Budget Cooking...Comfort & Gourmet!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Chicken Chili

Feed a family of FIVE for less than $10.
(There WILL be leftovers!)

Click on any image to view full screen.

1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 lb. dried Pinto Beans ($.75) soaked overnight, sorted & rinsed.
2 lbs ground chicken, browned ($3.00)
1 large onion ($.60) diced (roughly cut)
1 each red & yellow Bell Pepper diced ($1.59)
2 fresh pressed cloves Garlic
1 can Diced Tomatoes ($.49)
1 can Diced Tomatoes with Chilies ($.59)
3 or 4 8oz. cans Tomato Sauce ($.25 each)

2 tsp each (divided..1/2 on browning meat, 1/2 to entire pot)
Ground Cumin
Ground Coriander
Chili Powder
Onion Powder

1/4 tsp each
Cayenne Pepper
Black Pepper

Salt to taste

Cook beans & water on HIGH in pressure cooker for 10 mins. They will be fork tender!

Add Olive Oil to saute pan. Brown Ground Chicken. Add 1/2 the seasonings to the meat.
When brown, add to bean/water mixture.

Chop raw veggies. (dice) Add fresh pressed Garlic.
Add canned goods. Add remainder of seasonings & 1 tsp Olive Oil

Use the slow cook feature for 1-2 hours on low. This will help the flavors to penetrate the beans.

Serve over rice (optional) with your choice of hot sauce, cornbread, grated cheese, avocado, sour cream.
Enjoy! :O)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Who Doesn't Like Cupcakes? I'd venture to say...only a select few individuals.
During a bout of insomnia, I baked cupcakes for my daughters'end of the year party for an afterschool club. :O)

Here is a breakdown of the costs
2 boxes Cake Mix ($2.38)
6 Eggs $.24
2 sticks Soy Margarine $1.49
Water (filtered from the tap)
Icing ($1.78)
Pantry Items
Candy Sprinkles
Decorating Accents
Coarse Sugar Crystals
Total Cost $5.98 vs. $20 from the supermarket bakery.

Click on Any Image to view FULL SCREEN

I bought 1 pkg of 90 paper cupcake liners from Save-A-Lot grocery store for $.59
Make Quick work of transporting batter to the cupcake liners using...
The Large Scoop.

Heavy-duty scoops are great for evenly portioning batter, doughs, fillings and salads. The Large Scoop is great for serving larger portions. Approximately 3 tablespoons.
It retails for $14.50 from The Pampered Chef
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A Baker's Rack facilitates quick cooling time. I used a Stackable Cooling Rack from The Pampered Chef. It retails for $14.00

Use flat, with legs extended or stacked onto an additional rack for space-saving cooling of baked goods. Small grid surface keeps items from falling through.


I used the Easy Accent Decorator from Pampered Chef. It retails for $19.75

Tupperware Cake Carriers $47 (rectangular) & $36 (round). Of course I'm extra thrifty, so I got mine on a bogo!
Sheet cakes and cupcakes travel in style with this elegant, durable Tupperware favorite. Holds one 9" x 13" (23 x 33 cm) single or double layer cake under strong protective cover. Flip the bottom over and there are thoughtfully designed holders for 18 cupcakes - get them to the party as perfect as when they left your kitchen.
The Tupperware take on the classic domed cake plate is a marvel of elegance and function holding a three-layer cake or torte. Ultra-durable plastic dome is eye-catching in the kitchen and dramatic on the table. Cover locks onto the base to keep leftover cake (there's always that extra piece or two!) protected. Base reverses to a deep divided tray for hors d'oeuvres or tea sandwiches. Handle makes transporting your masterpieces a snap!
My dream cupcake carrier is

available for online purchase for $32.95 @ http://www.cupcakecourier.com/
The CUPCAKE COURIER is a rectangular, translucent plastic container that holds three stackable cupcake trays. Each tray has 12 deep cups to hold each cupcake secure. It has a comfortable handle, and 4 bottom latches that hold the base securely.

The CUPCAKE COURIER is able to transport and/or store up to thirty-six cupcakes or muffins all in one easy, great looking container!

The CUPCAKE COURIER's 3 trays can be removed, and the unit can double as a cake courier.

unfortunately, they are currently OUT OF STOCK grrrr

The CUPCAKE COURIER is available now in 4 translucent colors. Petal Pink, Lemon Grass, Saffron Yellow, or the original Soft Blue Sky.

Dimensions are:
Cover: 14"W; 11"H; 11"D
Base: 12.5"X16"
Trays: 13.8"L; 10.4"W; 3.2"H
Cups: 1.1"deep; 3"round

U.S. Patent Pending – Jennifer Gunn Designs
I found it on Amazon! Now, if only I had the dough to buy it. LOL

You can buy fancy candy sprinkles from the dollar store. If you don't mind paying a little more, try...http://www.millcreekcountrystore.com/index.html
Pack a cupcake for lunch!

CUP-A-CAKE was designed and patented by mothers to solve the age old problem of sending cupcakes to school or outings with their children. Before CUP-A-CAKE, taking cupcakes anywhere caused a mess.

This unique container will hold a frosted cupcake in place with protrusions positioned in such a way that the cupcake will not move within the container if jiggled or turned upside down.