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Showing posts from December, 2014

Costco Time!

I had stopped in at Costco's a few weeks ago at Hubby's request ... imagine that!?

Of course, I was only supposed to be picking up things for the party but I also had my own little Costco list going ... you know how I love lists!!

It was a big trip. Bigger than I had anticipated ... I've resigned myself to the fact that I need to make Costco a CASH ONLY store as it seems to be my budget blower lately ... 2015 Resolutions, here we come! Either that or learn to make do without going there .... sad, sad day folks!

Keep in mind that i put back the 3 bottles of my favorite champagne ... the price was just a tad over $40 and it was $5 less than the cheapest price I've seen this season)

Here's what I picked up ...

2 pkgs of baby romaine lettuce @ $4.29 each
bag of organic sliced apples (8 pk) $8.79
bottle of Santa Margarita $17.89 (one of the cheapest prices I've seen in a while)
2 trays of cheese slices for crackers @ $11.39 each
2 pkgs of 3 pack english cukes @ $3.9…

New Cookbooks

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I'm so excited ... I got FOUR new cookbooks for Christmas ... well, actually, only three, as the 4th is Hubby's but I scooped it right out from under him to look at :)

There "should" be lots of new recipes coming your way soon, HOPEFULLY while I attempt yet another Pantry/Freezer Challenge in January ... I need to get a handle on the pantry and freezers, seriously!

So here's what I got:

1.  Against All Grain, Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker.  Um, yes, this was on my wish list and the Boy spotted it ... sweet!



2.  Nom Nom Paleo  Food for Humans by Michelle Tam. I love her website, most of the time ... the cookbook looks to be laid out fairly simple ... I'm excited to dig in and really read some of the recipes!

3.  The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka ... another great website and actually, I'm enjoying the book so far in review!


4. Cook's Meat Book ... this is Hubby's. I actually bought it for him at Costco but held off looking at it til C…

Menu Plan Week 104 - Using What We Have

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Here we are, the home stretch of 2014. What a year it's been, huh?

I used to look back and think of all the things I wanted to do but didn't, and then I realized that it was the equivalent of brain bashing ... so this year, I'm not going to do that ... instead, I will think of all the cool things we did and accomplished ... after all, I'm trying to focus MORE on the positive things in life!

So ... with the last few days coming in for menu planning ... I have some great ideas for the year on the menu ... for Christmas we got 4 new cook books that I really excited to try out ... (come back Monday for the post showing what we got!) ... and I'm even more excited to know that I have quite a few of the ingredients on hand already for the upcoming self imposed pantry/freezer challenge for January (yup, it's on, yet again! Stay positive!) ... I think my number one goal for the new year is to wake up New Years Day without a hangover so I can start off on the healthier e…

Frugal Activities #38

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Oh my ... it's been a LONG time since I've done one of these posts ... definitely need to get back on schedule and be more accountable, don't you think?? ;-)

I'm hoping everyone had a Merry Christmas ... and to be quite honest, I'm glad it's over ... I've had such a busy schedule since before the week of Thanksgiving ... but all in all, it's been fun, if a little budget busting ...

Has it been a Frugal week or two, you ask?

In some ways, yes, in others, not so much!

Here are some of the Frugal Activities we've done ...

1.  Ate all my breakfast at home, 90% of my lunches were made at home and about 80% of our dinners were eaten at home. Not bad at all.

2.  Menu Planned for the whole month ... didn't necessarily follow the plan but I can be rest assured that we have plenty of food on hand to feed any lost souls that wander through the house...

3.  Used my Winn Dixie Fuel Rewards to get 60 cents off per gallon. This gave me a gallon of gas at $2.49…

Bite Size Caprese

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I'm glad its over and even happier that everyone cleaned up and put their new found toys away after we were done opening all the gifts.

After devouring some cinnamon rolls, we cleaned up the kitchen and Hubby got busy with the turkey breast and hunk of beef ... I ran to pick up my dad which was an hour round trip ... 

When I got home, I prepped these little guys. Seriously, so simple to make and such a hit with all people and tastes!  I had made these for the boat parade party and they were the first thing gone ... and I had over 3 lbs of grape tomatoes that I had used ... whew!



Putting them on a toothpick and making them seriously bite size is so much better than the whole sliced tomato ... much easier to eat and way less messy!

It's easy to do, and makes a pretty presentation on top of it! Gotta love that!



Package of grape tomatoes, rinsed and patted dry
mozzarella balls, cut in half (technically called Bocconcini or Ciliegine - Costco has…

Menu Plan Monday - Week 103 - Using What We Have

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I didn't get to the grocery store ONCE last week until Sunday morning! Amazing!  And the only reason I even went then was because I needed milk to make the Broccoli and Cheese soup (no, it never got made during the week!) .... and even better, I stopped at Aldi's and got everything I felt I needed ... spent $80 which was more than I had anticipated but picked up a "few" things outside my list.

With that said, I think I'm going for a non-disclosed pantry challenge in January. Heck, I've got food stuffed in every nook and cranny of the kitchen cabinets, pantry and freezer. It's not even funny anymore. I should be thankful, I understand, BUT the clutter and disorganization is driving me nuts and makes me rather crabby when I'm trying to cook because I can't find that bottle of whatever that I just KNOW I have ... so yeah, January is going to be my kitchen declutter month, food wise.

I hope you all have your Christmas shopping done ... I do, I guess. …

Menu Plan Monday Week 102 - Using What We Have

Well ... I just noticed on Thursday that the post never posted! So, here it is!

The holiday season is in full force and effect around here!!  We had our Christmas Party on Saturday, and even though we put a time frame on the invitation this year, the last person left around 2:30am ... making it a very very long day and night for this hostess.

We went through a lot of food and still have plenty leftover for some quick meals this week, thankfully!

I'm hoping to avoid the grocery stores this week ... thinking only thing we will need is milk ... fingers crossed that I can make that happen! *Thursday ... so far so good!*

Here's what we are looking to make this week:

Sunday - leftovers - lasagna, caprese salad and green salad. Feeding 6.

Monday - soup and sandwich ... will make a Broccoli and Cheese soup using the leftover fresh broccoli (from veggie tray) and cheese (from cheese tray) ... sandwiches will be using leftover rolls and leftover lunch meat (from meat tray). Balance of s…

Cinnamon Rolls - a Christmas Tradition

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The recipe originally comes from The Pioneer Woman ... and I've been making them every year for the past 5 years ... of course, I had to count on my fingers and remember key events to get to that number of years ... really, FOUR YEARS??

They aren't hard to make either ... I mean heck, if the Pioneer Woman is making them ... you know that they are GOOD and EASIER than most recipes ... gotta love that about anything!

I started making these on Christmas Eve one year, and it just became something that everyone expected ... and since I love that people LOVE when I make something for them, I'm always happy to bring out the flour and hop to the baking ...


I still have a HECK of a time getting rolled tight, but probably because I really really load them up with the filling. Which is what makes them so good, I think.

I also use brown sugar instead of white ... so there's my one noticeable difference in the recipe...give your self 2 days to make these as you can toss the dough i…