Sunday, February 28, 2010

Menu with what's on sale for the week of Feb. 24-Mar. 2

Some smokin deals this week on oranges at Sprouts, chuck roast at Safeway and peanut butter at Albertson's. I was going to have an inspiring paragraph heading into the budget menus but I am finding the past two Sundays, my head and mind are fried by the time I sit down to type this up. Maybe it will get better but I doubt it. I do my best and clearest thinking in the shower, and the keyboard might get too wet if I tried that.


1-Eggs, bacon, hash browns, orange juice. Save some bacon for the Pasta Primavera
3-Yogurt, toast
4-Oatmeal, orange juice
5-Yogurt, toast
6-Oatmeal, orange juice
7-Yogurt, toast

1-Fruit and cottage cheese, pudding cup
2-PB&J sandwich, orange
3-Tuna sandwich, apple, pudding cup
4-PB&J sandwich, carrots, strawberries
5-Bologna sandwich, orange
6-PB&J sandwich, apple
7-Hot dog, orange

1-Chicken Caesar Salad sandwich. So I'm could halve a french bread loaf, put grilled or fried chicken breasts or strips of chicken on the bread, some caesar dressing and shreds or leaves of iceberg on top, put the other bread half on top and then slice into sandwiches. And I saw this on a blog or site somewhere but now I can't remember where.

2-Cheddar corn chowder (Jane Maynard version), french bread. See I didn't allow for the celery in the grocery budget

3-Beef Pot Roast, carrots, Rice A Roni

4-Pork chops, baked potato with sour cream, green beans (canned)

5-Pasta Primavera, salad. Sautee diced bacon first and let cook, then add some diced onion, chopped fresh asparagus, mushrooms, add cooked pasta and cream, and herbs and powdered garlic to taste, cook until thickened slightly.


7-Ground beef/cheese quesadillas

Grocery List:
Boneless skinless chicken breast, $1.67 lb, buy 3 lbs. at $5.01
Skippy peanut butter, 10/$10, buy 1
Albertsons concord grape jelly, 10/$10, buy 1
Sunny D orange drink, 10/$10, buy 2
Albertson eggs, 10/$10, buy 1
Albertsons butter, 8 oz., 10/$10, buy 1
TJ Farms hash browns, 10/$10, buy 1
Bar S bologna, 10/$10
French bread, 10/$10, buy 2
Calidad tortillas, 10/$10, buy 1

Iceberg lettuce, 2/$1, buy 1
Bashas milk, .99 for 1/2 gallon, first 2, buy 2
Farmland pork chops, .99 lb., packages are aproximately $4
5# bag russet potatoes, .79
Food Club cheese, 3/$5, buy 3
Tyson bacon, 2.88
Hunt's snack pack pudding cups, .99, buy 2

Fresh & Easy
Fresh & Easy ground beef, $1.49 lb., with purchase of 2 lbs. or more, $2.98
NOTE: If you don't want to go to Fresh and Easy, then get a lb. of chuck roast at Safeway ground into hamburger

Fry's canned vegetables, 2/$1, buy 2 corn and 1 green bean, $1.50
Rice A Roni, $1
Kroger cottage cheese, $1
Kroger sour cream, $1
Kroger yogurt, 3/$1, buy 12 at $4.00
Bar S jumbo meat franks, 10/$10
mushrooms, $1
Kroger mini peeled carrots, $1
Fry's canned fruit, 4/$5, buy 2 cans
Mission flour tortillas, $1
chicken of the Sea light tuna, 2/$1, buy 1 at .50
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy 4
Heavy cream or half and half, I allowed for $4.00 worth. You'll need it for the chowder and the primavera, however you could supplement some in the chowder with a little whole milk
Asparagus, $1.00 lb.
Fry's hot dog buns, allowed for $1.50
2 cans chicken broth, allowed for .99 each, buy 2

Rancher's Reserve 7-bone chuck pot roast, $1.47 lb, buy 3 lbs. at $4.41
Strawberries, 16 oz., $1.88

Large navel oranges, .19 lb., they are big, aproximately a little under a lb. each. 12 oranges at $2.28
large roma tomatoes, .67 lb.
yellow onions, .39 lb., buy a lb. worth
Green onions, radishes, .39 each, buy one of each
Braeburn organic apples, .67 lbs. at $3.35
Oatmeal, .79 lb., buy 2 lbs. at $1.58

Items not on the list:
spices, bay leaves

Other great deals:
Chicken of the sea salmon, 10/$10-albertsons
chicken parmesan sausage, $2.99 lb.-sprouts NOTE: put this in the primavera if you want to spend an additional $2.99
Green cabbage .39 lb.-Sprouts
Fry's canned beans, 2/$1-Fry's
Fry's canned tomatoes, 2/$1-Fry's
Kellogg's cereal, 4/$10, get 2 free gallons of Fry's milk-Fry's
Milk, $2.19 gallon-Fry's

Friday, February 26, 2010

Week 8

Week number eight of the drawer/shelf/box/cabinet a day challenge and it's gone completely down the toilet this week. The good news is that I intend to start again on Monday with renewed fervor, energy and enthusiasm. Today I need to make a dent in the photos spread across my dining room table. If I organize them today, then I can put them away and pull out a few pages worth each night to assemble, right? Looks good in writing anyway, whether I can pull the plan together will remain to be seen. I get overwhelmed really easy. Or I get lazy. Or both. I plan to sit down and do it and someone needs to be taken somewhere or someone needs me to go with them somewhere or actually just wants my company to go somewhere with them. How can I refuse someone wanting me to go with them? Or dinner needs to be made or dogs need to be fed, I become distracted and forget what I was going to do next. Don't laugh, it will happen to you sooner or later. And the thing with photos...they pull a lot from you. A lot of memories, and they trigger memories of emotions. Like looking at the baby photo of my son, all roley poley oley at six months of age, I was the first and only woman in his life for a long time, then looking at the photo of him at sixteen with his arm around a girl the night he went on his first date. Or looking at baby pictures of my daughter, who was a clingy baby, then finding the photos of her that someone took of her, her first year at Girl's Camp, happy and having the time of her life, the first time she ever went on a trip away from home without us. And finding pictures of my parents, which at the same time will make me smile and sends a stabbing sensation through my "heart". Not because of anything that they did or didn't do but because, through no fault of their own, they are not "here". Some pictures pull at your heart in a warm fuzzy way, and others sometimes in a gutwrenching, painful way. There are usually tears associated with Album looking for the adults in our household. I guess that comes from being half a century old. The kids haven't lived long enough yet to cry over photos. Speaking of that...have you seen the commercial for VISA narrated by Morgan Freeman that is about Dan Jansen, the Olympic skater who promised his sister Jane that he would win a gold medal in her honor in 1988? She died six hrs. before he skated. He fell losing all chances for gold that time, then as the commercial goes on to say, he went back six years later and won gold in Lillehamer, Norway in 1994, then took a victory lap around the rink with his daughter....Jane. My big 200 lb. 17 yr. old son cannot watch that commercial without tearing up. Gives me a lump in my throat just writing about it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Here's the deal. There is just so much that needs to be done. Where I live anyway. So I've decided to add yet another thing to my life, just one a day, to get it done. Just like the one drawer a day challenge that Sooz and I are doing. I challenged Sooz to do one menu a day. She hasn't given me an answer yet either. This refers to the Wendy DeWitt method of Food Storage planning, buying and storing. If you are scratching your head and saying, "What?" right now, then refer to the left hand side and click onto the YouTube videos that were taken of one of Wendy's seminars on food storage. Her blog is also on the left side. It's called Everything Under the Sun it also explains her method and has recipes and ideas and explains the card system. If you're not LDS you might also find the videos and blog helpful, interesting and they might answer a lot of questions you may have had about your weird mormon neighbors and their food hoarding. Actually, I hear that even the U.S. government now encourages people to have at least a 3 month supply of food. So, I've decided to implement Wendy's card system for food storage and do a meal a day. For me it may be as simple as just deciding on the meal on one day and figuring out the ingredients and how much I'll need for 26 weeks (I plan on doing 14 menu ideas) another day. Join me.

Menu with what's on sale the week of Feb. 17- Feb. 23

I am failing lately at getting this out early in the ad week. I wanted to get it done Thursday. Then I wanted to get it done and posted last night and then this afternoon. And I had some awesome thoughts to go with it. HAD. Here I sit after a busy day with "I Believe that My Redeemer Lives" being pounded on the piano directly behind me. My brain can hardly function in dead quiet, so throw crash bang piano playing at me and it's crazy.

Maybe my thoughts will come back to me before I'm through with this post. Maybe not.

Now I remember. There are some great deals and stock up your pantry prices to be had this week. Definitely get out and do some stock up shopping this week. You can totally spend less than the $75 posted on this post if you don't get the snack items this week. S&W beans at Bashas. May I just say FREE!?! Even if you don't have the coupon that was in last week's coupon inserts 50 cents is a great buy for these. Canned beans are a great pantry item to have if your family will eat beans. And if they say they don't like beans, try black beans. My family didn't think that they liked beans until they tried black beans. Also the broccoli at Albertson's this week. It is so stinkin cheap I am going to get some, blanch it and freeze it.


2-Oatmeal, muffins
3-Oatmeal, cranberry juice cocktail
4-Egg biscuits
5-Oatmeal, yogurt
6-Oatmeal, donuts
7-French toast

1-Tuna sandwich, orange, pudding cup
2-PB&J sandwich, apple
3-Tuna sandwich, string cheese
4-PB&J sandwich, apple, popcorn
5-Tuna sandwich, popcorn, string cheese
6-Chef Boy ardee pasta, string cheese, brownie
7-Bagel/cream cheese, orange

1-Butternut squash soup, crusty bread ( I don't have a recipe for butternut squash soup. I allowed some vegetable broth to be the base with the the squash and some onion to be cooked with it. If it were me, I would bake the squash in the oven, then scoop out the pulp and whir in the blender with the veg. broth, and add some diced sauteed onion. Use water or cream to thin it out. Salt and pepper or ginger to taste. Or google Butternut squash soup to get a good recipe)

2-Spaghetti Alfredo, steamed asparagus.

3-Beef teriyaki kabobs, steamed broccoli.

4-Chicken Caesar Salad, hummus and crackers. Add crackers to the shopping list if you didn't stock up during Super Bowl week. (make the hummus out of the can of garbanzos(chickpeas)

5-Sausage gravy over biscuits, salad

6-Green Chicken and cheese Enchiladas, black bean and corn salad (I use a can of drained corn, and can of drained and rinsed black bean, some sweet onion or shallot diced, some sugar, maybe 1 T. and some basalmic vinegar. But, if I didn't have basalmic, I would use rice vinegar or white or cider vinegar.)

7-Leftovers, Coke or Sprite

Desserts and snacks

Grocery List:
Broccoli, .68 lb., buy 2 lbs.
London Broil, $1.88 lb., buy 2 lbs.
Albertsons cream cheese, 2$3, buy 1
Albertsons green enchilada sauce, .79, buy 2

Stokeley's vegetables, 2/$1, buy 1 corn
S&W beans, 2/$1, buy 1 black, 1 garbanzo (for the hummus)
Bashas large eggs, $1.29
Food Club cheese, $2.47
Food Club string cheese, $2.47
Imperial spread, .88
Food Club pudding snacks, .88
Food Club microwave popcorn, 2/$3, buy 1
Crusty bread, $1.19
Bashas milk, $2.19, buy 2
Navel oranges, .99, buy 2 lbs.

Fresh & Easy
Fresh & Easy bagels, $1.99

Fresh Roma tomatoes, .77 lb.
Chicken of the Sea chunk light tuna, 2/.88, buy 3
Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail, $1.98
Van de Camps donuts, 2/$3, buy 1
Yoplait yogurt, 20/$10
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy 4
Boneless skinless chicken breast, $1.67, buy 3 lbs.
Kroger Value Peanut butter, $1.47
Flour tortillas, I've allowed for $2.99
Vegetable broth, I've allowed for .99, buy 2 cans
Onion, I've allowed for .50, buy 1 (used half for the bean/corn salad, half for the butternut soup)
Kroger spaghetti, .88
Buy 10 deal
1-Ragu alfredo pasta sauce, $1.28
2-Kroger salad dressing, $1.28
3-Chef Boy ardee pasta, .67
4-Chef Boy ardee pasta, .67
5-Banquet brown and serve sausage, .89
6-Betty Crocker muffin mix, $1.69
7-Betty Crocker brownie mix, $1.69
8-coke or Sprite, .89
9-Pillsbury Grands!, .89
10-Pillsbury Grands!, .89

Asparagus, .97 lb.
Braeburn or Fuji apples, .88 lb., buy 3 lbs.
Squash, butternut, .88 lb., buy 3 lbs. That may not be realistic, I don't know.
Oats, 2 lbs./$1, buy 4 lbs. at $2. You may need to buy more for your family's needs.
Romaine, .88

Some other great deals:
If you have a Smart & Final close by and have a card
First Street long grain rice, 10 lbs., $3.99
Fresh russet potatoes, 10 lbs., $1.49
Mission corn tortillas, 72 count, $1.79

Items not on the grocery list:
syrup or powdered sugar for the french toast
fresh or powdered ginger
basalmic vinegar
soy sauce
brown sugar
parmesan for the caesar salad
croutons for the caesar salad
crackers for the hummus
lemon juice for the hummus

Friday, February 19, 2010

Week 7

Week number 7 of the drawer a day challenge and I've slacked off a little this week. I intend on doing 3 or 4 today or tomorrow to make up for it though. I did go through a big tub of what I thought were just pictures and scrapbooking supplies and was horrified with what I found. Papers that should have been filed in the filing cabinet. I am amazed by how many boxes of papers I'm finding that just get stashed somewhere. In another tub of picutures I found a pair of my daughter's jeans. HUH? What was clothing doing in the picture tub? What happened is, in a mad dash to clean the house for a party months ago, things got piled into the two tubs and I never got back to them to make things right. And my daughter wouldn't let me throw the pants away at that particular moment in time. She wanted to make a skirt or a purse or something out of them, so they got put in the tub. She reads my blog so I can't write the final outcome of my purging. "Purging" being the key word in that sentence. I also found Christmas cards sent in 1961-1963. Sure glad I still have those(said in a sarcastic morning voice). Also found another baggie of baby teeth. Yuck. Sorry, if you're eating breakfast while reading this. It is a weird obsession I am trying to get a handle on and deal with. Hopefully I can get rid of all of the weird baggie stuff before I die and other people go through my junk. Or maybe Kim's suggestion of a jar of teeth is the answer. I draw the line at jars of fingernail and toenail clippings though. Yuck. I do have my standards. LOL. I am rambling. I still have the second tub to go through, hopefully sometime today. I got distracted yesterday by making homemade oreos for a YW's thing(sorry, more LDS speak). If I can just organize the photos my life will be on track. It is an overwhelmingly mountainous task. Discouraged on Wednesday by what I found in those tubs, Sooz reminded me that making and taking "baby steps" is good. Some day, maybe I'll walk, jog and then run in the dejunking world instead of just doing baby steps.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


When I figured this out my whole view of grocery shopping changed. If you notice, the sale items that run are seasonal. Now that we are in the Lenten season, canned tuna, fresh fish, beans, lentils, rice, they all are on sale. When Easter gets closer, baking mixes and ingredients, ham, canned broths will go on sale. Salsa is cheap around super bowl Sunday and Cinco de Mayo. Sales around three day summer weekends are the time to get BBQ sauce and condiments. As well as the week of Super Bowl Sunday. Peanut butter around the time school starts. Canned soups when the weather is supposed to change to coolish and then again around early February, I guess when they are trying to get rid of their mega stock of it. Baking goods, nuts, cooking soups, canned broth, canned fruit, canned vegetables, etc. around the winter holidays. Asparagus and filet mignon are always cheaper around Valentine's day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beans, beans the musical fruit

I just went through all of the grocery store ads for this week this morning. A few screamin deals. Grab your coupon insert from last Sunday's paper, if you don't live in Arizona then go get a snack and ignore this, clip out the S&W beans coupon (.50 off of 2). That will double to $1.00 off, get in your car and head to Bashas and get two cans of S&W beans, which are on sale for 2/$1.00. FREE BEANS. Fry's has tuna for 2 cans for .88 and most stores have tuna for .50 per can as the Lenten season starts today. Actually if you don't live in Arizona you may still find screamin deals on beans, lentils, tuna, fresh or frozen fish, etc.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu with what's on sale Feb. 10-Feb. 16

Sorry that this post is so late. I have been sharing the computer with kids who need it for homework and scholarship applications. And life has been busy, doing what, I don't know, but it has been busy.

Here it is:
aproximately $78.88 with the chicken added in. Oooops, sorry.

1-Yogurt, toast, cranberry juice
2-Cold cereal, milk
3-Egg biscuit with sausage links
4-chocolate chip pancakes
5-Cold cereal, milk
6-Biscuits and sausage gravy
7-Eggs, toast or Egg-In-The-Hole

1-PB&J sandwich, grapes, cookie
2-Tuna sandwich, orange
3-PB&J sandwich, apple
4-Tuna sandwich, pear
5-PB&J sandwich, apple, cookie
6-Chef Boy Ar Dee pasta, carrot sticks, orange
7-Mac & Cheese, orange

1-Mac & Cheese, green beans
2-BBQ Pork ribs, applesauce, frozen vegetables of choice, coke
3-Taco soup with cheese and sour cream as toppers
4-chicken Broccoli and rice casserole, salad
5-Cheese Quesadillas
7-Spaghetti Alfredo, asparagus


Green Giant vegetables, 2/$1, buy 1 corn and 1 green bean
Seedless grapes, .88 lb., buy 2 lbs. at $1.76
Yoplait yogurt, 20/$10, buy 4 at $2.00
Fresh carrots, 2 lbs., 10/$10, buy 1 at $1.00

Pork country style ribs, .89 lb., buy 4 lbs. at $3.56
Gold Medal Flour, $1.99
Mott's applesauce, 2/$3, buy 1
Bashas sour cream, $1.19
Sargento shredded cheese, $1.99, buy 2
Food Club tomatoes, .79, buy 2
Eggs, $1.39, buy 2 dozen

Fry's milk, $1.88, buy 2 at $3.76
Dole Premium Classic salad, $1
Super lean ground beef, $1.88 in 2 lb. chub, $3.76
Rice, allow for $2.99
Cream of mushroom soup, I've allowed for $1.75
Cranberry juice, $1.98
Kroger Value cereals, allowed for $1.50, buy 2
Fry's spaghetti, .88
Kroger Value tomato sauce, .27, buy 2
Kroger Value frozen vegetables, $1.79
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy 4
Kroger Value peanut butter, $1.47
Flour tortillas, I've allowed for $2.99
Black beans, I've allowed for $1.50
Taco seasoning, I've allowed for $1.00

Buy 10 deal
1-Kraft mac & cheese 5 pack, $2.45
2-Pillsbury Grands! biscuits, .89
3-Pillsbury Grands! biscuits, .89
4-Banquet Brown n serve sausages, .89
5-Banquet Brown n serve sausages, .89
6-Coke, .89
7-Chef Boy R Dee Ravioli, .67
8-Chef Boy R Dee Ravioli, .67
9-Kraft BBQ sauce, .69
10-Ragu Alfredo sauce, $1.28

EDIT: I forgot to add chicken. would be nice since I put down chicken and rice and broccoli casserole
Safeway split chicken breasts, .99 lb., buy 3 lbs., less if it's packaged in smaller packages
Sat., Sun., Mon., Tues. only, navel oranges 3 lbs/$1, buy 9 lbs. for $3.00
Tender green asparagus, .99 lb.
chicken of the sea chunk light tuna, 2/.88, buy 2
Betty Crocker cake mix or traditional brownie mix, .69
Nestle baking morsels, $1.99
Betty Crocker cookie pouches, .99

Broccoli, .77 lb.
Braeburn apples, .77 lb., buy 2 lbs. at $1.54
d'Anjou pears, .77 lb., buy 2 lbs. at $1.54

Items not on list
leavening, ie., baking powder

Other great buys
5 lb. bag russet potatoes, $1.49-Safeway
Split chicken breasts, .99 lb.-Safeway
Bumble Bee chunk light tuna, 2/$1-albertson's

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Homemade Oreos

See on my blog list, "My Chocolate Garden". Click onto that and then click onto the cookies subject line. The homemade oreos recipe is about third down. I made them last weekend and didn't have the Devil's food cake mixes so used 2 milk chocolate cake mixes instead. Cake mixes are on sale this weekend at Safeway for .69 each.
Update on 28 August 2010---the blog that I got this recipe from is no longer public. Luckily I had written down the recipe.

Homemade Oreos

from the blog My Chocolate Garden


2 Boxes Devil's Food or Chocolate cake mix

4 eggs, use large or extra large works best (note: the Devil's food cake mix tends to be more dry than the chocolate does)

1 C. oil

Combine thoroughly. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 340 degrees F for 8 minutes. Do not over cook. The cookies will not look done. Allow them to cool on a wired rack.


6 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 C. butter, softened

2 tsp. vanilla

4 1/2 C. powdered sugar

Caramel Drizzled Brownie hearts

I saw this recipe in a Betty Crocker ad in the coupon inserts last year. I didn't caramel drizzle but opted to frost with homemade chocolate buttercream instead. Lots of ideas and the caramel drizzled heart recipe at

Caramel Drizzled Brownie Hearts
Betty Crocker

1 box (1 lb. 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker Original supreme brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
1 bag (14 oz.) caramels, unwrapped
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom and sides of 13x9 inch pan with foil. I used parchment paper. Grease bottom only of foil with shortening or cooking spray. Make brownie mix as directed on box, using pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs. Bake as directed for 13x9 inch pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Using foil to lift, remove brownie from pan. Remove foil. With deep 3 inch hear shaped cookie cutter, cut 12 brownies.

In medium microwavable bow., microwave caramels and whipping cream uncovered on High 1-3 minutes, stirring every minute, until caramels are melted.

Arrange brownie on serving plate. Drizzle caramel mixture over brownies. Sprinkle with pecans.

Like I said, I just frost them per normal. They turn out cute as well.

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles
from the Barefoot Contessa

1/2 lb. good bittersweet chocolate (recommended, Lindt)
1/2 lb. good semisweet chocolate (recommended, Ghiradelli
NOTE: I use Hershey bars to equal 1 lb. Last year I used the free Lindt chocolate bars I got at Christmas time. I use 3 parts milk chocolate and 1 part semisweet and I like the way it turns out. Not sure how many Hershey bars that would be or the size. I would probably buy 2 half lb. milk chocolate bars and one small dark bar and take out some of the milk choclate to equal a pound of chocolate.
UPDATED NOTE 1/26/11-Half lb. candy bars no longer weigh a 1/2 lb. They are 15 oz. This past Christmas I used 2 large Hershey milk chocolate bars that were 15 oz. each, plus a row pr two of squares from a third bar and a half of a dark chocolate Hershey bar. This made it the right consistency.
1 C. heavy cream
2 T. orange flavored liqueur, optional. NOTE: I never use this
1 T. prepared coffee. NOTE: I never use this
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract. NOTE: I use the cheap kind, it's fine
Confectioner's sugar
cocoa powder

Chop the chocolate finely with a sharp knife. Place them in a heat proof mixing bowl.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just boils. Turn off the heat and allow the cream to sit for 20 seconds. Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the bowl with chocolate. Whatever, NOTE AGAIN: I never do that step. With a wire whisk, slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the orange flavored liqueur, if using, coffee, and vanilla. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour. NOTE: Put it in the fridge or you'll be waiting until Dec. for it to firm up.

With 2 teaspoons, spoon round balls of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. NOTE: Use your hands, it will be messy but you can wash them later. I use gloves like restaurant workers use when I do this. Roll each ball of chocolate in your hands to roughly make it round. Roll in confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, or both. These will keep refrigerated for weeks, but serve them at room temperature.

NOTE: The kind rolled in cocoa powder will be bitter, so you may opt for the powdered sugar. My older kids happen to like the cocoa powder kind. The powdered sugar will absorb into the truffle and look kind of wet. I just re coat it before giving it away. Nuts or chocolate jimmies are also good coatings. These really are yummy.

Valentines day

I am going to post some recipes for treats that will be good to make for Valentine's day. Some more time intensive than others, but all good. See the left side for an excellent toffee recipe, it would be good for a sweetheart. Also Theresa's treasures, a sour cream sugar cookie. I plan on serving some kind of red juice for breakfast that day. You could make egg-in-the-hole using a heart shaped cookie cutter. You can make pink heart shaped pancakes or chocolate chip pancakes or simply pancakes with strawberries on the side for a brilliant red color on the plate.

For dinner I may make a spinach/feta stuffed flank steak because we all love it. But a heart shaped pizza would be wonderful. Cheesecake pie with strawberry freezer jam for dessert is always a must have on Valentine's day.

And if I remember, I will draw with lipstick on the bathroom mirrors my sentiments of love and a few kissy lips and hearts.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 6

Week number 6 and this is so hard. Sometimes I feel as though I'm not getting anywhere or having to do more work after the initial junk out. I decided to work on photos today. So I got the two old photo frames that have been sitting on my dresser for awhile. I decided to pull the photos out and put them in the photo album and toss the frames. These were photos in the frames that my grandmother had had on her walls. And to give you some perspective as to a time element, my grandmother died in 1971. So, I pull the first photo out, and I'm always interested to see the picture that came with the purchased frame that sits behind the familiar photo for years and years. It sometimes gives an insight as to how old the frame and the photo you've been viewing for years is. And years ago the pictures sold with the frames were usually of movie stars, not generic brides and grooms or babies. So I turn the frame around to reveal that the picture that came with the frame, are you ready for this? Some of you won't even know who this is.....Helen Hayes. A young Helen Hayes. Not the old version but the young, snazzy actress version. So now I'm in the quandry of whether to keep the frame. It's not special...but it may be old. The second frame had a picture of an old woman holding a book in a floor length dress. I "bing"-ed Helen Keller and Eleanor Roosevelt and it's not either of them. Maybe I'll just find new photos to put in these old frames and have these pictures continue to hang on a wall only to be discovered some 50 years later by my great great granddaughter who will have to google Helen Hayes. Or maybe the packrat gene will have dissipated in my line by then and they will have been thrown out long before a great great grand-daughter could discover them.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 5-Part 2

So maybe it's the day or the fact that I have 2 dirty bathrooms and pawprinted tile to clean but I felt compelled to blog about my drawer/cupboard/shelf/box a day challenge again this week. I am learning a lot about myself. While I always knew that I was a packrat I have discovered that I am a packrat of the worst kind. The disturbing kind you read about in magazines(like saving baby teeth didn't tip me off). Case in point. Yesterday I threw away aproximately 20-30 plastic lids. Maybe 3 plastic bowls. Not because I am saving the bowls but because there were only 3 bowls and 30 lids. I had a five year supply of lids should I meet up with someone who had a five year supply of plastic bowls that possibly would fit the size lids I have. Today I threw away the little bitty straws that I bought to go with the drink container I bought for my son's lunchbox when he was in First grade. I threw out the drink container a week after I got it b/c it leaked in his lunchbox but felt like I needed to keep the straws for some strange hoarder reason. My son is now a senior in High School. So going here with the notion that anyone can change, I've decided to keep 3 pot holders in the drawer instead of 7, I even threw out the used birthday cake candles in the dust tacky plastic sandwich baggie and the baby medicine spoons, though I did opt out to keep the singing birthday candle holder and candle. Baby steps.

Menu for the week with what' on sale for Feb. 3-Feb. 9

There are a few ideas for main dishes that would be Super Bowl weekend appropriate posted in the past week. And if you still have coupons and a Fry's nearby you are good to go for cheap to free eats for a Superbowl party or at least dinner one night this week. Check out your coupons last Sunday in the paper, you know, the SmartSource and Red Plum inserts. On the back inside page of one of them is a coupon for Wholly Guacamole guacamole or salsa. Use it with the sale price of $1 at Fry's this week and it will be free. Get the salsa and use it for Salsa skillet chicken, posted previously, just a week or a few days ago. The Hormel Chili Masters white chicken chili or other varieties was and is free this week also using the coupon that came out a week or two ago. or use the regular Hormel chili to make macho nachos. Or make a six foot sub using 3 french bread sticks at Bashas' for $1.49 each. Cut off the ends of the french bread except for the 'ends' and lay end to end. Slice down the middle and add your favorite meats and cheeses. Spareribs at Bashas at a great price, .99 lb., see my mom's recipe for BBQ spareribs at the left side. They are a juicy, soupy, saucey kind of sparerib that need to be eaten on a plate with a fork and knife, so keep that in mind if you're thinking party food. Canned tomatoes are cheap, cheap, cheap on the buy 10 Fry's deal. Use them to whip up a chili or Taco Soup. The Velveeta style mac and cheese is cheap on the buy 10 deal. So is Mott's apple juice and a host of snack crackers and snack foods. Nabisco snack crackers, aka wheat thins and triscuits are a great buy on the buy 10 deal. I picked some up last week using a coupon worth a dollar for .88 per box. Asparagus is .99 lb. at Fresh & Easy if you wanted to make a more healthy snack, see the recipe for aparagus beef wraps on the left.

Random thought....If you save a mere $10/month buying sale priced items matched up with a coupon, that's $120/yr. saved. But, you can do better than that. If you save $300/month with coupons and sales that's $3,600/yr. Multiply that by five yrs. and that's $18,000. Eighteen Thouuuuuuusaaaaaaaand dollars! That's a car or several nice trips or bills paid or a college fund or two mission funds or 900 piano lessons. So you may never look at a coupon again and think, it's just a .50 coupon. Go to http://www.pinchingyourpennies/ and spend a few minutes matching up coupons to the sale items. You'll be happy you did.

NOTE: also, and

$79.66 a little higher than I wanted it to be but I had to work around the Fry's 10 deal

1-Breakfast tacos. Egg, cheese, sausage, tortilla
2-Cold cereal, milk, banana
3-French toast. Do something wacky and 'fry' it in the waffle iron for a grid effect
4-Cold cereal, milk, apple juice
5-Cold cereal or eggs and toast
6-Cold cereal, milk
7-Eggs, toast

1-PB&J sandwich, goldfish crackers, grapes
2-Pork sandwich, apple
3-PB&J sandwich, orange
4-Pork sandwich, cookie
5-PB&J sandwich, cookie, if there are enough eggs left, hard boiled or deviled egg
6-Hot dog
7-Ramen noodles

1-Pork loin, baked potato, green salad w/ dressing
2-Pizza, green salad, Pepsi
3-Teriyaki beef kabobs, grilled or roasted asparagus, green salad w/ dressing
4-Canned chili, cheese toast using hamburger buns
5-Macaroni and cheese, steamed broccoli
6-Fish tacos using fish filets or fish sticks
7-Spaghetti, sauce, garlic toast, green salad if any lettuce left

Cheesecake pie, see recipe at left side

Grocery list:
Roma tomatoes, 2 lbs./$1, buy 2 lbs.
Boneless top sirloin, $1.89 lb., buy 2 lbs. at $3.78
Mission flour tortillas, 2/$3, buy 2
Food Club butter, $1.99
Shamrock Farms sour cream, 2/$3, buy 1
Russet Baking potatoes, .49 lb., buy 6 lbs., or $2.94
Bashas milk, $2.19 gal., buy 2, $4.38
Ramen noodles, .25, buy 2 at .50

Fresh & Easy
Asparagus, .99
Bananas, .19 each, buy 4 at .76
Pantry Select hot dog buns, .88
Pantry Select hamburger buns, .88
Farmers Gem large eggs, 18 ct., $1.57, buy 2

Pork loin, $1.77, aprox. $8
Navel oranges, 3lbs./.99, buy 3 lbs.
Bar S Jumbo meat franks, .67
Wholly guacamole salsa, $1
Farmer John pork links, 10/$10, buy 1
Kroger Value, peanut butter, $1.47
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy 4
Kroger Value cereal, I've allowed for $1.50 each, buy 2
Fry's spaghetti, .88
Kroger Value sauce, $1.15
Grahm crackers, I've allowed for $2
Iceberg lettuce, $1

Buy 10, save $5
1-Mac & cheese, .49
2-Mac & cheese, .49
3-Hormel chili, .79
4-Hormel chili, .79
5-Hormel chili, .79
6-Pepsi, .79
7-Kraft cheese, $1.49
8-Kraft cheese, $1.49
9-Tombstone Pizza, $1.99
10-Tombstone Pizza, $1.99
1-Goldfish crackers, .88
2-Goldfish crackers, .88
3-Goldfish crackers, .88
4-Mama Bella garlic bread, $1.99
5-Mott's apple juice, $1.49
6-Krusteaz cookie mix, $1.49
7-Kraft Salad dressing, $1.49
8-Van de Kamp's fish sticks or filets, $2.99
9-Philadelphia cream cheese, .99
10-Philadelphia cream cheese, .99

Grapes, .88 lb.
Pinova apples, .77 lb., buy 3 lbs. at $2.31
Broccoli, .88

Items not on the grocery list:
syrup or powdered sugar for the french toast
soy sauce
spices, herbs
brown sugar

Other great deals this week:
Ribeye, loin, NY steak in a bag, $3.99 lb.-Safeway
Hass avacados, 3/$1-Bashas
Pork spareribs, .99 lb.-Bashas
Food club dip, 2/$3-Bashas
French stick bread, $1.49-Bashas

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Just got back from Albertson's and Fry's. Stocking up on free tissues, .88 goldfish, free chili and Tide. Met a fellow shopper and couponer at Fry's that told me about , a free coupon site. Thank you nice lady with the cute baby. I haven't checked it out totally, but I think she said it was a national site.

Week 5

So as long as we're pondering the meaning of life and other important things let me ask you the question of "What to do with all of the 'stuff' (aka crap) you find when you're cleaning out a shelf/drawer/box/cabinet a day. Stuff that is too good to throw out and that someone may be looking for. I've decided to empty out the rest of the peanut butter filled pretzels and use that big square-ish screw top container to hold all of the wires, hinges, screws, nails, batteries and other non descript things I have found and am finding that I am sure I should keep for some reason. Found a bunch of those types of things in a food cabinet/coupon shelf yesterday. Along with a myriad of pristine Weight Watcher material. Yes, other issues abound in my hoarder's soul. You know, the shelf that everything gets stashed on when someone is five minutes away from coming to your house. I am done repositioning "stuff". I am putting it in the pretzel jar and letting the members of the family look at it and decide if it's theirs or if we need to continue giving it a home. So, week number five and I'm still in the game. I might even win.


Up and blogging at 6:35a.m. Ugh. I just MADE the 17 yr. old go to Seminary 20 minutes late and now I am questioning my parenting motive. Wondering why he never pulls this "stuff" on his dad. I know the answer to that is "because he can't". And pondering the age old question of choices, consequences, how my choices, your choices, affect other people and their lives. At least how their day will go. And also pondering the other age old dilema of "I just want everyone to be happy!" Ugh.

LDS definition
Seminary: A before school religious study for teens ages 14-18 yrs., High Schoolers. Usually is 45 minutes long and held in an LDS building. They have teachers, a principal, everything, made up of people who volunteer their time to do so.

Monday, February 1, 2010

French bread

Another recipe from Laura in the Caribbean. So even though I haven't tried it yet, I know it must be a winner.

French Bread
Laura P.

2 1/2 C. warm water
2 T. yeast
2 teaspoons sugar

soften in Bosch on 1 for 2 minutes
add 1 T. salt
1 T. crisco
6-7 C. flour

Put on level 2 and knead and set timer. this dough will be stiffer than your regular wheat bread recipe

After it urns off, let rest 10 min. Place in greased bowl and rise til doubled. Punch down. Form into 2 logs, slice 3 slashes across tops of loaves with a very sharp knife. Let rise til doubled.

Bake at 425 about 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

I slice it when warm, add butter and garlic salt and put back in the oven for 5 minutes.


Cheesy Chicken and Salsa Skillet

To use up all that free salsa you're getting this week.

Cheesy Chicken and Salsa Skillet
Margie M.

2 C. multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1-1/4 C. chunky salsa
1 C. frozen corn, thawed or canned corn
1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin short strips
2 C. of shredded four cheese Mexican blend cheese

Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat up a skillet with a little olive oil in it. Or use PAM. Add chicken; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add in salsa, peppers and corn. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to med.-low and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occassionally.

Drain pasta when done. Add to skillet and stir gently. Top with cheese and remove from heat. Cover and allow to sit one minute until cheese is melted.

Four servings, 2 c. each