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Showing posts from May, 2012

Budget Time!

I've been having a rough time with the budget lately ... meaning that it needs to keep being tweaked.

Partly because I'm taking responsibility for my dad (which um, apparently, I'm not quite as responsible as I thought ... completely blew off the May payment on his Social Security payback stuff) ... and partly because I am just so VERY out of sync with my normal, day to day life.

So the other day, at the OFFICE, no less, I tweaked my budget.

And according to that spreadsheet, I should STILL have some money leftover at the end of the month.

Really? Really. And it's not all that tight, trust me.

Just a side note: I've been reading (slowly) through Dave Ramsey's Money Makeover book on the Kindle ... I am maybe only 40% through it ... but it's all common sense for the time being. I was really thrilled that I possibly have HALF of the emergency savings plan up, but then I read that all creditors should be current. I am usually current and up to date. Somehow, a…

Soups On!

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I know...it's summertime! Trust me, I'm well aware of it ... but I'm still wanting soup here and there.


I got home from work on Monday and it was a little after 6pm. I skipped the gym, but Hubby had went ... so I had time to myself ... original plan was to make Cobb Salad ... but I saw this when I opened up the fridge:


Not sure what happened, but basically, I had a slight hissy fit. Yeah. It was the foil pan with the tin foil collapsed because SOMEONE tossed stuff on top of it. Ummm...don't ask what was in the pan, you will find out tomorrow ;)

So ... while I tackled this "small" project, I decided to toss the stuff together to simmer while working. (NOTE: anything that holds massive amounts of food should never be considered a small project).

This recipe comes from an Everyday Food issue ... Martha Stewart ... and it's pretty tasty ...



1 carton of chicken broth
4 cups water
2 tbs chicken bouillon
1 tbs grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 to 1/2 t…

Menu Plan Monday - Week 21

Heh....did you all notice that I totally blew off Menu Planning last week? Week 20 of 52 no less? Good grief.

It wasn't "so" very bad ... but yeah, there were times I was wondering what I was going to have.

Thankfully Hubby came to the rescue a few times during the week, making a chicken and egg noodle dish for next door and pulling a little aside for us, slapping a few burgers together and grilling them, whipping up some leftovers ... he really is a good guy, I suppose ;)

So this week, what with the holiday, funeral and just over all festivities, I'm late getting it posted but here it is:

Sunday - Dad was over for the day so Hubby made him BBQ Chicken (on the charcoal grill), corn on the cob and baked beans

Monday - pool day for me and girlfriend and leftovers all day long. We also experimented with these pina coladas in a bag finally ... yummm, but headache-y

Tuesday - Cobb Salad

Wednesday - balance of leftovers

Thursday - Taco Salad (I will need to get buttermilk…

3 Day Weekend and a Little News

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Not a whole lot of anything special planned ... I will bring my dad over on Sunday so he can watch the Indy 500 in comfort ... Hubby wants to make him some real bbq chicken and corn on the cob to enjoy too .

But first, Saturday afternoon, we have to go to a funeral.

My neighbor Joan passed away on Wednesday.

She survived throat cancer all those years ago.

Then  recovered very nicely from the removal of her kidney.

Then went through 3 months of chemo and radiation for 5 days a week, 3 months straight for lung cancer.

Got a break from all that stuff.

Was told after 3 months that it had spread. To her bones. They wouldn't (couldn't?) do anything until she gained a little weight.

We did a few things here and there. But I've been 'busy' dealing with my dad and the usual LIFE things so not as much as I should have.

Had no idea it was as bad as it was as she didn't tell me, or anyone.

But 2 days after I spoke to her, I saw her husband out…

Happy Hour Friday - Martinique

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Hubby was in New York last week and got to stay at the Martinique on Broadway ... lucky guy ... he really enjoys that trip every year when he makes it for this annual meeting.


Anyways, he was sitting at the bar in the hotel with a few other guys, and somehow, he got the recipe and texted it to me. Nothing like texting your wife a drink recipe from 5 states away, huh? That's love....

It should be noted that I am NOT a rum drinker ... the only reason I have rum in the house is from my girlfriend, Chatty. She dropped some off for the air & sea show weekend to make Pina drinks (which we didn't because it rained the day we planned and the whole week was a washout) ... and then there is the Siesta Key stuff in the freezer that she dropped off a few months back


So, I'm not sure just what JAMAICAN rum is, or what the difference is ... but I can certainly recommend the Siesta Key stuff ...

And YES, I did use the text and made the drink ... first with plain ole rum, and then I …

Baking Soda to the Rescue

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Ready for a pretty nifty, frugal tip this fine Saturday? Well then, read on!

I've been tossing pots and pans as I go along since nothing irritates me more than a rocking pot or a skillet that sticks like crazy. Not to mention, I am officially TEFLON FREE in the house, at long last.

Which of course, does cause 'some' issues ... pans that get pretty gunked up during the cooking process.  And you know, I'm the one that does kitchen sink duty, every morning, and every night. 

A light scrubby with a sponge didn't show much improvement on this pan one night, so I dug out my favorite standby ...



Baking soda.

Yes, it cleans. It cleans REAL GOOD.

Get the pan wet and drain excess water out. Sprinkle a little baking soda in the pan. You don't have to load it up, I used a very minimal amount.



Let it sit, oh 30 seconds. I am not known for my patience when doing dishes.

Take a scrubby pad, or in my case, a sponge with the one abrasive side and gently clean in circular motion.





That p…

A Simple Shrimp Dish

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I have no other name for it, sorry!

As you know, I'm on a small Grocery Challenge this month, and well, all things considering, I think I'm doing ok so far ... but of course, Hubby has been out of town the past two weeks so we shall see how it changes when he gets back ...

In the meantime, I'm also TRYING to get these freezers cleared out ... I just don't understand it! No, no, I'm not 'complaining' but yes, I suppose maybe I am!



So when I came across this recipe, I immediately fell in love with the picture ... and then the SUPER SIMPLE list of ingredients. Awww, yeah, we can do this.  And heck, I have a few bags of shrimp in the freezers so ... I'm in!

But of course, I had to stop at the store to get me a chili ... which brings me to the next point:

Are all chilis created equal? No, they aren't. But heck if I know the difference from one to another...I need to go google a guide and see what's what ...

So here you have it, without further ado …

Freezer Tip - Pasta!

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You all gotta know that I am just dyin to get a freezer cooking session under my belt, but short of losing the power for a week where everything MUST be used or tossed, I just don't see that happening in my near future.

Trust me, I am NOT complaining about the amount of food in the freezers, just the lack of space which is inhibiting me from giving this freezer cooking a try.

So I have to make do.

And I've discovered the art of freezing cooked pasta.

Yes, indeed.

What a HUGE time saver this is for me! See, for whatever reason, it takes a good 20 minutes to get my water to a boil (at least!) and then the 10 minutes or so of cooking. JUST FOR THE PASTA. Plus it makes the kitchen pretty dang hot and steamy, and in case you've forgotten, I live in PARADISE, where it's hot and steamy already.

Heh. I've got to tell you, this is Brilliant. With a capital B! Huge thank you to Jackie for sharing this tip over and over on her site!!

Cook up your pasta. Ahhh, what the heck, c…

Menu Plan - Week 20

I really need to check the calendar and make sure it really is week 20 I suppose?

I've been sick, and it's not from these, just a general cold that's settled in my throat, lovely, don't you think? And I hate that it seems I just can't shake these things anymore. I've had the sinus issue since mid February ... and probably should have went to the doctor about that, but eh, I hate going to the doctors, plus the last time they gave me antibiotics, I about died (forgot I was allergic as it's been so many years since I've had amoxacillian).

I'm also still trying to keep it Frugal and do the Grocery Challenge ... it's not been so very bad since Hubby has been traveling ... I should be able to stay out of the store this week after my quick stop at Aldis on Monday night.

Anyways ... we must still menu plan ... even though:

Hubby is traveling Tuesday through Friday

Princess is out of town for another 10 days

Sonny Boy is back up in Orlando ...

Which mea…

Happy Hour Friday - Orange Dreamsicles

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Ohh...I loved them things when I was a kid ... we would wait for the ice cream truck EVERY STINKIN SATURDAY and beg my parents for the quarter ... Pushups and Orange Dreamsicles were my favs ...

And even as an adult, if I'm given a choice, yes, I will have the pushup please :-) ... and LOOK, now I found an adult beverage that taste a LOT like a dreamsickle.

And look, it uses the WHIPPED vodka (thankfully as I do not want to drink it straight!) .... so grab that blue bottle of yumminess and get crackin!

2 oz whipped vodka (Pinnacle is what I have but I thought I saw another brand putting it out now)
2 oz orange juice (um, personally, I HATE pulp and would strongly discourage it in a cocktail)
2 oz lemon lime soda (I used sierra mist as that's what I had on hand)
splash of grenadine





Umm....easy. Add ice to a large shaker or glass. Pour in the ingredients. Stir or shake (I personally am a shaker so I shake)

Strain into tall glass with ice. Garnish with slice of orange and cherr…

Steak Salad aka Asian Beef Salad aka Evil Jungle

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I call it a Steak Salad because, well, because it has STEAK in it.



Others call it an Asian Beef Salad because it has soy sauce and sesame oil in the dressing, making it an Asian type dish.

Then the Evil Jungle? Well, that's from Houston's which is WHERE I got the idea for this lovely, all time, must have lunch/dinner and hey, even breakfast once. (Evil Jungle is very very spicy with a Thai undertone to it and mangos and avocado slices to offset the spiciness. I've never been able to replicate 100%)

My steak comes from Costco, and it's in a bag, already cooked, ready to serve. Um, yeah, I know. But it was $12.99 for 2 lbs COOKED and caught me at a weak moment, ok? I had so many visions of what to do with it, and I still may try the others ...



It says NO MSG. That's a good thing, right? Don't see any corn syrup there either. And the list of ingredients starts with BEEF (thankfully!) and ends with dehydrated garlic with 11 ingredients in between, for 13 total. Th…