Friday, December 31, 2010

Philadelphia Fettuccine

My family really loves fettuccine, but I had never made it before because I'm really picky about the sauce. I like it to the thick and stick to the noodles. I hate runny cream sauce. Anyway, this was perfect. Everyone ate it and loved it. I'm thrilled because it was super easy and really inexpensive. (Of course, I bought almost all of the ingredients on sale, which helps!)

Philadelphia Fettuccine (adapted from
  • 1 lb fettuccine, uncooked
  • 1 can (2 cups) chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 oz PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Spread
  • 7 tablespoons 100%  Parmesan Grated Cheese, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 steamable bag of broccoli cuts, prepared


  1. Cook pasta as directed on package.
  2. Meanwhile, combine broth and flour in medium saucepan. Stir in cream cheese spread, 5 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese, the nutmeg and pepper; cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly with wire whisk until mixture boils and thickens.
  3. Drain pasta. Toss with sauce and broccoli. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and the parsley.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Popsicle Bribery

We managed to scrape by the Christmas holidays without going over budget. I made two quick runs to the grocery store. I'm sorry I didn't share them. I just didn't have time! Go figure! I also am feeling like a dummy because I made three new, wonderful dishes that we ate without me ever taking a picture of! So silly! The picture is the easy part! Oh well!

We stopped by Hy-Vee today. I've been able to avoid it for awhile, but I had both girls along this time. I bribed my little girl to stay in the cart by allowing her to pick a box of popsicles at the end. I bribed my big girl to let the little one pick the popsicles by telling her she could have whatever special treat I chose for myself. It worked brilliantly. Only problem being that popsicles consumed about 10% of our grocery budget for the week.

I still am not pretty low on appetite. I don't care so much right now about stock piling, coupons, whatever. Heck, I even bought a few things that were FULL PRICE. I just need good healthy food that either myself or my husband can prepare easily and will definitely get eaten. AND, I really need to stay on budget. This week we got:

4 half gallons of generic OJ
1 dozen eggs
1 box of Fisher Boy fish sticks
1 package of Green Giant broccoli Steamers
2 Jacks pizzas
1 can of generic Toffee peanuts
1 lb of generic fettuccine
1 can of black beans
4 jars of Jif PB (Thank goodness this was on sale because I was FRESH OUT of PB for the tiny PB monster.)
2 boxes of Town House crackers
1 package Pepperidge Farm gingerbread men
1 loaf of Sara Lee 100% whole wheat bread
1 box of Bomb Pops
1 box of Cappuccino Fruit a Freeze (Somehow I always have an appetite for these!)
1 bag of frozen Tyson chicken breasts
10 lbs of Braeburn apples
1 lb of Navel oranges
1 can of Kraft grated Parmesan

We came in right at $50 before tax.

I don't have an elaborate menu plan for this week, but I do plan on making a new fettuccine with broccoli recipe tomorrow night for our NYE dinner. If I can manage to take a picture, I'll definitely share! Of course, you know with that 10 lbs of apples that I also have a batch of baby's favorite coming. (Apple/Pear this time, and it's already in the crockpot!) I may also throw together some of my mom's chicken and rice casserole. It's such a great recipe for my husband and the girls to reheat while I'm at work. I'm also definitely feeling like I should make some cranberry orange scones! It's been a long time since I broke out the old scone recipe!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Green Rice Casserole

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We really love broccoli cheese rice casserole, but I'd never made it before. I decided I'd try it for our Christmas Eve dinner, and it turned out really good! I adapted a version from
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen or fresh chopped broccoli
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
  • 16 oz Velveeta (melted)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked regular long-grain white rice ( ie Measure 1.5 cups dry and prepare.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I thought it needed A LOT.)


  1. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir the broccoli in the skillet and cook until it's tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in the milk, soup, cheese sauce and rice. Cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Pour the broccoli mixture into a 2-quart shallow baking dish.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
In hindsight, I would not use a 10 inch skillet for the preparation next time. It would have been much easier to use a large saucepan. Regardless, the rice turned out great, and I got a lot of compliments! I'm excited to have a new side dish recipe in my repertoire.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Edition

Christmas has really creeped up on me this year. I knew that with Christmas Eve being on a Friday, our usual shopping day, I probably will not make it to the grocery store before the big events. I didn't have a whole lot of extra money to put towards holiday food. I ended up spending about $65 before tax, which I think is pretty good. That being said, I found myself wishing that I had about half of the next 8-10 weeks budget available to me so I could stock up on non-perishables and send my husband to the store once a week for perishables until we have this baby. I'm having a VERY hard time keeping up with the duties of my normal life. Adding Christmas on top of it has just about done me in!

For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I'll be making a new broccoli cheese rice recipe, Red Hot Jello and a birthday cake for Jesus. As far as the rest of the week is concerned, I think I'll make Chicken and Rice at some point and also Mexican Crockpot Chicken. We'll fill in the gaps with turkey sandwiches, bagels and cream cheese, fresh fruit, etc.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pumpkin Pudding

My family really likes pumpkin treats, so when my mother in law showed up with this on Thanksgiving Day, we were happy! She got the recipe from a Silver Dollar City cooking class, and it is a good one!

Pudding -

2 15 oz cans of pumpkin
1 can of Eagle Brand milk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons of pumpkin piespice
1 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all of the pudding ingredients together and spread in a 9x13 pan

Topping -

2/3 box of spice or yellow cake mix (I saved my other 1/3. Make it twice, and you have enough to make a third time without buying cake mix!)
1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
1 cup of chopped walnuts

Sprinkle 2/3 box of cake mix and nuts over pudding. Pour over melted butter. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Under $50!

I can't believe it! I managed to stay under $50! Truth be told, as I'm creeping on 31 weeks pregnant, I've lost a lot of interest in food. Nothing at the store looked good, sounded good, etc. None of my meal ideas were anything exciting. I just kind of grabbed what I knew we needed/would serve our body's well for the week and got out of there. I still think I did pretty good though!

Here is what I picked up:

 2 Suave body washes
1 Caramel Chex Mix
1 bag of chopped walnuts
2 boxes of Honey Nut Chex
3 cans of generic corn
1 lb of generic flour
1 bag of generic brown sugar
2 cans of generic chicken broth
1 loaves of 100% whole wheat bread
1 bottle of Old Orchard juice
2 cans of Rotel
1 bag of Sara Lee bagels
1 jar of Smuckers Orchard's Finest jam
1 gallon of Blue Bell ice cream
1 big tub of Belfonte vanilla yogurt
1/2 gallon of 2% generic milk
2 bricks of generic colby jack cheese
3 package of Kraft singles
1 2 liter of Canada Dry ginger ale
3.07 lbs of pears
3 packages of blackberries
1 lb of organic baby carrots
2 package of celery

My pre-tax total was about $43.00. 

I was down in the basement last night and realized that we have enough tomato soup to eat grilled cheese and tomato soup for every meal for the test of the week.  If all else fails, the girls probably wouldn't mind. Ha! I'm also going to make homemade chicken noodle soup, whole wheat banana bread, and I hopefully will actually get to my new pumpkin pudding recipe tonight. Later in the week, I'll probably make salsa soup because we haven't had it in a really long time. It's also a great recipe for moving through some of the staples I have in my pantry. Tomato soup isn't the only thing I have an abundance of! While I'm in the mood to get using some stuff up, I think I'll use some of my fresh blackberries and frozen blueberries to make my own version of fruit salsa. I have SEVERAL tortillas that didn't get closed up and are a little crusty, so it sounds like cinnamon chips are in order too! YUM!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hopelessly Over Budget Again

I am once again frustrated by where my $50 got me this week. We made a trip to two different stores this morning, and I had an impossible time with coupons. Very few sale match ups that I could come up with. I also had an inconsolable 2 year old screaming through the majority of my trip to Hy-Vee. Not fun! I even tried to bribe her with hot dogs, Pringles and a balloon. Didn't work.

Our first trip to Price Chopper was pretty successful! We really only went there because I needed apples to make baby's favorite. I needed a LOT of apples. My new crock pot is BIG. I picked up the other really good deals while I was there. I got:

1 BC cake mix
10 lbs of apples
2 jars of organic Ragu
1 24 oz bag of American Beauty pasta
1 bag of Gold Medal flour
1 bag of generic sugar

My pre-tax total was $15.29. I saved $17.56. Not bad!

Really, my problem was having $35 at Hy-Vee. Knowing that we actually needed food that we could eat for meals, and that I didn't have all that much cash left was frustrating! I needed to be able to think things through really clearly, but with the screaming little one, it was totally impossible. We got:

1 dozen eggs
2 1/2 gallons of generic OJ
1 lb of frozen peaches
1 Jack's piza
1 Carnation evaporated milk
1 Earthgrains 100% whole wheat bread
1 Hunts ketchup
1 generic raisin, nut and seed trail mix
1 lb of generic spaghetti
1 can of generic tomato sauce
1 can of black beans
2 bottles of Old Orchard juice
1 can of Pringles (expensive baby bribery)
1 package of Sara Lee bagels
1 Sobe Life Water (free)
1 package of Oscar Meyer hot dogs
2 bags of Tyson frozen chicken breasts
1/2 gallon of generic 2% milk
2 tubs of Robert's cottage cheese
2 bags of generic shredded cheese
7 lbs of bananas

All in all, we should be able to eat just fine this week. The problem is just that we went overbudget at $46.00 pre-tax on this trip alone. There are definitely a few things I could have and should have put back, but I just didn't have the clarity of mind to do so.Oh well!

I did make a huge batch of baby's favorite last night. It took all 10 lbs of the apples and 1 lb of frozen peaches easily. Evan with apples at $.69/lb, it got expensive! I miss my free apples! They just eat SO much of it, but I can't justify not making it when it's so healthy and they like it so much.

Our other meals this week will include Mexican crockpot chicken and cranberry crockpot chicken. I'm also going to share a recipe for Pumpkin Pudding that I got from my mother in law. Hopefully we'll make that tonight! We'll otherwise be snacking on hot dogs, cottage cheese, bananas, scrambled cheesy eggs, etc. I have. We're also thankful to have a few events going on this week where we will be fed! Love that!