Hannah riding her bike in the backyard. The kids all got new bikes from their Aunt and Uncle, they had a blast riding them on the good weather days. Parker was caught red handed in the sand, something he knew he shouldn't be playing in. He knew he was in trouble with Mom and Dad, Grandma came to his rescue and gave him a free pass to play, she even rounded up some toys for him to play with.
An old style accountant, he had a bowl of beans, a real bean counter!
The Chinese pavillion for the Shanghai Expo. Grandpa's friend was able to get us in to see all the buildings even though most of them are still under construction.
Hannah and Parker were enjoying the nice sunny day and the great grass!
This week I will be making some lighter meals before our gluttony on Thanksgiving!
Breakfasts: puffy oven panckae pumpkin smoothies waffles and cereal
Dinners: Chef salads with parmesan breadsticks Bean enchiladas (last pan from freezer) Grilled shrimp skewers with fried rice Thanksgiving dinner and then leftovers for a couple more days! Pork carnitas
I'm trying to clean out the fridge and freezer this week. I made a menu based on what I have "in stock"!
Green chicken chili Hong Kong style noodle soup with baby bok choy Mini turkey meatloaves with red potato smashers and corn Spring rolls, potstickers, and chopped chinese salad with wonton chips Alfredo with cajun shrimp and garlic cheese biscuits Beef satay with ginger rice and peanut sauce Chicken sesame teriyaki fingers with rice
I am finally posted another menu plan. I have been so sick with the flu and other things that I took two weeks off from planning. We have been surviving on pantry items and meals that I had frozen all ready, along with a few meals that friends brought in.
Breakfasts ham and cheese omelets waffles eggs and toasts turkey sausage wraps cereal and fruit smoothies
Lunches homemade mac and cheese (from freezer) chicken nuggets chicken pasta pb & j quesadillas deli sandwiches
Dinners Chicken tetrazinni Beef and Barley soup Sloppy Joes and homemade chips Enchiladas Chicken gravy and rice Ziti bake Leftovers
I am trying to clean out our freezer in preparation for our trip out of the country next month. Seattle does not have a good track record for good weather in December and the last three years we have lost power for more than a few days at a time. I don't want to come home to a freezer of rotten food!
Here is our plan this week! Breakfast Sausage and eggs, toast Waffles cereal hot and cold strawberry and banana smoothies
Lunches Tuna or egg salad sandwiches quesadillas leftovers salads
Dinners Sub sandwiches with homemade potato chips with jello blocks Roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, salad Ham and potato soup Chicken curry with rice and edamame Chili nachos, taco salad Homemade pizzas, green salad Satay meatballs with peanut sauce, rice, broccoli
1. Look at the grocery ads! I plan my meals for the week based on what is on sale that week. Also plan to stock up on items that are on sale.
2. Clip coupons for the items that you know you will use and for items that are new in the stores. An item will most likely be introduced at a great discount.
3. Don’t be brand loyal. Generic or non-name brand items are usually the same quality.
4. Look at shelf tags and compare prices carefully. Sometimes you have to buy multiple items to get the sale price.
5. Ask for a rain check if an item is out of stock.
6. Sign up for savings cards at your local stores
7. Keep an eye out for stores that you may not usually shop at like Dollar Tree, and ethnic stores.
My Favorite Stores King county WA area
Safeway and Albertsons-I only buy the sale items at these stores. I will buy my milk at Safeway most often because the everyday price is cheaper there.
Sunset Market-(on Sunset between Goodwill and Rite Aid) The produce here is very good and the meat is extremely fresh. They make fresh tortillas and tortilla chips here daily.
WinCo- I only go here once in a while. They have a great bulk foods section with lots of rice, pasta, beans, and baking ingredients. It is the cheapest place for flax seed.
Goodwill-I like to run in here every few weeks, the one on Sunset receives a lot of merchandise from
Target. They always have a lot of new items to check out. It is a great place to buy books, paperbacks are only .69.
Half Price Books-The best selection of used books in town!
Target-This store has a lot of great health and beauty deals, always check the back of the aisles for clearance merchandise.
Dollar Tree-this place is great for cards, holiday items, coloring books, toiletries, candy, and the occasional surprise item.Rite-Aid and Walgreens-Both of these stores have great Free after Rebate items, usually every week. The programs are all online, and are very easy to participate in.
Viet-Wah-This store is also on Sunset neat Dollar Tree. They have a great fresh meat department and all the asian ingredients.
I gather 2-4 papers every weekend depending on what I will use. You can ask friends and neighbors to save insert coupons for you.I collate my copies of the paper and clip only the coupons that I will use, the ones I can trade for more that I will use, and also for new products. After I am done clipping I store the inserts by date for later use. Sometimes deals will come up later after you have clipped.I use a zippered binder with baseball card pages in it to store my coupons. I divide mine into categories.
Some people like to organize by aisles, or alphabetical.
My categories are:
Baby and kids
Candy and gum
Cereal and Bread-I divide it between manufacturers
Cleaning products-I include laundry soap here
Cosmetics and body care-make-up, deodorants, body soap and lotions,
Dairy-milk, yogurt, cheese, butter
Hair care-shampoo and conditioner,
Juice and sodaMeatMedicine- also put first aid items here
Mexican and Ethnic
Pasta-rice, packaged meals,
Plastic and paper goods- bags, paper towels, toilet paper,
Refridgerated Non dairy- cookie dough, biscuits, pudding,
Sauces and dressings-pasta sauce, salad dressing, bbq sauce
Snacks and chips
Razors and shaving
Store coupons-Each store has a page Target, Safeway, Albertsons
My favorite clubs, memberships, and online shopping places
Costco- my parents and I share a membership here. It is a great place to save money on items as long as you can resist the temptation of things you don’t need, and also if you can manage the bulk items well.
Famous Footwear rewards-you can sign up at http://www.famousfootwear.com/. I watch for the buy 1 get ½ off sale. They will send you reward coupons usually every quarter, and on your birthday.
Swagbucks This one is new for me sign up at http://www.swagbucks.com/. You can earn rewards cards to online retailers like Amazon just for searching the net!
http://www.paperbackswap.com/ is a great place to exchange all of the books you don't read for the ones you want to read! Join today, it is simple and very fun!
I am a book junkie, but as a busy mom I don't often have time to sit and read. I rely on overdrive media for Ipod compatible books. Check online at your local library to see if this free service is available for you. You can download audio versions of your favorite books directly to your ipod and mp3 players!
Cold cereal and fruit oatmeal and fruit french toast sticks pancakes eggs and toast yogurt smoothies
Lunches sandwiches~tuna, pb and jelly, pb and agave, bologna and cheese pb and crackers quesadillas leftovers
Dinners Hamburger patties, with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob Deluxe chopped salad and rolls Chili and baked potatoes Ravioli soup and cheesy italian bread Glazed salmon and rice with fresh green beans "sushi" rolls and potstickers Leftover night
It's back to school time for most of us, time to get into a routine again! In preperation for shopping this week I asked my kids what their favorite school lunches are, here is what they came up with:
tuna sandwiches or tuna with crackers PB & J sandwiches or with crackers salad apples and pb tortilla with peanut butter and sliced apples yogurt and cheese cheese, meat, and crackers (like a lunchable) quesadillas ( I put these in a reusable sandwich container lined with tin foil and they stay warm enough for them)
In their thermos' they like Rice and beans stew very rarely Ramen noodles spaghetti and other pastas hashbrowns and scrambled eggs baked potatoes home made soup and sometimes the canned fun soups like goldfish.
Change the same old things into something new for them roll out bread flat and spread on ingredients. roll up and slice into pinwheel shapes (my kids call it sushi) make it mini or cut sandwiches into shapes. I have a crinkle cutter and the kids like to see their veggies or fruits cut with it.
Let them choose! I have a large bin that I put crackers, cereal, cookies, raisins, fruit cups, pretzels, fruit snacks, and other shelf stable items in. I let them choose a treat for their lunch and also one for their snack.
We made it back from our wonderful trip! We had a great time in Utah. Now it is back to school time for us, time to start getting into a better routine! I will have a meal plan posted tomorrow, I have the flu and do not want to think about food today!
I got this recipe from a freind from church. It is a wonderful recipe. I substituted tomatillos for tomatoes the other day and I think it is even better!
COOKED SALSA By: Etel Ghoreishi In a 1 quart sauce pan combine: 2 cups water 1/2 teaspoon salt – may add more to taste Dash pepper Heat: Medium to high heat
Add to above ingredients: 3 tomatoes 1 small white/yellow onion – cut in half 1 garlic clove 2 Serrano peppers
Boil until tomatoes and onion are thoroughly cooked. When done, spoon out ingredients and place in a blender. Blend in Chop setting. Heat 3 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil in same saucepan. Carefully, add blended sauce, and cook for 2 minutes. You may store cooked salsa in the fridge for up to one week! Or, freeze.
We didn't get to all of the meals I had planned last week! I ran away with the kids to the coast to escape the heat. We had a great time camping out in La Push, we even got rained on over there. I was wonderful to cool down and to spend time exploring over there. We can't wait to go back!
I am trying to clean out the fridge and freezer this week before we leave for another trip next week.
Breakfasts Fresh fruit and yogurt toast muffins from freezer turkey bacon BLTs
Lunch corn dogs quesadillas tuna and crackers grilled ham and cheese pb & j
Dinners roast chicken and potatoes bbq pork sandwiches corn on the cob beef and broccoli grilled pizzas potstickers, rice, edamame, rice leftovers for 2 nights
I love books! But, if I sit down to read a book 8 hours can go by without me getting to to do anything, the kids can tear down the house and I wouldn't notice~! I have learned that the best way to get my fill of reading is to listen to books on tape. In the past I have checked out all the audio books from the library and added them to my Itunes; this can be a very time consuming task though. I just just found out that through my library system inline I can download books directly to my Ipod. It takes just a few minutes per book. The system is called Overdrive Media. It is free from my King county Library System. Check your library to find out if it available in your area.
Breakfasts Fruit Smoothies~the kids love making up new recipes! Toaster waffles and pastries pancakes breakfast cookies
Lunches Quesadillas sandwiches, tuna, pb & j, ham and cheese crackers and cheese (lunchable style for park days) tortilla wraps
Dinners Mexican Lasagna (new recipe I came up with, I will review it tomorrow) Grilled pork loin with grilled potato packets Curry chicken and potatoes, rice, edamame Lasagna, garlic bread, green salad Chunky Italian soup with garlic breadsticks Baked potatoes, green salad bar Leftovers
This the only pastry crust that I have ever been able to make with any success! My mom found this recipe in an old cookbook. I have substituted berries and peaches with great results, leave out the cinnamon if you use berries.
Apple Pie Squares 4 cups flour 1 tsp salt 1 2/3 c butter ½ c water 1 egg 1 Tbsp vinegar
Mix together to form crust Roll out ½ of dough to fit in jelly roll pan
Filling: 12 apples peeled and sliced 2 cups sugar 1/8 tsp nutmeg 2 tsp cinnamon 2 Tbsp flour 2 Tbsp lemon juice
Mix together and put in crust. Then put another layer of crust on the top. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes , then drizzle with glaze.
Glaze: 4 Tbsp butter 1 ½ cups powdered sugar 3 Tbsp lemon juice
I take appetizers to our office every tuesday night, it has been really fun to come up with recipes that are easy to transport and are yummy to eat! This one was a real hit!
1 bottle Kraft Zesty Italian dressing (this one really is the best for this, even better homemade) Veggies, I used red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini. Slice and dice the veggies into similar sizes and pour on the dressing. It is best to let it marinate for at least 8 hours, overnight is great. Serve well chilled.
The recipe that they had picked out was one that used cheezit crackers and spaghetti sauce, we changed it a lot. We used fritos, taco meat with all the regular taco toppings, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and ranch dressing. This was really fun for them, the kids ate it in the car while we were running errands.
This is our last week of school, to make it a bit more fun I decided to let the kids make the menu for the week. We went to the library and checked out a bunch of kids cookbooks for them to make choices from. I think they did a great job of it! I am very impressed with the amount of fruits and veggies that they included. They also made a shopping list for me, they checked out what we all ready had a home and decided what we needed to get. Great job girls!
Most of the recipes came from The Disney Magic Kitchen Cookbook. I will have the kids review each one and let you know how they are.
Here is the menu:
Breakfast:Biscuits and Gravy (croissants for buiscuts)
Living in Seattle where everyone seems to be "green" I have started doing more to help the enviroment. I compost and recycle and I carry my own shopping bags everywhere with me. I love the mesh produce bags that I found at Whole Foods, but only have two of them because they are$1.19 a peice. I was looking at Dollar Tree the other day for some mesh laundry bags and I found these Blink bags. They will work perfectly for produce! Four in a package for $1 is a bargain! I will let you know how they hold up.
I made these tonight for dinner, they were a hit! Next time I will have to double the recipe.
1 package ground turkey 1 1/4 pounds 4 cloves garlic pressed or chopped finely 1 T oregano 1 t cumin 1/2 t cinnamon salt and pepper Mix well and form into meatballs. Layer in the bottom of a crock pot sprayed with non stick spray, cook on low 3-4 hours until fully cooked.
Cucumber sauce 1 cup plain yogurt 2 cloves garlic pressed 1.4 cup grated cucumber salt and pepper to taste dash of Accent seasoning 1 t oregano. Mix well and chill.
I made home made pita bread, but use any kind you want. I made the pitas with the meatballs and sauce and also stuffed in some romaine lettuce and chopped cucumbers.
Dinners Turkey meatball pitas Salmon cakes and home fries Orange chicken with rice spring rolls, sushi, and chow mein Enchilada pie, beans, salad burgers and dogs, home made potato chips, corn on the cob C.O.R.N (clean out the fridge nite)
I'll be making some extra dishes for the freezer this week. I will be gone next week and want to make things easier for my mom while she watches the kids.
Breakfasts pancakes~ making 2 doz to freeze muffins~making a doz to freeze smoothies yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit cold cereal and fruit
Lunches~ PB & J tuna and crackers quesadillas leftovers salad
Dinners~ Taquitos and beans Hawaiian chicken and macaroni salad Chinese style pork chops with fried noodles and bok choy Homemade pizza (this is becoming a weekly tradition!) Asian fire meat with rice and edamame Homemade chicken nuggets and home fries Baked potato and salad bar (this is a great way to clean out your fridge!) Leftovers
Dinners beef stroganoff, peas, rice sweet and sour chicken with rice and steamed broccoli chicken enchiladas with black beans and salad white chicken chili with cornbread homemade pizza and breadsticks Dinner at a friends house Thai peanut meatballs with cashew lo mein
Lunches~ Leftovers Salad tuna and crackers pb&j quesadillas
Dinners~ Thai peanut turkey burgers with home made potato chips Salad and baked potato bar Burgers and dogs, mac & cheese, sweet potato fries Home made stromboli and breadsticks BBQ Chicken, grandpa's potatoes, corn Cherried Pork loin with rice pilaf, and roasted beets
Second transaction Huggies 29.99 -$1.50 mailer coupon Skippy 2.50 -$1.00 catalina coupon I also used my previous $10.00 catalina coupon and $10.00 of catalinas from the Bertolli sauces. Total OOP $9.99~
First transaction 10 Bertollis $2.00 each - 5-.75 coupons and 5-1.00 coupons 2 Dreamfields pasta $2.00 each- 1.00 printable coupons and one package Bounty 6.99 no coupons Total OOP 20.24 and I received $20.00 in catalina coupons .
This is my favorite sale of the year at Safeway! You can find more details here.
I made them much smaller, I cut my dough into about 36 pieces. I rolled it out to about a foot long and then made the pretzel shapes. It is easiest to shape them all, then dip them all at the same time.
I found this recipe in an old church cookbook. I love my sugar cookies thick and moist. This recipe is the best one I have ever made. I made a few changes to the recipe, it is perfection now!
Sugar Cookies 1 1/2 cubes butter, softened 2 cups sugar 2 eggs 1 1/4 cup sour cream (I used plain yogurt) 2 tsp vanilla or lemon flavoring 2 tsp baking soda 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 4-5 cups flour 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl Cream butter, sugar together. Add eggs and yogurt and mix well. Add dry ingredients one cup at a time. Dough will be soft and moist. I found it easier to work with after chilling in the fridge over night. Roll into teaspoon size balls and then flatten slightly before baking. Bake at 375 for 8-10, until just lightly brown.
Easy Icing juice and zest of one lemon 1 can of Betty Crocker Fluffy white icing
I found this recipe on Grocery Cart Challenge and really wanted to try it, but I only had yogurt in the house. I made them with the plain yogurt and they were delicious! My husband said they were the best ones I had ever made! Our favorite yogurt is Nancy's plain. I buy it at Cash and Carry for $5.08 for 64 oz.
I'm finally feeling organized enough to post another menu plan!
Breakfasts~ home made pop tarts yogurt cinnamon twists pancakes cereal and fruit parfaits puffy oven pancake smoothies and fresh juice
Lunch~leftovers and salads
Dinners~ Sloppy joes and home made potato chips Turkey and broccoli casserole Turkey pot pie pockets Home made pizza and breadsticks Spaghetti Pie Broccoli soup with bread bowls BLT Sandwiches
I am making a double batch of the yogurt twist dough to make the breakfast rolls and also the bread bowls for soup. I will make a triple batch of pizza dough for the pizza and breadsticks, and also for the crust of the spaghetti pie. I will post the recipes when they are perfected, I'm still tweaking them a bit!
You will never use the canned stuff after you try this recipe!
Grandma's Sloppy Joes 1 lb lean ground beef 1 onion diced 2-3 cloves garlic chopped 1 cup ketchup 2 T worcestershire sauce 1 t sage 1 t curry 1 cup water salt and pepper to taste Brown beef with onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Drain off any fat. Add ketchup, water, and spices. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.
My changes I added 1T curry, 1 T cumin, and 2 t sage, I doubled the recipe and used 1 1/2 lbs ground beef and 2 cups cooked barley (no one knew the difference!)