Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cheap Eats!

With groceries, gas, and lots of other things costing more these days, many people are trying to save where they can. One area we're working on is our grocery bill. I realized earlier that we haven't had salmon in a while, and that's typically a weekly thing. Hmmmm - might need to make a trip to Trader Joe's (it's usually cheaper there!). Anyway... In light of lowering the grocery bill, we've been looking through our recipes to see what "cheap" meals we can make. I typically go the homemade route and making things (mostly) from scratch. One of our favorite "cheap" meals happens to be a family recipe that we all just can't get enough of!! It's inexpensive, easy to make, and a definite favorite in our home.

What I want from you is this... I know I have a bunch of readers out there. How? B/c many of my friends and family will say "I saw on the blog..." but we don't have a lot of comments. That's fine. Really. But this is one time we want some! We're sharing one of our favorite meals, so we want you to also share a favorite (inexpensive and simple meals are preferred - but whatever you want to share is up to you!). And for those of you that are familiar with the meal we are sharing (Mom, Bobbie, anyone else in the family?), please share any of your tips, variations, etc. :)

This meal is one that my grandmother, Bobbie, used to make. My mother learned it from her and passed it on to me. So, the extras I have learned - I'm not sure if they come from my mom or from Bobbie (or whoever else). This is a relatively quick dish to make, BUT you will want to do some of the prep work earlier (boiling, peeling, and chopping the eggs) and will need to find a time to do the other parts of the meal b/c you can't walk away while this dish is cooking. You need to stay with it and stir. But it is quick to make (aside from all that).

Goldenrod Eggs
Serves 2-3

Hard boil 4 eggs

White Sauce:
1/3 c flour (If you use all-purpose, add a bit of salt, to taste, once you get the sauce thickened)
1/3 c butter, or less
1/2 c milk + 1/2 c water to = 1 1/2 c total (yes, 1/2 + 1/2 = 1, but just do equal parts or however suits you based on taste)

Melt butter in sauce pan. Mix in flour. Add milk/water a little at a time. When thick enough, turn to low or off. (You need to stay with the sauce and constantly stir it to prevent clumping and sticking.)

Melted butter, adding in the flour. And stirring it all in until it's thick.

Chop egg whites (reserve yolks for later). This can be done ahead of time. Mix egg whites into white sauce.

take your BIG bowl of egg whites, chopped...and add to the white sauce.

Melt cheese into sauce (about 2 slices)
Add in dry mustard (or regular mustard in a pinch!)
Add in chopped onion (I've never done this one)

Pour white sauce over biscuits or toast. (We usually use biscuits, but sometimes prefer toast.)

Yummy homemade biscuits!

Crumble egg yolks and sprinkle some on top.

And voila!

(or in our case, dinner b/c we love having breakfast for dinner)
is served!

I always double the recipe (or more) b/c we need enough for at least two meals. We love this stuff! I started out always boiling one extra egg (just in case), and have just kept doing this. When doubling the recipe, I'll use between 8-10 eggs. I also no longer really measure the flour, milk, water - I just add until I have enough to get the taste and amount I want. (I hate when people give me a recipe without exact measurements, but once you try it a couple times, you can change it to suit you.) I always add in the cheese and dry mustard - makes it taste really yummy! (Even if it doesn't sound like it would.)

When Camden was younger he did NOT like this. I think it was just the "different" factor, at first. But he is a convert and loves, loves it now. He also loves to help make it. :)

I've made this for a number of people, and everybody has always loved it (or at least said they did - and ate plenty!).

So - here's what you need to do now...
  • Leave a comment with a favorite recipe of yours. Bonus points if it's a "cheap" meal (and easy!). Some of you comment on facebook where my blog posts show up in the notes and some of you reply via email b/c you subscribe that way. Please leave a comment here so we can all see the recipe. :) (Or if you want to on facebook, that's fine - more people can see it there.)
  • Let me know if you make this dish. And tell me what you thought about it!
  • Let me know if you make a dish someone else posts (and say what you thought).
Can't wait to hear from you! I LOVE collecting recipes from other people!! (Seriously - LOVE it!) But this way, not only will I get some new recipes, but all of you can see what others post and get some new recipes for yourselves!

This is the time to comment - all of you non-commenters!!! ;)


Becky said...

Interesting recipe.. I assume all-purpose flour won't work??

I blogged about this reciepe
http://jonesberry.blogspot.com/2009/02/another-use-for-baby-food-cubes.html VERY GOOD.. although I'm not sure if you would consider it cheap, but it certainly isn't expensive.

and last night I made this one:
This one I found while trying to find a meal to mimic my mother-in-laws lasagna which has cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Plus it will re-heat nicely for left overs which means I don't have to cook tonight (and maybe tomorrow too)! Horray for that!

okay I'm done.

curlygin78 said...

ok, I'm thinking of cheap eats and I'll get back to you. :-) I promise.

Samara said...

I made 3 day Chicken. I buy a whole chicken (you know how much your family eats so buy one accordingly)--Sometimes I can get the pre cooked rotisserie ones cheaper than the uncooked. For the first night, we have baked chicken. After dinner, I take all the meat off the carcass and throw the bones (with some onions and seasoning) in a stock pot with water (this can be done in a large crockpot) to make chicken stock. On day 2 I make curry chicken salad with 2/3 of the left over meat and on the 3rd day I make chicken soup with the stock.It takes about a day to make the stock b/c I strain it in a tea cloth then refrigerate it so I can skim the fat off the top.

Aunt Amanda said...


1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 (8 oz.) bottle Catalina dressing
8 boneless chicken breasts, skinless

Mix onion soup, cranberry sauce and dressing. Pour over chicken breasts in 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, covered and uncovered 15 minutes. Serve over rice. Always better the next day! Also great when company comes. Also is very bright and festive around the holidays

Daisy and Ryan said...

aunt amanda - i make a similar dish in the crockpot. some chopped onion (i'm not a huge onion fan, so i just add however much i want - i think it calls for a med onion? i've done it without when we had no onion on hand, too.), 1 can whole cranberry sauce, a cup of barbecue sauce, and the chicken. combine the sauces & onion. place chicken in greased crockpot, pour over sauces, and cook for a few hours. very yummy.

the catalina sounds interesting... i'll have to try this sometime soon. thanks for sharing!

Life Scraps and Patches said...

You asked a couple of days ago whether it was really baking if you use a mix - this takes it up to a whole new level of easy (lazy?) It's an Ecovillage thing - before I lived there, I never knew there was such a thing as refrigerated cookie dough that is already pre-formed and you just put it on the cookie sheet. Once I got some frozen dough from Camden and that was really delicious. Not so cheap, but MUCH cheaper than getting deli cookies. So, that's my "recipe." White chocolate macadamia nut is the best.

Daisy and Ryan said...

Connie - I remember those cookies! Those were very easy and yummy! It was a fundraiser for the daycare he went to at the time (while he was on the waiting list for the CDL).

I am thinking about making some cookies soon and freezing them in little balls so that I can just pop some onto a sheet and bake. Not as easy as buying them like that, though! Haha!

Camden would agree with you on the white choc macadamia nut. He said the other day that is his favorite and mentioned that we never have them. I'm not a white choc fan, so I don't make them. I told him he's more than welcome to make them himself sometime! ;) Actually, I think we have some refrigerated dough in that flavor that someone else gave us... I'll have to remind him!

Daisy and Ryan said...

My grandmother, Bobbie (the one who is known for making this) read the blog and sent me this message:

"I have never used self-rising flour for this. And of course, you know I never measure since I have cooked for so long, no need. Just depends on how many I am cooking for, huh?? Anyway, what works for you is what you do. And I never use less than 12 eggs, and usually 18 if for 4 people or more. Anyone who married or has come into this family, learns to love this traditional recipe that was inherited from my mother-in-law. She learned to make this in her home economics class in high school, probably@ 1934-35."

So - I guess self-rising flour is not necessary. She said she had always worried about whether it would thicken right if s-r was used. I have no problems with it, but I'm going to try all-purpose next time and see if there's a difference (since it won't have the leavening). But she also says she knows others to make it with self-rising, and that's what I've been taught. So, I'm sure either way would work! I'm curious about the difference, though. That and the amount of eggs she uses. (I just keep thinking of all the chopping that would involve....)

Kevin A. Puckett said...

Sure I'll post one. I have been making a lot of whole chickens. You can buy whatever size you like. I have a big crock pot so I like to get the big roaster chickens. Rinse and pat. Rub with kosher salt, ground pepper, and paprika. Set in crock pot. Add about 1/4 cup water. Turn it on. You can cook it on low or high. It is better on low. Or you can start it on high till it starts to boil then turn it low. If you get a roaster it has the plastic temp thing, but if not it takes about 4 hours and you can just test the temp yourself. It is very tasty and you can make many meals out of it. I like to pull the meat and make burritos, chicken salad, or enchiladas. I also makes very good stock, so I usually refrigerate it and scrape off the fat. I make this whenever I can find whole chickens on sale.

Becky said...

Welcome back to this post! I just had a hankering for this this afternoon so I made it for myself for lunch. The hubs is on the lactose intolerant side so this recipe isn't good for a family dinner but I like it a lot. The first time I made it with sr flour and this time with all purpose. There is a slight difference in the taste because of the baking powder and baking soda but I'm sure I could make up the difference with salt if I felt like getting it from the kitchen. I'm definitely going to make this for my parents when I'm home for Christmas. My father will love it.

Donna said...

I was going to post cranberry roast beef, but it's the exact same recipe as the cranberry chicken except you use a roast that you find on sale, substitute onion soup mix for a 1/2 sweet onion sliced, and cook it in a crock pot all day - it's delicious! And the cranberry/meat juices make for a wonderful gravy. :)

Daisy and Ryan said...

That sounds yummy, Donna! Thanks for sharing! :)