Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Cake
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This was a new cake for me, and it is delicious. I used the shortcuts for the cake mix, buttermilk, and frosting. I made this on 14 Feb 2018, and it is delicious. Links to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-35 minutes
Red Velvet Cake
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Rating: 5
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This was a new cake for me, and it is delicious. I used the shortcuts for the cake mix, buttermilk, and frosting. I made this on 14 Feb 2018, and it is delicious. Links to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-35 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C (350 F). Grease and flour two 8 inch rounds spring form pans.
  2. Add the cake mix to mixing bowl, add the butter and work that into the flour. Crack the eggs into another bowl and whisk then pour the eggs into the flour and mix to combine. Slowly add the milk and mix just until the cake batter comes together, do not over work the batter or the result will not be a light and fluffy cake.
  3. Now add the cocoa powder and mix that in.
  4. Then mix in the bottle of red food coloring.
  5. Pour the batter equally into the two pans.
  6. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place the pans on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the outer spring form and let the cakes completely cool.
  7. When the cakes are completely cool, use your favorite frosting to frost them or do as I did and use the buttercream shortcut.
  8. Slice and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Shortcuts: Yellow Cake Mix, Buttermilk, Buttercream Frosting.

Adapted from many internet recipes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
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This is a basic buttercream frosting mix from none other than Betty Crocker, this recipe has been used by millions of people over many many years. Frosts 13x9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8 or 9-inch two-layer cake, or about 12 cupcakes.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
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This is a basic buttercream frosting mix from none other than Betty Crocker, this recipe has been used by millions of people over many many years. Frosts 13x9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8 or 9-inch two-layer cake, or about 12 cupcakes.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugar, use a heavy spoon or an electric mixer on low speed.
  2. Add the vanilla and just 1 tablespoon of milk. Beat well, and just add additional milk, a few drops at a time, to make a nice and smooth, and spreadable frosting. If frosting is too thick, add milk a few drops at a time, if too thin, add powdered sugar a teaspoon at a time. (This photo is the chocolate variant.)
  3. Frosts 13x9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8 or 9-inch two-layer cake, or about 12 cupcakes.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Variants: 1. Use chocolate flavoring instead of vanilla. 2. Use coconut flavoring instead of vanilla.

Used in Recipe Listed on this Site:
Red Velvet Cake, Made it, GO-TO recipe.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Spätzle
Spätzle
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This is a German dish, sort of a mix between a soft egg noodle and a dumpling, cooked in simmering water or stock then fried. Commonly served with a meaty stew or gravy.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
2-5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
2-5 minutes
Spätzle
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This is a German dish, sort of a mix between a soft egg noodle and a dumpling, cooked in simmering water or stock then fried. Commonly served with a meaty stew or gravy.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
2-5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
2-5 minutes
Ingredients
Special Item - not required, but helps
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and whisk to combine.
  2. Beat the eggs. Add half the eggs and half of the milk to the flour mixture and mix, then add the remaining eggs and milk, and mix until smooth.
  3. Fill a medium sized pot half full with water or even chicken stock, Heat to simmering.
  4. Using a spätzle maker, place over the pot and add dough to the hopper and slide back and forth to allow the dough to fall through the holes into the simmering water, don't overcrowd the pot. (If you do not have one, you can use a flat grater with large holes or even a large holed sieve and use a rubber spatula to press the dough through).
  5. Let the spätzle cook until it floats to the top of the water, use a large slotted spoon to remove and place them in ice water to cool them and then place in a colander to drain. Repeat with remaining dough.
  6. Once all the dough is cooked in the water, heat a large non stick skillet 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter, add the spätzle and fry, turning often, until starting to crisp up.
  7. Serve as a side with a meaty dish.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Variants: 1. Fry in bacon fat and 5-6 slices of chopped bacon. 2. Fry some onion and garlic until soft and the onion is softened, add the spätzle and mix in, then add 1-2 cups Swiss cheese, there, you just made Käsespätzle, the German version of mac and cheese.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Oreo Crust Cheesecake
Oreo Crust Cheesecake
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This is adapted from two recipes I found, but for the crust, feel free to use a store bought crust, oreo or graham cracker. I made this on 2 Feb 2018, easy and excellent flavor.
Servings Prep Time
1 cheesecake 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cheesecake 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Oreo Crust Cheesecake
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This is adapted from two recipes I found, but for the crust, feel free to use a store bought crust, oreo or graham cracker. I made this on 2 Feb 2018, easy and excellent flavor.
Servings Prep Time
1 cheesecake 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cheesecake 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Ingredients
For the Crust
For the Filling
Servings: cheesecake
Instructions
For the Crust
  1. Add the whole Oreo cookies, filling and all to a blender or food processor and process to make crumbs, or for old school, just place in a zip lock bag but do seal and crush with a rolling pin to a good fine consistency.
  2. Place the crumbs in a bowl and pour in the melted butter and mix to coat all the crumbs with the butter.
  3. Pour the breadcrumb mixture into your pie dish, firmly press it down firmly on the bottom and sides of the dish, I used a smooth flat bottomed bowl to help with this.
For the Filling
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C (350 C).
  2. With the room temperature, add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until smooth with an electric mixer. Now I don't own an electric mixer, so I had to improvise just a bit. I used a potato masher to to get the cream cheese broken down and softened up with the eggs, once soft, I used a whisk to make a smooth batter. (People have been making cheesecakes before electric mixers and Kitchenaid appliances.)
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared crust and smooth it out evenly.
  4. Place on the pie dish on a baking sheet and place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. I checked it at 30 minutes and it was quite loose (jiggly) in the center so I continued for another 10 minutes. At the 40 minute mark, a solid cheesecake. Remove from the oven and place the dish on a rack to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until use.
  5. First piece removed, the piece fell apart in places as I did not have the cookie crumbs evenly layered.
Recipe Notes

The Cream cheese will cost about 240 Baht for 2 250 gram packages. For 8 servings, this is about 89 cents per serving. Good value overall.

Variants: 1. Serve topped with a fruit filling such as blueberry, cherry, strawberry, etc. 2. Melt a bar of chocolate and mix that in before baking.

Adapted from several internet recipes.

Mushroom & Garlic Rolls (Bread Machine)
Mushroom & Garlic Rolls (Bread Machine)
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These sound really good, on my to cook list. I have rewrote this to use a bread machine for the mixing and kneeding. This recipe involves a bread machine, some sauteing, and the rolls will be baked in your oven.
Servings Prep Time
10 rolls 1 hour or so
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 rolls 1 hour or so
Cook Time
20 minutes
Mushroom & Garlic Rolls (Bread Machine)
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These sound really good, on my to cook list. I have rewrote this to use a bread machine for the mixing and kneeding. This recipe involves a bread machine, some sauteing, and the rolls will be baked in your oven.
Servings Prep Time
10 rolls 1 hour or so
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 rolls 1 hour or so
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
For the Rolls
For the Filling
Servings: rolls
Instructions
  1. Place the Roll ingredients into your bread machine in the order listed, set the bread machine to Dough setting and let it run through the cycle.
  2. While the dough is getting worked over by the bread machine, heat a pan on medium heat with a splash of olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the mushrooms and about 1/3 of the garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes to evaporate the moisture released and to brown them up a bit.
  3. Remove the mushrooms to a mixing bowl and mix in the remaining garlic. Let this sit to cool. When the mushrooms are cooled, mix in the parsley, butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. When the dough cycle is complete, turn out the dough to a flowered surface and punch it down to release any air. Flour a rolling pin and roll out the dough to about 12 inches (30 cm) by 4 inches (10 cm), smallest side towards you. Trim the edges to make it roughly straight lines, not looking for perfection here, just straighten up shorter ends.
  5. Take the mushroom mixture and spread onto to the dough. cut the dough horizontally into 10 strips (you are going to make short strips, not long ones). Each strip should be about 3/4 to 1 inch wide (2-3 cm).
  6. Roll each strip and place on its side in a baking dish.
  7. Cover the dish with a towel and let it proof for about 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 200 C (400 F).
  8. Remove the towel and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and with a brush, use the butter in the bottom of the pan and brush the tops of the rolls. If no butter is left, just melt 1-2 tablespoons and use that.
  9. Serve as a snack or a side.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Microwave Baked Potatoes
Microwave Baked Potatoes
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I have not done this yet, but will soon. When I was growing up, we had a wood stove we cooked on, and it had an oven, I used to make the baked potatoes but inserted a large nail (very clean) into the potato, theory is that when the nail heats up it cooks the inside of the potato faster, seemed to work. This is on my to make list and soon. This is based on one potato per serving as a side.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving as a side 2 minutes
Cook Time
11 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving as a side 2 minutes
Cook Time
11 minutes
Microwave Baked Potatoes
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I have not done this yet, but will soon. When I was growing up, we had a wood stove we cooked on, and it had an oven, I used to make the baked potatoes but inserted a large nail (very clean) into the potato, theory is that when the nail heats up it cooks the inside of the potato faster, seemed to work. This is on my to make list and soon. This is based on one potato per serving as a side.
Servings Prep Time
1 serving as a side 2 minutes
Cook Time
11 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving as a side 2 minutes
Cook Time
11 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving as a side
Instructions
  1. Wash potato well to remove any dirt and grit, prick with a fork several times and place on a plate.
  2. Place in the microwave and 'nuke' the potato for 5 minutes on High power. Turn potato over and 'nuke' for another 5 minutes.
  3. Remove potato, cut nearly in half and spread apart, season with salt and pepper to your liking, mash just a bit with a fork, add the butter and 2 tablespoons of the cheese.
  4. Nuke again on High setting for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and top with remaining cheese and sour cream to your liking, garnish with chopped chives or spring onion if desired.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Shortcut: Sour Cream.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Basic Streusel Coffee Cake
Basic Streusel Coffee Cake
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I used to make this type of coffee cake when I was little and learning to cook. This sounds pretty close to what I made, and I tested this out on 2 Jan 2018 and yep, this is really close to what I made, it is excellent. Now there is a story to the photos, the photo of the batter in the pan with the topping before the oven, picture perfect, after I put it in the oven, about 10 minutes later, I realized I had not opened my new bottle of baking powder! Since this cake was for my mother in law's birthday, removed the pan from the oven, scraped out the contents for the compost pile and let the pan cool while I prepared a new batter and topping mix. As I was making the batter, my wife walks through the kitchen and says, mother in law likes very little sugar, so go easy on the topping. The second cake is the cooked photo, with little topping. Mother in law took one bite, instant thumbs up from her!
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Basic Streusel Coffee Cake
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Rating: 5
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I used to make this type of coffee cake when I was little and learning to cook. This sounds pretty close to what I made, and I tested this out on 2 Jan 2018 and yep, this is really close to what I made, it is excellent. Now there is a story to the photos, the photo of the batter in the pan with the topping before the oven, picture perfect, after I put it in the oven, about 10 minutes later, I realized I had not opened my new bottle of baking powder! Since this cake was for my mother in law's birthday, removed the pan from the oven, scraped out the contents for the compost pile and let the pan cool while I prepared a new batter and topping mix. As I was making the batter, my wife walks through the kitchen and says, mother in law likes very little sugar, so go easy on the topping. The second cake is the cooked photo, with little topping. Mother in law took one bite, instant thumbs up from her!
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Ingredients
For the Cake
For the Topping
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 190 C (375 F), grease a 9x9 baking dish with butter.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the egg, oil, and milk. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix well to combine. (I just used two separate bowls, one for batter, one for topping.)
  3. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly.
  4. Now using the bowl the flour mixture was in, add the Topping ingredients and mix together. Sprinkle the topping over the batter.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. (I used the toothpick method, when it came out clean, done.)
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Hamburger Buns
Hamburger Buns
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This is from a good American friend, Brian, who lives in northeastern Thailand, and he makes these often. Brian's words "Being that I live in Thailand, in a place that does not have a bakery around the corner, making my own hamburger buns allows me to enjoy a burger with a proper bun." And Brian is very correct, want a proper bun for a burger here, you have to make it yourself. I know Brian well, if he provides a recipe or shortcut to my site, he makes it often.
Servings Prep Time
8 buns 3-4 hours
Cook Time
15-17 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 buns 3-4 hours
Cook Time
15-17 minutes
Hamburger Buns
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This is from a good American friend, Brian, who lives in northeastern Thailand, and he makes these often. Brian's words "Being that I live in Thailand, in a place that does not have a bakery around the corner, making my own hamburger buns allows me to enjoy a burger with a proper bun." And Brian is very correct, want a proper bun for a burger here, you have to make it yourself. I know Brian well, if he provides a recipe or shortcut to my site, he makes it often.
Servings Prep Time
8 buns 3-4 hours
Cook Time
15-17 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 buns 3-4 hours
Cook Time
15-17 minutes
Ingredients
For the Buns
For the Tops
Servings: buns
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yeast and 1/2 cup of the flour. Add the luke warm water and mix together. Let this set for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and bubbly.
  2. To the flour mixture, add the egg, butter, sugar, salt, and whisk together until well combined.
  3. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour. IF using a standup mixer, use the dough hook and kneed for 6-8 minutes, add flour as needed until the dough comes together and has come free of the sides of the bowl.
  4. IF mixing by hand, mix in the bowl until the dough comes together, adding flour as needed until the dough comes free from the sides of the bowl, turn out dough on a clean surface and kneed with hands for about 10 minutes, use flour as needed until the dough is tacky but comes free of the work surface.
  5. Oil a large bowl (large enough to allow the dough to double in size), and place the kneeded dough inside in the bowl, cover the bowl with a towel and set aside for about 2 hours to rise and double in size.
  6. Punch down the down and remove the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured work surface. Shape the dough into a rectangle or circle and cut into 8 equal size pieces. A pastry cutter works well, and a digital scale is a bonus to ensure you get equal sizes. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly flour just the sheet.
  7. Using floured hands, form each dough piece into a ball, then take each ball and form into a disk about 1/2 inch thick, place each disk on the baking sheet evenly spaced.
  8. Lightly flour the tops of the disks and cover with a towel. Let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  9. About 20 minutes before buns have risen, preheat your oven to 190 C (375 F).
  10. Whisk together the egg and milk. Remove the towel from the rolls and using a pastry brush, lightly coat the top of each bun. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
  11. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place buns on a rack to cool.
  12. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Provided by good friend, Brian Colligan.
Thailand.

Shrimp & Grits with Tasso Cream Sauce
Shrimp & Grits with Tasso Cream Sauce
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This is a quick meal to put together. One of the ingredients is Tasso Ham, which is a specialty of Cajun/Creole cooking of the southern US. If you do not have access to this type of ham, you can easily use Andouille sausage or thick cut smoked bacon and just add a bit of Cajun seasoning to taste. On my to cook list for sure.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Shrimp & Grits with Tasso Cream Sauce
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This is a quick meal to put together. One of the ingredients is Tasso Ham, which is a specialty of Cajun/Creole cooking of the southern US. If you do not have access to this type of ham, you can easily use Andouille sausage or thick cut smoked bacon and just add a bit of Cajun seasoning to taste. On my to cook list for sure.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
For the Grits
For the Rest
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Follow the package instructions to prepare the grits but for what ever amount of water it calls for, cut that in half and use milk for the other half.
  2. Get your grits going, season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir often to make nice and creamy grits. When the grits are done, add in Cheddar to your liking and stir in, set aside but keep warm.
  3. Get everything else prepped, measured, and set out and ready to go, this will come together quickly.
  4. In a large non stick pan on medium high heat, heat the oil and butter. When hot, add the ham and saute until crispy. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until the onion is translucent then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the shrimp and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until all the shrimp are pink. Pink shrimp are tender, over cooked shrimp are tough. Remove the shrimp when pink and set aside.
  6. Stir in the white wine and let it reduce. When it has reduced, slowly stir in the cream, season with salt and pepper, and if you used sausage or bacon, season to taste with Cajun seasoning. Let sauce reduce to thicken.
  7. Divide the grits between two plates, divide the shrimp onto the grits, pour sauce equally over each plate, top each plate with chopped spring onion greens. Serve.
Recipe Notes

I will say low cost for now but will price this when I get the shrimp again, I will be using large shrimp for this.

This recipe for Shrimp & Grits with Tasso Cream Sauce is from Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom.

Dinner Rolls (Bread Machine)
Dinner Rolls (Bread Machine)
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This comes from a good friend that has perfected this recipe over time. These are a little dense and chewy, which sounds delicious! Your bread machine does the heavy work, but you will cut these, let them rise and bake in the oven. I made these on 11 Dec 2017, perfect!
Servings Prep Time
8-10 dinner rolls 1-2 hours
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 dinner rolls 1-2 hours
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Dinner Rolls (Bread Machine)
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This comes from a good friend that has perfected this recipe over time. These are a little dense and chewy, which sounds delicious! Your bread machine does the heavy work, but you will cut these, let them rise and bake in the oven. I made these on 11 Dec 2017, perfect!
Servings Prep Time
8-10 dinner rolls 1-2 hours
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 dinner rolls 1-2 hours
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: dinner rolls
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients in your bread machine in the order listed. Set to dough function and note the time until the cycle is completed. Keep an eye on the dough for the first few minutes, if it appears to dry, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until the dough comes together to a ball. I used two additional tablespoons of milk, this photo is about 10 minutes into the cycle.
  2. When the dough cycle is complete, roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface, cut into 8 or 10 equal portions (9 fit perfect in a 8x8 baking dish), shape into balls, and place in a baking dish with a sheet of parchment on the bottom, lightly dusted with flour as well. Let rolls rise.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180 C (350 F). When the rolls have risen, bake for 20-25 minutes or until nice and golden brown. Brush with melted butter when you remove from the oven.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Recipe and photo provided courtesy of good friend, Kelly Montana Hawk of Tying One On With Kelly (and apron of course) and the original recipe is here.
United States.