Friday, May 27, 2011

Mango Lassi

Over the last few weeks of watching produce prices, the most affordable find lately is strangely a MANGO! I've seen them advertised for $.50/a piece at a few places recently. Granted, mangoes are one of the most common fruits worldwide, but we just don't have an abundance of them here in Kansas! The few I bought most recently were absolutely DELICIOUS also!

I needed to use one up before I went out of town for the week, so I made a mango lassi! Here is a (non traditional)  and YUMMY recipe!

6 oz of vanilla yogurt
1 mango, cubed
1/4 cup of milk

Blend and enjoy!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Daddy Cooks

We've done Daddy Shops before, and now we are embarking on a new adventure...Daddy Cooks! This is part of my grocery run for the next two weeks. My super wonderful husband is staying home with the girls the end of this week and the beginning of next week, so I can go to my best friends wedding in Florida. Isn't he great???

I may have mentioned this before, but my husband is NOT a great leftover eater. I think he's just not a huge fan of eating things more than once. I considered making a few things to leave in the fridge for him and the girls, but I really think they would have sat there and eaten McDonalds and Taco Bell every day. Not ok with mommy! I decided instead to pick up some prepared meals on sale. I know he will make those, and they're probably healthier than fast food. I was also trying to load up on some lightweight and healthy snacks to pack to take with me! I am NOT wanting to spend a fortune on food on my trip!

My total here was about $66 before tax. I saved about $50. I think I saved pretty well considering my agenda, but I was amazed at how fast everything added up! I hardly had $ for produce and dairy, so we're having to get creative for the next few days!

I did make a trip to Hy Vee for a few other things, but I didn't get a picture because I got home so late. I picked up a few half gallons of ice cream, several bags of various dried fruit and nuts, and two super delicious mangoes. YUM.

We're eating from the freezer a lot this week. I have some green rice, enchilada soup, chicken enchiladas, fish sticks and frozen pizza that we'll use to supplement this week's weird groceries. I also tried a new recipe today, Michelle Obama's favorite granola bars! I'm waiting for them to cool now. I think they are going to be DELICIOUS!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quesadilla Pizza

Ok, so this recipe is NOT rocket science, but it DID keep us out of a fast food drive thru between soccer practice and a school board meeting this week. PLUS, everyone ate it. THAT is ALWAYS a win!

Here is how I made it (from,)


  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 3/4 onion, diced
  • 5 (10 inch) flour tortillas (I used 4.)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray a 9-inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan, cook refried beans and onions (to soften them) on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Place one tortilla in the bottom of the greased pan. Spread about 1/3 cup of the bean mixture over it. Layer a few tablespoons of salsa over this. Then, place another tortilla over the salsa, and add more of the bean mixture. Follow the beans with a big handful of cheese, spreading evenly. repeat layers, spreading the ingredients evenly over the tortillas. On the top layer, make sure to use lots of salsa and cheese!
  4. Bake until the cheese is melted, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 651 | Total Fat: 20.3g | Cholesterol: 68mg

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hen House

If being disorganized is a contest, I won the prize this week. I found myself at Hen House at 8 PM with two kids, a disaster of coupons and no list. Yikes.

I still managed to pull off a pretty good deal! I paid $34.85 pre-tax for everything here and saved $42.53. I once again was able to score some really great deals on milk and yogurt, so I was very happy. The other deals were just a bonus!

After that, I fed the baby and switched big girls with my husband, and we ran quickly to Hy-Vee to hit their one day sale. I got two Edy's half gallons of ice cream, 4 Palermos pizza, a can of generic refried beans, a jar of generic salsa, and a few other things I'm not remembering! My pre-tax total was right around $20. We went slightly over budget, but I had the extra money in our spending money envelope, so it wasn't a big deal.

Today we are taking dinner to my sister in law -- cavatini, salad, garlic bread and no bake cookies. It amazes me even that I can still squeak taking a meal to someone else out of our $50/budget. It's the loaves and fishes principle, I suppose. While I'm in the kitchen, I'm going to use up some leftover broccoli by making and freezing a few pans of Green Rice Casserole. I'm also planning on making blueberry lemon scones and a new Mexican tortilla pie recipe. Breakfasts this week will likely be cereal or yogurt. Lunches will probably be peanut butter and honey with a side of fruit for the girls and leftovers and salad for me and my husband. For dinner, we'll have breakfast burritos, frozen pizza with salad, Philadelphia fettuccine and garlic bread and macaroni and cheese and fruit.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Strawberry Limeade Granita

Strawberry Limeade Granita

I was looking for a way to use up 4 oz of mascarpone cheese I had left over from when I made our most delicious Mocha Chocolate Chip Icebox Cake. I found this recipe for a Strawberry Mascarpone granita, so I put my own spin on it with things I already had. It was DELICIOUS! I would definite make it again. It was also pretty cheap to make (REALLY cheap if you use cream cheese bought on sale instead,) and with the price of ice cream, I'm glad to have an alternative! If you buy all of the ingredients for this recipe on sale, you can easily make an entire batch for $3 or so.

Adapted from,

  • 1 cup water 
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (could sub cream cheese or greek yogurt)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of salt


Place the water, 1/2 sugar cup, and lime zest in a small pan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Let simmer over low heat to steep the lime zest. Then strain the lime zest from the simple syrup. (I carefully peeled the zest off with a vegetable peeler, so I just pulled my zest pieces out with tongs.) Discard the lime zest.

In a food processor or blender combine 2 cups of strawberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and the juice of one lime. Run the machine to puree the strawberries. Add the mascarpone cheese and salt. Run the machine until the mascarpone cheese is fully incorporated. Add the lime simple syrup and run the machine to combine. Place the strawberry mixture in an 8 by 8-inch glass dish and place the dish in the freezer. The mixture will take about 4 hours to freeze.

To serve, use a fork to scrape the granita. Spoon the mixture into chilled bowls. Serve immediately.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Almost Extreme Couponing...

With the Extreme Couponing craze thanks to TLC's new show, let it be known that I'm NOT an extreme couponer! My life is FULL. WAY full. Coupons aren't my hobby,  my passion or my favorite thing in the world. I use coupons to supplement our grocery budget, so we can make it on $50 a week and have $ for other fun things! I use coupons when I can, but it's not life or death for me.

Ok, now that we have cleared that up...

I had a great trip to Hen House last night!

Here is what we got...

My total pre-tax total was $29.72. I saved $48.78. Woohoo!

I was really happy to see that Hen House has started a new program where they are marking down expiring dairy (mostly) a few days before it expires. I picked up a ton of yogurt for very nearly free after store and manufacturers coupons, and I got milk marked down by $1. Since I go to the grocery store every week, we eat almost I buy that is perishable in that given week. We'll eat through anything "expiring" before it goes bad, so it's no big deal for us! It saved me a bunch of cash too! Good thinking Hen House. And thanks!

I'm not quite sure what we'll do for meals this week. I'm going to make another trip to Hy Vee, probably tonight, but I haven't planned out what I'm going to get or any meals yet. Stay tuned!


I didn't make a second trip to the store this weekend. We decided we'll just make it on what we have, and save the $19. Our meals will be a lot of salad and yogurt! Ha! I think we'll also have tuna and noodle salad at some point. I also have the items I need to make cheese enchiladas and lasagna and garlic bread. There are a few casseroles in the freezer if we get desperate, which we won't! For a special dessert, I made a strawberry limeade granita, which we have yet to try! You can bet I'll be sharing that recipe!

I'm sure I've said this before, but it seems like whenever I start to worry that we're going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel, the next grocery day sneaks up on me. We always make it just fine! We are BLESSED!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An Unexciting Grocery Update

We have had a SUPER, SUPER busy week complete with preschool, a new soccer club, painting a bedroom, new bunk bed delivery and assembly, a work picnic, dance classes and planning a trip in a few weeks, and of course two full-time jobs. It was EXHAUSTING. I completely avoided going to the grocery store on Friday. I decided to go when my husband got home from work on Saturday night, which turned out to be about 9 PM. I didn't get home until almost 11 PM, and I was just OVER it. Thus, my apologies, no picture!

I spent about $60 pre tax at Hy Vee. I intended to use the $15 off a $100 purchase coupon, but I just didn't find enough good deals to get me to $100. I realize I could have gotten just about anything and been fine because it was $15 FREE dollars, but I was so far away once they rang up my total that I just didn't care any more.

I got a lot of fresh produce -- grapes, kiwis, Dole steamable broccoli, a few bags of salad, a red onion, a few green peppers, apples and organic oranges. YUM! I'm on a super healthy mission because I am going to a wedding in Florida, and I have to wear a swimming suit in 4 weeks! Oh the horror!

For my lunches this week, I've made a big tub of broccoli salad (plus almonds without bacon!) I also just made a big pan of funeral potatoes for my family to have as a side with a few various Hormel entrees I bought this week. For breakfast, I made two whole wheat carrot and pineapple breakfast cakes. I intend on sharing this recipe, but I forgot to take a picture! Additional meals will be easy things like pancakes and eggs, ham sandwiches, french tortillas with Nutella and lots of fruits, veggies and salad!

Also, forgive me if I don't have many new and exciting recipes in the near future! Desserts are my favorite, and I'm trying to abstain!