90s Nostalgia Party

My birthday party. Budget $100

 

Salad: Mixed greens, Mandarin orange slices, Grapefruit, Pistachios, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Pecans, Creamy Peach/Mango Dressing

BBQ Lima Beans:

Preheat oven to 350°. Open, rinse, and drain 4 cans of lima beans. Combine beans in a bowl with 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, 1 cup of ketchup, and 1 chopped onion. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Dice 3 uncooked bacon dish and sprinkle on top of beans. Bake, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.

Cherry Turnovers:

Preheat oven to 375°. Unroll 3 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls and separate (or cut) into 24 triangles. Make 12 squares by pressing the seams of 2 triangles together and rolling into shape. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Spoon 1/4 cup of cherry pie filling in one corner of each square. Fold to make triangles. Pinch to seal. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Mix 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar with 3-6 Tbsp of milk. Use 3 Tbsp if you want a thick icing to make designs or squiggly lines with. Use 6 Tbsp if you want to use as more of a glaze to brush over pastries. Serve warm.

Bison burgers with cheese and bacon

Cheese smokies

Grape KoolAid spiked with vodka

Tang spiked with tequila

Shasta punch spiked with rum

Cake

Chips

Potato smiley faces

Advertisements

Potato Sloppy Joe Bake (Dinner for Two Week 28)

Breakfast: Super Duper Healthy Breakfast Cookies, Potato Sloppy Joe Bake
Lunch: Bean Burritos, Herbed Cheese and Tomato Sandwich, banana, dark chocolate, and mangoes, nectarines, oranges
Dinner: Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash and asparagus, avocado, broccoflower, broccoli
Dessert: Peach Crisp
Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 Tbsp pf minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 1/2 tsp of dried rubbed sage in a small bowl. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Rub garlic mixture under loosened skin. Place chicken, breast side up, on rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack in broiler pan.
  3. Cut 12 oz of red potatoes into wedges. Cube and peel 8 oz of butternut squash – should end up with 1 1/2 cups.
  4. Combine potatoes, squash, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Arrange vegetable mixture around chicken. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin.
Herbed Cheese and Tomato Sandwich
Spread 1 Tbsp of spicy brown mustard on an English muffin. Add 1/4 cup of cottage cheese on one half. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of chopped chives and garlic powder to taste. On the other half, add 2 slices of tomatoes, 1/4 of a sliced avocado, and a leaf of butter lettuce.
Potato Sloppy Joe Bake
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cook 1 lb of ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Add a can of sloppy joe sauce and a can of cream of potato soup. Place a package of frozen cubed hashbrown potatoes in a greased baking dish. Top with beef mixture.
  3. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover. Bake 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bean Burritos
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook enough long grain rice to equal 1 cup. Combine a can of refried beans, 1 cup of salsa, rice, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl. Spoon about 1/3 cup off-center of each of the 12 flour tortillas. Fold the sides and ends over filling and roll up.
Arrange burritos in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Peach Crisp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel and roughly chop peaches directly into baking dish. You can use a vegetable peeler and a paring knife, but you can also blanch stone fruits to get the skin off.
In a food processor, blend 1/2 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and 6 Tbsp of chilled cubed butter or Earth Balance with several on-off pulses or only until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Add 1 cup of quick or rolled oats and pulse a few more times to break them up.
Spread topping over fruit. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Depending on the juiciness of the fruit and how full you filled your dish, you may want to put some foil below the pan in the oven to catch any overflow.

Super Duper Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl mix 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/4 cup of almond meal, 2 Tbsp of chia seeds, 1 cup of coconut flakes, 1/2 cup of chopped mixed nuts, 1 cup of mixed dried fruit, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp of allspice.  In a separate bowl, mash 3 bananas with a fork until it’s all gooey.  Add 1/2 cup of applesauce and 1 tsp of vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, and mix until is well incorporated.  If the mixture seems too dry, just add more applesauce.  Place heaping tablespoon-fulls onto a cookie sheet, mold into rounds, and press down slightly.  Bake for 20 minutes.

 

SHOPPING LIST:

Butter or Earth Balance

Low-fat cottage cheese

12 flour tortillas (6-7″)

English muffins

Lemon

3 mangoes

2 bunches of bananas

8 peaches

6 nectarines

6 oranges

Tomato

Chives

Asparagus

4 avocados

Broccoflower

Broccoli

Butter lettuce

Butternut squash

12 oz red potatoes

1 lb ground beef

3.5 lb roasting chicken

Pkg of frozen cubed hashbrown potatoes (32 oz)

Can of sloppy joe sauce (15.5 oz)

Can of condensed cream of potato soup (11 oz)

Unsweetened applesauce

Spicy brown mustard

Dried rubbed sage

Dark chocolate

[Also needed: cheddar cheese, rolled oats, almond meal, chia seeds, coconut flakes, mixed nuts (pecans), mixed dried fruit (raisins/blueberries), salt, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla extract, flour, brown sugar, garlic, pepper, cooking spray, butter]

Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Cereal (Dinner for Two Week 15)

Breakfast: Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Cereal

Lunch: Cherry Coke Salad, Fruit Medley, Salad with French Salad Dressing, Papaya or Peach

Dinner: Mac and Cheese Tuna Casserole or Beef and Bean Skillet, Zucchini Pancakes, Egg Noodles, Green pepper or Leafy greens

Dessert: Bananas Foster Loaf Cake

French Salad Dressing

Combine 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 2 Tbsp of vinegar, 3/4 tsp of salt, 1 minced garlic clove, and a dash of pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Store in the refrigerator.

Mac and Cheese Tuna Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a package of macaroni and cheese according to package directions. Stir in a can of cream of celery soup, a drained and flaked can of tuna, and 1/2 cup of milk. Pour into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and minced fresh parsley. Bake, uncovered, for 2o minutes.

Bananas Foster Loaf Cake                               Gluten-free, Dairy-free!

3 – 4 large bananas
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter or shortening, in 1 piece
1   large egg plus 1 large egg white
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1   cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1   tsp baking powder
1   tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
½ cup canola oil or melted coconut oil (unflavored or virgin)

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°. Grease a loaf pan. Trim both ends off each of 3 bananas so the bananas will fit crosswise in the pan. Peel the ends and the long pieces and halve the long ones lengthwise. Transfer to a plate.
2. In a large, heavy skillet, bring ¼ cup sugar and 2 Tbsp of water to a boil, without stirring. Cook until the water evaporates and the mixture just starts turning amber. Remove from the heat and swirl in the butter with a fork. Add the banana pieces cut side down and cook over low heat for 1 minute. Transfer the banana pieces to the prepared loaf pan, arranging them crosswise, cut side down. Drizzle the remaining caramel on top.
3. Transfer 1 cup of the banana ends (add more banana if necessary to equal 1 cup) to a medium bowl. Mash with the remaining ½ cup sugar. Beat in the egg, egg white and vanilla.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the banana mixture and oil and whisk until blended. Scrape the batter over the bananas in the pan and bake 50-55 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then invert onto a serving platter and let cool completely.

Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Cereal

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free corn flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp Stevia
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spray the pan first with some cooking spray so the paper sticks to it. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Mix peanut butter with warm butter or coconut oil until there are no lumps. Stir in water. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  • Spread the batter as thin as possible on the cookie sheet with a spatula. About 1/8″ is good. Try to keep the same thickness throughout the batter. Bake for about 22-25 minutes. Leave oven on and remove baking pan. Carefully place on a cutting board (be sure parchment is removed too, it can go back in the pan for the next step.) Cut strips of dough with a pizza cutter or serrated knife, then cut into squares. 1/2 inch is a good size that fits well on a spoon.
  • Arrange cereal squares back on sheet pan in a single layer. Put back in the oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes per side, flipping once. Be sure to watch they do not burn. Your cookie cereal will crisp up more as it cools. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Egg Noodles

Beat 1 egg, plus 3 yolks until light and fluffy in a mixing bowl. Add 3 Tbsp of cold water and 1 tsp of salt. Mix well. Stir in 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth. Divide into thirds.

Roll out each portion to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut noodles to desired width. Cook immediately in boiling salted water or chicken broth for 7-9 minutes. Drain. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.

Zucchini Pancakes

Shred 2 zucchinis and lightly beat 1 egg. Combine zucchini, egg, 2 Tbsp of biscuit/baking mix, and 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls and flatten. Fry until golden brown. Turn and cook the other side.

Fruit Medley

Combine a can of peach or apricot pie filling, 2 drained cans of fruit cocktail, a drained can of pineapple chunks, and a drained can of mandarin oranges in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Stir in a few slices of banana to each serving just before eating.

Cherry Coke Salad

Drain a can of crushed pineapple, but reserve juice. Set fruit aside. Bring pineapple juice and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a pot. Add 2 packages of cherry gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Stir in a can of cherry pie filling and 3/4 cup of cola. Pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in reserved pineapple. Refrigerate until firm.

Bean and Beef Skillet                              I usually double the batch and use half as a dip for tortilla chips as a late night snack

Cook 1 lb of ground beef and a chopped onion over medium heat in a large skillet. Drain. Stir in a can of baked beans and 1/4 cup of ketchup. Heat through. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and cook on low until cheese is melted.

SHOPPING LIST:

Cheddar cheese (12 oz)

Parmesan cheese

Eggs

2 onions

2 zucchinis

3 green peppers

Leafy greens

Parsley

Bananas

Papaya

6 peaches

2 lb ground beef

Can of tuna (6 oz)

2 cans of baked beans (28 oz)

Can of condensed cream of celery soup (11 oz)

1 can of crushed pineapple, 1 can of pineapple chunks

2 cans of pie fillings – one cherry and one peach or apricot (21 oz each)

2 cans of fruit cocktail

Can of mandarin oranges

2 pkgs of cherry gelatin

Tortilla chips

Can of cola

Biscuit/baking mix

Gluten-free oat flour

Cocoa powder

Fine sea salt

Natural peanut butter

Gluten-free all-purpose flour

Pkg of macaroni and cheese

[Also needed: ketchup, vegetable oil, salt, all-purpose flour, butter, vanilla extract, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, canola oil, coconut oil, milk, vinegar, garlic, pepper]

Corn State Broccoli Bake (Dinner for Two Week 14)

Lunch: Salad with honey poppy seed dressing, Watermelon cups, Nectarine or Orange

Dinner: Crispy chicken strips or Cheesy beef macaroni, Corn state broccoli bake or Citrus carrots, Cabbage

Corn State Broccoli Bake

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Crush a package of Chicken in a Bisket crackers. Combine with 1/2 cup of melted butter. Reserve 1/2 cup for topping. Combine a thawed package of chopped broccoli, a drained can of whole kernel corn, a can of cream-style corn, and remaining crumbs in a bowl.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.

Citrus Carrots

Combine 3 Tbsp of orange juice, 1 tsp of melted butter, and 1/2 tsp of cumin. Set aside. Cut carrots into 3 inch chunks, then into matchstick strips. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots. Cook for about 2 minutes. Drain. Place in a serving bowl. Drizzle with orange juice mixture.

They taste great served straight out of the serving bowl, but for extra presentation/style points, cut a bundle of green onions lengthwise into ribbon-like strips and tie up a serving-sized bundle of carrots. It should kind of look like a bundle of firewood. So cute!

Honey Poppy Seed Dressing

Combine 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, 1/4 cup of honey, 2 Tbsp of cider vinegar, 2 tsp of poppy seeds, and 1/2 tsp of salt in a small bowl or jar with tight-fitting lid. Mix or shake well. Store in the fridge.

Serve over a plain lettuce salad or fresh fruit.

Salad suggestion: Lettuce, endive, cucumber, green beans, green onions, grapefruit, and mango. Squeeze a lemon and grate a little zest over the whole thing. Also add any leftover dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and cheese you have kickin’ around.

Watermelon Cups

Dissolve a package of watermelon gelatin in 1 cup of boiling water in a bowl. Stir in 1 cup of cold water. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, slice 4 limes in half lengthwise. With small scissors or a sharp knife, cut the membrane at each end to loosen pulp from shell. Using fingertips, pull membrane and pulp away from shell. Discard pulp or save for another use.

Fold 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips into the gelatin. Spoon into lime shells. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Crispy Chicken Strips

Flatten 3/4 lb of chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 1 inch strips. Combine 1/2 cup of mashed potato flakes and 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken in egg substitute equivalent to one egg, then in potato mixture. Cook chicken in 2 Tbsp of olive oil for 4-5 minutes in a skillet.

Cheesy Beef Macaroni

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 1 lb of ground beef over medium heat in a large skillet. Drain. Add a drained can of whole kernel corn and a can of cream of chicken soup. Shred 8 oz of Velveeta and set aside 1/2 cup for topping. Stir remaining cheese into meat mixture until melted. Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions. Gently stir in 2 1/2 cups of macaroni until coated.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Top with reserved cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes.

SHOPPING LIST:

Egg substitute

8 oz process cheese (like Velveeta)

Orange juice

4 limes

Lemon

Grapefruit

Mango

6 nectarines

6 oranges

Lettuce

Cucumber

Endive

Cabbage

Green beans

2 bundles of green onions

1 lb carrots

1 lb ground beef

3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

Frozen chopped broccoli

Can of whole kernel corn (15 oz)

Can of cream-style corn (15 oz)

Cider vinegar

Elbow macaroni

Chicken in a Bisket crackers

Mashed potato flakes

Pkg of watermelon gelatin

Mini chocolate chips

Poppy seeds

Ground cumin

Gluten-Free Corn Flour

[Also needed: seasoned bread crumbs, olive oil, vegetable oil, honey, salt, butter]

Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice Fruit Dip (Dinner for Two Week 13)

Breakfast: Coconut granola and strawberries

Lunch: Pasta bean or French bean salad, Fruit dip with apples, pears, strawberries, pineapple slices, apricots, and watermelon

Dinner: Ravioli casserole or Oven-roasted potatoes, Chayote squash or Chinese cabbage

Dessert: Cake

 

Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake

  1. Place 10 egg whites in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of white rice flour, 1/4 cup of tapioca flour, and 1/4 cup of potato starch together twice. Set aside.
  2. Add 1 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar, 3/4 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp of vanilla to egg whites. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Gently spoon into an ungreased tube pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest oven rack for 45-50 minutes. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate. Top with fresh fruit. I recommend balls of cantaloupe, cape gooseberries, and kiwi as it makes the cake look more interesting that your typical berry mix. 

 

Coconut Granola

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine 3 cups of whole-rolled oats, 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of raw sliced almonds, 1/2 cup of unsalted sunflower seeds, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of coconut oil, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of honey.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry , and mix well so the oat mixture is fully coated.
  5. Spread mixture in an even, single layer on the prepared baking sheet. (Work in batches or on multiple sheets if necessary!)
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. After removing the granola from the oven, stir in 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

 

Pasta Bean Salad

Cook a package of tricolor spiral pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place a package of frozen California-blend vegetables in a glass dish. Cover and microwave for 7-8 minutes. Drain. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.

Drain a can of sliced ripe olives and drain and rinse a can of your favorite beans. Combine pasta, vegetables, olives, and beans in a bowl. Combine 1 1/3 cups of Italian salad dressing and 1/2 tsp of garlic salt. Pour over salt and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

 

Ravioli Casserole                              I usually double the recipe using a second kind of ravioli for variety throughout the week

Preheat oven to to 350 degrees. Cook and drain a package of cheese ravioli. Spread 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce in an ungreased baking dish. Layer with half of the ravioli, 1 1/4 cups of spaghetti sauce, 1 cup of cottage cheese, and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

[8-10 cups of cooked ravioli may be used instead]

 

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice 2 lbs of red potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Combine potatoes, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, and an envelope of dry onion soup mix in a large Ziplock bag. Shake until well coated. Empty bag into an ungreased baking pan.

Cover and bake for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer.

 

Cinnamon ‘n’ Spice Fruit Dip

Combine 2 cups of whipped topping, 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg in a small bowl. Store in the fridge. Serve with fresh fruit – apples, pears, pineapple slices, and strawberries are best.

 

French Bean Salad

Cook and crumble 3 bacon strips. Combine 2 cups of thawed French-style green beans, 2 Tbsp of chopped onion, and bacon in a serving bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of ranch salad dressing. Refrigerate until serving.

 

SHOPPING LIST:

Cottage cheese (16 oz)

Mozzarella cheese (16 oz)

Parmesan cheese

2 apples

2 pears

6 apricots

5 cape gooseberries

Kiwi

Pineapple

Watermelon

Cantaloupe

Chinese cabbage

3 chayote squash

2 pkgs of strawberries

2 lbs red potatoes

Onion

Bacon

Whipped topping

Frozen French-style green beans

Pkg of frozen cheese ravioli and pkg your favorite frozen ravioli other than cheese (28 oz ea)

Pkg of frozen California-blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)

Can of sliced ripe olives (2 oz)

Can of your favorite kind of beans

Can of whole kernel corn (15 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup (11 oz)

Ranch salad dressing

Spaghetti sauce (28 oz)

Coconut oil

Dry onion soup mix

Pkg of tricolor spiral pasta

[Also needed: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vegetable oil, Italian salad dressing, garlic salt, salt, maple syrup, honey, coconut flakes, vanilla extract]

No-Fuss Crust Pizza (Dinner for Two Week 10)

Breakfast: Mocha, Doughnut and Raspberries

Lunch: Chicken salad or sandwich or croissant, Pomegranate, Apple snack

Dinner: Pizza, Avocado or Broccoflower, Pineapple cooler

Dessert: Cake

Apple Snack                               Low Cal!

Peel, core, and slice 4 Golden Delicious apples into rounds. Arrange apples in two rows in an ungreased glass baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup of apple juice over apples. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and 1 Tbsp of grated lemon peel. Cover and microwave for 7 minutes, turning after 3 1/2 minutes.

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Cake                                Gluten-Free!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (19 oz)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp of confectioners sugar for dusting

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Cook in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds after the first minute.
  3. Drain the can of garbanzo beans. Combine beans and eggs in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the sugar and the baking powder, and pulse to blend. Pour in the melted chocolate and blend until smooth, scraping down the corner to make sure chocolate is completely mixed. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

 

Apple Cider Doughnuts                              Vegan variation in brackets

INGREDIENTS
  • butter, oil, or non-stick spray
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour (spelt flour works too)
  • ¼ cup and 2 Tbsp sugar (raw sugar works great too)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • 1 egg (flaxseed egg can be substituted for vegans)
  • 2 Tbsp milk (or sub vegan milk substitute)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp white vinegar (can be omitted for a denser, more cake-like doughnut. I prefer the fluffier version though)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub a doughnut pan with butter (or brush with oil or use non-stick spray).
  2. Add flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Whisk together apple cider and egg in another bowl. Add milk, canola oil, vanilla extract, and white vinegar and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined (don’t overmix!).
  5. Evenly distribute in doughnut pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Whisk together 2 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. When doughnuts are safe to touch, but while they’re still warm, dip each side into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, pressing and twisting to get good coverage. Serve and enjoy!

 

Chicken Salad                               Two variations in one recipe

Cook and shred 8 chicken breasts. Hard boil 2 eggs. Peel and mash the eggs with a fork in a bowl. Add the shredded chicken, 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise, and 2 Tbsp of sweet pickle relish.  Salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Salad: Place 1 cup of chicken salad on top of a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of chopped pecans.

Sandwich: Place 1 cup of chicken salad on a slice of bread and top with another slice. Salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of chopped pecans.

Croissants: Spice things up by making a sandwich out of a croissant and 1 cup of chicken salad.

No-Fuss Crust Pizza                            

Recipe yields one pizza, but shopping list included enough ingredients for two. Feel free to experiment with toppings!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook 1 lb of ground beef over medium heat in a skillet. Drain. Stir in 1 can of pizza sauce. Dismantle 2 tubes of buttermilk biscuits. Quarter the biscuits. Place in a greased baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. Chop and diced a tomato and a green pepper, slice 3 mushrooms, and drain a can of black olives. Sprinkle vegetables on top of pan along with 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Pineapple Cooler

Combine 1 cup of unsweetened pineapple juice, 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, and 1 can of lemon-lime soda in a pitcher. Stir well. Serve over ice.

Morning Mocha

Brew 1 cup of coffee. Combine the coffee, 2 Tbsp of half-and-half cream, 1 Tbsp of chocolate syrup, and 1 tsp of sugar in a pot. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is heated through. Ladle into a large mug. Stir with a cinnamon stick. Give it a quick taste and add 1/8 – 1/4 tsp more sugar if you like it sweeter. Top with whipped cream.

SHOPPING LIST:

Mozzarella cheese (12 oz)

Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

Whipped cream in a can

Eggs

4 tubes of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (12 oz each)

Bread

Croissants

Lettuce or mixed greens

Green pepper

3 mushrooms

Tomato

3 avocados

Broccoflower

14 pomegranates

4 Golden Delicious apples

Raspberries

Lemon

3 lbs ground beef

12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Pineapple juice

2 cans of pizza sauce (15 oz each)

Can of black olives

Can of garbanzo beans (19 oz)

Cinnamon sticks

Chocolate syrup

12 oz can of lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7Up)

Apple cider

Apple juice

Lemon juice

Icing sugar

[Also needed: sugar, coffee, half-and-half cream, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon]

Chuck Wagon Dinners (Dinner for Two Week 4)

Breakfast: Smoothie

Lunch: Burger or Chili Baked Potato, Cheese Wedges, bananas or strawberries

Dinner: Chicken Cordon Bleu or Cube Steak; rice or baked potato; mixed vegetables

Chuck Wagon Burgers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 2 lbs of ground beef, an envelope of onion soup mix, and 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Mix well. Shape into 8 3/4 inch patties. Grill, uncovered, or broil 4 inches from the heat for 5-6 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, take apart a tube of large refrigerated biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with an 1/8 tsp of seasoning salt. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Split. Top each biscuit with a hamburger.

5-Can Chili Topping

Combine a can of chili with beans, a drained can of mixed vegetables, a drained can of whole kernel corn, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of green chilies in a pot. Heat through.

Baked Potatoes (4 Methods – Pick the one that works best for your schedule!)

Rub potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and prick them with the tines of a fork.

  1. The original method for (crispy skins): Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay potatoes directly on the rack or place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  2. The traditional method (soft skins): Preheat oven to 435 degrees. Wrap potatoes in tin foil. Lay potatoes directly on the rack or place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  3. The quickest method (soft skins): Place potatoes in a glass dish and microwave for 5 minutes. Turn over and microwave another 3-5 minutes.
  4. The working-girl method (soft skins): Wrap potatoes in tin foil and place in slow cooker. Cook on low for low for 8-10 hours.

Top with chili, sour cream, chives or green onions, cooked and crumbled bacon, and cheddar cheese.

Broiled Chicken Cordon Bleu

Place 4 chicken breasts on the rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 3 minutes. Turn and broil 3 minutes on the other side. Brush with 1/4 cup of melted butter. Continue turning and basting about 4 minutes.

Place a slice of deli meat on each chicken breast. Broil for 1-2 minutes. Spread 1 Tbsp of honey mustard dressing over each. Top with a slice of deli cheese. Broil for 30 seconds.

Note: You can do them all the same if you want, as in all with ham and Swiss, for example. I like to make them all different so it feels like a different meal when we reheat leftovers the next day. Plus, I prefer stronger flavored cheeses, like sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, while my boyfriend prefers milder ones, like mozzarella and Swiss. With a variety to choose from, it kind of feels like we went out for dinner at a restaurant!

Seasoned Cube Steaks

Combine 1 cup of soy sauce, 1 tsp of dried minced garlic, and 1 tsp of dried minced onion in a large Ziplock bag. Add 4 cube steaks. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes, turning once.

Drain and discard marinade. Place steaks on a greased broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from the heat for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with mixed vegetables and rice or baked potatoes.

Cheese Wedges

Cut a package of extra sharp cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch slices. Cut each slice in half diagonally. Combine 1/3 cup of seasoned dry bread crumbs and 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes in a shallow bowl. [Note: You can omit crushed red pepper flakes if you don’t like spice.] Beat an egg in another bowl. Dip cheese triangles into egg, then in crumb mixture.

Place on a greased baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes. Serve cheese wedges warm with pizza sauce for sipping.

Strawberry Banana Shakes

Place 2 Tbsp of milk, 1/2 cup of strawberry ice cream,  and 1/2 firm banana (sliced) in a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into glasses. Garnish with whipped cream and a strawberry, if desired.

SHOPPING LIST:

Extra sharp cheddar cheese (9 oz)

4 thin slices of deli cheese (I got one Swiss, one mozzarella, one Monterey Jack, and one cheddar)

Whipped cream

Sour cream

Eggs

Tube of large refrigerated biscuits

Bananas

Strawberries

Chives or green onions

Potatoes (about 20)

4 cube steaks (1 1/4 lbs)

2 lb ground beef

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

4 thin slices of deli cold cuts (I got 2 ham and 2 turkey)

Bacon

Strawberry ice cream

Can of pizza sauce

Can of chili with beans

2 cans of mixed vegetables

Can of whole kernel corn

Can of diced tomatoes

Can of green chilies

Soy sauce

Honey mustard salad dressing

Rice

Envelope of onion soup mix

Crushed red pepper flakes

Dried minced garlic

Dried minced onion

Seasoning salt

[Also needed: Seasoned bread crumbs, Milk, Butter]

Salsa Sausage Quiche (Dinner for Two Week 3)

Breakfast: Quiche

Lunch: Roast beef sandwich, Chili burger, or Chili dog, Pretzel nuggets, Fig or Prune

Dinner: Chicken or Beef, Rice or Sweet potato, Bell pepper

Two Meals One Pot Take Three

Combine 2 cans of chili with beans, 2 cans of drained mixed vegetables, 2 drained cans of whole kernel corn, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, and 2 cans of green chilies in a pot. Add a dash of chili powder and a dash of garlic powder. Heat through.

  1. Cook hamburger patty. Toast a hamburger bun if desired. Spoon chili mixture onto hamburger patty. Top with leftover vegetables, cheese, and/or condiments if you have any or just eat as a chili burger.
  2. Cook a hot dog. Zap hot dog bun in microwave for 15-30 seconds. Spoon chili mixture onto hot dogs. Add leftover sauerkraut, onions, cheese, and/or condiments, if desired or just eat as a chili dog.

Sweet and Savory Brisket

  1. Cut a 3 to 3.5 lb beef brisket in half and place half in a slow cooker. Combine 1 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of grape jelly, an envelope of onion soup mix, and 1/2 tsp of pepper in a bowl. Spread half over meat in slow cooker. Top with the second half of the brisket and then the rest of the ketchup mixture.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Slice brisket and serve with cooking juices. The leftovers are great zapped in the microwave as well as made into a roast beef sandwich with a little mayo.

Artichoke Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and chop a can of water-packed artichoke hearts. Combine artichokes, 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, and a dash of garlic powder in a bowl. Place 4 chicken breasts in a greased baking dish. Spread with artichoke mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes.

Salsa Sausage Quiche

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook 3/4 lb bulk pork sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Transfer to an unbaked pastry shell. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Lightly beat 3 eggs in a small bowl. Stir in 1 cup of salsa. Pour over cheese.
  2. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle with another cup of cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer. Serve with extra salsa and sour cream.

Sweet Pretzel Nuggets

  1. Place a package of sourdough pretzel nuggets in a glass bowl. Combine 2/3 cup of vegetable oil, 1/3 of sugar, and 2 tsp of cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour over pretzels and toss to coat. Microwave, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave 3-4 minutes longer, stirring after each minute. Cool to room temperature.

Note: It is sometimes hard to find sourdough pretzel nuggets. Regular pretzels can be used instead. One time I cut up sourdough bread into bite-sized pieces and toasted it before tossing with the oil, sugar, and cinnamon. 

SHOPPING LIST:

Sour cream (smallest one)

Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

Parmesan cheese

Eggs

Hamburger buns

Hot dog buns

6 bell peppers

6 sweet potatoes or yams

6 prunes (dried go well in salads, but eating fresh is great too)

6 figs (dried go well in salad, but fresh are great too)

Beef brisket (3-3.5 lb)

3/4 lb bulk pork sausage

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Hot dogs

Unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

Hamburger patties

Can of water-packed artichokes hearts

2 cans of chili with beans

2 cans of mixed vegetables

2 cans of whole kernel corn

2 cans of diced tomatoes

2 cans of green chilies

Cinnamon

Garlic powder

Mayonnaise

Ketchup

Grape jelly

Salsa (2 cups worth)

Pkg of sourdough pretzel nugget (15-18 oz)

Vegetable oil

[Also needed: Sugar, Onion soup mix, Pepper]

Tangy Pork Tenderloin (Dinner for Two Week 2)

Breakfast: Smoothie and/or Omelette

Lunch: Burrito, Reuben spread and cocktail rye bread and a Plum or Pommegranate

Dinner: Pork Tenderloin and Potatoes or Tuna Casserole and Beets

Two Meals One Pot [Take Two]

Combine 2 cans of chili with beans, 2 cans of drained mixed vegetables, 2 drained cans of whole kernel corn, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of green chilies in a pot, and 2 dashes of chili powder. Heat through.

a) Zap a tortilla in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Scoop chili mixture onto tortillas and wrap up burrito-style! Add any leftover vegetables, beans, cheese, or toppings you have lying around, if you want to. It’s good with just the chili mixture too though!

b) Beat 2 eggs with a splash of milk. Spoon a couple scoops of chili mixture into a coated pan or a non-stick egg pan. After 30 seconds, pour the egg mixture on top. Do not touch it for one minute. Flip it over. If you have any leftover cheese, add it at this stage. Let cook for another mixture. Use your flipper to fold it in half and slide onto the plate.

Swiss Tuna Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 4 cups of cooked egg noodles, 1 1/2 cups of shredded Swiss cheese, 1 cup of mayonnaise, and a can of drained and flaked tuna in a large bowl. Spread 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs into a greased baking dish. Spread noodle mixture over crumbs. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup more of seasoned bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Tangy Pork Tenderloin

  1. Place 2 1lb pork tenderloins in a large Ziplock bag or shallow glass container. Combine 2/3 cup of honey, 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a bowl. Set aside 2/3 cup. Pour remaining marinade over pork. Turn to coat. Seal or cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Drain and discard marinade. Grill pork, covered, over indirect medium heat for 8-9 minutes on each side. Warm the reserved sauce in a pot and serve with pork.

Reuben Spread

  1. Chop 1 lb fully cooked ham. Shred 4 cups of Swiss cheese. Drain an 8 oz can of sauerkraut. Combine ham, cheese, sauerkraut, and 1/2 cup of Thousand Island salad dressing in a glass bowl. Cover and microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring once. Serve on cocktail rye bread.

Cherry Berry Smoothies

  1. Combine 1/3 cup of cherry juice, 2.5 oz of vanilla yogurt, 1/3 cup of frozen unsweetened raspberries, 6 seedless red grapes, and 1 tsp of sugar in a blender. Cover and process until well blended. Pour into a glass. Drink immediately.

SHOPPING LIST:

Vanilla yogurt

1.5 lb Swiss cheese

Eggs

Cherry juice

Cocktail rye bread

Seasoned bread crumbs

Tortillas

Seedless red grapes

6 plums

4 pommegranates

6 potatoes

6 beets

2 1lb pork tenderloins

1 lb deli ham

Frozen unsweetened raspberries

8 oz can of sauerkraut

2 cans of chili with beans

2 cans of mixed vegetables

2 cans of whole kernel corn

2 cans of diced tomatoes

2 cans of green chilies

6 oz can of tuna

Egg noodles

Vanilla whey protein powder

Oats

Chili powder

Thousand Island dressing

Dijon mustard

Mayonnaise

Baking powder

[Also needed: honey, salt, sugar]