Sunday, December 31, 2023

Black-eyed Peas & Collard Greens for New Years Day - Videos

Starting the New Year with Black-eyed Peas and Greens is a Southern tradition signifying good luck and prosperity. I'm not superstitious but what the heck, might as well just in case?

Peas represent coins and Collards are the green color of money. And you are visiting the right place, this Internet Chef likes cooking for cheap so you will save mucho dinero following my recipes. Black-eyed Peas and Collard Green have a lot of flavor the way I make them, so read on and see how much bang for the buck I of charge!

I can honestly say I did not care for Black-eyed Peas as a kid as they were usually heated up right out of the can, but over time I have grown to savor them, especially when they are homemade. 

 My Black-eyed Peas video recipe below has the addition of a leftover hambone or ham hock. Ham is still cheaper than a buck a pound, but make sure to get it bone-in so you can add it to the Black-eyed Peas. Ham hock is more expensive but you are buying a small cut of pork.

The main vegetable additions are onion, garlic, and celery. If you are vegan it's easy enough to leave out the ham and add extra veggies like carrot and bell pepper. And for that smokey ham flavor add a few drops of Liquid Smoke.  

And for the New Year's Day Celebration, my Black-eyed Peas just need some rice to make the Southern traditional Hoppin' Johns. You can cook some rice (about 20 minutes of simmering, covered) with the finished Black-eyed Peas or steam the rice separately and add the Black-eyed Peas when you are ready to celebrate.

Check out my easy-to-make Black-eyed Peas video recipe below and click here to see my original blog post's step-by-step directions with yummy photos and tasty text. 

As for Collard Greens, I never had them until I started High School in Louisiana. We'd get them sometimes in the cafeteria for lunch and if you went to a local country-style restaurant or BBQ joint they were on the menu somewhere and they were always loaded with bacon or ham, of course.

My late wife Amy found a recipe she would make all the time and I fell in love with it, too. What makes the recipe over the top is the addition of a bottle of beer, a tablespoon of molasses, and a small splash of vinegar.  Bacon is included, too but you can substitute it with a few drops of liquid smoke and make this a vegan entree. 

I get Greens here for about a dollar per bunch -- that's still a good and cheap deal. So check out my recipe video below and click here to see my original blog post and all the yummy details. 

Simplest to serve Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens with white rice, and a hotlink, or Mom's Jambalaya!

How about combining Black-eyed Peas with Collard Greens. I came up with this tasty combo and it works! This is a recipe for all my vegan visitors. I even throw in some okra for extra Southern Cuisine flavor. Check out my recipe video below for all the delicious details.


Tuesday, December 26, 2023

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 that use up every tasty morsel of your holiday meal.

Click on any recipe name for the recipe.

If you are the Christmas Baked Ham type, soup is 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.

GreenSplit Pea Soup is next up, and it cooks quickly as well. I like to add a lot of extra veggies to my version including carrots, celery, and onion. Cook Green Split Pea Soup 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-size are Pinto BeansCuban-style Black BeansMexican Charro Beansand Texas-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
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, especially at 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 it 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, which 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.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Christmas Cheap$kate Recipe Roundup!

  It's the busiest and most 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 and sweet potatoes at 1 pound for 79 cents, squash for 99 cents per pound, and yellow onions at 2 pounds for 99 cents - 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 decadent Sausage Stuffing. I shot a video below for you, and it's done in my movie technique of stop-motion animation to boot.

You may 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 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 with 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 made a tasty recipe called Mexican Cola Turkey CarnitasI just cover and braise a couple of Turkey Legs for about 2 to 3 hours in Mexican Cola with herbs. You can see how I make this sweet recipe in the video below.

To add some South of the Border Christmas tradition serve a steaming bowl of pork, chile, and hominy stew called Pozole. Along with tamales, Pozole is a Mexican culinary holiday tradition.

Setting out a platter of plump Tamales are edible holiday packages of deliciousness. And while I don't have a cheap$kate recipe yet, I can point you to a local L.A. fave purveyor called Tamales Alberto. If you are in the 'hood do get a dozen.

My recipes are stuffed with cooking tips and cheap shopping sources like my local 99c only Store and Dollar Tree. They have stepped up their holiday food deals as well. Dollar Tree items now start at $1.25 Each carries boxes of stuffing and Hormel Bacon & Pork Sausage Links on the cheap. Right now they are selling everything but the bird!

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 Christmas 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 them 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 Christmas holiday I eagerly await a package from Mom of her famous Mini Pecan Pies. A dozen of them travel well inside a shoebox 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 Christmas 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 typically 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.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Easy Roast Turkey Breast - Video Recipe

  Roast a whole turkey for Christmas? No thanks!! I'll go the easy route and just roast a turkey breast - it's quick and easy to do my way. Take the pressure off and keep it simply delicious.

And as a bonus, I add Stuffing under the flap of the breast wishbone skin and I add an extra mound of Stuffing that the turkey breast rests on. So you get it all with my Easy Roast Turkey Breast recipe.

The advantage of only cooking a Turkey Breast is you don't have to worry about dark meat when cooking a whole turkey. Usually, dark meat takes longer to cook than white meat, so often the white meat will dry out even when covered with aluminum foil to help keep it moist.

I don't know about you but I like a succulent slice of turkey breast, not a dry bite of bird. 

Of course, you have to be a "white meat" person for this recipe, I like both white and dark...can't we all get along?

Turkey breast comes in many sizes/ weights starting at about 5 pounds, so you will serve 3 or 4 guests easily and there's little waste, without a lot of carcass bones and skin to throw out.

The good old days.

These days.

You could just buy a whole Turkey on sale and break it down. Practice on a whole chicken first. It's economical and you can make separate meals with dark meat and wings later. Defrost a frozen turkey in the refrigerator so it stays cold. It may take 3 to 4 days until the whole turkey is soft enough to slice apart.

The trick to breaking down a chicken or turkey is to slice into where the poultry leg and wing connect to the main body until you see bone. Next, grab the leg or wing and pull away from the body until you hear a crack - that is the joint separating. Finally, just slice around the round joint and continue slicing until the part is free. You can try to cut through bone, but you need a cleaver or saw for hacking. For a whole breast, I slice easily through the rib cage and break apart the joints just underneath the breastbone.

Refreeze the dark meat legs, thighs, and wings. The backbone is great for a veggie-loaded Turkey SoupOf course, you can roast a breast and a leg or thigh together if you are feeding a few.

Usually, figure about 15 minutes of roasting per pound of the breast at 350 degrees. My (about) 5-pound Turkey Breast cooked in an hour and a half - that's half the time of roasting a whole turkey!

 The skin gets crackly and the meat stays moist. Always allow a few minutes of resting time once the Roasted Breast is out of the oven while setting the table and finishing side dishes.

I can't resist Bread Stuffing with Roast Turkey Breast and I'm not particular. I use a typical boxed stuffing from my local 99c only Store and add a few sauteed veggies for good measure. I like cornbread or plain white bread stuffing. 

Click on any photo to see larger.

A chopped stalk of celery and some chopped onion, mushrooms, and garlic all sauteed together, are what I add, then follow the box directions. If I have a small package of breakfast sausage I'll saute that too and mix it all together. My Easy Stuffing Recipe is a click away here

Almost everything in the grocery store is on sale this time of year so keep a lookout and click here to see some of my yummy side dishes -- Bacon Wrapped Brussels Spouts or a Green Bean Casserole with French Fried Onions, anyone?

You don't need the whole bird to make a satisfying Thanksgiving meal, my Easy Roast Turkey Breast will do the job!

Easy Roast Turkey Breast - Video

Play it here. The video runs 1 minute, 38 seconds.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

4-6 pound turkey breast - It comes in various sizes so cooking time will vary. But in general, it's about 15 minutes per pound at 350 degrees -- the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast should be 150-155 degrees. My turkey breast took an hour and a half at 350 degrees. 

Salt and pepper to taste - just sprinkle on as much or as little as you like, about a teaspoon total.

Optional - a box of favorite Stuffing. Follow the box directions or see my recipe by clicking here.


Nothing to this recipe really, just preheat the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Okay to put some fresh or dried herbs under the breast skin if you like. Rosemary is a pungent herb, or sage and rosemary, too. 

Place the turkey breast skin side up and let it roast until done, about an hour and a half or until the juices run clear when sliced, or the internal temperature is 150-155 degrees in the thickest part of the breast.

If you are a stuffing fanatic then add some to the turkey breast before roasting. I like to stuff the wishbone area which usually has a large flap of skin to enclose the stuffing. 

Turn the breast cavity facing up and lay in the stuffing against the wishbone. Raise up the skin and fasten with a couple of toothpicks. Finally make a mound of stuffing on your roasting pan and place the breast right on top of it, covering it with the breast cavity.

The turkey juices will flavor the stuffing perfectly. And you get a little crunchy layer of stuffing that cooks against the pan.

If you are looking for a few side dishes to go along with the plump roasted breast then click here to see what I recommend.

Whether you roast the breast with stuffing or without, try my Easy Roasted Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving, or anytime.

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