Peanut Butter Drops

While trying to come up with some inspiration of what to cook next some time ago, people kept suggesting peanut butter. For like a week. I’m not a big peanut butter eater so I ignored them at first. But a lot of people do like peanut butter out there, it’s relatively cheap, and seems to never spoil- seriously, I’ve never heard of someone’s peanut butter going bad. So after some thought and help from our family friend, I’ve put together a dessert-ish recipe that requires no cooking. Well, if you don’t consider the microwave a real cooking device. The recipe makes 4 and uses less than $1 in ingredients.

IMG_0199

Ingredients

1/4 cup oats
1 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp peanut butter
5 tbsp chocolate or 3 pieces of a chocolate bar

 

  1. Chop the oats or smash them with a bowl or small plate. Do the same with the raisins.
  2. Microwave the peanut butter in a bowl for 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave on high. Add the raisins and half of the oats then begin to mix. Gradually add the rest of the oats. Spoon the mixture into drops about 3/4 inch in diameter. They won’t want to stay together very well, so don’t try to roll them with your hands. Let them sit in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 45 seconds. If it isn’t melted then, put it back in for 5 second intervals. Coat the peanut butter drops in the melted chocolate. Freeze for another 7 to 10 minutes.


  IMG_0185

Ramen Noodle Stir-Fry

Want to make a side into a meal; just add noodles. I had a lot of coleslaw mix leftover from my veggie stir-fry and just really like cooking stuff in a pan in general. One short raid through the fridge and pantry later, and I have dinner. This is a really versatile recipe too, so you can add things as you please. If you don’t like vienna sausages you can easily leave them out, mix the ramen seasoning with about a cup of water, and add that during step 3. Makes 5 servings and costs about $2.00 in ingredients used.

IMG_0641

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups coleslaw mix
1 cup broccoli
1 pack of ramen
3-6 vienna sausages  (Either way it’s not a whole can. I apologize for the inconvenience)
2 tsp each salt and pepper
3 tsp paprika

IMG_0638

  1. Cook the ramen without using the seasoning packet. Strain most of the water out, leaving a few centimeters at the bottom of the pot.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium to low heat and add the broccoli. (For this quantity of stuff, I used a pan 2 in. deep and 10 in. wide.) Let it cook for a couple of minutes and then add the coleslaw mix. Cook this for another 5-10 minutes, mixing occasionally.
  3. Slice the vienna sausages to a desired size and add, along with the ramen, salt, pepper and paprika. Mix the ingredients together well and serve. If you’ve been mixing for a while, turn off the burner; the ramen will start sticking to a hot pan if you’re not careful.

Grits Bowl

Like a lot of people, I never get up in the morning in time to actually cook something for breakfast. I enjoy my sleeping time too much to give it up. Cooking the night before and popping food in the microwave come breakfast time just seems so much easier to me. And being a southern girl, grits is one of the best foods for the job. It’s simple to cook, goes with everything, and with a sprinkle of water reheats like it’s never been chilled. This recipe makes 6 servings and costs about $2.00  in ingredients to make including mushrooms, $1.70 without them.

IMG_0636

Ingredients

1 cup instant grits
4 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 pack frozen breakfast sausage
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/4 cup cheese

Combine grits, water, and salt in a 2 quart dish. Microwave on high for 8-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes until a majority of the water has evaporated. Stir in your chopped onions and microwave for another 2-4 minutes. Add the sausage- either whole or sliced- and mushrooms. Stirring them in is not necessary. Microwave for another 2 minutes or until the sausage is completely warmed through. Sprinkle cheese on top.

The Perfect Omelette

A big thank you goes to my big brother who gave me this recipe. It’s a guaranteed way to never burn your omelettes again because it doesn’t require a frying pan. Instead, you use a Ziploc bag and a pot of water. The freezer bags work best due to their added thickness. You can easily cook this up in the morning while you’re getting ready and without a worry. Leaving the eggs cooking longer than suggested actually has little negative impact on them. They might get a bit tougher, but that’s all. And best of all, you can add nearly anything to it depending on what you feel like, or what’s in the fridge.

IMG_1636

 

Ingredients

2 eggs
salt and pepper
1/4 cup shredded cheese

  1. Crack the eggs into a Ziploc bag. To make this easier, put the bag in a bowl beforehand to hold it for you. Add the cheese, salt, and pepper; then seal the bag with as little air as possible inside. Squish and shake the bag til the eggs are mixed.
  2. Fill a pot with enough water to just cover the top of the eggs in the bag. Bring it to a boil before placing the bag inside. Be careful not to let the bag touch the sides of the pot for too long or else it will melt. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes then flip the bag over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes then remove from the water. Let it cool for a minute or so before opening and serving.

IMG_1651 In short, don’t do this

Micro-Mac&Cheese

IMG_1678

Now who doesn’t love mac & cheese? It’s simple and delicious, not to mention a childhood staple.  And you can make it entirely in a microwave. Late night dorm macaroni parties are a go. This recipe makes about 6 servings and uses about $2.45 in ingredients.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups macaroni
3 cups water
4 oz. cubed cheese, 1/2 a block
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk

  1. Combine the macaroni, water and salt in a 2 quart dish. Microwave covered and on high for 8-10 minutes, or until the noodles are slightly squishy to the touch. Be careful of the steam whenever you uncover it. Drain the leftover water. It’s alright if there is still a little bit of water left on the bottom.
  2. Add in the milk and cheese. Stir well then microwave on high in 4 minute intervals, stirring in between, until all the cheese is melted. Let it stand for a couple of minutes to thicken up.

Broccoli Soup

IMG_0675

The weather is still being weird and gloomy. It’s supposed to be in the mid-70′s already but only gets as high as 60°. Earlier this week, I battled a particularly nasty day with this super simple soup. It made 6 servings and uses about $1.80 worth of ingredients.

Ingredients

1 can cream of celery soup
2 cups broccoli, cooked/steamed
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup shredded cheese
2/3 cup milk (optional)
black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a 2.5 quart dish. Microwave covered and on high for 15-20 minutes. Let stand for at least 5 minutes. Mind the steam when you take the cover off.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

There has been just one lonely sweet potato in my fridge for the past week or two. I really wanted to use the little guy, particularly before he started sprouting roots, but no ideas would come other than just mashing it and mixing it with some cinnamon and brown sugar- which would require more than one potato. Then lo and behold- I came across this recipe. I’ve made a few minor adjustments but it is close to the original. That and there ended up being 5 quesadillas instead of the expected 4.

IMG_0669

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato
1/3 cup frozen corn
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
10 8-inch tortillas, flour or corn
1/2 tsp brown sugar
sliced or shredded cheese

  1. Pierce the sweet potato, place it on a paper towel and microwave on high for 4-6 minutes. Be careful when taking it out because that thing will burn your fingers. Let it stay on the counter for around 5 minutes then put it in the freezer for around 3 minutes. Then peel it and place it in a bowl. Add the chili powder, salt, and brown sugar, and mash it all together.
  2. Microwave the frozen corn for 1-2 minutes in a small bowl or cup.
  3. Spread 1/4 cup of the sweet potato, 1/4 cup cup of black beans, and 1 tbsp of corn onto a tortilla. Add some cheese then top with the other tortilla. Cook each side in a pan for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

IMG_0659

Veggie Stir-Fry

As much as I loathe them, I know vegetables are a necessary part of any sort of pleasant existence. As luck would have it, while talking with a family friend she gave me her recipe for quick and easy veggies. It takes hardly any time to make and is actually pretty good- well, as good as vegetables can get at least.

IMG_0629

Ingredients

3 cups coleslaw mix
1 cup broccoli (fresh works best)
1/2 tbsp oil
2 tsp each salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli first and let cook for 1 minute or so if you don’t want it to be too crunchy. Then add the coleslaw and seasoning. Let it cook for about 5 minutes and you’re done.

Using the coleslaw mix is a huge time saver, but you can just as easily use regular sliced cabbage and carrots- that’s all it is really. Also note that raw broccoli will turn bright green when it’s cooked enough, though you can still cook it a bit longer with no worry. It’s when it starts turning brown that you should start getting worried.

Mushroom Noodle Soup

IMG_1619

It’s been oddly cold here lately, rarely getting past 50° when it’s supposed to be at least 60° already. I’m really not much of a soup person, but my mom is. So I whipped this up quick for her. We ended up eating from that batch for 2 days. This recipe makes 4 servings and uses about $2.25 worth of ingredients.

Ingredients

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pack of ramen
1 cup mushrooms  or  a 4 oz can of mushroom pieces and stems
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

  1. Cook the ramen as normal, but don’t add the packet of seasoning. Strain and set aside.
  2. Make the mushroom soup according to the directions. When done add ramen, onion, garlic powder and mushrooms to the soup. Simmer for another 6-7 minutes.

Toasted Mushroom Sandwiches

Mushrooms are a tragically understated food. They have a fairly mild flavor and are pretty good for you- little immune system boosters. And they are actually fairly filling.

IMG_1603

 

Ingredients

1 cup chopped mushrooms or
a 4 oz. can of mushroom pieces and stems
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp flour
6 slices of bread
1 tbsp butter
paprika
salt and pepper

IMG_1598

  1. Rinse or drain the mushrooms and place in a pan with butter over medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes or until they become darker in color.
  2. Add the flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir for 2 minutes before adding in the milk. Keep stirring until it has thickened.
  3. Toast the bread and spread your mushroom mixture onto the toast.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.