Saturday, April 30, 2011

Budget Shopping 101 and Chicken Subs Plus Weekly Plan

I went grocery shopping this week with a pretty limited budget of $80.00. I spent $70 and saved $12.00 in coupons. One of the best budget savers I can mention is paying attention to your check out total. I carry a calculator with me so I don't have sticker shock in the checkout. I also only shop on double coupon day.  I didn't double any coupons today. I generally double coupons I can get items for free. For example last week Ritz cheese crackers were $2.00/ each and I doubled a dollar coupon getting them for free. I also did the same thing with Krafts new home style dinners.

Today I returned some Childrens' Claritin because they must have been in the wrong place and when I got home and checked my receipt it was a whopping $5.00 more. I got a $12.00 credit on that one. Our store has a policy if the sticker is different than the checkout price you get the item for free. There were a lot of price differences today. I got mushrooms marked down to $1.39 because they were in the wrong place.

The operative word of the week is "Chicken."  Chicken is a great budget extender. Today I purchased chicken thighs at .89 cents/lb. I will be making several different things throughout the week with it. I also purchase a 3lb bag of boneless skinless chicken breast every week.

Here is the menu for the week:
Chicken and mushroom subs in the crock pot
Arroz con pollo (making Puerto Rican rice with the ham from Easter)
Chicken and Shrimp Etouffee and Zatarains rice (which I got for free for hosting a Houseparty)
Curried Chicken Salad sandwiches with pecans and apple
Hot dogs and brats on the grill
Friday Movie night (Groupon sent me free tickets for Thor) and Groupon dinner

Crock Pot Chicken and Mushroom Subs

1 loaf French Bread cut into 4 (makes 4 subs)
1 jar speghetti sauce
1 cup mushrooms chopped
4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 per person)
shredded cheese for topping
1 cup green pepper sliced (optional)

This is very easy to put together. Throw all the ingredients in a crock pot and set on high for 4 hours or low for 8. Right before serving remove the chicken from crock pot and chop into bite sized pieces. Place the chicken back into the sauce. Serve over French bread. Top with cheese. For an extra crunch place bread in a broiler for 5 minutes. Note: I used Ragu sauce and omitted putting water in it but if you notice your sauce is burning on the sides add about 1/4 c water.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beef Pasties for Dinner Tonight

Tonight I had a taste for beef pasties. Pasties are little or big pies filled with ground beef, potatoes, and carrots or the veggies of your choosing. Within a very short time you can have this meal on your table and filling your family's bellies.

Beef Pasties

1 lb ground beef browned and drained of fat
3-4 carrots cut into coins
2-3 potatoes diced
1/2 c beef broth
2 ready made pie crust like Pillsbury(serves 4)
1 egg beaten and a splash of water
salt and pepper

For the pasties set oven to 375 degrees. Let the pie crusts set for about 10 minutes before you assemble the pies. Cut one of the crust into fourths and the other one in half. (The bigger ones are for the adults) After the ground beef is browned add the carrots and potatoes along with the beef broth. Simmer together for 5 minutes. Spray a baking sheet with PAM. Lay the cut pie crusts out to form the pies. Scoop 1/2-1 cup of the beef mixture into the pie crust making sure to leave room around the edges. Around the edges use your finger to dab some of the egg mixture. Fold one side over the other and crimp the edges with a fork. Polk holes on the top of each pastie and brush with the egg wash. Bake for 25-35 minutes testing the potatoes and carrots for doneness. These pies are really good so you may want to make a double batch. They heat up well in the microwave.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yummy Salmon Burgers and Fries tonight

Today my spices came from the Groupon I purchased to Milford Spice company. They were a bit smaller than I was thinking but I tried the Greek seasoning tonight and it was fresh and flavorful. Groupons are a great way to save money and are available in most states.

This is one of my favorite burgers to make. It comes together pretty quickly and they grill even faster. These salmon burgers are topped with a Greek spice flavored sauce. You can also add lettuce and tomato if you like. I use a Hamilton Beach indoor grill but you can also fry them in a frying pan. I prefer frozen salmon fillets to the canned because I hate picking out bones and you can choose your doneness of the burgers by using fillets.

Salmon Burgers
4 salmon fillets about 1 inch or more thick
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp steak seasoning
1 egg
1/4 c Italian bread crumbs

Greek Style Sauce
1/2 package cream cheese
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp Greek Seasoning
salt to taste

Remove skin from salmon and place in a food processor grinding a few times til course. Remove from food processor and add to a medium sized bowl all the rest of the ingredients including seasoning. Stir til the spices are distributed and make into 6 medium sized patties. Grill for 3 minutes per side or 7 minutes total in a Hamilton Beach or George Forman grill.

For the sauce let the cream cheese stand out at room temperature and combine with the sour cream and Greek Seasoning. Top each burger with a tablespoon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Crock Pot Split Pea Soup Tonight for Dinner

Day three of the ham extravaganza I made crock pot split pea soup. It was really nasty out today. "Rain, rain, go away!" My after school program managed to play outside a half hour today before it poured and we had to retreat inside.

A few weeks ago I purchased some split peas on clearance. Today I used the left over ham bone and made crock pot split pea soup. Each package has directions on how to pre-cook your beans. I had to boil mine for a few minutes and let them sit for a hour in the hot water. Normally I would cook this on the stove but I am short on time. It was back to school for all of us today and I don't get home til around 6PM.

Here's how to make the super easy crock pot split pea soup.

1 pkg split peas rinsed and soaked per package directions
1 onion halved
1 potato diced
4 carrots cut into coins
6-8 cups water
1 ham bone
1 bay leaf
1 TBSP chicken soup base or chicken bullion
1 tsp salt and pepper

Set crock pot for high about 4-5 hours or low for 8 hours. I have a large crock pot but I had to empty out some water to allow for the water that comes out of the ham bone. Add the peas, carrots, and potato at the bottom of the crock pot and then the ham bone. Add the water leaving about two inches or so to the top. Add the bay leaf.  Fit the onions in wherever they will fit. Let cook until peas are tender. I came home and my soup was perfect. Remove the ham bone and cut off the ham from the bone into bite sized pieces. Return to the pot and add bullion or soup base and salt and pepper. Makes a great filling meal.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Last Day of Easter Vacation! Say it Isn't So!

I am trying to savor every last bit out of my last day off on Easter vacation. I work at my girls' school and had Easter vacation off with them. The only down side being I don't get paid for said vacation. I am considered part time/seasonal. I am working through the summer and plan on taking two weeks off in October to go to Disney and on another DCL cruise.

Today there was a really good Groupon for the Body Shop. I purchased this one when they offered this before and they had a deal buy 3 get two free which I am hoping they have again. The Groupon was $20 for $45 worth of products.

I am not sure when my shopping day is going to be this week so I am going to use up my stockpile of ham from yesterday. I froze my ham bone and will be making semi-homemade scalloped potatoes with ham tonight for dinner. I plan on making some one lb packets of ham in baggies so I can just pull out and use them when I need it.

So here is my menu plan for the week:
scalloped potatoes tonight
split pea soup with the ham bone
salmon burgers with french fries and a sauce for the burgers
mac and cheese (normally I make my own but I got some Kraft home style ones for free)
breakfast for dinner Denver omelets

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Let the Easter Fun Begin!

Happy Easter Everyone! My hubby started back third shift last night. He works 8 days on and 6 days off and my Mom and brother aren't coming this year for dinner so it's just my hubby and two daughters for dinner. I bought a 8 lb ham and we will be eating ham for the next few days. I plan on making split pea soup, ham sandwiches, and scalloped potatoes this week too. I will be posting recipes throughout the day so come back and check them out.

Yesterday I got two dishes out of the way deviled eggs and mandarin orange fluff. Both are very easy to make but somehow the eggs never make it to the table!

My Irresistible Deviled Eggs

1 dozen eggs (try to get the older ones the eggs peel better)
1 pot
water filled an inch over the eggs
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/2 c Miracle Whip
1 squirt mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Hungarian paprika for dusting

Place eggs in cooled water and bring up to a rolling boil. Once boiling set timer for exactly 15 minutes. Then turn the burner off and let the eggs sit for 5-10 minutes in the water. Run cold water over the eggs and set in the fridge to cool down. Peel the eggs and with a knife cut down the center. Scoop out the yolks into a bowl and crush with a fork.   Add Miracle Whip, mustard, cayenne, mustard powder and stir til combined. Using a tea spoon fill all the eggs and top with a dusting of paprika. Hide them from your family!

My Mom has been making this for years. It's very simple and tastes yummy!

Mandarin Orange Fluff

1 can Mandarin oranges drained
1 small box of orange Jello
1 small container large curd cottage cheese
1 container lite Cool Whip

Add cottage cheese to a medium sized bowl and add orange Jello, cottage cheese, and fold in the Cool Whip. Drain and fold in the Mandarin oranges. This can be made a day ahead but will get watery if it sits longer than that.

I have pre-cooked Cook's ham. It's a 8 pounder which will take about 2 1/2 hours to cook. Here is the basting recipe I use.
my daughter when she was a baby stealing ham

just going in the oven. Find the hidden Mickey!

1 cup ginger ale
1 cup orange juice
1 can of sliced pineapple juice reserved for the basting liquid
whole cloves

Cut a checker board pattern across the skin of the ham. Pierce cloves in the checkered parts. Take 3-5 slices of pineapple and place over the checker board holding into place with cloves. Using a turkey baster take some of the basting liquid and baste the ham. I baste mine about every 30-40 minutes. If the ham starts to get too dark cover it with tin foil. Bake per package directions. I only need to heat mine at 325 for 25 minutes per pound. Remove cloves before serving. Save ham bone for split pea soup.

Smashed Potatoes with Heavy Cream

3-5 lbs potatoes I use Russet or New Potatoes
1 8 oz container heavy whipping cream
1/2 stick butter
1/2 pkg cream cheese
1 tsp jarred garlic
salt and pepper

Peel and boil potatoes. If using red or New Potatoes only cut off the eyes. Boil until fork tender. About 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and add cream cheese, butter, garlic, and half of the heavy cream. Mix with a mixer. Add more cream if necessary. I like to leave some lumps in ours. Add salt and pepper. Do not over mix or they will become gummy.

I like this one because it's a new spin on green beans

Terryaki Green Beans

2 lbs fresh green beans ends trimmed and cut in half
1 pot of boiling water
ready made terryaki sauce like Kikoman
sesame seeds for garnish

Dump rinsed green beans into boiling water and boil for 6-10 minutes. I like ours a bit crispy. Drain and return to the pot. Add 1/4 cup terryaki sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cheeseburger Flat Bread Melts and Kung Pao Shrimp for Dinner Today

Last night I made Kevin and Amanda's Cheeseburger Flat Bread Melts. I went to see "Water for Elephants" and got home around 4PM. I needed something quick an had been planning on making this one all week:  We thought it was good but I might make more next time. Also I might use half a pack of onion soup mix.

We have a great budget community on the and share recipes with each other. It is great when you want new ideas! This is where I found Kevin and Amanda's blog.

You fold the flatbread over.

I mentioned we went to see "Water for Elephants" yesterday. It was great except for all the senior citizens we had in the theater. My girlfriends and I were the only 3 under 40 in the place. I had to turn around and tell people to shut up a few times. Honestly, this group was worse acting than the "Twilight" fans. The movie was great and now I have to read the book. I do everything half backwards!
my free poster
This morning I am up at the crack of dawn and am going to the grocery store. My hubby works third shift starting tonight and all this week. I can double 10 coupons up to a buck and I am going to get 10 things for free or close to it.

I got my Nutty Guys Groupon nuts and candy yesterday. The only thing I didn't like was all my chocolate was stuck together. Seems to me like they need a better way of shipping.

For dinner tonight I made a stir fry with what I had on hand. I had ready cooked shrimp carrots, green beans, onions, but no celery. I also had a Kung Pao sauce I got on clearance.

Kung Pao shrimp minus the peanuts

Friday, April 22, 2011

Peppered BBQ Salmon and Dying of the Easter Eggs...

It was a busy day yesterday. We used our Groupon to have a sushi lunch and decided to dye Easter eggs.Wouldn't you know it both my girls were fighting over whom could color the most eggs? Some days it drives me crazy that they fight so much. My oldest daughter is going on 12 and the younger one is five. They have night and day personalities. The younger one is very talkative. She makes friends wherever she goes.

We had people come up to us on our Disney cruise. I had no idea who they were but they were asking about my daughter. The oldest is very thoughtful and quiet around people but very funny and loud when she is around her friends. So back to the eggs. Cassie, my oldest said it was 3 tsp of vinegar to the 1/2 cup of water. It was 3 TBSP. I found this out after piecing the instructions together.
Claire dying eggs. Cassie doesn't want to be in the picture

For dinner I wanted something that would be fast and delicious. I decided on BBQ peppered salmon fillets. Our store had a good deal on them $5.99 for the bag. I got 4 really nice pieces. I plan on going back to the store tomorrow to grab another bag and make some salmon burgers. Plus it's double double coupon day and I am getting at least 10 things for free or close to free.

Here is the recipe.
BBQ Peppered Salmon Filets

Salmon fillets
2 TBSP orange juice
2 TBSP Hosin sauce (Asian BBQ sauce)
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
2 TBSP honey
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp lemon juice

Set oven to 425 degrees. Make sure fillets are defrosted. Spread 1/2 of the BBQ mixture on top of the salmon fillets. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until fillets are firm to the touch. Basting with the remaining sauce at the half way mark.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rice Krispie Eggs, Sushi Groupon, Spices, Then Dinner

Last night I made some Rice Krispie eggs that you see on the commercials. You get some plastic eggs and spray them with PAM and insert the Rice Krispie bar mixture into the eggs making a hole where you hide M&M's. I only made 8 eggs and a flat of treats in a baking dish. I also boiled my eggs to dye them today.

note my finger in the picture:)
Microwavable Rice Krispie Treats
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 pkg marsh mellows
3 TBSP butter
6 plastic eggs washed and sprayed with PAM

Microwave the butter for 25-45 seconds or until melted. Add bag of marsh mellows and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir with a spoon sprayed with PAM. Microwave for another minute. In a large bowl pour the rice cereal. Add the marsh mellows mixture over the top and stir until it's all coated. Spray each of the empty eggs with PAM and push the rice mixture into them making a well in the center. Place three M&M's in each half. Push the two egg pieces together. You can decorate these with the candy on the outside or use frosting too.

Sometime today my family and I want to go use this Groupon for sushi lunch. I just use my Groupon for Milford Spice company. I am officially in spice heaven! This is what I ordered:
Taco Tuesday
It's all Greek to Me
Herbs de Provance
It's a Mad Mad Mole

I am also expecting the stuff I ordered from the Nutty Bros. to come today. That was another Groupon I used for candy. For those of you that don't know Groupon is a coupon co-op of sorts. A coupon is offerered and if enough people buy into it you get the deal. just select your city from the drop down next to the city name. Here is what we ate for lunch. The Groupon was for $30 and spent about $7.00 for a tip.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coupon Confusion and Enchiladas for Dinner

Today was my shopping day. It is double coupon day at my store and you are only allowed to double up to 5 coupons. On Saturday they will be having a double double coupon day where I can add up to 10. I knew grocery shopping wasn't going to be fun. It was really busy in there today and not enough cashiers. Our plan was to split up the transactions so we could get some things for free. We got two of the new Kraft home style mac and cheeses you bake for free and a Just for Men's hair dye for free too. Yes my hubby is turning grey lol I saved about $60 in manufacturer and store coupons.

I am back home now and analyzing my bill. I sent my daughter and hubby off to Target to get the deal on Easter Candy. He is diabetic. I hope it's not too torturous for him to touch all that candy! My oldest also needed a new pair of shoes. She is at that age where she is not happy with anything I get her so it's best off to let her go and choose her own.

I've got a really good Groupon to tell you about. I think it's a national Groupon. It's for $15.00 worth $30.00 of spices from Millford Spice company. Just click on my link and look for the side deal. You can switch the groupon for your area at the top.

I am purchasing Greek Seasoning, taco seasoning, herbs de Provence, mole seasoning, and I can't remember the other one but they come in these cool tins. Shipping is only $7.00.

Tonight I am making enchiladas with the left over tamale meat I froze from my tamale making frenzy from last week. These are really good with corn tortillas but you can also make them with flour if you wish. I make corn tortillas and scrambled eggs with the left over corn tortillas. I have been making enchiladas with the corn tortillas for over 20 years. I love the taste. I also looked into getting my own tortilla press of eBay for $20.00. Maybe for my wedding anniversary?

1 package corn tortillas
1 lb ground beef browned and drained of fat
1 can tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 c. water for sauce
1/4 c water for ground beef
1 cup taco cheese
1 can black olives chopped (optional)
note: the corn tortillas roll better warm. Stick inbetween two paper towels and microwave for 25 seconds.
This is a recipe that is easily adaptable for the non meat eaters in your family. For them I make two cheese enchiladas and turn them a different way in the pan so I know which is theirs.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On the stove top heat tomato sauce adding cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, water, to the mixture. Cook on low and stir every few minutes.  In a separate pan brown and drain the ground beef. Add the same seasonings you added to the sauce to the meat including the water. Let the meat cook another 3-5 minutes.

With a soup ladle spread some of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Place on tortilla in the sauce. Lay about 2 TBSP of the meat mixture down the end of the tortilla with a pinch of cheese. Roll from one side to the other making a rolled tortilla. Place seam side down and repeat the process til all your meat is gone. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with cheese and black olives if you wish. Bake for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Plan for the Week...Haystick Zucchini and Onions and Burgers for Dinner

I am making indoor grilled hamburgers for dinner tonight because we have hail outside! I have sent him out in rain but never hail lol  Did I ever tell you how much I love my Hamilton Beach indoor grill? I use it for everything!
Tonight I want to make haystack onion and zucchini for the side. I am picking through coupons and adjusting my list. Shopping is tomorrow.

So far my ideas for the week are:
taco salad last night
today hamburgers and onion and zucchini haystacks
peppered honey salmon
lamb steaks or chops
chicken and pork enchiladas with the left over frozen tamale meat
ham, ham, ham! SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY lol
sides: mandarin orange fluff, smashed potatoes with garlic and heavy cream, yams with marsh mellows, green beans (the fresh kind) devilled eggs and some other stuff I am sure I forgot.
These are the haystack zucchini and onions I made for dinner.

Haystack Onions and Zuchinni
 1 can evaporated milk
1 zucchini cut into planks and julienned
2 large onions cut into thin slices
2 cups flour
1 tsp Zatarains Cajun seasoning
2 cups oil
paper plates and paper towels
A metal slotted spoon

Once your onion and zucchini are sliced throw them in a bowl that is filled with evaporated milk. With your hands give them a toss. I use one "dirty" hand that only touches the flour and one hand for the frying. Use your dominant hand for the frying. You don't want to have an accident!  Season the flour with the Zatarains and throw a hand full of the onion rings into the flour tossing to coat. Heat oil on medium high heat and it's ready when you begin to see ripples form at the bottom. I love peanut oil because it has a nutty flavor and a high smoking point. They cook very quickly. Drop a handful in and give a stir with your slotted spoon so they don't stick together.  Remove them when they are a light brown to a paper towel. Season with more Cajun seasoning. You will need to put the haystacks on  another paper towel and flip over to drain.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Taco Salad for Dinner Tonight

I recently made a big batch of black beans and froze them in 1 cup batches in the freezer. Today I pulled them out and use them in my taco salad bowls. I buy the Azteca brand to save on time but you can easily make these shells by heating a inch of oil in a frying pan and once hot placing a flour tortilla in it. It will puff up so you will have to punch a hole in it with a knife to let the steam escape. Remove to a paper towel on top of a bowl to get the shape and let cool and drain.
 I use a huge Tupperware Thatsabowl to throw everything into. I made the ground beef earlier in the day adding the black beans and taco seasoning. The taco bowls can be made that day. I also very what meat I use. Sometimes I will grill chicken. You may also substitute tortilla chips.
throw the black bean ground beef mixture in the fridge

Taco Salad                                               
1 lb ground beef
1 tub of cherry or grape tomatoes
3 carrots chopped
1 cup black beans
1 avocado chopped and 1 squirt lemon
cheese of your choice
salad dressing of your choice
taco bowls or tortilla chips
2 romaine hearts chopped

Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning and a small amount of water. Add black beans and do not overcook. Turn off heat and cool down meat mixture and throw in the fridge. Dice all of the ingredients and throw in a huge bowl. Over the avocado spray some lemon juice to avoid discoloring. Serve over tortilla chips or in taco bowls topping with the dressing of your choice and a pinch of cheese.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sundays are for Sleeping In! Not! Sunday Egg Bake and BBQ Pizza

We are off to a great start for Easter vacation. My first Sunday off and I wanted to sleep in. Around 7 I find my 5 year old crawling over me and making her way into the living room. She turned on the T.V. and was watching some cartoon. I then proceeded to drag myself out of bed. There would be no sleeping in for me! My hubby hadn't come home from work yet so I decided to throw together a egg bake for breakfast.

9 eggs
1/2 of Jimmy Dean sausage log
3/4 c milk
8 oz cheese (I used Swiss and Cheddar)
1/2 bag hash browns or potatoes O' Brien

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the sausage and break into chunks.  In a 9x13 baking dish spray some PAM and scatter one half bag of hash browns on bottom of the dish. Spray the potatoes with PAM and bake for 15 minutes. While that is baking stir 3/4 c. milk into 9 beaten eggs. Remove hash browns form oven. First lay the sausage over the potatoes and then the cheese. Pour the eggs over the sausage. Bake and start checking for doneness at the 45 minute mark. You are looking for the eggs to be set. This is a recipe you can make the night before and put in the fridge. Just allow 15 extra minutes because the ingredients will be cold.
Dinner tonight was semi-homemade BBQ chicken pizza. It is very easy to make and one of our favorites.
Pillsbury thin pizza crust
BBQ sauce (We love Sweet Baby Rays)
2 chicken breasts grilled
veggies of your choice (I had green pepper on hand)
2 TBSP olive oil

Heat oven to 400 as per container directions. Pour the 2 TBSP of olive oil on the cookie sheet. Spread out pizza crust stretching it to the ends of the pan. Cut veggies into small pieces. Cut chicken on a bias and cover with 2 TBSPS of BBQ sauce. Pour 1/4 c BBQ sauce over pizza crust. Add veggies of your choice and bake for 10 minutes or until dough is brown and cooked. Enjoy! Feeds a family of 4.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tamale and Double Double Coupon Day

I started making my tamale meat and broth yesterday. I found this really informative website on how to make them.
I have always wanted to try and do it myself. If you go and buy them at the store you can pay up to $10.00 for a dozen. I got all my ingredients and a whole fresh chicken and a pork roast at a local Hispanic store. It's named El Rey. The store has been around for a long time and is in the heart of the Hispanic community. I love going there! I did have to buy a lot of spices so my bill was about $30.00 for the meat, MaSeCa, and spices.

Last night I started making the meat. While I was a work I threw the pork roast into the crock pot. Then when I got home I threw the chicken in boiling water for about 2 hours. I removed the chicken from the stock and cooled down the stock. Once the chicken and pork were cooled I shreded them and added the spices and oil. I let that sit over night.
Today I soaked the corn husks when I was at the grocery store. I spent $48.31 and saved $46.01. I also got a free Kellogg's Honey Smacks bag.

Now back to the tamale making! I had the husks soaking when I went to the store. I came home and drained them on paper towels.
Then came the fun part mixing the Masa and filling the tamales!

a ton of masa

 It took me about a hour and half. I lost track of how many I made. But let's just say it's a lot!

The bad news is the steamer wouldn't fit in my stock pot. So I had to improvise and wrap everything with tin foil and place on top of the stock pot. The tamales are cooking now. I will post a pic later of how they look.
some of the 4 dozen tamales

the finished product

Friday, April 15, 2011

No Cook Banana Pudding Pie and Disney ADR's

For those of you that aren't Disney obsessed like I am ADR's are advanced dining resservations for the Walt Disney World Resort. When you stay on their property you are allowed to book your dining ressies 180 days in advance. My window opened today. OMG! I have never been so frustrated in my life! It used to be you could go on at midnight of your window and make your ressies. That's not the case anymore. So I get up at 6am. The system was still saying the wrong number of days. Then it would let me in and show me the ressie times but ask for me to sign in and kick me out. Then I choose the time at CRT and it was asking for me to pay even though we have the dining plan. It wasn't asking for a card to hold it. It was asking for payment. Then I get this note: Error 500 - Server Error. I have never been more frustrated in my life. I called WDW and the cast member was very nice considering I am so crabby!

So here's my dining ressies for our October trip:
October 12th QS at Kona Island for Sushi
October 13th  BBB 12pm for my DD's birthday(princess makeover) Wolfgang Pucks lunch QS MNSSHP Cinderella's Royal Table  5:20pm
Ocotber 14th  Sci Fi 12:20 PM Cape May 5:50PM
October 15th Tusker House 9:05AM Flame Tree for Dinner
October 16th QS at POP and off to the Dream

On to the food! Last night we had popcorn shrimp and sweet potato fries. It was part of a dinner deal at our grocery store. I bought two bags of fish or shrimp and got free tartar sauce and sweet potato fries. For dessert I made my no bake banana pie.

No Bake Banana Pudding Pie
1 Nilla Wafer ready made pie crust
1 container Fat Free Cool Whip
1 small box Jello instant banana pudding
2 bananas
2 cups fat free milk

Make the pudding per box directions. It's two cups of milk to one small box of pudding. Chop two bananas and place in bottom of pie crust. Pour the pudding over and put in the fridge for 5 minutes til set. Once set top with Cool whip. May garnish with additional bananas but dip them in lemon juice first so they won't turn brown.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Denver Omelet in a Mug and Tamale Casserole for Dinner

I am love with this new show on the Cooking Channel called Hungry Girl! The host Lisa Lillen is a genius! She makes low fat fast recipes. Her fudge brownies are awesome and easy. I will post that one later. Yesterday I made her Denver Omelet in a mug.

I am writing this recipe according to memory so please forgive me. I also added the veggies I wanted. I had green pepper, mushroom, onion, and cheese, and turkey(out of ham). My hubby had grape tomatoes, green pepper, and cheese. Both turned out yummy!

Denver Omelet in a Mug
1/4 c cheese she used FF cheese (I only used a pinch)
1/4 pepper diced
1/4 onion diced
5 mushrooms diced (optional)
1/4 c egg beaters or egg substitute
2 slices ham or meat of your choice
PAM for spraying
a mug

In the mug spray PAM and place veggies in. I sprayed them with PAM on the top. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave. Blot the veggies with a paper towel so you won't have excess liquid in the bottom of your omelet. Add the egg substitute. Microwave for a minute. Stir the eggs and add the cheese and meat. Give a stir and microwave for 60 seconds more and Voila! You have a omelet in a mug! It was very filling and I didn't have my normal grumbly tummy.

Last night I tried out a recipe from for tamale casserole. I make something similar by Rachael Ray that is a Mexican type cornbread pizza. I scratched this down on a piece of paper so I will try my best to relate this to you. The only thing I didn't like is the cornbread was kind of mushy. There is a step that asked me to poke holes in my cornbread and pour enchilada sauce onto it. I think you could just pour the sauce over it and not poke the holes in it saving the cornbread from going mushy.

You'll also notice I have a side of black beans. I made them in the crock pot after soaking them overnight. I drained the two cups of black beans and covered them with clean water plus about 3 inches in the crock pot. I let them cook on low for 8 hours or until they were just tooth tender. I then let them cool and was able to divide them into 3 1 cup bags. I then froze the left overs and cooked the remaining on the stove with some cumin and chili powder adding a bit of water.

1 cup cheese divided
1/3 c fat free milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp pepper
1 14oz creamed corn
1 box corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
14 oz can of green chillies
2 c shredded chicken
1 can enchilada sauce (I used McCormick seasoning)

Preheat the oven to 400. Earlier in the day I boiled three skinless boneless chicken breasts in water for 35 minutes from frozen. I let them cool and chilled them for when I got home from work. In a medium sized bowl mix all ingredients through the chilies just until combined. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with PAM and add the cornbread mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until it is set. The instructions say to poke with holes here but I think I may omit that step next time. I did however reserve some of the enchilada sauce and coat the chicken with it. Add the chicken on top of the corn bread and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for another 15-20 minutes and serve. It will be really hot!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easy Steak Sandwiches

This is a favorite around here. I wait for the sale on sandwich steak and make these delicious steak sandwiches. If you don't have sandwich steak you can use round steak. Usually I will purchase a twin loaf of french bread but I found these mini-hoggie rolls to use. You can also very the kind of cheese you use. I used Provolone. I added mushrooms but you can also add green pepper and onion if you like. I serve this with my French Onion Soup I can easily pull out of the freezer and microwave.
2 lbs sandwich steak or round steak
6 hoggie buns or a loaf of french bread
2 TBSP oil
salt and pepper
Provolone cheese
6 mushrooms sliced

This comes together very quickly. Cut the steak against the grain into 2 inch pieces. Oil a frying pan and throw the steak in for 3 minutes adding seasoning and giving it a stir. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Serve in hoggie buns with the provolone cheese on top.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shopping Day and Menu for the Week

I once again went shopping before double coupon day. It is really killing me I couldn't double my coupons but it is my hubbys week on work so I have to go shopping when I can. I picked up some good deals today. They were clearing out the Mexican foods section. I picked up some lard  $1.27 normally over $5.00. Split peas (for the left over hambone on Easter) for under a buck, and a huge 4 lb bag of black beans for $1.45. I love black beans refried, in the crock pot, ontop of salads. I also might make a soup with them. I also plan on making some tamales on my week off in our turkey fryer outside.

Here is my plan for meals this week:
salad night with marinated grilled chicken (Sunday)
meatloaf muffins and a potato (last night)
steak and mushroom French Onion dip sandwiches
chicken tamale casserole with black beans
egg bake casserole for dinner
BBQ chicken pizza
taco salad bowls with ground beef

Monday, April 11, 2011

Easy is Sometimes Better

I remember seeing this on Giada on the foodnetwork a few years back but when I searched her recipes I couldn't find it. It's for a easy dessert involving Nutella and wonton wrappers. I made this from memory. I had egg roll wrappers from when I made peanut butter egg rolls. They keep in the fridge for a long time as long as you keep them sealed in a plastic bag. If using the egg roll wrappers divide each one into four squares. I used the rest of the left over peanut oil from Thanksgiving to fry these up. Later on in the night I also made fried mozzarella in egg roll wrappers for my daughter and I.

1/2 c Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread
1 pack of wonton wrappers or egg roll wrappers
peanut oil for frying or canola oil about 3 inches
powdered sugar for topping
1 egg and a drop of water for egg wash
paper towels and paper plates for draining
slotted spoon

It is very easy to put together. If using egg roll wrappers divide into four squares using a pizza cutter. In the middle spoon one tsp. of the Nutella. Be sure not to get the Nutella near the edges or it won't seal. Place the egg wash around the corners.  Fold the square into a triangle sealing the edges with your fingers. Make as many as you like. Fry in the oil for about 1 minute each side. They fry very quickly. You are looking for a light golden brown. We had 4 per person. They are very rich. Drain on paper towels and top with powdered sugar. Let cool for about 3 minutes. The filling will be very hot. Enjoy!