25 January 2011

MOPS & Meals

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a MOPS group (mother's of pre-schoolers). On my first day I definitely felt like a student transferring to a new school mid-semester, but after two weeks I'm starting to feel settled in. This weeks speaker was a food blogger http://www.dianasaurdishes.com/, she said her grocery budget for her and her husband is $100.00 per month. $100.00! How is that possible!?! She ended up mainly sharing her testimony at MOPS, but said her tips and recipes are all on the blog. I haven't had time to check it out yet, but I am curious and excited about her tricks of the trade.

Our craft project was Friendship Soup. Can you tell from the picture above that I didn't measure...

Another meal planning/money saving site that I recently heard of (but haven't had time to check out yet) is http://www.emealz.com/. It is a Dave Ramsey sponsored site. One of my friends signed up and said the site sends you a list of meals, recipes, and a shopping list specific to your grocery store of choice (out of the ones the site offers).

Some ladies at my table were talking about the Crock pot Blogger, and this got me thinking, does anyone else follow or read any food blogs? What ones do you like???

Oh, and a couple more questions...
1. Does anyone have a good salad dressing recipe? I've actually never made my own.

2. Sweet potato fries... I love them, but I am embarrassed to say I've only ever cooked them out of a frozen bag. I didn't grow up eating sweet potatoes, so for some reason I am intimidated by them. Any homemade sweet potato fry/baking tips???

As for the picture below, I apologize if you are tired of hearing about Legendary Doughnuts, but I just have to say even if you are not a doughnut person, it is so worth going for a tasty chocolate dipped macaroon! Oh, and speaking of sweets, the cookies in the post below are Kelly's new fav, I'm thinking they would be even tastier with chocolate chunks instead of chips and macadamia nuts, can you tell I have a sweet tooth :)
This week I am slacking in the meal planning department, but my friend Ali listed some recipes she's been using, and I seriously would like to eat at her house every single night!

And, for anyone with a 5 lb bag of green beans in your freezer, my aunt's friend Kristine (Thanks Kristine!) sent me an awesome recipe:
Martha Stewart's Neapolitan Green Beans, she just adds the basil sprig in the beginning and stirs occasionally while it is covered!
Random... I really do not know much about cooking, that's why I like reaching out to the blogworld :) And, I really do not know much about fashion, but I know sale shopping. That is one area that I feel equipped in. I used to be very weird about buying "cheap" shoes. I think it was ingrained in me from childhood to buy quality for your feet. I still believe that, most of the time. I will buy quality running shoes (if I can find them at an outlet store I will probably enjoy them even more!), I like buying real leather boots (I still have two pairs from my sophomore year in high school, thank you Nordstrom anniversary sale), and I still have 10+ year old tevas from good ol' rei. But, I have learned that there are certain more trendy or less worn shoes that I can find for super inexpensive. Like, little sandals, ballet flats, and sassy heels. I am very thankful that I live within 5 minutes of a Target, and I am even more thankful that my Target is not shopped as much as other ones in the area, and magically there are not a bazillion size 7.5 shoe wearing women shopping the Target, which results in me gleaning some great finds. For example, exhibit A:
And, a couple of weeks ago I found some sassy black and rhinestone ballet flats for $4.58, I also found a pair of weird looking flat pointy gold shoes for the same price, but I ended up returning them. I am still learning self control when it comes to clearance, anything under $5.00 can start to look appealing.
As for Georgie Girl, I found some adorable Jack & Lily boots for next winter being clearanced out at Costco. A friend of mine had told me about Costco carrying the boots for $25.00 awhile back, and I always meant to check them out, even at that price they were a good deal. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to pay only $9.00! If you go to Costco, I found them almost hiding at the bottom of a display of men's shoes. Next to the Jack & Lily's were some really cute $10.00 Kirkland "uggs" for toddlers, again I am working on self control and I resisted.
Lastly, please please please someone tell me that I am not the only one who secretly (or now not so secretly) watches the Bachelor... I am obsessed with sweet little Emily. The other night I was watching it with a grin on my face, Kelly was surfing the internet and laughing at me. Then, he looked at me and said, "simple pleasures." Yep, yep it is.


Chris/ty said...

#1 - I will have to check out that meal planning website by Dave Ramsey! Sounds interesting.
#2 - Coconut macaroons! YUM.
#3 - Totally jealous of the baby boots.
#4 - YES I WATCH the Bachelor too. Such a guilty pleasure. I love Emily too!

MommyJamie said...

My favorite food blog is smitten kitchen. she makes such great stuff, but seems realistic about not whipping out a gourmet meal every night. I love your posts!

Stefanie said...

LOVE food, and food on blogs, and the Bachelor!

Robica said...

Sweet potato fries are easy peasy! Just slice them up to the size you like for fries, pour some EVOO on them, throw them on a greased baking sheet, bake for.. 20 - 25 min? or until they are to your liking. That's how I've done mine and we really like them. Think they're better for you too.

I have been on a mini quest to find a good homemade balsamic. I LOVE balsamic at restaurants, but never understood why you can't get the same taste in a bottle? After asking around and researching online, I found a recipe that I've been experimenting with. I highly recommend trying it. So much better than store bought dressing :) Good luck!Leave a comment on my blog if you want me to post the recipe I have.