What's For Dinner This Week?

Since it is now Thursday and I have yet to post a menu, I felt calling this post "Menu Plan Monday" would not be appropriate, so it shall be titled "What's For Dinner This Week" instead. Since the week is almost over I will just go ahead and post what we have eaten so far and what we are looking forward to this weekend.

Shredded Chicken Taco's, Beans and Rice
Baked Ziti and Salad
Roast Beef and Swiss Melts on Onion Burger Buns
Shredded Chicken Taco Bowl (leftover rice, chicken, cheese, tomato, lettuce and chips)
Crock-pot Meatball Subs using Italian Meatballs (precooked and frozen)
Crock-pot chicken breasts with orzo pasta and brocolli (place chicken in crock-pot, sprinkle with thyme, rosemary, sage, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. Serve over orzo using chicken broth as gravy)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I realize it's been a while since my last post. Want an excuse? Im sure you would love to hear it....I am still getting the house in order. I am hoping to get some before and after photo's posted after the holidays. Things are coming together nicely. So, I wanted to log in really quick and share one of my favorite peanut butter cookie recipes for the holidays. I just whipped up a double batch of these for a cookie swap I am going to next week. I will put them in plastic storage bags and freeze them until the day of the swap.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Yields: Approx 4 Dozen Small Cookies

  • ½ cup Shortening
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups flour 
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal (pulse gently in a food processor or magic bullet for 10 to 20 seconds to grind up the oatmeal a little)
1. Preheat oven to 350*

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and butter. Add in sugar and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in peanut butter and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time until well blended.

3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and oatmeal. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Mix until combined well. Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until light brown.

*HOW TO FREEZE DOUGH FOR LATER USE: Drop dough onto cookie sheet and set in the freezer; once frozen, place cookie dough into a plastic storage bag or container and freeze. When you are in the mood for cookies, remove a few cookie dough balls and bake.

*This recipe doubles well.

Quick Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash (Paprika Mushroom Sauce) Served Over Spaetzle Noodles
I forgot to take a photo, so I will post one the next time I make this. The hubby loved it and the kids thought it was delicious. My husband loves anything that resembles German Food, so this is a definite keeper.
1 package Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (Butterfly or slice in half to make thinner filets)
1 Tbsp Butter (to brown the chicken breast)
½ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Poultry Seasoning
¼ tsp Salt
Tiny Pinch Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp Garlic Powder
1 Can Beef Broth (or bullion with 1 cup water)
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Tbsp Butter
1/3 -1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 tsp Paprika
Tiny Pinch Cayenne Pepper

Heat a deep skillet with 1 tbsp butter. Sprinkle chicken breasts with paprika, poultry seasoning, salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. When pan is hot, place breasts into skillet. Allow to brown for about 3 minutes per side (Let them brown, don't keep moving them around). Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add beef broth, cream of mushroom soup and butter to the skillet and stir well to incorporate and mix up the crud on the bottom. Add sour cream, paprika and cayenne pepper. Return chicken to skillet and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Serve over spaetzle dumplings or egg noodles.

Menu Plan Monday November 1. 2010: And Where BAAACK!

Well, most of the boxes are unpacked and I still have hair left, so things are going well around here. We are getting settled into our new home in Georgia and have been enjoying the small town feel this place seems to have. The husband and I have accomplished a lot over the last week (more so him than I, but hey, I helped). He installed a garbage disposal and a microwave range, which makes my life so much easier in the kitchen. I helped give the hedges and bushes a hair cut - boy did they need it. I had no idea it was so much work to trim hedges. My arms were shaking when I was done. I have painted a hallway (I know, is that all?), and I am about to start on the trim. It is currently a cream color and I cannot stand it. I have never seen trim that was not white before. I have not even made an effort to remove the 5 rooms of wallpaper yet. I am so dreading that. I cannot believe this stuff was ever popular in the 90's. Clearly they loved large flowers.

So, please forgive my absence lately. I have been extremely busy with the kids missing the bus, and trying to hunt down groceries without paying full price *gasp*. My stockpile is already forming in my freezer and pantry, so I am finally feeling better about that. Our menu has consisted of a lot of sandwiches over the last 3 weeks. My husband was gone for 2 of them, and the kids seemed to like the sandwiches; it was easy, so we ate them often. To be honest, they were pretty delicious. The kids favorite was sourdough bread, salami (from the dollar store), swiss, lettuce and tomato. DELISH! This week my goal is to get back on a menu plan, so we can all start eating real food again.

This week I have managed to throw a few things together, but it is so much easier when I have a menu plan to refer to. If your looking for more menu plans and ideas, check out orgjunkie.com.

Tenative Menu

  • Oven Chicken and Rice
  • Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sauce (using prepared shredded chicken)
  • Hamburgers (on the hubbys new grill - Im crossing my fingers he will not overcook them now)
  • Slow Cooker Pot Roast
  • Chicken and Dumplings (using prepared chicken and stock from boiling the chicken)
  • Cowboy Stew
  • Chili, Bean and Cheese Burritos aka Chilito's
  • Grilled Pizza

Kroger 10/31 -11/06 10 Item Mega Event

There are some great deals at Kroger this week. I am just noting what I feel are the best deals. Most of the items are part of the mix and match sale. "Save $5 when you buy 10 participating items using your shopper's card". *Limit 2 per transaction. All prices listed are after buying at least 10 items.

 Total Spent $24.60 ( Saved $34)
Del Monte Tomatoes .49
~use $1/5 coupon 9-19 Redplum
Final Cost; .29 each (Stock up price)
Carnation Evaporated Milk .69
~use .50/2 printable
Final cost; .19 each (Stock up price)
7-up, Diet Rite or A&W Rootbeer .79
~use FREE 7-up wyb any A&W coupon 9-19 Smartsource
Final Cost; .34 each (Stock up price)
Krusteaz Cookie Mix 1.49
~use .50/1 coupon from 10-10 Smartsource
Final Cost; .49
Krusteaz Muffin Mix 1.99
Use .50/1 coupon from 10-17 Smartsource
Final Cost; .99
Water Maid Rice 1.19
~Use .50/1 water maid or mahatma rice from 10-24 Red Plum
Final Cost; $.19
Jell-o .79
~use .40/2 coupon from 10/17 Smartsource
Final cost; .39 each
Carolina Pride Bacon BOGO @ 1.94 each (not part of 10 items)
Folgers K-cups $5.49
~use $1/1 from 10-10 Red Plum
Nestle Hot Cocoa .49
*Kroger Almond, Lemon Extract $1.99
*Kroger Large Can Tomatoes $1 (not shown)

 Total Spent $44.81 (Saved $52.98)

Aunt Annies Macaroni and Cheese .49 (STELLAR PRICE!)
Ronzoni Garden Smart Pasta .79
~$1/1 tearpad next to pasta
Final Cost; Overage

Boulder Organic Kettle Chips $1
Campbell's Cream of Chicken or Mushroom .49
Swanson Broth .49
Kroger Peaches, Fruit Cocktail, Pears .49
Land O Lakes Butter $2.50
*Chocolate Chips 1.99
*White Corn Meal $1
*Kroger Shredded Cheese 12 – 16 oz $2.49
*Apple Sauce $1.50
*Kroger Vegetable Oil $1.99
*Syrup $1.19
*Kroger Tortilla Chips $1
*Marked Down Bread and Hoagie Rolls (varies by store; .49 - .89)

*Not part of 10 Item Mega Event

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins


Double Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins


The recipe has been modified from Allrecipes.com. The original recipe can be found at http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/zucchini-chocolate-chip-muffins/Detail.aspx

I doubled this recipe and added grated apple and cocoa powder, increased the chocolate chips and increased the zucchini/apple to 3 cups). The muffins are moist and every bite is chocolaty deliciousness.



3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt



2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½ cups sugar

1 cup vegetable or canola oil

½ cup milk

½ tsp lemon extract or 2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups grated zucchini and apple (approximately 2 small zucchini and ½ green apple*)

1 cup mini chocolate chips (reserve ¼ cup to sprinkle on top of muffins before baking)



  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, add eggs, sugar, oil, milk, zucchini and apple, lemon extract or juice, and vanilla; Mix well.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Spray 24 muffin tins with baking spray. Using a large cookie scoop, fill muffin tins two-thirds full. Sprinkle each muffin with a few chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until muffins test done with a toothpick.


*For mini muffins cook for 10-13 minutes.


*Use a food processor to make this step go quicker.


Restaurant.com 90% off Today 9/30/2010 through 10/01/2010

The current promotion at Restaurant.com is 90% off using PROMO CODE WOW.

This is the time to stock up on gift certificates you have been wanting to buy. The promo is good from September, 30th through October, 1, 2010 at 11:59 PM PST. Hurry because they go fast!

Menu Plan Monday 9/27~ Will I ever finish packing?

I am starting to think I may never finish packing. I just know the time to load the truck will be here before I know it. It would be awesome if we could get everything packed, start cleaning and have a day to just veg before packing the moving truck. A girl can dream cant she?? I realize it is totally possible for the average Jane, but for me, Mrs Distraction, it is a huge undertaking. Even now as I type, I know I should not be on the computer. Im telling myself, "Self, get off the computer. Quit wasting time," but I never listen. Maybe I will reason with my thoughts..."I'm taking a break". Think this will work? Back to packing. The majority of the house is all packed up in boxes now - except for the kitchen, which is only about 1/16th done. Anyways...my gerbils are telling me its time to pack some more, so I need to wrap this up. This week we're continuing on with Operation Empty the Freezer, and it's going pretty well. I have a few packages of cooked chicken meat, burgers and hotdogs in the freezer, so I will base the menu off what's left. For more great menu ideas, check out orgjunkie.com

(Premade/Frozen Grilled Pizza Dough about to go back onto the grill)

  • Bacon Swiss Burgers
  • Hot Dogs with mixed veggies
  • Chicken Quesadillas and spanish rice (using boiled/shredded/frozen chicken
  • Chicken Salad  (mayo, mustard, apples, grapes, garlic powder, salt, pepper, sweet relish) Pita's with blanched asparagus (using boiled/shredded/frozen chicken)
  • Gourmet Canned Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese
  • Premade Grilled Pizza Dough
  • Shrimp Scampi with "Insalata Caprese (tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, salt)

Restaurant.com 80% off code, expires September 26, 2010

Restaurant.com's current promo code is AUTUMN. Enter code into promo code box during checkout to receive an extra 80% off the already reduced prices they offer. It makes dining out much cheaper. A $10 GC will be .80 after the code.

Weis 9/18 - 9/24 Tidy Cats, Sparkle, and Bisquick

Yesterday I stopped by Weis to pick up a few things on sale and wanted to share my finds....

Tidy Cats Cat Litter 20 lb bag - BOGO @ $4.39
~use 2 * $1/1 coupon from 9-12 Red Plum Insert
Final Cost; $2.39 or $1.20 each

Sparkle 3 pack Paper Towels - BOGO @ $4.15
~ use 2 * $1/1 coupon from 9-19 Red Plum Insert
Final Cost; $2.15 or $1.08 each

Apples - (Macintosh, Golden Delicious, Gala) $.99 lb

Bisquick Shake and Pour Pancakes $1
~use $.50/1 coupon from 8-08 General Mills Insert
Final Cost; FREE

Restaurant.com 80% OFF Code 09/2010

Restaurant.com is offering gift certificates for 80% off their already reduced prices. This means you can pick up a $10 gift certificate (they charge $4 - use the code SHARE to get 80% off)  for only $.80 cents!

I just purchased one this morning for .80 and had a nice lunch with a friend for only $13 including the tip. Thats A DEAL!

Menu Plan Monday 9/20 and Move Update

The excitement continues in our home as we patiently - some of us not-so-patiently - wait to hear back about weither the bank will pay to replace the a/c unit or not. Everything is sortof in limbo with our house contract until we receive an answer from them. The kids are excited to leave and have a pool to play in and a new school to check out. I am thrilled to finally have enough space between my home and my neighbors to not smell their trash, hear their dogs, and hear well, just about everything expecially when the windows are open. We have now decided to do a DITY move - or Do It Yourself Move - where the goverment will reimburse us for our expenses and then some. We are interested in the "then some" part. Momma needs some new furnature...lol...I realize this is going to be stressful, but I will survive. Sometimes I think when the movers come, I stress more because I cant really do anything but watch them and that drives me batty. I just have this NEED to help when someone else is working. Weird I know. So, now we are scavengering our military neighbors for boxes - There are a ton of boxes because so many of us move in the military...all the time...
As for the menu plan this week, Operation Empty the Freezer continues, but I am still not seeing enough empty freezer space for my liking. Maybe this week will be better. For more recipe ideas, check out orgjunkie.com.

  • Crock-Pot Black Beans (using ham hock and beans), rice and mango salsa
  • Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada's, Rice (using precooked chicken, leftover black beans)
  • Spicy white bean burgers (garbanzo beans, garlic, salt, pepper, celery, bread crumbs, hot pepper flakes - use food processor to combine well and shape patties; grill) and baked potatos in the microwave
  • Crock-Pot Ham, Rice, Oven Baked Parmesan Asparagus
  •  Leftover Ham, Lentil Rice Pilaf 
  • Pesto Pasta, Salad, Refrigerated Biscuits (using premade/frozen pesto)
  • Ham Fried Rice (using leftover ham, peas, mixed veggies)
  • Optional : Tuna Salad Pita's
  • Optional : Minestrone Soup (using carrots, celery, onion, chicken broth, cannelini beans, green beans, corn)
  • Optional : Miso Soup (dashi, miso, green onions, chopped ham)

Giant Eagle 9/16 - 9/22 A Few Higlights

If your mouth needs some TLC, Giant Eagle is the place to go - unless you live in my town, in which case someone has already cleaned out both of our stores before NOON. Thanks whoever you are :)...I picked up rain checks, so I guess I will live. Check out these deals on dental items....

Reach Toothbrush $1
~use BOGO coupon from 1-03 Red Plum Insert
~use $1/1 coupon from 3-07 Red Plum
Final Cost; FREE

Reach Floss $1
~ use $1/1 coupon from 01-03 Red Plum Insert
Final Cost; FREE

Lysterine Pocket Spray $1
~use $1/1 or .50/1 3-07 Red Plum or 4-11 Red Plum
Final Cost; FREE


Betty Crocker Cookie Pouches $0.80
~use .40/1 from coupons.com or print from mypoints to get points and save $$$

Menu Plan Monday 9/13 and Home Update

Let the countdown begin...our offer on the home has been accepted and we are closing on October 11th. Now I realize there are a million things to do and my sub conscience is flipping out. We are waiting on the response from the bank to see if they will pay for a new a/c unit, since the current one needs to be replaced. I am very hopeful. Prayers are greatly appreciated. The week has been a nightmare so far. I feel like I am being pulled in every direction trying to get things done. The house seems to be a complete mess - like the more I try the worse it gets. Operation Empty the Freezer is still in play and it is going well. I can finally start to see some definite changes in the amount of food in my freezers. This weeks meals will be focused on using up items from the freezer and pantry before we move. Head over to Orgjunkie to see more great menu plans and links.

Tuesday - Tortilla Soup

Thursday - Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo with Peas and Butter lettuce, Gorgonzola, tomato, and raspberry vinaigrette salad

Friday - Ground Beef Stroganoff with pasta noodles, mixed veggies

Saturday - Wings, Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Minestrone Soup Using Fresh or Dried Herbs

Minestrone Soup
The soup is great with fresh herbs or with dried herbs. I have made it both ways many times. Serve with a little fresh parmesan cheese on top. Delish!

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, diced 
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 - 2 tsp Salt (depends on salt content of chicken stock)
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1 – 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8-10 cups chicken stock (not broth) or vegetable stock
  • 1 - 1lb package frozen green beans
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine (not cooking wine, use something like cabernet or merlot - this is optional but it gives it a depth of flavor)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried (chop all the herbs)
  • 2 sprigs fresh marjoram, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
  • Handfull of fresh parsley, or 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 - 2/3 Cup Small Whole Wheat Pasta Noodles (ditalini or small shells), uncooked**
  • 1-2 medium zucchini, diced into larger bite size pieces
  • 4 basil leaves, sliced thin, or 1 tsp dried basil added with dry ingredients
  • Pkg frozen spinach or kale (approx. 8 oz)
  1. In a large soup pot (coated cast iron if possible), drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil. Sautee onions, celery and carrots on medium high heat. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and sautee for at least 10 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  2. Continue cooking onions, celery and carrots until brown crud forms on the bottom; stirring occasionally(Brown crud is a GOOD thing, but don't burn it). Add garlic to pot and sauté 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in diced tomatoes, cannelloni beans, green beans, chicken stock, herbs and spices, and spinach or kale. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add in zucchini and *pasta noodles; Simmer about 6 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil. 
*The noodles will continue cooking after you turn off the burner, so it may be better to cook the zucchini for about 5 minutes and then add the pasta for about 5 minutes - this way it will finish cooking as it cools. Either way is fine, it just depends on how you like your noodles. The noodles also absorb a lot of liquid.

**If desired, the noodles can be boiled separately and added to soup bowls when serving. 

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Frosting

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Frosting
(Using White Whipped Frosting from a container)

This might possibly be my favorite frosting now. It tastes just like an expensive cupcake I purchased at a Cupcake Bakery. There are only 3 ingredients and it takes only minutes.

1 container Betty Crocker White Whipped Frosting
1/3 Cup Peanut Butter
1/3 Cup Marshmallow Fluff

In a large bowl, combine frosting, peanut butter and fluff with a spatula. Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes and place into the refrigerator to chill (it tastes better chilled).

Giant Food 9/10 - 9/16 A Few Highlights

Brocolli Crowns $1 lb
Grapes $1 lb

Barilla Pasta $1
~use $1/2 not sure what insert
Final Cost; $0.50 each

Campbells Chicken Noodle and Tomato Soup $0.50 each
~use $1/2 coupon
Final Cost; Free

Tidy Cats Scoop Cat Liter 14 lb $5
~ use 1/1 from 9/12 Red Plum
Final Cost; $4

TGI Friday's $5 off Coupon: September 2010

Print THIS Coupon to get $5 off 2 entree's at Fridays until September 15th, 2010.

Labor Day 2010 Menu Plan Monday and Praises: Buying our Home

How about this amazing weather? It is absolutely gorgeous! It seems like it goes from 100 degrees to 80 in just a few days. I am dreading the colder days creeping just around the corner. Well, I have fabulous news...we put in another bid on the home we have been drooling over and the bank accepted. I am so glad we decided to call there bluff and walk away, because we got a stellar deal - about 60,000 less than what the home was originally listed at in March. Now thats what I call a DEAL! Now the move is for real and we are realizing how many things need to be done to get ready for the move. Luckily we do not have to worry about packing up our household goods, since the military will do that for us, but we do have to seperate items for what we will need while our stuff is being shipped (clothes, cooking stuff, towels, cleaners, etc). Medical records, school records -- all the paperwork that has to be dealt with to move -- what a bundle of stress. I am so thrilled about the move and it is something I have been waiting for for several years now. I know in my heart, God really answered my prayers with this home. I want to give praises to him for guiding us to this home and helping us to get a great deal. I know we will be able to use this home in a positive way to spread his love and his mission and I am looking forward to the many joyful days ahead of decorating, painting and making it our home.

Now begins the mission to empty the refrigerator and freezers (yes, I said freezers). I think I will call this Operation Empty Freezer -- I know how original...So, for the next 4 weeks, we will be cleaning out the food in the freezer by using all the items from the fridge and freezer to help us prepare for the move. I do not want to have to get rid of anything if I don't have to. Feel free to join me on my quest. I hope to post before pictures soon. If your looking for more menu plans  and meal ideas, check out Orgjunkie.com.

Monday - Burgers, Hot Dogs, German Potato Salad, Mac and Cheese,

Tuesday - Crab Cakes, Green Beans, OR...Sauteed Tequila Lime Shrimp Taco's with Mango Salsa

Wednesday - Tortilla Chip Taco Salad

Thursday - Chicken Pot Pie with frozen veggies

Friday - Hot Wings, Oven Sweet Potato Fries

Saturday - Grilled BBQ Chicken,

Sunday - Chicken Gumbo

$5 Off 5 Kraft Coupon

Head over to For the Mommas to print out a $5 off 5 Kraft Products. This is a HOT coupon AND IT WILL BE GONE SOON.
Thanks, For The Mommas!

Double Coupons @ Bloom During September 2010...and 9/01 Ad Highlights

I noticed via email Bloom will be doubling coupons up to .99 during National Coupon Month (September). This means a .75 coupon will be worth $1.50! Way to go Bloom! Make sure to check participation at your local Bloom.

Ad Highlights From 09/01 Sale Flyer

Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix $2
~ use .75/2 from 8-08 GM insert
Final Cost; $1.50 or .$0.75 each

New York Texas Toast BOGO (not sure of price, but my guess is around $3)
~use 2 - $0.50/1 from 7-25 SS insert

Corn 12/$1.99 OR .17 each

Peaches $0.99 lb

Menu Plan Monday 8/30/10

It's going to be a busy day again - and a busy week - so I will make this short and sweet. Check out more menu plans over at Orgjunkie.com.  Enjoy the Holiday weekend!

Monday ~ Chili Chese Hot Dogs, Grilled Corn (remove all but outside husks, soak in water for a few minutes, and grill)

Tuesday ~ Frozen Bolognese Sauce with Spaghetti Noodles, Ghetto Garlic Bread

Wednesday ~ Enchilada CaserOLE!

Thursday ~ leftovers

Friday ~ Camping? Depends on Hurricane Earl...go away Earl! BBQ'd Chicken, Corn, Baked Beans

Saturday ~ Camping

Sunday ~ Camping

Free Lipton Pureleaf Individual Tea and Cheep Tortilla Chips @ Giant Food 08/27 - 9/2

I noticed Lipton Pure Leaf Tea on sale for $1 at my local Giant Food store. There were tear pads for .50/1 on the endcap right by the tea, which makes the drinks FREE after coupon!

Grande Tortilla Chips are on sale BOGO @ $3.49 (1.75 each - must buy two to get sale price)
~use 2 * $1/1 Coupon from 06-27 Smartsource insert
Final Cost; $1.49 for 2 bags, or .75 each

Giant Eagle 8/26 - 9/01 Today's Much Needed Trip

After such a busy Summer, we really needed some fresh fruit and bread to make the kids lunches for school.  I saved over $70 at Giant Eagle and spent $34 (there are 4 more cans of tomatoes and 14 more nesquick not shown in the photo) Not too shabby.

Giant Eagle Laundry Detergent $2.50

Farm Apples .99lb

Red Grapes .99lb

Fresh Express Salad (not shown) $1

Tiny Tomatoes $1 pkg

Giant Eagle Brand Tortilla Chips (also included: GE sunchips) $2

Large Can Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, or Crushed Tomato $1

Vlasic Pickles $2
~use .55/1 printable
Final Cost; .90

Vlasic Relish $1.25
~use .55/1 printable
Final Cost; .15

Heluva Good Block Cheese $2
~use $.50/1 printable
Final Cost; $1

Hefty Trash Bags $5.99
~ use .55/1 coupon
Final Cost; 4.89

Nesquik Individual Drinks $1
~use .50/1 or .55/1 coupon from 8/01 Red Plum Insert
Final Cost; FREE

Daisy Cottage Cheese $3
~use .45/1 or .55/1 coupon
Final Cost; $2.10 - 1.90

Arnold Bread BOGO (reg price 2.99)
~use .55/1 coupon from 8/15 Smartsource
Final Cost; .40

Crest Toothpaste $1.50
~use .75/1 coupon from August P & G insert
Final Cost; FREE

Ball Park Franks BOGO (reg price $3.98 - 5.98)
~ use $2/1 Facebook coupon (like them on Facebook and they will email you a coupon, print twice)
Final Cost; FREE - .90 each

Lance Crackers $2
~use $1/1 coupon
Final Cost; $1

Menu Plan Monday...Getting back on track and home buying woes

Where do I begin? It has been a real busy summer this year, and I have truely enjoyed spending time relaxing and visiting family and friends. I am so very blessed to be able to stay at home and this has allowed me to visit my family back in Texas for several weeks at a time - something I was not able to do while working fulltime. The kids had a blast staying with grandma for a few weeks - going to day camp, spending time doing archery, arts and crafts, swimming - they even visited the Nasa Space Center and went to a waterpark. My Dad and Step-mom also spent a week with the girls; they went to a ranch and played on obstacle cources, zip lines and then went R-Ving in New Braunsfuls. I am so glad they were able to spend time with their grandparents. I know soon the girls will be "too cool" to hang out with Nana or Pawpaw, but for now I know they love it and it gives Mom and Dad a much needed break from the teenage attitude that has become so prevelant in our home (I have no idea where my daugter gets it ;) 
Well, now that we are back home and the kids are back in school - two days late because I goofed when booking our flights (oops!) - I am really struggling to get our household back into a routine. Getting back into the cooking mode always seems to take me a few days to get back "on my game". I wanted to push myself to put together a meal plan for this week even if the week is almost halfway over. The problem? I have no idea what to make. I guess instead of writers block, its more like cooking block. By posting my menu,  I hope to be inspired to follow through and meet my objective of not eating out or ending up frazzled at the end of the day because I did not plan ahead (something I am not very good at). On top of all this, we are in the process of trying to purchase a house. This December (or sooner) we will be moving to Georgia and my husband will be eligible to retire in two years, so we have decided buying a home is the best option for us right now. This decision has already began to make my hair fall out (not really). It is so stressful. We are pretty sure we have found the home we really want - the one I have been praying for, but for now its a waiting game to see if the bank will negotiate a little more. The home has been on the market since may, so we are hopeful. All I can do is put it in God's hands and if its the right place it will happen.

I hope everyones week goes exceptionally well. I know you are all enjoying the much needed "back to school" silence in your homes, not to mention the freedom to run errands at will.

To see more great menu plans, check out orgjunkie.com

  • Hamburgers, corn on the cob, tomato salad
  • Black Bean (Use the Crock-Pot Pinto Bean Recipe to make Black Beans and freeze them) and Cilantro Rice Burritos
  • Ministrone Soup
  • Cream of Asparagus soup and California Sushi Rolls (i know strange combo, but it works for us)
  • Crock-pot Tortilla Soup
  • Salad with Spaghetti with fresh basil tomato pasta sauce --pureed fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes (whole, diced, or crushed), fresh basil, garlic and salt: simmer for 30 min to 1 hour; undercook noodles by 1 - 2 minutes and finish cooking in the pasta sauce. Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese)

Grilled Pizza Recipe: Make Ahead and Freeze for Quick Dinners

Pre-grilling Pizza Dough for Delicious Grilled Pizza's

I am such a lucky woman - not only does he clean; he bakes bread too! My husband, Jason, has become quite the avid baker. He loves trying new recipes and I enjoy eating them (my waist does not). He has been making grilled pizza dough for a few months now and freezing them to use at a later time. I was really shocked by how delicious they are. I tried to show photo's of the process step by step (forgive the photo's, I am not by any means a photographer) but, I left out the finished product. I was so excited to eat it, I forgot the picture. :) I will post the finished grilled pizza as soon as we make it again. I know Jason found this idea online or Food Network, but I am not sure of the source.

First whip up your favorite pizza dough recipe or use this one. Allow to rise for an hour or so then place in refrigerator if you have the time - something to do with the dough rolling out more easily. Form dough into softball sized balls and place onto floured cookie sheet or counter; Cover with dish towels to keep from drying out.

Rolling Out the Dough

On a floured surface, roll out dough useing a rolling pin until dough is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Brush both sides of dough with olive oil. Pre heat grill to a medium low - medium heat. Place carefully on hot grill for 5 minutes; flip dough over and cook 5 minutes more. If dough starts to get a big bubble, poke it with a fork or knife. Remove pizza; and place onto cookie cooling rack.

Finished Dough off the Grill

At this point, the pizza crust can be frozen for a later use. Wait for it to cool completely on the drying rack and then place into large 2 gallon freezer bags. When ready to make pizza, pull out frozen dough, place on counter; cover with sauce, mozerella and basil; or, the toppings of your choice.

Prepped Pizza for the Final Grill

To make a quick and easy pizza sauce, cut tomatoes into large slices, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle well with salt and place directly onto grill when pre grilling the crust. Remove tomatoes and smear onto prepared dough; top with cheese and basil. Or, try this easy, Simple and Fresh Pizza Sauce recipe.

Place the prepped pizza back onto a medium- low heated grill until cheese melts. Place onto cutting board and sllice using a pizza cutter. Serve hot and enjoy!

Pizza Options

Margarita Pizza: Fresh Mozerella, Basil Leaves
Taco Pizza: Precooked ground beef or used master meat mix, mexican blend cheese, onions, bell peppers. Try using hot sauce as pizza sauce and sprinkle pizza with taco seasoning. After cooking add lettuce and fresh chopped tomato if desired.

Aglio di Olio Pizza: Instead of using a tomato based sauce, drizzle olive oil onto crust and sprinkle crust with fresh chopped or sliced garlic. Another option would be to mix oil with roasted garlic and rub onto crust.

More Pizza Ideas here @ cdkitchen

Pizza Dough Recipe

My husband is the baker in the family - me, I do not like following directions. This really is an easy recipe. He whipped it up while making coffee, so it must be easy. I found the originial recipe at Baskers Fun Foods Blog and my husband has revised it over the last several months. This recipe is perfect for pre-grilling pizzas and freezing.
Pizza Dough Recipe

1 pkt yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar or honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour

In stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Add yeast and sugar to warm water and let sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. Add water and yeast to flour mixture and combine using a dough hook. Mix ingredients until dough forms. Allow dough to rise 30 minutes or longer. Using a olive oil mister, mist pan with olive oil; or, brush pizza pan with olive oil using a basting brush.  Dust pan lightly with cornmeal to keep from sticking to the pan. On a floured surface roll dough out into desired pizza size and place onto pizza pan or baking sheet if making a square pizza. Top with sauce, cheese and desired toppings. Bake at higest setting in oven (550*) for 10 - 12 minutes. Watch pizza to make sure you do not over cook it. For a more authentic italian pizza, try grilling your pizza.

Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza
Top with sauce, cooked bacon, cooked hamburger, sliced onion, cheddar cheese and mozerella.

Hawaiin Pizza
Top with sauce, mozerella, canadian bacon or ham, and pineapple

Bianco Pizza
Top with olive oil, chopped garlic, and italian cheese blend.

Roasted Salsa Recipe

Roasted Salsa Recipe

An easy, yet delicious recipe for salsa. I love salsa fresh or roasted. To make fresh salsa just throw everything into the food processor instead of roasting first. Roasting the ingredients gives the salsa more depth in flavor. You want the ingredients to brown a little, but not burn - No one likes burnt salsa :)

4 Large Beefsteak Tomatoes or 7 Roma Tomatoes, quartered
3 small jalapeno's, sliced in half and seeded (leave more seeds for extra heat)
1/2 medium or small onion
2 cloves garlic, whole
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
Fresh Cilantro (about 1 cup before chopping; bunch leaves together and chop)
tiny pinch sugar

Heat a cast iron skillet. Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp oil to coat the bottom. Place tomatoes, jalapeno's, onion and garlic onto skillet. Roast for approximately 30 minutes on medium to medium high heat; turning ingredients occasionally to roast all sides. Remove from skillet and place into food processor; add lime juice and cilantro; Blend using the pulse setting until salsa reaches desired consistency. This can be as pureed or chunky as you like. Pour into serving bowl or container to refrigerate. Salsa tastes better after the flavors sit for a few hours.

Giant Eagle 7/29 - 08/04 Deal Roundup: Capri Sun, Edy's

Giant Eagle 7/29 - 8/04: A Few Deals Worth Noting

Capri Sun 4/$8 ~ Get a $3 Coupon OYNO during checkout
Final Cost; $1.25 each wyb 4

Edy's Ice Cream 4/$9 ~ Get a $4 coupon during checkout when you buy $12 (regular prices, not sale price) worth of Edy's
Final Cost; $1.25 each wyb 4
*This worked at my store, but may not work everywhere.

Ball Park Franks BOGO - Prices range from $3.50 - $6
~ Use .75/1 coupon 6/27 RP;  expired 7/27 so hurry. I was able to use them today in self checkout.
Final Cost Ranges: $0.50 - $1.50 each

Grapes .88 lb
Peaches .99 lb
Tomatoes .99 lb
Green Beans .99 lb (not shown)

Colgate Toothpaste $1.50
~use .75/1 coupon (found in military coupon booklet) or .50/1 coupon 7/25 SS, or $1/1
Final Cost; FREE after coupon or .50

Camping on Fort Story, Virginia Beach

Fort Story, NAS Oceana, JEB Little Creek, Camp Pendleton: A great place for a vacation.

I noted in one of my recent posts I would give a little info on our camping trip to Virginia Beach, so here goes. For those of you who hold a current Military ID card, camping is available at an extremely low rate. Where else are you going to stay in Virginia Beach for only $18 a night? Unless you have somewhere free to crash, $18 a night is pretty darn cheap. The best part about camping at Fort Story was the beach located right on base. They have lifeguards, but the hours state it closes at 6, so I am not sure if that means you have to leave or if they just post the sign due to safety. The beach area is really nice and there are two areas to pick from. The swimming beach is located on the Chesapeake Bay, while the Non-swimming beach is on the Atlantic side. The base is now known as JEB, or Joint Expeditionary Base, and maybe if your lucky you will see an amphibious exercise or an Airborne jump from a plane. We were lucky enough to see the later of the two. If you feel inclined to hang out on a different beach check, there is a beach right outside the main entrance. Park your car in a parking lot located about a block from the entrance, walk outside of the gate; turn left and you will see the entrance to the beach on your left. It is a residential beach, but it is open to the public.

If you are looking for a great place to boogie board and brave the waves (its not that bad - really) head to the other end of Virginia Beach - about 20 minutes away by car. Head out the entrance. Take a left onto Atlantic and then drive all the way down until it changes to General Booth Blvd. Take a left on Bird Neck road. The entrance to post is on your left. Show your ID and drive straight. Turn right at Jefferson and follow it down to the beach parking lot. This was one of our favorite spots to boogie board. We loved it and will be going back again!

Looking for something to do at night? Check out NAS (Naval Air Station) Oceana's or JEB Little Creek's $2 movie theatre where they have new releases 5 days of the week. They do not allow outside food or drinks and will rip you off if you try to buy anything inside - I guess they have to make money somehow. If you want a schedule head over to the Recreation Center across the street from the Shoppette on Fort Story aka JEB. Another great place is the Tap House. They have 30 plus drinks on tap and happy hour daily from 12-6. Drinks are $2 off and appetizers are half price, so if your tired from boogie boarding on Camp Pendleton, catch the Wave (City Bus) to the Tap House Restaurant. A max pass is only $2and is good until 2 am. You can purchase these passes from KOA, Sunsations, and a few kiosks located on the Boardwalk. Beware of the $2 snake bites at the Tap House. They definitly will bite you back.

NAS has a Commissary located off post, which is the first time I have seen this. It is located separately from the main base. The Commissary is very large and the prices were really good for Virginia Beach. We noticed several great deals. Some of which we would have purchased if we would have had a freezer with us.

Make sure to check out the JEB Little Creek's NEX (Navy Exchange). This place is massive. I think they must have made a mistake and built a huge department store on this post. Honestly, I have never seen a post exchange this large. The store contains what looked to be it's own Coach Purse Department, every makeup brand imaginable, and It even has it's own jewelry store. Madness. We have lived a lot of places and I have never seen a Post Exchange this large. Go check it out.

*I did read online that both the NAS Oceana and JEB Little Creek also have camping, but we did not get to see it. Let me know if you have any experience with these campgrounds.

Menu Plan Monday 7/26 - 8/01

As the last week in July creeps by, I realize how close we are to the end of Summer. Sometimes I wish the kids would have a little more time to enjoy their childhood before heading back to the hustle of the school year. I remember as a kid getting out of school in May and not going back until the begining of September - those days are long gone. Now the kids here do not get out until the middle of June and go back the last week in August - Is this supposed to quantify as a Summer break?

Moving on....the last few weeks have been a blur because we have been out of town off and on, kids went to grandma and grandpa's house; and to be honest I just have been all over the place mentally and physically. This week I am going to try to get back into a routine - if only for one week, since next week I leave to pick up the kids. We have recently learned we will be moving this Fall; during Christmas time (courtesy of Uncle Sam). I am sure this is going to be a fun experience. Usually we move during the summer, but we will make it work. I am hopeful the next stop will be our last for a while; retirement is on the horizon -We are almost there! We are heading south to Georgia and I am psyched. I am praying we find a nice home in a great neighborhood, you know, the usual stuff. I realize the time will sneak up on me and I will be overwhelmed. This is what always happens. I can try all I want to prepare, but this procrastinator must need pressure to get things done. The military will pay to have our household goods moved, but it is everything else that seems to take time: medical records, dental records, school papers and transferring, house hunting, school and neighborhood perusing, STRESS! And...Oh, did I mention STRESS?  Enough about stress, lets move on to how to not worry about what's for dinner with this weeks menu plan. For more worry free dinner ideas, check out Orgjunkie!

Menu Plan Monday 7/26 - 8/01

Roasted Mediteranean Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots (Drizzle with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, pepper)
Ensalata Caprese as an appetizer (fresh mozerella and tomatoes sliced, snipped leaves of basil; drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper)

Oven Baked Stuffed Jalapeno Pepper's

Arrabiata Bon Pomodoro - Spicy Tomato Garlic Olive Oil Pasta Sauce

Chicken Quesadilla's, with Black Beans and Rice

Grilled Pizza with Pre-made Pizza crusts

Bolognese Mashed Potato Meat Pie (Using Leftover Bolognese and Frozen Mashed Potatoes - will update on how this turns out)

California Sushi Rolls

Cheap Grilled Steak, Baked Potatoes, Frozen Chard from the Freezer

Chicken Meatball Asian Soup (trying this for the first time, will post if its good)