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Showing posts from March, 2011

This and That

I stopped at Publix last night to get more cheese before the sale ended and picked up a gallon of milk.

8 oz cheese $1.25 after coupons.
Gallon of milk? $3.75. Ummm, this is like 25 cents more than a week ago!! Not even a week ago. Wow.

Checked out gas prices this morning while waiting at a stop light. Regular, unleaded? $3.67. Premium on one corner was $3.87 and the other corner, $3.99. Thankful that I don't use the higher grade, although Hubby and Sonny Boy do.

Picked up 4 yoplait yogurts at Publix for $1 total after sale and coupon (almost made the milk purchase ok)

Picked up kitty treats for free with sale and coupons (party mix folks!)

Gold closed up $8.90 cents today. Geesh.

Oil closed up $2.38. Even bigger geesh.

Taking Sonny Boy out to dinner tonight and a show. Wicked. I'm so stinkin excited .... 19th row back, aisle seat .... sweeeeeetttttt.. :) And I can't believe he said he would go with me ... gave the Princess first dibs (she has to work) then him (and I had…

Life's Ups and Downs

This has been a somewhat sobering week for me.

My mother in law goes in for surgery this morning (hopefully she's being prepped as I type) for year long foot infection/contamination, etc. She has 3 choices: continue like this and likely die in 6 months, amputate her foot and leg below the knee, or opt for this surgery and see how it goes. She opted for the surgery but geesh, she's 73 years old and stubborn as a mule ... as Hubby is in Detroit Monday thru Thursday, he will fly in to Chicago in the afternoon and stay through the weekend. Had planned this all along before the big decision was made rather suddenly (uh, one week ago) for her to undergo the surgery.  And for those who really want to know just what is being done, go to that link above and look at the picture on the right. She will be wearing that for 16 weeks at least. But they say she can walk with it ... I don't know.

My neighbor, who I love dearly but have not seen much of lately (shame on me for not making th…

Cleaning the showerhead

This is a repost from a while back because I need to remember to DO THIS this weekend (oh  how I wish I still had my Monday Morning To Do List linkup!)

Of course, linking up with Works For Me Wednesday ... hop on over!


Because I don't wash my hair daily, but do insist on showering daily :) I get really irritated at that stray stream of water that shoots out sideways from the showerhead.

A Martha tip ...

Fill a sandwich baggie with white vinegar (not full but just enough that the bottom of the head will be in the vinegar). Take a rubberband and fit it around the shower head, securely. Let it sit overnight or all the livelong day.

Before showering, REMEMBER to remove the bag (dump the vinegar down the drain) and use an old toothbrush to scrub a little if desired, just be careful not to get in your face/eyes, ok?  Turn on the shower and let the shower run a little before hopping under the water.

And if you are like me, you will be amazed and in awe that a simple little thing like…

Welcoming Spring ...

Here in South Florida, we really don't have the four seasons, for the most part. BUT don't assume that doesn't mean we don't celebrate them!

It does get chilly in the winter, especially the past two years (ummm, there's been mornings were it's in the upper 30's at 5am on the coast, that's COLD for Florida!) but it seems that this year, our cold snaps just went up in smoke and in came the heat (89 degrees the past few days!)

So, with the rest of the nation welcoming spring with open arms (someone please tell the Midwest that Spring is here ... snow flurries anyone?) ... I give you:

Sangria ... or also known as: another way to use up that red wine...

1 bottle of dry red wine
1 cup oj
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
slices of orange and lime, lemons.

Pour all into large glass or plastic pitcher and stir til sugar dissolves. Chill up to 24 hours.

Serve over ice in tumblers with garnishes of orange and lime slices Add retro swizzle sticks for fun.

Linking u…

Menu Plan Monday - March is just about over!

Hubby is traveling this week and will not be back until Sunday evening so the week could be easy for me since it will be just me and Sonny Boy as I believe Princess is working every night. Not a single link or recipe posted. I could almost do this with my eyes closed!

Monday - Tacos. Taco meat from freezer and the fixings are all in the fridge and pantry!

Tuesday - Mac and cheese. This is the last of the freezer stash great sale I had picked up a while ago. I like it because I can nuke it for 15 minutes and dinner is served. I will have the leftover burgers and hot dogs if we so choose, but this is not a nutritional contest this week!

Wednesday - SURVIVOR NIGHT BLT - sandwiches ... along with some veggie fries (or just plain carrot sticks if the fries are gone by then)

Thursday the last day of March (OH MAN!) - I may be going to see Wicked (yeah!) courtesy of my boss (Thank you Thomas!) and it so, I will use my gift card for Cheesecake Factory ($50) that I've been carrying around…

Celebrating with Teens

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I'm still not quite sure what we were "celebrating" but I had a house full of teens Saturday with a little advance notice (thankfully!)

The Rock Stars did a photo shoot at noon and were to be back in a few hours. Umm, teenspeak means we don't know how long that really is.

Regardless, I headed to Aldis early and wanted to stop at Walmart and GFS too ... but midway into the trip at Aldis, Hubby called that he needed me to stop at the auto store on the way home. Crumb. That meant he was at a standstill doing work on my truck. So I didn't do Walmart (jalapeno plant shopping, that's all, honestly) and rushed the Aldi trip (forgot coffee and a few other things, oh well).

Stopped at auto store and picked up what he needed and rushed through GFS and got 2 bags of precooked and seasoned buffalo chicken wings ($9.99 each, which think about it, cooked weight is 5 lbs for $2 a pound?!) and a 5 lb bag of oranges for $5.99.

Came home, gave Hubby his part to finish his work…

Shopping at Target requires FOCUS

Ummm. Yeah. We all DO know that, right?

Uh huh.

Stopped to pick up some ink for the wireless printer. Out of black. Like, blank pages print, that's how out of black I was :)

So imagine my squeak when I saw that they had the had the ink for $13.89 AND if I bought TWO I would get a $5 gift card. SWEET MOMMA! I bought 4.

Then I also bought a LARGE curling iron (new haircut is just so hard to deal with) AND a set of LARGE regular rollers ... and (of course there's more!) a hand rake and hand shovel for gardening.

Ummm...total? Oh, about $80. Good lord. Focus Focus F. O. C. U. S.

*Had I been smarter, I would have done 2 orders and used the $10 gc towards the hair stuff, you know??

Blackened Chicken Sandwiches

I so love these and because most people have not been able to grill for a few months, I though I would share, yet again how Hubby does this ...

Boneless chicken breast, sliced thin (you can get cutlets if $ is not an option OR just slice the breast in half your self)
Lemon juice (if you don't have one of those handy dandy hand juicers, consider fitting it into your budget AND yes, it is ok to use the stuff in the bottle IF you don't have fresh)
Blackened fish season (we used to use the stuff that came in a tiny little bottle with the big chef guy on it but then I discovered that Badia make it in a LARGE bottle for about the same price, and it works just fine!)
Tomato slices
Shredded lettuce
mayo (the real deal please!)
toasted burger buns

Lay chicken out on a glass baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice so they are all coated. Then liberally sprinkle with the blackened seasoning. We cover our chicken completely only because we really like the flavor ...

Allow to sit for at l…

Update on Doctor and Test

As you may have read over here, I was scheduled to go in and have an EMG done by the neurologist.

a.  Thankfully Dr. Locatelli was handsome and better yet, funny and kind.

b.  Thankfully he has a wonderful nurse on staff with him that I instantly connected with.

c.  I did not pay anything at the visit. Hopefully the bill won't be too shocking.

d.  I need to remember to shave my legs a little more often  *grin*

e.  IF you are ever invited to have an EMG done for fun ... seriously, just say NO.

This was probably one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever gone through in MY WHOLE LIFE. Seriously. Crap.

Shock therapy. Needles and making muscles react with needles in place. Good lord. Have some mercy will ya!?

The shock part? Ummm, nothing, nothing NOTHING like static electricity folks. We are talking genuine currents going through your arm/hand/body. And it's not just once, but 3 to 4 times for EACH area. That's what makes it worse, knowing that the first current is not …

Doctors, test and insurance

You may remember back in December I finally took the plunge and went to get my annual (not so) female checkup. All that worry for nothing pretty much ... except I do still need to go get an ultrasound done as she believes I probably have fibroids (whatever that really means) ...

About a month ago, I made an urgent request to get into my regular doctor for my hands. We already know (diagnosed) that I have arthritis in the one finger (now obviously 2) and just sort of assumed (I did) that I had arthritis of my thumb and possibly the wrist. This is what happens when you self diagnosis. ;)

So one Monday, both hands hurt so bad, tears in my eyes, seriously, just weepy and holding my hands out on my desk in an awkward position to try and relieve the pain. Got in the next day. First thing first, how swollen the palms were by the thumb. 2nd thing, how swollen my hands were in generally. 3rd thing, carpal tunnel likely. NO. That can't be. I don't have the symptoms for that. I do NOT h…

Making do with whats on hand

Hubby has put a temporary ban on me shopping for a few weeks. Woohoo...what a nice guy! It all started when he was trying to find breakfast sausage in the freezers ... and stuff was falling all over him as he *dug* around.

Geesh. Should of just asked me and I would have told you there wasn't any :)

So he went to the grocery store to pick up something he wanted to go with the Saturday dinner he was making (spinach stuffed chicken breast and he LOVES his tuna or bleu cheese stuffed olives as an appetizer). So I just *assummed* that he knew there wasn't any beer in the fridge. Doh. He didn't. Which of course, we still have no beer in the fridge.

Which put me in a pickle. :) Because I didn't know what I wanted for adult beverages that evening. Ummm....hmmm...

HEY. Hold them lemon halves honey!

In a large mason jar, I put the 2 Costco size lemons (after being juiced for the chicken) in the jar, and topped with vodka (Titos, of course). Put the lid on and shook it up. Took a…

Menu Plan Monday (real life version!)

Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm a day late ... but hey, better late than never!

Remember, over here I did the remainder of the month? Well, of course, things N. E. V. E. R. go as planned ...

Sunday  Beef brisket in the crockpot with baked taters
Monday  Pasta with red sauce and bread sticks (whack a can works for me and sauce was in freezer)
Tuesday Chicken and rice bowls (made chicken from this and will make rice and top with fresh herbs and corn, blackbeans, a little sour cream and cheddar cheese)
Wednesday SURVIVOR NIGHT  Quesidillas (leftover chicken)
Thursday Chicken Cesar Salad
Friday  Asian style thighs but using the Drumstick recipe with jasmine rice
Saturday  Picadillo with black beans and rice

Of course, if you are really stuck, hop on over to Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday link up ... 100's of others are sharing their recipes and menu plans ... amazing!

Easy way to feed the Animals (and us)

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It's been a busy week and I'm so thankful that I made it to the weekend at last!  But of course, the weekend means work too, just a different sort.

With Hubby doing stuff outside (building a new pool pump, redoing the sprinklers, etc.) and Sonny Boy and the group having a gig and ME cleaning and doing laundry and all the usual weekend chores, I figured this would be the time to pull out the sandwich bar set up.

As summer approaches and through summer, this will be a common scene on the countertop in the kitchen during the week and weekends.
There is cheddar cheese slices, provolone cheese slices, smoked turkey breast, sliced pepperoni, shredded lettuce, sliced red onions, bacon bits, sliced pepperoncinis, and sliced sweet peppers. If I have them on hand and/or feel like it, I'll toss out some olives, pickles, tomatoes and more ... but today I was in a bit of a rush. I also make a  concoction of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, crushed dried oregano and a sprinkle of garl…

Running wild in the kitchen with scissors

Why is that one word that I always have problems with spelling? It's a no-brainer but regardless .... S. C. I. S. S. O. R. S. Scissors.

I have 5 scissors in my kitchen drawer at the moment. One is for cutting coupons (or any other type of paper).

And the other 4? Those are used for cutting food stuff, of course!

Uh huh. I take the lazy way out ...

Herbs needed to be chopped?

Scissors.

Chicken need cut up for salad?

Scissors.

Pizza need sliced?

Scissors.

Same with any kind of meat that's already been cooled off. Meat that is freshly cooked, I use a knife but now that I think about it, I ask myself WHY?

This works fairly well for hubby too as he's only got partial use of the one hand from the accident. Only problem with him as he wants big chunks which can cause a little stress on the scissors!

And remember, never run with scissors in hand! Or hand them over pointside out. Or leave them open in the drawer. Or drop them on your feet. Or lick them. Hmmm. Scissors CAN be da…

Running List of Meals

In relation to my thoughts on going back to monthly menu planning and bi-weekly shopping, I've come up with the following quick ideas for dinners. Yeah, there aren't alot of side dishes and/or veggies listed, truthfully, those just aren't as important, I can always toss in some frozen veggies on the side!

1. BLT's
2. Quesidialla and black bean soup (a favorite - just had last night!)
3. Garlicky chicken and rice
4. pot roast (crockpot) with mashed taters and gravy
5. cuban pork and beans with rice
6. hot browns
7. taco soup
8. tacos and nachos
8 baked tater with works
9. spinach stuffed chicken breast
10. spaghetti and meatballs
11. chicken cesar pasta salad
12. chili cheese dogs with oven fries
13. burgers (sliders, whatever)
14. hot dogs (brats, sausage)
15. pizzas
16. pork chops and scallop taters
17. cubano sandwiches
18. pressed sandwiches (any kind) and pasta salad
19. baked tater soup
20. chili
21. grilled cheese and tomato soup
22. chicken stir fry
23. sausage …

The Magic of Chocolate

I have something like 10 to 15 bags of chocolate chips in the pantry (at least the last time I checked) ... and I can't remember the last time I made chocolate chip cookies ...

I have milk chocolate, regular chocolate, mini chips, andes mint chocolate chips and a few other oddballs ... and of course, they always get in the way when I grab the tub of flour or the bag of brown sugar.

So I've made an important life changing decision this evening. And it's all because of Sonny Boy, his friends, Pops Corn AND Moms Frugal.

Chocolate covered popcorn. Sonny Boy paid *gasp* $7 for a bag of chocolate covered popcorn (milk chocolate) ... yes, it was carmel corn I believe and then covered with melted milk chocolate. I CAN DO THAT!

Then Moms Frugal has this EASY PEASY recipe called Almond Chocolate Chunks.  Dare I list the ingredients? 2 bags of chocolate chips and 1 cup of almonds. Ummm, I have lots of almonds as no one eats the bags (they inhale the peanuts and cashews but snub the …

Remainder of March Menu Plan

Seriously, it's so much easier to just plan the majority of the month ahead of time. I don't know why I don't do it all the time :) Lazy? Who Me??

Anyways, starting on the 13th which is Sunday, here we go through the end of the month (and luckily, I know Hubby's travel plans in advance!) It should also be noted (of course!) that days don't necessarily mean ANYTHING except on Friday, Saturday and Sunday ... the Monday through Thursday can so easily change up or down....

AND Sunday (today) I precooked some peppers and onions along with chicken breast and italian sausage on the grill to be ahead of the game. Salads are made for hopefully 3 days at least ...

Sunday  Pasta with red sauce, tomatoes and mozzarella salad with garlic bread (baking french bread)
Monday  Chicken Cesar Wraps
Tuesday  Macaroni and cheese with kiabalsi (all in freezer)
Wednesday  SURVIVOR NIGHT BLT Pizza (as I need to share with Hubby and get some pics!)
Thursday it's St Pattys Day ... and …

Weekend Grocery Shopping

Yeah, I know, didn't I just say something to the effect of no shopping except for milk & such? Oh well.

Costco:
40 lb fresh step cat litter $9.79 (I realize NOW that my $2 coupon didn't come off!)
a gazllion rolls of tp $17.99
3 dozen large eggs $3.39
large pk of romaine lettuce (6 or 5 heads?) $3.99
2 lb bag mini sweet peppers $4.29 (price went up)
2 pkgs of 90 count red krill vitamins, $18.99 each less $5 each (this was a great deal)
2 twin pks of beef jerkey $11.99 each less $3 each
2 bags of this to die for cashew crunch $9.49 each
400 count aleve knockoff (I take 4 of these a day so...) $12.99
large bottle of canola oil $8.99
36 count welch fruity bites $9.99
large brisket $16.67
Ribeyes $28.52
Brita oceana pitcher $26.99 less $7
4 lbs butter $9.99
*Note, no milk ($2.99 now), half & half ($1.99 now) or cream (didn't even look) ... prices have gone up on most items I see.

Next stop was Penn Dutch Foods ...
Boneless pork loin $7.29
Italian Sausage $10.70
Cabbag…

Busy Day

It's Sunday. And boy, have I been busy ...

3 loads of laundry, washed and dried, folded NOT put away.

1 load in dryer.

One large fluffy blanket to go in washer still (I think we are pretty much done with our COLD weather here!)

Vacuumed master bedroom, master bath, remainder of house (except the other 3 bedrooms and bath, the animals can do that!)

Red sauce is perking away, just about ready to turn off.

French bread is mixing and rising in the breadmaker.

Finished taxes and ready to be submitted, just need to hit SEND

Browsed through 3 (yes, THREE) magazines that all came yesterday, Food Network, Every Day with Rachel and Goodhousekeeping. Need to spend more leisure time to really browse :)

Still need to do:
cut carrots and celery
make salad for week
package sausages, brisket, chicken thighs, pork tenderloin for freezer.
Repackage chinese leftovers for lunches (stash in freezer)
Clean out MAIN fridge
Finish menu plan for month and print and post
Inventory garage freezer

Yes, it&…

Aldi Brand Mayo

I'm usually pretty fair game when it comes to store brand/generic products ... for MOST things.

Certain things, as in laundry soap (TIDE), dish soap (DAWN) and a few other things (shampoo and conditioner) I've got to have the real deal.

If you shop at Aldis, you know that 98% of the stuff is their brand. Once in a while you can come across a name brand but not too often. I've been pleased for the most part with the quality/taste and such. (Inquire about the Happy Cow dairy products with anyone in my family).

Except for the mayo.

I'm a Hellman's girl. Uh huh. I just never realized it until yesterday when I made an egg salad sandwich. Blech.

I would compare the Aldi brand mayo (Fit N Active Light) more to Kraft mayo, even perhaps ::gasp:: MIRACLE WHIP (who eats that stuff??) It's tangy. Lemony. Funky fluffy airy creamy odd stuff.

So, adding to my list of non-generic acceptable items: Mayo.

Has anyone else out there found a storebrand that's NOT all that and …

When enough really is enough

Jessica over at Life as Mom is hosting her usual Frugal Friday linkup ... and today's theme is really an important one that I need to bring back to the homefront.

Settle for Less....

Much easier said then done, trust me.

Here's an example for ME:

My closet and dresser. Overflowing with clothes, shoes, STUFF (which we know the other word for stuff, right? Junk. Or S*it even). Anyways. I have lots and lots of clothes. Just a note: I only own 2 belts. Huh. In my dresser, my tshirt drawer, I could barely close it, let alone keep the tshirts neatly folded. I finally just broke down and went through each and every shirt. Haven't worn it in awhile (oh, I forgot I had that!), it went in the pile for yardsale/goodwill. Stained, waaaay too small (lots of them fell into that category, unfortunately) went in the pile too.

Same with my closet. Sort of. My closet holds the majority of my work clothes. My law firm employers are pretty laid back and do not require that I DRESS the legal b…

Italian Beef - Crockpot!

Jessica over at Life As Mom is hosting a Ultimate Recipe Swap and today's theme is based on CROCKPOTS.

I love my crockpots! I've got 3 plus 2 minis. Ummm, I should use them a little more, but the big one (newest) gets real hot and yes, can you believe it, actually overcooks stuff when I'm at the office all day long. :( Not a good thing, huh?

Anyways, there are sooooo many things to do with a crockpot. First and foremost would be soups and sauces. Pasta sauce and such. Then you have the fact that you can bake your taters in the crockpot (haven't tried that yet) ... and then you have the excellent site at 365crockpot.blotspot.com. Gotta love that!

Ok, I suppose my go to, always there when I need it crockpot recipe is Italian Beef. Spicy baby. And easy peasy!

3 lbs or so of beef roast, sirloin, whatever you have on hand (never have used ground beef though)
small jar of pepperoncinis (save yourself some work and get the sliced ones - you can find these by the pickles - dra…

BLT Pizzas - California Kitchen like

My kids love this stuff. Ummmm. I suppose I should clarify and say that the MINI-ADULTS like this stuff when they go to California Kitchen Pizza joint/place.

I also keep forgetting that they aren't really considered kids any longer at 18 and 20. AND I keep forgetting it's no longer my responsibility to make sure they are clothed (appropriately) and fed ... some habits are so hard to get over :)

So. Anyways. Because I HAD to feed them, and because I'm still trying to maintain my Mom Of The Year status for a little longer, I made it.

For the dough, I used the basic recipe from Tammys Recipes for her Papa Murphys pizza. (If you haven't checked out her site, you really should, there are some stellar recipes there and every single one I've tried has been spot on.

In my bread maker, I added
1 cup warm water (115 degrees)

Then in a bowl, I mixed:
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour

Poured that in with the water, and then topped with

Where did all the dollars go?

I started the month off with a big wad of cash in my wallet. And that wad is now hardly even called a short stack.

WHERE DID ALL THE DOLLARS GO??!!
Over here, I noted that I've tried to ditch all the plastic. Using cash and cash only. The exception is for gas for Brutis (which Sonny Boy drives) and the Tahoe (which I drive), we use the American Express once a week to fill them up. Uggg. Just easier for me. I am NOT looking forward to doing so this morning, that's for sure, $3.89 for regular unleaded. Come on. Give me a break (but HEY, the economy is rebounding and the Little Guy is BACK according to the paid well talking heads!)

For a while there, I tried to use cash and the American Express. But the problem with that was that I'd run out of cash and then bring out the American Express. THEN when the American Express bill came, I'd be like "holey moley", where did all that come from?

So back to the first line.  I am seriously looking at the wallet and shaking…

Beauty from the kitchen

Lord only knows HOW I stumble across some of these sights. Is it the name? The pictures? What???

And for those of you who follow along on the blog (all 8 at last count, thank you for your support!), you probably picked up that I'm not quite the beauty consultant with all the newest and latest products...my  best friend had me laughing so hard the other day with regards to "blotters" ... I'm like, huh? She throws her hands up in the air and said, "oh YOU wouldn't know about that stuff." Apparently blotters are for removal of oil from the skin? Huh? AND here's a tip (sheeshhhhhh):

Them little toilet seat liners in public bathrooms ::gag::, they are the same material that blotters are made of. Ok, bet you didn't know that ... AND if you are real frugal/thrifty/cheap, you can use them and save a ton of cash in the process ... I'm just not so sure I could do it, we are talking PUBLIC RESTROOMS. ::shudder::

Ok...anyways. Crunch Betty.  Love the na…

Recipes that I want to try

I have a whole slew of recipe links that I've bookmarked because I want to try them ... I've found the hard way NOT to print out every stinkin one that looks remotely yummy ...

So, in no particular order, here are some things that I definitely want to try for the month of March:

1. Yogurt in the crockpot.
2.  Chicken Cesar Wraps
3. Cream filled donuts with chocolate frosting (not such a good idea for the workout program though)
4. Drumsticks, weight watcher style.
5. Orange Sherbert (and I have EVERYTHING to make it, except for room in the freezer)
6. BBQ Chicken Fingers (weight watcher style yet again)
7. Fried Onion Loaf (ok, I've made this before but we never got as far as the "loaf" part ... yummy)
8. Snapple Lemon Tea (and if I really wanted Hubby to worship me, I'd find a recipe that matches Arizona Tea Arnold Palmer)
9. BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad (be sure to check out the picture ... so need to have a party soon ... Happy Hour anyone?)
10. Beef & Pep…

Pancakes like I. Hop

There's a funny family joke about the time Princess read the sign at IHOP and read what it stood for. HA ... I still get the giggles when I remember ... she was in total awe that it stood for International House Of Pancakes ... oh boy ... classic, typical Princess moment.

Anyways, not sure when the last time I was there but it's been a year or so (I missed out on the free stack stuff March 1st) and remember it being quite expensive for the 5 of us that morning. Of course, we had so much more than pancakes ... so here's a recipe I've had since January 2006 (according to the little date thing at the bottom of the page) and it came from Robbie Haf website (which is STILL active!)... and in keeping with the theme of Tasty Tuesday to measure or not,I sometimes double this recipe (and heck, heaping is really a judgment call in my opinion!)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
1/4 cup veg. oil
1 egg or 1/4 cup egg subs…

Washing dishes before retiring for the evening

Most times, I do the dishes before I go to bed.

Actually, truthfully, I prefer to have them washed, dried and put away by 8pm because, ideally, I'm in bed by 9 and lights out by 10. But of course, in REAL life, that never happens.

Hubby gets home late, and brings no less than 4 reusable containers and lids. I get home late and bring at least 2. AND if I've gotten home late you better hope that nobody is hungry because I'm usually cranky by that time and the LAST thing I want to hear is "whats for dinner mom?" ... fend for yourself Animals!

My opinion is that nothing is worse than waking up to a sink full of dishes ... uggg. Not the way I want to start my morning off (bad enough I have to deal with the freakin cat box ... anyone want a cat?)

So how about it. Do you go out of your way to have a clean sink and counter before going to bed? Or do you simply wash and let dry overnight? OR do you take the easiest, and probably most desirable way out and load the dishw…

Menu Plan Monday

Ahhh...into the 2nd week of March already!

I got a little sidetracked last week a few nights, a little carried away at the grocery store and whew, we have lots of food to eat up ... AND Hubby is out this week Monday to Thursday and Princess is working every night so the primary focus is Sonny Boy as I could just eat a salad every night (which would be good for me)

So here's what I have planned, on a small scale, OR if I choose to make full size meals, I will just freeze in smaller portions for lunches and/or dinner (those nights when the gym is long running)

Monday - Mac and cheese, just to keep the boy happy. Me? a salad
Tuesday - I think I'll give Sonny Boy some cash ($10 or so) to take girlfriend out to a new burger joint, BurgerFi and give me an opinion. Me, a salad...
Wednesday - enchiladas
Thursday - BLT pizza (CA Pizza Kitchen style. Will probably use the garlic pizza dough recipe)
Friday - grilled chicken
Saturday - Hubby's choice
Sunday - again, maybe I can make t…

Round up on shopping over the weekend

I wanted to do Walmart (gasp, I know, but needed some workout shirts for Hubby), Ross (I know, gasp, again, but its the dress sale!) and Aldis (woohoo) since they are all on the one corner of a major intersection, 20 minutes straight down the road. Ok dokey, we are off....

Walmart, 4 shirts, a flexible lighter and 2 cans of frebreeze, $28.

Aldis, lots of stuff (listed below) for $102.18 (holy crap)
pineapple $1.69 (and now I read somewhere that they may be 99 cents now!)
4 cans of corn, 45 cents (maybe I can try the sante fe chicken again)
3 frozen oj $1.09
2 gallons 2% milk $1.99
3 lb gala apples $1.99
2 bags shredded hash browns $1.39
2 bags frozen brocolli 99 cents
2 lucsious hanging strawberry plants (that don't hang from my fence!) $5.99
2 cucumbers 59 cents
2 pkgs wet wipes $1.39 (yes, that was me opening the package in the store, I wanted to feel them before I bought more than one)
6 blocks of cheese $1.49 (this was a STEAL)
2 pkgs string cheese $2.49
3 containers whip cre…

10 simple ways to save a little extra dough

Nothing earth shattering or new here, I'm sure ... but it's like the weight loss stories, we all know how to lose the weight, we just don't apply it:

1. Ditch the plastic. ALL OF IT. I keep my debit and american express card at home, in a place (the whole household knows where they are just in case) and use cash only. It's tough in the beginning, trust me but definitely makes a difference.

2. Pack those lunches/snacks/breakfast/dinner. If you work outside the home or plan on being gone for an extended amount of time, pack it up and bring it along. I figured for me to buy my lunch every stinkin day would be roughly, $8 to $12 and this would NOT be at a sit down restaurant. That's a starting point of $40 a week. Same with water bottles on the road or just plain snacks for the kids. Seriously, the last time Hubby and I were out all day running errands, we stopped to get something to drink at 7-11 and it cost $4 total for 2 drinks (water bottle and gatorade).

3. Keep h…

Picadillo - Cuban Hash

I seem to be on a Cuban food kick, or maybe it's just a craving, or the weather, or SOMETHING. I don't know...but I've kept the cookbook out on the couch for the past few days and just keep flipping through it ... perhaps I should just put it back on the shelf? :)

The first time Hubby made this was soooo many years ago ... we were using the guest kitchen because our main kitchen still didn't have countertops OR the drop in range yet. Wow. That was like the late 90's ... I can also remember WHO was here for dinner (hello Christine & hello Jeff) ... not a couple like that, but we were all good friends and celebrating the moving back into our new and improved home (we moved out for a major renovation) ... I also remember standing there and being VERY skeptical at the fact that HUBBY was like tripling the amount of olives ... me, who H.A.T.E.S. olives, and finding out afterwards that Christine didn't like them either ... but we still loved this dish (we just pi…

Meat Sauce

Linking up with Jessica over at Life As MomUltimate Recipe Swap ... today's thoughts are on freezer friendly stuff (ironically, I believe March is Freezer Food month!?) ... so here's my one surefire freezer thing that I make on a consistent basis, and will be making this weekend (now that I located the italian sausage from the bottom of the freezer AND thank you Publix for having the Italian Days sale so I could stock up on tomato sauce and paste dirt cheap!)...

This is one of those sauces that taste awesome, but you really need to let it simmer for a few hours, generally I start it on a Sunday morning and let it go all day, serve some for dinner and then package and freeze on Monday. Makes enough for 2 to 5 more meals, depending on the number of people you are serving (and well, we like a lot of sauce on our pasta!)

2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 to 1.5 lbs of italian sausage, remove casing (slice the sausage the whole length and just peel o…

Shopping the sales

For food, not miscellaneous type of stuff ...

There has been talk all over blogsphere about the rising cost of food. Yes. I've noticed it too. It stinks. Unfortunately, Ben Bernanke does not really know what the "real" people of America are going through when he states the current oil prices will only have a temporary impact on the economy and basically just shrugs it off.

Higher oil prices mean higher cost of everything. Food. Clothes. Utility bills. Just about everything you use requires some type of energy source (which is predominantly oil driven) to manufacture. So close your eyes, pretend, just for a minute, that you too, are a "Student of the Great Depression", and tell me what your analogy is?

Ok. Anyways, off my rant and moving on (it just irritates me, that's all, get serious and get out on the street with REAL people before you start saying everything is just a-ok).

So. Deep breath.

GFS, also known as Gordens Food Service, has a single page, dou…

Cuban Bread - easy recipe!

I have a great cook book called Memories of a Cuban Kitchen. Excellent history section and all....

Anyways, we love cuban food and since I don't live all THAT close to Miami to drive to the little cuban dives, I cook it at home when the urge strikes ...

One thing that I love (surprise!) is Cuban Bread. And this recipe is so dang easy ... had I been thinking AHEAD, I would have made this on Sunday for the Cubanos ...

1 pkg yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
6 to 7 cups flour, sifted (do not ask me WHY)

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add salt and sugar, stir thoroughly.

Add flour, one cup at a time, beating it in with wooden spoon or use dough hook on low speed. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough.

When mixed, shape into ball, place in a grease bowl, grease top and cover with dry towel to let rise til double in size.

Turn dough out on lightly floured board and shape into 2 long french style loaves OR round italian style. Up to you :)  Arrange on baking …

Take 10

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In this case, I suppose it really came down to 15 minutes ... as you can see, I started BEFORE I set the timer:


I've decided that I'm actually looking forward to the kids leaving the house so that I won't be dealing with construction paper on this level ...


This is the guest hallway linen closet.  Yes, typically, such a closet would hold linens, health and beauty items, etc. But in this house, it holds pillows, sheets, office supplies and kids artsy crafty crap. Oh, and a box of tax returns (shudder).

As you can see, with kids (mini adults, not toddlers, mind you) the stuff is just shoved around and pulled and crammed here there and everywhere (should have seen it BEFORE all the paper ended on the floor).

So, 15 minutes or so later:


Ahhh, much better. Not perfect, but good enough.

IHOP - free short stack from 7am to 10pm today only

They ask that you make a small donation to Children's Miracle Network.

So. Am I a bad mom for giving my kid a tardy note so he and his friends can go to IHOP this morning before class? Ummm. They will be one hour late (told him he had to be at school by 8am whereas school starts at 7am).

Now before you start giving me the lecture, keep in mind, Senioritis is kicking in full time for the kid. He's a decent student (not perfect, but far better that I was) AND today is the FCAT writing test for those 10th graders. AND the first block (2 hours) is actually 3 hours long today, and its Music Comp.

I think I am a GOOD mom ... I weighed all the pros and cons on this one. So long as he's there by 8am, I'm fine (and he makes that donation) ...