It’s been a pretty thrifty week around here. I’ve spent a whopping $6.51 so far, but I’ll have to pick up a few groceries soon. I’m low on fruit and I have a couple of pot luck gatherings to go to this weekend I’ll need to take delicious nosh to. I’m thinking the recipe I saw for whiskey-laced blondies might be just the ticket. I have everything but the eggs on hand and a double batch would be pretty easy to stir up, as well as frugal and yummy.
I’m eating mostly from the pantry or freezer right now, mainly because of the windfall of foodstuffs I got when my friend Deanna moved a few weeks ago. I’ve been having fun with the pantry challenge, trying to eat what’s on hand and only supplementing the pantry stores with fruit and veg, yogurt, and bread. Surprisingly, most of what I’ve made from on-hand ingredients has been tasty, but I had one epic fail this week when I decided to toss a can of fire-roasted tomatoes in with my pasta. It was only two years past its “best by” date, which, according to my research, made it more than likely safe to eat, but not all that palatable. And it wasn’t. Learn from my mistakes and rotate your canned goods. You’ll be glad you did.
I make simple, plain foods for myself, mostly of the meatless variety, and mostly because meat is on the spendy side. Fortunately, I love things like beans and rice, salads, and soups. The one thing I most often wish for that I almost never make is ridiculously simple but delish and relatively inexpensive–chicken breast baked in olive oil. So easy–just pour enough olive oil into a baking dish to cover the bottom. Roll your chicken breast in the oil to coat it, then salt and pepper both sides. I like fresh ground pepper best, and a fairly light coating at that, but you season it the way you like. You can use whatever else you want to, such as an herb seasoning, but simple is better with this recipe.
So, you’ve rolled and seasoned, and now you’ll pop your baking dish into the oven–set it at 350 or 375–and let it bake, uncovered, until done. Buy yourself a meat thermometer–they’re inexpensive and well worth the money. You might want to check on the chicken after about half an hour if you’re only baking one chicken breast. Give it 45 minutes for two or more before you check for doneness, and when it is, sit down and eat it right now, because it’s so good when it’s hot right out of the oven. You probably won’t have leftovers, but if you do, shred it to top a green salad, or make chicken salad or barbeque chicken or whatever you like–it’ll be good. I made this about a billion times for Mr. F and it was tender and juicy and flavorful every last time I made it, too. Go on and try it–there’s almost no way to screw it up.
I’ve baked boneless pork chops this way and they were also tender and juicy.
What about you? Any simple, inexpensive recipes or tips to share? How do you pinch your pennies, or do you?