Archive for the ‘ Recipes ’ Category

Recipe: Classic French Bread

Friday, November 14th, 2014

I love soups.  To me they are the perfect comfort food for this cooler weather.  And what goes perfectly with soups?  Bread, of course! While I love my 100% Whole Wheat Bread, sometimes I just want a good old crusty bread instead.  This classic French bread is the perfect thing to make when I’m in that mood.

I first had this bread when my husband’s cousin made it for us a couple of years ago.  All of us that were there for dinner that evening couldn’t get enough of it!  I had always been daunted by the thought of making French bread but after she insisted that it was really very simple, I bravely asked her for the recipe and determined to make it myself.  And of course she was right, it really is quite simple!

Try it yourself- you’ll love how easy it is to feel like Martha Stewart!  <grin>

(I did want to note that your crust will be much prettier than what mine is in the picture.  I was busy taking care of my 2 little ones while I made this and as a result forgot all about the egg white wash.  The bread was still good but it was missing that beautifully delicious, shiny crust that makes it amazing.  So definitely learn from me and make sure you don’t forget to do that!) 

Classic French Bread
1/2 c. lukewarm water
2 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 c. hot water
1 Tbsp. shortening
1 Tbsp. salt
7-7¼ c. Occident flour (bread flour)
1 egg white, lightly beaten mixed with 1 tbsp. water

Mix ½ c. water, yeast and sugar.  Set aside.
Add shortening and salt to 2 c. hot water; cool until lukewarm.  Add yeast mixture then gradually add flour until soft dough.
Knead until smooth, about 10 to 12 minutes.  (I use my Bosch mixer to do this.)
Place in greased bowl, cover with damp cloth, let rise until doubled.
Divide in half.  Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Shape loaves into narrow rolls, the length of the sheet. Gash top with sharp knife.
Brush with egg white/water mixture.
Let rise until double.
Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, brushing with egg white/water mixture after 15 minutes of baking.

Yield: 2 loaves

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Tags: | Categories: Recipes, The Thrifty Frugal Mom

Recipe: No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Last fall I came across this Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle recipe and desperately wanted to make it.  The only problem was, I didn’t have any Biscoff cookies and being the frugal person that I am, I hated the idea of shelling about several bucks for a small pack of them.  And so, I got creative and made my own version!

These No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes meet all my requirements for a great dish: they are quick and easy to make, they look pretty, they’re inexpensive and best of all, they are delicious!

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes
1 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 10 graham cracker squares)
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1 ½ c. heavy whipping cream + 4 tbsp. sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1.  Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter.   Set aside.

2.  Whip heavy whipping cream until slightly thickened.  Add 4 Tbsp. sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.  This should make about 3 cups of whipped cream.

3.  In separate bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add pumpkin puree, vanilla, sugar and pumpkin pie spice.  Mix well.  Gently fold in 1 ½ c. of the whipped cream.

4.  Assemble by layering layer graham cracker crumb mixture, pumpkin cheesecake and whipped topping as desired.  Cheesecakes will be best if made no more than 1 hour before serving.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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Recipe: Creamy White Chili

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

I love soups.  As in love so much that I could eat it every day, at least during the winter months!  And honestly, some weeks that almost happens at our house.  Thankfully my family likes soup almost as much as I do!

One of my go-to soup recipes, this Creamy White Chili is super fast to throw together (especially if you use leftover chicken).   And it is full of flavor and filling too!  Serve it with crusty bread and a salad and you’ll have a meal that is sure to satisfy!

If you’re not a fan of food with a tiny bit of a kick, I’d recommend cutting back the cumin to ½ tsp. and the black pepper to ¼ tsp.   I personally don’t think it is super spicy but my family prefers when I make the adjustments to tone it down a little.  So play around with it and make it to suit your taste.  To me, that’s half the fun of cooking anyway!

Creamy White Chili
1 lb. chicken breast, cubed*
1 med. onion, chopped
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cans (15 1/2 oz. each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed & drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute chicken and onion in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and milk. Serve immediately.

* Or simply use 2 to 3 cups cooked, chopped chicken and add along with the beans, broth and seasonings.

Yield: 7 servings

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Recipe: Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

These little muffins are quick and easy to make and and super flavorful with their nutmeg and cinnamon pairing.  While they remind me a lot of a cinnamon sugar donut, I also think they taste an awful lot like a Snickerdoodle cookie!   And I love that they are baked instead of fried.  No greasy, oily mess to deal with and less calories make that a plus all around!  These little bites of deliciousness are perfect for brunches, snacks, breakfast and even dessert.   

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine sugar and butter. Stir in the milk then mix in the flour, baking powder and nutmeg just until combined.

Grease 24 mini-muffin cups. Fill cups half full of batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

While muffins are baking, get the topping ready.  Place 1/4 c. of melted butter in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Once baked, dip each muffin in the melted butter then roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Let cool before storing.

Yield: 24 mini-muffins

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Recipe: Easy Homemade Breakfast Sandwich

Friday, September 26th, 2014

I’m not a big fast food fan, but I’ve always been a sucker for McDonald’s and Burger King’s breakfast sandwiches.  Not that I ever bought them much, but they were a fun splurge every now and then like when I was out yardsaling and left the house too early to feel like eating breakfast.

A couple of months ago I got a bunch of English muffins and Jones All Natural sausage for free with my couponing and I decided to make my own homemade breakfast sandwiches.  I knew it couldn’t be hard.  I mean you would just layer meat, egg and cheese, right?  Well, pretty much.  But I was kind of picky and wanted a nice scrambled egg layer in there, so I set out to figure out how to do that.

Here’s what I finally figured out worked perfectly and it’s super easy!  I use my big electric skillet (I have one very similar to this) to make 8 servings of eggs.  If you have a smaller skillet, you could easily just do 4 at one time instead.  Also, if you won’t eat all 8 sandwiches at one time, you can freeze the extras for a quick breakfast later- just heat them up in the microwave!  Of course you don’t have to wait to enjoy these at breakfast.  We love them for lunches or dinners too!

Easy Homemade Breakfast Sandwich
8 English muffins
8 Eggs
8 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. salt
¼tsp. pepper
Sausage, bacon or sliced ham
Cheese, sliced

Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together until mixed.  Turn electric skillet to 300°.  Place a small amount of butter or oil in skillet so eggs won’t stick.  (If using butter, let melt.  Pour eggs into skillet, cover and let set until eggs are almost done.  Turn skillet off.  (They will continue to cook a bit as they sit.)  Use a pancake turner to cut eggs into 8 pieces as shown below.

Meanwhile fry sausage or bacon if needed.  Slice English muffins and toast.  Once toasted, butter each slice.

Assemble sandwiches, layering egg (you’ll need to fold it in half), meat and cheese onto the muffin.  Add salsa or ketchup if desired.  Enjoy!

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