Monday, October 11, 2010

Meal Plan Monday & Trauma in the Kitchen

Wow it has been a while since I last posted. I am sure the fact we had a disaster in our kitchen played a role in my absent blogging.

A week ago from this past Friday, I went in the freezer (at 12:30 at night) to retrieve ice to make a pitcher of ice tea, realizing our freezer had taken a sudden death. At first we thought that maybe the door had been left open slightly. I soon realized that was not the fact, as the ice cream we had bought the night before was a melted pile of milk.

Needless to say it was a long night as once our freezer stopped it was only a few hours later when our frig died as well. We stayed up most of the night, putting the stove top, crock pot and rotisserie all to use cooking the cold meat that had thawed in the freezer.
The worst part of it all was the fact we had just gone shopping a couple days prior and our frig was the fullest it had been since we moved in.

After a stressful and headache filled week, we are now proud owners of a wonderful new stove and refrigerator. They could not arrive soon enough. I was tired of living out of a cooler and eating out. The frig is so big I now call her mammoth Mary. These are there new spots in the kitchen until we decide what we are going to do for the kitchen remodel in the future.

I do have to count my blessings though. As we had ordered 1/4 of a cow and it had not yet been ready for us to pickup. So we did not loose all that meat thankfully!
We picked up "Norman" this past weekend he was all natural 90% grass fed beef from a local farmer. This is 1/4 of him and we split it with my mom.

I am so excited to get back on track with meal planning this week.
I also am excited we now have a non-temper mental stove to cook in, which allows me to widen the recipes I use.

I have also gotten back into the swing of things with coupons again, and loving it!

Sat - L) Apple bee's (Watched the MSU vs UofM Game)
D) Sandwiches & Chips

Sun - L) Goulash Surprise & Green Beans
D) Rotisserie Chicken

Mon - L) Leftover Goulash
D) Sandwiches & Chips

Tue - L) Hot pockets (dh) Salad (me)
D) Chicken Sheppard's Pie

Wed - L) Sheppard Pie Leftovers
D) Hot Dogs, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans

Thur - L) Sandwiches/Salads
D) Jason's Beef Stroganoff over Rice & Peas (will share recipe soon)

Fri - L) Leftovers/Sandwiches
D) Tacos, Rice, Chips & Salsa

Sat - L) Blueberry Pancakes, sausage links and scrambled eggs
D) Grands Pizza's & Salads

Sun - L) Tuna Melts
D) Spinach Curry Potato Soup w/ bread

Nothing overly exciting this week. Within grocery budget and eating from the stockpile mostly this week.
Take a peek over at Org. Junkie for other meal time inspiration!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Meal Plan Monday & Deals

Another fall week is upon us. Fall is my favorite time of the year, it is a time to counter your blessings, sometimes twice, and thank God for the bounty he has given us for the year. I have been realizing I have not been the best steward of the things God has given us this year. I have realized he has given us so many opportunities and although I have good plans and ambitions, things are just not following through. I need to use the things He provides us wisely and not fret about the things we do not have.

That being said I need to really stretch out budget as far as possible from now on. We use to eat out more times each month then I would like to admit. We have been better this month with only eating out once a week. This past Saturday we went out to dinner at the outback. We spent $33 which included our tip. Although it was very yummy and we each took leftovers home for lunch on Sunday, spending that much money on a meal was not setting easy with me.
If you calculate it, even $30 once a week is still $1,560 a year! wow!
We could pay of Mr. P's car with that, go on a vacation, do some more repairs on the house, etc. So that being said I am bound and determined to try some new things.

Here are some things I am changing in our household;

1. Not buying snacks on a whim. Making our own or buying them only with a coupon.
(We tend to stop at the tiny store near by and buy over priced chips, candy etc. several times a week just for the heck of it. Not only is it not healthy in the least, it is costly.)

2. Not buying pop, juice, etc. on a whim/as often. Going to be using crystal light from the stockpile we got for free and brewing our own ice tea. (Trying to get Mr. P away from this is going to be hard, but it is just going to have to happen. His .99cent drinks he likes add up to about $200 a year!)

3. Making more things from scratch. (Making hot pockets this week, and English muffins I have time)

4. Having meals in the freezer/refrigerator for the weekends when we are busy. (This is a big one for me. We decided to have sandwich's for dinner Sunday night instead of ordering pizza was good)

5. Less trips into town. Combine trips for work, groceries, etc. (The gas tank does not replenish its self!)

What changes have you made in your house to cut corners and stretch pennies besides using coupons?

So to start off on our new changes I stopped at Meijer Sat. night after eating dinner since we were already in town. I wanted to at least see if they still had their bulk food section like they did when I was a kid. All they had was a small section of nuts and candy over near the produce.
Mr. P loves trail mix, but I will not buy it already bagged since it is so costly.
We were in luck! Some nuts were on sale!

They also still had some of their nightly discounted lunch meat so I grabbed some of that. I needed meat for lunches this week, plus I figured I could make some hot pockets with the turkey. Everything below was $20 total

Here is what I got:

3/4 lb of Cashews
1lb of Dry Roasted Peanuts
1lb M&M's
1 Large 24oz container of Raisins (only used 16oz - save the rest for baking)
1lb Hard Salami
1/2 lb Pastrami
1.5lb Turkey

I mixed up the trail mix that same night. Using 1lb each of M&M's, raisins and peanuts. 3/4lb of cashews. The results I saved roughly $6

The results: Mr. P says it taste better then store bought, and the cashews really make it great!

Here is what I ended up with:
1/2 lb container of Raisins left for baking (or more trail mix!)
2 Small containers of rail mix for Mr. P to take to work (4 cups total)
1 Large container of trail mix for snacks at home (8 cups)

Here is what we bought at the farmers market this week, minus 1 cinnamon roll :)

2 bags of potatoes, 3 green peppers, 1 large can of pickled beets, and 2 Cinnamon rolls all from the local Amish. Going to be using the veggies this week in our meal plan.

Breakfast- Fend for your self! lol (Oatmeal, toast, cereal, etc)

Lunches - Salads, Sandwiches, and leftovers.

Desserts - Strawberry Pretzel Salad (I normally make 1 thing and it last us all week.)

Mon: Mediterranean Meatballs and Spaghetti & Salad

Tue: Turkey Burgers & Potato Salad

Wed: Spinach & Curry Potato Soup & Homemade bread

Thur: Chicken Broccoli Casserole & Salad (Making extra for the freezer)

Sat: Enchilada Bake & Rice

Sun: Hot dogs & Mac & Cheese & Veggies

Linking this up to Org. Junkie - Where there is always tasty recipes to try!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crock pot Taco Soup

Please excuse the poor lighting for this photo. I have a antique 50's light in my kitchen and it was 8pm when this was taken.

I have seen many versions of Taco Soup around on the Internet. Some include 3-4 different kinds of beans, this is not chili people! :)  Another recipe grossed me out stating to add a can cream of mushroom soup. Ewww! Not that I don't buy and use cream of chicken or mushroom soup. But this is TACO soup people!

I have tried to tweak this version several times, each time regretting it later. Why fix something when its not broke!?

1lb ground hamburger crumbled (not pictured)
1 cup diced onions (not pictures)
1 can diced tomatoes (do NOT drain)
1 can black beans (Drained and rinsed)
1 can of corn (Drained and rinsed) (Or 1/2 bag frozen corn)
1 large can of tomato Juice
2 pks of Taco Seasoning
2 pks of Dry Ranch Mix

Brown hamburger and onions in frying pan until meat is cooked thoroughly. Drain meat/onions if to greasy for your family. Our meat was very lean and there was no grease.
(sorry I did not get a photo of this step)

Place Corn, tomatoes, and black beans in crock pot. This is a great recipe to use those crock pot liners for.

Place meat/onion mixture in crock pot along with the taco seasoning and dry ranch mix.

Pour tomato juice until 1-2in below rim. Stir all ingredients together well.

Put on high for 3-4 hours or low for 8hours. This cooking time is important to let all the flavors blend well together. It will be well worth it I promise.

Top with some of your favorite taco toppings.
We like to just add a little shredded cheese and drop of sour cream. Serve with corn chips and fresh fruit for a great filling meal.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Meal Plan Monday - Pantry/Freezer Week

Alright well last week we did ok with sticking with the menu plan. Much better then the week previous, and better then I had expected. For some reason when the weekend comes though, the menu plan seems to get thrown out the window. I need to make some meals for the freezer that I just take out and throw in the oven to make things easy on the weekends.
At least this week Mr. P did not fight me buying some fresh fruit other then bananas at the market. I am trying to pick my battles one at a time. lol

We have decided to go in together with my mom and purchase 1/4 of a cow from a local farmer that is all natural. Since we downsized our freezers when we moved I need to start now making room for the extra meet that will be coming at the end of the month.
Plus Mr. P has not been getting the overtime the last few weeks due to the holiday, so our budget is SUPER tight.
I figured this week would be a great week to start paring down the freezer and pantry to suit both needs.

Mon: Pulled BBQ Beef sandwiches and Apple Coleslaw (leftovers from last week) (Found the BQQ beef on sale and with a coupon for $1.99)

Tue: Taco Soup, Chips & Salsa and Fresh cantaloupe (Only bought chips, sour cream and fruit)

Wed: Smoked Sausage w/ Rice and Mixed veggies (Everything was from the freezer/pantry!)

Thur: Tacos, Mexi Rice & Corn (Bought soft taco shells with a sale & coupon for .19cents!)

Fri: Baked Fish, Mac & Cheese with some frozen Veggie (Bought baked fish)

Sat: Ham & Acorn Squash (Everything was from the freezer/pantry!)

Sun: Zucchini Sausage Casserole (Everything was from the freezer/pantry!)

Ok I just re-read my last paragraph and then realized I made my weekend menu hard again. haha We will leave it as is for now and tackle it when the weekend arrives.

What is your family eating this week?
Check out other great menu plans at Organizing Junkie

I edited above what we has used from the pantry/freezer so it does not look like we went out and bought all this. haha

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blah Lately....

I wanted to let you know that I have not forgotten about the blog-a-thon for the month of September or fallen off the face of the earth for the last 2 days.
I have just been sort of blah lately. My depression has been trying to get to me the last couple of days. Including not sleeping to well at night either.

I know depression is a taboo subject to bring up on the online world. It is reality for me though, and many others. People struggle with it every day in this world, and sadly no one seems to want to talk about it and keep it hush hush. If depression was talked more openly it might help those who struggle with it feel a bit more comfortable in their own skin.

The worst part of my depression I feel is that I do not currently have insurance coverage. So I can not just waltz into the doctors office and get a happy pill to make matters easier to deal with. :/

So I just wanted to let you know that is what has been going on in my world lately, and the reason I am skipping my Friday favorites today too.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Apple Coleslaw - Yummy O!

Although summer is over, who said you still can not make summer dishes.
I knew I wanted to put turkey burgers on the menu this week, but I needed a side dish to pare it with. So I decided to pare it with this recipe from Kraft Foods. My hubby was a bit leery when I said I was going to make apple coleslaw, but I think he will be pleasantly surprised tonight at dinner. If not then more for me. hehe

This is super easy and simple to make and most items I am sure you have in your frig or pantry.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.

3/4 c Mayo (or use Miracle whip, which ever you prefer)
1 Tbsp of Honey
1 pkg (16oz) of Coleslaw mix
2 Apples (1 red and 1 green)

Mix together the mayo (or miracle whip) and the honey in a large bowl.
We purchase our honey from the local Amish, but store bought honey will do just fine too.

Then chop both apples in medium to small chunks.
Add the apple chunks and the coleslaw mix to the bowl with the mayo/honey mixture.

Mix thoroughly all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Although I did cheat a bit and have a little bit before chilling it, and it was super good!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Been Stitch'N & new treasures!!!

For awhile now I have tried different crafts without finding something that I truly loved. I use to scrapbook with a true passion in my heart for it. Although I still do love to scrapbook I was no longer in love with doing it like I use to be.

So when I tried making my first cross stitch pillow tuck I felt that pitter patter in my heart again. I knew that cross stitching was my new love. I have been scouring the internet for free patterns (because I am cheap and broke! lol) and made a couple of things for swaps or gifts. I finally made something for myself to keep. I made this making my own design. I think it turned out pretty good for my first own design. I just have to find a few minutes to stitch it close.

I am working on a piece now that I am going to be posting in a giveaway hopefully this coming weekend if I can get it done time.

What have you been working on?


Here are some recent items I picked up at the thrift store when they were having a 60% off sale. The big red ladle has already found a home in my kitchen, the wisk broom (is there another name for it?) is going to be hung on my back porch, the cross stitch fabric is going in my stash for future projects. I am not sure where the wooden crate is going yet, but I just love the old paint on it. The wash board/shelf is going to have a makeover then be hung in my laundry room. I will have to post tomorrow the other two great items I found since my camera needs charged.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

I missed blogging for the last two days because we have been busy here around the house.
Saturday was Mr. P's and I 6th anniversary. We spent a relaxing day out for lunch, a tiny bit of shopping and going for a country drive. We surprisingly found a wonderful old house out on a country road for sale. It is was vacant but we did not go explore it to much. We plan on going back next weekend to check it out more when the weather is a bit nicer.

I jokingly said on facebook that all I needed was someone to buy the house we purchased this year and I would buy this one in a heartbeat. lol It is over 4,000 sq ft PLUS a 2,000 sq ft walk up attic, 5bed 2 bath, in ground pool,10 Acre farm, Barn and 4 out buildings!
Although it is a wonderful piece of property I doubt Mr. P or myself would like that much work and upkeep. We can dream though.


We have not been being so great on making a meal plan the last few months and sticking with it. So I was bound and determined to make a menu plan for the week, eat in and save some money. I figure we are not eating anything very healthy when we eat out anyways, so if even if we end up buying frozen foods and eat in we are still saving money. Although I am not keen on eating tons of pre-made frozen foods I am going to pick up a few things to have on hand in case my migraines creep back again.

So this is the plan of action for the week for dinners;

Tue: Turkery Burgers & Apple Coleslaw

Wed: Wei Chi Ferry Cashew Chicken

Thur: Quesadilla Casserole w/Salad (Meatless meal)

Fri: Spaghetti Squash w/ Sausage and spinach

Sun: Succotash Frittata

For more meal planing and recipe ideas visit I'm a Organizing Junkie

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Favorites

As promised here are the pictures of the huge mirror Mr. P bought at the recent farm auction.
The mantel is in the middle of being decorated for fall, so pardon it being bare.
I have also included the old handmade trunk and other recent goodies that are my favorites!

Don't you just love the floral wallpaper in our bedroom behind the trunk?! lol

This is a side of an old crate which we found in the built in cupboard in our kitchen. It was being used as a shelf. We wanted to take the shelf out to make room for some bigger kitchen gadgets, an was surprised to find this. It now sits atop the door way to the back stair case.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Friends Giveaways

Everyone seems to be getting in the mood for fall .... and giveaways!
I might just catch that bug too!

Be sure to jump over to these very talented ladies blogs to get your chance
to win some of the great offerings they have.

is offering this darling set of Halloween and fall salt dough bowl fillers along with some other goodies tucked into the box.

is offering the most adorable fall Meadow Mouse and witch hat. Kim had the most adorable mice and is so wonderfully talented. I was lucky enough to win her Christmas giveaway last year. You can see the cute mice I won HERE.

is also have a wonderful giveaway with vintage textile spools included!

Has an assortment of goodies up for grabs in her giveaway.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Update on my mom

Today is the first day of September and the first day of the blog-a-thon I had joined.
Sadly I have been down and out for the entire day, even still now, with a huge migraine, lower back, neck pain and cramps. I crawled out of bed just long enough to eat something and write this blog entry.

I am hoping tomorrow I am starting to feel better and can tackle the mountain of cleaning needed around our house. I also have to dig out the goodies from the car I purchased on Monday to show you all.


Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts. My mom is still in the hospital, but coming along in huge strides. She is off the heart monitor, breathing much better now and using oxygen only half the day now.
They were going to send her home the last few days but have decided to wait for a few more days to get the meds in her body up to a higher level they feel comfortable with.

Please continue with prayers for her that all the blood clots continue to dissolve and no more form.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Busy Busy Weekend

I joined a blog party for none other then blogging! lol
For the whole month of September I am going to be posting a blog every day.
This is going to be a huge challenge for me since records show I have only posted 2-3 times a month if at all. You can read more about the blog party and also join myself and others by clicking on the blog party picture to the right.

I might even be throwing a surprise or two throughout the month for my blog readers. So be sure to come visit and leave a comment or two through out the month.


Yesterday my mom went to the ER for trouble breathing and was later admitted. Several large size blood clots where found in both her lungs. She is on IV drips meds and we are now playing a waiting game with her body to see if the clots dissolve on their own.

Please keep her and our family in your thoughts and prayers that she is healed quickly.


Friday was a very long and stressful day being at the hospital with my mom, waiting for test results and not knowing what in the world was going on with her. Even though we went to bed very late this morning, Mr. P and I awoke early to head to a farm auction just down the road from us.

You have to understand this auction was not advertised except in a small local free paper. The house we are certain was built sometime in the 1800's. We also had been to a garage sale at that same house early this year and bought a wonderful old handmade trunk (which I will have to show you in a future posting). So we were excited to see all the other wonderful old items and see if there were any bargains to be had at the auction.

Saying Mr. P and I were sadly disappointed would be a understatement. Besides HUGE amounts of farm Tack, wagons, sleighs and 1 or 2 pieces of antique furniture (that went for way to much). All there was, was a bunch of Junk! I have bought plenty of junk in my past and made it look prim but this junk did not even have potential. I bought the very first item they auctioned off, which was a small wooden sleigh with white chippy paint. Mr. P bought a large mirror to hang above our fireplace. We spent a total of $16 and then went for lunch.

I did not get a picture of the mirror Mr. P bought, but I will once he hangs it.
Here is a picture of the sleigh I bought.

Here are a few pictures from the auction. The couple use to have lots of horses. Notice the three huge aisles of horse tack!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Favorites

With the weekends approaching Friday always seem to whiz by without notice. So I thought it would be a perfect day to have Friday Favorites. A posting about some of my favorite people, places or things.

Here are my Fur Babies, which they are all my favorites. :)
Next week I will show you some of my favorite things about our new house.
I am also working on my blog to be less cluttered, more postings, and a giveaway soon too!

What are a few of your favorite things?

TT Kitty

Emily (aka Chubba)

Maxwell James