Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lunch with Friends - Recipe included

I had lunch with good friends today. We all have toddlers that love to run around and play with each other (all three toddlers are quickly approaching two) so it is a fun group. We had a bit of a potluck and I was told that I needed to post the recipe on the blog for the "lasagna style ravioli" so, here it is. I have seen it (or variations of it) on the once a month mom site and in a kraft magazine.

Lasagna Style Ravioli

Ingredients - Frozen Ravioli, favorite jar of spaghetti sauce, any sort of veggies that you are trying to sneak in on your kids or husband, 1 bag mozzerella cheese, "a smattering" of parmesan cheese.

Directions - Preheat oven to 350. Pour a little bit of spaghetti sauce into bottom of 13x9 pan so ravioli won't stick. Put a layer of frozen ravioli over the sauce (not touching, they will swell while cooking). Add another layer of sauce (and any veggies you are trying to sneak in...chop them up small) and a layer of mozzerella cheese. Repeat the layers one more time and sprinkle a little parmesan on top. Cook for 30 minutes in the preheated oven (Check to make sure your middle isn't still cold) then broil for a few minutes to brown up the top! Yum!

All three toddlers (and moms) thoroughly enjoyed the meal with a bit of salad and garlic bread. We still had leftovers with the 6 of us eating and it was very inexpensive. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - March 29th

We are continuing to finish off some more from fridge, freezer and pantry and just have one meal that needed more ingredients. Here we go...
Monday - Casserole from freezer
Tuesday - Ravioli- Lasagna style! (layer your ravioli like lasagna noodles and the layer sauce and cheese...yum!)
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Tilapia pepper packets
Friday - Chicken Pot Pie
Saturday - Dinner out with Family.

For more menu ideas check out

Shopping Day!

I am so proud of my shopping day today! I managed to make it out of publix for $40.60 and that included buying dish washer soap and toilet paper! I knew that I didn't need a lot of food this week, only one dinner that we are having required that I buy main dish type ingredients so I set myself a goal of going in for less than $50 (including the afore mentioned dish washer soap and TP). Since our Publix does not double coupons (nor do any of our local grocery stores) we do not get to do any of those amazing deals that we see on other blogs, but they do accept both a manufacturer and store coupon on the same item, and today I made great use of that! We had a -$1 manufacturer and the same for store for TP and we had a -$1 m and -$.75 store for cascade, and if we bought both of those items we had a free publix bag. Then on top of that we were able to get the cascade on sale! That meant that the cascade was $3.99-$1-$.75=$2.24! woo hoo! We also found that the cereals were on sale, our cheerios, buy 1 get 1 ($3.99 so basically $2 a box...too bad I messed up when trying to print coupons it would have been less). Then the Raisin Bran was on sale and there was tear pad that was for free eggs if you bought 2 kellogs cereals. We had a free coupon for animal crackers and the spaghetti sauce was buy 1 get 1. The only things we paid full price for were the bag of ravioli ($3.34) and the apples ($1.79 lb). So great day shopping, even with my crazy toddler in tow.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This week I am doing my own "eat from the pantry challenge." After 2 weeks of not so frugally shopping while in the grocery store I decided that to even it out a bit, this week we will eat from what we have around the house. It shouldn't be that difficult, I think in the last two weeks I have bought enough to feed an army for a year! Ah, live and learn.

Sunday - Mushroom Onion Chicken - This is becoming one of our family favorites. Everyone will eat and enjoy it, and as a bonus it is a good way to get rid of left over chicken.

Monday - Tacos - (I actually have tomatoes and lettuce on hand, might as well eat tacos when I have great toppings around!)

Tuesday - Eat Out - We are getting the carpets cleaned at 4pm, so by the time they are done I am sure we won't want to try to get back to our kitchen (especially since all of our furniture will be in there).

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Chicken Pot Pie - simple recipe my mother-in-law showed me at one time- cut up chunks of cooked chicken (whatever you have on hand) mixed veggies, can of cream of chicken, dash of milk, salt and pepper to taste heat all of that until bubbling in a 350 oven and then put refrigerator biscuits on top for 10-20 minutes or until they are done.

Friday - Family

Saturday - more hamburger casserole - we are almost through with the stash of this I have in the freezer, I think my husband will be happy to see it gone for awhile.

For more great menu plans check out

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The things they say...

My father-in-law has a fun tradition with his grandchildren that he has been teaching them since they were old enough to have pockets in their clothing. When he pays a bill at a restraunt he keeps out a few extra ones and asks them all if anyone has pockets. All pocketed grandchildren respond by running to him and having each pocket filled with a one dollar bill. My daughter is only 20 months old and speaks only in one word sentences and I really didn't think she knew what was going on. I figured she only participated because her older cousins made it look cool. Today I was quite amused to find out that she pays more attention that she has been letting on. We went to dinner today just our family and Pop, Nana, and 1 Uncle, no other grandchildren. Our girl did great during dinner, she ate well, she talked in a quiet voice, she laughed at her crazy uncle, and was generally fun to be around. Near the end of dinner Pop was getting ready to pay the bill and our girl was starting to get squirmy, then she saw the money. She stopped squirming immediately and looked up at Pop and said (and quite clearly I might add) "Pocket!" It was hysterical. She started feeling all around her pants (which did not have pockets, by the way) and repeating it to him over and over...Oh my... have we created a monster? He laughed and we all followed suit. He gave her the dollar (which she tried to tuck into her pocketless pants) and the tradition continues. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Frugal Friday

How can I save money and still hang out with friends and family? I love eating with friends and family, but going to a restraunt can be a pricey trip for us. This week I think I figured it out! I convince my friends and family to come eat at my house! Last night dinner with 2 of my sisters-in-law and 3 of our children cost me a grand total of about $6. I found chicken on sale (6 leg/thighs) for $2.53, ingredients for some yeast rolls probably totalled $.45, a bag of salad for $2.50 and salad dressing to season the chicken and put on our salad probably around $1. One sister-in-law brought the green beans and "fun stuff" for the salad, and the other brought (her own) birthday cake. We did not make her bring her own cake I promise, her daughter wanted to help make the birthday cake. The night was definitely less expensive than a restraunt and with our crazy band of children being where they could run and play was definitely an advantage for all. There is a little bit of effort involved in the prep and the clean up (especially where children are involved) but hands down this is way more exciting than sitting at home by myself while my friends go hang out in a restraunt together. :)

For more ideas for Frugal Friday check out life as mom.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"School Days"

Before I became a mom I was a teacher. I taught in both public and private schools at different points in my life and taught from 6th grade all the way up to 12th grade. When my daughter was born I loved being at home with her and enjoying my time with her, but I did miss the interaction with small groups of kids. I talked to a few women at my church who homeschooled and asked if they would be interested in a program that got together once a month and did some "learning activities." I got a resounding yes that day, and now two years later I am loving every minute of our monthly ADVENTURES. Today we decided that we were going to do a few messy science experiments. The kids loved it and if you have a few minutes you may want to try these with your kids. I did the outrageous ooze with my toddler (I did all the mixing, I just let her play with it) and she loved it. Both experiments had the kids howling with laughter and I think they learned a lot to day. The other experiment was called the lava lite, enjoy!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Naps, or not...

For the last two days my toddler has taken amazing 3.5 hr naps (granted, her bedtime was rough, laying awake for an hour before falling asleep) so today she decided that the 2o min nap she had in the car was plenty. When I tried to lay her down after being all around town she quickly and quietly got in her bed with her book and baby and "read" to herself and then laid her head down for about 30 - 45 minutes, but sleeping, no way! Oh well, hopefully bedtime will be easy.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Monday Menu Plan

We are back on track again at my house. Everyone has stayed healthy and we go back up to full schedule this week.

Sunday - Hamburger Casserole

Monday- Venison - I realized this morning that I still had a little left in the freezer from the last time my neighbor went hunting, so I had already flash fried it and just put it in the crockpot for later. It was great...really tender, especially for deer meat.

Tuesday- Parmesan Encrusted Pork Chops - my sister-in-law said these were the easiest and best thing she has made in a long time. (The humerous part of this being that she doesn't normally eat pork, and rarely takes time to cook!)

  • Press Parmesan into both sides of the pork chop. Dip into beaten egg. Dip into italian bread crumbs. Saute about 4 mins per side.

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Oven Roasted Chicken, green beans, rice

Friday- Extended Family Time


  • Lunch - We are going to an arts fair so I'm sure we can find something yummy there.

  • Dinner - Chicken Pot Pie

For more great menus check out

Friday, March 12, 2010


Life is good. It's amazing how good this week has been. Because of sickness on all fronts, I really haven't worked in the last two weeks and it has been great. I love having all day to focus on my girl and the stuff we need to get done around our house, but it will also be great to get back to our routine next week. Wish us luck!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Menu Plan for the Week

Now that everyone here is back on the road to health (I think). We can start fresh with a new menu plan for this week.

We generally have at cereal or an occasional muffin or pancake for breakfast, and leftovers for lunch during the week.

Sunday - Mushroom Onion Chicken over egg noodles and veggie.
  • Brown the chicken, poor cream of mushroom soup over it and simmer it for 10 minutes or so then add some french fried onions for a few more minutes. Serve over noodles or rice with extra french fried onions for the top.
Monday - Chicken Parmesan, spaghetti, garlic rolls, salad (Easy, but pretty enough for company)
  • Dip the thawed chicken into egg wash and the dredge through bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake at 350 for about 30 mins
  • add spaghetti sauce and mozerella cheese and bake until cheese is melted and bubbling
  • Serve over spaghetti noodles or by itself.
  • You can find the Garlic Roll here it is recipe #115809

Tuesday - Lasagna

  • I am going to prep an extra lasagna tonight as well as a hamburger casserole - might as well do all that ground beef at once, and I will have a few extra meals in the freezer.

Wednesday - Tacos

Thursday - Shrimp Alfredo

  • Make the alfredo with a touch of balsamic vinigarette... 3 cloves of garlic, 6 oz. cream cheese and 3/4 cup chicken broth, it is so delicious with a little extra parmesan cheese and parsley

Friday - Family Night

Saturday - BBQ Chicken for lunch and the hamburger casserole that I prepped earlier in the week for dinner.

For more menu plans check out

Friday, March 5, 2010

Still Growing

I had a chance to read the Kirk Cameron Autobiography, Still Growing, over the last two days. I loved it. It was long enough to get the details, but short enough that it didn't get boring. He shared his story and how he came to Christ and how it affected every area of his life. It was great to hear the behind the scenes stories from Growing Pains, hear how he tortured his real life sisters, how he met and married Chelsea Noble, and how he gets along in his daily life now with Chelsea and their six kids. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quick read that will both make you laugh and think. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Lasagna Recipe!

I did get together my meal plan on Monday, but forgot to post it. Oh well. No way we are sticking to it anyways this week has already thrown us a ton of curves.
The best news is that I ended up trying a new lasagna recipe to take to a friend who's son is in the hospital (and has been since december - please pray for them). You can find the recipe here. It uses cream cheese instead of ricotta, but it is amazing. I wasn't sure about the switch at first, but yummy! All are agreed at my house. I ended up using the leftover bits to make a mock manicotti that we enjoyed on Tuesday, and now that it is Wednesday all of our plans are up in the air. My toddler has been throwing up all afternoon, so I won't be getting into the kitchen tonight. My amazing husband did go by the store and pick up fried chicken so that at least he and I could eat. I'm not sure what the plan will be Thursday and Friday, because we will need to eat a more bland version then we usually do if my girl is up to eating at all. So pray for us, and all of our health. I would rather not get the virus my toddler has and of course I want her on the way to a quick recovery.