Category Archives: Budget Friendly

Hot Ham and Swiss Sliders

It’s March Madness! This time of the year I am always looking for a good appetizer or meal to serve to a large group. I served these hot ham and swiss sliders during the first round of the tournament. I got the recipe after two entire pans were gobbled down in minutes at a family gathering awhile back. They are delicious and easy to prepare ahead of time so you won’t miss any of your need-to-watch games. The sauce on top creates a sticky, sweet flavor that mixes perfectly with the salty ham and creamy swiss.

In a tournament of sandwiches, these would definitely make it to the final four.

Hot Ham and Swiss Sliders
Makes 24 sliders

1 lb. deli ham (I used ham off the bone)
1 lb. swiss cheese
24 King’s Hawaiian Rolls (2 packages)
1 stick butter, unsalted
1/2 C brown sugar
1 TBSP worchestire sauce
1 TBSP mustard
1 TBSP poppy seeds

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray. Slice the buns in half and place on baking sheet. (I was able to squeeze all 24 on one baking sheet) Place one piece of ham and 1/3 slice of cheese (depending on the size) on each bun.

In microwave or on stovetop, melt butter. Add brown sugar, Worchestire, mustard and poppy seeds. Spoon mixture over the top of each bun, coating with mixture. Allow to sit for 30-60 minutes – do not cover!

Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

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Filed under Budget Friendly, Cook, Main Dish, Quick & Easy

{Budget Friendly} Spicy Tomato Soup

Like many of you, the new year always brings similar resolutions. Be healthy. Save money. This year I plan to share with you some of my belt and budget shrinking recipes to help you stay on track with your 2012 goals. This tomato soup has been a staple in my household for some time. Made with pureed beans and carrots, it’s creamy without the calories. Best of all, you can make the entire batch of soup for less than $6. That is a $1 per person, take that McDonald’s dollar menu!

Spicy Tomato Soup
Makes 4-6 servings

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Red Onion, chopped
3 C chicken or vegetable broth
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 can Navy Beans, rinsed and drained
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Rosemary Whipped Topping (optional)
1 C heavy cream
1 TBSP lemon juice
rosemary (leftover from soup recipe)

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil. Add onions and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add broth, carrots, beans, tomatoes, rosemary (leaving a tiny pinch behind), salt, pepper and red pepper. Bring to a boil, cook until carrots are softened, about 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, throughly blend soup until thick and creamy. (If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer soup to blender or food processor in batches until all is smooth).

In a cold metal bowl, whip heavy cream on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add pinch of rosemary and lemon juice until combined.

Ladle soup into bowl, top with one teaspoon of whipped cream.

The extra tablespoon of whipped topping is not necessary, but adding a real creamy texture to the soup. The extra tablespoon is worth the few extra calories in my book, but if you are really cutting down, leave it out. It is delicious either way!

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Filed under Budget Friendly, Cook, Healthy