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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Recipe Review - Black Bean Soup

I had this on my menu and made it Monday night when I got home from work. But first, I started the bacon, onions & garlic and then sonny boy said he wanted to go to Target, and I NEEDED to go to Target (to return some stuff) so I finished dumping in the 2 cans of chicken broth and 3 cans of drained & rinsed black beans. Put in 1 tsp each of cumin & chili powder, set a lid at an angle on top, turned it to low and left the house. Before you all freak out now, Hubby came home within 20 minutes and the soup was not even simmering yet!!! I got home an hour later, turned it up to medium, took my little Braun immersion thingy (blender? chopper? Musher?) and pureed the heck out of the beans. I've had that thing since Princess was born, almost 19 years now, and I still forget that you can not hold the button on & take it out of the liquid ... ack! Anyways, this was yummy. Like real yummy. Like it's going in my soup file to make again and again ... woohoo!! Thanks Lynn for sharing this ... I was surprised that it was that good as simple as it was to make. I think next time, in addition to cheese & sourcream on top, I'll slice a few green onions too. Here's how I did it (almost exactly like Lynn but one less can of beans, and I noticed she said the next day was more like refried bean texture, so I think I will stick with the 3 cans) 5 slices bacon, cut small 1/2 onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, diced 2 cans of chicken broth 3 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp chili powder cheese & sour cream to top Start cooking bacon in soup pot, and add the onion & garlic. Saute til onion & garlic are soft. Dump in the broth, beans, chili powder & cumin. Stir. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes or so. IF you have an immersion thingy, use that to puree the beans a bit. If not, take half of soup & put in blender, but be careful as its real hot. Blend and mix back in with rest of soup. Serve ... this fed me & hubby 2 good size bowls and then 2 more for lunch on Wednesday.

Costco Trip

This time, I stopped at the bank, took out $200.00 and told myself that I absolutely MUST stick to my list and stay under $200.00.

That was a challenge, but not really. I had a list. Pretty specific. Did not get to far off base. AND I only spent $152.00...should have been less but there were a few things that I figured I should get now.

And then I get home, find out our friends are coming over for dinner with some lobsters (Oh Yeah!) and their little fry daddy to fry up some oysters AND shark chips ... and needed oil too. Almost all my canola oil is gone and I was looking right at it at Costco, and said no, I still have 1 1/2 bottles left (small 64 ounce things).

Here's what I got:

2 24 pk welch pure juice $10.99 each
1 36 pk water bottles $3.59
12 lbs of naval oranges $12.99
6.5 lbs frozen b/s chicken breast $15.99
box of frozen breakfast turkey sausage $7.99
turkey lunchmeat $8.19
ham lunchmeat $5.82
4 pk crescent rolls (put back the prebaked ones & got the whack a cans) $5.89
4 pk ground turkey (93/7) for $2.29 lb $14.52 (this is so much better than the ground beef prices)
pk dinner franks (major size hot dogs) $9.99
bag frozen ravioli $9.39
large jug vinegar $3.29
30 pk carnation instant breakfast $8.99
box of multigrain crackers $7.29
large bag of onions $5.79
12 pk long hot dog buns (to go with dinner franks) $1.79
16 pk whole wheat 'sandthins' $4.29
3 dz xlg eggs $3.39
The only thing that was spontanous was the sandthins, they are like burger buns, but thin and only 100 calories each. We had them with our burgers and they are 'ok' ... I don't know why but some whole wheat stuff is ok and others aren't? Oh well. We will be using these for sandwiches, buns, etc.

Menu Plan Monday

Ok, so it's really Tuesday already, but I do have a 2 week plan (almost, 13 days) ... check back for recipes and links or head on over to Organizing Junkie's menu plan for tons more menus Sunday - burgers on the grill with shark chips Monday - black bean soup and cheesy quesidillas Tuesday - chicken, either grill (if not raining) or garlicky chicken Wednesday - pressed sandwiches and pasta salad Thursday - leftovers Friday - either out with friends OR steak & taters Saturday - either out with friends or steak & taters (from last night) Sunday - homemade pizza OR pasta with red sauce (from freezer) Monday - teriyaki chicken thighs & sesame noodles - keep an eye out for recipe on both as soon as i get time to type it up :) Tuesday - dinner franks and shark chips Wednesday - leftovers Thursday - soup & sandwiches Friday - Cesar chicken (marinate in Kens Cesar dressing and grill) Saturday - out with friends OR boating (which would mean dogs on the boat grill)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Meat Sauce recipe (link)

Ok, here's the recipe link for the sauce since I've had a few additional requests for it ... enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Doing things against my better judgment

You ever do that. Something that you know you really shouldn't be doing, but do it anyways? I'm sick. I've been sick. Ack. Ick. Brrrr. Friday night, my g/f had her 50th birthday party at the Hard Rock in Hollywood. So off I went. Two drinks and came home as it's a long ride and well, didn't really want to be stuck out there til all hours of the morning. (HEY, there are not signs of the failing economy at this place, which is probably where I caught my germies) ... So I got home around 10ish. Not so bad. BUT my g/f and her family & b/f are going to come to our house at 2pm on Saturday to do a bbq (instead of out to dinner, they decided they'd like to do something casual at MY house). Fine. Not an issue for ME. EXCEPT, I woke up with a major migrane headache. Had to be the smoke and loud noise that I'm not used to. 2pm comes. Everyone shows up. Everyone (thankfully) is moving in slow motion as it turned out to be a very late night ... so glad I came home when I did. We grilled beer can chicken (not my favorite), garlic & mozz sauasage & cheddar brats. I made my oriental cabbage salad and got a cake (would have made had I had more time) and everyone else brought sides and salads over. Party cleared out by 7pm. I went promptly to couch. Hubby, sweet hubby, put away all the leftovers and cleaned the kitchen. He woke me up at 8 to go to bed. Woke up at 11:30 Sunday. Major Migrane. And tossing cookies. Although, nothing really there to toss ... Princess (at Fort Leonardwood base) had her phone that day for a full 8 hours. Woohoo. Thankfully, she was not allowed to walk & talk at the same time so I got rest in between her little excursions. Hubby is traveling on Monday and needed to come to life & get some laundry done, ironing and such. Coffee helped for a bit. 8pm, passed out cold again Sunday night. Woke up Monday, no headache. But ohhhhh.... tossing my cookies big time. Finally get the tummy settled and HAVE to go to work for 30 minutes just to finish up a closing from Friday. Uggg. I can't believe I did it. Stayed til 1pm. My boss pretty much kicked me out, following me out the door with Lysol, I'm sure. Tuesday, feel better. BUT now, the cookies are coming out the other end. Good lord. My body has NOTHING left to dispose of ... trust me. Where on earth is this stuff coming from??? Feel much better Tuesday night. Dry deep cough, no fever, barely any sniffles, and just achy. Can't sleep so stay up til midnight watching the "terror alert" stuff and don't really digest any of it. Wednsday, wake up at 5:30am. Make pancakes & sausage for sonny boy & me. Take shower. Pack breakfast to take with me to work. Get about half way to work and whoa baby ... the feeling of both ends coming out was horrible. I am dumping my food out on the seat and putting a sales paper in the plastic bag just in case the cookies won't stay put. Bad feeling driving down the road, trust me. Get to the office, head to restroom and clear everything out. 2 hours later, I feel fine. Just tired, and like someone hit me with a baseball bat. So here I am, 1pm on Wednsday in the office. I feel a heck of a lot better but know that I really should be home resting. BUT honestly, I am the only one in the office that does the stuff I do. I had 2 fundings (done now) and a closing to get ready for. Of course, this is why I came in Monday and continued in today. We have the germx wipes, germx squirty stuff, lysol spray all around my area. People come by and just stand right outside my area cuz they know. BUT if I really really felt worse, I'd leave, trust me. But if I didn't come in I would be that much more behind. So really, in all honestly, I can't believe that I am out & about possibly contaminating others. But yet, I can't stay home either. I KNOW this is not the flu that has alot of people freaked out about (me included) as I do not have a fever ... but I'm willing to be you before this all over & done with, I will have. Uggg.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I will be the first one to say that pets are NOT frugal whatsoever. They really do require care that is not cheap, food, which you really should not just give them anything (meaning, the least expensive food) and entertainment. Heaven forbid something should go wrong healthwise because nothing is worse than trying to decide if you want to spend the money on Fido to make him well again or buy groceries for the month (been there, done that). I do have a cat. I adopted him. As hubby said, if it means saving a kitty's life then he would say yes. I did NOT want to get another pet. See the Missing Since February 1st, 2009 picture of the cat eyes? That was Kiki. He was Bengal. A very very expensive kitty. I did NOT buy him. He was pretty much abandoned by the guy down the street and I started to give him food and attention and next thing you knew, he was sleeping in the house. He was such a cool cat but quite the explorer. I still believe someone (maybe his original master) picked him up and took him. But that's how my current Kitty came about, he looked like Kiki in the pictures on line and when I went to see him, he just kept putting his paw outside the cage. Broke my heart. Told hubby about him, that it wasn't Kiki but still. And well, the rest is history. Now, I wanted to get him declawed. Was quoted $350 plus. Uh. No thanks. Had to train him & still continue to train him on scratching furniture. He doesn't, but does extend claws out and will occasionally snag furniture a tiny bit. Toys. Food. Cat litter. Extra cleaning time. And so on. Some of the BEST toys have been free. A bird feather. The cat thinks this is the best thing in the whole world. One of the kids bouncy balls from years ago ... he just stalks it as it rolls around the tile floor. ME. I am probably his best toy ... So, before you take the plunge and buy a pet, realize its a long term commitment that does have financial responsibilities. If you are barely paying your bills and feeding the family, do NOT get a pet. In the end, it will be negelected and there is nothing worse than that.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2 week Menu Plan (hopefully!)

Here it is, the 13th and I’ve already spent my full grocery budget for the month. Since I need to get focused, I went ahead and made my menu for 2 weeks. Good friends are coming back after being gone for 2 months, that may toss my plan up in the air a night or two, or even three, I would just move whatever to the next day or take it off the list completely. Also, there is a Friday and Saturday out of the house, Friday is happy hour, so I left the steak & taters on there (in hopes that will lure me home at a decent hour) and Saturday is most likely going to be dinner out with a group of friends to celebrate a birthday. It’s really wasn't difficult to add another 5 to 7 days to the plan, I have so much food in this house it’s not funny and I really need to get back to using up what I have in my personal store … with the exception of bread and milk, and maybe produce I have NO need to go to the store. I think I will just completely skip the sale ads this week & next. Sunday: Pizza, garlic bread & garden salad (ok, fresh pizza from Walmart when shopping today) Monday: Tacos – piece of cake, stocked up on the buy one get one free taco packs Tuesday: Soup and sandwiches, plan on panera bread broccoli soup with pressed sandwiches (watch for recipe link) Wednesday: Leftovers Thursday: Pasta with homemade sauce (watch for recipe) & garlic bread – made the sauce on Sunday, using the rest of the garlic bread from Sunday Friday: Steak & baked taters, steaks in freezer (happy hour, hopefully short) Saturday: Out with a bunch of friends to celebrate birthday Sunday: Hot dogs/brats way too many hot dogs and the brats have been here for a while Monday: Quesadillas most likely veggie style Tuesday: Mac and cheese with smoked sausage trying to locate my favorite mac & cheese recipe, if not, then betty crocker boxed taters Wednesday: Leftovers Thursday: Soup and sandwiches, tomato soup & grilled cheese with bacon sandwiches Friday: Chicken (thighs? Teriyaki with rice?) will post recipe when decided Saturday: Baby back ribs that hubby has been dying to cook up (bought for Labor Day but weather was horrible for grilling) Sunday: Enchiladas with shredded turkey breast in freezer No so bad, huh? For more great ideas, check out the menus of a bunch of other people at Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Unfortunately (or, maybe I should say fortunately!) sonny boy was sick Monday night and stayed home from school on Tuesday. Drats. He missed the speech to all school children by the Almighty Leader of the United States of America. I personally don't think this was such a bad thing. I was going to send a note to school with him AND send a fax to the guidance office that I request he go to the library during the viewing. Did you know that the School Board of Broward County did not give the option to choose to watch or not? They said it was MANDATORY. Hmmm. Can someone please tell me where in the curriculum it covers this kind of stuff? Does this help my child pass a test? Will this help my child get into college. Will it give him a further push to receive his diploma? I think not. Then to make matters worse, they had a recommended assignment list. Hmm. Somehow I know that this would be a very very bad thing. Like in the letter F being written in BIG RED LETTERS. See, think about this. If the child comes from a home that does not support or believe in the same exact things as the Almighty Leader of the United States of America, don't you think that would be a bit of an influence on the child? (Apparently not as much as I had hoped, but you'll see why in a minute). So when a student writes a report on what "inspired me" or what "I can do to help the president do better" (how about resigning?) don't you think that will come across on paper? And of course, we know that all teachers are not judgemental whatsoever. Why do I say that last line? Because. When the elections were going on last year, the teachers, a few of them, ok, 3 of the 4 that my kids had at that time, would hold little 30 minute discussions about the presidential election process and what a great opportunity this would be for America. Was it because of their race? A possibility. But when you have a teacher tell students that all that is wrong with America will be fixed once the Almighty man is elected, that sends the wrong message. So of course, my kids were kind of leaning towards that if they voted. Afterall, their teacher, who is educating them in school, is telling them that this man will fix all the problems. Of course, I'm asking WHAT PROBLEMS EXACTLY? At the end of the discussions, my kids would tell me I'm racist. I'm sorry. I am NOT racist. But I do believe that is the number one reason he was elected and won, because of his skin. Look at how many people signed up to vote who had never voted one single time in all their life. Come on. Are you really going to say that doesn't matter? So anyway, needless to say, Sonny boy was sick on Tuesday and did not get to see the speech that was broadcast to the students nationwide. Ok. I'm off my rant. But I'm curious as to how many others were a little upset (disturbed) if it was mandatory within your school to watch.