Showing posts from June 6, 2010

Ravioli Lasagna

This is a great tasting quick version of the traditional favorite! You will find recipes everywere that use cheese ravioli, we prefer the beef and sausage ones so I switched this up a bit. This is our version of the one off the Buitoni website, it makes for a fuller flavored meal, I really hope you try it! By senaking the spinach in it, you now have a complete meal in one dish. :) Ravioli Lasagna 2 packages BUITONI Refrigerated Beef and Sausage Ravioli , prepared according to package directions* 1 (15oz) package reduced-fat ricotta cheese 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach , thawed and squeezed dry 2 large eggs , lightly beaten 1/3 cup fat free milk 2 cans (15 ounces each) Spaghetti Sauce (I use Hunt's) 1/4 cup (.75 ounce) Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, eggs and milk in medium bowl. Place half pasta in bottom of prepared dish. Add half sauce and all of the ricotta mixture. Top with half

Beenie Weenies

This is a simple childhood favorite that is great for those camping advetures or when you are wishing you were out camping. You can buy these premade but they are no where as yummy as home made. It is super easy if you are using something like Bush's Bake beans -- you can just slice up some hot dogs and add them to it, heat and serve. If you have something like the Van de Kamps pork N beans that I got last week, they need to be "doctored up" a bit. Here is my recipe: 2 cans beans 1 package hot dogs, cut up 1/2 cup ketchup 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 TBSP Molasses 1/4 tsp mustard powder Stir them all together and heat through. Enjoy! Yes, you can use half a package of hot dogs instead of a whole one, we just have a few hot dog affectionados in our house, LOL.

Class Picnic

Sarah is officially done with preschool! Monday was their last day and on Wednesday, they had the whole class at a picnic at the nearby park. All adults signed up to bring something, the kids got to play like crazy on the equipment and the parents got to set up play dates for over the summer! The park is really close to the school, which means we were able to walk there in less than five minutes. Sarah knows her way around this playground but it was fun to watch her there with her friends. An official sign of summer is when the bubblers are put in to all the parks! This was very handy today as the temperatures were rapidly climbing. There was a veritable feast for all to enjoy! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ham sandwiches, fruit salad, water melon, sliced cheese trays (we brought one), pasta salad, veggies and dip, chips, cupcakes, Rice Krispie treats, and juice! If someone left there and was still hungry, that was their own fault! This was really a great way to end the school ye

It's the simple things...

I thought a dessert would round out our dinner nicely, but didn't have anything really ready. This is where Chocolate Flower Mud Pie comes in! Half the fun is in naming your creation -- the other half is in eatting it! I whipped up instant chocolate pudding and diveded it between three small bowls. Then I added five vanila wafers to it...and it started looking like a flower to me! Fresh whipped cream in the center and a few chocolate sprinkles to top it off and you have Chocolate Flower Mud Pie! My two food critics licked their bowls....he he he!

Buckeye Bars

This is a great "go to" recipe when you find yourself with an abundance of peanut butter or cereal. Some people call these "Special K" bars...we just call them Yummy! This recipe uses 3/4 less sugar than most recipes I have seen and it uses brown sugar instead of the white that most people use. We talked just a few weeks ago about how WHITE food is bad for you (white four, sugar, rice, bread, potatoes, etc) so this small steps makes it a tad healthier. (OK, I am just living in the world that it makes a huge difference on this sweet treat, LOL!) It DOES use the white corn syrup, it just can't be avoided here, sorry! These are SUPER easy to make and very tasty! Enjoy Dannelle's Cereal Bars 1 cup white Karo syrup 1 cup peanut butter ¼ cup brown sugar 6 cups Special K or Rice Krispies Cereal 1½ cup semisweet chocolate chips 1½ cup butterscotch chips 1. Put all of the cereal in a large bowl. 2. Melt the Karo syrup, peanut butter, and brown sugar on stove and brin

Meal Plan Monday...

Here is the plan for the week...after looking at what I have in the freezer, fridge and pantry: Breakfast is usually the same: Breakfast Cookies, cold cereal* or oatmeal* with a piece of fresh fruit (apple, strawberries, grapes or banana). Lunch is either leftovers, peanut butter* & jelly sandwiches, quesidillas, or cold plate with sausage or diced chicken - cheese* - crackers* & fresh fruit or yogurt. Dinner: Monday - left overs/fridge clean out! Tuesday - BBQ pork on a bun* Wednesday - Meatless Meal: Spaghetti* Thursday - Tacos Friday - Quiche* Saturday - Family Birthday Party Cookout: hot dogs*, brats*, chips*, potato salad*, fresh fruit Sunday - Ravioli Lasagna* Monday - left overs/fridge clean out! Tuesday - Hamburger stroganoff* Wednesday - Meatless Meal: grilled cheese* sandwiches and tomato soup* Thursday - Dinner out with my big sister who is coming to visit!!!!! Friday - Grilled pizzas* Saturday - beanie* weenies* Sunday - lasagna rolls* * Denotes items that were free

Today's Grocery Run

Today I broke the cardinal rule of couponing - I mixed up my coupons and held up the line! They had to call a manager over to fix things by voicing a transaction, etc. GAWD! I felt about 2 inches tall and I am sure my face was as red as my was really hard to go back in for that third transaction, but we did it, LOL This weekend I did three separate transactions and saved 88%(yeah!) NOW, at MY Roundy's store, we get to use the original shelf price to figure out our $25 before the coupons get doubled, I know some stores work off the SALE prices. I will have the sale prices listed and the original prices in ( ). What I actually got FREE is marked with * Transaction #1 6 boxes of cereal: 3 Corn Flakes @$2.79, Cinnabun Bites @$2.69 and 2 Rice Krispies @$1.99. 2 OM Beef & Cheddar Franks @ $4.99 2 Twix Candy Bar $.50 (.79)---I needed to build the order up over a zero balance. ----Now, it's time for the coupons! Store coupon for the cereal - Instant $10 off, 3 $1 off 2 b

eighteen25: summer to-do's

This is a SUPER cute way to plan your summer "to do" list! eighteen25: summer to-do's

Free Fruitista With a Side of Attitude

In last Sunday's paper, there were coupons from Taco Bell for Free Limeaid and Free Fruitista Chillers. If you have been following my blog, you know that I got four papers and that means four sets of these coupons. Today, we went to the local Taco Bell drive through with two coupons, thinking we would have a cool treat on this hot day. I placed my order for the two Strawberry Margarita Fruitistas over the speaker system and said that I had the coupons...I was told right away only one per visit. I said "OK, but there are two of us in the car and the coupon says one per person..." It was quiet for a bit and then I hear "fine. Pull ahead". When we got to the window, there were three people at the window, the person who took my coupons promptly handed them over to the very visible "manager in charge" who started to scrutinize them. Noting like feeling you are being accused of passing forged currency, LOL! They must have decided to take them because they st

Half Price Booked!

I posted a while ago about the different summer reading programs out there... we are keeping it simple this year and only doing one : Half Price Books. Each week, fill out a sheet that shows you read at least 15 mintues a day and you can earn a $3 store credit! We had completed week one of the summer reading program and decided it was a great day to take our first filled out sheet in to the store. Sarah was delighted to get a "high five" from the clerk and then raced back to the children's section. After a bit of inspection, we picked three books that fit into our price range: Smelly Socks,The Dentist Visit and Happy Sheep. You can see her proudly showing off her new teasures! Now we have plenty of things to start our sheet for week number two!

Summer is Smoothie Season!

As the hot days become more consistent, it is fun to thing of creative ways to keep cool. Smoothies are a GREAT and healthy way to do just that! We were talking about these on the Scrapfreak boards and I shared my standard recipe. 1 cup milk (soy or skim) 1 cup yogurt 2 cup berries ( I like to use frozen fruit) 1/4 tsp wheat germ (or scoop vanilla protein powder) 1/4 tsp ground flax Let it all rip in a blender until smooth and creamy. This led our conversation to the blog: Our Best Bites, the following came from there as she had Just posted about them! These measurements will make about 3 small smoothies, 2 large smoothies, or 1 probably unjustifiably large smoothie. Unless you're pre-menstrual or pregnant--those are times when giant smoothies are justifiable and if people are smart, they won't tell you otherwise. Base #1: 1 c. juice Dole Orange Peach Mango (great for tropical smoothies or where you want just a hint of citrus) Orange juice (use a high-quality, not-from-concentr

Planning the Next Grocery Run

Here is the list from Pocket Your Dollars...I have put in BOLD what I am looking at getting the next time I hit the store. I will fill my basic $25 purchase with some of the FREE Oscar Meyer hot dog coupons from my party pack (our party is next weekend!) A few notes: - -> I will get 2 grapes and 1 strawberries for the fruit deal - -> I target my cereal to be $3/box or less SO, 6 boxes = $18. Take off the instant $10 and you are at $8. Take 3 coupons for $1 off 2 boxes (doubled) and that gives me 6 boxes of cereal for $2 AND a coupon for a FREE gallon of milk~! That makes my cereal $.33 or so a box - GREAT price! - -> I will be getting 12 boxes of Mac N Cheese for $1.20 - I had seen the $.55 off 2 boxes coupons and grabbed 5 of them a few weeks ago at the store SOOOO they become $1.10 off 2 and we have a BOGO deal on them too! buy 5, get 5 free and take $5.50 off! I also have one Kraft coupon for a freebie so I will b1g1 and get them free! - -> I don't usually have potat

Puppy Party Finale

Today, we went to the Humane Society and took the bounty from Sarah's Puppy Party. I must admit, I was kind of surprised at the total lack of "hoopla" that they provided to Sarah...the never even told her "thank you", they simply said "put the stuff over there and we need her address". They NEVER even talked to Sarah! They didn't take a picture or anything! I think that either we got a crappy volunteer or they are simply just missing the boat on positive reinforcement with the kiddos - these are the people that will grow up and have discretionary funds to donate...why not take this chance to create an imprint? SO, *WE* made a big deal out of it for her! We took her around to see the animals, looked at the names on the different tiles and bricks, and took a few pictures. When we were leaving, I got down and gave her a huge hug and told her how proud of her I was - that all those kitties and puppies now have some neat treats and toys until they get a

Summer Fun...

We were talking on the Scrapfreak message boards about the cool things to do in the summer and I realized, I might have too long a list for the few short months! So far our list: *swimming *make popsicles (I will share my recipe list in the recipe section!) *library and bookstore reading programs (I blogged about this last month...) *Going to the Dells with our Russian Girl Dasha *Going to Branson *Going to the Voss's cabin with my inlaws *crafting (making a red white blue 8x8 album for the Dasha to take home) *make homemade ice cream (I got a machine free from TW a few years ago and we didn't use it ONCE last summer and found a pretty cool recipe for SnickerDoodle Ice Cream to try!!) *homemade bubbles with dishsoap and white corn syrup *we did a few single day activities thru the local Parks N Rec department *summer karate lessons for Sarah *Visit the local county fair *a few family cookouts/pool parties *4th of July parade *Concerts on the square (free) *health club 3x week (


Hot days of summer bring the necessity to have a cool treat! This is a list of all sorts of fun ideas that you can MAKE, at home, for less than store bought treats! The added bonus is that they are healthier too! There should be enough ideas here so you could make a different kind every week of your summer vacation and see which become your family's favorites. Enjoy! Ice Tup Cicles 2 pkgs. Kool-aid, any flavor 1 pkg. Jello, to match Kool-aid 1 ¼ cup sugar Mix dry ingredients thoroughly and store in a Modular Mates Container or ShelfSmart Container. Use 6 Tbsp. of the above dry ingredients to ¾ cup hot water and ¾ cup cold water or fruit juice. Fills one set of Ice Tups. Tupsicles 1 pkg. Jello 1 Pkg. Kool-aid 1 cup sugar 2 cups hot water Mix above ingredients well. Add 2 cups cold water. Stir and pour into Ice Tups and freeze Jello-Cicles 1 pkg. Jello 1 cup hot water Mix well and then add: 1 ½ cups cold water Stir and pour into Ice Tups. Freeze. Makes 12. Dripless Popsicles 1 pkg. f

This Week's Grocery Run

Here was a BIG week - I spent almost half my monthly budget! EEK! But I stocked up on toilet paper, napkins, yogurt, cereal and frozen juice! This week there are only 2 transactions as they let us double up to TEN coupons per transaction today (yeah!) NOW, at MY Roundy's store, we get to use the original shelf price to figure out our $25 before the coupons get doubled, I know some stores work off the SALE prices. I will have the sale prices listed and the original prices in ( ). What I actually got FREE is marked with * Transaction #1 Dawn Dish Soap @$1.29 (1.39) 5 Kellogg's Cereal @ $1.99 (3.59) Marcal TP @$5.99 (6.75) 2 Marcal Napkins** @$2.00 (2.35) 4 Old Orchard Juice @$1 (1.69) Kraft 100 cal chunk cheese* @2.69 (2.79) 4 YoCrunch Yogurt @2.50 (2.99) ----Now, it's time for the coupons! Store coupon for the Dish Soap that takes .42 off, Add two $1 off 2 Kellogg cereal coupons (doubled), $.70 off cereal (doubled),$.25 off Dawn (doubled), three $1 off Marcal (doubled), two

Breakfast Casserole

Every year around Christmas, as far back as I can remember, my Dad makes this dish. It IS yummy and SOOOOO easy! It's great with a fresh fruit salad and juice or coffee. Enjoy! Breakfast Casserole (make night before) 1 1/2# bulk sausage* 9 Eggs 2 1/2 C milk* 1 1/2 t dry mustard* 1 t salt 3 slices bread cut into small cubes* 1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese* Cook sausage until brown & crumbly. Drain well. Beat eggs with milk in large bowl, add remaining ingredients and the sausage and mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13x2 casserole dish. Refrigerate covered overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for one hour cut into casserole to make sure it's done (not soupy) serves 8-10 or Andy and a little for you and Sarah :)

I Won An Oscar Meyer Party Pack!

I still am not sure how I did it, I think I signed up through the Kraft First Taste website, but I was a winner! The box arrived this weekend and I wanted to share the box contents with y'all Here is what the box looks like - you can see a little hand on the right, she was VERY excited to see what was in the box! She grabbed the soft baseballs right away -- The Oscar Meyer Potholders and the tongs, which are SOOOO cool - they have silicone tips so you can't drop the hot dogs! A pack of logo Frisbees... Just look at the big bunch of $.75 off Ketchup coupons and 18 coupons for FREE packs of hot dogs! These all feed into the Pool Party BBQ we are doing for Sarah's birthday later this month with the family...add some potato salad, fruit salad and all the soda and brats I still have, a neighbor is making the cake and we are good to go! :) We will share the coupons and logo items with the people that come, per the "party pack" spirit, but want to point out that it DOES

Hardware Stores

Remember me talking about Walgreen's and their Register Rewards program? Menard's has something like that - but you get merchandise credit checks mailed to you. There are a TON of offers like $2 for buying Hershey's Pot Of Gold , limit 4. NOW, if you watch the sales, match up coupons AND do this -- you can have a perpetual cash system rolling along for you at the Hardware store too! Every week in their sale flier, there are items available for great prices after sending in a rebate. Many are free after rebate (FAR), but they have a clause that you must spend $10 in non-rebate items to qualify for the free rebates. This clause does not affect items that are not FAR. Your rebate is only available in the form of a Menards "rebate check", meaning you use it just as you would a gift card. So, you go choose your items, and the first time you shop, you will pay full price Out of Pocket (OOP). Your receipt will have rebate receipts attached, and each will have a rebate nu

Another Freecycle Score

Books are a GREAT investment in a child's future! They learn the love of language, the TV is shut off and you have quality snuggle time as you and the little person on your lap enjoy the latest story. How cool is it when you can get 40-50-60 new stories for FREE? A great reason to NOT be on digest for a Freecycle loop is the fact that it helps you have that slight edge on the competition when you quickly respond to a post. It can almost be like a radio call in game - where you can win a big prize but you have to be caller #3, LOL! In this case, you have to be emailer #1 and polite enough to warrant their consideration. I ALWAYS end my note with "thank you for considering us..." Today's score was the lot of children's books that you see pictured. We scored some Thomas the Train (her all time favorite!), Dora and Diego, Dr Seuss, Curious George, Shrek, and a whole series of Babybug - that we had never heard of. In addition to the pictured ones were about two dozen t

The Toilet Paper Game

Who cares about the over and under debate - us thrifty chicks care simply just care about the cost! This is really a woman's domain as men so rarely use it (LOL!) It's a game that a lot of the manufacturers play: 1 ply, 2 ply, double roll, triple roll, quadruple roll, it's enough to make a person go insane trying to figure out what the best deal is! Now they even have recycled toilet paper. Although it might get you thinking -->Ewww...HOW did they collect and recycle it? That is not the reality of the product, it is simply made from recycled paper. This is where you can even "Go Green" when you are simply going... :) Let's take care of the ply issue first - 2 ply is non-negotiable. I find that you actually use LESS sheets if you have 2 ply. That is better than the almost 4x the sheets that a single ply makes us use. We simply don't want "stuff" getting on our fingers! We used to buy double rolls - then came out TRIPLE rolls and now Giant rolls

Monday Meal Planning

Here is the plan for the week...after looking at what I have in the freezer, and what I did NOT make during the streak of a migraine I had last week: Breakfast is usually the same: Breakfast Cookies, cold cereal* or oatmeal* with a piece of fresh fruit (apple, strawberries, grapes or banana). Lunch is either leftovers, peanut butter* & jelly sandwiches, quesidillas, or cold plate with sausage or diced chicken - cheese* - crackers* & fresh fruit or yogurt. Dinner: Monday - left overs/fridge clean out! Tuesday - hamburgers on the grill with potato salad* Wednesday - School picnic (we are bringing cheese)* ! Thursday - breakfast casserole* (for dinner) Friday - beenie weenies* (a few hot dogs to use up from the picnics)! Saturday - Meatless Meal: fettucini with veggies Sunday - chicken enchiladas* * Denotes items that were free or almost free from my coupon clipping. My challenge to you this week: Keep your family from eating anything that came out a window!

Teacher Gifts

It's that time of year - when we show a little appreciation for the gang that helped mold the minds of our little ones for many months. Sarah had two teachers for preschool - they were both WONDERFUL! Instead of the normal apple route, we did strawberries and will package them up with a note that says "to a berry great teacher". These were pretty easy to make, only cost me some paper out of my stash and a bag of clearance Hershey Kisses. I got the idea from a friend's blog (Thanks Ms Heidi) but found a cut file online - we cut them, scored and embossed them, then stuffed with kisses! Enjoy the video of Sarah working the Cuttlebug and embossing them all - she is a true crafter at heart :) A few glue dots or adhesive onthe tab... Stick it together... Put a few Kisses inside... Fold the flaps down a little... Thread the hemp or ribbon through the holes... tie it closed... Thread the cord through the hole in the center of the strawberry top... tie it closed... And now, yo