Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Trader - Transition back to meat with fish

This is a recipe that was served at one of my baby showers and is an Easter favorite too. It is NOT a bargain recipe. Definitely a holiday/party treat recipe. Or maybe you're a lottery winner and can pass it off for your personal chef to make weekly; I'm not totally clear what my average reader is.....

Noodles in Dill Sauce with Smoked Salmon

3 Tbsp minced shallots
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 c. heavy cream
2 Tbsp fresh chopped dillweed

Combine shallots and white wine in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer until the wine is reduced to about 2 tsp. Pour in cream and bring it back to a boil. Reduce and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat and stir in the dillweed.

Cook 6 oz. of dry egg noodles according to directions.

4 oz. thin sliced smoked salmon. Cut it along the grain into narrow 2 inch pieces.

Pour the dill sauce over the noodles. Toss until coated. Add the salmon and stir gently. I like to add a little kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste before serving it.

This is also good the next day cold.

Monday, September 22, 2008

You ask them to do one thing and they do another.

But at least this time it was cute! I was trying to get the Punkinhead to show off her "find your nose" skills. Instead, she gave us a glimpse into her future as a cast member of The Lion King. That bit of cuteness is right up top in the show; the rest is fun to watch as well. Buzzkill on the sofa is about the height of his activity on weekends. Actually, he's a tremendous help with the Punkinhead on weekends. Also, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart make a rare appearance.

Hey Buzzkill!

You claim I don't tell you about the things I want gift wise, right? Well here's a link to a description of something - The Couponizer! Yes, Common Sense With Money is giving one away, so maybe you should enter....

I apologize to my readers that I'm not married to, which is quite fairly, a lot. Just needed to put a little wifely directive out there.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

5 SEC teams in the top 10!

That's all I have to write. Just proof that the SEC is the TOUGHEST conference in the country. We deserve to have a team play for the national championship every year. We're that good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Contest, contest, contest

One of my favorite frugal blogs is running a contest in conjunction with the new season of Lipstick Jungle. The Punkinhead and HotMommy love Brooke Shields.

Go enter the contest and check out the blog: Penny Pinching Parent

Penny Pinching Parent lists the diaper and formula deals every Sunday all in one convenient blog post. They always have a link to it on their front page too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just a thought I had on 75 North

I passed Condoms to Go (a chain of stores in DFW carrying, I assume, condoms) and thought, "When they named it, were they worried people might use the condoms in store? As in, for here or to go?"

Buzzkill would like Trader Tuesday to go vegan.

If it does, should we call it Traitor Tuesday?

Anyway, in honor of Buzzkill, a requested recipe I can tolerate. But I may add bacon to it!

Vegan Black Bean Soup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 1-pound cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups water

Optional toppings: Green onions, thinly sliced, soy yogurt, reduced-fat sour cream, or low-fat yogurt.

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Saute the onions over moderate heat until translucent, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until the onion is lightly golden, another 3 or 4 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the toppings, along with the water, and bring to a simmer.

3. Mash some of the beans with a potato-masher, just enough to thicken the liquid base of the soup. Cover and simmer gently but steadily for 10 minutes.

4. Serve hot topped with one or two of the optional toppings.

Serves 6 to 8.

This also freezes pretty well. And makes the whole family farty. Be prepared.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Isn't that just like a Punkinhead?

She has a million toys to play with (look behind her) and all she wants to do is play with an empty can of Puffs......

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soaking Saturday

Man, the rain has just poured buckets today! I had to do my Walgreens, Kroger, and Target deal runs this morning in the rain, but afterward I just settled into the sofa with discounted Coke Zero to watch SEC games. I literally dreamed about the Auburn game last night - that I was watching it, cheering, and teaching the Punkinhead about the game. I'm so glad fall is here. It's always my favorite season.

I'm on a "saving money" push for the next week or so to try to only buy Punkinhead's milk at the grocery store in the next week and really use the great bargains I've stockpiled in the freezer and the pantry. Let's call it Eat Your Freezer Week!

To that end, we did the ol' comfort food meal of spaghetti and meat sauce. I think I could serve this to Buzzkill EVERY night and he'd be in heaven.

So, I racked up at Walgreens today. I spent $50.65 out of pocket for merchandise that would have cost me $200.30 at full price. Plus I have the monthly Easysaver rebate items that will give me $25.76 back at the end of the month. So, really I got $200.30 worth of items for $24.89!!!!!!

I had one last 50 cent coupon for a 4 pack of Cottonelle toilet paper to use at Kroger today. It was $1.21, so with Kroger double coupons, I paid 21 cents. I'm going to miss my little stockpile of Cottonelle coupons.....

Target was good. I did some diaper and bottle scenarios to get 2 $5.00 gift cards. I also took advantage of some of this week's baby-themed sales for some baby shower gifts. It wasn't a money-maker day a Target, but some good, solid deals I'm content with. According to Penny Pinching Parent I got LUVS for 6 cents below standard per diaper cost. I don't think I'm going to be really satisfied with diaper costs again after last month's Walgreens 10 cent per diaper bargain. They've ruined me for standard, run-of-the-mill sales.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just Now

I was asking Buzzkill, "Isn't the Punkinhead extra funny this week?"

To which he replied, "Yes, if by funny you mean screamy and uncooperative."

She's such a daddy's girl.

Trader Tuesday - Because bacon and butter make everything better.

Yummy Popcorn the Menfolk will love. Good with tail-gaiting beers.

4-6 slices of bacon cooked until crispy, drain and chop up

1 standard size bag of microwave popcorn, popped

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

4 Tbsps melted butter

2 tsps buttermilk Ranch dressing powder mix

1/4 tsp pepper

Toss everything in a big bowl.

Makes 2-3 servings.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

HotMommy's got video!

I bought a couple of Polaroid digital cameras this week - it was an awesome deal that I'll blog about later. The best part is that it has video! Now I can show you live exactly how unorganized my house really is despite my stellar reputation! In moving picture!

Here's the first test run I did after setting the camera up. I'm hoping in the future my skillz get smokin'.

I forgot Tuesday Trade day

It was the Punkinhead's first day at Mother's Day Out and for the first time in maybe six weeks I couldn't swing the energy to cook so Buzzkill was sent out to fetch a Little Cesaer's pizza. After making my own crust and having lots of yummy toppings I combine lately, the takeout pizza tasted like cardboard and horrible dry cheese.

So no new delightful recipe to share. But I did like Auntie M's drink recipe. Here's what I mix up when I'm screaming War Eagle! on the sofa. And okay, whenever an SEC game is on period.

Currantly Absolut Zero

Sprite Zero (Diet Sprite - has to be because it has a sweeter flavor needed for the drink)

Currant Absolut vodka


Highball glass - or iced tea class

Fill the glass with ice. Pour in 2-3 fingers of the vodka. Fill up the remaining space in the glass with Sprite Zero. Stir and drink.

You can make this with plain Absolut vodka but then it's just an Absolut Zero!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Target Pop Tart Deal

This is the kind of fun I can have when Buzzkill is home an extra day during the week!

Target had Pop Tarts 4 boxes of 12 for $9. Good deal, but wait.....when you buy 4 boxes of 12, you get a $5 gift card for Target! I bought 12 boxes yielding me $15 in gift cards.

Kellogg's has a deal that if you buy 10 products and submit a Fuel for School rebate form from the newspaper a few weeks ago, you get $10 back!

So basically, I paid $27 upfront, got my $15 gift cards, and will soon have a ten dollar rebate on the way = overall cost to me the consumer...$2 for 144 Pop Tarts.

Yes, experienced frugal shoppers, I know there were coupons I could have used. I even printed them out and took them with me, but the store told me they were no longer accepting web coupons. I'm new to this wheelin' and dealin' so I let it go for now....

But all in all I was pretty psyched about the deal.

I was going to be responsible and put the gift cards towards groceries next week. Then I remembered that the swimming vest I wanted to buy the Punkinhead for next summer was marked down again from $24.79 to $12.38 so i put that in my cart. And then there were some beach balls marked down to 76 cents each so those hopped into the cart too. Whoops, grocery budget help all gone!

But wait! I won a $25 gift card to Save-A-Lot from Sisterly Savings last week! I tell you, I can't wait for grocery day on Friday!

Our last deal for Saturday? We dress in Auburn t-shirts and went to Chick-fil-a for the free 3-strips of chicken for each person wearing college logo adorned clothing. I asked for our free food and sent Buzzkill to a table, then I pulled out a buy-a-Med.-Coke-get-a-Large-Waffle-Fry-Free coupon. I took that yummyness to our table and sent Buzzkill back with a buy-a-Med.-Dr.Pepper-and-a-Med.-Waffle-Fry-get-a-Chicken-Sandwich-Free coupon. So to recap: for $4.49, we feasted on 6 chicken strips, 1 chicken sandwich, a large fry, a med. fry, a Coke, and a Dr.Pepper!

I tingle inside with a little cha-ching! noise.

New blogging path

This blog has been such a great outlet for me as a mom. Recipes, baby bragging, embarassing moments - you name it, I feel free to talk about it. So even though I was brought up to believe that talking about money is not polite, I'm going to do it anyway.

Not money exactly, but financial responsibility and saving money by practicing frugality.

Buzzkill and I were shocked by the skyrocketing gas prices this summer and the escalating prices of everything else related to that via shipping costs. Buzzkill works a good job and makes good money, but we made the decision that until our youngest child enters 5-day schooling, my career will be stay-at-home-mom. And that means our income decreased after the Punkinhead to complicate things even more. So, part of my new job description is household accountant and I want to make sure that I use every penny we earn to the best use it can have.

After doing research (where else?) on other mom blogs, I found there is a whole network of moms (and dads) working to be frugal. Not cheap, frugal - responsible and thoughtful about their money choices. It's been such a great education and I've loved getting to make more online friends too.

All that to say, from time to time, HotMommy's going to post about some of the great deals she's learned how to buy over the last month. It's another area I'm a newbie to, but it's become a big part of my life recently and one that I believe is here to stay. I've been stock-piling entries and will be sharing them very soon.