Yesterday I made an amazing discovery. I love people and I love food. Well, I already knew those things, but here’s the discovery. I bake because I enjoy it, but more because I love the people in my life and want them to have delicious things. I’ve made a decision. Someday, when I have my own bakery, all the goodies will be named for the people I love that had a hand in the creation of those things. So, instead of having a cookie called “Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies”, they will simply be named “Phil”. As in, I’d like a dozen “Phils”. Because I created that cookie specifically for my pastor. And each item will have a photo of that person next to the name. I’m thinking of calling my bakery “Bakerlady’s House” – because it will be filled with all the people I love…in the form of delicious treats. We’ll see, I’m still working on it.
Today, I created what will be known as Emily. Emily (the person) is a friend from church. She is generous and organized. I love that she always seems to know when I need a play date to walk with our strollers and just talk. I made these cookies today to recreate some that I purchased (gasp!) for her baby shower last week. I have an excuse, I could not use my kitchen that day. Here’s what the purchased (Trader Joe’s) cookies looked like: Continue reading →
When I made my Applesauce Drop Doughnuts the other day, I felt it was missing something. I found this recipe from pastry chef Amy Foster of Tallula, and decided it would perfectly complement the fluffy doughnuts. I added vanilla bean innards to mine, which gives it the beautiful specks of black. I took the remaining innards and the hull of the vanilla bean and added them to some powdered sugar in a ziplock bag for coating this batch of doughnuts.
This soup is GORGEOUS! It’s also delicious. How much salt you need will greatly depend on what kind of chicken stock you use. Don’t add all your salt at the beginning! After it has simmered, taste it with a clean spoon and decide if you need any more salt added beyond 1/2 teaspoon. Serve with my Brown Sugar Croutons for a truly gourmet appetizer. Add a salad and you’ve got a light dinner.
This is one of my favorite memories of Halloween growing up. Every year, we carved our pumpkins the day of Halloween as a family. We lined them up like little soldiers on the pathway of my parents house to light the way for the hoards of trick-or-treaters. Then, first thing the next morning, my mom would start slicing them down the middle and roasting them in the oven. Pumpkin roasting began the season of homemade pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread from the fresh pumpkin puree. I continue the tradition today.
I love couponing. It saves me so much money. I cannot believe I used to pay full price for things at the grocery store. I love this site and this site. They help me stay on budget for groceries. Tonight was possibly the most fun I’ve ever had at Albertsons. Why? Because I got free cheese. Yes, you heard (saw) right. I said FREE. Lots of it.
10 bags Kraft Cheese (2 Parmesan, 3 Mozzarella, 3 Cheddar and 2 Co-Jack)
4 Jars Kraft Mayo
4 Packs Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs
2 Tubs Cool Whip
Full Price Cost: $87.40
Price I paid: $8.96
BUT — I also have in my hot little hand $6 in catalinas that I can spend the next time I’m in the store. So really, I paid $2.96 for all that stuff.
Total Savings: $84.44
Now that’s a good night at the grocery store. Yup. Yup. Gonna freeze the cheese. Well, most of it. The hot dogs too. Probably give some of the mayo to my sister. Will use the Cool Whip in a Margarita Fruit Dip for my other sister’s bridal shower this weekend…I’ll post that recipe and photos when I make it. But seriously. All that cheese would have been almost$45. And I didn’t pay a dime for it. Did I mention I love coupons?
*I’ve been requested to share my couponing tips…so here they are:
1. Read the two links I posted.
2. Subscribe to the newspaper. (I get 5 Sunday papers)
3. Stock up on things you frequently use when they are on sale plus you have coupons. And I mean STOCK UP. Like, buy as many of the thing as you can.Especially non-perishables. Cereal is one of the easiest things to save on — and to stock up on because it lasts a long time in your pantry. Canned soups, fruit snacks, granola bars etc. are great too. Think about what you can use/freeze and buy up.
4. Cook from your stockpile as much as possible.
5. Allow your family shopper to coupon-grocery shop in the evening without the munchkins. Coupons and kids in the checkout stand do not really mix well.
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
God is just amazing to me. Each morning for the past three weeks, I have sat quietly before Him. Prior to reading my Bible, I pray that He would lead me to the scripture He would speak to me through. Continue reading →
One week ago I was a mere 6 pounds away from my goal weight. A goal I have been steadily working towards for two years. Actually, I guess it’s only been 15 months since I threw it all out the window the 9 months I was pregnant with my second child. I have spent as much time as possible in muscle torturing, make Jillian Michaels proud, sweat inducing workouts. I have counted calories, weighed food and kept a journal of all that I put in my mouth. I tried many different “diet” things to lose weight. I drank half my weight (in ounces) of water daily. Which made me really have to pee a lot, but not much else. I ate plain chicken breasts for dinner. I even tried eating Lean Cuisines. Yuck. Finally I found something that worked well. I made food completely boring, meaning I spent about 6 months eating exactly the same thing pretty much every day for breakfast and lunch. Which gave me the freedom to eat just about whatever I wanted for dinner and still be within my allotted calories for the day.
I am 5 foot 3 and when I began this journey in January of 2008, I weighed 204 pounds. That weight was BEFORE I’d tacked on another thirty with my first pregnancy. After my daughter was born, I went right back to my “pre-pregnancy weight” which I thought was incredible, but in hindsight was just an excuse not to do anything about how heavy I’d become. Continue reading →
To fully appreciate the hilarity of this story, you really had to be there. But – you can get an idea of it by watching the below video.
My hubby and I were over at my sister’s home getting ready for an evening of good food, friends, drinks and playing some Wii. Amy and I were about to head to the store to pick up some munchies, when Fred (my youngest sister’s boyfriend) started playing Wii-bowling. After his first roll, Amy realized he did not have the wrist strap attached – and demanded he put it on instantly. He laughed and made some comment about not needing it – but slipped it losely onto his wrist when he saw the look on Amy’s face. In her defense, she has a GORGEOUS flat-screen-plasma-high-def-top-of-the-line television that she spent loads of money on. Then spent a whole bunch of time and energy getting it mounted properly. She loves it. And so do I, because I can come over and watch The Biggest Loser with her…without any commercials – which I know isn’t actually because of the TV, but it’s still really cool.
Anyway – so as we’re arguing about the necessity of the wrist strap and it becomes very apparent that after Amy walks out the door, nobody will continue wearing theirs – Fred bowls again. He cocks his arm back and lets his Wii-ball fly…and with it, the controller goes flying across the room, slamming into the entertainment center. The gasps in the room were deafening as we all turned to look at the TV. I was sure there would be a spiderweb crack running across the formerly beautiful screen. Luckily for Fred, the controller hurtled into the Wii strip…just three inches from the television. The fact that the TV was intact made the situation instantly hilarious. It was quite honestly one of the most ironically funny things I’ve ever been privileged to see. The look of utter amazement on Fred’s face that such a thing could happen in the midst of a conversation about it was just fantastic. Amy’s look of vindication was priceless. We played Wii the rest of the night – and all of us made sure the wrist straps were on and tightened before every turn.