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Showing posts from January, 2016

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

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Ha ... I didn't step foot in a grocery store ONCE this week! Score for me!  Hubby and the Boy did, however, but spent way less than $20 ... they got milk, bagels, ricotta cheese and a few other things ... otherwise, that was IT! *I did hit up Walmart Neighborhood Market this morning, but that goes on for next week*

It's the last day for the Pantry / Freezer Challenge but I think we will still continue onward ... it's been kind to our checking account and wallets and we are starting to make room in the freezers and pantry.  As we are now ready to list the house (starting out with For Sale By Owner) in the next week or so, we need to stay focused on eating down what we have which apparently is still quite a bit! ;-) I will admit, we don't have any ground beef left (that I can find in the freezer) so I have been buying that whenever I step in a store ... Taco Tuesday would be rough ... although, I do have ground chicken and ground turkey to use still ... 




So, since NO Groce…

French Onion Soup

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*This is an all time favorite of our household ... and even better is that it's Pantry / Freezer Challenge friendly! Score!  AND since we are having our official COLDEST TEMPERATURES IN A YEAR (low of 44 predicted for those out west!) and a lot of you are dealing with ice and blizzard like conditions, I figured now is a good time to share this again!

Gosh ... I look at the bottom of the recipe printout and see that I've had this since late 1998 .... wow!

I've made this specific recipe a few times, but then I get distracted with a newer recipe and try that ... and ALWAYS have to listen to Hubby ask why I don't just stick with the first one I have... he's right.




So, Saturday, it was a nice, sunny, BEAUTIFUL day, high of around 86. But the nights are getting a little cooler, and this morning it was 72 when I went outside at 8am ... hence, it's FALL TIME in Paradise, time to make soups!

The sprinkler dudes were here making repairs, and since they were digging up in the…

Grocery Cart Sunday

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This past week had FOUR stops! Certainly made up for last week, I guess. BUT I’m thinking, I’m missing a stop somewhere, maybe from the previous week, where I picked up cauliflower, broccoli, etc. from Aldi … but I can’t find my receipt nor do I see it on any of my other posts … so I’m going to throw a rough from memory number out here! I mean heck, I even had a picture from the 18th WHICH was that Monday ... 


The Pantry / Freezer Challenge is coming along pretty well … the freezer is actually viewable and you can see what’s in there. The main kitchen is also coming along. I need to work on the guest kitchen freezer and get it cleaned up and organized. It’s just a jumbled mess right now, but Hubby is doing a great job in using what we have without going over board (he has a tendency to feed an army, not just the 2 or 3 of us) …
So, here’s where we shopped this week:
One day, not too long ago, Aldi (Monday, the 18th, from the picture date)… picked up a bunch of veggies and spent abou…

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

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Whenever I write or say we are having chicken for dinner, I always feel the need to say "Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner" ... as corny as it is ;-)

BUT ... I gotta say, sometimes that little line is spot on, you know?

So I thought, heck, let me put together a list of my FAVORITE 10 chicken recipes ... afterall, Aldi does have them chicken breast on sale for $1.49 til Tuesday (the 26th) so you better run if you need to stock up (we are on a Pantry / Freezer Challenge and Hubby is doing a stellar job of using what we have, so no stock up for me this time around ... it will happen again!).

Here you go:

1.  The Juiciest Chicken Ever ... I like to serve with green beans on the side and it's great as leftovers with a BLT Inspired Salad


2.  Chicken Piccata


3.  Chicken Marsala


4.  That Damn Fine Chicken


5.  Sweet & Sticky Wings


6.  Tuscan Garlic Chicken


7.  Aussie Chicken


8.  Chicken Pizza - Sort Of (this is the latest chicken concoction I've made and so ready to make it a…

Very Berry Smoothie

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*This is a repost from January 2013 (!) and Hubby was wanting to make it as he's sick now and we've discovered that coconut water helps with dehydration and leg cramps (surprise!) so I figured why not share it again! Plus it's Pantry Challenge friendly in that we have both items on hand!

Berry Berry Easy to make ... 

Very Berry Smoothie ... 

Easy Berry Smoothie ... 

Berry Easy Smoothie ... 

You got the point? ITS EASY TO MAKE A HEALTHY BERRY SMOOTHIE ... 



Yup. That was shouting! Sorry, but I'm so happy about this ... 

See, I stopped doing yogurt and dairy products, for the most part. Imagine that, ME, the huge cheese freak, has given up CHEESE for the most part ... after I took out the nachos and pizzas, cheese just doesn't play a big role in my life anymore ... 

And most smoothie recipes have yogurt or milk. Sure, I could make my own almond milk if I really wanted to but I've not gone there ... so I still wanted something simple ... 

Enter .... 



1 cup of frozen mixed be…

Chicken Pizza - Kind Of

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I have no idea how I came across this recipe on Pinterest, but it's been hanging around for a while and with our Pantry Challenge underway, it was PERFECT that I had everything on hand to make it one night this week!


Now, granted, Kalyn does call it a "Low Carb Pizza Chicken Bake" but I just can't do call it low carb ... although, it does NOT have a crusty base like you'd expect ... and I will say, it was really tasty ... I'll be making this again real soon!

The beauty of this is that it can be a very inexpensive, a/k/a FRUGAL, quick meal if you shop right! All this can be bought at Aldi's this week for a little less than $5 right now if you don't have ANY of the ingredients...I had everything on hand, thankfully, but it's nice to know that a quick run will get me what I need without spending a whole lot ... of course, I must keep my blinders on and not look to either side as I zero in on the ingredients needed ;-)

I'm still just amazed at how a …

Menu Plan Week 160 - Using What We Have - Paleo / Whole30

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Hey hey ... it's Monday and I'm a day late ;-)

That little flu bug made his appearance this past week ... was feeling off for a few days and then bam! 2am Friday morning he decided to make his announcement! Wholly crap did I feel bad. Poor Hubby ... he was a little besides himself wanting to do something to make me feel better yet he really wanted me to help him with a few projects around the house. Uhm, hello, it's Friday and I called in sick which I rarely do! So my 3 day weekend moved in to a 4 day weekend, although none of it was fun at all but I did do some little things around the house (decluttered, cleaned, laundry, and so on) ... I'm just glad it's Monday night and fingers crossed that the fever broke this afternoon during my emotional breakdown ;-) Yes, a tear or two was shed and I just felt horrible for about 45 minutes ... all better now ;-)

Not a whole lot of grocery shopping this past week (well, today, Monday was a whole different story, but that'…

Dump Ranch Dressing - Whole30/Grain/Dairy Free

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You know when you make something and it just totally knocks your socks off? The joy of it all??!!

Well, this here Dump Ranch Dressing knocked my socks off and I am so dang excited to share with you all!



It's Whole30 approved. Dairy Free. Grain Free. Obviously, Gluten Free!

And easy easy EASY to make!!

This recipe is totally from Whole Sisters and I give them FULL credit ... this is just me saying I made it, I loved it and I want to share it with the world!! Give the girls a drive by and check out their site, it's chock-full of good stuff!

Here's how I made it

egg, room temperature
1 tbs lemon juice, room temperature
1 cup olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
handful of parsley, leaves pulled off and stems discarded
dash of dried dill



Grab yourself a tall jar and make sure your immersion blender fits in the top ;-) I speak from experience! Place everything in jar, insert your immersion blender a…

Pressure Cooked Spaghetti Squash

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For Christmas this year, I bought myself an Instant Pot Duo Pressure Cooker from Amazon during a big sale they were having. I think it was priced at $78 or so and I had a credit and a bunch of gift cards so I applied all and paid $16 and change.
Yeah. That was a deal.
Of course, Hubby was NOT thrilled with anotherbulky gadget coming in the kitchen and even though it was very inexpensive, he felt I could have done something different, besides buy another "gadget" ... ho hum .... blah, blah, blah.

So the box sat under the tree, unwrapped until AFTER New Years.  Then the tree was relocated outside and the box was moved to the other side of the room.  That Saturday evening, Hubby brought the box over to the kitchen, opened it up, grabbed the instruction manual and started reading.
We made pork chops and cauliflower that evening in the Instant Pot. It was good and pretty neat, although, we will both admit, a little scary ;-)  Hubby freaked when he released the pressure as he wasn'…

Week 159 Menu Plan - Whole 30 / Pantry Challenge Using What We Have

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Hey hey ... it's that time of the week again!!

The Pantry Challenge is coming along fairly well as Hubby has been in charge of the dinner plans, for the most part. I tell him what I have in mind and he goes and rummages around to find what he needs to prepare same ;-) So far, so good, mostly!

Last week had 3 stops at 3 stores ... the Aldi shop sort of set me over the edge. Only because the boy was with me. There was a comment about the ground beef being $5 for a little over a pound ... it was 93/7 fat ratio and actually a lot cheaper than other places BUT still, did i need 4 packages (during a pantry/freezer challenge)? NO, I did not. Nor did I need to buy THAT much salad stuff (2 heads of iceberg, 1 head of butter, 2 pkgs of organic mix) ... and I just need to start thinking smaller and remember that lately, it's just the 3 of us eating around here, not 6 :-(

Meal prepped a little for the week ahead: made mayo, a batch of ranch dressing (new recipe and this one is even BETTE…

Grocery Cart Sundays

I don't know why, but I love to read what other bloggers are buying at the grocery store.

Yeah. I guess you could say I'm obsessed with food ... but I 'think' I have a healthy relationship with it ;-)

So, with that said, I thought, what the heck, I'll try to share my weekly grocery trips ... and if everything is going according to plan, you would even get a picture or two ... but of course, things don't always go as planned ... so a picture or two may, or may not, be included!

A bonus for me to share weekly is to keep my grocery budget in check (hopefully!) *My goal for 2016 is $100 per person, per month. That's $300.00 a month, based on my household right now.  That is strictly food, not paper or cleaning products or cat stuff. I need to figure out how to add in the additional visitors, friends, family members that frequently come for dinner and happy hours ... but that is my intended upcoming budget! Oh ... and currently, I am doing a Whole30 to boot in Janu…

Week 158 Menu Plan - Whole 30 and Using What We Have

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Hi Hi! First menu up for 2016!!

So ... we've got a Pantry Challenge AND Whole30 underway ... AND back to a single income household again ... the challenges will just be lining up this month it looks like!  That's ok, I'm ready for it, bring IT ON!

First up: Pantry Challenge.  Aiming to only buy produce stuff. Well, and eggs too. Gotta have eggs ;-) ... figuring around $30 to $40 a week but not going to sweat the monetary amount as much as the actual items that are bought.  Reason being, besides saving money, is to eliminate some of the stockpiled stuff we have on hand so that when we are finally ready to sell and move, I won't have all this food to relocate.

Second: Whole30. Does this need explaining? I may have overindulged a bit for the holidays.


There may have been a few cookies there too ;-( All that adds up to major inflammation in the hands, bad skin, bad attitude, and yes, bad weight gain. New Year. New Me.
Third: Single income household. Hubby was let go on th…