Dining from the Dollar Store: Baguette

Apparently, the name "baguette" dates from the 1920's, but the long, thin loaf actually originates from the 18th century France. The bread, with its crisp crust and soft inside, is delicious, and surprisingly easy to make. This recipe has its roots in the bread recipe from the earlier Dining from the Dollar Store post.


3 cups warm water
1 1/2 tablespoon granulated yeast *
11/2 tablespoon salt
6 1/2 cups flour (buy two 2-pound bags of flour from the Dollar Store)
Cooking spray 
A cup of water 


Measuring cup/s
Measuring spoons
Container with lid or bowl
Tea towel
Mixing spoon
Tin foil
Basting brush (optional) 
Bread knife

Preparation: Making the Dough
Pour the warm water, salt and yeast into the container

Then add the flour
And stir until the ingredients are combined.

Cover the container (the cover does not need to be air-tight)

And let stand until the dough rises to the top of the container. If you are using a bowl, cover it with a tea towel.
Cover the container or bowl and place it in the refrigerator. The dough must be refrigerated for at least three hours before it can be used. The dough can keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Making the Bread
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place a pan on the bottom of the oven or on the bottom rack.
Remove one of the cooking racks from the oven, cover it with tin foil and spray the tin foil with cooking spray.
Set the rack aside.
Take some of the dough from the container and weigh it. The baguettes can be one to two pounds each.
Put flour on the surface of your worktable.

 Set the dough on the worktable,

And begin to form it into a long cylinder,
About two inches in diameter and as long as you can make it. This can be done by rolling it on the surface of the worktable and forming it with your hands.

Lay the loaf and repeat the process for a second loaf if desired.

When the oven reaches the desired temperature, brush water on the surfaces of the loaves with your hand or a basting brush, then cut slashes into the top of the loaves with a bread knife. You will have gently hold the loaf with one hand as you do this to allow the bread to keep its cylindrical shape.

Repeat the process for the second loaf.

Put the rack back in the oven, then pour the cup of water into the pan on the bottom of the oven or on the bottom rack and quickly close the oven door. Cook for 30 minutes.

Baguettes are wonderful by themselves, spread with butter, Fromage Blanc, jelly, and more. While not exactly the baguettes of France, this bread is delicious and certain to be a hit for your family and friends.

Equipment that can be found at the Dollar Store:

Tin foil
Bread knife
Basting brush
Mixing spoon
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Tea towels (without nap so it doesn't stick to the dough as it rises)

*available at some Dollar Stores

Dining from the Dollar Store: Blueberry Bread

The Dollar Store, especially those with freezer cases, sell blueberries! Since bread is a favorite in this house, I decided to make some with blueberries. This the sort of recipe that begs to be doubled, for these delicious loaves won't last long....

(from an online recipe)

(doubled from the original to make two loaves)

4 cups flour
1 1/2  cups white or raw* sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups orange juice*
4 tablespoons butter, melted*
2 cups frozen blueberries


Mixing bowl
Mixing spoon
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Two loaf pans
Cooking spray
Cooling rack


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Combine in a large bowl flour, orange juice,

Salt and baking soda (the original recipe had one--or two if doubled--teaspoon baking powder, which you would add here as well),


And stir. Add the blueberries,

And mix the ingredients together. You may have to add a splash more or orange juice and mix the batter with your hands.

Spray the insides of the bread pans with cooking spray, then divide the batter between them.

Bake the bread for 60 to 65 minutes, or until you can insert a knife into the loaf and withdraw it without any of the batter sticking to the blade.


Remove the loaves from the pans and let them cool before eating--if you can wait that long...

Equipment that can be found at the Dollar Store:

Bread pans
Mixing spoons
Cooling racks
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons


For the recipe, I used frozen, concentrated orange juice.

While the Dollar Store does sell raw sugar, it's in single-serving envelope form. You may find raw sugar at grocery stores, stores like BJ's or Downeast Food Distributors, or through food co-ops like the Good Food Co-op where you may buy a 50-pound bag by yourself or split it with others.

* Ingredients not found at the Dollar Store


Chicken Broth

This blog began because of an episode on Fresh Air where one of the Test Kitchen chefs said,  "But getting back to the broth, you know, we try to use ready-made ingredients or convenient ingredients. So we're not going to ask people to make a homemade stock for this."

Eighteen posts later, I will actually address making homemade chicken broth, and include a side-by-side comparison of ingredients between store-bought broth and broth made from scratch. This nutritious staple is well worth the effort and a must in any kitchen.



Picked bones, remaining meat, vegetables, and fat a from whole, cooked chicken recipe like The Best Whole Chicken in a Crockpot [recipe found below])


6 quart crock-pot
4 quart pressure cooker 
Cheese cloth or flour sack cloth
Large-capacity spoon or ladle 
Canning funnel
4 pint canning jars
4 canning jar lids (self-sealing lids and collars or rings)  


Add water to the crock of the pot until it is about an inch or two from the top. Add less water if you wish to have less broth.

Cover the crock, and return it the base. Set the crock-pot on low and let cook for 12 hours. The water will no longer be clear.

Set a colander inside a large pot,

then line the colander with cheese cloth or flour sack cloth.

Pour the contents from the crock-pot into the colander,

Gather up the ends of the cloth, trapping the bones et al inside, lift it up from the colander, and gently squeeze the cloth to allow the remaining broth to drain. Dispose of the remains, leaving the broth behind.

Sterilize the jars. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the pressure cooker,

Place the four pint jars and their lids inside the pot,

Tighten the lid securely in place, then turn the burner on high. When steam begins issuing from the vent tube,

Place the pressure control weight on the tube, set at fifteen pounds of pressure.

When the weight begins to rattle, set the timer for twenty minutes, then reduce the heat of the burner until the weight rattles only at intervals, such as two or three times a minute. When the timer sounds, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and let it depressurize. This can take up to 15 minutes. Nudge the weight with a fork to test if depressurized. If the vent doesn't hiss, remove the weight, wait a minute, then remove the lid. The jars and lids are now sterilized and ready for use.

Bring the broth to a boil. 

Take the lids and rings from the pressure cooker and add hot water to the bottom of the pot until there's about two inches worth of water. Place the canning funnel into one of the jars.

Ladle the broth into each of the jars until there's about an inch of head space remaining,

And place the lids on the jars. Tighten the lid until it is almost tight, then unscrew the lid a half-turn.

Fasten the lid of the pressure cooker tightly, turn the burner on high. When steam issues from the vent, place the weight on the vent, set at ten pounds of pressure, and set the timer for twenty minutes. Reduce the heat until the weight rattles only at intervals of about two to three times a minute. When the timer sounds, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and let it depressurize for about twenty minutes. Nudge the weight with a fork. If the vent doesn't hiss, remove the weight and the pressure cooker lid, then take the jars from the pot and let them cool. If the lids depresses in the center (which it might do with a pop),

That's the sign of a good seal. If the lids don't depress, you may either repeat the process of pressure canning, or freeze the contents of the jars in freezer bags of containers. The result will be the same: a natural, delicious base for recipes and a meal for those who are ill or suffering from a stomach flu.



2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme*
½ teaspoon garlic powder or cloves of garlic, chopped 
¼ teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 onion
1 large chicken 


Mix the dried spices together in a small bowl.

Chop the onion and add them to the crock of the crock-pot.

Remove the giblets from the chicken if present, then rub the mixed spices over the outside of the chicken. Add them inside and under the skin of the breast if desired.

Place the chicken on top of the chopped onions in the slow cooker, sent the cover on the crock, and turn the crock-pot on high. Cook for four to five hours

*Because I couldn't find thyme, I added French Herbs, which is a mixture of rosemary, French thyme, tarragon, basil, savory, cracked fennel, lavender and marjoram

Homemade Chicken Broth
Water, chicken bones and meat, paprika, salt, onion powder, thyme or French Herbs, garlic powder or chopped garlic cloves, cayenne (red) pepper, black pepper
one onion

Swanson's Chicken Broth

Chicken broth, salt, monsodium glutamate, dextrose, chicken broth, salt, yeast extract, chicken flavor, flavoring, corn syrup solids, autolyzed yeast extract, chicken fat, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken broth powder


Mirro-Matic Recipes, Directions, Time Tables, Aluminum Goods Mfg Co, Mantowoc, Ws

US Department of Agriculture, Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving, New York, Dover Publications, 1973, revised 1999  



Dining from the Dollar Store: Beans and Rice

Beans and rice are the basis for this delicious and nutritious meal. It can be made with both white and brown rice which is available at the Dollar Store. I found the recipe online.


(includes substitutions; Dollar Store ingredients in bold)

1 cup rice (brown or white)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil* or olive oil/soybean oil or butter*
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)* or 1 tablespoon onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced* or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 19-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup chicken broth [I used my own homemade broth]
1 tablespoon cider vinegar*
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro* or a little over 1/2 tablespoon coriander* 

1 teaspoon turmeric*


Pot with lid
Mixing spoon
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Frying pan or wok

Pour 2 cups of water into a pot

and bring it to a boil. If using ingredients from the original recipe, chop the onion and garlic while waiting for the water to boil.

When the water boils, take the pot from the heat and add the rice, coriander, turmeric (optional), and butter or oil to the rice and stir. If using the Dollar Store ingredients, add the garlic powder and onion powder here as well.

Stir, and bring the water back to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. The rice will cook in about ten minutes.

Add some butter or oil to the pan, and cook the onion and garlic until tender. This can take up to ten minutes.

Put a colander in the sink, and pour the beans into it. Rinse the beans,

Then pour them into the pan with the onions and garlic. 

Add also the rice, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, and black pepper. If using fresh cilantro, add it here. Stir.


Equipment found at the Dollar Store

Mixing spoon
Measuring spoons
Measuring cups
Chef knife
Colander (plastic)

Dining from the Dollar Store: Oatmeal Cookies

Here's another cookie recipe that's mostly made from ingredients found at the Dollar Store. They're delicious and won't last long...

(adapted from an online recipe)


3/4 cup butter*
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar [I substituted brown sugar here, and realized afterward I should have used only 1/4 cup instead of the 3/4 cup called for]
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins


Measuring spoons
Measuring cups
Cookie tins
Cooling rack


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Soften the butter and add it to the bowl of the mixer.
Add the sugar,
And the eggs,
And blend.
Add the flour and oats, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and vanilla,
And the raisins as well and mix them together.
Put the cookies on the cookie sheet, a teaspoon at  a time (you may have to form the dough with your fingers),
And bake them for 8 to 10 minutes.
Use a spatula and put the cookies on racks to cool. Yum.

Equipment found at the Dollar Store:

Cookie sheets
Cooling racks
Measuring spoons
Measuring cups
Spatulas (metal and plastic or nylon)


Consider buying the flour and oatmeal in bulk. Stores like Downeast Food Distributors sell flour, sugar (brown and white), and rolled oats for reasonable prices--far more inexpensively than buying bulk at a grocery store. Another option is joining a local food co-op like The Good Food Co-op where you can either buy a whole 25 pound (or more) bag of flour, sugar, oatmeal, raisins, etc by yourself or split them with others. The benefit of the co-ops like the Good Food Co-op is that you are also able to buy products not only from companies like Associated Buyers, Frontier Natural Products, and Maine companies like Crown O' Maine Organic Cooperative, but local creators such as From the Family Farm, Cake and Candy Creations, and Valley View Farm.