Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Creamy Ricotta Pasta

Look!  I'm getting back into the groove of posting on the blog.  New Year's Resolutions people.  I'm doing what I can. :)

Often times, I need a quick dish.  Something that I can whip up fast so we can eat and get the kids to bed.  This dish fit that parameter quite nicely! The longest part was cooking the chicken.  

One of the things I liked most about this dish, is the fresh tomatoes and spinach.  Those, to me, are what makes this dish a perfect summer dish.  That, and not having the oven turned out.  Cherry tomatoes are also a BIG hit in our house.  Well, with my husband at least.  The little ones don't really care for ANY sort of vegetable.  But if I have cherry tomatoes in the house, I need to hide them before they get eaten.  

So what about you?  Do you have certain foods you need to hide when you buy them so they don't disappear right away? 


1 chicken breast, seasoned, cooked, and chopped
1/2 lb pasta
1/2 of a 15oz carton ricotta cheese
1 clove garlic, minced 
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
2 cups spinach leaves
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
approx 1/4-1/2 cup pasta water (save when draining the pasta)

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook until done.  Before straining the pasta, reserve 1/4-1/2 of the pasta water.  While the pasta is cooking, mix together the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper.  When the pasta is finished, add the pasta water to the cheese mixture and stir to thin it out and make more of a sauce texture.  Add the pasta, chicken, tomatoes, spinach, and cheese sauce together and serve immediately while it's still warm. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Crockpot Tortellini Soup

*Tap, tap* Hello?  Is anyone still out there?

I've been gone for months.  I'm sorry, dear reader.  It wasn't my intention.  Let me explain myself.  You see, almost exactly a year ago this week, I found out some fantastic news.  Baby #3 was on it's way to our family!  If you remember, baby #2 had given us quite a few scares, and spent a long time in the hospital, and then home with medical equipment.  I was, of course, quite nervous.  But things progressed smoothly, until the time for the standard ultrasound came.  We were given the dreaded news that our sweet baby was not compatible with life, due to the absence of kidney's, often referred to as Potter's Syndrome, or bilateral renal agenesis. Needless to say, we were devastated that our baby's life would be cut so short.

At at that point, I took my hiatus from this blog. I felt I needed to focus on other things for a while. Our son was born in the middle of July, 10 weeks early.  He lived for a precious 35 minutes.  

Since then, I've been thinking about getting back to this blog, but then we put our house up for sale, and I was packing up my kitchen.  We then moved--twice.  Into a apartment for a short time, and then into our new house.  I'm still unpacking my kitchen.  

I've also been toying around with starting a new blog, starting fresh!  And I am!  It's just going to be a sister blog for now, posting the same things as this blog (and reposting some of my older recipes that are already live on this blog), while I still figure out where I want to take my blogging life. You can see it at: 

So here we are! Back into the recipes!

I'll admit, I'm not much of a crockpot user.  I have a few recipes that I tend to use it for, but for the most part, I'm never pleased with how crockpot recipes turn out.  So when I see recipes for it, I usually don't try them.

I'm glad I took the time to try this recipe.  I totally altered it though, to fit into a smaller crockpot (3 quart I believe), and be better suited for our small family.  

The best way I found to make this recipe, is to layer all the ingredients. I did 1/2 the tortellini's, spinach, tomatoes, cream cheese, and sausage.  Repeat.

Word to the wise--the sausage gives it a lot of flavor.  I've tried to both ways, with and without, and the version WITH it was much better!

Layering means you don't have to stir things up too much.  Tortellini's are a fairly fragile pasta, and you don't want to mess with them too much, so they don't break apart.

I just stir it gently before serving, to make sure things are melding nicely. And to, of course, try a bite or two!

Top with some parmesan cheese and you're ready to enjoy! 


1 package frozen cheese tortellini's
1 8oz package cream cheese, chunked up
1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
2 cans broth (I used vegetable)
1/2 small bag fresh spinach
1/2 lb ground sausage, cooked and crumbled
Parmesan cheese for topping

In a small crock pot, layer tortellini's, spinach, 1/2 a can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 the spinach, 1/2 the cream cheese, and 1/2 the sausage.  Repeat layers.  Pour the broth over everything.  Cover and cook on low for about 3 hours.  Check it at 2.5 hours, as the tortellini's cook quick, and you don't want them to turn to mush! Serve warm with parmesan cheese. 

Friday, May 24, 2013


Lest you think this blog has been abandoned, I assure that it has not.  Due to some personal circumstances in my life right now, I'm taking some personal time.

But never fear!!  I WILL be back within the next few months, with many great recipes to share.  Thanks for reading and following Recipes of A Cheapskate!

PS- I do post what I'm eating fairly often on my Facebook Page--click the link over there {{on the right side}} to 'like' it!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Strawberry Spinach Salad

 Spring is here!  I think.  It's hard to tell around here, because we'll get a week of beautiful weather, and then snow.  Mother Nature is a tease.  But I know, even if Spring isn't quite here yet, it's right around the corner, it's trying to push through the cold weather!

And so I start looking at the fresh food at the grocery store closer, because it's starting to become more affordable as it comes in season!  That's my favorite.  I hate buying out of season produce, because I hate spending an arm and a leg on my food!

This spinach salad is fresh and affordable, when you get the strawberries on sale especially!

When I made this salad, I used a large bag of spinach, the largest my store carried, and there was plenty for the 12 of us eating dinner.

Posted at:
Slightly adapted from: Radiant Health Inner Wealth


  • 1 bag/bunch spinach leaves (whatever size your grocer carries)
  • approx 1lb fresh strawberries, trimmed and sliced
  • sliced almonds, toasted (the toasted is optional, mine were not)


  • 2 Tbsp EACH: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sugar
  • 1 Tbsp EACH: sesame seeds, soy sauce, orange juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/8 tsp paprika

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.  Layer the salad in a large bowl: spinach, strawberries, and then a sprinkle of almonds.  Continue until the bowl is full.  You can either add the dressing to the salad before serving, or let others serve themselves.  I prefer to let others serve themselves.  Give the dressing a good shake before serving.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Turkey Cuban Sandwich

Sometimes you just need a large sandwich, am I right? Or am I the only one that feels that way?  Sometimes I just want juicy pickles, layers of meat and cheese, and a good blob of mustard and mayo.  Other times I want it piled high with veggies--cukes, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, sprouts...mmmm....

This sandwich is of the former variety.  And to give it a bit of a Thanksgiving feel, it has turkey and a cranberry relish on it.  Superb!  Add it to your Thanksgiving leftover menu and you won't go wrong.

Posted at:
Minorly altered from: Closet Cooking

  • 1 roll/bun, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2-3 Tbsp cranberry relish (if using a sauce, use less)
  • 2-4 slices turkey
  • 2-4 slices swiss cheese
  • 2-4 slices ham
  • 2-4 slices dill pickle

Use enough turkey, cheese, ham, and pickles to cover the sandwich length. Assemble the sandwich and enjoy!  Original recipe called for brushing the outside with some oil and grilling for a few minutes on each side, if you'd like to try that.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Panko Crusted Salmon

A 2-month break...apparently life got a little crazy around here.  It's  true story, but I won't go into too many details.  Suffice to say, baby #3 is joining our little family and cooking, blogging about food, and in some cases eating it, were the LAST thing I wanted to think about.

But I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.  Be patient with me as I'll be hit and miss.  This is a fun hobby for me, and often times other things come first!

This salmon recipe is a hit for me.  I eat it a few times a month.  It's quick to put together, and I've got the recipe pared down for 1 salmon filet.  I'm the only fish eater in my house, so it's on those nights that it's just me and kids.  They can have their scrambled eggs, or frozen waffles, and I'll cook up this salmon for me.  Win-win, right?

Besides being quick to put together, the crunchy panko with the tangy mustard is really a perfect fit for salmon.  My recipe calls for the Lemon-Pepper Panko, but regular panko would work just fine.  Add extra seasonings to give it lots of flavor though!

AND I love the ease of using my cast iron skillet.  Seriously folks, if you don't have at least ONE, go get one!  I pan cook the salmon first and then throw the whole pan into the oven to finish cooking!  It's extra nice for my clean up as well.

Let me talk you through the process of this recipe, ok?  Since I'm using measurements like "dash", and "sprinkle".  I take my filet, skin-side down, and run a line of dijon mustard down the center of it.  Then spread it around with a spoon, covering every bit! This is what the panko will stick to.  I mix together the panko, salt and pepper, and some parmesan cheese with a little bit of olive oil.  That mixture get pressed onto the filet and the filet then gets cooked on the stove AND in the oven.  Now that you've got the concept, you can adjust to make multiple filets, yes? :)

Posted at:
Adapted from: Annie's Eats
Recipe is for 1 standard salmon filet

  • 2 Tbsp Lemon-Pepper Panko
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle of parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • dijon mustard (regular works just fine too, I promise)
  • 1 salmon filet

Preheat your oven to 425degs.  Using a cast iron pan, or another oven safe pan, heat up a small amount of oil over medium-high heat on the stove.  Prepare the salmon by running a line of dijon mustard down the middle of it and spread it all around the top of the salmon.  Mix together panko, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and a small bit of oil.  Press that mixture thickly onto the salmon.
By now your oil in hot and ready for the salmon.  Gently place the salmon skin side down and sear it for just a few minutes.  This really helps the skin come off easily when you eat it.  Then put the whole pan into the oven for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet, until the panko is nice and browned.  Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Pesto Turkey Sandwiches

Wow, sorry for the blogging hiatus!  It was unintended, but I had lots of fun spending time with family and friends lately!

I love pesto so so much.  I throw it in dishes all the time, and I love spreading it on sandwiches.  This turkey sandwich is different from other turkey sandwiches in that the turkey is cubed instead of sliced sandwich meat.  Which makes leftovers super tasty (seriously, I used mine on pizza last night!).  This sandwich recipe is also easily adapted to a make a wrap instead of a sandwich.

The ease in which this came together was also fantastic.  While this could be an everyday meal, it works great if you have leftover turkey after a big meal.  A unique turkey sandwich for post-Thanksgiving eating!  

  • 2 cups diced turkey
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • hard rolls
  • spinach
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced mozzarella (the fresher, the better)

In a bowl combine the turkey, pesto, yogurt (or sour cream), salt and pepper.  Mix until combined.  Spread the mixture on top of sliced rolls and heat up to melt the cheese (microwave or broil in the oven).  Top with tomatoes and spinach.