Category Archives: inexpensive

Home-Made Vinaigrettes – Ready to Go

What I  learned from my old friends Klaus and Dorle who were both busy teachers and were rising a family with four young children at the time is that it is efficient and saves time to prepare in advance. They used to always have a bottle of home made Balsamic vinaigrette dressing ready to go in their kitchen. I adopted this habit and added a bottle of my own raspberry vinaigrette.

If you want to do the same or if you want to prepare a nice present from your kitchen for a friend just  prepare the dressing, then download and print one of the labels and glue it onto an empty vinegar bottle.

Both vinaigrettes go well with a toss of leaf lettuce with fruit, nuts and cheese.

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Filed under all seasons, basic, easy, inexpensive, vinaigrette

My Ordinary Chili and Its Extra-Ordinary Variation

Usually the chili I cook is based on beef ground meat and contains green pepper, red kidney beans, tomatoes and corn. Recently I tried a variation with chicken thighs and white kidney beans and added some cumin. I loved this change. It inspired me to explore even more. So watch out for more chili variations to come or add your favourite one in a comment.

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 1 lb medium ground meat                         (1-2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil                                        (olive oil)
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 garlic glove, minced                                 (3 garlic gloves)
  • 1 large green pepper, cubed
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (or more)
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. oregano                                                 (2 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. cumin)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 can red kidney beans (with liquids)    (1 can of white kidney beans)
  • 1 big can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 can corn (with liquids).

Preparation

Heat the oil and brown the meat. Add onion, garlic and pepper, saute for 5-10 minutes. (For the chicken variant: saute onion, garlic and pepper first, then add the chicken and saute until it is no longer pink on the outside.) Stir in tomato paste, salt and pepper and the wine. Cook until the liquid is evaporated. Add the remaining ingredients except for the corn and simmer for about 40 min. When the rice is done add the corn and heat it up.

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Filed under easy, for a crowd, inexpensive, soup/ stew

Sauce Alfredo

This is one of the many variations of the Béchamel Sauce, this time with chicken or ham and peas. If you omit the meat and the peas it makes a great white cheese sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup cooked chicken or cooked ham, cubed
  • 1/2 cup peas, precooked
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • To taste: Salt, pepper, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice.

Preparation

In a sauce pan cook the onion in the butter until it is softened. Stir in the flour and cook. Add the milk while whisking until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add salt and pepper, and simmer the sauce for 5-10min. Stir in cheese and add salt, pepper, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice to taste. Pour in the chicken or ham cubes and the peas for reheating.

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Filed under easy, inexpensive, pasta sauce

Leek Potato Soup

This is a recipe that my mom-in-law makes. She picked it up in her favourite cooking show with French chef Paul Baucuse. It is easy to cook, quick to prepare and inexpensive. I have tried a couple of variations by replacing part of the leeks with other vegetables like carrots or squash or a mix of both. All turned out well. Some Wieners cut into cubes make a good meat addition.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3-4 leak stalks, washed and cut in thin stripes (discard the upper green parts)
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1.5 l water
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. parsley, minced.

Preparation

Sauté the leeks and the carrots in butter for 10 min. Add potatoes and water. Boil on high without the lid for 15 min. Season with salt and pepper. Add sour cream and blend everything with a hand blender. Sprinkle with parsley.

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Filed under easy, fall, inexpensive, season, soup/ stew, vegetarian, winter