Category Archives: Budget Friendly

Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chops

My heart gets happy this time of year when I start to switch over to my fall meal menu. This doesn’t have to mean all stews and chili (we can save some of that for winter, people) but the incorporation of some great fall produce. This Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chop recipe is a go-to in my house in the cooler months. It incorporates sweet potatoes, apples, onions and sauerkraut for a deliciously hearty yet healthy fall meal. Just a little peeling and cutting in the morning will give you an earthy evening dinner.

Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chops

Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chops
Serves 4-6
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced into rounds
4 large apples, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1-2 lbs boneless pork chops
1 2 lb bag sauerkraut, drained
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

In slow cooker, layer sweet potatoes on bottom, followed by apples and onions. Place pork chops on top. Lay sauerkraut over the top. Pour apple cider vinegar. Mix all spices together in a both and sprinkle over the top. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

So simple. So delicious. So fall!



Filed under Budget Friendly, Cook, Healthy, Main Dish, Make Ahead Meal, Uncategorized

Roasted Corn off the Cob Salsa

Greetings from St. Louis! And no, I am not blogging while on vacation. The rumors are true. I apologize for the lack of posts the past couple of months, but my family and I have been busy packing up and shipping down south to the St. Louis area, we rented a house from Twiddy rentals for three weeks. My husband is taking on a one-year stint down here, so we are another stop on our ‘tour of the midwest’ marriage. We aren’t sure where life will lead us after this but we are ready to explore all things from the heartland and enjoy some warmer temps while we are at it. I’m not ready to give up my cheese and sausage just yet, but am excited to explore the culinary nuances down here on the Mississippi. While I plan to bring you some local delicacies – toasted ravioli anyone? – today I am focusing on corn.

We are actually living on the Southern Illinois side of St. Louis. While we are still in a heavily populated area, it is the most “rural” place this city girl/suburbanite has ever lived. Many of you small town, farm folks would probably laugh at me if you saw what I was talking about. In any case, today, instead if BBQ Pork Steaks or Gooey Butter Cake, I am bringing you a recipe with fresh corn. Why? Because this is what my backyard looks like.

Corn Field Backyard

No, I didn’t pick this corn from the field, but did buy it local and it is delicious. Taking the time to cut a little corn off the cob is well worth the few extra minutes. This Roasted Corn off the Cob Salsa is a great topper for tacos, fish or chicken or is great for dipping or just eating by the spoonful. And with this handy little tip for cutting the corn, life has never been easier.

Cutting Corn on bundt pan

Simply place the ear of corn at the top of a bundt pan and slide downward. The kernels will fall into the pan below, instead of exploding all over your counter!


Roasted Corn off the Cob Salsa

Roasted Corn off the Cob Salsa
Makes approx. 2 Cups

3 ears corn, shucked and kernels cut off
1/3 C chopped green pepper
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 C chopped avocado
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil. Add corn. Spread evenly, sprinkle with cumin and roast for 8-10 minutes, until corn is a nice golden color. Remove from heat and place in bowl. Mix with green pepper, scallions, avocado and add sea salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Corn Salsa


I hope you enjoy and I look forward to bringing you some fresh, new recipes and ideas!

It’s Summer Soiree over at the Food Network! Check out these other great fresh summer corn recipes from friends around the web:

The Lemon Bowl: Corn on the Cob with Lemon Basil
Feed Me Phoebe: Grilled Corn on the Cob with Honey-Basil Butter
The Heritage Cook: Mexican Elote Corn Casserole (Gluten-Free)
The Cultural Dish: New England Seafood Boil
Dishing With Divya: Corn on the Cob with Roasted Garlic Herb Butter
Virtually Homemade: Grilled Corn with Tomato Basil “Butter” (Vegan)
Devour: 4 Cobs, 4 Ways
Daily*Dishin: Quick Thyme Corn Cobbettes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Corn
Red or Green: Grilled Corn on the Cob
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Buttery Corn on the Cob
Weelicious: Cheesy Corn on the Cob
Domesticate Me: Charred Corn with Bacon, Chiles and Cheese (aka Mexican Street Corn Salad)
Swing Eats: Corn Pasta with Fresh Summer Corn, Tomatoes and Chives
Taste With The Eyes: Grilled Corn, Soy Mirin Glaze and Wasabi Goat Butter
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Corn and Lemon Thyme Ice Cream + Homemade Creamed Corn
FN Dish: Off-the-Chart Corn on the Cob Recipes



Filed under Appetizers, Budget Friendly, Cook, Healthy, Main Dish, Quick & Easy, Sides

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!


Filed under Budget Friendly, Cook, Healthy