Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Skillet Cooked Salmon

I went a bit extravagant for this one.  It's pretty basic, but also quite expensive.  This can be adapted to pretty much any fish, I just got salmon because it's one of my favorites.  You can get frozen fish, but I much prefer fish from the meat counter, so that's what I got.


  • 1.5 pounds Salmon fillets
    • $9 per pound
  • some Olive Oil
    • $5.45 for about 9 ounces
  • 6 ounces of "Zesty Salmon Sauce" from the meat counter
    • $2.50 for 6 ounces
Dishes and Utensils
  • Large skillet
  • Flipper
  • Spoon or knife or your preferred spreading mechanism
  • A lid to cover the aforementioned skillet
Cost: $16.50

People fed: 2 - 3

Cook time: 30 - 40 minutes

First take a moment to get over the shock of spending that much for a meal for 2 or 3 people.  No seriously, this is just stupid.  But it tastes so good.

Ok, now that we've gotten that out of our system, put some oil in the skillet.  The oil is always an approximation.  I usually pour enough to cover about half of the base of the skillet, then move the oil around to see if it will cover the entire bottom.  If it doesn't I will add more oil.  Turn your stove on medium-low (3/10) and place your salmon in scale-side down.  If your fish does not have scales or any of that nonsense, just throw it on whichever side seems more pleasant.  Liberally plaster the upper side of the fish with your sauce.  Use it all or until you look at it and think "I seriously can not put any more sauce on here."  Once your fish is sufficiently sauced, put a lid on the skillet.

Every 5 to 10 minutes check on the fish to make sure nothing weird is happening.  Also use the flipper to make sure that the fish does not stick to the bottom of the skillet.  It's not a huge deal if it does because it's just the scales.  After the surface of the fish looks cooked, let it go for a little bit longer to ensure that the insides are cooked as well.  If you want to really make sure this is cooked, use your flipper to cut the fillet in half.  If it looks cooked (does not look like it did in raw form), then you're good!

This goes well with a side of rice or pasta.  I used some "add water and milk" pasta thing I got at Aldi.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pulled Barbecue Chicken and Baked Potatoes

This is a recipe that I made off of something I had at a Barbecue restaurant with Amber when she lived out in Phoenix.  You can use any pulled/shredded meat, but I chose chicken.  It takes some time, but it's relatively simply.


  • 1 pound
    • 3 pounds for $6
  • 6 or 8 oz .barbecue sauce
    • $2.29 a for 28 oz
  • Some baked potatoes
    • $3 for 5 pounds
Dishes and utensils
  • A baking sheet
  • A large skillet
  • A fork
  • A spatula
Baking time: like an hour

People fed: 2 or 3

Cost: $3.48


Us the fork to poke holes in the potatoes, then put them in the oven on the cookie sheet for an hour at 350.  While those are cooking, take your thawed chicken out and get ready for lots of fun.  Jokes... it's not fun at all.  Take each piece of chicken and run the tines of your fork against it, ripping piece off that are very thin.  Or just ripping pieces off.  Just use whatever you get from it.  Once you have successfully done this with all of the chicken, put it in a skillet.  As the chicken starts to cook, put some barbecue sauce on it.  Like, coat the chicken.  Cook it some more.  If it seems as though there is not enough sauce... add some more.  You will be able to see that the meat is white through the barbecue sauce.  That means that it's done.  If your potatoes still have time, just turn the chicken on a low heat and let them simmer, stirring occasionally.

When your potatoes are done, take them out.  Cut each one open and put some of the chicken on top of it.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chicken Curry

Another recipe from my 30 minute dinners cook book.  Apparently I don't make much from here... because this is the last one that I remember making.  Oh well!  Chicken curry is a traditional Indian/South Asian meal.  It tends to be a bit on the spicy side, but this dish is not.  You could add more curry to get a bigger kick though.

  • 1.5 cups rice
    • $1.20 for a bag of 7 or 8 cups
  • .75 pounds chicken breasts
    • $6 for 3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion
    • $.60
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
    • around $1 for 1 ounce
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
    • $13 for 266 bouillon cubes
  • 1 5.5-ounce can of tomato juice
    • $.30
  • 8 ounces of pineapple tidbits
    • 20 ounce can is $.80
Dishes and utensils:
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large skillet
  • Bowl
People fed: 3-4

Total cost: $3

Cook time: 30 minutes

 Cook rice as directed to do so on the bag.  While rice is cooking,  cut chicken into thin slices about an inch long.  In the skillet heat the oil on medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook until it is no longer pink (about 3 minutes).  Cut the onion while chicken is cooking.  Put the chicken in the bowl and add the onion and curry to the oil in the skillet.  Stir in the flour, chicken broth*, and tomato juice one at a time, complete stirring in each item before adding the next one.

* Chicken broth is made by placing a bouillon cube in 8 ounces of water and boiling it, either in the microwave or on the stove.

Return the chicken to the skillet.  Stir in the pineapple.  Cook until everything is hot.  Serve on the rice.

If you prefer your dishes extra spicy, simple add more curry.  A common way to counter-act curry that is too spicy is to use plain yogurt or some sort of plain yogurt based sauce.  I have never made this, but if I ever do I'll be sure to include the recipe!

Chicken and noodle skillet dinner

Another things in common with many of my dishes is that they generally involve either chicken or ground turkey.  Sometimes ham.  This dish (found in Better Homes and Gardens Big Book of 30 minute dinners) originally called for pork... but I used chicken.  It's cheaper.

  • 3/4 pound chicken
    • $3 pounds for $6
  • 1 medium onion
    • about $.50
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3 cups of frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
    • $1
  • 4 ounces dried noodles of your choice
    • Usually around $.80 for 16 ounces
  • 1 10.75-ounce can of cream of celery
    • $.70
  • 1 cup chicken broth (bouillon) (this is 1 bouillon cube)
    •  $13 for 226 cubes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dishes and utensils:
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large skillet
People fed: 3-4

Total Cost:  $3.25

Cook time: 30 minutes


Defrost the chicken (or whatever meat you want to use) and cut it into thin "bite-sized" pieces.  Also chop up the onion.  In the skillet combine the oil, meat, and onion.  Cook until the chicken is no longer raw (or about 4 minutes on medium-high).  Add in the vegetables, uncooked noodles, soup, broth*, water and pepper.

*Separately (and beforehand), put a bouillon cube in 8 ounces of water and heat it to a boil, be it in the microwave or on the stove. Whichever is your preference.  This makes 1 cup of broth.

Keep stirring your nonsense until the soup is well mixed with everything else.  That should be a good indicator of how well everything is mixed together.  Bring this to a boil.  When it starts boiling, reduce the heat (to a low or medium-low) and cover.  Let it simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring on occasion.  Taste a noodle or vegetable to see if it's done.  If the noodle is cooked and/or the vegetable is hot, then it's done!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Hi friends!  In celebration of Pi Day (3-14) here is a recipe for a pie (not pi) that I made a few hours ago.  It has yet to be tried, but it's chocolate and peanut butter, so it really can't be bad.  I got the recipe from allrecipes.com.


  • 1 cup peanut butter
    • $5.55 for 40 ounces
  • 3/4 cup butter
    • $1.50 for a tub of margarine
  • 3 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
    • $1.50 for 6 or 8 cups
  • 2 8-inch graham cracker crusts
    • each is around $1.50
  • 2 cups milk
    • 1 gallon is $2.50
  • 1 3.9-ounce package of chocolate pudding
    • $.69
  • 1 8-ounce container whipped topping
    • $1
  • A microwave safe bowl
  • Another bowl
  • A spoon (or two)
Total Cost: $6.75

Pies made: 2

Cook time: 15 minutes


This is really easy.  First put the butter and peanut butter in the microwave safe bowl and melt them (10 or 20 seconds should do it).  Then mix them together.  Follow this by adding the sugar, one cup at a time and mixing in between additions of sugar.  It should be a firm-ish consistency.  Scoop half of this into each of the pie crusts.  Now mix the milk and chocolate pudding together.  When they are well homogenized, split the mixture evenly between the two pies.  Put into the refrigerator.

When you get it out to serve, add the whipped topping.  The end!  I hope it's good!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tuna-Noodle Casserole

Another recipe from my Blue Ribbon Country Cook Book.  This book really is fantastic.  My only complaint is that you'd better plan on spending around an hour to make a meal.  Anyhow, here we go.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • $1 per pound
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
    • $1.50 for around 10 stalks
  • 1 cup mushrooms (I didn't use these)
    • I package (probably about 2 cups or 10ish mushrooms) is $2
  • White Sauce
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • $2 for 32 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
    • $1 for a bottle
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (I didn't have any, so I used cayenne pepper)
  • 8 ounces of noodles
    • 16 ounces is $.80
  • A 9-ounce can of tuna (packed in water)
    • $.40 - $80
  • 15 ounces of peas (I didn't use these)
  • Buttered Cracker Crumbs
    • 6 crackers
    • 1 tablespoon of butter
Utensils and Dishes:
  • A large skillet
  • 2 quart baking dish
  • 2 medium sized pots
  • A wooden spatula
  • A spoon
  • A strainer or something
  • Large mixing bowl
Cost: $2.52 (there are a lot of little ingredients that I don't include, like the soy sauce)

People fed: 4 - 6

Cook time: around 60 minutes


Start boiling some water for pasta.  While the water heats, put the butter in the skillet and start sauté-ing the onions, celery, and mushrooms.  Do so for about 2 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350 and oil the baking pan.

White Sauce: combine the milk, flour, pepper, and salt.  Melt the butter and add it to the milk/flour.  Stir.  Heat the mixture until it is almost boiling (but don't let it boil).  Stir continuously.

Add the mayo, say sauce, and dry mustard to the White Sauce and continue to heat.  Add the vegetables (and the pan juices).  Mix well and remove from heat.

Put the noodles and sauce/vegetable mixture into the large mixing bowl and stir.  Drain the tuna and add.  If you so desire, add the peas at this point.  After it is well mixed, put into the baking pan.  Cover with buttered cracker crumbs (crumble 6 crackers and let them soak in melted butter).  Bake for 35 minutes.

Hamburger Stuff

This recipe is from my Blue Ribbon Country Cook Book.  I've made it one time, but anticipate that I shall make it again.  I really liked it.  It's simple, cheap, and lasted me 3 or 4 meals.


  • 1 lb. ground beef (as usual, I use turkey)
    • $1.50 for 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 3 large potatoes
    • $1 per pound
  • 3/4 cup onion
    • $1 per pound
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 6 or so crackers (optional)
    • $2 for 6 sleeves of crackers
  • Butter
Utensils and Dishes:
  • A large skillet
  • A 9 x 13 (or similarly sized) baking dish
  • A spoon and/or wooden spatula
  • A large bowl is useful
  • Either a knife or grater
Total cost: $3

People Fed: 4 - 6

Cook time: 60 - 90 minutes


Preheat the oven to 350.  In your large skillet, brown your meat.  While your meat is browning peel your potatoes and either grate them or cut them into small pieces.  I used a knife and it took me forever, but it's up to you. Use what you have.  Also cut up the onion.  If you get a smaller onion, just  use the whole thing.  It's probably about 3/4 of a cup.  It will be good either way.

Once the meat is browned and your other ingredients are chopped, mix them all together in a bowl.  In a small container, put your crackers (which need to be crushed into pieces) with some butter.  I used about a tablespoon or so.  Then put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds.  This melts the butter and letters your crackers soak in buttery goodness.  Now put the meat/potato mixture in your (greased) pan and covered it with the buttered crackers.

Put all of this into the oven for 45 minutes.  And you're done!

I put butter on mine when I made it and it was delicious.  My cookbook recommends chili sauce.  But really put anything on that sounds good.  I don't put anything on it!  Your choice.  It will be good however you fix it.