Wednesday, November 9, 2011


If you are looking for an affordable recipe that feeds an army...look no further!  This is a great fall meal.  It's a combination from a bunch of different recipes for Goulash and Chili Mac.  You can spice it up with extra cayenne and send it with your husband to go up north hunting.  Or you can omit the cayenne and you have a large meal to feed a bunch of hungry kids.  You can freeze in quart containers and heat on the stove like a stew, or you can freeze it in 8x8 pans and bake in the oven as a pasta bake.  It's versatile, comforting and delicious.  I hope you give it a try.

2lbs lean ground beef                                   6.08
1 bunch green onions                                    1.00
1 green pepper                                                 .48
3 stalks celery                                                   .50
2 14.5 oz cans of Italian diced tomatoes    1.80
15 oz can tomato sauce                                    .54
1 16oz box of elbow macaroni                      1.08
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese         2.33


Set a medium sauce pan of water over medium high heat to boil.  When boiling add the elbow macaroni and boil for 9 minutes stirring occasionally.  Drain and set aside.  Meanwhile in a large sauce pan brown the ground beef and drain.  Chop the green onions, green pepper and celery.  Add the vegetables to the pan that you used to brown the ground beef.  Cook for 3-5 minutes or until just starting to get tender.  Turn off the heat.
In the pan with the vegetables add the drained ground beef, 2 cans of diced tomatoes (drained), tomato sauce, 2 Tbsp paprika, 2 Tbsp chili powder, 2 Tbsp sugar, 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper.  Stir well.
When your macaroni is cooked and drained you can add it to the meat sauce.  You may need to transfer the meat sauce to a large mixing bowl if your pan is too small for the noodles and sauce.
Divide into 4 containers.  You can use 4 quart sized freezer containers or 4 8x8" pans.  I chose quart sized containers.
If you chose the 8x8" pans sprinkle the tops with shredded cheddar cheese.  Cover and label.  Once frozen and thawed bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  If you use quart containers freeze then thaw.  Reheat on the stove and top individual servings with cheese.

I was able to make 4 dinners for $3.45 a meal.  My husband likes his extra spicy so he adds pickled jalapenos to his bowl before eating.

Christie aka Keeza

French Onion Soup

This is a great soup to make on a cold rainy day.  It takes a long time to simmer on the stove, but you can easily get a lot done around the house while it cooks.  Carmelized onions take a long time to cook, but the flavor is worth it.  I'm sorry I lost my recipt from the grocery store, so I can't tell you how much this soup cost...but it was affordable and delicious. 


4 large yellow onions 
4 Tbsp margerine
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
32 oz of beef broth
32 oz of chicken broth
1 Tbsp Worchestershire (not pictured)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp garlic powder (not pictured)

1 bag croutons 
grated swiss or Italian blend cheese
1 box garlic bread with cheese  


Put a large sauce pan on the stove on low heat.  Add the margerine and let it start to melt.  Peel and slice the onions into thin rings.  Cut the rings down the middle into two halves. 

Add the onions to the large sauce pan and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Stir well.  Keep heating the onions for one hour stirring every ten minutes. 

The onions are carmelized when they turn a nice golden brown and tasty syrupy sweet.

Add the beef broth, chicken broth, Worchestershire, thyme, garlic powder and bay leaf.  Turn the heat up to medium high heat and simmer for one hour. 

Once the soup has had an hour to reduce give it a taste.  Add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper if you feel like it needs more flavor. 

Turn off the heat and let soup cool.  Fill two quart containers and set aside to freeze.

 For dinner tonight fill two soup bowls with the onion soup. 

Now you have two freezer friendly soup topping options.  The first is to top the bowls with 3/4 cup croutons and 1/2 cup shredded cheese.  Then place the bowls in the oven at 450 degrees for 7 mintues to melt and brown the cheese.

The second option is to toast two slices of cheesy garlic bread in the oven according to the package directions.  Then place one slice of garlic toast in each bowl. 

We liked the crouton topping best because it is easier to spoon up than a slice of bread.  Put the leftover cheese in the freezer and the leftover croutons in the cubbord. 

We hope you like this one.  It is very filling and comforting on a cold rainy day.  You can serve with a salad or veggie sticks.


Christie aka Keeza