Fab Food Friday Fotos: Taco Salad, Chinese Cabbage Rolls, Beet-Lemon Cupcakes, Amish Chicken Pot Pie, Peach & Blueberry Rustic Tart, Squash & Turkey Casserole, Buttermilk Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese, Tres Leche, Vietnamese Beef Jerky, More Cheap Recipes « Frugal Café Blog Zone

Fab Food Friday Fotos: Taco Salad, Chinese Cabbage Rolls, Beet-Lemon Cupcakes, Amish Chicken Pot Pie, Peach & Blueberry Rustic Tart, Squash & Turkey Casserole, Buttermilk Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese, Tres Leche, Vietnamese Beef Jerky, More Cheap Recipes

Posted By on August 24, 2012

For the millions of us who live glued to computer keyboards at work and TV monitors at home, food may be more than entertainment. It may be the only sensual experience left.

~ Author Barbara Ehrenreich


Summer days, summer nights — the weekend is finally upon us, and with it, another fabulous, tasty collection of food photographs. Kick back and enjoy.

When they’re available, recipes and recipe links will accompany select “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one thrifty recipe will always be included.


Taco Salad | Photo credit: Mallory Dash, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photographer/cook/webmistress Mallory Dash has posted the recipe for “No-Seasoning-Packet Tacos” on her awesome food blog, Total Noms. From her DIY seasoning recipe you can make tacos or, as she puts it, “just throw it all together in a taco salad.” She figured out the cost to make this recipe from scratch:

I did the math, and these tacos cost us total $10.51. This recipe makes 12 tacos. Assuming you have the spices on hand, that’s around $0.88 per taco!!! I know – there are costs associated with the spices I had on hand, which I’m not counting here. But I’ve used these same spices in so many recipes before that I think the law of diminishing returns is in effect here. Or something. I’m not a math major, people.

I adapted the seasoning mix from a recipe on AllRecipes.com. In this case, I did happen to have all the ingredients on hand in my pantry- another reason why having a well-stocked kitchen will save you money in the long run.


Chocolate Buddha | Photo credit: Rachel Lovinger, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Oh, my, this is priceless! Photographer Rachel Lovinger wrote:

If you meet the chocolate Buddha on the road…

Eat him! This was in a box of handmade chocolates that my sister gave me for Christmas. It got a little banged up when it travelled from California to New York, but it was still delicious!


Shrimp, Bergen Fish Market, Norway | Photo credit: kwramm, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Delicious Squash & Ground Turkey Casserole | Photo credit: Lynn Gardner, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Brief description of this thrifty casserole from photographer/cook Lynn Gardner, with a recipe link:

Pillsbury’s Zucchini ‘n Hamburger Casserole made with organic 94% lean ground turkey, homegrown crookneck (yellow) squash, and organic mozzarella. Good stuff! Look forward to making it again soon.


Cherry Tart | Photo credit: Timothy Valentine, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Scrambled Eggs for Breakfast | Photo credit: georgiamary, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Fig & Pear Salad | Photo credit: ilovebutter, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Easy, healthy salad to make, photographer/cook ilovebutter provided this ingredients list:

A variety of organic heirloom lettuces, shaved Parmesan cheese, grilled figs, grilled pears, and 18-year-old balsamic vinegar.


Garlic Bread at Andres Cuban Restaurant, San Diego, California | Photo credit: Muy Yum, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Japanese Fish Market, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto Prefecture | Photo credit: makenosound, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Candied Peanuts | Photo credit: Harlan Harris, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photographer/cook Harlan Harris provided a recipe link, but it no longer works. I found a substitute recipe here at David Lebovitz’s blog — he also wrote this about his candied peanuts:

Let’s get right to the point: this is my killer app recipe, the one I go to more than anything else. I could tell a million stories about this, but I’ll just skip all that stuff for now and scoot right to the goods.

I love these peanuts! Not only are they absolutely scrumptious and the easiest candy you can make, but if you keep a sack of raw almonds or peanuts on hand, you can make them in about 10 minutes. Tied into a little sack, they’re a great hostess gift in lieu of a bottle of wine (and cheaper!), and I serve them often as a cocktail snack, or after dinner, in a bowl for everyone to dig into.


Fresh Tomato Sauce & Noodles | Photo credit: my_amii, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Fried Chicken Sushi Bento | Photo credit: gamene, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

How-to for photographer/cook gamene’s fried chicken sushi bento is posted at Bento Zen.


Buttermilk Bacon Ranch Macaroni & Cheese | Photo credit: I Believe I Can Fry (aka Julia), Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

If you’ve been reading Fab Food Friday Fotos for any length of time, you know that macaroni and cheese is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. I can almost taste this luscious Buttermilk Bacon Ranch Macaroni & Cheese dish as I type… photographer/cook/webmistress Julia has the recipe posted here at I Believe I Can Fry. She also wrote this about how her recipe came to be (frugality at its finest):

This is one of those dishes that I decided to make solely because I had some bacon I needed to cook, some buttermilk that needed to be used up, and a bunch of leftover shredded cheese. Luckily, I also had EVERYTHING else I needed in the pantry, so I didn’t have to do any shopping.

(Only someone who is both Southern AND Asian would ALWAYS have panko and Ranch mix on hand).

Nah, Julia — I’m a California-turned-Arizona WASP girl, and I, too, have panko and Hidden Valley Ranch mix on hand, heh heh.


Sweet Tea Braised Pork Shoulder @ Gram & Dun Restaurant, Kansas City, Missouri | Photo credit: John Ong, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Utica Club Pilsener Lager Beer, Vintage WWII Camouflage Beer Can | Photo credit: Brian Boucheron, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Amish Chicken Pot Pie | Photo credit: Bob Gowtowski, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

This dish looks fabulous, easy, and like a real kid-pleaser! Photographer/cook Bob Gowtowski provided the recipe and link:

Treasured Polish Recipes for Americans Meets Amish Pot Pie

Into the pot! An Amish chicken pot pie. No crust. Just the pot. Very good. My first time for this dish. I saw it in the newspaper — Philadelphia Inquirer, January 28, 2010.

Amish Chicken Pot Pie

* 2 pounds chicken parts
* Pinch of saffron
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
* 2 sliced carrots
* 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
* 8 ounces potpie square noodles (other wide egg noodles may be substituted)
* 2 cups sliced potatoes
* Parsley for garnish

Place the chicken in a large pot. Cover with water. Add saffron and salt. Cook until tender, about 50 minutes, skimming as necessary.

Remove chicken, cool, remove meat from the bones and dice. Meanwhile, saute celery and carrots in butter.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the noodles very slowly, stirring as needed. Add potatoes. Cook about 30 minutes until tender.

Add the celery mixture and the diced chicken.

Thicken the broth just a little: In a small saucepan, make a blond roux using equal parts (1/4 cup) of flour and either oil or butter. Heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until thick and smooth. Add a cup of the hot broth and continue stirring until smooth. Pour that mixture back into the large pot, slowly, stirring.

Serve in warm bowls, garnished with parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Rocket Salad with Panko/Parmesan Chicken, Cactus Club Cafe, Burnaby, Vancouver | Photo credit: world of jan, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Hummus with Veggies | Photo credit: Dobrin Isabela, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Quickie description of this homemade hummus from photographer/cook Dobrin Isabela:

Delicious appetizer, made of zucchini and sesame seeds, served with veggies.


Classic Neon Sign for Henry’s Hamburgers, Benton Harbor, Michigan | Photo credit: All Things Michigan, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

A beauty of a vintage neon sign — I especially love the message beneath, “Dollar Dogs – How Many Ya Want!” Photographer All Things Michigan wrote this:

Just an awesome vintage neon sign. Plus, the food is great! I recommend the Brown Bag Lunch Special for $3.99 – Double Cheeseburger, Fries, & Drink and it really does come in a brown bag.


Gina Makes Vanilla Essence | Photo credit: Paul Jacobson, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Chinese Cabbage Rolls | Photo credit: Island Vittles, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Interesting write-up, recipe, and photos posted at Island Vittles — brief summary of these Chinese cabbage rolls:

Sui Choy Cabbage rolls with rice, aromatics and shrimp from the dock. Served with ponzu and sweet chili sauces.


Chili on Rye Toast with Bell Peppers | Photo credit: Michael May, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Beet-Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Photo credit: Dennis Wilkinson, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

I’ve never heard of cupcakes made from beets — these have me intrigued. Photographer/cook Dennis Wilkinson provided the recipe:

Beet-Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe

Yes, you read that right. Beets.

This recipe drew inspiration from a number of sources. A few weeks ago, an episode of Good Eats aired where Alton (obviously thematically inspired by Terry Gilliam’sThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) talked about beet juice being used to provide the red color to red velvet cake. I thought that beets might make a good stand-in for carrots in carrot cake, and maybe I’d end up with red or pink cakes that would thrill my pink-obsessed daughter. A little searching turned up a number of similar takes (like this one at YumSugar), but they all had one thing in common: baking caused the color to fade, which would have defeated the purpose.

So, I grabbed my copy of McGee’s On Food and Cooking, and found that the pigments in beets (betalains) are affected not only by temperature but by pH. Acid pH was associated with the red color I was going for, so I started with my absolute favorite carrot cake recipe (originally from the folks at Cooks Illustrated), swapped out the carrots for beets, adjusted the spices a little, added some lemon juice for acidity.


Ingredients for the cupcakes

* 12.5 oz. all-purpose flour
* 2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
* 1-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
* 1 tbl. ground cardamom
* 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
* 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
* 1/2 tsp. table salt
* 1 pound (3-4) beets, greens trimmed
* 1-1/2 c. granulated sugar
* 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1-1/2 c. vegetable oil
* Zest and juice of 1 lemon


* 8 oz. cream cheese (soft, but still cool)
* 2 oz. butter (soft, but still cool)
* 1 tbl. lemon juice
* 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
* 4 oz. confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Line muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners (recipe makes 2 dozen).

Cook the beets in simmering water until a knife inserted comes out cleanly and the skins rub off easily. Remove the skins, and grate the beets on a box grater (I covered my work surface with plastic wrap; this is messy and beets stain). Add the lemon juice and zest to the beets and set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a bowl and whisk together.

In another bowl (or the work bowl of a food processor), whisk the eggs and sugars together until the oil is frothy and the sugars are well-combined. Continue whisking quickly while slowly pouring in the vegetable oil (you’re making an emulsion, and the result should be thick and creamy looking; this is easier in the food processor although it is quite doable by hand.) Fold in the beets and dry ingredients until completely combined (no streaks of flour should remain).

Portion equally in your 24 cupcake liners (about 3/4 full), then bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan(s) halfway through, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cook before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add the lemon juice, zest, and the confectioners sugar and beat until combined. Spread or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and serve.


Apples and Pears, San Francisco Green Festival 2009 | Photo credit: Rob Guettler, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Malaysian Pork Rice | Photo credit: Danny Choo, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Many more gorgeous Malaysian food photos are posted on photographer Danny Choo’s website.


Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal | Photo credit: greatist, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Waffles with Chocolate Syrup | Photo credit: Nadir Hashmi, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Steamed Cauliflower with Green Sauce / Coliflor al vapor con salsa verde | Photo credit: Lablascovegmenu, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cheap, easy, and tasty cauliflower dish, from photographer/cook Lablascovegmenu:

Steamed cauliflower with green sauce / Coliflor al vapor con salsa verde

[EN] Steamed cauliflower.
Green sauce: Chop parsley and garlic finely. Add olive oil and salt.

[ES] La coliflor es al vapor
Salsa verde: Picar en un mortero perejil y ajo . Añadir aceite de oliva y sal.


Homemade New York-Style Cheesecake | Photo credit: bookchen, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Vietnamese Red Wine & Fish Sauce Beef Jerky, in the Oven (Thit Kho Bo) | Photo credit: Andrea Nguyen, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Dying to try thisphotographer/cook Andrea Nguyen has the recipe posted on her terrific Asian food blog, Viet World Kitchen.


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


Peach & Blueberry Rustic Tart | Photo credit: Stef Noble, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Summary and recipe link provided by photographer/cook Stef Noble:

Peach and Blueberry Rustic Tart recipe

Just a quick post to mention that I made a version of the tart that Ivonne featured on Cream Puffs in Venice. I used New York peaches and blueberries and only altered it slightly, omitting the orange zest and vanilla extract and adding a 1/2 teaspoon of ginger (I love ginger with blueberries). It was great! I definitely recommend this recipe. The dough is very easy to pull together and the choice of filling is completely up to you. I may go all blueberry next.


Fresh Asparagus Means Spring Has Arrived! | Photo credit: @lheryovedc, Filckr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Cuban Tres Leche (Three Milk) | Photo credit: Mark Mathosian, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

I think I have all these ingredients on hand, so, time permitting, I’m hoping to make this fabulous Cuban dessert for my hubby, kids, and mother-in-law (she moved in with us a few months ago, and has quite the sweet tooth!) this weekend. Photographer/cook Mark Mathosian provided the recipe:

My favorite Cuban dessert. Here’s the recipe:

Three forms of leche, or “milk,” are poured over a baked cake to create its signature indulgence. Cake mix and ready-to-spread frosting make it easy.

* 1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
* 1-1/4 cups water
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 4 eggs
* 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
* 1 cup whole milk or evaporated milk
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 1 container Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour spray bottom and sides of 13- x 9-inch pan.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, vanilla, and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.

Bake as directed on box for 13- x 9-inch pan. Let stand 5 minutes. Poke top of hot cake every 1/2 inch with long-tined fork, wiping fork occasionally to reduce sticking.

In large bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and whipping cream. Carefully pour evenly over top of cake. Cover; refrigerate about 1 hour or until mixture is absorbed into cake. Frost with frosting. Store covered in refrigerator.

Serves 15.


Sashimi de Ternera (Veal Sashimi) | Photo credit: Isaac Bordas, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Quinoa & Corn Salad | Photo credit: bricolage_108, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

An easy, frugal, healthy recipe, link below — from photographer/cook bricolage_108:

Quinoa and Corn Salad

Quinoa with corn, red bell pepper and shallot.
Steamed cauliflower with citrus vinaigrette like sauce.
Lettuce heart and sliced apple.

See ingredients and recipe at my blog.


Vintage Howard Johnson’s Ice Cream Shops & Restaurants Ad, 1951, ‘Landmark for Hungry Americans’ – 28 Ice Cream Flavors | Photo credit: James Vaughn, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved


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:

Cast Iron Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, Mango & Paprika Pork, Salads & Salsas, Polenta Fritters, Vindaloo Chicken Curry, Summer Tomato Pie, Roasted Lamb, Turnip Chicken Soup, & Frugal Recipes

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake, Mini Wellingtons, Coffee Granita, Chicken Satay, Spicy Italian Lentil Soup, Honeyed Fig Crostata, Green Chile Pork Chops, Salmon & Baby Spinach, Sesame Ginger Salad, Steak & Horseradish Sauce, Veggies, & More Recipes

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta! Encore Collection of Some of the Best, Thriftiest Pasta Dishes & Recipes

Slow-Cooker Cilantro-Lime Pork, Tomato Paella, Orange Olive Oil Cake, Creamy Chicken Broccoli Pasta, Great Northern Bean Salad, Indian Molahootal, Kung Pao Tofu Rice Bowl Salad, Zucchini Rolls, Mexican Baked Eggs, More Recipes

Bubur Ayam, Orange Ginger Chicken, Taco Soup, Banana Oat Bars, Egg Sausage Casserole, Potato Pizza, Spiced Wild Plums, Cute Bento, Red Rice Salad, Coconut Carrot Cake, Melon & Beef, White Miso Soup, & More Cheap Recipes

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes, Sesame Kelp Noodles, Lentil Soup with Saffron Yogurt, Pork Tacos, Smoked Chicken & Roasted Pepper Salad, Vegan Fudge, Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, More Thrifty Recipes

Tamarind Glaze Lamb Ribs, Asparagus Basil Salad, Bacon Baklava, Stained-Glass Cookies, Bobotie, Gluten-Free Granola, Miso Baked Eggplant, Mexican Chicken & Beans, Hanami Sandwiches, Greek Tomato Salad, & More Thrifty Recipes

Bulgur Feta Mint Salad, Lemon-Strawberry Icebox Cheesecake, Chipotle Chicken Chowder, Sausage Casserole, Apple Bacon Stuffing, German Chocolate Cupcakes, Carrot Tangerine Curry, Lemon Cucumber & Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio, & More Recipes

Vegan Dark Chocolate Sorbet, French Onion Salisbury Steak, Japanese Mountain Yam Rolls, Soups, Salads, Tandoori-Flavored Burgers, Spinach & Pine Nut Cakes, Pâté Spread, Lemon Risotto, Oatmeal Smoothies, More Cheap Recipes

New Potato & Spinach Curry, Beef Pho, White Zucchini Boats, Beer Cheese Soup with Bacon & Jalapeños, Spicy Tofu, Mandarin Chicken & Pasta, Fig Pecan Scones, Spanish Migas, Roasted Turnips, Shrimp & Rice Soup, & Thrifty Recipes

Meatball Soup with Mizuno & Crispy Garlic, Breakfast Pizza, Butterscotch Pear Upside-down Cake, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos, Potato Chip Cookies, Bunny Bento, Strawberry Soup, & Frugal Recipes

Spicy Salmon, Dutch Mustard Soup, Mac & Cheese Pizza, Tequila Lime Prawns, Spinach & Ricotta Pudding, Pickled Sugar Snap Peas, Mini Corn Dog Muffins, Bean Curd Soup, Salads, & More 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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