Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekly Menu

So we're not much on a set menu. I mean, what if I have chicken planned and all the sudden get a craving for burgers? Or what if I miscalculate and some of my produce is on the verge of expiring?

I have found though, that it's fairly easy for me to plan 7 days worth of food and then choose one of those 7 each day... Makes grocery list making and shopping a LOT easier.

So for this week I planned:
Weekdays-Cereal, fruit, & milk
Weekend- Sausage, eggs, biscuits, & gravy - & - Bacon, eggs, & toast
Chili Dogs twice, Sandwiches 3 times, & leftovers twice.
Chicken sandwiches & fries
Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper (I add corn & black beans)
Buttermilk chicken, veggies, & mashed potatoes
Italian Chicken, veggies, stuffing, & mashed potatoes
Burgers & fries
Bean or Lentil soup with ham and carrots

I had all the necesary meats other than breakfast stuffs in the freezer from earlier this month... I have tons of veggies in the freezer ALWAYS, and I got 20lbs of potatoes last week when they were on sale for $1.99/10lbs. I would have gotten 30 or 40lbs but I only had 2 hands and no buggy that day LOL! I've learned to make great fries from scratch now... The secret is to fry them twice. I'm debating experimenting with frozen fries... Perhaps baking them first, freezing, and cooking from frozen like the store-bought ones... Soon.

Today's Grocery HAUL

Okay, so maybe it's not THAT much, but for what I paid?

I shopped at Aldi, Murphy USA, and WalMart.

I got-
3lbs Bananas, 3 tomatoes, 4 peaches, 1lb strawberries, 1.5lbs grapes
16oz sour cream, sliced cheese, 1lb butter, 1 gal milk, 8oz shredded cheese, YoToddler 4pk
2 bags chips, 2boxes cornbread mix, bread, hot dog buns, self rising flour
bologna, bag of chicken patties (2 meals worth),
2 pkts of Peanut Butter & Co., mayo, mini marshmallows
5 x 32oz Powerade, energy shot, monster slim jim, & 2pks cigs (for Rickey... blech.)

Total spent- $30.75

My big sense of accomplishment though, comes from Wal-Mart, where I discovered a coupon money-maker all by myself! There is a Peanut Butter & Co coupon floating around the net for $1 off any. No size restrictions. My Wal-Mart carries single serve packets for $0.68 each. 2 prints of the coupon = $0.64 profit from Dark Chocolate Dreams LOL!

The Murphy trip was all about freebies too... Rickey needed cigs anyway, and I had gotten some Murphy coupons in the mail the other day... The Monster Slim Jim & the energy shot were both free.

All told I saved $11 in coupons today, and everything I bought was something we will actually use this week rather than taking up space with a stockpile.

Next time I'll try to get a picture before I put it all away...

UPDATE: The PB&Co coupon came from their Facebook page.

Friday, May 20, 2011


I realized I should probably include a list of recipes and ingredients for my 2 day cooking spree...

I'm making:

  1. Split Pea Soup
  2. Beans
  3. Mexican Beans
  4. Refried Beans
  5. Buttermilk Chicken
  6. Italian Chicken
  7. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes or with oatmeal
  8. Half Wheat Biscuits
  9. Taco Kits
  10. Burritos
  11. Breakfast Burritos (if I have time)

Shopping List:

If you haven't mad a ham lately, I recommend buying a small (4-5lb) bone-in picnic ham and cooking it a day or two before. Reserve the bone and about 1lb of ham. Or you can just buy a ham hock & ham steak...

  • 1lb split peas
  • 1qt chicken broth
  • celery
  • garlic
  • 4lbs dried pinto beans
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1qt Buttermilk
  • Dijon Mustard
  • 16oz bottle Italian Dressing
  • Chocolate chips
  • Tortillas- I'm starting with 20 white & 20 wheat
  • 6lbs Taco Seasoned Turkey (or plain ground turkey and taco seasoning)
  • Breakfast meat- I'm using ham sandwich meat because I forgot sausage LOL

Things I usually keep on hand:
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • 18 eggs
  • Milk
  • Oats
  • 1lb real salted butter
  • olive oil
  • baby carrots
  • shortening
  • baking powder
  • onion
  • Sauce packets from Taco Bell- They ask if you want sauce and when you say yes they toss in a handful for 2 tacos. I always have leftovers LOL!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Freezer Cooking Part One

Me style.

After my experiment with ground beef last fall I kinda let freezer cooking fall by the wayside. Here lately I have been reading a lot about it. Mostly on blogs from couponers. Which is another new hobby I've picked up, I'll have to go into detail on it later. For now, a tale of big batch cooking.

Today started with Split Pea Soup. I used leftover ham & the bone from the Orange Glazed Ham I made last Sunday. It was super easy by the way, 1/4 cup brown sugar in the bottom of the crock pot, 3/4 cup brown sugar mixed with 1/2 can concentrated orange juice and poured over the ham as glaze. Cook on low for about 4-5 hours.

Back to the Split Pea Soup. I used the recipe posted by Emily of One Lovely Life. Only difference was that I added 4oz of finely chopped baby carrots in with the onion & celery, and I used garlic powder as I forgot to get whole garlic... Turned out DIVINE! and because Rickey won't touch it, it made enough for Robyn and I to have for dinner twice. In fact we ate half for dinner tonight before putting the other half in the freezer.

I put 4 lbs of pintos to soak... You need a BIG pot for this... I ended up using my crock pot for half and a mixing bowl for the other half as my big pot was busy with pea soup...

While the soup was simmering and the beans were soaking I divided 5 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts into 1 lb bags.
I divided a bottle of Italian dressing between 2 of the bags, squeezed the air out, & froze.
Then I mixed 2 cups of buttermilk, 1/2 cup of dijon mustard, and 1/2 tbsp each salt & pepper. I divided this mixture evenly between the remaining 3 bags, squeezed, sealed, & froze.

These aren't really MEALS per se, more just timesavers. The Italian chicken is fairly simple- Thaw 24 hours in advance, pour in pan, bake. The buttermilk chicken (which BTW came from My Little Bit of Life) is more versatile. Thaw 24 hours in advance of course, but then it's just marinated chicken. I plan to use 1 bag for chicken nuggets, 1 for buffalo bacon ranch chicken, and one for who knows what ;-D

After the chicken was in the freezer I had a bit of a break. From the kitchen at least. I had to feed the baby HIS lunch LOL.

When I decided the beans had soaked enough, I started the long haul. I drained and rinsed them, then measured out 2 bags of 4 cups each. I added 2 cups of water to each bag, then squeezed, sealed, and froze.

I set the remaining beans to cook with just a little salt.

When they were done enough I drained them, keeping 1.5 cups of the liquid back. I measured out 9 cups, put them in the crock pot on high along with 3/4 cup butter, and mashed them as best as I could by hand.

To the last of the beans I added 1 cup salsa, .5 tbsp cumin, 1tbsp onion powder, and .5 tbsp garlic powder. I mixed this up well and added back the 1.5 cups cooking liquid. I divided this mixture between 2 bags; it worked out to 2 cups per bag.

Back to the crockpot, I continued to stir occasionally as the beans and butter cooked for about an hour. Then I got out my mixer and gave them a whirl because I was impatient. I added some garlic salt, and .5 tbsp chili powder, and let them simmer for about another hour. I filled 2 bags of 2 cups each for freezing, and put the last of the beans in a bowl for making burritos tomorrow.

And now it's BEDTIME. I'm beat, and it's storming. I have a feeling I'm gonna sleep like a ROCK.