Monday, April 21, 2008

A Cheap Date Never Tasted Sooooo Good...

A woman wrote a cookbook based solely on ingredients that can be purchased at the dollar store. Oh my god. At first I was disguisted, Im not gonna lie. I think it has been at least a year since I have visited the local Dollar Tree. And I have never been brave enough to venture down the "food" aisle.

The 99 Cent Only Store Cookbook

Skeptical I checked out her website. Everyone from NPR to the LA Times loves her book. The recipes are even normal. One could even go so far as to say delicious! While we aren't lucky enough to have any 99 cent only stores in Utah, but they are all over Nevada, California and Texas. Apparently this Mecca savings even have a dairy and deli section. We're talking refrigerated perishables. Oh my hell. I think that is what would scare me the most. All I could think is "What the hell is wrong with this that makes it LESS than a dollar." One feature that I do like....THEY HAVE A WINE SECTION! I'd buy a bottle of wine for a dollar! Hell to the yes!

She even has a blog to keep you updated on the latest deals and finds. Not to mention fresh recipes.

If any of you are brave enough to give it a try here are a few recipes that she recommends:

Chicken Pot Pie

4 Individual Pies, Cost: About $9.99


2 Tablespoons Danish Creamery butter + some to grease ramekins

4 cans Picket Fence Poultry Farms chunked chicken, drained

1 teaspoon Santa Paula ground thyme

1 can Del Monte mixed vegetables drained, reserve the liquid

1 can Del Monte Whole Leaf spinach, drained

1-2 tablespoons fresh ground McCormick pepper to taste

1/8 cup Santa Paula diced dried onions soaked in the reserved mixed vegetable liquid + 3 Tablespoons Foggy Bay white wine

1 12 ounce bottle Franco-American Slow Roast chicken gravy

1 container of 10 count Pillsbury Golden Flaky biscuits


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease 4-(4 ½" diameter x 2 tall") ramekins

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large fry pan.

Add reconstituted onions, thyme and pepper and sauté for 1 minute.

Add chicken and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Add mixed vegetables and spinach and incorporate thoroughly.

Add gravy and mix to heat through.

Remove from heat.

On a well floured surface (Romina all purpose flour) roll out each biscuit to bigger than the size of the ramekin. Line each ramekin with a biscuit using an extra half of a biscuit to line the sides to the top.

Place in heated oven and par-bake for 3-4 minutes.

Open oven door and carefully fill each ramekin to the top with the filling.

Cook another 4-5 minutes.

Open oven again and place the remaining rolled biscuits atop each pie. (1 each)

Cook until tops are golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes before eating.

Green Chile and Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes

4 servings, Cost: About $1.99


1 box Alpine Foods Cheddar Cheese Au Gratin Potatoes (other flavors will work)

2 tablespoons Danish Creamery butter

2 / 3 cup Dairy Ranch Fresh milk

1 cup Ortega diced green chilies


In a large saucepan, heat 2 cups hot water, milk, butter and sauce mix.

Stir well to combine.

Add potatoes and chilies and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer covered for 7 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove cover and cook another 7-9 minutes. Sauce will thicken during this last cook time. Continue to stir to avoid mixture from sticking to the bottom of pan.

Remove from heat and serve.

Apple Pie

Servings:6-8 Cost: About $3.99


1 package (2 crusts) Roundy's Pie Crusts

2-20 ounce cans Polar Fuji apples, drained

¼ cup Romina all purpose flour

¼ cup C&H white sugar

½ teaspoon Santa Paula cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon Santa Paula ground ginger

Dash Encore Premium ground clove

Dash McCormick salt

2 Tablespoons Danish Creamery butter.


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Place one of the frozen crusts upside down on a piece of parchment paper. As it thaws it will pull away from the pan and lie flat. This is your top crust.

While both crusts are thawing (about 20 minutes), mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Add apples and stir to coat evenly.

Pour apples into pie crust and place flattened crust on top.

Seal edges firmly with the tines of a fork and cut 4 slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.

Wrap tin foil around the outer edge of pie. (This will help avoid outer crust from burning.

Place on a baking sheet and cook about 30 minutes.

Remove tinfoil and continue to cook until crust is golden and juices are bubbling. About 15-20 minutes


1 comment:

Janalu said...

Well those stores must bne in vegas cuse I can't find any except for california! Too bad I would get my shop on there. I am guessing you can still make the recipes with stuff that is over a dollar.