31 December 2009

December's ups & downs..

CD10/Dec20/5pm - No shock but CD 10 OPK is a BFN absolutely NOTHING in test area.... I don't see O coming on CD12/13 again.. that had to be a fluke... UPDATE: Dry there is aliiiiiiight line in the test area.

CD11/Dec 21/4pm- BFN p- visible but light line in test area within 5 minutes of test.

CD12/Dec 22/5pm- BFN- I can see it without squinting but it's just as light as yesterday, not at all like last month. I'll be poas i think mid-morning & evening the next few days to make sure I catch it.. have opk will travel.... BD every other day to try to let the little guys strengthen up this month. I hope this string of positive pregnancy tests rubs off on meeeee!!! SO excited for everyone!

CD13/Dec23/9:30pm- OPK is POSITIVE guess there's gonna be some going on .. sometime.. probably tomorrow night... he's exhausted and falling asleep and the girls are still wide awake...

pic of opk

CD14/Dec24/5pm- my OPK is distinctly NEGATIVE again... yesterday's OPK was at 9pm and I only managed that ONE yesterday and now it's definitely a negative about the same shade as CD11/12.. AND my temp spiked, but the house temperature was odd, not hot, not cold, but muggy? Bad storm so electricity was out... ..

CD15/Dec25/ - Haven't tested yet- update bding since Tuesday... IF I do get pregnant this cycle it truly will be a Christmas miracle temp was 96.5 today.. the room was cool and some male had my blanket.. so I'm probably going to wind up discarding it so I don't confuse FF with my O.. we'll see in a couple of days.

CD16 thru current- ALL new opk 's are negative (added pic to cd13 of positive opk) so I guess I'm just hanging out in my 2ww now..

FF BD Report-

CD9, 12, 15... Fertility friend gives me a "good" rating on my free week of VIP based on CD12 O which I don't agree with... I'm not feeling like we caught it with life's uncooperativeness.. We'll see.

IC Testing Projection (all DPO based on FF):
  • Friday, Jan 1 at 10 DPO... not much hope but it is New Years.. so I HAVE to...
  • Tuesday, Jan 5 at 14 DPO when FF says AF is due.
  • Thursday, January 7 at 16 DPO if AF is a no show..
DPO based on what I think? CD 15 O.. so subtract 3 from all of those dates and AF would be due January 8, 2010... so If she's still not around by the 9th I'll poas with an Answer Early Results.

Projected EDD with FF CD12 O: Wed, Sept 15
Projected DPO with probable CD15 (CHRISTMAS) O: Sat, Sept 18 (our 5th anniversary)

I'm over analyzing LOL.. probably because I'm trying to see a possible pregnancy when I just don't feel it..

Not going into poas overdrive this month because I'm not feeling it.

post signature

21 December 2009

CD11 Past time for an update

Well instead of trying to talk to DH I just sent him the link to my blog. He's ok with that because he knows that I get my ideas & feelings out better when I write. He agreed t just about anything I wanted, though pointed out that it wasn't just "letting it happen." I know. But I'm 32, we have a LOT of changes coming up with this move, and I've only got a 50/50 chance of hitting the correct tube... So I'm going to do what I can to maximize my chances, without freaking out over bfn's. "I solemnly swear!"

Right not I am gearing up to ovulate. I took my soy cd5-9 in order to stimulate my ovaries to produce a better quality egg. The later doses help strengthen/growalready produced folicles. After more research and discussing "issues" with other "one tubers", I've found that I may do better taking it cd 3-7 in order to stimulate both ovaries into producing folllicles, this giving myself a month chance to ovulate on the correct (tube) side.

At any rate I am due to ovulate this coming week or weekend sometime... All this of course if I don't hit it correct this month, get mt BFP and recreate this as a pregnancy blog LOL! I hope this is the last month I have to create as plan to get pregnant.....

post signature

11 December 2009

Sitting here thinking about TTC

As I sit here & contemplate the thought of round #1 being a complete bomb out (still stark white tests@14dpo) , I have to wonder (already?!?!??) how much of this I can take.

How much will he allow? Sure he's all for the on demand BD but if I start going off my rocker he's gonna call a halt to the whole TTC process.

I think I need to prioritize and try to get him to let me try just a few things to make this easier.

  • I need to do my basal body temping (bbt) again.

Because part of my issue right now is that I don;t know for sure when I ovulated. What I do know is that I won't get a positive until at least 15 days after that... but was that 15 days yesterday, today, or tomorrow? Not 100% sure. Temping would allow me to understand that.
What good would it do?
Well for one, I wouldn't waste tests on "maybe it's early enough", second i'd know if this was even a possibility (ie. am I ovulating?), third I need to recheck my bbt 4x a day for my thyroid issues, because that could also be an/the issue.

  • I need to find/get my records and confirm that it was my right tube that was removed.

I'm only 99% sure.. but that was a super drug induced haze for about a week.. add the grieving, and the whiny, bitchy mother that was at my house (mine) and I can't really remember shit for certain.

  • I need to order the stabilizing supplements for the Wilson's Thyroid Syndrome (if the temps check out).

TTC or not the thyroid issue side effects make my body cranky and my life hell... let's kill one problem, huh?

  • Remind DH that I love him even if this doesn't work.

Because even though he makes pretty ones, I know he's not solely on this planet to make me babies (though he loves to practice), and that sometimes gets away from me when I'm TTC. I don't want him to think that the only reason I want him is because I want a baby... As much as I want this to happen, I want it to be love, not just duty...

Off to sleep and hopefully wake up to some sort of double line on a test.... so we can call this all "moot"

post signature

10 December 2009

13 DPO

So I'm testing tomorrow.. AGAIN. Friday, Dec 11 on 14 DPO w/FMU ...

If it's a bfn I'll test again Saturday morning because I'm scheduled to give blood, but can't if I'm pregnant.

AF is due late Saturday night. In the event she doesn't show I might test Sunday.. or I might just hang out till Monday.

Sunday is 16 dpo and that would be the latest I'd think I'd get a false negative.

I don't know why.. but I am just not feeling it. I don;t think I'm pregnant this month. I have no symptoms, no signs.. add that to the fact that I think I ovulated on the right I'm just not thinking this is my month. Hell, I'm not even 100% certain I ovulated.

IF AF shows, i am getting another thermometer and I'm temping. I know I told him I wouldn't but like I told him about the OPKs.. there is no point in waiting on a bfp everymonth if I'm not even ovulating... or not ovulating when we think I am. It's hard enough to deal with only having one working tube.. no point in stressing myself out about not ovulating when that can be tracked.

I haven't peed since 6am.. maybe I'll go POAS....

update: bfn Pictures, Images and Photos

x-posted on tmp ttc journals

post signature

08 December 2009

Happy Birthday George & Avery

Today is DH's 29th birthday and the anniversary of my due date ... for our angel, Avery. So first, Happy Happy Birthday, Baby.. I love you. I hope your 29th year is as exciting as mine (We had Kae that year remember??)

This time last year I was a melted teary mess, remembering and telling Avery good-bye. This year I'm hopeful.

I still haven't seen a BFP (big fat positive), but today is only 11DPO, so that is really early in the game for us. I'm holding off until Friday before I test again. Even if i get a bfn (big fat negative) at least I have hope in the fact that I can ttc .... I AM TTC! That is a huge step closer than last year when I thought I had lost even that chance :)

Off to set up homework so I can get it done tonight, watch a movie with DH, & veg out till Friday

Keep your fingers crossed for TWO PINK LINES on Friday... no matter how faint!

post signature

30 November 2009

Beginning the 2ww #1

I had a wonderful relaxing several days visiting family & friends for Thanksgiving. I let the TTC slip to 2 really good friends who are rooting for us now. I feel really blessed to know them, and have someone to talk to about this.

I've also vented for 2 weeks about the "waiting to ovulate" issues that I had or imagined :) to the TMP gals and I'd really be lost without them. It's nice to have friends going through this as well. I feel like people going through the TTC nightmare understand. It is so easy to communicate with them.

So I think I ovulated on CD 13 this month, because I was having some serious ovary pain ALL day. That would put me at just a few dpo (days past ovulation). I am already dying to test but we know that that is just not possible. Well, it's possible, but would be useless so far. I will be 11dpo on George's birthday. Now as unlikely as it is that I will get this first shot, I think that would be a great birthday present :)

post signature

25 November 2009

Jackson is here!!

First I have to say a big congratulations to my best friend, Brandy. After fighting infertility for 4 years and having a 38 week long long tortuous, gestatuional diabetes ridden pregnancy, her beautiful baby boy Jackson is here.

November 24, 2009 @ 6:59 pm, weighing 6 lb 13 oz, 19 3/4 inches long, and beautiful!!!




I can't wait to talk to her tomorrow. I'd give anything to be in Michigan right NOW!

I'll update as often as I can with pics :)

22 November 2009

Sunday Reflections

I'm rearranging my kitchen cabinets to make it more usable and to fit everything in the stand alone cabinet/pantry. To do that we have to do some repairs on drawer railings.... SO we emptied cabinets, took the drawers apart, and went to Home Depot.

Well, we tried.I had left my visor/mirror open last night and the battery was dead.. DEAD> Hadto go get Mr. Rodriguez to give us a jump, THEN we went to Home Depot. By that time it was time to cook, (see recipe below) and I'm glad I had planned on something quick. Yummy, too!!

So now I have a W-R-E-C-K-E-D kitchen and an awesome new recipe for you!

OH! My hubby bought me the Paula Deen Pie Board that doubles as a large cutting board. I LOVE IT!! I love him.. he's so awesome! I almost didn't get it. I usually put anything for me back, but he pulled the "Your birthday is next week" card and made me leave it in the basket. This morning I used it to cut potatoes and didn't have to stop after every one and move it to a disk,, tonight I am using it to hold my cooling racks while I make cookies.. I may sleep with it under my pillow.. I love it!!

UN-Stuffed Potatoes
The recipe calls for baked potatoes hulled out and refilled... No one eats the potato skins here so I overhauled everything.. starting with instant potatoes.

What you need:
  • 2 cups instant potatoes*
  • 2/3 c milk*
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1/2 cup seasoning blend
  • 1 c salsa
  • shredded cheese
  • 12 oz frozen mixed vegetables, microwaved 3 minutes
  • Seasonings to taste
What you do:
  1. Prepare potatoes per package instructions.
  2. Brown beef and seasoning blend. Drain. Return to skillet.
  3. On medium heat mix together: meat mixture, vegetables, salsa, and season to taste.
  4. Serve over mashed potatoes.
  5. Top with cheese.
Garlic bread would have been AWESOME with this!

20 November 2009

First Thing Friday


Type the first thing that comes to mind:

  1. milk
  2. pop
  3. test
  4. fish
  5. pencil
  6. year
  7. tug
  8. boat
  9. crop
  10. hit
  11. mom
  12. hug
  13. yolk
  14. drink
  15. food
  16. water
  17. plate
  18. plane
  19. terrorist
  20. purple
  21. fork
  22. mouse
  23. hippo
  24. bubble
  25. store
  26. air
  27. love
  28. pickle
  29. AIM
  30. friend
  31. hurricane
  32. tornado
Scroll down for my answers after you post :)











  1. milk STRAWBERRY
  2. pop SODA
  3. test SCHOOL
  4. fish TROUT
  5. pencil YELLOW
  6. year 2005
  7. tug WAR
  8. boat ZOOM
  9. crop FARM
  10. hit POW
  11. mom DAD
  12. hug *smile*
  13. yolk EGG
  14. drink WET
  15. food PIZZA
  16. water DRINK
  17. plate FOOD
  18. plane AIR
  19. terrorist PLANE
  20. purple HEART
  21. fork SPOON
  22. mouse GRAY
  23. hippo POTTAMUS? *yes, that was the first thing that came to mine LOL!*
  24. bubble POP
  25. store SHOP
  26. air BREATHE
  27. love GEORGE *hubby
  28. pickle TART
  29. AIM AOL
  30. friend BRANDY
  31. hurricane RUM
  32. tornado RUN

19 November 2009

That's the Plan Thursday Nov 19

As much as I am enjoying Meal Plan Monday..
it isn't working for me. "Why?" you ask.

Because I go shopping on a Thursday night - EVERY 2 WEEKS! By the time I put up a MPM, 1/2 my scheduled week has gone by, sometimes 1 1/2.

Because of the work/school/payday schedule, I create a two week meal plan, a minimum of 10 dinners, and randomly pulla a meal off that list for the next two weeks. When Holidays roll around, things get mixed up, if we're going out of town, etc.

So here is "That's the Plan Thursday" installment 1 - November 19 - December 3. With the holidays and my birthday I'm probably going to have about 8 days of cooking because I'm going out of town. I will sneak my cornbread dressing in for you in case you're looking for a new one.

Saving money (and calories) to lay out the holiday spread? Join me for a burger bonanza! Don't be afraid to serve burger nightly.. especially if you are using budget and figure friendly turkey burger! Just change up the way it is cooked and your family will never know what hit them! (Printable recipes & shopping list coming soon)

Baked Chimis
A more figure friendly version

Stuffed Potatoes
Meat, Cheese, Potatoes? Can't go wrong!

Ranch Burgers
Yummy & Moist.. and since we know this family LOVES ranch.. it's a winner!

Cowboy Stew
Hearty stew, stretchable with a side of rice. Crock Pot Friendly

Florentine Shells
Add some burger & bacon to a cute seashell.. and they'll forget all aboutt he spinach!

Shepherd's Pie
Old Fashioned Comfort food

Tamale Pie
Quick and still tasty! Shortcuts don't have to be flavorless

Calico Bean Bake
Changing some things up from a Papmered Chef recipe!

Saturday Night Supper
Good anynight of the week, but quick & easy for a busy saturday

Southwestern Cheeseburgers
A little splurge on the chesese, but WORTH it!

16 November 2009

Meal Plan Monday November 16

Meal Plan Monday
I've got to get back on this blog :)
This week's meal plan:
Made this last week and it was GREAT!!!
Makes enough for a crowd!

Fire Roasted Hotdogs

What you need:
  • Hotdogs
  • Buns
  • toppings
  • wire hangers
  • fire pit
  • kids or child like hearts:)

Yep! You know where I'm going! LOL! It's cooler and we're roasting weenies on the fire pit!

Marshmallows for dessert!!

Parmesan Chicken & Rice dinner

What you need:
  1. 1 Tbsp. oil 4-6 chicken thighs
  2. 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom or chicken soup
  3. 1-1/2 cups water or milk
  4. 2 cups instant white rice, uncooked
  5. 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen peas, thawed
  6. 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

What you do:
  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken; cover.
  3. Cook 5-7 min. on each side or until cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet.
  5. Add soup and water to skillet; stir. Bring to boil.
  6. Add rice, peas and cheese; mix well.
  7. Top with chicken; cover.
  8. Cook on low heat 5 min.
  9. Serve sprinkled with cracked black pepper.

(Adapted from Kraft Foods)

Mom's Diner Enchiladas

I couldn't find a recipe I really liked so I created this from looking at several recipes. Exchange what we liked for what you like, and enjoy!

What you need:
2 lbs turkey burger
2 pkgs taco seasoning, or use your own blend
1 (24 oz) jar of salsa, divided 12oz/12oz
1 large can (32 oz) enchilada sauce
1 T cumin
2 bags shredded mexican blend cheese
flour tortillas - LOTS!
1 can chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk ranch salad dressing

What you do (filling/sauce):
Heat enchilada sauce with cumin in seperate saucepan. Set Aside.
Brown meat. Drain. Add taco seasoning.
Put 12 oz salsa to blender and pulse until smooth.
Add all salsa and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to meat and heat through.
Stir in 1/2 bag (1 cup) cheese. Remove from heat. Set aside.
In shallow skillet, warm broth to simmer.

What you do (assembly line):
Preheat oven to 350°
Spray 11 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray, paying special attention to the SIDES of the pan.
Spoon a thin layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom of the pan.
Dip one tortilla in simmering broth to cover both sides.
lay flat and add 1/4 cup meat filling.
Roll tightly and place seam side down in pan.
Continue until pan is full, You will have about 10-12 across and 2 longways down the side, depending on the size of your tortillas. Fit snuggly so they don't unroll.
Spoon heavy layer of enchilada sauce over the top.
Put 1-1 1/2 cups shredded cheese over the top.
Bake for 15 minutes and serve with spanish rice or tex-mex cheesy fries!

Mom's Diner Tex-Mex Fries

Simple? Yes. Yummy? YOU BET!

What you need:
  • 1 bag frozen seasoned fries
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • Tony's or salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup shredded mexican blend cheese

What you do:
  1. Bake fries as directed until super crispy on the outside
  2. Sprinkle lightly with cumin & chili powder.
  3. Top with cheese

Mom's Diner Spanish Rice

What you need:

  • Rice pot (unless YOU know how to cook rice on the stove top.. I can't LOL!)
  • 2 1/2 cups rice ( I prefer medium grain)
  • 1 tsp 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 TBSP Knoor Chicken Tomato Boullion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5-6 cups water

What you do:
  1. Melt butter in a non-stick skellet over mnedium high heat.
  2. Add pepper flakes stirring constatnly for 1 minute then add rice.
  3. Stir rice to coat with butter, then stir occasionally until it starts browning.
  4. Add rice, water (start with 5), salt & boullion to rice pot.
  5. Stir occasionally as the rice boils, adding water of it looks necessary. Browned rice will absorb more water than regular.

Chicken Stuffed Skillet

What you need:

  • 1-1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) boxed stuffing mix for chicken
  • 6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.)
  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom or chicken soup
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

What you do:

  1. Mix hot water, butter and stuffing mix.
  2. Cook chicken in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat 5-7 min. on each side.
  3. Mix soup and sour cream; pour over chicken.
  4. Top with stuffing; cover.
  5. Cook on low heat 10 min. or until chicken is done.

(Adapted from Kraft Foods)

Cheesyburger Mac

What you need:

  • 1 lb. ground meat
  • 2-3/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) American Cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 c milk

What you do:

  1. Brown meat in large skillet; drain.
  2. Add water, ketchup and onion powder; mix well.
  3. Bring to boil.
  4. Stir in macaroni; cover.
  5. Simmer on medium-low heat 8 to 10 min. or until macaroni is tender.
  6. Stir in cheese & milk; cook until melted, stirring occasionally.

(Adapted from Kraft Foods)

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

What you need:

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cups instant white rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) American cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

What you do:

  1. Cook chicken in large nonstick skillet on medium-high until chicken is done.
  2. Stir in broth & bring to boil.
  3. Add rice, cheese and broccoli; cover.
  4. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 min.
  5. Stir until cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended.

(Adapted from Kraft Foods)

15 November 2009

CD 1 - and I appreciate it this time

It's amazing how most months whether TTC or not, we're dreading the arrival of good old Aunt Flo. It's not always that we're waiting on a baby and she shows up to ruin everything.. sometime's she's simply an inconvenience and a pain (literally for me). Just always in the way.

Then a day like today.. I'm waiting... and waiting... and WAITING on her so I can start my first cycle TTC. Now I'm counting the days till O.

I'm sure I won't be this happy to see her if she shows again in 28 days.. but today.. I like her.

Dear Aunt Flo,

Welcome to the party. I'm glad to see you this month. Settle in and unpack your bags. Yes. You heard me right. You're welcome here. You see I hope that while you are twisting & turning my insides to a painful pulp you forget that there are other women out there that you might oughta be seeing and just settle for me. They've had enough of you. No. No. I know it's hard to be at 2 places at once.

Just kick back and relax. I'll get us some Pamprin and hot chocolate and we'll have a good week long visit. After that you can pack your shit and head to Timbuktoo for about 36 weeks. Nope, not even kicking you out full term. See I like you.. a little.

Your Niece,

post signature

Still no AF

Just throwing this out there if anyone is reading...

Still waiting on AF. 5 evenings off the pill, so I expect her tomorrow sometime. I stopped the pack before I got to the high hormone pills, I think. I used tri-cyclen so it has 3 stages and a placebo week. But I started putting my bcp in my nightly medicine holder thing.. but when i'd remember oh, it's pill time!! I'd take one out the pack.. or out the container. I totally spaced. I missed a few days and took 2 pills at once like twice... maybe three times.

This cycle I expect to be screwed up because it was an exercise in my blondness and who knows if I stopped or screwed up in time to be fertile? Wouldn't that be a friggin riot? I don't totally trust my memory or the pill anyway since I conceived dd#1 so easily literally right after coming off them, so if my period ever takes more than 7 days off hormones to start I POAS. Addiction satisfied, and usually that is the perfect way to jump start AF. It's like she lurks around bored than goes "Wait! That was a stick! I'm supposed to be visiting now! **** cookies distracted me!"

Provided AF starts 11/15 as planned, and counting on the fact that I should still have my normal cycle after getting off (if history holds)...

Estimated CD 1 = 11/15
OPK starting CD 10-15 = 11/25-30

Ugh Thanksgiving... that might be hard. I'll be out of town. But I definitely don't want to miss it!! I usually O on CD 15 almost religiously and that puts me at the ex in laws?!?! OMG! I'm being conspired against!

Well maybe we'll have to break in the SUV Got it last year and needless to say I'm past the "park & play" age.. but I'm willing to make an exception for TTC! LMAO!

Until later!

post signature

14 November 2009


waiting on AF to show so we can get the game ON!

10 November 2009

It's finally beginning...

Hubby has finally agreed to TTC!

As of last night I am officially of my birth control pills. **happy dance** I'm not allowed to temp or obsess but I will try to calculate the correct dates in my head so I have a decent chance.

So far I've come up with this:

Nov 15-16
AF estimated arrival
Nov 30-Dec 1 O estimated arrival

(I'm usually O pretty regular at CD 15)

Dec 13-15 AF estimated arrival
Dec 29-30 O estimated arrival

Jan 11-13
AF estimated arrival
Jan 26-27 O estimated arrival

In February if AF shows we re-evaluate and decide if we go ahead with the hysterectomy.

Now with only ONE tube that means I'm gonna have a useful O once MAYBE twice before he (most likely) shuts me down.

Never thought I'd say this but AF COME ON AND GET HERE!!!!! I wanna get this show on the road! LOL!


13 October 2009

Meal Plan Monday - October 12

Meal Plan Monday

I am slacking, slacking, slacking but for a good reason in my humble opinion!
I had sick kids, and I swear it's like mid-term was yesterday and tomorrow is finals! This term has gone by so fast!

Foodwise, I am L-O-V-I-N-G life with a crockpot! When Mrs. Michaeil gave it to me I thought it would be fun, but it has been amazing! That first 2 weeks I had it I cooked 2 meals on the stove: burgers and fried shrimp! I've "baked" in it, stewed in it, souped in it and recently I creoled in it.. shrimp creole that is!

I promise to get the recipes I' have tried up soon but for now here is this weeks MPM. I went through the freezer and picked recipes out of my new cookbook "Fix-It and Forget It: 1,400 Best Slow Cooker Recipes" that Mrs. Michaeil bought for me when she heard how much fun I was having with this poor object that sat in her cabinet for months! And of course I edit recipes to my own liking lol!

  • Monday: Leftover Pork Potato Stew with Rice printable recipe
  • Tuesday: Cheeseburger Soup printable recipe
  • Wednesday: Mini-Roni Pizza kids found mini-pepperoni so i promised a pizza night and it's Halie's 12th birthday :)
  • Thursday: Leftover Shrimp Creole printable recipe
  • Friday: Italian Minestrone Soup from a previous blog, scaled down to mini-sizes :) with pastini and chopped veggies!
  • Saturday: Something light, we have a skate birthday party for Halie. Possibly just nachos or hotdogs!

19 September 2009

Chuckwagon Stew

My friend Brandy found this recipe for me and of course I changed some things, but we love it! It is going to make 2 so $2 per meal!

  • 1 lb ground turkey sausage, browned
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced

Mom's Four Bean Chili

This one was so easy in the crock. I prepped before I cleaned the kitchen the night before and it made it so easy the next morning. Use any canned beans you like.. these are my favorites :) These are just teh regular 12-14 oz cans, not the large ones.

  • 1 lb turkey burger
  • 1 c seasoning blend

BBQ Rub Crock Chicken & Rice

Update: May 14, 2012
I'm tagging this post today because it has been a while since I made this recipe (it was also blogged before I took pictures for every meal - I'll try to add one this week!) and I added it to this week's menu. I am linking up with "Melts in your Mouth Monday's" from "Make Ahead Meals for Busy Mom's" because I remember my husband using those exact words when I made it.. "I want more! It melts in your mouth!"

Click to view the other 
Melt in Your Mouth Recipe links!

Original post: September 19, 2009
I made this rub a while back for some chicken and I don't think I ever blogged it. Haven't used it much because I don't own a grill, BUT it is yummy!

I put it on a whole chicken and threw it in a crock with soem instant rice and wow was it awesome!

Rub Ingredients:
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c salt
  • 1/4 c paprika

16 September 2009

Mom's Diner Red Beans & Rice

Trying to adapt this for a crock pot so wish me luck!

  • 1 lb Dry Red Beans
  • 1 lb ground turkey sausage

15 September 2009

Creamy Chicken Garden Soup

I adapted this recipe to create our own flavor.... took out some calories and sodium (butter & salt), added some veggies (potatoes). WE LOVED THIS!! And it made enough to set aside some for soup & sammies later in the week! Hubby said he even prefers it over the "usual" tomato broth beef veggie soups you normally see.

  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen pepper stir-fry vegetable mix
  • 1 c frozen diced potatoes

Meal Plan Monday - September 15

Meal Plan Monday

This Week's Meal Plan
Crock Pot Fun!

I got a new crock pot and I am LOVING IT! I am expecting LOTS of leftovers this week since these recipes seem huge, so some may be repeated on next weeks MPM so I get to cook them :)

BBQ Rub Chicken & Rice
(About $4 with a whole chicken and instant rice)

Creamy Farmhouse Chicken and Garden Soup
($4 for recipe - 1 soup dinner + a soup/sammy leftover dinner - $2 per meal!)

Four Bean Chili (Mom's Diner Recipe!)
($6 for recipe/2 dinners - $3 per meal!)

Chuckwagon Stew
($4 for recipe.. 2 dinners! $2 per meal!)

Ropa Vieja
($6 for recipe - beef is expensive right now)

This week's Meal Plan

04 September 2009

Confetti Pasta Salad

My kids loved the corn chowder. I got sooo many veggies in them because I called it Confetti soup! SO today CONFETTI PASTA SALAD! As I type this they are scarfing it down!

Make it vegetarian by omitting the chicken.... if its for a hard core "no dairy" vegetarian... I dunno what to do LOL!

  • 1 lb tri-color (garden) pasta
  • 1/2 c seasoning blend
  • 1 bag frozen mixed veggies
  • 1 small cucumber seeded and diced small
  • 8 oz fat free plain yogurt
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/4 c Italian dressing
  • 1 can chicken breast (12 0z) drained
  • Fresh and/or dried herbs and seasonings to taste
  • 1 cup cheese blend
Add-ins if you have/want it (we used all of this!):
  • 1 sm. zucchini, quartered and sliced thin (steam with veggies)
  • Grape/cherry tomatoes sliced in half (do not cook)
  • 4-5 small radishes grated
  • Raw shredded carrots for crunch

  1. Cook noodles, drain, and cool
  2. Saute seasoning blend and cool
  3. Steam mixed veggies and zucchini together and cool.
  4. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix gently.

I'd say it was about.. $5?? Give or take a little, I had a lot of stuff hanging about ijn the freezer & pantry... and there is a bowl full left. I'll probably use it for a side tomorrow.

printable version

This week's Meal Plan

31 August 2009

Meal Plan Monday - August 31, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Sorry I'm running a little late! It's been a long weekend out of town, on the road, etc. after the whole family being sick all week. My house looks like a tornado went through... AND I started my new term of college Wednesday.

I didn't get to make a few things I wanted last week we were so blah so I'm making my Spanish Rice Casserole this week and I'll move some others to next week.

I'm going to start just listing my Meals because I never seem to cook them on the planned day LOL!

This week we're having:
  • Spanish Rice Casserole (MOM's New Recipe!)
  • Loaded Mashed Tater Dinner (MOM's new Recipe!)
  • Ham & Cheese stuff & puff (New Recipe!)
  • Confetti Salad
  • Fish Fry
Hopefully I can get my house ordered and back on track with the blog this week!

24 August 2009

Meal Plan Monday - August 24, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Make it Better Monday
(comfort food)
Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

Roastable Tuesday
(something that can go in the oven)
Unstuffed Bellpeppers
Going to alter another MPMer's Recipe :)
daily blog will explain why ;)

What is it? Wednesday

(something we've never eaten before)
Pasta Meatball Soup
got this from a MPMers blog... but I can't remember who :(

Traditional Tuesday
(classics & casseroles)
We're having a family night out this week!


(fast, fun, or freezer foods)
Spanish Cheesy Rice Casserole

Scrappy Saturday

(leftover buffet)

Brunchy Sunday
(family brunch and light evening snacks)
Hamburger Potato Casserole
another MPMers recipe lol!!

21 August 2009


Switching things up because:
  1. I keep forgetting to defrost the chicken and
  2. I have a serious pain in my shin I can;t explain and I can't stand in from the stove cooking.
Last night hubby took us out to dinner with some cash he made selling an old car in the yard to a friend's teenage son, so that was one meal out the window. It was very nice to go out as a family and have dinner. Local place, great food, decent price, and paper tablecloths you can write on! What more can a family with kids ask for.

Tonight is Chili and Nacaroni I made a whie back.. I'll have chili, kids will probably have mac, and dad.. yep.. chili-mac!

This week's Meal Plan

This week's Meal Plan

20 August 2009

Mom's Diner Corn Chowder

After tons of searching I couldn't find one chowder recipe I liked so I got a list of some basic ingredients and created my own. It was absolutely amazing and looked like a bowl of confetti!

Corn chowder is a dish you can make vegitarian if you wish, see alternate instructions below if you prefer a vegetarian meal.

feel free to put little hands to work stirring, grating, and pouring on this one. Both of mu girls (11 & 3) helped with this one which made eating it that much more rewarding for all of us!

Be sure to teach any children you'll have in the kitchen what they need to know about safety before asking them to help.
  • 1/2 lb bacon chopped small
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup seasoning blend
  • 2 medium coarse shredded carrots
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 c 2% milk
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 2lb bag frozen corn kernels
  • 3 medium shredded potatoes
  • 1/2 t dry parsley or 2T fresh chopped
  • salt, pepper, Tony's to taste
  • 1 T cornstarch + 1 T water (slurry)

  1. Render down the bacon until crispy and set aside on napkins to drain.
  2. Remove bacon drippings from pan, reserving 1 T of the "grease".
  3. Add butter, seasoning blend, and carrots, sauteing until vegetables are tender 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add thyme sprigs, bay leaves, milk, and stock.
  5. Watching carefully, bring just to a boil then turn heat down low enough to maintain a slow simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Add potatoes, parsley, and seasonings.
  7. Stir in slurry and allow to simmer another 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
  8. If too thick you can add water, too thin add another slurry repeating 5 minute simmer if you do so.
  9. Add corn and crisped bacon then simmer another 10 minutes.
  10. Serves well with garlic bread, croutons, or crackers.
For a vegitarian version skip the bacon, use 1T butter in place of the bacon renderings, and vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

17 August 2009

Easy Sheperd's Pie

This one was so easy all I did was chop the meat and make some mashed potatoes, Halie made the pie "filling" herself. She also typed her recipe :)

  • 1/2 c seasoning blend
  • 1/2-3/4 lb. beef ground or diced round
  • 2 c cool mashed potatoes
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 c shredded cheese
  • 2 cloves pressed garlic
  • 4 c mixed veggies, thawed
  • 1 c gravy (or sm. roux)
  1. saute meat and seasoning blend until meat is brown
  2. mix potatoes and both cheeses. set aside
  3. stir gravy and veggies into meat. warm through
  4. pour into baking dish
  5. cover with potatoes
  6. bake for 20 min
  7. Enjoy!!!

typed by: Halie

This week's Meal Plan

Gramma Ellen's Pudding Stuff

From Friday's "Guess What?"

It took him about 2 seconds to guess! LOL! It was his grandmother's pudding stuff... very close to banana pudding, as far as layers and cookies, and it is even what we usually call it... and she says they have added bananas befores... but there is nothing banana in the actual recipe LOL! Instant Lemon & Vanilla puddings are the stars with some yummy add ins taht make it so smooth... and RICH!! The family recipe is made in a huge stainless steal bowl because they had to have enough so grandpa could get some after the kids were all through :)

I quartered the recipe I think - so he could have some of his favorite without complaining about his belt :)

1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 box instant lemon pudding
4 cups milk (to prepare pudding)
8 oz cream cheese
1 c (about) sweetened whipped cream (ie cool whip)
1 box nilla wafers

  • Make puddings (in separate containers) and refrigerate about 1 hour.
  • Layer bottom of 9x9 baking pan (or equivalent pretty serving dish) with nilla wafers.
  • In medium bowl soften cream cheese to room temperature until you can mash/whip with a whisk.
  • Add vanilla pudding to whipped cream and whisk together until you have no lumps.
  • Pour into dish over wafers.
  • Stand nilla wafers along edges and push into pudding so they stand up to edge dish.
  • Crush the rest of the nilla wafers and layer 1/2 on top of the vanilla pudding.
  • Mix whipped cream into lemon pudding and layer over crushed nilla wafers.
  • Top with remaining crushed wafers.
  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until served.
  • Store in fridge (if it lasts that long). Cover with wrap when storing. It will pick up odd flavors if not.

Meal Plan Monday August 17, 2009

Meal Plan Monday
Check out the MPM ar
Laura has an enchilada casserole this week - it will make my MPM soon :)

The planning breakfast & lunch thing didn't work so well. With a 3 yr old all I can do is offer some suggestions and let her pick something to eat. She did just LOVE the breakfast muffins!

Shepherds Pie

Corn Chowder

Baked Chicken

Meatloaf w/mashed taters

Freezer Friday


(German Pancakes)

Last week's Meal Plan

14 August 2009

Guess What?

I just told my honey if he can guess what this is he can have some when he gets home :)

13 August 2009

Miserly Meal #7- Country Captain

Moving the meal plan around a little. It has been raining and muggy/humid as all get out here and the hogie roals I bought for the meatball subs got moldy. I hate Louisiana.

So rather than just make a spaghetti with the meatballs, I'm moving on to the counntry Captain over pasta. This miserly meal is not courtesy of Jonni McCoy, though we have has lots of fun with her book!

Country captain is touted as a southern dish and served over rice, thick with vegetables and sauce. Born and raised in southern Louisiana (any farther south and I'd get very wet! SPLASH!!! -- in the gulf...) I had never heard of it, until I got my premiere copy of Food Network Magazine. It was #30 in a pull out flyer called "50 Recipes for Marinara Sauce" Very simple, and I have expanded on it just a bit. We've tried several recipes from the flyer and it is definitly worth keeping a few $1 cans of sauce in your pantry.

The noticeable changes were that after the first time pulling all the meat off the bone for the kids at the dinner table - I swore to only use boneless skinless chicken. If I have breasts and thighs I use a little of both, if I'm buying specifically for the dish, I buy whatever is on sale. The second big change is that we have enough rice dishes... we use pasta!!

This was the very first dish that ever brought that little jar of curry powder into my kitchen, and I am thankful for it. It has opened up so many doors to new exciting dishes & flavors!

This runs about $4 plus pantry items and gives us two full meals with lunch for hubby. So about 40¢ per serving!!!! I have also frozen half in the past and it comes out great.

Country Captain
  • 1 lb pasta (have fun with shapes! The girls want shells today!)
  • (OR rice if you prefer to serve it over rice)
  • 1-2 T oil (olive is nice)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken cut into bitesized pieces.
  • curry powder to taste
  • Tony's or season salt to taste
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 c seasoning blend or chopped onions
  • 1 jar fav pasta sauce
  1. Prepare pasts as directed on box, draining it just shy of al dente so it doesn't overcook in the sauce later, OR cook rice and leave it set to warm.
  2. Season chicken lightly with curry and Tony's. Leave S&P for later. You can always add more of everything. These are strong spices and you can't take it away once added.
  3. Warm oil in a deep pot or skillet and saute chicken and seasoning blend until the chicken is lightly browned.
  4. Add pasta sauce and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through then taste for seasoning.
  5. Toss in pasta or serve over rice.

12 August 2009

Miserly Meal #6- Enchilitos

Another of Jonni's meals today, Enchilito, and this one really was a budget saver because I had refried beans & homemade cheese sauce in the freezer from last week.

I turned a bottle of ketchup from the pantry to into a bottle of taco sauce a few days ago (because I knew this recipe was coming up and I didn't have any....) I made a mess of the kitchen but it turned out ok, though a little thicker & sweeter than you'd think of a taco sauce... I think next time I'll try tomato sauce or canned tomato juice. I'll update you on that one when I get it right.

About 12¢ ber Enchilito or 48¢ per serving using my frozen things!! Just about $1 per serving using all store bought... still a HUGE bargain!

We went the microwave route and it was great.

  • 1 lbs ground meat ( I used taco flavored turkey burger)
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1/3 c diced onion
  • 4 cloves of pressed garlic
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 c water
  • 16 oz refried beans
  • 16 eight inch flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 c taco sauce
  • 1 1/2 c grated cheese

  1. Brown ground meat and drain.
  2. Add next five ingredients, and mix well.
  3. Add water and simmer 8-10 minutes until creamy.
  4. Warm beans.
  5. Put 3 T beans and 3 T beef on a tortilla and roll up.
  6. Arrange folded side down cover with sauce and cheese Microwave or bake until cheese is melted.

11 August 2009

Halie's Broccoli Soup

This meal is more prep than cooking.

As a matter of fact you NEVER want this to come up more than a very light simmer. A boil runs the risk of separating your dairy products into a gritty mess. I cool it on medium at the beginning and on the lowest setting after adding the veggies.

I use a process I call "micro-steam" for my veggies. After chopping/dicing/etc I put them in a bowl (separately) with a few tablespoons of water and seal tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave 5-7 minutes until tender, sometimes potatoes take a little longer. The important part is that you will not be boiling the soup, so the vegetables must be cooked before adding.

You'll notice that every thing is finely chopped, diced, and processed... that is because that is the way Halie likes it :)

  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 1/2 c seasoning blend, ran through food processor
  • 1 1/2 c half & half
  • 4-6 cups 2% milk (depending on thick you want it)
  • 24 oz broccoli florets thawed & finely chopped
  • 2-3 cups potatoes diced small
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (whatever you like)
  • Seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, Tony's
  1. Create a light blond roux with the oil and flour.
  2. Warm the cream & milk slightly then add to the roux to create your sauce base.
  3. Saute seasoning blend in a small pot if you prefer, or add to broccoli in next step.
  4. Micro-steam the broccoli until tender, leave water if only a tablespoon or so, and add to pot.
  5. Separately micro-steam the potatoes until tender, drain any water, and add to the pot.
  6. Season to taste.
  7. Allow this to set over low heat for 30 minutes to an hour on your lowest setting so the flavors will blend.
  8. If it is too thick, add a bit of water (1/4 c at a time)
  9. Add cheese and stir gently until melted, this will thicken the sauce again.
  10. Check again for seasonings, add if needed.
  11. Allow to set another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure cheese is melted in and blended well.
  12. Serve with grilled chicken, alongside crackers, or bacon sprinkled over the top.

Breakfast Muffins

I found this recipe in a book read about basic household tasks, it said something like at a minimum one should know how to cook a few basic meals. Now while I can cook more than a few basic meals, I did try these muffins as an evening snack....they were such a hit I wound up making 2 batches that evening!

Each batch makes a dozen so feel free to double up! The first batch I used Special K with strawberries, and since that night I've used oatmeal, Special K with chocolate, and Special K Cinnamon Pecan. I'm sure you could use any of your favorite cereals and have this come out GREAT! Try 2 separate batches with different flavors for a yummy mix!

Tonight I'll be making Strawberry Special K again and a batch of oatmeal. I want enough for 2 days and for hubby to take to work to share :)

Breakfast Muffins
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c instant oatmeal (try flavored!!)
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup crushed cereal for the oatmeal
  • Up the flour to 1 1/2 c.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix all together until just combined.
  3. Fill greased muffin tin wells 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. They are not sugar filled so they may not brown. Do "toothpick test" or go by times.
  5. Allow to cool slightly before popping out the pan.

10 August 2009

Miserly Meal #5

I cannot get my husband to eat anything "lasagna", but he'll eat pasta, meat, & cheese dishes, lol! I really thing it has something to do with teh wide noodles. I make "Mexi-sanga" with tortillas all the time and he eats it. We had dinner at his sister's and she used the wide lasagna noodles and he ate it (because he will eat anything) but he didn't "care for it". So - back to Miserly Meals this week - I turned Jonni's White Lasagne into a White Faux-sagna using rotini noodles. and mixing the non-sauce ingredients together before layering it.

The first thing my 11 yr old noticed that got us both giggling was that it's more of a yellow and green faux-sagna because of all the broccoli, spinach, and my colby jack obession! But we did sneak a bit and we lovedthe taste. I can't belive that just a few months ago she would cry about eating if she knew spinach was in a dish and now she's begging for bites before it's even done!

Using leftovers (chicken/broccoli) saves a ton, but we bought everything so it was a whopping (not!) 75¢ per serving, lol! and that was doubling to put one in the freezer as well :)

White Faux-sagna
  • 1 c cooked diced or shredded chicken
  • 1 c frozen broccoli thawed to warm and chopped small
  • 1 c frozen spinach thawed and drained
  • 1/2 lbs noodles cooked and drained
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 2 c milk
  • 1 t Italian seasoning
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t salt and pepper
  • 2 c grated cheese (still loving colby jack here!)

  1. Cook noodles according to directions on package and drain.
  2. Make roux by warming flour and oil in a skillet until thickened but not browned.
  3. Add all remaining sauce ingredients.
  4. Simmer stirring constantly until it thickens.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Combine meat, broccoli, and spinach with drained noodles.
  7. Layer sauce, pasta mixture, and cheese (two layers) in 8x8 pan.
  8. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes.
Option 2:
At step # 6/7 Toss it all together and pour into pan.
Continue to step #8

Meal Plan Monday - August 10, 2009

remember he links to orgjunkies mpm

I'm trying it the way the others do for a week.... Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Kid Snack.

Don't expect much for breakfast or lunch, LOL! It's usually just me and Kaelyn. Weekends are a late brunch as it is the only breakfast we all get together...after we sleep in :) and we usually skip and lunch and eat again for dinner.

Anything in italics you can get a printable recipe or expect a recipe to be linked ASAP;
All dinners will be photographed (if we remember lol) and critiqued on the blog :)

Scrambled eggs, Turkey/cheese sandwiches and apples, White faux-sagne, Watermelon


Cinnamon & brown sugar oatmeal, Hot dogs, Broccoli Soup, Kids finishing off the watermelon/Mom & Dad snacking on tomorrow's breakfast :)

Breakfast Muffins, Bologna roll-ups w/ fruit snacks, Enchilito, Apple

Leftover Muffins, Cheese quesadillas, Meatball Subs (i'll have to create this recipe as I make it, too LOL), Fruit snacks


Cinnamon & Sugar Oatmeal, Turkey slices and apples, Country Captain over pasta, Jello


Eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, toast, Boston Chicken, cheese sticks


Waffles, Taco Salad, Sliced Tomatoes & Carrot Sticks (yes, they LOVE this!)

Don't forget to click the Smiley Dude for other great Meal Plans!
Check out last week's dinner menu for other miserly mom ideas!
Last Week's Meal Plan Monday

06 August 2009

Miserly Meal #4 Orange Curry

This has a lot of pantry items, all I bought was a bag of steamed veggies and pork.
Jonni uses this as a way to use left over meat so that will save you even more! Just create the sauce first and toss the meat in with the vegetables to heat and toss with the sauce.
I wanted to try it now (we LOVE curry dishes!) so I spent the extra to get meat.


Update after eating:
I'm going to change it a little if we do it again. The OJ concentrate is really strong and there is a full tablespoon of curry which overwhelmed the kids quite a bit.
Next time I'll:
make the OJ first and use 1/2 cup of that
start with 1 TEASPOON of curry instead of a tablespoon like the recipe calls for.

Orange Curry
  • 1 T oil
  • 1/2 c minced onion (I'm using seasoning blend)
  • 1 lb diced or sliced fresh meat (Try thin sliced or cubed pork or beef, or poultry cutlets!)
  • 2 cloves pressed garlic
  • 1/2 c frozen OJ concentrate (update: very strong USE 1/2 c REGULAR OJ)
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1 T of curry powder (update: too strong flavored for kids USE 1 TEASPOON)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 T water
  • 1 c steamable vegetables
  1. Prepare rice to have 2-3 cups cooked rice.
  2. Heat skillet over medium heat and saute onions and meat in the oil.
  3. Add garlic and saute another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add OJ, water, curry and salt.
  5. Warm in skillet over medium heat until simmering.
  6. Combine corn starch and 1 T water (a slurry).
  7. Whisk slurry into sauce in skillet.
  8. Simmer until thickened 2-3 minutes.
  9. Steam vegetables in the microwave.
  10. Toss with sauce serve over rice.

05 August 2009

Miserly Meal #3 Popover Pizza

I mixed up the menu a bit because I was baby sitting 2 extra kids over night.. boys.. not my strong suit! LOL

This one was fun with the kids, but not something I'll do often. It was easy but my pans are a mess! Next time I may try crust first pre-baked for 10 minutes, then layer toppings and finish baking. I'll let you know how it comes out.

Kids + Pizza = GONE..... I didn't get pictures! LOL! When baked the crust looked wavy and one of the boys remarked it looked like mountains, but after cooling and flipping over it made a thin pizza on a biscuit like crust. Really to thin to pick up so we used forks.

Popover Pizza

Favorite Pizza Toppings (we used):
  • pepperoni
  • spaghetti sauce
  • shredded cheeze
  • 2 egg whites
  • half a c milk
  • half a c flour
  • 1/4 t salt

  1. Layer topping ingredients in a well oiled/sprayed 8x8 pan.
  2. Mix well to combine all crust ingredients (It will be thin).
  3. Pour over toppings.
  4. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until golden brown (my crust never browned).
  5. Cool 5 minutes and slide a knife around the edges of the crust then POPOVER on a dish.
  6. Slice and serve.

04 August 2009

Miserly Meal #2 Chicken Florentine

Another Miserly Meal from Jonni McCoy's book!

As usual I traded in the tuna for canned chicken because of a family allergy but many canned meats trade out that way. For a tasty splurge you can try crab, canned salmon, or any other favorite canned flaky meat you prefer. You can also forgo the baking and just let the heat of the pasta melt the cheese for a warm rather than baked dish.

Chicken Florentine

Serves 6 at about 87¢ per serving
Use canned tuna (the original recipe) and save 20¢ per serving!

  1. 8 oz egg noodles
  2. 16 oz frozen spinach, thawed & drained
  3. 6 oz canned chicken, drained
  4. 2 cups grated cheese (called for cheddar, I used colby jack) plus,
  5. handful of cheese or Parmesan for the top.
  6. 1 t onion powder
  7. 1 t garlic powder
  8. 1/2 t pepper
  9. 1/4 t celery seed
  10. 1/4 t salt

  1. Boil the noodles according to the package and drain.
  2. Add the remainder of the ingredients to the noodles and mix well.
  3. Pour contents into an ungreased 9x13 pan.
  4. Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese or Parmesan
  5. If you do not want edges to crisp cover with foil.
  6. Bake at 325° for 10-15 minutes until the cheese melts and center is warm.


03 August 2009

Miserly Meals #1 Broccoli Beef

I found a book at the library titled "Miserly Meals" by Jonni McCoy. Published in 2002 the meal prices aren't really that far pff from what she spent when writing the book. Out of 12 meals for this weeks menu, 8 are featured in her book. I hope to have fun with this, they ALL look tasty!

Mostly I have found that the savings come in with pantry items. When writing my shopping list I found that most of the recipes I wrote down main ingredients (meats) and things I run out of because we eat it so much (cheese, onions, etc) the rest were things I keep in my pantry (rice, spices, flour, etc). This is the easiest and best way to stretch your food dollar. CREATE MEALS FROM WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE ON HAND.

Occasionally I splurged (my favorite mai fun noodles instead of rice for the broccoli beef, fresh pork for the orange curry rather than leftovers, etc) but it was still a great shopping trip. About $100 for 12 dinners, kid snacks, lunch stuffs, and critter veggies...hey the guinea pigs need yummies too!

So here is the first recipe I'll be making with/from/by Jonni...

Broccoli Beef with Maifun Noodles

Caught some thin cut eye of round on sale for $3.61 for a little over a pound... the recipe calls for only 1/2 lb!

Mai fun noodles are Japanese rice noodles. They are easily found in most stores today.. I shop at Wal-Mart! Mine were about $1.15... Just check the Asian foods aisle. I find these fun and a way to have my rice and pasta too!

Cost per serving: about 60¢ with mai fun or 45¢ with rice from the pantry. Since I got a good deal on the beef, I'm doubling the dish (not noodles) to freeze for a quick meal later. The basic 4 serving recipe follows.

Broccoli Beef

Ingredients (and my helper!):
  • 1/4 c low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. peanut butter (whatever is your fav)
  • 1/4 t. tabasco
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vinegar (I'm using rice wine vinegar from my pantry)
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/8 t. powdered ginger (it's strong so use carefully)
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. onion powder OR 1 c. thin-sliced onion
  • tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 T oil
  • 1/2 lb beef diced, cubed, or sliced thin
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • One package Mai fun noodles or 2 cups COOKED rice

  1. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, peanut butter, tabasco, water, cornstarch, vinegar, pepper, ginger, garlic, powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper (if using either).
  2. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Prepare mai fun according to package directions before beginning stirfry.
  4. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium high heat.
  5. Add the beef (and onion if using fresh) and cook stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the broccoli and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Scrape all ingredients to the edge of the skillet or wok.
  8. Add the sauce and stir as it thickens.
  9. Stir all together to warm through.
  10. Once thickened remove from heat.
  11. Serve immediately over Mai fun or rice.

02 August 2009

Meal Plan Monday - August 3

Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie started a blog "series" called Menu Plan Monday.

Since I menu plan I have decided to join the club of meal planners and share my menu on a weekly basis. Starting soon I hope to be able to offer a shopping list with my meal plan as well. Also, most of the ladies do all 3 meals of the week. Right now I'm only doing

So from now on, Mondays will bring you this cute guy (or a friend of his)


and he'll have a link back to Laura's weekly Meal plan (so click him!)and mine will be under him.

Mom's Diner Dinner
Miserly Meal Plan
August 3, 2009

Monday - Broccoli Beef
Tuesday - Chicken Florentine
Wednesday - Popover Pizza
Thursday - Orange Curry Pork

(edited wednesday to make a meal for extra kids i was babysitting)

Short week because I'll be out Friday-Sunday on my last mini-vacation of the summer!

All of these are from the Miserly Meals cookbook by Jonni McCoy (See tomorrow's blog for details). There will be more Miserly Meals next week. As always,I will link the recipes to my list as I create them.

01 August 2009

Difficult decisions...

I am seriously contemplating hanging up my TTC stockings and walking away with my 2 beautiful blessings and my 2 angels.

I know. Take a deep breath. The realization hit me like a ton of bricks.. and I brought it up on the road and thought my husband was going to wreck. I asked him on a scale of 1 to 10 how bad he wanted another. He sighed and said, "I don't think you're gonna like my answer." When I replied "Try me," I think he swerved.

He doesn't think we need more. Hasn't from the beginning. He knows how deeply I want to try again and was going along. Not that he wouldn't love another, just that he doesn't want me to go through it again. Two losses that deeply cratered my heart bookend a pregnancy that was horrid and a delivery that nearly killed me. Yes, my princess was worth it, but can I handle it again?

I have this whole deck stacked against me.

Past unexplained miscarriage.
Past tubal pregnancy.
One tube.
Scarring in my uterus.
Thyroid issues.
Over 30.

Do I want another? YES.
Do I want to try just one more time for my prince? YES.
Can I handle the strain of secondary infertility again? Maybe.
Can I handle the pain of another loss? No.
Am I willing to take the risk? I don't know.

You see first I have to deal with the infertility and GET pregnant. Then I have to deal with the other issues to STAY pregnant. I don't know if I can go through that again.

And then my girls... Amazing. Growing and beautiful. Pain in my and I love them to the end of the universe. Halie is blossoming into the young woman she doesn't want to be lol.. and Kaelyn is getting so independent and learning so much. They are both so free spirited.

And they are both reaching an age that I can step back and have time for myself.

I know that sounds selfish, but I gave birth at 19. I'm 31 now. I am in college and about to start a legal career. Am I being selfish to myself by wanting another child at whatever cost? Or selfish to my family by not taking the opportunity to flourish in my career and create a better life for them? For us? Is it smart or selfish to step back and think about us being a 4 person (plus fur) family?

I wanted to call my insurance about my hysterectomy (that was suggested a while back from the scarring and pain) but he said this was a fast turn around and he doesn't want me to regret it. So for now I am indefinitely on the pill until we think this through more.

On my way out the door.. I have pregnant friends to shop for

16 July 2009

She's giving things away again

Country blog of this & that is having another cookbook give away. With all that is going on wih mom (it won't be long now) I had to smile at her question asking gto pick between fresh garden tomatoes, or corn. I had to pick tomatoes. YUM!! Go tell her how you feel and get entered into her cookbook give away.

09 June 2009

South of the Border Chicken & Pasta Skillet

Today's Menu
South of the Border Chicken & Pasta Skillet

Another one pot wonder that I got from
I used pasta I had on hand and added a dollop of sour cream
and everyone asked for seconds.

The Recipe
  • 2 cups medium-size pasta, uncooked (pantry)
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces ($2)
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) Chunky Salsa ($1.50)
  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen corn (96¢)
  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Cream Cheese, cubed ($1)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (pantry)
  • 1c Fiesta/Mexican cheese blend , divided & softened in microwave. (50¢)
  1. Cook pasta as directed on package (I used elbow macaroni because that is what we had).
  2. Sprinkle cumin on chicken.
  3. Cook chicken in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat until done.
  4. Add salsa, corn, & cream cheese simmer on medium-low until cream cheese is melted.
  5. Stir occasionally.
  6. Drain pasta.
  7. Add to skillet with 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  8. Heat through.
  9. Top servings with cheese and we added dollop of sour cream!
Total $6 and we have lunch for all of us tomorrow, not just him!

printer friendly version
© 2010-2012 Dreamer's Alcove by Anne M. Freitas. Powered by Blogger.