Monday, November 30, 2009

Free Bible Study Software

Since we’re heading into the Christmas season, I thought you might like to know about this free piece of software for PC or Mac users. It’s called Bible Explorer and is a sweet study tool. It comes with over 200 free Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, and more.The software includes the American Standard Version (ASV), New International Version (NIV), New American Standard Bible (NASB) Bundle, King James Version (KJV), and the Bible in Basic English (BBE), just to list a few.

It doesn’t matter whether you follow the Catholic, Church of Christ, Dispensational, Lutheran, Mainline, Pentecostal, Puritan, Reformed, or Wesleyan doctrine, there is study material to help you out. There are also study aids written from Jewish Christian perspectives.

Part of the broad range appeal is due to the special libraries you can add according to your needs. For example, there is a library for preachers and discipleships, etc .

Go to BibleExplorer.com to get this free download.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Organizing Your Refrigerator






Organizing your refrigerator shelves can help to keep things orderly so you can find what you need and know what you have.

In addition to regular cleaning of your refrigerator (a couple of times a year) an organized fridge can prevent food mishaps and spoilage.

Know which areas of your fridge are best for specific foods: Store meats and eggs on the bottom shelves where it is colder and chance of contamination will be less. Use the door for items least likely to spoil like your condiments and juices.

Keep apples away from your veggies as they give off a gas that can make your vegetables go bad faster.

Use an onion keeper for a cut onion.

Store things like olive oil, maple syrup, and flour in the fridge after opening (flour should be put in there before opening).

Use small plastic (washable) baskets and tubs to organize like items. This works very well for condiments and small containers that would otherwise get lost. Don't overspend on these you can pick up many at the dollar store.

Label your leftovers. There are ways to deal with them but eventually one or two may have to be tossed. Know what you have and it makes it much easier to utilize them. Use a roll of masking tape and just write on there what the leftover is and what day you put it in the fridge).

Keep all of your leftovers on a particular shelf. Enough said. You can always see if this shelf is becoming overly burdened and take action.

Toss old food and check what you have in the refrigerator before making your grocery list. I shop on Thursday so I toss and make a list on Wednesday.

Have a specific section of the fridge for snack foods. That way the family knows where to look when they need a quick bite to eat.

Use the same organizing tips for your freezer. Most often a smaller space than the refrigerator we can also benefit from organizing the freezer space to make meal preparation easier.

Monday, November 23, 2009



Here’s an interesting picture of thoughtful recycling….a coat rack made of old shoes!

Serving Wine with Your Turkey?

It's 3 days until Thanksgiving! For the next few days I will be posting a quick tip to make your holiday a little easier. Here's the fifth one:


If your guests prefer their wines on the sweet side, White Zinfandel is the all-purpose favorite to go with most of your turkey feast.


If red wines are normally your favorite, Pinot Noir is the perfect red wine for holiday feasting. More robust than white wine, Pinot Noir has very little tannin and will likely blend well with the entire holiday meal. Serve it slightly chilled.

If you and your guests prefer dry white wines, dry and Chardonnay is the favorite choice with turkey depending on the particular tastes of your family and guests. Sauvignon Blanc or a White Burgundy are also good all-around choices that pair well with everything.

Finally if sparkling wines are your favorite, may we suggest another white wine that's sure to put family and guests in a holiday mood. How about your favorite champagne?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Here's a Head Start on the Black Friday Sales!



Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is the busiest shopping day of the year—smart shoppers will stand in line before the store open to grab the exceptional bargains. Sometimes items are limited to whatever amount the store was able to obtain, so it is imperative to be towards the front of the line when the store opens. Stores usually open at 5 or 6 am (yikes!), so often you will see lines starting in the wee hours of the morning. (I did it once, never again!)

The ads are published in the newspaper on Thanksgiving day—my daughters will pour over the various store flyers (while their husbands watch football) Thanksgiving afternoon, and plan their strategies for shopping the next morning.

But here’s a head start for you—I found an online version of many of the Black Friday Ads! Go to TGIBlackFriday.com where you can look through ads for Walmart, Kmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Penney’s, Kohls, ToysRUs, Sears, and Target.

Thanksgiving Tip #4

It's 4 days until Thanksgiving! For the next few days I will be posting a quick tip to make your holiday a little easier. Here's the fourth one:



At lunch today a friend told me how to soak your turkey ahead of time in a salt & sugar brine to make it come out golden brown and taste delicious.



Make the brine with 1 1/2 gallons of water to cover the turkey in the bucket, stockpot, or whatever is large enough to hole the bird. A larger container may require more water. Just remember the ratio -- 1 cup kosher salt (and 2/3 cup sugar) per gallon of water -- and increase accordingly. Don't worry if a bit of the turkey is not submerged. Just place the turkey, breast down, in the water, and let part of the back sit above the water. Sugar is optional, but she said it helps the bird brown beautifully.


Mix salt, optional sugar and 1 1/2 gallons of cold water in a clean bucket or stockpot large enough to hold the turkey. Add turkey; refrigerate 12-15 hours. Remove turkey from brine, rinse thoroughly under cool running water and pat dry.


Roast your turkey as you normally would. Let rest 30 minutes after taking out of the oven and slicing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Tip #3

It's 5 days until Thanksgiving! For the next few days I will be posting a quick tip to make your holiday a little easier. Here's the third one:




A pretty centerpiece adds a nice touch to any table. For a frugal Thanksgiving, you can make one at very little cost with things found in nature. Mini pumpkins, squash and other fall veggies can be arranged with some nuts to make a yummy centerpiece. If you want, you could find an inexpensive cornucopia at your local craft store and put these items in it.



Fall flowers also make wonderful centerpieces. If you grow your own, simply pick some in various colors and arrange them in a vase. You’ll have a beautiful, fragrant centerpiece at no cost whatsoever.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Tip #2

It's 6 days until Thanksgiving! For the next few days I will be posting a quick tip to make your holiday a little easier. Here's the second one:






Unless you have a large freezer (and have already bought a turkey) you are probably going to buy your bird this week-end. When you are buying your turkey, plan on 1 – 1 ½ pounds of turkey per person. If you are not expecting a crowd, buy turkey parts such as legs, thighs or just a breast. This will save you have having too much leftover turkey that you may not be able to use. 

Remember to slow-thaw it in the refrigerator: it takes approximately 24 hours per each 4-5 pounds of frozen turkey in a 40º refrigerator.  A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days before cooking.

K-Mart special deals until Christmas

K-Mart is having a Deal of the Day until Christmas. Today (Friday November 20) they have heavy duty Christmas light sets for ½ off (your cost $4.50)! Click here each day to find out what they have on sale.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Tip #1

It's one week until Thanksgiving!  For the next week I will be posting a quick tip to make your holiday a little easier.  Here's the first one:

Prepare your favorite stuffing and bake it in your crockpot while the turkey occupies the oven. You can prep this the day before and refrigerate, it is so much easier than stuffing it into the turkey, the turkey will cook faster, food poisoning risk is decreased and the stuffing doesn't absorb all the extra fat dripping from the turkey.

Laundry 101


How to Sort Laundry


The purpose of sorting clothes is to separate those items which could damage others. Sort your laundry according to the following: color, the type & amount of soil, the construction of the fabric and garment, and the texture of the fabric. All items in a load of laundry should require the same water temperature, agitation speed, wash time, and use of bleach.

Color Groupings:
Whites, pastels, and white background prints that are color fast
Colorfast colors
Non-colorfast colors of similar color

Soil Groupings:
Lightly soiled
Heavily soiled

Fabric & Garment groupings:
Moderate to sturdy
Delicate

Texture groupings:
Lint producers (terry cloth, chenille, flannel)
Lint receivers (permanent pres, cotton-polyester blends, corduroy, velveteen, and synthetics)

While sorting:
Remove unwashable belts and trims
Close zippers and fasteners so that they won’t snag other garments
Tie sashes and strings to avoid tangling
Empty pockets
Brush loose dirt from pockets and cuffs.
Mend rips and tears
Treat spots and stains

For more laundry hints and tips, see my Laundry Room page.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Apple Pie Air Freshener



Try this homemade aromatic mixture to give your house a homey fresh baked apple pie scent and help get you in the mood for the holidays. It only costs a few pennies to make and beats the smell of the more expensive commercial room fresheners.



3 cups water
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
6 pieces dried orange peel

In a small pan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until your home is filled with the spicy fragrance. Make sure to keep checking the water level!

Shopping for Thanksgiving

I guess I’d better start making my Thanksgiving grocery lists—and of course all three local grocery stores are making it very easy! May-be I should say “four” because Walmart even has a grocery flyer in the paper this morning.


Skagway has sour cream for 99¢. I’ll be getting a couple so I can make my veggie dip…The recipe is on the Veggies page of my site. They also have salted butter for $1.39. The produce department has celery for 50¢, 12-ounce packages of cranberries for $1.99, and a 10-pound bag of potatoes for $1.68. Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes! Yams are 59¢ a pound—I usually want both types of potatoes at my dinner.

If you don’t want to make your own pumpkin pie, Skagway’s bakery has them for $3.99 each. I’m glad I’ve waited to buy whipped topping—they have it for 58¢ (limit of 4 tubs). And, there’s spiral cut hams for $1.57 a pound. Often we have both a ham and a turkey—with lots of people, it gives everyone a choice.

HyVee has turkeys for 89¢ a pound. But, they also have the same coupon that was in last week’s ad: buy a ham (at $2.99 a pound) and get a free turkey! What a deal!

Speaking of coupons—HyVee has a whole page full of them this week: chocolate flavored baking chips for $1.38, marshmallows for 69¢, canned cranberry sauce for 79¢, 5 pound bag of flour for 99¢, and eggs for 99¢.

Are you making a green bean casserole this year? The HyVee brand of crispy onions (6-ounce pkg) is on sale for $2.18. And, of course they have all sorts of beans on sale: frozen Green Giant Steamers are $1 each, and canned veggies are 48¢.

Super Saver is also gearing up for Thankgiving—they have a spiral sliced ham for $1.48 a pound and instead of advertising their price on turkeys they have a big banner announcing their Turkey Insurance. This says their price on turkey will be at least 2¢ per pound under the lowest advertised price of their competitors (and it lists HyVee, Walmart, & Skagway). Just remember, this refers to the advertised price, not any in-store mark-downs; although, I doubt this will be a problem!

Again, if you don’t want to bake from scratch, Mrs. Smith’s pies are priced at $1.98, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are $1.48 for an 8 ounce tube, and cool whip is 77¢.

Super Saver is having a 2-Day Sale—so you’ll probably see me there Saturday or Sunday. I need milk—it will be $1.77 for a gallon of Meadow Gold! Bananas will be 38¢ a pound, and Rotisserie chicken is just $3.98 (sure makes for a quick meal, with leftovers!), cloverleaf rolls for $1.88 (I bet I can freeze them and save for later), and chocolate flavored baking chips are just 98¢. Check out Chelsea’s easy chocolate chip cookie recipe on my site (it’s made with a cake mix!).

Walmart is advertising a complete Thanksgiving dinner for 8 for just $20….the fine print says it includes a 12 pound frozen turkey, three cans of vegetables, 2 pounds of sweet potatoes, two cans of cranberry sauce, one package of rolls, 2 packages of stuffing mix, and one pumpkin roll cake. So it’s not ready to eat—you still have to cook it. So that’s why it’s priced so much lower than the other stores’ turkey dinners (theirs’ are ready to eat!).

Walmart has fresh green beans for 98¢ a pound, StoveTop Stuffing twin pack is $1.50 (fine print says while supplies last….), and Green Giant canned veggies are just 50¢ each. The deli department has 25 ounce cheese & meat party trays for $7.98, but I’m not sure how big that would be…I’m sure I could make my own for much less….



Well, time to write up my list—perhaps I’ll see you while I’m out at the grocery stores. And remember to take your reuseable shopping bags!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two Hints about Fish


A flavorful way to cook many fish is to dip the fish first in 7-Up and then roll in corn meal.  Fry to a golden brown in about 1/2 cup of oil.  The 7-Up sweetens the meat flavor while reducing the strong fish taste.  The fish shouldn't be in the 7-Up for more than a few seconds. 

To keep fish in the freezer with less risk of freezer burn, put the fish in plastic freezer bags with just enough water to cover the fish. 

Danish Butter Cookies

This recipe is from my Danish collection:

Danish Butter Cookies


 
  • ½ Cup Butter 
  • ½ Cup Crisco 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 Cup Sugar 
  • 1 Cups Flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

 
Mix all ingredients and chill. Roll into small balls and place on a cookie sheet; press with a fork. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake at 375º for 8-10 minutes.

 

Monday, November 16, 2009

National Geographic Store has free shipping today only

National Geographic Store ~ FREE Shipping Today Only!



Use coupon code EM111509B6

Valid 11/16 only

Make Money from your own kitchen!

Tori Johnson on Good Morning America recommends this website:   Fun, smart ebook on making money from your kitchen:  http://www.cookingupsomedough.com/

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Candy Pizza

I subscribe to the Betty Crocker newsletter—it comes to my email once a week with recipes, coupons, and more. Here is a fun recipe they have for Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Pizza. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sure looks like something that will please the grandkids! It takes just a bit over an hour to fix (prep time + cooking time).

 

 

 
Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Pizza

 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar  
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened  
  • 1 egg  
  • 1 1/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour  
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt  
  • 1/4 cup Spanish peanuts  
  • 1 bag (1.63 ounces) candy-coated peanut butter candies or candy-coated chocolate candies
  • 1 package (1.6 ounces) chocolate-covered peanut butter cup candies (2 candies), cut up
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
Peanut Butter Sauce
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) peanut butter chips (1 2/3 cups)  
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1. Heat oven to 350ºF. In medium bowl, mix brown sugar, butter and egg with spoon. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Pat dough in ungreased 12-inch disposable pizza pan.

 

 
2. Bake pizza 10 to 12 minutes or until edge is set. Cool at least 30 minutes.

 

 
3. In 2-quart saucepan, heat all Peanut Butter Sauce ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Spread over cookie pizza. Top with peanuts and candies. Drizzle with melted chocolate chips.

 

 

 
Go over to BettyCrocker.com and sign up for their newsletter. There is also a recipe this week for spiced pumpkin cupcakes that looks yummy!

 

 

Free Thanksgiving Cookbook

If you’re a big Martha Stewart fan or if you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll want this free Martha Stewart Thanksgiving cookbook download.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Forever Blowing Bubbles?


Bubbles Recipe



2 1/2 quarts water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup liquid dish detergent

Mix water and corn syrup together until completely blended. Gently stir in the liquid dish detergent. Store in an airtight container. Will store for several weeks. These bubbles are wonderful for playing outside on nice fall days.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How to Lose Weight Online

Fit Day is a great free program to keep track of your calories, exercise, and your goals. It's really easy to make a free account, takes only a minute, and then you enter what you have eaten for the day. It figures it all out and puts it into a pie chart for you so that you can see the breakdown by proteins, fats, carbs, and even alcohol.


You can enter your stats, like your weight, measurements, activity level, etc. into the program. There are several different categories you can enter information into and then the more you enter, the more feedback you will get on the bigger picture. It has a nutrition graph too, that shows how much of the US Recommended Daily Allowance of each vitamin or mineral you are getting from your food.

It shows you the calories eaten for the day and the calories burned. You can track that day by day and see how you are progressing. You can even keep a journal there of your thoughts, and if you want to lose weight, you can track your progress on that too. It's pretty cool entering what you ate for the day and seeing the outcome of it all! Check it out! It's fun, and you may be surprised too!

There is also a version you can upgrade to and pay for, with a free 30 day trial. So far, the free version looks great! According to their website, they have over 4 million members.

Christmas Cards for Noah

There is a 5 year old little boy named Noah Biorkmas. He has terminal cancer and the doctors have only given him 2 weeks to live. His parents decided to have his Christmas early and they asked him what he wanted. He said that all he wanted was Christmas cards. Here is his address, please take a little time to send him a card.


Noah Biorkmas
1141 Fountain View circle
South Lyon, MI 48178

Granny's Short List for Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the most popular types of foods that will likely stay at the top of most people’s favorite food lists. Chocolate is something most of us have grown up enjoying, but very few of us have taken the time to learn the many facts that are associated with Chocolate. There are actually hundreds of facts that are associated with Chocolate and I have a short list of the ones that I find most interesting.




1. It is a known fact that chocolate has caffeine in it. But did you know that you would have to eat more then a dozen chocolate bars to get the same amount of caffeine from a cup of coffee? There are about 5 to 10 mg's of caffeine in one ounce of bitter chocolate, 5 mgs in milk chocolate, and 10mgs in a six-ounce cup of cocoa.

2. Chocolate is actually a valuable energy source. A single chocolate chip can provide enough energy for an adult human to walk 150 ft.

3. Chocolate has great health benefits. It helps with depression, high blood pressure, Tumors and Pre-menstrual syndromes.

4. Chocolate does not cause or aggravate acne, this is a myth.

5. One ounce of baking chocolate or cocoa contains 10% of the daily recommended intake of iron.

6. Chocolate can be deadly for dogs. Chocolate contains an ingredient called "Theobromine" which can be toxic to a dog’s central nervous system and cardiac muscles.

7. People spend more than $7 billion dollars a year on chocolate.

8. The per capita consumption of chocolate indicates that each person consumes 12 pounds of chocolate each year.

9. Milk Chocolate is the most preferred type of chocolate; however dark chocolate is especially popular among men.

10.  Granny loves chocolate!

My previous post (just scroll down) has a great recipe for fudge....try it tonight!

Anyone for Chocolate?



Old Fashioned Fudge




• 1-1/3 cups milk or evaporated milk
• 4 cups sugar
• 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons corn syrup
• 1/4 cup margarine
• 2 teaspoons vanilla

Use large sauce pan, 3 or 4-quart sized; combine the milk and sugar in the pan. Start heating the mixture over medium heat. Stir in the cocoa, salt and corn syrup. Mix very well to dissolve the cocoa. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to cook until it reaches the Soft Ball stage when a small amount is dropped into a bowl of cold water, or 234° on a candy thermometer. When it does, remove the pan from the heat and place it aside to cool down. Add the margarine and vanilla, but don’t stir. Remember, Don’t Stir it yet. Just let it sit by itself while you are preparing the main pan. Let it cool until the bottom of the pan is barely warm to the touch, or about 110°. This may take as long as an hour, so be patient. When the fudge has cooled down, start beating it with a spoon or whisk. Very quickly (sometimes less than a minute, sometimes a couple of minutes) it will start to loose its glossy, shiny appearance on top.

When it just begins to loose this reflective quality, immediately pour it into a pan greased with margarine. (You should grease the pan ahead of time, while the fudge is cooling in the pot.) Shake the fudge in the pan to spread it evenly. Or if that doesn’t work, try to spread it out with a spoon. Allow it to cool and harden, and then cut it into pieces. I use a 7 by 10-inch pan to set up this fudge, but a 9-inch square pan would work too.

Don’t scrape the sides of the pan while you are making this recipe. The sugar on the sides of the pan will cause the whole batch to crystallize and it will still taste good, but have a grainy texture. I really recommend a candy thermometer for candy recipes. The cold water test is a skill that takes a lot of ruined batches to develop. This recipe makes about 2-1/4 pounds of fudge.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Trade in your Christmas lights at Home Depot this week


Home Depot will take your old Christmas light, working or non-working and will give you a $3 off coupon toward new energy-efficient LED string lights. The Home Depot Christmas Light Trade-In offer is good until November15th and customers are limited to five trade-ins.


The price that I heard about for a 50- light strand was $5.97 for 50 lights, so the net cost would be $2.97 and the energy cost is 80% less than the traditional ones.

Dig out that Christmas box and take 5 strands to your local Home Depot before 11/15/09. All stores are participating in the energy efficient trade-in.

More on the Super Saver Secret

Yesterday morning I published my usual Wednesday grocery list and told you all about the big Super Saver Secret.

Well, here are some pictures to show what I was talking about:


Skagway had advertised their store brand canned vegetables for 45¢ a can…here’s the Super Saver shelf showing their price compared with the advertised competitor’s price. Super Saver priced theirs at just one cent lower.




The HyVee flyer this week advertised Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk for $1.99, so Super Saver marked theirs $1.98.




Blue Bunny Ice Cream is $2.50 at Skagway—Super Saver came down to $2.48!




HyVee’s produce department has naval oranges for 77¢ a pound—Super Saver’s tag shows 76¢ a pound.




I know, a penny is not that much difference, but when you look at your entire grocery bill, it sure adds up! Have you ever seen Super Saver’s demonstration of three grocery carts? They haven’t done it recently, but it is impressive to see: they take identical shopping lists to all three stores and then have the three carts displayed (full of groceries) along with the receipts showing how much was spent at each store.

I'll still be shopping at all three local grocery stores, but if I'm in a hurry and have time to go to just one, I'll choose Super Saver because I'm pretty sure I'll find the best prices there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Revealed: The Super Saver Secret!

You can tell Thanksgiving is coming—a quick look through the grocery ads this morning gives me lots of ideas for the holiday meal!



HyVee starts out with the big word FREE all over the front of their flyer—if you buy a Honeysuckle ham you can get a free turkey….not a bad deal, really. Our family likes both, and with a big family dinner coming up, it’s nice to have a variety of meat to serve.

Other coupons on that page are for 99¢ sugar and coke for 4/$10. I just ran out of my favorite, Cherry Coke….looks like a good time to stock up!

The produce department at HyVee has naval oranges for 77¢ a pound. I’ve always liked those because they seem to be easier for smaller fingers to peel. They also have pears for 88¢ a pound, and green beans priced at $1.18 a pound.

Rib Eye Steak is featured in the meat department ($5.49 lb) as well as boneless chuck roast ($2.79 lb).

But, back to stocking up for that upcoming holiday dinner: HyVee brand stuffing mix is just 88¢ a box. Eagle Brand sweetened milk is $1.99 (check out our family favorite: Cherry Fluff), HyVee whipped topping (another ingredient in that Cherry Fluff), HyVee cottage cheese for $1.38 (24 ounce tub), and pre-made pie crusts are $1.77 so you can save some kitchen time!

HyVee is having a Friday the 13th one-day sale: Hamburger Helper for 88¢, Butter Kernel veggies for 49¢ a can, and select HyVee branded cereals for 99¢, and Mars candy bars are 3/$1 (time to stock up on the M&Ms!).



The first thing I noticed when looking at the new Skagway ad was the olives for just 67¢--we always go through a lot of olives at Thanksgiving dinner. They also have navel oranges for $1.99 for a 4-pound bag.

Skagway will provide you with a ready-made Thanksgiving dinner for 4 for just $49.99. That’s a good deal if you want to save time and effort. It includes a turkey, mashed potatoes (& gravy), stuffing, cranberry relish, corn, rolls, and pumpkin pie (with topping).

Blue Bunny ice cream is $2.50 for a cube, Roberts sour cream is just 89¢, and the Roberts half & half pint carton is 75¢. The Simply Orange juice is $2.99—I really need to try that: someone once told me that if I ever tried it I’d never buy any other brand. She said even though it’s a bit more expensive than other brands, it’s worth it. Anyone out there buy this brand of orange juice?



Super Saver’s ad is smaller than either Skagway’s or HyVee’s. But, here’s the big secret (unless already aware of this, many people are very surprised when I tell them this): Super Saver often prices advertised items just a penny below the other grocery stores. So, even if you see something at a better price in another grocery store’s flyer, you can expect to see it priced a penny lower at Super Saver. Just a rough guess: I bet they do this with over 90% of the advertised items if they are not already lower.

Super Saver is also promoting many Thanksgiving staples: Stove Top Stuffing is 77¢ a box, Sirloin steak (or roast) is $2.88 a pound in the larger value pack (re-wrap and put in the freezer for individual meals).

The Super Saver produce department has 5 pound bags of Russet potatoes for only 88¢, Texas red grapefruit for 28¢ each, selected varieties of lettuce are 77¢ each, and pears are 66¢ a pound.

Don’t forget your furry family members: Purina Dog Chow is $8.97 for an 18 or 20 pound bag!

I think I’ll be slipping on over to Super Saver early this morning to check out my special “Secret.” (Check back for details tomorrow!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Looking for a non-shedding family dog!

I have 3 dogs. One sheds a lot twice a year, and the other two do not shed at all. (All dogs shed, it’s just not very noticeable in some of them.) My shedder is a Great Pyrenees…twice a year I have long white hair all over the house. I brush her constantly then to remove any loose hair, but it still gets everywhere. I vacuum more often then and we make sure to use a lint roller before going out in public!



The other two are smaller—a Shih-tzu and a Maltese. They don’t shed, but they do need to be trimmed about 3 or 4 times a year by the groomer.


If you are looking for a non-shedding dog, you might be interested in this list I found. It is just a basic list of recognizable dogs—there are many more non-shedding breeds of dogs.


Short List of Non-Shedding Dogs

• Airedale Terrier
• American Water Spaniel
• Australian Terrier
• Basenji
• Border Terrier
• Bichon Frise
• Bichon/Yorkie
• Black Russian Terrier
• Chinese Crested
• Cairn Terrier
• Cockapoo
• Chinese Shar-Pei
• Deerhound
• Doodleman Pinscher
• Toy Fox Terrier Dogs
• Dachshund (moderate shedders)
• Giant Schnauzer
• Greyhound dogs
• Irish Water Spaniel
• Maltese
• Manchester Terrier
• Mexican Hairless (Miniature)
• Miniature Poodle
• Miniature Schnauzer
• Papillon
• Poodle
• Portuguese Water Dog
• Pomeranian
• Schnoodle
• Scottish Terrier (Scottie)
• Shih-Tzu
• Silky Terrier
• Schnoodle
• Toy Poodle
• West Highland White Terrier
• Whippet
• Wirehaired Fox Terrier
• Welsh Terrier
• Yorkshire Terrier

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Banana Muffins



I’ve got few bananas that are starting to get overripe, so I got out my easy banana muffin recipe:


Banana Muffins

• 2 cups flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 3 overripe bananas, mashed
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In your mixer, mix together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and mix well. Cream everything together 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, bananas, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture.

Spoon the batter into muffin cups and bake about 25 minutes, until done in the center.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Snickerdoodle Muffins

I love Snickerdoodle cookies!  But, here's a recipe for Snickerdoodle muffins:

Snickerdoodle Muffins

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cream of tarter
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cup sour cream
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar and 1 TBSP cinnamon mixed together for rolling

1. Cream the butter and sugar until soft about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the vanilla. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until each is incorporated.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cream of tarter.

3. Add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternately to the egg-butter mixture in the additions. Start with the flour and end with the flour. Scrape the bowl occasionally.

4. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out muffin batter one at a time and drop into a shallow bowl filled with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the muffin around in the mixture until it is covered completely in cinnamon sugar. Place muffin into muffin tin. Depending on the size of your tins, you should get about 12 to 14 muffins. Bake them for approx. 20-22 minutes in a 350° oven or until golden brown.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Homemade Sports Drink

This is an easy to make alternative to some of the name brand sports drinks. If you are exercising for more than 30 minutes you may benefit from a fluid-replacement sports drink.


• 1 can orange juice
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 3/4 teaspoon salt (Optional: use for heavy or long workouts)
• water

Mix the ingredients with enough water to equal 1 gallon. Store in the fridge. If this solution is too sweet, add extra water to the solution. The salt in this drink will give the electrolytes you need for a long work out.

An even easier recipe: 1 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt.

General Tips: Drink 1 to 2 cups of fluid 30 minutes before you exercise and 1/2 to 1 cup of fluid every 15 minutes of exercise.

Money Saving Tip: For mild workouts or short workouts water will provide sufficient hydration and save you money. Having said that, a better tasting beverage may encourage you to drink more liquids which is important when working out for any duration.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Granny forgot her coupons last week....

When I opened the paper today I thought I’d missed a few days and it was getting close to Christmas…there were nine extra advertising inserts in addition to the regular three grocery ads! And HyVee put in two instead of just one….


Once again HyVee is having a one-day-only sale on Thursday (tomorrow). There’s some good prices: Pepsi cubes for $4.99, Roberts milk (½ gallon for 98¢), Totino’s Pizza for $1, Wimmer’s Little Smokies for $1.77, and Tide 100 ounce bottle for $9.99 (no rain checks on the Tide, though).

Once inside the regular HyVee ad I notice they are also having a 3-day sale on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (how can they do this to me? I’m getting old and I confuse easily…) with butter for $1.38, 2 liter Pepsi for 88¢, $3.99 for a pack of four CFL lightbulbs (that’s those curly ones that last forever and are good for the environment and your electric bill), and rotisserie chicken for $3.99.

Once I got into the real ad for this week, I see the meat department has Bone-In Pork shoulder roast for 99¢ a pound. Did you see my tip last week on twitter about cooking a pork roast in a small bit of apple juice? A reader wrote back saying that she uses applesauce with hers—interesting concept! Either way, you’ll get a sweeter taste to your roast. (And if you want to use applesauce, they have Musselman’s 24 ounce jar for just $1.48.)

HyVee has some good prices on store brand items: cooking spray for $1.38, hot cocoa packets for 88¢ a box, pancake syrup for $1.58, bagged flavored croutons for $1, pretzels (10-15 ounce bag) for $1. Maybe I’ll make up some candy-coated pretzels for Thanksgiving…that’s something I can do ahead of time—I’ll just have to hide them from any visiting grandkids! I can hide them away in the HyVee slider storage (or Freezer Bags) that are priced at just $1.50 this week.

Wimmer’s Little Smokies are $2.50 (but remember you can get them for $1.77 on the Thursday-only sale), and olives (black or green) are on special for 99¢ a can—that’s another thing to buy ahead of time for Thanksgiving. When the kids were little they would always put an olive on the end of each of their fingers before eating them, and now the grandkids do the same! I suppose that makes it a family tradition….

Skagway also has a 3-day sale: ground chuck in 10-pound tubes for $13.80 (that might sound like a lot, but if you figure it out, it’s only $1.38 a pound), and a 20-ounce chub of Summer Sausage for $3.69. (That’s another thing to buy ahead of time when the price is good—I’m thinking of a meat & cheese tray for Thanksgiving).

Speaking of Thanksgiving, Skagway has a complete traditional Thanksgiving meal (in a box, ready to go) for your family for $49.99. They will even carve the turkey for you for an extra $25 (no thanks, I think I can do that myself…)

Back to groceries: Hunt’s snack pack puddings & gels are 78¢ (I know, I can make them myself for cheaper, but these are so easy to plop into a lunch box!), a 3-envelope strip of Fleishman’s yeast is $1.19 (don’t you just love the smell of fresh baked bread?), WestPac frozen veggies are just 99¢, and Coke 12-packs are priced at 3/$11.

These special short sales must be the regular thing now: Super Saver has a 2-day sale this week, too! Kraft chunk cheese is 98¢, Farmland Bacon and sausage is $1.98, and 2-liter Coke products for 95¢.

Super Saver is having a fall baking sale with their store branded items: 18-count eggs for $1.33, 4-pound bag of sugar for $1.37, 5 pound bag of flour for $1.14, and brown sugar (2 pound bag) for 98¢.

The produce department has navel oranges for 66¢ a pound, broccoli is $1.17 a bunch, and cauliflower is $1.34 each.

Need milk? One gallon of Meadow Gold is only $1.77! Hunt’s snack pack puddings are 83¢ (which is not as good as Skagway’s price, but I bet they lower it to match them!), Charmin Basic 12-roll packages is $4.98, and Best Choice whipped topping (another stock-up item since it freezes well) is just 68¢ for an 8-ounce tub. Meadow Gold Butter is $1.38 (another item that can go in the freezer).

Don’t forget to check out the Super Saver online-only coupons. They have new ones out now: $1 off rotisserie chicken and Fritos variety pack (those little bags you can put in the kid’s lunches). They also have a coupon for a 12-ounce bag of Super Saver potato chips for only 98¢ (that’s less than ½ price!). Just don’t forget to use the coupons! Last week I went there with my coupon for a free package of meat sticks…and when I was checking out I forgot to give it to the clerk! The Super Saver check-out clerks are always so friendly that we got to chatting and I forgot the coupon in my wallet. Oh well, it made for a good reminder….

You know, there's a good way to remember your coupons:  write your grocery list on the outside of an envelope, and put all the coupons you'll be using inside of it!  I used to do that, but I think I was more organized when I had lots of kids at home....these days I just scribble a list on a small piece of paper and stuff it into my jeans pocket!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

3 Salad Dressings to Make at Home

This is my favorite French Dressing recipe—made with a can of tomato soup. We have used this recipe for many years as the kids were growing up.


 
Quick & Easy French Dressing

 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 can tomato soup

 
Optional:

 
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard and/or celery seed

 
Mix all ingredients in a quart jar. Shake well (Start with ½ cup vinegar, add more to taste.)

 
For those who enjoy a great Italian salad, here is a yummy dressing:

 
Creamy Italian Dressing

 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, coarsely ground

 
Mix all ingredients and chill before serving. Makes one cup.

 

 

 
And, everyone’s favorite seems to be Ranch dressing. Instead of buying those packets of Ranch Dressing mix at the store, try making your own:

 
Simple Ranch Dressing Mix

 

  • 17 Saltines, finely crushed
  • 2 cups parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup Onion Flakes
  • 2 Tbs Dried Basil
  • 6 Tbs Sea Salt
  •  5 Tbs Garlic Powder
  • 5 Tbs Onion Powder

 
Mix and store in an air tight container: this just about fills a one quart canning jar.

 

 To make Ranch Dressing:

 
  • 1 Tablespoon Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup buttermilk

 
At least one hour before serving, mix the three ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. The flavors take a bit of time to mingle. If you taste the dressing before it has had time to chill, it’s going to taste like tangy mayonnaise. Be patient and the true flavor will come out!

 

Monday, November 2, 2009

Freebies for Monday!

Attention all crafters. Don't you just love crafting during the holidays? You get to do some projects for yourself as well as some for friends and family. Want an ebook with 25 holiday crafts? Find out where you can pick it up here.

Many of us are concerned about the amount of sugar we consume. This is especially true if children are involved. Here is a cool little recipe book from a celebrity chef that will help you keep the sugar crash and burn to a minimum.

And on the same note, whether you are a raisin fan, want the kids to eat more nutritious snacks, or plan on doing some holiday baking, here's a little recipe book from Sunmaid to help you out.
 
Since the new year will be here soon, (Who groaned?) I've been thinking about calendars and found a cute cartoon calendar for you to check out. They say there is a limited supply, so get on over to send for your's!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pizza with Friends

Years ago we would have friends over for pizza. We’d make our own with everyone bringing various ingredients. It always made for a good time!


 

 
Basic Pizza Dough

 
makes 1 recipe pizza dough, prep 10 min, rise time 1 hour

 
• 1 pkg active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp loose yeast)
• 1 cup warm water
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 3/4 cup flour

 
1. Combine yeast and warm water, stir to dissolve.

 
2. Add oil, salt, and flour. Stir to combine.

 
3. Once dough starts to come together, turn out onto a floured counter and knead to thoroughly combine-until dough is smooth and elastic. If it is uncooperative let it rest for a few minutes and come back to it.

 
4. Place dough ball in a greased bowl and cover loosely. Allow dough to rise until doubled, approximately an hour.