Monday, November 21, 2011

A Few of my Low-Budget Meals

I've been trying to cut back on our grocery bill.  Some weeks are easier than others.  Lately I've done pretty good.  The cooler weather has helped because it justifies making soup (trust me, you really don't want soup in the summer in Texas!) & soup stretches for a lot of meals.  I thought I'd share some of the recipes I've done in case anyone else wants to find ways to stretch our meals, too.

I'm gonna be lazy & post links for most of them.  I've got a toddler & growing another baby so give me a break!

Monterey Ranch Chicken - Ok, this isn't a soup but it was a good find from Pinterest.  What I liked was it called for just 5 ingredients (great for the budget) & they were things I typically already have on hand, other than the chicken.  I used chicken tenderloins & we ate it for dinner & had enough left for lunch the next day.

Blackeye Pea Soup - This is probably Jeremy favorite meal that I make.  Of course, I can't claim to be the creator of it.  I made it last week & added extra sausage.  I think it made it extra filling.  We had it for dinner & both at the leftovers twice.  Shaylin had only a small amount, just some carrots & some beans.  She's not real skilled with the spoon yet to handle soup.

Taco Soup - I haven't made this for us yet this season but I did for a couple in our church.  They said they were going to freeze half of it since it was such a huge amount.  I do plan to make it in the coming weeks so I can save a portion to freeze as a meal after the baby comes.

Broccoli Cheese Soup - I made this last week.  It gave us 3 meals for me & Jeremy (Shaylin finally decided to try it yesterday & ended up loving it).  Being a meatless meal helps make it cheaper.  We ate it with french bread, which helped fill us.  On a note about the recipe itself, I would cut back on the broccoli next time.  It was just a little too heavy on the broccoli.

Bowtie Lasagna - I'll end with another non-soup recipe.  This one is great for so many reasons.  It's cheap (I think I figured it costing about $5 the last time I made it; probably would be more if you don't have some ingredients already), it makes a lot, & it takes very little time to make.  Major winner!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Beginning of Freezer Meals

One of my goals at some point with this pregnancy was to make freezer meals.  They would most likely be used sometime after Jillian is born.  Going from a family of 3 to a family of 4 may not always go smoothly so I want to be prepared & having some dinners already made that I only have to pop in the oven.

I came across this recipe for breakfast burritos on pinterest (side note:  Can I just say how much I am loving pinterest?!  I'm collecting so many recipes & make-yourself cleaning solutions & ways to decorate my house.)  We love breakfast burritos.  And apparently Jillian is telling me that I'm actually craving breakfast foods with eggs, cheese, & meat.  Also, I rarely get to make Jeremy a real breakfast before he goes to work.  I'm just to exhausted & stay in bed when he leaves.  This seemed perfect because he can just take one out of the freezer & microwave it at work.

I've already tried one burrito & I'm about to eat a 2nd (see, I told you I was craving breakfast food!).  The recipe itself isn't something brand new.  But I like that there are so many variations to do, like adding peppers & onions (if you like them; I don't) or going vegetarian (but why would you?!). 

I sort of halved this recipe.  I already had bacon & sausage on hand but not a whole pound each.  So I just cooked what I had.  And since I didn't have as much meat I didn't scramble a whole dozen eggs.  I did 7.  I didn't weigh the potatoes but I used 5 of them. 

I will likely make this again & try for the full amount.  With what I had I made 6 burritos with bacon & 5 with sausage.  Definitely will need more eggs.  And bacon.  Always need more bacon.  But still, this is a keeper.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A House Full of Girls

Yep, that's what my husband gets to live with!  And I'm including our 2 female dogs.

It's another girl for us!  We went in really kinda expecting to be told it was a girl so it wasn't a big shock.  And this little girl was much more cooperative than her big sister so the reveal was much less dramatic. 

Her name can finally be revealed, too.  Her name is Jillian Grace.  And, no, we're not trying to stick with S & J names.  We simply pick names that we like.  The name Jillian originally came on the radar for us back when we used to watch The Biggest Loser.  One of the trainers was named Jillian.  We don't necessarily love her but we loved her name.  And we've wanted to use Grace for a middle name but never felt that it fit with Shaylin's name. 

I'll confess that for a brief time I started second-guessing this name.  I just wasn't sure I loved it.  But then I heard a TV character with the name & I started to like it again.  And now that we've revealed it & gotten such positive feedback about it I'm even happier that we stuck with it. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Boy or Girl?

Today's the day!  It was supposed to be on Wednesday but they're doing some work in the sono room that afternoon so they called to reschedule & OF COURSE I asked to have it moved up!  It's not till 4:30 so this day is gonna drag.

So I wanna know the general consensus - boy or girl?  I have a feeling the votes are pretty evenly split.  My feelings are still that it's another girl.  This pregnancy, although different, is still fairly similar to my last one with Shaylin.  Also, this baby's heartrate has been almost exactly what Shaylin's had been.  And I know the whole heartrate thing isn't really scientific but it proved right with Shaylin so I'm sticking with it.

So please vote!  I'll set up a poll on the side.  You can choose to vote there, in the comments on the blog, or on Facebook when I post the link on my wall.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall Baking

Once the first day of fall came I was ready to bake!  Granted, in Texas you wouldn't believe it was fall yet.  It usually takes till after Halloween for fall to really kick in here.

So far I've done muffins.  The first were these pecan pie muffins.  I've been eyeing them for a long time after discovering them on the Pioneer Woman's website.  They were wonderful!  They weren't as muffin-like as I expected but there were great just the same. 

The other muffins were made yesterday & they were these pumpkin cream cheese muffins.  The only downside for me was my only muffin pan holds 6 muffins so it took a really long time to finish all of them.  But the end result was worth it because they were really good!  The cream cheese mixture made a cheesecake-like texture & the pumpkin flavor wasn't over-powering.

I haven't decided what my next baking project will be but I think it should at least be something other than muffins!