Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Saute sliced onion , green pepper in a TBS of olive oil. Saute until tender crisp.
Add thin slices of skillet steak (very cheap steak!!) until browned to your taste.
Take your pizza crust (homemade or frozen like mine) and spread ranch dressing to taste.
Add sauteed mixture and coat with a healthy amount of mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 425 for about 8 - 12 minutes depending on how hot your oven is.
I am so excited for the new year of Menu Planning! (Ok.. so I know its still 2009, but still.... ) This year I am going to be trying to eat healthier, plan ahead and use simple recipes. I am ashamed that I "fell off the wagon" with my meal planning and it cost me. One of my goals for the new year is to also make 1 freezer meal per week. (One that I can double, eat that night and freeze one for later.)
For this week, I am sticking to simple. I am still in holiday mode and still busy with family so I thought I would do myself a favor and keep it simple! Hope you have a great New Years!!
Monday: Grilled chicken over a bed of rice, Broccoli,
Tuesday: BBQ Pork chops, Mixed veggies, crescent Rolls
Wednesday: Leftover Pot Pie (See Below)
Thursday: BBQ pork/cheddar quesedillas, salad
Friday: Making pizzas and salad at home with kidlets! (Including a Philly Steak Pizza - see tomorrows post!)
Saturday: Take out Chinese - Happy New Year!
Sunday: Leftover Buffet - If its not movin, you can eat it !
Leftover Chicken Pot Pie
Leftover chicken or turkey, diced
1 can cream of chicken soup
Prepared gravy mix
Mix all ingredients together. Pour into pan. Cover with biscuits. Cook until brown.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Who’s that knocking on Christmas Eve? by Jan Brett
Merry Christmas, Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola
Christmas Tapestry by Patrica Polacco
Bear Stays up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
One Candle by Eve Bunting
Seven Spools of Thread by Angela Medearis
It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Kwanzaa by Rex Perry
A Kwanzaa Celebration by Nancy Williams
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I have a thing with waste. With each thing I throw out, I cringe a little. Don't get me wrong, I am far from a pack rat. When it comes to food, however, I just hate waste.
Often I will have a recipe that calls for chopped onion, celery, green pepper or other veggies. I try to find other recipes that calls for the same ingredients so there is no waste but often I just have leftover celery or green pepper staring sadly at me through the glass. :(
So now when I have leftover celery or other veggies that I know I am not going to use, I know what to do!
I chop them into pieces, place in a freezer bag and freeze the little suckers. Then when I make noodle soup or other recipes that calls for chopped veggies, I can simply take the baggie out and add it to the recipe. There is no waste and it save you chopping time!
It also make great pizza toppings!
Do you have a money/time/sanity tip to share? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
That being said I typed in some ingredients in a search engine and used my leftover broccoli, heavy cream and dinner rolls. I had all the ingredients without going to the store and you can totally substitute shrimp for chicken. It was delish!! The only drawback was the 3 pans to wash..... I am soooo a one pan girl :) (I also left out the hot sauce and used dried Parsley) I took the rolls, split them, spread them with butter and garlic salt. After toasting.....Wahlah... garlic bread!
I always feel so much better when things like leftover dinner rolls and heavy cream get used instead of being thrown out :)
Hope you enjoy!
1 (12 ounce) package angel hair pasta
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons pesto
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce
1/2 (16 ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, minced
“That is not ok in our house. In our family, we only (use kind words, soft hands, share our things).”
Repeat as needed, which will probably be often for a while.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Turns out that she works for weight watchers and its a low point recipe! Top that with an easy recipe and you have a winner!!!
1 sm pkg vanilla sugar free fat free instant pudding
1 sm pkg butterscotch same as above
3c 1% milk
1 14oz can pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1c fat free or sugar free cool whip
Beat first 5 ingredients with a whisk. Fold in cool whip. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Monday, November 23, 2009
It Thanksgiving week! A week full of good smells and full tummies! Here’s one of my favorite ways to get kids in a thankful spirit.
You will need:
large plain pieces of paper (you can also buy plain paper placemats)
clear contact paper or access to a lamination machine (available at most copy stores)
Read a thanksgiving book and ask your child what they are thankful for.
Friday, November 20, 2009
My little boy is three and he still sleeps in his crib. Its not that I am against moving him to his big boy bed. Really. Its that he has never, not even one time, tried to get out. My little man doesn't like change and is happy as a clam to just call out " mama" when he would like to get up.
I have asked him several times over the last year if he wanted a "big boy bed". Each time he giggled, smiled and said nooooooo. That was just fine with me! I would gladly pack up his crib when he went away to college. I am sure his roommate wouldn't mind. It doesn't take up much room.
I recently had a friend who was determined to take away the binky before her little one turned 3. I asked "why?" She got a blank stare on her face and said because it was time. Whose time? Our kids get attached to little comfort items that do just that... comfort. I can totally understand if it was affecting her speech or teeth or you didn't want her walking around "plugged up" all day. This is just one mamas opinion, but what would it hurt to give it to her at nighttime? Have you ever seen a college graduate with a binky on a chain? They get rid of it when they are ready.
You see I am all about letting them be little when they are little. Because one day you will wake up and they won't be any longer. I don't rush my little ones to pronounce words correctly. ( I ask them to say it again and again b/c its so cute that I bend over in a fit of giggles.) Or to be more grown up then they need to be ( I am big on manners- make no mistake) or push them to learn more than they need to be learning at this point. I feel like in our quest to raise the most smart, athletic, grown up children we have somehow taken away some of the fun of just being little. I would rather see my little prince pretending and being creative than trying to learn skills that are 3 grades ahead of him. Because he will learn them and he won't want to rescue his mama (the queen, of course) from the tower any more.
One day, sooner rather than later, they will pronounce all their words correctly, know the periodical table and would rather spend the Friday family night in their room than with their family. It makes me sad.
So I will cherish the mud pies, gooey kisses, "Play with me mama's", bear hugs (complete with grrrrrrr's), mispronounced words, dancing wildly in the living room and collapsing in a fit of giggles, and sleeping in a crib as long as my little man wants to! He will be ready when he is ready and not a minute sooner. I am not about to mess with his time table.
Now... I have a tea party to attend with my 1 and 3 year old. Rumor has it that this is the most hoppin joint in town and I have reservations. Complete with a crib in the room, binky in my daughters mouth and a stinky, used to be green frog, on the chair beside me. And I wouldn't have it any other way!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Place the other piece of wax paper directly on top of paper and iron with a warm setting.
Wahlah! It looks great on a tablecloth :)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
What am I thankful for? Books! There are some great books for Thanksgiving! Happy Reading!
P is for Pilgrim: A Thanksgiving Alphabet by Carol Crane
This is the Turkey by Abby Levine
‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing
Thanksgiving Mice by Bethany Roberts
We Gather Together…Now Get Lost! By Diane de Groat
Friday, November 6, 2009
Alright ladies and gents let’s talk about eyebrows. Notice this info is not just for the ladies, most men need a little clean up also, it’s called grooming. And no, it does not mean that you are a metro sexual. There’s really no discussion when it comes to eyebrows, WAX them, TWEEZE them, or THREAD them, just do something.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
We even go out and collect pine cones and little pine branches. We dip them in paint and decorate the paper. We also can paint the pine cones and dip them in glitter. Attach them to a string and you have a pretty decoration for your present!
Its economical, pretty and makes your little ones feel a part of the giving process! (If you are really really lucky it will keep them busy enough for you to pay a couple of bills or get crazy and use the potty by yourself.) And that works for this mama!
I looovvveee recipes that happen all in one pan. That means only one dish to clean... woohoo!! With canned veggies being on sale this week, it also makes it very reasonable. ( Not to mention that I love seeing all those veggies enter my little peoples mouth.) Hope you guys have a yummy week!
I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon.
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (On sale $1.89/lb) $2.83
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion $.20
1 (15 ounce) can green beans (Del Monte Veggies on sale $.50) $.50
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (On sale w/c $.59) $.59
1 (15 ounce) can carrots, drained (Del Monte on sale $.50) $.50
1 potato, peeled and diced (On sale B1G1) $.10
1 cup uncooked white rice $.50
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup water
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese $.40
Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and chicken for about 3 minutes.
Add green beans, tomatoes with liquids (not drained), carrots, potato, rice, salt and pepper to skillet. Mix gently.
Pour water over top of chicken mixture. Cover skillet and simmer over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until rice and potato are tender.
Sprinkle chicken mixture with cheese. Let stand covered for 5 minutes and serve.
Total Cost of Meal: $5.62
For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!
Monday, November 2, 2009
This is the season for parent-teacher conferences. The set up varies by school and teacher, but here’s a general idea of what to expect.
-The teacher will talk about how your child is doing and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you have.
-The teacher should have work samples to share with you and be able to give you an idea of how your child is progressing academically and socially.
-If you have questions, ask! You might not be able to get an answer right then and there, especially for questions about special education or gifted services, etc.
- Remember that teachers are meeting with many parents in an evening and need to stay on time as a courtesy to everyone. If you have issues that you feel need more investigation, please set up an additional meeting for another time. Most teachers will be happy to accommodate you.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
I was robbed.
It may have only been a neighborhood costume contest, but still…
We had recently moved to a brand new subdivision. Not all the lots were built yet, so the neighborhood was still small. The Civic Association decided to throw a Halloween party; there would be apple-bobbing, face painting, and costume judging.
It was 1986 and I was four. My mom had always made my little brother and I’s costume and that year I had begged and begged for a witch costume. She made the most fantastic costume: a long dress, a cape, and a hat all out of the same Halloween print material. Halloween couldn’t come fast enough!
Halloween was cold that year, so I had to wear a sweatshirt with my costume, but that didn’t dampen my spirits. I practically floated from house to house collecting candy. Finally it was time to head to the party. As we walked down the sidewalk, my parents told us of all that was in-store. My brother and I had never bobbed for apples, but we knew what face painting was and I was old enough to equate a costume contest with winning a prize.
After an hour or so of wet heads and painted cheeks, the sun had gone down and it was finally time for costume judging. I was pretty confident in my chances of winning seeing as I did have the best witch’s costume ever. They lined up kids by age group and we marched around in little circles to be judged. They pulled kids out of each circle until only two or three remained in each. In my circle, only two children were left: me, in my homemade witch’s costume, and another girl in a store-bought witch’s costume. The judges stood off to one side, just out of ear-shot, trying to make a decision while we danced around a little, trying to keep warm and fight off sleepiness. Finally they announced the other girl had won.
In my disbelief that someone had a costume better than the one my mom had lovingly made, I started to cry. I was crushed! Heartbroken! How could a chic who had bought her costume at a store beat my custom costume?! I cried the entire way home. Nothing my parents said could console me. My beautiful costume went into storage. Never to be seen again I hoped!
Many years later, I was a college freshman and my roommates and I were getting ready for Halloween. We were telling stories one evening and this tragic tale of woe came up. My roommates suggested that I seek costume contest revenge and dress up as a witch. I was a little hesitant at first, what with what had happened the last time, but even my mom thought it would be a good idea. She again made me a long, black dress and the most fantastic cape.
I proudly wore my second mom-made witch’s costume that Halloween and though I didn’t win any prizes, at least I wasn’t robbed by a store-bought witch.
Friday, October 23, 2009
We as mamas have to be innovative and thrifty all in the same beat. Somehow we find new ways of doing things that save us money, time and maybe if we are really blessed.... sanity!
My hubby is a fireman and paramedic. He looks great in his uniform. :) He also encounters alot of sickness. (Hey, you take the good with the bad!) So, since we are at high exposure risk to the creepy crawlie bugs, I sanitize. The thought of my little ones getting the flu makes me get the heeby geebies.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I usually pick recipes with few ingredients, but this one looked too good not to try! Yes, there are tons of ingredients but most are things that you already have in your home..woohoo! Happy Eating Y'all!!!
I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon.
Hawaii Pork Chops
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon onion salt
dash cayenne pepper
4 boneless pork loin chops (On sale $1.49/lb) $2.24
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped onion $.25
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup pineapple tidbits (Dole on sale $1) $.10
Hot cooked rice (Zataraines on sale $1) $1
In a saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients. Cover and simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. In a skillet, cook pork, onion and garlic in oil until meat is browned. Add water and reserved sauce. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink, adding more water if needed. Stir in pineapple and heat through. Serve over rice.
Total Cost of Meal: $3.59
Add Roasted carrots (On sale $1) Total Cost of Meal: $4.09
Add roasted carrots and French bread (Kroger on sale $1) Total cost of Meal: $4.59
Monday, October 19, 2009
It’s time again for some seasonal book selections! Happy Reading!
Inside a House that is Haunted: A Rebus Story by Alyssa Capucilli
Five Little Pumpkins by Iris Van Rynbach
Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler
Cinderhazel: The Cinderella of Halloween by Deborah Lattimore
Meet Molly: An American Girl
3rd - 4th- 5th
Hallo-weiner by Dav Pilkey
Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe
The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson
Skeleton Bones and Goblin Groans: Poems for Halloween by Amu Sklansky
Halloween Is… by Gail Gibbons
Halloween Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family by Donata Maggipinto
Saturday, October 17, 2009
My sons pre-school teacher just gave me this tip and it was too good not to share!
A couple of us room moms were talking about how we went apple picking, or were given an abundance of apples! I recounted my 4 hour struggle to core, peel and slice 20 lbs of apples. Then I soaked them in Fruit Fresh water and then bagged and froze them. WHEW!
My sons teacher said that her mama would fill a disposable pie pan with the apple slices and cover them with foil and freeze them right in the pie pans.
When she was making a pie, she would make her pie crust and place the bottom crust in a glass pie pan. Then she would remove the pie pan from the freezer and just pop the already pie shaped apples right into the crusted pie pan. (She had already mixed the cinnamon / spices into the apple mixture.) She would then cover the top with pie crust or pie dough cut into shapes of leaves. Wahlah- a pie ready to go!Tip: If you are having trouble getting the apples out, then just soak the bottom in some shallow warm water in the sink!
Do you have a money/time/sanity tip to share? E-mail me at email@example.com !
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The feeling in the pit of your stomach as you see a sippy cup under your car seat. You haven't seen that cup in a while and you start to pray you filled it with water. But you didn't.... of course. That funny smell you have been smelling in your car suddenly makes sense.
To remedy the problem I have come up with this.
Its a simple photo/ place card holder. (This one is from our wedding) You can find them anywhere or make your own. ( I will be making one on the blog later in the month.) I then cut out a foam shape that I found in my craft pile. Oh the wonders of foam !!! But that's another post.... Its a green tree for Christmas or a red ornament, a leaf for fall, a heart for Valentines... you can use anything! They also sell pre-made shapes at craft stores if you are scissor challenged. :)
I write on the foam with a sharpie or gel pen and place it beside the cookie jar. I was amazed how well it worked! Now the sign catches the whole families attention. (Even visitors in our home asks for a cookie because they see the sign!) The cookies are eaten and nothing goes to waste! And that works for this mama....