Pizza Pizza!

Since I scored my $10 bread machine on VarageSale last year, I have been experimenting with different pizza dough recipes.The biggest criterion with pizza dough is: I have to be able to mix it ahead of time and refrigerate. I am not mixing up pizza dough after I walk in the door with the kids while they chill and what…play quietly? Do macrame? Not happening. Pizza dough must be completely ready, sometimes a day ahead, and rolled out before I pick them up. Continue reading “Pizza Pizza!”


1lb Chicken, Two Dinners

When you are buying organic chicken at $6.99#, or even the next best chicken that is anti-biotic free that is $3.99#, it’s important to stretch those dollars!  I have already shared how I often thinly slice chicken breasts to stretch a pound of chicken between the four of us (back then I was paying $5.99 at Publix so it was EVEN more important to stretch!). Here are two dinners we had this week using 1lb of chicken. Continue reading “1lb Chicken, Two Dinners”

Ciabatta Bread (aka sick day baking)

Today was day two I kept my preschooler home from school. My husband took our two year old to his class so he was happy to play with friends and not be cooped up at home, and picked on all day long. My oldest was actually fine so I had to think of things for us to do all day long here at home. One of those days we did everything – went for a walk, looked at the birds and ducks, played outside with our bunny, watched ellevenity million episodes of inspector gadget and batman, fixed a clock, cleaned the bathroom, did Melissa and Doug stickers, and…baked bread. Continue reading “Ciabatta Bread (aka sick day baking)”

Tostadas with Homemade Tortillas

When a four year old says, “Mmm these are wewy yummy Mommy! Mmm.” that’s code for, “you should make these every week until I go to college.” We eat A LOT of tortillas around here in quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas and taquitos. I always buy the tortillas, usually Mission corn in stacks of 80, and I’ve never made them from scratch. But, there is always a bag of Maseca in my pantry because my mother-in-law makes them from scratch when she comes to visit. Last week I forgot to buy the Mission tortillas at Publix during my weekly trip, so I decided to attempt to make them from scratch. Continue reading “Tostadas with Homemade Tortillas”

Mini-Pledge Week 3: Meat

The 100 Days of Real Food challenges for this week are to buy meat local/humanely raised (within 100 miles of your house) and to treat meat like a side dish rather than the main.

I already know I won’t be buying locally raised meat. I tried doing that one month and I realized how incredibly expensive local meat was. I think I’m pretty good at stretching our food dollar, but $12# for chicken and $9# for pork was too much to bear. Beef was the only semi-affordable option, but the farmer doesn’t frequent my farmer’s market anymore so I don’t have a good options. For a family of four with two small children, we aren’t able to feed the family, maintain my sanity and stay on budget with local prices.

Farmer's Market Bounty
Expensive local meat

The other challenge for the week is to reduce meat consumption to 3 or 4 servings, and to treat it like a side dish instead of the focal point. I would love to introduce a vegetarian meal once or twice a week because it will save us money, unless I’m buying ingredients that I don’t normally buy or go to waste (I’m a little concerned about the radishes in my fridge…) 90% of the time our main dish consists of meat mixed with something to stretch it across four of us – casseroles, rice, potatoes, tortillas, sandwiches, etc help me stretch a pound of meat. So, I already feel like we are #winning.

I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired by the vegetarian recipes provided, but I did find a slow cooker potato soup in her cookbook that sounded good. And we usually do homemade pizza once a week. Here’s the plan:


Monday: Leftovers from Sunday, Gimme Some Oven chicken alfredo

Tuesday: Homemade pizza. I used a new bread machine dough recipe and substituted WWW flour for AP.

Wednesday: chicken tostadas, using shredded chicken in the freezer and..wait..HOMEMADE TORTILLAS! More on that another day.

Thursday and Friday: Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup with homemade enchilada sauce (super easy)

Saturday: 100 Days of Real Food slow cooker potato soup, which isn’t available online. But I found a similar one from  Foodlets, which is a new blog I bookmarked

The soup days I will need to have a substantial side like quesadillas because I know the four year old won’t be interested, and the two year old is iffy.




100 Days of Real Food Mini-Pledge

Ooh wee! I just signed us up for the 100 Days of Real Food 14 week mini-pledge. According to the intro video, each Friday I will get a pledge with recipes and shopping lists (!) and then we can start the pledge on Monday (to give me a day to plan and shop). Meal planning and shopping has been a HUGE part of my life for the past year+ and I’m excited and nervous about making a change. I think we already do a good job of limiting processed foods (except on the weekends), but even our weekend slippage isn’t a huge deal. I’m most excited about getting recipes from one blog sent directly to me, instead of mining the internet for ideas and recipes, and I’m also getting her cookbook. I also like the idea of making small changes and introducing new foods, but I have no plans to start serving hummus and alfalfa sprouts.

I will definitely track our progress. And if you want to join too, you have until this Friday!

The Lost Blogger Returneth

Woa. It’s been a whopping TWO MONTHS since my last post! Usually I don’t know where the time goes, this time I know it was spent making baked goods for teachers, stressing over how to stretch the Christmas gift budget, lots of work and a vacation.

After my year anniversary post we only had two short weeks before we packed up and went back to my home in Northern VA for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! Before my vacation I was working like a mad woman, in both my paid and unpaid jobs. I’m pretty sure we ate lots of quesadillas, nachos and meatballs during that time.  Continue reading “The Lost Blogger Returneth”