve a family of 4:

1 cup of milk, 9 oz three cheese tortellini, 3-6 oz spinach, 1 cup sliced grape/cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup parmesean cheese, 6 oz cream cheese, 1/4 tsp. pepper

Step 1: Over medium heat, place 1 cup milk and 6 oz cream cheese (cubed) in a saucepan. Stir constantly until the cheese is all melted.

Step 2: Once the cheese is all melted, add 1/4 tsp. pepper and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and continue stirring

Step 3: Cook tortellini according to the package directions. Note that I used one 9 oz container for a family of 4. If you want leftovers or have more than 4 people, I would recommend using at least 12 oz.

Step 4: Wash and cut your tomatoes in half. If you are making garlic bread, this is the time to put it in the oven!

Step 5: Place spinach in with cream sauce, stir and let cook. I used about 3 oz of spinach. The original recipe calls for 6 oz, so if your family loves spinach add it all!

Step 6: Drain tortellini and place tortellini and tomatoes in saucepan to simmer with the spinach and sauce. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes. If you cook too long, the tomatoes will start to pull away from their skin. (I can't believe I forgot a picture of this step- sorry!

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy! Remember, tortellini is a lot more filling than you think! Start with a smaller serving and you can always get more later. :<)

Serves: 4
Cost of meal: $8.00
Cost per person: $2.00
(*note, you can make this dish less expensive by skipping the tomatoes and spinach- add canned tomatoes instead and make your own garlic bread!)

Wednesday: Pizza Night

Tonight is the night to order out, make your own or grab a pizza from the freezer! Yummy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday: No Fuss Tex Mex Roll-ups

This was the first time I have made this recipe. There are probably only 2 things I would change, but you may feel differently. I am not familiar w/ "Tex Mex", I am assuming it is more of an americanized mexican dish. I thought that the meat needed more flavor, and so I will add taco seasoning next time. Also, we love cheese in this house and it could definitely use more cheese inside the roll-ups. I would love to hear your opinion when you make it!

Here is what you need:

8 flour tortillas, 1 cup chunky salsa, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar ( I recommend using around 1 cup), 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 TB chili powder (I recommend using 2 TB chili powder or taco seasoning in it's place), 1 lb ground beef, 2 red bell peppers (I only used 1, they are so expensive!)

Step 1: Dice your red bell pepper. I kept mine pretty large mainly b/c I could pick them out for my husband who doesn't appreciate the red bell.

Step 2: Brown your ground beef

Step 3: Drain the ground beef

Step 4: Put your ground beef and peppers back in the skillet, add 1 TB chili powder and cook over medium for 5 minutes or until peppers are cooked
Step 5: Add 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I recommend adding at least 1/2 cup) and mix well.
Step 6: Spoon mixture into tortilla shells, roll and put them seam side down in a 9 x 13 pan

Step 7: Once all your tortillas are filled, drizzle 1/2 cup Italian dressing on top, then 1/2 cup salsa (or more) and lots of cheese!

Step 8: Put under broiler until cheese is all melty and tortillas are crispy. Enjoy!

Meal Serves: 4
Cost of Meal: $6.00
Cost per person: $1.50

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday: Grilled Cheese, Turkey and Apple melts w/ Crunchy carrots and celery

Pictures coming soon!

Here is what you need:
3 tbs. butter, 2 TB honey mustard, 8 slices of bread (or 2 slices per person), 4 slices of cheddar cheese, 16 slices deli turkey and 1/2 granny smith apple cut into slices, celery and carrots as a side dipper.

Step 1: Spread butter evenly on one side of each slice of bread. Take 4 slices of bread and put honey mustard on the opposite side as the butter.

Step 2: On the honey mustard side, place 1 slice of cheddar, 4 slices of turkey and 1/4 of the cut apple slices.

Step 3: Place the other piece of bread (buttered only) on top of the sandwich.

Step 4: Place in skillet and cook medium high until cheese is melted and bread is toasty brown.

Step 5: Serve along side carrot and celery sticks and/or tomato soup! Yummy!

Serves: 4
Cost per serving: $1.00

This recipe idea taken from All You magazine, December 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Frugal Table Grocery List

Monday- Grilled Turkey, Cheese and Apple Melts w/ crunchy carrots & celery on the side.
3 tbs. butter
8 slices of hearty white or whole-grain bread
2 tbs. honey mustard
4 slices cheddar
16 thin slices deli turkey (about 8 oz)
1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced

Carrots/celery to crunch!

Tomato soup is also a great side.

No Fuss Tex-Mex Roll-ups

1 lb ground beef
2 cups chopped red peppers (about 2 peppers)
1 Tb. chili powder
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 flour tortillas
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cup thick and chunky salsa

Wednesday- Pizza Night

Frozen, make your own or order out! Yummy!

Thursday- Creamy Cheese tortellini w/ tomatoes and spinach and garlic bread

2- 9 oz packages of three cheese tortelli
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup milk
6 Tbs. parmesan cheese
6 oz baby spinach leaves
1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 loaf garlic bread

Friday- Out to Eat

Crockpot Boneless Pork Roast w/ potatoes, carrots and onion & dinner rolls

1 tb. oil
3-3 1/2 lb. boneless beef pork roast (or pot roast- get what is on sale!)
4 carrots, sliced
4 medium potatoes
2 envelopes Lipton Onion Soup Mix
3/4 cup water

Dinner rolls

Sunday- Smack yo Mamma Mac & Cheese (makes 13 x 9 inch pan, 3-4 inches deep)
I know this recipe has a lot of ingredients, and is not exactly cheap- but trust me it is the BEST MACARONI AND CHEESE you will ever have! I am making it for a church potluck on Sunday. It makes a HUGE batch. So you could really 1/2 the recipe if you are a family of 4 or less.

2 cups shredded mild cheddar
2 cups shredded colby Jack blend
1 cup medium cheddar
2 cups shredded velveeta (or small box)
1 box of elbow macaroni or noodle of choice
4 eggs
3 cups whole mlik
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick of butter
salt and pepper to taste


Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies

1 C butter
1/2 cup powedered sugar
1/4 t salt
2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Thumbprint Cookies- makes 25
3 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
3 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Filling: plum preserves, apricot preserves, walnuts, pecans, cherries or chocolate kisses

Sunday: Shrimp Stir Fry (South Beach Diet Recipe)

4 tsp. canola oil, divided
2 Tbs. plus 1-1/2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce, divided
3 garlic cloved, minced
1-1/2 pounds medium peeled and deveined fresh or thawed frozen shrimp
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
8 ounces white mushrooms, quartered
4 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large bell pepper, any color, cut into thin strips
8 ounces snow peas, strings removed
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Whisk together 2 tsp. of the oil, 1-1/2 tsp. of the soy sauce, and garlic in a large bowl; add shrimp and toss to coat. Lightly coat a large skillet or wok with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Add shrimp and cook until pink, 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Heat remaining oil in the same skillet over high heat; add ginger and red pepper flakes and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Stir in shrimp and remaining soy sauce and toss to combine. Serve hot.