Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Leftovers Recipes

Hold on a sec, don't throw out that baked ham bone or turkey carcass yet! It's leftovers time at the Cheaps$kate Chateau so read on for flavorful recipes I like to make which uses up every tasty morsel of your holiday meal.

 (And click on any recipe name to be directed to my blog post with all the delish recipe text and yummy photo illustrations.)

If you are the Christmas Baked Ham type, soup the best way to use up any ham pieces and the ham bone too. New Year's Day is right around the corner so it's time for traditional Black-eyed Peas made my cheap$kate way using the leftover Christmas ham bone for extra flavor.

What I especially like about a pot of Black-eyed Peas is they cook in half the time of regular pinto, red or white beans. So you can serve them in just a couple of hours.

Do check out my recipe video below to see how quick and easy you can make your own and ring in the New Year with a fragrant bowl of legumes, and don't forget to make some rice too, for a Hoppin' John version.

Green Split Pea Soup is next up, and it cooks quickly as well. I like to add a lot of extra veggies to my version including carrot, celery and onion. Cook it with a few extra chunks of ham and even your most picky kid will go for this recipe.

Other legume recipes you can ham bone-ize are: Pinto Beans, Cuban-style Black Beans, Mexican Charro Beans andTexas-style Beans.

Adding a slab of ham is always a welcome addition to any sandwich. One of my favorites is called a Cuban Sandwich which is comprised of ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese and a slice of pickle. And it's served pressed, hot off the grill, all melty and warm.

Cuban Sandwich

A French Ham Sandwich is simply made with ham slices, real butter and crunchy French Bread. It's perfect for a picnic. I did one once, but cheaply, with margarine instead of butter. If you have the extra bucks do use real butter if you are bringing them to a picnic party.

French Ham Sandwich

Ham with pasta? You bet, just try out my Ham, Peas and Cream with Penne. And lately, I've been adding cubed ham, instead of sausage, to my Mom's Jambalaya recipe.

Mom's Jambalaya

I grew up with ham added to my plate of fried eggs with Breakfast Potatoes. Diced ham adds heft and flavor to a Cheese Omelet.

A McDonald's Egg McMuffin uses Canadian Bacon, which is very similar to ham. I am so cheap that I've come up with an inexpensive homemade one. Check out the video below to see what I mean.

When I'm on a roll, that is with dice, I head for the Vegas buffet table for a gambler's Eggs Benedict, made with poached eggs, ham and creamy Hollandaise sauce over a toasted English muffin. You've hit the jackpot when you try my cheap$kate version.

Eggs Benedict

The easiest and quickest use of a Leftover Christmas Turkey is to just pile them between 2 slices of bread or bread roll. I like mine with stuffing, cranberry sauce, warm gravy and turkey.

Click on any photo to see larger.

But to kick the sandwich up to an Ultimate Turkey Sandwich, just crisp-up in the frying pan some of that uneaten soggy turkey skin.

It is a decadent and tasty addition to a classic Turkey Sandwich. Check out my recipe video below for a little culinary decadence.

A most popular leftover for the coldest days of winter is a warm and soothing Turkey Soup. I hope you saved the poultry carcass?

For the tastiest soup, it's best to boil leftover roasted turkey bones and turkey bits in a pot of seasoned water. Once the water is simmering on low, just step away for an hour, and meanwhile, do a little veggie and leftover turkey chopping to add with strained turkey broth.

My Turkey Soup recipe link here is based on a typical Chicken Soup, so just substitute with cooked leftover turkey.

My Chicken Soup recipe starts with uncooked chicken, so this Turkey Soup spin-off will be done in less time -- just simmer long enough to tenderize the chopped carrot, onion and celery. This soup is easier with cooked turkey.

If you feel a bit more ambitious, then rustle up a Cajun classic Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, but with leftover turkey instead of chicken.

My Mom lives in Louisiana and she sure knows how to do a Gumbo. This is another cold weather dish. Serve Mom's Turkey and Sausage Gumbo over rice. Again you can reduce the prep time because the leftover turkey is already cooked. And another shortcut is using a pre-made Gumbo base called a roux, that is often stocked in regular grocery stores.

Check out my video below for all the tasty details.

A pot pie is the most soothing of winter meals, and my Turkey Pot Pie made with Christmas leftovers will have you returning for seconds and thirds!

For my simple recipe, I used a grocery store frozen pie crust that covers the leftovers. And all you do is load up a deep baking dish like you would a lasagna - layering mashed potatoes or yams, veggies, stuffing, turkey and gravy.

My video below lays it on thick, that is, with plenty of delish leftovers.

I hope you had a great gathering of family and some friends for Christmas. And do check back for more 99 cent cheap$kate deliciousness.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Cheap$kate Recipe Roundup

It's the most busy and overwhelming cooking day of the year -- well don't fret, The 99 Cent Chef wants to take the stress out and make it a bit easier for you. I got it all here: my holiday recipes, along with a cupboard full of money-saving tips for you during this Christmas season. So read on and take a few tips from the grinchiest tightwad around.

Below is everything you need to serve a sumptuous and cost-saving dinner table feast. And make sure you bookmark this page because Christmas is right around the corner -- yikes!

First up, if you live in Los Angeles, the Cheap$kate Chef would recommend getting fruits and veggies at any Superior Grocers -- just click here to see the great deals to be had, it's incredible. They cater to Latin clientele, but everyone is welcome.

In the recent past Superior Grocers have sold yams at 5 pounds for 69 cents, russet potatoes 8 pounds for 99 cents, tomatoes 4 pounds for 99 cents, yellow onions 7 pounds for 99 cents, green bell peppers 5 for a dollar, and collard greens for 69 cents per pound - oh boy!

I'm sure there are turkey deals to be had wherever you are during the holiday, so this week check out those grocery flyers in the mail before you give them the heave-ho.

The main event is the centerpiece, a fat turkey overloaded with stuffing. Now, wouldn't it be great if you could get away with just setting out a stack of heated Banquet Turkey Dinners? That really is the cheapest way to go.

Well I know that won't fly, but one year in my bachelor days I had one. My wacky review of this frozen fiasco poultry dinner is a click away here.

But seriously, I posted my version of a Turkey with Stuffing recipe, and click here to read all about it. My blog post also features my Mother-in-law's decedent Sausage Stuffing. I shot a video below for you, and it's done in my movie technique of stop-motion animation to boot.

My recipes are stuffed with cooking tips and cheap shopping sources like my local 99c only Store that carries boxes of stuffing and Hormel Bacon & Pork Sausage Links for, you guessed it, 99.99 cents. Right now they are selling everything but the bird!

And my local Dollar Tree has stepped up their holiday food deals as well.

Click on any photo to see larger

Come take a walk on the wild sides with The 99 Cent Rebel With a Cause Chef. And you can be sure the following links will go over big with your hungry family and visiting neighbors. You've never seen stuffing made like this: Stuffing Cupcakes with Cranberry Topping & Gravy.

To get the step-by-step directions for this most deliciously unique savory and sweet stuffing recipe click here. It's easy and quick to make, all you need (to borrow) is a cupcake pan. Stuffing Cupcakes are portable for an office party or a potluck dinner. If you are like me, stuffing, next to roasted turkey, is the main event for my ravenous taste buds.

Stuffing Cupcakes

Make your own Homemade Cranberry Sauce by simmering two cups of fresh cranberries in a simple sweet syrup. My original recipe uses fresh strawberries but can use almost any fresh fruit, including cranberries.

Everyone knows how to make Mashed Potatoes, right? Well if you are a newbie to pulverizing tubers, I got your back! And you gotta have gravy to go with Mashed Potatoes. My Turkey with Dressing link has a Homemade Gravy recipe, too.

Mashed Potatoes

Boring Creamed Spinach is a typical Thanksgiving side, but I have a Hindi twist. One of my favorite Indian restaurant side dishes is Saag Paneer, which is just like creamed spinach, but with cheese and the added spice punch of ground cumin. My version is made with easy-to-get (and lower fat) cottage cheese instead of Indian Paneer (cheese) and Ghee (butter). Once you and your family try my cheesy and creamy Saag Paneer, you won't go back to Creamed Spinach. And the recipe is a click away, here.

If you are looking for traditional sides I have the old-school French Fried Onions and Green Bean Casserole, which is right out of the 1960s themed Mad Men TV series. Yeah, all you need is a can opener for the green beans and Campbell's Mushroom Soup. This is a classic recipe where Betty Crocker has it right -- creamy, crunchy and so satisfying. Click here to see the Cheap$kate Chef's version.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts are edible Christmas ornaments that you can add to the oven during the last 30 minutes of your roasting turkey. Just drizzle them with oil and dust with salt and pepper. It couldn't be simpler to do and here is my stop motion animated video to prove it.

Of course, I have some more sides for you, just click on any of the following names: Green Beans with Almonds,  Whiskey Yams with Brown Sugar Pumpkin SeedsSquash, Tomatoes and OnionsBrussels Sprouts in Sour CreamRoasted Potatoes with CarrotsHoney Orange Glazed CarrotsCollard Greens with MolassesAsparagus and Red Potato Salad,  Pear and Spinach Salad with Creamy DressingFresh Fruit Salad.

Green Beans & Almonds

And don't forget the appetizers like Warm Artichoke DipBlack Olive Tapenade with Crostinis,  Bacon Wrapped Dates with Cream Cheese, and Roasted Asparagus Wrapped in Salami.

Warm Artichoke Dip

And if that isn't enough -- it's dessert time! After you push yourself away from the table and waddle to the couch to catch a holiday game on the TV, be sure to grab a handful of  my wife's Cranberry Orange and Coconut Cookies (click on the name for the recipe.)

But you can't do better than desserts made by Mom. They know what makes a family happy and mine has been generous enough to show me how she does it. Here are a couple of videos I made of her homemade Pumpkin and Mini Pecan Pies.

Now is the time to hit up your local grocery for cans of pumpkin or, if you are cheap like me, less expensive cans of sweet potato. You can use either, as the taste is identically delicious (that is, when canned yams are in a sweet syrup.)

Read the recipe details of my Mom's luscious Pumpkin Pie by clicking here. And watch the video below to see how she does it.

Every Thanksgiving holiday I eagerly await a package from Mom of her famous Mini Pecan Pies. A dozen of them travel well inside a shoe box from Louisiana to Los Angeles. These small pies are the tastiest present one can receive, and I got her recipe for you -- all you have to do is click here.

This is a great Thanksgiving party dessert, but make sure to give your host a few, as they will disappear way too fast. If you don't believe me, just check out the video I made of Mom setting out a plateful -- and watch my relatives devour them in no time flat! (By the way, I think you will be impressed with how the Chintzy Chef gets around paying normally exorbitant pecan prices.)

I hope you all have a great holiday. Keep checking back here for more budget recipes and loads of new food videos. And I'll leave you with my Homemade Eggnog recipe and wacky tree trimming video.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

2017 Christmas GIF(t)s

HO HO HO & Merry Christmas! This Cheap$kate Santa comes bearing GIFs not gifts, but you don't have to wait until the early morning of December 25th to open your pictorial presents!

'Tis the time of year where I set the table with a cornucopia of eye-popping delights for you to indulge in.

Have you been bad or good this year? Well, I'm not judgmental whether you've been a do-gooder or the naughty type, so read on.

While not a brightly wrapped package sitting under the Christmas tree waiting to be opened, you can watch my GIFs anytime. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just check out the animations below for an eyeful.

The letters, GIF, stands for Graphics Interchange Format and is a short video, graphic, or photo clip, that play in a loop, that is, it keeps repeating. There is usually no audio and the clips last for a few seconds each. You can read all about a GIF by clicking here.

I use GIFS to show a cooking technique; how a recipe looks as it bakes, fries or boils; the slicing or chopping of an ingredient; and sometimes I make them just for fun.

So keep on scrolling and feast your eyes on my 2017 roundup of GIFs past. And click on any recipe name to see the scrumptious recipe/review blog post. Happy Holidays!

Mexican-style Pinto Beans

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Strawberry Compote - Video Recipe

The last time I made pancakes, I reached for the maple syrup only to find the bottle almost empty, and my backup, fruit jam, was starting to form mold in the jar. As a tasty substitute, I cooked a fresh Fruit Compote made with strawberries. Plus, this fresh fruit recipe is perfect for homemade Cranberry Sauce during the holidays.

Fortunately, I had half of a one-pound container of strawberries left from my last 99c only Store run (and I do see them on sale for the same price at my local Latin grocery store.)

Even though they were a few days old and starting to wrinkle just a little bit, I salvaged enough to make a Strawberry Compote. I first rinsed them off, then trimmed the stems and sliced off any soggy spots from the berries.

Next, I assembled a few ingredients that makeup Fruit Compote, including apple juice, honey, and a little ginger. Finally, I added everything to a pot and let it simmer for a few minutes to soften (and mash) the fruit into a fragrant and fruity sauce. That's it.

The consistency of my Strawberry Compote is a little looser than a fruit jam.

This is a versatile sweet topping, and you can use almost any fruit and berries you have on hand - canned, frozen, or fresh. Go ahead and try it with pineapple, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, apples, bananas, pear - even seedless grapes and cherries. If you use canned fruit, the juice will be sweet enough, so leave out the honey. And you can use this recipe with fresh cranberries for a homemade chunky Cranberry Sauce (compote) for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

You can spread my Strawberry Compote over pancakes, waffles, toast, French toast, cereal, and any favorite dessert like ice cream or pie. And store it in the refrigerator, if you have any left.

Strawberry Compote - VIDEO

Play it here, video runs 1 minute 24 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Ingredients (about 2 servings)
  • 2 cups fresh fruit - I used strawberries. Okay to use frozen or canned fruit. Some fruits to use include peach, pineapple, pear, apple (add a teaspoon of lemon juice to keep the apple from turning brown), and all types of berries. You can leave on some peach and apple skin.
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice - okay to substitute with favorite fruit juice like orange, cranberry or grape juice.
  • 1 teaspoon of honey - or your favorite sweetener.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ginger - fresh grated or minced, dried powder, or from the jar. This is optional, okay to leave it out.

 Prepare fruit. I used fresh strawberries and just removed the stems and leaves. Depending on the strawberry size, half them or slice them into small sizes. You can use almost any fresh fruit on sale, or that you prefer.

For my recipe, I use 2 cups of your favorite fresh fruit. This recipe is easy to half or double the amounts.

Over medium heat, place the fruit in a pot.

Add apple juice, ginger honey, or your favorite sweetener.

Once the liquid starts to simmer, reduce heat to low. Use a fork or spoon to muddle and mash the fruit.

Continue cooking over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, occasionally mashing fruit as it gets soft. Compote is ready when liquid is reduced by half and all the fruit is mushy and soft.

Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl or jar to cool to room temperature, so it thickens a little more. It is now ready to serve. While Strawberry Compote sets, you can cook up a stack of pancakes.

The consistency of my Strawberry Compote is a little looser than a fruit jam.

Store in the refrigerator. Serve with French toast, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, ice cream, and more. You can give it a quick microwave (or warm it slightly on the stovetop) before serving.


The recipe is easy to double ingredients. You only need to add a little more fruit juice though - about 1/3 cup total.

Use any favorite and seasonal fruit, like cranberry, peach, pineapple, pear, apple (add a teaspoon of lemon juice to keep the apple from turning brown), and all types of berries. Obviously remove cherry, apple, pear, and peach seeds. You can remove peach and apple skin, or leave some of it on.

For homemade Cranberry Sauce, use whole berries. You can thicken the sauce by cooking for an extra 5 to 10 minutes until you reach the desired sauce texture. Remember, any sauce will continue to thicken as it cools down.

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