Sunday, January 30, 2011


After being sick since Friday afternoon and not really having a "decent" meal the past few days,I'm starving today. And I need some real comfort food. MEATLOAF. I saw this recipe on CREATE CHANNEL a few days ago and haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I didn't have all of the ingredients,so I had to improvise a little and leave some things out,but I'm sure it will turn out fine--at least I hope so!

Ming Tsai Turkey Meatloaf

My Version

2pounds of ground turkey
2-3 stalks of celery chopped (with leaves)
1 cup of crushed saltine crackers
1/2 white onion
1 egg
dijon mustard (a good dollop)

mix all together and place into a prepared loaf pan. bake 400* until done (probably about 30-45mins).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

stretching your food dollars

Let's face it,in today's economy,everyone is trying to save money. And food is a major part of everyone's expenses. What do you do to stretch your family's food dollars? I use coupons whenever I have them,but lately I haven't had very many-but honestly,I haven't looked for any. There are TONS of websites that will teach you how to "coupon" and how to go the extra mile and save. My neice is just now using some of these techniques and she is hooked. I might share some of her favorite links later. They show you how to use coupons plus the weekly sales papers that grocery stores put out plus the in-store b1g1 deals (buy 1 get 1 free) that sometimes aren't advertised except for in the store. There are also coupon websites where you can trade coupons you don't need for ones that you do and some places even auction "bundles" of coupons (I have done that before). Today I took advantage of the in store b1g1 deals and saved a good bit of money. My $120 buggy of groceries turned into $96. I'd call that pretty good! You can't beat getting something free.

You can also save by using store-brand items instead of name brand products. I think we have all done this at one time or another. But you have to be careful and read your product labels and make sure that by saving a few cents you aren't getting more than you bargain for. Recently,a friend noticed that the "off brand" of a certain can of beans had HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP and the name brand didn't. And we've all heard about HFCS. I mean why would you put that in a can of beans anyway? We are trying to stay away from HFCS for health reasons. Watch the size of the products too,lately I've noticed that some cereal boxes are getting smaller and smaller but the price is staying the same. READ YOUR LABELS!

salmon for supper

Chop 1/2 of one onion--Add to 8-120z of chicken stock that's bubbling in skillet--add kale and cook until slightly wilted--add salt and pepper--

salmon,brown rice, and kale
I baked the salmon at about 450*F for 12-20mins---I added salt/pepper and a squeeze of lime juice

I love salmon. And thankfully,it's good for us. It has those wonderful omega 3s and fatty acids that our hearts need. I've been wanting salmon for a few weeks,and today I got away from the house for a few minutes and hit the grocery store. The kiddo's been sick all week and we've been getting by with what we have had on hand so I wouldn't have to take him out with me to the grocery store. Today,daddy did baby-sitting duty and I ran a few errands.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekend Helper....the Crockpot

I'm always looking for something I can make that can feed the guys for a few days-HAPPY HUSBAND CHILI and BEANS AND SAUSAGE are two things I can easily make in larger batches. I usually do this with the beans from a 16 bean soup mix (without the mix because it's way too salty),but the guys needed something different so I grabbed a bag of mixed beans-I think it was cranberry beans and white beans.I soaked the beans overnight. In the morning, I drained and rinsed them and put them in the crockpot to cook a while on HIGH. Later in the day when the beans were getting soft, I added in a package of turkey kelbasa (cut into bite size chunks) and 1/2 a large onion (roughly diced). This will cook for a few more hours while I run out and have fun bowling with the boys. If I'm feeling up to it when we get home,I'll either make a pan of quickie cornbread or a package or two of brown rice and serve it over that.

Friday, January 21, 2011

brown and drain the ground turkey--add in 2 shredded zucchini and a small bag of shredded cabbage.......

Added in 2 packages of angel hair shiritaki noodles.....

Basicly I just cooked a pound of lean,ground turkey,drained it,added 2 shredded zucchini,a small bag of shredded cabbage, and 2 bags of shiritaki noodles (angel hair).I mixed all together and added salt and pepper and served. I would liked to have had some kind of chinese sauce but didn't have anything in the pantry and didn't feel like experimenting tonight.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Busy weeknight meals

I hate being rushed---especially when it comes to making dinner. How do you handle the crunch at dinner time? Tuesdays are busy for us. My son has music class in the late afternoon and it usually runs till about 5pm. And on a normal day,dinner is ready and on the table before 5. I hate to admit it but sometimes I have resorted to those frozen quickie dinners when I've been in a pinch to get food on the table. But we all know those are loaded with salt and other preservatives that aren't good for us. Sandwiches are another option. I've found some low sodium-no preservative lunch meats in the stores lately and those have been a good option. I had moved away from "lunch meats" because of all the salt and preservatives,so it's nice to be able to have a ham sandwich again! My husband works nights and I usually like to have him something homemade to take for his lunch--even if that meals making dinner at 9am like I did today. Now,after music class, all I will have to do will be to get everything heated up and maybe add another quickie side dish to the fare and dinner will be done! Quick and easy--can't beat that!

What are some of your busy weeknight dinner survival tips/tricks?

soda update..........

Well it's been a week and I haven't had any soda....except for my daily morning dose of ROCKSTAR. I know that's still carbonated but it's a major decrease in my soda consumption. I used to drink 3+ a day. I haven't really had any major cravings for them. I wanted one the other day while I was shopping-I could just "taste" the cold bubbliness of a diet coke,but I got a bottle of water instead. I was so proud of myself. The only thing is I need to get into the habit of drinking more water or iced tea during the day--not just when I'm thirsty or at meal time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's for dinner? Stuffed Bell Peppers

Chop and saute one onion..........

Brown and drain your ground meat......

make "snakes" out of two squares of aluminum foil and make rings to help support your peppers....

Cut the tops off each pepper and clean out the ribs and seeds.....

fill the peppers with the meat/rice mix......

3 little peppers all stuffed and ready for baking.......

Brown and Bubbly.....

I asked hubby what he wanted to go with the pepeprs and he said STUFFING.

Leftover "stuffing" mix-I topped with panko and baked until it was brown and bubbly.

I'm always looking for something new to make for dinner. The bell peppers looked good at the store this week so I thought I would make STUFFED BELL PEPPERS.

1 pepper per person
ground meat
salt/pepper to taste
brown rice
aluminum foil

chop onion-add to skillet and saute in a little oil until done-drain and set aside
cook meat until done season with salt and pepper-drain-and set aside--cook rice--combine all ingredients in large bowl--wash your peppers--slice the tops off and clean insides out to make a little "cup"--don't forget to take the ribs/seeds out of the top of pepper also--rinse well to make sure you get all the seeds out--Take two squares of aluminum foil and fold up "like a snake" to make a support for the peppers so they won't fall over during baking--fill the peppers with the meat/rice mixture and place in casserole dish--Repeat with other peppers---place tops on peppers---pour a little water in the casserole dish (enough to cover the bottom)--place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes at 375*-400*F or until the peppers are done and the tops are brown and bubbly

**I had alot of the rice/meat mixture left so I placed into a casserole dish and topped with bread crumbs and baked until brown and bubbly.
**The mixture looked a little dry to me so I also added in a small can on cream of chicken soup plus 1/2 can of hot water and mixed well before I filled the peppers.

**Another variation would be instead of the soup,you could add some type of tomato sauce.
**I have also used acorn squash instead of the peppers-the link below will take you to a recipe for that:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dinner for a cold night...........

Crunchy Chicken Tenders

HAPPY HUSBAND CHILI--a real pleaser at our house.....

5lbs ground beef (or chicken or turkey)
3 large jars of black bean sala with corn
beans (usually use kidney beans and chili beans)
salt/pepper/chili seasonings to taste
jar of tomato juice

brown the meat in skillet until done and drain- add salt and pepper--add in beans and the salsa--might have to add in a little tomato juice to make the "sauce" thinner if desired--bring everything back up to a simmer and serve--

**I usually use canned kidney beans,black beans,and chili beans but this time I used dried mixed beans and kidney beans---so I soaked and cooked the beans separately--if you are using canned beans you can just add to the meat after draining.

Crunchy Chicken Tenders
1 sleeve of ritz crackers pounded into crumbs
chicken tenders

Put ritz crackers into a zippie bag and pound with rolling pin to make crumbs--drop one chicken tender at a time into the zippie bag and "shake" to coat with the crumbs-repeat with remaining tenders-place into a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray-bake at 475-495*F until brown and crispy--

Well,we survived the Great Ice Storm of 2011. It's so cold outside that you need a good,hearty meal to warm you up from the inside. Tonight,I made HAPPY HUSBAND CHILI for the guys and Crunchy Chicken Tenders for myself-since I can't eat anything with tomatoes in it (allergies).

Monday, January 3, 2011

peanut butter rice krispy treats.....

THANKS,KRISTA!!!! These are delicious. A friend shared her recipe for cocoa pebbles peanut butter treats. I used rice krispies and they turned out delicious! These will be a staple at our house,too!!

Cocoa Pebbles Peanut Butter Treats
1/2 cup smart balance light
1 pkg. (10 1/2 oz) mini marshmallows
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 11 oz box Cocoa Pebbles (**I used plain rice krispy cereal)

Melt butter. Add marshmallows and when almost melted, add peanut butter
and stir until completely melted. Pour over Cocoa Pebbles in a large bowl and mix well.
Press into a sprayed 13x9" pan. Cool. Cut into 24 squares.


The hubby decided he wanted spaghetti for supper. I can't eat it because I'm allergic to tomatoes,so I had to find something different for supper. I love pasta. I decided to make some home made manacotti.

1 package of manacotti shells
1pound lean ground turkey
1 jar of light alfredo sauce (or you can make homemade)
salt/pepper to taste
1 package frozen spinach (about 2 1/2 cups)
3-4 wedges of laugning cow lowfat cheese (I used garlic herb)
1 package of weight watcher's cream cheese
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese (to sprinkle on top)
3-4 TBS of egg white substitute

Cook turkey until done-drain-add in frozen spinach and "cook" (steam) with the turkey until it is done (not frozen anymore)--drain again--place in large mixing bowl--add in the cream cheese and the laughing cow cheese-mix well with fork until it is all mixed together--add in the egg substitute and stir to mix well-add salt and pepper--spoon into the manacotti shells--place in baking dish--pour alfredo sauce over the shells--bake about 30 mins covered--uncover and add the parmesan cheese--bake until brown and bubbly--- **400*F

I had to spoon the mixture into the manacotti shells-but I have seen it done on tv using a zippie bag with an end snipped off to fill the shells,but it didn't work for me-it just made a MESS! LOL so I had to spoon it in...messy but turned out delish!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

a busy week

Well even though I said I wasn't going to do it,my dr talked/nagged me into going back for the 2nd sleep study-this time I'll be hooked up to a CPAP machine...and probably bring it home with me. Being away from home for one night is just chaos for us. Luckily,Zach has been responding better to his dad and behaving well for him,so I don't think it'll be that much of an issue---I hope so at least. I just hate doing it. So this week I'll be busy getting things back into somewhat of a "normal" pattern for us-starting back Zach's schoolwork and getting things ready for Friday night. Hubby will have to get off a few hours early so I can go to the sleep clinic. Did I say how much I dread this?