Homemade Hummus

I love hummus! I go though a family sized dish of Sabra hummus, either classic (plain) or red pepper, every two weeks at about $5 each. After awhile that gets really pricey so I started looking into making my own! The recipe I had sounded easy enough and bonus I had everything at home except the tahini!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients

 

One 15-ounce can (425 grams) chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans

1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon

1/4 cup (59 ml) tahini (we used Krinos)

Half of a large garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving

1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

water

First you take your tahini and lemon juice and blend it in your food processor for about 30 seconds. Then scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for another 30 seconds. Next add garlic, olive oil, cumin, and salt to the bowl and blend another 30 seconds. Open the canned chickpeas rinse then drain before adding them to the bowl and process for 1 minute.  Stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for another 1-2 minutes. Add a bit of water if the hummus is to thick of if there are chunks of chickpeas while processing. Once it has reached a nice smooth consistency you are done!

My first batch is done!

My first batch is done!

Tips:

#1 I didn’t like how the cumin tasted so in my second batch I halved the amount and it came out so yummy!

#2 By  my second batch the finished product was a lot smoother thanks to a friend’s feedback. They said “with hummus process it until you think it is done…then process for another minute” either way you get a wonderful smooth product.

#3 I didn’t have a garlic clove on hand but I had some jarred minced garlic in the fridge so I used a tablespoon of that instead.

Before I made this I bough some generic off brand hummus because it was cheaper then Sabra. Well it was nasty and I was out the $2 but I washed out the bowl and now I store my hummus in it! That way everyone knows where the hummus is instead of looking at a tupperware bowl and going “What is this??????” lol.

reusing a dish

reusing a dish

General Cost:

Chickpeas $0.74 ( Market Pantry brand found at Target)

Tahini (I used Joyva brand) $6.24

Garlic clove $0.50

Lemon Juice $1.79

Total: $9.27 For about 7 batches or $1.32 instead of $5 like name brand hummus!

The tahini can had 15 oz and 1/4= 2 oz so you will get about 7 batches from the 15oz can or $0.89 a batch! Another way to reduce costs is to use what you have on hand in the fridge and pantry!

 

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Almost Homemade Roast Beef Sandwiches

My sister once brought up almost homemade when I was using a frozen meal and jazzing it up to serve at a family reunion. One night I was wanting some hot roast beef sandwiches like these: Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches. However I didn’t have any roast cooking in the crock pot but then I came up with an idea.

Ingredients

1 package Oscar Mayer sliced roast beef lunch meat

1 package fresh mushrooms

1 sliced onion, I used about half an onion

1 package onion soup mix

sliced provolone cheese

hoagie rolls

Onion soup mix

Onion soup mix

Fix the envelope of onion soup mix as directed then add half of that to a skillet then add the roast beef.

Simmering roast beef with onion soup mix.

Simmering roast beef with onion soup mix.

This allows the roast beef to heat up without drying it out and it gives it some flavor. While the beef heats up place the sliced mushrooms in a skillet with butter and place the onions in another skillet with butter.

caramelizing the onions and sauteing the mushrooms.

caramelizing the onions and sauteing the mushrooms.

Once the onions were perfectly caramelized and the mushrooms sauteed I mixed them together.

mushrooms and onions.

mushrooms and onions.

I used the skillet that held the onions and heated it back up adding a bit more butter. I the laid the sliced rolls face down and slightly toasted them once at a time till all were crispy and hot.

After that it was simply a matter of arranging the sandwiches with juicy layers of meat, onions and mushrooms, and cheese on top of those crispy rolls. I split the remaining onion soup mix into small bowls to use as a dip.

Almost Homemade Roast Beef

ready to eat!

I call this almost homemade since I bought the meat instead of cooking my own. They turned out delicious, not as good as with homemade roast beef, but still tasty and they satisfied my cravings! These cooked in less then thirty minutes

Tips:

#1 you can add anything you want to those sandwiches like sauteed green bell peppers or anything else your mind can come up with.

#2 You can use any lunch meat you want from ham to turkey to chicken breast…the possibilities are endless! I may try ham with sharp cheddar cheese next time I bet it will be just as delicious!

I also like this because it lets me use up the odds and ends in the fridge. All I had to buy was the bread since I had gotten the meat on sale and the mushrooms and onions were starting to get old….I love using up things on hand instead of tossing money in the trash by wasting food.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I have said it before and I will say it again….I hate wasting things and will reuse anything if it is possible. So once again I had a rotisserie chicken for dinner (this was made awhile back) and I saved the leftovers for soup!

Ingredients

Chicken still on the bone (could be leftover chicken or bone in split chicken breast or a whole chicken)

1 bag frozen egg noodles

1 bag frozen peas and carrots

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper

First I boiled the chicken all day until I had the meat slipping off the bones and a flavorful stock.

Boiling leftover chicken

Boiling leftover chicken

Homemade stock

Homemade stock

 

I then carefully poured the stock back into the pan and put it on to boil while I de-boned the chicken; putting aside the meat and tossing the bones.

 

De-boning leftover chicken

De-boning leftover chicken

Once the stock was boiling I added the frozen egg noodles and the bay leaf along with seasoning it to taste.

Broth ready to boil noodles.

Broth ready to boil noodles.

Once the egg noodles were partly done I added the frozen peas and carrots to the broth and let it simmer. Finally I added the chicken and let it simmer a bit longer to heat up the chicken pieces.

Finished soup

Finished soup

Once the soup was done I turned off the burner and covered it up to keep warm while I baked some bread for dinner! I made these yummy garlic knots I found at the grocery store but next time I will make the 1 hour dinner rolls with a recipe I found!

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Hope you like it! Happy Pinning!!

Homemade Chocolate Frosting

One day I was baking a cake when I realized that I had no store bought frosting on hand! So after a quick scan in my cupboards I found powdered sugar and cocoa powder that I had bought for holiday baking. So  a quick search and I found a simple recipe for chocolate frosting!

Ingredients:

3 cups powdered sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

The inspiration: http://www.simplyscratch.com/2010/07/homemade-chocolate-frosting.html

Cocoa powder and powdered sugar blended together.

Cocoa powder and powdered sugar blended together.

Sift sugar and cocoa powder together in a bowl then in another bowl cream together the butter and vanilla. Add a cup of the cocoa sugar mix to the butter then add a bit of milk then more of the sugar coca mix. Keep mixing the sugar cocoa and milk until you get the desired consistency.

Finished frosting!

Finished frosting!

Then you use the frosting!! I spread mine over a sheet cake and it was delicious!!

cake ready to eat!

cake ready to eat!

Tips from me:

#1 I didn’t have a sifter to mix the sugar and cocoa powder so I added each to my food processor and pulsed it for a bit until it was blended!

#2 For thicker frosting use less milk and for thinner frosting, like a glaze, use more milk.

#3 Before you go and buy anything at the store look in your pantry! I am big on reusing items and I used up the rest of the cocoa powder and powdered sugar that I had purchased for Christmas cookies!

I liked how easy and delicious this frosting is! I have been using it ever since for all my cakes, brownies, and cupcakes! At first my daughter wasn’t sure if she wanted to try it. I realized then just how little I made basic items like frosting if her only exposure in 13 years is store bought! I informed her that before once upon a time people had to make their own cakes and frosting at home before mixes and store bought frosting was available. She then tried a slice of cake and declared it was the best frosting she’d ever had! Now I make it a point to make a lot of stuff without mixes so she can taste real home cooking!

 

Happy Pinning!!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Two things I have mentioned a once or twice or twenty is that I like to save money and reuse items I have on hand. After Christmas I got some cheap premade Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough for less then $1 a roll. After Easter I snagged mini Reese’s peanut butter cups on clearance for $0.98 a bag then I used $1/2 coupons on top of that to pay $0.96 for 2 bags ($0.48 each)! On the package of cookie dough it give a recipe for peanut butter blossoms that uses Hershey Kisses. Well I thought why not use the peanut butter cups I got instead?

Ingredients

1 roll Premade or Homemade Peanut Butter cookie dough

1 Bag of peanut butter cups

2 tbsp sugar

peanut butter cups

peanut butter cups

cookie dough

cookie dough

Roll cookie dough by the tablespoon into balls then roll those is sugar.

dough rolled in sugar

dough rolled in sugar

Cook for 9 minutes at 350 or whatever your dough suggests then once done remove from cookie sheet and place on flat surface or cooling rack. I lay my fresh baked cookies on the counter that is covered in paper towels. Then press a piece of candy in the center of the cookie before it cools down.

finished and ready to eat!

finished and ready to eat!

 

Tips By Me:

#1: I have made these with Hershey’s Kisses before and the candy gets soft quickly but as the cookies cool the candy hardens back up slightly. With the peanut butter cups however they melted significantly, mine were even frozen, before they cooled. So I would suggest freezing the candy because room temperature candy may melt completely before they can cool to harden.

 

Happy Pinning!

Leftover Chicken Enchiladas

Now the title of this post is rather misleading because I am not talking about eating enchiladas or reheating them the day after. I am talking about how to make chicken enchiladas from leftovers. By now, if you’ve been following my blog, you should know I love to reuse everything because it saves me time and money. One night I was very tired and didn’t feel like cooking nor did I want takeout so I grabbed a rotisserie chicken from a local grocery store. I made sides for it that night (instant potatoes and steamed veggies) and after dinner my boyfriend wanted to toss the chicken remains and I refused to let him.

I used:

Enchilada ingriedients

Enchilada ingriedients

The next day I put the chicken carcass into a pot of water and boiled it until the meat was falling off the bones.

Boiling leftover chicken

Boiling leftover chicken

 After the chicken was done I carefully separated the cooked chicken from the stock, I placed the strainer over a pot and drained the liquid into the pot. 

De-boning leftover chicken

De-boning leftover chicken

Homemade stock

Homemade stock

Before I started making the enchiladas I took the stock and froze it for later use….I hate wasting anything including homemade stock! I then took the tortillas and made them like any other enchiladas I added a bit of chicken, a bit of cheese, and some enchilada sauce (I used the red sauce). I then lined them all up in a pan and topped with more enchilada sauce and more cheese before baking them at 350 degrees until the cheese was melted and bubbly.

Finished product

Finished product

 

They turned out so wonderful! Tender meaty chicken rolled up with bubbly cheese and tasty sauce….I love them so much!

Tips from me:

#1 You can use any leftover chicken or you can use fresh chicken breasts/whole chicken…whatever you like. A few days ago (I made these months ago) I made salsa chicken (just a jar of salsa in a crockpot with 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts) for chicken tacos/taco salad. The next day I took those leftovers and made enchiladas with them I just put sauce on the outside since the inside chicken already had salsa. They turned out sooo good too…so any chicken will do!

#2 You don’t have to use flour tortillas. You can use whole wheat tortillas, corn tortillas, or gluten free…whatever you want!

Later I used the homemade stock to make chicken noodle soup. So a $5 rotisserie chicken made 3 meals for me and two of them were just out the remains that most people toss! The only think I tossed from that chicken was the bones! So whenever you have remains of any meal instead of tossing them think about how you could possibly reuse it to stretch your budget further!

Happy Pinning!!

 

Hot Roast Beef Dip Sandwiches

Last night my boyfriend and I finished up moving his things to either my home or the storage shed we rented. I knew at the end I would be to tired to cook so I put a roast in the crock pot for dinner that night. However I was really tired and didn’t even want to make the proper sides for the roast…you know potatoes and veggies. So I put the roast in the fridge and made some quick (i.e. frozen meals) for dinner. So tonight I pulled the roast out and proceeded to make some hot roast beef sandwiches with onion dip.

The inspiration pin: http://bakingbites.com/2008/02/slow-cooker-french-dip-sandwich/

Now since the roast was already cooked and since I didn’t have condensed french onion soup I used the pin for inspiration only.

Ingredients:

Roast, onions, mushrooms, French rolls, and powdered onion soup mix.

Roast, onions, mushrooms, French rolls, and powdered onion soup mix.

I sliced the onions and combined them with butter in a sauce pan to caramelize them nicely. I did the same thing with the sliced mushrooms so they would sautee nicely in their own pan.

Mushrooms and Onions

Mushrooms and Onions

While these were cooking I put some water in the bowl containing the roast and heated it up in the microwave. Once it was heated up I shredded it and put it aside for later. All the while I was stirring the contents of both pans so nothing would burn then I cooked the onion soup up according to the package directions.

Bread ready to cook

Bread ready to cook (finished onion soup mix in the back.)

I sliced up several french steak rolls and put them in the oven set to 250 degrees and cooked them for 10 minutes, or until crisp. You could heat them up for 20 seconds in the microwave but they turn out soft and chewy…so it’s all about your preferences…I prefer crisp, crusty bread for my dip sandwiches. After everything is cooked and ready to go you can either assemble the sandwiches or serve them smorgasbord style and let everyone make theirs how they like it. I put the cooked ingredients on the table and let my family pile them up how they like it.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

These were some of the most tasty, tender, and delicious roast beef sandwiches I have ever made. I used to use the drippings of the roast as my dip and I never considered using onion soup mix before. The pin I found used condensed onion soup but I didn’t have that, and as you know I am a fan of using or reusing what you have on hand, but I had powdered onion soup mix. I thought it tasted really, really delicious! I will definitely be using this dip from now on instead of using the roast drippings…or maybe one day I will tinker with using both to get some really flavorful dip!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Happy Pinning!

10 Tips to Spend Less on Food

I know it has been awhile since I have posted on my blog but life has just been so busy! My boyfriend is moving in with me so we’ve bene working on that then he dislocated his shoulder which has left us in a bind. So we’ve been focusing on the move and almost nothing else! After looking on pinterest I found a post about top 10 tips on how to save on food. Being a frugal person I love this pin and I do several important things on it to keep my own costs down.

The Pin:

Food saving tips

Food saving tips

Tip #2: I always use brown bananas to make banana bread! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t but I never thought about freezing them! A local store always has cheap, brown bananas for super cheap so I may try this once.

Tip #3: I rarely have leftovers because I usually cook just enough for my family because a lot of us don’t like to eat them. If there are leftovers I will take some for lunch the next day but things that won’t taste good reheated I will put out for the strays.

Tip #5: Every Wednesday I get the food ads in the mail so I will look at whats on sale and plan my meals around that. If chicken is on sale for a cheap price, $1.99/lb or less I will buy enough for 2 weeks worth of meals. I also combine this tip with #4 and use items on sale this week with items I got for cheap last week. It works well and saves me a lot of money every week/month/year. I also combine these sales with tip #10 and get things on sale then use coupons on them to pay a lot less. This week target has Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup for $0.69 and I have a coupon for $0.40/4 and 5% off so for 4 cans I will pay $2.22 (about $0.50 each).

Tip #6: This tip also gets combined with #5 in those weekly ads you will see cheap produce on sale and the cheaper items are the ones in season. Also in the fall I will go to local markets like an Amish store or the local farmer’s market for cheaper, local fresh produce.

Tip #7: I don’t think I have ever done a meatless meal….I love my chicken, pork and fish lol!!

Tip #8: This is a good tip but I don’t make a list I have a rotation system in my freezer. I have my packages of chicken on one shelf and when I get more I pull the older ones to the front and put the newer ones behind them. So when I grab a package in the front I know it’s the older ones. I also will date the packages, sometimes with a date, but at times I get to lazy for this lol!

Tip #9 and #10: I will buy generic foods but often times I find I can get name brands for cheaper with coupons and sales. I haven’t had a good trash bag deal so I got the Target brand and used a 5% off to get some cheap bags. As for coupons….I could write a whole post on this!! Now I am not extreme…most legit coupon users find this to be an insult…I am a logical coupon user. I make sure to use them on the right things and never try to cheat the system! Target is the best place to shop since they have their own coupons on their site, you can use Sunday paper coupons, get their debit card to get 5% off, use their mobile q’s, and their new Cartwheel which gives you % off items. So I can clean up there lol!! I often save thousands of dollars by using coupons matched with sales and gift card deals!!

I love this list of tips since it can save you lots of cash! I am a big fan of saving money, using coupons, and by reusing items you have at home! I never realized how much I do this until I cleaned out my boyfriend’s deep freeze, freezer, fridge and pantry durin the moving process! He had so much expired foods in vast quantities…it looked like he forgot he had certain things in back so he bought more. The deep freezer was the worst he would just pile fresher foods on top of the old foods (he has a chest freezer mine is an upright) and by the time I got to the bottom of it he had food from 2007!!! Thankfully we agreed that I would do all the shopping for us lol!! Hope you  like the tips!!

Happy Pinning!

How to Freeze Cheese

Yes you read that title right I am posting about a good way (it’s probably not the only way) to store sliced cheese in the freezer. When I say sliced cheese I don’t mean those processed american cheese slices. What I mean is those real cheese slices by Kraft or Sargento among others. I have found in the past that when I freeze these then thaw them out they stick together despite being separated by manufacturer’s placed wax paper. So I figured out a great way to keep them separated without sticking together. Now this isn’t a pin yet, after I post this I will pin it lol but I wanted to share this because it’s a great way to save money! I keep posting about my own frugality and there is nothing I hate worse then paying full price for items…except maybe having to throw things away due to preventable issues! I recently got a bunch of Kraft Sliced Natural Cheese at a BOGO Sale ($2.99 each and I used a $1.50/2 coupon to pay $1.49 for 2 packages) so I used this to freeze them effectively.

Items needed:

Sliced Cheese

Freezer Paper

Freezer Bags

Ingredients

Ingredients

First I tore off a sizable chunk of freezer paper and I placed one slice of cheese on top of the paper leaving enough space at the bottom so you can fold this on top of the slice of cheese.

Lay cheese on freezer paper.

Lay cheese on freezer paper.

Then I laid another slice of cheese on top of the paper that I folded over the first cheese.

Fold over and add another.

Fold over and add another.

Then I roll the slices over so the top slice is covered then I add another slice and another until I have a packet of layered cheese, making sure none of the cheese is touching anything other then freezer paper.

 

4 slices layered and wrapped up.

4 slices layered and wrapped up.

I fit about 4 slices to a packet so I had 3 packets after all ten slices were rolled up.

All 10 slices wrapped up.

All 10 slices wrapped up.

Then I put all packets in a freezer bag and placed the empty package on top so I knew which flavor was in each bag.

Everything all wrapped up and ready to store.

Everything all wrapped up and ready to store.

Once you needed cheese all you have to do is pull a bag out, thaw it in the fridge, and then peel a slice off the paper and use it! It may be a bit crumby, all cheese is after freezing it. But it should still be manageable enough after this to use.

Happy Pinning!

Healthy Crock Pot Meatballs

I love my crock pot because there is nothing better then coming home at the end of the day and dinner is done! You just add ingredients, set the time, and it takes care of the rest! Love it! So I am ALWAYS on the hunt for new recipes for my crock pot. I used to just use it to cook roast. stews, and cream of mushroom chicken but other then that I had no idea what to do. Now thanks to Pinterest I can find TONS of recipes and I can use my much loved crock pot more! I found this yummy sounding meatball recipe and I just had to make it! Meatballs are so versatile! You can make sandwiches with the, put them on noodles for spaghetti, eat alone, or put on spaghetti squash!

The Pin:

http://glow.beautygala.com/healthy-crock-pot-meatball-recipe/

Ingredients:

1lb ground turkey (you can use any ground meat chicken, pork, or cow)

1 egg

1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/4 Parmesan cheese

4 garlic cloves

2 28oz crushed tomatoes

Italian seasoning

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients

Ingredients

Combine ground meat, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, and 2 cloves chopped garlic in a bowl. Mix the ingredients with your hands (do not over mix because it will  make the meatballs tough). Then create (with your hands) meatballs the size of a tablespoon, you can vary the size depending on your taste.

Meat mixture ready to form.

Meat mixture ready to form.

In the crock pot place the two cans of crushed tomatoes and the 2 bay leaves then add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. Add the meatballs on top of the tomato mixture then add the other 2 garlic cloves, you can mince them if you want.

Tomatoes, bay leaves, and Italian seasoning.

Tomatoes, bay leaves, and Italian seasoning.

Cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, Salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Ready to cook.

Ready to cook.

All done and looking so yummy!

All done and looking so yummy!

 

 

Tips from me:

#1 I cooked these on high for 4 and half hours and it was delicious but next time I will cook on low for the 8-10 hours. By letting it simmer longer it will give the flavors longer to mingle and should taste amazing.

You can serve these on spaghetti noodles, on a sandwich, brown rice, or over vegetables like spaghetti squash or zucchini. I love spaghetti squash so I had mine this way and it was so yummy! I love how these turned out they were so light, tender, and flavorful these will become a staple in my family from now on! Plus the ingredients are so cheap and made of things I already have in my pantry and freezer. You should know by now I am all about using what you have on hand and things you can get on sale like the ground turkey! Since I bought the bread crumbs for this recipe alone so I know for a fact I will be making it again, and again until these are gone lol!

Enjoy and Happy Pinning!