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Dinners for Dollars

April 23-29
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Chicken Rotini Primavera
1 box Rotini pasta, cooked as directed ($1.06)
3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced ($2.99)
1 family sz bag of mixed vegetables, steamed ($1.49)
1 pkg cream cheese, softened ($1.69)
1 cup Italian dressing (on hand)
3/4 cup milk (on hand)

Combine cream cheese, dressing and milk in bowl; whisk until smooth and well blended. Add diced chicken, steamed vegetables and sauce mix to a saucepan and heat until warmed through. Serve over rotini noodles.

COST-$7.23
We love pasta around here and this dish is a great way to get them to actually eat some veggies because they love the sauce! We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers out of this meal which makes it around $0.66 per serving.

Saucy Italian Pork Chops

10 boneless pork chops ($5.84)
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables ($1.29)
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (on hand)
1 can Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained ($0.94)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ($1.16)

Heat large skillet sprayed with cooking spray on med-hi heat. Add chops and vegetables; cook 2 minutes or until bottoms of pork chops are browned. Turn pork chops over. Drizzle with the dressing and cover with the tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil; cover and simmer on low heat for additional 10-14 minutes until pork chops are cooked to 160 degrees. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

COST-$9.23
I just recently found this recipe shoved in the very back of a kitchen drawer. I haven’t made this in a couple of years because I thought I’d lost the recipe. I love pork chops and this recipe is amazingly good and so easy! We get 6 dinners and 2 lunches out of it which makes it around $1.15 per serving.

Beer Battered Grilled Cheese Supreme

12 slices fully cooked bacon ($1.99)
12 slices bread (I use sourdough) ($2.29)
6 slices Provolone cheese ($1.60)
6 slices cheddar cheese ($1.60)
1 egg ( on hand)
1 cup pale ale beer (on hand)
1/2 cup all purpose flour (on hand)
1/4 t chili powder (on hand)
2 T butter (on hand)

On half of bread slices, top with slice of provolone cheese, cheddar cheese and 2 slices of bacon. Top with remaining bread slices. Heat skillet over medium-hi heat. In shallow bowl, beat egg, beer, flour and chili powder with fork until smooth. Dip each sandwich into batter, giving in a few seconds on each side to absorb the batter; drain excess batter back into bowl. Melt butter in hot skillet. Cook each sandwich for 3-4 minutes per side until browned.

COST-$7.48
These are the yummiest grilled cheese sandwiches and so easy to make! I sometimes substitute ham or turkey for the bacon for a change. I always serve these with sweet potato fries and dill pickles. We don’t have any leftovers since they would be soggy the next day so this dinner costs about $1.25 per serving.

BBQ Cheddar Chicken Pitas

6 whole wheat pitas ($2.09)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded ($2.32)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($1.16)
1 cup BBQ sauce (on hand)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice each pita in half to make 2 round surfaces. Top each pita half with chicken, BBQ sauce and cheese. Bake on cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

COST-$5.57
The kids love anything that looks like pizza and I love that the pitas are whole wheat and single serving size. We get 6 dinners and 2 lunches from this dinner so that works out to be around $0.70 per serving.

Tuscan Tilapia

1/4 t black pepper (on hand)
1 tub (10oz) Philadelphia Tomato & Basil Cooking Creme ($2.89)
1 cup frozen peas ($0.89)
10 Tilapia fish fillets, thawed ($5.89)
2 cups white rice, cooked (on hand)

Heat grill to medium. Place thawed fish fillets on individual foil squares and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, turning as needed, until fish is fully cooked- approximately 12-15 minutes. Add cooking creme to a skillet and cook on medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove 1/4 cup of the creme; set aside. Add peas and rice to remaning creme in skillet; cook and stir for 3 minutes or until heated through. Spoon rice mixture on to plates, top with a fish fillet and drizzle with reserved sauce.

COST-$9.67
We love tilapia and it’s so easy to grill. The kids will eat the peas with no complaint as long as they are covered in the sauce. We get 6 dinners and 2 lunches from this which makes is around $1.21 per serving.



Boston Cream Cake Recipe

 
Boston Cream Cake
 

I am a huge fan of Boston Cream Pie, it’s one of my all time favorite desserts. Unfortunately I’ve never found a recipe that was a)easy enough for me to do or b)good when I made it. I had resigned myself to buying the frozen ones forever. Then I stumbled upon this recipe at one of my favorite cooking blogs, The Country Cook. I knew I had to try it! I’m pleased to say that it was so simple to make but so delicious to eat!

 

 
 
 
Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients as per box)
2 boxes instant vanilla pudding
4 cups milk
1 tub chocolate frosting

 

 

Mix cake ingredients and bake as instructed on box in a greased 13×9 baking dish.

 

 

While cake is still warm, use a wooden spoon handle to poke holes at about 1 inch intervals all over cake.

 

 

In medium bowl, mix 2 packets of instant vanilla pudding and 4 cups of milk with whisk until blended well. Let pudding mixture sit for about 2 minutes to thicken slightly.

 

 

Pour pudding over top of warm cake. Use spoon to push down gently so pudding fills the holes. Refrigerate cake until completely cooled.

 

 

Microwave frosting uncovered for 15-20 seconds until pourable but not bubbly hot. Pour frosting over top of cake and gently spread until pudding is covered. Allow to cool on counter for a few minutes and then put in the fridge to allow cake to set.

 

 

Look at all that yummy! Chocolate frosting, vanilla pudding and cake. What could be better? Nothing. The answer is nothing. This cake needs to be kept refrigerated, assuming that you don’t scarf it down in one sitting…..not that it would happen here….never.

 

Boston Cream Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients as per box)
  2. 2 boxes instant vanilla pudding
  3. 4 cups milk
  4. 1 tub chocolate frosting
Instructions
  1. Mix cake ingredients and bake as instructed on box in a greased 13x9 baking dish.
  2. While cake is still warm, use a wooden spoon handle to poke holes at 1" intervals all over cake.
  3. In medium bowl, mix 2 packets of instant vanilla pudding and 4 cups of milk with whisk until blended well.
  4. Let pudding mixture sit for about 2 minutes to thicken slightly.
  5. Pour pudding over top of warm cake.
  6. Use spoon to push down gently so pudding fills the holes.
  7. Refrigerate cake until completely cooled.
  8. Microwave frosting uncovered for 15-20 seconds until pourable but not bubbly hot.
  9. Pour frosting over top of cake and gently spread until pudding is covered.
  10. Allow to cool on counter for a few minutes and then put in the fridge to allow cake to set.
Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama http://semidomesticatedmama.com/


Dinners for Dollars

April 16-22
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15 Min Marinated Chicken
1/4 cup dijon mustard (on hand)
3 T lemon juice (on hand)
2 t worcestershire sauce (on hand)
3/4 t dried tarragon (on hand)
1/4 t pepper (on hand)
8 boneless chicken breasts ($6.98)

Combine the first five ingredients; spread on both sides of chicken. Place chicken on plate. Marinate at room temperature for 10-15 minutes or for several hours in the refrigerator. Grill, turning once, for 10-15 minutes or until juices run clear.               

COST-$6.98
I love simple grilling recipes. I hope you guys like to grill because you’ll be seeing a whole lot of grilling recipes around here for the next few months. We don’t get a lot of leftovers on nights when we grill but this does give us 6 dinners and 1 lunch so it’s about $0.99 per serving.

BBQ Ranch Bacon Cheeseburgers
2 lbs ground beef ($5.98)
1 pkt Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix ($0.62)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (on hand)
1/2 cup Ranch dressing (on hand)
1 pkg Fully Cooked Bacon, heated ($2.68)
8 slices Monterey Jack cheese, sliced in half ($1.09)
1 pkg French Bread Rolls, sliced in half and toasted ($2.09)
French Fried Onions (optional) (on hand)

Mix ground beef with seasoning mix in large bowl until well blended. Shape beef into 8 oblong patties. Whisk together barbecue sauce and dressing in small bowl; set aside. Spray grate of outdoor grill and utensils with grilling spray. Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill patties 5 minutes on one side or until juices begin to appear on surface. Turn patties over; top each with 3 slices bacon. Cook about 4 minutes longer; top each patty with 2 half pieces of cheese, overlapping to cover patty. Remove patties when cheese begins to melt. Spread barbecue-dressing mixture on bottom of each roll. Place cooked patty with bacon and cheese on lettuce. Spoon additional barbecue-dressing mixture over cheese. Sprinkle with fried onions, if desired.

COST-$12.46
These burgers are a once in awhile treat because they are not cheap. But they are sooooooo good! I always add the French Fried onions but you can leave them off if you prefer. I always serve this with sweet potato fries and grilled corn on the cob! We only get 6 dinners and 2 lunches so these burgers cost around $1.56 per serving.

Nacho Supreme
2 lbs ground beef ($5.98)
1 pkt taco seasoning ($0.68)
1 can Condensed Tomato soup ($0.60)
2 cups water (on hand)
2 cups instant white rice, uncooked (on hand)
Salsa ($1.46)
Shredded cheddar cheese ($2.28)
shredded lettuce ($1.06)
tortilla chips ($2.88)

Cook beef and taco seasoning in skillet until browned; drain. Add soup, water, and rice. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Top with salsa, cheese and lettuce. Serve over tortilla chips.

COST-$14.94
This is another not-so-cheap meal but the kids love it and I try to plan it for when we will be having guests since it does make quite a bit. We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers which makes it around $1.15 per serving.

Greek Tortellini Salad
2 pkgs (9 oz each) cheese tortellini ($3.76)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (on hand)
1/4 cup lemon juice (on hand)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (on hand)
1 t dried oregano (on hand)
1/2 t salt (on hand)
1 lb baby spinach leaves ($2.69)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese ($1.99)

Cook tortellini in boiling water for 7 minutes; drain. In large bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, oregano and salt. Add tortellini and stir to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Before serving, mix spinach leaves and feta cheese with tortellini.

COST-$8.44
I love feta cheese and I love tortellini so it was only natural for me to combine the two. You can also add grilled chicken if you want a more meaty dish. We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and limited leftovers which makes this dish around $0.84 per serving.

Grilled Italian Pork Chops

10 boneless pork chops ($6.98)
10 slices of tomato ($0.72)
1/4 cup chopped basil (on hand)
2 t dried oregano (on hand)
2 T olive oil (on hand)
10 slices mozzarella cheese ($1.88)

Preheat outdoor grill to medium heat. Season pork chops with salt and pepper to taste and arrange in bottom of disposable aluminum baking pan. Top each with slice of tomato. Sprinkle oregano and basil over top of each and drizzle with olive oil. Cover pan with foil. Cook on pre-heated grill for 25 minutes or until internal temp of pork chops reaches 160 degrees. Remove pan from grill and uncover. Top each pork chop with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Re-cover with foil and wait for cheese to melt, about 3-5 minutes.

COST-$9.58
These pork chops are yummy! The kids even love this dish and that’s saying something with all the colors involved. My kids associate veggies with red and green so getting them to eat this was a victory! We get 6 dinners, 1 lunch and leftovers which makes it around $0.96 per serving.



Strawberry Shortcake Trifle Recipe

 
Strawberry Shortcake Trifle
 

I spent the week searching for the perfect Strawberry Shortcake Trifle recipe for our Easter celebration. I didn’t find just one recipe that I loved but I found quite a few that had parts that I loved. So I combined all those parts into one recipe. Risky when you have 25+ people showing up at your house expecting the yumminess. I’m thankful to say this recipe ended up being amazing! We had no leftovers, not even a crumb! I even caught someone, not naming any names of course, licking the bowl!

 

 
Ingredients:
 

1 large Angel Food Cake
8 oz cream cheese, softened
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz container Cool Whip, thawed
1 cup sugar
3 T cornstarch
3 T powdered strawberry Jell-o
1 cup water
2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered

 

 

Mix together cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip until blended and smooth.

 

 

Combine sugar, cornstarch, jello powder and water together in medium saucepan.

 

 

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

 

 

Cut angel food cake into 1 inch pieces.

 

 

Cut strawberries into quarters. If berries are on smaller side, you can half them instead.

 

 

Layer 1/3 of cake pieces in bottom of Trifle bowl.

 

 

Add quartered strawberries to the glaze.

 

 

Add 1/3 of strawberry glaze over top of cake layer.

 

 

Smooth 1/3 of cream cheese custard over top of glaze.

 

 

Repeat layers twice with remaining cake pieces, glaze and custard.

 

 

Garnish with halved strawberries.

 

 

 

Chill for several hours.

 

 

Look at those yummy layers! Not one crumb leftover, I tell you.

 

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large Angel Food Cake
  2. 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  3. 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  4. 12 oz container Cool Whip, thawed
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 3 T cornstarch
  7. 3 T powdered strawberry Jell-o
  8. 1 cup water
  9. 2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
Instructions
  1. Mix together cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip until blended and smooth.
  2. Combine sugar, cornstarch, jello powder and water together in medium saucepan.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  5. Cut angel food cake into 1 inch pieces.
  6. Cut strawberries into quarters.
  7. Layer 1/3 of cake pieces in bottom of Trifle bowl.
  8. Add quartered strawberries to the glaze.
  9. Add 1/3 of strawberry glaze over top of cake layer.
  10. Smooth 1/3 of cream cheese custard over top of glaze.
  11. Repeat layers twice with remaining cake pieces, glaze and custard.
  12. Garnish with halved strawberries.
  13. Chill for several hours.
Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama http://semidomesticatedmama.com/


Dinners for Dollars

April 9-15
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BBQ Shrimp Linguine

1 T packed brown sugar (on hand)
1 t chile powder (on hand)
1 t sweet paprika (on hand)
½ t cumin (on hand)
¼ t ground red pepper (on hand)
½ t salt (on hand)
¼ t pepper (on hand)
1 lb medium frozen shrimp, thawed ($4.98)

1 box linguine noodles ($1.06)

In large bowl, combine brown sugar, chile powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Add shrimp and toss until evenly coated. Bake at 475 for 5 minutes, turn and bake additional 8-10 minutes. Serve over linguine noodles.

COST-$6.04
We love shrimp and we love BBQ so what could be better than BBQ Shrimp? Ahhhh! We normally get 6 dinners and 2 lunches out of this meal which makes it around $0.76 per serving.

BLT Pasta Salad

1 pkg spiral pasta ($1.06)
½ cup milk (on hand)
1 box cooked bacon ($2.68)
1 ctnr grape tomatoes, halved ($2.88)
½ cup mayo (on hand)
¼ cup sour cream ($1.48)
1 bag lettuce ($2.06)

Cook pasta as directed. Drain and toss with milk in large bowl; set aside. Cook bacon and crumble into pieces. Toss bacon pieces and tomatoes with pasta. Mix the mayo and sour cream with pasta. Add lettuce and toss to coat.

COST-$10.16
This is a family favorite! We love this meal and the kids can’t get enough of it! We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers. It works out to be around $0.78 per serving.

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

8 oz rigatoni pasta, cooked ($1.06)
1 pkg (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed ($0.88)
3 chicken breasts, cooked and cut up ($2.99)
1 can Italian style diced tomatoes, drained ($0.98)
1 ctnr (8oz) Philadelphia chive & onion cream cheese ($2.69)
½ t salt (on hand)
½ t pepper (on hand)
cups shredded mozzarella cheese ($2.28)

Stir rigatoni, thawed spinach, chicken, tomatoes, cream cheese, salt and pepper in large bowl. Spoon mix into baking dish and cover with mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

COST-$10.88
I love getting as many vegetables into my kids as possible and it seems like if I hide them in chicken and pasta, the kids will consume them with no questions asked! Psst..I also hide V8 juice in my spaghetti! We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers out of this dish which makes it about $0.91 per serving.

Baked Ham & Cheese Croissants

4 oz cream cheese, softened ($0.99)
½ T honey dijon mustard (on hand)
9 large croissants ($2.05)
9 slices of swiss cheese  ($0.99)
½ lb ham, thinly sliced or shaved ($1.99)

Blend cream cheese and mustard together until well combined. Slice croissants in half and spread cream cheese mix on both sides. Top with slice of cheese and ham. Close croissants and put on baking pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

COST-$6.02
I swear there is nothing better than hot ham and cheese on croissants! We love them! I usually make 12 of them at a time and we get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and limited leftovers out of this dinner. It works out to be around $0.60 per serving.

Asian Pork Chops
10 Boneless pork chops ($5.98)
1/2 cup soy sauce (on hand)
1/2 cup ketchup (on hand)
1/2 cup light brown sugar (on hand)
1 t black pepper (on hand)

Place pork chops in bottom of crockpot. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over top of pork chops. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

COST-$5.98
I had to give these a try the first time I saw this recipe. We love Asian food and this recipe seemed so simple. It was amazingly good! I think it would be just as yummy if you grilled the pork chops. We get 6 dinners and 2 lunches out of this meal which makes it around $0.75 per serving.