Saturday, February 1, 2014


I tried to make a Paleoish candy bar last week and finally came up with one that really hit the spot BUT I could not stop eating it. Came out like a decadent version of a crunch bar. I'm not ready for treats though, self control is not something I have mastered yet.

Made bone broth yesterday and a few lbs of collard greens. Today I need to tackle cooking up a few chickens and making chicken stock. Debating tackling a few more things but it seems like a good day to just keep it simple.

Finally making progress with the 6 year old on eating healthier. I say this while looking at his Cheeto stained fingers. Progress, certainly not perfect.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mmmmm..... Paleo Avocado Tzatziki Sauce

This Paleo Tzatziki  is soooo delicious. Really it is a lifesaver! I love sauces and dips and this cool refreshing sauce is delicious! I love it with meatballs and feta cheese but have used its for any number of lettuce type wraps. I don't add the dill because it is something I tend not to have on hand and it is quick and simple. It may be my daughters favorite dressing for Greek salads.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Successful fruit snack replacement! Paleo sour strawberry gummies!

Score! Tried these wonderful little treats from plaid and paleo and they were a hit. At first I was a little iffy, they were just different but after a few nibbles, I was sold. They were pretty sour and I was prepared to add a little honey to the next batch but little man says they are perfect. These are going to look adorable in a little laptop lunchbox. Going to definitely help get the little guy off fruit snacks. Can't wait to experiment with other flavors!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Poor forgotten old blog.....

Time flies. Many things have changed, including how I cook now. Gonna delete a lot of old posts but not the bigger OAMC and batch cooking ones.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Menu Plan 8/13

Menu Plan 8/13 Gluten free and easy

Monday- Clean out the fridge day. Greek salads and any odds and ends that need used up.
Tuesday- Hot dogs, mac and cheese, fresh fruit
Wednesday- Kielbasa hash
Thursday- Spaghetti
Friday- Cabbage potato soup with smoked sausage
Saturday- Pizza Experiment night. Trying more than one gluten free crust and comparing
Sunday- Mexican food night- Exact choices up in the air.

This week is easy on purpose. Making sure everybody can cook their own gluten free meals. Tired of watching young adults stare into the fridge. I love to cook and experiment but need to give some lessons on the basics this week. Easy favorites. Should free some time to experiment with pizza crust recipes and finding a good gluten free chocolate chip cookie.

Getting to go to a very popular large Mexican market this week. Looking to pick up something special for Sunday.

Friday, July 6, 2012

LOL. Fall Menus and gluten free stuff

Still not posting regularly. Still enjoy thinking about about getting back to it though. Had surgery on my shoulder back in April and have not been doing well ever since. Slowly recovering but also tapering off Savella. Liked it at first, hate it now.

I know the direction I wanna go so I'm thinking ahead to fall. I like great food ideas that use inexpensive ingredients. Also love tips, tricks and do ahead meals that make cooking easier and more enjoyable. I like using the freezer for OAMC style meals and lunches.

In the meantime, still adapting to eating gluten free.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gluten free experiment.

We are about 10 days into trying a gluten free diet. So far its been a really positive experience! Definitely pricey if you buy the special gluten free products which I did to keep my husband on board. Ouch!

 I ordered a few books off Amazon and have been surfing the internet for ideas. And spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Just made my first gluten free banana bread!

Tonight's dinner was spaghetti with meat sauce. Twice this week we used Trader Joe's corn pasta and I was very happy with the quality and cost. Kids really liked it so we will be definitely having this as part of our regular menu. I used it to make mac and cheese for my little ones birthday.

Heading to Costco tomorrow and finishing my menu plan for the next week. Planing on trying more baking and cooking some extra items for the freezer to make this easier. With 4 adults with healthy appetites plus a teenager and toddler, I need the back-up!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A erratic start

Soooo..... Been gone a long time. Had surgery last month and using my recovery time to reevaluate a few things. I miss my blog and want to get back to posting. Currently in physical therapy and have not been cooking much while my shoulder heals.

Just gonna jump in...

We now have Costco in my area and I really like it! (Maybe we had them when I was posting before?) They have the best price on cheese, beating my usual stop, GFS. Not a lot of bargains but I really like the quality. Our basics there include shredded cheese, romaine, tortilla strips, red potatoes and onions. Quality splurges include the olive oil, kalamata olives and marinated artichokes hearts. Spinach artichoke dip is my go-to dish for entertaining!

Still using GFS for beans, frozen corn, parmesan cheese and pepperoni. Nothing beats those giant cans of beans for a big batch of soup! Usually white bean soup with smoked sausage. That with a slice of good bread is one of my favorite meals. Also love not having to open a bunch of little cans. I have had terrible luck with dried beans, I really think its our water.

Meijer still beats the competition for sale prices and my new routine is a Sunday morning 7am trip before the place is busy. Its nice that they post the sales flyer early on their facebook page. Now I can plan my shopping list on Fridays instead of Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Back... really this time.

My lonely little neglected blog. Coming back soon.....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wow. Time flys

My lonely, neglected blog is still here. I'm going to try to clean it up a little and go back to posting some. I think i said that before though.

It seemed like such a long winter this year. Is it that the one you just went through always feels that way? Nicer weather keeps teasing. Hopefully its here to stay.

I'm still working quite a bit. Trying to reign that in a little.

I miss having bloggy friends and reading about everyone. I miss having a online diary where I can share, complain and see my own struggles in other peoples posts.

Hello again, again.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ha! So not funny.

It took weeks to get my fridge fixed. Then it died again the next day. Amazing since it seemed liked they replaced every major part. Waited another week for the repair guy who threw his hands up in the air after a hour and told us we would be getting a new fridge. Had a extended warranty but it still ended up costing me $200. My love affair with kitchen appliances may be over.

I made a bunch of meatballs and chili today. Waiting for it to cool so I can put it away and head to bed. It seems so warm today. I just think its because its so humid. My hands and feet always hurt in weather like this. Looking forward to crashing in front of the fan :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Schedule easing up.....

I have a few days off and a lighter schedule coming after this week. I'm so ready.

My fridge is still broken. The back-up-closes-by-bungee-cord fridge is holding up ok. Hopefully when the guy comes out in the morning he finally gets it fixed. I have a big cooking day planned for the morning and need it.

Planning on making a big batch of chili, crockpot carnitas, buffalo chicken dip, blue cheese spread, and pumpkin muffins. We will be eating the carnitas in the evening with rice and beans. After dinner (hopefully) we will put a few dozen burritos in the freezer. I'm cant wait till dinner, I love mexican food.

Garage sale season is starting. This weekend will be my first chance to go. I'm so excited! I have a new favorite goodwill that that been keeping us very nicely clothed but I could use a few more tops.

Off to finish up my plan and grocery list.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wow, crazy week

I just had the busiest week. New things kept popping up, fridge died, schedule changed again and again. I'm am so happy that its a new week :)

Big lots has some great furniture right now. I spent half of Sunday driving around to different stores to pick up matching pieces of the Attic Heirlooms collection. Yay! After 5+ years of looking I finally found a set I am happy with!

My 2nd child had a job interview this week and will start working as soon as we get his work permit. He will actually be working with me :) I can't believe 2 of my children will be working. Wow, time goes by so quickly!

I am getting in a little surfing, checking email, and preparing to turn in early to catch up on my sleep. My legs hurt, I bought those shape-up sketcher's and boy after my first week wearing them I can really feel it. I really love those shoes. I can tell the difference after just a week. I felt it first in my calves and it has slowly moved up my legs and I can see a visible change in my mid-section as well. That right there makes them worth the $100 price tag. I bought the work version and they are great. Most slip resistant shoes help but they have great grip, they do not slip even in grease.

Off to get a hot bath and a good night sleep.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Grey skies again....

I miss the pretty weather we had last week. The sunshine was so uplifting.

I had a good Goodwill thrift week. Was able to find really nice high end swimming trunks for the older boys and a bunch of NWT young men's shirts.

Tried a new spaghetti sauce recipe, made chicken pho, and a big batch of pasta salad this week. Have plenty of leftovers so I don't need to cook tonight. Going shopping for the week in the morning and have to make food for a potluck on Sunday. Can't decide if I want to make sweets or snacks. Also need to restock the freezer, might try to fill it a little this week.

Off to make my menu and to-do list for the morning.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chicken pitas

This months Cooking Light magazine had many yummy looking recipes. On page 32 they have a spicy chicken shawarma recipe that we tried tonight. It was pretty good but not a "keeper". We also had hummus and Greek salad.

I marked close to a dozen different recipes in the April 2010 magazine. I have a few magazine subscriptions that were $5 amazon specials. I keep a stack near the bathtub for relaxing and inspiration.
I like the idea of a spicy chicken pita but the flavor of this recipe was not strong enough for my tastes. I have a really good hummus recipe from recipezaar but I was able to bring home hummus and kalamata olives from work today at no cost so I saved some time there.
I need to go to the grocery store and I am still working on my menu which should have been done Saturday :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Parenting by text....( rambling updates)

Does that sound just horrible? We are a very wired family. Computers everywhere, multiple cell phones, and so little time. My oldest is also *sniff* almost 18! He is working, has bible study, backstage for the play at school, game club, etc. and is a great help at home still. The next 2 are online charter school ( they are almost 16 and 12) and then we have little man ( 2 1/2).

I am working a lot. Some weeks 7 days. I will continue to work crazy hours until August at which point I will be cutting that down to 1/3 and things should get back to normal. DH and I work opposite shifts and the older kids help with breakfast if the toddler gets up early.The oldest helps out a hour or 2 a week if there is a scheduling conflict. Everyone else has a responsibility to watch that they keep up with their schedule and chores and so far, its working well. Texting has become a big thing, I can still answer questions all morning, check on the kids, send reminders, etc. I never thought I would be a texter ( is that a word?)

I never have to work past 3:00 and the kids are still sleeping when I start work. DH works in the evening and he has weekends off. My house is pretty quiet except for the little guy, he loves making his rounds. Big sister is his favorite person to help him start the day, as she likes to watch some cartoons with him and tries to get him into the characters. Daddy wears him out in the early afternoon and he spends the rest of the time trying to get his brothers to play cars, go outside or to play Mario Bros on the WII while he pretends to play. As soon as I get home, he moves to me and we play and then have some quiet time. He is the funnest 2 year old. He is such a people person.

My daughter has really become quite the artist this last year. She is self taught and does the most amazing,manga/anime style pictures. Lately she has taken a big interest in character development as well. My oldest two are all about computers right now.

That's whats going on right now :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Menu 3/8

I have a busy week this week. Only 1 day off and that day I have dentist appointments and errands to run.

Monday- Breakfast for dinner ( use Sundays leftover ham)
Tuesday- Cabbage soup (a hearty vegetable soup with smoked sausage and a spicy broth)
Wednesday- Mexican rice and black beans with chips and guacamole
Thursday- Leftover night
Friday- BW3 wings. Homemade potato wedges. Celery and ranch
Saturday- Little hamburgers, chips and veggies with dip.
Sunday- Cabbage rolls and mashed potatoes

I have a lot of frozen fruit that I would like to use up so I think we will have smoothies for breakfast most of the week. I plan on making a big batch of pasta salad for stretching out lunches and a batch of mini muffins for the toddler.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Testing sending a post by phone :) Leftover beef roast from Sunday turned into taco salads.

***ok, that did not exactly work.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Menu Planning for 3/1-3/7

My ads arrive on Saturdays so this is my menu planning day. I look forward to Saturday afternoons. I think I enjoy the grocery ads as much as some people enjoy black Friday ads :)

Monday- Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and salad (DS1 cooks).
Tuesday- Cajun catfish, garlic pasta, asparagus and cheddar biscuits. Also my prep day for the week and grocery day if I need it.
Wednesday- Beef taco salads (shredded beef from Sunday's dinner).
Thursday- Favorite smoked sausage and potatoes with green beans (DS2 and DD cook).
Friday- Chili ( from freezer).
Saturday- Pizza night. Dads in charge of dinner this night :)
Sunday- Ham, twice baked potato casserole, and green beans. Oreo truffles :)

-Its been a long time since we had catfish. We rarely eat fish even though I always mean to include it more but 3.99 lb is not to shabby for catfish and I know the kids will eat it.
-We recently started using Costco tortilla strips instead of taco chips for taco salads and chili and a giant bag for less than $4 seems to stretch a lot farther then the best deals I get at kroger during the 10/10 sales.
-Saturday DH is ordering pizza so I am making the twice baked potato casserole halfway through for Sunday and also making oreo truffles since I will be busy Sunday but still want to have a big Sunday dinner.
-Everything is pretty easy, the only things that require extra time or effort are highlighted in red.

Friday, February 26, 2010



Wow! Almost a year since my last post. It certainly does not seem like a year. I miss bloging and the blog world. Hope to try and catch up with a few of my favorite bloggers and to start posting again soon. Not a whole lot as I am working right now. For anyone that followed my blog before, we did not move and are still in the same house. There was to much competition for the homes we tried to buy and its just as well as looking back they all would have needed a lot of work.

I am desperate for spring. Its been a long winter in Ohio, very dreary and cold. I am trying to start on spring cleaning already. Since its cold I am tackling office tasks and clothing first. Things that are easy to do while still wearing all these layers :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Hello! It feels like months since I have been in bloggy world. The house we were going to buy fell through. It was a short sale and the buyer was not being very cooperative when it came to the inspection and the agent said they had a back up offer ( which ticked me off) so we walked ( they had already not lived up to the terms of the contract). A week after we walked away the agent tried to get us to come back and was going to renegotiate a even lower price but it was to late for me.

Then we found another house. It was a bank owned property that had just come on the market ( on a Friday) but by Monday 4 people had put in offers and we had come in second. Sigh. I really liked the second one, even better then the first. It really only needed windows to make it ready to move in. They were gone because someone had paint balled them out while it sat empty. This was in a very, very nice area.

So, we are working, keeping our home spotless and waiting. I could live with my house always clean but not as bare as it is now. I feel naked with the rooms so empty and all my stuff packed away. We have had 6 showings, 5 left very positive feedback, 1 left no comment. We had one ridiculous offer so far and another who said they were interested but had to sell their house first. We live in a semi rural area where homes do not move to quickly so I am feeling pretty good about the number of showings we have had.

We had been looking only at cheaper homes but may consider a sideways move. We have also found someplace to rent in case that becomes necessary.

Ugh, I hate having a home on the market. I hope I never have to move again after this :)

I hope you are all doing well, I am just starting to get back to reading blogs and I hope I can catch up on what everyone has been doing.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Still waiting....

Its been crazy around here. Way to crazy for me to compose my thoughts enough to blog :)

We are scheduled to close on a house at the end of the month contingent on our financing going through and the home inspection going ok. Our current house goes on the market this weekend. If the other house does not work out we will still be putting our home up for sale. I have been working for the last 3 weeks and will continue to work until we only have 1 house payment to deal with although we do have someone interested in renting our house if we don't sell by June.

Adapting to going back to work ( 4 days a week, 32 hours) has not been to bad but trying to quickly get the house cleaned, decluttered and staged while working and negotiating on another house has been exhausting. I am working opposite hours of my husband so we have to make sure we are on the same page all the time.

I really, really, really want to tell you all about the other house but its not ours yet so I am trying not to get too excited until the home inspection is done. It most definitely needs work but it has so many of the things we want.

I am excited even if we don't get it though because my husband and I have really realized what we want down the road and we will be working towards that goal.

I will be back soon with details.

I would appreciate if you all would keep us in your prayers :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We may be moving!!!

We may be moving. I don't know for sure and we will be super busy preparing just in case. I'm super stressed by not knowing. The situation is scary and exciting at the same time. I will blog about it as soon as we actually know something :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Freezer goodies for the lunchbox.....

Yum. Mexican food. I think we had it almost everyday this week :)

It was also a good time to make extra for burritos. I started parttime work this week and thought it would be a good idea to make some lunch items.

We like spicy rice with beans and cheese in our burritos.

Some things to remember for freezer burritos-

1. Make small batches until you learn what flavors/textures you like.
2. Find a good brand of tortillas that will roll without cracking. Look for ones that are not to dry.
3. Don't make them to large.Most items you freeze should be smaller so they will reheat well. If you make them to large they will dry out when you cook them and still be cold in the middle.
4.Get all your supplies ready and set up a assembly line. Enlist help if you can.
5. Freeze items on a tray or cookie sheet until frozen solid then place in ziploc bags or another freezer safe container so you can take out just what you need.
6. Most items will heat better if thawed somewhat, so they do well in a lunch box where they will have a few hours to thaw.

Here is the tray we made :)

I purchased the tortillas and a restaurant size can of black beans at GFS and cut costs by getting cheese at Costco. Cheese is only about 2.28 lb in big bags at my Costco.

We also made twice baked potatoes. I don't use a recipe any more but used to use this one saving most of the cheese for pressing into the top after they are assembled. I freeze them on a tray and then place them into ziploc bags. Just don't make them to thin :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Back in the swing of things......

We are easing into a new schedule around here. The first week went really well but we only focused on one part of it. Next week I am going to add on to it and continue tweaking, hopefully having everything worked out by the end of the month.
It was a odd week here in the kitchen with DH doing a variation on low carb to jumpstart the new year. I tried to plan ahead but the first week is always really hard ( and expensive). I ate pretty much what he ate all week but allowed more carbs for myself as I lose weight faster than he does. I would just like to lose a few pounds but I really do feel better when I eat low carb, it makes me wonder if I have a sensitivity to one of the foods I end up eliminating. When we both do it, he tries to avoid most carbs while I try to eat more healthy carbs.
Why the picture of muffins then? Well, I also made muffins for the kids this week, quickly getting them into the freezer to avoid temptation. Little muffins for the toddler and bigger muffins for my daughter for breakfast. These are applesauce muffins off of recipezaar. My daughter is not a morning person and does not like to eat breakfast so the muffins are a treat to go along with her new morning routine. The little guys has stopped eating all his favorite foods so the muffins are also meant to help me out with that this week. Luckily he has decided he really likes steamed broccoli and carrots so he wont be eating only muffins all week :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hello 2009...

Wow. Time flies.

Change is is the air. My homeschooler just switched to a online charter school and the the change has been quite a adjustment. We will see how it works out.

We are rethinking our house. Its a big expense made bigger by our 30% drop in income and honestly its not my dream house. Its actually bigger than my dream home and while very nice I have come to realize a few things are missing that are very important to me. Privacy would be a big one. I live in a subdivision and while the lots are pretty nice sized its still not private enough. I don't want worry about what the neighbors or our HOA thinks about my yard or what I do to my house. Of course, its not a great time to sell so we will be staying put for awhile but still planning for a move someday.

We have also been thinking for some time of trying to find a new church closer to home and I think we need to try harder to do this. 2009 could be a year with a lot of changes. My focus right now is on prayer and keeping things simple so we will be ready for whatever happens.

...and of course my I want to lose 10 pounds and get more organized :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goodbye 2008....goodbye stuff...

DH has been home helping for over a week and you can actually see my basement floor! The garbage men are starting to dislike me, the curb crawlers are making a regular pass by my home and the people at goodwill recognize us as we pull up. I can barely breath through my nose from sorting through 16 plus years of dusty toys and collections....but I can see the finishline. Its located somewhere on the other side of a garage sale, a few craiglist and ebay listings and another few trips to goodwill but its there in the distance :)

I hope everyone had a great New Years!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What a nice week.....

I had such a nice week. Way to much yummy food but a wonderful week. I hope everyone had a nice Christmas :)

Its been really quiet. DH is home, he usually works a lot during the holidays but not this year so we have been working on projects and making plans for next year. DH works in the automotive industry so we have also been working on the "what if.." scenario.

We spent more on the kids then we planned. The 3 oldest all received the same thing for a total of $90 each. The little guy was much less.I did try to get the best deals on the items I bought.

The breakdown:

$50 Best Buy card ( got $10 back for each at Kroger and charged to reward card)
$27 Sansa 4 gb Mp3 players ( from black Friday, used ebates)
$12.50 Ohio State Hoodies from (originally $35, also used ebates, free shipping)

Hoodies are like gold in our house. I don't think I should even bother buying cute shirts anymore, no one ever sees them under the sweatshirts.

The kids were not expecting much and were really happy. The little guy got 2 toys from, a pair of 6.99 Skechers from Kohls and some clearance Cars cups from Meijer. He was so cute he did a happy dance the whole time he opened his presents. I wish I had a video of it as it was adorable.

This has been a inexpensive December comparably. We had a lot of blessings. Gift cards for restaurants as gifts, $125 from Craigslist, survey money, a $50 Meijer gift card reward from a credit card, the kids made $140 pet sitting, etc.

I did not hit my new grocery budget ( $300) but did stay under the old budget ( $400) while still splurging for the week of Christmas and making a Costco trip to stock up on items I only buy once or twice a year and buying many things that will last into January. I am torn between spending as little as possible in January or stocking up to be prepared for bad weather or loss of income. I am going to aim for as little as possible but not pass up any awesome stock up prices.

I made pita bread this week!I used the recipe over at and it was really good. We had it with pan fried chicken breast, seasoned oven fries, hummus, greek salad, a lemon garlic dressing, and cucumber sauce. Yum, between that and beef tips for Christmas dinner, I ate way to much.

Well, I'm off to enjoy a fire in the fireplace and some list making. My to-do list today is pretty long, including a little kitchen zone recovery and some decluttering. If you have been following my packrat adventure, I am finally to the point where we are going through old boxes of toys. 16 years of rubbermaid boxes full of toys is A LOT of toys :)

If you have the gift of the ability to easily look at a item and decide to toss it or give it away, feel blessed, some of us were not born with such a gift ;)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Grocery shopping....

I have learned a new grocery shopping rule. It seems the last few times I have hit the bread store before going to Aldi, then guaranteed Aldi will have marked down their bread to .25 and buns down to .33.

I still like the bread store for Texas toast. It makes the best garlic bread. I bought 6 long loaves to make garlic bread for the freezer. Kroger also had parkay tubs on sale for .25 after coupon so it will turn out to be a pretty cheap batch. I also bought sandwich bread and buns, 2 nicer loaves of Italian bread, wheat for DH and 2 packages of Italian buns for future dinners. This was before Aldi so I ended up with a lot of bread as I could not pass up the loaves for a quarter. I now have a freezer stuffed full with 29 packages of bread. The hamburger buns are mostly for breakfast sandwiches.

I stayed on the new budget this week (reduced from $100 to $75) even with a small trip to White Castle. I hit Meijer, the bread outlet and ALDI. $15 of the budget went towards items for Christmas so I don't have to go over budget for the holidays.

Today to get ahead I need to make up and freeze all the garlic bread, cook up and bag 5 pounds of spicy sausage, and organize the pantry. I have used up a lot of things lately but I still have 40 pounds of spicy sausage in my freezer. It was a mark down at GFS but I have been slow to use it because it is in 5 lb. blocks. I pulled one yesterday to thaw so I can cook it up and bag it in meal size portions. It will be appearing on the menu 2-3 times a week over the next few months. Mostly as spaghetti, cabbage stir fry and as a topping for pizza or eggs. Hopefully during that time chicken goes on sale :)

*Just a note about all that bread. I usually don't have enough room for 29 packages but my freezer was pretty empty.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's begining to look a lot like......every other day?

My tree is still not decorated. Its up but still bare. I can tell I'm just not feeling it because every time I start to think about decorating it, I feel exhausted. Like I just want to go back to bed until spring.

So I'm going to blog about it so maybe that will light a fire under my half-hibernating tooshie and I will just go in there and get it done.