Wednesday, May 12, 2010

CARROT CRAZY

Good morning children! How are you doing this humid May day? Good I hope. Today is my day off… I think I am supposed to relax, but since I don’t know how to do that, I plan on doing lots of things- from sewing to painting to cooking even! Are you sure you are ready for this? LOL!



Last night I don’t know what hit me, but we went crazy… we as in ME LOL! I got the curtains done for my lemon kitchen! YAY! Now I just have to order wallies and paint sponge lemons along the top of the walls. Oh and paint the checkers on the bottom counter doors LOL! But isn’t it cute?? You can even see my lemon hand soap dispenser I found at, of all places, get this… The Dollar Tree! Go figure right?! LOL!



This is our supper from Monday night. I wanted something quick and easy, so I diced up some chicken breasts, halved some cherry tomatoes (from the garden of course) and Brussels sprouts and threw it all in a skillet with some whole wheat Penne pasta. For the dressing… fat free zesty Italian salad dressing. Oh it was really quite yummy!



Here you see all the non-winning scratch off lotto tickets I have been collecting to try to make the purse. Let me tell you, this will be one expensive purse by the time its over LOL! This is all the pieces taped together to form each side, bottom, strap, etc. Pray this works… it will be one spiffy purse if it does!



Last nights dinner… Dirty Rice with a fresh salad. Doesn’t that look absolutely delish? I needed something quick and easy last night as the DWTS results show was on… which depressed the tar out of me!



Ok, funny story time LOL! I was making soup for my mom and Dad on Monday and I was peeling some carrots at their house. I made a comment on how I loved their potato peeler as it was so easy to use and how I needed to get one. Now, as the frugal mom I don’t spend a lot of kitchen gadgets even though I cook for armies of people all the time. I had me a little $2.88 potato peeler from the local Wally world which, quite frankly, SUCKED! It was hard to use and being that I have CTS, I dreaded having to peel veggies. Mom & Dad’s made it so easy! Now I am one who, if I find a good product, I am gonna let you know and folks… GO GET YOU ONE OF THESE! Spend the $10 or whatever to get you one of these Kitchen Aid Vegetable Peelers! Remind me to do something very special for my Dad!! This was one of the best gifts ever!



SOOO LOL… by the end of last night my DH was teasing me that "my OCD was kicking in" because I had reduced about 15-20 pounds of carrots into 36 cups of prepared carrots… either sliced or shredded! I made 6 bags each of 1 and 2 cup portions of both shredded and sliced carrots and put them in the freezer for future use. Stir-fry, soup, casseroles, whatever I may need carrots for I will have them ready and waiting! (I had to have peeled close to 50 or more carrots LMAO! My hands are STILL orange this morning despite washing them for like 30 minutes LOL. And I so lost the white shirt I was wearing... nothing is gonna get that orange out LMAO!) Buying in bulk and then taking the time to prep them and store them is both time and money saver! You can do this with potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and lots of other veggies and fruits too! How do you think I can feed so many on next to nothing? I’ve been doing this for years and the news is just now telling you about it.

That’s my frugal tip for the day. Buy in Bulk. I recommend investing in at least one (like in my case more the better LOL) chest or upright deep freezer. Then you can buy produce and meats in bulk and prepare/process them yourself and cold store them for use all year long… even off season when they are like 2-3 times what you have paid! Oh I would buy tons more freezers if I had a place for them! LOL I know that sounds silly, but with how I cook and shop and how many people I am normally feeding/cooking for, it would be ideal! I could have one or 2 for just fruits and veggies and a few for meats LOL… chicken would have its own freezer, cause we go through a LOT of chicken LOL! Then you have those BIG hunks of meat like hams, turkeys, and briskets, etc. that go on sale really cheap during certain parts of the year. Bulk meat cuts would have their own chest too LOL! Yes I know that I sound either very organized or very anally retentive, depending on which way you look at it LMAO! I buy sugars, flours, etc. in bulk as well. If you make things like jams (home canning, etc.) you tend to use quite a bit of sugar, and when you cook from scratch like I do, sugar never enters this house in things smaller than a 25 pound bag (unless I got a small one free with coupons LOL!). When you are like this family, certain staples in bulk is always better! If you have a smaller family, think about going in half with someone else and splitting the cost AND the product. You will save money in the end! For instance, flour… I pay a little less than $8 for a 25 pound bag. That works out to about 32 cents a pound! I have seen 4 pound bags well over $3 at some stores! $1.28 for me for that same 4 pounds thanks… you see? So Buy in bulk kids… but watch WHAT you buy in bulk! Some things are more expensive per ounce when bought in bulk and make sure you can use it all in some way before it goes bad… or else you just wasted money!

Ok, time to get crafty! Now last night, I had a proud mommy moment! My daughter made her first “Dammit Doll” and gave it to me! AWWW! But I am not bringing the Dammit Doll back today. I am, however, bringing you another stuffed treasure!



Craft Idea of the Day: The Original Rockford Red Heel Sock Elephant

Instructions:

TURN SOCK INSIDE OUT.

Cut 3-1/2 inches off rib of sock. Starting 3 inches from the heel, sew a 1/8 inch seam on each side of the center line and across the end of the ribbing. Cut the sock between the seams and about 1-1/2 inches farther to make an opening for the stuffing. Turn sock right side out.

Head and Body:
To shape the head, stuff foot of sock nice and plump and tie off loosely at the neck with ribbon. Insert 1-1/2 inch circles of cardboard in feet and stuff. Finish stuffing, sew legs and slit in the crotch, making one seam on underside of the body and the other up toward the tail.

Legs:
Cut the second sock as shown, about 5 inches long. Turn inside out, seam along one side and across the foot. Insert pieces of cardboard in fee, stuff, and attach near the front of the body.

Mouth:
Cut off complete heel from the second sock. Stuff it lightly and sew it to the head. Stitch across the center to shape the mouth.

Trunk:
Open flat strip of sock so it is about 1 inch wide at one end and 6 inches at the other. Round the wide end. Fold in half lengthwise, inside out, and seam along one edge and around the narrow end. To bend and hold the trunk in various positions insert a piece of wire through the length of the trunk. Insert pipe cleaner tusks.

Ears:
For each ear, cut two pieces in the shape of the ears. Seam and turn right-side out. Sew on level with the highest point of the trunk.

Eyes:
Sew on moving eyes, buttons (my personal favorite), felt, or embroider with black thread. (For very small children be safe and embroider the eyes.)

Tail:
Make a short roll of the material and sew into place.

Trim:
Trim is optional. A fringed strip of bright material can be placed over the back, or tassels may be sewn on. Rickrack, little bells ribbons or beads naturally give the toy a more festive, circus-like appearance.

I'm happy to report that my preferred source for the original Rockford Red Heel Socks is back in business! I don't have any business interest with them other than they've always had a good supply at the best price. So if you need socks for your project click on the link below.

Click HERE to get the original Rockford Red Heel Socks

Alright kids, its time for super yumminess! PIZZA TIME DAY 3! First off, my doll Hazel says she is gonna make a pizza for the church function… I think that’s awesome! I also read you have a bread machine. Well I have an added bonus recipe to make your pizza making easier! Here is a homemade pizza dough recipe especially for your machine!

By: Marian Collins
"A crusty, chewy pizza crust! Our family's favorite! Try make two pizza crusts at once by removing the dough from the machine once it hits the rise cycle and place in a separate bowl. Now you are ready to begin the second crust!"




Pizza Crust for Bread Machines

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Directions

Place all ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle. Remove after rise cycle and use with your favorite pizza recipe.

Now I have dessert pizzas, Chinese pizzas, and even a baked potato pizza planned for this week, but for the flavor of the day… we go Mexican! WOOHOO! If you like the Taco Bell Mexican Pizzas, you HAVE to try this one on for size!



Jimmy’s Mexican Pizza

Ingredients

1/2 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 green onions, chopped
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat 2 pie plates with non-stick cooking spray.

Place beef, onion and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until beef is evenly browned. Drain off grease. Season the meat with chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.

Lay one tortilla in each pie plate, and cover with a layer of refried beans. Spread half of the seasoned ground beef over each one, and then cover with a second tortilla. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove the plates from the oven, and let cool slightly. Spread half of the salsa over each top tortilla. Cover each pizza with half of the Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Place half of the tomatoes, half of the green onions, and half of the jalapeno slices onto each one.

Return the pizzas to the oven, and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly before slicing each one into 4 pieces.

Alright folks, I might just have to go make me a homemade pizza for lunch cause I have something very special planned for dinner! I’m off work today, so tonight is experimental dinner night WOOHOO! LOL my gang loves experiment night! So go grab you another cup of Java as you walk out the door to work. I’m gonna grab a cup of get-off-my-butt and get to work! I gotta go pick up some cat food and stuff first but then I am free all day to craft like crazy and drive you nuts tomorrow LOL! Be safe and have a terrific day! Until tomorrow… HUGS!

2 comments:

  1. Debbie "MOMMay 12, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    Good morning Renee or should I call you Bugs Bunny? "OMG! Thats alot of carrots! But I have no doubt you will use them ALL. And you are right about the peeler. Cooking is alot more fun when you have the right tools. I have had many times when my knives aren't sharp enough and it took forever to slice or dice what I was working with and it gets very frustrating. So kudos for you in finding a new toy to use in the kitchen.
    That elephant toy sure looks alot like how a sock monkey used to be made. I recently saw sock monkeys for sale in Target but they were huge. I'd hate to see the feet of whoever could fit in those socks! LOL
    To Tabitha- thank you for the compliment. I like to think that I brought up Renee and her brothers the right way and that I taught them the important things of life. Never really had any problems with them even when other teens around them were getting into trouble. It makes me pretty proud. And you sound like someone who I could adopt as another "kid" into my group as I have done before....just like Renee with all her DD friends. You keep on clicking for those animals. The world needs more caring people like you in it. OK. No pizza for me tonight. My show Survivor is on tonight and I will probably eat soup (which Renee made for me). Til next time....

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  2. Renee, can you tell me how much you paid for the bulk bag of carrots? Was it cheaper than the grocery store? Your meals look so yummy and your curtains are to die for! OMG I think its mexican pizza in our house tonight! WOW! And I am anxious to see the lotto bag. You are so inventive! Keep it up as its truly inspiring.

    To "MOM"- You did a wonderful job with Renee (sorry don't know her brothers though but I bet they are great too). I wish I had a mom like you or Renee. And I do click daily for the little babies. I recently went to our local shelter and visited the animals and I am thinking about adopting one (or 2 LOL) animals from there. I have to work on my finances first though but maybe by the end of the month. Enjoy your show!

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