Read on and click on any highlighted recipe name to gobble up my original blog post for the recipe, illustrated with yummy photos, fun videos, and tasty text.
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, get all your goodies this week when every local market and chain grocery stores has the deepest cuts in produce prices. If you live in Los Angeles, the Grinchiest 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. If you have an ethnic market nearby, do give them a visit -- you'll be surprised what you may find on sale.
In the recent past my corner Latin market, Superior Grocers, have sold yams at 5 pounds for 99 cents, russet potatoes 5 pounds for 99 cents, yellow onions at 7 pounds for 99 cents, Brussel sprouts 2 pounds for 99 cents, green beans for 99 cents per pound, and acorn squash 2 pounds for 99 cents - oh boy!
Turkey is on sale this week at chain grocery stores and local markets, so make sure to read the fine print, usually a $25 purchase is necessary to get a big bird.
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.
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.
Often you will find a whole turkey too much to handle, or your guest list is just yourself and maybe one or two other guests. In that case, it is easy and often cheaper to bake a whole Turkey Breast.
The last time I cooked a Turkey Breast it took about 2 hours at 350 degrees to roast. I simply seasoned it with salt and pepper, leaving it uncovered. You can also add some herbs, or do it your own family recipe way.
Check with a thermometer for a reading of 165 degrees. I usually just slice into a thick part of the Turkey Breast and make sure there are no pink juices. And when done, remove from oven and let stand for about 5 minutes so juices settle back in the meat.
The same goes for Turkey Legs. They may cook a little quicker though, so start checking for doneness after an hour and a half. For a change of pace, I just made a tasty recipe called Turkey Carnitas. I just cover and braise a couple of Turkey Legs for about 2 to 3 hours in water with herbs. You can see how I do it in the video below.
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!
Click on any photo to see larger
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 the roasted turkey, is the main event for my ravenous taste buds.
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.
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 Seeds, Squash, Tomatoes and Onions, Brussels Sprouts in Sour Cream, Roasted Potatoes with Carrots, Honey Orange Glazed Carrots, Collard Greens with Molasses, Asparagus and Red Potato Salad, Pear and Spinach Salad with Creamy Dressing, Fresh Fruit Salad.
Green Beans & Almonds
And don't forget the appetizers like: Warm Artichoke Dip, Black 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 late 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 almost 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.