Monday, May 31, 2010

Computer Problems Over

I am happy to be back online with no problems now. I ended up having to reformat the hard drive, but everything is working smoothly again. I know everyone complains about their slow computer. When my neighbors complained, I let them use my computer and was always told "mine is not so bad after all". It was aggravating, and I did lose a few programs. I had tried everything else. I could have taken it somewhere to be checked out. The cost of that would have been more than the cost of the two programs. I am not certain that the outcome would have been any different.

I am pleased to say that I have posts lined up for the next week. I apologize for my absence and hope the computer will cooperate from here on out.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Recipe Review: French Apple Tart

As I was decluttering my recipes/cookbooks, I made a point to only keep recipes I knew my family loved or that I seriously wanted to try. One of those was the Barefoot Contessa's French Apple Tart. The tart was incredibly easy to make. My favorite part was the crust as it was very flaky. Dh declared that he gave it a 9.5 out of 10. He deducted half a point since we had no whipped cream in the house.

I made a couple of changes simply to use items I had on hand. I replaced the Granny Smith apples with Gala apples. I also used peach preserves rather than apricot. My apples were a bit small, and I could have used one more. The crust was so yummy that the sparse bits were not a problem.

This recipe definitely goes into the keep section. I would like to try it with peaches or pears.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekly Shopping

I went shopping Wednesday afternoon and tried my best to stick to a low total. I think I did well as I got everything pictured for $7.10 thanks to sales and coupons. My freebies were the cereal from CVS with a bonus extra buck. From the grocery store I got the Steamfresh vegetables & rice and two candy bars. The pasta side was for yesterday's lunch. The Fritos and grapes are for DH's lunch. The corn chubs were 75 cents each after the coupon. I needed something for a church dinner next weekend. Creamed corn will be a great and frugal start to my menu.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Menu Plan

I am trying to do another pantry/freezer challenge. My plan is to spend less money on groceries over the next eight weeks. We have plenty of food on hand. My problem is decided what to fix. That requires a menu plan. Here is mine for this week.

Yesterday we had pizza and salad for lunch and burritos and salsa/guacamole for dinner. It was not the most balanced, but I was away much of the day.

Today we are having broiled cod fillets, a pasta side, and either salad or slaw for lunch. Our evening meal will be corn dogs and home baked fries with fruit for dessert.

Friday: hamburgers on homemade buns, chips
Saturday: chicken wings, green beans, potato salad
Sunday: BBQ sandwiches on homemade buns
Monday: pizza and salad
Tuesday: sausage and tomatoes in pasta, biscuits

One day this week I want to try out an apple tart recipe. I am only keeping recipes that I seriously plan to test. This is one DH had selected so it is a definite test recipe. I already have the apples so I can try the tart without purchasing any other ingredients.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Restaurant Cooking at Home

Eating out does not always fit with the budget or the waistline. I do have some things that I like and consider a treat. Making similar recipes at home allows me to treat myself for a fraction of the money. I am not clever enough to decipher most of the recipes on my own. That is why I like the copycat section of RecipeZaar. I can search by meal or by recipe. Some need a bit of adjusting to taste exactly as I want them which is another bonus of preparing it myself at home.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Cleaning: Cookbooks/Recipes

Last week I caught a cold which I am still dealing with today. I did not do any spring cleaning and am still trying to take it easy. I decided one area I could work on from the couch was my cookbooks/recipes. I have too many of both. I find it easy while flipping through magazines to be pulled in by the beautiful pictures of delectable dishes. I tear out the recipes with grand plans to cook the featured foods. Eventually (aka: now) I find myself buried in paper. It is time for a fresh start. I am going to put my favorite recipes in one cookbook so I am no longer digging through mounds of recipes.

I am not going to pretend that I will get rid of all of my cookbooks. If I can clear out five books along with 75% of the "one day I might cook that" recipes, I will consider that area of spring cleaning a success.