Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two Tickets To the Christmas Ball- Donita K. Paul

Yesterday I read Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball, and it was wonderful. I loved that the book was not only the typical romance, but that it involved family relations as well. While neither family highlighted was a carbon copy of mine, it was not hard to relate to them and their relations to each other. The author did a great job of including Wonder and Mystery while making sure to give God the glory for things miraculous and remarkable. Some will cringe at the first mention of Wizards and a "Wizard Ball," but the distinction is made between sorcery and witchcraft and the original meaning of the word wizard (wise one). Overall I was impressed and thoroughly enjoyed the book. What a great Christmas time book.

Here is a link to a video trailer for the book.

Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing a free copy of this book for me to review. My Opinions are my own.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Menu Plan -

This week is already not going as I planned since my daughter's illness means we aren't going on our little mini vacation, but we still gotta eat. :) I'm going to have to run to the grocery store, because I ate everything that I had planned for next week during the two christmas parties/family gatherings that I missed last week because of sickness.
Monday - Spaghetti, salad, bread
Tuesday - I'm going to look for a good beef deal while I'm at the grocery store, I'll either do some sort of pot roast, or if I can find a good deal some steaks. Hubby deserves something nice for missing his family vacation. :)
Wednesday - Probably a family dinner night :) !
Thursday - Shrimp Alfredo, salad, bread
Friday - Off to Grammy's
Saturday - Christmas!!! Big Christmas dinner and bonus, I probably won't have to do anything except follow orders :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Smoked Turkey and Pasta

Another Leslie Sansone hit at our house!
We tried this pasta recipe and it was great. (Well, I tweaked it with what I had available)

First I roasted a pack of grape tomatoes and 1 vidalia onion in olive oil, salt and oregano at 450 for about 20 mins.

While that was cooking I boiled a pot of pasta and cut up a few ounces of Gouda cheese and some smoked turkey. I just went to the deli and had them cut a smoked turkey about a 1/4 lb in one thick slice and then there was no extra cooking. By the time the tomatoes and onions and pasta were all done I threw it all in one big pot and stirred it together until the gouda started to melt (YUM!) I added a little red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and then a little bit more olive oil. It was great. My daughter loved it (of course on hers I covered her pasta in parmesan cheese) and so do my friend Mrs. Hazel (she's in her eighties) so I think I covered all age spans. Try it out! It was great.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tortellini in a pumpkin cream sauce w/ toasted walnuts and dried cranberries

This was a recipe we got out of Leslie Sansone's EAT SMART, WALK STRONG book and I loved it. Now the rest of the house could have gone either way, and I would say that it meets the "fru-fru" food test at our house. It isn't something that we normally see and it doesn't have meat, therefor my husband classifies it as "girl food" or "fru-fru" food. It was really filling and I never missed the meat, but you could do it with a chicken tortellini or ravioli if you wanted it.
Here are the basics -

Cook your tortellini or pasta (about a pound)
Toast your Walnuts (1/2 cup) at 400 degrees for around 3 minutes (until you hear it sizzling) and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt 1 Tbsp Butter in a skillet on medium heat
Once it's melted add minced garlic (I think the recipe said 2 T but whatever you like is probably fine) and saute about 1 min.
Then add a bit of sage (2 t dry or 2 T fresh) and saute for another 30 seconds or so.
Once you can smell all of that cooking add 1 can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie!) and about 1/2 cup of milk and heat until it is bubbling.
At this point add milk until it is your desired consistency and salt and pepper to taste.

Combine pasta and sauce and sprinkle with the walnuts and dried cranberries.

I served my two year old with everything separate and told her that the sauce was dip. Works for us. :)

Meal Plans - The rush before the holidays!

This week is probably the last "normal" week before the craziness begins at our house, but by Friday we will already be starting to get crazy :)
We are trying out a couple of new recipes this week, and we'll let you know how they go.
Last night we tried tortellini in a pumpkin cream sauce with toasted walnuts and craisins. It was from the Leslie Sansone book that was free on amazon a few weeks ago. I loved it. My husband (who was eating dinner elsewhere, and therefore didn't try it) looked at the stove while it was cooking and wanted to know what in the world I was doing. If you have picky eaters it may not be a great thing to try, it has a very pumpkiny orange color that may freak out (or maybe delight) your picky eaters.
Monday - Spaghetti
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday -
Friday - Family dinner (Happy Birthday, Gramma!)
Saturday - Another Family Event

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bookin' It

I didn't get anything read from start to finish this month. My husband worked all but 4 days in November, so I didn't get many breaks, even on the weekends. I have made a great start on A.S. Peterson's Fiddler's Gun and I love it. I hear that the second in the series Fiddler's Green is coming out this week. I did read a cook book that I enjoyed Everyday Italian. It was pretty simple and easy to understand, and there weren't a million ingredients, so I could actually cook the recipes. I probably won't get a lot read before the end of the year, but I will be raring to go for 2011. :)

Menu Plan with Freezer cooking thrown in. .

My loving husband surprised me with a late anniversary/early Christmas present and it was AMAZING!! It is a bright red Kitchen Aid Mixer! I haven't been able to stop using it, so I used it and my bread maker to do a little freezer cooking this week.
I made butterhorns, cinnamon rolls, banana muffins, and probably 6 dozen cookies. Between my bread maker and my mixer it really didn't take a lot of time at all.
So since we couldn't just eat baked goods this week I did have to do a little bit of extra cooking, so here's the plan.

Sunday- Shrimp Alfredo
Monday- Hamburger Casserole -
I can't find where I saw it last, but I got it from five J's, it was really good. It was basically egg noodles, ground beef, tomato soup, and cheddar cheese soup altogether and then baked it for a few minutes with more cheddar cheese on top. If I find the actual recipe again I will post it. :)
Tuesday - Tacos - you know how to make tacos, I'm sure.
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Penne Rustica - we ended up substituting a pot pie last week instead, so we'll have it this week.
Friday - Family Night
Saturday - Chicken , I'm not sure what I'm going to do to it, but I have a few chicken quarters to work with. Maybe I'll try this...

For more great ideas check out Orgjunkie.com

Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 11 - 29 -10

Monday - Tacos
Tuesday - Steak! (Steak was on sale this week, so we are indulging!) green beans, bread
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Shrimp Alfredo, Veggies, bread - cook the shrimp in a little bit of balsamic vinagarette and then garlic and make a simple alfredo with cream cheese.
Friday - Family Night! (and a family birthday celebration)
Saturday - Chicken Pot Pie - We used leftover chicken from last week, cream of chicken soup and a dash of milk, and then a can a veggies heat it up until hot, and then top it off with biscuits and cook it a few more minutes.
Sunday - Penne Rustica

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Menu Plan 11 - 22 - 10

It's the week of Thanksgiving here in the US, so of course that helps shape the menu this week. My husband is not a huge fan of turkey, so I didn't take advantage of all the turkey specials this week. So you won't see any turkey or turkey leftovers on our meal plan this week :) (I know, weird!)

My kiddo is feeling a little under the weather today (Saturday) so our plans to join our church for a huge harvest banquet on Sunday are probably not going to happen, so that adds one more night to plan, but luckily hubby actually made a request for a dish this week, so I'll put it in there.

Sunday - Chicken Rice Casserole (by request) - I'm going to put chicken quarters on top of rice, and cover that with cheddar cheese soup, cream of mushroom, and cream of chicken

Monday - Pecan Crusted Tilapia , veggies, and salad

Tuesday - Tacos and corn

Wednesday - Baked Chicken Parmesan

Thursday - THANKSGIVING - We'll be joining the in-laws and the only thing I am bringing is a Peanut Butter Cup Pie. I also picked up sandwhich makings for later in the evening when my husband and daughter forget that they had a giant meal at 1:30 in the afternoon.

Friday - Is usually our Family Night out, we'll see how that goes after we are all together on Thursday.

Saturday - Burgers or Pizza - Whatever we can eat while watching the football games :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak Results

So, the results are in on my Chicken Fried Steak experiment, and I would say they were mixed. The multiple dippings definitely made for more crunchy sticks, but I could have done with a bit more flavor in my strips, and I don't really know how to fix that. We all ate them, and they didn't take that long, but I am not sure that I will make them again. Have you tried these before? What were your results?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 11-15-10

It's a new week!
We need another new plan :)
Sunday - There is a special olympics fundraiser, and we'll be supporting by eating dinner over there :)
Monday - Country Fried Steak, green beans, bread - I've wanted to try this for awhile, but I'm actually going to try it this week. I'll let you know how it goes.
Tuesday - Baked Chicken (Just chicken in Italian Dressing) corn, salad, fresh bread
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Family Night
Saturday - Football Night - Pizza with good stuff on it :)
For More Great Menus Check Out Orgjunkie.com

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Books read in October

My "fun book" was The Bishop by Steven James. If you like suspense and murder mysteries you may like this series (this was the fourth book), but let me forwarn you that I may not have started the series if I realized how much detail was in the "dark" side of the book. The author is a christian, and although it isn't a "christian novel" it is interesting to see the characters wonder and work through things in their spiritual lives. That is by far my favorite part of the books.

I have also been reading 365 Games Smart Toddlers Play. It has a lot of fun quick games to play with your toddler, and it doesn't take a lot to read. The games are fun :)

The book that I have been reading slowly but surely is Parenting: from Surviving to Thriving by Charles Swindoll. Thus far I have enjoyed what he has to say, the only downside is the need to "marinate" each thought. I only find myself finishing a few pages at a time. It is a library book, and by the time I am done I am pretty sure the library will be calling collections on me :)

Freezer update. :)

I have been making some great progress on my freezer cooking this week and I am already feeling better. I have 2 penne rusticas in the freezer ready to go (of course I love it, but after I made three my husband let me know that he wasn't sure it was his favorite meal. I guess I'll have to wait awhile before I serve it :) ). I have an entire pan of baked oatmeal and right now I have loaves 3 and 4 of carrot bread in the freezer. I bought a few pounds of beef so I want get the sloppy joes done and a couple of lasagnas and I'll feel better. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday!

A new week, a new plan.

Since I am splitting up my freezer cooking this month I am going to try and get a lot of it done this week. I already made a pan of Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal this morning to freeze and I am going to try and get some muffins or bread done tomorrow.

Monday - Penne Rustica - I'll double and freeze one.

Tuesday - Salmon, Rice, greenbeans - I got a super deal a couple weeks ago on some salmon filets that were frozen in a marinade, so we'll finish those up this week.

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Lasagna or spaghetti (If I have time I'll do the 2 lasagnas and freeze one of them, we'll see)

Friday - Family Night

Saturday - Football - I have pizza dough ready to go, but I'm not sure whether or not I'll get to use it. :)

Sunday - seems a long way off....I never got around to Mushroom onion chicken last week (I caved and got fried chicken from Publix) so maybe I'll do it this week . :)

For more great menu ideas check orgjunkie.com

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Freezing - Again :)

I have absolutely got to have a freezer plan this month. I am out of pretty near everything, cooked, uncooked, prepared, or parts, so I have a lot to do. I won't be doing this all in one day, but hopefully I will get it done. I have talked with my buddy about doing another cooking day together, but I don't know whether or not we'll make it work next week. Thanks to Jessica at LifeasMOM for helping get me motivated by getting the post up today :)

Breakfast Plan:
Baked Oatmeal - Peanut Butter and Chocolate for breakfast, need I say more?
Carrot Bread - Simple mix and match recipe
Banana Bread - Simple mix and match recipe
Oatmeal packets

Sloppy Joes x4 - Beef, a little bit of brown sugar, a little bit of mustard, and a can of tomato soup. Super Easy!
Lasagna x2 (or possibly 4 smaller ones)
Chicken Pot Pies x2
Penne Rustica x2 (probaby 4 smaller ones)

I'm ready for some new recipes, but I haven't found any that I've been interested in (and that my husband will eat) recently. Any ideas that will get me out of my rut?? Post a comment here :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - November 1st

Wow, can't believe it is November all ready! Need to get a move on for Christmas presents. I have started, but I always drag my feet on a few, and it is no different this year.

This week should be an easy week for menu planning, since I only really have to plan 3 meals, but still I drag my feet :) So....here's the plan.

Monday - Spaghetti, salad, homemade garlic rolls

Tuesday - Mushroom Onion Chicken, green beans

Wednesday - Dinner Out with the family to remember my husbands sister that passed away.

Thursday - Chicken bake (I'm going to put chicken quarters on top of rice, and cover that with cheddar cheese soup, cream of mushroom, and cream of chicken), salad

Friday - I'll be on the road

Saturday - visiting my family

Sunday - on the road again :)

For more great ideas check out orgjunkie.com

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 10 - 25 - 10

A new week a new plan. This week is going to be a little crazy because my hubby is not working his normal schedule, so somedays he is home when he normally isn't (I have to think of a real lunch option - not leftovers) and he'll be gone when he is normally home (I can have "girl food" for dinner).

By the way, I experimented with making my own cheese crackers this week. I think it counts as my frugal failure for the week. My 2 year old (who will eat anything) took one bite and handed it back to me. I tried again a few times to see if she just wasn't hungry, but nothing doing. My husband told me that he thought I was torturing her by offering them again and again after he tasted them. Oh well, better luck next time. Have you tried this recipe before?? Was this user error, or do we just not have a taste for these??

Monday - Lunch - egg salad sandwhich
Dinner - Going out!

Tuesday - Lunch - Tuna
Dinner - Sloppy Joes

Wednesday - Lunch - Sandwhiches
Dinner - Popcorn Chicken, Green beans, homemade bread

Thursday - Lunch - ??
Dinner - Chicken Pesto Wraps

Friday Lunch - ??
Dinner - Family night

Saturday - Pizza

Sunday - Spaghetti

For more great menu planning ideas check out orgjunkie.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CVS Savings


Our CVS trips this week were kind of crazy this week, but when all was said and done I think we did OK. We had $5 ECB’s from last week to work with, but I forgot the first time I ran in, because we were out of band aids and CVS was just the closest place. We managed to get 2 boxes of 60 for $7. Not great, but not bad either. Then the next day my DH ran out of deodorant (I didn’t even know he was lowJ ). I had a B1G1 for the kind he uses and had the $5 ECBs, so I spent a total of $1.80 on that trip. Then on the way home from something else the same day DH wanted chocolate milk so we stopped there on the way home. To my surprise (and joy!) regular milk was not only on sale ($3.19) but had 1 ECB back, so I got 2 reg milk and 1 choc and spent a total of about $7. Then this morning (Sunday) I went in for my regular Sunday shop and was able to get 2 cans of Tuna, 2 bottles of laundry detergent, and 2 boxes of dryer sheets for $10.45. I spent more than I would normally spend in a week (thanks to all of the separate trips I am sure) but all in all it was a lot of great deals, and needed items, so …Success!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bookin' IT! ~ My Version

I have been reading a lot recently, but haven't been so good at keeping up with what I have read.
I finished Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology - by Eric Brende and I loved it. It made me think a lot about how I use technology and how technology uses me. :) It really is a good read, but slow in some parts. Basic idea is this a MIT student and wife move to an Amish style community to see how things work for the families in the commmunity. It's really interesting to see how they use "labor saving devices" with out using electricity or technologies that we might use every day.

I started reading Amish Grace and so far it has been really interesting. It starts with the tragedy at Nickel Mines where the 5 amish girls were shot and killed at school and talks about the Amish community and how they forgive. I haven't finished it, but thus far it has been really interesting. It talks about how the Amish community's reaction to the gunman's family and how they reached out and helped them in their time of tragedy. I'll let you know later if it is worth the read

My for fun book this month was Stranded in Paradise by Laurie Copeland and it was fun! Think of everything that could possibly go wrong for someone and that is where you find our heroine 3 minutes into the book :). I love a good "easy read". Something that doesn't really make my mind work, but will amuse and entertain for awhile, and Christian fiction is where I usually go for that kind of book.

I read a few others, and I am still working on my "Bible in 90 days" idea. Ok, I am probably 120 days in and still in 2 Samuel, but I'm sure I will eventually get there. :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 10 -18 - 10

If you want to see pictures and what actually happened last week at our house you can check out this last post. Here's the plan for next week, we'll see how it goes.

Monday - Chicken Pot Pie

Tuesday - Mushroom Onion Chicken

Wednesday - church

Thursday - Popcorn Chicken, green beans, rice

Friday - Family Night

Saturday - Sloppy Joes

Sunday - Spagetti or Tacos

I already know I'll have to shift this around, because I know I won't want chicken 4 nights in a row and beef 3 nights straight, but I don't have beef at home right now. For more great plans check out orgjunkie.com.

Super Savings :)

I spent about $35 on monday at publix, and another $18 Friday and we shouldn't have too large of trip this week for groceries. So that shouldn't be too bad on budget. My big score last week was my free feta cheese, it was B1G1 and I had a B1g1 coupon, so free fore me :)! My CVS trip today was pretty cool too. I went in for the Schick Razors that were on sale with the 5 ECB's back. I had a $4 coupon, $2.99 ECB and the coupon machine spit out another $1.50 ECB, so my purchase was a big $1.01 and I got $5 back! SCORE!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Frugal Friday (Night)! - Mop Pads

Last week I found a link to a site where a woman made tops for her swiffer mops that she could throw into the wash instead of throwing them away. When I saw it, I had just cut out coupon for the rubbermaid version of the same thing. I was feeling pretty frugal for having a coupon, but when I saw the post I realized I could do better. FREE is a lot better! The process was fairly simple, cut a burp cloth down to size, sew on pockets from the scraps, and clean. Only one problem - I am not a seamstress, in fact I couldn't remember the last time I had used my machine. :) But, nonetheless I was fearless, I got everything out and pressed ahead. I'm glad no one was awake to see the carnage, but the end result was two great mop covers and the pride of accomplishment. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Menu update

Here's how my menu is going so far this week.

Sunday - Stuck to the plan and ate lasagna.

Monday - We tried the Chicken Broccoli casserole, and I didn't love it. It was good, but I don't know that we will make it again. It was still pretty though :) Tuesday - I planned on Shrimp Alfredo, but the in-laws called and had Sonny's at their house, so off we went to their house.
I have had a chance to work on some of my kitchen extras, check out my pound cake.

Today's Wednesday, I'll update the rest as I go. :)
Wednesday we ate at church.
Thursday we had our family night with extended family.
Friday I was too tired to function, and Hubs was working, so Chick-fil-a with my toddler. :)
Saturday I was ready to go back to eating at home, but just as I was pulling stuff out of the fridge my MIL called to say they had extra burgers and fajitas, and did we want to help them finish them? So, again we ran from the house and enjoyed dinner with them.
Sunday I finally got to make shrimp alfredo. I cooked the shrimp for just a few minutes in balsamic vinagrette w/ 2 cloves of garlic (minced) and then did half of this alfredo recipe. We all enjoyed the dinner. I highly recommend it.

Shopping and Saving!

I only spent $35 at my publix shopping trip on monday, but I didn't have to buy any meats. My excitement for the week was my two CVS trips. On Sunday I went and just bought the Toothpaste that had the extra bucks and used a coupon to make a few cents on it. Today I went back with the $2.99 ECB and $10 from last week. Today I bought all of this below and used my ECB's, a CVS coupon for $1, a pampers coupon for $2, and another coupon on the candy for something I don't remember how much. All told, walked out for $3.91. Yay! PS Mom, if your reading, the candy isn't for me I promise. It is to donate to the library at church.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Homemade Hot Chocolate

I found a hot chocolate recipe on the back of my powdered milk and made it this week, and it is pretty good.

It is just 2 cups Nonfat Milk Powder
1 Cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1.25 t salt.

Just mix 1/4c of the mixture into 1 cup of boiling water.

Great with those little marshmellows. :)

A few fun kitchen extras this week!

I am going to get a few fun kitchen extras done this week, at least that's the plan.
I'm going go make
1) Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix.
2) a Pound Cake
3) Mix and Match Bread (probably Carrot) - I'll get the recipe up soon. It's from Frozen Assets.

I'd also like to so some other basic breakfast meal set up like
1) Oatmeal Packets
2) Baked Oatmeal (Peanut butter and Chocolate)

Menu Plan Monday ~ 10 - 11

I am thinking that I should really post my "what actually happened last week" so you could all see my...um....creativeness :). This week I'll keep track and update by monday next week :). I really need to buy some meat this week, because I really have very little left in my freezer, so some of this may really change depending on what I can find by way of meat at the store.

Sunday - Lasagna, salad, and homemade garlic rolls. These Garlic Rolls are great and they don't take a lot of effort (even though they do take a lot of time). They should be a great complement to the meal.
Monday - chicken broccoli casserole, salad
Tuesday - Hotdogs, salad, chips, baked beans
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Shrimp Alfredo
Friday - Family night
Saturday - Game night, something easy- Tortilla Pizza's are a good bet - just put pizza toppings on a tortilla and bake in oven or toaster oven for 5- 10 minutes at 350.

I also want to get a few fun kitchen extras done this week. I'll let you know how I do.

For more great menu ideas check out orgjunkie.com

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 10-2-10

I love having a plan. I don't always love making a plan, or following a plan, but I love having a plan. So here is the next plan, and I am starting to think up ideas for my next freezer day, so if you have a favorite let me know, maybe it'll make the plan :)

Sunday - Spaghetti!
Monday - Chicken Pot Pie
Tuesday - Burgers, baked beans, and salad
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Steaks
Friday - Family night
Saturday- I'm planning on tacos, but it is game night, so...who knows. :)

For more great plans check out orgjunkie.com

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 9-26-10

Well, I did better on the plan last week, but I forgot to buy cheese when I went to the store. Let's just say that Lasagna did not happen that night :) I went back the next day and made my lasagnas, but they are just in the freezer now waiting to be eaten. I also started marinating my pork chops just in time to get a call from in-laws wanting us to eat with them, so they are all "snuggled up" in my freezer next to my lasagna. So, with that in mind :)

Sunday - Lasagna from the freezer
Monday - Pork Chops - In a great marinade - I'll post it later, rice, greenbeans, and maybe a salad
Tuesday - Chicken, rice, greenbeans - I haven't done the mushroom-onion chicken in awhile, so probably I'll do that.
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Burritos
Friday - Family night
Saturday - Football night - pizza??

For more great plans check out orgjunkie.com

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 9-20-2010

Last week we ended up with my in laws almost every night, so needless to say the plan was out the window. I did make the chicken pot pie (and took it with me one night) and we made the shrimp alfredo last night.

This week we are going out of town one night and have football another night, so we are going tohave to be a little flexible. Here is the plan.

Monday - Tacos

Tuesday - Lasagna (and I'll make an extra for my freezer), garlic bread, salad. This is the BEST lasagna recipe ever. You should all try it. :)

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Pork Chops - I haven't decided what I am going to do with these yet, so if you have ideas let me know. I just know they were a lot cheaper than the steak I wanted to have. My parents are coming, and I want it to be good. :)

Friday - out of town - We are going to Disney, so I am going to make some baked oatmeal, granola bars, and maybe one other snack to take with us. Does anyone know if frozen peanut butter and jelly can handle a ride in my packed back pack??

Saturday - Game day - We'll probably have hotdogs or hamburgers this night...anyone with favorite game day foods??

Sunday - Chicken, rolls, green beans, salad, mashed potatoes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - 9-13-10

Another exciting week, although this week we nay have some extra time, so the plan reflects that.

Monday - Salmon (baked with dill and brownsugar), broccoli, rice
Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Family
Saturday - Shrimp Alfredo
Sunday - Pizza (homemade).

Sorry there are no links this time, but they are all simple family meals. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yum - Baked Oatmeal with Apples.

My daughter and I love oatmeal in the mornings, especially baked oatmeal. When I saw this version I had to try it. We both loved it the first morning, and I was able to eat it for a few in a row, even after she had tired of it. I'll post my picture later, but here is the link.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Modified Freezer Week

I see out there in blog world right now that it is freezer cooking time again, and I want to participate, but I don't think I will get in a full afternoon with my buddy this month. So here is my alternative plan. I will probably wait until I get with bud to do the main meals, but we need some snack and breakfast stuff.

Baked Oatmeal - I love this and my daughter asks for them all the time. I think it is great. Granted it has chocolate in it, but it also has protein and whole grain. :)

Quick Bread - Mix and Match Recipe from Frozen Assets. We will probably try to make an applesauce version, carrot version, and possibly a banana version.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

mmm....love chocolate. :)

I also did a couple of sloppy joe batches last night. (It is really just ground beef, tomato soup, brown sugar, and mustard.)

Chicken Pot Pie - I just put leftover chicken, mixed veggies, cream of chicken soup and a little bit of milk in a pan ready to go for whenever we want to have it.

Finally, I will probably do either a lasagna or a penne rustica next week. I will decide when I set up my menu plan and will just make two at once.

I guess that's enough to keep me busy. Have fun everyone.

For more ideas check out Money Saving Mom's Freezer Round Up

Monday, September 6, 2010

Our not so amazing Publix trip

I think I was still on a high from my CVS trip when I went to publix today, because I did not have my thinking cap on. I made several great buys and made up for those by buying tons of bags that were not on sale...what was I thinking? I needed to buy bags, but I could have just used my coupons on the size I needed and bought more later when they were on sale, instead I just bought to use up coupons...urg! Maybe I will return them tomorrow :) Ended up spending $100.13 which is way high for us, but I was also completely out of meat, poultry, fish, and shrimp. I didn't buy any fish, but I bought the other 3 in fairly large quantities. Luckily the shrimp was on sale. Had a really good deal on Cheese - there is a Kraft coupon fo $5 off of 5 items and the chunk cheese was on sale for $2, so I think that was pretty great. Got some yogurt packs for under $1, and I ended up with $25 in coupons all told, so I'm not unhappy, just wish I had been thinking on ZipLocs. I guess I can just learn from my mistakes...right?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Football season has started again, and in our house that makes life a little crazy because of all we have to do, so here is our plan, but no guarantees.

Sunday - We are ordering Pizza with family
Monday - Spaghetti
Tuesday - Popcorn Chicken (Excited to try out a new recipe, I think both my daughter and husband will enjoy this).
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - hmmm...I haven't decided yet.
Friday - Family night
Saturday - Football - we'll need something, but I will probably decide later. :)

for more great menu ideas check out Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com

CVS Deals - Sept 5, 2010

****UPDATED 9/6/2010***
My daughter and I try to go to CVS on our way to church (when your day starts before 6am you have plenty of time before a 9:30 service) every sunday. This week we went for our weekly deals and I think we did a pretty good job.

We picked up the 2 pack of Dawn Ult that is on the monthly deals for $6 and had a $.25 coupon for that plus we got back the 2 ECBs.

With those ECBs in hand we got
2 Wisk Ultra on sale B1G1 for 8.49 - We had 2 $3 off coupons on these, so this was our deal of the week!
Then we got 4 of the St. Ives soaps that were 2.99 if you bought $10 worth then you got $5 ECBs. If you are looking for the best deal on this this week you should go to Walgreens, but I don't love our Walgreens, and I didn't want to make a second trip, so I went with this deal. :)
Finally, the pullups were 8.49 (or maybe 8.99) this week, so we got a small pack of these.

We used our $4 off of 20 coupon, our $2 ECBs, and our 2 $3 off Wisk. In all we spent $23 and change on this transaction. So in all for under $30 we walked out with Pullups, 2 laundry detergents, 4 soaps, and 2 dish soap. I think we did pretty good.


My daughter and I went back to CVS today because one of the coupons the machine spit out was a $3 off of $10 in Grocery items. Milk was on sale for $2.99 and cereal was on sale for 1.77 a box. We Brought our $5 ECBs from yesterday, our coupon from the machine, a coupon for 2 boxes of Raisin Bran and a coupon for 2 boxes of Corn Pops. Walked out with 2 Gallons Milk, and 4 boxes of cereal for $2.56 OOP. Man did that feel good! :)

Unintended Consequences

My mom got my 2 yr old a really neat responsibility chart a few weeks ago that has magnets with written chores and responsibilities and different colored reward magnets. She is a little young for the whole thing, but we got it out anyways and just let her play with all of the magnets. As she was playing with it the most amazing thing happened, she learned her colors! She would ask me what each of the reward magnets were and then repeat the color. The next day she brought me the magnets and told me about the colors. Now, the really funny part about this whole thing is that I have been trying to teach her colors for weeks then the moment I backed off she learned it on her own. Amazing!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

French Dip: A Resounding Success!

We made the french dip from our meal plan on monday and had a few people over for dinner. It was great! My husband doesn't love the sandwhich idea, so we just sliced some roast for him, and the rest of us had french dips w/ aus jus (Did I spell that right?). This definitely goes in the recipe keep pile! Yum!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Look What I MADE!!

Ok, I forgot to take the pictures, so you can't really look, but I am so excited. I made Vanilla Wafers from scratch. I was checking out everyone's menu plans for Menu Plan Monday over at Orgjunkie.com and ran across this site with a great recipe. We all loved them. You should definitely try it. : )

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Menu Plan

Here is our plan for the week.
Tonight we are going to turn our leftover chicken into a chicken pot pie (I really messed up the last one...it was not edible!)
Tuesday - Pizza
Wednesday - Church
Saturday - Family night.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

She's teaching me!

Here is my frugal idea of the week! Let your kids talk you out of purchases. My daughter did a great job of that last week.
I took my toddler with me to pick out a birthday present for her cousin last week and let me tell you, she is the good shopper! I was drawn in by the clearance aisle and pillow cases and other things for her, but when I asked her if she wanted to take things home she said no. She was quite content to play with the toys for a few minutes in the aisle and then return them to the shelf. She didn't feel entitled to a toy just because we were getting one for her cousin. Amazing, she talked me out of purchases, and she is two!
For more great frugal ideas check out Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I was determined to stick to plan this week, and thus far I have, however....While I was making dinner tonight apparently I was out in la la land. I used the sticky chicken that I planned on making for freezer day (finally got around to making it yesterday, and then ended up eating with extended family, so it was around today) and turned it into Chicken Pot Pie. Unfortunately I managed to forget to salt and pepper my chicken as I was putting it into the pie, used a mixed veggie can that had potatoes (I HATE potatoes), and last but not threw it all in with cream of mushroom instead of cream of chicken! Agh!!!! Let me just tell you that none of us ate a whole lot of dinner tonight. Oh well, better luck next time!

Menu Plan Monday

Last week we didn't get to eating the Chicken Pot Pie, or the Johnny Marzetti, so we have them set up again for this week.

Sunday - Chicken Pot Pie - I have to pick up a few things today to make this work, but it should be fine. :)

Monday - It's my nephew's birthday, so we will be celebrating with him tonight.

Tuesday - Lemon Chicken (from an older freezer day)

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Johnny Marzetti

Friday - Family dinner out

Saturday - Tacos/Burritos

For More Great Menu Plans Check Out Orgjunkie.com.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Freezer Follow Up!

We had our freezer cooking day today and it went pretty great. Both of the kiddos (my 2 yr old and my bud's 7 wk old) did great, both napped for part of the time, watched a bit of Curious George, and "helped". The only thing that didn't get done was the Sticky Chicken, and that was completely my fault! I forgot to cook my bird the night before, so nothing to debone come cooking day. Here are the pics of a few projects, and a very full freezer. (I'm going to say I don't know where the banana muffins went...hmm...)

Cinnamon rolls, ready to go in the freezer!

Half of the Banana Crumb Muffins.

We had a ton of other things going, but I am not a food photographer by any means, so here is our stuffed freezer. It should keep us in food for a few weeks anyways :)

Let us know if you have any ideas for our next Freezer Cooking day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Shopping Trips!

Yesterday we made a trip to CVS and I am pleased to report that we saved as much as we spent. We did spend a lot more than we normally spend, but we also got a lot yesterday.

paper towels
Easy ups- We have made the switch to training pants, our girl is merely "potty aquainted" but we are working on that.
3 boxes Raisin Bran
3 boxes Band-Aids (Hello Kitty for my shopping helper)
Q-Tips (not on sale, just desparately needed)
3 cans olives

Nearly everything was on sale (minus the Q-Tips) and we had a coupon for every item! We bought the raisin bran first and got our $5 ECB and then everything else in the second transaction with our 20% off coupon. In all we spent about $31 and saved $30.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - 8/16

This week is a little crazy because we have family pictures one night, and another is my birthday, but we are still making a plan. We also have a freezer day planned for Friday, we shall see how it all goes.

Sunday - Lemon Chicken (Ok, I'm already thinking I am changing this to Spaghetti, but maybe we will stick to it.)

Monday - Family Pictures - Dinner out!

Tuesday - Penne Rustica (Frozen from a few weeks ago).

Wednesday - Burritos/ Tacos

Thursday - Chicken Pot Pie

Friday - Freezer Cooking Day - Family dinner out

Saturday - Johnny Marzetti (from freezer day)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Check Out Our Dinner

Here is what we ended up eating for dinner last night.

Our menu plan has been more of a guideline this week. It hasn't completely rolled off the track, we have eaten what we had at home, but not was on the plan. The above picture is what resulted :) . I count that as success! I had planned on roasting a whole chicken, but it has been so hot I didn't want to heat up the kitchen, so we grilled our tiny electric grill instead, and then put it all in a salad. If I can just make mistakes like this all the time, we should be good.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A New Freezer Day!

********UPDATED - See the pics from our freezer day here!**********************
My cooking buddy is back. Her beautiful son is now 6 weeks old, and we are ready to attempt another cooking day, this time with 2 kids around :)

Here is our plan so far.

Sticky Chicken - We will try to do this ahead of time and just divide up the meat when we get together.

Stuffed Shells - I am a sucker for Italian, no Fishmama Lasagna this time, so this will have to do!

Banana Crumb Muffins - My baby girl (and her mom) goes crazy over all things bread, so we might have these around for a few mornings :)

French Dip - We'll do the meat on cooking day, and purchase the rolls when we are going to eat them, or when they go on sale and then we'll freeze them.

Johnny Marzetti - chicken and cheesy noodles, need I say more?

Country Captain Chicken - More for my crockpot!

Cinnamon Rolls - These are my favorite, because they are yummy, but still have the whole grain and the oats in them.

I may also make a batch of Baked Oatmeal, but my buddy says they'll pass on that one.

*** I went ahead and made my baked oatmeal, check it out!***

What do you think? Anyother exciting ideas for us. We'll let you know how it goes (and I will try my best to do pictures too.


I love swagbucks. When I first started it I wasn't sure about it, but now that it has earned me over $15 in amazon gift cards, I'm on board! When I first started using it I didn't really know how to make it work for me, because I do not ever download toolbars. Now I have it set as my home page, so it is the first thing that pops up, and I use it to navigate to whatever page I want to go to. For instance, one of my favorite sites is Money Saving Mom, so I would open up my home page and type it in the search bar instead of going straight there. I earn points all the time. I am also finding that I earn a lot of points just from having friends that I have referred to the site, so all this in an attempt to say, YOU SHOULD DO THIS TOO. If you sign up here I'll get points from you, and you can start earning your points and recruiting your friends too. As a bonus, right now if you sign up and use the code BackToSchool you should start off with 70 points, and if you start today or tomorrow (August 12, 2010) They are running a promotion all day tomorrow that will give 5 codes to add even more points.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Menu Plan - 8 - 9 - 10

Another week, another menu, but first let me tell you that the "Better Than Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce" was true to it's word. We loved it!

We have a bit of scheduling nightmare this week, but so far we think that we should all be able to sit down and have dinner together, so I am going to plan thinking that way.

Monday - Burritos - The Kits were on sale a few weeks ago, so we just need the ground beef.
Tuesday - Roasted Chicken, Salad, Green Beans, and Bread
Wednesday - Hamburgers, beans, salad
Thursday - Southwest Rollups
Friday - Family night
Saturday - Spaghetti, salad, rolls
Sunday - TBA

For more great menu ideas check out orgjunkie.com

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A yes mom!

Fishmama has been sharing recently how she wants to be a yes mom. Yesterday afternoon I decide to follow in her footsteps. I wish I had taken pictures, we were quite the mess! When my 2 yr old woke up from her nap she told me she wanted to help cook. ( I stir it mommy!) At first I said no, byt she convinced me, and I am so glad. It probably didn't go as quickly as it would have, but it was fun, all the way to the licking of the spoon. (don't worry, no raw eggs in our shortcake recipe)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 8-1-10

It's a new week and we are ready to set up for a week of meals. We will be missing DH at dinner for most of the week, so a lot of the meals we have planned are more simple than they would normally be, or "girl food." DD and I are looking forward to the "girl food."

Monday - Leftovers - I made pretty simple CHEESY CHICKEN PASTA last night that I enjoyed, but DH did not, so DD and I will finish it off Monday. Cook some rotini pasta and chicken (in separate pots!) When the chicken is mostly done add 1/2 cup chicken broth and simmer for 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Melt 2 oz low fat cream cheese and 1/2 cup mozerella into cheese mix. Meanwhile, a few minutes before the pasta is done throw in brocolli or frozen peas. When the pasta and veggies are done drain. Add pasta mix and chicken mix both into a casserole dish, or 8x8 dish and mix together. Throw another 1/2 c mozzerella and 2 T parm on top, and you have a pretty simple dish.

Tuesday - fun with friends - Homemade Pizza - This is my favorite dough recipe! These will be definite "girl pizzas" complete with pesto (thanks Sandy) from our freezer cooking day and other fresh veggies.

For dessert shortcake!

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Grilled Cheese - Simple food!

Friday - Chicken Alfredo - I found an alfredo recipe that says its better than Olive Garden's, we shall see! I don't have the link right now, I will try to put it up later.

Saturday - Burritos - If you are a publix shopper these kits are on sale B1G1 thru Tuesday or Wednesday depending on your store's sales cycle. :)

Sunday - I know we will be eating out one of these nights, but I'm not sure which one, so whichever day gets bumped will be Sunday :)

Try menu planning this week! It makes it a lot easier (and cheaper) to grocery shop and makes it easier to get dinner on the table. For more great ideas check out orgjunkie.com!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday is here again - So what if I got it done on Tuesday :)

Monday - Lemon Chicken, Italian Breadsticks (homemade, and they were great) salad.
Tuesday - Mac and Cheese, Chicken in the skillet seasoned with italian seasoning, salad
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Sloppy Joes
Sunday - a little bit of everything :)

Good luck to the rest of you planners out there :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Recipe Review - Penne Rustica

Our freezer day was pretty much a bust, we just didn't have time to do much of what we planned. We did manage to get the pesto done, and it seemed to freeze really well in the muffin tins. We didn't do the freezer day, but today I made one batch of the Penne Rustica and it was AWESOME! I loved it. I will definitely do it again. I put what we had left over into 1 person servings and froze it for lunches or small dinners later on.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - July 11

As always, I reserve the right to change my mind! My friend that is going to help with freezer cooking comes this week, and I am really looking forward to that, along with that is the fact that she is very creative, and so I am planning on being flexible. I am not even going to do a great shopping trip, because I want to have room in the budget for different things. :)
Monday - Chicken, Mac and Cheese, and salad (I know this meal has been on my list for weeks, but I haven't gotten around to it yet!) I'm going to do the chicken from last months freezer day.
Tuesday - Leftover chicken from monday, big salad, and rice
Wednesday - Freezer day? Maybe? If we do it this night we will probably have a penne rustica tonight for dinner.
Thursday - Pesto! Maybe a pesto pizza, or pasta, or I don't know, but definitely pesto!
Friday - Grab bag! Whatever Sandy wants!
Saturday - We have a lasagna, that could work here!
Sunday - Tacos
For more great plans check out orgjunkie.com

Saturday, July 10, 2010

More Freezer Additions.

In addition to the rest of our freezer meals I am going to do some new "mixes."

Mix and Match Muffins
Pancakes - I don't know where I got the original recipe but we have a great one that we do half unbleached flour and half wheat.
All of the dry ingredients are going to be in the mix and then I will add the wet later. It makes about 8 pancakes.
3/4 c unbleached flour
3/4 c wheat flour
3 &1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar

Wet team - add later
1&1/4 c. milk
1 egg
3 T melted butter.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - July 5th

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. We enjoyed ours.

I was right about last week, I'm not sure I did what I planned on any night, but it all worked out in the end, and I have some choices from my list last week that I can use this week.

Monday - Sloppy Joes (We missed this one last week)
Tuesday - BBQ Chicken, carrots, beans
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - DD B-day! We are going to have a Birthday Party - Relatives are bringing meat and fixings for Tacos and Fajitas, and we are providing paper goods, cake and ice cream. A friend of mine is coming to help with a farm themed birthday cake. I will try to remember to post pictures of it later. :)
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Mac and Cheese, chicken, green beans
Sunday - Chicken Pot Pie - I just put leftover chicken, mixed veggies and a can of cream of chicken in a cassserole dish earlier and froze it. On Sunday I will just add biscuits to the top (after cooking the main part until warm and bubbly) and cook until the biscuits are nice and golden on top.

For more great menu ideas check out orgjunkie.com

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A New Freezer Plan

I have a friend traveling to visit us in a few weeks, and she has volunteered to pitch in with freezer cooking, so I think I'll start working on a plan. This plan will probably more complicated than anything I normally do, because she is pretty great in the kitchen, and has a lot more knowledge and guts than I do when it comes to cooking.

I am going to start working on the plan now, and I'll add to it as I talk to my friend. :)

Penne Rustica - I love this dish at Macaroni Grill, so I think I'll try it at home. I saw this recipe at one of the menu swaps online.

Pesto - We are using my friends recipe, but here we saw that you could freeze it in muffin tins and then use it when you need it. Great Idea!

We'll probably make some more of Fishmama's Lasagna, because I don't know that I have ever done a freezer day without it...It is amazing if you haven't tried it yet.

I'll add to it later, but this is good start :)


Check out the comments and you will see my buddy for this adventure is super excited, (As am I) and I thought I should add her thoughts here so that I have it all in one place.

She requested Calzones, no problem, unless I allow them to leak out the filling again. (Did I confess that on the blog last time?)

Pizza Dough - I have a dough recipe I love, so I am pretty sure I can handle the one from our Pesto link

Baked Tomatos - I'll add the recipe later (or make my bud do it).

Lemon Blueberry Cake- again, a buddy recipe

Stawberry Upside Down Cake - more bud recipes

Dressing - Some Fancy, Schmancy Dressing- got have Sandy clue you in on that one as well :)

We have a few other things going on freezer day here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday June 28

I have a plan for this week, but I am prepared for it to be foiled. :) My DH is working crazy hours this week, so I have no idea when he will/ or will not be around for dinner, which could affect meal preparation and dining time. Hopefully this gives us a jumping off place at least.
Obviously I am a proponent of meal planning, I know it helps us stay on budget, and well fed, and FishMama @ www.lifeasmom.com agrees with me. Check out this post for the easiest way to start.

Monday - Mac and Cheese (We got a free one last week from one of our Kraft First Taste letters), Ham or Chicken (depending on sales), peas.
Tuesday - bbq chicken - in the crock pot!
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Sloppy Joes - Freezer Recipe - already time to make more :)
Friday - Family Night
Saturday - Lasagna - Freezer
Sunday - 4th of July!
For more great plans check out orgjunkie.com

Monday, June 21, 2010

Freezer Follow Up.

We finally got around to having our June Freezer day today, and it was great. We followed our original plan pretty well, and I only managed to mess up one thing significantly :) When I made the clazones this time I guess I didn't crimp the edges well, because when I opened the oven there was cheese everywhere. Oops! I also forgot that I planned on making a ton of them and only made 6 for my friend, we have some more in the freezer and I figured I could make some more in a few days if I decided I wanted more.

We made 4 lasagnas, 4 dinners worth of the Southwest Roll-ups (we doubled the recipe), 6 calzones, and 4 batches of the lemon chicken. We worked over at my friends house, and she doesn't have a bread machine, so I promised to bring some butterhorns over later, and I made the sloppy joes early when I got nervous that she was going to have the baby before our cooking day, so I will bring some of those over to them later.

The lemon chicken and the southwest roll-ups are both new recipes to us, but both were easy to put together, I just hope they are yummy!

All in all, I think the our freezer cooking day was a success, and because of the choices we made, today we got it done in about 3 hrs. :) Yay!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - June 21

We have a freezer day planned for later in the week, and I am regretting not having much in my freezer right now, but here is the plan for now.

Monday - Sloppy Joes (These are in the freezer, I just need to make some rolls to contain them tonight.)

Tuesday - Chicken Parmesan for dinner and a blueberry shortcake for dessert

Wednesday - Church?? (We have a fun conference going on at church Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but it goes a bit late for our toddler, so I'm not sure whether or not we will make it to church Wed. night)

Thursday - Chicken in the crockpot, green beans, rice, bread

Friday - Freezer Cooking day! Family night out!

Saturday - Southwest rollups

Sunday - Lasagna

I'll let you know how it goes :)

Back from Vacation - Ready to Hit the Ground Running

We had a great week vacationing with family at the beach last week, although upon the return home our little toddler managed to pick up some kind of bug. She has had a 100+ fever off and on since around dinner time last night. Amazingly she has still been a trooper and is doing quite well other than the fever. This week we have to get back on our menu plan, but we also have a freezer cooking day planned on Friday with our Buddy (assuming, of course, that her son Daniel does not decide to make his appearance before then). So I'll post our menu plan next, and then on Friday I will let you know how we made out with our freezer day. I'm excited about the menu. Should be fun. :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Menu Plan - June 6

This week is going to be great. (That is my positive attitude at work!)

Sunday - Spaghetti - This is the all time easiest meal great for just about anyone. We usually serve it with a salad (or green beans) and garlic bread.

Monday - Father - in - Law's B-day Celebration!

Tuesday - Meatloaf - I froze 2 a few days ago when I was cooking up ground beef for another meal, so I just need to remember to thaw it Monday night!

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Sloppy Joes - These are a part of my great freezer plan. I am going to attempt to make 4 batches (as long as I have enough ground beef in the freezer, I should probably check that before Thursday).

Friday - Family Night

Saturday - Chicken - I haven't decided what version of chicken we are having that night, but I have a few breasts of chicken in the freezer, and we can either do mushroom onion chicken, baked chicken, or some sort of chicken and rice.

Have a great week! For more great menu plan ideas check out orgjunkie.com

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Freezer Plan! June

This month I have a plan to do some freezer cooking, but my freezer cooking partner is VERY pregnant (think 4 wks to go, but already 3cm dilated and 70% effaced), so I have two versions of the plan. We won't actually be able to have our freezer day until my friend gets off of work which is still 2 wks to go, so I am not actually holding my breath that she will still be pregnant. :) If she is and is up to it we will do an all day cooking marathon with enough for both of us. If she does not make it this long I have an alternative plan. I'd rather do a few meals at a time (and one for that night's dinner) than all at the same time if I am doing it alone, so I'll work out an alternate schedule then and bring a cooler to my buddy after the baby is born. Stretching it out over several days works a lot better when I am working by myself because of my very nearly 2 year old.

Month's Menu - Here is what we are going to try to cook if all goes well. (PS We made a THOUSAND times too much Ziti last month and never need to see it again, at least not for awhile.)
FishMama's Lasagna x4 We did this last month and both families loved them. It easy to add a salad (or green beans) and some bread at the last minute, and it has the added benefit of not needing to be thawed all the way before being cooked.

Lemon Chicken x4 Easy to put together and it can be baked or grilled. A great summer meal.

Grilled Chicken Pesto Wraps x2 (just for Myself and Daughter, no one else seems interested, it will be the last one I prepare in case I just get too exhausted to finish)

Sloppy Joes x4 - We did this last month, and it was a big hit, so we are increasing the size to have more availiable. We just need to remember to buy buns the week we want to eat it. The recipe is from Frozen Assets by Deborah Taylor-Hough. You can check out her website here. I really recommend the book. It is a great way to get started freezer cooking. We love the mix and match muffins. It was worth the price of the book for that one recipe. We can make just about any type muffin with that one recipe.

There is more to add, but Dear Daughter is ready for me to be done, so I will finish later :)

****Ok, it's later!****
We are planning a couple more things (I know, you were waiting with baited breath).
Calzones x4 - We have done these before too and both families enjoyed them. We used a basic recipe from an old cookbook for the crust and we've been adding our own filling (although we did have a request from one of the hubbies to fill them with MORE). We bake them day of the big cook off, and then warm them as needed (I usually microwave for a few minutes and then stick them in the toaster oven so that they aren't soggy).

Butterhorns x1 - We are using the version here minus the chocolate. We did the by hand version last time, but it took SOOOO long. This one is a bread machine version and a lot faster (I tried it, not on a cooking day).

Southwest Rollups x4 - I am not a huge fan of refried beans, but I can try anything once. :) Everyon else seems to be looking forward to it.

I'll let you guys know how it goes later. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Things They Say :)

I took my daughter (23 months old) over to my in laws a few nights ago and it was starting to get late for her and the later it got the more behavior issues I was having with her. Finally, I decided that we should probably head home before she completely melted down, and I called her to come to me. She decided that instead of coming to me she would run the other direction, when I caught up I told her we would be talking about this in the car, but she needed to come say good-bye to everyone. She walked out to grandparents, aunts, and uncles and said to them all, "bye-bye, Help!" Did my best not to giggle as we walked out to the car to discuss running away from Mommy. :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ May 31, 2010

Another week is here! We have a lot of craziness going on, but we should go back to a normal schedule next Monday. Yay!

Sunday - Mushroom-Onion Chicken over Rice, and a nice salad for me, complete with feta, olives and a great vinagerette.

Monday - Memorial Day (and BIL's b-day) Cookout - Burgers, Hotdogs, Fruitsalad, all the great cookout foods. :)

Tuesday - Ravioli Lasagna and salad - Simple meal, just layer the frozen raviloli like you would lasagna noodles and put sauce and cheese in between layers. Bake for about 30 mins at 350 and then for the last few moments broil to brown the cheese

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Meatloaf, green beans, salad (making an extra meatloaf to freeze and eat later

Friday - Family night

Saturday - Chicken Casserole

Best of Luck to all of you other menu planners. Check out orgjunkie.com for more great plans!

Super Savings...or not.

I did ok this week as far as getting good deals on somethings, but I did a lot of shopping this week! At CVS I got hair ties B1G1 and did the $25 deal with PG products, so I got toilet paper (needed) and D cell batteries (also much needed) and I had a$1 coupon on the toilet paper (although I did find another one later that I could have used in addition to that) and a $5 off of $25 CVS coupon so $24 and change out of pocket, and I got $10 ECBs. Not a great deal this week, but it will probably net me free diapers in a week or so. I guess I consided this a "buy in" week. I don't particularly use anything else that they have on sale this week, so I'll just carry it over to another week.
Now Publix I went in with a plan, unfortunately I haven't yet built enough stock up that I can just buy ahead, so I ended up spending $98 and change, I did save $50.17. I scored some great deals (Free Razors plus $.50 overage and some other great buys) but I need to work on watching the total. I am finding that even though I primarily drink water, that Gatorade and milk puts a significant dent in my budget! This week I spent almost $15 on just those two items and I also bought Tide so there is another $9.99 (it was a 64 load bottle, I usually try to get it a little bit cheaper, but it is pretty near my buy price).

Oh well, live and learn....and maybe shop with a calculator. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday May 24

Another week another menu plan. I think I will be taking it pretty easy this next week, because we have a busy week and DH is working long hours and may or may not dinner most nights.
Sunday - We are finishing the final leftovers from last week for dinner tonight. There is enough of a variety there that I am actually looking forward to dinner. :)
Monday - SeaWorld trip! I'm assuming we will have to eat something on the road or at the park.
Tuesday - Spaghetti
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - I'm not sure yet, but definitely low maintainence.
Friday - Family Dinner
Saturday- Mushroom Onion Chicken - This is an easy meal and everyone loves it. We serve it over rice and with Green beans, or a salad.

Have a great week, for more great menu ideas check out orgjunkie.com

Monday, May 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday May 17

Welcome to another addition of Menu Plan Monday
We have a bit of a crazy week, but all things considered I think we can make it. :)
Sunday - We had friends over and one of them brought a lasagna and we provided the strawberry shortcake.
Monday - Mother - in - law's birthday so we will be heading over to their house for dinner.
Tuesday - either Tortellini or calzones.
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Roasted Whole Chicken, green beans, bread
We use a clay pot to roast the chicken with about 2 tsp of italian spices, olive oil and a couple cloves of garlic. It takes about 1 hr 15 mins in a 350 degree oven.
The bread we will use the bread maker for we've been making the honey grain oatmeal bread that is in the manufacturer directions a lot recently.
Friday - Family Night
Saturday - Tonight will probably be a girls night (with my daughter) and we will probably have something Dad wouldn't eat. A great salad complete with chicken, feta, olives, almonds topped with a balsamic vinagrette.
Have a great week! Check out more great meal plans at orgjunkie.com

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Super Saver Saturday!

I am so proud of my CVS trip today, that I just have to share. I left paying just a little over $5 out of pocket and left with 1 Jumbo pk of Huggies diapers, kotex pantyliners, and 2 boxes of Raisin Bran! Yay!
I went to Target when I was finished and didn't do quite at well, but I did manage to get 4 of my husbands favorite shampoo/bodywash for $5 and 20 bandaids for $.27. I had a few other big purchases there (bug spray for the perimeter of the house, and toilet paper) so I still owed them some significant cash, but all in all not a bad trip. My one sad moment was this morning when I read the new CVS deals for this week, my husband's shampoo of course is one of the free items this week...oh well, guess we'll just get more, too bad I used all the coupons yesterday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 5-10

After being hit by an awful stomach virus last week I wasn't sure I even wanted to look at food for this next week, but here we are, and we should all probably eat something...I am going to keep it easy next week. I do need to think about having another "freezer day" with my buddy, because I don't have much left in the freezer, but that will have to be a little later.

Monday - Chicken (baked in italian dressing), wild rice, green beans
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - either pizza or calzones
Friday - family night
Saturday - maybe goulash...I reserve the right to change my mind on this one though!

For more great menu plans check out orgjunkie.com

Monday, May 3, 2010

Baseball Confession

So here it is, I think I am becoming a Rays baseball fan. I didn't mean for it to happen, but they are slowly working their way into my heart. I have been a Red Sox fan since Josh Beckett moved from the Marlins to Boston (I had never seen a pitcher pitch 9 innings in a row before him, and started watching because of him). I still love the Red Sox, but a lot of the guys I knew and followed have moved on, or are getting older and getting a lot of bench time. So...here is to a new era...Go Rays! (What will I do if the pennant race ends up being Red Sox v. Rays?? Root for them both I guess! Or cheer individual plays.)

Monday Meal Plan

We are back, and back in the swing of things! With the passing of my uncle and the resulting trip we have been out of our normal routine for a while, so we are looking forward to a week at home (although it probably won't be normal, hubby schedule is crazy this week!).

Here is the plan:

Monday - BLT's
Tuesday - Spaghetti
Wednesday - church
Thursday - pasta mix up (whatever I can find in the fridge and freezer to throw into the pasta...spent last week with Italian family members that can make anything into a pasta dish).
Friday - Calzones
Saturday - Family night
Sunday - chicken and rice

For more menu plan ideas check out http://orgjunkie.com.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. Last week my daughter and I took a trip to be with family because an uncle was dying. It was good to be with family, even though it was for a sad reason, but because of this obviously we completely went a different route with meal planning. My husband ate whatever he could find and my daughter and I depended on family to feed us. We will try to get on our feet again this weekend and try to update on Monday.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Will My Family Starve This Week (Another Failed Recipe attempt)?

Ugh! I want to love $5 dinners, but nothing I have made has tasted great. We tried again tonight, but another night, another failed recipe. This was a vegetarian meal, so I didn’t even try it out on my husband, but my daughter was sobbing throughout the meal (so NOT like her at all). Ever time she took a bite she would look at me and start crying again. I eventually gave up and gave her leftovers from lunch (and of course cakeJ ). I ate my portion, and I guess I’ll be eating it again for lunch, because I can’t stand waste, but I am not looking forward to lunch tomorrow. This meal was the gnocchi meal, and it wasn’t awful, it just didn’t have a whole lot of taste. Maybe if I added something to it it would pass, but I don’t plan on making it again. Sorry guys. I’ll let you know if I find a winner.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Recipe Review- Bacon wrapped Apple Chicken

Have to say that I am disapointed with how dinner turned out tonight. :( I made the recipe from $5 dinners and it was so dry! I have been having that problem lately with crock pot dinners, so I am wondering if my crockpot may be cooking a little bit too high? I put the chicken in for the allotted time, but alas! My husband was not pleased with the sauce either, so for 0 for 2. I knew I had him on the sweet potatoes, how can you resist all the brown sugar! Those he liked. :) Well, better luck next time...one of these $5 dinners will taste great, right?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 19

A new week and a new plan! This week I checked out the $5 dinner Mom's Cookbook and I like the way it looks. We are going to try out two of her recipes this week (the vegetarian one I will be trying on just my baby girl and myself, DH need meat!) and I'll let you know how they go.

Sunday - Sloppy Joe's
Monday - Wrapped Apple Chicken (from $5 dinner cookbook), mashed sweet potatoes, and green beans - Here is the Review
Tuesday - Gnocchi & Spinach (also $5 dinner) - Another Review
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Tacos and corn
Friday - Family night
Saturday - Ziti (from the freezer)

Check out Orgjunkie.com for more great ideas.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Sorry I forgot to post my menu plan here, but don't worry, I did post it on my fridge which is of course the most important place for it to be :)

Monday - Steak (broiled), potatoes (for my hubby), green beans, and butterhorns.
Tuesday - Calzones from our freezer day
Wednesday - Church
Thursday- Homemade Pizza (We are going to try FishMama's Pizza Crust) Don't laugh at us for the Calzones on Tuesday and Pizza on Thursday! It was because of a scheduling snaffu with Hubby's work.
Friday - Granny and Pop-pop are coming to visit!
Saturday - Tacos.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls!

I tried FishMama's Cinnamon Rolls last night and they were amazing! My husband doesn't do particularly well with eggs, so we tried it just because it was egg-free, but they were great. I also felt a little better feeding my family something so sugary for breakfast since it was also whole grain (by the way, did you know cinnamon can help keep blood sugar from spiking). You should try it.


Finally remembered to post pictures of the cinnamon rolls before cooking, but alas, totally forgot to take pictures after they had risen and after baking, but here are the before :)

Couponing - My system

I know that everyone has their own couponing strategy, but some of them just seem so complex, I developed my own. :) When I get coupons I go through them immediately and only keep the ones that my family may possibly use (assuming good sales come up) and toss them in one ziploc bag and toss that bag into my diaper bag. That way I have the coupons if I go to the store unexpectedly (not unplanned mind you, just unexpectedly). When I plan a shopping trip I take just a few minutes to run through the coupon bag and put the ones that I am going use on that trip in a separate bag. Tada! All ready to go...no sorting into piles or any of that. I like it, it works for me. Do you have a favorite system?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Freezer Cooking Day!

I had my first freezer cooking day with a friend today. We worked from about 9:30 till 3, but we took a break midday for lunch and for me to put my toddler down for a nap. It went really well. My daughter did pretty well (until lunch/naptime) and we got a lot done.

Here is the total list of what we got done (we just split the meals).

Ziti - We made 6 batches (Huge batches - it will probably go for 6 just at my house) I guess we didn't really realize how much we were making, but it will all be eaten I am sure!

2 Lasagnas - We used the recipe here.

Sloppy Joes 1 batch (I didn't realize we weren't really making that much, so I sent it home with my buddy)

12 single serving size Calzones

and 1 batch (32 rolls) of the make ahead butterhorn rolls from here. (Already baked up a couple of those, yum!)

and finally I made my hamburgers for dinner tonight.
There are a few pictures here , but only about half of the food is pictured. :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

A friend and I are trying our hands at freezer cooking day on Monday, honestly we are only making a few meals, but hopefully it goes well and we can expand in the future. She is expecting her first soon and would love to have a freezer full of meals ready to go. We also tried out strawberry shortcake and a fruit pizza earlier this week if you want to check those out.

Easter Sunday - He is Risen Indeed!
We will have our big easter meal after church with family and then dinner will probably just be sandwhiches later on.

Monday - Ziti - we are making this for our freezer cooking day, so I will keep one batch out to cook. Basically it is just penne or ziti pasta spaghetti sauce and ground beef with cheese on top baked for 30 minutes. We will freeze the pasta, beef, and sauce in gallon bags and the cheese separately and then put them into 13x9 pans when ready to bake.
Tuesday - Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries- We haven't had burgers in awhile, so here they are. We add applesauce to the meat before cooking, it keeps them really moist.
Wednesday - Baked Chicken
Thursday - Sloppy Joes (Got use up the buns before they go bad :) )
Friday - Family Night
Saturday - Chicken Fingers