Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thinking Day

I was thinking today, what is one of the best ways to save, besides Walgreens and CVS of, good dinners. So I've been searching and have found some good recipes I thought I'd share.

Shepherd's Pie (One of my favs and always easy to alter to taste)

1 pound ground beef or chicken or turkey
1/2 cup ground beef mix or your favorite seasonings for ground meat
1 cup white wine or water
mashed potatoes
(from 3 large potatoes)
canned or creamed corn or peas (optional)
1/2 cup Cheddar or Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 350.
Brown the ground meat and drain. (Rinse if you want to get more fat off.) Add the seasonings and wine or water and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile peel up the potatoes and cut into 1" chunks. Simmer until soft. Drain, mash, and add butter and milk.
Put the meat into a 9x9 baking dish. Pour the corn or peas on top if using. Cover with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake
at 350 for 25 minutes.
***When I make this I like to add some worcestershire sauce.

Fried Rice

3 cups cooked rice
2 Tbs oil
1 carrot, shredded or thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 pound meat, cut in small pieces (optional)
other vegetables as desired
2 eggs
1 Tbs milk
Cook up some rice, about 1 to 1.5 cups raw. You want about 3 cups cooked rice. If you have less than that leftover, use what you've got. (Note: Rice freezes well for fried rice, since it is better if it's left over and a little dry anyway. Just make extra one night and pop a few cups in a freezer bag for your next batch of fried rice.)

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Put in some sliced or shredded carrots, celery, onion--whatever you have around. Cook on medium until just softened, stirring frequently. Throw in a bit of sugar, soy sauce, salt and pepper and stir. Add the raw or cooked meat and cook or heat through. Throw in a can of bamboo shoots if you have them. Add other leftover vegetables like corn and peas if you have them.

Mix up an egg or two and 1 Tbs of milk. Here you have a choice.

If you like little strips of egg for fried rice, remove everything from the skillet, make sure there's enough oil or butter so the egg won't stick. Pour the egg in and cook it without stirring, so it lays flat, then flip it just once. Fold or roll the egg up and put on the cutting board and cut into strips.
Add the cooked rice to the pan and fry for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Some people like to remove the vegetables and meat, add a bit of oil, fry the rice, and then mix back in the vegetables and meat.
Add the cooked rice to the pan and fry for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Some people like to remove the vegetables and meat, add a bit of oil, fry the rice, and then mix back in the vegetables and meat.

Put the cooked egg top of the rice and serve. Or if you're in a hurry and a bit lazy like me, just add the raw egg to the rice and cook until done, stirring frequently.

Cheeseburger Soup (I love this stuff)

1/2-1 pound of ground beef (depending on how filling you want it to be!)
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (optional)
3-4 cups chicken or beef broth
2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
8 ounces American cheese, cubed
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
Brown the ground beef. Add the onion and cook until soft. Drain any fat off. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and cook about 5-10 minutes, then add the broth, potatoes, and seasonings. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook 20 minutes or so. Timing's not essential as long as the vegetables are cooked!
Make a white sauce. Melt the butter, slowly add the flour, stirring constantly and cook 2 minutes over medium low heat. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring constantly. Turn the heat up and simmer a few minutes until thick. Stir into the soup. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Just before serving, stir in the sour cream if using.
Goes great with biscuits or crackers!

I think maybe I will start doing a weekly menu for cheap and easy dinners. I'll post my first menu tomorrow!!

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