Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Tribute

To those who have served or continue to serve, thankyou from the bottom of my heart and God bless you, your families and loved ones!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sweet Little Things

While I believe in trying to be healthy and feed our bodies the best foods, I also believe in splurging every now and then. Especially when trying out new recipes for your daughters birthday party! Sophia is turning 3 on Sunday and her birthday party this year is going to be Princess and the Frog Mardi Gras! So with that comes the search for the perfect Beignets. These bad boys just might do the trick for the party...
3 cups flour plus about 1/4 cup for the dough
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar for dusting
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Mix all dry ingredients except for the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Combine wet ingredients seperately and mix. Add dry to wet and stir well to combine. You will have a slightly sticky dough, pour out onto floured surface and kneed a tad until it's all together and not so sticky. Roll thin (about 1/2 inch thin) and cut into 2x2 squares. Fry in about 2 inches of oil at around 325 degrees or in a deep fryer until golden, flip and cook till the other side is golden. Remove and place on paper towls to soak up the extra grease. Put in a paper bag or container with top and shake with powdered sugar.

Using meal plans to save money. Make Chicken Broth/Stocks at home.

I have just started to make my own stocks at home. I have made chicken stock and veggie stock and love the taste of the "real" deal. Last night was our Roast Sticky Chicken night and boy was it good! Juicy, fall apart good. Even Michael ate a fair amount. We did baked potatoes instead of mashed and had a wonderful green salad with lots of chopped herbs from the garden. After that meal I reserved the extra chicken for Simple Hearty White Chili and saved the bones, cooking juices and onion for a stock. To a large soup pot I added the bones, juices and onion with about 1 1/2 cups of red wine, 2 cut carrots, 2 stalks celery, a raw onion quartered, 2 cloves garlic, peeled, about 8-10 cups of water, some chives left over from the baked potatoes and salt and pepper. I would have added more fresh herbs but I was tired and didn't feel like picking herbs in the dark. Oh well. I let the whole thing simmer over medium heat for about 2 hours then let it cool. When it cooled I seperated the fat and poured the stock into a rubbermaid pitcher. It's now in the fridge waiting to be used through out the week on the other yummy recipes that are lined up. This stock cost me next to nothing extra (really maybe $2 if you add cost of the wine that I had left over anyways). I love that I know exactly what went into it, no MSG, yeast extract or extra sodium. I highly recommend making your own stock at home.
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Deals at Publix week 5/27-6/02

I recommend everyone use! If you live in an area where there is a Publix Store there is no site like this one. They have great deals listed on lots of other stores too but Publix is my main squeeze when it comes to groceries and household items. I've learned to cut my grocery bill in half or more every single week by shopping the sales and stocking up when prices are rock bottom. Over the next few weeks I'll share some of the ways that I save money on groceries. The biggest way is by having a meal plan and sticking to it. This way I plan around the items on sale every week and have things on hand from my stock pile of dry goods to make meals that are much more affordable.
Here are just a few of the sale items worth shopping this week. I'll be stocking up on sunscreen and razors! I love Freebies! For your shopping list and links to printable coupons simply go to

Publix Weekly Add Shopping list 5/26-6/02

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Al Fresco Sausage Coupon.
May26 Meal Plan, May26 Shopping List

Roast Sticky Chicken- Rotissery Style :

Simple Hearty White Chili :

Island Jump-Up Ribs :

Pasta Salad With Grilled Summer Veggies and Fresh Mozzarella :

This pasta salad was so yummy! We were out of spinach leaves so I just left those out. I grilled the onion too even though it doesn't say to in the recipe. I also used my own vinegraitte recipe that I learned (and modified a tad) from when I worked at Pasta Bella. Here is the vinegraitte recipe:

Balsamic Vinegraitte:

1 tbs tomato paste (or use ketsup if you don't have it on hand)
1 tsp brown mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbs fresh chopped basil
Add other desired herbs (I've used oregano, thyme and rosemarry with a couple of pepper flakes).
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup EVOO

Mix together the tomato paste, mustard, garlic, basil (and other herbs if desired), add vinager. Slowly...whisk in the EVOO in a light stream and whisking fast to emulsify the vinegraitte. The end result is a super yummy thick and tangy balsamic vinegraitte. I use this for pasta salads like this one, salad, chicken breasts marinades...and more.

Channa Masala :

I ended up making several modifications to this recipe. Mostly because I am easing my husband into more and more vegetarian fair and thought the chick peas alone wouldn't cut it. So, I added 2 peeled and diced sweet potatoes to the onions and spice and sauteed a bit longer to partially cook the potatoes. Then I ended up adding about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth because the liquids just weren't enough. I also didn't have rice flour so I just used regular, and canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh. With all of those changes the dish was wonderful for me! Husband wasn't the biggest fan (he announced that he doesn't like garbonzo beans!) but I'm glad to find a very healthy curry that I can make for lunches. I added a dallop of greek yogurt for some creamy texture with all of that chunky. I always go way crazy with cilantro because I LOVE it and it's so good for you. Did you know that Cilantro has been effectively used to help remove heavy metals and other toxic agents from the body? More on that here.

Pigs In a Blanket with Al Fresca Chicken Sausages :
 The "Pigs in a Blanket" were actually really, really good! Both Tony and I liked them even more than the kids. I highly recommend Al Fresco Chicken Sausages. So yummy and much lower in fat than traditional sausage plus they are full of flavor and some are even made with veggies too!

Bonus breakfast recipe: Whole Grain Waffles :

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I will be posting things that I really want to try! I found this website a while ago while I was looking for an amish bread starter. Of course her recipe was good but her blog is simply amazing so I keep going back! Here is the blog:
She had a post about pie in a jar! That's a jar....I can't wait to try that one as I know my husband will flip to have a pie made with that much crust and all for him! But wait, it gets better! At the end of this post she had these links for Cupcakes- In- A -Jar! Yummy. Here are the links:


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