Monday, June 27, 2011

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

Brent's Jalapeño Poppers


1 lb jalapeño peppers

8 oz cream cheese with chives

1 lb thick bacon

1 lb (or 8 oz sliced) pepper jack cheese, sliced to your desired thickness

Seasoning salt, optional

Wooden toothpicks


Wash peppers and then carefully slice each pepper in half. Scoop out the seeds and membranes of the pepper and discard. If you prefer them to be less spicy wash the halves in cold water, otherwise begin filling each half with cream cheese until the cream cheese is level with the edges of the pepper. Top cream cheese with slices of pepper jack cheese.

Carefully cut bacon slices into either thirds or halves and wrap those around the peppers, using wooden toothpicks to hold bacon on the pepper.

Grill over low to medium heat until bacon is browned and cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Serves about 8.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Frugal Pantry

Frugal Pantry:

Cooking at home is less expensive than eating out or convenience food. By eating at home you will spend less and eat better. I work 40 to 50 hours per week outside of my home and spend roughly $350.00 per month on groceries. I feed 2 teenagers, 2 adults, 3 dogs and 1 cat. I live in a small town so I don’t have the choices for shopping that those in a metropolitan area would have. To make matters even more challenging, I only get paid once a month so for me to keep my pantry well stocked is an important part of keeping my sanity. I would tell you that I am organized but the truth of the matter is that I am not very organized, but I do try to plan ahead.

I don’t really have a meal plan or make menu’s but I do utilize what I have on hand in order to get dinner on the table every night. I stock up on items that are on sale. I make my own salsa, jelly, jam, asparagus and pears…I can them myself. I also have a small garden every summer. In the garden I grow my herbs. I love to cook and my family eats well. I take left-overs to work for my lunch because my food is better than jail food.

I make my own breakfast burritos, egg muffin sandwiches and freeze left overs for later use…especially the days where I am feeling lazy. I use my crock pot every week, and I also make home made soup when I clean out my refrigerator. I am going to show you how to eat and eat well for less.

I shop at the Dollar Store for spices, crackers, tea, spaghetti sauce, muffin mixes and cleaning supplies.

I shop at the Grocery Outlet for miscellaneous canned food and toiletries. I usually pick up canned fruit and vegetables, tomatoes, beans, rice, pasta, canned soups and lots of wine.

I shop the day old bread store for whole grain breads, bagels, English muffins, buns, and snack items for lunches.

I shop my local grocery store for the weekly advertised specials or loss leaders.

I buy the Sunday paper each week just for the coupons. Check out the website I match up coupons with the weekly advertized specials at Walgreens and Rite Aid and usually I can get out of the store with only spending between 20 and 50 dollars and will have anywhere from 80 to 160 dollars worth of products.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at my pantry, freezer and refrigerator.

Canned Food (store bought)

Evaporated milk, peaches, pears, pineapple

Mandarin oranges, applesauce, tuna ,chicken

Corn, green beans, peas, mushrooms

Tomatoes- Rotel, diced, flavored garlic and Mexican style

Tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian tomato paste

Kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans

Chili beans, butter beans, refried beans

Spaghetti sauce green chiles, olives

Cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup

Tomato soup, low calorie Progresso soup


Honey mustard, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup

Bbq sauce, salsa, salad dressings

Pickles, jelly

Dry Pantry Items

Dry beans, Bisquick, peanut butter, almonds

Cashews, instant potatoes, Jasmine Rice

Long grain white rice, brown rice, rice-a-roni

Popcorn, cereal (hot and cold), olive oil

Cooking spray, sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar

Powdered milk, yeast, bread, crackers

Jiffy corn muffin mix, cake mixes, brownie mixes

Muffin mixes


Spaghetti, egg noodles, whole wheat noodles, macaroni

Bow tie, ramen noodles


Bread, English muffins, berries, mixed vegetables

Broccoli, green beans, stir fry veggies, ice cream

Pizza, lasagna, egg beaters, coffee beans

Chicken, bacon, Canadian bacon

Ground beef ,ground turkey, elk burger

Elk steak, venison, salmon



Eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt

Butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, lunch meat

Tortillas, fresh veggies, salad fixens, fresh fruit

Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, vinegar

Rice vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce

Tabasco sauce


Salt, pepper,lemon pepper, garlic

Cumin, mustard powder, ginger

Onion powder, Johnny’s seasoning salt, chicken bouillon

Chili powder

You can get recipes on the internet to make your own Bisquick baking mix, Rice-a-roni, taco seasoning, shake and bake, spaghetti seasoning as well as a variety of ingredients that you’ll use on a weekly basis. I personally don’t have time for this but I do understand that desperate times call for desperate measures. Now, you can get out those cookbooks and make dinner for your family tonight,

Easy Way to Save Money

I talked to my sister on the phone yesterday, and I was telling her what my plan of action is to save for a cruise to Bermuda next year. I have been saving all of my one dollar bills. I have been doing this since October 1st. I found an old make-up case. The kind you get for free (well probably not free) at the clinique make-up counter, when they have their purchase specials. Anyway it is a green mid size zip up bag, that currently has 26 one dollar bills in it. My hope is that this is an easy way to save up some cash. I don't ever spend my change, so we will see how much I can accumilate.

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Fabulous & Frugal: Going to the Lake

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Wine Country Chicken Salad

Wine Country
Chicken Salad
Thank You Molly From Econobusters!!!!  I am totally making this for a potluck on Wednesday!!!!!

I've shared this recipe before but wanted to share it again in case you missed it, because it really is a perfect salad for picnics!

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), cooked and chopped into 1-inch cubes

1 bunch red seedless grapes, cut in half

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 cup chopped walnuts (or any other nut that you prefer!)

1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise (or to taste)

1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons poppy seeds or celery seed

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, poppy seeds, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Combine the chicken, grapes, celery, and nuts in a separate bowl.

Pour the mayonnaise and vinegar mixture over the chicken mixture and then mix together.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for two hours (or overnight) to chill and allow the flavors to heighten.

Serve with whole grain bread or crackers with dark green leafy lettuce.

Delicious, nutritious, and refreshing on a hot day!

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Getting The Most of Your Wine

You may be one of the fortunate ones that are able to indulge in a glass of wine or two in the evenings. If this is the case, to get the best out of your wine here are some tips for getting the most enjoyment out of every glass, from the head buyer of a well-known wine company, Daniel Parrott.

Try not to open bottles the moment they arrive if you have ordered a case. A long journey can ake a wine appear what he calls "Dumb". After a few days of rest , the flavors will be fully restored.

Keep your bottles out of the direct sunlight. Ideally keep the bottles in the dark, away from vibration and at a constant temperature ( any temperature above freezing and below 18 degree C or 64 F).

If a wine has a cork closure, it is best to lay the bottle horizontally to keep the cork moist and fully expanded and the bottle 100% airtight.

Corks versus screw caps

When the screw caps came into use I thought it was sacrilege, believing the cork could never be replaced. Since I have, many times, been in a situation where I have not had a cork removing utensil the screw cap has been a blessing. Of course the other benefit is that it makes the bottle so easy to reseal. It certainly outweighs any romance with the cork.

There are still millions of bottles of older wines under cork and often very brittle, so a good corkscrew is essential.

It must have a comfortable grip

It should employ counter pressure against the rim of the bottle to avoid that undignified struggle with the bottle between your knees.

The best screw mechanism is an open spiral with a clear line of sight up the middle, to grip as much of the cork as possible.


Decanting maximizes aromas and flavors in young reds - and a few whites

It separates a wine from any sediment in the bottle. To check for this sediment, hold the bottle up to the light

Generally, the denser the red wine - its color will help you judge this - the longer it will need to breathe.

Crisp dry whites should be poured straight from the bottle, while rich, oaky whites will become more complex if they are allowed to 'breathe'.

If a wine is already mature, don't let it breath for long - if at all


Whether at the bottom of the bottle or stuck to the cork sediment is a sign of naturalness and fullness. However sediment is not pleasant to drink so that is when decanting the wine is best.

Stand the bottle upright before for at least 6 hours or preferably 24 hours before decanting so the sediment falls to the bottom of the bottle.

Hold the bottle up to the light as you decant and pour in one smooth flow until you see the dark swirl of the sediment reach the neck.

Stop pouring when you see the sediment reach the neck. Leave the rest of the liquids and solids in the bottle.

Sommeliers (Wine professional) occasionally pour very old ports and reds through a coffee filter. Not appealing at the dinner table so he may do it out of sight


The shape of wine glasses is especially important, so when choosing glasses do it carefully.

Clear glass is best for discerning hue and clarity - avoid colored or cut glass.

Tulip - shaped glasses are ideal. What I call a feel good glass. The wide bowl exposes a large surface area of wine to the air and helps release aroma's while the narrow opening funnels them up to your nose.

Fill the glass just a third of the way, so you have plenty of room to swirl the wine around. This also helps to aerate the wine.

For sparkling wine and champagne opt for a tall thin flute type glass. The aromas are finer and the wines effervescence will last longer.

When you are dining in a restaurant simply take a good sniff to decide whether a wine under cork is ok. If it smells musty or damp it is likely not in good condition.

If you take a sniff rather than a mouthful the sommelier may even worry that you are in the trade. It makes you more believable if you are not happy about the wine's quality.

Happy drinking

Source: Wine people

Thank You Leslie Voth

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!!

House Remodel

I apologize for not posting recently.  My whole life is discombobulated, due to a house remodel project.  I have been wanting new floors for several years, and my husband decided a few days after my daughter graduated that we would rent a storage shed and rip up the carpet.  So about 11 days ago, we boxed up stuff, threw stuff away and moved out all of the furniture.  Boy, 20 years of accumulation was a bit over whelming at times. Then we spent a day ripping up the carpet and padding.  Then it was time for thin set and hardy backer board.  Then, my husband decided that we would paint the living room and the dining room.  The next day we started laying tile.  So far....  my dining room and kitchen are the only rooms that have floors...  But it really looks much better, and I am excited for the end results. 
I want to remind you that I am still working and I work graveyard and night cover shift at the moment, my husband has retired for the time being so he has all the free time in the world.  I on the other hand am tired. 
I do not mean to sound like an ungrateful whiner, but I am kind of in remodel hell.  I cannot use my stove, so we can use the microwave and my refrigerator is in the living room.  We have been eating fruit and sandwiches for the most part.  We have no furniture so sitting for a break is on a lawn chair.  I do have my bedroom and bathroom in tact, and thank goodness, because I still need to go to work.
I know that being frugal and doing the remodel ourselves will save tons of money......  We just have to sacrifice our time, and our comfort.....but I do know that good things come to those who wait.  So far we have spent about a thousand dollars on supplies, tools and paint.  A friend of mine remodeled her bathroom about a year and 1/2 ago and hired contractors....she spent 9 thousand dollars and that was just on one room.  I will post pictures soon.
Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fabulous & Frugal: Extreme Couponing

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bleach VS Peroxide

Very Interesting....  and worth trying, Thanks Ed!!!


Clorox vs peroxide VERY interesting and inexpensive.

This was written by Becky Ransey of Indiana

(a doctor's Wife), and I want to share it with you. She

was over recently for coffee and smelled the bleach I was

using to clean my toilet and counter tops. This is what she

told me. 'I would like to tell you of the benefits of

that Plain little ole bottle of 3% peroxide you can get for

under $1.00 at any drug store. What does bleach cost?

My husband has been in the medical field for over 36 years,

And most doctors don't tell you about peroxide. Have you

Ever smelled bleach in a doctor's office? NO!!!

Why? because it smells, and it is not healthy! Ask the

nurses who work in the doctor's offices, and ask them if

they use bleach at home. They are wiser and know better!

Did you also know bleach was invented in the late 40's?

It's chlorine, folks! And it was used to kill our

Troops. Peroxide was invented during WWI in the 20's. It

was used to save and help cleanse the needs of our troops and hospitals.

1. Take one capful (the little white cap that comes with

the bottle) and hold in your mouth for 10 minutes daily,

then spit it out. (I do it when I bathe.) No more canker

sores, and your teeth will be whiter without expensive

pastes. Use it instead of mouthwash.

2. Let your toothbrushes soak in a cup of peroxide to keep

them free of germs.

3. Clean your counters and table tops with peroxide to kill

germs and leave a fresh smell. Simply put a little on your

dishrag when you wipe, or spray it on the counters.

4. After rinsing off your wooden cutting board, pour

peroxide on it to kill salmonella and other bacteria.

5. I had fungus on my feet for years until I sprayed a

50/50 mixture of peroxide and water on them

(especially the toes) every night and let dry.

6. Soak any infections or cuts in 3% peroxide for five to

ten minutes several times a day. My husband has seen

gangrene that would not heal with any medicine but was

healed by soaking in peroxide.

7. Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and

Water and keep it in every bathroom to disinfect without

Harming your septic system like bleach or most other

Disinfectants will.

8. Tilt your head back and spray into nostrils with your

50/50 mixture whenever you have a cold, plugged sinus. It

will bubble and help to kill the bacteria. Hold for a few

minutes, and then blow your nose into a tissue.

9. If you have a terrible toothache and cannot get to a

dentist right away, put a capful of 3% peroxide into your

mouth and hold it for ten minutes several times a day. The

pain will lessen greatly.

10. And of course, if you like a natural look to your hair,

spray the 50/50 solution on your wet hair after a shower and

comb it through. You will not have the peroxide-burnt blonde

hair like the hair dye packages but more natural highlights

if your hair is a light brown, reddish, or dirty blonde. It

also lightens gradually, so it's not a drastic change.

11. Put half a bottle of peroxide in your bath to help get

rid of boils, fungus, or other skin infections.

12. You can also add a cup of peroxide instead of bleach to

a load of whites in your laundry to whiten them. If there is

blood on clothing, pour it directly on the soiled spot. Let

it sit for a minute, then rub it and rinse with cold water.

Repeat if necessary.

13. I use peroxide to clean my mirrors. There is no

smearing, which is why I love it so much for this.

14. Another place it's great is in the bathroom, if someone

has been careless & has peed on the floor around the

toilet & it's begun to smell of urine. Just put some

peroxide in a spray bottle & spray. In the blink of any

eye all the smell will be gone & the bacteria

eliminated! I could go on and on. It

is a little brown bottle no home should be without! With

prices of most necessities rising, I'm glad there's

a way to save tons of money in such a simple, healthy manner! '

This information really woke me up. I hope you gain something from it, too.

Pass it on! Clorox vs peroxide VERY interesting and inexpensive.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gearing up for Graduation

My youngest is graduating from High School this week.  Today is my last day for work and then I will spend the rest of week preparing for the graduation celebration.  Graduation is Friday evening with an all night senior party to follow, so my husband and I decided to have a big bar-be-que and party on Saturday.
I let my daughter pick out what she wanted for the special occasion, and here go's

Chicken and Shrimp shisk ka bobs (w/pineapple, onions, peppers, and some with mushrooms and some with out) I will marinate these in some Yoshida's Hawaiian sauce that I picked up in the close-out bin.

Potato Salad~ I asked my friend to make this

Pasta Salad~ I asked my other friend to make this

Fruit plate~ I asked yet another friend to make this

Cheese and cracker plate~ I decided to make this too (I sure love my friends though)

Chips, Crackers and various dips~ I have been picking up odds and ends for the last 3 weeks, utilizing my coupons and the clearance bins at the store.

Chocolate Cake~ got this at Costco

Chocolate Fountain~ this belongs to my husband's cousin and this is going to be sinfully yummy.

Soft drinks, and bottled water (and probably coffee too) Coke was on sale last weekend buy 2, get 3 free, so I stocked up.... I got the water on sale a couple of weeks ago a case for 1.99 .

We picked up some decorations at the dollar store, and will have some balloons.  I will post pictures as soon as the event takes place and hopefully goes without a hitch.  Congratulations to the class of 2011!!!

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!