Friday, December 12, 2008

Frugal Friday--A Freezer & Pantry Meal

I had meatballs in my freezer and I wanted to do something with them other than putting them in marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce so I decided to do some beef gravy. 

I made up some beef gravy using a can of beef broth and cream of mushroom soup. I added about 1/4 cup of sour cream to the mixture along with a little bit of cornstarch for thickening. I simmered it on the stove and made sure that it was mixed up well and then poured it over my already cooked but frozen meatballs. Then I put them in the oven at 350° for an hour.

While the meatballs were cooking I made up some mashed potatoes and heated up a bag of frozen corn!  Simple, yet filling! 

Weekly Shopping Trip--Spent $67.84

This week's trip was a little nerve racking for me in that I am really, really, really watching my pennies!  It seems that December is the month were I just get the things that we need and do not allow myself to stockpile.  As a matter of fact, I seem to work for the stockpile and only shop to complete meals for the week.  I think some of it has to do with the fact of wanting to be able to use the extra money I normally would use on my stockpile to make sure there are presents under the tree that we didn't have to charge on our credit cards.  I just don't like getting into debt of gifts that are given to others. 

Anyway, back to my weekly shopping trip...I didn't even spend $70 this week!! YEAH!  However, I only saved around $19 BUT I did shop at Save A Lot so I guess you could say that I saved more than just $19!  

Here is the breakdown of what I purchased this week...

1st stop...Save A Lot(where I used a $5 off $30 coupon that I got in my local paper!)
  • 2 bottles Apple Juice $3.38
  • 2.62lbs bananas $1.55
  • 1 bag family pack chicken nuggets $4.49
  • 2 cans beef broth 98¢
  • 4 cans biscuits $1.52
  • 2 containers  Chocolate Cool Whip $2.78
  • 3 bags frozen corn $2.97
  • 8 cans cream of chicken soup $3.92
  • 2 bags shredded hash browns $2.78
  • 1 gallon chocolate milk $2.99
  • 1 bottle molasses $1.99
  • 2 cans condensed milk $2.78
  • 1 bottle canola oil $3.29
  • 2 jars pizza sauce $1.98
  • 2 graham cracker crusts $1.98
  • 1 bottle taco sauce $1.29
  • 6 cans tomato sauce $2.94
TOTAL: $40.59 after $5 off coupon was used!

2nd Stop...Meijer: 
  • 5.11lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts $9.15
  • 3 boxes kleenex $3.25
  • 1lb cheddar cheese $4.00
  • 1 pkg american cheese slices $2.00
  • 4 cans tomato soup $2.00
  • 1 bag cough drops $1.27
TOTAL with tax: $21.97
Savings Total: $7.69 (non coupon savings $6.79; total coupon savings 90¢)

3rd Stop...Family Fare: 
  • 2 jars Ragu Sauce $1.99
  • 10# potatoes $3.29
TOTAL: $5.28
Savings Total: $6.28


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Themed Day

A glimpse into my kitchen yesterday...

Starting to work at getting some baking done for the sample goodie trays that I make for gifts for my neighbors and for dessert at the family dinner on Christmas day.

Here is two of my boys(12yo, 8yo) working at making some fudgy buttons. This recipe is soooo kid friendly! I let my 12 yo work the stovetop part of the directions and the 8yo did the rest of the stirring and then they both worked at putting them on the wax paper. The boys had fun mixing it together and shaping the "buttons".

Here is close up of their finished product. After tasting his work, my 8yo ds said, that they taste like melted Reese's cups!

While they worked on the fudgy buttons, I did up some haystacks! These were easy to make as well!


1 can chow mein noodles
1 bag(12oz) butterscotch chips
2/3 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
2 cups salted peanuts(optional)

In a bowl, mix peanuts and noodles together, set aside. In a double boiler pan, melt chips and peanut butter together until smooth. Remove from the heat, and pour over peanuts and noodles, stir til combined. Drop by the teaspoonful on wax paper. Cool til hardened. To speed up the cooling process you can put them on wax paper on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 15 minutes.

The last thing that came out of my kitchen yesterday was Amy's recipe for Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cookies!! Yummy!! These were easy to make as well. The kids loved helping to unwrap the peanut butter cups and putting them in the cookies.

Stay tuned...there is more goodness that is going to be coming out of my kitchen this week!!!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread

I love pumpkin roll however, I don't always want to take the time to make one up! Well, I found a solution that is just as good! I call it Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread! I have taken the original recipe and added a cheesecake "filling" to it!

Here is the recipe...

3 1/3 cups flour(I usually do half white & half whole wheat)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 tsp salt
2 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1 can(15oz) unsweetened pumpkin
2 egg

For cheesecake:
1-8oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a loaf pans. Sift together first 5 ingredients; stir in salt.

Combine sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg, beating until well blended. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating at a low speed until blended. Transfer batter to prepared pans.

In a separate bowl, mix up the ingredients for the cheesecake until creamy.

The bread batter is thick enough to create a channel down the center to pour in the cream cheese mixture.

Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and a wooden pick comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 2 loaves

You can do this without the cheesecake filling and then use it in some pumpkin spice bread pudding!!

For other tempting tummy recipes and more; head over to Blessed with Grace!

For other kitchen tips, recipes and more; head over to Tammy's Recipes!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Recovering from the Flu Diet

After reading about my bloggy friend, Amy's un-menu plan due to sickness in their house. I thought I would take the time to share with you what I shared with her! NO! I didn't share my "bugs" with her family! Actually I and my family are pretty healthy at the moment! *knocks on wood!*

She asked her readers to share recipes that would go over well with weak stomachs.

Here is what I shared with her...

Homemade Pedialyte

1 liter drinkable water
1 tablespoon salt
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 packet kool-aid or jello

Mix altogether!

Notes: I keep some of the clear kool-aid packets around just for this purpose so I can flavor it without the coloring so cleaning up the mess isn't so difficult.

The other things that I do to help keep my kids hydrated is keep other clear fluids or pop(like 7-up or Sprite) to give them something different other than the Pedialyte. When I give them pop I will stir some of the fizzies out of it so it is easier on their stomachs(less air/gas).

Once my kids are able to handle more solid foods they get toasted homemade bread, saltines, applesauce, rice cooked in chicken broth and homemade chicken noodle soup. If they are able to handle these items then they are able to "graduate" to other easy on the stomach foods. Foods like bananas, mashed potatoes, and plain noodles.

NO high fat or greasy or or citrus or tomato based foods for a few days while the stomach recovers from their sickness.

Get Well Soon!

This is what works for me during those periods of sickness!

For other works for me head over to Works for Me Wednesday at Shannon's!

Menu Plan Monday 12/7-12/13

**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! And since I am using the last of my meat stockpile this week, the meals could get interesting as the week progresses!

Last week's menu plan went off without many troubles. I have been working out of my pantry and freezer stockpiles so that we are able to set aside money for Christmas presents and the “surprise” truck repairs and hubby deciding to pay off credit card debt.

This week's shopping trip was just to get the essentials needed to finish some meals for the week! I thought I would be able to get to Sam’s for my monthly run but I have decided to wait until next payday (which is next Monday!). So in the meantime, I am continuing to work out of my stockpile and hitting up the corner grocery stores. I have a Save A Lot on one corner and a block away is an Aldi on that corner!

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 (12-7)
Breakfast: eggs, bacon, hash browns, and cinnamon rolls
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: McDonalds
Snack: Church Christmas Party (appetizers & desserts)

Monday (12-8)
Breakfast: cereal and muffins
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: skillet chicken n’ gravy, rice, and green beans
snack basket

Tuesday (12-9)
Pancakes & sausage
Lunch: sandwich and chips
Meatballs(from the freezer), mashed potatoes & gravy, and peas and/or salad
Snack: cookies & milk

Wednesday (12-10)
Breakfast: bagels, and cereal
Lunch: chicken nuggets & tater tots
Dinner: sloppy joes, fries, & carrots
snack basket

Thursday (12-11)
Breakfast: cereal and poptarts
Lunch: pizza
Chicken Club Sandwiches, pan fries, and corn
snack basket

Friday (12-12)
Breakfast: eggs, cereal and toast
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner: homemade pizza & breadsticks
Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (12-13)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ??? probably leftovers!
Dinner: “Long John Silver’s night”—fish, shrimp & chicken, fries, and corn
snack basket or popcorn

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Singing Sunday

All Over the World
by Matt Redman

Even as the world began the stars they sang and all the angels shouted for joy,
Shouted for joy.

Looking back through history the people they had always had a song they must sing,
A song they must sing.

We are the people of God.
We'll sing a song, here on the earth.

All over the world,
Your song will resound.
All over the world,
Your praises ring out.
We're living to say Your name and renoun,
All over the world.

Young and old, near and far, there's a place for every heart to join in Your song,
Join in Your song.

Every nation join our tune, come together as one, give glory to God,
Glory to God.

We are the people of God.
We'll sing a song, here on the earth.

All over the world,
Your song will resound.
All over the world,
Your praises ring out.
We're living to say Your name and renoun,
All over the world.

All over the world,
Your song will resound.
All over the world,
Your praises ring out.
We're living to say Your name and renoun,
All over the world.

Great is Your name, and great will be Your song.
Great is Your name, and great will be Your song. (so great)

We lift up our hands and pray.
We lift up our hands and pray.
For holy is Your name!
You will have Your praise!

Give You glory in the north and the south.
They'll give You glory in the eat and the west.
Your name will be known, every tribe, every time.
And Your song will be sung,

All over the world,
Your song will resound.
All over the world,
Your praises ring out.
Savior, we're living to say Your name and renoun,
All over the world.

All over the world,
Your song will resound.
All over the world,
Your praises ring out.
We're living to say Your name and renoun,
All over the world.