Cooking on a Dime

Creating delicious meals in South Jersey on a budget just got easier with these simple how-to's of the kitchen.

To Be Continued, Hopefully! April 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — alderm03 @ 11:14 pm

I am sad to inform my followers that due to my busy school and work schedule, I’m not sure if I will be continuing my blog. I will be walking in Graduation in just a couple of weeks and then I only have a short break before I continue with my summer courses in order to graduate by August. I have learned so much about cooking and am so proud of the experiences I have had. I was able to interview some interesting people and learn new things about people I have known for some time.


I want to thank everyone who has supported me in my cooking efforts, especially my family for trying almost every recipe I made. I also want to thank everyone for checking up on my blog and getting me over 500 hits. You have kept me motivated and determined to turn out better recipes every time I posted. I also want to thank those who allowed me to pick apart their brain and include them in my blog. Without all of them this blog wouldn’t have been the same.


Don’t think that my journey in the kitchen is over! I’m going to continue to cook because, well, that was the point, right? Learning how to cook? And I must admit, I think I’m pretty good at it. So when I have the time and I turn out a recipe I think you would really enjoy, I’m going to post it. But until then, you can take a look at what I would consider my five best posts. Enjoy!


White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Chicken Piccata

Jibarito Sandwich

Savory Oven Baked Chicken

Interview with Jasmine Mangalaseril and Richard Wilson


Jibarito Sandwich

Over the years as I have grown older, my taste buds have adapted to different foods. Growing up, my sister and my father had the same tastes whereas my mother and I had the same tastes. One thing my mother and I hated? Condiments. Now, I cannot eat a cheeseburger without a dollop of ketchup or enjoy a chicken quesadilla without sour cream. And tomatoes? They’re still not my favorite but I can definitely tolerate them. This adventure in the kitchen has definitely opened my eyes to new possibilities when it comes to food.


During my Online Journalism class, Katie Bavosa, a fellow student at Rowan University, asked me if I had ever tried cooking ethnic foods. Immediately I replied no, however, I do love Spanish food and I would love to try a Spanish recipe so Bavosa suggested that I try something different for my blog. So I went to those closest to me who would have the best suggestions for a recipe to try. Jovita Salamone, whom you might remember from an earlier post and another coworker of mine, suggested that I try a Jibarito Sandwich.


I’ve been working at Walgreens for the past 4+ years and I’ve made friends with almost everyone who has come and gone. I have worked, and still work with many Spanish people who have introduced me to all different types of foods. I was very hesitant to try their food but I started small with rice and beans because of course I didn’t really like beans either. I then tried Stuffed Mashed Potato Balls, Papas Rellenas in Spanish. This dish is essentially seasoned ground beef inside a fried mashed potato ball. After this, I have only expanded my interests. I began asking my manager, Barbara Ruiz, to bring me dinner every time we work the same shift.


Ruiz, who grew up in Puerto Rico, has definitely remained true to her roots when it comes to her cooking. Chicken Gizzards certainly don’t sound appetizing and she knew that I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole if I knew that that’s what I was eating so she withheld that information from me. I knew I needed to dive in and just try it and to my surprise, they were delicious.


So it also came as a surprise when I asked Ruiz if she had ever eaten or made a Jibarito Sandwich and she replied no. However, I will be honest, I can’t tell the difference between Puerto Rican food, Cuban food, and Mexican food. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to. Ruiz informed me that “jibarito” is a Mexican word so I was most likely making a Mexican dish. Regardless, I went ahead to my local grocery store and picked up the necessary ingredients.



  • 1 Green Plantain
  • 4-inch portion of Skirt Steak
  • 1/2 Large Onion
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 cup Mojo Marinade
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Vinegar
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 12 Peppercorns
  • 1 TBS Ketchup
  • 1 TBS Mayonnaise
  • Lettuce & Tomato



I will admit I was in a little over my head with this recipe. I didn’t research how to properly peel plantains so they didn’t come out as they should have. But I definitely learned from my mistake and will be able to properly do it the next time with the help of The Noshery.


Beef Pot Roast Tutorial April 21, 2012

Since I’ve started this blog, I have received a few comments from other beginners in the kitchen regarding their concerns on how to make a meal. Today I’m going to show you how easy it is to make a well-balanced meal with hardly any effort at all!


There are no required ingredients for this recipe, except the beef, of course, so just have fun with it. Also, depending on the size of your CrockPot, the amount of ingredients will vary. I made the pot roast the way my mom usually makes it with a few ingredients and lots of seasoning.



  • 1 Chuck Roast
  • 8 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4 Celery pieces
  • Carrots
  • Red Wine
  • Water
  • Garlic & Seasonings



Easter Sunday Ideas April 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — alderm03 @ 7:05 pm
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Easter Sunday is a great time to get together with family and friends. Something that keeps this holiday interesting and fun is the food that brings people together.


Here are some great websites that offer fun and delicious recipes for Easter:



Corey Sumner and Taylor Hufner Weigh In On How The Internet Has Influenced Their Cooking/Baking March 31, 2012

Filed under: Interviews — alderm03 @ 3:49 pm
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Courtesy of Corey Sumer

Corey Sumner

Age 21

Senior English Major at Rowan University


After Corey transferred to Rowan University from Camden County College, she decided to begin another journey: finding an apartment and gaining independence by living on her own. It hasn’t always been easy and one of the biggest changes was learning how to cook nutritious meals for herself. The internet is filled with cooking websites and recipes which comes in handy for this vegetarian.



Courtesy of Corey Sumner

Courtesy of Taylor Hufner

Taylor Hufner

Age 22

Senior English Major at Rowan University


In her efforts to save money, Taylor decided to continue to live at home with her parents and sister while attending college. And while cooking may not be her strong suit, she finds that baking is something she really enjoys.



Courtesy of Taylor Hufner


Chicken Piccata Recipe March 24, 2012

If you couldn’t tell by now, I really like the Dinner Spinner! It makes finding recipes and cooking so easy!

I went to Acme to do some grocery shopping and found buy one, get one free chicken breasts at $6.99. So I looked up chicken recipes on the Dinner Spinner and found Chicken Piccata.


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Flatten chicken to 1/2-inch thickness; place in bag, one piece at a time, and shake to coat.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in butter. Stir in whine or broth. Bring to  boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Drizzle with lemon juice.

I also bought a bag of steam vegetables for $3.99 which brings the meal to a total of only $11.00!


White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

Filed under: Uncategorized — alderm03 @ 6:05 pm
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  • 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cub butter, melted
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

2. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil. Continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick.

3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth.

4. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds.

5. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate.

6. Pour half of batter over crust.

7. Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter.

8. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.

9. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from pan. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce.



This recipe was discovered on the Dinner Spinner App I mentioned last week!