Tag Archives: frugal cooking

The Frugal Musician picks a grand supper



I thinned my turnips yesterday and was delighted to discover succulent tiny fruits underneath the ground. I have great hope my turnips will indeed survive my insecticide-less garden. I did have to spray hot sauce and water on the turnip leaves about a week ago to discourage some little bug that was having a holey field day.

I brought my thinnings in and gave them a good dunk in some soapy water and toss them into an iron skillet with a tiny bit of olive oil to cook. I snipped the tiny turnips into the mix as well.  I gave them a nice dose of water occasionally and a nice splatter of apple cider vinegar at the end of cooking. Because the greens were young, I only cooked for 15 minutes.

Cornbread. I love it. I cannot make it. My mama makes the BEST cornbread in the world. It is a FLAT cake, crisp on the outside and perfect on the inside. She kept telling me she makes it with just water and cornmeal, a fact I have always had trouble believing. Mama wasn’t available to chat me through the cornbread process, so I went online and found recipes for Hot Water Cornbread.

The following recipe makes a small skillet of cornbread. Keep the corncake as thin as possible. If this is over a half-inch thick, the middle will not cook in the skillet.

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, 2 tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, enough boiling water to make the mixture like thick soup. Mix everything together and pour into a small iron skillet coated in hot oil. I used a tsp of oil and wiped it around the skillet and this was just enough. When you’re cooking this think PANCAKE and you’ll know when to turn and cook the other side. I let my cornbread cook on med low heat for about 15 minutes. You really have to watch it.

My meal was scrumptious. I LOVE eating from my backyard. How about you?


The Frugal Musician’s Kitchen Stadium: Iron Chef Series


Welcome to my real life snow globe.

Last week, I was able to visit the store ONCE and that was a task because I had to get out of the drive first. Monumental endeavor and when I finally did make it to the store, the shelves were nearly bare because we had a snowstorm LAST weekend and delivery trucks weren’t able to make it through.

The sparsity of the shelves aligned perfectly with the poverty of my pocket as I only had $20 to buy groceries for a week. I exited the store with a whole chicken, several cans of veggies, cheese, eggs, milk, sugar,bread and flour. I also purchased veal at nearly nothing along with Oscar Meyer hotdogs that were drastically reduced. All in all, I did ok and was happy to have gotten groceries for the coming week. I didn’t have to worry about food over the weekend.

Boyfriend was supposed to work all weekend. The place he runs sound also has one of the best restaurants in the city, so I only prepare breakfast and lunch on days he works. He was scheduled for a four day work week which all turned to mush when the snow started piling up. He’s out of work til next week.

This morning, I felt like my humble little cookery was Kitchen Stadium minus the sumptuous choices of meat, cheese, and all manner of extra ingrediants. I realized the neccessity of some seriously frugal thinking where food was concerned. I’d need to make use of whatever I had in the cupboard and freezer to make our food last for the next few days.

Last night I took pasta from the freezer and made a sauce of tomato soup, basil, oregano and cream cheese and milk. I’d bought two nice veal chops for $1.79 and cooked those up and served the whole dinner with cheese toast. It was excellent and I had enough left for lunch today.

But how do I make Superbowl snacks? What can I do about the rest of our meals? We will not starve, of course, but to stretch everything I will need to think like an Iron Chef.

Watch out Emeril.Beware Cat Cora. Get out of the way Guy! The Frugal Musician is in Kitchen Stadium and ready for some creative cooking!

The Frugal Musician’s Easy Strudel


I’m not sure where this one came from but obviously it’s chilly here, else I wouldn’t be passing along oven loving recipes.

The is an incredibly easy strudel. I’ve made it with canned peaches, canned strawberries, fresh apples, canned apples, blueberries and blackberries.

1 cup self-rising flour (or one cup plain with 1 and 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt added)

1 cup sugar ( I use less if I am using sweetened canned fruit)

1 cup milk

2 16 oz cans peaches (with liquid)  or equivalent fruit

Melt a half a stick of butter in 9×3 glass pan in oven. Mix flour, sugar and milk and pour into baking dish. Spread fruit evenly over mixture. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Great with Cool Whip or ice cream!

The Frugal Musician is ah one ah two ah three…


1-2-3 MUFFINS by Minnie Stark from the High Hills Baptist Church Cookbook 1987

I found this most excellent recipe for muffins in Boyfriend’s grandma’s cookbook. I’ve made them lately, zipping up the recipe with everything from cheese for savory muffins to nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar for sweet treats.

Who knew bread could be so easy!?

1 cup self-rising flour (if you don’t have self-rising, use regular flour and one and one quarter tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt)

2 tablespoons of mayo

1/2 cup milk

Mix all together and customize to your taste. Pour batter into six greased muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Yum-o and even more yum-o the next day with hot coffee!

The Frugal Musician’s back of the box, bag, under the label recipes


Ok this one was actually on the side of the box!

We have dessert every night at our house. I know that sounds a little extravagant but dessert is usually a piece of sheet cake with icing. It costs approximately $2.00 to make this. I cut the cake into 12 servings so it last a good while. Another of our fav desserts is chocolate chip pancakes, but I only make these in the winter.  Summer is great for cook and serve puddings. I make chocolate or vanilla cook and serve in the microwave. I buy the Kroger brand for fifty cents a box. I usually top the pudding with left over cake or brownies or maybe bananas and whipped topping. I serve pudding in my grandma’s cut glass pieces and it makes a lovely end to a nice meal.

Today dawned cloudy and cool here in VA so I decided to cook for the week, and that included making a nice chocolate sheet cake. I discovered this recipe on the side of the cake mix box.

This sounds so good and Walgreen has BOGOF Starbucks Icecream and I have COUPONS. So you know what we’ll be having for dessert next week!

Chilly Cookie Sandwiches

1 pkg Pilllsbury Moist Supreme Chocolate Premium Cake Mix

1/3 cup oil

2 eggs

1 pint ice cream softened

Prepare cake mix and drop dough by rounded tablespoon fulls about 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets to make 22 cookies. Bake at 375 7-9 minutes until puffed and almost no indentation remains when touched. Cool 1 minute, remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.

Place half of the cookies bottom side up and top with a scoop of ice cream. Cover with remaining cookie, bottom side down. Press together to flatten. Roll edges of each sandwich in sprinkles and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze at least two hours or over night.


The Frugal Musician and the Clever Casserole (Simple Dollar)



A really clever post about assembling a casserole. I love it. Trent always writes something timely, relevant and useful!

The Frugal Musician makes a casserole….


FM was homebound on a cold winter night recently. Homebound only because it was too cold to traverse to the store to purchase dinner makings and I was down to my last five dollars cash.  So FM got creative and made a casserole of ground pork and potatoes. Quite yummy and very inexpensive so I thought I would share the recipe

One pound ground pork sauteed in onion or garlic or whatever you have on hand- I used a bit of basil, sage, celery salt and thyme as a sprinkle in. Also added Worchestershire sauce and a squirt of ketchup.

Uncooked thin sliced potatoes- I had Yukon golds in the cabinet

Cream of mushroom soup, mixed with 1/3 cup sour cream and 1/3 cup milk  and a tablespoon of mayo

Butter casserole dish. Thinly cut potatoes and put a layer in the casserole dish.  Spoon ground pork on top of sliced potatoes. Put another layer of potatoes over the ground pork. Pour cream of mushroom mixture over top of casserole and top with cheese or breadcrumbs or Durkee fried onions or all three.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

FM loved this and she doesn’t really care for meat. It was savory and creamy and good. And cheap. Did I mention cheap?