Saturday, November 15, 2008

Scrumptious Sunday--OJ Muffins


1 egg
½ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 2/3 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Combine the egg, buttermilk, orange juice concentrate and melted margarine in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until batter is moistened but still lumpy.

Lightly spray 12 muffin cups with vegetable oil spray. Fill the muffin cups ¾ full with batter. Bake in a 400° oven for 20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown. Yields 12 muffins

Notes: Can use veggie oil instead of melted margarine. Can also make into bread loaves just adjust baking time.

7 Things about my Kitchen Tag

In the last couple of week, I have read several blogs that were doing this tag--"7 Things I love about my Kitchen". Well last week, Raise Them Up tagged me! I was sooo busy with having 3 different days of doctors appointments with my kids along with the everyday things that I didn't get a chance to play along! But I wanted to play along so without further are 7 things I love about my kitchen!

First off, welcome to my small kitchen! It is only 9' 3" x 7'x 8"(that is just the floor space!) That doesn't leave much room for more than a couple people to work in there without us all starting to step on and over each other! So it is cozy! However, it is where I spend lots of time and it literally is the "hub center" for everything in my family.

I use the front of my fridge for keeping up with menus. This helps others from wondering and even helps others to help get things prepared! :) I also like the little reminder that my pastor gave us--"Our house belongs to God".

I like my little bar area so I don't have to knock my head on cabinets while preparing food. I also like my dishwasher! It is sooo nice and time saving with the dishes to be able to have a dishwasher do most of the work for me! Actually, my oldest son is in charge of washing dishes now!

I love having my cookbooks handy! This used to be a cabinet with doors on it, however, hubby took the doors off when we repainted and I liked it better as a shelf than a cabinet anyway! I have a rule, once the shelf is full no more cookbooks, this helps me to not have too many and less clutter!

I love my Pampered Chef stoneware. The picture above is just some of the pieces in my collection! I love using them because it makes meal clean up a breeze!

This is the window over my kitchen sink! I love having it where I can work in my kitchen and still have a full view of my fenced in backyard! There is a 8'x 8' sandbox in the back corner where my 5 kids plus 6-7 neighbor kids will gather in the summertime to play in the sand! I can watch their play from afar.

I love having a ceiling fan in the kitchen. It helps circulate the air especially when I am doing lots of baking!

I have other things that I love about my small kitchen but that can be in another post!

I am not sure who else to tag because it seemed like every blog I have read in the last couple of weeks had their 7 kitchen likes post! So if you are reading this and haven't done a post on "7 Things I like about my kitchen" consider yourself "it"! You have been tagged!

Weekly Shopping Trip--Savings Total approx. $76.31

I wasn't going to do any shopping this week because payday wasn't til the end of the week, however, there was some sales that I just couldn't miss so I went and did some shopping! Family Fare and SAL, I hit up last Saturday and the other stores I did shopping on Wednesday making for a busy day!

First stop...Family Fare...

  • 10.03lbs ground chuck $17.96 ($1.79/lb)
  • 12lbs sugar $4.17 (4lbs for $1.39)

Total: $22.13
Savings Total: $15.34

Second Stop...Save A Lot... (had a coupon $1.99 gallon any variety of milk with a $10 purchase)

  • 2.70lbs bananas $1.59
  • 3.32 lbs cabbage 83¢
  • 1 tub chocolate Cool Whip $1.19
  • 4 cans cream of chicken soup $1.96
  • 3lbs wide egg noodles $2.97
  • 1 box Little Debbie Fudge Rounds $1.00
  • 1 box Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies $1.00
  • 2 cans kidney beans $1.08
  • 5 lbs red potatoes $2.50
  • 1 can whipped topping $1.49
  • 1 gallon chocolate milk $1.99

Total: $17.60
Savings Total: ???

Third Stop...Duthler's(corner grocery store)

  • 2 gallons milk $5.54 ($2.77/gallon)
Total: $5.54
Savings Total: $1.84

Fourth Stop...Walgreens

  • 2 cans Carnation evaporated milk 98¢
  • 1 can Borden condensed milk $1.24
  • 4 boxes instant pudding $1.00
  • 5lbs sugar $1.49
  • 2 Oreo pie crusts $2.99

Total: $7.70 (used a gift card of $4.40)
Total OOP: $3.30
Savings Total: $8.42 (not including gift card, Walgreens coupon savings $6.37; Mfg. coupon savings $2.05)

Fifth Stop...Target

  • 4 bags M&Ms $9.32
  • 6-12pk cases Pepsi Products $25.20(with deposit)
Total: $34.52
Savings Total: $11.98

Final Stop...Meijer...
  • 2 bags frozen green beans $1.00
  • 2 bags choc. Chex Mix $4.18 (I think these scanned wrong!)
  • 2 bags traditional Chex Mix 90¢
  • 2 boxes BC muffin mix $3.08
  • 5lbs whole wheat flour $2.39
  • 3 Warm Delights $3.00
  • 3 BC cookie mixes $3.50
  • 4 pkgs smoky links $8.00
  • 1 carton beef stock $2.00
  • 4 boxes Chex bars $5.80
Total: $33.85 (used a $10.00 gift card)
Total OOP: $23.85
Savings Total: $28.33(not including GC, non-coupon savings $15.93; coupon savings $12.40)

GRAND TOTAL: $187.25
GRAND SAVINGS TOTAL: $76.31(including gift cards)

For more savings stories head over to MoneySavingMom's Super Saturday Savings and Becentsable's Centsable Saving Stories.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Frugal Friday--Ways to use Bulk Ground Meat

After sharing last week how to purchase meat on the cheap, I thought I would continue my "meat kick" and share different ways to use ground meat. I usually can't get ground beef on Manager's specials/markdowns so I usually will purchase it in bulk at Sam's. I will get around 9-10 lbs all at once, sometimes more! When I first starting getting it in bulk, I thought what in the world am I going to make with all this meat! I thought I would end up having the same thing all time! Well I found several recipes that have become family favorites. I like to use ground beef for my recipes but you can use ground pork or ground turkey as well!

I cook all my ground meat and then divide it into 1lb packages for the freezer so that I can just pull out what I need to make the following recipes...

Queso Dip (This makes a quick lunch or appetizer!)
One large Velveeta Cheese
1 can Rotel tomatoes
½ pound of hamburger (approximately)

Slice up the Velveeta cheese in to a big bowl
Add ¼ cup milk
Melt in the microwave

Add ground beef and Rotel tomatoes
Stir and put in crock pot

Serve with the tortilla chips!

To make for large get-togethers I make 2 large Velveeta Cheese, 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes, and 1-1 ½ pound of hamburger.

Besides grilled burgers, here is a list of other dishes that I make:

  1. Tacos--1lb ground meat, a can of refried beans(or make your own), and 2 tbsp. of taco seasoning. Or instead of using bean in the meat I'll use a can of tomato soup.

  2. Goulash--1lb ground meat, a can of tomato sauce, 1-2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard, 2 cups of elbow macaroni.

  3. Spaghetti--1 lb ground meat or meatballs and a jar of spaghetti sauce. I usually will add more spices(italian seasoning, garlic powder, and minced onions to the pot. Also instead of adding sugar to the pot, I add shredded carrots. I also put this in the crockpot and let it simmer all day!

  4. Hamburger gravy--1lb ground meat, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1-2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce, garlic powder, and minced onions. Mix all together. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

  5. Chili--1lb ground meat, 1-150z can tomato sauce, 1 can tomato soup, 1 can red kidney beans, 2-3 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder, minced onions. Mix all together. Simmer in crockpot all day.

  6. Sloppy Joes--1 lb ground meat, 1 can tomato soup, 1-2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. yellow mustard. Mix altogether. Simmer. Serve on hamburger buns. In my opinion, this is better than Manwich!

  7. Meatloaf--1lb. ground beef (I usually use ground chuck or ground round which is like 86%-91% lean meat)
    1 egg
    1/4- 1/2 cup bread crumbs or crushed saltines or regular/quick oatmeal
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    2 TBSP. minced onion
    3-4 TBSP. ketchup
    1 TBSP bbq sauce
    1-2 tsp. yellow mustard
    1/2 green pepper, chopped(optional)
    1-2 medium size carrots, shredded(optional)

    Mix altogether. Form into mini meat loaves and stick on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper to "flash freeze". Once frozen, stick in a freezer bag and label!

    If you do not want to freeze them uncooked, place in a 9x13 pan and place in the oven at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until done. Let cool completely before freezing!

    Other notes: if the meat looks too wet add more bread crumbs/crushed saltines/oatmeal. This recipe makes tasty burger patties too! If you want to make an actual loaf, you can do that as well, I would let the loaf cool completely first then slice it into individual servings, wrap them and then stick in a freezer bag for later consumption.

  8. Salisbury Steak--take the meatloaf recipe and instead of forming loaves I make patties. Cook the patties. Once cooked, add beef gravy. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes.
For other frugal resources, head over to Frugal Fridays at Biblical Womanhood!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Busy Day!

Got up at 7:30 am to start on my day that went like this...

8:15am ~~ called the doctor's office about my daughter who has a sandpaper type rash all over her body for the last three days. She has also been complaining about a sore throat.

8:30am ~~ the nurse calls me back to say that my daughter should be seen to have a throat culture done to rule out strep. Okay, fine no big deal! I tell the nurse that I was on my way to the doctor's office with ds#3 at 10:20am for his yearly physical. She replied can you come by 10am to see a nurse. Sure no problem!

8:45 am ~~ I make sure that the kids are dressed and get through their morning routine before we leave.

9am ~~ I get through the shower and get dressed myself. I get my hair done and clean my glasses. As I am wiping the water off my glasses I notice that my glasses are pivoting funny. I have frameless wire glasses, so when things start to pivot funny it is not a good thing! I need the glasses to see clearly. I can go without but GREAT headaches ensue! So I literally run downstairs to get my hubby's needle nose pliers and work at squeezing things back together. I seem to have fixed them for now! I think they have been "broken" for several days as my youngest son smashed into my face over the weekend and caught the corner of my glasses and smashed them into face! Anyway by this time it is 9:35am and no one is in the van!!!

I was suppose to leave no later than 9:30 am so that I can swing by my parents' house to drop off those that were not being seen today at the doctor's. It helps not to have extra bodies in the exam room!!

9:40am ~~ I am finally leaving the house! There is no way that I can make it to the doctor's office and to my parents' house by 10am!! UGH!

9:50am ~~ call my parents as I am going by their exit and tell them I am not coming til after appointments.

9:55 am ~~ have gotten to the doctor's office for my 10am appt! We only wait about 3 minutes before we are called back. The nurse gets the history on my daughter and then swabs her throat says it will take 7 minutes to know results. We wait! She comes is negative! Yeah! Well she wants to swab her again just to make sure because the rash is very similiar to what you get when you have strep/scarlet fever! Second test comes back negative! Toss it up to a viral infection. We start to head out to the waiting room for my son's appointment only to be told that we need to head back the way we were to another room. Fine! We get done with the doctor's by 11am.

11:20am ~~ We make it to my parents' house for a visit. We stay til noon!

12:20 pm ~~ We are home but my youngest son is having a temper tantrum because he can't go outside to play in the rain. He is upset enough that he is coughing and next thing I know I am hearing the other kids hollering that he just vomited all over! UGH!

I get that cleaned up and get him a small lunch along with getting lunch for the rest of us. Youngest son eats and then goes down for a nap! Ahhhhh...quiet!

1:30pm til 3pm ~~ I run out to the stores to do some shopping. Oldest ds holds the fort for me during "quiet time".

3pm ~~ unload groceries and put them away. Get dinner going!

And the day is not over....I still have several things left that need my attention! And despite fixing my glasses I don't have them exactly like they were and I have a nice little headache brewing.

So I say all of this to say...what a day! I now know what I am getting for an early Christmas glasses!

Too busy to do Weblink Wednesday and Works for Me Wednesday....I'll be back with those next week!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays

This is the week that I try to work at getting my Thanksgiving menu put together because starting next week is when most of the area stores will start their big sales for the big meal! So I want to share two easy recipes that I do up every Thanksgiving. These can be made up the day before and still be fresh and ready to serve for your Thanksgiving meal!

However, for the apple crisp I usually put this together the morning of the big meal and put in the oven when everything for the meal is done because it makes the house smell so much better than a Glade apple cinnamon candle! (and it also tastes sooo much better warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!--something a candle can't do either!)

Apple Crisp

4 c. apples
7 Tbsp. butter/margarine(cold)
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put apples in a greased baking dish (I use a casserole dish). Sprinkle with cinnamon. In a separate bowl mix flour, sugar, and cold butter til a crumbly like a streusel type topping; put on top of apples. Bake for 45 minutes til golden brown.

***Side note/helpful hints*** I don't measure the apples...I just pick a pan no bigger than a 9 x 13 and fill it 1/2 to 3/4 full but I still measure out the struesel topping for it. The pan that I normally use for it is The Pampered Chef deep dish baker stone which measures 11-inches diameter and holds up to 8 cups....I just filled the baker to the top with apples and then added the struesel topping and it doesn't boil over in the oven because the apples cook down enough. Also you can use peaches, cherries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries with this struesel topping to make a very delicious dish.

Pumpkin Cake Squares

1 yellow cake mix(save 1 cup for topping)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, stick (do not melt)
1 egg

Mix and pat into greased 9x13 pan.

1 can(14oz) pumpkin pie mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup evaporated milk

Pour over cake in pan.

1 cup cake mix
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine, stick(do not melt)
1/4 cup sugar

Sprinkle over cake. Bake 50 minutes @ 350°--done when toothpick comes out clean. Cool!

Top with Cool Whip.

Notes: If using plain pumpkin add 2-3 tsps. pumpkin pie seasoning.

For other tempting tummy recipes and more; head over to
Blessed with Grace!
For other kitchen tips, head over to Tammy's Recipes!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 11/9-11/15

**Another week is upon us so that means it is time for another menu plan! This is just a plan and it could change on the cook’s whim!

Last week's menu plan went off without too much trouble! However, my “new recipe of the week”-- king ranch chicken did not go over well with the masses here! I forgot to get corn tortillas at the store so I just layered it without them and then served it over rice. To me and oldest son, the meal was great, something new and exciting! To the rest of them, they would have preferred something else.

This week's shopping trip consisted of going to a thrift store for clothes! There was no food shopping this week! So that means that this week’s menu is all from the pantry and freezer stockpiles!

This week, I am going to be keeping meals real simple as this is the yearly physical week for my boys! I am going to my pediatrician’s office THREE times this week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)! Then to add to all that, my hubby is doing his 6 month health physical with his doctor on Friday afternoon!

Lunches listed are for the kids and me. Usually with our lunches I serve carrot sticks, and some kind of in-season fruit along with juice or water to drink. Hubby usually takes dinner leftovers each day along with several items for snacks.

If you are looking for some inspiration on meals you can find links to my menu suggestion lists over in my right side bar down by Organizing Junkie's button.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check other delicious meal plans that have been linked at Laura-Organizing Junkie's site! **

Sunday (11-9)
Breakfast: eggs, sausage patties or bacon, hash browns, and jiffy muffins
Lunch: leftover soups
Dinner: ???
Snack: snack basket

Monday (11-10)
Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: cube steak/hotdogs, Crashed Potatoes, green beans, cornbread muffins
Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (11-11)
Breakfast: waffles & sausage
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Chicken Rice Casserole served with homemade rolls
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (11-12)
Breakfast: poptarts, cereal
Lunch: sandwich & chips
Dinner: BQ Pork Sandwiches & Sloppy Joes, fries, and corn
Snack: cookies & milk

Thursday (11-13)
Breakfast: Pancakes(from the freezer)
Lunch: pizza
Dinner: ??? looking for inspiration
Snack: snack basket

Friday (11-14)
Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel or toast
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner: Chicken Club Sandwiches, fries and carrots
Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (11-15)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ??? probably leftovers!
Dinner: homemade pizza and breadsticks
Snack: snack basket or popcorn