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Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Simple Things

I love having fresh veggies in my garden, but I think I'm equally as excited to finally have developed a decent cutting flower garden. I get to enjoy them in my house and my yard!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Odd one at Walgreens today...

Don't know if anyone has gotten this- probably not as I'mthinking I'm the only dork that would walk in and buy 3 bottles of Benefiber. (4yo has to be fed this stuff on a daily basis or it's bad news around here LOL). It was one of the products listed under the "Spend $30, get $10 RR". They were $10 each. I had 3 $2 off coupons. After tax and before coupons it was just over $32, and just over $26 after coupons. I pay, get a $10 RR, and then, magically, another $2 RR popped out! $12 back, making it $14 for 2 bottles of the powder and 1 bottle of chewables. Not sure why I got the 2nd RR, but I'll take it!

To Do Tuesday 7/28

I actually got most of what was on my list done. Except for get a pedicure. I know, right? SLACKER.

So, here's what I have on tap for this week-

  1. dinner
  2. bath for boys
  3. face mask
  4. go through end of month coupons and get organized
  5. do something with the 6lbs. of Strawberries I bought yesterday
  6. pack R's lunch for camp tomorrow
  7. go to bed early
  1. Longer day at work
  2. time in garden
  3. thank you cards. must do thank you cards
  4. grocery store runs, as necessary based on ads and coupons
  5. deep condition my hair
  1. parents day at R's camp
  2. hit the gym
  3. time in garden
  4. any other grocery hits or other errands
  1. Relax with the family. It's Friday! Have a martini, will ya?
  1. weeding time in garden. hope I have lots of tomatoes by this weekend.
  2. work on dining room table until I can actually see it again. novel concept.
  3. clean K's room and go through his closet
  4. hit the gym
  5. time with hubby
  1. special breakfast for boys
  2. park trip with boys and dog
  3. more fish for tank
  4. start organazing stockpile shelves
  5. menu plan for week
  6. get clothes laid out

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu Plan Week of 7/27

One or two repeats from last week...sometimes I juggle stuff around. We had found a huge steak sale last week so we stocked the freezer and had a special mid-week dinner.

This week is pretty simple, and not a lot of recipes- yet. I'll post more throughout the week. 7 dinners this week works out to right around $35.

Steak and potato skillet $3.00

Corn (leftover) .00

Spinach salad $1.25


Tuesday 7/28

Cheese ravioli w/ tomatoes, basil and mushrooms $3.75

Salad .75

Garlic bread.50


Wednesday 7/29

Chili dogs $2.55

Tater tots .75

sliced apples .50


Thursday 7/30

Pork stirfry $2.50

Rice .50

Broccoli .75


Friday 7/31

Grilled pork chops $2.75

Twice baked potatoes from freezer $1.00

Salad .75


Saturday 8/1

A Different Chicken cordon bleu $5.00

Frozen green beans .75

Tomato salad .00


Sunday 8/2

Marinated grilled sirloin $5.00

Grilled veggie packets $1.50

Salad $1.00


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bread and Butter Pickles

Well, I did it, but I took the safe route for the first time aroud- I used the Ball mix for Bread and Butter pickles. We'll see how it tastes. Next time I'm eyeing another recipe and I'll share if it turns out.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Strawberry Jam

I guess literally the fruits of my labor today. 8 half-pints. Tomorrow I will attempt bread and butter pickles. Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Fast Car

1. What’s the furthest trip you’ve taken by automobile?

Omaha to Destin with a stop to get my mom in St. Louis. We overnighted south of Memphis, I believe, and then drove on through to Destin. So about 22 hours total. Not sure we'd do that again. That was with just one child, albeit no dvd player yet, and my mom, but still.

2. What’s the worst pick up line you've ever received?
I've been dating hubby since I was 20. Don't remember pickups.

3. What’s the best pick up line you’ve gotten?
Hubby- you have the most beautiful eyes- what color are they? He's color blind hehehe

4. What was the last gift that you received?
a gift certificate for a massage!

5. What was the last gift that you gave someone?
I took my mom out for mother-daughter pedicures when we were in town.

6. Tell us about the last time you cried.
Last night? LOL. Stressful at work.

7. Tell us about the last time you laughed uncontrollably.
probably on a regular basis doing the morning show. It happens.

8. Do you suffer road rage? What are your thoughts on it?

Nah. But I can't deny that I've let a expletive or a random finger sign fly on occasion. I think there are a lot of idiots on the road and there's plenty of reason to be annoyed. But flying off the handle in the car is a sign that you probably don't handle stress well in other areas of your life either.

9. What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?

From Ferris Bueller's Day Off-

I did have a test today. That wasn't bullshit. It's on European socialism. I mean, really, what's the point? I'm not European, I don't plan on being European, so who gives a crap if they're socialist? They could be fascist anarchists--that still wouldn't change the fact that I don't own a car. Not that I condone fascism, or any ism for that matter. Isms, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an ism--he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon: "I don't believe in Beatles--I just believe in me." A good point there. Of course, he was the Walrus. I could be the Walrus--I'd still have to bum rides off of people.

Chili Mac and Cheese

A simple, and inexpensive "comfort food" supper that I've managed to remake with less fat but still a great, cheesy taste! You could substitute ground turkey or lean ground beef, but I like the flavor that the sausage adds to this dish without a lot of work on my part! :)

1 lb. roll of turkey breakfast sausage
1 can of chili beans
1 16 oz. jar of salsa (I used mild with the kids, but medium would work too)
1/2lb. 2% Milk Velveeta, cut into cubes
8oz. macaroni, uncooked
3T light sour cream

In large skillet, brown sausage at medium heat. Meanwhile, start water to boil for macaroni in a pot. Cook macaroni according to box directions to very al dente. You still want some firmness as the pasta will soften in the skillet later.

When sausage is no longer pink, add can of chili beans and jar of salsa. Stir and heat through. When hot, add cubes of Velveeta and melt in, stirring frequently. Drain pasta, reserving some of the pasta water, and add macaroni to the skillet. Use the reserved pasta water to thin sauce as necessary. Heat through. Add sour cream and stir in, heating through, but do not let it come to a boil. Remove from heat and serve. We served with frozen sweet corn and apple slices. Yum!

This recipe is linked to Simple Supper Saturday and to The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Thursday, July 23, 2009

50 cent Quatro Razors at Target this week

The new All You has 2 nice coupons you can combo with a Target gift card deal.

Quatro razors are $6.99 this week at Target. Buy 2 and get a $5 gift card.

Use the $4 off Quatro coupon and the $4 off Quatro for women coupon. Makes your total $5.98 for 2 razors, and you get a $5 gift card back.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bakers Bargain Meal of the Week 7/22- S.O.P.S

Yep, we're having S.O.P.S. this week. Sausage, onion, and potato skillet.

Your shopping list:

1 Kroger 16oz. Rope Smoked Sausage= $2.89
1 10 lb. bag Kroger Value Russet potatoes @ $2.99- use 3lbs.= .90
1 medium onion= about .50
1 cantaloupe= $1.69

Your recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 potatoes - peeled and cubed
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1T lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes to skillet, cover and simmer, turning occasionally, until potatoes are almost tender and a little browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the sausage and onion. Cover and cook for about 5 more minutes, or until onion and peppers are to desired tenderness. Add seasonings, stir and serve with slices of cantaloupe.
Total cost of meal- $5.98

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yay! The garden giveth veggies!

Finally a couple of tomatoes and a couple of jalapenos, along with a wall of cucumbers. About to make bread and butter pickles for the first time. Please wish me luck!

I quickly used the camera on my iPhone, and it just didn't capture the thing in the background I'm most proud of...the zinnias I grew from seed that are just surprising the heck out of me because they are PERFECT cutting flowers! These are a keeper!

To Do Tuesday

Whew! I pretty much get overwhelmed each week with everything that needs to get done. Working 12-13 hour days can do that to you I guess, huh? So I'm going to try to keep myself on track by posting my biggest goals for the week online. This week I have a few things in that are "take care of me" things. Very overdue and very important. The stress has definitely been affecting me, so I need to slow down and take care of me, too :) Fortunately hubby does a good chunk of the household chores. That makes life so much easier.


  1. pick up prescription, mustard seeds and more apple cider vinegar
  2. hot stone massage (thanks, hubby!)
  3. dinner
  4. spend 15 minutes in garden weeding and checking on veggies


  1. go through grocery ads and make my list for the week
  2. get book on Amazon that was recommended
  3. schedule R's doctor appt.
  4. schedule K's 4yo well child visit
  5. get a pedicure
  6. 10 minutes in garden


  1. start any shopping I laid out on Wednesday
  2. start laying out house rules and chores for R
  3. inventory all canning supplies, make a list of any needed items
  4. 10 minutes in garden
  5. get K and R signed up for soccer and swim lessons


  1. any additional errands that still need to be finished
  2. start sorting laundry for weekend
  3. organize my weekend cooking/baking priorities
  4. 10 minutes in garde
  5. start pickles for canning


  1. spend 30 minutes in garden
  2. make pickles!
  3. workout at YMCA
  4. start menu plan
  5. start baking/cook ahead priorities
  6. organize bedroom drawers and closet


  1. finish menu plan
  2. go through Sunday ads and coupons
  3. clean out coupon organizer
  4. take boys to pool
  5. finish baking/cook ahead tasks
  6. spend 30 minutes in garden

See more To Do Tuesday here

Monday, July 20, 2009

Anyone else watching the Next Food Network Star?

I have been sucked in for the past few seasons. I have been impressed with some things. I do like the challenges. I LOVE Michael Symon and think it's awesome that they have him involved. ( I could add that I've love to rub his head, but that would be inappropriate.) But I'm really disappointed in the behavior demonstrated by several of the finalists. Distasteful, dishonest, and not what I would say are good characteristics of a "star". They sent Jamika, above, home this week, and I guess that's an inevitable thing, but when are they going to take care of this one?
I'm voting for Melissa. She's a home cook and she's totally held her own with the pros, with class and integrity. Too bad we couldn't have seen more of that this season.

I've had following along at Bob Tuschman's blog on the Food Network site. Feel free to kill some time over there :)

Menu Plan Week of 7/20

Here's the week's plan. After Katie at Kitchen Stewardship's suggestions, I've tried to up the legume factor a little bit! :) No immediate recipe posts, but I will be adding them across the week. This week, our 7 dinners clock in at around $32.

Monday 7/20
Meatless Monday
Pasta with grilled veggies, basil and feta $3.80
Pasta .10, zucchini .40, red pepper .45, spinach 1.50, garbanzo beans .25, mushrooms .60, basil .00, oregano, olive oil, feta .50
Garlic rolls (free coupon) .00
Leftover grilled artichokes .00

Tuesday 7/21
Bbq pork sandwiches $1.50
Creamy coleslaw $1.50
Baked Beans $1.00

Wednesday 7/22
Skillet nachos $2.50
Ground beef, refried beans, cheese, veggies, chips
Salad .50

Thursday 7/23
Swedish meatballs over noodles $2.50
asparagus $1.00

Friday 7/24
Cheeseburgers $3.00
Green bean fries $1.50

Saturday 7/25
Grilled lemon chicken drumsticks $3.00
tortellini, white bean, tomato, mozzarella and basil salad $1.25
steamed broccoli .75

Sunday 7/26
Marinated grilled sirloin $5.00
Grilled veggie packets $1.50
Salad $1.00

Olive Oil

Two interesting tidbits I've run across about olive oil from 2 different sources on the same day, and thought I'd share.
  • From this month's SELF magazine, a blurb from the Journal of Food Science. After olive oil has been stored for 6 months, its antioxidants are 40% less effective at fighting cell-damaing free radicals. They suggest buying small bottles and storing in a cool place. I got the cool place part right, but I've been buying big ole bottles of oil from Sam's because I save so much more money that way. Darn.

  • A study out today finds that some cheaper brands of olive oil, including Aldi, beat out name brands when it came to aroma, taste, complexity and balance, as rated by a panel of experts. You can read that story here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Asian Coleslaw

I love this recipe because it's a pretty fun way to get kids to eat veggies. The chow mein noodles and oranges are pretty irresistable! If you want to make it more adult, you can turn up the heat with the chili-garlic sauce.

Here's the ingredient list:

1 small head of coleslaw, shredded
2 small carrots, peeled and sliced thin (you could save yourself the work and just get a bag of coleslaw mix with the cabbage and carrots, but I've not seen any good sales lately and this is the cheaper way to do it)
1/2 red pepper, sliced thinly
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
1 can mandarin oranges, drained, reserving 3T of the liquid
1t fresh grated ginger root
3T chopped fresh cilantro, or 1/2t dried
1 lime, juiced
1T soy sauce
3T rice wine vinegar (I didn't have so I used white wine vinegar and it turned out fine)
2T honey
1T sesame oil
1/4 to 3/4t chili garlic sauce (optional, use to your liking based on tolerance for spice. We use the low side-doesn't make it hot, just makes it "pop" a little bit)
1/2 cup chow mein noodles
Place all your veggies in a good bowl for tossing.
Place reserved orange liquid, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, lime juice, chili-garlic sauce and sesame oil in a bowl and whisk.
Add cilantro and dressing to the cole slaw and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Just before serving, add 1/2 cup of chow mein noodles so they keep their crunch. My kids will eat these plain for snacks, and later this week I'll post another recipe with a fun way to use the rest of these!

Voila! Such a colorful salad, easy to make, and full of flavor! Tip: for a great main dish salad, add sliced, grilled chicken with the chow mein noodles. Would be perfect with pan fried dumplings as an appetizer!

Linked to the 5 Dollar Dinner Challenge at http://www.5dollardinners.com

Chicken Tostadas with Salsa Verde

This is a GREAT, easy dinner for weeknights, and an awesome way to sneak in veggies!

4 flour tortillas (8 inch)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded, or the equivalent of cooked chicken
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1T olive oil
1 cup monterrey jack cheese
1/2 cup salsa verde
Your choice of toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, fresh cilantro, lime wedges to squeeze over them, sour cream, etc.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place tortillas across 2 cookie sheets covered in foil and sprayed with nonstick spray.

Meanwhile, heat small saute pan to medium. Add olive oil, garlic, red pepper, zucchini and saute for about 5 minutes, until veggies are tender. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Top tortillas with chicken, veggies and cheese, and bake for 10 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Top with salsa verde and your other desired toppings.

I like tomatoes, lime juice and cilantro on mine. These are good just with chicken and cheese, or just with veggies and cheese, depending on what you have on hand!

This recipe is linked to the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap. Come join us and share your favorite recipe! :)

My attempt at blueberry fritters

A huge thanks to Kate at Cooking During Stolen Moments for the yummy recipe she posted for Blueberry Fritters. I think we've been in the same situation as Kate---in blueberry overdrive---so I've been freezing the blueberries and finding ways to use them. Today for breakfast I took a shot at the fritters. I did deviate just slightly from the recipe by using a simple milk and powdered sugar icing (with a couple drops of lemon juice) instead of just sprinkling with powdered sugar.
I give this recipe big thumbs up! The only caution I would give is to just cook one as your test fritter first to make sure you have the temperature right. What I thought was medium on my stove appears to be medium-high...and my first couple of fritters weren't done on the inside.

Thanks Kate, for a recipe that I think will not only be used again, but I think could be very versatile---we'll have to substitute apples and add some cinnamon come fall!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Four Foods on Friday

1. TheSaladCaper’s question. Give me one weird food combination which has always been your comfort food

2. Name a food that begins with B.

3. Name a drink that begins with B.

4. Share a recipe for something that calls for broccoli.

Here are my answers-

Check out more Four Foods on Friday

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Getting Legumes and Veggies in Your Diet

A huge thanks to Katie at Kitchen Stewardship- She analyzed my meal plan last week and made suggestions about how to increase the beans and veggies in easy ways. She has great insight and information about the benefits of beans in your diet on a daily basis, making complete proteins, and other things that I know I can say I need to think about more! I find Katie's site to be super informative and thoughtful. Check out the advice she made for me here .

Katie will analyze your meal plan as well, and make suggestions. Just head over to Kitchen Stewardship. Thanks, Katie!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Garden is starting to produce!

Yay! I get so excited when I finally get to see the rewards for my labor! The cucumbers are rolling in now. My first roma is there....looks like it will be a little while before I see more tomatoes.
The peppers are coming along nicely, but I think I'm going to have to write the green beans off this year---again. Darn bunnies! Hopefully we'll get that figured out for next year---I guess 3rd time's a charm, right?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Homemade French Dressing

We don't buy bottled French. It's not something I use all the time, but I love this recipe on spinach salad and on mixed greens. It's the perfect mix of sweet and tangy.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup catsup
3T White Vinegar
2T sugar
1T worcestershire sauce
1/2t salt
1/2t black pepper
1/2t garlic powder
1/4t onion powder

Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid. Shake well. Serve.

Menu Plan Week of 7/13

We got a coupon and decided to go have pizza and games tonight for K's birthday. I also forgot about Ry's camp night last week, so we moved a few recipes over to this week's menu. I tried to share recipes and links, and I'll have more on the way.

Sunday 7/12
K dinner at Chuckee Cheese

Monday 7/13
Chicken tostadas with salsa verde$2.50
Corn and black bean salad .70
Pineapple .65

Tuesday 7/14
Cheeseburgers $3.00
Green bean fries $1.50
Calico beans from the freezer .00

Wednesday 7/15
Grilled pork tenderloin $4.00
Corn .40
Spinach salad with strawberry vinaigrette $1.25

Thursday 7/16
Family night at camp- bring dinner
turkey, pesto and cream cheese wraps $2.75
Pringles $.75
Mediterranean Pasta Orzo salad $1.50
Sliced apples .50

Friday 7/17
Pork fried rice, using leftover pork tenderloin $1.50
Asian coleslaw $1.50


Saturday 7/18
Grilled chicken with blueberry bbq sauce $2.50
Roasted potatoes .75

Sunday 7/19
Grilled sirloin $5.00
Grilled veggie packets $2.00
Salad $1.00

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Ah, yes...the summer of salads. I go a little salad crazy in the summer. It's just a taste I get.

1 cup uncooked orzo
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 can garbanzo beans, drained, or 1.5 cups cooked and cooled ( I keep them in the freezer ready to go)
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half ( if you have you can subsitute sundried tomatoes)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives (optional- I love, family doesn't, so I omit)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Cook orzo according to directions, to al-dente. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain, and then place in large bowl with remaining ingredients. Toss with vinaigrette recipe.

1/2 cup olive oil
3T red wine vinegar
1T water
1T lemon juice
1T lemon rind
1/2t garlic powder
1/2t dried oregano or 1T chopped fresh oregano
1/2t dried or 1T chopped fresh basil

Shake all above ingredients together. Add to salad until salad is coated to your taste.

Check out Share My Recipe Sunday and Simply Delicious Sunday

Strawberry Vinaigrette

It's berry city here at our house right now. I've chopped and frozen the strawberries. Great for smoothies, and for this vinaigrette, which I like to use on spinach salad with red onions, water chestnuts and blue cheese.

1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
3T white wine vinegar
1/2t sugar
1/4t salt
1/4t pepper
1/4t dried tarragon

Place all ingredients in blender pitcher and blend until smooth. Keeps in fridge for about a week, although I wouldn't really know-- it gets used up pretty fast.

Birthday Blueberry Muffins

My lil guy, Big K, is 4 today. His favorite fruit is blueberries. So in his honor today, I made Big K's Birthday Blueberry Muffins.

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400°. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Add blueberries and stir just until blueberries are mixed in. Use a 1/4 cup measure to pour batter into muffin tin coated with cooking spray. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden. Remove muffins to wire racks to cool. Makes 12 muffins.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Blueberry Barbecue

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1T olive oil


1 pint fresh blueberries
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2T honey
3T ketchup
1T liquid smoke
1/2t garlic powder

Place all sauce ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil on the stove top. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Sauce will thicken.

Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium high. Brush chicken will olive oil and grill about 8 minutes per side until cooked. Baste chicken with sauce in last few minutes of grilling. Serve additional sauce on the side.

This post is linked to the Recipe Swap at Grocery Cart Challenge. You will find many great recipes! And you can link one of your own to share with others!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Activity ideas?

This is my lil guy, Big K. He's turning 4 on Sunday. With his brother, we just did family celebrations for his birthday until he turned 5. Then we started an every-other-year big party tradition. That means he's having another one for his 7th birthday in September. I want to be fair and have the same rule for K. But I also realize that at 4, he's going to be very cognizant of what we're doing for his brother. So I've decided to have the kids on the block over on Sunday for a "cake and ice cream social". Nothing fancy, not gift driven, just a gathering of the kids outside for some play time together...plus that means less leftover cake for my thighs :)

So, I'm looking for ideas for making this a super duper "playdate" rather than a party. I was thinking maybe water balloons, or the inflatable water slide. Any suggestions on some play activities? This little guy says "thanks" :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 7/6

We stuck to main dishes last week, but I did switch up a couple of sides with fresh produce, so you might see a repeat or two here that we didn't do. This 7 dinners for 4, and clocks in at almost exactly $30.

Monday 7/6

White wine and herb pork chops $2.00

(marinated in free Weber mix I got w/ coupon awhile back)

Baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon .60

Green beans w/ bacon 1.30


Tuesday 7/7

Pan Fried Pierogies with chicken and cheese $3.50

mediterranean salad with garbanzos, tomatoes and cucumbers $1.00


Wednesday 7/8

Tacos $3.35

(with ground beef from my co-worker's cow--super duper lean meat)

black refried beans .75

Corn on the cob .40


Thursday 7/9

Panfried chicken breasts with gravy $2.50

Mashed potatoes .75

Green beans .40


Friday 7/10

Cheese ravioli with marinara and parmesan $3.50

Salad $1.00


Saturday 7/11

Cheeseburgers $3.50

Green bean fries $1.50

Pasta salad $1.00


Sunday 7/12

Chicken tostadas with salsa verde and pintos $2.50

Corn and tomato salad .60

Pineapple .65


Tomato and Basil Salad over Cheese

I love simple salads for summer that are full of flavor, and help me use what's in my garden. This Tomato and Basil salad is a favorite, and it's so easy! Here's what you need:

4 roma tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
3T fresh basil, chopped, plus extra for garnish
3T olive oil
3T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
4oz. of your favorite cheese, sliced

After slicing your veggies and basil, toss together in a bowl with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Then you can chill, or go ahead and plate with 1 oz. of sliced cheese per person.
You can use any cheese you want. My favorite is fresh mozzarella, but today I'm using a farmer's cheese. Use the dressing to drizzle on the plate and the cheese. Garnish with extra basil, if desired. So pretty and easy!

This recipe is linked to Share My Recipe Sunday.

GREAT Kashi Deals at Target

Looks like cheap cereal, bars, etc., at Target this week. There have been various Kashi coupons out through Vocalpoint and the Kashi Newsletters for $1.50 off on cereal and bars. Target has additional coupons for Kashi items here that you can combine with those manufacturer coupons for great deals!

Here are a couple scenarios I see:

  • Buy 2 Kashi cereals @ $2.66- use 2 $1.50 off coupons, then use Target BOGO coupon. Makes it a money maker!
  • Buy 2 boxes bars at $2.50 each. Use 2 $1.50 off coupons. Use one Target coupon for $1/2. Final price is .50 per box!
If you still have $1.50 off Go Lean waffles, you can combine with the .25 Target coupons for very cheap waffles, depending on the price in your Target.

What do you see? Let me know!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Finally, some garden photos

Yes, I'm way overdue! This shows you the view from our deck. I have the garden spaced out pretty well so that I can walk through it easily. We have it fenced on all 3 sides-rabbit guard in the back sides, and a shorter fence that I can step over on the front side.
We have 7 roma tomato plants and 6 slicers. Should make great sauce this summer!
That open space should be where you'd see big bushy green bean plants, but I had to replant them (thanks, bunnies).

Another view of my tomato plants, and the cucumbers I have climbing up wire mesh.

My cucumbers, and a couple varieties of pepper plants. The little plant alongside the cucumbers is one of my basil plants that I'd just gotten for dinner :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dinner Tonight

Here's my awesome Greek salad with my lone baby cucumber. A taste of summer bliss to come. I can hardly wait til I have fresh tomatoes from the garden, too!
We also did chicken. We weren't really chicken drumstick people until the kids came along. The boys L-O-V-E chicken drumsticks! They get yummy chicken with a built in handle. We like to flavor them up, though, so I have a nice fall back lemon garlic marinade that I do.
I didn't set my Penzey's Tuscan Sunset out, but I use that as well. It's basically Italian Seasoning. And please note that we like a little garlic.
I smash the bulbs, take off the outer peel, then salt, and chop and smash. The salt helps break the garlic down.
Gotta have lemon juice.
And here's what they look like when they're all done. I ate two. The boys can each take out two as well, if they're in an eating mood. Baked potatoes and fresh cantaloupe rounded out the meal.

Tomorrow is easy button for the boys, as I'm working until about 8. So they're going to do hot dogs, and I'm baking brownies. Sunday I've rearranged the menu a bit because even though hubby's birthday is Monday, I think we're going to do birthday dinner on Sunday.

My first garden veggie

LOL. Yes. One little cucumber. That's it. But it's still exciting to get something out of your garden (other than my herbs) for the first time. I plan on doing some pickling when production picks up. In the meantime, what to do with just one?
How about a pretty greek salad? Romaine, roma tomatoes, red onions, feta and cucumber slices. Now I need to make a Greek vinaigrette.
I have some wonderful fresh oregano and basil from the garden, added some lemon rind, lemon juice, garlic pepper, salt, red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Shake, shake, shake and it's all ready for my salad featuring my one lil' cucumber. LOL. I'll post a picture from dinner when I toss the salad along with the lemon garlic grilled chicken I'm making tonight. Yum!