Thursday, December 13, 2012

Shortcut French Coffee Cake

I used to work really hard to make this family recipe for French Coffee Cake, but now I substitute Crescent Dough. It is WONDERFUL for Christmas morning!!! (I submitted it to Simple and Delicious contest as well...fingers crossed.)

Shortcut French Coffee Cake


  • 1-8 ounce Crescent Roll Dough
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup white raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg white large egg
  • Icing:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Add the pecans and raisins to the mixture and stir. Set aside for later use.
  • In a small bowl, whip the egg white until stiff peaks form. Unroll the crescent dough horizontally on a cutting board. Spread the stiff egg white on top of the dough. Sprinkle the sugar/pecan mixture evenly on top.
  • Roll into a long, jelly roll shape. Spray a standard, round cake pan with oil. Lay the coffee cake roll in a crescent-shape in the pan.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  • While the coffee cake is baking, combine the powdered sugar, milk and almond extract for the icing in a small bowl. Drizzle the icing over the baked coffee cake while it is still warm. Yield: serves 4


    We always have this coffee cake for Christmas morning breakfast/brunch, but it's good anytime.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Here's my Halloween entry into the Athens Fillo Shell contest. It's an easy to make dessert on a busy day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Booger Beer Kit (for adults)

Sorry for the lack of posts on Bankrupt Gourmet. Here's an idea I came up with as a unique Halloween gift for my adult sons, Glen and Kyle. No cooking involved either!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Easy Fajitas

Easy Fajitas

This is the way I've been making Fajitas for many years. It's so incredibly easy, since there are so many good, imported Mexican products available. My favorite meat for Fajitas is Skirt Steak. The Mexican butchers slice it horizontally into 1/8 inch steaks, so that's what I recommend you or your butcher do. Badia (bah-dee-yah) has the best Mojo marinade available in the Hispanic section at the grocery store. Poblano Peppers are tasty yet mild.


1 1/2 pounds Skirt Steak, sliced horizontally in 1/8 inch slices
1 cup Badia Mojo Marinade
2 large Poblano Peppers, seeded and sliced thinly
3 medium onions, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt


Marinate the Skirt Steak in the Mojo for 3-8 hours in the refrigerator.

25 minutes prior to grilling, combine and cook the Poblano Peppers, sliced onion, olive oil and salt in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir every 5 minutes for 25 minutes. Keep warm until serving time.

Heat the grill to a medium heat. Grill the marinated Skirt Steak slices for 3 minutes per side. Allow the steak to rest for a couple of minutes, then cut into bite-size pieces. Combine the Skirt Steak with the Poblano/onion mixture and serve in tortillas.

Favorite toppings include: cheese, salsa and avocado

Serves 4

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

4th of July Slow Cooker Brisket

I have been making this easy, yet delicious, brisket for more than a decade. I think the original recipe came from a magazine, perhaps Quick Cooking. If you have a Food Depot near you, they have beef brisket on sale for $2.96 a pound right now.

4th of July Slow Cooker Brisket


Dry Rub:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 1/2 - 3 pounds beef brisket, trimmed

BBQ Sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1-1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder

Rub the beef with the dry rub. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine all of the BBQ Sauce ingredients. Place the brisket in the slow cooker. Pour 1/2 of the sauce over the top of the brisket and refrigerate the remaining BBQ Sauce. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours. Serve with warmed, reserved BBQ Sauce.

Serves 6

Monday, June 18, 2012

Crazy Crunch BBQ Cups

Here's my latest prize winning recipe: Crazy Crunch BBQ Cups  It comes together very quickly-no "real cooking" involved.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Budget Boursin Potato Gratin

My dear friend, Claire, requested a good, potato side-dish recipe. I thought I had posted this one, but I failed to share this deliciousness. My bad. I am re-posting the recipe for making your own Boursin, so you don't have to spend $6 for a little circle of it anymore. Let me know if you like this one as much as we do.....

Budget Boursin Potato Gratin

Budget Boursin
1-8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients until well-mixed. Refrigerate for up to a week.
Boursin Potato Gratin

2 cups half and half
1  Budget Boursin cheese
3 pounds potatoes, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9x13 pan. Melt the Budget Boursin and half and half in a medium saucepan until it is smooth.  Layer all of the potato slices in the pan. Pour the cream mixture over the layers. Bake for one hour, uncovered.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grilled Lemon-Lime Chicken

I can't believe I haven't posted this family favorite recipe yet, and this is BG post #75. You make a simple marinade and let the chicken absorb the flavors all day. I think the original recipe came from a Quick Cooking magazine. A perfect, affordable summer meal! 

              Grilled Lemon-Lime Chicken

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice (and zest, if available)
3 tablespoons lime juice (and zest, if available)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (California-style preferred)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-6 chicken breasts

In a medium-large bowl, mix the eight marinade ingredients together. Marinate and refrigerate the chicken breasts for a minimum of four hours or up to twelve hours. Grill the chicken until thoroughly cooked.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Budget Surimi Patties

If you're craving crab or lobster patties, but it's not in your budget-never fear! Here is my rendition of them made from Surimi. Surimi is made from fish, so you're still getting your seafood. Some folks call it artificial crab. I was really pleased with the taste of the new lobster surimi on the market. Here is the link to the contest I entered them into, if you want to vote and give me FIVE STARS (thx):

Budget Surimi Patties

1-12 ounce package crab or lobster surimi
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 slice white bread for breadcrumbs, yields 2/3 cup
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil

Place the slice of bread in a Cuisinart Food Processor and pulse until desired texture of breadcrumbs is achieved. Place the breadcrumbs in a toaster oven or oven for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside.

Place the surimi in a Cuisinart Food Processor. Process until finely textured.

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the processed surimi, softened cream cheese, breadcrumbs, Old Bay, Dijon, Worcestershire and salt. Divide the mixture into fourths and shape into patties. Pour the canola oil into a 10 inch skillet and warm it over a medium heat. Place the surimi patties in the heated oil and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until browned to desired doneness.

4 Servings

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bacon Carbonara Cupcakes

I don't know why it took me so long to discover bacon spaghetti. It is economical and delicious. I played around with ideas and came up with this cupcake-shape bacon carbonara. If you don't want to bother with the individual cupcakes, just serve it after cooking.

Bacon Carbonara Cupcakes

1 pound bacon; cooked, drained and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente according to package directions
5 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup dry, grated Parmesan cheese, shaker-style
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, bag
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with no stick spray. Put in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon bacon drippings in each tin.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, dry parmesan and adobo. Add the hot/warm cooked spaghetti. Combine well. Stir in the cooked bacon pieces.
Using a fork, swirl 1/2 cup of the spaghetti noodles into a tight circle and place it in a muffin tin. Repeat for the remaining 11 tins. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and top each cupcake with the shredded parmesan for the final five minutes of baking. (Total cooking time 30 minutes.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Crispy Graduation Caps

It doesn't matter if someone is graduating from kindergarten or college, these graduation caps turn out CUTE. No real cooking involved....just melting white chocolate. I hope my idea wins a prize. Here is the link to the site:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chicken Marsala: PLEASE don't pay $15+ a plate

Well, I'm in the mood for Chicken Marsala tonight, and I refuse to pay $15+ a plate for chicken in any restaurant. I've been making this version for years, but I'm not sure where I found it. I pay around $6-$7 a bottle for a dry Marsala wine.

Chicken Marsala

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 ounces prosciutto, diced (nice if you can afford it)
8-10 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, diced
1 cup dry Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh Italian parsley
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold butter
salt and pepper to taste


Butterfly and pound the chicken breasts under some Saran Wrap. Brush the chicken breasts with some olive oil.  Grill or pan fry until cooked through, about 7-8 minutes.  Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.

In a saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon of  butter over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, prosciutto, and onion and cook 4 minutes. Add the Marsala and stock, increase the heat and cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low; add the parsley and butter. When the butter is melted, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked chicken to the pan and swirl to coat with the sauce. Top the chicken with the sauce. Serve with pasta or rice.

Serves 4

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sweet Potato and Chicken Soup with a K-i-c-k

I created this recipe featuring North Carolina Sweet Potatoes for a contest. My inspiration was to appreciate the natural sweetness of the sweet potato, instead of overwhelming it with sugar. I added a little bourbon and cayenne pepper to add a special, savory dimension to the soup.

Sweet Potato and Chicken Soup with a K-i-c-k


1 and 1/2 pounds North Carolina Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups chicken broth
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound bag mini-carrots
1 jigger (1.5 ounces) bourbon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


In a large stockpot, combine the chicken broth, onion, and chicken breasts. Bring the ingredients to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow it to cool. Shred the chicken and set it aside for later use.

Place the diced sweet potatoes and mini-carrots in the hot broth. Bring the broth back to a simmer and cook for 22 minutes. Once cooked, put the sweet potatoes and carrots in a blender and puree with the jigger of bourbon until smooth.  Pour the sweet potato/carrot mixture back into the large stockpot.  Add the shredded chicken to the soup.  Bring the mixture back to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes.

Serves 6

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Jello Easter Nest

I saw some really CUTE Edible Easter Grass at Target for only $2 and incorporated it into an easy Jello recipe for a contest. I'm pleased with it, and I think kids would get a kick out of it.

Jello Easter Nest


2-3 ounce boxes Lemon Jello
3 cups boiling water
1/2 of a 12 ounce Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
1-8 ounce container Frozen Whipped Topping, defrosted
1-1 ounce Edible Easter Grass candy
3 marshmallow chicks


In a medium saucepan, boil the water. Stir in the lemon jello and combine until disolved. Add in the Lemonade Concentrate and stir until combined. Pour the lemon mixture in a medium, covered bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours. The Jello should be cool and loosely set. Fold in the defrosted Whipped Topping. Pour the lemon/whipped topping mixture into a 6 cup round, ring mold. Allow the jello mold to refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours. Set the base of the jello mold in some warm water to ease unmolding the Jello. Invert the molded Jello on a plate. Place the edible Easter Grass in the center of the ring. Top with 3 marshmallow chicks.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pueblo Potato Cups

I just made this and submitted it to's Simply Potato contest.  It's a spicy meat and potato combo.  My friend helped me eat some of the leftovers, and she already requested the recipe.  What a nice compliment!

Pueblo Potato Cups

  • 1 (20 ounce) package Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
  • 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 1 (15 ½ ounce) can black beans , drained
  • 1 ½ cups Mexican blend cheese , shredded
  • 4 green onions , diced
  • 2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes , diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 (10 ½ ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (12 ounce) package smoked chorizo sausage or 1 (12 ounce) package andouille sausages , halved and cut in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 jalapenos , seeded and diced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, cream of chicken soup and taco seasoning. Fold in the potatoes, black beans, cheese, green onion, sun-dried tomatoes, butter, sausage and jalapenos.
Spray a 12 cup cupcake tin with cooking spray. Fill and shape each cup with the potato mixture and 1/2 inches above the rim of the tin. Bake for 30-32 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes prior to serving. Allow 3 potato cupcakes per person.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

South Carolina Style Vinegar Chicken

I created my version this week and LOVED IT! I appreciate the tangy, sweet and slightly spicy taste of South Carolina Vinegar Chicken. I've already submitted it to a cooking contest. You put a few simple ingredients in a slow cooker and forget about it.

South Carolina Style Vinegar Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon chicken base
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

Combine the water, vinegar, sugar, chicken base and pepper flakes in the crock pot. Place the chicken breasts in the vinegar mixture. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the chicken breasts and shred the chicken. Return the chicken to the vinegar broth and serve the moist, shredded chicken. Yield: serves 4

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Georgia Favorite: Brunswick Stew

I have been making this version of Brunswick Stew for over twenty years. It originally came from a Southern Living magazine, but it has been slightly tweaked.  This version uses ground beef and turkey. I just buy the fresh turkey breast slices or use leftover turkey.

Brunswick Stew

1-1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 pound turkey breast slices or leftover turkey
2 medium onions, diced
2-16 ounce cans diced tomatoes, 1 can drained and 1 can not drained
2-16 ounce cans creamed corn
1 small can lima beans, drained
1-10 ounce bottle ketchup
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
3-4 tablespoons white vinegar
4-5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Brown the hamburger meat and onions and drain the grease. Cook the turkey meat (if necessary) and dice the meat. Combine all the ingredients in a large, slow cooker. Cook on high for 6-8 hours.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tangy Coleslaw-No Mayo

I got a version of this recipe over a decade ago, and I 've made it a countless number of times. It's a nice change from a mayonnaise-based slaw, and you actually make the vinaigrette in the microwave. Have a happy, healthy 2012!

Tangy Coleslaw - No Mayo

1-14 ounce bag coleslaw mix
1/2 cup onions or green onion, small dice
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Toss the bagged coleslaw mix and the onions together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a microwave-safe, 2 cup measuring cup, combine the sugar and vinegar and stir. Add the oil, celery seed and pepper. Cover the measuring cup with Saran wrap. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until the vinaigrette boils. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Toss to coat. Serves 6-8.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Everyone's Favorite Cornbread Muffins (using Jiffy mix)

I love soups during the Winter. I make these easy, cornbread muffins all the time. It's SO easy, and it rounds out a meal for just a little bit of money. I usually buy a box of Jiffy cornbread mix for about 50 cents.

Everyone's Favorite Cornbread Muffins (using Jiffy mix)

1-8.5 ounce box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1-5 to 7 ounce can creamed corn
1 egg
1-2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease six muffin tins or line with baking cups. In a large bowl, combine all four ingredients. Batter will be a little lumpy. Equally divide the batter among the muffin tins. Bake 15-20 minutes.