Sunday, March 29, 2009

Frugal Semi-homemade Pizza

I just have to share with you what we had for lunch today. Our local Kroger's had (and I think they still do this week) the Pillsbury Pizza Crust in the refrigerated section 4/$5. Then when you buy 4 you get an extra $1 off so you get them for 4/$4. But on top of that, our Kroger had those little coupons in the refrigerated section for .75 off three refrigerated products (excludes cookie dough). So that made them 4/$3.25. So about .80 per pizza crust.

So we made pizza for lunch today. One for hubby and one for me and the kids. I would have taken a picture but my battery is dead so I have to wait for it to charge. So sorry about that.

Here is a cost breakdown for the pizzas.

2 cans of dough $1.60 for both
1 and a half cans of tomato sauce (garlic flavored) .50
italian seasoning (just sprinkled it over the tomato sauce) maybe .10
3 cups of cheese $1.50 (this is on sale at a local store for 1.00 for an 8oz bag)
mushrooms on half of one of the pizzas .50 (also on sale for $1.00 a package)
ground beef about 1/2-3/4 a pound ($1.50)

Total cost for 2 pizzas $5.70
Not too bad for a quick lunch and definitely tastes better than frozen pizza. This normally would be something we'd have for dinner over lunch. However, I wanted the kids to have a bigger lunch because we have the Fireproof bible study tonight so we won't be back home to do anything for dinner until 7 or later.

Happy cooking!
God bless,
Amanda

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bargain Meal of the Week- Food Lion

Bargain Meal of the Week

Click on the image to go find your Bargain Meal of the Week!


Welcome to the seventh installment of the Bargain Meal of the Week. I am enjoying this and hope you all are too. Check out even more great recipes and bargains at $5 Dinners!

Food Lion had some great things on sale. I definitely would encourage you to check your local ad.

Some of the highlights are:

Boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.79/lb
food lion gallon milk $2.47
cube steak or beef stew meat 2.99/lb
cantelopes B1G1F
Edy's Ice cream B1G1F
Sara Lee Soft and Smooth bread B1G1F
Jif Peanut butter 2/$4
food lion canned veggies .69
food lion salad dressing 16oz 2/$3
food lion spaghetti sauce $1.39
food lion pasta .99
6ct english muffins B1G1F
Mrs. Paul's seafood B1G1F
roasting chicken .99/lb

Using chicken breasts on sale for $1.79/lb
Meal #1
Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

16 oz Salsa
12 oz Uncooked Chicken Breast, cut into strips
1 c carrots, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
4 large Flour Tortillas
1 c of lettuce, shredded
1/2 c of onion, diced
1/2 c low fat shredded Cheddar Cheese

Pour 1/4 of salsa into a slow cooker. Top with 1/2 each chicken, carrots and celery. Repeat; top with the remaining salsa. Cook on low for 6 hours. Stir fajita mixture; remove from slow cooker to a medium bowl and serve with the tortillas, lettuce, onions and cheese. Yields 1 filled tortilla per serving. Serves 4


NOTES: Could Onions, Green Pepper and any other veggies that you have on hand. Also would be good with Cumin, Chili Powder.

Meal #2
Also using the chicken on sale
Creamy White Chili

2 cups chicken broth (1 can plus a little water)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp cumin seed
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 large)
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16-oz) pkg frozen shoe peg white corn, thawed
2 (4-oz) cans diced green chilies
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 to 3 T fresh squeezed lime juice (1 whole lime)
2 (15-oz) cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup whipping cream (sub evaporated milk)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (can omit)
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth, wine, lemon pepper and cumin seed. Bring to a boil. Add chicken breasts. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Remove chicken, leaving broth in saucepan. Break up chicken into bite-size pieces and return to saucepan. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add onion mixture, corn, green chilies, ground cumin, chili powder, lime juice, beans and cream to chicken. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and slow boil for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the cilantro. Ladle into bowls and garnish with 8 equally divided portions of tortilla chips and cheese. Serves 8.


Meal #3


Chicken Cornbread

1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 green pepper, chopped
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 package (8-1/2 oz.) corn muffin mix (love the Jiffy brand in the little blue boxes)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook and stir chicken in oil in skillet until cooked through. Drain. Add green pepper, seasoning mix and 3/4 cup water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spoon chicken mixture into 9-inch pie plate; sprinkle with cheese. Prepare muffin mix as directed on package. Spoon muffin batter over cheese to cover.

Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Come back next week to see what meals I find for Food Lion!
God bless,
Amanda

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Virtual Great American Bake Sale- Come join us!



Have you submitted a recipe for the Virtual Great American Bake Sale yet? All of the proceeds go to Share Our Strength to insure that no child goes hungry. Please check it out, help spread the word, and submit a recipe. Read further to learn more.

About The Virtual Great American Bake Sale:

Kate from Cooking During Stolen Moments has partnered with Share Our Strength to hold a virtual version of their yearly Great American Bake Sales held across the U.S. Every year people can sign up to host a Great American Bake Sale in their community with the proceeds going to Share Our Strength. And now, we’re making it virtual!

The Basics:

On April 13th, Kate will be hosting the Virtual Great American Bake Sale at Cooking During Stolen Moments. She will write up a post that includes a link to each participants blog and their bake sale recipe. Readers can go from blog to blog and look over all the yummy selections, just like you would at a real bake sale.

Also on that date, the sale of an ebook (or ebooks) will launch. The ebook(s) will be filled with recipes from the Virtual GABS participants, and anyone else who would like to contribute a recipe. The books will be available for a donation of the purchasers choosing and all of the proceeds will go to Share Our Strength.

How To Participate:

You can participate in one or all of the following ways:


* Submit a baking recipe to be included in the ebook(s). Submit a recipe before April 5th. The recipes will be compiled, and the ebook(s) will be available for purchase on April 13th. You can submit a recipe Here or via email - virtualbakesale@gmail.com

* Spread the word! If you have a blog, ask your readers to submit a recipe for the ebook. The deadline for ebook recipe submissions is April 5th. Feel free to copy and paste any information in this post when you spread the word. Make sure you offer your readers either a link to this post" or the email address, virtualbakesale@gmail.com, so they can submit their recipes.

* Tweet! Spread the word about ebook(s) and the Virtual Great American Bake Sale through twitter. Please use hashtag #vgabs.

* Participate in the Virtual Great American Bake Sale. If you have a recipe you’d like to share, write up a post, include a link to the ebook purchase page (the link will be available the 12th), and then send Kate the URL to your post by April 12th. She'll post a master list of all the VGABS participants on April 13th.

* Add a button in your sidebar that links to the ebook purchase page.

* Spread the word about the ebook.

Timeline Synopsis

* April 5th - Deadline to submit recipes

* April 13th - Kick off of the Virtual Great American Bake Sale and launch of the ebook(s) sales.

I hope you’ll join us all to make the Virtual Great American Bake Sale a success. Let’s support Share Our Strength’s work to make sure that no child goes hungry!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send an email to virtualbakesale@gmail.com.

Menu Plan for the week of March 22nd-28th

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Here is my menu plan for the week. I will post recipes as they are made. :)

I am not accounting for leftovers right now because the kids are off for Spring break so more might be eaten for lunch than usual. So I'll have to see how it goes.

My menu plan got thrown off a bit last week because of my husband's surgery. He is gradually getting better. Thank you for your prayers! So I have moved some things to this week that we didn't get to make last week. Plus some simple things in there to make things easy this week. Hopefully things will be back to normal next week.


Sunday
My mom brought us some beef filets over to cook. We all enjoy steak. So that was a really nice treat. I fixed baked potatoes to go with it.

Monday
Spaghetti
five cheese bread (peppridge farms, frozen)

Tuesday
Easy Chicken pot pie

Wednesday
Enchilada Casserole
tex mex rice
creamy corn, avocado and tomato salad

Thursday
hamburger helper
carrots

Friday
chicken tenders
mac n cheese
green beans

Saturday
Migas
refried beans
fried potatoes

Check out more menu plans at Organizing Junkie.


Have a blessed day!
God bless,
Amanda

Great deal at Food Lion!


I don't buy Pop Tarts a lot but I couldn't pass up this deal at Food Lion. At my local Food Lion they have Pop Tarts on sale for 3/$5. That's not the great deal part though. On the Pop Tarts with Fiber they have $1.00 off one box coupons. So that made them about .67 a box. So I stocked up. That's a great deal! Especially if it can save you on a busy morning from buying breakfast somewhere. They had strawberry and chocolate. Just wanted to share!
God bless,
Amanda

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Great giveaways!

$5 Dinners is having a Great Giveaway for a Sister Schuberts gift basket. I absolutely love these rolls! Go over there and enter to win this yummy basket!


Playground for Parents is having an awesome giveaway as well! They are giving away a gift basket from Gourmet Gift Baskets! They have some really yummy looking things there! Hurry up and enter! This one ends March 24th!
God bless,
Amanda

Yummy Chicken Quesadillas


These are so yummy and filling. I love quesadillas! I should have taken pictures while I made it. I will try to remember to do that next time. I was in a hurry last night because I still had to run to the store after dinner.

Chicken Quesadillas
2 cups of chicken, cooked and shredded or chunked
2 cups of cheese of your choice (I used the rest of a bag of a mexican mix and also come colby jack)
3 peppers, sliced (I used red and yellow)
1 onion (sliced in half and then in thin slices on each half)
1-2 tsp of McCormick fajita seasoning
1 can of green chiles
butter and oil to saute peppers and onions
8 count package of flour tortillas. I like the homestyle kind. I think they're made by aztec.

Heat a nonstick skillet (I used a 10") on medium heat with a bit of butter and oil. I try to use as little as possible so probably about a tablespoon of each or so. When the skillet has heated add the peppers and onions. Saute until nice and soft and caramelized.

Add the can of green chiles, the fajita seasoning and the chicken. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Place in a dish so that you can use the skillet for the quesadillas. Wipe out the skillet.

Add about a teaspoon or so of butter to the skillet and let it melt all around the skillet. Then add one tortilla. Layer on cheese (this is personal preference on how much, if you like it really gooey add more, if not add less) and spoon chicken mixture on top of the cheese (all around). Add a little more cheese (this kind of helps serve as glue to keep it together). Then top with another tortilla. Let the bottom tortilla get nice and golden and then flip with a wide spatula. Let the other side get toasty and then place on a plate and cut into wedges. Repeat with other tortillas.

Now depending on how much filling and cheese you put in yours you may have some leftover. So you might want to have some extra tortillas on hand or you can freeze the filling and make at a later time. I have done this and it is still just as yummy.

Visit more Saturday Stirrings at I Throw Like A Girl.
Happy eating!
God bless,
Amanda

Friday, March 20, 2009

Treat in the mail


I couldn't believe it when she emailed be but I actually won a prize at The Happy Housewife where she had a great giveaway. When she announced the winners, I was excited. I don't win things often and it's fun to win.

We've already eaten all of the Sun Chips. They were super yummy. I think I am addicted now. LOL My 5 year old is too.

Thank so much for a very yummy prize!
God bless,
Amanda

Country Casserole



I made Country Casserole for dinner last night. It was really yummy. I did leave the onions off the top but put them inside. The kids never knew. LOL I also got too much pasta in there. I was aiming to not measure and just poured half the box only more than I wanted to came out. I think it would have been creamier if I hadn't done that so make sure you measure your pasta.

This was super easy to put together since I already had cooked chicken in the fridge.

Country Casserole
from Southern Plate

2 cups small shell pasta, cooked and drained
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
One can French fried onions, divided
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can use canned chicken)
1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ cup milk
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine everything in a large bowl, reserving half of the cheese and half of the onions for topping later. Spoon into 9×13 casserole dish. Bake for twenty five minutes. Top with remaining onions and cheese, bake until cheese is melted, about five minutes more.

Freezing options: Instead of freezing this in your casserole dish, simply spoon it into a gallon ziploc bag. Lay the bag flat so that it will thaw out quicker and place it in your freezer. On the day you want it, take it out the night before and refrigerate or place in fridge that morning.

If you forget to do all of this, no sweat! Just microwave the bag until it thaws just a bit, pour into your casserole, and bake!

To bake a casserole that is still frozen, simply place in the oven while the oven preheats. This allows the casserole to thaw quickly and then bake to perfection!


Happy Eating!
God bless,
Amanda

Ultimate Blog Party- Come on in!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Welcome all Ultimate Blog Party hoppers! It is so nice to have you and so nice to be participating for the first time! So now on to the introductions!

My name is Amanda and I have been blogging for just a couple of months so far. I love to read blogs and thought, why not start my own? So I did! :) The focus of my blog is being frugal (we live on a very tight income), food (recipes), working on bringing our family closer to God, and anything to do with my family. I have just started so I'd love it if you'd come back and visit often!

Here is the family (my mother-in-law took us to Disney last summer). My husband Mike, me, DD8, DS5, and DS3.


I participate in $5 Dinners Bargain Meal of the Week. My store is Food Lion and you can find my meal ideas for their sales ad here.
Bargain Meal of the Week

Click on the image to go find your Bargain Meal of the Week!


I love to try new recipes like this Vegetable Lo Mein one.



and make comfort classics like yummy blondies


or delicious beef pot roast


I also like to have fun with food. For example these cute little clover kiwi for St. Patrick's Day.


We're also working on doing daily devotions as a family. We haven't done them every day but we're getting there.
IMG_1345


Thank you so much for stopping by! Please come back soon! I'd love for you to show me some comment love as well. It's so encouraging for us newbies. :)

God bless,
Amanda

P.S. Wanted to add my prize picks. :)
My number one prize that I’d like to win is USC 58 — Handmade Retro Apron of your choice! I love aprons, actually I collect them! I had looked at this shop before and would love to win this!
Provided by: Kati @ Country Girl, City Life and BoojiBoo!!

Next would be 41 — Simply Precious Photo Tile Necklace
Provide by: Elemental Memories

68 – $30 gift certificate to Christian Book Distributors
Provided by: A High And Noble Calling

If they are already taken I would like 19, 21, 22, 26, 32, 58, 72, 91, 103, 113 or 114. But really any prize for mommy or any of my kids (ages 8, 5 and 3) would be awesome! It's just fun to win something!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Come Join the Ultimate Blog party 2009!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009
I was over at The Happy Housewife's blog reading about the Ultimate Blog Party 2009. I didn't know about this until I read her post here. She has some great pointers to Grow Your Blog.

I am very new to blogging and this sounds like a lot of fun. Who would like to join me? Click on the banner and learn how you can join too!

I'm excited about this! Let's get ready to PARTY! :)

God bless,
Amanda

Bargain Meal of the Week- Food Lion

Bargain Meal of the Week

Click on the image to go find your Bargain Meal of the Week!


Welcome to the sixth installment of the Bargain Meal of the Week. I am enjoying this and hope you all are too. Check out even more great recipes and bargains at $5 Dinners!

Food Lion had some great things on sale. I definitely would encourage you to check your local ad.

Some of the highlights are:

chuck roast $1.89/lb
bone-in assorted pork chops $1.79/lb
ground beef $1.79/lb
whole chicken fryers .89/lb
butterball turkey smoked sausage 2/$5
tilapia fillets $3.99/lb

green seedless grapes .99/lb
sweet potatoes .69/lb
celery .99

italian bread B1G1F (I think these are usually close to $2.00 so it'd be $1.00)
sara lee bread B1G1F
8ct hamburger and hot dog buns B1G1F

yoplait yogurt 20/$10
16oz sour cream 4/$5
food lion shredded cheese 3/$5

20-32 oz food lion frozen fries or tots 2/$4

Food lion salad dressing B1G1F

Kellogs cereals 3/$5

ragu pasta sauce 4/$6

lysol wipes B1G1F

Meal #1
Using the ground beef on sale for 1.79/lb
tater tots on sale for $2/4

TATER TOT CASSEROLE (from the Duggar Family Website)
2 lb ground turkey cooked, seasoned, drained
3 2lb bags tater tots
2 cans cream of mushroom
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans cream of chicken
Brown meat & place in large cass. dish.
Cover with tater tots. Mix soup & milk together.
Pour over top. Bake at 350 for 1 Hour.
Makes 2- 9”X13” pans

The recipe on their site makes 2 pans. I would recommend making both pans and placing one in the freezer for another day. It definitely wouldn't take much more effort. Then you'd have a meal on hand for another day. :)

Meal #2
Also from the Duggar Family Website
using the ground beef on sale for $1.79/lb
8ct hamburger buns B1G1F
serve with sweet potato fries .69/lb recipe follows

JEANNE’S SLOPPY JOE’S
1 lb. ground beef/turkey
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. BBQ sauce
1/2 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 tsp. liquid smoke
Brown & season meat, drain. Add all other ingredients, heat
Through. Serve on buns; enjoy!

Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
6 sweet potatoes, cut into French fries
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a plastic bag, combine the sweet potatoes, canola oil, taco seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Close and shake the bag until the fries are evenly coated. Spread the fries out in a single layer on two large baking sheets.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until crispy and brown on one side. Turn the fries over using a spatula, and cook for another 30 minutes, or until they are all crispy on the outside and tender inside. Thinner fries may not take as long.

Meal #3
Using the french bread on sale for B1G1F

Oven-Baked Caramel French Toast
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
12 slices French or Italian-style bread
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

DIRECTIONS
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter and 2 tablespoons corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Pour sauce into a 9x13 inch baking dish and sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans. Place 6 slices of bread on top of the sauce, sprinkle with the remaining pecans and cover with the remaining 6 slices of bread.

Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a blender. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread slices, cover the baking dish, and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove the French toast from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until lightly brown. Drizzle sauce over the toast right before serving.

To make the Caramel Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter and 1 tablespoon corn syrup. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.


I actually could come up with a few more rmeal ideas but have limited time available right now. Hope you all enjoy!

Come back next week to see what meals I find for Food Lion!
God bless,
Amanda

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ripped Pants


Okay, I know what y'all are thinking and no I didn't rip my pants. LOL My 5 year old decided that he wanted to enlarge the very small hole in the knee of his jeans.

Do you think he was trying to make some shorts? Maybe spring fever?

I still can't believe he did that. It was bad and I was upset with him. However, I also know it's times like these that will be looked back on with much laughter. Things that will be recounted when my children are adults. Things that will make me long for the days when they are little.

I found this poem online and really enjoyed it.

Can I Carry You ?
© Brad Anderson
I guess that I can hold you
one more time before you grow.
And tell you that I love you
so that you will always know.
Please let me tie your shoe again.
One day you'll tie your own.
And when you think back to this time
I hope it's love I've shown.
Can I help you put your coat on?
Can I please cut up your meat?
Can I pull you in the wagon?
Can I pick you out a treat?
One day you might just care for me,
so let me care for you.
I want to be a part
of every little thing you do.
Tonight could I please wash your hair?
Can I put toys in the bath?
Can I help you count your small ten toes
before I teach you math?
Before you join a baseball team
can I pitch you one more ball?
And one more time can I stand near
to make sure you don't fall?
Let's take another space-ship ride
Up to the Planet Zoor.
Before our Cardboard Rocket
doesn't fit us anymore.
Please let me help you up the hill.
while you're still too small to climb.
And let me read you stories
while you're young and have the time.
I know the day will come
when you will do these things alone.
Will you recall the shoulder rides
and all the balls we've thrown?
I want you to grow stronger
than your Dad could ever be.
And when you find success
there will be no soul more proud than me.
So will you let me carry you?
One day you'll walk alone.
I cannot bear to miss one day
from now until you've grown.

Have a blessed day!
God bless,
Amanda

Update on my husband's surgery and prayer request

Mike had his surgery this morning. We just got home a little bit ago. It was minor surgery but they encountered some difficulties and had to do more than they usually do. They said his recovery time would have been 2 days but with the complications it could be up to 2 weeks. Please pray for a quick recovery and that the surgery was effective as that is up in the air as well. I know he would be upset if it was for nothing. I am not telling him everything about it yet because he is very groggy.

Please also pray for no further complications. Please pray for me as this has already been a very long day. I didn't get hardly any sleep last night so please pray that the kids would behave as well as possible. It's been a way more stressful day than I had thought. Thank you all so much!
God bless,
Amanda
P.S. I have one more post scheduled to post but I'm not sure how much I am going to get to post this week. Hopefully I will still be around some but we'll just have to see.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Aldi's is coming!

Okay, I just have to share my excitement!! We have only a few more days until our Aldi's is open! I am so excited!

The building has been finished for a couple of months. I'm not real sure why they didn't open yet but the official date is the 21st! Which is Saturday! They even have all the grocery carts ready to go.

So I'd love to hear any of your favorite Aldi's products. I went to one a few times when we lived in Ohio but that's been quite some time ago. I just know that they can really help a mom's budget.

Have a blessed day!
God bless,
Amanda

Corn Cakes


I made these corn cakes last night. They were really yummy. I didn't measure or go by a recipe so I will tell you what I did.

I put some corn meal mix in a bowl (not the jiffy type mix but regular cornbread mix, Martha White brand). You can really use as much as you want. I probably put about 3-4 cups in there.

Then added one egg and a bit of salt. I then added milk, a little at a time until it was a thick cornmeal batter. Thicker than you'd want it for cornbread.

Then I added about a 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the batter. Some green chilis and/or corn would be great added to it also.

Fry in a nonstick skillet over medium heat in a bit of oil and butter. I put about 1/2 a cup of oil and 3 tbsp of butter in the pan at first but they soaked up quite a bit of that and I refused to add any more. LOL So they ended up just cooking in the pan with no oil and did just fine. So you definitely would need a nonstick skillet to not have to use the oil. I still would use some on the first round just to get the skillet nice and slick.

My five year old LOVED these and devoured two. I made 7 larger sized and 2 smaller sized cakes. We even have leftovers. So that made plenty for dinner and extras even.

Everything else was from a can, frozen or boxed so this is the only recipe I have for today.

Have a blessed day!
God bless,
Amanda

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Menu Plan for the week of March 15th-21st

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Here is my menu plan for the week. I will post recipes as they are made. I have about three new things I am making.

I am not accounting for leftovers right now because the kids are off for Spring break so more might be eaten for lunch than usual. So I'll have to see how it goes.

Also my husband is having some minor surgery on Tuesday so that could change plans as well. If you could say a prayer for him I would appreciate it. Thanks!

Sunday
mixed beans
mac n cheese
corn on the cob
corn cakes


Monday
Grilled chicken tenders
baked potato
salad

Tuesday
Enchilada Casserole
tex mex rice
creamy corn, avocado and tomato salad


Wednesday
Migas
refried beans
fried potatoes


Thursday
chicken quesadillas


Friday
chicken tenders
mac n cheese
green beans


Saturday
salad
baked potato


Check out more menu plans at Organizing Junkie.
And also this week at $5 Dinners

Have a blessed day!
God bless,
Amanda

My first menu- how did it go?

My first week didn't go entirely on schedule. That's okay though because it all worked out. It was definitely nice to have the menu and I'm going to be doing it every week. I've posted my menu and then in bold I will let you know how it went that day.

Sunday
Pizza Meatloaf
mashed potatoes
green beans
Actually had the Vegetable Lo Mein.

Monday
Vegetable lo mein
served with chicken tenders (these are bought at an a local warehouse type store and I will fry or bake them)
This night was kind of crazy so we all just had different things I already had here.

Tuesday
grilled chicken tenders
baked potatoes
salad
Actually had the Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf. Green beans and mashed potatoes were the sides.

Wednesday
Eat at church
The kids ate at church and then Mike and I ate leftovers at home after church.

Thursday
Enchilada Casserole
tex mex rice
creamy corn, avocado and tomato salad
Ended up doing Beef Pot Roast.

Friday
baked potatoes
salad
I actually got to go out with my sister and spend some time with her. So Mike fixed hamburger helper for the kids.

Saturday
leftovers
or chicken tortilla soup
cheese quesadillas
Leftovers won out here. I want to make that soup sometime soon though.

What I learned:
We definitely had too much red meat this week. Though what a blessing the sales were. I just need to vary it a bit more.

I learned that it's okay if I don't stick to the menu exactly as long as I'm still cooking something at home. A big part of the menu is to have the ingredients on hand to make the recipes. That way I am not running to the store at the last minute or going through a drive through.

I really enjoyed having a plan this week.

Leftovers last us a bit because my husband is very picky and wouldn't eat most of what I made here. Does anyone else have a super picky husband? I don't want the kids eating the way he does so I choose to make these types of things instead. But then he doesn't eat them and finds something else. It can get quite discouraging at times because I want him to eat the things I make. If anyone has any tips I'd love to hear them. :)

Have a blessed day!
God bless,
Amanda

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Beef Pot Roast with potatoes and carrots



I forgot to take the picture before I cut the roast up so this is after I've already cut it into peieces. :)

Here's what I did:

Beef Pot Roast
2.5 pound sirloin roast
a few red and gold potatoes (I was kind of using up what I had left in the bags)
about 1 pound of carrots
1 can of french onion soup (this one was not condensed it said not to add water)
1/2 can of water (to make sure I have enough juice, we like a lot)
salt and pepper to taste

I just sliced the poatatoes and carrots and put them in the bottom. Then salted it. I actually didn't use pepper because my 5 year old doesn't really like it. Then I sat the roast on top. I poured the soup and water and a bit of salt on top. Then covered and baked at 350 for about 2.5-3 hours. I just kept checking it every so often after 2 hours to see when it was nice and tender.

If I had any I would have added some beef base to this but I am out. I can't wait to get my soup bases delivered. They will probably be here early next week.

This was really yummy. I fixed it on Thursday night. Needless to say, I didn't stick to the menu plan completely. Just like this roast. But sirloin tip roasts were on sale for $1.89 a pound so it was just too hard to pass it up! :)

Hope you're having a great weekend!
God bless,
Amanda

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fun food for St. Patrick's Day



My middle child is 5 and in Kindergarten. We start our spring break this weekend so his class asked for the parents to bring in green foods to celebrate St. Patrick's day early.

I figured that most people would bring cookie and cake type things so I thought I'd do some kind of fruit but wanted to do something fun. So I bought some kiwi and used my small clover cookie cutter to make clover kiwi! I think they turned out pretty cute and I hope his classmates enjoy eating the green clovers.

I have to say I was very inspired by a blog entry written by Christy from Southern Plate called Green Your Lunch The Irish Way To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! She has some great ideas over there too. I'd love to here some of your favorite ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

I also think it's important to remember why we have St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick the Shepherd
A Poem for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick as a young man
Was captured and carried away.
He became a slave in Ireland,
Where he's loved until this day

Patrick tended his sheep flock,
Where he heard the voice of God,
And he became a shepherd,
To those born on Irish sod.

He used the Irish shamrock
To teach the trinity.
He showed the Celtic Church
The path to Eternity.

So wear your green with honor
And remember this great man --
A saint who learned as a captive
To seek God and follow his plan.

Found at Christian Activities.

Check out more ST. Patrick's Day recipes at Life as Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap. This is also being shared at Grace's Kitchen at Feels Like Home.

Hope you have a blessed Friday!
God bless,
Amanda

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

13 things I am thankful for

1. My husband and children even if we don't always get along. LOL
2. My family and friends and church.
3. The fact that my sister's test results came back good.
4. That God sent his Son to die for us so that we could have everlasting life.
5. That even when I mess up God still loves me.
6. That there are sunny days when I can take the kids outside and let them play.
7. That I have people in my life who care enough to reach out when I need it.
8. That I have shelter, clothing and food.
9. For central heat and air and running water.
10. For the people who visit my blog and even leave me comments. To a new blogger it means so much.
11. Days when I can just forget about what I have to do and enjoy being with my children. It's hard to do that sometimes but I want to do it more.
12. For a job that brings in enough to help us pay the bills.
13. That I am so blessed in so many ways, even when I don't realize it.

There are so many more things I am thankful for. Just wanted to list a few. Take a look at more Thursday Thirteen. And even more here at 3 Moms Thursday Thirteen.
God bless,
Amanda

Bargain Meal of the Week- Food Lion

Bargain Meal of the Week

Click on the image to go find your Bargain Meal of the Week!


Welcome to the fifth installment of the Bargain Meal of the Week. I am enjoying this and hope you all are too. Check out even more great recipes and bargains at $5 Dinners!

Food Lion had some great things on sale. I definitely would encourage you to check your local ad.

Some of the highlights are:
5lb white poatoes B1G1F
Food Lion brand 8oz shredded cheese 3/$5
and Knorr rice or pasta sides and Betty Crocker Specialty Potatoes 10/$10.

Boneless chicken breasts 50% off (would be $2.50/lb)

Bargain Meal of the Week
copycat Chick-fil-a sandwiches
1 pound of chicken ($2.50)
pack of buns ($1.50)
french fries (generic should be available for about $1.50 or so a bag)

Entire meal for about $6.50-7 when you account for conidments and other ingredients.

Now, I don't have a pressure cooker so I think I'd be tempted to use a regular skillet or maybe cast iron and fry these. I've not made this recipe before but I do like their sandwiches so I think it'd be a yummy dinner to try.

Copycat Chick-Fil-A-Chicken Sandwich

Yield: 4 servings

3 c Peanut oil
1 Egg
1 c Milk
1 c Flour
2 1/2 tb Powdered sugar
1/2 ts Pepper
2 tb Salt
2 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved
4 Plain hamburger buns
2 tb Melted butter
8 Dill pickle slices

Heat the peanut oil in a pressure cooker over med. Heat to about
400F.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and stir in the milk.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pepper, and salt.
Dip each piece of chicken in milk until it is fully moistened.
Roll the moistened chicken in the flour mixture until completely coated.

Drop all four chicken pieces into the hot oil and close the pressure
cooker. When steam starts shooting through the pressure release, set
the timer for 3-1/2 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, spread a coating of melted butter on the face of each bun.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the oil and drain or blot on paper towels.
Place two pickles on each bottom bun; add a chicken breast, then the
top bun.

To make a deluxe chicken sandwich, simply add two tomato
slices and a leaf of lettuce. Mayonnaise would be a great addition as well.

Come back next week to see what meals I find for Food Lion!
God bless,
Amanda

Frugal Soup Stocks without even cooking!



I just wanted to share this with you as something that works for me. I get soup bases from Soupbase.com. This stuff is amazing. And I think I figured that the chicken base that makes 5 gallons works out to about .15 a cup! That's a great savings even over store brands. I usually try to order several things of it at once to save on shipping. They have a email list you can join to receive specials and such.

This is restaurant quality stuff. I love having this in the freezer ready to go. It keeps longer in the freezer than the fridge.

I used the bacon base the other day in my green beans to make them all yummy with southerny goodness. :) You have to cook them an hour or two as well.

I'm not affilated with them in any way but absolutely love their products! I have used the bacon base, beef base, chicken base, and vegetable base. So these soup bases definitely work for me!

I've decided to join What Works for Me Wednesday today! To see what works for others go to We Are THAT Family!

God bless,
Amanda
P.S. I took that picture in my freezer. LOL I was in a hurry and wanted to get this up so I just used the inside of my freezer. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf



I made Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf last night. It was really good. I didn't have time to do mashed potatoes so I just did green beans. I had forgotten about a conference call I had.

I left off the pepperoni and subbed Hunt's meatloaf sauce for the pizza sauce. I also topped it with the sauce instead of cheese. I used onions, mushrooms and cheese in the middle. Very tasty!

I plan to make mashed potatoes today to go along with it. We'll actually eat this for dinner tonight because of the whole conference call thing. I ate a plate of it late last night. Too late for dinner. So the kids and DH had other things for dinner. Hopefully they'll enjoy this tonight. I have to work today anyway so it will be nice to not have to cook so much when I get back home. Just reheat and make the potatoes. :)

Hope you all have a great day!
God bless,
Amanda

Monday, March 9, 2009

Vegetable Lo Mein





Okay, I already messed with the menu. :) I didn't get to get to the store in time to get the potatoes for mashed potatoes to have with the meatloaf. So I had to make the lo mein instead of the meatloaf yesterday. I kind of did my own thing but with help from this Chicken Chow Mein recipe and this Vegetable Lo Mein recipe.

First I boiled the noodles. Then fried them in the skillet in a bit of oil. This really helped them not stick together. And I'm sure gives it more flavor.

I took the noodles out of the pan and put them in a dish until it was time to add them back. I then started stir frying the veggies. Mushrooms, onions first. Then a bag of coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots), some bean sprouts. I microwaved a small bowlful of broccoli and added that. I also added a can of sliced water chestnuts.

I mixed one cup of chicken broth and a tablespoon of cornstarch and added that to the veggies. Then added a tablespoon of reduced sodium soy sauce and a tablespoon or so of oyster flavored sauce. Then a tablespoon of honey.

I mixed everything together well and then added the noodles back and mixed them as well.

This was really good. However, I am very sensitive to MSG and something in this dish gave me the symptoms of MSG. I looked at the label of the oyster flavored sauce (I've never bought that before and got it just to make this). Nothing was listed as MSG. I'm thinking I had some kind of reaction to that sauce. It's the only thing I can figure that caused it. So you might want to be careful if you can be sensitive to things like that.

I will definitely make this again, but without that oyster sauce. I love vegetable lo mein!

Check out more great recipes at the $5 Dollar Dinner challenge!

God bless,
Amanda

P.S. This makes a huge amount! I used almost an entire box of pasta. So this would be a good recipe to feed a family and then some lunches.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Menu Plan for Week of March 8th-14th

Photobucket


This is my first real menu plan! Yay! I usually fly by the seat of my pants so lets see how this works out this week.

This is my menu plan for the week. I will post recipes as they are made. I have about three new things I am making. I haven't really accounted for leftovers in here so they may be eaten on Saturday.

Sunday
Pizza Meatloaf
mashed potatoes
green beans

Monday
Vegetable lo mein
served with chicken tenders (these are bought at an a local warehouse type store and I will fry or bake them)

Tuesday
grilled chicken tenders
baked potatoes
salad

Wednesday
Eat at church

Thursday
Enchilada Casserole
tex mex rice
creamy corn, avocado and tomato salad

Friday
baked potatoes
salad

Saturday
leftovers
or chicken tortilla soup
cheese quesadillas

Check out more menu plans at Organizing Junkie.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cooking for your freezer- Ground beef



Life is busy for all of us. It's so easy to get so busy that instead of home cooked meals we grab food through the drive through and eat on the run. A big timesaver is cooking for your freezer.

You can do this as simply or as complicated as you want. Some do once a month cooking. However, it's also handy to double up on a casserole or main dish that you're making and freeze one. This is a bit more manageable for me. For the most part, I cook meat and freeze it. Then use it to make a meal at a time.

My favorite thing to cook is ground beef. I just cooked up about 10 pounds of this and put it in my freezer. It is so nice to pull that package of frozen cooked ground beef and use it for whatever I need. Spaghetti, a casserole, tacos, burritos, anything! It eliminates a step and a pan to be used.

How to cook the ground beef:
I place several pounds of ground beef in my stockpot and then add some water. Usually a 2-3 cups. Then season the beef however you like. This time I just used salt. then break up the meat as it cooks. You don't have to stay right there with it. Just break it up occasionally to get it to the size crumbles you like. I like mine pretty fine.

Packaging the meat:
I use a strainer over a bowl to drain the meat and then put it in containers to go in the fridge to cool down. I usually like to let it cool before I package it for the freezer. I just use sandwich bag and then put them all in a freezer bag. Make sure that you get as much air out of the bag as possible. Don't forget to date it so that you know how long it's been in the freezer. Every now and then a bag can get away from you if you have a large freezer.

I highly recommend doing things like this to save time. You can freeze any meat after it's cooked. I even have some pork from a roast I fixed in the freezer. I have pulled a package out for a quick lunch and have it planned to use for bbq sandwiches soon.

The freezer is an awesome tool and one that I wouldn't want to be without. I would love to hear your favorite freezer tips!

God bless,
Amanda

P.S. Here are a couple of my favorite sites for freezer cooking.

30 Day Gourmet

Friendly Freezer
There is a yahoo groups called Friendly Freezer that goes along with this. I highly recommend joining because they are a great group of helpful freezer cooks. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Friendly-Freezer/

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bargain Meal of the Week- Food Lion

Bargain Meal of the Week

Click on the image to go find your Bargain Meal of the Week!


Welcome to the fourth installment of the Bargain Meal of the Week. I am enjoying this and hope you all are too. Check out even more great recipes and bargains at 5Dollar Dinners!

Food Lion had some great things on sale. Especially the 3 day sale. I definitely would encourage you to check your local ad.

10 pound bag of chicken leg quarters .79 a pound ($7.90) This will make at least 2 meals if not more.

Meal #1

Huli Huli Chicken
Dottie (hokiesmom) from Cooking for your family on babycenter.com

5 lbs chicken pieces
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons sherry
1 piece ginger root, crushed
1 clove garlic, crushed

Arrange chicken, skin side up, on rack of broiler pan. Broil 6 to 8 inches from unit in electric oven for 10 minutes on each side. Combine remaining ingredients; baste chicken and continue broiling for 10 more minutes on each side, basting frequently with sauce. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Serve with rice and roasted veggies. (squash and zuchinni are on sale for $1.29/lb so get 1.5 pounds- $2.09)

half a bag of chicken $3.95
rice- .50
veggies- $2.09

Entire meal for $6.54



Meal #2
Roast the rest of the bag of leg quarters in the oven and debone them when cooked. ($3.95)

Use the meat to make Chicken Divan. This recipe looks so good! I can't wait to make it but I have a bit of a stomach bug right now so no food for me for a bit. :(

Serve with your choice of side. I think I would probably go with some mashed potatoes and corn. But that's just me. :) I love mashed potaoes and corn with everything. LOL

Come back next week to see what meals I find for Food Lion!
God bless,
Amanda

Beef Penne Pasta Casserole

This is one of my favorite pasta recipes. I do use beef broth instead of the bouillon. I just sub it as part of the water required. It's a great recipe to take to a family as well. Hope you enjoy it!
Check out more pasta recipes at Life as Mom.
God bless,
Amanda


Beef Penne Pasta Casserole
1 pound dried penne pasta, prepared according to package directions
8 ounces lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups water
2 cans (6 ounces each) Italian tomato paste
1/3 cup red wine or water
1 tablespoon MAGGI Instant Beef Flavor Bouillon
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

COOK beef and onion in large saucepan, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink. Add water, tomato paste, wine and bouillon; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until flavors are blended.

LAYER ingredients as follows in ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking dish: 1/2 pasta, 1/2 sauce and 1/2 cheese. Repeat layers; cover.

BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Season with salt.

FOR FREEZE AHEAD:
PREPARE as above; do not bake. Cover; freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

BAKE for 45 to 55 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Season with salt.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The gift of baked goods


I have a wonderful friend who watched my 3 year old so that DH and I could spend some time together yesterday. We ran some errands and took advantage of the $4.99 breakfast buffet at Shoney's. We really just enjoyed being out together alone. It's been hard for us to do that much. It's something that we need every now and then.

We were so grateful that I wanted to do something to thank her. So I baked her a batch of blondies. These things are absolutely addictive. Especially when they are warm from the oven. I got this recipe from another friend of mine.

Blondies
1 cup of flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1/2 c walnuts
1/2 pkg of mini chocolate chips

I just mix everything but the nuts and chocolate chips together. When you get it mixed well, then add the nuts and chips. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes in an 8x8 greased pan. These are so wonderful!

I think baking or cooking something for someone is a wonderful way to express your gratitude. Everyone loves something yummy. :)

This is being shared at Show Off Your Blog Saturday.
God bless,
Amanda

Monday, March 2, 2009

Family Devotions: Day One

IMG_1345


We have never read family devotions together before. It's something we should have done years ago but never did. I have really wanted to get this started for some time now. I received the devotional book for Christmas and today was our first day! I am using The One year Book of Family Devotions.

I really enjoyed today's devotion. It talked about your heart being prepared for worship on Sundays. How important it is that we get to church with the right attitudes and on time instead of being rushed. It talked about ways that we can make Sunday mornings go more smoothly. Getting into bed at a decent time on Saturday night, laying out clothes the night before and so on.

We struggle greatly with Sunday mornings. We have went into church so many times frustrated, stressed and just plain tired many mornings. How can we truly get much out of church if we enter with those attitudes? I have had times of barely being able to stay awake during the sermon. And no, it wasn't what was being preached about. :) It was just from not getting enough rest. That in turn led to oversleeping, leading to everyone being cranky and difficult.

Yesterday we were actually early for the first time in a while. Wow! What a difference it made! I want to do that every Sunday! It's going to be my goal to get plenty of rest on Saturday nights and do any of the things I can to get ready for Sunday morning the night before.

Verse for the day:
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.

Psalm 100:4 (New Living Translation)

God bless,
Amanda