Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Costco Time!

Oh hey ... did I mention that I stopped at Costco the other night when I went to see my dad? I mean, heck, it's seriously right off the interstate if I head over from work, so might as well stop and shop you know??

Anyway.

I carry a tentative list in my purse most of the time ... just because I love lists, you know?? :-) AND no, I did NOT get everything on the list ...

Here's what I got ...

box of Magic Erasers $8.99 - totally a spontaneous buy but oh, so needed (I love these things!)
large bottle of Dawn dish soap $8.99
gallon of whole milk $3.29
3 lbs of sour cream $4.39. Really sad face, I thought I grabbed cottage cheese for hubby. He has sad face too ;-(
Tide pods - $18.99. Really bummed as I think Target has these cheaper on sale this week! NO!
lemons $6.49
9 (NINE) mini pizza like things - Sevan brand $12.99. Totally spontaneous as in sample and hungry
pkg of Love Beets $7.99. It's a lot of beets
2 5 lb bags of Clementines $5.99 each. I've only had to toss 3 so far (why do a few random ones get fuzzy?)
2 pk of mini watermelons $5.29
pkg of cheese sticks $9.69 (oddly enough, that's my dinner this evening, better than popcorn?)
loaf of UDI gluten free bread $5.00
2 pk of peroxide $1.99
2 pk honey wheat bread $4.29 (one for home, one for dad)
ziploc freezer bags $12.49 (of course, they go on sale this month!!)
tomato mix/grape tomatoes $5.99
bag of limes $5.99
pkg of blueberries $5.19

Grand total? $142.99 ... I'll take that ANY DAY over what has become my normal Costco shop!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Menu Plan Week 112 - Using What We Have

It's March. OMG! It's MARCH!  How is that even possible that we are even in to our 3rd month of the new year??

I am really trying NOT to dwell on that, but holy cow, I only have 2 more months til I'm 51. YIKES. I suppose I better start hiding all the bottles of tequila now so I can have a sufficient stock for Cinco De Mayo ... which falls on a Tuesday this year, PERFECT for a Taco Tuesday Birthday Celebration, don't you think?

 Whole Fruit Margarita
NOT.

Heck, I'll still have to go to work that Wednesday morning, and I'm the first one to scold anyone who thinks they can party like a college kid and go to work the next day. You know you are getting old when you realize that it doesn't work that way any longer!

Ok. Enough of that ... how are YOU!?  Are you ready for March Madness, lack of productivity in the office, St. Patty's Day AND .... SPRING?  I'm still waiting on more cool air down here but I think we are probably done and over that. So bring on the non-stop running of the air conditioners, yet again ;-(

So .... let's see .... you are probably here for the Menu Plan, huh? Yes, that is the title of this post, so I suppose I should get to it ... just for the record, I think I only made ONE thing from last week ... one night was nachos, another night was cheese sticks, and sadly, a few nights were just overlooked, period. Ugh. So not very healthy, you know? Mostly because I got home LATE most nights, thank to the end of the month crunch, going to see my dad, and of course, one night, I bullied Hubby in to taking me out to eat ... sorry, it was just a horrible day and well, I'm honest, food makes me happy ;-)

Ok, here's what I am hoping for the week ahead:

Sunday - leftover pizza from Saturday ... all of this needs to G. O. N. E. come Monday morning! Not a good Saturday night choice but it is what it is.

Monday - Pork ... I made a huge pork butt in the crockpot on Saturday/Sunday for the lunch protein for the week ahead ... I want to make some Lettuce Wraps ... not exactly the same thing but something similar to that ...


Tuesday - Taco Tuesday ... will have a Taco Salad myself ... beef in freezer, rest of ingredients in the pantry and fridge


Wednesday - I took out a large flank steak from the freezer on Sunday ... hoping to turn that in to something yummy, more than just Italian Beef ... but if that's what it turns in to, I'm fine with that! I have a few ciabatta buns in the freezer that I will pull out ...

Thursday - gosh ... that's like forever and a day away, you know? I would say, quite possibly, leftovers ... just because ... well, it's Thursday ... 

Friday - burgers and fries on the grill ... will need to pick up buns ... and again, if desired, will offer up some fries from the freezer ...

Saturday - Hubby's choice but thinking along the lines of something chicken'y

What are YOU making this week?  Go check out Organized Junkie's Menu Plan Monday party ...

*I am going to try and do a Reduced Spending Month on groceries for March ... I spent some of the day on Saturday cleaning out the bottom shelves of the pantry and BOTH refrigerators ... the freezers are all jammed packed and well, I just need to get serious and get them under control ...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Preserving Avocados

I wasn't a fan of avocados until, oh, a year or so ago ... I mean, like really a fan ... as in, every time I go to the store, I check out the avocado selection and price to see if it's worthy!

By far, Aldis has been the BEST place and price to pick them up ... and they were 59 cents each a few weeks ago , so I picked up 4 ... not knowing that I still had FIVE at home in the fridge!! YIKES! THIS is how food waste happens in real life.

See, we have upwards of 6 adults eating in this house, and friends ... so sometimes, usually most times, if I don't eat the avocado within a day or so, one of the other mini-adults will eat it and then I have none when I go back to eat it ... boo..

Cell phone picture

So, here I was, I had NINE avocados at one time, and 4 of them were pretty darn ripe ... so I made guacamole, for ME and the girlfriend ... but of course, that's still alot of guac for 2 people, so I set aside 3/4 of the mix before adding the onions, jalapenos and cilantro and stuck it in some ice cube trays.

Camera picture

Yup ... I tested out freezing the mashed avocado with a little lemon and lime juice. What, you don't add lemon and lime juice? I heard that Chipotle uses both and that's what makes theirs so yummy ... try it and let me know!

I didn't add onions, tomatoes or jalapenos, none of the stuff that makes it guac ... just the avocado and juice.

After a few hours, try to remember to transfer the cubes from the tray to a freezer bag or container.

So ... the verdict?

I took out a single cube on Monday (a week after I froze them) and put in a container to take to work in the morning, thinking by lunchtime it would be defrosted. I was looking forward to it adding some creamy goodness to my chicken and apple sausage with the sauteed mushrooms, onions and peppers.

Hello! I was so stinkin excited to see it was still bright green, not watery AT ALL and still had a delicious taste to it ... MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Absolutely, freeze your excess mashed avocados!! I don't know if I would freeze guac but definitely encourage you to freeze plain avocados with a little lime or lemon juice (make sure you incorporate it really well so that it doesn't turn brown).

So go ahead, buy up some avocados when you see them really cheap ... there's always an upcoming event to use some of this creamy yummy fruit/veggie!

Which leads me to the question: is it a fruit or a vegetable? Go ahead, google it and then tell me YOUR opinion!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Instagram Blog Hop, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Hump Day Happenings, Wednesday Roundup, My Stay At Home Adventures, Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and Spice, Hump Day Happenings, Waste Not Want Not,  Wake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic SuperheroAll Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions, Thrifty Thursday,  Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, What To Do Thursday, No Rules Weekend Bloghop, Foodie Friday, Fabulous FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFreakin Did It Friday, Pure Blog LoveFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradiseWeekend SocialFoodie Friends FridayCelebrate It!,  Weekend RetreatWhat’s Shakin Weekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything Goes,  Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend PotluckTGI Friday Friday with FriendsSimple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend Wander,  Saturday Night Fever, A Bouquet of TalentThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff Saturday,  Super Saturday Show & TellSay G'day Saturday, Sunday Features,  Potluck PartySunday ShowcaseSnickerdoodle SundaySundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth Monday, Pinch of JoyPin It Party,  Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday,  What’d You Do This Weekend,  Making It CuterTime To Sparkle, Inspire Me MondayMealtime MondayTime To SparkleMakin You Crave MondayClever Chick, Motivational Monday,  Mix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayMonday Funday, Anything Goes Monday, Making Monday, Lou Lou GirlsInspire Me Monday, Marvelous MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie Friends, Retro Repin (Pinterest linkup) Share Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Two Cup Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, The Makers, Wow Me Wednesday, Create and Share


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Creamy Potato Soup Crockpot Style


Wow ... some of you are seeing some REAL cold weather, not to mention the snow!  We are seeing some cold weather too, by our standards, so I'm back to making soup again!

Now, THIS soup is yummy and I get really excited when I'm making it ... its just a little bowl of pure comfort food to me ... yummmy ....

The last time I made, this about a month ago, I switched it up a little and used the refrigerated steakhouse seasoned diced potatoes .... and I did it the same way THIS time as it was really good the last time!



Another thing I have to point out: toppings. I love toppings, but then again, I love a loaded baked potatoe ... so that's how you need to look at it. Do you like bacon, cheese, green onions on your baked potato? Then, by all means, add those to your cup of soup. Otherwise, eat it naked and make feel a little healthier for doing so ;-)

So...enough with the ramble ... lets get cooking!!

2 bags (20 oz each) of steakhouse seasoned diced potatoes (or you can use frozen potatoes)
2 cartons (32 oz) of chicken stock 
1 can cream o' chicken soup 
1/2 onion, chopped fine OR a real generous shake of the dehydrated onions
1/4 tsp ground black pepper 
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese ... do not use fat free as it will not melt down

As with ALL crockpot meals, just dump everything in the crockpot except the cream cheese. Give a little stir, put the lid on and set it to high for 6 hours or 8 hours on low (your choice).




After the time has gone by ... take the lid off, cut up the cream cheese in to cubes and toss those in the crock pot. Add the lid back on and walk away for an hour or so, til the cheese has melted.

Because I like my soup creamy, I grab the immersion blender and go to town making the soup nice and smooth. If you prefer, leave it chunky. It's up to you and I won't judge! :-)

IF the soup is too thick, you can add a little water, chicken broth or milk to thin out a little.

Dish up, add your toppings if using, and dig in to this little bowl of comfort ... enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Instagram Blog Hop, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Hump Day Happenings, Wednesday Roundup, My Stay At Home Adventures, Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and Spice, Hump Day Happenings, Waste Not Want Not,  Wake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic SuperheroAll Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions, Thrifty Thursday,  Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, What To Do Thursday, No Rules Weekend Bloghop, Foodie Friday, Fabulous FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFreakin Did It Friday, Pure Blog LoveFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradiseWeekend SocialFoodie Friends FridayCelebrate It!,  Weekend RetreatWhat’s Shakin Weekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything Goes,  Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend PotluckTGI Friday Friday with FriendsSimple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend Wander,  Saturday Night Fever, A Bouquet of TalentThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff Saturday,  Super Saturday Show & TellSay G'day Saturday, Sunday Features,  Potluck PartySunday ShowcaseSnickerdoodle SundaySundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth Monday, Pinch of JoyPin It Party,  Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday,  What’d You Do This Weekend,  Making It CuterTime To Sparkle, Inspire Me MondayMealtime MondayTime To SparkleMakin You Crave MondayClever Chick, Motivational Monday,  Mix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayMonday Funday, Anything Goes Monday, Making Monday, Lou Lou GirlsInspire Me Monday, Marvelous MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie Friends, Retro Repin (Pinterest linkup) Share Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Two Cup Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, The Makers, Wow Me Wednesday, Create and Share