Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - 4/27/09

Okay, I'm kinda throwing this up here and not really sure how the week is going to go. Sweet MIL is out of town again this week, so my typical grocery shopping on Monday night is probably not going to happen the "good" way: Monday night after work while she watches Monkey. I'm doing a little shopping during my lunch hour today and probably a little on the way to pick him up from school. If that doesn't work, it'll probably happen after Monkey goes down tonight. If that happens, Lord, help me with energy, please! Shopping at night never goes well. LOL! It's too close to after dinner snack time and I get impulsive. Can we say "four cartons of ice cream" please?

Monday - Baked potoatoes with steamed broccoli and cheese
Tuesday - Lunchmeat sandwiches
Wednesday - Tostadas
Thursday - Thai Lettuce Wraps (a new recipe I'm trying!)
Friday - Breakfast for dinner
Saturday - Polenta with red meat sauce

Wish me luck!

For more menu plans from savvy mommas, go visit Laura at

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Recipe: Cranberry Breakfast Struedel

A few weeks ago we had a diapers and wipes shower for a friend of ours. I signed up to take an item and scrounged like crazy to find something I could make out of what I had in the cupboards. (Not much.) I kind of combined elements from different recipes. If it didn't work, we were stopping for donuts on the way. Ha! It's not gluten-free, so I didn't get a firsthand taste of it, but next time I plan on using a gluten-free cake mix so I can enjoy it. But from the comments I got from N and others at the event, it was a hit! So I'm going to post it and I would love to see if anyone else gets similar or different results. If you try this, let me know how it goes. I might just have a husband and friends that are too scared to give me a truthful answer. LOL!

Cranberry Breakfast Struedel

1 box white or yellow cake mix
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup water and 2 T water separately

Streusel topping ingredients
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oatmeal
2 T butter or margarine
1 T Cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice, as I was out of cinnamon.)

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix eggs, oil, and water together.
  • Empty cake mix into a bowl and create a well.
  • Place egg/oil/water mixture into well and mix until moistened and most of the lumps are gone. Mix will be drier and denser than typical cake mix.
  • Pour mix into 13 x 9 cake pan.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons water into whole cranberry sauce to make the fruit a little "creamier". Next time I plan on using Grand Marnier or Cointreau instead, just to see what it tastes like.
  • Marble in cranberry mixture into cake mix.
  • Mix streusel ingredients together until mixture is mealy.
  • Top cranberry/cake mix with streusel topping.
  • Bake 30 - 40 minutes, until cake is golden and fruit is bubbling on the edges.

    For more yummy recipes, go visit Gayle at GCC's weekly recipe swap!
  • Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    A Green Challenge

    Happy Earth Day everyone! Hope it's as lovely in your world as it is in mine!

    As mentioned in the sidebar, this blog is about stewardship, primarily of the financial type. But really stewardship is about making the wisest investment in whatever resource is given to us. It really isn’t just about money, but so much more. N and I have attempted to be wise(r) about other decisions in our lives. Being more environmentally aware is one of them. The littlest changes can make a difference. But sometimes those little changes can be a challenge. We finally realized that many of the things we could be doing, but weren’t, were simply out of laziness. Pretty pathetic when you get right down to it.

    So last year, we decided that we’d start implementing some changes to the W household. Knowing it was a mindset change, we knew if we didn’t approach things slowly and deliberately, that we’d fail simply out of being overwhelmed. So instead of making a lot of changes at once, we adopted a new “green” method of living every month or every few months, depending on what was going on and what we could handle.

    • Moving to fluorescent bulbs. The whole house is not complete yet. We’re still replacing them as the incandescent ones burn out. Which helps a big on the pocketbook too, since they’re pricier. Spreading the costs over several months is a bit easier to swallow.

    • Stopped buying bottled water. We have a filtered water dispenser on our fridge, so I’m not entirely sure why I bought bottled water anyways. Old habits die hard I guess. I spent $14 bucks on this at Sprouts. I now carry this or a similar one with me almost all the time. It’s dishwasher safe and BPA-free, so it’s convenient AND safe for me and the Monkeys AND doesn’t fill up landfills. Plus I can’t even begin to speculate on how much money we saved not buying bottled water.

    • I started using this. I hate talking about such personal matters on a public forum (apologies to sensitive readers), but let me just say that I am now a huge fan of this product. About one million tons of waste in our landfills EVERY YEAR is due to feminine waste products, which surprisingly enough, is not always biodegradable. This one little detail blew me away! One million tons? I know what I go through every month. If you’re a woman, you know what YOU go through every month. Multiply that with all the women in your city, your state, our country, the world. I was horrified! That alone was enough to send me to the store to purchase one. It took me a few cycles to get the technique down and there is a technique. I’ll be honest, I was frustrated the first month. But I fought through it. The initial cost was a bit hard to swallow (around $33), but after about three months of use, I decided I was not ever going back to paper products. Never, ever! I’ve been won over and I feel very good about my decision. This is one area that I feel is making a huge impact on our earth and only us women can do it.

    • We purchased a recycle bin. Some cities provide an actual recycle bin. Ours does not. But they do pick up recyclables, as long as they are in blue bags, differentiating them from trash bags. They are also nice enough to provide free blue bags once a year at their community center. They also list on their website and in the local paper what recyclable items they accept. So I clipped it out of the newspaper and have it taped above our recycle bin. I go there regularly to remind myself what goes in the bin versus what goes in the trash. So take a look at your city's website listing. You might be surprised what they are doing in your community.

      If you decide to recycle, check with your local city listings to make sure you’re not putting things in the recycle bins they can’t recycle. It’s a waste otherwise. Haha! Get it? Waste? A little green humor. *ahem*

    • Using recycleable shopping bags. I don’t use them for all the stores and I don’t use them every time. But I figure if I use three less plastic bags a week, then that’s 156 less plastic bags I use every year. And for those plastic bags that do follow me home? I use them for liners in our bathroom cans or save them and take them back to Sprouts or Tom Thumb to place in their recycled bag bins.

    • Composting. As a gardener, I understand the HUGE benefits of compost. Talk about making trash into treasure! Rotting fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, cut up egg cartons and newspapers are some of the best things for your garden. Currently our compost is going in an old trash can in our backyard that we don’t use. I actually get excited when I have vegetable remains or empty eggshells. LOL! This weekend N and I will be making an actual compost bin to oxygenate the materials most efficiently. I’m excited! I’ll post later on how that goes.

    There are a ton of other things that we need to change about our lives, but these are the baby steps we’re making. Some other ideas that we plan on implementing over the course of this year:

    • Turning off the water while we brush our teeth. I’ve started on this as of last week. Hard habit to break. Something about the calming sound of the water…silly I know.

    • A clothesline. Maybe not for everything, but for large items like towels, bedsheets, blankets, etc.

    • Planting a vegetable garden. This year with M2 coming along, this is just not something I can commit to. But I’m hoping that next year it’s something I can really get rolling.

    • Turning down the heater. N and I are pretty cold natured. So in the winter, our gas heater is on overload. I’m not going to tell you where we keep our thermostat, because, well frankly, it’s really embarrassing. But next year we plan on turning it down a notch and wearing a sweatshirt.

    • Re-insulating our attic. I’m hoping we can get this done sometime this summer. We’ll see.

    • Taking the train. Later this year, the DART Rail is supposed to have a station stop right in front of N’s office. We’re hoping to conserve fuel, money, and air pollution by him taking that instead of driving downtown for his daily commute. An added bonus: we found out his company is willing to pay a stipend for any employees that uses public transportation. Way cool!

    I'll try to write more about how things are going green in our household. If it inspires just one more family to make one change in their lives, then great! So far, we're happy that we've made the changes we've made because we feel like we are really making a difference on the earth we leave to our boys. And all of this in just about 6 months. Just imagine in another year what we could be doing!

    God gave us this earth to enjoy...are we making the most of what He's given? In celebration of that beauty, what change can you make TODAY to make a difference in our environment?

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Weekly Shopping Trip - 4/20/09

    I knew this week was going to be a smidge of a struggle because I didn't have a lot of time to plan and scour the pantry before I went shopping. The stress of having to rush through that process doesn't always bode well. But all things considering, I'm happy that we were only a tiny bit over budget.

    Sorry about the blurry picture. I was in a rush to take the picture too and didn't realize my auto-focus wasn't on. :-( Even photographers make lame mistakes. LOL!

    Target Total - $54.83
    Tostitos 3.00
    Generic saltines .99
    Jimmy Dean hot sausage 2.04
    Dole lettuce in a bag 2.49
    Generic olive oil 4.99
    Arriba salsa 4.19
    Mission corn tortillas 2.29
    Hormel ham 6.94
    Black beans .77
    Applesauce 1.87
    4 pack Starkist Tuna 3.14
    Wheat bread 1.29
    McCormick cinnamon 3.29 (with a coupon 2.54)
    Vegetable oil 2.49
    Bananas .90
    Gala apples 2.96
    GF Waffles 3.84
    Apple juice 1.19
    12 pk sprite 3.00
    Milk 2.29
    Eggs 1.67

    Tom Thumb Total - $6.80
    6pk Generic club soda 1.25
    Cottonelle TP 6.49 (with store coupon 5.49)
    Red grapes 1.00
    Coupon for 1.50 off total - Yay!

    Sprouts Total - $14.63
    Bulk sea salt .56
    Earth balance butter 2.99
    Bulk cheddar cheese 2.24
    Cucumber .79
    Grape tomatoes 2.50
    Avocados 1.76
    Onions .77
    Orange bell pepper .89
    Red bell pepper .88
    Strawberries 1.25

    Weekly Budget - $75.00
    This Week's Total - $76.26
    Difference - $1.26 over budget

    To meet other gals that share their weekly shopping trips, visit Gayle at GCC.

    Monday, April 20, 2009

    Menu Plan Monday - 4/20/09

    Nothing big going on this week, so just another week to put on the menu books.

    Monday - Chicken Enchiladas with green sauce
    Tuesday - Breakfast (sausage, eggs, hashbrowns)
    Wednesday - Tuna Casserole (not sure how to do this yet)
    Thursday - Beef fajitas
    Friday - Pizza
    Saturday - Sandwiches

    I'm typing this AFTER dinner on Monday, so I must confess that we did not do the chicken enchiladas. The jarred sauce I purchased awhile back on sale, was WAAAY too intense for a pregnant lady with delicate tastebuds. Holy cow. That stuff was going to keep me up all night with heartburn! So, thinking maybe I was being a baby, I had N try the sauce. Even HE thought it was hot and he's got tastebuds of steel. So that made me feel better...less of a pansy. On top of that, the DF/GF "cream" sauce that was supposed to go with the chicken, was a total disaster with a capital D. I was flustered and frustrated. I REALLY wanted chicken enchiladas!

    So this meant we had to change plans and quickly. It was pushing 9:00! So N made chicken nachos for himself and I made chicken soft tacos. Dinner was still really good! But what this experience did was teach me that I needed to be more flexible, which I'm not good at when I.HAVE.A.PLAN! :-)

    Also, I have tuna casserole planned for later in the week, but it also counted on that cream sauce that was a Disaster. So I might have to be flexible again later this week. We'll see what happens...

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Lesson Learned

    I am usually pretty disciplined about bringing my breakfast and lunch to the office. I hate spending money in our office café. The food is decent and it’s reasonably priced on the most part. But with us tightening our belts the last few months, I just cannot justify spending the $5 on lunch, when I know I have a perfectly good box of leftovers from home for free.

    Today was my day to take Monkey to school and usually that means I’m attempting to finish getting dressed, get him his juice, packing my work bag, and trying to brownbag my breakfast/lunch all at the same time. So today, in my rush, I packed my lunch, but forgot to pack breakfast. It’s not complicated. Usually just a couple frozen GF waffles and some fruit. But being preggo, if I don’t eat breakfast, it’s a really ugly morning. When I got to the office and realized my oversight, I was beside myself. All I had in my secret desk stash was a small container of applesauce that had expired, some peanut butter, and my candy jar with leftover Easter peanut M&Ms. Not good! So I dig through my change drawer and come up with two dollars. Woohoo! This was plenty to get myself the café’s “breakfast scrambler”: two scrambled eggs with two toppings of choice, usually ham and onions. Plenty to fill me up for the morning. It’s been awhile since I’ve eaten at my office café, so my walk had a little bounce as I walked across campus. I was excited! I felt like I was eating out, which N and I haven't done in awhile now. Haha!

    And then reality hit as I stood in line. Wow. It really HAS been awhile since I’ve eaten there! Their prices have almost doubled in everything! As I figured out what my $2 could buy me, I was getting disheartened. Eighty cents for a fried egg? Sixty for a slice of bacon?


    So I got an over-medium fried egg and one slice of bacon and decided to have a handful of Easter M&M’s after I got back to my desk. As I walked back to my desk, it dawned on me that last week I spent 99 cents on a dozen eggs. A dozen! And here I’d just bought one egg and one slice of bacon for $1.50. Wow. I fully realize $1.50 is not that much money in the grand scheme of things. But when I considered WHAT I got for that amount of money, it hurt just a teensy bit. I’ve had such a high for the last several months on how well we’ve been stretching our grocery dollars. I felt a little deflated.

    Sometimes it’s the pain of mistakes and oversights that help us learn. You can bet that tomorrow I will NOT be forgetting to pack my breakfast!

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Recipe: Shepherd's Pie

    Some of my fondest memories as a child, are in the warmth and comfort of my step-mom's kitchen. Being with my single-father for so many years, it was not lost on me how blessed I was to have a Momma that was such a wonderful cook. She could make anything and that anything always tasted or felt special, even if it was just sweet cornbread on Sunday mornings with honey and butter. After all the years of Dad's PB&J's, Campbell's soup, and crock-pot chickens, Momma's food was like heaven! As a teenager, I was blessed to be a student under her tutelage and some of my best meals are because of things I learned from her.

    I was browsing through Recipezaar on Monday night after dinner and just happened to bump into this recipe, which brought up a load of memories of a meal my Momma cooked on a regular basis! Since I have this knack for cooking waaay too much of something, I decided I wanted to give this a try. A nice way to use up the 10 gazillion pounds of leftover mashed potatoes I'd made just that night. I've tweaked it some (per usual), but the end result was really, really wonderful! This is definitely one of those meals you can call comfort foods.

    Shepherd's Pie

    1 lb ground beef
    salt to taste
    pepper to taste
    1 T butter
    1 T olive oil
    1 medium sweet onion
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 can Italian style tomatoes
    1 can green beans
    2 to 3 cups cooked mashed potatoes

    Pre-heat oven to 350.
    Brown ground beef, drain fat, and pat dry with paper towels.
    Salt and pepper to taste and mix.
    Layer on the bottom of a loaf pan.
    Brown onions and garlic in butter and olive oil, until golden and tender.
    Layer on top of the ground beef.
    Drain can of Italian style tomatoes VERY WELL and layer on top of onions.*
    Drain can of green beans VERY WELL and layer on top of canned tomatoes.*
    Layer mashed potatoes thickly on top of green beans.
    Cook in oven for 30 minutes.
    Broil on high for 2 minutes or until mashed potatoes are golden brown.

    *It's important to drain the canned vegetables really well or the "pie" is runny. A mistake I will not make again. While this tasted wonderful, it was not pretty. Next time I know what to do.

    This is one of those recipes that's fast and a good use of "pantry" items or leftovers. You could use corn, mixed frozen veggies, sauteed peppers, ground turkey, whatever you have on hand. N and I enjoyed this, but Monkey did not. Lately, he has this Thing for not liking his food being mixed up. (Shelia, I think just talking about your kids being like this, jinxed me. LOL!)

    *kicking myself for not taking a picture of the meal, yet again*

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Weekly Shopping Trip - 4/13/09

    This week's shopping trip was MUCH more successful than last week's. Not that that took much. Ha! But the menu plan was fairly simple and I didn't have any high cost items that were really needed, so extra money was spent on some meat I found on sale. I am SOOO wishing we had a deep freeze so we can put some of this stuff away without filling our freezer too much. One of these days...

    I also hit a different store that I don't frequent. It's on the same corner as Target, so it's not out of my way. Nature's Grocer/Vitamin Cottage. It's an all natural health food store. Honestly, I've been pretty impressed with them. I would venture to say that their selection of gluten-free items comes close to, if not rivals, Sprouts. And they're cheaper! A bag of my GF Tinkyada pasta is 50 cents cheaper and their Pamela's cookies are 80 cents cheaper. Also, I noticed they had a sale bin in the back where they had cookies and crackers close to expiring on sale for really, really ridiculous prices. That makes the trip worth it! So for those weeks where I REALLY need to be watching the pennies, they will probably win the bid for the week. Like I said, it's not out of my way. The drawback: Their produce selection is VERY limited and I don't see myself purchasing produce there. Sprouts just has everyone beat in that area. So, who knows...I might be frequenting them more often.

    I don't necessarily enjoy hitting FOUR stores like I did this time, but all four stores are at three corners of ONE intersection, so I don't feel like I'm counteracting my savings with gas-money. It IS more time-intensive, but my goal is to stay under a certain amount every week. I don't think an additional 15 minutes a week to hit that goal is really much of a sacrifice. I'm comfy with it.

    Target Total - $37.42
    Ruffles 3.50
    Hebrew National hotdogs 3.29
    1 lb split peas 1.00
    Malt-O-Meal Wheat Spooners 4.83
    Frosted Flakes (on clearance) 2.08
    Bananas .85
    Small gala apples 2.89
    Lean Cuisine 2.25
    Apple juice 1.19
    Generic orange juice 1.32
    Dozen eggs 1.67
    4 Generic yogurts 2.08
    Wax paper 1.19
    Generic paper towels 3.49
    3 boxes lotion Kleenex 4.99

    Natural Grocers Total - $5.98
    Pamela's Mini Cookies 2.99
    Tinkyada GF Penne Pasta 2.99

    Tom Thumb Total - $10.31
    Stouffer's Panini 2.50
    Red Baron Pizza 3.00
    2 Top Sirloin Steaks (on sale) 4.81

    Sprouts Total - $16.15
    .05 used bag credit
    Rice Cheese 3.49
    GF Waffles 2.49
    2 lbs Ground beef 4.12
    Bulk baby spinach .94
    2 yellow onions .81
    3 HUGE oranges 1.40
    Red bell pepper .88
    2 lbs grapes 2.07

    Weekly Budget - $75.00
    This Week's Total - $69.86
    Difference - $5.14 under budget

    I'm realizing as I'm typing this out, I might need another trip to the store, as I've forgotten I signed up for a breakfast item at a baby shower this coming weekend. Either way, it'll still be fairly inexpensive and I'll still be under budget. I'm still in decent shape for the month, despite what happened last week! Yay for good weeks!

    If you get a second, visit Gayle over at her weekly GCC Shopping Round Up! I'm so wishing I lived close to her...I'd be attending that workshop she's hosting. Boo!

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Menu Plan Monday - 4/13/09

    I really tried to keep costs down this week since last week was such a bust. Although it might take a few weeks to get caught up on going over so bad. Eeks.

    Monday - Grilled porkchops, mashed potatoes, grilled onions & 'shrooms (I'm writing this AFTER I've cooked dinner. Yum-o!)
    Tuesday - Shepherd's pie
    Wednesday - Grilled chicken salads
    Thursday - Gluten-free Baked Ziti
    Friday - Split Pea Soup
    Saturday - Breakfast Tacos

    Some of these I've never fixed before, so I'm not entirely sure if all of these will work. I keep a few frozen meals in the freezer for nights like this. I made a Cuban black bean soup last week that was a DISASTER. Probably my worst meal I've ever cooked. Boo! I'm so grateful I've got such a laid-back hubby...he's forgives me easily for bad meals. (And is still willing to let me use him as a guinea pig a few nights later. LOL!)

    For more creative menus, visit Laura over at for this week's challenge.

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    Product Review: Pamela's Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies

    I've had a few of Pamela's pre-baked gluten-free cookies and have never been impressed. But I read a review lately that said these little guys were pretty good. So I thought I'd give 'em a try.

    So I got a bag today at Nature's Grocers. My verdict: TWO THUMBS UP! Seriously. These totally remind me of Chips Ahoy. From the store to home I probably ate 6 or 8 of them! I'm only like 3 miles from Nature's Grocers too, so that's a lot of cookies in a 6 minute drive. I've never been so happy to get stuck at that stupid light in the middle of a construction area. LOL! Tonight after dinner another 3 or 4. Ridiculous. I have no self-control with these suckers! They run about $2.99 a bag and I think they're worth the money. Almost too worth the money...these are a little on the dangerous side. Eeks.

    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Weekly Shopping Trip - 04/06/09

    As mentioned in my previous post, this was a tough week. I won't re-regale you with the details, but suffice it to say, I got home and realized I didn't purchase two of my larger priced items and had to make another trip. Busting our budget and encouraging the rhino-virus migraine I was trying to thwart. Oh well...Holy Week is a time to celebrate right? :-S

    As I'm typing this, I'm realizing I'll probably go even more over budget because I haven't yet been given my Easter Lunch assignment from the in-laws. Oh man. I hope this doesn't send us over the edge this month. :-(

    Tom Thumb Total - 30.78

    Hormel Cure 81 Ham - 7.18
    Starbucks Coffee (with $2 off coupon) - 5.99
    Generic Club Soda - 1.25
    Generic Sprite - 2.50
    Stouffer's Panini - 2.50
    Ground Beef - 1.96
    Pork chops - 5.32
    2 lbs Green grapes - 1.79
    Cucumbers - 1.98

    Sprouts Total - $8.97
    Rice Dream Ice Cream - 2.49
    GF Waffles - 3.98
    2 onions - .61
    1 Red bell pepper - .89
    3 Mangoes - 1.00

    Target Total - $45.82
    2 pks Extra Gum (with coupon) - 1.04
    Tostitos - 3.00
    Goldfish - 1.66
    2 bags Dole lettuce - 3.98
    10 lb bag russet bakers - 2.99
    Mission corn tortillas - 2.29
    2 pkg McCormick Enchilada sauce - 2.04
    Box Cocoa Pebbles - 2.84
    Box Frosted Flakes (with coupon) - 1.50
    Can Dole Pineapple - 1.25
    2 cans pink salmon - 4.38
    2 lbs strawberries - 3.98
    Bananas - 1.10
    Gala apples - 2.40
    Apple juice - 2.38
    1 gallon milk - 1.99
    1 dz eggs - .99
    2 cartons yogurt - 1.10
    Colgate toothpaste (with coupon) - 2.49
    Nexcare bandaid tattoos - 2.00
    2 jars Barilla sauce (with coupon) - 2.78
    $5 off coupon for entire order over $50.00 (yippy!!!)

    Weekly Budget - $75
    This Week's Total - $85.57
    Difference - $10.57 over budget

    To see more shopping trip details, visit Gayle at her weekly Grocery Shopping Roundup. Is it tacky of me to feel relieved that she too has her off weeks???

    Sunday, April 5, 2009

    Menu Plan SUNday - 04/06/09

    This week's already gone awry before it's started. LOL! Sweet MIL is out of town tomorrow, so Monkey is going to school tomorrow instead of Gramma's. The sticky part here is N always picks up Monkey on Gramma Day, so I have the few hours immediately after work to do the weekly grocery shopping. Not so this week. Momma and school's on duty, which means I had to scramble today to get the menu plan and grocery list squared away. With a sick baby, sick husband, preggo (Adderal-less) brain, tight schedule, and what I think might be my OWN cold, the menu plan and shopping trip left a lot to be desired.

    It started off with making the mistake of taking Monkey WITH me so N could rest. Wow. Big mistake. I see now why Gayle recommends NOT shopping with the kids. First he knocked two bottles of glass items off the shelves and made a disaster in the aisle. Which started a major cry fest for the whole store to hear - the crashing scared him. Then when I went to pay, I realized I didn't have my wallet. So a quick call to N to come bring me my wallet and to please fetch his son, solved the issue. But at some point in this, I lost my gumption and said "screw the list". Oy. I'm gonna pay for this.

    I read a quote last week talking about pregnancy brain being compared to feeling like a koala bear that is slightly stoned all the time. OMG, I can sooo relate to that. I think that describes me perfectly lately. Except my munchy cravings don't include bamboo leaves, but peanut butter cookies and chocolate covered raisins.

    Anyhoo, with lots of grace and patience with myself, the end of today is drawing near. Tomorrow is a new start. Onwards to the menu plan...

    Monday: Cuban Black Bean Soup with Mango Pineapple salsa (new recipe I'm trying out)
    Tuesday: Huevos Rancheros
    Wednesday: Salmon Patties on fresh greens (encore from last week's hit!)
    Thursday: Fried pork chops/black beans over polenta
    Friday: Home made pizza
    Weekend: leftovers

    For more fun menu plans, visit Laura over at! I'll be sharing my Weekly Grocery Trip details in my next post.

    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    Recipe: Salmon Patties

    Have you ever tried a new recipe and just been totally surprised with how easy and good it was? This is one of those recipes! N and I just finished dinner and I just had to get online to share the recipe. Tonight's dinner was AMAZING! I'm just kicking myself for not taking a picture of it before we dug in! Boo!

    I had a can of salmon in the pantry. Not sure why. We don't eat canned salmon. But it wasn't expired, so I tried to find a way to utilize it in this week's meal plan. I found this Salmon Patty recipe online and it looked easy, had strong reviews, so I decided to give it a shot! I tweaked it a smidge, of course, because I never stick with a recipe verbatim.

    Salmon Patties

    1 can salmon
    2 eggs
    3 T finely sliced green onions
    1/4 to 1/2 cup buttery crackers, crushed (I used gluten-free Glutino pretzels)
    parsley flakes (I did not use this)
    red pepper flakes (to taste)
    salt & pepper (to taste)
    large pinch of dill

    1. Drain salmon well, and remove skin & bones. (Or keep the bones in for more calcium. They soften during cooking and you can't tell they're there.)
    2. Place into medium mixing bowl & mash up with fork.
    3. Add all other ingredients & mix together (mixture should be stiff enough to form patties, but not too dry).
    4. Form into patties & place in a medium-heated skillet, with approximately 2 T of oil. (I divided the mixture into 4 parts and made 4 patties.)
    5. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

    We served this over fresh wild greens with a few cucumber and tomato slices, tossed in a homemade red wine vinaigrette. I think next time we'll use a lemon juice based vinaigrette instead of red wine. I think the lemony tartness will complement the salmon better.

    We also drizzled the salmon patties with a sweet and spicy dressing:

    2 T of Miracle Whip with a few big splashes of Tabasco, a large splash of rice milk (to thin it to the right consistency) and a pinch of dill.

    I'm not sure what a can of salmon costs, but both N and I said this is DEFINITELY coming back on the menu plan. We loved it! The patty stood on it's own, but the sweet and spicy dressing really made it pop.

    For more yummy recipes, visit The Grocery Cart Challenge's weekly recipe swap.