Frugal Food Friday

Bush Cherry Nutri-Grain Bars (Friday’s Frugal Food) 4 comments

Last weekend my family had a family reunion.  I was unable to go, but my mom and sister’s family went and had a grand ole’ time.  While there, they decided to pick me some cherries from my grandpa’s cherry bushes.  (To learn more about what Bush Cherries are, GO HERE)


These cherry bushes are awesome.  They produce billions of cherries, I swear.  Okay, thousands…hundreds of thousands, or something like that.

I knew they were going to pick me some and I was pumped.  I figured I’d make a few batches of bush cherry jam (Munchkin’s favorite).  I did not expect them to bring me this:

Do you know what that is?  That is eight bags, 5 lbs EACH of bush cherries (I know, I weighed them)!

They picked me FORTY POUNDS!!!

That is the awesomeness of my family, man.



So, I’ll be making a LOT of bush cherry jam, and bush cherry “gogurts”, and maybe even some BBQ sauce with a hint of bush cherry.

I also made a couple of batches of homemade Bush Cherry Nutri-Grain Bars.  SO much cheaper than the store-bought version, tastier too (in my humble opinion).


Before I post the recipe, I need to give credit where it belongs.  I found the original recipe here.

I haven’t varied the recipe a lot, but I’ll post the few changes I made below.  Enjoy!


Bush Cherry Nutri-Grain Bars

1 cup butter or margarine (I did half of each to cut cost and still keep the yummy butter taste)

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup almond flour (if you don’t have almond flour, you can just use regular.  I only have it because of my gluten free needs)

1 1/2 cup oats

1 tsp almond extract (I used vanilla because I didn’t have almond)

2/3 cup jam of your choice (I used a low-sugar bush cherry jam/syrup that I made…and it turned out great!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all the ingredients except for the jam, and mix well.  Press half of the mixture into a 9×13-inch greased baking pan.  Spread the jam on top.  Crumble the rest of the mixture over the top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes (I baked mine for the full 25).  Cool and cut into bars.


*I’m going to make a few more batches and freeze them individually for easy after school snacks.  I think I’ll also try making them gluten free for me (cause they look and smell so good!) by substituting an all purpose GF flour for both the wheat and the all purpose flours, and by using the GF oats and GF vanilla.  YUM!

This recipe is linked up at:




It's a Keeper

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Friday’s Frugal Food – Dana’s Corn Salad (GF) 3 comments

In this heat, it’s no fun to cook.


It’s still fabulously fun to create food, though!  This light, tasty recipe I found for Corn Salad is the perfect solution.











Look at that goodness.


It went perfectly with a piece of tilapia last night…and it was delicious again today for lunch with a baked potato!  This is a recipe that I’m thrilled to have found, and will use time and time again.


Dana’s Corn Salad (adapted from $5 Dinners)

2 cans drained corn (or use fresh corn that has been cooked)

1/2 cup diced green pepper

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1/2 cup diced Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 tsp onion powder


2 Ttbsp sugar

1/3 cup vinegar

1/4 cup  oil (I used olive oil)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 tsp dried parsley


  • Mix corn, vegetables and cheese together.
  • In separate bowl, combine all marinade ingredients well.
  • Mix marinade into vegetables. Toss to combine and allow to marinate at least 4 hours in fridge.

You can see in the picture that I also added some finely chopped fresh basil to mine.  I also added more pepper to mine after mixing…just cause!  This recipe is gluten free, as well as dairy free.

*Linked up at:




It's a Keeper

Frugal Food Friday – Sticken Chicken 5 comments

I found the recipe for Sticken Chicken while using SuperCook (and yes, this is a plug…SuperCook is awesome), and I loved it!  The kids do as well.  Be forewarned, I didn’t have my camera with me, so the only pictures you’ll see are from a fuzzy phone camera:




You see what I mean?  I’m not even gonna put the “Better on a Budget logo” on it…no one’s gonna steal that picture. :-)



The good news is that just because the picture didn’t turn out doesn’t mean the meal didn’t.  I actually got distracted with some neighbor issues and cooked the stuff about 10 minutes longer than I’d meant to.  Still turned out.  I love recipes like that!



And so, here is the recipe, adapted from


Sticken Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash chicken and dry thoroughly.
  3. Coat chicken with flour seasoned with salt, paprika and ginger.
  4. Arrange chicken skin side up (if you have skin on your chicken) in a single layer in baking pan.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
  6. Mix other ingredients in a pot over low heat. Pour over baked chicken when sugar has melted. Turn oven down to 375 and bake for another 35-40 minutes or until chicken is done.
  7. Basting and turning at least once will ensure an evenly coated glaze.

Read more:





Linked up at What’s Cooking Thursday , It’s a Keeper Thursday, and Full Plate Thursday.

Friday’s Frugal Food – Parmesan Crusted Chicken 1 comment

Thanks to my friend Collette for this recipe!  I’m a sucker for those recipe chain emails….



Parmesan Crusted Chicken

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves

4 tsp Italian Bread Crumbs (I used plain ole’ homemade breadcrumbs)

Preheat oven to 425.   Combine mayonnaise and cheese in medium bowl, arrange chicken on baking sheet.  Evenly top with mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

* As you can see, I served this with a side of rice and lettuce salad.  It was an easy, perfect meal!  I liked this chicken.  If I were to do it over again, I’d do a little less mayo mixture on the tops and more breadcrumbs.  I LOVE breadcrumbs.  To make this meal gluten free, simply use a gluten-free bread for your breadcrumbs.


*Linked up at



It's a Keeper

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Friday’s Frugal Food – Homemade Chocolate Pudding and Raspberries

I have to thank my son for inspiring me to make this.


(In other words, he screamed “I want pudding PLEASE!” over and over until I couldn’t stand it anymore.)  I didn’t have any boxed or premade pudding, so I searched online and found this great and simple homemade recipe:



(Read more about it at,1940,144177-224201,00.html Content Copyright © 2011 – All rights reserved.)

  • 1 (almost heaping) tbsp. Hersheys cocoa
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 (heaping) tbsp. flour
  • Stir sugar, flour and cocoa together and mix well. Add milk slowly while stirring. Continue to stir, on low heat. When pudding thickens add butter and vanilla. Serve.


I followed some of the suggestions and added a little more cocoa, and I thought it was lovely.


Of course, you may not want to stop with pudding.  You may be craving a fancy-shmancy, delectable-like dessert.  You may just happen to have some fresh raspberries that you got on sale for $1 a package….you may also just happen to have some leftover homemade whipping cream (from Father’s Day, of course!)


In which case, you just may decide to pour some of that fresh pudding over your raspberries:


And top it with the whipping cream.

Total Cost:

Homemade pudding – $1.50

Raspberries – $1-$2 (depending if you want to use more than one package…I did!)

Whipping Cream – $1

Total Cost:  $3.50 – $4.50 to serve 4.

Fast/Easy Black Bean and Corn Salsa 2 comments

(My apologies for the lack of quality pics…my cell phone was all I had on me while making food.)



SOOO…I think a lot of us have probably heard of and even made the black bean and corn salsa.  I love making it completely homemade; it is just so dang good and healthy!  The other day, however, I was running low on time and didn’t want to have to measure out herbs, spices, and seasonings.  Here’s a great easy solution:

I love using the packets of dry italian dressing seasoning.  They make everything taste good!  Well, almost everything…

(All of the ingredients were bought on sale, so these are the sale prices I found):

Fast and Easy Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 can diced tomatoes ($0.99)

2 cups frozen corn ($0.50)

1 can drained black beans (or do like me and cook up some dry black beans in advance…you’ll want around 1 – 1 1/2 cups….much cheaper!) ($0.25)

1 packet dry Italian seasoning ($0.34)

Mix all the ingredients together and stir to combine.  Let sit for 30 minutes for flavors to “mesh”.

If you happen to have some fresh cilantro growing in your window, then by all means, chop some of that up and add it just before serving!   Most people eat this with tortilla chips, but I love it on top of my rice.  Whatever floats your boat!


Total Cost:  $2.08