Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Budget Friendly Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

 This is a Scalloped Potato and Ham recipe I had from 

This Scalloped Potatoes and Ham recipe is easy to make, takes a total of 1 hour and twenty minutes and the kids love it. And the most important thing is it’s a budget friendly meal! I’m going to use Meijer prices, but I’m sure you can save even further if you shop at Walmart or ALDI. Serves: 4 (based on 6/2023 prices) 


5 large russet potatoes, peel and slice with a mandoline (.65 each = 3.25)

1 lb ham steak, cubed (3.50)

4 tablespoons butter (8 oz tub of land o lakes butter 2.20)

4 tablespoons flour (2 lb Meijer flour 1.30)

3 cups milk (1/2 gallon 1.70)

4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz Meijer shredded cheddar cheese 2.30)

1 tablespoon dried or freshly chopped chives (2+)

1 tablespoon dried parsley (2+) 

Salt and pepper, to taste 

Under $20.00 for a family of 4! Try beating that at a restaurant. Even fast food these days is way over that price. 


Spray 9x13 baking dish with olive oil non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 375F.

Layer your prepared potatoes and cubed ham in the baking dish. Make the cheese sauce: in a medium size saucepan add your butter when melted add in the flour and stir until well combined with no lumps. On med high heat gradually add in the milk stirring constantly until thickens. Add in 1/2 of the cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Sprinkle the remaining cheese, chives, parsley, salt and pepper on the potatoes and ham. Pour milk mixture on top. Put in preheated oven on lower rack and cook 60 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Enjoy! 

*TIP…slicing potatoes with a mandoline will allow the potatoes to be equal in size so there should be no second guessing if all the potatoes are tender. 

PS: I made this for 2023 Christmas Day brunch and everyone loved it. Prices might of gone up a bit, but it still is a budget friendly meal. Hopefully, we will have new people in charge soon and they will get a grip on our everyday costs. 🤞

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Mi Ensalada de Bistec

 Mi Ensalada de Bistec 

This reminds me of a steak salad I had a restaurant in Mexico make for me. They had the salad, I just had them add the steak.

Cook a small sirloin to your favorite temperature. I found a package of 3 small sirloins at ALDIs ranging from around $7 to $9. 

Sauté in the same skillet 4 sliced mushrooms and 5 diced peppers (preferably yellow). 

As far as your greens I’ve used a garden variety with spinach. But tonight I used a head of Boston with some Iceberg.

How much? It’s up to you on how big of a salad you want.

1/3 cup each green and black olives. More if needed 

2 tablespoons walnuts. More if needed 

A balsamic vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard dressing. This was a little hard to find, but luckily at Meijer they have Brianna’s that has all three ingredients. 

My last ingredient is the hardest to find. In Mexico they served the salad with these little triangle puff pastries filled with cheese. 

The closest I came to this is a Greek pasty pie filled with cheese. I also found this at ALDIs. I just cut some pieces up and added them to this salad. Bona petite. 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

This Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes & Ham looks really good and so easy to make. I used my 8” round cake pan with 2” sides, which fits in my 8 quart Instant Pot nicely  if you are using a smaller Instant Pot, try a 7” pan with 3” sides. Serves 6 Total Time: 35 minutes 


  • 2 lbs russet potatoeswashed and peeled
  • 4 oz sliced deli ham
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2-3 garlic clovesgrated on microplane zester
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup loosely packed cilantrochopped
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheesedivided
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheesedivided


Thinly slice the potatoes and cut the ham into small squares. In a medium bowl whisk together the heavy cream, milk, garlic, flour, salt, black pepper and cilantro. 

Spray a round pan that can easily fit inside your pressure cooker (I used 8" round with 2" high sides) with non stick spray. Layer half of the potatoes and ham in the round pan, followed by half of the cheese. Pour half of the liquid over the top. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes, ham and liquid, reserving the remaining cheese for later. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into the liner of your pressure cooker and place the round pan on top of your trivet. Carefully lower your pan down into the liner of your pressure cooker. Close the lid and ensure the pressure release valve is closed as well. Cook on HIGH pressure for 25 minutes, followed by a QUICK RELEASE of the pressure. 

Carefully pull the pan out by the trivet handles and place pan on a baking sheet. Top with the remaining cheese and place under the broiler in your oven for 3 minutes. (Or if you don't want to turn on your oven you can just leave the potatoes in the pressure cooker, top with cheese and cover for 5 minutes before removing from liner). Let the potatoes sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

PS: you can make a sling to lower and pull out the pan from the Instant Pot with a long piece of aluminum foil. 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Greek Shrimp Skillet

I just can’t get enough shrimp recipes this summer because they are so easy and fast to make. This Greek Shrimp Skillet is loaded with tomatoes, Kalamata olives and feta cheese. Serve it over rice or pasta, add a salad and your favorite beverage.  Serves 4  Total Time: 30 minutes 


1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 medium onion, finely chopped 
3 garlic cloves, minced 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped, optional (not pictured)
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained 
1/4 cup white wine, optional 
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese 


In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir 4-6 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and seasonings; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in tomatoes and, if desired, wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5-7 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Add shrimp and parsley; cook 5-6 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Let stand, covered, until cheese is softened. Serve  over rice or pasta. Like it spicy? Try adding a pinch of crushed red pepper with your other seasonings.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Feta

I love this salad in the summer because it’s easy, fast and a great side dish with any meat dish. Serves 4-6 Total Time: 20 minutes 


3 cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1” pieces 
3-4 tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, diced 
1 bottle of Italian dressing or make enough vinegar oil dressing with Italian seasoning to cover vegetables 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
I added a dash or two each of basil, parsley and oregano, optional 
Garnish with feta, to taste 


Combine all ingredients except feta which is added when served. Best chilled for at least an hour. Refrigerate covered. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Crockpot Mexican Street Corn Chowder

I love summer corn, don’t you? So when it’s in season I make this Crockpot Mexican Street Corn Chowder. Serves 6 Total Time: 4 hours


10 ears fresh corn (about 5-1/2 cups) 
1-1/4 to 2 cups water 6 bacon strips, chopped 
2 small onions, chopped 
2 small green pepper, chopped 
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped 
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper 
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1 cup heavy whipping cream 
1 medium lime, zested and juiced 
Garnish: Fresh cilantro, lime wedges, sliced jalapeno, chopped bell pepper and crumbled cotija cheese, optional 


Cut corn off cob. Rub the edge of a knife over each cob to "milk" it; add enough water to cob juice to equal 2 cups. Add corn and liquid to a 5-quart slow cooker. In a large skillet, saute bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes. Reserve crisp bacon pieces; discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings. Add the onion, green pepper and jalapeno to skillet; cook until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add seasonings and cook 1 minute more; transfer to crockpot. Cook on low until corn is tender and mixture has thickened slightly, 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Stir in the cream and lime zest and juice. Puree mixture with an immersion blender to desired consistency. Garnish with reserved bacon, and lime wedges, cilantro, jalapeno, bell pepper and cojita cheese, if desired.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Greek Turkey Burger

A creamy tzatziki adds a refreshing twist to this easy Greek-inspired burger recipe loaded with feta, Kalamata olives and spices. No tzatziki? No problem! Make your own at home by combining plain Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon, dill and finely chopped cucumber. Total Time: 25 minutes Makes: 4 Burgers


1 lb ground turkey
1⁄3 cup kalamata olive, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pita bread
8 lettuce leaves (Romaine, Green leaf or Red leaf)
1 tomatoes, sliced thin into rounds
1⁄2 red onion, sliced thin into rounds

TZATZIKI Ingredients:

8 ounces Greek yogurt
1⁄4 English cucumber, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons chopped dill 
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste  


To make the Tzatziki: In a medium bowl, stir to combine all ingredients. Add 1-2 tablespoons water to thin sauce if needed.

For the burgers: In a large bowl, mix to combine ground turkey, olives, parsley, dried oregano, garlic, 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, salt and pepper. Divide into 4 portions and shape into burger patties. Warm olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, then fry turkey patties until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. To assemble turkey burgers, layer lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices onto open pita and top with burger. Garnish with remaining crumbled feta cheese and a dollop of tzatziki.