Thursday, November 6, 2008

11/7/08 - What's for dinner?

Yes, I have been feeding my family. Lots of Angel Food items, as usual. As a matter of fact, what I am cooking now is from October and July.

Currently in the crockpot is 4.5 lbs of chicken. I put it in to the 6qt pot fully frozen, added water, and turned it on. Eventually the paper on the bottom of the chicken thawed enough to pull off. I added more water, pepper, salt, and celery that has seen better days. I'll let that cook all day. Tonight I will pull out the chicken and chill the broth.

Tomorrow, I can remove the fat and place in a 1 gallon Ziploc (or 2, we'll see) and freeze for later usage. The chicken I can de-skin (I would have done that sooner if it had been thawed) and debone to freeze in 2-3 cup bags.

For tonight, I had 1 lb dried soup mix bean. I rinsed and quick soaked them on the stove. I drained, added additional water as well as pepper, chopped garlic, celery (that which looked more edible from the above stalk) and bay leaves. I also found a ham bone from the last Honeybaked Ham that was served in this house. I don't know how old it is, but it was in a Food Saver bag and not freezer burned at all.

After the beans have cooked a bit, I'll add chicken boullion, salt, liquid smoke, hot sauce and check for the need for additional seasonings. Eventually I will pull the bone and pick off what ham I can find.

It will be served over brown or white rice (or a mixture, depending on how much I have of either one.

I have leftover apple coleslaw from last night that we can finish off.

Kroger trip

It is currently their $5/10 event. I haven't made my full grocery list as it isn't payday yet, but I decided with enough coupons I could start stocking up on baking goods.
6 cans Carnation Evaporated Milk ($.50/2x3 - free)
2 Betty Crocker cookie mix ($.75x2 - free)
2 Nestle Chocolate Chips ($.75x2 - $1)
1 Betty Crocker cake mix (free)
1 1/2 lbs green grapes (2.05)

OOP - $3.05 (actually, it was a gc)

So, when I took everything out of the bags, it didn't look terribly healthy. But, think of all the money I'll have for real food when the Christmas season starts and I don't have to pay $2 or more a bag for chocolate chips.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Maybe I should get back on this

I started this particular blog with good intentions, then just .......... (falling off the internet)

Then there was a link to it from a coupon update I posted here, and it dawned on me someone might visit. Wouldn't be a bad idea to make a few updates. Plus, I do periodically make a food item someone wants the recipe for, but I never type it in. If my husband wouldn't laugh hysterically at me, I would start taking photos. Maybe I'll figure that in.

I have a few good meals in mind, and really should participate in Monday Meal Planning. Last week I scored some unbelievable deals at Giant Eagle. Over the weekend I did some fabulous shopping at Kroger as well as picked up my Angel Food Order.

Wednesday I roasted a chicken in my crockpot thanks to Stephanie. After we finished the chicken, I threw it back in the crock, added water, and cooked on high for 4 more hours. I chilled the broth and skimmed the fat. I pulled the remaining chicken off the carcass. Sunday it became the base for some udon noodle soup served with dinner.

I'll be back with more meals for this week.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Walgreen's Trip - 9/12/08

I guess feeding my flock and trying to save money can go hand in hand with shopping trips. I have to say I LOVE the Internet. If I hadn't run across Deal Seeking Mom in the newspaper and checked out Tara's site, I would have remained clueless to a number of shopping deals available. With freebies and nearly freebies and register rewards and Easy Saver Rebates and a $10 coupon, I just had to try Walgreen's this week. I'm pretty proud of myself. I didn't buy anything I wouldn't or couldn't use. I did not overstock up on anything. I only get 1 set of coupons in the paper. I'm still really impressed.

I must say creating a spreadsheet ahead of time really helped, although the people behind me in line thought I'd gone a bit overboard and had too much time on my hands. I told one lady the internet helps a lot, so I didn't find all these deals on my own. Any my Walgreen's had all but 1 item I had on my list, so I substituted something else even if I didn't have a coupon.

Buy 4, get $5 back RR
Shout - 2.49 - .75c
Fantastic - 2.49
Windex - 2.49 - .75c
Antibacterial Windex - 2.49 - .75c

Buy 3, get $4 back RR (she rang it up weird so I only got credit for 2 and $2 RR)
Tylenol Cold - 4.99 - 1.50c
Benedryl - 3.99 - 1.00c
Sudafed - 3.99

Buy 3, get $10 RR
Robitussin - 3.99 - 3.00c
Advil - 6.99 - .75c (100 tablets w/bonus 24)
Dimetapp - 3.99 - 2.00c

Visine for contacts - 4.49 - 3.00c (All You), 2.00c (ES)
Tylenol - 3.49 - 1.00c
Speedstick B1G1 3.99 - 1.00c (plus each had a travel sized stick)
Pert Plus - 3.79 - 1.50c - 3.79ES
Chex Mix (2) - .99 - .60c
Crest Pro-Health toothpaste - 3.79 - 3.79ES
Lypsyl Lypmoisturizer - 1.99 - 1.99ES
Revlon Nail Color - 4.79 - 2.00c - 4.79ES

$10 off $40 purchase
Final cost - $36.86
$17.00 Register Rewards
$14.66 Easy Saver

I then purchased -Huggies Pull-Ups - 11.99 - 2.00c
Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash - 4.49 - .75c - 4.50RR
Hershey candy bar - 1.00 (needed 1 item to offset number of coupons)

Rolled $10.00 RR
Final Cost - 5.84
$4.50 Register Rewards

Not too shabby. The cashier (who I was VERY nice too especially since the coupons didn't all want to ring in right) was very impressed, and she said she doesn't impress with coupons easily. Now that I've been through a major purchase like this, I know I could do things differently. I could have pulled the lypmoisturizer from the first purchase and not needed the candy bar, or still bought the bar and used 2 RR. No biggie. I'm also glad I knew ahead of time that the number of coupons can not outnumber items.

I think I'll use my RR on kids' toothpaste and some hair things for my daughter.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

9/1/08 - Labor Day Grilling

Labor Day begs to have flame-charred food on the table, and I am happy to oblige. We didn't do much for the holiday. I mean, why Labor on Labor Day when you can take it easy and enjoy the day off.

  • Rib Eyes (from Angel Food) - somewhat thin but they were moist and good and almost shredded with our fork. I took them straight out of the package, not even fully thawed, and had DH toss them on the grill. We didn't even season them. Served with A1.
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, carrot mix (also from Angel Food), microwaved and served with champagne vinegar
  • Parmesan Spinach noodles from Aldi

Once again, no leftovers.

Monday, September 1, 2008

8/31/08 Its Skyline Time

Tonight was Skyline night. I admit, I used a can of Skyline chili and didn't make my own. For the uninitiated:

4-Way -
red beans
shredded cheese

Remove beans and it is a 3-way. Add diced onions and you have a 5-way. Don't forget the hot sauce!

Since we never eat all the chili, we have coney dogs too. Boil hot dogs, serve on bun with mustard, chili, cheese and finely diced onions. Top with hot sauce if desired.

8/30/08 - Grill Night

I found some hamburger patties in the freezer, so I decided to grill. Hamburgers with cheese, pickles, tomatoes and other condiments, canned baked beans, coleslaw.

Apple Coleslaw

1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup raisins

1 1/2 T oil (I used 1 T vegetable and 1/2 T walnut oil)
2 T red wine vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cracked black pepper
1/8 t red pepper
1/8 t garlic powder

Whisk dressing ingredients well and pour over salad mixture. Stir well and let set in refrigerator 2-4 hours.

8/29/08 Calzones

Friday night is (almost) always calzones and pizzas. We used to order pizza in, and while I miss that sometimes, I have found it is WAY cheaper to make my own. Also, everyone gets exactly what they want, and I can make as much dough as I need. DH and I get loaded calzones, and the kids get little pizzas.

Here's my basic recipe. I used about 1 cup whole wheat flour because I ran out of white flour. I may need to add a bit of gluten to get it to rise more, but no one complained. It helps we normally eat whole wheat bread.

1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups flour -- or more if needed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
oregano, garlic powder, Italian seasoning -- to taste

Place all ingredients in breadmaker according to your machine's instructions. Make
on dough cycle.

When finished, remove, roll into a ball and let rest covered in olive oil coated bowl 30-45 minutes on counter or up to overnight in refrigerator.

Separate into 3-4 pizza sized pieces of dough, 5-6 calzone sized, one large Stromboli, or whatever form your family likes to make pizzas. Bake at 425' with whatever toppings you prefer until golden brown - approx. 6 minutes for a pizza and 12-15 for a calzone.

I also make this in my Kitchenaid mixer - place water, yeast and sugar in bowl and
let proof for 5-10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix with dough hook 15
minutes or so. Form into a ball, coat mixer bowl with olive oil, roll to coat and
cover with plastic wrap. Proof in refrigerator 2 hours to overnight. I let it
rest at room temperature 15 minutes or so to make the dough easier to work with.

Friday, August 29, 2008

8/28 From the freezer

Somedays I'm not so creative. Last night was the first gymnastics class, and next week I think I'll use the crock pot. So, we ate out of our Angel Food order for August.

En Cor salisbury steak and gravy (surprisingly good)
instant mashed potatoes (because I couldn't figure out how to start potatoes cooking while I was out)
Frozen spinach with champagne vinegar
Slice tomatoes (we got A LOT from some friends on Sunday)

We had no left overs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

8/27 Impossible Taco Pie

I love to make Impossible Pies. One - they are tasty, and Two - if I can get the kids excited about dinner because they get to eat "pie", then bonus. Here's one I came up with trying to beef up an Impossible Cheeseburger Pie. DH liked it so much its the main one I've been making.

1 lb ground beef (or venison, in my case)
butter or olive oil for browning
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 T dried onions
1 T chili powder (to taste)
1 T cumin
1 can beans (red, kidney, or pinto), drained
1 cup shredded cheese (mexican, cheddar)
3/4 cup Bisquick
1-2 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375'. Brown ground meat in butter or olive oil in skillet. Add salt - cumin and stir well.

Spray 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray. Add meat. Top with beans. Sprinkle cheese over top.

In bowl, mix Bisquick, egg and milk (because I have a deep dish pie pan, I use 1 1/2 times the recipe). Pour over cheese in pie pan.

Bake 25-35 minutes or until firm and browned. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes to set. Cut into wedges and serve.

Side dish was chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, celery and carrot drizzled with salt, pepper, garlic powder, 1T olive oil and 1T red wine vinegar. Mix well and chill.

8/26 Beans and Rice

Another crock pot meal. I don't normally use it 2 days in a row, but I am sometimes too lazy to put it away, so I mind as well use it. I'm also not a crock pot-ter in the summer, but we've had some cooler days which, to me, lend themselves to crock pot meals. You'd think I'd use it more when its hot, but I don't. Maybe next summer.

Again, I had a variety of foods from Angel Food since pick up was last Saturday. I make another version of this as red beans and rice, and will post next time I make it.

1 lb mixed beans (I had a bean soup mix that was mainly great northern, kidney, pinto)
Water to cover + 1 inch
bay leaf
cracked pepper
crushed garlic (or garlic powder)
minced onion (or dried onion)
Worchshire sauce
hot sauce
liquid smoke
2 carrots, cubed
2 sticks celery, sliced

Rinse and soak beans overnight (I like to do this in the crock pot). Drain excess water and add pepper, garlic, onion, Worchshire sauce, hot sauce, and liquid smoke. Cook on High about 6 hours or until beans are tender. Add carrots, celery and salt, as well as additional hot sauce if needed. Cook on warm 2 additional hours (or more)

If the beans seem watery, keep cooking on high but partially remove cover to allow excess water to evaporate.

Serve over rice and add additional hot sauce to taste.

Again, served with sliced tomatoes.

8/25 - Slow Cooked Beef Ribs

Based off a recipe I pulled off For the original recipe, click here.

3 pounds boneless beef ribs (from Angel Food)
salt and pepper
3 T dried onion
1 1/4 cups beef broth
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocktail
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 T garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder

Place ribs in crockpot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In 1 1/2 qt saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour over ribs and cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. These will fall off the bone.

I remove 1 cup of sauce, skim, and serve as a gravy over mashed potatoes.

Also served corn and sliced tomatoes.

Why food for my flock?

Well, I have to feed a hungry family of 6, that's why. And I love to create recipes, but I'm not so good at recreating those recipes. I'm also on a fixed income (aren't most people, unless you work on commission) so I have to get the most bang for my buck.

I won't say I'm the best at finding food deals, since that is what I visit a number of other blog sites for. But I'm not too bad at putting that food together to something more than edible on the table. At least, most of the family doesn't complain!