Friday, November 13, 2009

Homemade Granola

I have been wanting to make Granola at home for a while now and I finally found a recipe that I could adjust so it would not have a ton of calories per serving. I adjusted this recipe (which looks delicious, but I could not consume it everyday).

My Version of Cinnamon Crunch Granola

8 Cups Rolled Oats .80

2 T Cinnamon

2 cups flaked Coconut (I used sweetened) .50

1/2 chopped Pecans .75 (guess - I buy a huge bag at Costco)

1 and 1/4 Cups Grape Nuts Cereal - I used Aldi's Nutty Nuggets (.20 - on sale for .89/box)

3/4 C Brown Sugar

1/2 C water

1/4 C Vegetable Oil

1/2 C Apple Juice

2 t vanilla

The brown sugar I buy in a huge bag at Costco, the Apple juice we have tons of and a lot of it was close to free, the veggie oil was close to free on a Buy _ Get _ sale at Jewel - So I am not going to add in the cost of those items.
For 12 cups of granola - or approx 24 - 1/2 Cup Servings, the total is $2.25 - not spectacular for cereal, but for cereal I know what is in it, I think its great!
For more frugal ideas, visit LifeAsMom!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here is the menu plan up until Thanksgiving - For complicated reasons that I would be glad to spell out if anyone is interested, we only eat at home 3 times a week - so here is the plan for the next 3 weeks!

Week of 11/9

1 - Crockpot Pasta Fagioli with Focaccia Bread
2 - Italian Beef Sandwiches with leftover Focaccia Bread, Easy Oven Potatoes, and carrot sticks
3 - Chicken Strips, Mac and Cheese, frozen veggie - green beans and corn

Week of 11/16

1 - Black Bean Soup (or some version of it) with quesadillas
2 - Oven Chicken Breasts, AuGratin Potatoes, Frozen veggie (mixed)
3 - Costco Pizza

Week of 11/23

1 - Oven Chicken Breasts, Easy Oven Potatoes, on sale veggie
2 – Beef or chicken noodle soup with grilled cheeses
3 - Chili
For more menus, visit

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Local Apple Orchard

Our local apple orchard also has a farmer's market connected to it, so last Sunday when we went apple picking, we got a ton of apples - plus some goodies from the farm store. We got everything pictured above plus a huge pumpkin sugar cookie, a chocolate chip cookie, and a no-bake cookie for 8.20 total.

The pie pumpkins were .5o each and the Speghetti squash were .50 each. The little pumpkins were for our 3 yr old - she really, really liked them. The cider was 2.99, but it was soooo good. I do not have the itemized receipt, so I am not sure how much the green beans were, but they were so good in stir fry, I don't really care :)

For more Super Savings Saturday, visit MoneySavingMom.

Big Lots

Our Big Lots was having a drug store blowout - I got everything in the picture above for 5.57 - plus a candy bar that was .50 - hey I am 5 months pregnant, so my 3 year old can easily talk me into sharing a candy bar! :)

Here is a breakdown:

Saline Nose Spray - .30 ea

Bud Hat for gift - .50

Gloves - .20 ea

kid toothbrushes - .30 ea

ornament hangers - .19 ea

Listerine mouth strips - .50

Candy bar - .50

Total: $5.57
For more Super Savings, visit MoneySavingMom!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pumpkin Custard

My grandpa asked me to make this dessert, and to be honest at first, I was like "ewww". But, I dug out the recipe from my mom and decided to make it. I tasted the "batter" and was pleasantly surprised at how creamy it was.

Pumpkin Custard
2 C. canned pumpkin (I used a 15 oz can)
6 eggs
4 C milk scalded
1 and 3/4 C white sugar
1 t cinnamon
5 T flour
Combine pumpkin and eggs - beat. Combine dry ingredients while milk is being scalded. When milk is warm, pour a little into the egg mixture and whisk it together. Then pour the egg/pumpkin mixture into the dry and continue to add the milk. Whisk well. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and set inside a larger pan filled with hot water. Pour custard into pan and bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. Insert knife in center , if it comes out clean, it is done. You can see in the lower picture above where I stuck the knife in (2 times). If you use a really sharp knife I am guessing you will not get such large marks - I used a butter knife :)

Community Sale

Our community has a big sale for just baby/toddler items and I went to the recent annual sale in search of a bouncy seat. We have a bouncy seat, but I found with my daughter it would be super handy to have one on each level of the house - so I wanted to find a nice used one for that purpose! As you can see in the picture above, I found one - it was $10, which is more than I wanted to spend, but it was nice and I figured there would not be too many yard sales in the cold months - since I am due the 7th of March.

Breakdown -

Bouncy Seat - $10

Maternity Shirt - $1

Pair of Children's place jeans for 3yo - $1

Pair of columbia boots for 3yo - $1
Onesies for new baby - .10 ea

Sweater coat for 3yo - $2.00
Sleepers for new baby - .25 ea
Sweatpants for 3yo - .25
I am so glad I decided to buy the bouncy seat used - I not only saved at least $20 on that, I got my daughter a pair of waterproof boots for the winter for $1.00- which are a lot nicer than any boots we would have bought new. Yay for resales!
For more frugal ideas, visit LifeasMom!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Baking Pie Pumkins and Pumpkin Muffins/Bread

I found there pumpkins at the local apple orchard market for way cheap (.50 ea). I decided to bake one of them yesterday following these directions - except I just sprayed the pan with non-stick spray, then added an inch of water and did not brush the pumpkin with the honey.

I then put the flesh into the food processor and got about 3 cups of pumpkin puree. I used 2 cups to make the Muffins/Bread/Mini Muffins pictured above.

Pumpkin Bread
2 C Sugar
1 C Veggie oil (I used 1/2 C oil and 1/2 applesauce)
4 eggs lightly beaten
2 C pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
3 1/2 C flour (I used 1 C whole wheat)
2 t salt
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
2/3 C water
2 apples - peeled and grated

Stir sugar and oil. Stir in eggs and pumpkin. Blend in dry ingredients alternately with the water. Stir in grated apples.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 min in 2 - 9x5 loaf pans, or separate it between loaf pans and muffins tins.

Let stand 10 min and remove from pan. I found the fresh pumpkin to be less "pumpkin-y" than canned pumpkin, but still yummy! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Puppy Chow

I make this for a good friend every year for her October birthday, so it makes me think of fall - she loves it! It reminds her of our high school days when my mom used to make this by the truck load. It is super easy and I am sure anyone would be happy to get a pretty bag full of this good stuff as a gift!
Puppy Chow
1 stick butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter
10 cups Rice Chex
3 cups powdered sugar

Find a big paper grocery bag and put the powdered sugar in it. Set aside. Put the first three ingredients in a saucepan and melt slowly over low heat. Pour over the rice chex in a large bowl. Mix to coat and pour cereal into grocery bag with sugar and shake until coated.

Make sure it is completely cooled before being sealed up - if there is any left to put away! :)

$5DollarDinner Giveaway! Mod Mum Baby Sling

Erin, from $5DollarDinners is giving away a Mod Mum Baby Sling! Hop over here to enter! This sling could be very handy to me come mid March!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Good Habit Challenge

LifeAsMom has challenged the blog world to "Get a Good Habit Going." I have listed three habits in the comments to this post that I am going to try really hard to get going!

I have three little steps.

1. I need to spend more time off of my computer and tuned into my family.
2. I have a baby (meaning new and tiny) blog that I would like to post more - 3-4 times a week.
3. Stay on top of the laundry. - There are only three of us (soon to be 4), so it shouldn't take much, but I still get behind - maybe try a load every other day?!