Monday, May 26, 2008

Defying Rachel

I have a confession to make – I kinda love her. Aside from the annoying catch phrases (it’s OLIVE OIL, RACHEL, NOT EVOO. GOD.), I think she’s cute and fun and personable. Plus? I totally covet her media empire. Someday The Cheap But Not Easy Empire shall rival it! But not today.

Tip Of The Day: I supposed to post about the strange things I get up to when no one is around. However, I feel that is more of a Group Therapy Thursday topic. And, more importantly, I’ve had a reader request for a different topic. Far be it from me not to bow to your commands.

Tip For Tomorrow: Hopefully a companion piece to my Fox 9 segment. But since my shoot was bumped to cover the tornado in Hugo, MN, I may not HAVE a segment on air tomorrow. All the Fox photogs are busy filming the disaster, which was quite disastrous.
So MAYBE the post tomorrow will be about buying digital converter boxes for your TV. Maybe. Or it may be a discussion of my belly button lint. Who knows?

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Much of the inspiration in my life comes from my friends (if you haven’t noticed that for yourself), and today’s post is further proof thereof.

Last night at dinner, Lou told me she wished Rachel Ray would write a cookbook with nutritious, inexpensive recipes for a family of 4. The kicker? They’d have to be meals a picky four-year-old would eat. And the groceries involved would have to cost less than $500 a month.

We went on to discuss how expensive grocery shopping had become. Which was inevitable, given the price of gas – it impacts everything, like groceries. Think of how expensive it must be to ship food; that cost has to go somewhere. And we, the hapless consumer, are the “somewhere.”

But hey! Don’t worry! The talking heads on Bloomberg and CNN (and their ilk) say we are NOT in a recession. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER.

Since I have absolutely no sway over what Rachel Ray chooses to write about, I decided to pose the challenge to you, my fearless readers. Not that I’m implying I have sway over you, either, but you are a chatty bunch who like to share your opinions. Perhaps you have recipes you’d like to share as well?

So I am announcing the Cheap Chick Cheap Dinner Recipe Shout Out. In the Comments section below, please post either your favorite recipe, or a link to it. However, the recipe has to follow these guidelines:

1. It has to feed a family of 4 or more.
2. It has to be nutritious and contain vegetables of some sort.
3 It has to be inexpensive, and made of ingredients readily available at the grocery store. Like EVOO, which apparently is yummo.
4 Picky four-year-old boys must want to eat it. I suggest renting a four-year-old and trying out your recipe first, before submitting it to the Comments section. Or, if you have children, and they eat it, let us know.
5 You have to be able to make it while attending to the needs of at least one child under the age of five.
6 It can’t have green beans in it. Why? Because The Cheap Chick HATES green beans with the intensity of a thousand suns. So, no green beans. It’s my blog and I make the rules. Humph.

Alright, you thrifty little cookers, put your collective noses to the grindstone and get crackalackin’!


Michelle said...

I secretly like Rachel Ray, too. I am so impressed by how she created her massive empire. Plus, she seems pretty normal, too.

I am not much of a cook, however, I like to make things that create massive quanities,so I can have leftovers. Last night I made tacos and I'll have enough for a couple of meals. Plus, (not that I have to worry about this since I don't have kids) tacos are kid friendly--but they contain hidden veggies and good things like beans. I like to think of them as healthy junk food. And they're pretty cheap, too.

mia said...

Easy Yellow Rice With Chicken and Peas:

Prepare a large package of yellow rice according to the package directions (I like the large package of Mahatma brand yellow rice since it has all the seasonings and salt already in it).

Meanwhile, cut up a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into small pieces (like for a stir-fry).

Heat up some oil in a frying pan. Mince up some garlic and add it to the oil, be careful not to burn it. Add the chicken pieces and stir fry them until done (don't overcook). Set aside. If you like bell pepper, stir fry a chopped up bell pepper in the same pan until done.

When the rice is done, mix the chicken and pepper into the rice over low heat. Add in one package of frozen peas and stir well. The peas should defrost almost immediately. Remove from heat and serve.

mia said...

By the way, I do not have kids. But my realllly picky friend who only eats "kid" food liked this when it was made without the bell peppers.

Anonymous said...

I'm making this tonight, it's yummo in Rachel Ray talk!!

3 Tablespoons butter
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
about 1 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 - 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
whatever veggies you like (fresh or frozen)
whatever pasta shape you like

Melt butter in medium size pan over medium heat, add cream cheese. Mash up the cream cheese so that it blends with the butter as it melts down. Add milk a little at a time and whisk to combine so there are no lumps, use enough milk to make a pasta sauce consistency. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add parmesan cheese and mix well. You can add more milk if it is too thick. Cook pasta, if using frozen veggies, put them in the strainer, then dump the hot pasta over the veggies and the hot water and pasta will warm up the veggies. Pour pasta and veggies back into pan or a big bowl. If using fresh veggies, cook the way you like them then add to the drained pasta. Pour sauce over the top of the veggies and pasta, lightly mix and serve with more parmesan cheese. I like fresh chopped basil or green onions sprinkled on top too! This is just a great basic recipe that you can adjust to your families tastes!


Lou said...

The picky 4-year old does eat tator-tot hotdish.

I'm going to try the pasta suggestion - they love pasta!