Category Archives: poultry

Let’s Talk Turkey: Parts 1-5 Revisited

by donR November 23, 2015

5 Tips & Tricks for better turkeys

5 Tips & Tricks for better turkeys

Two years ago we wrote a series of articles about choosing, preparing, and serving a turkey for budge-friendly holiday meals. We went on  to suggest safe  ways to use turkey and side dishes for several planned-over meals. Since that time we’ve picked up 5 more tips and tricks we want to share with you as well as review the 5-part series Continue reading

Buy Locally Grown Food And Lower Your Meal Cost?

by donR  July 7, 2015

Lisa and McKenzie, registered nutritionists  share light and tasty recipes on their website.

Lisa and McKenzie, registered nutritionists share light and tasty recipes on their website.

I repeatedly hear that “It’s more expensive to cook with local produce and meats.” But Lisa Samuel, a highly regarded nutritionist, shares ideas about assembling budget-friendly meals that utilize locally grown foods. “Making Local Foods Affordable” is a topic in the latest newsletter. Visit Lisa and McKenzie’s website nourish RDs to get the whole story. Continue reading

Crock-Pot Appetizers; simple, easy, tasty

Make-it-yourself tacos  or wraps is a sure-favorite appetizer,

Make-it-yourself tacos or wraps; simple appetizers.

When hosting a family gathering or football playoff party, appetizers are often the food of choice by our family. By serving appetizers, there is often no need to provide a 3 course meal and guests usually bring snacks and beverages. The end result is that we can spend time visiting because using crock-pots makes cooking easy and clean-up a breeze. Here are some recipes for slow-cooked appetizers.

Pulled Pork Sliders On a previous post I shared how to slow cook a  pork shoulder roast.  Once cooked, the pulled , sliced. or diced.  pork can be used in many recipes. Pork sliders is one option.

Pulled Pork Sliders
A small sandwich with tangy BBQ laced pork filling
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  1. 1 Lb pulled pork roast
  2. 2C catsup
  3. 6 oz tomato paste
  4. 1 finely chopped yellow onion
  5. 1C Brags Aminos
  6. 2T Worcestershire sauce
  7. 2t ground garlic
  8. small potato buns or dinner rolls
  1. 1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan.
  2. 2. Bring to a slow boil over med heat then simmer over low heat for 4 hours or until sauce thickens and flavors blend.
  3. 3. Combine with pulled pork to heat.
  4. 4, Serve it over the rolls
Family Meals Project
Party Cereal Snack Mix    Make your own snack mix at half the cost and you  choose the ingredients. We made some for the crock-pot meals class and I preferred to omit the artificial cheese crackers and expensive cashews.

Slow Cooked Cereal Snack Mix
Serves 8
Worcestershire sauce is a key ingredient to make this snack mix full of interesting flavors.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr
  1. Party Chex Mix
  2. Ingredients
  3. 2 cups bagel bits
  4. 1 C pretzels
  5. 3 cups rice cereal squares
  6. 3 cups wheat cereal squares
  7. 3 cups corn cereal squares
  8. 2 cups salted almonds (optional)
  9. 4 T soy sauce
  10. 4 T Worcestershire sauce
  11. 1/2 C virgin olive oil (or peanut oil)
  12. 1 stick unsalted butter
  13. 6 - 10 cloves minced garlic
  14. 2 T powdered onion
  15. Makes: 10 cups
  1. Instructions
  2. 1. Place the cereal, pretzels, bagel bits and almonds (if included) in a large slow cooker and turn the cooker to low heat.
  3. 2. In a sauce pan mix together the remaining ingredients and simmer it over low heat until the garlic releases its flavor. Pour it over the crackers in the slow cooker. Mix well.
  4. 3. Cook for about 3 to 4 hours uncovered, stirring every 30 minutes or so, until the mix has dried but has not burned.
  1. I avoided the cheesy crackers because of added dyes and artificial flavorings.
Adapted from Beverly Cayce
Adapted from Beverly Cayce
Family Meals Project
 Slow-Cooked Asian Chicken Thighs   This appetizer is by far the best choice if you want great taste, low cost meat, and enjoy creating food that  is unique. .

Chicken hind quarters are usually the best buy in the frozen meat department at $0.79 for a ten lb. bag. After thawing, the legs can be removed for another meal and the thighs deboned for this recipe. If you don’t have time to fillet the thighs, ask your grocer to debone a value pack of fresh chicken thighs.

Asian Chicken Thighs
Yields 2
Skewered chicken with a pineapple teriyaki flavor.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
  1. 2 lbs deboned chicken thighs
  2. 1 C Yashida's marinade
  3. 1 14 oz can of pineapple pieces in natural juice
  4. 2 ground or fresh-grated ginger
  5. large toothpicks or small bamboo skewers
  1. 1. Slice thighs into long narrow strips.
  2. 2 .drain pineapple and reserve juice.
  3. 3. Place chicken into a bag (or covered glass bowl) along with juice, ginger and Yashida's sauce.
  4. 4. Marinate for an hour or overnight.
  5. 5. Preheat slow cooker on high.
  6. 6. Arrange chicken strips and pieces of pineapple onto skewers.
  7. 7. Place in slow cooker and cover with the marinating liquid.
  8. 8. Cook on high for 30 min then reduce heat to low for about 3 hours.
  9. 9. When chicken reaches 165 degrees it is ready to serve out of the pot or n a bed of hot Oriental rice.
  1. *Give the butcher a day's lead time to debone the fresh thighs
  2. ++Make a double batch and save some for a stir-fried meal later
Adapted from The Skow Cooker Bible
Adapted from The Skow Cooker Bible
Family Meals Project













Pork Shoulder: Economical, Delicious and Healthy


One Small Food Bank Chicken=Three Meals


One Small Food Bank Chicken=Three Meals

12/11/2014  By donR

Chicken Thighs

Three meals from one chicken is possible when it complements the side dishes. Read more…

The Ferndale Food Bank is slated to receive small whole chickens this month. Most would consider this to be barely enough for one family meal. But, if you follow the FMP core principles, you most likely  have ideas about carving one whole chicken into three chicken-based meals for a family of four. Continue reading

Cook-In #2: Learning From each Other

During the cook-in we bagged pulled turkey meat so everyone could take some home for other meals.

During the cook-in we bagged pulled turkey meat so everyone could take some home for other meals.

Fifteen participants joined us for our second Cook-In. We spent the evening assembling a meal together, boxing food to take home, sitting down to enjoy the meal together and sharing ideas. The focal point of the meal was to cook turkeys but when it came to sharing ideas everyone had lots of things to say.

Planning, Preparing and Sharing are the cornerstone of the Family Meals Project and this cook-In allowed for lots of sharing. It was both fun and enlightening to take part in the discussions. Continue reading

Food Bank Meal of the Month: 1 Skillet Chicken

One Skillet Meals can be easy to fix and very tasty. Chiken breast steeped in garlic thyme rosemary-scented herbs is a perfect choioce to introduce the"Meal of the Month.

One Skillet Meals can be easy to fix and tasty. Chicken breast steeped in garlic, thyme and rosemary is a perfect way to introduce the”Meal of the Month.”

The Family Meals Project is partnering with WSU Extension’s  Food $ense Program, and The Ferndale Food Bank to explore a new idea; “Meal of the Month.” The main course for May is a  One-Skillet Chicken & Veggie Meal. This is an interesting idea and there are many options for using available food either from the food bank or your own pantry. You can use this recipe as a framework and then change the meat, grain and vegetable to fit your needs. Continue reading

Find Gold In Your Refrigerator Freezer.

 Find Gold In Your Refrigerator Freezer. By Don R

hands 150xI met a mother who is among the 50 million Americans living at or near poverty level. It was heartwarming to hear her story about discovering a package of pulled chicken in the freezer and how this find brightened her day.  I’ve asked her to tell the story.

“My family and I have lived on one income for 5 years now, and, especially in this economy, we have had to learn to be creative when it comes to meal time. This creativity has meant that I have to make most everything from scratch, using low-cost ingredients and planning ahead. Through trial and error, I have learned to stock up on basics, and menu-plan.

This strategy works great for me, but sometimes “life” happens! No matter how hard we try to stay on top of things, there are still those days when my children are sick, I am too busy to cook, or we have an “emergency”. Well, this happened to me the other day.

It was like finding gold in my freezer!

I had no idea what I was going to cook for dinner and it was already 6:00 pm. I went to the freezer to see what I could come up with. I was so relieved to find a bag of pre-cooked rotisserie chicken shredded and ready to go that my father had given me! It was like finding gold in my freezer!  I ran it under tepid water,

Sauteed planned-overs make a quick meal.

sautéed planned-overs make a quick meal.

and quickly sautéed it with veggies and rice I had saved from yesterday. Dinner was done in 5 minutes! This experience has motivated me to always have 2 or 3 bags of cooked rotisserie chicken on hand in my freezer for those frantic days.”    Kate Seattle, WA

Oftentimes it is the little things that enrich our lives or save us from stress. If you have a story to tell, share it with us, We are listening

Turkey A La King: A Planned-Over $10 Meal

picture of Turleya la King

Turkey a la King is easy to prepare and use in a thrifty $8.60 meal for 6 people.

Turkey a la King was a family favorite many years ago. Now, after our FMP fundraiser and Thanksgiving, we have lots of pulled turkey and chicken in the freezer. What to do?

  • Thaw a 2 Cup package of turkey in the fridge,
  • make a tasty white sauce,
  • stir in the turkey and a few vegetables,

and now you have a main entrée that can be served over bread, biscuits, potatoes,  rice  or noodles. Read more about including this in a budget-friendly meal. Continue reading

Let’s Talk Turkey, Pt 5: Using Planned-Overs

pic of cabbage salad with turkey

shredded turkey and cabbage salad is easy to prepare and sooo good!

Let’s Talk Turkey, Pt 5: Using Planned-Overs

By DonR Nov 28. 20113

Cooking once and using planned-overs for several meals is a great way to save time and energy. In fact, because turkeys are on sale this time of year, it pays to grab an extra to freeze. Whole turkeys can help your food budget substantially.

Turkey can be used in lots of ways if you plan ahead. So, now that the turkey is cooked and the planned-overs are sitting safely in the oven at 135+ degrees, what comes next? Cool it quickly, shred it and use it for entrees, soups, salads and sides.

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Let’s Talk Turkey: Part 2, Planning

picture of shredded poultry

If planning to use turkey for several meals, keep a few slices of breast and shred the rest.

Let’s Talk Turkey: Part 2, Planning

Before buying a turkey, it helps to have an idea about how you are going to use it. My former Principal always said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That bit of wisdom applies to cooking as well as teaching.

If you and your family usually eat too much at Thanksgiving dinner, and want to change, a trick from a dietician’s manual recommends that you serve restaurant-style instead of passing the bowls around the table. You can then control portion size and less turkey will be needed. Starting the meal with sparkling apple cider for toasting thankful messages, a quality soup and leafy green salad means less room for heavy mashed potatoes and gravy. If you prefer to pass the bowls and have free choice, you will plan differently. Here are 5 tips and tricks for meal planning. Continue reading