Author Topic: Badassity in Cooking!  (Read 11067 times)

MandalayVA

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Badassity in Cooking!
« on: November 09, 2014, 11:13:11 AM »
While I've read threads from all over the forum regarding food and cooking--where frugality is awesome--I feel that such awesomeness needs its own thread.  Here is where you share from what leftovers you created a fantastic meal, what scraps you gathered to whip up a fantastic meal ... seriously, what are you cooking and how are you eating?  SHARE!

I'll start:

Currently have a Crock Pot full of ham hocks and Great Northern beans going on right now.  That will be dinner through the week.

I poached two huge chicken breasts, let them cool off once cooked, pulled the meat off the bones (and put the bones into my broth collection bag in the freezer) and pulsed the meat in the food processor along with mayo, two stalks of celery and salt and pepper.  This will fill Mr. Mandalay's lunch sandwiches this week.

I threw two pounds of frozen broccoli into the chicken poaching water (had to add a little more to cover) and simmered until the broccoli was soft.  I added three or so ounces of shredded cheddar cheese and a pint of grass-fed cream and mixed it up with my immersion blender.  I'll eat this soup for lunch/dinner the rest of the week.

Do you have shortcuts, recipes or general food-related badassity going on?  Share it here!



Follow my road to semi-FIRE here:  The Road To Mandalay

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thecornercat

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 11:57:50 AM »
I think my biggest mustachian skill is cooking! I've recently started making my own bread: one loaf a week. I also bake muffins weekly or bi-weekly (depending on how long they last), to have as snacks throughout the week. I'll actually be doing that weekly ritual today :).


In terms of meals: lots of stews. I just keep staples around, especially carrots, onions, and limes (citrus = flavor punch). I have some yams, eggplant, and kale lying around that need to be used up, so I'll make a stew out of them with chickpeas, and voila, full meal ready! Mix it up with rice and this lasts for so many meals. And since I prepared three cups of dried chickpeas, I used one-third to blend together some homemade hummus. So another snack to get me through the week.


Last week I made some pasta sauce, so for quick meals, I can just prepare some pasta, mix in the sauce, and shred some cheese on top. I like to use the week-ends for the bigger batches, and since I have bread/pasta around, I can make quicker meals throughout the week too!








Less

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2014, 12:00:14 PM »
I also did muffins last week to use up old bananas.

I also experimented with cooking chicken hearts for the first time. Quite tasty and very cheep. Not totally sure of nutritional content (i.e. is it considered lean meat).

4alpacas

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2014, 01:25:19 PM »
You're inspirational, MandalayVA!  My biggest issue with cooking is that I hate spending a ton of time in the kitchen.  I've started enjoying my time a little bit, but I want to spend 2-3 hours/week MAX in the kitchen. 

Bulk cooking to the rescue!  I'm also in love with my crockpot. 

I've started making smoothies for breakfast.  They're easy to pack, and I prep them on Sundays.  I use up a lot of things that are about to go bad--bananas, apples that have gone mealy, greens, etc. 

I need to be a bit more dedicated on the weekends.  But it's a work in progress.

2ndTimer

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2014, 02:17:16 PM »
Cooking is my best frugal skill too.  The Hub is currently eating the last two pasties:  Home made hash wrapped in those biscuits in a tube which I found 3 tubes/$1.00 because they were approaching sell by date.  As I wrote the previous sentence he moved on to the tapioca pudding I made with Winco bulk tapioca and $1.79/gal. approaching sell by date milk.   Enthusiastic noises about both. 

Still have two tubes of biscuits and debating the next filingl.  I have half a giant cabbage I found at the local fruit market for 19 cents/lb.  I think that it will be cabbage with lots of butter, garlic and black pepper.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 03:43:34 PM by 2ndTimer »

merci001

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2014, 03:39:06 PM »
I'm not a great cook, but I can follow a recipe well and I find cooking kind of therapeautic.  For about the past year I've been baking bread, and lately I've tried my hand at hamburger buns. Now my kids don't want the store bought versions. I've got a couple different recipes for hamburger/sandwich buns. The best one calls for a few more ingrediatants (but nothing fancy)  so is a little more expensive but still cheaper than any decent bun you can buy in the grocery. I make about two dozen at a time-place them in a freezer bag in the freezer and take them out as we need them and they still tatse great!  It cost me just a little over $1 to make one dozen (not the typical 8 you would get in a store bought package!) and they are good if I say so myself.

Homemade pizza is another family favorite-my kids prefer it over take out (and we live just around the corner from one of the best pizza joints in our metropolitian area).I can make a large simple pepperoni pizza for about $3. 

And of course, there's always any kind of homemade soupl!

kaizen soze

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2014, 04:53:15 PM »
Cooking is a big part of our home life.  My wife routinely makes bread and homemade yogurt (much less expensive and more delicious than store-bought yogurt) which tend to be the two things that people are impressed with but are actually pretty easy.  I've made my own corn flakes, which is kinda cool I guess (I like to snack on cereal but also tend to eat too much, so making my own regulates how much I eat; plus it's less expensive).  We've experimented with making our favorite restaurant meals.  We've successfully made our own Korean bbq, Thai chicken curry (making chili paste from scratch), pork tinga, Mexican pozole,  and steamed mussels in roasted tomato sauce (highly recommend steaming mussels for a special occasion meal, it's fun and delicious).  I make my own chicken and sausage gumbo from scratch using an old family recipe.  My wife recently gave a try out to my mom's southern double-battered fried chicken recipe -- a lot of work but holy smokes I forgot how good that stuff is, it had been so long. 

We like treats at home but consider store-bought  confections to be too expensive and tend to gorge regardless. So we make a bunch of cookie dough, then freeze in little balls.  We take out two, place in oven and bake (experiment with times, but start out one minute longer than the recipe calls for), eat one cookie each, with milk, avoid over-indulging because we only make 2 at a time.

Last year we made our own no-cook eggnog, using a recipe from Cooks Illustrated.  It involved putting a dozen eggs and sugar with booze (rum, bourbon, brandy) into an airtight glass container and letting sit for 3 weeks in the fridge, then filtering out the egg solids.  Served with equal part whole milk (mixed in right before serving).  Cooks Illustrated claims they did a test where they purposefully added salmonella to this mixture and had it lab-tested after three weeks; it tested negative.  The booze kills the bacteria, and the aging really mellows out the eggy flavor.  Makes a delicious eggnog.  Get it started over Thanksgiving weekend and enjoy in small doses around Christmas.

I am considering making my own kimchi to go with the Korean bbq the next time we do that. Looks surprisingly easy.

TheThirstyStag

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2014, 07:36:30 PM »
There are some great ideas in this thread already.

I tend to go for lean full pound pasta dishes for dinner + 2 lunches for SO and me.  A simple garlic/broccoli/broth combo with penne works great and tastes fantastic.  A little parmesan on top makes for a non frugal splurge from time to time.

I always see homemade hummus suggested in threads like this, like thecornercat suggested.  Does anyone have a link to a good recipe for this?

CommonCents

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2014, 08:35:52 PM »
There are some great ideas in this thread already.

I tend to go for lean full pound pasta dishes for dinner + 2 lunches for SO and me.  A simple garlic/broccoli/broth combo with penne works great and tastes fantastic.  A little parmesan on top makes for a non frugal splurge from time to time.

I always see homemade hummus suggested in threads like this, like thecornercat suggested.  Does anyone have a link to a good recipe for this?

I use smitten kitchen, but just about double the lemon in it (think we also add more salt, but can't recall, I just do it to taste).  With our next batches we plan to slowly cut down the tahini to see how little we can get away with and still have it taste good (it's a bit strong in this recipe).  FYI, google order of hummus ingredients.  It makes a difference.  I used to put in chickpeas first, which is apparently wrong.

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/01/ethereally-smooth-hummus/

Goldielocks

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2014, 08:46:41 PM »
Does cooking the Halloween pumpkin into muffins yesterday count?

+1 on the homemade pizza,  on Friday, I was tired and called my DD to make pizza.

All wonderful, until I realized cleaning up that she had added my $4 block of nice 'nibble' cheese instead of the pizza cheese.  Guess what, even with the fancy cheese, it was still under $8 for the family of 4.   Wow, can't get take out anything for that price.

thecornercat

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2014, 08:59:37 PM »
I always see homemade hummus suggested in threads like this, like thecornercat suggested.  Does anyone have a link to a good recipe for this?


I don't follow a recipe for the hummus I make, but here is roughly what I do, in case you want to try. The measurements are all rough. Note that we omit the oil... healthier and I don't notice the difference.

Approx. 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
1/4 sesame seeds (hulled or unhulled)
1-2 tsp salt, to taste (I start with very little, and add more as needed)
1 tsp cumin seeds (optional -- I like the flavor it adds)
1/2 tsp chili powder (optional -- I like spice!)
juice from 2 limes
1 garlic clove

I save the cooking water from the chickpeas and add that in. If you don't have the cooking water, start with 1/2 c of tap water, adding more as needed. I don't add these items in any particular order... they all go in at the same time, and whoosh, I blend it all up. I do have a Vitamix, which is a powerful blender, but I imagine a good processor would produce similar results.


2ndTimer

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2014, 09:24:42 AM »

I always see homemade hummus suggested in threads like this, like thecornercat suggested.  Does anyone have a link to a good recipe for this?

Here's how I do hummus

Two cups dry garbanzos cooked
1 cup tahini
juice of two lemons and 4 big or 8 small cloves of garlic (whirl these together in blender to get the garlic nice and small
1/4 C olive oil.
Salt to taste.

ILoveMyBlondeStache

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2014, 02:04:53 PM »
I also did muffins last week to use up old bananas.

I also experimented with cooking chicken hearts for the first time. Quite tasty and very cheep. Not totally sure of nutritional content (i.e. is it considered lean meat).

LOL, you said cheep...get it....cheep...chicken hearts...I hope that was on purpose. :)

TheThirstyStag

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2014, 02:56:44 PM »
Thanks for all of the hummus suggestions.  I can't wait to try it out.  I have a good food processor, so blending should be no issue.

Daisy

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2014, 03:04:27 PM »
Funny, I made hummus yesterday. It's SOOO easy to make, especially if you used canned beans. I make mine from dry beans but it's still ridiculously easy. Just let the beans boil for about an hour as you do other stuff around the house.

I also use some of the water the beans were boiled in in the final mixture. I figure it adds some taste and I put less olive oil as a result.

Mine is similar to one above. Zip this all in a food processor:
2 cups freshly cooked garbanzo beans
1 ladle of the water the beans were cooked in
2 tablespoons tahini
Squeeze a couple of lemons
4-6 cloves of garlic
Dash of olive oil
Salt and pepper
(Optional) add flavorings such as roasted red peppers, or roast the garlic above first...possibilities are endless

BTW, hummus is freezable. I got the idea from a Lebanese coworker, so now I make big batches.

Everyone is impressed when you make your own hummus. I served this at a party and a friend asked where I got it because it was so good. When I said I made it, they all ooohed and ahhhed like I had just found the cure to cancer. Unbelievable! I had also made a BBQ chicken salad that was actually a lot more work, but the attention went more to the homemade hummus than the homemade chicken salad.

Andy_in_Aus

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2014, 04:59:29 PM »

Everyone is impressed when you make your own hummus. I served this at a party and a friend asked where I got it because it was so good. When I said I made it, they all ooohed and ahhhed like I had just found the cure to cancer. Unbelievable! I had also made a BBQ chicken salad that was actually a lot more work, but the attention went more to the homemade hummus than the homemade chicken salad.

You're exactly right, when I told everyone at work that I made Hummus, they made me bring some in (after looking at me strangely because I assume it was not something they'd expect a guy to do).  Now I have to make another batch because it's so popular and I'm running out.

I notice a lot of 'norms' just don't even bother to investigate cooking anything that they are so used to getting out of a package, it baffles me no end.

Daisy

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2014, 06:05:53 PM »
May I suggest that once you have the tahini out, you can make a tahini based salad dressing. It is sooo yummy! I read the recipe on a tahini bottle and have been making it since. It's also great ladled over veggies such as eggplant, zucchini, etc.

Mix equal parts tahini and water.
Add fresh lemon juice.
Add garlic (I usually just add garlic powder).
Salt and pepper.

Whisk together in a bowl until it is a liquidy/salad dressing consistency. It's delicious on a salad with Romaine lettuce. You can store it in the refrigerator and use all week.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 07:33:37 PM by Daisy »

TheThirstyStag

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2014, 06:58:22 PM »
I am seriously getting so excited about hummus. 

Carolina on My Mind

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2014, 09:54:58 PM »
I'll throw in the hummus recipe I've used for years.  It's from the cookbook Mediterranean Light, by Martha Rose Shulman, and it always gets raves.  Highly recommend.  And it couldn't be easier.  Throw the following ingredients (adjusting everything for taste) into a blender and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or the equivalent amount cooked from scratch)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Juice of one lemon
2-3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. tahini
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt

I often drizzle a little more olive oil into the blender if the hummus seems dry.


N

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2014, 12:35:57 AM »
Today I made hamburger buns from scratch, as well as dinner rolls. We'll use them for sandwiches this week for lunch.

last night I made a banana bread, which Ill freeze at least half of for later.

We eat a lot of roasted potatoes. I get the huge bakers from costco for 39c/lb. Usually I slice them into  1/4 in "coins" or rounds, and then toss them with oil, and bake them at 425 for 20 m, flip and 10-15 min more. Kids like them with ketchup. The other night I grated some cheddar and let that melt on top at the very end, a bit of sour cream and some chopped green onions...mmm..so good. I make a big half tray of these many afternoons for a warm filling snack for the kids.

I also make my own pizza dough. Ill use it for calzones, too.

Dances With Fire

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2014, 03:53:53 AM »
Made Butternut squash & shallot soup. Only 15 minutes of prep time. (You can puree with a hand blender or leave it chunky style. Or half & half, as I did this time.) DW loved it! = Does that make me badass this week?

The Borgs

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2014, 04:12:46 AM »
Any chance of your hamburger bun recipe please N? Have made plenty of bread before, but nothing of that texture.

MandalayVA

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2014, 04:13:45 AM »
Made Butternut squash & shallot soup. Only 15 minutes of prep time. (You can puree with a hand blender or leave it chunky style. Or half & half, as I did this time.) DW loved it! = Does that make me badass this week?

Damn right it does!
Follow my road to semi-FIRE here:  The Road To Mandalay

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N

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2014, 11:32:40 PM »
http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-hamburger-153290

These were not super fluffy and airy- they were denser and more like rolls, which I liked. A lot :)

The Borgs

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2014, 01:44:25 AM »
http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-hamburger-153290

These were not super fluffy and airy- they were denser and more like rolls, which I liked. A lot :)
Thank you, I'll give them a go. They sure look good and thankfully don't require any ingredients I don't keep on hand.

I'm continually amazed how possible it is to make most things you can buy with very few ingredients and a very basic kitchen.

I'll just mention a favourite of mine while I'm here, homemade gyoza (including homemade gyoza skins). The dough went right the first time and they were better than bought from first go. And so cheap. Turns out, there's a heck of a lot of different things you can fill them with if you're not worried about authenticity (I'm sure not).

Recipe here:
http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/gyoza-wrappers/

I've found that lady's site to be very good all round. I've tried rather a lot of her recipes (curry roux from scratch for japanese curry is another favourite) and have found them to be successful and also very much like food I've eaten in Japanese restaurants.

Have to say though, if you decide to make udon noodles, be careful about kneading by standing on the dough (with the dough in a bag). I slipped and dislocated a toe on a chair leg. I'd say I was pretty badass, since I finished the noodles after!

lpep

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2014, 06:05:26 AM »
Oooohh! Good timing! I've decided I want to learn to make Indian food, since it's cheap, vegetarian friendly, delicious, and healthy. All wins!

So I posted in a Hanoi Facebook group asking where I can find the spices around here, and a chef offered to meet up, had photocopied recipes for me, and showed me three different local shops where I can buy the spices.

Dinner tonight was a squash and chickpea stew with a side of naan!!! YUM!

purplepear

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2014, 11:53:26 AM »
RE: Homemade hummus awesomeness

Go next level and make your own tahini for your homemade hummus. Not only is it super easy and way cheaper (especially if you can buy sesame seeds in bulk), but my grocery store doesn't even carry tahini. In fact, no one at the store seemed to understand the concept of "tahini" or where it might possibly be in the store. I used to have to take a trip to whole foods just to buy the stuff for $8/container.

http://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/05/how-to-make-tahini/

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2014, 03:42:44 PM »
My SO had a good win the other day. We didn't have left overs to take for lunch like we normally do. Her solution was to mix 1 can tomotos, 1 can chickpeas, 2 cubes frozen spinache, 2Tsp each cumin, garam masala and paprika, some salt and pepper and chili to taste.

by the time i shook it up on the way to work in my bag, and heated it in the microwave it was a pretty passable vege curry. It literally took 2 minutes of effort, and $1 per person. (lunch from our work cafe would have been around 4$ each, saving 3$ a minute = 180$ an hour.).

Not fancy eating but super functional and tasted great. If you were growing these ingredients, and soaking chickpeas regularly it would be even better.

Siobhan

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2014, 04:31:11 PM »
Oooohh! Good timing! I've decided I want to learn to make Indian food, since it's cheap, vegetarian friendly, delicious, and healthy. All wins!

So I posted in a Hanoi Facebook group asking where I can find the spices around here, and a chef offered to meet up, had photocopied recipes for me, and showed me three different local shops where I can buy the spices.

Dinner tonight was a squash and chickpea stew with a side of naan!!! YUM!


oooooooh mind sharing?  I am trying to learn Indian food and its not been pretty so far

lpep

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2014, 04:52:57 PM »
Oooohh! Good timing! I've decided I want to learn to make Indian food, since it's cheap, vegetarian friendly, delicious, and healthy. All wins!

So I posted in a Hanoi Facebook group asking where I can find the spices around here, and a chef offered to meet up, had photocopied recipes for me, and showed me three different local shops where I can buy the spices.

Dinner tonight was a squash and chickpea stew with a side of naan!!! YUM!


oooooooh mind sharing?  I am trying to learn Indian food and its not been pretty so far

SURE!

1 small squash or pumpkin (500g), cut in a 1" dice
150g dried chickpeas (or you could use canned but it would change the steps a little)
salt
2 green chiles (I skipped these, ain't no such thing in VN)
2 onions, finely sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 tsp red chili powder (I used cayenne)
1/2 tsp ground coriander, toasted (I used coriander seeds, but probably shouldn't have)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
4 Tbsp grated coconut (I skipped this, but it would have been good!)
4 Tbsp chopped cilantro (I skipped this because I didn't have it and also I hate cilantro)
coconut to garnish

Soak the chickpeas overnight, if you can (if dry). If you can't, just learn from my mistake and know they will take longer to cook than you think.

Cook chickpeas until they start turning soft but aren't completely cooked (about 20 min). Drain off all but 1c water.
Add the pumpkin, chilis, onions and tomatoes and simmer til the squash turns soft. Add the spices and about 1/2 t salt and cook for a few minutes. Add the coconut and simmer 5 minutes (you might need to add a little water here). Add the cilantro and remove from heat. Serve with naan!

This makes a healthy veggie stew-type dish, not the saucy Indian you're probably used to - but really nice in chilly weather :)

NAAN (more of a flatbread, really, and very easy)

I don't use a recipe for this, so these amounts will be off because they're guesses. Use your dough-making instincts.

1t yeast
Pinch of sugar
2T oil
1c warm water (110F or so)
3c flour
1t salt

Get the yeast started. Put the yeast, sugar, oil, warm water, and a little flour in the bottom of a big bowl. Stir it, let it sit for 10 minutes until it's looking alive. Then, add the rest of the flour and salt, and stir - the dough should come away from the sides of the bowl. You might need to add flour, or water.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it's got that nice tacky dough feeling. Let it rise for about 1.5 hours or until it just about doubles in size. Then, take a handful and stretch it thinner than pizza dough thin. Throw it in a piping hot frying pan (no oil or anything on the pan needed). Flip it after awhile. It should puff a bit and smell awesome! (This would also make nice bread!)

Also: if you skip the yeast and the knead in this recipe, and add a rolling pin, you're got tortillas.

Good luck!


N

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2014, 09:05:23 PM »
Im so happy you posted that Japanese recipe site!
I was seriously JUST wondering how to make my own curry roux, because I enjoy the Golden Curry, but its full of palm oil and msg and fun stuff like that, but its so yummy. My dad used to make it all the time! So I cant wait to try out the homemade version! Thanks!~

The Borgs

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2014, 12:28:12 AM »
Im so happy you posted that Japanese recipe site!
I was seriously JUST wondering how to make my own curry roux, because I enjoy the Golden Curry, but its full of palm oil and msg and fun stuff like that, but its so yummy. My dad used to make it all the time! So I cant wait to try out the homemade version! Thanks!~
You're very welcome. It's the best overall site for that I've found. That Japanese curry is like a hug in a bowl. It freezes well when made into the sauce too, so is a bit of a go-to takeout style meal for us.

Siohan, for a very easy, but very good curry, I like Rick Steins One Pot Dopiaza. Not an authentic dopiaza, but a fantastically easy dish that tastes like a very rich restaurant curry. I think you'd be able to find it on google (sorry, just out of hospital a couple of hours ago after surgery waiting for oxy to kick in, so not up to going to typing out my altered version). Three things with that recipe, the first is you really need to drop the chilli a bit unless you're hardened to it, the second is don't use low fat yoghurt, the third is any cheap meat will do (lamb, pork, beef, chicken) and it bulks out nicely with the addition of a can of chickpeas or half kilo of chopped mushrooms.

PhilB

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2014, 02:44:32 AM »
As someone who's not terribly badass, but very, very into food, I thought I'd share this tip for a special occasion meal- we've done it for things like my MIL's birthday.  If we'd taken her out for a reasonable restaurant meal it might have come in at £120 for three.  In a high end restaurant maybe £300 or more.
Step 1 - take the 'reasonable' budget and divide by three to give a budget of £40
Steo 2 - go to the high end restaurant in the morning and let the person being treated choose their meal from the menu in the window.
Step 3 - go to your local market and / or supermarkets and use the £40 to but all the ingredients and the wine.  You'll probably have enough left over for chocolates with your coffee.
Step 4 - have a fun afternoon cooking and chatting.
Step 5 - enjoy!

Voila, a high end meal for a third the price of a mid range one.  The added bonus is a fridge full of leftovers that will probably feed you through the week - for instance when the MIL decided on a main course involving a guinea fowl breast, we bought two whole guinea fowl and dismantled them -  leaving us with four legs, four wings, two carcases and the fourth breast to do several more very flash meals for free!

horsepoor

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2014, 08:31:23 AM »
RE: Homemade hummus awesomeness

Go next level and make your own tahini for your homemade hummus. Not only is it super easy and way cheaper (especially if you can buy sesame seeds in bulk), but my grocery store doesn't even carry tahini. In fact, no one at the store seemed to understand the concept of "tahini" or where it might possibly be in the store. I used to have to take a trip to whole foods just to buy the stuff for $8/container.

http://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/05/how-to-make-tahini/

You beat me to that one.  I was just thinking that it would be easy to make it an all-in-one process if you have the right kitchen appliance.  Whir up the sesame seeds and oil, then add the chickpeas and other ingredients.

I'm getting more into making condiments, and yeah, it's surprisingly easy and they come out better than store-bought.  At the end of garden season, I had a ton of habanero and bajio chiles I didn't know what to do with, so I chopped them up and fermented them in a jar, and pureed into a sauce that my coworker's hot sauce connoisseur husband declared to be the best sauce he's ever had.

Also made habanero ketchup with homegrown tomatoes, pesto, an Asian miso sauce, and various fermented pickles.  There are very few condiments that we purchase anymore, which is great because they are expensive.  We do buy mustard, since DH likes having about 5 kinds around.  Maybe that will be my next thing to tackle. If the ground ever thaws after this crazy snow storm we just had, I'll dig up my horseradish plant and make some horseradish, which will be a new adventure.

mm1970

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2014, 09:23:37 AM »
I consider cooking my biggest frugal skill too - impressive considering I didn't learn to cook until I was 31.

I got into it so much that I started a frugal cooking blog.  It's pretty inactive these days - at the beginning my plan was to document my good recipes.  At the time I was trying to master pizza dough and roast chicken.  I guess I started it 7 years ago! (Had a brief shorter blog before that.)

I used to make yogurt and bread.  Don't eat much bread anymore.  But still, my weekends are filled with making soups and stews, roasting vegetables, making frittatas, trying various chicken crockpot recipes...I was so "on it" in September and October with making and freezing soups, stews, beans, burritos - that I am now enjoying the fruits of my labor.

When we run out of leftovers mid-week, just defrost something for the next night or two.

If you are looking for new recipes, here's a link to my "favorite recipes" page.

http://frugalhealthysimple.blogspot.com/p/favorite-recipes.html

I also have gotten good recipes and inspiration from Cook for Good and The Prudent Homemaker.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 09:25:20 AM by mm1970 »

GardenFun

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2014, 11:08:47 AM »
If you ever have leftover plain noodles in the fridge, here's a quick way to use them up.

- Put them in a non-stick pan with a little butter (or oil)
- Cook them on medium heat until the noodles get a little crust on part of them (this is important for flavor and texture)
- Whip up a few eggs with a dash of milk (i,e. scrambled eggs)
- Pour the eggs over the noodles and continue cooking until the eggs are done
- Add salt/pepper to your liking. 
- Eat!

I always eyeball the # of eggs but think the ratio is around 1 egg per 1c. of cooked noodle.  Works best with elbow noodles but other ones are fine too.  The kids love it and it gets rid of those few extra cups of noodles that are left over. 

Rural

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #36 on: November 15, 2014, 12:05:17 PM »
Fairly fabulous "roasted tomato hummus"


1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 can Italian diced tomatoes, not drained
Garlic and salt to taste
A little olive oil if it looks like the tomatoes aren't juicy enough (usually not needed)


Process until smooth and don't tell anyone how easy it was. Better yet, double the recipe and freeze half so you don't have to figure out what to do with the extra tomatoes.

2ndTimer

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2014, 12:31:25 PM »
Currently making potato garlic parsley filling for the last of my 3 tubes/$1.00 Grocery Outlet biscuits.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2018, 05:53:42 AM »
Can peanut butter be subbed for tahini?

nancy33

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2018, 08:31:30 AM »
Not as badass as a lot of you but we discovered Mealime app from this forum and it has saved a lot of grocery money, plus now husband and teenage son can cook dinner following the easy recipes! A lot less food waste. I make a soup,or stew out of leftovers once a week and of course always my own broth from the bones. Also husband can use the app to go grocery shopping and buy just what we need.

Holyoak

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2018, 08:57:17 AM »
Boy this time of year, means lots of soups, stews, and baking.  I too use everything I can w/o waste, so all bones become some form of broth, with chicken/turkey/ham barley soup being a much loved favorite.  Matzo balls are another great soup, as is African yam, and of course as mentioned in the thread, ham and beans.  Lots of broth also means lots of delicious gravy, and who really hates gravy and homemade stuffing?  I gave away my two slow-cookers, and really like my pressure cooker better.  Have used both styles for decades of cooking, but like the results better from my 62 y/o Presto 6 qt PC...  It's simply more versatile for me, and I hope it lasts forever.  I have to make custom gaskets for it now myself, and just love the thing.

Been on a cranberry jag lately, with cran/apple/walnut pumpkin bundt cake a real treat, and cranberry pecan tart my new favorite desert.  Of course molasses cake and cookies are so great this time of year too, as are raisin cookies, mincemeat anything.  Love a nice hot loaf of Jewish Rye from the oven, rolls, country white...  Hmm, I better get cracking.     

Imma

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2018, 09:45:30 AM »
I love cooking and frugal cooking is a second nature to me. I learned to cook in a farm kitchen where we grew a lot of food ourselves and used all kinds of preservation techniques.

Yesterday we ate chili with chicken meat pulled off the bones of our christmas roast chicken. We ate that roast chicken over 3 days and I boiled stock from it on the 27th. I pulled the meat from the bones and made a large batch of chili from it, which I froze.

Today I'm going to make a potato-and-leftover-veggies dish for dinner. The potatoes have been lying around for a while and I'm going to throw all the veggies I can find. I will make sauerkraut from the remaining potatoes for tomorrow.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2018, 04:21:33 AM »
I took over the cooking in the house a little over a year ago and have not only cut our grocery bill in at least half but our waste as well. I always cook keeping in mind any leftovers are going to the next meal somehow OR kids will like it enough to gobble down the next day. One of my favorites is I will make a pork chop and brown rice oven bake and there is always so much left over brown rice the next day i turn that into pork fried rice as I usually have 1 or 2 chops leftover two. Meals change so much depending on whats on sale. Right now the chicken tenderloins have been on sale so I breaded them with flower then egg then a mix of italian bread crumbs, panko and added some red pepper flakes and paprika. Bakes them for 20 minutes then broiled for couple minutes. First day (family of 6 , 5 home now) made with russets I chopped up and fried with onions and spices on the stove top after microwaving the potatoes for 6 minutes and topped with a little Parmesan. I made over 4lbs of tenderloins so the next day chicken tenderloin sandwiches and beans with a broccoli and carrot medley.  Most days I really enjoy cooking and like to find ways to get the kids excited while still eating healthy and some days I succeed and others fail there taste buds but I enjoy it and too find it therapeutic.
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Malkynn

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Re: Badassity in Cooking!
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2018, 10:40:22 AM »
I took over the cooking in the house a little over a year ago and have not only cut our grocery bill in at least half but our waste as well.

Me too.
I took over all of the cooking when I dropped down to 3ish days a week. Iím also the much much better cook (used to be a chef), so now that DH isnít doing most of the cooking, what we are eating is so much tastier, and our grocery budget is less than half and rarely does anything go to waste.

The most badass aspect is that I stopped buying meat (other than occasionally buying trout and sometimes shrimp). My training is in vegetarian restaurants even though Iíve never been a vegetarian, but thatís where my skills are, so I can make dishes with no meat that have layers upon layers of flavours.

Weíve also switched to all dry beans/chick peas instead of canned now that we got a pressure cooker for Christmas.

I cook all of our meals for the entire week in one afternoon, pre-portion them out into ~400 calorie servings, which keeps us both from over eating or snacking. There is no other easy to grab or prepared food in the house, so the only snack available is nuts or hard boiled eggs.
It keeps both our budget and our waistlines nice and lean.
Weíve both lost over 20lbs since I took over the kitchen.