Author Archives: lilbeesie

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping: [Recipe] Taco Seasoning

It’s always a good idea to try to save a bit of money, isn’t it? Here in our house, we’re trying our best to meal plan and get a bit more frugal with our spending on food, an area we usually totally overspend on. If anyone has any great ideas to toss my way, please do!

Meal planning is essential for us to stick to our grocery budget. When we don’t have a plan in place, we just go right off the rails. For now, we’re trying to keep our grocery and supplies (toilet paper, dog food, diapers, etc.) to $600 a month. This amount may change once we settle into a routine and figure out how much we are realistically going to spend.

Last week, I planned our meals and prepped some of them ahead of time on Sunday. Here’s what we had to eat last week:

Sunday – Pizza, Pasta Salad
Monday – Quiche, Maple Sausages
Tuesday – Lawnmower Tacos served with fresh tomato, lettuce, and sour cream
Wednesday – Slow Cooker Beef Tips in Gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Thursday – Burgers and fries
Friday – Takeout (we have a separate budget for that)
Saturday – Chicken fingers, Perogies, carrots, broccoli

I also made tangy pasta salad, quiche, berry crisp, and oatcakes ahead of time to help us bridge any food gaps during the week.

I needed taco seasoning to make the lawnmower tacos (recipe found here: Life As a Mom), so I decided I’d make my own. Here’s how I did it.

taco seasoning

[Recipe] Taco Seasoning

1 part chili powder (I used 2 Tbsp)
1 part ground cumin
1 part garlic powder
1 part onion powder
1/4 part salt
1/2 part paprika
1/4 – 1/2 part red chili flakes (I omitted this to keep it kid-friendly)

Just mix everything together and you’re done.

This taco seasoning is so much more frugal than buying the little packets at the store. It costs just pennies to make and the recipe made about a half a cup of seasoning, probably 3 times what you’d get in a packet. It also tastes great and is a healthier option.

[Recipe] Taco Seasoning

[Recipe] Taco Seasoning

Ingredients

  • 1 part chili powder (I used 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 part ground cumin
  • 1 part garlic powder
  • 1 part onion powder
  • 1/4 part salt
  • 1/2 part paprika
  • 1/4 - 1/2 part red chili flakes (I omitted this to keep it kid-friendly)

Instructions

  1. Mix.
http://www.thefrillyapron.com/grocery-shop-and-meal-plan-recipe-taco-seasoning/

This coming week, we’ve planned the following meals:

Sunday – Andouille Sausage Skillet Pasta, Salad
Monday – Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Rice, Asian Marinated Cucumbers
Tuesday – Salmon, squash, peas
Wednesday – Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs, Mexican Corn Salad
Thursday – Steak and Blue Cheese Caesar Salad
Friday – Take Out
Saturday – Bruschetta Chicken Bake, Salad

I’m also making english muffin bread, and an egg casserole ahead of time to help us out through the week.

Yesterday we did our weekly grocery shop. We stayed in our budget, spending $104. We even got a couple of “bonus” items like chips and dip, sausages and buns. Still stayed in budget. I was so proud of us.

Here’s what we picked up:

raspberries
sour cream
ground beef
pork ribs
romaine lettuce
frozen salmon
frozen corn
frozen broccoli
shredded cheddar
deli ham
cucumber
green onions
sausages
sausage buns
potato chips
chip dip
butter
milk
a chocolate bar
canned tomatoes
bell peppers

Now to prep and cook today to set us up for the upcoming week.

Home Sweet Home

My heart is full today.

You see, about a month ago, my husband and I made the decision to leave this house and make the move back to my hometown, a little town that I love very much.

But now as I sit here in this house, surrounded by bare walls and boxes of our things, things that have surrounded us here for nearly a decade, I have a heavy heart. This house has been our home, and it’s been a good home – the house where we welcomed our puppy, the house we came home to after our wedding, the house where we’ve welcomed friends and family for dinners and celebrations and conversation, and the house we brought our daughter home to. This place holds so many happy memories.

mess

boxes

packing

It is bittersweet to be leaving this house behind, but we’ll be taking all of those happy memories with us, and we’re looking forward to making many more. That’s the beautiful thing about memories – they follow you wherever you go. While this will mean a major change in our lives, I know that this change is a positive one.

I am happy to be moving back to my hometown, the place I really consider home. I am thrilled that we’ll be raising our baby girl there, surrounded by family, friends, and familiar faces and places. I’m thrilled that she’ll grow up where I did – where I can show her all of the great places to ride a bike, where she’ll learn to swim, where family is only a five minute drive away, where she’ll walk the same school halls that I did, and where she’ll grow up to drive the same streets over and over on a Saturday night with her friends. I know that doesn’t sound like any big deal to a lot of people, but to me it means everything.

Less than a week to go.

Change is good, friends. We’re ready. We’ll see you soon.

Game Time Munchies: [Recipe] Loaded Potato Chips

chips6

This coming Sunday is Superbowl Sunday, Superbowl XLIX.

XLIX — extra licks?

You’ll enjoy the extra licks off your fingers if you make some of these indulgent loaded potato chips for game time. Maybe you’re just looking for another way to eat your #stormchips . We are getting more snow in the Maritimes this weekend, after all. Warm crunchy potato chips loaded up with everything you like on a baked potato. Ten minutes and DONE.

I really enjoy Superbowl Sunday. I’m not a regular football watcher, but I do enjoy watching football when I take the time to watch. I also actually understand the game, so don’t go thinking that I watch just because I think the uniforms are pretty. It’s much more than that. I like the well choreographed touchdown celebrations too. And the Superbowl Half Time Show, most years.

These loaded potato chips are much less a recipe than a snack idea. I’m planting the idea in your head, and it’s your responsibility to take it and run with it. Maybe you’d rather make BBQ chicken potato chips, or buffalo chicken and blue cheese potato chips – see where you can go with this? Go crazy with your favourite flavour combinations.

I used crinkle cut kettle chips for the potato chips here. I recommend using a thicker cut potato chip, or something that will stand up to holding the toppings. I also bought pre-cooked and crumbled bacon, and shredded cheese to make my life easier. One can’t be wasting time frying bacon when there’s serious snacking to be done, am I right?

Enjoy those Superbowl parties this weekend, y’animals!

Go Seahawks! When that twelfth man shows up at your party, feed him well.

chips7

[Recipe] Loaded Potato Chips

potato chips
shredded cheese
cooked bacon, chopped
sour cream
green onions, chopped

chips1

Preheat oven to 400F.

Spread out the potato chips on a large baking sheet. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper to make clean up easier.

chips2

Sprinkle cheese and bacon liberally over the potato chips.

chips3

Bake in the hot oven for 5-8 minutes, until the chips are warm, the cheese has melted, and everything’s nice and sizzly.

chips4

Sprinkle with chopped green onions and place a dollop or two of sour cream in the middle of the chips, for dipping.

chips5

12 Days of Christmas, Day 12: Disney’s French Toast Loaf

french toast cover

French toast that is make ahead and bakes as a loaf? YES, please!

It’s no secret that my husband and I are Disney fans, big ones. When I get a chance to have a little piece of Disney at home, I certainly do. The original recipe for this french toast loaf is a Disney recipe from the Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.

When I found this recipe, I thought it would be the perfect thing to have for breakfast on Christmas morning. It’s something that is easy to throw together the night before, and it bakes in the morning while you’re drinking a warm drink and enjoying your family. Perfect.

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12 Days of Christmas, Day 11: [Recipe] Hello Dolly Squares

hello dollies cover

Hello Dolly squares. A classic in our family. This recipe reminds me of my Auntie Donna, as this is her recipe. Even with an entire can of sweetened condensed milk, these squares aren’t nearly as sweet as she is. She is a very special lady to me, and holds a big space in my heart.

My husband is so crazy about these treats that he actually asked me how to make them himself and used to on the regular. Considering he isn’t much of a guy for sweets, that’s saying a lot about how good these squares are.

Hello Dollies – a firm graham crumb base, topped with chocolate, pecans, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. Simple and to the point. One of my husband’s favourites. I’m sure they’ll be one of yours too.

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