Tuesday, November 30, 2010


As promised more on our trip to Illinois. Now, being from a small, okay tiny, town we have yet to experience a Japanese restaurant. We had the pleasure of going to Kiku's in Naperville, Ill. This was quite the experience to say the least. The big fire at the beginning scared the crap out of my 2 year old, but she was also freakishly good at using chopsticks.

We all ordered basically the same thing we had chicken/salmon and our friends had chicken/steak. The kiddo's all had Pirates chicken. They all loved it. They soaked in every minute! They watched very intently and I have to admit that it was the best my kids had eaten for a LONG time. We decided whenever we wanted them to eat, we would start letting them help us cook. Which I realize we should usually let them help in someway, but I do NOT like messes so it had always been hard for me to let them help. I am getting better though!

All in all it was a fantastic experience and I will definitely be trying that again! :)
M was seriously amazing at using her chopsticks!

J had a hard time at first, but once he got the kid ones he rocked them! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Recipe of the Week

Healthy Chicken PotPie
This is a recipe I found a few years ago when I was doing weight watchers. It is an awesome alternative to the normal fat packed food. This is a perfect comfort food! I had actually forgotten about how delicious this was until yesterday. I cooked this for lunch and new right away that this would be my recipe of the week!


  • 1 cup reduced fat Bisquick ( I use the one in the white box the Heart smart one)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 2 cups frozen mixed veggies, thawed (any style)
  • 2 cups boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped
  • 2 cans Campbell's fat- free cream of mushroom ( I used 1 can of the mushroom and 1 can of the chicken)
  • Cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with Pam
  • Mix together vegetables, chicken and soup
  • Pour into prepared pan
  • In another bowl, mix Bisquick, milk and egg
  • Pour dough mix over the top of chicken mixture
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shopping at Safeway

So in the spirit of only spending $25 a week this month on groceries, I thought I would post my trips. Here is my first one from Safeway. Hopefully this will be my only trip this week!

Total BEFORE coupons and discounts: 26.05
Total AFTER coupons and discount : 11.43

Total Saved: 14.62

I had a coupon for the toothpaste and it was marked down to 99 cents, therefore it was FREE

The cereal was on sale for 1.49, plus I had coupons for $1 off.
Plus, not pictured is the milk! :) I forgot it. Oops.

If anything, I will be going back for more cereal because it's on sale for between .50-1.00 a box and my stock pile is pretty much out!

What's cookin' this week?

Hey all! We are finally back from Chicago, but spend some MUCH needed time with some awesome friends. I have some really exciting posts (well, for me anyway) coming up soon! We ate at an awesome restaurant called KiKu's so I have so awesome things to show you from that!

Now this menu plan is a little different. We have our final weigh in on Wednesday for biggest loser and Jeff is determined so the meals until the will be ridiculously healthy then we are going to just be using up what we have. I'm going to spend then next 20-30 days eating the rest of our frozen meals, pantry stuff, and our quarter cow we recently got.

Monday: Steak, mixed veggies, and scallop potatoes

Tuesday: Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

Wednesday: Italian Tortellini soup (freezer)

Thursday: Lasagna (freezer)

Friday: Pork Chops (not sure how yet though b/c I have a few new recipes to try)

Saturday: Left Overs

Sunday: Chimichanga's (freezer)

So all in all my grocery bill this week should be $20 or less. I do need milk, zucchini, tortellini, bread, cereal, eggs, and some fruit! We are pretty bare since we have been gone for a week.
My goal is to spend no more then $25 a week this month! Lets see how we do! :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010


As many of you know I spend the last week with some good friends down in Illinois. I have been a huge blog follower and coupon-er lately. I realize how lame this is about to sound, but when we got their my friend asked which grocery store I wanted to go to. I of course did not bring coupons so just said "whatever is cheapest."

Now, don't get me wrong I have heard of Aldi's thank to lifeasmom, but had never been or see one. It was definitely an experience. First you have to "pay" a quarter for your cart. You get it back, BUT only if you put it back. I agree that every store should have these, because who really wants to be out that quarter. It adds up right?

Then, once we got in it seemed like a normal grocery store. No. The brands were all brands I had never heard of so of course I thought does it taste the same? I was assured most did and Jen pointed me in the directions of things she said tasted the same. Much cheaper though even without coupons.

Once we got to the checkout stand I got the whole grab any empty boxes! Our cashier checked us out and just put all our groceries in a cart. What?! Yep you guessed it, no bags! So we scooted over and put all our groceries into boxes. My friend said "this is why the groceries are so cheap though." Gotcha!

All in all it was a good experience, I do wish we had an Aldi's around Chadron for the simple fact that it is different and much cheaper with most things.


A little Biggest Loser RBC style update! Everyone is doing fabulous! December 1 is our last weigh in. I can definitely say that I did not win however, I can also say that I have lost almost 15 pounds! My amazing hubby has lost 20!

This was definitely a good experience for both of us. I really feel like we didn't just change our eating habits but our lifestyle! We make healthier and SMALLER choices when deciding what we put in our mouths. My example is the for the last 2 1/2 weeks I have not had a pop! I did break down and had one yesterday and a half of one today. Not completely happy that I did choose to have one, but now I know that getting back on track won't be that hard. I have always called myself a popaholic and was afraid I wouldn't be able to quit again! Not so hard, at least it doesn't feel like it will be!

So all in all Biggest Loser definitely a success. Whats next?? I'm planning another team Biggest Loser with all kinds of challenges and workouts as a team. Stay Tuned! :)

Recipe of the Week

Okay so first, a little apology! I have been the worst blogger lately. I have been extremely busy getting ready for the holidays and our fun family trip! :) Tonight, I ate Culver's for the first time (yes, I live a sheltered life) and it was amazing! BBQ Pork sandwich. I have a feeling that I will trying a few new places in the next week and am so exited. Usually when I pick places or new foods they suck. However, I have had a pretty good run lately! More on that later. I promise to be a better blogger from now on! :)

On to the recipe... This my friends is a go to recipe and one that I get to cook for some close friends this week. I'm actually hungry thinking about it.

chicken breasts
bread crumbs
salt and pepper
mozz cheese

1 jar spaghetti sauce

Mix bread crumbs with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.
Roll chicken breast in mixture and bake in oven at 350 degrees until
fully cooked (20-30 minutes). (Optional: Once chicken is cooked,
sprinkle cheese on top of chicken and put back in oven until melted) I did do this and it was good!

While chicken is baking, boil spaghetti, drain. Add sauce (and any other
spices or vegetable additions you might want).

Serve chicken breast on top of spaghetti.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Love is kind...

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgive you. -Ephesians 4:32Last week we talked about being patient, this week we talk about kindness. One way to describe kindness comes from the Love Dare " If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance."

Willingness, helpfulness, initiative, and gentleness are four main ingredients to kindness. Trying to be cautious of how you treat your spouse, being helpful in ways such as doing housework, being willing to do that housework, and taking the first step instead of waiting to be prompted are a few examples of these ingredients.

Whether you have been married 1 month or 50 years, you did not marry your spouse with the intent to become harsh and lose that motivation to demonstrate the love you feel. Right? I have said before that love is a choice. Love is not necessarily based on how you feel. Love is showing kindness even when your spouse may not be. Love IS kindness.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Recipe of the Week


1 pound ground round
1 15oz. can chunky Italian-style tomato sauce
cooking spray
1 10 oz. can refrigerated pizza crust dough
6 1oz. slices part-skim mozzarella cheese --divided

Cook meat in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until brown. Add tomato sauce, and cook until heated. While meat cooks, oat a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust dough, and press into bottom and halfway up sides of dish. Line bottom of pizza crust with 3 slices of cheese. Top with meat mixture. Bake, uncovered at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Top with remaining 3 slices of cheese and bake 5 additional minutes or until crust is browned and cheese melts. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

NOTES: You can add spinach, red peppers, and/or mushrooms to this recipe as well.

Meal Swap Guide

Many of you know that I have put together a meal swap. This is an awesome way to try new recipes and enjoy some friend time. We have been doing this for about 6 months now. There are some months that we love every thing and there are some food that we aren't so fond of. You just have to be open to new ideas!

If any of you freezer cook you may want to try this. I personally found that taking an entire day to cook and have meals froze for the month was to much. This way I cook the SAME meal only time 6. The longest I have had to work on a meal swap was about 2 hours. It is not difficult at all!

Tips & Warnings

*Six members is a good number for the first round that you try this. Remember,each member needs to cook enough full meals for every other member.

*Choose a date for the actual meal exchange that is at least 4 weeks out to allow members to wait for the best price on their ingredients.

*Disposable trays are the best way to package your meal. Otherwise you may never get your casserole dish back. (Who has 6 casserole dishes, anyway?)

*On the day of the swap, it is helpful to bring a cooler to store your meals for the ride home.

*Consider hosting a recipe "preview": ask everyone to bring a snack-sized, ready to eat sample of their meal for a luncheon get together with the participants the day you exchange meals. (Our group has each member choose 3 recipes, then we all vote on what one we would like to try and that's the one they cook)

*People who have unique tastes or are "picky" may not be the best candidates for this idea. People who are open to trying new things will be more satisfied with a meal exchange.