Monday, March 29, 2010

Winn-Dixie Savings

Spent: $21.72
Saved: $18.00

Today I purchased 1 bag of chicken, 4 lbs of ground beef, and 4 lbs of pork ribs. 

Publix Savings

Spent: $42.97
Saved: $48.43

Going to Parkesdale for produce and Winn Dixie for meat is really helping me save money on my groceries. My budget is $300 a month for groceries, toiletries, cleaning products, etc. and $50 a month for diapers.

This is what I purchased today:

1 bag of baby carrots
2 Tropicana orange juice
2 Ore-Ida Steam-N-Mash
2 Cool Whip
2 Maria Blue Cheese Dressing
3 Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 Sorrento Ricotta
2 Kraft shredded cheddar cheese
1 Kraft shredded triple cheddar cheese
1 Kraft shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Azteca tortillas
1 Publix frozen peas
2 Chocolate Cheerios
4 Publix yogurt
1 Jiffy Biscuit mix
1 Publix raisins
2 Pillsbury Pizza Crust
4 Gatorades
1 Publix eggs
1 Publix milk
2 Silk Soy milk
2 Campbells Cream of Chicken
2 Campbells Cream of Mushroom

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekly Menu

This weeks menu is fun.  Abe asked me to make him a salad he saw in one of my magazines for his lunch. Yeah...I know he is spoiled.   

Sunday: Eating out 
Monday: Ribs and Mashed Sweet Potatoes 
Tuesday: BBQ Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday: Squash Soup and Garlic Bread
Thursday: Meatball Sub Casserole
Friday: Chicken Pot Pie
Saturday: Lasagna Pasta Toss

Dessert: Stuffed Roasted Strawberries

Abe's lunch: Tropical Southwest Salad

Picture Sunday

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Parkesdale Farms

We spent the morning at the Ybor City Farmers Market.  Ezra enjoyed some Eggplant fries. From there we went to Parkesdale Farms.  Of course, we had to order a milkshake.  I spent $24 and got a whole lot of good produce. The produce we bought last week was delicious. I had to go back.  Here is what I bought today:

1 onion
1 bag of grapefruit
4 tomatoes
2 cucumbers
1 bag of spinach
6 squash
1 half flat of strawberries
4 avocados
6 apples
2 mangos

I am excited about the squash since I will be making squash soup next week for dinner...yummy!

Triple Martini Lunch

A good friend of mine made beautiful bibs for Roman.  I LOVE THEM!!!  She is so talented and has opened an Etsy shop.  She makes quality products and I love her aprons.  I have the nursing bracelet and use it everyday.  Check her shop out HERE!

Roman in his bib...

Orange Chicken

This recipe works great with many vegetables. I needed to use up some cabbage , red peppers, and spinach. It was delicious!

For the marinade:
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bottle (11.75 oz) stir-fry sauce
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces

For the stir-fry:
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Vegetable of your choice

1. For the marinade, place ginger, garlic, stir-fry sauce, orange juice concentrate, and green onions in a large zip top bag. Squeeze out air and seal. Gently massage bag to continue ingredients. Add chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator 8 - 24 hours. When ready to cook, remove chicken, reserving marinade; set aside.

2. For the stir-fry, over high heat heat, in a large skillet or wok, heat oil. Add chicken and sir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until almost cooked through. Drain off extra oil.

3. Add the reserved marinade, vegetables and orange marmalade; stir fry for an additional 2 minutes or until heated through. Drizzle with sesame oil just before serving over rice.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I had to post this boys!

Beef Macaroni and Cheese

This was delicious.  I ate a little too much of it today for dinner. I will definitely be making it again. 

1 pound box elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 (14.5 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
garlic powder
italian seasoning
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat the oil in a deep skillet; add the peppers, onion, garlic and saute until soft. Add the ground beef and saute until browned. Add the tomatoes and italian seasoning. Then add the salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste.  

3. In a large bowl combine the macaroni, beef mixture and one cup of shredded cheese. Spread the mixture in a 9 X13 inch baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 -25 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Wordless Wednesday

Roman in the Babyhawk...he loves it!

Roman went to the doctor for his 2 month check-up yesterday and he is in the 85-90 percentile with his weight and height.  He is getting so big.

I love him so much!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup water
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 pounds beef stew
garlic powder
10.75 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
10.75 oz can condensed French onion soup
1 cup sour cream

1. Mix flour and water and set aside. Season stew with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on both sides Heat butter in a large skillet and cook stew until brown on both sides.

2. Add cream of mushroom soup, French onion soup, 1 soup can water, and flour mixture.  Simmer and stir constantly until thickened. If it is too thick, add a small amount of water. Once thickened,  simmer for 45 minutes.

3. Add sour cream and heat until bubbling. Serve over cooked noodles.

(adapted from Paula Deen)

Publix Savings

Spent: $69.76
Saved: $75.78
108% Savings

I was very happy the ALL detergent was BOGO.  I only buy detergent free of dye and perfumes because of my husband's allergies and I have a 2 month old. With coupons the detergent was $1.  

Here is what I purchased:

2 Lysol Neutral Air Spray
4 ALL Detergents
1 Brawny Paper Towel
1 Angel Soft 9 Roll Toilet Paper
2 Wise Potato Chips
2 Santa Rita Wines
2 SueBee Clover Honey
1 Stir Fry Sauce
1 OJ concentrate
1 Half and Half Creamer
2 Pepperidge Farm Swirl Bread
2 Welch's juice
2 Friendship sour cream
1 bottle of lemon juice
2 Silk Soy Milk
2 Arnold Breads
4 Sargento Shredded Cheese
1 Coffee Filters
1 Butter
4 Muellers Pasta
1 Saltines
2 College Inn Broth
2 Lenders Bagels
2 Wish Bone Dressing
1 Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Dressing 
1 Semi-Sweet Choco Chips

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak

1 pound of cubed steak
Kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/2 cup of flour
2 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of thyme


1. Season each piece of meat on both sides with the salt and pepper. Place the flour into a pie pan. Place the eggs into a separate pie pan. Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour. Then Dredge the meat in the egg and again in the flour. Repeat with all the pieces of meat. Place the meat onto a plate. 
2. Place enough of the vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once heated, add the meat. Cook each piece on both sides until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side.
3. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the flour.  Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Whisk until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add the milk and thyme and whisk until thickens. Season to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the gravy over the steaks.

Picture Sunday

On our way back from Parkesdale yesterday, this is how Ezra fell asleep.  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Parkesdale Farms

Today, we went to Parkesdale Farms and really enjoyed it.  That place gets very busy.  Of course we had a strawberry shortcake and milkshake.  Ezra and Roman really enjoyed it. I can't believe how cheap the produce was.  I only spent $15 on the following:

1 romaine lettuce
3 tomatoes
3 garlic
2 large spanish onions
1 pack of chives
2 cucumbers
1 eggplant
2 red peppers
1 poblano pepper
6 apples
1 half flat of strawberries

I had spaghetti on the menu but will be changing it to eggplant parmesan.  Can't wait to make it!

Weekly Menu

 I am very excited about the menu next week. I think I will have some tasty dishes for dinner. These are all new recipes. I did not end up making the burgers and stroganoff this week, so I will be including it in next weeks menu. Winn-Dixie has chicken and pork chops BOGO this week. I will be picking that up for dinner the following week. 

Sunday: Chicken Fried Steak
Monday: Beef Stroganoff
Tuesday: Beef Mac-n-Cheese
Wednesday: Orange Chicken with Rice
Thursday: Beef Fajita Burgers
Friday: Oven Fried Chicken with Ranch Sauce
Saturday: Eggplant Parmesan

Dessert: Cream Cheese Pastry and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Abe's twin

Abe's baby picture


Cider Ginger Beef

For the Beef:
1.5 pounds flank or skirt steak
3 tablespoons stir-fry sauce
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced ginger

For the Stir-Fry:
bag of spinach or cabbage
2 tablespoons stir-fry sauce
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar
3 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/4 cup ginger dressing
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Hot white or brown rice

1. For the beef, slice steak across the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices, cut slices into 2 to 3 inch strips.

2. In a large zip-top bag, combine stir-fry sauce, sherry, sugar, and ginger. Squeeze out air and seal. Gently massage bag to dissolve sugar. Add steak. Gently massage bag to combine ingredients. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

3. In a small bowl, stir together stir-fry sauce, sherry, and vinegar; set aside. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade.

4. In a large skillet, over high heat, heat oil. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add beef and stir-fry. When the steak is halfway cooked, add the spinach or cabbage. Once meat is cooked through, add the sauce mixture; stir-fry until mixture is heated through. Stir in ginger dressing. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve with rice.

(adapted from Sandra Lee)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Viewing the manatees

Friday, March 12, 2010


This is a very quick and easy recipe. Abe loves Mexican food so I am always looking for different Mexican dishes to make. This one is a keeper!

1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup salsa
1 onion chopped
garlic powder
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
sour cream

1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown beef and cook onions. Add taco seasoning and salsa.  Add a little water if mixture is too dry. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder if needed. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. 

2. In another skillet, heat oil over medium-heat. Fry tortillas flat until crispy on both sides.
3.  Place tortillas on plate and top with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream

(adapted from Sandra Lee)

Weekly Menu

Sunday: Chicken Spaghetti
Monday: Chicken Scallopine (click to see recipe)
Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff
Wednesday: Cider Ginger Beef over rice
Thursday: Tostado
Friday: Beef Fajita Burgers 
Saturday: Chicken Tuscan Pasta

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ropa Vieja

This is one of my husbands favorite meals!


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds beef flank steak 
1 cup beef broth
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 small onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar


1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the flank steak on each side, about 4 minutes per side.

2. Transfer beef to a slow cooker. Pour in the beef broth and tomato sauce, then add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, italian seasoning, cilantro, olive oil and vinegar. Stir until well blended. Cover, and cook on High for 4 hours, or on Low for up to 10 hours. When ready to serve, shred meat and serve.

    Note: If chuck roast is on sale, I used it instead of flank steak.  Still taste great!

Wordless Wednesday

Ezra's first soccer practice

Monday, March 8, 2010

Greek Chicken Pita Pocket


Souvlaki Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  10 boneless, skinless chicken tenders 
Tzatziki Sauce:
  • 1 small cucumber, diced
  • 2 tablespoons dill leaves
  • 1 (6 to 8-ounce) container plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pita Bread
  • Spinach leaves
  • 1 tomato, chopped


In large bowl whisk together all the souvlaki ingredients, except the chicken. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the pan. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Tzatziki Sauce:
  • In a medium bowl combine all the tzatziki sauce ingredients and set aside.
Heat 4 pitas in the microwave for 30 seconds. Slice them in half.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Picture Sunday

Roman 7 weeks old

Ezra Dancing

Lasagna Bowl

1 pound of penne pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound of ground beef
1 small to medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon allspice
ground black pepper
garlic powder
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano


1. Heat large pot of water to a boil, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.
2. While pasta water comes to a boil, heat medium sauce pot over medium-high heat, add meat and break up as it browns. When the meat has begun to caramelize and develops a nice brown color, 4 to 5 minutes, add onion, garlic, allspice, garlic powder, salt and pepper and a bay leaf. Cook 3 to 4 minutes more to soften onions then stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in wine and cook out 1 minute then stir in stock and reduce heat to simmer.
3. While red sauce cooks,  melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Add in flour and whisk together a minute or so then whisk in milk and bring to a bubble, reduce heat then season sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, thicken 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Toss pasta with white sauce and 1/2 cup grated cheese. Serve pasta in individual bowls and top with a ladle of meat sauce in the middle of the bowl for mixing in. 

(adapted from Rachael Ray)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Publix Savings

Spent: $91.09
Saved: $120.91
132% Savings

I love when I save more than I spend.  This is a great week to stock up on items we always use. Here is my shopping list:

2 - Arm & Hammer detergent
2 - Edy's ice cream
2 - Birds Eye Steamfresh veggie and rice
2 lb chuck roast
4 - bananas
3 - sweet potatoes
2 - cucumbers
2 - plantains
1 - tomato
1 - green pepper
1 - Naked Juice protein drink
1 package sliced portabella mushrooms
4 - Quaker chewy bars
4 - Quaker Fiber bars
4 - Morningstar sausage veggie patties
2 - Oscar Meyer Lunchables
2 - garlic
4 - Kelloggs Rice Krispies
2 - Special K Granola
6 - Sure deodorant
1 - sandwich buns
2 - pita breads
1 - loaf of bread
2 - Bertolli pasta sauce
2 - Pillsbury crescent rolls
2 - Pillsbury pizza crust
4 - Quaker instant oatmeal
2 - Listerine Rinse
10 - Dannon yogurt
1 - Kraft singles
4 - Silk Soy 
1 - creamer
2 - Aunt Jemima syrup
1 - Greek yogurt
1 - yellow rice

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chocolate Chip Garbanzo Bean Cookies - Kid Friendly Recipe

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar brown sugar
3/4 cup trans fat free soft tub margarine spread
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, then the garbanzo beans and chocolate chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda and salt, and mix on low speed until a thick dough forms.
3. Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11 to 13 minutes; do not over bake. Transfer to a rack to cool.
4. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

(From Deceptively Delicious)

Pasta with Spinach and Peas

This is a great dish to substitute.  You can use any kind of meat or veggies you desire.

1 8 oz package of Linguine
2 cups of frozen peas
1 tablespoon of olive oil
8 ounces boneless pork, cut into thin, bite size strips
2/3 cup bottled ginger dressing
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
garlic powder

1. Cook pasta according to pasta package directions; drain. Return pasta to the pan.
2. Meanwhile, season pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In a large skillet, add olive oil to cook the pork in hot oil over medium-high heat until slightly pink in center, about 3 minutes.
3. Stir salad dressing and pepper into hot pasta mixture in pan. Add spinach, pork, and peas; cook and toss over low heat for 1 minute or more. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Also serve with additional salad dressing if desired.

(This was a great hit with Ezra.  He ate a ton  of it!)

(adapted from Family Style Magazine)

Wordless Wednesday

My Boys