Triple Berry Coffeecake

by Divine Domesticity on December 30th, 2008

If you are still entertaining guests at your house, consider this recipe for a lightly sweet coffeecake. Although the original recipe called for frozen raspberries, feel free to use whatever blend of berries sounds best to you. A dollop of sweetened whipped cream on the side is a delicious addition, along with a hot cup of coffee, of course.

Triple Berry Coffeecake
Serves 12

1 c. (2 sticks) butter (room temp)
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. sifted AP flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 (10 oz) pkg. frozen raspberries (Or a triple berry blend) in syrup, thawed and drained


1/2 c. AP flour
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/3 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 f degrees. Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan. Cream 1 cup of butter in a large bowl on low speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Mix in 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the creamed butter and beat on medium speed until well blended, about 3 minutes. Spoon into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Cover with raspberries.

2. Blend topping ingredients in another bowl. Spoon over raspberries, Bake until light golden and knife inserted in center comes out clean, 35-45 minutes. Cool slightly; serve.

Recipe adapted from 'Dining In Style' by Ann Lund

The DiSantos Best Ever Meatballs

by Divine Domesticity on December 28th, 2008

I won't lie, normally I am the kind of girl that buys a bag of meatballs from the frozen section at the grocery store. When I do feel the urge to go all out and make truly delicious meatballs, this is the recipe I turn to. Without a doubt, these are the best meatballs I've ever tasted. Oh so moist and tender. They also have a goodly amount of cheese in them. 

The DiSantos Best Ever Meatballs
Makes approximately 6 servings

2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 small shallot
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 pound ground sirloin beef
1 pound ground pork
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil

Your favorite spaghetti sauce, homemade or store bought
Spaghetti noodles

1. Place breadcrumbs in large bowl; add milk to moisten. Set aside.

2. Combine shallot and parsley in food processor; pulse until mixture is finely chopped. Add to breadcrumb mixture along with beef, pork, eggs, garlic powder, and cheese; season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix until well combined but not over-mixed.

3. Lightly coat hands with olive oil; roll meat mixture into 1-inch balls. Place meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Heat 1 inch olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook meatballs in batches; until browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a baking sheet lined with paper towels; let drain. It may be necessary to discard oil in skillet and add more.

5. Transfer spaghetti sauce to a large saucepan. Place over medium heat and add meatballs. Cook until meatballs are heated through.

6. Bring a large covered pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add spaghetti, cover, and return to a boil. Uncover, and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, and serve with meatball and sauce.

Recipe from The Martha Stewart Show and the Disantos Sisters

Scallop and Corn Chowder

by Divine Domesticity on December 26th, 2008

There is a big perk being married to a picky eater. It means I get a delicious soup like Scallop and Corn Chowder all to myself. I love this recipe, nothing is complicated and you are in and out of the kitchen within the hour. Bacon, scallops, onions, wine, corn and cream. If that lineup doesn't convince you, I'm not sure what will.

Scallop and Corn Chowder
Makes 4 servings

5 slices bacon
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops (about 16) -- I used bay scallops, the smaller kind because they are waaay less expensive. Just cook them for a much shorter time.
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, peeled first if desired
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh (from 2 ears) -- I used a can of creamed corn
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves

1. Fry the bacon in a large skillet or stockpot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. You should have about 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings remaining in the pan (if not, supplement with olive oil). Rinse the scallops and pat them dry with paper towels. Season them with the salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add some of the scallops to the pan, being careful not to crowd them. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. (Less time for smaller scallops) Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining scallops.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, wine, broth, and cream. Bring to a simmer. Cover partially and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the scallops and corn and cook for 4 minutes. To serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the parsley and crumbled bacon.

Recipe from Real Simple - Meals Made Easy.

Lemon Spaghetti

by Divine Domesticity on December 24th, 2008

I had read many a good review on the food network about this recipe so I thought I'd give it a shot. It was much better than I had anticipated. I only had one lemon to juice, and it was still very flavorful and delicious.

Lemon Spaghetti 
Makes 6 servings

1 pound spaghetti
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Whisk the lemon juice, oil and Parmesan in a bowl to blend.

2. Drain the pasta and reserve approximately 1 c. of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, and pasta water, adding 1/4 c. at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.

Recipe from the

Bread Nugat - done in a flash and extrememly delicious.

by Divine Domesticity on December 22nd, 2008

This delicious baked good is equal part convenience and deliciousness. The top is crunchy and flaky, the bottom is gooey and sweet. It is one of my favorite quick weekend meals. This would be a fun one to do on Christmas morning.

If you would like to include nuts, add 1/3 cup of chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or other nut of your preference) to the sugar mixture before coating the biscuit pieces.

Gattina's Bread Nugat
Makes 4-6 servings

1 can Pillsbury plain flavored biscuit
1/4 + 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. butter
1/8 c. dark brown sugar
1/3 c. evaporated milk

1. Pre-heat oven to 350-F degrees.

2. In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon, set side.

3. Prepare a 8" cake pan, cut each biscuit into four pieces, coat each piece with the sugar mixture, place in the pan.

4. In a small pot, heat the evaporate milk, 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar and butter to boil, immediately pour it over to the bread pieces.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm.

Many thanks to Gattina from Kitchen Unplugged for this recipe!

Seafood Lasagna (Scallops, Crab and Shrimp) with a Caesar Salad with Crisp Prosciutto, Homemade Soft Croutons and Freshly Grated Parmesan

by Divine Domesticity on December 20th, 2008

Amazingly good. Seafood Lasagna is a special dish that is perfect for a Christmas Eve meal.

Seafood Lasagna 
Serves 8

Make ahead tip: Prepare the day ahead by assembling the casserole and storing in the fridge. I simply cooked the scallops and combined with the already cooked shrimp and crab, then followed the directions below. I also used regular lasagna noodles -- not even the 'no boil' noodles and it turned out perfect.

2/3 cup Alaska Shrimp, cut into bite size
2/3 cup Alaska Scallops, cut into bite size
2/3 cup Alaska King Crab meat, cut into bite size
15 Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
2 cup Milk
2 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Basil
2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Green Onions, chopped
1 cup Cottage Cheese, small curd
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over low heat until melted. Add garlic. Stir in flour and salt. Cook, stirring constantly until bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in milk, broth and white wine. Return to stove and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Add mozzarella cheese, onions, basil and pepper. Cook over low heat until cheese is melted, stirring constantly.

2. Spread about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce in an ungreased 9" x 13" pan. Top with uncooked lasagna noodles, overlapping as needed. Spread the cottage cheese over the noodles. Spread with another 1 1/2 cups of sauce and then top with another 5 lasagna noodles. Spread seafood over this layer and top with another 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Cover with the last 5 noodles and top with all of the remaining sauce. If desired, top with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

3. Bake, uncovered at 350F for 35 to 45 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Yields 8 large seafood lasagna servings.

Recipe from Fisherman Express

Caesar Salad with Crisp Prosciutto, Homemade Soft Croutons and Freshly Grated Parmesan
Serves 8

3/4 pound prosciutto, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 pints cherry tomatoes
5-8 slices good quality Italian or white bread
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large heads romaine lettuce
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Favorite bottle of Caesar dressing

1. Cut the prosciutto into 1/2-inch cubes and cook it in a skillet over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove to paper towels and drain.

2. Cut or tear the white bread into bite sized pieces. Drizzle a saute pan with olive oil (a few tablespoons) and a dab of butter heat over medium heat. Add the pieces of bread and stir to coat with olive oil. Stir occasionally, until slightly browned. Set aside

3. Wash the lettuce leaves carefully and spin-dry in a salad spinner. Stack the leaves on a cutting board and cut them crosswise into 1 1/2-inch slices. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Add Caesar dressing, enough to lightly coat lettuce. Add croutons, tomatoes, fresh Parmesan and prosciutto. Enjoy!

Adapted from a recipe found in Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Pepperoni Macaroni and Cheese

by Divine Domesticity on December 19th, 2008

If you glance at the title of this recipe and assume it is a run of the mill "throw a jar of spaghetti sauce together with mozzarella cheese and bake it," casserole, you are sorely mistaken. This is, dare I say, gourmet Mac and Cheese.  A delicious white cheese sauce coats the pasta and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and cheese is used to top this glorious dish.

I did make a few changes, but I do not think they changed the overall flavors of the dish.

My changes: I used Penne instead of lasagna noodles. I omitted the cheddar, used half the amount of pepperoni, and used slices instead of buying a stick of pepperoni. Instead of adding 2 cups of Parmesan to the sauce, I added 1 cup of a Parmesan, Asiago & Romano blend, and 1 cup of mozzarella. Next time around I think I will make more sauce and use less pepperoni.

Pepperoni Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 8 servings

Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound lasagna
Olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other good-quality Parmesan
4 ounces grated Cheddar
8 ounces grated mozzarella
1 pound pepperoni, sliced thin
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt carefully add the lasagna noodles. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until pasta is very al dente (slightly undercooked). Drain in a colander, rinse slightly and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.

2. In a heavy, medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the garlic and then the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half-and-half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; add 2 cups of the grated Parmesan. Season with the salt, pepper and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

4. In a large bowl combine 1/4 cup Parmesan, Cheddar, and mozzarella. Toss to combine.

5. Grease a 3-quart baking dish or casserole with 1 tablespoon of butter. Spread a ladle full of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Cover the sauce with a single layer of cooked lasagna noodles. Spread another ladle full of sauce on top of noodles. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of the sliced pepperoni. Repeat with remaining ingredients for 2 more layers.

6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup bread crumbs onto top of lasagna and top with remaining grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup. Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbly and hot and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello

Cheesy Parmesan Italian Biscuits

by Divine Domesticity on December 17th, 2008

Oh boy. These are so, so very good. Be sure to eat them warm, fresh out of the oven. I grew up with these. It just doesn't get much better.

Cheesy Parmesan Italian Biscuits
Makes about 10 biscuits

1 c. grated Parmesan (the kind in the green bottle)
2/3 c. mayo
a few tbsp. of fresh chopped green onion
Garlic powder to taste
Italian seasoning to taste
1 can Hungry Jack flaky biscuits

1. Mix all ingredients except biscuits. Flatten biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet.

2. Spread an equal amount of filling over all biscuits.

3. Bake 13-15 minutes, eat hot!

Recipe from my mom

Chicken Pot Pies with Puff Pastry

by Divine Domesticity on December 15th, 2008

This recipe is the perfect balance of tastiness and time saving. Utilizing a roaster chicken saves you time without losing any flavor. My mom has been making this recipe for a long time, but I added the puff pastry after seeing it once on tv. Totally delicious, quick and easy.

Chicken Pot Pies with Puff Pastry
Makes two pies - Serves 8-12

*Note: This recipe makes two pies

2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted.
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
8 oz container sour cream
Hungarian paprika, to taste (I usually add about 1 tsp or more)
1 bag mixed veggies (Corn, peas and carrots)
1 roaster chicken, pieces of meat removed and set aside

1. Cut each puff pastry into strips, and make into two lattices. Brush with an egg wash and bake @ approx. 405-f degrees until browned. Let cool on the pan.

2. Add cream of chicken soup and cream of celery. Add sour cream and hungarian paprika to taste. Mix with frozen veggies. Add roasted chicken and mix. Pour into two pie plates, or a 9"x13" pan. Cook until heated through at approx. 350-f degrees, about 30 minutes.

3. Once done, add your cooled puff pastry to the top and serve.

Recipe from my mom.

Nigella's Baklava Muffins

by Divine Domesticity on December 13th, 2008

I made these Baklava Muffins a few years ago and remember them as being comforting and delicious. My husband went a little wild over them, and ended up eating the majority of the batch. For me, they were very good, not great, but that was just my personal taste. If you are a baklava fan, give them a try.

Nigella's Baklava Muffins
Recipe doesn't specify how many muffins it yields, if I remember correctly it was in the 12-15 range

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup flour
7 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/2 cup honey

1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a small bowl, set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. Mix the egg, melted butter and buttermilk.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add gently mix in the wet ingredients. Fill 12 miffin cups 1/3 full, add a scant tablespoon of filling, cover with more muffin mixture until 2/3 full. Sprinkle any remaining filling on top of the muffins. Bake for 15 minutes.

4. Put the muffins onto a rack to cool and drizzle with honey (it may be easier to drizzle the honey if it has been warmed first).

Recipe from Nigella

Marshmallow Fruit Salad

by Divine Domesticity on December 12th, 2008

I had this delicious fruit salad a lot growing up. A typical 5 Cup Fruit Salad is very similar, but this fruit salad utilizes fresh strawberries and bananas, and omits the coconut. Totally delicious and comforting.

I am using my best guess on amounts for this recipe. Please use your best judgment and increase or decrease the fruit amounts listed to suit your tastes.

Marshmallow Fruit Salad
Makes 8-12 servings

1 large can pineapple tidbits - drained
2 small cans mandarin oranges - drained
2 large sliced bananas
1 pint sliced strawberries
1 package mini marshmallows
1 small container sour cream (8 oz)

Note: You can use more or less than a package. It all depends on how much you love mallows.

1. Mix all ingredients and let it sit in the fridge for a short while so flavors can develop.

Recipe from my mom.

Spicy Peach Glazed Ham Steak

by Divine Domesticity on December 10th, 2008

Another delicious recipe from Bobby Flay's cookbook, Bobby Flay's Boy Gets Grill: 125 Reasons to Light Your Fire!

I'm not sure if ham and peaches are a classic combination, but they sure taste amazing together.

Spicy Peach Glazed Ham Steak
Serves 4; can be doubled for 6 to 8 (no need to double the glaze)

1 cup peach preserves (I used mashed peaches mixed with spicy jam instead -- this is why I have chunky pieces of peaches in the pics above)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 Tbsp. orange juice, preferable fresh
1 Tbsp. ancho chile powder (I omitted since I thought it might clash with the spicy jam I used)
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 (1 1/2-pound) ham steak, cut 2 inches thick (I used 2 thin ham steaks)

1. Stir the preserves, syrup, orange juice, and the ancho powder together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper; you want the mixture to be pretty peppery.

2. Heat your grill to high.

3. Place the ham on the grill, close the cover, reduce the heat to medium, and grill for 8 to 10 minutes on each side, basting with he glaze every few minutes.

4. When the ham is heating through and nicely glazed, remove it to a platter, brush once more with the glaze, and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into 1/2" slices and serve immediately.

Recipe from Bobby Flay's Boy Gets Grill: 125 Reasons to Light Your Fire!

Chicken with Rosemary-Lemon-Garlic Oil, Parmesan, and Black Pepper

by Divine Domesticity on December 8th, 2008

For most of us in the US, December isn't exactly prime grilling weather. For those of you lucky enough to have a grill on your range, or lucky enough to have nice weather in December, I hope you enjoy this delicious grilled chicken dish that comes from Bobby Flay.

For this yummy recipe, I turned to Bobby Flay's cookbook, Bobby Flay's Boy Gets Grill: 125 Reasons to Light Your Fire!

First off, let me say I've made a handful of recipes out of this cookbook so far and I've loved them all. I would recommend this to the home cook that wants to add a little variety in their grilling repertoire.

Oh my, this was some good eatin'. There just isn't anything that can beat food cooked on a grill. I had to swap out the rosemary and use basil instead, but I would imagine both taste amazing. I used chicken thighs instead of whole, butterflied chickens. A sprinkling of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the end tops this dish off.

Chicken with Basil-Lemon-Garlic Oil, Parmesan, and Black Pepper
Serves 4; can be doubled for 6 to 8 (no need to double the marinade)

1 1/2 cups olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
Grated zest of 2 lemons
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (3-pound) chickens, butterflied (Or a few pounds of chicken thighs)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

1. Combine the oil, garlic, basil, zest, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Place the chickens in a large dish or a sealable plastic bag, pour half of the oil mixture over the chickens, and turn to coat. (Refrigerate the remaining marinade.) Cover the chickens and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight (which is what I did). Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.

2. Heat your grill to medium. (I used charcoals instead)

3. Remove the chickens from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill until the skin forms a crust and pulls away from the grate, 8-10 minutes. Turn the chickens over, close the grill hood, and grill, basting with the reserved marinade until just cooked through, about 15 minutes more. (Less if using chicken thighs)

4. Remove the chickens to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Mix together the cheese and black pepper. If using butterflied chickens, cut the chickens in half, and then in half again, using poultry shears or a heavy knife. Transfer to a platter or serving plates, sprinkle with the cheese mixture, and serve immediately.

Bobby Flay's Boy Gets Grill: 125 Reasons to Light Your Fire!

Mexican Chicken Casserole

by Divine Domesticity on December 7th, 2008

I'm not even gonna pretend that this anything but what I call "Trash Food." Every once in a while trash food is the best kind of food, comforting and totally delicious!

Mexican Chicken Casserole
Serves 4-6

2 c. shredded cooked chicken
1 c. shredded cheese (or more if you are a cheese hound)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes (canned tomatoes with jalepenos-mild)
1/2 packet taco seasoning (or more- to taste)
Bag of doritos

1. Pre-heat oven to 350-f degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except doritos.

3. In a greased 2 qt baking dish, put a layer of crushed doritos (about 2 cups), then a layer of the chicken mixture. Repeat once more, ending with a layer of chicken mixture. Top with more shredded cheese, cover, and bake for 30-35 minutes, till bubbling hot.

You can add other items to this, depending on your preferences, like olives, green chiles, onions, etc.
The chicken mixture would also make a great enchilada or burrito filling.

Recipe from my pal Deanna 

Budget Cooking: Recipes and Ideas

by Divine Domesticity on December 6th, 2008

 It is the holiday season and our family is definitely feeling the money pinch that comes with this time of year. One of the few areas we can cut back on is the food budget. I find that when I'm pregnant, I either have a ton of energy and am able to cook up a storm, or am completely exhausted, and would much rather order take out. Not a whole lot of middle ground going on.

Like a lot of families, our is living from paycheck to paycheck. I hate it...stressing out over money is not a fun activity. The more I thought about cutting back, the more I felt convicted that it was resting on my shoulders as the meal planner to find ways to cut back.

I thought it might be handy to list what our budget meals are for those that might be in the same boat. A lot of my budget meals are also make ahead meals that can be frozen or refrigerated for eating later that week, which is a giant plus, if you ask me.

We get a lot of basics at Costco. The reason we use Costco as opposed to a grocery store (where there is no membership fee) is that my husband gets a free membership through his employer every year. We take advantage of that!

I am married to an extremely picky eater, so that really limits what I am able to make for meals. Take that into consideration when you view this list -- this is just what works for our family and tastes.

Basic Budget Ingredients

Ground Beef
Hamburger Buns
Large Bag Shredded Cheese
Bag of Precooked Meatballs
Bread (Two loaves come in a pack)
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Hot Dogs & Hot Dog Buns
Spaghetti Sauce & Noodles
Roaster Chicken (Normally you could just roast your own chicken, but the roaster chickens at Costco are HUGE and I get two meals easily out of all the meat from one chicken. The cost is the same as a prepared small chicken at the grocery store. I also like to save the time, as I don't have a ton of energy these days)

Budget Meals

Ground Beef with Taco Seasoning and Corn - Cook ground beef, prepare with taco seasoning as directed. Add corn and stir. (If my husband wasn't so picky I'd also add diced red bell peppers) Let cool. Fill a freezer bag with meat mixture, laying flat in the freezer so once it freezes it can stack easily. Serve with warm tortillas, shredded cheese, sour cream.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes - Cook ground beef. Drain. Prepare Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes recipe. Let cool. Fill a freezer bag with meat mixture, laying flat in the freezer so once it freezes it can stack easily.Serve with onion buns, shredded cheese, sour cream.

Make Ahead Meat Sauce - Cook equal amounts ground beef and Italian sausage. (I also recommend spicy or sweet Italian sausage, or adding diced red bell peppers to the sausage and cooking them all together) Drain. Add spaghetti sauce and heat until warmed through. Serve with cooked noodles of your choice, or if saving for later, let cool and fill a freezer bag with meat mixture, laying flat in the freezer so once it freezes it can stack easily

Amish Meatloaf - Prepare Amish Meatloaf recipe. Serve with butter noodles and corn.

Chicken Pot Pie - Prepare Chicken Pot Pie, skipping the step for preparing the puff pastry until you are ready to actually cook the pot pie for dinner. Fill a freezer bag with filling mixture, laying flat in the freezer so once it freezes it can stack easily. Serve with puff pastry, or rolls of your choice.

Quesadillas - Butter tortilla. Add butter side down to pan. Add shredded cheese of your choice. Add diced pickled jalapenos. Once cheese has melted and tortilla is browned and crunchy, fold over tortilla. Serve with salsa or sour cream.

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches - Nothing fancy here! I use canned tomato soup but instead of adding water I use milk as I find it gives it a better flavor.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches - Hard to get more basic than this one. :)

Hot Dogs and Fries/ Chili Dogs or Chili Fries

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs - Combine meatballs with spaghetti sauce, using enough sauce to cover meatballs. Cook until warmed through. I will turn it on high for a few hours and check back, that usually does the trick. Serve with hoagie rolls and sliced provolone cheese.

Do you have budget recipes or ideas to share? Please leave a comment and share!