Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Garden Bounty

Our gardens are beginning to yield quite the bounty! I picked all of this last night and this morning.

Here's what I'll be doing in the next few days:

--Freezing green beans.

--Baking zucchini bread.

--Making Garlic-Dill Pickles. I've wanted to try my hand at these since trying something similar at the farmer's market a few weeks back. They were delicious!

--Freeze shredded zucchini to use in zucchini bread through the fall and winter. I freeze in 2 cup portions as that is the amount my recipe calls for. Just shred and freeze in a baggie. When ready to use, thaw and pour the contents of the bag, including the liquid because that's part of the zucchini, into the batter. Fresh zucchini bread made with a pureed orange added to the batter makes a delightful Christmas gift!

How are your gardens faring? What fresh foods are you eating now?

More Than Free Cheese and Very Cheap Waffles

I don't often shop at Harris Teeter but went this morning all geared up for their Super Double Coupon sale. Well, it doesn't start until tomorrow as I found out as soon as I got inside the store!! Since I was there anyways, I went ahead and looked at a few of the coupon deals, checking prices and such and then remembered this sweet cheese sale.

Kraft Cheese was on sale for $1.47 a bag. I had $.50/1 coupons from the little coupon dispensers/blinkies in the store.

Harris Teeter doubles coupons $.99 and under. So I got $1 off each bag of cheese, bringing the price per package to $.47 each. That is still pretty good but not the best part!

Kraft is running a promotion through July 12 at different stores where you get a catalina coupon (These are the coupons that spit out with your receipt.)good on your next order at checkout.

I bought 5 packages of cheese and paid $2.40. Because I purchased 5, a catalina coupon printed at the register for $4 to be used on my next Harris Teeter shopping trip!

The cheese was free plus I made $1.60 on this shopping trip!

Note: I personally really don't care all that much for pre-shredded cheese. Kraft is better than some brands, but I don't think it tastes quite the same or melts like cheese I shred myself. But for free, I'll deal with it! It will come in handy and shredded cheese keep well in the freezer, too.

This is the last day for the Harris Teeter sale on the cheese. But the catalina promotion continues through July 12. (I think that these can be done numerous times, too.)Starting tomorrow, the cheese is $2 a package and can still be a sweet deal if you're able to print these coupons.

Maybe some of you will be able to stock up on inexpensive cheese, too!

This deal has been going on for awhile, but is worth mentioning.

Super Target has some flavors of Kashi waffles on price cut for $1.79. A recent Vocalpoint mailer supplied me with five $1.50/1 coupons. I got all of these waffles for $.29 or a little less each(some were marked even lower). It turned out that all five boxes cost me about the same as one regular priced boxes! Money Saving Mom has the scoop here: scroll down to see details on the Kashi deal.

Again, I prefer to make waffles from scratch but I can't beat this price! I haven't tried any yet but my sister says that the blueberry variety are delicious!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Milk Substitutions

I wanted to bake a couple of items several weeks ago and discovered that I was out of milk and both recipes called for it.

Rather than changing my mind and not baking those two items, I decided instead to try to substitute something I had on hand for the milk.

I did have sour cream and plain yogurt so I decided to try both of those as substitutes.

I used plain yogurt in the cinnamon rolls and sour cream in the rhubarb dumplings. I thinned both with a bit of water to make it a bit more of a milk consistency.

Both turned out great! Since the cinnamon rolls were a new recipe, I can't compare them to anything, but the rhubarb dumpling dough was especially rich with sour cream instead of milk.

What milk substitutions have you discovered as you cook? Please share!

**Thanks to Tammy's Recipes for hosting Kitchen Tip Tuesdays!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Baby Leila

Leila and Mommy

We got to meet our new little niece, Leila Grace, last Sunday soon after they got home from the hospital. She was born June 4th, so she's now 1 week old. What a blessing she is!

My camera batteries died after only a few pictures. I was so bummed! Oh well.. we'll get more pictures later! Here's the best of the few that I took.

Leila and Daddy

Leila with Mommy and her big brother Knox. I think we interrupted mealtime!

We had Knox with us for several days while his mommy was in the hospital. He was so excited to see his new sister. We saw the pictures on the hospital website, but I don't think it was real to him yet. When we got to their house on Sunday, he walked in and saw the baby. He had a huge smile on his face and his eyes welled up with tears. He said, "Is that my baby sister from your tummy, Mommy?" It was so sweet!

Of course, I'm a bit biased but I think she's precious! She actually looks a lot like my mom(her grandma).

We praise God for her safe delivery and for a healthy baby!

Newborn babies are definitely a finer thing in life!


by Helen Steiner Rice

A wee bit of heaven
drifted down from above-
A handful of happiness,
a heart full of love.

The mystery of life,
so sacred and sweet.
The giver of joy
so deep and complete.

Precious and priceless,
so lovable, too-
The world's sweetest miracle,
Baby, is you.

**Thanks to Amy for hosting Finer Things Friday!

No-Rise Cinnamon Rolls

I don't often make cinnamon rolls for breakfast just because it takes a lot of time with the rising and such!

So when I saw this recipe for No-Rise Cinnamon Rolls at The Happy Housewife, I knew I wanted to try them. They sounded so easy and quick! And cinnamon rolls for breakfast would be a welcome treat!

Sure enough- these cinnamon rolls were quick to mix up and easy, peasy to make! They were delicious, although more like a cinnamon biscuit or coffee cake texture and flavor than a traditional yeast cinnamon roll. I didn't have any cream cheese on hand for her frosting so I mixed up my usual cinnamon roll icing of hot water and powdered sugar. I bet the cream cheese frosting would be delicious though!

The Happy Housewife says these can be made ahead and frozen unbaked in rolls. Just thaw, slice and bake! I'm thinking this would be a great make-ahead breakfast treat for guests.

I'll be making these again!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grass-Fed Beef

We are so excited about our first order of grass-fed beef!

For our first order, we kept it pretty small to try it out.

Here's what we got:

--3 packages of ground beef

--3 packages of stew meat

--1 chuck roast

--1 eye of round(I am excited to try this cut. They said this is their personal favorite and is very tender cooked in 1 inch slices, as cutlets.)

--1 big bag of bones for broth, soup and maybe even one or two for the dog!

If we like the meat, our next order will be larger.

I did gulp a bit at the price. But I then realized that it's probably not that much more expensive than regular-priced meat at the grocery store. From what I've read about grass-fed beef, I'm hoping that the health benefits will far outweigh the price and be totally worth it! Another positive aspect is supporting a local family farm. I love it!

Dinner tonight: Grass-fed burgers on the grill!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday: Shampoo For Stinky Hands

Anyone who deals with changing diapers or any situation that somehow involves coming in contact with, shall we say, human solid waste, knows how annoying it is to have your hands smell like the diaper you just changed.

After you've washed your hands.

With soap.

Several times.

Since I'm once again in the midst of potty-training, this tip is one I'm rather familiar with these days. I got this tip from an experienced mom somewhere along the way!

Squirt a small amount of shampoo, such as Head & Shoulders or equivalent, onto your hands. Work into a lather, making sure to scrub all the cracks and crevices. Rinse well.

Your hands should smell a whole lot nicer now! You might actually like to sniff them continually just because.

Getting the poopy smell off my hands certainly is working for me!

**Head & Shoulders was the shampoo recommended to me for this purpose. Works well for us since we use Head & Shoulders shampoo anyways. Not sure if other types of shampoo will work the same. Try it and find out!

**This post is part of Works For Me Wednesday, hosted by We Are THAT Family.

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Busy Week!

Whew! This week has turned out to be more hectic than I had planned.

I made a to-do list for Monday and finished most of it by Wednesday. That is just the kind of week it's been!

My sister called Wednesday to inform us that she was being scheduled for a c-section the next morning since her amniotic fluids were quite low. We had planned to have my almost 4 year-old nephew come to visit for a few days when she had her baby, so we met them Wednesday night and brought Knox home with us. He was so excited to come to our house again!

Thursday was a bit hectic since I had my regular childcare boys as well as having Knox here. The boys enjoyed playing together most of the time. Life was interesting with a 3 year old and two 2 year olds.

Knox's baby sister and our new niece, Leila Grace (pronounced Lee-la)was born yesterday morning around 11:15 am. Mama and baby are both doing well and will be going home sometime this weekend. Once they are home, we'll be taking Knox back home, too. We can't wait to meet little Leila! Knox is excited about his new sister, too. He calls her "Weewa". It is so cute!

This morning we went out to run some errands and get some groceries. Knox had been complaining of a sore tummy off and on since yesterday but seemed to be playing and eating fine. Leaving Super Target, he threw up his breakfast in the car. We went back into Target to get some baby wipes, Clorox wipes, Febreze and some 7-up. We cleaned up the car and by that time he was feeling better. We continued on our errands and so far seems to still be fine even after devouring a huge slice of pizza at the Sam's Club cafe! (We had told him we would eat lunch at Sam's Club and he continued to remind us while we were shopping!) Hopefully, he will continue to feel ok and not be any sicker!

I have several posts half-way done and a list of more posts to write! Thanks for your patience!

I hope everyone has a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: No Pan Spray?

Lately, I've been trying to go without buying and using pan spray. Something about spraying that aerosol onto the pans my food is cooked in doesn't sit well with me!

For a while I used this homemade "Better than Pam" pan release. But since I've stopped using shortening as well, I've looked for other options.

Here's what I've discovered so far:

--Butter. Rub the stick of butter on the insides of the pan or use a pastry brush to brush it on.

--Butter wrappers. I save these in a sandwich bag in the butter compartment of the fridge. Use the wrapper to grease your pan. This is a great way to use something that you would ordinarily throw away. It does take several wrappers to effectively grease a larger pan, though!

--Coconut oil. Brush this on your pans. I like this for cookies and other treats.

--Olive oil. Again, just brush the oil. I've heard of putting this in a spray bottle but so far haven't had success with this. Let me know if you're successful with this or you've found a sprayer where the oil doesn't clog. I like to use olive oil on breads or non-sweet dishes. A little goes a long way! Too much gets pretty oily! :-)

What do you find works the best as a substitution for pan spray? Please share with the rest of us!

For more kitchen tips, please visit Kitchen Tip Tuesdays at Tammy's Recipes!