Looking for cheap but impressive recipes for my birthday


Hi everyone,

My Birthday is coming up… and I am looking for cheap recipes that can still “Wow” my guests.

I’m hoping to get some ideas for some tried and tested cheap recipes for side dishes, main course and dessert that can still impress.

Care to share some recipes with me?

Thanks in advance.



uncle ben’s long grain + wild rice mix, prepare by package directions
buy fresh or frozen crabmeat, even canned will do, the chunkier the better (the flakes and shreds just disappear in the rice)–this is the big expense, the other stuff is $2
if you have to buy the surimi “fake” crab meat in chunks, which will have more red color but not the same pizazz
frozen (not canned) petit peas, a 10 ounce box, steamed according to package directions
mix this together, the red, white and green look good in the rice, the wild rice adds texture and crunch, the seasoning is right, casserole serves 5 main dish or 6-8 as a side.

sorry, mix everything together gently after it has been cooked and drained
just enough to mix, without getting it too muddy, should not be too soupy
dot with butter and heat through no more than 7-8 minutes at 325


This is my recipe for Cranberry-Pear chicken. It calls for wine in the recipe, but you can substitute 1/2 the quantity of wine with orange juice if you prefer no alcohol. It’s attached as MS Word document. If you have problems opening it or can’t read that format, let me know and I’ll try it a different way.

Happy Birthday!


Hi “Ma” Here’s one that I LOOOOOOOVE! :wink:

Take a medium bottle of any kind of salsa or picante.

Chop up a brick of Velveeta (my favorite is the HOT style!)

Toss the salsa and the Velveeta cubes together, and nuke them in the microwave for 5-7 minutes.

Take the bowl out, (careful, it’ll be hot!) and mix it all up, till the Velveeta is nice and smooth.

Serve with your favorite dippers (Corn chips, cut up veggies… work best!).

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Good.



Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta. Its absolutely delicious, and has been rated 5 stars on recipezaar and has over 700 reviews on it. Not hard to make at all either!


Last week a friend of mine brought meatballs to a potluck that were so yummy…she just put meatballs in a crockpot, added a few good shakes of chili sauce (like a cup maybe? she didnt even measure) and about a cup of cranberry jam. Let it all cook for a couple hours and it was quite the success.

It sounds weird but really is good!


Black Cafe’s Famous Coleslaw (in Lincoln City, Oregon on the Pacific coast)
Dressing:3 T gran sugar, 3 T white wine vinegar, 1 T soy sauce, 1/8 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 clove garlic, pressed, 1/4 tsp sesame oil , 1 cup mayo.
SALAD: 6 cups shredded Napa Cabbage (1 med to large head),1 cup thinly sliced radishes, 1 cup thinly sliced green onion w/ white and green, 4-6 oz snow pea pods julienne, 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, freshly chopped, 1/2 c slivered almonds, toasted.
• In a small bowl dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Stir in soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame oil/cayenne. Gradually stir in the vinegar mixture into the mayo till blended. cover and chill overnight.

Toss the cabbage and other vegs together. Toss w/ 1/2 of the dressing and taste adding more if needed.
Serve immediately or the cabbage will wilt.

This is great.

The Chicken Marbella recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook is online and good too.

I make a pesto torte that is layers of homemade pesto, cream cheese, , tomatoe layer etc I will post.


This is cheap and good during tomatoe season. Serve as a side or appetizer.

1 BAKED 8 or 9 inch PIE CRUST: enough for one crust and then a little more. :slight_smile: (I use 1 1/4 c. all purpose flour, 1 stick cold butter, a pinch of salt, up to 1/4 c. ice water. Cut flour, butter, and salt with a pastry blender until mealy. With a mixer, add 1 tablespoon at a time of ice water until it cleans side of bowl, usually end up using only 3 tbsp. Shape into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, store in refrigerator at least 1/2 hour.) Roll out on floured countertop to desired size, cut edges how you like. Bake at 375 for approx 10 minutes.

5 or 6 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick.
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil (genovese is the best)
salt, pepper, garlic pepper to taste (about 1/8 tsp each)
1 1/4 c. cheddar cheese (sometimes I use a mixture of cheddar, colby, and monterey jack)
3/4 c. mayonnaise (I only use Hellmann’s)

Layer 1/2 of the tomatoes in baked pie shell. Sprinkle 1/2 basil, salt, pepper, garlic powder on top.
Mix cheese and mayonnaise together and spread over tomato layers, right to inside edge of crust.


a simple, pretty, trendy salad is to mix fresh mozarella pearls, with an equal amount of grape tomatoes (washed and dried) and a small jar of pesto (or make your own if you want to know yourself out I like Alesci’s). chill and serve, if the mozarella balls available are larger, get cherry tomatoes instead. you can do this by cubing a hunk of fresh mozarello or queso fresca, but the little balls are prettier


Lemon Mushroom Herb Chicken-AllRecipes.com

Even my kids love it! You can definitely substitute chicken broth for the wine!

Happy Birthday!


Hi everyone!

Thanks for sharing your special recipes with me.

I’m getting hungry just reading your posts. :smiley:

To me, “interesting” doesn’t have to be expensive. If its different and delicious—that’s interesting. More so, if you add “cheap” to the list of adjectives… “WOW”!–I can do this everyday!" :smiley:

Right now, you see, I am on a tight budget…but I still want to celebrate my birthday (coming in a few weeks) in a nice and special way…on a budget.

You’ll be surprised, although I live in the Philippines, most of the ingredients you mentioned are available here too and I am familiar with them.

Thanks for your help, everyone.



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