I found this recipe on prevention.com, it comes from Cheryl Forberg, the nutritionist from Biggest Loser. I haven't made it yet, but it is on my list to try. Lentils are great for budget stretching, and as they don't have to be pre-soaked you don't need to plan too far ahead.
This simple but lovely whole berry cranberry sauce is different from others posted on 'zaar. I found it in a small Thanksgiving recipe booklet while looking for something for my first grader to make for her class Thanksgiving Feast. Make sure that you go through the cranberries and remove any soft or wrinkled ones. Fresh Cranberries should be firm and shiny. Prep time includes cooling and chill time. This can be made 2 or 3 days in advance.
I've been making this at the holidays with young children for years. Most children don't know that butter comes from cream and not from a "fridge at the grocery store". This Thanksgiving my 3 1/2 yr old and my 18 month old had fun shaking (and cheering me on while I shook the jar) and we made a whole quart worth of butter all together for our extended family dinner.
These come from the Eagle Brand Holiday Magic cookbook. I haven't made these yet but am looking forward to adding them to my gift tins this holiday season. I'm also planning to flatten some and dip them in chocolate like york peppermint patties. Cook time listed is time to let set.
This is another of my mil's recipes. The only change I made is to cut the chicken into bitesize pieces and increase the sauce as that is my dh's favorite part of the whole thing. I have made this in the oven and in the crock pot and either way is great. We have also had it over rice, noodles, and my personal favorite is steamed broccoli and cauliflower. DH is a purist andlikes it best over biscuits.
This is about as far from gourmet as you can get, but it is yummy and filling, budget friendly, and FAST. Serve with crusty bread and butter if you have it, or with el cheapo white sandwich bread and butter if you dont. I came up with it to serve my 3 1/2, & 1 1/2 daughters as well as hubby, and in-laws when I wasn't expecting to feed anyone but my girls and hadn't been to the grocery store.
I was introduced to the original recipe for these while in college, back then they were called "to Die For Fudge Brownies" but I have since changed the name because while I was working as a caterer more people told me they'd kill for the recipe than I could count. I have tweaked it just a little over the years. These are the richest brownies... they are always a special request by my family and friends during times of stress or celebration. I always make sure I use the best quality chocolate I can afford, but have made it with store brand baking chips and it's still great. I like to cut them on the diagonal into diamond shapes for a special presentation. Warning: Do Not make these while you are PMSing unless you are prepared to be working out to burn off an entire pan of them for the next month. Yield depends on the size you cut them to.
This is my mother-in-law's chili recipe, it's fast and easy to make and is my dh's favorite. Serve it over rice and sprinkle with shredded cheddar on a cool fall day. The prep times are estimates as I've never really timed it - I just throw it together and let it simmer while the rice is cooking. This is also good for dipping corn chips.
This dip is always expected at my gatherings and it disappears fast. If you prefer not to smell like garlic for days, reduce the amount of garlic. For those of you with an adventurous palate, make it the way I do. (It's great for getting rid of a sore throat or cold too!)
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