Friday, April 25, 2014

Gooseberry Patch Grilling and Campfires Cooking Cookbook Giveaway!

*And the winner is....Hubcubs21!*

I am one happy lady! I am pairing up with Gooseberry Patch this year to be an Early Bird Reviewer. The first cookbook I get to check out AND giveaway a copy to one of my lucky readers is Grilling and Campfires Cooking.

When I received this cookbook, I put so many tabs on it of recipes that I want to try that my cookbook looks like it has a fringe! I have already gotten started whipping some of these awesome recipes and can't wait to try out more!

First up were some great burgers!

These yummy BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burgers were Michael's favorite since he is a lover of all things bacon...and they are scrum-ditily-umptious!

But my favorites were these amazing BBQ Ranch Stuffed Cheddar Burgers...BBQ, Ranch and a hidden surprise of cheddar...I was hooked!

Then we I threw together these yummy Peachy Pork Kabobs. Even a grill that hates me couldn't keep me from finishing these bad boys up!

And you know my sweet tooth couldn't resist this Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler! Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler, how do I love thee...let me count the ways! I love so much about this cobbler that I seriously can't pick just one thing. I love that it can be made in my oven at home or in mom's dutch oven when we visit them at camp. I love that it is a snap to throw together. I love that it is made with things I have in my cabinets. I love that it is amazingly delicious! Can you tell I love this cobbler or that I have a teeny bit of a sweet tooth? ;)

This is just a small sampling of all the yummy goodness in Grilling and Campfires Cooking! I look forward making many, many, many more of these recipes!

And thanks to the generous people at Gooseberry Patch you can win a free copy right here! To enter just comment below which recipe would be your favorite. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy!

The winner will be picked on May 16th! Good luck!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

1 +1 = 4

We have a bit of an announcement around here...

So in our house, 1 + 1  will equal 4 come October!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Affording Food: For My Family

(Catch up from the beginning here: Affording Food: Growing Up and Affording Food: On My Own)

So we are now up to my life now. I have a husband and child that I need to feed nutritious and flavorful food to on a daily basis (for some reason they won't let me only feed them once or twice a demanding!).

I have to admit that it took a while to figure it out and find what works for us. Now that we have worked on it, things run pretty smoothly around here. I am guessing that we will keep tweaking our plan of action, but this works for us pretty good.

So what is it that we do?

I told you about our great find on a bunch of packs of chicken and some packs of ribs, but unfortunately we can't rely on that happening every few months. So we do a bit of a backwards meal plan.

I have a bunch of Gooseberry Patch cookbooks and some favorite food blogs that are great resources. So when we stop by the store, we look for a Manager's Special sticker and buy the best deal or deals. Then I come home and find a recipe that will go with whatever meat it is we have found for the week. For example, our latest random find was a 2.39 lb Angus roast that was marked down from $7.15 to $2.99! I found this great recipe from Goodeness Gracious.  This one piece of meat has fed us THREE times and we still have enough left for another lunch. That is less than 50 cents per serving of some amazingly yummy roast!

Another essential part of our affordable eating is that we do 99% of our shopping at Ruler Foods. Right across the street is Jay-C, and both stores have Kroger brand items. We have a good laugh when we get the Jay-C ad for the week and see the "sale" price across the street is more expensive than what we pay everyday at Ruler!

We have also learned what Kroger brands we love (sometimes even better than the major name brand) and what name brands Ruler usually carries. There are times that we only pay a third of what we would pay for name brand and have just as good of food with our generic. The name brands that Ruler has are always priced cheaper than we can find them anywhere else. For example, name brand strawberries. The exact same brand was available at both stores. Ruler had them for 99 cents on the same day they were $2.59 across the street! I don't know how they do it, but I am sure glad they do! I would love to know an exact number we have saved over the years by shopping there. It is unreal.

There are some things that we prefer name brand that are not available at our beloved store and the cheapest place to buy them isn't always in our town (welcome to a small town...a small price to pay for this life I love!). So we just have to plan ahead to stop and get these items when we are in the town that has the store that carries them for the lowest price.

By doing this, we are always under budget each week for our food, and I seriously can't remember the last time we had a meal that was more than $5 per serving!

Disclaimer: I received a promotional item from Indiana Family of Farmers, but (as always) thoughts, opinions and stories are all my own!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Affording Food: On My Own

If you want to catch this from the beginning, check out Affording Food: Growing Up.

In my early twenties, I was very close with some people who were whizzes when it came to gardens. They grew all kinds of great veggies. I can't remember exactly how many gardens they had going each summer, but I can think of at least four different ones. 

It was a ton of work, but they definitely knew what they were doing and all of their family and friends reaped the benefits. Year round we had canned green beans, frozen corn, canned salsa and so much more available to us...they were more than generous when it came to the fruits of their labor.

I wish I had some pictures from the times I spent breaking beans on the back porch, picking fresh veggies or canning and freezing, but I don' just imagine sitting on a upside down bucket pickin' beans or on some lawn chairs break beans in the shade of a tree. They are some of my favorite memories from those years. 

Now I did not and do not have a green thumb or know how to grow a garden (thank you farmers for feeding me!), but what I learned those few summers about canning and freezing have come in handy ever since. Even though I don't grow my own, I can visit a farmer's stand or farmer's market and pick up some great fresh veggies to work up. 

It is a great way to spend time together as a family and save some money! You can grow your own fresh veggies (or buy them for a great deal at your local farm stand) and work them up for very little per serving. Then you have great tasting veggies year round! Win win!

It was also a great way to pass on traditions that have been around for years and years.

I didn't know it when I learned  the recipe for freezing corn, but it was actually the recipe of the sweet lady that lived just one house down from me growing up...which was also across the road from my Gramma's house. :) I love that I get to use Tony's recipe each year. I can remember the wonderful smells coming from her house when we would run over to play with her grandkids or were invited to come pick some veggies in their garden. I am proud to use any of her recipes!

Things have changed a lot since my early twenties, and now I have a family to feed and a budget to keep. So just how do I do that? ( be continued)

Disclaimer: I received a promotional item from Indiana Family of Farmers, but (as always) thoughts, opinions and stories are all my own!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Affording Food: Growing Up

In case you didn't already know, I grew up on a farm.

And I loved it.

We raised cattle on our farm. We knew them by name and were always excited when a new calf was born. I remember one year there was a major earthquake predicted for a specific day. The day came and went and there wasn't an earthquake, but a calf was born that day that was red on both sides with a white line down it's back. Can you guess it's name? Yep, Earthquake was around for a long time on our farm and was always one of my favorites.

We raised some cattle for market, but we also raised beef for our freezer. It was a great lesson about where our food really came from. It was also a practical way to have a ton of meat in our freezer.

I grew up in a meat and potatoes family. And I mean that in a very literal way. We had meat and potatoes at every meal except when we would throw together our family's famous (to us ;) ) deep dish pizza. So having meat readily available was a must.

As I ventured out into the world on my own, I learned that mom and dad's big ol' freezer was essential if you were going to have a whole beef and while it can save you money in the long run, it is an investment up front.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't have a big ol' freezer or the money to invest up front. So I had to adapt and find my own way of finding affordable food. ( be continued).

Disclaimer: I received a promotional item from Indiana Family of Farmers, but (as always) thoughts, opinions and stories are all my own!
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