Showing posts from March, 2012

Update on the Pineapple Upside Down Martini

Over here, I shared the recipe for this fun sounding martini but it didn't have the wow factor I was looking for ... so I wanted to retry it again this past Friday.

I did, and WOW!!

Vanilla vodka gives it the OOMPF that I was looking for. Wowee.  So very good that I just made a batch for tonight's dinner party with one cup of vanilla vodka and once cup of pineapple juice, tossed in my reusable water bottle, shaken and tossed in the freezer.

Ummm, after a 'few' of these on Friday, I just tossed the skewer and dropped 2 cherries and 2 pineapple chunks in the bottom of the glass...definitely made the red pop!

NOTE: I bought the Smirnoff brand of Vanilla Vodka, because there weren't very many options and I wanted the least expensive one since I'm not sure what else I'd use it for ... I believe it was $10.99 which is CHEAP in my opinion for Vodka (and just a side note, no hangover, unusual for cheap vodka for those of you who want to know!)

Uh, yeah, I'm hoo…

Happy Hour Friday - Pineapple Upside Down Martini

I made these last weekend, just one. It didn't knock my socks off because:

a. I didn't use vanilla vodka, big mistake
b. the pineapple juice is unsweetened and I like sweet things.

This weekend, I'm picking up a SMALL bottle of vanilla vodka and doing a remake ... you should too!

3 ingredients, way too easy ...
Of course, found it on Pinterest and the video is pretty cool so I highly recommend you watch so it shows you how a PROFESSIONAL bartender does it.

Me? I'm a simple girl who likes to entertain at home, so I do it different!

Here's what you need:

1/2 ounce grenadine  (see the canning jar there? I MADE MY OWN ... watch for recipe)
2 ounces pineapple juice (no sugar added!)
2 ounces vanilla vodka (redoing with vanilla vodka!)
If you have, cherries and pineapple chunks for garnish

Pantry staples in this house

Pour the grenadine directly into your martini glass

Pour the other 2 liquids in a shaker filled with ice.

Cap the shaker and shake, shake, shake, shake, shak…


One of the key things about being frugal is the ability to improvise.

Well, sort of ...

I planned on making a little veggie and chicken stir fry ... I had some chicken that I was thawing and was going to use up some of the frozen veggies from the mammoth bag taking valuable space up in the freezer ...

But I ALSO had some chicken and gouda sausages that I took out a few days ago ... (didn't happen, didn't cook anything last week, not ONCE)

And mushrooms I picked up on Friday to do shrimp skewers (see comment above, didn't happen).

And a red pepper that was bought to do the oriental cabbage salad thingy ... it's starting to go squishy in areas (again, see above, DID NOT HAPPEN).

AND the rest of a LARGE onion (I only needed a little bit for the Chicago Dogs) that was seeping fumes into the fridge through it's plastic bag ...

Ahhh...what the heck, lets just fire up the grill and cook it ALL.

Yes, I knew it was 8pm on a Monday night.

Put chicken breast in the shoe b…

Chicago Style Hot Dogs

It's bad that whenever we go to visit family in the Midwest, (Chicago to be exact), the first thing Hubby does is start looking for a hot dog stand ... all he wants is a Dog. Chicago Style. Even my kids, the pickiest one of them all, enjoys them. Not sure if it's the sport pepper or what ...

Heck, even I like them and they have mustard and relish on them! Two things I don't particularly care for!

So we try to recreate things that we like at home ... and of course, these are pretty dang easy. So much so that when Princess had to contribute to a "Food Tradition" project at school her senior year, this is what she took ... (we added green food coloring to the relish to make it brighter green and cut the dogs and buns in half)

Here's what you need:

Dogs ... these need to be a good quality dog. This time around I used the Oscar Meyer Select Chicago style dogs. I like these as they don't have a whole lot of extras in them!

Buns - squishy white buns. If you can…

Menu Plan Monday - Week 13

It's going to be a rough week around here, I fly out next week to bring my dad back to Florida on Easter Sunday ... in the meantime, I need to be crunching numbers, checking out assisted living facilities and making phone calls with regards to Medicare Part D (I think he will be able to sign up since he's moved to another state) and Veterans Aid and Assistance benefits (they will apparently HELP with the cost of assisted living facilities in certain instances). If these two things are positive, I will be able to put my dad in a GOOD place. And I will be able to sleep easier.

This past week, I didn't make one single thing on the menu. NOT ONE. I didn't make dinner ONE time. Seriously. I think I finally ate dinner Saturday after my girlfriend and I got back. Hubby made some burgers for us, and I chowed. I know that dealing with stress means EATING but honestly, I can see how people just say they can't. I couldn't for 5 days. Booking the flight Saturday somehow to…

Freezer Updates

This is so late in happening, I'm almost ashamed to even post the list on MARCH 18!

Good grief. It was suppose to happen at the first of the year to kick start the Year of Zero ...

Of course, when I started doing this, just like that I REMEMBERED the deep freeze at my dad's place ... I never even looked in there. Oh boy.  He seems to think perhaps my brother and wife were tapping in and removing stuff ... I hope so!

Anyways ... here's what I got started so far:

Guest Freezer:

14 bags (2cup) mozzarella cheese
2 bags of Tabasco pulp
2 OM Black Angus hot dogs (these are pretty much the ONLY dog I will eat now)
OM Chicago style hot dog
2 bags (1lb) key west shrimp
2 lb bag (open) large key west shrimp (shell on)
cheddar cheese (2 cup)
2 gallon size ziploc of red sauce
3 (1cup) parm romano cheese shreds
40 ct egg rolls
4 pkgs pineapple meatballs (I'm the only one that will eat these)
2 bags brocolli (smaller bags)
3 1/4 lb bag of cooked chicken strips
2 pkgs b/s chicken t…

Menu Plan Monday, Week 12

It's that time again ... time to root around and see what we have to eat this week!

Actually, we have a lot. I was doing SO VERY WELL for a while there, and well, these past 2 weeks I've been quite a grocery shopping machine. Uggg.  I spent a few hours on Sunday organizing two of the three freezers and all I can say is WOW we have a lot of food. Seriously. A LOT. I need to commit to avoiding the grocery stores for at least a week, skip the whole $20 a week thing PERIOD.

I also believe that Sonny Boy may be coming home for a few days this week ... his girlfriend is needing to get some service hours in at a school (she is getting a teaching degree) so she doesn't want to drive by herself so he will probably drive with her.

On to the menu plan....

Sunday - wanted to make homemade pizzas BUT as Hubby pointed out, we have leftovers which was this lovely mushroom sauce he made Saturday. For the record, he is horrible about following a recipe but the end results were stellar and …

A Food Saver, Canning Jars and Lettuce

When I was clearing out the trailer for my dad, I came across so many gadgets. Ninja Blender. Magic Bullet. Some funky steamer thing. Hand mixers. Just a bunch of different things. I got rid of all of them to Goodwill. No, I didn't want them ... they had not been taken care of and I do not think I would have wanted to spend the money to ship them to me back home. A VitaMix, well, maybe I would have splurged to ship THAT but alas, didn't find one of THAT.

I did however, nab the Food Saver. I've been wanting one for a LONG time but just could NOT justify the cost of buying one. I cleaned it up and THEN found 3 food saver containers. But no hose. So I kept cleaning ... came across 3 boxes of the bags, one was a food saver brand the other 2 are different brands. AND finally, I found the directions ... and the hose! Sweet!

Awhile ago, I saw this on Pinterest one day, how to store salads in your canning jars (which reminds me of the 25 or so blue Ball canning jars that I stored …

Why LIFE is good and NO I'm not IRISH!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

This is a repost from 2009 ... sometimes you have to look back on things and realize that for all the bad things that happen in life, good things will generally come of them! This year marks 10 years ...

Today is a big day in our home for a totally different reason.

7 years ago today, on a beautiful South Florida sunny Sunday, my life changed forever, as did my husband, my kids, my close friends, and our family. See, 7 years ago today, my husband and his best friend decided to take the Harleys for an afternoon cruise to Miami and back. No big deal, they’ve done it before, many times.

After the ride, we were all going to have dinner at their house (my best friend is the wife). So we head over there around 10am. Of course, hubby wears long jeans, a nice t-shirt and sneakers.

As they get ready to leave for their ride, unbeknownst to me, he tried on several different helmets to find one that fit his head comfortably. His buddy also gave him a different…

Hot Browns

When we were doing the Louisville thing for Hubby's hand reconstructive surgery, we decided, for ONCE in our adult life, to play tourist ... and went to the Brown Hotel to have...

Hot Browns.

Glorified Open Face Turkey Sandwich
And then I was on a quest to recreate these things at home, because a) Louisville is quite a ways away from south Florida and b) they had to be fairly simple to make (really, just a glorified open face turkey sandwich) and c) it would be an excellent way to use up some leftover turkey after Thanksgiving ...

So I finally made them. And they were so all that and more!

And I'm jonesin for one in the very near future ... so just to torture myself (and YOU), I'm reposting ... and by all means, you don't have to wait for the Kentucky Derby and get out a fancy hat to enjoy! Which, by the way, is usually a pretty special weekend in my house: My BIRTHDAY; Cinco de Mayo, and the Air and Sea Show all typically fall around the same time ... so I never really w…

Happy Hour Friday! Espresso Martini

Last Friday I was DETERMINED to try and get back in to the swing of things and I REFUSED to be sick anymore!!

So here's what I choose for my Friday night poison:

Espresso Martini(s)

Figured one, maybe 2 and it turned in to 4 because each batch filled up the martini glass 2 times ...

1 part (shot) espresso vodka (double espresso Van Gough)
1 part (shot) Kahlua
2 parts (shots) iced coffee (strong brewed)

Add ice to shaker and add all ingredients.

Shake and then strain in to a martini glass and serve. 

Really easy to make. I made the coffee in the Keurig using the middle size to brew. Tossed the glass  of coffee in the freezer to chill for awhile before making (probably an hour or so?).  I already had the rest of the ingredients on hand from the proposed Christmas Party that didn't happen (mom passed away) ... so it stayed within my self imposed "Frugal Guidelines" (post coming soon!) ...

These were really yummy. And I need to do it again to give you some pictures .…

Menu Plan Monday - Week 11

It's time for the weekly menu plan!

I'm going to try and avoid the grocery store this week (even though there are some good deals right now, I just need to say NO) ... so using what i have on hand and improvising as needed ... helps that Hubby and Sonny Boy did a run to Costco for me on Friday ...

We also have a few leftovers to eat up so that will help out for after the gym a few nights this week ... thankfully since I am going to try and get FOCUSED.

PS - YES I do know it's St. Patrick's Day on Friday ... it's also our 10 Year Life Celebration (10 years ago Hubby had a near death motorcycle accident, definitely life changing)

Sunday - I really wanted to make Chicken Parmesan with pasta, garden salad and garlic bread (going to use these new Fresh Take things from Kraft, got them for 50 cents each) BUT reality set in so we had leftover brats and sauerkraut

Monday - mashed potatoes with beef brisket (leftovers!)

Tuesday - Tuna Melts (need to put up MY review!) with…

New Feature!

Look up, see that new page heading: Blog Hops and Link Ups!?? Or you can click HERE and bookmark it!

Yes, I'm trying to make life a little easier for all of us :-)

That there is the start of what I hope to be a thorough list of blog hops and link parties that you can easily access and link with ...

Of course, I put the reminder rules of the road there too as I know that some of the blog Hostesses are getting a little weary of trying to correct the link ups ...

Do you host a Blog Hop or a Link Up Party? If so, shoot me an email at frugalinflorida @ Please give me the name of the Party, the day it opens AND the web address and I will get it added to the list.

I am still working on adding links. And have a feeling I will be for quite some time!

What do you think ... will this help you out?

One Word: FOCUS

This is the one word in our household that Hubby utters and everyone will just roll their eyes normally.

FOCUS. Which means, to him, PAY ATTENTION. Usually, it's not a flattering thing either, meaning spacing off, spilling something, whatever.

However, I've made a sign and hung it on the refrigerator.


I need to stay focused. I've wandered off the path a bit and need to get myself out of the trees/clouds and back on solid ground.

Which means, I must FOCUS.

Focus on my money.

Focus on my chores.

Focus on my job.

Focus on ME. Yes, I will also focus on my family, but I think at the moment, I need to focus on ME to find out what made me stray off the path that was so well marked. What tempted me to take the left instead of the right? And what kept me from jumping back on the clearly marked path when it was right in front of me?

I know the answers to those questions, deep down inside. I just need to focus on correcting it!

A Trip to Costco

Hubby and Sonny Boy went to Costco Friday, without ME. I gave them a specific list, my Costco card and a few coupons.

They spent FOUR hours there. O M G.

They did good in getting everything on my list, I THINK ... and a few other things were picked up (5 lb brisket which Hubby is making for Saturday night dinner) ...  EVERYTHING was put away by the time I got home, neatly and I really had to do a quick peek here and there to see what was picked up ... I appreciate that they did this and even though I LOVE COSTCO I'm sure it was good for them to do something like this together!

Sonny Boy scored a big container of protein whey, double pack of peanut butter and double pack of nutella. He's happy. I sort of laughed that everything was protein based. Oh well. He also said the Almond Milk he drinks is $7 for a 3 pack, whereas, it's normally about $5 for ONE at the store. So I need to see if I can't get him a membership to use at school.

So a few things I need to do:

Divide a…

Updated Ranchy Steaks

I posted over here a few months ago about the Ranch Marinated Steaks. They were good. We've even made it with chicken.

But sometimes, you just feel the need to do it again, DIFFERENTLY.

So Saturday, we decided to invite some friends over and make these again. And this time, I mixed it up a little AND took pictures (sort of)!

Here's what you need:

These were BEAUTIFUL steaks and I couldn't resist. Window shopping for beef is highly discouraged!

4 decent size boneless ribeye (luckily, I had some and then Publix had them on sale for $7.99 a lb - sad that is a sales price, huh?)
1 bag of smoked dried tomatoes
1 large onion, cut in half and then sliced
6 to 8 mini sweet peppers (more or less), cut in quarters
2 packages dry ranch powder dressing
2/3 cup canola oil
generous dash of cayenne pepper

Dump the ranch dressing and cayenne pepper into a shoebox (IF you want to be like ME). Add the oil and whisk to combine.

I love the shoebox!

Add veggies, mix to coat well. Add the steaks…

A Plastic Shoebox

Is such a useful thing to have in the KITCHEN.

Yeah. It's not in the closet holding shoes (I'm sorry raise your hand if you store shoes in a plastic shoebox please, I need to know!)

On to the purpose of this post (which has NOTHING to do with shoes!)

Jackie Brown over at Mom On A Mission (great site for freezer foody stuff by the way!) turned me on to this little trick.

Thaw your frozen foods in a plastic shoebox to prevent that condensation on you refrigerator shelf.

Huh. Brilliant.

Bet you never thought about that. Probably did what I used to do and put the stuff on a plate that was never big enough, bag hanging over the sides, dripping water (hopefully that's all!). Or maybe you wrapped that package of meat in a towel to prevent water and such from leaking out ...

Yeah. That's all over now. Plastic Shoebox. $5 for 4 from Target over the summer. Better yet, scrounge one from Princess when she tosses her shoes (umm, yes, she's one of them odd ducks that does store…


This is a repost:

Living in South Florida has certainly exposed me to more foods than living in the small town in the Midwest. One of the things that surprisingly enough I love, is the pork sandwich, cuban style, or, Cubanos. These have things that I normally do NOT care for in eating, such as mustard and pickles (bleck) but I can, and do eat them in a Cubano without a second thought. That says a lot, trust me!

This is a great way to use up leftover pork ... but in my case, I almost always make sure I have extras so I can make Cubanos ... and using the paninni press from Aldi's made it even better!

Loaf of cuban bread (or french-I used this, italian, whatever hearty stuff you have)
cooked pork. sliced thin
cooked ham, sliced thin
pickles, sliced thin (I used hot and spicy dills)
swiss cheese (or any other cheese you have on hand)

Such humble beginnings to create a great sandwich!
Cut bread in half and then open up long ways. Lay flat and butter the outside of bread.