Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Hey hey everybody! I've moved the blog and have my own domain now. It's much more user-friendly and you can search for recipes by tags or ingredients. I won't be updating this one anymore, but I will keep it up so any links off of Facebook will still bring you to the recipes here.

The new site also has all of the past recipes on it.

Just go to http://www.thefrugalgourmom.com/ and you can see for yourself.

Any feedback is much appreciated. I hope you all enjoy it.  Peace, Love and Happy Cooking!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cinnamon Pecan Banana Bread - Vegan and So Delicious.

I've been altering my original recipe and have come up with an awesome alternative recipe using more whole wheat flour, less sugar and more bananas + nuts without losing texture or moisture or flavor.


3 bananas

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 tbsp ground flax seed combined with 6 tbsp of water (mix together and let sit for 1 minute) - you can use 2 eggs if you don't have ground flax seed.

1/2 cup of butter substitute (like Smart Balance or Earth Balance)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans (very reasonable at Aldi) - walnuts would work also
Optional (if you feel indulgent) - 1 small dark chocolate bar chopped into chunks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Throw the first 9 ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine well with a hand mixer until smooth and well incorporated. Fold in 1/2 of the pecans (and if you are adding chocolate, add it now) - spray a loaf pan with baking spray. Pour in the batter and top with remaining pecans down the middle of the loaf.

Bake for about 75 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean) - it's better overbaked than underbaked. Trust me. It stays moist, but you don't want the middle to get gooey (it's happened to me before).

It is sooo soooo good.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Greek Lamburgers

I love gyros. I'm always trying to find a healthy way to make those same flavors myself. I bought some ground lamb the other day and decided on making a Greek-inspired burger. If I'd had an event, I would've made them into small meatballs, stuck them with a toothpick, skewer a 1/2 grape tomato and a piece of cucumber on it and served with sauce to dip into.

Since it was just a stay-at-home kind of night, we had burgers. I highly recommend serving these with tzatziki sauce, tomato, red onion, lettuce, cucumber and some crumbled feta. They'd totally be awesome on pitas too, but I had 3 buns left from last week that needed to be eaten.

Lamburger Ingredients
1-1.5 lbs of ground lamb
1/2 sweet onion (Vidalias are in season now, but a red onion would work too)
a handful of fresh oregano (use a couple tbsp of dried if you don't have fresh)
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp salt
1-2 tsp black pepper

I used my small food processor for this - put the onion, oregano and garlic into the processor and mix to a pulp.

Add the veggie mixture to the lamb. Add dijon. Season with salt & pepper. I like lots of black pepper.

Combine well. C'mon. Take off your jewelery and get your hands in there.

Make a small tester patty and cook it up! You have to check for the seasoning. If you like more garlic, add it! Needs salt? Salt it up!

You can let this sit in the fridge all day until you are ready to cook. Same with the tzatziki sauce. It's actually best if made ahead of time.

Tzatziki Sauce
- 1/4 cup English cucumber - grated finely and squeezed as dry as possible

-1cup of plain Greek yogurt (If you can’t find Greek yogurt, use regular plain yogurt & strain thru cheesecloth for an hour or so - you just want it thick. I think even sour cream may substitute OK)

- 2 tbsp of lemon juice

- ½ tsp of salt

- 2 cloves of garlic minced

-the zest of 1 lemon

Just combine all ingredients and let the flavors meld. Great to do a day in advance.

Serve your lamburgers with the tzatziki sauce, tomato, red onion, lettuce, cucumber & feta. Oh yeah baybeh!! These are tasty and a great way to get your kiddos to try new flavors in a familiar burger form.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Caprese Side Salad

I have an abundance of tomatoes from my garden and basil growing in my herb pot...that just begs for a caprese salad!

about 2-3 cups of chopped ripe tomatoes
1-2 tbsp of good balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 stick of string cheese sliced into 1/4" rounds (or some cubed mozzarella)
a handful of fresh basil

Chop the tomatoes roughly and sprinkle them with salt. Toss.

Tear the basil into small pieces (the tearing process really releases the essential oils of the basil)

Toss the basil into the tomatoes, add the balsamic, olive oil and season with a bit of black pepper.

Let it sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes so the juices come out and the flavors meld.

Serve as a side dish or over some lettuce, chicken, pasta...it's pretty much great on anything or just on it's own. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Crispy Breaded Zucchini

This is one of my summer favorites. My grandmother used to make it and I just adore it. In my opinion, it's best with a little tomato sauce and a sprinkle of good parmesan cheese, but I can eat them like potato chips. haha!  Great to make if you have leftover zucchini from my zucchini bread recipe, which is what I did today.

Zucchini - cut into 1/4" round slices
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
about 1/2 cup of olive oil for frying
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

First, get your skillet on medium-high heat. Add the oil.

Combine the flour, pepper, salt, garlic & onion powders together. Lay on a plate or a shallow dish.

Combine the breadcrumbs and the parmesan cheese. Put in another dish.

Combine the egg and milk.

Set up a little station so you can coat the discs of zucchini with flour first, then egg and then breadcrumbs.
Plop those little puppies into the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes per side (until the coating gets nice and golden brown and crispy)

Drain on paper towels and serve with some tomato sauce & cheese. Or just serve them as an appetizer with sauces to dunk in. They are reallly tasty.  I happened to make bolognese this morning, so I topped mine with some homemade bolognese. Lunch was awesome.

Vegan Zucchini Bread - You'll never guess it's vegan OR has zucchini!

This recipe is DY-NO-MITE and quite healthy. My son said "Mom! Gimme more of that cake!" this morning. Lovely.  He sounded like Cartman from South Park. It's THAT good. Yeah.

This recipe will make one loaf.

3/4 cup of all purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Substitute for 2 eggs = 2 tbsp of ground flax seed combined with 6 tbsp of water

1/2 cup of butter substitute (I use Smart Balance)

1 cup of sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of grated zucchini

Optional - 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Use baking spray and coat the inside of your loaf pan very well.

I'm all about easy and this works! Soooo, just combine all the dry ingredients together. Now, pile in all of the wet ingredients & zucchini. Use a hand mixer and combine on high until it forms a nice, thick batter. Pour into your sprayed loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. A toothpick should come out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pan and let it continue to cool for about an hour.

Wrap it up and keep it in the fridge if it will take you more than a couple days to eat it. Mine never lasts that long.

Warm, cinnamony, moist, sweet....Oh yeah. It's heaven.  I don't even feel guilty about eating 2 pieces since it's pretty darned healthy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

These were a BIG hit at the pool party. Not spicy!!!! Just full of jalapeno flavor and creamy, bacony goodness.

10-15 jalapeno peppers

1 tub of whipped cream cheese - I also added a good spoonful of chive cream cheese since I happened to have it on hand. Aldi sells tubs of whipped cream cheese for $1.79, which is about $1 less than Philly at Jewel or Joseph's.

about 1 cup of finely shredded colby-jack cheese (or other good melting cheese)

10-15 slices of pre-cooked bacon - I get it at Sam's Club for about $9 for 4 lbs worth of cooked bacon. So convenient and really a great deal.

20-30 wooden toothpicks

1 large ziplock bag

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.
Slice your peppers down the middle. Use a paring knife and remove ALL of the ribs and seeds. That's where all of the heat lies. Use gloves if you have sensitive skin and wash your hands with dish soap (it cuts through the oils) after you are done.
Mix together your cream cheese and shredded cheese.  Load the cheese mixture into one corner of your ziplock baggie and snip off the tip. You now have an awesome disposable piping bag to fill your peppers.
Fill them all up with a generous amount of the cheese filling.

Cut your slices of bacon in half and wrap a piece around each pepper. If you really like bacon, use whole slices instead of half slices. Secure the bacon with a toothpick.
Bake them in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Slow and low so the peppers cook and the cheese doesn't bubble out.

I guarantee that EVERYONE will be able to eat them. Not very spicy at all. Just full of flavor. They were a hit at the pool party that I brought them to.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sugar and Nut Glazed Brie

I had this fantastic concoction at a wine tasting party a few years ago. My friend, Kara, brought it. I was a bit perplexed about the sugary, nutty, caramel mixture on the top of a wheel of cheese...and then...I tasted it. Hellllooooo dahling! Fantastical. It will be sure to impress if you are having a little shindig and need a fancy schmancy appetizer.

Kara, thank you for getting me this insane recipe...even if it IS 3 years later. I wish I had pictures, but I didn't want to withold the recipe until I made it.

Sugar and Nut Glazed Brie

¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup chopped macadamia nuts or pecans

1 tablespoon brandy

1 (14-ounce) round brie

Apple wedges, for serving

Pear wedges, for serving

2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Crackers, for serving


In a small bowl stir together the sugar, nuts and brandy. Cover and chill for at least 24 hours or up to 1 week.

Preheat over to 500°F.

Place the brie on an overproof platter or pie plate. Bake for 4 or 5 minutes or until the brie is slightly softened. Spread the sugar mixture in an ever layer on top of the warm brie and bake for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until the sugar melts. Brush the fruit wedges with lemon juice and arrange them around 1 side of the brie. Place crackers around the other side.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Penne with Spicy Italian Sausage & Tomato Garlic Cream Sauce

I came up with this beauty last night out of a necessity to use up some cream cheese & sausage I had in the fridge. It turned out quite yummy. It would've been easier if I had a food mill, but I just pushed the mixture through a strainer with a spoon to get a really luxurious and velvety sauce.

3-5 links of Italian Sausage
1 lb penne (or other short pasta)
1 sweet onion
3 tomatoes (mine were plum tomatoes from my garden!)
1 can tomato paste
1 can of diced tomatoes
4 large cloves of garlic
about 1/2 cup (or a big spoonful) of cream cheese (mine was whipped, but regular or lowfat would work)
a handful of fresh basil
a handful of fresh parsley

Get a deep skillet going on medium high heat and toss the sausages in. Cut the onion into thin slices and nestle them in around the sausages. 
In the mean time, get your handy dandy food processor out and start loading the tomatoes & tomato paste in.

Turn the sausages over and stir up the onions a bit. See that yummy brown color? Yes!

Keep those a sizzlin' while we continue the sauce.  Really give those 'maters a good whirl in there. We want them really pureed.  Add the puree to the browned sausage & onions and keep that pan simmering.

Add in your whole cloves of garlic and the handful of fresh basil. Also about 2 tsp salt.

Cover and let that simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

When the timer goes off....remove the sausages and set aside.  Put a pot of water on to boil and salt it liberally.

Take your hot sauce and put back into the food processor. Puree it - but be careful! Fast-moving hot sauce is not something you want to get hit in the face with.

Now, if you have a food mill...use it. I only have a very old strainer. So I worked the pureed, hot sauce through the strainer with a metal spoon. What comes out is the most velvety, fragrant, smooth and delicious tomato sauce ever. It would make a great soup!

Use the "pulp" that's left on some crusty bread and make a little bruschetta. It's really delicious, but I really wanted the smooth consistency for this sauce.

Now slice your sausage thinly on a bias (to match the shape of the penne) - I only used 3 sausages and saved the other 2 for another meal in the freezer.

Add the sausage slices back into the silken tomato sauce. Put it on a low simmer.

Add your penne to the boiling water now.

Get your big spoonful o' cream cheese and gently stir it into the sausage & tomato sauce skillet.  I love cream cheese.

Mmmmmm. Silky and creamy. This would also be great if you used heavy cream, too. I just NEVER have it in my house. That's dangerous.

Add your cooked pasta into the sauce and combine well.

Add a big handful of minced parsley (or basil...or both) to the pasta and combine - serve!

My husband and son were both really into this dish. Very velvety consistency and full of flavor.