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Sunday, March 14, 2010

My dinner party!

My friends from church came over this weekend for dinner, and it was a great success! It was socially awesome, and secretly frugal. Here's what I made!

Homemade pita bread is not only delicious, it is also very frugal! It takes a little time to make, but the results are well worth it. Here's my recipe!

Pita bread recipe
1 1/4C water
2Tbsp oil
2tsp yeast
1 1/2C white flour
1 1/2C whole wheat flour
2tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 475
Place the ingredients in the order given in a bread machine and set it to the dough cycle. Add more flour if the dough seems too wet. When the cycle is finished, remove the dough to a floured counter and punch it down. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape them into balls. Place the dough balls on a greased baking sheet and cover them with damp paper towels. Let the dough rise for 20 minutes. Grease a second baking sheet and set it aside. Working with one dough ball at a time and keeping the rest covered, gently stretch each ball into a flat round about 6 inches across. Place 4 on each baking sheet. Bake one sheet at a time on the bottom oven rack for 4 minutes. These pitas are best consumed right after baking.

Hummus is also easy and frugal to make. We like to spread it on the pita bread.

Delicious Hummus recipe
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained.
1/4C tahini (sesame seed paste)
juice from 1 lemon
3Tbsp water
salt to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with pita bread!

Cucumber Raita
This is a condiment/salad that goes great with pita bread and hummus. It works best with whole milk yogurt.

Cucumber raita recipe
1C whole milk yogurt
1/2 English cucumber peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice
1/4tsp cumin
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve right away.

Cucumber/tomato salad
This salad is very frugal and simple, especially if you buy tomatoes and cucumbers in bulk.

Cooling cucumber salad
1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
salt to taste
2Tbsp olive oil
1-2Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Place cucumbers and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the salt, oil and vinegar and mix well together. Serve with pita bread and delicious hummus for an awesome dinner!

This cake was especially frugal, because I used jam that I had made and canned last Summer.
1 1/2C butter, softened
1 1/2C sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3C flour
1Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2C plain yogurt (whole milk)
2/3C preserves
1/2C walnuts
Preheat oven to 350
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add 1C of the flour and the baking powder and mix for 1 minute. Add 1C yogurt and mix again. 1C flour and the salt and mix for one minute. Add remaining 1/2C yogurt and mix again. Add remaining cup of flour and mix well until Incorporated, scraping the bowl if needed.
Stir together nuts and preserves. Grease a bundt pan. Spread 1/3 of the batter in the prepared bundt pan. Spoon 1/2 of the nut mixture over the batter, dropping it in dollops from a spoon. Spread another 1/3 of the batter over the dollops of nut mixture. Spoon remaining nut mixture over the batter. Spread remaining batter over the top. Bake for 60 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a large plate. Drizzle glaze over the top (recipe follows) and let cool completely.

1/3C preserves
1 1/2C powdered sugar
1Tbsp water
Mix ingredients together until the mixture reaches drizzling consistency. Add more water, 1 tsp at a time if too thick.

In case anyone wants to know, I was in The Augusta Chronicle today! There was an article that talked about my frugal blog.:P If you go to The Augusta Chronicle website and click on Life, the article about me comes right up! There's even a picture of me. I'm the woman wearing the blue dress, cooking. My awesome friend, Corey, took the picture. He's the photojournalist who introduced me to my new church. The reporter, Lisa Kaylor, has also been very awesome. She interviewed me at Panera, where I had bought a decidedly un-frugal tea!


April said...

congrats on your interview and your dinner party sounds fantastic!! I hope you took pictures, I would love to see them. :)

Frugal Divorced Liz said...

I wish! Sadly, I still don't have a digital camera.:(

Mary said...

I love your recipes and often try them. Do you think you could include how many servings there are?

Anonymous said...

Those recipes look great! Thanks for posting.


Lala said...

hi I read about you in the augusta chronicle I wanted to let you know Im also in Augusta. I also wanted to let you know about a website called its has great deals and coupons.

Frugal Divorced Liz said...

I'll definitely check out that website!