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Monday, December 31, 2012

Tip Tuesday--Meatballs

A few weeks ago I was making meatballs for dinner and instead of just making one batch, I doubled up and put half in the freezer for this week when I knew schedules would be a bit crazy.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Weekly Menu 12/29+


pork roast
green beans

smoked chicken
broccoli salad
pecan pie

black bean casserole
New Year

black eyed peas

pork chop suey

beef stroganoff

chicken quesadillas

Pork Roast (cook extra for Wednesday)
Noodles with browned and buttered panko crumbs
Green Beans

Smoked Chicken
Broccoli Salad
Pecan Pie (Hope LWML Cookbook)
1 uncooked pie shell
1 c brown sugar
1 c pecans
½ c sugar
1T flour
2T milk
½ c melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
Combine liquid ingredients in a bowl.  Add dry ingredients.  Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 40 minutes at 375.  Let pie cool before slicing. 

Black Bean Casserole (Texas Co-op)
1 each red and green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3T olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
11oz can of cream of celery
10oz can of Rotel
2 c frozen corn
18 corn tortillas
4 cans (15oz) black beans, drained
2 c shredded Colby jack cheese
Tortilla chips (optional)

In 2qt pot sauté bell peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Stir in chili powder, black pepper, salt and soup, plus half a can of water.  Add Rotel and corn.  Open cans of beans.  If juice is thin, drain most of it off and add beans to soup mixture.  Meanwhile, spray 2qt casserole with cooking spray.  Line bottom with six of the tortillas, top with 1/3 of the bean mixture.  Continue with two more layers.  Top with cheese.  Crumble a handful of tortillas chips on top, if desired (or you remember that you saved the bottom of the bag just for this recipe).  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly. 

New Year’s Day
Blackeyed Peas

Pork Chop Suey (Woman’s Day)
2 c cooked pork (leftover from Saturday)
3c small broccoli florets
1 medium onion, cut in ¼” wedges
2 stalks celery, cut in ¼” diagonal slices
8 oz small mushrooms (halved or quartered)
1/3 c low-sodium soy sauce
2T brown sugar
1” piece of fresh ginger, grated
2tsp cornstarch

Heat 1T oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pork and heat through.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Add broccoli and 2T water to the skillet, and cook, covered, until broccoli is just tender.  Transfer to the bowl with the pork.  Add the remaining oil to skillet and then onion for 2 minutes.  Add celery and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, ginger and cornstarch.  Add ot the skillet along with the pork and broccoli and cook.  Tossing until the sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. 

Egg Rolls

Beef Stroganoff (Menus4Moms)
3lb roast cut up into small pieces (or 2 c cooked ground meat from freezer)
1 medium onion, chopped (from freezer)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-2 pkg. fresh sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
8 ounces sour cream

Combine all ingredients, except sour cream, in the crockpot.  Cook all day.  When you get home add sour cream, and heat thoroughly. Serve over cooked noodles.

Rice or Noodles

Chicken Quesadillas

Grocery Deals 12/26+

Sprouts     avocados .33 (vs .98 HEB, 1.50 Randalls), red/yellow/orange peppers .88 (vs 1.50 Randalls), squash .88/lb, broccoli .88/lb, cauliflower .88 (vs. 1.49 Randalls), roma tomatoes .88/lb, lettuce .88, cilantro .33, celery .88, baby carrots .88 (vs 1.50 Randalls), green peppers .50, cucumbers .50, blackberries .99 (vs 1.50 HEB), oranges .88/lb, pineapple $2., boneless chicken 1.88/lb (vs 2.48 Randalls)

HEB            grapefruit 1.97/5#, pears .98/lb, apples .77/lb, kiwi .33, fresh blackeyed peas 1.97, frozen 1.42, canned, .58, whole chicken .77/lb, beef fajita 2.97/lb, pork or chicken fajitas 1.97/lb,

Randalls      93% lean ground beef 2.99/lb, leg quarters .59/lb (vs $1 HEB) , progresso soup .99

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tip Tuesday--Christmas Cookies

I know this is probably a bit too late for 99% of you, but it just dawned on me today that I wanted to bake Christmas cookies, but I didn't want to have a lot of cookies sitting around the house AND I didn't want to eat giant cookies, because I have a bad habit of not eating just one cookie at a time.  

So I figured out my plan. 

I mixed up the dough for four types of cookies and then put the majority of the dough into the fridge.  

I did bake one sheet full of each kind of cookie today so that we could leave a few out for Santa (J wrote out a note for him) and our Elf which returned TODAY.  

Because we will have people visiting over the next few days I figured I could bake a little bit at a time so they would be fresh each time some one new comes to visit.  

PLUS I am not as likely to eat just the dough.  The same is not true for other members of my household, but with a carefully placed note on each container that reads 'do not eat', I will be able to keep them out.  

So from my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weekly Menu 12/22+


baked ranch chicken
baked potatoes
green beans


tortilla soup
Merry Christmas

your family

salisbury steak
broccoli & cheese

chicken spaghetti

impossible cheeseburger pie
home fries

Grocery Deals 12/19+

Sprouts:   pineapple .99 (vs 2.99 Randalls), blackberries .99, apples .99/lb.(vs 1.49 Randalls), oranges .99/lb., grapes 1.99/lb., cucumbers .49, celery .49 (vs 1.29 Randalls), green peppers .49, red/yellow/orange peppers .99, squash .99/lb., broccoli .99/lb. (vs 1.49 Randalls) onions .49/lb.
Randalls:   ham .99/lb., rib roast 4.99/lb. (vs 9.97 HEB)., NY strip roast 4.99/lb., Bluebell 3.49 (with coupon), oranges .99/lb., cake mix .99 (with coupon), milk (with coupon and card 1.25/half gallon), but if you want the one gallon jug you can pay 2.98.  Sometimes bulk isn’t better.  J
HEB:           pork roast $1/lb., beef roast 2.97/lb., carnitas 1.97/lb., boneless chicken 1.97/lb., legs/thighs $1/lb., pineapple 1.77, green beans .98/lb., cuties $5/5#, cantaloupe 1.98, potatoes 2.50/5#

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Global Warming and Bulkiness

How global warming is affecting the penguins in Antarctica or polar bears in the Arctic is of no concern in this particular post.  Their mothers will have to figure how to dress their little ones on their own.

This post is about mothers right here in the US and how global warming is making us crazy and our children crazier.  Four examples in three days equals certain proof of my scientific hypothesis.

We have had an exceptionally pleasant fall.  Temperatures have been mild, often warm.  Shorts are still normal weekend wear.  

I still have the one tomato plant with tomatoes on it.  Well at least I did as of Sunday.  I haven't been out to check on it after the last three mornings of <32 degree temps.  

We are definitely short on rain; again.  But overall, very nice weather.  

J and I went to look at 2 million Christmas lights on Saturday with his friend J and his mom, Ms. C.  

You can't tell from this picture, but J is wearing shorts, and poor J would be completely drenched with sweat by the time the evening adventures were over because of his long sleeves and jeans.  

Sunday night a cold front blew in and it was down in the low 40s when we woke up with a stiff north wind and promises of all day 40 degree temps.  Naturally a 40 degree temperature drop feels significantly colder.  

This is where crazy begins.

Example 1: Monday morning I insist that J take his heavy coat.  It's nice.  It's new.  It's exactly the one he wanted.  He loved it while visiting WA.
See he is smiling and it is 40 degrees.  

Suddenly, come Monday the jacket is something he wants nothing to do with.  I insist and he begrudgingly brings the jacket along and the tone is set on the drive to school.   

By the time we get to school I think things are resolved until he puts the jacket into the trunk of the car and is planning to go into school without it.  Are you kidding?  Nope.  

Turns out he thinks it is too bulky....  
You want to see bulky?  Ask this cute little baby about bulky.
You don't hear or see him complaining do ya?  Of course not, because he is WARM! His momma is smart.  She KNOWS what to do to keep the boy warm.   

...Too bulky?  I lost it.  Right there in the parking lot.  I'm sure I was a sight with the 30 mph wind blowing my hair like crazy, slamming the trunk lid, slamming the car door. Ms. C says that moms lose it with their kids in the parking lot all the time, but I get to school too early to witness it myself.  It wasn't pretty, but it happened.  He took the jacket.  I have no idea if he actually wore it. 

L keeps saying let J be cold, he'll figure it out.  I'm working on getting there. 

Example 2:  Turns out this is not just a TX thing.  In the NE jackets that were perfectly good in the store get exposed to the warm air up there and also puff up to the point that a normal 14 year old girl also refuses to wear her jacket because... Yep.  You guessed it, "it's too bulky." Mom and daughter still have not reached resolution as of this post.  
Example 3: I get a series of texts, from L in SoHo, that Tuesday morning her youngest begins complaining that his jacket plus backpack is just 'too bulky'. L realizing where this is going is able to find the humor in what I just went through and was able to diffuse the situation and keep a meltdown from happening; crisis averted.

Example 4:  Misery apparently loves company because Ms. C went out Monday night and bought J a new fuzzy jacket.  Of course by now you think you know just where this is headed.  He loved it in the store, promised to take good care of it, yada yada yada.  

Well apparently if you want to keep a jacket from getting too bulky the thing to do is to roll it around in the playground mulch, fill it with dirt from the playground and then act all surprised when your mother freaks out about how you nearly destroyed this brand new jacket.  
Remember it was fuzzy so all of those little pieces of mulch have stuck to the every square inch of said jacket.  Tia A has been working on getting it de-mulched.  In the meantime, J is back to his old thin jacket. 

The good news is that J's fuzzy jacket has not bulked up... yet.  

See the kids have gone crazy and it's making the mothers go even crazier.  
  I think I'll go replace that last incandescent bulb with a CFL and see if I can turn this crazy train around. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Weekly Menu 12/15+


broccoli cheese soup
beer bread

green chili pork roast
green beans

15 bean soup

turkey bake with cheese swirls

carne guisada

blueberry corn muffins

tater tots

Grocery Deals 12/12+

Sprouts     blackberries .99, oranges .99/lb., pineapple 1.50, broccoli .99/lb., spinach .99, celery .99, squash .99/lb., cucumbers .50, green bell peppers .50, avocados .50, roma tomatoes .99/lb., spiral ham 1.99/lb., standing rib roast 7.99/lb. (if you are considering one of these…)

72 hour sale (Friday-Sunday only): 25% off all bulk items (finally oatmeal is on sale .75/lb.), clementines 3.99/5#, ozarka bottled water 2.99/24pack, salad kits $2 (who doesn’t love a kit???)

HEB              pork roast $1/lb (vs. 1.87 Randalls), chicken breast $1/lb, pork loin 1.97/lb, beef roast 2.97/lb, blackberries .99, apples .77/lb (vs .99 Sprouts),potatoes 2.50/5#

Randall's    ham .99/lb (vs. 1.29 HEB)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Frugal Friday--Side Table

On the weekend mornings we like to sit outside on our porch here: 

and look out here: 

A few months ago L asked if I could buy a small table for us to use on the porch and thankfully I actually remembered to look for one when I was in WalMart one afternoon.    I found the small little side table with the glass table top for a mere $15.  

Then a few weeks ago he asked if I could please buy another one because he would like to have a place to put his coffee on his right, so he wouldn't have to reach across.  

While those of you in TX might not have picked up on it, but this isn't exactly the season for purchasing outdoor garden furniture.  So I had a brilliant idea.  

I'd use the metal spools that we found out here when we bought the place and put a table top on there.  

My neighbor D had used remnants of granite for her window sills and I really liked how they were squared off on three sides so they could build a window around them and then were rough cut facing out.  I thought a couple of those would work really well for me too.  

After some searching around town I found a place who said that I could buy a remnant.  I assured them I would not be making anyone rich with what I was looking for, but they said to come on down.  Steve at Empire Countertops could not have been nicer.  

Then, when I showed him what I was looking for he couldn't believe it, wished me a Merry Christmas and sent me on my way with just what I needed for nuttin'...  

...and look how closely they match the brick. I rinsed them off.  Moved a few things into place and viloa'

Ok, so I didn't sweep off the porch after moving the spools from their prior spot.  Oh and both pieces have a rounded edge that could be lined up and face out to create a nice finished edge.  We might even glue the pieces together, but that will be for later.   

I'm happy to report that L is very satisfied with the table and the price, though he wouldn't have cared how much I spent.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Grocery Deals 12/5+

Sprouts       grapefruit .33, blackberries .99, oranges .99/lb., onions .49/lb., green onion s.49, green bell peppers .49, avocados .33 (vs .98 HEB), squash  .99/lb., lettuce .99, broccoli .99/lb. (1.49 Randalls), green beans .99/lb. (vs 1.27 HEB), roma tomatoes .99/lb., chicken tenders 1.99/lb.
HEB    pork chops 1.97/lb., t-bone steaks 5.97/lb., boneless chicken 1.97/lb., blackberries .97, apples .67/lb.
Randalls     pork loin 1.99/lb, 90% lean ground beef 2.99/lb., beef roast 2.99/lb.,
w/ coupon: grands .99

Weekly Menu 12/8+


sausage wrap
carrot sticks
chocolate chip cookies

baked chicken
buttered noodles
green beans

italian roast
cream cheese potatoes

shrimp scampi
angel hair pasta
spinach salad

chicken alfredo
banana pudding

cheesy spirals
garlic bread

taco crescent bake
apple crisp

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weekly Menu 12/1+


turkey burgers

one dish chicken parm
mixed veggies

apple pork chops
green beans

beef stroganoff

fish tacos
lemon pudding

broccoli cheese soup (chicken)
crusty bread

sloppy joes
baked beans
broccoli salad