So this is my first month with Amanda and the newly minted Secret Recipe Club! It is a little different those most of the baking/cooking groups out there. Most have a weekly (TWD, CEinMB, FFwD) bi-weekly (Bake!) or monthly (MSC) assigned recipe, or an assigned chef (IHCC), or an assigned country (MKMW). Some are open and free to follow whatever catches your eye! (MB Challenge) This one has an assigned BLOG. Each month the participant is assigned a blog to read and cook from. It is a great way to ‘meet’ other bloggers who are foodies, home bakers, home cooks, etc.

This month I found The Tasty Cheapskate behind Door Number 1!!

Meet Jeanie, the cook/baker/saver/mother, who is feeding her family of SIX on $6 a day. Yes, THAT is what I said!! A lady after my own heart – eat inexpensively but well. Especially these days with everything in the stores so high. There are so many good recipes and tips on her blog it was hard to choose just one, so I did a ‘meal’ over the course of a week or so.


Not only are these full of chocolate but they are also full of garden goodies – zucchini – and they are also pretty healthy – Whole Wheat. Perfect for breakfast.
I used some shredded zucchini from the freezer since my garden is not quite in yet. All the other ingredients are already in most people’s pantry.

      Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

    2 C whole wheat flour
    1/3 C sugar
    1/4 C cocoa
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/2 C oil
    1/4 C applesauce
    3/4 C milk
    1 very large egg
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 C shredded zucchini (or 1 scant cup pureed zucchini)
    1/4-1/2 C chocolate chips (optional)

    Mix wet ingredients in a large bow. Add zucchini.
    Mix dry ingredients.
    Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
    Add dry to wet and stir, just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.


The quintessential American lunch is the Sandwich. And for Sandwiches you need bread. Good Bread!!

And this is good bread. I told The Boy it was one of the best breads I have ever made. He threatened to move out if it wasn’t true. Mixed Blessing!!?? He’s staying!! Since it has milk in the ingredients the bread has a great texture, and a sweet taste. More than breads made with just water. I used a bread machine to mix the dough and then finished in a loaf pan.

      Classic White Bread

    3 3/4 C flour
    2 tsp salt
    1 C warm milk
    1/3 C warm water
    2 Tbsp butter (melted) or vegetable oil
    3 Tbsp honey or sugar
    1 1/2 Tbsp yeast (you can definitely use less than this. It rises plenty fast. I’d say you could use 1 1/2 tsp easily)
    Combine milk, water, butter, honey , and yeast.
    Add one C flour and mix. Add another cup and mix. Add more by bits and mix. Turn dough out onto counter when it becomes too hard to mix. Knead for 6-8 minutes, adding flour as it becomes necessary. When you’ve got a nice pillowy ball, place it in a bowl to rise. Cover with towel.
    Let rise till doubled (about an hour).
    Punch down and put in greased loaf pan. Let rise again until doubled (about 20-30 minutes).
    Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 180-185.


Or if you live outside the South – Dinner!

We eat a lot of chicken. There is so much you can do with it. And we always have left-overs. Always. You can always make sandwiches with it. Or you can make…..

If you are like me you have dribs and dabs of veggies in the freezer. I have plans to use them in soup. Or in a casserole. But this time I used them mixed with rice and some leftover shredded chicken. And we had it with some BBQ chicken.

Jeanie says that just about any vegetable can be used so in went some corn, green beans, celery, carrots and peas which were hanging around the freezer. Soy sauce. Oyster sauce. I dont’ think I could improve on this one.

      Chicken Fried Rice

    Serves 4-6

    1-2 C dry rice (2-4 C cooked rice)–we used half brown (leftovers) and half white (which I cooked)
    1/2 C shredded chicken
    1 C chopped vegetables (we used broccoli from the stalk and 2 large carrots, but peas, asparagus, leeks, onions, celery, spinach, bok choy, and lots of other vegetables will work too)
    1/2 tsp ginger
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp garlic powder, or 1 clove
    1/4 C soy sauce
    1 Tbsp plum sauce or oyster sauce (plum for sweeter, oyster for savory)
    2-4 Tbsp oil
    2 eggs

    Note: If your chicken isn’t cooked, cube a piece of it and cook it in 1 Tbsp oil, a dash of ginger, dash pepper, dash garlic powder, dash onion powder.
    Heat oil in large skillet or wok. Add ginger, onion powder, and garlic and cook about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add vegetables with about 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Cook to desired tenderness.
    Remove vegetables and set aside. Fry 2 eggs in a bit of oil with some soy sauce. Remove eggs and set aside.
    Heat remaining oil in skillet. Add rice and fry for 3-4 minutes, tossing it around in the oil and letting it sizzle. Add remaining soy sauce (start with 1 Tbsp and add the other 1-2 Tbsp if you feel you need them). Add plum or oyster sauce. Throw in chicken, vegetables, and eggs and mix in. If you need more soy sauce or other seasonings, add them. Serve nice and warm.

All in all, I enjoyed my visit to Jeanie’s Kitchen. She has some great recipes in all different categories. And for most of her dishes she gives the cost. That helps a lot when planning meals. I will be going back. Hope you go for a visit. It will be well worth it.