Monday, January 30, 2012

My Food Dehydrator Arrived!

Yeah!!! My Nesco food dehydrator finally arrived.  I am so excited--dried veggies, fruits, fruit leathers, jerky-such a great opportunity to learn another way to preserve food!  As previously posted, I got a great deal on mushrooms Saturday at the grocery. I bought 3 packages of the mushrooms and while we are big eaters, I was not sure we could eat all three before they started to spoil but now I can dry them for use later. Wow, now I can stock up on sale items much more than before. 
   Here I just layered the mushrooms on the tray trying not to let them touch. You do not wash them, just brush them off.

just put the top on and set on 90 degrees for 2-3 hours and then take temp up to 125 degrees for 2-4 hours more.
    Here is the finished product:

Just store in an airtight container and keep in a cool dark place.
Couldn't be easier!  Goodness, I am loving my dehydrator!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Whole Foods Journey--Grocery Shopping Changes

    Yesterday I went grocery shopping and realized how much my shopping habits will have to change. I kept wanting to get lots of the processed foods that I have depended on to feed my family.  I would turn down an aisle and then say to myself--I don't want to buy any of this stuff. So mostly I shopped the perimeter of the store with a few exceptions.  I needed canned tuna, frozen berries, and my beans; otherwise I stayed mostly on the perimeter.
    Even staying out of the center aisles is tricky.  There are so many processed products in the dairy, and meat sections.  I am trying to stay away from processed meats like hotdogs, sausage, and processed lunch meats. The additives cannot be good for you. But it is hard--We love the cocktail smokies in BBQ sauce, we love pepperoni and salami, we love coneys. So, I guess my answer will be to have these as a special treat, not as a staple of our food pantry. 
   On a more positive note, I found lots of produce on the clearance rack and it was good stuff.  Cantaloupe $.75 each, yellow peppers 3/$1.05, mushrooms $1.20 per package, and a large container of  cut up veggies for $2.64.

   All in all it was a good shopping trip--a difficult one, but very productive.  They say you have to repeat new behaviors many times before they become habit so I guess I am on my way to healthier grocery shopping for my family!   Another baby step on my whole foods journey.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Welcome to My New followers!

Thank You Angel

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome several new followers to my blog!  I look forward to your comments and getting to know each of you a little better!  I would also like to thank all of my followers for joining my humble blog and taking time out of your day to read something I wrote.  I am truly blessed by each of you!

And the Winner Is........

Christina!  My DD#2 pulled your name out of the hat! Congratulations!!  I will be in contact to arrange getting the cookbook to you!  Thank you to those that entered my giveaway and stop back and visit real soon.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quote of the Week

For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.
                                           Harry F. Banks


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Whole Foods Journey

Good morning to all! I have been wanting to get my family away from processed foods and into more whole foods. Now, I do not know if this is confusing to you but I am in a quandry. You see, I have taken great pride in my stash of pantry supplies. Most of which have been processed foods. How do you put up a stash of whole pantry foods?  Well, I  invite you to share my journey. 

  First, what is the definition of  whole foods?  From Wikipedia:   Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as salt, carbohydrates, or fat.[1] Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains, beans, fruits, vegetables and non-homogenized dairy products.

If you ask me that sounds so..... BORING. I mean just stocking dried beans, rice, oats, nuts,and other grains?  But how can I stock up on meats for my stash? What about fruits?  Do canned beans, fruits, or tuna qualify for my pantry of whole foods?  At this point I am not sure but I aim to figure this out in time! 

  For now I am going to take this in baby steps. Using all of my current processed foods up is a financial necessity, but I am determined not to keep buying it and to stock my pantry with  more whole foods a little at a time and learn as I go. My budget is $10 per week for whole foods pantry stock. I plan on buying more fruits and veggies at the market, but I have to keep my pantry stash stocked up.  If anyone else is interested, please follow along with me in my Whole Foods Journey one step at a time!
Baby step Number 1:  Stock up on Beans this week. 

 Buy $10 of your favorite beans.  I store mine in jars to keep critters/bugs out and                                    they look so pretty that way! This is an easy first step!
Well,  I am on my way to using /storing more whole foods for my family!


Monday, January 23, 2012

A Giveaway in Honor of My 150th Post!

Thats right!  This is my 150th post. I cannot believe it. I started this on a whim and it has just grown into something I love.  I love making new blogging friends. I love sharing things to make, sharing how to save money, how to be ready for emergencies, and I love sharing about my wonderful family.
  I also love to read-Books are my passion so I have decided to give away a book--The Ultimate Gifts for The Cookie Jar.  This is a 2 in 1 book of favorite cookie recipes for easy Gifts in a Jar!  Jar cookies are always a wonderful gift.
   The rules are simple.  You must be a follower to enter.  New followers are very much welcome. Just leave a comment on here with your e-mail addy for one chance.  Post about this on your blog and comment here with a link to your post for a second chance. That is it. Drawing will be held Saturday January 28th so all entries must be in by Friday night midnight.  Good luck to you all and thank you for following my humble blog!


Friday, January 20, 2012

All you Daily Freebie E-mail Sign Up!

Do you love free samples?  Well, I do!  Here is the link to the All you daily free sample alert e-mail sign up. Just enter your e-mail addy and you get daily freebie info in your email!

If you are a couponer--check this out!

If any of you coupon, I have the widget in the sidebar and there are some pretty good coupons out there right now!

Stayfree Freebie

Here is a link for a free sample of Stayfree:
Love those freebies!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quote of the Week

As my 28th Wedding Anniversary approaches this Saturday, I found a quote pertaining to that very subject!

A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.
                                                                            --Paul Sweeney
Isn't this the truth?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homemade French Onion Soup Mix

I just love a cup of hot cheesy French onion soup. I hate to slice the onions though so this is a quick way to make my soup, keep my eyes from tearing and not buy the expensive stuff from the store. Here goes:

12 teaspoons instant beef bouillon granules
24 teaspoons dried minced onion
3 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Combine and place into baggie or jar. Shake well before using.  Mix into water to taste for a nice cup of hot onion soup.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Birthdays x 3!!

Wow, yesterday was party heaven for our family.  We celebrated 3 birthdays--My M-I-L, my DH, and my DS-I-L. I made three, count them, 3 cakes(well one was a set of cupcakes).

German chocolate is my Son-in-law's favorite!

I made flower cupcakes for my Mother-in-law Rose.

And this is Tom's cake--Dole Pineapple Cake AKA Tom's Birthday Cake. I make this for him every year--it's his favorite!

We also had spaghetti and meatballs, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and my Cheddar Beer Bread. I guess you all know what I did all day Sunday--COOK!

The Dole Pineapple Cake Recipe is as follows:

1 can crushed pineapple drained and reserve juice
1small box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 12 oz. Cool Whip
1 Family sized Sara Lee frozen pound cake
Almond Extract
Rum Extract
1 can Pineapple slices
Marachino Cherries
Sliced Almonds

Slice pound cake into 3 pieces legnth ways while frozen. Add 1 teaspoon each of the extracts to pineapple juice and dribble onto each layer of pound cake. Try to use it all. Mix drained pineapple with cool whip and pudding mix. Add 1 teaspoon of each extract to pineapple mix. Put bottom layer of cake onto tray and then use pineapple mix to ice the top of it. Add middle layer then ice and then the top and ice. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.  Arrange 3 pineapple slices on top then half rings around bottom on plate-- 3 half slices  per side and one on each end. Garnish with marachino cherries inside each pineapple ring and half ring.  Chill before serving. If you have leftovers--store in refrigerator. That is not a problem at our house!!  Hope your family enjoys this cake as much as my family does!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quote of the Week

free bumblebee clip art
Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be.
                                                                                      --Joy Page
Remember, you can "bee" anything you choose to "bee"!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just ordered a Dehydrator!!

Product Details

Wow,  little things in life make me so happy!  I just placed my order for a Nesco Dehydrator.  I am so looking forward to drying my own veggies, making fruit leather, and making beef jerky. This is going to be so nifty--beef jerky is so expensive but my family just loves it.  I cannot wait to make all natural fruit leather for my grand baby!  She will adore it especially sweetened with honey(don't worry, she is almost 3). 
 I am looking forward to being able to take advantage of sales and garden surplus.  Look for posts in the near future about my foray into dehydrating!
If anyone has any advice or recipes for jerky, please let me know!
Thank you!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Homemade Mrs. Dash Type Herbal Salt Substitute

Many people are suffering from high blood pressure and are trying to reduce their sodium intake--myself included.  I love salt.  I mean I really love salt to the point that if the food isn't salted it isn't worth eating.  Did I tell you I LOVE salt. Did I also tell you I have high blood pressure? Really high blood pressure so I am trying to cut back on my salt intake but it is so hard.  I am trying to season my food with herbs and spices to give it more flavor so I discovered this recipe for a homemade herbal salt substitute--no, lets call it a homemade flavor enhancer! Yes, I like that much better--won't have to say the "S" word. So, here is the recipe:

Herbal Flavor Enhancer
  • 1 Tbsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp dried savory
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp ground dried grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp paprika
Just mix the above and store in a mason jar or reused spice shaker.
I know this won't be the same as using the "s" word but maybe we'll learn to appreciate the real flavors of  food and lower our blood pressure at the same time!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Free Dove

Free Sample of Dove Leave-In Smoothing Cream
Go here for a free sample of Dove Smoothing Cream:


Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix

I love to make great big pots of chili during cold weather.  The only problem is that I didn't have a good chili mix recipe, so I had to buy my chili mix.  My favorite is the Cincinnati Chili Mix. The only problem with this is that it is getting quite pricey--close to $2 per pkg. and it takes 2 for my pot of chili. This brought me to research and try to find a chili mix recipe to make up into baggies in advance.  This is what I have come up with:

Lisa's Chili Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 5 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion

  • 1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar or splenda

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

  • Mix all together into a bowl and then put into baggies!  Double or triple to make more to store in the pantry.
    You can tweak this recipe according to your taste--we do not like it too spicy hot but you can add red pepper flakes to add heat!
    Hope you enjoy!

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Quote of the Day

    Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
                                                                                        - Norman Vincent Peale

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Happy New Year! What are your resolutions?

                                                       #56354 Royalty-Free (Rf) Clip Art Illustration Of A Cute Strawberry Blond New Year Baby Wearing A Gold Sash And Hat Surrounded By Confetti by pushkin

    Hello and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a nice holiday season! I know I did!  This is the time for making goals and making resolutions for the new year. What are your resolutions this year?
          Well, I have been thinking about mine.  I am diabetic and my HA1C is very high--10.7 to be exact. It should be about 6-7. I have been feeling very tired and run down, so I am going to try to work on this and get it down this year.  I would like to get it down to 7 by March.  It is an average of  my glucose levels for a 3 month period.  To do this, I am going to try to eat more raw foods, foods with more fiber, fewer carbs along with walking for exercise.  
         Since I spent too much on Christmas this year, I need to have a no spend January.  The only expenses to pay will be normal bills, and gas. 
       In addition, for the month I am having a pantry Challenge.  I only want to spend $10 week on milk and eggs. I bought tons of stuff to eat during the holidays and still have lots left over.  I still have the turkey my work gave us and I purchased 6 boneless hams on sale when it was $1.39 per lb.  I have a 25lb bag of flour left and plan on using my Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book weekly! Love that book! I should save $40 per week in grocery money!  That will help with the budget so much!
        I  want to start paying $50 per month extra on the house.  I have always paid at least $25 per month but really want to raise it to $50 each month.
        I want to put at least $1000 into my emergency fund.  I didn't quite make that goal last year so I am behind.
       Decluttering my house. My kids tell me I will soon be on the show Hoarders! Well, It is cluttered but it isn't that bad--I promise--really! I want to build shelves in the laundry room to hold my stash and my craft supplies by February--remember--No spend month in January!

    So there you have it--my goals/resolutions for the new year!
    Welcome 2012--Hope the New Year brings health and prosperity to all!