Dec 14, 2006

Crock Pot Blog Update

I can't believe I haven't updated my Crockpot Adventures blog since ther summer! I finally added a new recipe today. If you're a crock pot lover like me, hop over and take a look. If you try it leave me a comment, my family loved it!

Dec 13, 2006 Coupon Codes

Here are the newest promo codes. Enter the coupon code (in bold) at checkout, you can use them all at once! The link to is to your right under "Great Deals" , the $20 off offer is for new customers only. I think all of these are good until the end of December 2006.

Buy Lucene brand sour cream and a package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing or dip mix and save $1- HIDDEN1

Buy a 6 double roll package of Quilted Northern bath tissue and get a FREE package of Vanity Fair napkins. - FREE

FREE delivery on your order of $150 or more - HOLIDAYS

$10 off of every order of $200 or more (for email subscribers only) - ENJOY

Dec 12, 2006

Celebrity Chef Cookbook Reviews

I am one of those people who could spend an entire day watching celebrity chefs at work on tv. A lot of the meals they prepare are a little too complex or not practical for my tastes, but I have learned so much from just watching and of course all the great ideas for new meals I receive from watching them can't be beat! So when I received two celebrity chef cookbooks in the mail the other day I was pretty excited to see what new ideas lay in store.

The first book is Dave's Dinners from David Lieberman.

Although I have never seen Dave's television program, I have heard lots of good things about him before and was excited to take a look at his newest cookbook. One thing I really enjoy about this book is the photographs. They are so colorful and almost every recipe has a photo. I also like that the recipes are geared towards home cooks. They are all fairly simple and include ingredients that are easy to find and not too pricey. A definite plus! I also really enjoy the intros to each recipe that either give added information or a history of the recipe. I have not tried any of the recipes yet but do have one down on my list for the next couple weeks (check back for a review!) . A couple of the recipes that really caught my eye are Roasted Red Peppers and Ricotta Crostini (only 6 ingredients and they look so good!) and Pan Grilled Skirt Steak with Smoky Cowboy Beans and Minted Chimichuri Sauce (all the flavors my family loves and it sounds very simple too).

The second book is jamie's italy by Jamie Oliver.

I have only seen Jamie a couple of times on TV and really love his easy-going approach to cooking. That along with Italian food... this HAS to be a great book was my very first thought :) This book is like a story and cookbook combines. It tells the tale of Jamie's trek around Italy... all the people he met, food he ate and sights he saw. It was a very interesting read. The recipes are amazing. They are all totally authentic Italian recipes gathered on his trip around the country. One drawback to this book, for me at least, is that a lot of the ingredients are not available to me where I live. Also, some of the things served are not things my family would eat (like squid and wild boar... as if I could buy that here anyhow...). The photography is gorgeous as well. A word of caution though... if you are squeamish, skip the meat chapter. In his efforts to show the "real Italy" there are a few pretty gruesome photos of butchered animals. However, all in all it is a great book. If you want to prepare REAL Italian food I would highly recommend it. A couple of recipes that caught my eye were pizza fritta (fried pizza) and pasta al forno con pomodori e mozzarella (baked pasta with tomatoes and mozzarella).

If you're looking for a new addition to your cookbook shelf or a great Christmas gift, I'd suggest you try either of these books. They would be a great addition to any cookbook collection.

Dec 10, 2006

The BEST Smoked Turkey

Our whole family was really sick over Thanksgiving so our "feast"( as my kids like to call it), had to be postponed. We finally had our turkey dinner this weekend and it was wonderful! My mother-in-law told me how to make the BEST smoked turkey! This recipe is a variation of hers and I don't think she would mind me sharing it with all of you. It is delicious!

The BEST Smoked Turkey

(I always use a Butterball turkey and cook it according to the directions that come with it.)

After thawing your turkey, remove all the gizzards, giblets, etc. and rub it with butter or margarine on the outside. Season it well inside and out. I used Penzey's English Prime Rib Rub to season mine. (Even though this seasoning is intended for beef, it is GREAT on turkey). Place your turkey in a large bowl, roasting pan or stock pot. Submerge it half way in a mixture of 1/2 water, 1/2 milk and about 1/2 a bottle of liquid smoke. Allow it to set in this mixture in your refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove the container from your fridge and then turn your turkey over. Allow it to soak for 24 more hours. Remove the turkey from the soaking liquid and make sure to pour all the liquid out from the cavity. Season the turkey again inside and out. I used Seasoned salt this time and a little sage. Stuff the cavity with a couple carrots, a couple stalks of celery and an onion (cut them all into large chunks). Roast the turkey according to the directions that came along in the packaging. Allow the turkey to rest about 15 - 20 minutes before slicing. It is delicious!

Dec 5, 2006

Five Spice Cookies

We're participating in a cookie swap with our homeschool group on Friday so today was cookie dough day :) Each family brings 5 dozen of the same cookie and leaves with five dozen different kinds. I wanted to do something full of nice warm spices like cinnamon and ginger... but gingerbread men seemed too "boring". I came up with this recipe based on some ingredients we had on had. One word for these - YUM!

Five Spice Cookies

4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder (I used Penzey's)
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. orange extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 c. raisins

Combine flour, baking soda and salt and five spice powder in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, orange extract and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in preheated 375-degree oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Dec 4, 2006

Lasanga Bianca

This is a recipe I created tonight to use up some things in the fridge and pantry. It turned out great and best of all the kids LOVED it :)

Lasanga Bianca

12 uncooked lasanga noodles
1 lb. ground beef
2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 carton ricotta cheese
1/2 lb. frozen spinach, drained well
1 jar alfredo sauce
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper

Boil lasanga noodles for 10 minutes, drain well.

Brown ground beef along with seasoned salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

Spread a couple spoonfuls of the alfredo sauce into a 9 x 13 in. pan. Layer ingredients in the pan as follows:

Layer 1 - 3 lasanga noodles, spinach, ground beef, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese;
Layer 2 - repeat layer 1
Layer 3 - repeat layer 1
Layer 4 - 3 lasanga noodles, alfredo sauce, mozzarella cheese

Cover dish with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Dec 1, 2006

Creole Chicken

I found this recipe in a cookbook I have had for many years. It's called The Southern Living Five Star Recipe Collection... one of those cookbooks that is in a three ring binder and you buy the recipe cards to fill it up over a period of time. I love this cookbook so much! Tons of great recipes. This one is so good, if you love southern food, give it a try. It takes a bit of time but it's fairly easy and delicious!

Creole Chicken

1/2 c. plus 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 c. plus 3 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can chicken broth
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Creole Seasoning
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

Combine 1/2 c. flour and 1/2 c. canola oil in a Dutch oven. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes (or until roux is caramel colored). Add onions, bell pepper an garlic. Saute 4 minutes. Add broth, tomato sause and bay leaves. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.

Combine remaining flour, garlic powder, Creole Seasoning, oregano, pepper and thyme in a large Ziploc bag, seal and shake well. Add chicken then seal and shake well once again.

Add remaining oil to a large skillet and heat to medium. Brown chicken in oil in batches then add to Dutch oven. Cover and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve over rice or grits.

Nov 15, 2006

I'm Still Here!

If there are any of you loyal readers still out there waiting for my next blog post, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm still alive (LOL!)

It's been such a long time since I posted, I didn't realize quite how long until now. I hope you can forgive me :)

I don't have a recipe to share today but I do have some news to share. I think those of you have been reading here for a while know that we moved a few months ago. Soon after that, I realized that I had lost my digital camera cord AND we had our internet service shut off for a time, so therefor no posts or new pictures from my kitchen.

Lots has happened in our family in that time. We are expecting our fourth child in April. That being said, I haven't felt much like eating (or cooking!) for a while now. That phase of pregnancy is wearing off now and my desire to create in the kitchen is slowly returning so hopefully I'll have lots of new holiday creations to post very soon. After a long search I finally found a source for that camera cable too, so it should be arriving to our house in a couple of weeks. I can't wait to get back to sharing new ideas and recipes with you!

Sep 14, 2006 Promo Code - Free Delivery!

Hey everyone! Here's a new code for Safeway. Enter the code AUTUMN at checkout. $150 minimum. Not sure when this exptires, I just got it today.

Aug 30, 2006

Free Chocolate!

I thought my last post would be the last for a while, until I found this offer for FREE CHOCOLATE online today. It is only good through the end of September so sign up now! :)

Temporary Break

Just a quick note to let you all know that I will be taking a temporary break from blogging due to no internet connection for the next couple of months. I will be back ASAP and hopefully while I am on hiatus my pesky camera cable will show up too!

Stick around and enjoy the archived posts, links and all the other goodies around here... there's lots to read! :)

Aug 20, 2006

Homemade Buttermilk and Sour Cream

I was just surfing around on one of my favorite websites, Laine's Letters, that features lots of tried and true home-style recipes. I found one today that I hadn't seen before and can't wait to try it.

Homemade Buttermilk

1/4 cup of buttermilk
4 cups of milk

Pour into a mason jar. Cover and shake a little, then put on the counter. In about 24 hours, you have buttermilk. Remember to save a little buttermilk from each batch for the next batch.

Homemade Sour Cream

Make the same as buttermilk, only you use heavy cream in place of the milk.

Aug 11, 2006

Chicken Adobo

With all the chaos that comes with unpacking after a move, I misplaced the cable that goes to my digital camera... so please bare with me as I search. The recipes won't stop but the pictures might be some time in coming. Today is my youngest daughter's 2nd birthday so when I get a pic for this recipe I'll be sure to post one of her cute cake as well :) I've got to find that cable, my camera's memory is about full.

Chicken Adobo has been one of those life saving recipes for us this past week. It's so easy and takes only a few minutes on the good 'ol George Foreman Grill (or you can grill them outdoors on your barbecue, bake them or broil them). You can use any kind of chicken for this... bone-in, boneless/skinless, even a whole chicken would work... just be sure to use enough lime juice to coat all the meat.

Chicken Adobo

Chicken (I used 2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken tenderloins)
3 key limes (adjust the amount according to the amount of chicken you are using)
Adobo Seasoning (make your own or if you don't have time Goya makes a nice ready made version)

Early in the day, sprinkle chicken generously with Adobo seasoning. Arrange pieces so that you can evenly squeeze lime juice over them. I used one of those metal lime juicers. Cover the chicken and place it in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Cook as desired. This chicken is so moist and delicious yet so simple. You can marinate it as little as 1/2 an hour up to 6 hours. Overnight would be too long because the citrus juice will begin to cook the meat. I served this with pinto beans and homemade rice-a roni and homemade tortillas but it would be great with just about any side dishes you would like. Enjoy!

Aug 8, 2006 Coupon Code

Hey there everyone! We are all moved into the hosue now and if I can ever find the cable to my camera I will post some more pics. We have been busy unpacking so not much cooking going on here but I did get a coupon code for in my email today and wanted to share. This one expires Friday but it's a good deal.

Use the code JUST4U at checkout to get $5 off your order of $150 or more. Expires August 11, 2006 (hey, that's my baby's birthday).

Jul 22, 2006

Blog Me Meme

My buddy Shannon over at I Need To Vent (her VERY funny blog) tagged me for the Blog Me meme hosted by BlogHer. I always love a good meme, so here we go...

1. What can I learn about you in under 5 minutes?

I can't sit still at home for 5 minutes without getting up to throw in a load of laundry, I snack all day long, I'm great at multi-tasking.

2. How do you use blogging to build friendships?

I haven't spent much time on Blogher lately but love the concept and hopefully will find time to visit more in the future.

3. Who do you read every day, rain or shine?

My Bible... and I have all my favorite blog feeds sent to my Google Reader and try to read them daily.

4. How would you describe your writing style?

It depends on my mood. Usually a bit too formal and too short.

5. If you could spend time with one person who would it be?

Jesus. There's never been anyone I wanted to meet more.

6. What don't you write about? Anything considered a no-no in your book?

Anything too intimate or personal.

7. What is your favorite thing that you wrote?

No particular favorite.

8. Are you and your blogging persona the same person?

Yep! I'm a what you see is what you get kind of person. No fake blogger here :)

9. Have you ever anonymously posted on a site to flame them?

No. If I don't like something I will either be honest or just keep my opinion to myself.

10. If you had a super power, what would it be?

To be able to read people's minds. It always bugs me when I wonder what someone is thinking then ask them and can just tell they aren't being quite honest with me.

11. Why did you choose to share that piece of yourself in a photograph?

My camera is packed away so no pics today.

12. Where do you live?

Arizona. And let me tell you, it's HOT here.

13. What do you do for a living?

Homeschool my girls and take great care of them, my husband and our home.

14. What are some things you can't live without?

God, my family, a computer, my crock pot, lots of pillows, cheese.

Who do I tag next....

1. Biker Momma
2. My Mother's Fault
3. Cookin' With Cyndi
4. Messy Cucina
5. Nika's Culinaria


Jul 18, 2006


I apologize for the lack of posts last week but it was for a good reason! :) We are going to be moving! I'm very excited and haven't been cooking much since we have been busy sorting and starting to pack. Our moving date will be on August 7th. This is a huge blessing for us because we have been wanting to have more space for the kids and a yard for them to play and now that is exactly what we will have. I probably won't be posting very much until after the move but I promise it will be as soon as possible. Here's a pic of our new dwelling place. :)

Jul 6, 2006

Sourdough Bread

Well my starter was finally ready for use a couple days ago so I decided to make a simple sourdough bread recipe I found in The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I have made this bread in the past and was always happy with the results. This recipe is very easy although it does take quite a long time. It's well worth the wait though.

A note: Homemade sourdough bread does not taste quite as sour as store bought. If you want that extremely tangy taste you can add 1 Tb of vinegar or 1 tsp. of citric acid (sour salt) to the water for added "tang".

Sourdough Bread
(from The Complete Tightwad Gazette)

5 1/2 c. bread flour
2 c. sourdough starter
1 Tbsp. salt
1 c. water

Dissolve the salt in the water. Add the starter then stir in the flour. Knead until the dough is smooth and form into a ball. Put in an oiled bowl and cover and let rise overnight (it should be doubled in bulk when done). (Note: I let mine rise 4 hours and it was way past doubled in bulk so it will depend on the temp. in your house as to how long it will need to rise. I started my dough in the morning). Punch dough down and divide into two pieces. Form into balls and cut an "X" shape on top if desired. Place on a greased baking sheet and allow to rise about 4 hours or until double in bulk. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven and heat to 400 degrees. Bake loaves for 35 minutes. If they begin to brown too quickly then cover with a sheet of foil . If you like a soft crust, open the oven a couple times during cooking and spritz the oven walls with water, then cover the loaves when they cool. Allow them to cool completely on a rack before cutting.

Jul 3, 2006

Vegetable Beef Lasanga

I've been wanting to make lasanga for a while now but just hadn't gotten around to it. The recipe I normally use, Lasanga Maria, is not the most health conscious so I kept putting it off. I'm REALLY trying to stick to my diet. I finally figured that I should develop a new recipe so that we can enjoy lasanga more often without all the guilt. This is a recipe I created today pretty much off the top of my head to use up what we have on hand and to get some much needed veggies into my kids diet. They helped me make it so I know they will enjoy eating it as well. ;)

Vegetable Beef Lasanga

1 10 oz. package lasanga noodles (9 noodles)
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I used a large can of Hunt's Onion and Garlic that we had on hand)
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
8 oz. low fat ricotta cheese (1/2 of the average size container)
1/2 c. fat free cottage cheese
1 egg (you can use 2 egg whites instead for a healthier version)
1/4 c. plain yogurt (fat free sour cream would work as well)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 onion, sliced thin
2 zucchini, peeled and sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled, sliced then and blanched for 5 minutes
1/2 bag frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper, roasted and peeled
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pkg. fresh grated parmesan cheese (ziploc type package, not the stuff in the green can)
a few slices of pepperoni

Cook lasanga noodles for 10 minutes, drain and lay on an baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside. Brown ground beef in a skillet with the Italian seasoning and a little salt and pepper. Drain and set aside. Combine the ricotta, egg, cottage cheese, yogurt, garlic powder, parsley, red pepper flakes and a little salt and pepper; set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9 x 13 in pan spread about 3 Tbsp. of the sauce. On top of the sauce, layer the ingredients as follows: 3 noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture (spread over noodles with a spoon), 1/3 of the onions, 1/3 of the zucchini, 1/3 of the broccoli, 1/3 of the carrots, 1/3 of the ground beef, 1/3 of the mozzarella, 1/3 of the parmesan, 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat. For the last round, after adding the ground beef, layer the sauce before the cheese and place the pepperoni and red bell peppers on top. (You might need to press the entire thing with the back of a spatula to get it to fit into the dish so that the cheese won't stick to the foil when you cover it.)

Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes then uncover and bake another 20 minutes. Allow to set about 15 minutes before cutting.... if you can wait that long ;)

Jul 1, 2006

The Six O'Clock Scramble

I receive a lot of emails about new food related websites and resources on-line. There are many out there but it is not often that you find one that is not only new and fresh but also totally useful and makes your life easier! That was my first impression when I visited The Six O'Clock Scramble. This website is dedicated to helping families get dinner on the table on weeknights in a quick, hassle free manner. The originator of this website, Aviva Goldfarb, is a busy mom of two that obviously realizes the importance of healthy meals that don't take all day to prepare. Here's how the website works...

You purchase a subscription to The Six O'clock Scramble newsletter and once a week you receive 5 quick and easy dinner menus (main dishes with suggestions for simple side dishes) as well as a grocery list. Once you shop for all the items on your list, you have everything you need to prepare a week's worth of healthy and tasty dishes for your family. Most recipes take about 30 minutes or less to prepare. I love this concept! The subscription to the newsletter is $4.95/month, $26.50 for months or $47.50 for one year. You can view a sample newsletter on the site or purchase back issues for $1.50 each.

There is also a Six O'Clock Scramble cookbook available for purchase. I received my copy a couple of days ago and it's already made it to my stack of favorite cookbooks. The first recipe I tried from the book is called Three Cheese, Spinach Orzo Bake. It was simple to put together and delicious. I really like this cookbook because it includes lots of option for meals. There are meat dishes, seafood dishes and meatless meals. Most of the meat dishes offer vegetarian options as well. This is a great book for out family because the recipes include plenty of vegetables and grains and things that are healthy while still maintaining a kid friendly approach too preparing them. There are also lots of great tips throughout the book such as how to choose safer produce for our children and ideas for feeding babies and toddlers.

If you want to save money eating out when you are in a hurry, give this site and cookbook a try! I think you'll be glad you did. :)

Jun 30, 2006

Sourdough Starter

I have been in love with sourdough bread ever since I was a little girl. My dad used to work next door to a bakery called "La Boulangerie" (French for "The Baker") and he would bring home fresh bread almost every day. I could (and still can) easily eat an entire loaf by myself!

When my husband and I got married I found a recipe for sourdough starter and sourdough bread in The Complete Tightwad Gazette and then began my journey as a sourdough bread baker. Making sourdough starter is not only frugal but it is very easy. And by putting in a few minutes you will yield a delicious base for bread, waffles, pancakes, pizza crust and so much more.

My last starter was thrown out when we moved to our current residence. I thought it was about time for me to begin a new batch. This recipe was modified from the Tightwad version with a slight variation from the King Arthur Flour website.

Sourdough Starter

2 c. all-purpose flour (I used bread flour)
2 c. water
1 pkg. yeast
1 Tbsp. honey or sugar (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large (6 or more cup capacity) glass or stoneware jar or crock. Stir well with a non-metal spoon. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to sit on the counter top for about 5 days. The mixture will begin to bubble right away but for it to properly ferment and get the nice sour taste you need to allow the 5 days. Stir well and store in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.

When you use some of this mixture for a recipe you will then need to "feed it" so you will always have some on hand. Do this by adding 1 1/2 c. water and 1 1/2 c. flour to the container and stirring well. Then return it to the refrigerator. You should use your starter at least once or twice a week or it may not work as well after at time. If it gets a layer or clearish-yellowish liquid on top that is ok, just stir it well and proceed with your baking. If it turns a funny color, like pink, black or orange, throw it out!

Jun 25, 2006

One Year Old!

I was just looking back at some of my old blog posts and couldn't believe today is the one year anniversary of my very first blog post! Wow, time sure does fly! I'm hoping to fill the next 12 months with just as many fun and tasty recipes and lots more great advice for keeping your food budget under control. Thanks to all my loyal readers! :)

Jun 24, 2006

Orange-Coriander Muffins

Over the past year I have really stocked up on lots of herbs and spices that are new to us. One of my absolute favorites is coriander. When I first opened the jar I was overtaken with the bright, lemony scent. I knew that although I had purchased it for a couple of savory dishes I had in mind, it would also be perfect for sweet baked goods as well. This morning I decided to give it a try in muffins. They turned out really good! Nice and light and fluffy on the inside, golden and crisp on top. absoutely delicious!

Orange-Coriander Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/3 vegetable oil
1 tsp. orange extract or orange zest
1/2 tsp. coriander

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder coriander and salt. Add egg, milk, yogurt and oil to dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened. Do not over mix. Grease or line muffin tins with paper baking cups. Fill about 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees F about 20-25 minutes. Makes 10-12 muffins.

Jun 23, 2006

New Pics!

I've been preparing a lot of our old favorites lately so therefore the lack of new posts. However, I did add a better pic of the Cuban Bread and a new pic to the Cuban Cravings (Cuban Black Beans and Ropa Vieja) post last night. These are some of my absolute favorite recipes, if you haven't tried them already please do and let me know what you think!

Also, just a quick note, if you're a shopper, the newest coupon code is for free delivery, use the code JUICY at checkout. ($50 minimum purchase expires 8-15-06)

Enjoy your day!

Jun 16, 2006

Indian Food Adventure

I have been wanting to make a "real" Indian meal ever since I ventured out of my culinary comfort zone and tried making a simple Chicken Curry some time ago. I fell in love with the flavor of curry and wanted to prepare something else that was new and exotic to us. I decided to seek out a main dish, a side dish and a veggie dish for this endeavor. It took me a while because there are so many great recipes out there and they all sound delicious. I had never really eaten Indian food before but just the sound of the recipes with all the fragrant spices got my mouth watering so I had to give it a try.

I found the main dish recipe at My Dhaba. I had seen recipes for Tandoori Chicken before but this one sounded so good and it was very easy. I was glad it was able to be prepared on my George Foreman Grill (you all know how much I LOVE my grill!!) :) Here's the recipe...

My Dhaba'’s Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Chicken 2 full leg pieces, skinned (I used boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins)
Ginger 1 inch size, finely chopped (I used powdered ginger... in all the recipes)
Garlic 3 cloves, finely chopped
Onion 1, medium size, finely chopped
Cloves 2
Cinnamon ¼- inch stick
Lemon juice 1 tablespoon
Salt 1 teaspoon
Yogurt/curd 2 tablespoons, low-fat, non-salted; alternatively you may use 2 teaspoon soy sauce, teriyaki, or oriental sauce for getting totally different flavors
Vinegar 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon or as needed to make it more hot
Cummin powder 1 teaspoon
Black pepper powder ½ teaspoon
Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder ¼ teaspoon
Nutmeg powder ¼ teaspoon (optional)
Paprika powder 1 teaspoon (optional)

Method: Blend ginger, garlic, onions, cinnamon, salt, and cloves to a smooth wet paste and keep aside. Mix all the spice powders - red chilli, cummin, black pepper, coriander, turmeric, nutmeg, and paprika. Heat a pan, pour in the spice mix and roast for a minute on high heat. Combine the wet and roasted spice mixtures and spread all over the chicken pieces. Spinkle the vinegar and pour over the yogurt. Marinate the chicken pieces in this marinade covered for a minimum of 2 hours in a refrigerator, the more the better for a delicious flavor (if possible marinate it covered overnight). If marinating overnight, take the chicken pieces from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375 degree F, place the chicken on the low rack, and cook for 20-25 minutes. Then, turn over and cook for 10 more minutes or till the chicken pieces are completely roasted and get a golden brown color. Adjust the timings accordingly as needed. If chicken pieces are getting dry, you may baste it with a little butter or ghee. Alternatively you may also broil the marinated chicken pieces over an electric or charcoal grill.

Garnish the tandoori chicken with sliced onion rings, tomatoes, lemon wedges, and/or finely chopped coriander leaves and serve it immediately hot-hot. Enjoy!

The second recipe is for Indian Rice and Potatos and I found it on 28 Cooks. This recipe is delicious! Even if you are not a fan of highly spiced foods, give this one a try. The flavor is bright and buttery and so good. Here's that recipe.

Indian Rice and Potatoes
From 28 Cooks

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into sticks
3 tbsp yogurt
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c dried coconut*
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp oil
1 cup rice
3/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lime juice
2 cups water
1/2 c frozen peas
1 tbsp butter

Combine yogurt, cilantro, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and coconut. Add potatoes, stir well, and allow to marinate for a few minutes. Heat oil in large pan, and add cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cumin seeds. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until cumin turns brown. Add potato and yogurt mixture, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once potatoes are nicely browned, add rice, and cook for another minute or two. Add turmeric, brown sugar, salt, lime juice, and water. Bring to a boil, cover with lid, and lower heat to a simmer. Cook, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Add peas to pot, and do not stir in. Cover with lid and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove lid, and fluff with fork. Remove from heat, and stir in butter. Serve and enjoy!

Finally, I made Curried Vegetables based on a recipe for Curried Cauliflower I found over at Delicious Living. This one had a bit too much citrus for my taste but it was still good and went well with the other two recipes. This is the recipe.

Curried Cauliflower
From Delicious Living
(Serves 4)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 cups cauliflower florets, washed and dried
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
Sea salt, to taste (optional)

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and saute onion, garlic, and ginger for about 3 minutes. Add curry powder, cumin, and mustard seeds and saute for an additional 3 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Add cauliflower and lime juice and stir-fry on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat, add coconut milk and broth or water, cover partially, and simmer on low heat for about 5 more minutes, until cauliflower is crisp-tender. Add sea salt to taste, if desired.

If you're new to Indian food or used to eating it often, give these recipes a try they are wonderful!

My 6 year old gave the Tandoori Chicken a thumbs up. In her words "Next time just add a little more salt, a little less pepper and it will be off the hook." I will take that as the highest praise :)

Jun 12, 2006

Confessions in Groups of 5 Meme

One of my favorite food bloggers, Deetsa, tagged me for a meme. Since there hasn't been much new cooking in the kitchen here lately, I thought this would be fun to share today :)

5 items in the freezer

1. boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs (easy to prepare and so much you can do with them)
2. popcicles (gotta keep the kids happy right?)
3. peeled bananas (smoothies, bread, muffins, pancakes...)
4. lots of veggies!
5. bread crumbs

5 items in my closet

1. shoes
2. dresses
3. confiscated toys
4. Christmas decorations
5. winter coats

5 items in my (our) car (van)

1. car seats (3)
2. *lost* toys
3. jumper cables
4. CD's
5. a bag of pink styrofoam peanuts

5 items in my purse

1. an extra diaper
2. lip gloss
3. a couple pens
4. hand cream
5. wallet

5 Bloggers I tag for this meme

1. Fiber from 28 Cooks
2. Erin from Erin Eats
3. Heather from Eating For One
4. Erika from Tummy Treasure
5. Paz from The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz

Thanks Deetsa, that was fun :)

Jun 8, 2006

Oatmeal Raisin Scones

I adapted this recipe from The Complete Tightwad Gazette. These scones are very heavy and dense and are great for breakfast with honey on top.

Oatmeal Raisin Scones

1 1/2 c flour
1 c uncooked oatmeal
1/4 c. flax seed meal (optional)
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c softened margarine
1/2 c rasins
3/4 c sour milk (milk with 2 tsp vinegar)
1 egg, beaten


1. Preaheat oven to 400. Mix dry ingredients; cut in margarine and rasins.
2. Stir in enough sour milk just to moisten. Divide dough in half.
3. Flour hands and pat dough into 2 circles on a greased cookie sheet about 1/2 inch thick.
4. Cut into quarters . Bake for 10 minutes. Brush on egg and then bake until golden brown.
5. Serve with honey, margarine, or jam.

Jun 6, 2006 New coupon code

I don't know about where you are but it's HOT here and going out to grocery shop is not fun when it's hot. I got a couple of emails from this week and thought I'd share... they have some great deals right now for the summer. If you have a Safeway in your local area take advantage of having your groceries delivered, you'll be glad you did :)

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Drivers do not accept tips, but a smile is always appreciated.

Save $5.00 when you spend $150 or more, OR, save $2.00 by choosing a 4 hour delivery window.

Jun 4, 2006

Tres Leches Cake

I had been wanting to make Tres Leches Cake for some time now and back when I found that Tres Leches Cake Mix, I've been waiting for a special occasion to try it... (I figured a mix would make it easier the first time trying to make it). Yesterday we had our monthly church luncheon so I figured I would give it a try. Well.... it was quite an experience!

I was a bit skeptical when I read on the package that the cake is a single layer baked in a 9 inch pan and is supposed to soak up over 3 cups of liquid. The directions said to bake the cake, cool it then take it out of the pan. At the point you are to prepare the milk syrup, poke holes in the cake and pour the syrup over the cake.

Well, let's just say we went through a lot of paper towels with this project. My cake keeper does not have any type of edge around it which would catch any spilling liquid so all the excess liquid spilled everywhere! I only ended up using 3/4 of the liquid on the cake so hopefully it will be moist enough. I *think* the best way to approach a cake like this would be to bake it in a square pan and then leave it in the pan to cool then pour the liquid on it right in the pan. But, back to the story...

So once I got the cake cleaned up I took some canned crushed pineapple along with the liquid an and whisked in 2 Tbsp.. water mixed with 1 Tbsp. corn starch. I cooked that until thick and then spread it on the cake. The cake then went into the fridge to set. After a couple of hours I whipped 1/4 pint of heavy cream mixed with 1 Tbsp. Confectioners sugar and spread that over the entire cake. Finally I garnished with some coconut I had toasted and sliced strawberries. Sorry for not having a picture to share but we were running late and I didn't have time to find my camera!

Jun 1, 2006

Spring Cleaning

Actually by the feel of the weather outside I should say Summer Cleaning :)

Actually, I was feeling a bit bogged down by all the things on my main blog page so I catagorized things and created a Blog Catagories list at the top left for easier navigation. I feel so much more organized now :) Hope it's easier for you all to read as well!

May 31, 2006

Great Food Day!

Yesterday is what I like to call a "great food day". Now because we ate at a great restaurant or anything like that but because we got a lot of great deals! :)

First we made the trek (I say "trek" because it's a 45+ minute drive) out to Trader Joe's. I try to make it over there every month or so if I can to stock up on some things that we really like, such as Jasmine Rice, Thompson's raisins and organic tomato sauce. These items may sound like simple things you can find at any store but TJ's just taste better. While we were there I realized I had nothing planned for dinner that wouldn't take a long time to prepare so we needed something quick to prepare once we got back home. Usually to me quick food = expensive food so I took my time looking to see what we could get for a good price (considering we'd probably eat out if I didn't grab something). I finally settled on an item I had heard people raving about - Mandarin Orange Chicken. This chicken is frozen little breaded chicken pieces with a sauce you microwave and pour over it when it's finished cooking. From the looks of it, it reminded me of the Orange Chicken we love to eat at Panda Express so I figured it would be a hit. I also grabbed some frozen Pot Stickers to go with it. Upon arriving home I put the chicken in the oven to bake while starting a pot of Jasmine rice and the pot stickers. I also prepared some broccoli that we had in the freezer.

The meal was wonderful! My husband was shocked that frozen food could taste so much like the takeout we love. I paid $8 for everything we needed for that meal and if we had bought the same food at Panda I think the price would have been around $20 for the 5 of us. Not bad for "psudo-takeout" :)

Once dinner was done, kitchen cleaned and kids in bed, I realized I needed to complete an order I had started on for the rest of our grocery items. I still have two free deliveries left from a coupon I had last month so onto the computer I went to finish my order. Before I began I noticed I had an email from Safeway saying that they have two new coupon offers:

Use the code LASAGNA to get a free family size frozen lasagna with your order ($150 or more)
Use the code ORGANICS to get a free box of organic frozen blackberry/chocolate ice cream bars with your order. ($125 or more)

As you can imagine, I used both of those codes as well! So tomorrow, when I could be taking my kiddos out to fight the 100+ degree weather to shop for food, we will be here at home awaiting the "grocery man" as my girls like to call him :) I even ordered all my paper products and bottled water as well. Can you tell I don't enjoy shopping in heat? :)

May 30, 2006

Cucumber Salad

I got this recipe from a message board buddy and wow is it good! I added a few ingredients to suite my family's tastes. I think I could make a meal of this salad by itself!

Cucumber Salad

4 large cucumbers, peeled, quartered and sliced
2 scallions, diced
1/2 pint heavy cream (you may only need to use 1/2 of it)
white vinegar (or cider vinegar... whatever you have on hand)
garlic powder

In a bowl layer as follows:
1 cucumber, a sprinkle of scallions, a drizzle of cream, a drizzle of vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and dill to taste. Repeat with remaining cucumbers. Refrigerate at least one hour to allow flavors to develop.

May 29, 2006

A new poll, finally!

I was having problems logging in to create a new poll last week but now I have one ready for you :) Here are the results from our last poll:

What kitchen appliance do you use most? 45% said coffee or tea maker... we have a lot of coffee drinkers here! ;) I personally would have to say I use my sandwich maker or crock pot the most. I may have said my food processor but I killed it trying to make bread dough... yikes! So that is at the top of my list of things to buy right now.

Vote in the new poll and tell me about your kitchen :)

May 26, 2006

Mini Quiche

Once or twice a month we take treats to church with us to share. Usually I bake some kind of bread or muffins but this time I wanted to do something different. I just bought a couple of mini muffin pans so I figured this would be a great time to try them out. I did make some muffins and little brownie bites in the pans to take but I also wanted a savory item so I make these mini quiche. They look and smell great, can't wait to get a bite :) Here's the recipe, it makes 48 bite size quiche:

Mini Quiche

1 package Pillsbury ready made pie crusts (or you can make your own pastry, make enough for a two crust pie)
4 eggs
1 and 1/2 c. milk or heavy creme
1 c. shredded cheese (cheddar, swiss or similar type)
1/2 lb. diced ham
1/4 c. diced scallions
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
dash nutmeg

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Use a 2 inch circle as a guide (I used a plastic kids size snack cup) and cut out 48 circles from the pie crust (roll it extra thin but not transparent). Re-roll scraps to make enough so you have 48 circles total. Fit each circle into a well of a mini muffin pan, lightly crimp edges with your fingers. Into well put a pinch each of cheese, meat and onions. Pour in enough egg mixture to reach the top edge of each well. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden and center is set. (You can test the center by using a toothpick).

May 22, 2006

Cute Kitchen Goodies

Normally I just chat about recipes and kitchen tips here but I have something really cute I wanted to share today. My friend Patty has some really adorable kitchen stationary sets available for sale! I don't know about you but I am addicted to cute recipe cards and little note pads to write down my grocery lists and other things as I move about the kitchen. Here's what some of her products look like.

She has an apple set, a strawberry set (my fave!) and a watermelon set. Each kit includes (4x6) recipe cards, (4x6) recipe card dividers, grocery list sheets, weekly menu planner, 5 recipe page-keepers for your cookbooks and cooking magazines, 30 freezer labels. Pieces are ready to print. cool thing is when you purchase these you print them right from your computer (no waiting for the UPS guy to arrive!). They start at only $9.99. You can find more info here.

May 21, 2006


If you're a regular reader here you know that I am a kitchen gadget fanatic. I don't remember if I mentioned it or not but my hubby got me a George Foreman grill for Mother's Day! I was so excited to receive it because I had been wanting one for a long time. It was ordered from and just arrived yesterday. This is the model I received, it's a 10th Anniversary Limited Edition.
This thing is amazingly cool! So far we've only tried roasting bell peppers and steaks and I'm very impressed! Easy to use, easy to clean and best of all grilled food without standing over a hot BBQ grill! I brushed the grill surface with liquid smoke for a more authentic taste and it worked well. Tomorrow we're going to try some turkey burgers. This model is large enough to fit 8 burgers. I'm going to try some roasted potatoes along with the burgers as well. :)

May 20, 2006

Crock Pot Doughnut Pudding

I found a bag of doughnuts in the freezer... the little doughnut hole type. Since I haven't made bread pudding in a while I thought it would be a fun way to use them up for the kids. They loved it!

Crock Pot Doughnut Pudding

15 doughnut holes, cut in half
1 c. milk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 butter or margarine, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash nutmeg

Put the doughnuts into a heat safe bowl (such as pyrex) and place the bowl in the crock pot. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over doughnuts. Cover crock pot and crock pot and cook on low for 3 - 4 hours.

May 19, 2006

Chicken With Artichokes, Zucchini and Tomatoes

A lonely can of artichokes has been staring at me from the back of my cabinet for some time now. I figured tonight I would improvise a recipe to make use of it. This is what I came up with and it turned out really good!

Chicken With Artichokes, Zucchini and Tomatoes

1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (15 oz.) can artichokes, drained and chopped
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 strips roasted red bell peppers (you can roast them yourself or buy the kind in the jar)
1 c. chicken broth
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
red pepper flakes

In a 10 inch skillet, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until tender, remove from pan and keep warm. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes to your taste. Brown chicken on both sides in skillet them remove to a plate to keep warm. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and a splash of red wine vinegar for a couple of minutes. Add the zucchini, artichokes, tomatoes and red bell peppers. Allow to simmer until zucchini is tender. Add the chicken, onions and garlic back to the pan. Garnish with parsley. Allow to simmer 5 more minutes. Serve over linguini.

May 18, 2006

Spicing It Up

I took an inventory of my spice cabinet the other day, as I do every so often. I am quite pleased with the wide array of spices I have acquired. However, I found a recipe recently on 28 cooks that I really wanted to try but was missing one ingredient.... turmeric. So I finally bought some today and can't wait to make the Indian Rice and potatoes that has had me drooling since I saw it. :)

I also love collecting recipes for "mixes", especially spice mixes. I already make my own adobo seasoning and cream soup mix. I have several recipes for other mixes that I have been waiting to try. I am planning to try a couple this week. Here a link to the most recent additions to my collection of spice mix recipes that I found on A Momma and The Boys Living On A Budget.

Today I found my new favorite store, AJ's Fine Foods. If cost weren't an issue I'd shop there on a regular basis, but like most specialty shops it's a place to go once in a while and also a place that if you shop strategically you can find some really great items at a reasonable price. The only items I purchased today were turmeric and Calrose rice but I plan on a return visit to do some price comparisons and to purchase a few specialty items I have been looking for. If you live in Arizona and have an AJ's in your area I would highly suggest a visit!

May 15, 2006

New Poll

I'm a little late with the poll this week. Here are last week's stats for the question "How often do you eat dessert?":

Answers Votes Percent
Every day 4 15%
A couple of times a week 16 59%
A couple of times a month 6 22%
A few times a year 1 4%
Never, I don't like sweets 0 0%

I am like the majority of you, I usually eat dessert a couple of times a week. On the days that I don't I usually have some sort of late night snack. I really need to cut back on those snacks, LOL!

The new poll is up, please take a moment to vote! :)

May 13, 2006

Mother's Day Goodies

How is it possible to create 3 dozen sweet rolls of 3 different varieties without spending all day in the kitchen? Use frozen bread dough! That's exactly what I did to make up some Mother's Day goodies to take with us to church tomorrow. If you look in the freezer section on your supermarket you will find bread dough sold in three loaf packages. The one I like it by Rhodes. Let the dough thaw in your refrigerator and then one loaf at a time roll the dough out into rectangles. About 6 x 14 inches works well. Spread the dough with butter then top as you like. Here's what I did today:

Cinnamon Raisin Rolls - I spread the dough with melted butter then topped with cinnamon and raisins. These are frosted with a traditional confectioners sugar icing.

Caramel Walnut Rolls - I spread these with melted butter then topped with chopped walnuts and cinnamon. These are frosted with Betty Crocker Caramel icing.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Rolls - I spread these with melted butter topped with a puree of frozen strawberries (thawed) with a little sugar added. These are frosted with a cream cheese icing.

Once you top the rolls, roll the dough up jelly roll fashion, starting at one of the long ends. Cut the roll into 12 equal slices and put the rolls (with space between them) into 9 x 13 in. pans sprayed with non-stick spray. Let them rise 3 hours then bake according to the directions on the dough package (check them after 30 minutes to make sure they are not browning too quickly). Remove them from the oven when done and ice them while still hot.

For the icings this is what I did:

confectioners sugar icing - confectioners sugar (about 1 c.) thinned with just enough milk to make is spreadable.

Caramel icing - store bought by Betty Crocker

Cream Cheese Icing - confectioners sugar (about 1 c.), 2 Tbsp. cream cheese and 2 Tb. butter creamed with enough milk to make it spreadable.

May 12, 2006

Bean Soup

With Mother's Day just a couple of days away, I've been seeing a lot of interesting and delicious sounding recipes on-line lately. One website that really caught my attention is a post on the Beyond Blossoms blog about cooking with flowers. Not only can you send flowers from their website, you can also find some really unique recipes as well. One that sounds really good is Carrot Cake With Thyme flowers. I love carrot cake and will be giving this one a try very soon!

I'm expecting an order from in the morning so dinner tonight is a sort of "clean out the pantry and fridge" sort of meal. It's simmering away on the stove right now and smells really good!

Bean Soup

2 c. dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
1 link smoked sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
3 strips turkey bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 small can no salt added tomato sauce
1/3 c. pearl barley
1 Tbsp. soul food seasoned salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. dried parsley

Add all ingredients except seasoned salt to a large soup pot. Cover with water to about 4 inches above the ingredients. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cover. Allow to simmer 3 - 4 hours or until beans are tender. Add salt and allow to simmer an additional 30 minutes. Serve with rice or biscuits.

May 10, 2006


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Use code

May 8, 2006

Small Appliance Cooking

As I mentioned in my last post I wanted to talk more about ways to cut costs in the kitchen. The main focus of my blog has been how you can save and still eat a wide variety of foods. But with the summer coming (a.k.a. higher electric bills) I've been thinking a lot more about cutting costs.
The temperature here hit 100 degrees one time already last week and it looks like the heat is here to stay. We don't own a BBQ grill yet (nor do we have a space to set one up at this time) so it's all indoor cooking for us in the summer. I always hate heating up the kitchen in the and try to do any stove top cooking one day a week. The rest of the week I make use of the microwave and all the other small appliances I have to minimize heat in the kitchen. Not only do small appliances keep things cooler but it sure does help out cooling bill as well! Even though it's not officially summer yet, it looks like it time to challenge myself to keep the heat out of the kitchen. Anyone care to join me? :) Here are the small appliances I own and what they can be used for.

Crock Pot - the usual soups and stews, meats, greens, scalloped potatoes, baked potatoes, desserts, bread pudding, breads and rice can all be prepared in the crock pot. There are LOTS more things that can be made in the crock pot, I have some recipes on my other blog and you can do a search online and find many many more.

Steamer - fresh and frozen vegetables, baked potatoes, boneless/skinless chicken, rice, steamed desserts. This steamer is great because you can cook two things at one time so it saves a lot of time. The old one I had only had one steaming tier.

Sandwich Maker - pocket sandwiches, pancakes, biscuits, omelets, brownies.

Waffle Iron - as far as I know this can only be used for waffles and waffle sticks. I'd love some other ideas though.

George Foreman Contact Roaster- anything you can make in a 350 degree oven can be made in this roaster. Meats cook well right on the grilling surface, anything else I use the roasting pan that it came with (equivalent to an 8 x 8 inch square pan but it is oval shaped).

I am hoping to also buy an electric griddle, electric skillet and a George Foreman Grill before the summer is over. :)

May 6, 2006

Saturday Ramblings

There were 10 votes for the poll I had up this past week, here are the results to the questions "What prompts your grocery buying decisions?"

Answers Votes Percent
Price of the food 4 40%
Brand name of the food 0 0%
Health value of the food 1 10%
Sales or special offers 1 10%
Other (Please specify in a comment) 4 40%

It looks like most of you are concerned about price (as am I!). I am having to watch our health a lot more closely since I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and hubby has reflux problems but really, all in all, we do have to keep our eye on our costs overall. I'm planning to get some more articles about cost cutting in the days to come so stay tuned! The new poll is up now so please vote.

We were having some fun with the new sandwich maker this morning and came up with a new invention we call "Pouf Cakes". Aren't these cute? This is what you get when you bake pancake batter in the sandwich maker. The girls loved these.

I have been making a lot of pancakes and waffles since I found that new Heart Healthy Bisquickk but we got down to the bottom of the box a couple of days ago. I read the ingredient list and thought there must be a copy cat recipe on-line somewhere. I found a recipe on a message board that I modified and I LOVE it! It made about twice as much as the box of Bisquick and it much healthier! Here's the recipe. You can also make a mix like this using shortening, here's that recipe.

This afternoon we're going to make chocolate chip cookies.

Homemade Bisquick (Heart Healthy)

8 c. all-purpose flour (or 4 c. all-purpose flour and 4 c. whole wheat pastry flour)
5 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. salt
1 1/2 c. dry non-fat milk powder
1 c. canola oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or a large bowl. If using a food processor pulse the ingredients until well combined. If using a bowl, use a fork or pastry blender to mash the ingredients into crumbs then mix well with fingers to break up any lumps. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use in any recipe calling for Bisquick. Here are some recipe ideas.

May 5, 2006

Sandwich Maker

I have been wanting to buy some sort of sandwich grill for some time now. I heat up the kitchen with the stove top almost daily making grilled cheese sandwiches so I thought it would be worth the savings in electricity to purchase one. Originally I wanted a panini press but thinking of the kids and what they like to eat, I realized that that probably should wait a couple years and a simple sandwich press would suffice. I browsed for a while and finally came across one that looked like it would do the job for a great price. The one I chose is the Proctor Silex Meal Maker Sandwich Toaster

I like this little gadget a lot, we just received it yesterday and have already used it three times. I learned quickly that you have to be very careful using cheese with this. American cheese is NOT the best type to use because no matter how little you use, it tends to ooze out. The cheese is not impossible to clean up but it's messy It works better when you place the fillings towards the center of the bread or whatever you are stuffing. I first made grilled cheese sandwiches for my girls (big mess!). Then this morning I tried something different. I used white bread for the girls and made a few different types of sandwiches... peanut butter and honey, grape jelly and cream cheese with honey and cinnamon. They loved them all but the cream cheese and cinnamon got the highest vote. I also tried using tortillas which I stuffed with refried beans and those actually worked the best, the edges sealed very well and they were nice and toasted without being dried out.

I think one of those sandwich makers on the TV infomercial (I forget the name) would probably work better because the wells are deeper and you can do more with it, but for $14.97 this was worth the money. You can use it for pancakes, omelets, stuffed biscuits and lots more. I'm sure we will come up with lots of neat ideas in the days to come :)

May 2, 2006

Grocery Deal Day

A great website was brought to my attention today, Hillbilly Housewife. If you've never heard of this site, take a look! It is wonderful for those of us trying to keep our food costs down... lots of ideas, recipes and even menus and shopping lists!

Tonight for dinner we had tacos, homemade refried beans and calebacitas. I finally got a picture of the Calebacitas up, so take a peek! I have been making things to freeze or store in the fridge over the past couple of days. I made a batch of Sweet Potato Muffins, Homemade Baked Beans, Salsa (using my Pico De Gallo recipe and a blender) and Hummus... as well as the Egg Muffins leftover from yesterday so the next few day I will not have much to do in the kitchen. :)

I found a few good deals while out shopping today.

Roma tomatoes for 59 cents/lb. (I'm going to make roasted tomato sauce with these... my version of the recipe to come).

White bread (day old) 50 cents each.

Flatout flatbread 99 cents (also day old).

Tyson "Heat and Eat" chicken breasts $1 for a package of 2.

Hilshire Farm Lite Smoked Sausage for $1.

and a new product I have never seen before...

Duncan Hines Tres Leches Cake for $1.

Not a bad shopping day!