Friday, December 10, 2010

Asian Beef Dinner

You're family will love you forever for making this one! :) It is absolutely DELICIOUS!! (and very easy)

2 packages (3 ounces each) beef-flavored ramen noodles
Boneless beef sirloin steak (3/4 inch thick)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (save one half for the Jalapeno Swiss burgers later this week)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. steak sauce
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 Tbs. green onion sliced

Set aside seasoning packet from noodles. Prepare noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. While noodles are cooking, cut steak into 3 in strips. In a large skillet, stir-fry the beef and jalapeno pepper in oil for 1-2 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, combine the noodles, water, steak sauce, carrot, onion, and contents of seasoning packet. Cook and stir until heated through. Return beef to the pan and mix in.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Pizza

I don't know what this recipe is. It's something I made up to use our crescent rolls and chicken in the fridge. I am HUGE fan of BBQ chicken pizza! I made this with hopes that it might taste something like a BBQ chicken pizza. It was good. Here's what I did:

Chicken, cooked and cubed or shredded
1 tube crescent rolls
red onion (pulled mine out from the freezer)
Italian (or mozzarella) cheese
BBQ sauce

Make a windmill shape out of the crescent roll triangles.
Use a fork in the middle to push down the dough and seal the places the dough connects.
Take a picture of your four year old if he is begging you to.
Reheat the chicken leftovers from last night, along with some red onion, chopped.
Slap of the chicken mixture onto your windmill.
Top with cheese.I wasn't thinking clearly when I made this. You should actually put the large ends of the triangles in the middle and put the point outward. (too much dough on top when you do it the way I did it)

Gather the triangles up toward the center of the chicken mixture blob.
Heat until brown on top and no longer doughy.
Use a pizza cutter to cut like you would a pizza. (don't have a picture of that. Sorry)

My son and I used the leftover BBQ sauce to dip our cheese sticks into later. :) Yum!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coupon Match-ups for Ultra/Town and Country 12/9-12/15

For those of you who do the coupon thing, and have an Ultra Store or a Town and County Store nearby, take a look at what deals are starting for you tomorrow (December 9)

There are six 4-day sale items this week. (Running from Thursday, Dec. 9-Sunday, Dec. 12) To qualify for these deals, you must spend at least $10 in the same transaction, and have the in-ad coupon. All of these deals have a limit of ONE.

The 4-Day Sale Deals are here:
TW Pure Cane Sugar
$.97 each

Pillsbury Flour
$.77 each

Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese
$.77 each

Nabisco Premium Saltines
$.97 each

Kraft Miracle Whip
$1.77 each


Crisco Oil $1.77

Use $.55/1 from RP 11/07/10.
Final Price: $1.22

Angel Soft Toilet Tissue 2/$10
Use $.50/1 or $1/2 from RP 11/14/10, RP 09/19/10, or here.
Final Price: 2/$9

Sparkle Paper Towel 2/$10
Use $1/2 from RP 11/14/10 #2
Final Price: 2/$9
There is also a manufacturer coupon for $5 off your grocery purchase when you spend $20 on participating items (Angel Soft and Sparkle are included in that list)

Deal Suggestion:
Get 2 Angel Soft Toilet Tissue for $10
Get 2 Sparkle Paper Towels for $12
(there is a limit of 2 on the 2/$10 Angel Soft & Sparkle deal)
Use $1/2 Angel Soft Coupon
Use $1/2 Sparkle Coupon
Use $5/20 In-Ad Coupon
Final Price: $15 for all 4 items (or $3.75 each)
Land O Lakes Butter $1.77
Use $1/2 from SS 10/24/10
Final Price $1.27 each!!!
(this is a stock up price)
limit of 2...additional $3.39... so don't buy more than two in one transaction

Progresso $.77
Use $1/4 from SS 11/21/10, GM 10/03/10, GM 11/14/10, SS 10/24/10, and GM 12/05/10
Final Price: $.52 each!!
(this would also be a stock up price...note that there is a limit of 6 at this price, so do multiple transactions if you are stocking up, or ask for a rein check if the store is out)

General Mills Cereal $1.48
Use $1/2 Cocoa Puffs from here.
Final Price: $1.96/2 Cocoa Puffs

College Inn Broth 2/$1
Use $1/4 from RP 11/14/10? (My insert had a $.50/6 instead)
Final Price: As low as $1 for 4 cans

McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract $2.99
Use $.50/1 from here.
Final Price: $2.49 each

Pillsbury Brownie Mix $.89
Use $.40/1 from RP 11/07/10
Final Price: $.49 each!!

Starbuck's Frappacino 2/$10
Use $1/1 from SS 11/21/10
Final Price: $4 each

On-Cor Classics $2.79
Use $.40/1 from RP 10/10/10
Final Price: $2.39 each
(Feed the whole family for under $3 using On Cor...for a meal plan using the chicken Parmesan go here)

Tony's Crispy Crust Pizza 10/$10
Use $1/2 from here.
Final Price: $.50 each

McCormick Gravy $.69
Use $.25/1 from RP 11/07/10
Final Price: $.44 each

Don't forget to grab a bag of apples too...
Apples, 5 Lbs. $1.88!!!!!!

Deals compiled for Claire over at Mummy Deals. Hoping the last couple of weeks of your pregnancy are healthy and smooth, Claire!

Seasoned Chicken and Rice with Veges

Do you all love Target like I do? In the words of my friend, Sally, "me and Target are friends". If you are someone who shops at Target a lot, then you are probably familiar with the black "Market Pantry" logo on many of their store brand food items. Last week I decided to change things up a little and grab a bag of their seasoned frozen chicken. I wanted to try the garlic herb chicken, to create a quick meal for my family. Here's what I did, to make a meal in less than 10 minutes...

1. Cook this:
2. Meanwhile, microwave this:
3. Cut chicken, if you are serving itty bittys.
4. Serve and smile. Here's my husband's plate:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chicken Packets

This is my favorite recipe from the Once a Month Cookbook that I mentioned yesterday. The Once a Month cooking concept is this: work hard in the kitchen one day, doing lots of prep cooking, chopping, and freezing so that the rest of the month the workload is minimal in the kitchen. This is a VERY efficient concept, and can save lots of time. If you are interested in the idea, I definitely recommend the book.

The positives to this approach are probably obvious, but I will briefly bullet point some of my thoughts:
-Gets the planning of meals knocked out for an entire month.
-Saves you money by not having to run to the store over and over again all month. (every time you go to the store you buy more than you anticipated)
-Find a sitter for a few hours one day so you can plug away at all the prep work, and not be so frazzled at dinner time the rest of the month if you are a mom with little kids who start nagging a lot around 4:30 each day. :)

Negative, from my opinion:
-There are lots of meals planned out in the book. Some are great; some not so great. If you are not a picky eater, and your family is open to eating whatever you set in front of them, this may be a great option for you. The chances, though, that you family would like all of the recipes on any given month long plan in the book is quite slim...which would require you to tweek each list, and meal plan outline, requiring more time.

What I do:
I love the concept of chopping, freezing food, and getting it available to use for future recipes. I chop and freeze lots of vegetables when they are a SWEET deal that is too good to pass up. The other week my grocery store had broccoli for 29 cents a pound! I bought 10 pounds of broccoli, steamed it, and froze it in ziploc bags for future recipes. Doing it this way saves money, saves time later, and creates less dishes to clean in the long run. The next time I need broccoli in a recipe, I will just thaw out what I need.

Having said all that, here's my FAVORITE one that I could eat everyday, if only it were healthy. :)

    • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
    • 1 (6 -8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • salt
    • 1/2 cup seasoned croutons, crushed to crumbs
    • 2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
    • 1/4 cup melted margarine


Mix chicken, cream cheese, chives, milk, and salt in a medium bowl (mixing with hands works best) to make filling, and store in a 1 qt freezer bag.
Put crouton crumbs in another 1 qt bag, attach it to bag of chicken filling, and freeze.
Refrigerate crescent rolls.

To prepare for serving:

Thaw chicken mixture.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Unroll crescent rolls.
Each tube will contain 4 rectangles of dough with a diagonal perforation.
Press dough along each perforation so the rectangle halves will not separate.
Place about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture into the center of each rectangle.
Fold dough over the filling, and pinch the edges to seal tightly.
Dip each packet in melted margarine, and coat with crouton crumbs.
Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 8 packets.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Syrup

The syrup in it's spreadable state a day later.
A while back we went to the Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg, TN and had ourselves a mighty sweet breakfast. My son ordered the kids pancakes which came with a beautiful dish of peanut buttery goodness. It was pancake syrup that tasted like peanut butter. The boys in my family went nuts. No pun intended.

So, I did some research. Looks like you can make a version of this syrup with Karo Syrup, but I did some modifications and came up with a yummy and nutritious version.

Peanut Butter
A Blender

On pancake morning I take peanut butter and warm honey and put them together in my blender. A Blend Tec has a "batter/syrup/dressing" button which can turn just about anything into well....batter, syrup or dressing. Its beautiful.

1. Step one. Heat honey on very low over the stove. Put into blender.
2. Step two. Add Peanut butter.
3. Step three. Blend well. Until smooth, creamy, and pourable.

I store this in a jar and it does solidify some, making it less of a syrup and more of a delightful spread. We use the remainder for apple dipping and tasty PB and J sandwiches.

ps....if using an industrial grade blender such as a vitamix or blendtec you do not have to warm the honey. The blender will warm and liqufy nicely. 

Balkan Meatballs

This recipe comes from my Once a Month Cooking Cookbook, written by Mary Beth Lagerborg, Mimi Wilson. It was not one of our favorites, and we will not be doing it again. Tomorrow I will be posting one of my favorites from this book, so be sure to check back for CHICKEN PACKETS!! They are very yummy, ooo la laa. You'll see.

For Meatballs
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup seasoned croutons
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. Ginger
1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Ground Allspice
1 pound Ground beef (I just used ground turkey)
1/2 pound Ground turkey
1 small Onion minced
(8 ounces wide egg noodles)

For White sauce:
2 Tbs. Butter
1/4 cup Flour
2 cups milk
1/2 ounce parsley for garnish

In a medium size mixing bowl, beat egg with milk. Mix in the crushed croutons, salt, sugar, and spices. Add ground beef, turkey and onion. Mix thoroughly. Preheat oven to broil. Shape meat into meatballs the size of walnuts. Place meatballs on a rimmed cookie sheet; broil until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Cool. Put meatballs in 1 - gallon freezer bag and freeze.

To prepare for serving. Thaw meatballs. Cook noodles according to package directions. At the same time prepare white sauce in a large skillet. Melt butter over low heat. Add flour stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly. (Okay, here's the part I don't get. Directions say smooth and bubbly, but if you add flour to melted butter, you get goop. Anyway, maybe this is why the recipe wasn't amazing to me...maybe I did something wrong?)

Gradually stir in milk. Heat to boiling over medium heat stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute until smooth and thick. Add meatballs to sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover pan; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve meatballs and sauce over wide egg noodles. Chop Parsely and serve over top.

(A special thanks to my husband, who finished the last steps of this recipe and took the remaining pictures for our website. You're my sweetheart, Scott Michael Hughes, and I appreciate all your do to support me. Thank you.)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Here's what's coming your way this week

Alisha Meal Plan for the week

Two of my recipes this week are from my Once a Month Cookbook, which means that two of these meals can be frozen and eaten later. Come back this week to find out which recipes they are. Here's what I get to share with you this week:

Monday: Balkan Meatballs
Tuesday: Chicken Packets
Wednesday: Seasoned Chicken with Rice and Veges
Thursday: BBQ Chicken Stuffed Pizzas
Friday: Asian Beef Dinner

Sunday: Spaghetti Squash

I am hoping that my experience can be yours also. It makes for a great and very frugal meal. During the fall season we stocked up on all types of squash. This made feeding a baby a breeze, plus gave us several go-to easy meals. Stick a squash in the oven, slap on some butter, and serve type of meals. Those are good every now and then.

As the squash season is ending I thought we would have to make do with what squash we had left until next year. I have so much summer squash I can not think straight and thus ignore it in the depths of my freezer. But, winter squash which screams for brown sugar and butter....oh...I could eat you every day. This year our garden did not do well, with the exception of the late blooming squash which overtook everything. We have left four spaghetti, several butternut, and  a lonely acorn. If kept cool in the cellar they should last nicely until March or even April. I covet them. I know, not good to covet.

Here is what I hope you might be able to find as well (in case you like squash too and are running low!)~ many stores in our area have beautiful squash on clearance. Our organic food shop has huge, sweet, fall and winter squash on clearance for mere dimes and nickles! I guess now that autumn is over people have moved past squash, but you should not because it keeps incredibly well, is a power house of goodness, and can be made into many wonderful meals for your family. So, check out the squash clearance that may be happening in your area and stock up. Keep those squash cool and dim and they will hold well for you.

This is a spaghetti squash. They do not always look like this. I paid a buck twenty-five  for this pretty boy at the farmers market. 

Take this guy and....ready for the hard part...?

1. Stick him on a baking sheet, in the oven, for 1 hour. Maybe a little more. Maybe a little less. Probably around 350 degrees. You are baking him until he is nice and soft.

2. Once that has been accomplished remove the squash and let it cool for a moment so that you can get your hands on it.

3. Cut it in half, remove seeds, and then using a fork scrape our the insides.

4. Place the strands of squash, which will resemble spaghetti noodles, onto a saute pan with a little bit of fresh garlic and some butter.

5. Put onto plates, pour your favorite marinara sauce on tops, grate a little parm cheese, and serve.

A roll and salad go along perfectly!  By the way, my kids are a very good eaters BUT I do think that this dish is so savory, flavorful, and familiar (even though its squash not noodles!) that many children would eat it. This is a very good way to introduce picky tots to nutritious food!