Showing posts from April, 2011

Evil Jungle Salad

I love, love, love a spicy steak salad, or rather, an Evil Jungle Salad from Houston’s, or a spicy Asian Noodle Salad … the names can go on and on. These are generally just a bed of greens, some thin noodles, basil, mint and cilantro and thin sliced steak served with a nice spicy dressing. Some, like the one from Houston’s counterbalance the spiciness with avocado and mango slices which is delicious, but not mandatory. I am only giving the dressing recipe as the salad should be how YOU prefer … Noodles, thin slices of beef or chicken are an excellent addition ... just stay away from the boring ole iceburg lettuce ...

1 lime
½ cup oil (canola)
½ cup soy sauce (I love JCS Reggae Country Style Thick Soya Sauce)
3 tbs sesame oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 ½ tbs ground ginger or 3 tbs fresh grated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Red pepper flakes to desired hotness
Cilantro, if available, chopped. Do NOT add until you are ready to serve the dressing, otherwise it gets icky.

Squeeze lime to get…

I'm going to VEGAS baby!

I've got a birthday coming up. Not a *big* birthday, well, sort of big, because geesh...I've only got a few more years before AARP starts sending ME mail ...

Every time Hubby goes to Vegas for business, I'm always like, man, wish I could go ...

This year, he surprised me (and NO, he's not going on business) ... I was notified by email with an airline confirmation from the airline for our flight schedule. WOO - HOO Baby!!

I do NOT know where we are staying (I think it's going to be a surprise too). UPDATE: MGM Grand! The Lion Sanctuary is there!!

I've declined the opportunity to go on the sandy buggy exciting excursions (somehow, I do not think Hubby's back doctor would approve of same).

I'm apprehensive about going on any rides at the Stratosphere thingy ... let alone standing in the observation deck and looking down at the city (afraid of heights and get severe vertigo ...) Hubby has recommended I have a few cocktails beforehand, yeah, so I can puke …

Easter Sunday, very very low key

Easter sort of snuck up on me this year.

I mean, I didn't even buy any jelly beans! The kids were highly disappointed I think.

We didn't even have friends over. My friends are probably highly disappointed, I think.

I didn't even make a special trip to the store to buy anything for the Easter Feast. The stores are definitely disappointed, I think!

I pulled out a frozen lasagna, made some french bread, the cheesecake (drizzled with carmel topping, yumm!!), deviled some eggs, sliced some cheese and some cucumbers and called it a feast.

Hey, it worked for us. We had a busy weekend all around. Plus Hubby is out all week to Philly so I didn't want a lot of leftovers hanging around, you know?

Chicken Wings - Sea Salt with Lemon Juice

I haven't been shopping shopping in a little while which is perfectly fine by me. We have PLENTY of food in this house!

Saturday evenings, I usually let Hubby decide what to have for dinner, and it almost always involves the grill and late night chowing.

This time around, it was Chicken Wings. I still have two 5 lb bags from a trip a while ago, so now I have one left (and a nice big spot in the freezer where the other one was!) ...

All he did, easily enough, thaw the wings. Put them in a large plastic bowl. Squeezed some lemon juice out of the bottle into the bowl. Sprinkled with sea salt, mixed up and let them sit for half hour or so.

Right before putting them on the grill tray (sprayed liberally with Pam), he seasoned them (in the bowl) with a little of his special poultry mix. This is a seasoning that he made himself back around Thanksgiving and keeps making more. Don't ask what it is, I don't know.

We grilled those babies on low heat for a long time. And then we tosse…

Doing WeightWatchers?

I don't *follow* it per se but do have the point plus calculator on my phone ... but listen up, there's something EVEN better!

If you have a droid phone, search for WW ScanCalc.

Ummm...according to that, my Coors Light that I'm currently enjoying is one mere point. Yahoo! :)

Not sure if that's points plus but I can probably figure that out if necessary ...

Excuse me while I run to scan some more items :)

Steals and Deals

You probably already know, but I dislike shopping at Winn Dixie. The stores are dirty, the prices are high and the employees are well, rude. There. I said it.

Anyways, they have Arizon Tea, Arnold Palmer Light on sale this week. And of course, like anything else that is a decent deal nowdays, the shelves have been empty. Hubby could drink a bottle of this stuff a day if we could only get our hands on the stuff.

Therefore, it's become a thing to stop at the store every night on the way home from the gym. I've struck out twice this week with the tea.

However, I did get a steal...what a deal!

1 lb ground chicken, Perdue. $1 per package.

Yes. You read that right folks! This stuff is normally $5.99 per package if I recall.

AND WE LOVE GROUND CHICKEN TACOS!!!! So much better than ground turkey!

So, I bought all 7 packages. Sell by date was yesterday (when I bought them) so I definitely need to get crackin on the packages tomorrow.

Sweeeeeet deals are few and far in between lately…

Egg Tips & Tricks

I almost forgot that Easter is right around the corner. Oh. Like in 4 days? :) This is what happens as you get older ....

So for me, perfect time to share a few egg tips and tricks!!

1. To have hard boiled eggs with beautiful yolks and none of that grey green stuff around the edges? Place eggs in pan and fill with water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil and IMMEDIATELY remove them from the heat and cover. Let sit for 15 minutes. Cool with ice water to stop cooking. Amazing. I never knew and heck, this is way more frugal too!

2.  To peel the egg so it stays intact? First, don't start off with super fresh eggs from the chicken. Second, crack the top and bottom of egg first. Find that little inner membrane of the shell and be sure you are peeling that otherwise you will have the *dry* peel and that thin membrane will still be on the egg. Ick. I'm sure there is a true technical name for this but I'm not interested whatsoever!

3.  Deviled Eggs ... I don't have a recipe …

Recipe organizing in a lazy way

I have issues.

Paper Stack issues.

They drive my Hubby nut-so. He hates clutter. I hate disorganization.

The recipe stack was getting way out of control. Not to mention, it was harboring some of my very favorite recipes and would NOT release them when I needed them in a hurry.

So a few weekends ago, I said enough was enough. That was the start of it all, the minute I opened the guest closet hall door, and all the *stuff* stared at me. I set the timer to 10 minutes and became ruthless and purged, organized and tossed. All in the name of finding four file folders.

Because with four file folders, I could label them: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Fish and wait, I needed a 5th one, Sides. When I get more time, more ambition (and more folders), I will make more folders for desserts, salads and baking stuff.

Then I went through page by page by page of recipes. And you know what? I tossed about half. Then I put the recipes in the respective folder. Not in any type of order as that's my next proje…

A few little stops ...

I've not *shopped* for a few weeks. But I have stopped here and there to pick things up, generally on my way home from the gym, when I'm sweating, trying to catch my breath, and just in a hurry :) It really has done wonders for the budget, plus I'm less inclined to browse and think oh, that looks good :)

So here's what I've gotten (last night) from Publix:

2 kraft shredded cheddar (on sale for 3/$5, I have a $1.50 off 2 so more cheap cheese)
3 pk romaine lettuce $3.09
small bag of baby spinach, $3.79
2 lb bag of baby sweet peppers, $5.99
small bunch bananas, 69cents lb
loaf of french bread $1.49
gallon 2% milk $3.75

All that for $20.07. Every single thing, with the exception of the cheese, KILLED me to buy at those prices. All those items would be so much less at Costco. Uggg. I see a Costco trip coming up pretty soon ... just a small one, nothing major, promise!

Then last week was a trip to the new PetSmart ... had to get flea medicine, $100 later which included b…

Menu Plan Monday ....

Ho hum, it was another Sunday and time to decide just what to feed the gang for the week.

I've had high expectations this past several weeks, and of course, the evil bug carrying a COLD landed on me around Monday last week.  First thought it was an allergy (no, I've never really said that) but after 2 days of nonstop running sinuses (seriously!) they finally seized up, got a little congested and turned into a funky dry cough. Gads.

We still went boating on Saturday, still had friends over for food and drinks, and life continues onward, regardless of if the Head Queen is sick. All you other moms out there, nod your head and raise your hands and say Amen Sister!

So there I was ... Sunday morning, eating a cinnamon raisin bagel (just don't let me flip over the package and see how many ingredients there really are beyond cinnamon and raisins), and trying to scheme of things to feed the group this week ...

Sunday - chicken teriyaki thighs with rice ... these bad boys have been…

Fish / Fry Batter / Breading

I have to laugh because my sister and brother in law celebrate their anniversary every year (December) by having a Fry Night. Not very romantic (to me) and well, a little smelly and messy too! :) But then again that is just me!

This past anniversary, we were lucky in that we got to participate. Being up in the Midwest during a snowy winter, the frying is done INSIDE (which I would never dream of doing here in Florida!) and it became an all around family affair!

As my brother in law is a HUGE fishing guy and provides well for his family with his skills, there was plenty of fish fish to be fried, along with onion rings, mushrooms and shrimp. My sister in law used the same batter for ALL. And I must say, rather impressive!! I remember grabbing the card and writing down on a scrap piece of paper which I came across the other day while going through all my recipes ...

3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1 eggs.

Mix all, dip (let sit for a few se…

Bypassing the drive thru

I'm not so much of a drive thru kind of gal AFTER work, but rather, BEFORE work.

Yes, I LOVE my BK breakfast croissant with the hashbrowns and coke. Make me scream with happiness!

However, the fat content is really out of control (I know that) and the quality really isn't always that great (cold, soggy, chewy) ... and well, it's also $4.45!

Knowing that this my downfall, I've devised ways to offset the urge to whip the steering wheel to the right, cutting off the car in the outside lane to make a spontaneous stop at the drive thru. Ummm, are they ever really planned? :)

For about $1.05 and roughly 5 minutes of my time, I can have this:

and to really make me happy, I use my favorite snapware:

Sure, it's not as healthy as the oatmeal, but definately takes care of the drive thru urge!

And then everything is just DUCKY

Linking up with Life As MomFrugal Fridays ... this is my FAVORITE link parade ... so come on over and check out all the others! FYI - this week is abou…

Garlic and Herbs Cheese Spread

Just like the famous Rondele stuff that cost a fortune. Can I tell you, this is SO simple.

1 12 oz tub of whipped cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp plus and 1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp onion powder

Stir all together and store in fridge for a few hours so the flavors can mingle and get to know each other. Stir once more before serving.

Serve up with favorite crackers and veggies. We did it once with pretzel sticks and thought we died and went to heaven (except for the sodium overload!) ...

Menu Plan Monday

Since last week was a sort of fly by the seat of your pants kind of week, figured I'd better get the menu plan in place and posted!

It's 6:50 and I'm ready to head to work EARLY ... I have a lot to do and believe this week *unfortunately* will be just as bad as last week was ... but hey, I'm thankful that I have a JOB period, that I love, and that pays pretty decent.

Hope to get to the gym several times this week again (only got there 2 times last week AND only 1 class based on the arrival time) ...

Sunday - Pasta with red sauce (freezer) and garlic bread with salad
Monday - Quesidillas and was hoping to have black bean soup but that does NOT appear to be happening at this point
Tuesday - Baked taters and salad (taters will be in oven with oven set to come on at 6pm)
Wednesday - SURVIVOR NIGHT - BBQ pork (crockpot) sandwiches and corn
Thursday - Ranch Chicken Salad (fyi ... the picture here is stellar but I can assure you, mine will NOT look like that!)
Friday - chick…

Changing of Opinions

I can remember, oh so very long ago, when Biggest Loser was starting out.

I remember thinking to myself, good Lord! Who would want to watch a bunch of very overweight people exercise, diet and whine?? Seriously. And I don't say it in a mean way. My own mother would qualify for the show based on her weight (but her age and health issues would not) ... I just couldn't grasp the concept of why the general public would spend an hour or so a week (more than that!) watching something like this.

Guess what?

I'm hooked.

To see the transformation through sheer will ... to see the change in the people ... I just find in incredibly amazing.

Last night, the one dude, Rulon, his athletics ability blew me away. Like that dude could seriously be a contender in some sports. Oh doh. He was an olympic athlete when he was younger. And then I see that he is a gym owner and motivational speaker. Huh. Just goes to show you how easy it is to gain weight and have it spiral out of control.

And the…

Tackling an unpleasant task

We don't really do spring cleaning in my neck of the woods.

Could be because of the fact that spring is pretty much like summer, fall and winter here ...

Or maybe, because I am a known procrastinator?

Take my closet floor for an example. It's been on my To Do List for oh....about 6 months? Yeah, I *tidy* it up a little but really, not a whole lot LEAVES the closet floor, just gets rearranged into another, somewhat neater pile. Raise your hands and nod your head if you know exactly what I mean!

Hey, Where's GMan?
Coupon basket, overflowing, which 99% of them are expired, you think?

So there you have it. And lo and behold, I found a CAT in all that stuff (do you see the cat? He's real good at camouflaging!)

I set the timer for 15 minutes and told myself this was it. Just do it for 15 minutes. Whats done is done, the rest will have to wait.

LOOK!!!! I had 3 minutes left too!

I had 3 bags of stuff to the yard sale pile (happening this weekend, thankfully) and a few things t…

Med Fly Alert

Seriously, there is nothing more willy creepy crawly like then sitting outside, reading the newspaper, eating an ORANGE and reading a headline that says:

Millions of sterile Medflies dropped on Pompano Beach

And then think, hmmm, let me google medflies ... and immediately swear off fruit :(

So if you live in Broward County, and you happen to see a little fruit fly flying around, try not to panic. I may just let the lizards in the house afterall!

BLT Pizza (and lots of pictures for once!)

Hubby has been traveling ALL week and I'm sure it was a little stressful (and cold!) ... so I wanted to make something sort of special that the others would enjoy too ... hence, BLT Pizza :)

The dough recipe comes from Tammys Recipes. Actually, the whole idea comes from Tammy ... so I will give credit where credit is due :)

1 cup warm water 1 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt 2 1/2 cups flour (this is how I have to do it) 2 tsp active yeast
Sauce: 2/3 cup ranch dressing ½ to 1 tbs fresh chopped garlic
12 oz mozz cheese 2 oz cheddar cheese ¼ cup parm cheese 1 cup cooked bacon, chopped (ok, so I used real bacon bits because it's what I had and I didn't measure) 1 large tomato, seeds and juice squeezed out and diced ¼ cup sliced green onions (I didn't do this time)
Make dough in bread maker, only to mix … do not let it RISE! The dough will be very very soft.
With very very buttery hands, remove dough to very very buttery tray and spread out gently

Trust me, use lots of butter, the dough is VERY soft

The Cat and the Lizard

It seems that everytime I turn around lately, there is a lizard in the house.

And every time I see one, I shriek.

Sometimes softly.

Sometimes very loudly.

We have these Bahamian curly tail guys, they are MEAN ... BIG and UGLY. Two had to be chased out of the house on Sunday. TWO. *shudder*

Then we have these Florida lizards. They are vibrant green most of the time, but they do camouflage. And they are the exact opposite of the Bahamian lizards, long, lean and very streamlined.

I was coming in the back sliding door and saw him on the side of the house so had Sonny Boy close the cat window so it wouldn't come IN or the cat wouldn't go out and bring it in. (yes it happens ALL THE TIME).

As a result, this is what happened:

Sunday's Costco Trip

Walmart, Aldis and of course Costco. I normally would say NO WAY to a Sunday trip, but unbeknown to ME, Costco closes at 6pm on Saturdays. Anyone else know that? I was rather perturbed but just chalked it up as a reminder to stay on schedule for things (Saturday was spent, cleaning, decluttering and at the last minute I figured I'd do the run afterall)

So here is what I got that was exciting:

4 gallons of milk $2.79 each ... a buck cheaper than Publix but still more than Aldis $1.99
6 dozen extra large eggs $3.89 (for 3 dozen)
pkg of bakery ciabatta rolls $4.79 (spontaneous purchase)
pkg romaine lettuce $3.99
silk shirt for hubby (tommy bahama knockoff) $19.99 (spontaneous purchase)
Tide $19.99
spinach $4.29
cat litter $11.39 (which AGAIN I see it didn't take off the $2.50!!!)
15 lb of taters $7.49
blk forest ham $7.34
blk forest ham $6.98
string cheese $7.99
2.5 lb cashews $14.99 (spontaneous buy)
browned turkey $7.62
browned turkey $7.70
large bottle of sebamed wash for fac…

Sunday Aldis Trip

Had no idea they didn't open early on Sunday so ended up going over to Walmart and browsing (uh, $40 later and a few tops and favorite soy sauce) ... Finally busted in the door and here's what I got:

Green grapes, 2 lbs $1.69 total
2 strawberries, 99 cents each
2 5lb red taters, 99 cents each
2 boxes of not sugar $1.19 each
4 bags of frozen brocolli, 99 cents each
tub of whip cream cheese $1.39
2 tubs of shredded parm cheese $1.99 each
2 jars of carmel sauce $1.99 each
1 jar chocolate sauce $1.99
250 ct napkins $1.49
3 bags of coffee $3.99 (like the milk, price of coffee has gone through the roof)
200 ct tissues $1.19
50 ct party cups $2.29 (way overpriced)
2 pkg slice cheddar cheese $2.19 (would have sworn it said $1.99)
4 pkg plain bagels $1.39 each
2 pkg cinnamon raisin bagels $1.39 each
2 bags bbq chip $1.39 each
3 boxes of peanut butter wafer thingys 99cents each (addicting little things)
hoagie roll (6 pk) $1.99

Total $61.03 with tax. Uggg. Check over here for the Costco…


Are NOT meant for cleaning, I don't believe?

But I've been on the run all week, Monday at gym, Tuesday shopping (spent a whopping $30 even), Wednesday I was home, but vegging on the couch with Survivor, Thursday was the play and Friday was Roccos Tacos! (hey, IF you click on the link be sure your speakers are down low or off as it's LOUD) ...

We got to meet Rocco and his famous peewee herman shoes (and the ice cold patron) ... but anyways....I have a *slight* headache this morning ... and I realize that I should just stay home today instead of running to Costco, Aldis and Walmart ... afterall, whats another day with money in my wallet!

So instead, I opted to tackle a few projects.

1. The closet floor ... uh huh. Set my timer for 15 minutes and went at it. Uh huh. More stuff to the yard sale pile, some stuff to the trash ... and I found a CAT in the process.  3 minutes to spare even after I put the stuff in its respective place.

2.  My huge stash of recipes that have been …

Creamy Dreamy Orangy Smoothy

When I was decluttering and finally tackling the huge stack of recipes I had stashed, I came across an old old favorite that I bet we haven't made in like 5 years. It was considered a treat to the kids and Hubby would make it for them and I can still remember the excitement and joy ... ahhh...those were the days :)

It's from Sandra Lee on Food Network ...

16 oz frozen oj concentrate
1 oz sugar/fat free vanilla pudding mix
1 4 oz yogurt (recommended orange cream but I'm certain we used vanilla)
1 cup milk (low fat or other)
3 cups ice cubes

Toss all in a blender and blend til smooth ... I am so going to be making these soon ...

FYI - the datestamp on the printout? 2003. Whew ... it's managed to float it self around the house for that many years? I definately need to make it now this weekend!

Linking up with Jessica over at Life As Mom Ultimate Recipe Swap!