Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

HPIM1145 (3)
Have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Simple Sausage & Potato Soup

035
What’s that you say?  No peeling? No chopping?  How can this be?  I came up with this recipe on a day that I could not handle peeling a potato.  Ever have one of those days?  If not, give it time and you’ll know what I mean. 
.
I made this in the Crockpot.  If you decide to make it on the stovetop, I would add some more liquid as it will cook down while you simmer it.  This needed no seasoning, but I did add some black pepper to the bowls I served.  If you’ve never tried Jimmy Dean Skillets, they are found in the freezer section.  The package contains sausage, potatoes, green peppers, red peppers and onions.  Try it and let everyone think you slaved for hours!
.
Simple Sausage Potato Soup
.
2 packages Jimmy Dean Skillets – sausage
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can evaporated milk – 12 oz
1 can reduced sodium chicken broth– 14 oz
.
Mix all ingredients together in Crockpot.  Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beef Stew – As Seen on TV

 027
Yes, I watch Doctor Oz.  He’s addictive.  Did you see the episode with Rachel Ray?  She made Autumn Beef Stew With Apple, Onion and Roasted Garlic.  It looked so good and so easy that I had to try it.  Of course, I made a few changes mostly because of the ingredients and local availability.  Also, my heart just wouldn’t let me make a beef stew without potatoes.  (Rachel Ray’s recipe calls for mashed potatoes on the side.)  So, I substituted the apples for potatoes. 
When I make this again, and I will be making it often, I’m going to make the chunks of beef and vegetables a little smaller.  I also won’t use quite as much butter.  As the stew cooked there was a large amount of grease that made it to the top.  I just skimmed it off every hour or so and the final dish wasn’t greasy at all.  I don’t have a Dutch oven, so I used a Crockpot.  It turned out just as well as it would have in the oven with the exception of an additional pan to wash. 
.
Click here for Rachael Ray's Autumn Beef Stew With Apple, Onion and Roasted Garlic and here’s the version that I made.
.
Simple Beef Stew
.
2 bulbs garlic, roasted
Salt and pepper
4 slices of thick bacon cut in to small pieces
1 stick butter, divided
2 1/2 to 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
Flour, for dredging plus 2 tablespoons
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 potatoes (about 2 and a half cups) peeled & cubed
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups cloudy organic apple juice
2 cans Campbell’s beef consommé
Herb bouquet, a few sprigs each parsley and sage tied together with kitchen string
.
Combine and cook ingredients according to the original recipe – click here.  The exception is to use a Crockpot.  Combine all ingredients into your Crockpot (6 quart) and cook on high for 4 and 1/2 hours to 5 hours.  It turned out great in the Crockpot, but Santa could bring me a Dutch oven this year.  I’ve been good!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

LEFTOVER PIE

I'm always looking for something new to do with leftovers.  This 'pot pie' is so yummy, I usually don't want to wait for a roast.  Chicken works well and you can also add your favorite or leftover vegetables.

LEFTOVER PIE

  • 1½ cups leftover beef roast
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped pepper
  • 1 can green peas, drained
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 pie-crust (for top & bottom)
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Chop up beef and discard any fat.  Mix mushroom soup and milk in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Stir in the salt, onion and green pepper. Mix in cut-up meat and peas.  Pour it into pastry lined baking dish.  (a pie dish works fine) Pierce top of pastry with a fork in several spots.  Top with remaining pie  crust and bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stuffed Green Peppers

I love stuffed green peppers.  Every time I make them, I wonder why I don't do it more often.  This is a nice way to bring a little sunshine into a dreary winter day.  You can also slice your peppers in half before filling them if you want to try something a little different.  The peppers will lay nicely in the bottom of your pan and won't take quite as long to cook.

STUFFED PEPPERS

  • 1½ lbs. ground beef
  • 6 green peppers
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 3 tblsp. rice, uncooked
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix the meat, rice, eggs and seasoning together. Cut tops off the peppers and soak in hot water for a couple of minutes. Scoop out seeds and fill with the meat mixture. Stand them in baking pan, pour the tomato soup over them and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ANTICIPATING BREAKING DAWN

Thanks to Lemuel Craft

We upgraded our television package at http://www.direct.tv/ recently. I am certainly glad that we did. The other day, on some of the movie channels that we got, in anticipation of the upcoming “Breaking DawnPart One” that is going to be released they were playing the first twilight movies. I spent most of yesterday watching a marathon. I had forgotten how much that I loved to watch the movies together. When the first movie came out, my friends and I were totally obsessed and even joined the Robert Pattinson Offical Fan Club and also had “Twilight” themed parties at each of our houses. I know that it is silly, but at the time we absolutely loved it and thought that it was a great idea. Now, watching the movies in order again, I realize why I loved the series so much. I had to call all of my girlfriends who are in to the whole “Twilight” thing and let them know exactly how excited that I still was to see “Breaking Dawn Part One”. The anticipation in killing me. I hate that there is only one last installment of the series left.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey in the Hollow2

I hope you all have a blessed day filled with family, friends and delicious food.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving – A Time to Experiment?

X Marks the Spot in the Hollow
‘X’ Marks the spot!  Buried treasure in the sky?  It’s all I could think of when I saw this just in time to snap a quick picture.  Isn’t the Internet like a treasure chest of information?  Some baubles are cheap plastic, but some are real treasures.

Thanksgiving Dinner is not a time for experiments.  If you want to add a new recipe to the table, try it out first instead of waiting for ‘the’ day.  And, when it comes to recipes, trust those product websites for no-fail recipes.  They have devoted many hours in their test kitchens before publishing a recipe.  Trust your blogger friends too.  We’ve likely served the dish to our family and friends before posting.
 
This year I’m adding Classic Baked Corn Pudding.  It’s a recipe from Betty Crocker and I tried out out last weekend.  It’s absolutely delicious!

While you’re online, check out these sweepstakes.

Who doesn’t like something new?  Odom’s Tennessee Pride is giving you a chance to win new kitchen appliances.  Hurry though – all entries must be in by 12/31/2011.  http://www.tnpride.com/sweepstakes.asp

Take the Martha White® Muffin Mix Challenge !  You could win $5,000!  Enter by 11/30/2011 – Click here to enter.

Food Network's Deep Fried Thanksgiving Sweepstakes
Enter now for a chance to win an indoor turkey fryer and $4,500! You may enter once a day through November 21st at 5PM ET.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cranberry Orange Relish


Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the crisp, cool air in the mornings and the warm afternoons.  Of course, my thoughts turn toward Thanksgiving and the menu for this year.  I love cranberries, but as a child, we only had them at Thanksgiving.  There are so many other uses for them.  Check out my Crockpot Cranberry Chicken & Rice.  You can buy bags of cranberries cheaply when they are in season and freeze them for later use.  So, now is a good time to stock up!

This is a quick relish that you can make ahead of time so that it's ready for Thanksgiving or any special meal.

Cranberry Orange Relish
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups raw cranberries 
  • 2 oranges, quartered and seeded

Put raw cranberries and oranges through food chopper. Add sugar, cinnamon and mix well. Chill in refrigerator a few hours before serving. Makes one quart relish. This relish will keep well in the refrigerator for several weeks.  You could also substitute an apple for one of the oranges.  And, your favorite chopped nuts would be a great addition.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Holiday Baking & Gifts

Have you started planning your Holiday baking?  October is usually the time I start making lists.  The key is remembering to bring those lists to the store!  If you use a lot of candy in your baking, Halloween sales are a great time to pick up some extra bags.  As I’m shopping for others, I am always tempted to pick up something new for myself.  And, I’m a slave to kitchen gadgets.

I remember the year I purchased my KitchenAid stand mixer.  I hovered around the store for weeks until it finally went on sale.  It’s so much easier to shop online now.  On thing to always remember when you are purchasing a new product is to check out the accessories and replacement parts.  You don’t have to buy all kitchenaid food processor parts in one order.  Buy the ones you need most and then space out the other purchases so you stay within your budget.  Keep those accessories in mind when you are gift shopping this year.  Almost everyone has a secret ‘gourmet’ cook in their circle of friends.  You could make up a basket of kitchen goodies and add a couple of unique accessories.  I can’t think of anything I’d like better for Christmas!  What’s on your wish list this year?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders and Honey Mustard Sauce

I've never tried to make fried chicken tenders in the oven.  I've made the uncoated kind covered in spices and sauce.  But, I truly doubted a crispy chicken tender could come from the oven.  Then I saw Paula Deen make them on Dr. Oz!  If Paula can do it, so can I.  Of course, it all passed too quickly and I didn't write down the recipe.  So, I did a quick search on the web and found Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders at Betty Crocker.  I used the plain panko bread crumbs and added some Mrs. Dash.  They turned out yummy and crispy.  But, they definitely needed a dipping sauce.  Here's the quick and easy recipe for my Honey Mustard Sauce.

Honey Mustard Sauce

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce

Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall Mornings

One of the best parts about Fall is relaxing on the porch and enjoying all the colorful trees.  I love the idea of enjoying a steaming hot cup of coffee on a chilly Fall morning.  After the lazy days of summer, the patio furniture could use some sprucing up.  I'm always on the look for new ideas - especially when I can search on the Internet.  I searched for patio furniture cleaning austin.  Lots of great sites popped up. 

While I found exactly what I needed at  http://www.thesteamteam.com/, I also found a lot of useful information about air duct cleaning.  Have you ever had this done?  Since Fall is usually when I have my heating unit serviced, I was especially interested in having the ducts cleaned.  Isn't that always the way it works? You start searching for one idea and end up with something even better!

Now I'm thinking I should just take my laptop to the porch with my morning coffee instead of the newspaper!  How about you?  Where's the first place you look for information?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Redecorating the Living Room

Contribution by Stevie Kirby

We are doing some decorating in our home. I have decided to change the color of the living room from a light yellow to an egg shell tone. We have a vaulted ceiling and I am going to go with the current trend of doing an ombre ceiling. I have seen several designs similar to what we are doing in “Architectural Digest” and “Town and Country”. I have decided to keep the same sofa, but change lamp shades and cover a couple of chairs. I chose a great fabric that is also ombre in jewel tones. I have been moving things around all week to get ready for the painters. I took down all of the pictures on the walls, removed the outlet covers, and removed the light switch covers. I did not move the ADT equipment . The painters are going to be able to paint around the keypad. I have been waiting a long time to be able to redecorate. I hope that everything is going to turn out exactly how I have imagined it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kitchen Thoughts

I've been thinking about a kitchen makeover.  Some articles say that the quickest way to freshen a kitchen is to replace the cabinet doors and update the hardware.  That may be true, but I always like to change out tablecloths with each season.  And, without a doubt, Autumn is my favorite time of the year.  Of course, it helps that the colors of the season match well in my kitchen.  Some new towels and potholders are an inexpensive way to freshen up your kitchen.

Do you ever notice how efficient kitchens are on all those yummy cooking shows?  There's almost always a kitchen island decked out with all the latest cooking tools.  They certainly make us take more interest in cooking these days.  And, it's not just at home.  I have a friend who can make a gourmet meal with a hot-plate and stuff stored in a mini fridge at the office.  It helps remind us all that a true cook can take nothing and make something delicious for dinner.

What's your 'go to' meal when you're running low in the pantry? 




Sunday, August 21, 2011

Crockpot Steak & Potatoes

Simple Crockpot Steak & Potatoes
It’s simple and makes the most delicious gravy.  I used top round steak, but you could make this with any kind of beef roast.  My favorite part about using a crock pot is that it doesn’t heat up the kitchen and you don’t have to worry about the food while it’s cooking.

What’s your favorite Crockpot meal?

Crockpot Steak & Potatoes

4 top round steak medallions, about an inch thick
1 jar (12 oz) medium chucky salsa (use mild if you prefer)
2 cups sliced portabella mushrooms
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
12 small potatoes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Place steak in Crockpot. Cover with salsa, mushrooms & onion.  Stir in honey and teriyaki sauce.  Cook on high for 2 hours.  Add potatoes.  Cook on high for 2-3 more hours or until ready to serve. Mix cornstarch and cold water until dissolved and add to Crockpot.  Stir until gravy thickens and enjoy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Corn Beef Hash

Growing up, if times were good, we'd have a beef roast for Sunday Dinner.  Then on Monday, Mom would make Hash.  I ran across this recipe and it brought back memories so I thought I'd share it with you.  This uses corned beef, but you could use any leftover meat.
Corn Beef Hash

Corned Beef
Milk
Potatoes
Salt and Pepper
Lump of Butter

Chop the meat fine, add the same bulk of potatoes or a little more. Put into a saucepan or spider a lump of butter the size of an egg, and a few spoonfuls of milk or water. When bubbling, put in the meat and potatoes, and a little salt and pepper, if you like. Stir for a while, then let it stand ten or fifteen minutes, until a crust is formed at the bottom. Loosen from the pan with a cake-turner. Turn a warm platter over it. Turn pan and hash together quickly and serve. If you have a scant quantity, place it on slices of toasted bread, which have been buttered and wet with hot water.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Baby Showers

Do you ever think about how many baby showers you've attended?  I've been to dozens and I bet many of you have been to several.  I always end up giving the same kinds of gifts so I was searching online the other day for something different.  Who knew that there were scrubs for kids?  And, cute little scrubs for babies too!  What a perfect idea for someone in the medical field!  Well, actually, I think it would be perfect for just about anyone and I have not seen any at showers that I've attended recently.  If you get a chance, check out their site:  http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/categories/Scrubs/Scrubs-for-Men/

Thankfully, I've never planned a shower all by myself, but I've helped out plenty of times.  And, I have to admit that I love the finger foods.  A quick and simple appetizer is to make Ham Roll-ups.  You just take cooked ham slices, dry them off and spread with flavored cream cheese - the savory kind you use for bagels.  Then roll them up and slice into bite-size pieces.  You don't need a toothpick as the cheese will hold it together.  But, they are very pretty with some fancy toothpicks added. 

What's your favorite finger food?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Of Spiders and Wasps

I recently had a run in with a spider and a wasp in the same day.  The spider bit the back of my leg.  And, the wasp got the back of my shoulder.  After the initial pain, my first thought was how soon I'd be sitting in a doctor's office.  Why is it we spend so much time there as we get older?  If I'm not too under the weather, I enjoy 'people watching' while in the waiting room.  Have you noticed how much scrub clothing has changed over the last few years? 

The uniforms out there are so much cuter these days.  I would imagine some of the designs are a comfort when 'little ones' are visiting the doctor.  Who wouldn't find scrubs covered with cuddly animals comforting?  After my last visit, I checked out http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/categories/Scrubs/Scrubs-for-Women/ and was amazed at the wide selection available.  Scrubs aren't just for nurses anymore. 

My bite and sting?  Thankfully, I didn't have an allergic reaction and I'll definitely be more careful in the future.  Funny thing is, I craved chicken soup!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce

Doesn't cheese make everything taste better?  I love this dish - not only because it's simple, but because it tastes so good.
 
CAULIFLOWER WITH CHEESE SAUCE

Select a medium-sized, firm cauliflower. Trim off leaves, cut off stalk, and soak one hour (head down) in cold salt water to cover. Cook (head up) until soft but not broken (about thirty minutes) in boiling salted water. Drain and place carefully in a buttered, shallow baking dish, pour over one and one-half cups of Cheese Sauce, sprinkle with buttered crumbs and place in oven until crumbs are browned. Serve in baking dish.

CHEESE SAUCE

3 tablespoons butter.
2 tablespoons flour.
½ teaspoon salt.
1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Few grains cayenne.
1½ cups hot milk.
½ cup cheese cut in small pieces.

Melt butter in a sauce-pan, add flour, mixed with seasonings, stir to a smooth paste; let cook one minute, stirring constantly. Pour on gradually hot milk and beat until smooth and glossy. Add cheese and when melted pour over cauliflower.

Big, Long Vacation

Content by Sol Rosales

It’s been really nice this year looking forward to such a big vacation so long and I can’t believe we’re getting close and about to leave in a few weeks! My husband and I are going to Hawaii for the very first time and I couldn’t be more pumped. We’ve got a really full itinerary full of everything from hiking volcanoes to eating at some pretty amazing restaurants and I’m going to have to figure out how in the world to pack for all the things we’ve got on the docket! I went to Http://HOME-alarm-systems.com/the other day since we’re going to be gone for close to two weeks and I’ve still got to finish up some stuff before I leave for work. I can’t believe it’s closing in and I’m going to be in Hawaii just a couple of weeks from now. That sounds so exotic and far away and I guess all it takes to get there is a short little plane ride! I’m not going to forget to take lots of sunscreen, either!

Summer Blackberry & Apple Crumble

Simple Cookery Blackberry & Apple Crumble
Here’s a delicious guest recipe from one of my friends ‘across the pond’.

Summer Blackberry and Apple Crumble Recipe

It’s the beginning of August and it’s a lovely coincidence that both dessert apples and wild blackberries are ripening at the same time, as they make a perfect seasonal crumble recipe. Homemade Blackberry and Apple Crumble Recipe is the perfect comfort food this summer! Read on if you are interested to know how easy it is to make.

The ingredients you will need for the recipe, include 1 tablespoon of butter, 4 table spoons of sugar, 750g of Discovery or any other dessert apples, peeled, cored and sliced and 750g blackberries rinsed in cold water and drained.

For the crumble you’ll need 120g caster sugar, 60g medium oatmeal, 180g plain white flour and 120g unsalted butter.

Firstly, preheat the oven to gas 6/200C. Then start by putting the sugar, fruit, butter and two tablespoons of water in a pan and heat over a medium heat. Cook until the apples soften up and become stained with the blackberry juice. Remove from the heat and put into an ovenproof dish. They will cook further under the crumble, so it doesn’t matter if they aren’t fully cooked yet.

To make the crumble, rub in the butter, flour and oatmeal together until you have breadcrumbs and then stir in the sugar. Sprinkle the mixture all over the fruit in the dish and bake for about 30 minutes until the crumble is crisp and golden.

Serve the meal hot with ice-cream, double cream or custard.
 You don't have to be a top pastry chef with a restaurant insurance quote to make this recipe. Its the perfect comfort food thats easy to make and satisfying for everyone.

Other seasonal variations of the crumble include pear and blackcurrant for the summer, apple and quince in the autumn, forced rhubarb and ginger in the winter and green rhubarb and Bramley apple in the spring.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tomato Soup

In a world full of microwaves and pre-packaged foods, it's hard to remember sometimes that slower is better.  When was the last time you warmed up leftovers in an oven rather than a microwave?  It's how we used to do it.  Yes, it heats up the kitchen, but there is something delicious about leftover pizza warmed in an oven.  Have you ever made tomato soup?  I don't mean opening a can, adding milk and heating it on the stove.  I mean real home-made tomato soup.  The mere thought of it makes me think of fancy uniforms and decorated tables.  It takes a little time, but it is definitely worth the effort.

TOMATO SOUP

1 can tomatoes- 32 ounce, or 1 quart tomatoes peeled and cut in pieces
2 slices onion
2 sprays parsley
Bit of bay leaf
4 cloves
½ teaspoon peppercorns
Few gratings nutmeg
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

Cook the first six ingredients together twenty minutes in pot over medium heat. Rub through a purée strainer, keep hot. Melt butter in a sauce-pan, add flour and stir to a smooth paste, let cook one minute; dilute with tomato mixture to the consistency to pour. Combine mixtures and season with salt, a few grains cayenne and a grating of nutmeg. Reheat and serve with buttered toast, set the table, find the right outfit and you're ready for a gourmet meal!

Monday, August 1, 2011

And the winner is....

Thanks to everyone who entered the Kroger Gift Card Giveaway. And the winner is.....


Susan B said...


I would buy diapers for my grandson (economy has hit his Momma hard) and a pie

to give a friend who is going through a rough divorce. Thank you for the

opportunity.


Congratulations Susan B!

"Disclosure: The Kroger gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by Kroger and General Mills through MyBlogSpark."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kroger Gift Card Giveaway!

Cart Buster 2.0 No Kroger Logo



Have you heard the news? The Cart Buster Savings Event is back at the Kroger Co. Family of Stores, beginning July 31st. There will be storewide savings in almost every department!



  • From July 31st through August 17th save on tons of brands across more than 100 categories from General Mills, PepsiCo, Unilever, Heinz, Mars, Wrigley and Kimberly Clark.

  • Look for some of your favorite participating products like, Honey Nut Cheerios, Yoplait , Pillsbury Pepsi, Doritos, Gatorade, Smart Ones, Ore-Ida, Cottonelle, Viva, Breyer´s Ice Cream, Axe , Snickers, Pedigree and Orbit.

  • Look for big savings storewide at the Kroger Family of Stores, which includes Kroger, Ralphs, King Scoopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith´s, Fry´s, QFC, Baker´s, Owen´s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Pay Less Supermarkets and Scott´s food & Pharmacy.

Looking for more ways to save? Just follow the Cartbuster "Deal of the Day" beginning August 3rd and running through August 16th.* You can download exclusive offers directly to your shopper card, by visiting www.cartbuster.com, beginning Wednesday, August 3rd. If you haven’t already tried this for your coupons, now is a great time to start.



Remember, www.cartbuster.com is your link to all of the details, savings and the special "Deal of the Day" offers for the Cart Buster Savings Event, exclusively at the Kroger Co. Family of Stores. The Cart Buster Savings event beginning July 31st. "Deal of the Day" offers begin August 3rd.


*Please be sure to check your local Kroger Co. Family of Stores for participating dates and deals. The Deal of the Day promotion is not valid at: Fred Meyer or Food 4 Less.


kroger_3d

To help get you started saving money, here’s a great giveaway:


  • One $25 Kroger gift card (Good at any of the Kroger. Co Family of Stores)

  • How to enter? Just leave a comment and tell me how you’d like to spend the gift card. If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ll get an extra entry. Be sure to enter by midnight, July 31st and I’ll announce the winner on August 1st.


    "Disclosure: The Kroger gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by Kroger and General Mills through MyBlogSpark."


    Check out these great links for more info:


    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Cooking with Gas?

    I spent years cooking without the benefit of an oven. The stove I had belonged to my Grandmother and it was an old gas range. The oven had been repaired a couple of times at a pretty high cost, but it never worked properly. So, I just used the burners on top and borrowed the use of my Mother's oven whenever it was absolutely necessary. I saved money for a long time before I finally purchased a new electric stove. I wish I had known about "www.canadapost.ca/shopper/" back then. This comparison shopper site helps you make a really informed choice about your purchase because you can compare each item side by side.
    .
    I eventually bought a smooth top range and love it. But, I had to learn to cook on electric again after all those years of cooking on a gas range. I know a lot of cooks prefer gas. If you have the right pan, it's great. But, most of my pans were thin and I never could 'simmer' anything. It would always end up boiling even when I had the burner turned down to warm. But, it was great for roasting a marshmallow indoors!
    .
    My first baked item in my new oven? Cinnamon rolls! And, everyone at the office was thankful! How about you? What's your favorite - gas or electric?

    Foodie News – Samples & Offers

    Simple_Cookery_Fireside_Coffee


    Just passing along some interesting offers and sites:



    • If you use Schiff Move Free® Advanced or Schiff® Glucosamine check out www.SchiffLoyaltyRewards.com for more ways to save each time you purchase their products.



    • Need a new grill? Check out www.tnpride.com to enter for a chance to win a George Foreman Mega Size Grill! Hurry – contest ends 7/31/2011.


    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Have you heard the BUZZ?

    Have you heard the BUZZ? Honey Nut Cheerios cereal is hosting a "Billion 'O' Giveaway", providing free samples to fans beginning July 4, 2011, available while supplies last.

    If you've never tried this cereal, now is the prefect time. Just zip over to FavCereal.com for your sweet sample!

    In addition to checking out the "Billion 'O' Giveaway", make sure to BEE-come a fan of Cheerios on Facebook and get involved in the conversation about Honey Nut Cheerios!

    My thanks to Honey Nut Cheerios cereal for providing me this information through MyBlogSpark.

    Foodie News – Cooking Channel in July

    **COOKING CHANNEL JULY 2011 HIGHLIGHTS**


    The Perfect 3 Highlights Top Recipes in 13 Categories


    Plus: Viewers showcase their perfect recipes in exclusive online videos


    3 Season Premieres of Cooking Channel Classics and New Episodes of Hit Series



    July is all fireworks on Cooking Channel with its brand new series The Perfect 3 premiering Saturday, July 23rd at 4pmET/1pmPT. This series joins together the three best recipes from fan-favorite chefs in 13 categories and gives viewers the chance to highlight their perfect dishes in an exclusive online episode featured on CookingChannelTV.com alongside Kelsey Nixon (Kelsey’s Essentials). Diving in for more, Cooking Channel serves up four premiere episodes of Hook, Line & Dinner on Tuesdays at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT while traveling with Emeril on his cross-country quest for iconic restaurants on The Originals with Emeril airing Thursdays at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT. Annie Sibonney continues her Spanish odyssey in premiere episodes of From Spain With Love on Saturdays at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT. Two Food Network classics Alex’s Day Off and Ace of Cakes make their Cooking Channel debuts, and season premieres of Cooking Channel originals Everyday Exotic, Food(ography) and United Tastes of America round out a robust summer line up. In case that’s not enough, viewers can fill up on premiere episodes of Cooking Channel favorites throughout the month. Join the Cooking Channel conversation on Twitter and Facebook.



    SERIES PREMIERES



    The Perfect 3


    Food Network and Cooking Channel chefs spotlight the perfect three dishes in 13 classic categories, from burgers and brownies to sandwiches and salads. Each episode then throws to CookingChannelTV.com/perfect for a webisode featuring a viewer paired with Kelsey Nixon (Kelsey’s Essentials) showing how to make his or her online recipe submission that was voted as category favorite by fans.


    · Premiering Saturday, July 23rd at 4pmET/1pmPT “Cakes”


    It's time for dessert with cake recipes from Ina Garten, Giada De Laurentiis and Paula Deen.


    · Premiering Saturday, July 30th at 4pm ET/1pmPT – “Pancakes”


    Tyler Florence, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and Sunny Anderson put their culinary spin on pancakes, a breakfast classic.



    SEASON PREMIERES



    Everyday Exotic: Season 4 Premieres Saturday, July 9th at 12:30pmET/9:30amPT – “Chipotle”


    Chef Roger Mooking uses chipotle to turn a gringo style tortilla and cheese meal into the real deal. He redefines refried beans, creates two unique and fresh salsas and cools it off with a refreshing watermelon drink.


    Be sure to check out Roger on his new Food Network series Heat Seekers as he and Aaron Sanchez take viewers on a flaming hot journey around the nation in search of the country’s hottest dishes premiering Friday, July 22nd at 10pm ET/PT.


    Food(ography): Season 3 Premieres Tuesday, July 12th at 9pmET/6pmPT – “Beer”


    On tap for this episode, viewers learn the brew basics along with the ultimate beer and food pairings. Beer-inspired culinary creations include: German beer pizza, malt-flavored blondies from the Baked Bakery and a bottled up specialty from the Brooklyn Brew Shop.


    United Tastes of America: Season 2 Premieres Tuesday, July 12th at 10pmET/7pmPT – “Sushi”


    Sushi, an in-the-raw import, has become an American success story. Jeffrey Saad does the legwork to learn what happened when sushi washed up on American shores and find out why this Japanese classic is still on a roll.


    NEW EPISODES


    In addition to the above series, new episodes of hit Cooking Channel series air throughout July.


    Hook, Line & Dinner


    · Premiering Tuesday, July 5th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT “Oregon”


    Ben visits the coastal town of Newport where he helps with the winter harvest by re-baiting traps. He then visits The Saffron Salmon to cook crab cakes before teaming up with Chef Eric Bechard to catch ling cod in Depoe Bay. He then heads to Gilmore Fish Smokehouse after the annual sturgeon catch before meeting ‘Sockeye Suzy’ on the banks of the Columbia for a fish fry.


    · Premiering Tuesday, July 12th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT “San Francisco”


    Ben heads up to Drakes Bay for an oyster farming lesson and then rides Swan Oyster to try oysters on the half shell before heading to Tadich Grill for farmed Scottish salmon. Ben then heads out for halibut on the Lovely Martha before ending his day with cioppino, a fish stew made from the catch of the day.


    · Premiering Tuesday, July 19th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT “Santa Barbara”


    Ben experiences life on a trawler dragging for halibut and marches his catch straight to Brophy Brothers Restaurant where they sauté his fish. Ben takes his pile of rockfish to The Hungry Cat before heading to Santa Barbara Shellfish Company. He finishes his trip with a sunset dinner with restaurant owner, Adam White.


    · Premiering Tuesday, July 26th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT “San Diego”


    Ben brings sea urchins to Baci Ristorante to feast on Pasta con Ricci. He then joins Elena Rivellino on a sardine boat as Elena watches as he learns to grill sardines on a stick. Ben finishes his trip at Bull Taco Café.


    The Originals with Emeril


    · Premiering Thursday, July 7th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT “New Orleans 2”


    Emeril heads to New Orleans to visit Domilise for fried shrimp and roast beef sandwiches, Angelo Brocato’s Italian Ice Cream Parlor for their famous cannolis and ices and The Commander’s Palace for their signature turtle soup.


    · Premiering Thursday, July 14th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT “Los Angeles 2”


    In Los Angeles, Emeril travels to El Cholo for green corn tamales and chile rellenos, Pink’s Hot Dogs for a specialty hot dog, and Musso & Frank Grill for charbroiled steaks and a martini.


    · Premiering Thursday, July 21st at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT “New York City 2”


    Emeril heads to the Big Apple to visit Lombardi’s Pizza for their famous White Pizza and Clam Pizza, Katz’s Delicatessen for their corned beef and pastrami, and 21 Club for Dover Sole.


    · Premiering Thursday, July 28th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT “New York City 3”


    Emeril visits Grand Central Oyster Bar for fresh oysters, Papaya King for fresh homemade juices and hotdogs and Peter Luger Steakhouse for instruction on prime meat selection.


    From Spain with Love


    · Premiering Saturday, July 9th at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT “24 Hours in Barcelona”


    Annie takes viewers on a whirlwind eating tour of Barcelona with breakfast in Boqueria market, lunch at Cinc Sentits and dinner at legendary seafood restaurant Suquet de L’Almierall.


    · Premiering Saturday, July 16th at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT – “Playing with Fire”


    Annie explores the many ways the Spanish cook meat, fish and even ice cream over fire, using wood, coal and grapevines.


    · Premiering Saturday, July 23rd at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT “Granada: Culinary Crossroads”


    Annie explores Granada and cooks traditional Moroccan dishes, enjoys Granadian classics at the Mirador de Morayama and dines on dried octopus at BAR FM.


    · Premiering Saturday, July 30th at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT – “Olive Oil: Liquid Gold”


    Spain produces and distributes more olive oil than any other place in the world, and Annie hooks up with a range of experts who demonstrate the versatility of olive oil.


    DAYTIME


    Chuck’s Day Off: July 10th, July 17th and July 24th at 11amET/8amPT


    From the Kitchens Of...: July 10th at 10amET/7amPT


    PRIMETIME


    Eat St.: July 5th and July 7th at 8pmET/5pmPT


    Kelsey’s Essentials: July 2nd, July 9th, July 23rd and July 30th at 2pmET/11amPT


    Unique Eats: July 3rd, July 10th, July 24th and July 31st at 10pmET/7pmPT


    Unique Sweets: July 3rd, July 10th, July 24th and July 31st at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT


    COOKING CHANNEL SPECIAL



    Eden Eats: Premieres Sunday, July 17th at 8pmET/5pmPT


    Eden Grinshpan takes viewers around the world in her 24-hour food adventure without ever using her passport. She arrives in Austin, Texas to highlight the city’s global cuisine where she’s invited into kitchens to discover how people from around the world have re-created their lives and culture through food. From Chef Piroshka's famous Hungarian Spaetzle at the European Bistro to Malek the Baker's Lebanese Pita making machine, every step leads to another country without leaving the city limits.


    FOOD NETWORK FAVORITES ON COOKING CHANNEL



    Alex’s Day Off


    In Alex's Day Off, Alex Guarnaschelli, professional chef, working mom and passionate home cook invites viewers along for a unique culinary journey. Playful, poetic and downright funny, she thinks about food and cooking in a whole new way. For Alex, cooking is sensual, personal and pleasurable, and she wants to share that passion. Her recipes are down-to-earth, sophisticated and a bit sassy – just like her.


    · Premiering Saturday, July 9th at 11:30am ET/8:30amPT “Brunch”


    Alex begins her favorite meal of the week with Popovers topped with creamy Homemade Ricotta. Next, she fries up Blended Pork Sausage and Fried Eggs and tops it off with a Salty Dog, a grapefruit and vodka cocktail.



    Ace of Cakes


    By shaping cakes with drill saws and blow torches and staffing his bakery with fellow rock musicians, Duff Goldman is not your typical baker. Yet he's one of the most sought after cake makers in the country. From a tilted Dr. Seuss-like-seven-tiered wedding cake to an almost perfect replica of Wrigley Field, he and his team of artists dish up sugar and spice in the most unexpected and entertaining ways.


    · Premiering Tuesday, July 12th at 9:30pmET/1:30amPT “Triple Crown Cake”


    Duff and his staff crank out 21 decorative cakes in one week including a special cake for the Preakness, one of the biggest horse races in the world, but delivering the cake to the Maryland Jockey Club's VIP tent in the infield will be no easy feat.

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Foodie News – July Notes


    FOOD NETWORK SCORCHES SUMMER PROGRAMMING WITH NEW SERIES ‘TOUGH COOKIES’(WT) AND ‘HEAT SEEKERS’


    Robert Irvine Returns with Season Two of ‘Restaurant: Impossible’


    Plus: 5 New Episodes of ‘Food Network Star’ and 6 Daytime Season Premieres



    Summer‘s heating up on Food Network with two new series, seven new seasons and five premiere episodes of its number one show, Food Network Star. It’s raining men in the series premiere of Heat Seekers as Aarón Sanchez and Roger Mooking take the country by storm in a sizzling search of the nation’s spiciest food beginning Friday, July 22nd at 10pm, and two cacophonous New Jersey sisters get down to baking business in the new series Tough Cookies (WT)premiering Monday, July 11th at 10pm. Summer fun doesn’t stop there as Robert Irvine returns to save the day in season two of Restaurant: Impossible premiering Wednesday, July 6th at 10pm while the suspense builds and contestants dwindle in premiere episodes of Food Network Star on Sundays at 9pm. Things are getting busy “In the Kitchen” with six daytime season premieres, and the action continues with countless premiere episodes of Food Network favorites including Iron Chef America and Food Network Challenge. Join the Food Network conversation on Facebook and Twitter.



    FEATURED SERIES


    Food Network Star


    · Premiering Sunday, July 3rd at 9pm “Diners, Drive-Ins and 4th of July”


    In this 90-minute episode, the ten finalists must prove that they can entertain and cook. Guy Fieri explains that each finalist will take part in a taping at Mel’s Drive-In. Then, it’s all fireworks as the contestants put their spin on American classics using MGD 64 as a special ingredient for the Fourth of July All-American Food Festival, and the finalists must take the stage and serve as the live entertainment for the day.


    · Premiering Sunday, July 10th at 9pm “Food Truck Face Off”


    Tyler Florence divides the nine finalists into groups challenging them to create and brand a unique menu for a lunch truck. They must film an advertising spot promoting their truck and then serve mobile meals to viewers they inspired, but contestants have to put their best foot forward as consumers can only visit the truck they liked best.


    · Premiering Sunday, July 17th at 9pm “Dinner Party for Wolfgang Puck”


    In this double elimination episode, Bobby Flay charges the eight finalists to create a signature dish and helps them shine before each finalist demos their dish in front of the selection committee. Later, Bobby reveals the next challenge where the remaining finalists must host a dinner party for Wolfgang Puck and create a menu with only the ingredients and supplies in the house. HGTV’s Sabrina Soto makes a guest appearance to help the finalists get the house dinner party ready, and Puck arrives with the judges to help decide which six finalists will head to New York City to finish the race to become a Food Network Star.


    · Premiering Sunday, July 24st at 9pm “Ina Garten and Rachael Ray”


    In this episode, the six remaining finalists arrive at Food Network headquarters in New York City and are greeted by Ina Garten and Bobby Flay. She challenges them to create unique cupcakes that best represent their personalities. Next, contestants are floored when Rachael Ray joins them via satellite and informs them they must put on a live demonstration on the Rachael Ray Show. Each finalist puts their twist on a traditional dinner dish hoping to impress the live studio audience and Rachael Ray herself.


    · Premiering Sunday, July 31st at 9pm “Comedy Roast”


    The five finalists begin this action-packed episode scouring the stores of Chelsea Market in New York City searching for the “Best Thing I Ever Ate.” Bobby Flay then directs them to describe how this dish impacted them. Next, the finalists prepare a signature roast dish that gets roasted by guest star comedians Gilbert Gottfried, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Anderson, Louie Anderson and Judy Gold.


    SERIES PREMIERES



    Tough Cookies (WT): Premieres Monday, July 11th at 10pm


    Food Network heads down the shore this summer for the new series Tough Cookies (WT), following sisters Susan Adair and Linda Brand and their loving, squabbling, multi-generational family as they run Crazy Susan’s Cookie Company in Ocean City, N.J. Crazy Susan’s isn’t your average bakery – Susan is a mad genius, cooking up crazy new concoctions every day, and their cookies are as popular as the beach in this town. They have their hands full with lines out the door and phones that never stop ringing – all while baking and managing their employees, who are mostly family members.



    Heat Seekers: Premieres Friday, July 22nd at 10pm


    For chefs Aarón Sanchez and Roger Mooking, Heat Seekers is a tongue-testing odyssey to discover the most delicious and dangerous spicy food in the country—and figure out why it’s so much fun to eat. This season Aarón and Roger travel to Miami, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Santa Fe, Chicago, Seattle, Charleston and Los Angeles in search of outrageously spicy creations. In each city, they discover the secrets of everything from broiled crawfish and buffalo frog legs to fiery ribs and seafood ceviche, and then subject themselves to a test of who can handle the heat. What results is either tears of laughter or tears of pain, but usually, it’s both.


    SEASON PREMIERES



    Primetime


    Restaurant: Impossible: Season 2 premieres Wednesday, July 6th at 10pm


    · Premiering Wednesday, July 6th at 10pm “Dodge City”


    Robert heads to Harrisburg, Pa., to save Dodge City, a Wild West themed restaurant. Robert challenges the staff to create an original dish, and the design team races against the clock to finish the restaurant’s new look before the grand opening.


    · Premiering Wednesday, July 13th at 10pm “La Stanza”


    At La Stanza in Philadelphia, Robert finds an old-world Italian restaurant being run by the owner’s daughter and on the brink of failure. He jumps into action brightening up the dining room and updating the menu while also training an inexperienced manager.


    · Premiering Wednesday, July 20th at 10pm – “Sweet Tea”


    Robert travels to Chapin, S.C., in attempt to save Sweet Pea by improving the freshness of the food, quality of service and restaurant décor. With just minutes until opening, Robert puts the staff through a grueling boot camp to shake the bad service in a last attempt to save this restaurant from complete failure.


    · Premiering Wednesday, July 27th at 10pm – “Country Fare”


    Robert’s mission is clear when he arrives at Country Fare in Stafford, Va., a neighborhood diner with inedible food and a repulsive kitchen. After teaching the staff basic cooking skills, he focuses on a much-needed design overhaul.


    Daytime


    Aarti Party: Season 3 premieres Saturday, July 2nd at 9am – “Summertime and the Cookin’ Is Easy”


    Down Home with the Neelys: Season 10 premieres Saturday, July 2nd at 11:30am – “Food Spell”


    Secrets of a Restaurant Chef: Season 8 premieres Saturday, July 2nd at 12pm – “The Secret to Lobster Rolls”


    Barefoot Contessa: Season 5 premieres Saturday, July 2nd at 1pm – “Summertime Easy”


    Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian: Season 5 premieres Sunday, July 3rd at 9am – “Italian Inspiration”


    Cooking for Real: Season 10 premieres Saturday, July 9th at 10am – “Taking My Lumps”



    ON-AIR SPECIAL


    Sunny’s All-American Celebration: Premieres Saturday, July 2nd at 10am


    Sunny Anderson shows us that behind every great soldier is a good meal. It's a very special personal and patriotic journey for Sunny as she travels to Ft. Bragg, N.C. and Fort Lee, Va. to look back on her time in the military, celebrate men and women in uniform, reconnect with her active duty family members, and show viewers why food is often the glue that holds military families together.



    ONLINE CONTENT


    Pull out a checkered tablecloth, fire up the grill and look no further for perfect all-American recipes at FoodNetwork.com/july4. Food Network fans get party-perfect recipes like Guy's 4th of July Cocktail, Alton's Fried Chicken and a new favorite, Flag Cake, from Ina Garten.



    NEW EPISODES


    In addition to the above new series, seasons and specials, Food Network premieres all new episodes of:


    Food Network Challenge: Premieres Sunday, July 3rd at 8pm – “Star Wars Cakes”


    Food Network Challenge: Premieres Sunday, July 17th at 8pm – “Chocolate Myths”


    Food Network Challenge: Premiering Sunday, July 24th at 8pm – “Smurf Cakes”


    Iron Chef America: Premieres Sunday, July 24th at 10pm – “Flay vs. Christiansen”


    Iron Chef America: Premiering Sunday, July 31st at 10pm – “Symon vs. Johnson”


    Daytime: 5 Ingredient Fix, 30 Minute Meals, Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, Giada At Home, Guy’s Big Bite, Mexican Made Easy, Paula’s Best Dishes, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee



    Primetime: Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Extreme Chef, Meat & Potatoes, Outrageous Food, The Best Thing I Ever Ate

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    And the winner is….

    fiber_one_90_calorie_brownies__pb


    And the winner is….




    Peggy Clyde said...



    When would I eat a brownie? Just about anytime I have the chance. I love Fiber One bars. Thanks.


    June 26, 2011 11:31 PM




    Congratulations Peggy! Please e-mail me at simplecookery@aol.com to claim you terrific prize.


    My thanks to Fiber One and General Mills through MyBlogSpark for providing me with a Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownies gift pack to give away.

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Fiber One Brownies & Giveaway

    fiber_one_90_calorie_brownies__choc


    When I was given a chance to try the new Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies from Fiber One and General Mills through MyBlogSpark, my first thought was…yummm. Well, maybe my first thought was chocolate, then brownie and then yum. Have you tried these great brownies yet? They actually sent me the Chocolate Fudge Brownies and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies. Both are delicious, but my favorites are the Chocolate Fudge Brownies. I’ve already been trying Fiber One bars for a quick breakfast or snack. So, I was excited to hear about their new brownies. They definitely did not disappoint and make the perfect evening snack. Then again, a little chocolate for breakfast never hurt either!


    Want to try them for yourself? Check out this giveaway:


    Fiber One and General Mills through MyBlogSpark are providing me with a Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownies gift pack to give away to one of you! The gift pack includes:



    1. a box each of the Chocolate Fudge and the Chocolate Peanut Butter brownies

    2. a Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownie themed duffel bag, jump rope. water bottle, snack case, headband, bracelet

    How to win? Just leave a comment on this post, and tell me:



    • when you plan to enjoy their Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownie - as an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening indulgence

    You’ll receive a bonus entry as a follower of this blog. Hurry though, contest ends June 30th, and I’ll post the winner July 1st.

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Making Your Corner of the World Better

    If you think about all that is wrong in the world today, it seems like too much to fix. But, I really do believe that we can all help out in small ways and make our little corners of the world a little better. If you ask any charity, I bet they'll tell you all those little donations of $10 and $20 add up to more than the 'big' donations.

    I read somewhere that one of the instructions they give you in the event of a problem on an airplane is to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then your children. That goes against instinct because you want to protect your children first. However, if you pass out before you get the mask on them, how can you help? So, put the mask on yourself first. In charity, I think that means taking care of yourself, your family and your friends. Chances are in that large group, there is always someone in need. Then, expand out from there. Local homeless shelters, food banks, charities and animal shelters are always in need of donations. Check out the charity or organization before you donate so that you know what they need and how it will help others. Unfortunately, there are a lot of well meaning organizations that fail to get items to the needy because of red tape. It's often why they ask for money first because the organization can purchase the needed items rather than spending precious time going through donated goods. You don't want to bring them a truckload of paper towels if they have no place to store them. But, with a few phone calls, you can find an organization with the need and storage space.

    We all have coupons that we don't need or use. Consider using those to purchase items to donate to local charities. For instance, you can stock up on dog or cat food and treats. Then, donate them to a local animal shelter. It's a clear way of stretching your donation dollars. One of our local shelters maintains this list of needed items on their website:



    Leashes (not retractable)


    Collars


    Bleach


    Pine Sol


    Paper Towels


    Dish Detergent


    Buckets


    Sponges


    Scrubbers


    Toys


    Towels


    Kitty Litter


    Tarps


    Contractor Trash Bag


    Cat or dog Treats


    Blankets


    Bedding


    Stainless food and water bowls




    When you think about it, this list makes a lot of sense. But, if you had asked me before what a shelter could use, I would have just said food. So, consider some of the above items when you're going through your coupons. By combining the same coupon/sale strategy to your charity dollars, you'll have more to give than you think. And, you'll be making Fluffie's little corner of the world a little better until her 'forever' family adopts her.

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Couponing Has a Dark Side

    Does couponing have a dark side? I say, yes, it can. I almost titled this post 'How to Save Hundreds of Dollars by Gaining Pounds!' Until last year, I lived in the normal coupon world. I used coupons for products I would have normally purchased anyway and sometimes for a new product I wanted to try. I usually saved around $10 on each grocery trip. I had heard of 'extreme couponers' and knew there was a 'secret' to getting free stuff or hundreds of dollars in groceries for pennies. I finally did a little research online and figured out how it all works by combining sales, store coupons, manufacturer coupons, etc. On my first try, I saved tons of money.

    Other than the free products I snagged, my best deals were name brand sanitary napkins that I purchased for less than fifty cents a box! And, the sales kept coming. As I shoved more and more boxes into the closet, I slowly began to realize I probably had more than a year's supply on hand. But that couldn't mean I had a problem. I mean, it's not like they were going to 'expire'. Well, at least not until menopause.


    From that, I moved on to dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent. Same thing...I have enough on hand to last a year, maybe even longer. Toothpaste? I'll be reaching that goal pretty soon. Deodorant? Yep...no problems there. Pain killers? Allergy? Vitamins? I could stock a small pharmacy. Granted, this is all stuff that I will use, but how much does one family really need? The upside is that these were really good deals and I saved a lot of money. Of course, I had to spend it a lot sooner than I normally would have due to buying a year's worth of products in a few short months. But, over a yearly budget, most of what I purchased was at least 50% off or more based on the normal cost. That is a savings that is hard to argue with when considering couponing's dark side. There is a fine line between being well stocked and hoarding. So, just be cautious if you have hoarding tendencies.


    Chocolate. I love the word almost as much as the candy. I try not to allow it in the house because I'll eat it. But, who can resist practically free chocolate? With coupons, it's possible. First, I thought I'd stock up for the holiday's. Like Valentine's Day or Easter. Funny how none of the candy lasted that long in the pantry, but it's still on my hips. So, okay, I told myself I could still buy it, but for other people. My friends love chocolate and it was costing me practically nothing. Strange thing happened; it cost money to give away chocolate to my friends. While they were quite happy, it really defeated the purpose of 'saving' money with coupons. Free or cheap is not necessarily good for you if it causes you to gain weight or become some sort of 'chocolate pusher' among your friends.


    Saving on groceries is a necessity. By combining sales and coupons, you can really save a lot of money. But, this takes time. Nothing is more frustrating than making a list only to find the store out of the products you want because other 'couponers' have scooped up the sales. And, like chocolate, just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's good for you. Since organizing my spending and coupons over the last few months, I've consistently saved over 50% on staples like soup, mustards, sauces, etc. There are free or almost free items too. Most local stores will double fifty cent coupons, so each one is like a dollar off a product. It's easy to combine those with sales and find items for pennies on the dollar. On most other grocery items, I save at least 20% on each trip. I'm happy with that considering I buy a lot of fresh produce and meats that don't usually have coupons.


    Even with all my planning, I still end up with tons of coupons that I'll never use. There was a time when each one was merely paper, but now I see dollars slipping away. Surely someone wants that unused coupon. I've tried all different kinds of outlets for the ones I won't use and the best one is trading with friends. It's free and easy. And, the expired coupons or ones that no one I know will use? I send those overseas for use on our military bases. Check out the Overseas Adoption Program. They can use expired coupons for a few months after the expiration date. So, in the end, everyone saves a little. The trick is not to become too obsessed and to stay away from the dark side.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Foodie News - Cooking Channel Highlights for June 2011

    **COOKING CHANNEL JUNE 2011 HIGHLIGHTS**

    Ben Sargent Hosts First-Ever Seafood Series: ‘Hook, Line & Dinner’
    New Episodes of ‘The Originals with Emeril’ and ‘From Spain With Love’
    Season Premiere of ‘Kelsey’s Essentials’ and Summer Kicks Off with “Grilling Week”

    NEW YORK – May 16, 2011 – Cooking Channel sizzles into summer with a series and season premiere along with countless new episodes of fan-favorite shows. New primetime series Hook, Line & Dinner reels viewers in on Tuesday, June 7th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT as host Ben Sargent teams up with local experts to secure the catch of the day and cook it up in the best seaside kitchens during this one-of-a-kind seafood-focused series. Emeril Lagasse highlights the country’s most iconic restaurants in new episodes of The Originals with Emeril on Thursdays at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT, and Annie Sibonney continues her culinary trip through notable Spanish regions in new episodes of From Spain with Love on Saturdays at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT. “Grilling Week” airs Sunday, June 12th - Saturday, June 18th from 8pm-11pmET/5pm-8pmPT and features grilling-themed episodes of Cooking Channel favorites, while CookingChannelTV.com offers the ultimate burger guide for summer grilling. And, Kelsey Nixon returns for season two of Kelsey’s Essentials on Saturday, June 25th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT. Join the Cooking Channel conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    SERIES PREMIERE

    Hook, Line & Dinner
    By bike, boat, car or surfboard, Ben Sargent embarks on the ultimate coastal road trip in his primetime Cooking Channel series, Hook, Line & Dinner. From Florida and Louisiana to California and Oregon, Ben uncovers the country’s best seafood joints and regional specialties while taking viewers on the awesome journey from sea to table. Crab shacks, lobster pounds, and chowder houses – to Ben, they’re more than just places to get a hot meal. They’re hangouts for eccentrics, where locals swap stories and fishermen share tales from the sea. In each episode, Ben visits a new coastal locale where he teams up with the expert locals to secure the catch of the day, and then he follows that catch straight to the best seaside kitchens.
    Premieres Tuesday, June 7th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT – SERIES PREMIERE! – “Bayou Country”
    Ben’s first stop in Bayou Country is Bayou Sorrel to meet fisherman Carey Carline. Next, he heads to Breaux Bridge, the ‘Crawfish Capital of the World’ to visit Crazy ‘bout Crawfish and try his hand at making crawfish etouffee. Then, Ben’s off to learn how to boil purged crawfish at Cajun Claw and then finishes his trip with a visit to Café des Amis for Cajun catfish.
    Premieres Tuesday, June 14th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT – “Miami & the Everglades”
    Ben travels the Miami River aboard Lord of the Tides en route to Biscayne Bay to help harvest spiny lobster, and then he completes the ultimate sea-to-plate experience by sautéing lobster Cuban creole style at Garcia’s Seafood Grille. He whips up ‘down-home style’ frog’s legs at Coopertown Restaurant, and last on the adventure, Ben heads to sea with Lee Noble of Leebo’s Rock Bottom Bar to highlight South Florida’s other famous crustacean – the stone crab.
    Premieres Tuesday, June 21st at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT – “Charleston, South Carolina”
    Ben discovers Charleston’s current culinary renaissance with the region’s rustic Lowcountry cuisine and its seemingly timeless union with all things fresh and aquatic. He begins his journey at Bowens Island Restaurant, a local marsh-side oyster house. Then he heads to Husk in historic downtown Charleston for pan-seared sheepshead fish, and prepares stuffed blue crab at T.W. Graham & Company in nearby McClellanville.
    Premieres Tuesday, June 28th at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT – “New Orleans”
    Ben travels to New Orleans during Mardi Gras and joins shrimper Brian Drury for the catch before whisking the crustaceans into the kitchen with Leah Chase of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, where they specialize in creole gumbo. Then, Ben travels south of The Big Easy to meet Jacques Leonardi of Jack-Imo’s to blacken fish fillets New Orlean’s style. Finally, Ben journeys to the Mississippi Delta to get a first-hand look at oyster beds nearly a year after the oil spill before heading to Castnet Seafood to make a giant oyster po-boy.

    FEATURED SERIES

    The Originals with Emeril
    Premieres Thursday, June 2nd at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT – “Atlanta”
    Emeril ventures to Atlanta to visit Mary Mac’s Tea Room for spicy Cajun shrimp and grits, the Busy Bee Café for fried chicken and Horseradish Grill for char-grilled Georgia mountain trout, braised greens and fried green tomatoes.
    Premieres Thursday, June 9th at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT – “New York”
    Emeril heads to New York to visit Il Vagabondo for their world-famous Veal Parmesan, King Yum for butterfly shrimp and savory Wonton Soup and Keens Steakhouse for their popular Porterhouse steaks and timeless mutton chops.
    Premieres Thursday, June 16th at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT – “Chicago”
    Emeril discovers culinary charms of the Windy City when he visits The Berghoff for a Reuben sandwich, Twin Anchors for Chicago-style ribs and creamed spinach and Gene and Georgetti’s for “garbage salad” and “Chicken Ala Joe.”
    Premieres Thursday, June 23rd at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT – “Miami”Emeril explores three original establishments in Miami: Joe’s Stone Crab for tasty Key Lime Pie, Casa Larios for “fried cow,” and Tobacco Road for smoked ribs and chicken.
    Premiering Thursday, June 30th at 10:30pmET / 7:30pm PT – “New Orleans”
    Emeril returns to New Orleans to stop by Casamento’s for its fresh oysters, Café Du Monde for beignets and Antoine’s for Oysters Rockefeller and Baked Alaska.

    From Spain With Love
    Premieres Saturday, June 4th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Paella: Tradition in a Pan”
    Annie explores all aspects of the traditional Spanish dish – paella. She visits a family in La Mancha to pick saffron and later talks to the “Queen of Saffron,” Chef Maria José San Román, at her restaurant in Alicante. She ends her journey in Barcelona, where everything - including paella - is done with a twist.
    Premieres Saturday, June 11th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Madrid: Dusk ‘til Dine”
    Annie starts her evening in Madrid at the historic Mercado San Miguel in the heart of downtown Madrid and later enjoys the local street food of the city. Annie savors a fantastic multi-course dinner at El Fogon de Trifon, and ends her evening with an early morning treat of hot chocolate and churros.
    Premieres Saturday, June 18th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Preserves: Keeping the Flavor Alive”
    Annie feasts on locally-sourced conservas (canned food) at Quimet y Quimet in Barcelona. She then prepares traditional dried salted cod (bacalao) in Bilbao and explores a range of meat smoking techniques in Catalonia. She also prepares chicken and vegetables in the traditional escabeche style.
    Premieres Saturday, June 25th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Seafood To Die For”
    Annie helps female clam diggers of Galicia gather clams before the tides come in and later risks the dangerous surf off of Spain’s “coast of death” in search of percebes (goose barnacles). She enjoys a Galician-style octopus party and works alongside Chef Marcelo Tejedor to cook local seafood in his restaurant in Santiago de Compostela.

    SEASON PREMIERE
    Kelsey’s Essentials: Season Two Premieres Saturday, June 25th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT – “Summer Desserts”
    Kelsey whips up delicious desserts including Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Icebox Cake; Sugar Cookie Crust Pizza; Watermelon, Ginger and Lime Granita; and Cucumber, Meyer Lemon and Lavender Granita.

    ON-AIR “GRILLING WEEK”
    Grilling Week: Sunday, June 12th - Saturday, June 18th from 8pm-11pmET/5pm-8pmPT
    From healthy hamburgers and scrumptious sides to thirst-quenching libations and delicious desserts, Cooking Channel gets grilling with tasty themed episodes of fan favorite shows offering up expert tips and techniques perfect for summer entertaining.

    Premiere and encore episodes of series and specials include: BBQ with Bobby Flay; BBQ Boot Camp; BBQ Circuit; Bitchin’ Kitchen; Ciao America; Eat St.; Everyday Italian; Food(ography); From Spain with Love; Giada’s Weekend Getaways; Hook, Line & Dinner; The Originals with Emeril; Two Fat Ladies; Unique Eats; and United Tastes of America.

    ONLINE

    Cooking Channel’s Best Burger Blitz
    From bison burgers and bacon-wrapped meatloaf burgers to crab burgers and Aussie chicken burgers, CookingChannelTV.com has the perfect patty to satisfy every craving, including exclusive recipes from Food Network Kitchens, Hungry Girl’s Lisa Lillien, Fan Fave Chef Kevin Gillespie, and Kelsey Nixon from Kelsey’s Essentials. CookingChannelTV.com also offers up a rare gem: a burger recipe from legendary chef, Julia Child.

    NEW EPISODES
    In addition to the above series, new episodes of hit Cooking Channel series air throughout June.
    Chuck’s Day Off: June 5th, June 12th, June 19th and June 26th at 11amET/8amPT
    Eat St.: June 14th, June 21st and June 28th at 8pmET/5pmPT
    Unique Eats: June 5th, June 12th, June 19th and June 26th at 10pmET/7pmPT
    Unique Sweets: June 19th and June 26th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT
    David Rocco’s Dolce Vita: June 4th, June 11th, June 18th and June 25th at 1:30pmET/10:30amPT
    From the Kitchens Of...: June 12th at 10amET/7amPT

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Foodie News - Guy Gourmet

    To celebrate the beginning of summer as well as the grilling season, Men’s Health food blog ‘Guy Gourmet’ kicks off a 10-week series called “10 Foods Every Man Must Grill.” Each Friday, starting today, ‘Guy Gourmet’ will feature a grilling recipe from a well-known chef. This week, Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in New York City shares his recipe for “Grilled Lobster with Sauce Vierge.” Over the course of the series, nine other notable chefs including Tadashi Ono, Adam Perry Lang, and Elizabeth Karmel will share their favorite grilling recipes.

    To follow the series at Guy Gourmet and check out the series’ first recipe, visit: http://blogs.menshealth.com/guy-gourmet/10-foods-every-man-must-grill-1-lobster/2011/05/27/.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Zesty turkey wrap for quick lunches

    Guest post written by Emily Shelton

    I've never minded preparing and fixing food for myself. I actually love to cook! But there are just some times when I wish that I had the chance to whip up something really great but I don't have the time to do it. So I like to figure out shortcuts for little dishes that I just throw together in a matter of minutes.

    But I tend to over think these things, so I went online to get some inspiration for really simple quick meals to make that don't require cooking or baking. When i was online looking up some stuff like that I came across the website http://get.wildblue.com/faqs.html and after I looked through it a little bit, I decided to sign up for a new internet service for my apartment through it.

    I found a quick recipe for a zesty turkey wrap that sounded delicious so I've made that a couple of times, which includes ingredients that I kind of already have around the kitchen anyway. Also, I love hummus and I can throw that in the wrap too to add a little more flavor.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    And the winner is....


    Thanks for the great response! The winners of the trial packs of Cascade Complete All-in-1 Action Pacs are:


    jezinthekitchen said...
    I can't tell you how many times I have placed an empty but dirty casserole dish in the oven because of lack of counter space and forgotten it - and then turned the oven on to preheat for another meal. Ugh. It's my worst kitchen habit! Hopefully someday I'll have a kitchen with LOTS of counter space :)

    Jodi said...
    Hey there! Need some cooking help, glad you sent me to your blog! And trying a new recipe in a new pan could deffinatley be fun!jharstine@hotmail.com
    May 16, 2011 1:20 PM


    Anonymous said...
    Love your blog. Worst thing to clean is the brownie pan with the insert to make individual brownies. Even after soaking, it never gets completely clean in the dishwasher. Sheila
    May 19, 2011 10:00 AM

    Anash said...
    scarmbled eggs is what i hate cleaning! Thanks for the chance to win!! What a lovely giveawayanashct [at] yahoo [dot] com
    May 17, 2011 10:28 PM

    Becky Vance said...
    I am the worlds worst at not cleaning up the night I cook. Cascade is real good for the next day cleaning..lol
    May 18, 2011 5:14 PM


    And, the lucky winner of the $15 Wal-Mart Gift Card is:

    Anonymous said...
    lasagna is always the worst!!! Amy :o) funbbw40@aol.com
    May 25, 2011 8:34 AM


    Congrats to all the winners! Please e-mail me at simplecookery@aol.com with your name & mailing address so I can mail out your prize.


    My thanks to P&G for providing me with the Cascade Complete All-in-1 ActionPac Kit, 6 trial packs, information, and the $15 Walmart gift card to giveaway through MyBlogSpark.



    Legal Disclaimer:
    This product review was based on using complimentary Cascade product provided by P&G. Bloggers also received a Walmart® gift card to share with their readers. P&G does not represent or warrant the accuracy of any statements or product claims made here, nor does it endorse any opinions expressed within this blog site.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Buffalo & Bleu Chicken Salad

    Summer means salads! I've been experimenting with different recipes for homemade salad dressings. This one is a bleu cheese dressing, but it tastes great without the cheese too. I'd say this recipe makes two good servings of the dressing. I added leftover Simple Boneless Buffalo Chicken Tenders to romaine lettuce for a great dinner.

    Bleu Cheese Dressing
    .
    2 tablespoons Kraft Miracle Whip Dressing
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
    2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
    1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
    2 tablespoons aged bleu cheese
    1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
    salt/pepper to taste
    .
    Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Serve over romaine lettuce and top with chicken tenders.

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Foodie News - 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off

    Entries for the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest are in and judging is now underway. And once again the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest is letting You Be the Judge!

    Beginning May 12, 2011, America will have the opportunity to vote for 10 of the 20 original recipes posted on www.bakeoff.com. The recipes will be posted in pairs every two weeks and during each two-week period, consumers will have the opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite of the two recipes. Voting is limited to one vote per person per each pair of recipes. Voters must be registered members of www.pillsbury.com and 18 years of age or older as of May 1, 2011 to participate.

    At the end of two weeks, the home cook whose recipe receives the most votes in each pair will become a finalist in the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest taking place in Orlando, Florida from March 25-27, 2012...getting one step closer to the $1 million grand prize. The contest will feature 100 original recipes-90 recipes whose creators will directly earn a spot at the competition and the 10 winning recipes determined by people like you through You Be the Judge!

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Simple Boneless Buffalo Chicken Tenders


    I frequent a great Mexican restaurant that serves the best hot wings. The sauce is the best part, but I also like that the wings are not breaded. They are deep fried and then covered in the yummy sauce. I love this sauce so much that I finally asked how they made it. Two ingredients - hot sauce and melted butter. No wonder it tasted so good! I love butter too, but I'm constantly looking for ways to cook without it or at least by reducing it. I honestly didn't expect to find a bottled sauce that tasted as good as the homemade kind. Then I ran across Frank's" RedHot Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce. I've been a fan of their hot sauce for years and decided to give the wing sauce a try - especially since it didn't call for butter! So, this delicious recipe has only two ingredients - chicken tenders and the sauce. You can add as much or as little sauce as you want as it's not 'super' hot. Just do a taste test first to see how much you want to use. The sauce thickens as it cooks. I used boneless chicken tenders, but you could use breaded or wings. Happy cooking!
    .
    Simple Boneless Buffalo Chicken Tenders

    8-12 boneless chicken tenders
    1/2 cup Frank's" RedHot Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce
    .
    Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place tenders in a shallow dish and cover with wing sauce. Cook for 35 minutes or until chicken is done. If using frozen, follow package directions for thawing/cooking times.