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To start with, you'll need a table to knead the dough, and yes, knead it. Not with a bread machine - that takes the life out of bread. Kneading bread is sort of a ritual that gives life to those who eat it - and those who knead it.
1 tablespoon lard, shortening, butter, margarine, ghee, olive oil or vegetable oil.
1 tablespoon sugar, molasses, brown sugar, powdered sugar or honey.
1 teaspoon table salt, or sea salt.
1 heaping tablespoon or 1 package active dry yeast or 1/2 cup of sourdough starter.
1 cup milk, half milk and half water, or half milk and half potato water, or half water and half potato water, or all water.
3 to 4 cups of white or whole wheat flour, or 2 cups white flour and 1 to 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Substitute oat, rice, barley or any other flour for up to a cup of wheat flour.
Warm the liquid (don't let it get too hot to comfortably stick your finger in); add the fat. If you're using solid fat, let it melt.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt and yeast, then pour the liquid with the fat into it. Mix well and add a cup or so of flour, mix again and put it, covered, in a warm place. Go have a cup of coffee or sweep the floor while it begins to work.
In about a half hour, it should be bubbly and smell pleasantly yeasty or like your sourdough starter. If it's not yet, wait another half hour or so. Stir it down gently and begin adding flour (use a wooden spoon if you have one) until it becomes a soft dough, still a little sticky.
Flour a board or smooth table top generously and turn the dough onto it and knead it, adding flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and silky to the touch. This should take about 5 minutes, maybe more. If you enjoy kneading, it won't hurt it to knead a little more. Kneading not only smooths the dough, it develops the gluten which holds the mixture together, and allows it to rise.
Kneading is an important step in any bread, and you can laugh if you want to, but steel kneading appliances just don't give it life. The touch of a human hand is necessary - bread making is an art, not a science, and one has to feel their way through from ingredients to finished product to appreciate it.
After kneading, let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes while you heat a skillet over medium heat with about a quarter inch of oil in the bottom.
Pinch off pieces of the dough, roll into a ball and flatten to a quarter to a half inch thickness, and plop them into the skillet. Fry until browned on both sides and brush with butter as soon as you take them out of the skillet.
Fried bread is a perfect compliment to a summer's backyard barbecue or a autumn tailgate party, Easter dinner - or a stew made for a blizzard!
Here's a good way to stretch a whole chicken out for nearly a weeks' worth of food. If you cook up a whole chicken, 5 lbs., then you should get about five portions. Normally, these are around 1.19 a lb., but you can get them on sale cheaper; I've picked them up for as little as .59 a lb and stocked up my freezer! This will take probably a whole day, so it works great for me being a SAHM, but it's great on the days you need a fast meal, too! Working mommies may spend a whole weekend day getting these ready, or just freeze the portions of chicken and stock and prepare as you need it instead of preparing it all and then freezing. Either way works fine, depending on your schedule.
Rinse chicken and place in crock pot or large pan on stove and cover with several cups of water (you'll want to build up lots of stock). Cook a few hours, until cooked through, and remove the chicken to a plate to cool off a bit (you can help it along by putting in the freezer or fridge). Once cooled, completely pick the chicken, and mix it around in a large bowl. Cut up and seperate into the five portions. Make any of these recipes, or your own, and freeze or refrigerate what you'll use the quickest.
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP:
Put the chicken and a few cups of stock in a pan and add sliced carrots, 1/2 diced onion, and 1/2 diced green pepper, some garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Boil. You may want to add a cup or two of additional water first, to build a little more stock, too.
Meanwhile, beat an egg with some salt and add some flour until it's pretty thick. Thin to kneadable consistency with water, knead a minute or two, and then roll very thin with rolling pin. Slice thinly widthwise, and then make about 1 1/2 inches long. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. Boil about 6 or 8 cups of water with salt and garlic powder. Add the noodles and cook at 30 minutes. Test. If they are very soft, and they have grown to be about twice the size, then they're done. If not, cook another 10 minutes. Drain and add to the soup. Continue simmering, very gently, for about another 45 minutes.
CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP:
Start with the chicken, a couple cups of stock (make at least three cups of liquid--you can use that much stock if you have it, or add some water) the other 1/2 diced onion and pepper, and add some finely chopped cilantro. Boil. To that, add a can of petite diced tomatoes with chiles, some minced garlic, pepper, salt, cumin, and onion powder (if you like, you can add a little taco seasoning, also). Continue boiling gently for at least 45 minutes to an hour.
When serving, put a little shredded cheese and a teaspoon of sour cream in the bowl, put the soup over it, and top with crunched up tortilla chips, (and diced raw onion, if you wish).
Also freezes well, before the chips, cheese, and sour cream.
*also good if you add a can of drained corn or frozen corn when adding tomatoes, or add some rice and extra liquid (stock, preferably) if you don't want to serve with chips.
CHICKEN ALA KING
Start with a few tablespoons of butter or oil, and add a few tablespoons of flour. Use a fork to make sure it's smooth, then add about 3/4 cups of milk and 3/4 cups of the stock. Use a wire wisk to make smooth (it should also be thick like gravy). You may need to add a little more milk if it's too thick. To this, add the chicken and use the fork to get the chicken seperated well and kind of 'stringy' throughout the gravy. Add a few sliced carrots, 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, and if you like, some frozen chopped broccoli. Continue simmering gently for about 25 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn't get stuck to the bottom and sides (don't mash your peas, though).
Freezes well, but may need a little extra milk when reheating.
Serve over noodles, rice, or best--biscuits!
CHICKEN AND RICE
Start with a few tablespoons of butter or oil, add a few tablespoons of flour, and use a fork to mix smooth. Add about 1-1 1/2 cups of broth and use wisk to make smooth (add a little more water or broth if it's too thick). Add a packet of onion soup mix or season as you like. Add the chicken, and gently get the chicken to be 'stringy' in the gravy. Simmer gently for 15 minutes or so. Serve over rice and with a veggie as a side.
Also freezes well, but may need some liquid as it gets reheated.
BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICHES:
super easy... use a portion of the chicken, cover with your favorite BBQ sauce, and simmer. Serve on buns with fries or potatoes and a veggie. :smile
Cook enough rice for your family. Add the cut up chicken to it after it's cooked. Add one can of drained black beans or pinto beans. Mix in a packet of burrito seasonings, and a small container of burrito or taco sauce. Heat up and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve on flour tortillas with cheese and onion.
Aside from the ALA KING and CHICKEN NOODLE, these recipes would be good with a big roast, too. You can stretch a roast the same way, but you may want to use thin slices instead or diced up for the soup--and then add rice. You can play with them as you wish, but it's a way to get many meals out of one chicken or one roast.
Potato hamburger soup (repost from my thread on the what's cooking board--with some $ info added)
Brown and drain one pound hamburger (with diced onions, if you wish). *on sale, 1.47
Add that and the following to the crock pot:
6-10-Peeled and diced potatoes (depending on your liking--I like lots of potatoes!) .99 (half a bag)
2-Peeled and sliced carrots (.25)
one can diced, stewed tomatoes, not drained (generic, .69)
one can green beans, drained (about .99 or if you use half a bag of frozen, it's only .50)
one or two cans red kidney beans (depending, again, on your liking--I also like lots of beans, but the kids don't), drained--you can also use any other bean that you like--my sister uses lima beans (.69 or ~1.40 if two).
2 cans beef broth (I think I buy Swanson's?) (*since I've become more frugal, I buy a cup of bullion cubes to use instead, it's a lot cheaper, so it's pennies)
Salt, pepper, garlic, and any other seasonings you like (I also use cumin--it's my favorite spice ever!) Sometimes I'll add a whole bay leaf for a while, too, and take it out before serving.
Total for a huge pot, freezing half for another meal later: ~5.40. Total for each meal (will serve at least twice): 2.70
1-2lbs of Boneless skinless chicken
2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup
1 large can of Rotel
3-6 cups of Cheddar cheese.
large bag of corn tortillas
Cook chicken then pulse in the food processor, combine chicken, cream of chicken, rotel, and half the cheese. Then layer tortillas, pour some chicken mixture and spread on top of the tortillas. Continue until you run out of chicken mixture. Top with the remaining cheese heat oven to 350 and let cook until the cheese bubbles and a little crispy.
I like to serve mine with Guacamole I just put advacados, a chopped tomatoe, garlic salt and pepper!!
This meal is to die for!! And super easy. If you use 2 lbs of cheese you get a big dish out of it or two small ones.
3/4 c. chocolate chips (Save a Lot has REAL chips for .99!)
2 TBSP peanut butter
1 cup quick oats
either on stove top (medium heat) or in microwave (half power), melt chips and pb together. Remove from heat when completely melted. Add the oats, stir, and drop by spoonsful onto tin foil or wax paper. Let cool.
Makes 12 cookies.
OR... you can make "macaroons" but they're slightly more expensive b/c of the coconut:
3/4 c. chocolate chips
1 TBSP margarine or butter
1 cup shredded coconut
Same process...melt together the butter and chips, and add the coconut after removed from heat.
They're simple, they're cheap, and they're a pretty yummy snack.
4 chicken breasts, with skin and bones
3 TBSP brown sugar or honey
1 cup skim milk (may need a little more)
3 TBSP flour
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper
2 TBSP butter or EVOO (EVOO is better for you)
4 TBSP brown spicy mustard (I buy it at the Save a Lot for .99)
Preheat oven to 375.
Salt and pepper your chicken.
Then start with the butter or EVOO in the pan, heat over med-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan, with the skin (top) down. Cover with a foil covered heavy pan (I used a cast iron skillet, but you could use a small brick with foil on it, too), and cook undisturbed for 10 minutes.
meanwhile, use a wisk to mix the flour, brown sugar, mustard, and garlic into the milk until smooth.
Move the chicken to a foil lined baking pan, with the browned skin side up. In the same pan you stove cooked the chicken in, slowly add the milk mixture, using the wisk to keep it smooth. Heat until it is thick like a gravy. If it's a little too thick, add a little more milk to thin it out a bit.
Pour evenly over the breasts and bake for 40-55 minutes (until they reach proper internal temp).
Serve with white rice. yummy. It's a lot like dijon chicken but with fewer fat grams. [/b]
Wanted to put this here, since I just talked about it in the other thread.
With this recipe, you can make three loaves of bread in cans. The 46 oz. juice cans are AWESOME for making bread! They're a great size, and they also eliminate most of the crust, which is super great when you have picky kids.
4 c. flour
3 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 packet dry active yeast
1 1/3 c. water (120 to 130 degrees)
3 TBSP oil
Put dry ingredients in bowl. Make a well. Add the wet ingredients in the middle, and use a fork to mix until you can't mix it anymore. Then use your hands to continue getting all the flour into the mixture. After you've gotten it into a ball, put onto the floured countertop. Knead for a full 8 minutes--a couple minutes more if you like to knead bread. Don't add too much flour--you still want it to be a little moist, just not sticky. Let it sit there while you wash your bowl out with hot water and dry it up. Put a tsp or so of oil in and take the ball of dough and roll it around in the oil, cover it, and leave in warm place to rise at least 2 hours (you can even leave it over night, if you wish). Punch it down and knead for about a minute, and then cut into three equal parts (two if you're using regular loaf pans). Shape and put into pan for rising. Let rise again at least two hours--longer if necessary--to get it to a regular loaf size. If you're using the cans, it will just start to rise above the sides and top when it's ready to bake. Put into oven and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. It should sound hollow when thumped.
Do you even realize how extremely cheap sour dough is? (It happens to be my favorite, too, so that's a plus ).
Start several days ahead of time. I start Wednesday to start my baking for Sunday night to last all week.
OK. First things first, you need a sourdough starter.
Put one cup of flour and one cup of hot water in a container (I use a shaker with a lid, and keep the lid loose, but you can use a jar with a loose lid, too). Mix well. Sit on counter and let ferment--it takes a few days. Mix it daily and smell it--it should start smelling sour by the second day. By the third day, it should smell quite sour and beery. That's a good thing.
On the third or fourth day, pour your starter into a bowl, and you add to it one cup of hot tap water and one cup of flour, mix it, and let it rest in a warm spot. After a couple hours, it'll get kind of bubbly looking (and again, it will smell very beer-like).
After it's bubbly, measure two cups into a big bowl, and put the rest into your (now cleaned out) container that you grew it in. To the leftover starter (that has been put back into the container), add 1/2 c hot tap water and 1/2 c of flour, mix, and put in the fridge. You can use it for your next sour dough starter.
To the 2 cups of starter that's in the bowl, add 4 teaspoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 2 tablespoons of oil, margarine, or butter (You can also omit the oil all together). After you mix this, add 1/2 c of flour and mix. Add another 1/2 c and mix, another 1/2 c and mix... until you make a nice workable dough. Mix completely after each 1/2 c addition. It may take only two cups flour, or as much as 3 1/2--depending on how wet your starter is. After it's a pliable, workable dough, knead a few minutes. Place in a bowl and let rise for a couple hours. It should double. It may take one hour or a few. Just depends on your starter. After it's doubled, punch down, knead for a minute or two, form a loaf, and put into greased loaf pan (or 46 oz. juice can--that's what I use). Allow to rise again in the pan.
Place in oven, set to 350, and bake 30-40 minutes. When it's done, it will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. When it comes out, brush with melted butter on exposed crust (this softens it and adds flavor, but you can skip it if you want to).
Sour dough is SO STINKING CHEAP! There's no yeast, so it's very basic ingredients!! And I personally think it makes a teriffic sandwich bread. It's a little time consuming (making your starter and it takes longer to rise b/c it's naturally obtained its yeasts instead of having it added), but you can also make it work around your schedule. There's nothing at all wrong with letting it rise the first rise overnight so that you can start in the evening and finish it in the morning.
OK... I got the idea from my favorite website... well, my second favorite--hillbillyhousewife.com but I kind of tweeked it and made it my own. (the original recipe uses only the water, dry milk, and PLAIN yogurt--with no added sweetness, but I like flavored yogurt).
What you need is:
3-3/4 cup warm tap water
1-2/3 cups instant nonfat dry milk
2 to 4 tablespoon store-bought yogurt with life, active cultures
I also use 1/2 c mashed up strawberries or blueberries--depending on what flavor yogurt I have, and two or three packets of artificial sweetener (you can use a few tsp sugar if you want too, but I use the fat free yogurt and no sugar method)
I put the dry milk and water in a pan and bring to 180-200 degrees--don't boil it. Add the fruit. Then let it sit and cool down to 115. It's important to let it cool enough or you'll kill the probiotics. After it's cooled off, add the yogurt and sweetener and stir until the yogurt is dissolved. Then comes the part where you put it in your jar. I have spaghetti jars that I clean really well and then boil (frugal, frugal ). Put it in there and put the lid on and then you have to let it incubate. I incubate it by putting a heating pad in the corner on the kitchen counter on low, it's folded up the side of the wall and on the counter (like an "L"). Put a towel over it and then put the yogurt on, and cover with a towel. Let it sit for several hours. Usually 6, 7 hours is good, and you'll see it is thick like regular yogurt. At this point, you can turn off the pad and put the yogurt in the fridge. After it's cold, eat up.
It's super yummy. And you can get a thing of the milk for about 4 bucks, and it will only take a few yogurts to make lots of quarts of your own yogurt--with active cultures!
4 cups flour
4 cups dry bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons each garlic powder and onion powder
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup oil
You need a pretty big bowl to mix this in. A clean dry dish pan will do the trick too. Measure everything into the bowl one at a time. The last step is dribbling in the oil. Mix it all up with your hands or a fork. This makes about 9 cups of mix. Store it in a large coffee can, or a canister with a good lid.
To cook chicken or pork chops:
1/2 cup home made shake and bake mix
3 pounds of cut up chicken (leg quarters are fine) or 2 pounds of bone-in pork chops.
Put your home made shake and bake into an empty bread bag. If the bag is very long, you can trim off a few inches from the top. Add the chicken or pork chops, one or two at a time, and shake the bag, to coat the meat. Arrange the coated meat on a large cookie sheet or baking pan. When it is all coated, bake the meat at 400° for about 45 minutes. Boneless meat cooks in 30 minutes. Regular meat though usually takes 45 to 50 minutes. I usually use chicken leg quarters cut into separate thigh and leg pieces. This stuff is so good, you will find yourself making it at least once a week.
I love instant oatmeal b/c it's quick and easy and it's filling. Problem is... it's not cheap!
SO... I hunted around, and I have made up a "recipe" to make your own.
Now, this will definitely change, according to your taste, so keep that in mind. I also did something slightly different by adding some soy protein isolate since I'm dieting and could really use the extra protein.
SO... here's the first thing you do: go to dollar tree and buy a package of 100 zipper sandwich bags for a dollar, and a package of gallon sized zipper bags for a dollar.
OK... so get your sandwich bags out...
Then put these ingredients into a blender:
1 cup oats (quick are best for this... since you're making instant)
4 tsp brown sugar
6 tsp splenda *(you can use regular sugar if you aren't dieting)
1 TBSP soy isolate *(you can skip this if you don't need/want the extra protein)
1 tsp salt (also optional, depending on your taste)
2 TBSP powdered milk
blend and grind up until it's like a powder.
Then... to each baggie (15 for this size), put 1 TBSP of the blended mix with 1/3 cup of oats. This is the part that can really vary! You can add raisins and cinnamon, or just cinnamon, or some of those little dried fruit bits (you can do peaches n cream, berries n cream, etc) or just leave it alone (that's what I do). I 'cook' by adding 1/2 to 2/3 c of boiling water and stirring, and let sit for a minute or two, and then I use sugar free syrup to add a little maple flavor to the slight brown sugar flavor. Yummy, yummy... you can make them for waaaaaaaay cheaper than you can buy them! One of the big things of oatmeal is only 1.89 at Save a Lot, and it makes these a few times! A package of 8 of the weight control--which is closer to what the 'recipe' is--is 3.49 here! I can make them up for less than a buck for almost double! And if you're super duper frugal, you can reuse the little baggies. I do!!!
Oh, and I store them inside one of the gallon sized zipper bags.
Edit: I noticed that the big thing of oatmeal is actually only 1.49 at SAL! It's even CHEAPER than I originally thought!
3 c oats
1 c special K or corn flakes, or similar cereal, measure first, then crunch up a little
.75 oz (you can buy it at the store this size, for about 50 cents) or sunflower seeds, if you prefer them
9 tsp coconut flakes (natural is best, a lot less sugar)
6 TBSP milled flax seed
3 TBSP graham cracker crumbs* optional
Mix above well, then sprinkle with 2 TBSP sugar or splenda measure (I use splenda to cut the sugar as much as possible!) mix the sugar in, also
In small saucepan or small fry pan...
2 TBSP fat free I Can't believe it's not butter or ICBINB spray (that's what I use)
1/2 TBSP butter * you can use 2 1/2 TBSP butter or margarine if you want to--I cut calories, though
1 TBSP safflower, sunflower, or corn oil
*****************melt these, then remove from heat and add:
3 TBSP syrup (I use sugar free, again, to save calories on the sugars)
3TBSP sugar or splenda (*I use splenda)
4 tsp brown sugar
1/4 c water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
dash or two of all spice*
mix well, and pour half of the wet mix over the dry ingredients and mix them around. Pour the rest, and continue mixing until all the mixture is pretty well coated. Spread out on cookie sheet. Bake at 275 for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes--until it's crispy and golden. Remove and allow to cool. Break apart if need be, and store in a gallon sized zipper bag.
Calories w/ the reduced fat butter and using splenda, per 1/2 c serving: approximately 185
Cost for approximately 9 servings: about 1.50 And the satisfaction of knowing what went in it, too!!
(several variations included in this recipe so if you like it, you can make it again and again with different flavors)
2 cups oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbs vegetable or canola oil
1 Tb. water
Extra Ingredients & flavoring (see below)
Heat oven to 275 degrees
Coat 9x 13 in metal pan with cooking spray
Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, and Extra Ingredients (EXCEPT dried fruit) in a bowl.
Bring syrup, oil, water, and any Flavoring to a simmer in saucepan over low heat.
Drizzle syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir well to combine. Pour mixture into pan.
(I never do this part) If desired, working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps.
Bake about 35 minutes. Stir in dried fruit. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool.
Can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Variations - Extra Ingredients and Flavoring
Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup raisins
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp ground cinammon
Extra Ingredients: 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 2 Tbs sesame seeds, 6 Tbl currants
Extra Ingredients: 1/4 chopped roasted unsalted cashews, 1/4 cup cohpped banana chips, 1/4 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp ground ginger
Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup sliced almonds, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dried cherries
Flavoring: 3/4 tsp almond extract
Trail Mix Granola
Extra Ingredients: 1/4 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, 1/4 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (NOTE: stir in chips only after granola is completely cooled)
Extra Ingredients: 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup dried blueberries
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
Cheap and easy black bean chili (Save a Lot prices are quoted ). Cost < 3.00!
1 can diced tomatoes w/basil and garlic (.49)
1 can tomato paste (.20)
1 small can tomato sauce (.20)
1 can black beans (.49)
1 chub ground turkey (.99)
1/2 onion, diced (.15)
1 TBSP chili powder (cheap?)
dash cinnamon (yes, I'm serious; no, don't skip it!--cheap)
dash all spice (same as above!)
1 tsp each garlic powder and garlic powder (cheap)
dash paprika (cheap)
splash of hot sauce (one shake, or six--it's up to you! I use about three splashes. cheap)
2 cubes bullion (I like chicken best, cheap)
Brown turkey. Drain and rinse (this reduces fat and calories ). Add onions and allow to cook with meat for a minute or two, over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and sauce and the bullion cubes. Add the paste and two cans of water. Add beans. Add the seasonings, and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
Yummy and cheap. This enough for our family of four to have two meals. I usually serve chili with rice, oyster crackers, and cheddar cheese. Then with what's left, I make goulash for the next night by adding some cooked macaroni noodles. So it ends up being about 2.00 per meal! woot.
Here's my recipe from a friend. You can cut down the cost by omitting the poppyseeds. I buy generic of these items when I can too.
6 chicken breasts (boiled on stove or in crock pot)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
3 cups Ritz crackers (2 sleeves)--crushed
1 cup melted butter
1 T. poppyseeds (optional)
Cook chicken breasts, then pull the meat apart into bite size pieces. Place in 13x9 pan or 2 8x8 pans. In a separate bowl, mix chicken soup and sour cream. Poor mixture over chicken and toss to mix. Mix crackers, butter, and seeds together, then spread over top of chicken mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly at 350 degrees.