Tarragon Chicken

I love recipes that have only a few ingredients. This is one of my favorites. Sometimes I make it to warm up the house on a chilly day. On those days I bake it at 250 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 170. Other days I back it on 350 and bake potatoes with it.

Tarragon Chicken

Whole fryer chicken

2 Tablespoons butter

Tarragon leaves


I wash the chicken and rub butter all over it. I sprinkle salt and dried tarragon leaves all over it. I place it on the center of a Bundt pan and place the pan on a cookie sheet to catch the drippings. The chicken browns nicely all around when baked this way.

Tarragon chicken and baked potatoes.

Cheap Cheese Sauce

I remember, and loved, my grandmother’s macaroni and cheese. She would use a package of longhorn cheese, some milk and some butter. She estimated the amounts. I changed her recipe to an 8 ounce package of shredded cheddar cheese. Then when I found myself unemployed and unable to work in 2008, I switched to an even cheaper sauce.

Cheap Cheese Sauce

4 T. butter

4 T. Flour

Dash of Salt and Pepper

2 C. Milk

6 ounces Shredded Cheddar cheese

Melt butter in pan over low heat. Blend in flour, salt, and pepper; and cook until bubbling.

Whisk in milk and cook over low heat…

…until thickened.

Add cheese…

Stir over low heat until blended.

You can also make this in the microwave. Melt butter, 30 seconds on high. Stir in flour and cook 30 seconds. Stir in milk and cook 1 minute. Stir and cook 1 minute at a time until thickened.  Stir in cheese and use whisk to blend together.


Another Way to Cut the Cheese

1. Cut a 24 ounce chunk of cheddar into four sections. Divide one section into 1 ounce sticks.

2. Shred each of the remaining sections in a food processor.

3. You end up with 3 – 6 ounce packages of shredded cheese and 6 – 1 ounce sticks. I cut once stick into chunks and put it on my salad. I paid 6.25 for the chunk of cheese. It would cost me $12.00 if I bought the cheese already shredded and a package of crumbles.

The first way I posted to cut cheese was…


  1. Cut it yourself. My husband likes a slice of cheese on his sandwich at lunch. I am a salad girl and I like chunks of cheese or cheese crumbles on my salad. We prefer real cheese over cheese food. We no longer purchase packages of sliced, individually wrapped cheese. We now buy a pound of cheese. I cut the end off to make the chunk the size of a piece of bread. David slices it up for his sandwiches. I cut the end piece into cubes and  have enough for five or six cubes of cheese on my salad all week-long. Another trick is to slice the end and use two narrow pieces of cheese per sandwich. It goes a lot further.”


Mom Was Right, Green Bags Work

Easter Sunday I cut up a stalk of celery. I put some in the potato salad and set some out with dip. I saved the pieces with the leaves attached to make broth later. After dinner, I put the leftover cut up celery in a green bag; but the tops I put in a ziplock bag thinking I would make the broth the next day.

Well, you can probably guess what happened! I never got around to making that broth. I sliced up the celery and added it to my salad for lunch.  It is still crunchy. Yesterday, I went through my vegetable drawer and at the bottom, I found the celery tops. They didn’t look so good!

I learned three things:

  1. The “Green Bags” work.
  2. My Mother is always right.
  3. Use fresh food up right away.

Most of the things you see advertised on TV are expensive and some just do not work. I didn’t try the “Green Bags” until my mother recommended them. They do help your produce last longer.

There are two other options to prolong the life of celery; wrap it in foil or slice it and freeze it. I got the first tip from Debt-Proof Living, and the second tip from my mother!

I did make meals out of some of the leftovers from Easter Dinner. I had a lot of baked beans and I added ham to them before I froze them. I added the fresh tomato salsa to the Italian Casserole I made the night before and froze it.

Last week I wasn’t feeling well and I didn’t update my food inventory. I only put the items that were on sale on my grocery list and I am making meals from them.  Later today, I will update my food inventory before I make this week’s grocery list.  I think there is a carcass of a roasted chicken in the freezer I was going to use to make soup.

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