Showing posts from December, 2017

Baked Potatoes in the Instant Pot

Technically, they aren't baked, but rather steamed, right?

Anyways ... when Luckys Market had their 8 pound bag of taters on sale for $1.99, you bet I was right there to pick up a bag and use my $5 off $30 coupon. Of course, I spent more than $30 ... I apparently have no self control in a new store.

I did, however, pick up a beef tenderloin to make on Christmas day so hey, $30 of it was for the beef. Pricey little thing.

My original plan was to make these when the kids were around (Hubby was in Indiana) but I also wanted to do it during daylight to snap a few pics ... cuz we all know the night time pics just look horrible. Not that my daytime pics are a whole lot better, but to some degree, they are. I'm working on that little skill, trust me.

So, was I worried about doing this without poking them? A little. Ok, A LOT. I mean, heck, we are putting these things under pressure and they need to breathe, right??? Expand?? Something.

But I went ahead and did it the way the majority…

Grocery Shops in Review

It's been a few weeks, I know!  I haven't been shopping a whole lot which is probably why I felt the urgent need to hit up Costco last week ....

And then I came down with something late Thursday ... not sure if it's a cold or what not. All I know is that I have been self medicating very heavily to kick it out of my system as fast as possible ... that could be why I have a foggy brain? Whatever ... Hubby comes home Sunday night, the Boy and his girl have gone to her parents house and I'm looking forward to sitting on the couch and watching yet another Christmas movie this evening!  I like being alone!


Ok, ok, let's get on with what I bought this week, shall we?

Luckys Market - December 20, 2017
Total Spent - $65.91

It's a new store in town and I had a $5 off $30 coupon. Should have made to trips. Oh well.

Vanilla/Almond/Coconut Creamer $4.99
Mother's Special Body Oil $17.99 (for that pregnant lady)
2 pound beef tenderloin $29.98
chives $1.50

Bite Size Caprese

This year I won't be making the cinnamon rolls ... well, maybe I will, but at this very moment, I don't plan on it ... I should though because I need way better pictures! And my dad would LOVE them, as would the little pregnant girl.

These are a huge hit for parties and get togethers. And they are rather festive for the holiday season which is why I'm sharing them again! 

You need to make sure you make plenty ... I always use one of them 3 pound containers from Costco and we still run out ... so make sure your ready!

Putting these 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 the best prices on this! Just make sure it's pure mozzarella and not stuffed with ricotta c…

Menu Plan and Meal Prep

It's been a while since I've acutally planned a full menu  and then prepped it too!  We've been slacking off ... life has been so very busy and well, let's face it, our eating habits have gotten really bad again ;-(

So. Hubby is up in Indiana (dropped him at the airport on Sunday morning), I went to Costco and stocked up on a few things and then spent a little bit of time cooking a few things on Sunday.  Nothing like I had planned to do but at least I have the green beans and the bacon ready. Oh, and that chicken ... it's ripped apart and in a container in the fridge. Not sure why I just don't like whole chickens??

Anyway.  I'll be meal prepping in the mornings and hoping to stash a few dishes in the freezer for quick grab and go when I'm really busy like I was this last week (I grabbed a sausage/shrooms/marinara sauce with riced cauliflower and it was DELICIOUS!)  My plan is to make 4 servings of each and freeze 2 or 3 of each with the exception of the…

Layered Bean Dip

For years, this dip was a staple at any party we were having.

Crazy that I don't think I've shared it before and like, wow, really??

So here we go.  Afterall, it's that time of year where we start pulling out favorites for all those holiday get togethers!

The recipe is simple and really, you can modify it so many ways. I've added shredded lettuce as a layer to be a tad healthier. We've topped with avocado when they were dirt cheap.

Today, I'm just going to show you the original way we make it 95% of the time ... simple and definitely a crowd pleaser!

1 can of refried beans. I discovered these refried black beans at Trader Joe's!
1 jar of salsa (shelf stable)
1 container sour cream
8 oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese
sliced green onions

First up ... my number one tip? Drain that salsa. You may need to tap into a 2nd jar if its really liquidy.

Spread the beans into a shallow dish.

Dump the drained salsa on top of the beans and spread out.

Add dallops of sour …

Costco Time!

It's been awhile since I've stepped inside a Costco ... I've been trying pretty hard to reduce our grocery spending lately and have been fairly successful so even though this was an expensive trip, I'm ok with it.

Granted, there were a few things NOT on my list that was picked up and a few things that I left behind ... because, you know, Costco is not always the best price on some stuff. ::Gasp!:: I know.

I dropped Hubby off at the airport bright and early, got stuck in a major traffic jam that left me fuming for a good half hour after I got home ... I just needed to chill out before I headed to Costco ... the Boy was here so he came along with me for the ride which is probably a good thing in that he keeps me from straying down those random aisles ;-)

Here's what we got:

Kirkland Paper Towels $15.69
Kirkland Toilet Paper $15.99
4 pack variety of Ziplocs $13.59 (season print, was the cheapest)
152 count Tide pods $29.99
2 pack Crest White Strips $39.99
Gatorade $14…

Christmas Crack Candy

I'm sure everyone has seen this recipe out there ... but when one of the attorney's gave me the recipe to try I decided to do it.  Because, hey, we had that boat parade party and I was trying to do it within the budget this year.

So I made it with modifications.

I had everything on hand EXCEPT the crackers. I mean, who has saltines readily available?

Oh. Apparently a lot of people do.

I didn't.  I planned to head over to Aldi to pick up a box for what I'm sure would only be around 79 cents or so.

But that trip never happened, so instead, Publix it was.  This box cost me $2.09 if you can believe that. Whatever, I was on a mission here ...

Let's get crackin, shall we??

1 sleeve of saltine crackers which equals about 35 to 40
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
sprinkles galore

Crank up the oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking tray with some parchment paper and give it a good spray with some non-stick spray.  Lay…

Warmed Spinach Dip

I shared the Cold Spinach Dip that Hubby loves earlier .... and now, I want to share the WARMED Spinach Dip that I love!

Yeah, we don't agree on which one is better. They are both really good!

This is the stuff that you order as an appetizer at some of the chain restaurants ... you know, for like $12.99 or so? I don't, not any more because after I learned how to make this stuff (and hey, it does NOT have cream cheese in it, ok? That's just WRONG) I made it every other weekend for like, 6 months. Then we weighed ourselves and realized that perhaps, this should not be a bi-weekly type of snack ;-)

Instead, we started making it for special occasions, like the Boat Parade Christmas Party.

It's great the next day when you are little hungover too (um, not that I'm planning on that this year).

Here's what you need ...

1 jar marinated artichokes, drained
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup Romano cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzar…

Chilled Spinach Dip

I'm a big fan of the warmed spinach and artichoke dip, but Hubby prefers the cold one and especially served in a bread bowl (!!) so of course, I do try and keep the man somewhat happy and occasionally cater to his wants ;-) Then I realized, that even though it's fairly common, some of you out there in blog land may not know about the simplicity OR at all!

So, here you go ...

and if you want updated pics, go check out this post instead
... so easy to make!

Because I only make this when we are entertaining and sometimes our parties are large, the last time I made this, I doubled the recipe and that's how it's shown:

2 boxes of frozen chopped spinach, thawed (Aldi - 99 cents this time around)
2 cans of water chestnuts, drained and chopped (I can never find the chopped ones in store)
2 cups of mayo (I do NOT use my homemade stuff here, Hellmans is the least it's gluten free?)

2 containers (16 ounce) of sour cream (I use full fat…