Friday, February 20, 2009

Saturday: Pasta E Fagioli Soup with warm bread

I made this soup because: 1. It is my favorite soup at Olive Garden 2. I have been craving it and 3. I was a part of a freezer soup swap. It turned out very well and makes a ton! I thought it tasted VERY similar to Olive Garden's recipe. I found the recipe at You can go there and alter the total amount you wish to make (this recipe makes 3 qts.) and it will change all the amounts of ingredients for you.

Here is what you need for 3 qts. (serves 6)

2/3 lb Ground beef
4 oz chopped onion (about 1/2 of a medium)
4 2/3 oz slivered Carrots
4 2/3 oz diced celery
16 oz tomatoes, canned, diced
2/3 cup cooked Red Kidney Beans
2/3 cup cooked white Kidney Beans
32 oz beef stock
1 tsp. Oregano
3/4 tsp. Pepper
1 2/3 tsp fresh, chopped Parsley
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
16 oz Spaghetti sauce
3 oz dry pasta bow tie macaroni (or noodle of choice)

Pillsbury freezer french baguettes (or bread of choice)

Step 1: Chop up your onions, celery and carrots

Step 2: Brown the hamburger in a 10 qt. pan until it browns

Step 3: Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes. Simmer about 10 minutes.

Step 4: Drain and rinse beans, add to the pot. Then add the beef stock, oregano, pepper, tabasco, spaghetti sauce, parsley and noodles.

Step 5: Simmer for about 45 minutes or until celery and carrots are tender.

Step 6: While the soup is simmering, bake your bread and fix a nice salad


Cost of Meal for a family of 6: $14.00 (include salad, bread and soup)

Cost per person: $2.33

Print today's recipe

Click here to print a PDF file of today's yummy recipe.

1 1/2 STICKS OF BUTTER, NOT 1 1/2 CUPS. Correction has been made to the PDF.

Friday: Apple Cinnamon Puff Pancake w/ Bacon and Orange Juice

So, I don't know about your family but my family doesn't usually make it up in the morning in time for a nice sit down breakfast together. We usually surrender to the cereal calling our name from the box or the lonely eggs in the fridge.

My husband is a HUGE breakfast fan, so whenever I have an open slot to fill during the week for my meal plan we fit in a nice breakfast for dinner or "brinner" as we call it.

I found this recipe on a bed and breakfast website so I figured it MUST be yummy. All I can say is that this amazing dish could also work as dessert! It tastes like a mix between french toast, pancake and bread pudding. SERIOUSLY DIVINE!

The best part? I had all the ingredients on hand. It was so cheap to make b/c most of the ingredients are staples you probably have sitting in your kitchen right now. Pair it with some bacon and freshly squeezed orange juice and you've got a great brinner!

Add this to your list girls (and guys!), you have got to try this one!

Here is what you need:

6 eggs , 1 1/2 C milk, 1 cup flour, 3T sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1 1/2 sticks of butter, 2 apples cut and sliced (any cooking apples will do!)

Step 1: Peel your 2 apples

Step 3: Slice them up!

Step 4: Place 1 1/2 sticks of butter in your 9 x 13 pan and let melt at 425 degrees. Once butter is melted, add your apples and let cook until butter starts to bubble.

Step 5: Mix together: 6 eggs , 1 1/2 C milk, 1 cup flour, 3T sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Step 6: Mix it real good!

Step 7: Take your dish out of the oven and pour the batter over the apples and butter. The apples and butter will rise to the top, don't let it freak you out- you are doing it right! Add 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar to the top.
Now bake at 425 for 20 minutes until puffed (and I mean PUFFED) and brown.

Step 8: While your amazing dish is baking, squeeze some fresh orange juice. This is about as fresh as it gets in our house!

Step 9: Fry up some bacon

Then enjoy your meal! Seriously, when I looked at this in the oven baking I thought I did something wrong! They weren't joking when they named this a "puff pastry!" I thought it was going to puff right out of the pan!

My husband, however said that it looked like a "chef" had made it. He said it was very impressive looking. So if you are looking to impress your family tonight with a SUPER EASY brinner, you have hit the jackpot!

If your family loves "brinner" as much as mine, leave a comment and share your favorite brinner meal with us!

Cost of Meal for a family of 6: $6.00

I seriously didn't know how to calculate this b/c almost everything is a staple! The $2.00 is for 1/2 a dozen eggs and 2 apples, $2.50 for a pack of bacon and $1.50 for orange juice. If you don't do bacon and already have orange juice, then it's even cheaper!

Cost per person: $1.00

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Update to the meal planner...

If you have visited this blog for a little while you might remember the meal planner we put on to be downloaded and printed. I spent a little bit of time today tweaking the planner I had previously made. The original idea was that we would create planners for one week, two weeks, and one month. Today I had the opportunity to create similar planners for those of you who like to meal plan for two weeks at a time, or one month at a time. See below for the links to download the planner that suits you best.

If you plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner for one week at a time the one week planner will work best for you.
Click here for a week-long planner.

If you plan lunch and dinners for two weeks at a time, you would use the two week planner.
Click here for a two week-long planner.

If you are one of the few who are able to tackle a whole month's meal plan at a time, we salute you, and then we offer you the month-long planner. :)
Click here for a month-long planner.

Hope this helps you wherever you are at in you meal planning!!

Bonus Post::Triple Chocolate Brownies

This recipe is so easy, cheap, yummy and makes a ton! I don't love super rich brownies and these fit my taste perfectly. They are very moist (and stay moist for days) and more "cake-like" than "brownie-like."

Trust me, this recipe is a MUST HAVE for your recipe box. I try to keep these ingredients on hand in case we invite friends over for last minute dessert. This is a staple! Enjoy!

This is what you need:

2 cups milk, 1 package chocolate chips, 1 chocolate cake mix, 1 package of chocolate pudding (4 serving size)
If you buy all of these ingredients at Aldi, it adds up to about $2.30.

Step 1: Pour all your ingredients into a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Mix with a spoon until blended

Step 3: Grease a cookie sheet very well (Your cookie sheet needs to have about 1/2 inch lip) and pour your triple chocolate brownies into the pan.
*Very important- do not use a cake pan for this recipe. If you choose to use a cake pan, it will not bake as directed.

Step 4: Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Enjoy! These are good by themselves or with ice cream, but be careful b/c they will go fast! These brownies make so much that I usually give away 1/2 of the pan and keep 1/2 of the pan for our family.

Cost of brownies: $2.50 (ish) if spent at Aldi's

So the question is... is your family going to be loving on some triple chocolate brownies tonight?!?

Thursday: California Roll Ups with Crunchy carrots

Sometimes I just crave veggies! My husband and I had a discussion last night (don't ask how it came up!) about veggies lovers vs. meat lovers. I said that I would be content to eat TONS of veggies the rest of my life. Also saying that they can make a total meal in and of themselves. My husband is the complete opposite (aren't most?) and would hardly let me get a word in edgewise as he explained why MEAT was the superior to Veggies. Sigh, neither one of us won, but since I am the cook in the house my Veggies will reign!

This is one of those meals that I sometimes just CRAVE! I am 6 months pregnant which leads to a few cravings here and there. I have to be honest, sometimes its veggies, but sometimes it's cookie dough ice cream... or the amazing triple chocolate brownie recipe I am going to post later today (you will want to check back for this one!) ... or McDonald's french fries.

On my healthier days, though I do crave fruits and Veggies. If you are VEGGIE lover, you will love this meal! Even if you are more of a meat lover, you can still make this meal work for you.


Here is what you need:
Turkey Breast (2 slices per person), Tortillas (one per person), Mozzerella Cheese (1 slice per person), Avocado, Cucumber, Lettuce, Tomato, Bean Sprouts and Mayo (Ranch dressing also works!)

Step 1: Cut up all your veggies

Step 2: Layer your roll-up: Mayo (or Ranch), Turkey, Cheese, Tomato, Cucumber, Bean Sprouts, Avocado (leaving out what you don't like)

Step 3: Roll up your tortilla with all it's yummy goodness inside! Cut in half, add some crunchy carrots (that somehow escaped my picture)
My fellow meal planning mommy, Katie and her son, Samuel were over that day for lunch. Despite the sad face Samuel is giving me, he really did love the roll-up! The kids pretty much picked through and found what they like, but at least they got some veggies!

This is my daughter, Addison enjoying her roll-up! Notice the Dora backpack she had to wear to lunch.

Now, wasn't that meal so EASY! I would love to hear from you...

What is a super easy meal that your family makes consistently?
Leave a comment and share!

Meal Serves: 4
Cost of Meal: $6.00 (try to get your produce/meat on mark-down)
Cost per person: $1.50

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday: Pizza

Today is your day to:

1. Order Pizza -
Check out Pizza Hut's great deal right now: But 1 large and get 1 medium for a penny! Thanks to for the link to this deal.

2. Make your own Pizza
Bubble Pizza and Taco Pizza are two great pizza recipes the meal planning mommies enjoy!

3. Grab a Frozen Pizza

Add a tossed salad and breadsticks and you've got a great family night meal! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Reader's Choice Week for February

We have a great collection of recipes for our Reader's Choice week coming up the last week of February. There are still 2 days open and we would love to fill one of those with your recipe!

Please contact us at to let us know you want to post! The first 2 people that contact us will be chosen for the Reader's Choice Week.

Happy Meal Planning!

Chicken Tetrazzini w/ Fresh Veggies

This recipe is awesome. It is cheap and fairly easy to put together. I hope you enjoy it!

Here is what you need:

7 oz cooked spaghetti, 2 cups sour cream, 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 3 cups cooked chicken (about 1 1/4 lb), parmesan cheese, 1 stick butter

Step 1: Bake your chicken (if not already cooked), 350 for 30 minutes. I would advise doing this before the dinner hour. I always bake double what I need and then I can freeze the rest already baked for another recipe.

Step 2: Cook your pasta (7 oz) according to directions, drain and set aside

Step 3: Once your chicken has cooled, cut up into bite size pieces to equal 3 cups.

Step 4: Make cream sauce- Combine 2 cans Cream of Chicken soup

Step 5: Melt 1 stick of butter and add to bowl

Step 6: Add 2 cups of sour cream and mix together well

Step 7: Add the cream sauce and mix with the chicken and spaghetti

Step 8: Pour into casserole dish and add parmesan cheese on the top before baking

Step 9: Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes

Step 10: Enjoy with steamed veggies!
Here is my daughter LOVING this meal! My one year old also devoured it.

Meal Serves: 6

Cost of Meal: $6.00

Cost per Person: $1.00

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday: Sausage, Egg and Cheese Tartlets with Fresh Fruit

These make a semi-easy and, but very impressive dinner/brunch. I first had these over Thanksgiving holiday at my sister-in-laws house. She whipped up a bunch or these for the whole family and everyone went back for seconds! She served them alongside french toast, but I think they would make a great, light meal by themselves.

Here is what you need:

1/2 lb sausage (bacon or ham work great also), 2/3 cup cheese (I used both cheddar and swiss), 2 medium green onions, chopped, 2 eggs, 6 TB heavy whipping cream, 2 cans crescent rolls (or recipe creations- Pictured is 3 cans- I made extra)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Then brown and drain sausage

Step 2: Roll out Crescent dough and cut into 12 rectangular sections.

Step 3: Place each rectangular section into an ungreased mini cupcake tray. You will want to fold the sides up over the ridges of the cupcake holder.

Step 4: Beat 2 eggs together

Step 5: Add 6 TB heavy whipping cream and whisk until mixed

Step 6: Spoon cheese evenly into crescent cups

Step 7: Top cheese w/ bacon and green onions (don't forget to leave room for the egg mixture!)

Step 8: Spoon a little less than 1 TB of egg mixture into each crescent cup

Step 9: Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from muffin cups, cool 5 min. and enjoy! (Notice there is 1 missing, I couldn't wait! I burned my mouth to get the first taste!)

Mix up your fruit for a side and you have a fun brunch/dinner! My toddler loved these little cups b/c they were just her size!

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

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Frugal Table Meal Plan and Grocery List

There are some great things on the Menu this week at the Frugal Table! Remember that within each recipe there are ways for you to cut extra costs for your family; use only 1/2 of the meat requested per recipe, leave out all the "Extra" toppings etc., go with frozen/canned fruit and veggies instead of fresh, look for salad mix's on manager special and don't forget to use COUPONS and match them with your sale flier.

Frugal Table Meal Plan

Monday-Sausage, Egg and Cheese Tartlets with Fresh Fruit
Tuesday- Chicken Tetrazzini with fresh veggies
Wednesday- Pizza Night
Thursday- California Roll ups w/ carrots on the side
Friday- Apple Pancake Puffs w/ Bacon and Orange Juice
Saturday- Pasta E Fagolio Soup w/ fresh bread and a salad
Sunday- Chili Mac with Garlic Bread

Bonus: Triple Chocolate Brownies

Grocery List: All meals serve at least 4

Monday- Sausage, Egg and Cheese Tartlets with Fresh Fruit

2 containers of crescent rolls (Pillsbury recipe creations or regular crescents)
1/2 lb sausage
2/3 cup cheese (swiss or cheddar work good)
2 eggs
2 medium, chopped green onion (optional... but oh so yummy!)
6 TB heavy whipping cream

Choice of Fresh Fruit (mandarin oranges mixed w/ bananna and pineapple is a good mix!)

Tuesday- Chicken Tetrazzini w/ Fresh Veggies

7 oz cooked spaghetti
1 small can mushroom pieces *optional
3 cups cooked chicken
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
Parmesan cheese

Fresh Broccoli or your choice of veggie on the side

Wednesday- Pizza Night

Order in, make your own (try our bubble pizza or taco pizza recipes) or get a frozen pizza!

Thursday- California Roll Ups w/ carrots on the side

4 burrito size flour tortillas (wheat or veggie flavored would be great too)
Sliced Mozzarella
Bean Sprouts
Mayo or Ranch Dressing

Carrots on the side

Friday- Apple Pancake Puffs w/ Bacon and Orange Juice

6 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
3T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup butter
3 medium apples, cut and sliced (your choice of apple- I used granny smith)

Orange Juice (or your choice of drink!)

Pasta e Fagioli Soup w/ fresh bread and salad

2/3 lb Ground beef
4 oz chopped onion (about 1/2 of a medium)
4 2/3 oz slivered Carrots
4 2/3 oz diced celery
16 oz tomatoes, canned, diced
2/3 cup cooked Red Kidney Beans
2/3 cup cooked white Kidney Beans
32 oz beef stock
1 tsp. Oregano
3/4 tsp. Pepper
1 2/3 tsp fresh, chopped Parsley
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
16 oz Spaghetti sauce
3 oz dry pasta bow tie macaroni (or noodle of choice)

Pillsbury freezer french baguettes (or bread of choice)
Lettuce and Salad fixings

Sunday: Chili Mac w/ Garlic Bread

1 can beanless chili (chili w/ beans works too!)
3/4 can ketchup
1 tbs. worchestershire sauce
1 box of spaghetti
parmesan cheese or shredded cheese
Garlic Bread

Bonus: Triple Chocolate Brownies (these are SOOOO GOOD, trust me!)

1 box of chocolate cake mix (any kind)
1 box chocolate pudding (4 serving size)
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 cup of milk

(If you get all of these ingredients at Aldi it will only cost you about $2.50. The recipe makes a huge sheet cake of brownies! Enough to feed 20!)

Sunday: Mexican Tortilla Skillet

1 lb. Cooked ground beef.
1 can tomato soup
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa
12 flour tortillas (burrito size)
1/4 cup water

Lie tortillas stacked one on top of the other, onto a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter to cut tortillas into 1 inch strips.

Rotate cutting board and cut tortillas again so that you have 1 inch square tortilla pieces.

Combine all of the ingredients into a skillet and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add cheese on top and let cook until the cheese melts.

This meal is perfect for a quick, frugal family night dinner. Instead of begging for dessert, your kids beg for more! We like to serve this dish along side applesauce and corn.

The Mexican Tortilla Skillet serves 4 and costs $1.25 per serving when shopping at Aldi.
*Frugal Tip: Aldi is a great place to get staples that are inexpensive. All of the ingredients in this recipe are sold at Aldi so you can one stop shop!

Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.