Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cooking Secrets from Me

The secret to making Annie's organic macaroni and cheese taste yummy in spite of the fact that the sauce is different from the Kraft stuff is to add only butter. Use half a stick of butter and no milk. Ignore the directions, be a rebel. It's tasty stuff.

Make grilled cheese with PAM. I know I've shared this before, I might even have posted a picture of it. The fact is, it works and you can even use spray olive oil or vegetable oil. Sure, butter is yummy but it's a bit on the greasy side.

Make breakfast from scratch every day because it's healthier and delicious and cheaper than using boxed cereal. My friend Emily makes crock pot oatmeal using steel cut or whole oats (not rolled oats) molasses or honey and raisins. YYUUUMMM

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fondant Cake

I've been experimenting with Fondant. Here is the first one I made
And this one was just a leftover slice of cake that I decorated

And this was supposed to be something else, I'm not even saying what it was supposed to be because The future of the free world depends on me not admitting that I am such a terrible fondant artist. No offense, sir.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rose Petal Tea

This is one of my favorite Summertime Recipes.
1- go outside and pull all the petals off of your roses. Not the beautiful ones; the ones that you should probably cut off but can't bear to just yet because they still look good from far away.

2- put them in a strainer and rinse them with cold water

3-put them into a 1 gallon pitcher and add 1/2 cup sugar

4- pour 1/2 gallon of hot water over the petals and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes

5- pour it all through a strainer again to catch the leaves. if you're having trouble with little floaties, use a coffee filter to catch them.

6- fill the pitcher the rest of the way full with ice and stir until the ice is almost melted.

See if anyone can guess what flavor it is.

BONUS- add a few sprigs of mint to the petals, yummm

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Pot Roast

Saving a fortune with this whole coupon thing, but honestly I haven't cooked too much. here's what we had for Dinner tonight

Pot Roast- I seered the roast with an entire onion, sliced- caramellized and then slow-roasted it all until the meat just fell apart. Shredded it up and used it with boxed stroganoff mix instead of ground beef.

Tomorrow at lunch I'll be mixing it with some hot sauce and making burritos for lunch. Hmmm- I could do a homemade BBQ sauce, too for loose meat sandwiches. Oh I love Beef, so Why am I thinking about the macrobiotic diet?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thanks, Nichole- you rock!

I've been chronicling my coupon adventures (or lack of adventure) here on this blog, but I do realize that so far this story (which isn't over yet) doesn't have anything to do with food. Except the milk.

So- my friend Nichole calls me this morning because she knows I am a failure at the couponing game, and she tells me about this Walgreens deal. You buy 4 suave products (buy one get one half off) and the register prints a $6 instant rebate. The shampoo is $5 so you make $1. Fine if you do it once, but even finer if you do it several times. So I did it twice today and I'm going back later tonight to do it again. The $6 won't be discounted if your purchase isn't $6 so when you go back through it's not like you get the $1 back, you have to make a purchase bringing your total up to $6 So I got milk. Total out-of-pocket $7.74 Total gained so far- one $6 rebate coupon, and 1 gallon of milk and 8 suave products. I'm going back for more. AND- I'm bringing my coupons. This ends Saturday I think she said- and it only works onthe bottom shelf suave, I got tangerine, ocean breeze & coconut. With 6 daughters, I go through a lot of shampoo. Thanks, Nichole- I will be saving some Hershey's Bliss for you:-)

Hershey's Bliss. Thanks, so much!

I'm having a Hershey's Bliss House Party soon. not soone neough. Hersheys (bless their chocolate-loving souls) sent me like 9 huge bags of hershey's bliss chocolate (3 dark chocolate, 3 milk chocolate and 3 with meltaway centers) to distribute at this party. Plus, a bunch of purple pens (I love purple) and grocery lists, fridge magnets, cocktail napkins and gift bags. Do you have any idea how hard it's going to be waiting until the party to gobble them up. And then sharing, I have to give these away? My friends are lucky people. And So far the dark chocolate are my favorite.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Clipping Coupons

I wish i had her passion for the project. Instead of becoming an awesome grocery saver, I have becomes a big stupid idiot who constantly pays too much at the grocery store and knows it. Oh how I long for those dark ages when I didn't think I could do it. I didn't feel stupid not doing something I didn't know much about but now that I know there's all this knowledge to be had and skills to gain, I feel like I am slacking. Learn it. Figure it out. Make it part of your life. Why is this so difficult. If she can do it, so can I

Quick Grilled Cheese

I took this picture forever ago and just barely found it. This is Olive Oil Spray. it is so much faster to just spray the bread on one side, stick ti in the pan, add cheese, and another slice of bread and then spray the top. It makes a yummy grilled Cheese, without using Butter or margarine. Butter costs a fortune, and frankly, it's a pain in the a$$ to sit there spreading it all around with a knife. Same thing with margarine, and with margarine there's like hydrogenated fats to deal with. Just spray it. if you're concerned about CFC's (are they still using those) you could get that Pampered Chef pump and spray-thing and make your own but I just use generic Safeway brand olive oil spray. Unless I have a coupon that makes another brand cheaper.

And here's a mom-of-six-kids tip. Set your oven to the lowest setting and don't serve anyone their grilled cheese until it's all ready otherwise the kids will be eating at different times and lunch eating will take an hour instead of 15 minutes and that whole hour will be chaos.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Teriyaki from scratch

I checked because I've heard so much buzz about it. I loved the recipe I found for a baked chicken teriyaki. It recommended thighs, MrH doesn't eat anything but white meat, so I used boneless, skinless. It came out delicious. We had it with steamed Broccoli and fried Udon noodles. Loved it. Will definitely make it again. I'm thinking it would be good with Beef, I wonder if I could crockpot it.

Thank God for Women

Aren't women awesome. All over blogland, women are sharing things that work in their lives, so that no matter what the problem, dilemma or issue is, all you need to do is shout out the question, and you'll find women who have answered it for themselves, and are willing to share.

Major point today is the Grocery Gathering. This is women who have cracked the whole couponing code, and successfully organized their Grocery store sale ads with all forms of printable and newspaper coupons, coordinated everything altogether and are posting it each week for MY benefit. And yours, if you choose to allow massive savings into your life. And it's such a communal effort, too. Each grocery store chain is represented by a different blogger, so I can subscribe to the feed from whoever handles my stores (Safeway & Albertsons, in case you wondered) It's a lot easier than scouring the boards at (the first couponing place I found, that's still good for finding specific coupons, but not exactly as easy as this whole grocery gathering thing. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Coming Soon- Free Coffee

My coffee sample from Jamaica something will be here.............I hope it's as good as the Coffee Fool............I'll let you know

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Junior Girl Scout Cooking Badge

M1 planned a slumber party to earn a Girl Scout badge. They had to plan a restaurant, set the menu, the prices, and everything. There were nutritional requirements, the meals had to be balanced. They added a lot of creativity; I'm thinking I should scan the menu and post it. They looked up the words 'bold girls" in French and named their restaurant whatever that ended up being. They did the cooking & preparing of foods, setup the house with 4 tables and when their families came to pick up the girls, they got to sit down & dine in my house. The girls took turns being waitresses, too. Here are pictures of the action

Monday, March 10, 2008

From The Outer Edges of the Grocery Store

Someone recently pointed out that shopping at the edges of the grocery store is better. It made sense; the Produce section, the bakery, the Deli, the Dairy and the Wine is all located on the outer edges of my grocery store. I realized that I don't buy crackers, cookies, canned goods, frozen goods, boxed goods, and bottled goods very often unless they're staples (whole grain flour, sugar, cooking oil, chocolate chips...) I made a mental note that it was good wisdom and moved on. Today, though, I came across this article:

Grocery Shopping from the Perimeters

Using organizational skills and shopper savvy when you go grocery shopping can keep you healthier and wealthier!

Have you recognized that you and your husband shop differently for groceries? Yes, even the scientists at Yale and U C Santa Barbara have discovered that there are vital differences in how you shop.

Inside grocery store aisles, women are as adept as men at steering carts. Men proved to be less adept at cart navigation in the long aisles when they looked for items they'd bought before. Too bad - women were better at finding higher calorie things like pastries than men were.

There's an art and profit motive to stocking grocery store shelves that can work against the shopper who is looking for healthier foods at competitive prices. For example, "island displays" in the middle of the store often promote higher-priced, usually higher-calorie foods. Ditto for end-of-the-aisle displays.

A handy rule of thumb is this: essentials like dairy products, produce and meat are generally along the side or at the very rear of the store. Junk foods and non-staples usually are in the middle. The moral is: shop from the perimeters.

10 Tips to Shop Smart at the Grocery Store

1. Do your homework. Check your supplies before you go to the store. Make a list of what you need, and stick to it.

2. Eat before you go. Hungry shoppers will be more inclined to stock up on fresh-baked breads and other items they might not need. Never shop hungry.

3. Buy locally grown foods. They're fresher, usually less chemical-laden, and you're doing your part to grow your local economy and save the environment.

4. Have a little fun. Have a pre-decided limit of impulse purchases and stick with it.

5. Comparison shop. Become an ingredients reader. If they're the same, choose the generic product.

6. Use coupons. With the Internet, many companies now allow you to download coupons for some items. Go to for a head start!

7. Avoid trips to the convenience store. Convenience stores charge a lot more for their products due to the convenience factor.

8. Shop alone. You're on a mission, not a family cruise. Have your family help you unload; not load up while you shop.

9. Buy "on sale" staples. You'll save money. If the price is cheaper per ounce, you can carefully wrap and store portions for use over time.

10. Avoid "eye-level" shopping. Manufacturers essentially pay for shelf space, and the most enviable is at eye-level. Look at the shelf at eye-level. Once you're at eye level, look above it and below it because that's where the deals are stacked. Now, when you go grocery shopping, you'll do well to shop the perimeters first, fill your cart with the more nutritional items first, and save just a small amount of room for the higher-pricedFind Article, lower-nutritional-value processed foods.

Source: free articles from


Ruth Klein, America's De-Stress Diva", is owner of the award-winning firm The Marketing/Time Source. With a master's degree in clinical psychology, Klein, is the author of the best-selling Time Management Secrets for Working Women and five other books on business and lifestyle topics. Sign up to receive Ruth's 7 Part Mini-Course on Branding and Productivity.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bringing home the Bacon

Back in the old days (Um, like last week when my travel blog was rejected) you used to have to have 20 posts in a blog that was at least 90 days old. SO I decided to pay attention to that little blog, and make a few other ones, since my pagerank on my original blog sucks, I figured they could build off of each other and maybe one day, when google updates their pageranking system (which I hear is like very 90 days) then maybe my original blog will be worth something, and then maybe I can grow these other blogs, too and Mwa hahaaha rule the mom blogging world, like Dooce and Amalah.

But now, they have changed the rules, so that any blog that has ten posts and is 30 days old will qualify.

I think it's a stupid mistake. There's already too many of us scrambling like vultures to grab the few opportunities that are available for new bloggers. They pay $20 for posting when you sign up, just to announce that you've done it. So they'll have all these people signing up and getting paid for making their first post announcing that they've signed up and then their system will be overloaded because all these people will be trying to get paid posts all the time. It isn't easy hitting the refresh button ten thousand times a day hoping a new one will come up. And sometimes the verification words are long and complicated. Like "Renoir $285,837.20" and things like that. It's not a lifestyle everyone is cut out for. If you think you might be the one who can handle it, then click the purple image below and they will help you register for paid blogging. I don't think you can handle it, though. I am just warning you.

You should do it fast because I don't know if they'll stay in business like this for long. Hopefully you're someone with a blog that has a higher page rank than mine, so that you won't be taking opportunities that I could be using to feed my kids. My six kids. Seriously.

Getting Snippy with Mrs H

OK, so my very awesome real life friend (home decor genius and former blogger, I understand) turned me on to the art of couponing. OK, it was really her husband, but he didn't know what he was talking about he just told me to call her. I am so glad I did, not only is she refreshing (I got to vent about an unbloggable situation) she cracks me up, I had coffee coming out my nose because she is so funny.
Back to coupons. This might affect the way we eat.

I try to avoid processed foods, sticking to staples and whole foods. Every now & then I'll spring for organics when I'm feeling- I don't know, like it matters.

But these ladies at Hot Coupon World have couponing down to a SCIENCE.

They have coordinated to post all online coupon printing options (I didn't know there were so many) and they also have a listing of what ads are in each (of 4 publishers) coupon inserts to the Sunday papers. They also talk about which coupons are in the store ads, what the stores have on sale, what their coupon redeeming policies are, and they're getting tons and tons of things for FREE. They have pictures of their "stockpiles" that make me wonder, seriously, if some of them might have a hoarding disorder.

I had to question the mentality of this for a while before i decided to try it. Why would someone need twelve cases of toilet paper? Who cares if it's free, You're STORING all that stuff, it's occupying space in your home and getting in the way and it's not just toilet paper, it's Shampoo, band-aids, diapers, wipes, maxi pads, canned foods, cases of soda pop, vitamins, cleaning products, dishwasher detergent...seriously, here are some of the pictures, I hope they don't get mad at me for posting them here. ATTENTION- COUPON LADIES: IF YOU WANT ME TO REMOVE YOUR PICTURE I WILL. DON'T GET PISSY ABOUT IT PLEASE.

OK- these are all from one lady. I had saved a few from other people because they were... impressive, but I think the weight of the fact that this is all from one person matters.

This is a little collage I made from about 25 pictures.

Anyhow- while I am not striving to compile that much stuff, I do think it would be nice not to run out of anything, not to pay full price, and not to freak out when my kid dumps a bottle of shampoo into the toilet (it's happened) painted herself and the bathtub with toothpaste (that happened, too) or gone through a whole box of band-aids in less than a week (without ever drawing blood) So- without further ado, if you care to share this coupon obsession, visit and rummage through their endless circle of repetitive "for the newbie" posts until you find the one that really explains it (sorry, I've lost it but the background is yellow)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Breakfast Lately

been dicing the gigantic, Costco potatoes on the mandolin into french fries, and then into cubes with a knife. In this picture set, I also used roast beef and celery. I seasoned with Russillo's Sea Stuff seasoning and used about a stick of butter.

I can feed my whole family with one potato!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Organic Coffee

Why bother? I bought it because the 5pound bag of Organic Rainforest saving coffee was around $10 less at Costco than the Same-sized bag od Starbucks coffee. PLus, the Starbucks Coffee said "French Roast" and I know that dark roasted beans have more caffeine and flavor, I usually get the Italian Roasted Starbucks but I could SEE THROUGH the bag of the Rainforest coffee and those beans were blackish, dark so I opted for the known entity. Dark beans are the best. Starbucks is a yummy thing, but I just don't know about French Roasting techniques. The french make great fries and great vanilla ice cream, but those are mild and coffee (in my house) can't be mild.
I wonder, though. how many harmful chemicals the non-organic coffee is exposed to. Or is it B.S. like "organic basil" Bugs don't generally eat basil. There wouldn't be a reason to spray basil. I'd google it if I cared. It's yummy coffee in case you're wondering.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Planning ahead

For the very first time ever, I have made a 2 week meal plan. I am so excited, for the first time ever, a Scientific approach to grocery shopping. I wish I had been doing this longer.