Showing posts from July, 2017

Grocery Shops in Review

Hubby's out of town and I had to hit up the store on Friday night and Saturday morning ... needed a few things to finish up the Meal Prep with Friends event I had on Saturday. FYI - the word friends should be singular as it was just two of us but that just doesn't read right!

Trader Joe's - July 21, 2017
Total Spent - $128.38
*I actually have a video posted here!*

"8 gallon" insulated bag $6.99 (why are TJ's bags my downfall??)
Frozen veggie fried rice $2.29
1 pound jumbo shrimp $9.99
Bottle of rose wine $3.99
2 4 pks wine (in cans) $4.99 each (one white one rose)
2 boxes of angus beef burgers $6.99 each
2 40 oz bags of frozen b/s chicken thighs $6.99 each
2 mac & cheese boxes $2.99 each
3 pk frozen brown rice (cooked) $2.99
3 bags of riced cauliflower $1.99 each
Bag of almond flour $7.49
3 pkgs of pepperoni $3.29 each
2 dozen large eggs .99 cents per carton
2 large avocados $1.69 each
2 cans of Matcha Green Tea .99 cents each
Truffle cheddar cheese block $…

Debt IS An Emergency!

Let's face it, I am NOT the most ideal person to be telling YOU how to handle your money.

I only share what I do and what works for me ... it's obviously not the same for you, or you, or my neighbor, my sister, my best friend and so on. BUT what I do know is this:

And yes, I did make that the biggest font that blogger would let me use.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that what works for me or your best friend may NOT work for you ... but as long as you remember the big bold blue words above, you will find what does work for you.
I've been having a few issues lately that I've mentioned ... Hubby has been out of work for over 18 months. We call him semi-retired because we were banking on selling the house fast, paying off the mortgage and reducing our household expenses by 50% if not more. 
Ahem. That has not happened just yet. Like really not yet.  I came home today, on a MONDAY no less to a $600 quarterly homeowners insurance policy being due …

Chicken Crust Pizza - Grain/Flour Free!

Hey! Are you ready for a new to ME recipe?

One that would be gluten free, grain free, low carb, keto?

Not so much Paleo (cheese baby) OR Whole30 (just because!)

How about just good and different?? That works for me!

Me and a girlfriend planned a cooking session for Saturday afternoon since Hubby was out of town and I was on a mission to use up some protein from the freezer (we are looking to get new appliances in the main kitchen to up the house sale-ability and will get rid of guest kitchen fridge/freezer, move the main kitchen fridge over there) ... I have 4 pkgs still of ground chicken that I scored a while ago from Target so why not have this to just play around with? So many things changed and I ended up making this on Friday night (just me, the cats and that lonely can of sparkling wine from Trader Joe's) while I pre-cooked some bacon. I'm glad I did as it was so stinking good! Yes, I will share a piece with my girlfriend in the middle of our kitchen session!

Here's …

Meal Prep With Friends

Friends who meal prep together, stay together.


Hubby's out of town for another 10 days so I asked a girlfriend of mine if she wanted to come over during the weekend and do a little cooking session. I don't think she quite understood what I meant by that.  She just heard, Jan's cooking, a few yummy things and yada yada yada.

And to make life even sweeter? I was using protein (meat) that is already on hand to clear out the guest kitchen freezer ...


I made a list of a few things to make and shared with her by email. A couple of suggestions were things I've made before and enjoyed and figured she'd like for some future lunches and dinners ... and there were a few things I've had on my list of things to try that finally, maybe, I could get around to!

First up:

Mexican Beef in the Instant Pot

Yup, roast was in the freezer and the balance of stuff in the pantry (tomato paste from freezer as you really should be freezing the rest of the can when y…

Paleo Mexican Beef in the InstantPot

I have a girlfriend coming over this weekend to do a little cooking together and meal prep work ... she's not much of a cook and is always intrigued by the stuff I make so why not make it a group effort? This is on the plan!  
I hope you are breaking out the  InstantPot and CrockPot a little more often because it's quick and doesn't heat up the kitchen!

I mean, seriously, what other reason do you need?  Oh ... yeah, it makes some pretty good food too!

Yup, lunch at my desk was pretty exciting! I had this with riced  cauliflower and green beans ... yummm
So ... this recipe comes from Nom Nom Paleo ... same place That Damn Fine Chicken came from ... and a few other recipes to be shared very very soon as well!


It seems that beef just does not go on sale much any more so the last time I went to Costco, I just bit the bullet and picked up a big hunk (actually 2 hunks in one package) of beef and tossed in the freezer with this recipe specifically in mind. It was still $4.9…

Crock Pot Pizza - Low Carb - Keto Style

Ok, ok, let's make ONE thing clear ... I am NOT a low carb girl by any means. I AM aware of my grain and dairy intake and well, traditional pizza just totally blows that right out the door.

I'm also really into the crock pot cooking stuff, which is WHY you get another version of a pizza, MY way ;-)

Yup, I LOVE pizza ... the sauce, the gooey cheese, the pepperoni, the seasonings ... they all just sing to me!  I just don't particularly care to ingest the dough (don't get me wrong, I LOVE THE CRUST!!!) as I always seem to have major digestive issue after eating pizza and I already know that flour stuff doesn't help my hands at all ... so I'm always looking for another way to get those yummy flavors and make my tummy somewhat happier as well!

Look at that 'crust'!
This recipe came through Pinterest, of course, and a site called Recipes That Crock ... I spent a lot of time browsing once I got there so make sure you have a few minutes of spare time when you li…

Grocery Shop Review

You probably don't know this but I've not been inside a grocery store since Hubby came home ... crazy, right? He's been a few times but me? Nope!

I made up for it though on Saturday. Hubby was running to Target so I went to Publix (in the same shopping plaza) since we were trying to save time ... sadly, he should have come along as I spent more than I wanted.

July 15 - Publix
Total Spent - $153.04

Blackberry / Cucumber LaCroix $4.39
Cherry / Lime LaCroix $4.39
2 cartons of Vita Coconut Water $3.34 each
3 containers (single serve) yogurt $1.00 each
Small bottle horseradish $1.95
4 bags of Caesar Salad mix b1g1f $4.09 x 2
1 pound container mushrooms $2.99
Zucchini $3.03
2 pkgs of sausage crumbles $3.00 each
Large container spring mix salad $5.99
3 bottles cold press coconut water $3.99 each
4 Digornos pizzas $5 each
2 bottles of Almond Milk/Cold Brew coffee $4.99 each (Califia)
Jug of OJ $3.34
Half of a spaghetti squash $2.86
Bottle of ketchup $3.59
Pkg of pepperoni $6.17 (s…

Menu Planning

Hey hey, it's that time of week again! Meal Prep and Menu Planning time!


Yeah, I'm excited ... not!

Hubby heads out of town again on Tuesday morning, bright and early ... I'm trying to convince him to take Uber for a the $10 or so it will costs as opposed to ME getting in the car at 5am and driving him there ... ugh.

I'm also waiting to hear if Princess and her Hubby will be here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night as Matt might need to work on this side of the state for 3 days so that could be fun for me to see Princess again! She's starting to really get her baby bump going and I want to see her!

So with some of the uncertainties pending, my menu plan could change up a little bit but I'm trying to plan it where I can just fluctuate the amount of food cooked ;-)

I did hit up Publix on Saturday while Hubby ran to Target and spent way too much so I'm hoping to hold off on the grocery store til the end of the week!

Saturday - $5 Digiornos' pizza a…

Quick & Easy Creamy Salad Dressing

I love ranch dressing ... and I really love blue cheese dressing ... but alas, I'm trying to watch what I put in my body for health purposes ... so I've been avoiding those 2 dressings since the first of the year ... except those days when I get to go out to my favorite local bar/pub and get a bacon blue cheese burger ... then all bets are off.

But the other 99% of the time? No thank you.

And now, I'm getting a little tired of the great balsamic and olive oil blend that I make quickly every morning (1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, dash of salt and pepper and shake it up) ... so when I saw this recipe over at The Kitch I knew I had to give it a try for something different!!

Original recipe is found here ... and of course, when I made it, I made modifications ;-)

Here's how I did it!

2 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbs mayo (I am back to making it myself again, check it out)
dash of black pepper
dash of salt
dash of oregano
dash of garlic powder…

Mandarin Chicken Salad

I used to love to get the Mandarin Chicken Salad from Wendy's back in the day ... I thought I was being super healthy, you know?

Of course, that was before I learned about reading labels and such ... amazing how something so "healthy" could be so very bad for you.

So ... when I came across THIS salad at My Natural Family not too long ago, I knew I had to give it a try ... and, man, I'm so very glad I did! Talk about an awesome, flavorful salad ... and even better, when I opted to make it at the last minute, I had EVERYTHING on hand so it fit the bill!

*With summertime fast approaching which in my world means Bikini Time, even at the soon to be ripe ole age of 53, I am pulling out my favorite, healthy salad options!

Here's what you need:

2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
head of lettuce (romaine) chopped in bite size pieces (I used one artesian baby romaine head)
1 red pepper, sliced and chopped in bite size pieces
1 large carrot, coarsely shredded
1/4 of a small red cab…

Ranch Style Steaks

Repost Alert ... I've got a few ribeyes in the freezer and hope to be making them come Friday ... been a long time since we've made these!
I still had those 3 NY Strip steaks I picked up at Walmart a few months ago in the freezer.

Not the BEST deal but better than the usual, full price
And well, because I was/am sort of on a Freezer/Pantry/No Spend Challenge this month, I figured now is the time to make them!

I had everything on hand, believe it or not! Here's how we did it!

1 onion, thinly sliced - I had half a red and half a sweet so I used those two!
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced - I used a bag of mini peppers. The whole bag
1 clove of garlic, chopped fine
1 oz pkg ranch dry dressing mix
generous shake of cayenne pepper (depending on taste, not TOO generous!)
1/3 cup oil (I opted to use Avocado oil cuz I have that on hand but original calls for canola oil!)
1/3 cup sun dry julienne cut sun dried tomatoes (pantry stock up from a great deal for $1 each per bag forever a…