If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Monday, November 20, 2017

Baking with a souvenir and a thrifty tip

We didn’t really do any shopping on our recent trip except for a few groceries that we ate in our condo rental. 

We stopped at the College of the Ozarks as we left Branson.  We had their very fancy brunch buffet which was truly first rate and just delicious. 
In their gift shop area, we bought a bag of stone ground cornmeal.  They raise the corn and grind it there at the college.  
It’s even in a muslin bag.  

I wanted to try it so I baked cornbread muffins for our supper. 
I used our favorite recipe, this cornbread is just slightly sweet and perfect to eat with soup or stew.  

It was easy to find my recipe since I redid my recipes a month or so back.  
Most of the recipes are ones I’ve had a while.  I prefer recipes that just use ingredients, over recipes that call for a package of something or prepared storebought ingredients.  Basic recipes are usually the thriftiest and they are also best for homemakers like me that keep a pantry.   

 Below are the finished cornbread muffins and the pot of vegetable beef soup.  

Close up of the soup - I used some cooked roast beef from the freezer, onion, celery, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, corn, canned diced tomatoes and some beef bouillon.  

Thrifty tip - some produce is priced per pound and some is priced per item.  
Aldi’s cabbage was $1.19 a head.  It was very obvious that the heads were very different sizes so I picked out the biggest one I saw.   
My head was marked as weighing 2.5 pounds.  I knew it was bigger so I weighed it when I got home.  
It weighed almost 4 pounds!  
So when produce is priced per item,  look them over and pick out the biggest or heaviest one to get the most for your money.  

Almost Thanksgiving......

Good morning everyone.  My husband and I are back from a 4 day trip to Branson, Missouri.  We saw some beautiful fall foliage, ate some really good food and saw several Christmas music shows and 1 drama.  It really put us in a celebrating mood. 
Now I am getting ready to host Thanksgiving in our home.  

Since we were gone for a few days and I haven’t been to the grocery store,  our fridge is fairly empty.  It was empty enough that I could see it was truly in need of a good cleaning 
No before and just an after photo, but take my word that this fridge needed cleaning and now it looks so much better and white again.  We drink a lot of iced tea and it seems to somehow get dripped on every shelf in the fridge.  🤔 
I took everything out and washed all the shelves and drawers in the sink.  The inside was sprayed down and wiped down and I’m happy with the fruits of this labor.  

See that empty spot in the top shelf?  That’s where the turkey will be until my husband cooks it.  
And I have got to do a little shopping today,  especially to get a turkey.  

No pretty lists this week but below is my planning.......

Our menu plan- I don’t have a mountain of things to cook as family members have volunteered to help.  😍
We will have a traditional meal around noon and appetizers and snacks in the evening 
And probably desserts all day long. 

Shopping and housework list 

I’m guessing many of you are doing a lot of the same things this week that I am.  
Happy Thanksgiving 🍁 🦃 

I’ll be back blogging after this holiday weekend. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Meal prep for a crowd

Hello everyone. 
Last weekend was a big football game in our town.  Some of our family members went to the game and quite a few of them were at our home for entire day, and a few spent the night. 
I needed to have meals planned ahead because complicated cooking just doesn’t happen when 6 young kiddos are here and doing restaurant food is not an option on game day.  Our town is not big and when 70000 football fans come,  all the streets, stores and restaurants are just full to capacity.  

So, first thing I did was write out a plan.  
We used food we already had so I didn’t need to spend any time shopping.  

The day before,  I cooked the ground beef for the taco salad and the sausage patties for breakfast.  I stored them in the fridge in zipper bags so there would 2 less containers to wash as meal clean up time.  
I made extra ice 

I set out ingredients we would be using over the weekend

And the crockpots that would be used for heating. 
I had never used the crockpot liners but I’m so glad we had them,  the Velveeta Rotel tomato dip is a family favorite but it makes a cooked on mess.  I won’t use the liners everytime I crockpot cook but I plan to always use them for Rotel dip.  

I had older eggs and newer eggs.  
The older eggs were cracked into 1 container to make sheet pan eggs for Sunday, which were OK but I prefer Stovetop cooked eggs.  The rest of the older eggs were hard boiled and we enjoyed them this past week on salads.  

Fixings ready for the taco salads- stored in plastic dishes with lids keeps them fresh.  

Fresh fruit and carrot sticks- stored the same way.  
The top right container is grapefruit, which is not the ruby red grapefruit that I thought I was buying.  

Orange jello with mandarin oranges and plain cherry jello- made in 5 ounce portion cups I buy from Amazon

It took planning to get everything to fit in our fridge but I did it. 

We use throw away dishes only when we have a big group for a meal. 

On Saturday, before everyone got here,  I put the taco meat and Rotel dip in their crockpots with liners to heat. 

Unsweetened tea and lemonade were put in these dispensers with an assortment of cups right beside them 

I don’t have photos of the actual meals except for this one as it was getting set up. 
It was just too busy a time to set up photos.  

Granddaughter Elizabeth is always happy with fresh fruit.  

Here are the 4 littlest grands-  all enjoyed their meals and playing with their cousins. 

Granddaughters Elizabeth and Andie- eating their favorite food- fruit and nachos.  

I took a few photos of the adults but they were not good and I have a rule that I never post unflattering photos of anyone.  

I’ve been cooking big meals for a long time, first for my family and then at church and at the 2 fraternity houses I worked at while we had 2 children in college.  
My advice is plan ahead, when possible use what you already have, and then be flexible because no matter how much you prep and plan,  things can get a little crazy.  

Monday, October 30, 2017

Cooking, shopping, sewing, family fun..........

Good Monday morning everyone, 
Below is a very old fashioned dessert that I made last week.  
My aunt made a similar recipe with cream cheese but this recipe is even simpler and lighter than hers. 
 I found this Lemon Fluff recipe at Taste of Home. 

It’s a very frugal recipe using just graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, lemon juice, lemon jello and canned milk.  

The secret to its lightness is whipping up a can of cold milk.  

That little can of milk whips up just like heavy cream.  
By itself, it is very bland but when you add the lemon, etc in the recipe,  it comes out delicious.  
My husband liked it so much! So, I made a second Lemon Fluff  yesterday that we will enjoy this week.  

A new food we tried is the ready to cook flour tortillas from Aldi.  
The tortillas are very thin and need to cook about 2 1\2 minutes in a hot dry skillet or gridle. 

The tortillas puff up while cooking.  

They are made in Weslaco, Texas and are probably sold at other stores in addition to Aldi. 
I know some of you are very interested in the nutrition and ingredients of store foods so hopefully you can read the package if you want.  

When cooked, our tortillas didn’t roll but they did fold in half just fine and hold the taco ingredients. 

Each bag has 20 tortillas in it so it will feed my husband and I several meals. 
I think the bags were about $2 -2.75, they are in the refrigerator case near the lunch meat products.  

Another new product I’m really liking are these little clips for sewing.  
They look kind of like tiny clothes pins.  

They are great for sewing knits, to hold the pieces together flatter than pins, especially knit fabric.  
I ordered mine form Amazon, 100 clips were about $9 

Sewing projects- I made a Summer Kimono pattern from Patterns For Pirates for my daughter. 

For myself,  I used some $2 a yard Walmart knit to make a Laundry Day Tee dress by Love Notions.  
And, a summer kimono, which I don’t love.  Maybe mine is too big or maybe I’m just not a kimono girl.  

Another sewing project was hemming 5 pair of suit pants for our son that wears suits 95% of his working time.  
One was Ralph Lauren and it was an especially nice feeling fabric.  

We still like our Rae Dunn pottery but I haven’t added any new pieces in months. 
My son saw a lot of mugs at the Little TJMaxx in our town so I went and checked them out.  
I happily bought some Christmas mugs for us and some others for gifts.  

Granddaughter Elizabeth is in Girl Scouts and they had an old fashioned tea party to learn about manners and traditions.   
These 2 photos are a bit blurry but don’t the little girls look sweet with tea cups and such? 

I’m re-posting our Stuffed Pepper Soup since so many of you asked about it.

Hope you all have a good week ❤️🏡❤️

Monday, October 23, 2017

Dollar General and more soup

I haven’t been to Dollar General in a few weeks.  They have some new digital coupons and I think I did pretty good this morning,  
I used a $3/15 Coupon, $1 Angel Soft and $3 Arm & Hammer detergent pods.  
The Angel Soft is a huge package, lots of sheets per roll and the heaviest package of TP I remember buying in a long time.  
The summer shoes were .50 and will go in the closet for the granddaughters next summer. 
The water hose sprayers were .25 and the seeds were .08 and .12
All my summer stuff was on big markdown.  

I hope the receipt is readable.  I paid $10.95 total.  
All 3 coupons I used are digital and available to anyone.  

My husband picked more peppers.  We liked the stuffed pepper soup so much, I made a double batch.  😱♥️

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda