Budget Cooking...Comfort & Gourmet!


Monday, May 31, 2010

Banging Broccoli Pizza

Cut Broccoli


Dough for 3 pizzas

Olive Oil
8 oz. Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese (grated)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Medium to Large Broccoli Crowns (washed, & chopped)
3 fresh pressed cloves of Garlic


1. Grate Mozzarella Cheese. Set Aside.

2. Heat Olive Oil in pan.

3. Add Broccoli.

4. Toss

5. Add Fresh Cracked Pepper & Salt.

6. Add Pressed Garlic Cloves.

7. Soften the Broccoli. Remove from heat. Set Aside.

8. Spread Pizza Sauce over the prepared dough

9. Add the Parmesan Cheese and cooked Broccoli to the top of the sauce.

10. Add Grated Mozzarella Cheese.

11. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 Minutes.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Saving Money On Groceries (Part 2) - Requested

This post was requested by justme of yepanotherone.com .

1 - Never shop when you are hungry!
Studies show people tend to do more impulse buying as well as buy more junk snacks when they are hungry.

2 - Always make a list & stick to it. You may deviate from the list only if there is a Manager's Special. Plan meals ahead of time. This makes it easier to make your shopping list.

3 - Shop on the bottom and top shelves. Try not to shop on the shelves that are eye level to children in the shopping cart. The more expensive items are on the children's eye level shelves. The next time you go to the market, check the prices for similar items on the different shelves. You may be surprised.

4 - Clip Coupons.
5 - Join Savings Card Clubs.
Sometimes you can triple your savings by using Manufacturer's coupons, taking advantage of double coupon savings, as well as using store club cards. Have a favorite brand of food? Email the customer service department and tell them how much you like their product. Ask them for coupons. They usually mail you more than one!

6 - Make meals from scratch. Do not rely too heavily on processed pre-packaged meal kits. Learning to cook can really help you to save money.

7 - Make your own salad dressing as needed.
You just need oil, vinegar or lemon juice, herbs, garlic and or sweetener.
I will be posting recipes on this soon!

8 - Grate your own hard and medium cheeses. Buying pre-shredded varieties may save you time, but you may be ingesting fillers and harmful chemicals .


- A Deep Freezer. We have yet to find an affordable selection with all the features we want, but this is definitely on our family wish list.
- Freezer Bags
- Oven Bags
- Paper Plates. You may be able to find these items at your local dollar store.

- Proper Storage Containers
If you cannot afford Tupperware, Rubbermaid is a great brand.
When foods are properly stored, it adds to longer shelf life.
You also do not have to worry about pantry pests. Many people are unaware that they may bring home such uninvited guests from the grocery store.
Last year we had a terrible invasion of pantry moths .

I believe they hitchhiked their way in a box of wild rice, or a bag of beans.
I was MORTIFIED! I would have lost my mind were it not for my Tupperware.
I am so glad I invested! Every January, their Modular Mates go on sale. I restrict my buying to that time to save the most money. Target also sells Tupperware, so you may buy it a piece at a time if you prefer to do it that way.

10 - Mix your own Seasonings, Rubs and Grill Mixes.
It is less expensive to do so.
Do not buy prepared varieties.

My staple spices, and dried herbs are:

Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Chili Powder
Sea Salt
Italian Seasoning
Poultry Seasoning
Celery Seed
Bay Leaves
Whole Black Peppercorns
Cayenne Pepper

I purchase these from my local dollar store. They always have a fresh rotation of these items. There is no need to buy Name Brand Seasonings and Herbs unnecessarily.

11 - Stockpile certain items. If you find a ridiculously low price on an item. Load UP!
Non Food Items. Toothpaste, Toilet Tissue, Cleanser, Dish Detergent.

* There are some items which spoil or go rancid quickly. Know what your shelf life is. Brown rice, and fresh coffee goes rancid quickly. As do nuts. You can freeze these items to add to their shelf life.

12 - Rather than buy Rotisserie Chicken at your local market, consider this:

Buy Whole Young Chicken when it goes on sale.
The best price I have seen in my area is $.69 or $.79 per pound.

When you feel like having a whole roasted chicken, you can either cook it in an oven bag (easy cleanup) or cut down the back with kitchen shears to butterfly the bird.
It cooks more quickly and evenly when cut this way.

Cut 1/2 of the breast meat for sandwiches or salads for lunch.
or you can
Cut up the whole birds yourself and freeze the parts in individal bags for future meals.

13 - If you cannot finish a Meat Loaf or Spaghetti dinner, divide the leftovers & put on paper plates & slip into freezer bags. You've just made your own TV dinners.
This alternative is much more nutritious than take out.

14 - Buy London Broil ONLY WHEN IT IS ON SALE!
Freeze it for later use. You can broil it & slice it for sandwiches or you can slow cook it.

15 - Try not to waste food.
If you bought too much seasonal fruit, when they become too ripe, you can always cut them up and freeze them. They make welcome additions to breakfast smoothies.
Over ripe bananas can also be used to make banana bread.
You can wash and freeze berries on a cookie sheet. After they are frozen, remove them from the cookie sheet and store in plastic bags until ready to use.

16 - Air popped popcorn is always an inexpensive filling snack. It has plenty of fiber. You can always top with your favorite seasonings for treat. We like microwave popcorn too. We try to buy Smart Balance and or Newman's Own when we have coupons or when it goes on sale.

17 - If You MUST buy name brand, only buy when it's on sale, and or you have a coupon.

My family LOVES Krusteau Blueberry Pancake Mix.
(It is one of the few we know that does not have milk which is great because one of our children has a milk protein allergy). We almost always buy it from WalMart.
We only buy it from the regular supermarket if it goes on sale.

18 - Make your own drink mixes. Do not buy the prepackaged kind.
It is super easy to make herbal tea. Make a huge batch and chill it in the fridge.
You really don't have to add sweetener unless you want to. You may add a little concentrated fruit juice and slices of lemon or lime. This is particularly refreshing in the summer months.

19 - DO BUY frozen apple & orange juice concentrate. These are great for adding to sauces, baking and reconstituting for juice. They do not take up too much room in the freezer.

20 - This may be controversial to some, but consider shopping just once a month. Just do ONE BIG SHOPPING TRIP! Excessive trips to the market cost more money! More gas, more time, and more temptation to impulse buy.
If you buy Lactaid Milk, it has a really long shelf life when unopened.
If you need to hit the market again, for a few fresh produce items, bread or milk only, stick to your list.

21 - Don't sleep on the local drugstore for sale items.
I almost always buy things like
Kitchen Gloves, brand name Cleanser with bleach,}2/$.50 or $.39 each
Dish Washing Liquid}$.99 or buy 1 get 1 free
Nuts, Dried Fruit}$1
Microwave popcorn} 2/$3
and Candy} 2/$1, $.39
Tuna Fish, Sardines} buy 1 get 1 free or 2/$1

13 Things Your Grocer Won't Tell You

If anyone else has any suggestions, please leave them in the comment section.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Satisfying Spinach Pizza

Why pay $3 for a slice of pizza from the mall?
Satiate your craving for pizza while enjoying the nourishing benefits of spinach.

Grating your own Mozzarella Cheese is the way to go. No additional preservatives.

Add Salt & Pepper

Chop the Spinach


Dough for 3 pizzas

Olive Oil
8 oz. Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese (grated)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
about 8 oz fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
3 fresh pressed cloves of Garlic


1. Grate Mozzarella Cheese. Set Aside.

2. Heat Olive Oil in pan.

3. Add Spinach

4. Toss

5. Add Fresh Cracked Pepper & Salt.

6. Add Pressed Garlic Cloves.

7. Wilt the Spinach. Remove from heat. Place Spinach on a Cutting Board. Chop the Spinach. Set Aside.

8. Spread Pizza Sauce over the prepared dough

9. Dot the Chopped Spinach on top of the sauce.

10. Add Parmesan and Grated Mozzarella Cheese.

11. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 Minutes.


Homemade Pizza Sauce

I usually make this sauce when my dough is proofing.
This recipe provides plenty of sauce for three ten inch pizzas.

Add Fresh Pressed Garlic

Add Herbs & Spices

Add Sugar


Add Sauce to Prepared Pizza Dough

Place Desired Toppings on Pizza. Cook & Enjoy!
(Low Moisture Skim Mozzarella Cheese & Turkey Pepperoni)

Close View


2 8 ounce cans of Tomato Sauce
3 fresh pressed Garlic Cloves
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp fresh cracked Black Pepper
1 tsp Sugar, Honey, or Agave Nectar
*1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
(this adds a special dimension to the sauce, but it's use is not mandatory)


1. Add Herbs to sauce.
2. Add Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
3. Add Sugar, Honey, or Agave Nectar.
4. Add to prepared pizza dough. Click HERE For Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe.
5. Add desired toppings.
5. Cook & Enjoy.

Homemade Pizza Dough

I love to use my custom blend of Unbleached and Whole Wheat Flour. I've tried using just whole wheat flour and the dough was way too sticky. The result was too dense and more rustic than I intended. I love the ease of allowing my bread maker to knead and proof my dough.

Add Water to Bread Pan

Add Salt and Olive Oil

Add Flour

Make a Small Well in the Center of the Flour

Add Sugar

Add Yeast

Things Should Be Looking Like This

After Pizza Dough Cycle is Complete, I Allow the Dough to Rise for an Additional Hour

Empty the Dough Onto A Floured Surface or Silicone Mat

Divide the Dough into Three Portions

Transfer Dough to Cornmeal Coated Baking Stone

If You Want a Thick Crust, Do not Prick the Dough.
For a thinner Crust, Prick it with a Fork.


1 3/4 cups Warm Water
1 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Olive Oil
3 cups Unbleached Flour
1 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Sugar, Honey or Agave Nectar
1 1/4 tsp Dry Yeast


1. Add ingredients to automatic breadmaker pan in order.
This is important. The salt can kill the yeast. The sugar activates it.

2. Follow directions on your breadmaker for Pizza Dough.

3. Allow to Rise for an additional hour after the cycle is complete.

4. Turn out dough onto floured surface or silicone mat.

5. Divide dough into 3 separate sections.

6. Flour hands and press 1 of the dough rounds with fingers to spread it out into a
10 inch circle.

7. If desired, prick surface of the dough to prevent it from rising. Remembering, to leave a 1 inch boarder for the exterior crust. This makes a thinner crust. If you prefer a thicker crust. Do not prick it.

8. Dress with desired toppings. Cook and enjoy!