When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste. ~Laiko Bahrs

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pantry Challenge Day 6 & 7

Pantry Challenge Day 6 & 7

Since its the weekend, not a whole lot is getting done around the house. Hubby had been working on the electrical ALL day. He found out that whoever wired the house when it was built back in '98, wired it wrong. Go figure.

Thank God I have a smart enough husband to fix someone else's mistakes.

Our daughters Children Church pastor and his wife had their first baby this past week. As I have mentioned before, I am over the Helps Ministry at our church. We prepare and have dinners arranged for those who have recently had a baby, death or illness in their family. 

I am making them my famous Lasagna! She loves it! And, everyone I have made it for loves it too. I am not one to toot my own horn, but it is really, really good! I give thanks in part to my mom for teaching me how to make it but I have changed it a bit to make it my own! My husband and I make the same Lasagna for roughly 60+ people once a month at our church. Its for new members and their families. We serve it with Green Beans, Garlic Bread and Caesar Salad, which is home cooked. My husband makes all the desserts and they get great raves!!

I decided that since I needed to purchase some of the items for the Lasagna, that I would purchase enough to make 4. Two will be going to them, (1 for tonight and 1 for the freezer for another night) and two will be for us (1 for tonight and 1 for the freezer).  Yes, I had to purchase the items. Yes, I guess you can say I didn't stick to the Pantry Challenge, but I think I have. Since I am making 2 Lasagna's for us, that means 12 meals (lunch and dinner). We don't mind eating on a pan of Lasagna if it takes us 3 nights! WE LOVE OUR LASAGNA!!! That my friends, is a frugal meal!! 

This will be our Saturday night meal, and our Sunday afternoon meal! Anything leftover will be eaten on during the week by me and the kids for lunch and possibly Monday nights dinner as well!! 

So, this is the time that I would normally put in the recipe! Not this time, I don't share my Lasagna recipe. SORRY........Hope everyone has a blessed weekend!!!
~Remember to put God first, and everything else will follow~

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pantry Challenge Day 5 & Frugal Friday Finds

Pantry Challenge Day 5
This kids were out again from school today. They will out Monday too due to MLK day. That makes 10 days in a row...this momma needs a break! LOL 

Today is Pantry Challenge Day 5. This is an easy one. We had Chicken tenders last night and I made 2 batches. Thank goodness I did. I don't really feel like making anything tonight! So, we are having Chicken Tender Salads, Soup (Healthy Choice Tomato Bisque), and grilled cheeses! 
Simple enough huh! The soup is from a stock-up sale that went on at my local Kroger back in Oct '10. I purchased 22 cans for $.49 a piece!! GO ME!!!! 

What are you doing for dinner tonight and how is you pantry challenge coming along?

A NEW Addition I am adding to my blog is Frugal Friday Finds! This is where I will tell you what frugal deals I have found this week and what frugal living changes we have made! This week I went to Walgreens. Here are the deals I made!

2 Lysol wipes (2 bottle pack):$3.69 BOGOF sale plus a $1 off coupon = $2.69 for 4 containers
Gain Dish Soap: $1.99, $1 off Walgreens coupon plus $1 off mfg coupon = FREE!!!!
2 12pk 7up and 2 12pk A&W Rootbeer = $11.00
2 Lysol Spray Cans $4.49 ea, BOGOF sale plus $1.50 and $1.00 off coupon = $1.99 for 2
2 pkg StayFree Pads $6.79 each: 2 $3.00 off Walgreens coupons plus BOGOF coupon plus $1.00 = $.58 for 2

With tax I paid a total of $18.65 
WAG Coupon Savings: $7.00
WAG Advertised Savings $17.14
MFG Coupon Savings $11.50
Savings total: $35.64 

 How awesome is that? Do you have a Frugal Friday Find that you would like to share?

~Remember to put God first, and everything else will follow~

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pantry Challenge Day 4: Italian

If God had intended us to follow recipes,
He wouldn't have given us grandmothers.
~Linda Henley
Pantry Challenge Day 4:Italian

Wow! What a day! Only thing that got done was the kitchen getting cleaned and a couple of loads of laundry! That is what kind of day it has been!


 On to the challenge!

Tonight we are having Italian Chicken Tenders! Back in November I bought chicken tenders in bulk, and packaged them into separate servings. I took 2 out of the freezer this morning. One for tonight and one for tomorrow night! 

 All I did to the chicken was rub it in olive oil, pepper, paprika, garlic and onion powder, and poured 3-4 tablespoons of Italian Dressing over the tenders, baked at 425 for 20 minutes!! How easy was that! 

I wanted to serve it with some hearty and filling, so why not pasta salad?! 

I mixed 1/2 cup low fat mayo that I had on hand with 1 teaspoon mustard, and 3 T relish, (we like dill relish) and a few pinches each of garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and paprika. I added about 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon sugar and mixed well!

 I cooked about 2 cups bow-tie pasta to al denta and rinsed in cold water. I mixed the two together and added some mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup).

I know it sounds crazy, ?dill pickle relish?, but we like the salty tang that it adds to the pasta. You can substitute green olives instead but my hubby doesn't like green olives.  

To lighten the dinner up a bit, I know, after the whole pasta thing, I added some green beans! 

Everything came from my pantry and freezer! Items I had on hand! The left over chicken will be used for tomorrow's dinner! Check back to see what that is going to be!!
What did you have for dinner tonight??
ps: the dinner plate is a 6x6 in plate, we use smaller plates for smaller portions!!

~Remember to put God first, and everything else will follow~

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pantry Challenge Day 3: Mexican Night

Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy.  ~Author Unknown

Mexican Night

Pantry Challenge Day 3

Seeing that we still have snow outside and schools were closed again, and we were going on our 3rd day of being snowed in, I decided the kids and I would go out for an adventure. I needed to pick up a few things from Walgreens (I will share my awesome savings tomorrow) and I really needed a new pair of rubber boots to wear out in the snow and to feed the chickens and dogs in! I have stuck to my challenge of not purchasing items for the pantry for the past 2 days and I am not about to jump ship either!! However, that being said, when I was at Wal-Mart getting my shoes, I came across some Craisins at an AWESOME DEAL and I didn't pass them up. I purchased 3 packages, but we do use these on our salads just about everyday!  

I decided that tonight was going to be Mexican night! I came across a recipe I wanted to try out the other day and found this was the perfect night to do so. This was my first time making this dish and I loved it. Dillon on the other hand is a very picky eater and didn't care for it but Emma liked like myself! Hubby has not ate his yet, but I am sure it will be good!!

 Ground Turkey Nacho Bake

1 lb Ground Turkey, browned
2 T Taco Seasoning, I will share my recipe for homemade below
1 cup salsa, mine is homemade
2 Cups refried beans, I made mine with homemade pinto beans
2 8 inch Soft Tortillas
1 can Kidney beans, drained ( I used Pinto Beans since I already was making refried beans. )
1 1/2 cups Shredded cheddar cheese ( I used Mozzarella )
1 cup additional salsa
Tortilla/Corn chips

Brown Ground Turkey and add Taco seasonings and salsa. Cook for about 5-6 minutes. Add kidney beans and cook 2 more minutes.

Spray a 8x8 or 9x9 casserole dish and place 1 tortilla down. Spread refried beans over tortilla. Spoon meat mixture over refried beans and add some crushed up tortilla/corn chips. Add 1/2 cup of salsa and half of shredded cheese. 

Repeat layer. Make sure you end with cheese on top. Bake on 350 for about 15 minutes. 

Let is sit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving! 
Serve with a side salad! 

(this picture was taken by my 6 year old daughter!)
You can make this your very own recipe by adding green chili's or jalapenos.  This recipe came solely from my pantry, with what I had on hand. See, cooking from your pantry isn't that hard...but I am only on day 3! 

Bonus recipe!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 T Chili powder
2 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp each Cumin, Garlic powder, Paprika, Oregano, Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt

Mix together in a baggy and there ya go!! Homemade taco seasoning! IF you are feeling a little spicy, add in a pinch or 2 of Cheyenne pepper!

~Remember to put God first, and everything else will follow~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Panrty Challenge Day 2

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.  ~Doug Larson

Pantry Challenge DAY 2

Today is Day 2 of my Pantry Challenge.  

Again, I have not wrote out my menu planning for the next 2 weeks, so I will be working on that today, hopefully! 

If you live in the Mid-South like I do, you know we have snow, and A LOT OF IT!!! We got upwards of 7 inches over the last 2 days. the county south of us got 13 INCHES!!!  That is enough to close down school and the whole county! You would think that being shut up in a house for 2 days, I would get everything on my list done....WRONG!!!

I did however, start back running! My mother gave me her treadmill the other day, ancient but it serves its purpose. Hubby cleaned it up for me last night and I began running again today. Back in April of '09 I ran my first 5K. I hope to run the same one this year and beat my time, if my injury doesn't come back to haunt me. I was sidelined after the 5k due to a stress fracture in my lower leg. UGH!!

Enough about running!!

Lets talk about the Pantry Challenge. It crossed my mind about 11 am that I had not laid anything out for dinner! I then began to read the blogs that I follow. One of them is A YEAR OF SLOW COOKING. She cooks in her crockpot everyday! I found a recipe that I just happened to have all the ingredients to and decided I would make it for dinner tonight. Instead of using the crockpot, I am going to be cooking it on the stove and as a side dish for steak (which I pulled from the freezer around noon). Now, my husband does not like green olives so I am going to hide them in the dish by mincing them. It will still have the same taste, just not visible, which is his problem! Here is the link to the recipe. I will give the verdict tomorrow as to how well it went over with my family. 

So, as you can read, I am using my pantry for dinner tonight. Are you?? If so, leave a comment on what you are having and your plan for your own Pantry Challenge!!

~Remember to put God first, and everything else will follow~

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chi Chi Chi Chili

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.  ~Voltaire

What a true quote! 

I started the "Cooking from the Pantry" adventure challenge. Since today was a snow day and I forgot to lay anything out for dinner and I have not done my meal planning for the next 2 weeks, (I know...I know) I looked in my freezer to see what we had. I really didn't want to cook a big meal or spend a lot of time in the kitchen tonight. So, I was thrilled to find a freezer bag of Chili that I had made back in December and froze the rest! I ran it under hot water for about 2-3 minutes, enough to get it out of the bag, and warmed it up on the stove....And there ya go!! It was just as delicious as it was the day I made it!! 

~Remember to put God first, and everything else will follow~

Its Snowing, and you know what that means!!!

  Hubby stayed home from work today and the school system closed down for the next 2 days. There is 7 inches of snow on the ground and we are expected to get another inch in the next day.  When my husband goes to work, I try to stick to a routine. When he is home, it goes out the window most of the time!! I had planned on getting a lot done this weekend and this week. Starting out, haven't don't much at all. See my list here.

Today started at 5 am for my hubby and I. He wanted to see what the roads looked like and if he was going to go to work or not. Needless to say, he didn't go, so there goes my routine. I love having my husband home from work! Kids woke up around 7ish and I started breakfast around 7:45ish. We had bacon and cheese sammies. We let the kids play their games on the Wii while hubby and I looked at activities to do at Disney World when we go this fall. We all then watched a movie on NETFLIX about Disney! NETFLIX by the way is awesome! Check it out! Then, it was time to go out and play in the snow!!! We had so much fun!!

Now, as I type this up, I have a child laying on the living room floor, the other sitting on the couch, and my biggest baby (hubby), asleep on the chair!  

In all the excitement of the snow, I forgot to lay anything out for dinner. OOOOPS!!! But, have not fear, dinner will be made, from scratch, from something.....LOL!!

I am also starting this week a "Clean out your pantry" week. Some blogs that I am reading are doing it for the month of January. I on the other hand am starting late so I am only going to do it for a week, maybe 2. The whole point of this is to use what you already have in your pantry and freezer. I have enough meat to last a month, I bet.  And, my pantry is stocked well too! This week, I do my shopping on Tuesdays or Thursday, I will only be purchasing the necessities: milk, lunch meat (if not able to use meats from dinners), cereal bars (the kind with fruit in the middle, haven't attempted to make them homemade yet) and any household item that I run out of and don't have a stock pile for. My local Kroger is having a meat sale this week. I MIGHT and I mean MIGHT be purchasing some meat items if I think I can get them for bottom dollar, if not, not buying it. Our meals this week and next will be Pantry and Freezer Meals. Not only will this use what I already have, but I can make room for more stocking and biggest of all, SAVE MONEY!! Who doesn't like to save money?  I know I do! 

I hope you are enjoying this blog and any feedback will be greatly appreciated! 

BTW, you can still get the TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE deal at TARGET. I purchased mine for a grand total of $5.24!! It was a $40.99 DVD/BLUE RAY Combo!! Who got a good deal?? Yep, that's me!!!
~Remember to put God first, and everything else will follow~

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Product Image

TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE BLUE/RAY + DVD COMBO  at TARGET.COM is on sale for $10.00 was $40.99!!! What an awesome deal in itself BUT enter in this code:


and it will take an additional $8 off your order making it $2.00 plus S&H. I ended up paying a little over $5 for my DVD. a savings of almost 90%!! Can't get better than that!!! And its a combo meaning it plays both Blue/Ray and DVD!!! 

Hop on over and purchase either as a gift for yourself!

~Remember to put God first, and everything else will follow~

MmmmMmmm Good!!

This weekend I wanted to get a lot accomplished! Its Sunday morning and I have yet to do the first meal planning, coupon filing, house cleaning and such. I did get a little, and I mean little, freezer cooking done! Last night I made up a batch of pizza dough and cut into 4. We ate 1 and I froze the other 3 for later uses in the month. I found a recipe on one of the blogs that I read, Life as MOM. Here is her site http://lifeasmom.com/ .

They are calling anywhere from 3-7 inches of snow where I live, in Tennessee. People usually freak out and rush to the grocery store and clean off the shelves. Not me, I am stocked up, however, yesterday I wanted to pick up another gallon of milk and some toilet paper. Hubby and I loaded up the 2 kids and went to town, 12 miles away, and bought Dog Food at our local TSC store. We then went to our local Kroger store and all I wanted to get was milk and toilet paper! Once we were there, I decided that I wanted to check out the meat prices and good thing I did. They had some Pork Sirloin chops on sale. I purchased over 4 lbs of Pork Sirloin chops for 1.99 lbs regularly 4.99lb. Good deal if you ask me. In the packet was 12 chops. That is 3 different main dishes and their leftovers. Today I had planned on making loaded potato soup for lunch.

Didn't Have Potatoes...main ingredient....

But, I did have the Pork Chops in my fridge waiting to be divided up. So, I used 4 today! Before church I put 4 chops seasoned with black pepper, onion and garlic powder, in a 9x9 casserole dish. I mixed together 1 can of Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup, refilled that can with milk and poured in bowl, 1 T Worcestershire Sauce, and the secret ingredient, 1 T Dijon Mustard! Add some shakes of garlic powder, onion powder and pepper too! Mix together and pour over chops. Cover with foil and cook on 400 degrees for 45 minutes! Serve over brown rice and a side of veggies!

IT WAS DELICIOUS!!! I hope you enjoy!!!

~Remember to put God first, and everything else will follow~