Friday, June 24, 2011

We have a winner!!!!

Becca you are my winner I will contact you later.  congrats!!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wheat 5 minute a day bread



Ok so I took the popular 5 minute a day bread recipe and changed it for my family. And what worked for me.  I find it easy and tasty.  I have tried to get pics of most of the steps to help you out.

Ok a few things first before we get to baking.  Bread seems to be that thing that people are scared to try out and scared to do and think is really hard.  I disagree I think it's fun once you get the basics down.  And it's crazy to see how flour, water, yeast and salt can make so many different breads in and of themselves.  So let me give you some tips I have learned along the way.

  • Always test your yeast there are many recipes that say to mix the yeast in with the flour. Especially if you are using instant yeast but I find you can save yourself lots of head if you make testing your yeast first.  It's simple just add your yeast to what ever your warm liquid that your recipe calls for.  In this one it's water.  Don't make it to hot but not too cool when starting out aim for 105 to 110 once you learn this temp you might just be able to know by touch.
  • Next I always find that a tsp to a tbsp of sugar to feed your yeast is a great thing.  just add it to your water and let the yeast get happy.
  • Never put your salt in your water with the yeast or your yeast on your salt always mix the salt into the flour before adding the yeast or add the salt while kneading if you can.  The salt will kill you yeast.  And that sucks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Breakfast for dinner




Tonight's dinner was great and simple it was breakfast for dinner.  We had sage sausage gravy over biscuits and strawberries and lime juice.

I only have pictures of the biscuits today I just wasn't in the mood to take more.  And well I am not sure I will post a recipe yet as I am still work one out for the gravy and the biscuits are pretty basic.

I did try a new trick that I read somewhere and I froze the butter and shredded it on my hand grater.  This allowed me to mix the dough with less handling and I truly believe this helped make them lighter.  I also soured my milk this time. It's not something that I normally do but I wanted to try it this time these two little changes in my normal recipe made a huge difference. So I guess what I am saying is don't be afraid to change things up a little at a time.  You might find that one chance that makes something good great or easier as well.

Oh and so try slicing up strawberries and squeezing a lime on them.  This simple act just makes them better my kids thought it was wonderful and so crazy to do.

All this was under ten as most items were pantry items or items I have on hand all the time.  

Thanks for reading
Spirit

Steak and cheese hot pockets


These were so very very good.  See we bought chuck steaks from the butcher in a freezer pack and well we didn't know what to do with them until we thawed them.  So on fathers day we had the shepherds pie. With a cost of under ten.  Last night I took another chuck steak about 1 pound of meat and I turned it into these hot pocket like things.  Again for about 6 dollars we had a great meal.  We paired it with a big salad as to lighten it up and it was great.

Ok I don't really have a recipe for this but I will tell you what I did and if you have any questions please ask I will answer them as soon as I can.

First I started the chuck steak early in the day as it need to go low and slow to get nice and tender.  What I did was season it with our favorite spice (we used webers chicago grill mix) and then I added an onion and 1/4 green pepper and then some water.  The last things I added were A1 sauce (bold kind) and like 7-8 shakes of lea and perrins Worcestershire sauce.  And turned it down low and cook for a few hour until the meat pulled apart.
I let the meat cool (only because I didn't know when my husband was getting off work.) but you don't have to let it cool.  

Once I was cooking dinner I chopped up some peppers and onions and starting cooking them till soft and then I added the meat back to warm it up. 

Then I made a cheese sauce.  Just a basic one like you would make for mac and cheese. 

Then I made pizza crust (I used the packet kind from Betty Crocker) and found the trick is to let it sit about ten minutes before you start using it.  Then I just rolled out circles and put the cheese sauce on them and then the filling and then closed it up.  Some I rolled, some I just folded in half, and one I made into a pouch as I wanted to see which was worked the best.  They all worked fine so do what works for you.  Just remember like with the pizza rolls don't roll them out too thin or they will pop.  If you fold them in half like a half moon a small slit in the top to help them vent is a great idea.

Also make sure your seal them well I have learned putting a simple slit in the top will help stop the popping.


And that's it.  Next time I make them I will get a more recipe like format typed up to share but they are very easy.  In fact I have plans for other hot pocket like ones for our freezer as the left overs made a great lunch for my hubby with the salad we had.


I will get back to break downs of cost of meals next week.  Things are a little crazy here.  I am also thinking of making a list of what I think are pantry items and staples as I don't put these in my cost break downs and this list can be different for everyone.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's day Menu and recipes

As you may have read our fathers day was a great day.  I love cooking and did a lot that day and really it didn't cost much or take much time.  I haven't done the math but I know we had everything for 10 bucks or less.  The key is to have your stables and pantry stocked up like.  I always have eggs, milk, flour, butter and other supplies in the house I count these as my pantry items so they are never in the cost break down as I always buy them and keep them in stock.

MENU

Shepherds pie
Irish soda bread
Brownies with starwberries


Now I don't have a recipe for the shepherds pie as it was a kind of toss together meal.  But I do have recipes for the Irish soda bread.  This is a great bread to make when you don't have yeast or you don't have a ton of time to wait for bread to raise.  It's a good bread for with stews I think it's dense but yummy here is the recipe.




Preheat oven to 450
Makes 1 2 pound round loaf
 
Ingredients
4 cups flour ( I used AP and it was fine)
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp baking soda 
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp vinegar (cider or white, I used cider)

Combine dry ingredients and set aside,  mix water and vinegar together.  Add the wet mix to the dry and mix.  Turn out on to floured surface and knead for 2 to 4 minutes don't over do it.  shape into a round loaf and cut an "x" in the top with a sharp knife. Bake for 40 minutes and remove while still hot pour 1 tsp melted butter over the top.  And enjoy.

Now we can move on to brownies.  These were yummy and so easy to put together like supper easy.  As easy as a box and I bet most of you have everything in you kitchen to make them tonight

Oh and they are super moist too
Homemade Brownies

1 cup melted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 Cup flour or add 1/2 cup for cake like brownies
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix in the order given and bake at 350 for 20 - 30 minutes until tooth pick inserted into middle comes out clean.

You can tons of stuff to these nuts, chocolate chips or caramel (I did this)

These are prefect with berries have a bite of chocolate and then berry it is the best.  Enjoy!

Blog Giveaway!!!!! Coupons for free yogurt

I won a twitter contest for some Voskos yogurt coupons. And then by error they sent me an extra set so I thought how fun lets have a give away.  The prize is 4 Voskos coupons they are good for one FREE voskos greek yogurt max value 2.50 and they expire in 12/31/11. Giveaway ends 9pm on Friday 6/24

How to Enter:

For everyone of the below you do you get a chance to enter.  At the end of the week a winner will be randomly chosen.

1. Comment on this blog with your favorite thing to make or do with yogurt.
2. Like us on Facebook
3. Follow us
facebook link should be fixed now
Please post a comment to you did this on post for each item you did.

If you do all three you will get three chances to win the coupons and if you don't win don't worry I have more I plan to give away. Good luck

Father's day and our anniversary

This year Father's day and our anniversary fell on the same day.  We wanted to honor both days and as did the kids and I think we did it.

It started off with breakfast in bed my oldest made cereal for us to eat in bed.  Just the thought was great and then they joined us in our room. It was really sweet.  It's hard to stop and think that we have been married seven years some days if feels like more in a good way and other days it feels like it hasn't be been that long.

In seven years we have grown our family from 1 child to 4 children.  We have moved to another state we have faced some nasty hardships and some we placed on ourselves.  We have learned to seek help when we need it.  We have dealt with happiness to.  We have had days of pure joy.  I would say yesterday was one of those days.

Don't get me wrong not everything was prefect we woke up to a flat tire but the hubs and me changed together while having fun.  The kids where kids they were not prefect but they were themselves.  It was joy because you could feel it in the house.

The kids loved that I spent the day in the kitchen and I loved it as well.  I love to cook and I love it when they like it as well.  They wanted to help and watch what I made (another post later today).  They enjoyed every part of it.  They made there dad cards for fathers day.  It was heaven.

Our anniversary was great too.  It was how I love thing simple and low key.  Really I couldn't ask for more Jon felt bad and like he was asking me to cook dinner but I love it. It brings me joy it was a chore so I didn't mind one bit.  But he thinks it should be cooked for and that gifts are a luxury.  I thought that the chair I got at the flea market was my anniversary gift but he went out and got my a new engagement ring since I lost ours in our last move.
It needs to be sized but it's prefect.  He spoils me. LOL. 

I think the best part of the day was bed time LOL it was simple and no fighting like we sometimes have everything went how it was suppose to.  Told the kids bed and they went gave them five minutes till lights out and there was no fighting and it was just great.  I wasn't up all night either.  Some days are just prefect even though not everything was prefect and that was today.  I have learned you have to take the good with the bad and that you can have prefect days with out everything being prefect.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The power of lemon and baking soda

Today while cooking my husband gave me my anniversary present well he gave it to my Autumn to give to me.  It was perfect.  Anyways I got to think we have our wedding goblets in a closet they can't be enjoyed that way so I had him get them out.  When I saw them I then remembered they were silver and I didn't store them right.  This is what we found.

Then I remembered that you can use lemons and baking soda to clean sliver thank goodness I don't have silver polish so I dug them out and cut a lemon in half and but some soda on it and used some elbow grease.  and man do they look better not perfect but much better.  See.

They are not perfect but you can see our names on them now. and well I am loving silver so they will be kept out from now on.  Remember that you may have what you need in a pinch in your kitchen.  I know I have the last few times and frankly I would rather clean with lemons.

Ps excuse the mess it was a busy day in the kitchen.


Roasted Pork Terderloin with roasted carrots and homemade perogies all for $3.00 and recipe



Tonight my hubby was off from work and so I had more time in the kitchen so I thought I would make perogies.  It never fails that when I make them that they take all day to do as well.  Thing is I could break them up over a two day period but I never do I don't know why.  Perogies are easy to make they just take time.  You could do like I do and make a huge batch at a time and freeze them for a later time.  I will explain how later.

My recipe makes 3.5 doz perogies.  Here is what you need

6 cups AP flour
2 tsp salt (I used sea salt this is the only salt I use anymore it's about a med gran as well)
5 tble spoons butter
1 1/3 cold water (ice water even) you may need more it depends on how much water your flour soaks up you could use up to 2 cups.

Filling
I cheated with my filling and use instant mash.  You can use left over mash taters from another night or make your own for this if you make your own to make your dough better save some cooking water from the taters.

2 sm pkg instant mash
1 large onion chopped
1 head of garlic roasted
herbs of your choice
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoon butter

Ok depending on what kind of taters you use for your first step might depend on how you start this out.  If not using instant mash.  Start your taters first cook them like normal and save a little bit of the water for your dough.  While taters are cooking roast your garlic in the oven.  With a little evoo and wrapped in foil.  After garlic and taters are done mash them together and let your filling cool.  also place your water in the freezer to get cold.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I now have a facebook page.

Yep I made a facebook page for my blog I don't know why boredom maybe but maybe another way to share what I post LOL anyways you can find it here

Frozen Strawberry pops for about 2 bucks.


So in this 100 degree weather you need to keep cool so I thought I would make ice pops now I do have the store bought ones here to but they are full of sugar and I am trying to limit the amount of it.  I fail a lot of the time but I know my kids if I make something they will eat that over the premade stuff.

So I thought I would give those puree fruit pops a try I love these things but they are pricey to buy.  They are so easy to make. Now I have an ice pop maker (target 1 dollar) but you could make ice pops in so many things from paper cups to ice cube trays.  Even small glass jars with sticks in them.



Your next tool you will need is a blender or something else to puree the fruit I have a blender.  Next just puree your fruit I used frozen strawberries, and a little juice.  I added no sugar as I thought what was in the berries and the juice should be enough.  I used juice I had on hand as well which was apple juice.  Our pops were still a little tart but a huge hit.  My husband who doesn't really like the other kind loved these one.

I have plans for other kinds some using the stock of baby food I have on hand and others making some grown up flavors.  I will let you know.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mmmm Bread

I love making homemade bread and today I made some my goal is to never buy bread again.  I am slowly there to be honest it's just some days I don't want to make it.

This is the bread I made today for dinner it's my own recipe.  it has a nice crunchy crust and a chewy texture.  I am still perfecting making bread but I think I am getting there.

So we had this yummy bread with pasta tonight for dinner not the healthiest think to eat and making bread on a 100 degree day isn't the smartest thing but it was yummy.  And still under ten bucks for the meal.

Some dinners I didn't post.

Here are pics and some of the dinners we have had and I didn't post about I don't have the cost break down and I will share how to make if you want but I thought I would get them up.

 Breakfast for dinner we love doing this it's such a cheap and filling and easy meal.  This night no one could make up there mind so I made eggs pancakes, a cherry blueberry sauce for the pancakes, and sausage gravy (my oldest wanted this over biscuits this was our compromise)
 Pancakes with the cherry berry sauce
 Pancakes with sausage gravy on them.
 This was last nights dinner.  I made savory pancakes with herbs and spices to change things up.  We get tired of the same sides so I am working on trying new things.
 Broccoli with white cheddar cheese
Italian Chicken (baked)  

All these meals where under ten to make and all of them had left overs for other meals.  I have learned that simple is better, and easy works and that you can have great food and healthy food with out breaking the bank.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Alice in Wonderland Chair and other finds.

It's been a few days since I last posted but it's been a fun crazy kind of day.  I will update my cheap meals later tonight but first you have to see the beauty I found today at the flea market. Well beauties to be exact.

Alice in wonderland chair

I have a love of Alice in Wonderland, and when I saw this chair I wanted it.  The lady wanted $20 for it and the foot rest.  I thought that was a deal but only had 15 on me.  We set a limit before we left the house and we stuck to it.    My sweet hubby went back to her after getting his bike to the car and said how bad I wanted it would she take 15.  And she did. She helped load it to and gave us rope to tie the bike down with so we could get everything home.  Three car seats don't leave much room for things sometimes.

I just love this chair and well so do the kids see for yourself.


My daughter seems to think it's her chair. 

Now I am not sure I will keep the foot rest or try and fix it.  it has a hole in it but is still useable.  I am going to have a research it.  Right now though I am thinking I will paint it.   It might stay in the house and it might go on the porch for some sitting and watching this kids play.  I am still thinking on it.  I do know I am going to ask hubby for some pretty throw pillows for my birthday for it.




This is the hubs find.  A huffy bike at the right size and everything for 15 bucks.  He has wanted a bike for awhile be we kept putting it off.  I am happy he has one and well if he rides it as much as he says he will I won't mind upgrading him later to a much nicer one.

 These are the candle sticks we got as well. I paid 5 bucks for all them I don't think I would have paid much more for them they are not old but they seem to be a of good not great but a good quality and I like them I just need to clean them up a bit.

Well this is all we got plus water and a sunburn you would think I would have learned by now that I burn.  overall I am very happy with everything and I hope to be able to paint the chair the weekend of the fourth.





Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tonight made dinner for two families and it only cost me 5.10

So here is the story one of my husband's soldiers wife had a baby yesterday and they are first time parents and I thought I would be sweet and make them a meal.  So I made them a baked pasta meal and made one for my family they got enough for a meal or two and I had enough for our dinner and lunch tomorrow.  And all for five ten.  How did I do it coupons and sales and a little help from wic. 






Monday, June 6, 2011

A day in review

Ok so tonight was a easy and cheap meal just baked chicken and mac and cheese and apple sauce and under ten but boring.  It was my lazy meal and I was happy the hubby helped.  Tomorrow will be a better meal meatloaf and it will be huge because I will be making enough for two dinners and at least one lunch but I should still make my price point of 10 for the meal.

Other than that not much has been going on but working on deals, printing coupons, playing with the kids, teaching them to hunt fairies.  I also found my first green tomato on my plants today.  I got a pic just haven't uploaded it yet.  Other than that I really have nothing to blog about I hope this finds you all well.  And wait for my yummy meatloaf tomorrow

Sunday, June 5, 2011

OVER 10 dollars for tonights dinner but still worth it.

Ok so a couple months ago we bought some fish and then froze it and forgot about and when doing our menu we found it and said we need to eat and then when we saw how much we paid we were like ouch.  We paid 18.xx for steel head trout what we forgot was we bought enough for two meals (with the amount we make now).  So I cooked up both fillets for dinner knowing that in the end it was cheaper than going out for a seafood dinner.  And we have left overs for the hubbs salads for lunch so it's all good.


2.80 For last nights dinner or Pizza rolls and salad

Last nights dinner was late and filling it was pizza rolls and spinach salad.  And it cost us 2.80 but could have cost us up to 5.30.


Cost break down:
3 pkg pizza dough = .69
Cheese = up to two 2.50 or free with wic
1/4 jar of pasta sauce .21 
Bag of spinach .65 (thanks to a fb coupon I saved $1)
Green Pepper .50
Cucumber .50  
Tomato .25

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hubby cooked but it was still under 10.

Sorry no pictures today my hubby cooked dinner I planned to but he wanted to.  So I let him LOL.  Tonight we had pork steaks from the butcher. We bought it as part of a freezer pack and the price per pound was 2.28 and it was a 2 pound package if I wanted too I could have gotten to meals from it but sometimes Hubs just wants a big old piece of meat.  So here is the cost break down.
  • Pork steaks 4.56
  • peas .75
  • boxed mac and cheese 1.50 (2 boxes)
Total  6.81 but priceless as I didn't have to cook and he even served everyone.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Apple bourbon pork tenderloin and sides all for 3.30

Yes the price in the title is right. Tonight's dinner was very good at a very good price.

There is only one way this meal was so cheap and that was smart shopping.  Here is what I did I happened to find the the tenderloin while looking for something else they were majorly price cut because they were going out of code in other words they were about to expire.  They were marked to 2.28 each.  That's a steal in and of itself, but they were the Hormel brand and I had a coupon for them and since I brought my binder I had them with me.  I had three and got three so in the end it cost me 1.28 each or 3.84 for all three of them which makes three meals for us.  Remember there are five eating right now soon six.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tyler Florence Copy Cat meal

A couple years ago I was out to eat with my family and this was two kids ago so just my hubby, my older two kids and myself and we went to Applebees.  And I remember having this very yummy pasta dish by Tyler Florence with penne and sausage and peas I thought it was so cool they added to the pasta.  By the end of the night I had paid a little over $10.00 for the meal with salad and a drink.  Well tonight I wanted that meal again so I made it.  And it cost me less than 10 dollars.

Get yours today free math program


is giving away a free copy of there math program from June 1 thru June 26 so head on over to there site and get your copy today
from there site

Funnix Beginning Math is a 100-lesson computer program designed for children who have not learned beginning math operations.

Funnix Beginning Math will be available as a free download from June 1 through June 26. All components of Funnix Beginning Math are included in the download—100 animated computer-based lessons, workbook material, a teaching guide, and a placement test for assessing the child.

The program is unique in the sophistication of skills it teaches in only 100 lessons. Children learn different types of counting. They use counting by tens and counting by ones to solve addition problems that traditionally require carrying. For example: 45+35.
Be assured that this program is FREE. No hidden charges, gimmicks, or costs for handling and shipping. This giveaway is like the one conducted in January for Funnix Beginning Reading and resulted in over 41,000 free downloads.

Watermelon Day 7

It's day 7 of the great watermelon watch and we have a 7th plant pop up over night.  See?


And these others are just looking great and doing crazy things with the leaves.










And I want to share this pic of my pup Coco she hoped up right when I was heading a door as she always heads out with me when it's time to water the plants.