Sausage Shepherds Pie

August 1, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Shepherds Pie! I came across this recipe on All Recipes.com. I gave it a try and think it really is great. It meets all my criteria; cheep, easy, makes a lot. I was going to add some shredded cheese to it but forgot as I was making it.

  • 1 pound Ground Sausage
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar prepared beef gravy
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (24 ounce) package Mashed Potatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In skillet, crumble and cook sausage over medium heat until browned. Drain on paper towels. In bowl, combine sausage, gravy, vegetables and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Spoon mashed potatoes into even layer on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until hot.

On piece of advice, do not add any salt. Between the gravy and Worcestershire sauce there is plenty of it! There is really not much to say about this recipe. You really can’t mess it up! I used “loaded” mashed potatoes, but you can use anything you want. Here are some photos of preparing the dish…

Browning the sausage…

At the same time I was preparing the mashed potatoes. Just follow the directions on the pack…

Next I just put everything into the meat mixture and spread it evenly on the bottom of my baking dish. The veggies go in still frozen if you were wondering…

The I smoothly covered the mixture with the mashed potatoes and it was ready for the oven…

Here it is fresh out of the oven…

And a bad shot of it on my plate…

Like I said, very cheep! Here is the price breakdown…

Sausage $2.50

Potatoes $0.99

Veggies $1.39

Gravy $1.19

TOTAL $6.07

Lots of fun for a little over $6.00! I already had the Worcestershire sauce, if you don’t just add a couple dollars to the total. You will find that Worcestershire sauce lasts a long time so get a small bottle. I hope you like this!

PS – The new website is taking a lot longer to get up and running! Sorry!

Meatloaf Cordon Bleu

February 22, 2009

Meatloaf, good. Cordon Bleu, good. Meatloaf Cordon Bleu, awesome! I received this in an email from allrecipes.com and had to try it. I was not disappointed at all! It is a little more complicated than normal meatloaf, but is well worth the additional effort. Here it is…

2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
4 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pat the meat mixture out onto a piece of waxed paper, and flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Lay slices of ham onto the flattened meat, and top with slices of cheese. Pick up the edge of the waxed paper to roll the flattened meat up into a log. Remove waxed paper, seal the ends and seam, and place the loaf into a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
3. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the loaf is no longer pink inside.

Mixing together the first ingredients is just like any other meatloaf. I tend to do it in smaller amounts and slowly add everything together. That way I know all the spices are evenly distributed in the mixture. Here it is all mixed up ready for the next step…

Now it is time to make this meatloaf into Cordon Bleu meatloaf. I took the mixture out and placed it on some wax paper. I tend to have a lot of wax paper around, but if you don’t, it is very cheap at the store. I flatted the mixture out till it was about half an inch thick all around. I then placed the ham and cheese on top…

The next part can be a little tricky. I took one end of the wax paper and lifted it up. This started the meatloaf to curl a little bit. I then took the meatloaf and continued to curl it till it became a loaf again. I then sealed up the ends and seam…

Now it was time to put it in the oven. So the steps for this are really not to bad. It smells great as it cooks. When it was done I pulled it out and noticed I had not sealed the seams very well. It had split open a little bit. I am not to concerned with presentation and it does not effect the taste. The ham burned a little, but it still was great!

Here is a photo after I had cut a piece out. I did notice that the cheese and ham were closer to the top of the loaf. Next time I will flatten it out more so that they are closer to the middle. This is probably why it opened up in the oven.

Porcupines

December 24, 2008

It was this unique name that first caught my attention when looking for a new recipe. I was on allrecipes.com trying to find something easy to cook for the week. I had no idea why they were called Porcupines until I took them out of the oven. As you will see later in this post it is pretty cool! Recipe link here.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, 1/2 cup of water and onion. Blend in salt, celery salt, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the meatballs; drain fat.
  3. In an 11×7 inch baking dish, combine the tomato sauce and 1 cup of water. Place the browned meatballs into the tomato sauce, turning to coat well.
  4. Cover and bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. Uncover, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

One of the things that is great about this recipe is that most of the ingredients are common ingredients that I already had on hand. Mixing the meat mixture was very easy. I am guessing it has to do with adding water. In the past when I made meatballs I had a terrible time getting them to form properly. Not this time! After forming them the recipe says to brown them. This was also very easy. I was a little afraid that they would fall apart as I tried to roll them around. They held their shape very well. I think I made them a little bigger than the recipe called for, but who cares. Here they are formed and ready to be browned…

After they were browned I added them to the tomato sauce and rolled them around. I covered them and put them in the oven for 45 minutes. This was a favorite part because I was able to sit down and have a beer. After the 45 minutes I uncovered them and was totally caught off guard. This is why they are called Porcupines…

I never thought they would do that! If you can’t see in the picture, the rice started poking out of the meatballs. I returned them to the oven for 15 more minutes. They came out just perfectly done. I also made some mashed potatoes and corn to make this a full meal. It was great!

Price Breakdown…

Beef $1.99

Tomato Sauce $0.55

TOTAL COST $2.54

I already had everything else to cook this dish. Very common ingredients.

Taco Pie

December 14, 2008

I found an interesting recipe on allrecipies.com that I had to try. It is called Taco Pie. I love tacos, but they don’t keep well over the week. I liked this because it was a cross between tacos and a casserole. The recipe said that you can top it with any kind of taco sides like lettuce and tomatoes. I just kept mine plan.

  • 1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 8 ounces shredded Mexican-style cheese blend
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) package crushed tortilla chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Lay crescent dough flat on the bottom of a square cake pan and bake according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the taco seasoning and stir together well. When dough is done, remove from oven and place meat mixture on top, then layer with sour cream and cheese, and then top off with the crushed nacho chips.
  4. Return to oven and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

I had some crescent dough left after I covered the bottom of the pan, so I went up some of the sides with it. That ended up turning out pretty well. Here is how I lined the pan with the dough…

I put it in the oven and let it bake according to the directions on the package. It started smelling great! I was ready just to eat the crescent rolls!

One thing I was not sure about was how to add the taco seasoning to the ground beef. I ended up just pouring the powder onto the beef and mixing it up. The package said to add water, but the recipe did not call for it. I think I made the right choice. I added the beef mixture and sour cream into the dish. The recipe now calls for 14.5 oz of chips. This is a typical bag size. I crushed the chips up in the bag and topped the casserole. I definitely did not need the whole bag. I now wish I had only crushed just the amount of chips I needed. I ended up throwing a bunch out that I could have used with a dip if they were still whole. Here it is about to go in the oven…

See what I mean? That’s a lot of chips on top! I let it bake for the 10 minutes the recipe called for. I had hoped that the chips would have browned a little but they did not. It really turned out great though. Here is a little side photo so you can see how it layers…

It lasted me about three days. Great taste. The only problem I had was about the second day the chips started to get stale. Probably because it was in the refrigerator and then heated back up in a microwave. But all in all I really liked this. Here is the price breakdown…

Chips $3.80

Sour Cream $1.16

Taco Mix $0.43

Cheese $2.19

Beef $1.99

Rolls $1.34

TOTAL COST $10.91

BBQ Beef Casserole

October 15, 2008

When I get board I like to get online and look for interesting recipes. Allrecipes is a good place to find nice and easy recipes. I found this one called BBQ Beef Casserole. Since I was looking for something cheap that I could eat all week long I decided to give it a try.

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 (10 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 (8.5 ounce) packages corn bread mix
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until evenly browned. Add the onion, bell pepper, corn and tomatoes. Cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Drain excess grease, and stir in the barbeque sauce. Spread the beef mixture in an even layer in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Prepare the cornbread batter mixes according to package directions. Spread the batter over the top of the beef mixture.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is golden brown, and a knife inserted into the center of the cornbread layer comes out clean.

When I first saw this I was excited because I always have cornbread mix in my kitchen. Then I saw it requires 3 packages of it! So off to Kroger I went. I have always liked the Jiffy cornbread mix so I was so surprised to see Kroger was sold out! I ended up with a bunch of these…

Turned out that it was pretty good for only 75 cents a pack. As you can see by the recipe it is very easy. The biggest pain was cutting everything up with my small cutting board. I really need to get a bigger one. Here is everything cooking together…

After the meat mixture is done cooking I transferred it to my casserole dish. I had never mixed four packs of cornbread mix together so I was a little worried I had bought too much until I spread it over the top. It was just the right amount to cover the meat mixture perfectly.

As you can see this makes a lot! I think I am going to be eating this all week! I put it in the preheated oven and cooked it for about 25 minutes. It came out nice a golden brown.

This picture makes it look like there is only cornbread in the casserole dish, but believe me the meat mixture is under there.

It tastes great! Next time I am going to try different kinds of BBQ sauce. This was also very cheap. Here is the price breakdown.

2 lbs ground beef – $3.98

Onion – $0.66

Green Pepper – $1.29

Corn – $0.59

Tomatoes – $0.59

BBQ Sause – $0.70

Cornbread – $3.00

TOTAL – $10.81

I definitely recommend this recipe. I just hope I don’t get tired of it with all the leftovers!

Salsa Beef Stir Fry

October 12, 2008

I was browsing through a Southwestern cookbook the other day and found something called Salsa Beef Stir Fry. It sounded interesting, but some of the ingredients seemed very expensive. I decided to take this recipe and change it to make it easy and cheap. Here is what I came up with.

1.5 lbs beef (any kind, see below)

1 cup salsa

1 15 oz can whole corn

8 oz dry pasta (any kind)

Shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese to top once cooked.

The original recipe called for ground beef. This seemed fine to me but sounded boring. I went to Kroger and found two different meats that were on Manager Special. I find Manager Special is great if you are going to cook it very soon. I ended up with 1 lbs of Top Round and .5 lbs Skirt Steak for a total cost of $5.59. This really made the dish more exciting. I cut all the meat into about half inch strips. I then browned the meat and drained off the fat. Next is the easy part, add all the remaining ingredients and cook covered for about 12 minutes. The pasta is what will determine when this dish is done. Just give a piece of pasta a taste. If it is crunchy keep cooking.

See how easy! The best part is you will end up with lots of leftovers that are great for lunch. After cooking I topped mine with the cheese.

If you have any suggestions for this recipe please let me know.

WIENER WATER SOUP

May 29, 2008

Sorry I have been so busy! With so little time to cook and do things around my apartment I thought today would be a good day to share the “Wiener Water Soup” recipe that Mrs. P. found online.

WIENER WATER SOUP

1 pkg. wieners
3 c. water
Combine wieners and water in a two quart saucepan. Bring to a boil until wieners are cooked. Throw the wieners in the garbage. Serve soup. Serves 3.

This recipe is really online at Cooks.com. Here is the LINK if you don’t believe me. I guess they let anyone just post a recipe without checking it!

I saw this recipe on Running With Tweezers and kept meaning to try it. I finally got the chance to the other night and was very happy.

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta – serves 4 as medium sized entree portions

  • 1 lb. bulk roll Italian sausage or link style, removed from casings
  • 1 16 oz. box penne or shell shaped pasta
  • 12 oz.  fresh broccoli – rinsed, dried and cut into florets
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon to use for zest
  • 1 tsp. dried red chili flakes
  • fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

– Fill large pasta pot with water and heat until water is at rolling boil. Add pasta to water and cook according to product directions. About 3 minutes before pasta is done, add the broccoli florets. They will blanche quickly in the pasta water. When pasta is cooked, drain and set aside.
– While pasta is cooking, crumble sausage in a large skillet into large chunks and begin to brown. Don’t break the pieces up too small or they will disintegrate. Let them brown and caramelize in the pan. When thoroughly browned and cooked through, DO NOT DRAIN THE FAT. This is your sauce.
– Pour cooked and drained pasta & broccoli back into the pasta pot and add the sausage, including the oil and such at the bottom of the skillet. Drizzle the mixture with the teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and mix thoroughly. If the pasta is too dry for your liking, add olive oil as desired. Sprinkle red chili flakes on pasta. Zest lemon over pasta and add salt and pepper to taste then mix all the ingredients together one last time. Grate Parmesan over the pasta before serving. Serve immediately.

I learned a couple things with this recipe. What is a floret? I found out quickly at Kroger that a broccoli floret is just the top of the broccoli. The good thing is you can just buy florets and not have to cut them yourself. This is a nice easy recipe. I highly recommend giving this a try! Here is the price breakdown…

Pasta – $0.88

Lemon – $0.69

Broccoli florets – $1.54

Sausage – $2.00

Total cost – $5.11

Here is everything cooking…

Here is the final dish…

I found this recipe on Cheapcooking.com and decided to give it a try. It sounded real easy and different for chili. I have never found chili difficult, but the less clean up the better. Not only was this dish easy, it also tasted great. I decided to double the recipe because I wanted to give Mr. and Mrs. P some. I think they both liked it as well. Here is the recipe (not doubled)…

1 pound browned ground beef
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup taco seasoning
1/2 cup salsa (or more if you like it saucy)
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

Condiments

grated Cheddar cheese
sour cream
diced onion

Mix all the chili ingredients together. Simmer on the stove for 30 minutes or cook in the crockpot on low for 2-6 hours. (It’s pretty flexible.)

It is also very cheap! Here is the price break down (doubled)…

2 lbs ground beef $3.78

30oz black beans $1.04

30oz kidney beans $1.04

½ cup taco seasoning $0.78

Salsa $2.00

30oz tomato sauce $1.00

Cheddar cheese $1.99

Sour cream $1.16

Total $12.79

Doubling the recipe made a lot! Luckily that gives me plenty for lunch during the week. I also skipped the diced onion as a condiment. Here it is…

I sure liked it!

Lazy Man Chicken

March 19, 2008

You know how I was saying I was real tired after the weekend? Well, that continued into Monday. I did not feel like doing anything but sit on the couch and watch a movie. The problem was I needed to eat! I gathered up enough strength to drag myself to Kroger. At first I was just going to buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, but when I saw how small the chickens were I decided I can do better. I found a 4 pound raw chicken for $3.60. I was off to a good start. Since I was feeling so lazy, I walked over to the spice rack. I found a bottle of Kroger brand “Grill Time Seasonings” for $0.99. This should be good enough I thought to myself. I quickly made it to the check out and I was home. I quickly turned on the oven to pre-heat it to 350 and cleaned out the bird. Mrs. P. had given me a lemon earlier in the day, so I cut it in half and put it inside the chicken. A generous coating of the seasoning and the bird was in the oven. 1.5 hours in the oven and it was done! I was surprised at how good it tasted overall. This is a perfect example of how a bachelor and eat well and save money at the same time. Was it as good as some of the other recipes here on my site? No, but it took little to no effort to put together. Here is a picture. I am sorry, but I started cutting into the chicken before I remembered to get the camera. 😦

By the way, I was watching the Transformers movie and I LOVED it! If you have not seen it, go rent or buy it!