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 Sausage Cheese Biscuits

My boyfriend likes to eat these sausge rolls from a local bakery and/or sausage cheese biscuits from McDonald’s. Only problem is they cost a lot of money in the long run so I thought of a way to make portable breakfast pockets at home!

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Filling Ingredients (biscuits not pictured)

1 roll 10ct biscuits (I used Best Choice Texas Style)

cooked, crumbled up sausage

shredded cheese

scrambled eggs (optional)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and press the biscuits down flat.

Pressed dough

Pressed dough

The I topped half of the dough with a mixture of sausage, cheese, and/or eggs.

Filled dough

Filled dough

Once you’ve filled them enough top with the other dough circles and seal them up.

Rolled edges

Rolled edges

First I rolled the edges of the bottom dough up and over onto the top layer.

Crimped edges

Crimped edges

Use fork to crimp all around the rolled edges making sure they are sealed up tight. Pierce the tops of the rolls (to vent steam if needed) and then spread with butter and top with salt.

Brushed with butter and a sprinkle of salt.

Brushed with butter and a sprinkle of salt.

Poke holes

Poke holes

I then baked them according to the biscuit package.

Almost Homemade Sausage Biscuits

Finished and ready to eat!

 

Alterations/Tips

#1 I made these a few weeks back and when they came out the biscuits puffed up quite a bit more then I expected since I had pressed them flat.

Yummy!

Yummy!

Since they puffed up then the ratio of bread to filling was off and there was barely any filling. So next time I make these I will use a rolling pin and roll the dough out until it’s 1/8 inch thick, or as thin as I can get them without breaking the dough.

#2 I also plan on using cooked sausage patties instead of crumbled sausage since it will fill it up easier. My boyfriend likes those pre-made banquet sausage patties so I will use those.

#3 You can use any filling you want like ham, eggs, cheese, hash browns, bacon…the possibilities are endless!

My boyfriend said these were good and I plan on making them for his breakfast so he can eat on the go and save us money in the long run!

Almost Homemade Turkey Italian Sausage with Chunky Sauce

To me almost homemade means taking pre-made items from the store and making a delicious home cooked meal. Many times over I have gotten items free with my coupons and will use them to make delicious meals. 

Ingredients for 2 Italian Sausages

1/2 package Bird’s Eye peppers and onions (I picked out the onions since I hate them)

2 Jennie O I Turkey Italian Sausage 

1 cup pasta sauce

1/2 package fresh sliced mushrooms

If you want to make the whole package of sausages then simply double the recipe! 

I thawed out the peppers and onions before hand to speed up the cooking time. I browned the sausages in a pan before placing them in a glass baking dish. I put the mushrooms, peppers and onions, and pasta sauce on top of the sausages.

Sausage, vegetables, and sauce.

Sausage, vegetables, and sauce.

I baked at 350 degrees until the sausages were cooked through, making sure to check occasionally to stir the veggies and sauce so the veggies didn’t get dried out. Add more sauce if needed to keep everything juicy and tender. 

Finished and ready to eat!

Finished and ready to eat!

After they were done I simply put them on a plate to eat as and entree. However you can cut them put and pour over noodles, spaghetti squash, zucchini “noodles” etc.

Tips:

#1 You can use fresh peppers if you wish or any vegetables you want/have on hand. I like to use things already in the fridge, freezer, and pantry to decrease costs. 

#2 You can use any Italian sausage you want if you do not like turkey. 

#3 I am sorry that I don’t have appropriate cook times but the 3 times I have made this it has taken different amounts of time. I simply check and stir everything up until it is fully cooked.

 

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 Hamburger Helper

Oh how I missed blogging! I have had multiple health issues in the past month which have left me feeling drained and listless after work. But I have several recipes in the hold waiting for posts!

My boyfriend loves meat, potatoes, white bread, miracle whip, processed cheese…well any process foods! We differ in our eating since I have dietary restrictions (limited red meat, no caffeine, limited sodas, no artificial sweeteners, limited processed foods…etc.) so I started looking up easy meals we could both eat. I was pleased to find a recipe for homemade hamburger helper of the cheeseburger variety that was sure to please us both!

Ingredients:
1lb lean ground beef (I used 97/3 since I have to have limited fatty red meats)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup hot water
2 cups skim milk
1-1/2 cups elbow macaroni (or other small pasta)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

 

Ingredients

Ingredients

I started by cooking the hamburger and as it was cooking I mixed up the seasonings and corn starch in a small bowl and set it aside; while this was all going on I also boiled the hot water. Once the meat was cooked I rinsed it off in hot water to get rid of any leftover fat. Then I placed the meat back into the pot and added the seasonings, water, corn starch, hot water, skim  milk, and pasta then bring to a boil.

Browned meat with seasonings.

Browned meat with seasonings.

Cooking.

Cooking.

Once the pasta is to the desired cooked amount turn off the heat and mix in the shredded cheese. Let stand 5 minutes (or more) to thicken the sauce before serving.

Add cheese

Add cheese

Finished product

Finished product

This was just as quick and easy as making the disgusting boxed mix but way more healthy! There were no weird ingredients or preservatives and bonus my boyfriend (and daughter) loved it just as much, if not more, then the boxed stuff!

Tips

#1 I added 2 cups cheese because after one cup I tasted it and wanted a cheesier flavor but then again I love cheese lol.

#2 You can substitute ground turkey, chicken, or pork in place of the beef depending on your preferences.

Enjoy!

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!

Single Serve Chocolate Chip Cookie

99.999% of people love fresh, hot chocolate chip cookies….right? They are so yummy and gooey but, admit it, it can be a lot of work and clean up to get those luscious cookies. Well the pin I found is perfect for those moments when you would kill for a fresh cookie but don’t have the time for a full batch of cookies!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp white

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 egg yolk

3 drops vanilla

1/4 flour

1-2 tbsp chocolate chips

pinch of salt (optional)

 

Melt the butter and add the sugars, salt, and drops of vanilla.

Butter, Sugar, and Vanilla

Butter, Sugar, and Vanilla

Then add the egg yolk and blend well

Sugars, Vanilla. Butter, Sugar, Salt, and Egg Yolk

After Egg Yolk

Mix in the flour and add the chocolate chips

Finished batter

Finished batter

Microwave 40-60 seconds until done and enjoy!

Hot, Fresh Cookie

Hot, Fresh Cookie

Tips

#1: Start with 40 second then if not done put in for 20 seconds more. I put it in for 60 seconds right away and while it was very good it was a tad overdone and crumbly because it was cooked a tad to long.

#2: I used farm fresh eggs that I get from a co worker and they have dark gold yolks which make baked good look almost neon. So your batter will not be as yellow as mine so do not be worried!

#3 This is very rich so you can split into 2 pieces and top with vanilla ice cream to make a delicious treat!

This was the fastest cookie I have ever made and it was so delicious! It made a lot and my daughter and I were able to share it since it was so rich. It hit the spot nicely and I will be making this again!

 

Happy Pinning!

Pie Crust

Most people think making a homemade pie crust it so difficult or time consuming so they would rather buy  pre-made ones. I about fell over when I saw how much refrigerated pre-made pie crust cost! It was about $5 for 2 crusts! Buying those graham cracker and/or Oreo ones cost about $4 for 1! Pie crust is not that hard to make nor does it take a long time and it costs less the $1 if you use items you have at home.

Ingredients for Single Crust: 

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick Crisco baking stick shortening OR 1/2 cup Crisco shortening…make sure it is cold. Chill it in the fridge for a bit before using it!

3-6 tablespoons cold water

Blend flour and salt together and set aside. If using Crisco baking sticks cut them into small cubes before using. Cut the shortening into the flour using a pastry blender, If you don’t have a pastry blender (I don’t) use a butter knife, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs about pea size.

Cut shortening into flower

Cut shortening into flower

Crust ready for water. See the pea sized lumps of shortening?

Crust ready for water. See the pea sized lumps of shortening?

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water onto the flour and shortening mixture then use a fork to mix the water into the flour. Add another tablespoon of water until dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together. Shape dough into a ball then roll out onto a floured surface until it is the desired thinness. Then fold the dough in half then pick it up and distribute it into the pie pan, make sure not to stretch the dough when unfolding it. Let it rest loosely in the pan.

Formed and ready to roll

Formed and ready to roll

Seeing if the crust is big enough for the pie pan.

Seeing if the crust is big enough for the pie pan.

Ready to fill!

Ready to fill!

Once the crust is in the pan take a fork and gently press against the dough hanging over the edge of the pan to remove the excess. Then you are ready to fill and bake it!

Tips:

#1 For ease in rolling, wrap dough in plastic wrap the chill for 30 minutes but no more then 2 days.

#2 Instead of rolling it out on a floured surface you can place the dough between two sheets of wax paper then roll the pin on top of the wax paper.

 

This the recipe I use every year to make delicious homemade pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Happy Pinning!

Oreo Cookie Balls

So now that life has settled down following the holidays and my boyfriend’s surgery I can finally relax and post about all the yummy treats I made! One things I made is Oreo Cookie Balls…they are easy to make and very yummy!

Ingriedients:

1 package Oreos

1package Cream Cheese

Ingredients

Ingredients

All you do is put the whole package of Oreo cookies into a food processor and crush until there are fine crumbs.

Processed oreo cookies

Processed oreo cookies

Then you add the room temperature cream cheese to the processed Oreo cookies and form into a soft dough.

Oreo crumbs mixed with cream cheese.

Oreo crumbs mixed with cream cheese.

Then you form the mixture into round balls about bite size and place on a cookie sheet. Then place into a freezer until they are solid and ready to dip.

Formed into balls and ready to cool.

Formed into balls and ready to cool.

Once the balls are frozen melt chocolate in a bowl, I used white chocolate chips, until smooth. You can use any kind of chocolate or almond bark for this step.

Melted white chocolate

Melted white chocolate

Once the chocolate is melted enough to be creamy and smooth you dip the balls into it until fully covered. Then you place them on wax or parchment paper to dry.

 

Rolled in white chocolate and ready to cool again.

Rolled in white chocolate and ready to cool again.

Tips From Me:

#1 When I first made this with my mom they didn’t coat very well the first time so once they hardened I dipped them a second tim to cover any  holes.

#2 These can be made with any flavor of Oreo cookies! These are really rich on their own and the added flavor will add to the richness. My sister once made some with mint Oreo cookies and they were divine but very rich and I couldn’t manage to eat more then half at a time!

#3 If the almond bark is clumpy and doesn’t coat well add a bit of shortening to it and reheat. This should help thin it out a bit to make it easier to coat with.

I love making these because they are so simple if you ever need a quick dish for a party, potluck, or unexpected guests this is a go to recipe!

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!