Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Trip to Costco

Ahem.

The grocery shopping has been fairly moderate by our standards lately and we fully intend to keep it that way ...

But then Costco happens.

Granted, a lot of the stuff on the list is specifically for a party we have coming on the 10th (Boat Parade!) but still ...

and the Boy was along for the ride to pick up a few things AND a few gifts as well ...

Honey $12.99 (the Boy)
4 pounds unsalted butter $9.49
4 boxes of tape/rope/flat lights $39.99 each ... Hubby and I are going back and forth whether to use them or return them. Most likely going back
large bottle of Fabuloso $7.99
Kirkland brand flushable wipes $14.99
24 pk of Red Bull (because some days we need wings) $32.89
3 twin packs of yogurt $5.89 each (the Boy)
Gatorade variety pack $15.89 (the Boy)
4 pk of beautiful New York Strip steaks $24.92 (thinking Christmas grilling)
40 count water bottles $4.99 (party)
2 pk Nerf Blasters $15.99 (the Boy gift for soon to be BIL)
45 count Starbux Kcups $42.99 less $6
Art set $29.99 (the Boy gift for sister - this set is AWESOME!)
3 pack of european salami choices $11.99 (party)
oatmeal $7.99 (the Boy)
2 pkgs 3 dozen xlarge eggs $2.19 each (yeah for cheap eggs again!!!)
2 trays lasagna $11.99 each (party)
2 containers of Burattas (fresh mozzarella balls) $6.79 each (party)
variety pack of crackers $7.99 (party)
protein bars $17.99 (the Boy)
2 bags of 31/40 shrimp $15.99 each (party)
large bag of celery sticks $3.99 (party)
tomato mixture $6.49 (party)
Asian Chopped Salad mix $4.99
french beans $4.99
bananas $1.39
cheese tray $9.99 (party)
5 pk romaine lettuce $3.89
3 pk cucumbers $3.99

Grand total? $561.02 with tax. Good news? $160 will be coming back if I return the lights. The Boy will give me $100 for his stuff ... so really, I only spent: $300 ... but still!

I'm pretty excited about the egg prices again, I will say that!

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

It's that time of year where we open our doors to friends and family and celebrate the holidays!

How exciting!

BUT ... you have to be able to feed these people when they show up at your door.



This is a pretty simple appetizer to make and it's a crowd pleaser so go ahead, make it for your next gathering!

*And if you are doing Whole30, use a sugar free bacon (normally MOST low sodium bacon IS sugar free, but read your labels!) and you've got yourself a pretty nifty little appetizer to share ...



Here you go:

2 cans of WHOLE water chestnuts (not the sliced ones!) 
1 pkg of bacon - slices cut in two
toothpicks

Grab a large baking sheet and lay out a large piece of parchment paper over it. Turn oven on to 375 degrees. I think I may have fallen over that Amazon sells Kirkland's parchment paper (Costco)??!!

Drain the water chestnuts and dump them out on the cutting board (or plate, whatever).  Open your bacon and cut it in half.

Wrap each water chestnut in bacon, as tight as you can, secure with a toothpick pierced all the way through.  Toss the bacon wrapped nuts on to the baking sheet and spread out to give a little room between them.


*Yes, I do stand mine up but it's not a requirement*

Bake for 15 minutes or til the bacon is cooked to your liking. Yes, you can burn these so keep an eye on them ;-)

I serve mine naked. I know a lot of people make these and then douse them with bbq sauce or some other glaze (teriyaki sauce?) which is fine and dandy, but for me, I like them just bacon and water chestnutty ;-)

Enjoy! 


Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)




Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

Hey, it's a repost, but with the holidays upon us and I have a Boat Parade Party coming up, time to bring out all the favorites...*

I had that girls night recently ... and had a momentary panic attack that I maybe didn't have enough food to feed the masses sufficiently. Really, who am I trying to kid? I had tons of food!

However, in my panic mode, I jumped on Pinterest ... of course!  I found this cool meatball recipe (and had everything on hand, thankfully because I was NOT going to the store!) and tossed these together ...

The boyfriend (of Princess) loved the sauce ... as did 10 of the 12 girlfriends ... me, not a whole lot, just because it's not the way my meatballs usually taste ... but I would certainly make these again as they were a HIT! (The 2 who did not like that much said they would rather have the spicy meatballs instead).

For the record, this picture was taken as everyone was scooping them up!

Original recipe comes from Oh Bite It ... and it's pretty much true to form.  My meatballs were the pre-made ones from Costco, Italian style. I'm thinking maybe plain meatballs would be better suited, but still, EVERYONE loved these...so go ahead and give them a try! Here's how I did it:

1 1/2 lbs of frozen meatballs. I used the Costco Italian Meatballs, my favorite and it emptied the bag
1 cup molasses - used up the rest of Hubby's stash for his BBQ sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp garlic powder (not salt)
1 tsp ginger
pinch of cayenne (I sort of wish I had added more, that might have sold me)
1/2 cup water

Add everything to a pot except the meatballs. Stir and heat over low to a slight simmer, stirring occasionally.

Add meatballs, stir to coat well. Allow to simmer til meatballs are cooked. Truth be told ... I heated mine up and then transferred them to a crock pot to keep warm til the party was underway! Perfect!

Serve up on a platter with toothpicks. The cool girl over at Oh Bite It served hers with pretzel sticks for the spears ... I'm just not that cool and would rather save the sticks for dippin' :-)

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cracked Up Onion Dip

FYI ... THIS IS VERY ADDICTIVE AND YOU WILL WISH YOU HAD MADE A DOUBLE BATCH!


It's been a looooong time since I made this as we were making it every weekend and both Hubby and I decided that it was a little too indulgent to make "just because it's Saturday!" BUT now the Boat Parade Party is coming up and well, what better time than that to make this again! Yippee!!

Cheese? Yup, in the freezer! Onions, of course, and SWEET VIDALIA ones at that! Cream cheese? Yup, down to 2 now in the fridge. Mayo ... yes, sadly, store bought.  Parmesan cheese? Wasn't 100% certain but I have some! 

This is one of those dishes that people will be crowding around, giving a little jab of the elbow at times to try and get a scoop of the yumminess ...


We've had friends who just pull up a barstool at the counter and just basically hover over the dish, inhaling it without a care in the world ... 

Trust me, the one guy is Mr. Health Conscious and does not just eat stuff to nibble on ... and I just can't wait to see him do this again at the party!

It's damn good ... give it a try!



1 cup of mayo (used my homemade stuff)
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, room temp and cut into cubes for easier mashing
1 regular size SWEET VIDALIA onion, diced (or any other kind just as good)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (the real stuff)
generous sprinkling of black pepper
generous sprinkling of dried parsley

Add all to a large bowl and mix well. Really mash the cream cheese as it will want to stay chunky.


Spray a shallow baking dish with nonstick spray and cook 45 minutes or so at 350 til nice, bubbly and brown. 


Serve with a thicker tortilla chip or hardy cracker (this is not the time for a buttery ritz type cracker!)

Seriously, I am always surprised at how fast this disappeared. You may want to DOUBLE the recipe so you don't come back to an empty tray within minutes.


*You can always add this to a small crockpot after cooking to keep it warm but most likely, it will be gone before you know it!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!



*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Pizza Bowls - Gluten Free

How about another Sunday Soups recipe since we are to the countdown of Christmas! Seriously, can you believe it's December already??

The original recipe comes from Shutterbean ... and she puts it down as a low-carb option ... since I'm not so much of an anti-carb girl as I am an anti-GRAIN girl ... I've opted to go with Grain Free ... which, sadly, it's NOT because of the sausage I'm using. I really need to venture in to making MY own, don't you think?



So ... you know, if you are buying pre-shredded cheese, it may NOT be grain/gluten free ... make sure to check your labels ... if you see anything like food starch, wheat, etc., then you know to put it back, grab the block stuff and take that home and shred it up yourself. Honestly, not a big deal. If you have a food processor, just use the grate blade and take the super easy way out ;-) *Shredded cheese usually has a coating to keep it from clumping up which is when the grain/gluten factor is introduced*

Not to mention ....

it's usually cheaper to grate your own cheese!

And ...  as a small, side note, you should also take a peek at the italian sausage ingredients too ... I've seen some weird stuff that makes me ask myself "Why??" and then I move on to the next package.  To be super safe, best bet is to just buy ground pork (or grind it yourself) and season it up with some italian seasoning ...


Sadly, this sausage had a LOT of crap in it but it's what I had in the freezer so it is what it is (live and learn, that's what life is all about, right?)


Shall we make these and see if they are as yummy as they look? Lets!

2 8 oz packages of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (I usually pick up at ALDI for 79 cents to $1.29 a pkg)
1 pound italian sausage links, casing removed and sliced into bite size slices
1 jar marinara sauce ... check your labels, again I like the Victoria brand from Costco as it's sugar/grain free but I'm banned for now from that store ;-( (BUT look! There are, surprisingly enough, a lot of jarred sauces that ARE sugar free as well! This one is from ALDI)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (buy the block and grate in your food processor!)
dash of red pepper flakes IF you like a little spice in your life ...

 

Ready?

Move your oven rack to the middle of the oven and fire up your broiler

Gather up 4 oven proof bowls ... they need to hold about 8 ounces or so (she recommends ramekins, I used my regular soup bowls I had picked up at Costco a while back.  Place these on a heavy baking sheet.

Grab a larger skillet, add a little ghee or olive oil and toss in the shrooms and cook til slightly soft, then add in the sausage and cook til the sausage is cooked through.


Put about 3 to 4 tbs of the marinara sauce in the bottom of each bowl.  Add 2 tbs or so of mozzarella sauce.  Add the sausage and mushroom mixture to each bowl, trying to divide evenly among the 4 bowls.



Top with more cheese and then add more sauce.  Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes (if using).


Place in oven and let broil for about 4 to 5 minutes til cheese is melted and bubbly.


Remove from oven and allow to set for about 5 minutes as they will be HOT ... too hot to even think about eating ;-)  I actually had mine on low broil and was running around the house doing other stuff and almost forgot about the broil mode and the cheese got really crispy ... just the way Hubby likes it!

Once cooled a little, grab a plate, place your bowl on that, grab a spoon and ever so carefully, blow on the mixture and taste ... uh huh ... this is delicious stuff!

I had some leftover ingredients so made this again on Sunday morning for breakfast ... it's not pretty but served a purpose!


Enjoy!

*This is NOT Paleo or Whole30 thanks to the cheese, but it IS Gluten Free and Low Carb if that's your thing! And heck, anytime I can offset that pizza craving with something a little more healthier, I'm in!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)



Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bite Size Potato Skins

These are the perfect bite size appetizers to have on your table during your next holiday gathering!  

Hello little bites of yumminess!!

This was really easy and I'm always lacking in the carb department when we have parties so this is going to be GREAT!!

Here's how you do it!

3 to 4 russet potatoes, washed, dried and sliced in rounds about 1/4 inch thick or so
melted butter
shredded cheese
bacon bits
sour cream
green onions, sliced

Line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper for easier cleanup. Turn on oven to 350.

I just love this little freebie brush ... we had upwards of 10 at one time!

Lay the potato rounds in a single layer on tray and brush with the melted butter, Flip them all over and brush this side too. If you can remember, go ahead and sprinkle with a little salt. I forgot, I was getting distracted.


Place tray in the oven and let them bake for about 15 minutes or so, pull out and flip all rounds.

Bake another 10 minutes or so. 

Pull the tray of taters out of the oven, add a little bit of cheese to each one (you can be neat or just plop it over the top, up to you! Sprinkle with the bacon bits and put back in the oven for 5 minutes or til cheese is melted and bubbly. Mine weren't all that photogenic but they certainly tasted like a million bucks!

Pull out again, add a dollop of sour cream to each round and sprinkle with green onions ... 

Serve up and ENJOY!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Spring Rolls with Sesame Dipping Sauce

*Repost ... and I'm changing it up a little bit THIS time ... watch for the italic notes*

I had some Swagbucks available so I gave in and got me some Amazon giftcards ... heck, 450 points gives you $5 so why not?

With my new found FREE Amazon credit, I picked out a new cook book ... and glad I did!

Page 26 and 27 gives us this pretty neat recipe ... and of course, I had to give it a try.

Mind you, I'm not a fan of spring rolls/egg rolls, any of that stuff, under normal circumstances. Usually, I find an odd taste that just turns me off ... never could figure out what it is/was ... but I wanted to give these a shot and try them out on Hubby ...



Easy enough, but I still opted to do the prep work that morning before heading to work, chopping the chicken (in place of the pork) and cutting the veggies.  So when I came home, all I had to do was steam the "rolls", sauté the filling, stuff and roll and finish steaming ... yahoo.



Sometimes, breaking up the steps like this makes me more likely to try a new recipe during the work week ...

12 to 15 green cabbage leaves. I used Chinese cabbage as the green cabbage at the market was icky *TOTALLY SKIPPED THIS STEP THIS TIME AROUND and used lettuce leaves!
2 tbs fat (I used olive oil)
1/2 pound diced chicken (I used thighs)
2 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
3 carrots, julienned (matchsticks)
3 celery stalks, julienned (matchsticks)
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

Sauce:

1/4 c coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1/8 cup toasted sesame oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp ginger (I used the fresh stuff in tube)
salt & pepper to taste
dash of hot pepper flakes (because we like a little heat)



In a steamer rack or bamboo steamer, steam the cabbage until soft enough to roll without cracking, about 5 to 8 minutes. *Totally omitted this step as well as I ditched the cabbage!

While that's steaming, heat up 2 tbs olive oil in heavy skillet and cook the chicken for 5 minutes or so, adding the soy sauce/coconut aminos to season while cooking.

Add carrots, celery and shrooms to the chicken and sauté for another 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat (but leave the mixture in pan).

Once leaves are soft, trim each to a round circle, cutting the any large ones in half (you don't want a massive roll). *Do this with your lettuce leaves if using instead of cabbage!

Lay a leaf flat on board, and add a scoop of meat mixture to the 1/4 closest to you. Roll leave a roll and then fold in the sides and continue rolling.



Place the roll back in the steamer, seam side down and steam for about 10 minutes. *Obviously, IF using lettuce, skip this step!

Meanwhile, make your sauce!

Add coconut aminos to a small saucepan along with the sesame oil, ginger root, salt, pepper and pepper flakes.  Warm over medium heat while whisking until garlic is soft and the sauce is infused.

Pour sauce in small dish for dipping and place the rolls on a small serving platter.

So, we ate a few of them. I had an issue with the rolls after the final steam, removing them. I guess I didn't roll them tight enough?


And then I remembered, I do NOT like cooked cabbage, even lightly steamed stuff. So I dumped out my cabbage leave and used a romaine lettuce leaf instead. Way better! *And that's what I did this time around and just totally ditched the whole cabbage leaves thing ... 👍


Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!


*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

DIY Spot Remover

This stuff kicks butt for removing ALL KINDS OF STAINS!   And being that I'm a Dawn dish soap kind of girl, it's perfect!


I hate buying stain remover ... that little bottle of Shout that you could never get the last bit out of (the little straw thing was about 1/4 inch too short in the bottle costs me around $3 to $4 back in the day. I just hated using that stuff, not to mention, honestly, I don't think that stuff worked all that well if you didn't spot it immediately ...

So today's little tip will make you very excited if you think like me ...

If you have white t-shirts or them damn dress shirts that hubby used to wear to work every day that are starting to get that dingy armpit ring (and collars too!) go grab them R I G H T now!!!

I promise you, it works and I am amazed every time I use it!  Original idea came from One Good Thing By Jillee (gosh I HOPE you've visited her site before, she's a wealth of information!)

Here's how I did it:

In a one cup glass measuring cup pour:

1/4 cup Dawn dish soap
fill to 3/4 mark with Hydrogen Peroxide
add a generous tablespoon of baking soda (not necessary but it makes me feel better adding it!)

Mix all well. To apply, use a scrubby brush: dip the brush in the mixture and then apply to armpit (or other stains, this removed a hot sauce blob from my favorite white t-shirt!), gently scrub to make sure everything is covered.


I generally do this an hour or more before washing. When you toss the treated clothes in washer, be aware that the baking soda may have dried a bit and can go flying across the room, causing you to think that NOW you need to clean the laundry room ... oh wait, that's not a normal reaction for YOU? :-) More power to you!

Wash, dry and be prepared to be amazed when you go to fold those clothes! I still can't believe it works so well! Who would have thought??

NOTE: This stuff kicks butt ... it removed old blood stains from a pillow case, removes mustard stains from a tshirt and so many other things! I live by this stuff now!  I've been told that hydrogen peroxide can act as a whitening agent but have not had any problems with it fading anything as of yet ... just a heads up!

EXTRA NOTE AND UPDATE:  I just premix this stuff in the bottle now and squirt a little on the spot that needs to be treated.  Yes, it turns clear (the blue of the dawn goes away) but it remains just as effective! I've also eliminated the baking soda and it's works great!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!


*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sweet Potato Toast

So.

Apparently, you can toast sweet potato slices in your toaster.

And have "toast".


Huh.

Who would have thought THAT up? I mean, I'd be worried about the taters oozing their orange stuff all over the innards of the toaster, emitting smoke and possibly, flames.


Oh. But what the hell? I'm in for a new adventure!

*Fingers crossed that the toaster survives and I don't need to grab the fire extinguisher*

Guess what?

It works!

I kid you not!


Grab yourself a medium size sweet potato and scrub it clean.  Grab a mandoline, or if you don't have that, grab a super sharp, heavy duty knife and cutting board.


Slice the potato in to 1/4 inch slices, be careful you don't slice off your finger tips in the process. Cuz that's just no fun!


Take two slices and put them in the toaster. Toast on high for a full cycle and then toast a 2nd time.  Keep an eye on your toaster ... I didn't have any issues, but I'm just saying, be careful and keep an eye on it!

I was nervous on the first batch so I pulled them out and finished it up in the toaster oven. But then, I tried again and was feeling more brave and it works!!


I used the little PLASTIC tongs I picked up from the Dollar Store years ago ... they are great for parties AND for grabbing stuff out of the toaster!

Go ahead, give this a try! It's perfect for Whole30, just in case you were wondering!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)


Monday, November 28, 2016

Grocery Cart Mondays - November Totals



Hey hey, it's been awhile since I've shared a Grocery Cart Sunday post and since Soup has taken over that day, I thought I would change it up and move it to Monday ... which makes sense, if you think about it.


Hmmm

Maybe not? Ok, whatever. It's moved to Mondays, that all there is to it. Executive decision and all that stuff ...

DONE!

*Full disclosure: the first 10 days are unaccounted for as we were visiting family in Indiana and well, that kind of fell into the vacation funds, as far as I'm concerned :-)

Publix 11/10 (Hubby stopped)
No receipt but was under $20 he said

10 pk coffee
gallon milk
cucumbers
2 heads of lettuce
tomatoes

Publix (11/11/2016)
$24.73

2 pkgs of sliced cheese (cracker size) $3 each
1 pound pkg of matchstick carrots $1.99
2 large onions $2.29 (!!)
1 red onion $1.35
bag of tortilla chips $2.00
2 pkgs slider rolls $3.29 each
1 pkg of wheat slider rolls $3.89

Aldi 11/12
$45.70

2 bags of hashbrowns $1.99 each
2 pkgs of mushrooms $1.29 each
bag of sweet peppers $1.69
head of boston lettuce $1.69
3 pomegrantes 49 cents each
pineapple $2.09
2 cartons chicken stock $1.79 each
2 cartons beef stock $1.79 each
2 cartons of chicken broth $1.69 each
2 bottles of dressing $1.99 each
celery $1.29
asparagus $2.89
zucchini $1.49
mango 99 cents
2 bags green beans $1.89 each
3 avocados $1.29 each
radishes 99 cents
container of basil $1.19
container of ground cumin $1.19
parsley $1.19

Walmart 11/12
$131.24 (less about $70 for misc clothing items)

green onions $1.18
onion $1.00
2 small pkgs of red potatoes $1.98 each
2 pkgs cookies $4.98 each (my dad)
bag of candy $5.78 (my dad)
36 count coffee $14.98
gloves $2.73 (cleaning)
2 pkgs of tissues $1.58 each
liners $2.97
2 Zicam nasal swabs $9.97 each less $2 coupon each
large bottle of Febreeze $4.94
TP $6.97
*In case you didn't pick up on it, I was feeling quite funky on Saturday hence the zicam, tissues and broth purchases*

Walmart also included:
4 pairs of workout leggings for ME $12.96 x 3 and $14.96 x 1. I'm bound and determined to start working out again

Publix 11/13
$3.65

Gallon of milk. That's it.

Cosco 11/13
$65.03. Seriously. THAT'S IT!  
Oh, and I returned a jacket and got $31.79 

bag of lemons $6.99
bag of limes $4.99
large bag of meatballs $15.99 (damn samples!)
unsalted butter quarters $9.49
3 dozen xlarge eggs $2.59 (so glad to see the price come donw!)
single packs of guacamole $10.99
3 pack of Aidell Chicken Sausage $13.99

Publix, Hubby Stop 11/15
Approx. $20 (he doesn't keep receipts!)

9 pk Coors Light $10.59
2 cans of bamboo shoots
12 pk diet coke
a few other miscellaneous items

And now we stay out of the stores for a few days or so ...


Walmart 11/23
$167.88 Apparently staying out of the store means a bigger bill

48 count coffee $14.98
TP $5.74 less $1 coupon
paper towel $8.98
3 seedless cucumbers $1.98 each
7 pound bag of cat food $12.68
large container organic 1/2 and 1/2 salad mix $5.98
2 tubes of toothpaste $5.24 (special stuff for Hubby is expensive)
5 pkgs smoked turkey and black forest ham $2.97 each
3 pkgs smoked cheese slices $2.98 each
bag of coleslaw $1.86
jar of ghee $8.84
1 pound pkg of ground bison $7.98
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak $8.01
large bag of frozen california blend veggies $5.98
1 pound bag shredded mozzerella $4.22
1 pound bag of shredded colby/cheddar blend cheese $4.22
small container almond 1/2 & 1/2 blend $1.98
large bag of frozen broccoli $5.98
bag of pickle flavored chips $2.00 (for the Boy)
6 bottles of assorted flavors Sparkling Ice $1 each
bottle of dishsoap $3.97
large container Ricotta cheese $3.84
container fresh salsa $2.98
2 bags of Ruffles $2.98 each
bag of tortilla chips $2.98
bottle of Dawn Foaming Soap $2.83 (long story)

It would be nice if this is the END of the month ... $407.99 to date and I think I'm ready to call it quits!