Monday, September 21, 2009

Lunch For 8 For Under 10 Dollars

Last year I was hospitality chair for our elementary PTA.  It was toward the end of the year and the budget was nearly gone.  Then came Paraprofessional's day.  I decided that I needed to come up with a really good lunch for a bunch of people while not spending a ton of money.  I knew you could feed a massive amount of people for pennies with beans because that is what Grandma Stockam did almost everyday.  But how to get them to taste great?  I looked at a several of recipes to inspire me and came up with my own version of  Tuscan Bean Soup.  I also made Corney Bread and Grandma Bullock's Chocolate Cinnamon Cake.  This was the perfect meal.  It was easy to prepare and very budget friendly!  The secretaries and aides all loved it!  I made a banner which read, "Thanks for Be-an so good to us."

Corney Bread

1 C corn meal
1 C white flour
¼ C sugar
4 t Baking powder
¾ t salt
1 C milk
2 eggs
¼ C shortning melted
½ can of cream style corn

Mix all ingredients. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes in a 9X13 inch pan.

Chocolate Cinnamon Cake

2 sticks of butter
1 C water
1/3 C cocoa
Put these ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil.

Then add the following ingredients into the pot which you have taken off the stove top.

2 C flour
2 C sugar
2 eggs
1C buttermilk
1 t baking soda
1 T Cinnamon
½ t salt

Empty the batter into a sheet pan or a very large baking pan.
Bake for 22 minutes at 350 degrees.
While the cake is cooking make the frosting.
Melt 1 stick of butter together with 4 T cocoa
Remove from heat and add the following:

6 T buttermilk
1 LB powdered sugar
1 t vanilla

Use a mixer to get this really smooth. Pour the frosting over the hot cake when it comes out of the oven.

This cake is soooo good!  I remember making it at Grandma's house to take to a young adult BBQ in the canyon one summer when I was living with Grandma.  I told her that I bet I was going to get at least one marriage propsoal after the guys tried this cake.  She just laughed.  I was pretty surprised when two of the guys at the party proposed after eating the cake.  You can't go wrong with Grandma's recipes.

Tuscan Bean Soup

1 pound dry white beans
1 pound sweet italian sausage
2 T Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of minced garlic
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 stalks of celery cut inot 1/2 inch pieces
2 quarts of chicken broth
3 T Italian seasonings
Sprig of fresh rosemary or 2 t dry rosemary
1 C kraft pramesan cheese

Soak the beans over night or do a quick soak.  To do a quick soak put the beans in a bowl and fill the bowl with boiling hot water.  Let them sit for 1 hour.  Rinse with cool water.  They are ready to go!

Brown the sausage and drain off the grease.  In the pressure cooker add a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for about a minute longer.  Add the other vegetables, the chicken broth, the italian seasoning, and the rosemary.  Put the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to pressure.  Cook at pressure for 20 minutes.  Quick cool the pressure cooker by running cold water over the pressure coker until it depressures.  Add the parmesan.

Slowcooker method:

Follow the instructions up to and including browning the onion and garlic.  Put all of the ingredients except parmesan in a slow cooker.  Cook on high for one hour, then on low for the rest of the day.  Add the parmesan.


  1. i'm bringing the soup and cake to eric's side of the family christmas party tomorrow. i almost forgot to add the beans though, it doesn't say when to add the beans and it almost slipped my mind. i'm so excited to eat this tomorrow at the pot luck!