Thursday, December 31, 2009

Corn Muffins

Tonight I made the BBQ Chicken Tenders and instead of making the Corn Fritters I decided to make them into Corn Muffins. Its a little bit faster and I just wanted to change it up a bit and show you how the recipe is adaptable. They were just as good. If you haven't tried the chicken tenders yet, try them. They are so tender and delicious. Do not over cook them on the grill and they will be perfect.

1 cup corn kernels
1 package Jiffy Corn Mufin mix
1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside.

In mixing bowl, combine corn, muffin mix, sugar, cheese, milk and egg; spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake 14-16 minutes or until golden. (I filled 11 cups)


(adapted from Better Homes & Gardens)

Marinated Cheese

Dawn Hoover, the columnist from Spice of Life, sent this recipe to me. She makes this a lot around the holidays and for company. I know the holidays are almost over, but its a great recipe to keep on hand for an appetizer for a party. This is great served on crackers, or for those who are trying to low-carb it, use toothpicks and serve just the cheese. This comes together quickly and you fix it the night before.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar (I used regular white vinegar)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 good lemons)
1/2 16-oz. jar roasted red peppers (about 1/3 cup diced)
3 green onions minced (I omitted these)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 8-oz. block sharp cheddar (I used white cheddar)
1 8-oz. block pepper jack
1 8-oz. block cream cheese, very chilled

Whisk first three ingredients together until mixture is blended- stir in diced peppers and next five ingredients. Set marinade aside. Cut block of cheddar in half lengthwise. Cut halves crosswise into 1/4" thick slices. Repeat procedure with the other 2 cheeses. (Put the cream cheese in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing. It makes it a little bit easier.) Arrange cheese slices alternately in a shallow serving dish, standing slices on edge. Pour marinade over cheeses. Cover and chill atleast 8 hours. Serve with crackers.


(recipe from Dawn Hoover- originally from Southern Living)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Easy Baked Beans with Sausage

I love to make these baked beans. They are so quick and easy. They are perfect for weeknight meals, and delicious enough to serve to guests. They are great on the stove, or make a larger batch and put in the oven for real "baked" beans. When the Jimmy Dean sausage goes on sale, you can half it into 1/2 lb. portions and freeze. These beans would be great with the BBQ Chicken Tenders and Corn Fritters I made the other week. Tonight I pan fried some boneless pork chops and served them with these beans and the frozen Teton Ranch Potatoes that were B1G1 a few weeks ago at Publix. Make these beans for dinner one night. Your family will be asking for more!

1/2 roll Jimmy Dean Sausage (1/2 lb)
1 28-oz. can Bush's Baked Beans
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard

Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Crumble with the back of a spatula while its cooking. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the beans in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the maple syrup, BBQ Sauce, brown sugar and yellow mustard. Add the sausage and simmer over low heat until thickened; about 10 minutes.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sausage Pockets

If you have already started your diet, do not read this post. You will relapse, I promise! My sister-in-law, Shelley, made these Christmas Eve for breakfast. They are so good, and everything you need to make them has been on sale the last couple of weeks. It only uses half of a Jimmy Dean sausage roll, so save the other half to throw in some baked beans later. I may make that later this evening with our pork chops for dinner! Try this breakfast when you feel like being bad. Its to die for!

Makes 6 pockets-
1/2 of a 1-lb. Jimmy Dean sausage roll
1 8-oz. block cream cheese
1 tube crescent rolls (I used the Big & Buttery ones)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Drain on paper towels and wipe out the skillet. Return the sausage to the skillet (off of the heat) and add the cream cheese. Stir together until the cream cheese is melted.

Open the tube of crescent rolls and unroll onto a work surface. Press together the seams of the triangles leaving the three "scored" rectangles. Cut each rectangle into two squares, making 6 squares to work with. Press the squares out slightly creating more surface area. Put approximately 1/4 cup sausage cheese mixture in the center of each square. Pull corners up over the center and twist creating little pockets. Twist and press the seams to make sure they are all sealed.

Place on a baking sheet or baking stone and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-22 minutes. Serve warm.


(recipe from Shelley Grimes)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Brownie Banana Splits

I am obviously not starting my diet until after the New Year! I saw the Blue Bell Ice Cream and bananas on sale at Publix this week, so I knew I had to make something like this. I didn't decide to add the brownies until last minute. What could it hurt, right? Just my waistline. This was so good. The one upside- my dessert cups do help with portion control. A cereal bowl would be much worse! Play around with this. This recipe is another one of those "method" recipes. Try this with pound cake cubes, cake, brownies, etc. This is a great dessert to throw together for company using whatever ingredients you have on-hand.

For one cup:

4 1-inch brownie cubes
1/2 banana cut in strips
4 strawberries, cut in chunks
1 scoop ice cream
Cool Whip

Place brownie cubes at the bottom of a cup. Layer with ice cream, bananas, then strawberries. Top with a dollop of Cool Whip. If you really want to blow your diet, drizzle with chocolate syrup like my husband did after I took the picture! Yummy!


Publix Trip 12/26

Did I say this was going to be a light week for me? Well, I guess it sort of was. I still spent about $75 but I did get meat, paper towels and toilet paper. And Ella is stocked with Juicy Juice boxes! Be sure to check out I Heart Publix for the coupon match-ups and get your list ready on This ad will run through Thursday, December 31st. There weren't a ton of things that I'm going to pull for recipes this week. I am going to pull from my stockpile.

Here are some things I'm thinking about posting:

Brownie Banana Splits
Sausage Pockets
Slow Cooker Pork Loin
Black Eyed Peas
Marinated Cheese

Order Total: $68.75
Sales Tax: $7.42
Grand Total: $76.17
Savings: $92.60

What's in the buggy:

(2) Gallons Milk
(2) Eggland's Best dozen eggs
(1) Honey Roasted Emerald Nuts
(4) Cabot Cheese
(1) Blue Bell Ice Cream
(1) Claussen Pickle Spears
(4) Juicy Juice 8-packs
(2) Pace Salsa
(2) Chex Mix
(2) Rice-A-Roni
(4) Kellogg's Mini Wheats
(1) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
(2) Cottonelle Toilet Paper 12-pack
(2) Viva Paper Towel 8-pack
(2) Dole Pineapple Chunks (Rain Check)
(2) I Can't Believe Its Not Butter Sticks (Rain Check)
(1) Pork Loin- cut in pieces by butcher ($10.38)
(2) Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat
(1) Bunch Chiquita Bananas
(1) Package Strawberries
(1) Hass Avacado

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wow! I cannot believe that Christmas has already come and gone. It was so much fun this year to see Ella really enjoying it. She's old enough to understand Santa and was SO excited to wake up this morning and see what he left her! I am going out tomorrow to see what kind of after-Christmas deals I can find. I have looked at the Publix ad, but have not really had time to come up with a menu yet. I did notice there were not a ton of things that I was really looking forward to, so this should be a light week for me. I am probably going to pull from my "stash" and cook from past weeks' sale items. I am going to try to get a couple of things posted for New Year's though.

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and enjoyed spending time with their family. Thanks for being patient with me during these busy holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cranberry Orange Muffins

I love the pineapple orange muffins from Bruno's. Those are probably my favorite. Although, since I've been couponing I haven't gotten any! I also love cranberry orange muffins, and those I can do because the Ocean Spray Craisins were B1G1 this week at Publix! Not to mention that cranberries are just so festive this time of year. I love to make muffins because you can do it any time of the day. If I'm in the mood to get in my kitchen to bake, I tend to gravitate towards the muffin recipes. They're easy, delicious, and perfect to-go. Let's face it...muffins are a great excuse to eat cake for breakfast!

1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teasoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (take it from the orange you juiced)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat, and set aside to cool and plump.

Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.

In a mixer (or with an electric hand-held mixer), in a large bowl cream the butter, orange zest, and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the flour to the butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk in two parts (1/3 of flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour). Mix until just combined. Drain off any excess liquid from the cranberries and fold into the mixture. Divide the batter into the muffin cups evenly and sprinkle with extra sugar (optional- I didn't do this). Bake about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool muffins in the pan on a rack.


(adapted from

Shrimp Linguine

We celebrated my husband's 30th birthday last night, so I didn't get to spend any time in the kitchen. I forgot about it being his birthday though, when I planned to do this dish last night. I was trying to come up with a way to use the Buitoni pasta and the Margaritaville shrimp. Since I haven't made the dish, I am just going to post Ina Garten's original recipe I was going to work from. This recipe received great reviews on If you get the Margaritaville Shrimp Scampi at Publix this week (B1G1) they are already going to have the sauce on them. You could warm them in the skillet in a little bit of olive oil, then add some of the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice and slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss with the pasta and you should have a delicious, quick meal. And again, if I make this I'll post a picture. I just don't see that happening before Christmas though!

So, here is a link to Ina's recipe. My husband really would love this, so I will try to make it soon!

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi- by Ina Garten

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

My Dad has made these mushrooms for years. They are so delicious, and couldn't be any easier. These are great served as an appetizer or simply as a snack. Publix has their whole button mushrooms on sale as well as the Jimmy Dean sausage. The sausage was 2/$5 and if you used the $1/2 coupon in the Winter Savings booklet each roll was $2. I always keep sausage on hand. It is great browned and added to a can of baked beans or cooked and scrambled in some eggs. But, I digress. These mushrooms were fabulous. And I even have some stuffing leftover that I'm debating on how to use.

1 16-oz. package whole mushrooms
1 16-oz. package Jimmy Dean sausage
2 cups shredded mozarella cheese (I used 1/2 white cheddar, 1/2 mozz)

Brown the sausage in a skillet. Remove and drain on paper towels. Meanwhile, clean the mushrooms and remove the stems. Chop stems and saute in skillet over medium heat in sausage drippings. Add the sausage back to the pan and fold in the cheese until melted.

Put mushroom caps on a broiler pan or baking pan fitted with a wire rack (I put my cookie cooling rack- make sure yours is oven proof- on top of my baking sheet). This allows the juice from the mushrooms to drip down. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.

Thanks Dad!


French Cream Dip with Fruit

The first time I had this dip was several years ago at a baby shower one of my friends threw. I was hooked from the beginning. I have made it several times since then, and have even found a way to make it a little bit quicker. It is great with fruit, especially pineapple and strawberries. Both of those happen to be on sale this week at Publix. I also love it with Nilla Wafers, which are B1G1 this week at Winn Dixie. Even the Cool Whip and cream cheese are on sale! This is so yummy. I could just eat it with a spoon. Shhh, I won't tell you if I actually have or not!

1 8-oz. block cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 8-oz. tub Cool Whip
Pinapple juice (a couple of tablespoons)
Fruit to serve with (pineapple, strawberries, grapes, melon, etc.)
Nilla Wafers (optional)

Soften cream cheese and then whip with the powdered sugar. Combine with the Cool Whip and add just enough pineapple juice to get the desired consistency. (I just used the juice in the tub with the fresh cored pineapple). Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve with fruit and Nilla Wafers.


(adpated from Paula Deen on

Rondele Baked Cheese Dip

Rondele cheese has been B1G1 a couple of times the last few months at Publix. I wanted to try a cheese dip with it. I found this recipe on their website. It was quick and easy, and had few ingredients. All of which I have gotten on sale recently at Publix. If you're having a Holiday party this is a great appetizer to make. It was rounded out nicely by the fruit dip and stuffed mushrooms I also made. I forgot to take a picture of it. It was halfway gone before I realized that I had forgotten. So, use your imagination, and take my word that it was really good!

1 8-oz. container Rondele cheese spread
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used white cheddar)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup coarsely crushed buttery crackers (I used Ritz)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix Rondele cheese, cheddar cheese and mayonnaise. Spoon into a 9-inch pie plate. (I used a shallow oval holiday baking dish I had). Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed crackers. Bake an additional 10 minutes. (I put the crackers on the first time I put it in the oven and I baked it for 30 minuts. It turned out just fine). Serve with Bagel Chips or other crackers.



Friday, December 18, 2009

Easy Stuffed Shells

I love quick, easy, family-friendly meals. This was was a crowd pleaser. It has been hard to get Ella to eat anything of substance lately, and she loved the meatballs in this! I had some meatballs in my freezer, but Publix did have some on sale this week. Prego pasta sauce is also B1G1. If some of you saw the article in the paper several weeks ago, this recipe was featured. I didn't take the time to thaw the meatballs this time. I also put an 8-oz. can of tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish instead of the spaghetti sauce. I put the whole 26-oz. jar on top (and if you get the big Prego jar on sale this week, by all means put more sauce!) I also changed up the cheese. I had some colby jack opened and also used some sharp white cheddar. We love cheese, so I always have lots of different ones on hand. Oh, and something else worth mentioning, Winn Dixie has their 8-oz. blocks of Kraft cheese on sale B1G1 for $2.99. If you use it with the COUPON HERE you can get each block for $1.00!

1 12-oz package jumbo shells
1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce (or extra spaghetti sauce)
36 frozen cooked Italian meatballs, thawed (I kept mine frozen)
2 cups shredded mozzarella (or whatever you have on hand)
Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta shells according to package directions, cooking until they're al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place tomato sauce or 1/2 cup extra spaghetti sauce in a greased 13X9 baking dish. Place a meatball in each pasta shell; transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with the jar of spaghetti sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (45 minutes if frozen). Uncover; bake 10 minutes (20 if frozen) or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Roasted Turkey Breast

I was going to make this last night because I saw in the ad that Publix was going to have "young turkey breast" $1.59 a pound. I got to the store and it was frozen. I don't buy I didn't expect it to be frozen like a Thanksgiving turkey. And besides being frozen, it was also bone-in. The boneless turkey breast was $7.99 (for about 3 lbs.), but it was also frozen. So, needless to say I didn't make it. I made the hashbrown casserole and scrambled eggs! This recipe looked so good, though, so I wanted to post it anyway. This would be great for a meal any time of year, but especially around the Holidays. Be sure to leave a comment if you do try this one. Check out the link a the bottom because the reviews sound fantastic!

1 3-lb. turkey breast
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 10-oz. can chicken broth
1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Place turkey breast in a roasting pan. You can use a foil-lined 13 X 9 inch pan. Combine melted butter and chicken broth. Pour over turkey. Rub mayo all over turkey's exterior. You can add optional seasonings at this point. The mayo will help the seasoning stick to the turkey.

Roast at 300-325 degrees until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. Raise the temperature to 350 for the last 45 to crisp the skin. (I was going to cook at 300 for one hour, then raise the temp to 350 for the last hour. Fingers crossed the bird is done by then!)

Remove from oven and let sit for 30 minutes before slicing.

Note: Because the butter and broth are for making gravy, if you need to make a lot of gravy, double the amount of broth.

This looks so yummy! Please remember to comment if you try this!

Check out the Reviews on the original recipe HERE)

(adapted from RecipeZaar)

Publix Trip 12/17

I was really excited about this week. So many great things on sale. I spent more than I usually do, but I got more things for Holiday entertaining and baking! Publix will be closed Christmas Day, so this week's ad will run through the 24th. So, there's still plenty of time to take advantage of these deals. And don't forget, if they are out of something, get a raincheck. They are good for 30 days. Just check the expiration date of your coupons!

Order Total: $67.46
Sales Tax: $7.57
Grand Total: $75.03
Savings: $106.51 or 70%

What's in the Buggy:
(2) Eggland's Best Dozen Eggs
(2) Bush's Black Beans
(2) 5 lb. Domino Sugar
(2) Big Bags of M & M's
(1) Rondele Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread
(4) Pillsbury Cresent Rolls
(2) Philadelphia Cream Cheese
(4) Sister Shubert Sausage Rolls/Biscuits
(2) Birds Eye Vegetables
(8) Campbell's Cream Of Soup
(4) Mueller's Whole Wheat Spaghetti
(2) Ocean Spray Craisins
(1) Thomas' English Muffins
(2) Skippy Peanut Butter
(2) Buitoni Pasta
(2) Nestle Evaporated Milk
(2) Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix
(2) Nabisco Crackers: Triscuit and Wheat Thins
(4) Cinnamon Toast Crunch (Big Box)
(2) Wesson Vegetable Oil
(2) Barber Stuffed Chicken Breasts
(2) Jimmy Dean Sausage
(1) Del Monte Fresh Pineapple
(1) Florida Strawberries
(1) 16oz. pkg Whole Mushrooms

Looking forward to the recipes this week!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

BBQ Chicken Tenders with Corn Fritters

I have been holding on to this recipe for a long time. I don't know why I never made it sooner! This was sooooo good! I found the recipe in a Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine several years ago and adapted it to make it more "pantry-friendly". I used Jiffy Corn Muffin mix and canned corn instead of a cornmeal/flour mixture and fresh corn. I will definitely be making this one again. BBQ sauce is a good thing to stock up on when you find a good sale. I got Sweet Baby Ray's B1G1 last week at Publix. Right now Target and Publix are running sales on Del Monte canned vegetables. With the $1/4 coupon, I got mine for $.25 a can at Target!

BBQ Chicken Tenders:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 chicken breasts, pounded slightly, and cut into 3 strips each
salt and pepper
3/4 cup store bought BBQ sauce, divided

Heat grill to medium heat. Place chicken in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup BBQ sauce over chicken + the oil (keeps it from sticking to the grill) and toss to coat. Use the other 1/2 cup BBQ sauce for basting.

Grill chicken, turning and basting occassionally with reserved basting sauce, 8-10 minutes total. Remove chicken from grill; serve with additional BBQ sauce and Corn Fritters.

Corn Fritters:

1 cup corn kernels
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 cup shredded cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Working in batches, drop batter into pan by heaping tablespoons (I used my large Pampered Chef scoop, which is more like 1/4 cup). Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the side of your fritters. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and place in oven. Repeat. Keep warm in oven up to 30 minutes.


(adapted from Martha Stewart EVERYDAY FOOD)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Publix Sneak Peek 12/16 and Menu

This is going to be a GREAT week at Publix. There are tons of coupons to use on the sale items. I am really excited! Be sure to go to I Heart Publix and check out the match-ups. Print the coupons you will be using because some of the good ones won't last long. Some of them are already gone! These are some of the sale items I plan on featuring in the recipes this week:

Margaritaville Shrimp B1G1
Rondele Cheese B1G1
Buitoni Linguine Pasta B1G1
Ocean Spray Craisins
Thomas' English Muffins
Nabisco Ritz Crackers
Tropicana Orange Juice
Swanson Chicken Broth
Kraft Cheese
Cool Whip B1G1
Sorrento Mozzarella Cheese
Turkey Breast (whole)
Armour Meatballs
Sweet Potatoes
Whole Mushrooms
Jimmy Dean Sausage

Here are the recipes I plan to post:

Hashbrown Casserole
Cranberry Orange Muffins
Easy Stuffed Shells
Baked Rondele Cheese Dip*
Stuffed Mushrooms*
French Cream with Fruit*
Shrimp Linguine
Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This looks to be a really good week. I am making the three appetizers that have an (*) next to them Saturday night for a Christmas party I'm having. These would be great for any of your upcoming Holiday parties.

Tonight its BBQ chicken and corn muffins.

Stay tuned....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chicken Pineapple Skewers

I love chicken and pineapple together. The combination is great. These skewers are quick and delicious. I just prepped all of the ingredients and put in separate bowls while the bamboo skewers were soaking. Then I assembled the skewers and threw them on the grill. The cutting and chopping is what took the longest. Publix still has their fresh pineapple for $2.99 this week as well as their 20-oz. cans B1G1. You could use this recipe to make as little or as much as you need. Try this for something different with the chicken in your freezer!

4 Servings:
1 fresh pineapple cut into large chunks
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, in large chunks
1 large sweet onion
1 large green pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes

Season chicken with salt and pepper and cut into large chunks. You want to cut each breast into 12 chunks, depending on the size of your breast. Try to get 3 pieces per skewer. If your chicken breasts are on the small side, you may need to cut up 4 breasts instead of 3. Set chicken aside.

Cut the onion into 16 wedges. The layers will peal apart, making it easier to stick as many or as little as you want on the skewer. Cut the pepper into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

You are now ready to begin assembling the skewers. On 12 metal or soaked bamboo skewers, alternately thread the chicken, vegetables and pineapple. I went in this order: chicken, pineapple, onion, pepper, tomato, chicken, pineapple, onion, pepper, tomato, chicken, pineapple, onion, pepper, tomato). Grill, uncovered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until chicken is no longer pink.

This is really more of a method than a recipe. Kabobs can be done hundreds of ways. My brother loves to do steak with peppers and onions. I've had his, and they are delicious. But, that will have to be another post!

For a special twist, try partially cooking bacon in the microwave, and then wrap each piece of chicken with the bacon before threading on the skewer. YUMMY! I probably would have done that, but I didn't have any bacon in the fridge.


Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

My Mom makes this casserole quite a bit. She usually uses the frozen hashbrowns, but since the Simply Potatoes Hashbrowns were on sale this week, I was going to use those. Obviously somebody else thought that the Simply Potatoes would make a nice hashbrown casserole too, because there on the back of the bag is the recipe! This is a smaller version of my Mom's. Her recipe fills a 9 X 13 casserole, but this recipe is a smaller version perfect for a weeknight meal. I have made it before when I did Breakfast for dinner for my father-in-law. It was great with eggs. My Mom serves this Christmas Day evening with our beef tenderloin dinner. It is an all around crowd pleaser and very yummy, perfect for the upcoming Holidays. I will post a picture when I get this made. I am tentatively putting it on the Menu for Wednesday, since I won't get to Publix for the new sale until Thursday!

1 package Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped onion (I omit this, or saute first before mixing)
1/4 cup butter, melted

1-1/2 cups corn flakes, coarsely crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 11 X 7-inch rectangular dish or an 8-inch square dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl combine all hash brown ingredients; mix well. Spread into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl stir together topping ingredients. Spread topping evenly over hash browns. Bake 45 minutes or until hash browns are tender.

**This casserole freezes well. You could double this and freeze one casserole to eat later. With the Hash Browns B1G1 this week, it would be economical to do so. Also, the only time I use Corn Flakes is for this casserole. I put the cereal in a large zippy bag so that it stays fresher longer stored in the box!


(from Simply Potatoes)

Sunday Pot Roast Times Two

I don't usually cook many things in the crock pot. I am gone from 7:30 to 5:30 during the week, so I think that's too long even for the crock pot. The couple of things that I have tried haven't turned out very good. That's why I was planning on doing this Sunday. But, Christmas shopping got the better of me! I am going to give you two different versions. I was planning on making Marilyn's because I had the soups on hand. I will post a picture if I get around to making it. But, let me tell you, it is delicious!

Marilyn's Crock Pot Roast:

1 boneless roast (chuck- about 1-2 lbs)
2 cans "Cream Of" soup (chicken, mushroom, celery, etc.)
1 large onion, quartered
potatoes, medium chunks
carrots, medium chunks or baby carrots

Season your meat with salt and pepper and put in the crock pot and cover with two cans of soup. Quarter the onion and drop in. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

After 8 hours, add in chunks of potatoes and carrots (or baby carrots). Cook for an additional 2-1/2 hours.


(from Marilyn Ammons)

Cara's Crock Pot Roast:

1 boneless roast (sirloin or rump- 1-2 lbs.)
2 packets McCormick Brown Gravy
1 bag baby carrots
2 potatoes, large chunks
1 white onion, large chunks

Sear the meat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, put the two gravy packs in the bottom of the crock pot and mix with 3 pack-fulls of water. Put in the roast, then top with the potatoes, onions and carrots. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Halfway through cooking time turn the meat over and baste with the sauce. To stretch, you can serve it with Mac and Cheese, green beans, or saffron rice. When serving, you can take the "juice" from the bottom of the crock pot and reduce in a skillet on the stove top to serve as gravy.


(from Cara Dube)

Macaroon Kisses

These little cookies look so delicious! I have not made these yet, but I will be making these as soon as I get a chance. I may even make them for the girls' Christmas party at school this Friday. These cookies use several of the ingredients I have on hand from the last few weeks' grocery store sales (i.e. cream cheese, flaked coconut, and kisses). The photo is what drew me to this recipe. I love coconut and chocolate! And check out the reviews from the link at the bottom. Yummy!

(Photo: Taste of Home)

1/3 cup butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons almond extract (I'm using vanilla)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups flaked coconut, divided
48 milk chocolate kisses
course sugar

In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in egg yolk and extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in 3 cups coconut. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Roll into 1-inch balls and roll in the remaining coconut. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie; sprinkle with course sugar. Cool on pan for 2-3 minutes or until chocolate is softened. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Be sure to post a comment if you try these. I will update if I get around to making these for the party Friday!

**Update: I did end up making these for Ella's party Friday. They were not a favorite for the kids. However, all of the adults thought they were delicious! Next time I would love to make them with Almond Hershey's Kisses to taste like an Almond Joy! I didn't get a picture because I was up half the night baking them. I didn't coat them in raw sugar like the above picture did, but I did coat them with more coconut, so they had the same texture.


(adapted from Taste of Home)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Little Change For The Busy Holidays

I am going to do things a little bit different these next two weeks. My schedule is CRAZY! For those of you who don't know, I have two girls at home. Ella will be 3 in February and Emme will be 4 months the end of December. With working, being a Mom, and getting ready for Christmas, I honestly have not had time to get in my kitchen and cook since last Wednesday. I am sure that many, if not most of you, can totally relate! I was out shopping today and realized at 3:30 that I was supposed to cook a roast! My husband was not very happy about that! I completely forgot! Having said that, I feel that it would be an injustice to all of my readers not post the planned recipes just because I haven't had the time to make them myself and take a picture of them. So, tomorrow morning I am going to post the recipes that I have missed thus far this week. I will post them without pictures because I haven't made them yet. So, if you make them, please post a comment and let me and the other readers know how they turned out. If and when I get around to making them I will add a picture.

When this busy time of year settles down, I hope to get back in my routine and do the recipes like I had originally planned. I feel awful, but this is going to be the best I can do. I want this to be fun for all of us. And right now, I'm exhausted. So, I am heading to bed. This is the earliest I've gone to bed in the last 3 weeks.

Until tomorrow morning....

Good Night!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tammy's Salad Dressing

Why do we have to do housework? Bathe the kids? Wash the dishes? Go to bed and get up in the morning and do it all over again? Tonight was one of those nights where the tasks of the day were overwhelming. So, even the simplest salad didn't get put on the table. Tonight was Hot Pockets and Dinosaur Nuggets! And, I'm still awake now waiting on the clothes to finish in the washing machine. So, forgive me for not posting the salad with dressing and croutons. I did, however, want to at least share the dressing. None of the ingredients were on sale this week, but it seems like there is always some type of bagged salad on special. So, put this dressing together and keep it in the fridge. It is my favorite. My Aunt Tammy makes it and shared it with my grandparents and its always in their fridge. I make mine in a plastic dressing container from Wal-mart. Pampered Chef also makes a really cool one!


1/2 cup sugar or 8 packets of Splenda (I use the Splenda)
2 tsp. black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Accent (spice aisle)
1 teaspoon Mei Yen (spice aisle)
1/2 cup oil (I use vegetable, olive oil is too heavy)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
shake of garlic powder

Combine all of the powdered ingredients in your dressing container. Mix in the oil and vinegar and shake well. Keep in the refrigerator.

My favorite things to put on my salad with this dressing is cranberries, walnuts/pecans, mandarin oranges, chicken, cheese, grapes, chickpeas, etc. It has a slightly sweet taste to it, but the pepper is a nice balance. My grandmother says she has a hard time finding the Mei Yen. Mine is the Spice Islands brand.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chewy Granola Bars

The first time I made these, I was pregnant with my first daughter. I could not get enough granola bars. I bought Nature Valley, Special K, Fiber One, I loved them all! I came across this recipe in the Rachael Ray Magazine one month and decided to give it a try. Couldn't be easier. Most of the main ingredients you can get for a good price this week. Publix has granola and raisins B1G1. I stockpiled the chocolate chips a few weeks ago. And with the Target coupon for Kellogg's cereal, you can get a good deal on the Rice Krispies. If you've never made homemade granola bars, you ought to give this recipe a shot. Quick and delicious. Wrap each individual bar in plastic wrap and you've got a Grab-n-Go breakfast!

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 cups granola
1 cup Rice Krispies
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the honey and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Add the granola, rice cereal, and raisins to the saucepan and fold the ingredients to evenly coat with the sauce. Transfer the granola mixture to a 9 X 13-inch ungreased baking pan and press firmly to evenly fill. Gently press the chocolate chips onto the top of the granola. Let the granola mixture set in the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes, then cup into 2 1/4-by 3-inch bars.

**The Quaker granola that is on sale at Publix is more like granola clusters. So, I put 2 cups in a zippy bag and crushed it up a little bit.

These are great for breakfast or pack them in the kids' lunchboxes for school. Want to make co-workers happy? Wrap some up, tie with cute ribbon and bring as a "Happy"!


(adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

Publix Trip 12/09

There were a lot of things that I wanted this week. Not necessarily a lot of Super Deals, but a lot of things that I wanted to cook with and stockpile. I did have a little over $20 in coupons and I took advantage of quite a few B1G1 items. I did have to get a couple of things that weren't on sale. Overall, I think I did well. I did spent more than I normally do, but I brought home more food!

Order Total: $65.62
Tax: $6.74
Grand Total: $72.36
Savings: $87.29

What's in the Buggy:

(20) Earth's Best Baby Food (NOT pictured)
(1) Honey Bear
(1) Bakery Italian 5-grain bread
(1) Bag Hershey's Kisses
(2) Kraft Cracker Barrel 2% Milk Cheese
(2) Sargento Shredded Cheese
(1) Publix Dozen Eggs (FREE)
(10) Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Cups
(3) Publix Sour Cream 16-oz. cup
(2) Pillsbury Simply Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
(2) Simply Potatoes Shredded Hashbrowns
(1) 1-lb. Land-o-lakes Lunch Meat
(2) Klondike Ice Cream Bar (6-pack)
(1) Arnold Health Nut Bread
(1) Newman's Own Organic Raisins
(1) Box Quaker Granola (big box)
(2) Honey Nut Cheerios
(4) Campbell's Select Harvest Soup
(1) Wishbone Italian Dressing
(2) Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
(1) Doritos Chips
(1) Cascade ActionPacs
(1) Fresh Express Salad Blend
(1) Pint Grape Tomatoes
(1) Fresh Pineapple- peeled and cored
(1) Green Bell pepper
(1) 5-lb. bag red potatoes
(3) sweet onions

This week I noticed more healthy things on sale. I stocked up on the organic yogurt and raisins. And got the whole grain breads for toast and sandwiches. Let's not count the Klondike bars! That's my treat for watching what I eat during the day. Yeah right...who am I kidding. I love to eat!

The recipes are going to be good this week. Keep checking back for updates!

Publix Menu Plan 12/09

This week at Publix looks better to me than the last couple of weeks. It looks like my total is going to be a bit higher, but its all foods that I really like. If I can keep it around $60 or $70, I'm still doing a lot better than I was before I started couponing! Be sure to check out I Heart Publix for the coupon match-ups and go to to print out your shopping list. That really helps me navigate my trip in the store. I've even shopped on my lunch break and been in and out in 30 minutes! It is possible.

Here are the recipes I plan to post this week:

Chewy Granola Bars
Tammy's Salad Dressing
Pineapple Chicken Kabobs
Macaroon Kisses
Sunday Pot Roast Times Two
Hashbrown Casserole
BBQ Chicken Tenders with Corn Fritters

Items highlighted from grocery store Sales:


Italian Five Grain Bread- $1.99
Hershey's Kisses- B1G1
Publix Sour Cream- $1.09
Sargento Shredded Cheese (+Q for Free Eggs)- 3/$5
Simply Potatoes (Hashbrowns)- B1G1
Newman's Own Organics Raisins- B1G1
Quaker Granola- B1G1
Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce- B1G1
Fresh Express Salad Blends- B1G1
Grape Tomatoes- 2/$4
Del Monte Pineapple- $2.99

Winn Dixie:

Boneless Chuck Roast- B1G1
Baby Carrots- B1G1

My house is almost in order after the Christmas unpacking- induced chaos. I am really looking forward to sharing the recipes this week. The Chewy Granola bars are awesome. Great for breakfast on the go. The Hashbrown Casserole is going to be great for the Holidays. Get your crock-pot ready, because there's going to be a Roast Sunday afternoon!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cookie Apple Cobbler

I was trying come up with an idea to use all of this cookie dough that's been on sale. I found this recipe, which is great, because it uses the apples that are on sale this week at Publix, too (Braeburns $.99 lb) Little did I know, the sugar cookie dough is not part of the Nestle dough that was on sale. But, I wanted to try this, so I splurged. But you could probably use the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie dough in the pouch that was on sale. Its up to you. This was really good. It would have been great with ice cream or Cool Whip, but my Cool Whip was still frozen!

6 cup sliced peeled apples
1 cup packed brown sugar (or less)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (divided)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (or less)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix apples, brown sugar, flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and lemon juice; toss to coat apples well. Spoon into ungreased deep-dish baking dish.

Spoon cookie dough, by teaspoons, evenly over apples. In small bowl, mix granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over cookie dough.

Bake 35-45 minutes or until top is golden brown and apples are tender.

**I probably put a little more than 1 cup brown sugar, because I had a little left in the bag, so I dumped it in. It was probably too much! It was delicious, but a little on the sweet side. It would have been great with the vanilla ice cream to tone it down. Let it set for a few minutes on the stove to set up after removing it from the oven. Let the juices thicken a bit.

My family really enjoyed this. My Mom brought pizza over, so I contributed with the dessert. I have just enough to take for a snack tomorrow at work!


(adapted from

Cheeseburger Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

I had never made meatloaf until a couple of years ago. Never eaten it, in fact! Crazy, I know. The only recipe I have used is the one from a Betty Crocker cookbook. When I saw this I knew I had to try it because my Ella LOVES cheeseburgers. Publix and Winn Dixie had good prices on ground beef. Publix had pickles B1G1 and Idaho potatoes for $.49 lb. I was really impressed with this one. It had a moist consistency. I made it into two smaller loaves and baked it in stoneware. I ended up cooking it almost 30 minutes more than the recipe calls for, so check yours often. It really does taste like a cheeseburger! I will be making this one again.

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped (I omitted this)
2/3 cup ketchup
2/3 cup bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sweet relish, drained of liquid
1-1/2 lb. ground beef
8 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
2 lbs. new red potatoes (I used Idaho)
3/4 cup heavy cream (I used 1% milk + 2 T butter)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, bread crumbs, eggs and pickles; mix in the onion. Crumble in the beef, add the cheese, and mix together. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and shape into a 4- by 12-inch loaf. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 degrees, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into chunks and place them in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain, return to the pot and mash with the milk or cream.

Let the meatloaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with the mashed potatoes.


(adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

**I left my camera at work last night. I am going to try to get a picture tonight and post it later on!!

**Taking pictures of leftovers just isn't the same. So, I'm not going to post a picture. Click on the link to the original recipe to see a picture. It is delicious! Make your own and see for yourself.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sausage & Cheese Potato Casserole

I promise I didn't fall off the face of the Earth! I took a much needed break on Saturday and got some Christmas decorating done Sunday. My kitchen didn't get a complete break though. I used the other half of my cauliflower and made the mac and cheese again. So Yummy. And I made this breakfast casserole Sunday morning with the Bob Evans Home Fries that are B1G1 this week at Publix. I have to say, though, that I liked the Bagel and Egg Bake better. Even though the potatoes say "seasoned" I still think it needed little salt sprinkled over them in the pan. I baked it in a square Pampered Chef Stoneware pan, so it took a little longer to cook. I almost think its needs a couple more eggs, too. If you do add the eggs, bake it in the 9 X 13 because it would take too long for the center to get done in the smaller pan. If you bought the potatoes, its definitely worth trying. The boys in my house enjoyed it.

1 lb. sausage roll (I used Jimmy Dean)
1 20-oz. package Bob Evans Home Fries Diced Potatoes
6 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup parm
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crumble and cook sausage in medium skillet until browned. Drain off any drippings (drain well, or it will make for a greasy casserole). Spread potatoes in greased 13" X 9" baking pan (I used a square pan). Here, I would sprinkle the potatoes with a little salt and pepper. Top with cooked sausage and cheese (I used cheddar, and with the grease from the sausage, it was a little greasy for me. Maybe try colby jack or muenster). Whisk eggs, milk and salt & pepper together in a medium bowl. Pour egg mixture over sausage layer; bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Continue to bake for an additional 15 mintues or until eggs are set in the center. Refrigerate leftovers.

(adapted from Bob Evans Recipes)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Contact Me!

I need to know what you think! Please let me know how it turns out when you try a recipe. Want to see a certain type of recipe? Let me know, and I'll try to find a good one! Have an idea? Send me an e-mail:

I want to hear from you!

Taco Puffs

My friend, Alex, told me about this cool dinner idea one day at work. His wife, Amanda, makes them and I knew I had to try it one night. I've made them a couple of times, and they've been great each time. The best part about it is that I use my leftover taco meat. I always have some leftover from burritos and taco salads, and it always goes to waste in my fridge. This totally revamps it, and gives your leftovers a new spin! Of course, you don't have to use leftover taco meat. You could just half the recipe. But, I say make it all! Get a double-duty dinner out of this one! Pillsbury Grands Biscuits were 4/$5 this week at Publix. It fit in perfectly with my burrito sale items from last night. This week was meant for my Mexican dinners.

6 refrigerated biscuits
3 cups taco meat (approx. 1/4 cup per puff)
1-1/2 cups shredded cheese
lettuce (optional)
sour cream (optional)
salsa (optional)
olives (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Take 6 refrigerated biscuits and half them horizontally. Take each half and flatten out with your hands and press into 12 greased muffin cups to form "shells". Put approximately 1/4 cup taco meat in each cup (the Pampered Chef Large Scoop works great for this!) Top each puff with shredded cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden around the edges. Let the puffs rest in the pan for atleast 5 minutes before removing. Top with desired toppings.

Thanks Alex and Amanda for sharing this with me! We really enjoy this in our house.


(adapted from Amanda Patrick, Pensacola, FL)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Corn and Black Bean Burritos

I have been looking forward to this all day! The taco meat that I used for the burritos is going to do double-duty tomorrow night for the Taco Puffs. I also use this same meat base when I make taco salads. A great recipe to have, for sure. Right now Publix has their Ground Round $2.99 lb., but Winn Dixie has their Ground Beef $1.99 lb. Publix has the flour tortillas B1G1 and avocados for $.99, so its the perfect week to do burritos. I did get a can of corn at Publix also because they had canned Green Giant Veggies B1G1. Alright...enough about the sale. Here's the recipe:

Taco Meat:
1-1/2 lb. ground beef (remember, this is for two dinners)
1/3 cup taco seasoning (or 1-1/2 packets)
3/4 cup water
1 cup salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained

Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat and return to pan. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Cook over medium heat about 3-5 minutes. Add in the beans, corn and salsa. Cook for another 3-5 minutes over medium heat, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 15 minutes. This really allows the flavors to combine.

Corn and Black Bean Burritos:

Taco Meat from above recipe
1 package Mexican rice (I used Rice Pilaf Knorr Sides- its all I had)
4 flour tortillas- burrito size
Shredded Cheese
Avocado + Lime
Sour Cream
Extra Salsa

Cook the rice according to package directions. I only had the Rice Pilaf flavor tonight, and I think I actually liked it better than the Mexican rice. But, use whatever you have on hand.

Warm the flour tortillas on a plate under a damp paper towel in the microwave for 45 seconds. Put one on a plate and begin to assemble. Put 1/3 cup rice in center near the bottom (the tortilla package at Publix has a picture on the back that shows you how to roll it). Put 1/2 cup taco meat on the rice and top with shredded cheese. Fold the sides over and starting at the bottom, roll up. If you have a hard time, you can probably google "how to roll a burrito"!

Once its rolled you can top it with whatever toppings you like. My favorites- lettuce, diced avocado with a squeeze of lime juice and salt, sliced olives, sour cream, and salsa.

This totally hit the spot tonight. Save your leftovers for Taco Puffs tomorrow night!


I Heart Publix Giveaway

I Heart Publix will be giving away a $50 Publix Giftcard on December 10th! $50 can go a LONG way at Publix. This contest will last one week, and she will use to select a winner. Click on the link below to see how to enter.

Go HERE to enter!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Publix, Winn Dixie & Wal-mart 12/03

Some weeks I will shop multiple stores to get the most for my money. Usually, I just do Publix. This week there were some things we needed that weren't on sale, so I went to Wal-mart. And some things I wanted to get at Winn Dixie because I liked a few of their B1G1's. I still stayed under $63.00 for everything pictured below. Not bad!


There weren't too many things that I needed at Publix this week. I did take advantage of some of the B1G1 items, and since I needed to get my total up (I was using $24 Walgreens RR) I got some necessities like milk and cheese.

What's in the Buggy:

(1) Gallon Publix 1% milk
(1) 6-pk Kozy Shack Rice Pudding
(2) Pillsbury Grand Biscuits
(2) Yoplait Dora Yogurt
(2) Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough
(2) Tam-X-ico's Flour Tortillas
(2) Kraft 16 oz. block cheese
(2) Bob Evans Home Fries
(1) Green Giant Canned Corn
(2) Ruffles Potato Chips
(2) Idaho Potatoes
(1) Lime
(1) Avacado
3.5 lbs. Braeburn Apples

Grand Total: $4.82
Savings: $57.43

I did use a $5/$25 Rite Aid and $24 in Walgreens RR

Winn Dixie:

There were a couple of the B1G1 items that I wanted to get from Winn Dixie. I only had coupons for the mayo, lunch meat, and bags. I still think I did pretty good, though. I know Publix had mayo B1G1 too, but I don't like the squeeze bottles.

What's in the Buggy:

3 lb. ground beef
(2) Hefty Quart 18 ct. zippy bags
(2) Gain Laundry Detergent- 31 load boxes
(2) Hormel Natural Choice Lunch Meat
(2) Bryan Cocktail Smokies- Great for the holidays!
(2) McCormick Vanilla Extract
(2) Hellman's Light Mayo

Grand Total: $34.11
Savings: $32.17


We have been getting our dog and cat food at Wal-mart because I never have coupons for that and Wal-mar'ts base prices tend to be cheaper. I printed the $5/4 boxes Kellogg's cereal from the Target website and used it since Wal-mart (in Fairhope) now takes competitor's coupons. I know it wasn't the BEST deal, but Clay wanted Raisin Bran Crunch and it wasn't on sale any where else. The marshmallows were still on roll-back for $.75 (Rice Krispies Treats) and I am going to make some
Chicken Stuffed Shells to put in the freezer.

What's in the Buggy:

(2) Raisin Bran Crunch (big box- $2.25 Ea after Q)
(1) Apple Jacks (big box- $1.73 after Q)
(1) Rice Krispies (big box- $1.53 after Q)

(9) Pedigree Dog Food Cans ($1.08 Ea)

(2) Bags Mini Marshmallows

(2) Boxes Jumbo Shells

Grand Total: $23.52
Savings :$6.50 (with coupons and roll-back items)

So the Grand Total for all 3 Trips:

TOTAL SAVINGS: $96.10 or 64%

I don't think I will ever get my grocery bill down as low as Shannon from The Bargain Buggy, but I am really proud of myself for getting it down as low as I have. I was spending upwards of $200 a week at Wal-mart. I now have more food in my house than I ever have. My fridge and freezer are full, my pantry is stocked, and I even have moved egg-crates of canned goods and such to the shelves in my laundry room! I have only been clipping coupons since Halloween and I am amazed at the difference.

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower

I feel that I have redeemed myself in the kitchen tonight. The reason there was no recipe post last night is because BOTH recipes I attempted were a total BOMB! First, I tried Thai Peanut Chicken with no success. Although, now I know how to tweak it to possibly post it later on. So then I tried a sweet potato muffin cream cheese thingy, and that didn't turn out either! So, I went to bed at midnight totally discouraged. I am proud to say that tonight, dinner was successful. This dish is a lot easier to make than I had anticipated. I shortened the ingredient list just a bit to make it more simple. I also halved the recipe and baked it in a 1-1/2 quart casserole instead of a 3-quart casserole. It would be great as a side dish or fuss-free main course. I will definitely be making this again! Publix has cauliflower on sale this week, so add it to your shopping list and try this dish. You'll be glad you did!

P.S. I am normally not a fan of cauliflower. So, even if you don't normally groove on cauliflower, step outside the box and give this recipe a try. Half it like I did, and serve it alongside something.

For the Full Size recipe:

12 oz. multigrain elbow macaroni (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne)
1 head cauliflower broken into small florets
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups grated extra sharp Cheddar (I used cheddar and muenster)
1-1/2 cups reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta according to package directions, adding the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain.

Return the pasta pot to medium heat and add the tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, just until soft, 5-7 minutes. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheese, sour cream, and milk.

Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Melt tablespoon of butter in a small bowl and mix in breadcrumbs. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top and bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.

This one is a keeper in my book!

** Update: I did make this again and I didn't use the cheddar like I used the first time and it was lacking in flavor. The sharpness of the cheddar allows you to use less cheese (more figure-friendly), but not skimp on the flavor. So, use cheddar if you have it available. The first time around, I used a marbled white and regular cheddar. YUMMY!

(adapted from Real Simple)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Publix Sneak Peek 12/02 and Menu

Well, its Tuesday again. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and another sale rotation is about to begin at the grocery stores. Be sure to check out I Heart Publix for the Publix coupon match-ups and print your shopping list tomorrow from I am going to try to start posting the recipes/main ingredients in advance so that if you want to try some of them, you can pick up the ingredients during your trip.

Here are the recipes I plan to post this week:

Cauliflower Mac-n-Cheese
Corn and Black Bean Burritos
Taco Puffs
Cookie Apple Cobbler
Sausage & Cheese Potato Casserole
Grilled Chicken & Egg Wrap
Cheeseburger Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes

Items featured in sale ad at Publix:

Bob Evans Seasoned Home Fries- B1G1
Tam-X-ico's Flour Tortillas- B1G1
Green Giant Can Veg- B1G1 (can of corn)
Nestle Toll House Ref. Cookie Dough- B1G1 (Sugar)
Grands Biscuits 4/$5 (1 can)
Vlasic Pickle Relish- B1G1
Kraft 16 oz. Cheese
Ground Round (Winn Dixie will have ground beef $1.99 lb.)
Idaho Potatoes
Hass Avacado
Braeburn Apples

Main ingredients I already have on-hand:

Chicken Broth
Black Beans
Taco Seasoning
Sour Cream
Knorr Rice Side
Brown Sugar/Flour/Granulated Sugar/Cinnamon
Jimmy Dean 1 lb. sausage roll
Parmesan Cheese
Chicken Breasts
Bread Crumbs

I hope this helps everyone. I do not buy everything I need for that week at the stores. I pull ingredients for my recipes from the items that are on sale, and also from the items that I already have in my pantry that I've stockpiled from previous weeks' sales. I also keep on hand at all times things like milk, eggs, cheese, baking essentials, spices, etc. I do not want to cook every night. There are some nights when I will use the Asian Chicken Helper and call it a night. Those will be the days that I will post a breakfast or dessert recipe. As long as I have time, I will be posting daily recipes for you to pick and choose from. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it.

Here's to another good week!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fish Stick Po-boys and Sweet Potato Fries

If you want a way to eat fish sticks that doesn't remind you of elementary school, then try them in a grown-up style po-boy. My oldest daughter loves them, and I thought this would be a way to incorporate dinner for all of us without having to cook two different things. The fish sticks were B1G1 this week at Publix, and I got the Chicago Hard Rolls 6/$1.99. I love to keep frozen sweet potato fries in the freezer. They are one of the two things that I go to Sam's to get- the Alexia frozen sweet potato fries and the Birds Eye frozen whole green beans. They are perfect for getting dinner ready in a hurry, and the closest thing to farmers market fresh I have found. I think they're worth the extra trip to Sam's.

For 4 Po-boys:

16-20 Fish Sticks (depending on your rolls)
4 Rolls
Quick Tartar Sauce (recipe at the bottom)

Cook the fish sticks according to package directions. While the fish sticks are cooking, begin assembling your sandwiches. Split the buns. Layer tarter sauce on the bottom. Stack 2-3 tomato slices on the bottoms, and the lettuce on the top. Finish with 4-5 fish sticks, depending on the size of your rolls.

Serve with sweet potato fries.

Quick Tartar Sauce:

1 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup sweet relish
1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Serve with seafood.

I hope you enjoy this fun spin on dinner. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chicken with Smashed Brocco-tatoes

Ever have a hard time getting your family to eat broccoli? You won't if you smash it with potatoes and cheese. This just sounded too good not to make this week. And I love the flecks of green going through the potatoes. I still had some potatoes I got on sale last week, and Publix has broccoli on sale this week. This is quick and easy, and perfect for a week-night meal. I served it with chicken since that's also on sale this week at Publix, but it really goes with anything.

4 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 head of broccoli, cut into one-inches pieces and florets
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup of milk (broth if you want to go lighter)
1 cup shredded cheese (anything white in color)

In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil, salt the water and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for 8 additional minutes. Drain and return the vegetables to the saucepan.

While the vegetables are cooking, season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 6 minutes on each side.

Add the milk and cheese to the broccoli and potatoes and mash together. Season with salt and pepper.

Your kids are sure to love this one!

(adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt and fruit is such a great way to start your day. Or just a snack for that matter! The one great thing about doing this blog is getting to eat all of the great food that I make. And, let me tell you...these went quick today! Some type of yogurt is usually on sale at the grocery stores. This week Publix has some Fiber One yogurt B1G1. The cereal can be interchangeable. I used Honey Bunches of Oats because Publix has it B1G1. My Mom likes to use Raisin Bran Crunch. I think the best is Kashi Go Lean Crunch. So, grab whatever is on sale and try this wonderful snack!

For one parfait:

1- 4 oz. vanilla yogurt cup
1/4 cup granola or cluster cereal
Mixed berries

Put half of the yogurt in the bottom of a cup or bowl. Layer in 1/2 of the cereal and berries. Repeat the layers: yogurt, cereal, berries.

This is quick, easy, and healthy. The frozen berries are the most convenient this time of year. Thaw what you need, and leave the rest in the freezer for later. When we get back into summer, the fresh berries will be great...and probably on sale!


Bagel and Egg Bake

I love bagels. I love them plain, with cream cheese, or jelly. I love the chewy texture. And, now I love them baked in a souffle style casserole with eggs, bacon and cheese. This is great for a weekend breakfast because you assemble it the night before and bake it in the morning. Try it this weekend or make it for an easy Christmas Morning breakfast. This week Publix has Thomas' Bagels B1G1 and 18 pk. Eggland's Best Eggs 2/$5. Yummy!

1/2 lb. bacon
4 bagels, plain
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
12 eggs
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon and cut into small pieces. Set aside. Cut the bagels into large chunks and put in a greased 9 X 9 casserole dish. Cover with the bacon and cheese. Mix slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt & pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the bagels. Mix slightly making sure the bagel chunks are covered. Cover, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Uncover the chilled bagel dish and bake in the preheated oven 30-35 minutes, or until eggs are firm in the center. If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover with foil until done. Serve warm.

My family really enjoyed this one this morning. I will definitely be making this again. It looks like its time to get more bagels at Publix!

(adapted from

Friday, November 27, 2009

Publix Trip 11/27

Order Total: $15.39
Tax: $4.15
Grand Total: $19.54
Savings: $79.97

What's In the Buggy:

(2) Eggland's Best Eggs 18 pk.
(3) Lean Pockets
(1) Mrs. Paul's Fish Sticks
(2) Alexia Natural Crunchy Snacks
(2) Planters Peanuts
(1) Fisher Fusions Snack Mix
(1) Honey Bunches of Oats
(1) V. Fusion Juice
(1) Thomas' Bagels
(1) Viva Paper Towel 8 pk.
(1) Purina Cat Chow
(1) Lemon
(1) Broccoli
(1) Cauliflower
(1) Publix Frozen Mixed Berries
(1) Package of Chicken Breasts ($7.07)

I used $5/$25 Rite Aid coupon and $25 in Walgreen's Register Rewards.

I didn't think this was a terrific week at Publix. I got a few things for the recipes this week, and some other essentials that I needed (cat food, paper towels). Looking forward to Monday when we'll see the Sneak Peak on I Heart Publix for next week!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with my family, and the food was wonderful. My Mom always does such a good job. My brother said, "Did you take pictures of all of this food?" The answer: No, but, I should have! Future blog recipes. I am stuffed, so there will be no recipe tonight. But I am getting my Publix shopping trip ready for tomorrow morning, and getting some recipes prepared for this weekend. I'm also making the Turkey Spectacular and the Cranberry-Pecan Turkey Salad, so those pics will be up tomorrow afternoon. Here are the recipes that I will post using this week's Publix Deals:

Seared Chicken with Cheesy Brocco-tatoes
Bagel and Cheese Bake
Fish Stick Po-Boys with Sweet Potato Fries
Yogurt and Cereal Parfaits
Thai Peanut Chicken
Cheesy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

The chicken breasts are $1.79 lb. this week. That's a really good price. I'll probably feature them in next week's recipes too. Buy them, trim them, and put them in individual freezer zippy bags. Put them all in a larger freezer bag and thaw in cold water in the sink when you're ready to cook with them. This saves a ton of time when you're getting dinner ready during the week.

Enjoy your Holiday Weekend. And don't spend too much money shopping the Black Friday Deals. I'll be doing some internet shopping. Not too big on those crowds!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Spectacular

Thanksgiving was always the time when my Mamaw would make her Chicken Spectacular. She would even omit the onions because she knew I didn't like them in it. This will be our first Thanksgiving without her, and she will truly be missed. To pay tribute to Mamaw, I am going to turn turkey leftovers into "Turkey" Spectacular. This dish couldn't be easier and it uses a lot of the ingredients that have been on sale this week at the grocery stores.

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups turkey, diced (or chicken)
2 (14.5 oz) cans french style green beans, drained
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 (10 3/4 oz) can Cream of Celery soup (or whatever kind you have on hand)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (6 oz.) box Long Grain Wild Rice, cooked according to package directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.

Add all remaining ingredients to bowl and mix together until thoroughly combined.

Pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Thanks Mamaw!

Cranberry-Pecan Turkey Salad

I don't know about you, but we always have TONS of turkey leftover. This year, I am trying to come up with new ways to re-invent our turkey leftovers. My Mother-in-law suggested a Turkey Salad. This recipe combines classic Thanksgiving flavors that you can squish between two slices of bread. Or, if you're on carb- overload from Thursday, then serve yours on a bed of greens! If you don't have dried cranberries on hand, you could put a slice or a dollop of your cranberry dish from Thanksgiving dinner on the sandwich. Anything for that little bit of tart-sweetness.

6 cups cooked turkey meat, chopped
3 eggs, boiled and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
3 ribs celery, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced (I omit these)
1 cup mayo (adjust to the consistency you like)

Stir together chopped cooked turkey, eggs, cranberries, pecans, celery, and onions. Add mayo and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill up to 3 days.

**When I make this Friday morning, I'll post a picture!

(adapted from Southern Living)