Friday, September 30, 2011


We have a teacher at school who is due to have her first baby in about a month, so my grade level gave her a shower. I found this punch recipe online and another teacher made it.  It was very tasty!  If you'd rather not make the ginger ale ring, you don't have to.  When I've made punch in the past, I have thawed a container of frozen strawberries and left them to float around in the punch.  You could even put them in a blender if you'd like.  Whichever way you choose, you and your guests will enjoy this punch.

Mock Champagne Punch

2 (2 liter) bottles ginger ale, chilled
1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice, chilled
1 (64 fluid ounce) bottle white grape juice, chilled
Strawberries, if desired


To make the ice ring: Fill a ring-shaped cake pan to 1/3 with ginger ale.  Freeze until partially frozen. At this stage you can place pieces of fruit around the ring. Fill pan 1/3 more with ginger ale and freeze until solid. Remember that the ginger ale will expand.  Place in punch bowl just before serving.  In a large punch bowl, combine 1 bottle ginger ale, pineapple juice and white grape juice.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Making Changes for the Better

I found a new recipe this week that sounded pretty good.  By the time I made a few changes to it, it sounded even better.  Below is the new and improved recipe.  I made it for dinner last night and I can say it was good.  Since there are just 2 of us left in the house now, I didn't want to make it in the big 9x13 pan.  I used 2 of the smaller aluminum pans and froze one of them.  Now I have dinner ready for another night!  YAY!  I forgot to take a picture of it until we were half way through dinner.  I'll take a picture when I cook the other half.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

3/4cup sour cream
1 can chicken broth
1 Tb. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp black pepper
1 ½ cup instant rice, uncooked
2 cups cooked cubed chicken
½ cup diced ham
1  6 oz. package Swiss cheese slices, cut into small pieces
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
½ cup plain bread crumbs
2 Tb. butter, melted
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Whisk together sour cream, chicken broth, mustard, and pepper in a large bowl until well blended.  Add rice, chicken, ham, Swiss cheese, and peas and carrots.  Mix with a spoon.  Pour into a 9x13 pan or 2 smaller pans for freezing.  Mix bread crumbs, butter, and Parmesan cheese.  Spread evenly over the top of the casserole.  Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Love My Crock Pot

Yesterday was a FABULOUS day!  My daughter came to visit with the two most perfect grandkids a grandmother could ever ask for.  We played and played, took a nap, visited with friends, and played and played, sang songs, drew pictures, and, of course, we ate.  I tried a new recipe from  My daughter is always a good one to try new recipes on.  It was good, but I think next time I'll make a few little changes to the recipe.  I'm going to post the recipe with the alterations that I'll make next time.  It made so much that I put the leftovers in the freezer for dinner another night.  I LOVE IT when that happens! It was even nicer that the recipe was mostly made in the crock pot so I had more time with my babies.

Chicken Zucchini Ziti 

1  24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
1  box wheat penne pasta, cooked
2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 cups shredded or cubed chicken, optional
2 large zucchini (1/4” slices)
1 onion thinly sliced or chopped
3/4 tablespoon oregano 
3/4 tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta, drain, and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, oregano, basil and black pepper. In the Crock Pot, spoon 1/4 of spaghetti sauce onto the bottom, add 1/3 penne pasta, 1/3 shredded chicken, 1/3 of zucchini slices and onion, and top with 1 cup cheese mixture.
  Repeat until you have 3 layers. Top off with remaining spaghetti sauce and cheese.

Cover and cook on high for approximately 2 – 2 1/2 hours.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Note to self:  As you spread the cheese mixture be careful to keep it away from the edge of the crock pot by about an 1”. Cheese tends to burn if touching the sides while cooking.

I couldn't take the picture before part of it was scooped out.  My camera was being used at the time to upload a video of my grandson sending Poppaw a message.  Poppaw loved it!  I hate he wasn't here in person.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

GREAT Couponing Day

This is what a GREAT couponing day looks like! I bought 10 containers of yogurt, 2 cans of cat food, 2 bags of cat treats, 1 bag of frozen veggies, 1 bottle of Dr. Pepper, 2 bottles of vitamins, and 3 containers of cappuccino.  The BEST part is that I only paid $3.00 for all of it!

Lots of things were on sale. Once I used the coupons for them, they were free. The cats treats were on sale for $1 each and I had a $1 coupon for both of them. Each bag of treats had a coupon for a can of free cat food. I also had a free coupon for the beans and Dr. Pepper. I found store coupons for the coffee and the vitamins were BOGO.
I hope you can make it to one of my couponing classes!



As I may have mentioned before, I have a passion for coupons.  O.K.  Not really for coupons, but for saving money.  After I walk away with big savings, I feel like I have beat the stores at their own game or at least gave them a good run for the money.  When I have a "GREAT DEAL DAY," I walk away with such an internal rush.  I can't wait to go home to show my savings to my hubby and make him guess how much I spent.  Today I had a good savings day.  Here is what I came home with.
12 rolls of Bounty paper towels, 16 rolls of Charmin toilet paper, 2 boxes of Puffs kleenex, and 4  12 pack boxes of Coke Zero.  How much did I spend?  $25.43 PLUS $3 in Extra Care Bucks to spend toward my next purchase at CVS.  I saved $15.50 in coupons and a total savings with coupons and sales prices of $34.84!  Before the savings, I would have spent over $60 for this.  That is about a 58% savings!!  After my $10 of ECB and 2 $1.00 coupons, I spent $1.39 for the 4 boxes of Coke.

Another thing I'm excited about is that I have been asked to teach a couple of couponing classes.  The first one will be at my house at 1:00 on September 24th.  The other one will be October 17th at 4:30 at Meadowcreek Elementary.  Let me know if you would like to attend one of these events!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

I had planned to grill out since it was Labor Day.  God had other plans.  He sent rain.  We just had a drizzly rain all day, but the towns around us had LOTS of rain and storms.  This made it a good day to stay indoors and get things done.  So I fixed country fried steak and gravy instead of ribs.  That's O.K.  The ribs will keep until another day.  I am posting the recipe for the country fried steak and my grandmother's white gravy.  I also made mashed potatoes from scratch.  If you need to know how to do that, let me know and I'll post it too.

Country Fried Steak and Gravy

3 – 4 pieces of cubed steak
2 cups of plain flour
salt and pepper to taste

Put flour, salt, and pepper in a plastic bag and mix.  Wet the cube steak with water and place in plastic bag with the flour mixture.  Close bag and shake to coat meat.  Lay the meat in a preheat pan with a little oil in the bottom.  Brown on each side.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until golden brown.

White Gravy

3 Tb. oil
2 Tb. plain flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of milk

Put oil, flour, salt, and pepper in a small pot and let brown.  Add milk.  Stir frequently until thickened.  If the gravy becomes too thick, add a little water and stir.


I'm so excited!!!!  I've been named as one of another blogger's Top Ten favorite blogs!!!!!  Thank you First Grade A La Carte!  You are such an inspiration!

Here's my Top Ten LIST!
(Sorry, I couldn't copy an image for bakerella.)

(Sorry, I couldn't copy an image for  the pioneer woman.)

(Sorry, I couldn't copy an image for pinterest.)