Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ah the joys of bargain hunting

Finally the Christmas season (and the extra working hours) is over.  I was able to start working on my coupon shopping again.  Today's bounty included: 4 Hormel microwave dinners (39 cents each); 5 Hormel sandwich makers (also 39 cents each), 12 Red Gold tomato products (9 cents each); 9 bottles of Ibuprofen (24 count) that were 49 cents each.

Blessings, Laura

Monday, December 10, 2012

Morning thoughts during a bus ride

Just some of the random things that go thru my mind while riding the bus to work.

#1 My boss must hate me to make me get up this early.
#2 Oh mercy these kids are so awake and loud.
#3 Oh this bus is nice a cozy warm on a cold morning.
#4 Oh look ducks down sitting on the river.  Which leads to do their bottoms get cold?
#4 What a nice picture that shot of the old lever style bridge with the High Level bridge in the background. (That will wait until Spring.)
#5 A new Mexican restaurant just opened.  (As the tummy starts to grumble)
#6 pretty artwork in the Hispanic area.
#7 The city really needs to upgrade Broadway - lots of potholes.
#8 The zoo is so pretty and hopefully they have left one or two strings of lights on.  By the way they didn't after all it is after 9 am.
#9 the park right across the street from the zoo is empty.  During the Spring, Summer and Fall it is so full that to have a table you must get to the park and stake your claim by 9 am.
#10 The bus goes on down the road, twisting and turning and stopping to drop off people.
#11 We drive by one of my co-workers apartment and I wave hi but she doesn't wave back.  Could it be that she is not out but in her nice warm apartment?

#12 the ride is over and its my stop.  time to get into work and start my day.

Blessings, laura

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Various pictures

One of the benches.  It was decorated by some local art students.
A Lion that is on one of the buildings Downtown.

Now this one is an old hotel that is now residential housing.  Very ritzy and upper class.  But when I see this window and the balcony all I can think of is Rapunzel Rapunzel let down your hair.

I took these pictures the same day I was Downtown for the circus.  I enjoy walking around Downtown and checking out all the different architecture.

Thank you for checking my blog out today and may you be blessed, Laura

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Serene Saturday

Last week we had a few days of fog.  I went out back to snap some pictures and took this one of Miss Maple.  I wasn't sure if I should title this serene or spooky but chose serene.  I love Miss Maple not only is she beautiful in the Spring with her new green leaves.  She is beautiful in the summer with her very full body of leaves that hang over us as we sit under her.  In the Fall when those same green leaves turn red, orange and yellow and shower whoever is brave enough to sit under with the leaves.  Even in the winter her limbs are so thick that the snow collects until it can't hold anymore and then drops snowballs on us.

I hope that in your life you have a tree such as Miss Maple.

Thank you for reading and may God above bless your life, Laura

Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas lights at the zoo

  Our zoo's tree was named one of the nations best.  Now granted I maybe biased but I agree.  I've been watching the zoo workers hang the lights including the "Big tree".  I think the lights are just beautiful.  Here are some facts that the zoo posted on their Facebook page.
The Toledo Zoo Some interesting facts about these decorations and the Zoo's energy to power them:

1. The lights on the Big Tree are all LED lights which, besides being dazzling (as you can see), are more energy-efficient than traditional lights. Zoo-wide, more than
half the lights at the Lights Before Christmas are now LED lights, and we are gradually increasing that percentage.

2. We carefully dismantle the lights at the end of each season and re-use them the next year.  PS One thing that they do not mention here is that the checking of all the strands starts in September and yes they go thru each and every light on each and every strand.

3. Part of the energy to power and heat the Zoo comes from solar panels, a wind turbine and a geothermal system.

New recipe for you - Sausage Stars

Sausage stars

1/2 pound bulk sausage (use mild, medium or hot your taste preference)
1 bunch green onions, about 10, chopped
1 packet Hidden Valley ranch dry dressing mix
1 package won ton wrappers

Preheat oven to 350
Spray pan with nonstick spray.  Place 2 wonton wrappers in a muffin pan cup.  Overlap the wrappers to go up all sides of the tin (You want to form a cup with them).  Spray the pair with the nonstick spray.  Bake for about 4 minutes til lightly browned.  Turn off heat.

Meanwhile brown the sausage, do not drain grease.  In fact you may need to add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.  Add chopped onions and mix a bit to soften them.  Add package of mix.  Mix thoroughly!!  Trust me you do not want to bite down on a bite of the dressing.  Use soup spoon and place 1 or 2 spoons of mix into the cups.

Put back into the warm oven and let sit for 3 or 4 minutes.  This gives everything a chance to come together better.

Serve warm you’ll need a vegetable for the side dish.

Now you can adjust the sausage to meet the size of your family.  This recipe used the package of wrappers and made 11 “stars”.  I don’t remember where I got this recipe from but it is not one of my own.  If you have the patience you can use just one wrapper and make appetizer size stars.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Free Kindle book

Something new that I have not posted before free Kindle books.  Yep I stopped into the digital world recently and bought a Kindle Touch.  It took me almost 2 weeks to figure out how to download without wi-fi but I did.  Now I have 52 books and magazines to read.  In my hunt today for particular magazine editions I found this.

Enjoy when I ordered it 3 minutes ago it was free.

Blessings, Laura

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Recipe Review - Hot Chicken Salad

Hot Chicken salad
Taste of Home April/May 2006

2 cups cooked chopped chicken
1 can (10 3/4oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
1 can (4 oz) mushrooms stems and pieces, drained
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
½ cup crushed butter flavored crackers
½ cup crushed potato chips
½ sliced almonds, toasted

Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir in cracker crumbs.  Spoon into a greased 1 ½ qt baking dish.  Bake uncovered at 375 for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with chips and almonds and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Yield is 4 servings

NOTE:  They do not recommend using reduced fat or fat free mayonnaise.

Results: another great yummy recipe.  I really like the Taste of Home magazine and recipes.  The only change I made was NO fungus (aka mushrooms) in this.  I could not handle the thought of eating that many mushrooms in a dish.  I think this could be a great dish for a party but can't figure out how to thin it out.  I ate mine with saltine crackers but some good pumpernickel bread pieces would be very tasty also.

Thank you for reading and may the Lord bless you, Laura

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Product review Provident Pantry Products

As many long time readers of my blog may remember that about a year ago I started prepping for emergencies.   I wanted to let everyone know what I think of 3 products that I have bought and tried.

First and second are the Provident Pantry Beef and Chicken gravy mixes.  The reason I bought them was frankly my gravies need help.  I tried the Beef first and it turned out so well.  I made beef and noodles with it.  Wonderful flavor and texture (ie no lumps),  the second the chicken gravy did not turn out so well.  The flavor was ok but very salty.  But the problem I had “flow” the Chicken was not.  It did not firm up to good gravy.  I even tried it a second time double checking my measurements.

Product 3 is the Provident Pantry TVP Bacon bites.  This one made me feel so stupid TVP bacon bits.  Now I admit that I had no idea what Textured Vegetable Protein was but it was bacon!!!  Greg and I love our bacon.  Well imagine my surprise when I opened the package and saw what we call Bacos.  Yep those things you see on the grocery shelf to use for salads.   Once I got over the shock and the laughing they are ok, I am using them in my salads.  I did use some the other day in Wilted Lettuce (also called Sweet & Sour lettuce).  I didn’t have the real bacon so I heated up some bacon grease, added the TVP to gather some bacon flavor and made the dressing.  It turned out pretty well I will do that again most likely for dinner tonight.

Now I buy my products from Emergency Essentials;  Or even easier look to the upper right see their button?  Takes you right there.  I get nothing from this promoting and there are other companies that you can buy the same products from.  I just happen to like Emergency Essentials.  Very easy website, great people on the phone and great workers in the shipping department.

I’ll use future blog entries to share what all I have stored for emergencies.

Thank you for reading and may you remain blessed, Laura

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The circus is in town!!! The circus is in town!!!!

Ok I love the Ringling bro, Barnum & Bailey circus.  I saw the elephants walk from the train to the arena in Florida 20 years ago - I fell in love.  Well it happened again yesterday.

First 2 pictures are of the surrounding streets full of Big Top equipment.  The third is the Jurassic Park style gates that lead to the intersactum of the Arena.  I realized last night that my camera is old and really needs to be replaced.  None of my nighttime pictures turned out.  But the local news station was there and did post a quick bit about the circus.  Yes you have to watch 2other stories but they are quick.

I have to work all 3 days of the weekend so I will not be attending the circus this year.

Thank you for reading and may you be blessed, Laura

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Recipe review

From Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook
Revised 1962 edition
Yep another one of my Mothers cookbook

1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup cooked rice
1 1/2 cups cooked tomatoes (and yes I used some of my home canned ones)
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
buttered crumbs

Combine chicken, rice and tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
Add everything else.
Turn into a baking pan and cover with bread crumbs
Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour.

Well I did not use the bread crumbs the extra calories were not needed.  But this did turn out well except that I needed some Franks hot sauce.  Very good sorry no picture I forgot to take one.

Thanks for reading and may you be blessed, Laura

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sad end of the garden

I really dislike this time of the year.  The end of the garden.  Check the pictures how sad is all that empty space?  Everything should be out by the end of this coming week.  12 heads of cabbage will be sauerkraut, coleslaw and some cabbage rolls for Greg.  the collard greens will get processed with the Turnips, Kale and spinach that is hiding in the refrigerator.  The Crowder beans are about done just letting the remaining ones finish drying out.  I am trying to save the last 3 Hungarian pepper plants (that is what is in the greenhouse).  They still had flowers on them so hopefully I can get more peppers for Hungarian pepper mustard.

Monday, October 8, 2012

new recipe White bean & sausage stew

Can I just mention first that I am so happy that it is cold again.  This summer I realized that I am happier eating and cooking soups and stews.  Here is a great one.

White Bean & Sausage Stew

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 4 hours 30 min
Serves 4
Cost: $2.14

6 3 oz Italian sausage links (I used sweet sausage)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 – 15 oz cans white beans (Great Northern or navy), drained and rinsed
1 28oz canned tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme or 1 tsp dried
salt and pepper to taste

Poke sausages and place in a nonstick skillet.  Add ¼ cup water, bring to boil.  Lower heat and cook sausages turning, until lightly brown and water has evaporated.  Transfer to plate.  To skillet add oil, onions and garlic.  Stir often about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and beans and thyme.

Put half of skillet mixture into crock pot.  Place sausages on top and cover with remaining skillet mixture.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  Check and add water, if necessary, cook for 2 more hours.

Remove sausages and slice thick.  Put back in cooker for another 20 minutes.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Summer activities

One of our stores, Gordon's Food service, had a few specials that drew me in.  15 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $15.99, 2 1/2 dozen eggs for $2.99, and a 3 pound package of bacon was $7.99.  The eggs are in the refrigerator and the bacon is also in there waiting until I can preserve it next week.  the chicken was canned that same day.  We ended up with 6 pints of chunks, 4 cups are in the freezer waiting so I can can them next week and 2 were used for dinner that night.

What 15 pounds of chicken breasts look like all cut up

The bag

The things are huge!!!  We could easily eat one half for a meal.
Next week Greg & I are going to reorganize the canning pantry.  I'll then post the total of what was canned this summer and I'll show off the pantry that Greg & my Dad built for me.

Thanks for reading and may you be blessed.  Laura

Friday, August 10, 2012

Update on prepping activities

The newest addition to the "Prepping" activities.  Its the LDS Preparedness Manual very informative and easy to read and follow.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bzz Report Private Selections

First of all I need to state that I am a Bzzagent and in a sense they “pay” me to try and report products.   For this report I want to tell you about three Private Selection

First Ground Angus Beef:
 #1 this stuff is expensive my 1 pound package costs $5.22.  Thankfully my “payment” was a $5 coupon.
#2  The amount of grease that remained after I browned the meat was definitely smaller than my regular ground 80/20 beef.
#3  I could not tell any difference in the taste of the spaghetti sauce that I added the meat to.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but I was slightly disappointed in the flavor.  It tasted the same as my regular ground beef.

The second product was ice cream!!!  Butter Pecan ice cream to be exact.  Oh my how yummy it was.  The ice cream wad very creamy and the pecans tasted great.

The final product was potato chips – salt and black pepper kettle chips.  Now don’t stick up your nose salt and pepper chips are very good.  In in my humble opinion kettle chips are about the best way to eat potato chips – and trust me I really enjoy my chips.

Overall I am very happy with other Private selection products and would buy almost any of them again. Although I am too cheap to pay the price per pound for any Angus beef.

Monday, May 7, 2012

See what happens with an empty closet and a new kitchen tool

The new kitchen tool.  Given to me by a dear friend.
Turkey pot pie mix, Barbeque turkey and a jar of plain turkey with stock.

Dried ground Beef

the full shelf

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Need some coffee?

I found the coffee maker deal on Refund Cents a couple days ago.  What a wonderful coincident that our other coffeemaker broke and we needed a new one.  4 boxes of Genvalia coffee and the coffeemaker for $9.95 plus shipping.

Have a blessed day, laurqa

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies


2 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup butter or margarine or shortening
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ white sugar
1 egg
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (or 6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate pieces
½ cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375 Yield: 42 cookies

Sift flour, soda and salt.
Cream butter (or whatever you use) and then add sugars cream until light and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla; beat well.
Blend into creamed mixture the flour mix.
Sitr in chocolate and nuts.
Drop by rounded teaspoon onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

From Pillsbury Family cookbook (1963)

One of my moms cookbooks that is now in my collection. I really love this cookbook it holds the banana bread recipe and this recipe plus several others.

I didn’t have any butter or margarine and Greg asked for some cookies. After a internet check I found out that you can use shortening in place of the butter. I like how it held the nice round shape of the cookies instead of them spreading all over the pan.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New recipe - Bacon egg and cheese biscuit casserole

Now I admit that I did not come up with the whole idea for this dish. Greg & I were watching the Chew (ABC daytime show) on casserole day. One of my goals for 2012 is to put up meals in our freezer to use on really busy days. Such as during Christmas season at work – think Christmas time at a toy store.
My version of Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit Casserole:
• 1 pound bacon (cooked and chopped)
• cheddar chive biscuits
• 6 large eggs
• 1 1/2 cup milk
• salt, pepper and chives to taste
• 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated) or more if you like
I used cheap store brand pop and bake biscuits. I baked according to the directions and let cool. Bacon was also baked (my favorite way to cook it) and cooled. Cut open the baked biscuits and layer the bottoms at the bottom of a baking pan. Top with bacon and then cheese then the tops of the biscuits.
Mix the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and the chives.
Pour egg mixture over the sandwiches and allow to soak into the sandwiches.
Cover and bake in 350 oven for 40-45 minutes.

Results: very good but I did make a mistake. I didn't reread the directions before making so I missed the part where you were to use the whole pound of bacon. At the end I added the rest and more cheese over the top.

But that lead to another thought. I do not reuse a fork after touching it to uncooked eggs - how can I salt, pepper and chive to taste?

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New kitchen tool

Last year (early Fall) I was given a new kitchen toy. One of our neighbors gave me their old dehydrator. Its a cheap Ronco but I am having fun with it. The past couple of days I have dried strawberries

, cherry tomatoes and currently I have grapes in there.

I am finding that I am not wasting so much food the little bits of vegetables that are looking none to good are getting dried and then used later on. I am really excited about using the dehydrator to help with the garden produce that we grow and or buy.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day of shopping

Jan 31. 2012

I got out and about for some deal shopping today.

A new sears Outlet store has opened so I checked it out and found 2 new shirts for me. One is a casual and the other is a new one to wear at work.

Kroger (this store doubles coupons to 99 cents)
2 free Sauve deorderants (donation to food pantry)
3 Blistex (donation to food pantry)
6 cans of Hunt’s tomatoes 10 cents each

20 lbs of Tidy Cat litter $5.95

Giant Eagle (doubles coupons to 99 cents)
2 Knorrs noodle packs 50 cents each
2 Wish Bone salad dressings 25 cents each

2 Lipton cup-a-soup 20 cents each
4 Knoor recipe mixes 50 cents each
1 Bayer advanced asprin $1.67 plus a mail in refund for full purchase price

Thank you for reading and may you be blessed, Laura

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I have decided that I really really enjoy the comfort of having blankets on me. I did notice this in the Fall when the heat finally allowed me to add a blanket to the bed. The other night I had to add a heavier comforter to the bed. I really enjoy snuggling under the weight of the 4 sheets/blankets.

This picture shows the many layers of comfort.

this is what my bed looks like until I hop in and snuggle under those delicious layers of comfort.

I plna on enjoying these layers of comfort until May.

Blessings to all, Laura

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Recipe review - Bacon Cheeseburger Rice

Bacon Cheeseburger Rice
Taste of Home Simple and Deliousous
Dec/Jan 2011 page 49

Prep/total time 30 minutes
Serves 4

1 lb ground beef
1 ¾ cup water
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
2 tsp dried minced onion
½ tsp pepper
2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 cup (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped dill pickles
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Cook ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add water, barvecue sauce, mustard, onion and pepper.

Bring to a boil; stir in rice. Sprinkle with cheese, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Bacon and pickles.

The editors called this a kid-friendly meal and they were right!!! It was also adult friendly. No changes need to be made in my book.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day in the Life of Simba

Little troublemaker was "helping" me set up the Christmas tree. Then when I had AJ, Kelly and my brother Tom over for a birthday party for AJ he was the cordial host.

Checking out the crunchy paper.

Notice who is sleeping right next to AJ.

Still right next to AJ

Kelly and Tom

The finished tree

Simbas usual sleeping spot - under the chair right over the heat vent

Helping with the tree assembly

Then my favorite. When Kelly mentioned it was time to go home she collected the bag in which they brought the Christmas gifts in. But instead of getting out Simba got in was quite happy at the thought of going home with his bestest buddy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The start to 2012 - a new menu plan

To avoid the hassle of getting to and from the grocery store in a Ohio winter I am changing over to a 3-4 week menu plan. I tried it in December and could only plan 2 weeks, in January I have 3 planned.

Sat Jan 7 - Tacos
Sund - Italian chicken chili
Mon - Chili cheese soup and homemade rolls
Tues - bbq cups and fried potatoes
Wed - Chicken chow mein
Thurs - french toast with most likely apple pecan topping
Fri - sloppy joes
Sat - breakfast pizza skillet and sweet rolls
Sun - baked chicken
Mon - Tomato soup with beans and pasta
Tue - meeting night Greg is FFY
Wed - cheesy broccoli macaroni and meatloaf
Thur - pancakes, eggs and bacon
Fri - chicken and noodles

Like I told Greg these maybe moved due to my work schedule. I am planning on a trip to the grocery store around the 21st to stock up on produce and possibly some sale items.

Thank you for reading and blessings for a great 2012.