Fab Food Friday Fotos: Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes, White Bean Salad, Smoky Kielbasa with Snap Peas & Basmati Rice, Watermelon Steak, Homemade Gravy, Simple Beet Soup, Lamb Shish Kebab, Recipes, & More « Frugal Café Blog Zone

Fab Food Friday Fotos: Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes, White Bean Salad, Smoky Kielbasa with Snap Peas & Basmati Rice, Watermelon Steak, Homemade Gravy, Simple Beet Soup, Lamb Shish Kebab, Recipes, & More

Posted By on June 17, 2011

I love food, and I love Fridays.

Combine the two — ah, sheer bliss.


When they’re available, recipes and recipe links will accompany select “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one thrift-minded recipe (usually more) will always be included.

Kick back and enjoy the view of food.


Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Photo credit: cyberpenguin, Flickr, Creative Commons


Barbecued Lamb, El Calafate, Argentina | Photo credit: Evelyn Proimos, Flickr, Creative Commons


Tokyo Bento | Photo credit: Yohei Yamashita, Flickr, Creative Commons


Sandra's Smoky Kielbasa with Organic Snap Peas 'n' Mushrooms over Steamed Basmati Rice | Photo credit: sandrasalaskanphotographs, Flickr, Creative Commons

I’ve featured her photos and recipes in previous Fab Food Fridays posts — if you haven’t checked out Sandra’s food blog site yet, you really must. A variety of creative, cheap, delicious dishes perfect for families on limited budgets. She updates it frequently.

Here’s another fabulous recipe from her Alaskan food blog: Sandra wrote this about her smoky kielbasa, snap peas, and basmati rice dish:

Sandra’s Smoky Kielbasa with Organic Snap Peas & Mushrooms over Rice

This is a very delicious recipe I made using organic vegetables, and the smoky kielbasa adds a punch of flavor – enjoy the recipe all!!!


***Steamed Basmati Rice:

* 1-1/2 cups basmati rice
* 3 cups water
* 1/2 teaspoon light olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

***Kielbasa n’ Veggies:

* 1 lb. smoked kielbasa, sliced lengthwise, and sliced again into bite size pieces)
* 1/2 red onion, chopped
* 2 handfuls of fresh organic sugar snap peas, inner and outer strings removed
* 2 organic garlic cloves, minced
* 6 organic crimini mushrooms, sliced
* Freshly ground pepper, to taste


* 1 pkg. dry Lipton onion soup mix
* 2 cups cold water
* 1 cup Alaskan Amber beer
* 2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (or more, if you prefer a thicker gravy)


* 1 organic Roma tomato, chopped


To make the basmati rice, place olive oil in a heavy-bottom sauce pan and heat to medium-high, add rice and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring (this provides for a nutty flavor and keeps the rice from sticking together). Add the remaining ingredients, bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to low and let steam for 20 minutes (no peeking).

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium-high, and add the kielbasa and saute until slightly caramelized, for about 8 minutes. Add the onions to the hot skillet and saute until just about translucent, then add the garlic, and mushrooms, and ground pepper to taste, and saute for 2 minutes.

In the meantime, in a medium bowl, whisk all the sauce ingredients together, and pour while stirring into the skillet; scraping bits off of bottom of skillet, and bring to boil to thicken. Reduce the heat to low to simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve the kielbasa and sauce mixture over the steamed basmati rice, and garnish with freshly chopped Roma tomatoes. – Enjoy!


Wedding Cake, Dark Mocha Piping Swirls with Green Artificial Roses Separating Tiers | Photo credit: Neatly Sliced, Flickr, Creative Commons


Homemade Nachos Made from Leftovers | Photo credit: snapperwolf, Flickr, Creative Commons


Egg Egg Egg Egg | Photo credit: boughtbooks, Flickr, Creative Commons

Photographer boughtbooks wrote this about this unusual egg photo:

Yesterday I found the smallest egg ever in the chicken house, I suspect it is from one of the chicks born earlier this year, one turned out to be a hen, one of the most beautiful little black rooster I’ve ever seen.

L. to R.: Rhode Island Red egg, Aracuana egg, Wyandotte egg, small Aracuana egg


Bacon-wrapped Meatloaf | Photo credit: William Jones, Flickr, Creative Commons


Picnic Sandwich, Griffith Park, California | Photo credit: Donna Grayson, Flickr, Creative Commons

Instructions for making this unusual, delicious picnic sandwich are provided by photographer/cook Donna Grayson:

Picnic in Griffith Park – Sandwich Recipe

The sandwich dish I made. It’s very simple.

Frozen Bread Dough

Layer it in a Spring-form pan – bottom and sides. Place layers of any food that can be semi-cooked.

On the very bottom layer and top layer: Lunch meats, like turkey and ham, then layers of cheese slices and tomato slices (you could also do bell pepper slices or mushrooms).

I also added a layer of spinach — drained thawed, previously frozen spinach, one egg, and Parmesan cheese. I put this layer in the center.

Spread out more frozen bread dough on top.

Then you only have to bake about a half hour, when the bread starts to brown (set oven temp according to directions on bread dough packaging).

Since you are only baking a half hour, don’t put in anything that really needs a long cooking time.

Use lunch meat slices (not raw meat).

And don’t use anything that might get soggy when it is cooked.


Hibiscus Prosecco | Photo credit: herbrm, Flickr, Creative Commons

I wasn’t familiar with Prosecco, so I looked it up. This is a pretty thorough explanation from CookThink:

Prosecco is the Italian answer to Champagne. A sparkling alcoholic drink that is made from late-ripening white grapes from the Veneto region, it is served chilled, and makes a nice accompaniment to salty prosciutto.

It was Prosecco, not Champagne, that was originally mixed with peach puree for the elegant cocktail known as the Bellini. Prosecco is a protected designation that can only be used on wines made from the Prosecco grape in the Conegliano/Valdobbiadene region of Italy. Unfortunately for Prosecco purists, this is indeed where Rich Prosseco, the maker of the Paris Hilton-shilled Prosecco in a can, gets it wine.


Lovely Persian Dinner, Tehran Restaurant, Montreal, Canada | Photo credit: vivoandando, Flickr, Creative Commons


All-Purpose Homemade Gravy | Photo credit: Kelvin Beecroft, Flickr, Creative Commons

Never again buy expensive jarred or packaged gravy mix — photographer/cook Kelvin Beecroft provided the link to the AteBites site for the easy recipe shown below. More good recipes there, so pop over sometime.

I often include several minced garlic cloves to my homemade gravies, which I noticed is not included in the recipe… you can never have too much garlic, but that’s just my opinion. You can vary, adjust, or substitute many of the ingredients used for flavoring in this gravy recipe according to personal tastes, but be sure to keep the ratio of butter/flour/broth the same, as well as the cooking method.

All-Purpose Homemade Gravy Recipe

Gravy is usually made from drippings of the main course; a roasted chicken, pot roast, fried bacon, and so on. This gravy can be made without any special ingredients, just some broth and a few vegetables. A meaty flavor is built up from a mirepoix, a combination of carrots, celery and onions which form the base of almost any savory soup. Chicken broth is used to further develop the flavor, but beef broth could be used just as well to complement beefy dishes.

* 1 carrot, chopped
* 1 celery stalk, chopped
* 1 onion, chopped
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 3 cups chicken broth
* 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
* 6 whole black peppercorns
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor’s bowl, add carrot, celery, and onion chunks. Pulse until coarse but do not puree. If you don’t have a food processor dice with a knife to 1/8-inch pieces.

In a non-stick sauté pan, heat butter over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook until softened and well browned, stirring frequently.

Stir in flour. Cook until vegetables are thoroughly browned and fragrant, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.

While whisking constantly, gradually add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add thyme and peppercorns; simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Strain gravy through a fine-mesh screen into a serving bowl.

Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.


Moo Goo Gai Pan, Red Lantern Restaurant, California | Photo credit: P M M, Flickr, Creative Commons

Photographer P M M wrote this about the moo goo gai pan:

This tasted way better than it looks. Oddly, it was on a bed of snow pea pods that would have looked great mixed in. Oh, well.

I was depressed and tired from a bad night, so I went to Red Lantern for the second time this week. Proudly.


Chicken Tenders in Hot Wing Sauce, Served with Baby Spinach & Cherry Tomatoes | Photo credit: jmuench, Flickr, Creative Commons


Daisy Lemony Cookies | Photo credit: Carol Browne, Flickr, Creative Commons

For the recipe and the not-too-tricky instructions on how to make these adorable cookie-press Lemony Flowery Cookies, check out photographer/cook/blogger Carol Browne’s blog. She not only features recipes, but cute craft projects, too — it’s a fun site, so spend a little time to explore it.


Late Summer Harvest from Our Garden | Photo credit: meganpru, Flickr, Creative Commons


Soft Rolled Tacos | Photo credit: Andrea Christman, Flickr, Creative Commons

Photographer/cook Andrea Christman wrote this description of what goes into her soft rolled tacos:

Corn or flour tortillas filled with lean ground beef or chicken, rolled and then topped with our homemade ranchero sauce. Served with guacamole salad, Mexican rice, and frijoles refritos.


Coconut Butter Mochi | Photo credit: hawaiianfoodrecipe, Flickr, Creative Commons


Cold Smoked Trout Mille Feuille | Photo credit: Tyrone Warner, Flickr, Creative Commons

Beautiful plate, beautiful fish dish. Photographer/cook Tyrone Warner didn’t provide the trout recipe, but here’s the source:

Cold smoked Trout Mille Feuille, as made by Andreas Viestad on “New Scandinavian Cooking.” Kathy Winkle serving plate.


Lime | Photo credit: libraryman, Flickr, Creative Commons


Steak and Kidney Pie | Photo credit: Charles Haynes, Flickr, Creative Commons


Best Poke Salad Ever, Hawaii | Photo credit: Bombtwinz, Flickr, Creative Commons


Barbecue Chicken | Photo credit: Joshua Bousel, Flickr, Creative Commons

Check out this The Meatwave website on barbecue chicken techniques, provided by photographer/cook Joshua Bousel. Here’s some valuable things I learned about barbecue sauce and grilling — visit the website for more tips:

Let’s start by dispelling a big grilling a pet peeve of mine, barbecue sauce is not a marinade. Most barbecue sauces have a high concentration of sugars, which caramelizes and then quickly burns over the heat of the grill. Think of barbecue sauce as a finishing sauce, something that can either be brushed on near the end of cooking or used as a condiment. Leaving behind the sauce at the beginning of this recipe doesn’t mean abandoning pre-flavoring altogether, quite the opposite in fact.

Before starting barbecue chicken, I give the pieces of chicken a nice coating of my favorite dry rub, and if I think far enough ahead, I’ll let the chicken soak up some of those spices in the refrigerator for a day prior to grilling.


White Bean Salad | Photo credit: veganwarrior, Flickr, Creative Commons

The recipe link that photographer/cook veganwarrior provided to the Creativegan site also has this frugal, vegetarian Bean Salad recipe written in Spanish:

White Bean Salad

* 800 g white beans, cooked
* 4 tomatoes
* 1 onion
* 2 cucumber
* oregano
* olive oil
* lemon juice
* salt

Peel tomatoes, onion, and cucumber and chop into cubes. Mix with the beans and dress with oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

Serve cold.


Baked Alaska, Shashlik Russian Restaurant, Singapore | Photo credit: Steel Wool, Flickr, Creative Commons


Crab Salad Sandwich | Photo credit: shutterbugchef, Flickr, Creative Commons

Photographer/cook shutterbugchef provided the recipe for making this fresh mayonnaise-based dressing to mix into the chopped or shredded crab or chicken for the sandwich — in the photo, a buttery croissant is used, but I believe this would be equally good on sourdough bread:

Recipe for Dressing:

* 3/4 cup mayo
* 1 tsp rice vinegar
* 1/2 tsp hot sauce
* 1 tsp mustard
* 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
* Salt
* Pepper
* Dash of paprika
* Crab or chicken (chopped or shredded, pre-cooked & chilled)

Mix all together.

For making sandwich
* Shredded lettuce
* Sliced tomatoes
* Croissant roll


Kumquats, Grown under a Grow Light & Harvested from My Tiny Kumquat Tree, Minnesota | Photo credit: Tesla Aldrich, Flickr, Creative commons


Garlic Bread | Photo credit: Laughing Tree, Flickr, Creative Commons


Buckwheat and Stewed Tomatoes | Photo credit: George Wesley & Bonita Dannells, Flickr, Creative Commons

Quick instructions provided by photographers/cooks George Wesley and Bonita Dannells:

Buckwheat groats are steamed with chopped vegetables and bullion. Stewed tomatoes are simmered with onion and bacon, parsley and garlic.


Bittersweet Ganache Filled Cannoli | Photo credit: Emilie Hardman, Flickr, Creative Commons


Simple Beet Soup | Photo credit: The Nourishing Cook, Flickr, Creative Commons

Wow, this soup recipe is so simple and thrift-minded, I’m going to make it soon. Be sure to visit The Nourishing Cook site for more information and additional photos on making this beet soup. Recipes for how to make homemade polenta and teriyaki lentil stew also caught my eye.

Who Knew Beet Soup Was So Good?

Simple Beet Soup Recipe


* 6 medium beets
* 4 tablespoons butter or ghee
* 1 quart filtered water
* sea salt or fish sauce and pepper
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
* Piima cream or creme fraiche (omit for GAPS or casein free diet)


This easy soup brings out the exquisite sweet flavor of beets. Use water, not stock. Peel beets, chop coarsely and sauté very gently in butter for 1/2 hour or until tender.

Add water, bring to a boil and skim. Simmer about 15 minutes. Purée soup with handheld blender. Season to taste, ladle into heated bowls and serve with cultured cream and chives.


New Year's Chinese Dumplings | Photo credit: kattebelletje, Flickr, Creative Commons


Watermelon Steak | Photo credit: hoveringdog, Flickr, Creative Commons

Photographer/cook hoveringdog provided this summary and a Boston.com recipe link for Watermelon Steak:

I know, I was skeptical too when I saw this, but I adapted the recipe, subbing margarine for butter and white two-buck chuck for the cream sherry, and, after roasting, added a dusting of ground coriander and a sprig of cinnamon basil.

The texture is like nothing you’d associate with watermelon, more like seared tuna, and the taste is only slightly sweet. The coriander and basil really complemented it well.


Cream Cheese Flan with Celery Salad & Spinach | Photo credit: Neil Boyd, Flickr, Creative Commons


Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Pea Shoot Pesto | Photo credit: Andrew Scrivani, Flickr, Creative Commons


Chocolate Strawberry Mini Cakes | Photo credit: jessbucksc, Flickr, Creative Commons


Strawberry-Watermelon Juice with Aloe Vera | Photo credit: Sifu Renka, Flickr, Creative Commons

Photographer/cook Sifu Renka has been featured before — here are how-to directions on making this refreshing, beautiful Strawberry-Watermelon Juice with Aloe Vera for summer:

Anyone who knows me well knows that my FAVORITE summertime juice combo is ripe strawberries pureed with sweet watermelon.

As it’s been very warm/hot in Toronto lately, I’ve only craved this more. Usually you’d find me making some sweetened tapioca pearls with this, but since my last venture out west introduced me to aloe vera “jelly” (sweetened bits of aloe vera) – less sweet than those sweetened coconut “jellies” – that tasted more refreshing and healthier, I went with this combo.

To make this drink combo, just puree the fresh fruits and add enough sugar syrup to sweeten it up. Scoop a generous portion (depending on how much you like) of sweetened tapioca pearls or fruit jellies into the empty glass before pouring in your juice. Enjoy.

I like this even better when I’ve halved the strawberries and send them in the freezer for a bit to make them strawberry ice cubes. When I purée the watermelon juice and add the frozen fresh berries, I get a thicker drink that’s not watered down, with the occasional small bit of frozen strawberry. It’s super refreshing and tasty!


Pineapple Tarts | Photo credit: Casual Chin, Flickr, Creative Commons


Simple Beef Stew | Photo credit: Missy Salihan, Flickr, Creative Commons

Australian photographer/cook/blogger Missy Salihan wrote about this simple beef stew, using a recipe from the Australian Cuisine website. Since posting this photo a few years ago, she has changed websites (both, as of this writing, are still online), and as of October 2010, no longer blogs.

Missy wrote this in 2008 about how she had planned to change the beef stew recipe in the future:

I’ve been craving for comfort food and for the first time, cooked some real, hearty, true blue Aussie beef stew. I found this recipe on the internet and it sounded easy and straightforward enough. I was a little suss on how the flavours were going to turn out but I think I was just paranoid. The stew tasted delicious!

However, when I make this stew again, I will make the following changes to the recipe. I would use something stronger than paprika. I only had smoked paprika and it just wasn’t spicy enough. I think a touch of chilli or mustard powder could be the way to go. I omitted the wine and used vegetable stock but I would definitely use a good beef stock next time. I also replaced celery with carrots. I’ll probably use both instead of just the carrots. Other than that, this recipe is definitely a keeper.


Tuna Noodle Casserole | Photo credit: jwannie, Flickr, Creative Commons


Spinach, Onion, & Cheese Pancakes | Photo credit: Tony Hall, Flickr, Creative Commons

Photographer/cook Tony Hall’s brief instructions on making these spinach-onion-cheese pancakes — a creative change for breakfast, lunch, or dinner that kids should love to eat, especially if they can help in making them:

Cook a little onion and spinach, stir into pancake mix (flour, milk, egg), add some cheese. Fry it.


Lamb Shish Kebab | Photo credit: rexipe, Flickr, Creative Commons

Summertime-festive and so easy to make, here is the lamb shish kebab recipe from photographer/cook rexipe:

Lamb Shish Kebab Recipe

Fab barbecue food to enjoy in the summer, healthy and yummy … you can stick any veggies on it as well …

* 2 lb. leg of lamb
* 1 Tbs . olive oil
* 1/2 lemon
* Salt and pepper
* 1 medium onion, sliced
* 3 medium tomatoes, sliced
* Bay leaves
* Green pepper (optional)
* Eggplant (optional)

Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. Mix olive oil and lemon juice and rub into meat. Place in dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover with slices of onion and tomatoes and a few bay leaves. Place in refrigerator for 4 or 5 hours.

Arrange meat on skewers with tomatoes and onions, alternating. Add an occasional bay leaf. Broil over charcoal, but may also be done over an open wood fire or in an oven broiler. Green pepper and eggplant may also be inserted on skewers.


Quinoa Salad | Photo credit: Muy Yum, Flickr, Creative Commons


Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes | Photo credit: Elana's Pantry, Flickr, Creative Commons

Utterly divine! Photographer/cook Elana wrote this and provided links to her banana cream pie cupcakes recipe:

These light and fluffy gluten free Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes are pictured with my easy Whipped Cream Frosting recipe and would also be fabulous with Chocolate Frosting or the Peanut Butter frosting from my book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.


Vintage Photo: Strawberry Pickers, 1946, Portland, Oregon | Photo credit: Oregon State University Archives, Flickr, Creative Commons

About this aweseome 1946 strawberry picking photo from the Oregon State University archives:

Original Collection: Extension and Experiment Station Communications Photograph Collection (P120)

Item Number: P120:2524

Image Description: Kneeling is Stanley Boyer — one of the best strawberry pickers in the Portland area. His record was 21 crates of strawberries in a 6 hour day.

Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.


Past three months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts:

Mocha Marshmallows, Chicken & Rice, Spanish Lentil & Mushroom Stew, Chocolate Cake Waffle Batter, Eggplant Risotto, Rustic Chicken & Pancetta Stew, Baked Crab Cakes, & Easy Recipes

Brussels Red Potato Gratin, Milk Chocolate Souffle, Bacon & Pumpkin Pasta, Sausage & Tomato Risotto, Chicken Tinola, Onion Panade, Zucchini Tart, & Comfort Food Recipes

The Outdoorsy, Festive Memorial Day Food & Recipe Edition… Summer’s Here!

Kentucky Hot Brown, Mac & Cheese, Black Bean Tamale Pie, Marshmallow Cake, Jicama-Orange Salad, Bakwan Jagung, Chocolate Oatmeal Chippers, Potato, Leek & Andouille Soup, & Frugal Recipes

Chic & Cheap Casseroles, Cuban Meatloaf, Mahi Mahi with Tequila Salsa, Egg & Grits, Nakkisoppa, Smoothies, Chawanmushi, Russian Tea Cakes, Mango Salad, Turkey Steaks, & Recipes

Springtime Baked Chicken, Farfalle & Veggies, Stuffed Jalapeños, Sausage & Lentils, Brown Rice Stir-fry, Navy Beans, Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies, Tempeh Salad, & Cheap Recipes

White Chicken Lasagna, Nutella Pots de Crème, Cottage Cheese Apricot Buns, Cornish Pasty Pie, Palak Paneer, Lavender Rice Pudding, Blueberry-Sour Cream Muffins, Mango Chicken Curry, Recipes, & More

Almond Cantucci, Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole, Rhubarb-Blueberry Pie, Turnip-Corn Chowder, Pretzel Dogs, Salads, Red Bean Jambalaya, Pasta, & Recipes

Swedish Visiting Cake, BBQ Ribs with Moxie Glaze, Cornbread Casserole, Egg Dishes, Hush Puppies, Plums, Spaghetti & Braised Kale, Beef Heart Satay, Vintage Food Ads, & Awesome Frugal Recipes

Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday Edition – New Orleans, Cajun, Creole Food & Recipes… Let the Good Times Roll

The Frugal Irish Food & St. Patrick’s Day Recipes Edition… Éirinn Go Brách!

Reuben Appetizers, ‘Princess’ Bread, Lemony Chicken & Pasta, Vegetable Lasagne, Smiley Potato, Roast Beef with Mushroom Gravy, Acorn Squash & Feta Casserole, Plus Frugal Recipes

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About the author

I'm a conservative frugalist. My priorities: Watchdogging the government, making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely, living within our budgets (at home and in Washington, DC), and adhering to our Constitution and the conservative principles upon which it was developed by our founding fathers. Also, loving God, my family, and my country. Be wise, be frugal. God bless America!      


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