Saturday, November 20, 2010


What did I cook this week?  Ummmm...grilled cheese, pancakes and a TGIFriday Complete Skillet Meal.  Oh, I guess I didn't cook this week!  The grilled cheese and pancakes sure were yummy though :)  The skillet meal?  It was ok, Maddie and I both ate it so it'll do.  I'm buying another one this week just because it was so easy!

Wait!  I did roast a turkey and bake 4 dozen cookies for Maddie's school's Thanksgiving Feast.  At least I did that much.  I didn't get to eat it, but at least I cooked :)

This week I WILL be cooking so I'll report back later.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm Back and I'm Talking about HAM!

I'm back into cooking :)  It's been 10 weeks since my beautiful second daughter (Sadie) was born and I'm finally starting to feel like I'm gaining a little control back in the house.  I'm slowly getting back to planning my meals and doing my weekly grocery shopping.  I even took a peek at a Kroger ad the other day!  WHAT?!?!  I'm glad I looked at that ad because I bought a turkey today for only 39 cents a pound :)  However, I don't plan on cooking that until later in the month...

On today's menu was split pea soup.  I know, it doesn't sound good.  To be honest with you I never had pea soup until I was 29 years old.  I took a trip to Wisconsin to visit my husband's grandmother and she had made a pot of pea soup.  It was for dinner and I was terrified of it.  However, I didn't want to come across as a picky eater so I thought I could just suffer through one meal and be a good little granddaughter-in-law.  Well, with one bite I instantly fell in love.  Who would've thought that pea soup wouldn't taste like peas???  I ate the soup that night for dinner and just about every day for lunch the rest of the week.  I couldn't get enough. 

Two weeks ago Eric ordered me a HoneyBaked Ham.  I ate ham for lunch and dinner for several days and even had some ham with breakfast once.  Then I was all hammed-out and needed to freeze the leftovers.  When I was cutting the meat from the bone I suddenly thought of the pea soup.  I HAD to save the ham bone to make the soup.  Tonight was the night for the soup...and I was not disappointed.  It's one I'll definitely make again.  Sorry guys...I'm not going to share the recipe.  I don't know if it's Grandma's "secret" recipe or something and I don't want to give away a family favorite.  Just in case.  :)

I will share a recipe that I used the ham in that was also a big hit.  I made this one night and had my aunt and uncle over for dinner.  I was surprised that my 2 year old really enjoyed this Cheesy Ham Chowder recipe!

I made it EXACTLY as the recipe calls for and it was amazing.  This chowder also freezes well so if you make a big batch you can have your freezer stocked for the rest of the year.  Believe me, you're gonna want it again!

Let me know if you try it :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cooking Times

Why is it whenever I follow a recipe I ALWAYS have to cook something longer than the recipe calls for?  I made a turkey breast in the crock pot last week and had to cook it an additional 30 minutes.  Tonight I made a pork tenderloin and had to cook it an additional 25 minutes!  It's so frustrating when I time out dinner and then end up eating much later than I had planned...which is especially hard since Maddie gets hungry before dinner's ready and I end up feeding her something else and we don't eat dinner together.  Tonight she had cold leftover mac & cheese while I waited on my tenderloin to finish cooking...

Does anyone else have this problem? 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Curry = Heartburn

Well, the curry tasted yummy to me...I've always enjoyed Indian food when I had the chance to try it.  Unfortunately, I wasn't anticipating the heartburn it would give me when I'm pregnant!  Yes, EVERYTHING gives me heartburn when I'm pregnant, but this is the first time Tums hasn't gotten rid of it...So, enough about my heartburn :)  Maddie wasn't a fan of the curry.  I was really hoping she would just eat and not really notice, I mean I only used 1/4 tsp in an 8x8 baking wasn't that strong.  But her little sensitive toddler tongue could sense that it was "too bicey" (too spicy).  Looks like I'll be eating these leftovers tomorrow by myself...unless this heartburn never goes away tonight in which case I'll be throwing it in the trash!

The next two nights are leftovers nights for me and I think I'll give Maddie waffles one night and maybe scrambled the eggs the other...anything that doesn't require much clean up!  So I'll catch back up with you all (or my one follower...thanks Kendra!) after the weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dinners this Week

I've got to say that these recipes provided by have been pretty yummy!  Maybe I was just getting bored with the same old thing?  I don't know...  Monday night I made Cheaters Chicken and Dumplings.  It had 5 ingredients and was served with a salad.  The best part (in my opinion) was that you use refrigerator biscuits as the dumplings!!  Yes, it tasted like refrigerator biscuits, but I like them so it was yummy!  Maddie enjoyed it too so that's a recipe I'll be holding onto for a while.  I used my own chicken broth that I had made with my roast chicken last week so that probably had a huge impact on the overall flavor of the meal.  I'm excited to make more chicken broth!  This canned stuff just doesn't cut it once you're used to the "real deal".

Last night I made Cheeseburger Soup.  HELLO!!  It was so good!  Just brown the ground beef right in the soup pot with your veggies, then add some chicken broth (beef broth probably would've been good, too), boil it and simmer to let the veggies soften then add a bag of frozen hash browns!  Ok, how many of you are with can't go wrong when hash browns are involved :)  Throw in some velveeta cheese and you're good to go.  I had some frozen hot dog buns that I thawed out and made into garlic bread to go with the soup.  Maddie didn't like this soup as much, but we had a long afternoon at the beach so I think she was just too tired to eat...she did enjoy the garlic bread.

Tonight I made a crock pot Turkey breast with mashed sweet potatoes.  The turkey was incredible!  The only things you put in the crock pot with it are orange juice, some celery cut up, salt, pepper and dry onion soup mix.  I cooked it on low for 5 1/2 hours and it was PERFECT.  Maddie enjoyed it as much as I did.  But I was surprised she was really into the sweet potatoes...I don't make them often (last time I made sweet potatoes I made them oven fries...she liked that too) so I liked seeing her being interested in something new.  The leftover turkey was cut up into chunks and is already in a baking dish for tomorrow night's dinner...Turkey Divan!  I used Curry for the first time ever so I'm anxious to see if Maddie will like it!

Friday and Saturday I scheduled as leftover nights so I can take it easy and not have much clean up in the kitchen.  Sunday we're having a brunch casserole (probably for lunch and dinner).

Sorry I'm not giving exact recipes...I don't want to get "caught" giving away information I paid for.  I don't know, maybe it would be ok to give a recipe here or there as long as I'm not sending the pdf file of the meal plan and shopping list :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

An Review

Last week I told you all about this fabulous website.  I'm glad I only paid $12.50 for a three month subscription as it hasn't saved me any money.  Here's how it went down:

The shopping list for this week's menu (Walmart plan for two) was supposed to cost me $48.30.  I had several things on hand already but also had to buy some of the things they call "pantry staples" so my total for dinner items was $39.62.  Doesn't sound bad, right?  Unfortunately, that's not all the food we eat in a week.  I still had to buy items for breakfast, lunch and snacks.  Not to mention this shopping list only included 3 fruits (1 canteloupe, 1 kiwi and 1 lemon).  We eat more fruit than that and there weren't a lot of veggies either...The other foods I had to buy included things like orange juice, milk, bread, bananas, green beans, eggs, etc. and that total came to $44.77.  It makes sense that my total for 2 meals and a snack per day would add up to be more than my dinners for the week, but I was expecting to see a huge difference in my total today.

I see this site being beneficial for people who shop without a plan.  If you don't plan your meals and go to the store and just grab what looks good, then this site will help you have more of a plan (without all the work that goes with it!) and will end up saving you money.  I've been making a meal plan since Maddie was about 4 months old when Eric and I started following Weight Watchers.  I've been used to it and only buy what I need (plus a little something extra if I'm shopping hungry).  I guess that's why I didn't see a big difference in my grocery bill today. 

I already paid or the three month subscription so I'm going to continue getting the menu plans and printing them off so I have some new recipes...I'll most likely cancel at that time.  It seemed like such a good idea in the beginning.  :(  Maybe I'll start to like it better over the next three months.  I'll let you know.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On my last post I mentioned  Then I went on the site and subscribed.  I just wanted to let you know that if you're interested in signing up you can enter the coupon code "Dave" and save $2.50...that's like getting 2 weeks free! 

I'll let you know what I think of it once I start using it (next week)...

One Chicken, Two Dinners

Ok, so a while ago I bought a whole chicken that was on sale for $0.89 a pound.  I won't tell you how long it was in my freezer since I'm a little ashamed at that (how long is it ok to keep a frozen chicken anyway?).  The important thing is that it tasted just fine and non of us got sick :)  The chicken was 4.8 pounds (you can do the math if you like).  The only thing I had to buy for dinner was a box of Stove Top stuffing (per Eric's request).  I don't remember the price on that, but I'm sure it was less than $2, right?  Everything else I already had on hand so I didn't spend any additional money.  Here's what I did...

Thawed the chicken, rinsed it, dried it, rubbed it down with olive oil on the outside, cut up a couple cloves of garlic into chunks then cut slits in the chicken and squished the garlic chunks into the chicken (DELICIOUS!! But I don't recommend eating them after the chicken is cooked because they're really soggy and not a nice texture).  Then I put salt, pepper and onion powder on the outside of the chicken.  Next I put 1/2 an onion (cut into large sections), another couple of garlic cloves and 1 lemon (sqeezed the juice all over the outside of he chicken first) into the cavity of the chicken.  I had some carrot sticks cut up in the fridge that were getting to that "either eat me or throw me away already" stage so I dropped those into the roasting pan around the chicken.  I baked the chicken COVERED for 1 1/2 hours then uncovered it, basted it and baked another 15 minutes for a crispy skin.  After I took the chicken out, I let it rest COVERED for another 10-15 minutes then cut into it to serve it up.  Oh my goodness!!!  It was so good!  Maddie and Eric couldn't get enough so I know I did a good job with it :)

After the chicken cooled down I picked the rest of the meat off the bones and cut it all up into bite size pieces for tonight's dinner and put it in the fridge.  Then I put the bones and little bits back into the roasting pan, covered it with water and cooked it for make some chicken broth.  I have that in my fridge now waiting for a good time to skim the fat off the top then I'll freeze the broth into 1 cup servings to use in future recipes.  Now for tonight's recipe.  It's a DEFINITE keeper!

Here's a link to it:

The only thing I had to buy for this recipe was 2 cans of soup and an onion (since I used my last 1/2 an onion in last night's dinner).  That added up to around $3.  The recipe calls for a whole onion but I used 1/2 of one since we're not HUGE onion eaters.  I made the casserole earlier today so when I put it in the oven it was still cold and the onions were still pretty much raw when we ate it.  So if you don't like raw onions I would suggest leaving them out or cooking them a little first...or my mom even suggested dry minced onion if you have that on hand.  The onions didn't bother me and Maddie didn't seem to mind either so we'll continue making it as is since it's easier. 

So there you have it, two dinners for less than $10.  It really doesn't get much better than that, especially since just a fast food meal for me and Maddie is around $10.

I recently heard about and I'm going to sign up for that to check it out and see how it goes.  If you want/need help planning meals and saving money, it looks like a really good site to help with just that.  It does cost $5 per month but all the meals are planned for you, the grocery list is made and you can even get your list tailored for your particular grocery store.  They make the menu based on what's on sale that week.  Nice, huh?  I'm just going to sign up for the Walmart meals for 2.  It claims you can feed 2 for $30-$40 a week so that will be incredible!  I looked at some other options and it showed meal plans for 4-5 for $70-$80 a week.  Seriously, that's awesome!  I'll let you know how I like it...Oh, and another thing is that Dave Ramsey is apparently some kind of spokesperson for their website.  You know it's gotta be good if Dave Ramsey is willing to let his face be on it, right?  :)

Does anyone have other ideas/suggestions for cheap meals?  I LOVE saving money on food so I can spend it on other sending two children to college!  :)

Friday, April 30, 2010


I never came back to let you know how the rest of my grilling week went...It would've gone well except I had so many leftovers in my fridge that I couldn't cook anymore.  I seriously had to eat what was in the fridge because I hate being wasteful.  Well, I also hate eating leftovers, but I didn't want to just throw food away.  Since then we've been back to eating sandwiches and eggs.  Maybe I need to set smaller goals instead of a goal for the entire week.  I think I was overwhelmed with doing so much cooking when I hadn't done much at all for so long.  Eric's coming home next Tuesday so I'm sure I'll be doing more cooking while he's home.  I'm also sure we'll be eating out more.  We already have plans to go to The Cheesecake Factory and I'm sure there will be plenty of other places Eric wants to go.  Hopefully I'll even get him to cook a meal or two!!  :)

So, I'll be back to blogging about my cooking adventures when I get back into it.  I don't see me cooking much more this weekend.  I plan on eating more leftovers this weekend and making a frozen pizza on Sunday.  Exciting, huh?  :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Grilling Day 3

Well, I made it to the grocery store today to get my few supplies for the fajitas tonight.  The fajitas were good, but I couldn't really make it the way I wanted to and couldn't take my time and enjoy my food since I have a sick/super clingy baby girl on my hands.  I really should've made this week my "order out" week!  At least I managed to grill so I shouldn't inside dishes to clean up so life is good!

Once Maddie is over being sick I'll get the camera out and start getting some shots of my dinners again :)

Monday, April 19, 2010


Well...Day 2 of the grilling challenge and I've failed.  :(  I needed to go grocery shopping this morning to get those yummy portobellos for tonight's dinner and then this happened.  We were stuck in the house all day and who knows if we'll get to go out for groceries tomorrow.  I ended up having an egg and sausage sandwich on an English Muffin.  It was good, but it's no portobello!  It's a good thing I have the staples on hand...milk, eggs, bread.  If all else fails we can at least have French Toast!!

Hopefully we'll be feeling better tomorrow and we'll be able to get out to the grocery store (and NOT the pediatrician's office) so I can make some fajitas on the grill tomorrow.  All I need is tortillas and a green pepper!

Well, goodnight and check back tomorrow to see if we're back on track for grilling.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This Week's Challenge

In this post from my other blog, I talked about how I was going to give myself weekly challenges to put some spice back in my cooking!  Well, I started this week.  This week's challenge is to grill every night of the week.  I thought it was going to start out bad because the weather channel was calling for rain pretty much all day today.  So I grilled for lunch JUST IN CASE I wouldn't be able to grill for dinner.

For lunch we had grilled BBQ chicken thighs (boneless, skinless), grilled asparagus and some mac & cheese.

For dinner we had grilled Ham Steak, grilled mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and some brown rice.  I had a recipe for a glaze for the ham but didn't have 3 or the 5 ingredients so I improvised...I just mixed some blackberry preserves and honey and brushed that over the ham after it was heated through.  For the mushrooms and tomatoes I was just going to put some Italian dressing on them then throw them on the grill (on skewers).  Well, I didn't have any Italian dressing!  So I improvised and mixed some bread dipping herbs with olive oil and used that in place of the dressing.  It wasn't NEARLY as healthy as fat free Italian dressing but I think that's what I'm going to use from now on.  It was so tasty!  Best grilled mushrooms I've had in a LONG time.

Tomorrow we'll be having grilled portobello mushrooms and grilled broccoli.  YUMMY!  Believe me, I'll be using the herbs and olive oil on those babies!  Can't wait to try them!  Hopefully Maddie will eat it...

See Sarah Cook

I decided to start a blog just for talking about seemed to be taking over The Adventures of Madeline Rose and I want that blog to be about HER.  :)  If you stumbled across this blog, be sure to check out to see the latest happenings with my 21 1/2 month old!

I guess I'll have to start a separate blog for the new baby coming too, huh? thing at a time.  Be sure to follow this blog to keep up with our latest cooking challenges!