Posts Tagged ‘cooking with chicken’

To Can or Not to Can…at Food Stamps Cooking Club

September 10th, 2013
To soak or not to soak?  This age old question has been debated before.  Here we'll take another look to see what we ought to put into that bowl!

To soak or not to soak? This age old question has been debated before. Here we’ll take another look to see what we ought to put into that bowl!

It may not be soup weather as you read this.  IT IS 94* here today!  But soup weather will soon be upon us.  If you have beans on your shelf, you are going to be in the soup…but in a GOOD way!  Enjoy this one, kids!

Those of you who have food commodities sometimes get cans of beans…those of you who think of canned beans as ‘convenience foods’ watch for sales like hawks hunt for  prey!  Those of you who have practiced frugality like an art form may prefer canned beans but they may also like the challenge of soaking dry beans.

To be honest, soaking beans CAN be challenging.  Sure, all you do is throw them into a pot and let them sit and soak.  BUT you also have a house to keep, a job to be on time for-if you are fortunate to HAVE a job, maybe two!-and then there is the small matter of keeping your gang fed on whatever schedule everyone in the house has going! And we have not even mentioned getting everyone to school/work/wherever OR the laundry… It’s enough to drive a person out of their ever lovin’ mind!  I’m sure you can relate.

So I found a soup recipe that calls for 8 cans of beans.  There was a huge debate in Mother Connie’s head about whether to mention it, since the price of canned beans is obscene.  I’m quite sure you could make this with only one type of bean to make it easy on the bean soakers of the world; if you have the where-with-all to get 8 cans, that’s good.  If not, you might make only half a recipe IF that will feed your gang.  Use your own good judgement.  I offer it here for your perusal:

Eight Can Soup with a South of the Border Flair

I do not recall the source…emails abound in the Club House…

1 (15 oz.) can each: drained and rinsed, black beans, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, sweet corn. *Personally, Mother Connie would not RINSE corn…

1  15.25 oz can chicken, drained *The Kitchen Police will not write you up if you use leftover cooked chicken…

1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup

1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce

1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth  *Nobody will die if you use home made broth or even water with a bouillon cube or two.  We are all about saving $$ in the Club

1 packet taco seasoning 

**Mother Connie is DEATH on seasoning packets!  They are full to the top with rubbish the human body does not need to maintain good health!  Surely you have chili powder on hand!  You are most likely to have cumin.  You’ll save a bundle by NOT using packets and your budget with thank you for keeping a few spices on your shelf.  Seriously, kids.  You CAN be healthy on a tight budget.

Toss everything into your favorite soup pot.  Heat through gently but thoroughly, stirring every so once in awhile.

This soup is hearty, tasty, and would pair up quite well with a green salad and corn or tortilla chips.  Mother Connie does not normally recommend chips but there are times when chips are just the thing.  *I already ranted and raved about the seasoning packets; I’ll let up now.  ;)

If you are holding an EBT card from SNAP or WIC, if you are using food commodities or things from a food pantry, food bank, food drop, or any other form of public assistance, we are delighted to be of service to you.  Most everybody finds themselves living on a dime at times… We dearly hope our ideas and recipes help to keep your food costs at bay.  We hold no judgement and we are not about selling you stuff.  We are tickled pink whenever we see new names on our roster (which has been every day, thanks to all our Members’ spreading the good word!) and we love hearing from each of you.

It may not be soup weather as you read this.  *IT IS 94* here today!  But soup weather will soon be upon us.  If you have beans on your shelf, you are going to be in the soup…but in a GOOD way!  Enjoy this, kids!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

 

 

 

Lili Inspires Post at Food Stamps Cooking Club

November 13th, 2012

Pumpkins! Pumpkins! Pumpkins!
Wherever there are pumpkins, there is a wonderful SOUP!

You may have noted that your “Fearless Leader” has vacated the Club House…Yes, the Cooking Class took all I had.  I guess it must have been the cleaning that led up to the big event!  GRIN  Well, I had blog posts living in my head, but I was so wound up in living my bliss that blogging just did not happen.

It isn’t that I was lying in bed, eating bon bons and reading trashy novels.  No, no.  I have been working on my Spanish, learning how to knit-make that learning how NOT to knit-and I’ve written letters, listened to music and danced like a teen aged kid.  I have been using a mini-trampoline since we gave up the paper route and I have been cooking and doing laundry.  Nothing of note and yet it has all been deeply satisfying.  I feel productive, despite the lack of posting here.

There are a couple of things that brought Mother Connie back TODAY.  First, Lili sent a blog post of her own that made me sit up and notice, so I begged her for permission to share it.  The other thing is that one of my granddaughters posted something on Facebook that had to do with recipients of SNAP or WIC and how they are so harshly judged AND how wrong she thinks that is. 

Judgmental attitudes such as these are the reasons why this blog exists.  So here goes and oh, how I hope this helps you and yours:

 

LILI’S PUMPKIN SOUP   –   with our sincere gratitude

5 to 6 servings

1  tablespoon any cooking oil

1  large onion, sliced thin, rough chopped

1  clove garlic, minced

Flesh of one roasted 2# sugar pie pumpkin OR 2 cups canned pumpkin puree

6  cups water and/or stock *Chicken stock preferred, but ham stock’s nice and water’s fine.

Dash red pepper flakes

1  large russet potato, peeled & diced into 1/2″ pieces

1  cup shredded cooked chicken breast

1   cup diced ham

pinch nutmeg

salt to taste  *Depends on whether your stock is already salted.

1 shallot, finely minced

Heat a large stockpot of medium. Add oil and onion.  Saute onion til golden, add minced garlic and cook 1 minute

Add pumpkin, 4 cups of stock and/or water and the red pepper flakes.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

After cooking — if your pumpkin is not pureed *I roasted mine in he morning, scraped the flesh from the skin upon cooking the soup* then mash well with a potato masher.

Add diced potato and 2 remaining cups of stock or water.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.   Mash or blend the potatoes into the soup.

Add chicken, ham, nutmeg, and salt to taste.  Heat until the meats are warm.  Stir in minced shallots and serve.

Lilli adds some cooking tips:

I’ve made this with just chicken, just ham, no meat whatsoever and with both meats.  The consensus is that it is best tasting with both meats.  *MOTHER CONNIE HERE:  People who  use SNAP don’t always HAVE meat!   Lili continues:  I prefer using a fresh pumpkin over canned.  Home cooked pumpkin has a prettier color and lighter flavor than canned.  for liquid, I prefer half chicken stock and half water.  This soup is also delicious when made with squash in lieu of the pumpkin.  Butternut squash is my favorite.  One other bonus:  the leftovers freeze very well.  I freeze soup in single size portions, for my weekday lunches.

She continues:

If you like this recipe, my name is Lili and I’ve been happy to provide it for you.  Please leave a comment.  If you did NOT like this recipe, my name is …um, er…BOB.  And I think the comments are malfunctioning today. Yeah.  That’s it.  The comments are not working so don’t bother leaving one if you don’t like it!”

MOTHER CONNIE AGAIN:

Now you understand, dear Members, why I was moved and motivated to come to the computer and blog once again.  I’ll make every effort to be a better advocate for you from now on!   Thank you so much, Lili!  I hope they leave some love for you and leave “BOB” alone!  grin/giggle

If you Members choose to  leave some love on the comments section here, I will see so Lili gets your message.  Now let’s get some soup going!

 

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

PS/The membership is growing!  Each of you is dear to Mother Connie’s heart and it is her sincere hope that this blog, along with our little series of tips is helpful to you and yours!  Thanks to all of you!

Sharing Recipes at Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 10th, 2012

Sharing recipes and ideas for saving money is what this Club is all about!

Our mailbag has been BULGING!  Our members are sharing their lives, their favorite recipes and their ideas like never before!  It feels like a party!

Let me tell you a smidgeon about April.  April is so excited about learning and sharing that she sends her messages to us via her phone!  This is true dedication; I am so grateful to sit in April’s circle.  She wants us to have her go-to recipe for Fajitas.  She says they throw caution to the wind and splurge on these about once a month!

April’s Splurge for Fajitas

1  cup lime juice

2  teaspoons oregano

2  teaspoons cilantro

1 – 2  teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1  teaspoon cumin

1  teaspoon garlic powder

2  #  beef, cut into strips.  This could be a cheap roast, flat skirt steak, or whatever is on sale.  Can also use chicken.

3  to  4 bell peppers, cut into strips

tortillas

In a large bowl combine lime juice, oregano, cilantro, red pepper flakes, cumin, garlic.  Place beef into this marinade.  Cover and refrigerate from 2 to 24 hours. 

You can cook the meat and peppers in a pan over medium heat.  I love to grill these by placing foil over the grill grate and poking small holes in the foil.

~April

*Aprilalso sent along a muffin recipe that will be better suited for cooler fall weather.  I have set that one aside for later but it will be hard to wait to taste those!  Thank you so much, April!

April’s Fajitas remind me about the money saving ideas MikeMax sent in awhile back.  She talked in detail about how to watch for meat sales so we’ll have things like skirt steak or other cuts of meat on hand for easy, low cost meals.  The cost of food in general and meat in particular is really an issue all over the country right now. Carol is another member who is genius at finding grocery bargains and thinking ahead.  Lili also is gifted that way and they are all eager to share their wisdom.  It behooves us all to see all that they offer on their blogs and we would do well to look in on Pam, too!

Are YOU living on a dime?  Do you s t r e t c h your food dollars til they snap?  Are you a holder of an EBT card for SNAP or WIC?  Maybe you have goods from a food pantry or food commodities.  It could be that you are a frugal shopper or gardener or lucky recipient from a generous person with a green thumb.  In any case, this little blog is offered for YOUR benefit.  We dearly hope it helps.

The good folks at the Public Insight Network are hoping you’ll share your story of using any type of public assistance with them.  They are interested in people who use Social Security benefits or Social Security Supplemental money.  You could help them greatly by sharing.  Just click on this link:  Public Insight Network.   If you have questions about this, you are welcome to email Meg Cramer at cramer.meg@gmail.com

Everyone has a system of sorts for keeping recipes…it would be fun to know how YOU manage your collection.  Here’s hoping you’ll share your ideas.  We always hope for COMMENTS, too.  Mother Connie is as subtle as a Mack truck…

 

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Always do business with those you trust implicitly.


 

 

Beef Satay, Peanut Sauce and Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 2nd, 2012

Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce…looks yummy…and high end, doesn’t it?

It’s July.  The weather is brutal.  You are looking for things to grill; you want cold meals.  You wish you had someone to just take over the kitchen for you AND YOU ARE SQUEEZING YOUR FOOD BUDGET AS HARD AS YOU CAN.

So why does Mother Connie offer a high end dish?  FOR THE SAUCE! 

Peanut sauce is delicious; it has good protein, is readily available, not too spendy, and kids love it.   Big kids like it, too!  And since Mother Connie thinks food should be fun, here is a tasty summertime food that won’t bust your food budget and it is ADAPTABLE.  Beef is not a MUST HAVE…chicken  or turkey will work.  Even toasted cubes of bread on skewers make it interesting and just nibbling on cubes of bread dipped in peanut sauce can satisfy youngsters’ appetites.  Just see for yourself:

PEANUT SAUCE

2  tablespoons coconut cream  *this comes from the top of canned coconut milk

1/4  cup peanut butter

1  teaspoon curry powder   *No curry?  Combine what you like-pinches of turmeric, paprika, cumin, pepper, ginger, cloves-you only need 1 teaspoon so play with it until you like the flavor combination you create.  Remember, it’s supposed to be FUN.

2   tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

1  tablespoon soy sauce

 1  tablespoon lemon juice

METHOD:

Cook the coconut cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it looks shiny and sizzles.  This will take a couple of minutes.  Add the curry and cook, stirring until it smells yummy.  This will take a minute or so.  Whisk in the coconut milk, peanut better, sugar, soy sauce, and juice.  Bring it all to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer til it’s thick.  This will take 10 minutes.   Pour the mixture into a serving bowl and cool to room temp.

If you will be using wooden skewers, soak them in water as you prepare the sauce.  When your sauce is ready and the bread  is toasted and cut into cubes or meat is cooked–thread the selected items onto the skewers and dip your bread or meat OR VEGGIES and dip into this delicious peanut sauce!

Here’s a thought:  You could form little meatballs with ground beef, turkey or chicken and cook or grill them for use on your skewers.  By adding bread crumbs, egg, onion and some seasoning you will s t r e t c h your food dollars further than you ever hoped! 

Here’s another idea:  No skewers?  Use toothpicks! 

Are you living on a dime?  Do you have goods from a food bank, food pantry or do you have food commodities?  Are you using an EBT card for SNAP or WIC?  Or do you just enjoy the challenge of making your food budget go as far as you dare to take it?  The recipes and ideas we share here-the very reason for this blog-is to help people help themselves.  We GET what a struggle it is to manage families, jobs, if you are fortunate to have a job, and meal making.  So we do what we can to make your life easier.

You have made our days delightful by joining us in the Club House and getting our series of cooking tips.  We do appreciate that you are sharing us with your sphere of influence. 

As many of you do, Mother Connie has signed up for email messages from other bloggers.  Today one came in from  Chef Wannabe.  His ideas for sweet potatoes, which are LOADED TO THE GILLS with nutrition hit me like a brick.  It might be something you will like, as well.  Cruise over to his site, give him some love in the comments section and let him know that Mother Connie sent you.  Go here:  Chef Wannabe’s Smart Kitchen

Since this is a week with a holiday smack in the middle, Mother Connie is going to have some R & R so until the next post pops up you enjoy your week.  Be safe, be happy, and be back when all the hubbub dies down!  Above all, please remember that each one of you is loved and appreciated!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Cheap Comfort Food?

February 22nd, 2012
Dumplings!

 

When our kids were little tykes they introduced us to a whole new vocabulary; a new language, really.  We called it “Kidnese.”   One of the words they gave us was “dumps” –this was their gleeful acknowledgement that their grandma was making her famous dumplings!

One of our most faithful Club Members loves dumplings as much as we do.  They are oh, so easy to whip up; they cook quickly and they fill tummies even if you are living on a dime- or less!

Here is Rainy’s offering.  We present it here with our sincere thanks:

 

CHEAP COMFORT FOOD:  CHICKEN DUMPLINGS

During this time of year, money is tighter than normal for many folks…it is tax season, after all, and the cost of gas and groceries seems to climb higher with each shopping trip.  Knowing how to stretch what you already have in your pantry and fridge is a great way to help keep those higher costs at bay just a little while longer.  One of the best ways I know to fill up empty tummies with great tasting food is to make chicken and dumplings.

What if you don’t have chicken or it is a bit too pricey for your pocket book on any given day?  Do you skip this great tasting nutritious dish for some other option?  You don’t have to, IF you happen to have the fore-thought of freezing left over chicken bits from meals gone by…or you have some chicken stock on hand.  If that happens to be a stretch too, you can use canned chicken…or on those really lean times…use chicken bouillon to build the base of your broth.  The flavor will still be strong and wonderful.

Depending on the number of your dinner companions…pick a pan that will give you room to simmer your dumplings and goodies with room to spare.   Fill your pan will water and chicken bullion or chicken stock if you have it; add chicken if you happen to have some on hand.  Add to the pot some onions or onion flakes, some garlic, a little parsley and some salt and pepper. Bring this to a boil while you mix your batter for the dumplings.

Your batter will consist of flour, eggs water and salt if you desire it.   In a large bowl whip your eggs (the number is up to you).  Add a cup of water to this and your salt if you want it.   Blend it well…then start adding flour until your batter gets stiff and holds a shape.    Once that happens, drop it into your boiling broth by the fork or spoonful.   The dumplings will sink to the bottom and you will want to use a long slotted spoon to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  The dumplings will need to simmer for 20 minutes or so once you have dropped them into the broth.

If you have it on hand, you might like to add veggies to the pot to add extra nutrients.  I often add carrots, celery and sometimes corn…but you can add what you like and what you happen to have.  If you have fresh, add fresh…or  canned.   Frozen works just as well.

Spices add layers of flavor…you can add bay leaf, garlic, sun dried tomato flakes, basil, Italian blends…etc.  This dish is really about bringing flavor and comfort to your family meal.  Make it your own…but be prepared for the compliments.  This is a big family favorite. 

Add a side salad or crusty bread rolls and you have a complete meal.   Enjoy!

~Rainy

Mother Connie here:  That inspires me for tonight’s dinner, Rainy.  I have a bowl full of veggies I roasted and set aside to be morphed into another meal.  I love “dumps” as much as my children did when they were tiny and you said it all when you called it COMFORT FOOD!

People who depend on SNAP are doing all in their power to make those EBT cards work hard; WIC users are doing the same thing.   Many of our club members depend on food pantries and food commodities.  This idea will no doubt appeal to them and for cooks who are just plain old fashioned frugal–this is a true winner! 

We trust our mission to help the 40 million Food Stamp users is a real assistance.

Do YOU have a tasty, money saving menu item to share?  WE LOVE MAIL:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: OLE`!

April 8th, 2011

 

OLE`! Anita has shared a turkey taco soup recipe! Can you say, “YUMMY”? And “Thank you, Anita”?

Our little town gathers every Thursday through Lent to worship and have lunch.  This week the Methodist ladies served a chicken noodle or chili soup in deep bowls, accompanied by sandwiches that literally melted in our mouths!  Everyone at our table was raving and we agreed that the weather almost demanded soup for lunch!

At our house we eat soup year around and we’ve even had it for breakfast. WE HEART SOUP.  Anita, one of our faithful and contributing Club Members has shared a soup recipe I think could easily become a year around favorite.  It’s delish; it’s cost effective; it’s comfort food at its finest and it is an easy thing to make!  That is a winner, for sure!

Here is Anita’s offering: We present it with our thanks!

Turkey Taco Soup recipe


Things you need to get:

2 lbs ground Turkey
4 cup of chicken broth
1 to 2 can(s) of Rotel : canned tomatoes
1 can of Kidney beans(undrained)
1 can of Pinto beans(undrained)
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of or frozen corn (1 cup)
1/2 cup of diced onion(sauteed with turkey)
Salt
Pepper
Garlic power
a package of Taco Seasoning
Fritos or tortilla chips
Sour cream
Cheese

You would need to brown the turkey with onions…with salt, pepper and garlic pepper. Add chicken broth, beans, corns, Rotel, tomato sauce. Stir and add taco seasoning. Check and taste how much you want it… add a bit more salt and pepper. Let it simmer for a bit before you serve.

When ready, serve with fritos, cheese and sour cream! Voila!

I personally think it tastes better than ground beef and also you don’t taste the grease from beef. We really like it!! Also chicken broth adds a lot of flavor as well. I would rather to use chicken broth over ranch mix. ;)  ~Anita

 

Mother Connie would like to add that the Food Police will not invade your kitchen if you do not use that particular brand of tomatoes. People like Carol and Rainy, for example, will want to use the tomatoes they grew and canned on their own.  And, as you know, turkey and chicken are quite interchangeable.  If you use chicken in a turkey recipe, no one will turn you in to the Kitchen Police, so you are free to use whatever you have on hand.  grin

People who are at the mercy of the food pantry or use food commodities; folks who have EBT cards for WIC or SNAP will love this frugal meal.  Users of Angel Food Ministries can work this into their menus quite easily, too.  And those of us who just like to save the big bucks on our food budgets will appreciate having this soup to serve to those we love any time of year.   Maybe we will even have it for breakfast a time or two!

Today’s post is sponsored by the good folks at ToothSoap.  We hope you can pop in on them and give them the once over.  They are nice people; be sure to let them know that Mother Connie sent you their way.

Thank you to all the folks who have recently joined the Club!  We are having way too much fun sharing low cost ideas for feeding our families health supporting meals with little muss or fuss or cost!  Let us hear from you by sending us a message at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com , won’t you please?

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Always do business with those you trust implicitly

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club: ANOTHER Ole Dead Chicken?

March 3rd, 2011

Leanne Ely, The Dinner Diva, is Saving Dinner AGAIN with 3 great ideas for chicken breast recipes!

My email was great fun just now!  Leanne Ely graciously sent out another set of recipes for ole dead chicken!  Just what we need, just when we need it!  Scope it out:

“3 Recipes with Boneless Chicken Breasts

by Leanne Ely, C.N.C

The great thing about boneless skinless chicken breasts for the cook is they are like a blank canvas–the creativity and ideas to take this poultry to the next level is endless! Chicken takes on the flavors of the spices and ingredients accompanying it, making it amazingly versatile.

Besides being extremely convenient, boneless chicken breasts don’t even need to be thawed before cooking (most of the time anyway) and are great way to get your clean, lean protein.

Bon appetite and enjoy all these great new recipes, all using chicken and a delicious fruit salsa!

Chicken Tacos with Fruit Salsa
Serves 6

The Salsa
1 cup cubed fresh pineapple (or use frozen)

4 nectarines, pitted and chopped (or use frozen peaches)
2 mangos, peeled and chopped (or use frozen)
2 large tomatoes, chopped finely
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 limes, juiced (use only juice)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon  sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cracked black pepper
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped finely

Combine all ingredients in a bowl tossing gently. May store in fridge for up to 24 hours before serving. You may also process, prior to chopping, in a food processor to desired consistency.

The Tacos

4 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup lemonade
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled, smashed
2 green onions, chopped finely, including green part
1 (12 ounce) package corn tortillas
1 container Greek yogurt  *use like sour cream

In a large skillet over medium high, heat oil until hot, then add onion and garlic and cook until onion is clear. Add chicken, cooking until outside of chicken is white and center is almost done. Now add the rest of the ingredients, cover, turn down and simmer until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Wait about 15 more minutes. Remove lid to cook down liquid if necessary.

While cooking the chicken, warm the tortillas in the oven until soft. Once chicken is cooked transfer to serving bowl, place chicken mixture into tortillas, wrap. Add yogurt and Fruit Salsa as desired.

Variations:  Use lettuce greens of your choice, pita halves for the shells. Put all ingredients out and let each person make their own. You can also use great big Romaine lettuce leaves in lieu of the tortillas for a truly low carb meal.

Grilled Chicken with Fruit Salsa
Serves 6

Fruit Salsa(from above)
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper grated
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice

Combine juice, soy sauce, ginger, pepper, and garlic in a plastic bag or bowl with a good seal, place the chicken inside, seal and shake to coat, marinate for at least one hour, but no more than four, turning each 30 minutes or so.

Prepare grill or broiler. If you’re using the broiler, place pan one rung from the top. If you’re using the grill, use a medium direct heat. Remove chicken from bag, and discard the marinade. Grill chicken on s grill rack, or in a broiler pan, lightly oiled with olive oil. Cook 5 minutes on each side or until center of chicken is done. Serve with Fruit Salsa over chicken.

Chicken Taco Salad

1 head lettuce of choice, shredded *not Iceberg; no nutrition
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups tortilla chips, crushed
Grilled Chicken, cut into cubes
Fruit Salsa
Greek yogurt

In a large bowl mix all in ingredients except Greek Yogurt, separate into four to six servings, and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

~Leanne

Copyright (C) 2010 www.savingdinner.com Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

What would we do without one another?  Leanne helps us with Saving Dinner; Tawra and Jill help us when we are Living on a Dime and those who cruise by here to leave their mark entertain and enlighten us.

These are important considerations if you are using food from a food pantry or depend on food commodities.  We need encouragement if we have an EBT card for WIC or SNAP, too.  Even users of Angel Food Ministries can use all manner of new ideas, as can those who are just plain frugal and pinch their nickels until the buffalo bellows!

Please feel free to leave your comments here and do make our email fun: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  THANK YOU.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Sour Cream and Maxine Rock My World!

October 11th, 2010

Despite their best efforts, the hens could not escape Maxine's meatballs!

We can be fairly sure the Kitchen Police and the Fun Police are not, nor have they ever, been patrolling in Maxine’s kitchen.  Here is why:  Maxine sent us yet another fine example of frugal cuisine.  Please help yourself to a napkin before you READ this.  It could make you drool on your keyboard.  OK, kids, you have been warned.  And Mother Connie is grinning.

Here’s what Maxine had to say:

“The last half of the carton of sour cream stared me in the face every time I opened the refrigerator door. It was left from the sour cream I used in the Chicken Paprika a couple of weeks ago, and the pull date on the carton was getting perilously close.

Ingredients such as sour cream really aren’t expensive if you cook mostly from scratch and use them up. It’s when they are allowed to turn fuzzy and pink and green, and eventually tossed, that the cost of food really goes up. (I never pay more than $1.50 pint for sour cream, and often get it for less. It sometimes costs more than $1.50, but I won’t buy it then).

So…I really needed to use this. But I wasn’t in the mood. I’d gotten 80% ground beef for $1.99 lb. at the 12 Hour Sale at Super One, and meatballs were calling my name. Specifically, Chinese meatballs—a sweet and sour recipe from the More-with-Less cookbook.

I went ahead and made baked meatballs according to my own recipe. When I got around to checking the recipe for Chinese meatballs, I discovered I lacked too many key ingredients. With my meatballs already made, and not feeling like anything involving spaghetti sauce…what to do?

The sour cream was really talking to me now. So, I went to AllRecipes.com and typed in “ground beef” and “sour cream” as ingredients I wanted to use, and “cream of mushroom soup” as an ingredient I DIDN’T want to use (because I didn’t have any, and also because I generally prefer to make sauces from scratch). Just to be sure, I typed in “Swedish meatballs” as an additional keyword. When that didn’t bring up any recipes that appealed to me, I cleared the field and typed in “stroganoff.” Bingo!

The recipe I chose also called for a few ingredients I didn’t have, including beef consommé, but I was able to fake it with what I had. Faking it is my specialty, LOL.

I’m not going to share the recipe, because it was good, but it wasn’t a stand-out. I just wanted to make you aware of the allrecipes.com ingredient search feature. If you’ve got some ingredients you’re trying to use up, give it a whirl.

I’m going to share my recipe for meatballs. They are tender, have a lovely flavor, and don’t gunk up the kitchen with grease. I usually make a double batch and freeze half, after they are cooked. (You can freeze them raw, but why go to the bother of baking twice?). Since I made a double batch tonight, I’m sure I’ll be making Chinese meatballs soon. Next time, I’ll share the recipe and introduce you to the More-with-Less cookbook.

BAKED MEATBALLS

1 pound ground beef   *MOTHER CONNIE USED  GROUND CHICKEN!
¼ cup dry bread crumbs (I use heels of bread to make my own in the blender)
¼ cup milk
1 egg
½ tablespoon dried minced onion

¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix with fingers until blended. Shape into balls, using about 1½ to 2 tablespoons of mixture for each. Place on a 10×15 rimmed cookie sheet* and bake for 12 minutes, or until just slightly pink inside. Makes about 24 meatballs.


*For easier clean-up, line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray foil with nonstick spray.”

*Mother Connie here:  The Kitchen Police will never know if you used beef or chicken in this dish.  Your family may not figure it out, either.

Thank you again, Maxine!

For those of you who have boxes of Angel Food Ministries foods, or hold EBT cards from SNAP or WIC, this could help you tremendously. If you use food commodities or food from a food pantry, this might be just what you are looking for. Golly, even if you are simply frugal and stretching your food dollars the best way you know how, this could be exactly what will tickle your palate while pleasing your wallet!

There are many ways to help yourself. We have lots of good ideas from our sponsors: TOOTHSOAP - SAVING DINNER to mention a couple. And on our sister blogs: Mother Connie Sez, Rapid Cash Review, and The Healthy and Wealthy You.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Sandra Weighs In On the Old Dead Chicken?

September 29th, 2010

The chicken is dead and well prepared; the table is set. LET'S EAT!

When Maxine shared her wisdom regarding old dead chickens and what to do with them, I just KNEW Sandra would weigh in.  Both Maxine and Sandra, along with so many other of the Club Members have been so faithful to contribute to the Community that is the Food Stamps Cooking Club.  You can imagine how delighted I was to find her comments on Maxine’s posts.

It seemed a shame to “hide” them in the comments section, so I have chosen to add her comments here as a post.

“Another idea – soup will definitely go farther – serve more. But you could use less water and make a chicken stew instead. Just use lots of potatoes, carrots, and celery plus whatever chicken you have. And voila! Stew!

Another idea is chicken pot pie which is just stew with a crust. You can use biscuit dough for your crust or make a pie crust. Easy enough.

You could make chicken pot pie cups just by lining muffin pans with biscuit dough and filling with your chicken stew. You can leave them open at the top or add a top – up to you. No kitchen police, right Mother Connie? :)

MOTHER CONNIE’S SIDEBAR HERE:  ABSOLUTELY, NO KITCHEN POLICE, SANDRA!  END SIDEBAR.

Or you could make chicken pot pie turnovers. Just add your stew to squares of pie crust or biscuit dough folded over on each other.

You get the idea! I find that even if it’s the same exact stuff, serving it in a different way provides variety.

Sounds really yummy. You can make this idea a weekly regular on your menu and never get bored just by changing what’s in it and changing the seasonings.

So one week you might add beans, onion, tomatoes, and taco seasoning.

Another you might add macaroni, white beans, tomatoes, and Italian seasonings.

Another you might add spinach, rice, and Italian seasonings or Mrs. Dash.

What a great idea Maxine!!  Love it!”

—Sandra

Sandra and Maxine’s comments do remain in the comments section but it’s easy to overlook them if you don’t know they are there.  That’s why they became a post as well.

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!   Maxine had this comment for Sandra.  I knew she would reply and because I was afraid you might miss her reply I am adding it here:

“Sandra’s got some great ideas here–most of them more imaginative than anything I turn out. I make chicken stew, too, although I usually use more meat than I’d get from backs and wings. However, it occurred to me, if you’re trying to get your kids to eat “real food” (vs. tacos, pizza, etc.), putting stew in a crust, especially making turnovers they can eat with their fingers, might be just the trick. The English make pasties, which are basically beef stew turnovers, and they are great!

–Maxine

SIDEBAR:  Oh, how Mother Connie loves the community we are building here, kids!  Keep those comments rolling!  It’s all good!  END SIDEBAR


There was an interesting gathering to which I was invited last evening.  A lively interaction ensued  about how to help people re-enter society after being away.  People who return from serving our country find rising grocery prices shocking; those who have been incarcerated are stunned to find out the complexities of finding affordable food.  It is the solemn DUTY and sacred MISSION of the Food Stamps Cooking Club to help people who find themselves in such predicaments.

If you know someone who is struggling with a food budget that is funded by WIC or SNAP; if you have someone in your circle who uses food pantry food or food commodities or Angel Food Ministries, you would serve them well by sharing this site with them.  We have a loving, supportive community here and it is wide open for anyone who can benefit.  If you are someone who can contribute, as so many of our faithful Club Members have done, that is just brilliant. We thank you.

Send your ideas to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com and post YOUR comments on the comment section of the blog.  Thanks, guys.

If you like this blog, you may enjoy reading our sister sites:  Mother Connie Sez or The Healthy and Wealthy You.  There is a business blog that presents ideas about additional streams of income, too: Rapid Cash Review.

Some of our sponsors include ToothSoap, Saving Dinner, and Rapid Cash Marketing. They love it when you pay them a visit and so do we.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Maxine Builds Soup?

September 28th, 2010

Is that Maxine, wearing a chef's hat? And is she turning one of her old dead chickens into SOUP? YUM! YUM!

Mother Connie was turning cartwheels on the kitchen table when Maxine sent her recipe for Chicken Soup.  You will most assuredly want to make this in YOUR kitchen, too, because it will absolutely become one of your “go-to” family favorites.  Here is the 411 with kudos and bear hugs to Maxine:

“A week or so ago, I told you that we were going to make chicken soup together this week.

There are two ways to go about this: either simmer chicken pieces in water, using the meat for a casserole and the liquid for soup, or simmer backs, necks and wing tips from other cooking you’ve done. Since I usually don’t cook backs and necks, I’ve always got a bag of them in my freezer. We’re going to use them today for an almost-free dinner.

Although you can drop them in water to begin cooking while they are still frozen, I find that I get much nicer, more appetizing broth by thawing them first. Place the pieces in a large Dutch oven or spaghetti pot and bake them in the oven at around 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (the time and temperature aren’t critical). This will “heal” the bones and produce a clearer, more flavorful broth. Pour off the fat that accumulates in the bottom of the pan.

Cover the pieces with water and add garlic, onion, celery and a carrot. Parsley and a bay leaf, if you’ve got them, plus a couple of chicken bouillon cubes or a spoonful of chicken soup base from a jar. Since you will be discarding the veggies, feel free to use the outer rings of an onion, celery tops with the leaves attached, and an unpeeled carrot, ends removed and sliced into a couple of pieces. I usually add a heaping teaspoon or so of chopped garlic out of a jar, but one or two whole, peeled garlic cloves will do it, too.

Bring almost to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, in order to keep a simmer. Simmer for at least an hour—longer won’t hurt. Remove the chicken pieces and veggies and discard the veggies.

Skim the fat from the broth—a gravy separator (one of those clear plastic cups with a long spout starting at the bottom of the cup) works great for this. If you aren’t making the soup until tomorrow, you can also refrigerate the broth and scrape the hardened fat off the top when it is cold.

Now, this is the other half of the secret to nice, clear broth. As you transfer the broth from one container to another, either with the gravy separator or just by pouring, do it slowly enough so that the “crud” stays in the bottom of the pan or separator. When you get down to almost no broth but lots of crud, dump out the remainder.

Crud, you ask? Well, it’s bits of skin, cooked blood, tiny pieces of bone, dabs of fat, etc. It won’t hurt you, and won’t change the flavor, but your soup will be a lot prettier if you get rid of it. (Also, your kids won’t ask, “Mama, what’s that stuff in the bottom of the bowl?—and, best of all, you won’t have to tell them).

Now, pick the meat from the bones. I usually use the backs, necks and wing tips from 3-4 chickens, and I end up with about a cup (plus or minus) of chicken bits. Discard the skin, bones, gristle—you just want the meat.

You can make the soup for tonight’s dinner, or refrigerate the stock for another day. On serving day, simply reheat the stock and add ingredients of your choice.

For chicken-rice soup, I add a little chopped onion, chopped celery, and leftover cooked rice. I haven’t had good luck cooking raw rice in the broth, although I know that plenty of people do it and are successful. (I end up with rice mush). I usually just stir in the cooked rice 5 minutes or so before serving. Taste the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper and any other spices or herbs that you like with chicken. I usually add summer savory and parsley flakes to mine.

Chicken noodle soup is basically the same recipe, except that you add uncooked noodles and cook them in the broth. You might like to add a chopped carrot, too.

Now here is my favorite—and it is really cheap—chicken vegetable, aka garbage soup. (I probably shouldn’t have told you that—definitely do not tell your husband or kids). I add dibs and dabs of whatever leftover vegetables, cooked beans and rice or pasta that I find in the fridge…as well as carrot, celery and a chopped potato (unless leftover cooked carrots and/or potatoes are already in it). Add a can of diced tomatoes and simmer until raw veggies are done. This will taste a little different every time you make it, but it will always be good. (And you’ll have a very clean fridge).

Serve your soup with saltines (store brand, of course!) and a salad—preferably something more substantial than lettuce. You’ll probably get about a gallon of soup, so you’ll have plenty for dinner, seconds and another meal. You can freeze the leftover soup in a plastic container (canning jars have a habit of cracking in the freezer).

This is basically the same way that you’ll make turkey soup the day after Thanksgiving. You can also cook beef bones and the ever-popular ham bone for soup this way, too.”

Wow, kids.  We just got a COOKING LESSON!  Must be our lucky day!  And did you notice how ECONOMICAL this meal is?  For those who utilize food commodities, food pantries, SNAP or WIC to fund their food budgets, this is a lifesaver.  If you are a user of Angel Food Ministries, you, too, will have chicken to work with and if you were like some of our bargain shopping members who picked up real rock bottom prices on chicken recently this is really going to help you a lot.

If you have not signed up for the series of cooking tips yet, we hope you will.  There will be some follow up messages, as well, but we do NOT inundate you with “stuff” so not to worry.  We know you are sharing this information with your circle of influence for our numbers are growing.  Our hearts are filled with gratitude.  Thank you so much!

Send your messages to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  and please feel free to comment on this blog.  You may remain anonymous if you are shy.

If you are interested in health and healing you might like to see our sister sites:  The Healthy and Wealthy You or Mother Connie Sez. There is another site dealing with work at home ideas and those ideas appear on Rapid Cash Review. As you might expect, we love having reader comments there, too.

Our sponsors report to us that you have been paying them visits and they appreciate it as do we!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.