Saturday, August 21, 2010

Proof that you matter...and a video from a comedian I love.

Hello Friends. Alisha here. I just got home from a fabulous time with a couple of friends in Indianapolis, Indiana for a "Women of Faith" conference. There were several speakers who I just loved there, but one of my most favorite speakers was Andy Andrews.

If you are looking for a word of encouragement...
Moms, please, do yourselves a favor, and take a moment to be inspired as you watch this short video...

"There are generations, yet unborn, whose existence depends on the choices you make and action you take, because everything you do matters..."

And if you are looking for a good laugh...
Check out comedian Anita Renfroe, as she sings a song that she made up as a take-off of one of Taylor Swifts very popular songs, "Love Story". It's called "(A more real) Love Story". If you have been a mom for more than a month, you will be able to appreciate the humor of this song, I promise. :0) Check it out...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Reuben Chicken with Steamed Veggies

I don't know about you, but I love SAUERKRAUT! Give me a good recipe with sauerkraut and I will definitely try it out. I ran across this recipe and it appealed to me because it is more Frugal than actual Reuben sandwiches and maybe even a bit healthier. This recipe was a breeze to make and my family loved it! Even my 2 1/2 year old ate it up. Leftovers were served and gone the next day at lunch. Enjoy!

Here is what you need for a family of 4:

4 chicken breasts, 4 slices of swiss cheese, 1 cup thousand island dressing and 1 can of sauerkraut.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Drain your sauerkraut

Step 3: Place your chicken in a greased pan. Notice that I used 2 large chicken breasts and a few small pieces. I used boneless, skinless but regular chicken breasts should work the same. I also pounded out these chicken breasts so that they were about 1/2 inch thick. This helps in cutting down the cooking time.

Step 4: Place sauerkraut on top of chicken.

Step 5: Place slices of Swiss Cheese on top of Sauerkraut.

Step 6: Measure out 1 cup of Thousand Island Dressing

Step 7: Pour the dressing over the cheese, spread with a spoon to coat evenly.

Step 8: Cover with foil and cook 30-45 minutes or until chicken is done and dish is bubbly.
Step 9: Cook your veggies. If you have never tried Green Giant Steamers, they are awesome! You just stick the bag in the microwave for 5-7 minutes, take it out and put in a bowl to serve! I am not paid to advertise for them, just giving my opinion from one mom to another. Also, Green Giant puts coupons out every other few months which make these close to or completely FREE!
Step 10: Take off foil and serve!

Cost of Meal for a family of 4: $6.00
Cost per person: $1.50

$6.00 for a family of 4 is so cheap! It would cost around $6.00 average for 1 person to eat dinner out and that doesn't include leftovers!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Great Article

I just read a short, but encouraging article over at a favorite blog of mine, Passionate Homemaking. I wanted to share it all with you, in hopes that it would also encourage some of you out there as well!

There are some seasons in our life, when homemaking; i.e. - cooking, is not as important because our little ones need our attention so much of the time. Here is the article.

Open Faced Tacos

If you are a toppings lover, like me and always get frustrated b/c there is just not enough room in a taco shell to fit all of your beloved tomatoes, guacomole, sour cream, salsa, cheese, olives etc. You will love the open faced taco! You can pile all of your toppings on top, as many as you want- the sky is the limit!
Enjoy this meal and spice it up in your own way for your family. Let us know how it goes!

Here is what you need for a family of 4:

1 lb ground beef, cheese, taco shells, taco seasoning, *refried beans, *tomato, *sour cream, *lettuce, *taco sauce and *mexican rice (*Optional ingredients. Choose what your family loves!) You may have some great leftover toppings from your chop salad yesterday. If you want to make a meatless meal, the ground beef could totally be omitted and you could use the refried beans as your base.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350. Then, brown the hamburger and drain Isn't my husband great? He is my offical meat browner, he does it so well!

Step 2: Add the taco seasoning and follow directions on the packet for cooking

Step 3: If you are choosing to make rice as a side dish, start this now.

Step 4: Break taco shells into 2 separate parts and place on a cookie sheet. At first I tried cutting these with scissors and although it works that way, it works just as well to break them with your hands. I placed my thumb in the crevice of the shell and slowly worked my way down the shell break it into two. If you break one or two, nobody will know! Toss it in a baggie to use as a scooper later on for your toppings!

Step 5: Start layering your toppings on your shell. I started with refried beans

Step 6: Then I added the ground beef and cheese. On some of the shells I omitted the beans for those who don't like them.

Step 7: Place in the oven for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is all melted and everything is warmed up!

Step 8: After they are warmed up, add your PILE of toppings and your rice to the side. No Fork needed! Simply pick up the taco shell as if it were a nacho chip and eat away! Even my 2 1/2 year old daughter loved this idea and was able to eat with ease.
Notice it was a paper plate night for us tonight. Gotta have those nights every once in awhile to give us a nice break from kitchen clean up!

I would love to know how your family responded to this meal. Let me know if you tried it or are planning to in the future! ~

Cost of Meal for a family of 4: $8.00
Cost per person: $2.00

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Salmon Patties with couscous

So once a week my husband has a chance to show off his culinary skills in the kitchen. Who doesn't love a man who can and WILL cook for you? Usually we have something fish related. This week we are having his salmon patties. He grew up eating these and has tweaked his mom's recipe to his taste.

Here is what you need:

Milk, dill weed, saltine crackers, 2 cans of pink salmon (boneless and skinless, 1 egg

First you need to mix up your 2 cans of salmon (drained), 1 egg, 3/4 cups of milk, 1 tablespoon of dill weed. Then add crushed saltine crackers until desired consistency (we usually use about 1 pack of saltine crackers give or take).

You then need to let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours for the crackers to soak in the flavors.
After 2-3 hours has passed and you are ready for dinner. Now, heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in your pan.

Shape the salmon mixture into patties. However many patties you make and how big you make them depends on how many people you are serving. We can make 3 big patties or 4 medium sized. These would also be great as tiny appetizers.

Cook them on medium low until golden brown on both sides.

Serve with Couscous or side of your choice.

Meal cost (included couscous, excluding milk, eggs, dill and crackers): $5.00
Serves 4- cost per serving: $1.25

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Baked Pasta in a Cream Sauce with Broccoli and Biscuits

I ran across this recipe as I was looking through recipe books at Barnes and Noble. I adapted it a bit, to my taste and I think it turned out pretty good!

Here is what you need for a family of 4:

1 TB cornstarch, 1 cup milk, 1/2 box of Rotini (or noodle of choice), 4-5 TB parmesean, 1/2 cup sour cream, steamed broccoli (optional), mushrooms (optional), 2 TB butter (not pictured)

Step 1: Start boiling your water for your pasta, cook as indicated on package and drain.

Step 2: While pasta is cooking, start your sauce! Mix 1/2 cup milk and 1 TB cornstarch until blended. Add 1/2 cup sour cream, 3 TB parmesan cheese and 1 TB butter, mix and heat until warm. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: Steam your broccoli. I use fresh broccoli as much as I can. It is so much better than frozen, and I can get my daughter and husband to eat it that way as well!

Step 4: Preheat oven to 350 and butter your dish.

Step 5: Make biscuits/garlic bread. If you have never had bisquick's garlic cheddar biscuits, you have to try them! They are about $1.25 for the bag and it makes about 10 biscuits. They taste just like Red Lobster's biscuits! Yum!

Step 6: Mix your pasta, sauce, steamed veggies and mushrooms in your buttered dish. Sprinkle with more parmesan, and add a few dots of butter. When I first mixed the sauce in with the pasta, I was pretty disappointed. The sauce seemed to have separated and wasn't creamy looking. After cooking, however I was pleasantly surprised!

Step 7: Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.
Step 8: Serve with biscuits or garlic bread and enjoy!

This recipe was okay, but not a favorite. My husband, however did go up for 2nds! I am picky when it comes to cream sauce. Besides this recipe, most of the cream sauce recipes I have found have been expensive and hard to make. I don't love this one, but I may play with the recipe until I do!

Let me know if you have had success with a different cream sauce recipe.
I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Cost of Meal for 4: $4.00
Cost per person: $1.00

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chop Salad with Feta, Avocado and Dinner rolls

Romain or Iceberg lettuce (enough for 4), croutons, feta cheese, red onion, avocado, black olives, dressing, tomato and bacon bits. Of course you can delete from your salad you want to avoid and add things you do enjoy.

Step 1: Chop the salad into tiny bites. Hence the name, "chop salad." At first I thought, "What in the world is the point of chopping your salad!?" Let me tell you that having your salad chopped will greatly improve your salad going experience. Honestly! Imagine taking that perfect bite of salad where it's not just a bite of lettuce on your fork! Instead you have little pieces of lettuce, AND YOUR TOPPINGS in the SAME BITE! Trust me... you have got to try this, you may never go back.

Here is my nicely chopped salad in a bowl. I got an already mixed bag of salad that had carrots and a few extras.

Step 2: Chop your toppings: Red Onion

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Avocado right now! I am so into it and it is so good for you!

Step 3: Mix your toppings w/ your salad- add your feta, croutons, bacon bites, olives and dressing- Serve with some warm rolls (I have recently discovered Sister Schuberts rolls in the freezer section. I seriously ate about half the pan, ask my husband. They are divine!) and you are set to enjoy a delightful dining experience. *Keep any leftover toppings (including salad) you have to use as toppings for your open faced tacos tomorrow!

Here is Addie enjoying her first bite of Avocado. She truly loved it, but not as much as she loved the Feta cheese!
To add more protein to this meal try adding some: hard boiled eggs, chicken or beans! This would also be a great salad to have on a soup and salad night. Want some great soup ideas? Type "Soup" into the Search bar located at the top left corner of blogger. We have SEVERAL yummy recipes we can teach you how to make- step by step!

Meal Serves: 4
Cost of Meal: $8.00 (including toppings and rolls)
Cost per person: $2.00