HEY YOU! If you didn’t see yourself here right away and you sent your entry to firstthursday@, that’s why.  In the future please send everything to michelle@, as the guidelines state. As we see, dual addresses cause confusion and ft@ became a refuge for ebay and Nigerian scammers, so it’s being shut down. (Plus, this isn’t a FT event anyway). Sorry for any confusion.

Moving on.

My poblano empanadas were obviously the best of this month’s entries, but I guess the rest of you did a decent job and only 2 people flouted the rules, which I think is a record for a TNS event. Also a record: number of participants. Go cheapskates!

Check out the roundup below the jump, and then put your thinking caps on for May: Chickpeas But Not in Hummus Form.

If anyone can make a cheap-ass meal, it’s a blog called Poor Yorick’s Pub.

They didn’t disappoint with welsh rarebit with a poached egg and a side of field greens, wisely pointing out that this dish practically pays you to make it because eggs, cheese and beer should already be in your house at all times. Maybe now I will remember that welsh rarebit actually has nothing to do with rabbit. (Yes, I know the words are different. I also know that 50% of you also need help remembering this.)

Blog newbie Emily’s Hot Dish jumps into the ring with a really intriguing sounding chicken and almond soup, which I really want to stick my head into because WHAT IS WITH THIS SHIT APRIL WEATHER, NEW YORK. Ahem.

Aside from making some damn fine-looking soup, Emily also did a detailed cost breakdown of what her dish cost to make shopping at several different grocery stores including Whole Foods. The winner? You’ll have to visit her to find out.

Delitia offers up a cabbage pajeon that is the embodiment of cheap-ass eating and the using of leftovers. I’d never heard of jeon before reading her post, where I learned that it’s a scallion pancake, which I have heard of so then I felt less stupid. She got a little caught up in the excitement and used an EXTRA EGG YOLK, MY GOD, but still managed to come out on the extremely cheap-ass side of things.

Unfortunately, there is no photo because she was too busy teaching her dog to stand on the coffee table. I made my dogs leave the room before I visited that link because I don’t want them to get any more ideas than they already have.

It’s unfortunate that this pasta carbonara with asparagus is the most blatant violation of this month’s theme, because it looks and sounds frigging delicious. I assume this is what happens when your blog is called Chaos in the Kitchen, but rules are rules.

I will allow it because it’s carbonara, and that means eggs and cheese and, most importantly, bacon. It does, unfortunately, render her unfit to be granted the Smugness Prize .


Pantry Raid‘s Coke pulled pork and parmesan-lime corn looks and sounds so fucking good that I am willing to forgive her for the fact that I just typed “panty raid” seven times before my fingers would type “pantry,” and that’s saying something because panty is one of my most hated words in the English language.

If you’ve been reading TNS for more than 3 seconds, then you know this: I LOVE PORK, especially pulled pork. Panties be damned, I love this entry.


Jesse over at I tell you what… bring us an Israeli couscous salad with feta, tomatoes, and olives – perfect for lighter, warmer weather eating. That is, if the warmer weather ever does roll in. I’M TALKING TO YOU, APRIL.

This dish is also sadly ineligible for the Smugness Prize because couscous is actually teeny tiny pasta designed to trick people into thinking it’s a grain, thus breaking the “no pasta” rule. But still: Yum. And it will be warm one day, right?


Muskeg Harpy – which, I have no idea what the fuck that means, but it’s awesome and I want to start using it as an insult – takes the “a staple is what you say it is rule” to heart with this salmon in parchment with asparagus. For in Muskeg world, salmon is a staple and that is Muskeg’s prerogative. If you’re complaining that you couldn’t make this for under $5, then maybe you should stop whining and start catching and freezing your own salmon, like Muskeg. Yeah, I thought so.


Cheap dinner doesn’t necessarily require wracking your brain to figure out how to make the dollar limit, as Too Many Cookbooks so deftly proves with this hearty-looking plate of roast chicken, potatoes and greens. Simple food. Easy food. Comforting food. Cheap food.

For being such a stellar example of hearty, cheap cookery I will overlook that this was cooked on Wednesday, although next time I will make a public example of you. For now, well played, my tardy friend.


Technically, Glory Day‘s dish meets all the requirements: cheap and yummy. However, I may need to institute a new no-pun rule, because I can’t bring myself to call these hale and hardy lamb shanks, corn with parmesan and pine nuts (synergy!), beans and a green salad The LambShank Redemption. I’m sorry. I just can’t.

Plus, this reminds me that I’d wanted to make some braised lamb shanks this winter, and now it’s (mostly) not winter anymore, so FAIL me. But not Glory Day.


Consistent player Dark Side of the Fridge attempts to capture the Smugness Prize for the second month in a row. April’s try: Cheap Ass Stuffed with Chicken Bread, which at the very least wins the prize for tortured phrasing of a dish title.

There’s chicken, caramelized onions (which, instant +1), and cheese all wrapped in a sourdough pizza crust that they just “threw together” and baked. I don’t know how you throw sour dough together, and am jealous that I can’t.


Effort to Deliciousness comes oh-so-close, with a mushroom, caramelized onion (another +1) and eggs coming in at $5.04.

That’s right, eggs. They may look like little panna cotte sitting on a pizza, but those are eggs, baby. Does it sound weird? Maybe. Does it also sound good and is it something I want to be eating right now, especially if the egg yolks are nice and runny? Yes. I’m like a crack addict, but for well-poached eggs. Add the onions, and I want to inject this right into my jugular

Enlarged to Show Texture gets +100 suck-up points for the Dungeons and Dragons reference in his write up of these tasty looking turkey and rice galette. (Visit flickr to see just how tasty). He does lose 3 power for giving his dish a cutsey name – I’m amending the “no-punny names” rule to include “no twee names” – but that’s nothing relative to his tremendous gains in other areas.

I love a galette. Why? Because it’s pie for the lazy, and you can chuck anything in there. In this case, the galette casing was a crepe, not pie crust, earning him at additional +7 fancy-pants.

Non-blogger Terri just makes the $5 cutoff with her chicken livers and bacon. She claims she and her husband “enjoy” this dinner weekly despite the presence of livers; I assume the bacon saves it. To replicate:

Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces. In large saute pan, cook bacon pieces until just crispy. Remove pieces and set aside, retaining bacon fat in pan. Add the mushrooms, onion and bay leaves to the pan and saute until onions become slightly tender. Add the livers and bacon pieces. Stirring frequently, cook on medium heat until livers are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve with fresh bread for dipping.

It’s liver, so proceed at your own risk.

Kitchen Geeking closes things out with a Tuscan bean salad and fried egg on toast, further proving the maxim that the egg is the ultimate refuge of the cheap. Unfortunately, there’s no photo so you’ll just have to go check it out, because who doesn’t like fried egg pr0n? Fools and liars, that’s who.

Thus do we end April’s round of Hobo Mondays. I’m pleased to announced that the Smugness Prize goes to Deletia. Exercise your smugness wisely, to extract maximum effect. Well done!

As always, thanks to everyone for playing! See you and your chickpeas in May.

ONE YEAR AGO: Welcome, fish overlords.