When life gives you cream cheese… make spinach-artichoke dip

I often get a random taste for something that I just can’t shake. This was the case earlier this week when I decided that I HAVE To have spinach-artichoke dip. Of course, I didn’t even have any artichokes and the frugal streak in me wouldn’t let me go to the store and buy the ingredients. If I was going to satisfy this craving, I was going to have to do it with what was in the house.

Italian beef and quick giardiniera

If you live in or have ever lived in Chicago, you know about an Italian beef sandwichs with giardiniera. When I’m in Chicago I make a point of stopping by Portillo’s or Al’s Beef for an unbelievable sandwich of juicy, flavorful beef covered with olive oil and spicy pickled vegetables. I just had to have something like that for dinner so I came up with this easy and frugal recipe.

Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are found in recipes from all over the world. You’ll find them used in Mexican moles, Middle Eastern desserts, Asian dishes and topping American hamburger buns. It’s no wonder considering how tasty and healthy they are. Here are some good reasons to get more sesame seeds into your diet and a tasty Korean BBQ recipethat will help you sneak them past the most finicky eaters.

Summer salad formula

Here’s another example of using “formula cooking”. Tonight I was really in the mood for something *LIKE* potato salad. I didn’t have any potatoes but I wasn’t going to let a trivial problem like that stand in my way. I used the formula for potato salad and came up with a very tasty quinoa and vegetable salad that was exactly what I was craving.

The frugal formula

In this post, I proclaim that I am the creator of the phrase “formula cooking”. I’ve googled around and can find no other references to this that aren’t about something completely different. After this phrase catches on and gets it’s own Wikipedia page, you can say that you read it here first! Even if I actually am the first to use the phrase, I’m far from the creator of formula cooking and to some extent every professional and home cook does this every day. I wanted to explain my thoughts around formula cooking because it’s a fun way to cook and super frugal, of course.