Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cheap Meals

I am all about being cheap.  My husband and I discovered recently that I do, in fact, squeak when I walk.  Nice to finally know at the "ripe" old age of 27 yrs old.

I wrote about my "snob meal" ways over at my main blog- Hyperactive Lu.  Take a gander!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Baking...

This year our motto was SIMPLE.  Sure does make Christmas less complicated to keep things simple and focused on the most important things.  So, since we were trying to keep things very simple and easy this year, we decided to cut down on the amount of baking that we did.  We made a favorite of ours that we LOVE and then a few new ones.

We really enjoyed trying a few new things and not making as much.....

This is what we made-

Rice Krispy bites.... for the life of me I cannot find the recipe to these... all I remember is melting a package of chocolate bark in the microwave, adding about 9 cups of rice krispies and then stiring until they were mixed together.  Then I spooned about a tlbspoon sized cookie onto waxed paper and let dry.  My handsome and sometimes-snobbish-about-my-baking-husband ate more of these than anyone else!  I think I ate one and the boys/husband finished off the rest!  So lets just say this was a big hit!

Oreo Truffles... OH MY GOODNESS!  Those things are divine!  Next year we are making two batches so we can give more out!  Everyone MUST have some of this goodness!

Auntie C's.... Our family favorite!  We cannot NOT make these... they are THAT good!

Chocolate Crinkles.... very good, but best warm and fresh!

PMS mix....  I know!  I know!  The name doesn't make any men folk want to try it, but it is really good!  It has all my favorites- pretzels, chocolate and butterscotch!

Puppy Chow aka Muddy Buddies.... this is, by far, my favorite snacky food.  I ate this A LOT while I was pregnant with Baby Bean.  Its all I craved for a while!!!  So good!

Our Christmas morning tradition is for Hubbie to make homemade cinnamons.  This is a treat, because they are so good and take some effort to make!  Here is the recipe for those.  This Christmas we had the pleasure of hosting my youngest brother, his wife and my parents for Christmas breakfast!  It was a lot of fun!  Mom made two breakfast casseroles.  Those were scrumptious!  And my sweet sister in law brought a large fruit salad!  It was so good to have a fruit salad!

Side note- if you haven't taken a look yet, I love this blog!  It has the best recipes!  We've made quite a few and everything is so good!  Check out The Sister's Cafe!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Ham Leftovers? Try This!

My handsome hubbie knows that I do not like to waste food at all, so when he saw the recipe (below) for a ham soup, he showed it to me!  I purchased a ham this year for our Christmas dinner and I try to get at least 3 or 4 meals out of a large piece of meat.  We ate ham with all the sides once and will have leftovers of that meal and then with all the leftover ham I made this soup.  Hubbie found it in the latest addition of Runner's World magazine- January 2010.

This Hearty Ham and White Bean Soup is very VERY tasty.  Don't let the name turn you off to trying this.  It does have cabbage in it and I will admit, that kinda scared me!  I decided to give it a try since the rest of the recipe sounded yummy.  It was super easy to make.  The thing that took the longest was chopping and washing the veggies.  Even my Peanut and Bubbie gobbled it up!

I paired the soup with some yummy 30 min rolls and man! what a yummy lunch on a cold winters day!


1 tblspoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced into medium pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1/2 cabbage, cored, cut into bite sized pieces
12 oz lean ham steak, diced into small pieces
1 qt chicken stock
14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
2 cans white beans, undrained
2 tblspoon fresh parsley, chopped

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a soup pot.  Add the onion, saute until soft and golden, about 5 mins.  Add the italian seasoning and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the remaining ingredients, then bring to a full simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface.  Reduce heat to low, simmer gently until the vegetables are just cooked and flavors blended, about 15 mins.  Stir in parsley; cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Serves 6.

Calories per serving: 270  Carbs:  32 G  Protein:  22 G  Fat: 6 G  

A few notes- I did add a tiny bit of italian seasoning to the onions, but since I had a can of tomatoes seasoned with italian seasonings, I used that for the majority of my seasoning.  It was VERY tasty with that can of tomatoes.  Also, I don't normally buy carrot bunches.  I buy the large bags of baby carrots, so I just cut enough to make the soup colorful!  Probably 20-30 baby carrots!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Laura Peitz's Taco Cups

One day a few months ago while I was waiting in the doctor's office I saw a recipe in a magazine.  I memorized it and about a month ago, we tested it out.  The whole family loved it.  We used Pillsbury Whole Wheat biscuits and added black beans and it was yummy!

Laura Peitz's Taco Cups 


  • 1/2 pound ground beef

  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning

  • 1 can refrigerated flaky butter biscuits (Pillsbury® 12-ounces)

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded Sargento

  • Salsa

  • Sour Cream

  • Cooking Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
    In a large skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly; drain. Add taco seasoning to browned meat; stirring well to combine.
    Place one biscuit into each of 10 cups of prepared muffin pan, patting biscuit dough gently up side of cup.
    Spoon meat mixture on top of biscuit dough. Top with cheese. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Auntie C's- Holiday Cookies

    Growing up, my Aunt Cathy made these yummy and SUCH delicious cookies!  They didn't have a name, so we started calling them "auntie c's".  They are so good and so easy!  We make QUITE a few batches every year!  These cookies are the reason I gain weight at Christmas time!  I only want THOSE STUPID COOKIES!

    Auntie C's 

    1 box Ritz crackers
    1 sm. jar peanut butter
    1 1/2 pks. milk chocolate bark

    Put generous amount of peanut butter between 2 Ritz crackers. Melt chocolate over low heat (add a little paraffin to help it set up).

    Using fork, dip crackers in melted chocolate, covering both sides. Place on wax paper until chocolate sets up and can be removed from paper easily.

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    Mummy Dogs

    I decided to get into the whole Halloween spirit this year and make these fun and creative "Mummy Dogs" for dinner one night.  They are SUPER easy!  I got the ingredients SUPER cheap by using coupons and searching for a sale on hot dogs and crescent rolls.  We probably fed a family of 4 on less than 3 dollars!

    I also made "spider" cupcakes but I couldn't find legs for the spiders and the boys devoured the cupcakes before I got a picture!

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Laura McCown's Deep Dish Apple Pie

    Clara asked if I had a good apple pie recipe and she is in luck!  I do! I found this recipe in the Huntsville Heritage Cookbook that my grandmother gave me years ago.  I have found the best pie and biscuit recipes in this book.  This apple pie recipe is the quickest, easiest and yummiest pie I have ever had.  You will not be disappointed!

    Slice 4-5 apples into a deep pie pan.  Sprinkle with 2/3 cup of brown sugar; dot with butter.  Sprinkle with nutmeg (I don't own any so I do cinnamon); add 4 tblspoons of water.  Make patties of 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup flour.  Cover top of pie with patties.  Bake 35 mins at 375 degrees.

    I have noticed that if you use "fresh picked" apples, you don't always need as much water.  I have never NOT used the 4 tblspoons of water, but it has been a little too "watery" at times.... so maybe it just depends on the apple type.  We tend to pick a lot of fuji apples and I cook with them.


    Saturday, October 17, 2009

    Yummy! Yummy! Awesome Apple Bread!

    If you don't already know, Hubbie and I met at Chick-fil-A while we were both in high school.  Hubbie was infatuated with me.  I was....well..... I did not like him at ALL.  He surprised me on Valentine's Day with a card and flowers.  I was so embarrassed.  I did not know how to let "this guy" down easily.  If you asked him, he'd say I lead him on and I did talk to him for a few months on the phone, but once I realized that he wasn't a "good guy", I decided to let him know that whatever "it" was, was over!  Thankfully for me, he went away to school, became a Christian and came back a different dude!  I was smitten when I saw the "new" dude.  During this time, I was still working at the chicken place and I chatted and became friends with a gal named Cristin.  She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met.  I actually told her once that I was considering dumping Hubbie and thankfully for him, my feeling changed and we got "serious" i.e. began to talk marriage, future, etc.  Its kinda fun to have a whole sleuth of people that had seen our relationship from the beginning- Hubbie liking me, me disliking Hubbie immensely and then me falling for Hubbie and Hubbie getting the girl.  We still have contact with quite a few of the people that saw the whole relationship and Cristin is one of them.

    Through the wonderful world of Facebook, Cristin and I have gotten back in touch.  We both just had a baby and we both have 3 kiddos, so I feel like we are in the same boat- her new baby boy is only 2 weeks older than Baby Bean.  I wish she and I lived closer, but we plan to get our brood together one of these days since we don't live THAT far away!

    Cristin published this recipe below on Facebook last weekend.  I saw it just in the nick of time.  My youngest brother made a quick trip to our favorite apple picking orchard and was kind enough to bring us back a 1/2 bushel!  Last Monday I made two batches of the Apple Bread and LET ME TELL YOU, it is awesome!  I have no clue where she found this recipe, but its a keeper!  I made two batches- 3 loaves and 12 muffins and I gave only one loaf away!  I had made a loaf for our next door neighbor in thanking them for the baby gift for Baby Bean, but Hubbie hadn't taken it over there yet, so I stole it!  I plan to make another double batch again on Monday and take 2 loaves to MOPS on Tuesday!  So, you MOPS gals, be prepared for awesome!

    Apple Bread 
    1 (3-pound) bag small apples
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    3 large eggs, lightly beaten
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup chopped pecans

    Peel and finely chop enough apples to equal 3 cups. Set aside.

    Stir together sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl.

    Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to sugar mixture, stirring just until blended.
    (Batter will be stiff.) Fold in finely chopped apples and 1 cup pecans.

    Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.

    Can also be baked in muffin pans or 8-inch round cake pans.

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    We Love Pizza!

    My family LOVES pizza! I think this is probably an understatement! We all could eat it at least twice a week, that is how much we love it. Here in our Georgia town, we have lots of good "local" pizza places, but, like everything, getting pizza out adds up.

    Ever since we moved to Georgia, my mother has made homemade pizza. It was always a special night when mom made homemade pizza! Yum! It is so delicious! For years, after Hubbie and I got married, I made the same recipe. Once Peanut came along, I found it very difficult to make the same recipe. It takes a little thinking ahead and once Peanut came, my "thinking ahead" to dinner wasn't always there, so the search was on. I needed to find a quicker way of making pizza. I found this recipe and posted it here. That recipe was good and quicker than the family favorite, but still required a little thinking ahead! I don't know how many times we would plan to have pizza for dinner and I wouldn't get the dough made in time for its "rising period" and then we'd be wondering what to do for dinner. Most of the time, since we were set on pizza, we would order pizza. It is so much cheaper to make pizza. I'm not even sure how much it costs to make pizza at home, but unless you're going to Little Ceasars (which is $5 plus tax a pizza), you're not gonna get anywhere close to what we make it at home for.

    So, I began searching again for a "no-rise" option of pizza crusts. I was really wary about trying a "no rise" or very little rise crust, but have been pleasantly surprised by this recipe-

    1 tbsp yeast
    1 1/4 cup of warm water
    2 tbsp oil (we use olive oil)
    3 1/2- 4 cups of flour
    1 tsp salt

    Disolve yeast in water. Add oil and salt. Stir in flour slowly. Rise 20 mins. Punch down dough. Separate. Will make two medium pizzas. Enjoy!

    This recipe has been wonderful for our budget! If I've had a crazy day or all of the sudden decide that tonight needs to be a pizza night, I can make this dough and have the pizzas made in about a hour. I've been using this recipe since the beginning of the year and have not had one problem. There have been some days that at 4 o'clock I'll decide to make the dough and I just punch it down a few times until I'm ready to make the pizzas, but like I said, if I forget about dinner until 6, I make it then, let it rise 20 mins on my dryer and we have dinner!

    We can usually make this recipe last our family two meals. We'll eat pizza with fruit one night and then for the leftover pizza we'll add these yummy breadsticks.

    Note: I found this recipe somewhere online, my apologizes for not linking to it, but I have no clue where I got it from!

    In the recipe above, I have never gotten 4 cups of flour in the dough. I usually use 1 cup of whole wheat flour and almost 2 cups of regular white flour. If you can get that much flour in it, great! If not, don't worry, it'll still turn out the same!

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    A New Recipe

    A few weeks ago Mandy mentioned this book! I am all for saving money at the grocery store and spending less to feed my family good and healthy dinners! I quickly looked the book up on Amazon and decided their price was a little too steep for a book I hadn't ever looked at. I then went to Ebay and found the book for about $4.00! A steal! I bought it and got it within a week which was perfect timing because I was putting together my first ever once-a-month-grocery shopping list! You can read about it here.

    So, I went through the book and dog-eared a couple of recipes that said their were cheap and yummy! This recipe below is one of the ones that I thought looked good. My favorite part about this recipe is that it includes things I already have on hand. I didn't have to buy "extra" ingredients in order to make this one-dish-meal! AWESOME, huh?!

    The Texas Cowboy Pie was a hit! The family loved it! It was quick and easy and a good change from the typical "shepherd's pie"! Below is the recipe that I used, but it is pretty similar to that of the book...


    3 cups of already cooked, shredded beef (I used 1lb of browned, ground beef)
    1 cup of frozen corn
    1 cup of mild salsa
    1/2 cup of sour cream

    Mix all this together in a microwavable dish and cook on high for 4 mins. Then top with leftover mashed potatoes or instant potatoes. Since I had to cook the ground beef, I did all the above on the stove and let it simmer for a few minutes. Turn the broiler on, top the casserole with cheese and pop into the broiler to let the cheese get good and gooey! Eat and be happy!

    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Taco Casserole

    1 lb. ground beef
    1 pkg. taco seasoning & water
    1 jar salsa (16 oz)
    8 (6-7 in.) tortillas
    2 cups (8 oz) Co-Jack Cheese, shredded
    1 green onion
    4 cups shredded lettuce
    1/2 cup sour cream

    Preheat oven to 350. Spray bottom and sides of baking dish with veg. oil.
    Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning and amount of water on package directions. Cook according to pkg. directions. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup salsa. Arrange 4 tortillas in bottom & up sides of dish (overlapping). Spoon mix mixture evenly over tortillas. Sprinkle with a cup of cheese. Slice onion & sprinkle half of the onion over cheese. Top with remaining 4 tortillas, overlapping slightly. Press tortillas down over filling. Spread remaining salsa over tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese & onion. Bake 30 minutes.
    Serve alone or (optional) over shredded lettuce, topped with sour cream.

    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Taco Lasagna Casserole

    A very sweet friend of ours invited the boys and I over for a swim and dinner the last time Hubbie was gone for a week or so. We had a great time and I was so blessed by her willingness for us to invade her house at dinner time! This recipe is what she made for us that night. Add some chips and salsa or guacamole and you're set!

    1 pkg small tortillas
    ground beef (I use 1lb or little less)
    onion (I used 1/2)
    15 oz Mexican stewed tomatoes
    taco pkg seasoning (I only use 1/2 a pkg)
    4 oz olives
    2 cups cheddar cheese
    1 can chili beans

    Brown meat. Drain. Add onion. Add tomato. Add seasoning.  Simmer 15 mins. In 9x 13 dish layer tortilla, meat mix, beans and then cheese. Repeat like you're making lasagna. Top with olives and crushed chips. Bakes 375 degrees at 20-25 mins.

    We don't put the chips on top since we have leftovers and the chips tend to get soggy.... just our take, but it is good with the chips on top! :)

    Debbie's Casserole

    I received this recipe from my penpal of over 15 yrs. We really enjoy this meal and its so good with a crusty bread! Enjoy!

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut large chunks of carrots, potato and onion to fill the bottom of 13 x 9 casserole dish. Add 1 lb of ground beef (raw). Stir 1 can of cream of mushroom soup. Spread over ground beef mixture. Cook for 1 hour. Serves 4.

    Note: We tend to have to cook ours longer than a hour... The meat is always done, but the veggies are usually a little too tough after a hr. So either cut veggies into smaller bite sized pieces or prepare to cook longer. Also, we usually try to get 2 meals out of this casserole, so serve with bread or another veggie if you're trying to stretch this meal.