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

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]

Vegetables Galore! (Dinner for Two Week 5)

Lunch: Potato Salad or Green Salad with Buttermilk Dressing; Pear; Trail Mix

Dinner: Meat Loaf, Ham, or Chicken Strips with Hot Mustard Dip; Roasted Squash; Potatoes

Buttermilk Salad Dressing

Combine 3/4 cup of 1% buttermilk, 2 cups of cottage cheese, and an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix in a blender or food processor. Cover and process for 20 seconds. Pour into a small pitcher or bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Stir before serving with salad/veggies.

Salad Suggestion: Mixed greens (or your favorite kind of lettuce), cubed squash, tomato, grapes, raisins, apple, celery, green onions and leftover dried fruit, nuts, cheese

Pimiento Potato Salad

Cook 2 lbs of small red potatoes (about 12). Thinly slice 4 green onions and 3 celery ribs. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. In an ungreased dish, layer half of the potatoes, onions, celery, and a drained jar of pimientos. Repeat layers. Pour an 8 oz bottle of Italian salad dressing over all. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir before serving.

Easy Meat Loaf

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly beat 1 egg. Crush 33 butter-flavored crackers. Combine the egg, a can of French onion soup, and the cracker crumbs. Crumble 1 lb of lean ground beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into a loaf. Place in a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Pour a can of golden mushroom soup over loaf. Bake 1 hour longer. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Honey-Dijon Ham

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a 3 lb boneless fully cooked ham on a greased rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes. Combine 1/3 cup of honey, 2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard, and 2 Tbsp of brown sugar. Brush about 3 Tbsp over ham.

Bake 10-15 minutes longer. Stir 1 Tbsp of water into remaining glaze. Heat through and serve with the ham.

Trail Mix

Combine 2 lbs of roasted peanuts, 2 lbs of cashews, 1 lb of M&Ms, 1 lb of raisins, and 1/2 lb of flaked coconut in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Hot Mustard Dip

Combine 1/4 cup of ground mustard and 1/4 cup of vinegar in a small pot. Let stand for 30 minutes. Whisk in 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 egg yolk until smooth.

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture just begins to simmer and is thickened, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in 2 Tbsp of honey. Store in the fridge. Serve with pretzels, chicken strips, or anything else you like to eat with hot-and-spicy sauce.

SHOPPING LIST:

1% buttermilk

Cottage cheese

Eggs

Potatoes (12 small red and 6 medium-large yellow)

Green onions

Celery

Lettuce or mixed greens

2 yellow squashes (one spaghetti for roasting, one of something else for salad)

Tomato

2 small bunches of grapes (green and red)

Apple

10 pears

1 lb lean ground beef

3 lb boneless fully cooked ham

Frozen chicken strips

Can of condensed French onion soup

Can of condensed golden mushroom soup

Jar of diced pimientos (2 oz)

Italian salad dressing

Butter-flavored crackers

Ranch salad dressing mix

Ground mustard

Pretzels

Dry roasted peanuts (at least 2 lbs)

Cashews (at least 2 lbs)

Raisins (at least 1.5 lbs)

M&Ms (at least 1 lb)

Flaked coconut (at least 1/2 lb)

Vinegar

Brown sugar

[Also needed: sugar, honey, Dijon mustard]

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]

Week 42

Shopping List:

1 lb chicken breasts

Sour cream and onion potato chips

Spicy brown mustard

Orange

2 lb ham steak

2 cans of great northern beans (15 oz each)

2 jars of picante sauce (16 oz each)

Chicken (You need 4 cups of cooked cubed chicken. Buy a whole cooked chicken and shred it. Buy it from the deli. Use leftovers. Cook a couple extra chicken breasts. Whatever method works best for the prices in your area)

Ground cumin

Monterey Jack cheese

Corn chips

Your favorite bread or buns

Pineapple

Radicchio

Treat yourself to an Egg McMuffin one time this week. Just for fun 🙂

[Also needed: ranch salad dressing, honey]

 

Breakfast: Muffin

Lunch: Chili, chicken bites, and pineapple slices

Dinner: Ham, potatoes, and radicchio

 

Chicken Chili

Combine 2 15 oz cans of rinsed and drained great northern beans, 2 16 oz jars of picante sauce, 4 cups of cubed cooked chicken, and 2 tsp of ground cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle individual servings with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Eat with crunchy corn chips and warm bread.

 

Tangy Ham Steak

Combine 1/3 cup of spicy mustard, 1/4 cup of honey, and 1/2 tsp of grated orange peel in a small bowl. Brush over one side of a 2 lb ham steak. Broil or grill, uncovered, over medium-hot heat for 7 minutes. Turn and brush with mustard mixture. Cook for about 7 minutes.

 

Ranch Chicken Bites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 1 lb of chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Place in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of ranch salad dressing and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of finely crushed sour cream and onion potato chips and toss well. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.

Week 3

Shopping List:

1 1/2 lb of sliced bacon

Pkg of mini smoked sausage links

1 1/2 lbs kielbasa or Polish sausage

Bread

Apple juice

Apple jelly

Maple syrup (I buy the huge growlers because I use it to sweeten a lot of things)

Pkg of quick-cooking long grain and wild rice mix

Can of cream of potato soup

8 oz of process cheese, like Velveeta

Honeydew melon

Asparagus

Cinnamon

Almond milk

Greek yogurt (I like coconut, honey, or vanilla best)

[You’ll need a bigger carton of milk this week as well. Get a 2L. Also banking that you still have whole oats, flax, and chia seeds leftover from last week and that you have brown sugar in your pantry]

 

Breakfast: Whole oats with flax, chia seeds, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a splash of almond milk, and a big dollop of Greek yogurt. You can eat this cold too, if you want to make it the night before and let it soak in the fridge overnight. Lots of people prefer it cold in the warmer months, but I always prefer my oatmeal hot.

Lunch: Soup, bacon wraps, slices of honeydew melon, and a glass of apple juice

Dinner: Sausage, toast, and asparagus

 

Cheesy Wild Rice Soup

Prepare rice according to package directions in a large pot. Stir in 4 cups of milk, a can of condensed cream of potato soup, 8 oz of cubed process cheese (Velveeta) and mix well. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. Be careful not to let rice stick to bottom where it will burn. Meanwhile cook 1/2 lb of bacon in a frying pan to be sprinkled on top for garnish. Can also add chopped parsley if you have any left from Week 1.

 

Smoky Bacon Wraps

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each bacon strip in half widthwise (1 lb worth of bacon). Wrap one piece of bacon around each mini smoked sausage link. Place on a foil-lined baking pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup of packed brown sugar.

Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes or until bacon is crisp and sausage is heated through.

 

Apple Kielbasa Coins

Slice the 1 1/2 lbs-worth of fully cooked kielbasa (or Polish) sausage into 1/4 inch pieces. Bring sausage and 1/4 cup of apple juice to a boil in a large pot. Cover and cook for 5 minutes and then uncover and cook for 5 more minutes. Drain. Add 1/4 cup of apple jelly and 2 Tbsp of maple syrup.  Cook and stir until jelly is melted and sausage is coated. Serve with a slice of toast.

Asparagus – I put about an inch of water in a saucepan and simmer it with the asparagus floating on top for a couple minutes. Then I drain the water, plop some butter in the pan, and fry them for a minute with salt and pepper. Delicious!

Week 13

Shopping List:

Saltine crackers (like the ones you put in soup)

Process American cheese slices (like Kraft singles)

Ketchup

Hot dogs

4 chicken breasts

Slivered almonds

Can of cream-style corn

Can of cream of potato soup

Can of minced clams

Bacon

3 endives

Cherries

Raisins

Maple sugar

Toaster pastry (Cuz, what the heck, treat yourself)

[Plus mustard and relish. Buy a half-liter of half-and-half cream this week. ]

 

Breakfast: Toaster pastry

Lunch: Soup, crackers, and cherries

Dinner: Chicken, rice, and endives

 

Hot Diggety Dogs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 20 saltine crackers on a lightly greased baking sheet. Top with 5 quartered slices of process American cheese and ketchup, mustard, and/or relish. Cut two hot dogs each into 10 slices. Place one slice on each cracker. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

Corny Clam Chowder

Combine a can of cream-style corn, a can of cream of potato soup, and 1 1/2 cups of half-and-half cream in a pot. Heat through. Stir in a can of drained minced clams. Heat through. Garnish with 6 strip of cooked and crumble bacon.

 

Almond Chicken

Cook 4 chicken breasts in 2 Tbsp of butter in a skillet, about 20 minutes. Transfer to serving plate and keep warm. Add 1/3 cup of slivered almonds and 3 Tbsp of butter to the skillet. Cook and stir just until almonds are lightly browned. Stir in 3 Tbsp of lemon juice. Heat through and then spoon over chicken.

 

Oatmeal Suggestions:

Try these combinations with your homemade instant oatmeal base…

– Dried fruit, nuts, and brown sugar (I like dried apples and almonds best)

– Raisins, cinnamon, and brown sugar

– Maple sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon