Chicken Teriyaki and Rice

RACHEL - WIN_20150407_134449 RACHEL - WIN_20150407_135104Teriyaki Sauce:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup Ketchup

1/3 cup vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 TBSP dried garlic

2 tsp ground ginger

Mix all ingredients together in a tuperware bowl. Then cut up raw chicken into bite size pieces. RACHEL - WIN_20150407_135333 RACHEL - WIN_20150407_135817 Put the chicken into the teriyaki sauce and let set in the fridge for at least an hour. RACHEL - WIN_20150407_135851Heat cooking spray in an electric WOK or skillet to medium then pour the chicken and teriyaki into the heated WOK. DSCN3928     Stirring to make sure the chicken all cooks evenly. After about ten minutes add vegetables. I like to use a couple bags of mixed vegetables because they are cheap you can usually pick up the store brand bags of mixed vegetables for a dollar a bag. DSCN3929DSCN3927DSCN3930Put the lid on the WOK or skillet and let simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile make your rice.

For this recipe I made just plain white rice. However if you want to make fried rice you can cook your rice in a sauce pan and in a seperate skillet cook a scrambled egg to add to the rice. When the rice is cooked add it to the egg and let it fry up until slightly brown.

This recipe is always so good and inexpensive. DSCN3932

Pizza Night

DSCN3627 When we make pizza we make it from scratch including making the crust. I also like to use my home grown tomatoes for the sauce and in the fall I either can my tomatoes or freeze them. This recipe is going to take you from making the crust from scratch and using home canned tomatoes. That being said if you would rather use store bought crust or store bought tomatoes that is okay. We can feed our whole family for a couple days for under $20 by making the pizza by scratch. While some Pizza places are fairly inexpensive I think you will find it is cheaper and tastes better when you make the pizza yourself.

Pizza Crust:

2 1/2-3 cups of Flour

1 TBSP sugar

1 tsp salt

1 TBSP yeast or 1 package of yeast

3 TBSP Olive Oil

1 cup very warm water.

Put yeast, sugar and water in a measuring cup and place in a warm spot. DSCN3605Then mix the remaining ingredients together. DSCN3606DSCN3607DSCN3608DSCN3609Now add the yeast mixture and mix in with flour mixture. Let rest while you prepare your pan and get toppings ready.

On a large cookie sheet grease with olive oil or spray with cooking spray then sprinkle with Italian seasoning. DSCN3610

Roll out dough and stretch it to cover the cookie sheet.DSCN3612DSCN3613DSCN3615 Leave a little bit hanging over on all sides. Sprinkle cheese around edge then bring up the extra dough and fold it over the cheese.DSCN3617DSCN3618

Pizza Toppings:

2 cups of Tomato sauce

1lb ground Italian Sausage.

Pepperoni

Olives (optional)

Banana Peppers (optional)

1lb Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Whole Tomatoes (optional)

Cook your Italian Sausage and Tomato sauce on the stove top until the ground meat is cooked all the way through and the sauce is thickened. DSCN3600DSCN3599DSCN3601DSCN3602Then spread the sauce mixture on top of your pizza. Sprinkle cheese over sauce mixture leaving about half the cheese. Top with Pepperoni, tomatoes, olives and peppers or whatever other toppings you like. DSCN3616DSCN3620    DSCN3622 DSCN3623 DSCN3625Sprinkle with remaining cheese and then cook in preheated oven at 425 for 20-25 minutes. Your dough will be cooked through slightly brown around the edges and the cheese will be browning.DSCN3627Pizza is one of our favorite meals to make with the kids, I let them add their own toppings. We have also mixed up the dough and let the kids make their own mini pizza’s. With pizza there is no limit to the types of toppings you can do, and you can make a really good pizza dinner for under $20 every time.

Until Next Week happy cooking.

We are getting ready to wrap up the 20 under $20 blogs and I am looking for ideas. If you have any suggestions for cooking posts or anything you would like to see discussed I can be reached through the comments section. Through my Facebook page or via e-mail at RachelsCookingClass@yahoo.com. Thank you.

Super Easy Chicken and Dumplings for Under $20

DSCN3885Part of making this blog means making these great recipes for my family. We get to enjoy a wonderful meal, and I get to take pictures. This is always a favorite. I actually had never made Chicken and Dumplings before I met my good friend Abra. However, it is one of her favorite meals and we have a tradition in my family on birthdays we always make the birthday persons favorite meal. Well one year Abra asked if I could make her Chicken and Dumplings. When I came across this recipe I found out it was just a delightful way make Chicken Soup.

Chicken and Dumplings isn’t Chicken Soup though, it is better. I personally like that it is thicker than a normal chicken soup. What I really like about this recipe is how inexpensive it is. I delight in finding recipes that are affordable and that my whole family enjoys. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

1 2lb package of Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

1 2lb package of frozen mixed vegetables

1 medium Onion

1 TBSP minced Garlic

8 cups Chicken Broth

1 1/2 tsp of Poultry Seasoning

1/2 tsp white pepper

3/4 cup of flour seperated

1 cup whole milk

Drop Biscuits

Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Mix 1/4 cup of flour, chicken seasoning and white pepper in a bowl. DSCN3887DSCN3888DSCN3889DSCN3890DSCN3891Spray your soup pot with cooking spray and heat to medium heat. Roll chicken in flour mixture then put in soup pot. lightly brown the chicken. DSCN3892DSCN3894Add minced garlic, and diced onion. DSCN3896DSCN3897Brown the garlic and onion along with the chicken. Pour chicken broth in soup pot. I like to make my broth using water and chicken bouillon. DSCN3899Let your soup simmer for at least thirty minutes. I like to let the soup simmer longer than that for an hour or more. Add your frozen vegetables and let cook for 15 minutes.DSCN3900 DSCN3901 In the mean time mix milk and the remaining 1/2 cup of flour until smooth. DSCN3902 DSCN3903Add the milk mixture to your soup and then mix up the drop biscuits.

Drop Biscuits:

1 1/2 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup shortening

2/3 cup cold water.

Drop the biscuits into the soup. Put the lid on and let it slow boil for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. The biscuits should be cooked all the way through without any doughy parts. DSCN3906DSCN3907DSCN3910DSCN3909DSCN3908

When you are mixing up your drop biscuits remember to sift together the dry ingredients, cut in the shortening with the pastry blender. Lightly mix in the water. Be careful in your measurements, if your flour is off even slightly your biscuits may not turn out.

Tuna Casserole a Great Meal for Under $20

DSCN3210

One of my favorite recipes to make is homemade mac and cheese. In fact since I started making mac and cheese from scratch I no longer buy the box mixes and other than the occasional family get together on my husbands side I don’t eat the box mix mac and cheese; homemade is just so much better. That being said I have adapted my homemade mac and cheese for this wonderful Tuna recipe that is under $20. I like to put broccoli in my tuna casserole but you can put any kind of veggie in that you like or you can leave the veggie out and have a nice salad on the side, whatever works for your family. Without further ado I give you Tuna Casserole for under $20

2 cups of Pasta (I like to use Barilla Veggie)

2 cups of chopped broccoli

2 cups Milk

2 cups shredded cheese

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp worstershire sauce

2 5oz cans tuna

1 tablespoon paprika

Chop the broccoli if you are using fresh, and then put your broccoli in with your pasta and cook your according to package directions.DSCN3211 Then in the same pan melt the butter and when it is melted add in the flour, dry mustard and worstershire.DSCN3214     Slowly add in the milk stirring as you do. Once you have added all of your milk bring the mixture to a boil for about a minute. DSCN3216DSCN3217Next add in the shredded cheese. DSCN3218Add your tuna,DSCN3219 Preheat your oven to 350, the pasta mixture, DSCN3220 DSCN3221 DSCN3222 DSCN3223 spread evenly in an 8×8 pan. Sprinkle the paprika on top and cook in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.

Planning the Perfect Meal, For a Day or a Month

Meal planning is the perfect way to stay on budget. Some families plan meals for a week in advance while others plan out their entire month. One of the reasons why meal planning works so well is you can then create the perfect meal whether it just be for the day or perfect meals for a whole month.

LetsEat_FebCynthia Ewer author of the Complete Idiots Guide to Getting Organized offers these tips when it comes to meal planning. First she says to start small and simple. It isn’t about organizing your recipe box or planning meals for a year, start with just looking at what you are going to cook next week. Next she says to stay flexible, life happens and thinking that because you have a meal plan means you have to follow it to the letter can be discouraging and make you quit before you really get started. However her offer to stay flexible is followed up with the advice that you still need to make menu planning a habit. Like anything else it only works if you keep at it for awhile until it becomes second nature. More of Cynthia’s advice can be found at Organized Home.

Meal-Plan-1024x791Start simple, print out a planner from the web or look at what Microsoft office has to offer, then take a look at the ads, what is on sale? Meat, Potatos, Vegetables, Fruit. If it helps for the first week just plan out your dinners. Later on you can look at what would make for a good lunch and when you are comfortable with those two you can start planning out breakfast. Now I have to admit breakfast at my house is really simple. We make our Egg Soufflé almost every day and occasionally switch it up with something else. However, when three eggs and a half a cup of milk will feed a family of five I am pretty excited, especially since the kids love it so much. As for lunch when I am planning out my meals for the week I am pretty sure what we will be having for lunch since our family eats a lot of left overs. So if we are going to make Spaghetti on Monday night we will make enough to have it for lunch on Tuesday and possibly again on Wednesday. The same is true with just about every recipe I have offered in the 20 for $20 category. Planning meals in our family comes down to figuring out what we will be having for dinner,   then incorporating the left overs into our lunch for the next day.Weekly Meal Plan

Enchilada’s, Beef, Venison, or Pork? A Great Meal for Under $20

DSCN3792First I have to admit that when I am talking about making a meal for under $20 I am not thinking about    how much the spices cost. Whatever you are using to season your meat is something that is in your pantry already and therefore shouldn’t reflect in the cost of your dishes.

So when it comes to Enchilada’s there is no limit to the different ways that you can make them. Cheese, Seafood, Beef, Venison, Pork, and Chicken are just a few of the variations. Usually I make my enchilada’s with ground venison. As I have mentioned in previous blogs I have two older brothers who like to hunt and so we are blessed with venison which they share whenever they get one.

This time I made it with Boston beef.

2lbs of Boston Beef

2 cups of grated cheese

1 large can of Enchilada Sauce

1 can pinto beans

1 small can of chopped olives

1 can of chilies

Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and then lightly brown your ground meat.DSCN3794  I like to add some spices and I am quite fond of Mrs. Dash Southwest. About two teaspoons is all you need, sprinkle it on the meat while it cooks. DSCN3795Now that the meat is cooked, you will simply layer it on the tortilla shell. Put a scoop of meat, a scoop of pinto beans, a spoonful of olives and a spoonful of chilies on each tortilla along with a pinch of cheese. Then roll the tortilla and place it in a glass pan that has a small amount of enchilada sauce in the bottom. DSCN3796 DSCN3797 DSCN3798DSCN3801DSCN3802DSCN3803DSCN3804DSCN3805 DSCN3806 DSCN3807Once you have a pan full of enchiladas you will want to pour enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas and sprinkle cheese on top. Put in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.DSCN3811 DSCN3810 Serve with sour cream on the side or just plain. Enjoy, and if you like take our poll what kind of Enchiladas to you like best?

A Plentiful Pantry

WIN_20150301_183430What is a plentiful pantry? Simply put it means having on hand all the ingredients that you would need in a given day to make any of the wonderful recipes on this blog. I assume when I am writing a post that you have salt, pepper, baking soda, seasonings, and any other number of ingredients on hand. You might have to buy some meat, or vegetables, but having an plentiful pantry means having most other ingredients on hand. If you are just starting out, you can make a list of items that are common in most recipes.

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Oil
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • PastaWIN_20150301_183456

The list can be exhaustive. Crockpot magazine says “a well-stocked pantry is a shortcut to preparing meals efficiently.” You can make any recipe on this blog or any recipe you find if you have a well stocked pantry. So where do you begin?

First make a shopping list. Look at what you already have in your pantry if it is empty then you will need to literally start at the beginning determining what all you need to buy. What I would do is look through cookbooks and see what recipes interest me, if I want to make something but I do not have the ingredients I add it to my shopping list.

Make two lists, one for stuff that you will pick up now and the second for items that can wait until later. Then shop the sales. If flour is on sale I’ll pick up extra. Oil is the same way, a while back I found Olive Oil for $4.00, the same oil is usually around $9-$10 so I picked up two jars of olive oil for what normally could have been one jar.

You can also stock your pantry from health food stores. We have an awesome health food store nearby that sells bulk herbs, spices, and seasonings. It is a lot cheaper to buy these items here than at say Wal-Mart and yet I only go about once a month to the health food store. During the month I make a list of items that I am low or out of so I can stock up next time we go there.

What it comes down to, having a plentiful pantry means stocking up when you can afford to, and planning ahead. Next week we will look at meal planning and how you can build a menu and that will help you with shopping as well as budgeting before your next shopping trip.

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