Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam with Coffee and Maple Syrup

Have you ever heard of Bacon Jam? I hadn’t until we tried it recently at our local Brew Fest.  We had it on top of hot dogs and it was delicious. Bacon jam will keep in your refrigerator for at least 2-3 weeks.  Try it on bagels, burgers, eggs, and so on.  I want to try it on top of crostini as an appetizer.

Bacon Jam
This savory jam tastes great on hot dogs, hamburgers, bagels and more
  • 1½ lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled (save about half of the drippings to use in the mix too)
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ C. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ C. brown sugar
  • ¼ C. maple syrup
  • ¾ C. coffee
  1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours until sauce turns to a nice syrupy consistency. Chop to desired consistency before serving.


I first posted this recipe here:  Bacon Jam in the Crock Pot

Fondue Cheese Recipe – Gruyere, Swiss… Oh My!

Fondue Cheese Recipe

Fondue Cheese Recipe

1 tsp. minced garlic
1 C. dry white wine
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 C. Swiss cheese, shredded
2 C. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
Pinch nutmeg

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer the garlic, wine, and lemon juice. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the cheeses, and blend well until melted. Add mustard and nutmeg. Keep warm over Sterno with a fondue pot.

Dip assorted breads, meats, and veggies in the cheese. We diced French bread, salami, and fresh mushrooms to eat with our fondue.

Frugal Tips:  Gruyere isn’t exactly frugal.  I found it at Sam’s Club for $12/lb., and that was the best price I could find.  However, a splurge like this doubles as a Fun, Frugal Family Activity while providing a meal as well.  You can do the whole thing for less than $20, which is much less than an evening out.

Fondue Cheese Recipe Fondue Cheese Recipe

Thanks, Mommysavers!  Originally posted here: Melting Pot Cheese Fondue

Maple Crostini with Brie

maple crostini with brie

I first posted this brie recipe on  I was inspired by watching chef Amy Thielen, the host of Food Network’s Heartland Table and author of The New Midwestern Table.  What’s great about this recipe, other than its simplicity, is that the ingredients are pretty frugal.  I got my brie at ALDI for $2.99.  I made a huge batch of this for a mom’s wine night last week and spent well around $5 for a huge tray of these.  Plus, I had bread left over.

Maple Crostini with Brie

  • 4 slices sourdough bread, sliced thinly and cut into fourths
  • 1/2 C. real maple syrup (split)
  • 1 stick butter (split)
  • 1 round brie cheese (I get mine at ALDI)

In a frying pan, melt the maple syrup (1/4 cup) and butter (1/2 stick) over medium heat.  Place half of the bread in the pan, flipping right away to get the butter/syrup mixture to saturate both sides of the bread as much as you can (you may want to lower the heat if it gets too hot so the crystalized maple sugar doesn’t burn).  Continue flipping the crostini until golden brown on both sides.  Place tiny wedge of brie on top.  Smear a little.  Serve immediately while the bread is still warm.

Substitutions:  Don’t have sourdough bread?  You can make it at home (recipe HERE) or use any dense white bread.  Goat cheese or camembert will work for the cheese as well.  I have also made this recipe with the honey goat cheese they sell at ALDI and I’d highly recommend that as well.  Check that out here:  Maple Crostini with Goat Cheese.


Parmesan Stuffed Roasted Artichokes


I love artichokes.  I usually get them in cans, so I considered it a challenge to learn how to prepare whole artichokes at home.  I recently spotted a 3-pack of artichokes at our local ALDI grocery store for just $1.59.  For me, it was the perfect opportunity to experiment!  I had previously tried to make roasted artichoke appetizer without much success.  My failing had to do with the fact that I didn’t cook the artichoke long enough.  I find it tastes the best when you boil it before you roast it… and quite a while.   If I were to do this again, I’d cut even more of the artichoke off the top.  The fleshy, tender heart is what tastes good.

Parmesan Stuffed Roasted Artichokes
An easy introduction to roasting artichokes
  • 3 artichokes
  • ½ C. breadcrumbs (I used Panko crumbs)
  • ⅓ C. Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Olive oil
  1. Cut off the stems, bottoms, and top ⅓ of the leaves of the artichokes. Tear off the hard outer leaves.
  2. Boil for about 30 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Pry the leaves apart in order to stuff with filling. Sprinkle bread crumb/parmesan mixture over the top and press into leaves. Bake for 25 minutes at 400.
  4. To eat them, pick off a leaf and eat the soft inner portion. The harder outer edges of the leaves serve as a “handle” for them, for lack of a better way to put it.

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Black Bean and Corn Salsa

black bean and corn salsa

I originally posted this black bean and corn salsa recipe, also known as Cowboy Caviar Salsa, on  It’s one of my go-to summer recipes, especially since I LOVE fresh cilantro.  I start it in seeds in late winter and transplant to the garden when it’s warm enough (which for us in Minnesota, can sometimes be late-May).

Frugal Tip:  When fresh sweet corn is in season, buy extra and cut off the cob.  Then, freeze the sweet corn flat in gallon Ziplock bags.  It will stay fresh in your freezer for several months.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels (NEVER used canned – either fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper or tomato
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  1. Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate overnight to let all flavors blend.