Thursday, November 6, 2014


Feeling frugal this holiday?  Just plain broke?  Need to save your dollars for Black Friday shopping?  Here is the perfect menu, a wonderful traditional turkey with all the trimmings dinner. No one will be the wiser that you skimped and saved on this wonderful holiday dinner!  Every dish uses inexpensive ingredients that you can easily find on sale or already in your pantry and fridge! The best part is all of the recipes are relatively easy, fast and can be accomplished by beginning cooks. Perfect beverages for the frugalista to add to this wonderful dinner - $1 sparkling cider from Dollar Tree or that awesome Charles Shaw (two buck chuck) $2 wine from Trader Joes!  

Frugal Thanksgiving 2014 Menu

RELISH TRAY ( Marinated black olives, deviled eggs, celery sticks, radishes)











Recipes - 

Marinated black olives

1 cup black olives
2 dried red chilies
12 garlic cloves, minced
red wine vinegar, as required
1 dash lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Lightly crush the olives, without breaking them, and pour into a glass jar with a lid, discarding any oil produced. Add the dried chilies, garlic, and dried thyme if using lightly shaking the jar to ensure equal distribution. Pour in enough red wine vinegar so that the jar's contents are entirely submerged.  Add a dash of lemon juice, seal the jar, and store at room temperature for several days, shaking the jar occasionally.

Easy deviled eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled halved lengthwise
1/4 cup mayonnaise, low-fat okay
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
paprika (to garnish)

Scoop egg yolks into bowl.  Set aside egg whites.  Add mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to yolks.  Mash together with fork until smooth.  Spoon mixture into egg white halves.  Sprinkle tops with paprika.

Herb roasted turkey

2 tablespoons soul seasoning (such as sylvia's secret seasoning, emeril's seasoning, mrs. dash, or any multi spice mix)
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup butter
1 cup turkey broth

Blend all spices and rub into turkey – you may need to double this formulation depending on the size of your turkey. Place butter into turkey roasting pan and place turkey upside smashing it into the butter. Bake at 350 in this position uncovered for one hour. After one hour turn over turkey add a sprinkling of more spices to the top of the turkey. Add a can of turkey broth and continue to baste while cooking.

No one knows stuffing

2 medium onions, minced
2 -3 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning 
2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups turkey broth or 2 cups vegetable broth
hot water
2 (6 ounce) packages stove top-style seasoned stuffing mix

Saute onions and celery in butter.  Sprinkle with poultry seasoning.  Set aside to cool slightly.  Toss this mixture into your favorite dry stuffing mix.  Heat broth and set aside.  Read directions on your favorite stuffing mix box.  Add enough hot water to the broth to make up the required liquid needed.
Pour over stuffing/vegetables mixture and mix well.  Stuff your chicken or turkey. For a side dish place stuffing in a baking dish; cover and bake for 15 to 25 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soup can baked macaroni & cheese

10 ounces elbow macaroni
1 (8 ounce) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2cups)
1 (8 ounce) package Velveeta cheese, pasteurized processed cheese, cut up (1 cup)
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (white if you have it)

Cook macaroni according to package directions until almost al dente'.  Drain macaroni and transfer to a large bowl.  Add 1 cup shredded cheese and Velveeta cubes to hot pasta and stir gently til cheeses start to melt.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, milk, soup, salt and pepper.  Stir this mixture into the cooked macaroni mixture.  Transfer half into a 13x9 sprayed baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Top with remaining macaroni mixture.  Bake covered at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Return to oven and bake 15 minutes more until cheese is melted and bubbly brown.

Classic sweet potato casserole

1 (40 ounce) can cut yams, drained
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 (16 ounce) bag miniature marshmallows

Butter 1 quart baking dish.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mash yams in a large bowl and add brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg, and melted butter.  Mix well.  Place 1/2 mixture in baking dish.  Top with a layer of marshmallows, then add remaining mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with remaining marshmallows.  Bake for another 10 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned.

Easy homemade turkey gravy

roast turkey drippings
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups water
salt & pepper

After turkey has been roast, pour juices from turkey into a large measuring cup.  Skim off all fat, reserving a ¼ cup of it.  Discard rest of fat.  Pour fat into a medium sized saucepan.  Stir in ¼ cup flour.  In measuring cup, add enough water or chicken broth to equal 2 cups.  Turn stovetop to medium heat and slowly pour in juices/water or chicken broth mixture.  Stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Salt& pepper to taste.

Dressed up canned cranberry sauce

1 (14 ounce) can  whole berry cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 finely diced peeled fresh apple

Combine all until well mixed. Chill until ready to serve.

Classic green bean casserole

1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans cut green beans, drained
1 (2 7/8 ounce) can French-fried onions

Combine soup, sour cream, soy sauce and pepper in a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish; mix well.  Stir in beans and 2/3 cup of French fried onions.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot.  Stir.  Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup of onions.  Bake 5 minutes or until onions are golden.

Copycat green giant buttered corn niblets

2 (16 ounce) bags frozen corn (yellow "or" shoepeg white, any brand)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup butter, cut up
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Add corn to large sauce pan along with all ingredients except water and cornstarch.  Stir corn mixture over medium heat until butter is melted.  Combine water and cornstarch and stir until cornstarch is dissolved.  Slowly add water to corn in sauce pan, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to simmer and stir until sauce thickens.  Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender, about 10 minutes.

Spicy, cheesy Jiffy corn muffins

2 boxes Jiffy corn bread mix
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

Make according to box directions using the directions for corn muffins adding in the additions of cheese and red pepper flakes.  Bake as directed.

Easy homemade pumpkin pie

1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cups sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (9 inch) pie crusts, unbaked

Combine pumpkin and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes.  Pour into prepared piecrust.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 50 additional minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

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