ThriftyFun News May 18, 2004

ThriftyFun News

Volume Six, Number 20, May 18, 2004


Reader's Requests
Disclaimer: Please Read



In this week's TF News we have some inexpensive recipes. If you have any inexpensive recipe ideas feel free to send them in. We can publish more in next weeks newsletter.


This newsletter contains the following recipes:

  • Quick and Cheap Taco Bake
  • Mexican Rice Casserole
  • South of the Border Casserole
  • Egg in Hole in Bread
  • Homemade Vegetable Stock
  • Homemade Chicken Stock
  • Jelly Meatballs with Chili Sauce
  • Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Organizing Leftovers in My Freezer for Soups
  • Peanut Butter Cookies

Thank you for reading and for all the great submissions.


Thrifty Tip or Recipe Contest

Home Coffee Roasting Kit - Peruvian Certified Organic

This kit includes everything you need to get started roasting coffee at home on your stove, in your oven, or in a hot air popcorn popper. Includes the book Coffee Roasting at Home by Susan Sanders and Fletcher Sandbeck, 1 lb of green, unroasted coffee beans, and coffee bags to store your roast.

To enter the contest go to:
Click here to enter.

You can enter this contest once a day to improve your odds of winning.

Quick and Cheap Taco Bake



  • 1 14 ounce package Mac and Cheese
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 1/4 package taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup cheese
  • 1 cup salsa


Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare mac and cheese as directed. Brown the ground beef. Add taco season and 3/4 cup water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir sour cream into mac and cheese. Spoon 1/2 of mac and cheese mix into bottom of an 8 inch baking dish; top with meat mix, and 1 cup cheese. Then top with the remaining mac and cheese. Cover and bake for 15 mins. then top with cheese and salsa. Bake uncovered for 5 more minutes.

By Kristi

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Mexican Rice Casserole

A good recipe for using up some leftover rice and turkey (or chicken).


  • 1 cup rice, cooked
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces green chili peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups turkey or chicken, cooked, chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat Oven to 350F. Prepare rice or use leftover rice. If the rice has salt in it already, omit the salt from the recipe.

Mix cooked rice, sour cream, grated Monterey Jack cheese, chopped green chili peppers, chopped turkey (or chicken), and salt. Bake in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish uncovered for 30 minutes.

Serves: 6

Adapted from a recipe at:

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South of the Border Casserole

This is another tasty recipe for leftover chicken or turkey and rice.


  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 16 ounce jar medium picante sauce
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked chicken or turkey in bite-sized pieces
  • 8 ounces of canned mushrooms (stems and pieces)
  • 6 tablespoon sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place chicken or turkey in the bottom of a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Mix together picante sauce, chiles, and mushrooms. Spread all but 3/4 cup of mixture over chicken. Add sour cream and rice to remaining picante sauce mixture. Spread over mixture in casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


Serves: 4

Adapted from a recipe at:

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Egg in Hole in Bread

Also known as "Egg in the Window". This is easy and delicious. I used it make this all the time at college. Kids love it too. It is easy to make and tough to mess up.


  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 eggs
  • Butter


Using a small cookie cutter, cut a hole in each piece of bread. Then lightly butter both sides of the bread. Then place the bread in a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Once the bread has browned a little turn it over, then fill each hole with an egg. Once the egg has cooked halfway through, flip the bread. You can have your eggs runny or cook them all the way through. Also, apply a little butter to the holes that you cut out of the bread and cook those too. Tabasco or pepper to taste!

Note: Depending on the size of your frying pan you may have to cook two at a time.

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Homemade Vegetable Stock


Make your own vegetable stock instead of buying it. This allows you to tweak it to fit your tastes.


  • 14 cups water
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 10 sprigs of parsley
  • 2 bay leaves


Combine water, celery, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, onions, parsley and bay leaves in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and cook for one hour. Then strain through a colander. Press the vegetables against the colander to press out as much juice as possible. Compost the veggies.

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Homemade Chicken Stock

Make your own chicken stock instead of buying it. A great use for leftover chicken bones and skin.


  • 14 cups water
  • 4 pounds chicken pieces (backs, drumsticks, necks and/or thighs)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 small onions, unpeeled

  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves


Combine water, chicken, carrots, onions, garlic and bay leaves in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Skim the foam from the top and reduce to low heat. Cook for 2 hours on low heat.

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Jelly Meatballs with Chili Sauce

Quick, Easy and Delicious recipe. My teenage son even loves this. I make this in a crock pot.

  • 1 bag of frozen meatballs
  • 1 jar of chili sauce
  • 1 jar of grape jelly

Yes, that's right. I always make a double batch of these. Add some rice and salad from a bag and your set. Or make meatball sandwiches.

By Joni

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Chicken Caesar Salad


  • 1 to 2 lbs. boneless, skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce
  • 1 bag of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 box of store brand Caesar Flavored Croutons
  • 1 cup of store brand Caesar Salad Dressing


  • Grill Chicken in oven or on counter top grill (I use a Foreman Grill I got as a gift years ago).
  • Wash lettuce, shake out water as best you can.
  • Cut up lettuce in to a large container with a tight sealing lid.
  • Add cheese, croutons, and dressing to lettuce.
  • Seal container with lid and shake it until everything is well mixed.
  • When done, cut the chicken into strips about 1" wide.
  • To serve, fill bowl or plate with salad mix and top with chicken strips.

This is a wonderful summer dinner when served with iced tea.

By CleanPuppy

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Organizing Leftovers in My Freezer for Soups

I keep 2 gallon containers in my freezer. One I use for any leftovers; veggies, broth, meat, soup, pasta, chopped up leftover baked potatoes. I literally put everything in there whether it's a teaspoon or cup. When it's full I make soup. I dump the frozen stuff into a soup pot, add equal parts of tomatoes and water to cover the food, simmer for an hour and let the flavors mix. Leftover soup can be frozen in quart bags.

The 2nd container is for chicken soup. I only add leftover chicken, chicken broth and veggies that you normally would find in chicken soup (carrots, peas, etc). When it's full I put the frozen stuff in my soup pot and cover it with water and add 1 chicken bouillon cube for each quart of water. Simmer for an hour. Each batch is different because your leftovers are different.

By CurvedBar

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Easy and quick peanut butter cookies.

  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 c peanut butter
  • 2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 1 tsp.vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixer bowl, beat milk and peanut butter until smooth. Add Bisquick and vanilla; mix well. Shape into balls. Roll in sugar. Flatten with fork. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.


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