Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ranch Sour Cream Flatbread Tacos

I know we all stocked up on the Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing while it was B1G1 this week. I also stocked up on the Pillsbury Biscuits, so when I saw this recipe in Taste of Home I knew I had to give it a whirl. Its the same basic concept as my other "taco" dishes, but I LOVED the idea of using the biscuits to make flatbread. It was so yummy!

1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Ranch Dressing
1 lb. ground beef
1 15-oz can black beans (or pinto beans)
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 cup salsa (or one can diced tomatoes, undrained)
1 tube large refrigerated biscuits (8)

Shredded Cheese
Shredded Lettuce
Extra Salsa
Sliced Olives
Avacado with Lime (Yum)

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and ranch dressing. Chill until ready to serve.

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain off any excess fat. Add the beans (drained) salsa and taco seasoning. Heat through. Cover and simmer over low.

Meanwhile, roll out each biscuit into a 6-inch circle. In a small non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook each biscuit for 30-60 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven. Work with these one at a time. Roll one out and put in the skillet. While that one is cooking roll the other one out. Roll them out as thin as you can. You want them to cover the bottom of your small skillet.

Yes, you are looking at that picture right. I, for some reason, do not own a rolling pin. I deconstruct my paper towel holder when I need to roll something out! It gets the job done!

To serve, spread each flatbread with 1 tablespoon ranch sour cream; top with 1/4 cup meat mixture. Sprinkle with desired toppings. You can even leave them flat and build almost like a pizza.


(adapted from Taste of Home)

The Best Blueberry Muffins

Yep. The title says it all. These ARE the best blueberry muffins. I changed it up a bit by adding some cranberries and using frozen blueberries. But this guarantees that these can be made year round. Keep the blueberries in the freezer and your Craisins stocked, and you've got wonderful blueberry muffins ready at all times! I've even made these with a pecan streusel topping before, but decided to leave that off this morning. My little family wasn't worthy of those "special" muffins this morning! Next time maybe. I'm going to take some to the office in the morning to share. This would make a great special treat for your child's teacher for Valentine's Day too. They all get tons of chocolate. Some fresh blueberry muffins would be great!

1-1/2 sticks butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking sodea
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (this is the only salt I ever use)
1-1/2 cups frozen blueberries (NOT thawed)
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24 muffins cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, sour cream and milk. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed. Fold in the blueberries and cranberries with a spatula and be sure the batter is completely mixed (keep the blueberries frozen until ready to use so they don't turn the batter purple any more than necessary).

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each about 2/3 full. Again, if you have not invested in the Large Scoop from Pampered Chef, you ought to. It is perfect for filling muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

I love how you can really see the blueberries and cranberries on the bottom of the muffins!


(adapted from Ina Garten on

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kraft Cheese Coupon RESET!

This is an AWESOME coupon when you can find the 8-oz. Kraft Cheese blocks B1G1. It has been reset on so print yours again now!! Hopefully we'll see a sale on the cheese soon. I have my coupons ready.

Hot Dog Pizza Pockets

Today was Cook-For-Kids-Day at my house! Yogurt Cups for breakfast and Pizza Pockets for dinner. This was super simple, and like the yogurt cups, could also be changed up with your favorites. Next time I'm going to add mushrooms to my pocket. Olives would be good too. You could leave out the hot dogs all together and do sausage or pepperoni. My husband really liked this one. I used the leftover pizza sauce I had for the Italian Sausage Calzones, but you could certainly use some spaghetti sauce if you had some on-hand.

1 Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough
3 hot dogs, sliced lengthwise into half-moons
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Roll out the pizza dough to form a rectangle on the baking sheet (if you're using the regular pizza dough, not the thin crust, you'll want to roll it out to about a 10 X 14 rectangle). Using a pizza wheel or a knife, cut into four 5-by-7-inch rectangles.

Spoon one-quarter of the chopped hot dog onto the center of each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border around the filling. Top the hot dogs with 1 tablespoon sauce and 3 tablespoons shredded cheese. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise over the filling, wrapping the dough around. Pinch and fold the edges together to secure. Repeat with all the rectangles. Cut 2 or 3 small vents in the top of each pocket. Bake until browned and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with green beans or celery sticks.


(adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

Kids Yogurt Cups

Ella is starting to learn her letters and loves saying what name corresponds with each letter. So, needless to say, Alpha Bits is popular around here. This week Publix had them B1G1 along with the Yoplait Yo-plus yogurt. The Spice of Life columnist, Dawn Hoover, sent me this yogurt parfait recipe out of her Kermit the Frog Kids Cookbook. I thought it would be a great one to use for Ella's favorites. Yogurt and Alpha Bits! I made a similar Yogurt Parfait several months ago. This recipe is really a method, and you can add whatever kind of yogurt, fruit and cereal that your family enjoys. Let the kids jump in and make their own. They're more likely to eat it if they have a hand in the process! This morning we turned this into a Mommy-and-me breakfast and shared the cup with some fruit on the side.

For one cup:

1 4-oz. yogurt cup
1/4 cup cereal (we used Post Alpha Bits)
dried cranberries or raisins
berries (we used frozen blueberries)

Put half the yogurt in the bottom of a cup. Layer in half of the cereal and berries. Repeat: yogurt, cereal, berries.

Try out different fruits and cereals with this. We used strawberry yogurt this morning, but vanilla is really Ella's favorite. The original recipe called for yogurt with bananas and raisins. Use your child's favorites!


(Thanks Dawn!)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lasagna Roll-ups

Sometimes I get tired of the same pasta-noodles-cheese combinations. I did this one a few years back, and to be honest, I've kind of forgotten about it! It is a little more time consuming than just a regular noodle-sauce-pasta-in-the-oven-dish, but it is so worth the extra prep work. I love ricotta cheese, and the parsley gives it a slight burst of freshness. A "bunch" of parsley was $.88 at Wal-mart the other day. So its nothing that will break your wallet. Of course, if you don't have any, its perfectly fine without it. I think most of you probably have your own version of this. Let me know how you do yours! And if you want to go for a change, try this one next time!

9-12 lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 regular sized jar spaghetti sauce (plus 1-1/2 cups extra)
1 15-oz. ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella or Italian blend)
1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Lay out on a work surface to cool when done. You might want to drizzle them with a little olive oil or spray with a butter flavored cooking spray (that's what I did).

Meanwhile, brown the beef in a skillet over medium heat until brown, breaking up the bigger pieces with a wooden spoon. Drain off excess fat (I use a baster for this most of the time). Pour 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of a 9- inch baking dish. Pour the rest of the sauce in the meat. Simmer over low about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 2 cups shredded mozzarella, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and salt and pepper (to taste). Mix well.

Lay out a lasagna noodle. Spread approximately 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over noodle. Top with approximately 2 tablespoons of meat. Gently roll up and place on top of sauce in baking dish. Repeat until your dish is full. My dish held 9 lasagna rolls. Top with any meat that is left. Pour an additional 1-1/2 cups sauce over lasagna rolls. Top with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (or more if you feel adventurous!)

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with salad and breadsticks.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nectarine Puffs

Tonight I ate dessert before dinner. Shame on me! I have chicken pot pies in the oven (I have them from a freezer-cooking day), so while they're cooking I decided to go ahead and make these puffs. And eat them too! They were very quick and would be great for entertaining. Very light and refreshing. You could substitute Cool Whip for the whipped cream, but the homemade kind is SO good. Let's invite Spring to come early. I think this dessert will do the trick! This week Publix had nectarines $1.97 lb and I also saw a good price at my local farmer's market. I got the cream at Wal-mart for less than $1 and the puff pastry was a little over $3. A whole box would make 18 of these, so keep the rest in the freezer, and only pull out as much as you're going to use.

Makes 9:

One 9-inch sheet puff pastry dough (2 come in a box)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced
3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I forgot to add this)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the pastry on a floured work surface and cut into 3 strips (its already folded in 3 sections). Cut each strip into 3 squares. Arrange the squares on a baking sheet, brush with melted butter and sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar on top. Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes. Let cool.

In a bowl, sprinkle the nectarine slices with 1 tablespoon sugar; toss. Splenda could be substituted here to save some calories.

In another bowl, whip the cream, remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla until stiff (I used my stand mixer...much faster. Not to mention my arm is still intact).

Split each puff pastry square into 2 layers. Top the bottom half with the nectarine slices and a dollop of whipped cream (also could substitute reduced fat Cool Whip). Top with the "tops". I didn't do this, but I bet these would be great drizzled with a little bit of honey.

**I divided this recipe in thirds. I only made 3. I used the other puff pastry for my chicken pot pies! :)


(adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

Coupons: Print Now

We are getting close to the end of the month and the coupons on the internet printable sites will be changing or resetting. Be sure to print the ones you think you may need because they may not be there the 1st of February.

Some of the good ones I see:

Kraft Natural Cheese $1/2 (Great paired with B1G1)

Natures's Own Sandwich Bread Rounds $.75/1

Birds Eye Voila $1/1

Nestle Candy $1/2 (For Valentines)

Cooking Light Magazine $1/1 (Awesome Recipes)

Huggies Diaper & Wipes (Various)

Glade Candles $3/2 (Great for Clearance Finds)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pasta Carbonara Florentine

Spinach is not something that I eat often. I don't dislike it, its just not something that I'm full of ideas for! But, it is Super healthy and should be eaten more often. So, to pull myself in, I combined it with pasta, eggs, and bacon! Pasta Carbonara is a pasta dish made with spaghetti, bacon, Parmesan cheese and eggs. Tonight I used fettuccine because I had some Buitoni left over from a previous sale that needed to be used. There are many different ways to make this. Just about everybody has a recipe for it. I chose one from Cooking Light tonight. The original recipe called for the bacon to be cooked in a skillet, and then the onion sauteed in the bacon drippings. I saved a little bit of "healthy" and cooked the bacon in the microwave, and sauteed the onions in a teaspoon of olive oil. The eggs and Parmesan cheese essentially become the "sauce". Very Yummy! I ate this as-is tonight, but it could be served with grilled chicken or asparagus. You could also leave the spinach out (its not traditionally in Pasta Carbonara) and serve a spinach salad on the side!

1 6-oz. package baby spinach
6 slices bacon
1 cup onion, finely chopped (I used about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 oz. spaghetti (or whatever long pasta you have on-hand)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 large egg white

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Saute spinach and a pinch of salt in 1 teaspoon olive oil for 1-2 minutes, until wilted. Remove and set aside.

Cook bacon and set aside. (I cooked mine in the microwave while the onions were sauteing)

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in same skillet and saute onion and garlic until tender, about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth; cook 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat. (I read the recipe wrong and added in 1 cup of chicken broth. I reduced it a little longer and it turned out fine!) Once reduced, remove from heat; keep warm.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well, reserving 1 tablespoon of cooking liquid. Immediately add pasta and 1 tablespoon reserved cooking liquid to onion mixture in skillet. Add spinach and bacon; stir well to combine. Place skillet over low heat.

Combine cheese, egg, egg white, salt and pepper (to taste) and stir with a whisk. Add to pasta mixture, tossing well to coat. Cook 3 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat. Add salt and black pepper if needed. Black pepper is really good on this!


(adpated from Cooking Light)

Publix and Wal-mart Trip 1/27

I decided to break up the trips today. I do most, if not all, of my grocery shopping at Publix every week. I pull the inspiration for my Menu from the Publix sale ad. I will occassionally wander to Winn Dixie or Wal-mart if there's something good on sale, or if I need something that's not on sale (Wal-mart generally has cheaper base prices). I needed several non-sale items today, so I thought it would be worth my time to make two trips. I also went through the Wal-mart deals posted on Couponing to Disney. Pretty good trips. I didn't have as many coupons as I would have liked to, but I think I did pretty well considering!

(Publix and Wal-mart combined)


Order Total: $9.40
Sales Tax: $3.12
Grand Total: $12.52
Savings: $63.63

What's in the Buggy:

(1) El Monterrey Burritos (not pictured)
(1) Half Gallon Publix Chocolate Milk
(2) Gallons Publix Milk
(4) Yoplait Yo-Plus Yogurt
(4) Pillsbury Toaster Strudels (not pictured)
(1) Publix Hot Dog Buns
(2) Prego Pasta Sauce
(2) Hidden Valley Dressing
(2) Nabisco Grahams
(2) 6-pk Craisin Snacks
(1) Oscar Mayer Beef Franks
(1) 1.5 lb. Nectarines
(1) Fresh Attitude Baby Spinach

Coupons Used:

(1) $5 any El Monterrey Product (Facebook)
(1) FREE half gallon chocolate milk WYB 2 gallons
(4) $1/1 Yo-Plus Yogurt
(4) $1/1 Pillsbury Toaster Strudels
(2) $1/1 Hidden Valley Dressing
(1) $2/2 Nabisco Crackers
(1) $5/$25 Rite Aid
(1) $10 Walgreens RR (Tostitos Deal)


Grand Total: $28.65
Coupon Savings: $3.75

What's in the Buggy:

(1) Bag of Sweet Onions
(1) Parsley
(3) Bananas
(1) No-Yolk Egg Noodles
(1) Great Value Lasagna Noodles
(1) Kraft Parmesan Cheese
(1) Great Value Black Beans
(2) Cheese Nips
(1) Great Value Heavy Cream
(1) Great Value Ricotta Cheese
(1) Puff Pastry
(1) 6-0z. Post AlphaBits
(1) McCormick Curry Powder
(1) Great Value Cereal Bars
(1) 16-oz. Block Mozzarella Cheese

Coupons Used:

(1) $1/1 Kraft Parmesan Cheese
(1) $2/2 Nabiso Crackers
(1) $.75/1 No-Yolk Nooldes

Grand Total Today: $41.17
Total Savings Today: $67.38

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Apple Dumplings

I found this recipe tucked in my binder, clipped from Rachael Ray Magazine. I've seen different versions of this floating around. I liked this one because it used Mountain Dew- which I stocked up on last week at CVS. I couldn't wait to tell my husband the secret ingredient in this! I am not a fan of Mountain Dew, but oh does it do wonderful stuff to this dessert! Don't forget to take the foil off the second half of baking like I did! Because of that, mine took a little longer in the oven, but it was worth the wait. The apples were tender and sweet. This is a quick ode to apple pie. Perfect for company because it looks fancy, especially with a side of ice cream, and its a cinch to make!

Flour for dusting
1 8-oz. can crescent rolls
1 Granny Smith apple- peeled and wedged (I used Gala)
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup Mountain Dew

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a surface dusted with flour, unfold the rolls. Place an apple wedge on the wide edge of each "triangle" and roll up (I used the Big and Buttery crescents so mine made 6. I also used two smaller Gala apples, so I rolled two wedges each). Place the dumplings in an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar and cinnamon over medium heat; stir in the Mountain Dew. Pour the mixture over the dumplings. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes; Remove the foil and bake 15 minutes longer, or until golden brown on top. Serve with vanilla ice cream. YUMMY!


(adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Publix Sneak Peek 1/27 and Menu

Michelle has the sneak peek up at I Heart Publix! There are some great deals this week! Not a whole lot in the dairy and meat categories. A lot of the good deals are on the pre-packaged and processed foods. I will be pulling some from my stockpile this week. I listed the sale ingredients from this weeks' ad as well as the main ingredients for the recipes that I'll be pulling from my stockpile. Hopefully this will help you with your shopping trip if you plan to make any of these with me this week! I am also planning a trip to the famers market to price compare some of the produce needed. This week may be a little more out-of-pocket because I do have a few things that will not be on sale. Don't forget to go to to print out your shopping list tomorrow, or try Michelle's grocery spreadsheet on I Heart Publix!

Here's the Menu I plan to post this week:

Pasta Carbonara Florentine (Wednesday 1/27)
Nectarine Puffs (Thursday 1/28)
Lasagna Roll-ups (Friday 1/29)
Kids' Yogurt Cups (Saturday 1/30)
Kids' Pizza Pockets (Saturday 1/30)
Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins (Sunday 1/31)
Flatbread Tacos with Ranch Sour Cream (Sunday 1/31)
Chicken Cranberry Couscous (Monday 2/01)
Cranberry Apple Nutbread (Tuesday 2/02)

Here are the featured items from the Sneak Peek:

Oscar Mayer Beef Frank B1G1
Pace Salsa B1G1
Hidden Valley Ranch B1G1
Ocean Spray Craisins B1G1
Ronzoni Pasta B1G1
Prego Pasta Sauce B1G1
Yoplait Yo-plus Yogurt B1G1
Post AlphaBits Cereal B1G1
Oscar Mayer Bacon 2/$6
Baby Spinach 2/$5
Nectarines $1.97 lb.
Rotel Tomatoes (Advantage Buy)
Sargento Shredded Cheese 2/$4
Poly-O Mozzarella Cheese 2/$6

Main items from my stockpile:

Pillsbury Pizza Dough (last week sale)
Pillsbury Biscuits (last week sale)
Hunts Diced Tomatoes (last week sale)
Frozen Blueberries
Sour Cream
Chicken Broth
Near East Couscous
Chicken Breasts
Ground Beef
Evaporated Milk

Other items needed:

Puff Pastry
Heavy Cream
Black or Pinto Beans
Lasagna Noodles
Ricotta Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Curry Powder

Produce needed:
Baby Spinach (sale at Publix)
Nectarines (sale at Publix)

Things I consider staples:

Baking Essentials (flour, sugar, baking powder, etc.)
Olive Oil

I hope this helps everyone! Please don't hesitate to ask me if you have a question about anything. I will cook the recipe on the night I have listed above, and post the recipe afterwards. Some things don't always make it to the table. Last Saturday night, I didn't make the chicken and waffles AGAIN because I had a date-night with my Mom! If I don't get something posted, and you were really looking forward to it, e-mail me and I'll send the recipe!

Tonight its Apple Dumplings! Yay! A good use for all that Mountain Dew I stocked up on last week...

Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Chicken

I love chicken! It is so easy and versatile, and very healthy when you throw it on the grill. Why do I have to mess it up with bacon? Because it gives it great flavor. If you're watching your waistline, just pull the bacon off after it cooks. Me? I ate the bacon. I also warmed up the leftover Mashed Potatoes Gratin tonight, and I enjoyed it more than last night. I might have been too full of rice pudding last night to really enjoy it! We all have chicken in the freezer and bacon in the fridge, so light the grill and try this yummy chicken!

4 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
4 slices of bacon, more if you have larger chicken breasts
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Trim chicken breasts of excess fat. Season with salt and pepper. Place in large zippy bag and pound slightly with the flat side of a meat tenderizer (if you don't have one, a heavy skillet will do). In a shallow dish, combine oil and Worcestershire sauce. Coat chicken breasts. Fold the thinner side up under the chicken and secure with a toothpick (this helps it to cook evenly). Wrap one piece of bacon around each breast, securing with toothpicks. If its not enough to wrap all the way around (the bacon shrinks while cooking), then use two pieces. It certainly won't hurt anything!

Cook on the grill over low/medium-low heat approximately 5-6 minutes on each side or until no longer pink.


(adapted from my Father-in-law, Bill Ammons)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mashed Potato Gratin

There are so many different ways to make this. I think, ideally, this was born as a way to use leftover mashed potatoes. So, how the dish turns out really depends on how you do mashed potatoes! I didn't have any mashed potatoes waiting around in my fridge, so I mashed some up tonight. Before I really got into cooking I always made boxed mashed potatoes. I don't know why I thought the "real" mashed potatoes would be so intimidating. They really couldn't be easier, and actually don't take much more time. Sometimes I go the healthier route and mash them with just a tad of butter and use chicken broth instead of milk. Tonight I went all out! I added cheese, sour cream, butter and milk. Make your potatoes however you like them. And I would almost recommend this dish be made with the leftover potatoes. If you are going to go through the trouble to make mashed potatoes, eat them as just that...mashed potatoes! Next time I make this, I will use leftovers. I would have been just as happy eating the mashed potatoes the way they were on the stove tonight :) So, as you can see, this one wasn't one of my favorites.

5 cups leftover mashed potatoes
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray (use the size that will hold the amount of potatoes you have). Fill the dish with the potatoes. Top with bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and bacon. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden (I put mine on broil for a few minutes to get it brown).

Great way to use leftovers!!


(adapted from

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Monte Cristo

I love making a Monte Cristo sandwich. Cheryl's Cafe in Spanish Fort has a great one! This is a different version of the sandwich that is great for brunches and showers. It is built by layering cooked, flat crescent rolls with ham, cheese, turkey and raspberry jam and cooked through in the oven. I still had some crescent rolls in my fridge from the last sale, and this was the perfect way to use them. And I love raspberry jelly! Mozzarella could probably be substituted for the muenster cheese. You just want a mild, white cheese. You could also half it, if you just wanted to make breakfast for 4 people. Just make sure that you have enough crescent roll to make 3 layers.

2 8-oz crescent rolls
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons honey
6-oz. thin sliced turkey breast
6-oz. thin sliced ham
6-oz. muenster cheese, sliced or shredded
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1 tablepoon sesame seeds

Unroll dough and press into rectangles divided by the score marks, mashing the "triangle" seams together (I used the Big and Buttery crescents, so I ended up with 6 rectangles- 2 rectangles for each layer). Place on baking sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons honey and butter (I melted mine together in the microwave before brushing). Bake for 8-12 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Cool 15 minutes.

Layer on a baking sheet: crust, ham, turkey, cheese, crust, ham, turkey, preserves, crust. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons honey and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake another 10-15 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting.

I like serving it sprinkled with powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup!

**I made the crescents last night and stored them in a large zippy bag. I assembled the Monte Cristo this morning and kept it in the fridge for a few hours before actually baking it. If you do put it in the fridge, increase the baking time. You want the meat warmed through and the cheese melted.


(adapted from my Mom, Sandy Sumlin)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Italian Sausage Calzones

We made this recipe a while back at a Pampered Chef party we had at my sister-in-law's. I've been wanting to make it ever since, and just never did. It was so easy and so yummy! This week Publix had the Pillsbury Pizza Crusts and the Johnsonville Italian Sausage on sale. Everything else I had in my stockpile. This recipe makes two side-by-side calzones. I cut each one into 6 slices. One and half did me right! Pizza is something that is really good to make at home yourself. You can add the things that your family likes. And I just hate to pay for pizza. I cringe when I have to write the $20 or more check for the pizza guy. The ones from home just taste so much better! I have a really awesome pizza recipe that I came up with a while back, but we'll just have to wait for that one! Here's how you do the calzones...

**I completely forgot to add the sauce in the sausage mixture! We just dipped it instead :)

1 lb. Italian sausage
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can olives, sliced
1 8-oz. jar pizza sauce (more for dipping)
2 tubes refrigerated pizza crust (I used the thin crust)
1 8-oz. block mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook sausage in a medium skillet until browned, breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon. Drain off excess fat. Return to pan and add onion, garlic and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Stir in pizza sauce and sliced olives.

Unroll one package of pizza dough across the entire rectangular baking sheet or baking stone (I used my large rectangular baking stone from Pampered Chef). Sprinkle half of the cheese in two rows on the dough with about 2-inches in between (remember you're making two long calzones). Top cheese with the meat mixture, dividing evenly between the two rows. Top each row with the remaining cheese.

Unroll second package of pizza dough and stretch to cover the top of the first. Press along the edges to seal. Press down the center creating the two calzones. Use a pizza cutter to cut down the center of the dough, making two separate calzones. Press the seam to seal. Lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cut five two-inch slits in top of each calzone to vent.

Bake 22-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with extra sauce for dipping.


(adapted from Pampered Chef)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cheesy Corn Bites

This is such a great recipe! Especially with the Super Bowl around the corner. Not to mention, it puts those Tostitos Scoops to good use! I found this one several years ago and have made it a couple of times before. It only calls for a handful of ingredients, all of which I had on hand (except the chives, but I just left them out).You can add so much to these and really jazz them up. See below the recipe for some of my suggestions and how I changed it up tonight. One of the comments on the Rachael Ray site said they used biscuits shells like the Taco Puffs and filled them with this cheesy filling. What a great idea! I saved some of the filling and will do that on Saturday! I'll update this with the details.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (or whatever you have)
1 large egg
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (I used canned)
48 Tostitos Scoops
chopped chives or cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, egg and corn (I used my stand mixer).

Arrnage the chips on a large rimmed baking sheet and place 1 teaspoon corn mixture in each. Bake until the filling sets. About 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the corn bites with the chives; serve warm.

**I sauteed some diced chicken breasts (2) with taco seasoning. I wasn't sure how I was going to work it, but I ended up topping the corn bites with a chunk of the seasoned cooked chicken after they came out the oven. YUM-O! You could really dress it up however you like. Add the chives, a pickled jalapeno, some sour cream, maybe a slice of an olive...its endless! Put this one on the Game-Day spread!!


(adpated from Rachael Ray Magazine)

Publix Trip 1/21

I totally left my $10 Walgreens RR on my fridge tonight! So bummed! Because of that, my total OOP was a little more than I had planned. Not the best trip, but not bad either. They had most everything in stock. I will go back this weekend and get the things they were out of and use my Register Rewards.

Order Total: $34.03
Sales Tax: $4.11
Grand Total: $38.14
Savings: $56.74

What's in the Buggy:

(2) Stacey's Pita Chips
(1) Pillsbury Classic White Cake Mix
(7) jars Earth's Best Organic Baby Food
(2) 6-pks Kozy Shack Rice Pudding (LOVE this stuff!)
(2) Pillsbury Pizza Crusts
(4) Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls
(1) dozen Egglands Best Eggs
(2) Dole Diced Pears
(1) Ragu Pizza Sauce
(6) Hunt's Diced Tomatoes
(2) Ritz Crackers
(3) Contadina Tomato Paste
(1) Johnsonville Italian Sausage
(1) Publix Bacon
(1) 5-lb. bag Idaho potatoes
(1) 3-lb. bag Gala apples
(3) navel oranges

Coupons Used:

(1) $1/7 Earth's Best MQ
(2) $1/1 Baked Chips (CVS)
(2) $1/1 Stacey's Pita Chips MQ
(3) $1/2 Pillsbury Pizza Crust and Cinnamon Rolls MQ
(1) $.35 Egglands Best 1 dozen eggs MQ
(1) $.75/2 Dole Fruit Cups MQ
(2) $1/1 Quaker Oatmeal
(2) $1/3 Hunt's Product
(1) $2/2 Nabisco Crackers
(1) $.75/3 Contadina Tomato Paste
(1) $.55 Johnsonville Italian Sausage
$5/$25 Rite Aid

50 Game-Day Dips

Are you looking for some party food for the upcoming football games? Looking for a dip recipe to use all of these Tostitos and Stacey's Pita Chips you've been buying? Well, look no further because I found the answer today while flipping through the lastest Food Network Magazine. There was a little booklet inside with 50 Game-Day Dips!

Some of the ones I liked:

Red Pepper Hummus
Roasted Garlic-Bacon Dip
Spinach-Walnut Dip
Seven-Layer Dip
Spicy Ranch Dip
Queso Dip
Classic Salsa
Ricotta-Tomato Dip
Pizza Dip

These dips would also be great on veggie trays. Check it out because these are PERFECT for the upcoming games and to help you go through your newly replenished chip stash!

50 Game-Day Dips

And tonight I'm posting a great appetizer recipe using Tostitos Scoops...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chicken Spaghetti

If you haven't checked out The Pioneer Woman website, you must do so right now! I found her website from Shannon at The Bargain Buggy. She also has a cookbook which I recently ordered from Amazon. You can check it out HERE. Mine came in the mail today!! My sister-in-law requested a Chicken Spaghetti recipe last week, and I didn't really have one to give her. So, I went in search of one. I found this one on The Pioneer Woman website. YUMMY! I had everything in my stockpile from previous weeks' sales. I did have to stop by the local farmers market and pick up an onion and green pepper. No big deal- its on the way home from work :) I can't wait to eat leftovers tomorrow for lunch. These kinds of things always get better overnight in the fridge! Next time I might saute the peppers and onions before mixing them in. My husband didn't really like the crunch. Other than that it was perfect Chicken Spaghetti.

2 cups cooked chicken (I sauteed 3 breasts)
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two-inch pieces (just shy of one box)
2 cans Cream of Mushroom (I used chicken and celery)
2 cups shredded cheese (sharp cheddar is best)
1/4 cup green pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 4-oz. jar diced pimentos, drained (I didn't have these)
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup additional shredded cheese (for the top)

Cook spaghetti until al dente. Do not overcook! When spaghetti is cooked, combine with the remaining ingredients except the additional 1 cup of cheddar. (Or Saute the pepper and onion until softened, then mix together with remaining ingredients).

Place mixture in casserole dish and top with remaining 1 cup cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immeditealy: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese starts to get too brown, cover with foil).

**I used whole wheat noodles, 98% fat free soups, reduced sodium chicken broth and reduced fat cheese and it was delicious!


(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Publix Sneak Peek 1/20 and Menu

I cannot believe its already time for another week at Publix! Michelle at I Heart Publix got the Sneak Peek posted yesterday. You can check it out HERE. This week wasn't awesome for me. I picked a few things from the ad to highlight, but it looks like a lot of the things will be coming from my stockpile. Be sure to head over to tomorrow to print out your shopping list. Also, Michelle at I Heart Publix has a great grocery printable spreadsheet to help you calculate your totals!

Here's the items I plan to highlight this week:

Bertolli Pasta Sauce B1G1
Aunt Jemina Pancake Mix B1B1
Musselman's Chunky Applesauce B1G1
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 3/$5
Pillsbury Pizza Crust 3/$5
Kraft Cracker Barrel Cheese 2/$6
Johnsonville Italian Sausage 2/$5
Hillshire Farm Lunch Meats (Ham & Turkey) 2/$7
Publix Bacon 2/$5
Idaho Potatoes- 5-lb bag $1.99
Gala Apples- 3-lb. bag $2.49

Menu I plan to post:

Chicken Spaghetti (Wednesday 1/20)
Cheesy Corn Bites (Thursday 1/21)
Italian Sausage Calzones (Friday 1/22)
Monte Cristo (Saturday 1/23)
Chicken and Honey-Buttered Waffles (didn't make)
Mashed Potato Gratin (Sunday 1/24)
Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Chicken (Monday 1/25)
Apple Dumplings (Tuesday 1/26)

Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the ingredients. You can plan ahead and make some of this with me! Once I get my final trip planned, if I make any changes, I will be sure to reflect them here.

I may or may not do the Cranberry Almond Couscous tonight. I am exhausted and am planning my escape to the bedroom early! :) Please forgive me!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Broccoli Mushroom Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

These potatoes turned out so pretty! This is definitely one you could make when you have guests. I served it with seared chicken breasts, but it would be GREAT with a steak. If you don't groove on mushrooms, you could certainly leave them out. I happen to love them. I will enjoy one for lunch tomorrow! Right now Publix has their potatoes, broccoli and mushrooms on sale. Ella loved this. Go figure! Sometimes I have a hard time getting her to eat green beans. Put broccoli, cheese and mushrooms in a potato and she eats it up!

2 baking potatoes (I used 3 smaller-sized russets)
1 cup broccoli florets (I steamed mine before mixing them)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I used an 8-oz. container)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Worchestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mozzarella or other white cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Pierce potatoes with a fork; arrange on paper towels in the microwave. Microwave on High 16 minutes, rotating and flipping in 4-minute intervals. Let stand 5 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil together in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for approximately 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add Worcestershire sauce, broccoli, salt and pepper. (If you don't steam your broccoli add it in the beginning with the mushrooms, so it has time to soften). Remove from heat.

Cut each potato in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shell. Put pulp in a medium bowl and mix in the milk, 2 tablespoons butter, sour cream, cheese and salt/pepper. Mash with a fork or potato masher until blended. Add to the broccoli mixture and stuff into the potato shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden on top.


(adapted from Cooking Light)

Mid-Week Deals 1/18

There were a few deals I just could not pass up today. One- the Pepsi deal at CVS. My husband loves Mountain Dew. Two- the Tostitos chips and dip deal at Walgreens with RR and Rebate. All for FREE! I know, hard to believe! I also needed to go to Publix. I had my last $5/4 Kellogg's coupon that expired today and it goes great with my milk coupons from Ebay. So, had to do that one. Also, I saw on IHeartPublix today that the Pillsbury Pizza Dough is going to be on sale next week. I have a calzone recipe I want to make using the Italian sausage that is on sale through tomorrow, so I had to grab some while I was there this evening. Overall, great trips!!

TOTAL for 3 stores:

Grand Total OOP: $37.31 (including tax)
Savings: $ 68.55
RR and EBCs: $20.00
Rebates: $7.50

Total after ALL savings: $9.81
Total Savings: $96.05

(6) bags Tostitos
(3) Tostitos dips

(6) 12-pks Mountain Dew

(2) Gallons Publix Milk
(1) 1/2 Gallon Horizons Organic Chocolate Milk
(4) Kelloggs Cereal
(1) Italian Sausage**
(2) Tostitos Salsa
(1) 8-oz. sliced mushrooms
(1) 4-pk Campbell's Tomato Soup

**Publix let me have the Johnsonville Italian Sausage for $2.99 since they were out of the sausage that was on sale. This has happened twice and they are always so accommodating. Always ask the meat department about something if you don't see it out. They are more than happy to help!

I will get the Sneak Peek link and Menu posted tomorrow. Still brainstorming!

50 Snacks- 100 Calories of Less

I rarely watch what I eat. I love food too much to be on a diet. Just saying the word "diet" makes me want to eat! When I cook like I have been the last few months, my jeans remind me that I need to snack healthier. I feel that if I make healthy choices during the day, I can splurge on dinner and not feel so guilty if I eat pasta covered with cheese. Its the mindless eating during the day that gets me in trouble, and the chocolate ice cream craving at 10:00 at night. So, on the nights where you find yourself having a tad bit of willpower, check out these snack ideas to help you with healthier snacking choices.

50 Snacks- 100 Calories or Less

Happy Snacking!

FREE Cookbook Download

My Mom used to have one of these cookbooks several years ago. The reason I say "used" to is because I lost it. That's right. All of these great recipes gone. Well, not anymore! Look what I came across today.

31 Secret Copycat Recipes- Download FREE HERE

Here's some of the recipes you'll find:

Cheesecake Factory Bruschetta
Copeland's of New Orleans Beer Cheese Ball
Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Cheeseburger in Paradise
Wendy's Chili
O'Charley's Loaded Potato Soup
Olive Garden Breadsticks and House Dressing

I've already downloaded this and printed out the Wendy's Chili.

Check it out!!

31 Top Secret Recipes FREE eCookbook HERE

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Bread Pudding

The last time I bought Lender's Bagels B1G1 one whole bag sat in my refrigerator until they were too old to eat. I wasn't going to let that happen this time, so I searched out a recipe to make something sweet. Nothing sweet ever goes to waste in my house! I came across this one and it appealed to me because you whip it up and stick it straight in the oven. No sitting in the fridge to soak. Put it in the oven while you eat dinner, and dessert is ready when you're done! Most of the ingredients you should have on hand too. I did have to buy cream at Publix, but it was only $1.29. So, nothing that will blow your totals :)

You may have noticed that the Chicken and Honey-Buttered Waffles have slipped by the wayside this week. If you were really looking forward to that one, send me an e-mail and I'll send the recipe to you. Otherwise, I'll post it again when I put it on the menu another week. I also didn't make Sunday's Best Chicken because the Essentials have changed at Publix, and the whole chicken was no longer on it didn't find its way to my buggy.

In the meantime, break out the Lender's Bagels and make the family smile with this one...

6 cinnamon raisin bagels, torn into bite-size pieces
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 9X9 baking dish.

Place torn bagels in a large mixing bowl; pour over milk and cream. Let absorb for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter and let it cool. When cooled, mix with beaten eggs and remaining ingredients.

Combine with bagel mixture. Pour into prepared baking dish; place in center of oven. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean (mine took a little more).

Serve warm alongside vanilla ice cream (ice cream optional, of course, that's just the way I like it!)


(adapted from RecipeZaar)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Taco Chili Mac

Wowzers! What a nice combination this dish delivers! I wanted seconds, but I was so full from eating Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies all afternoon, I couldn't swallow another bite. I don't know why I haven't made this sooner. I've been carrying it around for no telling how long in my binder. My Mimi serves her chili over macaroni noodles, so I thought it would be nice to do the same here. This gives a Mexican twist to the original Chili Mac, and oh what a nice twist it is! This week Publix has their carrots, onions, ground beef and salsa on sale. Winn Dixie had their Old El Paso taco seasoning and Ronzoni Smart Taste B1G1 last week. This is warm and comforting and a nice change for your regular dinner menu. You have GOT to try this one!

1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup corn kernels
1 can black beans, drained
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce (see below for my substitution)
1-1/2 cups salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
1 box pasta (I used elbow noodles)

Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain excess fat. Add onions, carrots and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. Stir in tomato sauce, salsa, corn, beans and taco seasoning packet. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally.
(**I did not have any tomato sauce, so I used the leftover tomato paste I used for the Italian Sausage Penne Bake. Use 3/4 cup tomato paste and mix with 1 cup water).

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

On a plate or bowl, lay down a bed of noodles. Ladle chili over pasta. Place a dollop of sour cream in the center and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediatley.


(adapted from Taste of Home)

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

I ran across this recipe the other day while visiting one of my favorite food blogs, Girl Gone Gourmet. She really has some great recipes, and this was no exception. I saw the picture and knew I had to make these. Perfect timing too, because I had just bought two more cans of the quick-cooking oats from Walgreens when they were on sale. I ended up paying $.50 a can after coupons! You can do more with oatmeal then just cooking a good breakfast. Although, the Cranberry Vanilla Oatmeal I made a couple of weeks ago was really good! This recipe stood out because I had everything on hand including the chocolate chunks from another Publix B1G1 sale before the holidays. I've stayed in my jammies all day, and curling up in my chair with a glass of milk, these cookies and my laptop was my ideal Saturday afternoon!

1-1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another large bowl cream the butter and two sugars until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla and eggs and continue to mix until the ingredients are well combined. With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients along with the milk. Mix until a stiff dough forms and then fold in the chocolate and nuts.

Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto greased cookie sheets and space about an inch apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges. Allow to cool on the pan slightly before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.


(adapted from

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Italian Sausage Penne Bake

I changed this up a bit from the original recipe I played with a few years ago. Publix had their Italian sausage on sale for $2.99 lb. In my original recipe I used some of the chicken sausage that you can find in some of the grocery stores. Really, either one works. If you do use the chicken sausage cut it in chunks. Tonight's version was especially good! I had to change it up to use some of the things I had on hand (it calls for cans of diced tomatoes...I used Ragu). Like Shannon at The Bargain Buggy mentioned today, you have to be adaptable and make use of your stockpile. Sure, I could have spent more tonight and got the tomatoes at the grocery store, but I knew I could play with the recipe some, and it would turn out great. Actually, my husband said it was one of my better dinners! "Yay for me," as Ella says.

1 box penne pasta (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste)
1-1.5 lbs. Italian sausage (5 links), casings removed
1 jar Ragu
1 tablespoon tomato paste (use $1/1 Muir Glen to get it for $.09)
1/2 10-oz. jar Classico Sun-dried Tomato Pesto (the kicker!)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used Mozzarella)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (I use Kraft)

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat about 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add sausage, with the casings removed, and saute until brown. Crumble with the back of a wooden spoon while cooking. Remove to a paper towel to drain off excess fat. Return to skillet. Add tomato paste, Ragu and pesto. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Combine pasta and sausage mixture, and spoon into a 13 X 9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with the cheeses. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

Now, I realize that the pesto is probably never on sale, but I think it makes this dish DELISH! The flavors are just so wonderful. I picked up my jar at Wal-mart before I started couponing , so I can't remember how much it was. I can't image it being more than $3.00 or so. But, if you can't bring yourself to splurge on the pesto here's the original recipe for the sauce...

Here is the original ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
sprinkle of salt, oregano, crushed red pepper (to taste)
3 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

Add garlic to the sausage and saute while the sausage is cooking. Drain excess fat from sausage and return to pan. Add the seasonings, tomato paste, and tomatoes. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Assemble as directed above.

I definitely think that the pesto version is better. But, the tomatoes were on sale the other week at Publix, so you may have a lot to use in your stockpile. Whichever version you do choose, be sure to leave a comment below so that others will know how it turned out for you!


Publix Trip 1/14

Whoo Hoo! I was really happy with today's trip. I spent a little more time finding coupons- on the internet and in my own stash. I got my coupons organized over the weekend, and it paid off today at the store. I still didn't save over $100 like I was wanting to, but I got pretty close! I even bought things not in the sales ad, but I found coupons for them. Here's what I got...

Order Total: $19.28
Sales Tax: $5.40
Grand Total: $24.68
Savings: $96.84
Register Rewards Used: $18.00

What's In The Buggy:

2 Gallons Publix Milk
1 Half Gallon Chocolate Milk
1 Head Broccoli
1 5-lb. bag potatoes
1 bag celery
12 Dannon Light-n- Fit Yogurt
2 Lenders Bagels
3 Boxes I Can't Believe Its Not Butter
1 Double Tub I Can't Believe Its Not Butter
1 Pompeian Olive Oil
4 Kellogg's Cereal
4 Del Monte Cut Green Beans
1 Thomas' Bagel Thins
3 Goldfish Crackers
1 Motts Apple Sauce
4 Chef Boyardee
2 Muir Glen Tomato Paste
1 Hefty Trash Bags 38-count
3 4-pk GE light bulbs
2 pk. Ground Round
1 pk. Publix Italian Sausage
2 16-oz. Friendship Sour Cream
1 Publix Heavy Cream

I had some requests to show the coupons I used. I will start posting that with my trip from now on.

Coupons used:

(1) $5/$25 Rite Aid
(3) $1.50/1 GE Light Bulb MQ (with Target logo)
(1) $5/4 Kelloggs MQ (with Target logo)
(1) $1/2 Lenders Bagels MQ
(2) $2/1 Gallon Milk WYB 2 Kellogs Cereal MQ (Ebay)
(1) FREE 1/2 gallon chocolate milk WYB 2 gallons milk MQ
(1) $1/1 Hefty Trash Bags MQ
(4) $1/1 I Can't Believe Its Not Butter MQ
(1) $1/4 Del Monte Canned Veggies MQ
(2) $1/1 Muir Glen Tomato Product MQ
(2) $.50/2 Chef Boyardee MQ
(2) $1/6 Dannon Light-n-fit MQ
(1) $1/2 Friendship Sour Cream Publix Q
(1) $1/2 Friendship Sour Cream MQ (Blinkie)
(1) $1/1 Pompeian Olive Oil MQ
(1) $10 Walgreens RR (Aquafina Deal)
(1) $3 Walgreens RR (Neosporin Lip Care Deal)
(1) $1 Walgreens RR (Electrasol Deal)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

There's not too many classic pairings like a grilled cheese and a nice hot bowl of tomato soup! Well, yes there are. There's cheeseburgers and fries, bacon and eggs, cake and ice cream...but that's not what I had for dinner. When you make a grilled cheese, do yourself a favor and get bread from the bakery. Bunny Bread just won't do. Cut big, thick slices and start stacking the cheese. You won't ever want it on sandwich bread again. I sent my husband to Publix tonight to get Goldfish and bread. I didn't have time to do my big trip tonight, but needed those two things for dinner. He coudn't find the five-grain bread that was in the ad, so he got a sliced Italian bread. The slices were too thin for me, so I doubled-stacked the grilled cheese like a Big Mac. I prefer Parmesan cheese in my tomato soup, but Ella and Clay like the goldfish. Publix has Campbell's tomato soup 4-pack on sale for $1.99. Bags of goldfish are on sale 10/$10- which means they only ring up $1 no matter how many you buy. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup is a great go-to dinner for busy weeknights.


Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 can water/milk
Goldfish or Parmesan (optional)

Pour soup in saucepan. Mix with one can filled with 1/2 water, 1/2 milk. Whisk together and heat over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer on low until ready to eat.

Grilled Cheese:

Loaf of good bakery bread (5-grain, Italian, Asiago Cheese)

Cut the bread on a diagonal to make the surface area bigger (larger slices). Spread the inside of the bread with mayonnaise. Top with cheese- whatever you have on hand- approximately two sandwich sized slices. Tonight I used Colby Jack and Mozzarella. I love Muenster too though. If you have Kraft Singles, go ahead and use them too! Use as much or as little as you like. Put the other slice of bread on top and butter. Put the buttered side of the sandwich face down on a hot skillet over medium heat. Let cook for approximately 3 minutes or until golden brown. While its cooking, spread butter on the other side. Flip and cook until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Serve alongside tomato soup. Garnish the soup with Goldfish crackers or Parmesan cheese.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Give Me Your Feedback!

I've been doing the blog for a couple of months now, and I've really got quite a few recipes cranked out! I want to make sure that you, the readers, are enjoying it and getting what you want. The way I come up with my menu has changed a little bit since I've started. When I started the blog, I had just started couponing. So, I was really building almost the entire menu with the sale items. Now, since I have a stockpile, I get my inspiration from the Publix weekly ad, but use a lot of the items from my stockpile. I got discouraged when trying to pull the bulk of the menu from sale items. I was buying things that I didn't necessarily need just so I could get things posted for the blog. That kind of defeats the purpose of me couponing and stockpiling to save money!

Now, I start looking at the Sneak Peek Ad on on Monday afternoons when Michelle gets it posted. I pull ideas from the sale items, go through my recipes, and decide on a menu. I'm not sure how much this is helping you though. Sure, there's recipes are on here, but are they really helping you plan shopping trips and giving you things to cook during the week when you shop? Or is it just something fun to read and put away for later?

I started clipping and collecting recipes about 6 years ago. I have a binder and folders FULL and have never really utilized them. I would get stuck in ruts and cook the same things over and over. This has really allowed me to try all of these recipes that I've been holding onto for so long.

This is where I need your feedback. Let me know what you think, what you need, what would be helpful for me to add. I do this because I love to cook, and I love to share good recipes that I find. I also do this because I want to show you that you can cook GREAT for your family while spending a lot less at the grocery stores. I really want to work with you to make this beneficial for all of us. Of course, I work full time and can't dedicate all of my time to the blog. If I could, I'm sure it would be fantastic! Let me know what you think!!

Comment below or send an email to

I would LOVE to hear what you think! I am doing this for you!

Publix Sneak Peek 1/13 and Menu

Its that time again, and Michelle has the Sneak Peek at up at IHeartPublix! The ad will start tomorrow in our area and run through next Tuesday. Be sure to get your coupons together and print the ones available now. Some of the campaigns end quick. Print your shopping list at to get your trip organized. This week I am getting fresh blueberries at Winn Dixie because they are B1G1. I also want to run by the local farmers market to see what they've got and do some price comparisons with the produce in the grocery stores. Here are some of the items I'm planning to highlight from Publix this week:

Near East Couscous B1G1
Lenders Bagels B1G1
Can't Believe Its Not Butter B1G1
Goldfish Crackers 10/$10
Mott's Applesauce 10/$10
Tostitos Salsa B1G1
Ground Round $2.49 lb.
Publix Italian Pork Sausage $2.99 lb.
Whole Chicken (Essentials) $.69 lb.
Broccoli $1.47
Idaho Potatoes 5 lb. bag $1.99
Baby Carrots $1.99 bag
Publix Yellow Onions $1.50 bag
Italian 5-grain Bakery Bread
Kraft Chunk Cheese 2/$4
Campbell's Tomato Soup 4-pk. $1.99

Here's the menu I plan to work on this week:

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Penne Sausage Bake
Chicken & Honey Buttered Waffles
Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
Taco Pasta
Sunday's Best Chicken
Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Pudding
Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Potatoes
Cranberry Almond Couscous

I may take tonight off :) Cereal anyone?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chicken Egg Wrap

I came up with this one night when I had some leftover grilled chicken breasts and wanted to change up dinner a bit. I happened to have some flour tortillas in the fridge and I figured if Chick-fil-a mixed chicken and eggs, then so could I! It turned out great. I've even made this in the morning before work, wrapped it in cling wrap, and warmed it up for lunch. This is a quick meal to throw together for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I made the chicken tonight, but you can certainly use leftover chicken breasts. Make sure you get some chicken breasts at Publix for $1.99 lb. before the sale ends Tuesday!

For two wraps:

1 chicken breast, cooked and sliced
4 eggs, scrambled
shredded cheese
light mayonnaise
2 flour tortillas

Spread mayo on two flour tortillas. In the center of the tortilla, layer chicken, eggs, then cheese. Fold up the bottom over the filling, then fold over the sides and roll. Wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for 34-45 seconds to melt everything together. If you make this to take to work for lunch, wrap in Glad wrap or Saran wrap and microwave right before eating.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Crock Pot Roast

I think this was the first time I have ever made a roast. Crazy, I know. I don't use the crock pot much because I'm gone so long during the day. I end up cooking things to death. And the last time I planned on making this, it was a Sunday and I totally forgot to put it in. I'm just not used to doing crock pot cooking. Luckily, at 11:30 this morning I remembered! I almost forgot again. I kept it simple. Publix had their boneless chuck roast on sale for $2.99 lb. Mine was about 2.5 lbs. I dumped it in the crockpot with two cans of soup and called it a day. It cooked while we were out running errands this afternoon. I may have to use that thing more often! It was really good! Even Ella ate some, and she has gotten picky these days. We all have "Cream of Something" soup in our pantries, so when you see a roast on sale, try this method out. You can add potatoes and carrots, I just didn't plan for that today. Here's the link to the original post I did a few weeks ago. Today I did Marilyn's recipe minus the veggies.

Here's Marilyn's recipe for Sunday Crock Pot Roast

Here's what I did today:

1 boneless chuck roast (about 2.5 lbs.)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

I seasoned the roast with salt and pepper. Then I dumped in one can of soup, laid the roast on top, and poured the other can over the roast. Covered the pot and set on low for 8 hours. It was done in about 7 hours. Delish!


No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

My MawMaw used to make this pie. The recipe makes two, so we would have one at her house and she would send one home with me! I am usually not a huge fan of peanut butter, but this pie is so light and delicious there's nothing not to love. Peanut butter and Cool Whip were both B1G1 this week at Publix. The pie crusts were on clearance at Walgreens for $.62! I did not need ANYTHING else sweet in my house, but I couldn't resist. My husband will enjoy this for sure!

For two pies:

1 8-oz. package cream cheese
1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
2 8-oz. tubs Cool Whip
2 9-inch cookie pie crusts (oreo or graham cracker)

Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping (I did all of this in my Kitchen Aid mixer).

Spoon into two 9-inch pie shells; cover and freeze or refrigerate until firm.

Some recipes said to put it in the freezer for at least 2 hours and allow to thaw on the counter for 20 minutes before serving. MawMaw kept hers in the fridge, so that's what I did. If you do keep it in the fridge, make it the night before so it has time to set-up. And I do just the opposite...I put it in the freezer about 20 minutes before serving.


(adapted from

Low-fat Raspberry Muffins

I have made these muffins several times and they never disappoint. Very, very yummy. This week Publix and Winn Dixie had yogurt on sale. I always have some in my fridge, so these are quick and easy to whip on on a Sunday morning. You can change up the flavor by using whatever jelly you have in your fridge. Raspberry happens to be my favorite, if you haven't noticed! The original recipe called for strawberry jelly and added cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top before they were baked. So, play around with this and find a way to make them that your family enjoys. This one works for us!

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
cooking spray
1/4 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Combine yogurt, butter, milk, and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each cup. Top each with 1 teaspoon jam. Top evenly with the remaining batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; place on a wire rack.


(adapted from Cooking Light)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Turkey Mini Meat Loaves

Ground turkey has slowly started to make its way into my house. I started using it mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with ground beef in spaghetti and taco salads. You really couldn't even tell the difference. Leave it to my niece Hannah to ask why some of the meat wasn't turning brown! The turkey does look a little different. It doesn't brown like beef does. But, it is better for you and is a lot more readily available than it used to be. And when you can catch it on sale, like this week at Publix, its even cheaper than the ground beef. I was definitely pleasantly surprised with how well this turned out. My husband really enjoyed it as well. If you haven't tried ground turkey yet, this is one way to start. The meat stays moist with the egg, breadcrumbs, and ketchup mixed in. And the Worcestershire sauce gives it a slightly beef-y flavor. And of course, nothing is complete in my house without a little cheese. I used a 50% reduced fat white cheddar and it was delish! I rounded out the fast, easy meal with boxed mashed potatoes and canned green beans...a real rarity in my house! I made homemade mashed potatoes last night...why, oh why, did I throw them out?!

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
6 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb. ground turkey (or ground turkey breast)
1 large egg, whisk slightly
4 tablespoons ketchup (plus more for topping)
Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or reduced-fat cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and onion and saute 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Combine onion and the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Spray 12 muffin cups or 6 mini loaves (I have an 8-loaf mini loaf pan that looks like a muffin pan) and divide the mixture evenly. Brush tops with extra ketchup. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes (depending on which pan you use) or until thermometer registers 165 degrees. Top with the shredded cheese the last 5 minutes of baking.


(adapted from Cooking Light- April 2007)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Coconut Snowball Crisps

I love coconut. I love sugar. I love Rice Krispies. goes without saying that I would love this recipe! When I was at Walgreens the other night I noticed that they had a lot of their baking items on clearance. Corn Starch $.50, 7-oz. bags coconut $1.00, Nabisco cookie pie crusts $.62. So I stocked up on these. The pie crust will be used this weekend when I make peanut butter pies. So much for New Year's Dieting Resolutions! These cookies are made with whipped egg whites so they are light and crispy when baked. The coconut gives it the perfect sweetness and the Rice Krispies give it a great crunch. I know you're supposed to wait until they cool, but I ate several of them warm out of the oven! They tasted great even before they firmed up. These would look really pretty on the table at a shower or luncheon. Sweet perfection.

*See Update below: I added chocolate chips the second time I made these!

3 large egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1/4 cup cornstarch

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 200 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (this is a must). Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until thick and foamy. Sprinkle in the confectioners' sugar and, once incorporated, beat at high speed until firm and glossy, about 3-5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss together the coconut, rice cereal and cornstarch. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold into the egg mixture until combined (this will be sticky).

Drop rounded teaspoons of the mixture about 1-inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake until firm and dry to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

**Update: January 9, 2010

I made this again today and they turned out even better than the first time. Why did I make them AGAIN? Well, they were just that good! And so easy, I remembered the recipe off the top of my head and didn't even have to dig through my folder. I chopped some Nestle Chocolate Chunks and added them to the second half of the batter. Tastes just like an Almond Joy or Mounds. YUMMY! If you store your coconut in the freezer like I do, be sure to let it come to room temperature before you mix. Also, the egg whites whip better if they are at room temperature. I mixed my Rice Krispies and coconut and put them in the 200 degree oven while it was preheating. This took the chill off the coconut. I also made them a tad bigger the second time. I used rounded tablespoons. (I actually used the Large Scoop from Pampered Chef again...Man, I love that thing!) This recipe was easier the second-go-around. This recipe is definitely on my "hot" list!!


(recipe from