Wednesday, December 31, 2008

market basket gift card giveaway!

To celebrate the launching of this new site to hold all our recipes, we are offering a $20 gift card to our favorite grocery store, Market Basket. Or, as we fondly call it:Dirty DeMoulas. We joke because we care.

This photo, which came from a complaint site in Somerville, Massachusetts, slays me. The only thing missing are a couple of random geezers standing in the middle of the aisle contemplating the purchase of Lemon Junket while their long suffering wives do the actual shopping.

One winner will be chosen at random from all who comment on either this site or our regular blog, frugal feasts. The winner will be announced on January 20th, because I am hopeful that by that date Robin and I will have all the old recipes up and cataloged.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

december 30, 2008: frugal feasts the meatloaf recipes

photo by Ken Williams of the Concord Monitor

Suzanne's Meatloaf:

Beef! Bacon! Worcestershire! What's not to like?

2 pounds ground pork
2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
Fresh breadcrumbs from 4 slices bread
2 eggs
1/2 cup light cream or milk
4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 sprigs parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh ground pepper to taste -- approximately 8 grindings
2/3 cup ketchup
4-6 slices bacon

Put the ground meats into a large bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, milk, worcestershire sauce, onion, parsley, sat and pepper. Blend well and add to the meats. Using your bare hands, gently mix everything together making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. Mixtures should be loose and lumpy.

Dump onto a foil lined cookie sheet and shape into a wide, low loaf shape. Frost with the ketchup and drape with the bacon. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 8 with some leftovers for sandwiches.

Robin's Meatloaf:

A delicious concoction of onion soup, barbeque sauce and parmesan!

This serves 10 with no leftovers at $1.30 per serving
Preheat oven 375
1lb lean ground pork
1lb sweet Italian sausage
2.5 lbs 80% ground beef
1 8oz. container grated parmesan cheese
10 slices bread, torn into dime sized pieces
1.5 cups evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
4 cloves garlic crushed
1packge dried onion soup mix
¼-cup barbecue sauce
¼-cup Worcestershire sauce
2tbls parsley fresh 1tbls dry
Barbecue sauce for top

Place bread in large bowl and cover with the evaporated milk. Add parmesan cheese, garlic, Worcestershire, dried parsley, 1/4 cup barbeque sauce, onion soup mix and blend well. Add the meats and mix until combined. Drop into a 13x9 inch baking pan and mold into a loaf. Cover with additional barbeque sauce. Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees until cooked through. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

december 30: frugal feasts ultimate meatloaf sandwich

For each sandwich:

left over meat loaf
kosher salt
2 slices soft sandwich bread

Slice the meatloaf as thinly as possible. Butter one side of each of two slices soft sandwich bread. Pepperidge Farm White is the best here, but whole wheat is delish too.

Layer the meatloaf onto one slice of bread and add some mayo, a pinch of kosher salt and a couple of grinds of fresh pepper. Close the sandwich and cut in half.

Squirt some ketchup onto the plate for dipping.

Please note that in order to have any meatloaf left to make this sandwich, I had to slap some hands on Monday night. I should have specified in the column that my meatloaf serves seven with some left over for sandwiches ONLY if you are ready to go to battle to keep the teenagers away from the platter. Good luck.

december 30, 2008: frugal feasts party potatoes

There is no way to overstate how delicious these are.

They are also nuclear and stay hot for a really long time--it must be the cream cheese, but whatever it is, with this recipe you never have to serve cold mashed pots again.

Don't believe how good they are? For Christmas I had each of my five darlings write a letter and draw a picture for my Mother in Law. Three of the five mentioned her potatoes in their love letters. Seriously.

This is her recipe and it would not be a holiday at the Ellinwoods without them.

Party Potatoes

To serve at least 10:

1 five pound bag of yukon gold potatoes (my favorite but really any potatoes will do)
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
fresh ground pepper
approximately 1/2 cup light cream or whole milk

Peel the potatoes and cut them into even sized pieces of about an inch. Cover with cold water, add a half teaspoon of kosher salt and bring to a boil. Boil in salted water until fork tender.

Drain well.

While the potatoes are cooking, nuke the butter and the cream cheese for about 90 seconds to heat and partially melt. Set aside.

Beat the drained potatoes using a stand or hand mixer until completely lump free and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to make sure everything is totally mixed.

Add the butter/cream cheese mixture and continue to beat. Add salt and pepper and mix again. Taste the potaotes. Add more salt if needed. (Doubtful). Add cream if needed to have the texture be smooth and light.

These potatoes can be served now, or stored in an oven safe cassarole dish and reheated for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cover with foil to reheat. I've made these as much as 5 days ahead and they reheat perfectly.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

december 17, 2008: the frugal fete

Photo by Ken Williams of The Concord Monitor

Curried Eggs:
These are so retro, so easy and so delicious, so make a bunch. A frugal classic, and the whole batch costs just $2.25.

1 dozen jumbo eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons hot madras curry powder or (other curry powder, to taste)
1 scallion trimmed and minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Additional minced scallion or ground paprika, as garnish (optional)

Place the eggs in a single layer in a large stock pot. Cover by 2 inches with cool water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. When water starts to boil, set the timer for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for about 15 minutes. Drain the pan and cool the eggs. When the eggs are cool, peel them and slice in half lengthwise. Pop out the yolks into a small bowl and set the whites aside on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Cover with plastic wrap if not using immediately. Mash the egg yolks with a fork until no large hunks remain. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to mash out the lumps until you have a fairly smooth paste the consistency of frosting. If the mixture is too thick, add additional mayo by the tablespoon until it reaches the desired consistency. Spoon the mixture into a zip lock bag. Seal the bag. When ready to serve, snip the corner of the bag and squeeze the filling into the egg whites. Garnish with the scallion and or paprika if using. If you don’t have a special plate for filled eggs, use a bed of parsley to keep the eggs from rolling around.

Spicy Sausage Bites
Our version of a Southern Living Magazine staple with a total cost of $10.84 for about 16 servings.
1 28 ounce jar barbeque sauce (we like the hot ones)
1 18 ounce jar cherry or other preserves (the chunky kind, store brand is fine)
3 canned chipotle peppers, minced fine
1 Tablespoon sauce from the same can, or more or less to taste
½ cup water stirred together with 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 pounds cocktail sized smoked sausages
2 scallions, sliced thinly as garnish (optional)

Whisk together the first five ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the sausages and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Put in a chafing dish over a small candle and serve with toothpicks.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse

A secret recipe that tastes like way more work than it is.
8 ½ cup servings @ $4.00 for the batch
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup Nutella (a chocolate hazelnut spread available in all Concord grocery stores, usually next to the peanut butter)
Chocolate sprinkles or chocolate shavings or chopped hazelnuts as garnish (optional)

Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the Nutella with a spatula and slowly combine the two, stirring softly until completely combined. This will take several minutes but is well worth the effort. Spoon into decorative glasses or teacups, garnish if you like and chill until serving.

Dry, delicious and refreshing. The fruit juice both extends and dilutes the wine, making it perfect for an afternoon event. We made three batches and there was not a drop left!
For one batch @ $5.00
1 bottle dry red wine (we like the Five Oaks brand Cabernet)
1 cup of orange juice (we like the extra pulpy kind)
Juice from one fresh lemon
2 limes thinly sliced
2 navel oranges thinly sliced
1 cup club soda
The night before the party, combine the first five ingredients in a large pitcher and stir to combine. Refrigerate until serving time. Pour into a pretty pitcher and add the club soda. Serve in wine glasses, making sure each portion gets some of the marinated fruit.

Slushy Punch
One batch makes about 20 servings, at about $5.00 (without alcohol)
From Quirky and delicious, with rum or without!

2 ½ cups sugar
6 cups water
2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry Jell-O
1 46 ounce can pineapple juice
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice from 3 lemons
1 quart orange juice
2 2-liter bottles lemon-lime soda
4 cups white rum (optional)
On the night before you plan to serve the punch, combine the sugar, water and Jell-O in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the next three ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into two lidded plastic containers and freeze for at least 12 hours. When ready to serve, put one container of frozen punch in a bowl. Pour one bottle of soda over and 2 cups rum if using. Stir together until punch is slushy. Serve in small glasses. When the bowl is empty, repeat.
If you forget ordon’t have time to freeze the punch, it is still delicious served over ice

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

december 3, 2008: frugal feasts tortellini soup and hot rolls

Tortellini Soup
Serves 6
1 26 ounce jar of tomato sauce with mushrooms or garden vegetables
1 48 ounce can low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons dried oregano
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into circles
½ pound fresh green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small fennel bulb, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1 16 ounce bag frozen tortellini,
1 tablespoon minced fennel fronds
Fresh grated parmesan, optional

In a large Crock-pot combine the tomato sauce, chicken broth, carrots and green beans. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. ½ hour before serving, add the tortellini and chickpeas. Stir well and re-cover the crock-pot. Cook for an additional 30 minutes, until tortellini are floating and cooked. Garnish with the fennel and the parmesan if using.

Hot Rolls
Serves 6-8
(2) 1 pound loaves frozen bread dough, thawed
3 tablespoons olive oil mixed with 2 cloves minced garlic
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Pinch each loaf into 10 pieces. Roll into balls and place in a lightly greased 13x9 inch pan. Brush tops with the oil and garlic mixture. Sprinkle with the parmesan and red pepper flakes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.