Our Recipe Box

Most of these recipes are fairly cheap to make especially as compared to the store bought version. San Francisco Rice is very much like Rice-a-Roni and Whoopie pies are like Devil Dogs or Ring Dings (without the outside coating of chocolate). The hummus is much more economical than the packaged versions at the supermarket and you have the advantage of being able to have as much (or as little) garlic as you like. Chocolate Lush is the exception...it's not particularly frugal but it's so yummy that it's worth the occasional splurge of money and calories!

To keep track of your frugal recipes reserve a special section at the front of your recipe box. You can include things that are cheap to make as well as recipes for homemade "convenience foods" like baking mixes (fake Bisquick), kids recipes like play dough (on our Kid's page) and Copy Cat type recipes for home versions of Kentucky Fried Chicken and other restaurant foods (go to our Links to go to websites with these).

Index of Recipes


San Francisco Rice

Chocolate Lush

Tuna Rice Cakes

Whoopie Pies

Monkey Bread

No Bake Fudgies

Hummus

Pickled Eggs

Beef Jerky

Hungarian Goulash

Chicken Wings

Pumpkin Soup

Popsicles

Fudgesicles

Creamsicles

Strawberry Sticks

Purple Cow

Creamy Peanut Pops

Cool Minties


San Francisco Rice

This recipe came from a magazine article back in the 1970's. I've modified it somewhat over the years. It actually tastes better than beef and chicken Rice-a-Roni which, in addition to shrinking box sizes seem to have become more starchy tasting lately.

Melt butter in a large skillet with a lid. Brown vermicelli or orzo in butter. Add rice and stir to coat with butter. Add water, boullion cubes and spices. Cover pan and simmer 20 minutes.


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Chocolate Lush

When we first ran across this recipe it was called "Lemon Lush" and called for lemon pudding. Being chocolate lovers we changed it! We've also tried it with butterscotch pudding. Feel free to experiment.

Combine margarine, flour and walnuts. Press into bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees 1/2 hour until lightly browned.

Beat softened cream cheese with confectioners sugar. Blend in 1 cup Cool Whip. Spread on top of cooled crust.

Mix pudding with milk with electric mixer. Let stand until thick. Spread on top of cream cheese filling. Spread remaining Cool Whip over top and sprinkle with nuts if desired.

You can make a really easy pie size version of this dessert by using a premade butter cookie pie crust. Just make a half size batch of the filling. Sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts if you want.

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Tuna Rice Cakes

This recipe makes enough to serve 4 people from one can of tuna! Very frugal!
(Note: I hadn't made these in ages and when I dug out the original of this recipe recently I noticed that the can of tuna called for was 7 ounces. In the way of all things tuna cans appear to have shrunk to 5 ounces! I tried using 2 cans with their liquid and the cakes were kind of mushy. Next time I plan to drain one of the cans and see how that works.)

Combine tuna and it's liquid, rice, celery, onion, flour and pepper in a large bowl. Add egg yolks and mix well. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into tuna mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet (preferably nonstick). Drop tuna mixture by 1/4 cupfuls into hot oil. Flatten slightly with spatula. Cook until brown on one side. Flip over and brown other side.

These are good served as they are or as a sandwich on hamburger buns with lettuce and tomato.


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Whoopie Pies

Kids love these! Make a lot and wrap some for lunch box desserts.

Cream together 1/2 cup shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Sift together flour, soda, salt and cocoa and add to sugar mixture alternately with milk. Beat til smooth. Drop by teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes. Cool on racks.

For filling mix 3/4 cup shortening, confectioners sugar and marshmallow fluff.

Put chocolate rounds together with filling.

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Monkey Bread

This was a Christmas morning tradition at our house when the kids were little.

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl with a cover or a large ziploc bag. Cut each biscuit into quarters and shake with sugar and cinnamon. Put into a greased tube or bundt pan. Pour melted butter over biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand a few minutes then invert pan over a plate to remove. Eat while still warm by pulling off pieces.

NOTE: This works just as well with the cheap 3/$1.00 biscuits as it does with the more expensive brand name.

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No Bake Fudgies

Mix cocoa, sugar, shortening and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add oats, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on wax paper. Let harden. On a hot day you might want to put them in the fridge to harden.

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Hummus

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, Nancy. Over time the family started to like my version better than hers (I use more garlic) and now I'm the official hummus maker for all our parties!

Chop garlic in food processor or blender add chick peas, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil. Blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick add chick pea liquid until it's the consistency you like. Stir in minced parsley.

Serve as a dip with Pita bread or in sandwiches.

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Pickled Eggs

This came from another Nancy! Years ago my grandmother used to make pickled eggs and this recipe is much like hers. She used to add a little beet juice at Easter to make pink pickled eggs.

Heat vinegar, sugar, salt and pickling spice to boiling. Pour over eggs in a bowl or large jar. Store in refrigerator 3 days before eating.

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Beef Jerky

Slice beef into thin strips (it's easier to slice if you freeze it slightly). Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over beef in a shallow pan or large ziploc bag. Marinate 24 hours. Drain and arrange on dehydrator racks. Dry about 8-10 hours (drying time depends on thickness of beef slices). You can also do the drying in a 125 degree oven for the same amount of time.

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Hungarian Goulash

This recipe originally came from an older version of the "Betty Crocker Cookbook"...newer versions don't have it. I've also made some changes to it. Although the recipe calls for chunks of beef I've made it with various leftover meats and with ground beef (cook it a shorter time if you use ground beef).

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook until tender. Add beef and garlic. Cook and stir until beef is browned. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer and cook about 2 hours or until beef is tender (you can also throw this in the crockpot at this point and let it go all day on low). Serve over wide egg noodles.1

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Chicken Wings

These were a Christmas Eve tradition at my house when my kids were growing up. It started because we were so poor we couldn't afford to buy anything fancy for a treat so I saved up the wings from whole chickens I bought for 39 cents a pound...by Christmas there would be enough of them in the freezer for a good size batch. My daughter continues the tradition with her young family (although she has enough money to buy the wings at the supermarket!).

Remove tips from chicken wings (if you want to be really frugal use these in chicken broth) and cut wings in half at the joint. Mix equal amounts sherry and soy sauce; add finely chopped onions and garlic to taste. Put wings and soy sauce mixture in a bowl or large ziploc bag and marinate for several hours or overnight (over night is better).

When ready to cook, heat oil in a deep fryer or large pan. Mix flour and parmesan cheese together using these proportions: 1/2 cup cheese to 1 cup flour. Remove wings from marinade and coat with flour mixture. Fry until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Back to Index

Kiwi Pumpkin Soup

This recipe came to us from Julie Pollock in New Zealand where they eat pumpkin year round, usually as a side dish. Julie is a single mom of 3 boys living on 18,000 NZ dollars a year (the equivalent of $10,000 US money). Her motto is "It's not how much you earn, it's what you do with it that counts." Since fresh pumpkin is not readily available in the US all year round you may want to try substituting the canned variety.

In a large pot sauté chopped bacon and onion. Add pepper and salt to taste add a little water about 300 mls (about 1/3 cup). Add curry powder, stir in and let cook a little. Crush stock cube and add along with more water if you need to). Add skinned and chopped pumpkin, and more water until it reaches just under the top of pumpkin, give it a good stir, bring to boil let simmer for around 30 mins or until pumpkin looks soft. Take soup off heat and let cool a bit. Whizz it up in a food processor or blender. This is a really thick warming soup, if it is to strong a flavour or too thick for you, just add some milk until it suits, you can't go wrong!

Serve with crusty bread. Hope you try it, its great...and low fat too.(You can freeze this soup)

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Popsicles

Add hot water to dry ingredients. Stir to dissolve. Add cold water and pour into molds. Freeze.



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Fudgesicles

Mix. Pour. Freeze

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Creamsicles

Let juice concentrate thaw and mix with yogurt (no water, just the concentrate). Pour into molds and freeze.

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Strawberry Sticks

Gradually add honey to cream cheese and blend well. Stir in undrained fruit, fold in whipped cream and marshmallows. Spoon into molds and freeze.

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Purple Cow

Whisk together milk, grape juice and sugar. Add lemon juice. Pour into molds and freeze.

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Creamy Peanut Pops

Boil water and sugar for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter then milk. Pour into molds and freeze.

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Cool Minties

Boil water and sugar for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in milk, peppermint extract and food colouring. Pour into molds and freeze.

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