Dining from the Dollar Store: Spinach Pasta

I was inspired by the last meal in the series which featured spinach fettuccine. Making one's own pasta is fun, and all of the ingredients can be had at the Dollar Store. I found the recipe online and added some of my own ingredients.



1 package frozen spinach [10 ounces]
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
Garlic powder
Onion Powder
Black pepper


Measuring spoons
Measuring cup
Mixing spoon
Blender or food processor
Two tea towels [not terry cloth]
Microwave-safe container [not plastic]
Rolling pin
Fillet knife

Open the package of  spinach and empty into a microwave-safe container.
 Add a little water, cover, and cook for two minutes. Empty the spinach into a colander.
Drain the spinach, even squeezing it with your hands, to remove excess water.
Add the spinach, eggs and salt to the food processor or blender.
Add onion powder, garlic powder and ground pepper to the mix,
Then blend until smooth.
Pour the contents of the blender or food processor into a bowl, and measure out two cups of flour.
Add the flour to the bowl and stir.
Add enough flour so that the mixture becomes firm but not sticky. When the spinach and the flour are combined, sprinkle the counter with flour, and set the ball of dough upon it. Roll the dough around in the flour and knead it, adding flour as you knead, until the dough becomes slightly stiff.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle more flour on the counter, and roll out the dough until it's 1/16th of an inch thick.
Roll the dough up, as if making a jelly roll,
Slice the dough into 1/4 inch sections. Pinch the dough between your fingers as you slice to keep the dough from flattening under the pressure of the knife's blade.
Unroll the pasta sections and set them on tea towels to rest.
Bring the water in the pot to boil, add a dollop or two of oil, then add the pasta to the pot.
Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain in a colander and return the pasta to the pot.
Serve with Parmesan cheese or crumbled Queso Blanco, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

 Equipment found at the Dollar Store:

Colander [plastic]
Mixing spoon
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Chef's knife


Add crushed garlic (the Dollar Store sells garlic presses) and diced onions to the dough for added flavor.

Add other ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and more.


Dining from the Dollar Store: Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

The local Dollar Store sells shrimp and some lovely fettuccine pasta which lists water, flour and spinach flour as its ingredients. The perfect combination for Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo. Best yet, it's easy to make and delicious. I found a simple recipe online.


(as they appear in the original recipe with Dollar Store substitutions)
3/4 lb medium raw shrimp or 3/4 lb shrimp, peeled [the Dollar Store sells 1 pound packages] 
6 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half [3/4 teaspoons garlic powder]
3 green onions, thinly sliced [3 tablespoons onion powder] 
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces fettuccine [two 6 ounce packages of spinach fettuccine] 
1 tablespoon olive oil [1 tablespoon olive/soybean oil]
1 tablespoon butter* 
1 cup whole milk 
1 teaspoon cornstarch* 
Fresh ground pepper
Canola oil 


Large pot
Mixing spoons
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Pot holders
Pan or wok
Mixing bowl

Fill a pot with water, add  two dollops of canola oil and bring it to a boil

Add the pasta and stir.

While the pasta is cooking, pour 1 cup of milk into a bowl,

 then add the garlic powder, onion powder, and corn starch.

Whisk until the ingredients are combined.

Set aside.

When the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta without rinsing it. 

Then return it to the pot.

 Add a tablespoon of butter and olive oil to a pan set on medium heat. Add the shrimp and black pepper and salt to taste. 

Stir until warm, then add the milk mixture to the pan.

Increase the heat of the burner to high, and stir until the milk mixture thickens.

Add to the pasta and stir until everything is combined.

Serve with Parmesan cheese or crumbled Queso Blanco cheese, fresh bread, and salad.

Equipment that can be purchased at the Dollar Store:

Pot holders
Mixing spoons
Measuring cups
Colander [plastic]
Measuring spoons


Using onions and garlic as the recipe specified does add a new level of flavor to the recipe. Bags of onions and individual bulbs of garlic are reasonably priced and can be found at most grocery stores.

Add a second bag of shrimp.

* Not found at the Dollar Store. According to one of the woman I spoke with at the local Dollar Store, corn starch can sometimes be found in small blue containers in the baking supplies aisle, not far from the spices.

Dining from the Dollar Store: Cheese

There's something about cheese... What's even better,  it's not difficult to make. And, most of the ingredients come from the Dollar Store.

(White Cheese)


1 gallon of whole milk*
White vinegar
Garlic powder
Onion powder


5-quart pot
Mixing spoon
Measuring cup
Slotted spoon
Large bowl
Rubber band
Digital thermometer

Pour the milk into the pot and add the garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley to taste.

Turn the burner on high and stir the milk until the temperature reaches 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Stirring constantly is a must, for it prevents the milk from scalding.

When the temperature reaches 195 degrees Fahrenheit, slowly pour in 1/4 cup of white vinegar. The milk will begin to curdle and resemble small pebbles.

Place a colander in large mixing bowl,

Line it with a cloth like flour sack cloth (only $1.00 at the Dollar Store),

And ladle the curd into the cloth-lined colander with a slotted spoon.

Twist the cloth around the curd and close it with a rubber band, then hang the cloth-wrapped curds over the bowl to drain.

Let the curds drain for at least four hours, then unwrap.

This is a versatile cheese that can be served with bread, eaten on its own, or  crumbled over pasta. According to Barbara Skapa of Echo Ridge Cheese, Queso Blanco cheese "does not melt when diced and stir-fried".

Equipment that can be purchased at the Dollar Store:

Slotted spoon (the one pictured above was purchased at the Dollar Store over a year ago and is no longer available, though other models are)
Flour sack cloth
Colander [plastic]
Mixing spoon
Measuring cup
Rubber bands


Try adding diced onions, pressed garlic, chives, or other spices. If you have access to raw milk, substitute it for pasteurized milk. The resulting cheese will be richer and more flavorful.

A note about flour sack cloth

Wash the cloth before use. After using the cloth to make cheese, wash it thoroughly with soap and hot water before throwing it into the washer. This prevents the rest of your laundry from smelling like whey or spoiled milk.

Cultured cheese

Making cultured cheese is fun and delicious, though it does require three ingredients not found at the Dollar Store. If there is an interest, a blog devoted to Fromage Blanc can be created.

*As milk at the Dollar Store is sold in pint containers, it is more economical to buy a gallon of milk elsewhere. Buy whole milk only.

Dining from the Dollar Store: Hummus

According to Dawn Lewis at Culinary Arts 360, hummus is "one of the oldest foods known, dating back to Egypt over 7,000 years ago". It is also simple to make as well as delicious and nutritious.



2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans
2 cloves garlic, minced  (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
2/3 cups roasted tahini*
1/3 cup lemon jouice
1/4 olive oil (or olive/soybean oil as found at the Dollar Store)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt


Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Food processor

Empty the garbanzo beans into a colander and rinse them with cold water. Put the rinsed beans into the bowl of the food processor. 


Add the garlic
Lemon juice and oil

And salt

Put the cover on the processor and mix until smooth.

Pour into a serving bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of paprika.

Serve with bread (see previous blog) or chopped vegetables like carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, and more.

Equipment used in the recipe that can be found at the Dollar Store:

Colander [plastic]
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons


Making the recipe with raw garlic instead of garlic powder gives the hummus a nice zing. And, if you are a fan of garlic, you may find you will need to add more than what the recipe specifies. 

If you like olive oil, try olive oil from California. It's fresher than olive oil imported from Italy and is available at grocery stores and health food stores.

Hummus is something that lends itself to variations such as sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, other spices like cumin and more.


Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, and can be found at grocery stores and health food stores.