Category: Recipes

So, one of the things that I’ve appreciated as I’ve perused the great wide world of blogs are all the neat recipe ideas I find.  I’ve been trying to test out new things that sound good in an effort to add a little variety to our diets.

Here are my efforts this week:

Frozen Banana Bites ~ chocolate, peanut butter, banana all in little bite size treats……yeah, I HAD to try this one!! 🙂

“Homemade” Pickles ~ not exactly homemade, but this is a fun little project.  I want to try REALLY homemade pickles, but that will be another day.
-just cut up some small salad/pickling cucumbers and put them in the jar with the old juice.  Refrigerate and they say that in a few days you have another jar of pickles….we’ll see!!

Whole Milk Yogurt ~ this is not a new project, but we’re out, so time to make more!

I think that’s all I’m going to get to today.  I’ll keep you posted on the results!


So, there just weren’t too many deals at any of the stores that I found inspiring this week.  However, I did find a way to save some good money and it will keep paying off in the future!

At Meijer this week, I bought 12 quart-sized Ball canning jars to use for making yogurt and preserving some of this summer’s produce!  The jars were just over $8 and I used a $15 catalina coupon that I had from getting a new prescription filled in the pharmacy, so the jars were essentially FREE!

I made my first batch of homemade yogurt with a new recipe this week and was pretty pleased with how it turned out.  It made 4 quart jars and cost about $3.  The process is very simple and not very time-consuming.  Overall, even if I had paid for the jars, the first batch of yogurt completely paid for them in the cost savings over buying yogurt at the store.

I had been buying Stonyfield Organic Plain yogurt for about $3 a quart (or $12 a gallon).  The Ball jars and the yogurt starter for this batch cost $9 total and I used them to make a gallon of yogurt.  First batch and I’ve already saved $3.  WOW!

One more money saving idea from this week?  Pay attention to those Catalina coupons that print when you checkout.  Last week I received one that said “Save $5 on your next purchase of $50 or more in gift cards.”  I used it this week.  I bought a $50 gift card (paid $45) and then turned around and used the gift card to pay for my groceries.  Instant 10% savings on my groceries without using a single manufacturer’s coupon!

Cheesy Beef Quesadillas ($2)
Rotel Cheese Dip ($0.50)
Tortilla Chips ($0.50)

Pork Chops with cajun mustard sauce ($2.25)
Butter Noodles ($0.50)
Salad with Blue Cheese dressing ($2)
Parmesan Cheese Bread ($1)

Out to eat (Riverfront Cafe)

Stouffer’s Frozen Dinners

Mac and Cheese

Family Birthday Party (someone else is cooking, yipee! :))

Parmesan Cheese Bread

Is there a way to serve a whole party of people, but not break the bank?  Of course!

Here’s a sample menu for our party:

Chili is great for a party, because you can put out toppings and people can personalize their own bowl.  Plus, most of the ingredients can be bought for cheap or even free!  Things like kidney beans, salsa, and tomato sauce go on killer sales and last for a long time.  Keep them on hand to whip up this easy chili recipe for your next party.  People can add more salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream or crackers to make their chili their own! 🙂

Dips and chips:
Last week at Meijer you could get “Heluva” dips for free.  We’re having ‘Garlic and Parmesan’ and ‘Jalapeno Cheddar’ with our chips.  Meijer also had Lays potato chips on sale B1G1, so they were only $1.99/bag.
Last week at Target you could get two bags of Tostitos tortilla chips and a jar of Tostito’s Salsa for $2.29 total.  Guess what is going to be served at the Super Bowl party.
Last week at Kroger they had a great deal on Hormel chili, velveeta, Rotel tomatoes, and cream cheese.  Add some Rotel to melted Velveeta = delicious!  I’ve also had a dip made with Hormel and cream cheese that was super yummy!
A final dip that I’m going to try for this party is Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip. They had the sauce priced really reasonably at Kroger last week.

If you stocked up on the 12-pack cans or the 2 liters from CVS a couple weeks ago, you should be all set to have a very caffeinated group of party-goers! 🙂

I’m changing it up a little and I’m just doing to list the meals I’m going to try and make this week.  I’m not assigning days to them. 🙂  Also, I’m adding a breakfast list for this week.


Apple Spice Waffles (can be made ahead and reheated in the toaster)
Cold Cereal
Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins
Bagels with Cream Cheese
Cold Cereal
Eggs, Sausage and Toast
French Toast


Black Bean and Steak Tacos $3
Tortilla Chips and Guacamole $1

TGIFriday’s Frozen Chicken and Shrimp Cajun Alfredo $3

Breaded Pork Chops
Cheesy Potatoes $1
Veggies $2

Out to Eat: Pizza Night $20

Steak Stir Fry $5
Parmesan Cheese Bread $1

Recipes will be added later. 🙂

Cinnamon Bread!!

Updated:  This bread is AMAZING!!  I added some raisins to the filling and it was delicious!

Today’s baking experiment will be Cinnamon Bread.

I’m using a recipe from King Arthur Flour.  I received the most amazing King Arthur “baking” cookbook a few  years ago for Christmas.  I have yet to try a recipe that wasn’t delicious!!

Here’s the link to this recipe.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I have just a little leftover turkey to use up.  I’m thinking I’m going to experiment with a Turkey Tetrazzini recipe I found at


“Freezer food” – homemade English muffin pizzas, single serve frozen lasagna leftovers  (FREE)


We got a great surprise gift card in the mail, so we’re going out to eat at Bonefish Grill.  YUM!!


Turkey Tetrazzini ($3)
Fresh veggies and blue cheese dressing ($1)
Garlic cheese bread (was FREE)




“Raid the pantry” (price unknown)


PetsConnect Volunteer Appreciation Dinner (FREE)

My Mom’s Bread Stuffing

I love this stuffing recipe!   It’s the one my mom has been making my whole life.  The comments in parentheses are hers!  Thanks, Mom!! 🙂

¾ cup chopped onion

1½ cups chopped celery (stalks and leaves)

1 cup butter or margarine (I think I only use about ¼ -1/3 cup)

9 cups soft bread cubes (a mixture of white and wheat)

2 teaspoons salt (I don’t use that much, maybe 1 teaspoon)

1½ teaspoons crushed sage leaves (use only about ¼ -½ teaspoon rubbed sage or whatever is in a spice bottle)

1 teaspoon thyme leaves (less – more like ¼-½ teaspoon)

½ teaspoon pepper


In large skillet, cook and stir onion and celery in butter until onion is tender.  Stir in about 1/3 of the bread cubes.  Turn into deep bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and toss.


Put in large casserole dish and pour over about ½ can (+/- a cup) of chicken broth.  Cover and bake for about 30 minutes at 325° to 350°.


The original inspiration for the recipe came from the Betty Crocker cookbook.  The changes are courtesy of my mom!

Sweet potatoes (usually I figure one potato per person)

Apples (usually half as many apples as potatoes)

Brown sugar to taste

Cinnamon to taste

Nuts (optional)


Cook sweet potatoes until almost done.  (Boil whole with skins or pare raw sweet potatoes, slice and microwave with a little apple juice.)  Add sliced apples and other ingredients.  Bake or microwave until apples are done.

As you can see, this is a “pinch of this, dash of that” kind of recipe. 🙂  It’s a classic must-have at our family Thanksgiving!!


2 c. hot water

2 small or 1 large box raspberry jello

1/2 c. nuts (optional)

1 1-lb. can whole cranberry sauce

1 c. sour cream (original recipe calls for 1 pt. but I usually just put “some” in)


Dissolve jello in hot water and mix.  Cool.  Add cranberry sauce and chill until syrupy.  Fold in sour cream and nuts.  Pour into mold of choice.  Chill.  Serve 8-12.

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