Sundays are for cooking

You know, it amazes me how much it costs to go out to breakfast. On Sundays, Jeff and I usually make a huge breakfast at home.

This morning I made pancakes. I used the recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook but you can use any recipe you find on the internet. Pancakes are so easy: flour, milk, eggs, sugar, baking powder. This is staple stuff that everyone should have in their kitchen. We also had some frozen sausage roll which we sliced up and cooked. It took about 30 minutes to make breakfast and it cost us less than $5.

After breakfast, I decided to make some homemade bread. There is nothing like the smell of homemade bread. Again, I used a recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I can’t tell you how often I use it as a resource. Someone gave me a copy when I got married and I use it all the time. It’s got all the basics and great tips for beginners. Anyway, back to the bread. If you’ve never made bread before, you need to head over to The Hillbilly Housewife’s site and make her basic bread recipe. This was the first bread recipe I ever made and it turns out perfect every time. While you are there, check out her other recipes. If you want cheap, filling food for your family, you need to check out her site.

There are a couple key things when making bread. Yes, you actually have to kneed it for the entire amount of time listed in the recipe. I’ve used my kitchen aid mixer to do it but it doesn’t turn out as well. Give your dough some love! You really do need a warm place to let your bread rise. I generally turn my oven on until it hits 100 degrees, then shut it off and put the dough in to rise. I know bread takes a long time, but it is sooooo worth it.

What else did I cook today? Currently, I’m making Swedish meatballs. Here’s how I make them. I purchase Swedish style meatballs from my local warehouse club. I know, why don’t I make them from scratch? Well, two reasons. First, they are really good, at least the ones they sell at my warehouse club. Second, they are fast. I can place them in the crock-pot in the morning or in a sauce pan when I get home. Third… wait, that’s three reasons… oh well. Third, they are cheap. I can make four or five meals for the two of us, plus leftovers from each meal and the bag costs me about 10 bucks. If you have a small freezer, portion out the meatballs in smaller bags so you can stash them in the little open spots in the freezer.

Back to the recipe. So I take some meatballs in a frying pan with a little olive oil. I brown them up for a few minutes. You don’t need to cook them through. Lower the heat and add a can of beef broth. Doing this makes them taste homemade. Let them simmer for ten to fifteen minutes, longer if you want to. Then add a few cans of cream of mushroom soup. Cook until heated through or until you are ready. As long as you leave this on low, you can cook it almost forever. You can also make this in the crockpot. Just mix up all the ingredients and cook on low all day. I make some egg noodles and poof…dinner! The leftovers are awesome to bring to work and you can make as little or as much as your need.

Most of the things in this recipe are staple items that I have on hand all the time. I try to keep meatballs in the house since my husband loves this recipe and it’s easy to make. I always have chicken and beef broth on hand. I generally buy a bunch around Thanksgiving when it’s really cheap. We always have cream of mushroom soup in the house. I usually buy that at the warehouse club because it’s like 50 cents a can vs. $1.29 at the grocery store. I like to keep a few bags of egg noodles on hand as well. They are great for casseroles, soups, or a quick side dish. They are frequently on sale.

So try some cooking next Sunday. You’ll be amazed how much money you can save and how good you’ll feel.

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