NORTHWOODS COOKS: Save money with 'Dining on a Dime'

Homemade garlic butter adds a taste of Italy to whatever bread it tops. The cookbook "Dining on a Dime" has many recipes to save money while cooking family favorites at home. Adobe Stock.

The 469-page book “Dining on a Dime,” by Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper, is more than just a cookbook. In addition to money-saving recipes, this book includes tips for everything from homemade cleaning and bath products to creative handmade gifts.

Creamy Orange Shake

1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

1/2 cup milk


1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp. vanilla

5-6 ice cubes

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine ingredients in blender until smooth. Serves 4.

Chicken Pot Pie


1-2/3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1-1/2 cups chicken or turkey, cooked and cubed

10-3/4-oz. can cream of chicken soup

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1 cup biscuit mix

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

In a bowl, combine vegetables, chicken, soup and thyme. Pour into an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Combine biscuit mix, milk and eggs. Pour over chicken mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Serves 4-6.


Cheesy Rice and Tomatoes

3 Tbsp. oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 cups cooked or stewed tomatoes

3 cups cooked rice


2 cups shredded cheese

1 tsp. salt

Dash pepper

Saute in a pan with oil, onion, celery and green pepper. Add tomatoes, rice, cheese, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Serves 8.

French Bread with Garlic Butter

1 package (1 Tbsp.) yeast

1 Tbsp. sugar or honey


1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)

2 Tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil

1 tsp. salt

3 to 3-1/2 cups flour

In a bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Add oil, salt and enough flour to make a stiff dough. Knead 10 minutes on a floured board. Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Let rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down and let rest for 15 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half on a floured surface into a log 15 inches long. Place loaves on greased cookie sheets sprinkled with cornmeal and make 5 slashes diagonally across top of loaves. Mix egg and milk and brush on top. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Cool.

Make garlic bread by cutting each loaf of French bread in half lengthwise and spreading garlic butter from the recipe below on both halves. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until heated through. Slice before serving.

Garlic Butter


1 stick butter or margarine, softened

1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves finely chopped

Mix together until smooth. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Makes 1/2 cup.

Ice Box Cookies

1 cup butter

2 cups packed brown sugar

3 eggs, well beaten

3-1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

Chopped nuts (optional)

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and blend until smooth. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix well. Blend in chopped nuts. Roll dough into a log shape and wrap in waxed paper. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours. Cut into 1/4-inch slices and put on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 5-10 minutes until done. Makes 4 dozen.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to and they may appear in a future issue.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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