Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Thank you everyone who has joined me since July. It's been a fun time. For me at least. Here's to everything good that 2010 will bring us! Happy New Year!!!!!!

Potato Soup

I made potato soup the other night for dinner. This method is great because you can make this soup as figure friendly or rich and fattening as you'd like. The potatoes are cooked in vegetable broth to impart flavor and then pureed in the blender to thicken the soup to a thick and satifying comfort food. But you don't have to add any milk or cream or extra fat to it if you don't want to. Here is how I do it.

Potato Soup

Russet potatoes, I used aprox. 8 or nine medium sized, some were smallish, potatoes. Peel and wash
one shallot, minced fine. I love shallot, but use onion if you don't have shallots
half of an onion, diced or minced fine
2 cans of vegetable broth, or use chicken broth or a little beef broth with water
salt and pepper

for toppers:
shredded cheddar
sliced green onions
bacon crumbles
sour cream

Put the onion in a pot with a little oil and cook until transparent. Dice the potatoes, put in the pot with the onion and cover with enough veg broth to cover the potatoes. Add water to cover potatoes if you need to. Cook until potatoes are tender. Being extremely careful, put hot potatoes in the blender a ladle or two at a time. You might even want to make all dogs and children exit the kitchen if you are even a little bit nervous about this. It's easy but a little intimidating if you've never done it before. Take the middle thingy out of the top of the blender and cover with a kitchen towel while holding it with one hand and blend until smooth. Pour into the pot, keep adding more potatoes and liquid and add milk to blend. Do until you have desired smoothness or chunkiness. Add some heavy cream if you'd like additional richness. Heat until hot. Season. Taste and readjust the seasoning. Serve with toppers.

Menus for what's on sale for the week of Dec. 30-Jan. 5

I love the hymn "Ring Out, Wild Bells" or the text written by Alfred Tennyson that read or sing, "the year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. The year is going; let him go. Ring out the false; ring in the true."

I am happy to see 2009 go. I usually have some mixed feelings when old years are dying and new ones are being born. I am pretty nostalgic about most things. And while 2009 had it's good moments there were excruciatingly painful ones for me and my family this year. And that's all part of some years and part of life and I realize that. I love that we have a fresh slate starting in 13 and a half hours. Although with my challenge to myself to clean out a drawer or cupboard a day in 2010, I finally realized this morning as I stood counting my cupboards and drawers in my kitchen, that it will take me 30 days alone just to get through my kitchen. That's not even counting a pantry. So grab hold of 2010. Tell those you love, that you love them. Apologize to those you need to apologize to. Forgive whom you need to forgive, even if it's yourself. Clean out a drawer that you need to. Hug your child. Hug your mother, if you still can. Make a new friend. Help someone. Take a bubble bath and listen to some really good music. Learn how to do something new. Read an inspiried book or short story. Watch a kid eat an ice cream cone to appreciate how one can savor the small joys in life.

Here it is:

+$2.00 for the veg stock/broth I forgot to add in


1-Oatmeal, fruit drink
2-Cold cereal, milk, fruit drink
4-Cold cereal, milk
5-Toast, pear and apple slices with peanut butter
7-Cold cereal, milk

1-PB&J sandwich, tangelo
2-PB&J sandwich, strawberries
3-PB&J sandwich, snack crackers, apple
4-Bolgna sandwich, apple
5-PB&J sandwich, crackers
6-Bologna sandwich, snack crackers, whatever fruit you still have
7-Ramen noodles

1-Hamburger Stroganoff, noodles, canned vegetable

2-Frozen Pizza, green salad (iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, green bell pepper, green onion)

3-Potato soup, baguette. Shredded cheddar, sliced green onion, bacon crumbles, sour cream dollop for toppers. Forgot to add two cans of vegetable stock into the total so add $2 to the total for that. I will post how I make Potato soup after this post.

4-Baked chicken breast, roasted red garlic potatotoes and roasted carrots.

5-Cobb salad, baguette. Use leftover chicken on top of iceberg, use green bell pepper, green onion, cucumber, hard boiled eggs, shredded cheese, bacon crumbles and whatever leftover veg you may have in your fridge.

6-Hamburgers, buns. Raw carrots and ranch dip. Add .75 to your budget and buy a bottle of 7 Up or A&W root beer if you want at Bashas.

7-Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan, green salad. Make leftover hamburger buns into garlic toast or cheese toast if you want to. See for a recipe for Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan.

Grocery List:
Boneless skinless chicken breast, $1.49 lb., buy 3 lbs. at $4.47
Bahsas milk, $1.58, buy 2
Red Baron pizza, $2.88
Tyson bacon, $1.99
Osare Mayer meat bologna, $1.99
Food Club cheese, 2/$3, buy 2, one cheddar, one mozzarella for the Eggplant thing
Food Club snack crackers, 2/$3, buy one
Sweet onions, .79 lb.
Crusty baguette, .99, buy 2
green onions, allowed for $1 for 1 bunch
eggs, allowed for $1.39

Fresh & Easy
Russet potatoes, .99 for 3 lbs.

Minute Maid fruit drink, $1.88
Post cereals, $1.88, buy 2
Kroger sour cream, $1
Kroger cottage cheese, $1 (Use this instead of ricotta in the Eggplant thing to save $)
Kroger mini carrots, $1
American Beauty pasta, $1.25
Fry's hamburger buns, $1.25
Fry's instant oatmeal, $1.50, buy 2
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy 4
Kroger Value peanut butter, $1.49
Canned vegetable, allowed for .99
Jelly, allowed for $2.00
Kroger Value spaghetti sauce, $1.15
Parmesan, allowed for $3
Ramen noodles, allowed for .50 for two pkgs.

Iceberg lettuce, .69 each, buy 2
Large vine ripe tomatoes, .69 lb., buy 2 lbs.
Italian squash, zucchini, .69 lb.
Red or yukon gold potatoes, .69 lb, buy 2 lbs.
Large green bell peppers, 3/$1, buy one at .33
Large tangelos, .69 lb, buy 6 lbs. if you want
cucumbers, 2/$1, buy one at .50
Extra lean ground beef, $1.88 lb., buy 4 lbs. at $7.52
D'angou (organic) pears, .69 lbs, buy 4 lbs. if you want, at $2.76
Fresh eggplant, .69 each, buy 2
Washington Braeburn apples, .69 lb, buy 6 lbs. at $4.14

Items not on grocery list:

Other great buys this week:
gourmet 6 oz. stuffed salmon, $3.49-Sprouts, great for a grown up dinner to celebrate the New Year
Fresh pork butt, $1.99 lb.-Fry's
Boneless roasts, buy one, get one free-Bashas
Cantaloupes, 3 lbs./$1-Bashas (we can't elope, we're already married, LOL)
Martinellis sparkling cider, $1.99-Bashas
Large cheese deli pizza, $4.99-Bashas
Rancher's Reserve roast, $1.88 lb.-Safeway
Large cantaloupes, .99 ea.-Safeway
Orange juice, $1.99-Fresh & Easy
Del Monte bananas-Fresh& Easy
boneless skinless chicken breasts, $1.57 lb.-albertson's
Roma tomatoes, 2 lbs./$1-Albertson's
Coupons in ad for Albertsons:
mini carrots, .99 for 1#
Albertson's apples juice, .99 limit 2
Albertson's sandwich bread, .88, limit 4
Albertson's cr. cheese, .77, limit 2
Albertson's large eggs, $1.88, for 18 ct., limit 2

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jalepeno poppers

These look great for snacking for New Year's Eve.

or this variation from her cookbook:

BBQ Jalapeno Poppers
from the Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook, pg. 14

18 fresh jalapenos
one 8 oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 green onion, sliced
18 slices thin bacon, cut into halves
Bottled BBQ sauce
rubber gloves or plastic bags for working with the jalapenos

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Cut jalapenos in half legthwise, wish a spoon scrape out the seeds and membranes. If you want some heat, leave some seeds or membranes. Don't touch with your hands and then to your eyes after handling the peppers.

In a bowl, comine the softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and chopped green onion. Mix the ingredients together gently.

Stuff each hollowed jaapeno half with the cheese mixture.

Wrap bacon slices around each half, covering as much of the surface as you can. Be careful not to stretch the bacon too tightly around the jalapeno, b/c it will contract.

Brush the surface of the bacon with your favorite BBQ sauce. Chutney or apricot jelly works well, also.

Secure the jalapenos with toothpicks and pop them in the oven for 1 hour, or until the bacon is sizzling.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A challenge to myself

I hesitate to call it a New Year's resolution because I never get past the planning stages or maybe one or two days of execution with those. So I will call it a challenge. And if I write about it or let others know about it, it might actually become something more than a wish. My friend Sooz suggested that we make a deal with one another starting in a week. To go through one drawer, or box, or cabinet each day and organize and dejunk it by throwing or putting away the contents that are unused or unneeded. One a day until we've purged our homes/garages of all of the useless crap, junk, clutter or whatever that we have accumulated in five, ten, fifteen or twenty years. You know, that stray nail in the junk drawer, the flashlight that doesn't work but we keep it anyway, the bell or missing part to whatever that we are sure we will need or fix in the next five years. I am giving myself a little leeway on some of the bigger sites and will give myself two days if I need it so I won't get discouraged. You are all welcome to take the challenge with us.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A few things worth noting

A few things worth noting before ads and sales get back to normal. Or if you didn't get all of the things you need for the next few days when the sales were going before Christmas.

Sprouts has grapefruit for .19 each.

Fry's has Boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.57/lb.
Also Hass Avocados at Fry's for 2/$1. I want to try out my Foodsaver and freeze these for guac in the future. Never have done it before but hear it works beautifully to do it that way.
Also at Fry's, Dole Premium Classic salads, $1
Stouffer's Lasagne, or chicken enchiladas, $9.99(could be an easy dinner)
Lay's Potato chips or Doritos, 2/$4
Bar S jumbo meat franks, .99

At Fresh & Easy Mother's Joy Corn Flakes, .98
Iceberg lettuce, 2 bell pepper, l lb. tomatoes, or 2 lbs. of yellow onions, 2 lbs. of carrots, all .98 ea.
Beef slider patties for $2.99 and slider buns for .99
Farmland hot dog or Pantry Select hot dog buns for .88
Fresh & Easy popcorn chicken for $2.99
Farmer John Polish sausage or hot links, $2.99
Fresh & easy shredded or block cheese, $1.99

Safeway has sweet navel oranges for 3 lbs./$1
Also have the Hass avocaos for 2/$1
93% lean ground beef for $1.88 lb.
Dennison's chili for .69 can
Freshetta pizza for $3.99
Gala or granny apples for .99 lb.

So, you could have breakfast one morning for aproximately $2, assuming you already have milk. Five grapefruit(Sprouts) and a box of corn flakes(Fresh & Easy). Add on $2.29 for a gallon of milk at Fresh & Easy if you need milk.

You could do fresh oranges and toast one morning for breakfast on the cheap. Around $2 if you buy the navels at Safeway and the bread at Fry's (Kroger Value brand, .88)

You could have grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch or dinner for aproximately $2.88 if you get a block of cheese at Fresh & Easy and a loaf of bread at Fry's, Kroger Value, .88.

You could have hot dogs for lunch or dinner for under $2 using hot dogs and buns from Fresh & Easy. Add a bag of potato chips from Fry's for $2 extra if you want.

Grilled chicken and salad or grilled chicken salad for around or just under $5 with chicken and salad mix from Fry's.

Sliders for $4 with patties and buns from Fresh & Easy. There looks to be 6 patties and 6 buns in the packages.

You could have chili for dinner or lunch for aproximately $2 or under (3 cans will set you back $2.07. I feed my family of four on 3 cans. And one is a big teenage eating machine, however, you may need 4 cans, $2.76) using the canned Dennison's from Safeway. Or team up with grilled cheese sandwiches.

If you still have company and are tired of making "feasts" every few hours, go for the Stouffer's lasagne (or chicken enchiladas) for one night for $9.99 at Fry's. Add a bagged salad for $1 and boom, you're in business. It doesn't say on the ad whether it's Party Size or Family Size. I am assuming it's the larger sized lasagne. I may be wrong though. I havn't been to Fry's yet to check it out. If you have a smaller family this could also come off very economical for you when you figure that you can probably get 2 dinners out of this, and possibly some leftovers to use as take to the office lunches. Freeze what you don't eat the first night (or divide two equal portions to insure two meals, put in a smaller casserole, they may even think you may it from scratch that way) and microwave for the next lasagne dinner or freeze in individual portions in plastic wrap or tupperware for lunch or dinner for those who work late or have odd schedules in your family.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Red Velvet Cake Bread Pudding

I saw Paula Deen make this last week on one of her cooking shows and thought it sounded intriguing for people in love with Red Velvet Cake. Here is the link if this sounds like something worthy of putting on your Christmas menu.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Menu for what's on sale, Dec. 18-Dec. 24, but two week's worth of menus

I have a two week plan this time around because of how it is during the holidays. My computer is down, so here I sit at the library with 45 minutes left to my session hoping that my fingers work fast enough to get it all down. Here I go.

But remember, this is for two weeks

And if you have a Fresh & Easy $5 off of $50 purchase use it at Fry's
If you have the other coupons from the internet for Fresh & Easy, use them also at Fry's
NOTE: 12/22, the competitor's coupons are no longer being honored at Fry's.

1-Corn Flakes
2-Waffles, cocoa
3-Corn Flakes, apple juice
4-Ham, egg biscuit
5-Pancakes, cocoa
6-Bagels, cream cheese
7-Christmas french toast bake, apple juice
8-Chocolate chip pancakes
9-English muffin egg sandwich
10-corn flakes, cocoa
11-Eggs, toast, apple juice
12-Egg biscuit, cocoa
13-Corn Flakes
14-New Year's brunch
Bagels, cream cheese, sausage links, eggs, fruit, cinnamon rolls, orange juice

1-Tuna sandwich, orange, cookie
2-Quesadillas, apple
3-Ham sandwich, orange
4-Grilled cheese sandwich, cookie
5-Ramen noodles, cookie
6-Tuna sandwich, orange, or PB&J sandwich
8-Turkey quesadillas, apple
9-Ramen noodles, orange
10-Leftover homemade pizza, clementines
11-Turkey sandwich, apple
12-Tuna sandwich, cookie
13-PB&J sandwich, clementine
14-New Year's brunch

1-Ham, funeral potatoes, canned veg.
2-Ham and cheese omeletts
3-Baked potato with broccoli and cheese topping, sour cream
4-Spaghettic, bagette
5-Fish sticks, canned veg., jello/mandarin orange salad
6-Clam chowder, bagette, green salad
Mashed potatoes
Green beans
Raspberry cranberry juice (add sprite for punch, I can't remember now where, Bashas for $1,I have 33 minutes left)

2 Sara Lee pies for $2.88 with coupon in ad, I did not include in the total

8-Leftovers or Turkey Cottage Pie
9-Homemade cheese pizza, make enough for lunch on the next day
10-Taco soup, sour cream, cheese, cornbread
11-Roast, potatoes, carrots, biscuits
12-Spaghetti, vegs.
13-New Year's Eve
Chicken cream cheese roll ups
Garlic mashed potatoes
frozen veg.
Smart Sunday rolls
14-New Year's dinner
Spinach salad with craisins, feta, raspberry vinniagrette and sugared pecans

Dessert options:
ice cream
cake or cake mix cookies
buy apples for extra and make an apple crisp

Broccoli, .39 lb., buy 3 lbs.
Stove top stuffing, $1
Pictsweet vegs., .77, buy 2

Cook's smoked ham, .97 lb., aprox. 10 lbs. at $9.70
10 lbs. russet potatoes, .97, you may need 2 lbs., see how much for your family
Clementines, $2.37
Norbest Prem. turkey, .49 lb., buy a ten lb. bird
Bashas milk, $1.59, buy 4
stokely's vegs, 20/$10, make sure one is corn for the taco soup, buy 4
Jello 2/$1, buy 2
Krusteaz corn bread mix, $1.99
Nestle cocoa mix, $1.50 buy 2
Bashas English muffins, .99
thomas bagels, $2.50, buy 2
Food Club grape jelly, $1.50
Food Cub pancake mix, $1.99
Bashas eggs, $1.39, buy 5
Food Club cheese, $1, buy 6, make sure one is mozzarella for the pizza
Daisy sour cream, 2/$3, buy 2
Betty Crocker cake mix, $1
Clams, allow for $3 for canned
Half and Half, allow for $3
Raspberry jam for vinniagrette., allowed for $3
You may want to buy a bag of rice for variety, I didn't allow for this.

Ocean Spray Cran. juice, $1.88
Kroger cream cheese, .88, buy 2, NOTE (20 Dec. 09): buy 3, I didn't realize I would need 3, add an extra .88 to the total.
Kroger jumbo biscuits, .97, buy 3
Farmer John links, .97
Dreyers ice cream, $2.27
Hormel bacon, $2.99
Pillsbury cinn. rolls, $1.88
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy 5
Kroger Value apple juice, $1.29, buy 2
Kroger Value p-nut butter, $1.49
syrup, allowed for $2
tomato, 2 cans, allowed for $1.20, buy 2
tomato sauce, allowed for .50, buy 2
taco seas. .99
lettuce, allowed for $2
spinach, allowed for $3
craisins, allowed for $3
Ramen noodles, allowed for .20, buy 4
Kroger value, spag sauce, $1.19, buy 3
Fry's spag., .88 buy 2
Feta allowed for $3
pecans, allowed for $4
Kroger Value cookies, $1.19, buy 2
Orange juice, allowed for $3
chives, allowed for $2
carrots, allowed for $1
onion, $1

Boneless beef chuck roast, $1.99, buy 4 lbs., have some ground for taco soup
Gorton's seafood fish sticks, 18 ct., $2.99
Kelloggs corn flakes, .99, buy 3
Nextle choc. chips, $1.89
Bush's black beans, $1

Navel oranges, .19 lb., buy 10 lbs., $1.90
Red or gold apples, .88 lb., buy 10 lbs., at $8.80
green beans, .99 lb. for Christmas dinner
chicken, $1.99, buy 4 lbs.

Tuna, .69, buy 3 cans

Check everything carefully, I have 11 min. left, am going to check buy may have missed something. I did not look up recipes on the internet this time, google if you need to.
Sorry, this is lacking so much. A lot of basic inged. have not been added to the grocery list.

Happy Holidays to all

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
from Margie M.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup light Karo corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Spray a large bowl and a 9x13 pan with not-stick cooking spray.

Measure out the Rice Krispies into that large bowl.

Put sugar and Karo into a saucepan and cook on your stovetop over medium heat just until it comes to a rolling boil. Remove from heat immediately and stir in the peanut butter until melted and smooth. (The longer it boils the harder/tougher the treats).

Fold peanut butter mixture into the Rice Krispies until evenly incorporated. Then pour into the 9x13 pan. Gently push it to fill the pan and lightly even the top so it is level with the back of your mixing spoon. Do not pack tightly.

Melt the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips together. I put them into my 2-cup siz Pyrex measuring cup and microwave them on defrost until melted. Stir until well blended. Spread on the cooled peanut butter treats. Let the 'frosting' set up before cutting and serving. This can take a long time. I put the pan into my freezer for 5 minutes or so until the chocolate sets. Cut, serve and enjoy!

English Toffee

Hands down. This is my favorite English Toffee recipe ever. And my mother and aunt used to make an English Toffee recipe for years in an electric fry pan. I like this recipe a teensy weensy bit better than the electric fry pan version. I don't make it any more, can't keep it in the house because I end up eating it all. It doesn't help to freeze it, because I like it that way also. And of all the things that I hide from the family so they won't eat it in 30 seconds or less and then can't remember where I've put it, yeah, I know that I would remember where I hid the toffee. And to make it better or worse, depending on how you look at it, the year I made this to give as gifts my husband had bought a case of Dove candy bars at Costco. So that was the chocolate that I used on top of the toffee. oooooooooooooo........

English Toffee
from Kim P.

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teasoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
chopped walnuts
Cadbury bar or Hershey bar

Stir in heavy pot over medium heat until mixture turns the color of a brown paper bag (aproximately ten minutes). Pour the mixture over chopped walnuts that have been layed out and patted onto a baking sheet. The mixture will not cover the entire baking sheet, just a big circle of it in the middle. Place milk chocolate squares on top while still hot, let them melt and then spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee. This can be put in the freezer at this point to speed up setting a enjoying. Caution: Do not attempt to double this recipe. It doesn't work.

NOTE: While the mixture is boiling, and this is where it gets a bit quirky, I go to my cabinet and pull out a brown paper bag to match up the mixture to the bag so that I get it right. I also prefer pecans to walnuts, so that is the kind of nut I usually use with this. Also, I stored this in the freezer after it was made and put in gift bags to hand out. One batch got funny white spots on the chocolate from doing this. I'm sure it was just a cocoa butter thing and not some deadly freezer virus. It was a shame, I had to eat it, couldn't hand it out looking like that. So store at room temperature, I would think, unless you're saving it for you and like it frozen. Room temperature in winter in Phoenix. Not room temperature in spring, summer or fall in Phoenix. If you live elsewhere, your room temp. is probably fine all year long. I'm rambling. This stuff is good even when you mess up and it doesn't get to that hard crack stage and it's soft like a cookie.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Caramel Corn

Nora's Caramel Corn
from Nora N.

2 bags of popped microwave popcorn. After popping, put in a bowl so that the unpopped kernals go to the bottom and you can easily pull the popped popcorn out and away from them.

1 Cup brown sugar
1 cube butter
1/4 Cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp. baking soda
one brown paper grocery bag

Pop popcorn. In a deep glass bowl measure out and put brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, baking soda in bowl and microwave until boiling. I stirred a couple of times while cooking. Boil in microwave until sugar is no longer grainy and butter and other ingredients mix together. Put popcorn in a brown paper grocery bag (do this before the caramel is done), pour hot caramel on top, fold over top edges of bag and shake until well coated. Pour caramel corn out onto a Pam coated baking sheet and spread out so that it can cool and set.

Peanut Clusters

This is my easy no brainer treat for the holidays that my family devours

Chocolate Covered Peanut Clusters

1 package of chocolate coating, like for almond bark
1 can of salted peanuts or any nut you like (I tried it with cashew pieces and really liked it)

Melt the chocolate coating in the microwave in a deep bowl according to package directions. Stir well. Dump the nuts into the chocolate, stir, spoon out by teaspoons onto parchment or waxed paper. Let set for about an hour.


I have a wonderful memory of our dear friends Judy and John bringing us this Wassail at Christmas time one year with a set of pretty cups

from Judy D.

Boil 4 cups of water with 1 1/4 cups of sugar
Add 12 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
4 whole allspice berries

Cover and turn off the heat and let stand for one hour.

Add 3 cups of frozen orange juice concentrate and 2 cups of frozen lemonaid concentrate.
Mix in 2 quarts of apple cider.

If this is too strong, you can add in more water (I think that I do when I make this up)

Sunday Afternoon Wassail

This is a lame recipe, measurement wise. It's an eyeball, test with a spoon kind of recipe. Which means that I haven't perfected nor written down measurements yet.

When I don't have apple juice or frozen lemonaid concentrate in the house and Wassail sounds good, this is what I make. And apple juice doesn't agree with some of us, but no problem with the dried stuff, so it works out great.

6-7 packets of spiced apple cider mix
6-7 cups of water
couple of glugs of reconstituted lemon juice
enough sugar to make it sweet enough
a splash or two of orange juice or the juice of one or two oranges, clementines, whatever is rolling around in the fruit bin
two cinnamon sticks
some whole cloves, about 5-6
some allspice berries, about 5-6

I put it all in a pan to warm on the stove and I test and taste and test until it tastes right to me, adding more lemon juice, sugar or maybe a half pack more of apple cider mix until it's perfect. Put leftovers in a jar or pitcher for the next day. It's better the next day, the spices have mulled together with the juices. Wonderful microwaved up to have with breakfast.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Bacon cut into fourths, water chestnut on top
Rolled and secured with a toothpick and lined
up on a baking sheet.
Top couple of rows have been dipped in BBQ
sauce and the rest haven't. Need to be dipped
and then go back into the oven for a second baking.


3/4 lb. of bacon
2 cans of water chestnuts
1 bottle BBQ sauce

I cut the bacon into fourths, then I wrap each water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Put them on a baking sheet and cook at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the bacon is almost done. Take out and carefully drain the grease off of the baking sheet. I then put the BBQ sauce into a small bowl a little bit at a time and dip each bacon covered water chestnut into the sauce and put back onto the baking sheet. Then cook another 5-10 minutes being careful not to burn. The more sugar in the BBQ sauce, the quicker it will cook. Remove from oven when bacon looks done. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve. Or make ahead, refrigerate and then microwave to heat when your guests arrive.

I am estimating that 2 cans makes aproximately 60 pieces. I didn't count but when I packed them up to take to the party they all fit into an 8x8 pyrex dish and didn't look like a lot. They got gobbled up fast also.

Your baking sheet will be nasty after baking. Pour some water on it and let it sit for a couple of hours before trying to clean it.

Asparagus Beef Roll Ups

Roast beef slices in halves, spread with horseradish
sauce and blanched cooled spears of asparagus layed
on top. Looks like a flag doesn't it? Or if you're LDS
I couldn't help but think of the Title of Liberty. LOL.

Those "five flags" all rolled up.

All of them, all bundled up in their roast beef
blankies, nestled together and ready to go out into the cold (45 degrees, I know it's laughable) to the party. The above picture is pretty much one and a half pounds of asparagus. When we do have leftovers of these, they make a pretty tasty cold lunch. My daughter would even like them in her lunch.

I guarantee you, if you serve these to a crowd where there are asparagus lovers that the plate will be clean in about 30 minutes.

Asparagus Beef Roll Ups
Jenni C.

Roast beef slices, deli style
horseradish cream or sauce

Rinse the asparagus and snap it at the stems to trim. Blanch or steam in water until crisp tender, drain. Then I just add ice cubes to the pan of hot asparagus to stop the cooking process. Then drain and put on paper toweling and blot dry. Lay out roast beef, cut slices in half or thirds, spread a little horseradish sauce on top, then lay an asparagus spear on top and roll up. In the picture it looks like I have spread a lot of horseradish sauce on. I made my own out of sour cream, lemon juice, and horseradish so it wasn't very hot. Beware of how much prepared horseradish sauce you put on the roast beef slices. Do remaining spears. Chill.

Budget menu for what's on sale Dec. 9-Dec. 15

I know what you're thinking. "I'm not going to six store to shop for a week's worth of groceries this week. I'm busy, I have to take the kids with me, in and out of car seats and stores." That's fine, you know best how you operate and some things just aren't worth going to one store to save 50 cents for. So you decide how best to do it this week.

2-French toast
3-Pancakes, Sunny D
4-Cinnamon toast
5-Eggs, toast
6-Cherry crepes, see

1-Turkey or ham sandwich, apple, cookie
2-PB&J sandwich, orange, Cheez-its
3-Turkey or ham sandwich, orange, cookie
4-PB&J sandwich, apple, cookie
5-PB&J sandwich, orange, cheez-its
6-Cottage cheese fruit salad, leftover pizza if any
7-Cheese quesadillas, carrots, grapes

1-Pork chops, canned vegetable of choice, roasted potatoes
2-Spaghetti, sourdough bread
3-Bear Creek soup, crescent rolls
4-Chicken thighs, canned vegetable, garlic mashed potatoes
5-Pizza from Bashas
7-London broil, Beef teriyaki and zucchini kebobs, Rice. Recipe for the Beef Teriyake Kebobs at the side.

Dessert possibilities:
Rice pudding, recipe at the side
apple crisp if you buy more apples, they are cheap this week, recipe at the side


Red seedless grapes, .99 lb.
Albertson's butter, $1.47
Libby's vegetables, 2/$1, buy 2

Bashas half gallon milk, .97, buy 4
Bashas cottage cheese, .97
Bashas eggs, $1.29, buy 3
Food Club cheese, .99
Farmland assorted pork chops, .99 lb., aproximately 5 lb. packages, for $5
American Chef ham or turkey, $2.50
16 inch cheese pizza in the deli, $4.99
Food Club fruit, .99
5 lb. bag of butter gold or red potatoes, $2.50
Sourdough bread, $1.49
Rice, allowed for $2.50

Fresh & Easy
Comstock cherry pie filling, $2.79

Hunt's pasta sauce, .88
Barilla pasta, .88
Keebler chips deluxe cookies, $1.88
Cheez-Its crackers, $1.88
Kroger mini carrots, $1.00
Sunny D punch, $1.00
aunt Jemima pancake mix, $2.99
Bear Creek soup mix, 2/$7, buy 1
Cresent rolls, $1.88
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy five or count and buy four if you think that's enough
Flour tortillas, I've allowed for $2.50
Kroger Value peanut butter, I've allowed for $1.49

London broil, $1.77 lb., 2 lbs., $3.54
Chicken thighs, drumsticks or leg quarters, .99 lbs, buy 2 lbs.
Braeburn or Granny Smith apples, .47 lb.

Italian or yellow squash, .88 lb.

Items not listed:
powdered sugar
soy sauce
spices, ginger, garlic
salsa if wanted for quesadillas

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wheat bread

My friend Laura makes the best wheat bread. She showed several of her friends how to do it before she went to live on an island in the Caribbean. For reals. So this week I've been making bread from her recipe and reconnecting with the grinding wheat, kneading bread part of myself. OK, OK, I'll fess up and tell you that I use a Bosch mixer. And an electric wheat grinder. This is really good bread. My picky eater kid loves it. And Laura wants me to tell you all that she swaps out sugar for the honey because food prices are so high on Stacia and sugar is cheaper than honey. She said that it tastes the same. Like I said before, I do this in a Bosch mixer and it's really, really full. It will makes funny noises, dough will swirl over the top of the dough hook and the lid will pop off occassionally but it will be fine. And now, because I made 3 batches in 3 days, which translates into 15 loaves, I now know that I can get 15 loaves of bread out of one #10 can of my food storage wheat.

Laura's White Wheat Bread
from Laura P.

6 C. warm water
1/3 C. honey (or same amount of sugar)
3 Tablespoons yeast

Combine above ingredients in your mixer, put the lid on and let it grow and eat and work it's magic for 15 or more minutes.

Then add:

2-3 Tablespoons dough enhancer (optional)
1/3 C. wheat gluten(optional)
2 Tablespoons salt
1/3 C. oil
14-17 C. Flour (flour ground from white wheat and some white flour)

I add the dough enhancer, wheat gluten, salt and oil and then I start adding the flour. You don't need to add dough enhance and wheat gluten if you don't have it or don't want to buy it. I think that it makes a difference but when I do it without, the bread is still yummy and light. Add half white and half wheat flour if you want a lighter loaf. I start adding the wheat flour. Laura's recipe calls for 14-17 C. but I don't think that I use that much. I add around 8 C. of the white wheat flour, then I mix. Then I start adding the white flour and mixing until the dough cleans the sides of the mixing bowl when turned onto the highest speed. Then I adjust and test by feeling the dough. If the dough is slightly tacky then I knead on highest speed for 5 minutes in the mixer. I test again after the five minutes or during to make sure that the dough is still the tackiness that I want it to be. I then turn it into an oiled bowl and flip it over so that the top is oiled also. I put plastic wrap on it loosely and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. I put oil on the counter and grease my bread pans with oil. Separate the dough into five portions, oil hands and shape the loaf by slapping the portion of dough onto the counter until flat and smooth. Then roll into a loaf shape, pinching off the bottom and the sides, lay it in the loaf pan and rub with oil to prevent drying. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise, aproximately one hour. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Pull out of pan almost immediately onto a rack to prevent steaming in the pans. Rub the tops with butter while hot if desired.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Resonance Vocal Ensemble

Go to and click onto events for concert dates through Dec. by Resonance Vocal Enemble. Some locations are free.

Menu with what's on sale for the week Dec. 2-Dec.8

I certainly hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. That was a nice little break after the holiday from the frenzy of grocery shopping, however the ads are up again and there are lots of great prices this week.

$76.72 total
-$5.00 if you have a $5.00 off of a $20.00 purchase from Fresh and Easy used at Albertsons
-$5.00 if you have a $5.00 off of a $20.00 purchase from Fresh and Easy used at Fry's
-$2.98 if you have other manufacturer's coupons this week. See
$63.74 total after coupons

The $5.00 off of $20.00 purchase coupon came to me through an email from Fresh and Easy.
Leave a comment and the end of this post if you want me to have Fresh and Easy send you a coupon. I will need your email address but I will delete the comment once I send it to you. The coupon expires on Dec. 6.

1-Oatmeal, toast
2-Oatmeal, pear slices
3-Cold cereal, hot chocolate (If you want to save $1.99 from your total, omit the cold cereal and add another day of oats here.)
5-Chocolate chip pancakes (made from Bisquick baking mix)
6-Oatmeal, toast, hot chocolate
7-Breakfast tacos

1-Tuna sandwich, apple
2-PB&J sandwich, orange, cookie
3-Tuna sandwich, orange
4-PB&J sandwich, apple, carrot sticks
5-Tuna sandwich, clementines, cookie
6-PB&J sandwich, orange
7-Pork sandwich, cookie

1-Spaghetti, salad (If you want to add Pomegranate to the salad, from Bashas, add $1.50 to the total)

2-Stuffed green peppers (four pepper halves stuffed with Rice A Roni and some ground beef if desired), steamed carrots

3-Crustless spinach quiche, vegetable. See for a recipe for Crustless spinach quiche.

4-Pork roast, scalloped potatoes, vegetable, cheddar biscuits (recipe on side, omit green onions)

5-Meat loaf, vegetable, mashed potatoes. Prepare Jell-O for tomorrow night's dinner while preparing tonight's meal if you can't do it in the morning.

6-Meat loaf sandwich, Jello salad (recipe below) (use some plain oats if desired for the meatloaf)

7-Lasagne, vegetable (recipe at side)

Cake mix cookies (recipe at side and below several posts)
Blackberry shortcakes (recipe for shortcakes on the box of the Bisquick mix)

Whipped cream Jello

1 6 oz. package of Jello gelatin, any flavor, I like strawberry or cherry
1 8 oz. container of heavy cream

Make up the package of Jello or gelatin according to directions on the package. Set until firm in the refrigerator. In another bowl, whip up the heavy cream with a wisk or hand mixer. Add sugar to taste and 1/2 to 1 tsp. of vanilla to taste. Break up the set gelatin by stirring gently with a spoon. Add the whipped cream and gently fold in. Return to refrigerator until time to serve.

Grocery List:
Ground beef, 93% lean with purchase of 5# or more, $1.77 lb. Buy 5# at $8.85
Albertsons large eggs, 10/$10, buy 2
Albertsons butter, $1
Farmland sausage, $1
Betty Crocker potatoes, $1, buy one scalloped or au gratin and one mashed at $2
Nestle hot cocoa mix, $1
Calidad tortillas, $1
Pillsbury cake mix, .79, buy 2
Libby's canned vegetables, .50, buy 4 at $2.00
Albertson whipping cream, .79, buy 2
Fresh carrots, 2# bag, $1
Fresh express spinach, $1.50

Total came to $24.51 so if you want to use a $5.00 off of a $20.00 purchase Fresh and Easy internet coupon, you can bringing the total down to $19.51

California navel oranges, 3#/.99. Buy 8 lbs. at $2.64
Bashas milk, $1.58, buy 2, there is a limit of 2, $3.16
****General Mills cereals, $1.99, if you choose not to buy the Post cereal at Fry's
Hunt's Pasta sauce, .88, buy 3 at $2.64
American Beauty pasta, .88
Welch's jelly or jam, $1.58
Skippy peanut butter, $1.58
Bisquick, $2.99
Food Club lasagne noodes, $1.99

Boneless 1/2 pork loin, $1.77 lb, buy aprox. 4 lbs. at $7.08
Cutie Clementines, $2.37 for 3# bag
Chicken of the Sea tuna, 20/$10, buy 3 cans at $1.50
Fry's cottage cheese, $1
Rice A Roni, $1
Jell-O gelatin, $1
Post cereal, $1.99 or General Mills cereal from Bashas for $1.99
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy 4 loaves at $3.52
Pears, $1 lb.
Kroger chocolate chips, $1

Total came to $21.46 You'll need a total of $20 to use the Fresh and Easy $5 off coupon at Fry's. It will bring the total down to $16.46

Oats, 2 lbs./$1, buy 3# at $1.50
Blackberries, .77
Green bell peppers, 2/$1, buy 2
Red delicious apples, .69 lb., buy 8# at $5.52

Deerfield Farms cheese with in ad coupon, 2/$3, limit 4. Buy 3 shredded pkgs. at $4.50

Items not included in the grocery list:
pancake syrup

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

Last year I made these to have for dinner Christmas day. I made up the whole bag of potatoes and froze them since my kids love twice baked potatoes. They didn't last that long but for as long as they did, my kids could pull a potato out of the freezer and pop it into the microwave for a quick snack or lunch during Winter break. So I'm thinking this year that I may make the twice baked potatoes a week ahead, freeze and if I can keep people from eating them before Christmas, my potatoes will be done and all I will have to do is warm them in the microwave or oven for Christmas dinner.

Twice baked potatoes

Potatoes, one per person (?)
sour cream
chopped cooked bacon or bacon pieces
chopped green onion
shredded cheddar
garlic salt if desired
salt and pepper

Wash potatoes and pierce with a fork or knife and place uncovered on a baking sheet. Bake potatoes in the oven at 350 for about an hour depending on their size. While still hot but cool enough to handle, slice a part of the top of the potato off, scoop out flesh into a bowl and leave shells intact on baking sheet. Add some butter, milk, sour cream to flesh and mash with a masher. When desired consistency add bacon, cheese and green onion and salt and pepper. Fill into shells, top with more cheese and bake until hot or until cheese melts if they are already hot. You can freeze before baking if you want.

If you want to, instead of a whole potato for one serving, you could slice the potato in half after baking making two servings from one potato. Do this if the potatoes are big or if there are a lot of children you may be serving.

Bacon/Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups

This is what we usually have for dinner on Christmas Eve. The family loves it. I usually make double the amount b/c they love it cold or warmed up for lunches or for a leftovers night. I don't eat chicken so I make mine out of pork or veal. The recipe calls for "cutlets", thin style. I use a regular chicken breast or pork chop that I've pounded thin with a meat mallet between two pieces of plastic wrap to keep meat parts from flying all over. I think what I'm going to do this year is to pound the meat out a week or two ahead of time, then freeze flat between pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap then put in a ziplock bag. When I defrost for Christmas Eve, the main time element to the dish will have already been done. Big thing to remember in doing this dish is to not cross contaminate all of the ingredients while you are assembling since you will have chicken or pork fingers, so I pull out piles of the ingredients with clean hands and work from the piles. If I need more, then I go back with clean hands to the package of bacon, or stick of butter or package/tub of cream cheese.

Bacon/Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups

Boneless chicken breast (cutlets, thin style)
Cream cheese with chives (I use regular cream cheese and add chopped fresh chives if I can find them, if not dried, on top of the cream cheese)

Lay out cutlets on working surface. Place in center of each cutlet approximately 2 tablespoons cream cheese and 1/2 talbspoon butter (in meatball shape). I also salt and pepper the cutlet before adding the cream cheese. I add chopped chives at this point b/c I hardly ever buy the chive cream cheese. Roll up cutlet around cheese and butter. Wrap 1 slice bacon around each roll (I might use 1 1/2 slices, try to cover all the chicken roll). Place, seam side down, in shallow pan. Bake in 400 degree oven approximately 40 minutes or until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Bacon should be golden. I sometimes turn the broiler on at this point to crisp up the bacon a little. This dish can be prepared ahead of time and baked just before serving.

You can serve with bread dressing, or a rice pilaf or plain rice, wild rice dish, or scalloped or cheesy potatoes, or buttered herbed noodles and a vegetable.