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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weekly Menu 3/31+

Please welcome our guest blogger this week, Nana.  At the beginning of Lent, all those many weeks ago, she and I talked about how their church was suggesting that families try to plan menus and eat based on the food stamp budget.  I found this link from a Diocese in Iowa, suggesting the same thing.  In their calculations it boils down to $1.50/meal per day per person.  Since this menu focuses on the evening meal if you assume there are four people in the family then each meal would need to come in around $6 each. 

I also found this link for food stamp application that has the allowance for food stamps on it based on the number of people in a household.  Here a family of four would qualify for $668 for a month we’ll divide that by 4 weeks = $167, but that’s for all meals so if we take 50% for the evening meal then we are down to $83.50 for the week and that amounts to about $12 for each meal.  I’ll make some rough estimates based on the sales this week in my area and see how we come out.

And now Nana, take it away…

Recipes for Holy Week
Not much time to cook supper with church services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. 


bisquick quiche
strawberry  pie
April Fool's
rotisserie chicken
roasted veggies

asparagus/salami salad
loaded baked potatoes

chicken salad on lettuce

cauliflower cheese soup
butter dip

chicken Caesar pasta salad
peach cobbler


Start Saturday night mixing up the dough for butterhorns on Sunday and Tuesday. 
Butterhorns  $1 each night
1 pkg dry yeast
3 T warm water
2 eggs, beaten
½ c sugar
½ c shortening
1 t salt
1 c warm water
4 c flour

Dissolve yeast in 3 T warm water.  Combine next four ingredients in large bowl.  Stir in water and mix well.  Stir in yeast and flour and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Roll into circle.  Brush with melted butter.  Cut into 16 wedges.  Roll up from wide end.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Let rise in warm place until double in bulk.  Bake at 350º until bread tests done. 

Yield:  16 rolls

Bisquick Mix (Yes, you can make your own bisquick!)

9              c flour
1/3         c baking powder
1              c powdered milk
2              T cream of tartar
4              t salt
1 ½         c vegetable oil

Mix the dry ingredients and pour in the oil.  Mix with your fingers until lumps are gone.  Store in refrigerator for eons. 

Impossible Chard/Mushroom Quiche $4.27
1              c Swiss chard
                                (blanched, squeezed dry, shredded)
1              small can mushrooms, chopped
½             c onion
½             c peppers
1              c shredded cheese (about 4 oz)
¾             c bisquick (homemade or store bought)
½             t salt
¼             t black pepper
¼             t pequin (if desired)
1 ½         c milk
3              eggs

Mix veggies together and sprinkle in greased pan.  Sprinkle cheese over veggies.  Mix remaining ingredients until smooth.  Pour liquid over veggies.  Bake at 400° for about 35 minutes.  Let sit for 5 min before cutting.  (You can use two cups of any vegetables you like, maybe even use up remaining chopped veggies from earlier in the week.)

Impossible Strawberry Pie $3.40
1/2 c biscuit mix
3/4 c sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 eggs
1 (13 oz) can evaporated milk
1 c strawberry purée
1 c sliced strawberries
3 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 t vanilla
Whipped cream
Whole strawberries

Combine biscuit mix, sugar, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, and puréed strawberries in blender.  Cover and blend on high speed 1 minute.  Stir in sliced strawberries, food coloring, and vanilla.  Pour into lightly greased 9 or 10 inch pie plate.  Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool.  Serve with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

--Sunday you can chop veggies for roasting, extra asparagus for Monday’s salad, extra cauliflower for Wednesday’s soup, and more veggies for Friday’s tehri and Saturday’s quiche.  
--Cook two chickens on the rotisserie – one for today’s meal and one to use in Tuesday's and Thursday’s salads.  
--After dinner, take meat off the extra chicken and refrigerate in two portions.  Cover the chicken bones with water and simmer all night to get a nice rich broth for Wednesday’s soup. 

Rotisserie Chicken $3.00

Chicken Rub
2 T seasoned salt
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t poultry seasoning
2 t jerk seasoning
1 t black and red pepper
1 T rosemary

Roasted Vegetables $1.50
Seasonal Vegetables
Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 400. Chop the vegetables into large pieces.
Put the vegetables in a large bowl and coat in olive oil. Don’t be afraid of over-oiling – the extra will just pool at the bottom of the bowl.  Toss!
Salt heavily.  Toss!  Pepper the vegetables well, but don’t over do it.  Toss!  Place the vegetables on baking sheet, without over-packing them.  The vegetables should lightly touch, but not pile up on top of each other.  If you’re roasting a lot of vegetables, put different vegetables on different baking sheets.  If you’re roasting vegetables of very different cooking times (eg, potatoes and broccoli) you can put them on different baking sheets and stagger the timing – or just throw it all together.
Give the veggies a good stir with a metal or wooden spatula about 15-20 minutes in.
Total roasting time is between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on what you’re cooking.  Taste to see if it’s done – you may like it crispier or you may like it just barely soft.  (Or if you like them a bit browned, you can switch to broil at the end for some quick extra color.)
[based on recipe at One Green Generation]

Butterhorns $1
Roll into circle.  Brush with melted butter.  Cut into 16 wedges.  Roll up from wide end.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Let rise in warm place until double in bulk.  Bake at 350º until bread tests done. 

Asparagus Salami Salad $7.02
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
½ medium sweet red pepper, cut into 2 inch strips
1 small onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
¼ pound hard salami (or summer sausage), cut into strips
½ c crumbled feta cheese
1/3 c olive oil
2 T sugar
¼ c white vinegar
¼ c rice vinegar
1 ½  t minced garlic
¾ t salt
½ t dried basil (or ½ T fresh basil)

In a large skillet, bring 1 in. of water to a boil.  Add asparagus; cover and cook for 3 minutes or until barely tender.  Drain and immediately place in ice water.  Drain and pat dry.   Cut into 2 inch pieces. 
In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, red pepper, onion, salami, and feta cheese.  In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients.  Pour over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat. 
Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

source:  some issue of Simple and Delicious submitted by Patricia Smith of Golden, Colorado.  I  modified slightly.

Loaded Baked Potatoes (butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, chives) $0.75

Curried Chicken Salad $4.95
1/3 c Craisins (or raisins)
½ c white wine or apple juice
2 c cooked chicken, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, diced (or can substitute water chestnuts)
1 large apple, cored and coarsely chopped
1 c mayonnaise
1 ½ t ground ginger
2 t curry powder
salt to taste
lettuce leaves for serving

Combine the Craisins and wine or apple juice in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until the Craisins are soft, 5 to 7 minutes.  Set aside to cool slightly.  (Skip this step if you are in a BIG hurry).  In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken with the celery and apple.  Stir in the Craisins and any liquid remaining in the saucepan; toss well to combine.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, ginger, and curry powder.  Toss with the chicken mixture to coat lightly and thoroughly.  Season to taste with salt.  Chill the salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Serve the salad on plates lined with an array of lettuce leaves.  Makes 4 servings. 
(based on recipe found in the Austin American Statesman in November 2006)

Butterhorns $1
Grapes $1.50

Cauliflower Cheese Soup $3.86
1 medium head of cauliflower, separated into flowerettes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
4 cups chicken broth (I sometimes substitute beef, veggie, or whatever.)
2 cups cream (I usually substitute a medium white sauce.)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Combine cauliflower, onion, carrot, celery, and broth in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  (Or, if you're in a hurry, just cook it in a pot on top of the stove.)  Puree in blender to desired consistency.  Blend in cream, Worcestershire sauce, and cheese.  Season to taste.  This is good with a hefty sprinkle of crushed red chiles.


Melt in 13x9 inch pan                     1/3 cup butter (2/3 stick)

Stir together in bowl                                       2 1/4 cups flour
                                                                                1 Tbsp. sugar
                                                                                3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
                                                                                1 1/2 tsp. salt

Add to dry ingredients                   1 cup milk

Stir slowly with fork until dough just clings together.  Turn on well-floured board.  Roll over to coat with flour.  Knead lightly about 5 times.  Roll out 1/2 inch thick into a rectangle, 12*8.  With floured knife, cut dough in half lengthwise, then crosswise at one inch intervals.  Dip each strip in butter on both sides and lay close together in two rows in pan.  Bake until golden brown.  Serve hot. 

Temperature:  450  Time:  Bake 15 to 20 minutes  Amount:  32 Butter Dips

Cheese Butter Dips:  Add 1/2 cup grated cheese to dry ingredients. 
Garlic Butter Dips:  Add 1/2 clove garlic, finely minced, to butter before melting. 
Cinnamon Butter Dips:  Sprinkle mixture of 2 tsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
      over Butter Dips before baking. 

Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book -- 1956
This was one of Granny Arnold's cook books, which she gave to me in 1964.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad $5.50
½ c mayonnaise
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese
¼ c milk
2 T lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium head romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into ½ inch wide strips
2 c diced, cooked chicken
8 oz. macaroni twists (about 4 cups), cooked, rinsed with cold water, and drained
freshly ground pepper and salt

In a large bowl combine first 5 ingredients.  Add lettuce, chicken, and twists; toss to coat.  Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt.  Makes about 10 (1 cup) servings
source:  Mueller’s Macaroni box

Helen Marie’s Peach Cobbler  $2.81
Melt 1 stick butter in a 9 x 12 pan
Make batter of the following ingredients in a small bowl. 
1 c flour
1c sugar
2 t baking powder
2/3 c milk

Pour batter over melted butter.  Spoon contents of one large can of sliced peaches over the batter.  Bake for about 30 minutes in 400 degree oven (or until golden brown on top).   (Great served with ice cream or whipped cream on top.)

Good Friday
Tehri (Catholic Review) $3.27
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chili peppers, diced
1 onion, diced
½ tsp turmeric
4 cups various vegetables of choice, chopped (peas, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, chard, spinach, onion, red pepper)
2 cups rice
4 cups water
salt to taste

Heat oil in a pot, add cumin seeds and cook for 2 minutes.  Add green chilis, onion and turmeric and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add chopped vegetables and sauté until slightly fried.  Add rice, salt, and water.  Cook (covered) until rice and vegetables are cooked and water completely absorbed (about 20 minutes).

Makes 4-5 servings

So let’s see how we did financially. 

This considers that you have some items like vinegar and basic seasonings on hand, but you could still purchase some of these if just didn’t have them or needed to replace and still stay within your allotted budget.   I did consider the price of a cup of flour, sugar, butter, the cost of each egg, bisquick (ready made)etc.  I also assumed you could get by with two rotisserie chickens for the multiple meals.  Again, you could add a third chicken to the cost and still be well under your food budget. 

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