Sunday, April 19, 2009

This just makes me so happy!

I am now done with my grocery shopping for the week. Usually, I only go to Trader Joe's and Albertson's. But this week, I went to Ralph's also because they had some really good deals. Okay, you know how you "save" money at each store by buying sale items and using your card? At Ralph's, I spent $27 and saved $26! At Albie's, I spent $45 and saved $26. I feel so good!
Last week at Albie's I spent $48 and saved $46! Isn't that exciting??
BTW, everyone should go to Albie's this week: 5 lb bag of potatoes for 99 cents, 5 lb bag of apples for 2.99, vine tomatoes for 99 cents a pound, 73% lean ground beef for 99 cents, brown rice for 1.99.
I'm on a high right now. Who knew that saving money on groceries could be as good as illegal drugs?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Menu for this week

I haven't done this is AGES! One reason is because it takes a ton of time...time that I just don't make a priority. The other reason is because lately I've done a lot of experimental recipes that I make up as I go along, and I don't have amounts and ingredients to write down until the recipe is already put together.
But this week, I'm mostly trying new ones: some from the Kraft magazine and some from other friends.
Sunday: orange-chicken rice bowl
Monday: skillet potatoes with bacon and cheddar (YUM), cole slaw
Tuesday: red beans with rice
Wednesday: posole
Thursday: German apple pancakes
Friday: chicken with garlic and parmesan, Brianna's salad
Saturday: leftovers

Orange-chicken rice bowl
This one was from the Kraft magazine, and it was so mediocre, that I won't waste my time writing it down here.

Skillet potatoes with bacon and cheddar
(This one isn't so bad if you use turkey bacon, margarine instead of bacon grease, light sour cream, and go easy on the cheese)
6 slices bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 Tbsp sour cream
Cook bacon in skillet on medium heat till crisp (I microwaved mine). Remove bacon, set aside, save 3 Tbsp drippings in skillet. Add onion to skillet; cook and stir 5 minutes. Add potatoes, cover. Cook on medium-low heat 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Top with cheese and crumbled bacon. Cover 1-2 minutes till cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Serve with sour cream on the top.

Fat-free cole slaw
8-10 oz shredded cabbage (about 2 1/2 cups?)
1 cup shredded carrots (2-3 whole carrots)
3/4 cup grapes, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
6 oz fat-free yogurt
1 Tbsp splenda (or sugar)
Mix the fruits and vegetables together. Add splenda to yogurt and mix, then blend with the salad.

Red beans and rice
I used 1 lb of dry dark red kidney beans and cooked them according to package instructions. At the end of cooking, I removed most of the water; I like my beans thick and stewy. Then I add the following, and I don't measure, so here are guesses of how much I use.
2 Tbsp bbq sauce
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp liquid smoke (this stuff is so good and so versatile; everyone should own a bottle)
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
salt to taste
I served like a soup over rice.

See this link to Amber's blog.

German apple pancakes
Why NOT have breakfast for dinner???
See this link to Amber's blog.

Chicken with garlic and parmesan
4 small boneless chicken breast halves (1 lb)
20 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 caesar dressing
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat skillet on medium-high heat and add chicken and garlic. Cook 4 minutes, turning chicken after 2 minutes. Stir in broth and dressing; cover with lid. Cook chicken 4 minutes on each side, or until done (165 degrees). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 1 minute.

Brianna's salad
See this link to Amber's blog (I'm going to leave out the chicken since the other recipe has chicken).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Shout outs

The first shout out goes to me for surviving these two conversations that happened today.

Ethan: Mommy, I have a booger. (It's on his finger, which he is holding out to me, but I'm in the front seat of the car driving).
Hope: Gross ... well, just wipe it on your jeans.
Ethan: I can't.
Hope: Why not?
Ethan: I'm too angry.
Hope (laughing quietly): Oh, why are you angry?
Ethan (with a sigh): I don't know. (Pause). Mommy I have a booger.
(If you can make sense of this conversation, then you are ahead of me!)

Ethan: Mommy, what is this on my shirt?
Hope: That's ketchup that you wiped on your shirt instead of wiping your face with a napkin.
Ethan: Mommy, did you do this to me?
Hope (with a sigh): No, Ethan, you did that to yourself.
Ethan: Oh. (Pause). It's very messy.

Second, I give a shout out to Wamu's fraud prevention department.
Last Tuesday, they called us about 3 suspicious purchases made on Chad's debit card. Chad cancelled the card that night. One of the purchases didn't go through, but 2 of them did: totaling about $800. On Thursday or Friday, we got a receipt in the mail addressed to us with the wrong zip code. It had some lady's name on it and an address. "Christina Gutierrez" wasn't very smart, although this is probably not the real name or address. By the way, this was for the $500 scale she bought from some healthcare company. Chad took this paper to the police, and they said these scales are generally used for weighing drugs.
Great, now names are connected to some drug scandal...
I will give a shout out to the police if "Christina" can be caught and suffer the full penalty of the law (Yikes, I thought I was over this, but no, still angry about it). Or at least, be caught and be forced into drug rehab.
Thanks, Wamu, for catching it early.

Thirdly, I want to give a shout out to Benji
because he's so cute and makes me smile every day. I get so many comments on how cute he is, how adorable his scoot/crawl is, how beautiful his eyes are, etc. It warms my little heart. I love my Benjers.

Fourthly, a shout out to Ethan-pie
because he says funny things every day, and it makes me laugh. Sometimes, he says something funny or smart or off-the-wall, and I think, "Where did he even get that from?" He's a funny guy. The other day, I was getting him out of bed, and he said, "I like you, Mommy."

Next, I give a shout out to Bridget, Michelle, and Shonda because they are stellar.

And finally, I give a shout out to Taylor Swift because I really like this song.