Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Mom's Cherry Chicken

Another recipe from my mom's kitchen! I remember this being a "special occasion" dish when I was little. My mom made it when we had company or for holidays. My husband has only had it once before that I can remember, so I thought I'd make something nice for dinner for the family while I still have the chance (see Baby Watch!) It's not the cheapest dinner in the world, but it is delicious and the family loves it! (And it smells soooo good!)

Recipe -
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
1/2 cup green pepper
1 cup onion
1 can of pitted Bing cherries (You buy these packed in water but drain before using in the dish.)
6 or so bone in chicken pieces*

Instructions -
Combine all ingredients except onion and pepper in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Add onion and pepper and boil for another 5 minutes. Arrange chicken pieces in pan and pour cherry mixture over. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

*Since I'm not a meat eater, I don't know how people usually buy chicken. I had the butcher at the grocery store chop up a whole roasting chicken. It was pretty cheap. Just over $4. I used 5 pieces in the Cherry Chicken and froze the rest for Chicken Noodle Soup.

Baby Watch

We're still on baby watch here. (Oh boy, am I tired!) I went a little over budget today, which we REALLY cannot afford right now. Regardless, I guess it's more cost effective to go over budget on groceries than to go over budget on sending Daddy for carry out. Plus, I'm still really worried about leaving half of the family at home while I'm in the hospital. I'm sensing 3 days of Happy Meals. Oh no!

Here is what I picked up:

My pre-tax total was right at $65. I'm also noticing that they missed my rain check for apples, so they overcharged me about $.80/lb for 4 lbs. I'll have to grab that credit at customer service one of these days. Kind of a big one!

No meal plan this week. We're just trying to make it through the days. If it's anything like last week, however, every ounce of food will get eaten. By the time I got to the store today, we had butter, jelly and...that was about it in our refrigerator. That being said, I am making a nice dinner tonight. I'm making my mom's Cherry Chicken and a new recipe for Nigella's blondies that a friend recommended. Can't wait!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Paula Deen's Orange Coffeecake

Oh my word.

So delicious.
And easy.
And inexpensive.

Really, this is just great.

I saw Paula Deen make this recipe on her show a few weeks back, and I've been dying to try it. I thought it would be best baked up fresh for Sunday morning breakfast, but I just couldn't wait to try it. I'm so impressed! The only suggestion that I have is that if you're making this for company or are really wanting to "wow" a crowd, I think I would increase the melted butter and the topping mixture. The recipe calls for a good amount of it, but I am a big fan of excess when it comes to crumbly delicious toppings.

Here is the recipe as written by Paula Deen:


  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1 (16.3-ounce) can refrigerated biscuits (recommended: Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers)
  • 1/4 cup minced walnuts
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest


  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, or more as necessary


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.
Separate the biscuit dough into 8 biscuits. Place 1 biscuit in the center of the pan. Cut the remaining biscuits in half, forming 14 half-circles. Arrange the pieces around the center biscuit with cut sides facing in the same direction. Brush melted butter over the tops of the biscuits.
In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, granulated sugar, and orange zest. Mix well and sprinkle over biscuits. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, and orange juice. Blend until smooth adding more orange juice, if needed, to thin. Drizzle glaze over the warm coffee cake and serve.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Like a pregnant lady in the grocery store...

This is embarrassing. SO much more processed food and junk than we normally eat. SO much more. And it doesn't even look like much! Perhaps I can use this trip as an example when people claim that it is more expensive to feed your family whole foods. Hello, NOT.

Anyway, I'm almost 37 weeks pregnant. I'm doing ok, but grocery shopping sure isn't my idea of fun lately. We hit Price Chopper for their 4 day sale. I intended on only spending some of my budget, but that did not go as planned. This here friends is $47.00 worth of groceries pre-tax. What will we eat this week? Good question. We'll talk about that in a minute.

Here is what I got:

4 Belfonte yogurts (somehow I got home with 3)
3 Pillsbury biscuits
2 Pillsbury pizza crusts
2 1/2 gallons of Edy's ice cream
2 Ore Idea french fries
4 Hunt's Snack Pack puddings
3 boxes of Cheerios
1 jar Kraft Miracle Whip
1 box of Ramen noodles
5 jars Organic Ragu
1 package of Thomas bagels
1 package of Farmland hot dogs
2.22 lbs of Gala apples
1.01 lbs of Bing cherries
1/2 gallon of 2% hormone free milk

So yes, what ARE we going to eat this week? I am definitely going to eat Cheese Calzones. Lots of them. They're my favorite after all! I also didn't get around to making Philadelphia Fettuccine last week, so we'll definitely have that. Additionally, I have a new recipe for Paula Deen's Orange Coffee Cake that I can't wait to try. Other than those things, umm, umm, umm, I'm hoping I'm eating hospital food and the rest of the crew is eating Cheerios for breakfast and carrying in Taco Bell for dinner. We're just being honest here, right?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hershey's Syrup Brownies

This is another recipe from my mom's kitchen and my childhood. It's really darn good and so chocolaty! The recipe came from an old church cookbook, I believe, and she's been making these brownies since the beginning of time (at least my time!)

Here it is!

Brownies -

1 cup sugar
1 stick of butter
4 eggs
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
12 oz of Hershey's syrup (In the dark ages, this was one can. Can you still buy a CAN of Hershey's syrup?)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of nuts (I omitted.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together sugar, butter and eggs. Add flour, baking powder, syrup and vanilla. Mix well. Fold in nuts. Pour into greased 17x11 inch cookie sheet. Bake 22 minutes.

Frosting -

1 1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons of butter
6 tablespoons of milk
6 oz of chocolate chips

Boil sugar, butter and milk for 30 seconds. Removing from heat. Add chocolate chips. Stir until chips are melted. Spread on top of brownies right out of oven.


My two year old's response to eating these was, "Mommy, you the best mommy EVA!"



I spent another week working from home trying to keep this baby in. Incidentally, we ALL spent a lot of this week at home due to the weather. I did pull it together to hit the 2 day sale at Hy-Vee today. We could scrape by for awhile without a trip, but I keep thinking this baby is going to come, and I'm never going to see the inside of a grocery store without three kids ever again. Ha! I did go pretty far over budget, mostly because this grocery store trip is the only place I've been in a week. I'm running low on all kinds of household stuff, so I picked up what I had to have and could pick up on the cheap at the grocery store instead of making a special stop somewhere. This is what I got:

1 lb of generic cottage cheese
3 tubes of Pillsbury crescents
2 generic broccoli floret steamers
1 box of Barilla fettuccine
1 loaf of Earthgrains bread
1 bottle of Hershey's syrup
1 generic nut and raisin trail mix (not pictured because my kid HAD have it. Love those good eaters!)
2 12 oz bags of generic egg noodles
1 can of generic pumpkin
2 2 lb bags of generic rice
1 box of Apple Jacks
1 box of Corn Pops
1 1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream
1 package of Hillshire Honey ham
1 4 pack of Activia Strawberry Cheesecake
1/2 gallon of generic 2% milk
1 4 pack of Yo-Plus
16 8 oz packages of generic cheese
2 8 oz bricks of generic cheese
1 package of 8 large tortillas
1 whole pineapple
2.4 lbs Granny Smith apples
1 green bell pepper
4 baking potatoes
5 lbs of navel oranges
A few lbs of pork chops

Also not pictured,
1 3M Allergen Air Filter
6 rolls of Charmin Basic
1 box of Electrasol powerball tabs
4 2 litres of Coke
3 pack of Starbucks Via

Dang that is a lot of food! My food total before tax came to about $65, which I think is really pretty darn good, even though it was over budget. (We'll take the overage out of our savings money this week due to special circumstances.) I was really trying hard to get a lot of things I could use to make some solid meals. With the things I picked up today and the food I have on stock, I plan on making Confetti Chicken Casserole, Cream of Chicken Pork Chops and Rice, ham and cheese crescent sandwiches and broccoli cheese baked potatoes for dinner this week for sure. If we're still scrounging for meals, I know I can make Mexican Crockpot Chicken or Philadelphia Fettuccine as well. Hopefully I'll also have time to whip up a batch of Whole Wheat pumpkin muffins too. It would be nice to freeze some, so I have some quick breakfasts for when this baby comes!

And, one of the best parts is that we still have enough to share. Tomorrow we're taking Cavatini and Hershey brownies to one of  my daughter's teachers that recently was diagnosed with leukemia. We're so blessed that we can bless others too.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A tired trip...

It's been a hard week around here. I'm on semi bedrest after having some preterm labor complications on Tuesday. I've been working from home, but I HAD to go to the grocery store today. I had planned on sending my husband, but after I made the list I realized it would be really hard for him. I decided I could handle it if he kept the girls. I made it, but it was exhausting. I didn't really do any meal planning ahead of time. I just grabbed what was cheap, which leaves me still wondering what we'll eat this week. I did at least pick up the stuff I needed to make cavatini next weekend for one of my girl's teachers who has cancer.I figured it was entirely possible I might not make it back to the store until then!

Here is what I got:

1 V05 conditioner
1 dozen eggs
3 half gallons of OJ
1 Pillsbury Simply bisciuts
3 cans of Campbell's soups
1 package of ChiChis tortillas
6 boxes of Creamette pasta
1 loaf of Earthgrains bread
8 cans of generic tuna
3 64 oz jars of generic apple juice
8 cans of Mrs. Grimes black beans
1 Old Fashioned Quaker oats
1 Instant Quaker Oats
3 pack of Peter Pan PB
1 package of OR Movie Butter popcorn
2 bags of Tostitos
1 jar of Tostitos queso
1 Welch's reduced sugar jelly
4 8 oz containers of generic cottage cheese
1 1/2 gallon of generic milk
4.16 lbs of navel oranges
2.33 lbs bosc pears

I had to pick up several other random things (ice melt, foil pans, a drink, etc,) but I think my total came in at right around $50 not including the weird items.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where I keep stuff...

One thing I've never done is share my "stockpile." Reason being, it ain't much of a "stockpile!" It's more like...where I keep stuff. It's really my "pantry" because I don't have one in my kitchen. It isn't overly impressive, but I'm also not a hoarder. I'm also way super busy, so it's BARELY organized. Regardless, it serves its purpose in that we've got enough various things that we can skip grocery shopping for a week or so if we need to, or that I can almost always dig up SOMETHING for dinner.

Here it is! (You'll also see a mess of other random stuff. Sorry!)

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, there you have it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Opinion Outpost

If you're anything like me, you're worrying a little bit about money in the New Year. I don't normally "worry" because I'd rather be proactive, but this year with a new baby on the way and the fear of owing taxes, I am WORRIED.

My game plan for now is to go back to taking as many surveys as I can through Opinion Outpost. I made $150 mostly through Sept-Oct of last year, and it was really quick and easy. It doesn't seem huge, but getting a $5.00 check in the mail once or twice a week was a BIG help.

If you're looking for a way to earn some quick and easy $ in the New Year, you can sign up here -