The New R Word

Posted by idawrites on July 29, 2008 in Food, Frugal, Recipes |

The “R” word is being tossed about everywhere. Whether you call it Recession, Stagflation, Hyper-inflation, or just plain rising prices, chances are it’s impacting you more and more every day. The higher prices go, the more things like hot dogs, tuna, and marked-down items from the meat case are making it into your grocery cart … or at least they are mine!

Now that the pantry is stocked with these foods, I face another tough “R” set of decisions. How in the world to I serve my family tuna and hot dogs and ground beef every day without having them revolt? I think it’s time for more RECIPES.

A quick web search today turned up some fun and frugal recipes to keep your (and my) family happy without breaking the bank. On Epicurious.com I found Mini Hot Dogs In Cheddar Buns. This looks like a really yummy recipe, and I can’t wait to make it.


1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 large eggs
1/4 lb extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (2 cups)
1 (12-oz) package cocktail frankfurters

Special equipment: a large sealable plastic bag (not pleated)
Accompaniments: yellow mustard and/or homemade ketchup


Bring water, butter, and salt to a boil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and add flour all at once, then cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan, about 2 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a bowl, then cool slightly. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium-high speed (or beating vigorously with wooden spoon) after each addition (batter will be stiff). Add cheese and beat until combined.

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets.

Snip off 1 corner of plastic bag to create a 1-inch opening and transfer cheese mixture to bag, pressing out excess air. Twist bag firmly just above filling, then pipe 18 to 20 (2 1/2- by 1- by 3/4-inch) lengths, about 2 inches apart, onto each baking sheet.

Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until buns are puffed and pale golden, about 30 minutes total.

Make 1 1/2-inch lengthwise slits in tops of buns with a sharp paring knife and let dry in turned-off oven 10 minutes.

While buns dry, heat a dry well-seasoned grill pan or heavy skillet over high heat until it smokes. Reduce heat to moderate and cook frankfurters, turning, until heated through and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Remove buns from oven and nestle a frankfurter in each opening.

Cooks’ note:
Buns can be made (and dried) 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat in a preheated 375°F oven.

I won’t bore you with a page full of recipes, but if you’re interested in trying some other family friendly eats that help you keep your budget on track, give these a whirl.

Hot dogs not really your preference? How about ground beef? I love ground beef, as it’s pretty versatile, but seriously… there’s only so much spaghetti one person can eat.

  • One of my favorite recipes for ground beef is Chili Pie Casserole, found on Recipezaar.com.
  • Meatloaf is always a great choice (unless you live in Georgia and it’s July. Then.. NEVER turn on the oven) and they have a highly adaptable Dutch Meatloaf recipe also on Recipezaar.
  • There are a few frugal and easy recipes over at Living Cheap that you may want to give a try.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with all of that tuna. I’m going to start with these:

I am relying pretty heavily on my internet searches for my new recipes, but I’d love to hear what you’ve already tried and what works for you? Leave us your favorite tips!

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  • Momma says:

    OH MY GOSH! I made the recipe tonight. The bread is SOOOO good! Perfect. It was stoopid to bake things while it’s this hot outside, but totally worth it!

  • Melissa says:

    Hi! I want to start posting daily a section called “Recipe of the Day” where I pick out a recipe that I think looks yummy and post it for others to see. Hopefully I will start this on Sunday. Check out my site. Right now I’m just getting started but I’ll grow…I’m like a budding flower now! 🙂

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