Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Print out your Super Target coupons!

This week you can get (among other things I am sure) awesome deals on groceries at Target! There is a $1 coupon on their site for fresh veggies which made broccoli $.99 for a big bunch (plenty for our family for dinner). Cauliflower would be $1.49 for a big bunch. Then there was the $.75 off Daisy sour cream (used for enchiladas). The small container was dead cheap with this coupon (no size restriction). There also a Stovetop stuffing Q that makes it $.29 - there have been Buy3Get1 tearpads spotted at grocery stores that make this even better! We topped our enchiladas with tomatoes from the $1 off tomatoes on the vine coupon as well. There's no minimum so I bought 2 tomatoes for $.84 (those puppies were $2.49/lb!!!).

I even used their printers to print off my Qs to save paper. Just use the registry machines/computers. Select target.com - shop online from the options, navigate to the coupons and print them right there in the store!


This is an awesome book that will save you lots of money if you cook for your family! The Utah State University has come up with a recipe book (and accompanying cooking class) for their SOS mix - "Soup or Sauce". It is a mix that I love! You mix it up, store it and then just add water to get instant "Cream of ??" soup. I sub into all my recipes now! It's fat free and you control what goes into it! You can add low sodium ingredients and alter it to your family's tastes. Lovely!

Here's their recipe for the Chicken Enchiladas we had last night!
1 pkg flour tortillas
1 lb cooked, diced or shredded chicken
1 can (4 oz) green chilies, chopped
2/3 cup *SOS
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup “light” sour cream
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Make sauce by combining SOS mix, water and green chilies.
Cook and stir on stove top or in microwave until thickened.
Add sour cream to sauce. Cut tortillas in quarters. Line
bottom of casserole with tortillas. Add a layer of chicken
and a layer of sauce. Top with cheese. Repeat. Bake at
350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Yield: 8 servings

The kids SCARFED this! It was unbelievable! We paired this with broccoli from our Super Target deals and this came out to be a very affordable meal!

The Bathroom!

As soon as Rick came home we dug into Chicken Enchiladas and left to go to pick out tile about 20 minutes away in a store that was having a Vet Day sale. We spent an hour there and left with many $$ worth of floor and wall tile for the bathroom downstairs.

Here is the floor tile...

And the wall tile... I know it doesn't look like they match but I promise they do. The floor is similar to the light colored tile. The light colored tile is more beige than yellow. The shower surround will be the darker brown on all three walls with a strip of diagonal tiles running horizontally in the middle. That will be the light tile in the center and then one dark tile above and one below. Sorry if that's hard to picture.

Then we left to go to Lowe's, which was 20 min. away and closing in less than an hour to pick up our tub and as much other stuff that we could buy in $50 increments. I found out just yesterday afternoon that yesterday was the last day of an awesome promo at Lowe's where you got a $10 coupon for every $50 spent. So we bought the following in separate trips:

1. tub

2. grout and pedestal sink

3. backerboard and sand. And then it was after 9 and our kids were dying and so were we and so we went home.

Rick wanted to have a lot for his dad to do when he comes to help out with the basement this weekend. He has even NOT been working on the basement for fear he'll get too much accomplished and his dad will be sitting on his duff. :) I thought that Grandpa might want to visit, see the grandkids, etc. but Rick is sure he will be devastated if we don't have a full array of projects for him to tackle. Well, after last night I'm sure he'll be fine!

Why I have no idea what's for dinner tonight...

Yup, that's twelve loaves of Poppy Seed Bread (before I backspaced that read "poopy" seed - Man my hands are tired!)

For YW tonight we are visiting some elderly ladies to get to know them in preparation for a luncheon we'll be having next month. I think it is kind of an "Adopt-a-grandma" thing - except I thought that was supposed to include something in the interim. You know, like leaving them gifts, chatting with them once a week or so, raking their leaves or something. As far as I know we're just visiting them this once. I guess I'll know more after tonight. Anyway, I was supposed to bring something to place in the baskets we're bringing to them. We only had 6 or so girls sign up out of all three classes so the YW Pres thought that the baskets might look sad with only one girl's stuff in it. I was asked to bring something for the basket that my group would be delivering (since I'm driving tonight) so it would look a bit more full. So I chose this bread! I saw the recipe on Heather's blog a while ago and she raved about it so much that it's been in my brain that I need to make it. I had to go and make a trip to King Soopers (a grocery store that I usually hate b/c of their 3 coupon limit and Nazi-managers) to buy butter extract. I have to say I never even knew that existed! I called Rick and told him what I was doing that morning (and to say sorry I didn't make it to Lowe's to pick up the backerboard and sand I was planning on) and somehow I ended up being persuaded to make 3 batches of the stuff! I asked if there was anyone that would be loaning us stuff for his basement bathroom project this weekend that might appreciate a homebaked "thank you!". I knew that there was a guy bringing in his tile saw tomorrow for us to use but didn't know what else we might be borrowing. At the end of our conversation somehow I was making a big loaf for us, one for his co-workers, one for the YW, and 8 for our home/visiting teachees. Eh? Oh well! I joked with him on the phone that he just wants to keep his wife barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen where she belongs.

Four hours later: my whole house smells yummy, I have a new appreciation for butter extract and its capabilities, I have no more oil, I am almost out of sugar, I went through a jar of poppy seeds (I had to fix it again!) and a jar of almond extract, and I didn't get my nap! I did get a bunch of laundry loads finished though! Man, I'm tired! We stayed up way too late with our bathroom last night.

Here's the recipe if you're interested:

Poppy Seed Bread

3 eggs
1 1/8 C. oil
2 1/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. milk
3 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 tsp. butter extract
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 T. poppy seeds

Beat eggs, oil & sugar. Add flour, salt, baking powder & milk. Then, add extracts and poppy seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in two bread pans or use smaller loaves.

1/4 C. orange juice
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. butter, almond & vanilla extracts
Prick bread while warm and drizzle glaze over entire bread. (I warmed this up first in the microwave for a minute to melt the sugar).

Friday, November 09, 2007

Hawaii Man and Glitter Girl

We were doing a craft project that came with the following coloring page:

I thought this was just too cute! Ashlyn's Kindergarten teacher emphasizes "lots of details" on their homework and assignments at school. She encourages lots of coloring and embellishments. So Ashlyn colored every inch of this paper we did! There was something I thought was so funny that I had to share. She started coloring in the boy and telling me about how he has dark skin. She said it's just like a "Hawaii Man". :) Because even though he's not from Hawaii he has skin like a Hawaii Person. :) The girl has pink skin because her mom put pink glitter on her before they went to the beach. Wow - what a nice mom, huh?

This is the back of that page.

The basic picture is of 2 people riding a unicorn. Then we started to add "details". In Ashlyn's conference her teacher mentioned that Ashlyn seemed cautious to spell and label her drawings. She encouraged us to work on helping Ashlyn feel comfortable with it so she would do it at school. (So she's a bit of a perfectionist who doesn't like trying new things for fear of looking silly to others.... Hmmm, where did she get that?)
Well, now she is writing all over everthing! I love it! Her teacher said that at this point it would be VERY phonetic and contain a mix of lowercase and caps and that was fine. So I thought I would share. You see the pic above - here are the letters (and then a translation). But first a quick preview so you can see how she thinks...
On the sailboat/ocean craft we made that goes with the picture she wrote this on one of the sails:
That is: Thank You Lindsey (cuz you remember Josh and Lindsey are her fave names when she plays). My favorite is the "Q" as in than-Q = thank you. Oh man she's awesome.

So here is what's on her paper:

FRoM Ashlyn Bair wutisit?
Hape Muthrss Dua!
Didygod WeceD?
Hatn A Yss :) gudjuob!


From Ashlyn Bair What is it?
Happy Mothers' Day!
Did you have a good weekend? ("did you" is on the first line, "have a" is the 2nd, "good weekend" is on the 3rd and then back on the 1st line. Kinda like columns?)
Yes. Good Job!
Good Job.
Love Ashlyn
You are beautiful.

Wow! You may also notice that everyone (cat and unicorn included) are wearing crowns. :) It's the sign of an authentic Ashlyn original piece of art. Beware of forgeries!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mmmm - dinner

So, tonight's dinner rocked. (Especially considering the last 2 nights of barely any effort sandwiches and scrambled eggs). Since red meat is out and I've been dying for a burger I made our very favorite turkey burgers. I thought we had a couple of potatoes that might be growing things so I decided to make french fries too. (Turns out we only had one potato but I just cut 'em thin!) Then we had smoothies with the frozen tropical fruit mix from Costco with pineapple juice and milk. :) The baby needs colorful fruit!

Here's some recipes that we have tested out and found worthy!

Hamburger Buns (oh yeah, I make my own buns! I started these after nap - around 3pm - to be ready by dinner)
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 (.25 oz) pkgs dry yeast (this is 4.5 tsp if you have a jar like I do)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup veg. or olive oil (extra tasty with butter if you have the extra room in your arteries and around your middle)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt

Stir together 2 cups of flour and the yeast.
In a separate bowl heat milk, water, oil, sugar and salt to lukewarm (not too hot to kill the yeast) in microwave.
Add all at once to flour mixture and beat until smooth ~3 min. (less in a mixer)
Mix in enough flour to make a soft dough, 2-3 cups. Mix well.
Dust a flat surface with flour, turn dough out onto floured surface and let rest under bowl ~10 min.
Shape dough into 12 slightly flat balls and place on greased baking sheet (cover with plastic wrap so they don't dry out) til doubled.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 min. or til brown.

(I only used 1/2 the dough and am going to use the rest for the calzone recipe following).

Turkey Burgers
1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
1 (1 oz.) pkg onion soup mix
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t garlic powder
1 1/2 T soy sauce
1 egg
(In case you don't already know - t is tsp and T is Tbsp)

Mix (will look soupy but don't fret - they are so moist!) and shape into patties. Broil or grill! MMMmmmmmm!

Baked French Fries
3 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4" strips
cooking spray
1 t dried basil
1/2 t onion powder
1 t seasoned salt
1/8 - 1/4 c. grated parmesan (depends on what you're in the mood for)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Put foil on baking sheet and spray the foil. Put fries in a ziploc baggie, spray with cooking spray and shake the fries and seasonings together to coat. Arrange fries in a single layer on pan and bake until golden (25-45 min. - depends on how crispy you like 'em).

And the extra bread dough will become...

Spinach Calzones
1 15oz container of ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 T dried Italian seasoning
2 T mayo
1/2 t oinion powder
3 c. shredded mozzarella
1 c. parmesan, grated
3 cloves sauteed garlic
1 10oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
s&p to taste
1 32 oz pkg frozen white bread dough

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix filling (everthing but dough). Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll each into 8" circle. Spoon 1/2 c. filling into each circle, fold over and seal edges. Place on greased cookie sheet. Cut small vent on top and brush with olive oil. Bake 20-30 min. or until brown. If you have leftover filling use it for stuffed shells or spinach pizza.

And here we are at 20 weeks!

Not too huge - in fact just lookin' a little chunky! :) Oh well! Everyone who's important knows that I'm not just in love with doughnuts!

Happy Halloween!

Here's what we had for dinner! We were inspired by those pizzas that Papa Murphy puts out for Halloween. Ours, however, is obviously MUCH cooler! We've even got stuffed crust! (Just put mozarella sticks on the edge and roll the crust over). MMMMMmmmmm. This was night #2 of the red meat death sentence (night #1 being the chili at the Trunk or Treat you read about previously). I didn't figure out until the 3rd time that week we ate red meat that that was what was making me so sick - so the day after Halloween was not good for me. Rick took the kids out to Trick or Treat at a few of our neighbors homes (he took the van since it was FREEZING). They got lots of candy and even a can of soda pop! :) Here is a pic of our Jack-o-Lanterns. Rick didn't do one, so the only addition is mine - in the middle.

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