CSE for the Holidays: Bargain Bubbly!

Image from pursepage.com


At Fabulous and Frugal, there’s a list of good sparky stuff for your New Year’s party. Check it out.


CSE for the Holidays: Acorn Squash Olive Oil Cake


This was an experiment with savory ingredients in sweet desserts. It turned out so well, that my 10 year old niece had two pieces!

Since it’s so easy to make, it may become a go-to recipe long after the holidays have past.

Acorn Squash Olive Oil Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups cooked pureed acorn squash (roast in the oven cut in half 350 F for about 30 min)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1/4 cup milk (set aside)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan (I used olive oil spray). In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine all of your wet ingredients, except for milk. Whisk your wet ingredients into your dry ones, making sure there are no dry streaks in the batter. Add in milk one tablespoon at a time if you need more liquid. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 mins, or until cake is nicely browned and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 mins. Run a butter knife around the edge of the cake. Transfer cake to a wire rack, then place wire rack on top of the loaf pan (loaf pan stays right side up!) for the cake to cool completely.


CSE for the Holidays: Roasted Potatoes


With it’s sheer abundance during this time of year, potatoes belong on the holiday table. Everybody has their own way of fixing them. There’s everything from mashed potatoes to sweet potato and pecan casserole. You’ll have some sort of fancy spud before the end of the year.

I wanted to try something different. I tried a layered potato cake. It looked pretty, but it turned out too greasy for me. Then, I saw a method of slicing the potato in thin slivers not all the through the skin, and topping with a little olive oil. That worked great! So simple and easy. Top with some coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper and it looks so fantastic!

Next time, I’ll try a Potato Tian. Same concept with slices, but the presentation is taken up a notch.


CSE for the Holidays: Corn Pudding


I’m putting my steal of a sale to good use! Such a classic southern dish, and I just now getting into it. It’s strange I’ve never had it before until now.

That’s my picture, but it’s not my recipe. You can get it here. I like this one because it doesn’t use so many eggs, so much milk or cream, and it’s still so good! I did saute my corn with red onions and added some chili powder and cayenne pepper, but everything else I kept the same.


CSE for the Holidays: Butternut Sqaush Soup

So…you’ve been mooching off other people all year and they are just sick of it. So they are eating at your house to eat up all your food! Or, you’ve been passing up social outings cause you can’t afford them and decided to redeem yourself. Or you are always the one to host holiday dinners and need to figure out how you’re going to do this AND stay in your budget.

Food is one of those many areas where we tend to let it all go. With three holidays in such close proximity, that’s alot of money! This feature is for recipes that stay in my 99 cents/pound or under rule. The food is cheap, but it doesn’t taste like it.

Winter squashes are great. They’re not only cheap, but very versatile. In my opinion, everyone needs a good butternut squash soup recipe. This one has fresh ginger and nutmeg. I use coconut milk for creaminess, but you can use whatever creamy liquid you like.

Butternut Squash Soup
2 tablespoons oil
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 small white onion, chopped
3 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
5 cups of water or stock (vegetable or chicken work fine)
1 cup of coconut milk (or whatever creamy liquid-evaporated milk, half and half, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

In your large soup pot, heat your oil on medium heat. Add your onions. Cook until they soften and are translucent. (If you don’t have any stock, let your onions cook down until they are golden brown and leave brown bits in the bottom of your pot. When you add the water, you de-glaze your pot and get all the flavor!)

Add your squash and your ginger and nutmeg. Toss to coat in the oil and onions. Add your water or stock, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 20-30 minutes or until squash is fork tender.

Remove from heat, and blend with a stick blender, or a regular blender in batches. Add your coconut milk and salt.

Serves 6 as a starter