Saturday, 3 March 2012

Dinner for 6 plus for Under $10.00 in under 15 minutes!

    Part of my job description is raising the kids and making the budget stretch.  Sometimes I feel like I am pulling a rabbit out of a hat.  It always makes me giggle when we are filling out forms and someone says "Stay at home mom... so you don't work?"  My smart reply, "OHHHHHHH I work, I just don't get paid for it."
    A favourite dinner at my house is Fettuccine Alfredo.  It is a crowd pleaser (keeping in mind that it is rare for two of the kids to agree on liking any one food).  It is inexpensive and easy on time.  To round out  the food groups I included a Caesar salad and Bruschetta bread.  All of this took less than 15 minutes to make, and less than $10.00 to make, now that's my kind of meal!

 So here are my recipes...

Fettuccine Alfredo;
you will need ...
1 bag of noodles (I like penne)
salt for the water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup of flour
1 Tbsp cream cheese
1 Cup of milk
1 cup cream ( or evaporated milk)
1/4 - 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I like the brick, but you can use pre-grated)
a shake of pepper

The first thing that you will want to do is put your water on to boil.  I like to put about 1 and 1/2 tsp of salt in the pot.  While the water is boiling, take a medium to large pot and melt butter.  I like to take the pot off the heat to add the flour.  I whisk it until it is well blended.  Then add the milk and cream.  Feel free to play with the milk/ cream ratio.  I then whisk this together and put it back onto medium high heat.  Watch it and whisk it.  When it has thickened I add my cheeses.  Your sauce is now finished, you just need to wait for the noodles.  I usually let my penne noodles cook for 11 minutes, that is the tenderness that I prefer, but everyone is different.

While the water for the noodles is boiling it is the perfect time to make the salad and the Bruschetta.

3 tomatoes
1/2 green onion (you could also use white onion finely chopped, but green onion is a
 little easier on the stomach)
1 clove garlic, grated (you can adjust this to suite your taste)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil.

Dice the tomatoes and put into a medium sized bowl.  Cut the green onions finely and mix into the tomatoes.  Mix in the garlic and salt and pepper.  I then poured the olive oil over top and mixed it in.
Cut your bread into slices I use crusty, but any bread would do.  Sometimes I brush olive oil that I have let sit with a crushed garlic clove.  To save time I just buttered the bread and sprinkled on garlic power.
Spoon the tomato and onion mixture over the bread.  I like to top it with a mixture of grated cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese and parmesan and asiago, but you can put whatever cheeses in that you would like.  Pop the bread into the oven on broil.  It should take about five minutes, but watch it.
This makes about 6 - 8 pieces of bruschetta.  Only two of us like tomatoes in my house, so this is perfect for us.

By the time you have finished making the salad, and bruschetta, the water should be boiled and you are ready to make the sauce.

There you have it, dinner on a dime.  You may notice that I did not include the recipe for Ceasar salad, I cheated, and just used Renee's Dressing.  I have made my own dressing from scratch, but store bought is faster and easier.


  1. Thanks I might make somebruschetta to go with our chicken tonight,only I will try to make it as fat free as I can.Keep up the good work

  2. Yumm! I love simple, delicious, thrifty food! I also use Renee's ceasar dressing...I've made it from scratch before as well, but nothing beats Renee's mighty ceasar! :)