Monday, April 25, 2011

Best Grilled Chicken

I don't like to brag, but my family makes the best grilled chicken.  Here's my variation.

Start with boneless skinless chicken breasts, some oil, some salt, some pepper, and some McCormick Montreal Chicken seasoning.

Place all of the above in a large plastic bag and coat the chicken.  Then get out your rolling pin and beat the crud out of it.

Grill it up.

Beef Enchiladas

These were the

I pretty much followed the recipe on the back of the McCormick Enchilada Sauce mix packet.  I omitted onions and added taco seasoning to the cooked hamburger meat.  I think it also said to dip your tortillas in the sauce.  Didn't do that.  Not necessary.

You will need:
one package tortillas- I used flour tortillas and it took 9 to fill up a 9x13 pan
one package cheddar cheese
one packet enchilada sauce mix + one small can tomato sauce (not pictured) + 1 1/2 cups water
one packet taco seasoning
one pound hamburger meat

Brown the meat and add taco seasoning.  Heat sauce packet, tomato sauce and water in another sauce pan.  When sauce is done pour a little in a greased pan.  Assemble enchiladas - tortilla, meat, enchilada sauce, cheese.  Roll up and place seam down in pan.  Cover with remaining sauce and remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Serve with beans, rice, or salad.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cheap and Simple Stuff: Monday Menu 4*25

I'm posting this early.  Because I have time today and I won't on Monday.

Saturday - Grilled Chicken, baked beans, roasted potatoes, Caesar salad

Sunday - Easter Dinner at Grandma's

Monday - Beef Enchiladas *new recipe

Tuesday - Spaghetti

Wednesday - Potato Soup

Thursday - Slow Cooker BBQ chicken *use leftovers for quesadillas

Friday - Quesadillas *use leftover bbq chicken (The chicken I made last time wasn't very bbq-y so I think it'll work.)

Saturday - Pizza

Sunday - Dinner at Grandma's/ Birthday Party

Monday - Beans and cornbread

Tuesday - Hamburgers

Wednesday - Sandwiches

Thursday - ?

Friday - Dinner out

Happy Earth Day!

Wow.  It's been a crazy couple of weeks.  Housework, car repairs, housework, a bout of extreme exhaustion, housework.  Hopefully the next few weeks will be better.

We accidentally "celebrated" Earth Day today by taking a trip to Lowe's.  I hadn't really planned anything since we're busy getting ready for Easter.  My plan would have included planting some sort of flowers.

Lowe's was giving out free trees in their stores today.  With the tree you got a reusable bag filled with coupons (yay!) and other Earth friendly information.  At the same time, they were also doing a Build & Grow clinic.  Since my kids were being INSANE in the store we decided the Build & Grow clinic would be a nice distraction.  I didn't snap any pics at the store because it was crazy busy and turning 2 three year olds loose with hammers would have been disastrous.  The project today was bird house bird feeders.  We built one in the store and saved the other two to do at home.  They even sent bird seed home with the kids to fill their feeders with!  We'll eventually paint them and put them in our front flower beds.

Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Theme Thursday: Transportation

I missed Thursday again.

This week's theme over at Another Day Another Diaper is Transportation.

Daddy giving little girls a "tractor" ride.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chicken Fajita Pizza

I like pizza.

1 refrigerated pizza crust
1 small can tomato sauce (the Hunt's garlic basil something something is really good)
1 pkg mozzarella or Italian cheese
1 chicken breast cooked how you like it and cut up.  I pan sauteed ours this time.  And seasoned with oil, salt, pepper, and Montreal seasoning.  The package usually comes with 3-4.  Go ahead and cook all of them for later.
some green bell pepper
some onion
some spinach (I've started just putting spinach on and in everything now.)

Heat oven to 400 and prebake crust about 5 minutes (per pkg instructions)
Arrange sauce, cheese and toppings.  Bake for about 12 minutes.

Save leftover chicken, onion, pepper and cheese if you had any to make Pasta.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The I'm Sorry Store

Here's an idea I came up with to keep my six year old's behavior in line (military school and shipping her to Uncle Kris  is too expensive).  It's a variation on an idea my sister gave me a few years back.  It's called the I'm Sorry Store.

Each kid will start off with $1.00 - 10 dimes.  They will lose a dime every time they have to say "I'm Sorry" to someone in our house.  They can earn dimes by doing their daily jobs and by demonstrating exceptional behavior.  Here's the kicker... when someone has to say "I'm Sorry" they have to not only give up a dime, they also have to put that dime in the person they hurt's jar (maybe mommy and daddy need a jar too?)  That way, they not only see their dimes dwindling but they see their sister's dimes growing.

So, what do they buy in the I'm Sorry Store? 

Small candy                                                                  $0.50
Small toy                                                                      $0.50
Big candy                                                                     $1.00
Big toy                                                                         $1.00
Slushee or ice cream from Sonic                                    $2.00
Shopping with Mommy or Daddy                                     $3.00
Sleep-over with Grandma                                                $3.00
Camp-Out in the tent*                                                     $3.00
        *Or slumber party in the living room
We'll have a small "treasure chest" with the small prizes - M&M's, Hershey's Kisses, Rings, Nail Polish, Stickers, Tattoos, Etc. (I'm totally raiding their already vast supply of little trinkets instead of buying more...Hi, million puppies from Senor Salsa?)  They can cash in their dimes every day or week for these prizes or they can save their dimes until the end of the month for the bigger prizes.

I really think this will work.  It's teaching them the value of money, teaching them how their actions affect others, rewarding them for their good behavior, and giving them an "allowance" without them spending it on useless crap at the store.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cheap and Simple Stuff: Monday Menu 4*11

Our menu for the next two weeks.  Recipes will be posted as I make 'em.

Monday - Beans and Cornbread and Tators  (oops!  Is it Monday already?!?!  Forgot to put the beans on!  Another day.)

Tuesday - Spaghetti

Wednesday - Baked Pasta with Chicken (use "leftovers" for pizza)

Thursday - Taco Soup with Sneaky Veggies

Friday - Chicken Fajita Pizza (use "leftover" chicken and veggies from pasta night)

Saturday - ?  I have to decorate and deliver a wedding cake this day so not sure what we'll do for dinner.

Sunday - Gma's (that's short for Grandma's ;))

Monday - Lasagna with Sneaky Spinach (gotta sneak the veggies in, guys)

Tuesday - Nachos

Wednesday - Potato Soup

Thursday - Spaghetti

As always, these are subject to change.

And Justice for All?

This is actually quite old but I thought I'd share anyway.  Not sure why I didn't post it earlier.

    We recently celebrated our daughter, Ashlyn's 6th birthday.  One of the gifts she was received was a super cute outfit from Justice.  I didn't give it a second thought after glancing at it until she excitedly ripped it out of the bag exclaiming, "It's from Justice!!!" Oh, crap.

  Fast forward a couple of weeks.  I sometimes take Ashlyn grocery shopping with me so we can have some mommy-daughter time away from the little girls.  We pulled into the Target parking lot and she says, "You know that store Justice is here somewhere?" Trying to act clueless I reply, "Oh yeah?" hoping that would be the end of the conversation.  Since Mrs. Fisher taught her to read she then says, "Oh, look!  There it is!  Right next to Target! Maybe we can just go in and look."  This is the moment our lives would change forever.

    When we entered Justice I knew instantly that I had made a terrible mistake.  The store was full of SUPER CUTE "Ashlyn" clothes!  Everything was covered in cute puppies and sparkly bling!  There were even accessories that coordinated with every piece of clothing.  My bargain hunting self quickly located the 40% off signs and huge clearance section.  "Ok, maybe this won't be so bad." WRONG!  40% off of expensive is still expensive!  She had her heart set on a sparkly purse and I found a couple of $4 layering tees.  We made it out for under $25.
     When we found out we were having twins we quickly figured out we would have 3 girls in high school at the same time.  Until now I've tried my hardest to shield them from designer jeans and $40 shirts.  I rarely buy a piece of clothing for them that costs more than $3-$4.  I can't remember the last time I took them to a mall (other than Bartlesville, but that's not a real mall).

  So, what's the big deal?  Why does Justice make me feel like I'm having a stroke?  First of all, take 3 tween girls in there and buy one outfit each.  $30 shirt x 3.  $30 jeans x 3.  $20 cute sparkly purse x 3.  We're at $240 already and haven't even bought shoes, jewelry, or that super cute sequin vest yet.  Even at 40% off that’s still $140.  Second of all, why do clothes have to cost so much?  Why do we pay $30 for a shirt at Justice when we can walk next door and buy one for $8 at Target (or $2 on clearance) or 0.25 at a garage sale down the road.  I like to think that even if I was a millionaire I wouldn't give in to over-priced name brand clothing.  As it stands now, I'll have to work just to support my girls' wardrobe for the next 15 years.

This is a horrible picture but you get the point.  Cute.  Sparkly.  Faux-fur trim.  Huge smile.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Theme Thursday: A Touch of Spring

My friend Cindy just introduced me to another fun photo project at Another Day Another Diaper called Theme Thursday.

I know it's Friday but I'm going to jump in on this one too.  This week's theme is A Touch of Spring.  Here are my photos.  The first one is my submission.  The second is just for fun.

One of my favorite things about Spring is the flood of wildflowers in our yard.  The girls LOVE to pick them and bring them to me.

Both pics (as always) taken with my iPhone.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Project 64

I've decided to take a little break from Project 64 for a while.  It's totally personal.  I will be picking it back up in a couple of weeks though, so stay tuned!  In the mean time, continue to head over to Project 64 and show the other girls some love, including my friend Cindy at Wytography!

Cheesy Chicken

Cheesy Chicken (aka King Ranch Chicken) is one of the only things all three of my kids will eat.

1 pkg Mexican or cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use the Healthy Request or low-fat kind)
1 can MILD rotel (it has to be mild, you'll thank me later)
1 big can chicken (Ok, I know some people think canned chicken is gross.  It's not.  And it's a heck of a lot easier than cooking and shredding chicken.)
Some crushed tortilla chips (I usually just save the crumbs from a few bags or tortilla chips.  Maybe a cup's worth.)

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour in baking dish.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400. 

We usually eat it with salad or refried beans and top it with sour cream, guac, and/or salsa.

This meal can easily be doubled and freezes well.

Wouldn't you know...after saying my kids would eat this, tonight none of them would.  Go figure.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Stuffed Shells with Sneaky Spinach

This recipe borders on not being cheap or simple.  But, it's yummy.

1 small tub ricotta cheese (I use part-skim)
1 small tub cottage cheese (I use low-fat)
1 pkg. Italian or Mozzarella cheese
1/2 box jumbo shell pasta
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (I use Hunt's)
Fresh spinach

While shells are boiling, mix together the ricotta and cottage cheeses, 2/3 pkg of shredded cheese, and chopped spinach.  Some recipes say to cook the spinach for 4-5 minutes and drain.  It's really not necessary.  They also say to add an egg.  I don't do that either.  At this point I add in some salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning too.

Pour 1/4 can sauce in pan.  Stuff shells with cheese mixture and place in pan with the opening down.

Top with rest of sauce and shredded cheese.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.


Everyone LOVED this (except the big kid, she won't eat anything).  And they didn't even mind the spinach.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cheap and Simple Stuff: Target Tips

LOTS of people ask me how I'm able to save money at Target.  "Isn't Target more expensive than WalMart?"

WalMart used to be quite a bit cheaper than most other stores, but recently their prices have jumped considerably.  Add that to their horrible customer service and limited availability and I just avoid the store altogether.  Around the same time that WalMart's prices went up, stores like Target became more competitive with their pricing.  Now a lot of products at Target are consistently cheaper.

Target also offers store coupons on their website and by mail.  You can print them here.  These store coupons can be used in addition to the manufacturer's coupons found on company websites and in your Sunday paper.  For example, Target is offering a $5 off coupon when you buy both children's Claritin and adult's Claritin.  You can go to and print a manufacturer coupon for $3 off children's and $5 off adult's Claritin...a combined savings of $13.  That's pretty big savings when your family of 5 goes through a box of each in 2 weeks.  Wait until Claritin is on sale at Target for even more savings.

Target also offers gift card deals.  This week they're offering a $5 gift card when you buy 2 select Proctor & Gamble products.  The best scenario for this deal would be to purchase 2 Bounce Dryer Bars or Liquid Downy for $8.99 each.  You can also find coupons for Bounce or Downy in the Sunday paper or by signing up for mailing lists and samples at

Another way to save at Target is to apply for their Target Debit Card (RedCard).  You can earn 5% back on all purchases in addition to a lot of other perks.  You can learn more about it here.

Probably the best way to save at Target is by shopping their clearance sections.  Target is constantly bringing in new products which means they are constantly clearancing old products.  They recently revamped their entire kid's crafting section.  I picked up some party invitations for less than $1 and a garden stone kit for $2.48.  I also recently picked up a nice set of knives for $6.  They also frequently clearance food, seasonal merchandise, toys and clothing.  In some cases you might be able to use a coupon on a clearanced item for even more savings.  Target's clearance sections can normally be found on the end-caps of aisles but sometimes the clearanced products are mixed in with the regular merchandise.

Click on the link below for some more examples of the savings you can get this week at Target...