Monday, October 13, 2008

Poor Man Meal Series Post 2: Hot Dog Boats

Hot dog boats were a childhood favorite of mine. It is something I got rarely, so when I did it was such a fun treat! I actually find them easy to make and serve them to my kids for lunches occasionally. My husband doesn't really like them, so it is also something we eat when he is out of town and I want to be lazy. Now, just like my other post, you can go the easy route and do instant potatoes, but I always make real mashed potatoes. See my Potatoes and Hamburger Gravy post for instructions on making mashed potatoes. Also, use what ever kind of hot dog you love. Turkey dogs are a great more healthful option. Not all inexpensive meals have to be unhealthy. Here you go, the easy directions.

What you do:

Slice hot dog down the middle length wise. Put potatoes on hot dog. Top with cheddar cheese. Cook in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and hot dogs are browned. Easy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Poor Man Meal Series Post 1: Mashed Potatoes with Hamburger Gravy

This is a meal I learned to make when I worked at the preschool while I was going to college. It was frequently served at lunch time. I added a few things to my recipe, like cheese, while still keeping it cheap. It is a very simple meal but it is ultimate comfort food. I don't know why I love this dish, but I do. I am sure it has something to do with my addiction with carbs. You could take the easy way out and use instant potatoes and store bought gravy, but I like to make mine from scratch.

I know that it may seem basic, but I have readers of all cooking levels and so I am going to post "how to" directions to make homemade mashed potatoes.

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

What you need:

Milk, cream or sour cream

What you do:

Peel potatoes, you can leave a little of the peel on if you are using red potatoes. Cut potatoes in bite size pieces. Place in boiling water and cook until tender. Don't overcook or you will have soggy mashed potatoes. Just cook until a fork can be pierced through easily. Drain potatoes. Place potatoes in a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add butter, salt and milk, cream or sour cream (please don't use leftover potato water... yuck!). The proportions are what ever you like best. I like mine a little more buttery, so I use lots of butter. Normally I use milk and save the sour cream for special occasions. I rarely use cream because I don't notice much added flavor but the added calories are significant.

Tip: If you mix the potatoes too much, they will start to get stiff and gluey... be careful to mash them and mix in the other ingredients just until done, no need to keep stirring!

Hamburger Gravy

What you need for 2 cups of gravy:

1/2 lb. hamburger
2 tlbs. flour
2 cups beef broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

What you do:

Brown hamburger. Add a little butter if needed (if there isn't at least 2 tlbs. fat left from hamburger). Add flour and stir until hamburger is coated. Add beef broth and stir until flour is all mixed in and broth starts to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over potatoes and add grated cheddar cheese on top.

Tip: I make this often with left over roast broken into bite sized pieces instead of hamburger.

Poor Man Meal Series

I got a comment on my "poor man meal" that I posted a while back. You remember, fritoes and rice. Well, when I visited rubybean77's site brokenyolks she had a great post featuring an altered version of my fritoes and rice. She made some good comments about the current state of the economy and connected it to the cost of our meals. I am sure that most Americans are feeling the economic crunch in one way or another. That post has inspired me to do a complete series of "poor man meals." These are meals that I made quite frequently when I was a poor college student and also when I was newly married. Revisiting these recipes has been fun and has brought back many memories. I hope that you can find a way to incorporate these into your weeknight cooking and maybe you can stretch you dollar a little farther. Check out my "taco soup" recipe for an updated photo.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I truly never thought this day would happen. I have been reading food blogs now for about 2-3 months and about that long since I started revamping this one. I see blog awards all the time on other more established well known blogs. I really thought it was for blogs out of my league. It is such an honor to receive my first award!

The award comes from Marisa over at What's For Dinner. I have only recently found her blog and it quickly became one of my favorites. It seems that every recipe that she posts is one that I would love to try. You really should go check out her blog if you enjoy reading this one. Here are my picks to pass on this award to. Really, I would love to send this award right back to Marisa because I too think her blog is Excellent! I hope it is OK for me to choose some of the same blogs that Marisa picked.

My Kitchen Cafe

Hot Off The Garlic Press

Dozen Flours

Simple Mom

The Simple Marriage Project

The Recipe Girl

Picky Palate

Meck Mom

Gourmet Mom on the Go

Everyday Food Storage

Here are the rules:** Please find at least 10 more blogs, of any kind that you love to read. Write a post about the blogs you picked, linking back to me and to them. Once you’ve posted, return here to let me know your post is done and be sure to let them know too!!! (If you don't come up with 10, that's fine too!).