Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stockpile and today's coupon run!

So yesterday morning, in a mode of avoiding grading final papers, I got the urge to reorganize my stockpile.  This is only one of my stock piles - the other 2 I have on the main floor of the house in the downstairs closet and the cupboards in the mudroom.  I organized the downstairs stockpiles about 4 weeks ago - but this upstairs one was SO overwhelming, I had been avoiding it.  Thank you spring fever for prompting me to get in gear with the upstairs one.  Oh, and the fact that Ryan had a cold this week and I KNEW I had a ton of medicine that would help him feel better - but found myself asking "which sack was that in again?"

Most of this stuff was bought for pennies in the last 5 months of couponing.  I can't begin to stress how much money we've saved!  And yes, I see how funny it might look to see me keeping my stockpile in beer cases - but hey, it keeps it organized!  There is too much to even begin listing what all is here - but I will say after taking this picture, I realized our Kleenex stock pile was a bit low.  I fixed that up this morning with my coupon run to CVS and Rite Aid.  See below : )
All of this for $4.45 Out of Pocket AND I earned over $13 in ECB/Up Rewards for my next trip.
What I scored this morning for $4.45:
1 box of stove top stuffing
8 boxes of kleenexes
1 bottle of John Frieda Volumizing spray
2 cadbury eggs
2 snickers eggs
3 greeting cards
1 pair of rounded tip cuticle scissors - perfect for trimming up Bentley's hair in between groomings
2 packs of dental/gum picks
4 - 8pks of band-aids, perfect to thrown in my purse for when I'm breaking in new spring shoes
1 colgate toothbrush
1 can of skintimate shave gel
1 physician's formula under eye concealer

How do I do it?
I girl on a mission + series planning with coupons and weekly ads = Success at the store walking about hardly paying anything!  Seriously though, if you want to know the full run down of any of the coupons I used, let me know and I'll give you the info. 

And now, I'm off to pack for a conference.  Either I'll use my free time while at the conference to post like crazy, or I'll be MIA.  I guess we shall see.  Have a great week everyone - and STAY WARM!  I am so sick of these temps in the 30's!  Bring on 50+. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shrimp Quiche

So tonight I made my first quiche ever.  It actually turned out better than I thought it would.  Ryan asked "what's the back-up?" when he realized what was for dinner.  But he had 2 pieces and lived.  Not sure we'll do it all the time, but we basically threw in everything but the kitchen sink and used up what we had for produce in the fridge.  It is a great way to get protein and some serious vitamins from all the add-ins.  If the future, we might add a red potato - diced small and jalapeno pepper slices to give it a kick!  Below is what we had in it tonight : )
The finished Quiche
We ended up not including the tomatoes shown here and I forgot to include ground black pepper in the picture.
Messy plate, but it was good!
 Ingredients (I'm telling ya, everything but the kitchen sink!):
1 tbsp. of olive oil
1/4 cup of diced red pepper
1/4 cup of diced green pepper
1/4 cup of diced yellow pepper
1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
1/3 cup of diced yellow onion
3 extra large eggs or 4 large eggs
1 - 9 inch deep dish pie crust
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
1/4 cup of skim milk
1/4 cup of diced baby bella mushrooms
1 large green onion
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
one bag of frozen, tail on, grilled Gorton's Shrimp (To see what you're looking for, go here)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat oil in skillet.  Saute peppers, yellow onion and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes over medium heat.  Cut tails off of frozen shrimp.  Add frozen shrimp to peppers mixture and cook for an additonal 4-5 minutes.  Drain moisture off of mixture shrimp mixture and pour into bottom of the pie crust.  Set aside.  In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, 1/2 of both cheeses, and pepper and beat well. Pour over top of  shrimp mixture in pie shell and top with green onions and remaining shredded cheese. Bake until knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Banana Nut Muffins - YUM!

I posted this recipe for the first time in April of 2010.  To see the original post, go here. I've re-posted the ingredients and directions below.  This is SUCH a good recipe.  One of those that I can pull together quickly as long as I have some overly ripe bananas (this seems to happen anytime we buy bananas - I have a hard time eating them by themselves now).  These muffins are made with whole wheat flour and have no "funny" taste from it at all.  I recommend you try it if you're in the mood for something easy, good and healthy! 

Want to buy your own?  Check out and search for cupcake carrier.

This is shown with my mini muffins inside - it would look a lot more "full" if I had regular cupcake or muffin sizes.
In addition to wanting to make this recipe again, I also wanted to put something in my new cupcake/muffin storage container.  Ok, ok... I know this is strange that I'm excited about a cupcake holder.  But I recently made sugar free cupcakes and had every intention of taking them to work.  To see the sugar free cupcakes, visit that post here.  Unfortunately, with the frosting and no way to transport them - they ended up sitting in multiple Tupperware containers and eventually going in the trash : (  I HATE to waste.  Then, my wonderful hubby was wandering Kohls while I was doing some serious shopping damage and came across this little gem.  I had been describing what I was looking for over the last 3 weeks and it looks like the lovely people at food network nailed it!  The best part, these are stackable.  So should I ever need to transport 48 cupcakes or muffins instead of 24, I could buy another container to add 2 more layers.  I can't recommend this product enough!  (And no, no one is asking me to pitch this and I sure as heck have not seen one penny from any of my endorsements - just sharing the love of easy, simple and useful!)  I love finding a great kitchen gadget that I don't already have.  Next on my list - mini whisks.  And I mean mini - mini, not the small.  The quest continues...
Looks like a few snitches got to the mini muffins before the camera did ; )  That's cinnamon all over the pan, nothing to be concerned about!

Banana Nut Muffins:
1.5 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup melted margarine, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup splenda baking, 4 small or 3 medium overly ripe bananas, 1 large egg, pam spray, cinnamon to sprinkle on top at the end (24 cup mini muffin pan needed too).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin pan with baking spray.  Mash bananas in a medium bowl, add melted butter, egg, baking powder, vanilla, splenda, and baking soda.  Mix until combined (it will be chunky because of the bananas).  Once mixed, add in whole wheat flour and chopped nuts.  Use tablespoon to spoon batter into muffin tin filling each 2/3's to 3/4's full.  Sprinkle tops with cinnamon and bake for 12-13 minutes.  Use toothpick to make sure they are baked all the way through ( toothpick will be be clean if they are done baking).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Grilled Fish over Parmesan Brown Rice

I got the idea for this recipe from  I changed up a few of the measurements and ingredients, but it's virtually the same idea.  Weis (one of our local grocery stores that I shop) was recently running a special for 50% off Gortons products.  I got 3 different kinds to try.  The nutrition on these is EXCELLENT!  90 calories and 16 grams of protein for 1 fillet?  Heck yes, I'll take that any day.  Ryan was dreading this menu item, but he ended up getting seconds yesterday when we had it.  That means it's a hit in our house!  We will definitely be doing this again.  Wish I would have stocked up with the 50% off sale and the coupons I had!

2 Gorton's All Natural Garlic Butter Grilled Fillets (2 come in one box.  For a visual, visit here to see what you're looking for)
2 Tbsp margarine
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp minced prepared garlic (Find in the produce section of the grocery store)
1 pkg of uncle ben's 90 second brown rice - It works best with the chicken flavor brown rice
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1. Prepare Gorton's All Natural Grilled Fillets according to package directions (18-21 min. on 400 degrees).
2. In the meantime, melt 1 tbsp of margarine in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes and sauté onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes.
3. Make Uncle Ben's Rice in microwave.  (90 seconds on high - remember to vent the top!)
4.. Add rice to onion and garlic mixture - stir frequently for at least 2 minutes.
5. Stir in remaining tbsp. of margarine with parsley and parmesan cheese.
6. Place cooked fillets on rice and serve immediately.

This would make a great dinner for those Friday's where fish is the way to go.

Good for you Chicken Primavera

This recipe came about thanks to some great coupons and what we had on stock in the pantry.  It turned out really pretty good.  My taste testers (Ryan and Dixie Chick) liked everything but the "squishy" tomatoes.  I liked them - so I guess its a preference thing.

1 pd. of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups of whole wheat cooked penne pasta
1 med-lg. red bell pepper, cut into small strips
1 - 6 oz. bag of fresh spinach
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 container of garlic flavored Philadelphia cooking cream (new product - look for $1.50 off coupons at the store)
6 fresh basil leaves (the larger the better)
1 tsp of prepared minced garlic (out of the jar, found in the produce section)
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle

Cook whole wheat pasta according to package directions.  Try to time it so the pasta ends at the same time as the chicken and other ingredients.  (About 12 minutes prep total).  In large skillet, cook peppers, chicken and tomatoes in olive oil on medium high heat for 5-6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add in minced garlic, shredded basil leaves and bag of spinach.  Stir until spinach is wilted through and mixed in - about 3 minutes.  Add in garlic cooking cream and stir for 3 minutes.  Drain pasta and add to chicken mixture in skillet.  Stir 1 final minute and serve warm.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.

Monday, March 7, 2011

DC Weekend!

2 weekends ago, we went to DC to see the Kathy Griffin show.  It was hilarious!  We had such a great time and of course, came back with some great one liners and memories to last until our next road trip. 

The run down of our weekend:
Stop #1: Chik-fil-a on the MD/PA line.  LOVE the diet lemonade there : )
Stop #2: Eastern Market - interesting, but just like every market around here.  Been there, done that.
Stop #3: East Moon Asian Bistro (This was the best food ever!  We're considering driving back down to DC just for this!)
Stop #4: Kennedy Center - Kathy Griffin Show.  GREAT SHOW!!!  See pics below : )
Stop #5: Shopping at World Market, Home Goods and TJ Maxx
Stop #6: Chipotle - YUM!  And we used our buy one get one free coupon. 

PERFECT TRIP!  Shout out to Ms. Dixon - our road trip buddy and Cory for letting us crash at his place!
What Dixon and I will be shopping with... a reusable grocery bag that brings a smile to our faces : )
Shortly after this picture was taken we were told to put the camera away - apparently it said no pictures in our program.  We were too busy snapping pictures to read the programs!

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich

I was flying solo tonight for dinner because Ryan is in class.  I hit up the grocery store and saved some serious money in my 2 hour shopping trip (2 stores total) - but I was EXHAUSTED after work today and the shopping trip, so I needed something easy.  Does that happen to anyone else?  You buy enough food for at least 12-14 great recipes during the week and when you get home nothing looks good???  Anyway, that was where I was.  I knew I needed to up my protein for the day because I had a few bites of pork for lunch and some brown rice.  Not nearly enough.  So I looked in the fridge to see what I could come up with.  Before surgery, I would have NEVER eaten this, but needing protein makes a girl reconsider what she puts in her mouth - it was delicious! : )

1 whole wheat - 100 calorie english muffin
1 oz. of ham (I tried the oscar meyer carving board kind tonight, it worked great!)
2 slices of colby jack cheese
2 slices of turkey bacon
2 eggs (use with omelet maker - use 1/2 per sandwich) For pics and a link to buy omelet maker - check out this 2010 blog post

Toast english muffin.  Whisk eggs and cook in omelet maker for 3 minutes in microwave.  Cut omelet in half.  Stack in this order: 1/2 english muffin, 1 slice of cheese, 1 oz. of ham, 1/2 of egg, 2 slices of bacon, 1 slice of cheese and 1/2 english muffin.  Microwave sandwich for 30 seconds or until cheese is melted.  Yum!