Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Grasshopper Pie


My darling oldest daughter turned seventeen yesterday.  She is such a fine young lady and I could not be any prouder.  I'm just having a hard time believing she is seventeen already.  My goodness.

This year for her birthday she asked me to make her a Grasshopper Pie.  It is a super easy and very yummy mint and chocolate ice cream dessert.  I thought I would share it in case you might like to make one yourself.


You start out making the crust by crushing up a package of chocolate graham crackers.  Melt half a stick of butter (1/4 cup) and add it to the cracker crumbs.  Mix well and then press them into a pie pan.  Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Set out a carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream to soften, about 20 minutes should do the trick.  Set out a carton of Cool Whip to thaw too.



In the bottom of the pie crust drizzle some chocolate syrup.  Press the ice cream into the crust, drizzle with more syrup.  Cover the top of the pie in whipped topping.  Drizzle with more syrup and, if you have them, sprinkle on some mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings.  Why not?  Just go crazy.


Put the pie in the freezer overnight.  When you are ready to serve set it out about 10 minutes before you plan to cut it.  Pretty easy, huh?  Pretty darn good too!




Monday, November 20, 2017

Last Week's Thrifty Moves


Another week zoomed right on by.  I thought for sure this week was going to be quieter, but that simply was not the case.  Busy, busy, busy once again!

Sunday morning the girls and I grabbed the rakes and the blower and headed outside to clean up leaves.  We worked mostly at the next door neighbor's house.  I mulched 8 bags of leaves filling up her city compost bin to the top and our old blue trash can.  The city bin will hold five bags of leaves and our trash can holds three.


I ended up spreading half of the can of mulch in the chicken coop pen area and with all the rain we had last week I was really glad I did that.  It sure helps to keep the mud under control making it much nicer for the hens.  Plus they have new stuff to scratch around in.

Sunday afternoon I pulled some more odds and ends out of the freezer to use up throughout the week.  Looks like I'll be sharing another freezer clean up week with all of you on Wednesday as expected.


Monday I stopped on the way home from picking up the girls from their activities to do a small grocery shop at Albertson's.  I picked up loss leader items that were on sale, a lot of things for holiday and birthday baking.  The cake mixes were 79¢ each and I had two 50¢ coupons to use as well.  Yay!  An extra bag of sugar, four packages of cream cheese and some butter too.

Winco shopping

Wednesday I finished my grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and the girl's birthdays.  I picked up my youngest from cheerleader practice and we headed to Trader Joes first and then finished up down the street at Winco.  I had carefully crafted my list so I knew exactly what I needed and which store I needed to by each item at.  It worked out perfectly.  And amazingly it is the middle of the month and my grocery total so far is just under $50!  Yes!

Trader Joes haul

I treated myself to a potted chrysanthemum at Trader Joes for $3.49.  I'd been looking all over for them and finally found one there.  The clerk told me they had just got them in that day.  I was so excited.

I received birthday coupons for the girls to receive a free meal at Red Robin.  On Friday I took them to dinner and we used those and a I only had to pay for my meal plus the tip.  FREE food is AWESOME!


How was your thrifty week?



Friday, November 17, 2017

Cookies!


Head on over to my Thrifty Mom In Boise facebook page today where I posted a link to 50 thumbprint cookie recipes!  So many to choose from, I'm not sure where to start.  I might have to try some out this weekend.  

Yum, yum, yum!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Parenting


Parenting can be a tough gig.  I feel quite qualified to speak on this particular subject as I have been both a parent and a child.  By the time my youngest graduates from high school, class of 2021, I will have been full on parenting children for 35 years!!


Phew!  No wonder I'm tired.

That is the longest I've ever held any one job, that's for sure!  It is also the lowest paying job I've ever had.  In fact, this job actually costs me money!  Wait a minute!  I have to have a whole other job in order for me to keep this one.  Sounds kind of odd if you put it that way.


Not only is the pay lousy, but the hours are looooong.  24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and guess what?  There is no end in sight!  Let's face it, you're in it for the long haul!  This is no job for wimps.


Kids don't come with instructions, there is no owner's manual.  You can do your best to be prepared, but it pretty much boils down to on-the-job training.  And just when you think you've got it figured out the job description changes.  I mean one day you are cruising right along and then it does a 180 and you are going "What the....?"


Yep, you better be on your toes.


Children are the harshest critics too, and they aren't afraid to let you know when you screw up too.  It usually starts with a quivering lip, followed by really big tears.  And if you are super lucky a full on tantrum in a public place should clue you in.  Just in case you weren't fully paying attention to how they were really feeling.  And I've seen some teenager's scowls that will make even the toughest parent weak in the knees.  They could peel paint off the walls sometimes.


We are certainly not perfect, hard as we try.  Far from it.  There are always those days when we drop the ball and don't quite live up to expectations.  When suddenly we take a nosedive and go from best parent in the whole wide world to the worst parent's ever!  It is rough, I tell you.


I don't think you can truly appreciate your own parents until you become one.  It is only then that you become aware of the enormous responsibility of being a parent, the constant worry that your children will be okay, they'll be safe, they'll turn out alright, that the sheer number of mistakes we make won't completely screw them up for life.  And believe me, there are a lot of mistakes to be made along the way.


So who in their right mind would sign up for a job like this?  Well no one in their right mind would!  I think that is the point.  Because only the bravest of the brave can do this job.  Those that are strong in spirit, with loads of unconditional love to give out and the strength to ride out any storm.  The ability to nurture and care for another human being.  I mean you have teach them the things they'll need to know to grow up and do it themselves and call you some day and say "holy crap, how did you do it?"


And then you can smile, cause now you are a grandparent, and well....  payback is a..... 

But seriously, it is the best job I've ever had.  I love my children with everything that I am and never do I regret my decision to be their mom.  I am so incredibly grateful that God saw fit to bless me the way that he has.  Because at the end of the day, this job Rocks!!!


And I've got some really great kids!

So please, feel free to share your feelings about being a parent.  Tell us a funny story or something you are really proud of.  What is the best, or worst, part of your parenting journey.  Whatever you want to share!  




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Freezer Clean Up - Week #1


This week I decided it was time to clean out some of the things we've been squirreling away in our kitchen freezer.  Lots of plastic containers filled with leftovers or various odds and ends.  I took several containers and set them on the counter. 

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Biscuits made from scratch

It was cold, wet and rainy on Sunday and we were all craving a big bowl of hot soup.  I defrosted a chicken breast half in the microwave and chopped up some onion and celery.  I cooked up a package of egg noodles and drained them in a colander.  Then I sauteed the chicken, celery and onion in the same pot I cooked the noodles in.  I added a container of chicken broth from the freezer, water, a packet of chicken gravy mix, a partial leftover package of peas & carrots, a can of corn and a tablespoon of dried parsley.  I brought that to a simmer and added the noodles.  I also made up a nice batch of homemade whole wheat biscuits.


Sunday - Chicken Noodle Soup & Biscuits

Sliced pork with green chile enchilada sauce


Monday - I had thawed a couple boneless pork chops I found in the freezer.  I sliced it up and added a container of leftover green chile sauce I had in the freezer as well.  I made up some rice and served the Pork Verde over it with a little grated cheese and some sour cream.  I also made a salad.


Tuesday - I thawed a container of Thai Curry Soup that was in the freezer.  We had some leftover chicken from Saturday so I sliced it up and added it to the soup and heated it all up on the stove.  It made for a quick and very delicious supper and we had leftover salad from the night before to go with it.

A salad to go with all of this yummy soup

Wednesday - Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup & Biscuits, a quick reheat in the microwave and supper was on the table.


Thursday - I thawed a container of Split Pea Soup as well as a small container of ham broth and heated that up while a pan of cornbread baked in the oven.  My youngest doesn't care for pea soup so she had leftover Chicken Noodle Soup.


Friday - Next up was a Cool Whip container filled with leftover sausage and mushroom spaghetti sauce. We cooked up a little pasta and tossed it with the container of leftover spaghetti sauce.  Sprinkled with parmesan it made for a quick and tasty supper.


Saturday - Two small containers of leftover Taco Soup I had pulled from the freezer went into a pot to heat up.  It was the perfect amount for the three of us.  We had leftover cornbread from the other night to go with it too.

It was definitely a week of soups, that is for sure, and we loved every bit of it.  We are a soup loving family so for us this is definitely not a hardship, ha, ha.  We had plenty of leftover leftovers which made for easy and delicious lunches too.

And cupcakes too!

I have some space in the freezer now and I'm really glad to see food isn't going to waste.  Plus it gave me a nice break from having to do much preparation or cooking, mostly a lot of reheating.

Surprisingly I still have a lot of odds and ends in the freezer so we'll be enjoying yet another week of eating from the freezer.  You'll have to tune in next week to see what we ended up eating for supper.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Knifty Knitter


I am not a great knitter, simply for the fact that I've never really learned much past the basic knit and purl stitches.  I have a heck of a time reading and understanding patterns, both for knitting or crocheting, so I've never really pursued it and tried to be good at it.  What I did invest in several years ago was a very colorful set of knitting looms because, for whatever reason, using these makes sense to me.


I have both the round set and the long set and so far the only ones I've use are the round ones.  I'd like to be using them on a regular basis, but time seems to be a factor here.  I run out of it and I have so many other projects going on.  I really want to use these more because I've discovered so many things you can make with these things.

I have yet to use these 😐

Last winter when I was down with my back I spent some of my recovery time researching knitting and crochet projects on Youtube, including using knitting looms.  


Did you know you can make socks with these looms?  I had no idea, but I really want to make some socks.  And the best part is there are a ton of videos on Youtube showing me how to make them so no patterns or instructions for me to try to read.  Pinterest is also loaded with ideas too, but again, it all boils down to time. (sigh)

How cute is this?!  Sadly the link led to the wrong instructions
I'll figure out where to get them though 😃
Hats are the things I've made the most and my girls have made scarves with them.  I usually crochet scarves, but I'd like to knit some.  I also want to make sweaters, shrugs, ponchos, blankets, I have a huge list.

This is super cute - click here to get to a neat blog about Knitting With Looms
My hope now is to spend some time creating and completing some knitted projects in the next few years and learning to make things I have never made before.  Who knows, maybe someday I'll master reading and understanding those silly patterns.

I think Laverne has room for this

Needless to say, along with my sewing supplies and machine I'll be leaving some space to put my looms and some yarn into the motorhome.  I'll also add my knitting needles and crochet hooks and I'm pretty sure I'll have room to take my vintage standing knitting bag along.  It isn't very big and I found it on eBay last year.  I love it.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Last Week's Thrifty Moves


Sunday morning I finished a couple more Christmas sewing projects using the fabric I had bought on sale last spring and other things I already had on hand.  They were also my last two handmade projects to complete.  Yaaay!

We are having a week of eating from our freezer where I've squirreled away quite an assortment of leftovers and other odds and ends.  It has proven to be both rather delicious, not to mention simple and extremely thrifty.  I also had enough produce on hand to keep us in salads.

Containers I pulled out of the freezer for last week's meals

I emptied the last of the dish soap from the big refill bottle into a smaller one.  I added water to the larger one and gave it a good shake to use up the soap residue still clinging inside the bottle.  We were able to wash dishes for five days with that super soapy water.

I laminated the sliver of soap from the shower to a brand new bar so we could use it all up.  I cut open my tube of face cream so I could use up the last of it.

Monday evening I went to the library and returned two books and checked out two more.  Murder mysteries.  Love them!  I stayed and used their internet and my laptop to get caught up of my time, but it also saved me a little fuel in the car by not having to make an extra trip.

Mulching leaves

Wednesday I went to Home Depot and bought a leaf blower/vacuum/mulcher that was on sale.  The youngest and I put it together, then went outside and turned a mountain of leaves into a single compost bin full to set at the curb for collection.

Not a big hole yet

Simple tools

My kitty caught his toenail in the sleeve of my red sweater and snagged it.  When I went to fix the snag I noticed a small hole.  I decided I'd better fix it quick so it didn't try to unravel.  After pulling the snag taut as best I could I used a needle threader to pull what remained of the snag to the inside of the sleeve.  I then used a needle and red thread to catch all the little loops and fix the hole.  Three stitches later and you can't even tell there was a mishap.

All better!  Can't even tell there was a hole!

I downloaded a few digital grocery coupons to my Fred Meyer rewards card.  I also printed off three more from coupons.com.

The only grocery shopping I did last week was to stop in at Fred Meyer and pick up some milk ($1.29) and two Friday Freebies I'd downloaded.

I used a cake mix and frosting I'd bought on sale a couple months ago 😋

Saturday the girls and I really hit a brick wall.  All of our busyness caught up with us in a big way so we took the day off.  I binge watched Youtube videos and the girls got caught up on their homework.  I baked cupcakes in the afternoon and we watched a couple movies.  The girls also got in some much needed reading time.  The only chores we did were dishes, laundry and taking care of our pets.  We never even got out of our pajamas.

How was your thrifty week?



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