Monday, November 30, 2009

Trying a new receipe


I loved this recipe and even my non sweet potato eating husband liked it, but for the 10 year old and the 7 year old, it wasn't as appealing. I could eat it all day, but then I love sweet potatoes.

I did stir it about twice during the time it cooked. I lowered it to "keep warm" at 2pm and we ate it at around 6pm. It did produce a lot of moisture from the potatoes and didn't dry out. I also smushed them to make them mashed, although your could leave them as chunks. And I did add a handful of mini marshmallows and stirred them in. Frankly, after a half a stick of butter and all that sugar, what's the difference! :-)

Here's one that I *know* I will like but it's 50/50 for the rest of the family:

A Very Sweet Crock-pot of Potatoes

6 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into one inch chunks (you will need a large, heavy knife. Good Lord these are like chopping bricks)
1/2 cup of brown sugar (I added more)
1/4 stick of butter
1 T cinnamon
1/2 cup apple sauce (since I have 8 quarts chunky sauce canned I added a bit more, like 1 cup)

  1. Chop the sweet potatoes into pieces and add to crock-pot. I am using a 5qt size.
  2. Mix in a bowl the brown sugar and butter. My brown sugar was a solid rock, no way to scoop anything. I whack off a big section approximately 3/4 a cup worth and dumped it and the half stick (1/4 cup) of butter into a bowl and popped it into the microwave for 1 minute. Voila! Melted butter AND nice soft brown sugar). Stir in cinnamon and applesauce.
  3. Pour wet mixture over the cut potatoes.

I am cooking them on low for 8 hours. It doesn't look like a whole lot of liquid to me so I am going to watch this and report back. I may stir in some mini marshmallows later once it gets going.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

It's turkey day here. We woke to some snow on the ground (quickly melted in the 39F temperature) and another grey Chicago day. Why don't you stop by for dinner and bring us some cheer?

Today's menu (for 4):

Turkey breast
Mashed potatoes with gravy
Green bean casserole with fried onions on top
Corn bread over stuffing with golden rasins, toasted almonds and apples
Cranberry jelly

Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fruit coupons!

Thanks to Saving with Shellie for this one.

I really enjoy these little zipper skin clementines this time of year. Go HERE and register at the top for your $1 off and 55 cents off coupons (depending on size of bag/box).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Free Circus Tickets

Did you know that you can get one Ringling Brothers circus tickets for FREE for your child if you register for it before your child turns 1 year old?

Ten years and seven years ago I did that for my children. All this time, including one major house move, I have kept up with these two free vouchers. Finally this weekend we redeemed them for the tickets and had a wonderful time together as a family. Of note was a change in how the circus was since I was a kid: the onstage magic acts, the more "cirque du soleil" influence, no strong ringmaster presence (the acts were not announced or named like in the past), no trapeze acts, fewer animal acts (elephants, horses, dogs, tigers, and zebras only), no motorcycle act (Catherine was disappointed that the cage of death was missing).

There is a pre show for 45 minutes prior to the circus which I recommend (it does get VERY crowded) where kids can see elephants paint pictures, some close up clown acts, and get to try on some circus costumers.

My DH had so much fun he said he's go back next year even without the free tickets. I'll post some photos soon.

Get your free ticket for your new child here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

No, I did not buy handsoap

I was planning on taking in a little shopping on my day off, but I ended up needing to get the oil changed on the car, which led to a tire rotation, which led to getting new rear brakes and rotors. Poor John, who has a cold, had to drive down to the garage and pick me up.

Right now we are finishing the last bit of home repair. We've got the caulk guy here to caulk around all the windows. You'd be amazed at how fast a professional can do this, compared with John and I spending 8 hours and about ten rolls of paper towels on the same project this past spring.

I'll be glad when this is all done, but I'll be honest I'll be glad when I am convinced it did the trick. Cause if it doesn't then we're going to be in the market for new windows. And I have a *lot* of windows.

Insanely ridiculous lots of windows.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bath and Body Soaps for $1.67 each

If you all run down there and buy them out before I get there I'm going to be VERY mad at you!! I LOVE peppermint soap.

Here's the deal from Let's Save:

These would make great gifts. Here are the details:

Purchase 12 antibacterial soaps – $30 (4/$10 through 11/15)
Use $10/$30 purchase coupon
Total after Sale and Coupon: 12/$20 or $1.67 each + tax

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jewel paid me to take home all this soup

I needed to bring soup to our church craft fair/bake sale/luncheon and I didn't have time to whip up anything homemade. I decided to take advantage of the current spend $30 get $15 GM sale going on at Jewel.

I purchased 11 cans of chicken and corn chowder for nothing. In fact, I made a buck doing it. It went like this:

11 cans shelf price rings $2.79 per can, or $30.69 This same soup is on preferred special for $1.79 each, or 11 cans for $16.69. So I spent $16.69, and got back $15 in coupons off my next purchase. Net cost to me: $1.69. Now subtract $3 in 50 cent off 2 can Progresso coupons, makes it a $1.31 moneymaker for me.

No, I'm not going to go all Neiman Marcus with my $1.31. I actually spent about $60 on other groceries as well. It's just to show you that with a little planning and a little creativity you can snag some sweet deals without too much effort.

Thanks Couponerswanted for the tips!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Applebee's" Oriental Chicken Salad

My FIL raves about Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad all the time, so I looked on the Internet for a homemade version. We've made this twice now and I can honestly say it is VERY good (and I am picky!). I make this with grilled chicken on top, but you could substitute fried chicken strips if you want, or just leave it plain. The dressing really makes the dish. I can never find fried wantons in my grocery store so I switch them out for fried rice noodles.


You can also throw in a handful of toasted almonds, too.

Serves 4-6

15 wonton skins, cut into strips (or if you don’t want to fry: 1 cup fried crispy chow mein noodles)
oil for frying
1 head lettuce, leaves shredded or torn
2 cooked chicken breasts, meat shredded with your fingers
1 cucumber, sliced
handful snow peas, sliced on diagonal
11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained

For the dressing a la Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad Dressing

Makes 1 cup (use half for the salad and store the rest in refrigerator)

3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

To make the salad dressing, whisk together the honey, mayonnaise, mustard until very smooth. Then whisk in the oil and vinegar.

To fry the wonton skin strips, heat 1 inch of oil until 375F. If you don’t have a thermometer, just slide one wonton strip into the oil - it should sizzle immediately and turn light golden brown in about 30 seconds. Fry the wonton strips in several batches and drain on a rack or layers of paper towels. Each batch should take about 30 seconds to 1 minute to fry.

Assemble Chinese Chicken Salad with lettuce, chicken, cucumber, snow peas, mandarin oranges. Drizzle on salad dressing and sprinkle with wonton strips.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jewel Catalina deal

I ran out at lunch and grabbed some things that are part of the current catalina deal at Jewel. Check out for the completed list.

My scenario went like this:

1o boxes Lipton dry soup mix (I use in the crock pot)

16 packs of Lipton Rice Sides (these have a shelf life till November 2010)

2 cartons Breyers ice cream

Total cost: $31.72

minus $30 in catalina coupons good on my next trip


$1.72 out of pocket for a ton of stuff!


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