Thursday, December 24, 2009

All about food

Anyone that knows me a little bite knows that we cook, bake and eat a lot around here. So, I thought I would share a few of the food related blogs I like to read and a few recipes I've tried lately. They are in no particular order. And a warning...this will be long.

First is Stephanie O'Dea's blog. She did a year of slow cooking and blogged about it. Her site is full of recipes and a few that I have tried and loved. She also has a book, Make it Fast, Cook it Slow.

Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup.....This is one of my favorites. I've done it a few different ways (dry or canned beans, leftover chicken, mild or hot salsa) and it always turns out great and freezes just fine, too!

Autumn Sausage Casserole.....I made this last week and there were mixed reviews here. I really liked it, but Joe didn't like it at all. He thought it had too much cinnamon and just didn't like that taste. I think I will tweek it a little and try again.

And lastly, Brown Sugar Chicken.....Love it! Stephanie's blog has a ton of recipes and I can't wait to try some more, head on over there and check it out.

Second up is Erin at 5 Dollar Dinners. She has a book too and is giving some away this week, check it out!

I haven't tried any of her recipes yet, but love the idea of making menu planning affordable. Besides recipes, she has a bunch of information on coupons, shopping strategies, etc. And I'm always looking for one more way to save on our family's budget.

Another great resource for budgeting, coupons and finding a deal is Carrie at Pocket Your Dollars. She does all the hard work of saving you money at the grocery store. There are a ton of links to weekly grocery lists that match to available coupons, links to printable coupons, and stuff on free offers. It helps if you have the ability to shop at Rainbow Foods. But if not there is stuff for Target, Menards and others too.

I used Carrie's site a couple of weeks ago to do a shopping trip to Rainbow and saved roughly 62%. I got $214 worth of groceries for $83. I stocked up on some things, got things that we did really need at the time, and picked up some extras (that were basically free) that got dropped off at church for our local foodshelf.

I also really like.....Organic Deals. Not everything there helps me here in MN, but there are links to organic coupons which I like.

Another site I love is Ree - The Pioneer Woman. She has wonderful recipes, great photos, adorable kids, and she gives away Kitchen Aid mixers occasionally. She is doing Christmas giveaways right now!

I found a delicious pie crust recipe on her site. It is here. I did use lard instead of the shortening the recipe called for, but it turned out just fine.

Are you still with me?

I can't forget about my dear bloggy friend, Amanda at I Am Baker. She makes these perfect looking cookies and cakes. I long to have the patience to do what she does. I just today attempted for the second time the Faith Cake from her blog. We will see tomorrow evening if the inside looks like it should.

Charlie was helping me decorate, hence the M & M's in random places...and I don't do smooth frosting.

Lastly, here are a couple of recipes that I've used recently and do most Christmas seasons.

English Muffin Bread.....Super easy, makes 2 loaves and is yummy. It goes great with homemade jam.

Andes Mint Cookies.....I don't always use andes mints for these. Melted mint flavored chocolate chips work just fine.

I really need to get to bed before one of the girls wakes up. My hard working hubby is out plowing snow right now and we probably won't see him until tomorrow afternoon. The snow is coming down pretty good right now and we are suppose to get a bunch. We opened gifts this yesterday morning with the girls, so that we could have daddy here. He will be here in and out through Christmas, but will probably be fairly tired, etc. Photos to come later, the girls were very cute and there were nices gifts all around.

God bless!

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