Missed ya Sunday update!

March 22, 2010

So get this. I went on Spring Break and pretty much didn’t cook a thing last week! I know, I know. Don’ worry I’m back at it this week. I’ve already made turkey pot pies and cupcakes today!

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…. morning I brought some eggs and bacon over to Mr. Mans and made him breakfast, cheese omelets and bacon. I did up some spaghetti for lunch, then I was out to dinner again this week. I meet my friend every Monday and we try and get the half price apps so it’s only like a $4 bill, plus tip (if you drink water and share with your kid, heh.) So Little Man and I shared the trio and we ate it all, so no leftovers.

Leftover Spaghetti

Remember last week, (was it last week?) that the fridge was on the fritz and I had to cook up a bunch of food? Well, there was some already cooked up ground turkey meat and spaghetti sauce from the freezer that I transferred to the fridge. I grabbed a pot, threw in the meat and sauce and let it cook on low for a couple hours. I love my meat reallllly tender and it turned out great! I boiled up some spaghetti and just mixed it all up.

School day equals less than required amounts of food for the day. Of course my kid has to eat so I made some pancakes for him and some coffee for my thermos. I brought some fresh cut up strawberries to snack on in between classes.

Bisquick Pancakes

During Thanksgiving Albertsons was having a $1-for-practically-everything-in-the-store sale so I picked up this little pourable jug of bisquick. It’s sort of a one use item thing, but I knew I had a huge box of bisquick unopened at home and decided right then and there that I would just use that to refill this thinga-ma-jiggy. Why? Because the bag that comes in the box of bisquick is awkward and stupid, that’s why. I hate looking at the box every time I want to make like 2-3 pancakes so I use my new jug and use a 1 to 2 ratio of water and mix, and it works great. Today I used 1/4 C mix plus 1/8 water to make 2 pancakes for Little Man. Oh and I just poured it out, all easy like, with my sweet jug. 😉 I always cut his pancakes in strips and just let him dip them in syrup.

Today was play date day and so we were up and out of the house before I even knew which was up. This whole full-time student, no work thing has me all upside down. Anyway, we played hard then came back here and I cooked up some grilled cheese sandwiches and cocoa for the kids. We adults may or may no have had some too. I needed to get some photos done for class so we decided to head over to my grandmas in Snohomish (where you can take the best pictures ever!) and do dinner there. She made one of her aunts famous Goulash and it was great. My grandma happened to make too much pasta and was just going to throw it out. I told her “No you aren’t, I will find something to make with it!” Gosh!

School day, so I made up my coffee and cut up some divine grapefruit for school. How silly is this… I had some leftover Taco Time from earlier the week and I grabbed all the meat and cheese from the tacos and put it in a Tupperware. Heh.

Fresh Grapefruit

I bought these bad boys on sale 3/$1 and I literally ate them for breakfast every morning. I used a pairing knife and sliced the sections out then squeezed the life (and juice) out of each half into a bowl. I put an ice pack and a packet of Raw Sugar into my little lunch bag and trotted off to school. When I was ready I sprinkled the sugar on top (a 25 calorie packet), ate the slices first then drank the juice. Num!

Tostada

I used the left over meat and cheese from a Taco Time taco (I had a $1 off coupon for), lettuce, homemade salsa, more cheese and sour cream for this bad boy. And a tortilla somewhere buried on the bottom.

Could I have more cheese on this??

I had to put together some snackies for my Tupperware party the next day. I decided to use up my leftover salsa then 1 roma tomato, 2 stalks of celery chopped, 2 carrots chopped, 3 onions quartered, 4 garlic cloves and threw that in my CrockPot. I snagged my BOGO Free steaks from the fridge that had been thawing, seasoned them with salt and pepper then coated them in flour. Next, I browned them in a pan with some Olive Oil and placed them on the bed of veggies in the CrockPot for 10 hours. My idea with this was steaks in a blanket as an appetizer.

I cooked up some bacon a few days ago, so that was already cut up and in the fridge so I made a BLT for lunch. Guess what else I used up? That macaroni my grandma nearly threw away! I added some mayo, mustard, ketchup, 2 pickles, pickle juice, salt and pepper and put in the the fridge to soak up all the ingredients overnight.

I knew I was going to need more than steaks in a blanket and pasta salad. I had some homemade turkey already cut up from the freezer that was moved to my fridge when the freezer thawed. I decided on mini turkey pot pies, cute and tasty! I found my Buttery Flaky Pie Crust recipe and made up two batches to chill until just before the party. I used the turkey, 2 celery stalks chopped and 2 carrots to start on the Turkey Pot Pie recipe. I knew I was going to make this recipe so a few days prior I chopped three small onions and used my garlic press on three garlic cloves. If you put a bag of onions and garlic in the fridge it will start to get pungent which is why I added it to a quart size freezer bag instead. I didn’t want the minced garlic mixing in the onions because I didn’t know if I was going to use all that garlic so I put the minced garlic in some plastic wrap. I melted a stick (1/2 C) of butter in a pan and added the onion and all the garlic (ha!) until translucent. I mixed all the veggies and turkey in a larger pan with some homemade turkey broth, milk and flour until it thickened. I let the mixture cool and then put it in the fridge to be put together the next day.

Pre-made (by me) chopped onions and minced garlic

Tupperware party today! I started by cleaning then got my steaks in a blanket ready. I actually feel guilty because I went and bought those pre-packed croissant tubes to wrap the steak in (Oh the horror!). I also bought black olives for the pasta salad and some OJ (I did not buy the canned OJ because of all things I do not own a pitcher!) and Champagne for Mimosas! I added the olives, olive juice, and boiled egg whites to the pasta salad and let it sit a little longer in the fridge.

Steaks in a Blanket

I took my steak out of the Crockpot and sliced them into 1 inch pieces to be wrapped up in the croissants. They turned out so flippin good I can’t even take it! I want to tweak the steak recipe next time and add some cheese and maybe some peppers, then wrap.

Mini Turkey Pot Pies

The dough had been chilling in the fridge overnight and now it needed to thaw and I didn’t have time, of course! I threw it in the microwave for 20 seconds to heat it up for rolling. I used some flour and rolled it out in cupcake sizes then added the turkey mix from the fridge. I used my second dough mix for the tops, sliced vents and used a fork to seal them up! They were a hit too, plus I had leftovers because they were so filling.

pot pies and steaks in a blanket

The Spread

Mini carrots (the pre-cut ones got left behind at one of my last play dates, I don’t usually buy carrots that way – I have a 5 pound bag in my crisper), sliced celery, and vegetable crackers with Onion Dip. I used the onion soup mix with a 16oz tub of sour cream – which I got BOGO Free with a coupon – for the mix instead of buying the pre-made stuff. Of course the steaks in a blanket, mini turkey pot pies and my famous pasta salad.

Tupperware Microwave Chocolate Cake

The consultant that signed me up brought this handy contraption to make cake in the microwave. She mixed boxed cake mix in the Tupperware and put it in the microwave for about 12 minutes. She then took a tub of frosting put it in the microwave to melt and poured it all over the top with sprinkles. You could flip it out of the Tupperware and cut it right away too. It was brilliant and so good! And mimosas.

P.S. my.tupperware.com/desiraeb 😉

I had some steak leftovers so I used the last tube of croissants and made up the rest of them (8). I also used up the rest of my last three hot dogs sliced into a can of chili over low heat on the stove for lunch. My son ate the most random stuff today including a “corndog” (see 2 weeks ago post), cereal and a steak in a blanket. Great healthy day mom, awesome job!

I went out to dinner (which equals bad for my budget) with a friend and I picked chicken enchilada for Little Man and I got Carne Asada which yielded a lot of leftovers between the two of us. More on that later in the week. I had an orange and a handful of strawberries that I needed to use up too so I made some more cubes, fruit cubes. Brilliant idea I tell you, brilliant!

Chicken Stir Fry

I grabbed my roast chicken (4.6 lbs) that I pulled apart last week, dumped some Mr. Yoshidas sauce in the tupperware container and let it marinate for about 30 minutes. In the mean time I sliced up 1/2 green pepper, 1/2 red pepper, 1 C (already sliced) mushrooms, and 1 small onion. When the chicken was done marinating I grabbed about half the chicken I had then threw it all in the wok with a little oil over medium heat. My roommate is on the South Beach Diet so I figured she would like this for dinner when she got home from work. And she did, yay!

I talked about juice cubes last week and figured I’d expand on the idea with some leftover fruit. And orange and some strawberries made some very tasty fruit infused water to drink this week.

Yes I actually used my high quality camera on this shot.

I was in school from 12pm-9pm so I brought half PB&J and some fresh sliced pear. I forgot I had a Luna Bar in my  backpack too, so I snacked on the after my first class. I did however make time in the morning to bake something up for my roomie for her sales meeting since they did so well last month.

Cupcake Doughnuts

They’re cupcakes, but doughnuts… but cupcakes and man they’re good! I heard about this on the Food Network recently, they were doing a show on The Best ______ I ever ate. I believe this episode was obviously about cupcakes. So this woman tells us how she loves cupcakes but this was better than a cupcake and better than a doughnut. They made this recipe up in a bakery somewhere in the US and I was immediately in love with the idea of a cupcake doughnut. Who wouldn’t? The recipe is simple: Whatever kind of cake mix you like (I cheated and used a Dunkin Hines yellow cake mix, since I may have, going on 100 in my cupboards), (1/2 C) melted butter, and sugar. Yep, that’s it. Bake your cake mix in a muffin pan, let them cool, brush butter all the way around the cupcake then toss it around in a dish of sugar. BAM! Cupcake Doughnuts. Alternatively you could brush the only the top with butter and dip it in the sugar bowl, but why would anyone do that?

You. are. welcome.

For whatever reason the fridge seems to be on the fritz so I had to cook up everything possible and throw a lot of stuff out.  I had a 14# Butterball that I got for $7 back around Thanksgiving that had been thawing so I threw that in the oven. I also had 6-pack of pork chops completely thawed so I threw those in the CrockPot. I put together a stir fry for Ms. Roomie to go with the pork chops since we needed to use up some veggies too. Oh and salsa!

Sour Cream Pork Chops

I bought some pork chops on sale a few weeks back (for the first time in my life) and looked up some recipes on good ol’ allrecipes.com. I found a good looking crock pot recipe called Sour Cream Pork Chops and thought the tenderness of the meat and tang of the sour cream would be divine. And guess what? It totally was. No really, if you have a crock pot you need to try this recipe. If you don’t have a crockpot you need to go out and buy one just to try this recipe! The gist of it is to brown the chops, throw in the crockpot, remove them from the crockpot, and make the sauce in the drippings.

Remember those veggies from Monday? Well, I wanted to finish them up so here I literally threw 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 green pepper, the onions from the crockpot, 1 C (already sliced) mushrooms, 1 carrot and a head of broccoli in the wok with some oil over medium heat.

I unwrapped the turkey, rinsed it, seasoned it and buttered it. I used what veggies and fresh herbs, or herb for that matter, I had on hand and threw it all in my roaster (that I picked up at the Goodwill for $6.99!). I will not show you the picture of the turkey all done because it was an awful picture, I flipped it 2/3 through to brown the breast and it… blah! Let’s break it down. 14# turkey in roaster with 1 carrot, 3 small onions (sliced), 1 whole garlic and fresh thyme. I pulled the meat off as soon as it was cool and got a lot of meat – duh! I filled a quart size freezer bag 2/3 full of dark meat and a large bowl near full of white meat. I saved about 3/4 of the bones and drippings in a couple gallon size freezer bags for some turkey stock at a later date.

Turkey sammichs here I come!

Salsa

I grabbed two roma tomatoes, one jalapeno (which I used sandwich baggies to cover my hands since I wear contacts and learned that the hard way!), a garlic clove, and the juice from half a lime.

I was in school and brought a big jug of coffee in my handy thermos and a whole peeled sliced cucumber to tide me over in between classes. It’s finals week so I’m not taking much of a break in between classes. I know its not much food, but I was pretty lazy in the morning – what can I say!

Tacos

I had corn tortillas in the fridge so I figured I’d use up my Monday night leftovers and make another meal out of it. I used the Carne Asade in the pan just to warm it up, the rice and beans in the microwave, sour cream and some of my homemade salsa on top. I got two tacos out of it but since it was 9 o’clock at night by the time I got home that was more than enough for me!

Today was picnic day and boy was it gorgeous out! I brought some cut up fresh strawberries and pineapple, all the fixings for turkey sandwiches, and chocolate rice krispie treats! I also brought a couple halfs of PB&J’s just in case one or more of the kids didn’t like turkey.

For the turkey sandwiches I brought leftover turkey, bread, iceburg lettuce, tomato, mayo and cheese. The turkey was already pulled after cooking it Wednesday. I pulled leaves off the lettuce head and just tore them into bread size pieces and slices up a roma tomato. The cheese was already sliced and in a quart bag so I just grabbed as much as we needed and put some mayo in a small Tupperware. I don’t have any pictures of the sandwiches but I bet you can guess what a turkey sandwich looks like! 🙂

Before Little Man came back from his dads in December I picked a few boxes of Rice Krispies and two bags of marshmallows figuring we could make them together. I was right! We made a batch in January and another for the picnic. I ended up buying two boxes of regular Rice Krispies and a box of chocolate Rice Krispies just to mix it up a bit. Today we used half regular, half chocolate with my handy dandy Perfect Brownie pan and ta-da!

Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

I had some bread ends leftover that I usually keep for crutons but I used them up for the half of PB&J’s instead. Here’s a picture of my friends daughter and her PB&J face. Do you think she liked it?

Well evidently I didn’t cook anything up Saturday because I have no pictures. Hmm. Weird. I know for sure we had leftover “corndogs” from the freezer (30-60 seconds in microwave to re-heat) that I posted about last week.

We woke up and got ready for the Home & Garden show today, but before we left I made up egg in the hole, except I used a cute little star cookie cutter instead. By the way this is the first time in my life I’ve made these.

Egg in the hole

I buttered a piece of bread on both sides, I cut the bread with star cookie cutter, placed the buttered bread into a pan over medium heat and dropped the egg right into the star. I ended up flipping mine, but you could put the lid on the make it pretty with the yolk showing.

Clearly I cooked more for me and Little Man over the course of the week, but here are the highlights!

To add to my Dez Deals weekly blog ‘Food Savings Friday’ I’m going to start a weekly blog about what meals I came up with, with the food I bought for the week or already have in my fridge and cupboards.

Let’s start with today to make it fresh, sound good? Okay then. Going forward I’m going to start with Monday and list through Sunday and post on Sunday the weeks meals. Let’s see if I can remember what I cooked up this week….

“Corndogs”

By corn dogs, I mean I mixed up a pack of Jiffy Corn Bread mix and quartered some hot dogs. I took the ingredients and added them to a muffin pan. Cool, fun idea for the kids eh?

I took this idea to a friends house for a play date lunch idea. She had a Krusteez corn bread mix on hand so we used that instead and it came out much more smooth and fluffier than the Jiffy mix. She had little ones so we chopped up the hot dog into smaller pieces to make a easier for the younger chitlens. Also, next time, I may put the dog vertical in the cup instead or just use the chopped idea since that way you get hot dog in every bite. We’ll see and of course I’ll blog about it when I do.

Juice Cubes

I blogged over at Sarcasticaville about this and wanted to share it here too. Basically I didn’t want to waste juice (if you can even call it that these days), but didn’t want to drink all those calories/sugar either. So this was my plan. Usually I’ll just do half water and half whatever for Little Man, but I wanted to make it fun and get less juice in the process. This is also a perfect way to get your H2O in with very little calories. It’s sorta like those single serve juice packs that are only 5 calories, but way cuter. 🙂

VitaRain, Hi-C, and Water cubes

Little man asked for popsicles and here was my solution, again… I just some foil over the top and toothpicks, which Little Man so generously offered to place for me. By the way this is VitaRain from Costco which is Vitamin Water with zero calories, zero sugar, just vitamins. And now it’s a healthy “popsicle” for Little Man.

"Strength" flavored VitaRain

Chocolate Bananas

It take 3 ripe bananas to make Banana bread or any Variation of it and I had 4, so I used the other half of the ice cube tray and made chocolate covered bananas. Its banana pieces and chocolate syrup, that’s it! Brilliant if I have to say so myself.

Half healthy?

Crock Pot Roast Chicken

I got this for 4.6 lb chicken for $3.63 and roasted it on a bed of carrots, the last of my celery, onion, garlic and some fresh rosemary. I seasoned it with salt, pepper and some leftover steak seasoning.

My house smelled a m a z i n g!

I picked it apart while it was still warm and threw all the leftover bones, skin, etc back into the pot with the leftover veggies and chicken dripping for some delicious broth. You just fill the water up just covering the bones for another 6 hours and BAM yummy chicken broth for leftovers. I’m thinking pot pies, or chicken and dumplings or chicken noodle soup, or…. well there are just too many possibilities!

I cant think of anything else I made this week for meals, silly eh? So we’ll start new next week.

I cook and bake on the daily and still haven’t updated this blog since, what, Thanksgiving? Blah. Okay here are some things I’ve cooked and baked recently and the links to them.

Hearty Potato Soup

CrockPot Roasted Chicken rubbed in Fajita seasoning (no link, if you’re interested ask )

Ultimate Mac N Cheese

Slow Cooker Italian Beef

Roasted Thick Potato Chips

I cant find the links right now, but if you’re interested ask and I’ll dig them up.

Homemade baked beans, the recipe is from and 88 year old woman so it has to be good. And it was!

Peppermint Sugar cookies with Peppermint Frosting and crushed mint candies

Mini Banana Loaves

Cookies in a Jar

Butter cookies dipped in White Chocolate and sprinkes

“Perfect Brownie” Brownies

Breakfast Casserole

Banana Chips

Giant Cupcake Cake

Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce

Homemade Cinnamon Raisen Bread

Twice cooked Baked Potatos w/ grilled onions

Asparagus with Mr. Yoshida sauce and sesame

Omigosh I’m getting frustrated with WordPress! It will not post the pictures in the right direction!

So, here’s a few to get excited about 🙂

I’ve wanted to try a pot pie recipe for a long time! I used to buy those Banquet ones alllll the flippin time when I shopped at the NEX and they were really cheap. I haven’t bought one in years. So Thanksgiving rolled around and I gave away all my leftovers so none left for a recipe. Then Christmas came and I still didn’t save any! Silly me. Thankfully someone gave me a slice of turkey and a slice of ham so I had just enough for a pot pie. I didn’t want to make the big pie plate type, just some minis like I used to eat, those silly Banquet ones. I went to trusty ol’ AllRecipes.com and searched. I came across this recipe:

Chicken Pot Pie IX

I didn’t have all the ingredients listed, like green peas or celery seed and I added 4 potatoes since I have to have them in my pot pie. And… crap what’s the last ingredient? Pie crusts?! Okay, okay I’ll just have to make some. I can do this. I searched for a yummy pie crust next. I found this:

Butter Flaky Pie Crust

Oh this looked easy, and guess what it was. I’m not sure I’ll ever buy pre-made crust ever again. This was so buttery, and flaky just as the title suggests. I’d also like to mention I had to make two batches of crust to make 12 full pot pies.

I planned this as a late dinner, but was shot down by the chilling time required by the crust dough. So I chopped and chopped and had everything ready for the next days lunch (New Years Eve). Since I had everything chopped and already mixed in the same dish I did not prepare it as the recipe suggested. And, now that I’ve read through the ingredients I didn’t even add milk… woops. Oh well.

I didn’t have ramekins and didn’t want to do a full pie. Next best thing=mini loaf pan. It worked great though and was a perfect portion for my little man and I.

I literally threw all the ingredients into the skillet, added butter, my homemade turkey stock and then the flour slowly. It thickened up nice and was a great consistency for the type of pot pie I like. And that’s what really matters right? What I like.

Ta da!! Oh my delectable lunch Batman! Yes please, may I have another with Grape/Apple Sparking Cider? I grabbed the extras wrapped them up in foil then a freezer bag set for future delectable lunch or dinners. However, since little man and I liked them so much and my mom stopped in and grabbed a couple there weren’t many left. Four out of twelve to be exact. Heh.

I will definitely make this again and again.

What’s your experience with pot pies?
Do you have a yummy recipe for me to try?
What’s next on your I-have-to-try-this-recipe list?

Who is so exhausted by the end of the day, sitting down to the lovely meal you prepared is almost too much? *Raises hand*

How about you? Well, I’m going to help you put those days behind you. Who’s with me? Okay then, here we go.

Next week is Thanksgiving and I’ve found a few tips that should help you make it through the day.

  • How about cooking everything before hand?

I know what you’re thinking, even the turkey?! Yes, even the turkey and no one will even notice! Practically everything if you want. You can do your potatoes, stuffing, dinner rolls and pies. All before hand so you’re not stuck in the kitchen all day and can actually spend time with your family (if you really want to).

  • Ask around.

Ask your family what they like for Thanksgiving dinner, you maybe be able to eliminate some dishes (and save money) if majority rules. Plus, it saves you extra time in the kitchen. Score!

  • Delegate, delegate, delegate.

If you are having a full house full of family and guests for the holiday you might as well as use it to your advantage. See if someone can bring a pie, and someone else can bring that yummy green bean casserole. Why not right?

  • Relax!

Don’t kill yourself making the whole place sparkling clean. I mean really, we’re not all Martha Stewart. Speaking of Martha Stewart you don’t need to go overboard on the place settings and table decorations. It’s nice sometimes, but not necessary especially if you’re running yourself ragged making everything look perfect. Your family is there for the gathering not the scenery.

I hope this helps you save some time, money and a little bit of your sanity this Thanksgiving. If you have any tried and true tricks, go on… share with the class.

Here I will post recipes I’ve tried, kitchen tricks and anything else food related that I wanna write about. Sound good?

Olé!

October 24, 2009

You would not believe the wicked good deal I got the other week at Cost Cutter! $2.56 total and I got all the items pictured below:

Cost Cutter round-up!

Cost Cutter round-up!

What can I make with all this?? You guessed it, Salsa! (Oh and a there is a bag of apples in there for my lunches…heh.) So I commenced to chopping, gutting and chopping the tomatos (I had an extra in my veggie drawer) and jalepeño, chopping the onion (I used what I had left of a red onion), chopping some garlic (P.S. I want a garlic press for Christmas… hint hint), and finally chopping fine pieces (in large amounts) of cilantro. I threw all that yummy goodness in a gool ‘ol tupperware and BAM!

The BEST salsa you've ever put in your mouth. Serioulsly.

Restaurant quality Salsa/Pico

The best salsa you’ve ever put in your mouth, seriously.

Ask my wifey. I came home from work yesterday to find it half eaten with chunks of sour cream here and there. Must’ve been that good. I was proud of how well it turned out and especially proud of adding any sort of onion since I’m not a huge fan of it. At all. But salsa has to have onion, it just has to and as I experiment with new things I’ve decided to throw caution (and my taste buds) to the wind and just go with it. Life’s too short to be putting limits on things, ya know?

So I washed my hands grabbed a big bag of Trader Joes Corn Chips and sat down to my very own homemade salsa as a snack. I enjoyed every bite, even the onions. 🙂

After my Netflix movie I decided it was about the time to hit the hay! I slept well that night falling asleep to complete satisfaction in my side dish. One more homemade recipe for my Cookbook. Go me!

I woke up the next morning happy as clam, I went to go put my contacts in and realized within an instant of that thing hitting my eyeball…. I didn’t wash my hands well enough after handling a fricken jalepeño. Ow ow ow ow ow ow!

Homemade salsa good, jalepeño juices still somehow left on my index finger bad. Lesson learned. Well, at least the salsa was good.

[Transferred from Sarcasticaville]

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