New Addition To The Family

Well, it would seem we have a new addition to the family. Check out Miss Sydney. The hubby found her on his way home from work after seeing her sibling, who had already been run over, and noticing a light speck along the treeline. Lucky me. I am partially serious and partially not. How could I say no to those baby browns? I love animals, but boy it sure does add a lot more stress to my days. Were going on day 3 now and she is doing really well. She is a great puppy who loves to chew on EVERYTHING. She is already crate trained and is almost fully potty trained - we still have a few oopsies now and then when no one is watching her. And, oh bugger, she is a fast one. If you take your eyes off her for a second she can disappear. She looks like she has a lot of golden retriever in her, but I am not sure what else. She has white feet and a few more white spots on her. She is the cutest fluffiest puppy and she has the "fall in love" puppy smell too. What is it about babies and puppies? The smell so good. It must be God's way of suckering us into these situations. So, now our house is becoming more like a zoo. We have Izzy our german chow rescue, gracie marie our cat rescue and now we have sydney, our side of the road rescue. yay. I am curious to see how our camping trip is going to go in a few weeks with two dogs in a tiny pop-up camper. I am sure this is going to be a sight. I will make sure to post some pictures of the madness. I know it will be worth it. She is such a joy and she makes my spirit smile. I am not sure why she was brought into our lives, but God always has a plan, so I will embrace her and see where this adventure takes us. 

Kelloggs $10 Gas Card Rebate wyb Cereal

Kelloggs is offering a $10 gas giftcard by mail when you purchase 10 qualifying cereals. Combine this deal with Publix current BOGO deal on Crispix for some really cheap or free cereal.

Thanks, I Heart Publix!

Menu Plan Monday 3/28 - 4/5

The weather is not as lovely as it has been. It has been stormy or drizzling the last few days and apparently it is supposed to stick around for a few more days. I shouldnt complain since it keeps me inside and away from the stores; which means I spend less and get more done at home. I am so proud of myself. This weekend I managed to finish, not one, but two jean shoulder bags for my kiddos. I used leftover jean material and some scrap fabric to make the bag. I am not very inventive, so this was a big deal for me. To add to this, I am a huge procrastinator, and I tend to not finish things, so I was inthralled that I managed to focus long enough to finish something crafty. So now I can officially term myself "crafty" :) I guess its addicting cause now I want to make something else. I have been perusing the blogs looking at some of the great ideas out there, but we will see how long my interest lasts. This week I am going to try out a new recipe; Braised Short Ribs. I saw Anne Borrell make them a while back on Food Network and it looked easy enough; yet, looks like I slaved away in the kitchen making it. This post is linked up to Check out Menu Plan Monday for more great ideas.

(Meatball Subs)

Monday – Crock-Pot Meatball Subs, leftover mac and cheese
Tuesday – Braised Short ribs, mashed potatoes, green beans
Wednesday – Speedy Slow Cooker Swiss Steak, Rice, Peppers and onions
Friday – Leftovers
Saturday – Roasted Garlic Flat Iron Steak, Macaroni and cheese, green beans
(Chicken and Sausage Gumbo)

Sunday –   Chicken Gumbo
(Quinoa Vegetable Noodle Soup)
Monday - Taco’s, Beans and Rice
Tuesday - Quinoa Veg Noodle Soup, rolls


Menu Plan Monday 3/21/11 - Soup's On!

Spring has officially begun and my kids seem to be jumping the gun a little. This weekend temps were around 80, so they decided they wanted to live in the pool and freeze to death. They did not turn blue, so I assumed it was okay. The bugs continue to be in full force around here. I am told the gnats will disappear around May or so; thus, I will be praying for immunity from these little buggers because I am still itching away at my skin from their tiny bites. People must look at me and think "what is wrong with her?" Oh well, life goes on. Hopefully they realize I am not a freak, but if not then I guess I will  be known around here as "the itchy lady". This weekend I will be stepping out of my comfort zone and helping out with the youth ministry at church. I am scared, but excited. They are having a weekend event at the church where kids will get to stay locally at host homes. I am glad God is helping me to finally plug in and get involved. I really need to feel like I am contributing  the the Kingdom of God. I know God doesn't "need" me, but I definitely need him. Anyways, enough chatter. On to the menu. For other great ideas head over to

Monday - Chicken Noodle Soup (premade chicken stock, carrots, celery, and ditalini noodles or homemade noodles)

Tuesday - Minestrone Soup

Wednesday - 1, 2 ,3 Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheeses'
(Sun Dried Tomato Spicy Bowtie Pasta)

Thursday -Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas, Lime Cilantro Rice and Refried Beans

Friday - Sun Dried Tomato Spicy Bowtie pasta

(Chicken Gumbo)
Saturday - Roasted Garlic Flat Iron Steak, Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans

Sunday - Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Menu Plan Monday 3/14/2011 ~ Gnat Attack

This weekend I was attacked lunch for lots of biting gnats and I seem to be having an allergic reaction. Why is it that I always seem to be allergic to bugs, trees and everything else in nature? Now I am zombified from Benadryl and clawing away at these lovely red welts all over my body. No one else seems to be having this reaction. Just me. Lucky me. Sorry to be so cynical, but this royally sucks. I love being outside, but if this is what happens after I get bit by gnats, I am not sure how this is going to work for me. Anyways, enough complaining from me. I managed to write up a menu for the week and I am praying for grace and energy to get through this week without loosing too much of my epidermis and sanity.

Monday - Ruben Sandwiches with Slow Cooker Corned Beef (Corned beef, 1 dark beer, seasoning packet, water, black peppercorns - cook for 5 hours on high)

Tuesday - Black Bean Cilantro Rice Burritos

Wednesday - Swiss Steak with Peppers and Onions over Rice
Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Flat Iron Steak, Green Beans with New Potatoes

Saturday - Hawaiian Pizza
Banana Pudding
(Hawaiian Pizza)

Sunday - Pork Riblets rice and asian cabbage slaw

Publix Highlights 3/10/11 - 3/16/11

Here are a few deals worth highlighting at Publix this week. St Patties Day is a few days away and the sale ads are a BIG reminder. Gotta love cabbage and corned beef sales.

Also, check your sale ad to see if there is a save $10 off $50 gas card with a $25 dollar purchase.

Now is the time to stock up on corned beef.  To see more sale items and coupon matchups head over to I Heart Publix.

Cabbage .29 lb
Strawberries $1.67
Corned Beef 2.99 lb

Yoplait YoPlus Yogurt BOGO @ $2
~use .50/1 from 01-16-11 SS (hurry expires 3/12)
~use $1/1 Printable 
Final Cost; FREE after coupon

Marzetti Salad Dressing BOGO @ $3.49
~use 1/1 from 3-06-11 SS
~use 1/1 printable
Final Cost; .74 each

Butterball Turkey Sausage BOGO @ $3.49
~use .55/1 from 01-16-11 SS
Final Cost; $1.19 each

Tuttoroso Tomatoes BOGO @ 1.87
~use $1/2 blinkie
Final Cost; .44 each

Voskos Greek Yogurt $1
~use .75/1 Blinke
Final Cost; .25 each

Blue Diamond Almond Milk $2.50
~use 1/1 blinkie
Final Cost; $1.50

Menu Plan Monday 3/07/11 - 3/13/11

Quick post to update this weeks menu. To see more menu ideas and recipes check out

(Mango Salsa)

Monday - Crockpot Asian (MockStir Fry) Chicken, Brown Rice, Sugar Snap Peas
Tuesday - Spaghetti with Precooked/frozen meatballs
Wednesday - Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Thursday - Black Bean Lime Cilantro Rice Burritos with Mango Salsa
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Fajitas, Rice, Refried Beans
Sunday - Chicken Noodle Soup (orzo pasta noodles)

Sign up for $50 in Coupons From Publix

Our local Publix had tearpads publicizing $50 in savings by mail when you sign up here.

Green Beans with New Potatoes

This recipe is really tasty. I was scared to make it for a while because it just seemed like a lot of work, but it really was not difficult at all. I had my youngest daughter snap the beans for me (gotta love free child labor), so the rest was a snap. The recipe is adapted from Paula Deen's super fattening version here. Guess you could say my version is simplified and de-FAT-tified. Really Paula Deen? A whole stick of butter and 1/4 cup of bacon grease!? Is that really necessary??? [I know I am such a goober :) ]

Green Beans with New Potatoes


3 pounds fresh green beans, rinse, drain and snap ends off
2 tsp bacon grease
3 cups chicken broth (bullion and water okay)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 onion, sliced in half moons
2 tbsp butter
12 petite red potatoes, rinsed and peeled around the middle *
Fresh ground black pepper


In a large pot, heat bacon grease; add in green beans and sauté for 5 minutes; turning to coat beans in grease. Add broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; cover and cook on medium to medium high heat for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the butter, potatoes and onions; cover and continue cooking on medium to med-high heat for 20 minutes longer.

*Can substitute 6 larger red potatoes

Creamed Spinach (*Not so good for you)

This recipe came from my X Mother-in-law. Every recipe I have been blessed with from her has been divine. I am also very thankful to now have a super nice Mother-in-law. This is definitly not a low calorie dish, but it is delicious!


1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 stick butter
2 boxes frozen spinach
1 pint sour cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 artichoke hearts, chopped (or 1 jar of artichokes)
1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs


Saute green onions in btter. Add spinach; stir. Mix in sour cream, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and artichoke hearts.

Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish; pour mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle the top wiht extra parmesan cheese and buttered bread crumbs. Top with slats of butter. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes uncovered.

German Style Cream Sauce (lower calorie version)

This is the same recipe posted under  IKEA's Graddsas cream sauce (lower calorie version), but I wanted to give it a seperate post, so I am reposting it here. This is perfect for making Swedish Meatballs or over spatzlae noodles. Feel free to make the full fat version (which is heavenly BTW) located here.

German Style Cream Sauce


3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
½ cup half and half or evaporated milk
1 cup beef broth (1 tbsp bullion paste to 1 cup water)
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper (or 10 twists fresh pepper)
½ tsp paprika
3 Tbsp cold water mixed with 1 Tbsp cornstarch
Heat butter on medium heat in a small sauce pan; add whisk in flour and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup of beef broth, 1 tsp soy sauce, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and ½ tsp paprika; bring to a low simmer and continue whisking until mixture thickens a little (about 5 minutes). Add half and half or evaporated milk and corn starch mixture. Simmer until gravy thickens (about 2 – 3 minutes).

* For thicker gravy add 1 ½ - 2 Tbsp cornstarch.

* For richer gravy add ½ - 1 cup of sour cream.