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 admit...it'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??