Showing posts from April, 2011

Recipe Heaven!

Just when you think I couldn't be more obsessed with food...I am!  :) 

I just downloaded a toolbar that lets me instantly search through thousands of meals from Food Network.  It looks great so far. 

Click here if you want to learn more.  It's free & they didn't even make me register for it.

I hate the feeling of being in a culinary rut & I've been in one recently with chicken.  It's been on sale so much & I can only make it taste a few different ways.  Hopefully, I can browse around & get the ol' creative juices flowing.  Bon Appetit!

What's Up With Food Prices?

The answer is, well...almost everything. 

If you've gone grocery shopping in the past few months, you've probably experienced some "sticker shock".  I have personally been tracking our food prices for the past 50 weeks & almost everything has risen in the past few months.

Why?  Is it due to gas & diesel prices being so high?  Is it because of the unrest in the Mid East or the devastation in Japan?  The United Nations mentions none of those reasons.

By the way, this post isn't meant to alarm or depress you.  Some people watch The Weather Channel before getting dressed for the day or before deciding whether or not to wash their car.  This is the same thing.  I just want an idea of what I can expect.  Personally, I try to avoid getting caught in a rainstorm in stilletos.  I'd much rather have my umbrella & some cute rain boots!

This is just some of the information that can help us know what to expect.
This graph from the U.N. shows the major commodities/…

My Search For a Fun, Inventive Recipe

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I LOOOOVE it, eating it, talking about it & even reminiscing about a meal from 14 years ago!

Since I started this blog a couple of months ago, I've been absolutely swamped with recipes (& coupons & freebies & surveys & hundreds of gimmicks), so I try to sort things out before I lay 'em on y'all.

Tonight, I signed up for Recipe Nut because...well, I AM one & I think I found a recipe that's actually semi-original...& should impress the heck out of anyone with young kids.  :) 
Shoot, I expect my parents to try this one just because it sounds so fun!

Click here to learn how to make The Empty Tomb Buns.

To make this entertaining (& supposedly delicious) Easter treat, you're supposed to...
Wrap pieces of bread dough around marshmallows (I am NOT impressed so far), dip them in butter (hello!), roll them in cinnamon-sugar & bake.  

The end-result is 'Empty Tombs' that baffle your k…

You Call The Shots!

I'm takin' requests!  The handful of requests I've gotten up until now have been great.  I want to formally extend an invitation/ "free-for-all" to everyone.

Ask any questions you'd like me to (try to) answer. 
Tell me anything you'd like to see...or see more of...or see less of, for that matter.

My whole intention is to be helpful.  Times are tough right now.  Even if they weren't, we'd still be expected to be responsible with what we have.

It's Open Mic Night!  Consider this your stage.  Your wish is my command.  :)

Freezer Experiment #2

In a previous post, I mentioned my challenges with & fear of the freezer.  It doesn't sound like Rocket Science, but I always manage to let things get freezer burned or lost until they're expired.

My whole analysis of my freezing abilities began for a reason.  I've been reading a lot of blogs about "Freezer Cooking" which is when brave souls cook for an entire day & freeze everything for later use.  Casseroles, burritos, lasagnas, rice, beans, fruit, chicken, you name it.

It intimidated me, so I decided to start with small freezing experiments & maybe work my way up to Freezer Cooking.  Freezer Experiment #1 was a wild success & we have since added to our frozen stockpile of citrus juices & chicken stock in ice cube-size portions.

This leads us to Freezer Experiment #2...tomato paste.  I read in some magazine, (Sorry, I can't give the proper credit, blame the Momnesia.) that you can freeze Tablespoon sized portions of tomato paste.  What a gr…

Huevos Rancheros Recipe

Molly O. read the last post about Cooking With Sale Items & a Stockpile & asked for details about how we made our Huevos Rancheros.  We ate this dish at The Cracked Egg & loved it.  I just tried my best to re-create the flavors.  We also make pretty substantial portions since we usually eat this for lunch or dinner, so pile it on!

Tortillas (corn or flour)
Canned beans (refried or black)
Shredded Jack cheese (or cheddar, blend, etc.)

Salsa or Pico de Gallo
Jalapeno or Serrano Chiles
Sour Cream
Avocado or Guacamole
Cilantro to garnish (if you have some)

I just top 2 warmed tortillas with a layer of refried beans & a pile of scrambled eggs.  Then I sprinkle with cheese & warm it enough to melt the cheese...can be done in a skillet covered with foil or the microwave (just don't kill the eggs).
Then pile on the cold stuff however you like.

I know the ingredient list looks extensive, but we had all this (minus the sour cream) on-hand or I wouldn't have made it.  :) 


Extreme Couponing Is Easy & Fun

I hope everyone got to see the premier of TLC's Extreme Couponing.  I'm so glad that this stuff is going mainstream!  ...Not that I really mind being "extreme" or "weird" when I'm saving so much money.  :)

I'm just happy that more people will hopefully start saving money & having more food in their pantries than before.  Just the thought of it is literally bringing a tear (of joy) to my eye right now.  Oh, I love it.  My heart is so happy.

So!  If you're new to the whole "couponing thing", don't be scared.  It's really simple.  It can be as quick or as in-depth as you want it to be.  The Basic Method is explained on our Start Here page along with the general strategy we've followed to take our family's finances in a really fun direction. 

The Resources Page is also full of useful information.  It has a price-tracking spreadsheet & will teach you some of the coupon jargon you'll be running into...I affectionatel…

Cooking With Sale Items & A Stockpile (Pt.4 & Final?)

Woo-Hoo!  Here it is. The actual menu list!
Here are 11 meals that we have recently eaten by combining our random sale items & the items we have stockpiled.  Our (semi-picky, but not too bad) family of 6 enjoyed them all.  :)

(If you missed post #3 in this series, it lists our "random sale items" for a couple of weeks.  It'll explain why we used which fresh ingredients we used.)

1)  We had Mediterranean Night with grilled chicken thighs marinated in oregano, garlic & lemon juice.  I made a Lebanese cabbage salad using the cabbage & lemon juice. We threw it all together with pita, hummus & tabouleh.  The girls begged to eat that way more often.  We felt full, but healthy.  (Next time, we'll have some couscous from my stockpile.)

2) We cooked a whole chicken in the pressure cooker with the carrots, onions & lemons.  I cooked some rice from my stockpile.  This process also made a ton of delicious chicken stock that I froze into small portions for later u…

Cooking With Sale Items & A Stockpile (Pt.3)

This post is more explanation about how I cook by combining each week's random sale items with our stockpile.

Ina previous post we explained how a food stockpile is born (almost accidentally) when you shop the right way. Then, we talked about exactly what a stockpile could contain.  Food prices are continuing to increase at a faster rate than they have in several decades, so our stockpile helps to avoid paying those ludicrous prices later.

Even though our non-perishable stockpile is great, it lacks fresh ingredients.  So, how do we save the most money on those?

The most effective basic method for saving the most money on groceries is posted on the Start Here page.  If you haven't been there yet, check it out, so you'll be saving as much money as possible.  Basically, we end up buying items only when they're at their lowest prices...which usually leaves us with an "interesting" looking shopping cart!

Recently, we've had the best sale prices on...drumroll, plea…