Showing posts from February, 2017

Saving Money This Week

We just hosted the wedding reception for Princess this past weekend and well, let's be honest, there was a lot of green soldiers marching out the door for a few weeks prior to that!

Tents. Chairs. Tables. Linens. Paper goods. Food. Drinks. Decorations. Flowers. Champagne. Clothing.

The list goes on and on.
Oh and then there was the bridal shower the week before that.  I volunteered the food (no biggie, Costco run, about $100 with tons of leftovers) BUT then all the girls wanted to come back to the house to see Poppy (Hubby) and the dress and drink some more champagne (which makes me thankful I keep a supply of good and not so very good champagne on hand, you just never know) ...

Oh. And let's not forget about the birthday night.  Friday night before the bridal shower was a good friend of mine's birthday celebration so a few of us girls went to her house and sat on the lake, sipping wine and champagne and eating good things until about 1am. I spent as much for a card as I di…

Chicken and Veggie Stirfry

The very first time I made this dish, we were in the beginning stages of a Pantry Challenge and I was so thankful that my freezers were stocked with some pretty yummy stuff that allowed me to make this for dinner!

Granted, now we eat a little different with purpose to avoid certain things, such as soy, etc. so I've put in parenthesis what we do now ...

Here's what you need:

3 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bitesize pieces (Chicken thighs are WAY better)
1/2 cup soy sauce (coconut aminos)
3 tbs sugar (I cut this in half now, just 1 1/2 tbs)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tsp corn starch (or arrow root)
1 onion roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic finely minced
8 cups of wonderful frozen stirfry veggies from the freezer (carrots, broccoli, shrooms, water chestnuts, green beans, etc.)
Sesame oil
Canola oil (avocado oil)

Mix 1/2 cup soy (coconut aminos) with 3 tbs (1 1/2 tbs) sugar in small bowl. Will make it thick.

Mix 1/4 cup broth with 2 tsp cornstarch (arrow root) in another …

Perfect Spring Dinner

I live in South Florida and we pretty much grill all year long. Except of course, when there's a hurricane coming (we do that like the DAY the warning comes out to cook up all the meat 'just in case') ... but I guess because we both grew up in the Midwest, Summertime definitely equates to more grillin' time.

Lately, it seems every Friday, I am making the same thing, which is not to be confused with the same 'old' thing ... because most of us (ahem, with the exception of one boy) enjoy it and we eat it all up.

Chicken and grilled veggies.

Specifically, boneless, skinless chicken thighs AND onions, peppers and mushrooms.

Uh huh.

And if I'm really on top of my game, I go for the skewers ... because everything taste better on a stick, don't you agree? *Now days, I prefer to use these little guys as it's just so much easier ... 

Oh wait, do we need a recipe? Really? Ok. Here it is:

Boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into about 2 inch pieces
Handful of…

Yum Yum Chicken Thighs

I've had this recipe pinned forever and finally gave it a try a few years ago. Yes, YEARS ago ... almost 4 years to be exact. I've been pinning and blogging that long! 

Being that I'm pulling out some good chicken recipes for the month of February, I felt that I needed to put this out again and yes, I am making it too!

Yum Yum Chicken Thighs!
And I followed the recipe pretty darn close ... and realized, when I was about to bake it, it's a LOT like my Sweet Mustard Chicken recipe ... but that's ok ... any recipe that works out well is always a GOOD thing :-)

So here's what I did ...

2-3 lbs chicken thighs, boneless/skinless thighs (I've been stocking up on these WHENEVER I see them marked down at Walmart and freeze them as soon as I get home)
a little less than 1/2 cup of dijon mustard 
a little less than 1/4 cup maple syrup (the real deal) 
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbs cornstarch
2 tsp fresh rosemary

So, she's pretty damn specific…

Peach Vodka Seabreezes

We just had a bridal shower for Princess and then this coming weekend will be the wedding reception for 65 ...

Held in our backyard 
Ok, so not necessarily a 'big' deal as we've hosted large groups before, but this time around is a tad different in that it will be a little more formal.

As in: tents, chairs, tables, linens, food warmers and so on.


We are making most of the food ourselves with a few shortcuts (which I think maybe I should do a post on this soon!) ... and opted to do beer, wine and sangria with a pre-party toast for close friends and family (Dom Perignon for $93 on clearance at Walmart Liquor Store, of all places!). Then Princess was like, well, maybe we should have ONE signature drink ... so fine, this is what we are having, my little Princess. I've been gathering up gallon water jugs for the past few months to make the sangria but now need to set a few of the jugs aside to premake these!

Now you know, I make these fairly often with Ciroc because that…

Simple Corn Salad

You know that we watch FoodTV on Saturday and Sunday mornings, right? I mean, really, doesn't everyone have a tv in the bedroom AND kitchen??

Ok. Maybe not. But you should! This recipe was pulled from Trisha Yearwood's FoodTV episode ...

It's like a lot of other recipes I have, but once again, something triggered my attention enough to make me go online and look up the basic recipe ... and here is what we did!

1 can regular yellow corn, drained
1 can white corn, drained
1 small can diced green chilies, drained
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
2 tomatoes, rough chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
4 green onions, sliced thin
3 tbs vinegar
1/3 c olive oil
zest of half a lime (zest your lime before you squeeze!)
juice of half a lime
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs chopped cilantro

Mix all except cilantro in medium size bowl and chill for a minimum of 1 hour.  Prior to serving stir well and add the cilantro.

Now, there are several things you can do with this little gem o…

Chicken Kiev

I love them little Barber chicken things, but you know, 2 to a box and $3.99? wow. That's expensive. Not to mention, the list of ingredients is a little frightening (AND Princess will eat TWO while holding a conversation with you). And they have served a time and a place in my life.

Ahhh....what a safe standby to have on hand (need to try the cordon bleu recipe next!)
So when I saw this recipe (and CRAP I can't find my original link!) I said OH YEAH, I'm so putting that on the menu! Fortunately I have everything on hand (except fresh tarragon, not even sure if I have dried, but will improvise) since I've put myself on an extremely reduced grocery budget for the month of February.

So, here you have it, the way I did it in this neck of the woods! Just a note: it did not look pretty, my buttery goodness all leaked out because I sort of cheated by using big chicken breast and slicing in half then pounding. Ummm, yeah, you should just use FOUR breast and pound them out. Next …

Chicken Marsala

I have a love hate relationship with Pinterest lately. Do you have any idea how many NEW blogs I've found that are dedicated to cooking?? AAAAAHHHHH

If I continue, I could be the size of my house, which is NOT small.

*I know, I know, I really need to redo this picture ... it's a hot mess*
So anyways.

Today's feature recipe is brought to you by Savory Sweet Life and is an easier chicken marsala recipe.

I, of course, double it because: a) we love leftovers and b) if it's really good and we don't have any leftovers, there will be repercussions and c) we love leftovers ...

Shredded Salsa Chicken

Happy Valentine's Day! 
We've kind of left the Instant Pot alone for a few weeks and I just felt like I needed to bring it out again ... so what the heck, let's make a super simple meal, shall we?

Just a little inside scoop: Hubby has used the thing MORE than me ... he's become the designated cook lately and well, he doesn't always follow the directions and we've had a few flops ...

Back to an EASY meal that only uses a few ingredients.  All you need is the following:

Tax Time!

For once, I have filed my taxes in February!  Yes, February 12th to be honest!

I'm one that generally waits til March, mid March to start the process and then normally hit submit around April 14th because we've had to pay the past few years.

This year, I was a little more excited and yes, a tad apprehensive, as well, since our life changed in 2016. We became a predominant single household family with lil ole me being the primary bread maker of the household.  I was actually surprised at how much the income all added up to (with that little side gig I've got going on in the evenings and the two raises I received).  And of course, there was the concern about the capital gains for the year as we had withdrawn a little from our portfolio for a few things in 2016. Not a lot, but enough to have to make a claim on the gains.

We've been very conscientious in watching each one of our little green soldiers to make sure they stay in line with our financial plans and goals and I b…

Buffalo Chicken Salad

I had the Food Network channel on in the background Sunday while I was shredding cheese and carrots for a soup I'm making this week ... and the Pioneer Woman was on ... need I say much more?

Side note: I prefer to read her blog instead of watching her. I don't know what it is but I wonder if I'm the only one? Just watching her takes away some of the mystic of living on the ranch with kids and cowboys, dogs, cows and horses ... but I'm glad she's on as I'd never have caught this recipe!

I suppose I should take a new picture and make it pretty, huh?
So really, it's easy. Stupid Easy!

Heat 3 tbs olive oil and 3 tbs butter in a medium size skillet

Once melted, swirl around to mix a little and dry off 4 thin sliced chicken breast. Salt and pepper both sides and put in pan. *I've done this with chicken tenders as well*

Allow chicken to brown on first side and then flip over to cook other side. Because they are thin, they will cook fast.

Once cooked, remove chicken t…

Chocolate Pots of Gold

*This is a repost from last Valentine's Day and I'm so excited to be making this AGAIN this week!*

I've been working out this week and hope to God I can stand and stir for as long as I need to when making this as my arms are like JELLY ... 9 Rounds is the place I've been after work. 30 minutes, full on cardio/muscle confusion with bags, dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls. I have a love hate relationship with the place but for 30 minutes I am huffing, puffing, sweating and hyperventilating ... and I feel great! It's actually motivating me to be more conscientious in EVERYTHING I do, from my water intake to food intake to what I'm doing during my "down time".  I boxed about 5, 6 years ago and loved it then and was in the best shape of my life and have not been able to find another place that had a great workout like that ... this place is FINALLY it! For those of you who are giving reasons for NOT working out (I'm one of them), just go. Do it.…