Thursday, September 13, 2018

Low-Spend, Dollar-Stretching Challenge - Update #2 and A Couple of New Recipes

Things are going well as we continue to move through our 'low-spend September' (at least in the area of groceries). John and I ran to the store on Tuesday to grab fresh things (milk, cheese, butter, eggs, yogurt, and bread), but, as far as meat, canned goods, dry goods, and other non-perishables, we are determined to use up what's on-hand before purchasing more.

In other areas this past week, I can't say that we've necessarily been 'low-spend', but we have been spending wisely. While in town we purchased items needed to complete several small household projects that needed done before winter and, with the money that we've saved on groceries this month, it has made things like that, not only affordable, but easy to stay within budget. Plus, it feels good just being able to cross some of those projects off our 'to-do' list!

I have two new recipes to share with you this week. Both of them use ingredients that we don't buy and normally wouldn't have on-hand, but, due to someone giving them to us, we did...canned chicken and a bag of prunes.The canned chicken I wasn't too concerned about, but, what in the world was I going to do with a bag of prunes??? πŸ˜²

Well, I have a saying..."When in doubt, pull out the old Betty Crocker cookbook!" And that's what I did. πŸ˜ƒ

I love my old Betty Crocker cookbook! 😍 (It was printed back in the day before everything came from a box or a can and people still used real ingredients to cook with. I got it for a wedding present back in 1979 and I raised my children on it. In fact, I wore the original one out and had to go online to find a replacement for it! My children were always calling wanting the recipe for this, that, or the other, so, one year for Christmas, I tracked down an original copy for each one of them and gave them to them as gifts. Most of the recipes that they grew up on came from that book.

Anyway...(sorry...rabbit trial!)...I got out my old Betty Crocker cookbook and looked in the back under 'prunes'. Even though it didn't sound all that great, I decided to try the recipe for Spicy Prune Cake and, let me tell you, it was delicious! In fact, I think it's my new favorite cake (very fallish)! I didn't have the ingredients on-hand to make frosting for it, so I just dusted the top with powdered sugar. I would like to try it, though, with a cream cheese frosting. I bet that that would make it doubly-delicious! πŸ˜‹ I have enough prunes left to make two more cakes and I'm pretty sure that, after that, we'll be buying prunes on a regular basis. LOL! πŸ˜† 

The other recipe (Cheesy Chicken Pasta) I found online when searching for recipes that specifically call for canned chicken. The recipe was good, but it's not one that I would go out of my way to buy canned chicken for to make again. If I make it again I will do it when I've got leftover fresh chicken that I have cooked and cubed myself and, next time, I'm adding salt, pepper, and a can of mushrooms. This recipe just didn't seem complete without them. I did tweak the original recipe quite a bit, so I will give you the link to the original and share what I actually did with you here.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta
(Link to Original Recipe)

8 oz. rotini (spiral pasta noodles)
2 T. butter
1/2 c. red and green bell peppers, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 T. flour
1 1/2 cups almond milk
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 13-oz. can canned chicken
1 T. ranch dressing mix

Prepare noodles according to package directions and drain when finished cooking. While noodles are cooking, saute peppers and garlic in butter for a minute or two. Add flour and whisk for another minute. Then, add milk to make a rue. When the rue begins to bubble, remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until melted. Add chicken and ranch dressing mix. Return to low heat and stir until heated through. 


1 c. boiling water
1 c. cut-up pitted prunes
2 c. flour (I used Prairie Gold whole wheat)
1 1/2 c. sugar (I used crystallized cane sugar)
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1/2 c. oil (I used olive oil)
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Pour boiling water over prunes in large mixing bowl and let stand for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (or spray) a 13 x 9 2 inch pan. Beat prunes and remaining ingredients on low speed for one minute. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into pan.

Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes; cool. Frost, if desired, or dust with powdered sugar.

Until next time,

30 Days of Summer - Post #29 - The Waning Days of Summer

Happy Homemaker Monday - September 10, 2018

Low-Spend, Dollar-Stretching Challenge - Update #1

A Low-Spend September and Dollar-Stretching Food Challenge

2019 Planner


  1. Un remake de Nemo tournΓ© avec des chatons !

  2. I'm cooking from on hand foods, too. I'm getting increasingly creative!

  3. Good for you, Laura! Sometimes it's an adventure...that's for sure! Love you, friend! <3


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