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


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:



White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe March 24, 2012

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!


Beef Taco Bake Recipe March 10, 2012

Beef Taco Bake Dinner Spinner Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell’s Condenscened Tomato Soup
  • 1 cup Pace Chunky Salsa or Pace Picante sauce
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese


1. Cook beef in medium skillet oer medium-high heat until beef is browned, stirring to separate meat. Pour off fat.

2. Add soup, salsa, milk, tortillas, and half the cheese.

3. Spoon into 2-quart shallow baking dish. Cover.

4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.


As you can see from my pictures, I used a different brand of salsa and soup than what’s specified in the recipe. I did this simply because of price.



For those that want a fresher dish, here is the Cooks Illustrated version:

Cooks Illustrated Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained with 1/2 cup juice reserved
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 8 ounces Colby Jack (Co-Jack) cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, mined or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 pounds 90 percent lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
  • 12 taco shells, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees. Mix the refried beans, half of the drained tomatoes, cilantro, and hot sauce together, then smooth the mixture evenly into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese over the top.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the remaining tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, vinegar, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture is thickened and nearly dry, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spread the beef mixture in the baking dish and sprinkle with 1/2 cup more cheese. Scatter the taco shell pieces over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
  5. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the top is spotty brown, about 15 minutes. Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with the scallions and serve.

Inspiration February 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — alderm03 @ 6:46 pm

Courtesy of John Varghese

Courtesy of Salim Virji

Before I began this journey through the kitchen, I toured the internet searching for other bloggers like myself. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only girl in the world who hasn’t mastered her cooking skills.

I found a few blogs that really interested me such as simply recipes and small time cooks that have a broad range of recipes and categories that are easy to follow and have pictures to compliment the delicious recipes.

There are even blogs that stick to one theme such as One Page Cookbook’s Thali theme or Charlie’s East Coast Gourmet blog that focuses on seafood.

There’s even a blog that takes you step by step on cooking your first Thanksgiving Day Turkey!

Hopefully my cooking adventures on this blog will inspire your own journey through the kitchen just like these blogs inspired mine!


Welcome to my journey! January 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — alderm03 @ 1:20 pm

I’m Rachel! When my Online Journalism class required a blog, I knew this was my opportunity to finally dive into the kitchen and the cookbooks. Like most college students, I know how easy and tempting it is to drive by a fast food restaurant and order off of the dollar menu for a quick and easy meal. I want to show other college students that it is possible to cook delicious meals on a budget that will serve 2-4 people (and possibly have some leftovers for lunch the next day). I will explore old cookbooks, raid my mothers pantry, shop the grocery stores, and prepare meals each week that will hopefully rock my family’s taste buds and help other first time cookers work up the courage to do the same.