Saturday, November 14, 2009

the {Pumpkin Queen}

I think I should hitherto be known as the Pumpkin Queen. I've been cooking so much with it lately, but 'tis the season and it's been so good!

Today for breakfast, I made these Pumpkin Pancakes courtesy of my mother-in-law, courtesy of my sister-in-law, courtesy of! It made quite a large batch (10 pancakes, I think?) so we have a couple left over for breakfast tomorrow. These were YUMMY! Light and fluffy, very flavorful, wonderful with butter and syrup. Definitely a "will-make-again".

And... {PS: I currently have Pumpkin Whoopie Pies in the oven...again!}


2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar


In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Counting Down...

In just a couple short hours, we will know what "type" of Baby Shaw we're having!! I'm so excited I could...well, you know. Pee. Which is a good thing because I'm supposed to about 1.5 hours before my appointment. Then, after "you-know", I have to drink 24oz water in 1 hour for the ultrasound. (Was that TMI?!)

Pending full and complete cooperation from the construction zone, I'll be sure to post the "results" soon!

Have I mentioned how excited I am?!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

So, what should you do with some leftover pumpkin? Make pumpkin whoopie pies, of course! This recipe was originally called MINI Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, but since there's only the two of us, I figured we really don't need 36 {mini} pies! Better to make 10 regular size ones. :o) Not only do these pies have the standard cream filling, but it's a cream cheese filling. Yum. Definitely put these on your "to bake" list.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper.COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. (A total of 72 cookies are needed for the mini pie recipe.)BAKE for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

BEAT cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.SPREAD a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

*Since I made regular size pies, the cookie "drops" were more like a heaping tablespoon or two and the same when spreading the filling on the baked cookies.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pumpkin-Apple Muffins

What better way to start a perfect autumn Saturday than with an appropriate fall-themed breakfast?! I've been doing a lot of apple coffee cakes for breakfast on Saturday's, so we decided to switch it up and do muffins this week. I had a can of pumpkin burning a hole in my cupboard, so these Pumpkin-Apple muffins were perfect! I also realized this morning that I only have a 6-cup muffin tin!? Weird. I never noticed before! So I made two batches of 6 for us and I used the rest of the batter to make mini-muffins for refreshments at church tomorrow.

I only did a couple things "different" to this recipe. It calls for 1 tbsp. pumpkin spice, which I did not have. So I used this easy substitution:

1 tsp. pumpkin spice =

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
Remember there are 3 tsp. in a tablespoon, so you should triple each of the measurments to get the tablespoon. Also, I added oats into the streusel topping. These came out wonderful and delicious and will definitely be made again.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

15 Week Baby Bump

Wow, huh?! Although it does seem a little early to be sporting a bumpity~bump. And before you ask, yes, there is only ONE little "Bug". Stop that crazy talk!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sweet Shaw's ~ $2.08 Profit

I typically don't do many catalina deals because, well, I just don't. However, there are certain times when I will , this week being one of them. Shaw's has a cat promo buy $30 of select products (check out Deal Finding Mom for a list to get you started) and get a $15 catalina. I might actually roll this one a couple of times this week. The best part is, the $30 total is based on pre-sale prices!! Woo hoo! I Needed some eggs (craving chocolate. was going to make a cake) and milk (which was needed to go with the cake), so I did a quick trip this evening. I never did get the eggs. Guess I'll have ice cream instead!

4 cartons Breyers ice cream (@ $5.99 ea) BOGO = $11.98 ~ used (2) $1/2 & (2) double q's = $7.98 ($1.99 ea)
2 Over the Moon milk (@ $2.99 ea) $5.98 used (2) $1/1 = $3.98
4 Sargento shredded cheese (@ 1.99 ea) $7.96 ~ used (4) $1/1 and (4) double q's = $FREE
4 Lipton recipe secrets (@ $1.00 ea) $4.00 ~ used (2) $1/2 and (1) double q = $1.00 ($.25 ea)
Total before coupons: $31.72
Total oop: $12.92 ~ Got back $15 catalina = $2.08 profit!!

**(The Breyers and the Lipton are what counted towards the cat deal. The Breyer's counted as $5.99 (psp) x 4 and the Lipton counted $1.69 (psp) x 4 = $30.72 psp thus, generating the $15 cat!)

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Lately, the Lord has given both Aaron & I such an overwhelming desire to be genuine in our Christianity, and with that to evaluate what being "a Christian" really means to us. How is my claim to be a "Christ-follower" reflected in my life? Is it even affecting my life? What am I doing to change? To make His desires my desires? To put aside my comforts for His perfection? Christianity is not about what God can or will do for's about what I am doing to further His kindgom and His agenda. We've been doing a lot of practical application Bible study recently and (much to my chagrin!) I've been realizing how Phariseacal I really am! I know all the right answers (and they sound really good!), but without application with the right heart attitude, my knowledge is worthless.

James 1: 22-24 ~ Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

I read this post on my sister-in-law's blog today and it only fueled the desire already planted in my heart!! I long to have such an intimate knowledge of Christ and to walk in such close communion, that my life reflects Him...and only Him. She said it best with, "I commit to immerse myself in Your Word so that who You are is such a part of me that I cannot settle for less."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

CVS ~ Back to School!

I cannot believe all the back-to-school sales already going on! It seems like it gets earlier and earlier every year. The poor kiddo's! Talk about ruining what's left of the summer with all the BTS reminders! I'm not in school, nor do I have kid's, but everyone can use 80 bazillion pens and office supplies, right? Some good stuff for crafting, too. :o) CVS has a good 3-day sale this week...I'm headed back tomorrow to get my limits worth of a couple things and roll the ecb's. Here's today's trip.

2 Composition notebooks (@ $.99 ea) = $1.98
3 Starbucks Frappucino's B2G1 (@ $2.69 ea. One didn't make it to the picture!) $5.38 ~ used (3) $1/1 = $2.38 ($.79 ea)
(4) 2-pk Bic Triumph BOGO (@ $3.99 ea) $7.98 ~ used (4) $2/1 = $FREE
2-pk Pilot pens = $.99
Stapler = $.99
Index card holder = $.99
2 newspapers (@ $1.50 ea) = $3.00
2 Neutrogena lip gloss (@ $7.99 ea) BOGO $7.99 ~ used (2) $3/1 = $1.99 ($.98 ea)
Twix bar $.67 ~ used FREE item Q = $FREE
used $2.99 ecb
Total before coupons: $31.77
Total oop after coupons: $9.73 and earned $4.95 ecb ($1.98 for notebooks, $.99 for stapler, $.99 for Pilot pens, and $.99 for index card holder)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cleanin' Out the Fridge

I've really been making an effort lately to eat thru things either in the pantry or in the fridge. So, I was thinking of how I was going to use those super cheap-o (but small) tortilla wraps I got a while back. So...I thought of quesadilla's!! I've never made a quesadilla in my life, but I figured how hard could it be?! It wasn't.

First, I pre-heated the oven to 350 and diced up 2 chicken breasts in about 1-inch pieces, while melting about 2 tbsp. butter in a skillet. Place the chicken pieces in the butter to cook and sprinkle with some salt/pepper (or any seasoning of your choice).

While that was cooking (I didn't think to start taking pictures until the next step) I arranged the tortilla's on a baking sheet and added a layer of shredded cheese. I diced up some red onion and added that on top of the cheese.

Then, I chopped up banana peppers and added those with the onions. (I also used up the jar of peppers...part of my cleaning-out exercise. Yay!)

Then, I added the diced chicken to the mix. Notice anything different?? :o)

I realized that I had enough chicken for another quesadilla, and they actually come in a pack of 10, so I could use that up also! The 5th one only had chicken & cheese on it.

Then, I added a (generous) amount of shredded cheese on top of the chicken. Yep. I used a whole bag of cheese up, too.

Top each one with another quesadilla and you're ready to bake!

I baked them for 5 minutes, then flipped and baked for 3 more minutes. Once done baking, cut into fourths and serve with sour cream and salsa!

This was definitely a "will make again". Plus, you can add whatever ingredients you want and need to use up! All in all, I used up a total of 3 things from fridge, have lunch for hubby tomorrow, AND he really enjoyed them. I'd say it was a success.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Haddock Dinner ~ YUM!

My mother-in-law made this when we were in Maine last weekend...recipe courtesy of my sister-in-law. This is so super easy to put together and tastes absolutely wonderful! I added a couple tweaks (as usual!). Enjoy!

You'll need:

1 - 1.5 lbs. haddock (about 2 good size filets)
1 stick of butter
2 cloves of garlic (I used 5!!)
1/2 c. bread crumbs (I used Italian flavored)
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. dill (I was out of I used a little lemon pepper instead)
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper (I pretty much eye-balled all the herbs/spices)
1 lemon (my addition)

Press garlic into saucepan with stick of butter and melt over low heat.

Meanwhile, place filets into baking dish.

Once butter & garlic are melted & combined, pour over filets.

Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the dish with fish, & garlic butter.

Mix bread crumbs, parsley, dill, paprika, salt & pepper in dish. Sprinkle over filets.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Seriously...a must try dish. :o)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Feeling Creative

I'm feeling the urge to change the scenery around will look better and more cohesive soon! I promise!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Portobello Mushroom Pizza's

I had to divert from the MPM schedule for the week. Aaron didn't get home until 12:30am on Wednesday morning (and I thought I had a long day!) so things got adjusted. So, we had the portobello mushroom pizza's tonight. This is the 2nd time we've made them..they are just delish and super quick & easy. We each eat two caps, and it's just the right amount. I didn't take a picture..but trust me. They're worth making.

Wipe down portobello caps with damp cloth. Remove stems and spray top of cap (lightly) with cooking spray and place on baking sheet. Roast at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove caps from oven. Drain liquid and place back on sheet. Add about 2-3 tbsp. pizza sauce, little bit of shredded cheese, pepperoni (if desired), and top with more shredded mozzarella cheese. Place back in oven until cheese is melted.

The first time we made these, I used the sandwich size pepperoni and it was about the same size as the mushroom cap, so it fit perfectly. This time, I used a slice of genoa salami and 3 little pepperoni's on each cap then topped with cheese. It was REALLY good.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Sun dried tomato & basil crackers, brie & grapes
(weird, huh?!)

Tuesday - Portobello pizzas

Wednesday - Steak with rosemary vegetables

Thursday - Stuffed roaster chicken, vegetables

Friday - TBD?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Big Y Trip

I don't always go to Big Y, or if I do go, I don't get "killer" deals, but today was a really good day!! Here's how I did:

2 Mrs. T's pierogis - $2 each
2 pizza sauce - $1 each
Fresh Express Spinach - $1.50
2 Carando pepperoni (BOGO) - $4.19
white rice - $1
Bird's Eye peas - $1
2 (4pk) Joint Juice - clearanced for $2.49 each
2 single Joint Juice - $1 each
Cascade crystal clear dishwasher stuff - $3.89
3 bags Rice Works chips - $2.99 each
Mug root beer - $1
2 Marcal toilet paper -$.60 each
Asparagus bunch - $1.38
Total before coupons = $37.11

$1/2 Mrs. T's = $3
$1/2 Carando = $3.19
(2) $2/1 Joint Juice = $.49 each (the 4-pks!)
(2) $1/1 Joint Juice = FREE
Cascade FREE coupon (mailer)
3 Rice Works = FREE bag coupons
2 Marcal = FREE coupons
Total OOP (after tax): $15.10

Wal-Mart Trip

I did okay at Wal-Mart today. Sometime I need to go in there when I have hours to spend and just try to clean out some coupons! Today when I went to pay, I thought the amount sounded higher than it was supposed to be, but there were people behind me so I didn't want to sort it out. I got to the car, and figured it out. The McCormick seasoning was supposed to be 2/$1, but they rang up $.94 each! So, basically, my total should have been $2 less than it was. Buuuut...I didn't feel like going back in and dealing with it. Not as good a transaction as I thought it was going to be, but you win some, ya lose some. :o)

4 Pringles - $1 each - used (2) $1/2 = $.50 each
4 McCormick - $.94 each - used (2) $.25/2 = $.81 each (should have been $.37 each. ::sigh::)
2 Johnson & Johnson First Aid kits - $.97 each - used (2) $1/1 = FREE + .06 overage
2 Kotex (20 pk) liners - $1.00 - used (2) $1/1 = FREE
Total oop: $5.70

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What to Buy for $3.75

Went to Stop & Shop and Shaw's yesterday for more strawberries and freebies!! I did want to pick up some more free bagels, but I forced myself not too. I'm running out of freezer room! But I did clean and organize the freezer which was good. I was able to make a list of things I'd "forgotten" I had, so I can plan a menu next week to use some of it up! And make more room for freebies!! :o)

3 1-lb. strawberries - $5.00 used 2 $.50 catalinas & 5% off purchase = $3.75
6-pk Poland Spring water - FREE
2 pie crust - FREE
2 pkg. frozen veggies - FREE
3 frozen lemonade - FREE

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Dressing Like a Daughter of the King"

Head over to the Stay at Home Missionary for yesterday's full guest post by Marianna, owner of Bellissima Modesty Boutique. The direct link doesn't seem to be working, but this part of her post really jumped out at me. I love the part about looking the part as the "CEO" of my home!! :o) This was a great reminder that my "job" as a wife and helper is an important role, given to me by God, and that I should look for ways to weave beauty into everything I do. Enjoy! :o)

"During my recent study of the dynamic and beautifully detailed portrait of the character of the woman whom God calls "beautiful" and having "surpassed them all", I found it interesting to note that in the midst of the accounts of her hard work and diligent planning, God also mentioned what kind of clothes she wore! Often in God's Word, we see that when women are specifically mentioned, details about their outward appearance are often included. I believe God created us as women to care about our appearance. Not so say that we should be vain or overly consumed with outward appearance, for a meek and quiet spirit is the greatest beauty we can possess! But I believe that how we dress and what we look like on the outside, is a reflection of what is in our hearts.

Proverbs 31 paints a portrait of the woman that God said "excelled them all" (meaning that her work as a keeper of the home excelled all the other women mentioned in the Bible!). The strongest lines and strokes on the canvas of this woman's portrait, are of her fear of God, her love for Him and her family, her good work ethic and the use of her hands to bless others. But we notice in the details, that this woman weaves beauty and excellence into everything, including the way she clothes both her family and herself.

Prov. 31:22b (Amp.)
"Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made]."

This woman knows that she is not only a King's daughter, but she holds a very valuable position as keeper and manager of her home, and she dresses to fit the job. Not to say that every day we always feel like a princess or that we should do our housework wearing a taffeta skirt and wearing a tiara on our heads, and it doesn't even mean that we need to dress in expensive or fancy clothes as we go about our daily work. Is what it does mean, I believe, is that we should dress in a way that helps remind us that what we are doing is important, and that we are a royal people, a chosen generation (1 Peter 2:9) and that everything we do is to be done unto the Lord, the King of Kings (Col 3:23).

When we remember that, and dress as the daughters of the King, or as the Queen of the home that you are, it shows the world that, one, we take delight and joy in the job we hold as homemaker (or for some of us, as "homemaker in training"), and two, that we dress in a way that is pleasing to the eye of our family and ourselves. So throw out your bleach stained tees, and stretched out sweat pants (save them for your next painting project), and put on something that suits the position you have in your home as CEO. ;-) Like the woman in Proverbs 31 you'll feel yourself ready and willing to take on your God given tasks with joy and pride!

Wearing a perky apron can help us remember that we have the privilege of being a servant like Christ was! (John 13:4, He "laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.") "

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shaws P&G Deal

Shaws had a promo this week buy $20 worth of select Proctor & Gamble products, get a $5 catalina. I didn't spend a lot of time on this, but it caught my attention because I had dish detergent on my shopping list, had a couple good coupons for Cascade, plus the Price Chopper double coupons that Shaw's will take as competitor coupon. Oh, and I needed some applesauce.

Ugh, the applesauce. That's a whole 'nother story. Recently, I've started baking with applesauce rather than oil in many things (so good, btw. makes things VERY moist). Well, last week I was putting the applesauce back in the fridge and, well, dropped the whole huge thing on the floor. Needless to say, I needed another jar. :o)

Anywho, I was able to use 2 PC double coupons. I had 3, but the lady saw it said limit of 2, so I couldn't use the 3rd one. But, it really didn't matter, I think I made out better, because the PC coupon would double up to $3. She just gave me $3 more off, instead! :o) Fantastic!! So, here's what I got. Oh, and I was pleasantly surprised, that the Dawn on sale was the large container, not a small one!

Oh, one more thing. I REALLY like the little capsules for dish detergent. However, the most "bang for my buck" was obviously in the liquid. So, I compromised and got 2 of each. :o) Figured I was getting a good enough deal either way!

4 Cascade dishwasher detergent - $4.39 each
1 Dawn Hand Renewal dish soap - $2.99
50 oz jar applesauce - $2.59
Total before coupons: $23.14
Coupons used:
2 $2/2 Cascade ~ $4
2 PC double coupons ~$6
$1/1 Dawn ~ $1
Total after $.93 tax = $13.07 and got back $5 CAT

Monday, March 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday!

So this week, I'm going to try to stick with the menu in place. I'm a pretty moody eater (like.."I'm in the mood for...." or "I could really go for some...") so I often stray from the "gameplan".

Monday ~ Mozzarella Chicken (except I'm adding roasted red peppers too. and maybe a different sauce) & veggie (TBD)

Tuesday ~ Angel hair & roasted red pepper alfredo, garlic bread

Wednesday ~ Sweet & Sour chicken stir fry

Thursday ~ Kielbasa & Sauerkraut

Friday ~ Tuna melts on bagels, soup

Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Menu Plan Monday ideas!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Freebies by Mail

I usually get some freebies in the really makes getting the mail exciting! I didn't get much last week, but here's what came.

Sample box of Total Cranberry Crunch. Get your sample here. Came with a $.75 coupon...very valuable. Will double to $1.50 at stores. Yay!

Aveeno night firming cream with a $1.50 off coupon. I'm not sure where that came from.

Quaker True Delights ~ Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond granola bar with a $1.00 coupon. Get your sample here.

I don't typically enter sweepstakes, but a few weeks ago, Kraft was holding one where the chances seemed pretty good, and the prize was worth it. You could try to win 4x a day... and I finally won! I got 3 coupons for FREE items! Any Nabisco cracker product (up to $4.49) ~ FREE; any Kraft, Cracker Barrel, or Polly-O cheese (up to $3.99) ~ FREE; any Planters snack product (up to $5.00) ~ FREE!

If you're a freebie junkie like me and want your mailbox to be surprise central, also offers great freebies, trials, & samples! Click here to sign up for yours!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Peggy Li Creations "Infinity Necklace" Giveaway

Check out Frugal and Fabulous on how to enter to win this pretty necklace! But hurry, entries close tonight at 5pm!! Sorry I didn't post sooner!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Supper - Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

We haven't eaten yet, but this meal will be yummy, yummy, yummy. I could smell the meat outside the door when I came home from work. This was SO easy...I had to share. You will need:

Pork chops (3-4lbs. should be plenty. I used 7 chops)
Stock (3-4 cups)
Onion (I used about 1/2)
Cider vinegar (little over 1/3 cup)
Worcestershire sauce (about 1/3 cup)
Minced garlic (few tablespoons)
Bulkie rolls
seasonings (I used Italian, salt, pepper, basil)
(as usual..amounts are to taste. I don't think you could mess this up.)

I had the assorted pack of chops from Shaws that I bought earlier in the week...3+ pounds for under $6! Good deal. Anyway, since the chops were assorted, some were sitll on the bone, so I just cut it off. Place chops in crock pot. Slice onion and add to crockpot. Add stock (to cover pork chops), vinegar, worcestershire, minced garlic and seasonings. Cook on low for...about 8 hours.

Shred chops one by one. Really, they should just about shred tender! I dumped the juices thru a strainer and added the onions and some of minced garlic "leftovers" to the shredded pork pile.

Next, put shredded pork mixture back into crockpot and add a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. I used Wegman's (*sniff*) Memphis flavor. Mix together and cook on low for another hour or so. If this wasn't already tender enough....! Now, it just melts in the mouth. (Of course I sampled it!)

I got a free 5lb bag of potatoes a few weeks ago from Shaw's, and there were 3 left that were on the verge of extinction. I decided to make some homemade french fries to use them up! Dump a little veggie oil in a skillet, and voila! Insta-fryer.

Ok, so honey is on his way home, fries are frying up nicely, and I'm charging the camera battery. Will post a pic of the "finished product" later!

**Update: The pork was AMAZING!**

Friday, February 13, 2009

Freebie (or close to it!) Friday

I did not do much grocery shopping or otherwise this week, but there were some promo's that I could not pass up! I did 3 transactions at 2 different grocery stores, but each one ended in getting a catalina (coupon) for $10 off your next purchase! Over 2 deals at Stop & Shop I spent $22.32 and had a $10 coupon left over to spend later. Here's what I got:

3 Crest Pro-Health toothpaste
2 Satin Care shave gel
4 Kids Crest toothpaste
4 Oral-B Stages toothbrush (kids)
2 Oral-B toothbrush (adult)
1 family size Herbal Essence shampoo
1 family size Herbal Essence conditioner
4 Lunchables
2 Brown-n-Serve sausages
Loaf of Italian bread

So today, I needed to get some things for Valentine's dinner and just some staples we needed. There was also a deal at Shaw's that I wanted to do, because it would give me another $10 catalina. I am SUPER happy about this grocery trip. I only spent $40.56!! and got the $10 off next purchase coupon that I will use next week when I go!

2 3Lb bags kitty food
1 box Keebler Club crackers
2 Betty Crocker Cake mix
2 Betty Crocker frosting
1 Jell-O No Bake cheesecake
2 Crystal Light
4 Betty Crocker Warm Delights
2 bottles soda
1 bottle Hunts ketchup
2 Over the Moon milk
1 bag Quaker ranch rice snacks
4 cans Del Monte diced tomatoes
2 Home Life fire starters (I'll explain that in a minute)
3 Pillsbury Grands
2 bags Kraft shredded cheese
1 wedge Parmesan cheese
bunch of asparagus
14 Yoplait yogurt
1.5 Lbs. scallops

The thing with the HomeLife fire starters is this: Shaw's periodically puts out a store coupon booklet. These are good because you can stack these coupons with MF (manufacturer's) coupons. Anyway, when I see these books, I grab like 4-5. This time around, there is a coupon in it for $3 off the fire starters. Any of them. Well, the ones I bought cost..... $.59!!! So, for spending $1.18 on these and using the $3/1 coupon gives me an extra $4.81 profit towards my grocery bill!! :o) YAY!

How did you do grocery shopping this week?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sickness & Supper

I've been sick. With a Pandemic. :o) Seriously, it's been the never-ending illness since last Thursday! Both the hubby and I had "it"...he's feeling pretty much normal and I finally went to the Dr. today. The only reason I went was because it's been a week, and I was starting to wonder about strep, because of a sore throat. I actually had a fever when they took my temp, but no strep. Yay! Just a flu strain that doesn't make you pukey. Oh, and a sinus/cold thing. I'm a mess!! But I was told the usual...get plenty of rest, Vitamin C, Sudafed, etc. It will probably work itself out in another couple weeks. YIKES!!! I think I'm single-handedly keeping the tea industry in business right now!

Moving past the self-pity, menu-planning kind of fell by the wayside this week...because of the malaria. I had some ideas, but nothing concrete. It's worked out okay...just for this week. :o) Tonight, I made a take on a Rachael Ray Shepherd's Pie recipe. I'll just give you my version. It is really easy and fast. You might even say it was "DELISH!".

Mashed potatoes (If you have a ton of free Betty Crocker boxed ones, use those. Or just make your favorite type of mashed. Any will do.)
1 Lb. ground turkey (or beef, whatever you prefer)
1 Tbsp. EVOO
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. beef or chicken stock/broth
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (just eyeball the amount)
Corn (frozen or canned. I used 11oz can of Niblets, drained)
Fresh parsley

Preheat skillet over med-high heat. Add EVOO to hot pan with turkey. Season with salt and pepper. If you're using a fattier meat, drain or scoop out most of the fat. Once mostly browned, add onion to meat and cook about 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. In a second smaller skillet, cook butter and flour together, over medium heat, for about 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy for about 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and onion. Stir in corn.

Preheat the broiler to high. Fill a casserole dish (I used 8x8 glass) with meat & vegetable mixture. Spoon mashed potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes w/paprika and broil. Heat until potatoes evenly browned. Top with chopped parsley.

The thing I like about this, besides the ease and taste, is that you can add/substitute other veggies (peas, carrots, etc.) and also adjust the size of the dish pretty easily. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I *heart* My Crockpot

Bible Study starts a little early tonight, because we are having a potluck dinner and then a meeting! YAY! I love potlucks...brings me back to my good 'ole Baptist roots. :o)

Anywho, during Christmas I joined a "Secret Santa" (*ahem* no such thing!) at work and I got THE BEST GIFT EEEEEVEEEEEER!! Well, from a work function anyway. It is...wait for it...a 500+ page cookbook full of crockpot recipes!! I'm talkin' everything from breakfast, to casseroles, to dressings, you name it, it's in there. It even tells you what size/shape crockpot is best for each recipe. So, now I have to go out and buy 10 more crockpots of various shapes and sizes!

Since I am currently working, sometimes it's nice to be able to throw a bunch of stuff into the cooker, forget about it, and have a yummy, no-stress meal ready and waiting at the end of the day! Especially when I need to have something ready to go for evenings such as this...and it's still relatively (technically?) homemade., I wicked *heart* my crockpot. :o) This is what I made for church tonight:

Old-Fashioned "One-Pot" Bean Dinner
(as always...tweaked to perfection!)

8oz to 1 Lb lean ground beef (I used about 1 1/2 lbs.)
1/2 pound sliced bacon or turkey bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 31-oz cans port and beans (or if you're like me, 16oz can Touch of Honey beans, 16oz can Maple beans, 28 oz can Homestyle beans. I doesn't add up to 31 oz. Close enough)
1 16-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15.5 oz can lima beans, drained (Instead, I used can of Cannelini beans, rinsed & drained)
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp liquid smoke flavoring (????? OPTIONAL!)
3 tbsp cider vinegar

Cook ground beef over medium-high heat until browned; drain fat and transfer meat to slow cooker. In the same skillet, cook the bacon & onion over medium heat, stirring until limp. (about 6-8 minutes). Bacon should be slightly undercooked; drain the fat. Transfer bacon/onion to slow cooker and add rest of ingredients. Stir to combine. Cook on LOW for 6-9 hours, or until hot & bubbly.

I could smell this outside our door when I got home. I cannot wait to eat it!! I think tonight's potluck will be a "TOOT"!! :o)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Faith & Football

We watch football in our house. My husband is a loyal, devoted, die-hard Patriots fan. Remember them? In the 2007 season they were unstoppable...THE team...and went undefeated until the Superbowl. Where they lost. Miserably. That was the same year Bill Belichick was caught cheating...on the field and on his wife. And the same year Tom Brady left his pregnant girlfriend for a model. In the beginning of the 2008 season, Tom Brady gets injured, dashing any hopes of a repeat of 2007's success. Not to mention all the other injuries occurring throughout the season. My husband, the loyal, devoted, die-hard Patriots fan at one point says something like this: "You have to wonder if God has a hand in all of this and is judging this team for their pride and sin?" Hmmmm....

Fast forward to 2009, NFC Championship, Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens. The Arizona Cardinals weren't even supposed to be there, now they are competing for a spot in the Superbowl?! How about that quarterback, Kurt Warner? Plucked from arena football to play for the Rams (winning them a Superbowl), the Giants, and currently, the Arizona Cardinals. He's a Christian, right?, I previously asked my husband. Yes, indeed he is. We've all heard the sports players "thank God" when they get a big win or catch a pass, but how many of them actually know what that means? Or live out their faith in Jesus Christ?
Kurt Warner does! After the '99 Rams Superbowl win, an interviewer says to him, "Kurt, first things first--tell me about the final touchdown pass to Isaac." Warner's response? "Well, first things first, I've got to thank my Lord and Savior up above--thank You, Jesus!" He has since founded the First Things First ministry.

Last night, with about 2 minutes left in the game, I asked Aaron, "Do you think it's total coincidence that this team is about to win this football game? I sure don't." I think it's entirely possible that the Lord is blessing this team because of one man's faith and committment to Him. At the ceremony immediately following the game, with white & red confetti streaming from the sky, thousands and thousands of fans cheering in jubilation, Terry Bradshaw begins to interview the Arizona quarterback, and this is what he says:

I was moved to tears to hear this man giving sincere praise and credit to our Lord! What a testimony.

The cardinals have (surprisingly!) secured their spot in this years Superbowl. They will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are experienced, tough, and have a stellar defense. I asked my husband if he thought Arizona had a shot. Of course they do, but it won't be easy...citing the superiority of the Steelers defense.

We have yet to see if the Arizona Cardinals will win it or not, but I do know that to get all the glory, my God has moved MUCH bigger things than an NFL lineman.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

CVS Today

I robbed CVS again today! START THE CAR!!! :o) I got 3 more boxes of crackers and 2 boxes of Absolutely Divine cookies for FREE (after coupons!) & got $3 ecb's back!! I'm going back tomorrow for more, I think. I need to get some more of the 6-pack water...apparently a shipment comes in tomorrow. The boxes of Absolutely Divine cookies are on sale 2/$5 and I have 2 more $1/1 coupons (I had 2 I used earlier, too), so that makes it $3 and I'll use another $3 CVS coupon making those free! This has been a great week to get my ecb stash back up...for free!

Forgot to tell a little story from yesterday. When I went to the one CVS to get my water, the girl at the counter was trying to convince me to take a cart. I'm like "Nooooo. I'm fine!" It's only 2 6-packs of water, you know. So, yeah. I was walked out, made it halfway across the parking lot, and totally ate dirt!! :o) Serves me really hurt (went face first onto my knee), but I have to admit, it's kind of funny.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

I bought a new Weight Watcher's cookbook and I've determined it was a good investment since I have been using it pretty much non-stop. There's a great variety of options: quick meals, more time consuming meals, lunches, sandwiches, etc. I love it. I thought I'd share every so often about recipes I've been trying that are especially tasty!

This dish was fantastic, filling (I think because of the chickpeas), and healthy! The hardest part was cutting up the veggies...everything else is done in the microwave! I think it's one of those dishes where you could add whatever vegetables you wanted and play with the seasonings (kind of like I did!) and it would still come out great! Enjoy!!

Provencal-Style Vegetable-Chickpea Stew

1 eggplant (1 pound), cut into 3/4 inch dice (I didn't use eggplant)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (28-oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained (again, you could play with this too. I used garlic & onion flavored)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 red bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 small zucchini, sliced (I used a green squash & a yellow squash. Nice color!)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (I used a red onion)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 1/2 cups rinsed and drained canned chickpeas (I used 2 cans)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I fresh grated a block)

Stir together the eggplant and oil in a large microwaveable bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and prick a few holes in the plastic. Microwave on high until the eggplant is softened, about 4 minutes. (If you don't use the eggplant, just add oil in with the other veggies.) Add all the remaining ingredients except the beans and Parmesan to the eggplant and stir to combine. Microwave, covered, on High until the veggies are softened, about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature sprinkled with the Parmesan.
(1 1/2 cups = 7 Points)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Good Reads

I've added a new area to my sidebar called "Good Reads". I plan to add to the (for now) short list as I read different things that impact me in one way or another. Check it out!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Off and Running

Happy New Year!! Well, today I started to put into practice my 2009 goal of assigning specific tasks to certain days. I decided to try out the aforementioned schedule, meaning today was "plan grocery shopping and weekly menu" day. The grocery circulars usually come today, but because of the holiday there was no mail, so I decided to try and view the flyers online. Well, I generally go to 3 different grocery stores, depending who has what on sale, and lo and behold, each of those stores not only has the online circular, but I could click an item in the "flyer", add it to a "shopping list", and print out the list when I was finished!! It was amazing!!! So now I have 3 lists, nicely separated and easy to read, to bring with me when I go tomorrow. I think I have stumbled onto a good thing.

Today I tried to start with planning meals and then figure out the grocery list. I wasn't very successful. I'm not accustomed to planning out a weekly meal schedule at all, so I think that this will take some practice. So, I kind of have a make-shift schedule thought out, which I hope to solidify over the weekend. Any helfpful tips are always appreciated!