No this site is not dead…yet

butterbread

Nope the site is not dead, just a lot of us going through real life, and it makes it hard for us to think Food blog. And it isn’t just here, my tea blog is also lacking.  Sorry!

But I figured, while we are talking in the chats, we are talking lunch meats.

Yeah… lunch meats.

Now, I have no issues against Subway, but really, lately everything has been dry.  I can’t get a good sandwich from them, and that is a shame.  I love Subway.  I love sandwiches, and they turned me off them the last couple of months.

But, it is the summer time, and sandwiches are an easy, none heating the house up alternative.  Now, we have a store here in Texas called HEB.  They make some awesome stuff, but we also have Boar’s Head and so on.  So… I decided to wonder back to sandwich time, since my eating and sleeping schedule is all messed up.  And sandwiches are a good way to eat something and try to stay somewhat healthy.

See, I don’t like veggies.  However, due to my mom’s hard work, I will eat some veggies.  And as we all know, I will experiment.

So, I order a pound of Mesquite Smoked Roast Beef.  If you like roast beef and mesquite flavored stuff, this is a win.  It is delicate, but there is just enough that you get the full flavor, without loosing the other stuff.  I conferred with my parents, and they told me, as buyers of much sandwich meat, they use a 2 slice.  The problem with a one, is that sometimes they shave it, and I can tell you my 2 is much thicker than I thought it would be.

I also ordered a half pound of White American Cheese.  My secret love affair with this cheese has caused my hubby to try to replace it other ways.  But I cannot explain the difference of flavor and smoothness with this cheese.  I love it on sandwiches and burgers made with it?  Oh MYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

I grabbed a head of lettuce, mayo (Real stuff) and got Nature’s Own Butter bread.  I also ordered another 1/2 pound of Fajita Chicken, but let me tell you, don’t waste your money on it.  It didn’t taste any different.

I made a sandwich later that night, putting bread, cheese, the meat (Cause I hate soggy bread), then I put the mayo on one side, and the lettuce on that, closed, then cut diagonally  Why?  Because I like it that way. Sue me. (Not really I have no money, but yeah)

Now I am betting some of you are asking, why normal bread slices?  When Ike rolled through, my bosses at American National asked us to come in to work, and they provided food and drinks for us.  See, when a hurricane comes through, the water supply is often contaminated.  Also, the electricity goes out, which causes food to spoil.  So most restaurants and stores are closed. We were in an area that escaped a lot of damage, but there was still damage.  Hurricane strength winds flinging branches, rocks, tops of buildings and gas stations around is nothing to take lightly.  I worked in a satellite office, that quickly became stuffed with other departments.  It had electricity and no damage.

To get us back to work, and since I could work for many departments, I was considered core personal, since I could take over the need to do for 3-5 departments that I had training in, another that I hated but could do, and then there was my actual job.  They made deals, and one of them was food.  Randall’s, next to us, had gotten a shipment in since it was one of the running stores with only loss of power their only issue.  They threw out the contaminated food, but they got shipments of lunch meats, but not the people to bake their breads.  So we got sandwiches, on regular bread.

It was sooo good.  Soft bread, with meat and cheddar cheese (And tomatoes, that I promptly took off and other sandwich stuff).  Since then, I prefer to have regular bread instead of sandwich bread.  Don’t get me wrong, I am one of the first to order the Italian seasoning bread at Subway, but for home?  Yeah a loaf of bread would work.

I also found that Cheddar is great with sandwiches.  And that started with more experiments.  Fresh Thyme is awesome on sandwiches as is fresh oregano.  And I mean fresh here.  Out of my herb garden fresh.

I am slow on this experimenting thing, but hey.  I am trying.  Until then, I will go off and enjoy a sandwich.  What?  It has dairy,meat, bread and veggies in it.  Its healthier!

Wendy

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Porcupine Balls

I know such a weird name for them, and my dad picked it out, never asked him if it was an inside joke.  Too Late now, so the name sticks.

This is the Larrick recipe I was taught watching my dad.  He is the one who really taught me about spices.  I never forget him telling me everything can do with just a little bit of thyme.  Yes, he loved puns, and it stuck in my head.

So I clearly remember him the day he came up with this recipe.  He was tired of me not eating the green peppers.  But he knew I loved the flavor of them, so he stared at me thinking.  And yes my dad could cook!  His mother taught him.

He thought, and then told me to get the stuff out for stuffed peppers.  I pulled out the rice, and got it cooking, (If you are wondering, he was teaching me Russian cooking, though I think this is the closest I ever got to it!) and pulled out the meat, eggs, green peppers and onions.

He told me to cut up the onions, and he started the meat.  Raw, (2.5 lbs) but he added 2 eggs (I am going to use the measurements I used today) Added some Italian spices (A good amount of pinch, he always told me to rub dry spices together, releasing their scent.  Now I use Italian spices blended by HEB, but he would make his own.  I am not that patient.) And I cut up 2 onions.  He then started cutting up the green peppers, and we mixed the stuff together until it look right.

He made the sauce and poured it over the little balls, and voila! a family recipe emerges.

Now I know I skipped a few steps, and it is because over time, I played with the recipe.  Hey, it’s my family recipe, and made for me even!   My mother in law uses uncooked minute rice, to help soak up the juices and stuff.  And when I mix it, depends on what is going on.  If I need it to stretch longer, I add more rice, if it is a normal dinner, I make it until the balls feel prickly.  It really is to your preferences, which is why the thing was made.  Below is the recipe:

2 1/2 lbs of ground Turkey meat

Minute rice (And I forgot to measure, but making it until it feels prickly is a good judge.  Its not a little amount, I pour it out from the big box for a couple seconds, and then added  more when the consistency was not right)

2 onions chopped

3 green peppers chopped

Natures Seasoning Salt For flavour

Italian seasonings for the same thing.

2 eggs

Mix all and form balls about baseball to softball size The larger the balls, the longer it takes to cook.

The sauce:

Easiest thing in the world.  From My grandmother on the Larrick side: One can of tomato sauce to one can of tomato soup.  Mix together.  That is it. Pour over the balls.

Cook in 350 degrees for 45 minutes, check if done in the middle.

Now, for the stuff I have done over the years,  I tried brown gravy over the balls.  Good, but I prefer the original sauce.  My step dad hates sauce, so I usually make a pan with just the balls.  I cover both pans, like today, I made dinner, then hit the warm feature on the oven.  They will still bake, but I made the balls largish, so this will work.

Now why did I make them so early?  I’ve been sick all last week and then when I get better, I go and reorganize my mom’s office, and promptly sent me back to bed until today.  No meals.  None.  So I made this in case I feel like shit again, they can eat.   LOL

Enjoy!!!

Wendy

Bi Weekly Menu #4

I am so bad.  But I was sick.  Then this story took over.  But mostly I was sick.  So Sick that Marty, my hubs went shopping.  I will now tells you guys this wonderful app for your phone call OurGroceries.  You sign up one account, and have the others share that account.  Then you can update the list from your phone, computer, tablet whatever.  It is a Apple/Android app.  And you can have users use it across all devices.

I have spent a lot of time, and have actually assigned categories to the items, allowing us to shop by the aisle we are in.  I even have one for Sam’s Club for the stuff we get there.  That way I can type in Minute Rice (Which you get a super box of it for $5 at Sams!) and it remembers to put it in the list that way.  If the item is one that is wishy washy, I put leave it in the not organized thing.  This list also allows you to put recipes in it, and with a tap, you can have the recipe ingredients moved over.  To mark it done, tap and it is crossed off.

My family uses this to remind others that hey, we need milk, and often will check the app to see if it has anything in the list.  When I was in AZ, my in-laws used the list to remind themselves of things they needed to pick up.

Now there are bad things, like I talked about Chicken with hubs, but forgot to put it on the list, something I would have picked up anyways.  But hey one mishap, (Ok two, seems I will be making a lot of biscuits, the self rising flour got on the list again).

As most of you may know, I finished the office this week, but somewhere, I subtracted WAY more money than I needed to.  So I thought I was working with a VERY limited budget.  I came in under $200.  Here is the list:

Peirgoies (We had these already, but I didn’t make them last time so they made it on this list, and I made them when I was sick… easy meal and I could go back to moaning.)

Rigatoni (I had him getting the Sam’s club sauce which is three at a time.  I am trying to build up a cupboard with things like this.  When we need a week of cheap meals, it is there already. And I planned to have this twice.)

Grilled Cheese, (Never got made so added to this week again. Plus the bread was gone.  Bread never lasts in this household, its like the milk and teas.)

Chicken Bolognaise. (Remember the last time I made it, I made ALOT of the base sauce?  Yeah here is where it is starting to pay of.  I get to pull out one of the frozen bags of sauce & heat it up.)

Porcupine Balls

Chicken Pot Pie*

Chicken and Rice

Fish

Ok Wendy.  How are you going to deal with no chicken?  Easy.  It’s a $1 a lb at the local HEB.  CHEAP!!  So I may ask for him to pick it up, or I may go out tomorrow and pick it up myself.  I need some ice cream.

The star?  The new recipe I am going to try this week.  I need to make one with the yucky vegggies, and one my way.  So we will see.  Once I do it, (Since I will be making it up as I go) I will let you guys know.

Porcupine Balls.  This is what my father, John Larrick, called the stuff that makes up the inside of Stuffed peppers and Cabbage rolls.  See, I don’t like Green Peppers, but I LOVE the flavor of them.  He got tired of me not eating them, and since I refused cabbage.  (I have a sensitive stomach, cabbage?  Hell no, think lots of pain), he made this up on the spot.  And named them Porcupine balls to needle me.  The green peppers are cut up in them, and I will eat them that way.  But they are a Russian poor man meal (And Polish, so I will say Slavics.)  They are the meatloaf of Slavics.

Since he made up the recipe on the spot, and taught me it that way, I will have to watch what I put into them.  Have you ever made something, and have done it so often you really are not conscious of what you put into it?  Yeah, that is these.  Though my Mother In Law gave me an easy thing to follow, instead of making a lot of regular rice (in fact I only ever bought rice for this meal) put uncooked Minute rice.  It will soak up the juices and help keep it together.  I’ll let you know how it works.

That is it for this week.  Sorry it is late, but hey, I couldn’t even get to the store I was so sick.  Blogs come after I am sorry to say.

Enjoy!

Wendy

Organizing The Fridge

Good afternoon everyone! 

Today’s post is gonna be short. I know..I know I’m sorry that I’ve been gone, I have not been feeling the greatest and still don’t feel too great. But I wanted to post something for you all. 

I decided to organize my fridge since I saw that the side door and the freezer was a mess. 

Now when you see the after pictures, don’t pay attention to the lack of food. I just need to go grocery shopping lol. 

Lets get started on this, shall not take long…

Here is what the fridge and freezer looked like before. 

Here is what it looks like after organizing it and cleaning it out. I went through and got rid of the stuff that had expired.  Clean both fridge and freezer before putting in baskets. I got the baskets from Walmart that were only a couple dollars. 

In the white baskets, I just put the bottles and moved the rest of the items on the shelf to space them out. 

The black basket in the freezer, I just put my extra bag of fries in there and moved my meat into the bottom drawer. 

Now if this was anyone else there would be more baskets but this is just a small tip for you all if you are looking into organizing it. I love it because I can just grab the basket and see what I have instead of moving things and dropping items. 

That is it. Let me know what ya’ll do if you do decide to organize or what ideas you have. I would love to hear them. 

If you have any questions, suggestions or want to send us a recipe. Email us, we love to hear what you all have to say. 

Let me know what you want to see or if you are enjoying these. 

Just a quick little note, please be patient with me, I will try to post again and I am truly sorry that I have not posted anything in a while. 

Hope you all are enjoying your Sunday! 

Until next time! 

Megan

Free Storage Ideas

Hey guys! Soooo sorry that I have not had any posts for you.

Last Thursday was my bday so I took a day off and then the weekend I just got busy helping my mother. This week I have no excuse for not posting, so I’m trying to make up for it lol.

I hope you all enjoy the weekend! I know I am, it’s finally back in the 50’s here and have a clear sky all weekend woohoo!!

Okay enough talking let’s get to what I was suppose to be saying.

This organizing post is gonna have a little twist. I sat down to start it and realized I didn’t have a catchy title. Miss Wendy and I were discussing this. I also realized while going through pictures that I did not have any before pictures, soooooo I had to come up with something quick for you all.

Thus came the free storage idea! Lol

We are still gonna talk about how I organized the section but I’ll talk about the items I used to organize my little section.

1

 

This is my little baking section, I also have the crock pot there too. There is a reason why the mixer and the crock pot is down low. That reason is because I can have them  at my level and to be able to see into them. Also for the crock pot was a safety reason, I didn’t realize how heavy it was and ended up hurting my back while trying to lift it from the counter.

But that is how it looks, it is not the most ideal place I would like it but you have to work with what you got.

2

 

This is how I have my mixer all set up. It’s in a tight corner but I’m still able to use it well. I use the little hooks to hang up my mixing hooks.  Then I have toothpicks that I actually used from an old seasoning jar. I also have my mixing spatulas there, so I am not going to another place and looking for them. To store them I used a can, washed it out and then decorated it. I get food plus a little storage thing!

3

These four decorated boxes, I just use to store all my baking items. And the boxes came right from my pantry, they are old Ramen Noodle boxes that I just decorated. So if you are ever in a pinch and don’t really have a budget to go out and buy stuff to organize or store your stuff, go look in your kitchen or around the house first. You might be surprised what you find to use.

The top left box is filled with my brown sugar, powder sugar, white chocolate chips, semi sweet chocolate chips and Andes. To store them I used pasta sauce jars (after washing them of course!). I love having them, but I have realized that I might have a tad bit too many jars. They do say recycling is great so guess I am doing something right! I do want to eventually get them in different containers but at the moment they work.

Top right box just has extra powdered sugar and brown sugar. I was running low, so needed to get more.

Bottom left box holds just what is left of the all purpose flour and then I have self rising flour.

Finally, we have the bottom right box. It holds candy corn, brown sugar, orange chocolate melts and milk chocolate melts. I ended up using gravy jars, peanut container and more pasta jars. Are you seeing a pattern here? If it is free afterwards, who cares lol.

8

 

Lastly we have the flour, sugar, baking, etc. I love these containers but they do have a down fall to them. My grandmother had bought these from Walmart and they do work but when you go to grab one you have to grab it from the side or the lid will come off (they are suppose to air tight containers but the box lied..). And I just have them standing on the bottom of my microwave stand that does not have the microwave on said stand..Oops 😛

That is it for this post, if you have any suggestions on how you organize them. Please leave a comment, I love trying different things.

If you have any questions or just want to send us a recipe, the email is under the menus.

Let me know if you are enjoying these type of things or if you want me to try something different.

Until next time!

Megan

 

Bi weekly Menu 3

Yikes am I late doing this.  Family drama and family emergencies just tired you out.

Ok.  This time for shopping I had a quandary.   No sales on anything I could use!   So this time, I had to use my brain for things.  But I had some breaks.  I don’t know about you guys, there are some days I just don’t feel like cooking, or it was declared Pizza day.  Something came up so I could recycle 3 meals.  I had the roast pulled out, the chicken for the soup still around, and the frozen family Stouffers.

So the menu became:

(the above mentioned recycled meals)

Stroganoff

Rigatoni

Peirogies

Meatloaf

Tacos

Beef Bourgandy

Grilled Cheese

Pulled Pork

Now you might be wondering what Peirogies are.  they are from the Slavic areas (Poland and Russia) but they have dough pockets filled with stuff.  I say stuff cause traditionally, they can be filled with Potato and cheese (the ones we eat here, since it is my favorite), sauerkraut, fruit or anything your heart desires.   I grew up on the Catholic & Russian Orthodox churches making the  peirogies to raise money for them, and they would be a bunch of old ladies in the back talking as they made them in huge amounts.  My Bubba loved to make them, then she would take the leftovers to make a wonderful other dish.  Sadly, she passed away with no recipe, but with the fact I can still taste the dish to this day.  Normally you boil the peirogies in water, then you sauté onions in butter and eat it that way (my way).  Or fry them in the butter and onions, or whatever you want.  I buy Mrs. T version.  There are rumors of making them again.  When this is done, we do them in a large group to make it fun and easier.   Once we do that, I will let you guys know the recipe and so on.

Meatloaf, I made that yesterday.  I took 2.5 lbs of turkey meat ground, added two green peppers diced up and a half a LARGE onion then added two eggs, and Italian bread crumbs.  My mom, old pro at meatloaf, cause normally I avoid the stuff like the plague, helped out.   I used Season Salt and that is it folks.  I added to a loaf pan (not my good pampered chef one, I make a lot of bread in that and am protective of it) then I added ketchup on the top.  Now for me, I hate the taste of ketchup in meatloaf.  But… It is time honored tradition.  After more than an hour in the oven, I pulled it out.  We had mashed potatoes (secret for those that don’t know.. one potato for each and one for the pot.  Never fails.) and corn with it.  Good stuff.

I made the Roast on Sunday after shopping.  I made a traditional roast.  Make a rack of veggies for it to sit on made out of chunky onions, celery and garlic cloves.  I had a small head left after the previous week so I used it up in there.  Marty browned the roast, and I cut up potatoes.  We put the roast in the Covered Baker, surrounded it with potatoes, carrots and put ALOT of thyme in it (I accidently spilled it. It turned out well!) Beef broth to make sure there is moisture in the baker.  I ended up adding water to make the potatoes have some on it.  Baked for 3 hours, (LARGE roast) and then made gravy out of the juices left, and served.  Gone…

For the Beef Bourgandy and Stroganoff, we have Rachel Ray altered recipes for those that are sent in.

And for those that wonder, Yes I came in under the $300 budget.  By $30.  So proud of that one.

enjoy!

Wendy

Tonight’s Dinner – Homemade Mac and Cheese

Yep!  I finally got to make the dinner, and wanted to embed the recipe in here.  Hopefully Megan still has the pics for it, since I am not sure.

So I am taking a break from writing, and here you go:

Original recipe amounts:

1 T Butter

1 C Dried Elbow Macaroni

1 1/4 C Milk

1 T All Purpose Flour

1/4 C Diced onions

Dash of Pepper

*6 Ounces Cheese

Ok here is the deal.  The original Better Homes and Gardens recipe did a suggestion, to make it half American Cheese.  I took this and altered it more (anyone surprised?)  that 6 ozs of cheese is as follows.  1 1/2 C Mild Cheddar, 1 1/2 Sharp Cheddar, and 3 ounces of Velveeta Cheese.

Now, I make this for a dinner for the family.  And I make it in batches.  Batches to me is whatever times the original amount.  This time is was a 6 batch, cause all I had was 6 C of elbow macaroni.  So this made the recipe this:

6 T Butter

6 C Dried Elbow Macaroni

7 1/2 C 2% Milk

6T Flour

1 1/2 C onions Diced

Dash of pepper, done a couple of times.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make this stuff, it is easy peasy.  Heat your water.  When it boils, cook your macaroni for 10 minutes.  Yes, even if it says longer, there is a reason for this.  It soaks the extra moisture into the noodles.

2013-10-17 19.44.30Then in a large saucepot, or even a large pot altogether, melt the butter.

Now I like browning my butter, its just the way I am.  You don’t have to, but make sure it is melted, then pour your onions into it.

2013-10-17 19.49.31

Cook until they are completely done, then you pour the flour.

2013-10-17 19.53.21The Flour is going to thicken the sauce for you, it should also soak up all that butter.

2013-10-17 19.53.50When it is mixed well, I go then to pour my milk into the measuring container, allowing the flour to cook a little.  Do not burn it!  This will make it taste burned no matter what. (Since I have been making this since I learned to cook, yeah it has happened to me.)

2013-10-17 19.54.24Then pour the milk in ALL AT ONCE.  Mix it with the flour mixture, making no clumps.

2013-10-17 20.02.58

You heat the mixture until right before it boils.  You can tell this since you need to stir it often, it will bubble on the bottom.  Make sure you stir often, again the flour will burn with the milk.  awful taste.

Then when it gets to this almost boil, add in your cheeses.  I do Velveeta then cheddar, but that is because I always end up measuring the cheddar.  The Velveeta I normally cut up before hand.  Do not use the shredded stuff, there is more flour added to it, and it doesn’t taste nor does the texture of this feel right afterwards.

2013-10-17 20.26.44

Drain the macaroni and put in a pre-Pam’d container, (I use a pampered chef baking 9×13 pan, but glass containers work as well.)  Pour noodles in, then cheese sauce until it is full.  I ended up with more cheese than noodles, and no more room for the cheese.  Marty promises he will figure out what to do with the sauce, since this is a huge favorite.

When done, it should be lightly browned on top.  Serve.

Cookin oven for 30 minutes

What’s In My Pantry/Fridge?

Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful week and weekend.

We are trying something a little different. If you like it, please let us know in the comments if you want us to continue this.

Now before I begin, I should give you a little warning that my fridge is looking bare. I just went grocery shopping Saturday and cleaned out all the old food lol.

This really should not take very long, I really don’t have too much food. Living alone will do that for ya. I didn’t realize while taking pictures that something was not quiet right and looking at the pictures, I realized what it was. I got a good laugh at it and hopefully you all will to once you figured out what is not right! Let us get started, shall we?

1

Top shelf of pantry is just extra salt and baking stuff. The baking stuff, I will get into more later on. Hanging in the basket is just mac & cheese and white northern beans.

2

For the second shelf, I have Rice, BBQ Sauce (Sweet Baby Rays, love it!), Pasta (whole wheat because you have to be healthy), Orange sauce (which is yummy!), Peanut Butter, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Pinto Beans and Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Filling!

Next we have the third and bottom shelf. I have Ramen Noodle Soup, two jars of Gravy ( one is country style with sausage and the other is Savory Beef), more Orange Sauce (This is where you should make a list before you go shopping, you forget what you have and buy more than you need), three jars of spaghetti sauce ( two of them are five cheese and the other is tomato and basil, all from Bertolli!), Less Sodim Teriyaki Sauce (yes I know more than one bottle, oops!) and Parmesan Cheese. Bottom shelf just has cooking oils, Honey Maid, the little bottom on the right is just seasoning and left over Crystal Light.

As you can see my pantry is slightly filled with junk food. But hey, I try to be at least somewhat healthy lol.

It is time for the dreaded fridge!

This is gonna be relatively short for the fridge part, just because as you can see it is bare! Okay, deep breath and go! Top shelf I have eggs (that will only be use for baking and half will probably go to waste) and butter, bottom shelf is mashed potatoes ( Bob Evans makes the best!), hamburger meat, chicken and in the draw is just cheese, sausage and brats. Bottom draw is potatoes and carrots ( Yes I realized I only have two veggies in my fridge, hehe!). Top side shelf is butter (unsalted and regular butter), cream cheese, crisco and an out of place mustard (that I don’t even like but lazy enough to keep it).

Middle side shelf has taco sauce, ketchup, two different kinds of soy sauce, lemon juice (that I used once…), BBQ (that is almost empty I swear!),  Orange Sauce (almost empty also) and Worcestershire Sauce, also sour cream is hiding behind the bottles. The bottom  side shelf is just water and milk (milk that will mostly go to waste because I only use it for baking and not drinking, bleh!)

Finally, we have the freezer part. I promise it is more full than the fridge, though it is filled with mostly junk food but oh well!

I will say this first, I have a small freezer and the door does not open all the way 😦

On the top shelf, I have frozen potatoes and smart ones pizza (which is actually good)

Second self I have Cookies and Cream Ice cream, frozen chicken, Biscuits that is gonna be for dinner one night and french toast breakfast hiding behind everything.

Bottom shelf is Chinese (General Tso’s Chicken), Smart ones cheeseburger sliders and more pizza in the back.

Finally into the very bottom, I have frozen fries (I love these, they are healthy and good), more frozen chicken (are you seeing a pattern here?), Steak and Brats.

That is it for what is in my Fridge/Pantry. What did we learn about Megan?

That she is a picky eater and just does not like her veggies lol.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know.

Also, like I mentioned above, please leave us a comment on whether you liked this or not. We are always looking for new things to show you all.

Until next time,

Megan

Menu #2

I am so sorry.  I seem to be saying that so much, but if you are interested in why I am saying it, then visit my blog.  But I did make a menu for the next two weeks, and even sent in the recipes.  Well some of them.  Chili will need to be written after I make it, since it was one of those, oh crap, I need to make dinner… And since I cannot make my dad’s chili that is soupy, I made what my grandma calls Friday Night Chili.  Very meaty based, and is chock full of flavor.  I also ended up switching out meals, as whole chickens were on sale at Sam’s club and I got two of them.  And Marty found the fish fillet’s for sandwiches, and told me about it pointedly after we bought fish, so I guess we are having sandwiches this week!

The menu:

Chili

Macaroni and Cheese (I had forgotten the Velveeta that makes this Better Homes and Garden recipe more like Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese)

Cheese Lasagna from Stouffers (On sale at HEB, buy one, get stuff for free thing.)

Rigatoni

Roast

Stew

Pork Tenderloin

Roasted Chicken

1

Chicken Noodle Soup

Fried Fish

Fish sandwiches

Chicken Bolognese

This menu came with revisions on the spot in the stores, as I had planned to make something with chicken skinless boneless chicken but when the difference is $10 from buying a package, and buying two whole chickens?  yeah I bought the chickens.  At the worst scenario, is that Marty would have to cut up the chicken for me to use, as he used to do this at Grandy’s, not so hard for us.  But I make Chicken Noodle soup with whole chickens, since the bones and skins and all that seem to add to the flavor.  I will have to write that one up, since I make that one as I go.

I also perused the local HEB ad before shopping.  Now HEB is a local Texas thing, but it often offers free items if you buy something else.  They are also awesome with having coupons on site that they gather from the makers of the products they carry.  Now they may not get every single one of them, but they try!  Right now, they are still working to go from your phone, but they are working towards it.  they also price match, and with Kroger’s, Super Target and Super Wal-Mart in a five mile radius from them, they do the price matching themselves.   They also carry hard to find things, like the brand of Fire Roasted Tomatoes I use is Muir.  I never can find them at Kroger’s, Walmart or even Super Target. Their meat and produce is also really good.  So when I shop ads, I shop theirs.  Sorry everyone outside Texas, but hey, no guarantee that my ads would have matched yours anyways.

The first thing you normally see is meat.  I wrote down the meals I could make, made note of the pricing, and since we go to Sam’s Club first, I compared prices there.  I also make decisions based on what the free stuff is.  Ground Turkey meat had a special, but it cost more for the meat there than the Sam’s, the difference being that I could buy everything free and still come out cheaper.  Smart shopping.  I did it today, and to feed a family of 4, with starving people, and my hubby feeding his poor coworkers (I just found that out when I wondered how the leftovers were disappearing so fast.) I spent $310.   This counts for snacks, paper goods and so on.  The deal we made with my parents, is that we paid for food and made it, and that was our contribution.  For the last month (Counting todays shopping) I spent over $600 in food alone.  And because of the redecorating, the Chicken fajita went to waste, because I was plain too tired to make them.  I fell into bed only waking to realize I only ate breakfast the day before.  I pushed myself in ways my family can tell is unreal, but I do when I want something done.  Almost torn ligament in my knee from exercising, then rearranged the house on it anyone?  That is when my hubby gets involved, and part of the reason he stayed home today.  To make sure I don’t push myself.  I had mentioned cleaning the house and grocery shopping.  With the last few days, he was slightly alarmed.

So since this is our major cost, since what we pay for food excels what we used to pay for our share of the house and electric, I try to save money.   That is what I am trying to share.  LOL  While being wordy.

So after I picked the meat, I made dinners, and thankfully, like my hubby and mom say, I am a walking cookbook.  Since I learned what makes what taste like, I can see something for sale, and figure out how to use it.  But, you guys can use the Food blog.  I am putting recipes out here as fast as I think of them, and the other ladies are doing the same!  We are trying what we can to make it easier for you, so let us know.

See you guys soon!!

Oh yeah, since I made the Rigatoni tonight, let me lift the description of what I told the ladies, then what it really was:

What I said: Rigatoni with mozzarella layered on top, and hot fresh sauce and hot fresh bread with butter…

What it really is: I had rigatoni with mozzarella with ragu sauce and store bought French bread heated back up.   Amazing what words can do to change what something sounds like..

Wendy!

Valentine’s Surprise!

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you all are enjoying the day with your loved ones.

I was hoping to have this up before Valentine’s Day but I was not very good at watching my time and baked too late into the day!

This actually took me two days to make and I finally finished it tonight!

This recipe was easy to make (after all it was just cake mix!) But it just a pound cake with a heart in the middle. Sounds easy, right? You would think it was but for me it was actually difficult. It did turn out well though!

All you need is 2 boxes of Pound Cake Mix, Butter, Milk, Eggs and Red Food Coloring. For the Glaze you just need 1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar and 2 tbsp milk.Also you will need Cookie Cutters, I used Hearts since it is Valentine’s Day! 

 To start, take 1 box of Pound Cake Mix and follow the amount you need for the ingredients and then mix with either a hand held mixer or a stand mixer. Once mixed, add your red food coloring. Use the desired amount of color you want in the mix.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Pour your mixture into a greased pan and bake for 45 mins. Now I should of baked it at a lower temperature or baked it less. I almost burnt my cake. So just keep a watch on it.

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Once baked, let it sit for an hour and then wrap it up and put it in the fridge for several hours. Here is where I did things wrong. I started baking around 2-3pm and by the time several hours came it was almost 10 pm. I ended up having to wait till today to finish the cake. After it has been in the fridge, go ahead and mix your second box of Pound Cake Mix. When done, grab your cake and Heart cookie cutters. What you want to do is either cut it in slices or just cut the cake down the middle. Once cut, find the size of cookie cutters you are going to need and then make heart shape cakes.I have decided to keep the scraps of cake for another project, so you can keep them or just discard them. 

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When done, grab your batter and pour 1/4 batter into the same pan you used for your first cake. Then put a heart into the middle of the batter. Keep placing the hearts in the middle until you can no longer put hearts in that middle. After the hearts are placed, pour the rest of the batter over the hearts and onto the sides. You will probably have left over batter depending on the size of your pan. I ended up getting all my batter into the pan. 

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Bake the cake the time it says on the box. I ended up doing it for 35 mins but realized it was still gooey but it was starting to brown. So I had to turn my oven down to 200 degrees and then cook for 20 more minutes. After that time I had to bake for 5 more minutes because it was still gooey. 

Once baked, let it cool for an hour. This part is optional but you can make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar and slowly add the milk until you reached the desired consistency. 

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Finally, slice your cake and enjoy! I had fun with this even if it was aggravating! This could be done for any theme or holiday. 

Link to the recipe can be found here: http://dailyleisure.com/valentines-hidden-hearts-pound-cake/

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your night and enjoy your weekend! 

Until next time! 

Megan