A Wallet Friendly Dinner, Quick & Easy

I rarely feature actual “food” here on the doughmesstic site…most often it’s baked goodies. But you know what? We eat here, too. In these tough economic times, I have managed to keep us all fed, and believe it or not, I don’t really even miss the weekly (well, more like 2 or 3 times a week) dinners out. For the money it takes to eat out once a week I can feed us dinner at home with better quality food for the whole week.

Seriously. Do the math.
Chicken Entree – $14.95
Steak – $18.95
Kids Meal Cheese Sandwich – $5.00
2 Sodas – $4.48
Tip (18%)
Total – $61.00
One meal out at Outback will easily run a couple and their child $60 by the time you add tax and tip. At least. Add an appetizer and you’ve upped it to $70. Three years ago, this was just what we did. We’d get together with friends and head out to eat every Friday. I can’t get that money back now. It’s gone. And the food? While it was good, it is no better than what I can make at home. Here’s a meal to prove it. Maybe it’s fancy enough to consider for a Friday Night Special, but it’s great for Sunday because you’ll have plenty of leftovers to take with you to work on Monday.

Cheesy Rotisserie Chicken & Bowties

makes 6 to 8 servings

  • Store bought rotisserie chicken, chopped or pulled into pieces
  • One standard box Bow Tie Pasta
  • 1 bag shredded cheese (I used taco flavor, but any strong cheese will do)
  • 1/2 Sweet onion, diced
  • 1 Pepper, any color (I used orange this time)
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom (regular size)
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken (regular size)
  • 4 Tbsp. Melted Butter
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325.
Cook Bowties in water and can of chicken broth until nearly done. You will be baking this pasta, so take care not to over cook it now. Reserve a cup of the broth from the pasta to add in to the mixture. In large bowl, combine the broth, chicken, cheese, peppers, onions, melted butter, both creams, salt, pepper & cilantro. Stir it well and pour it in a large baking dish. Bake covered
at 325 for 45 minutes. This is great served with garlic bread and a side salad.
Let’s do a breakdown of cost:
Chicken – $5.24
Canned Cream of Mushroom – $.50
Canned Cream of Chicken – $.50
Bowtie Pasta – $.74
Onion – $.40
Pepper – $.75
Cheese – $1.50
Chicken Broth – $.50
Total: $10.13
Of course, you’ll need to add a few other items to make it a meal –
Garlic Bread – $1.50
Salad – $2.50
2 Sodas – $1.00
Grand Total: $15.13…and this will feed 6 people. Or a couple and their baby for dinner and then lunch the following day. Us? We ate it for dinner one night, for lunch the following day, and then Seven & I ate it as a side dish with sandwiches the day after that.
I hope you’ll enjoy this dish as much as we do!
I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures I took of Seven this week. He has recently become obsessed with glasses, probably because I have been taking a break from my contact lenses lately. But he wants to wear them to do everything. Jon gave him a pair of safety glasses so that he won’t destroy our real glasses, and here he is “safely” riding his wooden rocking horse. It’s always better to be safe, people…those horses can turn on you in a heartbeat. 🙂
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