Friday, January 15, 2010


Good morning everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful day! I went to the doctor yesterday morning and its just as I suspected… kidney stones AND an infection on top of a bladder infection… fun huh? Already went to storage today and brought home 16 more big boxes to sort through (FUN) and while I was there, a mouse scared the crap out of me! Oh let me see him again… I will accidentally let a box fall on him! That’s what he gets for scaring the crap out of me! LOL… OK so yesterday after I got back, I had the most fun in the kitchen! I had every crock pot and every burner on the oven going… it was wonderful! It was a literal soup kitchen! I had Hot & Sour, Clam Chowder, Butternut Squash, Ginger Pumpkin, Potato, and Miso soups going! Then we had the Asian dinner as well LOL! I’m gonna do it again tomorrow LOL! AND I actually got to build up some freezer meals! LOOK what I am up to in one of the freezers!

Alright, we got such a great comment from Melissa yesterday… and I’m gonna blog about all her questions! I thank you for your comments and will be happy to share some of my “secrets” with you LOL! Let’s start out with the baby food. Rather than write out a ton of recipes, I’m gonna give you the best website I have ever found for making homemade baby food! It’s simply called! Be sure to read the Preparation & Storage page before you begin this adventure as there is a lot of helpful tips and hints… including a storage time chart. It’s a great website and I send all my mommies there!

As for being crafty… well today I am making a few Neck coolers in between of the purses and towels and such. Also check out these Baby Footies… they are so cute!

Ok saving money… it can be a chore sometimes but it can be done no matter HOW big your family! I used to teach a class from material I put together called “The Common “Cents” of Saving Money”. It was popular for a while until people just couldn’t even afford the class. I’ve thought about selling my packets as there is SO much information in there. 7 years of writing and collecting data… way more than I could put on here! I have been couponing and such since I was very young… with my mom. It allows us to always eat very healthy and like kings! So here, I’m going to cover some of my basics…

1. I buy in bulk.- I do not buy prepared foods very often. Breads, snacks, stocks, etc. are all homemade unless I get a good coupon for it or I find them very cheap. When you cook as much as I do, it pays to buy in bulk. I buy bags of sugar, flour, etc in the 25-50 pound bags. Eggs, if I can get them fresh from a local chicken farm, then they are cheaper there. If not, I buy dozens at Sams or Walmart (they carry the 5dz. Boxes). Bones are saved and boiled into stock/broths along with the “scraps” of veggies, shells of seafood, etc. NOTHING is wasted in this house!

2. I buy in-season- I have a chart I found and printed out that says what is in season (as for fruits and veggies). Its in the picture form of a rainbow and it stays in my planner in my purse. Its from a site called “Houston Foodie” and it’s the best thing I have ever printed out. I also enlarged it into a poster size and hung one in the kitchen! Click here to print it out! And make sure to bookmark it or save it on your PC cause if you’re like me, you’ll go thru a lot of copies LOL! I give them to people and of course the wear and tear on them… yea I print it a lot LOL! Buying in season assures you are getting fresh items for a very cheaper cost.

3. I shop at Farmer’s markets, meat markets, and discount stores - Many times I can buy bulk bags of onions, melons, gourds, and other finds very cheap at the farmer’s markets. Sometimes they are a bit more expensive than the grocery store, but I know they are fresher and I am supporting my local farmers… so I splurge there and cut somewhere else. My local meat market sells “value packs” of meats. It’s a variety of meats (hamburger, chops, steaks, sausage, bacon, roasts, etc) for a specific cost… and the bigger the package you buy, the cheaper the meat ends up being. So I always get the big packs and add a few extra things I want special. I buy sausage by the case... etc. If my brothers need meats, they normally get a small package and give me what they don’t want/won’t use… say the fryers, etc. Those little Hispanic markets are good for things like chorizo, etc. And there are bread and bakery outlet/thrift stores that have good deals on breads, rolls, etc.- In the Houston area, there is a HUGE Farmer’s market downtown and its surrounded by a mexican bakery and gift shops and all kinds of neat stuff! We make a day out of it and have so much fun!

4. I stock up on sale with coupons- There are coupons for just about EVERYTHING out there… including meats, produce, eggs, etc! I use a coupon clipping service to obtain multiple coupons of things I know I can stockpile and buy next to or completely free. Meat and seafood, milk and produce coupons are also called “Winetags” and are good off ANY purchase (depending on coupon). So if I find split chicken breasts on sale for $1 a pound, and I have a $2 off any chicken purchase, then I find a 2 pound package of meat, use 1 coupon and just got free chicken breasts! Look for winetags on places like ebay, etc. It works with all kinds of stuff! Buy smaller items with high value coupons and get it free. Then to save space, transfer all the items to a bigger container. Making space for storing stockpiles saves a lot of money. I got 10 boxes of cornstarch once for 99 cents after coupons! I transferred them all to a gallon canister and saved a lot of space!

5. I barter- I have 3 hunters, 2 fisherman, and a commercial fisherman in the family. So when they go hunting/fishing, they always bring me free/fresh meats and seafoods. It stocks my freezer and in return I either make them some meals or I do something they may need. (I am Native American background and we have strong hunting ethics… and other beliefs which we live by whole-heartedly). I have also made friends with some of the people at the local meat and seafood markets and they take good care of me… telling me how to save money there, making sure I get fresh items, etc.

6. I eat before I shop- Never EVER go shopping hungry! You are tempted to buy more than what you planned on..

7. LISTS- I always make sure I keep a running list of things I need to buy and I stick to it. I make a shopping list by store by what’s on sale and if I have a coupon for it. I also have a list (in a notebook) of the items I frequently buy and how much they normally cost at the top 3 stores I usually shop at. It takes me about 6 hours to plan a good shopping trip, but when I can get $480 worth of food for about $15, I think its worth my time LOL!

8. Coupons- another obvious one! Coupons here in Texas on the Gulf Coast go like this- 0 to 39 cents triples, 40 to 50 cents doubles, and everything else is face value! So 35 c triples to $1.05 off (one of my favorites) and if my item is only $1.19, then I only pay 14 cents for that item! Kroger will triple 3 of the like (same) coupon and every other one is face… so only buy 3 of those items per order. You can always do separate orders or multiple trips! (Having teen shoppers comes in handy too LMAO!) Be aware of your area stores and their policies. Also remember value places like Dollar General and Family Dollar, etc. also accept coupons!

9. Timing is everything- I either shop early in the morning or late at night if I can. There are less disruptions during these times of the day/night. And I try to shop alone as well to avoid impulse “Mom can we get…” comments. Now I will take others with me on large runs or runs I need to make multiple purchases.

All of these tips and hints allow us to eat cheap and still splurge if we want. I buy lobsters, T-bones, you name it! Like I said, my packet goes into much more detail about a ton of shopping hints! Now lets get to some yumminess! FOOOOOOOOOD!!!! YAY!

OK so I’m gonna let you in on a little secret (but don’t tell my kids LMAO!)… my meatballs, meatloaf, and hamburgers? ALL THE SAME MIX! Its just the spices and sauces I use to make them different LOL! Normally, I will buy some ground meat bulk and mix a huge batch… then form some into meatballs, some into mini meatloaves, and some into hamburger patties. I freeze the extras after they are cooked. All the meat mixture contains is- ground meat, egg (1 per pound of ground meat), crushed Ritz crackers or stale bread crumbs, and salt/pepper/garlic powder. That’s it! You can add dried minced onion if you’d like too. Then for the meatballs, I use a melon baller to make the perfect size. Roll it up and dredge it in flour. Skillet fry it in a bit of vegetable (or canola or olive oil- your choice!) oil. Remove them and drain on a paper towel. You can then freeze them or use them in your meal. For the meatball subs, you need to either make hoagie rolls or buy some from the bakery department. I put the meatballs in the crockpot and simmer them in homemade marinara sauce all day. You can use jarred marinara as well… its just as yummy! Top the meatballs and sauce with some shredded mozzarella cheese and a warm hoagie bun and OMG YUM! As for the WingStop question… I’m not quite sure. I’ve never eaten there but I’ll do some research for you ok? There are a ton of great places to get copycat recipes of tons of your favorite restaurant specials… so I’ll see what I can dig up!

Now… time for the new recipe for today! Another soup recipe… to use those meatballs in as a matter of fact! I love soups in the winter time… hearty, filling, and warms you to the bones!

Swedish Meatball Soup


1 egg
2 cups half-and-half cream, divided
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
3 cups water
1 pound red potatoes, cubed
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed


In a bowl, beat egg; add 1/3 cup cream, bread crumbs, onion, nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add beef; mix well. Shape into 1/2-in. balls. In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, brown meatballs in butter, half at a time. Remove from the pan; set aside. Drain fat.

To pan, add flour, bouillon, pepper, garlic salt and remaining salt; stir until smooth. Gradually stir in water; bring to a boil, stirring often. Add potatoes and meatballs.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in peas and remaining cream; heat through. Yield: 8 servings (about 2 quarts).

Okie dokie kids, well I think I talked your ear off enough for today! Hope you got some good information from all this… so I’m off to conquer more clutter! (Eww I hope that little buzzard doesn’t try to hitch a ride back to my house! My cats will make short work of him LOL and then bring it to me like they are proud… EWWW!) LOL! I’ll see you tomorrow! HUGS!

1 comment:

  1. wow, a TON of information here .... thank you
    do you make hot wings??? do you make them in a crock pot?
    My DH is in a hot wings kick and want to try different kinds.....
    hope you feel better real soon. how in the world can you cook with a kidney stone... i could hardly stand up !