Archive for food

How yummy does this look?

Okay, I am a terrible food photographer. In fact, you may be saying, “what the heck am I looking at anyway???”. Well, as some of you already know, I am out of commission. My back has gone out and I am waiting to hear back from the people who schedule MRI’s to get the test that will direct us one way or another. As for now, I am left in a lot of pain. Crawling, shuffling and trying to function throughout my day. Yes I said crawling. back pain is not for weaklings. So, today Noah made dinner. The above pic is the Chicken-Broccoli-Cauliflower-Cheddar Casserole that Noah made for dinner tonight. When I say Noah made it, I mean NOAH MADE IT. He put the chicken in the bakeware, added a bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower and Campbell’s Cheddar Broccoli condensed soup. Then he dumped a sleeve of Ritz crackers into a large Ziplock bag and beat them to a crumb with his fist. Then he melted a couple of TBSP of marg and added it to the cracker crumbles and dumped it onto the chicken mix. Then he evenly spread the crackers out with a spoon. Here is what the chef thought:
He said it was DELICIOUS! He couldn’t wait to tell Daddy that he did this all by himself. I am so thankful for my little chef. Seriously people, he did the whole thing, only leaving the putting in the oven and taking it out.
Little brother doesn’t look to thrilled!:) I assure you, he loved it and ate most of what you see on his plate!

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Bondign Through Bakng

A couple of nights ago, Julia, Aka Aaron’s cousin and flower girl in my wedding. Julie mentioned that she wanted to make a pretty cake. Well, I jumped at the chance to work with her on that project.

Noah took this picture for us!:)
We mixed our icing, baked our cake and the crumb coat was being applied.
Julie and Collin play with the icing tips.
Noah show Julie how much he already knows.
Julie is a natural! She did a fantastic job spreading the icing smooth as can be!
She came up with a really cute design.
Adorable!
We were so proud!
YUMMY! It was a delicious lemon cake with beautiful citrus colored icing. So refreshing on this cold winter day.:)

Thanks Julie!! It was a great night.

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$5 Dinner Menu Plan Day #6

What’s for dinner tonight?
Asian Chicken Wraps
page 90

Chicken Breast $3.00
Teriyaki Sauce $.15
Soy Sauce $.05 (Erin’s Math)
Carrots $.30 (Erin’s Math)
Romaine $.10 (Erin’s Math)
Peanuts $.06
Tortilla’s $.84
Applesauce $.68
Total: $5.48

This was another easy recipe. You can marinade the chicken in the same skillet you cook it in.
In the book Erin recommends serving the wraps with snow pea’s, but I wanted applesauce. It was a nice compliment to the teriyaki flavor.
Here are our left overs, lunch tomorrow.

While the chicken was flavorful, tender and moist, this meal felt more like an appetizer than an entire meal. We pulled out a couple of left over sweet and sour sauce packs from a previous McDonald’s visit and dipped our wraps in them. It was really good with the sauce.

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$5 Dinner Menu Plan Day #5

What’s for dinner tonight?
Garlic Pork Chops
page 173
Pork $3.25 (OUCH! I used slightly more than the recipe called for.)
olive oil $.20 (again, I used Erin’s math)
garlic cloves $.10
Potatoes $.39 (I used Russet.)
milk $.15 (Erin’s math)
Margarine $.22
Green Beans $.89
Total : $5.20

I had no pork stockpiled in my freezer so I shopped for a manager’s special and was blessed to find one! 🙂
In this recipe, Erin has you marinade the meat in olive oil and garlic in the fridge and then cook it in the same pan. I am all for simplifying. 🙂
The finished product. Delicious! I had the mashed potatoes in my freezer from a couple weeks ago when I made a double batch. I usually do that when I get potatoes on sale for a good price. All I did was pull them out of the freezer last night and let them thaw in the fridge. I then reheated them on the stove.

Well, I need to go, I am headed to Erin’s book signing! I can’t wait to see so many of my friends, bloggy and otherwise that I know are going to be there. SO, if you aren’t doing anything and you are in or near Dayton, head over to Books & Co at The Greene from 7-8 . Hope to see you there!

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$5 Dinner Menu Plan Day #4

What’s for dinner tonight??
Tex Mex Chili

Ground Beef $1.78
Onion $.50
Garlic $ .05
Black Olives $ 1.25
Tomatoes $.77
Kidney Beans $.67
Chili Powder $.05
Cumin $. 10
Potatoes $ .30 (Erin used different sides in her book, but I wanted baked potatoes instead.)
Cheese $.24
Total : $5.71 (Erin did it for almost a $1 less in her book. If I would have used dry kidney beans I could have saved $.50 alone. I generally use canned beans, but maybe I should reconsider…)
** I should mention that we have enough chili left over for lunch tomorrow! Yea!!

Browning the beef, onion and garlic.
Beans, tomatoes and spices.
Black olives. So, here is my tip!! Years ago Aaron wanted to add black olives to something. We only had whole olives and he needed them sliced. Well, he doesn’t like tedious prep work so he pulled out our hard boiled egg slicer and sliced it. It worked like a charm, so that is how I slice olives. 🙂

The finished product. Disclaimer : if you make it as directed in the book your Tex Mex chili it will not look like this. If you read my ingredient price breakdown, you will notice that I used canned kidney beans instead of dry beans. Well, what I didn’t say mention that I forgot to take that in to account when I added the 3 cups of water. So, when the soup should have been done and ready to serve it was really watery. I didn’t know how to fix it so I took a minute and thought about the ingredients and ran to my pantry in search of something thick and tomatoey. I grabbed 2 – 6oz – cans of tomato paste and threw them in. (This added about $.60) to the mix. IT WORKED!!

I decided to smother my baked potato with the chili. It was my favorite way to eat it!! SOOOO good!

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$5 Dinner Menu Plan Day #3

What’s for dinner tonight??
Autumn Chicken!
Page 91

Apple Juice $.30
Chicken Thighs ( I bought boneless/skinless, instead of bone-in) $3.42
Onion $.30
Apples (I bought granny smith instead of Macintosh) $.50
Lemon Juice $.15
Cinnamon $.05
Rice $.20
Broccoli (I am using frozen mixed veggies) $1
Total: $5.92 ( I could have saved a lot if I would have bought the recommended Bone-in thighs.) Not $5, but a great value nonetheless!


Everything just gets thrown into the crockpot! You do have to toss the apple slices in some cinnamon and lemon juice, but that is no biggie. So easy and it sure was nice to have the fragrance of this meal filling the house while we were snowed in today!

8 hours later, all done! The chicken was moist and full of flavor. It fell apart.

This was my plate! I think the thing I like best about Erin’s book so far is that you never are over full! You know what I mean? The meals are well balanced and portioned just right for a family like mine. Of course, last night we could have over eaten, but the flavors are so alive in her recipes that I walk away feeling satisfied, not stuffed to the gills! Another winner!

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My $5 dinner cookbook menu plan, day 2

What is on the menu tonight?

Mexican Rice Casserole
page 156

Here is the run down…
Tomato Sauce $.39
Ground Beef $1.78 ( I used 1lbs instead of 3/4 lbs)
Chili Powder $.10 ( I go by Erin’s math for the cost breakdown of the spices. )
Ground Cumin $.10
Garlic Powder $.05
Onion Powder $.05
Salt & Pepper
White Rice $.20 (I used Jasmine Rice left over from a previous meal)
Cheese $.24 ( I used 1/4 cup of cheddar instead of 1 cup mont jack cheese. It was great!)
1 can Black Beans $1.00
1/2 can corn $.35
1/2 Avocado $.33
Total $4.59

The spices, ready to go!
The beef is browned and the spices and tomato sauce have been added.
I used black beans for a side instead of eating this with Watermelon because it wasn’t in season.
I didn’t want to pay what Kroger was charging for corn on the cob, (Erin suggested serving with corn on the cob), so I added 1/2 a can of corn to the casserole. You can see that 1/4 cup of cheddar got the job done!
Served with avocado ( I only mixed it w/ a tiny bit of garlic powder, salt and pepper) and black beans.


It was delicious!! Another winner. Overall, we liked this better than the turkey burgers. The best part
is, we will we have about 1/3 left! I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow. YUMMY!

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