Sunday, December 22, 2013

Orange cardamom crinkles

I decided to make these cookies today because they looked so delicious in the little ebook I got from The American Butter Institute.  I love citrus cookies, lemon bars.. Mmm, my absolute favorite.  I had all the ingredients I needed at home and so I whipped them up this afternoon.

They had a very bright, sunny flavor but they were lacking in the cardamom department.  I even ground fresh cardamom, but the flavor just wasn't there.  I'm thinking 1/4 tsp wasn't enough.. or my cardamom is just past it's prime.

My kid, on the other hand, LOVES these cookies.  I'd be safe to say by now he's gobbled up about half of them.  For him I'll try again tomorrow... after we run to the mall (I know, I know.. but it MUST be done) and the grocery store for a few quick things (which will include another fresh orange and hopefully some fresh cardamom.)  I'm thinking that instead of drizzling them with chocolate as the recipe states I'm gonna sandwich them with some instead :)


zest of 1 orange
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with
parchment paper.
In small bowl, rub orange zest into sugar until it resembles
wet sand. In large bowl, cream butter and zesty sugar until
light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla, egg and orange juice. Scrape
sides and continue mixing. Stir in cardamom, salt, baking
powder, baking soda and flour until just combined.
Pour powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll heaping
1 teaspoon of dough into ball, roll in powdered sugar, and
place on prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between
each cookie. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake about 10 minutes, until bottoms begin to brown and
cookies aren’t shiny in center. Remove from oven and transfer
to wire rack to cool completely.
Once all cookies are baked and cooled, melt chocolate in
microwave-safe bowl in microwave for 20 second intervals
until mostly melted. Stir until completely melted. Transfer
to sandwich bag. Snip corner and pipe swirls over cooled
cookies. Serve!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Home Made Marshmallows for sale

If you're a follower of my FB page you know that I have an Etsy shop where I sell homemade goodies.  I've been selling homemade marshmallows and didn’t even think to put them up here on the blog.  If anyone is interested I can guarantee Christmas delivery if an order is placed no later than tomorrow with priority shipping.

If you're interested check out the shop and let me know.

December 19, 2013

Marshmallows are still available.  At this time though I Cannot guarantee Christmas delivery.

(Marshmallows are available year round, although they are a little trickier to ship during the hot summer months)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Great Food blogger cookie swap... Recipe

I was so incredibly excited to be a part of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year.  It's been So exciting to not only receive 3 dozen of amazingly delicious cookies, but to research some new recipes of my own and share them. These are very similar to the Mexican Chocolate Cherry Cookies that I've been making for years.

For my cookies I made Mostaccioli Cookies, which are Italian chocolate spice cookies.  Delicious chocolate cookies spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.  Because I was shipping the cookies, I did not glaze them.

Adapted from here

2 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground clove
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
11/2 tsp salt
8 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups All Purpose flour
1/2 cups toasted walnuts
1 3/4 cups mini chocolate chips

For the glaze:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 300F.

In a large mixing bowl, vigorously mix all ingredients, less the flour, nuts and chocolate chips. Slowly add flour  to form a cookie dough. Once the dough is combined, mix in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Roll your dough into balls 1 1/2-inches in diameter and place on a sheet tray. To keep them from rolling, carefully smush the balls onto the sheet tray.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are just about to crack.

Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack.

Optional glaze:

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over a pan of simmering water (a double boiler). Whisk the chocolate until melted and smooth. Then whisk in the heavy cream and salt until the mixture is homogenous.

Dip the top of your cookie into the glaze, then put it back on the cooling rack to dry completely (15-20 minutes).

Store in an airtight container.


I forgot the slips with the bloggers who sent me cookies.. I will update the post tonight with who sent me delicious cookies :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

OMG Blog of the day? What a Great surprise!!


This email just totally made my day.. made my Week!

Thanks guys @ eRecipe :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I am serious about baking

I take my baking very seriously.  When I first made cookies for my  honey he looked at the mason jar of vanilla extract on my kitchen table and said what the heck is that?  Homemade vanilla extract.  I told him that I made my own, I guess maybe he didn't quite believe me at the time though?

I use it in everything I bake and especially the marshmallows I make.  This ain't no bottled imitation garbage.  This is straight up vanilla beans and vodka and the more beans I can cram into each jar the better.  I've got a few jars that I top off when I see them getting low, pour from one jar into the next and start all over when I've got just a few drops left in the jar I use most often.  The oldest batch I have is about 4 years old and so dark and rich.

When I'm baking or making any kind of sweets I always add a little more vanilla than the recipe calls for.  I always give the jar a good shake and make sure I get plenty of those teeny black vanilla beans into whatever I'm baking.

My dad was a huge fan of Breyers vanilla ice cream, it had to be Breyers with the crisp white ice cream little flecks of vanilla bean in there.. not that fake yellow "French" vanilla stuff.

Am I purist? Maybe a little.  When I'm baking for someone I want to make it the best it can possibly be, whether I'm baking for my family, friends or surprising someone with some treats... hell, even if I'm trying out a batch of cookies and share them with my co workers you bet it's gonna be the best batch of cookies I can make them to be.

It's all about quality and the love that goes into making them.

My honey snapped this the other night of one of my younger jars that was sitting on the kitchen table after I used a bit in some chocolate chip cookies I made to bring to dinner with friends :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap... and a giveaway!!

I haven't done a giveaway in forever and since I'm going to be researching and baking for the next few weeks for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and sending three lucky bloggers a dozen cookies each I figured what's one more dozen?

One lucky winner will receive one dozen home baked cookies.  I'm not exactly sure what I'm baking up yet and I'm sure I'll give y'all a peek at the cookies I'm going to choose from but it will definitely be one of them that I'll send to the winner.

I've never used Rafflecopter before so I'm new to this.

Here goes!!

Good Luck!  Contest starts today and ends on 11/20

Enter here to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Just a little... rant...

The Kid is in his senior year of high school.

Why are senior fees so incredibly insane?

I got his proofs yesterday for senior pictures.  He hasn't had school pictures done since 6th grade because the high school doesn't "do" school pictures for every grade.  There are at least 1200 kids in his school.  Fine, whatever.  Well.. after paying a $30 sitting fee so they can take his picture in the tux and bowtie that's "regulation" for yearbook photo, cap and gown and I thought he was supposed to get another done in his own clothes... I also paid an additional $10 for a black & white proof.  Well, they didn't take the picture in his own clothes and I didn't get my black and white proof.  To add insult to injury the LEAST EXPENSIVE portrait package is $159.00 for ONE measly pose.  I can't get a disc of the pictures unless I buy one of the more expensive packages that are $400+

These are my choices:
1 pose $159Package Contents:
2-5x7 Portraits
4-4x5 Portraits
1 pose  $209
Package Contents:
4-5x7 Portraits
4-4x5 Portraits
Wallet Box

up to 2 poses $269
Package Contents:
8x10 Portrait
4-5x7 Portraits
4-4x5 Portraits
Wallet Album
Wallet Box
Wallet Personalization

up to 3 poses $319
2-8x10 Portraits
4-5x7 Portraits
4-4x5 Portraits
Wallet Album
Wallet Box
Wallet Personalization

up to 4 poses $379
3-8x10 Portraits
6-5x7 Portraits
4-4x5 Portraits
Wallet Album
Wallet Box
Wallet Personalization

up to 7 poses $439
Package Contents:
11x14 Portrait
5-8x10 Portraits
12-5x7 Portraits
8-4x5 Portraits
Portrait CD Social (low res)
8-Up Folio
Proof Set
Senior Frame
Wallet Album
Wallet Box
Magnet Wallet Frame
Wallet Personalization

up to 6 poses $409
Package Contents:
11x14 Portrait
4-8x10 Portraits
10-5x7 Portraits
8-4x5 Portraits
Portrait CD Social  (low res)
8-Up Folio
Proof Set
Wallet Album
Wallet Box
Magnet Wallet Frame
Wallet Personalization

unlimited poses$529
Options Include:
4-4x5 Portraits
2-5x7 Portraits
8x10 Portrait
11x14 Portrait
16x20 Portrait
8-Metallic Wallets
4-4x5 Metallic Portraits
2-5x7 Metallic Portraits
8x10 Metallic Portrait
11x14 Metallic Portrait
16x20 Metallic Portrait
11x14 Canvas Portrait
16x20 Canvas Portrait
8-2x3 Designer Wallets
8-2x3 Metallic Designer Wallets
4-4x5 Designer
4-4x5 Designer Metallic
2-5x7 Designer
2-5x7 Designer Metallic
8x10 Designer
8x10 Designer Metallic
11x14 Designer
11x14 Designer Metallic
11x14 Designer Canvas
16x20 Designer
16x20 Designer Metallic
16x20 Designer Canvas
4x10 Designer Framed
4x10 Designer Framed Metallic
2-5x5 Designer
2-5x5 Designer Metallic
10x10 Designer
10x10 Designer Metallic
10x10 Designer Canvas
10x20 Designer Framed
10x20 Designer Framed Metallic
10x20 Designer Canvas
16x16 Designer
16x16 Designer Metallic
16x16 Designer Canvas
Wallet Personalization
Protective Finish
Canvas Upgrade
Linen Texture
Proof Set
8-Up Folio
Wallet Box
Magnet Wallet Frame
Wallet Album
Senior Frame
5x7 Tassel Frame
8x10 Tassel Frame
Grad Announcements
Thank You Cards
Save the Date Cards
Status Cards
Senior Signature Board
Return Address Labels
Envelope Seals
Portrait CD Archive (hi-res)
  • Optional Portrait CD Archive (hi-res): All the images that were photographed during your session on a CD in a format perfect for archiving and scrapbooking. Only available with a Perfect Package.

Portrait CD Social (low res)

This is INSANE!!!  To buy individual pictures is just as insane... two 5x7's is $65 O_o What?

To top this off I've gotta pay $195 in school dues for a bunch of crap he's not going to go to -_-

1 pose$159

Monday, November 4, 2013


I am a coffee snob.  I'm not gonna lie.  I refuse to drink the Columbian sludge they make in my office, The guy in the lobby shop has a "dark roast" and I was so excited to get myself a cup the other day and then after one sip glad I only paid .75¢ for it because it was so disgustingly weak it went right down the drain.

When I got the opportunity to try Green Mountain Fair Trade Certified coffee for the Keurig I jumped on it.

 My verdict?

It's Amazingly delicious :)

That's one good cup of coffee :)

What's Fair Trade Certified coffee you ask?  Well, Fair Trade certification gives farmers a fair price for their beans with a guaranteed minimum, which means they can invest in their crops, their communities, and their future. Fair Trade also lets Green Mountain Coffee® and farmers work closely together to bring the best tasting coffee to market.

By Choosing Fair Trade Certified you're allowing the farmers to receive a fair price for their beans which means great coffee for us and a better quality of life for the farmers and more money going into their communities.  One little change for us makes a huge change in their lives.

Will I continue to purchase these pods?  Absolutely!  Not only do I love this coffee, but my honey does too so it's win-win. There are other Green Mountain fair trade varieties available for purchase right where we do our grocery shopping also.

Disclaimer: I'm a Bzzagent and received a free sample of Green Mountain Fair Trade Certified Three Continent Blend.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I just signed up for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

This is the first time I'm participating and signup is only through Monday 11/4 (can you believe Friday is NOVEMBER already?)

Here's a little info:

The GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year’s cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.
This year we are again excited to be partnering with COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease. By participating in this cookie swap you are not only contributing to the food blogger community, but also supporting a great cause.

Monday, October 14, 2013

CocoZia coconut water

I was given the opportunity to try a case of CocoZia from the manufacturer, Epicurex and jumped on it.  The Kid Loves Coconut water and I've never tried it myself.  I figured I'd give it a go, why not?

I ordered the case from Amazon and in two days it was at my door.  I had gotten the package on one of those hot days and I had walked two miles home from the train station, so I was T H I R S T Y!!  I couldn't wait to get home and pour one over a glass of ice and finally sit down and relax for a few before making dinner.

I grabbed the box off my porch and first thing off the bat there was a problem.  Not from the coconut water, but Amazon, they had obviously not taken any care in managing their packaging details because there was a huge gash in the original CocoZia package and one of the cartons was completely empty.  

The amazon box itself was in perfect condition, 

but after sending my feedback to amazon along with pictures I never received a response, so I will think twice before ordering any liquid or food items from them again

I  filled a glass with ice for myself and poured my cocozia in and took my first sip.  I was apprehensive.  I'd read many mixed reviews and the one that stuck in my head was “it tastes kinda like dirt” It didn’t.  It tasted like... well, nothing really.  It has a slight coconutty flavor, very mild but very thirst quenching.

After opening the rest of the package I set one aside for myself and put the rest of the coconut water in the fridge it let it hang out while I went about my business and made dinner.  When the kid came home he opened the fridge and said to me “You didn't tell me you were getting a whole case! Awesome!!” Grabbed two and drank it down in what seemed one big gulp.  Okay, good to know he’s happy, he loves the stuff.

I don't “Love”it, it’s good, it’s good for you and it did a great job at quenching my thirst and the kid really enjoys it so I'll definitely get it again if I see it.

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Grated apple pie.. the absolute best apple pie I have ever had in my life.

Around Thanksgiving last year my Honey and I were browsing through Cooks Illustrated Magazine on the iPad and came across this pie that looked like nothing we'd seen before.  Right then and there that pie was placed as the first item on the Thanksgiving Day menu.

Thanksgiving rolled around and after dinner was done I went about making this pie and made a Big mistake... being short on white sugar I added some brown sugar and the pie never set.  It was a soupy mess.  It was delicious, but a mess nonetheless.

After we went apple picking last weekend I set my sights on making this pie again and armed myself properly with this recipe at hand:

Grated Apple Pie


1 1/4 C Sugar
1/2 C (1 stick) Unsalted butter
3 Tbs Flour
2 tsp Vanilla (I make my own, use the real stuff)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 medium apples, Peeled and coarsely grated
1 unbaked deep dish pie shell

Preheat oven to 400°

Peel your apples and set them in a bowl of water with a little squeeze of lemon juice to keep them from browning.

In a large bowl beat together the first seven ingredients (you can use a mixer for this, but I did it by hand since My Honey doesn't have a mixer and it came out perfect every time).  Set aside.

In another bowl carefully grate your apples on the largest part of your cheese grater (I did this at home using my food processor on a smaller grater and although the pie came out good, it wasn't as good as when I did it with the good old fashioned cheese grater).

Fold the apples into the batter and carefully pour the mixture into your unbaked pie shell. (I put the pie on a pan to catch any drippings to avoid any potential spills)

Bake the pie in the center of the oven for 10 minutes and then lower the temp to 350° for 40-50 Min until golden brown on top.

Let cool completely before serving.

 We clearly didn't let it cool completely before serving... but it was still delicious :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Apples, apples and more apples

My Honey and I went apple picking last weekend at a Farm all the way on the east end of Long Island, NY called Lewin Farm.  It's sometimes hard to believe that farms of this size still exist on Long Island, but it's really amazing how the scenery changes the farther east you go.

It took quite a bit of walking to find apples that were still on the trees

Clearly Not apples, rather something called Pokeweed or Inkberries.  They are known to make you sick if you consume raw berries but are supposedly safe if cooked. (I'd rather take no chances here)

It was a gorgeous day and still lovely while driving home :)

We stopped on the way home at the grocery store for ingredients to make apple pie and came across these... Um... Warty pumpkins/

They look kind of like Barnacles 

20# of apples going in for a wash

Shredded apple pie is the Absolute BEST!! 

 Okay, so Maybe we should have waited a little bit longer before cutting into the pie...  but it smelled Soo good!

Recipe will follow shortly :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Halloween is coming....

I'm really amazed at how time is just flying by... or maybe it's just things are available so much sooner now than they were just a few years ago.  One of my neighbors has halloween lights up around their house and on my morning walk I notice that more and more people have Halloween decorations up rather than the standard "fall" decorations. (And don't even get me started on the K-Mart Christmas commercial).  Walking home the other night I passed a house that was decorated with Giant spiders and webs.  The first thing that caught my eye was the ghost hanging from the big tree out front, I turned my head to the left and OMG Spiders!

I've been selling Avon for a few months now and am pleasantly surprised at the adorable Halloween items that they have

Singing and Dancing Witch’s Hat
Item#  096-994

 Reg. $24.99
Sale $19.99
Intro Special - SAVE 20%! Wear and scare! Push the side button and the hat plays a creepy tune and moves to the music. 13" H x 13 1/2" diam. Uses 3 AA batteries (not included). Polyester. Imported.

Halloween Bowl

Item# 097-842
Large Halloween-decorated bowl perfect for holding all that candy. 4 1/2" H x 9 1/2" diam. Plastic. Hand wash. Imported.

Halloween Glam Apron

A festive look for the Halloween party. The cat’s eyes light up at the push of a button. 34" W x 30 3/4" L. Button-cell battery included. Polyester. Spot clean. Imported

Light-Up Pumpkin Bag
Item#  096-975
Reg. $9.99
Sale $4.99
Intro Special - SAVE 50%!

Spooky Pathway Markers

Item # 097-015

Light the path to your doorstep with three little ghosts on stakes. Each, 18" H x 4 1/2" W. Uses 3 AAA batteries (not included). Plastic, polyester. Imported.

There are plenty more items available including Halloween themed jewelry and nail polish to name a few.

**There seems there was an issue with the Avon link.  I fixed it.  Also, there are some very cute Christmas items in the new outlet :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 the memories remain

This is my story of that day.

I can't forget what happened.  Every minute is etched into my soul.

I will never forget.  I can never forget.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Garlic rosemary potato chips

Today turned out to be a rainy, pretty generally yucky Labor Day. Total bummer. On the flip side I spent most of the day in my PJ's flipping through Pinterest, folding the laundry I finished yesterday and relaxing before the workweek actually begins. 

I had taken a few potatoes out of the pantry earlier and scrubbed them then went about my business and kind of forgot why I had taken them out in the first place. 

Dinner time rolled around and I knew I had ground beef in the fridge and then I remembered about the potatoes and I thought I'd try a different variation of something I had wanted to try for a while. 

Grilled potatoes on my Foreman grill 

So I took 3 small-medium Idaho potatoes and sliced them evenly. Not too thick but not paper thin either and soaked them in about 3 cups of cold water with about 1/4 tsp sea salt added to the water and let them sit for about half an hour, drained them and let them dry. 

Once the potatoes were dried off I tossed them in a bowl with 1Tbs canola oil, about 1/2 tsp sea salt and good sprinkling of both rosemary and garlic powder (NOT garlic salt!). 

I heated the grill and then carefully laid the slices evenly and not overlapping at all on the grill. Closed it and left or for about 10 minutes. Carefully flipped the potatoes and went about making the rest of dinner. About 15 minutes later the smell of rosemary and potato was happily mingling in my kitchen.  

While I was hoping for something closer to a roasted potato what I ended up with was more potato chip like well seasoned Not fried delicious potato chips. The pieces that were a little thicker were crispy on the outside while staying soft and fry like on the inside. 

So delicious and so incredibly easy. 

Happy Labor Day!!

Well... looks like any BBQ potential has been squashed with this rainy weather today... but I shall not be deterred!  I have plenty to get done before the workweek actually begins for me.

Everyone have a safe and happy Labor Day :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Facebook Page

I've been posting on here a lot of stuff in between blogging.

Y'all should come check it out :)

Memoirs From My Kitchen FB Page

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meal Planning Made Easy: 7 Easy Dinners and a Printable Grocery List!

I don't always love iVillage, sometimes it's full of stuff that I just really don't care about.  I'm still subscribed to 20 of their different lists though.

(I have mentioned the 5,000 emails I get each day  haven't I?)

While sorting through my inbox this morning I stopped and saw an email with the title 22 Quick weekday meals for under $20.  Upon opening it though  there was this:

Supermarket Shopping 101: Read This Before You Hit the Grocery Store

Then..... Then.... 

there was this:

Click here for a week's worth of dinner recipes and a printable shopping list!

While I don't always like to go by someone else's meal plan.. suggestions are always a plus, when it comes along with a grocery shopping list it makes it 90% more likely I will take more of these suggestions.

I almost always try to make a shopping list, because otherwise I buy a bunch of stuff and then I'm stuck with mismatched meals or I'm forgetting necessary ingredients for things I wanted to make.

I've been getting better at this, I've been good at sticking to my food budget and nobody has gone hungry yet :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

One of the most versatile gadgets in my kitchen...

Months ago I was musing to my guy that I needed to get myself a new George Foreman grill.  I had tossed mine right before my last move.  I used it so often it finally crapped out on me and I hadn't gotten around to getting another one.  Well,  low and behold he said "Oh, I have one, I never use it... you can have it!"  So, of course I accepted.  Since then he's made no mistake of saying it's one of the best gifts he's given me.

Seriously, it's great.  I use it a few times a week.  The kid even uses it to make grilled cheese.

I started out with the usual, grilled chicken, burgers, the occasional steak.  Then one night I was tired and hungry and just generally not in the mood to cook (it happens).  Granted, the kid is now seventeen and he is more than capable of cooking for himself, but I see it as my mom duty to make dinner every night. That's when I discovered you can make Grilled cheese on the Foreman grill.  From there it went to Quesadillas,  burritos, and my latest discovery... flatbreads.

Oh yeah.  make up a batch of pizza dough and after it's risen separate it into a few pieces. stretch them out a bit and slap that baby on the grill... Mmmmm, bread. (I LOVE BREAD!)  Sandwiches, pannini's   pizza... with or without grilled meat or veggies... there's no end to the deliciousness.

Next  up.. I need a Belgian waffle iron ;)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shop my AVON store!

Shop my AVON store!: Here's a sneak peak at some of the latest products available at Avon. Be sure to click

8/7/13 update

Today Only!! Free Standard Shipping on any order with code TODAYONLY

Friday, July 19, 2013

Getting back on a food budget

I wrote a post the other day about how I'm spending an unbelievable amount on groceries lately and how I need to get "back on the wagon".

Weeks ago I signed up with Jessica and actually have been signed up with her 52 weeks of no repeat dinners since the beginning.  I don't know How I found it, but I'm glad I did and it has helped get me back on track, but the problem with going off someone else's menu is you don't always like the choices or you have allergies or whatever the case may be.  This week's menu  had shrimp, I'm allergic so I kinda poo pooed the whole menu she had up this week without bothering to check the rest.  I know that's bad and I have a tendency of checking out once something fails to appeal to me (I'm sure the kid would have liked it, but I can't even handle shrimp to cook it).

Anyway.... Being the girl on a mission that I am and getting nothing but frustrated by google I went to where I should have gone in the first place...


Search Pinterest for Budget Friendly meals and HOLY COW!! There was a Ton of stuff!  I made up a board of budget friendly meals and there are meal plans and recipes and So many things (can you tell I'm excited about this?)  I'm still adding things to it and before making a grocery list this week I'm gonna pick seven recipes and go with it.   There are SO many other people in the same situation that I'm in.  We've all gotta eat, some of us have giant teenage boys to feed (and seriously, where does all that food go?) Most have more than one kid to feed.

It's not easy to stick to a food budget but with a little planning it's a LOT easier :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's really HOT!! Lets cool down with some ice cream :)

I get an insane amount of emails daily.I'm really trying better to get through these emails daily... or at least a few times a week.  I came across an email from last week and flagged it to keep it on the list of stuff I need to read.

I finally got around to reading it on Sunday night when I sat down to get through the mass of email in my inbox and make an effort to get the number of unread emails to under 1,000.  (Yeah, you read that right)

We're having an incredibly hot week, the longest heatwave since 2002.  By 9am it was already 91° outside my office (now it says 97°).  It’s too hot to cook, it’s too hot to eat.. It’s almost too hot to even be outside for any amount of time.  The Kid hasn't been to the park all week.  It’s just too hot.

So... back to this email with the recipes.  It was Their best summer and grilling recipes so I clicked through and stopped at the recipe for Cornstarch Ice Cream.

I have an ice cream maker, I use it maybe 3-4 times a year.  I can’t seem to get the hang of making ice cream.  I don't like to use full fat milk and heavy cream, it always melts too fast and it always rock hard when I take it out of my freezer. This seemed like a very different approach instead of custard ice cream (which, admittedly is wonderful, but Sooo fattening and I've been so good at eating healthy and not just losing the weight that I battled with for years but keeping it off too.)

Okay, so Cornstarch... I have that on hand and I grabbed a quart of light cream at the store, I can do this.

And so I did.



I was a little hesitant while cooking it up, it looked a little... gloopy? Gluey?

I left it to cool for a bit and then set up the ice cream maker (I have a cuisinart with the freezer bowl that I always keep handy in the freezer) and churned it for 30 minutes, put it into a covered container and sat it in the freezer overnight.

I like it, the kid liked it, the boyfriend has yet to try it.  I followed the recipe exactly with the vanilla bean and all and I'd like to try it again with cherries and almond extract.  Being a base recipe, just about anything can be added to this.

Cornstarch Ice Cream

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I am a woman on a mission and I need your help!!

My mission is to get my food budget in check.

No more trips to the grocery store just because I need something, we're out of something or there's nothing for dinner.

I've really fallen off the wagon here... I was so good with keeping on my $50/week budget and I have no idea where I've steered off this path, but I need to get back on it.

I've signed up for meal planning lists, I've pinned myself all these budget friendly meals.  I have a plan.

But I need to really get back to making lists, making a weekly menu and get myself on task here.

My only saving grace right now is with the kid working as a counselor at his old summer camp he's not eating me out of house and home being home all day (at least not for the next 5 weeks, lol).

Are you on a weekly food budget?

Do you make meal plans or you just a go with it kind of person?

I need some feedback here, some tips and ideas for planning meals and lists.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

First Birthdays, cake, and ordering things from Etsy...

We celebrated my Nephew Noah’s first birthday this past weekend.  I was in charge of the cake and I wanted to do something special.  I did some poking around and decided to order a custom cake topper from a seller on Etsy.  I really try to purchase things like this from independent sellers, you usually get personal service and things are shipped quickly.  I have an Etsy shop and whenever I get an order things are done in the time frame I give and I always, always, ALWAYS ship priority mail.  Always.

I ordered this custom topper on May 28th, I needed it by June 7th at the very latest and let the shop owner know this.  After not hearing anything for a few days I contacted her again on June 3 and she asks me what the order was for again, so I send it to her again.  I emailed her again on June 5th asking her WTH was going on with my order because I needed it by Friday and get a message back that it was shipped Monday followed by another message with the tracking #.  My order, which came from Illinois was shipped first class mail and she was under the impression it would arrive Wednesday or Thursday.  Thursday night I'm in a panic when I return home from work and there’s nothing from her in the mail, the tracking information is saying the package is somewhere in NJ and I’m in full on panic mode.

Friday it rained cats and dogs, I had the day off work so I could work on last minute things for the birthday party before I have to pick up The Kid from school and get over to my cousin’s so I can help her set up and get these cakes baked off..  I busied myself in the morning getting ingredients together and packing up weekend stuff for myself and the kid and straightening up.

Noon rolls around and no mail yet, finally I check my email around 2 and just after 1pm I got a message from the USPA that the mail was delivered.  I ran outside in the pouring rain to get the mail and my landlord and his wife were pulling into the driveway.  As I'm rummaging through the mailbox and he tells me that a package was left on the porch in the rain and he brought it inside, and there it is.

Granted, it was perfect.  It was just what I wanted.  But I will Never ever order from this seller again.  There is nothing more frustrating than having to wait for something you ordered well in advance.

The cake came out fantastic with a vanilla layer on the bottom Chocolate on top and a layer of smooth eggless cookie dough in the middle.

I wish I had some pictures of Noah gobbling up that cake, it was awesome.

Noah's Big Brother's birthday party is next month, I want to order another topper, but this time I'll order it from ebay where I can rely on seller ratings and order well in advance just for good measure.