Monday, July 12, 2010


Good Monday morning to everyone! How are you doing today? I'm sort of melancholy this morning. Perhaps its just because I am not feeling too well. Or perhaps its because the kitten, Mittens, is not feeling well either. I'm not sure really. So I am really hoping that writing and hanging out with you guys will help me get in a better mood at least. Just have to wait for the physical to pass then.

I want to apologize for the error in pictures posted with the recipe yesterday. I guess I wasn't paying attention and uploaded the wrong picture. It has been deleted. I wasn't feeling real good and guess I was not paying close enough attention. I'll make sure it doesn't happen again.

When I was logging on to Yahoo, I saw yet another article that caught my eye... actually the words "healthy" and "budget" caught my eye (the latter having more appeal LOL). I think its great info broken down to the pennies (almost literally) and felt it was my duty, as the Frugal Mom, to bring it to you.

10 Best Foods For Your Buck

Plan your menus around healthy, nutrient-packed staples that won’t give you sticker shock at the checkout.

Make the most of your grocery budget by stocking up on these versatile natural foods that are good for your health and wallet.

Peanut butter
Why it's a 10 best:This popular pantry item offers protein and heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
Use it it: Snacks, sandwiches, sauces, and baking goods.
Cost: About 20¢ for 2 tablespoons

Why they're a 10 best: Eggs are a good source of lean protein, and also contain vitamin B12, riboflavin and phosphorus.
Use them in: Omelets, frittatas and salads
Cost: About 13¢ per large egg

Why they're a 20 best: This grain helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Use them in: Baked goods, breakfast and to stretch ground-meat dishes
Cost: About 17¢ per ½ cup for quick-cooking oats

Why they're a 10 best: This fruit is a good source of vitamin C and is full of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Use them in: Salads and baked goods; as a snack
Cost: About 60¢ each, depending on variety and season

Why it's a 10 best: This leafy green is loaded with vitamins (A, C, K and folic acid) and manganese.
Use it in: Salads, pasta dishes, casseroles, soups and stews
Cost: About $1 for 5 ounces of fresh spinach

Why they're a 10 best: This tasty staple provides lean protein that’s full of fiber, calcium, folic acid and iron and other minerals.
Use them in: Salad and stews
Cost: About 35¢ per ½-cup serving (canned)

Frozen vegetables
Why they're a 10 best: They provide fiber and an array of nutrients, depending on which veggies you buy.
Use them in: Sides and casseroles
Cost: About 40¢ per serving

Sweet potatoes
Why they're a 10 best: These spuds are very filling (because they contain fiber) and a source of vitamins A and B6.
Use them in: Main and side dishes
Cost: About $1 each

Brown rice
Why it's a 10 best: Brown rice is a whole grain and a source of vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, zinc and manganese.
Use it in: Soups, salads and side dishes
Cost: About 37¢ per ½ cup (cooked)

Canned tuna fish
Why it’s a 10 Best: This fish is a healthful lean protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids.
Use it in: Sandwiches, casseroles and salads
Cost: About 75c per 3 ounces

Ok, so do you see it? Are you watching? LOL! The Christmas Countdown is closing in on that magical number! So who's doing the challenge with me? Have you made your lists? Talk to me my peeps! LOL... Well the DD's party challenge is just about over. And the Fabric Challenge is about half over and the kitchen is almost done. And starting the Christmas Challenge will probably help complete the FC too! So double duty-ing is a good thing LOL! Now on this Christmas Challenge, I plan to make as much of each gift AND presentation as possible. I plan on making personalized gift bags for the gifts (when necessary), etc. All edible gifts will obviously be done at the "last minute" but if the supplies for those gifts are shelf stable, then they will at least be bought ahead of time to ensure we have them. This challenge takes a bit of planning but I think it will be turning out super spiffy. My gift giving will cover a large range of people... from babies to seniors, women and men, manly to feminine, and everything in between! I am lucky that I have the kinds of people who are very different yet all like homemade gifts. They really appreciate them and that makes it all the more fun! So take your time and really think about the person you are gifting to. What do they like, what could be useful to them, etc. Then take those ideas and make some magic! Now my grandma and mom were/are the crocheters of the family and when you crochet or knit, you have various size needles for different jobs right? Well if you have a crocheter or knitter in your family, here is something you could make to help them keep all their needles in one place and not lost! So hop on over to this great crafter's site for step-by-step photos and instructions on how to make this great gift idea!

Craft Idea of the Day: Crochet Hook Rollup Case

(And no mom, that's not what you are getting LOL! Nice try though! LMAO) Isn't that the cutest thing? And the artist made it with pigs, which a friend of mine would love too LOL! You could pair that with maybe a skein of yarn you got on sale or with a coupon, and maybe a couple of crochet project patterns. Put that in a cute gift bag and there you have a frugal gift tailored to the recipients personal likes/hobbies! Better yet... MAKE the bag too! LOL! You see, a little imagination and you can make some awesome gifts and some even better memories!

Well, its a new week and that means a new theme! Now Susan suggested a week with specific ingredients, maybe focus on something coming out of my garden. I think she is on to something LOL. Now I had mentioned times back I could do "ingredient specific" theme weeks... BUT... I already share my garden with you through stories and pictures... why not through eating it too!? Now I am growing quite a few different things, so choosing is the hardest part, I think LOL! But after careful consideration, and sitting in my garden LOL, I have decided that this week will be TERRIFIC TOMATO WEEK! Now I could bring you recipes for tomato sauce and be done with it, but do you really think that's the only thing I will be doing with the (hopefully) huge tomato harvest?? NOPE! I am gonna bring you recipes utilizing all kinds of tomatoes seeing as I grow everything from Husky Cherry to Big Boy, Roma and Celebrity, and (trying) to start some Brandywine seeds again from my dear friend Jean. So my friends, get ready for some TERRIFIC TOMATO facts and foods! Let's start with some tasty stuffed tomatoes, shall we?

Crab Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes


1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can crabmeat - drained, flaked and cartilage removed
1/2 cup diced green pepper
2 green onions, diced
2 tablespoons Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cider or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/8 teaspoon salt


Cut a thin slice off tops of tomatoes and carefully scoop out insides; invert on paper towels to drain. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Stuff tomatoes; place in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in x 2-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm.

Creamy Shrimp Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes


2 pints cherry tomatoes
1/2 pound cooked shrimp - peeled and deveined
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning


Cut the top off each cherry tomato, and scoop out the pulp. Place the tomatoes upside down on paper towels to drain.

In a food processor, mix the shrimp, cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, horseradish, Old Bay seasoning, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

With a pastry bag, pipe the shrimp mixture into the cherry tomatoes. Garnish with parsley, and refrigerate until serving.

Sausage Stuffed Tomatoes

2 large ripe tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, partially drained
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces (You can also use ground breakfast sausage that has been browned and drained)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and use a knife to cut around the inside, separating the flesh from the skin. Scoop out the flesh. Place the tomatoes in a small baking dish. In a small bowl combine the canned tomatoes with the bread crumbs, 1/3 cup of cheese and the sausage; mix well. Spoon the mixture into the tomato skins and top with the remaining 1/3 cup of cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

(***NOTE*** For larger tomatoes used as sides or entrees, you can also add cooked rice to the filling. To make this a vegetarian dish, substitute the sausage with corn.)

Ok everyone, that's all she wrote for today. Its been a blast but now I must get down to business and start my day. I hope you had fun and will be visiting again tomorrow for some more fun and adventures in the world of frugality! Until tomorrow... HUGS!

1 comment:

  1. Debbie "MOM"July 12, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    Hello everybody! Its a gorgeous day outside and I'm stuck inside. Oh how I long to go outside and play in my garden dirt or repot a plant or clean the bird bath or pull some nasty weeds or just breathe the fresh salt air off the bay. But I promised my family that I will restrict my activities when they aren't around, especially my husband. Good news is that the doctor has agreed to try again and give me another cortizone shot in my back to see if a second one will add some more relief for me, so everyone send good thouughts my way, okay?
    I'm glad to see that all the Best Foods for your Buck had all "REAL" food on it, and not somethings that are processed or what I call "cookie cutter foods", which are factory made and assembled, so to speak. I am trying to stock my new pantry with shelf stable foods that have long expiration dates and which can be made into a meal without even opening a freezer or fridge. Anyone that lives down here where storms are common in the summer knows how important "no electricity required meals" can be. While I'm not finished yet, I'm sure several of the items on that list will be in my pantry sooner or later.
    Yum, I love tomatoes! I cant eat them fresh off the vine (remember Renee) with just a little salt on them, or sliced up in a salad or now, maybe stuffed. Going to have to make these recipes and see how they taste, especially the big one with the sausage. I think hubby might even like that one! LOL
    Your challenges are going to keep you busy for the next few months. Cant wait to see the kitchen finished....your so close to the finale. My challenge would be just to get motivated to even think of Christmas! I dont even start thoughts of Christmas until maybe December 15th. I KNOW, I KNOW. Procrastinator. Thats me. But I have to be inspired to get holiday spirit. But I will be with you as you craft your way to December spirit. LOL
    I think I will attempt to bake a cake or something today so off to the cookbooks I go. Hope everyone has a glorious day and remember, give everyone you meet today a gift.....a smile is free and will make the day of whoever you pass it on to. Til next time........