Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Loving the new cupcake fad

 I love these little birthday cupcake we made last night.  My daughter wanted to make cupcakes for her class and I wanted to make it fun, so for a few bucks from Hobby Lobby, I picked up some icing decorating tools and decided we'll try to make them cute and fun!  These are mini devil's food cupcakes with fudge icing and gold glitter sugar sprinkles.  Cupcakes are such a huge hit these days, and honestly I find them sooo much easier and fun to make than a cake.  Plus, portion control is always a good thing right?? Ha ha ha.

If you are also a fan of cupcakes, be sure to check out some of my favorite sites:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Am I too fancy for quiches?

One of the joys of working with women, are the many opportunities for eating.  If there is an occasion to be celebrated at work, there will no doubt be food involved!  This, of course, is a good thing and a bad thing.  *I* say it's a wonderful thing because I get to eat some many homemade and delicious foods that I am too lazy busy to make on my own.  But my stupid butt says it's bad.  Grrrr. Stupid butt.  So this Friday we are having a work shower for two of our coworkers that are getting married in a few weeks and of course there is a sign-up sheet for food!!  Well, I want to bring something cute, delicious and yummy and decided to try making mini quiches that I first experienced at a Pampered Chef party.  I have the tartlet pan, the wooden tart maker, and the ingredients are pretty basic.  Because I work with a high percentage of vegetarians, I'll be making the vegetarian version of the Quiche Lorraine Tartlets and subbing Feta cheese for the swiss (a request of a friend).

Quiche Lorraine Tartlets (via Pampered Chef)

1   pkg (15 oz) refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts), softened according to package directions
2   eggs
1/2   cup half and half
1/8   tsp salt
4   slices cooked bacon
1/2   medium red bell pepper
2   tbsp finely chopped fresh chives or green onion
1/2   cup (2 oz) grated Swiss cheese
12   grape tomatoes
Coarsely ground black pepper
Additional chopped fresh chives or green onion (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Unroll one pie crust onto lightly floured surface. Spacing closely together, cut 12 disks from crust using outer tube of Measure-All® Cup (nine around outside edge and three in center). Press disks into wells of Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan using Mini-Tart Shaper, ruffling edges. Repeat with remaining crust.
2. Whisk eggs, half and half and salt in Classic Batter Bowl using Stainless Whisk; pour into Measure-All® Cup. Set egg mixture aside and wipe out batter bowl with paper towels.
3. Finely chop bacon and bell pepper with Food Chopper. Squeeze out excess moisture from bell pepper using paper towels. Finely chop chives using Utility Knife. Grate cheese using Ultimate Mandoline. Combine bacon, bell pepper, chives and cheese in batter bowl; mix well using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®.
4. Pour egg mixture evenly into tart shells; sprinkle evenly with cheese mixture. Cut tomatoes in half crosswise. Press one tomato half, cut side up, into center of each tartlet. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake 14-16 minutes or until egg mixture is set and crusts are golden brown. Remove tartlets to serving platter and sprinkle with additional chopped chives, if desired.

 Spinach Mini Quiche Tartlets

(More tart crusts using above recipe)

6 eggs
1 cup light cream
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/2 lb. white mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup spinach
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

Of course you do realize that if these turn out, I will have to snub you as I will officially be too fancy for the plain folk around here.


Well they turned out great!!! Yes you may be envious. They were SOOOOME kind of good!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The kids make cookies

Well it's the last full week of summer vacation before school starts and the kids are filling up the days with a few more fun activities with grandma and grandpa before they have to start doing homework!!  Ewwww!

First the boys get the kitchen.  Both my son, 15, and my brother, 12 enjoy working in the kitchen, so they make chocolate chip cookies.

Then, the girls tackle their recipes...Peanut Butter Cookies!  In the picture is Brooklyn, 9, my sister, 15, and Elena, 11.

So before summer ends... take some time out and make some cookies!! (Then bring some by my house cause these will be gone in less than 24 hours) :)


Thursday, July 29, 2010

BBQ Dessert

So I am going to a fun little BBQ tomorrow for an end of summer get-together with friends from work.  All the normal fixin's will be there but I am going to bring a dessert. But what kind of dessert!??!  Obviously from what I am reading, something fruity and "cool" is best for this type of occasion.  So I headed over to some of my favorites sites and looked for ideas. 

Here's what I've found so far:

Strawberry Angel Food Dessert

Blueberry Buckle

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Any suggestions??

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some of my savings this week: CVS and BILO

Before Savings at BI-LO: $298.66 (This was my first "normal" big shopping trip since beginning couponing and so I had a lot of things to get. I tried hard to combine the most coupons and savings I could while still getting all the meat and other necessisties I needed)
BI-LO Card savings and deals: $77.34
Coupon savings: $48.45
FINAL TOTAL: $181.85  ($121.79 savings)
plus I earned an additional $.50 per gallon in Fuelperks bringing my current total to $.65

Ok, now today at CVS:
I had to do this in 3 separate transactions in order to use my Extra Care Bucks.  The downside was that I didn't get any additional $5.00 off $25 coupons in my orders which would've helped tremendously.  Several items were big ticket items (as far as cost) so I was pleased!
Well, here are the totals.

Total Spent: $41.44
Saved: $66.84 (plus I have $7.00 ECB to use for my next trip)

Venus Razor, Hydro 3 refill blades, Covergirl eyeliner, mascara, Tide, 3 boxes of cereal, 6pk Dove soap, tampons and pads, Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Dove Body Wash (bonus 33% more) and shampoo.

What do you do with a zucchini?

...when you don't like vegetables!?!?  You make cake!

This time of year, the gardens are growing and the folks that started out their gardens a few months ago are starting to reap the harvest!  My friend Jackie brought in some HUGE zucchinis from her garden to share and I couldn't pass it up!  So i grabbed a nice fat one and brought it home. Then stared at it for 5 days.  What am i going to do with a zucchini the size of my forearm??  So I remembered back to the early years of my previous marriage to when my ex brought home zucchinis one day.  He never stepped foot in the kitchen except to make saturday morning pancakes or to make zucchini cake!  So that's what I did tonight.  My first zucchini cake!!  Of course I counted on my good friends at to hook me up with a good recipe.  One of the greatest things about is the rating system.  Since the site has been around for sooooooo long (I think I only had 2 kids back when I first discovered it... as or something like that) the number of people who submit recipes, try recipes and are good enough to rate and comment make this the best site to find tried and true recipes.  This recipe is called Zucchini Cake I.  4 1/2 star rating, 41 reviews, and over 700 people have saved this recipe so I knew it must be a good one.



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, white sugar, and salt. Mix well.
  3. In another bowl beat eggs, vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla together. Pour into egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the shredded zucchini. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Allow cakes to cool in pans. Stack and frost into a 3 layer cake using Cream Cheese Frosting.
  5. To Make Frosting: Cream together the cream cheese, butter or margarine. Add the confectioner's sugar, a little at a time. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and mix well. Spread on cool cake layers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tis the Season for Fresh Blueberries

Just about everyone knows that July is the best month for blueberries in the South.  So it's no surprise that I am about to post a recipe that I used yesterday that incorporates these gorgeous berries!  But the best part is how I obtained them.  Through the power of social networking, I heard of a man who's backyard is nothing but blueberry trees and he allows people to come and pick them and charges minimal cost for his berries (I paid $4.00 for a quart).  He doesn't advertise to my knowledge, other than 8x10 size on his garage, so word of mouth is how he's getting his customers.  So, I see the post on Facebook about it and decide to map out his location.  He's only a few blocks from my work!  How convienant!  So on my lunch hour, in my dress pants and heels (in the 90 degree heat!) I head over and pick my berries.  30 minutes and $4.00 later... I have my beautiful fresh blueberries!

The plan? I turn to my good friend, Barefoot Contessa (also known as Ina Garten) from the Food Network.  Sure enough she has a very easy and refreshing recipe using blueberries... her Blueberry Crumb Cake.

This recipe was soooo easy to make!!!  And it uses nothing out of the ordinary which is great if you need to make something right away. As long as you have a typically stocked pantry and some blueberries, you can pull this baby off!  In less than an hour, you can have a beautiful and delicious dessert.  Or in my case, breakfast! 

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE!!! (Also saved under My Recipe Box Tab at the top of my site)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Getting to know you....

I thought it would be fun to post some questions (cooking/food related of course) and answer them to help you get to know me a little bit better. Especially since I'm hoping to start linking to some other fun blogs and there might be a handful of new people to meet.  So, here goes...

  None for the most part.  In a jam, I might swing thru McD's for a $1 chicken sandwich

Mt. Dew out of those choices.  Did you know that Mt. Dew in Canada has no caffeine?  

How about Tap!  Well our frig has a water dispenser but I haven't changed the filter in 4 years, so I'm pretty sure that water is just tap water now LOL  

If this is gum, then the answer is none.  I rarely chew gum, and if I do, it's only cause my boss offered it to me after I ate her garlic spinach/artichoke dip and spoke to her. In that case, I take whatever she gives me. 

  CASHEWS!!!!! mmmm

Most of the time, milk chocolate, but occasionally I enjoy white chocolate. Have you ever had White Chocolate truffles with milk chocolate on the inside?? Something like THIS??

 none... if i'm drinking water, it's water.

 depends on the event.  do I have dip?(ruffles) do i have to share?(no? pringles) Are they flavored? (BBQ Lays!!)

 Again, depends on the situation, but I give props out to my mom...nothing hits the spot quite like a warm English Muffin with grape jelly and real butter.

 yes, YES, NO, NO, depends


 Wow, there's a lot here. Unfortunately, I'm pretty picky.  Most seafoods, most veggies, mustard, horseradish, ummm.. just too much unfortunately.


 Well, I can't recall a certain "time" so I'll guess maybe a day... probably when I was sick.

  Not regularly, but my boyfriend has me starting to watch Hell's Kitchen and I's pretty fun!!

 Yeah, I'd say I do. I'm no Barefoot Contessa, but I can read recipes and apply pretty well.

Little by little... some by helping mom cook, Home Ec. Class, and reading.

 Yesterday, bowl of cereal :)

 Today (that McDonald's chicken sandwich I mentioned earlier LOL)

 Today... London Broil on the grill, parmesean noodles, ciabatta garlic bread and yogurt... and yes it was very good.

 Friends and family of course!! Meals should always be shared!

 Yes, although I do get lazy sometimes and let a few manners go, but for the most part I do, and I encourage my kids to also.

 yes I have cats... they do NOT get scraps, except once a year... thanksgiving.  It's just too cruel to eat Turkey and not share :)

 HA HA HA No, but I did feed my brother cat food one time.

 I love pastries in the morning (cream cheese danishes) but I rarely have them.  Just too sweet and fatty to make a habit of.

 See earlier question about gum LOL

 Junk :(

  According to WiiFit....I'm borderline.  But I'm only 5'2" so it doesn't take much to give me some extra pounds.

 Not for very long.

 No. (but if I say veggies, can i get a guilt-free pass for not liking them?)

 Used to be Ham but now I am very excited to say that I am enjoying feta cheese on my pizzas lately. 

 not particularly but if i find a good deal on some things, i'll use them.

If you've read this far, you already know the answer to this!

 I love a really good cheese ravioli, but nothing beats a beautifully cooked and marinated Tenderloin steak and potato dinner.

 Since it's almost July... I'm going with CORN ON THE COB!!

I hope you enjoyed this fun little survey.  Feel free to share some of your favorites or copy this survey for your blog as well. 

Tuesday Tag-Along

Thought it might be fun to start linking and visiting some other blogs to share encouragement, stories, ideas and support.  Stumbled upon Twee Poppets Blog who hosts a fun:
Tuesday Tag-Along

Check out the link and all the cool blogs that are out there!! Be sure to let them know where you found them too!  Happy Tuesday!

Some cute blogs I've stumbled upon today:

The Way I See Things

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fast Friday Recipe

Today's FFR is my very own, although I'm sure I'm not the first to do it.  I tell you this because I couldn't be simpler. Seriously.  I whipped this up after having some really yummy Teriyaki Chicken and rice from the local Japanese food place.  It's soooo good, and the kids scarfed it down and wanted more.  Well, at $7.00 a plate it would get pretty pricy to order that for all of us.  So why not do it myself? Again, this is by NO MEANS original, but it's what I did on a whim one night and it works and is now in the regular rotation of meals for us.

Chicken Teriyaki ala Linda

1 pkg. Boneless Skinless chicken breasts (My family of 5- one of them a 15 year old boy requires 2 pkgs. but leaves us with a little leftover which is great for my son as a snack the next day)
1/2 bottle Teriyaki Sauce (We like Lawrey's brand)
1 tbsp. cooking oil

Rice (I cook this with my rice cooker...makes 2 cups of dry rice into 4 cooked cups in 20 minutes):
I always start this meal by starting my rice.  You can use instant rice if you like, or a rice cooker like I do. For those of you who do not have a rice cooker, but use rice on a semi-regular basis, you must get one.  They are sooo cheap and make cooking rice so easy.  It's worth the $13.00 I paid for mine.  While the rice is cooking  you can start cutting up the chicken (or in my case since I did it the night before, just put my feet up and watch 20 minutes of tv before I cook my chicken).
Basically I cut up the breasts (sometimes the day before to save time at dinner time) into little pieces.  Normally most recipes like this say 1 inch pieces, but I enjoy smaller more "kid-sized" pieces so I actually cut them even smaller... like 1/2-inch pieces. Heat the oil in a skillet. When nice and hot, add the chicken and begin to cook.  The smaller the pieces, the faster it cooks, so that's another perk for my small size chunks.

Once the chicken is white on the outside (again, not long at all), add the teriyaki sauce.  I use only 1/3 to 1/2 of the bottle.  Basically enough to coat my chicken, let it cook for another minute or so, then add just a little more so it's a bit saucy.  Now, I do NOT add a lot and make a real sauce for this.  But I suppose you can if you like that sort of thing.  Just depends on your family.

Usually my chicken takes no more than 5 minutes to cook.  Serve the chicken over the rice and watch them devour it!! 

Note for more health conscious folk: As you can see there are no veggies in this.  This is because I have 4 kids that are hard to please in the main dish category.  Adding the veggies will guarantee that the kids will fuss and whine and protest dinner and my aim for Fast Friday Recipes is sharing those meals that we made that everyone loved and it easy and fun to make.  If you want to add veggies, you can steam broccoli and cooked carrots and add them to your plate... this is what the Japanese Fast Food Restaurants do!


KFC Biscuits?

Found a copycat recipe for KFC biscuits and thought I'd share :)  I enjoy a good biscuit but everyone knows that KFC biscuits are among the best... so give it a shot. I plan on it!

Nothing tastes better with crispy fried chicken than a flaky biscuit. This tried and true copycat recipe creates the perfect light, buttery biscuit that tastes just like it's from KFC.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Sift together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour mix and add the milk. Add shortening and begin kneading with hands (to cut in) the vegetable shortening and flour in the milk until thoroughly mixed. Add milk, if needed to form, and mix.
  3. Turn onto floured board, and knead gently 6 to 8 times. Pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into biscuits.  
  4.  Place on baking sheet and brown in oven 10 to 13 minutes.

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    It's Harris Teeter Time!!

    Wish me luck as I hit up Day 1 of Harris Teeter SUPER DOUBLES!!  20 items, on my lunch hour... Can't wait to share my bargains!!

    TOTAL before coupons/VIC-Card Savings... $98.00
    Total spent.... $37.00

    That's a 62% savings!!

    Best deals: Muir Tomato Paste $1.00 off coupon- final price FREE (did this twice)
    Cheetos Zesty Flavor $1.00 off cpn- final price $.99
    Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce (BIG BOTTLE)- $1.00 off cpn- final price $.69
    12 pack of Cottenelle DOUBLE rolls toilet paper- VIC member deal $4.99
    Feta Cheese- $1.00 off cpn- final price $1.69 (Feta isn't cheap!)

    You know what time it is??

    Time for HOMEMADE ICE CREAM!!!

    This morning as I was perusing some sites, looking for inspiration for my new sunroom (which I have NOT finished tiling yet, so don't ask!) I came across Country Living Magazines Website. Oh man, I forgot how much I LOVED their ideas!! Now, my house is a fairly new, modern, cookie cutter house, in a new subdivision where all the houses look the same. I'm not crazy about this per se, but at the time, it was what we needed, and of course, the amenities (read: Pool) and neighborhood were good for us, so there we are. Anyway, designing my house in "country" isn't likely to happen, but THAT is the joy of a sunroom... you can sort of do something different in it and have fun with it and if it doesn't completely "go" with the rest of your house, it doesn't look quite as odd since it's sort of off on its own.

    ANYWAY (sorry, I get off on a tangent pretty easily... hey? is that a squirrel?)... so Country Living was spotlighting homemade icecream and since it's going to be 97 degrees today (that's 36 for you Canadians!) this sounded like a great topic for today's post. I bought an ice cream maker that you can plug in at a yard sale about 3 years ago. The kids love it and I dare anyone to argue that homemade ice cream isn't THE BEST kind of ice cream! Do it. I dare ya!

    Usually, you buy Rock Salt, ice, use whole milk and buy a "mix" for the ice cream. But this recipe asks you to make your own mix but still use an ice cream maker for the actual legwork. Trust me... cranking the old fashioned way is fun, but only for about 90 seconds.

    This recipe is for Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. (Note: you can go directly to the site to save the recipe or print it out)(Another note: The recipe online is for Vanilla... with the mint chocolate variation listed below it. I saved you the same, by fixing the recipe to just be for the mint chocolate chip. I'm just nice that way.)

    Yields: 16 servings, each 1/2 cup

    Total Time: 4 hr 45 min

    Prep Time: 15 min


    • 2 cup(s) whole milk
    • 1 cup(s) sugar
    • 4 egg yolks
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 cup(s) half-and-half
    • 2 cup(s) whipping cream
    • 1 teaspoon(s) peppermint extract
    • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract


    1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, sugar, egg yolks, and salt. Place pan over medium- high heat and whisk until mixture reaches a simmer. Lower heat to medium and whisk for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Strain mixture into a large bowl, then whisk in half-and- half, cream, and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

    2. Pour mixture into ice-cream maker; process according to manufacturer instructions.

    3. Once ice cream's made, stir in 2 cups mini chocolate chips.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    BI-LO Bargain

    Just got back from my trip to BI-LO for some groceries before the sales change tomorrow and had another successful trip! I can't believe that I used to spend WELL over $100 per trip to BI-LO...spending around $600/mo on groceries for our family of 5. Since couponing, I haven't spent over $100 and at the moment, seem to be bringing home MORE than I normally would have!

    Today I stocked up on a lot of great deals and some necessities. BOGO Dixie Sugar (plus two 50cent coupons, making it $1.00 for 2 4lb. bags of sugar), Tea Bags for my sun tea, pop tarts (on sale and 75cents off....doubled!), cereal, marinades, cleaners, frozen meals, and a lots other goodies.

    TOTAL before coupons/BI-LO Savings... $81.00
    Total spent.... $38.00

    Now, one purchase I made that I don't normally buy is Heinz 57 Sauce. But I had a coupon for $1.00 plus it was on sale PLUS I was able to do the BI-LO compare challenge and get the Southern Home brand for FREE in order to compare brands. So, not to be wasteful... my goal is to check out some of my favorite recipe sites and see if I can come up with a yummy dinner that uses those sauces!

    Don't forget ladies!!! TOMORROW BEGINS SUPER DOUBLES AT HARRIS TEETER!! And yes, I may ACTUALLY be going to the grocery store BEFORE work at 7:30am. See you there!

    Chocolate Bacon!

    Ok, I just had to share this because 1) it's been all over the food media lately (the oh-s0-many-ways-to-eat-bacon) and 2) I recently have exposed myself to a similar concoction. First, the recipe:

    Chocolate-Covered Bacon Recipe

    Chocolate-Covered Bacon Recipe
    Photo by: Taste of Home
    Rating 4.17

    66% would make again

    A hit at state fairs everywhere, make this salty-sweet concoction at home. Some say bacon can't get any better, but we think chocolate makes everything better!

    • 12 Servings
    • Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min.


    • 12 thick-sliced bacon strips (about 1 pound)
    • 12 wooden skewers (12 inches)
    • 6 ounces white candy coating, chopped
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1 tablespoon shortening
    • Optional toppings: chopped dried apple chips, apricots and crystallized ginger, finely chopped pecans and pistachios, toasted coconut, kosher salt, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and coarsely ground black pepper


    • Thread each bacon strip onto a wooden skewer. Place on a rack in a large baking pan. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely.
    • In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Combine chocolate chips and shortening; melt in a microwave and stir until smooth.
    • With pastry brushes, coat bacon on both sides with melted coatings. Top each strip as desired. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 1 dozen.
    Ok, I'll be honest... I'm not sure I will make this. Recently, my coworker gave us all a taste of come chocoloate/bacon truffles. Granted, I only ate the teeeeeny tiiiiiiniest bite of it because I was scared of what I would taste. The consensus was that it tasted like a rich chocolate truffle with little grainy salty spots in it (i.e. the bacon). Sure, the sweet/salty combo was somewhat reminiscient of something like Pretzel M&MS (which by the way, they make now (in the blue bag!) and they are delish!) But honestly, I'm not sure I can hop on the Bacon Chocolate Bandwagon. But if you are adventurous... try it out! Then let me know what you think :)

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Fast Friday Recipe

    I thought it would be fun to plan on posting a favorite quick and easy recipe on Fridays to kickstart the weekend!! Some of my favorite things to eat on the weekends, are dips. I love to dip pretzels, crackers, chips, carrots, fruit, you name it! This recipe is one that I've had sitting in my INBOX in my email for over 2 years. Yes, for 2 years, I've saved this recipe and never tried it. So why am I passing it onto you folks already? Because of it's source. Taste of Home magazine. This is one of THE BEST food and recipe magazines and websites out there. Why?

    1. Realistic Recipes for my family- There are a LOT of just (what I call) normal recipes here. I am a mom with 4 kids and although I don't classify us as picky eaters, we are simple eaters. If recipes start calling for 20 different ingredients for a sauce... I'm probably going to skip it due to the time, budget and just plain sanity constraints. It's real food for real people...not Gourmet Chefs. If you want gourmet food and fancy foods, go visit Delish or something.

    2. Variety- Taste of Home magazine has a 5 or less sections, a slow-cooker section, a holiday section, dessert section, a bread machine section, a quick dinner section...etc. Sure a lot of other sites do to, but I feel like every time I open this magazine, there's something awesome in each one.

    3. LOTS of reader recipes. I've had tons of luck with using recipes that are shared by readers. Usually these are time tested and rated, and I am rarely disappointed.

    Ok, so onto the recipe! Meaty Chili Dip Recipe (I'm excited because I am growing my first green pepper plant and will be able to make something with it that I like!)

    A meaty dish like this is a must for the men in my family. They scrape the serving bowl clean! For the best dipping use large corn chips. —Karen Kiel, Missouri

    • Prep/Total Time: 20 min.


    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
    • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
    • 1 envelope chili seasoning mix (about 4 tbsp.)
    • Corn chips


    • In a large skillet, cook beef and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the water, tomato paste, cream cheese and chili seasoning mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until cheese is melted.
    • Transfer to a 1-1/2-qt. slow cooker or chafing dish to keep warm. Serve with corn chips. Yield: 3 cups.

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Cutest little Menu Planning Downloads

    OMG these super cute and super easy templates will help you plan your meals and make your lists for shopping!!

    Menu Planners for Summertime!

    Wanna coupon with me?

    So as part of my new food leaf turnover... I'm getting into couponing. Couponing is one of those "hobbies" (and I say hobbies because there is much time involved and dedication required but great satisfaction in return) that a lot of people do not bother with due the aforementioned time involvement or lack of need (i.e. they aren't so financially strapped that they have to start saving 50cents and $1.00 here and there). But it's also one of those hobbies where once I started doing it, and seeing the savings, and feeling the satisfaction from it...I can't believe I ever shopped without them!! This hobby MAKES you money if you play your cards right. So amidst some of these fun cooking posts, and recipes, I am also throwing in my couponing posts... just to show you just how rewarding it can be!

    Today I bought:
    3 boxes of General Mills Cereal
    1 Schick Hydro Razor for Men
    2 packages of the new M&M Pretzel
    1 box of Tampons
    Total: $6.19 (for a savings of $24.07)
    PLUS-- I have $8.00 in ECB (Extra Care Bucks and how other CVS Deals work here) to spend at my next visit which I am planning.

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Weekend Menu

    What are you cooking this weekend?? That's one thing I LOVE about summer and getting off work early on Fridays...plenty of time to plan some yummy food!! These aren't anything special, but oh so good when i eat them!

    Tonight: Chicken Enchiladas! Nothing I love more than chicken, cheese and mexican saucey goodness! Side it with some runny refried beans, tortilla chips and GORDO'S cheese dip. Maybe I should mix up a little margarita to go on the side and eat out on my patio. Yes, I think that's a great plan. Dessert will be brownies that my daughter made last night. Mmmmm.

    Saturday: Burgers on the grill... complete with cheese and bacon and BBQ sauce. I've been couponing my butt off lately (Krazy Coupon Lady and Southern Savers) and one of the good deals I keep getting is for BBQ sauce, so I have to really come up with some great idea using it! I have French Fries to go on the side of the burgers, and I think a fresh fruit salad with some goodies from Bush-n-Vine will make it another dinner to drool over!

    So that's what's coming up here this weekend... what about you??

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    15 Recipes to Make Before You Die

    15 recipes to make before you die...

    This article highlights the obvious... recipes they recommend making before you die. So I immediately reacted. "Ok you win Mr. Article!! You caught my attention!!" So let's take a look and see just how well they chose foods that I think I should make.
    1. Yeast Bread- Yes, I do think everyone should make a homemade loaf of bread at some point in their life. If not for just the amazing smell and taste that comes as a result, but because while you are making it, try to imagine having to do this EVERY SINGLE TIME you wanted bread back in the "dark ages." Having an appreciation for Wonder Bread never hurt a person.

    2. Beef Tenderloin Steaks- OMG YES!! Ok, I already make this (usually on the Saturday night after my kids have gone to their dad's for the weekend) for myself but I can't describe just how amazing a perfectly cooked and flavored tenderloin steak tastes. It's probably the closest thing to the deed that I can compare. Sorry, but I love me some red meat. This particular recipe adds the wonderful flavor of bleu cheese that I have not yet incorporated into my once a month beef tenderloin routine. This must be remedied my friends. Pronto!

    3. Cream pie- No way!! Really??? I JUST printed off a recipe for a homemade chocolate pie and am anxious to try it. Normally, my pies are made like this:
    step 1- buy frozen pie crust
    step 2- buy jello pudding mix
    step 3- combine until edible

    This recipe in the link is for a Pie-O-Neer Coconut Cream Meringue Pie which I would make and eat wholeheartedly.

    4. Creme Brulee- Ok, any recipe that calls for a torch is probably a no-go in my book. I know, you are thinking "I can certainly agree, Linda, that having kids and torches do not go hand in hand." WRONG!! Linda + Torches do not go hand in hand. 'Nuff said.

    5. Fudge- Oh glory be to he who invented fudge!! Well, "She" as we all know it had to be a woman who invented it. Oh lover of chocolate, mistress to creamy smoothness... yes, I think making fudge is a must. However, I must disagree with the author that I must use a candy thermometer. Instead, I feel that there are enough amazing recipes on that I do not need to obsess over a temperature in my fudgemaking. Let's be honest folks. The most important part about making fudge is getting it made so you can eat it. Do I hear an "amen?"

    6. Cream Puffs- Creme Brulee, Cream Pies, Creamy Fudge?? I think I sense a pattern here in this article. Don't cream puffs sound amazing as a brunch snack for a group of bookclub memebers?? I think making a pastry of any sort is a must in baking, and cream puffs seem like just a good of a choice as any don't you think?

    7. Crown Roast- Am I the only person who has never heard of this?? It's certainly "pretty" but I don't know where I would even begin to buy such a piece of meat. This recipe/picture screams one thing to me.... A HUGE WASTED EFFORT ON MY CHILDREN. I already know that it would turn out beautifullly and my kids would still fuss and whine and ask "what is it?" "do I have to eat it?" "can I just make a PB&J sandwich instead?" and then I'll have to throw the crown roast at them and cry. Also, any recipe with more than 4 words in the title is ridiculous to me. Sorry Maple and Calvados-Glazed Pork Crown Roast with Apple-Chestnut Puree.

    8. Fried Chicken- Was there a special class for girls back in the 50s where they taught them all how to make killer fried chicken? Cause once the Woman's Movement came around, the only place I can seem to get good fried chicken is at any home of a woman who was born in the 40s-50s. I can't do it!! Why is good 'ol Fried Chicken so hard to make 'just right?' I refuse to give up the attempts and hope that one day I'll figure it out. This article includes a recipe to Mama's Fried Chicken... how they got my mama's recipe, I don't know... but I'll give it a go. Again.

    9. Roux- So I click on the link and I see a big bowl of shimpy nastiness. (My apologies to the Southern readers) I'm not sure what I expected to see exactly, perhaps a nice bowl of roux? Anywho, so I do have to agree with the author that knowing how to make a nice roux is important. It's a basis for any gravy and helps you actually understand more about using a "base" in your cooking. As my dad and I have been doing for years'll never make a good homemade turkey gravy from scratch at Thanksgiving if you don't know how to make the roux. So roux it up people. And don't worry... throwing out 10 skillets of bad roux is normal.

    10. Pasta and Cream Sauce- There it is again! That word!! CREAM!! This reminds me of what my friend Shannon seems to keep mentioning on Facebook about her buttered noodles she's so fond of lately. Except this seems like one step further, but I bet it has the same personal satisfation as buttered noodles. Dieters might want to skip this recipe... or any of the recipes on this list for that matter. LOL

    11. Turkey and Gravy- Call me old fashioned, but I think all girls should have to cook a traditional Thanksgiving Day Turkey meal at some point in their lives. It's a lot of long hours and hard work, but listening to your kids and guests moan "I'm sooooo hungry" and "It smells soooo good in here" is just priceless. Speaking of roux, here's an opportunity to put those new roux skills to the test. As for cooking the turkey?? Ha ha ha... good luck. You are on your own (well, you DO have a recipe). I have used the directions on the outside of my turkey wrapping for mine for years and it works just fine.

    12. Chocolate Pudding- Yeah, Jell-O brand pudding is good enough for the kids, but sometimes it's nice to really try your own. Just make sure you do it for some adults too. They might appreciate it more. The kids will just inhale it in 2 seconds and you'll be wiping half of your bittersweet chocolate right off their little faces.

    13. Layer Cake- A.k.a chocolate cake not from a box. I will give my boss kudos on this... she makes a KICKBUTT cake. Any cake. Homemade layer cakes > box cakes any day of the week. Impress your co-workers. Trust me. They will love you. (And bring the extra frosting in a container too...I think I might know a few people who'll eat it!)

    14. Souffle- Eh? What is souffle? A dessert? A brunch dish? Is it a main food or a side? Even I'm not sure. Apparently this article doesn't answer that question, but it does claim it's easy but usually best if eaten immediately. Sorry, co-workers. No souffles for you. Regardless, it might be worth a try so I can say that I didn't die before making a souffle. Classic Cheese Soufflé

    15. Chicken Stock- I am going to amend this and say Chicken Soup. People. Listen to me. You must be able to make a homemade chicken noodle soup. It's so good. It's comfort food. It's good for you. It's flexible. Do it. Do it NOW! (Spoken in my best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice).

    So there you have it.'s list of 15 recipes to make before you die. And since you never know when that might be... I'd get started soon if I were you!